Monday, January 23, 2012

Homemade Oreo Cookies

I will let you in on a little secret about me. I know alot about copying and printing. Why? I worked at Kinkos for four years. After my mission toRomania until a few months after Ben was born you could find me me in the blue apron full time. I am left with strange knowledge about how to unjam a machine, how to create a stapled booklet on a copyer, and how to blow up an image 400%. BUT...the biggest contribution Kinkos gave me was this recipe. One day, a fellow coworker, brought in these delights. My tastebuds were singing. Ohhh....soft chocolate-y goodness! After seeing the reaction from the guys there, I begged her for the recipe. I was still single and needing some delicious cookie recipes to make me a little more beautiful in the eyes of a young man. Mindy, if you are out there.... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. These truly are my hubby's favorite cookie on my holiday gift plate each year. His favorite way to eat them is with the frosting edges rolled in crushed candy cane. YUM!

But, you can roll them in sprinkles or crushed cookie crumbs. Use your imagination and make these your own. My sister in law, Emily, loved the softness of these cookies, but isn't a chocoholic, so she tried it with lemon cake mix. They were almost as yummy as the chocolate. Experiment and see the way you like them the most. And let me know what you try and works...

Here is the original recipe my Kinkos coworker gave me...

Homemade Oreo Cookies
Source: Mindy

2 boxes devils food cake mix
4 eggs
1 Cup Crisco
1 Container Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (*see note)

Mix first 3 ingredients in your mixer. This batter will be super think. Almost like bread dough. So thick I broke 2 hand mixers with this recipe and Paul went out and bought me my kitchenaid. Once the dough is well combined, roll into 1 inch balls for small cookies, bigger for larger cookies. Experiment and see what size you like. Bake at 350 degrees till cookie starts to look cracked on top. In my oven the perfect time is 9 min. Cool completely, frost, and sandwich together.

* You all know my feelings on frosting from a container...YUCK-O. However, this is the one exception for me for some reason. The container frosting just works for this cookie. That being said, I have used homemade cream cheese frosting and it is FANTABULOUS!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Still Alive!

No, this cake didn't take a month to make....just a month to post. The design is very simple, I am still not the most creative person, just a good copier of the geniuses out there. Thank you Pinterest! It was a double layer chocolate cake with marshmallow fondant over the top. I used a Christmas tree cookie cutters to do the trees, and then outlined and detailed with royal icing. It was for a church activity. They didn't know that I had included a little surprise with this order. Whoever finds the little piece of paper is the winner! (Embarrassing)

Our family Christmas was legend "wait for it" ary. During which I discovered the glories of How I Met Your Mother. Which, if you have watched, you will understand my "wait for it" joke. think I am a nut. It was legendary for our family because my littlest sister got engaged. SO FUN! Lots of planning and girl talk and remembering this exciting time in my own life. Congrats Sis!

Then I returned filled with goals and resolutions for the new year. I started a cleaning/ organizing/purging kick here at my house that has taken up every free second of my time and my hubbies. Every day I am adding to his "to do" list. He comes home at the end of the day, helps get kids to bed, and then marks stuff off of it, only to find more in its place the next day. Bless him! And...after three weeks of pushing our selves, our house is looking WAY better. Now, closets aren't falling in on us, the garage has work space, there is room for new Christmas toys, etc. Back to regular life again...which means....baking again. Good for my mental stability not good for my healthy resolutions. Oh well, one thing at a time, right?!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Past

Baking makes me happy. Saturday was spent listening to Christmas tunes and baking thirty Christmas plates for neighbors, clients, and church friends. It was a BLAST!! Most dread such things, not me. Guess I am in the right bizness. I have a few new Christmassy recipes I am dying to try, but there is nothing like the good old classics you make and look forward to year after year. I thought I would share some of them with you. Try some yourself or order some today...I am still taking orders! Here are some ideas starting with my five favorites and then listed randomly after that

1. Sugar Cookies

2. Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies

3. Eggnog Bundt Cake

4. Licorice Caramels

5. Oreo Truffles

Gingerbread Waffles


Lion House Rolls

Chocolate Dipped Orange Slices

English Toffee

Marshmellow Fudge

Sugar Cookie Truffles

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cranberry Crumb Muffins

It is December! Time for oranges, cranberries, gingerbread, cinnamon, mmm... I LOVE it!!! Time for baking and listening to Amy Grant sing about the season. We put our tree up on Black Friday, are down shopping, will have Christmas cards out this week, and am baking and delivering my holiday cookie plates this Saturday. I think it will be about 30 this year. Not to bad. Going to make all my favorites toffee, fudge, sugar cookies, peanut butter kiss cookies, and one of Paul's favorites homemade oreo sandwiches rolled in crushed candy canes. I have been experimenting with cranberry muffin recipes. One was cranberry upside down muffins. One was a cranberry orange combination, and one was a cran-apple combo. These were my favorite and they were probably the healthier version. Next, I am going to try fresh cranberries in my waffles. Yummy! I will let you know how that turns out. Speaking of waffles, last year we tried these gingerbread waffles that were yummy...don't forget to try them this season.

Lemon Cranberry Muffins
Source: Eating Well

Put the following ingredients in your cart:

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
3 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal,
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (thawed), coarsely chopped

Put your apron on and get bakin'...

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.

In your mixer combine 1/2 cup sugar, yogurt, oil, egg, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients. Gently fold in cranberries.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and remaining l teaspoon lemon zest in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the tops of the muffins.

Bake the muffins about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Salted Pumpkin Caramels- Our New Thanksgiving Delight

Every now and then, a holiday screams for a little something new to tease your tate buds. Something straying from the norm pie choices and family favorites. For our Thanksgiving day, these homemade salted pumpkin caramels were just the ticket. Same ol' fall flavors remixed into creamy, bite-sized melt in your mouth caramels.

I think I will make these for every Thanksgiving feast.

I have made caramels mutiple times. This was the easiest recipe as of yet. Follow the instructions and there is no messing this up. I can say this confidently because if there was a way to mess these up, I would have done it!

Salted Pumpkin Caramels
Source: Food 52
Makes 64, 1-inch caramels

2/3 cup unsalted pepitos (pumpkin seeds) (I didn't use these)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cups light corn syrup
1/3 cup good maple syrup
1/4 cup of water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in chunks
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel (sea salt)

Dry toast the pepitos in a skillet until they start to pop. (I skipped this part) Line the bottom and the sides of an 8-in square glass pan with parchment. Butter the parchment on the sides of the pan. I didn't have parchment, I used wax paper and it worked just fine. Evenly spread out the toasted pepitos on the bottom of the pan, on top of the parchment.

In a saucepan, combine heavy cream, pumpkin puree and spices. Get this mixture quite warm, but not boiling. Set aside. In a second heavy bottomed pan, with sides at least 4 inches high, combine the sugar, both syrups and water. Stir until the sugars are melted, Then let it boil until it reaches 244 degrees (the soft ball point on a candy thermometer). Then very carefully add the cream and pumpkin mixture, and slowly bring this mixture to 240 degrees on a on a candy thermometer. This can take awhile -- like 30 minutes -- but don't leave the kitchen, watch it carefully and stir it more frequently once it hits 230 degrees to keep it from burning at the bottom of the pan. As soon as it reaches the 240, pull it off the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice. Stir vigorously so that butter is fully incorporated.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Let cool 30 minutes and sprinkle the salt over the top. Let the caramels fully set (at least 2 hours) before using a hot knife to cut them into 1-inch squares and wrapping them individually in waxed paper.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

Well...the holidays are among us! Are you ready? I am going to get my Christmas cards printed this week. Last year I had my card sent out by the end of November. Let me tell you....this ROCKED in December when I was soooo busy with bakery orders. It felt great to have 90% of the shopping done and the cards sent before December even rang in. Especially since we are always in Utah the week before Christmas, December is a short month! But...bring it on...order away...I am ready for ya Christmas!I have, as always, been baking lately. We had company in town...twice. I introduced my parents to the wonders of pistachio cake. And got my brother in law Jared addicted to these sugar cookies. And my sister in law taught me her tips and recipes for homemade chocolates...YUM! I will share with you soon. In the meantime, here is one of our favorites!

Just looking at this picture makes me want to go bake a batch of these bad boys. These are probably my favorite peanut butter/chocolate recipe (with these cupcakes in a close second). My brother in law Ross LOVES chocolate and peanut butter. Val, you better make these for him...SOON! I got this recipe from my all time favorite blog, The Girl Who Ate Everything. Not only does she have the BEST recipes, but she is a really humorous writer and I actually read her posts...every one.

Peanut Butter Truffles

Brownie Base:
1 box (1 lb 6.5 oz) Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 13×9-inch pan. For easier cutting and prettier looking bars, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan.

In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, pouch of chocolate syrup, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan. Bake 28 to 30 minutes until it passes the toothpick/fork test. Cool completely, about 1 hour. I always speed this up by sticking the pan in the fridge or the freezer.

In medium bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.

In small microwavable bowl, microwave topping ingredients uncovered on High 30 to 60 seconds; stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes; spread over filling. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set. Store covered in refrigerator. (I take it out or the fridge about 15 minutes before serving. This allows the chocolate on top to soften a little)

Monday, October 24, 2011

CUTE Spider Cookies

One of my fav. customers requested spider cookies. Her daughter plays lacrosse for a college whose mascot is the spiders. We found these cookies from the decorated cookie and they were perfect. One problem...she and I seeaarcheed the internet. (seeaarcheed means we devoured the internet for many hours) Yet we could not find this cookie cutter. In fact, we couldn't find a cute spider cookie cutter no matter how hard we tried. They all had fangs, or were a strange angle of a spider. I was prepare to free hand cut out each cookie when I had a thought...there has to be some way to make a simple cookie cutter. Oh...there is. Check this out! Paul had me this great shape in under 30 minutes for the grand total of $0. (we had all the supplies needed in our garage!) Paul actually had fun doing this project and told me never to buy another cookie cutter again. Check out the tutorial and give it a swirl!

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