Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Poppers

So things in the Sprinkles Household have been a bit hectic lately with the MATM2 contest (I didn't win, but I'm okay.) and my work with Adler Planetarium on a new curriculum project, so Mr. Sprinkles has been a bit neglected in the baked goods department.  I decided to make that up to him with some pumpkin poppers which are a bit like little pumpkin doughnut holes and very tasty for this chilly fall weather.  I stumbled upon the recipe from Domestically Speaking while indulging my new addiction, Pinterest. Enjoy!

Recipe @ Pumpkin Poppers by Domestically Speaking

My observations/suggestions/tips:

  • The recipe makes about 30 poppers
  • Dip the poppers into the butter and cinnamon sugar mixture quickly!  Don't worry about trying to coat every bit of the popper or let it sit in there too long or they get sickeningly sweet.
  • Domestically speaking suggests coating only half of the popper to avoid them being too sweet and I may try that next time although the hubby is a serious sugar fiend.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Month at the Museum 2!

I'm a Month at the Museum Finalist!!!!!!!! The competition is fierce! Please, please, please vote for me once a day until Oct. 3 at 5pm, repost as your status, and tell everyone you've ever met to do the same! :)  Sooooo excited!!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pumpkin Butter Squares

These are one of the hubby's favorite fall treats.  It is made with Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter which is available on their website as well as at Williams-Sonoma.  It's a bit pricy so I like to wait until the week or two before Thanksgiving when it's on sale and buy as many as I can.  I made them for him this week and he shared them with his office and according to him they were a big hit.  So for everyone that asked me for the recipe, here you go!

Muirhead Pumpkin Butter Squares
Makes one 9x13 pan

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix, divided
  • 3/4 cup of butter, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/8 cup of milk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
To make the crust:
  1. Take the box of yellow cake mix, reserve 1 cup, and mix remaining cake mix with 1/2 cup of melted butter and one large egg.
  2. Press lightly into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
To make the pumpkin layer:
  1. Mix one jar of pecan pumpkin butter with 2 eggs and 1/8 of a cup of milk.
  2. Pour over crust.
To make topping:
  1. Mix and crumble the remaining 1 cup of cake mix with 1 tablespoon of flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of soften butter, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  2. Spread over the top of the pumpkin layer.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until golden.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just like Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade

Well this little baker has gone back to the classroom so there are a lot more papers to grade and a lot less time for baking.  I love bringing something yummy with me to work like a fancy flavored ice tea or an iced coffee to make the day go by faster and the middle schoolers easier to take at 7:30 in the morning.  I love Tazo's passion tea and was thrilled to see an iced version for the summer.  Paired with lemonade, it's an awesome treat but at over $3, it's a bit pricey.  I decided to scour the web for some imitation recipes and after some tweaking, decided that this is pretty darn close.  For another yummy iced beverage, check out my dear friend's recipe for an iced mocha at Memories by Christine.

On a totally unrelated note, check out my friend Sarah's new blog called Monday's Love.  Both the author and the blog are completely wonderful.

Just like Starbucks Passion Tea Lemonade
Makes approx. 2 quarts

  • 4 Tazo Passion Tea bags
  • 6 Cups of water
  • 1 12 oz can of lemonade concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 15 oz of simple syrup
  1. Heat 3 cups of water to boiling.  Remove from heat and add in tea bags and allow to steep for at least 6 minutes.
  2. In a pitcher combine lemonade concentrate, remaning 3 cups of water, orange extract, and simple syrup and place in the refrigerator.
  3. After tea has cooled, add to the pitcher and stir.
  4. Serve over lots of ice.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cinnamon Pear Streusel Coffee Cake

I wanted to make something delicious for the hubby before school overtook my life again and this delicious little recipe seemed to fit the bill.  I got a couple of gorgeous bartlett pears from Fresh Market (love, love, love this place) and found that the pears were big enough that I could bake an extra coffee cake to send home with my mom and dad who visited last weekend.  The hubby loved it and my mom said it was "the best coffee cake ever."  Ours disappeared before I got a taste or a picture, so I'll have to take their word for it. :)

Cinnamon Pear Streusel Coffee Cake
Makes 1 8x8 cake


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups pears; cored, unpeeled, and chopped (For me this was one large bartlett pear)

Streusel Topping:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut up
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and butter an 8x8 inch baking dish.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the egg, milk, butter, and vanilla.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.  Gently fold in the pears.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan.
  6. Make the streusel by mixing the sugar, flour, and butter with your fingers until crumbs form.  Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the batter.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

Friday, August 5, 2011

DFTS Original Recipe: Strawberry Lemonade Thumbprints

One of my fellow box office employees was checking out my blog and nicely hinted that they'd love some lemon squares.  Since we're eating on the go in the box office and lemon squares are best if kept refrigerated, I thought I'd attempt to make a cookie version of my strawberry lemonade bars.  The hubby says they're great - just enough strawberry and lemon flavor so it's not too tart or too sweet.

 Strawberry Lemonade Thumbprints
Makes 2 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry lemonade (I used the Trader Joe's version)
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine butter, confectioner's sugar, and flour.  Mix well. 
  3. Roll into small balls.  Flatten and indent centers.
  4. Place on greased cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool.
  5. In saucepan combine filling ingredients. 
  6. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring well until thickened (20-30 minutes).  Beware, this mixture burns easily.
  7. When cool, spoon filling into indent of each cookie.  Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Boozy Apple Pie

My dad LOVES apple pie so when I heard about a recipe that used hard cider, I was very intrigued.  This recipe comes from a google search but the recipe was adapted from a recipe by Lucy Baker's The Boozy Baker.  My dad loved the end result which creates a delicious glaze to cover the apples.   I hope you'll enjoy it too.

Pie before baking

Hard Cider Apple Pie
Makes 1 pie
  • 2 1/2 pounds (about 5 medium) Granny Smith applies, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hard cider, divided
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Zest of 1 lemon
To glaze the crust:
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar
1. Make the crust or cheat and use premade crust like me.
2. Make the filling. In a large saucepan, combine apple slices, 2/3 cup hard cider, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; cook, stirring often, until sugar has dissolved and the apples are thickly coated, about 5 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of hard cider and cornstarch. Add cornstarch mixture to apples and boil for 1 to 2 minutes or until the liquid is thick and clear. Remove from heat, stir in lemon zest, and let cool for 30 minutes.
4. Remove both portions of the pie dough from the refrigerator. On a clean, well-floured work surface, roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. Pour the apple mixture into the crust. Don't worry about getting all the glaze.  There will be plenty and if you use it all it bubbles all over your oven and makes a huge mess, trust me.
5. Roll the second half of the dough into a 12-inch circle and transfer it to the top of the pie. Pinch the edges of the top and bottom crusts together. Trim any excess dough, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Crimp the edges, and cut 2-inch vents in the center of the top crust. Transfer the pie to the freezer and chill for 1 hour or until it is very cold and the crust is firm to the touch.
6. Heat the oven to 425 degrees and place a rack in the lower third.
7. Glaze the crust. Brush the top crust with cream and sprinkle with raw sugar, if using.
8. Bake the pie for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 40 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. If the edges brown too quickly, cover them with foil. Cool the pie on a wire rack before serving.

Brown Sugar Cookies

Another recipe requested by another friend.  Karen, this one's posted for you!  I made these for work on Thursday and they were well recived.  Brown Sugar Cookies are a twist on the traditional sugar cookies but you replace the granulated sugar with either light (creates a mild butterscotch flavor) or dark brown (creates a more molasses-like flavor) sugar.  They have this wonderful warm taste and seem to just melt in your mouth. 

Brown Sugar Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter1 1/2 cups brown sugar (either light or dark)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp sugar, for rolling
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the flour mixture until dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar before placing on baking sheet. Space cookies about 2-inches apart to allow for spread.
  5. Bake for 11-14 minutes, until cookies are set and very lightly browned around the edges.
  6. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Bread

I made this yummy treat for the girls to eat while getting ready for our wonderful friends Dan and Danielle's wedding.  I had the honor of being a bridesmaid and was asked to bring something for the girls to snack on while getting ready the morning of the wedding.  One of the other bridesmaids asked for the recipe, so here ya go Caitlin. :)  This bread is a wonderful combo of tangy and sweet and a delicious summer breakfast treat.

Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Bread
Makes 1 5x9" loaf or 9 2x4" mini loaves
 1 stick unsalted butter, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approx. 4 lemons)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 ounces blueberries (1 1/4 cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter nine 2 1/2-by-4-inch baking pans, and dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and syrup is thickened, about 4 minutes. Let stand.
  3. Combine heavy cream, remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and the vanilla in a bowl. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in another bowl.
  4. Beat butter, lemon zest, and remaining cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low, and add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour. 
  5. Gently fold in blueberries using a rubber spatula.
  6. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 30 minutes for mini loaves and 55 minutes for 1 large loaf.
  7. Transfer pan(s) to wire rack, and brush tops of loaves with lemon syrup. Let stand for 15 minutes. Turn out loaves from pans, and brush all over with remaining syrup. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Site Make-Over

Notice my awesome new banner?  It was created for me by my best friend Christine from Memories By Christine.  She's super talented so be sure to check out her work!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I haven't made anything for the hubby to bring to his office lately, so I thought I'd send something in this week.  Mr. Sprinkles is a HUGE fan of cinnamon and brown sugar so I thought a cinnamon, brown sugar, and walnut streusel coffee cake would be nice to have for those Monday morning meetings.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Makes 12 servings
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon; set aside.
  2. Using a mixer, cream together the granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl. 
  3. Add egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  4. Beat in sour cream and vanilla.
  5. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
  6. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat well. 
  7. Spread half of batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of walnut streusel over batter. Spread remaining batter over streusel. Top with remaining streusel.
  8. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Have a happy birthday you will!

Today is Mr. Sprinkles's birthday.  Happy Birthday Hubby!!!  He's a huge Star Wars fan so when  I saw these cookie cutters at William Sonoma, I HAD to buy them.  As a special birthday treat I made sugar cookies and decorated them with royal icing (recipe for both here.)  I chose to make storm trooper and yoda cookies.  I added some neon green food coloring to the yoda ones and made the details on the storm trooper in dark grey to prevent any tongues from turning green/black and was pretty happy with the end result.

DFTS Original Recipe: S'mores Cookies

My boss at my summer job showed me a recipe for S'mores Bars.  While they looked super yummy, they also looked super messy.  When baking for my buddies in the box office at my summer job, I look for easy to eat cookies that could be quickly eaten without plates and without making a huge mess.  I found a recipe for s'mores cookies at Baked Perfection.   Normally I love their recipes, but my cookies were a burnt mess at 8 minutes and still needed to go back in for 3-4 minutes more according to the recipe.  Yuck!  I'm not sure what happened but I decided to toss the remaining dough after 2 tries in the oven and just make my own recipe.  I liked the end result even better than I think I would have liked the Baked Perfection version and I hope you like them too!

Don't Forget The Sprinkles S'mores Cookies
Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies
  • 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 4 graham crackers, pulverized
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham crackers, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips and marshmallows.
  6. Place tablespoons of dough on baking sheets about 2 – 2 ½ inches apart and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chocolate Orange Cranberry Cookies

This cookie combines 3 of my favorite baking ingredients: chocolate, citrus zest, and cranberries.  I whipped these up for my mom and the wonderful nurses she works with.  I used orange flavored cranberries to enhance the orange flavor and used semi-sweet chocolate chips to balance out the sweetness of the cranberries.

Chocolate Orange Cranberry Cookies
Makes 3 1/2 - 4 dozen cookies
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Using an electric or stand mixer, cream together melted butter and sugars. Mix in the eggs, stirring them in one at a time, then add the vanilla and orange zest.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture, then the dried cranberries and chocolate chips.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet leaving about 2 to 3-inches between cookies to allow for spread.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cookies are set at the edges and tops are slightly cracked looking. Cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Scones

My sister took me to this great place in the city for brunch a few weeks ago that had the most wonderful food.  We started our meal with blood orange scones served with lavender honey.  They were delicious beyond description.  Ever since our brunch date I've been printing out scone recipes to try and started with this one.  I love the combination of lemon and blueberry.  The tart clean flavor of lemon and the sweet blueberry flavor just compliment each other in a way that screams SUMMER!  You can drizzle them with the glaze recipe below (recommended if serving them within 1 day or they can get a little soggy), honey, or butter (not that they need it).  If you're serving these for a brunch of your own, try tripling the glaze recipe and let guests drizzle on as much as they'd like while eating.

Lemon Blueberry Scones
Makes 8 scones
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons of butter, chilled
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (do NOT thaw) 
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 
  3. Cut butter into 6-8 chunks and add to flour mixture, tossing to coat. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until mixture is sandy and butter is well distributed, with no pieces larger than a pea.
  4. Add in milk, lemon juice and lemon zest and stir until dough comes together. If dough is too wet, add an additional tablespoon of flour to the dough.
  5. Either keeping the dough in your mixing bowl, or turning it out onto a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 1 minute. 
  6. Here's where it gets messy.  Flatten dough and add blueberries. Knead gently for 30-60 seconds to distribute them. If you have unruly blueberries like I did, try adding half at a time or dividing the dough in half and working the dough as two separate sections.
  7. Divide dough into two balls and press each into a disc about 3/4-inch thick. Use a knife to divide each disc into quarters and place scones on prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 17-22 minutes, until scones are golden brown. 
Lemon Glaze
  •  1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  1.  Whisk glaze ingredients together until smooth, then drizzle over still-warm scones before serving.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Mother's Day Chocolate Raspberry Rose Truffles

Bunches of posts today because while I've been baking, my wonderful friend Sandy reminded me that I've been slacking on the posts.  I made these truffles for my mom for Mother's Day this year.  My mom and I love truffles and have been enjoying testing out all the flavors from Anna Shea Chocolates near her house.  These were a little tricky to work with but were well worth the effort.  You will need a food scale for this recipe, don't try to estimate or your ganache won't set right.  I used a 1/2 inch cookie scoop to scoop the ganache and then dipped the chilled ganache balls into dark chocolate but you could roll them in cocoa powder.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Raspberry Rose Truffles
Makes about 2 dozen truffles
Raspberry Rose Ganache:
  • 5.25oz (147g) 64% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped.
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons (14g) light corn syrup (or inverted syrup)
  • 1/4 cup (42g) strained raspberry purée
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) salted butter, cubed and softened but not melted
  • 2-4 drops of culinary grade rose petal oil or rose water
To Finish The Chocolates:
  • 8oz (224g) 64% bittersweet chocolate, melted and tempered OR
  • Cocoa powder
  1.  To prepare the ganache, place the chopped chocolate into a medium sized bowl.
  2. Combine the cream, purée, corn syrup and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring constantly. Once it reaches a rolling boil, pour the cream mixture evenly over the chocolate and allow to stand for 2 minutes without stirring.
  3. Once 2 minutes has passed, stir slowly to incorporate the ganache. Once the mixture has cooled to 95°F you may add the butter and rose oil/water, stirring gently to combine.
  4. Allow the ganache to set up over night in the refridgerator.  Once set, use a 1/2 inch cookie scoop to scoop out the ganache.  Roll between palms to create completely round balls.
  5. Place balls into the refridgerator to set.
  6. Dip cooled balls into tempered chocolate or roll in cocoa powder.

Banana Bread Cookies

I made these for a dear friend's retirement celebration and again for a pre-Memorial Day party on Saturday.  They were a hit at both and taste exactly like chocolate chip banana bread in cookie form.  I used semi-sweet chocolate chips but you could use whatever kind you like.  Enjoy!

Banana Bread Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (about 2 ounces), toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Whisk together flours, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. 
  3. Reduce speed to low. Add egg and vanilla; mix until combined. Mix in banana. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chunks, and walnuts. 
  4. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. 
  5. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown and just set, 12 to 13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes. 
  6. Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 2 days.

    Strawberry Lemonade Bars

    I wanted to make something refreshing and summery for our Bible study group since it was one of those rare days this spring when we actually had warm temperatures.  These strawberry lemonade bars were exactly what I was looking for.  This recipe is easy to make and the lovely pink color is all natural and came from pureed strawberries.  Enjoy!

    Strawberry Lemonade Bars
    Makes 24 bars
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2-3 tsp lemon zest
    • 1/2 cup pureed strawberries (about 3/4 cup berries)
    • 1 1/4 cups sugar
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.

    2. Begin by making the crust.  In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for about 17 minutes, until set at the edges.

    3. While the crust bakes, prepare the filling.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, strawberry puree, sugar and eggs and process until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder and salt, then pulse until smooth.

    4. Gently pour the filling over the hot crust when it has finished baking. Return pan to oven and bake for 23-26 minutes, until the filling is set.  There will be a light colored “crust” on top from the sugar in the custard – nothing to worry about.

    5. Cool completely before slicing and use a damp knife to ensure clean slices.  Store bars in the refrigerator, especially on a hot day.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Happy Albert Pi-nstein Day!

    Monday is March 14th and it is affectionately known to science and math geeks everywhere as Pi Day!  Pi Day is an actual holiday for me because it's an excuse to bake something pie related and is both a celebration of Pi and the birth of one of my favorite scientists, Albert Einstein who would be turning 132 this year.  I wanted to do something a little different, no shocker there, and came across this recipe for Apple Pie Cookies.  I noticed a few ways to improve upon it based on the comments and wanted to put my own spin on it as well.  The result is DELICIOUS! I made a batch to bring into work and some extra for Mr. Sprinkles.  I hope you like them as much as we do.  Enjoy!

    Apple Pi Cookies
    Makes 2 dozen

    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1 1/4 cups diced fresh apples (2 parts granny smith and 1 part red delicious)
    • 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped 
    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
    3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and maple syrup. With the mixer on low speed, gradually blend in the flour mixture. Once all flour has been incorporated, stir in apples and pecans.
    4. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet.
    5. Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are browned around the edges. Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    6. Since the apples let off more moisture as time goes by, these cookies will start to stick together slightly after a day of being stored in an airtight container. To prevent this, as well as to make the cookies easier to eat, layer them with pieces of wax paper or parchment paper. 

    Science Cookie Send Off

    My science teacher buddy at my school had a baby recently and I had the pleasure of working with Erin, her maternity leave sub, who was a fantastic teacher and fellow science geek.  Recently, Erin had her last day with us and I knew it was the perfect opportunity to create a cookie I've been dying to craft...Atom Cookies!  They are a basic chocolate cut out cookie with a bit more cinnamon added as the reviews said the cookie was a bit bland.  Maybe I'll add a little clove or chili powder next time.  I used royal icing to create the well known Rutherford atom model and Wilton pearlized sugar sprinkles for electrons.  They have a nice crunch and don't hurt your teeth like those little silver ball sprinkles are known to do.

    Hydrogen, Helium, and Lithium
    Atomic Chocolate Cut Outs (adapted from Martha Stewart's Chocolate Cut Out Recipe)
    Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and cinnamon into a bowl.
    2. Place butter and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Turn dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Form dough into a disk on the paper and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
    3. Lift baking mat from baking sheet. Roll out dough between baking mat and plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. Cut out cookies with a 2 1/2 inch flower shaped cookie cutter. Transfer baking mat to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes.
    4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove baking sheet from freezer and trim scraps. Reroll scraps between a nonstick baking mat and plastic wrap and repeat process.
    5. Bake cookies until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
    6. Once cooled use royal icing to create 3 orbitals (oval shapes) and add pearl sugar electrons. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    Oatmeal, Cranberry, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies

    I saw these being made on Giada at Home and just HAD to try them.  While most kids love chocolate chip cookies, I dislike them.  My favorite is still my mom's homemade oatmeal raisin cookies.  They're warm, chewy, and comforting - just like a big hug from mom.  That being said, Giada's recipe is terrible!  I was left with a heaping pile of crumbly oaty messiness that made me sad for the loss of an entire cup of cranberries which are my favorite baking ingredient.

    I decided to send Giada's recipe to the recycling bin and pull out mom's tried and true recipe and make my own changes.  The result is pure awesomeness.  I brought these to work as brain food for an institute day for my fellow teachers.  I left a small container on my table and saved the rest to bring for a large group work day.  After about two and a half hours of listening to a speaker we rotated tables for an activity and I came back to find a post-it on the container that read "Please hungry me cookies."  Clearly the brain food idea was a good one.  They were a huge hit and I left for the weekend with only a few cookies left.  They're delicious!  Crunchy on the outside, chewey on the inside and packed with delicious cranberries and chocolate - these might be my new favorite cookies.  Enjoy!

    Oatmeal, Cranberry, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies
    Makes 3 dozen
    • 2 C flour (I used equal parts all purpose flour and whole wheat flour)  
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1tsp baking soda
    • 2 1/2 C old fashioned oats
    • 2 sticks of room temperature butter
    • 1 C granulated sugar
    • 1 C packed light brown sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 C dried cranberries
    • 6 oz chopped semi sweet chocolate
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and oats.
    3. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.
    4. Mix in the vanilla and eggs.
    5. Mix in the dry ingredients until incorporated.
    6. Mix in the cranberries and chocolate until just combined.
    7. Scoop and roll the dough into walnut sized balls.
    8. Place on your baking sheet about 3 inches apart and bake for 10-14 minutes.

    Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints

    So the blog has been having some weird formatting issues so if there are no longer 12 days of Christmas Cookies on this site, you'll know why.  I'll get around to reposting those recipes one of these days.  Hopefully, those issues won't show up in this post.

    I made these cute little cookies to bring to work to celebrate a friend from work's birthday.  I used raspberry jelly but you could substitute any flavor you like or use a variety.  I loved the end result.  It was like having a cookie version of your favorite childhood lunch.  Okay, so it's still one of my favorite lunches now.  :) Enjoy!

    hand juicer used to make indents

    Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprints
    Makes 40
    • 1 1/4 C all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 3/4 C smooth peanut butter
    • 1 stick room temperature butter
    • 1/3 C granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
    • 1/3 C packed light brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 C jelly (I used raspberry)
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    3. Using a paddle attachment or hand mixer, beat together the peanut butter and butter.
    4. Add the sugars to the peanut butter and butter mixture and beat until pale and fluffy.
    5. Mix in the egg and vanilla until just incorporated.
    6. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
    7. Scoop out level tablespoons (about the size of a large marble) and roll into balls.  Roll each ball in sugar and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
    8. Bake until cookies are puffy, about 10 minutes and remove from the oven.  Make indentations in the center.  I use the end of a a juicer but you can use anything that will make a round depression like the handle of a wooden spoon.  Return to oven, and bake until the edges are golden brown, another 4 minutes more in my oven.
    9. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.
    10. Heat jelly in a sauce pan or cheat like me and pop it in the microwave. Spoon about 1/2 tsp into each cookie.
    11. Cookies can be stored in a single layer for about 1 week.