Tag Archives: dessert

Cake Mix Cookie Bars

These are so easy and delicious! I found this recipe on Pinterest from a blog. And here it is!

cake mix cookie bars

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 Box yellow cake mix
1 Small box instant vanilla pudding (3.5 oz)

1/4 Cup water
3/4 Cup canola oil (can use vegetable oil)
2 Eggs
1 Cup chocolate chips or M&M’s (plus an additional 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top if you want)
Sprinkles of choice (optional)

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And here’s how I opted to cook today…recipe open on one side of the screen, and The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure going on the other side of the screen…

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Okay, now let’s get cookin’!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine cake mix, pudding, water, oil, and egg in a large bowl.
3. Add chocolate chips or M&M’s
4. Add sprinkles. I used Valentine’s Day sprinkles!
5. Spray a 9×13 baking dish/cake pan with nonstick cooking spray
6. Pour the THICK batter into the baking dish/cake pan (here is where I put extra chocolate chips on top)
7. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
8. Let cool for about 20-30 minutes
9. Slice and enjoy!
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I hope you make these and let me know how yours turn out! Happy baking!

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Thick, Soft Sugar Cookies

I have officially found the PERFECT sugar cookie recipe!!!
They seriously melt in your mouth!

And it’s so easy! And it doesn’t need to chill!
If  you like thick, soft sugar cookies, then this is the only recipe you need.
The trick is to roll them out thick and bake them for less time than you think they need.
As far as how many cookies this makes, it really depends on how big your cookie cutters are. Mine were really varied, and each batch made about 40 or 45 cookies.

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Even the icing recipe is perfect!

But we’ll start with the cookie recipe…

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar

2 eggs
3 teaspoons extract
*for classic sugar cookies, use 3 tsp vanilla extract 

*for vanilla-almond cookies, use 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp almond extract
*for peppermint cookies, use 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp peppermint extract
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
5 1/2 cups flour

Here’s what you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In mixer, cream butter and sugar
3. Add eggs
4. Add vanilla
5. Beat well
6. Mix in the sour cream
7. In a different bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
8. Mix flour mixture into butter mixture (if it is too sticky to roll out, add more flour…1/4 cup at a time, until it’s good enough to roll out)
It was at this point that I really wanted a Kitchen Aid, because my wooden spoon broke! I couldn’t believe it! I mean, it was getting old, but seriously?! Luckily I have other wooden spoons…but I still want a Kitchen Aid really badly…
DSC080939. Roll out on floured surface to about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick. Really.
DSC0809110. Place on cookie sheet. You can put them pretty close…mine were probably between an inch and 1/4 inch apart…
11. Bake for 7-8 minutes.THEY WILL NOT LOOK DONE! But don’t give in to your temptation to cook “just a little bit longer” or you will get crunchy cookies instead of soft, pillow-like cookies.
This is what mine looked like when I took them out of the oven:

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They are still very pale and have no browning anywhere. If you have a golden brown color along the edges then you have baked them too long.

12. Wait about 5 minutes and then transfer carefully to a cooling rack. If you wait longer they will get soggy on the bottom.
13. Frost with icing (see recipe below) and decorate with sprinkles!

Now it’s time to make the icing!
I used a handheld electric mixer, because that’s what I have. My cooking buddy and best friend Michelle made this recipe, and said she used her Kitchen Aid and whipped the icing for 5 minutes and it turned out delicious. So it just depends on if you want whipped icing or regular! I prefer regular, but if you want whipped, then whip away!

Here’s what you need:
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons extract
*for classic sugar cookies, use 2 tsp vanilla extract.
*for vanilla-almond cookies, use 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp almond extract
*for peppermint cookies, use 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp peppermint extract

1/4 to 1/3 cup milk

Here’s what you do:
1. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter.
2. Mix in the vanilla
3. Mix in the sugar until crumbly.
It will look something like this…
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4. Gradually add milk until frosting reaches desired consistency
5. Add food coloring of your choice, if you so desire.
6. Frost your cookies!

I collect sprinkles…I seriously LOVE them. If you are feeling generous, but you can’t afford to buy me a Kitchen Aid, then sprinkles will always make me happy! (Update: I have a Kitchen Aid now! Read about it here!)
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Its really that simple! And they turn out perfect every time. TRUST ME…I MADE THREE BATCHES IN FOUR DAYS.

I know, that’s a lot! But I made them last Sunday just to try out the recipe. My friend Jacey and I baked them, and then my friend Cara and I decorated them. And then I made them on Tuesday so I could bring them to my ASL class on Wednesday…and I made them again on Wednesday so I could bring them to my CPSE 463 (Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities) class on Thursday….so there you have it…3 times in 4 days! They’re just so good, I want everyone to have some!!!

If you bake as much as I do, then you will definitely want tons of flour from Costco…I also get my powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and butter from Costco…things I always use when cooking!
DSC08092Here’s some personal favorites….Cara and I had so much fun decorating!
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If you make some, please let me know how yours turned out!

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Stuffed Cookie Cups

Stuffed Cookie Cups

These turn out so good! And they are super easy! My friend Ashton told me earlier this week that she wanted to bake with me sometime, so we made it happen today! So fun. And so delicious.

Here’s how you can make your own!

What you will need:
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
12 Oreos, Reese’s, or anything your heart desires for cookie centers

Here’s what you do:
1. Preheat oven to 3oo degrees
2.  Prepare a 12 cup muffin pan, by greasing with butter or pan spray.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend the granulated and brown sugars.
5. Add the butter and beat to form a grainy paste.
6. Add the eggs, one at a time.
7. Add the vanilla, then beat at medium speed until fully combined.
8. Add the flour mixture and blend at low speed until just combined; do not over mix.
9. Fold in the chocolate chips.
10. For each cookie, roll a 3/4 inch ball and press into the bottom of the muffin cups.
11. Press the treat of your choice into the center of the cookie.
12. Roll another 3/4 inch ball and cover the treat by pressing it over the top. (You will have enough cookie dough left to eat some, and to make some regular cookies)
13. Place in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, checking every so often. (We cooked the regular cookies for 15 minutes, or until done)
14.  Pull out of the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes (even longer if you can) before attempting to remove them from the cups.
15. Enjoy!!!

Here’s a pic of the process…

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They will be totally full when you put them in the oven

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And here’s what they look like when they are done!

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I tried to get a picture of one cut in half, but it doesn’t look so amazing…but trust me, they are DELICIOUS.

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You can kinda see the Reese’s at the bottom, right? Anyways, SO GOOD!!! Let me know how yours turn out!

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Spaghetti and Meatballs Cupcakes!

Look at my most recent creation!

Props to my roommate Jessica McKay for that picture! Her camera is so much better than mine!

I got the idea from here.

If you want to make them, here’s how…

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

Icing 

1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

3 drops yellow food coloring

24 (or less) hazelnut chocolates (Ferrero Rocher), unwrapped (or you can use chocolate-covered donut holes)

Strawberry jam

White chocolate bar (to shred)

Here is what to do:

1. Make the cupcakes

2. Tint the  frosting with the cocoa powder and yellow food coloring.

I was honestly surprised to see it turn from white into a spaghetti-colored concoction! Cool!

3. Apply a THIN layer of icing to the cupcakes.

See that little pink spatula? I love it!!!! I call it my “magic pink spatula” and it’s what I use to ice cupcakes! I love it!

4. Arrange the cupcakes on a platter

I am a poor college student and don’t have a platter, so I used an old baking sheet and a flamingo plate I have

Make sure they are close together!!!

5. Put the rest of the icing in to a Ziplock bag. I used a sandwich size and put about half of what was left.

6. Snip a SMALL hole in the bottom of the bag.

7. Pipe the icing all over the cupcakes to make the noodles!!!

I was scared that I wouldn’t have enough icing….but it turns out I had way more than enough!! So don’t be stingy! But if you are worried, put some on every cupcake, then go back and fill in the gaps!

After I had done about 2 cupcakes, my bag exploded….I was able to pick up the explosion and move it over to the icing bowl…luckily.

I decided that I needed a stronger bag AND thinner icing

So I got a Hefty bag (quart size) and I added milk to the icing. I didn’t measure the milk, but I added about this much….3 times…just until I felt like it was good when I stirred it.

After I did this, it worked beautifully! It came out much faster and easier.

Look how cool they look! I was so excited as I did all of this! I couldn’t stop smiling! I love when something works out with my cupcakes!

Make sure some of the noodles hang off the edges!

8. Get out the chocolates!

I unwrapped them this morning, put them in a plastic bag, and put them in the fridge until I was ready to use them.

9. Drop it into the strawberry jam!

10. Using a spoon, cover it in jam and then take out the chocolate.

11. Put it onto a cupcake, and let the “sauce” drip around the cupcake!

12. Do this with the rest of your chocolates, spreading them out throughout the cupcakes if you don’t have enough to cover all the cupcakes. 

13. Put some “suace” on the cupcakes that don’t have a “meatball”…also, put any extra “sauce” where you see fit!

14. Get out the white chocolate bar and the cheese grater

I already had this Almond Bark bar, so I just broke off 1 of the squares and used it. I only used a little bit! Seriously a tiny bit!

15. Shred the white chocolate (parmesan cheese) onto the spaghetti and meatballs!

TA-DA!

My wonderful roommate Jessica came and took pictures of them…and her pictures are so much better than mine…so here they are!

Thanks again for the pictures, Jessica!

Jessica said the cook needed a picture! I think this is my first picture with any of my cupcake creations! Thanks Jess!

Happy Cupcaking!

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Buttercream Icing

A few months ago, I got tired of buying icing for all my cupcakes.

So I began the search for a new recipe.

I took this recipe and altered it slightly: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/buttercream-icing/detail.aspx

And I love it! Here’s what you do!

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons milk

Here’s what you do!

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and vanilla.

2. Blend in the sugar, 1 cup at a time, blending well after each addition.

3. Beat in the milk.

4. Continue mixing until light and fluffy!

I always use it right after I make it, but if you will be using it later, keep it covered until ready to decorate.

With leftovers, I just refrigerate it until I need it again! When I need it, I let it sit out until it gets to room temperature and then I whip it fluffy!

So good, and it’s what I use on all my cupcakes!

Enjoy!

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