Guilty Feels Like… I Haven’t Baked Anything New In A While.

I’m feeling horribly guilty about not having posted anything new in (what feels like) forever. I’ve been kind of unmotivated…

well, that’s not true…

I’ve done a lot of baking. But it’s been all repeat stuff and some experimenting.

So here’s a little rundown of what’s been happening in my kitchen!

1. I made my favorite Chocolate Banana Bread into “2 bite muffins”. Then I froze them so I wouldn’t eat every single one. I just took one or 2 out of the freezer and microwaved them for 15 seconds.

2. I made my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies. I used Kahlua in them, and substituted the sugars with artificial sweetener blends. Then I scooped them with a large cookie scoop and flash froze them. After they chilled in the freezer, I bagged them in a Ziploc freezer bag. I baked them at the same temperature as the original recipe, but for a minute or 2 longer. These cookies are kind of problematic… the bottoms got pretty dark and crispy while the tops/ middles stayed underdone. I think this is because I used a big cookie scoop, they were frozen when I baked them, and the artificial sweetener. They’re still pretty delish.

3. I also made my favorite Sugar Cookies. I wanted to lighten them up a little bit so I used the artificial sweetener blend and Egg Beaters. Overall the cookies are OK. They taste a little bit too much like artificial sweetener and they got stale pretty quick. If you eat them the same day it should be a big deal… 3 days later, and you’ll be eating stale sugar cookies. 😦 I’ve noticed that when I use artificial sweeteners I end up baking the cookies for a few minutes less then I would when I use regular sugars.

4. I made Royal Icing with meringue powder (instead of egg whites). I had a little trouble getting it to the right thickness… I had to keep adding water (a teaspoon at a time), until eventually I gave up and left it a little too thick. I’m planning on trying again, and then posting a recipe. I liked it because it dried waaaaaay faster than the icing I usually use for my sugar cookies!

5.  I had some leftover heavy cream in the fridge and I didn’t want it to go to waste. So I made THESE scones… except I used Kahlua. And then I made another batch of those scones (with Kahlua) but I used Egg Beaters, artificial sweetener blend, and substituted half of the AP flour with whole wheat flour. Overall… the “healthier” scones tasted ALMOST as good as the regular ones!

6. I started my New 2 Me Cooking Challenge for 2015! But I’m doing it different this year. I’m pretty excited about it, but I haven’t worked out all the kinks, so we’ll see what happens!

Happy Baking!
-Holly

PB Chocolate Scones!!

I adapted this recipe from Brown Eyed Baker for Easter brunch last Sunday.

The grocery store was out of small containers of whole milk so I substituted Half N Half (that we keep in the house for our coffee). My dough was pretty sticky, and I think this might be the reason why.

I switched out the kinds of chocolate and added some peanut butter chips… because, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter together!? The next time I make these I think I’m going to chop up some Reese’s Cups!

I also varied (does that word work?) from the original recipe when it was time to add the wet ingredients. The entire original recipe was done in the food processor, but mine isn’t big enough. I’m kind of kicking myself for not buy the bigger/ more expensive food processor. ;| live & learn.

Like I said before my dough was sticky. Kneading it a few times on the counter (dusted w/ flour) helped.

Overall these stayed moist and they’re dense but not too heavy. They also make a great “snack” with a cup of coffee in the afternoon.  Not that I need an excuse to eat extra chocolate throughout the day. 😉

Hubs liked these so much he wouldn’t share with his coworkers. That’s a winning recipe in my book.

Happy Baking!

-Holly

Wanna see the recipe for these PB Chocolate Scones?

Chocolate Chip Snicker Doodle Scones!!

The original version of this recipe comes from Taste Of Home. It was called Cinnamon Chip Scones… but you know I can’t leave a recipe well enough alone. 😉
I actually made these for one of Hubs’ work buddies who loves Snicker Doodles and didn’t get any of the cookies I made last week (or was it the week before?). Unfortunately for him… he was out in the field all week and didn’t get to taste the deliciousness of these awesome scones. Lucky for me though!
 
This dough is a little different from my other scone recipes as it doesn’t use any eggs. I thought it was going to be weird, but the only problem was that the dough didn’t stick together real well at first. I had to knead it a few times, but it ended up being perfect. The finished product was nice and moist, not dry at all! The cinnamon & sugar coating on top gave it a kinda crunchy outer layer, and the melted chips inside made these perfect!
 
Make these Chocolate Chip Snicker Doodle Scones!
 
Happy Baking!
-Hey Waitress!
 

Homemade Butterfingers & Banana Walnut Scones

It’s possible that I’m addicted to Butterfingers. I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite candy bar. But, it’s possible I’ve said that about Snickers, or Reese’s too… don’t judge.
No matter what, I Iove me some Butterfingers. I also have a list of recipes to copycat which Butterfingers happen to be on. Of course I googled “homemade butterfingers” and got, like, a millioooooon hits. They all seemed to be the same recipe made with candy corn & peanut butter. They all claimed to have the taste right, but were lacking in the crunchy part (that I love). I was planning on adding crushed up unsalted chips to give it the right texture. But then an amazing thing happened! This post  from Erica’s Sweet Tooth popped up in my blog reader! Erica added Frosted Flakes! Genius! These had to happen.
Thankfully, it was only a few days after Halloween, and my aaaahmazing Hubs found a giant bag of candy corn in the discount section of the grocery. Score!
The candy corn took almost 3 minutes to melt in the microwave and I actually had to add the peanut butter then nuke it for another 15 seconds. Getting this stuff stirred is definitely an arm workout (but totes worth it).
When you press the mixture into the pan, dump the whole thing out at once. Don’t do it in sections. Why? Because when you try to cut the sections, they might break into (not square) pieces. It happened to me.
I used 2 ½ bags of candy melts, and only melted half a bag at a time.
Overall these get thumbs up from my tasters. The only complaint is that they (still) don’t have that real Butterfinger texture. Also, don’t store these in the fridge… you might chip a tooth.
Click here for My Version of Butterfingers.

On Sunday, I also made these awesome Banana Walnut Scones that I (slightly) adapted from Wholesome Homemaker. I added extra chopped walnuts and didn’t measure out how much banana I had. I was skeptical of these, mostly because I don’t think whole wheat has any place in my sweets/ desserts/ snacks. Just my bagels. They’re good though.I usually overwork my scones or biscuits but not this time! They’re perfect. A little like banana bread… I think I should’ve added some chocolate chips!
 
That’s what happened  in my kitchen last weekend!
Happy Baking!
-Hey Waitress!!
 

Creme de Menthe Brownies, Bailey’s Breakfast Scones, & Bourbon Maple Cupcakes

Confession: I’m pretty embarrassed about how badly I’ve been slacking and not posting my weekly baking. I’ve been sort of apathetic the past month or so… lots of stuff going on… Neither Hubs or I have found a job yet, my mom & stepdad came to visit last weekend (and brought their hyperactive shepard-mix dog with them), then we headed over to my Nana’s place in MD Wednesday, so we could spend Thanksgiving with her… meeeeh, It’s not that I don’t love my family… I’m just so set in my ways I hate messing with my routine. AND my running routine was all messed up last week, mostly because I’ve also been kind of sick, and whatever’s wrong with my chest has been acting up again. Boo hiss.
But, because there’s really no excuse for being a downer… it’s time to update! I figured I’d just throw the ones I’ve missed into one super long post. Sorry!
I was feeling kind of lazy today (I usually take today off from running, but I had to “make up” the 2 days I missed last week) so I cheated and made White Chocolate PB&J Puppy Chow from The Picky Palate. You should browse her blog for some major food porn.
I should mention that at some point in my slackerness I lost the notes I took for the Brownies AND the scones. So I’m posting those from memory.  Anyhow… here are the last 3ish weeks of baking! Enjoy!
 
Crème De Menthe Brownies
Not much to say about these… beside the fact that they are sooooo freaking yummy! I really like fudgey brownies, and these don’t disappoint me. However, I did second guess myself a few times during the baking. They don’t really seem “done” until they’re cooled completely. I guess it’s because they’re so fudgey. My Andes and both kinds of chocolate chips also melted completely away in the middle! The only place the chunks survived was closer to the edges. Weird.
 
Bailey’s Scones
This recipe was originally the Grand Marnier Scones from Janet at the Ashley Inn. I just changed out the GM for Bailey’s, and made mine half the size. Make sure you don’t over knead the dough, it makes it kind of tough. Otherwise I really love these. They’re supposed to be for breakfast, but Hubs and I definitely eat them as often as possible. I esp enjoyed them with a Bailey’s riddled coffee. Just sayin…
 
Bourbon Maple Cupcakes with Whipped Bourbon Maple Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Yah, so I really felt the need to make something (kind of) seasonal for Thanksgiving this past week. Hence the Wild Turkey American Honey I used in these cupcakes. Honestly, I also wanted another crack at the Maple Bacon Whiskey Cupcakes (without the bacon this time). They still caved in, and I still can’t figure out what I did wrong. Grrrr! These guys don’t have much flavor.  I was really hoping the maple syrup would come out more, but all I could really taste was the ganache. Speaking of ganache… next time I make it to be whipped (as a frosting); I’ll probably use milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet. It’s not quite as sweet as I like. I also forgot to time how long it took me to “whip” it. I think it was close to five minutes, maybe as little as 3. Eeek! Overall these cupcakes are good, but not excellent, they could use a tweek or two. They did get eaten at Thanksgiving dinner with the family, and nobody spit ‘em back out so… success? Pretty close.
 
Happy Baking!
-Hey Waitress!!
PS the section headers are links to the recipes!!