Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Double Chocolate or Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

I've had a hankering for chocolate chocolate cookies for some time now. This recipe from Allrecipes.com seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Then, when I went to the cupboard to grab the chips, a bag of Reese's peanut butter chips caught my eye. On impulse, rather than adding chocolate chips, I added the Reese's. It yielded a fantastic outcome! Chocolatey-peanutty goodness! I used a handmixer for the liquid, then stirred in the rest. Next time, I may use my stand mixer as it was extremely difficult to mix in the chips.

Unfortunately, I neglected to take pictures before packing them up to ship to my husband's coworkers in Afghanistan (and devouring them). Here's the stock picture from Allrecipes. Imagine a similar-looking cookie but with peanut butter chips.

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (or other flavored)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 48 cookies

Friday, January 13, 2012

Libby's Pumpkin Pie

Happy Friday! One of the benefits of living on the East Coast again is its proximity to everything. Yes, Chicago is a travel hub, but somehow I never went east. Thus, this weekend we're going up to NYC for the first time in nearly four years. It'll be a relatively quick trip even though Monday's a holiday for MLK day but our schedule's jammed pack. Anyway, onto today's recipe. As I was going through my camera, I noticed a few pictures that I'd never posted on my blog. This one is of the pumpkin pie I made this past Thanksgiving. I used the recipe from the back of the Libby's canned pumpkin which is a family favorite. What I didn't know, since I don't eat pumpkin things, is that I was supposed to omit the cloves and ginger because they're a bit overpowering. But my family was super nice about it and ate it anyway. Actually, a certain person ate half a pie, so it must not have been too bad.

Libby's Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (we omit)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (we omit)
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie mix)
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell (here's my dough recipe)

Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cinnamon Muffin Rolls

I'd been wanting to try this recipe from the Baker Chick ever since I woke up with a craving for cinnamon rolls while staying at my in-laws home last month. However, there just never seemed enough time (and apparently some pantries lack what I consider staples). Once I finally tried this recipe, visually these muffin/rolls did not disappoint. Taste-wise, I found them doughy and a little tough. However, I may have cut them too thick, which is why I'm posting this recipe and just may try them again. Plus, my husband ate at least 5-6! They also can be whipped up in about 30-45 minutes, which you obviously can't do with a yeast dough. Alternatively, I may try this recipe instead. Here's the recipe I tried:

Cinnamon Muffin Rolls

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3 cups flour plus more for dusting

2 tbsp. butter, room temperature (another tbs or two would probably help)
2/3 cups brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp. milk or cream

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Whisk together the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla and egg into a mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk. . Add the flour. Stir until thoroughly combined - do not over mix!

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two. Roll the dough into a 12-inch by 24-inch rectangle. Using a rubber spatula, spread with butter. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Roll the dough into a log and stretch slightly. Cut into two-inch pieces (next time I'd go with 1-1.5") and put the pieces into a greased muffin pan or muffin liners.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes, and then remove from the muffin tins.

Drizzle with icing when cool.

Makes 8-12 muffin rolls.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas Card #8

I'll have to check my camera, but I think this may be the last of the Christmas cards I made this year. Since I had to get a good 3-4 dozen made by the week before Christmas, I made multiples of each one. I even had a few left over for next year. I did finish my thank you notes over the weekend, so I'll try post that design soon. This one was made using the Christmas tree from Create a Critter (without the goofy face) and a border from Winter Frolic. The distressing didn't go perfectly, but such is life.


Papertray ink cardstock and ribbon
Recollections Glitter cardstock
Create a Critter, Winter Frolic cartridges
DCWV Holiday Collection Paper Stack - 2009 (bought online at Joann's this year)
Scrappy Mom's Stamps - Winter Wishes
Ek Success punch
misc holiday lights

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Happy New Year, everyone! Yes, I know the new year rolled in nearly two weeks ago, but at least it's still January. Since we've returned from our Chicago/Disney World trip, I haven't tried too many new recipes, making a lot of familiar dishes such as my buttermilk oven-fried chicken, grilled flank steak, black bean and rice burritos, pizza, and pasta to name a few.

I have, however, found time for a bit of baking, including a new bread recipe and two new muffins recipes. Here's the first new recipe which was a hit. I found it on the Skinny Mom's Kitchen and made it just as directed, except I used skim milk instead of 1% and added a handful of walnuts. If for some reason you do not wish to make these healthy-ish, the apple sauce may be replaced in whole or in part by oil.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

1 cup whole wheat Flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup applesauce
1 cup finely chopped apples
1/2 c walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.

Separately, mix together eggs, brown sugar, milk, and applesauce.

Slowing combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix.

Fold in apples and nuts.

Spray muffin pan with cooking spray or use muffin liners. Fill muffin cups about three-fourths full. Bake 15 – 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Card #7

I think my favorite cartridge this holiday season was the Winter Frolic cartridge. When I bought it last year, I envisioned making layouts and did make a cute little mini album. (Opps, just looked back and never photographed it. Next time I dig out my holiday albums, I'll try to correct that.) Anyway, I haven't made any full-size layouts but I have made a number of cute, super-simple cards like this little mouse.



Papertray ink cardstock
Winter Frolic cartridge
DCWV Holiday Collection Paper Stack - 2009 (bought online at Joann's this year)
misc brads

Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Card #6

Well, I finally broke down and bought the Just Because cartridge. I think it was that little red wagon on the box that drew me in or perhaps it was this little gingerbread man.


Papertay ink cardstock
Recollections Glitter cardstock
Just Because Cards Cricut Cartridge
DCWV Holiday Collection Paper Stack - 2009 (bought online at Joann's this year)
Scrappy Mom's - Winter Wishes stamp set
Peachy Keen stamps - Snow Cutie Faces
EK Success Large Journal Plate & Bracket Punch
Vintage Photo Distress Ink
misc ribbon

One final look--not the best lighting

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas Card #5

Here's another 2011 holiday card using the Winter Frolic cartridge. The glitter cardstock is ordinary Recollections of Paper Company (either Joann or Michaels house paper), but really dresses up the card I think. The tag/scallop mat is a shape found on many cartridges. I had cut it as a snow background for another card, then never used it. When putting this collection of cards together it worked nicely, particularly after running it through my Cuttlebug.




Papertray ink cardstock
Winter Frolic cartridge
DCWV Holiday Collection Paper Stack - 2009 (bought online at Joann's this year)
"Crystal ice" Cuttlebug embossing folder
My Pink Stamper - Winter Punnies stamps set

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas Card #4

Okay, I know the first week of January's gone, but life is finally seeming to balance out. Or rather, I'm not running around chasing Disney characters, traveling, or otherwise just plain exhausted. I do have a backlog of work to do, but everything will come in time. Here's another Christmas card I made, this time using the old-faithful cartridge: Create a Critter. Please ignore the tape that's peeking out. Rest assured, I did my best to fix that before popping it in the mail.



Papertray ink cardstock and ribbon
Create a Critter cartridge
DCWV Holiday Collection Paper Stack - 2009 (bought online at Joann's this year)
EK Success tag punch
Mr. Cricut Crazy - Christmas Christmas stamps