Monday, December 12, 2011

Snickers Surprise

Remember when I told you all about the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap? Well, it happened! :D I was so excited to get my 3 matches and send them cookies and get some cookies back. It took me forever to decide what to make, but my dad helped me out by suggesting I send my Snickers Surprise cookies: a delicious peanut butter cookie with a mini snicker stuffed inside! Sounds good, right? So I baked, and I sent, and I waited, and soon enough I received cookies from people who received ME as a match. I got some delicious Almond Crescents, Peanut Butter cookies with a reese's cup inside, and Compost Cookies...they were all fantastic! And presented so beautifully! I tried to take some pictures but my family gobbled them all up! xD It was a great experience...I want the people who sent me cookies to know how much I truly appreciate it, and I hope those who received my cookies enjoyed them :) And a big thanks to The Little Kitchen and Love and Olive Oil for putting the whole thing together!! To subscribe and receive info about next year's swap, you can go here.

Snickers Surprise Cookies

½ c. butter
½ c. creamy peanut butter
½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 ½ c. flour
½ t. baking soda
½ t. baking powder
30 mini snickers

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to peanut butter mixture. Take 1 tablespoon of dough and flatten into round shape in palm of your hand. Place Snickers bar in center and fold dough around it. Roll in palms of your hand to form a smooth ball with the Snickers bar totally covered with the dough. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and place on a wire rack to cool.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Graveyard Brownies

I volunteer at the library every Thursday to earn school service hours. Since it's almost Halloween, I figured I'd treat the other volunteers and the Youth Department workers to some goodies :) I had a chance to make them before I went today because I got out of school early for midterms. Plus, it was a good way to de-stress after those awful tests.

I saw these adorable brownies on What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine, and I knew they'd be perfect! I had to use Milano cookies though because I couldn't find the Windmills. I think they're still cute!

I used my trusty, never fail brownie recipe and the frosting to match, but you can use whichever recipes you'd like! I also LOVED making these because I'm addicted to those little pumpkins. I was eating them the whole time!
Here's the recipe...Enjoy!

Graveyard Brownies

For the brownies:
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1-2 c. of chocolate chips (or whatever mix in you prefer!)

For the frosting:
1/3 c. granulated sugar
3 T. all-purpose flour
2  T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Optional: Additional cocoa powder as needed

To decorate:
Shredded coconut, tinted green with food coloring
Mellowcreme pumpkins
Milano cookies
Black gel icing

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8x8 in. pan with cooking spray. 

2.Combine melted butter and cocoa powder in a large bowl until smooth. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Stir in the flour and salt, and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips (or whatever you like!). Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Once finished, allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

3. While the brownies bake, prepare the frosting. In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, and milk; bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Boil for 1-3 minutes or until thickened like a thinned pudding.  Remove pan from heat and strain mixture into a small bowl. Cool completely in the refrigerator or freezer. 

4. Once the mixture has cooled, beat the butter in a separate bowl for 1 minute, then beat in the cocoa mixture for another minute. Lastly, add the melted chocolate and beat for 2 minutes, or until fluffy. Add extra cocoa powder to taste at this point, if you'd like!

5. When the brownies cool, cut them into pieces. Frost the brownies individually. Sprinkle some of the shredded coconut on the brownie (it's the grass!) then stick on a pumpkin. Break a small part off of one side of each Milano you use, so it looks like a tombstone. Write whatever you'd like on your Milano "tombstones" (I went with the simple "RIP"), then stick them into the frosting on top of the brownie, behind the pumpkin. 


Serves 9-12

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

So, I know I don't post much, but since I've been wanting to post more, I'll start with this! The Little Kitchen and Love and Olive Oil have teamed up to bring the food bloggers of the internet together, with cookies! For the 1st Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, you're assigned 3 other bloggers and send each of them 1 dozen cookies. In return, you get 3 dozen cookies from other bloggers! Then, you post the recipe on your blog so everyone can have it, and they'll make one big post with all of the recipes together. It's like a little cookie swap party...EXCEPT HUGE! I think it's a great way to get some new ideas and share them with others. And seeing as cookies are my specialty, I couldn't resist! Just click the cookie swap link for more information and sign up. I'm so excited! :D Hmm...what to make, what to make...
The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy Nutella Day!

If you're like most people, you love nutella. The chocolately, hazelnutty, creamy goodness is enough to bring even the strongest of giants to their knees. And if you haven't tried it, I highly recommend you go out IMMEDIATELY and buy a jar! As you can see, I'm a nutella fan, so naturally I highly anticipated World Nutella Day, which was celebrated around the world today by all those who share a love of nutella. It was started a few years back by food bloggers Ms Adventures in Italy and Bleeding Espresso (check 'em out!), to "celebrate, to get creative with, and most importantly, to EAT Nutella."
How did I celebrate, you ask?
I baked a few batches of nutella-stuffed cream cheese cookies (get a recipe here), had a "nutella quesadilla" for breakfast, and spread nutella on some toast as a snack. It was quite delicious! Can't wait for next year!

My New Mixer!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHH I'M SO EXCITED!!! Do you know why? Because I just bought one of THESE bad boys! :D

And yes, mine IS green! It was the last one they had, too! Ever since I started getting into cooking and baking, I dreamed of having one of these. How AWESOME would it be to mix with ease? Add ingredients AS YOU MIX with precision? Be able to make fresh bread because you have a DOUGH HOOK?? Okay, okay, enough of the cheesy foodie-excitement :) I begged and begged but it was never in the cards because they were so expensive. But when I was at Macy's a few weeks ago and say this funk-tastic green mixer, I knew I had to have it! And it was on sale!!! I busted my butt over at Cold Stone (that's where I work) to save up the cash. Plus, stuff like this is a million times better when you know you bought it with the hard-earned fruits of your own labor! So now it's sitting in my kitchen, sparkling with its brand-spankin' new majestic-ness. I can't wait to use it! I'll be sure to take pictures :)

Stay Hungry!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And so it begins...

Well hello there, and welcome!
I'm sure you can see, this is they very first post of my brand-spankin-new blog!
I love to cook. You could say it's my passion! The feeling I have when I'm in the kitchen is indescribable--all of my stress disappears, and it just feels...right. I've always loved to help my mom in the kitchen as a tiny tot, whether it was weeknight meals or holiday feasts. As I got older, I took on my own styles and started to cook on my own. Now, I cook dinner for my family almost every night, and I love to bake for my friends! (I'm always bringing treats to school, and I've earned quite a reputation, haha!) I hope you stick around to follow my wild ride as I create, indulge, learn, and heat things up :)
See you soon!