Category Archives: Baking

Can Dream

Cheese Sticks

Cheese Sticks

Happy May Reveal Day!  This month I was once again partnered with Erin of Making Memories with My Kids for Group A of the Secret Recipe Club.  Her blog is full of fantastic recipes and awesome science experiments – so lots of awesome things to look at.  I was apparently craving carbs when I was checking out her blog as every recipe I flagged was hardcore sinful.  Top of the list were (and are) her apple fritters but every time I got to the store I was unable to nab some Pink Ladies.  Luckily I was able to find some awesome cheddar cheese allowing me to make her fantastic Cheese Sticks!!!   These delicious treats are made using ingredients that I normally have on hand but decided to go the distance and get some really good cheese.  I went for some Vermont Extra Sharp as well as some Vermont Mild White – which is why mine aren’t as vivid as Erin’s!  I also added minced garlic in place of the garlic powder as I prefer the fresh stuff, no risk of vampires in this house!

Cheese Sticks

Serves: Makes 45 three inch pieces (9 snakes)

Ingredients

3 10 ounce bricks sharp Cheddar Cheese, room temperature

1 cup butter, softened

3 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Put softened cheese and butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and beat for 30 minutes or until mixture has consistency of whipped cream.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Sift 3 cups of the flour, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Gradually add the seasoned flour to the cheese mixture by large spoonfuls, beating well after each addition. Add until the dough is somewhat stiff - adding the final 1/2 cup of flour if needed
  4. Portion the dough into nine balls - one at a time roll out into a snake formation going the length of the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. While still on the sheet cut into three inch strips and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing to finish cooling on a wire rack.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/05/can-dream.html

Lesson learned on this: read the recipe all the way!  My sticks weren’t nearly as pretty or evenly cooked as I missed the part about having a cookie press which is one of the few kitchen tools I don’t own.   These disappeared pretty quickly here, with both of us enjoying these with dinner and then again for breakfast!  I enjoyed them slightly warm and toasty while Joe was eating them however they were available. Needless to say another successful SRC recipe! I can’t wait to see what June has in store – but first there will be a bonus BBQ and Picnic SRC recipe at the end of the month.

Need You

Biscuit Sandwich

biscuit_cookie

Welcome to April’s Secret Recipe Club reveal for Group A!  Normally when I get my blog assignment I go to the recipe page and read everything, saving and pinning anything that catches my eye.  This time however I was transfixed by a thumbnail on Chit Chat Chomp  and HAD to make it.  So I first searched her dessert page, trying to not be distracted by all her delicious goodies before finding MY recipe on her baking page: Melting Moments.  Leigh made these for her boss’s birthday and for some strange reason was not given a raise, which blows my mind because oh my goodness are these biscuits insanely good.  I had to make a change to the custard filling, switching the lemon curd for vanilla due to my citrus allergy.   Not so surprising Leigh has a recipe for vanilla custard as well so I used that as the filling for my biscuits!  I just halved that recipe and dropped the zest – super easy and super incredible.  We wound up with some “extra” pudding after assembling the cookies and it was very hard to not lick the bowls clean.

Biscuits

Serves: Makes 20 biscuits

Ingredients

2 sticks butter, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar (10x sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup flour (sifted)

1/4 cup corn flour (sifted)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy - about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix in the sifted flours until just blended.
  4. Form tbsp balls and place on cookie sheet leaving a cookie length between the cookies.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/04/need-you.html

I also enjoyed the irony of getting an Australian blog seeing as how I got one just over a year ago when my little sister moved to Australia for a year.  She gets back next Monday (!!!!) and I can’t wait to get all the food details about her trip.  I have a feeling I’ll be making some more of Leigh’s recipes once she gets back, especially since she has a very large vegetarian recipe section.

and Gumdrops

Cafe Mocha Cheesecake

cheesecake

Welcome to #16Cheesecakes – part 2!!!

Last year Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla rallied some blogging friends to help her celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary. She was only looking for fifteen cheesecake recipes. But we posted waaaaaay more than #FifteenCheesecakes.  It was such a hit and we all had so much fun that she decided to see if she could get enthusiasm for another round of cheesecakes. Yep. This is an encore performance by some of her favorite foodie bloggers.

More than #SixteenCheesecakes

Last year I kept things rather simple with a chocolate caramel cheesecake – something I knew my husband would love.  As I mentioned last year, Joe and I also did a cheesecake at our wedding and it was the BEST decision ever.  This year I decided to go for something more my style: Cafe Mocha Cheesecake.  Don’t get me wrong, Joe’s a huge fan of coffee but not in his dessert so much as with his dessert.  I, on the other hand, prefer Double Dunker ice cream by Turkey Hill to almost anything!  Coffee and chocolate and just the hint of vanilla to keep things from being too overpowering – perfection!

Cafe Mocha Cheesecake

Serves: Serves 8-10

Ingredients

2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed

1 stick butter, melted

3 8oz packages of cream cheese, softened

3 eggs

1 cup white sugar

2 tbsp kahlua

2 tbsp espresso

1 cup dark chocolate chunks

Instructions

  1. Mix together the vanilla wafers and melted butter and press into a 9inch springform pan, going halfway up the sides.
  2. Preheat oven to 500
  3. In a blender mix together the cream cheese and sugar until creamy, about 7 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time while mixing then add in the kahlua and espresso and mix for another 5 minutes.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chunks and spoon into the springform pan.
  5. Bake at 500 for 15 minutes, then turn heat down to 200 and bake for one hour, then turn the oven off and allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge for three hours.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/03/and-gumdrops.html

Make sure to check out all the other fantastic cheesecakes – perfect addition to a holiday dinner or a substitution for dinner.

Money, Money, Money

Honey Muffins

honey_muffin_crop

Bonus SRC post!  Not only is today Lead Day it is also the 5th Monday of the month which means a bonus themed Secret Recipe Club post.  This month is all about spring recipes, which is much needed given that winter does not want to leave.  To me spring is about early berries, greens, and flowers – and insane amounts of rain!  When I saw Emily of Life on Food‘s Honey Muffin post I knew I had my perfect spring recipe.  If not for bees there would be no spring so hello, honey!  For the honey, I used some Killer Bee Honey from The Bee Folks which I pick up on a yearly basis at the MD Ren Faire.  I normally walk out with Killer Bee Honey (sticks) and something fun because I have a true honey issue.

Honey Muffins

Serves: Yields 12 Muffins

Ingredients

1 egg, at room temperature

1 cup 2% milk, at room temperature

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a muffin tin with papers or lightly oil.
  2. Beat the milk and egg in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking power, and salt. Pour in the melted butter along with the honey and then quickly beat in the egg/milk mixture until just mixed.
  4. Spoon a 1/4 cup of batter into your muffin tin (about 3/4 full)
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/money-money-money.html

After you’ve enjoyed your muffin I suggest using any extra honey to top off some kosher pickles for a real sweet/sour treat.  Or you can just make another batch of muffins – no wrong answer!!!  While not a “spring” recipe I also have to mention Emily’s Bailey’s Milkshake because boozy milkshakes are my thing and I’m looking forward to having one sometime soonish.

Sending Big Waves

Banana Chip Cookies

banana_chip_cookies

Another recipe for using up those bananas that are no longer yellow!  Or those bananas that have just been chilling in the back of your freezer.  It happens to eveyone and can only make banana bread so many times.  I’ve been putting bananas in cookies for a while as  vegan alternative to eggs but with these cookies the bananas are the lead not the support. I also kept it vegan figuring why mess with a good thing?!?

Sending Big Waves

Serves: Yields 36 2 inch cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter or non-dairy alternative (Earth Balance)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup mashed banana

1/4 cup plain applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Beat in the banana, applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Then slowly add in the flour and baking soda until just mixed, fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon tbsp sized drops on a cookie sheet, leaving space to spread.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/sending-big-waves.html

i’m also proud to say that I made these while babywearing – slowly but surely figuring out this whole “mommy” thing.  While in the mornings she easily goes down for a nap (or two) in the afternoon she greatly prefers to be in her Boba.  Needless to say this makes me VERY thankful for our double oven as I can easily access the top part with little bending.   I don’t see myself wearing her if the baked good needs two hands but luckily cookies don’t fall in that category!