Saturday, December 8, 2012

Peppermint Patty Chocolate Chocolate Chip Sandwiches

I have been absent for a while lately.  Shame on me, I know.  But I have a Christmas tree up and all my gifts have been bought.  I have all my baking supplies for brownie gift boxes for my husband's coworkers.  I have supplies for homemade body scrubs.  And homemade vanilla extract is already brewing in the top cabinet.  If you have never heard of Beanilla, check out their site.

I had a great little hometown store back in Florida where they sold vanilla beans for super cheap.  I haven't found a similar place here in North Carolina.  Every bean I see here, I would have to choose which arm or leg I would need sacrifice to purchase it.  For a little while, Beanilla had a special where you could buy 25 beans for 25 dollars.  Awesome!

But the main reason for this post is to let you know about a site that I have been following for a while.  I love Cookies and Cups.  Shelly has a weakness for buttercream, chocolate, and candy.  And most of her recipes don't require a ton of ingredients.

So take a moment and check out her delicious post where she makes chocolate cookies sandwiched together with a York peppermint patty here.  I tweaked it a little and used my recipe for ooey gooey chocolate chip cookies.  They are a little intense and you would be crazy not to have a glass of milk on hand when you eat one.  I'm sorry I don't have pictures.  They didn't last long enough for me to pull out the camera.

You have been warned.  Now, go and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cinnamon Chex Mix

I found this recipe thanks to Pinterest (duh!).  The original recipe is located here courtesy of Just Another Day in Paradise.  Go visit her site.  She has much prettier pictures of the final yummy cereal than I do.

I have to be honest with you on this one.  I wasn't digging this so much yesterday when I made it.  But give me 90 minutes of yoga and a glass of orange juice and this stuff is AMAZING.

The huge downfall to this recipe is you need cinnamon chips.  Yes, I had to google it too because I had never heard of or seen cinnamon chips in my life.  But thanks to a wonderful website called, you can have cinnamon chips delivered straight to your door.

My mom found that site a few years ago when she started getting my husband nonpareils for Christmas.  It's his favorite candy.  And his dad's favorite.  And his grandmother's favorite...

For the recipe you will need

1 box of Rice Chex cereal
3 cups of cinnamon chips
1/2 to 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

Throw the box of cereal in a big bowl.  I always use my tupperware cake carrier.  You know the big plastic dome that snaps onto a bottom.  That way you can shake everything without getting sugar every where.

Pour the cinnamon chips into a microwavable container and heat 30 seconds at a time.  By the way, if you order the chips off, one pound equals roughly 3 cups.

Stir the chips until everything is melted and smooth.  Now pour the melted cinnamon chips over the cereal and stir until combined.   Now combine all the sugars together in a bowl.  I started off with just 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, but ended up sprinkling some extra on at the end.

Sprinkle the sugars over the chex cereal.  Snap on the bottom of the cake container if you got it and shake.  Or if you are less messy than I am, stir the cereal until the sugars start to coat the cereal.  If you need to add more sugar, sprinkle on a little powdered sugar like I did, and stir (or shake) again.

And there you have it...a cinnamony crunchy delicious snack.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Chex Mix - Print Recipe

Friday, September 28, 2012

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Today I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  I have been craving these oatmeal raisin cookies all this week.  But I didn't have that much butter, or orange juice concentrate, or enough raisins, or...

And I was feeling kinda lazy (since I woke up at 5:15 to go to yoga) to go to the store for all of it.  So I came across a recipe in a new book I got and promptly rewarded myself with cookies for going to work out.

Balance, people.  It's all about the balance.

This recipe does use shortening, which I am not a fan of when it comes to substituting for butter. But the cookies did turn out pretty well and didn't leave a weird feeling in your mouth.

What you will need for this recipe

3/4 cup of shortening
1 cup of brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
3 cups of quick oats
1 12 ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Take the first 6 ingredients, from the shortening to the vanilla, and combine them in a mixing bowl. It will look a little lumpy because of the shortening.

Now combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in another bowl.

Note:  I should probably use a bowl that hasn't been stained with marinade and tandoori.  

Throw the flour mix into the shortening mix and combine.

Now dump the oats and chocolate chips in.

That looks wonderful.  Now stir in the chips and oats by hand.

Drop mounds of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  I did use a portion scoop, but ended up smashing the cookies down a bit.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

And you are done.

The fluff balance has been restored.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies - Print Recipe

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cinnamon Apple Crumble

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me...

Tomorrow I turn 31.  Egads.  I am old.  Well if you listen to most of the people on Facebook, I am old.  They think once you hit 30 you should just give up.  Are you serious people??  What's with this "I am turning 29 for the 4th time" stuff?

I did go shopping for chocolate and Nutella to make cupcakes for myself.  But since the weather has dropped to the 50s at night here in NC, I decided to make something different.  Might I add that I am completely stoked that we get seasons now.  My boots are practically jumping out of my closet as we speak.

This recipe was super easy to make.  I usually run through a recipe once and see the results before I start tweaking.  But I will let you know my suggestions as we go along here.

What you will need

3 apples, peeled and chopped up
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of light brown sugar, packed
1 to 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1/2 stick of butter, chopped up (keep cold)

1 bag of oatmeal cookie mix
1 stick of butter, melted
pecans (optional)

Now, as I put, the original recipe calls for 3 apples (or roughly 3 cups) chopped.  I guess we have ginormous apples here because it only took about 1 1/2 apples.  And you could probably cut back on the granulated sugar.  The crumble is very sweet.  I am not going to complain too much though.

Now for the easy part.  Take all the filling ingredients and combine them in one big bowl.

These apples deserve a closeup.

Throw the filling into a glass baking dish.

Now take the same big bowl you used for the filling ingredients and throw the contents of the oatmeal cookie mix in there.  Pour in the melted butter and stir until it gets all crumbly.

Now the one big mistake that I saw with the original recipe is that it doesn't tell you how much of the topping to put on.  I threw the whole bowl on there.  If you love oatmeal, go for it.  Or you can just sprinkle some on top.

Cover the dish with tinfoil and bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes.  Remove the tinfoil and add the pecans if you want.  Throw the dish back in the oven for another 20 minutes until the topping starts to brown.  Just the smell alone coming from the oven makes your mouth water.

Now excuse me for a moment.

Happy me.

Cinnamon Apple Crumble - Print Recipe

Monday, August 20, 2012

My little man is turning one!

I know I have been absent for a little while now.   I have been longing for the days for when my little Pixie was still a newborn and took naps all day long.  Sigh.  Now I spend my days cleaning up the hurricane debris from where my little one has wreaked havoc.  He is starting to take some steps on his own and has discovered the toilet paper in the main floor bathroom.  He can catch up to the cats now and my dish towel drawer will never be the same.

This past weekend we celebrated his first birthday a little early with our family and friends in Raleigh.  My parents even drove 6 hours from Tennessee so they could see him eat his first bite of cake.  While he had his own little cake to smash and rub all over his face, I made a cake for the adults to enjoy.

I found this card on Pinterest and decided that it would make an adorable cake.

I tinted the fondant a little brighter, but I think the cake came out pretty well.

I still need practice with my fondant but I am slowly getting better covering the cake.  Of course, the best part was the inside with the homemade buttercream frosting and cookie dough crumbles.

Now pardon me while I reminisce over some baby pictures.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chocolate Truffle Cookies

These cookies have a little kick to them. The main recipe calls for cherry brandy.  But the recipe also suggests other flavors like Amaretto (which I have) or Cointreau (which I have never heard of in my life).  And then of course if you are making these for the kiddies, you can use orange juice.

What you will need

1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of caster sugar
2 tablespoons of cold butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon of cherry brandy
confectioner or powdered sugar

This recipe only makes about 12 cookies but it can easily be doubled for more.

Place the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a bowl and sift together.  Add the sugar and mix well.

Now take the cold butter and cut it up into small chunks.  Remember, the butter needs to stay cold so leave it in the fridge until needed.

Throw the butter in the flour mixture and crumble it up with your hands.  You flour mix should look like cornmeal when done.

Mix the egg and brandy together in a small bowl and add it to the flour mixture.

It may not seem like enough liquid, but keep on mixing.  The dough will start forming and it will be thick.

Cover the dough and throw it in the fridge for 30 minutes.   While you are waiting, place about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl and set it aside.

Once the time is up, roll the dough into small balls and roll them in the powdered sugar.  Make sure the powdered sugar is thick.  You won't get the crackled effect if the sugar is lightly applied.

Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Let the cookies cool on a rack when done and then place in an airtight container.

Oh and don't operate any heavy machinery after consuming a few of these.

Chocolate Truffle Cookies - Print Recipe

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sugar Peony

I have had this tutorial and these metal cutters on my mind for a while now.

I got the cutters at Global Sugar Art a few months ago.  I just checked their site and they don't seem to have the same exact set.  But they have quite a few to choose from.  

There are quite a few things you need for this to work.

     -I bought the pre-made gumpaste at Michaels with my 20% off coupon, thank you very much.
food color if needed
foam pads
ball tool
flower petal cutters
small rolling pin
water or gum glue
small styrofoam ball
metal wire

I basically followed the tutorial mentioned above but just improvised here and there.  First thing you have to do to your gumpaste is roll it out as thin as you can possible get it.  The cornstarch helps here so the paste doesn't stick to everything.

I used the smallest cutter and cut about 8 petals out.  Use the ball tool around the edges to make them all "crinkly".

Now start layering them around the styrofoam ball making sure they overlap each other.  This is where your water or gum glue comes in handy.  It helps the petals stick to the styrofoam and each other.

Then cut out 5-6 petals of the next flower size.  Continue to layer.  Go up to the next size and cut another 5-6 petals.  Remember to make them all ruffly there with the tool.

You will soon start to see your flower emerge.

If you have to take a break, make sure to hang your flower upside down.  The gumpaste is still too soft at this point to keep it upright and soon your petals will start to wilt.

Use the largest cutter and make 8-10 petals for the final stage.  Once the petals are attached, let the flower dry upside down for a few hours.

Carefully turn over and place the flower in a safe spot.  At this point, you can tweak the flowers petals to make the bloom fuller.  I placed a small piece of tinfoil in between the petals.

Let the flower dry overnight and the next if needed. The flower can be very thick and heavy so drying will take a while.

Now I just need to find a cake to attach this pretty thing to.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Coffee Cookies

I am slowly stocking my pantry back with baking supplies.  I had to get rid of so much on our move up here.  One of the neat little things I picked up today with this mini container of instant coffee granules.

It's neat because we didn't have them in Florida and we are not a coffee drinking family.  So it was kind of waste of money to buy a huge container when it was just going to sit in the cabinet.

I found this recipe in a book I have had for years but I tweaked it a bit from the original.

Here is what you need

2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder
2 teaspoons of boiling water
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup of caster (superfine) sugar
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa

Mix the coffee granules and hot water in a cup and set aside until needed.

Mix the flour, cornstarch, and cocoa powder in a large bowl and set that aside as well.

Now cream the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in the coffee and mix well.

Once the coffee is mixed in, dump the flour mixture in and stir slowly.  You can pick up some speed after a minute.   You just don't want flour flying everywhere.  The mix should look like chocolate ice cream when done.

Now the original recipe says to put the cookie dough into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe out swirls.  Now I may have the temper of the Incredible Hulk, but I do not have his strength.  I think even the big green guy would have difficulty piping out this thick dough.  I was fine not having swirly piped cookies and decided to scoop them out instead.  I just used a small portion scoop to divide out the dough.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  And try to ignore the banging in the room.

Let them cool on the pan for a few minutes before you transfer to a cooling rack.  Once the cookies are cool, if you like, melt some chocolate and decorate the tops.  Throw in the fridge for a few minutes for the chocolate to harden.

I have a feeling these will be really good with some vanilla ice cream tonight.   Have a great weekend!

Coffee Cookies - Print Recipe

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Coconut Oat Clusters

My husband has talked about a version of this recipe for years now.  It was one of the few desserts he remembered growing up.  Luckily, he found this recipe for me in a HomeGoods store the other week. Yes, my husband goes into HomeGoods with me.  It's reason # 89 of why I love him.

What you will need

1 cup of rolled oats ( I used quick oats)
1 cup of flaked sweetened coconut
4 ounces of semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

First, combine the oats and coconut in a large bowl

Second, in a separate small bowl, melt the chocolate and butter together.  Add in the corn syrup and combine

Pour the chocolate into the coconut oat mixture and stir.  Sprinkle in the cocoa powder and stir again.

Once everything is combined, start rolling into small one inch balls.  The recipe I had said that if the mix was sticky to add more cocoa powder.  I didn't seem to have that problem though.

Place the coconut oat clusters on a cookie sheet lined with parchment papers and toss them in the fridge for a few hours.  Once they harden, place in a airtight container.  The recipe doesn't make much so don't be surprised when they disappear all of a sudden.  I'm pointing to you Mr. Baking Pixie.

Coconut Oat Clusters - Print Recipe