Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Oreo Balls

I got this recipe from my friend Jadi's recipe blog, and they are delish! I mean seriously--chocolate, cream cheese...what's not to love?

1 package Oreo cookies
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
23 oz bag milk chocolate chips melted with 4 tbsp vegetable oil

Crush Oreo cookies into a fine powder in a blender or food processor. Soften cream cheese and mix into Oreo powder (in a mixer, not by hand). Place a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet. Once the mixture is well blended, roll into balls and place balls without touching on cookie sheet. Once all the mix is rolled, place cookie sheet in freezer for 15 minutes. While the balls are setting, melt the chocolate and vegetable oil. Dip the balls in chocolate and place on another large sheet of wax paper. Put the dipped balls in the fridge for several minutes so the chocolate will harden. I made my balls pretty small, so this made 4 dozen. Enjoy!

Peppermint Meltaways

This recipe was on the cover of this December's "Simple and Delicious" magazine and I was excited to try it as soon as I saw it. I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I couldn't find peppermint extract at either of the two stores I tried, so I used mint extract since it lists peppermint oil as an ingredient. I used probably half what the recipe calls for in the cookie dough itself, then none at all in the frosting. I wasn't crazy about the mint extract taste, and think the cookies would taste better if the recipe was followed exactly. I also think you really need to like peppermint to enjoy these cookies. I'm not a huge peppermint fan, but thought the cookies were very pretty and festive looking, and I enjoyed the melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Cookie Dough:
1 c butter, softened
1/2 c confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1-1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c cornstarch

2 tbsp butter, softened
1-1/2 c confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
2 to 3 dops red food coloring, optional
1/2 c crushed peppermint candies

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Shape into 1 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutesor until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, extract, and food coloring if desired; beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies. Store in an airtight container. Makes 3 1/2 dozen.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Dad's Chocolate Chip Cookies

My dad makes (no bias, of course) the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had. Here's the recipe and Dad's technique.

2 sticks (1 c) butter, softened
3/4 c white sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
3 c (or 1.5 12 oz bags) chocolate chips

I use a Kitchen Aid, but you can also hand mix of course. Cream together butter and sugars for several minutes. If you are hand mixing, you would whip until you see air bubbles. I don't usually get this with the Kitchen Aid, but you want to mix this for a while so you get enough air in the mix.

Add eggs. Mix only until blended completely. Add vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Mix only until blended. Add flour, and mix only until blended. Depending on how melted the butter was, you might need closer to 3 c flour. Add chips and mix.

Spoon onto greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until edges are golden brown. I prefer to leave the center a little underdone and let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes after I pull them out of the oven.

For cookie bars:
Spread entire batch of dough into greased 9 x 13 glass pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until edges and top are golden brown. When you first pull this out the middle will probably still be underdone, but if you let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes it will firm up.

Serve with milk or ice cream and enjoy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Caramel Pecan Brownie Pie

I tried this recipe for the first time last night and loved it. I get a lot of my inspiration from Cooks.com, and then add/improvise with what I have.

1 stick butter
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 c plain flour
1/2 c baking cocoa

Mix softened butter with sugar. Add eggs and mix until creamy. Add vanilla and salt. Add flour and mix slowly. Add baking powder. Add baking cocoa and blend until creamy. Pour into a greased glass pie pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

Let cool for a few minutes, then top with toasted pecans and caramel sauce/ice cream topping. To toast pecans, place them in a dish with butter and put them in the oven for several minutes.

I added the caramel and pecans to individual slices, not the whole pie. I ate a piece hot out of the oven, then the next day microwaved a piece for 15 seconds before I added the toppings. Serve with ice cream or a big glass of milk and enjoy!

New Blog

I've decided to start a recipe blog. I love to bake have recently tried out several new recipes I'd like to share. I'm disorganized about keeping my recipes, and usually have a bunch of pieces of paper stashed who knows where and I can never find them. So I figured a blog would be an easy way for me to organize them. Not all my recipes will be desserts, but most of them, since that's really the only cooking I enjoy doing. Happy reading and happy eating!