Sunday, March 14, 2010

Baking with Kids!

This past Wednesday I baked with my 4th grade CCD students. Thankfully 2 of the moms helped me, otherwise I would not have survived baking with 10 - 10 year olds! The reason for this madness was Operation Baking Gals. This is my second time doing this and I think this is a wonderful organization since I love to bake and now I can do it for a good cause. I hope the solider Tim and his friends enjoy the boxes of cookies and the cards that they made!

All the cookies packed and ready to go. Also, the cards that they made.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (recipe below)



1 cup shortening (I used butter)
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts ( I left the walnuts out)
1/2 cup golden raisins (I used regular raisins)


- In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine the oats, flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in walnuts and raisins.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Black and Whites AKA NY Cookies!

I am from New York and haven't lived there for over 11 years but I still miss the great food! A fantastic cookie from NY are the Black and Whites, I love these even though they are dryer then your normal cookie. When looking at recipes I learned that people actually called these NY Deli Cookies, who knew! For the office Cookie Swap I decided to go out of my comfort zone and to try a new cookie. Hey with a room full of guinea pigs I couldn't resist.

My first batch came out better then my second batch, when I tried to make them thicker and a little less dry they just came out huge and flat; sort of like a pancake. I got the recipe from All Recipes and part of the reason why I love that website are the comments from other bakers. Based on numerous recommendations I changed the original recipe and I think it came out pretty well. Next time I might change the chocolate a little bit but everyone loved them.



1 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt

Frosting: * You will halve the recipe for white and black frosting

6 Cups confectioners sugar
4 Tbsp light corn syrup (for consistency)
2 TBSP butter (for shine)
3 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/3 C. cocoa powder (recipe called for Dutch processed I used Hersheys)
Water for consistency


- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the milk, vanilla, and lemon extract. Combine cake flour and all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt; gradually blend into the creamed mixture.
-Take 1/4-1/3 of a cup of batter and drop them on the sheet. Take back of a spoon to swirl it into a nicely formed circle about 1" thick. Bake for about 11-14 minutes. Cool completely.
- Brush off all excess crumbs from bottom of each cookie. (over sink)

- Make frosting in 2 batches, white being first: 3 Cups confectioners sugar, 2 Tbsp light corn syrup, 1 TBSP butter, 1 1/2 tsp clear imitation vanilla extract, and enough hot water to achieve desired consistency. Mix with a wire whisk until smooth. Ice slightly over 1/2 of each cookie; you can spoon the icing and then use an offset spatula to ice) and let set until firm (approx. 20 mins.).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What to do with all of those cookies??

It's that time of year again! The time of year when you get suckered by cute little girls and buy more cookies then you ever need..........yup it is Girl Scout Cookie time!!!! I have a soft spot in my heart for Girl Scout cookies, I used to be a Girl Scout (I actually have my Gold Award). I was an extremely successfull cookie seller because when people told me that they couldn't buy them because they were on a diet I would tell them that they froze very well and they could have them after diet was over! OOOO how sweet I was!!

So now I am the one who is being suckered and I decided instead of sitting down with a box of Thin Mints and polishing them off in one sitting I would bake with them. So after doing a google search I found some great recipes, especially from the Girl Scouts of Kentuckania.

I am in love with this recipe, Mint Delight! It is fantastic and delicious - I actually froze it inorder to bring it into work and when it was frozen and defrosting it was good but once it defrosted it was AMAZING!! I was not a fan at first but after it was completely defrosted I totally was.

I am not a purist, to my mother's chagrin, and when I can I use low fat or reduced fat ingredients and it worked really well in this recipe. I forgot the recipe when I went into the store (not the first time and not the last time) and I had to guess the package sizes. I knew I needed the large box of chocolate pudding; however, the large size at the store was 5.9 oz and not 8 oz, it worked out well. Also, I wasn't sure how much cool whip I needed so I bought a large 12 oz and a smaller container. It was still frozen when I needed the first cup and I ended up using the large and a little bit of the second smaller container; however, I think if it was actually defrosted I could have gotten away with one.

This recipe is fantastic, it doesn't seem like it is going to work out when you are making it but as they say the proof is in the pudding!!

This is what it looked like frozen

(Source: the Girl Scouts of Kentuckania)


1 pkg. of Thin Mint cookies (crushed)
3 tbsp. butter or margarine (melted)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) softened cream cheese
2 pkgs. (5.9 oz. size) instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk
4 cups whipped topping


- Combine cookies with melted butter or margarine, (save ¼ cup of cookies for topping). Press cookie mixture on bottom of 13” x 9” pan. Chill.
- Combine cream cheese with 1 cup whipped topping. Spread over cookie mixture. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Prepare pudding with 3 cups of milk and pour over cream cheese mixture. Chill for 1 hour or until ready to serve.
- Top with remaining whipped topping and Thin Mint cookie crumbs. (I put this on top and let it sit in the freezer over nite)