Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (with a twist)


I think the internet is one of the greatest cookbooks ever made. When I am looking for inspiration, I look to my handy-dandy computer to find me some scrumptious treats. I found these cookies on Epicurious.com. This recipe adds some orange zest to a traditional recipe.

Ingredients:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground clove
1 cup quick-cooking oats
2 cups chopped pecans
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment or a Silpat (rubber nonstick baking mat). Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla, and beat until well mixed, about 3 minutes. Stir in eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in a separate bowl. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter with the mixer on low speed. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the second half. Stir in the oats, pecans, orange zest, and chocolate chips. Drop the dough, by the tablespoon, onto the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool the cookies on a rack. Store at room temperature in a cookie jar or other airtight container.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Recent Cards

These are some cards I have made recently. All stamps used were Stampin' Up.
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Cranberry Buttermilk Scones


I recently stumbled across a scone recipe and made it for Christmas. They were so yummy and so easy that I made them again yesterday. I found them on the blog pinchmysalt.com. I highly reccomend them for a quick breakfast treat. I used my food processer to make them and it only took a couple of minutes. I didn't follow these directions exactly, I just poured everything into the processor and pulsed until everything is soft and crumbly. I also used milk instead of cream and sprinkled a bit of sugar and sanding sugar over the top of it to give it a bit of a sparkle.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped fine
finely grated zest from one small lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
heavy cream (optional, for brushing tops of scones)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.2. In a medium bowl, whisk or sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt. Add butter chunks and toss lightly with flour; place bowl in fridge.3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and lemon zest; place bowl in fridge.4. Get organized: measure out and chop the cranberries; set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silpat; set aside. Lightly dust a counter top with flour. Pour a little bit of heavy cream in a bowl and have a pastry brush handy.5. Remove bowls of flour and buttermilk from fridge. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender or rub together with your fingertips until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add cranberries and stir to combine.6. Add buttermilk mixture all at once to flour mixture and stir until the mixture clumps together. Dump mixture out onto floured counter top and, with floured hands, gather into a ball and knead once or twice to combine everything. Pat into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 8 slices, like a pie, or cut with biscuit or cookie cutters into whatever shape you prefer. Put scones on lined baking sheet and brush lightly with heavy cream (optional).7. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 13-15 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to cooling rack.

Banana Crumb Muffins


I am always looking for a new way to use my ripe bananas. Here is a recipe I recently found on Allrecipes.com. They so delicious that my husband has asked me to make them two different times this week (we have had some warm January weather lately and the bananas have not lasted as long).

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Small Blanket with Tags


My mom first taught me to sew when I was in 7th grade. I made tons of vests (for some reason, I was obsessed with vests!). But, now that I am a wife and mother on a limited budget, I wanted to start it up again (but, not making vests). So, I convinced my dear husband that I needed a sewing maching of my own. This is a quilted tag blanket that I made for my friend Katie's shower soon after I got my very own sewing machine.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Torte


Jon and I recently dedicated our son to the Lord. Following the service, we had our family over for lunch and dessert. Jon found this recipe in my most recent Pampered Chef Seasons Best Collection (Fall/Winter 2008). It was so very tasty (even though I made it the day before) and it looked scrumptious. So, here's the recipe.


1 package brownie mix

3 eggs

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup, plus 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

6 packages peanut butter cup candies

1 bag peanut butter morsels

2 cups mini marshmallows


Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray torte pans with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Place 8 inch circles of parchment paper over centers of pans; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine brownie mix, eggs, 1/2 cup of oil, water, and peanut butter; mix well. Divide batter between pans, spreading to edges. Bake 10-12 minutes or until centers feel firm to the touch.


Step 2: Meanwhile, dice peanut butter cups; set aside. In a small bowl, combine peanut butter morsels and 1 tbsp. oil. Microwave on high until melted and smooth, stirring after each 30 second interval. Spoon 1/4 cup of peanut butter mixture into resealable plastic bag; set aside. Fold marshmallows into remaining peanut butter mixture.


Step 3: Remove pans from oven. Let brownies cool in pans for 4 minutes. To assemble torte, invert one brownie well-side onto a round platter. Spread marshmallow filling into brownie well. Invert remaining brownie well-side up onto cooling rack; slide onto bottom layer. Evenly distribute diced peanut butter cups into brownie well. Trim corner of filled bag with utility knife to allow peanut butter to flow through; drizzle over torte. Serve immediately.


(recipe came from the Fall/Winter 2008 Season's Best Recipe Collection from Pampered Chef, page26-27).


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