Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread Popcorn

I've seen this recipe on Culinary in the Desert three years in a row. It always looks so good, but I had never gotten around to trying it. Finally I decided to bite the bullet and make it. This popcorn is very flavorful. I loved it!

Gingerbread Popcorn

15 cups popped popcorn

1 cup butter

2 cups packed brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup corn syrup

1 Tbs ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 250.

Line two 9x13 pans with foil and coat with cooking spray. Fill each with 7 1/2 cups of popcorn.

Combine butter, brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a large, heavy bottom sauce pan. Heat over medium until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add baking soda. Pour over popcorn and toss to coat.

Bake at 250 for 1 hour, carefully stirring the mixture every 15 minutes. Cool completely.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

It's offically Fall which means time for lots of pumpkin treats! I couldn't find canned pumpkin at my two usual grocery stores until this week, so I've been saving recipes like crazy. Now it's time to make some of them. These are the perfect fall cookie- pumpkin and cream cheese frosting. Such a great pair. The cookies are very, very moist and almost like a dense cake.
Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup unsalted butter; softened
2 cups white sugar
2 cups canned pumpkin (solid; not pie mix)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
Cream shortening, butter, white sugar and pumpkin. Add eggs and mix well.
Sift together the baking soda, ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, salt and flour. Add to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
Drop from 1/4 cup cookie scoop to cookie sheet. Bake 13-15 minutes at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cream Cheese Icing
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (extract will also work)
1 Tablespoon milk
Mix the cream cheese with the butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and milk in a bowl. Frost and smooth with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Add sprinkles as desired.

Chewy Sugar Cookies

My original intent was to make these sugar cookies and roll them in orange sugar to be festive for October, but I couldn't find any orange sugar in my baking cabinet. They still came out pretty though. They are similar to the chewy Pepperidge Farm cookies, but they aren't quite as thick. I try not to eat much sugar, but I've already had 4 of these. That's how good they are!
Chewy Sugar Cookies
Adapted from Bunny's Warm Oven (I omitted the lemon)

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar for rolling cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pumpkin Blossom Cookies

I couldn't resist making these cookies because they were so cute! They were very moist and tasty, but I wasn't a huge fan of the kisses on top. The cookies would be just as good without them. But they do make for such a fun presentation for fall.

Pumpkin Blossom Cookies
Recipe from Imperrfections

4 TBS butter, softened
3/4 C vegetable oil
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 C pumpkin puree
3 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 (11 oz) bag Hershey's Candy Corn Kisses, FROZEN
extra white sugar for rolling the cookies

Preheat oven to to 350 F.Unwrap 40 candy kisses and place in a bowl and put in the freezer (because these candies are mostly oil and sugar, if not frozen then they melt into a puddle super fast when placed on a hot cookie).

Cream together the butter, oil, and sugars then stir in the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin. Add the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix until completely combined then stick in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up the dough.

Using your hands, quickly roll into large teaspoon sized balls and roll each cookie in a small bowl of sugar (if the dough starts to get too warm, place in the freezer for 5 minutes). Place sugar-rolled dough balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-12 minutes.

As soon as they are out of the oven, press a Candy Corn Kiss into the center of each cookie, move to a cooling rack, and place in the freezer for several minutes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Apple Bars

We went apple picking over the weekend, so I have lots of apples sitting in my kitchen. I've been saving recipes all week in my Google Reader and can't wait to try some of them out. Here's the first one that I made this morning. The recipe came from Gourmet Mom on the Go, but she called them Apple Brownies. I didn't think they were much like brownies because they had a cake like consistency. No matter what you call them, they are tasty!

Apple Bars
Recipe from Gourmet Mom on the Go

1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 C. flour
1 tsp. Baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
3 large or 4 small apples, peeled and diced
granulated sugar (for sprinkling on top after baking)
Caramel Ice Cream topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Choose your pan size: either a 9 x 13 pan, two pie pans, or a pie pan and four mini-loaf pans. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and apples. Mix well.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar.

Look what we baked!

Sorry for not posting very often lately. Here's what we finished baking on 7/21/09...

More posts coming soon as I get back into the kitchen!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Believe it or not, I have made this cake 3 times now. Yet I have no pictures!!! You can click on the link below the recipe to see pictures from 3 B's. It is a very easy recipe, but everyone loves it. The cinnamon swirl and the glaze on top really make it. I will be making this any time I need something easy for a brunch.

Cinnamon Roll Cake
(Recipe courtesy of 3 B's)

Yellow Cake Mix
4 eggs
¾ cup oil
1 cup sour cream

Mix above ingredients by hand and pour in 13 x 9 greased baking pan.

1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

Mix and pour over cake batter. Swirl into batter with knife.

Bake @ 325 for 40 minutes. (Mine was done in 35 minutes.) Let cake cool 10 – 15 minutes before icing.

2 cups powdered sugar
4 tbsp milk

Pour over warm cake.

M&M Cookies

A friend posted a link to these M&M cookies over on Taste Buds. They are very similar to M&M cookies you might find in a bakery. Kids would love them! There is no butter in the recipe- only shortening and vegetable oil. This makes for a very crisp but still a little chewy cookie.

M&M Cookies
(Recipe courtesy of Taste Buds)

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup veg/canola oil
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
2 cups m&m's

Combine first 5 ingredients and cream about 2 min. Add vegetable oil & mix well. Sift dry ingredients together and add to dough; mixing just until combined. Fold in m&m's. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 min.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

I've been trying to recreate a brownie I've gotten at a local Dairy. I think this one comes pretty close. Everyone who has had one so far has said they are great!

Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
Peanut butter and chocolate layers borrowed from Sunday Baker

Brownie Layer:
1 Betty Crocker 9x13 family size box brownie mix
Ingredients called for on the box

Peanut Butter Layer:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Layer:
7 oz. semi-sweet chocolate-can use chocolate chips
1/2 stick unsalted butter

Chopped Reese's peanut butter cups, frozen

Preheat oven to 350. Bake brownies as directed on box. Cool completely.

Using electric mixer, beat peanut butter and 1/2 stick butter in medium bowl to blend. Beat in powdered sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Then add milk and vanilla. Spread frosting over cooled brownies. Put into fridge for an hour or two to cool and set this layer.

Chop frozen peanut butter cups into small pieces. Set aside while you melt the chocolate layer.

Melt 7 oz. chocolate and 1/2 stick butter in microwave until smooth. Spread chocolate ganache over the cooled peanut butter, smoothing as you go. Sprinkle frozen peanut butter cups over the chocolate. Press in to set.

Chill until set, about 1 1/2 hours. Cover and keep chilled.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Gooey Butter Cake

I've made Paula Deen's pumpkin gooey butter cake before, but this time I thought I would try one of the variations. They are so good! Very, very moist.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Gooey Butter Cake
(Recipe from Paula Deen)

1 (18 1/4-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup peanut butter
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well. Spread peanut butter mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Peep Bunny Smores

Although these weren't baked, they will be once people take them home! I made these for my co-workers and some friends for Easter. I got the idea from a friend on a message board last year. I wanted to make them last year, but it turns out April is not the right time of year to find canning jars (at least in most stores). So I bought the jars last summer, and they have been sitting in my garage just waiting for Easter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

You can always count on Julia at Dozen Flours for great recipes related to snickerdoodles. When I saw her recipe for Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake, I knew I had to try it. The coating of cinnamon sugar on the cake turns nice and crispy in the oven. The inside is nothing close to dry though- it's very moist and tender. I couldn't even wait until the cake was completely cool before going for my piece. So good!

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake
(recipe copied straight from Dozen Flours)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup white sugar

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Mix together really well and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325F. Here's the exact way I made the crust: Using a spray product like Pam with Flour, generously spray a 9 inch Bundt pan, being careful to cover all the nooks and cranies, as well as the center tube. (Note: If you don't want to use Pam with Flour, you can just grease the pan with shortening.) Gently dust the entire inside of the pan with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. You should only need about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar, but you want to try and evenly coat the inside surface of the pan, including the tube. Save the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture and set everything aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Beat just the butter on medium speed for one full minute. Add the white sugar and mix for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and blade and add the brown sugar.Mix for 2 minutes until the mixture looks light brown and uniform in color. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each for 1 full minute. Stir in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream; beat well. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture over top the cake. Spread the rest of the batter into the pan and sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the top. (If you run out of cinnamon sugar, you can mix just 1/4 cup of sugar + 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon together for the top of the cake. It should be more than enough.)

Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Stuffin' Egg Muffins

I've been looking for an easy on the go breakfast. Too often I stop and go through a drive thru. I feel better in the morning when I have some protein, so I thought these would be good. The recipe comes from the Kraft website.

Stuffin' Egg Muffins

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
12 eggs
3 Tbsp. OSCAR MAYER Real Bacon Bits
1/2 cup KRAFT Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheese

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package, omitting stand time. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Press 1/4 cup stuffing firmly onto bottom and up sides of 12 muffin cups, forming about 1/4-inch rim around top of cup.

CRACK 1 egg into each stuffing cup. Sprinkle with bacon bits and cheese.

BAKE 20 min. or until yolks are set. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sugar Cookie Bars

These sugar cookie bars are much easier than rolling out sugar cookie dough and using cookie cutters. You just press the dough in a jelly roll pan and bake away!

Sugar Cookie Bars
1 cup butter; room temp.
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add vanilla & mix well.
In a separate bowl combine flour, salt & soda & stir with a whisk to combine. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased baking sheet (use a 13 x 18 pan). Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely and frost.
1/2 cup butter; room temp
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
food coloring (if desired)
For frosting combine butter and shortening until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined, then add milk & mix until smooth and spreading consistency. Spread over cooled cookie.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Marie's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend Marie makes the best chocolate chip cookies that I have ever had. They are big, tall cookies that are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Everyone raves about them. I have tried to duplicate them many, many times over the years. But they would never come out just right.

Finally, one day Marie came to my house and made the cookies in my kitchen. I thought for sure they wouldn't come out since I had followed the exact same recipe using my oven with no luck, but lo and behold they were perfect!
It turns out Marie's secret is to place one rack very low in the oven and one rack very high in the oven. She bakes each pan for 6 minutes on the top rack and then the bottom rack. Who knew that the rack positions could make such a huge difference? Not me!

Marie's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from the Tollhouse Cookie recipe)

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter into 24 balls. A large cookie scoop works great for this. Roll the balls in your hand until they are round. Place on a baking sheet.

Position one rack very low in your oven. Position one rack very high in your oven. Place the cookie sheet on the top rack and bake for 6 minutes. Move the cookie sheet to the bottom rack and bake for 6 additional minutes.

Let cool and enjoy!

Outrageous Oreo Crunch Brownies

I've been away because I've just been too sick to bake. Nothing too serious... just morning sickness! We are so excited!

Many thanks to eat me, delicious for this delicious brownie recipe. She halved the original recipe to make it fit in a 9x13 pan.

Outrageous Oreo Crunch Brownies

2 sticks (1 cup) butter

1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

3 eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules

1 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups chopped Oreo cookies (25 cookies)

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9"x13" baking pan.In a heatproof medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, heat butter, chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, coffee, vanilla and sugar. Blend chocolate mixture into egg mixture; cool to room temperature.In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture.

In a small bowl, stir Oreos and remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Add Oreo mixture to chocolate mixture. Pour batter into baking pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula.

Bake 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 3 inches from center comes out clean; do not overbake. Allow to cool. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, until cold; cut into squares.