Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

September 10, 2009 at 12:54 am | Posted in Bars, chocolate, Dessert | 3 Comments

Who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies or bars?!  Not many people.  These are such a good, simple yet awesome recipe.  Kids love them, adults love them, they are quick, easy – what more can you ask for?  I have made these several times now for Operation Baking Gals because they stay moist for so long and are oh so yummy.  I think I could eat the entire bowl of dough before I even put them in the oven.  HA!

Recipe from Recipezaar

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • Directions

    Preheat oven to 375* Grease a 15×10-inch jelly roll pan (I put these in a regular cake pan…they are perfectly thick and chewy in that!)

  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  • Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in large mixer bowl.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
  • Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.
  • Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  • Spread into prepared pan.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Mrs. Pig Rating:  These are one of my now favorite go to recipes to take somewhere.  They are easy to just t hrow together and they are so freaking good.  Everyone loves these – adults and kids which make them good for family gatherings.

    Pig Rating:  The Pig loves these!  He is a tough critic on desserts but he really loves these.  He always makes me save him one or two when I make them for OBG.  🙂

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    Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies & Operation Baking GALS Round 11

    August 8, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Posted in chocolate, Cookies, Dessert, Operation Baking Gals, peanut butter | 1 Comment

    Last weekend I baked for round 11 of Operation Baking GALS.  My friend Kate was team leadering for her best friend’s hubby who is in GTMO so it was an easy choice as to what team I wanted to join this month.  I love baking each month for the troops…my problem is that once I read all of the fantastic stories, I want to bake for every single one of the soldiers and I can’t do that!!!  Not enough time and money for that but it’s tough to pick.  They are all amazing people. 

    This round I baked chocolate chip cookie bars again as they seemed to ship well and stay moist.  I also decided to make these peanut butter chip chocolate cookies that I’ve been dying to make.   They were easy and boy they did NOT disappoint!  I hope that they ship well! 

    DSC08245

    Remember, if you would like to join and bake for the troops during any one of the rounds, it’s easy.  Bake a box of goodies and ship it!  They really enjoy it.  Go to the Baking GALS site and sign up!

    DSC08249

    Operation Baking GALS Roundup From Round 10!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:52 am | Posted in Bars, bread, Brownies, Cakes, chocolate, Cinnamon, Cookies, Dessert, Fun, Operation Baking Gals | 3 Comments

    I am finally getting around to doing a blog roundup from round 10 of Operation Baking GALS in which I was a team leader.  I ended up with I think 20 people who sent baked goods to my brother and his fellow troops!  I was beyond thankful and so excited to be a part of this group.  I plan on trying to do this every month now – maybe not team leader every month, but at least baking every month.

    Round 11 is NOW open so if anyone would like to join a team and bake for our troops who are serving overseas, it’s very easy.  Bake a box of baked goods or any kind of goodies and ship it.  Viola!  You have put a smile on a soldier’s face for the day.  🙂  If you would like to join a team go here ——> Operation Baking GALS and sign up – what are you waiting for?! 

    As I said, I had so many people join my team and it was awesome!  My brother was so excited to receive all of the baked goods.  He said that it was like Christmas which put a big smile on my face. 🙂 He said he took some boxes to their commons area and it was like “birds on a full feeder”.  HA  Knowing that I helped give them a little  piece of home makes me feel good.  They do so much for us so sending a box of cookies is the VERY least I can do every month.  Thank you to EVERYONE who joined my team!

    As for the roundup, there are a lot of baked goods here so feel free to stop reading or continue reading if you want to see them all! 

    Continue Reading Operation Baking GALS Roundup From Round 10!…

    Operation Baking GALS: My Goodies

    July 10, 2009 at 1:00 am | Posted in Apple, Bars, chocolate, Cinnamon, Cookies, Dessert, Fun, Operation Baking Gals, peanut butter | 5 Comments

    This past weekend I spent Saturday and Sunday baking for my Operation Baking GALS group.  Did I mention that I ended up with over TWENTY people in my group??  I was ecstatic!  I could not have asked for a better response to my incessant begging asking people politely to join my group!  I am already looking forward to doing it again sometime soon.

    I debated back and forth on what all to bake and well, I couldn’t make a decision so I ended up sending two boxes.  I made 4 different things.  Actually 5…but not sure one of them will make it.  I ended up making snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookie bars, apple spice cookie bars, and magic in the middle cookies.  In addition to that, I made half a batch of sugar cookies because my brother requested those…not sure they will make it there due to the icing but if not, well, he can toss them.  🙂

    Baked goods for Luke

    Like I said, I ended up with way too much for one box so I ended up sending two.  But hey, he’s my brother, I can spoil him a bit right??

    I ended up using 4 of the large Ziplock containers and 4 small Gladware containers.  I was able to stack 2 Ziplocks on top of one another and 2 Gladwares on top of one another in each box with room to spare to add in some other small goodies.  I used the method of putting apple peels between the paper towel layers between each row of cookies.  We shall see if it works!

    All packed up and ready to go!  Isn’t the Baking GALS logo cute on the box?!

    I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated (and is still participating….still 2 days until the shipping deadline!) in my group this month.  It meant the world to me and I can’t wait for Luke and his fellow troops to receive all of the goodies!

    Once everyone has shipped, I will do a roundup on here telling what everyone sent and hopefully showing some pictures of some of the things that were sent (hint hint to those who baked for me…  😉

    Magic in the Middle Cookies

    July 9, 2009 at 1:04 am | Posted in chocolate, Cookies, Dessert, Operation Baking Gals, peanut butter | 5 Comments

    I saved this recipe awhile ago from My Kitchen Cafe and I’ve been meaning to make it but didn’t really have a reason (as if you need a reason to make cookies??).  I decided to bake them for the Operation Baking GALS this month as one of the cookies to send to my brother.  Chocolate and peanut butter in the middle and rolled in sugar?  How could this one go wrong??

     

    Chocolate Dough
    1 1/2 cups (6 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar (plus extra for dredging)
    1/2 cup (3 3/4 ) brown sugar
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
    1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

    Peanut butter filling
    3/4 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, your choice
    3/4 cup (3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

    Directions
    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
    2. To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
    3. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine, then stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.
    5. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioners sugar until smooth.
    6. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop, roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.
    7. To shape the cookies: Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough (a lump about the size of a walnut), make an indentation in the center with your finger and place one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation.
    8. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edges together cover the center; roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
    10. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
    11. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass, and use it to flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.
    12. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they’re set and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  OMG.  These cookies are HEAVEN if you like chocolate and peanut butter combination.  I had one when they were still warm and I could have eaten about 10 of them.  Good thing I was sending them to my brother and his fellow troops so they were not in the house!!!

    Black & White Marbled Cheesecake

    July 3, 2009 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Cakes, cheesecake, chocolate, Dessert | 1 Comment

    Tommy and I love LOVE cheesecake.  I used to hate it – a cake with cream cheese in it?!  Ew.  No thank you.  But as I got a little older I began to broaden my horizons and boy am I glad that I did.  I LOVE IT! 

    I received a round springform pan for Christmas and I asked for it specifically with cheesecakes in mind.  I just now got around to actually searching out recipes and making one.  It’s not that it’s  hard exactly but the whole process is somewhat time consuming from start to finish at least in my opinion.  But boy…it is SO worth it to make one from scratch.  Oh man. 

    Recipe from my lovely friend Clara’s blog:

    INGREDIENTS

    For the crust
    1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
    3 tablespoons sugar
    Pinch of salt
    1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake
    2 pounds (four 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1-1/3 cups sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    4 large eggs, at room temperature
    1-1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two
    4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

    INSTRUCTIONS

    To make the crust—
    Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has sides that are 2 3/4 inches high (if the sides are lower, you will have cheesecake batter leftover)—and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet.

    Combine the crumbs, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. (I do this with my fingers.) Add graham cracker crumb mixture into buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

    Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.

    Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

    To make the cheesecake—
    Put a kettle of water on to boil.

    Working in a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition—you want a well-aerated batter. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.

    Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan.

    Add 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to 1/3 of the batter in a separate bowl. Pour all of the vanilla batter into the springform pan, dollop the top of the batter with the chocolate batter and use a table knife to swirl the chocolate batter with the vanilla batter.

    Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

    Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven’s heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.

    After 1 hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster and remove the foil. (Be careful, there may be some hot water in the aluminum foil.) Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack.

    When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours, although overnight would be better.

    Pig Rating:  The Pig really had nothing but rave reviews about this one.  He likes his cheesecake plain better as opposed to having chocolate in it so I made this one kind of half and half.  Normally he tells me to take all the baked goods to work so they aren’t in the house but he made me keep some fo this at home  🙂

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  As I said, absolutely worth every single minute spent baking this cheesecake.  From scratch is amazing.  I will be making this one again and again and trying different toppings, etc.

    Mrs. Pig Co-Workers Rating:  This was a HUGE hit.  I think this might be their favorite thing that I’ve made yet.  Even people who normally don’t eat the sweets I bring in were all over this one.  I aim to please!  🙂

    Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake

    June 1, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Posted in Cakes, chocolate, Dessert | Leave a comment

    When I bake something I usually keep my coworkers in mind because they are the ones who get to enjoy most of my baked goods since neither my hubby or I are big into sweets.  I like them, but I don’t want mass quantities around the house, yet I LOVE to bake.  I know my coworkers really like a good chocolate cake and this one has been on my list to make for awhile now.  I know it’s already all over the blog world so it’s not new or original but I needed a good “go to” chocolate cake recipe and I think I have now found it!  I think you could get creative with this one and add different fillings, icings, toppings, etc.

    Recipe from Hershey’s website

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 cup boiling water

    Icing Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
      2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
      3 cups powdered sugar
      1/3 cup milk
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Cake Directions:
    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

    2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

    3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.

    Icing Directions

    Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

    Pig Rating:  So at first the Pig was saying this was “good but nothing special”.  But then in the past 24 hours he has eaten 1/4 of the cake.  Hm.  Really?  Nothing special?  😉

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  This is a VERY good chocolate cake recipe.  This will be my “go to” from now on for chocolate cakes and cupcakes.  Very moist and the icing is super yummy also.

    Mrs. Pig Coworker Rating:  They were fighting over it and one CW was making threats over it.  Enough said.  🙂

    Cookies and Cream Cupcakes & Buttercream Frosting

    January 31, 2009 at 10:45 pm | Posted in chocolate, Cookies, Cupcakes, Dessert | 7 Comments

    I received a lot of fabulous Christmas gifts that were related to my love of cooking and baking – a dutch oven, new set of whisks, cheese slicer, Kitchen Aid stand mixer, square grill pan..just a ton of goodies.  I received two cookbooks that I am so excited that I finally have the time to start looking through – the Cooking Light 2008 cookbook and the Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor. 

    I know some of my friends (Nikki…) are so opposed to using boxed cake mixes in things so they pretty much boycott anything having to do with people like the “Cake Doctor”.  I am not like that.  Yes, it’s better most of the time to make from scratch, and most of the time I do.  However.  My life is busy.  I am gone from 7:45 – 5:30 every day at work.  I cook a full meal every night.  I am a neat freak so I’m constantly cleaning.  Add in family obligations, our social life, my charity group, and that doesn’t even begin to touch on the kids activities – sports, homework, programs, etc.  It’s busy.  Yet, I love to bake.  So, sometimes I need a little help to make things easier. 

    I have been through my Cupcake Doctor book now and tagged, oh, somewhere around 30 recipes I’m dying to try.  The first on my list were Cookies and Cream Cupcakes with her Buttercream Frosting.

    Recipe from the “Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor” book; picture from me

    CUPCAKES

    Ingredients

    30 Oreo cookies (don’t use double stuffed, but you can use mint, etc.)

    1 package (18.25 oz) plain white cake mix

    1 cup sour cream (I used light)

    1/2 cup vegetable oil

    3 large eggs

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.  Set aside.

    Count out 12 Oreos and seperate the top and bottom wafers.  Make sure each has some of the icing on it.  Place one wafer, icing side up, in the bottom of each paper liner.  Place the remaining 18 Oreos in a large Ziplock bag and crush them.

    Place the cake mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Blend with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.  Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with rubber spatula.  Increase mixer speed to medium and beat 1.5 minutes more scraping down sides again if needed.  Measure out 1.5 cups of the crushed Oreos and fold these into the batter until well incorporated.  Set aside the remaining crushed Oreos for garnish.  Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each lined cupcake cup, filling it 3/4 way full.  (This makes about 22-24 cupcakes).  Place in the oven.

    Bake cupcakes until lightly golden and spring back when pressed with finger, about 18-20 minutes.  Place on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes.  Then lift cupcakes out of pan to cool for 15 minutes before frosting. 

    ICING (Buttercream Frosting from Cupcake Doctor)

    Ingredients

    8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter at room temperature

    3 cups confectioners sugar sifted

    3-4 tablespoons of milk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions

    Place butter in large mixing bowl.  Blend with electric mixer on low speed until fluffy, about 30 seconds.  Stop machine and add confectioners sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, and the vanilla.  Blend with mixer on low speed until the sugar is incorporated.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute or more.  Add up to 1 tablespoon more milk if frosting seems too stiff.

    Place heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and spread it out.  Sprinkle the reserved cookie crumbs over the tops gently pressing them into frosting so that they stick.  Ready to serve!

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  I really love Oreos – Oreo Blizzards are one of my huge weaknesses as a matter of fact so I loved these!  They were almost better to me the next day after the frosting set up more.  I didn’t have to add the additional milk to the frosting – if anything it was almost not stiff enough in texture for my liking.  I will definitely make these again – YUM!

    Baking Time!

    December 9, 2008 at 12:21 am | Posted in Candy, chocolate, Cookies, Dessert | 3 Comments

    I love, love to bake for Christmas!  It’s been a tradition of my mom and mine for awhile now and I started on it yesterday.  I just did a few easy things but it got me in the mood to bake Christmas things so I can’t wait until next weekend when I really go at it!  Yesterday I baked:

    Peanut Brittle

    Chess Squares

    Puppy Chow

    Candy Cane Sugar Cookies

    Mint Chocolate Cookies

    I had baked everything before except for the mint chocolate cookies.  They are AMAZING.  My coworkers kept eating them today more than anything else.  They truly do taste like a Thin Mint so if you like those, then you will LOVE this.  Here is the recipe from allrecipes.com:

    Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 36 chocolate mint wafer candies (I used Andes mints)
  • Directions

    1. In a large pan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool off slightly.
    2. At high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time into chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating until blended. Chill dough about 1 hour.
    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    4. Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. While cookies are baking unwrap mints and divide each in half. When cookies are brought out of the oven, put 1/2 mint on top of each cookie. Let the mint sit for up to 5 minutes until melted, then spread the mint on top of the cookie. Eat and enjoy!

    Pig Rating:  The pig loves chess squares, but he isn’t a mint fan so he didn’t try the cookies.

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  Everything was so good!  The chocolate mint cookies truly do taste like a Thin Mint and fresh out of the oven these are AMAZING.  This recipe makes about 40-45 cookies.

    Super Moist Fudge Bundt Cake

    November 25, 2008 at 2:14 am | Posted in Cakes, chocolate, Dessert | 3 Comments

    Let me just say – the name of this cake is no lie.  This is one of the most moist cakes that I have ever made.  The chocolate flavor is awesome and it’s an easy cake to bake if you need a quick something to take to a work event, carry in, etc.  I had this at my best friend’s wedding rehearsal dinner and I immediately wanted the recipe.  I am not a huge sweets fan, but I’m telling you – if you get a chocolate cake craving – MAKE THIS!

    (Recipe from my friend’s friend Diane)

    Ingredients

    1 devils food cake mix
    1 4-serving instant chocolate pudding mix
    4 large eggs
    1 cup sour cream (not low-fat or fat-free)
    1/2 cup warm water
    1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
    1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Place all ingredients except chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer for 1 minute. Stir down sides. Continue to mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared (i.e. greased and floured) bundt pan. Bake 45-50 (I baked about 55 minutes) minutes at 350 degrees. Cool 20 minutes. Invert onto serving platter. I usually dust mine with powdered sugar for an elegant look before digging in.

    Pig Rating:  The Pig said this one was just okay, but the Pig is the pickiest dessert eater I have ever seen.  Don’t believe him!  ; )

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this one!  I can’t say enough how good I think this one is. 

    Mrs. Pig co-workers rating:  My co-workers thought this was awesome.  They were amazed how moist it was even 2-3 days later.  They said I can make it anytime I want to.  🙂

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