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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February 23, 2009

Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake

I am so happy with how this turned out! Yes, it’s a little lopsided, but I don’t care. I am not at all experienced with making breads (my only previous sojourns into yeast bread baking were making rolls this past Thanksgiving and Christmas), so I thought I would screw this up but it turned out so much better than I thought. And the best part is that it tastes exactly how I remember it. I was worried I’d go to all the trouble of making a King Cake and it wouldn’t taste right, but this recipe is totally authentic.

December 29, 2011

Creamy White Cheddar Grits with Ham

Creamy White Cheddar Grits with Ham

I almost didn’t think I’d make it, but it looks like I’ll be able to squeeze in one final post in 2011. I was in crazy work deadline mode the week before Christmas and barely had time to cook anything much less photograph and post it here. After I got all my work done, I went a little cooking crazy figuring something I make over the weekend would be worth posting but it turns out everything has already been posted! I made Chicken and Dumplings and Honey Cornbread on Christmas Eve. The next day, we had our traditional Christmas dinner of glazed ham and my mom’s famous “Pineapple Stuff.” For dessert I made mini Oreo and Peppermint Bark cheesecakes and we snacked on my favorite Mint-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies all weekend long.

It was definitely a satisfying Christmas, food and gift-wise, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit panicked on Monday morning when I realized I didn’t have any new recipes. And after cooking and baking so much over the weekend I was feeling too lazy to make much else, especially anything else with …

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October 6, 2010

Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

Chocolate-Pumpkin Marble Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze

I am officially addicted to pumpkin. Maybe I’m just trying to make up for all the lost years of not eating it, but I’ve been making myself a pumpkin spice latte every morning and it’s pretty much the only thing I’m interested in baking with lately. And did you hear? The canned pumpkin shortage is over, so it shouldn’t be so hard to find it this year! I’ve already stocked up.

When I was going though my recipe archives for last week’s Fall round-up post and remembered the Double Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes, I knew I wanted to make something else with pumpkin and chocolate and since we’ve already established that I love any kind of marbled dessert, I decided a marbled chocolate and pumpkin cake would be perfect.

August 17, 2010

Dulce de Leche Peach Tart

Dulce de Leche Peach Tart

I’ve always been a really picky eater. I’ve made some progress on that front since I started this blog, but I’m still way too picky to be called a “foodie” or anything like that. But this summer I’ve made some pretty big discoveries that have challenged my preconceptions of certain foods and because of that I’ve decided to change. I made this challenge to myself: I will try everything at least once. If I don’t like it, fine, but at least now I know I don’t like it and I’m not just assuming based on how it looks or smells or whatever weird childhood memories it brings up.

For example, I’ve never liked carrots because in elementary school I threw up in the middle of the cafeteria after eating some. Now it turns out, I still don’t really like the taste of raw carrots. But I use carrots in my cooking all the time now because I’ve discovered that if they are in something else, like a soup or salad or pot pie, then I don’t mind them. I used to obsessively pick …

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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.

September 1, 2009

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Frozen Yogurt (no ice cream maker required!)

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Frozen Yogurt

Thanks to twitter I recently discovered it’s possible to make ice cream without an ice cream maker. I honestly had no idea this was possible and have been actively contemplating buying an ice cream maker this summer after seeing so many great homemade ice cream recipes. But then my popcorn popper died (after weekly use for almost 2 years it was worth it’s $30 price tag) and I decided it was much more important to replace it than to buy an ice cream maker. But just as I had given up on being able to make ice cream, someone on twitter complained about not having an ice cream maker and another person replied with a link to instructions for making it by hand. I did some googling and found some more tips. Turns out it’s really easy. No, not as easy as pouring it into a machine, but for the most part with this method you are letting your freezer and a hand mixer do all the work, so it’s still not especially labor intensive.

First, I had to decide what …

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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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