Friday, December 24, 2010

Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes

These cupcakes were made to compliment my Eggnog Latte Cupcakes for those who don't like eggnog. I used the same coffee frosting for these, which provided the "latte" part of the flavor. The cupcakes had a wonderful, complex flavor with the addition of cocoa to the recipe. Many of my colleagues couldn't decide on which flavor to try, so they tried both (and I don't know if people had favorite between the two - I should have asked!)

Makes 12 cupcakes

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup hot milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.. Butter or line with paper liners a 12-cup muffin tin.

Cream butter with the white sugar. Add the molasses and the egg and egg yolk.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot milk. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the hot milk mixture. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared tin.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until slightly springy to the touch. Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan and remove to a rack to cool.

COFFEE FROSTING (Adapted from The Cupcake Project)
Makes enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes

1 cup chilled whipping cream
8 oz mascarpone
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 to 3 cups confectioner's sugar (depending upon how thick you prefer frosting)

Whip up whipping cream in mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Fold in mascarpone. While mixing over low speed, slowly add the coffee granules and confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, being careful not to over whip frosting.

Frost as desired. Decorate with sprinkles (or cookie crumbs!)


Thursday, December 23, 2010


Pizzelles are actually a recipe that I have started making at some point in the past couple years. I have no idea what drove me to make a recipe that required I buy yet another kitchen gadget, but I love these cookies and haven't regretted the purchase once.

These are quick & easy to whip up. If you like the "tie-dyed" look, add sprinkles right before you spoon the batter up (add to a small amount of the batter at a time, or you'll end up with a brown mess). As the dough spreads out, the color spreads with it. I like to roll mine around a turkey baster to add more visual interest. (Must do this immediately while they are hot)

PIZZELLES (From AllRecipes)

3 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and blend into the batter until smooth.

Heat the pizzelle iron, and spray with oil. Drop about one tablespoon of batter onto each circle on the iron. You may need to experiment with the amount of batter and baking time depending on the iron. Bake for 20 to 45 seconds, or until steam is no longer coming out of the iron. Carefully remove cookies from the iron. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Easy Caramels

For as long as I can remember, my family has made a table full of Christmas goodies each holiday season. It's always been a family event - I have fond memories of being young (4 or 5) and requesting specific frosting colors on cut out cookies so that I could decorate them with sprinkles, red hots, etc.

As we've grown older, and fewer family members are able to make it to the holiday celebrations, the variety of goodies has decreased, down to a few key favorites. These caramels are one of the recipes that continues to be made annually (and often more than one batch per season). Even this year, where my husband & I will be celebrating without our extended family, I couldn't resist whipping up a batch.


1 cup butter
1 pound (2 1/4c) brown sugar (I've used both light & dark, depending on the flavor you want)
dash of salt
1 cup light corn syrup
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Butter the bottom & sides of a 9x13 inch cake pan, set aside.

Melt butter in a heavy pan. Add brown sugar and salt. Stir until combined. Blend in corn syrup. Gradually add condensed milk. Stir constantly over medium heat until candy reaches firm to hard ball stage. (My thermometer has firm ball as 248F and hard ball as 260F - I like the texture best when at 255F on my thermometer). This will take 12-15 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into buttered pan. Cool completely, and cut into squares. Wrap as desired. (I use the non-stick foil wrap to carefully twist around the candies, growing up we used the plastic backed floral foil - the colorful variety we'd use looked great!)


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lemon Cranberry Muffins

With a few left over cranberries in the fridge during the holiday season, I wanted to find a way to incorporate them into a warm winter breakfast. I knew waffles would be a no-go (My blueberry waffles turned out wonderfully this summer, but whole fruits/berries in Belgium waffle makers makes a mess, and the waffles are difficult to get out). My next thought was muffins, and I had everything I needed to make them.

The lemon & cranberry combination works well together in these muffins. The cranberries are quite tart, but the muffin itself is just sweet enough to counteract the tartness. They store well in a tupperware for a couple days, making them a great Sunday breakfast, with leftovers to eat the next few mornings. (And they're easy to bring with on the commute to work when you're running behind... Not that I ever get a late start on these early, dark mornings...)

LEMON CRANBERRY MUFFINS (Adapted from Food Republik)
Makes approximately 14-16 muffins

1 - 6oz container of lemon yogurt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
pinch salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 cup oil
2 cups fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix the yogurt, sugar, salt, eggs and lemon extract together in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir together until moistened.

Add oil and mix until batter is smooth and homogeneous. Fold in cranberries.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

As the weather has turned cool, we've been craving heartier dinners. My husband & I love mushrooms, so we decided we'd try stroganoff. I've never made the "real" thing before as I grew up on the Hamburger Helper version, and made crock-pot versions while in college (with lots of cream of mushroom soups and hamburger for the meat). This is definitely worth the additional effort. We easily had enough for about 6-7 servings, which meant easy lunches for the next few days as it reheated fairly well. Next time we make it, I hope to have the time to make egg noodles from scratch, too!

BEEF STROGANOFF (From The Joy of Cooking)

2 pounds of stew beef
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
2 cups beef broth
1 cup sour cream (I used light sour cream)
1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Cut beef into small strips. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meat in batches, until just browned. Remove to a plate.

In the same skillet, melt the butter. Add, and cook, the onion for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the mushrooms, and cook until the liquid evaporates (approximately 8 minutes).

Add the beef broth, an simmer for 10 minutes. Then stir in the sour cream and mustard. Add back the meat, and simmer (do NOT boil) for about 2-3 minutes until the meat is heated through, but still medium to medium rare. Serve immediately over egg noodles.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cranberry Cheesecake

I recently realized that it's been years since I made a cheesecake. Without a lot of family nearby to help eat it (and with a lactose intolerant husband), a cheesecake can be dangerous for me to have around! There is no way I would be able to let any of it go to waste, so I'd have to eat cheesecake at least once or twice a day until it was gone.

Although I had to work on Thanksgiving, my friends hosted a full turkey dinner the next day so that I wouldn't miss out on the celebration. I quickly jumped on the opportunity to make dessert, and wanted to try something different from my typical honey crunch pecan pie (which I promise to share at some point in the future). I wanted to find a cheesecake recipe that would compliment the meal, and knew that cranberry was the way to go.

I substituted some light ingredients, so the texture wasn't quite as heavy, but it still tasted great! I would suggest more cranberries, though, if you want a stronger cranberry flavor - the Oreo crust competed with the cranberries more than I would have liked, but they do blend together well.

CRANBERRY CHEESECAKE (Adapted from Frankly Entertaining)
Makes 1 - 9 inch Cheesecake

3 cups Oreo cookies, crushed
1/2 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups cranberries

3 - 8oz packages cream cheese (I used 2 light and 1 regular)
1 cup sugar
1 cup light sour cream
5 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine cookie crumbs and butter and press into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan (& about 1 inch up the sides). Bake for 8 minutes, let cool.

Increase temperature of the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan over med-high heat. Bring to a boil for 1 min. Add cranberries, reduce heat until most of the berries have popped. Press mixture through a sieve or food mill. Reserve liquid. (Discard the solid cranberries)

For the cake, start by mixing cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing between each one. (Be sure to scrape the edges of your bowl regularly).
Add sour cream and vanilla.

Add mixture to cookie crust. Add a few tablespoons of the cranberry liquid and swirl it into the batter with a knife.

Bake for 45 minutes. Be sure to place the pan onto a cookie sheet as small amounts of butter may leak out the bottom.

When the cake is done (very little "jiggle" in the center), leave it in the oven, with the door open, for two hours.

After the cake is completely cool, top it with the rest of the cranberry liquid, and place in the fridge overnight.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Candied Almonds

Whenever I see (or smell!) the candied nut stands on the street, it reminds me of NYC. So many corners have these wonderful smelling stands, and I have fond memories of sharing the small packages of warm nuts with my husband.

Almost daily when I walk home from work, I pass the stands in Boston. I always think that I should make them, but have never taken the time to try. (And there's no reason why I shouldn't - we ALWAYS have large bags of almonds from Costco in our pantry.)

As the weather has cooled off, and the holiday season approached, I knew I had to give these a shot. They were SO EASY (and quick!) And much more affordable than the $3-$4 you pay for a small bag while out shopping.

These would make fantastic gifts to package up for friends for the holiday season!

CANDIED ALMONDS (Adapted from Tasty Kitchen Blog)
(With great, step-by-step pictures HERE)

1/3 cup Water, Plus 2 Tablespoons
1 1/3 cup Sugar, Divided
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, Ground
2 cups Raw Almonds
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Use a heavy saucepan (NOT the nonstick kind) and a wooden spoon.

First add the water, 1 cup of sugar and the cinnamon and stir. Bring it to a boil over medium heat.

Add the almonds to the mix, raise the temperature to high heat and stir CONSTANTLY until the water is almost completely boiled away (5-7 minutes).

Turn the heat to medium-low, and add your vanilla. After you stir your vanilla in, dump in the rest of your sugar. (I think I'll try using vanilla sugar next time, and cutting out the vanilla extract).

Stir until well coated with sugar - the mixture will be very dry at this time. Dump onto a cookie sheet to cool.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eggnog Latte Cupcakes

With the upcoming holiday season, I wanted to make some type of "Christmas" cupcake to share at work. I planned to bring them in for a combined "celebration" - my wonderful interns had completed their month on the unit, and one of our patients completed her transplant and was ready to go home after a long 7 week stay with us!

While some may think that Red Velvet may fit the criteria due to their deep red color, I think I am one of the few people who doesn't like the flavor, so I have no interest in making it. My personal love for eggnog lead my search for an eggnog cupcake, and I ran across a recipe for eggnog latte cupcakes. (It just so happens that Eggnog Latte's are my favorite coffee drink of the season - my espresso machine has been getting much more use this month!)

Thus frosting is amazing! Much lighter than a buttercream (and best when cool/refrigerated), with a wonderful coffee favor! I think it would be fantastic on a Mocha Cupcake (and you'll see it again soon on another seasonal cupcake recipe!)

EGGNOG CUPCAKES (Adapted from Baking Bites)

1 teaspoon rum extract
1 cup low-fat eggnog
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a small bowl, mix together the rum extract, eggnog, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. In a large bowl, mix together the nutmeg, sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Divide evenly between prepared muffin wells.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

COFFEE FROSTING (Adapted from The Cupcake Project)
Makes enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes

1 cup chilled whipping cream
8 oz mascarpone
1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 to 3 cups confectioner's sugar (depending upon how thick you prefer frosting - I used about 2 1/2 cups)

Whip up whipping cream in mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Fold in mascarpone. While mixing over low speed, slowly add the coffee granules and confectioner's sugar, one cup at a time, being careful not to over whip frosting.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Banana Pecan Waffles

If you can't tell yet, after cupcakes, breakfast is one of my favorite things to make. We occasionally find a few very ripe bananas sitting on our counter (a very rare occurrence as my husband & I both love bananas). When we do have some dark bananas, I look forward to baking with him. Banana bread used to be my "go to" recipe to utilize them, but I decided I wanted to experiment this time and found this delicious recipe. They are very hearty waffles - I couldn't even finish one entire waffle without being stuffed! They reheat wonderfully in the oven or a wide-slot toaster, making them a great breakfast for the rest of the week!

Banana-Pecan Waffles (Original source Sunset Magazine, January 2005)
Servings 8 – 10

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
3/4 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (approx 2 medium-large bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped (directions follow)

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

In another bowl, mix egg yolks, milk, banana, sour cream, and butter until well blended. Stir egg-yolk mixture into flour mixture just until combined. Stir in the toasted pecans (see below for directions).

In another large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain.

Preheat a Belgian waffle iron to high. Brush both sides lightly with melted butter. When iron is ready, pour about 1/2 cup batter per 4-inch square; close iron and cook until waffle is browned, about 6-9 minutes. Remove waffle; keep warm on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven up to 15 minutes. Repeat waffle cooking process to finish batter.

Serve warm with syrup or powdered sugar and some banana slices.

Toasting Pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Remove immediately from oven and allow to cool before using.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

I've been wanting to make something "pumpkin" all fall. When I recently started my new rotation in the hospital, I was soon asked when the pumpkin treats would appear on my blog. Sadly, it isn't until Thanksgiving day that I finally post something. (However, my colleagues will be getting to enjoy these treats as I am bringing them in to share while I'm on call.)

This recipe also let me finally try my hand at whoopie pies - but in a very miniature version! These are bite sized (although a large bite!), making it easy to find room to enjoy one without feeling overly stuffed. It also means they are very easy to share with lots of friends & family!

PUMPKIN WHOOPIE PIES (Adapted from The Novice Chef, originally from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Makes about 8 dozen bite sized whoopie pies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup natural apple sauce
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk to sugars and oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.

Mix the flour mixture and the pumpkin mixture together. Pipe the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. (No tip used, just the bag. Mine were about the size of a quarter)

Bake for 8-12 minutes (depending on the size), until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you make the filling. They will look more like mini cakes then cookies, so don’t panic about that.

Maple Cream Cheese Filling

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 TBSP maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth with no visible lumps. Add the cream cheese an beat until combined.
Add the powdered sugar, maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.

To assemble:
Turn half the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe filling onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm before serving. Best served cold.

ENJOY! Happy Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cranberry Sauce

Although I won't be able to spend Thanksgiving with family, I knew I couldn't let the holiday pass by without plenty of cranberry sauce! I grew up with the canned cranberry sauce - the gelled form, sliced after being slid out of the can. It wasn't until I was in college that I was introduced to the "real thing" and knew that I would never be buying a can of cranberry sauce. It is incredibly easy to make - don't be afraid to give it a try.

Easy Cranberry Sauce

12 oz bag of cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in the orange juice. Stir in the cranberries, and cook until they start to pop. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sesame Pasta Salad

This fall, we had a BBQ with friends. We provided the meet, everyone else brought the sides & drinks. Some of our friends stopped by the local coop on their way over to pick up some salads, and brought a sesame pasta salad over that I fell in love with. I scoured the internet for something similar, and think that this is it!

This is so simple to make up (and makes a HUGE batch - perfect if you're bringing it somewhere to share!) I think it easily be made into a more substantial salad by adding some chicken and cashews or peanuts to the mix.

SESAME PASTA SALAD (Adapted from Pioneer Woman)

16 ounces, thin noodles (spaghetti, angel hair, etc), cooked and drained
1/3 cups Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sugar
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
3 Tablespoons Pure Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Hot Chili Oil
4 Tablespoons Canola Oil
4 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin

Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat. Sprinkle with green onions and toss.

Chill before serving.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Jalapeno Popper dip

The last of the dips I made for Monday Night Football (with Pickle Wrap Dip and Buffalo Chicken Dip). I think this was my favorite! (But I LOVE peppers!) This tasted so much like the individual poppers, but was much easier to eat!

I only used about half of the bread crumb topping, so I would recommend cutting back. (There was still a layer about 1/2 inch deep across the top.) I also stirred the crumbs into the dip just before serving - it spread the crunchy breading throughout the dip.

JALAPENO POPPER DIP (Adapted from My Baking Addiction)

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
4 ounces canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained
1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese

1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an oven safe serving dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Using an electric mixer, blend the cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in green chilies, jalapeno peppers, and Mexican and mozzarella cheeses. Spoon this mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Mix together the Panko and parmesan cheese and sprinkle it over the cream cheese mixture.
Spray the Panko and parmesan with a quick spray of non-stick cooking spray.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the topping is lightly browned.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Coconut M&M Blondies

These were another treat for my treat-loving father. I made these at his place, and it wasn't long before they were stored away in the freezer, hidden from sight, and counted daily to be sure no one was getting into them without permission! (He must not have learned how to share in Kindergarten!)

These were very tasty (especially if you don't think about all the butter in them!) They are easy to dress up with seasonal M&M's - I loved the colors of the harvest ones.

COCONUT M&M BLONDIES (From Eat at Allies)

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1.5 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 (12 oz.) bag M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray.

Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it browns and begins to smell nutty (watch it closely so it doesn’t burn). Allow the butter to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the browned butter and sugars.

Stir in eggs, vanilla and salt. Add flour & stir until just combined.

Add the coconut and M&Ms, and stir to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the blondies cool completely before slicing into squares.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Apple Turnovers

I am SO glad that I finally tried to make puff pastry! After overcoming my fear of all of the layers of the pastry, I knew I would have to use some fresh apples & make turnovers. These were very quick & easy to make, and were by far the best turnovers I've ever had! They were wonderful for breakfast, but I definitely think they would make a great end to a fall meal (especially with a little vanilla bean ice cream, and maybe some caramel sauce... YUM!)

I'm sure these would be delicious with store bought puff pastry, but I really encourage you to try making your own!

(Look at all of those layers!)

APPLE TURNOVERS (Adapted from Annie's Eats)
Makes 12 turnovers

Puff Pastry

For the filling:
3 medium to large apples (I used a mixture of freshly picked apples)
2/3 cup sugar (adjust based on tartness of apples)
2 tsp. lemon juice
dash of cinnamon

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
1 tbls. ground cinnamon

Roll the dough into a 20- by 15-inch rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, trim and cut the dough into twelve 5-inch squares, and place 6 on each sheet. (If they aren’t all perfect squares, it is okay – you can cover it up once you fold them over.) Refrigerate the dough squares while you make the filling.

To make the filling, peel the apples and grate them on the holes of a large box grater (I used my food processor with the shredding disc.) Combine the grated apples, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl. Remove one sheet of the dough squares from the refrigerator. Working with one square at a time, place 2 tablespoons of the apple filling (squeezed of excess liquid) in the center of the dough.

Moisten two adjoining edges of the dough square with a finger dipped in the apple liquid, then fold the top portion of dough over the bottom, making sure to overlap the bottom portion by 1/8-inch. Crimp the edges of the turnover with a fork.

Repeat with the remaining dough squares. Return the sheet of turnovers to the fridge and repeat with the second sheet of dough squares. Refrigerate the filled turnovers 30 minutes, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. (I have to say that I'm pretty sure I skipped the refrigeration step)

While the turnovers are chilling, preheat the oven to 400° F. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir together until mixed well. Brush or mist the turnovers lightly with water and sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Bake until golden brown, 16-20 minutes, rotating the sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Using a wide metal spatula, transfer the turnovers to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Candy Corn Cookies

I've seen these on multiple websites - Land O Lakes, Betty Crocker, many blogs. They are so cute, it's not surprising that multiple people make them in the fall. They take a little time to cut all of the pieces, but overall, they are pretty simple to make, and are a tasty, bite-sized snack to enjoy. (You can have more than one without feeling too guilty! And personally, they are MUCH better than the real thing. I can't remember why I liked candy corn so much as a child!)

CANDY CORN COOKIES (Adapted from Land O Lakes)

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Orange paste or gel food color
Yellow paste or gel food color

Line bottom and sides of 9x5-inch loaf pan with tin foil or plastic food wrap. Set aside.

Combine butter and 1 cup sugar in large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg and vanilla. Continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour and baking soda. Beat until well mixed.

Divide dough into thirds. Press one-third of white dough evenly onto bottom of prepared pan. Place another one-third of dough back into same bowl. Add small amount of orange food color; mix until color is well blended. Press orange dough evenly over white dough in pan. Place remaining one-third of dough into another medium bowl. Add small amount of yellow food color; mix until color is well blended. Press yellow dough evenly over orange dough in pan. Cover with plastic food wrap; refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours or overnight).

Place 1 cup sugar in large bowl; set aside.

Heat oven to 375°F. Invert loaf pan to remove dough. Peel off foil/wrap. Place layered dough onto cutting surface. Cut loaf crosswise into 1/4-inch slices using sharp knife, trimming edges to make even, if necessary. Cut each slice into 5 wedges (4 cuts).

Roll in sugar. Place 1-inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Place cookies onto cooling rack. Cool completely.

Happy Halloween, ENJOY!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Puff Pastry

I've been wanting to try Puff Pastry for quite some time, but it's always intimidated me. When I knew we'd be visiting an orchard when the family came by in the fall, I knew it was the perfect time to try out the pastry to make some turnovers.

This wasn't nearly as intimidating as I expected! Sure, it takes a little planning and a bit of time, but it was definitely worth it! SOOOOOOO flakey & buttery! I highly recommend that anyone who has even thought about making their own puff pastry give it a shot.

PUFF PASTRY (From BakingBites)

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour
10 ounces butter, cold (2 1/2 sticks), divided
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 – 1 cup cold water

Take 8 ounces of butter (2 sticks) and shape into a block roughly 1/4 inch thick. If you are using stick butter, slice each stick into three long pieces and make a 2×3 block. Press butter together well and refrigerate.

Combine flours and salt in food processor. Pulse lightly to combine. Add remaining 2 ounces (1/2 stick) of butter and cut in until dough looks like sand. With the motor running, add 3/4 cup water. If dough has not come together, add remaining water slowly.
Flatten dough into a smooth disk, wrap and chill for 1 hour.

On a well floured surface, roll dough out into a large (10 inches or so) circle. Set butter block in the center.

Fold up the extra dough as though you were folding an envelope: fold over the sides, the fold the top down and the bottom up.

Turn the seam side down and roll until envelope has quadrupled in size. Use short strokes, keeping the pressure as even as possible, and lots of flour.

Fold the dough in thirds as though you were folding a business letter. This is one turn. Wrap and refrigerate dough for at least one hour and up to two days.

To make turns 2, 3 and 4, place chilled dough seam side down on a well-floured surface and roll out again into a large rectangle. Try to keep the dough as evenly rectangular as possible. Fold as you would a business letter. Wrap and chill.

Dough can be frozen until ready to use.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cranberry Crumb Bars

My Dad LOVES when I bake for him. Back when I was a poor college student (not much different from being a poor resident!), I gave him "Cookie of the Month" multiple years as a Christmas present. I would bake him cookies & mail them to him monthly. (He rarely shared, often placing them in the freezer & rationing them to make them last a month!)

Now, I don't have the time to mail him goodies monthly. So, whenever he comes to visit, or when I visit him, I try to make a treat for him. These were a perfect fall treat - just slightly tart, but still a sweet treat. They would have been delicious with a little vanilla bean ice cream.

While they are a "crumb" bar - they are solid enough to eat in bar form without a fork & plate if desired.

Makes 9x13 inch pan

2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 large egg
1 pinch ground cinnamon

4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2/3 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, 2/3 cup white sugar, flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the shortening and egg. Dough will be crumbly (like damp sand). Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.

In another bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mix in the cranberries. Sprinkle the cranberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Yet another Monday Night Football recipe! I served this along with the Pickle Wrap Dip, and a Jalapeno Popper Dip (recipe to come). While each of these made large portions, our group of 8 managed to almost completely finish all of the dips! I think that speaks to how much these were enjoyed!

(Again, I apologize for the photo - it's much more appetizing than the picture makes it appear! I need to work on photographing dips!)

BUFFALO CHICKEN DIP (Adapted from Prevention RD)

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup blue cheese (or ranch) dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (I used 2 large breasts, boiled, then shredded)
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese

Heat oven to 350°F.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in dressing, buffalo wing sauce and water until blended. Stir in chicken and cheese. Spread in ungreased 1-quart baking dish or 9-inch pie plate; cover with foil.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve hot with crackers or celery sticks.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Caramel S'More Cups

I usually love to make things from scratch. However, sometimes, we all just need something quick to whip up when we are busy. This is one of those treats. They were quickly devoured at work, but took me only a few minutes to make. No one guessed that the base came from a box. (Although, it would be easy to substitute your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe - again, I was limited on time!)

The recipe originally called for Rolos, but I couldn't find any. Plus, the caramel in the Kisses is a little softer & made for a nice, gooey center.

CARAMEL S'MORE CUPS (Adapted from Betty Crocker)

1 package of chocolate chip cookie mix, mixed as directed on box/bag
Caramel filled Hershey's Kisses
8-12 large marshmallows, cut in half
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray mini muffin cups with cooking spray.

Make cookie dough as directed on package, using butter and egg. Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Place 1 ball into each muffin cup.

Bake 8-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Remove from oven; firmly press 1 kiss (point down) into center of each cookie until flush with cookie top. Top each with 1/2 of a large marshmallow. Bake 2 to 4 minutes longer or until marshmallows are puffed. Cool 10 to 15 minutes. Loosen edges of cookie with small metal spatula and remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.

Place chocolate chips in small dish. Microwave on High about 1 minute or until softened. Put into a ziplock bag, with a small corner cut off. Gently squeeze bag until chocolate is smooth. Squeeze bag to drizzle chocolate over marshmallows. Let stand until hardened, about 10 minutes.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Pickle Wrap Dip

I LOVE dill pickle wraps. They are always a treat! Because they take so long to make, I rarely make them. My grandma, who loves to have special treats for her grandkids, often surprises my sister & I with a tupperware full of them.

With the onset of Monday Night Football, I wanted to find some tasty dips to serve. I knew the dip version of the wraps would would be a great (and quick!) way to satisfy my cravings.

There are many versions of the recipe around - I based mine on taste, trying to get it as close to the wraps I love. I personally thought it was delicious, and everyone at the party seemed to agree!

(Sorry about the not-so-great picture - everyone was eager to eat!)


8 oz cream cheese
2 large dill pickles (the HUGE ones you buy in bulk!)
4 oz of corned or roast beef

Place all ingredients into a food processor & pulse until desired texture. (EASY!! No chopping or cutting required!)

Store in refrigerator.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Fluffernutter Cupcakes

So, I have to admit, I've never had a Fluffernutter sandwich. (Peanut butter on one slice, Marshmallow Fluff on the other slice) Maybe it's because I grew up in the midwest (The sandwich seems to be a New England favorite - probably because Marshmallow Fluff is made in Lynn, Massachusetts). However, these cupcakes sounded delicious to this peanut butter loving gal. And they definitely were!


Peanut Butter Cupcakes (From Cupcake Rehab)

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners, or grease and flour cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, oil and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter alternately with the milk.

Mix in the peanut butter chips until completely combined. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top of the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Marshmallow Butter Cream

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
16oz container Marshmallow Fluff

Beat butter & 1 cup of the sugar until light. Add 1/2 of the fluff, and beat until combined. Add the other 1/2 of the fluff, again mixing until combined. Beat in flour, and an additional 1-2 cups of the sugar until it is the sweetness & consistency you prefer.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BBQ Pulled Pork

I LOVE Fall! With the return of the cooler (much missed!) weather, I was eager to dig out my crock-pot and fill our apartment with savory scents. I bought the last pork shoulder at Costco, so I ended up almost doubling this recipe (6 lbs of shoulder!) We had dinner for a week, and more is in the freezer for later.


3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 tablespoon hickory flavored liquid smoke
2 cups barbecue sauce (We used Sweet Baby Ray's)

Place pork in a slow cooker. Add water and liquid smoke. Cook on low setting for approximately 8 hours, until the pork is very tender and falls apart easily.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard the remaining liquid. Shred the pork using two forks. Place the meat back in the slow cooker along with the barbecue sauce and continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes until the pork is hot again. Serve on buns with extra barbecue sauce, if desired


Monday, September 27, 2010

Brioche Buns

I love the taste of homemade bread (I really need to make it more often!), but have never made homemade buns. These have been making the rounds in the blogging world, and when I planned on making a crock full of pulled pork (recipe to come!), I knew I had to try these out.

The recipe actually called for a combination of bread flour & all purpose flour, but I was currently out. They were still fantastic! I'm so glad that that I tried them, and I plan on keeping this recipe handy for the future. (Of note, when stored in an air tight container, they are still fluffy & fresh 3-4 days after being baked)

BRIOCHE BUNS (From Annie's Eats)
Makes 8-10 buns

3 tbsp. warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 tsp. instant yeast
2½ tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. salt
1 large egg
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2½ tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water, for egg wash
Sesame seeds (optional)

Combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg with electric mixer. Mix briefly to combine. Add the flours to the bowl, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the butter. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be somewhat tacky, but you want to avoid adding too much extra flour which will create tough buns.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again, 1-2 hours, until puffed up and nearly doubled.

Set a large metal pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F with a rack in the center. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns about 15 minutes rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

(Look at that beautiful texture!)


Friday, September 24, 2010

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

In honor of my adorable dog's 2nd birthday, I had to make a treat for him & share it on my blog. We just adopted him 5 months ago, but he quickly became a member of our family. He LOVES peanut butter (freezing some PB in his Kong will keep him entertained for hours), so I knew I had to find a peanut butter based recipe. I added more peanut butter to the recipe to give it a little more flavor, and since my dog wouldn't leave the kitchen while I was rolling out the treats, I knew it would be enough. And I was right - they are definitely a favorite treat for him! (Although, really, he loves anything that *might* be edible - he'll try it to find out!) Ideally, these would be made with a bone shaped cookie - I need to find one before my next batch!

Peanut Butter Dog Treats (Adapted from Bella's Bistro)

2/3 - 3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup water
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup Oatmeal

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. (I ended up using my hands to almost knead the dough together). Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut with a cookie cutter.

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until just firm to touch. This will be highly variable on the size of the cookie cutter you use - mine was about 1 inch in diameter and took about 15 minutes.

I'm sure your dog will ENJOY!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lime Raspberry Cupcakes

This was a wonderful, refreshing combination! The cupcakes were made from left-over batter from the Lime Cream Cheese Pound Cake, and the frosting was left over from the Raspberry Chocolate Cupcakes. (I always keep the left-over frosting in freezer bags in the freezer especially for moments like this!)


Thursday, September 16, 2010

S'more Cupcakes

I think I've said this before, but this may be my new favorite cupcake! I haven't had the opportunity to have S'mores this summer, and while nothing will take the place of a slightly charred, melted marshmallow with chocolate & graham crackers, this is a very close second! You can definitely taste the three components of these cupcakes, and they are just as messy to eat as the original! (It's probably best to eat with a fork!)

I wasn't thrilled with any of the marshmallow frostings I could find online - I didn't want a meringue as it was 95 degrees out & I knew it wouldn't tolerate the walk to work. The recipes I found online that included fluff (which I felt would give it a real "marshmallow" flavor) were very thin. I have no idea how the bakers got beautiful swirls with the very runny frosting the recipe made! A little experimenting, and I found a delicious, appropriately messy frosting!


Graham Cracker Cupcakes (Adapted from Vanilla Garlic)
Makes 12-16 cupcakes

1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs (Approx 1 sleeve)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder

Preheat your oven to 350F. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin.

Beat the butter for about 30 seconds until well creamed. Add the sugar and mix for 3 minutes using a paddle attachment until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, being sure to beat for 30 seconds for each egg.

Mix together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and baking powder. Add about 1/3 of the mixture to the butter mixture, then add 1/2 of the milk. Continue to add the ingredients in a dry-wet-dry method, ending with the dry. Continue to mix until just combined.

Scoop into cupcake papers, filling 3/4 of the way full (they don't rise much). Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Frosting (used as filling, from Our Best Bites)
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
1 cup real butter, softened
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Optional: Additional cocoa powder as needed

Melt your chocolate chips and set aside to cool. Try to get it close to room temperature and still have it be soft and stir-able.

In a small saucepan, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, and milk. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Boil 1-3 minutes or until thickened like a thinned pudding. Remove pan from heat, and cool completely in the refrigerator or freezer.

When chocolate flour mixture is cooled, beat the butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture until well combined fluffy, about 1 minute. Finally add in melted chocolate and beat again until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes. If desired, add additional cocoa powder (or powdered sugar) to taste, up to 4 tablespoons more.

Marshmallow Butter Cream

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
16oz container Marshmallow Fluff

Beat butter & 1 cup of the sugar until light. Add 1/2 of the fluff, and beat until combined. Add the other 1/2 of the fluff, again mixing until combined. Beat in flour, and an additional 1-2 cups of the sugar until it is the sweetness & consistency you prefer.

Cut a hole in the center of the cooled cupcakes (using the cone method). Fill generously with chocolate frosting. Frost with marshmallow buttercream. (If the weather is warm, the frosting may spread some - I would recommend not piping the frosting all of the way to the edge). Garnish as desired.

(See, nice & messy!)


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mini Peach Galettes

With a fridge full of peaches that were ready to be eaten, I had to find another way to use them up. (My personal favorite is to cut up the peaches into bite sized pieces, sprinkle with a little sugar & let them sit for an hour. Then, add a little half & half.... MMMMM.....) The addition of cinnamon to the recipe makes it perfect for fall!

I definitely recommend using the parchment - I had run out, and had some difficulty with the galettes sticking to the pan. Still tasted delicious, but they weren't all pretty!

MINI PEACH GALETTES (Idea from The Comfort of Cooking)
Makes 4 Galettes

Dough for 1 pie crust (I use a butter based pie crust), divided into 4 pieces

2 fresh peaches, sliced into approximately 10-12 slices each
Blackberries (optional)
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs

Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Mix sugar & cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside

Roll out each piece of dough into a 6-8 inch circle.

Place 1 tbsp. of graham cracker crumbs in the center of each crust. Place approximately 5 peach slices onto the crust. Sprinkle approximately 1/2 tablespoon of sugar mixture on top of peaches. Fold the edge of each crust up and over peaches. Sprinkle each pie with a small amount of the sugar mixture.

Bake 25 minutes, until pies are golden brown. Let cool 3 minutes before serving.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Doughnut Muffins

I was soooooooo excited when I saw this recipe! Around the country, it is becoming state fair season. Having spent much of my life in Minnesota, and having a husband from Minnesota, going to the Minnesota State Fair was an annual event for us. We rarely went on rides (too expensive!), but we loved to people watch, walk through the barns (to see the worlds largest pig, of course!), and eat.

I almost always came home with a stomach ache! The state fair is the one time a year I could get fresh cheese curds or mini donuts or a bucket of cookies. I would usually pass on the other "Deep fried ______ on a stick." (I've seen everything I could think of deep fried at the state fair - Twinkies, Oreos, candy bars, pickles, bologna.....) And don't forget the dairy barn with the butter princess carving & the delicious fresh milk shakes. Or how about the "All You Can Drink" Milk stand (they served over 30,000 gallons last year!), usually conveniently located near the buckets of cookies.

As we are now living 1400 miles away from "home," and all of our friends in Minnesota have Facebook updates about the state fair, I knew I had to make these muffins to remind of the fair. They were a great substitution! My husband, who isn't a sweets person, but LOVES cinnamon & sugar, quickly devoured them. He put two on his plate, took a bite, and grabbed a third before he went to sit down!

With the fall apple season quickly approaching, I'm hoping to alter the recipe to mimic the tasty apple cider donuts served at all of the local orchards. (Not that I need another excuse to make these delicious muffins!)

DOUGHNUT MUFFINS (Adapted from How to Simplify)

For the muffins:

1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk

For the coating:

1/4 -1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin tin.

Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Combine oil, sugar, egg, vanilla and milk in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients and stir only to combine.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. While muffins are baking, melt butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

Shake muffins out of the muffin tin while the muffins are still hot. Dip muffins in the melted butter and then into the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

These are by far the most complicated cupcakes that I've made. They actually aren't difficult - just lots of steps! They look awesome in the end & are guaranteed to get some attention.

Everyone LOVED these cupcakes! (Personally, while they were good, the cupcake itself didn't have the best flavor - it was as though a bit of corn bread batter was mixed with the cupcake batter). I was the only one to have noticed the off flavor, so maybe it was just me. However, I'm very glad I tried these as the frosting is fantastic, and I think I've found my new favorite cookie recipe!

EGG FREE COOKIE DOUGH FILLING (Adapted from Cupcake Project)

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoon milk
2/3-1 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients in a big bowl. (No special instructions, it's easy!)

MINI CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES (Adapted from Annie's Eats)

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven 325°. Line cookie sheets with parchment, if desired. (I didn't and had no problem with burnt bottoms or the cookies sticking to the sheets).

Mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips (by hand).

To make mini cookies for use on the cupcakes, use a VERY small amount of dough for each cookie (1 - 1.5 tsp each!). These bake for about 6-7 minutes. For full sized cookies, it will be 11-14 minutes until the cookies are lightly golden.

Cool cookies on sheets until able to lift without breaking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups dark brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl. Stir together to blend. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated. Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

COOKIE DOUGH FROSTING (Also adapted from Annie's Eats)

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.


Cut a cone out of the cooled cupcakes & fill with some cookie dough. Frost cookies as desired with the cookie dough frosting. Garnish with the mini cookies & additional chocolate chips.