I’m blogging with the folks over at #sundaysupper again this week, and this week’s theme is Fall Foods! When I think of fall, I think of Thanksgiving. When I think of Thanksgiving, I think Apple Pie. Not quite having all the resources nor the want to make an apple pie, I decided on muffins. I love muffins, and they’re a great quick breakfast- easy to freeze and then reheat when you want them.
I adapted a muffin recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, not quite being up to developing a recipe completely myself. Three tests in a week kind of knocks everything else out of you! Sally’s recipe is simple, foolproof, and makes soft, moist, high-domed muffins. Here’s how: First, you fill the muffins all the way to the top- not just 2/3 of the way full. Then, the muffins are baked at two different temperatures- at 425˚F for the first 10 minutes, then at 350˚F for the remaining 10-15 minutes.
Having limited resources and a small budget, I adapted the recipe for what I had on hand. I halved the recipe, used butter instead of oil, and brown sugar instead of white to make up for the loss of moisture from omitting the oil. I also added in some apple pie spice- since these are apple spice muffins, after all. I didn’t have any baking powder, so I used baking soda- another reason I used brown sugar. Baking soda needs an acid in the recipe to react to, such as a citrus, or in this case, molasses which is found in brown sugar.
These are warm, homey muffins full of fall flavor! These are a must for september and october early mornings.
Warm, fluffy muffins full of apples and spices. Perfect for freezing and reheating on cool early mornings.
1 cup chopped apple (about one small apple)
1 and ½ teaspoons apple pie spice, divided (1 tsp + ½ tsp)
1 and ½ C all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
½ c brown sugar
½ C milk
¼ c butter, melted (1/2 stick)
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
toss apple pieces with 1 teaspoon of the apple spice.
in a medium bowl, toss together flour, salt, baking soda, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of apple pie spice.
In a small bowl, mix together egg and brown sugar. Add in milk and butter. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix in apples.
Fill prepared muffin tin to the top of each cup.
Bake at 425˚F for 10 minutes before reducing to 350˚F for another 10-15 minutes. Tops should be firm but not hard, and a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean. Let cool before serving.
I recently had the opportunity to write a guest post for my bloggy friend Miss Messy while she’s in Italy! (I’m totes jealous, bytheway.) I tend to get nervous when meeting new people, even when it’s over the internet. I’m always scared that they won’t like me, or that they’ll think I’m weird. My solution? I make brownies. Brownies are always the way to a persons heart.
Normally I just make box mix brownies; they’re easy and people always tell me that they’re really good. But today I wanted to do something really special. I mean, I write a food blog. There are expectations. So I made homemade brownies, adapting a recipe from Something Swanky. This was the same recipe I adapted for my Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bars. Then, I swirled Cookie Butter (or Biscoff) through the top of the brownie- the literal icing on the cake. (Don’t worry, you only use 1/4 C cookie butter, there will be enough left to eat with a spoon. 😉 )
To get the recipe for these friend-making brownies, head on over to Mess Makes Food!
Summer’s almost over. I’ve just finished my first few days of classes, and it’s been great. After taking a semester off of school, I’m so glad to be back, and content with my new major.
It’s been an incredible summer, and a great first 6 months food blogging. Here are some of my favorite recipes I’ve blogged this summer, as well as some reader favorites:
Death By Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches
Peanut Butter cookies filled with a peanut butter buttercream and peanut butter chips. I get so many requests for these cookies, and many people have told me these are their favorites.
Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Bars
My favorite, and Brian’s favorite as well- he keeps asking me to make these again! Fudgy brownies topped with a peanut butter cup filling and white chocolate and sprinkles.
Chocolate Oreo Rolled Cookies
Thick, brownie- like cookies rolled in crushed Oreos. Lily’s (My roommate and real-life BFF) favorite, and one of mine too!
Healthy Chocolate Cookies
A reader favorite, and by far the most popular recipe on my blog! These cookies taste just like a buttery, fudgy chocolate cookie, but are healthy with the use of a secret ingredient! There is NO butter or white sugar in these cookies!
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookies
The second most popular recipe on my website, these cookies use cream cheese instead of butter to produce the thickest and chewiest cookies I’ve made yet.
Snickers Puppy Chow
The first “puppy chow” (or Muddy Buddies!) mix I’ve made, and one of the most addicting I’ve ever had- chocolate caramel sauce, peanuts, and caramel bits!
Popcorn coated in a butterscotch chocolate sauce and powdered sugar.
I’m a snacker. Always have been, and most likely always will be. Especially at school, when I have a fridge and a shelf full of food less than 5 feet away from me in my dorm room. Freshman year I actually had a drawer full of snacks in my desk- I didn’t even have to stand up to get food. (it was wonderful.)(until i discovered that the “freshman 15” is real.)
So this popcorn is wonderful for me (until I discover the “junior year 15.”), because it’s perfect for snacking, and combines some of my favorite snacks- popcorn and muddy buddies. And butterscotch! You all remember my butterscotch obsession, right? It came back. This was originally supposed to be traditional muddy buddies, with peanut butter and chocolate, but then I found a 1/2 cup of butterscotch and found out I was out of peanut butter, so butterscotch they became.
And it was wonderful.
We melt together butterscotch and chocolate, and pour it over popcorn. I used 5 cups of popcorn (just under 1 bag; it was the leftovers from my kitchen sink 7 layer bars,) but I suggest that you use the full bag of 5 and 1/2-6 cups- there was a bit too much chocolate/butterscotch on each piece for my taste.
Next is the fun part. Pour some powdered sugar in a gallon zip top bag, and pour in the popcorn. Add some more sugar and shake it! (side note: does anyone else start singing Metro Station when they read directions like that? No? Oh…)
So easy, and no bake- which here in the Northeast isn’t a problem at this time of the year, but I know those of you in the southwest don’t want to turn on your ovens for another two months. Movie nights are common on my campus, so this is the perfect treat to make for those! I’ll finally be the coolest girl in school.
I’m super excited to be blogging with #SundaySupper this week! This week, we’re talking back to school. This week the kids in Baltimore are heading back to school, and college kids are getting ready to move back to school next week.
When I think of “back to school” food, I think of my elementary school lunch box. My mom packed me the same meal every day: A peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, applesauce, a rice crispy treat, and three homemade chocolate chip cookies. And yes, they had to be mom’s. I wouldn’t eat anything else, because a cookie just isn’t a cookie if it’s not homemade. (Yes, my mother raised me to be a cookie snob. No, I don’t mind at all.)
I decided to combine two of my favorite lunchbox treats, crispy treats and chocolate chip cookies with a rice crispy treat that tastes like a chocolate chip cookie. I used a combination of butter, almond, and vanilla extracts to achieve the taste of a chocolate chip cookie that we all know and love.
Now, these don’t taste just like a chocolate chip cookie. But they’re pretty darn close. I’m sure you could use a bottle of one of those fancy syrups, but I didn’t want to spend that kind of money for just one recipe.
Measure out cereal in large bowl and set aside Mix in 1 and 1/2 C of the chocolate chips and set aside. (leave the remaining 1/2 c to sprinkle on top). Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and spray liberally with non stick baking spray. Set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Mix in extracts. Mix in marshmallows until melted and smooth.
Quickly mix marshmallows into the the cereal. The chocolate chips will melt slightly. Press into the prepared 9×12 pan and let chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Be sure to check out the rest of Sunday Supper! Sandwiches, Wraps and Entrees:
I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times I sat down and tried to write this post.
These were supposed to go up Monday. And then Wednesday. But they’re going up today, Friday. As it does, life happened, and I got lazy, and went on vacation, and remembered that it’s important to blog for me and this is my place to do what I want but I do like keeping a schedule.
(Also, do you know how hard it is to write a post on a kindle app? It’s not easy. And the apple app isn’t any easier. I almost pulled my hair out this weekend.)
Back to the matter at hand- cupcakes! That look like Minnie Mouse! And are adorable! And I am super proud that I pulled this off and that these made it out of my kitchen!
I made these for Disney night at a friends house- Disney movie marathons clearly call for Disney themed snacks, and it’s at the point now where I’m basically expected to show up at parties and social events with a plate of food.
I don’t mind at all.
These look adorable, and are incredibly easy to decorate- all you need is some white nonparil sprinkles (available at craft and baking supply stores, mine are Wilton brand bought at Michael’s.), a Wilton 1M tip (or another open star tip) and mini (not to be confused with Minnie) Oreo cookies. Oh, and some gel food dye- I used Wilton Brand that I bought at Michaels- and frosting bags, but you can use gallon zip top bags if you prefer. (Side note: I’m not sponsored by Wilton. Their products are just really, really easy to get ahold of, and very affordable and trustworthy.)
Once the cupcakes are cooled and the frosting is prepared, swirl the frosting on with 1M tip and top with sprinkles. Scrape the icing off the Oreo’s and place on cupcakes. Done. Easy. Including the time to prepare the icing, these took 30 minutes to decorate. I don’t have a recipe for the cupcakes; I simply took my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe and subtracted some flour and added some cocoa powder. The frosting recipe will work with any cupcake recipe that yields 12 cupcakes.
Minnie Mouse Disney Cupcakes:
What You’ll Need:
Chocolate cupcake recipe of your choice + ingredients.
Wilton 1M frosting tip
Red gel coloring
white nonpareil sprinkles
24 mini oreos
2 C butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 C confectioners sugar
Prepare cupcakes according to directions. Set aside and let cool.
Make the Buttercream: Beat butter on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy. Add in the sugar a little at a time, making sure it is mixed in fully. Add the vanilla extract and cream 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Add coloring with a toothpick slowly until desired shade is reached. (I added in 4 toothpicks of frosting to reach a bright pink.)
Add frosting to frosting bag fitted with a large open star tip. Swirl frosting on cupcakes and top with sprinkles. Divide the Oreos and scrape out the frosting. Add one Oreo half to each side of cupcakes.
Sorry about the weird posting schedule the past two weeks! While I always try to post at least 3 times a week, sometimes real life gets in the way and I don’t have time to shoot and post recipes! I’ve been busy with work and having to travel a lot for that, which leaves little time for posting.
But I’m back, and trying to get ahead with school starting soon! I have a few fun back-to school recipes floating around in my head that I can’t wait to start developing. I move back to college at the end of August and I’m trying to figure out how this food blogging thing will work during the school year.
Brian and I went to the beach on Tuesday, and while I love the beach, I forget how cold the water always is, how sticky the sand is, and how HOT it is! Honestly, the beach can be miserable! But I love it. I also got a great lesson about how God always provides, even in the small things! Brian and I went just for the day by ourselves, and we didn’t have an umbrella .. or chairs, forgot completely to camp out near a public restroom and had no place to change before going to dinner and then going home. Right when we realized that, a woman from our church came up who was visiting for a few weeks with family. She offered us their extra umbrella and to use their condo to clean up at the end of the day. It was so wonderful that they offered and I was so happy to not be sticky and sandy for the 3 hour drive home.
As you know, I just got a new job a few weeks ago. It’s my first “grown up” job that isn’t laid back, and is full of paperwork and confidentiality. I work for a semi-large chain of urgent care health centers that is rapidly growing and expanding, doing front desk work- registering patients, collecting copays, and prescription bills. It’s honestly my favorite job I’ve had so far- while my work is monotonous, the people are always interesting and I’m good at my job.
Instagram round up-
Sharknado! (Basically the BEST MOVIE EVER AMIRIGHT)
We went to Six Flags America, and the Batman area was the best!
Thick and soft and fluffy and chewy… and coming soon!
How was your week? What’s your favorite job you’ve ever had? Any fun vacations this summer?
Pieces of caramel, a dollop of nutella, all stuffed in one giant, soft-baked chocolate chip cookie.
Stuffing things in cookies is much harder than I expected it to be. The first batch of these cookies, the caramel sank to the bottom and the cookie spread out. I made the mistake of (1) using the entire piece of caramel, rather than cutting them in half, and (2) removing them from the cookie sheet while the cookie was just done and the caramel was still melted, creating a sticky mess once the cookie actually cooled.
The trick, I found, was to dip the caramel in the nutella before placing it in the cookie. We cut the caramels in half, dip them in nutella, then place them on a mound of cookie dough before adding some more to top. These cookies will seem huge, (and they are!) but they are not too big. The cookies will be bakery size cookies, and the caramel and nutella will spread out within the cookie, making an ooey, gooey, delicious treat.
Adding a sprinkle of sea salt is just the icing on the cake.
Speaking of icing, I love spreading more Nutella on top and dipping the cookies in milk.
Salted Caramel Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Caramel and Nutella stuffed in giant chocolate chip cookies
2 Sticks (1 cup) butter, softened to room temperature
½ c sugar
1 c brown suger
1 tsp vanilla extract
2¼ c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cornstarch
1½ c chocolate chips
12 Caramel Creams
6 tsp Nutella
Cream butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy and combined. Add eggs, one at a time.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, soda, salt, and cornstarch. Slowly add to wet ingredients. Mix in the chocolate chips. Cover and let chill for 1 hour-3 days.
Unwrap caramels and cut in half. Line cookie sheet with silicone mat, wax paper, or parchment paper. Using a tablespoon size spoon, scoop rounds onto cookie sheet and make an indent with thumb. Dip caramel in nutella (about ¼ tsp per cookie) and place another round of cookie dough on top. (A "scant" tablespoon, so to speak.)
Bake at 325˚F for 10-12 minutes until edges are starting to brown. The cookies will look underdone when you pull them out of the oven, but they will continue to cook while they cool. Let cool completely before moving to cookie sheet.
It’s been rainy for the past few days here in Baltimore, and I don’t think anyone really knows what to do about it. It’s rained every day for the past few weeks- This is Baltimore we don’t know how to deal with rain- We’re like how Seattle is with snow.
Hot and humid and rainy is no fun.
Anyway. To deal with the rain, I made a cheese dip. In fact, two cheese dips- one spicy, and one trashed up with avocados, bacon, and tomatos. I gave them a side of of soft pretzel bites, using Sally’s recipe. Her recipe is foolproof, needs no rise time, and takes only 30 minutes. I recommend you do the same.
I used a sour cream base and mixed in two types of cheeses- one cup grated four cheese blend, and one cup grated cheddar. A dash of salt, a two tablespoons of flour, a sprinkle of cornstarch, some add-ins, and that’s it. Simple, easy and delicious.
The first dip was mixed with a jalapeño and chili powder, the second with bacon, avocado, and tomatos. Brian likes things spicy, I don’t. I like bacon, Brian doesn’t. We each got our own dip- perfect for date night.
Spicy Jalapeño Cheese Dip
1 C sour cream
1 C shredded four cheese blend
1 C shredded cheddar
2 Tbs Flour
1/2 tsp cornstarch (if needed)
1 small jalapeño, sliced.
chili powder, to taste.
Grated cheddar, to top.
Melt sour cream and cheeses in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
whisk in flour and cornstarch if needed. (If the sauce is too thin)
Mix in jalapeño and pour into a small oven-proof dish (I used a 9-inch pie tin)
Sprinkle with grated cheddar and chili powder. Bake at 350˚F for 3 minutes, until cheese is melted and crispy.
Bacon Tomato Avocado Cheesy DipIngredients:
1 C sour cream
1 C shredded four cheese blend
1 C shredded cheddar.
2 Tbs flour
4 Slices Bacon
1/2 diced avocado
1/2 diced tomato
grated cheese, to top.
Cook the bacon until it is crispy. Melt sour cream and cheese together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour.
Chop up bacon into small pieces. Mix avocado, bacon, and tomato.
Pour into an oven-proof dish (I used a 9-inch pie pan) and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake at 350˚F until cheese is melted and crispy.
Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing, memorial day yesterday. I spent mine quietly with my grandparents going out to eat and shopping.
My birthday is tomorrow, so I’d thought I’d share some birthday recipes! If I was at home, I’d definitely be making a few of these. As it is, I’ll probably make a few of these when I get home. I won’t be celebrating with my parents for another week!
2. Chocolate Chip Cookies are a tradition in my family for birthdays. Every year on our birthdays, my mom makes my dad and I a cake of our choosing, and a batch of chocolate chip cookies! Try her famous recipe on your next birthday and start a new tradition.
3. Don’t like cake? Try a pie instead! My cake batter pie has all of the taste of cake mix, and none of the crumbly texture!
4. Cake pops are perfect for birthday parties, and so cute as well! Try these pink lemonade cake pops, which are perfect for summer birthdays!
5. My birthday cake is always, always always, a chocolate cake mix with chocolate frosting. I don’t know how this tradition started- probably way back when I was a kid and my mom was making a cake that she knew she would like, and being the biggest chocoholic I know, she make a cake with as much chocolate as she could. Once I started baking my own cakes, I just kept tradition going! Try this German Chocolate Cake from Teenage Cakeland and start your own chocolate birthday tradition!
So there you have it! Some wonderful recipes, perfect for birthdays. I’ll be celebrating mine here in Phoenix, and will continue the celebration with my parents when I get home from vacation next week.
I’d also like to wish a very happy 25th wedding anniversary to my parents, and a 52nd anniversary to my grandparents!