Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

September 19, 2010

Jessica’s done it again. I think this girl is a Truffle Queen. She’s also the where I found the cookie dough truffles I know and love!

These little gems are just as good. Seriously, how can you go wrong with sweet and salty in one little bite?!

Jessica’s original recipe stated she got 20 truffles, each about the size of a teaspoon.

I chose to double her recipe, and use my smallest cookie scoop (same size I make the chocolate chip dough truffles) and I got about 2.5 dozen. You can increase the amount as many times as you need to!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

(How Sweet It Is)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter (can use regular peanut butter as well…natural just makes it more healthy! LOL)
1/4 cup finely chopped salted pretzels
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

Directions

– Combine peanut butter and pretzels in a small bowl. Chill in the freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.

– Roll the peanut butter mixture into 20 balls (about 1 teaspoon each).

– Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and freeze until very firm, about 1 hour.

– Roll the frozen balls in melted chocolate.

-Refrigerate until the chocolate is set, about 30 minutes.

*I always keep my truffles in the freezer, and then just pull out what I need. I like them cold!

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Ghiradelli’s “The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie”

May 31, 2010

I had a hankering for chocolate chip cookies a few weeks back, so I started with my Google Reader, and searched for recipes.

I have hundreds of chocolate chip cookie recipes bookmarked.

That can be kind of daunting.

Instead, I turned to a Chera, a friend of mine who is an awesome cook and baker, and asked her if she had a favorite recipe for them.

But even she had trouble narrowing it down! LOL

She gave me three…so today I started working through them to see which we enjoy. In the interest of my gym time, as well as my waist line and checkbook, I didn’t make all three today — just one. πŸ™‚

I baked off half this recipe (which my husband, his visiting friend, and dad, promptly polished off) and froze the rest, to be pulled out later when the need for a fresh baked cookie strikes. πŸ™‚

These were fantastic. A very simple chocolate chip cookie, but delicious. You can use any chocolate chip you prefer in them — I just happened to have a bag of semi-sweet on hand so I used those. Chera prefers them with milk chocolate chips, and I think they’d be divine with dark chocolate as well.

Ghiradelli’s “The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie”

(This link, via Chera)

  • 11 1/2 ounce(s) chocolate chips (your preference — dark, semi-sweet, milk…)
  • 2 1/4 cup(s) unsifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon(s) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup(s) (2 sticks) butter
  • 3/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 3/4 cup(s) packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon(s) vanilla
  • 1 cup(s) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Directions

– Preheat oven to 375ΒΊF

– Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside

– In large mixer bowl, cream butter with sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla

– Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture

– Stir in nuts and chocolate chips

– Drop 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie onto ungreased cookie sheets.

– Bake at 375ΒΊF for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

To Freeze

– Drop 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie on a cookie sheet and set inside the freezer for approximately 1 hour

– Remove from freezer, and package little frozen dough balls in a zip top bag

– Return to freezer, and remove as many ‘dough balls’ as you need at a time for baking

– Follow the baking information above

Fruit Pizza

May 31, 2010

There are hundreds of ways to make fruit pizza, but I prefer this recipe. I dislike the recipes which call for the ‘glaze’ over the fruit. Yes, it keeps the fruit from turning color — but it also makes the dessert too sweet, in my opinion.

Instead, I choose to only use fruits that won’t color. This time around I did a red/white/blue theme for Memorial Day, using strawberries and blueberries. But really, the sky’s the limit (as long as you don’t count bananas and apples or anything that turns brown when exposed to air as part of that limit!)

I’ve had it with blueberries, strawberries, mandarin oranges, pineapple,sliced peaches, kiwi, seedless grapes, raspberries, blackberries, etc and they’re all delicious.

Be creative! Have fun!

Lastly, my mom used to make this recipe in a round pizza pan, and then ‘fan’ each layer of fruit out from the center. It makes for an awesome presentation, but can be expensive to purchase all that fruit. Instead, I normally cut the slices before I put the fruit on, and then I’ll decorate each ‘piece’ based on the fruit I’ve chosen to add.Β  Additionally, I find it easier to cut and serve at parties if I make it on a cookie sheet — so that’s normally the route I go.

Fruit Pizza

(Family Recipe)

1 package (20 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough (*Note that Pillsbury’s packaging has gotten smaller over the years. A roll of Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough is now 16.5 oz. Rather than suffering through a thin crust, I generally use 1.5 rolls of their dough. You could, of course, make your own from scratch, if so inclined.)

8 oz. softened cream cheese (you can use low fat, but I’ve never tried it with non fat)

1/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract (almond is also delicious)

Directions

– Press dough into a 14″ round pizza pan (or a standard, sided cookie sheet. Mine is just slightly larger than 13×9…maybe 14 or 15×10?)

– Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and puffed. Cool completely.

– Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together using an electric mixer, until well blended. Spread over cooled cookie.

– Layer your fruit of choice over the cream cheese mixture, and refrigerate. Remember to keep this dessert very cool if you’re serving it at a picnic. Travel with it in a cooler with ice, and make sure it doesn’t sit out all day. It’s really best right from the fridge!

Whipped Cream

May 8, 2010

I’ve been very happy with this whipped cream recipe, so I thought I’d put it down on the blog for posterity πŸ™‚

What I like about it is the vanilla gives it delicious flavor, and the confectioners’ sugar helps keep it ‘whipped’ — I can make this up to two days in advance and keep it in the fridge and it stays perfect!

Whipped Cream

(Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)

Directions

– Place whipping cream in a medium bowl, and add the vanilla and confectioner’s sugar

– Use an electric mixer or kitchenaid with whisk attachment to whip the mixture together until medium/soft peaks form

– Notes: I’ve found my kitchenaid doesn’t do as good of a job, nor does it do it as quickly, as my electric hand mixer, so I just use that. The whole process probably takes me 5 minutes, for one cup of cream.

– Notes: I also have trouble telling when the ‘peaks’ form, so I normally stop the mixer when it starts looking more like Cool-Whip and less like liquid cream, and dip a clean finger in it to test the texutre.

– Notes: When I’m making this in advance, I whip it a little ‘stiffer’ than I would if I were serving it fresh. Then I place it in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid, and place it in the fridge immediately. It’ll last about 2 days before you start to lose the proper consistency. I recommend making it one day in advance of when you need it, if possible. That seems to be optimum. πŸ™‚

Amazing Double Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

February 28, 2010

These were amazing. I wanted an awe-inspiring vanilla bean cupcake +vanilla bean frosting recipe, and this totally fit the bill!

How could I go wrong with getting a vanilla bean recipe from a guy who used the name vanilla in his blog?! LOL

I made these for my birthday treat, and they’re delicious! Highly, highly recommend them!

(P.S….I’m not much of a decorator)

Double Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

(VanillaGarlic via Simply Recipes)

Cupcake

  • 1 Β½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (or one whole bean if you can spare it)

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
  • **I added a splash of milk, and a splash of vanilla extract, as I wanted to be able to pipe the icing and it was a bit too thick for that

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven preheats cut open and scrape out the seeds of a vanilla bean. Place the seeds, empty bean, and the milk into a small saucepan. Heat to just under a simmer for a few minutes being careful not to scald the milk. Remove from heat and allow the milk to steep and cool. (Be sure to remove the bean after it cools. Wash it and then place it out to dry so it can be used again.)

2 Beat the butter for about 3 minutes on medium speed, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat for 30 seconds. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds each.

3 In one bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another whisk together the vanilla steeped milk, vanilla extract, and sour cream.

4 Add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter sugar egg mixture in alternating additions (dry-wet-dry method), starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined being sure to not overbeat.

5 Divide the batter into cupcake papers in a muffin tin and bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Be sure to rotate the cupcakes after the first 15 minutes to ensure even baking. Be sure to keep a close eye as these can get overbaked quickly. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Frost when cooled.

Frosting

Beat the butter and slowly add in the powdered sugar. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean (or vanilla extract if using) and beat in.
Makes about one dozen cupcakes.

Best Fruit Dip. Ever.

September 13, 2009

IMG_1355

Seriously. It’s the best fruit dip I’ve ever had.

My family has made it for years…no idea where it originated!

You can make it any color you choose…it just looks friendly in pink πŸ™‚

Fruit Dip

(Family Recipe)

1-3.4 oz vanilla instant pudding

1 cup milk

1 tsp almond extract

1-8 oz. cool whip

4-5 drops food color – any color

Directions

– whisk the milk into the powdered vanilla pudding in a medium-sized mixing bowl

– add almond extract and whisk to incorporate

– fold cool whip in gently

– add food coloring and stir to incorporate color

– refrigerate until serving; serve with fruit tray or fruit salad!

“Super Charge Me” Cookies

August 2, 2009

IMG_1315

I see variations of this cookie EVERYWHERE (maybe this is because I spend time reading Kath, Angela, Gina, and Mere’s blogs….).

I figured if I was going to try it, I should head back to the source — which as far as I can tell, is Dreena

These are actually amazingly awesome once you get past the weird amalgamation of ingredients. I guess I’m just not used to cooking “vegan” because I’m mixing this up thinking there’s no way cookies will be the end result to this. LOL

Very tasty cookies — just sweet enough to satisfy, but also full of good-for-you foods as well!

I will admit I had to buy an entire bag of spelt flour and flaxseed meal — so hit me up with uses for it (that means you, above-referenced-ladies…I don’t know anyone else who cooks with this stuff LOL), or I’m going to be making a whole heck of a lot of these cookies in the coming days.

Super Charge Me Cookies

(Dreena’s Vegan Recipes)

*Dreena says 11-12 cookies…mine must be small because I got 15

1 cup quick oats (All I had was old fashioned, and they still worked)
2/3 cup spelt flour
1/4 tsp (rounded) sea salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (where the heck do you buy this? I had to use sweetened)
1/4 –1/3 cup raisins or chopped dried fruit
3–4 tbsp carob or chocolate chips (optional; or use more dried fruit, nuts, or seeds)
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup flax meal (not flax seed)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp almond butter (may use cashew, peanut, hemp seed butter)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp organic canola oil

Directions

– Preheat oven to 350Β°F

– In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, and carob or chocolate chips, sift in baking powder, and stir until well combined.

– In a separate. smaller bowl, combine flax meal, syrup, almond butter, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Stir in oil.

– Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just well combined (do not overmix).

– Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon batter onto baking sheet evenly space apart, and lightly flatten.

– Bake for 13 minutes (no longer, or they will dry out).

– Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute (no longer), then transfer to a cooling rack.

Pistachio Salad

May 10, 2009

Alright..it really doesn’t photograph well. Especially at 9pm at night as leftovers.

This is definately an old-timey recipe, but it’s a nice, light-feeling dessert on a hot night.
I love it, and I don’t even LIKE actual pistachios!

Pistachio Salad
(No idea..family recipe?)

1-20 oz. can crushed pineapple
1-3.4 oz. box instant pistachio pudding
1- 8 or 9 oz. (I can’t remember which it is?) Cool Whip
1 cup mini marshmallows

Directions
– Mix pistachio pudding mix with pineapple and juices in bowl
– Add marshmallows and cool whip; stir until completely blended; spoon into a container to store in fridge
– Refrigerate until set; about 3 hours; serve.
– Makes approx. a 9″x9″ pan of salad

"Ice Cream" Cone Party Favor

April 23, 2009

Aren’t these adorable?? My mom had them for our Easter dinner, so I thought I’d share them with you. She purchased them from a woman who makes and sells them as little favors.

I don’t have any instructions on how it’s put together, but we dissected one and came up with the following:

Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or, in the microwave.

Dip a large marshmallow into the chocolate, and then place in a small, child-sized ice cream cone, chocolate side down (probably have to go to a restaurant supply for the cones..they’re pretty small?). This will keep the marshmallo adhered to the cone once it’s dry. Then, gently take your marshmallow that’s uncoated, and coat with chocolate. Either by dipping, or drizzling over. Add sprinkles, and let harden.

Adorable!

The pen is to give you an idea of size…hope it works!

Lemon Coconut Bread

April 19, 2009

I thought this combination sounded heavenly, so I baked up two loaves of this over the weekend. I took one into my co-workers….I may keep the other one!

Lemon Coconut Bread

*Note: This bread is delicious on it’s own, but toasted and slathered with butter it is a-ma-z-i-n-g!
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk (lowfat is fine)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened…it truly doesn’t matter)
1/3 cup butter, melted
Directions:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; grease and flour a 9″x5″ loaf pan
– In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt
– Stir in sugar and coconut
– In a medium bowl, or large measuring cup, whisj together the eggs, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla
– Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in egg mixture
– Stir until just combined and only a few streaks of flour remain
– Add in melted butter and stir until just smooth; being careful not to overmix
– Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
– Turn loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing
– Makes 1 loaf