Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jello Cookies

Christmas means so things to so many people. To me, Christmas is first and foremost, about the birth of my savior. It is also about spending time with loved ones, and taking time to slow down and celebrate life (and each other). Christmas baking, has always been big for me. My mom had me and my sister baking, when we were very young. It was then, that I found my love for it. We made so many different types of cookies, and decorated them with our unique touches. I have always found cooking and baking to be very therapeutic. I especially loved giving away my creations. It was my way to use my creativity on a whole new level.
Preheat oven to 375〫You will need: 1 3oz. package of any flavor of jello, one cup granulated sugar, 3 sticks of butter, 1tsp.  vanilla, 1 egg, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp of baking powder, and 3 1/2 cups flour.
It's funny how Christmas changes as you grow older. As a child, Christmas is seen as a time in which imagination comes to life. Children are able to dream about the presents they are going to receive, and visit Santa at parades and shopping malls. For a child, it is a magical time that their wishes can come true. For some children (with painful childhoods) it is a break from reality. It is a time they don't have to think about the stress in their lives. Sadly, some of those children do not even get to experience a true Christmas.
Cream butter and sugar

Almost everyone has fond memories of Christmas. That is one time we are able to forget whatever is going in our lives, and take the moment for what-it-is. As we grow up, we are faced with reality and responsibility. We able see the world as it truly is. That is why so many wish to revert to the childlike innocent days of Christmas, when worries and cares were nonexistent.

Add Jello, egg, and Vanilla

I have several favorite Christmas cookies, but Jello Cookies have always stayed among my top two. They are super easy to make, and have a taste of their own. Do they actually taste like Jello? , They do have a sweet vibrant taste like jello, but they take on more dimension, as a cookie.

Add Flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until it starts to come together. 
You can use any flavor of Jello you'd like, but cherry and lime (stronger flavors) tend to taste the best. They are FULL of butter. When I mean full, I mean three whole sticks of butter, full. That is what makes them tastes soooo good. When it's the holidays it is okay to indulge a little.
Roll dough out, and use cookie cutters to make shapes. Bake for 8-9 minutes.

You can simply roll the dough into little balls and bake them, but I think it's a little more festive to cut them into shapes, and decorate them. These cookies have to be iced/frosted!! They simply cannot be served on their own. The store bought icing in a can works fine for binding the flavors together. Once you try these cookies, you will be so glad you did! Enjoy them, this holiday season, and have a blessed Christmas! 

Decorate and serve! Merry Christmas!!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

When Fall is in the air, I always seem to crave anything with cinnamon and nutmeg. There is just something about the warmness of those spices. I especially love pumpkin flavored treats. When the leaves turn and fall from the trees, it marks the beginning of a new season.
You will Need: 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup Vegteble Oil, 2 Cups Dark Brown Sugar, 2 Tbls. Molasses,
2 Tbls. Cake Enhancer (optional), 1tsp. Baking Powder, 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda, 1 tsp. salt, 2 Large Eggs, 1 1/2 cup pumpkin(15oz.), 2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
Whoopie pies are a famous New England Favorite. They originally only came in a Chocolate cookie/ vanilla marshmallow frosting combination. Now since they have grown in popularity, can be found in flavors such as: Gingerbread, and Boston Cream Pie.
Preheat oven to 375〫F . Spray a cookie sheet, or Whoopie pan with nonstick spray.

                                                        Combine: Butter, Brown Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Molasses,
                                                         Cake Enhancer, Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and
While I do not know if they can even surpass the vast popularity of the cupcake, I do seen an increase in their notoriety. Since I love pumpkin spice flavored desserts, I decided pumpkin whoopie pies would be perfect for Halloween. I have always love the combination of pumpkin spice bread and cream cheese frosting. This recipe is quite reminiscent of that.

Add eggs one at a time

Surprisingly, the original whoopie pies were a hit among Amish communities. Maine also hold this cookie sandwich dear, to the hearts. The texture of a whoopie pie, is cake-like. It is soft and moist, and has a fluffy interior. When combined with the cream cheese frosting, it is brought to a whole new level.

Stir in Pumpkin by hand, then mix in flour in 2 increments. Scoop spoonfuls of mix onto pan/ cookie sheet
Bake for 16-18 Minutes

Icing: Mix 1 package of Cream Cheese, 2 cups
confectioners sugar, and 1 tsp. Vanilla

Let Whoopie pies cool completely. Then,
evenly spread a good layer of icing between
the bottom of one whoopie pie, and make a

Enjoy this dose of sugar and spice!

This Recipe Belongs to: King Arthur Flour

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cookies n' Cream Bark-With a Twist

If you have ever gone grocery shopping during the month of October, you may notice something different. Of course the typical displays of Halloween goodies are scattered throughout the store, but there is another change that happens only in October. Almost everything is bright pink, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Even tuning in to an NFL game, fans will see almost every player sporting the vibrant color. I must say some can really pull it off, while others are not quite so lucky.
You Will Need: 12-15 Oreos(I used the berry burst, because they are pink and so much better than the original), 1 bar or package of white chocolate, and pink food coloring. 

Not until recently, has October become one of my favorite months of the year. To tell you the truth I used to dread this time of the year. Now, I have come to love the falling leaves, chunky sweaters & boots, and the incredible the comfort food. For a girl who's favorite color is pink, this becomes one best times of the year to shop. 

Line a pan or baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Spray with nonstick cooking spray

Everything from dishwasher soap to iced shortbread cookies, can be seen in the feminine hue. I actually find myself buying many of these items just because they are pink! Good marketing strategy, that works for a great cause. 
Pretty pink Berry burst Oreos
Originally, I was thinking of making classic Cookies n' Cream bark, which is quite similar to the iconic candy bar. Then I got inspired while watching a Football game (go figure!). I had seen them wear pink in years past, but it just seem to spark my interest, this year.
Pulse Oreos in a food processor of roughly chop with a knife

Since I was allergic to chocolate as a kid, I fell in love with my only real alternative: White chocolate. It is far richer in taste than milk chocolate, and almost two times sweeter! Even if you are not a huge fan of white chocolate, you still ADORE this recipe!
Chopped Berry Burst Oreos
Even if you substitute the Original Oreos for the Berry Burst kind, you will still have an incredible flavor experience. The crunchy chocolate bits of Oreo blended with silky white chocolate delivers an addicting taste sensation.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler. (Careful if using a microwave, it can burn very easily!)

You could even use the double chocolate or mint Oreos for an even more intense flavor. Because it is breast cancer awareness month, I thought I'd go for the pink Oreos!
Add Several drops of pink food coloring (Just a few of red, if you cannot find pink) and add 3/4 of the chopped Oreos

After trying a piece of my bark, I was so glad, that I went with the pink Berry Burst Oreos! The combination of flavors flowed perfectly. The berry flavor accented the rich white chocolate. The chocolate cookie bits added more depth, and crisp taste to the bark.

Spread mixture onto lined cookie sheet/pan
This is a recipe, you will want to give away. It makes the perfect gift, because it is so easy to make, and is out-of-this-world delicious. Your friends will be begging you for the recipe! 

Top the bark with the rest of the chopped Oreos. Let Cool (Refrigerate for 1hr)
You can show you pride for this good cause, with this yummy candy. It would also make a great item for a Breast Cancer Awareness Bake Sale! 

Break into pieces. The more rigid the pieces are, the better.  
You could even package them in cellophane bags with giant satin pink bows, and give them to fellow survivors. However you decide to enjoy this candy, make sure add your own personal touch!

Happy October!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Black & White Cookies

Pre heat oven to 350〫F
The first experience I ever had with a black and white cookie was on the 90's classic Tv-show, Seinfeld. On one of the episodes, Jerry and Elaine stop by a bakery to pick up a chocolate babka cake, for a dinner party(btw cinnamon really is better). Jerry buys a black and white cookie, and describes the art of eating one. "you want to get some chocolate and some vanilla in every bite". He kept telling Elaine to "look to the cookie", which if you've ever seen the show, you'll know it became a classic line.
stir together: flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. 
      It was not until a few years ago, that I was finally able to try a black and white cookie. It was well worth the wait! I spotted one, while I was in New York (They are an iconic NY cookie) at a gourmet deli. I was instantly reminded of the Seinfeld episode, and knew I had to try one. The cookie had more of the consistency of a whoopee pie, rather than a cookie. The airy and cakey texture, paired perfectly with the dual glazed icings. It was not an overly sweet cookie, which I found surprising, given the amount of frosting it had.
Whisk Vanilla and buttermilk together in a cup or small bowl. Set aside

       Black and Whites are rarely seen outside of New York. Why is that, exactly? They originated there in Utica, supposedly by the famous Hemstrought's Bakery. Although they recently closed their doors, their cookies can still be found in some New York grocery stores.
 Beat sugar and butter in mixer for 2 minutes, then add egg.

        Personally, I believe they are an underrated cookie that deserves much more attention. Of course they have become classic New York cuisine, but I think they should found in other places than New York. The black & white is such an inviting cookie with such classic flavors, it's surprising they have really taken off yet.
Alternate flour mixture and Buttermilk mixture. Mix well.

         For those of you who do not live in NY, try this amazing recipe. If baked correctly, you will see what all the fuss is about. Frosting them, is the hardest part of making these cookies. Don't worry if they don't look perfect, because they are not supposed to! Have fun!!
Drop spoonfuls onto a grease cookie sheet, or a whoopee pie pan (like I used). 

Bake for 6-8 minutes. Set Cookies on cooling rack, and cool completely. 
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg

  • For icings
    Combine sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice and vanilla. Divide in half (in another bowl) and add cocoa powder
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • Special equipment: a small offset spatula
  • Frost half of each cookie with the vanilla icing.

    Frost other half of the cookies with Chocolate frosting. 


    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Red Velvet Cookies

    When most people think of Red Velvet cake, they automatically think of Valentine's Day. While it is great for special occasions, it should be celebrated more often. What is red velvet? Basically it is chocolate cake with food coloring. With it's typical pairing with cream cheese icing, it becomes a silky delectable treat.
            Sometimes you want to make a three hour souffle, but all you have time for is a quick batch cookies. Well if you are in a rush and looking for a super quick fix, look no further. When I came across this recipe for Red Velvet cookies, I surprised by the ease of the recipe. It may very well be the easiest recipe, you will ever come across!! I love red velvet cake, but cookies take on a more sensible approach. The best part is, you can make as many or few as you wish, and refrigerate the rest of the dough for another day.


    You will need:
    1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix
    2 Large eggs
    1/3 cup Vegetable Oil

    Preheat oven: 375〫 F
    Combine cake mix, eggs, and oil

    Roll into small shaped balls of dough.

    Bake for 8-10 minutes

    Let Cool Completely

    Swirl Cream Cheese Frosting on top of cookies.


    Monday, August 22, 2011

    Cake Pops

         I've got to say, cake pops could very well be the best thing I've ever had, on a stick. Since their creation by the creative food blogger, Bakerella, they have taken our world by storm. Starbucks has even begun selling these little bites of heaven. Some will argue they do not taste quite like an authentic cake pop, but I think they come pretty darn close.
       Who doesn't love cake? I mean our first birthdays are always made monumental, by the iconic handprint in the cake. One of our very first important experiences involves cake. Every year after, we are reminded of our birth with a special--cake. Since cake is not always convinent, it is nice to have other forms such as cupcakes, and cake pops. They are bite-sized and sooo good! They can also be good for those watching their figure, and are just in need of a tiny splurge.
        So what exactly is a cake pop? To those who are new to the term, it is a combination of cake and frosting, which is then dipped in melted candy melts. Sounds pretty easy doesn't it? Well actually, it really is.The only thing that is required is, practice. They can be a little tricky on first attempt, but you will be able to master them in no time!
           Basically, the texture of a cake pop is somewhat like cookie dough(that tastes like cake batter). If you like either of those two things, then you will LOVE cake pops! I've been wanting to make a batch for a while, and figure it would be a great opportunity to show how it's done. Have fun, don't worry if they don't look perfect. They will still taste great!

    I decided to make Tiffany Blue cake pops for a classy and sophisticated twist...

    You Will Need:
    Cake mix(and ingredients for prep.) frosting, candy melts, lollipop sticks, cello bags, and a stand for the sticks. 

    step 1:
    Prepare cake according to box directions.

    Step 2:
    Crumble cake in a bowl

    step 3:
    add 1/2 to 3/4 can of frosting 

    Step 4:
    mix together with your hands. (You will get VERY messy!)

    Step 5:
    Place candy melts in a bowl and microwave according to the directions on the bag. 

    step 6:
    Roll into indivual balls (around 36-48 depending on size)

    Step 7:
    Dip the top of the lollipop stick in the melted candy melts.

    Step 8:
    Stick the lollipop stick into one of the cake balls. (The candy melt will act as an adhesive)

    Step 9:
    Repeat with remaining cake balls.

    Step 10:
    Spoon the melted candy melts onto each cake pop to coat it. Make sure cake pop is sideways, allowing any excess coating to drip off. Do not dip the cake pops, because it will pull the cake ball right off the stick! Top the pops with sprinkles (or edible pearls and diamonds, like i've done). 

    Pretty edible diamonds!

    Step 11:

    Once the pops have cooled, take each pop and place them in a cello bag, Then tie each bag with a cute bow for an added touch.

    Step 12: Bon Appetit!