Cookies for a Cause: Pictures

I didn’t want to make the last post too long, so I am added all of the pictures I have as a slide show. (This also gives me an excuse to use the slide show feature for the first time!)

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Cookies for a Cause

Even though I don’t need a reason to bake, I think this was a pretty good one: It was the National Food Bloggers’ Bake Sale, for which all of the money raised helps “Share Our Strength”,  which is an organization that helps end childhood hunger. I found out about the bake sale on this blog: Dessert First, and from there, you can find out more information about the charity. I made the Better Than Brownie cookies, so I will finally add that recipe to the site (follow the jump or go to the “recipes” page, found at the top of the screen.)

I had a lot of fun at the sale, even though I was there at the end, and didn’t get a chance to talk to the other bloggers/bakers. I did get a chance to hear the author of Cake Bible, and her newest book, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, (among other cookbooks) talk about the cakes and baking and I got her signature in the book! I loved every minute of that!

I have many more pictures to share, so I will post them as a slide show.

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cinnamon buns

I am starting to work on using up my leftovers. This week I used some of the vanilla instant pudding mix for the dough for these cinnamon buns.

I can’t remember where I got the recipe from, but it makes a lot of really good dough. It is a super easy recipe, but it is a little bit sticky. But why make cinnamon buns if you don’t want to get a little bit sticky?

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…and now we bring you back to our (regularly scheduled) blogging.

Okay, so I hope you like the changes I’ve made so far. If you are new here, take a look around. I just started filing away the recipes I’ve used and featured on this site in a neat page I like to call the “recipes” page. It can be found at the top of this one. I have just slightly changed the look or “theme” of the pages to be more readable. I am also going to have shorter posts, and the recipes will be after the “jump” (just click on the little ” read more” link.) As previously mentioned, you’ll also be able to find the recipes on the new page.

So here is today’s post: peanut butter-peanut brittle and chocolate pudding


I wanted to try out (or really, use) the Silpat (a silicone non-stick mat used on cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans or any other flat surface to create a non-stick surface that is reusable and easy to clean) and the ramekins I/my mother bought me for my birthday. What better way to try these new kitchen items than to make brittle and chocolate pudding? I couldn’t think of anything either. (Yet.)

Both recipes were actually quite similar in method, and both things are easy to make. Quite simply, add things to a heavy-bottomed pot, wait a bit, add some more things, stir them around, and pour them out. Almost sounds like the hokey-pokey. (Just put your right hand in, etc. You don’t hear the similarities? Hmm…maybe that’s just my inner child poking it’s way out. Get it? POKING? Hokey-POKEy? Huh?) Anyway, if you are still interested in finding out about how to make brittle and/or chocolate pudding, just click away, and I’ll see you after the jump. (Just put your whole-self in…)

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it’s all about what I have on hand…

okay, so another baking-with-what-I-have-on-hand-post post. This time, I am waiting for a chocolate, chocolate chip bundt cake to come out of the oven. (yes, somehow, I always have some chocolate on-hand.) This recipe is slightly changed from the “Mocha Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake” recipe from Gourmet that I saved. Since I didn’t have instant espresso powder on hand, and I didn’t feel like making icing, this cake isn’t mocha, and it doesn’t have icing. If you look closely at the ingredients, and then at the directions, you will notice the changes I made. I also had regular-sized chocolate chips at home, so that’s what I used.
Here is the full recipe:

so, as you can see, to imitate the cake that I made, you just take out the butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and the espresso powder used to make the icing and the flavor mocha. Also, I just used a whisk, and my (wo)man power to mix all of the ingredients together. I think it turned out okay. There will, of course, be pictures of the cake posted later.

*EDIT* I just added the photos, sorry for the very long delay.*

Chocolate-Oatmeal Cookies

Yes, another double-post day. This time it is because this is the (semi) regular post for this week, the Monday post. The last post was really leftover, just never posted until now. Anyway, this post’s recipe is from The Little Black Book of Chocolate. All recipes in this book include chocolate. I made half of the recipe because I only had half the amount of butter than what is called for in the recipe. But it doesn’t really make that much dough, even though it says it makes about 72 cookies. (36 for a half recipe) Also, I don’t really like oatmeal cookies, because they usually include raisins, and I do not like raisins, and I don’t really like oatmeal. But, I had oats on hand, so I decided to try this recipe, and these cookies are pretty good. (Those of you going to trivia tonight will have a chance to try them.)
So, here’s the recipe:

Chocolate-oatmeal cookies
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Cream butter and sugar in a separate bowl and stir in rolled oats, vanilla, and 4 tablespoons of water. Add flour mixture gradually and stir until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Cool on racks. About 72 cookies.

craving chocolate

tonight, I was craving something chocolate. literal thought process: “I want something chocolaty. But I know I don’t have anything. I could get out of my PJs and grab something from the convenience store. Nah. Hmm, let me go to the kitchen and see what’s in my cabinet. Cocoa powder. (reads ingredients listed for chocolate cake) No milk. Hmm…(searches cabinet for more chocolate products. Finds Baker’s chocolate, the unsweetened little squares. Reads back of box. Recipe for Soft and Chewy Chocolate Drops.) Hmm…I seem to have all of these ingredients. Oh, wait…FOUR chocolate squares?! (dumps out contents of box) Oh, I have TWO. Easy! I’ll just cut the recipe in half. (re-reads recipe.) It calls for three eggs. Oh well, I’ll figure out what half an egg is.” Long story short…(weird expression, by the way.) I made the cookies on the back of the Baker’s box. Really easy and quick. I omitted the glaze, because I did not have any cool whip. But no worries, these cookies are good with out it, and as the title of the recipe says, they are soft and chewy. Oh, and they took care of my chocolate craving, no problem.
Soft & Chewy Chocolate Drops
I will post the whole recipe, the one that is on the back of the box, even though when you grab your box, you can just read it from there. :o)
4 squares (4 oz) unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
350º oven. My spoonful made about 2 dozen cookies.
Microwave chocolate and butter until butter is melted. Stir in chocolate until chocolate is melted. Add sugar. Mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, mix well. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or until dough is easier to handle. *I did not do this, and found the dough easy enough to scoop right away.* Bake 8 minutes, or until set.
That’s it. Try not to eat all of them as soon as they come out of the oven.

Just a little p.s/preview: tomorrow night’s baking adventure during movie night might be Better Than Brownie Cookies, Part 2, this time with peanut butter chips or butterscotch chips, instead of chocolate chips. Should be interesting, I like playing around with flavors. We’ll be bringing them to break-fast on Monday. That also means no post for Monday. Sorry, I am already not living up to my Monday/Thursday regular schedule. Oh well. Also, Friday night, or Saturday morning, we might be making pumpkin pie, or using the leftover pie filling for some dessert to share with the crew that is coming over for dinner on Saturday night. Keep coming back for more updates regarding these baking adventures!