Sunday, June 27, 2010

for your entertainment

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Mayan Chocolate Sparklers

I wanted some cookies today and decided on these. They were really chocolatey and had some spice. I liked them and ate way too many then I should have. It's like spice cookie meets chocolate cookie and has these babies are created. I made the whole batch so Matt could take them with him to his dad's office tomorrow. We haven't delivered to anyone new in a while, but we are still baking and giving away! I think we just burned ourselves out during the 1st month, especially doing multiple houses a day. Sparkley cookies calls for a sparkley plate.

Mayan Chocolate Sparklers
½ cup granulated sugar 125 mL
1 tsp ground cinnamon 5 mL
¾ cup vegetable shortening 175 mL
½ cup unsalted butter, softened 125 mL
¾ cup granulated sugar 175 mL
¾ cup brown sugar, packed 175 mL
2 large eggs 2
1 tsp pure vanilla extract 5 mL
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 425 mL
1 ¼ cups cocoa powder 300 mL
1 tbsp ground cinnamon 15 mL
2 tsp baking soda 10 mL
¼ tsp salt 1 mL
¼ tsp ground black pepper 1 mL
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper 1
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 250 mL

Preparation:Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Topping:Combine sugar and cinnamon for topping.
Cookies:Beat shortening, butter, sugars and vanilla until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Sift together flour, cocoa, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir in black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture, beating after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.Roll in 1” (2.5 cm) balls, don’t flatten. Roll into cinnamon and sugar topping. Place on prepared cookie sheets, about 2” (5 cm) apart.Bake 7-10 minutes. Cookies should still be soft in center. Let cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes. Remove, cool on wire rack Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Week 8: Magic Peanut Butter Middles

For our delivery today we gave some of these to the missionaries when they came by. When I saw this recipe on tasty kitchen and read the good reviews about it, I thought i'd give them a try. They were good..but I don't know if I would make them again, most my cookie recipes I like a lot more than this one. I like a lot of cookies/desserts but that doesn't mean I want to make them again. If I like it I would rather make something I love or something new in hopes that I love it. Matt, however, liked them and thought they were a keeper. It is what it is, chocolate and peanut butter, but nothing special. Let me know what you think if you give these a try.

Magic Peanut Butter Middles

1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
½ cups Cocoa Powder
½ teaspoons Baking Soda
½ cups White Sugar
½ cups Packed Brown Sugar
½ cups Butter
¼ cups Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 whole Egg

¾ cups Powdered Sugar
¾ cups Peanut Butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and 1/4 cup of peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Slowly mix in the flour mixture. Set aside.
For the peanut butter filling, combine confectioners’ sugar and 3/4 cup peanut butter. Beat together well. Roll filling into 30 small balls. Try to keep the balls all the same size—around 1 inch.
For each cookie, use 1 tablespoon of chocolate dough and roll into a ball. It helps to flour your hands first. Squish the ball of chocolate dough flat and place a peanut butter ball in the center. Wrap the chocolate dough up and around the peanut butter ball to completely cover. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Dip the bottom of a glass into white sugar and use the cup to lightly flatten the cookie balls. Bake for 7-9 minutes.
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts

So my neighbor gave us some of these a couple months ago. We thought these were really good and I wanted to try them out. I took these and a double batch of smore's cookie bars to Matt's sisters house for Father's Day and they both got all eaten! Everyone really loved these. I didn't get an exact recipe but here's what I did. They looked perfect for the 4th of July since I used strawberries and Blueberries these were red, white and blue. I didn't get a picture of these but it's pretty easy to imagine what they look like.
Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts

2 rolls of sugar cookie dough (I used Pillsbury, or you could just make a batch or two homemade but this way it's a lot easier)
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 tub Cool Whip (or make your own whipped cream)
1/4 c.-1 c. powdered sugar (depending on how thick and sweet you want it to be, I probably did about 1/2 c.)
1/2 t. vanilla
Fruit of your choice- I used strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi-but had to take the kiwis off since they weren't ripe enough yet. Raspberries/Blackberries would be great too.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 in. baking dish. Press cookie dough into bottom of pan. Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean. They won't look really white like sugar cookies sometimes do, they'll be fairly browned, however they'll still be moist and chewy inside. Cool completely.
In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, cool whip and vanilla until well blended. Add powdered sugar gradually until desired consistency is reached and until well blended and somewhat fluffy. Spread on top of sugar cookie layer and top with fruit. Eat right away or Store in refrigerator. Easy! Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

We haven't done our delivery yet for this week but I thought i'd post a couple recipes I made recently. The first one is a recipe that a neighbor down the street posted on her blog from Annie's Eats. I made these for Matt's sister's graduation since I've heard good things about them. I thought they were good..but the work involved was a little more than how good they were, for me. So these would def be for a special occasion of some kind. But everyone who tried them really liked them. I accidentally looked at the amount of chocolate chips in the filling when I was making the batter and only put 1/4 c. in the batter instead of 1 c. but I made up for it by adding the rest into the filling, and it turned out fine.I forgot to take a picture but here's one from perrysplate. She has a lot of other good pictures so if you want to see more, go check it out.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1½ cups light brown sugar, packed

4 large eggs

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)

For the filling:

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

7 oz. sweetened condensed milk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

3½ cups confectioners' sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp. salt

3 tbsp. milk

2½ tsp. vanilla extract

For decoration:

Tiny chocolate chip cookies (if you feel ambitious)Mini chocolate chips

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total). In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir together to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cookie dough filling, combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. If the mixture is too soft or sticky to handle with your hands, refrigerate for an hour until it firms up. (Mine was just right - no chilling needed, but the original recipe suggested it.)To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture. You can be generous with the cookie dough mixture. I had about a 1/2 cup leftover.

To make the frosting, beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.Frost the filled cupcakes as desired, sprinkling with mini chocolate chips and topping with mini chocolate chip cookies for decoration.Makes 24 cupcakes. (I had 28)

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week 7: Lime Meltaway Cookies

We've been pretty busy in the last few days. Matt had finals, his sister's graduation, a bbq at our house and packing (and a bunch of other stuff) today to leave tomorrow. So with all that there's not much time left to go meet someone new. I made lime meltaway cookies today, and the soft chocolate chip cookies from a while back but I think we'll just take them to my grandma's house since we'll be there tomorrow. These cookies came from Martha Stewart and taste kind of like a lime bar but in cookie form.
Lime Meltaways

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
Grated zest of 2 limes
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, cream butter and 1/3 cup sugar until fluffy. Add lime zest, juice, and vanilla; beat until fluffy.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add to butter mixture, and beat on low speed until combined.
3. Between two 8 by 12 inch pieces of parchment paper, roll dough into two 1 1/4-inch diameter logs. Chill at least one hour.
4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Remove parchment from logs; slice dough into 1/8-inch thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets, spaced 1 inch apart.
5. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly 8 to 10 minutes. While still warm, place cookies in the sugar-filled bag; toss to coat. Bake or freeze remaining dough. Store baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
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Monday, June 7, 2010

Week 6: Chocolate Yogurt Loaf Cake

We noticed some new people moved in around the corner about a month ago, so we went to meet them today. They moved here from San Francisco because this is closert to their jobs. It was a husband (we didnt meet him though) and wife and they have a 3 year old son but they only get him on the weekends.
I found today's recipe on bakingbites a while back ago and i've made it once before. This time though I used vanilla yogurt since I didn't have plain. You could also use Greek yogurt or sourcream. This is like a mix between cake and bread. It's really fluffy and doesn't need frosting at all (usually loaf cakes dont have frosting anyway). This would be great with some chocolate chips in it, but is also good without them. This cake may seem delecate at first but will firm up upon cooling.

Chocolate Yogurt Loaf Cake
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. butter, room temperature
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. cocoa powder
2 t. vanilla ext.
1 c. plain yogurt (low or full fat)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a medium bow, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy and resembles wet sand. Beat in egg and egg white. Mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk together the water, cocoa powder, vanilla, and yogurt until mixture is smooth. Add half of this mixture to the sugar mixture, followed by another 1/3 of the flour mixture. Stir in the remaining yogurt and remaining flour, stirring only until no flour streaks remain.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 55-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 10 min. then carefully cut around edges to loosen cake from pan. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Serves 10. Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Week 5: Boudin Brownie Recipe

We didn't get around to delivering today. We may (or may not) do it later on in the week. Matt's pretty burned out with school right now and so he's not really into doing extra work at the moment. But I did make something. I got bored today and felt the urge to bake. I've baked every day for over the last month except for Monday, it was kind of weird. I love baking. Cooking is good too and I do that just about everyday as well, but there's just something about a baked good that's hard for me to resist. Maybe cuz it's warm and comforting and I have absolutely no will power at all against them. None. Which is why it's essential to give these things away before I scarf whole batches of things down by myself. Anyway, enough of that. I'm gonna have to have another brownie if I keep thinking about it.
For all of you who don't know what Boudin is, it's a company from San Francisco, commonly known for their sourdough bread. They also have brownies I guess, I've never had one. But next time I go by i'll have to give them a try. This recipe was adapted from the one they use and was featured in the L.A. Times, the recipe and photo are also on cookiemadness. Here's a scaled down version of the original. I thought they were really good, even though they were slightly underbaked. Probably because I was a little too anxious to eat them, ha! The batter was really different from any other brownies i've made, it was kind of like a real thick mousse. And the top formed this really thick, flakey crust, I really liked it. I didn't put nuts in them though, since Matt doesn't like them. Thoughtful, huh? Here's the recipe, don't get anxious like me and take them out before they're ready though.
Boudin Brownie Recipe

1 stick unsalted butter plus extra for greasing

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

2 1/2 large eggs – (to halve an egg, crack 1 and use 2 tablespoons)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cups flour

1 cup toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 (350 for glass pan) degrees. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil and butter the foil.
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add chocolate, turn off heat, and stir until melted from the residual heat. Let it cool for about 5 minutes.
Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Beat in the melted chocolate (which should be slightly warm, but not piping hot at this point), vanilla and the salt. By hand stir in the flour until it is almost combined, then add the nuts and continue stirring gently until all flour disappears.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth to the edges, and bake in the center of the oven until puffed and almost set, about 38 to 40 minutes.

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