March 24, 2009

Quickie: Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pie

My boyfriend skyped me from work on Friday with a link to the article on Whoopie Pies in the New York Times. “You need to learn how to make these”, he said. Not being one to pass up a baking challenge I made them later that night.

Apparently, whoopie pies are the new cupcake, but I don’t know…I’ll stick with cupcakes thanks very much. Not to say they aren’t good because they are, but my issue was with the filling. Personally, I HATE making frosting. It was a miles better experience with my new stand mixer (I completely gave up making frosting with my hand mixer as it was just disaster after disaster with that thing), but it was still a pain and in the end I wasn’t that impressed. I know it’s called Buttercream, but geez, it’s 2 whole sticks of butter! I thought it was butter overload.

Next time I’ll be cutting the amount of salt in the recipe by half as both the cakes and the filling were a bit too salty. Also, I’m going to skip the frosting and fill …

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November 12, 2009

Low Fat Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins

Pumpkin Apple Streusal Muffins

Remember when I said I wanted to try out more things with pumpkin in them. Well, be prepared because I’ve gone a little pumpkin crazy. I had a giant can of pumpkin pie mix that I used for those cupcakes and still had a bunch left over afterward so I went in search for some muffins to use up the rest. But those cupcakes were decidedly not good for you and I wanted to make something that I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating. But it still needs to taste good, you know? Well, this recipe totally satisfies both of those requirements.

Basically, I found a recipe that sounded good and I “healthed” it up. I replaced some of the white flour with wheat flour and I substituted the oil with applesauce. That might make these sound kind of boring, but it’s the streusal that makes them awesome. That’s the only part that I didn’t try to fix. In fact, I doubled the amount of streusal because it’s the best part. Even doing that, these are still only about 2 …

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May 24, 2011

Cherry-Rhubarb Fool

Cherry-Rhubarb Fool

After discovering my love for cherries late last summer, I was ecstatic last week when I went to my grocery store and they had cherries in the produce section for the first time this year. I’ll just tell you right now that you should be expecting lots of cherry recipes this summer. I wasted too many years turning my nose up at them and I gotta make up for it!

My grocery store also had some rhubarb in stock and I grabbed some since I’ve never tried it before and I’m all about trying new fruits and vegetables these days. I’m not going to make the same mistake I made with cherries! When I was looking through a new cookbook and saw this recipe, it seem like it would be a great use for the rhubarb.

April 7, 2010

No bake, chewy Granola Bars (just like Quaker!)

Chewy Granola Bars

I’ve been looking for this recipe forever. These Quaker granola bars are just about my favorite snack and I’ve been eating them my whole life. I like them because they are soft and chewy and not hard and tooth breaking like other granola bars I’ve tried. I also like the rice cereal in them because it makes them seem more like Rice Krispy treats with granola in them rather than boring old “healthy” granola bars. Healthy food isn’t inherently fun, Rice Krispy treats are always fun.

December 27, 2010

Holiday Cheesecake Sampler

Mini Holiday Cheesecakes

I hope everyone had a nice weekend! Brandon and I had a pretty laid back Christmas, we stayed in and watched movies and played video games all weekend. It even snowed a little bit on Saturday so we got the proverbial white Christmas. After going all out for Thanksgiving last month, I really wasn’t in the mood to kill myself making a big dinner again so instead we had a small ham and I made my favorite Pineapple Stuff to go with it. But it is Christmas, so I couldn’t resist having fun with dessert.

One of my presents this year was a set of mini springform pans. Cheesecake is most definitely our favorite dessert, and we agree that the recipe I use is the best cheesecake we’ve ever had (two years later I still get regular comments from people who love the recipe) but I only make it on special occasions for two reasons: 1) a 10″ cheesecake is A LOT for two people to eat and 2) we never ever agree on which flavor …

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November 20, 2009

Honey Roasted Turkey

Honey Roasted Turkey

I’ll always remember my first Thanksgiving with Brandon when we were living in our first apartment together at the ripe old age of 20 and I didn’t really know how to cook anything except brownies. The turkey was the thing I most afraid of. I had always thought that cooking a turkey was so complicated and was surprised to find that it…wasn’t. I had much more problems with my stuffing which I completely ruined when instead of using a real actual onion (I think the only vegetables I cooked with back then were potatoes and tomatoes) I put in 1/2 cup (!!) of onion powder. You haven’t tasted onion until you put a 1/2 cup onion powder in something. To this day I really can’t use onion powder in anything, I think I used up my life quota of it.

But anyway, I think anyone can make a turkey. As long as you keep an eye on it and baste it regularly, there isn’t much thought or work involved. And the end product is almost always impressive looking and something that you can feel proud of cooking. …

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April 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip “Soft Batch” Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip "Soft Batch" Cookies

If you couldn’t tell from previous posts I have quite a long list of store-bought-food-I-want-to-learn-to-make-at-home. After I cleared off Spaghetti-Os, Soft Batch cookies were next on the list. They’re probably my second favorite kind of store-bought cookie (because nothing is better than Oreos). I like them so that I can only ever buy the small packs that you get from gas stations because I can’t trust myself around an entire package. If you’re unfamiliar with these cookies, they’re basically what they sound like: extremely soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. It’s sort of like eating cookie dough but without the threat of getting sick since they’re baked.

I bookmarked this recipe for Soft Batch cookies a while back and finally got around to trying it out earlier this month. That’s when I realized that although I love the texture of those cookies, they don’t really have much flavor other than the chocolate chips. So I decided to change the recipe a bit and add one of my favorite ingredients: peanut butter! I had to do several tests (Is Cookie Recipe Tester a real job? Because I …

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March 9, 2011

Chocolate-filled Beignets with Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Chocolate-filled Beignets

I meant to post this recipe yesterday since it was Mardi Gras and beignets are pretty synonymous with New Orleans. Better late than never, right? I grew up on the Mississippi gulf coast (where they also celebrate Mardi Gras) and have spent some time in New Orleans so I know what a good beignet tastes like and this recipe is pretty perfect, but I put my own spin on it by adding some chocolate in middle. Why? I don’t know. Is “because it sounded like it would be awesome” a good enough answer for you? Because it really did (And guess what? It really is!)

But lets back up a bit. It’s possible some of you may not know what a beignet is, maybe you’re not even sure how to pronounce it. It’s very simple, actually: it’s a donut, covered in lots of powdered sugar. And it’s pronounced benYAY. You will really want to emphasize that “Yay” because eating these will make you a very happy person. A beignet is sort of the lazyman’s donut. I can just imagine some old french baker going …

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