Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Well, this is officially my first ever recipe that is MINE. MINE MINE MINE. :) Do you think I’m excited? I used a base recipe but made many changes on the first go, including the portions of the sugar, eggs, filling, frosting, and many other ingredients in the cupcakes. I also changed the flavor and texture of the frosting and the flavor of the cupcakes. Of course, I was debating about  my Lenten resolution to not eat sweets… but how would I know if I had put in too much or too little flavoring if I couldn’t even taste it? That would make things difficult. Well, I figured that God would understand… and I don’t think that he will condemn me to fry for eternity in my afterlife just because I had a snitch of cupcake batter. :)

Anyway, I thought that these little treats were very good. The cupcakes were bursting with orange  flavor and the filling was a nice contrasting surprise. The frosting was great too- it was soft and a great final fruity touch to the cupcakes. Not everyone thinks of orange and blueberry as a must-try first fruit combination but I thought that the two flavors tasted VERY good together! I would really appreciate it if you would maybe give it a try and please please give me some feedback on the first dessert that I have ever invented. :)

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe:

For Cupcakes:

2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. orange extract

3 cups flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 1/4 tsp. salt

For Filling:

2 cups fresh blueberries (or 1 cup frozen, drained+thawed)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. orange extract

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

For Frosting:

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar

2 1/2 tsp. orange extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. milk

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper cups OR grease the muffin tins generously.

2. In an electric mixer,  cream the butter, sugar, eggs + egg yolks, cream cheese, vanilla, and orange extract until smooth. Add the other ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full and bake for 16-19 minutes or until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean. (Yes, the filling doesn’t go in yet. I know it’s surprising, but you’ll see how it comes together later.) Allow to cool to room temperature.

3. In a small pan, mix all of the filling ingredients together and cook over medium heat until a thick consistency (about the consistency of canned pie filling). Allow it to cool in the refrigerator until it is thoroughly chilled. It is very important that the filling is not warm. Do the next step while the filling cools.

4. With an electric mixer, cream the shortening and butter. Add the sugar, orange extract, vanilla, and milk; beat until smooth.  Put the frosting into a piping bag with a large star tip or set the frosting aside.

5. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut cylinders out of the centers of the cooled cupcakes; save them… do not eat them. :) Spoon the filling into each empty cupcake center and “re-cap” it with the cupcake centers. Frost the cupcakes.

6. Enjoy, and be sure to let me know what you think!

Advertisements

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

What can you expect a kid like me to say about a recipe like this? YUM! It’s classic, easy, fun, tasty, creamy, soft, crunchy, sweet, (the list goes on and on!) and has the stamp of approval from just about every person I’ve met. Who doen’t like cookies? And cool whip? And cream-cheese-frosting-like substances? And pudding? And candy? And okay-Katy-is-getting-kinda-long-winded? The answer is NO ONE. :) This recipe is satisfyingly gooey and messy to eat, so treat someone (namely yourself) to this quick and easy wormy backyard concoction!

Dirt Pudding Recipe:

1 family sized box (30 0z.) of double stuffed Oreo Cookies, crushed

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1 (12 oz.) package cool whip

1 tsp. vanilla

2  packages (3.4 oz. each) instant vanilla pudding

sour or regular gummie worms (however many you want for the pudding + some to snack on)

3 cups milk

Directions:

1. Set out an ungreased 13×9 inch pan.

2. Spread half of the crushed Oreos on the bottom of the pan. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth. Fold the cool whip in untiul well incorporated. Next spread the mixture carefully over the oreos so that you don’t mix them(I drop small glops of the mixture all over the oreoes so that there is little spreading to do).

3. In another bowl, stir the milk, vanilla pudding mix, and vanilla together with a whisk. Let sit for five minutes before spreading the pudding over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the other half of the crushed Oreos over the pudding and top with sour gummy worms. Refrigerate your dirt and worms concoction for at least three hours before serving.

4. Yay! Chomp! Hearts fly everywhere!

Soft Pretzels Recipe

Soft Pretzels Recipe

Soft Pretzels Recipe

Well, I figured that -having only posted two recipes this month- I was due to post another one. This recipe (adapted from CHOW) is basically about Easter. Why? The story I heard was that, during the Lenten season, monks made pretzels hard and unpleasant to eat so that fasting would be easier (obviously the recipes have changed). The three loops in the pretzels represent the Holy Trinity. Unfortunately, I didn’t exactly get the third loop in. :) Anyway, these prezels were exactly what a soft pretzel should be: soft,  salty, and presentable.

Soft Pretzels Recipe:

1 cup warm water (110°F)

2 1/4 tsp. dry yeast

2 3/4 cups flour

1 tbsp. white sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt, plus some for sprinkling

10 cups water

2 tbsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, or the lowest temperature on your oven. Grease a large mixing bowl.

2. Run hot water over a small bowl for about thirty seconds or until warm.  Pour the warm water into the bowl and sprinkle iot with yeast. Let it sit until the yeast has dissolved 5-10 minutes.

3. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, place the flour, sugar, and salt and stir using the paddle attechment. Once the yeast mixture is ready, pour it into the flour mixture. Mix on the lowest mixing setting until the dough just comes together, about 1 minute. Switch to the dough hook attechment. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and knead until the dough is elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.

4. Place the dough in the prepared oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a towl and let the dough rest in the preheated oven until it doubles in size, about 40 minutes. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease the paper.

5. Once the dough has risen, punch it down. Using a knife, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Grease a peice of plastic wrap and cover the dough balls with it while you shape the pretzels in the next step.

6. Working with one piece at a time, roll a ball of dough into a 16 inch rope.

Soft Pretzels in the Making

Soft Pretzels in the Making

Hold one end of the rope in each hand and cross the two ends. Cross them again to form a twist. Lay the twisted end over the opposite side of the rope and press gently to adhere. Transfer the pretzel to the baking sheet. Repeat the same steps with the remaining dough pieces, fitting 8 pretzels per baking sheet.

Soft Pretzels in the Making

Soft Pretzels in the Making

7. Let the pretzels rise in the oven again until almost double in size, about 20 minutes.

The Pretzels Have Risen (Again)!

The Pretzels Have Risen (Again)!

After the pretzels are done rising, remove them from the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees (be sure to arrange a rack in the middle). Bring the water and butter to a boil in a pot over high heat and set two wire racks nearby (set a towel or a large bowl underneath the racks to catch the hot water; also, the butter will make the water look brown after a while. Don’t fret, it won’t burn:).

8. Stir the baking soda into the boiling water (the water will foam up big time) and place two pretzels in the water. Boil for one minute before using a fork or a spatula to flip them; boil the pretzels for one more minute. Remove them from the water and place on one of the wire racks. Sprinkle them with salt and repeat with the remaining pretzels.

9. Bake the pretzels one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through the baking time, until they are a deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Transfer immediately to a wire rack to cool.

10. Happy Lent and Happy Eater! er, I mean… Easter!

Note:

If some pretzels are golden brown and others are not, remove the golden-brown ones and allow them to cool while the others continue to bake.

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

This bread (adapted from Baked by Rachel) is, well, is it bread or dessert? I can’t decide. :) I’m just kidding, of course, but seriously… this bread is a vision of delectability! It is flavorful, moist, soft, has an excellent, not-gooey but gooey-tasting filling, and a crumb topping that bakes on to make a sort of crumbly, sweet shell. Goodness in a pan. I’m kind of not my talkative (or… writative, in this case) self today, so please excuse the winky little paragraph. Of course, you’re probably so tired of reading my essays about my baking adventures. :) But really, it is very good bread!

Apple Pie Bread Recipe:

For the Bread:

1 3/4 cup flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. apple pie spice

1 tbps. cinnamon

1 egg

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup applesauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups shredded apples

1 cup chopped apples

For the Filling:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, warm

1 egg

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

For the Crumb Topping:

2 tbsp. flour

4 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. apple pie spice

2 tbsp. butter, cold

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan.

2. To make the bread, mix the egg, vegetable oil, applesauce, and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add the shredded and chopped apples. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple pie spice to the applebattermixture. Stir until well incorporated. Set aside.

3. For the filling, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. For the crumb topping, mix the flour, sugar, and apple pie spice in a small bowl. Cut in the cold butter and mix with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles course, pea-sized crumbs.

4. To assemble the loaf, pour just enough of the bread batter into the pan to coat the bottom (i should be about half of the batter) then pour all of the cream cheese mixture on top of it. Pour the remaining bread batter over the cream cheese, making sure that the batter seals the edges and you cannot see any white if you look at the batter directly from above. Next evenly pour all of the crumb topping over the batter.

5. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan until you can flip it into your hands which you can use, in turn, to flip the loaf onto a platter crumb-side up. :)

6. Enjoy the any-meal dessert at anytime!

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

The history of this recipe: one day, I had the brilliant idea that there should be a muffin with a crumbly top and a cream cheese filling. So I went online, searched for a recipe, and hit raw gold. This recipe (by sweet escape) was, hands down, the best muffin discovery I’ve ever made. These muffins are not only moist, soft, and downright heavenly, but the cream cheese oozed out of them when they were warm and the crumb topping did not make a mess when you tried to eat it as most foods with crumb toppings do. No, it baked on and stayed on. :)

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins:

(Makes about 18 muffins)

For the Muffins:

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs

2 cups white sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree

1¼ cups vegetable oil

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

For the Filling:

8 oz. (1 pkg.) slightly warm cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

For the Crumb Topping:

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper cups or grease lightly.

2. For the muffins,
combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Hand stir the ingredients until well mixed. Then add the rest of the muffin ingredients. Mix well. Set aside.

3. For the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl and
mix well by hand until smooth and thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

4.  For the topping, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon
in a small bowl. Add the cubed butter. Next use a pastry cutter or two knives (I much prefer the pastry cutter) to mix the butter/flour mixture until the mixture resemblesx coarse crumbs. Set aside.

5. Time for the assembly! Cover the bottom of each muffin cup with just enough batter to cover the bottom. Spread some batter up the sides. Drop a sizable glop of cream cheese filling in the center of the muffin cup. Then fill the muffin cup up to the brim with batter and top with the crumb topping (don’t be shy, pile it on- it bakes down). Repeat this step for each muffin.

6. Bake for 18-23 minutes… you should be able to gently tap the muffins with a knife without making an indent. Remove them from the pan immediately.

7. Serve them warm or hot (even room temperature, but then the cream cheese doesn’t ooze as much:) and go to heaven.

Italian Easter Bread Recipe

Italian Easter Bread Recipe

Italian Easter Bread Recipe

This recipe- what can I say? It was festive and a very fun thing to make prior to Easter. It had a very classic taste: a soft yeast bread that would taste great with anything! Not to mention the great presentation that this bread pulls off. And don’t forget that it’s not just the eggs that make it an Easter-y recipe… it’s the fact that you let it rise again. :)

On a separate note, I have gotten some questions from people concerning thermometers. How do you know if your thermometer reads temperatures accurately? The answer is in the note that I included at the bottom of this post… it tells you how to find out if your thermometer is accurate or not. Anyway, have fun!

Italian Easter Bread Recipe (by Pennies on a Platter):

For Bread:

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast

1 1/4 cups milk

a pinch of salt

1/3 cup butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups flour

6 dyed, uncooked eggs (the eggs will cook in the oven)

For Egg Wash and other:

1 egg

1 tsp. water

sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, beat eggs with a fork until well blended. Then, in a medium sauce pan, combine the milk, salt, butter, eggs, and sugar.  Heat until the butter is completely melted, stirring constantly so that the eggs do not separate from the butter/milk mixture. Let cool to 110 degrees.

3. Run hot water over a medium bowl until the bowl is nice and warm.  Using the paddle attachment, use an electric mixer to mix 2 cups of flour, yeast, and warm egg/milk mixture; beat until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, continue to slowly add the rest of the flour just until a dough forms. Switch to the dough hook attachment and mix on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. If necessary  add more flour until it is somewhat tacky and a good texture for rolling out.

Elastic Dough

Elastic Dough

Dump the dough into the prepared greased bowl and cover the bowl with a towel. Let the dough rise in the oven  until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven, but do not turn the oven off yet.

"And it shall Rise Again!"

“And it shall Rise Again!”

The Bread has Risen!

The Bread has Risen!

4. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper (I didn’t have any at the moment so I used aluminum foil instead… that’s me, Hobo Katy). Punch down the dough and cut it into pieces. On lightly floured hands, roll each piece into a 12-inch rope (you should feel similar to a kid would make making a worm out of play-dough:). Twist two ropes together to form a sort of twisted braid, then mesh the ends together and arrange the dough in a circle; then arrange the tips underneath each other, so as to give the effect of no “seems” in the dough. Place the dough rings on the prepared baking sheets.

Making the Ropes

Making the Ropes

Dough Rings before being allowed to rise

Dough Rings before being allowed to rise

5. Repeat the previous step with the rest of the dough. It should make six rings of dough. Cover the rings with a towel and let it rise in the oven again (oh, how Easter-y! The bread will rise again!) until about double in size, about 1 hour.

Dough RIngs after being allowed to rise

Dough Rings after being allowed to rise

6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For the egg wash, beat the egg and water together and brush it onto the tops of the dough rings. Lightly decorate with the sprinkles.

7. Place one raw and dyed egg in the center of ring of dough, pressing down lightly to be sure that it is secure. Bake for 15 to 23 minutes or until the bread turns golden brown.

8. Serve the “nests” warm and enjoy!  Also, in case you were wondering, the eggs get very baked in the oven and are completely safe to eat. It’s just like eating a hard-boiled egg. :) Happy Lent!

Note:

If you aren’t sure that your thermometer is accurate, boil some water and see what the thermometer reads the temperature as. If it reads as 212 degrees, it is accurate. If it does not, (say it read 214 degrees) then you know that it is two degrees too hot; therefore, you should make the egg/milk mixture 108 degrees (according to your thermometer). I hope that I explained that clearly. :)

Caramel Corn Recipe

Caramel Corn Recipe

Caramel Corn Recipe

Caramel corn- the typical buttered movie treat multiplied in yumminess by ten.  I’ve always loved the sweet, buttery caramel combined with the crisp crunch of air popped popcorn. :) Something about that combination… mmm! The nice thing about this recipe, too, is that you can make the caramel according to your preference. You can make it light, soft, and chewy or slightly darker and crunchy. I will let you know that when it’s chewy, it’s not that “stick-to-your-teeth” chewy, but a texture similar to a soft-candy; and when it’s crunchy, it’s not that “crack-your-teeth-off” crunchy… it’s a sugary, melt-in-your-mouth coating. :) 

My Lenten resolution was that I would give up sweets- something that I have obviously not gone without for a very long time. :) I am just letting you know that this Lent, I might be blogging a few more breads than I was blogging about before… but let me tell you that I have found a few bread recipes that I am absolutely bursting to try because they look so scrumptious! Anyway, munch away on the caramel corn as you watch BBC’s show Merlin (the best TV show ever directed) which I am just about to go watch right now!(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Caramel Corn Recipe:

12-14 cups air-popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup unpopped)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Directions:

1. Set out an ungreased cookie sheet.

2. Pop the popcorn. :) Be sure that you sort out all of the kernels. You can do the latter by shaking the bowl for a bout fifteen seconds so that the kernels will fall to the bottom. Then transfer the popcorn by handfuls to another very large bowl, leaving the kernels in the first bowl.

3. In a medium sized saucepan, melt the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt together over medium heat. Bring the ingredients just to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Pull the caramel off of the stove and stir in the baking soda.

Caramel Mixture

Caramel Mixture

Let simmer for five minutes

Let simmer for five minutes

The Caramel is Done!

The Caramel is Done!

4. Pour half of the caramel over the popcorn. Mix it thoroughly. Pour the other half over the popcorn as well and mix again. For soft caramel: spread the caramel covered popcorn onto the ungreased cookie sheet and allow it to cool.  For a sugar/crunch caramel: preheat the oven to 200 degrees and spread the caramel covered popcorn onto two ungreased cookie sheets. Bake the caramel corn  for 1 hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.

5. Mouth: Crunch crunch crunch . . . 

Heart: Burst burst burst ! ! !

Cinnamon Pull-apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

I saw this bread on a blog (Pennies on a Platter. Excellent blog in my opinion. I did make some modifications to the original recipe, however) and I knew. Oooooh did I know! The instant that I laid eyes on this recipe, I knew that I had to make it and I knew that it would be the perfect picture of my favorite bread in the universe. I was so excited, and I still am! My sister was making fun of me because I could not stop talking about how excited I was to make this bread. And, of course, it met and flew beyond all expectations. It was sweet, soft, buttery, sticky, gooey, authentic, easy, and AMAZING! Don’t be intimidated by the lengthy instructions for this one. It is a lot simpler than you would think, so… MAKE IT. NOW. I ORDER YOU. :)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread: 

For the Bread:

3 cups flour

1/4 cup white sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg.) yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons butter

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup water

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Directions:

1. Melt milk and butter together in a microwave or over medium heat on the stove until the butter is completely melted. Add the eggs, vanilla, and water and beat together with a fork until well mixed. Heat the ingredients (if you are using the microwave, heat the mixture in 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval) and allow it to cool to 110 degrees while you do the next step.

2. Take the mixing bowl that you would like to use and run hot water over it for about thirty seconds or until the bowl is warm. In the mixing bowl, use an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment  to stir the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together. Pour the milk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined (you may have to stop the mixer and stir it yourself sometimes). Add more flour, as needed, until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl (the bottom will might continue to stick to the bowl).

3. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees. Dump the dough into a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise in the oven  until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour. Do not allow the dough to cool. Punch the dough down and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 20×12 inches. Cover the dough with a towel while you do the next step.

4. Grease a 9x5x3 inch bread pan. For the filling, melt the butter. Add the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Do not spread it onto the dough yet.

5. Cut the dough lengthwise into six equal sliced strips. Spread some of the filling on one of the strips and top it with another. Spread more on the new strip and top it again with another strip. Repeat this process until you have put filling on all of the strips . Then cut it width-wise, so that it appears to be six equal squares of dough. :)

Dough- Sliced

Dough- Sliced

Spreading on the Filling

Spreading on the Filling

Ready for the Pan

Ready for the Pan

6. Stack the dough slices into the bread pan. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise in the oven (preheated to 170 degrees) for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (before allowed to rise)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (before allowed to rise)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (after allowed to rise and before baking)

Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread (after allowed to rise and before baking)

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread on center rack and bake it for 23-27 minutes or until the top is very golden brown. Remove from the oven. Wasting no time while the bread is hot, run a knife around the edges (I found that part to be crucial) and invert the bread onto a platter. :)

8. Serve warm or hot, and do not serve it with a knife. Instead, peel your serving off of the loaf and enjoy the decadence!

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie Recipe

Cherry Pie Recipe- the Crust

Cherry Pie Recipe- the Crust

What’s to say? Almost everyone loves a homemade cherry pie, and  the international recognition can verify that for me. :) This is a classic cherry pie recipe that I love. I have never been a huge cherry girl, but something about  cherry pie… mmm! The first time that I made a cherry pie, it turned out super watery. It was like eating (or drinking, at any rate) a plate full of cherry flavored soup that had some blonde chunks floating in it that might have been called “the crust.” Oh, how I love to reminisce about past failures (note sarcasm)! But at least that means that I can pass this advice on to you now: Drain the cherries. It kind of helps.

The crust was crisp, buttery,  and flakey, and the middle was satisfyingly gooey but still held together, allowing it to present very nicely (unlike the first cherry pie I made).  It was sweet and tangy, a big hit, and best of all… it didn’t have red food coloring in it! That just kills me when I see a cherry pie that is unnaturally bright. Be sure that if (hopefully when) you make this pie, you do not use food coloring… or canned cherry pie filling!!! It takes two seconds to mix the ingredients for the filling together and tastes so much better! Just saying.

Please note that the slits that I cut in the pie’s crust form the Greek symbol for pi! :) Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s day!

Cherry Pie Recipe:

For Crust (by Betty Crocker):

2/3 cup butter

2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

4-5 Tbsp water

For Filling (by katydid bake it):

3 cans tart cherries, drained

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp. almond extract

3 Tbsp. butter

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set out an ungreased pie plate.

2. For the crust: I sometimes cheat on this part and you can too if you want. What I do, is I just throw the ingredients in my electric mixer and pulse it, so as not to lose the flakiness of the crust (add the water 1 tbsp. at a time between pulses). If you don’t want to cheat, keep on reading this step. Cut butter into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the sides of the bowl.

 3. Gather dough into a ball and cut it in half.  Roll out one of the halves of dough on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than inverted pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease into plate and unfold. Then press it firmly against the bottom and side.

4. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and thoroughly drained cherries. Pour the pie filling  into the dough lined pie plate and sprinkle in the almond extract. Cut the butter in as well.

5. Roll out the other half of the dough on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease it onto the filling and carefully unfold it. Cut off any excess dough, leaving about an inch of dough hanging off of the pie plate’s edge. Fold the dough under and flute.

6. Cover the fluted edge with aluminum foil so that it will not burn and place the pie plate on a cookie sheet. Cut slits in the  crust top and sprinkle the crust generously with sugar. (DO NOT SKIP OR SKIMP ON THE SUGAR! It bakes on very well and makes the crust 100% even more delicious!)

7. Bake the pie for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10-15 more minutes. When you take it out, it should be a rich golden brown (as pictured above) and thick syrupy goo should be bubbling out of the slits.

8. Delicious goodness, here I come!!! Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Vanilla Flan Recipe

Vanilla Flan Recipe

Vanilla Flan Recipe

Vanilla Flan Recipe

Vanilla Flan Recipe

This Recipe is really, really easy and quick to prepare.  I will let you know, however, that it is not a last minute recipe, because it takes a little while to cool and refrigerate it. Anyway, I like this recipe quite a bit.  It has a sweet, syrupy sauce and a vanilla pudding-like consistency. Not to mention that it has the Authentic Mexican Stamp of Approval from my sister. :)

At the Epiphany, my sister and I made a bread called Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread)  that had a small baby Jesus doll in it. The tradition is that whoever receives the piece of bread with the Jesus doll in it has to make Tamales for everyone when the Festival of the Virgin of  Calendaria starts. My Dad found the doll in his bread, so at the start of the Festival of the Virgin of Calendaria, he made Tamales for everyone. We made an authentic Mexican night out of it  and my sister and I made this flan for dessert. What I found most hilarious, though, was that my brother who does not even like desserts (he would much rather snack on raw carrots) loved  the flan! He had two servings of it and found out the next morning , to his dismay, that the flan was almost gone.

Vanilla Flan Recipe (from Yucatecan Cuisine):

1 1/2 cups white sugar

6 Tbsp. water

8 eggs

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (14 oz.) evaporated milk

1 cup regular milk

1 Tbsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out an ungreased 8 inch round pan that is 3 3/4 inches deep.

2. Cook sugar and water  over medium heat until the mixture melts and turns a golden brown.  Pour the sugar/water mixture into the prepared pan and allow the sugar to cool, patting down any bubbles or uneven areas that form as it cools.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla together until well blended. Be sure that the egg/milk mixture is still thoroughly mixed before you pour it into the prepared pan, otherwise, the flan will bake unevenly. Pour the egg/milk mixture into the prepared pan and set the pan onto a cookie sheet.

4. Bake the flan for 60-65 minutes or until the top turns a golden brown. It will be a little bit like jelly when you take it out, but it should not be runny. Allow the flan to cool for 1 hour.

5. When the hour is up, flip the flan onto a platter and put it into the refrigerator until you serve it. Remember to scoop the syrup back over the flan before you serve it.

6. Bon appetit! Er, I mean… Buen  apetito!

Happy Fat Tuesday!!!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe

Sugar Cookies Recipe- Valentine's Day Edition

Sugar Cookies Recipe- Valentine’s Day Edition

The Love Silo of Sugar Cookies

The Love Silo of Sugar Cookies

Ahem… before I go into how much I like this recipe and blah-de-blah, I guess I should explain the photo of the hideously tall and stout cut-out cookie labeled as the Love Silo. Well, after I had rolled out almost all of the dough, all that I had left was a small ball of dough that I didn’t really feel was worth rolling out. So, I made it as tall as I could and cut it into the shape of a small heart and baked it. It was about as tall as my pinky finger is long. I let it cool for a while and my sister and I named it “The Love Silo” for the way it towered in it’s ominous, hearty glory. I frosted it several times so that there was an adequate cookie to frosting ratio (it was a mountain of frosting!), bedecked it with sprinkles,  and ate it after admiring all of it’s splendor. Unfortunately for me, I had made a trip to the orthodontist earlier that day to get my braces adjusted, so I was practically squealing from pain as I ate the cookie of wonder and light.

This recipe has been passed down in our family for generations. It might be because it’s a super-duper great recipe! It is a very traditional, tasty, snackable treat that will keep your hands (and everyone else’s hands) in the cookie jar. I can never get enough of these cookies. When I taste one, it doesn’t seem to last long enough, so I end up sneaking another… and another… maybe one more… just a snitch, perhaps… mmm…

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe:

(Makes… a lot of cookies)

4 cups plus 4 Tbsp. flour

1 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cream of tartar

Frosting:

powdered sugar

milk

vanilla

butter

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out two cookie sheets.

2. Beat the white sugar and butter together. Add the rest of the ingredients.

3. Roll dough into balls and flatten with the bottom of a sugared cup.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Frost.

5. (nom-nom-nom-nom…)

Note:

1. The dough will be extremely soft.

2. For cut-out cookies: because the dough is so soft, it is a little tricky, but still easily done. If it proves to be too difficult to roll out the dough, I recommend refrigerating the dough for 30-60 minutes. Roll out gently on a lightly floured surface. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe (Flowers)

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe (Flowers)

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe Autumn

Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Recipe Autumn

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe

This ice cream (Ice Cream by Divine Dinner Party, Cookie Dough by katydidbakeit) was delicious! It was creamy, soft, and (to my delight) had chocolate chip cookie dough in it, per my addition. An automatic like for me! My Mom always wonders why I bake stuff and then eat the store-bought ice cream and I determined that I was simply longing for home-made ice cream, since I’d never had it! So I did a ton of research to find the absolute perfect recipe that didn’t use an ice cream maker and didn’t need so much fussing that you went out of your mind with impatience. I highly recommend this recipe if you like creamy, soft, cookie dough bliss!

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe- made “what I like to call… ‘the right way'”

(quote from the motion picture Rocketman)

For Ice Cream:

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup milk (don’t even think about using skim!)

3 egg yolks, beaten

1 tbsp. vanilla

2 cups whipping cream

For Cookie Dough:

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. butter

1/4 cup mini milk chocolate chips

2/3 cup + 1-2 Tbsp. flour

For other things in the ice cream:

1/4 cup mini milk chocolate chips

Directions for Ice Cream:

 1. In a saucepan, mix milk, sugar, and salt together. Add egg yolks and beat until thoroughly combined.

2.Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Small, foam-like bubbles will appear around the edge of the saucepan. Remove the egg/milk mixture from the heat. Let it for about ten minutes before adding the vanilla.

3. Pour the egg/milk mixture into a bowl and put it in the freezer overnight. There is no need to stir it.

4. Meanwhile, combine all of the cookie dough ingredients and roll the dough into small, thumb-nail sized balls. Freeze the cookie dough. If the balls freeze together, break them apart and continue letting them freeze. Let the cookie dough stay frozen until the egg/milk mixture is completely frozen.

5. In a large bowl, whip your whipping cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Scoop your frozen egg/milk mixture into a bowl. (It will be softer than you think… I froze my mixture for 11 hours and it was still easy to scoop out.) With electric mixer, beat the egg/milk mixture until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream. Mix in 1/4 cup mini milk chocolate chips.

6. Put the ice cream in one large container or two quart-sized containers. Cover the container(s). Freeze the ice cream for 1 1/2 hours, stirring once every ten minutes. Continue freezing the ice cream for 2-3 hours or until soft but frozen (there is no need to stir the ice cream after the first 1 1/2 of freezing time… all you will have to do  after that is wait.)

7. You’ll never go back to buying store-bought cookie dough ice cream again!

Jam Thumbprints Cookies Recipe

Jam Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Jam Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

This recipe (by Mrs. Fields) is pretty simple, tasty, and very presentable. When I first made them, I thought that they were going to be shortbread-y, but on the contrary, they are almost like a version of sugar cookies with a nice burst of berry flavor from my homemade jam. (I highly recommend using a homemade jam! It increases the quality of the cookies.) And no, the jam doesn’t ooze all over the place after the cookies are baked. I wondered about that when I first made them. :) Enjoy them with a cup of tea and be sure to keep your pinky finger pointed out!

Jam Thumbprint Cookies Recipe:

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup white sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 egg

2  tsp. vanilla

about 3/4 cup jam

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

2. Combine sugar, egg. vanilla, and butter in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Add the flour and the baking powder and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. (It may seem like a lot of flour, but do not omit any of it.)

3. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and using your thumb, make an indent in each of the cookies. Fill each indent with roughly 1/2 tsp. jam. Be sure not to make the indent too deep or the jam with bake through the bottom of the cookie and make for a pain-in-the-neck clean up. (I may be speaking from experience…) Also, be sure that your jam is not watery, otherwise it will get all over the baking sheet. Any store bought jam works well,  but I mostly use homemade jam for my recipes, so I have to be more careful about which jam I use. Just a precaution.

4. Bake the cookies for 12-17 minutes or until preferred texture (15 is the magical number for me). Read the note below for more details.

5. Be sure to leave a few cookies for other people to enjoy!

Note:

If you would like your cookies to be nice and soft but hold together, bake them for 12 minutes. They might not look done when you take them out. Anyway, after removing the cookies from the oven, proceed to wait one minute before carefully removing the cookies from the baking sheet.  If you would like your cookie to be a little bit firmer, bake it more towards the end of the suggested time and remove them immediately from the cookie sheet.

Strawberry Cake Recipe

Strawberry Cake Recipe

Strawberry Cake Recipe

This recipe is a classic! It’s a household favorite, not to mention that I made it into a barbie cake this time. It was quite a debacle making it just right, but I’ll get to that in a moment. This cake recipe makes a nice moist, fluffy cake that has an equally scrumptious frosting! It was perfect for the barbie cake too, because the cake’s inside is pink, although you obviously can’t tell in the picture.

Me? Oh… me… I decided to take 4 1/2 hours decorating this cake, and that was with four hands. My sister came over the day before her birthday, spent the night, and the next morning started making the cake with me. I baked it and layered it, and once that was done the decorating shenanigans began. First we had to move the cake onto a cake stand with several spatulas and any available hands. We inserted a barbie, but she was too tall. So we got a second, shorter one. She didn’t fit either, and she was the shortest barbie doll we had! So we cut a hole in a cardboard box (wrapped with wrapping paper and stuffed with plastic bags) and put a layer of tin foil on the top. With many more spatulas and hands, we moved the cake from the cake stand to the prepared cake-platform. We inserted the shorter barbie in again, Ariel, but she started sinking into the cake and through the hole in the box. We had hoped that the bags inside the box would stop her from sinking too much, but they didn’t. We had to position her hands so that she was literally holding herself up. From there, my sister and I decorated for 4 1/2 hours. When we were done, we were very proud of ourselves and determined that it had been a “Cake Boss”  adventure. The cake, we joked, went on the path to the sun and back. Oh, and remember- you’re never too old for a barbie doll or a barbie cake!

Strawberry Cake Recipe:

For Cake:

1 box white cake mix

1 small (3 oz.) package strawberry jello

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup cold water

3 eggs

1 (24 oz.) package  frozen strawberries, thawed and not drained

For Frosting:

1 lb. (4 cups) powdered sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

strawberry juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven the to 350 degrees and grease one 13×9 inch pan or two 8 inch round baking pans.

2. Drain the strawberries and save the juice. Mix the drained strawberries, cake mix, strawberry jello,  water, and oil together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add egg one at a time, beating for one minute after each egg is added.

3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan(s) and bake for about 27-33 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean. The top might be dark brown rather than the expected color of pink. Be sure that the cake is cool before you frost it.

4. Mix the powdered sugar, butter, and strawberry juice together on medium speed until smooth and frost the cake. This frosting is pink and not to be used as a decorating frosting. The frosting pictured above is a butter cream frosting recipe that I used.

5. Serve it and love it!

Note:

If you would like the recipe for the butter cream decorating frosting that I used, it will be on a separate post. I highly recommend it. I have been trying for a very long time to get my hands on the perfect butter cream recipe and this one is it.

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Buttercream Frosting Recipe

This buttercream frosting recipe (from Wilton) is, by far, the best buttercream frosting recipe I’ve come across. It’s great for decorating and it gets the taste of the butter and the pure white look of the shortening. I’ve found that many recipes melt too easily or taste like you frosted your cake with wax, but this one is perfect in every way. To see other pictures of this frosting, see my Strawberry Cake Recipe post and my Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes post.

Buttercream Frosting Recipe:

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. milk or water

food coloring (optional)

Directions:

1.Beat shortening and butter together on medium speed in a large bowl, until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix it in thoroughly (be sure not to send a plume of sugar into the air when you start the mixer- I speak from experience). Then add the vanilla, milk, and food coloring.

2. Frost onto whatever you like (even a spoon) and enjoy!

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

Apple Crumble Pie Recipe

This is the best apple pie recipe I have ever tasted! This is also a great recipe if you don’t like rolling pie crusts. You’re not supposed to roll this pie crust, so you get the authenticity of a homemade pie without all the fluting and rolling. It always begs for some vanilla ice cream and a second slice. :) I highly recommend making this pie. It’s one of the easier pie recipes I’ve come across, and it’s really good!

On a more amusing topic, sorry for not getting a picture of a slice of this pie so that you could see the filling, but it’s because I made this pie after I got a call one day at 3:00 p.m. from a friend requesting a pie for that night. Late notice, but I happened to have the ingredients for this recipe. I took the picture of the pie just before my Mom delivered it to him, and I thought that it might have been a little rude to have it delivered with a piece missing from it. Maybe I should have taken a piece out just to get back at him though. :)

Apple crumble Pie Recipe (from The Devil’s Food):

For the Crust:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 (3 oz.) package cream cheese

For Filling:

6 cups pealed cored, thinnly sliced McIntosh apples

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 Tbsp. flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbsp. water

1 Tbsp. butter, melted

 For Topping:

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter

For Glaze:

1/2 cup powder

2-3  tsp. lemon juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie plate.

2. For Filling: Peal, core and thinnly slice the apples. (This step is especially easy if you have an apple peeler/corer that does it all for you. Then you just need to chop the apple.) Mix all of the filling ingredients together (except for the apples) in large bowl. Then add the apples and make sure that you thoroughly mix them in.

3. For crust: In a medium bowl, cut the butter into the flour with a knife . Using your hands or a pastry cutter, mix the butter-flour mixture to a coarse mixture. Add the cream cheese and continue mixing with your hands until a soft dough forms. Press the dough into the prepared pie plate.

4. Put the filling in the pie plate.

5. For the crumb top, mix all ingredients except for the butter together in a small bowl. Cut the butter in and use a pastry cutter to make a crumbly mixture. Spread all of the crumble mixture over the pie and make sure that you cover all of the pie’s edges. You should not be able to see any filling.

6. Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake for ten minutes. Then reduce the oven’s heat to 325 degrees and bake for 60-70 more minutes or until the crumble topping starts to turn a light golden brown. Let the pie cool for a while until it is your preferred eating temperature.

7. Mix the powdered sugar and the lemon juice. Start off adding less lemon juice than suggested. Keep adding juice until the frosting is thin enough to drizzle. Be careful not to make it too thin, however, or the frosting will just soak in and the pie will not look as pretty.

8. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream. Yum! The following poem I thought was very suitable for this recipe, plus it’s by one of my favorite poets.

Pie Problem

If I eat one more piece of pie, I’ll die!

If I can’t have one more piece of pie, I’ll die!

So since it’s all decided I must die,

I might as well have one more piece of pie.

MMMM–OOOH–MY!

Chomp–Gulp–’Bye.

-Shel Silverstein

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe

I thought that this recipe (adapted from TasteofHome Cookies)  was very good. They had a slightly crunchy bottom, crisp edges, and a chewy middle.  I actually made the cookies for an event at our church, and they were a  huge hit! If you prefer your cookies to be softer, you might not bake the cookie as long as suggested below. Even better, I got to use homemade strawberry jam that my Mom made. Yum!!!

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe:

1/2 (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

3/4 cup strawberry jam

Directions:

1. Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg together in a large bowl until smooth. Add flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 14×10 inches.  Straighten the dough’s edges with a ruler if you want a nice clean edge to it.  Spread the jam on the dough, spreading to within 1/2 an inch of the edge. Roll up, starting with the long side so you make a nice long roll.

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

Strawberry Pinwheel Cookies Recipe in the Making

3. Wrap the roll in plastic cling-wrap and refrigerate for at least three hours. (Don’t try to weasel your way out of the time… it’s very essential that you do this if you want pretty cookies.)

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line one cookie sheet with wax paper or grease it. (If you grease it, then you have to re-grease the pan before baking the next batch.) Sawing gently and using a sharp knife, cut the roll carefully into 1/2- 3/4 inch wide slices. These slices are the cookies that you will put on the cookie sheet.

5. Place pan on center rack and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cookies start to become a light golden brown.

6. Let them cool for a few seconds before you remove them from the tray. Do not let them cool for more than a minute on the tray, because they will continue baking, which would over-bake the cookies.

7. Eat up!

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe

 I’ve always loved the flavor of coconut… and unfortunately, I’ve almost always loathed the texture. The day that all changed was when I went out to lunch with my Mom and after the meal, I tried one of the shop’s macaroons. I’ve been obsessed about finding a good chocolate-dipped macaroon recipe ever since then, and now I love everything about coconut, including the texture.

When I saw this recipe (from BrowneyedBaker.com), I knew that I had found exactly what I had been looking for. Not to mention that sweetened condensed milk makes everything tasty! :) Anyway, the bottom was crisp and the center was soft, and the texture of the coconut was not the so-dreaded texture that people don’t like. It was the texture of yum, that’s what.  One thing that I might change about this recipe  (and this is a personal preference, since I’m not usually a huge chocolate person) is something with the chocolate to coconut ratio. I would either make the cookies bigger, or use milk chocolate, because I felt that the semi-sweet chocolate overpowered the flavor of the coconut somewhat. That was my (humble) observation. Still a great recipe, though!!! :)

Chocolate Dipped Macaroons Recipe:

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 egg white

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. salt

3 1/2 cups coconut

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a cookie sheet or cover a baking sheet with wax paper.

1. Mix the  sweetened condensed milk, egg white, vanilla, and salt together in a medium sized bowl. Add the coconut and mix.

2. Drop cookies onto prepared baking sheet. I think that the size of about two tablespoons is a good starter size and you can adjust it to your preferred size from there. The smaller the cookie, the stronger the flavor of the chocolate. The bigger the cookie, the weaker the flavor of the chocolate.

3. Bake one sheet at a time for about 15-20 minutes or until the tops of the macaroons are a golden brown. You want to be careful not to under-bake them, or they will be tricky to dip in the chocolate without them falling apart on you.

4. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before you remove them with a spatula. Then, after the cookies are cooled completely (they don’t take long to cool), dip the bottoms in the chocolate and scrape off any excess chocolate before placing the cookie(s) on a sheet of wax paper. Use a fork to drizzle chocolate lightly over the top of the macaroons, for a pretty effect.

4. Refrigerate the cookies for about 10-15 minutes or until the chocolate has set. Once the chocolate has set, you won’t need to refrigerate the cookies anymore… not even for storage, unless you want them to stay fresher longer.

5.  Snrrrmf.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Recipe

This recipe (by Bake at 350) was a good discovery. I don’t even know how I found it, but lucky me that I did. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a chocolate chip cookie dough hound, so when I saw this recipe, I knew that I had to try it. It was actually very easy and I got it on the first try, which I was not expecting, so yay!  I recommend that you use your most accurate thermometer for this one… I ended up using a digital meat thermometer that I found randomly sitting on the counter top one day. Don’t ask me how it got there, because I don’t know. (Oops, thanks for the thermometer, Aunt Joan!)

Anyway, the fudge turned out well. Everyone agreed that it was perfect fudge, and I know that I will be making various flavors of fudge in the future with this recipe!  It was smooth, creamy, the perfect consistency, and hit you like a brick (as fudge tends to do). On the final note, remember the three e‘s of baking: experiment, enjoy, eat.

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup cream

1/4 cup milk

1 tbsp. corn syrup

3/4 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Bring the sugar, dark brown sugar, cream, milk, syrup and salt to a boil over medium heat.  Stir constantly, let the mixture boil until it is 242 degrees. (A specific temperature that seems ridiculous, but is very important.)

2. Remove from heat and stir in the butter, vanilla, and flour. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 13×9 inch pan and let sit undisturbed at room temperature until it reaches 110 degrees. You might think that you did something wrong because it will be more of a caramel consistency than a fudge consistency, but don’t worry! It’s not the final stage yet.

3. Scrape the fudge-carmel-stuff  into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 4-5 minutes.  Scrape into a greased 8×8 inch pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and lightly press them into the fudge.

4. Let the fudge cool and set, about 1 1/2 hours.  Let it cool in the refrigerator if you want to speed up the process.

5. Snuff down that exceptionally-evil-egg-less-dough-in-a-pan-stuff!

Harvey Dent Brownies Recipe

Harvey Dent Brownies Recipe

Harvey Dent Brownies Recipe

You’re probably wondering about the name. Let me explain: if you have ever watched the second Batman movie (The Dark Knight), then you know that Harvey Dent is a character who seems good, but turns evil… and everyone in the movie feeds the illusion that he’s still good. The reason that I named this recipe after Harvey Dent was because these brownies are good (as in delicious!) but are truly evil in calories! And of course we all are feeding the illusion that they’re not so bad. Hee heeeee… two faced… just like Harvey Dent.  I took the liberty of re-naming these brownies due to an inappropriate name already given to them, and I would like to have a nice, clean blog.

Anyway, these brownies (by the Londoner) are super easy, delicious and total comfort food! They’re gooey, chocolaty, cookie-y, and all around delicious. (I think that it’s best served warm out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.)

Harvey dent Brownies Recipe:

1 chocolate chip cookie box mix

1 brownie box mix

20-ish Oreo cookies

1 tsp. oil

1 tsp. water

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 inch pan.

2. Follow the directions for the cookie dough on the back of the chocolate chip cookie mix and add 1 tsp. water and 1 tsp. oil to help it stay moist as it will be baked longer than the suggested time.

3. Press the dough onto the bottom of the greased pan and layer with enough whole Oreo cookies to cover the dough.

4. Follow the directions on the back of the brownie mix for batter and pour the batter over the Oreo-cookiedough arrangement.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until edges of the brownie have set. The center should be gooey and a knife will not come out clean if inserted.

6. COOKIE!!! NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!! (Say to yourself in cookie monster voice.)

Rosca De Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

A few adjectives can sum up this bread: sweet,  tasty, time consuming. It’s taste is wonderfully gentle and sweet and it could be a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. I highly recommend it, although I will tell you that it’s a time snarfer. (Don’t you love all this wonderful vocabulary?)

This Mexican sweet bread is typically made for the celebration of the Epiphany. The tradition is to hide a plastic baby Jesus doll in the bread and whoever finds the doll has to make Tamales for everyone at the end of the month. Wouldn’t you know it, the plastic doll that we put in ended up in one of the pieces of bread shown above (the piece with the sweet pasta strip and single slice of fruit, to be exact).  I changed the recipe a bit by inserting a cream cheese filling that I was told was pretty typical in Mexico. Also, I must give credit where due: my sister was hoping to be a credited helper on this recipe, and she  was very helpful, so I can’t take all the glory for myself.

Rosca De Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe :

(Adapted from Mexico in my Kitchen)

1/2 cup of warm water

4 1/2 teaspoons of dry active yeast

4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup of sugar

3 large whole eggs

4 egg yolks (mix with 2 Tablespoons of water)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Tablespoon orange extract

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 

freshly grated orange zest from one orange

For Filling:

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

For Sweet Pasta:

The “sweet pasta” strips are the cookie-like strips that you see on the top of the bread.

1 egg yolk

3/4 cup of all purpose flour

6 Tablespoon margarine, softened

1/2 cup of confectioner sugar

For Egg Wash:

1 egg (beaten)

1 Tbsp. heavy cream

Fruit for Top :

Obviously you won’t be able to use all of these fruits, but you can mix and match. These are just my recommendations. 

candied papaya

candied figs

candied prunes

candied mango

candied pineapple

Other:

I know, it never ends…

white sugar, for sprinkling

1 small plastic baby Jesus doll

Directions:

1. Pour warm water into a bowl, and sprinkle with yeast. Stir with a fork until yeast has dissolved, then let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the flour, and cover the bowl with a clean towel. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 25 minutes.

2. While letting yeast/flour mixture,  mix the flour, eggs, sugar, orange extract, orange zest, salt and butter in a large bowl. Mix until crumbly. You can mix it together with your hands if you like… it worked well for me.

 3. Add yeast mixture to the bowl and mix. The dough will be sticky. Place dough on a floured surface and start kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. It will take about 15 minutes to get this results.

4. Place dough in a greased, large bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let dough stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 and 1/2 hours.

5. While the dough rises, mix the margarine and confectioners sugar until creamy. Then add in the flour and egg yolk. Mix until smooth. If the mixture is to soft to roll, refrigerate the mixture until you think that you can work with it. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and cut into strips. (The dough is supposed to be rolled out super thick and cut into relatively short strips.) Then chop the candied fruits of your choice to preferred size.

6. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead a few times. Roll it gently into a long rectangle. Then spread the cream cheese up the middle and fold the dough over the filling and pinch it to seal. Pinch the ends shut as well. Move the caterpillar of dough to a large & greased baking sheet, and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

8.For the egg wash, whisk egg and cream together. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Place the sweet pasta strips on the top of the dough. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 5 minutes. Place dried fruit slices on the top of the bread. Then bake for 5-10 more minutes until bread is a nice golden brown color. The time will vary depending on your oven.

9. Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before inserting the plastic baby doll in the bread from the bottom of the loaf-ring-thingy. Don’t tell anyone where it is or that the doll is even there. Whoever finds the doll in their slice of bread has to make Tamales for everyone at the end of the month!

10. Enjoy! (Whewy!)

Peanut Butter Candy Bars Recipe

Peanut Butter Candy Bars Recipe

Peanut Butter Candy Bars Recipe

Another delectable crowd pleaser: Peanut Butter Candy Bars. It is also my brother’s claim to fame, so I’ll let everyone know that he can make these bars more mean than anyone else ever could! As I made the bars, he constantly joked that I should give him the credit for the recipe, even though we’ve had this recipe for (practically) ever. Anyway, this recipe is wonderfully addicting (and makes you super thirsty!) They’re no-bake, so they take practically no time to prepare, and I can guarantee that any kid will love these bars! Being thirteen lets me in on the kids side of the world and over any evilly tasty recipe  they all go berserk. Trust me on this one!

Peanut Butter Candy Bars Recipe:

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

3 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

6 oz. chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips in electric mixer. Peanut Butter mixture will be crumbly.

2. Press mixture into ungreased 12×8 inch pan. In a microwave or over the stove, melt the chocolate until smooth. Then pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter mixture, spreading evenly.

3. Let chocolate cool ( will take about ten minutes-ish at most), and the bars are ready to eat.

4. Dig in!

World’s Best Brownies Recipe

World's Best Brownies Recipe- Merlin

World’s Best Brownies Recipe- Merlin

World's Best Brownies Recipe- Merlin

World’s Best Brownies Recipe- Merlin

World's Best Brownies Recipe- Merlin

World’s Best Brownies Recipe- Merlin

Alright… so why do these brownies have  Merlin written on them? My sister and I are HUGE fans of BBC’s Merlin and we were watching the finale of the last season ever to air. So, I messily wrote Merlin on the treats and we munched away at the brownies during that last two episodes. Good times. :) There are few shows that I consider to be worthy of watching. Merlin is one of the only ones that I’ve ever gotten hooked on. I LOVE THAT SHOW!!!!!!!!!!! You have to pardon the CGI, though. The CGI is terrible. But, you have to give them some credit for working with a limited budget.

Anyway, you may think that you’ve already found your favorite brownie recipe, but this one is great! It is moist, sweet, quick, easy, classic, and still new. Everyone who tastes these brownies loves them! The  fudgey frosting is a wonderful complement.

World’s Best Brownies Recipe:

For the Brownies:

3/4 cup butter

4 oz. (4 squares) unsweetened chocolate

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 cups white sugar

1 1/3 cups flour

For the Frosting:

6 Tbsp. butter

1 oz. (1 square)

1/4 cup milk

3 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions for Brownies:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set out a greased 13×9 inch pan.

2. Over medium heat, melt the butter and chocolate together until smooth.

3. In a medium sized bowl, hand stir eggs, vanilla, sugar, and flour together. Add melted butter-chocolate mixture and hand stir until well combined. Note: It is important that you hand stir the ingredients.

4.Pour into the 13×9 inch pan and bake for 17-23 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.

5. Let the brownies cool in the pan.

Directions for Frosting:

1. Over medium heat, melt butter and chocolate together.

2. Remove from the heat once melted and add vanilla and powdered sugar. Last, add milk. Stir until the frosting is smooth.

3. Spread frosting evenly over brownies.

4. Serve warm or with a scoop of ice cream… OR hoard it all for yourself. Happy New Year!!! (I cannot believe that it’s already 2013…)

World's Best Brownies Recipe

World’s Best Brownies Recipe

World's Best Brownies Recipe- Roses

World’s Best Brownies Recipe- Roses

(In explanation to the roses and other decor, I will let you know that I received some cake-decorating utensils on Christmas. Since then I’ve been itching to use them! I have never decorated anything or made frosting roses, so this was all new to me. I had a ton of fun!!!)

Cinnamon Chip Scones Recipe

Cinnamon Chip Scones Recipe

Cinnamon Chip Scones Recipe

Merry Christmas! My holiday gift to you is one of my all-time favorite scone recipes. I apologize if you can see the resemblance between my Chocolate Chip Cherry Scones and my Cinnamon Chip Scones, but they are both based off of the same recipe… please try this recipe! It’s quick, easy and addictingly delicious!!! If you have ever had Panera’s Cinnamon Chip Scones, which I love, then you will find that these scones are even better! (And that’s a big statement for me…after all, Panera is one of my favorite restaurants.)

Cinnamon Chip Scones Recipe:

(Makes about 16 scones)

3 cups flour

6 Tbsp. sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, cubed

1 cup milk

2 cups cinnamon chips

Topping:

2 Tbsp. Milk

1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set out two greased cookie sheets.

2. Hand stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until throughly mixed.

3. Add cubed butter to the flour mixture and mix with pastry cutter until crumbly.

4. Add milk. Mix until all flour had been moistened. Mix in cinnamon chips. Lightly knead or mix it with your hands.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to your desired thickness (it should be rectangular). Then cut into squares and place them onto the greased cookie sheets.

6. Brush tops lightly with milk. Mix turbinado sugar and cinnamon before sprinkleing over the scones’ tops.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

8. Happy Holidays! 

Note:

These scones are served best when they are fresh… they can get chewy if you serve them the day after they are made.

Butterfinger Blondies Recipe

Butterfinger Blondies Recipe

Butterfinger Blondies Recipe

There were many mixed reviews on this recipe- I couldn’t decide whether to post it or not. In the end, I think you know what I decided. I-personally- think that it was good but could have been better.  Other people loved it, and still others thought that it was a very average dessert.  Anyway, these blondies had a bit of a cake-y texture and the frosting I thought did not quite complement it enough. It was still good, don’t get me wrong, but I think that I will still modify and/or re-post this recipe after Christmas. I have some brilliant ideas in store for this recipe that I know will make it great!!!

Butterfinger Blondies Recipe (by NECCO):

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 cups chopped or crumbled Butterfinger

Buttercream Frosting:

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

chopped Butterfinger, to garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out a greased 13×9 inch pan.

2. Cream brown sugar, white sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs together in a mixer until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix flour mixture and creamed mixture together on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add the Butterfinger.

4. Spread dough into the 13×9 inch pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

5. Mix frosting ingredients together and wait until blondies are completely cool before frosting them. Garnish them with some chopped up Butterfinger (however much you like) and serve.

6. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cherry Scones Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cherry Scones Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cherry Scones Recipe

I’ve been looking and looking and looking for a scone recipe that I truly love. I finally found one that was absolutely to die for and so I thought that I would play with it… and I ended up changing enough things that it is now my own recipe, the descendant of another.  The original recipe used cinnamon chips (heart, heart, heart!) and tasted even better than Panera’s cinnamon chip scones, which I have been obsessed with since the very beginning of time. This recipe was my little adventure!

Anyway, these scones are fabulous, quick, and easy! They’re not so moist that they’re not a scone anymore, but they’re not so dry that they’re a pile of crumbs either. It’s the perfect in-between. The chocolate chips and cherries make a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth combination that you will just have to eat accompanied with a cup of tea or as you sit down to watch your favorite movie (which, of course, is Marvel’s The Avengers).

Chocolate Chip Cherry Scones Recipe:

(Makes about 16 scones)

3 cups flour

6 Tbsp. sugar

3 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter, cubed

1 cup milk

1 cup dried cherries

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Topping:

2 Tbsp. Milk

1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and set out two greased cookie sheets.

2. Hand stir flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until throughly mixed.

3. Add cubed butter to the flour mixture and mix with pastry cutter until crumbly.

4. Add milk. Mix until all flour had been moistened. Mix in dried cherries and chocolate chips. Lightly knead or mix it with your hands.

5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to your desired thickness (it should be rectangular). Then cut into squares and place them onto the greased cookie sheets.

6. Brush tops lightly with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

8. Num num time!

Cut-out Christmas Cookies Recipe

Cut-out Christmas Cookies Recipe

Cut-out Christmas Cookies Recipe

This is another recipe that has been passed down through the family for a few generations. It has a rather unique taste… I absolutely love the taste, but I know that it sometimes has to be acquired. The taste that I’m talking about is anise extract. To me it is Christmas’s most familiar and delightful smell and flavor. One whiff of anise and I immediately think of Christmas. These are great seasonal cookies for anyone… if you’ve never had anise then I will tell you that you’re missing out. If you’re an anise lover, this is your recipe!

Cut-out Christmas Cookies Recipe:

1 1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

4 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. anise extract

Frosting:

2 cups. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. anise extract

1 tsp. (1/3 Tbsp.) butter

milk, to desired consistency

Directions:

1. Beat brown sugar, white sugar, and butter together until smooth. Add vanilla, eggs, anise, and sour cream. Mix. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix cookie dough on medium speed until thoroughly combined.

2.Chill dough for 2-3 hours (optional).

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set out two greased cookie sheets. Roll cookies dough out on lightly floured surface to desired thickness (about 1/8 thick.) Use cookie cut-outs for your desired shapes.

4. Bake for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. Move cookies immediately to a cool surface and let them cool completely before frosting them.

5. Mix frosting ingredients and decorate cookies with colored sugar (optional) while frosting is still wet.

6. Merry Christmas!!! Santa will want a platter or two.

Note:

This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so I usually select a dozen or two that I will frost; the rest I freeze to eat later. When the time comes to serve the frozen cookies, pull them out of the freezer and let them thaw for about 10 minutes before frosting them.

Sassy Cinnamon Cookies Recipe

Sassy Cinnamon Cookies Recipe

Sassy Cinnamon Cookies Recipe

These cookies (by Betty Crocker) are very good! They are different from other cookies because of the cinnamon chips, and yet they still have a classic taste. They are sweet, soft, and moist cookies. Besides being great comfort food, they also make tasty ice cream sandwiches. These goodies won’t last long in a cookie jar!

Sassy Cinnamon Cookies Recipe:

(makes 3-4 dozen cookies)

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup cinnamon-flavored baking chips

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees (if using dark or nonstick pan, heat oven to 350 degrees). Set out two ungreased cookie sheets.

2. Cream white sugar (1 1/2 cups), butter, vanilla, and eggs in electric mixer on medium speed. Mix flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in on low speed. Mix the cinnamon chips in.

3. In a small bowl, mix white sugar (1/4 cup) and cinnamon. Roll dough into balls and roll the balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture before setting on the cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 10 minutes. Do not bake these cookies for more than 11 minutes unless you want them to be brick-hard… they firm up more after be cooled, so be sure to take them out after 10 minutes, even if they still look underdone.  Immediately and carefully remove the cookies from the cookie sheet.

5. (Gulp! Snarf… gobble, sniff… smack! Ahhh!)

Herb Bread Recipe

Herb Bread Recipe

Herb Bread Recipe

Herb Bread Recipe

Herb Bread Recipe

This bread is great; it’s a yeast bread, so it tastes very authentic, but it’s also way easier than most other yeast breads because it requires no kneading, punching, or any of that other complex stuff. It is a very light, flavorful and soft bread that goes wonderfully with any dinner!

Herb Bread Recipe:

(Makes about 8 servings)

2 1/4 tsp. (1 pkg.)  dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 tsp. white sugar

1 cup warm cottage cheese

1 egg, beaten

2 Tbsp. white sugar

1 Tbsp. onion, minced

1 Tbsp. melted butter

2 tsp. Dill seed

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. Dill weed

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 1/4 cups flour

Light glaze:

2 Tbsp. butter

1/4 tsp. salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to it’s lowest possible temperature and grease an 8 inch, round baking pan (it should be about 3 inches deep).

2. Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. white sugar in warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Herb Bread Recipe in the Making

Herb Bread Recipe in the Making

3. Combine warm cottage cheese, egg, 2 Tbsp. white sugar, onion, butter, dill seed, salt, dill weed, baking soda, and yeast mixture, stiring until well blended. Stir in flour until moist. Beat well. ( the dough will probably look a little weird due to the cottage cheese and dill.)

4. Dump the dough into the baking pan and place it in the oven to let it rise for 1 hour. Then, leaving the bread in the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake it for about 10-20 minutes or until the top is golden. I will let you know, however, that the baking times varies greatly each time I make this recipe… and you have to be careful not to let it burn because it will go from looking under-baked one minute to “Whoa! Get the bread out of the oven!!!” the next.

5. Do not remove the loaf from the pan. For the glaze, brush 2 Tbsp. butter over the top of the hot loaf. Then sprinkle it with 1/4 tsp. salt.

6. Serve it and love it!

Puppy Chow Recipe

Puppy Chow Recipe

Puppy Chow Recipe

This is a super easy, fun, and irresistible recipe! It’s quick, too. After-all, it’s a no-bake recipe. Puppy Chow is so snack-able  and delicious that you find yourself eating a lot more of it than you probably should… hence the word “chow.” I love the way that it melts in your mouth and has a nice, snappy crunch at the same time.  This puppy chow recipe is destined to be loved by all who taste it (kids especially love puppy chow… and it’s a great party recipe). Be sure to use Crispix cereal… it’s the best cereal that you’ll be able to find for this recipe, and any other cereal cannot quite pull it off the way Crispix does.

Puppy Chow Recipe:

12 oz. chocolate chips

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup peanut butter

12 oz. box of Crispix cereal

1 1/2 lbs. powdered sugar

Directions:

1. Pour box of Crispix cereal into a large bowl.

2. Melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in a pot over medium heat.

3. Pour the melted ingredients over the Crispix cereal and mix thoroughly, being careful not to crush the cereal too much.

Puppy Chow Recipe in the Making

Puppy Chow Recipe in the Making

4. Pour the powdered sugar into a large brown paper bag. Pour the Crispix mixture into the bag and shake until all of the cereal is coated with powdered sugar. The powdered sugar should be a little more evenly distributed than below. (This part is especially good if you’re feeling grumpy… what better way to get vent it than to take it out on a bag of chocolate and peanut-butter coated cereal?)

5. Enjoy!

Pecan Pie Recipe

Pecan Pie Recipe

Pecan Pie Recipe

Pecan Pie Recipe

Pecan Pie Recipe

 This recipe (by Betty Crocker) is yet another Thanksgiving classic.  I absolutely love the roasted taste of the pecans and the sweet and soft layer underneath. It is certainly a treat! One thing that you have to be careful about, however, is not to use old pecans.  The first time that I ever tasted a pecan pie, someone had used old pecans and I thought that it tasted like a slice of moldy dust that someone had accidentally dropped some whipped-cream on. For a while after that, I disliked pecan pies. My sister finally convinced me that it was just the old pecans that were bad and not the pie itself after making a pecan pie (with fresh pecans) for me. I could not stop talking about how much I loved pecan pie for the rest of the night. I hope that you enjoy this recipe as well!

Pecan Pie Recipe:

For Pastry: 

(Makes 8 or 9 inch one crust pie)

1/3 cup butter

1 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2-3 Tbsp. cold water

For Filling:

3 eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup corn syrup

1 1/2 cups pecan halves or broken pecans

Directions for Pastry:

1. I sometimes cheat on this part and you can too if you want. What I do, is I just throw the ingredients in the mixer and mix it in that, although I mix it very slowly so as not to lose the flakiness of the crust. If you don’t want to cheat, keep on reading this step. Cut butter into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the sides of the bowl.

2. Gather dough into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than inverted pie plate. Fold the pastry into quarters; ease into plate and unfold. Then press it firmly against the bottom and side. Flute the crust.

Directions for Filling:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare pastry.

2. Beat eggs, sugar, salt, butter, and syrup with hand beater. Hand-stir in the pecans. Pour into pastry lined pie plate.

3. Flute the pie crust and place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Cover the crust with aluminum foil to avoid burning.

4. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove the foil. Bake for 10-15 more minutes or until set.

5. Enjoy!

Note:

If the filling has not set and you think that the crust will get burned if it continues to bake, put the foil back on. And remember… do not use old pecans.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This recipe (by Betty Crocker) is a great Thanksgiving tradition. My favorite dessert to make is -by far- a pie. You can do so much with a pie! It is fancy and delicious and you can turn it into a masterpiece with some good fluting. Best of all, we (my family) have a vegetable garden that mostly consists of pumpkins and every year we cook some of them up and package them up for pies and other recipes. The pumpkin that I use is… let’s just say… the best! This pie was especially tasty because of the home-grown pumpkin that was cooked just the night before. Anyway, this pie is great; it’s creamy, smooth,  sweet and over-all… it’s autumn in a pie plate. My sister took one bite and said, “Katy! I didn’t even like pumpkin pie until today!”

Pumpkin Pie Recipe:

For Pastry: 

(Makes 8 or 9 inch one crust pie)

1/3 cup butter

1 cups flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2-3 Tbsp. cold water

For Filling:

(for a 8 or 9 inch pie)

2 eggs

1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin or 2 cups cooked pumpkin

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 2/3 cups evaporated milk

Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Directions For Pastry:

1.I sometimes cheat on this part and you can too if you want. I just throw the ingredients for the pie crust in my electric mixer and pulse the mixer, so as not to lose the flakiness of the crust (add the water 1 tbsp. at a time between pulses). If you don’t want to cheat, continue reading this step. Cut butter into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans the sides of the bowl.

2. Gather dough into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface until the pastry is about two inches larger than inverted pie plate. Fold Pastry into quarters; ease into pie plate and unfold. Then press it firmly against the bottom and side.

Directions for Filling:

1. Beat the eggs. Add the rest and beat until thoroughly mixed. Pour into pastry lined pie plate. Flute the pie crust then place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Cover the crust with aluminum foil.

2. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then decrease the oven’s heat to 350 degrees and bake for about 35 minutes more. Remove the foil and bake for about 10 more minutes. A knife should come out clean when it is done baking.

Directions for Whipped Cream:

1. Beat whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla together on high speed until very light and fluffy.

2. Top the a slice of pie whipped cream and serve.

3. Bon appetit!

Note:

In a little while I might make a post that explains how to cook up some pumpkin that you could use in any recipe. I really do recommend trying to get your hands on some fresh pumpkin (fresh pumpkin also might require that the pie be baked longer). It makes a big difference. Also, if the filling is not done and you think that the crust will get burned if it continues to be baked, put the foil back over the crust.

Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

This recipe (by Betty Crocker) is quite good! The muffins are so soft, moist, and cozy. They are great for breakfast and fresh out of the oven or whenever. I hope that you enjoy these warm, sweet baked goods.

Pumpkin Muffins Recipe:

(makes 1 dozen muffins)

1/3 cup vegitable oil

1 1/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup (8 oz.) pumpkin

1/3 cup water

1 1/2  cups plus 3 Tbsp. all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and line muffins tins with paper cups (or grease).

2. Mix the ingredients and fill each muffin cup 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Yum! This adds a pleasant, sugary crunch on the top of the muffin that is so tasty.

3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

4. Gulp!

Note:

This recipe is actually a bread recipe that is quite superb. For bread, grease the bottom of one 9x5x3 or 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inch bread pan. Pour batter into the pan and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

Apple Küchen Recipe

Apple Küchen Recipe

Apple Küchen Recipe

For all those who don’t know what the word “küchen” means, I will tell you that it’s simply the German word for “cake.” It is a slightly deceiving name for the recipe, however. It tastes better than any average cake but it’s not really very cake-like. What it is is very scrumptious! The crust is buttery and soft and tastes like a cake in and of itself while the apples and cinnamon add a wonderfully festive fall flavor. The topping adds a nice smooth, creamy taste that will give your taste-buds something to party about. You would be crazy not to love this quick, easy, and delicious recipe!

Apple Küchen Recipe:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 box yellow cake mix

2 1/2 cups sliced peeled apples

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 egg

1 cup sour cream

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set out ungreased 13×9 inch pan.

2. Mix the butter and cake mix. Pat into the pan and bake for 10 minutes.

3. Arrange apple slices neatly on warm crust.

4. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples

5. Mix the egg and sour cream and drizzle over top.

6. Bake for 25 minutes.

7. Unfortunately, you’ll have to share your creation. I know… it’s a bummer, isn’t it?

Angel Food Cake Recipe

Angel Food Cake Recipe

Angel Food Cake Recipe

This is a great cake to know how to make. One, because it’s not as hard as someone might think. Two, because a homemade angel food cake puts a store-bought angel food cake to shame. This angle food cake recipe (by Betty Crocker) makes a cake that is SOOO soft and light! The almond extract adds a wonderfully gentle (and yet still present) flavor. So please treat yourself to this “angel food!”

Angel Food Cake Recipe:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

12 egg whites

1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Frosting:

powdered sugar

lemon juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set out a ungreased tube pan.

2. Mix flour and powdered sugar in a bowl and set aside. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until slightly foamy. Start adding in sugar, about two tablespoons at a time. Add vanilla, salt and almond extract with the last addition of sugar. Continue beating on high speed until stiff and glossy. Do not under-beat, otherwise the cake will turn out to be dense rather than fluffy.

3. Sprinkle in flour mixture 1/4 cup at a time; gently fold in until there are no pockets of flour. Push the batter into the ungreased tube pan. Gently cut through the batter with a knife to be sure that there are no air pockets.

4. Bake until cracks feel dry and top springs back when touched lightly, 30-35 minutes. It should look about like this:

5. Invert the pan on funnel; let hang until cake has cooled completely. This helps the cake to stay fluffy. I don’t suggest removing the cake from the pan until it’s completely cool or it might de-fluff a little bit. I know what you’re thinking: touchy, touchy!

6. To remove from the pan, cut around edges (be sure to cut around the funnel, too). Flip over. If it doesn’t come out, try tapping the pan or cutting around the edges and funnel again.

7. Frost and eat… and eat… and eat… and eat…

Note: 

 One, fresh lemon juice is best to use in the frosting. Two, this recipe also makes a great layered cake. Three, I’m sorry that I didn’t get pictures of the steps… I didn’t remember until after I had finished baking the cake.

Nonalcoholic Eggnog Recipe

Nonalcoholic Eggnog Recipe

Nonalcoholic Eggnog Recipe

It’s almost that time of year! (I can’t believe that I’m already getting excited for Christmas and Thanksgiving is only in a week!!!) My sister loves eggnog. Literally, I think that her Christmas season would never be complete without drinking a few gallons of eggnog. We usually don’t buy any eggnog until after Thanksgiving, but I was in a very Christmas-y  mood the other day and I wanted it now. It was surprisingly tricky to find a nonalcoholic eggnog recipe that I would always have the ingredients for, but I lucked out when I found this recipe (by Food Writers’ Favorites)! It’s a very simple and tasty recipe, but you do have to be patient. It’s a bit of a time thief.

Nonalcoholic Eggnog Recipe:

Makes 10 (1/2 cup) servings

4 cups milk

6 eggs

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whipped Cream:

1 cup whipping cream

1-2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

(sprinkle the whipped cream with nutmeg before serving)

Directions:

1. Heat milk in a large saucepan over low-medium heat. Do not boil.

2. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl; add salt, then gradually beat in sugar. Beat 1 1/2 cup hot milk into egg mixture. Then add egg mixture into remaining hot milk in the pan, beating constantly.

3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and reaches 160 degrees on a candy thermometer (or 180 degrees on a meat thermometer). Sprinkle in 1/2 tsp. nutmeg and add the vanilla.

4. To cool rapidly, place the saucepan in a large bowl of ice for 10-12 minutes. This is great when served warm or cold.

5. Whip the whipping cream and gradually add sugar and vanilla.

6. Before serving, top the eggnog with the whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg… and be sure to save some of your eggnog for everyone else to taste!

Apple Dumplings Recipe

Apple Dumplings Recipe

Apple Dumplings Recipe

I’ve never had Apple Dumplings before, so I made it my goal to make them at some point this fall. I was always curious about them.  I found myself pleasantly surprised by an onslaught of flavor. The Apple Dumplings ( by allrecipe.com) are warm, gooey, cozy, autumn-goodness lumps of gold that brought down the house! (This is the type of food that is served in heaven… or to get you to heaven at any rate.) I make no joke when I say this: “I think that these Apple Dumplings were one of the best desserts that I have ever tasted in my entire life!!!” I had no idea what I was in for. Apple pie is a vegetable in comparison. I cannot impress upon you how amazing this Apple Dumplings Recipe is!!! But to go on, I just have to tell you who my baking inspiration is- Snow White. If you have ever seen Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, you know that Snow White is an excellent baker. My life long goal was to be able to make an Apple Pie (or Apple Dumplings) just like Snow White did… while singing about her prince who would someday come for her and the birds fluted the pie crust with their little feet. Don’t forget that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” It worked for Snow White.

Apple Dumplings Recipe:

(Makes six dumplings)

For Pastry (by Betty Crocker)

2/3 cup butter

2 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

4-5 Tbsp. cold water

For Apples:

6 small Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored

1/2 cup butter divided

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

For sauce:

3 cups water

2 cups white sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 13×9 inch pan.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a large rectangle about 24×16 inches. Then cut it into six pieces.

3. Place a cored, peeled apple on each square. Divide butter into eight pieces and put one piece into each apple’s opening. Keep the left-over butter for the sauce. Divide the brown sugar among the apples. (you can stuff the sugar in the core with the butter and/or around the apple… it doesn’t matter) Sprinkle them with the cinnamon and the nutmeg.

4. Bring one corner up to the top of the apple. Bring the opposite corner up as well and press together. Seal with two remaining corners. Slightly pinch dough at the sides to seal completely. Repeat with the remaining apples. Place them in the 13×9 inch pan.

4. In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, reserved butter, and vanilla. Over medium heat, bring the ingredients to a boil. Boil them for five minutes. Carefully pour the sauce over the dumplings. Bake for about 50-60 minutes.

5. Serve the delicious goodness with a scoop of ice-cream or homemade whipped cream. This Apple Dumplings Recipe is SOOO scrumptious! Apple Dumplings equal great comfort food. If you want to taste heaven… this is it.

Great Moist Cornbread Recipe

Great Moist Cornbread Recipe

Great Moist Cornbread Recipe

For all those out there who have been wanting a good and moist cornbread, you’ve found a great and easy cornbread recipe! I love moist breads and I don’t know how I managed to eat any other cornbread before I discovered this recipe. It is a great one to know about!

Great Moist Cornbread Recipe:

(Makes 9 servings)

1 package Jiffy cornbread mix

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 eggs

1 (14  3/4 oz.) can creamed corn

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8 inch pan.

2. Mix all the ingredients together.

3. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until the very edges of the cornbread start to just turn golden brown. Note to self: You probably should not bake it for any more than 32 minutes other wise it will be too dry.(Well, you know… for a recipe that’s supposed to be super moist anyway…)

4. Top with honey or jam and love it!

Sugar Plum Pudding Recipe

Sugar Plum Pudding Recipe

Sugar Plum Pudding Recipe

I just have to tell you that you have to make this recipe! Sugar Plum Pudding is one of my favorite seasonal treats. It is so cozy, warm, gooey and full of spices. (In case you couldn’t tell, I love spices!!! Whenever I invent my own cookies recipes, I end up putting at least cinnamon in.) Don’t let the prunes scare you off… my ten-year-old brother loves this Sugar Plum Pudding recipe. Besides, I find that sometimes the tastiest desserts don’t tend to be the most attractive looking. I promise that this easy recipe will not disappoint!

Sugar Plum Pudding Recipe:

For the Cake:

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup buttermilk

3 eggs

3/4 cup oil

2 1/2 tsp.baking powder

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup ground prunes

For the Glaze:

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. corn syrup

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix all of the batter ingredients together. Pour batter into a greased 13×9 inch pan for 40-45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

2. Now the fun part- cake demolition! You can use wooden spoon handle for this part, or you can also use a fork. Poke the cake thoroughly so that the glaze will soak into it. But remember… no need to completely demolish the poor thing! It should look somewhat like this in it’s mangled state (okay, you can call me a hypocrite):

4. Bring glaze ingredients just to a boil. Pour hot glaze over the cake.

5. Serve it warm with whipped cream. (Homemade whipped cream is especially good.)

“Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake Recipe

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake Recipe

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake Recipe

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake Recipe

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake Recipe

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake Recipe

Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake Recipe

This cake is very exceptional!  The recipe (by Hershey) makes a very soft, savory, and moist cake that will be a great addition to your cookbook. It is, hands down, the best chocolate cake I have ever tasted. (However, I used my own frosting recipe, not Hershey’s.) Enjoy!

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake Recipe:

2 cups of sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 cup milk

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup of boiling water

Frosting:

6 Tbsp. butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate

1/4 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13×9 inch pan (or two round 9 inch pans for a layered cake)

2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.

3. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat for two minutes on medium speed.

4.Stir in boiling water. (The batter will be extremely thin. I thought that I had messed up horribly the first time that I made this cake. But don’t worry if it looks like chocolate water rather than chocolate batter… it bakes up very nicely.)

5. Pour into pan. (Or pans)

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

7. Cool completely before frosting.

8. Last of all, everyone’s favorite part… eat it!

For Cupcakes:

Line muffin tins with paper and fill 2/3rds full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool thoroughly before frosting. Makes about 30 cupcakes.

Soft Molasses Crinkle Cookies Recipe

Soft Molasses Crinkle Cookies Recipe

Soft Molasses Crinkle Cookies Recipe

Well, here goes. The first recipe is up! Soft Molasses Crinkles (adapted from Betty Crocker) has been a delightful family favorite for… all of time! These festive fall cookies are soft and flavorful as well as pretty. When you bite into one, you just have to have another. They are very addicting! The frosting was my own addition and I suggest it. It adds!

Soft Molasses Crinkle Cookies Recipe:

(Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies)

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

2 1/4 cups white flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp.  ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

granulated sugar (enough to roll the cookies in)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Do not grease the cookies sheets.

2. Beat brown sugar, butter, egg and molasses together until mixed thoroughly. Do not over beat… medium speed is good enough. Then add the rest of the ingredients- except for the granulated sugar. The dough should be sticky and soft.

3. Roll dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on cookie sheet about two inches apart.  Bake for 12-14 minutes as desired. Immediately move the cookies to a cool surface with a spatula. If you want, you can frost them like I did but they are very excellent without frosting as well. The frosting recipe is below- it’s very simple.

Frosting:

powdered sugar

vanilla

milk

butter (optional)

1. Just mix these ingredients together. Sometimes I like to add a sprinkle of spice to it (cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, or allspice are what I have found to be the best. Sprinkle it in very lightly. )  The frosting should be a little on the runny side, but not so thin that it’s practically all milk. It’s easier to drizzle the frosting on if it’s a little thin. Anyway, drizzle the frosting on with a fork. Last but not least, enjoy!