Tag Archives: baking

Orange and White Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies

These cookies are the perfect summer treat! The tangy orange with the sweet white chocolate is almost like a creamsicle! One of the best things about this recipe is that the orange flavor is all natural so you don’t have any of that funky extract after taste.

These cookies are also so soft and chewy, some people fall either into the crunchy cookie lover category or the chewy lovers. Which one are you? I can go either way!

I brought these to both jobs and only had a few leftover for us to enjoy! My favorite part was opening the tupperware and getting a burst of orange right in the olfactory sense! I just love making treats to share with my friends at work. I have one co-worker who doesn’t really like desserts and now whenever he hears I have treats is right at my desk curiously peeking in the box!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Sticks Salted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • Zest of 2 Oranges
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 16 oz White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350.

In a stand mixer or large bowl beat the butter and sugars together until you have a grainy paste. Add the vanilla, egg, zest, juice, salt and baking soda. Mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Slowly add flour, mix until well combined. Finally add the white chocolate chips and mix for about 30 seconds until well distributed.

On a large baking sheet drop small spoonfuls of cookies I did 5 rows of 4 cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Do not over bake or else the citrus will burn the bottom of the cookie.

Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and finish cooling. Store in a covered container if they last long enough 😉

Feel free to comment below and let me know how yours turned out or if you have any questions.

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Minty Monster Krispie Treats


Who doesn’t love a dessert with a cute monster face? This might be my favorite creepy treat I’ve made this year! Rice Krispie treats are such a classic treat for kids and adults alike! There are so many fun twists and I couldn’t help but come up with one of my own…..mint chocolate treats dipped in chocolate. They are scary good…..and would be a big hit at any Halloween party.

I just love Halloween so much. Ever since I was little I have enjoyed making my own costume or even putting it together, in fact there is only one year that I actually purchased a full on costume to be a pirate wench. This year Levi and I are going as Sheldon and Amy from Big Bang Theory. Should’ve been an easy one to put together right? Wrong!! Who knew that knee length skirts and striped cardigans would be so hard to find?!? After 4 hours of hopping from store to store I only had a button up and tights. I was about to just settle for some stuff in my closet that was close but not quite right, but I had this feeling that I should give Ross one more chance….and BOOM there it was the rest of my costume. YAY!! Let the Halloween shenanigans begin!

And let there be treats!

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 Tbsp Butter
  • 16 oz bag of Marshmellows
  • 3 Cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 3 Cups Cocoa Pebbles cereal
  • 1 cup Mini Chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Andes Mint Pieces

Decorations:

  • 2 Bags Green Candy Melts
  • Candy eyes
  • Mini Reese’s peanut butter cups
  • Black icing in a tube
  • Pink spray mist

In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the marshmallow and stir till completely melted. Remove from heat. Add the cereal and stir until well combined. Mix in chocolate chips and Andes pieces.

Spray a 13 x 9 with cooking spray and press the mixture into the pan. If you want thinner ones you can also use a deep cookie sheet.

Place in the fridge and cool for 15 minutes then cut into desired size squares.

Melt candy melts in a small crockpot, pan on the stove or bowl in the microwave. Quickly dip the treats in the chocolate and lay on a sheet of wax paper sprayed with cooking spray. I used an icing spatula to make the top side as smooth as I could. Add the eyes and the Reese’s while the chocolate is still warm.

Spray on some rosy checks and pipe on a goofy grin with the icing and you are to go!

Have a Happy, Spooky and Safe Halloween everyone!

 Mom’s Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ok I am not sure why my recipes have been so chock full of nostalgia lately, but here is another recipe from my childhood! These are the chocolate chip cookies that I grew up craving. This is probably the reason why I prefer my cookies to be more on the crunchy side rather than soft or chewy.

I feel like when my Mom made these cookies they were way thinner and completely crumbled. Looking at the recipe it calls for margarine….yikes. I used all butter and the texture was still amazing and the flavor so good it makes you flutter your eyelashes and nod your head without even realizing it.


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Does the Family Circle magazine even still exist? I’m not sure but my mom has this old page from 1981 ripped out and photo copied. Isn’t it amazing the progression of technology and lifestyle. 35 years ago magazines, Xerox, index cards and boxes or binders were the equivalent of Pinterest. I cannot imagine trying to do what I do now back then. Now I’m on Pinterest comparing and contrasting 2-3-4 recipes and taking bits and pieces of inspiration and wisdom from them to come up with what I make for dinners and desserts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Butter (slightly softened)
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 Cup Cornflakes
  • 1 Cup Quick Oats
  • 12 Ounces Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until it forms a grainy paste. Beat in the egg, vanilla,  milk, salt and baking soda until it’s well blended.

Slowly alternate adding the flour and oil until completely mixed.

With a spoon stir in the cornflakes, oats and chocolate chips.

Using a cookie scoop or a large spoon form the dough into large balls and place on an un-greased baking sheet. 3 to a row and 4 or 5 rows based on how long your sheet is.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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If you are sharing with your friends and family…be careful! There won’t be any left for you! I hope everyone loves these cookies as much as I do!img_0181-1

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes

So I have been on somewhat of a raspberry lemon baking bender lately! I tried a Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake, a 4 layer cake and these cupcakes! These cupcakes were hands down my favorite experiment! Also my most frustrating. Getting the raspberry curd filling just right was pretty stressful. So let me share the secret…….do not let it boil! If the butter separates, it’s basically over. I learned that one the hard way.

I also learned something new about the baking universe. So I use flavor extracts quite frequently to give my treats a little extra oomph. But the after taste of extracts has really started to bother me and I thought I was just going to have to deal with it. But I was in our specialty cooking store the other day picking up some semolina and I turned around and there was an entire wall of baking flavors and a variety of types of products. There was a little paper with some info about the different types of products. And I discovered emulsions. They are great because they are a water based formula which gives great flavor without the funky taste you get from regular extracts that are alcohol based solutions. Who knew?! So I got a lemon one and a raspberry one and tried these cupcakes again and the result was amazing!

Makes 28 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 1 Box Lemon Cake Mix
  • 1 Package Jello Instant Lemon Pudding
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp  Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

Frosting:

  • 1 Cup Butter, softened
  • 4 oz Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 tsp Lemon Extract or Emulsion
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • If you want to make swirled frosting then add 1/3 cup of Fresh Raspberries and 1/4 tsp Raspberry extract or emulsion to half the frosting

Raspberry Curd Filling:

  • 6-oz  Fresh Raspberries, or you can use frozen if necessary
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients for the cake together in a stand mixer, scraping down the sides to ensure its fully mixed. Pour batter into cupcake liners leaving about 1/4 inch empty at the top. Bake for 20-22 minutes until the cake starts to slightly brown on top. Place pans on a wire rack to cool for at least 10- 15 minutes before filling and frosting.

To make the Raspberry Curd filling

In a medium sauce pan add the raspberries, sugar, butter, lemon juice and salt. Over low-medium heat stir all the ingredients together. As the mixture heats up the berries will start to break down. Make sure you are stirring regularly. Don’t let it come to a boil, just a light simmer. Once the minute is all the same consistency remove from heat and let it cool about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl whisk some eggs together. Very slowly start whisking in the cooled raspberries. Once the raspberries and eggs are completely combined then transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and over medium heat bring to a simmer whisking frequently for about 7-10 minutes until the mixture is thick enough to cost the back of a spoon.

If you are ambitious you can strain the curd to remove the seeds, but I tried this once and it gave me all the stress. So I live with seeds. Let this cool to room temperature and fill the cupcakes. You can either cut out a small pocket in the middle of the cakes and use a spoon or use a pastry bag with a filling attachment. The filling is amazing so don’t be shy! You can also save any leftover curd in a jar in the fridge and use it on toast or pancakes or topping for ice cream!

To make the Frosting:

In a medium bowl beat the butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer until well combined. Beat in the extracts and lemon juice. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time mixing thoroughly.

If you are swirling your frosting, take half the frosting into another bowl and beat in the raspberries and extract. Using a pastry bag and your favorite decorating tip swirl frosting on top of the cupcakes.

You can garnish with some fresh raspberries is desired.

Ok……. I am off the Raspberry Lemonade bender. What should my next obsession be?

1 Hour Homemade Bread

So one of the most difficult things for two people who don’t eat the same thing very often is the possibility of wasting food. Buying whole loaves of bread almost always means throwing part of it away. So the thing I love most about making my own is that I can make loaves big enough for just one dinner and freeze the rest. No waste!

This bread is just wonderful. It’s dense and chewy and is great with spaghetti or anything saucy! It would also make good bread bowls for cream based soup.

Ingredients:

  • 5 1/4 Cups Bread Flour
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 3 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp SAF Instant Yeast. (This yeast doesn’t have to proof on it’s own so it cuts down on prep time. And quite frankly, stress.)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Cups Warm Water (100-115 degrees. This is the temperature needed to activate the yeast)

In a stand mixer, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients. Add the oil and water.  Using a dough hook mix for about 5 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky and pull away from the sides of the bowl.

On a clean surface spray some cooking spray. Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, the consistency will get less sticky and smooth. Divide the dough into as many loaves as your little heart desires. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray and lay out the loaves. In a warm place let the loaves rise for 25 minutes. In the winter I put some boiling water in a dish at the bottom of the oven and let the loaves rise in there.

  

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Use a sharp knife and slash the top of the loaves, go about 1/4 of an inch deep. Bake loaves for 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the cookie sheet immediately and cool on a wire rack.


Check out some more basic recipes on the Cooking 101 page!

Homemade Pie Crust

I was completely intimidated by making my own pie crusts. But it ended up being much easier than I expected and tastes soooo much better than a store bought crust. I am now on the pie train and you can expect to see a lot more of these from me!!

I can’t believe that the first time I tried to do this was ON Thanksgiving day! How ballsy is that?!?!? So we hosted Thanksgiving at my house this year for my parents, due to their extensive remodel.

This was my first time cooking a Thanksgiving meal and I had the Turkey, mashed potatoes and 2 pies!! It was a little bit stressful but ended up being amazing and totally worth it! The food coma lasted all night! We didn’t even wake up before 7 for Black Friday shopping……now that’s kind of crazy.

This recipe makes enough for 1 pie that has a top and bottom crust. Or 2 bottom crust only pies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, diced
  • Cup of ice water

If you are making a savory pie then omit the vanilla and reduce sugar to 1 tsp.

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter cubes. Using a pastry blender cut the butter into the mix until it resembles coarse meal.

  

Add vanilla and 4 Tbsp of ice water. Using your hands start to mix the dough and it will start to come together. If your dough is still really crumbly then add more water 1 Tbsp at a time. Don’t overwork the dough or it will be too tough.

Cut the dough ball in half and flatten it into disks. Wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for an hour.

Once your dough is chilled then you can roll it out on a floured surface. If your pie dish is 9 inches then your rolled dough should be about 14 inches. I rolled the dough around the rolling pin and then unrolled it over the pie dish. Trim the dough so that you have even edges and fold the edge under.  If your pie only has a bottom crust, then use 2 fingers and a knuckle to crimp the dough around the edges.

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Bake according to what your filling requires. If it’s a longer bake, then cover the edges with tin foil to prevent burning.

IMG_3695Click here for a Mixed Berry Pie!

Happy baking everyone!

 

Raspberry Walnut Banana Muffins

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I have recently fallen in love with banana bread again! So here is yet another variation for banana muffins 🙂

I made these for a work bake sale a few months ago and they were a pretty big hit. Levi loves them because they have raspberries!! I love them because they are super easy to make and so yummy a little warmed up with some butter. Yum Yum Yum!!!

They are also good for a picnic! We took some to Bear Lake with my mom and sister. They travel pretty well and are a great beach snack.

I’ve heard that if  you put bananas in the freezer over night and then take them out in the morning then they will thaw and be the perfect consistency for banana bread. Has anyone actually tried this?

Makes 12 Muffins

  • 4 Bananas, very ripe and chilled
  • ⅓ cup Butter, melted
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Brown sugar
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup fresh Raspberries, crush the raspberries and mix in 1/8 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium mixing bowl mash up the bananas with a fork.  Once the bananas are creamy, mix in the butter. Add the sugars, egg, vanilla and lemon extracts. Once these are completely mixed then sprinkle the salt and baking soda on top. Add the flour and mix it all in.

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Put cup liners into a muffin tin. Fill the liners about 2/3 of the way with batter.  Use a spoon to place the crushed raspberries on top and press it into the batter. IMG_3274

Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.

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Remove from the oven. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Finish cooling on a wire rack.

Enjoy!!

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

 

 

Ok friends. Here is my all time favorite cheesecake recipe. This is the first cheesecake I ever made. That was probably in high school. My mom had bought a Mrs. Fields Cookbook and that is basically how I learned to bake. There are so many amazing cookie recipes in there that I was making as a small child for my lemonade stand.

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, but I am so picky about it that I don’t really want most store bought or restaurant cheesecakes.

This recipe is so smooth and creamy and it is definitely rich. It’s not like a New York Cheesecake that will get really tall and fluffy.

I sincerely hope that you love this dessert as much as I do! Happy Baking 🙂
Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 sleeve of chocolate graham crust
  • 1/4 cup softened butter

Filling:

  • 16 oz Cream Cheese- Room temperature
  • 16 oz Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate depending on your preference)
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor grind the graham crackers into crumbs. Add the butter and mix until it’s well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Place in the fridge while mixing the filling.

In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese until it’s smooth. Scrape down the sides occasionally to make sure that you are beating all the cream cheese ( This is important to ensure that your cheesecake is creamy and not lumpy.) 

Beat in the sour cream and sugar. Again, it’s really important to scrape down the sides to make sure that you are getting it all combined.

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes. At this point the batter should be almost like soup.

Using a mixing spoon fold in about half of each of the chocolate chips. Take the crust out of the fridge and pour the batter on top of the crust.

Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top. Place on top of a cookie sheet and place it in the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes. You’ll know that it’s done when the middle barely moves when the pan is giggled.

Once it’s done, turn off the oven and leave it in there for another hour. Remove it from the oven and let it cool on the counter for another 30 minutes. Place it in the fridge and let it cool for 4-5 hours.

And now you have a sure fire crowd pleaser on your hands!! This is really rich and creamy so you don’t need to serve up big slices.

Blueberry Banana Bread

So now that Levi has been promoted and is a busy adult with many important things to do it is time for me to spread my wings. That’s right. I am going to talk to other people!!! I just felt the universal shudder of introverts, did you feel it?

What better way to have some grown up girl bonding time than to bake up a delicious loaf of banana bread! I invited one of my good friends from work over and we had a really nice time baking and talking! Yay!

**Update: I no longer talk to other people outside of work…LOL….oh well. Whatcha gonna do? Make more banana bread! That’s what!

If you like to try different things in your banana bread try out this recipe from a few months ago! Strawberry Almond Banana Bread 

So grab your girlfriend and get baking!


Ingredients:

  • 4 Bananas, very ripe and chilled
  • ⅓ cup Butter, melted
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Brown sugar
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium mixing bowl mash up the bananas with a fork.

Once the bananas are creamy mix in the butter. Add the sugars, egg, vanilla and almond extracts. Once these are completely mixed then sprinkle the salt and baking soda on top. Add the flour and mix it all in.  Add the blueberries. Lightly fold into the batter.

Bake for 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let it cool for about 5 minutes and then run a knife around the edge and flip it upside down and give it a little wiggle until the loaf comes out of the pan.

Can’t you just smell that delicious baked blueberry smell? It’s the best!

Strawberry Almond Banana Bread

Banana bread……doesn’t it just sound like home?!?! Coming home from school and getting a big slice of warm bread with some butter and crashing on the couch to watch some Full House or Saved by the Bell…….mmmmmm. Good times.

And besides the taste, even the smell of the bread when it’s baking is perfection!

So Levi and I have been making lots of smoothies with bananas lately, and when they got a little too ripe it seems like such a waste. That now means it’s Banana Bread Time!!! And of course we couldn’t just make any old Banana bread…we had to use some of those delicious smoothie berries!

If you are getting this super rainy weather like we are I hope this bring some warmth to your rainy days!

  • 4 Bananas, very ripe and chilled
  • ⅓ cup Butter, melted
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Brown sugar
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Strawberries, cubed
  • 1/2 cup Almond slivers

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium mixing bowl mash up the bananas with a fork.  

Once the bananas are creamy mix in the butter. Add the sugars, egg, vanilla and almond extracts. Once these are completely mixed then sprinkle the salt and baking soda on top. Add the flour and mix it all in.  Add the strawberries and almonds. Lightly fold into batter. 

Pour into a 4×8 loaf pan.

Bake for 60 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. If you want it a little more dry take it out of the pan and let it cool on a wire rack. For a super moist bread cool it in the pan.

Slice it up and enjoy!!!