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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

{Buckeye Candy}


 Buckeyes

What's a Buckeye?


I’ve been told, that those who don’t live in Ohio (or surrounding states), do not refer to these delicious lil treats as Buckeyes. They call them… Peanut Butter Balls. 

Boooooooooooooooooooooring!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND they, gasp!, coat them fully in chocolate.

No peeky peanut butter!

For shame!

In Ohio, Buckeyes are a tradition, I mean, we ARE the Buckeye State.

You won’t believe how often during the holidays people will ask, “Where are the buckeyes?”. 

And we know they don’t mean the Ohio State University Football team.

Or the poisonous nut (seed really) for which our state tree, residents, and university mascot are named.

Candy named after something poisonous? Yeah… that’s how we roll in Ohio.

So you want to make Buckeyes?

I thought so!

Here’s the basics. Easy. Peasy. Time consuming. Worth it.
There ya go.

Butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla beat together into creamy deliciousness which you roll into balls and dip into melted chocolate.

Now, I say you should leave the opening of peanut butter at the top. I’m an Ohioan. I have to say that.

You can dip it all. You’ll probably cause mass chaos, hysteria, and babies to cry.
But it’s your choice.

Buckeye

So, what's a Buckeye?

It is the perfect holiday treat, brought to you by the great state of Ohio.

And me :)

You’re welcome.

Wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas…. Tina



Buckeyes

2 sticks margarine or butter (softened, not melted)
2 Cups Peanut Butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 Cups Powdered Sugar

Cream together until fully blended.
Now… you shape into balls. You can roll them whatever size you want. Mine are about 3/4 inch. You’ll get 80 to 100 balls at this size.

Too many buckeyes you say? Inconceivable!
No worries, this recipe is very easily halved.

Then dip into melted chocolate. You can use 12 ounces chocolate + 1/4 bar paraffin, or just use dipping chocolate (also known as Almond Bark). The latter is what I always use.
To dip, you can use a toothpick inserted into the center, or like I suggested in the Oreo Truffle Recipe, use a fork, scoop them up, then tap to allow the excess chocolate to fall through the tines.

Place on wax paper to dry.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

{Oreo Truffles}

Dec21_2010


Simple recipe… 3 ingredients and a little time, yield lot of “OMGs” and “I LOVE YOUS”.
If you get proposed to… I plead the fifth.

Crush Oreos, mix in cream cheese, roll into balls, and dip in chocolate. 

Tip for dipping: I find it easier just to use a fork (scoop up like you would with a spoon, then tap gently so chocolate falls through the tines), though you will have a bit more chocolate waste, and really, who wants chocolate going to waste????

I'm pretty sure that is punishable by hanging in some countries.

Anyway, there you have it. Make these and people will think you are a genius. Put them on a plate with Red Velvet cake balls and Buckeyes and you'll win the Nobel.

( By the way, these so need a better name- 'balls' is rarely a good name for anything, I think I shall dress them up to be Oreo Truffles… Yeah, yeah.. Truffles.) 

You can also dip these in white chocolate bark. Or drizzle with the white chocolate. Or save a few crushed cookies to sprinkle over the tops, or add pretty sprinkles, or crushed candy canes, the possibilities are endless. 

And all end with YUM.

Tina


Oreo Truffles
1 Package Oreos
1 Block Cream Cheese
Dipping chocolate

Crush the oreos SUPER fine. In a food processor if you have one.
Mix in the cream cheese (insert manual labor here, it takes a while)

roll into balls (I use the small Pampered Chef cookie scoop for size, then roll til smooth)

let chill 1 hour

then dip in melted chocolate bark (melt per package instructions). 

To make mine a little smoother, I usually add about 1 tsp of solid shorting (uh...Crisco) to each 2 to 3 bricks of bark) using a toothpick.

Place on wax paper to dry.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

{Cupcakepalooza}

My friend, Lori, and I bake treats for the school staff at Christmas and at the end of the year. This year we decided to do the ever popular cupcake.

Sweet little cakes… handheld treats…so many, many different varietes.. and all are yummy to eat.

I just made that up. Right here, right now.

I know you are impressed.

Now… lemme be honest. These are all from boxes. 

Let’s see you make 10 dozen cupcakes from scratch.

Yeah, I thought so! 

The icings are from  scratch.

And really, you know that’s all that really counts!


I’ve posted my Cream Cheese Icing before. See the recipe here.

We used it on the Carrot and Red Velvet

RedVelvet Carrot

This is my buttercream:

1/2 cup shortening (crisco)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened  

1 teaspoon vanilla (clear if you’ve got it to keep it whiter)

4 cups powdered sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

2 tablespoons milk

    Makes 3 Cups.

    We used it on the French Vanilla Coconut Cupcakes

    Coconut

    Lori actually made this icing. I think our recipes are pretty dead on alike though.

    I added cocoa to it to make chocolate buttercream for the mocha cupcakes.

    Mocha

    For the filling in the mocha cupcakes:

    Take about 1 cup of the chocolate buttercream and add approx. 3 tablespoons of strongly brewed coffee. 

    You may need to add a bit more powdered sugar.

    It’s not exactly a science.. just taste til nommy.

    Inject into the center w/ a cake tip.

    We also did what we dubbed “Hot Mess” cupcakes.

    They are supposed to be Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes.

    They didn’t want to cooperate. 

    If you ask me it’s probably because they are confused about being both pie and cupcake, but that’s a debate for the ages.

    Simply whip up some vanilla pudding, inject into the center, then dip in melted CANNED (gasp!) chocolate icing. You can make your own chocolate ganache. Here's the recipe I use for cakes. But seriously... why bother?? :D

    Boston

    Usually they look better then this.


    I know, I know, pics or it didn’t happen, eh?

    We also did a dozen of German Chocolate, but I forgotta take photos.

    I fail!

    Anyway.. there ya go. It was cupcakepalooza for sure! 

    Need I mention the powdered sugar napalm that always follows me making icing?? 

    It’s sad, but true! With a whisk and a dream… Tina (and Lori too)

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    {My KitchenAid was pouting}


    My KitchenAid was pouting. It had been two weeks since I’d touched him.

    He was very sad.

    I had to bake something tonight. Or he’d cry. And he’s metal.

    Tears and metal are not a good combo.

    I asked the child what he wanted. Snickerdoodles.

    I said no. I’m mean.

    It makes a huuuuuuge batch and the man in the house won’t eat them.

    And I certainly am not going to.

    Not that I couldn’t.

    Because I SO could.

    Let’s not dwell on that though.

    Light, crispy edges meet soft centers in this Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe.

    However, if you like all soft, all the time, you might try this recipe instead.
    I've tried it, and we all prefer the one below.

    Peanut Butter Cookies
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup peanut butter
    1/4 cup shortening
    1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
    1 egg
    1  1/4 cups flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Preheat oven to 375

    Mix the sugars with the shortening and butter. Add in egg. When well mixed, add remaining ingredients.
    You can refrigerate if you want, but I never do.

    Roll into 1” balls, place 2” apart on ungreased (or parchment papered!) cookie sheet. Dip fork in a small amount of flour and make the classic criss cross pattern (the Bean, when young, was obsessed with trains, and used to call Peanut Butter Cookies “Train Track Cookies”  because the criss cross reminded him of train tracks). Sprinkle with white sugar.

    Bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for 5 then move to racks.

    PBCookies
    eat, nom, be happy.

    My KitchenAid now is. :)

    With a whisk and a dream… Tina

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    {Bobby Flayed}

    I've been Bobby Flayed.

    I saw his Pumpkin Bread Pudding on Throwdown with Pioneer Woman and thought I had to try that.

    So, i did.

    How do you spell labor intensive?

    Oh.. yeah.

    B-O-B-B-Y-F-L-A-Y.




    That is all....

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    {Tradition- bucked}

    A couple weeks ago I mentioned how my guys always want the same desserts for Thanksgiving. Sugar Cream Pudding for the Bean, Peach Pie for the husband.

    Imagine my shock when the latter informs me that he wants Apple this year!

    gasp!

    Sure, change your mind, make a liar out of me, after I’ve told the whole internet.

    whatever.

    I’ll be using the same recipe I used last month when I make it however.

    Streusel Topped Apple Pie
    Ingredients
    1 pie shell (9 inch)

    Filling:

    5  cups apples - peeled, cored and sliced- thinner is better :)
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2/3 cup white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 Tablespoons butter (stick)

    Streusel Top:
    3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    3/4 cup rolled oats
    1/2 cup butter

    Directions:

    Preheat to 400 F

    Line your baking rack with foil in case it bubbles over.

    In a large bowl, toss the apples with the 3 TBS flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and white sugar. Add vanilla and toss again. 

    When well coated, pour apples into pie shell.

    Chop butter into small squares and place on top of apples.


    To make the streusel, cut the 3/4 C flour, other 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats into the butter until crumbly.

    If you wanna go a little crazy, you can chop up 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts to add crunch to your topping.

    But you should know by now that I’m no fan of nuts

    You can do as you please.

    It’s your pie.

    Bake until topping is golden (about 25-30 minutes). Reduce to 350 F and continue to bake until apples are tender when checked with a small knife (usually about 20-30 minutes more). You can cover your topping and crusts with foil if they begin to get too brown.

    Allow to cool for about an hour. Serve warm with ice cream or at room temp.


    Apples will be tender and streusel will be brown and lovely.

    ApplePie

    And pretty. Did I mention it will be pretty?

    No?

    Cuz it will.

    With a whisk and a dream… Tina.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    {“Cakes have layers”}

    “You know, not everybody like onions. Cakes! Everybody likes cakes. Cakes have layers.”- Donkey, Shrek


    So… today was my hubby’s birthday dinner.

    I made him a cake… of course. Not much of a birthday dinner without cake is it?

    He’s a plain kinda guy. You know what I mean. Likes chocolate cake. Likes yellow cake. 

    The end. 

    No spice cake. No red velvet cake. Not even German chocolate cake.

    I was supposed to make him a chocolate cake, from a box (cuz that’s how he likes it) with white icing.

    Hmm…

    I gotta kick this up a notch.

    I like stripes.
    Stripes are pretty.

    So, i baked cakes.

    Not cake. Cakes.

    1  chocolate, 1 yellow.

    StripesRack
    That’s lotta layers.

    Intention- 6 layers.

    Reality- 5 layers.

    Why?

    StripesFail

    I coulda sworn I had the whole thing on the rack….

    Let’s move on from my failures, shall we?

    mmkaythanks.

    Chocolate icing between layers

    Stripes1

    stack, stack, stack!

    Stripes2

    Crumb coat (aka “dirty ice”)

    StripesDirtyIced

    2nd coat of icing and….

    Ta Da!

    stripes

    No, icing cakes is not my strong suit.

    Thanks for noticing :D

    The best part is that, other than being tall, no one will know the secret until you cut into it!

    Much like the Rainbow Cake

    I’m all about big reveals  ;)

    And when you DO cut it… they will ooooh. 

    They will ahhhhhh.

    StripesCut

    And they will say….

    “You are so clever!”

    At least they SHOULD say it. 

    If not I advise new friends. If it’s family… good luck with that.

    StripesOnPlate

    They will also say… YUM!

    Because in the wise words of Donkey, “Cakes! Everybody likes cakes. Cakes have layers!”.

    This one just has more than most ;)
    By the way, this cake is so tall, I had to serve it on dinner plates instead of dessert plates! Gotta love that, eh?

    *note- since there were 3 layers per cake, I baked them for 25 minutes instead of the 35 it said on the back
    of the box.

    With a whisk and a dream… Tina

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    {Snickerdoodles: My favorite cookie}

    Or how about a snicker?

    As in doodles!

    Snickerdoodles!

    I’ve always loved the name of this cookie. It makes me giggle.

    Not, it USED to make me giggle when I was a kid. It makes me giggle still.

    There are many theories, though no one knows for sure, where the name for these soft, sweet, and cinnamony (ignore spellcheck, it’s a word) cookies came from.

    The Joy Of Cooking” claims that they are most likely German, coming from the word Schneckennudeln,  meaning ‘Snail Dumplings’. However, why ANYONE would want to name a cookie Snail Dumplings is so far beyond me that I have no words.

    It’s also been suggested that it comes from the Dutch word snekrad or the German word Schneck which both refer to a snail shape.

    This is worrying.

    My cookies do not look like snails.

    Have I failed the Schneckennudeln …errr.. Snickerdoodle task?

    I think not.
    Doodles

    Another variation of the story is that snickerdoodle is Dutch in roots and its name is an abbreviation of "Saint Nicholas."

    I like this story much butter.

    HAHA, I typed butter. Freudian Slip much?

    I meant… I like this story much BETTER.

    Although I’m not sure how Snickerdoodle is an abbreviation of Saint Nicholas. Abbreviation means shortening. Snickerdoodle is no shorter than Saint Nicholas.

    But let’s debate that some other day.

    Or not.

    I’ve used many Snickerdoodle recipes over the years. It’s really just a trumped up Sugar Cookie using Cream of Tartar instead of Baking Powder. The Cream of Tartar gives them their signature crackle tops.

    Here’s the one I used for these cookies:
     
    Mrs. Sigg’s Snickerdoodles
    Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup shortening
    • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    Directions
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream together butter, shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough (about a tablespoon) into balls. I highly recommend getting a cookie scoop. They are the perfect size. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Coat balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets (or Parchment Paper!!!!!!). Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. I baked mine 9. Exactly. Remove immediately from baking sheets to wire racks.

    Original recipe was found at www.allrecipes.com.

    I don’t think it will be a shock to anyone when I say… Christmas is getting close.

    These cookies, though good anytime of year, just feel kinda Christmasy.

    Don’t forget to add Snickerdoodles to your holiday baking list.

    These are someone’s favorites.

    I won’t mention names, but like the cookies, he is quite soft and squishy.

    And jolly.

    Can cookies be jolly?

    DoodlesOnPlate

    He likes his with milk.

    And the reindeer like apples.

    I’m just sayin’…..

    With a whisk and a dream…(and now has her name on the NICE list) Tina

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    {We just can’t have that: Chocolate Whoopie Pies}


    I had filling leftover.

    We just can’t have that.

    I’m pretty sure I could be jailed if I tossed it in the trash.

    So….

    What’s a girl to do?

    Make more whoopies…. of course!

    The Red Velvet batch, taken to a Sunday School room with 8 teenagers,
    was gone in 60 seconds.

    Flat.

    Chocolate1

    This time I did the Classic Chocolate as posted on Bakerella’s website.

    Her batter was fluffier, probably from all the beating, and the cakes were lighter.

    They were delish!

    ChocoWhoopie

    When asked which he preferred, however, the Bean said… the Red Velvet. 

    He has no idea that was my recipe.

    SCORE!

    Must buy him something expensive  for Christmas….

    With a whisk and a dream… and no more cream filling… Tina

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    {mmm…cheesy}

    In case you want to try your Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with the traditional Cream Cheese filling.. here’s one for you:

    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (not melted!)
    8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 cups powdered sugar

    Beat together the vanilla, cream cheese, and butter. Add powdered sugar slowly. 

    Dip spoon into the bowl. 

    Remove. 

    Lick.

    Moan happily.

    The end.

    With a whisk and a dream and…mmmmmm.. cream cheese… Tina

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    {Whoopieeee!!!!!!!!!!!!! : Red Velvet Whoopie Pies}


    The legend goes, that if an Amish child (or it’s been said husband) opened their lunch pail and found one of these in there, they would shout, “Whoopie!”.  They were supposedly made from leftover batter and therefore a rare treat. 

    And that is how the Whoopie Pie got it’s name.

    I’ve never made a whoopie pie before. 

    I’ve been wanting to for a really long time, but I’ve been wanting to hire a rainbow colored unicorn to fly me to England.

    Just because I want, doesn’t mean it’s gunna happen.

    In the case of the Whoopie Pie, however… it did.

    I’m still waiting for my unicorn.

    It’s late.

    I got the grand idea last night, that my first Whoopie Pie would be a red velvet whoopie pie.

    So, I spent a good hour making up my own recipe by mashing together red velvet cake and a few different whoopie pie recipes.

    I shoulda googled “Red Velvet Whoopie Pie recipe”. 

    It was late. I wasn’t thinking straight.

    However… my first 'original recipe’ was kinda awesome.

    IMG_2513

    Here’s the down and dirties:

    Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

    Cake:
    1 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
    3/4 Cup white sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
    1 Tablespoon Vanilla
    1/4 Cup Shortening
    1/4 Cup (1/2 sick) Butter
    1 Cup Milk
    1 Large Egg
    1 Tablespoon Red Food Coloring (or more)
    1/2 teaspoon white distilled vinegar (I totally forgot to put this in!)

    Preheat oven to 375* 

    Mix together the butter, shortening, sugar, and egg. Beat in the vanilla and milk. Add the dry ingredients while mixing slowly. Finally add in the red food coloring (I used 1/2 teaspoon gel coloring, because that’s what I had!) and vinegar. Unless you forget the vinegar. 

    Like I did. 

    You’ll notice mine are not a DEEP red velvet. Add another Tablespoon of red food coloring if you crave the cranberry. 

    Or the vinegar might make a difference. 

    But don’t ask me, because I wouldn’t know. 

    Drop onto parchment lined baking sheets. I started big. They were SO big. The size of a hamburger almost. Though I've read that is the correct size, it's just crazy big. 

    Then I went down to the small cookie scoop. I'd guess it to be about 1 Tablespoon. 

    Both batches I baked for 10 mins. 

    They will be springy when done. 

    Cool for a few minutes before moving to wire rack. 

    IMG_2521

    Pretty…

    While you are baking, you can start your filling.

    Red Velvet is nearly always topped with Cream Cheese Frosting. I considered this, but bucked tradition and went with an Amish Cream Filling.

    I’ll tell you right here, right now. SWEET.

    I have a dentist appointment next week. 

    I think I have a new cavity due to this filling.

    Not that it’s not good.. because it’s sooooooo good. I just wouldn’t recommend eating it with a spoon :D

    Not that I’d ever do such a thing!

    Ok, here we go.

    Amish Cream Filling

    3 teaspoons flour
    1 Cup Milk
    1 Cup Crisco
    1 Cup White Sugar
    1 Tablespoon vanilla
    1/4 Cup (1/2 stick) Butter
    2 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

    Mix flour and milk in a heavy pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. It will thicken as you stir. When done it will look like this.

    IMG_2518

    Cool completely. I sat my pan in an ice water bath to cool faster.

    Cream together Crisco, butter, sugar and vanilla. Then add cooled milk mixture. Add powdered sugar. This will be thick when done. Your spoon will stand in it, and it will not drip off.

    By the way, this makes about double what you’ll need… I found out the hard way.

    IMG_2525
    IMG_2530

    Fill your cooled Whoopie Pies with this.

    Whoopies for lil kids

    IMG_2535

    Whoopies for big kids

    IMG_2522

    Whoopies for all!

    Yummy. The soft cakes, which are somewhere between a cake and cookie texture balance the creamy sweet filling perfectly.

    My first original recipe and it wasn’t an epic fail! WOOHOOO!

    erm.. I mean, WHOOPIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    With a whisk and a dream… Tina

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    {Taste the Rainbow…Cake}

    I baked a cake! From a box mix! And I used canned icing!

    RainbowHiding

    Ooooook?

    That’s a little underwhelming.

    RainbowPeek

    Wait… what’s that I see there??

    “Show me more!”, you shout.

    “I will oblige,” I reply.

    And so I do…

    RainbowCut

    Gasp!

    Yes, I made a Rainbow Cake.

    Not the Rainbow Cake that I WANT to make. See it here.

    I’m lacking 4 round cake pans, and about 10# of patience.

    I WILL make it though.

    On a side note, I’m taking up donations for round cake pans.

    And 10# of patience.

    To make the rainbow cake, which I have seen in several spots across the net, including Omnomicon and All Recipes, is much easier, or so I would assume. Still very messy, but still very fun.

    First you use your basic white cake mix.

    Invite Betty, Duncan, or the Dough Boy to help here.

    Since I fail at life, and only had yellow… you’ll understand that my colors are a little off. 

    Mix according to directions, then spoon out into 6 bowls (or however many colors you want to have in your cake).Color using GEL coloring if possible. These only require a little to get a vibrant tint. You’ll want 5 colors about even amounts, with one color, being your base color, to have a little more batter.


     RainbowBatter
    Please ignore the purple in back. 

    She’s unattractive, and she knows it. 

    She’s very ashamed.

    Then layer in pan one color at a time.

    RainbowInPan

    Prettttttttttty. Well, except Purple there…

    Then bake according to package instructions.

    RainbowBaked
    When I saw these, I started to cry. Because they were ugly.

    Then I realized my tears would make the cake soggy. 

    Then decided I needed coffee.

    And a life.

    Baking before 9 am is hazardous to my mental well being.


    After cooling, frost. Cause you didn’t know that part already, right?

    I make a mean Buttercream icing. Sadly, I am out of Crisco, so I couldn’t make it.

    I have canned Buttercream.

    It’s SO not the same.

    The males in this house care not though. 

    It goes something like this.. “Grunt” “FOOD” “Grunt” “CAKE!”.

    And all is well in their world.

    Once frosted, I cut, held my breath, and….


    RainbowSlice

    Oooooooooooooooooooo…… aaaaahhhhhhh!

    And Purple isn’t even that ugly! Aww…

    I can already see this being used for many occasions. 

    Green, Red, and White for Christmas.

    Red, White, and Blue for Independence Day.

    Lots of colors, like this, for birthdays.

    I feel like this could be topped with M&Ms for an M&M themed party.

    Red and Yellow for Gryffindor for a Harry Potter Party!!! 

    Mmmhhhmmmm… I think I’ll be doing that one.

    With a whisk and a dream…and food coloring stained fingers… Tina

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    {I Know What You Did Last Christmas}

    This is a convenience for you but also good for holiday gifts. 

    Ok, so they aren’t as pretty as the cookies in a jar thing-a-ma-jigs, but this makes a whole recipe, not just a handful.

    And people won’t be tempted to sit these on their shelves and admire them while exclaiming, “It’s just too pretty to use!”

    At least I hope not!

    But you never know about people.

    baggedcookies 

    Last Christmas season, I bagged up all the dry ingredients for cookies making it quicker and easier for holiday baking (or gift giving, as I said up there ^ ).

    For Peanut Butter Blossoms, I dropped a smaller ziploc inside (you remember how I love ziplocs, yes?) with enough chocolate kisses to top the Blossoms. I also dropped a printed and folded  recipe inside a, yes, you guessed it, snack sized ziploc.

    For the chocolate chip, I did the same, bagging the chips and recipe in individual bags.
    Then, when it’s time to bake… siss, boom, bah! Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 

    Done.

    Or somethin’ like that.

    With a whisk and a dream… Tina

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    {Car Guys Love ‘Em: Chewy Oatmeal Cookies}


    Along with non-car guys, girls, and kids too…

    Last month my husband went to a car meet out of state. I sent 2 recipes of these with him. He wasn’t sure he wanted to be “that guy”. 

    Know what I mean? 

    The one who’s wife sends cookies. 

    The weird guy.

    Anyway, he got the cookies out and was like, my wife made these if anyone wants them. His buddy, that has had my baking several times, was like, heck yeah! Try them.

    Long story short, a week after he got home, he was still getting emails saying the cookies were delicious.

    I don’t claim cred. I didn’t invent this recipe. I just baked ‘em. 

    But I baked ‘em gooooooood. ha.

    This recipe is a soft oatmeal cookie. Don’t turn your nose up at it! Lots of people who have said they don’t like oatmeal cookies (including the Bean) love this.

    They are soft, they are tender, they are delicious.

    They are softenlicious.

    Oatmeal

    Look, Parchment Paper! Let me pledge my undying love right here, right now to parchment paper…

    Moving on…
    Ingredients

    1 cup butter, softened 

          1 cup white sugar
       

          1 cup packed brown sugar
       

          2 eggs
       

          1 teaspoon vanilla extract
       

          2 cups all-purpose flour
       

          1 teaspoon baking soda
       

          1 teaspoon salt
       

          1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
       

          3 cups quick cooking oats

     

    Preheat oven to 375.

    Cream together the butter & the sugars. Then add dry ingredients except oats. Mix well. Then add oats. 

    Or lump it all in together.

    Maybe I’ve done this.. 

    but you couldn’t prove it in a court of law.


    Drop onto parchment lined baking sheets (c’mon you know you wanna) or greased baking sheets.
    Bake for 8-10 mins. Allow to cool 5 mins before moving to cooling racks.

    Eat. Nom. Enjoy.

    OatmealPink
    Also great with raisins or chocolate chips.

    Or Butterscotch chips for Oatmeal Scotchies. mmmmm...

    You’ll like ‘em. Car guy or not.

    With a whisk and a dream… Tina

    Original Recipe found here, on All Recipes, by Bittersweet1

    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    It's called a Feed

    Really, it's called a "FEED", we had to show up on Facebook for that reason alone :)

    Thanksgiving is fast approaching

    With Christmas tagging very close behind.

    What are your favorite Holiday recipes? I’d love to read them, see photos of them, and maybe even try some out here on my blog!

    So… what have you got in your bag of tricks?

    When it comes time for Thanksgiving, I always ask my guys… what do you want special for dessert? Always the same answers- the hubs: “Peach Pie”, the Bean: “Vanilla Pudding”.

    Vanilla pudding? SER-I-OUS-LY??

    And he means the kind that you just add milk to!

    Who raised this kid???????

    Two years ago, he learned to love something new. Loved it so much, he wanted me to make it weekly.

    Sugar Cream Pie.

    Sans crust.

    SugarCreamPieSBBakers

    So, basically- STILL a pudding.

    More of a custard though. Yeah, let’s go with that.

    With a whisk and a dream and looking forward to seeing your recipes…Tina

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Adventures in Baking

    I don’t have a huge glamorous kitchen. It’s cozy, it’s quaint. It’s big enough for me.

    kitchen 

    And it is still big enough for me to create a mess to make weaker people faint away at the mere sight. 

    But not me.
    I'm strong like that.

    kitchenmess

    The End.

    *Epilogue, or no, that would actually be Prologue, but it can't be because I put it at the end. Hmmm.. Logue. There.. fixed.:

    Yes, I’m aware there are Christmas decorations in that first photo.

    No, that photo was not taken today. I’m not crazy.

    Or I’m not THAT crazy. Take your pick.


    With a whisk and a dream…. Tina

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    Really, I don’t know why…

    But around these parts… we don’t Trick or Treat on Halloween. 

    Or on the Saturday prior to Halloween.

    Or on the Friday… 

    No, it’s the Thursday before Halloween. Every year, without fail, since I was a kid. No one knows why. It’s just a fact of life. 

    I’m just happy that they don’t decide Christmas Eve should be in November. 

    I haven’t had Trick or Treaters for years. I mean, years and years. In fact, the last Trick or Treaters I had are now mommies themselves. This makes me sound extremely old. I don’t like the way that sounds. I’m not that old. No, really, I’m not. I’m still a few years away from 40. I married young. This sounds like I’m making up a story, but it’s the truth.

    Now that I’m through defending my age to the interwebs, I’ll get on to my point.

    I’m the Queen of Babble. You’ll soon realize this. And I’m random.

    Wait.. what was I saying?

    Oh… yeah, Trick or Treat. I knew I had some cuties landing on my doorstep tonight, and, as sad as it sounds, I was excited.

    We are country folk. 
    We don’t get out much.

    Since all of the mommies who were coming knew me, it was safe to bake cookies for the treats! 

    I just whipped up the same recipe I posted last night and threw in some fall M&Ms, bagged, tied, and voila!
    No tricks just treats!

    TorTreats

    I had a cache of store bought candies in case someone who didn’t know me showed up. They never did.

    I feed all of the cute critters plus the mommies (and the one daddy) that showed up. 
    I daresay they’ll be back next year.
    On a Thursday.

    With a whisk and a dream and happily treat or treated… Tina

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    {You’re Welcome: Best Chocolate Chip Cookie... ever!}

    It was hard work. I’ll admit.

    A terrible burden to have to do all of this research in the name of good taste. I don’t know how we made it through… but we did.

    Months of painstaking, brow sweating, flour covered, time have gone into this.
    It is now time to share our findings with you, sweet seekers…

    The best chocolate chip cookies are….



    No, not these that claim to be The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie.

    Not even the ones one of my fav bloggers, Bakerella.

    It is in fact THESE. Which claim, and rightly so this time, to be


    ChocoChip
    Nom? YES… nommmmmmm!

    While these cookies are delicious made with margarine, I do recommend following the recipe and using the buttuh, baby. I use regular butter though, not unsalted.

    Did I say nom?

    Try em with lotsa different things, like M&Ms, White Chocolate Chips, Reeses Pieces, etc, etc, etc. I know I have!

    M&M

    And yes, you’re welcome.

    *a little tip to make your cookies extra purty is to push a few chocolate chips, M&Ms, etc randomly into the tops of the cookies when they are fresh out of the oven. Adds a lil somethin' extra :D

    With a whisk and a dream…(and a little chocolate on my face) Tina

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    I have an addiction…

    I’m not ashamed to admit it. I just heart their lovely, shiny, plasticness.

    I’m completely, totally, and hopelessly devoted to…

    Ziploc baggies.

    There. I said it. I feel better now.

    Here is a peek into my pantry.

    Please notice the R in last word of the former sentence. This is a PG blog after all.

    Alright, fine.

    PG13.

    ziplocobsession

    See, I’m not making this stuff up. It’s a Ziplocpalooza in there!

    The only reason there is no flour or sugar in them is because they reside in canisters. I feel bad for them often… to be left out like that.

    Living in the Land of Ziploc we have: Top Row-Brown Sugar, Whole Wheat Flour, Oats,  Powdered Sugar, and Chocolate Chips.

    The Bottom Dwellers are: Chocolate Meltaway Hershey Kisses, Mini Reese’s Cups, M&M (Fall Mix), Caramel Hershey Kisses, Peanut Butter Chips, Andes Chips, White Chocolate Chips, Caramel Bits, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Swirl Chips, and Shredded Coconut.

    I find the ziplocs a very effective way to store my items, more so than the packing them come in even. I open brand new packages and dump into my beloved ziplocs, sqeeeeeeeeeeeze all the air out and then place in the pantry. There’s no way I could have fit all of this in there otherwise. That’s 8# of brown sugar, about 5# of Powdered sugar, and at least 7 bags of (plain) chocolate chips. Not to mention all on the shelf below.

    So… I’m not ashamed. A little obsessive maybe… but not ashamed.

    With a whisk and a dream… Tina :)

    Apple Vanilla Blondies

    Super, super moist. Original recipe calls for walnuts (ew), and no vanilla. Well, see, I consider it a crime in the baking world to EVER go without vanilla. It's just not natural. I even put it in my peanut butter cookies.  I like to color outside the lines! That's just how I is, peeps.

    Meanwhile back at the whisk....

    

    Apple Vanilla Blondies

    1/2 cup melted butter
    1 cup white sugar
    1 egg
    3 medium apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I diced mine, that's just the way i am)
    1 cup flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    3/4 tsp vanilla

    optional- 1/2 cup walnuts (in case you didn't get that earlier...eww)


    Directions:

    preaheat oven to 350*, grease a 9x9 pan

    Mix together the  melted buttah baby with the sugar and egg until fluffy(ish- mine never exactly got what I'd call fluffy. Puffy  maybe.. no fluffy). Add apples and if you don't mind them.. like i do... walnuts and mix lightly. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just blended. Spread in pan and bake for 35 or until toothpick (we don't use those here but that's another story for another day) or whatever, comes out clean.

    Side bonus? Your house smells like heaven. Or how I think it should smell :D

    These were possibly a little TOO moist. I think I'd add an extra 1/4c flour if you aren't going to add the walnuts. Most people will add them though. Yeah, I don't get that ;)


    Original recipe was found at AllRecipes.com 

    With a whisk and a dream...Tina

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Once you pop… you can’t stop!

    I’ve long been a fan of “THE” Bakerella. She has the cutest ideas and tastiest treats!

    I picked up a copy of her book, Cake Pops, from Amazon.
    CakePops

    So… when a fundraising op came up for Sugar Bean’s school, I made some at his request. I’ve made her Cake Balls many times. They are always a huge hit.


    CakeBalls

    I’ve also made them to look like ice cream cones. Did I say huge hit? Because these were a HUGER hit ;) And yes, I’m aware I just said huger.

    IceCreamCakeBalls  IceCreamBalls2

    I’d never made the pops though. It was high time I tried.

    This endeavor greeted me with a fail, a fail, and oh, a faiiiiiil.

    Bakerella says to put your cake balls in the freezer for 15 mins, then insert a stick into melted chocolate, then dip. They kept falling off my stick! I’ve since read my cake balls were probably too moist, and needed more cake, less filling.. no, that’s not right.. more cake, less icing (same difference, really, eh?). Hubby suggested that I first insert the stick THEN freeze. This worked quite well. I hate to have him be right, but eh, it’s gotta happen sometimes, yeah?

    I decided to make the Pumpkin Pop


    PumpkinPop


    The Kitty Pop (it’s supposed to be black, but I used straight chocolate instead- I know, I’m a rebel).
    kittypop

    The Ghostie pop. BOO!  He scared ya, didn’t he??? Scary how good he tastes…
    Ghosties

    And the Mummy pop.
    Mummy
    I want my mummy!!!!!!!!!!!


    A word to the wise… Do NOT spend $9 on Wilton Edible Ink Makers. They don’t work (or barely work, then stop working) on candy. I scratched out a couple faces, then finished the rest with melted chocolate. I hear the Americolor markers work well, and it’s what I see in Bakerella’s photos, but I’ve not tried them myself to find out yet.

    Overall, these were pretty time consuming, at times frustrating, but pretty fun… and sooooooo cute.


    Here’s a kitty that fell off his stick for some reason. Sugar Bean is trying to eat him. I told the kitty to run. I wish he’d listened.  Bean is glad he didn’t. Yum!

    KittyRun


    with a whisk and a dream…. Tina

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