Monday, March 28, 2011

Baking Monday - Chocolate & Pretzel Cookies

I had chocolate and pretzels on the brain this weekend and searched for a yummy looking recipe. This bar is like Chubby Hubby in a cookie!

These are pretty delish. I think I'd prefer peanut butter in the actual bar instead of just drizzled on top (and Jeff would prefer the pb gone all together.) I only had to bake these for 20 minutes instead of the recommended 30. And I added 2 cups of choc chips, 1.5 would probably be fine, especially since there's more drizzled on top.

Theo eyeing up the final product.

The pretzels sprinkled on top stay crunchy and the pretzels in the bar get a little soft with baking. Nice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Snow Day So Far

39 Clues

marble maze, baths, paper airplanes

outside, hot chocolate, comic books

lots and lots and lots of superheroes

chill out time (where we are now)

Please, please, please let this be the last one of the year!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baking Monday - Chocolate Brownie Cookies

I cannot believe that I have not yet made this for Baking Monday, as these are my go-to favorite cookie. This recipe came from Martha Stewart Living years and years ago, and was originally a cutout cookie, but is sooo much better as a slice & bake. My sister nicknamed these "Intensies" because they are so chocolatey, and that's what we still call them. But Chocolate Brownie Cookies is also a good description, because they are dense, chewy and chocolatey like a brownie, but in cookie form.

Lenten update: I had one bite of a mint chocolate brownie at a party on Saturday at Jeff's insistence. My sis and BIL brought us a giant bag of kettle corn this weekend, so I had a bowl of that over the weekend and treated myself to a chocolate cookie today. Sticking one arm out of the wagon, but still doing pretty well overall.

(And I hope to post more kid stuff in the next week or two. We've been busy with the routine of daily life around here, and are due for a fun project soon.)

Chocolate Brownie Cookies
(Makes about 24)

2/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c sugar
4 tbsp butter, cut up
1 tsp vanilla
2 egg whites
3/4 c cocoa powder
3/4 c flour
pinch salt
sugar for dipping

• Mix sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth.
• Add egg whites and mix well.
• Combine flour, cocoa and salt in a separate bowl, add to mixture and mix until combined.
• Dump dough onto wax paper and form a tube about 2" diameter.
• Wrap in wax paper and freeze for three hours or overnight.
• Slice cookies 1/4" thick, dip tops in white sugar.
• Bake 12 minutes, or until cookies are just firm enough to remove from the tray to a cooling rack.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baking Monday - Cupcakes

I'm a couple days late with this one. Nothing exciting to report this week ... Jeff requested frosting, so I went with a good ol' fashioned yellow cupcake with chocolate frosting.

I wanted to put some kind of filling in these, in hindsight, I should have filled them with frosting, but decided to put a few chocolate chips in the middle instead. They were a big hit with the kids!

(Don't they look happy?)

Lenten update: I managed to stay away from sweets all week, except for one cupcake on Monday, and I realllllly enjoyed it. It was especially difficult, because I made my favorite cookies to share with a family who so generously takes Dora back and forth to gymnastics every week. It took a lot of will power to stay away!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baking Monday - Cherry Cake

AKA the easiest cake in the world!

I decided to make a cake this week, since the Baking Monday crowd was coming to our house instead of the dessert going to them. I love cherry flavoring, but am sadly a minority in our house. Luckily, Dora shares my love for fruit, and even though cherry is not her favorite, she enjoyed this cake with me. I knew Jeff would not like the cake, so I had to tempt him with some really good buttercream frosting.

Why is this so easy? Here are the ingredients: angel food cake mix and a can of cherry pie filling. That's it. Mix together and bake. In the past, I've made this in an angel food pan, but hadn't had the opportunity to use these cute heart pans yet, so I made it into a layer cake this time instead. I wish, wish I had the icing skillz to make this really smooth and neat, but not so much. (Check out this talented baker ... daa-yaam!) Lesson one is probably to use about twice as much frosting.

Here it is! All cherry and delicious! And Dora and I will enjoy finishing it off today. It must be today, since I've decided that Baking Monday experiments will be my only sweet allowance during Lent (sidebar topic: Can She Do It?), since I do at least need to try everything and see how it turns out. Happy Fat Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

It's Cookie Time!

Cookie Time! Cookie Time! (I think that Dora and I need to watch Troop Beverly Hills soon.)

Girl Scout cookies are in this week, and Dora usually includes a little thank you tag with her cookie orders.

I worked up this little happy scout today:

She's wearing Crocs, as that seems to be the official footwear of Dora's troop. I put them onto tags that we'll include with our cookie orders. Would you like to use them, too? Here you go!

Download Girl Scout thank you tag here.

And for the visually impaired ...

Download Girl Scout with glasses thank you tag here.

And for all the smart cookies ...

Download cookie thank you tag here.