Category Archives: Baked Goods

Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

The hubby and I recently saw Moonrise Kingdom this past weekend.  It was hysterical!  Wes Anderson’s movies are not for everyone (dry, sarcastic humor said in a serious tone), but I knew I’d love this movie since The Royal Tenenbaums and Life Aquatic were great and Bill Murray is one of the best actors ever.  I thought Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and especially Sam Shakusky (real name?) were also great in this movie.

What’s also great?  These Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies!  The vanilla flavor from the pudding really gives these cookies such a wonderful taste – the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and Reese’s Pieces help too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix, 1.34 oz.
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Reese’s Pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy.  Add in eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.  With a wooden spoon, stir in peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and Reese’s Pieces.
  4. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet, about 2″ apart.  Press down gently with the palm of your hand.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden.  Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking rack.  Yield: 3 dozen cookies

*Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

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Chocolate Potato Chip Cookies

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!!!  These Chocolate Potato Chip Cookies are delicious because they have potato chips and chocolate chips in them.  I know that sounds like a strange combo, but trust me when I say that they are amazing.  The salty from the potato chips and the sweetness from the chocolate chips really give these cookies a wonderful flavor that is sure to please everyone’s palate.  The hubby craves salty after dinner while I crave sweet so these cookies are the perfect after-dinner treat for both us.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup crush potato chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and potato chips.  With a cookie scoop, drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. C ool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield:  3 dozen cookies

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Blackberry Hand Pies

Guess what I did this past weekend????  I went blackberry picking!  Ok, maybe that’s not the coolest thing to do, but it’s fun and it supports our local farmers.  I read a Washingtonian article entitled 61 Hidden Gems.  One of the “Hidden Gems” was to go strawberry picking at Homestead Farms in Poolesville, MD.  Strawberry picking season is over in my neck of the woods, but blueberry and blackberry picking season isn’t!  For $2.49 a pound (not pint!), you can pick blueberries and/or blackberries.  That’s a great deal, so I decided to drive the 30 minutes out there – what a great drive through the Maryland countryside too!

I filled two large tupperware containers full and spent around $14 on 5.5 pounds of blackberries.  I froze the majority of my blackberries for smoothies and future backed goods.  I also set aside a small amount to eat throughout the week.  The last 2 cups were reserved for these Blackberry Hand Pies.  These hand pies are delicious and the perfect treat for a summer BBQ.  Enjoy and if you’re in the DC Metro area, I highly recommend the trip to Homestead Farms!

Pie Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chilled shortening (Crisco)
  • 7 tbsp. ice cold water
Filling:
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
Directions:
  1. In the bowl of  a stand mixer, beat flour, salt, butter, and shortening until crumbly.  Add cold water and mix until a ball forms.
  2. Divide the dough into two balls and wrap each one in plastic wrap.  Chill dough for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove dough from plastic wrap and roll out first round on a floured work surface with a lightly floured rolling pin.  Roll dough to a 12″ diameter.  Using a 4″ cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 6 dough rounds, re-rolling dough scrapes together to get 6 rounds.  Lay dough rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Repeat process with the second dough round.  Set aside the other 6 dough rounds on lightly floured surface.
  4. In a bowl, toss together the blackberries, cornstarch, cinnamon, sugar, and salt.  Divide the blackberries among the 6 dough rounds on the baking sheet.  With a pastry brush, dampen the edges of the first round with cold water and lay another dough round on top.  Gently press down the dough over the blackberries.  With the tines of a fork, press the outer edge of the two dough rounds together.  Repeat with the remaining 5 pies.
  5. Refrigerate the hand pies, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375.  Back the hand pies until they are golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack.  Serve warm.

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Peanut Butter Silk Cake

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!!  I did!  I was at home celebrating my Mom’s birthday with this amazing Peanut Butter Silk Cake that my sister and I baked.  This cake is amazing!  It’s semi-homemade because we used a yellow cake mix, but we doctored up the cake mix by adding peanut butter and made a homemade peanut butter filling and a chocolate frosting for the top and sides.  This cake was a huge hit served with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.  Who wouldn’t love this for their birthday?  I think my Mom and the rest of my family did!  

PS. June 12th is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day.  You should def make these in celebration:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pans) and generously grease bottoms of 2 (8- or 9-inch) round cake pans with shortening or cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, 1/2 cup peanut butter, the oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, boil, and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and refrigerate 10 minutes.
  5. In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream on high speed until soft peaks form and set aside. In another medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup peanut butter and the brown sugar mixture on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add whipped cream to peanut butter mixture and beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  6. Place one layer on a serving plate and spread peanut butter filling until smooth.  Place other cake layer on top and set aside.
  7. To make the chocolate frosting, microwave the chocolate in a small microwavable bowl until melted, about 1 minute. Cool 10 minutes.
  8. Beat the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in melted chocolate until well blended.
  9. Frost sides and top of cake with chocolate frosting. Press peanuts onto frosting on side of cake. Store covered in refrigerator.
*Adapted from Betty Crocker

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Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake

I didn’t really have a good reason to bake this Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake besides the fact that I saw it in a magazine and thought it looked scrumptious.  The original recipe was for blueberry coffee cake, but the lemon and blueberry combo is too delicious to ever turn down.  Most of the time, I bake with a purpose, meaning that I usually bake when there’s an event at work, a birthday party, a brunch, a big game on tv, etc.  However, sometimes I just get the urge to bake for the heck of it purely because I like to bake.  Maybe that’s crazy, but I think my family and friends appreciate it.  🙂

Baking is definitely one of my stress relievers, as is spending time with my family, working out, reading, drinking wine, etc.  And baking does not really require too many expensive ingredients – ok, don’t get me wrong, there are some expensive ingredients that I love to use like almond paste, anything with fig, nuts, etc.  But the pillars of baking (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, vegetable oil, shortening, etc.) are all relatively cheap and last for quite a while.  Baking is great!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
  • 4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 8-oz container plain, Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. milk (or additional for desired consistency)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. To make the topping, combine brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  3. In another small bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt and baking soda and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat granulated sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, vanilla, and 1/2 of a lemon’s juice and beat until combined.
  5. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and lemon zest and add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Beat until combined.  Beat in Greek yogurt mixture.
  6. Pour half of the batter in the pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with the blueberries and then half of the topping.  Pour the remaining batter over the layers and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with the remaining topping.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Meanwhile, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk until drizzling consistency (add more milk if necessary, 1 tsp. at a time).  Once cake has completely cooled, drizzle frosting over and enjoy!

*Adapted from Our Best Desserts

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Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars

This past weekend, my hubby and I were very productive and got a lot of things done, such as:
  • Fixed the lawn mower (thanks hubby)
  • BAKED these amazing Caramel Chocolate Chip Bars
  • Cut up the tree that fell in our backyard (thanks hubby)
  • Took my adorable niece swimming
  • Ate Wegmans subs with my sis and bro-in-law (love Danny’s Favorite)
  • Met awesome friends for dinner to eat fried pickles and fish tacos (delicious!)
Hope you had a wonderful weekend! PS. Make these bars… they are chewy and delicious! If you’ve never tried caramel bits before, I found mine at Target. They’re delicious and highly addicting. 🙂

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Caramel Bits

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine brown sugar and melted butter and mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until combined (use a spatula to scrape down the sides). With a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate and caramel chips.
  4. Spread batter in the prepared pan (wet your spatula to spread the batter out more easily). Bake about 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

*Adapted from Cooks.com

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Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies

I made these Peanut Butter Truffle Brownies for one of my co-worker’s birthdays last week.  Because I love peanut butter and chocolate, I figure everyone else has to… right?  I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, I do not like chocolate by itself.  Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting = gag; plain chocolate candy bar = whoof; chocolate molten lava cake = yawn.  However, when you throw peanut butter in the chocolate mix, things go from whoof to smiles.  Nothing says comfort food like a chewy brownie topped with peanut butter filling, chocolate ganache, and peanut butter chips.  This is a guilty pleasure, but we all deserve one sometimes!

What is your favorite guilty pleasure food?

Ingredients:

  • 1 box brownie mix & water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp milk
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan).  Grease bottom of 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray or shortening.  Make brownies as directed on box.  Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and milk on medium speed until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over brownie base.
  3. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and butter uncovered on High 30-60 seconds and stir until smooth. Cool 10 minutes and then spread over filling.  Sprinkle peanut butter chips over chocolate, pressing lightly to set.  Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until set.  Cut into squares and enjoy!

*Adapted from Betty Crocker

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Angel Food Bruschetta w/ Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

I hope everyone had a fantastic Mother’s Day weekend!  After my work visits to Toronto and Buffalo, I  stopped by my parents house to spend the weekend with them and to celebrate my mom’s special day.  This was a great visit because I was able to spend some quality time with my mom and dad and also see my two best friends.  I always wish that my visits were longer, but it just reminds me of how blessed I am to have such amazing people in my life, and it makes me look forward to my next visit with them.  🙂

Saturday evening my dad and I decided to cook my mom a special meal.  My mom has a huge rhubarb bush outside, so I decided to make this Angel Food Bruschetta w/Strawberry Rhubarb Compote.  I toasted the angel food cake and served this strawberry rhubarb compote on top.  It was light, delicious, and perfect for the season.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups 1/2-inch-wide pieces fresh rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, more for garnish
  • 1, circular angel food cake, cut into 8 wedges
  • Whipped cream or ice cream for topping

Ingredients:

  1. Combine rhubarb, sugar, water, and lemon zest in large saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.  Simmer gently until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in strawberries.  Transfer to a bowl, stir in mint, and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, cook cake wedges over medium-high heat 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted.  Turn to brown evenly. (I cooked 4 wedges at a time.)
  4. On a serving plate, place angel food wedge and spoon compote over.  Dollop whipped cream or ice cream on top and garnish with fresh mint.

*Adapted from Bon Appetit

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Blackberry Muffins w/Streusel Topping

 
Fresh berries are slowly but surely popping up at the markets!  While it’s still too early for fresh picked blackberries, I did see these organic blackerries at Trader Joe’s and could not resist.  It’s been a while since I’ve made muffins, so I decided the perfect breakfast treat would be Blackberry Muffins with Streusel Topping.  There’s something about brown sugar and blackberries that tastes so delicious when paired together.  These muffins are no exception!  In other news, Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mamas out there!  Happy Mother’s Day to my own mama, my sister (her first Mother’s Day!), Grandma L., Nana, Mama Leone, and all my aunts!!!!  Truly blessed to have such amazing women in my life 🙂
 
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen blackberries, unthawed
Directions:
  1. Preheat an oven to 375°F.  Grease 12 standard muffin cups with butter or butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the first four ingredients.  Set aside.
  3.  To make the muffins, in a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, lemon zest and salt.  Make a well in the center and add the egg, melted butter, and milk (the batter will be slightly lumpy).  Gently fold in the blackberries with a rubber spatula just until evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes.  Try not to break up the blackberries.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each a bit above the rim of the cup.  Top each muffin with the streusel topping, dividing it evenly (the sugar will melt and produce a glaze effect).
  5. Bake until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.  Unmold the muffins and serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield:  12 muffins

*Adapted from William Sonoma

 

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Buffalo Chip Cookies

Don’t ask me where the name “Buffalo Chip Cookies” comes from because I have no clue.  My mom told me about these cookies via her friend who couldn’t stop eating them at an office party.  My mom’s friend is an awesome baker and she was able to get the recipe from her coworker, so I knew that these cookies were definitely up-to-snuff.  These cookies are basically the kitchen sink of cookies – they have chocolate chips, corn flakes, oats, coconut, and I added peanut butter chips.  I also halfed the recipe and still came out with 4 dozen cookies, but if you want to feed a football team or an office, then definitely use the original recipe.  These are delicious so enjoy!
PS.  I find it very ironic that about 2 days after I made these cookies, I found out that I had to travel to Toronto and BUFFALO for work.  Ironic or the power of the Buffalo Chip Cookie?

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup corn flakes
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

 Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line  several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, oats, corn flakes, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and coconut and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until creamy.  Add the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.  With a cookie scoop, place cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet about 1-1.5″ apart.  Press down slightly with the palm of your hand.  Bake 13-15 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom.  Allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.

Yield:  4 dozen

*Adapted from Cooks.com

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