S'more Cookies (Stephen's Favorite)


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Stephen's favorite cookies come from a little place in south Jordan, Utah. They're loaded with gooey marshmallows, chocolate chunks and pieces of graham crackers. We've been going through a little separation anxiety lately. You know, the kind you have when you move away from all of the restaurants and bakeries you once visited on a weekly basis. So in order to ease that anxiety, I've been searching for a s'more cookie recipe just like the one we love. I had no idea how hard it would be to find one, I don't think such a thing exists. I found bars, whoopie pies, moon pies... all sorts of creations, but nothing like the cookies we love. That left me with only one option- create my own. We hope you will enjoy them as much as we do!

Chocolate S'more Cookies
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
⅓ c. double-Dutch dark cocoa
8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
½ c. mini semisweet chocolate chips

1 c. Nestle Toll House chocolate chunks
1 (10½ oz) bag of Jet-Puffed mini marshmallows
1 sleeve Nabisco or Honey Maid honey graham crackers, cut into small rectangles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In large mixing bowl cream sugars and butter for 1 minute. Add eggs, vanilla, cocoa powder, and melted chocolate. Beat.
3. In a separate mixing bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder. One cup at a time, add dry mixture to wet ingredients. Mix for 1 minute on medium speed. Remove bowl and fold in mini chocolate chips by hand.
4. Scoop cookies (1½" balls) onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, remove from oven.
5. Set oven to broil (high)
6. Begin to add toppings by sprinkling the chocolate chunks on top of each cookie, lightly pressing them in. Next, press in 3-4 graham cracker pieces into each cookie. Finally, sprinkle enough marshmallows on top to cover the majority of each cookie. Place back in oven and watch until marshmallows become puffy and golden brown. Remove and let cool on sheet for 3-5 minutes, then place on wire cooling racks.
Tip: Make one sheet at a time so that the cookies are still warm when pressing toppings in and so that they bake properly.
Stephen + Natalie | Makes approximately 24 cookies.

Holiday treat #3


Sunday, July 3, 2011

A while ago when we were stopped at a gas station on our way back from Utah, we discovered mini Reese's peanut butter cups. They were delicious on their own, but I though they'd be even better in brownies. The other day when we were at the store I saw that they were being sold in big pouches, so I bought one and made up a batch of these- 

Deep Dark Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2¼ c. granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1¼ c. Dutch-process cocoa
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. mini Reese's peanut butter cups chopped in half

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
2. In a medium-sized sauce pan over low heat, melt butter, remove from heat and then add sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to heat until it is hot but not bubbling. It will become shiny and glassy. Continue to stir.
3. While the mixture is heating for the second time, crack 4 eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla until smooth.
4. Add the butter/sugar mixture and combine, stirring until smooth.
5. Add the flour, stirring until smooth. Wait until mixture has slightly cooled (10 minutes or so) to add chocolate chips and peanut butter cups.
6. Pour batter into the greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a cake tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. The brownies should look set and crusty around the edges and the middle should look moist and shiny.
7. Remove from oven and cool on rack for 30 minutes before serving.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour, Deep-Dark Fudgy Brownies | Makes approximately 24 bars

Holiday treat #2: Snickerdoodle Cupcakes


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Yep, everything you love about a snickerdoodle cookie but baked into a cupcake! It's not very often that I get to make actual snickerdoodles, mainly because Stephen isn't a big fan of cinnamon. But a few days ago I thought I'd give these cupcakes a try. I mean, who doesn't love a good cupcake? They baked up nicely, with a tender moist crumb and full of cinnamon flavor. I decided to top these with a melt in your mouth cinnamon buttercream. They were heavenly! A huge hit with everyone who tried them, including Stephen ;)

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
1½ c. all-purpose flour
1½ c. cake flour, sifted
1¼ c. sugar
½ c. brown sugar
16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1¼ c. milk
4 large eggs

1 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Combine flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla.
4. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.
Adapted from Recipe Girl, Snickerdoodle Cupcakes | Makes approximately 24 cupcakes

Melt in Your Mouth Cinnamon Buttercream
1 c. butter, room temperature
3 tsp. whole milk (I used 1% and it turned out just as tasty
4 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon (King Arthur Flour's Vietnamese cinnamon is perfect for this!)

1. Make sure butter is at room temperature. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on high speed for 3 minutes until creamy. Add sugar one cup at a time. Then add milk one teaspoon at a time. Once incorporated, add vanilla and cinnamon. Beat on high for 5 minutes.
2. Use a rubber scraper (spatula) to scoop into a piping bag (if you don't have one, a Ziplock bag works great). Once in the bag, cut the tip (or corner) to create an opening. Then pipe onto cupcakes in a circular motion starting at the outside working in. Dust with additional cinnamon.
(One batch makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes)

Holiday treat #1


Mini cake doughnuts. 
Apple cinnamon with cinnamon sugar.
Apple cinnamon with vanilla glaze.
Chocolate with powdered sugar.
Chocolate with vanilla glaze.

for KAF doughnut mixes click here

Another trip to Jacksonville


Yet again, our weekend consisted of driving to and from Jacksonville, only this time our trip was successful! We finally found the perfect place to live for the next three years (hopefully), and the best part is... the location! It's only a couple of minutes away from where Stephen will be going to school. Also the 3 bedrooms + attached garage is pretty nice too :) While up there we stayed with our friends Katie and Bill again. I had a few little gifts that I made for their kids so here they are:

P.S. I'll be selling those adjustable harnesses soon, so keep your eyes out!

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