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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