Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Peanut butter-y heaven

Peanut butter and Jelly... delicious.
Peanut butter and Chocolate...MAGICAL!!!!!!
The perfect marriage between the creamy, crispy, crunchy peanut butter and the smooth sweet milk chocolate, in this treat, will have you going back for seconds.

Check this out! The first thin layer is chocolate chip brownie. Next, comes the magical mix I took from a recipe my dear friend Jodie gave me for buck eye's. It's chunky peanut butter, mixed with butter and rice cereal. The top layer is a thin layer of melted milk chocolate chips. It is just enough to finish off this treat...

I still need to come up with a name for these...they are soo good!!!!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

I've been busy!!

Our holiday was fabulous! Spending time with my family is the most important thing to me. We were able to visit a little bit with everyone this year! But that didn't keep me away from my kitchen! Coming up soon is a fabulous recipe for molasses rolls.. And..Here's a little something I've been working on this weekend!
I made these cute little cupcakes for a holiday gathering a friend was having for her family. :)

I went a little camera crazy.. I hope I can get some to show you how they look-- all set up on the cupcake tower.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Sugar/Shortbread Cookies with Royal Frosting

Busy working on these sugar cookies..they take a LONG time..but they are worth it...
I want to share the recipe I found online for Royal Frosting (I switched it up a tiny bit) is so fluffy & very easy to work with! Check out some of my pictures!

Royal Frosting Recipe

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Royal Frosting Recipe

2 pounds confectioners' sugar (maybe a little bit more- so get an extra bag just in case)
start off with 2/3 cup of water (you will need to add more)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of meringue powder (I use the wilton brand and they have it at walmart or your local cake supply store... our's is AC MOORE or Michael's)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
gel paste in the colors you would like to use

First mix sugar water and meringue powder in your mixer on low. (Mix this nice & slow at first... or you will have a puff of sugar all over the place...) Your icing will probably be thick, so add water (a little at a time) until you get the consistency you are looking for. I like to keep the icing on the thicker side. But thin enough to pipe designs on my cookies. Next, if you would like to make the icing a different color- add your gel paste a little at time until you get the color you are looking for. I divided the icing into a few different batches and made a few different colors for my cookies.
You can either use this right away- or refrigerate up to a week.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Challah Bread

Well, I did it! This morning I made the bread dough..then I let it rise for an hour... after that, I punched it down... and let is rise again..but this time in the fridge..while I was at work.
It more than doubled in size and it was gorgeous looking dough.. but wait...I think the bread came out just as nice... I am still working on the braiding...but here are my two sweet challah breads. I just finished taking them out of the oven... One is a chocolate chip bread and the other is just sweet challah...I wish you could smell my house... the air is so sweet and thick...
it's that smell when you open the door as you walk into a bakery----the thick air tickles your nose..and as you breath in your first breath, you gain about ten pounds from that wonderful sweet smell...

Chocolate Chip Challah

Sweet Challah Breads

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Challah Bread


For the past week or so...I have had Challah on my mind. I've researched a variety of recipes. This morning I woke up at about 4 and as I sat up in bed..I knew today was the day to try it out.
I've never had Challah...although I've seen it in bakeries...and heard such wonderful things about how it tastes...
SO this morning as I let the yeast do it's magic...I am trying it out!
Hoping it comes out just right. This recipe calls for honey as the sweetener...which make me SO HAPPY!  I love using healthy & local ingredients...
I have this great honey... it's made a by a local bee keeper in Milford, CT. I actually bought a TON of it to replace my son's allergy medicine... we wanted to try that theory out!
I'd better get back to baking this Challah!
Has anyone ever baked it before??? How did yours come out... ?? Recipe and picture's to follow soon!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Half Moon Cookies

This cookie recipe was passed down from my my mother, who is the master of all cookies and just about anything baked! My mom is amazing in the kitchen! I can remember every year at Christmas-- the teachers in my elementary school would wait patiently for the enormous tray of cookies my mom would give out. The tray was filled with a large variety of all of her special holiday cookies. They were beautiful!
I admire my mom for all of her hard work...and for the hours she spent baking these special gifts.
These are one of my favorite cookies (aren't they all?? lol) They are such a light cookie and they practically melt in your mouth. The powdered sugar and flakey butter cookie..mixed with that little walnut in the middle is the perfect holiday treat!

Here's what ya need:
4 cups of flour
1 cup of confect. sugar
2 eggs yolks
1 jigger (shot) of whiskey
1lb unsalted butter
extra confect. sugar

In your mixer blend the sugar & butter.
Next,add egg yolks and mix.
Now, add the whiskey and mix
Finally add the flour.
Mix the ingredients until dough comes away from bowl (I used a spoonula thing..because the dough gets all over your hands.. I use my hands at the end... when it comes together better)
** You may need a little more flour at the end.. you'll know.
Once your dough is formed, roll into crescents (they should look like a cresent moon.. not too thick.. not to big.. about the length of your pointer finger..then curve to shape like a moon)
Once you have formed the crescents, push a walnut in the center.. (small - medium piece of a walnut.. not an entire huge walnut)

Now, bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

While they are baking- place some confectioners sugar onto a plate or piece of wax paper.

Then,while the cookies are still warm(but not burning hot! Wait a minute or two! If they are too hot they will break in half).. roll in confect. sugar.

I just know you are going to love these!!!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009


December is the official month for baking all different types of cookies, for me!! But this year I am going to throw in some cupcakes and cake truffles too!!
So check out the recipes this month! They are sure to be YUMMY!!!


Peppermint Cupcakes decorated for Christmas

Half Moon Cookies (greek cookies)

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Madagascar Bourban Vanilla BLONDIES

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees

here’s what ya need:
2 sticks of unsalted butter (melted)
2 cups of dark brown sugar
2 eggs (at room temp)
2 teaspoons of madagascar bourbon vanilla extract (powder or liquid)
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 ¾ cups of flour
¼ cup of wheat germ
1 cup of milk chocolate chips ( you can use semi‐sweet if you have those!)
1 cup of white chocolate chips
½ cup of chopped walnuts (I also added a ½ cup of macadamia nuts)

First, in your mixer – mix in brown sugar and melted butter.
Next, add in your eggs & vanilla. (should smell really good by now)
Then, add the salt, flour and wheat germ.
Finally, fold in your chocolate chips & nuts.
Spray a 9x13 baking dish & coat well. Pour you batter into the dish and bake for about 25 minutes. Keep checking on these. They should look a little shiny on top (like the crust on a
brownie & they will be gooey!)

Let cool – Then cut into bars.

For the bars in the picture… I melted extra milk chocolate in the microwave & drizzled it over the top of each bar.


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Pecan Turtle Recipe

pecan turtle recipe

here’s what ya need:

2 bags of whole pecans (from the baking aisle)
1 large bag of whatever chocolate chips that you like ( i used milk chocolate!)
1 bag of kraft caramels
Couple of teaspoons of milk
Before you do anything else… line a cookie sheet w/ parchment paper & spray it well with a nonstick cooking spray. (you will probably need 2 cookie sheets)

Okay now, melt the caramel with the milk.(I put it in a microwave safe bowl, for about 20 seconds at a time until it is melted…stirring as I go)

Next, grab a bunch of your pecans & place them in little bite size clusters on your parchment paper… go ahead & do that, remember to leave enough room between them.

Now, take the caramel you just melted, with a spoon dollop a little bit over the pecans. Once you’ve done that to all of your clusters, place the cookie sheet in the freezer so that the caramel can harden.

While the caramel is cooling, grab another microwave safe bowl and melt your chocolate… watch out…my bowl gets really hot!

Once your chocolate is ready and the caramel has hardened… take the cookie sheet out of the freezer then dip the tops of each cluster into the chocolate.
Place back on the cookie sheet to set.

These are so YUMMY!
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nutella Linzers

2 cups of flour (regular all purpose flour..I use King Arthur)
2/3 cup of sugar (you are going to need about 1/4 of this when you ground the almonds--so they don't form a paste)
1 cup of sliced almonds toasted then ground up
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of cinammon
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
 2 egg yolks

confectioners sugar to dust over top of cookie

Toast the almonds for about 8-10 minutes.
Let cool. Then put in food processor with 1/4 of the sugar. (this is part of the sugar you need)
Set this aside for later.

In your mixer cream the butter & left over sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg yolks and vanilla. Once that is combined add in the nut mixture.Lastly add in the flour & the salt. Once the dough is mixed, wrap in platic wrap and let refrigerate for about an hour.

Once the dough is refrigerated... and ready to go...
roll out your dough on a well floured area to about a quarter of an inch. (you will probably have to cut the dough in half  & roll seperately)
Cut out your cookies... some of your cookies will be the top and some will be the bottom. The tops will need an extra small cookie cut out in the middle of the cookie. Make sure you make enough matches. ( you can re-roll out the dough.... the only problem I had was that the dough got crumbly from rolling it out to many times! I don't have a lot of I had to roll it out a few times!)

I use a baking stone to bake my cookies. I baked these at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes..(keep checking them) They will be a pale golden color.

Cool these cookies on a cooling rack.

Then take one full cookie and use as the bottom.. I flipped the cookie over and spread the nutella on it.
THEN place your top cookie (the one with the cut out) on top and make a little sandwich.

Dust with confectioners sugar!!!

These are so delicious!! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!!
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chicken Roll Ups

When my children beg me for chicken nuggets... I always ask... how about some "chicken balls" instead? That's what we call them..but when I share the recipe I change it to roll ups.(lol)  The name chicken balls, always gets a chuckle from my son.
This recipe is delicious and has been passed down through my family.
You can make a few or a bunch at a time--- they freeze well.  I find myself making extra  & freezing them. Then, when I need a quick "go to" meal, I can grab a few out of the freezer and warm them up.

Here's what you will need:

One package of boneless chicken breast slice thinly-- I usually get about 12 thin slices out a a 1- 1 1/2 pound package (if you want to buy the thin slices... go for it...)
1 to 1 1/2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs
about a 1/4 of a cup of olive oil
about 1/3 of a cup of fresh parmesan cheese
about 1/2 tablespoon of paprika
salt and pepper to taste

First slice your chicken breast thin. You should get about 12 slices..more or less.
Next, combine the breadcrumbs, parm cheese, paprika, (and salt and pepper ) on a plate.
Then in a bowl or plate, with ridges, pour your olive oil.

Now, you can do one or two things...
You can either take your chicken & dredge it in the olive oil..
 or you can coat it with a brush.
I like to coat it with a brush..don't laugh..
I use my grilling brush (my utensil space is limited in my little kitchen!)

After you have the chicken coated or wet enough that the breadcrumb mixture will stick to it...
Place it on the breadcrumbs and then flip so that both sides are coated with breadcrumbs.

Now, all you  have to do is roll them up...

AND place them side by side on a cookie sheet (please excuse mine, it is well seasoned, I think it was my mom's at one point). The side should be touching.

Bake them in the oven at 325-350 (depending on your pan)for about 25-30 minutes.

I serve this with homemade rice pilaf and broccoli. My family (especially the kids, LOVE THIS MEAL!)

(whoops I overcooked the broccoli)

Rice Pilaf

1 1/2 tbsps of butter
couple handfulls of thin egg noodles
3 chicken flavored buillion cubes
2 1/4 cups of warm water
1 cup of rice

put butter and noodles into small sauce pan/pot..brown up noodles just a little bit
mix warm water w/ buillion cubes
after noodles are toasty..take off burner..let cool for a sec.
then add the water and buillion cube mixture (be careful..water and butter don't mix well..stand back if it is still hot)
let water come to a boil
add rice
let it bubble for a sec then, stir, turn down to low heat and let the rice do it's thing for about 12-15 minutes-- take off burner and let sit for about 5-10 minutes.


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