Tag Archives: baking

Chocolate Gooey Marshmallow Cookies

Hey everyone. Hope you are all having a great weekend. Mine has been both relaxing and fun. Alex got tickets to the bulls game from work on Friday night. Last minute sporting event? I’m in! It was a great game and a bulls win! Love my Chicago sports.

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Saturday was spent being lazy around the house for the most part. I did go shopping with my sister and out for lunch. It was absolutely beautiful outside and we had wanted to get our first Black Dog Gelato of the year but they didn’t open until 2pm and it was only noon. Instead we went to a fabulous little boutique to look for bridal shower and rehearsal dinner dresses. This place is awesome and I left with two beautiful dresses. I cannot wait to wear them. Since we didn’t get our gelato, Amanda and I went next door to Frasca for a pizza and skillet cookie out on their patio. It is so nice to see the outdoor seating areas open. Everywhere was packed outside.

Today was spent cleaning up the house. I am in full out spring cleaning mode. Our front door/steps area was driving me insane. There were pine needles from our Christmas tree, sand from last summer, and leaves everywhere. Not to mention all the dirt, salt and everything else dragged in all winter long. This area is cut off from the rest of our apartment so it was easy to ignore by closing our inside front door but with the nice weather today I wanted to tackle this problem. I swept all the way down then hand scrubbed each of the steps to get off all the grossness. It is amazing how different it looks. I should have taken a before and after picture! Alex helped me clean up the inside of the house. There is nothing better than starting the week with a nice clean house.

To celebrate the nice weather and our hard work cleaning (aka I was looking for an excuse), I decided to make some cookies. I love anything chocolate and marshmallows are currently my obsession. I was perusing pinterest and found a recipe for rocky road cookies. It sounded good but I didn’t love the recipe so I made my own. I have these delicious cookies to share with you today. I could not wait to share this recipe with you. They are chocolately, gooey, soft, delicious. I could keep going but I won’t. Feel free to adapt to what you have. Add peanut butter chips instead of chocolate. Don’t have one of the nuts, use what you have! Don’t like nuts? Leave them out. Don’t leave out the marshmallows though. They make this cookie what it is. They melt down into almost a burnt caramel flavor and stay gooey at the same time. Just try it.

I started by creaming 2 sticks of butter, 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar in my stand mixer. Then the eggs were added one by one and the vanilla extract with the second egg.

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Then I whisked together 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour with 1 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda and 1/2 cup cocoa powder. This was gradually added to my butter mixture until combined. Note that this dough is very sticky and takes a bit of effort to combine well. Once the flour is all in, mix in 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup nuts (I used almonds and walnuts), and 1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows. I mixed this with my hands because it wouldn’t incorporate well with the mixer.

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Then I rolled the dough into about 2 Tbsp balls or about the size of a ping pong ball. Make them bigger or smaller as you would like. These do not spread out a lot in the oven so you can put them relatively close together.

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Bake for 13 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let sit on the cookie sheets for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

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Chocolate Gooey Marshmallow Cookies (Makes ~3 dozen cookies)

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or sub all purpose flour)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 sticks salted butter

1/2 cup granulate white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts (i used almonds and walnuts)

1 1/4 cup mini marshmallows

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream room temperature butter and both sugars together

2. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating well before adding the second. Add the vanilla extract

3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter, mixing well to combine.

5. Once all the flour is combined, add in the chocolate chips, nuts, and marshmallows. Mix together.

6. Roll into 2 Tbsp balls (about the size of a ping pong ball)

7. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets and bake for 13-14 minutes

8. Remove from oven, let sit for 2-3 minutes before moving the cooling racks to cool completely.

9 Store in an airtight container. Or eat them all right away. Sharing with friends is optional

I hope you all enjoy these cookies as much and Alex and I did. We could not stop eating them fresh out of the oven. Some are getting sent with him to work tomorrow to get them out of the house. Let me know what you think when you make the cookies.

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Beer Braised Chicken and Pumpkin Muffins

Yeah looking at that title I might run the other way. They don’t sound like they would go well together but that’s okay because they weren’t for the same meal time!

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Yesterday my co-worker Kelly and I are were charge of snack for our monthly staff meeting. I have been dying to break into a can of pumpkin and offered to make some pumpkin walnut muffins. Kelly put together some caramel dipped apple slices. Obviously we went for a bit of a fall theme here. The muffins were a huge hit and my co-workers couldn’t believe I had just “thrown them together” without a real recipe. Lucky for you guys I wrote down the recipe as I went.

For dinner, I threw together an extremely easy make it and leave it dish. Beer braised chicken thighs. Aldi had chicken thighs on sale and I picked some up because I was there for there all things pumpkin sale. This was another sort of tag-team dinner as I went to yoga with my sister. I prepped everything and cooked it all so all Alex had to do when he got home from his run was turn off the stove and he could eat whenever he wished. He was a great fiance and waited until I got home from yoga so that we could eat together. Pretty cute of him.

To make the muffins I mixed two types of sugar (granulated and brown sugar) with whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spices in my KitchenAid mixer.

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In a small bowl I mixed 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz), eggs, greek yogurt and vanilla extract

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Then the wet got mixed into the dry and mixed together. Once just combined I added in the walnuts and mixed it together before spooning the mix into the muffin tins. The muffins got baked at 350 for about 30 minutes.

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Pumpkin Walnut Muffins (Makes 26+ muffin depending on how high you fill the tins)

3 C whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 C granulated sugar

1/2 C packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp all apice

dash cloves

1 can pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 C greek yogurt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Mix first 9 ingredients together until well combined

2. Mix last 4 ingredients together and combine well

3. Mix the wet into the dry until just combined then add in the walnuts. Stir a couple of times to distribute the walnuts

4. Spoon into muffin tins until about 2/3 full.

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes

Nutrition Facts per Muffin: 160 calories, 28 gm carbs, 3 gms fiber, 16 gm sugar, 4 gm protein, 4 gm fat (heart healthy ones!), 4% DV calcium, 6% DV Iron

Expect more pumpkin recipes over the next few months. I have two more cans in my cabinet right now and I would love to get even more! Love me some pumpkin. Also, apologies in advance as Alex and I are sharing a computer right now (his broke) which means less time for me to blog. Hopefully he will have a computer again soon.

What is your favorite way to use pumpkin? Any recipes you want to see this fall?

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Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

As you know from previous posts, I recently went to a Zumbathon to raise money to send an 11 year old boy with cancer to Disney. I talked to my instructor about a week before the event asking if there were any treats I should make for the bake sale portion of the event. She mentioned that there were some people with allergies (celiac, wheat, dairy) coming. I decided that I would make a couple of gluten free treats. I made these cookies subbing almond butter for the peanut butter. I searched for some brownie ideas.

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Mom had made some black bean brownies last week but something just wasn’t right with the recipe. I took it and tweaked it. I healthified it just a little bit. A couple of kids at the event ate them and loved them! They didn’t even know they were made with black beans and applesauce!

I took a 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed, 1/2 cup applesauce, 2/3 cup white sugar, 1/3 stevia in the raw, 3 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract,  1/2 cup of cocoa powder and about 1 Tbsp brewed coffee (cooled) and blended it all up in the food processor until smooth. The reason I used both sugar and stevia is because I am not a fan of the after taste of the stevia but wanted to cut the calories of the brownies down a little bit. I find using the above ratio of sugar to stevia I cannot taste the stevia but the brownies were plenty sweet.

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I put parchment paper in my pan to make it easier to take the brownies out and cut them. You don’t have to do this but I found it easiest since I didn’t want to kill the brownies taking them out. I took a piece of parchment paper and cut it down to the size of my pan. I sprayed cooking spray onto the pan itself and placed the parchment paper on top. This helps keep it in place.

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Once the paper was down, the batter was poured in and topped with some chocolate chips.

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Let’s take a minute and discuss the fatal flaw of my mom’s food processor. You cannot take the bowl off of base unless you take the blade off. But, the middle hole is really short. Therefore, I lost quite a bit of my brownie batter to the base/hole. Someone didn’t think this through while creating this food processor.

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The brownies were baked at 375 F for about 30 minutes. I took them out and let them sit for about 20 minutes until they were cool enough to pull out. I sliced them into 12 brownies.

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The brownies were packaged into two packages of 4 and a package of 3. The last brownie went in my belly. Had to make sure they tasted good! These are a rich, fudgy brownie just the way I like them. I, also, boxed up my almond butter cookies in some cute containers I found at a craft store.

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Gluten-free Black bean Brownies (makes 12)

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

3 eggs

2/3 cup white sugar plus 1/3 cup stevia in the raw (you can use all white sugar or other sugar substitute per your choice)

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 Tbsp brewed coffee (optional)

2-3 Tbsp chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven 375 F

2. Combine all but the chocolate chips into a food processor and process until smooth. It will be a little runny, don’t worry it’ll cook up firm and fudgy

3. Prep an 8×8 pan with parchment paper (optional). If not using parchment paper, spray the pan with cooking spray or other greasing method

4. Pour batter into the pan, top with chocolate chips, and bake for 25-3o minutes until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out clean

5. Cut into squares and enjoy

Nutrition Facts per brownie (1/12 pan): 136 calories, 3 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams protein

Pretty awesome nutrition stats for a brownie!

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And So It Begins: Christmas Baking

For Christmas each year we usually “adopt” a child off the tree at my church. Unfortunately we missed the bus this year. Instead, we were able to adopt a senior through a program at my dad’s work at Walgreens. We picked out a little 86 year old woman who wanted a gift basket with cookies, candy, and makeup. Mom and I decided to make some of our family’s 8 trick butter cookies. These are our traditional Christmas cookies. We have made them every year for as long as I remember. Our true holiday baking day is this coming Saturday in which we will spend a good 4-8 hours baking hundreds of 8 trick butter cookies and kolacky.

True to it’s name, these cookies can be made in at least 8 different ways. We tend to roll it out and cookie cut them with Christmas shapes and decorate them with sprinkles. For the sake of time, we made the dough, rolled it into balls, pressed into sprinkles and then pressed down. They turned out pretty tasty. Definitely tasted a little different and had a different texture than I’m used to but still delicious. 20121215_154749

We packaged them into a pretty Christmas tin (and had enough for some presents for someone else). I am still making the basket but will post it on here before we send it off with my dad.

8 Trick Butter Cookies

1 C room temp butter

1 1/2 C sifted powder sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 C sifted flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp salt

1. Beat butter and sugar together.

2. Once light and fluffy, add one egg. Beat well

3. Add vanilla

4. Mix flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together.

5. Add in 1/3 of flour to butter mixture, mix well. Continue to add flour in thirds until well incorporated

6. Transfer dough onto saran wrap. Form into a block and refrigerate overnight (at least 2 hours). The cookies do not hold their shape as well if you do not refrigerate overnight.

7. Next day, preheat oven to 400 degrees

8. you can roll out to 1/4 in thickness and cut with cookie cutters or take 1 Tbsp balls and flatten to a little thicker than 1/4 inch.

9. Decorate with sprinkles, keep plain, add sugar.

10. Bake 4-6 minutes until lightly browned around the edges. Do not overcook!

Store in air tight container/tins.

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