Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cookie Dough Truffles and my first Give Away!


Stay posted for Give Away Info at the end of the post.

I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. If you are anything like us, you are still enjoying your leftovers. Now that Thanksgiving has officially past it is time for me to break out the Christmas baking. You may remember a while back I posted a recipe for Cookie Dough Pops. They were a big hit at the office and at home. When we went to visit Zack's family over the fourth of July I told them about the cookie dough pops and they specifically request I bring some the next time we visit. To keep my loyal blog fans happy, I did not want to make the same thing twice so I changed up the recipes a little and made them into truffles. I made two variations: Oreo and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. Being the peanut butter lover that I am I thought the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip would be my favorite, but I actually preferred the Oreo. Both are great; I am sure your guests this December will enjoy either or both.

Oreo Cookie Dough Truffles
recipe from Baked Perfection

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup crushed Oreos, crushed

Assorted candy melts:
1/2 package chocolate candy melts
1/4 cup assorted color candy melts for decorating

In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl, beat together the butter, sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the crushed Oreos. Roll the mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Chill for several hours or freeze for 15-20 minutes until firm.

Melt candy melts in the microwave per directions on package (30 sec intervals, stirring in between each interval). Gently dip the cookie dough ball in the candy coating, letting any excess drip off. Place on wax paper to dry.

To decorate with drizzled chocolate, place chocolate in a sandwich bag on a microwave safe dish and microwave in 30 second intervals moving the chocolate around between each interval. Using scissors, cut the very tip off the sandwich bag. Use the sandwich bag to pipe the chocolate back and forth over the cookie dough truffle until you reach the desired look. Return to wax paper to dry.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Recipe from Baked Perfection

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature chocolate chips

In a large bowl, cream together the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Mix in chocolate chips. Roll the mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Chill for several hours or freeze for 15-20 minutes until firm.

Melt candy melts in the microwave per directions on package (30 sec intervals, stirring in between each interval). Gently dip the cookie dough ball in the candy coating, letting any excess drip off. Place on wax paper to dry.

To decorate with drizzled chocolate, place chocolate in a sandwich bag on a microwave safe dish and microwave in 30 second intervals moving the chocolate around between each interval. Using scissors, cut the very tip off the sandwich bag. Use the sandwich bag to pipe the chocolate back and forth over the cookie dough truffle until you reach the desired look. Return to wax paper to dry.

Now how about that Give Away. I have kept you waiting long enough. Tis the season and I am sure you can all use an early Hanukkah or Christmas Gift. The generous people at Oh Nuts have volunteered to give one of my lucky readers a $25 gift certificate to use at Oh Nuts. You have three ways to enter the Give Away:

1. Go to the Oh Nuts Hanukkah gifts page or to the Christmas Nuts Gift page and choose your favorite Hanukkah Gift or Christmas Gift and leave a comment with the name and url of the gift you love the most.

2. Go to the oh nuts facebook page become a fan and post on the wall the url and name of your favorite Hanukkah Gift or Christmas Gift. You should also write "I am here via "Baked Perfection".

3. Follow @ohnuts and Tweet

" Win a free Hanukkah Gift from Follow @ohnuts & Retweet to enter. "

OR you can Tweet

“ Win a free Christmas Gift from Follow @ohnuts & Retweet to enter."

All entries must be submitted by midnight December 12th. I will pick a winner Sunday, December 13th.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crispy Rice Candy Corn Treats

Last minute dessert.

I know, I know Thanksgiving is tomorrow and you are thinking you don't have time to come up with another dessert recipe. This is where you are wrong. You can make this recipe from start to finish in 10 minutes! Not only is it quick and easy, but rice crispy treats are a universal crowd pleaser. If you bought Candy Corn at Halloween, changes are you still have some leftover. If you don't have any then you still have time to run to the store and get some (but really any favorite candy will work). now start your timers and get baking!

Crispy Rice Candy Corn Treats
recipe adapted from Paula Deen

4 tablespoons butter
1 (10 ounce) bag marshmallows
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
6 cups Crispy Rice Cereal (preferred brand: Kellogg’s Rice Krispies)
1 cup candy corns

Spray a 13x9 glass baking dish and rubber spatula with non stick spray.

In a medium sized sauce pan over low heat, add butter to melt. Once melted add marshmallows, salt, and vanilla. Stir continuously until the marshmallows have reached a smooth consistency. Remove from heat and fold in the cereal and candy corns until completely coated.

Add the mixture to the greased baking dish and smooth out evenly. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rocky Ledge Bars

Thanks for letting me share!

A couple weeks ago Holly from, Mom taught Us, asked me if I would like to be a guest blogger for her 12 Guest Bloggers of Christmas. Of course I was thrilled that she asked me. I have never guest blogged before, so the invite was quite the honor. I was not sure what I was going to make, but I knew it had to be something delicious because I did not want to disappoint. Conveniently my fiance bought me a copy of Martha Stewart's Cookies for my birthday a couple weeks ago which gave me plenty of options. I wanted to bake just about everything in the cookbook, but these bars were screaming to be made. The original recipe called for caramel, but I did not start baking these until 9pm and did not feel like running to the store. I left out the caramel, added some peanut butter chips, and halved the amount of white chocolate. These bars are perfect for any baker who has several opened bags of miscellaneous chips stored in the pantry. You can really throw anything in them and they are incredible! They stayed fresh for several days and because they are bars, they will ship well if you plan to ship holiday goodies.

To see the recipe you are going to have to visit Mom Taught Us and while you are there check out all the amazing recipes.

Thanks for letting me share!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Are you tired of pumpkin yet? I'm not!

As promised, here is another pumpkin recipe for you. I could not have made this recipe if it were not for my dear friend and fellow blogger Elyse. If you have been following Baked Perfection for any period of time now, you know that Elyse and I became fast and very close friends just from blogging. She would comment on my blog, then I would comment on hers. It eventually turned into long emails, which turned into daily chats. Unfortunately she lives on the west coast and I am on the east coast, so we have actually only met in person once. Elyse, being the incredibly sweet person that she is, sent me the Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment as an engagement present right after I got engaged. She pretty much knows exactly what I want at all times and is the most thoughtful person I know.

There are several ice cream ideas and recipes I want to try, but for my first recipe I tried the pumpkin ice cream recipe that came with the attachment. If you love the flavors of pumpkin pie, but are in the mood for something different (or live in a warm climate) this is the perfect fall dessert. The ice cream was incredibly creamy the day I made it, but did get pretty hard in the freezer after a couple days. I recommend you serve the ice cream within a day or two of making it. As special treat I also made some Big Soft Ginger Cookies to make an ice cream sandwich. I highly recommend you make these cookies to go with the ice cream. It was the perfect combination! If you don't feel like an ice cream sandwich, the cookies are also delicious crumbled over the ice cream. Next time, I may even mix the cookies into the batter.

Pumpkin Ice Cream
recipe adapted from Kitchen Aid

1 1/2 cups light cream
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin

Scald light cream in a heavy saucepan. Whisk yolks, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the light cream, add the spice. Return to saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes; do not boil. Removed from heat. Whisk in the heavy cream and the pumpkin. Strain into bowl. Refrigerate until well chilled. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

The next Paula Deen.

No, I am not the next Paula Deen, but I do love the woman. Maybe it is because I am from the south and she reminds me of a lot of the women I grew up around, but I think she is a wonderful woman with a wonderful story. Yes, she uses a lot of butter, but so do most recipes for baked goods and this is a baking blog so I have no problem with her butter usage. I love Paula so much, that I actually decided to go as her for Halloween and bring along her Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake to the parties I was attending. Apparently I am not the the only Paula lover out there because people loved the costume and the Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake. I describe this cake as pumpkin pie in a bar form. There is cream cheese in the recipe which I did not taste one bit, but I do think it made the texture extra creamy. This recipe would be a great addition to the Thanksgiving menu. They come together really quickly. In fact, I made then just a couple hours before I took them to a party. Just for fun, I have included a picture of me dressed as Paula Deen.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
Recipe from Paula Deen

1 18 1/4-ounce package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cake, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Pat the mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking pan.

Prepare filling:
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Maple Pecan Shortbread

I love maple.

I have been crazy for maple lately. It all started when Zack and I went cake tasting for our wedding. We met with Lara of Fluffy Thoughts and Zack and I were blown away by how delicious her cakes were. I think she must have had us taste just about every flavor combination possible which made it very difficult for us to pick a favorite. In fact we could not settle on just one cake flavor or frosting because everything was so incredible; so each tier will be a different flavor cake with different frosting. Anyway, while we were there I tasted Lara's maple buttercream and I seriously wanted to just shovel it into my mouth with a spoon as fast as I could. I knew I needed to let Zack have a taste so he would agree we should have it with our cake, but it was hard to even give up a tiny taste....that is how good it was. Needless to say, we will be having maple buttercream on one of our tiers. Ever since that day I have been craving maple; hence these cookies and my last post in which I made Maple Pecan Frosting. These cookies were delicious, easy to make, and quite cute. I highly recommend them.

Maple Pecan Shortbread
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecan halves, finely chopped
1/4 cup pecan halves (24 halves) for the tops of the cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Into a medium bowl, sift flours and salt. Whisk in 1/2 cup chopped pecans, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and light, about one minute. Add the maple syrup, egg yolk, and extract; beat on medium speed until well combined. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined. Dough should be smooth and pliable. Flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic; chill until firm, 1 1/2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out rounds using a two-inch cookie cutter; place one inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg; top centers with pecan half. Sprinkle the entire surface with turbinado sugar.
Bake cookies, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to four days. Makes approximately two dozen cookies.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Pecan Frosting

A month of pumpkin.

I had no idea when we bought a new house we would be so busy! Back in our old apartment there were nights where we would just sit on the couch and watch TV and relax. We have been in the new house 2.5 months and that has yet to happen. There is something to replace/fix/paint everywhere we look. This new house has been interfering with my blogging...but it is worth it. Even though I have not been posting, I have still been baking. This month I plan to share with you a recipe with pumpkin every week. This post is for an amazing cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart. I can not say enough about how amazing these cupcakes were! The recipe in the book recommended a brown butter icing (which was more of a glaze) and I knew I wanted something more substantial so I whipped up a maple pecan frosting which was incredible! If you love pumpkin then you should definitely make these cupcakes!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground gloves
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with paper liners. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown, Skim foam from top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, both sugars, eggs, and brown-butter mixture. Add the flour mixture, and whisk until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Frost with Maple Pecan Frosting. Makes 15 cupcakes.

Maple Pecan Frosting
adapted from Big Oven

1/2 cup maple syrup
2 ounces cream cheese softened
1/2 cup butter softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup pecans toasted and finely chopped

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring maple syrup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until reduced by about a third, 10-12 minutes. Pour into a glass measuring cup nested in a bowl of ice water and stir constantly until syrup is very thick and barely warm to touch, 3-4 minutes. Remove from ice water. In a bowl, with a mixer on low, beat cream cheese and butter until well blended. Beat in powdered sugar (adjust the amount of sugar to reach your desired consistency); scrape in reduced syrup; beat until smooth.