Monthly Archives: February 2012

Chocolate Chip Pizookies

For anyone who has not experienced the pure bliss of a pizookie, this recipe is for you! A pizookie is a “pizza-cookie” that is served fresh baked, with a scoop of ice cream on top. (BJ’s Restuarant and Brewhouse is famous for them.)

I made these to bring to a friend’s house for dinner. There were going to be 3 couples there, so I made 3 sharable portions. I baked them in these cute little casserole dishes I bought at Michael’s for $1 back at Christmas time.

Chocolate Chip Pizookies – recipe adapted from Dollhouse Bake Shoppe

Makes 4 large pizookies.

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Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) + 1 tablespoon of butter, cut into small chunks

6 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

heaping 1/4 tsp salt

heaping 1/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Beat sugars and butter until fluffy (at least a couple minutes). Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

2. In a separate bowl mix together flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add to cookie mixture until all incorporated.

3. Stir in chocolate chips by hand, then chill for a couple hours.

4. Roll the dough into balls and press a few into the bottom of each dish.

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5. Bake dishes on a cookie sheet at 325 for 18-22 minutes, until puffed and slightly golden brown.

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6. Set the dishes on a wire rack to cool for just a few minutes, then top each with a scoop of ice cream, and any other toppings you want!

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I did make these when we went to a friend’s house for dinner… but completely forgot to take any pictures. So the next night I made the whole recipe again to take to my parents’ house for dinner. Forgot to take pictures again. Who does that?! Luckily there was some dough leftover the second time because I only baked 3, and there was just enough to make a 4th. So a few days later I made the last one and you better believe I took pictures this time! (Not that it would be torture to have to make them again…)

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Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies

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I made my usual sugar cookie recipe, with just a couple changes.

I cut the amount of vanilla in half

I added the zest from 1 meyer lemon (my lemon was pretty small)

I added the juice from 1 meyer lemon (lemon was small but had a lot of juice)

I made cookie disks like I did here, and baked for 8 minutes.

Once completely cool, I drizzled them with lemon icing:

Mix powdered sugar and a little bit of milk together with juice from a whole meyer lemon to syrup consistency.

The cookies turned out very mild lemon, but the icing was a little tart and a little sweet. They tasted light – almost like there were no calories!

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Mini Reese’s Cookies

I had a poll on my facebook page a while back. Rolos vs. Mini Reese’s.

Rolos won.

But my secret? I really planned on doing both all along. I just couldn’t decide which to do first!

My biggest problem is I couldn’t decide what to make with them. I first got the idea to use them in something from Shelly at Cookies & Cups when she made these. I wanted to do something different because I’m not a huge fan of chocolate.

I couldn’t do blondies again, and I didn’t want to do the standard peanut butter cookies, because I don’t love peanut butter that much. 

So what to do…

I thought of other things I enjoy with peanut butter and Muddy Buddies came to mind. Chocolate, peanut butter, perfect harmony.

Then I remembered these brownies. The basic ingredient is chocolate cake instead of brownie mix. And they are gooood brownies. So chocolate cake must be okay.

That’s it! Chocolate cake cookies! And then I realized. That is exactly what Shelly made. I made a full loop and ended up back in the SAME PLACE.

So here you have it. Chocolate cake cookies with Mini Reese’s.

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Mix a boxed chocolate cake mix (I used Milk Chocolate flavored), 2 eggs, and 1/3 cup of vegetable oil.

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Once the batter is all ready, add in the full bag of Mini Reese’s. Mix it up some more, the cups will break up a bit but that is perfectly okay!

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Use a cookie scoop (or 2 tablespoons) to form balls and drop on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. These cookies will spread so keep them a couple inches apart.

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Bake 9-12 minutes at 350.

These are super fast and easy. Whip some up and don’t forget to share!

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Cookies & Cream Truffles

a.k.a. Oreo Balls or Oreo Truffles.

Chances are, you have had these, or at least seen or heard of them. This is not some new idea or concept that I created. But they are brilliant. And easy. And oh so yummy.

Let’s get started.

We just need 3 ingredients.

An entire pack of oreos. If you must eat one, just buy the 2nd bag. Trust me, you want all the oreo goodness of the entire bag in this!

An 8 oz. block of cream cheese. I used 1/3 less fat. Can’t even tell the difference, so might as well be somewhat healthier, right?

Candy Melts. One bag was not quite enough. You could also use regular chocolate chips, or almond bark. I couldn’t find almond bark at my grocery store so I went with candy melts.

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Chop up the oreos in a food processor. If you don’t have one, you could put them in a big zip top baggie and smash them. They don’t have to be perfect smithereens, they will still be amazing.

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Mix the oreo crumbs and cream cheese together. I used my Sheila, but a wooden spoon would also be fine.

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Pop that in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to  firm up a tad.

Roll into balls, set on a wax paper lined baking sheet, and pop it back in the fridge.

At this point I made sugar cookies, so the balls probably sat in my fridge for over 2 hours. I would think 20 minutes would be sufficient though.

Once the balls are chilled, melt your candy melts (or chocolate) and dip the balls one at a time into the candy with a fork, tapping the excess off on the side of the bowl. They don’t have to be perfect.

I started off doing okay, they were looking pretty cleanly/perfectly dipped, but then a couple balls got scraped and the oreo started mixing into the candy melts. I almost started stressing but then I realized it made them look like cookies and cream, which makes perfect sense! So that’s why I decided to call these Cookies & Cream Truffles.

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After the balls are all coated, pop the tray back in the fridge to harden up. Once they are set, eat one. Then peel them off the wax paper and break off the excess candy if possible.

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Store in the fridge until ready to eat.

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I actually made these for my brother (by special request) for his birthday yesterday. Glad I did, they were pretty tasty!

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Make Your Own Treat Stands

I bought this a while back at an antique fair…

You may have seen it in my treat photos here..

and here…

I loved it and thought it was genius. Soon I started seeing them everywhere. I wanted to make my own!

I had seen this tutorial and this post on creating your own treat stands, but I wanted to simplify it even more. If the plate was cute to begin with, there’s no need to paint it! (Besides, paint makes it not safe to directly touch food.)

I picked up some candlesticks and cute plates at various places… thrift store, antique shops, garage sales… all for about $1 each. Then I bought some epoxy at Home Depot.

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It took less than 10 minutes to put these together. Just squeeze some of the epoxy on the rim of the candlestick, stick it to the bottom of the plate, then wipe away any excess goop. Let it sit 24 hours and it’s done!

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This one I decided to make into a 2-tiered stand, since the plates matched and were different sizes.

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You may have seen these stands popping up with treats on them… the sealant I chose is water proof and food safe. If you want to put food on a homemade stand, be careful of the sealant you use.

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Here is one more.. I didn’t make this one, but was purchased for me as a gift. I am obsessed with it!

 

 

 

 

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Heart Shaped Deep Dish White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

For the past few years, I have bought my honey a giant heart-shaped cookie for Valentine’s Day. (By giant I mean it was like 12″ across.) His favorite cookie is a white chocolate macadamia nut, so the giant cookie was always that. Now that I am doing my own baking, I told him he was not getting one this year. I asked him what I could make him instead. He wants damn white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Of course.

I had never made them before, so I was a little stumped. I decided to go with a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe, and just swap out the chips for white and add macadamia nuts. If white chocolate chip macadamia is not your thing, just substitute with regular chips and omit the nuts.

I recently bought myself a whoopie pie pan aka muffin top pan, and since it was during Valentine’s season, it is heart shaped! And since my honey isn’t getting his giant heart shaped cookie, I figured I would make him regular-sized heart shaped white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Ugh this post is getting me tongue-tied!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies – recipe adapted from Dollhouse Bake Shoppe

Ingredients

1 1/2 sticks butter, melted

3/4 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

1 tbsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

Directions

1. Beat melted butter and sugars for 3-5 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy.

2. In a small bowl, gently mix together eggs and vanilla. Scrape the sugar/butter mixture from the sides of the bowl and add the eggs. Mix until comined.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add to rest of ingredients until completely incorporated.

4. Stir in chips and nuts by hand, then cover and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

5. Roll dough into balls and bake on cookie sheet, OR press into the bottom of deep dish whoopie pie pan/muffin top pan.

 

6. Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes. Edges should be golden brown and center should be soft and puffy. Let cookies completely cool on cookie sheet or in pan so that the soft centers will set up. (The centers will also sink a bit.)

Aww look, he’s got my heart in his hands…. awwww…..

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Valentines Sugar Cookies

For valentine’s cookies, I always do the traditional colors, then throw in purple. This year, inspired by this beautiful set by iambaker, I decided to go light blue instead. Enjoy!

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Love these sweet pink and white ones…

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This one is my favorite!

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Love the little bow on this one…

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Can never go wrong with sprinkles, especially festive non-pareils!

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My husband said the blue one below looks the yummiest… the big heart sprinkles on the pink one I found at the 99 cent store!

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Valentine’s Snowballs

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My husband calls these ‘snowball cookies’ but they are also commonly referred to as Mexican Wedding Cookies.

I came across these made by the talented Callye of Sweet Sugar Belle, and decided I wanted to make some for Valentine’s day. I’m not so much a red girl, so I opted for the very lovely, very predictable, Pink!

I told my husband about them and he said “oh you mean snowball cookies?” I had never tried or seen them before, but apparently his mom makes them every year for Christmas. I asked her about them and she was happy to share her recipe. I compared it to Callye’s, and it was identical, except Callye’s had 2x more nuts. I texted my mother-in-law to tell her this and she said her recipe had been in the family for generations! How funny that they were the same!

I am pretty much obsessed with walnuts in my cookies, so I opted for the double amount.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened – or cut up into small chunks

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Food coloring (optional)

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups chopped nuts (I used walnuts… pecans and almonds are also a popular choice)

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar for rolling

Directions:

1. Mix together butter and powdered sugar until fluffy, then add vanilla and food coloring.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour and salt, then stir in the nuts.

3. Add flour/nut mixture to butter mixture a little at a time until fully incorporated. The batter was very thick; I had to make husband stir it with a wooden spoon because my mixer couldn’t take it.

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4. Form into 1″ balls, and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

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5. Immediately after pulling from the oven, roll in powdered sugar then place on a cooling rack. After all cookies are baked and rolled and cooled, roll once more in powdered sugar.

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6. Store in an airtight container with the remaining powdered sugar to keep them well dusted.

**I just realized after typing this that my mother-in-law’s recipe says to bake at 300 for 30 minutes. I am curious what difference that would make to these, since they have all the same ingredients. I will have to have her try these and tell me what she thinks?

Make something sweet for those that you love for Valentine’s Day! ❤

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Under the Sea Cookies

My family loves going to crab feeds… we go to at least 3 a year.

I just recently learned that crab feeds are a Northern California thing. I had no idea that the rest of the world didn’t enjoy all-you-can-eat crab feasts like we do! I’m sorry people that live everywhere else… I feel very bad for you. A piece of my heart belongs to crab. ❤

One of the crab feeds my husband and I attend each year is put on by my mother-in-law’s church. They always have a silent auction as well as a live auction to raise money, and this year I decided to make some treats for them to auction off. (I thought it would be in the silent auction, but I was lucky enough to get my items auctioned off live. A little embarrassing because my husband’s grandpa kept trying to buy them, but I know it was out of love!)

The theme of this particular crab feed is “under the sea,” and there are cute decorations everywhere of not only crabs, but fish, frogs, and starfish. I made my cookies to match the theme.

I did shells with the same wet-on-wet technique I used here. Just do lines of icing right in the wet background…

Then trace a toothpick through to create swooshes. Technical term.

I also did some fun little bubbles…

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Some bright fishes…

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And some crabbies of course! So glad I decided to add sparkles to these guys. It really made them pop!

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Here they all are, ready for the auction!

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I also made a tray of cake pops. They’re not really anything special enough for their own post. I got a little crazy with the sparkles on these but I love how they turned out!

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Rolo Blondies

I took a poll on my facebook page. Rolos or mini pb cups? Truth is I am going to use both. I jsut didn’t know which would come first… Rolos won by a large margin, which actually surprised me.

I loved this recent idea from cookies and cups, and I had previously seen this from the same genius woman. Wow. I mean, I love candy, but I never would have thought to bake it into stuff!

Instead of cookies, I wanted to go with a bar theme, but I wanted (for once) to make it from scratch.

The good news? It was just as easy as something from a box!

Rolo Blondiesmodified from this recipe that I found on Pinterest.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp baking soda

a bag of Rolos

Directions:

1. Melt the butter. (Watch it though. I went to long and had a butter boil-over.) Set butter aside to cool slightly.

2. If you also had a butter boil-over because you didn’t listen when I said watch it, go ahead and clean your microwave while it cools.

3. Unwrap some Rolos. I used 21, and it could have had 3x more. Do what feels right to you. Cut each one in half, top to bottom.

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4. Put brown sugar in large bowl (or stand mixer). Add the cooled melted butter and beat until combined.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and vanilla, then add to sugar mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure all sugary goodness is incorporated.

6. In a separate bowl (we’re making a kitchen mess, aren’t we?) mix together flours, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. If you have a measuring spoon that 1/8 tsp kudos to you, I had to wing it with my 1/4 tsp.

7. Slowly add dry stuffs to your sugar stuffs. Slowly. You don’t want a flour cloud in your kitchen in addition to your dirty bowl mess.

8. Scoop about half of the batter into an 8×8 pan. (If you have only 9×9, that’ll work, just cook it less because it will be thinner.)

9. Lay your Rolos caramel side down on top of the batter. I spaced mine a bit and used 42 halves (21 Rolos), but I think next time I will pack them right up against one another. Seriously.

10. Scoop out the rest of the batter and spread it as much as you can across the top of the candies.

11. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. If you’re using a 9×9, I would say check it after 20, but it could take 25.

12. Let cool completely before cutting. Okay you can taste it before it cools completely.. I would wait at least 20 minutes though so it can set up properly. But it cuts prettier if you wait to cut it until it cools. If you don’t care about pretty, then heck, have at it!

These would be really good with other candies too I think. The original recipe had M&M’s. Walnuts would be good. Or white chocolate chips… Basically this is an awesome base blondie recipe for manipulating however you want. If you try it, let me know – I’d love to hear what you put in it!

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