Archive | August, 2013

Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies

28 Aug

It’s really funny – for years and years, ever since I was about 14, I’ve been making cookies on a regular basis. Sometimes once a week, sometimes twice, but as early as my freshman year in high school, I was known as “that girl who always had a gallon bag of cookies.”

Yet, if you go back in my blog archives, you’ll see very few cookie recipes. They tend to be what I make while I talk on the phone, or when I’m having a bad day, or when I need an escape – not what I like to highlight around here.

Well, that changes now. Cookies are magical and wonderful, and the world needs more of them – so to kick it off, let’s make a variation on a chocolate and peanut butter cookie that will knock your socks off.

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Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies

2 cups flour

3/4 cup dark cocoa (I used Hershey’s special dark, but Ghiradelli will work just as well)

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cups (2.5 sticks of butter)

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups peanut butter chips (I used Reese’s)

1) Preheat the oven to 350.

2) In a medium sized bowl, combine the baking soda, flour, and cocoa powder.

3) In a stand mixer, whip the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, and mix just enough to combine the eggs.

4) Mix in the dry ingredients.

5) Add peanut butter chips, and mix until completely integrated.

6) Roll out cookies, 16 to a baking sheet. Pro tip: Using a melon baller keeps your hands clean, and ensures that all of your cookies are evenly sized with similar bake times.

7) Cook for 8-9 minutes. Warning: they will still be puffy and look not fully cooked – in the first 5 minutes after you take them out of the oven, they will fall and look more like cookies you’d expect to see.

8) Cool at least enough to watch them flatten, and enjoy.

Mini chocolate chip scones

27 Aug

Scones are my absolute favorite breakfast food. They’re easy, you can make them in advance, they transport well, and they’re delicious.

Plus, everything is better with mini chocolate chips.

Now, technically, this isn’t a standard scone recipe (aka it has eggs). If you’re a purist, well, I can’t help you. But for everyone else….if you can overlook the slightly unorthodox nature, you’ll appreciate how awesome these scones are, I promise.

ImageMini chocolate chip scones with glaze

For the scones

2 3/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup salted butter

1.5 cups mini chocolate chips

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream (or whole milk)

For the glaze

2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 425. Either spray a scone pan with pam, or if you don’t have a scone pan, prep a cookie sheet by laying a sheet of waxed paper over it.

2) Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

3) Using a knife or a pastry cutter (seriously, why haven’t you bought a pastry cutter? Do it. You won’t regret it), cut the butter into the dry ingredients.

4) In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, and heavy cream. Note: you could definitely use milk here. However, I was out of milk, so I used heavy cream and didn’t regret it.

5) Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Don’t overmix.

6) If using a scone pan, put dough in pan. If not, roll the dough out, and cut into 12 scones (you can do round or triangle, either will work).

7) Cook scones for 17-19 minutes (or until just brown on top).

8) While scones cool, mix the sweetened condensed milk and powdered sugar. Drizzle over the scones – then try not to eat them all!

Scones will store for a few days, but make sure they’re kept in a cool, sealed container.

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Baking with friends!

26 Aug

Baking with friends!

Every now and then, a friend of mine stops by to swap baked goods. This time, we just happened to be wearing adorable aprons, so we figured we’d take a picture!

Raspberry beer muffins with raspberry beer frosting

16 Aug

If you remember, back in the day I made beer cupcakes. They were savory, with green onions and cheddar cheese and enough weight to count as a meal.

They were delicious -but sometimes, your friends bring you fruit beer, and then what’s a gal to do?

Make cupcakes. Obviously.

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Raspberry beer cupcakes with white chocolate chunks and raspberry beer frosting

For the cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup white chocolate chunks

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

6 oz raspberry beer (I used Shocktop)

For the frosting

6 oz raspberry beer

3 tablespoons butter

Powdered sugar (approx 1.5 cups)

1) Preheat the oven to 350, and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

2) Mix flour and baking powder in a bowl

3) Add white chocolate chunks.

4) Melt butter, and add to the mixture.

5) Add beer, and stir until just barely mixed. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full, and bake for 18-22 minutes (or until knife inserted comes out clean).

6) In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, raspberry beer, and powdered sugar until the frosting is the consistency you want. As you can tell from the picture, I ran out of powdered sugar, so…prepare better than I did.

It’s an Old Fashioned – in a cupcake!

15 Aug

For those of you who know me in real life, you know that nothing comes close to my love for a good Old Fashioned. My favorite bar in DC, the Passenger, does a magnificent job – so much so that when I returned to DC, getting my favorite cocktail was stop #1.

That said, Old Fashioneds don’t seem to lend themselves well to my baking adventures – they’re not sweet, they’re very boozy, and who ever thought of putting bitters in a cupcake?

Well, that has all changed. This Old Fashioned cupcake will change the way you think about an Old Fashioned – and about cupcakes in general, plus it may get you buzzed.

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Old Fashioned Cupcakes

For the cupcakes

2 sticks butter (salted)

1/2 cup half and half (you can also use whole milk, or heavy cream, but the fat content is important here)

1 1/2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp bourbon

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

For the glaze

1/4 cup bourbon

1/4 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if possible)

3-5 dashes of bitters (you can use angostura or orange bitters)

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line two muffin tins with cupcake liners (this will make between 18 and 24 cupcakes)

2) Mix flour and baking powder together, set aside.

3) Using a stand mixer, whip the butter and sugar together until smooth and lightly yellow.

4) In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with bourbon and vanilla. Add to the butter/sugar mixture.

5) Alternate adding the dry ingredients and half and half to the mixing bowl, and mix until smooth (being careful not to overmix).

6) Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full, then bake for 18-22 minutes (or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean).

7) While the cupcakes cool, make the glaze by combining all ingredients in a bowl and stirring until completely combined.

8) Drizzle glaze over cupcakes (you’ll want to be pretty heavy handed on this – the cupcakes will absorb the glaze and become magical).

9) Here’s the important part – eat while warm. Just trust me on this. If you don’t, you’ll want to add more glaze at the time you’re eating them…but it won’t be the same as fresh out of the oven.

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