Sunday, November 21, 2010

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

Now that it's the holiday season I'm always on the lookout for different and interesting baking ingredients in the baking isle. I don't know about everyone else, but I absolutely love baking this time of year. Most people are a little more lax on their diet so they can indulge in the yummy holiday goodies that everyone is baking. Needless to say, the other day I was walking down the baking isle and I stumbled across something I've never seen before: cherry baking chips. They have a strong red color and looked a little iffy, but I thought I'd give them a try.

Tonight I decided that a chocolate cookie with these cherry baking chips would taste like a chocolate covered cherry maybe. You know those Cherry Cordials that you can find in Walgreens or any kind of candy store? Those old timey cherry cordials that old people are constantly eating?...I wanted to make a cookie version of those.

I found a recipe in my Cookie Bible recipe book for a Double Chocolate Cranberry Chunkies. Although I did have some dried cranberries that I wanted to use, I decided to eliminate the cranberries and add those cherry baking chips instead. Oh my goodness...these cookies literally taste like a chocolate covered cherry. They are absolutely amazing! Plus the red chips add such a beautiful pop of color to the cookie that it would make a great addition to any holiday table this season. :)

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies:
1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup cherry baking chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together and set aside. Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chunks and cherry chips.

3. Drop dough by level 1/4 cupfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Flatten dough until 2 inches in diameter w/ bottom of a glass that has been dipped in additional granulated sugar (I skipped the sugar and just dipped it in water b/c I felt like the cookies were already sweet enough and didn't need extra sugar).

4. Bake 11-12 min. Cool cookies.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Roasted Corn and Red Pepper Quesadillas

Usually during the summer I honestly don't like cooking that much. I'm not sure why exactly either. In the winter I'm much more prone to cook--maybe because the oven warms the apartment. The good thing about summer, however, is the abundance of fresh vegetables. As a vegetarian, I appreciate the fact that I can go to the grocery store and find a ton of fresh veggies on sale. One of my favorites right now is fresh corn (at Kroger it's usually 3 or 4 for $1). I was trying to decide what to make for dinner and awhile ago I made veggie enchiladas with fresh corn. This time I went on a different route...

So last night I cooked a really delicious meal for Mark and I thought it was "blogworthy." I wish I had taken a picture of it but we ate it up too quickly. Next time I'll take a picture! We were going to make enchiladas, but we decided last minute to make quesadillas instead. They had roasted fresh corn, red pepper, onions, and cheese. They were amazing! If you have a panini maker they make exactly quesadillas in a shorter time than on a griddle pan. I had leftover corn, pepper, and onion mixture but you can use it to make a ton of other stuff. Try using it in soup, on a panini, or in pasta.

1) 3 husks of fresh corn (I used the bicolor)
2) 1 red pepper (any color would taste fine)
3) 1 medium yellow onion
4) minced garlic
5) olive oil
6) margarine
7) 1 & 1/2 tbsp. rosemary
8) 4 whole wheat tortillas
9) shredded cheese
Remove the corn from the husk by cutting it with a knife. Saute some garlic (however much you like really) in olive oil in a saute pan. Add the corn with a tablespoon of margarine and chopped rosemary (fresh rosemary tastes the best). Stir until the corn is tender, about 5 min.
In another saute pan add olive oil and saute the peppers and onions.
Put all your veggies in one bowl and let set for a few minutes to let the flavors blend together.
Assemble your quesadillas by adding your cheese (however much you'd like) and veggie mix. Cook on the panini pan until done and enjoy!

Sorry that I don't have the accurate measurements on a lot of the ingredients. I don't measure anything when I'm cooking, only baking, so it's really up to your how much of something you want. Mark gave them a thumbs up too!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Berry Cobbler

Hello everyone! I am still alive I promise. I have been doing a lot of wedding stuff, including moving into a new empty apartment. The good news is: I now get to bake more! I am slowly trying to get my fiance to enjoy sweets more, but I think I have a long road ahead of me. It's ok...I'm up for the challenge.

This recipe came from my mom. When I was younger she used to make this cobbler with fresh blackberries in the summer and it was so wonderful (especially with vanilla ice cream). I used frozen berries because I am broke and it's all I have. I also tweaked the recipe too because my cobbler was a little more dry than I like it. My mom warned me to take out the majority of the juice from the frozen berries because it can make the cobbler soggy. I think I might have taken out too much. To fix the problem I added a few spoonfuls of Reduced Sugar Raspberry Preserves and it brought life to this cobbler. :)

This is the reason I haven't been baking as much...he occupies a lot of my time. It is completely well worth it too. :) :) :)

This is what the cobbler looked like before it went in the oven.

This is what it looked like in the end. Not the prettiest cobbler, but it is really really really good.

1 bag frozen berries, thawed and heated in the microwave
1/2 cup butter, melted (I only had that spreadable non-margarine stuff, and it worked fine)
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup self-rising flour (I usually HATE self-rising, but it worked well in this recipe I must admit).
1 tsp. vanilla (Mexican vanilla preferred)
1/2 tsp. butter extract
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix the flour and sugar together in a mixing bowl. SLOWLY add the milk. Mix in the melted butter slowly as well. Mix in the extracts and cinnamon. Pour into a baking dish (you can use a cobbler dish, a pie dish, or a 13x9 pan which I used). Spoon the fruit evenly on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 min.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Goodies

Hello all! Merry soon-to-be Christmas! I know that my posting is quite sporadic now, but I must say that I have been really busy lately. Thankfully school is now out for a little while and I can work without having to study during my lunch break, which is hard to do when there are loud baristas lurking around the corner trying to scare you or saying something funny (I do love you Starbucks though). :)

I have some wonderful and exciting news to report to any of you faithful followers who still happen to stumble across my blog every now and then. I AM ENGAGED!!! Oh my...I don't think I even knew it was possible ever to be this happy. I am marrying a man who is the perfect fit for me and is way too good to me.

There will be much more on that later though. :) On to the food...because I make minimum wage and I must pay rent and utilities, and then Christmas presents this month, I didn't have much money to spend on nice ingredients. I turned to my Cake Mix Bible and knew that I could find some cute little Christmasy goodies to make for the holiday. I found these cupcakes and cookies and look pretty good if I don't say so myself :). The cookies are meant to be smaller and rounder, but I was lazy and didn't want to wait a long time for all of them to bake so I just made them bigger.

The pictures aren't pretty this time b/c my roommate is gone for the holidays. :( I'm sorry you have to bear with my awful pictures. BUT, she gave me an Anthropologie cooking apron for my Christmas present! This is my second favorite gift this year (my engagement ring is my favorite). :) :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Monkey Bread

For some reason or another, I only think to make Monkey bread during the holiday season--especially Thanksgiving. In my mind it is the sacred and essential Thanksgiving breakfast...a cinnamony beginning to the start of a day of feasting. This recipe can't be any more simple. You buy the cheap canned biscuits (Kroger has them for 48 cents a can), cut them into quarters, roll them in cinnamon and sugar, pour some margarine and honey on top, and you're done! Nothing is more fulfilling and strangely fun than picking off pieces of this dessert/bread masterpiece. (You can also easily add toasted walnuts or pecans to this and it would taste really great too).

1 cup sugar
4 cans of biscuits
2 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. honey
1 stick margarine

Cut biscuits into quarters. Mix sugar and cinnamon. Drop biscuits into sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place biscuits in a Bundt pan. Melt margarine. Pour margarine and honey into sugar-cinnamon mixture. Pour over biscuits. Bake 20 min. at 350 degrees. Turn out of pan immediately.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Thanks to my inability to read, I picked up a recent cookbook thinking that it was the "Cake Bible," and instead I got the "Cake Mix Bible." Instead of returning it (it was only $7), I decided to keep it and see what recipes I could use. Although there aren't many recipes that look impressive, this cheesecake looked beautiful in the picture. It is a standard cheesecake recipe, but I do think that a chocolate crust using a cake mix is a pretty good invention.

1 package DUNCAN HINES Moist Deluxe Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 tsp. all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 10-inch springform pan.
2. Combine cake mix and oil in large bowl. Mix well. Press onto bottom of prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 min. or until set. Remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
3. Place cream cheese in large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed w/ electric mixer, adding sugar gradually. Add sour cream and vanilla extract, mixing until blended. Add eggs, mixing only until incorporated. Toss 1/2 cup chocolate chips with flour. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Pour filling onto crust. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Bake at 450 degrees F. for 5-7 min. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Bake at 250 degrees for 60-70 min. or until set. Loosen cake from side of pan with knife. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pan Dulce

As I was flipping through the pages of one of my new cookbooks, the name of this bread caught my eye. It is a sweet bread made throughout Mexico. It has a dense bread-like texture with a sweet, crumbly topping. I would recommend everyone to try these simply because they are different. They are best served warm and in Mexico they are served with jam or marmalade for breakfast.

1/2 cup lukewarm milk
2 tsp. active dried yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. caster (superfine) sugar
2 tbsp. butter, softened
4 large eggs, beaten

For the topping:
6 tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour

1. Pour the milk into a small bowl, stir in the dried yeast and leave in a warm place until frothy.
2. Put the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl, add the butter and eggs and mix to a soft, sticky dough.
3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and dredge it with a little more flour. Using floured hands, turn the dough over and over until it is completely covered in a light coating of flour. Cover it with lightly oiled plastic wrap and leave to rest for 20 min.
4. Meanwhile, make the topping. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl, then gently mix in the egg yolk, ground cinnamon and flour. The mixture should have a slightly crumbly texture.
5. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape each of them into a ball. Space well apart on greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with the topping over the breads and press it lightly into the surface.
6. Leave the rolls in a warm place to stand for about 30 min. until they are about one and a half times their previous size (mine weren't that large). Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and bake for 15 min.