Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mint Chocolate Cookies

Now that baby is here it is fortunate & unfortunate that I like baking again. It has been fun being back in the kitchen and enjoying it too (not too good for dropping the baby weight). I baked these goodies up when we ran out of our year supply of Guittard chocolate chips. I was forced to use what I could scrounge up in my pantry. I happen to have a bag of Nestle dark chocolate chunks and mint chips. I usually don't prefer nestle, but I found them on sale. I used Rach's recipe for her Mint Chocolate Cookies and we were in heaven for a night. Yes, they only lasted a night. They were deep chocolaty and the mint was perfect. They were the perfect amount of soft and crisp. Yum!

Mint Chocolate Cookies

2 ¼ c. flour
½ c. cocoa
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 c. butter soft
1 c. packed brown sugar
¾ c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. mint morsels
1.Combine first 4 ingredients.
2.In a separate bowl combine next 4 ingredients. Beat well.
3.Add eggs, gradually beat in flour mixture.
4.Stir in chips and morsels. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
5.Bake in 375° oven 8-10 minutes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Best Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am pretty loyal to my Big Fat Chocolate Chip cookie recipe, but I thought I would go outside the awesomeness of the Big Fats and try a different recipe. Of course we have all tried a million chocolate chip recipes and some don't work so well and others are steller. I have now made these twice and have been thoroughly delighted each time. These cookies are nice and soft even after they have cooled. The Big Fats are more like a bakery cookie - crisp on the outside & soft on the inside and these ones are smaller and softer all around. I loved them! This doesn't mean they will replace the Big Fats in my life, but another go to amazingly delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe that makes me happy each time I make them.

I found the recipe via pinterest. It was originally posted on the blog Apple a Day

Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookiesbarely adapted from Anna Olson, Food Network Canada

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3. Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
4. Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)
5. Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely. Try not to eat them all

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Birthday Cake

Okay so these pictures are horrible. The battery of course went dead right when I finished the cake. By the time it was recharged it was evening time and so the pics are not great at all. I just snapped a few and he blew out the candles and we ate.

So this little 3 year old wanted a puppy cake. Now that it is done I wish I had made it Red and had it be Clifford, because it looks a lot like Clifford. And once again I made brownies instead of cake. Cake doesn't get eaten around here, but brownies do. Plus I think brownies are actually easier to work with. Less crumbly and more stable.

The next day we had cupcakes with Grandpa & Grandma & Aunts & Uncles. I made pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes, which were steller, and the frosting was delish. It was a cream cheese white chip frosting. Yum!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
From allrecipes w/ adaptations

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 to 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
2.Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Get chocolate chips a bit wet then mix in with flour (this helps them not sink to the bottom). Then mix dry & wet ingredients.
3.Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted a bit from Baking Bites blog

4-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp milk or cream
2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and melted white chocolate. Beat in vanilla and milk, then add in the confectioners’ sugar gradually until the frosting reaches your desired consistency (make it a bit stiffer if you wish to pipe it onto the cupcakes instead of spreading it with a knife).
Spread frosting onto cupcakes with a knife, or transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a wide tip and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TWD-Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet

Happy late-Pioneer Day! Every July 24th, we commemorate the arrival of Brigham Young and the first Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley. It's a big deal here. Parade. Rodeo. Fireworks. Family. Friends. Food. It gives us a reason to celebrate on a hot summer night! Last night we had a lovely evening with neighbors, eating this delicious sorbet and lighting fireworks.

Dorie's Creamy Dark Chocolate Sorbet was the perfect cool dessert on a warm summer night. I actually made the sorbet on Sunday. It came together in a snap and I was able to get it in the fridge before we went to church. Later in the evening I put it in the ice cream maker and then into the freezer. 

I served the sorbet with a Chocolate Crinkle Cookie and fresh strawberries. It was divine. Deep, dark, creamy chocolate. We loved this recipe and I will definitely put it in the keepers along with many other Dorie recipes!

Should you care to give this a try on a hot Summer day (which I'm sure you do), head on over for the recipe at A Whisk and a Spoon

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Birthday Cake Fun

My sweet Miriam had her 5th birthday! I can't believe it. She is such a fun girl. Since Christmas she has been talking about having a rudolph (family) party and cake. I was kind of hoping that by the time May rolled around she might forget, but she did not. We have listened to Christmas music in the car nonstop for months. So I found myself having to make a rudolph cake. I am not the best at creative cakes in general. I am pretty proud of how it turned out. I went google images and just pulled up an image of rudolph from the movie and used it as an outline. She wanted brownies instead of cake. Awesome! Because I don't really love cake and Brownies were much easier to work with.

I made the extra pieces on top out of sugar cookies dough. I just traced the outlines of the ears, eye, and antlers onto the dough. I used a mini york mint for the eye and a red gumball was the perfect solution for the nose. It was a hit. Gone in seconds, because brownies are so much better than cake and so are sugar cookies. All the kids went crazy over the gumballs, so it is good I bought extra. I love that this girl thinks out of the box and is not afraid to follow through. She was teased by her sister for months that she wanted rudolph, but Miriam stuck with it without a care in the world. Love that girl

The hubby had a Birthday too. Just last week. He made it easy on me (so nice since I am 8 months pregnant and still not on a first name basis with my kitchen). He chose key lime pie, which I made, and a costco bought apple pie (awesome, I didn't have to slave over it, bless him).

The key lime pie recipe came from a Betty Crocker Cookbook that we got for a our wedding, I think it is even the Bridal edition (aka: non baking savvy people).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

TWD: Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Muffins

My kids say "a muffin is just an ugly cupcake", but I disagree!! A muffin is so much more... THIS muffin is so much more!! Its rich and dense and chocolatey. Because it isn't so sweet, you can really taste and appreciate the bittersweet chocolate. The flavor is SOOOOO spectacular. I think it really pays to use a high-quality chocolate. Plus, any time you can eat chocolate for breakfast, I'm in!! What? Its legit. Muffins are a breakfast food. They are.

My sweet boy was being so patient waiting for his muffin. We all agreed, it was worth the wait!! It didn't take long though, these came together in a snap!! Next time I may let the kids make them. Thanks Bridget at "The Way The Cookie Crumbles" for this weeks choice!! If you would like to give it a try (and I'm sure you do) click here. :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

TWD-A little late...

This month has been a bit hectic. You would think with Summer and all there would be more time but that hasn't happened yet. I thought one of the other girls had posted already this month, but somehow with one cross-country move and one very pregnant sister things have been a bit unorganized so we didn't have all our ducks in a row. That said, I am going to make the Sour Cream Chocolate Cake Cookies sometime this week. On Friday night I was cleaning the front of my oven with my handy steamer and was trying to get under the glass to get some of the gunk out when the entire piece of glass fell out and shattered all over the floor. Thankfully I was the only person in the kitchen at the time and it only gave me a small cut on the top of my foot. I found a replacement online but can't use my oven until it comes. Ooops! The part should be here tomorrow so my goal is to post but do so a day late.

If you want the recipe now, head on over and check it out here. My review will be coming soon!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TWD-Caramel Pots de Creme

What doesn't sound good about a dessert with the words "caramel" and "creme" in it? I would have been crazy to pass on this one! Funny thing is, I totally forgot that I needed to make it so we had our minimum of 2 posts this month. Things have been busy with the end of school and what not so this afternoon I remembered and got right to it. Thankfully, I had all of the ingredients in the house and didn't have to run to the store. We had whole milk thanks to having a 15-month-old in the house. We had heavy cream thanks to a yummy fruit crisp we had after dinner on Sunday. And, of course, we had plenty of sugar, eggs and vanilla. We keep the pantry well-stocked around here because I can't seem to go more than a few days without getting the baking bug and wanting to make something. It's a good thing we have neighbors who love it when we share our goodies!

I decided to half the recipe so there was enough for sampling but not too much, resulting in overindulgence! The recipe was simple and came together quickly. The most time-consuming part was caramelizing the sugar. I followed Dorie's instructions to use plastic wrap over the top while the custards baked, unfortunately it didn't work very well for me. Maybe my plastic wrap was too cheap? When I removed the pan from the oven, the plastic wrap had split down the middle right between the two holes I had put in it. Thank goodness it didn't melt and ruin the dessert! I pulled off the plastic as soon as it came out.

The pots de crème came out of the oven a bit darker than I thought they were going to be. I wonder if it had something to do with the plastic wrap not really doing it's job? It didn't seem to affect the flavor in a negative way. The custard was creamy and had the a subtle hint of the caramelized sugar. It was delicious!

This is a recipe I would definitely make again when company came for dinner. It was simple, quick and amazingly good. If you are interested in the recipe, which I'm sure you are, head on over to Peggy's blog.

Until our next post! Happy Baking!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

TWD: Brown Sugar Bundt Cake

I am not sure why but this one always caught my eye when flipping through Dorie's book over the last few years. Maybe it is because I LOVE brown sugar. It smells good and as a child I used to sneak spoonfuls or finger fulls of brown sugar whenever it was out on the counter. The best part of making this recipe is that my house smells like brown sugar at it's best. Anyone who walks into my house can smell the sweet aroma. I almost don't want to make dinner, because I don't want to mix beef and cumin in with brown sugar. Maybe we will have to stick with something not as smelly....hmmm pancakes anyone.

This cake uses ground walnuts as part of the dry ingredients and I could not help but add some chopped walnuts to the cake as well. I left out the almond extract and prunes, neither are to my liking. The cake tastes as good as it smells. I may have to give some away tonight. A whole bundt cake will not work well in this house. The hubby is trying to lighten his load to say it best and the kids never like anything that is truly delicious. Who can I bring this to?

Now to figure out my next baking adventure. My 4yr old turns 5 on Saturday and has requested a Rudolph the red nose reindeer cake. She mentioned it at Christmas and I thought I would cross that bridge when it came (hoping she would forget), but here I am trying to figure out how to make a Rudolph cake and I am not the best at making decorative cakes. Wish me luck. If you have any ideas please comment and let me know what you would do.

If you are interested in making this bundt head on over to Pantry Revisited by Peggy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TWD-Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies

When April sent out the email with the April recipes, the name of these little cookies caught my attention. I don't know why but I'm glad they did. They were a snap to put together. I didn't roll them out in a sheet as the recipe suggests, instead I rolled them into a log and then cut them before baking. The sweet, lemony smell was divine. As I write this they are cooling upstairs. I'm not sure if I will get to tasting these tonight or if it will have to wait until tomorrow. With Easter I am a bit sugared out and as lovely as these smell, and I'm sure taste, I just don't have it in me to eat anything else sweet!

If you are interested in the full recipe, head on over to Valerie's blog.

Happy Baking!
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

TWD: Chocolate Ice Cream Tart

One day Late:

I finally got this done. It took a lot for me to get this done. Between kid craft projects, play dates, playing at the park, and cleaning up after EVERYONE I got this done. It isn't pretty, but it is pretty good. I was a little disappointed that the edges of my crust got a little darker than I wanted. I probably should have covered the crust in tin foil as well as the base. I thought the crust would be hard, but when I tasted it, it was fine.

The original recipe was for Coffee ice cream. I don't love the coffee flavor, but of course I do love chocolate. After I had already made the crust I had a stroke of genius and thought it would be amazing with a butter pecan ice cream and replace the almonds in the crust with pecans. Seriously I have got to try that. I love the salty sweet taste of butter pecan icecream.

If you are interested in the recipe head on over to Domestice Deep Thought of the Day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TWD: Pecan Powder Puffs

We have all had these, I promise. Surely on a plate of Christmas goodies from a neighbor, a church function, or even a wedding. There is a reason we have all had them, they are delicious!

This was my first time making them and I was pleased at the ease I had throwing them together. What an easy make for such a delicious treat. My mother in law makes these, but in a crescent shape. They are beautiful. I am sure we established long ago that I am not a baker that easily makes the end result beautiful, but I can make it delicious. Since we knew what to expect with the taste I did change things up a bit just for fun. I covered half the cookies in powdered sugar per the recipe and then of course I can't make a treat without throwing some chocolate into the mix. I dipped the other half in chocolate. After tasting them my husbands comment was, "Why didn't you cover the whole thing in chocolate, this is good." So we were fans of the chocolate. Surprisingly so my kids liked the powdered sugar version better and I think I did too, but they were both delicious and I found myself popping one into my whenever I walked by. Yum!

My little gal always likes to make her presence in my pictures. Funny girl!

I think what makes these cookies so amazing is the amount of butter as well as the ground pecans mixed in as part of the base of the cookie. Pecans are such a sweet and soft nut packed full of flavor. You just can't go wrong.

If you want to give these beauties a try you can visit Buttercream Barbie for the recipe.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Buttermilk Oat Pancakes & Buttermilk Syrup

These are our most favorite pancakes. I serve breakfast for dinner at least every other week around here and sometimes I even serve breakfast for breakfast. I know I am kind of a lazy mom and do cereal most mornings in order to get kids off to school and such. But sometimes I will make a double batch of these one morning and put them in the fridge and my kids have pancakes everyday (score!).

Two of my biggest issues with pancakes and well most breakfast food is 1 there are not enough good whole grains and 2 sugar. I don't like to start my kids and myself off with a big heaping amount of sugar. So this recipe certainly solves problem number one. It uses oats and wheat flour and very little oil and buttermilk as actually pretty good for you. It doesn't solve problem number 2 with the sugar intake. Every kid/adult loves syrup, right? Well we started about 4 years ago serving yogurt on our pancakes. Some do call us weird (uhum...Liz), but it makes me feel a little better about what is going in their mouths (let's get this straight, I am not perfect, we still have honey nut cheerios and frosted mini wheat's on the off days). I am not such a horrible mom that my kids never experience syrup on pancakes, they can have syrup on their last one if they want and lucky me sometimes they don't.

I found this recipe in our a church cookbook that was made last year on using oats.

Buttermilk Oat Pancakes

1 c rolled oats
1 c buttermilk
1 c wheat flour *see note at bottom
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c water
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons oil

Combine oats and buttermilk, let stand 15 min. Add flour, sugar, baking
powder, baking soda, and salt to oat buttermilk mixture. Mix together the water, egg, maple syrup, and oil. Add wet ingredients to flour/Oat mixture. Stir until blended. You can add more milk or water for consistency Pour on hot
griddle. (I use a 1/3 c batter to pour on griddle).

I 1 1/2 x or 2x this recipe for a family of 2 adults and 3 kids.

*note - with the flour, if I have wheat flour that has been ground from white wheat kernels I do the whole amount with wheat flour. If I only have wheat flour ground from red kernels I add either half or 3/4 wheat flour and half or 1/4 white flour. The taste and texture are just a little more doable for kids this way.

And after my spiel about sugary syrup if you are looking for an amazing syrup for your pancakes try this. Liz sent me the recipe and here is what she said about it.

Here's one more reason to buy buttermilk! I've been out of regular syrup and so I whipped this up this morning and I don't know if Mike will go back to Mrs. Butterworth!

Buttermilk Syrup
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, and baking soda. Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TWD-Citrus Sunshine Muffins

Citrus Sunshine Muffins...sounds like Summer in a muffin to me! Winter has been LONG and COLD here in Utah and I am ready for some sunshine and warmer weather. Spring is definitely on the horizon but it doesn't seem like we've had very many days that make me believe it!

I made these goodies last night so my family could have them for breakfast this morning. I always have good intentions not to do the cold cereal thing for breakfast, but when you are trying to get 5 kids out the door to get kids to school it just isn't doable for me right now. I didn't have any currants but I did have some fresh blackberries so I added those to the batter. (You can see a little bit of blackberry in the front muffin.) The citrus smell was so fresh. I loved it! They smelled wonderful as they baked.

This morning I warmed them up and served them with a little butter. They were a huge hit. A big enough hit that my kids asked for more when they came home from school. I think we have a winner!

Check out the recipe on Bella Baker.

Until next week! Happy Baking!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

TWD: Corniest Corn Muffins

I loved these corn muffins! They came together quickly and were so delicious! I always love when muffins have buttermilk in them, you just can't go wrong. They're moist and flavorful and I can't wait to make them when corn is in season and I can use fresh corn.

My boys each at two and my big boy ate three at dinner tonight. Check out Jill's blog for the recipe!

Monday, March 7, 2011

TWD: Chocolate Pots de Creme

In my mind, I have this dream that I'm like Ina Garten in the Barefoot Contessa and my dear friends come to my home to see what my next ingenius culinary creation will be. Then, we all sit around the table and enjoy the delights that emerged from my brilliant kitchen while we laugh and engage in extremely intelligent conversation. Then somebody spills the milk and one of the kids announces their extreme protest to the meal placed before them and I'm snapped instantly back to reality.

But last night, I got to live a little part of that dream. We had our sweet friends over and we had an actual conversation and minimal complaints from the kids as they were strategically placed in the other room at the "kids table".

The Chocolate Pots de Creme were the perfect finish to such a fun night!! They are so rich and creamy and amazingly delicious, better than most restaurant desserts!! Its definitely a new favorite at our house! Great pick Black Cat Cooking!! For the recipe, click here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

TWD-Toasted Almond Scones

When we were discussing who would do which recipe this month, both Lizzie and April said this recipe sounded like a Whitney recipe. I completely agree. I love all things almond, especially almond flavored sweets. I also enjoy a good scone so this recipe seemed to have all the makings of a fabulous, keeper recipe.

They came together quickly, weren't too messy, and smelled wonderful baking in the oven. The texture was tender. In the end I was a little disappointed in the lack of the almond extract flavor. The toasted almonds overpowered everything else. I will make them again but will use more almond extract. I enjoyed mine warm with some butter and some homemade peach jam that I canned this past Summer. It was delish! My kids enjoyed them as an after-school snack.

If you want to give the Toasted Almond Scones a try, Mike at Living Out West has the full recipe. Until next week...

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TWD: Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

These were a surprisingly delicious make. They came together quickly (which I love these days) and they were very enticing. I think the first pan of a new recipe of cookies are always an experiment. After pulling out the first batch from the oven and finding them flat and crispy (still yummy though) I decided to make the cookies smaller than the tablespoon recommended. More like a large teaspoon and I lessened the baking time to 10 min. They were perfect. Still thin (however that is how I think they are supposed to be) but very chewy and rich rich rich. I loved the hint of cinnamon. The kids gobbled up their portions and asked for more. These were a scrumptious treat.

I thought it would be fun to include this picture. Sometimes I think the blogging world looks a little too perfect and unreal. Beautiful and the pictures and creative stories are amazing (not mine really, but others). I think most lives are not really that perfect and here is the proof. Who doesn't need a blue sparkly seahorse gracing their pictures? I do, always! So my lovelies think!

If you want to make these rich little chocolaty cookies you can visit Caroline and Claire of the blog Bake with Us. Happy Baking!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TWD: Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

I've been gone from Celestial Confections through the holidays and it's nice to be back. I LOVE lemon and these muffins were a perfect treat. I made them a couple of years ago and they were dry, I must have done something wrong. I made them again and I must have done something right! They were moist, yummy, lemony and devoured by all! They came together quickly and the glaze on top was perfect! Sorry for the lack of pictures, but check out A Cup of Sweetness for complete recipe and pictures.

A more interesting post next time...I promise.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

TWD- Midnight Crackle Cookies

For the 3rd Anniversary of Tuedsays With Dorie, Laurie (who started this all), picked Midnight Crackle Cookies. These were wonderful little cookies! They came together in a snap and were enjoyed warm, out of the oven with a tall glass of cold milk. A little crispy on the outside and nice and chewy on the inside. I will definitely make these again and want to try the variation with ginger. Thank you Laurie for the great pick and for starting this great group. We started about 9 months into the group and have loved baking along every month and look forward to finishing this great book.
Happy Baking!!
Posted by Picasa