Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Pomegranate, Chocolate Chip Cookies

In cookies, Dessert on February 22, 2011 at 1:24 am

Today was a GREAT cookies day! And I was able to uphold two of my New Year’s resolutions! The first was making a semi-healthy treat, of course I say that based on the fact that there was pomegranate in the cookies. I also took this recipe from a blog, Sargent Choice. The recipe was originally for Chocolate Cherry Cookies, but since I like pomegranate better, I thought I would substitute.  This was a quick and easy recipe with a delicious result that I will definitely be trying again, perhaps with different dried fruits. Let’s take a look at the ingredients:

Ingredients

First, I placed the dried pomegranate in a pot on the stove, then I added HOT water from the tap, until they were covered. I let them soak while I made the rest of the dough. I started with the dry ingredients, combining the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and blending them with a whisk.

Dry Ingredients

Once all the dry ingredients were combined, I melted the butter in the microwave and stirred it in, as well as the egg and vanilla extract using a hand mixer. After all the ingredients had been thoroughly blended together, I folded in the chocolate chips.

Dough

Then I folded in the dried pomegranate, once I had drained the water.

Pomegranate

Then I used a tablespoon to drop the dough on a cookie sheet.

Ready for the Oven

Once the oven was finished preheating to 350°F, I put the cookies into bake for 10 minutes. The cookies turned out soft and in my book slightly ‘healthy’ well as healthy as a cookie can be.

Cookies

I will definitely be making these quick and easy cookies again, and probably change it up with some different dried fruits. Hope you enjoy them as much as I am!

Bon Appetit!

Valentine’s Day Bark

In Dessert on February 14, 2011 at 8:48 am

Nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like a chocolate treat. With the stores full of everything from chocolate roses to heart shaped boxes of chocolate candies, I thought I would take a cue from them and make a chocolate Valentine’s Day treat for my co-workers. Since I had enjoyed working with chocolate so much when I made the Black and White Cookies last week, I looked for a recipe that would allow me a bit of a challenge versus just a traditional chocolate chip cookie (though there is nothing wrong with a chocolate chip cookies). I stumbled upon this recipe for Valentine’s Day Bark while surfing the Internet looking for Valentine’s Day recipes. I naturally altered it a little bit by using:

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 ounces of red heart-shaped cinnamon candies

First, I preheated the oven to 200°F. While the oven warmed up I spread a sheet of wax paper over the bottom of a cookie sheet. I then poured the chocolate chips evenly over the cookie sheet.

24 Ounces of Chocolate Chips

Once the oven was done preheating I placed the chocolate chips in to melt for about 10 minutes, I checked them every few minutes to see how quickly they were melting.

Melted Chocolate

I sprinkled the red heart-shaped cinnamon candies evenly over the melted chocolate while it was still warm, then put it in the refrigerator to cool and harden.

Ready for the Refrigerator

Once the chocolate had cooled and hardened I broke it into pieces and placed it in tupperware to bring into work. I left it in the refrigerator, since my apartment gets warm and I didn’t want the chocolate to melt. Hope you enjoy this Valentine’s Day treat as much as I do and that everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day Bark

Bon Appetit!

Black and White Cookies

In Dessert on February 11, 2011 at 10:57 am

Delicious, classic cookie with a holiday twist! I received this recipe as part of an email recipe exchange that one of my friends got me involved in. Of course black and white isn’t very Valentine’s Day-esk so I made them into black and red cookies, all I had to do was add a little food coloring. This simple recipe was easy to follow, but working with the chocolate took a fair amount of time so these are not the quickest cookies to make. They are however totally worth the time commitment. Let’s look at the ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (light) cream
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 (18 ounces) package sugar cookie dough

Ingredients

I decided to make the dough from a package of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix, but I’m sure frozen dough would work just as well. I started by following the directions on the sugar cookie package to make the sugar cookie dough. Butter, an egg and the mix combined in a large mixing bowl.

Sugar Cookie Mix

Once the dough was completely mixed I added a lot of red food coloring, until it was completely red. Next, I poured the cream into a small pot on the stove and slowly heated it until it was warm (about 3 minutes on medium).

Warm Cream

Once the cream was warm I added the chocolate and mixed until it was completely melted.

Melting Chocolate

I then poured the chocolate into a small bowl and placed it in the refrigerator until it was cool enough to work with (about 2 hours).

Chocolate

Waiting for the chocolate to cool was the most time consuming aspect of making these cookies. But once the chocolate cooled it was smooth sailing. I started working with it by using a teaspoon to make small balls of it that would later be placed in the center of the cookies. There was enough chocolate to make close to 30 cookies.

Chocolate for the Cookies

I then separated the cookie dough into tablespoon size balls, which also yielded close to 30 servings.

Red Cookie Dough

Once everything was prepped, I poured the sugar into an empty pie pan, and set to work on the cookies. First, I pressed the chocolate into the center of the red cookie dough and smoothed the edges, then I rolled the cookies in the sugar and placed them on a cookie sheet to bake.

Cookie

The dough was then baked at 350°F for 10 minutes.

Right out of the Oven

The result was a delicious Valentine’s Day treat that I am hoping my co-workers enjoy. This was a fun twist on the classic black and white cookie that I may turn to for another holiday. I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do!

Bon Appetit!

Happy Valentine's Day

Lemon Bars

In Dessert on February 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Nothing quite like a fresh, light, summery dessert in the middle of winter. This one was definitely a delightful birthday treat for one of my co-workers. This recipe proves that birthdays are not just about cake and cupcakes! As I mentioned in my resolutions post, I’ve decided to try some recipes from different cooking blogs. I got this one from Recipes for Marilyfe As We Know It, which I will definitely be coming back to for more  tasty treat recipes. I followed this recipe for Lemon Bars to the letter. Let’s start with the ingredients:

Ingredients

I started by melting the butter in the microwave and then combining it with the sifted flour and the confectioner’s sugar in a large mixing bowl to make the crust.

Lemon Bar Crust

Once all the ingredients for the crust were combined I pressed the mixture into a 9 x 9 inch pan, and baked at 350°F for 15 minutes. While the crust was baking I mixed together the sugar, flour and baking powder in a large mixing bowl, and added the eggs one at a time while mixing the ingredients together.

Lemon Filling

I then added the lemon juice, lemon peel and salt. When the crust was done baking I poured the entire mixture over the steaming crust.

Ready for the Oven

This was then baked for 30 minutes at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Out of the Oven

I prefer my lemon bars cold, so once this treat came out of the oven I covered it and put it in the freezer overnight. In the morning I transported them to work, and put them in the freezer there. When we broke them out to celebrate my co-worker’s birthday that afternoon there were some issues getting a knife through them, but we were very determined. This dessert was a big hit with my office and I would definitely make it again. I loved that I had all the ingredients except the lemon already and that it was quick and easy enough to make after I got home from a long day at work. This recipe is a definite must. Give it a try, and as always…

Bon Appetit!

Gingerbread Cookies

In cookies, Dessert on December 12, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Nothing says Christmas cookies quite like gingerbread cookies. I like mine on a snowy afternoon, with a good book, some hot tea, and a roaring fire; if I would be perched by a window too, that would be IDEAL. Barring my PERFECT situation, I like my gingerbread cookies with a nice mug of hot tea. My sister likes to have hers with some hot chocolate, and my dad likes to eat them leaning over their Tupperware container with a glass of milk handy. How do you like to eat yours? I decided to make these using Betty Crocker’s Gingerbread Cutouts recipe. This recipes calls for:

Ingredients

First, I used a hand mixer to beat the sugar, butter (I melted it in the microwave first), and molasses in a large mixing bowl.

Butter, Molasses, and Sugar

Next, I beat in the egg and water.

Adding the Egg and Water

I then added the baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, ground cardamom, and ground cloves, and used the hand mixer to beat the mixture smooth.

Spices

Finally, I added the flour a cup at a time. This made it easier to use the hand mixer to combine it, and also cut back on the flour flying all over my kitchen. Lesson learned.

Flour

Once the dough was completely mixed, I wrapped it in plastic wrap, and refrigerated it for about 2 hours, or until it was firm.

Ready for the Refrigerator

Once the dough had firmed up. I rolled one third of it out on a floured surface at a time. The cookies were about 1/8th of an inch thick, and I used gingerbread boy and girl cookie cutters.

Ready for the Oven

Once the cutouts were on the cookies sheets I baked them at 350°F for 5 minutes. I made sure the oven was preheated before I put them in! Another lesson learned. The cookies expanded as they baked, so make sure to give them room to do so, otherwise your gingerbread boys and girls will be holding hands. 🙂

Right out of the Oven

Once I was done I had my very own gingerbread cookie army.

Gingerbread Cookie Army

I enjoyed these, well one or two of them with a hot cup of tea, and was thrilled. This recipe is a holiday MUST. I hope you enjoy them as much as I plan to.

Bon Appetit!

Poinsettia Cookies

In cookies, Dessert on December 11, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Well, I was able to redeem my cookie making skills with this DELICIOUS recipe. I feel a lot better about myself, and my oven now. My friend Annie introduced me to this recipe last Christmas, but she did all the work, so I felt the need to try it out myself this season. The recipe was one that she had cut out of a newspaper, and while normally that isn’t how I find my recipes this one was just too delicious to pass up. I started by tracking down all the ingredients:

Ingredients

First, I melted the butter in the microwave. I then combined it with the confectioner’ sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Sugar and Butter

Once the sugar and butter were mixed thoroughly with a hand mixer, I added the egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract.

With the Egg and Extracts

Once these were all combined using the hand mixer, I added the salt.

Salt

Last, I added the flour, half a cup at a time so it would be easier to mix using the hand mixer.

Flour

Once, this was all combined, I had the dough I need to put in the refrigerator until it became firm. I split the dough in half and wrapped each half in plastic. The dough then chilled for about an hour.

Ready for the Refrigerator

Once the dough was chilled I removed it one half at a time. I rolled the dough out on a floured surface until it was about an 1/8th of an inch thick. I then used a circular cookie cutter to begin shaping each cookie. The cookies are delicate so I relocated them to a cookies sheet before I did any further shaping.

Dough Circles

I then made four cuts almost to the center of the circle, so that they were divided into quarters. I then folded alternating corners of the triangles these cuts made into the center. Once these cuts were made the cookies were ready to go into the oven.

Ready for the Oven

I then put the cookies in a THOROUGHLY preheated oven at a temperature of 350°F, and baked for 8 minutes.

Right Out of the Oven

This recipe yielded 2 and a half dozen DELICIOUS cookies. I am so excited about these, and the fact that it appears my oven and I are back in sync. This a definite MUST recipe for the holiday season. The cookies can also be decorate with red sprinkles or other decorations to make them a little more Poinsettia-esk, but I LOVED them as is. Let me know if they work out as well for you, because they are a definite…

MMMMM, Cookies

Bon Appetit!

Snickerdoodles

In cookies, Dessert on December 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I’ve always been told that baking cookies is an art form, and either you’re good at it, or you aren’t. I have most fortunately always been good at it. This is probably why I have always enjoyed the Christmas season so much, LOTS of cookies baking! Sadly, the first 2 batches of these were not as successful as I have usually enjoyed my cookies to be. 😦 More on that later though.

I used Betty Crocker’s Holiday Snickerdoodle recipe for this. The recipe called for:

Ingredients!

These cookies are SUPER easy, because once you have all the ingredients together you need to only combine the cookie mix, flour, butter, and egg in a large bowl. I also like the cinnamon and sugar for my Snickerdoodles mixed into the dough, so I also added the sugar and cinnamon to this combination.

Dough

If you prefer, then once you have combined the cookie mix, flour, butter, and egg in a large bowl to make the dough, you can combine the cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl. In this case you would create tablespoon size balls and roll them in the cinnamon and sugar mixture before placing them on a cookie sheet to bake.

In my case since my dough already had the cinnamon and sugar in it I made the tablespoon size balls and plopped them right on the cookies sheet. They then went into the oven for about 10 minutes at 375°F.

Ready for the Oven

Here’s where I ran into my problem. I didn’t preheat my oven long enough for the first batch, so they were a little small, and didn’t bake properly. I thought it was me, so I left the second batch in a little longer, and also made them a bit smaller. This resulted in burned, tiny cookies.

burned, little hockey pucks

My third batch, was much better, sadly it was also my last, as this recipe only yields about 3 dozen cookies. I made the cookies a little larger, about tablespoon size, and cooked them for 10 minutes. By this time my oven was heating evenly and the size of the cookies was much better.

Successful Cookies

Needless to say this was not my most successful cookie adventure, but in the end I finished with 12 delicious cookies! Not the most impressive showing ever.

Cookies

At least I know better for next time, and I also know that I need to not bake when I am exhausted from my last week of classes. Another day another lesson learned. I hope all of you have more luck than I did with this wonderful recipe.

Bon Appetit!

Merry Chocolate Chip Cookies

In cookies, Dessert on November 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

::cue music:: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ::cut music::

In my family the Christmas season starts very promptly after Thanksgiving dinner when we all sit down, and watch White Christmas. Then we eat the delicious desserts that make Thanksgiving even better. I’m a little bit of a Christmas season junkie, so many, many years ago it was deemed that I cannot start playing Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving, so I consider this to be the OFFICIAL start of my holiday season. So once again, ::cue music:: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ::cut music::.

One of my favorite parts of this most wonderful time of the year is the immense amount of cookies that I bake during this time of year. Nothing inspires the Christmas spirit, like baking Christmas Cookies. Not even finals can ruin my mood, when I can blare Christmas music and my entire apartment smells like cookies. Though I have to admit studying for my Comprehensive exam is trying very hard to ruin my Christmas cheer. But anyway, I decided to kick-off this season with some Merry Chocolate Chip Cookies. It’s a Betty Crocker recipe, which should tell you right off that bat that these are some AMAZING cookies. I started by getting all the ingredients together.

Just the ingredients bring me happiness. I started by combining the butter, shortening, sugar, light brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl, using a hand mixer. I beat these ingredients together until the mixture was smooth.

Sugars, Vanilla, Eggs, Butter, and Shortening

Next, I added the salt, baking soda, and 2 cups of flour to the mixture. Again, I used the hand mixer to beat the ingredients until they were smooth. I then added the last 2-1/4 cups of flour, and combined it using the hand mixer. As I added more flour the mixture became more difficult to use the hand mixer on, so in the end I needed to use a spatula to complete the mixing.

Dough

Once this was complete I added the chocolate chips, and ‘got my hands dirty’ making sure they were thoroughly distributed throughout the dough.

Chocolate Chips

Next, came the m&m’s, which I also used my hands to distribute through the dough.

M&M's

Now it was on to the cookie sheets, I used a heaping teaspoon of the dough for each cookie, and ended up with 125, slightly larger than bite-size cookies.

Ready for the Oven

The cookies baked for 7 minutes at 375°F.

Out of the Oven

First, off I LOVE these cookies. Second, I REALLY LOVE the fact that these cookies are bite-size. I also LOVE that they are so soft. The fact that they are so delicious and bite-size make them a little dangerous, but I believe that since it’s the holiday season, calories don’t count!

Lots of Cookies

What are your favorite kinds of holiday cookies?

Stay tuned for a few more of mine! In the meantime…

Bon Appétit!

Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

In Dessert on November 9, 2010 at 8:00 am

Pumpkin Pie!

Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a Pumpkin Pie. And in my house, growing-up nothing said Thanksgiving quite like a Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie! The GREAT thing about this recipe is that it is right on the can, but here are the ingredients:

Here’s the other part about this that I LOVE. You combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, eggs, pumpkin, and evaporated milk in a large bowl. So easy to just pour all the ingredients into a bowl and use a hand mixer to blend them all together.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

This makes 2 pies, so then I used a ladle to evenly distribute the mixture between the 2 pie crusts.

Ready for the Oven

The crusts will be VERY full, so be careful when you go to place them in the oven, which is preheated to 425°F. The pie is then CAREFULLY placed into the center of the oven and bakes at 425°F for 15 minutes. Then the oven gets turned down to 350°F, and the pie bakes for an additional 40-50 minutes (mine took 65). The pie is ready when you can place a knife in the center and it comes out clean.

One Done! One Ready for the Oven!

The best way to eat these yummy pies in my opinion is to then place them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until they call. I prefer my pumpkin pie cold, it just seems more natural to me. But in a pinch you can also serve the pie hot. Whip cream is a nice topper too!

I also prefer to serve the pies cold, because then I can bake them the night before Thanksgiving, because let’s be honest, the oven is a pretty busy place on Thanksgiving Day! DO NOT freeze the pies however, because that will cause the filling to separate from the crust, and no one wants to loose a perfectly good pumpkin pie.

mmmmmmm...PIE!

This simple dessert is must have on any Thanksgiving Day table, and for that matter in the weeks leading up to it. So take some time and give the pies a try, while you stay tuned for my next holiday side dish!

2 Pies Out of the Oven!

In the meantime…

Bon Appetit!

Thanksgiving Day Feast Practice

In Appetizers, Breakfast, Dessert, Entrees, Side Dishes on November 4, 2010 at 8:22 am

Hello Fellow Foodies!

Welcome to the MOST Foodelicious Time of the Year!

As I’m sure those of you that have been following my blog have noticed I’ve been creating some VERY seasonal dishes, well this month is going to be no different! I have decided to step up my game and instead of sitting on the couch with various members of my family on Thanksgiving Day indulging in some very athletic and parade oriented entertainment, while my mother mans the kitchen, I am going to help out. Now, we all know I don’t like to do anything on a small scale, so in order to do all this right, I’m going to need to practice.

For me, Thanksgiving Day practice is going to consist of a series of desserts, appetizers, side dishes, and perhaps if I’m really feeling up to a challenge a small turkey. I’m taking requests, but on the menu so far are:

As I said this is just what I have so far, so if you see something that you think needs to be added (or subtracted) let me know. The idea is for all my favorite foodies to go home for the holidays and WOW the people in their family that usually cook.

The only thing left to say at this point is…who’s with me!?

Ready for a challenge?

Let’s create a series of…

Bon Appetit Moments!

P.S. I also LOVE leftovers, so stay tuned for some fun and delicious things to do with all that leftover goodness! That will certainly be another…

Bon Appetit!