Saturday, January 21, 2017

Black and white cookies are all over NYC.
I didn't even know they were a thing until I went to NYC and people told me I had to try one.  You can find them in lots of NY delis and bakeries.
My Aunt Annette found this recipe in People magazine and made these for us when she visited from Utah.  They were so good!
Just as good as any cookie you could get in NYC.
She's a pretty amazing baker/cook.
Thanks Aunt Annette!
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups bleached cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1 cup whole milk, divided
1 Tbs. vanilla, divided
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs. light corn syrup
1/2 cup cocoa

Which together the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  In an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each one.  With mixer on low, add half the flour mixture and mix until blended.  Add 1/2 cup milk and 2 tsp. vanilla.  Mix well.  Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until blended.  Add the rest of the milk.  Mix well.  Using a 1 1/2 inch ice cream scoop, spoon mounds of batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches between mounds.  Flatten with wet fingers until mounds are 2 1/2 inches wide.  Bake for 20 minutes at 350.  Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.  

Icing:
Stir together powdered sugar and 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl.  Add corn syrup and remaining vanilla.  Stir vigorously until smooth.  Pour half of the icing into a separate bowl.  Add cocoa and 2 Tbs. warm water.  Stir until smooth.

Frost the flat sides of the cookies.  Frost half the cookie with white icing.  Let set for 15 minutes.  Frost the other half with chocolate.  Let set for 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

I've been hearing a lot about ch-ch-ch-chia seeds lately.
Full of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.  So tiny but so good for you!
I was excited to experiment with chia seed pudding.
A no-cook pudding that tastes like dessert but is healthy enough for breakfast!  I tried 3 different variations and this chocolate one was my favorite.  I love it in the morning with some sliced bananas, strawberries and coconut on top.

1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup vanilla coconut milk
2 Tbs. cocoa
2 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
dash of sea salt

Mix all together in a glass container or jar and refrigerate, covered, overnight (or at least a few hours).  

A couple of things about chia seed pudding...
*You can make any kind you want as long as you use the ratio 1/4 cup chia seeds to 1 cup liquid.  Try almond milk, regular milk, any sweetener and different flavors.
*This pudding is not as thick as regular pudding.  I kept thinking it would get thicker but it didn't.  It is thick enough to eat with a spoon.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Easy Tres Leches Cake

This was one of the many delicious desserts that my mother-in-law made on Christmas Day.  I loved it as soon as I tasted it.  Then she told me how easy it was and I loved it even more!

1 yellow cake mix
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup whipping cream or half/half

*Make cake according to package directions.  After it has cooled, poke holes all over the top.  Mix the three milks together and pour over the cake.  Let it soak in.  Chill in fridge until ready to serve.  Serve with real whipped cream on top.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Susan's Sugar Cookie Bars

I love sugar cookies!
I don't love making sugar cookies.
It just takes so long to roll out the dough and cut out all the cookies.
That's why I LOVE these sugar cookie bars!  So much easier and just as delicious.  This recipe is my favorite.  I think it's the almond extract and cream cheese.  I got the recipe from my mother-in-law, who is a fabulous baker.  You will love these!!

Cookies:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (I just use a 16 oz. box)
little bit of milk
1 tsp. vanilla
food coloring (optional)

*Mix butter, cream cheese, sugar, and egg until light and fluffy.  Add extracts and mix for one minute.  Add dry ingredients and mix for a couple minutes.  Press dough into a jelly roll (cookie sheet) pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting. For frosting, mix butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the rest of ingredients and mix until smooth.  Frost bars and cut to serve!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Semi-Homemade Banana Cream Pie

As much as I like to bake, pies are not my specialty.
My sister, Holly, is the pie-maker in the family.
But, my daughter wanted to make pies for Thanksgiving, so we busted out these banana cream pies using a semi-homemade approach.  They were delicious!

2 frozen pie shells
2 large packages cook-n-serve vanilla pudding
3 bananas
2 pints whipping cream

*Mix up the pudding according to package directions and chill in fridge. Bake pie shells according to package directions and let cool. When ready to assemble, spread a little pudding in the bottom of each pie shell.  Slice 1 1/2 bananas into each pie.  Cover with the rest of the pudding.  Whip the cream with a mixer until stiff.  Add 1/3 cup sugar and a little vanilla while mixing. Scoop over pies using a cookie scoop.  Chill until ready to serve.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Carrot Sheet Cake

I married into a family loaded with good cooks/bakers.
My husband's immediate family, plus his relatives on both sides, are excellent with food.  His Cunningham side of the family put together a family cookbook about 14 years ago and it is a treasure.
So many good recipes that we love.  This cake recipe is from his Grandma Cunningham and I had never tried it before until this weekend.  We loved it!

Cake:
4 eggs
1 cup oil (I used canola)
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups shredded carrots
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)

Beat eggs, oil and sugar until smooth.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Stir in carrots and nuts.  Pour into a greased cookie sheet (jelly roll pan) and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Cool before frosting.

Frosting:
1 pkg 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)

Beat together until smooth.  Spread over cooled cake.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Chocolate Layered Dessert

This dessert is definitely one of my top 5 favorite homemade desserts.  It's one of those things that I feel like I could eat the whole pan and not even feel bad about it.  It has many names in our family, but for the sake of this family-friendly blog, we'll call it the Chocolate Layered Dessert.
You can call it whatever you want, just make sure you call me when you make it.


Crust:
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
*Blend together well and spread in a 9X13. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool.

First Layer:
1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 small tub cool whip
*Beat powdered sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Add cool whip. Spread over cooled crust.

Second Layer:
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
3 cups milk
*Mix for 2 minutes. Spread over cream cheese layer. Top with another small tub of cool whip.

*Side-note: I use real whipped cream instead of cool whip because I have gross-out issues with cool whip. It takes a little longer but it is well worth it.

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