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Forgotten Sweets

27 Feb

I’m sitting at home, sick, well sick-ish. Sick enough that my throat is not allowing me to swallow and I sound like a freak, so definitely too sick to go talk on the radio for two hours today. But not sick enough to sleep all day or just be content watching movies in bed. Also I have no TV in my room.

Getting back on track here. I am well enough to realize that I never did my Christmas post and I’m very behind in dessert writing. Does it matter? No, but I like sharing my desserts, especially during lent when I can’t eat any. So this will be a slew of forgotten sweets. Whoops.

Let’s start with what I referred to as “Fake Christmas.” We celebrated Christmas with my immediate family – all 13 of us – on Michael’s birthday this year because when Christmas is on a Tuesday, things get messy. We were all busy on different days and couldn’t find the right time to exchange gifts, so we had fake Christmas and Michael’s birthday together on the 15th. It worked fine, but hopefully in the future, when Christmas is not on a dumb Tuesday, we will get it together.

I was extremely excited to make this three layer red velvet cake covered in chocolate! I saw it on Pinterest, which is where most of my dessert inspiration comes from these days. It was pretty easy and my nephews were mesmerized by the deep red color, and of course the puddle of chocolate ganache that covered everything. You should absolutely put this on your 2013 holiday baking list.

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Since we were also celebrating my brother’s birthday, I threw together some minty brownies, his favorite flavor combination. I’m not 100% sure but I believe these are my famous Bailey’s brownies with added dark chocolate and mint chips.

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And, to top off the day, I made some Christmas punch. I honestly don’t remember the entire recipe. I think it was raspberry sorbet, orange juice and sprite zero. I left it kid friendly, with the choice to add in some white wine for the rest of us. Madeline and Michael loved it, Michael forgot to put the wine in.

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On to real Christmas! Sugar cookies are a staple for our family. Though my mom debates me on this, I always say that these cookies are the only holiday cookies I remember from my childhood. Whether I’m right or wrong, they are the most important cookie of the season, and the only cookie I can guarantee my mom will help me with, on our scheduled Sugar Cookie Day, of course. At this point, we are pros. We have a huge assortment of cookie cutters and know which ones make the best cookies, though we do attempt to make snowflakes each year despite the high percentage possibility that they will break.

 

 

 

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I slacked off a little this year. I think I only made about 12 different cookies, when I prefer making 18. I know that sounds crazy, but once I cover the handful of cookies that I feel like I have to make each year, I want to experiment with new ones. This December was a little crazy and flew by super fast, so 12 was all I could bake. We all survived.

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I referred to these as pop tart cookies, though the recipe called them french toast cookies. These guys actually really frustrated me because I was trying to do too many things at once and forgot to add cinnamon to the batter, and then we accidentally thought they were sugar cookie dough rolls for a while, but in the end they turned out cute and different, which is always my goal. They were also pretty delicious – and my dad attempted to help me frost them. They were a little big, so I think people were less likely to grab them from the dessert buffet, but I was happy to have them as leftovers. Now I want a pop tart.

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I apologize that I can’t figure out how to flip this mouth-watering coffee cake picture. Good thing you are probably reading this from a lap top or a phone, you can rotate your device. I made this for my mom’s Christmas brunch with her friends, it was also super yummy, pecan cinnamon coffee cake. I do recall this recipe being very strange. I think I ended up mixing more of the dry ingredients in with the wet ones, so be careful with these instructions.

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My FAVORITE christmas dessert is a cranberry bliss bar. These are amazing and were developed to copy a Starbucks dessert. A delicious combination of dried cranberries, white chocolate and cream cheese. I find it so weird that I love these because I’m not a white chocolate fan and I do not like cream cheese. Weird, right? But these are a huge exception to those rules. I love them, so will you, that is all.

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More Bailey’s Brownies. What can I say? They’re really good and everyone needs extra Bailey’s at Christmas.

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Here begins a selection of drop cookies. Traditional Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Raisin, Mint Oreo Chocolate Cookies, (amazing even though I totally messed up the recipe) Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bark, and some sort of layer bar that I think I made from a few bags of leftover stuff. They were also really delicious and while I’m typing this I will try to find the recipes.

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I try to Pin all of the things I make so that I can find them later, success for this one. The bark was not supposed to be giant chunks. This is again what happens to me when I accidentally try to do nine million things at once. But you know what? This was the best tasting thing ever in life, so it’s ok. More odd shaped scraps for me and my dad.

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I adapted this recipe from the leftover things I had on hand: weird tasting chocolate marshmallows, super old coconut and chopped pecans. It was actually really really good. Kind of mushier than I think the crust was supposed to be, but another accidental taste of awesome.

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Dark Chocolate Mint Oreo Cookies. Growing up I never understood why Michael and my friend Stevie liked mint chocolate things so much. I hated them for about 16 years. Finally, I’ve come to my senses and realized the intense satisfaction that comes from mixing them together. Plus this recipe has crushed Oreos in it.

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Oatmeal cinnamon chip (an ingredient you must buy) raisin drop cookies can from the recipe on the cinnamon chip bag. Sometimes that is just the way to go.

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I used the “Mrs. Field’s” Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe I found for Septemberfest for these guys. I think they were better as a giant bar, but still pretty good.

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I made these because I really like Pretzel M&Ms. I didn’t like them as much as my drop cookie recipe, but you live, you eat and you learn.

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Fudge. This is actually another recipe my mom made every year for christmas and I make at least 5… ok 10 times a year. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably had it and you love it too.

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Is it a holiday without Oatberries? These were leftover from my unsuccessful attempt to be on the new CBS baking show. That was frustrating because the “taster” ate about 1/16 of one of these. At least I went to round two, that is my goal with most things in life.

 

 

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I was planning on adding my February desserts to this list but I’m too hungry now, plus it’s lent and I don’t know if I have the willpower to look at brownies any more. I still have 32 days left!

Hopefully you did not give up dessert for lent and since there is more snow on the ground than I’ve seen in two years, you can pretend it’s Christmas. Play some deck the halls and make one of these recipes – let me know how it goes!

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There Were Desserts

8 Nov

the last two months, there just wasn’t typing/writing about them. Why? You may ask? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because I started working on social media campaigns for my job as part-time host of the BIG Radio Shopping Show, maybe it’s because I’m currently spending an hour a day watching General Hospital, or maybe it’s because I just forgot. Oops.

Either way, I’ve definitely been making and eating some deliciousnesses since those amazing jell-o jigglers. 

Here they are.

SEPTEMBERFEST was filled with Nutella Cupcakes

 

Cinnamon Swirl Breakfast Bread

Cute Pancakes including one for Sonny

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

And some of those super fantastic cinnamon brownies!

 

Next up – My sister’s birthday. I threw together some festive fall treats for Marilee’s celebration, and then I double dipped these items for a celebration the next day too, celebrating choosing dresses for my brother’s wedding with the other bridesmaids!

Cinnamon Chip Brown Sugar Drop Cookies

Funfetti Bites

 

And an amazing pumpkin cake with whipped brown sugar cream cheese frosting, which I surprisingly loved.

 

And, of course, Halloween meant some chocolate treats. Halloween Oreos filled brownies. Amazing.

 

Questions? Comments? You know where to find me! Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

Brownie Cookie

14 Jul

There was an accidental inside out Oreo purchase at my house last week, so I needed to figure out something to do with them. I remembered I’d read about pouring batter on cookies and I decided that’s how I would spend last Sunday afternoon.

Step 1: Take whatever cookies you have and lay them in a 9×13 pan lined with foil.

Step 2: Make brownie or cake batter. This part was slightly experimental too because I didn’t have enough oil for the brownies. I subbed a little extra water and room temperature Crisco.

Step 3: Notice how strange it is that there is a STOP sign on the Oreo package.

Step 4: Pour your batter evenly over the cookies.

Step 5: Bake as you would normal brownies (or cake if that’s what you choose to use), and let cool.

Step 6: Cut into pieces and admire your awesome dessert. Then bring them to work.

Pinterest at its best

5 Jul

I love Pinterest. 

I used to be really into Twitter, but then it made me anxious. Yep, I’m admitting it, Twitter makes me anxious because it’s so constant and makes you feel like you need to catch up. Pinterest on the other hand, is a leisurely place to pretend to have a bunch of money to buy awesome shoes, a bunch of time to be crafty, a bunch of energy to be fit and, most importantly, a bunch of ingredients (and people to feed) and be chef-y.

I just realized that all three of the desserts I haven’t posted about were Pinterest inspired, so let’s start with my Father’s Day dessert.

This recipe comes from Willow Bird Baking. My mom found this and pinned it to me. I immediately started salivating and knew it would be on my to-make list. I figured Father’s Day would be a good time to mix cookie dough, chocolate and pretzels, and I was right. I was SO right that Tommy put his cookie dough cubes on his pulled pork sandwich. Some would call this disgusting, but others know it’s pure genius.

The recipe is basically egg-less cookie dough, on a shortbread crust, topped with mini pretzels and melted chocolate. In retrospect, I think I was supposed to use super mini pretzels, because the girl’s picture online looked like bite-size pieces, while mine were handfuls.

I’ve made egg-less cookie dough before and made it into truffles and other delicious desserts, but never used cream cheese in the “batter.” Probably because I don’t like cream cheese, which in turn means that I really didn’t like this dessert. Others did, so I think it was a good recipe, but I’d rather keep cream cheese far away from me at all times.

In her recipe, she talks about doubling what she had written, I did this but actually only brown buttered half and creamed the other half. Also I used regular sized chocolate chips and probably didn’t measure them.

Would I make it again? Absolutely, it was a great idea and super cute, I would just use a different filling recipe.

The bars

17 Jan

No, not those bars – these bars

Sure the holiday season is filled with places to see friends and family and have a martini and a glass of wine, but the most important bars of the season are filled with chunks and globbed with icing. Yum,

This season I made four different christmas bars. The first was way off my regular schedule – I actually made brownies from scratch. I’m a stickler for making cakes and cookies from scratch. I kind of actually hate when someone suggests a box mix. Ew. But, for brownies, they win me over. How couldn’t they? Two minutes until gooey blissful batter that always bakes perfectly. I have yet to find a substitution for my favorite red Betty Crocker box. But, these guys, took a really close second. I would probably say they were amazing brownies, because the taste was fantastic, but it was more of a cake. Still worth making over and over again though! These chunky path brownies are coming back next year. Or sooner.

On the flip aide I made a very different Cinnamon M&M Oatmeal Bar. You know, I have this thing about M&M’s. I love them. A lot. This christmas I saw something I’d never seen before – cinnamon M&M’s. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about them, but since I once had a love-affair with cinnamon chips, I thought it would go well. It did. I threw them into a recipe for oatmeal cookies and bar-red them. Cinnamon, oatmeal, chocolate – obvious success.

Next, for my peanut butter lovers – Peanut Butter Swag Bars. I don’t know who names these things, but I have to give credit to a recipe that everyone loved. Even though I don’t eat PB, so I didn’t love to eat them, I did love to make them. Think of a grown-up rice krispie treat, but much less cereal and much more density. Now add peanuts and peanut butter and you’ve got the swag.

Finally, best for last, intentionally. My holiday favorite, which has appeared at our dessert buffet since I discovered them a few years ago thanks to Lori the RecipeGirl, Cranberry Bliss Bars! I swear the first time I made these there was ginger in the recipe, because I don’t like ginger and negated it the second time. But the recipe I made this year was ginger-free and as delicious as ever. I always surprise myself with how much I love these each year. I am not a white chocolate person and I hate cream cheese, but I guess when they come together they form this amazing combination of white chocolate cream cheese that fulfills every dessert dream I’ve ever had. Make these. Tonight.

And send me some.

Oven testing with Linda’s brownies

14 Oct

I’ve noticed recently that I have so much free time that I’m getting nothing done. That sounds really silly, but it’s true. I’ve put off writing about these two recent desserts because I have all the time in the world to do it. Oh silliness of being bored.

Linda’s birthday was at the beginning of the month and she requested brownies, which was perfect since I’m still unfamiliar with our oven. Her mom always made her gooey chocolate brownies for her birthday, so I was more than happy to make them for her. You all know I’m a boxed brownie girl, sorry homebakers, but it’s true. This time I bought three different kinds for some fun.

Betty Crocker Ultimate Fudge and Mississippi Mud, and then Triple Chocolate Chunk. These were all very different, triple chunk – basic mix and pour, ultimate fudge – mix, pour, cool, frost, and mississippi mud – mix and press crust, mis and pour middle, top with more crust and then bake.

My favorite thing was making them all in different pans, including my mini square muffin pans so that it looks more exciting on my huge pink tray. It was a delicious smelling afternoon in our kitchen! Here are the results – hope you had an awesome celebration, Linda!

Mixer on the Move

16 Sep

I know, I know, late post again, but I’ve been kinda busy . Ok, really busy moving halfway across the country, so I think that’s a pretty good excuse. Now that I’m here, jobless and all my roommates have jobs (which is good, but leaves me bored), I can update!

My mixer has been packed for weeks, but before I sent it away I had to stock up on Septemberfest desserts and cookie bars for my manager at Westwood – for 2 years he’s been asking for peanut M&M cookies and I felt like it was only right to send some his way before leaving.

Aside from those, I popped out a simple chocolate chip cookie (pretty sure the recipe was on the tollhouse bag), a simple brownie bar (box brownies with chocolate chips mixed in), peanut butter fluff cookies and an apple pie coffee cake.

Due to my mess of a life at the moment I have no idea what these recipes are, sorry, but I have pictures and thoughts. Like I said choco-chippers and brownies you can do easily. The apple pie coffee cake bars was basically a yellow cake recipe with layers of pre-made apple pie filling spread in the middle of the batter before cooking and the simplest cookie ever, the peanut butter fluff ones were one cup fluff, one cup pb and an egg – found this one from the great blogger: Iowa Girl Eats.

As for the M&M bars, go to Schaumbug, IL, in my cabinet – which I doubt my mom had time to re-do yet, and find the brown sugar bag. The recipe for brown sugar bars is on it. Make those but sub oatmeal for one cup of the flour, add some cinnamon and toss in peanut M&Ms instead of whatever mix-ins are listed and viola, you have Pete’s cookie bars.

I hope you all had a great labor day weekend – please join in reading about my new LA life on my thoughty blog and get excited, as soon as my stuff arrives I’m revamping Sweet Talk Live to become a budget cocktail show!

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