Tuesday, December 18, 2012

.salted caramel stuffed brownie cookie sandwiches.

phew. the title of this treat is a mouthful in and of itself. an actual mouthful of the cookie? now that is heavenly.

i've been sitting on this recipe. (not literally of course) for months. i actually bought the special ingredients for it back when i was pregnant and just never got around to making it. now that babycakes is 2 months old, it was high time that she start baking with her mama.

wearing her in my sling, we got to work in the kitchen. first, we melted some dangerously dark chocolate with butter to give these cookies that rich brownie flavor. meanwhile, the eggs, vanilla and sugar were set to mix for a solid 15 minutes to achieve the crackling brownie texture.

after finally putting all of the ingredients for the cookie part together and allowing it to firm up some in the fridge, they were ready to make their oven debut. in my opinion, they came out stars!

the filling was as simple as any buttercream frosting concoction is. together with the brownie cookies, this was one sandwich i could surely eat for lunch every day. i promise i won't though. (fingers crossed)

babycakes and i gave most of these yummys away, much to my eye guy's dismay, as little christmas goodies. feel free to keep yours all for yourself. either way, it's jolly.

p.s. thanks, eye guy, for my new blogging machine as my christmas merry. i've missed it. and baking. and this.

salted caramel stuffed cookie sandwiches
recipe thanks to the baker chick
brownie cookie-
12 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon baking powder, sifted

salted caramel creme filling-
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups confectioner sugar
1/4 cup caramel sauce (i found it in the ice cream section)
1/2 tsp sea salt

here's how
1. Place butter in a saucepan over low heat and gently stir until melted. Add 7 oz. of chocolate and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 15 minutes or until pale and creamy. (I know that seems like a lot, but I think that's what makes this cookie's texture.) Add in flour, baking powder, melted chocolate mixture, remaining 5 oz. of chocolate and mix just to combine. (Don't overmix.) Chill batter for 10 minutes, but not more. Dough should still be slightly gooey, but not watery.

3. Spoon 2 tablespoonful of the mixture, onto parchment lined bake sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8–10 minutes or until puffed and cracked. Allow to cool completely on trays before transferring to a wire rack.

Caramel creme filling and assembly:
1. Place softened butter in a bowl and beat until fluffy. Mix in confectioners sugar and salt, add in caramel and beat until smooth and creamy.

2. Spread or pipe the frosting in between two cookies. Sandwich them together, and enjoy!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

.nutella peanut butter swirl cookies.

ok, so i've been on a bit of a nutella kick lately. when i ran across this recipe for peanut butter and nutella cookies, what choice did i have?

i was almost certain it would be punishable by "no cookie" if i didn't make them. so, i took the high road and whipped up a batch.

i was worried about swirling the nutella into the peanut butter dough so that it looked all swirly like. i think i halfway did this right, but may need a little more practice in the future.

these cookies are absolutely the best right out of the oven. they come out soft, warm and D-licious! after they cool, i'm going to be honest with you- they are a little more on the chewy and thin side than i'd like, but that really didn't stop me from eating them.

go ahead and get your peanut butter and nutella swirl on!

nutella peanut butter swirl cookies
from the sisters cafe
what you need
1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temperature
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
heaping 1/3 cup Nutella

what you do
Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla together until smooth. Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to butter mixture. Add Nutella in dollops over the top of the dough. Use a butter knife to swirl the Nutella through the dough. Do not over mix. Chill the dough in fridge for 15 minutes before spooning onto cookie sheet to firm the nutella. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Bake until slightly brown at edges. Let cool a few minutes on cookie sheet before transferring.

Friday, October 5, 2012

.button up.

i saw a cute buttoned pumpkin on pinterest and decided to make my own version.

step one: pick out and buy a pumpkin.

step two: trace out the letters you want on your pumpkin. unless you have a ginormous gourd, i can't imagine fitting much more than your initials or "boo."

step three: preheat your hot glue gun and get your buttons all ready.

step four: begin tracing your letter with about 1 inch strips of hot glue at a time and adding buttons. if you do more glue at once, it will most likely dry before you get to buttoning it up.

step five: finish a letter and admire your craftiness.

step six: finish all letters and admire your craftiness.

step seven: add a bow, don't ya know.

step eight: decorate for the most bootiful holiday of the year!

(ignore the ugly stuff coming out of my planter and focus on the lovely pumpkin instead, pretty please.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

.pumpkin choc chip cookies.

i considered simply writing- "just make these." however, i figured that may come across as bossy or curt. so instead, i'll tell you a little about why you should just make these.

they're good. ok, wait- that's too easy. you start with some simple moves like getting your cream on with some butter and sugars. then, shake shake shake shake shake shake, shake your egg and vanilla in.

mix all those dry ingredients in a separate bowl. this cookie even has a little rolled oats in it for texture. once all your dry goodies are mixed, start adding them to the wet mixture.

alternate with pumpkin and then finish with your chips.

ok, listen, put whatever you want in these cookies. if you don't like white chocolate, fine- put more semi sweet. if you want to do milk chocolate instead, knock yourself out. feeling a little nutty? add some in!

the recipe makes enough cookies to make a whole lotta people happy.

and you want to know another reason why you need to try them out? they'll make you happy. they're tasty, soft and perfect for the fall season.

pumpkin choc chip cookies
makes between 4-5 dozen
what you need
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
a dash of salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

what you do
In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream your softened butter and both sugars until fluffy. Then, beat in one egg and vanilla. Mix for 1 minute.
In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except for pumpkin and choc chips). Whisk together.
Add the dry mixture into your wet mixture, alternating with pumpkin until all combined.
Finish making batter by stirring in both chocolate chips.

In a 350 degree preheated oven, spoon rounds of cookie dough onto an ungreased sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow cookies to dry on wire rack.

Monday, October 1, 2012

.nutella buttercream frosted vanilla cupcakes.

oh pinterest, how you haunt me with all the glorious recipes i need to make. i keep my boards full of "one day..."s and rarely make any of them. not this time. no-this time, i decided to conquer one of my saved recipes and make it a reality!

nutella. buttercream. frosting. go ahead, take a moment.

now, if i'm going to have such an unbelievable frosting as the star of the show, i need a simple platform to let it shine on. enter magnolia's vanilla cupcake.

it hit me as i was making the cupcakes that i have never made a plain ol' vanilla cupcake from scratch. i'm glad i did and i'm glad i used magnolia's recipe to do so.

not only was this cupcake flavored with just the right amount of vanilla, but held a wonderful amount of moisture in every bite. this is most definitely a recipe i'll be using again and again.

the lights start out low. the curtain slowly begins to rise as the house music steadily elevates to an electrifying level. suddenly, the spotlight beams at center stage.

nutella. buttercream. frosting. go ahead, take a moment.

all the texture of regular buttercream with all the taste of nutella. these cupcakes are simply yummy.

vanilla cupcakes
from magnolia bakery

what you need
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

what you do
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 (1/2 cup-12 capacity) muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

nutella buttercream
from kitchen treaty

what you need
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt (up to 1/4 teaspoon, to taste)
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

what you do
In a stand mixer afixed with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and powdered sugar on low until well-blended. Add the Nutella and increase the speed to medium. Beat for two minutes.

Add the vanilla extract and salt and whip for an additional 30 seconds.

Add the whipping cream and beat for about one minute, until the frosting lightens slightly in both color and texture.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

.boo wreath.

you may or may not know by now that halloween is my most absolute favorite holiday. costumes and trickery, sweets and crisp air, imagination running wild...what's not to love? to celebrate decoratively this year, i decided to craft a wreath using a mixture of ideas i've seen all over pinterest.

one of the most common wreath decorating methods, for any holiday or occasion, is to wrap a styrofoam wreath in ribbon. so easy peasy. i went to my local hobby lobby and bought three orange and black ribbons that tickled my fancy.

starting with your hot glue gun a'blazin', adhere your first ribbon to the back of the wreath and begin wrapping. don't worry about covering all of the surface area because you'll be layering other ribbons on top of it. make sure you hot glue the ribbon down here and there along the way.

take your next ribbon and then your next and layer it up! i suggest mixing up your space between wrapping so it has a more random look. don't forget to hot glue along the way to keep the ribbon in place.

when i was finished with my wreath (or at least i thought so), i wasn't entirely pleased. it needed something more in the color department. so, i went back to the store and got one more skinny ribbon to add. ahhh..juuuuust right.

now, the wreath was halloweeny enough at this point, but i wanted to spruce it up a little more. here's how you can too!

take a sheet of scrapbook paper and cut out 3 pennant triangles. i found some cheap cardboard letters to put on each one to spell out BOO! (the exclamation is understood). hot glue your letters to the triangles.

now, take a hole punch and punch out holes. yes, i just wrote that. find some simple string or something more gruesome like the gnarly black one i used to thread the pennants together. hot glue this to your wreath.

laugh your most evil laugh as you look at your finished product with pride.
mu AH ha Ha!