Cookies for the soccer team

October 9, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Cookies, Fun | Leave a comment

My little sister is a sophomore in high school (yikes I’m getting old!) and she plays soccer.  I try to make it to as many of her games as I possibly can.  The last time she played near my house I decided to make cookies for her entire soccer team.  It took some time but it was well worth it to see the smile on her face.  🙂 

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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! 

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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!

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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!!!

Happy 4th of July!!!

July 4, 2009 at 8:14 pm | Posted in Cookies | 2 Comments

Happy 4th of July everyone!  Hope everyone has a great and safe holiday (and a big happy birthday to my great friend Clara!)  I baked my famous sugar cookies (Actually my best friend Erin’s famous sugar cookies….) for a party that we went to last night.  Aren’t they festive?!

A Big WOW and THANK YOU!!!

June 30, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Posted in Cookies, Operation Baking Gals, Randomness | 2 Comments

If you’ve read my previous post, then you know that I have joined a wonderful group called Operation Baking GALS. I just heard about this group recently, decided to get more info, and then decided, “Hey, I’ll just dive into this head first and be a team leader this month!” I was a little nervous about taking on the role of team leader my very first time even doing anything with the program. After all, do I really know that many people who would be willing to bake a box of goodies and ship them to my chosen soldier (obviously Luke!) and his fellow soldiers?? But I decided to go for it.

The response for this – was AMAZING!!!! I posted it on both of my blogs, my Twitter, and my Facebook and I have had an overwhelming response. Normally they like to cap the groups off at 20 so of course my goal was 20. 🙂 I thought it might be farfetched but you know what? I am up to EIGHTEEN signed up so far!! WOW WOW WOW! So I just wanted to post a giant THANK YOU to everyone who has agreed to help me on my first whirl as team leader for the GALS. It means so much to me because I’ve become really excited about this project and my brother has already told his fellow soldiers that they would be getting a big load of goodies soon so they are awaiting the arrival of all the yummy goodness!

I am excited because tomorrow officially begins the shipping dates for the baked goods. The shipping dates are July 1 – July 11 for this round. I plan on baking this weekend and shipping on July 6 (which is also my two year wedding anniversary I might add!). I really really want to send my famous sugar cookies (er, Erin’s famous sugar cookies…) because my brother loves them and requested them but I’m way too scared of the icing melting I think.  I may try a few and have him let me know how it goes.  Other than that I’m making apple spice cookie bars, snickerdoodles, magic in the middle cookies, and chocolate chip cookies. 

If you are on my team and you have any questions, please let me know and I will be more than happy to help. If you were unable to help with my team this round, don’t worry. I have a feeling this won’t be my last run as I’ve had so much fun with this project 🙂

THANK YOU SO MUCH AGAIN EVERYONE WHO IS HELPING

Happy Spring!

March 23, 2009 at 12:07 am | Posted in Cookies | 2 Comments

Happy Spring!!!  Time to start baking fun bright colored sugar cookies!  They make me happy every time   🙂

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.

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