Tuesday, August 23, 2011

White Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies: Made With Nutella!

I felt like making something tried and true recently. But wanted to add a twist to it. Sort of the same way I felt when I made my brown sugar snickerdoodles! I thought a good chocolate chip cookie recipe would be just what I was looking for, since I usually have most of the ingredients on hand and it would be easy to experiment with.

What I dreamed up were white chocolate chip hazelnut cookies with Nutella!

Hazelnuts and white chocolate chips

Well, they came out a little flat for my liking. Although they stayed chewy, as I like them. So if you make them, just make sure to leave plenty of space between each cookie when dropped on your cookie sheet!

White Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies
Adapted from Nestle

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/3 cup Nutella
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside
  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, Nutella, and vanilla extract until creamy.
  4. Add egg and beat well.
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture
  6. Reserve a few chips and hazelnuts to place on top of cookies, then stir in remaining chocolate chips and hazelnuts
  7. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheets
  8. Place a few chocolate chips and hazelnuts on top of each cookie
  9. Bake 9 - 11 minutes or until lightly browned
  10. Cool on baking sheets for about 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely

Hazelnut White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie bite

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Pie

This pie looks super impressive and sexy, but it's actually super easy! It is also super sweet, be warned. And, it's a touch hard to cut because of the graham cracker crust, but the slices don't need to be neat to taste good!

This is only the second pie I've made from my Martha Stewart summer of pies magazine article. Making them all may have a been a bit ambitious, but this was a good one!

Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Pie

Strawberry Lemonade Icebox Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart

For the crust
Vegetable oil cooking spray
9 to 10 graham crackers, broken into pieces
1/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup strained fresh lemon juice
2 large egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue), plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
Coarse salt

For the topping
12 ounces strawberries, sliced (2 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 large egg whites, room temperature
  1. Coat a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. Pulse crackers in a food processor until finely ground; measure 1 1/3 cups, and discard excess.
  3. Pulse cracker crumbs, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in food processor to combine.
  4. Add butter, and pulse until mixture is moist and holds together when pressed between 2 fingers.
  5. Press crust evenly into bottom and up sides of pie plate using the bottom of a dry measuring cup.
  6. Freeze for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 while crust freezes.
  7. Bake crust until firm and turning darker around edges, 10 to 11 minutes.
  8. While crust bakes, start the filling. Whisk together condensed milk, lemon juice, egg yolks and egg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  9. Remove crust from oven, and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  10. Pour filling into warm piecrust. Bake until center is set, 25 to 30 minutes. (Note: I baked mine longer, probably closer to 35 - 40 min, I think my pie plate was smaller than 9 inches and therefore deeper!)
  11. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  12. To make the topping, slice up the strawberries and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar and the lemon juice.
  13. Give a stir and let stand for 30 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, heat egg whites and remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in the heatproof bowl of a mixer set over a pan of simmering water until sugar dissolves and mixture is warm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. (Note: If you're worried about making meringue from raw egg whites, heat the egg whites to 160 at this point while you dissolve the sugar! I didn't bother checking the temp so I don't know if mind really got to 160, but I've safely made meringues and swiss meringue buttercream frosting using this method before!)
  15. Transfer to mixer, and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, 8 to 9 minutes.
  16. Position an oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the broiler while your meringue whips.
  17. Spoon strawberries over pie.
  18. Spoon meringue over top of strawberries and place pie under broiler AND DON'T LEAVE IT until meringue is just browned.
  19. Eat the pie!

Glorious strawberry lemonade ice box pie

"Sliced" strawberry lemondae ice box pie

Friday, August 12, 2011

Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles

I have this old cookie recipe book from my grandma. It has a classic recipe for snickerdoodles that make about 4 1/2 dozen cookies and they always come out amazing! They are crisp on the outside and soft and cakey on the inside. They're perfect.

I've actually been seeing a lot of snickerdoodle recipes floating around on blogs so I wanted to do something a little different. I decided to substitute some of the granulated sugar with brown sugar because brown sugar is awesome, meaning brown sugar snickerdoodles would be doubley awesome.

Brown sugar snickerdoodle bite

As I mentioned, this will make about 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 dozen cookies! Some to give away and some to keep for you! I like packing them in cute take out containers to give away. :o)

Brown Sugar Snickerdoodles
Adapted from Sunset Cookies

For the cookies
1 cup butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 plus 1/3 cup dark brown sugar (or light brown sugar if you'd rather! Also I think think this is 1 1/6 cup...clearly not my strength...sorry for the crazy measurements!)
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For rolling
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar (or light brown, again)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter
  4. Add the sugars and beat until creamy
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined
  7. In a separate small bowl, combine the cinnamon, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
  8. Mix until combined. Use your fingers if you have to to break up the clumps of brown sugar
  9. Roll 1 inch dough balls in the cinnamon and sugar mixture, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart
  10. Bake about 12 minutes or until lightly browned
  11. Let cool on baking sheets slightly before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Brown sugar snickerdoodles

Brown sugar snickerdoodle cookie plate

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes

I actually made these for 4th of July. They're marshmallow filled chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting! I colored the marshmallow with red and blue food coloring, and piped it into the center in layers, but in most of them you couldn't tell. Anyway, my point is colored marshmallow filling is fun for holidays!

Fun buttercream frosting

Btw, this is my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe ever, it comes out excellent every time. As for the marshmallow recipe, the marshmallow filling came out well, but I found the directions for the ganache frosting a little...sparse... I didn't understand it had to completely cool or chill before it could be whipped, and I ended up wasting it, it never firmed up. No worries though! I fell back on my favorite chocolate buttercream recipe and piped it on in little dots since I was afraid I would run low. Everyone thought that was super fancy and cute apparently, so I'll definitely do it again!

Marshmallow Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 24 standard sized cupcakes

For the chocolate cupcakes
Adapted from Ming Makes Cupcakes

1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
6 heaping tablespoons cocoa
2 sticks butter
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and place paper cupcake liners in pan.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in room-temperature buttermilk.
  3. In a saucepan, melt butter and cocoa together at a low temperature. Whisking until smooth.
  4. Add water and whisk to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, and salt.
  6. Add cocoa mixture and egg and mix at low speed.
  7. Add buttermilk mixture and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean

For the marshmallow filling
From Swanky Pear

1 - 7 oz container marshmallow cream
1/2 cup softened butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine marshmallow cream and butter. Beat together until smooth
  2. Add water and salt
  3. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until creamy
Fill cupcakes
When cupcakes have completely cooled, cut out a "cone" from the center of the cupcake. Cut of the bottom of the "cone" and keep the "hat." Spoon a bit of the cookie dough filling into the cupcake and replace the hat. Some nice photos of this method can be found in this post for boston cream cupcakes.

For the frosting

6 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  1. Cream the butter.
  2. Combine the sugar and cocoa.
  3. Slowly add the sugar and cocoa mixture to the butter and continue beating
  4. Add milk one tablespoon at a time to thin frosting if necessary

Tried to make patriotic marshmallow filling
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