Sunday, April 24, 2011


or No-bake cookies.....or chocolate oatmeal cookies....or however you prefer.  I grew up calling these "novacks" and I can't tell you how many times I have burnt my mouth trying to eat these as soon as my mom spooned them onto wax paper.

Now these aren't the most glamorous cookies out there.  But who needs glamour when you are sitting around eating these out of a tupperware container watching "How Do I Look?" reruns on the Style Network all day?  Now that's a glamorous life.

What you will need:

  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 Tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter (We LOVE natural peanut butter, but it so doesn't work in this recipe.  Stick to the good ole processed stuff here)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 3 cups of oatmeal

Before you start, lay out some wax or parchment paper on a flat surface in preparation for your cookies. Now using a large saucepan, place your sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk together.  

Put over medium heat until it reaches a boil.  Let boil for 5 minutes stirring occasionally if you need to.

After the 5 minutes, remove the pan from the burner.  Add in your vanilla and peanut butter and stir until smooth.  Add in your oatmeal.

Stir until all the oatmeal is coated with the chocolate mixture.

Now spoon the mixture in small mounds onto your wax or parchment paper.  Please don't make my mistake and try to eat them right away.  Allow them to cool and harden before you start to indulge. Store the cookies in an airtight container when they are ready.

Novacks - Print Recipe

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chunky Double Chocolate Cookies

So I have been out of town this past week for work.  Need proof....

Vegas baby!  The land of casinos, drunk people, and XXX rated escort cards thrown everywhere. Really, I was working.  Just made a quick trip to the strip so I could say I have been and grab a magnet for my mom.  Hi Mom!

With it being a really long week (where my flights to and from were both messed up and my luggage didn't show up till 6 hours after me), I wanted to bake something simple this weekend.  So I scoured my cabinets for ingredients and found another recipe in the 500 Cookies, Biscuits, and Bakes cookbook that I could throw together without having to venture to the grocery store.

I have to apologize first.  Apparently, not only wasn't I in the mood to go to the grocery store, I wasn't in the mood to take quality photos this morning either.   Luckily, this is a straight-forward recipe.

What you will need:
1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups of self-rising flour, sifted
3/4 cup of rolled oats
4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
4 ounces of white chocolate

Chop up your chocolate and combine in a small bowl with your rolled oats.  If you don't have bars of chocolate, feel free to use chocolate chips.  I wasn't running out to the grocery store when I have 500 bags of chocolate chips sitting in my cabinets.  Set the bowl aside until you can mix your cookie dough.

Not my best camera work.....but you were warned.

Cream the brown sugar and softened butter in a bowl.  Once that is light and fluffy, add your egg and vanilla.

Pour your sifted flour into your wet ingredients.  Fold the flour in with a heavy spoon until it is completely mixed in.  Pour in the oats and chocolate and combine.  These cookies are going to be on the drier side when it comes to the final product.  But that's just really an excuse to grab a glass of milk to go with them.

Now spoon the cookie dough in small mounds onto a cookie sheet leaving space between your cookies in case they spread while baking. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are golden brown.  Let cool for a few minutes on the sheet until you can transfer them to a cooling rack. I was able to get about 24 cookies out of this recipe.

TIP:  If you have a small oven and can't fit two cookie sheets in at the same time, keep your cookie dough in the fridge until needed.   Keeping the dough cold will slow down the chemical process of the baking powder found in the recipe (which is already in your self-rising flour in this case).  If you keep your dough out and it gets warm, you run the risk of making your cookies taste a little funny after they are baked.

Not bad for rummaging through the cabinets on a lazy Sunday morning, eh?

Chunky Double Chocolate Cookies - Print Recipe

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Banana Bread

It was a good thing that Mr. Baking Pixie was out of the house this morning and the cats were my only audience.  You see, Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" was in my head ALL morning.  It wasn't pretty to listen to or watch as I danced around my kitchen.

What was the inspiration for my song and dance?

It's Bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S....

Sorry.  Back to the regularly scheduled recipe.

This recipe is one that I was taught in pastry school, but it's pretty easy to make your own.

What you will need:
1/2 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of light brown sugar, packed
1 egg
3/4 cup of ripe mashed banana
3/4 cup of pastry flour
3/4 cup of cake flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans

Like I said earlier, play around with the recipe.  For my batch of bread, I doubled the cinnamon and added chocolate chips to one of the loaves.  If you can't find pastry flour, just use all cake flour.  All-purpose flour will work to but you will have a much heavier denser bread.

The first step is to cut up your banana and smash it.  Set the bowl aside.

Start by creaming your softened butter and your sugars until light and fluffy.  Once that is done, add your egg.

Once the egg is mixed in, add your smashed banana and stir.

Take all of your dry ingredients....

and combine them in one bowl.  Mix the dry ingredients together very well.

Pour the dry ingredients into you banana mixture along with the buttermilk.

Mix just until everything is combined scraping down the bowl when you need to.  Stir in your chopped nuts, chocolate chips (highly recommended if I might add), or anything else you feel goes along with banana.

Pour into your prepared loaf pans.  This recipe made 3 small loaves.

And bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.  Then spend the rest of the afternoon trying to get that darn song out of your head.  Cause I ain't no Hollaback girl.... I ain't no Hollaback girl.


Banana Bread - Print Recipe