Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bagels and brownies

Today I made bagels, and brownies.
I did make some changes to the brownies, and I'll post the revised recipe below. The bagels were exactly the same as always, but I ended up letting them rise the first time around for 2 1/2 hours instead of 1, because I was out and couldn't get home as fast as I thought I could. I also made the bagels smaller, so I had smaller bagels but twice as many. They really weren't all that small, though. If you were having just the bagel and some cream cheese they'd be a good snack, but not a meal. But they were big enough to use to make a sandwich, so that was good.

I would use better quality chocolate chips for the brownies. I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips. I kind of prefer store brand milk chocolate chips (well, Publix brand, I don't know about any other brands), but Ghirardelli is SO much better than other white chocolate. My sister and I both compared Nestle white chocolate chips to Ghirardelli white chocolate chips and the Ghirardelli was about a thousand times better.
Also, I didn't use a mixer for any of this, just a wooden spoon. Mine were a bit undercooked, they didn't stay together when I took them out of the pan, but I think part of that is that I had sooo many chocolate chips in them, and I cooked them for only about 24 minutes because I prefer them undercooked.
I appologize for my terrible brownie pictures, I was rushing because Jumper was about to come on TV and we don't have the fancy pause regular TV thing :P

Here is the link for the bagel recipe. I would definitely suggest making them, they're so easy and SO worth it!

Triple Chocolate Brownies
Makes an 8x8 pan
Adapted from Allrecipes.com

1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup malt powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
In a small bowl combine baking powder, salt, flour, and malt. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar until well combined. Add in eggs 1 at a time until completely incorporated, then stir in vanilla. Mix in cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Slowly add in flour mixture, then add in chocolate chips.
Pour into a greased 8x8 pan and bake about 26-29 minutes.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

An obsene amount of pictures, as well as a cookie recipe

I hope everyone had a good Christmas/holidays! :) I did. Today I just hung around the house and made cookies (chocolate chip hazelnut and ginger, but I didn't get pictures of the ginger cookies since I make them all the time) and pasta sauce. I also made smores, which were pretty tasty :D

It snowed here in SC for the second time this year, which has got to be a record. It didn't stick, at least not here, but it snowed pretty hard for a while. It was pretty crazy!

Hayden and Brett before Narnia 3-D

Brett and I before Naria in 3-D
Austen and I

My Christmas presents. Not including my very own camera! :D which I used to take allll these pictures. YAY! It's a Nikon and I loooove it!

Two cookbooks I got for Christmas :)Popchips are NOM
20 bags :D Gotta love Amazon!

Cannot WAIT to try this!

Chocolate chip hazelnut cookies

Adapted from Giada's Family Dinners by Giada De Laurentiis
Makes about 42 cookies

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
2 1/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of oats (not instant)
3/4 cup toffee, chopped (I used heath bar that they have with the baking chips at the grocery store)
12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup butter, room temp
1 cup roasted chopped hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 325.
Roast hazelnuts, remove as much skin as possible (mine still had a lot of skin on them, but I couldn't tell once they were done), chop, and set aside.
Put oats in a blender or food processor until finely chopped (both of mine were broken, so I just chopped them as well as I could).
Whisk together baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, flour, and oats. Set aside.
Beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and eggs, then slowly stir in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in nuts, chocolate chips, and toffee. Place on baking sheet and bake about 14 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frozen Smores made in the oven:
4 sheets of graham crackers (4 crackers each)
2 chocolate bars (like Hershey's)
4 marshmallows
Makes 4 smores

Break graham crackers in half, place 4 halves on cookie sheet. Put marshmallows on top of the graham crackers and put them in the oven with the broiler on high. Stand there and watch them, because they can burn very quickly. Once they're brown enough, remove pan from oven, put chocolate bars (1/2 bar per smore) on each marshmallow, then top with the other half of the graham cracker. Place back in oven with broiler on until chocolate gets melted to the graham cracker and marshmallow. Take them out, put them on a plate and put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Then eat them all :D NOM!

Pasta sauce

I don't really have a recipe for this because I kind of just throw random spices in xD but it's basically just tomato paste (the tiny can of it, because that's what we had in the pantry), three 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and spices (thyme, oregano, sage, bay leaves, basil, rosemary, Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, a tiny bit of smoked paprika, and a tiny bit of chipotle pepper powder). It simmered for about 5 hours. It was good :D I like eating it as a soup, too.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I haven't made any new recipes lately, but I would definitely suggest making this pizza as soon as possible. It is absolutely amazing :D I have some cooking in the oven right now, it only takes about 45-60 minutes tops from start to finish including cooking time and it's totally worth it. NOM NOM NOM :D

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chocolate cookies

I haven't baked anything new recently but I made chocolate crinkles last night, and they were amazing as always. If you haven't made these kind of cookies yet, I definitely would suggest making them, they're amazing. If you only partially coat them with powdered sugar the outside is chewier, like a brownie. Seriously amazing.
Hopefully I will be baking something new soon, and when I do I will post recipes and pictures :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chocolate chip coconut pecan cookies

So, before the cookies, I have to post pictures of the cutest thing ever. His name is Dexter, and he's short, dark, and soft :D I got home today and my mom surprised me with a chinchilla as an early Christmas present! :D Soooo excited! I love him. He's adorable.
Onnnn to the cookies. I got the basic recipe from here, but I changed it quite a bit. I was really nervous about them, but I think they turned out pretty well :) Here is the recipe!

Chocolate Chip Coconut Pecan cookies
Makes about 30-34 cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs malted milk powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla, Butter & Nut extract
2 cups flaked coconut
1/4 cup cinnamon chips (you could use any kind of chip, though)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chips (I used mini, along with a handful of regular sized milk chocolate chips)
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, malt, and baking soda in a medium bowl, set aside. Cream butter and sugars together. Beat in egg and extracts. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until fully incorporated. Mix in coconut, chips, and pecans. Chill dough for up to an hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350. Roll into balls and flatten slightly, put on baking sheet and bake for about 9-11 minutes, let cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cheesecake cookies


I made these today. I haven't had one yet but apparently they're very good, according to my sister :P
I also made more bread today, but I doubled the recipe because I sent Daniel home with some.

For the cookies, I made half the batter plain, and half with mini semi sweet chocolate chips. They didn't come out very pretty, but that's ok.

Cheesecake cookies
Adapted from Baking Bites
Makes about 48 medium sized cookies
1 cup cream cheese, soft
1 cup butter, soft
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease a baking sheet (or line with parchement paper, but I ran out).
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add in sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in eggs, salt, and vanilla extract.
In a small bowl wisk together baking powder and flour, slowly incorporate into cream cheese picture until well combined. Drop tablespoon fulls onto baking sheet, bake for about 11-13 minutes, until they just start to brown. Be careful not to over-bake.

Light and fluffy :P

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bread and cupcakes

This is Austen. She kind of looks like a boy in this picture, but she's not :P she's a girl and she's five. She also goes by Chick, Chicken, Banana, Tiny, and Banan (short for Banana). Apparently she wasn't hungry, she just likes eating pasta out of the sink...

So I've been baking a LOT lately. I didn't bake anything yesterday, but the day before yesterday I made more almost vegan ginger cookies. Today I made soup (which I didn't take a picture of), bread, and cupcakes. I called in sick to work because I felt like crap, but then was so jumpy that I just baked :P The soup was basically the same as last time.

I am very proud of this bread, it's the first bread that I've made that actually turned out well (besides cinnamon swirl bread). I didn't have a sharp enough knife, so they sort of expanded on the bottom instead of the top... but they still tasted good so it's totally cool :P

Here is the recipe!
I made these for a Christmas party that I'm not going to because I'm sick. They are gingerbread cupcakes frosted and filled with lemon cream cheese frosting. Filling cupcakes is my new favorite thing ever. I wish my family liked sweet things more.
I know my photography (and writing) skills leave a lot to be desired, sorry :P

Gingerbread cupcakes
adapted from Epicurious
Makes 24 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon lemon or orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup molasses
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda

Into a bowl sift together the flour, the ground ginger, the cinnamon, the cloves, the allspice, and the salt. In another bowl cream the butter, add the brown sugar and beat the mixture until it is fluffy. Beat in the molasses and the eggs, beating until the mixture is smooth, beat in extracts. In a measuring cup combine the baking soda with 1 cup boiling water and stir the mixture to dissolve the baking soda. Stir the mixture into the molasses mixture (the mixture will appear curdled) and stir the molasses mixture into the flour mixture, stirring to combine the ingredients well. Line 24 1/2-cup muffin tins with paper liners and spoon the batter into the liners, filling them halfway. Bake the cupcakes in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (The cupcakes will be flat or slightly indented on top.) Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and let them cool.- Mostly copied from the website I got it from.

Cream Cheese frosting
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and lemon, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar.
This made just over the amount that I needed to frost and fill the cupcakes.

Ginger cookies... NOM NOM NOM! :D

PS- Thanks for the comments on previous posts! :) So glad I'm not the only one who has atrocious kitchen days xD thankfully today was not one of those days!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Almost vegan ginger cookies and some mistakes

I was having a very bad baking day today. Last night, too. Last night I made sugar cookies, but I made the terrible mistake of cooking them for too long. Tragic. Some were salvigable, though.
Then today I tried to make lemon bars by making a crust out of browned butter and the crushed up cookies. Not a good idea. The 'bars' probably taste good, but they're not so much bars as a sloppy ugly mess... not cool :/
I also tried making caramel sauce stuff out of canned condensed milk. It turned out ok but I decided not to use it, I wasn't sure how it'd taste with the cookies.
Then, after having no eggs left, a huge mess in the kitchen, and no idea what to make, I found this recipe. It's originally a vegan recipe but I used regular milk instead of soy milk because that's what I had.
I also made some really yummy tomato white bean soup the other night, and I'll post that recipe later. I might post the sugar cookie recipe later, and maybe the lemon bar recipe but I'm not sure about that. I'm sure the awful-ness of the lemon bars is my fault, but still.
Sorry if this post is all over the place, I'm sickish and tired so I'm out of it xD

The soup that I made. Yuuummy :)

Ugh... awful, awful lemon bars. Complete with splotches of cooked eggs because I really cannot bake today.

Sugar cookies. The soft ones were pretty good, actually.

Very good! I love ginger cookies, as you can tell :P

Almost vegan ginger cookies
Adapted from Ryan's Baking Blog
Makes about 33-35

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup milk
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
White sugar for rolling**

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Wisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a separate large bowl, mix together oil, molasses, milk, brown sugar, lemon extract, and vanilla.

Stir in dry ingredients and mix until well combined. I actually kneaded the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients at the very end because I found it easier to combine that way. I know that's strange and you're not suppose to over mix but I've done that with the other ginger recipe that I make a lot and I like the texture it gives the cookies.

Roll into balls and flatten slightly, place top into sugar, put dough sugar side up on cookie sheet.

Note: I also crushed some cristalized ginger and put that in the sugar that I rolled them in, too.
I added an extra 1/2 cup of flour because I wanted them thicker instead of chewy. I'm not sure why but I prefer ginger/mollases cookies this way.

Bake 5-7 minutes. I baked one batch 5 minutes and the other 6. I think 6 is a pretty good time. They're very soft ad delicious :D

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


A comment! I GOT A COMMENT! :D Happy dance, someone actually IS reading! :D yay. Haha. Totally just made my dayyyyy :D
PS Everyone should read this blog :) It's a food review blog but all the food is crazy like smoked sliced octopus in a can and smurf colored cherries. It's awesome :)
Anyway, I am planning on making cupcakes tonight, hopefully. Assuming I don't die during my exam today. Which is my first exam ever. In my entire life. Insane, I know. That's what happens when you're homeschooled all your life :P
Anywayssss. I will be posting a recipe and pictures of the soup I made last night (Tomato and cannellini bean soup... yum!), and maybe cupcake stuff too, if I end up making some.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New blog obsession

I've found a new blog that I am obsessed with... Ryan's Baking Blog, which I like because it's cute, and fun to read. Plus the recipes look delicious AND he has the same name as me. And really, what more could you want in life? :D So. Yeah.
I'm not really sure why I post, I'm pretty sure no one reads this blog, but oh well xD eventually I may get a comment, although it will probably be from someone I know. But still!
Trying to decide what to bake tonight... hmmmmm...

Alton Brown's "The Chewy"

I swear the window wasn't that dirty when I took the picture

Lots of chips!

I've seen this recipe around and I've wanted to try it for a while, but we never seem to have enough butter when I feel like making them :P
I made them yesterday and they were soooo good. I don't think I chilled the first ones long enough, though. And I should have cooked them a bit longer, because they didn't get crunchy on the edges. The second ones to go in were amazing, though. They were crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside and just totally amazing.
I adapted the recipe a little, because I'm very specific about chocolate chip cookies. I almost never eat them unless I make them. But I didn't change it too much. Sooooo... here is the recipe! :)

"The Chewy"
Adapted from Alton Brown

2 sticks unsalted butter (I used salted because that's what we had)
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips**
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda and set aside.
Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes** or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
I used a little more than two cups, and I used butterscotch, mini semi sweet chips, milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, toffee bits, and semi sweet chocolate chunks.
I think I cooked mine for closer to 10-12. Keep an eye on them.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Well, I was originally going to make some coffee cake this morning, but Daniel was out of milk. Sooo I made brownies instead. If we were at my house I would have added chocolate chips, because chocolate chips make everything better. I have 8 different bags of chocolate chips, actually. They are:
Nestle mint chocolate chips (which I got to make chocolate cookies for my dad with)
Nestle mini chips (I will be making chocolate chip pumpkin bread with these soon, hopefully)
Nestle butterscotch chips (I want to make these as soon as possible)
Heath toffee bits (I want to try them in shortbread soon.
Nestle chocolate chunks (not sure what I'll do with these yet...)
Publix milk chocolate chips
Giaradelli milk chocolate chips
Nestle white chocolate chips
I also would have put malted milk powder in them, too but they didn't have any here.
But anyway, they were still really good as they were. Hereeee is the recipe that I adapted from allrecipes.com

Basic Brownies
3/4 cup butter, melted
1-1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325
Combine all dry ingredients, set aside. Stir together butter, sugar, and vanilla until combined. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in dry ingredients slowly until completely combined. Spread in a greased 9x13" pan and bake for about 22-24 minutes. I baked mine for 22 minutes but I like them underdone.
They'd taste very good with nuts and/or chocolate chips too. :)

I don't have any pictures because the camera that I use to take pictures is at home. Oh well :(

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Coffee cake muffins

Yum :)
Just after going into the oven

I decided that I needed to bake something today, but I wasn't sure what. I ended up making coffee cake muffins. I started with this recipe, but changed it a lot.

This is what I ended up with:

4 cups cake flour (or use this
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 egg
1 cup of milk
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp all spice

For the crumbles:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/3 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp lemon extract

Make crumbles first. Melt butter, and stir all ingredients together. Add more flour if needed to form crumbles. I'm not exactly sure how much it will take, I don't usually measure the flour or sugar, just add it until it's right. Once it forms crumbles, set aside.
Sift together sugar, salt, spices, flour, and baking powder. Cut butter into chunks and crumbled into the flour with your fingers until it's mostly combined, then beat with a mixer until no large chunks remain and it's sort of like wet sand. Wisk together milk, extracts, and eggs. Mix sour cream into milk mixture and then slowly stir into flour mixture. I started using the mixer but a spoon worked better.
Mix until combined and then spoon into muffin tins lined with muffin papers. Only fill about a quarter of the way full, and then put about 2 tbs of crumbles in, and fill the rest of the way up. You can put crumbles on top, or you can just put them in the middle.
Bake at 350 for 16-20 minutes.**

Ok so I added about 1/2 cup less sugar because I ran out and figured it'd be sweet enough. They were pretty good, but I think they would have been better with the other 1/2 cup. Also, I had an extra 1/2 cup of sour cream in there. I added that first and then got worried that the batter looked so thick so I added a cup of milk. They're still good but I think they're a little too moist. I'm eating one now though after they've cooled down and they're pretty freaking good, I have to say :P I almost didn't add the lemon extract, I just did because I was watching a show on the Cooking Channel and they had a woman who made amazing coffee cake with lemon extract and it inspired me :P

Also, the Daring Baker's challenge was announced today... obviously I can't say what it is, but it's totally different from anything I've made before and I'm nervous but excited! :) pictures will be posted on the 27th of this month.