Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chocolate chai latte cookies

I cannot remember how I stumbled along these delicious things but once I saw them and read the ingredients I knew I had to try them and if they were as good as they looked, they were going to be part of my holiday baking for my son's teachers. Well, they were fantastic! A day later they are just as good. I wasn't too sure about the cinnamon glaze that went along with it but after trying it I am SOOO glad I did as it just adds to the cookie making it even more delectable! 

1 box of chocolate cake mix
3 tbs of chai latte drink mix 
1/2 cup butter, softened 
3 tbs milk
1 cup chocolate chips 

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
5-7 tsp water (add more if you desire a different consistency of the glaze) 

Heat oven to 350°F. Combine all cookie ingredients except chocolate chips in large bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips.

Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until tops are set and cracked. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Combine all drizzle ingredients except water in small bowl. Add enough water for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookies. Store between sheets of waxed paper in container with tight-fitting lid.

Finished cookies with cinnamon glaze

A little variation of the red velvet cookies...

Being the holidays, I had to make the red velvet cookies again since they were such a big hit last year and they really are fun and delicious to make. I personally love the batter just as much as the cookie. Wrong I know but oh well. I wanted to try something a little different this time so I decided to try dipping the cookie in some chocolate and sprinkling it with powered sugar. Result- very pretty and delicious cookies!! Except I was not wild about the chocolate I used so will definitely be looking for another to try next time. 

Here is the recipe for the red velvet cookies and I still made the cream cheese icing for the cookie sandwiches because they are just divine!!! Enjoy!! 

Chocolate dipped red velvet cookies 

Red velvet cookies with cream cheese icing 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Peanut butter cheesecake brownies- even more divine than it sounds!!

I found these wonderful bits of goodness when trying to come up with something to make for a good friend's birthday. His girlfriend told me his favorites included cheesecake and anything peanut butter. Didn't want to just do basic peanut butter cookies- just way too simple so I had to search for something different and new. That is when I stumbled upon a peanut butter cheesecake and the idea to insert that goodness inside of a brownie! I love peanut butter, I love cheesecake- the combo baked inside a brownie is absolutely AMAZING!!! The peanut butter cheesecake alone is heaven!! 

What you need: 

1 pkg. (19 to 21 oz.) brownie mix (13x9-inch pan size)
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1   egg
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp.  vanilla

* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
* Prepare brownie batter as directed on the package. 
* Spoon into 20 paper-lined muffin cups.
* Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg, peanut butter and vanilla with mixer until blended. 
* Spoon 1  rounded Tbsp. into center of batter in each cup, pressing down slightly into batter.
* Bake 30 min. or until centers are set. Cool.

Top with whipped cream and a cherry - or a
cream cheese icing which I am thinking of trying
next time. You can find the recipe for that icing
on my red velvet cookies. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Guinness stout cupcakes

So being completely bored the other day and then stumbling upon one of the many recipe tweeters I follow, I ran across this contest to make a cupcake with this specific chocolate and using one of several different "adventure" ingredients. So I decided to try chocolate cupcakes made with Guinness stout. Now I have made a Guinness chocolate float before, which was really good!! I will make one this upcoming St. Patty's day and post it. I don't think I took pictures when my sister and I made them. So, I have used Guinness for other edible purposes with success, so why not add it to a cupcake. So I did- with some success!!

Below is the recipe and photos of the process. The Guinness is very strong in the batter but it is really, really good! Here is the link to the contest info should anyone else dare to be adventurous with cupcakes. It was fun to try but not sure I am going to enter. Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest.

Surprisingly there are several variations of the stout cupcakes, as well as various stouts to use for the cupcakes. I chose Guinness because I already had a willing and ready bottle chilled in my fridge. I am not a huge chocolate cake fan, but this was good! Not overly sweet as many can be- just right almost. I made an attempt at chocolate buttercream icing but that was not as successful but it did give the cupcake an overall balance of just the right sweetness- so I was told by a friend who tried them. 

Try it out- vary the stouts and have fun! That's the purpose with baking, make it your thing and have fun!

The cupcake:

  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 1 stick, plus 1 tb, unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tb vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350; butter a muffin tin.
Combine the Guinness and the butter, chopped into 1-inch chunks, in a large sauce pan, and heat to melt the butter. Remove from heat, and whisk in the cocoa and sugar. In a bowl, whisk the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla, then add to the beer mixture. Sift together the flour and baking soda, and fold into the batter. Pour into muffin molds and bake for 25 minutes, or until inserted cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes, remove from muffin tin, and cool completely on a rack.

Now having tried this, I think a good cream cheese icing would be fantastic- therefore give this a shot for a nice topping.
The icing:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
Using a mixer, whip cream cheese until smooth, sift in sugar, and beat. Add milk, and beat until smooth. Spread glaze over cooled cupcakes.
To create a thinner glaze, use a tablespoon or two more milk; for a topping more akin to icing, use less milk, and perhaps more sugar. In either case, add a little sugar or milk at a time, mix, and check for desired consistency.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Healthy Mexican Pizza

The basis of it is basically making it from natural ingredients and low in calories.

One Pizza - 325 calories 

Whole wheat tortillas 
Black beans 
Cooked chicken - optional 
Low fat/reduced fat Jack cheese or Mexican blend 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Place tortillas on a pan (don't use aluminum foil - sticks to the tortilla)
Add salsa for your base, then add the other ingredients chicken, corn, beans, then top with cheese
Bake for 8-10 minutes 

Next time I plan on adding black olives and onions to it! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicken taco soup

I took ideas from a several different recipes and made it to something I thought I'd like - a few interesting ingredients which gives it a interesting but great taste! If it wasn't for Taylor I'd like to make it a little spicier. 

1 Rotisserie chicken - pull of small bits adding as much as you want
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes 
1 med onion, diced 
3/4 can chopped black olives (Taylor ate the other 1/4 of the can)
1 packet of Ranch seasoning mix 
1 12 oz beer (used Bud Light, next time I will use a Mexican beer for more taste)
Taco seasoning or taco sauce 
Salsa - I added about a cup 

Mix all together and let it simmer for 15-20 mins over low heat.

Top with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips. 

Red Velvet Cookies - absolutely wonderful!!

Red Velvet Cookies 

1 - 8 oz block of cream cheese, room temp
1/2 cup butter, room temp
1 egg
1 tbs vanilla 
1 box red velvet cake mix 
confectioner's sugar - for rolling and dusting 

- beat the cream cheese and butter till smooth
- beat in the egg 
- beat in vanilla
- beat in cake mix

Chill for at least 2 hours 

- Preheat oven at 325 degrees
- Roll dough into small balls then roll in the confectioner's sugar
- Place 2 inches apart and bake for 12 minutes - should be soft and gooey still
- Let cool before adding the icing then dust with confectioner's sugar

Cream cheese icing

1 - 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
1/3 cup butter, room temp
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla - can add more if you want it sweeter

- beat the cream cheese and butter for 1 min till smooth
- beat in 1 cup of sugar at a time
- beat in vanilla

Chill for short period before using