Archive | April, 2010

cabinet clean-out cookies

29 Apr

While my mom was out of town for a week I decided not to go grocery shopping. I am always telling her that we have a cabinet full of food that we never eat, which I think is true for most people. So this week when I pulled out my mixer, I decided to tackle some of those cabinet lurkers. There was a box of Cornflakes in my cabinet from Christmas. I know you may think that is quite a long time to keep cereal in a cabinet and that they might’ve been stale, but they were a great cookie component. I googled “cornflake cookies” and found this recipe. If you ever read my blog, you know that I’m always up for a baking experiment and that I hardly ever follow the recipe exactly. In fact, I rarely make the same dessert twice except my Oatberries and that’s just because I get requests or have to bribe someone!

So I had to alter this recipe because I only had 1/2 a stick of butter. Since the recipe called for twice that amount, I subbed I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. I know you may think that is gross but because I mixed the two it turned out fine, better than fine actually! I loved the batter, it was super creamy combined with the cornflake crunch and it was amazing. I really liked this cookie because of the inside crunch. It’s nice to have some texture in a cookie and it was fun to do that with leftover cereal I’d been trying to get rid of. I think these cookies would have been a great milk-dunker, but they were gone too fast to see 🙂

3-minute cocoa cake

29 Apr

If you’ve you ever had a super chocolate craving that you couldn’t tame with any other food, you’ll know how I was feeling last week. The problem – no candy, pudding, chocolate chips or anything of the sort in the house. Except leftover cocoa mix from winter. I wasn’t really in the mood to drink my chocolate, but I recalled reading something about using cocoa mix to make a microwave cake and decided it would be a great time to experiment. My brother and his girlfriend were over and she was ready for some chocolate too so I pulled up a recipe online and tweaked it just like always. The recipe was quick and simple, not much more than the cocoa, flour and egg and oil and 3 minutes later that gooey chocolate batter turned into a cake.

The coolest part of this experiment was that the batter expanded like a marshmallow in the microwave. The sucky part was that it didn’t really taste very good :(. The cake was super dry, thought my brother and I think it might have been because we have a extremely powerful microwave. Either way it was a fun experiment and mixed with a little whipped cream tamed the cocoa-craving.

birthday in booth 10, bribery cookies & boxed brownies

21 Apr

Last week was my birthday – I feel so old! Ok, I know most of you reading this are my age or older, so it’s nothing against being older, 23 just seems like a weird age because it’s a whole 2 years older than 21, but 2 years closer to 25! Either way, I has already baked my own birthday “cake,” so I didn’t need another one, but I had one bought for me from my favorite co-workers! 🙂 They had me come into work on my birthday before I was going out to dinner and brought me to booth 10 where they sang to me and gave me presents, it was a very thoughtful surprise – and a very yummy cake with chocolate buttercream, my favorite.

The next night I went to work and twice my manager asked me where the blueberry cookies were, I told him I’ve only had 2 days off this month and so there wasn’t time for baking. On my way out he jokingly mentioned the cookies again, so I came up with a plan to bake them for him the next morning along with a bribe note to let two of my co-workers off of work Friday night to come to my birthday party. I had my mom drop off the oatberry cookies and apparently he was super embarrassed, I kinda wish I was there to see it! I guess the bribe half worked, one of my co-workers was let out early but ended up having a family thing so she couldn’t make it to the party 😦 but I guess either way he got the cookies he asked for!

Last but DEFINITELY not least, are my yummmmmmmmy boxed brownies. I know, bakers should probably make brownies from scratch but I just can’t beat a boxed brownie, so I never will. I made delicious triple chocolate brownies for my friends who came for my party and they were fantastic. Yum!

my early birthday “cake”

12 Apr

I love cake. I love the different flavor possibilities of base, filling and frosting, and I love the batter. What I don’t love about cake is that it’s a planning process and storage needs. Although I ended up having a lot more time off this weekend then I expected, I still didn’t have the cake baking, planning time needed. I opted to make a cookie cake for my family birthday celebration. I love cookie cakes, they’re super easy and fun, plus the options for putting together and plating are endless. I began with the chocolate chip-oreo cookie base in my recipe section, this cookie was fantastic, and actually much more delicious in the thick cookie cake form. I really wanted to make chocolate chip cookies with Oreos after I read about them a few months ago and the result was really good. Next time I plan to use double stuffed or chocolate cream Oreos, this time I used bite size cookies.

The little Oreo chunks were a fantastic addition to the chocolate chip cookie, plus it was an interesting combo because instead of regular chocolate chips, I chose Hershey’s mini kisses for my cookies.

After I baked these rounds, I softened a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked and spread it in between two 6-inch cookie rounds.

Yum. I love softened ice cream. When you allowed the ice cream to melt for a few minutes, the flavors peak. I really think that is how ice cream is supposed to be eaten. When it’s right out of the freezer, it’s too cold to taste good.

After I “sandwiched” the ice cream in between the cookies, I made a quick ganache topping out of whipping cream and leftover chocolate bunnies from Easter. I let it solidify a bit and topped the creation with the ganache.

I probably could have let the ganache thicken up a little more, but I liked the chocolate and ice cream swirls that formed all over the “cake.” I love pairing the cookie with ice cream because it softens the cookie but still supports the ice cream. If you wanted to fill a regular cake with ice cream, it would have to be a very dense or frozen cake, which is why I’m not really a fan of traditional ice cream cakes. The cake loses it’s flavor and just tastes like “cold.”

But not this “cake,” it was fantastic.

Happy early birthday to me!

Happy Easter – cake balls!

6 Apr

I was so lucky to have Easter Sunday off of work and be able to spend the day with my family, including my fun little niece and nephew. So, to celebrate the holiday, and to thank my co-workers for dealing with my silliness all of the time, I thought it would be a great occasion for cake balls. If you’ve never heard of a cake ball, you are missing out. I first came across these last Mother’s Day, and made red velvet, of course, for my mom. They were amazing and I kept meaning to make another flavor sometime, but I guess I forgot about them.

Cake balls originiated from Bakerella, a great baker/blogger who is super creative. Check out her site to read up about all of the different cake balls and cake pops she’s created.

While I was making these I forgot how long the process actually takes – which might be one of the reasons that I haven’t made them since May. The entire baking/decorating process took from about 10am-2:30pm, but I did take a break to color Easter eggs with my dad. The end result was amazingly delicious, I got marriage proposals at work, our chef ate about four of them, and I was able to celebrate the end of lent at midnight by toasting with my co-worker, Jami, with a fantastic chocolate-covered cake ball! (I made it -all 40 days without giving in to my favorite food ever – chocolate!)

Let me share the cake ball process.

Step #1: Bake your favorite cake in a 9×13 pan. This can be done with a boxed mix, but I hate boxed cakes, I think they’re terribly airy and flavorless. I choose my all-time favorite graham cracker cake recipe for the Easter balls.

Step #2: Prepare one recipe of frosting. Again, you can use store bought, but again I don’t do that, and I used my favorite buttercream frosting recipe and added cocoa powder to make it slightly chocolate.

Step #3: After letting the cake cool, crumble it up and add to a big bowl, mix with entire buttercream recipe. Yep, pretty much ruin that cake you just baked and mix it all up with the frosting.

Step #4: Form the cake/frosting mixture into whatever shape you want, I used my cookie scoop to make the balls, and I actually used two different sizes because the batter made so many! (I ended up with 72!)

Step #5: Freeze the balls for an hour or so, and when that time has passed, melt the chocolate according to the bag/box’s instructions and cover the balls. Then you’re done! You’ll probably want to refrigerate the chocolate covered creations. I actually ended up playing around with the covering and switched between plain chocolate and ganache so I has some consistency differences, but they all tasted and looked delicious.

I hope everyone enjoyed the yummy day – Happy Easter!

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