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Doodling with Snickers

4 Sep

Wow, I thought I was posting roughly once a week, but I’ve been leaving you all high and dry, huh? Here it is September, and not once have you heard a peep coming from my witty, insightful, and apparently delusion direction. Once a week? Ha!

I haven’t made anything recently that I’ve taken a picture of. Though I am planning some cupcakes later tonight. I’m making them from a box mix and can of frosting. I’m not ashamed to admit that I, too, sink into the depths of cupcake cop-out, and don’t always make desserts from scratch. I’ll throw on some sprinkles to jazz them up a bit, but that’s about as much effort as I’ll put into them. What? It’s labor day weekend. That means I don’t have to labor!

So, not to completely change the topic or anything, but has anyone ever had snickerdoodles? I can’t recall having ever eaten them until the other day. Which is why they were on my list of foods to make. But now that I’ve had them, I’m not sure what I think about them. The recipe I used claimed to produce the “Best Ever Snickerdoodles!” Don’t get me wrong, they were very good. I brought some to work, and as I was sitting in the front doing my job, I heard from the back room, “These are DELICIOUS!” And they were. They just weren’t… memorable. If I was craving a cookie, I wouldn’t think of snickerdoodles. I’d think of oatmeal raisin, or macaroon, or even Oreos! I would crack open my cookie cookbook and have several dozen options dog-eared before I even remembered snickerdoodles existed.

Now, they were good. Nice and chewy, and the recipe I used called for a bit of corn syrup that added a nice texture. You roll them in a cinnamon and sugar mixture, so you get that flavor coating the outside. Plus, their name just tickles me. Haha, snickerdoodle! I snicker when I hear it.

But these are a cookie that lurks in the background instead of taking a starring role. Sure, at some point you’ll probably remember they exist and they’re actually pretty tasty, but in the meantime, you’ll be out cavorting with a chocolate chip cookie, or sneaking a shortbread on the sly, or feasting on a fudge sandwich. Snickerdoodles won’t even be on the radar. Not to mention, don’t they look kind of boring?

I just don’t know. I’m happy I made them at least once, but would I make them again? They were good, but do I even remember how they tasted, besides “good”? They are a very homey, comforting kind of a cookie, but is that enough to pull out the flour and sugar again? I’m so conflicted when it comes to this confection.

So, rather than tax my brain on this perplexing problem, I’m off to read some trashy romance novels and eat cupcakes from a box. Don’t hate me ’cause you ain’t me.

Life, Baking, and Blog Update

15 Aug

So.. life has been pretty good recently. I just got hired full time at the place I’ve been working since March!! I really like the office and the people, so I’m really happy it worked out. PLUS the dress code is scrubs, which are so much cheaper than typical office appropriate clothing. And they’re way more comfortable too. It also means that I could get rid of those black pants and collared shirts I was holding onto just in case the full time job I landed required that clothing. Now I have a full time job and an emptier closet. Just the way I like things.

And I’ve started to sell my desserts!! That’s HUGELY exciting! This weekend, I’m working on an order of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and order of sugar cookies for a little girl’s birthday, and some chocolate chip cookies to thank a friend for her help. Last week, I made and gift wrapped 3 dozen oatmeal raisin cookies. They were beautiful. I’m still working on pricing though. I’ve already been told my prices are too low, and they really are, but I don’t want to price my desserts too high and have no one buy them. You know. It’s a balancing act, and I’m still working on it.

3 dozen oatmeal raisin cookies. Sent to a dentist's office...

So, now that I have work during the week and lots of baking during the weekend, my blog has been suffering (as you’ve no doubt noticed). I will try to have posts scheduled  to show up periodically, as I definitely have a lot of pictures and goodies that I’ve been making. It’s not for a lack of material that I haven’t been posting. So I’ll see what I can do. Although, in reality, the people who read this are my friends and family, and they already intimately know what I’ve been whipping up in my kitchen. I’m pretty generous with the samples. The point of this is that if I haven’t been posting a lot, you should probably stop by and see what I’ve been cooking. You might leave with arms full of cookies or cake. Or even apple pie. I made that yesterday. And it was delicious.

Playing catch-up

21 Jul

I’ve been cooking and baking all the time, but I haven’t bothered to post pictures for you all. So this post is to fix that. Check out some of what I’ve been up to.

Here are some cookies I made when I made the sugar cookie stationary.

I FINALLY got the wet-on-wet technique down!

These got sent to my old co-workers in Texas

This was my favorite cookie of the bunch

When I go to the farmer’s market, I always get lots of zucchini, which makes a wonderful bread. And when I make it in the bread machine, I do approximately 5 minutes worth of work and end up with deliciousness. I’m ok with that input/output ratio. Also! I got new cupcake tips and they’re amazing.

See?

So, between the zucchini I’ve got, and the new tips I bought, I had to make this:

Delicious zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting! So moist. That was the first time EVER I piped frosting onto cupcakes, and I was cackling with glee the entire time.

And since they contain about 2 cups of zucchini, I like to think that they’re good for you.

In other news, I also have an ice cream maker attachment for my kitchen aid, and look at the containers I’ve got to hold my all my beautifully churned ice cream!

Adorable!

I’ve already made several kinds of ice cream, including avocado!

It was not the most appetizing looking of all ice creams. It was ok. Really creamy, and I used almond extract, so there was a good flavor. But there was kind of a grittiness from the avocado that you can’t get rid of, and a very pronounced after-taste. Plus the color and the fact that it was avocado were really hard to get over. But I tried it and so did my family, which I’m proud of us all for. In the end, though, we ditched most of it, and it will not ever be made again in this household. But this one will be:

Homemade vanilla bean ice cream. Yum!

I also made pancakes (and dyed them pink!) with homemade blueberry syrup and homemade whipped cream. I’m not the world’s biggest pancake fan, but they sure hit the spot!

Some fudge sandwiches for your viewing pleasure:

Can you see that filling? Made with sweetened condensed milk, so you KNOW it’s good! This was such a rich and sophisticated cookie. Very decadent.

The sheer amount of sugar and cream that went into this post is mind-boggling. I won’t share the details with you because I don’t want to scare people away. But it was a lot. That’s just how I roll. I bring treats into work, where everyone is on a diet, and I neglect to tell them that the cupcake they’re eating was made with 6 cups of sugar. Ha! Does that make me a bad person? I don’t believe in diets. I do believe in moderation, but not diets.

The end.

Who wants cookies?

14 Jun

If politicians handed out these cookies instead of false promises, not only would the world be a better place, they would win the election in a landslide! If men proposed with these cookies instead of diamond rings, marriages would never end. These cookies can cause blind men to see, the deaf to hear, and men to ask for directions.

However, don’t expect these cookies to turn rowdy teenage boys into young gentlemen who clean up your kitchen without being threatened or bribed. Just sayin’. You can expect a lot out of these cookies, but you can’t expect miracles.

So what kind of cookies are these? Chocolate chip, of course.

I’m not really sure why this batch of cookies turned out so flat. The good news is that the taste was not affected! On the contrary, some in my family (cough Mum cough) might argue that the flavor was even better. These were buttery and crisp and delicate and delicious. And the brothers sure scarfed them down. This was about half the cookies the recipe made, and even these are no longer in existence (and I made these cookies last night). The secret ingredient? Besides butter, of course. And brown sugar. And Nielsen-Massey vanilla. The secret ingredient is toffee chips.

You read that right. Toffee chips. You add about half a bag to the batter, and then bake the cookies for 11 minutes or longer (the higher end of the time frame for these babies). This allows the toffee chips to melt, and adds a nice dimension to the cookies. And “nice dimension” is putting it mildly. My vocabulary is failing me right now, and I cannot put into words just how much this simple addition contributes to the overall cookie. You’ll just have to make it yourself. And then come back and try to describe how the toffee chips rocked your world. Ha! Not so easy, is it?

Be careful though. If you don’t bake them long enough, the toffee chips don’t melt and you don’t get the right effect. I’m sure it’s still delicious. But it’s not how I like my cookies, and we all know the end goal here is to be just like me. Am I right? Huh? Huh? Fine, whatever. I was just kidding anyway. About being exactly like me, not about non-melted toffee chips. I don’t kid around about my cookies. Life lesson.

Without further ado, Chocolate Chip Cookies! (From The All-American Cookie Book)

Ingredients:

– 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
– 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
– 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
– 2 large eggs
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– half a bag chocolate chips or chocolate chunks. Or a whole bag. Go crazy.
– half a bag toffee chips.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking sheets or spray with nonstick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, and sugar until well blended and fluffy. Taste. Sigh with happiness.

4. Adds the eggs and vanilla and beat until evenly incorporated.

5. Beat in the flour mixture.

6. Stir in the chocolate and toffee chips until evenly incorporated. (Are you noticing a theme here?)

7. Drop the dough onto the baking sheets by heaping measuring tablespoonfuls, spacing about 2 inches apart.

8. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the upper third of the oven for 11 or so minutes, or until golden brown all over and slightly darker at the edges. You want those toffee chips melted!

Hello beautiful! How YOU doin'?

Bake these and distribute them. You’ll make friends and influence people. All without reading that book. Now who said I don’t help my friends out? That’s right, nobody.

Hi!

29 Mar

I hope you all had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. We definitely did, complete with corned beef and cabbage and friends! Two of my college buddies were here for their spring break, and we did a lot of eating out, while my family was left to fend for themselves. Nice, right? But things are back to normal, and I’ve got delicious pictures for you!

I have not been photographing everything I make. Bad Sarah! So the goodies you see here are but a small sampling of what has been cooking in my kitchen.

Homemade marshmallows covered in toasted coconut. So tasty. And so much better than the store-bought ones.

Shamrock cookies! I piped the shamrocks separately on a plastic bag, let them dry, and then placed them on the wet flooded icing.

Soft pretzels! Made from scratch! Isn’t it beautiful?! And it was totally delicious.

In addition, we made chocolate chip cookies, some kind of butterscotch-caramel pots de creme, and maybe something else? I don’t remember. It’s been a while.

So there you go. Maybe someday in the near future I’ll stop being a bum and post recipes/post more regularly. Time will tell.

Ciao!

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

1 Mar

I swear my cat is a vegetarian. I mean, sure she eats fish flavored food, but that’s not exactly actual fish. Whenever we let her outside (supervised, because we’ve already had one cat wander off and adopt a new family), she runs straight for the plants and bushes edging the house. And she chows down! One time, she was gnawing on a little baby pine tree. And while she’s scarfing down various vegetation, she is purring just as loud as she can. Weird? I think so.

Well, if my little kitty really is a vegetarian, I’d bet she’d approve of these cookies.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies! This took care of the leftover ricotta from my cannoli cream. Lemon Ricotta Cookies are a thick, soft cookie, almost cake-like in texture. Without the icing, they are pleasant, but nothing to write home about. With the icing, they are a tangy, moist, flavorful, well-rounded cookie. I was very pleased with the taste and how easy they were to make; I will definitely make them again.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies
From Food Network

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons lemon juice

Glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the cookies:

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese and lemon juice. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Glaze:

Combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread.

Huh?

20 Feb

I was browsing cookie cutters online, as I am wont to do on a Saturday night, when I decided I need a GOP elephant cookie cutter. Only problem, they’re slightly tricky to track down. I mean, there are regular elephants galore, but GOP elephants? It takes a special cookie cutter company to make them. I’ve found some versions, but they’re facing the wrong way. How are you going to tell me it’s a Republican elephant when it’s facing to the left? Sorry folks, but that’s a GOP elephant who defected. And that’s a GOP elephant I don’t want. And then I found a college (Cornell, for those who were curious) who has a GOP elephant cookie cutter in their “collections.” It’s catalogued and everything. Why? What’s it for? Is it in the library to be checked out by culinary Cornell students? Or is it off-limits and you’re only allowed to look at it? What a horrible fate for a cookie cutter.

I finally found one that’s facing the correct direction (which would be to the right). But seriously, cookie cutter companies? You fail. How hard is it to google a picture of this nationally recognized symbol to make sure you get it right? Huh?

And Cornell? WTF?

See? To the RIGHT!

By the way, did you ever notice the stars are upside down? I didn’t, until I got embroiled in this debacle. (Ha! I love big words.) The democrat donkey gets four stars, and they’re right-side up. What gives?