Monday, August 22, 2011

Giving Thanks for the END of the First Trimester with some Chocolate Crinkles!

*sigh with relief*
As my first trimester ended that is what I felt. Relief. Followed quickly by "mmm where's a cheeseburger?" 
LOL :)
Quite frankly I'm not sure what I would have done if there had been all day puking instead of all day nausea. Probably would've walked around with one of those grain feed bags attached to me just in case there wasn't a garbage can near. 
You know, like the kind that horses use.
And so now that you have that glorious image in your head, here are the delicious chocolate crinkles I made to celebrate the end of nausea. Yea!!

Chocolate Crinkles
(adapted from Babble)
makes about 2 dozen

1 1/3 cups of flour (I used white whole wheat pastry flour)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup softened butter (I've used plain non-fat yogurt)
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
powdered sugar for rolling

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Line your cookie sheets with non-stick foil or silpats, if you have them. And put some powdered sugar in a small shallow dish, set aside.
2. Mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Add your softened butter (or yogurt) and mix until combined.
4. Add your eggs and vanilla. After this point I use my hands to mix it the rest of the way.
5. Roll your dough into balls about the size of a ping pong ball. Roll each one in the powdered sugar and place on the baking sheets.
6. Bake for about 10-12 mins. You want the cookie to be set around the edges, but still soft and fudgy in the middle. Yum :)
7. Cool on cookie racks and enjoy! Or if you're like me you'll grab a glass of cold milk and eat them fresh out of the oven :)

Stay tuned for my next baking adventure :)

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peanut Butter Buttercream

I LOVE cake! I LOVE cookies! 
Hmmm, I'm thinkin' whoopie pies! With peanut butter buttercream of course. Duh :p

During my first trimester I was incredibly nauseous all day every day. Ugh :(
And to make matters worse (you may want to sit down for this) I didn't crave or want ANY sweets! The whole 8 months (our lil man came 4 weeks early, cuz that's how he rolls) if someone offered me anything sweet like cookies or candy, I would almost always pass on the offer. Sacrilege, I know. And on the rare occasion that I felt good enough to do anything, that anything always was baking. Oh and I probably consumed about half a dozen of the large jars of Jif while I was with child :) Because peanut butter was the one thing I could eat every day.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies
makes 2 dozen sandwiches
(adapted from Martha Stewart)

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup brown sugar & 1 cup regular sugar)
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk (I used skim milk mixed with 2 Tbsp vinegar)
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper, non-stick foil, or if you have them, Silpats. 
2. In a medium bowl, sift together your dry ingredients. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl or your stand mixer, cream your butter and sugar until fluffy. Then add your eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Beat until everything is combined.
4. Add your dry ingredients slowly, but try not to over beat. 
5. With a cookie dough scoop or two big spoons, place batter on your lined baking sheets. Remember they will spread a little as they bake so place about 2 inches apart.
6. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on a rack before filling.

Peanut Butter Buttercream aka Heaven
recipe by Me :)

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (any brand you prefer)
3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. milk

1. With the paddle attachment on your stand mixer or a hand mixer, cream together your butter and peanut butter until lump free.
2. Add your vanilla and milk.
3. Slowly add your sifted powdered sugar and beat until smooth and deliciously creamy. Yummy :)
4. Now fill your whoopie pies!
5. Lick the bowl :)

Stay tuned for my next baking adventure :)

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Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The next couple of posts are going to be recipes from my previous post of pictures from the last year. Yea! First up are the vanilla bean cupcakes I made last August. These were test cupcakes for my sister's wedding celebration for when her and my brother-in-law get back from Afghanistan in December. And since she wasn't here to taste them I got to frost them with cream cheese frosting! My favorite! Because let's be honest, everything is better with cream cheese frosting. My sister, Rose, is one of those weirdos who does not like cream cheese frosting. She is also one of those weirdos that used to sit under our kitchen table as a toddler and eat butter. Ewwww!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
(Adapted from The Comfort of Cooking)

1 1/3 cups of flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup of butter (I used non-fat plain yogurt)
1 cup of sugar (I used 1/2 cup)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla (I used 1 tsp + 2 vanilla bean pods)
1 cup buttermilk (I used skim milk w/ 1 Tbsp. vinegar)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line your cupcake pans with liners or grease and flour them.
2. Sift together your dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
3. With a mixer or by hand, combine the yogurt and sugar. Add in your egg, the vanilla, and the vanilla beans until nice and smooth :)
4. Alternate adding your dry ingredients and milk to your wet mixture.
5. Fill your cupcake liners 1/2 to 3/4 full, depending on how big of a top you like your cupcakes to have. I prefer mine to come exactly even with the top of the liner, so I only fill mine 1/2 full.
6. Bake for about 12-15 mins. Check with a toothpick at 12 mins. They should have a slight golden color to them. Yum :)
7. Let them cool for about an hour or so before frosting.
*Recipe says it makes 12 cupcakes, but if you fill your liners only half ways you can get about 18.

Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe by Me :)

12 ounces of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened (or you can be bad and use regular. I won't tell :)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4-5 cups of powdered sugar
2-3 vanilla beans (I love vanilla so I used 3)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
*2 Tbsp. milk or half/half if the frosting seems a little dry

1. With a paddle attachment or regular hand mixer, whip your cream cheese and butter together. Add you vanilla extract and the seeds from your vanilla beans.
2. Mix in your powdered sugar about a cup at a time to avoid the powdered sugar cloud :)
3. Once all your powdered sugar has been added, if the frosting seems a little too stiff to pipe go ahead and add the milk or half/half. I've made my frosting with and without it and both ways are delicious!
4. Now frost away!

Since my BSM (Big Sexy Man) doesn't have a huge sweet tooth like me, he ate maybe 2 and I ate like 2 a day! 
What can I say, I LOVE cupcakes!

Stay tuned for my next baking adventure :)

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Friday, August 12, 2011

This absent blogger's past year, as told by pictures!

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

February 2011

February 2011

February 2011

March 2011

March 2011

April 2011

April 30, 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

Stay tuned for my next baking adventure :)