Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TWD: Honey-Wheat Cookies

I made this Tuesday with Dorie out of pure curiosity. After reading the title and ingredients I really wanted to see how these would taste and turn out. I was picturing an airy cake like little cookie with some great texture from the wheat germ. They were not what I was expecting, but they were still good and a fun make.

The Making
These cookies were a cinch to whip up. I had the batter finished in minutes and let it stiffen for a few hours in the fridge. These cookies do have wheat germ, which makes you think they are a healthy snack, however I must admit that the butter might not make it as healthy, but hey that is the part that makes it like a cookie. I used orange zest instead of lemon. I like the orange flavor quite a bit, but I think it would be great with the lemon.

The Tasting
The cookies were a bit more dense than I thought and perhaps a little dry. Not really bad dry. They tasted more like a heavy biscuit for dipping in hot chocolate. You can taste the butter flavor and it complimented the orange nicely. The wheat germ added some texture and a little nuttiness. My husband and I like them and our one year old liked them, but not our 6 and 3 yr. olds. They really aren't fans of anything citrusy and zest is way out of the question. When my 3 yr. old tasted the batter she first asked me if it had chocolate chips in it. So her expectation were set pretty high when she thought it was "cookie dough." After tasting it she said...."This is disgusting....Mom, I think we need to throw this in the garbage." I had to laugh a little. I baked them up anyway and Glenn and I enjoyed a few. While this was a fun different treat I may not repeat it again. Everyone has to like it or it causes me problems on the scale later.

If you are interested in making these little cookies you can get the recipe from Michelle of Flourchild.

My second baking adventure of the day was some whole wheat banana bread. I got this recipe from my friend Jill. My husband is not eating treats during the week right now so I am trying to keep my baking relatively healthy. These had less butter and had both wheat and oat flour as opposed to white flour. It was more dense than I thought and I had to bake it for longer to get it cooked through. But when it came out my kids ate a ton, so that was worth it to me. Here is the recipe if you are interested.

Banana Bread
This banana bread is moist and delicious with loads of banana flavor!
2 cups flour (mix wheat, white, and or/ oat flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
¼ cup applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

TWD: My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy Be-lated Valentines Day! Hope it was filled with love and if you have kids lots of cheer and amusement.

Our Valentines Day consisted of valentine scavenger hunts, hours of crafting homemade valentines, cousin fun, making and eating sweet lovable treats (homemade heartshaped oreos, sugar cookies, and cherry fudge brownie torte).

On to the Tuesdays With Dorie for the week. I had was lucky enough to get her best chocolate chip cookies for my week. Oh how we love chocolate chip cookies around here. I will be honest though....we delight so much more in the dough than in the actual cookie. Once a chocolate cookie is baked it looses its magic....except maybe not our favoite Big Fat chocolate chip cookies. Each time I make cookies I will save at least 1/3 of the dough shaped in a log so we can pull it out of the refidgerator at will and cut a good chunk off. Yum!

So unfortunately Dorie's favorite was not my favorite. It was still a good cookie, but not amazing. I felt like they were drier than I wanted even when I underbaked them. I am sure it has more to do with the baker than the recipe. I have made these before and accidently turned them into a steller cookie. My kids still loved them and my toddler begged and begged me for a bit while I baked them and finally sweet peace he got one and I think probably three, because Nana was in town. Naughty Nana!

If you want to try these cookies out head on over to Kait's Plate for the recipe.

KT (sister-in-law) also brought up a delicious cookie as well. These patties were super rich so one was enough, but they were very delectable. I took pictures of hers at night so it is not that great of a shot sorry!

Creamy Peppermint Patties

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 tsp peppermint extract
9 cups confectioners' sugar
¾ cup milk chocolate chips
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tblsp shortening

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and extract until smooth. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating well. Shape into 1-in balls. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Flatten into patties. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.

In a microwave, melt chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Dip patties in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper until firm. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: about 4 dozen.

Here is a viewing of our sugar cookie decorating with the kids.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TWD: Rick Katz's Brownies for Julia

Well, I am down to 2 1/2 weeks until baby makes her arrival. Right now I am in full nesting mode which means I am doing a ton, probably too much on some days. On top of the nesting frenzy, I have done a lot of baking over the past week. After the success of our last family TWD night, April and I decided it would be fun to do it again. She took the cookies and I took the brownies.

When I first read the recipe I thought to myself, this is a lot of work for brownies so they had sure better be good. I have a recipe that I love and use often enough that I have it memorized. These brownies were more labor intensive than I prefer brownie recipes to be. When they came out of the oven they were still quite gooey so I put them in for an extra 5 minutes. Even at that point they still seemed a bit gooey but I figured that the recipe said they should be fudgy so hopefully when they cooled, they would be more fudge-like and less runny.

Saturday I spent the day cleaning the house with my sister and mom to make room changes for the baby's arrival. I made the brownies in the morning and by the time it came to go to the TWD night, I was exhausted and couldn't walk. My hips were killing me so Josh was nice enough to take the brownies, and the kids, to a family evening while I stayed home and enjoyed the quiet and a bath. It was heavenly.

I actually never got to taste the finished product, or take a picture of it. I sent a plate with Josh and kept a few for photos but didn't take pictures quickly enough as the rest of the brownies were eaten by my dad and my hubby on Sunday. Oops! Josh came home and said that the brownies were a huge hit. As he finished off the last one he told me they were addicting, so much so that he said he had been thinking about them all day. So having never tasted them, I'll have to take the word of family that these were good brownies.

Even with the good review though, I still don't know that I will make them again because of the extra work involved. I know it's not huge, but I think brownies should be a one bowl dessert. Josh loved them though, so maybe he could persuade me to make them again at some point. For the full recipe and great photos, head on over to Chocolate Chic.

Until next time, happy baking!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

English Toffee Cookies

It is actually quite embarassing admitting that I have eaten 2/3 of a pan of these goodies on more than one occasion. Usually when i make them though I have help from mom or sisters in devoring the richness. My dear friend Susie gave me this recipe when our family lived with her 3 years ago for a summer. So not only are these super yummy, but I always think of Susie when I eat them so I am of course always happy when I make them. The pictures of these treats doesn't look like much, but you will be surprised at how addictive they are.

English Toffee Cookies

1 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
1 egg yolk
2 c. flour
1 tsp vanilla
Bake for 12 min at 350 (will be pale), add 6 chopped Hershey bars (or two large milk chocolate symphony bars) as soon as they come out of oven. Spread when melted and add chopped nuts (pecans are best, but good with almonds) on top.