Friday, July 30, 2010

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

So I made these to take to a lunch/play day buuut that got canceled so i'm stuck with a big 'ol plate of these guys. Good thing my brother is coming to town for his reserve weekend, maybe he can take some of these back to his co-workers. I love eating desserts but I can't always be eating the whole plate by myself! It's no good for my girlish figure! Atleast that's what I try to tell myself in efforts to stop pigging out. P.S. i've already eaten like 3 of these, today.
Ok, in all honesty i'm not really a big cheesecake fan. Even going to The Cheesecake Factory it always looks and sounds good but when I eat it I feel like it was good, but not that good. So since those are my feelings on cheesecake, when I saw these bars I thought they looked/sounded reallly good.. and they were actually really good!! I think because it also had cookie dough on it, it wasn't pure cheesecake. However they tasted a little like the smore's bars but with cheesecake instead of marshmallow. I gotta say I still like the smore's bars better but if you're a cheesecake person these are right up your alley! Anyway I definitely think i'll be making these again sometime.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
cookies and cups

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

5 T. butter, melted

2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons butter~room temperature

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

3 T. granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup AP flour

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling:
10 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping: (optional, I didn't do the topping. I felt the cookie dough had a high chip to dough ratio so the extra drizzling wasn't needed)

1/3 cup semi sweet chips

1/2 T. butter


For crust:
Preheat oven to 325°.
Line 9x9 in. square pan (I used 8x8) with foil, leaving enough to extend over the sides. Spray or butter the foil.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter until crumbs are moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.
Press crust mixture into bottom of pan and 1 inch up sides. Bake for 6 minutes. Set pan on wire rack to cool.
For cookie dough:
Using mixer, mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Adjust mixer speed to low and add flour. Mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.
For cheesecake/filling:
Using mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating just until blended.
Pour batter into cooled, baked crust. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls over the top of the filling. Bake about 30 minutes, or until set. Transfer to wire rack.
For chocolate topping, melt 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of butter to make chocolate smooth.
Using a ziplock bag with corner cut off, drizzle chocolate on bars.
Cool bars in pan completely, about an hour. Or refrigerate, 1/2 hour.Using the edges of the foil, lift the bars from the pan.
Cut into bars and serve.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

I've had this recipe from Pinch My Salt bookmarked for a while. The other day matt brought in this HUGE zucchini that was hiding in the garden. It was seriously the biggest zucchini i've ever seen!! It probably weighed like 3 lbs. Immediately I knew what I wanted to do it! (well..about 1/2 of it since the thing was so huge!) This recipe is originally from Cooking Light and uses applesauce in place of butter. It was amazing! I seriously LOVED this stuff! As did Matt and Rylee. They're so moist and fluffy. I made them right before dinner and ended up eating it for dinner. And dessert. And as a snack throughout the rest of the evening. I also was a huge fan of using a mini muffin pan instead of a loaf pan. It cooked sooo much faster and there's no slicing involved. And they're just cute as little muffins. Since I still have half of the monster left in my fridge I think I might make another batch since yesterday's is about gone =\
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

3/4 C. sugar
3 T. vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 C. applesauce
2 C. all-purpose flour
2 T. unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 C. finely shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)
1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips (mini chocolate chips also work well)
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.2. Place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed until well blended. Stir in applesauce.3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating just until moist. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Spoon batter into a 9×5-inch loaf pan (or mini muffin pan) coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour (or about 15 min. if using mini muffin pan) or until wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Yield: 16 servings (serving is one slice) (I got 36 with mini muffin pan)
Nutrition info (per slice): Calories: 161; Fat 5.1 grams; Protein: 2.9 grams; Carb: 27.3 grams; Fiber: 1.4 g; Chol: 27 mg; Sodium: 145 mg
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Sugar Cookie Bars

I've seen recipes for these for a while now but never really cared to try them. I'm not really a big sugar cookie fan. I only make sugar cookies like once a year around Christmas time, and even at that it's more of an activity. But when my friend told me someone at work made them and they were amazing I thought i would give them a try. I don't know what recipe she had, but either way i'm sure they're pretty much the same. These turned out really well! Tasted like a typical sugar cookie but thicker and without all the work. And in bar form. I love things in bar form. I didn't use a vanilla bean, but the lemon zest really adds flavor to these. I only made 1/2 batch since I thought a full batch would produce way too many but it didn't make quite as many as I thought. Even with 1/2 though it was enough for Matt to take to his club at school.

Sugar Cookie Bars

Yield: about 4 dozen bars
For the cookie bars:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (optional)
Zest from 1 lemon
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda

For the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
5 tbsp. milk
Food coloring (optional)

To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Grease a 13 x 18″ rimmed baking sheet. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla, seeds from the vanilla bean, and lemon zest. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir together with a fork to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl and beat on low speed just until incorporated.
Transfer the cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet and press into an even layer. Bake 10-15 minutes, until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla, salt, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Mix in the milk. Tint as desired with food coloring. Spread over the cookie in the pan, cut into bars and serve.
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cookie Dough Brownies

This was my first time using Dutch processed cocoa. It's a little harder to find than normal natural cocoa since most typical grocery stores don't have it. I got mine at Whole Foods and they only had 1 kind. I thought these brownies were reallly good!! Matt thought they were good. But he doesn't really like homemade brownies. What?? I know..he likes boxed mix best. Which is fine, I like that kind too, but I like homemade better. He also doesn't like 'fake' cookie dough. So this wasn't his favorite dessert but he didn't think it was bad. I mainly thought of his brother when I saw these because he really liked the cookie dough cupcakes. The cookie dough topping was a little too much for me. It was really thick and i ended up scraping off 1/2 of it so it was more like a frosting than a thick layer. (the pic is from before I removed 1/2 the cookie dough). This recipe makes a lot, so be prepared to share.

Cookie Dough Brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips

Cookie Dough:
3 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
9 tbsp milk
3 cups flour
3 cups mini chocolate chips

Prepare Brownies:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan. In a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat briefly, just until it's hot, but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth. Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.
Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool completely on a rack.

For cookie dough:
Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in milk. With mixer on low, add flour and mix until well combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips.To assemble:Spread the cookie dough onto the cooled brownies. Chill the brownies until the cookie dough is firm. Cut into bars and serve.
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Strawberry Hand Pies

Remember those little packaged pies that came in like every flavor..cherry, lemon, chocolate..well here's a homemade version. I've seen these things on several blogs. It's funny how most of the same food pops up on like every blog.. Anyway, I used the recipe from Annie's Eats. These turned out really good. A little more work than a regular pie I think since you do these individually, even though they were super easy and pretty quicker than I thought. But a lot cuter than a regular pie since they're handheld. Mine didn't turn out as visually appealing as they could have since I was trying to put as much filling as I could fit in them and then they didn't seal as nicely..didn't want to waste any. Even though I still had a little bit of filling left over. You could also fill these with whatever you want (blueberries, raspberries, etc.).
I made a half batch and ended up with 6 pies.

Strawberry Hand Pies

For the pie dough:
½ tsp. vanilla extract
6-8 tbsp. cold buttermilk
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 sticks (1 cup) cold butter, cut into ¼” pieces
powdered sugar, for dusting

For the filling:
4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
4 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

For finishing:
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
turbinado sugar for sprinkling (optional)

To make the pie dough, in a small bowl, combine vanilla and buttermilk. Stir to combine and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest. Mix to combine. Add in butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal and pieces are less than pea sized. Add buttermilk mixture and stir until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a powdered sugar-covered surface and shape into a flat disk. Wrap the disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
In a medium bowl combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside. Meanwhile, place the pie dough onto a powdered sugar-covered surface. Cut the disk into 12 equal sized pieces. Gently form each section into a small disk. Roll out disks into 6-inch circles, about 1/8” thick.
Preheat oven to 400°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. (Do not use wax paper, they will stick to the pies!) Place a dough round onto a prepared baking sheet. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the strawberry mixture into the center. Using a pastry brush, brush the edge of half of the dough round with the beaten egg. Fold the dry edge onto the egg-brushed edge forming a semi-circle shape. Press the edges together to seal with the tines of a fork. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds and strawberry filling. Brush the tops of the pies with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sugar, if using. Use a small knife to make a 1-inch slit in the top of each pie to allow the steam to escape.
Bake in the preheated oven until the tops begin to turn golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets 7-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I got a jumbo muffin pan last month for my birthday and decided I need to break it in. I tend to like things (cupcakes, cookies, muffins, etc) either tiny or really big. Regular size seems boring. Even though I do make regular sized things a lot. Originally I was searching for a chocolate chocolate chip muffin recipe but didn't find one I wanted to try and settled for just chocolate chip (for now) since these looked pretty good. Matt thought these were really good. I thought they were good too, but not exactely what I was looking for. This muffin does have pretty good taste but is kinda thick/dense. I wanted something more lighter and fluffy, more like a cupcake I guess :) Still, it's not a bad cupcake at all and will go in my book until I find one to replace it.

Chocolate Chip Muffins
found on joy of baking

(who needs a fancy plate when you can use a paper towel??)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 cup milk or cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips (I used milk)

1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 deg F. Butter muffin pan or line with liners.
In a bowl whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt then stir in chocolate chips. Fold the wet ingredients (including butter) into flour mixture just until combined. Tough muffins will result from over mixing.
Fill muffin cups evenly with batter. In a small bowl combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over each muffin.
Bake about 18-20 min. or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool about 5 min. before removing from pan.
Makes 12 regular size muffins (or 6 jumbo) Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Apple Fritters

I made these apply fritters a couple of weeks ago and let me tell you...they were d-licious! If you don't know what an apple fritter is, it's kind of like a donut (doughnut?) Or more like a donut/doughnut hole really but with little chunks of apple in them. I've only made apple fritters once or twice before and I think I was in middle school. So it's been a while. I didn't take a picture (sorry) it was like 9:30pm when I made these bad boys and didn't waste any time attacking them hot out of the oil. Which I don't advise doing unless you want to dance around waving your hands in front of your face because your mouth is burning. There's also a glaze recipe included that looks amazing but I went the powdered sugar route. Next time.
P.S. if you want a photo..or several..visit the original recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

Apple Fritters
The Pioneer Woman

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 8

2 cups All-purpose Flour
½ cups Sugar
3 Tablespoons Sugar
2-¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
1-¼ teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
2 whole Large Eggs
¾ cups Whole Milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
2 whole Granny Smith Apples, Peeled And Diced
Powdered Sugar (optional, For Dusting)

GLAZE (optional)
1-½ cup Powdered Sugar
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Vanilla
¼ cups Milk

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, then add milk, melted butter, and vanilla.
Gently fold dry and wet ingredients together until just combined (do not overmix.) Fold in apples. Add enough apples to make a very chunky batter. You want the apples to shine though!
Heat a couple of inches of canola oil over medium to medium-low heat. When it gets hot, drop a little drop of batter into the oil. If it sizzles immediately and rises to the top, the oil is ready; if it burns quickly, turn down the heat.
Drop teaspoons of batter into the hot oil, six or eight at a time. Sometimes they’ll flip over by themselves; sometimes you have to flip them. Just watch them and make sure they don’t get too brown, but cook them long enough to make sure the batter’s cooked through, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes total.
Remove and drain on a paper towel. Dust very generously with powdered sugar, or dip fritters in a light doughnut glaze (mix all glaze ingredients together, then dunk warm fritters).
Serve warm!

May be heated the next day in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes. Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies. They are definitely my favorite. I don't have a favorite recipe, that would be way too hard since I love them all! So i'm always looking to try new recipes, even though I have several that I already love. I don't think i've made chocolate chip cookies with toffee yet though so I was excited to give this a try. These were soo delicious! Rylee liked them too. That girl will not even touch regular 'big people food' except somehow she knows what a cookie is. I've only given her tiny little pieces a couple of times before and she loves them! These didn't taste the same as a typical chocolate chip cookie due to the cinnamon, but it went along nicely. They almost tasted like a mix between a snickerdoodle and chocolate chip cookie. I liked the cinnamon in them, but i think it was a little too much for me, it distracted me from the rest of the cookie. This recipe is only about the size of a half of a regular batch of cookies. I'm making them for Matt's club tomorrow so I ended up making a 2nd batch and only put 1/2 the amount of cinnamon. The cinnamon was a lot less noticeable and they tasted a lot more like a typical chocolate chip cookie.
Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2-3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 TBLS. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
3 Heath bars chopped (or you could buy the bag of chopped ones for baking and use about 1 c.)

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar and sugar. Beat on until smooth Then add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined. Mix in the chocolate chips and heath chunks.
Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto a baking sheet.(I like to line with foil, it makes clean up so much easier). Bake about 10 min (be careful not to overcooke) at 350 degrees F. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a minute and transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes about 2 dozen.
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Friday, July 16, 2010

Kit-Kat Bars

I love kit-kats. If I could only eat one candy bar for the rest of my life it would probably be kit-kat. I can eat way too many of those before i'm sick of them. These are called Kit-Kat Bars, however they don't really taste like a kit-kat. They taste like a butterscotch bar.. next time i'm going to reduce the butterscotch chips and use more chocolate chips and see if that helps. I like butterscotch, but I was thinking this would taste more like chocolate since that's what a kit-kat is. But they are really good! They have a nice crispy crunch from the crackers. They're one of those things where I cut off a little piece at a time and by the time i'm done i'll have eaten a huge chunk of it.

Kit-Kat Bars

2 sticks Butter
½ cups Milk
1 cup Brown Sugar
½ cups White Sugar
2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 box (16 Oz. Box) Club Crackers
1 cup Chocolate Chips (I used milk chocolate)
1 cup Butterscotch Chips
⅔ cups Peanut Butter

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add milk, brown sugar and white sugar. Bring that to a boil and add graham cracker crumbs. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly or frequently to avoid scorching. I learned that one the hard way.
Put a layer of Club crackers on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Pour half of the graham cracker mixture over that. Add another layer of crackers, then the other half of the graham cracker mix, followed by a third layer of crackers.
Melt chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter. Use to frost the bars by spreading it evenly over the top layer. Chill until firm then cut and serve.
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Funfetti Cake & Whipped Cream Frosting

For Rylee's 1st birthday I wanted to make her a little funfetti cake from scratch- not that she even ate any of it..she was ready for bed by the time we gave it to her. Anyway, it turned out pretty good! I used a whipped cream frosting from a website that has healthy recipes for baby's 1st bday cake. I don't think I would use it on this cake next time. It wasn't bad though, I just think I could find a better one for it. I love how funfetti looks. Except I didn't even think to take a picture of's the only one I have (even though you can't see the cake itself). I think this picture is so funny. If you don't know what funfetti looks like, well, shame on you. jk. It's pretty much like a white cake but with sprinkles mixed into the batter.
Funfetti Cake
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sal
t1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3 egg whites
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 TBLS. (more or less) of rainbow sprinkles/jimmies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Then cut in shortening until fine crumbs are formed. Next add the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then on high for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl frequently. Stir in sprinkles.
Bake for 25-30 min.
Egg whites may be beaten separately before adding to mix for a lighter cake.

Whipped Cream Frosting

Makes 1 frosting for a 2 layer cake

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 cup white sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups heavy cream


In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar salt and vanilla until smooth. In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls & Bake Sale!

These cinnamon rolls are amazing! I'm not sure if they're actually "Cinnabon" cinnamon rolls, but to me they're just as good and I would rather make a batch of these than spend the money on one from Cinnabon. I first made this recipe back in 8th grade home-ec and i've made it many times since then. I made these really huge this time since it was for a bake sale we did for the activities fair at Matt's school. I also made chocolate chip ice cream cookies but this time I used Ben & Jerry's Cookies & Milk ice cream (I loveee that ice cream!) instead of vanilla. And I made peanut butter rice krispie topped brownies. The bake sale went great! We sold almost everything I brought. One guy said the brownies were the best dessert he ever had! Then tried to recruit other people to try them and ended up buying one for someone else just so they could experience it.
So I have to tell you about something, it's pretty nasty though..stop reading now if you don't want to hear about it. I have flour in a metal canister I keep on the kitchen counter. It ran out yesterday so I went to refill it and grabbed the flour bag off the shelf and took it to the counter. Opened it and looked inside to find a bunch of little bugs! Gross!! I checked the rest of the bags of flour I had on the shelf and they had bugs in them too! I looked it up on the internet and they're called Weevils. I've never heard of them or had this happen before.. I guess they're pantry bugs that like to live in things like flour, cereal and pasta. My cereal and pasta was fine, thankfully. But I learned that they can already be in your flour when you buy it. The larvae and bug parts are allowed in small amounts. So it's best to keep the flour in the freezer or the fridge or atleast freeze it for 4-5 days after buying before using (to kill any eggs that might be in it). Also I guess they don't like the smell of bay leaves, so I layed some of those around the area where I keep my flour on the shelf. So I hope there's no more bugs or eggs still around! I bought new flour and have it in the freezer now. And don't worry, these were made with the 'good flour.'

Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

For the rolls:
1 1/4 oz. active dry yeast
1 c. warm milk
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. margarine, melted
1 t. salt
4 c. all-purpose flour
2 eggs
For the filling:
1 c. packed brown sugar
2 1/2 Tbls. cinnamon
1/3 c. margarine, softened
For the icing:
1 stick (8 T.) margarine, softened
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. (2 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
For the rolls, dissolve the yeast in warm milk in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
Add the sugar, margarine, salt eggs and flour. Mix well.
Knead dough into a large ball, using your hands lightly dusted with flour. Put in bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hr.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until approx. 21 inches long and 16 in. wide. It should be about 1/4 in. thick.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the filling, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread softened margarine evenly over the surface of the dough, and then sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar evenly over the surface.
Working carefully from the top (21 in. side) roll the dough down to the bottom edge. Pinch edges to keep seam closed. (May need to wet fingers)
Cut the rolled dough with a thread into 1 3/4 in. slices and place 6 at a time on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 min. or until lightly brown on top.
While rolls bake, combine the icing ingredients in a bowl. Beat well with an electric mixer until fluffy.
When the rolls come out of the oven, coat each generously with icing.
Yield: 12 rolls
*When cutting cinnamon rolls, use a piece of thread. Place it under dough and cross over top to slice. Using a knife will squish them, this will prevent that from happening.
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Samoas Bars

This recipe came from Baking Bites and when I saw it I knew I had to make them! I love the girl scout samoas cookies! These were really really good and tasted a lot like the cookie, but in bar form. Matt doesn't even like coconut but he tried these and thought they were really good. I think because the coconut was toasted so it had a different texture. Either way, that's success to me. The only downfall was they took some time to complete. It's not one of those things you can whip up and be eating soon.
Ok, so I have a few tips. First of all, if you've never toasted coconut before (like me..before this recipe) it's really easy but it burns fast! I checked it several times and it was still white, then I checked again just a couple minutes later and some of it was burned. I was able to use most of it but I had to do a second small batch. Also don't forget to stir it so it's evenly toasted. Next, when it came to dipping the bottoms in the chocolate, I found it a lot easier to just coat the bottom of the bar using a spoon rather than dipping. When I dipped, some of the bottom would crumble off. I made these the night before I needed them and just stored them in the refrigerator then let them warm to room temperature when I needed them. Anyway, I really think you should go make these!
Homemade Samoas Bars

Cookie Base:
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

First, make the crust.Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)- I used sweetened
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
10 oz. (I needed more) dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).
Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.
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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Blackberry Cobbler

We found blackberries and raspberries on sale today and snagged them So we made a cobbler, of course. We used 1/2 blackberries and 1/2 raspberries and had berries left over. I like cobblers because they taste the same as a pie to me but a lot quicker and easier to make. So here's a great recipe we tried out, i'll be keeping this one!

Blackberry Cobbler

Serves 6 Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min

1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
1 cup Sugar, Divided
1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
9 Tablespoons Cold Butter, Cut In Cubes
⅓ cups Boiling Water
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
¼ cups Cold Water
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
4 cups Fresh Blackberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For the dough, mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter until you have a coarse, crumbly mixture. Pour in the boiling water and stir together well so that all of the dough is wet. Set aside.

For the berries, dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice, berries, and remaining sugar. Mix together well. Transfer berries to a 10-inch cast iron pan.

Heat mixture over medium heat until boiling, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Drop spoonfuls of dough over the berry mixture and place the cast iron pan on a foil-lined cookie sheet and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and the berries are thick and bubbly.
(If you don’t have a cast iron pan, bring to a boil in a sauce pan and bake in a 9×9 baking dish.)
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ice Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I saw this recipe on pickypalate I knew I had to try it..soon. Ice cookies?? Sounds amazing! And they were! They were veryy soft and chewy, but they weren't too different than a typical chocolate chip cookie. I used vanilla ice cream like the recipe calls for. The ice cream maybe just added an extra hint of vanilla since cookies normally have vanilla extract in them anyway. But I wonder what other flavors would do to it. I keep thinking of all the flavors you could try, I think I want to do rocky road next time.

Ice Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks softened butter
1 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons pure vanilla
Heaping 1/2 Cup vanilla ice cream (frozen from container)
4 Cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 bag chocolate chips (I used milk choc.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add in ice cream until combined.
2. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl; mix. Add to wet ingredients along with the chocolate chips; mix until just combined.
3. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are cooked through. Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
3-4 dozen cookies
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Cookies 'N Cream Cupcakes

Sorry, no story today, just recipe. I found this one on Annie's Eats. She has tons of cupcake recipes. Also, her photos are a lot better. Someday though i'll get a nice camera with super fancy lenses. Until then, this is what you get. We really liked these. I liked how there's half an oreo on the bottom of the cupcake. Usually i'm a huge chocolate fan, but the oreos in these were enough that I didn't feel like it was lacking. If you're going to wait a little while before eating these, I would say to wait to put the 1/2 oreo garnish on top. I noticed they started to get soft after a while. Maybe because I had them in the fridge for a little while? I'm not sure. I also found an oreo cupcake recipe that i'll have to try next time. It's quite different since it has a chocolate base and oreo frosting.
Cookies N Cream Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I quarter them)

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. heavy cream

For garnish:
Oreo cookie crumbs
24 Oreo cookie halves


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with Oreo crumbs and garnish with Oreo halves.
Yield: 24 cupcakes, I had quite a bit more though, like 32
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