Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

For my husband's Birthday, I asked him what type of baked good he wanted for his special day. He requested oatmeal raisin cookies (actually at first he requested an apple pie and I told him no...on account of not having a rolling pin...and cause, you know, it's a pain in the ass =)). Me being the overachiever that I am, couldn't just stop at oatmeal raisin and decided to add some chocolate chips to the mix. I found a great recipe in my High Altitude Baking book. I modified it slightly due to preference and the fact that I didn't have dry milk (whatever that is) and it was snowing and I didn't feel like venturing out of the house to find it.

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture slowly, mixing thoroughly with each addition. Add milk and mix completely. Stir in oats, raisins and chocolate chips.

Roll into 1-inch size balls and place 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes and then place onto wax paper or wire rack until complete cooled.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have to admit, this isn't the first time I have made these cookies. The idea came to me when my husband and I were invited to our friends' house for a party. The wife is a vegetarian, so my husband feels the need to feed her husband meat as much as possible. I had already decided I was going to make cookies, but thought it would be fun to figure out a way to add meat (to be fair, I did also bring hot chocolate cupcakes without any meat in them ;)).

I've had maple bacon cupcakes before, so I figured there must be a cookie version. I found some inspiration on allrecipes.com and combined it with the basic drop cookie recipe from my High Altitude Baking book.

I enlisted my husband to make the bacon because he makes the best bacon ever. However, when I asked him if I could post his recipe on here, he told me it was a secret. So, you'll just have to use your own special bacon recipe or even Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits.

Another snow day had me working at home so I decided to give these cookies another go. I wasn't completely satisfied with the way they came out the first time because I felt like you couldn't taste enough of the bacon, so this time I didn't chop the bacon as much as the last time. This go 'round, I feel like the bacon flavor is much more evident, as it should be.

Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

  2 cups flour
 1 teaspoon salt
 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon maple extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped, cooked bacon

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream sugars and shortening. Add eggs, vanilla and maple and beat until smooth. Add flour mixture slowly and thoroughly, a little at a time. Stir in chocolate chips and bacon. Drop cookies, about an inch around, onto an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove cookies from the cookie sheet immediately and place on a cooling rack or wax paper.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies...And Why They Are So Late

First, an explanation as to why it has been such a long time since my last (first) post:

I originally intended to post every 1-2 weeks and even had gathered ingredients for a few things (these Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies among them) and then a strange thing happened. My fridge slowly got warmer and warmer. As I wasn't sure what was going on and didn't want to risk the lives of others, I held off. Eventually, the fridge no longer held the cold at all - everything in there was room temperature. It took a bit to get it finally fixed (the technician said the heating element was out and that the manufacturer no longer made the product and he couldn't do anything and then my determined landlord decided he was going to find the part and fix it himself...). So, this is, in my opinion, a very valid excuse for my tardiness in posting. Stay tuned for more elaborate excuses in the future ;)

And in all fairness, even though these would be a great Easter treat, it's also perfect for after the Easter bunny comes and fills your kids' baskets.

Anyway, I was working from home yesterday, due to the "blizzard" (even this
Maryland girl can scoff at the magnitude of this "snowstorm") and decided my lunch break would be the perfect opportunity to finally try my hand at the Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies (of which there are no high altitude recipes that I could find) that have been circulating the internets. I had even picked up some milk the night before in preparation. I started mixing and then realized halfway through that I had more than enough Cadbury eggs but didn't have actual eggs. Luckily, I live within a short walking distance of grocery store, so I strapped on my boots and trekked over there. The rest of the process went quite well except for when I gashed my finger cutting the Cadbury eggs.

I was quite happy with the results, as was my husband, who asked if he could take them to work so that he would stop eating them. They were apparently well received there.

Husband: I mean i only took about half the batch into the office
and they are fucking gone
13 minutes

And in case that wasn't enough proof, here are a few more comments sent to my husband:

Sherri: OMG cadbury egg brownies??? im all over that
yum! these are heavenly. you are a lucky man, my friend

Jeremiah:  I think I like Honey Badger more than I like you ;)

Caroline: Anyone who can put together Cadbury Eggs and Brownies is my new favorite person!  Yum! Yum! Kudos to the wifey!!

Nick: I've only had one bite of that brownie, and I think my heart might explode

Chris: holy shit!

So...without further ado, here's the recipe (with modifications from Pinecam.com, because if there's anything I learned in school, it's that you should always cite your sources).

Cadbury Creme Egg Brownies

4 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cups vegetable shortening

2 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt 

2 tablespoons 2% milk
6 Cadbury Creme Eggs (frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt chocolate with shortening in a large bowl in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Add sugar into the mix and stir until completely mixed. Add in eggs and vanilla until those are completely mixed. Mix in flour, baking powder, salt and milk until all are thoroughly blended.

Chop 5 of the Cadbury eggs and add and stir all bits to the mix. Spread in a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan (glass works best).

Chop the remaining Cadbury egg and sprinkle on top.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool completely before cutting.