Sunday, July 28, 2013

Almond and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond paste has always given me the heebee-geebees. I would always see it in the grocery and specialty food stores, but was never interested. I think my apprehension was more a result of my naiveté about almond paste and marzipan, I thought they were the same thing for a very long time, but alas they are not.

Now, there is nothing wrong with almond paste or marzipan, I honestly think that I never wanted to buy either because of the creepy bear on the box. Case in point here.

Even though I am talking mostly about marzipan I just want to emphasize that this recipe uses almond paste. Don't want to confuse anyone. ;)

And as you may have guessed from this post, I am back in the kitchen (and I totally just wrote bake instead of back)!

Almond and Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 Cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ Cup sugar
¾ Cup brown sugar, packed
3 oz Almond paste
2 Large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 and ½ Cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 oz mini chocolate chips
2/3 Cup sliced almonds

1.     Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
2.     In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until fluffy and lightened in color. Add in the almond paste, pulse mixer a few times to evenly incorporate. Add in the eggs and vanilla, mixing until combined.
3.     Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips and almonds in a large bowl.
4.     Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Beat until the dough just comes together.
5.     Scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets using a small cookie dough scoop. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, the edges should be golden brown, but the middles will look underdone (this will make for chewier cookies, if you want to make them crispier bake for 1 or 2 more minutes). 

Recipe Adapted from Picky Palate

Print Recipe Here

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Scoop on My Life Lately

Sorry for being MIA recently, but if you follow me on twitter and instagram you probably know the cause of my absence. If you don't follow me on either of those you should be, and heres the deal. So, I was bit by my dog on the hand. Obviously, functional hands are essential for baking, taking pictures, and therefore blogging. It was my dominant hand, so everything is taking a little bit longer.  I am slowly able to do more and more with my hand, like right now I am typing with it! YAY!
Since, I have not been in the kitchen for awhile I don't have any recipes to share just yet, but I just wanted to let you all know what the deal was. I am hoping to get in the kitchen today and try out some no-bake recipes so I don't have to worry about taking pans in and out of the oven! If you have any good no-bake recipes, I am in need! Sharing is caring they say!

Here are some snapshots of my life lately. Maybe I'll do some links I am loving on the bottom.

FYI I actually asked "Why did my dog bite me?"
I found no comfort in her response. 
So, I just realized almost all of these were on Instagram...sorry I thought I was way cooler and had taken more pictures recently, but I guess not.

Link Love
Loving this song.
I am so addicted to Pinterest. I am almost at 20,000 pins, the thought of which kind of makes me sick.
I don't have a link for this, but I am looking for one! I am in search of the perfect pancake recipe. Got any?
Sweet Paul Magazine makes me want to get all crafty and cooking crazed!
I haven't been loving the heat lately, but I do love this.

Do you have any link love you want to share? Feel free to share!

(And count this as last week's Weekly Scoop I guess, sorry for the inconsistency, I know how much it bugs me, so I can only imagine how much it bothers you!)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Weekly Scoop 7/12/13

1. I hate to say this, but summer is about halfway over. Thus far it has been flying by and I have barely been to the beach. The above photo is from yesterday, but I did not get to sit on the sand and soak up the sun. I only stopped to kill some time.

2. Do this. Blend together 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream + 1 frozen banana + a few frozen strawberries, then top with animal crackers = DELICIOUS.

3. I really need to exercise. I am interested in trying out the barre exercise method. Unfortunately, I have not found a studio near me, but there are classes available online. Any recommendations for online classes?

4. I went to a local state park with a friend the other day. And this was written on a bridge in the park, and I absolutely love it.  I totally did not take twenty pictures of it. Not only do I love the meaning, but I also kind of freaked out over the sharpied footprints!

5. As a New Englander, I don't know whether I am offended or amused by this. Also I wonder if I actually sound like these people suppose New Englanders sound.

6. My latest oogles:

7. If you have a dog and they are underfoot when you are cooking, then you will understand this.

Source apparently went to spam so I did not link. 

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

First Bloggy Blog Birthday!

One year ago today I sat down and wrote my first blog post! I did not really have any idea what I was doing, or what would come of it, if anything. Well, what a year it has been! First of all I cannot believe it has already been a year! There have been hundreds of trips to the grocery store, pounds and pounds of flour, sugar, and butter, and thousands of pictures (iPhoto hates me)!

I didn't even think I would still be blogging a year later, those first few months I reached barely any readers, but kept on chugging! Five years ago I would have slapped you if you told me I would be "blogger" (I don't know if I actually am one yet). I used to think of bloggers as forty year old men living in their mother's basement with sixty cats blogging about video games. I had never heard of food blogging, lifestyle blogging, or fashion blogging! Oh, what I was missing!

So, on this first bloggy blog birthday I thought I would share how I first discovered food blogging, or at least what I remember as one of my first encounters with a food blog! One day I was googling stuff and I decided to google 'pink peony bouquet', I am not really sure why as I am not getting married and probably will not for a long time! I scrolled through the results, I clicked on one that brought me to this post. I soon fell in love with Sweetapolita! She tells a lovely story of her first date with her husband and how he adorably made her a cake! To my (hopefully) future better half take note of this!! And that is how I fell in love with Sweetapolita and food blogs in general! The rest is history as they say!

In the coming months I have some exciting things relating to the blog that I cannot wait to tell you about, but for now mum is the word!

Now is where you would expect a recipe, but once again you are served another excuse. Here is the story, my oven is not correctly calibrated and my oven thermometer is not working either. I preheated my oven to 375 F degrees, when I put the cupcakes in, the oven thermometer was around 340 F so I bumped the oven up to 385 F. Put the timer on for 9 minutes I come back and the cupcakes are all puffed up and cracking on the tops. They were not quite done in the middle, and I cook them a bit longer. When "the toothpick came out clean", I took them out of the oven to cool. I immediately ate one, and well it was more of a muffin than a cupcake. I have now discovered how muffins are made (higher heat)!

This happened yesterday, and I did not have time to redo the cupcakes muffins so you get pictures of muffin-cupcake things not a recipe! I want to keep working on this recipe because the original photos are drool worthy!

Cheers to Bakelette turning one! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

White Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes

Yeah, yeah I know Fourth of July was yesterday, but I only made these yesterday because my first batch was a fail! and I figured by the time I would have posted the recipe I figured you should have either found your recipes or you were already barbecuing it up! Also I myself wanted to pool it up and get my tan on! Well as tan as I can get with my Irish skin! Seriously, does anyone know how I can get tanner? And safely? 

I also figured that these cupcakes were not only for the Fourth and could be made anytime of the year so it didn't matter when I posted the recipe! And some of you may be lucky enough to have other parties this weekend!
Anyhoo but now I have 65 more patriotic cupcake liners and a ton of red, white and blue sprinkles. Whatever my problem, not yours so on with the cupcakes!

White Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes
Ingredients for Cake:
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Sugar
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Large Egg
¼ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
¾ Teaspoon Coconut Extract (or almond, or vanilla)
½ Cup Unsalted Butter
½ Cup Water

Directions for Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees, and line muffin pan with cupcake liners or spray with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add in the egg, yogurt, and extract, mix with stand mixer or handheld mixer until combined. It may look kind of crumbly when mixed.
  3. Bring to a boil the butter and water in a small saucepan. After mixture has boiled, and continues to boil once removed from heat, slowly pour into thickened batter while mixing on low. Increase mixing speed until batter is smooth. Once smooth stop mixing. 
  4. Using a large cookie dough scoop, divide batter equally amongst muffin pan (I was able to get 10 cupcakes). Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place cupcakes on wire rack to cool almost completely and then glaze.

Ingredients for Glaze:
¼ Cup Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Whole Milk
2 and ¼ Cup Powdered Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions for Glaze
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk and butter just to a boil. Once it has just boiled, immediately remove from heat. 
  2. Whisk boiling mixture into powdered sugar and extract.
  3. Let the glaze cool slightly to thicken. Then drizzle or spoon glaze over slightly warm cupcakes. You may need to gently shake the cupcakes side to side in order to spread the glaze.

Recipe Adapted from The Taste Tester 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

This is totally a teaser post! Mostly because I have a lounge chair calling my name and I don't feel like typing up the recipe right now! But I will for tomorrow!

And I think by now you should have made all your BBQ or picnic goodies! If you haven't well then you should run to your nearest grocery store and grab some stuff then head to your party or whatever you have planned!

Oh, boy just heard the first firework of the day! It's still daylight people come on!

Have a great day and stay safe! And sparkler on!