Monday, October 14, 2013

Chocolate Halloween Sandwich Cookies!

Today I made some cookies so you can start getting in the Halloween spirit! They are Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with an orange filling, and they are not only tasty but festive also!

Chocolate Halloween Sandwich Cookies
(loosely adapted from BH and G)
3 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
pinch Salt
1 cup Butter
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tablespoon Vanilla

Frosting 
(Antonia74 Royal Icing)
6 ounces Warm Water
5 tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
2.25 pounds of Confectioners Sugar

Mix together your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, 
baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar, 
until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined
Add the flour mixture, and mix together. 
Take dough and divide into pieces. Roll out between wax paper.
Freeze pieces in the freezer overnight.
 Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Take 1 frozen piece of dough out of the freezer at a time.
Cut out the outside circle with your cutter. 
Then cut out your inside design.
Reroll scraps of dough, and refreeze for 30 minutes.
Cut a back and a front for each cookie.
Bake for 8 minutes. Let completely cool.
Make your frosting:
   Pour warm water in a bowl and add the meringue powder.
         Mix with a whisk by hand until it is frothy-about 30 seconds.

 Add the cream of tartar and whisk for 30 seconds more. 

Pour all the confectioner's sugar into the bowl.
Mix together on low speed for 10 minutes.

Place some of the frosting in a small bowl and color it orange.
Put the remainder of the frosting into a bowl and cover to prevent drying.
If the frosting is too thick, thin with water, a tiny amount at a time.
Using a small knife or an offset spatula spread the frosting
onto the solid cookie base.
Place the top of the cookie gently over the frosting.

If you make these cookies I would love to hear about them!
I know you will enjoy them!
 Happy Halloween!!!











Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Mini Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting

This Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Mini Cake is the perfect and tasty way to celebrate fall. Topped with Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkles, they are a great way to round out a dinner party or family get together.
 Today is one of my favorite days of the month! It is the day we reveal our desserts for The Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge This month our two ingredients are pumpkin and cream cheese~Yum, Yum!!

Chocolate Pumpkin Mini  Cakes
w/Cream Cheese Frosting
2 Eggs-room temperature
2 1/2 cups  Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
pinch of Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
15 oz. of Pumpkin
1/3 cup Milk
1 cup Sugar
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
3/4 cup Shortening
2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup semisweet Chocolate Chips

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3-4 tablespoons Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, mix together your flour, baking soda,
cinnamon, salt and cloves.
In another bowl, combine your pumpkin and milk.
Set both bowls to the side.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the eggs,sugar, brown sugar,
shortening, and vanilla. Blend on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
After the 2 minutes, switch your mixer speed to low. 
Alternately add your flour mix and then your pumpkin 
mixture to your egg mixture.
Divide your batter in half.
Pour the semisweet chips into a bowl and microwave
on full power for 1-2 minutes. Stir every 30 seconds.

Stir the melted chocolate into 1/2 of the batter.


Divide 1/2 of the pumpkin batter between the
prepared pans.

Spoon the chocolate batter over the pumpkin batter.
Spoon the remaining pumpkin batter over the chocolate
batter, and swirl with a toothpick to marble the batter.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until checked with a toothpick.
Beat your cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in
powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla, and add milk to
gain the correct consistency. Remember you will be piping the icing,
so it should be thick.
Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool completely.
Pipe the cream cheese frosting over your cakes.
Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.
Enjoy!!

Here's what everyone else made:

Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge



The Freshman Cook is partying here:
Church Supper



Monday, October 7, 2013

Apple Harvest Bars

I made these luscious Apple Harvest Bars as a gift for a special friend of the family. They are full of apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, pecans and they are just, oh so good. I was looking to send a gift that said "Autumn", but I wanted a little change from my usual baked goods. These Apple Harvest Bars are exactly what I was looking for!

Apple Harvest Bars
Crust
11/2  cup Flour
1/3 cup Sugar
11/2 teaspoons Cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon Salt
 1/2 cup Butter
2 tablespoons Apple Cider

Apple Mix 
4 cups peeled, chopped Apples
1 large Egg
11/2 cups sour Half and Half
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Topping
1/2 cup Flour
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup chopped Pecans

~Set your oven at 350 degrees. Use a 13X9" pan.
To make the crust, mix together the flour, sugar,
 cinnamon, and salt.
Cut in 1/2 cup of the cold Butter with a pastry blender or use 2 forks.
To cut in you should cut the stick of butter into very small pieces.
Then mix in the butter until the pieces become very small,
 and your mix resembles cornmeal.
Add your apple cider and mix together.
Press the crust mixture into your pan.
Evenly cover the bottom. Set aside.
Peel, core, and chop your apples.
 The pieces should be bite size.
Mix together the egg, sour half and half, vanilla, lemon juice,
sugar, flour and salt. Mix at medium speed until combined.
Add apples and stir thoroughly.
Spread over the crust.
Bake for 30 minutes.
While the bars are baking, we will put the topping together.
Mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Cut in your butter, just as you did when you made your crust.
Chop your pecans, and add to your mix.
Put the topping in the fridge until your crust
 and apple filling are finished cooking for the 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the topping over the filling, and bake for 10-15 minutes more.
Remove from oven and cool for 45 minutes.

Cut into 20-30 bars.
Store in refrigerator.
Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!
I hope you make these yummy bars. You will love them!!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Oatmeal Caramel Cookies!

One of my favorite cookies in the world are Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. I love 'em! But for some reason I tend to think about making them in the fall. I think it has something to do with comfort food, and to me, oatmeal raisin cookies are the ultimate comfort food! But today, I thought you might enjoy a little change so I traded out the raisins for some nice, creamy, caramel bits! I think you are going to enjoy this tasty combination! I also drizzled some fall colors over these cookies to help you celebrate the spirit of the season!!
Oatmeal Caramel Cookies
1/2 cup + 6 tablespoons softened Butter
3/4 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 cups Quick Cooking Oats
1 1/2 cups Caramel Bits
Orange, Yellow and Green Frosting
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
 In a separate bowl, mix together your flour, baking soda,  and cinnamon.
Add oatmeal and mix well.
Add caramel bits and mix together with a spoon and spatula.
Place rounded tablespoons of dough onto your cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Let cool.
Make your frosting.
Squiggle frosting over your cookies.
Let dry.
Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today!



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Individual Apple Crisp~Brought to You by Fall!

Fall is definitely my favorite season, and I am excited that it is just around the corner. When I saw that this month's 2 ingredients for The Behind The Curtain Dessert Challenge were apples and cinnamon I knew I had to make my favorite fall dessert~Apple Crisp! This recipe is quick and simple and comes together in no time.
And it smells awesome!!
Apple Crisp!

7 Granny Smith Apples
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 tablespoons Water
3/4 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1/4 cup Butter, cold

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel your apples.
Slice your apples and dice into small pieces.
Sprinkle the lemon juice and water over the apple pieces.
Toss a couple times.
Mix together your brown sugar, flour, oats, and cinnamon.
Take your butter and slice off small pieces and add to your bowl.
Mix together thoroughly.
Place apples in each of your tins.
Cover your apples with the crisp mixture.
Make it heaping, even more than you see here.
The apples cook down a lot.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Don't they look great?
See what I mean about how much the apples cook down.
Top with your favorite vanilla ice cream, and sprinkle
with cinnamon.
Enjoy!
Thanks for joining me today!
Check out what everyone else in the group made:


Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It's Holly's Birthday, But The Gifts Are For You!

Help us celebrate with Holly from Happy Food Healthy Life. 
Happy 30th!
 Well, here we are. The big Three-Oh! Have I been dreading it? I go back and forth between not caring and kicking-and-screaming. My twenties have been full of so many awesome experiences. To name just a few:

* the birth of my son
* finding and honoring my true self
* meeting the love of my life
* recoverying from a long battle of disordered eating
* marrying Tiffani
* travelling to my favorite city (Seattle) and deciding to one day move there
* finding my passion in blogging, baking, and helping others
* making the decision to expand our family with another little one (a journey that will continue into my thirties)

Happy Food Healthy Life's 30th Birthday Giveaway! Your chance to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and Target cash as well!

There have been so many memories in my twenties, and I am sad to say goodbye to this decade, but I look forward to what is to come in the next ten years. And I'm excited to celebrate this big day with YOU!! This little corner of the internet wouldn't be here without YOU all, and because of that, I'm going to celebrate by giving one lucky reader a 5-Quart Kitchenaid and a $100 Target gift card.

Honestly, I couldn't live without my 5-quart KitchenAid Mixer, and I know many of my friends who feel the same way. Whether it's to whip up a batch of cookies, knead my favorite pizza dough, or ensure that my arm doesn't fall off when whipping egg whites for what seems like a billion minutes. My KitchenAid makes everything easier! I'm so thrilled to be giving one of you a KitchenAid of your own. And you get to pick the color (of the colors shown above). I got the red mixer after I got married, but which I had one of every color to suit my mood! And the Target gift card... I don't think any explanation is necessary here. Everyone loves Target and ends up wishing they had more Target-bucks to spend when they just went in for laundry detergent and came out with a cart full of $1 items, cute shoes, and holiday decor. Let me help you out with that!

Actually, I've got a few friends that are going to help you out! I have some awesomely supportive blogging friends who wanted to join in the fun and help me celebrate my big thirtieth. About 30 of us are getting together to bring you these awesome prizes for my birthday. I'm all about letting you win on my birthday.... seriously, let's take the focus and attention off of me and divert it to you as a potential new KitchenAid owner!

Pretty please go visit all of my friends pages and show them the support they deserve! Heck, they are as big of a part of this giveaway as I am! I couldn't have done any of this without them. Many of them have gotten me through this last week, as rough as it's been, and literally made this giveaway possible. Without many wonderful blogging friends, I may just be slumped in a big pile of sadness on my 30th birthday. So thank you. To my blogging friends. To you all. Thanks for making my birthday possible.

Thank you for celebrating Thirty with me!