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C is for cookie…

That’s good enough for me!  In fact, these were fabulous!

Two Words of Warning:
1. Make these near a sink.  I’m sure you know this, but ice cream melts.  I rinsed my hands off approximately 947 times.  (Have I ever told you that I just might exaggerate slightly?)
2.  Hide your pets.  The recipe involves mini chocolate chips and if you’re anything like me they will be all over your kitchen floor.  Kyra pounced on them like a jungle cat.  Seriously, there was no way I could stop her.

Last week I bought a gallon of ice cream as an addition to the strawberry sauce I was taking to my sister’s birthday party.  There were 6 of us and somehow my brain computed that a gallon of ice cream was necessary for that crowd.  Obviously I had a boat load of leftovers.  Hubby doesn’t love ice cream (I’m convinced he’s some sort of mutant.), but I could eat it every single day.  Probably every hour of every single day…  The devil must have invented ice cream, don’t you think?  I mean, can you think of anything more tempting than a darn-near full gallon of ice cream staring back at you?  Yeah, me either.  I had to get it out of my house.  The opportunity presented itself in the form of a work lunch potluck.  “I call dessert!”  Time for Mini Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches from Delish!

Ice Cream not included due to melt factor

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Leftovers from buying far too much vanilla ice cream (The recipe says 1 pint…I have no idea how much I actually used)


Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.
2.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Truth be told, I have no idea why this is necessary…I just listened.
3.  Read the directions wrong and add the granulated sugar to this bowl as well.  Yell out “Oh, crap!” and try to scoop out as much white sugar out from the white flour mixture as you can.  Fail miserably and move on.
4.  Re-read the directions (correctly this time) and add both sugars and the butter to a separate bowl.  Beat together.  Add sour cream, egg, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
5.  Turn the mixer on low and gradually add in the flour mixture.  Mix in 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips. (The original recipe calls for 1 cup into the dough.  I usually reduce the amount of chocolate in cookies because I find it to overpowering otherwise.)
6.  Drop chunks of dough (about 1 TBSP) onto a cookie sheet and bake until golden. (About 10-12 minutes)  Move cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.
7.  Here’s where I stopped listening again.  The recipe calls for softened ice cream…lies, I tell ya!  First of all I’m far too impatient for that, and second if you START with soft ice cream you will have a ginormous soupy mess by the time you get all the sandwiches made.  I used the ice cream right out of the freezer.  I used two large spoons (Are they called tablespoons?  That feels weird…) to form a flat looking ball on top of one cookie.  Then I just smooshed another cookie on top of it and rolled them/pressed mini chocolate chips into the exposed ice cream.  Place on a wax-lined cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours.

The not-so-mini ice cream sandwiches

Verdict:
Everyone at work loved them, but I still had leftovers (I work in a small building) so I took them over to my in-laws during their pool party.  They disappeared in seconds and I got rave reviews.  Really, they aren’t very difficult to make and these cookies are A.MAZ.ING!  I’m storing this recipe away and will definitely make these cookies minus the ice cream as well.  They were so soft!  This is a 5 star recipe for sure!

I’m linked up over at Simply Sweet Home.  Check me out and say hi to some other loverly bloggers! 🙂

  It's a Keeper

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Gimme S’more of That!

This past weekend I had a party to go to.  Naturally, I decided to make a dessert.  I thought it would be a great time to try out individual mini desserts.  In my quest I stumbled upon these marvelous little gems: Caramel S’more Cups from Betty Crocker.  Personally I would change their name to “Little Cup of Heaven”.  Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies and caramel?  Throw some marshmallows and a little more chocolate on top and you’ve got yourself a winner!

These desserts were definitely easy to make, and I highly suggest that all of you lovely people give them a try.  My only word of caution is their calorie content.  One little cup is a whopping 132 calories.  I could easily scarf down 3 of them without even thinking.  As a comparison 396 calories is a bit more than a McDouble from McDonalds.  Add that to the list of things we never wanted to know, eh?

Caramel S’more Cups:

Ingredients:
1 pouch Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 egg
37 Rolos
111 mini marshmallows (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray mini muffin cups with cooking spray.
2.  Make cookie dough as directed on package.  Shape dough into 37 balls about 1 inch.  (The original directions call for 36 balls but, for the life of me, I can never actually make the amount the recipe calls for.)  Place one ball in each muffin cup.
3. Bake 8 minutes (until edges begin to brown).  Remove from oven and firmly place one Rolo into each cookie.  Top each cookie with three marshmallows and place back in the oven for 2 – 4 minutes (until mallows puff).
4.  Once cookies are cooled, drizzle with melted semi sweet chocolate.  Serve!


My mom told me I could never make these again… Having these around is just far too dangerous. 

Oh…and don’t worry, there are plenty more than 37 Rolos in a regular sized bag.  Feel free to eat one (or six…) as you’re unwrapping them.

 

I linked up at It’s a Keeper!

Gone Bananas!

Welcome to my very first post as a 26-year-old.  That’s right folks, I’ve gone and gotten older on you…

This afternoon I was sitting at work contemplating my plans for dinner.  At this point I had none…No clue.  I ventured over to one of my favorite websites, A Year of Slowcooking.  Let me just start by saying that I just might be obsessed with this website (and my crockpots).  My coworkers actually laugh when I mention that our supper, once again, came from the slow cooker. 

Before I discovered the beauty of the crockpot my husband and I pretty much stuck to three meals:  Spaghetti, Chicken Patties & French Fries, or Cereal.  I wish I was joking… 

Cooking was terrifying new territory for me.  I could follow recipes to the letter and somehow they would still always turn out tasting like cardboard.  Dan attempted to convince me that I was overreacting, but being the perfect wife I am… I told him to shut it.  So, back to the three meals we’d go.  I decided that I hated cooking, and I wanted to do as little of it as possible.  Enter, the crockpot.  It seemed like the perfect fix for me.  I could whip a bunch of crap into a pot and walk away.  Seriously, how hard could that be?  Thanks to the slowcooker, my dinners starting tasting good!  I gained more confidence in the kitchen, and now I have a blog!

So today when I was at a loss for dinner plans I, of course, leaned towards my crockpot…and A Year of Slowcooking.  (PS – If you have not yet had the pleasure of reading Stephaine O’Dea’s blog I would highly suggest it!)  I came across her posting for “Clean out the Pantry Minestrone Soup” and decided to give it a go.  With all of my rambling, I bet you’d guess this is going to be a blog post about making soup in the crockpot.  You’d be guessing wrong.  I just ramble.  Just ask my husband…  To tell you the truth I couldn’t even give you a recipe for the concoction I made today.  I whipped so many random things in that pot I wouldn’t even know where to start.  But, it tasted good and I have a cleaner fridge and freezer.  This is the part where I finally get to my topic.  You see, when I was rummaging through my freezer I found a bag of frozen-so-long-I-don’t-even-remember-freezing-them bananas.  I grabbed them out of the freezer and decided tonight would be a blog and wine kinda night.  (Aren’t those just your favorite!?)

Okay, down to business.  I had 4 bananas so I made 2 different recipes.

Recipe #1:  Banana White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
I thought I was a genius today.  I have never had a banana oatmeal cookie, so naturally I thought I invented it.  Turns out that’s not the case.  Darn it…  I did add white chocolate chips, though!  I made the recipe up using my recipe for Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies as a guide.

Ingredients:

Plus 2 overripe bananas


2 overripe bananas
2 TBSP honey
3/4 cup cinnamon flavored applesauce
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup egg replacer
2 1/3 cup oats
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

 
Directions:
1.  Beat together the bananas, egg replacer, honey, applesauce, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.
2.  Stir in the oats, flour, and flax.
3.  Drop 32 spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
4.  Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Verdict:
I don’t love banana nearly as much as Dan, and I found these cookies to have a bizarre texture.  They are actually kind of spongey.  You can squish them, and they’ll bounce back.  Dan found this texture to be amazing.  He said “I don’t know what you’re talking about.  I wish all cookies were like this!  It’s like mixing a cookie with a muffin top!  It’s perfection!” 
Then I couldn’t stop thinking about Seinfeld.

32 cookies at 96 calories a piece

 

Recipe #2:  Cranberry Banana Bread
I found this recipe at The Fresh Loaf and just made a few changes.

Ingredients:

And 2 overripe bananas

1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup egg replacer
2 overripe bananas
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP milled flax seed
1/2 cup dried cranberries (soaked in hot water to plump up)
Directions:
1. Blend together the top four ingredients.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
3. Pour batter into greased loaf pan.
4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.

Verdict:
I’m actually surprised at how moist it is without the butter.  It’s pretty darn tasty, and I think it will be perfect for a morning snack.  Dan likes it too.  He didn’t rave about its texture like he did with the cookies, though. 

Each of the 12 slices will be 176 calories

 

My Blog Buddy. Don't worry...He's empty now.

Operation Oatmeal (cookie)

 

Tonight I decided to take a big step.  I walked into my kitchen prepared to make my very first batch of cookies with a recipe I created. *gulp!* I did some research, looked up some recipes, and pulled bits of information from them to create my very own Frankenstein…in cookie form.

Back when I was deciding on a name for this lovely blog, I figured that at some point I would have to blog about a complete and utter failure.  I decided on “Between a rock & a hobby” so I would have 2 labels for my different “experiements”.  We’d have the hobby for those things that went well and could happen again (thus creating a “hobby”) and we’d have the rock for the things that just didn’t turn out so well.  I was convinced these cookies would be my very first rock.  Dan says I’m wrong.  Whoo hoo!

Ingredients:
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 TBSP honey
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups oats
3/4 cup craisins
1/4 cup white chocolate chips


 Directions:
1.  Heat up about 2 cups of water and pour over craisins.  The internet told me this will make them much more plump.  I would assume this is a desirable trait for craisins in cookies.
2.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
3.  Measure out the coconut oil and heat in microwave for about 20 seconds. 
4.  Stare into the microwave because you have no clue if this was a good idea. 
5.  Notice that 20 seconds was long enough to soften up the coconut oil and make a bit of it liquidy…perfect.
6.  Combine coconut oil, brown sugar, honey, eggs, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and 1 TBSP of the water from the craisins. (Also contemplate if that was a good idea.)  Blend with mix master until smooth.  FYI the consistency of this is different from other cookies I have made.
7.  Slowly add in flour.  Continue blending until mixed in.
8.  Add in the oats, craisins, and chips. 
9.  Try mixing in with a spatula, but give up and use your hands instead.
10.  Drop spoonfuls of mix on to greased cookie sheets and bake for about 15 minutes.

Verdict:
Me:  I think something is missing…but I can’t figure out what it is.  Part of me thinks it’s the butter.  I replaced the butter with coconut oil because I was aiming to make a “healthier” cookie.  Don’t get me wrong, they are still good.  In fact, I’ve had three already…and they came out of the oven only an hour ago.  It just leaves me wanting…something.  More cinnamon?  Some nutmeg?  I’m not sure.  If you figure it out, feel free to let me know.

Dan:  He’s raving about them.  He loves them.  Apparently they are really soft and have a great consistency.  I was pleading with him to help me figure out what was missing.  He looked at me, shrugged, and said “more chocolate chips?”  Somehow I don’t think that would help the “healthy” factor, but more power to you if you’d like to add more.

**Note:  I was able to make 42 cookies from this recipe.  Each cookie is approximately 98 calories.

***EDIT:  I change my mind.  I really like these cookies.  Like really, really.  I do have a plan to try and make these cookies with the addition of  cinnamon flavored applesauce.

Going to the dogs

Yesterday I had planned to spend my day editing a wedding video I have yet to finish.  I had really great intentions.  I even sat down and worked on it for 3 hours.  But, just like most edit projects, I hit a rough patch and needed to walk away for a little bit to collect my thoughts.  Dan had gone into work, and Kyra was playing at “grandma’s” house.  I was home alone and bored… 

Aha!!
Experiment number two:  Homemade dog treats!

I was a little worried about this one, just because my dog happens to be one of the pickiest eaters on the planet.  I didn’t know dogs could be so fussy! 

Now, there are TONS of different recipes for homemade doggie treats out there.  I spent a little time looking up different ideas, but settled on this one since I already had all the ingredients.  I keep baby food in the house for Kyra.  Yeah, my dog gets baby food.  I stuff her kong toy with it since it is much healthier and cheaper than the kong stuffing you can buy. 

*You’ll notice that the recipe calls for garlic salt, but it isn’t in my picture below.  I’ve read varying things about garlic and dogs.  Some articles will tell you its okay for dogs to eat, and others tell you to avoid it.  I felt it was unnecessary in the recipe, so I just omitted it. 

*Baby food is another one of those “human foods” that dogs are supposed to stay away from.  After researching, I’ve learned that it is because a lot of baby foods have either onion or garlic powder in it.  Just read the ingredients before you purchase it, and you’ll be fine.  I used Kyra’s favorite food for this recipe…turkey.

*Lastly, the recipe calls for gravy.  I had just purchased this “Vita Gravy” from petsmart as a mix-in for Kyra’s dry food.  (Picky, I tell ya…)  I used this as a substitute for regular gravy and it worked perfectly!

Basically you just add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix well.  Flour your countertop and roll the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch.  (The recipe says 1/2 inch thick, but I liked the way they looked better at 1/4 inch.)  I skimped a little on the flour because that canister was almost empty.  Bad.Idea.  I mixed up the stickiest mess ever.  Once I stopped being lazy and opened the new bag of flour, the results were much better.  The first batch of treats didn’t keep their shape very well because they stuck to the counter.  Note to self:  listen to the instructions and don’t be lazy…

I used a cute little dog bone cookie cutter that I found at a hardware store for around 60 cents.  I cut out the treats, placed them on a greased cookie sheet and baked for around 20 minutes.  (Except for that batch I forgot about and left in too long…)

After they cooled down it was judgement time.  All of this hard work would be a total waste if Kyra hated them.  Dan was on hand to dish out the treats so that I could get photographic evidence.

She likes them!  She REALLY likes them!  I was pretty stoked!  Just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke I gave her another treat, and made her sit and wait for it like a little lady.  She was in agony…

She practically pounced on it when I told her it was okay.  Yup….she likes them.

I haven’t done any of the math, but these treats have to be cheaper than ones you can buy in store.  Also, I would imagine they are a lot healthier! 

Oh, and in case you are wondering what they taste like, we convinced my brother to try one.  Really, he practically decided to do it on his own.  He said they taste like “stale crackers, but they aren’t terrible.”  In fact, he told me he’d eat another one.

all crafts Homemade Projects ~ Add Yours {8/1}