Chino Bandido

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Confused by the meal pictured above? You have every right to be. It’s a mix of Chinese and Mexican food! There are a couple locations throughout the “Greater Phoenix Area” (put in quotations because everyone not born in Phoenix knows that Chandler, Scottsdale, Tempe, etc don’t really matter. It’s all Phoenix to us!) and it is quite an interesting experience.

Chino Bandido’s most popular plate option is the combo: you get two meats (burrito or quesadilla style), rice, and beans for about $7. On top of that you can choose refried beans, spicy black beans (what I had, try them. They are delicious), rice, or a variety of fried rices.

What I ordered was suggested by the delightful and knowledgable waitress Fizz (at the Tempe location. GO VISIT AND SAY HI!). She recommended the Emerald Chicken quesadilla with the Jade Red Chicken, white rice (because fried was a dollar extra and I’m cheap) and the spicy black beans. It was delicious. The Emerald chicken is a ginger and scallion seasoned chicken and it was delicious covered in cheese and sandwiched in between crispy quesadillas. I also suggest you spread some black beans on with every bite, it gives it a lovely kick. The Jade Red Chicken is sort of a Sweet and Sour style chicken and it was tender and reminiscent of classic American style Chinese food. All in all I enjoyed the meal, and I had leftovers, too!

The best part, however, may be the fresh daily baked Snickerdoodle cookie that comes with the meal. It’s soft and chewy and honestly one of the best snickerdoodles I have tried. Doesn’t happen often at quick service restaurants, but here it is amazing. They make the dough and bake the cookies on site so it’s fresh and tasty!

If you need more reason to go check out this unusual food combo here is a picture of their mascot. He is adorable (if a bit racist):

 

Now go! Enjoy and marvel at the taste sensation! And again, if you go to the Tempe location say Hi to Fizz!

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Brown Butter Snickerdoodles

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Possibly the best cookies I’ve ever made ever. Also I am in love with this new brown butter fad. TRY THESE IMMEDIATELY!!

A dear friend suggested this recipe to me. Actually, she recommended the caramel snickerdoodles but seeing as I had no sea salt caramel, I went with the original recipe. Brown Butter Snickerdoodles!

I pretty much followed the recipe to a T (or is it tea? …never really understood that saying…) besides one minor adjustment. I didn’t (and still don’t -hey no throwing things!) have any cream of tartar. So I did a bit of googling and decided to go in between the two main substitution measurements I found. I used 2 tsp baking powder and left out any additional salt – and they came out beautifully even so.

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They even stayed soft for the next day (there was one left for my dad and I for the next night’s breakfast dessert.) But even holding out on the last two was a test of will!

They are rich and have a very deep and complex flavor for cookies. I have never tasted anything so subtle and varied in my favorite baking form! The brown butter really made all the difference. It brought out this sweet, salty, nutty, toasted flavor that I have yet to encounter anywhere else.

And for those of you who are trying to brown butter for the first time, here’s a secret. You’ll KNOW when it’s started to brown. Just be patient and wait for the butter to form tiny solid specks at the bottom – that’s the browned fat content! And once it starts to darken, take it off the heat IMMEDIATELY.

I have to admit, I did take it off a tad bit prematurely. I can’t even imagine how rich the taste will be when I properly brown the butter!

Anyways, stop what you are dong right now and go make these. No excuses. You’ll thank me later.

Layered Snickerdoodle Brownie Bars

 

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I have been overcome with a terrifying and unceasing sweet tooth this last week. So what better way to sooth the savage tooth than with baking!

Torn between a fudgey brownie and a fluffy snickerdoodle I decided to make them both. In the same baking dish.

Ooooh. Daring!

So I looked up some recipes that were similar to what I wanted and I went with two with similar temp and cooking times.

The brownie recipe I took from Kitchen Simplicity. It was created for this kind of layered baking so I knew the brownie batter wouldn’t be too wet or thin. On its own I think it might be a bit too salty, so I would go light on the salt. Thankfully the cookie topping helped to even things out.

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The snickerdoodle recipe I got from Flavor the Moments. It is actually a cookie BAR recipe (because all of the traditional snickerdoodle cookie recipes call for Cream of Tartar and I’m too lazy to go out and buy some.) It also helped because that meant it was more like batter than dough and would be easier to spread on top.

I cut the recipe in half, plopped the battery-dough on top of the brownie batter in spoonfuls and gently spread it out all over the top. (This batter was very SWEET, but like I said above, it helped even out the salty of the brownie.)

Then I added the cinnamon sugar topping and popped it in the oven.

It came out BEAUTIFUL. (Even though I had to bake it a second time because my testing knife LIED – I swear it came out clean!) The brownie was dense but soft while the snickerdoodle gave a nice crispy soft bite.

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Also the flavors went REALLY well together! And I definitely want you all to try this. I ate most of the dish the first day and only kept a few pieces so I could share with my family and friends.