Monday, November 29, 2010

Baking Monday - Tuxedo Bar Cookies

Today's recipe is another from the Mrs. Fields cookbook. I think something went very wrong with these, because they look nothing like the picture in the book. (Or like the picture on the blog that has the recipe.)

As the brownies were baking, they got really puffy, but the insides fell, leaving a crunchy brownie roof.

Which means, when cut, they looked like this ...

They were very gooey on the inside.

Not the prettiest looking, but they tasted pretty good. I used pb chips instead of white chocolate.

My taste test panel approved!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


At least one reader wants to know ... where have I been? What have I been doing?

Answer: Celebrating four funny years with this guy:

Who wanted to know every day for the past week, "Is TODAY my berf-day?" He finally got to celebrate last Thursday. The big kids had a half day of school (note to school board: one hour and 45 minutes is NOT half of a day), so they came to visit the frog room. Theo was all too cool for school, but Dora LOVED being around all the little kiddos and switched into full gear "teacher" mode.

Her five minute story took 20 minutes to read, because she str-eeeeee-tched it out. ("What color are his spots now? That's right! Blue! What is he holding here? That's right! A flower!") School was followed by lunch at our favorite diner, a movie at home, and dinner with our family (with Whoopie Pies for dessert, mmmmm.)

And yesterday, we had a little party for his buddies at the bowling alley. I loved these bowling cookies, they were so fun to make! This is my first time making chocolate cutouts (for my little chocolate guy), and they were excellent. 

A little note about the cookie cutters: I usually order from this store, because they have a big selection and very reasonable prices. But I really wanted a separate pin cutter, and they only carry a ball and pin combo. So after much, much searching, I found exactly what I wanted from this store on Bonanza. I've never used (or heard of) Bonanza, it's kind of like a mix between Etsy and Amazon. The prices in this shop were a bit higher, but the quality is excellent. The cutters are extremely sturdy and well made, and the sides are a good 2" tall. Highly recommended!

Next up: favors.

Clark got this mini bowling set in his stocking last year, and it's still one of his favorite things. We thought it would they a great goodie for his bowling buddies, each kid got one in a monogrammed bowling bag.

Clark was being a bit of a stinker about pictures yesterday, so consequently I have a group picture of all the party guests ... minus the birthday boy!

But I happened to sneak this one in when he was being goofy. The party moved outside after lunch ... I really didn't expect to be outside in mid-November!

And I snuck in a little mini-photo session after our friends went home. (Note the haircut between picture #1 and this one ... no more mop top!)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baking Monday - Candy Bar Cookies

With no plan in mind today, I gathered inspiration from the bowl of Halloween candy on our kitchen counter. Some might say that it makes no sense to take candy bars and add them to MORE sugar and fat, and I say that those people have no business reading baking blogs. If you have Thanksgiving parties coming up and there's still a bowl of miniature Snickers staring at you, give these a try!

(BTW, my kids had the most Reese cups, by far. Only two Kit Kats, much to Dora's disappointment, but Theo was thrilled to get more than a few mini Crunch bars.)

A few observations ...

The recipe calls for six ounces of chopped candy, I used about ten. And then after mixing it in to the dough, decided that it didn't look like enough, and threw in some chocolate chips, too. This was not a great idea, because the flavor of the dough goes much better with the milk chocolate candy bars than the semi-sweet chocolate chips. So next time: more candy bars. I say at least 12 ounces.

I wasn't thrilled with the texture of the cookies once baked ... I like chip cookies to be dense and soft, these were thin and crispy. (And super sticky: bake on parchment!) So, I tried baking the second half of the dough in a mini muffin pan. However, upon cooling, I was surprised to find that I actually liked the thin cookie better ... go figure.

This recipe makes a ton of cookies, so you may want to freeze half the dough for a mid-January, post-Christmas, pre-Valentine's Day candy bar fix.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Latest Sewing Projects

A bib and burp cloth for Lucy ...

... and another for Baby Maria.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Baking Monday - Peanut Butter Knockouts

Today I made this recipe, which specified using a boxed mix for the pb cookie base, which I did this time, but will make them from scratch next time.

They're peanut butter cookies, filled with a mixture of cream cheese, peanut butter, and mini chocolate chips. I used a bag to pipe the filling into each cookie, much easier.

These are pretty good and super-peanut-buttery ... serve with milk!