Wednesday, November 30, 2011

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Yes, I'm very excited to start baking Christmas cookies. There's so many options and so many recipes!!! But before I start, the other, for some reason, I started craving white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. One of my favorite combos. MMMmmmmm....I went to the grocery store to buy some macadamia nuts, but all they had were ones in this little tiny bag!!

What happened to the ones in the cans?! I couldn't find them anywhere. And these are EXPENSIVE!! well..I guess I need them to make my cookies.. :P

I found this recipe from All Recipes website...pretty handy website for...anything cooking/baking related!


-1 cup butter, softened
-3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
-2 eggs
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/2 teaspoon almond extract
-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
-1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F..In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
(It'll look a little lumpy)

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. (This is when it smooths out)
Mix in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate..Mmmmm look at all those nuts!! (uhh..haha)

Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

uhhhh ummmm.....yummmm...
mmmm...Instead of teaspoonfuls, I actually made mounds more of tablespoonfuls. I like my cookies just a tad bit bigger... mmmm

crap I ate two already. Better go to sleep before I do damage on them. But this Occupy LA on the news is just sooo fascinating.... :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Brownie Chubettes

I met up with a few girls tonight to discuss the wedding plans of one of the girls. :) her sister, is pregnant. So I thought I'd make something for her (pregnancy=chocolate...remember?) I wanted to make something new so I saw this recipe in my "The Cookie Book" book called the "Brownie Chubettes." Funny, but cute name. These are described as freestanding brownies-gooey and cakey in the center, with a cracked shiny surface like a tray of brownies.

-6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
-2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
-3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
-2 eggs
-3/4 cup sugar
-2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/3 cup all purpose flour
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup pecan pieces
-1 cup walnut pieces
-3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

(makes about 3 dozen 2 inch cookies)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the chopped chocolates and butter..

...melt using a double boiler or, like me, in a microwave in like 20 second increments. Keep stirring to melt completely. set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, instant coffee, and vanilla.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, bet until the coffee is dissolved and the mixture thickens, about 1 minute.

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate mixture.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl and stir to completely combine.

Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.

Drop 1 1/2 inch balls onto the baking sheets, placing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake for about 14 minutes or until the tops are cracked and the edges feel firm. The centers will appear a little wet and underdone. Let sit for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

These are similar to the double chocolate chip cookies recipe from this same book, but definitely not as cakey..I think I like these better...actually, well, maybe not..well..I guess depends on my mood..well..hahah...but then again, you can't ever go wrong with anything chocolate!

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mini Maple Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffin

I found this recipe on Bakerella's website. It calls for maple syrup in the recipe. Sounds yummy. Looks yummy. I had to make them!

-1 cup flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoons sugar
-2/3 cup buttermilk
-1 egg
-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
-2 tablespoons melted butter
-1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray generously on a 24 mini muffin pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. Sift together with a wire whisk.

In another bowl, stir buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter until just combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until combined.

Stir in chocolate chips. Reserve a few chips to sprinkle on the tops.

Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Makes 24 mini pancake muffins.

Let cool slightly and remove from the pan. You may need to use a toothpick around the edges to separate the pancake muffins from the pan. Serve immediately with warmed butter if you like or even just with maple syrup.

Enjoy! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Another classic! As much as I hate oats, granola, and especial oatmeal (blecchhh) these are one of my favorite cookies. Easy to make as well, and the recipe I use is from the Quaker Oats can!

-1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
-3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-2 eggs
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
-3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
-1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.

Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.

Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.

Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. (I used parchment lined cookie sheets which when the cookies bake, doesn't allow the cookies to spread very much. If you don't want dome shaped cookies, push them down a bit before baking)

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Enjoy! :)

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

I was meeting another couple for dinner tonight and the girl is pregnant. I thought, every pregnant lady has cravings...chocolate cravings! So I wanted to make chocolate cupcakes! :) There's a lot of different chocolate cupcake recipes out there and I'm determined to find the most moist.'s the start! I've made the Devil's Food Cupcakes from Martha Stewart's Cupcake book and they've gotten really great reviews. I made them with the dark chocolate frosting recipe in the same book. The frosting recipe is pretty rich and bitter. It has a great consistency, but, it's a bit too bitter. I like my chocolate sweet! So I found this chocolate cupcake recipe in the same Martha Stewart Cupcake book that uses buttermilk instead of the sour cream of the Devil's Food, and found a chocolate buttercream frosting on the internet..yummy. seriously.

This recipe is called the one-bowl chocolate cupcakes because all the ingredients in the recipe come together in one bowl. Pretty simple. It also uses no butter, instead it uses a small amount of vegetable oil for a more moist cake.

-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
-3/4 teaspoons baking powder
-3/4 teaspoons salt
-2 large eggs
-3/4 cup buttermilk
-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-3/4 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil ,extract and the water. Beat until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Fill each cup with batter about 2/3 full.

Bake, rotating halfway through, until a a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes.
then turn cupcakes out onto racks to cool completely.

Ingredients for the frosting:
-1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!)
-3 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 teaspoon table salt
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
-4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream


Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream (I used heavy cream) and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.

This is some yummy frosting...the cupcakes recipe makes about 18 cupcakes. I decorated the cupcakes with some chocolate shavings. ummmm you go! enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Chocolate Thumbprints

This recipe is from my Martha Stewart cookie book. The past few days I've been trying to bake french macarons and I've failed thus far :( So I picked an easy cookie recipe from my book that I know I won't fail to make me feel better. :(

-12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
-1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
-1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup


Heat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1 stick butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium high.

The dough is a bit crumbly because there's no egg in the recipe to bind it all together so you really have to knead the dough into the balls. Roll dough by teaspoonfuls into balls, and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

(I used parchment line baking pans). Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press thumb into tops of cookies to make indentations. Return to oven, and bake until light brown on the edges, 7 to 9 minutes more. (I found with my oven, 7 mins sufficed) Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Combine chocolate, 4 tablespoons butter, and corn syrup in a small heat-proof bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water; stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly. When cookies are cool, fill the thumbprints with the chocolate mixture..or I filled some of it with Nutella! :)

There aren't my favorite cookies, because the cookie part is not the most moist, so you definitely need some jam or chocolate in the middle. But they're cute little treats!!! enjoy! :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Key Lime Bars

I've never remembered liking key lime pie. It's one of those things that I've never really had, but just decided automatically that I wouldn't like it. Last year, I was in Vegas with my bestie and we hit up Joe's Stone Crab. Not only are they famous for their stone crabs, but for their key lime pie. My friend wanted to share a slice. I wanted a better dessert, that I thought was delicious. But we got the key lime pie. And, it was not bad. But I didn't really think about it much afterwards. Then my BF ended up making some key lime bars from a recipe he found online for a movie/dessert night I had a few months back. He loves key lime pies so thought he'd try the recipe. I ate those, and it was pretty damn good. Then I found out the recipe is based on the key lime pie from Joe's Stone Crab. What do you know. Now I'm addicted to these suckers. I've made these too many times already. Enough tart balanced by the whipped cream and graham cracker crust. MMMMMM. This is also the recipe in my Martha Stewart's Pie it's been validated by me and her. :) Here's the easy recipe:

-1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs
-1/3 cup sugar
-5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
-3 large egg yolks
-1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
-2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (about 23 Key limes total)
-1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
-1/4 cup heavy cream
-2 Key limes, thinly sliced into half-moons

To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small bowl.

Press evenly onto bottom of an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Bake until dry and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Leave oven on.)

TO make the filling: Put egg yolks and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium.

Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly.

Raise speed to high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add lime juice; mix until just combined.

Spread filling evenly over crust using a spatula.

Bake, rotating dish halfway through, until filling is just set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight).
Cut into 2-by-2-inch bars. For the homemade whipped cream, put cream in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.

Garnish bars with whipped cream and a slice of lime.

yum! Enjoy! :)