Thursday, May 13, 2010

Operation Baking Gals Round 19

For Round 19 of Operation Baking Gals, I joined Beantown Baker's team who just happened to be sponsoring one of my friend's husbands this round! We all baked for Richard who has been overseas for almost a year now. His tour will be up next month, and he will get to return home to his wife and 2 kids who have missed him terribly!

The first cookies I included this time were Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Quite a mouthful! I found this recipe on Brown Eyed Baker and thought it would work well for the long trip overseas because it makes a thick and moist cookie.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup creamy peanut butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.

4. Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

The next cookies I included were basic cake mix cookies. I made these last week as sandwich cookies with a cream cheese frosting filling and loved them. I thought they would work well for shipping (without the frosting) because they stayed moist for days.

Devil's Food Cake Mix Cookies

1 box Devil's Food cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients well. Use a medium cookie scoop to drop on parchment lined cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Last, I included caramel corn. This stuff is addicting!

Caramel Corn
from Allrecipes

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  3. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

I also filled in all the extra space in my flat rate box with candy and nuts. I hope Richard enjoys!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Operation Baking Gals- Round 17

I joined a great organization this month. It is called Operation Baking GALS. Each month, team leaders sponsor people serving in the military. Everyone who joins the team sends a package including homemade baked goods to a specific person.

I joined Beantown Baker's team this round, and we sent packages to Jesse who is serving in Afghanistan. In my package, I included:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownies
Then I topped the containers with some candy.
Package all ready to be closed and shipped off!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

My dad loves peanut butter cookies, so I decided to make him some this morning. I have had this recipe from Baking Blonde starred since September 2008. I'd say it was about time to make them! I love the addition of powdered sugar for rolling instead of granulated sugar.

Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup powdered sugar (or more as needed for rolling)

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place powdered sugar in shallow bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and peanut butter. Once combined beat in the white sugar, and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

In a large bowl wisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently add to creamed mixture and mix until almost combined.

Chill dough for 10-20 minutes.

Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into balls. Genlty roll the dough balls into powdered sugar and place dough balls on parchment lined baking sheets. Carefully press down on each ball with a glass to flatten tops slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until top is crinkly and edges are set. Cool on sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to baking rack to finish cooling

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hidden Heart Cake

I made this cake from I Am Baker's blog for Valentine's Day. It is supposed to have a hidden heart inside. It was quite the undertaking and the first time I have ever carved a cake. Unfortunately, my heart didn't quite come out in the shape I wanted it to. You can kind of tell it resembles a heart though! Check out hers though... it is amazing! She also has step by step directions to follow if you want to make one. I'll just give the shortened version with my pics here.

First, make a 9x13 pan of red velvet cake. Break it up with a fork and mix in about 1 cup of frosting. Set aside.
Next, make two 2 layer white cakes. Frost in between each layer with white frosting. Put the layer cakes in the freezer for a couple of hours or even overnight.
When the cakes are nice and frozen, use a small bowl to make an outline on the top of each cake. I used a toothpick to make the line.
Next came the hardest part for me. You need to make a pointed well in the center of one layer cake. Mine was too wide at the bottom.
You need to make a well in the second layer cake as well. But this one needs a pointed mound in the middle. Mine was not pointed enough.
Next you fill the wells with the red velvet mixture you made earlier. You should frost around the ring of the bottom layer cake so you know which one needs to go on top. Stack the cakes together with the red velvet meeting in the middle. The cake with the pointed mound in the well will be the top. Frost a crumb coat on the 4 layer cake. Refrigerate or freeze for about 15 minutes.
Then frost the entire cake and smooth. Try to smooth it better than I did!
To decorate, I piped pink borders on the top and bottom of the cake. Then I used cookie cutters to press on the sides of the cake as a stencil.
Then I went over the stencil marks with frosting.
I finished by writing on the top of the cake.

Not quite a heart inside, but you get the idea! Happy Valentine's Day!

Brownie Oreo Trifle

I tried to make this a little healthier by using SF/FF pudding and lite Cool Whip. Who am I kidding? I don't think it makes that big of a difference with the other ingredients!
Brownie Oreo Trifle
1 9x13 pan of brownies
1 box chocolate pudding (small size if using regular, lg size if using SF/FF)
1/2 cup water
1 can sweetened condensed milk
8 oz cool whip
12 oz cool whip
18 oreos, chopped
6 oreos for garnish
Bake brownies as directed. Cool completely and chop into bite size squares.
Combine pudding mix, water, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth. Fold in 8 oz of cool whip until there are no streaks.
Chop 18 Oreos and set aside.
In a trifle bowl, layer half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture, half of the Oreos, and half of the cool whip. Repeat each layer.
Garnish the top with 3 whole Oreos and 6 crushed Oreos with filling taken out.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

These chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes are probably the best thing I have made EVER. I am in love with them. Soooooooooo good if you love the taste of cookie dough.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes
From Hello Baker

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Alton Brown’s “The Chewy”

(Recipe from Alton Brown)

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2-1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

**The dough placed in the cupcakes MUST be frozen in order to produce that nice gooey cookie dough center. You DO NOT want the dough to actually bake into a cookie. Also remember to save some of the dough for your mini chocolate chip cookies to be used as decoration at the end!**

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
  3. Pour the melted butter in the mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

For the dough center: Place dough in the freezer until it is firm enough to be rolled up into nice little balls. Take dough out, roll them into whatever size you desire (mine were probably as large as How To Eat A Cupcake’s) and then place back into freezer until completely frozen (I believe I did this step the night before when I made the dough).

For cookies: Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes

(Recipe from Cupcake Bakeshop. Makes about 12 cupcakes)

  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.
  5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
  6. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
  7. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
  8. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
  9. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
  10. Place previously prepared frozen cookie dough ball (mine were fairly big) into cup liners, then fill about half to three-quarters full of cupcake batter.
  11. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden and the cake springs back when lightly touched. (Testing by using a toothpick would be insufficient because of the gooey cookie dough in the center).

Cookie Dough Frosting

(Recipe from The Cupcake Review. Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes.)

  • 1-3/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Eggless cookie dough (recipe below)
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, unsalted butter, salt, and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.
  2. Add milk and continue mixing until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as necessary. With the mixer running, slowly add remaining 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, mix until well combined.
  3. At this point you can mix in the eggless cookie dough. Mix in enough cookie dough to suit your taste. Any cookie dough leftover you can gladly eat! There are no eggs in it so it is safe. Yum!

Eggless Cookie Dough

(Recipe from How To Eat A Cupcake)

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Cream the butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add water and vanilla and mix well. Add flour and salt and stir to combine. Stir in mini chocolate chips (optional).
  2. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Complete Assembly

This is just a little summary of what you should have done:

  1. Make cookie dough balls and place them in the freezer until ready to be used.
  2. Insert a ball of cookie dough into each cupcake liner before baking.
  3. Mix vanilla buttercream frosting with eggless cookie dough to create cookie dough frosting.
  4. Allow cupcakes to cool, then pipe on cookie dough frosting.
  5. Decorate by sprinkling on mini chocolate chips and topping with a mini chocolate chip cookie.

4 Layer Cookie Bars

I saw this recipe on Picky Palate and wanted to try it. She calls them "The Motherlode Layered Cookie Bars." There are 4 layers of different cookie dough. I found that the peanut butter layer was the strongest taste that came through after baking. Time consuming, but good and very rich!

4 Layer Cookie Bars
From Picky Palate

Layer 1: Sugar Cookie

1 Roll of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Press sugar cookie dough into bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish that’s been lined foil and sprayed with cooking spray.

Layer 2: Double Chocolate Chip Cookie

(the recipe below makes double what you’ll need for the bars, use extra for cookies)

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder)
2 tsps. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla until well combined.

2. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients then stir in chips. Layer 1/2 the recipe over sugar cookie layer, pressing gently.

Layer 3: Peanut Butter Cookie

1 Cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 Cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined. Press over chocolate cookie dough.

Layer 4: Chocolate Chip Cookie

(the recipe below makes double what you’ll need for the bars, use extra for cookies)

2 sticks softened butter

3/4 Cup granulated sugar

3/4 Cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla

2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bag chocolate chips

1. Make sure oven is preheated to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer cream the butter and sugars until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bolw; mix to combine. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips. Spoon 1/2 of the dough evenly over peanut butter cookie dough but don’t press, just leave uneven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until center of dough is cooked mostly through. Edges will be brown. I covered pan with foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.

2. Let cookies cool completely. Lift out of pan with edges of foil. I cut off 1/2 inch edges and just used softer centers, but do as you wish. Edges are crispier. Drizzle top with 1/2 Cup melted chocolate chips if desired.

Oatmeal Pan Cookie

My husband loves oatmeal cookies, but lately I just don't feel like making cookies. Bars are so much easier and faster! So this makes one big giant oatmeal cookie in a 9x13 pan. He actually liked it better than the cookies because they were thick and soft.

Oatmeal Pan Cookie
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick cooking oats
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In another mixing bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla. With an electric mixer at medium speed, beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture to blend. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips; mix well.
  4. Spread batter into baking dish; bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and set.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Trays

This year's Christmas trays included:

Caramel Corn

Caramel Corn


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in 2 large shallow baking dishes or 1 large roasting pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  3. Bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Gingerbread White Chocolate Blondies

Gingerbread White Chocolate Blondies
adapted slightly from Cooking This and That

makes about 24 bars (depending on how you cut them)

2 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 ¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1 ¾ cups white chocolate chips
Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside (I lined my pan with aluminum foil and then sprayed the aluminum foil with cooking spray).

Whisk together flour, soda, salt, and spices in a bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until creamy and pale, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and yolk one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla and molasses and mix on medium speed until combined.

Add flour mixture on low speed until combined. Stir in white chocolate.

Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake until golden around edges and toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan; cut into 24 squares. Blondies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 1 week.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
From Chocolate and Whine

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow cream
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Put the chocolate chips and peanut butter chips in separate, heat-safe bowls.
2. Mix together the marshmallow, milk, butter and sugar over medium heat.
3. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
4. Boil and stir for five minutes.
5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
6. Pour half the mixture into each bowl of chips; stir until melted.
7. Pour melted chocolate into foil-lined 8 by 8 inch pan. Quickly pour the melted peanut butter chips over it.
8. Let cool on the counter.

Work quickly, but safely. And try to divide the marshmallow mixture as evenly as possible.