Ever since Mr. Reese came up with the idea to pair peanut butter with chocolate, this taste sensation has become an All American favorite (except for my friend Gigi who hates peanutbutter!)... so when i saw this recipe for Peanut Butter Munchies i couldnt wait to try it out! These cookies bake up nice and moist with a rich peanut butter center, perfect with a big glass of milk. Each of these cookies is about 2 1/2 inches wide so they arent really large cookies which is good because they are kind of rich. I made the peanut butter centers the night before to save me some time. I just rolled them up (used a small melon baller scoop) and put them in a tupperware container. The next day i mixed up the chocolate cookie dough and scooped some out (used a 1 1/2 scoop) into the palm of my hand and flattened it out. Next i placed the peanut butter ball in the center and kind of wrapped it up in the chocolate dough then rolled it round. For the tops i used raw sugar instead of granulated sugar to get a more sparkly look and some extra crunch. This recipe is part of the Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cookie Collection and would be a terrific treat any time of the year. Enjoy!
I really like carrot cake! Its always so moist and flavorful, plus i can try to fool myself into thinking its "healthy" because of the carrots and raisins! When i came across this recipe for Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies i knew i had to give 'em a try! I followed the recipe but added a few twists: i soaked the raisins in some vanilla infused bourbon left over from Christmas Cocktails (thanks Jaron!) for a little extra flavor. And when i whipped up the cream cheese frosting i used the left over vanilla bourbon instead of vanilla extract. I also added about 1/4 tsp of salt in the frosting as well for a little contrast. The recipe says to use a small scoop for the dough but i like BIG cookies so i used a medium scoop for mine. I also cooked them long enough to really get a nice crispy edge. The cookies turned out soft and moist with that nice crunchy edge and paired perfectly with the creamy filling! Yum! It really is like a delicious mini-carrot cake. I think the Easter Bunny would love these!
I bought a Madeline pan a long time ago and then promptly forgot about it... until i came across this delicious recipe in a Martha Stewart Magazine for Lemon Madelines. The batter is easy to whip up, just remember to use cake flour and to let the batter rest for 30 minutes before baking. I used a small scoop to evenly portion the batter into each mold then i shook the pan a little to spread the batter out. I cooked them a little longer that recommended to create a little more brown crispy edge. They are light little lemony cakes, perfect for serving with tea! Enjoy! p.s. i tried to copy the way Martha has her cookies displayed on the website for this photo!
Following my lemon trend, i decided to try Lemon Squares this week. The recipe is very simple, quick and results in moist, lemony-sweet bars with a buttery rich crust on the bottom. When pressing the dough mixture into the bottom of the dish, my dad came up with the idea of using a metal cake server to really press the dough down. It came out perfectly pressed and even! After they finished cooking i let them cool completely before dusting them lightly with powdered sugar and then used a pizza cutter to cut out perfectly shaped bars. Not one fell apart! They bake up to a pretty light yellow color. Try these for yourself!
Continuing on with the Lemon Theme, i decided to make some Meyer Lemon Scones. This recipe is very simple and you could easily substitue regular lemons for Meyer Lemons. The simple lemon glaze spooned on the hot scones adds an extra tart lemoney layer (i heated my glaze on the stove to create more of a thick simple syrup). For a decorative touch I added a sprinkling of yellow sanding sugar for some color and a little sweet crunch. When i served these to my friends Annette and Lisa, i split each scone in half and spooned a hefty dollop of Lemon Curd in between the two pieces to create a delicious lemon treat. Try them for yourself!
If you decide to make the Lemon Cake recipe below, you might want to give one of the two loafs to a friend. Instead of using plain waxed-paper I covered the cake above in a Pink Polka-Dotted Wax-Paper Wrap and tied it up with a pretty pink bow. I made the waxed-paper wrap myself (got the idea from Martha Stewart!) and you can too! Here's what you will need and instructions:
• Colored Tissue Paper (i used pink) • Waxed Paper on the roll • Craft Punch (i used a circle) • Ironing Board & Iron • Paper Towels
Fold the colored tissue paper in half three times forming several layers. Use the craft punch to punch out your designs. Cover the surface of the ironing board with paper towels, place a sheet of waxed paper (big enough to wrap your cake) onto the paper towels. Arrange your tissue paper cutouts on the waxed paper and cover with another sheet of waxed paper the same size. Cover with paper towels and run an iron set to medium heat lightly over the layers to set. Start from the center and work outward to keep the paper smooth. When finished, wrap your cake and tie with a pretty ribbon!
We've got lemons! LOTS of lemons, actually Meyer Lemons, so i decided to do an all-lemon weekend. Today i baked two loaves of Lemon Cake with fresh lemon juice and zest. I added a little lemoncello to my glaze and to the simple syrup that soaks into the cakes for an extra lemony kick. Next i cooked up a double batch of fresh Lemon Curd. The cake and the lemon curd go great together. The cake has a dryer more crumbly texture and the curd adds a perfect amount of creamy moist tartness... of course the lemon curd is good with just a spoon too! I made a double batch of curd because this freezes wonderfully. I can have it on hand to fill cupcakes or cookies or just spoon over ice cream! Terrific during the summer when the lemons are long gone! You can also fold the lemon curd into whipped cream for a light-lemony frosting.....This Lemon Cake recipe makes two loaves, one for yourself and one for a good friend...