Sunday, December 26, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

My new obsession - Stacy's Multigrain Pita Chips! YUM! Looking for anyway to get them - hummus, plain ~~ then I found this recipe. So far, I've taken it to 3 parties this holiday season. I love how healthy it is & how easy. I loved dipping it with veggies too~~ Try it for your New Years Eve Party!

Roasted Red Pepper Dip
Source: Ellie Kreiger - FoodNetwork

3/4 cup pomegranate juice or 4 teaspoons of pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish
Pita Toasts, for serving

Put the pomegranate juice, into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until juice is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool and thicken.

Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Put the walnuts and bread crumbs into a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the reduced pomegranate juice or pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, red peppers, cayenne pepper and cumin and process until smooth. With the processor on add the olive oil in a thin stream. Season with salt, to taste. Sprinkle with cumin and olive oil and serve.

Serve with pita toasts.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (Homemade Oreos)

Another Browneyed Baker recipe! And another hit! My husband loved these. He was mad I was taking them to a cookie exchange. Another batch may be on the horizon. The recipe was slightly time consuming but done in stages. Oreo lovers give them a try!

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (Homemade Oreos)
Source: Brown Eyed Baker
Yields: About 3 dozen sandwich cookies

IngredientsFor the Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling: (I'd probably double this next time)
½ stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup vegetable shortening
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Garnish: Decorative sugar (optional)


1. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in yolk and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 6-inch square, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, 2 to 3 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two baking sheets or line with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

4. Roll out 1 piece of dough between sheets of parchment paper into a 14×10-inch rectangle (1/8-inch thick). Slide dough in parchment onto a tray and freeze until dough is firm, about 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. Cut out as many rounds as possible from first chilled square with a 2-inch fluted or round cutter, reserving and chilling scraps, then quickly transfer cookies to a buttered baking sheet, arranging them ½ inch apart. (If dough becomes too soft, return to freezer until firm.)

6. Sprinkle half of cookies with decorative sugar (if using), then bake cookies until baked through and slightly puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on sheet on rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely (cookies will crisp as they cool).

7. Make more cookies with remaining dough and scraps (re-roll only once).

8. To make the filling, beat the butter and shortening together at medium speed until combined and smooth. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Increase the speed to high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until the filling is light and fluffy.

9. To assemble the cookies, pipe a heaping teaspoon of filling onto the flat side of the plain cookies. Top with the sugared cookies to make sandwiches. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Peppermint Bark

I have always wanted to try to make Peppermint Bark. I knew it was easy but for some reason it always intimidated me. Well, I was intimidated for no reason ~ it was easy. And really yummy. I'll probably make every Christmas as it looks really festive ~ and tastes great too. Thanks Browneyed Baker for the recipe ~ and for some tips from my cousin Heather!

Peppermint Bark
Source: Browneyedbaker

1 lb dark chocolate - (1/2 semisweet & 1/2 bittersweet)
1 lb. white chocolate
6 oz. (1 regular package) candy canes, crushed

1. Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler until smooth. Spread (with an offset spatula) in an even layer on a wax paper lined baking sheet. Place in freezer to harden, approximately 30 minutes.
2. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler until smooth. Spread (with an offset spatula) on top of the dark chocolate layer. Working quickly before the white chocolate set, sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top and gently press into the chocolate. Refrigerate until completely hard and set, at least 2 hours.
3. Break into pieces! (I used my meat mallet)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cookies & Cream Cake

Dad's birthday! I wanted to try my hand at a 'fancy' cake. After much searching - I decided on this one. YUM! The vanilla filling ~~ really good!! Put it on the cake quick!! Before being tempted to eat it! This is a great cake that looks fancy for the novice cake maker! This is a great basic chocolate cake recipe.

Cookies & Cream Cake
Source: Annie's Eats

For the cake:
2 cups sugar
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the filling:
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
1/8 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
10 chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped

For the frosting:
½ cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

Stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

To make the filling, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat on low speed until all sugar is incorporated; increase speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in chopped cookie pieces with a rubber spatula.

To make the frosting, melt the butter in a medium bowl. Stir in the cocoa. Alternately add confectioners’ sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cardboard cake circle. Pipe a ring of the chocolate frosting around the outside edge of the cake. Fill the area inside the ring of frosting with a thick layer of the cookies and cream mixture. Place the second cake layer on top. Frost the sides of the cake layers with chocolate frosting. Pipe a decorative border of the chocolate frosting on top of the cake. Fill the area inside this border with a thick layer of the cookies and cream mixture. Garnish with extra chocolate sandwich cookies and whipped cream if desired.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Got the urge to whip up a batch of cookies to start the week ~~~ I've been holding this recipe.... These turned out great! I shared them with the daycare, work, a friend ~~ rave reviews from all! I have this odd mental thing that adding oatmeal makes them more healthy.... let me go with it!!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Source: Love Deliciousness Blog


* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 cups uncooked regular oats
* Appx 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate mega morsels (we used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
* 1 cup chopped toasted pecans (omitted)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.
3. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring well. Add oats; stir well. Add to butter mixture; stir until well blended.
4. Gently stir in chocolate morsels and pecans.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until brown around edges. Cool on pan 2-3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.