Christmas time!

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I know, I know I am delayed on my Christmas post but let’s me honest when am I not behind?! To make up for it, in this blog post I shall give you 2 recipes! For Christmas Eve this year I made my family some classic red velvet cake! I covered the cake in shaved sweetened coconut to make it look like snow and on the top of the cake I outlined a tree pattern with pearl sprinkles. And for Christmas Day we had a cookie buffet, which included hot chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and snowball cookies.

Red Velvet Cake:

Ingredients-

2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
2 C. sugar
1 T. cocoa
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. oil
1 C. buttermilk
1 T. vinegar
1 t. vanilla
red food coloring

Directions-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans.

1. Stir together eggs and remaining liquid ingredients with a whisk until blended. Set aside.

2. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir with a another whisk.

3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.

4. Pour into cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

5. After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. I also cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients-

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions-

1. Sift sugar and set aside.

2. Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.

3. Add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.

4. FROST THAT CAKE! (and add shaved coconut if you so desire!)

red velvet cake

Hot Chocolate Cookies:

*yields about 15 cookies

In a medium saucepan, melt together:

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter

12 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate (bars)

Stir frequently over medium heat until smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together:

1 1/2 C. flour

1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 t.baking powder

1/4 t. salt

Using an electric mixer, beat together:

1 1/4 C. light brown sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

Beat on low speed until smooth, 2 minutes. Mix in the cooled chocolate mixture just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment. Form 1 inch balls, flatten slightly, and lay  out 2 inches apart. Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 12 minutes.

Snowball Cookies:

*yields about 30 cookies

Ingredients-

1 C. unsalted butter
1/2 C. confectioners’ sugar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/4  C. EACH of chopped pecans, walnuts, and chocolate chips
1/4 t. kosher salt
1/3 C. confectioners’ sugar, sifted – for dusting the cookies.

Directions-

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. Cream the butter and 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in vanilla extract and mix until combined.

3. Mix in the flour, nuts, chocolate chips and salt until just combined.

4. Roll about 1 tablespoon of dough into balls and place on prepared baking sheet.*won’t spread too much so don’t worry about cookies being too close

5. Bake for about 15 minutes

6. Dust cookies with pre-sifted confectioners’ sugar.

christmas cookies

“Empty?! You took all the cookies!”
“They were crying to get out of the jar… Cookies get claustrophobia too, you know!” – Charles Schulz

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Do not fear! An easy oreo truffle recipe is here!

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St. Patrick’s day is MY holiday. A great thing about St. Patrick’s day is the fact that Disney Channel always plays the Luck of the Irish! I’ve been watching that movie since I was a little kid and it will never get old! I love going into the city to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I know so many firefighters who march in the parade, and fortunately I am always able to find at least 1.

NYC is such a beautiful place to be on March 17th! I love everyone wearing green, and everyone shouting “Up *insert county name here*!” Between me and my sister and all our friends we were a big group! My sister bought us all these really big rings from Party City. My ring said “Irish Hottie”, and my sister’s said “Sassy Lassie.”  😀 Because I’m so crazed for this holiday I wanted to go all out with green-themed desserts.

I first made Oreo Truffles, following the recipe I found on bakerella’s website (http://www.bakerella.com/its-no-sham%E2%80%A6these-rock). Bakerella’s recipe calls for a pkg. of Double Stuff Oreos, cool mint flavor but I couldn’t find that flavor while I was at the store so I just used the original ones. Personally, I think it worked out not having mint truffles because I was also making mint chocolate chip cookies. Here’s the recipe for Oreo Truffles!

Makes 36 truffles

ImageIngredients:

1 pkg of oreos

9 oz of cream cheese, room temp. (*1 pkg is 8 oz. but I found that I needed more cream cheese while mixing, hence the addition of an extra oz)

2 pkg.s of Wilton’s chocolate melts ( I used the vanilla melts, and green-dyed chocolate melts)

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Directions:

1. Crush the cookies in a food processor or a ziploc bag with a rolling pin.

2. Stir in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together completely.

3. Roll the mixture into 1″ balls and place on wax paper covered cookie sheet.

4. Place covered in freezer or refrigerator for a few minutes to help retain shape when dipping in melted chocolate.

5. Melt chocolate as directed on the package and then dip balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry.

6. Refrigerate and enjoy!

Funny story….. After taking a few pictures of the truffles, I decided I would have one. Just for a moment I paused and put the half-bitten truffle on the chair (partly because every inch of counter space was covered from the mess I made). My sister decided to sit down and pick up my camera to take a couple of shots of the truffles. So I’m looking around and around for my truffle. I look at where my sister is sitting and I say to her “Did I finish my truffle or are you sitting on it?” She jumps right up and says “PLEAAASEEE tell me I did not sit on your truffle!” But….. she did! and here’s the evidence!!!

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“Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces.” ~Judith Viorst

Trying out “Barbara Ann”

For those of you who haven’t read my past blog about my kitchen equipment, i tend to name my equipment after Beach Boys songs. Barbara Ann is my babycakes cake pop maker; she is pink! 😀

Over February break I made a surprise visit to Plattsburgh to see my sister, Victoria. My sister is SUPER PICKY about the things I bake so I figured if i’m going to bake her something its got to be chocolate! Hence the chocolate cake pops!!  This is a picture of my sister, mom, and me at Christmas.

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The recipe I found in the booklet that came with the babycakes machine; therefore, this recipe can only be used if you have the machine. Don’t panic now and think “ooh geez, now I have to go out and buy a stinkin’ cake pop machine!” Don’t worry, you can make cake pops without a machine too! I just bought this machine because it is faster and usually when I bake, I tend to bake for large quantities of people.

Here’s a little warning if any of you readers share the same character trait as me, where you think you can do 348349238 things at one time… While I was filling each reservoir with the cake pop batter, I was also on the phone with my friend Christina. I can’t recall what we were talking about but I can tell you that I became SUPER distracted and had a CHOCOLATE EXPLOSION. There was chocolate all over my hands, all over the counter, and all over the cake pop machine… I couldn’t even hang up the phone because of the chocolate on my hands and because of how hysterically I was laughing.

This is a picture of the girl who helped cause the chocolate explosion 😉

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Hopefully after my warning you’ll stay away from taking phone calls while making these delectable morsels of chocolate!

Chocolate Cake Pops

Makes about 3 dozen

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup buttermilk

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Package of Chocolate candy melts (I used Wilton brand, you can pick these up at Michael’s)

Directions:

1. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, vegetable oiil, egg and vanilla. Using a mixer, blend until smooth.

2. Add coffee and continue mixing until coffee is evenly incorporated into mixture.

3. Fill each cooking reservoir with about 1 tablespoon of batter.

4. Bake 4 to 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cake pop comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool and glaze or coat, as desired.

I put parchment paper inside one of tins I had lying around the house to transport the cake pops. They lasted in that tin for a whole 7 hour bus ride!

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“Don’t wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty.” ~Lora Brody

What becomes of an on-sale muffin tin!

Sunday night I was out shopping with my mom at Walbaum’s when I discovered that they were having a sale on muffins tins!!! Clearly I was ecstatic! So I figured what a perfect time to make chocolate chip muffins! I decided on chocolate chip because we had all this chocolate in the house, and what better was is there to improve a Monday if it’s not with chocolate??


Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe:

Yields 12-18 muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, slightly melted

2 eggs, lightly beater

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 package of semi-sweet milk chocolate chips

*optional 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped.

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Grease 12 muffins cups.

3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.

4. In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended.

5. Make a well in center of dry ingredients.

6. Add milk mixture and stir just to combine.

7. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

8. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted into the center of a muffin and comes out clean.

10. Remove muffins and let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.

 

 

“Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals likes chocolate.” ~Sandra Boynton

Playing Catch-Up

Since I’ve only just begun this blog, delactableyou!, I want to include past recipes that I have tried and scrumptiously enjoyed! The first recipe is Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites.

I found the recipe on stumbleupon.com. If you have never heard of this site I really suggest that you check it out! Basically you create a profile for yourself in which you list all of your interests; the site than generates all these other websites for you to “stumble upon” that relate to the interests you listed. Anyways, back to the recipe!

I made these peanut butter pretzel bites on a summer day before my friends came over to hangout. They were the perfect quick snack to eat while we sat around in my kitchen. And who wouldn’t adore the salty/sweet contrast along with the peanut butter/ chocolate combination!! 🙂 Thanks to http://twotinykitchens.com/2011/02/23/peanut-butter-pretzel-bites/ for the recipe, but here it is slightly edited by my specifications 😉

Ingredients

1 cup creamy peanut butter (or a *little more, depending on how much you love peanut butter;), I used Jiff brand)

2 tbsp softened butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar (maybe more)

3/4 cup brown sugar (maybe more)

Pretzels

1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Combine peanut butter and softened butter in a stand mixer. Add the sugars and mix to combine. If the filling will roll easily into balls without sticking to your hands you’re ready to go. If not, add a little more of each sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll.

Use a teaspoon measure to scoop the filling. Roll each portion into a small ball, then sandwich them between two whole pretzels. When all the balls are rolled and successfully sandwiched, stick the whole tray in the freezer for about half an hour.

Pour the chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl and place over a boiling pot of water over medium/low heat. Remove the pretzel sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip each half-way into the melted chocolate. If you have more than one sheet tray filled, take out 1 at a time, otherwise the chocolate won’t stick to well to the sandwich. Return to the tray and repeat with remaining sandwiches. When all are dipped, return the tray to the freezer to set up completely. Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator until serving time.

“I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ” ~Jason Love