Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday, Macaroni Grill, Monica and the Motherlode

I was really looking forward to today ... you are probably wondering why I was looking forward to a Monday... Well, about a month ago I came across a blog that I am now addicted to - Lick The Bowl Good! She has fabulous recipes and does beautiful work. After a few emails we realized that we lived within miles from each other. So, today I met my new foodie friend, Monica at Macaroni Grill. We had alot of fun visiting and getting to know each other better.

Of course I had to make her a sweet treat!!! I came across the recipe for "The Motherlode Cookie Bars" over at Picky Palate and knew immediately that was what I was going to bake her.

Layer 1: Sugar Cookie

Layer 2: Double Chocolate Chip

Layer 3: Peanut Butter

Layer 4: Chocolate Chip

YUM!! YUM!! YUM!!! YUM!!

The Motherlode Cookie Bars

 Layer 1: Sugar Cookie
  • 1 Roll of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Press sugar cookie dough into bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish that’s been lined foil and sprayed with cooking spray.

Layer 2: Double Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add egg and vanilla until well combined.

In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients then stir in chips. Layer over sugar cookie layer, pressing gently.

Layer 3: Peanut Butter Cookie

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined. Press over chocolate cookie dough.

Layer 4: Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp.granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tbsp. pure vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 bag chocolate chips plus more for drizzling

Make sure oven is preheated to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer cream the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl; mix to combine. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips. Spoon the dough evenly over peanut butter cookie dough but don’t press, just leave uneven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until center of dough is cooked mostly through. Edges will be brown. I covered pan with foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.

Let cookies cool completely. Lift out of pan with edges of foil. Drizzle top with 1/2 Cup melted chocolate chips if desired. (optional)

NOTE: You can layer dough and refrigerate until ready to bake.


Guess what?!?!?! Monica made me something sweet too!!

Monica - I had a great time visiting with you and my treat was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!!!  I look forward to getting together and baking with you!!! (I will be baking this for my Mom - she LOVES cinnamon)

Cinnnnnnnammmmon Squares from Monica


  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Abuelita chocolate)


  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line the bottom with parchment or wax paper. Place the pan on a baking sheet.

To Make the Cake: Stir 2 tablespoons of the sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the espresso together in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining 1 1/4 cups sugar, the baking powder, salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and gently whisk until you have a homogeneous batter. Now, using the whisk or a rubber spatula, fold in the butter with a light touch, just until the butter is absorbed. You'll have a smooth, shiny batter.

Scrape half of the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the chocolate over the batter and dust with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Cover with the rest of the batter and smooth the top again.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan; a thin knife inserted into the center will come out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let it rest for 15 minutes before unmolding it onto another rack. Peel off the paper, invert it onto the first rack, and cool to room temperature right side up.

To Make the Frosting: Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and fit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cook, stirring gently and often, just until they melt. Be careful not to overheat the mixture so much that it thins out; the chocolate should be smooth, very shiny, thick and spreadable. (If it thins, leave the frosting at room temperature for a bit, until it thickens a little.)

Using an offset metal icing spatula or a table knife, spread the frosting in generous sweeps and swirls over the top of the cake. Allow the frosting to set at room temperature, then cut the cake into squares.

Storing:Wrapped in plastic, the cake will keep at room temperature for 2 days. It can be frozen for up to 2 months, but it's best to put the cake in the freezer unwrapped and then, when the frosting is firm, to wrap it airtight; defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

NOTE:My cake took about an hour to cook through. When a toothpick inserted in the center My cake took about an hour to cook through. When a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, it's done.


Monica H said...

Oh my goodness, you're a quick one! I didn't have a chance to read this post yet, but I was just stopping by to show my husband your blog.

I'll be back after a while! Thank you so much for everything- you are TOO kind.


Ingrid said...

How lucky that you guys got to meet each other! I'm jealous! :)

How easy were those bars to make? I love bars but that looks like a lot of extra work. Two thumbs up?

Monica H said...

You couldn't have picked a better sweet treat to bring me. Myhusband and I both loved them. We've eaten one and have 3 left :-)

I'll post the recipe for my cake tomorrow night. It was so nice meeting you and I'm glad we could lunch together.

I look forward to baking with you too! We'll have so much fun.

Janice/adorations said...

Ok girl -- I have been on Monica's blog many a time before for such GREAT & YUMMY recipes-- so funny that you all live so close and share the same LOVE of baking :)
WOW - I didn't realize how much you enjoy baking & you ARE GOOD at it - I feel like dabbling in it once in awhile - where do you 2 find the time????

Blessings and HUGS
janice :)

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