Baking · Dessert

What’s This

Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

pudding_cookies

Even tho I am retiring from the “blogging life” or at least taking a hiatus.  I couldn’t pass as the opportunity to adopt an orphan blog from Group B of the Secret Recipe Club.   A Spoonful of Thyme is a blog I have purused before so I was more than happy to pick out a goodie.  Since it was hubby’s birthday on Friday and I knew there would be lots of family gatherings I decided to head straight to the sweet stuff.  I came ever so close to making her Apple Cinnamon Bread Pudding until a quick double check indiciated that it had been a SRC post making it ineligible.   Thankfully there were a few DOZEN other recipes to select from and in the end I went with her Sprinkle Pudding Cookies.  I’m not a stranger to using pudding mixes as part of cakes in order to make them extra moist but this was a first for cookies and WOW!!!!  They cookies were so soft and moist – total melt in your mouth deliciousness.  I did have to swap out the sprinkles for chocolate chips as apparently most sprinkles taste nutty – which makes them a no go for my family.

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These were a huge hit with everyone – so much so that it’s a good thing we kept a few at home otherwise they would have disappeared before it was time for the picture!

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Baking · Dessert · Secret Recipe Club

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

Best Oatmeal Cookies EVER

oatmeal_cookies 

Welcome to a bonus July SRC recipe!!!!  When I saw the call to adopt an orphan from group C I was super excited as I love exploring the other groups that make up the Secret Recipe Club.  Anne’s Simple and Savory (and sometimes sweet) is a blog stuffed to the brim with healthy and delicious recipes – including an entire section devoted to vegan and vegetarian food.  Since I only had a few hours to pick, make, and blog I went straight to work finding the perfect recipe.  I flagged two different coconut cookies, a spicy buffalo cauliflower dish, and two perfect for baby recipes: applesauce and hummus.  In the end however Joe decided he NEEDED to try her “best oatmeal cookies” recipe and so that was that!  I didn’t have any raisins so I switched for semi-sweet chocolate chips – not the healthiest option but I was on a tight schedule.  I also used unsweetened  flaked coconut in place of shredded since that’s what I had on hand.

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Easily the moistest oatmeal cookies I have EVER had!  If I was aiming for a standard chocolate chip and got one of these instead I would still be a happy camper – they are seriously that good!   The base recipe would also work well with craisins, going back to the healthy roots of this recipe.  Actually, any dried fruit would probably do well in this dough…thinking I need to get some dried cherries!!!!

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52Weeks · Baking · Dessert

Thinking Outloud

Sugar Cookies

sugar_cookies

Not a surprise to anybody who knows me in real life, but I’m a HUGE fan of reading – and have been from a very young age.  Reading was a way to escape to a different time or place or both and whether it be a galaxy “far far away” or a war between cousins, I’ve always had an appetite for expanding my world via the written word. Which is why I was BEYOND thrill to see /52weeksofcooking was doing a challenge based on book inspiration.  The hard part was finding a book to pick from the hundreds on my shelves, but in end I had to go with one of my favorite “YA” books.  Eleanor & Park is technically a YA book, but it’s also a great “remember when” book for anyone that grew up in the 80s – or anyone still bitter about the cancellation of My So Called Life (or Freaks and Geeks) during the 90s.  Without giving too much away, we’ll just say that Eleanor’s home life is bit rough and while she loves her mom things aren’t always the best between them.  However one happy moment between the two takes place in the kitchen when her mom dabs vanilla extract behind her ears as a cheaper perfume option.

'I do it,' her mom said, 'because it's cheaper 
than perfume, but it smells just as good.'

This smell is the one Park remembers, lingering while they are on the school bus – causing him to think of sugar cookies and other vanilla treats.  However, I knew that I couldn’t just make any sugar cookie to represent Eleanor & Park, it needed to have some sort of a twist.  So I decided to merge my favorite snickerdoodle recipe with my favorite sugar cookie recipe in order to create and sugar cookie with a bit of added texture and just slightly cracked.

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These cookies didn’t last long, becoming a treat for my co-workers to celebrate a recent achievement for one of then.  Before anyone gets concerned. I did allow Joe to have the ones in the photo as it’s only right to pay the photographer!

Baking · Secret Recipe Club

Pain in to Power

Persian Raisin Cookies

raisin_tea_cookies

Hello and welcome to March’s Group A SRC reveal!  I was soooo excited to see that this month I was partnered up with a “new to me” blog: Della Cocina Provera which is run by the awesome Francesca a DC ex-pat living in Amsterdam.  Her “poor kitchen” is stuffed with delicious Italian and Iranian meals reflecting her background.  I knew from the start I wanted to go for a Perisan dish, growing up in an Italian family I knew most of those recipes and part of the fun with SRC is branching out and trying new things – so Persian it was!  Eventually I was able to narrow it down to 5 options, including a yogurt dip, an eggplant stew, some raisin cookies,  and two not so Persian dishes that just sounded fantastic: Blue Cheese Pasta and Cauliflower cous-cous.   In the end my need for sweets won out and I went out to get some raisins for some delicious cookies.  I was a bit nervous with these cookies as they are missing some of the more traditional ingredients (salt, baking soda, etc) but that’s part of the reason why these cookies are that easy!

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I hope to make these cookies again when my oven is cooperating as I had a bit of trouble getting these to cook properly.  Regardless of if they bake “correctly” they were fantastic, and went perfectly with iced coffee.

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Baking · Dessert

Thinking About You

Dark Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Dark Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Warning: If you do not love chocolate this is not the blog post for you.  However if you have a sweet tooth that won’t settle for anything less but the good stuff then stick around.  This cookies have been a work in progress for a few months now, as was having a hard time finding the right balance – and then I decided to throw caution to the wind and grabbed some super dark chocolate bars.  While I’m not normally a fan of the darker chocolates, Joey is so I knew that worst case scenario he would enjoy them! So I cracked those chocolate bars up in to chocolate chunks and went for it.  Thankfully I had some special guests that night who were willing to test out the newest recipe.  Success!

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I might tweak this again in the future, maybe half dark chocolate and half white chocolate, but then again why mess with chocolate perfection?  The trick with these is letting them have time in the fridge to relax and chill – it keeps them from attempting to become one large chocolate mess which might have happened with one of the test recipes.  Also, when the cookies come out the center will look a bit soft but that’s okay as they will firm up while cooking on the sheet.

Baking · Dessert · Secret Recipe Club

No Name

St. Patrick’s Day Cookies

Andes Mint Cookies

First I just want to say my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston along with their friends and family.  I have spent many wonderful days in this colorful and lively city and the pictures I’m seeing today remind me how suddenly things can change.  

As most of you have probably seen by now I’m a member of the amazing Secret Recipe Club, which is a blog link up party where people get to explore and then create a dish from another blog.  While my normal post went up last week with Group A I am bringing a bonus SRC post today from Group B.  Maria’s Close to Home blog has a little bit (okay a lot a bit) of EVERYTHING!!!!  From crafts to nutrition tips to recipes she is a very talented women, and her talent seems to be carrying over to the next generation.  When I saw these minty green cookies I immediately knew this was the recipe for today.  Many moons ago I had the fortunate to spend a St. Patrick’s day in Boston and while the details are a little…hazy…it was a fantastic day spent with great friends.  As an added bonus I’m leaving for Dublin in just over two weeks and will be staying right by the St. Patrick Cathedral – so Maria I really was meant to have your blog!

I did have to make a slight change to the recipe as I couldn’t find any sort of mint chips, however Andes Mints crush up fantastically in the blender so I was set.  I also skipped the green food coloring as I have an aversion to green cookies after a less than pleasant experience in HS.

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Note: picture is on it’s way however my photographer is currently out so might have to wait until he returns! trying to figure out this instagram thing in the mean time…


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52Weeks · Baking · Dessert

Here to Make

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie

I’ve been trying to be good, honestly I have, however the theme this week for /52weeks is guilty pleasures – which just screams for being bad.  I debated between the large range of foods I’m suppose to be avoiding right now: espresso brownies, 5 cheese manicotti, double fudge cupcakes, donuts, essentially the shopping list of every kid.  In the end I did decide to go with something sweet, but not as decadent as the Molten Lava cake that was the first runner-up.   I also decided to make my own caramel sauce in order to take things to the next level.  I had seen the caramel in slow-cooker recipe on Pinterest for months now, but had a feeling it was going to be more of a Pinfail so had blown it off.  Yesterday however I decided to finally give it a try, figuring that if it failed I had plenty of time to buy some caramel.  Success!  Total and complete success!  In order to avoid the rust rings a few people seemed to encounter I poured the sweetened condensed milk into an empty jam jar with a very secure lid.  Just popped that in the slow cooker with enough water to cover and let it go for 8hrs on low.  Once I let the caramel cool it was time to get to work on the cookie dough!

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I have a feel this caramel sauce would also go great with a dark chocolate cookie or turned in to a variation of a toffee cookie.  I’m going to have to forget how easy it was to make the caramel, otherwise it will become a regular occurrence which is just not a healthy thing.  These were a great treat at the end of my Downton Abbey viewing party – now just need dates for Season 4!