Friday, November 28, 2014

Chocolate Chip Muffins - great for holiday guests

Yum, yum, yum.


I love a good muffin and I love hosting guests over the holidays.  I don't know about your house, but at mine we are up around 6:30 seven days a week.  My two year has not discovered the joys of sleeping in.  A typical morning involves us getting out of bed with him and eating cereal together as a family.  Most days the baby sleeps a little later.  This Thanksgiving we had family staying with us and I am sure a lot of you did as well.  I never expect guests to get out of bed as early as we do and that is one of the reasons I love muffins. You can bake them well in advance, freeze them individually wrapped, and then warm them in the microwave anytime for serving.  Everybody can enjoy a hot breakfast.  This muffin uses my favorite muffin base.  They are moist, filling, and delicious!

Chocolate Chip Muffins
recipe from Baked Perfection

makes 12 muffins

2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons miniature chocolate chips (for topping)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a large bowl beat together eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix dry ingredients into wet mixture (be sure not to over-mix, batter will be lumpy). Gently fold in semi-sweet chocolate chips. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups so they are 2/3 of the way full.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes top with miniature chocolate chips and return to oven for another 10 minutes.  Total bake time is 20 minutes.  Best served warm.





Saturday, November 22, 2014

Cookie Season - Oatmeal M&M Butterscotch Cookies

It is always cookie season around here.

Everybody in my house loves a good cookie.  I imagine that is true for most households.  I like to give away treats of cookies and candies to my co-workers, friends, and neighbors this time of year.  I am going to do my best to get a post to you every week in case you want to share in  gift giving.

I came up with these cookies on whim one day that my son was home with me.  He loves to help out in the kitchen and I knew he would enjoy the colorful mini M&M's.  Well I loved these cookies just as much as he did and so did everybody we shared them with.    I highly recommend these.  They are chery, crunchy, sweet, and salty. 

Also, I have a tip for you when it comes to holiday cookie making.  Baked your desired amount of cookies.  I typically bake one dozen.  Scoop all the remaining cookie dough into round balls and lay them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.    Put the parchment lined sheet with the cookie dough balls into the freezer for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes (it is okay if it is longer, I have accidentally left them over night), put the cookie dough balls in a plastic freezer bag.  They will store for months if needed.  When you want to bake for Company, your family, or to give away, just set them on your cookie sheet frozen and let thaw slightly for 15-20 minutes.   Bake as suggested in the recipe.  It may need an extra minute or two.

Oatmeal M&M Butterscotch Cookies
recipe by Baked Perfection

makes approximately 4-5 dozen cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or grated peel of 1 orange
3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup miniature M&M candies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Combine, flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats, butterscotch chips, and M&M's. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 1 - 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats and Jif® Give Away Winner

Simple and Sweet.

















These are so simple, delicious, and fun.  I rarely make cereal treats and thought it would be a fun way to use some leftover Oreos.  Let me tell you, I was right.  My two year old son helped me make these, which goes to show how simple they are.  You can really mix just about anything into these.  I know leftover Halloween Candy would work extremely well!

See below for Give Away Winner!

Oreo Rice Krispie Treats
recipe adapted from Kelloggs

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40) JET-PUFFED Marshmallows
  • 6 cups Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® cereal
  • 2 cups chopped Oreos®

  • 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 and stir continuously until the marshmallows have reached a smooth consistency. Remove from heat and fold in the cereal and Oreos® until completely coated.  Add the mixture to the greased baking dish and smooth out evenly. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.


















Give Away Winner:

We have a winner!  Thanks to all who entered the Jif® Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookie Give Away.  I have a ton of fun reading about your favorite cookies.  The winner of the Give Away is TiffanyM who said "Mine are chocolate chip cookies. I've got a recipe that makes 8dozen so when I make them I have lots to spare."  Please email me at bakedperfection@gmail.com so I can get the prize pack to you!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jif® Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies and a Give Away

Can't keep my hand out of the cooke jar.






































I love cookies, always have and always will.  As you know from the numerous posts on this blog I also love peanut butter.  We go through a jar a week in our house.  It is a passion shared by my husband, son, and I.  Hopefully our daughter will love it too when she is old enough to eat it.  I love peanut butter so much, I have actually nicknamed my son "peanut butter".    Not long ago Jif® contacted me asking if I would be interested in writing a review of their famous Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies and hosting a Give Away.  Jif®  just happens to be the only peanut butter I use for baking so I was instantly eager to work with them.  I actually made these cookies twice.  The first time I used butter since I almost always use butter in a recipe that calls for shortening.  The cookies were good, but nothing to brag about.  I made them again following the recipe exactly using shortening and let me tell you it made a difference.  They were crispier on the outside, softer in the middle,  held their shape better, and overall just more delicious.  My son helped me make these.  He is only two and already has a passion for cooking and baking.  I love the memories he and I are making together.  I highly recommend you give these a try.  (see details below on the Give Away)

Jif® Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe from Jif® 

  • 3/4 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 stick Crisco®  All-Vegetable Shortening

  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • Heat oven to 375°F. Combine peanut butter, shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended.
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2-inches apart onto greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly in a crisscross pattern with tines of fork.

  • Bake one baking sheet at a time 7 to 8 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to cooling racks to cool completely.

  • Give Away Details


  • The Give away includes everything pictured above:

  • Jif® Peanut Butter
  • Crisco® Baking Sticks All-Vegetable Shortening
  • Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • Jif® Apron
  • Cookie Jar
  • Branded Fork for Cookie imprint


All you have to do to enter the give away is leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite cookie.  Additionally, if you like Baked Perfection on Facebook and comment there, you will get a second entry.  All entries must be received by midnight on Friday October 24th.  I will announce a winner (through blog post) the following week.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sticky Toffee Date Cake (a.k.a Sticky Toffee Pudding)

Go make this right now...and save me some.


This is by far my absolute favorite dessert.  I am not kidding. I would rather have this than pie, cookies, chocolate, chocolate and peanut butter, or even s'mores and you know I love s'mores.  If you are unfamiliar (which I was for a long time), Sticky Toffee Pudding is an English dessert and it is not at all a "pudding" in the American sense.  It is a moist date sponge cake topped with an incredible toffee sauce.  I was first exposed to Sticky Toffee Pudding when Haagen-Dazs came out with a limited edition "Sticky Toffee Pudding" flavor ice cream.  Unfortunately they discontinued the flavor (big mistake if you ask me).  From then on, whenever I saw Sticky toffee Pudding on a menu I would get it.  Zack and I went on a cruise many years ago and each night we had dinner and dessert in the fancy restaurant.  After dinner each night we would go up to the buffet and have second dessert of Sticky Toffee Pudding.  I miss that trip.  I never attempted to make this until recently.  I was watching Barefoot Contessa and she made a version that did not seem complicated at all.  I decided I would give it a try for Zack's birthday and we are both glad I did.  I will now be making this for my birthday too.  


Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake
adapted from Laura Donnelly, on Barefoot Contessa

Make 2 9-inch cakes or 20 individual cakes

For the cakes:
1 pound dates, pitted and chopped
2 teaspoon baking soda
8 ounces butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 tablespoons baking powder

For the Sauce (for 2 cakes):
1 pound butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Vanilla ice cream for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or 20 muffin tins. 

Place dates in a large sauce pan with 3 1/2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, stirring a little to break up the dates. Then leave to simmer for 1 minute before removing from the heat. Stir in the baking soda (which will cause mixture to bubble up).

Cream the butter and the sugar together in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, occasionally scraping down mixing bowl. Add the vanilla extract and then the flour and salt and mix briefly to give a lumpy dough.

Next, add the warm date mixture in two batches. Scrape down the sides of the bowl in between mixing. The dough will now be quite watery but don't worry. Finally, add the baking powder (this will bubble up also).

Pour the batter evenly into the two pans. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes for cake pans and about 20 minutes for muffin tins. Test for doneness with a toothpick, it should come out clean when cakes are done.

Meanwhile, to make the sauce, combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer gently for a minute or two until thickened and well blended.

When the cakes are done, let them sit on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Then, loosen the sides of the cake by running a knife around the edges, and invert onto a plate. Poke little holes with a toothpick all over the cakes; this will enable the sauce to be absorbed more easily. Pour the sauce over the cakes while they are still warm in a few batches. It takes a few minutes for one coat to soak in so you can add another.  Leave the cakes to soak into the sauce for at least 10 minutes. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.




Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blueberry Muffin Cake

Wild about Blueberries.






































As you have probably noticed over the past few months, I have been in a muffin phase.  I still have two more muffin recipes to share in addition to this one and plan on baking more next weekend.  This time around I thought I would try turning my favorite blueberry muffins into a cake.  The idea was brilliant because this cake was perfect!  I brought it to the birthday party of my good friend's daughter.  It was a morning party and I thought it would be a nice addition to the treats she was providing.  The cake was loved by everybody and I will definitely be making it again....and again.

Blueberry Muffin Cake
recipe from Baked Perfection

makes 1 loaf cake or 12 muffins

Cake:

2 eggs1/2 cup white sugar1/2 cup brown sugar1/2 cup vegetable oil1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon baking soda1 tsp cinnamon1/2 cups sour cream2 cups blueberries, dusted in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Topping:
1/2 cup white sugar1/3 cup all-purpose flour1/4 cup butter, cubed1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a standard loaf pan with butter or non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a large bowl beat together eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix dry ingredients into wet mixture (be sure not to over-mix, batter will be lumpy). Gently fold in blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.

To make the topping: mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking. 


Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.



Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cupcakes, Cupcakes and More Cupcakes

It is hard to stop with just one.


I am making cupcakes for my friends wedding in a few weeks.  I wanted to do a tasting for her and she only asked to try two flavors.  I thought it would be nice if I did a few more flavors.    So here is a compilation of some of my favorite cupcakes that I made.

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting (I also made these with a Vanilla Cupcake base which you can see at the very top of the photo above)
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting (Also pictured with Chocolate Frosting)
Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting (Also pictured is Lemon Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting)





Monday, September 1, 2014

Apple Strudel Muffins

Seriously, I am in a muffin phase.

This picture does not do this muffin justice, as it was delicious.  I made these muffins quite some time ago, shortly before we had my daughter.  They were delicious and I thought this would be the perfect time to share them with you as Fall is right around the corner.  When I baked these I accidentally set the oven temperature way too high so my topping melted before I realized I had the temperature wrong. Your muffins will look much prettier.  I individually wrapped the muffins in plastic wrapped once cooled, then stored them in a gallon size freezer bag in the freezer.  We popped them in the microwave for thirty seconds in the morning and we had warm apple muffins for breakfast.  I wish I had some now!

Apple Strudel Muffins
recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

makes 12 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded apples

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.  

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, white and brown sugar, and eggs until smooth.  Mix in vanilla. Gently stir in the apples, then slowly add the flour mixture.  Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture is like coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle over tops of the batter in the cups.

Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Allow to sit 5 minutes before removing from the pan.  Cool on a wire rack.



Sunday, August 24, 2014

M&M's® Milk Chocolate Minis Cookies and We have a Winner!

Happy Sunday, or shall we say Sundae.






































Before we get to these cookies I wanted to announce the winner to my "National Ice Cream MonthGive Away from  Smucker’s®"  The winner is Gloria who said "My favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate chip :)"  Please email be at bakedprefection@gmail.com with your contact information so I can get the prize pack sent to you.

For the rest of you I have a delicious chocolate M&M cookies.  These cookies are a fun change up to a traditional chocolate  Not only are they super tasty but they are just fun.    I made these cookies miniature to coincide with the size of the M&M's.  It makes you feel less guilty when you eat a handful :)

M&M's® Milk Chocolate Minis Cookies
recipe from M&M's®

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups  M&M's® Milk Chocolate Minis

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until combined.  Stir in the candy.

Drop by rounded half tablespoon onto a baking tray about 2 inches apart.  Bake 7-9 minutes.

Enjoy!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins and my review of Silicone Baking Cups from The New York Baking Company

What do you do with Ripe Bananas....you make muffins!







































I still don't like bananas and I don't expect that to change anytime soon.  Zack and Noble love them though and we just about always have some on hand.  Unfortunately or fortunately(depending on how you see it), we had too many bananas last week and a few went uneaten and were very very ripe.  This meant they needed to go into muffins!

Not long ago I was asked to review the Silicone Baking Cups from The New York Baking Company. I don't typically do product reviews, but they had such high ratings on Amazon I thought I would give them a try.  Well they definitely lived up to the hype!  First I must tell you that I love the colors.  They are super bright which I love.  The muffins baked evenly and popped right out of the cup without sticking at all.  I wish I would have taken a picture for you, but I forgot to take one before they were all eaten.  I washed the cups in the dishwasher before and after I used them and they held their shape perfectly and look as if they have never been used.  I think they are perfect for muffins and will be using them again and again.

As for the muffins, I was told they were moist and delicious.  Every last one was eaten so they must have been pretty good :)

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large bananas, mashed
2/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips, dusted in flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a larger bowl mix together the bananas, sugar, egg, vanilla, and melted butter.  Gently mix in the flour mixture until smooth.  Divide evenly into prepared muffin tin.  Bake in preheated oven 25-30 muffins until lightly golden and spring back when touched.



































Please note I was compensated to provide my opinion on the products in this post. Even though I received compensation for my post, I always give my honest opinions, or experiences on the products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

“National Ice Cream Month” giveaway for Smucker’s®

#SundaeFundae






































Did you know that August is National Ice Cream Month?  I did not either, but the folks over at Smucker’s® were kind enough to let me know and of course I wanted to pass that along to you.  We are big fans of ice cream in our house.  In fact, we try not to buy it because when we have it around we eat it way too fast.  When Smucker’s® reached out to me asking if I wanted to host a giveaway on Baked Perfection and test out there new topping flavors I decided I had to partake.  Last night Zack and I went to town and made the delicious ice cream sundaes you see pictured.  Since I am still avoiding dairy I made my sundae with almond milk ice cream.  Zack used sea salt caramel gelato and I may have been a touch jealous.  We used the Smucker’s®  Simple Delight Salted Caramel Topping and the Smucker’s® Simple Delight Dark Chocolate Topping.  The toppings we tried were delicious and made us feel like kids eating ice cream sundaes on a hot summer day.  This was truly a fun dessert night in our house and I want you to have the same fun.  (see below for more about the Giveaway)







































The giveaway includes:
·         Scallop Edge Hanging Chalkboard
·         Branded Cooler Tote + Scoop
·         All seven NEW Smucker’s toppings flavors including:
o   Smucker’s®  Simple Delight Salted Caramel Topping
o   Smucker’s® Simple Delight Chocolate Coconut Flavored Topping
o   Smucker’s® Simple Delight Dark Chocolate Topping
o   Smucker’s® Simple Delight Hot Fudge Topping
o   Smucker’s® Magic Shell® Chocolate Pretzel Flavored Topping
o   Smucker’s® Magic Shell® Rainbow Sherbet Flavored Topping
o   Smucker’s® Microwavable Hot Dark Chocolate Topping

(Note - Chalkboard and serving tray not pictured)

All you have to do to enter the give away is leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite ice cream flavor.  Additionally, if you like Baked Perfection on Facebook and comment there, you will get a second entry.  All entries must be received by midnight on Friday August 14th.  I will announce a winner (through blog post) the week of August 17th. 

I also encourage you to to enter the the #SundaeFundae promotion (click link for official rules) for a chance to win $5,000 toward a summer vacation.  





Please note I was compensated to provide opinion on the products in this post. Even though the I received compensation for my posts, I always give my honest opinions, or experiences on the products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Cookie Dough Cupcakes and Miniature Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are so good that I wanted to share them again.



If you have yet to try these, please try them!  They are so tasty.  It is incredibly hard to not eat the frosting straight from the bowl.  Trust me!  Here is a link to my original post:  Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Frosting

This time I topped the cupcakes with a mini homemade chocolate chip cookie.  Here is my recipe:

Miniature Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe from Baked Perfection

makes approximately 100 cookies

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 dash of cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups mini- chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and dash of cinnamon. 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 the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded half-teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.


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.



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Crumble topped Blueberry Oat Muffins

Ready for more muffins?
















I did tell you that I have been in a muffin mood lately.  Blueberry muffins have always been my favorite muffin.  I rarely stray from my typical recipe (since it is so delicious), but thought I would try to make a version with some oats.   I was quite pleased with this version and they make the perfect quick breakfast when you have to nurse a baby and take care of a toddler.  I realize that most of you aren't in the same situation as me, so these are also great for a quick breakfast on your way to work or for a slow breakfast when you want to sit and enjoy.  I individually wrapped each muffin in plastic wrap and froze them in a freezer bag.  All you have to do is unwrap and microwave 30 seconds for perfection.

Crumble topped Blueberry Oat Muffins
recipe inspired by allrecipes.com

makes 12-15 muffins

for the muffins:
1 cup quick cooking oats
2/3 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, dusted in 1 tablespoon flour to prevent sinking

for the topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
1 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.  In a small bowl mix the oats and orange juice together and set aside.

To make the topping, mix the brown sugar, oats, four, and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add butter using either a fork, pastry cutter, or your fingers until you have a crumb.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking power, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Using a whisk, blend in the oil, vanilla, and egg.  Gently stir in the oar mixture and fold in the blueberries.  Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups.   Top each muffin with crumble topping.

Bake 18 - 20 minutes until lightly golden and a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.





Monday, May 5, 2014

Lactation Cookies - Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies

I can't keep my hand out of the cookie jar!




As I mentioned last week, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl into this world.  We are still getting used to being a family of four, but her big brother seems truly smitten with her.  He is constantly checking on her and demands to hold her and lay with her.  It is the cutest thing.  I am nursing her and we have no issues so far.  I am one of the lucky women who have babies that latch well and eat often without any issues.  I know breastfeeding can be a struggle for many women and my heart goes out to you. 

One thing that i never tried with my son was making lactation cookies.  The ingredients in the cookies are supposed to increase your milk supply.  I have never had a supply issue before, but figured it would not hurt to give these a try.  I modified the recipe slightly and let me tell you....they are delicious!  My entire family keeps eating them.  We are almost out of the first batch which made 4 dozen.  I plan to mix up another batch this weekend.

Lactation Cookies (Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies)
recipe modified from iambaker

makes approx. 4 dozen

2 cups flour
1teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons Brewer's yeast
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 cups oats (can be quick oats)
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.  In a separate bowl beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.   Add in eggs one at a time until fully combined.  Slowly add in flour mixture.  Mix until combined.  By hand, mix in the yeast, flaxseed, oats, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips.  Drop rounded spoonfuls about two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden.