Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

These little beauties are my new favorite cookie.  They are easy to make, moist, chewy, perfectly chocolaty, and just plain awesome, the texture and richness of this cookie is wonderful. You don't taste the cream cheese but it does make it very rich and moist; Cornstarch does the same thing pudding mix in a cookie does to keep it moist.
You DO need to plan ahead because these need to be refridgerated before baking so they do not spread and thin out.

Yield: 2 dozen

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 2.5 hours, for dough chilling


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened

1/4 cup cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (I used 1 cup chips and 1 1/4 cups chunks)

1. Combine butter, cream cheese, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).

2.Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

3.Add chocolate chips and chunks, and beat momentarily to incorporate, or fold in by hand.

4.Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping mounds (I made 28). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 5 days to avoid the cookies spreading too thin..

5.Preheat oven to 350F, place cookies on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart.. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, Do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake
This cake is dark and moist and very festive! Its subtle mint flavor is reminiscent of the holidays but could be enjoyed any time of the year.
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 +1/8 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/2 cup canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 10 cup Bundt pan with some melted butter and dust with cocoa powder (I use a paper towel for the butter then tap the cocoal powder around the pan and use a pastry brush to help coat if needed)
Put chocolate in a bowl, add boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is blended well.
Whisk both sugars in a medium bowl. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt over the sugars. Stir mixture to combine (break up any brown sugar clumps with your fingers).
Using the whisk attachment, beat buttermilk, eggs, both extracts, oil and melted chocolate on low speed until combined. Add the dry ingredients in two parts and beat until each part is incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat on medium low speed for 3 minutes. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until  center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes then invert onto wire rack. Cool completely.
The Ganache should be added just before serving :)
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Place 5 ounces of good quality dark chocolate (chopped) in a heat proof bowl. In a small saucepan bring a 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 2 Tablespoons of light corn syrup just to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until mixture is smooth/chocolate is completely melted. 
Glaze the Bundt
Drip about half the ganache onto the top of the cake. Chill the cake for 5 minutes in the fridge, then add the rest of the ganache. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Serve immediately (with peppermint or vanilla ice cream).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sugar Cookie Bars

This little beauty is our favorite! I'm bringing this recipe to the forefront again due to it's popularity. AND It's all I can do to stop myself from making more.....

This scrumptious delight combines all I love and try to duplicate in a sugar cookie; thick cookie, moist and chewy and a great tasting dough -  Pair this with your favorite frosting and it's perfection!
1 cup shortening or butter
2 c sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 T vanilla
2 tsp almond extract
4 c flour

Grease jelly roll pan, preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients and spread evenly in pan. Bake for 15-16 minutes until slightly browned
Wait till mostly cooled and spread with your favorite frosting.

I was in a hurry so used a can of whipped cream cheese frosting, added a tsp of almond flavoring, and colored it to my son's request. (blue!) and added sprinkles.

 I like shortening better than butter for a more "chewy" texture instead of "cakey" These are fast and easy, and always popular! Yum!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chocolate Marshmallow Pudding Cake

Chocolate Marshmallow Crock Pot Pudding Cake

Okay folks, I've made this twice now with rave reviews!  Warm, gooey pudding cake with just the right ammount of sweetness.  Enjoy!!

Pic fro,m and recipe adapted from Bless this Food

You Need:

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 small package chocolate instant pudding mix
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups milk, divided
1 small package chocolate cook-and-serve pudding mix

1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate morsels


1. Beat cake mix, next 5 ingredients, and 1 1/4 cups milk at medium speed with an electric mixer  2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Pour batter into a lightly greased 4-qt. slow cooker.

2. Cook 2 cups milk and pudding mix in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often untill boiling.
3. Pour cook-and-serve pudding over batter.

4.  Cover and cook on LOW 2 1/2 hours. Check for cake like texture on top; Then it it done.
5. Turn off slow cooker. Sprinkle cake with  marshmallows and chocolate morsels. Let stand 15 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly melted.

Serve warm with ice cream if desired

Friday, March 2, 2012

Macaroni and Cheese

 Recipe from Pioneer Woman

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
4 cups dried macaroni
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 heaping teaspoons dry mustard (more if desired)
1 egg, beaten
1 pound cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

*Optional spices: cayenne pepper, paprika, thyme

Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
In a small bowl, beat egg.
In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly. Don’t let it burn.
Pour in milk, add mustard, and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together till smooth.
Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
Add in cheese and stir to melt.
Add salts and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed! DO NOT UNDERSALT.
Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine.
Serve immediately (very creamy) or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
Serves 6
YUM YUM YUM!! I was never a big fan of homemade mac&cheese, I've never liked any kind I've had that's homeade.
My favorites were Kraft (of course!! BUT have you SEEN the calories in that mix???) Velveta Shells and Cheese (Same Problem), and Boston Market (Didn't check the Nutrition Analysis on that one....), but this is WAY creamier than all the rest. And probably way healthier too because I know what's in it! I used all Medium Cheddar but will try it with some Motz or Colby next time just for fun.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Slow Cooker Curry Chicken

Slow-Cooker Chicken Curry recipe

Adapted from:

4-6 large Chicken Breasts
2 small jars chunky salsa (one medium, one mild)
1/2 diced onion
3-4 T Curry
1-2 cups sour cream

Place Chicken, salsa, onion, and curry into a slow cooker; cook until chicken is cooked through and tender (about 3-4 hours) Be careful; my cooker does this in 2 hours!
Remove chicken to a platter; mix sour cream into remaining sauce and serve separately.

Serve chicken over rice and pour sauce on top.

Best Recipe Ever!! Simple; yummy, crowd pleaser, wow!

Double Rainbow Cupcakes

These were really fun to make!
You need:
  • A white cake mix - any kind is fine; as long as it's white
  • 6 different food colors (splurge for the fancy stuff that Wilton has; you'll thank me; mixing colors is not easy)
  • 5 different colors of chocolate candy melts - or you can color white candy melts the colors you want with the above food colors.
  • Wax paper and tape
  • 11 plastic baggies.
  • White fluffy frosting for the cloud effect
Here's where the double rainbow comes in......

Ta Daaaaaaaaa!
Mix your white cake mix according to package directions; divide into 6 bags evenly (or however many colors you want. Drop the corresponding food colors into each back and start mixin!

Get some helpers (aren't mine cute!) Cause this takes awhile....
All done?
Ready your cupcake liners and in backwards rainbow order take one baggie at a time, cut a small hole in the bottom, and start squeezing out batter in the cupcakes like so.....

Until your liners are 1/2 full

Then bake and cool.
During the baking process you can start on your chocolate rainbows. (Doesn't that sound just perfect! One of the most beautiful things on earth paired with one of the most beautiful things on earth?!)
Get your template, cover it with wax paper and tape it down to your work surface.
Melt one color of chocolate at a time in a sandwich bag; sealed;  in the microwave at 50% power for about a minute.
Then cut a small hole in the bottom and begin!
It doesn't have to be perfect (as you can see)

Then continue with your next colors; I alternated mine so the earlier color had time to set and to help keep myself in the lines; but color order would work fine too if you're disciplined.

I filled in with blue then yellow and let them set for about an hour

Then frost your cupcakes and carefully peel your rainbows off the wax paper and set them on top! Refrigerate until ready to serve or the rainbows will fall over. :)


Oreo Cream Cake

Lets unwrap this baby layer by layer shall we?

This is the whipped Cream Layer

This is the layered cake with oreo creme filling

This is the filling

This is the cake, from scratch; no box mixes here my pretties!
(Although a box mix is totally within the boundaries of exceptional behavior in my kitchen)

It was a moist, delicious cake and it came together very well. Serve Immediately.

1¾ cup flour
⅔ cup cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup butter
1½ cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs, room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk


4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter, softened
1 box (16 oz) confectioners sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
3-4 Crushed Oreos for mixing in at the end


1½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


3 cups crushed oreos
8 or so whole oreos

1. Heat oven to 350. Coat two 8 inch round cake pans with nonstick spray and dust with flour. Shake out excess flour and set aside.

2. Cake: In medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well-combined. Set aside.
3.In a large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla for 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4.On low speed, beat flour mixture into butter mixture in three additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat for 1 minute. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake at 350 for about 36 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Turn cakes out on racks, and cool completely - After an hour I cooled it in the fridge so the filling would spread easier....
5. Filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually add confectioners sugar then milk. Beat for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
6. When layers have cooled, trim off any crowned cake from the tops and discard. Cut each layer in half horizontally. Place one cut layer on a plate and top with ⅓ of the filling. Repeat with two more cake layers. Place last layer on top, cut side down. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until set.
7. Frosting: In a large bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat together the heavy cream, the granulated sugar, and the vanilla until soft peaks form. Generously spread whipped cream all over cake. Place your crushed or chopped cookies all around the sides of the cake. Store in refrigerator.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July Cake Bites, Dipped Strawberries & Layered Drinks

Check out these fun things I made for my mom's 4th of July Retirement Party!

 Love these!
Red, White, and Blue Strawberries:
Patriotic Cake Bites!

White chocolate and blue sugar sprinkles. Simple, easy and adorable!

Patriotic Cake Bites
Basic Cake Bite Recipe:
One Cake Mix:
(Any flavor baked in a 9X13 pan
according to package directions and cooled)
Dump the baked cake into a large bowl
and mix in 3/4 of a tub of any flavor frosting
Mix it all up with your hands
(To the consistancy it all sticks together well)
Roll the cake into little truffle sized balls
Refrigerate or freeze until firm
Then dip into any kind of melted chocolate;
You can also make Cake Pops this way;
have you seen this site??

I used a white cake mix and white frosting
then I divided the frosting/cake mixture up
and tinted each one with non-tasting food gel:
1/4 of it red and 3/4 of it blue:
(Remember to refrigerate between each step)

I rolled the red up into small marble size balls
and then flattened out blue cake to a disk in my palm
and wrapped it around the red ball and rolled then both up:

Then I dipped them and added sprinkles....

Here is the table all done up purty....
 Even the drink got all festive!

Layered Drinks:
This was done with three different kinds of beverages
(doesn't matter what kind, just that they have to be the color you want;
and have three different sugar contents.
First: you fill your container up all the way with Ice -
Ice is a buffer; it helps keep the colors separate. 
(This works in individual glasses too)
Then add the drink for the bottom layer
(It should contain the MOST sugar)

30 grams of sugar - Pina Colada SoBe in this case,
then add a 15 grams of sugar drink (I used Powerade Fruit Punch) ,
then 0 grams of sugar drink (Powerade Zero Mixed Berry)
Cool Huh?

We also had Curried Chicken over Rice - (Recipe to come)
And Red White and Blue Jello!

(Some lessons learned on this one so no picture -
I should call it  "Epic Fail Jello Mold": or "Earthquake Jello"
my layers tasted awesome but they were in a jello mold....
 and each layer slipped off the other ones.... Weird!)

Anyway; every good cook needs a recipe-gone-bad-experience
 to make all the good ones seem even more miraculous!
 Hope your 4th was a great one!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Almond Joy Brownies

This baby is something I made on a whim when all I had was a brownie mix on my brain and a table full of guests sitting around after dinner on father's day. (I had planned dessert but ran out of time)  So I got creative and improvised; and it worked!

I used:
Ghirardelli Ultimate Fudge brownie mix

Prepare and bake in 8X8 pan per package directions; let cool. (or don't if there's no time, in my case)
reserve the frosting for later

In a sauce pan combine:
3/4 cup cream
3/4 cup sugar
Stir on medium heat 3 minutes or so until sugar is dissolved

Take off heat and add
2 tsp of vanilla

Stir in:
2 cups flaked coconut (like this! the big flaky kind the size of pieces of gum - I get mine from - or the old standby shredded will work)
and 1/2 cup chopped almonds
Spread over brownies.

Melt your frosting packet in the microwave and drizzle over coconut mixture.


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