Monday, December 30, 2013

Chocolate Covered Taquitos with Cool Whip Sour Cream

The new year is right around the corner along with the resolutions that come with it — exercising more, eating healthy, and the like. That means you only have a few more hours to cram as many unhealthy things into your body as possible. It’s a noble quest, and one that I’d like to help you achieve, so I’ve put together a fabulously fast and fattening New Year’s Eve snack that will help you finish 2013 strong: chocolate covered taquitos. Oh, and for dipping: a fabulous concoction of Cool Whip and sour cream.

Chocolate Covered Taquitos with Cool Whip Sour Cream

For all the meaty details, visit Foodbeast.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dark and Stormy Truffles

I like sweet things. Did you know that about me? And one of my joys in life is to take non-desserts and turn them into desserts. Speaking of... I have a fab chocolate-covered appetizer coming your way soon. In the meantime, I thought I'd take one of my favorite drinks and turn it into a sweet treat. Have you ever had a Dark and Stormy? Ginger beer, rum (Kraken preferably), and lime. Yum-mo! Well I've turned this spicy concoction into booze-infused truffles. A perfect treat to take to a New Year's Eve party, by the way.  


Dark and Stormy Truffles
(Adapted from Desserts 4 Today)
Ingredients
  • 6oz. white chocolate 
  • 6T butter
  • 7oz. Ginger Thins (Anna's)
  • 3T KrakenTM Black Spiced Rum
  • 1T Rose's sweetened lime juice
Directions
  1. Process 7 ounces ginger thins in a food processor until crumbs. (Should make about 2 cups).
  2. Heat white chocolate and butter together in microwave until just melted.
  3. Stir rum and lime juice into the chocolate/butter mixture.
  4. Mix 1 ½ cups of processed ginger thins into the chocolate mixture and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes, stirring twice.
  5. Scoop truffle goop into 2t-sized balls and roll each ball in the remaining crushed ginger thins until fully coated.
  6. I'll leave it to your discretion whether you want to put the truffles in the fridge to "set" and for how long. Definitely keep them there for storage, but I think they were best when they were a little soft.
The verdict? Well, I had two people tell me they were the best things I'd ever made. While I wouldn't go that far, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed them. I could taste the ginger and rum without one over powering the other and the bit of lime juice, while not super detectable, gives the truffle a little tangy something.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Snickers and Cheez Doodle Snickerdoodles

Christmas is around the corner, which means it’s cookie exchange season! I think it’s a great concept, but I know it’s a hassle coming up with the perfect recipe, finding the time to actually bake the cookies, and worrying that everyone is going to make the same thing. So I’ve come up with a fast, easy, and fun recipe that I can pretty much guarantee no one else will have (unless they read Foodbeast too). Snickers and Cheez Doodles Snickerdoodles—it’s your basic Snickerdoodle stuffed with Snickers, rolled in Cheez Doodle dust, and baked with love.

Snickers and Cheez Doodle Snickerdoodles 

For the full recipe, which has a good chance of getting you crowned Queen (or King) of the Cookie Exchange, visit Foodbeast

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies with Gingerbread Oreos

Seasonally flavored treats are out in full force right now. In particular, I've been intrigued by all things gingerbread: gingerbread Twix (the gingerbread flavor is in the caramel!), gingerbread M&Ms, and gingerbread Oreos. So I thought I'd take inspiration from them when baking my cookies for this year's Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I decided to use the Oreos as I've used them in cookie recipes before, and the gingerbread ones were quite yummy. 


Thick and Chewy Gingerbread Cookies with Gingerbread Oreosadapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book(makes about forty 1 oz. cookies)

Ingredients
  • 15 oz. bread flour
  • 5.25 oz. dark brown sugar
  • 3/4t baking soda
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1T ground ginger
  • 1/2t ground cloves
  • 1/2t salt
  • 12T (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4c light molasses
  • 2T milk
  • 5 oz. Gingerbread Oreos, chopped
  • sugar for rolling
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment.
  2. Process the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt together in a food processor until combined, about 10 seconds. Add the butter and process until the mixture is very fine and sandy, about 15 seconds. 
  3. With the machine running, add the molasses and milk in a steady stream through the feed tube and continue to process until the dough comes together, about 10 seconds.
  4. Transfer dough to a large bowl and stir in chopped gingerbread Oreos.
  5. Roll into 1 oz. balls and place in fridge for 20 minutes to chill.
  6. Roll in sugar and place on cookie sheet, then press down each cookie with the bottom of a glass. 
  7. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time keeping the other cookies in the fridge, 8-11 minutes. (Feel free to underbake these as there are no eggs that need to be cooked to a certain temp. You definitely don't want to overbake them, as that could dry them out.)
  8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until you can't wait any longer.
This makes a lot (40 cookies), and they come together very quickly, so I think it makes an ideal recipe for a cookie swap. I would say though, that if you want to maximize the crunchiness of the Oreos, the cookies should be eaten sooner rather than later. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Great Cookie Giveaway Winner

Hot dog! We have a wiener. Fancy-dancy random.org hath declared that the winner of the Great Cookie Giveaway is lucky number 4!



This means you...



Congratulations! Please send your mailing address to thecerealbaker@gmail.com by Monday, December 9th to claim your cookies.

For everyone who's interested, the recipe for the cookies I'll be baking Annie will be posted on Wednesday, December 11th. Until then, here's a picture of the adorbs crocheted cookies she will be getting from Squirrel Picnic



Thanks to everyone who participated! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Great Cookie Giveaway!

The holiday season is up and running and that means Christmas carols, Christmas sweaters, and lots and lots of Christmas cookies. This year I am teaming up with my extremely talented friend Jennifer Olivarez of the adorable Squirrel Picnic to bring you a super fun cookie contest.

Simply answer the following question in the comments below for your chance to win a half-dozen real cookies from me (flavor yet to be decided, but decidedly holiday-based) AND a half-dozen crochet chocolate chip cookies lovingly made by Jennifer. A random number generator will choose the winner.* I'll announce the lucky guy or gal at noon MST on Friday, December 6. (Hey, that's my birthday!)

Here's the question, and it's a toughie:

What is your favorite kind of cookie? 

(Mine are Lofthouse cookies. Yes, they are store bought. And yes, they are amazing.)

Looking forward to your comments and to sending you some tasty and super cute holiday treats!

*Contest limited to US residents only.