Monday, February 11, 2013

Perfect Cinnamon Caramels



I have been on the search for cinnamon caramels for a while, and can I just send out a huge thanks to Brenda from A Farm Girl's Dabbles for her wonderful recipe!  These caramels are so delicious, I ate way way too many of them.  If you would like to see her original recipe please visit her darling site HERE.  All the credit for this recipe goes to her!

These would be perfect for Valentines Day.  So bust out your candy thermometer  go to your local craft store, grab some cinnamon oil and get cookin! :)

**a quick note of advice.  I calibrated my candy thermometer and it was two degrees off, however I still cooked it to the full 240 degrees...and may even cook it a couple degrees more next time.  I suggest calibrating your thermometer (instructions bellow) and then have a glass of ice water next to you as you are boiling the caramel.  Test it a couple times to make sure it feels right.


Cinnamon Valentine Caramels
2 c. white sugar
1-1/2 c. light corn syrup
1-1/2 c. heavy cream
1 c. butter, plus 1/2 T. for buttering the pan
2 tsp. cinnamon oil (I used cinnamon oil from a Wilton candy flavorings multi pack, from Michael’s)
1-1/2 tsp. red food color gel  (I used Wilton red “no taste” icing color, from Michael’s.)
(Cinnamon oil is very strong, but necessary for reaching a stronger cinnamon flavor.  Be careful to not get it on your skin, as it can cause irritation. For a more subtle cinnamon flavor, substitute 3 tsp. cinnamon extract for the cinnamon oil. The extract can be found in the baking section of your grocery store.)
Butter a 9″ x 13″ pan and set aside.
Place all ingredients except the cinnamon oil and the red coloring in a heavy medium sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring quite constantly, until it reaches 240°.  This will take awhile, but don’t wander too far away, as the temperature seems to rise quickly right at the end.  Take off heat and stir in the cinnamon oil and red coloring.  Pour into your buttered pan.  Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to set.  Take out of refrigerator and let sit for about 10 minutes before cutting.
If you want to gift these caramels, simply cut them into your desired size and wrap in wax paper.
Please note:  Using candy thermometers can be a tricky thing.  Thermometers seem to vary, which can give you different results.  When Mom makes these caramels, she cooks them to 236°, as her thermometer registers a bit differently than mine.  If you want to calibrate your thermometer, to know exactly where yours sits, I found a great tutorial over at Our Best Bites.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Meltaways


There are many recipes for meltaway cookies out there, but I have to say, I think I have the best one:)

This recipe was given to me by one of my moms friends.  She made these heavenly pieces at a baby shower I went to and I fell in love!  This petite little cookie stands true to it's name, they most definitely melt away in your mouth.  They are a rich little cookie, however that doesn't stop me from devouring 5 or 6 in a sitting.  These cookies are best made smaller than your average cookie.  I just use my cookie scoop, scoop the dough up like normal, and then when I pop the ball of dough out of the scooper I then cut that in half.  So you get two cookies out of one cookie scoop.  Am I making sense?? :)

Another tip, I like to refrigerate my dough for twenty minutes or so before working with it.   These cookies also don't really spread out so I flatten them a bit before baking.  Before frosting them with an amazing cream cheese frosting (which I recommend) it's very important to freeze the cookies for 15 minutes or so or else they will just crumble.  I was lazy this time around and just used store bought cream cheese frosting mixed with some extra cream cheese and almond extract to give it a more homemade taste.  If you want a really yummy cream cheese frosting, I would recommend THIS one.



I wish I had more of these lying around.  I really, really do.  Sniff.  Sniff.

Melt Aways

1/2 lb butter (softened)
1/3 c powdered sugar
3/4 c. corn starch
1 c. flour
(my addition, 1/2 tsp almond extract)

Cream butter,  Add powdered sugar, cream together.  Then add other ingredients and blend on low until it forms dough.  

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and using a small cookie scooper (or using my tip above) scoop dough out and slightly flatten.  Bake 350 for 8-10 minutes, you don't want the cookies to brown and you just want to see small cracks.  Ten minutes was perfect for me.  Put in freeze for a bit before frosting.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Melt in Your Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies


You have a question, don't you?  And I bet I have the answer.  The answer is-YES.  Yes these cookies are as chocolately as they look.  Yes they are as gooey as they seem and are completely lethal out of the oven.  And yes, you are now a happier person because you have the recipe:)

I first came across this recipe for buttermilk chocolate cookies on pinterest, after reading through the ingredients I was thrilled to see that they were naturally egg free!  Score!  I used guittard cocoa powder and added white and semi sweet chocolate chips.  However, I have plans for these cookies.  Big, big plans.  Imagine this-taking two of these perfectly chocolately cookies and then taking peppermint ice cream, slathering it on one cookie and then topping with the other.  O, my goodness, if I only had peppermint ice cream!  Also, mint chips would be totally divine in these babies.

My thoughts:  I baked one batch for 12 minutes then another for 11.  Neither batch produced "crispy" cookie after cooling, but I preferred the ones baked at 11 minutes.  Maybe next time I will even try ten...

O-and don't freak out if you don't have parchment paper.  I didn't line my baking sheets and things worked out just fine:)




Recipe originally found here

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies
Baking Bites

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
Melt the butter in a small, microwave safe bowl.
In a large bowl, combine the melted butter (still warm) with cocoa powder and whisk until very smooth. Whisk in sugar, vanilla extract and buttermilk. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until no streaks of flour remain. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop dough in 1-inch balls into prepared baking sheet, leaving about two inches between cookies to allow for spread.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set around the edges.
Cool for 2-3 minutes on a baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack with a spatula to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hello There! ...Anyone??


So...it's been a while.  Remember when I used to post here all sorts of deliciousness mainly made of butter and sugar on my blog? And then I would go on a healthy kick and post lots of stuff not made with butter and sugar?  And we had such a jolly good time ooing and ahhing over delicious food?  Perhaps there are none of you left and you all thought that I completely dropped off this earth.  So perhaps I am typing this all to myself as I sit here eating a bowl of chips and salsa.  Well, if there are any of you left, consider yourself very VERY lucky, because I have a delicious recipe to share with you!

Having a child with allergies if difficult   I mean, I kind of think it should be against the laws of the universe that a child with an egg allergy be the daughter of what used to be an avid baker.  At any rate, she is my daughter and I would take this darling egg allergy girl over any cake filled with eggy goodness.  I am slowly but surely learning that my child doesn't have to miss out on all worldly deliciousness, because these oatmeal cookies are divine, heavenly, and most importantly EGG FREE! (cue all sorts of cartwheeling and shouting from all you egg free mommas out there!)

So here it is, this heaven sent recipe, and I hope you all enjoy!



No Egg Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1 cup butter or 1 cup margarine
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional) (however, for me, these are never an option to put into a perfectly good oatmeal cookie!)
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Beat butter or margarine, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy.
2. Add flour and salt, mix well.
3. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water and add to mixture. Stir in rolled oats, raisins and
chocolate chips.
4. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10-12 minutes.
5. Don't over cook.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another Chocolate Chip Cookie


The recipes for chocolate chip cookies are endless.  So many varieties to choose from: chewy, gooey, crunchy, soft, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside.  What's your favorite?  Well if you are in the chewy, soft, and gooey camp this is the recipe for you.  If you have an egg allergy, this is also the recipe for you-because there are no eggs!

Unfortunately our little one has an allergy to eggs, but I still want her to be able to experience a delicious chocolate chip cookie.  I'm not even going to bother to look any further than this amazing recipe.  The secret ingredient?  Cream cheese!  It makes the cookies incredibly soft and delicious.  I'd recommend semi sweet chocolate chips with these bad boys, I just don't think milk chocolate would do them justice.

Enjoy.


Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, originally found at baking blonde
2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled until room temp
5-6 oz. cream cheese softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
*I chilled the dough overnight before baking, which I recommend.
Adjust oven racks to upper & lower -middle positions & heat oven to 325. (Don’t do if chilling overnight)
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Whisk dry ingredients together; set aside.With electric mixer, or by hand.
Mix butter and cream cheese together with a mixture until smooth. Add sugars and beat until thoroughly combined.
Beat in vanilla until combined.
Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in chips. Chill dough overnight. OR
Drop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets (I didn't line mine and it was fine) and bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges are set and bottoms are light brown. Do NOT over bake!
Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking and place on wire rack to cool.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Iced Oatmeal Cookies

It's been a while, yes.  I've needed to take a break, if you want to know what's been going on you are welcome to go here :)  But I'm back and with a swingin recipe.  Let's get started.

The name "Iced Oatmeal Cookies" just doesn't seem......"enough" for these spectacular little gems.  How about, "The Best Darn Oatmeal Cookie You'll Ever Put in Your Mouth" or my personal favorite the "I will make you completely lose self control cookie because I am THAT good".  You think I am getting carried away, don't you?  Well I think you need to make these heavenly cookies so you can experience the deliciousness yourself.

As amazing as these cookies were, I would make a slight change.  The recipe calls for 1 tsp nutmeg-I will only use 1/2 tsp next time.  I would have preferred them to have a slight less nutmeggy flavor.  But if you like more of a nutmeg flavor in your oatmeal cookie-go ahead and throw the whole teaspoon in!

These cookies are soft, perfect, absolutely the best oatmeal cookie I have made...should I go so far as to say tasted??  They are pretty amazing.  If you live in Utah and have ever had one of The Sweet Tooth Fairies oatmeal cookie (which is one of the best darn things on this planet!) these are very similar to theirs.

I better wrap this up because I have my 50th oatmeal cookie I need to eat for the day.


recipe originally found here


Ingredients (4-5 dozen) For the Cookie:
1 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 2 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 Tbsp baking powder 2 cup quick oats 2 cup flour For the Icing: 2 cup powdered sugar 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    Instructions
In food processor, add oatmeal and pulse until partly ground. Don’t make into a fine powder, leave some chunks. I pulsed mine 6 times, at 1-2 seconds each. Set aside.
In mixing bowl, blend together butter with sugars. Mix 1-2 minutes until combined. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix in remaining cookie ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined.
Drop by several tablespoons onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 14-16 minutes. (if you like your cookies soft like me, 13.5 minutes was perfect for my oven!)
To make glaze, whisk together powdered sugar with heavy cream and cinnamon until smooth. Frost each cookie and allow to harden. You can put them in refrigerator to speed up process (about 30 minutes).
Enjoy!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Valentine For You...



I love Valentines Day. I love giving gifts and treats to loved ones letting them know I am happy to have them in my life. I don't bake or make treats that often anymore, but I decided if I am going to make it a treat, it should be for Valentines Day. I decided to make little boxes of oreo truffles for some of my friends, and if my hubby is lucky enough there may be an extra one for him ;) If you haven't made a Valentines treat yet, try these out, they are scrumptious! Not only did I make the regular oreo truffles, I made up a new one. A coconut oreo truffle. These are AMAZING. Yes, it deserves all caps to emphasize how delicious they are. If you are a coconut lover, and you know I am!- you will love these, and hopefully someone you love with love them as well :)


Coconut Oreo Truffles

1 package golden oreos (not the chocolate ones, make sure they are the golden)
8 oz cream cheese
scant 1/2 tsp both coconut and almond extract
scant 1/2 cup sweetened toasted coconut
toasted un-sweetened coconut for sprinkling
vanilla candy melts

Pulse oreos in food processor or crush them until they are a fine crumb, Mix scant 1/2 tsp coconut extract and scant 1/2 tsp almond extract with cream cheese. Add sweetened toasted coconut. Roll into about 1/2 ounce balls (I made mine 3/4 oz but wish I would have made them a bit smaller). Let them set in fridge for about an hour-or freezer for 15 minutes. Coat in vanilla candy melts or white chocolate, then sprinkle with unsweetened toasted coconut. Enjoy!

Here is a link to the regular oreo truffles. But note, I don't divide my oreos because I don't sprinkle the tops of mine with crushed oreos. You can do that if you want though :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Saturday Pancakes


I guess I am making a tradition that every Saturday morning I make a "fun" breakfast. It's been unofficially decided, because that is what I end up doing most Saturday mornings. Saturday breakfast usually involves pancakes or French toast (btw, I have got to share with you my vegan french toast-to die for!). I found a recipe online for kamut pancakes and changed things around a bit to make it egg and dairy free. I think I have expressed my love for kamut before-but I will do it again. I love it. So healthy and nutritious without having the "wheat" flavor, which I don't mind and actually like, but for those of you who want a healthy alternative to white flour but don't like the taste of wheat, kamut is your grain.

These pancakes turned out super yummy. Almost dessert like actually:) The lemon juice from the "soy buttermilk" makes it really tasty, a slight lemony flavor paired with the slight flavor of the coconut oil. Amazing! This could be our new family favorite pancake recipe. Unless I find something better next week :)

Vegan Kamut Pancakes

1 cup raw kamut
1/2 cup raw oatmeal
1 1/2 cups soy butter milk** (directions bellow)
1 flax egg (1 T ground flax+3 T water)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons honey or 2 tablespoons maple syrup (I used honey)
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Directions:

In a blender put the milk, the flax egg, the oil, the vanilla, the kamut and the oatmeal.
Blend for 3 to 5 minutes or until very smooth.
Get the griddle hot (or the pan if that is what you will be using).
Just before you are ready to bake them add the baking soda, salt, and baking powder.
Blend for a few seconds.
Cook the pancakes on a griddle, turning when they bubble, until they are slightly golden brown.

**To make 1 1/2 c. soy buttermilk, put 1 1/2 T lemon juice (can use vinegar, but I like the flavor the lemon gives) in liquid measuring cup, then fill up with soy milk to the 1 1/c cup line. Let sit 10 minutes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Unsweetened Cinnamon Oatmeal


Oatmeal-I've been lovin it lately. It's been over a week since I've had my green smoothie for breakfast because my body is craving something warm and comforting since winter is here. This cinnamon oatmeal is just that-warm, comforting, delicious, and filling. There's been one thing that's always bothered me with oatmeal. I have always felt that I need a spoonful of brown sugar in every bite of oatmeal to make it yummy. I've been trying to cut back on the sugar, so I gave oatmeal a try without the heaping mounds of brown sugar I usually use. I boiled it with some cinnamon then finished it off with a touch of vanilla. I piled it high in a bowl and topped with the most delicious blueberries and raspberries. I was so surprised at how delicious it was! Never again do I need to bust out the brown sugar when making oatmeal. The pops of blueberries and raspberries in each bite gave it the perfect amount of sweetness.

It's an interesting thing when you cut out sugar in your diet. Healthy food tastes better, fruit tastes so deliciously sweet, and you don't want as much of the other sweet stuff. Not that I didn't eat a whole pan of my favorite vegan cookies last night...but hey, it's fun to indulge sometimes ;)

This is hardly a recipe, you can always add more or less cinnamon depending on what you like....

Cinnamon Oatmeal
serves about 2

1 cup old fashioned oats
2 cups water
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

Boil all ingredients together for 5-10 minutes. For me it usually takes about 5. Add 1 tsp vanilla. Top with berries, or for special fun occasions, some chocolate chips :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuscan White Beans With Kale


Like I promised, here's Kale. Kale has been a frequent star in our house for many reasons. It's one of the most amazing superfoods. I was afraid of Kale for a while. I could only tolerate a couple leaves in my green smoothies, but lately I have been enjoying it cooked in soups or placed on top a bean dish. Kale is one of those foods that gets more nutritious when you cook it. I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten's tuscan white beans. She doesn't call for Kale and she adds fennel to hers. But I would highly recommend throwing kale in this. This is such a comfort food, the flavors are so rustic, this is a new favorite in our home.

Tuscan White Beans

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?”

Serves 6

1 POUND DRIED WHITE CANNELLINI BEANS (OR ABOUT 4 15.8-OUNCE CANS)

1/4 CUP OLIVE OIL

1 YELLOW ONION, CHOPPED

2 CUPS CHOPPED CARROTS (4 CARROTS)

1 TABLESPOON MINCED GARLIC (3 CLOVES)

1 TO 2 CUPS VEGETABLE STOCK OR NO-CHICKEN CHICKEN STOCK (JUST CHICKEN STOCK, IF YOU’RE NOT GOING MEATLESS)

1 TABLESPOON MINCED FRESH SAGE LEAVES

1 TABLESPOON MINCED FRESH ROSEMARY LEAVES

2 TEASPOONS KOSHER SALT

1/2 TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER

BUNCH OF KALE

The night before, soak the beans in a large bowl with water to cover by at least 2 inches. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain the beans, rinse well, and place them in a large stockpot. Add twice as much water as you have beans, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes, until the beans are very tender. Skim off any foam that accumulates.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat.

Add the fennel and carrots, and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.

Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more.

Drain the beans, and add them to the vegetables.

Add 1 cup of the stock, sage, rosemary, some chopped kale, salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 15 minutes, until creamy. (If the beans are still hard after 15 minutes, add another 1/2 to 1 cup of stock, and continue to cook until the beans reach your desired consistency. Longer tends to be better.)

Optional, but this is what we like to do. With the extra kale, roughly chop and boil for 2-4 minutes. Top off the beans with boiled kale.