Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

So occasionally my boyfriend Noah likes to give me ideas on something he'd like to eat. He's been doing this for almost a year now, back when we were just friends... Starting with lemonade cookies that I experimented with last summer.  But one day back in September he told me he wanted to eat chocolate chocolate cookies... Almost three months later:

These things were delicious. I almost regret giving Noah the entire batch... He did crumble up a few and put them in ice cream for me though. So... I think we're good.

What you'll need:

  • 1 1/4 cups butter (prepare for artery clogging.)
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (really it should be two cups white sugar, but I experimented this way, and they ended up delicious. So, really it's up to you.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (give or take)

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Blend butter and sugar until creamy. Add in eggs one at a time, combining after each addition. Then add in vanilla.
-In a separate bowl combine cocoa, flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually combine into creamed mixture.
- Fold in chocolate chips. I did use semi-sweet chocolate chips but feel free to be different. I'm sure either white chocolate chips or butterscotch would be amazing in these.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, be careful not to overbake. Let cool on wire rack.

Cookie mountain!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Cutout Cookies

Every holiday season, this is what happens in my house. Traditional sugar cookies are one of the many things we end up baking, and now that my sister and I are old enough, we pretty much take up the process.

Now a few years ago, we finally switched our recipe. We got it from my wonderful Aunt Anne after my mom and I had been chowing down her cookies at almost every family get together. She says it's from The Joy of Cooking. And really... They're amazing.

Now, I ended up doubling the recipe but I won't frigthen anyone now by asking for a pound of butter for cookies.

Hungry yet? Good.

What you'll need:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
-Cream together egg, butter, and sugar.
-Blend in the vanilla.
-Mix in the sifted flour and salt.
-Chill the dough for 2 hours.
-Roll onto a floured surface, and cut into shapes

Yay for messes!

-Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until slightly browned. Or in our case, until they're just slightly underdone. I think they're delicious that way.

Now of course, on to my favorite part... Frosting! Typically we use two different kinds of frosting... The one that we typically use for coloring is just a mixture of milk, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency. It makes this very pretty icing that dries to the cookies.

The second frosting we use, we always keep white. It's the recipe my Grandma Pat has been using for a very long time:

Mix together:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup cream or milk.

Once the frosting is made, feel free to decorate as you please! We've always used an assortment of sprinkles and other goodies, but it's all up to you!

Aren't they pretty? I will admit...
We did get bored with decorating.
So some of them aren't exactly...

So... I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, and as always... Enjoy!

Holiday Peppermint Bark via Tollhouse

It's that time of year again! No, not that time of year when I finally stop being lazy and start blogging a ton again... Well,  maybe that time too. I have been baking, I promise. I just have a tough time with my camera. But no worries. Today I have something involving one of the best elements of the holiday season: peppermint. More specifically, candy canes!

Well, I took the recipe from, but I modified it from there. And lemme tell you, it's ridiculously yummy. I hope my friends enjoy getting this treat as their presents for the holidays. It's the least I can do since I'm leaving them in about twelve days for a beach. I'm so excited to spend the holidays away from dreary Minnesota weather and instead spend it in Florida. Jealous? I would hope so.

What you need:
  • One package vanilla almond bark
  • 10-12 candy canes
- Line a cookie sheet with wax paper
- Melt almond bark according to directions.
- Place unwrapped candy canes in a plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin until in small pieces.
- Using a strainer, sprinkle the small pieces of the candy canes into the almond bark mix. Stir.
-Pour almond bark mixture onto baking sheet and spread. Top with remaining candy canes and press down lightly if needed.
- Let harden for an hour then break.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Apple Crisp

So I don't know if anyone has caught on yet, but I am terrible about blogging right after I've made it. I made this apple crisp last Saturday. I'll try to get better about posting more often, but let's be honest- not too many people read this. It's just something for me to do.
Anyways. Apple crisp. Fall is here in Minnesota and that means I've only been thinking about all the fall flavors- pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and of course- apples. My mom and I make apple crisp every year with just a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. But now that I'm older, I tweak it just a tiny bit, by doubling the topping, and adding a little more spice. So I hope you enjoy!

What you'll need:

  • 5 cups sliced and peeled apples (My mom yelled at me for not peeling the apples. It really didn't make a difference, I swear. More protein?)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 stick butter

    It looks yummy enough, right?
To make:

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees
-Place fruit in square baking dish and stir in sugar

-To make topping: In a bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping over the fruit.

-Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden and fruit is tender. Top with caramel and vanilla ice cream if desired. (who wouldn't desire that? I mean... Really?)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cookies and Cream Brownies (A delayed post...)

So anyone who knows me knows that when I get bored there is always one solution: baking. A few Sundays ago, while I should've been doing my IB History homework (shh... you didn't hear that) I began to get a craving for a brownie... And an oreo at the same time. What resulted were these: (please excuse the poor photography)
A brownie with oreos in them, and a cookies and cream frosting. Yum. Need I say more? I didn't think so. Normally I don't eat much of what I bake, because I'm a weirdo... But these were an exception. I may have taken one or two off of the plate that were meant for my boyfriend and his family, but what he doesn't know won't hurt me.

Now since my sister, Morgan isn't exactly crazy about frosting on her brownies, I only frosted half of the batch, leaving some extra frosting in the bowl for me to eat. Trust me, I did eat it. I feel no shame.

Anyways, on to the recipe?

For the brownies-              
  • 3-4 squares baking chocolate
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or if you're me, accidently dumping a ton of vanilla in the bowl... Oops...)
  • 10 oreo cookies, crumbled
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Melt butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream butter/chocolate mixture. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, beating one in at a time. Add flour, stir until just combined. Fold in crumbled cookies.
-Pour batter into 9x13 greased baking pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Make sure to cool before frosting. :)

For the frosting-

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. of powdered sugar
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla
  •  1-2 teaspoons whipping cream (or if just milk if you'd rather use that...)
  • 10 oreo cookies, crushed.
-Mix together butter and powdered sugar, adding sugar gradually. Add in vanilla. Mix in milk a little at a time. Fold in cookies. Top brownies.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Need I say more? I mean... Really?

This is my dessert for tonight, after Gabe's famous Alfredo that brings all the boys to the yard. If you don't know the song "Milkshake" by Kelis, consider yourself lucky. I do however feel the need to enlighten you with this song, so please: click here.  Anyways, when I get bored, only one thing comes to mind- cupcakes.  So I decided I would attempt rainbow cupcakes. Unfortunately I didn't have any red food coloring on hand from my previous red velvet expeditions, so green, yellow, blue, and a teal color had to do. These are of course topped with a to-die-for buttercream frosting that could be the reason I end up losing a foot to diabetes. But I don't care. At least that foot will be lost as a happy, well-fed foot. On to the recipe, shall we?!

For the cake:

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup milk

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line pan with 24 cupcake liners
-Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy (about 3 minutes). Add vanilla and eggs and beat until combined.
-In a separate bowl, combine together dry ingredients. Add half ingredients and mix until combined. Add milk, mix, then add remaining half of dry ingredients and mix.
-Pour batter into four separate bowls. Add desired amount and colors of food coloring to each bowl.

-Layer different colors of batter in cupcake liners. Bake for18-21 minutes and cool before frosting.

They look pretty cool, right?
Now for the frosting!

What you'll need
  • 4 sticks of butter (I told you, this will be the reason I lose a foot to diabetes. It's best to just not think about it.)
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk, if needed
-Cream butter. Slowly add in powdered sugar and mix well. Then add vanilla and milk one teaspoon at a time if needed. If the frosting becomes too liquidy, add more powdered sugar.

I had to do a cupcake photo shoot. So I apologize...

As always, enjoy!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

This morning when I woke up, I was dying to bake and to bake anything.Chelsea and I were ready to bake cupcakes, but I didn't have any cupcake liners or parchment paper... Since actually getting dressed and going to the store to purchase something was out of the question, we opted for cookies instead, and found these delicious and easy peanut butter cookies.

I know my chocolate drizzle doesn't look very pretty, but the cookie makes up for it, I promise!

What you'll need:

  • 2/3 cup sugar (plus extra to roll the cookies in)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the peanut butter and sugar in a bowl by hand, since using a machine just doesn't work out very well... Add in the egg and baking powder and mix until combined.
  2. Roll cookie dough into small balls, then roll in sugar before placing on a cookie sheet. Press a fork lightly on the cookies, to flatten them.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then let cool completely before moving. Drizzle with chocolate if desired. 

See?! They were even pretty in dough form.

And continued to be pretty after they spent some time in the oven. I'm really in love with these cookies...

Have I convinced you to try them yet?! I hope so. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Easy (and almost cheating) Key Lime Pie

This is the second time in the past two months that I've made this pie. Well, since I made two pies today, I suppose you could say third.
But look at it! I mean, really? Could you resist this limey goodness?! I hope you're answer is no, otherwise that means that I have some major problems.
The best part about this pie is that it only has four ingredients (plus two for the whipped cream topping).

What you'll need:
  • One can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 9 inch pre-made graham cracker crust
Yup! That's really all you need to achieve this...

To make:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl beat together the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and lime juice. Pour mixture into pie crust.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before refrigerating. Top with whipped cream before ready to serve.
Now this time my pie did turn out very limey, but I think the whipped cream balanced out. My mom is bringing one of the pies to work, so I guess they'll be the final verdicts!

Enjoy :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Special K Bars

I'll be back later to post pictures once the Special K bars have set, but I thought... Why not get the ball rolling and at least begin to blog about it?! So... While I was at the grocery store looking for stuff to make my Chocolate Chip Pecan Zucchini Bread, my dad got a sudden craving for Special K bars while we were in the baking aisle. Since I'm such a foodie, I volunteered in a heartbeat to make them for him. Special K bars are a big hit, and I'm sure many families have their own recipes, but I thought I'd share one with you today anyways.

My camera didn't want to be my friend tonight. That was the best picture I could get while they were still setting. Oh well, I'm sure they'll be delicious!

What you'll need:
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 12 oz package of chocolate chips (we used the peanut butter swirl chocolate chips, but it's really your preference. The Blake family is a peanut butter family...)
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (since we used the swirl chocolate chips we only used about a tablespoon of peanut butter instead.)

-In a large, microwave safe bowl, combine sugars and corn syrup and stir well. Microwave on high for two minutes- meanwhile rise the spoon off with very hot water.
-Remove bowl from microwave and stir mixture once again. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Return the bowl to the microwave for another 2 minutes on high, or until the concoction starts to bubble. Make sure to rinse the spoon again!
-Take out of microwave and stir in a cup and a half of peanut butter until smooth and combined. Add cereal and stir until evenly coated. Pour cereal into a 9x13 inch greased pan, using the back of a spoon to press evenly.
-Combine chocolate chips and peanut butter in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat on medium power for 2 minutes then 30 second intervals until the chips melt and combine smoothly. Spead over cereal mixture, let cool then cut into bars.

Enjoy :)

Chocolate Chip Pecan Zucchini Bread

So my dad came to me today telling me that we have a million zucchini from our garden and that we have no idea what to do with them... I kinda made a face. If you're like me, you really don't do anything green. It's just not part of my lifestyle. Yes, I'm aware of how unhealthy that is. But all of the sudden an idea came to me- zucchini bread. My step mom has made it for the family before, and I've always wanted to attempt making it! Today was my day. We headed to the store to get a few things and ta-da! I know have four loaves of zucchini bread on my counter (I doubled the batch). We still have a ton of zucchini left over. Does anyone want a loaf?

On to the recipe, shall we?

What you'll need:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (I learned this today, you don't peel the zucchini. Apparently the skin adds extra protein! Woohoo! Less work for me!)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I almost always up that amount by another half teaspoon)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (I suppose you could use walnuts instead.... Personally I'm a fan of pecans)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (If you're not a chocoholic like I am, you may use a cup of dried fruit such as cranberries instead.)
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
-Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans, liberally. 
-In a large bowl, beat eggs with a whisk. From there mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla extract.
I apologize. The egg mixture is not very pretty!
-In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and the pecans and chocolate chips.
 Morgan was helping me out today! Unfortunately I couldn't get a very clear picture of her.

-Stir dry ingredient mixture into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans.
-Place in the oven and bake loaves for 60 minutes (+ or - 10 minutes.)

My bread turn out really well. It was moist and delicious. I'll definitely be making it again!

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cookie Dough Cupcake

Cookie dough and cake seem to have always been in their own separate worlds, right? Well, not anymore! A few months ago I made these sugar coma-inducing treats, and I've been an addict ever since...  So have many of my fellow classmates. The best way to make a ton of friends at school: bring in baked goods. 
I decided to make these once again for a surprise going away party for my friend Katie, who moves back to Missouri later this week. We'll miss her tons, and I thought these might be something for her to remember me by.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • one box yellow cake mix (along with the necessary materials to make the cake.)
  • one tub of frosting (any flavor) or homemade frosting (I typically make the chocolate frosting that's simply on the back of a container of Hershey's cocoa)

  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and sea salt; set aside. Cream butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add one egg and vanilla extract  until smooth. Mix in the flour mixture until incorporated then fold in the chocolate chips. Form dough into 24 evenly sized balls, place on a cookie sheet and freeze for two hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Line 24 muffin tins with liners.
  3. Prepare cake mix according to directions on the box. Pour batter into cupcake liners. Once liners are filled, place one cookie dough ball in each tin.
  4. Bake cake according to directions on box, or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcake part (not the cookie dough!) comes out clean. Cool in pans for about ten minutes, then remove. Let cool completely before frosting.

Before being frosted! I almost wished I would've just made a cake from scratch. Then again, this is less time consuming.

This is what the center of the cupcake looked like. I'm sorry I couldn't really get a very pretty picture! But take my word, they're delicious!

Enjoy! :)