Thursday, May 29, 2008

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies

I wanted to bake the other day but only had 1/2 a bag of chocolate chips and 1/2 a bag of butterscotch chips so I decided to combine them and make some delicious cookies. I wasn't sure if they were going to be too sweet - my officemates said they were a little sweet but it didn't stop them from devouring them! It's always a good sign when the container shows up on your desk empty with a post it note that says "Please refill!"


2 Sticks of butter
3/4 C. Sugar
3/4 C. Brown Sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
12 oz chips (in this recipe 6 oz of Butterscotch chip and 6 oz. Chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together. Then add the eggs and vanilla and mix. Next add the flour and baking soda. Finally add the chips.

I use an ice cream scoop so they are moundy but you can use a big spoonfull of dough. Bake them for 8 minutes then check them, possibly need an extra 2 minutes. Let them cool and enjoy!

These cookies come out very soft unfortunately they stuck together because I stacked them when they were still a little warm but they were still delicious!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Onesie Cookies - Baby Shower Favors

For the baby shower that I made the Onesie cake for I also made Onesie Sugar Cookies that were the favors and we packaged them with M&Ms on the bottom so they would stand up in the basket. They were a big hit!

One of the things that my friend and I loved about the cookies was how well they came out. We used this great decorating method and here are the step by step instructions.
  • Roll out your cookie dough. Then using a cookie cutter cut out the shapes.
  • Remove the cookie impression from the dough.
  • Bake your cookies according to your recipes directions and let cool completely on a rack before decorating.
  • Make a batch of royal icing, thick enough to hold it’s shape when piped. Fill a decorating bag about a 1/3 full with Royal Icing. Tint with desired color or leave white. Fit with tip # 2 or 3.
  • Squeeze, while outlining the edge of the cookie. After outlining the entire edge, stop at the edge of the beginning line, touch and lift This is called the dam or seam.
  • Take the icing that you will use to fill in the center of your outline, add a little water to it. It needs to have a streaming not runny consistency.
  • Fill the outline in with the thinned icing, using a spoon or squeeze bottle. Be generous With a spoon gently push the icing into the corners and at the points.
  • Allow the icing to dry for at least 2 hours. After your cookie has had time to dry, you can add additional decorations or writing on your creation.

I had some extra sugar extra cookies so we dipped them in chocolate and served them at the shower!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cheesecake Pops - Daring Bakers Challenge

Part of the reason why I decided to do a blog was because of the Daring Bakers Challenge. Their challenge last month was Cheesecake Pops and this recipe intrigued me and although I wasn't officially part of the challenge I still made them and my office mates loved them......After the recipe are some of my thoughts about them! Enjoy!!

The Recipe

Makes 30 – 40 Pops
5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
Boiling water as needed
Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks
1 pound chocolate, finely chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white (Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer coating, confectionery coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not impossible)
Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies, crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Set some water to boil.

In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.

Grease a 10-inch cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops, uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.

When the cheesecake pops are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.
Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.

Quickly dip a frozen cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely. Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.

Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

Some Thoughts:

  • I used a combination of reduced fat and 1/3 less fat cream cheese and it still came out delicious

  • I could not find a 10 inch pan so I ended up using a 9 in. pan which meant I had left over batter - I poured the batter into a mini muffin pan and made a few mini cheesecakes - that were also delicious!

  • I brought them to work and as they defrosted the sticks came out - I need to work on a way for the sticks to stay in better; however, the chocolate stayed hard so next time I might just do a bon bon form - which my office mates/guinea pigs said would be delicious as well!

  • I made my chocolate in batches in the microwave - pretty easy just make sure that the chocolate doesn't burn!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

First Post First Baby Shower Cake!

For my first post I thought it was fitting that I wrote about the first cake I decorated for real. I am not one of the most creative people but I can bake well so I figured I would give it a chance and make a delicious cake that hopefully looked well for my officemate's shower. I made a Onesie Cake that was a Chocolate Chip Cake with a Buttercream Frosting.

To make the Onesie Cake - make your favorite cake in a 9x13 in. pan. After it cools cut the bottom into triangles and then add them onto the top so that the triangular cutouts from the bottom make the sleeves. I also made a slight indent on the top to get the collar look.

I have to work on my decorating skills but everyone loved it and it was definitely a different type of cake!