Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 31: Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

So the health talk thing didn't work out. It may have been better to do it at a location that's not our house. We should have known people aren't going to go to a strangers house..it's just not comfortable. And it's a lot easier to say "yea sure we'll come" and not show up than it is to tell us to our face their not gonna come. That's something Matt also experienced a lot as a missionary trying to get people to come to church. Anyway we learned a lot from it, mostly what not to do. We're still doing the cookie thing because that's not the reason we started it. But we're not going to be inviting people to come to anything anymore, instead we'll just meet them, give them our contact info and leave it at that. We started this because it sounded like a fun idea. However, instead of everyday we're going to cut back to about once a week.. just for the fact that it's a lot.. a lot of time, effort and money. From now on i'll start posting by week number instead of day. I'm thinking Wednesday's sound like a good day to do it..we'll see.
With that said, I still made cookies for today. We had a lot of carrots leftover from yesterday so I thought i'd use some and make carrot cake cookies! It didn't take up nearly as many as i'd hoped..but i'll find something else to do with the rest i'm sure. These are really good, I was going to put some very finely chopped walnuts in, but I forgot. And I left out the raisins.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies


Makes about 25 sandwiches
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots, (about 3 large carrots)
1 cup raisins

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugars and butter; beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until well combined.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; stir to combine. Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on a low speed until just blended. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour.
Using a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Transfer to oven, and bake until browned and crisped, rotating pan halfway through baking to ensure even color, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat baking process with remaining dough. Once cooled completely, use an offset spatula to spread about 2 teaspoons of cream-cheese filling onto a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.


Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes about 2 cups
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners' sugar, and continue beating until smooth. Add vanilla, and stir to combine. Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 30: Sweetie Pies

We went to 3 places again today. They were all really good contacts. The first place we saw the lady outside so we to her. All the places we went to today have been in the neighborhood for a long time. She lived there with her husband and 10 yr. old daughter and she's 9 wks pregnant also. The next couple was an older man and woman and they told us we should go to their neighbors, so we did. One of the lady's there has diabetes and wouldn't be able to eat the cookies but the other lady could (and said they were good) and her granddaughter was there visiting today. We also went around to (almost all the houses) that we've visited and just left reminders for today on the door. A lot of people have told us they have plans already but some said they would come.
This recipe one of my best friends, Jessica, sent me. A lady made these for Sunday school at church and she said they were really good. And they were good. They tasted just like brownies. I think these would also be good with nuts in them, if you like nuts in your cookies, or brownies. I would also suggest just mixing the marshmallows and chocolate chips into the dough rather than doing them individually. I'm sure it would yield the same results but without all the extra work.
Sweetie Pies

3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup white sugar
1cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking soda. Set aside. Combine sugars in a large bowl. Blend in butter. Add eggs and vanilla, and whip till light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and blend until well combined. Batter will be stiff.
Take a heaping tablespoonful of dough, and flatten it out in your palm. Place 4 marshmallows and 3 chocolate chips in the center and wrap the dough around them, completely encasing them and forming a 2-inch diameter dough ball.
Place balls on ungreased baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool on pan 2 minutes, then transfer to a cool, flat surface-like the counter. A rack is not good for these cookies, as it causes them to break apart. They are very soft till they are well cooled. This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.
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Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 29: Zucchini Cookies

We met quite a few people today. We went to 3 house and they were all famlies with kids. The first house we went to lives right behind us, our backyards face eachother. The next one was a man that has 4 kids and is living with his parents since his house in Tracy burned down. On our way back home there was a lady walking and she stopped us and talked for a little bit. She lives a couple streets down and has been here for 60 years. She has 19 grandchildren. We invited her to come tomorrow and she said she'd stop by since she's usually out walking around that time and she doesn't have any kids or anything around.
Yesterday I picked the first zucchini from our garden. So what did I decide to do with my zucchini? Make cookies of course! I've never had a zucchini cookie before..last year my mom sent me a recipe from chocolate chip zucchini cookies but I never got around to trying it. I still haven't. I thought i'd try a different one this time since i've already given you a few recipes with chocolate chips. I really think the chocolate chips would have made this cookie a lot better though (to me atleast). I'm not really a big fan of spice type cookies, like ginger cookies or anything like that. I'll eat them..but I don't really care for them. However if you're into those kinds of things this might be somethin worth trying out. These are very soft and much like a cake. I left the raisins out of mine. Don't forget, tomorrow, our back yard, be there.
Zucchini Cookies


1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 cup grated zucchini
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup raisins

In a medium bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg then stir in the zucchini. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into the zucchini mixture. Mix in raisins. Cover dough and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet. Cookies should be about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven until set. Allow cookies to cool slightly on the cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Day 28: Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies (copycat)

The first place we went to today was a lady that lived by herself. She has a couple dogs and a cat. I thought we should go by there since we've seen her outside before and I thought she lived alone since we never saw anyone else. We also went by another house and we heard the people inside but they didn't come to the door..weird. Then we walked up and down the street trying to randomly pick a place, it's not as easy as it sounds. We picked a good one though. It was a younger family and they had a 3 month old baby boy. They were really nice and said they may come to our thing Saturday. We haven't asked anyone for referrals in a long time since (atleast the people that lived on our street) always said their neighbor, so we just figured we'd go to the whole neighborhood. So we might start asking people again if they know anyone.
Have you ever been to Levain bakery? Or even heard of it? I've never been there either, it's in New York. But they make huge cookies! And of course they keep their recipe secret, but there are people who try to copycat it. On their website they even have a list of a few links to copycat recipes people have come up with. I tried the one from vanillakitchen, and although I can't compare it to the original, it seemed to have been pretty close! The cookies came out huge and tasted great! I'm not gonna tell you how many I ate, but as hard as it is, you gotta be careful since 1 of these is equal to probably about 2 or 3 regular sized cookies. The first batch I made came out somewhat flatter, but I think because I didn't cook them long enough; they had a doughier taste to them. The next 2 batches came out fat, both were equally delicious. Maybe if I would have taken them out of the oven a little sooner they would have been gooier like the originals. Ok, so the first photo is an actual cookie from Levain bakery, the next 2 pics are the copycat ones I made. p.s. In my pics you can see one of my flatter ones in the background.


*I only used about 1/2 c. walnuts and put the dough in the freezer for a few minutes before making the first batch of dough balls. While the cookies baked, I stored the rest of the dough in the refrigerator. You could make the dough the night before and just let it chill in the fridge for use the next day.

Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut copycats

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, (cold & shredded like cheese)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups all purpose flour

3/4 ts sea salt

1 and ¼ ts baking powder

1/2 ts baking soda

12 ounces (2 cups) good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

1 cup walnuts

If using dough right away, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (It’s best to chill, though) (note: keep in mind this is a very dry dough, and will be hard to mix once you put the chips and nuts in) Take the butter and using a cheese grater, shred the butter into a bowl, put it back in the freezer until ready to use. In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars just until just combined. Don’t overbeat. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. When thoroughly mixed, add to batter and stir just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Divide dough into 12 big 4 oz lumps. (I weighed the dough on a scale, kitchen scales are great, if you don't have one, you might wanna think about it). Mold into giant golfballs; do not press flat! Keep them as balls on the cookie sheets. Bake on ungreased cookies sheets (one sheet at a time). Put the cookies in a 375 degree oven and set timer for 8 minutes. When timer rings, without opening oven or removing cookies, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until cookies appear set. OR at 365 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until done.

Makes about 12

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 27: Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars

We had 3 plates for deliveries today but instead we just took them all to one house since we saw there were a lot of people. We walked by and there were some people on the porch, they were having a birthday party at their house. It was a pretty big family. None of the people that were outside on the porch lived there but they all lived close by.
I'm not that big of a fan of peanut butter. It's not that I dislike it, but I don't crave it or enjoy it nearly as much as I do chocolate. I made these a little bit different than the recipe (found on pillsbury website). First of all I didnt have crunchy pb so I used creamy. And after spreading the pb on the top I broke up 3 regular sized Hersheys bars and put it on top and after about a minute I spreaded it. Then instead of drizzling chocolate over the top of the marshmallows I did caramel. The photo (and recipe) is from Pillsbury so mine looked a little different. They didn't mush up at all like some bars.












This was Rylee when she was about 2 months old. Our little cookie monster in training :)

Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars


1/2 cup Crisco Butter Shortening Sticks, plus additional for greasing
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup Jif Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 salt
1/2 cup Jif Creamy Peanut Butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup Smucker's Chocolate Sundae Syrups Ice Cream Topping

1. HEAT oven to 350ºF. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish with shortening.
2. COMBINE brown sugar, 1/2 cup shortening, peanut butter, sugar and egg in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.
3. MIX flour, baking powder and salt. Add gradually to creamed mixture at low speed. Beat until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Press into prepared dish. Bake 20 minutes or until light brown. Do not overbake. Cool 2 to 3 minutes.
4. PLACE peanut butter in microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) for 1 minute. Pour over cookie base. Spread to cover. Cover with marshmallows. Drizzle chocolate syrup over marshmallows.
5. RETURN to oven. Bake 5 minutes or until marshmallows are light brown. Do not overbake. Loosen from sides of dish with knife. Remove dish to cooling rack. Cool completely. Cut with sharp greased knife into 2 x 2-inch bars. Yield: 2 dozen bars

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 26: Peppermint Patties (No Bake)

It kind of sucks knocking doors. Usually we knock on a few before someone opens the door. We have a baby, and cookies it's not like we're salesmen..Today we went to 2 places then the 3rd was another chiro student's place. Then we knocked on a door and the man (i dont think he had very good english) just said no no no and that was about it we said ook...And the person next to him Matt saw peek through his blinds but they didnt open the door. Then the next one was a lady, she wasn't feeling very good and she didnt want our cookies, she said we woke her up so we just said ok maybe we'll come visit you when you feel better. Then the last house was a man and woman they were from China and had poor English but atleast they were nice. They took our cookies and said they've been here since 1996, the woman used to live in SF. It's awesome when you get people that are really friendly, it's a lot easier to keep it up but when people don't care it's like why bother? Anyway, we've meet a lot of good people and that's what it's about!
This recipe was found on joyofbaking. I don't really know what these would be classified as..not really a cookie, maybe candy? mint? Anyway these taste just like the York candy or those little ones in the bag with the silver and green wrapper. They're gluten and egg free for anyone with those issues. They are soo easy to make and takes no time at all! Except while they're chilling..but put them in the freezer and they're done in no time! It depends on how big/thick you make yours but I got 19 out of this recipe.
Peppermint Patties


Ingredients:
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. mint extract or 1 tsp. peppermint ext.
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp. heavy cream
8 oz. dark or bittersweet chocolate
1 tbsp. vegetable shortening

Directions:
1. With standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the sugar, butter, extracts and heavy cream. Add the ingredients in that order so they combine correctly.
2. Once the ingredients are combined, turn the mixer to medium speed and beat another minute or 2 til the mixture looks a bit like a paste.
3. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and using a teaspoon , scoop out a small amount of the mixture and roll between your palms a 1" ball.
4. Once all the balls are made, flatten each one with your fingertips to make a patty.
5. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
6. While they're chilling, melt your chocolate and shortening in a double boiler or in the microwave and let it cool to room temp.
7. Take the patties out of the fridge and coat each one in the melted chocolate/shortening mixture, using the 2 forks (spoons work better for me though) to help you turn them over to coat well on each side.
8. Put them back in the fridge to chill again 2 hours.
9. Store any leftover patties in the fridge, separated with waxed paper.
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 25: M&M Cornflake Caramel Marshmallow Cookies

So there were 2 posts posted accidentally last Friday. The last few days i've been writing the recipe part so the next day all I have to do is 'edit' and put the story in then post. I didn't realize the dates for the entries went by when I first wrote it instead of when I posted. So like today's post I started yesterday but i'm finishing it today but it has yesterday's date on it.. so from now on i'll just have to write it all and post on the same day. Good thing my neighbor came by and asked where the recipe was at or I probably wouldn't have noticed! So anyway today we met a man that lives or was visiting (i don't remember) his parents. We met him and his mom. Then the next place was another student's place. Actually 2 students live there. So Matt told them too about what we're doing. We've gone to everyone on our street that has opened their door. Some places we've gone to a couple times but they're never home. Now we're working on the street at the end of ours but we'll be done with that one in a couple of days then i'm not sure where we'll go!
There's quite a bit goin on with this cookie. I kinda took the recipe I found on cookiemadness and adapted it to what I thought sounded good. Originally it had butterscotch and pecans but I put in M&Ms and a few caramels and cut them up into small pieces. These turned out really good! The cornflakes added a nice little crunch and it didn't taste like too many things at all. The only thing I would do different next time would be to maybe add a little more butter and the whole egg. The cookie isn't a moist one, it's kinda dry and even a little crumbly. Even the dough I had to squish together in a ball to keep together. But they were nice and thick and had good flavor. Also make sure to cool these for a while on the pan after taking them out of the oven, mine fell apart if I didn't wait. After cooling they're fine though. I even liked these better after they had cooled for a couple hours than I did hot. Also, the dough balls were really large but they didn't spread to be huge. I baked 8 cookies at a time. I'm not sure what the yield is, maybe about 1 1/2 dozen.

M&M Cornflake Caramel Marshmallow Cookies




Use your food processor to grind the cereal and oats
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lightly beaten egg
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cups ground up corn flakes (measure after grinding)
3/4 cups coarsely ground oatmeal
1/4 caramels chopped into pieces
3/4 cup M&Ms
1/2 cup marshmallows, frozen if you have time to freeze them

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and both sugars in a mixing bowl; beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in oil.
Add flour mixture and stir until it is almost fully incorporated, then stir in the ground corn flakes, oatmeal, caramels, marshmallows and M&Ms Continue stirring until flour disappears.
Roll into balls and place on baking sheet. You should have balls that are larger than golf balls (about 2 inches diameter).
Space balls about 3 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for about 2 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool. Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 24: Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bars

We knocked on a few doors before we got to one that someone answered. Actually the first place was an old lady and her grandson that answered the door and we said we're their neighbors and had some treats for them and he said "no thanks, we already have too much of that stuff" Whaaat? Atleast they could have taken it and tossed it.. jk I guess it's better not to waste. Anyway we went their their family's place next that just lives across the street. It was some people that we met last summer when our cat went missing. We knew where they lived already so decided to give them a visit. They just had their first grandaughter 3 weeks ago so they'll probably be visiting them in Sacramento this weekend. We went to their neighbor behind them next. They're were really nice too. Some people open the door really hesitantly kinda like, what do you want, but this guy had a big smile on his face. He lived there with his gf and she had a really cute 18 month old daughter.
I'm gonna be honest, my bars didn't turn out like this picture at all. (recipe and photo from cookiemassness). Visually they didn't look that great. However they tasted pretty good. With my oven I have to cook things 50 degrees less than a recipe calls for otherwise the outside will get too cooked the middle will be undone. So I baked these at 300 instead of 350 and the outside got dark and the middle was still kinda gooey. Maybe they just need to be baked at a lower temp. than what it calls for, you can try it at 350 and if it starts to cook to fast then turn it down. They also came out a lot more chocolatey than the ones in this photo look and I was hoping to taste the pretzels a little bit more. Maybe if I had left them in bigger pieces I would have.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Bars



Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
3/4 cups pretzels, broken
1 cup semi- sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup M&Ms (plain)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch metal pan with foil and spray with cooking spray (or use parchment).
Mix together the flour, soda and salt; set aside.
Beat the butter and both sugars in a mixing bowl. When light, beat in the vanilla. Add the egg and beat until it’s mixed, then gradually stir in the flour mixture, followed by the pretzel pieces, chocolate and M&Ms.
Spread mixture evenly in pan and bake on center rack for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely. Lift from pan and cut into bars.
Makes 12
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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 23: Cheesecake-Swirled Brownies

There was a yard sale today at the end of the street so we delivered to them. They seemed pretty into the health talk thing next week and had a couple of questions. One lady was asking some questions about cancer since it runs in her family and another lady about her husband's heels. We had 2 plates but decided instead of doing 2 deliveries we would just give them both since there were a few of them there.
This recipe I got from smittenkitchen. I liked these but I think I like brownies better just being a brownie. Maybe brownie cheesecake but not so much cheesecake brownies. Don't get me wrong though, they were real good! And I actually thought they were better the next morning, cold from the refrigerator.
Cheesecake-Swirled Brownies

Makes 16 2-inch square, thick brownies
Brownie batter
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake batter
8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Plus
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Make brownie batter: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Heat butter and chocolate in a 3-quart heavy saucepan — though I did mine double-boiler style, placing the mixing bowl I was using over simmering water, thereby creating one less dirty dish and melting the chocolate more gently — over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.
Make cheesecake batter: Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.
Sprinkle chocolate chips over cheesecake/brownie batter swirl.
Bake brownies: Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. It also makes the brownies a lot easier to cut when they're cold, almost frozen.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 22: Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons

The first place we went to today was a man that lives by himself. He's been living at his place for about 15 years. The next place was an old lady that has a live in (M-F) caregiver, who answered the door. We didn't meet the lady that lives there but we've seen them before outside. I'm not sure if she speaks English but the caregiver said she speaks Portugese. I hope the weather next weekend is good! I just looked it up and it looks like there's a chance of rain that day. We don't have very many chairs so we're going to set up the few we have and maybe just put blankets out on the grass, so that's not gonna work too well if it's wet. We were also going to get a projector like we used for the talk at the church and set it up, not for the presentation (it'll probably be too light outside) but for afterwards we were going to watch a movie on it, if the weather is permitting. So if anyone wants to stay after they can. It's not something we'll announce other than on here, we'll probably have somethin kids can watch. Either way we're gonna watch a movie on it. We used it last night except we had the projector set up in our livingroom, it was pretty fun.
I found this recipe and photo on joyofbaking. Next time I want to make coconut macaroons I will try a different recipe. Not because this one was bad but I have a couple other recipes I'd like to try.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons


2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Ganache:
4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large stainless steel bowl whisk the eggs until well beaten. Stir in the sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Finally, stir in the coconut, making sure that all the coconut is completely moistened.
Place small mounds (about 1 tablespoon) of the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing several inches apart. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet.
for about 10 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool. Dip or spread the bottoms of the macaroons in the melted chocolate and place the macaroons, chocolate side down, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate the cookies for about one hour, or until the chocolate hardens. Store the macaroons in the refrigerator.
Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk or spoon until smooth. Let cool to room temperature before using.
Makes about 2 dozen Macaroons.
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 21: Easy Peanut Butter Marshmallow Krispie Topped Brownies

We didn't get to make a personal delivery today since Matt had to stay a little after school then we had to rush for him to do a health talk at the church. But they still got given out and we met some people there that we didn't know. By the way, if anyone has any people they know that we could deliver to, feel free to give us their name! So next Saturday, the 29th, is when we're having the little health talk thing in our backyard. It's basically the same thing we did today. Whoever wants to come is invited. It'll be at 7pm and last maybe like 30 min. or so. I think it'll be fun. We'll probably have some (healthy) snacks too, nothing major though. If you need the address just let me know!
Today's "cookie" isn't a cookie. I don't think you'll complain though, this thing is delicious!!! It was just calling my name. I love the marshmallow layer and the top has a really nice crunch. It's easy to make but takes a little while with all the cooling. I've made these using Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Brownies and regular fudge brownies. Ok let's get to the important stuff and not keep the recipe waiting any longer!

Easy Peanut Butter Marshmallow Krispie Topped Brownies
adapted from cookiemadess

1 box (18.3 to 21 oz) brownie mix plus eggs & oil (or whatever box calls for)
4 cups marshmallows (small ones)
1 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups crispy rice cereal

Preheat oven to temperature directed on brownie package (mine said 350 degrees F.).
Line the pan with non-stick foil. Parchment should work too.
Prepare brownies using amount of oil, eggs, water called for on box. Two minutes before they are supposed to be done, pull brownies from the oven and sprinkle marshmallows across top. Return to oven for 2 minutes to soften marshmallows. Remove from oven and spread soft marshmallows over top of brownies. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Prepare topping. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until chocolate is melted and mixtue is smooth. Add cereal and stir to coat. Drop spoonfuls of chocolate mixture over marshmallow layer, spreading as evenly as possible. Things will look gooey at this point, so don’t even think about cutting. Put the brownies in the refrigerator for a few hours to chill.
Lift from pan and score into squares (about 16 or 20).
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 20: White Chocolate Chunk and Pecan Cookies

Matt got to use his Spanish on a couple of people today. The first was a lady, I don't really know the details about her since I don't speak spanish. The next place we actually went to 3 days ago but his brother in law answered the door and we gave the cookies to his sister who lives next door since she was there. Kinda confusing. But we figured we'd go by today and visit this guy since we didn't get to last time. Then the last people were a couple who have been living at their place for about 30 years. It seems like a lot of the "old timers," not neccessarily in age..but that they've been here a long time, have been here 30 years. I wonder what happened 30 years ago that they all moved in and have stayed. We took a walk today and a car pulled over and at first we weren't sure who it was but he rolled down his window and we looked in and it was a neighbor who goes to our church. He said he got our cookies and that his son really liked them and he had just got a 'thank u' card for us. I thought i'd throw that in since it was really nice of him.
Alright, usually i'm not a big fan of white chocolate. But I really liked these cookies. Even Matt who doesn't like pecans ate a cookie. I even saw him in the kitchen a few min. later having another. That's one thing I like about this whole cookie ordeal; I get to make cookies I normally wouldn't since Matt doesn't like coconut and he doesn't like nuts or oatmeal in cookies. And I love all of those things and now I get to make them. However, he says he doesn't like oatmeal in cookies but he's loved the cookies I made so far that have (a lot) of oatmeal in them. So maybe he really does like oatmeal in cookies but just hasn't come to accept the fact.

White Chocolate Chunk and Pecan Cookies


Ingredients:
2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. superfine sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. pecans, coarse chopped
8 oz. white chocolate, coarse chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In a large bowl mix together the sugars and butter until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add the flour, pecans and white chocolate and mix together with a spoon until combined.
Drop rounded tablespoons of the mixture onto the greased baking sheets spaced about 2 in. apart. Bake for 20 min. until golden brown. Transfer to a flat surface to cool. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container.
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day: 19: Andes Mint Cookies

We met 3 new people again today. The first place we went to was an old man. He was real chatty and invited us in but we still had a couple other places to go to since he only took 1 cookie (he's trying not to eat a lot of sweets). And also we had our walk to take and Matt needed to study. But anyway he was real friendly and said we could come over anytime, even in the middle of the night..Matt asked. AND he has a facebook, hehe. The next place we went to was another man. He was into the health talk thing but he has a baseball tournament in Santa Cruz that weekend but said he'd tell his gf because she might want to go. And the last one was a man that's working on our neighbor's apartment repairing some water damaged walls and we just happened to catch him as he was leaving their unit and asked if he could check our place for water damage as well. Turns out he lives right down the street as well and we even went by his place before but he wasn't home. He does emergency repairs when the regular guy isn't around to do them. He told us the owners of our townhouses bought them from the government, they used to be military housing. And that the reason why our rent is so cheap is because they have to rent out to a certain amount of students, which is why there's so many around here. Otherwise our rent would go up to $1200! Good thing there's students around here to rent to :) We gave him some cookies and told him about our little event so him and his wife might come. So you think by now i'd maybe be getting sick of cookies. I wish. I really do think I could eat them everyday..Maybe it also helps that it's not the same exact cookie everyday. I hate that I love them so much. I don't really have anything to say about the recipe but they're real good, if you like mint and chocolate give em a try.
Andes Mint Cookies
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
36 chocolate mint wafer candies (Andes)

In a large pan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool off slightly.
At high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time into chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating until blended. Chill dough about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. While cookies are baking unwrap mints and divide each in half. When cookies are brought out of the oven, put 1/2 mint on top of each cookie. Let the mint sit for up to 5 minutes until melted, then spread the mint on top of the cookie.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Day: 18 No Bake Cookies

We went by 3 places today. One of which was another student's place. We didn't realize they lived there, but it's ok because we still got to deliver to people we don't know. One man we went to didn't accept the cookies, he said he just ate and was full. The next place was an old lady, she said she fractured her hip just last week. She eats cookies though and accepted them. Both her and the man we visited had been living in their places for about 30 years. The lady asked if we had a black and white cat, which we did but went missing almost a year ago. She said he used to come up and sit on her lap when she was on the porch. I'm surprised she remembered him.
Ok, another no bake recipe.These cookies are so so easy and they taste pretty good! That is, if you like oatmeal because there's a lot of it. It only takes about 5-10 min. to make these. I just put them in the freezer for 10-15 until they're firm instead of waiting an hour. So start to finish in 20 min. you're done and eating!
*I made 1/2 the recipe and ended up with about 12 cookies

No Bake Cookies


Ingredients:

2 cups white sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

3 cups quick cooking oats


Directions:

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cocoa, sugar, milk and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for 1 minute.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the salt, vanilla, oats and peanut butter.
3. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Allow cookies to cool for at least 1 hour.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 17: Chocolate Chip Ball Surprise

We met a few people today. The first place we went to they were really cool. They found a turtle on the sidewalk today and had him in a box by the door. We've seen them with some kids before so we thought they were their kids, but it was their grandkids. The garages around here are open (there's no doors) so you can see right in and we've noticed before that theirs is made into a "man cave." I guess the lady that lives on the other side of the unit is never home so she doesn't mind if he uses the whole garage and in return he mows her lawn. The next place we went to was a pretty big family. Both sides of that unit are family, in 1 side lives a lady and the other side is another family member (brother in law or something). But they were really nice as well, and even offered us some of their pizza. Both families we visited today seemed interested in the health talk but they both also had parties that day. I guess that's what we get for planning it on Memorial Day weekend. We did get their info. though so we can let them know when the next one is.
I've made today's cookies a couple of times before. The recipe comes from a food network contestant in a cookie contest. This wasn't the winner, but it's really good. I made them today since we were out of eggs (these are egg and also gluten-free). They taste somewhat like peanut butter and chocolate rice krispy treats.

Chocolate Chip Ball Surprise

yield: 30 cookie balls
Ingredients:
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. creamy peanut butter
3 c. powdered sugar
3 c. rice krispies, crushed
1 c. semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
2 (12 oz.) pckgs. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, using your hands, combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, rice cereal, and mini chocolate morsels. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer. In a double boiler over simmering water, melt semi-sweet morsels. Stir constantly until melted and smooth. Dip frozen balls into chocolate and place back on parchment lined baking sheet. Place in freezer for 5-10 min. until the chocolate has set. Store the balls in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 16: Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

So today we made 2 deliveries since we had enough for 2 plates. We knocked on a few doors but it must have been bad timing because no one was home. We ended up going to another chiropractic student's house, they're both students and had a baby just a few months ago. Then we also went Shannon's house. He's real familiar with the school since he used to work right by it in the industrial area as well as having a bunch of neighbors that go there. I guess he has a roommate or something, we didn't meet him though.
There's a lot of different recipes for the cookie I made today, but I picked this one from Pillsbury because you don't have to make the caramel sauce using caramels and cream and whatever else, you just use a syrup like you would put on ice cream. They were good, but the flavor was really light, I thought it would be more chocolatey. I think next time I would try another recipe, not because I didn't like these, but just to compare, since I've never had this cookie before.
*I also melted some chocolate and drizzled it over them


Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint Cookies


Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 Crisco Butter Shortening Sticks, cut into slices
OR 1 cup Crisco Butter Shortening
3 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups finely chopped pecans
1 cup Smucker's Caramel Spoonable Ice Cream Topping

1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Adjust rack to middle position. Coat two cookie sheets lightly with no-stick cooking spray.
2. BEAT brown sugar and shortening in medium bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add egg yolks, water, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined. Add flour and cocoa on low speed until well blended.
3. BEAT egg whites in a shallow bowl until foamy. Place pecans in a separate shallow bowl. Measure about 2 teaspoons dough for each cookie. Form into balls by rolling between your palms. Dip each dough ball into egg whites, then roll into pecans. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a teaspoon or your thumb, make a rounded indentation in the top of each cookie.
4. BAKE 10 minutes. Remove from oven. It may be necessary to create the indentation once again with a spoon. Place about 1 teaspoon caramel topping into the indentation of each cookie. Bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for several minutes. Remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 15: Fudgey Chocolate Chip-Toffee Bars

Today we got to meet Dan. The brother of the guy from yesterday. His brother said he was grouchy but he wasn't. He had a cool handlebar stye mustache that extended about 4 inches past his chin. He's been at his place for about 10 years now. He eats cookies too, that makes me happy, because some people don't.
Today was another bar recipe from Pillsbury. It was good, but I don't know if I would make it again. I like the smore's ones better.
*This makes a lot of bars..luckily I got to take most of them to a primary meeting, and the few leftover were for our delivery and tummies. So you might want to wait until you have something to take these babies to.

Fudgey Chocolate Chip-Toffee Bars


Ingredients:
1/2 cup LAND O LAKES Butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs(32 squares)
1 bag (8 oz.) HEATH Bits 'O Brickle Toffee Bits(about 1-1/2 cups)
1 roll (16.5 oz.) Pillsbury refrigerated chocolate chip cookies
1 bag (12 oz.) HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips(2 cups)
1 can (14 oz.) Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tablespoon LAND O LAKES Butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with Crisco Original No-Stick Cooking Spray.
2. In medium bowl, stir 1/2 cup melted butter, 1-1/2 cups of the cracker crumbs and 3/4 cup of the toffee bits. Press mixture evenly in bottom of pan. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until firm.
3. Meanwhile, let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. In 2-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips, milk and 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat, stirring frequently, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Spread mixture over cracker crust.
4. In medium bowl, break up cookie dough. Mix in remaining 1/2 cup cracker crumbs with wooden spoon until well blended. Crumble mixture evenly over chocolate layer. Sprinkle with remaining toffee bits.
5. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 2 hours. For a firmer bar, refrigerate 30 minutes longer.
For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.
32 bars.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 14: S'mores Cookie Bars

It's already been 2 weeks! It's gone pretty fast so far. So today we met the Gallagher's. Well, the husband atleast. I guess his wife isn't feeling too good today. They work with the animal rescue place and have a bunch of cats. If there's a litter of kittens dropped off in a box they'll take them in and foster them, so they're pretty busy with that. Especially now that it's kitten season! He has pretty much the same philosphy as us on health, moderation. His brother lives next door to them so we'll probably give him a visit tomorrow. I've made today's 'cookie' a few times before. It's one of my favorites. So if you haven't had them you should go make them, right now.
*Be sure to let them cool or even freeze them for a little while before you cut into them, as hard as it is to wait. The marshmallow cream oozes out and it gets kind of messy if they're still warm.
S'mores Cookie Bars
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs*
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick.Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff.Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned.Cool completely before cutting into bars
Makes 16 cookie bars.
*Note: 3/4 cup crumbs is approx 7 full-sized graham cracker sheets
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 13: Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Today we got to meet Charles. He was really nice and likes kids. Too bad he's moving to Spokane, WA next month. But it sounded like he was interested in coming to the health talk though so maybe we'll see him again then. We had peanut butter cup cookies today, they were pretty good. I made the whole batch and Matt took some to school, I gave some to a friend and the others we gave away and ate. Someone asked a little while ago what I do with all these cookies.. usually there's something to take them to (business club, seminar, family) whatever. And if I can i'll freeze leftover dough until I need/want them for something. But also I eat them..they're actually a large part of my diet =\ I'm kind of surprised I haven't gained any weight yet. In fact I might have lost a pound. Maybe I should start a cookie diet. Anyway, here's the recipe.
* It's a good idea to put the unwrapped peanut butter cups in the freezer for a little while, atleast while the cookies bake, so they don't melt when you put them into the hot cookie.
Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
40 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well.
Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a mini peanut butter cup into each ball. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

Makes 40 cookies

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 12: Magic Cookie Bars

We met Phil today. He's been living here for 17 years and knows a lot of the neighbors. He was real friendly and excited while we were talking to him. Maybe because we gave him cookies. Hopefully we'll get to see him at the health talk Matt's doing in a couple of weeks. There's also going to be a couple changes taking place after the health talk. I'll let you know more about that later on though once we've figured it all out. So today we (I) made Magic Cookie Bars. I'm also going to make tomorrow's cookies tonight when i'm done with this since I think we'll have a lot of them and Matt can take them to the club tomorrow. But you'll just have to come back tomorrow to see what those are.
* I increased the crust to 2 1/2 c. of graham crackers and added a couple extra T of butter because what the recipe calls for is not much at all.. I made it and it didn't look like it would even be enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
You can also use whatever kind of nuts and chips you want. I had a can of peanuts and a can of mixed nuts so I used the rest of those and sub. milk chocolate chips for the semi-sweet and added a few white. So you can put in what you like.

Magic Cookie Bars

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

1 cup chopped nuts

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for glass dish). Coat 13x9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature.
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 11: Brownie Meringues

I forgot to get a picture of yesterday's recipe. Oops! Oh well. We went to the Osborne's neighbor today. It's a family of 3 that live there. We didn't get to meet the husband but the wife and daughter were there. The mom said she's recovering from a car accident, she had to have surgery in her neck from whiplash. She was raised on this street and has moved away and come back a couple times. Today we had Meringue cookies. I chose this one for today mainly because I was tired and didn't feel like putting much effort into it..especially after all the baking yesterday. But I don't think i've ever had them before.. I don't really care for them though. They looked really good but when I ate it, it just didn't have the substance of a regular cookie and left me unsatisfied. But if you're into them or haven't tried them, here's a recipe. (I didn't drizzle the chocolate on top..I was lazy).

Brownie Meringues


Ingredients:
2 egg whites
1 c. semisweet chocolate pieces (6 oz.) melted and cooled
1/2 t. vinegar
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
Dash salt
1 t. shortening
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate pieces

Directions:
Grease cookie sheets; set aside. For meringue, place egg whites in a large mixing bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 min. Add the vinegar, vanilla and salt. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Add the sugar, 1 T at a time, beating on high speed about 4 min. or until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight) and the sugar is almost dissolved. Fold in the melted chocolate and nuts.
Drop mixture from teaspoons onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 min. or until edges are firm. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool. In a small saucepan heat the 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate pieces and the shortening until melted. Drizzle over cookies. Makes 24 cookies.

* Letting the egg whites stand at room temp. allows them to gain greater volume when beaten with sugar than if they were cold.
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 10: Macadamia Chocolate Bars

We didn't get to deliver to a new person today, but we did a few to people we already know. We were really busy and just didn't get around to it. I also didn't get a chance to take a pic. of today's recipe so i'll have to do that tomorrow. For now, here's the recipe:

Macadamia Chocolate Bars

Ingredients:
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

1/2 c. sugar
3 T. milk
1 t. almond extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 c. macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
10 oz. milk or semi-sweet chocolate bars

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 13x9 in. baking pan.
Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the milk and almond extract. Sift in the flour and salt and form into a dough. Add half of the macadmia nuts and mix well. Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 min. or until lightly browned around the edges.
As soon as it is out of the oven, cover with the chocolate bars, then return to the oven for 2 min. Once out of the oven leave for 1 min. to let the chocolate melt. Once melted spread the chocolate evenly over the baked dough. Scatter over the remaining nuts and leave to cool completely. Cut into 21 bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 9: Chocolate-Filled Almond Macaroons

The cookies we made today did not turn out. I'm not sure why..and it's the first time I've used almond paste. I saw this recipe on Martha Stewart a little while ago and she had a man on who had a bakery and this was one of the things he sold there. Ours turned out flat and we didn't really like the flavor..but i'll still post the recipe if anyone else wants to give it a try. Now I have a big bowl of ganache I don't know what i'm going to do with.. So instead we made some cookies from the frozen dough we have. We took them to an older lady that we were refferred to from yesterday. She accepted and told us she had been at her place since 1992. We invited her to the health talk, a couple times I think we forgot to invite people..not sure that any of them will even come, but who knows. She told us we could try going to her neighbor tomorrow but that he isn't often home. So hopefully we'll get to catch him tomorrow. Here's the recipe, if anyone ever tries making these let me know how it goes. (The recipe calls for 8 oz. of almond paste and I only had 7..maybe that had something to do with them being runny and flat..but either way we didn't care for the taste.)
Chocolate-Filled Almond Macaroons
Makes about 36 cookies
1 3/4 cups Ganache (recipe follows)
1 (8-ounce) can almond paste (1 cup)
6 tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten, room temperature

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together almond paste and sugar on medium-high until almond paste breaks down and mixture is well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add almond extract and salt; beat until well combined.
With the mixer running, add egg whites, 1 teaspoon at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. The batter should be smooth and thick enough to pipe.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a No. 4 (1/2-inch) pastry tip. Holding pastry tip about 3/4 inch above the parchment paper on prepared baking sheet, pipe a quarter-size round of batter onto parchment paper. Lift the bag off the batter a slight sideways jerking motion of your hand, producing a flat, rather than pointy, top on the cookie. Continue piping cookies about 1 inch apart, trying to finish with as small a peak as possible to leave tops rounded and smooth. Wet a finger with warm water to smooth out any remaining peaked tops; sprinkle generously with sugar. Let stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes so that a thin, crisp crust develops on outside of each cookie.
Transfer baking sheets to oven and bake, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and back to front two-thirds through, until set but not browned and still gooey in the centers, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; let cookies cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
To fill cookies, place 1 teaspoon ganache on the bottom of one cookie, sandwich with the flat side of a second cookie. Repeat process with remaining ganache and cookies.
To make the ganache:
Makes about 7 cups
1 pound semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Place both chocolates in a large heatproof bowl; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, mix together cream, honey, and salt. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into saucepan and add vanilla bean, if using. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Pour over chocolate and let stand until chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes; whisk until smooth.
Strain chocolate mixture through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids. Stir in vanilla extract, if using. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until ganache stiffens, at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
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Friday, May 7, 2010

Day 8: Chocolate Pockets

We didn't have very much time for our delivery today since Matt had to leave for his seminar. But we met the person we set out for. It was one Tenille told us about the day we went to her. It was real quick but she was easy to talk to and gave us a name for someone tomorrow. She knew a few of the other chiropractic students and mentioned she has a 12 yr. old granddaughter. Our cookies today came from a book Sarah gave me, they tasted kind of like the shortbread ones from day 3.

Chocolate Pockets
Ingredients:
1 1/2 sticks salted butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
Filling:
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions:
In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until well blended. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat well until light and fluffy. Add the flour and stir until combined. Gather into a ball and flatten to a disk. Place between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hr.
Meanwhile, heat the cream until just hot but not boiling. Remove pan from the heat and add the chocolate chips and stir well until melted.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease 2 baking sheets or line w/ parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to 1/4 in. thick. Cut out circles using a 2-inch round cutter. Place on baking sheets spaced 1 inch apart.
Repeat with the remaining dough but set circles aside. Drop 1 teaspoon of the chocolate filling in the center of each circle onto the baking sheet, and then top with another circle. Use a fork to press down and completely seal the edges of the pockets. Bake for about 15 min. or until golden brown on the top. Transfer cookies with a spatula to a wire rack to cool. Once completely cool, store in an airtight container in a cool place. Not suitable for freezing. Makes about 12
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 7: Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies, & Surprise

We didn't actually get to give out our cookies today, but we went by 2 places. We probably would have even went to a 3rd but it was late and already dark out. The first place we went to was the lady we tried to visit the day before, who we heard had been living there 40 years. She said she's actually been there since like 1952 or something. whoa! She's from Germany but has also lived in Tacoma, WA because her husband was stationed at the air force base there. She was a really nice lady. She doesn't eat sweets though so we wanted to try to find someone else to give them to. We went to our neighbor that lives right next to us, they're from Russia but have been living here for 11 years. We've never talked to them before and really don't even see them that much. They were very friendly people with thick accents. They also don't eat sweets though! I don't know if I could live without sugar.. But it's a good thing Matt is doing a seminar tomorrow so he can take all the cookies with him. Anyway, they had a cat that was like Rylee's size..not really though, it just had sooo much long fur that it looked real big. Matt told them about his health talk he's going to be doing and the lady seemed pretty interested. She's into weight loss. They knew what chiropractic was about, but they didn't know about all the students around. So we've finished our 1st week. It's gone pretty well i'd say. It's really hard to try and make a connection with someone in such a short time though.
In honor of making it through our 1st week, I have something for those of you that actually read this..and are local. So if you're local and you're a "follower" you can be expecting something in the next few days. But don't try to guess what, cuz you won't. Here's what we made today from joythebaker:

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

For the Cookies:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling:
2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Optional Coating:
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Grease with butter or cooking spray.
Using a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter on medium speed until well combined. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the egg and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and beat on low until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
Drop the dough by the scant tablespoon full onto a cookie sheet about 1 1/2-inches apart. Use the tines of a fork to press the cookies flat. Bake for 7-10 minutes until the cookies are a deep golden brown along the edges.
To make the filling: Use a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment to beat the butter, peanut butter and heavy cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add the powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and beat on medium speed until combined.
To make the coating: Melt the chocolate pieces in the microwave, or over a double boiler.
To assemble the cookies: Use a spatula or small knife to spread generous amounts of the filling onto the flat bottom of a cookie. Top with another cookie, ridge side up. Set a wire rack on top of a sheet of waxed paper to catch the chocolate drips if you choose to dip your cookies in chocolate. Sprinkle the chocolate with chopped nuts immediately after dipping so they stick. Let stand for 1 hour to harden, or pop them in the fridge for a few minutes.
The cookies last up to 3 days in an airtight container, or 2 weeks in a container in the fridge
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 6: Girl Scout Thin Mints

We went by several houses today but no one was home. So we went to someone we knew to get new recommendations. We went by Cory&Tenille's. She told us a few people so we'll try one of those tomorrow. It's always nicer going to a stranger's house when you atleast know their name, doesn't seem as weird that way. It's kind of funny, people always look really confused when we show up at their door with cookies for them. And sometimes kind of skeptical, like, what for? what's the catch..? Yesterday Matt told the lady we were tryin to get to know some of the neighbors and she was like, "well, haven't you been there a while? why now?" That was a little awkward and kind of funny. Today I made girl scout thin mints. It's a top secrets recipe and I think it turned out pretty good. It tasted (to me atleast) like the girl scout ones, but I do have a few tips.. I didn't make them thin enough so they were a little bit thicker. So if you make them, roll them thin because they do puff up a little bit in the oven. They don't really spread though so you can fit like 30 at once on a sheet. They did take a while to make though..dipping them in the chocolate. Also, be sure to put about 2x as much mint extract than what the recipe calls for. And finally, the recipe says it makes about 108 cookies (I didn't have quite that many, maybe because mine were slightly thicker..) so you could always 1/2 or even 1/3 the recipe, but they're really easy to eat a lot so you might want to make it all :) It should be equivalent to about 3 boxes of girl scout cookies.

Girl Scout Cookies Thin Mints


Chocolate Cookie Wafers
1 18.25-ounce package Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cake mix
3 tablespoons shortening, melted
1/2 cup cake flour, measured then sifted
1 egg
3 tablespoons water
Non-stick cooking spray

Coating
3 12-ounce bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 tablespoons shortening

1. Combine the cookie ingredients in a large bowl, adding the water a little bit at a time until the dough forms. Cover and chill for 2 hours.2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough to just under 1/16 of an inch thick. To cut, use a lid from a spice container with a 1 1/2-inch diameter (Schilling brand is good.) Arrange the cut dough rounds on a cookie sheet that is sprayed with a light coating on non-stick spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the wafers from the oven and cool completely.4. Combine chocolate chips with peppermint extract and shortening in a large microwave - safe glass or ceramic bow. Heat on 50 percent power for 2 minutes, stir gently, then heat for an addition minute. Stir once again, and if chocolate is not a smooth consistency, continue to zap in microwave in 30-second intervals until smooth.5. Use a fork to dip each wafer in the chocolate, tap the fork on the edge of the bowl so that the excess chocolate runs off, and then place the cookies side-by-side on a wax paper - lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Makes 108 cookies.
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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 5: Snickerdoodles

Today we went to the lady's house that I mentioned yesterday. It actually wasn't bad at all, she's a very nice lady, she just happens to care about the safety of cats. Matt asked how many "little friends" she has and she said she has 1 outside then 2 inside. And she's been living there for about 25 years! So has the guy from day 3. And the lady we're going to tomorrow has been there for 40 years! Crazy. She said they all kind of look out for eachother. Probably since they've been there so long and there's no chiropractic students coming in and out of their little nook. So i'm thinking we're probably going to end up going through everyone on our street. That's fine though. Today's cookie fits well with today's entry; good but not amazing. I mean it's a good snickerdoodle and all, but chocolate has my heart.

Snickerdoodles
1/2 butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 t. cream of tartar
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
Directions:
Beat butter w/ mixer for 30 sec. Add 1 c. sugar, baking soda and cream of tartar and beat until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in as much flour as you can and stir in any remaining flour. Cover and chill for about an hour or until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 375 deg. Combine the 2 T. sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar mixture to coat. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-11 min. or until edges are golden.
Makes about 36 cookies.
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 4: Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I made a few more cookies than needed today so I gave some to our property manager when he came by to fix something. We tried to deliver to a lady that we're not really on good terms with. Last summer she told Matt what she thought about our cat being outside (and not nicely at all). That's as nicely and simply as I can put it. But she wasn't there (or chose not to answer, who knows). But we're going to try again tomorrow. Hopefully it's not too awkward, but that's ok if it is. Instead we went to the person that lives across from her. He was an older man that lives by himself and used to be a baker. We also stopped by the man near us who brings the trash cans back in who wasn't home the other day. However, we were shot down and he didn't accept our cookies. But only because he doesn't eat eggs. He did tell us though that he loves dark chocolate, particularly the bars from Trader Joe's. So we told him next time we're there we'll bring him one. Too bad he doesn't eat cookies though, because I think he would have liked what we had. I found this recipe a while back ago on bakingbites and have made it several times. Cuz they're that good.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1 cup butter, soft
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup (unsweetened) cocoa powder
2 cups dark or semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350F.In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and mix until smooth.In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Working with the mixer on a low speed, gradually incorporate flour mixture into butter mixture until well combined and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in chocolate chunks.Drop rounded tablespoons of dough (approx 1″ balls) onto parchment-lined baking sheets.Bake for 11 minutes at 350 F, until set and just firm at the edges. Cookies should still appear moist. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen.
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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 3: Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

Nothing really interesting to write about today, sorry. But it will get better! And interesting! So we dropped off the cookies today to a neighbor across the street. We've seen him a lot of times, he's usually outside on his porch. He referred us to some people that live next to him, so we'll see who we go to tomorrow, we haven't decided yet.
For today I made chocolate dipped shortbread cookies from joyofbaking. Most of these recipes of course I haven't made before. I only have 2 cookie cutters and they're small hearts from our wedding favors. You roll the dough out like sugar cookies and cut them out. I made 1/2 batch and the dough looked tiny so I used our heart cookie cutters instead of a cup. Matt came in when I was almost done and saw the hearts and didn't really like the idea of taking heart shaped cookies to another man. So i rerolled it and used a cup to cut them out and it was perfect. Here's the recipe:

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies (not my photo, i did circles)




2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour and salt just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle. Cut into rounds or other shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. (This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked.) Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack


Melt 6 oz. chocolate and dip 1 side of cookie. Place on parchment paper and put in freezer for a few minutes. Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter