Friday, July 18, 2014

Mocha Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My latest addiction.






































I am a coffee lover.  My favorite way to drink coffee is iced with some sugar.  I can't drink milk right now while nursing since Willa seems to have to same sensitivity that Noble did. If I could, I would also put some milk in my coffee.  My favorite place to get iced coffee is Dunkin Donuts, feel free to send some gift cards :)  I actually did not like coffee until I was 27.  Now I don't want to go a day without it. Being the coffee lover that I am, these cookies became a new favorite of mine the second I tasted them. When we sold our house in Atlanta a couple months ago our realtor brought us over a dozen cookies from a local bakery.  Zack and I immediately went for the chocolate chip.  To our delight, it was not chocolate chip, but mocha chip.  After tasting that incredible cookie I was on a mission to recreate it.  I am pretty sure mine is even better.  If you love coffee you have to make these.  If you don't like coffee you should still make these and give them a try.

Mocha Chocolate Chunk Cookies
recipe from Baked Perfection

makes approximately 48 cookies

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 packets instant coffee (enough for 2 cups *I used Starbucks Via)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup chopped milk chocolate
1 cup chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and instant cofee. In a second larger bowl beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in chopped chocolate. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Recipe makes between 4 and 5 dozen cookies.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Pie

The perfect summertime treat.






































We are all moved into our new home in Virginia.  There is still work to be done such as painting, hanging pictures and curtains, decorating, etc but almost all the boxes are unpacked which is the important part.  The move went really well and the kids handled it better than expected.  We stayed with my parents for a week and in a hotel for a week before we actually moved into our new house. Somehow it did not seem to phase the kids.  In fact, I am pretty sure Noble loved being in the hotel.  He loved going downstairs to a full breakfast, being able to open all the doors in the hotel room, and his special bed we made for him on the floor with couch cushions in his own private room.

Since getting settled in the new house, I have been testing out the new oven and it works great.  I have several recipes to share with you and I could not wait to share this one.  I made this pie to take to my in-laws for the fourth of July and it was incredible!  It was devoured and everybody wished we had more.  It is super simple and is the perfect summer pie.

Fresh Strawberry Pie
recipe modified from allrecipes.com

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water

Place half the strawberries in the baked pie shell.  Mash the remaining berries in a medium saucepan with the sugar and vanilla extract.  Heat over medium and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water.  Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into the boiling strawberry mixture.  Reduce heat and summer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Pour mixture over berries in pie shell.  Chill for several hours before serving.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins

Seeing a theme?


































My son has recently become obsessed with helping me bake and cook.  He is not even two and we have started calling him "Little Chef".  He walks into the kitchen saying "Cook, Cook, Cook".  He then pulls over one of the chairs from the kitchen table to the counter and goes in the pantry and pulls out the flour.  Clearly it is in his blood and I could not be happier for him to share this interest with me.  I was not planning on baking the day we made these muffins, but my little guy really wanted to make something.  I checked to see what ingredients we had on hand and we just so happened to have everything for these.  I am not a fan of banana but everybody else, especially my son, loved them.  I served them at the Mother's Day Brunch I hosted for my mom and Step-mom and they really were a nice, unplanned, addition.

Banana Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins
recipe modified from allrecipes.com

makes 12 standard muffins or 36-48 mini muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup chocolate chips (dusted in flour to prevent sinking)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the egg lightly.  Stir in the mashed banana and combine thoroughly.  Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.  Gently stir in the chocolate chips.  Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 18 - 20 minutes until lightly golden.