Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More cookies....Sugar & Chocolate Chocolate Chip

So the holidays came and went and I never got around to finishing up all the posts I wanted to get in. So I know these are late but really cookies can be made anytime right?
I made both Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies and Sugar Cookies for a few co-workers. The chocolate chip recipe, is the one I posted about previously but this time I used chocolate pudding instead of vanilla. To see the recipe scroll below to the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe or go to All Recipes that's where it comes from.

As for the sugar cookies, I found a cute sprinkles jar over holidays with various red and green sprinkles so I had to use them for these cookies. If you like soft cookies I would recommend taking them out earlier that the recipe calls for. I think I left mine in for about 8-9 minutes. Some turned out a little crispier than I would have liked.

The sugar cookies come from Lovin from the Oven's Twelve Days of Cookies, Kim found them on the blog Delish and they were adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, 2006.

Go to one of the sites listed above for the recipe.

I put the cookies in these cute Christmas tins I found at Target!

How cute! Sorry I am super late posting, my life has been crazy the last month! More holiday post to come this week! Print This

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The same trip to Target when I saw the Holiday Hershey Kisses I also found Nestle Dark Chocolate & Mint Chocoalte Chips. I decided I would make cookies half using these holiday chips and the other half with white chocolate and choc chip combo.

I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe . You add pudding to the dough and it makes them so soft and yummy!

I found the recipe here. Its from all recipes and has wonderful reviews. Last year I used the same recipe with Nestle Swirled Holiday Chips. So I knew I had to try it out again,

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies from All Recipes

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 (3.4 oz) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups semi-sweet choc chips ( I used 1/2 dark choc & mint and half white choc and milk choc chips)
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional) I omitted these

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the flour and baking soda and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally stir in the chocolate chips. Since I used 2 different types of chocolate chips I divided the batter in half prior to adding the chips.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop out the dough and roll in your hands to form a ball. When placing on the cookie sheet push down to the size you wish. These cookies dont grow too much so if you want big cookies use more dough.
Bake for about 9-10 minutes.

A close up of the white chocolate and milk chocolate cookies! Makes you want a glass of cold milk huh?
I drizzle white chocolate on some and milk chocolate on the mint chipped cookies.

My office peeps loved these cookies...and I think the fireman at my boyfriends stations did too! He came home with an empty container again!!

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Holiday Kissed Muffins

A few weeks ago I ran across these Holiday Hershey Kisses at Target and of course I bought several bags of each. I originally was going to use them on cookies but at the last minute I changed my mind and went with chocolate cupcakes. I froze the kisses for roughly 30 minutes before placing them in the center of the cupcakes. I used the chocolate cupcakes recipe I have in the past from Joy of Baking, I also post about them here.
Pour the batter in the cupcake liners like normal.

Place the frozen kisses in the center of the cupcake. Press down slightly.

Here is what they look like when they come out of the oven. I used the peppermint/white choc kisses, mint truffle and the plain kisses as well.

I sprinkled powdered sugar on the tops of the truffle and plain kisses and drizzled white chocolate on the peppermint ones.

Here is what they look like cut down the center.

These were super simple to throw together and everyone loved them. The mint truffle ones tasted like Thin Mints! So yummy!!
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Desserts---A little late....

I am a little late posting but I guess it is better late than never! Anyways I was in charge of bringing desserts for Thanksgiving so I wanted to do a couple of different things, I decided on Pumpkin Cheesecake, Dutch Apple Pie and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Bundt Cake I found on Ordinary Day.

The pumpkin cheesecakes I have made many many times before, but this time I decided I wanted to try them cupcake size and mini cupcake size. Let me just tell you...they were a hit! Who can pass up a miniature sized cheesecake! I do have to apologize however, because I didn't get any pictures of what the finished product looked like. Think yummy piped whipped cream on top of each!

The apple pie I had actually made last year for Thanksgiving, it was really good however its was a little too liquidy in my opinion. So this time around I just added a little extra flour and it was absolutely perfect! Dutch apple pie is my mom's favorite so I had to make this one again this year.

The Cinnamon Cream Cheese Bundt Cake I saw on Michelle's blog One Ordinary Day a few weeks back and I just thought it sounded delicious! However the recipe calls for Brown Sugar Cinnamon Spice Swirl Cream Cheese and I looked everywhere for it for weeks until finally one day I stumbled upon it at Rice Epicurean here in Houston. I was so excited I bought 3 of them!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Bundt Cake from Michelle at One Ordinary Day which she adapted from My Recipes and Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
8 oz. Philadelphia Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Spice Swirl Cream Cheese, at room temp
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a 12 cup bundt pan with baking spray.

Place butter and cream cheese in mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar, increase mixer to high speed and beat for 5 mins, until mixture is light and airy. Add eggs, one at a time , beating after each addition. Add vanilla and cinnamon, then flour and salt all at one time. Beat just until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan and even out the top.

Bake until cake is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 mins. Remove cake from oven to cooling rack. Cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely. Glaze with Cinnamon glaze. (recipe below)
Cinnamon Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Mix ingredients in small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake and Enjoy!!!

This cake was really good, its light and moist and ohh soo yummy! My family loved it and so did I. I would definitely make again. I do think my bundt pan might be 10 cups so it was pretty full, but it baked up nicely. (It did rise over the center but didnt cause any issues and this glaze was amazing. I heated it up just a little in the microwave for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving!

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes (This recipe comes from a copycat of the Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake)
1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
5 tbsp. butter melted
1 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
3 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin ( I used Libby's)
3 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
whipped cream and or caramel, for serving
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Make the crust by combining the graham crackers crumbs with the melted butter and tbsp sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well enough to coat all of the crumbs with the butter, but not so much as to turn the mixture into paste. Keep it crumbly. ( I did 1. 5 times the recipe for the crust cause thats my favorite part.) Press the crumbs into the bottom of the liners.

To make into cupcake sized, put about 1 tablespoon of crumb mixture into the paper liners and smooth out with the back of a spoon. For the mini sized cheesecakes use about a teaspoon of crumb mixture. Bake the crust for 5 mins then set aside until you are ready to fill.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add the pumpkin, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.
Pour the filling into the paper liner almost filling to the top. Bake for about 18-22 mins. The tops will turn a bit darker at this point, remove from the oven and allow the cheesecakes to chill.
Once the cheesecakes comes to room temp, put into the refrigerator. Serve with whipped topping and caramel.
These are a becoming a family favorite and I am sure I will be making them again next Thanksgiving. I enjoyed them even more since they were more bite sized then a slice of normal cheesecake.
Dutch Apple Pie Recipe from Recipezaar

1 homemade or ready made pie crust
5 1/2 cups peeled, cored and sliced cooking apples (I used 6 Granny Smith Apples)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons flour (I used about 4 1/2)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup butter, at room temp

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Fit pie crust into pie plate. (If needed)
In a large bowl, mix sliced apples, lemon juice, both sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Pile into crust.
Prepare topping:
In a medium bowl, with a pastry blender, mix flour, sugars, and butter until coarsely crumbled.
Sprinkle evenly over apples.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.

If you love apple pie you definitely need to try this pie! It is delish! You can also refrigerate and just re-heat at 350 before serving. Cover with foil to keep from burning the crumb topping!
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Burnt Sugar Cake

This month with the Cake Slice Bakers, we baked up our second cake from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott. This time around it was a Burnt Sugar Cake, which I thought just sounded amazing! I heard a lot about this icing being very sweet but I wanted to make it exactly how the recipe called it so I could test it out. My cake seemed to take a little longer than the directions called for so I think mine could have been a little more moist, but all in all I like the cake and I would definitely make it again. Perhaps as cupcakes or even a bundt cake with a lighter frosting or drizzle.

Burnt Sugar Cake from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott

Burnt Sugar Syrup:
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar

Burnt Sugar Cake:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 eggs

Burnt Sugar Frosting:
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup Burnt Sugar Syrup
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 or 3 tablespoons evaporated milk or milk

To make the syrup: Heat the sugar in a cast iron skillet or in another heavy pan with broad bottom and high sides, over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts into a clear, brown caramel syrup about the color of tea. Carefully add the boiling water, pouring it down the sides of the pan so that if the syrup foams and bubbles up, you'll be protected. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the water joins the caramel in a brown syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Store the cooled syrup in a sealed jar until needed.

make the cake: heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir with fork to mix well. Stir the vanilla into the milk.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with a mixer at high speed for 2 to 3 mins, until they are very well combined, stopping now and then to scrape down the bowl. Add the eggs, one by one, beating well each time. Pour in 1/2 cup of the Burnt Sugar Syrup and beat well. Add about a third of the flour mixture, and then about half of the milk, beating at a low speed just long enough, after each addition, to make the flour or the milk disappear into the batter. Mix in another third of the flour, the rest of the milk, and then the last of the flour the same way.

Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake at 350 for 20 to 25 mins, until the cakes are golden brown. Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Then turn out the cakes onto wire racks or plates to cool completely.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, combine the confectioners sugar, the remaining 1/2 cup of burnt sugar syrup, the butter, and the vanilla. Beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl now and then to bring the ingredients together. Add 2 tablespoons of evaporated milk and continue to beat until the frosting is thick, soft, smooth, and easy to spread. Add a little more sugar if its thin and a little more evaporated milk if it seems too thick.

I wasnt a huge fan of this icing, its very sweet and I could never seem to get the perfect texture, it was either too funny or too thick. I think this cake would be better with either no frosting at all or a very light glaze!

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

My sister called me last week to see if I could make a dessert for her. She was bringing dessert to celebrate a fellow teachers birthday. She said she thought she wanted something with chocolate chip cookie dough, so I got home and started looking through my recipes. There were a few I showed her but this one was the clear winner! I have never made it so I was a little nervous shipping it off without a taste....but from what I hear it was a huge hit!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars seen on Bake or Break from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook

(I doubled this recipe and used a 13 x 9 inch pan instead of the 9 inch square it calls for)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cookie Dough:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temp
1/3 cups packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups all purpose flour

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Making the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 inch square pan (I doubled recipe and used a 13 x 9). Line pan with parchment paper, leaving enough room to extend over sides. Butter the parchment paper. (Pam with flour works fine)

Combine graham crackers 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 on wire rack to cool.

Making the cookie dough: Using an electric mixer, mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour. Mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside

Making the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar just until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating just until blended.

Pour batter into baked crust.

Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls over the top of the filling.

Bake about 30 mins, or until set. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

For chocolate drizzle, just melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bag in the microwave and drizzle over the top! Cut into bars and serve!

If you are a cookie dough fan this recipe is for you! My sister said everyone loved it, and now I wish I had a small piece to at least try it out. My guess is I will be making this recipe again soon! Print This