Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies Bars

Easy and Delicious.

These bars are really easy to make and incredibly delicious as I mentioned above.  Sometimes you need  or want to bake something and just don't have time for the fuss or muss.  Well, these are your cookies.  They taste great too, so it is a win win.  I made these in a half sheet pan, 11x17, and think it would be fun to make as a birthday cookie cake.  I also think a fun alternative to slicing squares would be to use cute cookie cutters since the bars soft and quite easy to slice.  I used a Martha Stewart recipe and it is a good thing I read the comments first.  I baked these for 20 minutes and you can see they came out perfectly.  The original recipe said to bake them for 40-45 minutes and they would have been completely burnt.  Please keep that in mind when you try them.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
recipe from Martha Stewart

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
4 cups  all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanille extract
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, with rack in center.  Generously butter a 11x17 rimmed baking sheet; set aside.   In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add eggs and vanilla; mix until well combined.  Add flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined.  Beat in chocolate chips.

Spread dough on prepared baking sheet.  Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until edges are brown and top is golden, 20 - 25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack; cool completely on baking sheet before cutting.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Creamsicle Cupcakes

Perfect for summer.

I have had the idea to make these cupcakes for ages and I am so glad I finally got a chance to make them.  When I was pretty young my family and I lived in California.  I was pretty young when we moved away so I don't have too many memories, but I do remember that the ice cream truck used to come through our neighborhood (big shock that one of my early memories is about dessert).  My brother, sister, and I was get so excited when we heard the familiar tune of the ice cream truck coming down the street.  I would always get either a Creamsicle or Strawberry Shortcake.  If I remember correctly, my sister was a big fan of the Drumstick, but I really can't remember what my brother would get.  I still love the familiar flavor combination of vanilla and orange paired perfectly together and this cupcakes tastes exactly like the Creamsicle Ice Cream pop I would get as a kid.  I think it is a perfect summer cupcake.

Creamsisle Cupcakes
recipe from Baked Perfection

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg white
4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
zest of two oranges 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cups sour cream

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla bean paste and orange zest; mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Recipe makes approximately  14 cupcakes.

Creamsisle Frosting
recipe from Baked Perfection

(note: this is a recipe for half vanilla and half Creamsicle frosting)

1 stick of butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
2 -4 tablespoons milk
zest of 1 orange
juice of half an orange
orange food coloring

In a mixing bowl beat butter and vanilla until creamy, add salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined, until you have added 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.  At this point, take slightly more than half the frosting out of the of the bowl and set aside.

Add the orange zest, orange juice, and orange food coloring to the frosting left in the mixing bowl.  Add additional 1/2 - 3/4 cup powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.

To pipe as pictured, place vanilla frosting and orange frosting in separate piping bags.  Place the two piping bags filled with frosting into a larger piping bag.  Squeeze gently until both frostings are piping at once.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pretty Pink Cookie Dough Truffles

Some things don't go out of style.

I have posted these little gems several times before.  They are just so cute and delicious I wanted to share them with you again.  I made these for a friend's baby shower.  You can guess she was expecting a little girl.  If you have not got around to trying these yet, you really should.  They are easy, delicious, and everybody loves them!

Cookie Dough Truffles

recipe from Baked Perfection

1 cup all purpose flour1/4 tsp saltdash of cinnamon1 stick butter, softened (it is even okay if it is melting a little)1/2 cup brown sugar1/4 cup sugar1/2 tsp vanilla extract3/4 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips1 - 2 tablespoons water
Assorted candy melts

In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, and dash of cinnamon. In a second larger bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips. Add water if mixture is too dry to form into balls. Roll the mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet lined with wax paper (Should make approximately 20). 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). Gently dip the cookie dough ball into the candy coating. Once covered, remove and let the excess chocolate fall off. Place back on wax paper to dry.

To decorate with drizzled chocolate, place melted chocolate in a plastic sandwich bag. Using scissors, cut the very tip off the sandwich bag. The smaller your cut, the smaller the drizzle. Use the sandwich bag to pipe the chocolate back and forth over the cookie dough truffle until you reach the desired look.  If you chose, top with sprinkles.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bananas Foster French Toast

This was for Zack.

I still don't like bananas, but Zack continues to love them.  Since I love him, I made Bananas Foster French Toast for him on Father's day.  Our little baby boy is due in less than 8 weeks so I wanted to make something special for Zack and knew he would love this special breakfast.  Fortunately for me, you add the bananas in the last step, so I was able to enjoy a banana free breakfast.  This breakfast was really delicious and very easy to make.  It would be perfect for any special occasion.

Bananas Foster French Toast
topping recipe adapted from Paula Deen, French Toast recipe from Baked Perfection

serves 5

French Toast:

6 eggs
two cups whole milk or heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 loaf Challah, sliced into 10 slices
Cinnamon for sprinkling
Butter for pan


1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
5 ripe bananas, sliced
1 teaspoon rum extract

Set a baking sheet in the oven, and preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat a griddle over medium heat.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk or cream, and vanilla extract until somewhat frothy.  Dip 2-3 slices (however many will fit on your griddle at a time) into custard mixture until completely moistened, and place on buttered and pre-heated griddle.  Sprinkle top of each slice of bread with cinnamon while it is sitting on the griddle.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown, flip and cook and additional 2 - 3 minutes.   When both sides are golden brown and bread is no longer soggy, remove from griddle and place on the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm until you have cooked all the French Toast. 

To make topping:

In a large skilled, combine corn syrup, brown sugar, maple syrup, and pecans.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 2 minutes.  Add banana slices and rum extract.  Coat the bananas with syrup mixture and simmer 1 minute.  Spoon over French Toast.  Serve immediately.