Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cake Batter Truffles

Oh my my....I can't wait to put these sinful little devils in my mouth!  YUMMM!!!

{recipe &pic from} the girl who ate everything

Cake Batter Truffles
by The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 ½ cups flour
1 cup yellow cake mix
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
3-4 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons sprinkles
Truffle Coating:
16 ounces (8 squares) almond bark (or white candy melts)
4 Tablespoons yellow cake mix
Beat together butter and sugar using an electric mixer until combined. Add cake mix, flour, salt, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add 3 Tablespoons of milk or more if needed to make a dough consistency. Mix in sprinkles by hand. Roll dough into one inch balls and place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet. Chill balls in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up.
While dough balls are chilling, melt almond bark in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stir between intervals. Once melted, quickly stir in cake mix until incorporated completely. Using a fork, dip truffles into almond bark and shake of excess bark by tapping the bottom of the fork on the side of your bowl. Place truffle back on the cookie sheet and top with sprinkles. Repeat with remaining balls until finished.

Chill cake batter truffles in the refrigerator until serving. Makes around 24-30 truffles.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Secrets to the perfect CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE

The New York Times ran a fascinating story on the “quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie,” which included the shocking fact that the famous Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe Nestlé prints on back of the bag left out a very important step.


According to the article, Ruth Graves Wakefield, who invented the chocolate chip cookie for her Tollhouse Inn in the 1930s, wrote that the dough should be chilled overnight.
This revelation inspired NYT writer David Leite to interview New York bakery owners and pastry chefs about their chocolate chip cookie secrets, and this is what he found out:

Secret #1 First you mix the butter and the sugar called for in the recipe for a good 3-5 minutes. This helps the sugars dissolve and whips the butter. **AND a little tip from me ALWAYS use butter--no margerine. I use regular salted, because that is what I stock in my kitchen. I just cut the salt down a little in the recipe.

Secret #2 OK this one is hard--it really tests your patience:) You need to let the dough rest overnight, but a 36-hour rest is prime. That gives the dry ingredients time to fully soak up the eggs, creating a dough that’s exceptionally dry--which makes for the perfect texture when baked.

Secret #3 Make BIG cookies. You’ll be measuring the dough in a 1/3 measuring cup to create cookies that are about 5″ so you can enjoy all the different textures. The outside edge will be golden brown and crisp, the center will be light and soft and chewy, and between the two you’ll find a ring where those textures intertwine.

Secret #4 Right before you slide your dough balls into the oven, add a sprinkle of sea salt (or kosher salt). That small touch will seriously bring out the flavor and add a complexity to the taste. If you forget the salt on a tray of these cookies, you will miss it. Trust me.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from The New York Times, David Leite and Jacques Torres
submitted by Melanie @ SISTERS CAFE

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

•2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour * leave the TBs in for high altitude*
•1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
•1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
•2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
•1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
•1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
•2 large eggs
•2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
•1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
•Sea salt
1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (about 1/3 cup) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day.
**When I make these I use my favorite semi sweet or milk chocolate chips--I like guitard, but sometimes I use the big bag of Nestle semi sweet from Costco.

DR PEPPER Chocolate Cake

I love me some DR PEPPER, so this is my soul cake!

Dr Pepper Chocolate Cake
Submitted by Mindy ~ The Sisters Cafe

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup Dr Pepper
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate once and they were great, too)
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans (or 9x13 or prepare cupcake liners).  Sift together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa and baking soda and set aside.  Heat the Dr Pepper in a small saucepan over low heat.  Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted.  Remove from heat.  With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla for 2 minutes.  At lowest speed, slowly add the Dr Pepper mixture and beat for 1 additional minute.  Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks, lift off pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Dr Pepper Frosting

3/4 cup butter flavored shortening - (I changed this to butter.  Personally I do not like shortening in frosting. Ever.)
6 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup Dr Pepper (I added an additional 1-2 Tablespoons once, and I actually liked that better.  However it did make the frosting thinner...)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter [and yucky shortening if you choose to use it - :)] until light and fluffy.  At low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar and cocoa.  Add the Dr Pepper and vanilla, and turn mixer to high speed until frosting is light and fluffy ~ about one minute.

Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut Butter Bars
RECIPE & PIC FROM {Sisters Cafe}

3/4 C butter
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
3/4 peanut butter
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 C oats
Cream together the butter and sugars. Add peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix the oats until firm dough is made. Press batter into a jelly roll pan (a little smaller than a standard cookie sheet--I use the pampered chef stoneware bar sheet) Bake at 325 for 12 -15 minutes, depending on your oven. Do not over bake! The bars should be BARELY golden. If you over cook them they are dry and not very good, in my opinion. Allow to cool while you make your frosting.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting
(this recipe is from my fried Jill-it is awesome!)
1 cup sugar
5 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup mini marshmallows

Place the sugar, butter and milk in the small saucepan over medium-low heat and cook stirring constantly, until the mixture come s to a boil. Boil stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat, add the chocolate chips and stir until melted, then add themarshmallows and stir until melted. Spread onto mostly cool bars.
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{recipe & pic from} Cheat Day Cafe
Cocoa Oatmeal Cookies aka: Brown Bombers

1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 egg beaten well
1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/3 c. shortening - melted
1/3 c. butter - room temp
2 c. oatmeal (your preference)

Sift together first 5 ingredients. Combine the egg, milk and vanilla and add cooled shortening and butter. Mix thoroughly with dry ingredients. Stir in rolled oatmeal. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment paper or sprayed cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 for 8 min.

Orange kissed cookies

YUMM...I cannot wait to make these! Remember those hostess cupcakes that were yellowy but they tasted like orange heaven....oh that is what these remind me of!  

{recipe &pic from} Our Best Bites
Orange Kissed Cookies
Not kidding.  Baby angel clouds of orange heaven. 
Recipe from

1 c. white sugar
1/2 c. butter-flavored shortening
1 egg
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. thawed orange juice concentrate
1 Tbsp. grated orange zest
Frosting1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 Tbsp. thawed orange juice concentrate
1/4 c. softened butter
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a mixer, combine the white sugar and shortening.  Beat until well-combined.  Add the egg and beat well, then add the sour cream and vanilla and beat for about 1 minute or until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add the orange juice concentrate and orange rind and mix well.
Using a cookie scoop, drop the dough/batter (the mixture will be VERY moist–thicker than a cake batter but thinner than traditional cookies) by the tablespoon-ful onto a lined, un-greased baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies are set and just starting to turn golden brown around the edges.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
For the frosting, combine the frosting ingredients with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Pipe or spread over the cooled cookies.
Yield: Approximately 36 cookies.

Ranch Chicken

Ranch Chicken
{Recipe From}The Sisters Cafe

¾ cup crushed cornflakes
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 pkg ranch salad dressing mix
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (or about 2 ½ lbs of frozen chicken tenderloins, thawed)
½ cup butter/margarine, melted (or for a low-fat version, use 2 egg whites, slightly beaten)

In a shallow bowl, combine the cornflakes, parmesan cheese, and salad dressing mix.  Dip chicken in melted butter, then roll in cornflake mixture to coat.
Place chicken breasts in a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.  Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.  (If using tenderloins, check for doneness after 20 or 25 minutes.) Do not overbake. Makes 8 servings.


Brownies for a Crowd (cookie sheet size)
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp cocoa (I prefer Dutch-it is darker)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups melted butter
5 eggs
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
Mix together and spread on a buttered cookie sheet (standard stainless steel). Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30 minutes. Be sure to not overcook. Frost
1/2 cup butter
3 1/2 tsp cocoa
6 TBsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
Powdered Sugar--I have never measured. I just add until I get the consistency I want. If it becomes too thick I just add a little more milk.
Boil together, remove from heat and add powdered sugar. You can add nuts into the frosting or sprinkle on top if you would like.

Zucchini Tomato Bake

I CANNOT wait until we can eat some GARDEN veggies!  And I am MOST def making this!

Thank you Sisters Cafe

Zucchini Tomato Bake
Submitted by Mindy (from On My Menu)

1 onion, chopped
4 T butter (I used 2 T)

4 zucchini, sliced in rings (I did 2 zucchini, 2 summer squash)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 lb mushrooms, sliced (I used extra!)
1/2 tsp basil
3 T parsley, chopped
Garlic salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
4 oz Cheddar cheese, grated (I used medium cheddar)

Saute onion in butter until soft. Add zucchini and saute until tender. Add tomatoes and mushrooms. Saute briefly, then add seasonings. Put in 1.5 quart casserole dish. Toss with Parmesan; top with Cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. (A good option for summer: saute everything longer, approx. 10 minutes. Right before serving add cheese and stir to melt - I prepared it this way.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Butterfinger cookies

{recipe & pic from} The Farm Girl Recipes
Butterfinger Cookies
1/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. peanut butter
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 - 3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3 butterfingers, chopped in small pieces
melting chocolate ( I use Wiltons)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla, mixing well.  In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt with a whisk. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix in Butterfingers . Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove and let sit on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before removing to cookie rack. Cool completely.  

2.  Melt chocolate in microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until chocolate is smooth, but not too hot.  Dip half of the cookie in chocolate and set on wax paper until chocolate hardens.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Pull Aparts

{recipe & pic from} Real Mom Kitchen

Overnight Pull Aparts – the chocolate version
  • 12 to 16 frozen white roll dough (still frozen, I use 16)
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) package chocolate instant pudding
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, melted
  • Frosting (recipe below)
  1. In the bottom of a greased bundt pan, arrange rolls evenly in pan.
  2. Mix sugar and dry pudding together and sprinkle over rolls.
  3. Pour melted butter over  the rolls.
  4. Cover pan with sprayed plastic wrap. Place pan in cold oven overnight (8 to 10 hours).
  5. Remove rolls from oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Remove plastic wrap from pan and bake for 25 min. Immediately invert pan onto a serving platter.
  7. Cool slightly and drizzle with frosting.
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • dash of vanilla
  • milk
Combine powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla.  Add a Tablspoon of milk at a time until frosting is desired consistency for drizzling.

Sugar Cookie Cupcake

{recipe & pic from} Baked Perfection
Sugar Cookie Cupcakes
recipe by Baked Perfection 

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla; mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Recipe makes approximately 30 cupcakes.

Very Vanilla Frosting
recipe by Baked Perfection

2 sticks of butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 -4 tablespoons milk

Beat butter and vanilla until creamy. Add salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.