Sunday, October 31, 2010

CSN Product Review

I mentioned here that I would be doing a product review of a couple items from the CSN Stores. I ordered this Insulated Nonstick Carbon Steel 15.5" x 20" Jumbo Cookie Sheet byFarberware

and this Nonstick Carbon Steel 9" Spring Form byFarberware
My products came very fast, about 3 days after ordering they showed up an in great condition.
I lovee how big the baking sheet is! It's very useful for making large batches of cookies and pizzas. I like that it's rimless so things can slide off the edge. The only thing I don't like is hand washing. Overall, it's a great baking sheet!
This was my first time using a spring form pan and I loved it! I've been wanting one for a while. I made my husband's birthday cake in it and I didn't have to worry at all about anything going wrong trying to flip it. I was able to easily decorate the top while the cake was still in the pan. The pan easly tightens and releases, my cake didn't stick at all and the pan cleaned easily. I would definitely reccommend this spring form pan!
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

I wanted to try making decorated sugar cookies. Not the typical kinds with frosting and sprinkles, but some 'fancier' ones. Since Matt's sister was having a bridal shower I figured I would make some for that. I even used a cookie cutter that we had from our wedding favors. My friend Monica helped me decorate them (the whole thing is a pretty long process!) which was really nice.
They turned out pretty good, especially since neither of us had made any like this before. I had one color of frosting the perfect hot pink color but then I was pretty dissappointed when it dried as red. I didn't know it would dry so much darker! I'm not going to list the recipes for these, but I will post the links to the ones I used as well as the techniques. The first day I made the cookies and started the monograms. The next morning I finished the monograms then that evening decorated the cookies and let dry overnight. The next day they got packaged.
The cookies tasted good and the icing is pretty much what I expected. Royal icing is for the looks, not the taste. It's not bad, but it's no where near as good as regular frosting. It would also work well to use to build gingerbread houses. If you're going to try something like this, I suggest reading some tutorials and tips first to learn things like how to prevent air bubbles, about the consistency of the frosting and why it matters and also just to learn some cool tricks, etc. Sweetopia and Bake at 350 have some great tips and tutorials. I'm really amazed at what some people can do with these. Although I don't think i'd be able to put so much time into it, even if Rylee did allow it.

Sugar Cookies (I didn't use the icing on this page, only the cookie recipe)
Royal Icing (you can also find recipes that don't use meringue powder, since it's a little pricey. But this is the one I used)

Tutorial on How to Marble Royal Icing (soo easy!)
Monogrammed Cookies tutorial (again, very simple but takes a little patience)

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Christmas Wassail

I forgot to get a picture, but it's just an apple cider-like drink. I made this for our Halloween party since it was going to be outside. I just put it on warm in the crockpot and it stayed hot all night. This is the perfect drink for cold nights and reminds me so much of Christmas time.

Christmas Wassail
GoodLife Eats

2 quarts apple juice
2 cups orange juice
1 1/2 cup 100% cranberry juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp whole cloves

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn to low to keep warm or put in a crock-pot on warm to keep all day
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pizza Rolls

It's been a while since I posted anything up. I haven't really felt at all like cooking..or baking! I know, shocking. It's not too hard to guess why though. Just so you know i'm still alive and everything I thought i'd put something up. So, pizza rolls it is.They're really easy and you can change it up however you want. Maybe alfredo sauce, green onions and chicken? Whatever you like. This time I just did pepperoni and some sliced olives. And sauce and cheese of course. I'm also working on something right now that i've never done before, that's quite the little process. But I should be putting that up in a few days. So here's what you do:

Pizza Rolls

1 can of refrigerated pizza dough
toppings (fillings) of your choice (sauce, cheese, pepperoni, chicken, olives, etc..)

Just unfold the dough and roll out into a rectangle about 12" x 8". Cut into 24 squares using a pizza cutter. Spread sauce all over the whole thing then place toppings in individual squares. Once the toppings are placed, take all 4 corners of the square and seal them together. Place seam side down in either a greased 9 in. pie pan or in greased cups of mini muffin pan. Lightly brush tops with melted butter or olive oil then sprinkle a little extra cheese on top. Bake at whatever temp. it says on the can of dough for anywhere between 10-20 min., until lightly golden on top.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I first found this recipe about a year ago and have made it for several people since and everyone has wanted the recipe for it. So when I made this the other day for dinner I figured I would post it. It's pretty simple to do and doesn't take too long to make. I've also made this glutten free once by using corn flake crumbs in place of bread crumbs and some other kind of gluten free flour stuff in place of regular flour. Just remember to dip and pan fry the gluten free ones first if you decide to try it that way! The only part I sometimes have a hard time with is slicing the chicken in half since it's already pounded thin. But it's pretty forgiving and it doesn't really matter how nicely it's cut. Make it, I know you'll like it!
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Emeril Lagasse's Emeril 20-40-60

Serves 4
4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces sliced Swiss cheese (4 to 6 slices)
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto or Black Forest ham
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup fine unseasoned dried bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil

Cut each piece of chicken in half horizontally and place each piece between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, pound out to a 1/4-inch thickness.
Place the 8 chicken pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide cheese evenly between 4 pieces of chicken. Arrange prosciutto slices evenly over cheese; top with remaining 4 pieces of chicken. Tuck in any cheese or prosciutto that extends over the edges. Secure chicken pieces together using toothpicks along the edges to form a "sandwich."
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Place flour in a shallow dish; season with 1 tablespoon essence. In another shallow dish, mix together eggs and milk using a fork. Place bread crumbs in a third shallow dish; season with remaining 2 teaspoons Essence. Dip a chicken "sandwich" in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip chicken in egg mixture, followed by seasoned breadcrumbs; transfer to a plate. Repeat process with remaining chicken "sandwiches."
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken "sandwiches" in skillet and cook, until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn chicken and cook 2 minutes more.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet and place in oven. Cook until cheese is melted and bubbly and chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove toothpicks and serve immediately.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baked Apple Chips

The best way to slice the apples would be to use a mandoline to get thin, uniform slices. I didn't have one and really wanted to try making these, so I hand sliced them as best I could. I'm not sure if I didn't bake them long enough or what, because mine stayed soft and didn't get crispy. I still wanted to share this recipe though because they were good and maybe it was just something that I did that they didn't get crispy. These smelled really good while they baked. I fit 2 apples one 1 large cooling rack.

Baked Apple Chips

Apples, washed but not peeled, sliced thin
juice of one lemon
about 5 c. water
cinnamon and sugar - about 1 tablespoon each, mixed together for dusting (optional)
Slice your apples to about 1/8 inch in thickness - the slices need to be as even as possible for baking purposes.
Place lemon juice and water in a bowl and dip the slices into the solution and shake off the excess liquid . Place the slices on a cooling rack on a cookie sheet.
Sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar, if desired. Bake at 250 degrees for 45-60 minutes, flip over the slices and bake for 45-60 minutes more, or until crisp
please note: the slices may still feel a little pliable while warm but should crisp up when fully cooled
store the chips in an airtight container for up to three months or longer
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Candy Bar Cake

You may also know this cake by another name, but around here we're callin it candy bar cake. I asked Matt what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday (not that he really cared what kind it was) but I got him to pick something. He said either a yellow cake with some kind of custard in the middle (aka Boston Cream Pie) or this cake. If you haven't had it before, it's really good, but definitely not going to help you lose weight. I only made 1/2 of the recipe in a 9 in. pan since there's only 2 of us, and it was still a little too much.
Candy Bar Cake

1 box of chocolate cake mix (or make your own- I made Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake recipe
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 6 oz. jar caramel topping (I used Mrs. Richardson's Butterscotch Caramel sauce, soo good!!)
8 oz. cool whip (I just made whipped cream since i'm not a big fan of cool whip.)
toffee pieces for topping (I used a bag of Heath bits that you find in the baking section)

Prepare cake according to directions on box/recipe and bake in 9x13 in. pan. When done, pierce cake all over with fork then pour condensed milk and caramel all over cake. Before serving, top with cool whip and candy pieces. I also poured more caramel sauce over individual slices before serving.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cocoa Rouge Brownies

I decided to make brownies for Matt to take to school for his birthday. Last year I made cupcakes and it took forever since I needed about 50. I had a can of cocoa rouge from Guittard i've been wanting to try and so decided to try these brownies from Guittard's website. I'm lucky I happened to have enough of all the ingredients because I didn't look at the list before I started making these and I had exactely just enough. And I gotta say, I felt a little disgusted as I was making them. I made a double batch (14 eggs, 6 c. sugar, 6 sticks of butter..) I just had to remind myself that these were for abot 40 people, it's not like 1 or 2 people are eating all of these. They turned out good though, I liked them. They were thick and sturdy and would hold up well as part of a brownie sundae.
Cocoa Rouge Brownies

Makes 24 two-inch squares
1¼ cups E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge (this is a dutch processed cocoa, you could try sub. a diff. brand)
1¼ cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1½ cups unsalted butter (3 sticks)
3 cups sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
7 large eggs
2 cups (8 oz) chopped walnuts (optional)

Line a 9x13x2-inch pan with foil. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Blend cocoa and flour in a medium bowl until uniform; set aside. Melt butter in large microwave safe bowl for 1-1½ minutes, until melted. Mix in sugar, salt and vanilla with a wooden spoon. Vigorously beat in eggs one at a time until smooth and glossy. Mix in dry ingredients until smooth and free of lumps. Stir in walnuts (if using) and spread into prepared pan. Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center still has moist crumbs. Cool completely on rack before cutting with a long bladed sharp knife. Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oreo Truffle Cookies

We did a bake sale for the business club at school again. I made NY Times Cookies, Rice Krispies Treats and helped my friend make oreo truffles (they're really easy and really good! I shoulda put the recipe for those up too, but they're popular so you can easily find it if you search.) I'm not sure how many batches were made, but in total there were 155 truffles!! So needless to say, there were tons left over. And it just so happens that I found this recipe! Now we used actual completed truffles in the cookies (the recipe for the cookies doesn't have you complete the truffle- dipping them in chocolate) since we already had them done. I was a little dissappointed with this recipe.. the cookies were good, but nothing special. I was expecting something special since it had an oreo truffle inside, but you couldn't taste it at all, it was pretty much like a normal chocolate chip cookie. I won't be making these again, as it's a lot more work to make truffles and cookies, but it was fun to try and wasn't really extra work since the truffle part was done. So if you have some extra oreo truffles on hand, or just want to give it a try, go for it!
Oreo Truffle Cookies

2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Cups chocolate chips
21 Oreos
3 oz softened cream cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter and sugars until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
2. Place flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl; mix. Add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.
3. Place Oreos into a food processor or blender, mix until finely ground. Place into a bowl and mix with cream cheese until dough forms. Take 1 Tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball. Continue until all dough has been rolled, you should get 36 balls, enough for all of the cookie dough.
4. With a large cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Press a little hole into center of dough and put Oreo Truffle inside, cover cookie dough around Oreo Truffle so it’s hidden in the middle. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until edges of cookies just begin to turn golden brown. Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. 36 large cookies
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Double Chocolate M&M Cookies

I went to the store to get some m&ms for these cookies. Not realizing just how huge the pretzel m&ms are, I bought them. They were fine, but I would definitely reccomend the regular plain ones! They still turned out delcious and something I will make (probably many times) again.

Double Chocolate M&M Cookies
My Kitchen Cafe

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into eight pieces
3/4 cup M&M’s
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate and the butter. Microwave for one minute at 50% power. Stir. Microwave again for one minute at 50% power and stir well. If the chocolate is not fully melted, continue microwaving in 30 second intervals at 50% power until the chocolate and butter are well combined. Let the mixture cool slightly, about 2-3 minutes until it is at room temperature or just slightly warm, but not hot.
In a large bowl, combine the chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined. Gradually mix in flour mixture on low speed. Fold in M&M’s with a wooden spoon.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease them. Drop dough onto baking sheets by tablespoonfuls spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake the cookies until they have slightly flattened and there are a few cracks on the surface, about 13-14 minutes. The cookies will still be soft. Let the cookies sit for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. These cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for about 2 days. Makes 2-3 dozen
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Double Cookie Dough Ice Cream

I JUST got an ice cream machine. I've never had one, never made ice cream, and I have a file of recipes i've been dying to make. Of course now that summer's over.. but that's ok, ice cream isn't just eaten in the summer (right?). The first one that spoke to me was this double cookie dough ice cream. Normally I like cookie dough, but i'm not a big vanilla fan, it's too boring for me, so cookie dough isn't my favorite. But this isn't vanilla ice cream with cookie dough chunks. This is actual cookie dough flavored ice cream with chunks of cookie dough. This is the best cookie dough ice cream i've ever had, and possibly maybe even the best ice cream i've ever had. If you have an ice cream maker, you need to make this. I will certainly be making this again! The only thing I would do differnt next time is to either use mini chocolate chips (in both dough and ice cream) or chop the chocolate into small pieces. The regular chips are rather large and once they're frozen they're really hard.

Double Cookie Dough Ice Cream
Annie's Eats

For the cookie dough:
5 tbsp. salted butter, melted (or unsalted butter plus ¼ tsp. salt)
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup flour
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup chocolate chips

For the ice cream:
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 large egg yolks
Pinch of coarse salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups whole milk
1 cup chocolate chips (semisweet or bittersweet)

To make the cookie dough, stir together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth. Mix in the flour, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. (The dough will look like a runny, gooey mess, but it will firm up and be fine).
To make the ice cream, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Continue heating, stirring often, until the butter is a deep golden brown color, being careful not to burn it. Whisk in the heavy cream and heat until simmering. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and the egg yolks until pale and fluffy. Once the cream mixture is warm, add a small amount to the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk in the rest of the cream. Mix in the salt. Return the egg-cream mixture to the saucepan and heat until just slightly thickened, and the temperature reads 170-175˚ F on an instant-read thermometer. Immediately remove the mixture from the heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract and the whole milk. Cover and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.
Once the mixture is chilled, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Chop the disk of cookie dough into small chunks. As soon as the mixture is done churning, transfer to a bowl or airtight container and stir in the chocolate chips and the chunks of cookie dough. Store in the freezer until firm. Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter