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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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Bear down with Brownies! And cupcakes and cookies!

13 Dec

December means a whole lot of fun for most people, celebrating holidays, enjoying peppermint mochas at Starbucks and of course devouring desserts. But if you know my brother, it also means the annual BEARS TAILGATE.

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This year was the Ninth Annual Bears Tailgate and it didn’t disappoint, well the Bears disappointed us, because they lost. But the event was still {almost} flawless. I will leave the disastrous defense, misplaced Michelle items, and the unforgettable yet difficult to remember details, out of this post, and instead tell you about the desserts I brought along. Since that is how I get my $10 discount.

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I decided to bring three different items since we were a bus of about 25 people, plus I’m always worried people won’t like things, so I bring multiples.

First up, my new favorite recipe – Bailey’s Brownies. These are pretty simple and ridiculously amazing. All you do is buy your favorite brownie mix and swap the water for Bailey’s. Don’t worry, kids can enjoy them, there’s only a shot or two in the entire box and the alcohol cooks out, but the flavor stays in and is such a complement to the chewy chocolate bites! I also added in chocolate chips to max out on the fun.

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Next, oatberries. Amanda Lee requested my signature cookie that she’d never tasted. She loved them – success.

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Finally I made some graham cracker cupcakes with green vanilla buttercream frosting topped with chocolate marshmallows that were supposed to look like footballs. These weren’t the best things I ever made because some of the bottoms burnt. Embarrassing I know, though I can probably say it was because I used foil cups – whoops, forgot I don’t like to use those.

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Also, the marshmallows were gross and no one knew they were footballs. And you know, there isn’t a 60, 70, 80 or 90 yard line on the football field. Fortunately I realized that one myself the night before the game, so at least I could laugh about my dumbness instead of having someone point it out to me!

As aforementioned, things were lost both physically and mentally, so I don’t know how many cupcakes were actually eaten, though I do know that a certain Termini dropped giardiniera on one of those 40 yardline-rs, so I made him eat that one, and the brownies were gone before kick-off!

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

Testing…Testing

19 Aug

Last week I got a text message, “Why do my chocolate chip cookies always go flat on me?!”

I answered Elizabeth by sharing that the temperature of her butter or over-creaming the butter and sugar was probably the issue, and that lead me to my weekend cookie experiment.

I was in charge of cookies for our 3rd annual Brewers tailgate yesterday and I thought that was the perfect time to do some testing. First though, I had to fulfill a request of oatmeal butterscotch cookies. Thanks, Hershey’s.  (and so sorry for the blur, I may have been too excited to get on to my experiment to stand still)

Then I tackled my experiment. Since chocolate chips cookies are my fave and easily a crowd pleaser, I wasn’t worried about having too many cookies and grabbed two recipes for the weekend. First, the cold butter, puffy cookie, and second a softened butter, chewy cookie.

As the first recipe explains, you begin with chilled butter cut into cubes, much like pie crust, and the batter you create is thick and smooth, but tight, almost like a rough peanut butter.

These are pretty mess-less and easy to make because if you don’t have a cookie scooper or dough disher, you can roll these into balls without being sticky!

For the chewy cookies, look no further than Martha Stewart. I mean, she’s pretty much the cookie queen, right? This recipe was almost identical, except the recipe called for softened, room temperature butter and a deep creaming with the sugar, this dough looks a lot more like a thick cake batter and is prettttttty sticky!

Definitely needed a scooper to help me out here.

For both cookies I used half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate mini kisses, for scientific experiment consistency, of course. Plus, you know I like to mix things up.

The verdict? They were both delicious, but I kinda like the puffy ones better. It might’ve been the cuteness factor. Your thoughts?

“You Made Me Dirt Cake??”

18 Jul

Yes, yes I did, Michael.

My brother got his MBA recently and his fiance decided to reciprocate the surprise party he threw her in early June. Of course, I volunteered to make desserts for the party.

Even though I love making cakes, Michael doesn’t love eating them, but he’s asked me on more than one occasion recently for dirt cake, so that’s what I made!

I decided to put my own spin on dirt cake by adding a brownie base. Gooey chocolate always adds deliciousness to anything.

After the brownie layer I combined crushed Oreos, 4 cups of chocolate fudge pudding, 1 16 ounce of whipped topping,

and topped that with a monstrous amount of crushed Oreos and the most important element, gummy worms!

I found some adorable CONGRATS candles that matched the worms perfectly.

Since dirt cake is a dessert you have to serve, I wanted to make something else for dessert snacking, and went to one of my go-to cookies, Pretzel M&M and Sea Salt.

I mistakenly assumed I had the ingredients in the cabinet for the original recipe, but I ended up doing some great swapping and making a lighter, fluffier cookie.

The original recipe called for 2 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar.

Oops, I had to lessen the flour to 1 1/2 cups, and substituted the final cup with cake flour and a handful of oats. I swapped the brown sugar with granulated sugar which resulted in the lighter colored cookie – still super yummy. I also used mini chocolate chips instead of regular, making the cookies look more choc-ful.

Successful party on Erin’s part, and desserts on mine. Congratulations, Michael!

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.

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