Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Kind of a staple of comforting, warm, deliciousness in the winter months.  Even though it is technically supposed to be spring….it does not look or feel like spring here.  Oh well, I digress.  Back to nummy cookies!

2 Eggs
1 Cup raisins
1 1/4 Cup Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup coconut oil
1/4 Cup Sugar
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 Cup Oats

If your raisin are not totally fresh, beat your eggs in a small bowl and then put the raisins in it and let soak.
Beat your sugars and butter/coconut oil.  You could just use butter but I thought the coconut oil would give it a nice flavor, which it did!  I buy mine at Costco.  It will look like the beginnings of any good cookie dough:

Add the vanilla into the mixture of butter and sugar.  Add the dry mixture (Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon and Salt.) in with the butter, sugar, and vanilla.  Add the raisins and egg mixture.  Last, stir in the oats.
Use Pampered Chef medium scoop to put on pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

If you would like a printable copy, click HERE.

Mmm good!

Caramel Frappuccino Cupcakes

This morning I had the pleasure of making some delicious CCC (caramel, coffee, chocolate) cupcakes with my daughter!

We started by being inspired with multiple pins on pinterest and did some pulling from a bunch of them to come up with this amazing concoction!  Trust me, this is worth your time to make!!!

First, you need to bake some chocolate, coffee cupcakes. 

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup brewed coffee, room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Hersheys Special Dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa in a large bowl, set aside
  3. Combine coffee and vanilla, set aside.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter (approx 2 – 3 minutes).
  5. Add eggs to butter mixture, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Gradually add dry ingredient mixture alternating with the coffee mixture to the batter.
  7. Fold in chocolate chips.
  8. Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners (18 liners total).
  9. Fill each liner with 3/4 cup of mixture.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While they are cooling, make your filling.  

Whip up 1C of whipping cream and add about 4 TBSP powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.  Add 1 TBSP coffee and whip into cream.  The filling doesn’t need to be very sweet at all, it is a nice contrast to the frosting.

I took a strawberry huller to carve out a cavity to put the filling in.  Make it deep enough so you can fill in that nummy goodness!  Put your filling in a baggie, snip the end and fill ’em up!

What to do with the extra cake you pulled out and filling?  Mix them up and eat them!

Now you can make the frosting.  We choose a cinnamon cream cheese frosting to give a complimentary flavor.  I think this contrast gave the overall cupcake it’s wow factor.  

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
7 1/2 to 8 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Blend softened cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Add in vanilla and cinnamon, blending everything well.  Gradually add powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending mixture after each addition.  Put in a large baggie with a big star tip for a pretty design.  Frost the cupcakes in a circular pattern to give height to the cupcake. 

We used caramel ice cream topping, which was pretty runny so we put it in a baggie and snipped a ridiculously small hole in the corner to dispense.  This worked fine, but you could also use a thicker caramel to top for more control.  Cover the tops with a zig zag and place a  little straw on the side for the full frappuccino effect.

Dig in, you won’t be sorry!!

Home made protein bars

I have been rather MIA for a long time.  I guess I just needed a break.  Regardless, I am back and boy do I have a treat for you.
Lately I have been obsessing researching natural protein bars.  I figured there has to be a better, cheaper, more delicious alternative.  Guess what?  There is!!
While researching, I happened on a blog called The Nourishing Home.  She has a great recipe to use and build from.   I decided to give it a go myself.  Her recipe calls for coconut flour and I was leery about using it only because I have never tried it and it was spendy.  So, I popped up to Whole Foods and was able to buy some buy weight, which is a much more cost effective way to try things.  

First you are to mix honey, coconut flour & almond butter.  I cheated and used peanut butter. 🙂

Next, you add nuts, dried fruit, coconut flakes and chocolate if you like.

Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper, leaving some hang over the edge so you can pull it out easier later.  

Put the mix in the pan and squish it down.  I used an extra piece of parchment to flatten it out.

Let them cool for about 45 minutes, then pop in the fridge for about an hour.  Cut into 8 servings. 
These are all pictures of the cherry chocolate bars.  Here is a pic of the apricot bars…still cooling in my kitchen.   
My advice?  Go make this right away.  You will not be disappointed.  I can’t wait to start being creative with the ingredients.  Next, I think I will add pumpkin seeds to them…and white chocolate…or butterscotch…or…

I got MY peanut butter in MY chocolate

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Hello there, I have been off the radar lately!  No excuses.  Moving on, today I would like to share a nummy recipe for Peanut Butter Brownies.

It was the hubby’s birthday recently and the ingredients he wanted me to work with were PB & chocolate.  Well that was last years secret items too!  I didn’t want to make another layered cake with peanut butter frosting.  
One of his favorite cookies as a child were Nutter Butters.  I wondered if I could incorporate them in a dessert.

I was also itching to use my new Pampered Chef square muffin tin.  I bought it forever ago and have not used it.  Shame on me.  I don’t know if they even sell it anymore.  

First I made some brownie batter using two Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mixes.  It’s really a wonder there are other brownie mixes out there with a name like that one.  I filled the squares a little less than halfway with batter, topped with a cookie and then put more batter on top.

Ignore all the Pam over spray 🙂
I took the rest and made a giant version with my 8×8 pan, which I promptly took a picture of.  Oh wait, no completely spaced that last part.
Here is where it got tricky.  How long do you bake them?  I set the oven to 325, if you use an 8×8 pan it is about 40-50 minutes.  I started at 20 minutes and then checked every 5.  I ended up baking them for  35 minutes but I think that was about 5 minutes too long because they do continue to bake while in the hot pan.
When they are cooled, mix up some ganache.  I have never made this before so I opted for the microwave version which turned out ok.  I think next time I will make the stove method.  It would be nice to see if cooking over the stove would allow it to be thicker without waiting so long to cool.  That aside, it tastes amazing!
Mix chocolate and heavy cream 1:1 ratio.  You need to use a scale for this.

Put in the microwave for a minute, whisk and repeat until completely integrated.  If it is too runny when you are done, wait for it to cool – it will thicken.
Then you top those bad boys with chocolate deliciousness….mmm

After this I didn’t feel like they were quite done.  So I whipped up some peanut butter frosting and piped it over the top.  Just peanut butter, butter, milk and powdered sugar.  How pretty are they?

Just for an added touch of I dunno what, I popped little mini Reese’s Peanut butter cups on the top.
The jury definitely liked these bad boys.  The Nutter Butter in the center was a great surprise when you bit in.  

Fruity Cupcakes

Sorry, I have been kind of out of the blogger loop lately.  Well out of the writing loop, I still read a zillion blogs because I am so inspired by peoples creativity!
Not to long ago I went to a friends wedding.  It was beautiful.  I had a blast.  I also was not disappointed in their “cake”.  They served cupcakes.  However, these were so delicious.  They had a hint of real fruit flavor and I was caught like a fish on a line.  How could I acheive that taste?  It wasn’t bottled, I can tell you that.
Not to long after I was asked to bring cupcakes to a party.  Oooo a chance opportunity?  I think not.
I started sketching options and came up with this:
I am not sure if it is a good idea to sketch out your idea.  Only reason is finding exactly what is in your brain can be difficult!  I couldn’t find plain dark brown liners but oh well.
I first melted my tempered chocolate and put in a piping bag.  Lesson learned here was keep warming the chocolate and snip a very small hole.  Some were cute, some not so good.  I started with a template and then gave up on that.  Another weird thing is my hearts kept getting bigger and bigger as I went. Wait, a bigger heart is what you want right?  😉  I made tons of extra so no big.
Just pipe the chocolate on waxed paper taped to your counter.  If you are going to use a template place that beneath the wax paper.  I let them dry over night, but a few hours would work too.

Here is the fruity secret…..Grab a bag of frozen strawberries – thaw them – drain the juice and use the juice as a substitute for the water required in your white cake mix.  I couldn’t resist putting the strawberries in the batter either but hey.  Also, set aside 3 Tbsp of that juice to substitute the milk in your icing recipe (I made a basic cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar recipe).
Both the cakes and frosting will have a legitimate strawberry flavor that is WONDERFUL!!

To put the heart on top, just peel off the wax paper and place in the frosting.  So nummy….really you must make these – soon.

1 white cake mix
1 pkg frozen strawberries (thawed reserve liquid).
Make cake mix as directed but use liquid for 1 cup water called for – if there is not enough, just top with water until you get accurate measurement.  Add strawberries last to batter – stir in.
1 pkg softened cream cheese
1/2 stick softened butter
3 Tbsp strawberry liquid
4 c. +/- powdered sugar (add until correct consistency)

Chocolate Raspberry Dream Cake

We had yet another birthday at our house and this time the request was to use raspberries.  With the weather being so hot I had ice cream cake on the brain.  This inspired me to create the
Chocolate Raspberry Dream Cake.  Turns out, it was a big hit.  🙂

I started by making a box mix of brownies.  I choose a dark chocolate Ghirardelli mix.  You really can’t go wrong if that is your base, right?
Mix the brownies according to the box and pour into a sprayed springform pan (like you use for cheesecake).  I baked it for about 25 minutes.  You will need to watch it because it is a pretty thin layer.
 Let this cool.

While waiting I made a basic fudge recipe, for topping ice cream.  This is so easy, you should never buy the store made stuff.

Mix and boil until thick:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch

After you are done you can stir in 1 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp vanilla.  I skipped this and it was not lacking.

 Once the brownies are cooled, top with fresh raspberries….then fudge

Spread on softened raspberry sherbet and freeze for a couple hours.

Now spread on Cool Whip topping, more raspberries and some chocolate chips and freeze for another couple hours.  I would suggest cutting up the raspberries on top as they were a little difficult to eat whole and frozen.  Don’t worry, we struggled through it!

I think the best compliment I received was my son saying it was the best cake I have ever made!  Yay – seriously make it, you will NOT be sorry!

Grocery List:
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie mix and what is listed on the box to make
Raspberry Sherbet (almost an entire container)
Fresh Raspberries ( I used about 2 of the small containers)
Cocoa Powder
Corn Starch
Chocolate Chips
Cool Whip

Every girl deserves pretty shoes…that she can eat!

Recently it was my daughters birthday and we were trying to think of a fun dessert to make for her.  There are many things she loves but I would say shoes and cupcakes rate pretty high on her list.  With that said, I just had to make her some high heeled cupcakes!

I decided to make the batter with the koolaid recipe again because they were so nummy and fun.  I choose strawberry koolaid this time.  I preferred the grape but they both were good.

While these are baking you can assemble your shoe arches and heels.  We cut the arches from graham crackers and the heels were simply pretzel rods.  You could use pirouette cookies as well but they were pretty spendy and salty and sweet = mmmm.

*Note: cutting pretzels is not exactly easy.  However, don’t worry too much about exact measurements, your heels will probably be different heights becuase of the weight of the decorations.

  • Melt colored chocolates, I just put the chips in a mini crockpot and leave it plugged in.
  • Spread chocolate on arch/graham cracker and put on tray to cool – either on the counter or in the fridge.

Frost your cupcakes and decorate them in pairs or individually.  This is the fun part, don’t think too hard just be creative.

  • Decide which shoe you are going to work on and pipe matching frosting on the edge of the arch and put sprinkles on if you like.
  • Take a spoon and poke into the side of the cupcake to insert your arch.  After arch is inserted, dip the pretzel rod in melted chocolate and adhere to bottom of the arch.

***Make sure you are doing this where you are going to leave the shoes for a while.  It takes some time for the chocolate on the heel to set against the arch of the shoe. 

Now add more decorations and there you have it!

Aren’t they fun?  Girls just gotta have fun, right?

A very Happy Pinterest Birthday!

We have fun celebrating birthdays in my family.  It isn’t about presents, we focus on what the birthday person wants for dinner and what kind of dessert they would like to celebrate.

Recently it was my daughters birthday and she is a Pinterest girl.  She can get lost for hours on Pinterest getting distracted with a million things.  If you have been on the site, you can probably understand.  With that in mind this is what she selected for dinner….

Pizza Quessidillas:

*Extremely filling and quite delicious!

Red Potatoes with onions and garlic cooked on the grill:

*Not exactly from Pinterest but it is a favorite for sure!

Asparagus wrapped in bacon, cooked on grill and then drizzled with maple syrup:

*These were unbelievable….I could just eat them for dinner – NUM

Everything was super delicious and you would think we wouldn’t have room for dessert.  However, when you make high heel cupcakes, one simply MUST make room.

My next post will be on the step by step of how to make these beauties.  Stay tuned!

Koolaid Kupcakes!

I have seen posts for Koolaid cupcakes before and I really wasn’t that intrigued. Then a young friend with a birthday coming up asked me to make them for her.  Grape specifically.  So, I was in!

Gather your supplies:

I kind of messed up from the get go on this one.  I should’ve bought sweetened Koolaid.  I didn’t and I think that is why mine didn’t turn out super purple.  Other than that, they were a success.  If you want truer colors, buy the presweetened type. 🙂

Mix for 30 seconds, scrape bowl and then beat on medium for 2 minutes:

  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup Koolaid mix (because of my snafu, I mixed in the sugar like I would be making the drink and measured out from there)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Forget pictures, I wish I could make this scratch n sniff.  It smells SO GOOD! note: need to bake more with Koolaid

Pour into liners about 2/3 full and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes (or until they spring back when you poke them).

Again, I thought mine would be more purple, but that was just because I diluted the mix with white sugar (didn’t have any purple laying around – lol).

Now the frosting.  Pretty standard buttercream recipe but with grape-o-licious Koolaid.

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 3 T milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup Koolaid mix

Beat butter and milk.  Gradually add powdered sugar and Koolaid.  I ended up adding purple food color because it was just too light for me.

We chose to frost them solid purple and then make some white frosting to add a little pizazz.

 I had an extremely artistic helper & she deserves props for all her hard work.  I barely did anything. 

This is a very good recipe and I would make it again.  My only critique is the frosting is a wee bit grainy because of the sugar in the Koolaid.  I’m not sure if this would be better with the presweetened stuff.  I think it is finer but I’m not sure.  It wasn’t too distracting though, overall super nummy. 
Still wish you could smell it…

Deck the Halls with Chicken Balls

Chicken Balls have been a traditional Christmas treat we have made for many years.  They taste wonderful and I like the story behind the name!

I got the recipe from my best friend’s mom.  When I was about 15, I went over to their house during the holidays.  He asked me if I wanted a Chicken Ball, I thought eww, not a chance.  He laughed at my expression but everyone else there was genuinely excited to have one.

He brought out the container and much to my surprise, this is what I saw:

At this point, I sampled one and it is delicious!  No chicken in it.  It is a dessert.  I am confused.

His mom starts laughing and explains the name.  She got the recipe from her mother in law and had been making them forever.  One year she was making her third batch for their Christmas party.  She was fed up, the kids kept eating them and she needed them for the party.  In desperation, she put them in a container and labeled them “Chicken Balls”.  With no surprise, no one touched the box.  When she brought them out for the party and everyone realized what she had done to protect the Carmello Krispies, they all had a good laugh.  Well, the name stuck.

Now let me share how to make these simple, delicious treats!

Gather your ingredients.

Start boiling water in the pan for your double boiler.  Now unwrap all of the caramels (not my favorite part!).

Melt butter, caramels, sweetened condensed milk in double boiler.  Stir often.

I like to set up wax paper on the counter and make my assembly line during this time.  Then when the caramel is melted you can just put it in place and get to work.

  If you have a dipping tool, use that to dip and coat the marshmallow in caramel.  You don’t want to dilly dally at this point because the marshmallow will melt.  Just a quick plunge and remove any potential large drips.  Drop in cereal and toss about.  Take out once coated and place on waxed paper.

  • I like try to grab a little extra cereal when I transfer to the wax paper because that caramel mixture is darn hot.  
  • For me this recipe usually coats about 3/4 of a bag of marshmallows.  
  • At the end if you only have a little caramel left, not enough to coat a marshmallow…just plop it in the cereal bowl and coat it.  Very nummy.

Serve and enjoy, trust me these are way better than you would think.  Simple is sometimes best.

1 stick butter
1 bag caramels
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag of marshmallow
Krispie cereal
Double boiler
Dipping tool or fork
Wax paper
As a side note, props to all you food bloggers out there!  I can’t seem to get great photos of food.  Maybe Santa will bring me a nice camera for Christmas….and a class on how to take good photos!
Merry Christmas!!