Yum Yum!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Class Party Cookies

I was excited to use my Christmas mini chips again when I made cookies for Travis' class party. Some of the mom's kept telling me how awesome my cookies tasted, but I have to confess, the chocolate ones were from a devils food cake mix (you just add 2 eggs and 1/2 C oil for soft, yummy cookies!) and I had an oatmeal cookie mix for the other. I can take credit for homemade frosting though!




Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baby Shower Desserts

I just had to share a picture of the lovey dessert table at my sister's baby shower. I think my mom and aunt did a great job placing everything. My sister really wanted dessert bars, which was a great idea, and everything was delicious!

On the center of every plate had coconut dream bars, which I made last summer (sooo good), and they were a huge hit.

The far left was raspberry chocolate bars, which are my most favorite thing my moms makes this time of year!

The middle plate had lemon bars (the raspberries were my idea, don't they make them elegant?).

The far right were bars that I made, which had a cookie crust and coconut and chocolate and white chocolate. They were amazing!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Chocolate Chips

My mom shared some fun mini chocolate chips with me and I was so excited to use them! I made cupcake for our Sunday School class at church and made some plates for a few neighbors. Aren't they cute?
I made both regular size cupcakes and mini ones too.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Scrumptious Chocolate Mint Layer Bars

The name of these bars aren't kidding, they really are *scrumptious*! My grandma sent me this recipe and I decided it would be perfect for Travis' December work potluck. If you like chocolate and minty stuff, like Thinmints, then you'll love these! Plus they have bonus yumminess like coconut and walnuts!



Scrumptious Chocolate Mint Layer Bars

2 C cookie crumbs (it calls for Oreos, but I just had chocolate covered grahams which works too)
1/4 C butter
1 1/2 C chopped nuts
1 C flaked coconut
1 C sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 C dark chocolate chips
1 1/3 C mint chips

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in 13x9 inch pan in oven. Then mix in the cookie crumbs. Stir well and press into bottom of pan to make a crust. Sprinkle nuts and coconut on top. Pour condensed milk evenly over top. Sprinkle chocolate chips and mint chips on top and press down slightly. Bake 20-25 minutes or until coconut is slightly golden brown. Cool pan on wire rack completely, then cut into bars.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Mini Muffin Pan

A very good friend of mine gave me a mini muffin pan last week and I was super excited to use it. So the other night I whipped up some blue berry scones so go along with our soup at dinner. They were both cute and delicious!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Walnut Rocha

Yet another opportunity to bake due to Travis' work potluck! This week I ventured into the candy zone of my Better Homes and Gardens book. Candy always sounds delicious, but it scares me because I know it can be tricky, temperamental and unforgiving. I read the recipe several times through and had all my ingredients at the ready so I would not screw it up! I also read up on testing candy at the 'soft crack' stage since I don't have a candy thermometer. And it turned out great! I wonder if I needed to cook the bottom layer just a tad longer for a crunchier texture, but it still looked and tasted great. I was kind of mad at myself for forgetting to take a picture of the cute platter I had Travis take to work, so I only got a shot of the left overs I kept for us.

Nut Rocha

2 C butter
2 C sugar
1/3 C water
2 T light corn syrup
1 3/4 C chocolate chips
1 C finely chopped nuts, I used walnuts

1. Line a 15x10 pan with foil, set aside.
2. In a 3 quart saucepan melt butter. Stir in sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over medium high heat to boiling, stirring until sugar is dissolved. This is where you should use a candy thermometer and stir for about 15 minutes, until it is at 290, soft crack stage. I did the cold water test, by putting a few drops into a cup of cold water and it separates into hard, pliable threads that can't be shaped into a ball. It took a little more than 15 until it reached this stage. Mixture should boil at a moderate, steady rate with bubbles over entire surface. Remove from heat and remove thermometer.
3. Carefully pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly. Cool about 5 minutes or until the top is set. Sprinkle chocolate and let stand 2 minutes. Spread the softened chocolate over toffee mixture. Sprinkle nuts on top and gently press them in. Let stand at room temperature for several hours until set. Use foil to lift candy out and break into pieces.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Wheat Bread in the Crock Pot

I loved this recipe! I found it in a crock pot cookbook and it was so easy! I recommend cutting this recipe in half unless you've got a huge crock pot. I am so glad I halved mine or I would have had dough everywhere. Basically, you mix the ingredients and put them in a round cake pan, which then goes into your crock pot. Simple as that! It is a little different texture, kind of like a corn bread. But we really enjoyed it with butter and it went well with our chili.


Crock Pot Wheat Bread

2 C warm reconstituted powdered milk
2 T veggie oil
1/4 cup of honey or brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast
2 1/2 C wheat flour
1 1/4 C white flour

1. Mix milk, oil, honey or brown sugar, salt, yeast and half the flour. Beat for two minutes. Add remaining flour and mix well.
2. Place dough in a well greased round cake pan that fits in your crock pot. Cover with a well greased piece of foil and let stand for 5 minutes. Place in crock pot.
3. Cover and bake on high for 2 1/2-3 hours.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nutella Cheesecake Brownie


I found this recipe two weeks ago on a blog I like to follow (Cheeky Kitchen), and it has been on my mind ever since. I have been craving cheesecake and this really hit the spot. The cheesecake part was amazing! However, I felt like the brownie part of it was so-so. But Travis still really liked the brownie part so I guess it is all about personal preferences. So, I will give you the whole recipe, but when I make this again (and believe me, I will!) I plan to double the cheesecake portion and bake it in a chocolate crumb shell instead of on the brownies.

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies

Brownie layer:
4 eggs
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
3/4 C cocoa
1/2 C nutella
1/3 C flour

Cheesecake layer:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C nutella
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs

In one bowl, beat all of the brownie ingredients together. In another bowl, beat all of the cheesecake ingredients together. Pour brownie batter into an 8x8 greased pan (these will be very thick). Gently spread the cheesecake mixture on top of the brownie mixture. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes. The brownies will be set, but if you poke a toothpick in the center if won't come out dry, no worries! The cheesecake layer needs to cool completely to set up. I kept mine in the fridge for a few hours.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Almond "Mints"

I've had these yummy "mints" (they aren't actually minty) a few times at a wedding reception and baby shower and I think they are super delicious. So I decided to whip some up. They are super easy and I was actually thinking someday this recipe would work well for decorating in place of fondant detailing.
Almond Mints

In mixer, beat 3 ounces of cream cheese. Add in 1/2 tsp almond extract, although you could use mint or even peppermint of cherry would be good too. Gradually add in 3 cups of powdered sugar. You may have to knead in the last bit yourself. Roll into small balls, then roll in sugar and press crosswise with a fork. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Skeletons and Ghosts

I had so much fun baking Halloween goodies this year. I made chocolate sugar cookies for Travis to take to a work potluck. I did both skeletons and ghosts, then I did the skeletons again for his family party on Halloween. It had been forever since I'd had these cookies, one my my grandma's recipes, and they were delicious!


Chocolate Sugar Cookies

3/4 C crisco
1 C sugar
1 egg
1/4 C light corn syrup
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Cream crisco, sugar, and egg. Stir in syrup and melted chocolate. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Form and ball, cover, and chill for 1 hour. Roll out onto sugared board. Cut into shapes. Bake at 350 10-12 minutes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Boston Cream Cupcakes

We had friends over on Saturday for dinner and games, so obviously I had to make something cute and delicious! I went with a Boston cream pie recipe from my Hershey book and transformed them into cupcakes. Then I topped them with these little jack-o-lanterns that I made from orange melting chocolate. They were really yummy!

I also made bark one night, just for kicks, with the orange melting chocolate. I added a crumbled Crunch bar for a little 'crunch', which I really loved!

Boston Cream Pie

1/3 C shortening
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C milk
Rich Filling
Dark Cocoa Glaze

1. Heat over to 350. Grease and flour 9 inch baking pan.
2. Beat shortening, sugar, and and vanilla. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to shortening mixture. Beat well and pour into pan.
3. Bake 30-35 minutes. Cool completely.
4. Prepare Rich Filling and cool in fridge. Cut cake in half horizontally. Spread filling onto bottom half, then put the top half back on. Prepare Dark Cocoa Glaze and spread over cake, allowing glaze to run down sides. Refrigerate until cool, several hours.

Rich Filling
1/3 C sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 1/2 C milk
2 beaten egg yolks
1 T butter
1 tsp vanilla

Stir together sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Slowly add milk and egg yolks until blended. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until it boils. Boil for 1 minute while still stirring. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate several hours until cold.

Dark Cocoa Glaze
3 T water
2 T butter
3 T cocoa
1 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Heat water and butter in small saucepan over medium heat until it boils. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa. Slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat with whisk until smooth. Cool slightly before using.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mummified

We have been "BOOed" several times recently where people anonymously leave us goodies and a ghost and we're supposed to spread the "Halloween Spirit". So the other day I made some seriously perfect sugar cookies (no really, they turned out awesome!) and mummified them. I just used some canned frosting, which made it an incredibly simple project and still really tasty. And M&Ms made great eyes! We picked a few neighbors and secretly left them on their doorsteps, knocked and ran! I hope they liked my little mummies!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Smoothies

I've been on a smoothie kick recently. It is fun because there are so many different kinds to make and I feel like it is a great afternoon pick up, that leaves me full. And I love how nutritious they can be with all that fruit and milk and yogurt! Besides, I'm trying really hard to cut back on the full-on baking these days. Two and a half people only need to eat so much flour and sugar before their waistlines start to notice! Don't be fooled though, I will still be making Halloween treats this weekend!

Anyway, so I figured I would snap a picture of the smoothie I made last night. Fresh pineapple, frozen strawberries, yogurt and milk. I also had maraschino cherries on top, but they sunk to the bottom before the picture was taken!
Actually, my most favorite smoothie I've made recently is now my arch enemy because I can't seem to get enough of it...Peanut butter banana! The only thing that stops me is that we don't always have bananas around. But It is 1/2 a frozen banana, 1 T peanut butter (sometimes 2T if I feel crazy), plus 1 C milk and you've got heaven!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

This weekend I made Peanut Butter Cup cookies. Yum! My sister, Cherie, shared this recipe with me a while back and I just got around to making them. Somehow my list of things I want to bake and eat just keeps growing longer and longer! I made these to share with Travis' class, since they have been working hard to earn a treat. I hope the kids like them, even though they didn't turn out especially pretty. I never have seemed to master the art of pretty cookies!


Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1 1/2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C softened butter
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 12 oz bag of mini peanut butter cups, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Grease cookie sheets. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Slowly add the flour mixture. Fold in peanut butter cups. Drop on cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes-until light brown on edges.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls


I just wanted to share this picture of the terribly delicious cinnamon rolls I made this weekend. Cream cheese frosting made them especially sinful and we gobbled them up in less than 24 hours! I decided cinnamon rolls should be our new general conference tradition.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cherry Walnut Bread

We loved this quick bread that I made from my LionHouse Bakery book the other night. It paired great with corn chowder for dinner.

Cherry Walnut Bread
1 C sugar
1/2 C veggie oil (I used applesauce)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 jar (8 oz) maraschino cherries, chopped and juice set aside
1/2 C chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour 9x5 loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, cream sugar and oil. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour and baking powder. Measure 1/2 C of the cherry juice and if there isn't enough, fill the rest with water. Alternately add flour mixtures and cherry juice to sugar mixture until well blended. Fold in cherries and nuts. Bake 55-60 minutes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cake Truffles

Last weekend I made German chocolate cake truffles. Yes, I know most people refer to them as cake balls but I just don't think that name does them justice. So anyway, they are pretty much the same as when I made them as Mickey pops, just decorated differently. They were absolutely delightful!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Homemade Granola

I got to sample some homemade granola recently at a Relief Society meeting and decided it would be a fun snack to make. I mostly followed the original recipe but reduced the amount of sugar because I thought it was way too much and it turned out great. One thing I didn't like, was that the recipe had me add the chocolate chips before I put it in the broiler, but I would not do it this way again. I would rather the chocolate be whole and not all melted in. So I actually adding both white and milk chocolate but I don't think you can even tell. I also threw in some walnuts because I have them and I love them so much!

So anyway, definitely a yummy snack and I will be making more again. It would also be fun to try different combinations of dried fruits and nuts. Maybe macadamia with dried cranberries and white chocolate? Or one with dried mango and pineapple! Or, maybe chocolate chip and dried rasperberries? The possibilities are endless!
Granola

6 T butter
6 T milk
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
6 T peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter in a small saucepan, stir in milk and sugars. Boil for two minutes, while stirring. Remove from heat and mix in remaining ingredients, except for chocolate chips if you a adding them. Spread loosely on a cookie sheet and broil for 2 minutes. For a crispier granola, broil for 3 minutes but check often because it can burn easily. Allow granola to cool, then mix in chocolate chips.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

English Toffee Bars

These were a hit last week when I made them for my mom and sister, and Travis too of course. The recipe is from my Hershey book and they were fast and easy and so delicious!
English Toffee Bars
2 C flour
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C butter
1 C pecan halves (I used walnuts since that is what I have)
Toffee Topping
1 C chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Combine flour, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl. Mix until fine crumbs form. Press into ungreased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle nuts on top. Prepare Toffee Topping and drizzle evenly over nuts and crust.

3. Bake 20-22 minutes or until topping is bubbly and golden. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips on top-press them gently into the surface with a spatula. Cool and cut into bars.

Toffee Topping: Combine 2/3 C butter and 1/2 C brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until it comes to a boil. Boil and stir additional 30 seconds, use immediately.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Chocolate Pudding Pie

I wanted to make something a little different that would be nice and cool for a good summer dessert for my mom and sister. I found this recipe online and although it didn't take the most gorgeous pictures, it was a super easy and tasty treat.


Chocolate Pudding Pie

1 package of cookies (I used some chocolate covered grahams)
1 3/4 C milk
1 package instant pudding
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 package softened cream cheese
1 container of cool whip

Crumble cookies and press into pan. Mix the pudding with the milk, stir in vanilla. Beat softened cream cheese into pudding mixture. Fold in 1/2 of the cool whip. Gently spread on top of cookie crumbs and cool for a few hours. I served mine with a dollop of cool whip and some shaved dark chocolate.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cupcakes

Yes, these are Halloween cupcakes, and yes I realize it is a tad too early. But I LOVE Halloween and I'm super excited to make delicious Halloween treats and since my mom and sister are visiting, it is time to try out some fun stuff!

These are chocolate cupcakes with a peanut butter cup baked right into the center. Peanut butter frosting, Reeses Pieces spiders and chocolate webs and legs. If I were to do these again, I would probably leave out the peanut butter cup because I didn't feel like it really enhanced the cupcake at all, it was hardly noticeable. But I loved the frosting (a recipe my grandma gave me to try a while back) it is surprisingly light and fluffy. I also think I would use frosting instead of melting chocolate for the webs because it would have been easier to control and I got a little sloppy.





Peanut Butter Icing
1/2 C butter
1/2 C shortening
1 C peanut butter
2 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 T milk

Combine butter, shortening, and peanut butter until creamy. Add sugar and salt. Add milk, one tablespoon at a time until you get a nice spreadable consistency.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Bars

MMMMmmm! Soft cookie bars! Actually, my Hershey's book made it look like these would be more fudge like, but they were definitely more cookie like. So that is what I was craving/imagining. However, they were still delicious and satisfied my sweet tooth!

Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Bars

3/4 C softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 C chocolate chips
3/4 C macadamia pieces
vanilla glaze

1. Heat over to 375
2. Beat butter, brown sugar, and regular sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Add flour and baking soda, blend well. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips and the nuts. Press into ungreased 13x9 pan.
3. Bake 22-25 minutes of until golden brown. Cool completely and drizzle glaze on top, allow to set before cutting into bars.

Glaze

Combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 T milk, and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Fudge

I copied this recipe from a website a while back. I think I added less powdered sugar than I was meant to because I was measuring in cups, not a pound like the recipe calls for, which made for a softer consistency. It was really good and actually reminded me of the inside of a peanut butter cup. Maybe next time I will include some chocolate!

Peanut Butter Fudge

3/4 C butter
1 C peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 pound powdered sugar

In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and peanut butter. Once it is well combined, remove from heat and add vanilla and powdered sugar. Pour into a pan lined with wax paper. Refrigerate until cool and firm, cut into 1 inch pieces.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

My grandma shared this recipe with me that she had cut from a magazine, but never got around to trying out. I decided they sounded seriously delicious and got the stuff. I really enjoyed the layers of flavor between the cherry, chocolate, orange zest, and cinnamon. I also really appreciate the texture that baking with oatmeal provides. These were yummy!



Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C dried cherries, chopped
1/3 C hot water
6 T shortening
6 T butter
1 1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp grated orange peel
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 C oats
1 3/4 C flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C chocolate chips

In a small bowl, soak cherries in hot water for at least 10 minutes. In a mixing bowl, cream the shortening, butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in eggs, orange zest, and vanilla. Combine oats flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in separate bowl. Gradually add oat mixture to creamed mixture, beating until combines. Stir in the cherries (including the liquid) and chocolate chips. Drop onto ungreased cookies sheet. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Travis!!!

Today is my sweetheart's birthday! It is a very special day indeed, so it called for an extraordinary cake! I went with homemade yellow cake, homemade butter cream frosting, AND homemade fondant! I'd never made homemade fondant before so I was a little unsure of what to expect. But Travis LOVES fondant and I really wanted to try decorating with it. I actually think for a first timer, I didn't do too bad. I'm not all that skilled in pipping frosting either, so I am quite proud of my jumpman!




Pretty yummy with a glass of milk! Although I admit some ice cream would have been really nice. But now that we live waaay out in the middle of nowhere, we can't run to the store to pick up ice cream on a whim! I'll plan ahead for that next time!
I think Dillon was actually trying to dodge the camera, the little stinker! At least he enjoyed my cake, even though he was very tired and ready for bed.

Fondant

2 C marshmallows
2 T water
1 tsp vanilla
3 C powdered sugar

In a big pot on the stove add water to marshmallows, slowly heat and stir until it is like syrup. Mix in vanilla. Remove from heat. Mix in sugar. Coat hands and work surface with crisco, and be careful because it will be hot. Knead until it is smooth, add more sugar or water if necessary.