Monday, November 30, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day #30

I decided to participate in this year's NaBloPoMo because I wanted the discipline of posting something here every day.  I thought it would be fun to try out a ton of new recipes as well as to visit some new blogs.  It was... and it wasn't.

I absolutely loved most of the new recipes I tried and have added some new blogs to my blog reader.  But I didn't like posting just to post something.   I think if I do this again, I'll have to be a little more organized and bake a lot in advance.

My favorite recipe for the month were the chocolate chip mint cookies.  They are the perfect quick treat with a slight kick. 

Did you participate in NaBloPoMo?  What was your experience?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Little Pie Company in the Big Apple - A Review

Although I love to bake, there are some desserts that I leave to the experts - like the petit fours from Swiss Chalet Bakery in NJ, my mother's banana pudding, tiramisu from Serafinas, my Aunt Melva's pound cake and this Sour Cream Apple Walnut Pie from The Little Pie Company in the Big Apple.

I'm not even an apple pie person.  I like apples and I like pie but it always seems too bland or too sweet or like something is missing between the many many layers of apple.  But this pie is how apples are supposed to taste.  First the crust is like a cross between traditional pie crust and a very flavorful shortbread.  Then the layers of apples mixed with sour cream that doesn't even taste like sour cream.  The topping is rich and sweet.  Hmmm.... I really don't think I'm doing this review justice.  You really should try it for yourself.  And fortunately you don't have to be in Manhattan because they ship

I have never met anyone who didn't like this pie and immediately ask me "HOW did you make this?".  It's so good, I would never even try to pretend it is one of my creations.  Try it - you will not be disappointed.  I also highly recommend the Carrot Cake.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Shortbread Cookies

I saw these cookies on the blog 17andbaking and just had to make them.  These cookies really do melt in your mouth and are great dipped in chocolate.

Chocolate-Dipped, Melt-in-Your-Mouth Shortbread Cookies

1 cup (two 8 oz sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
6 oz dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled  (I used Semi Sweet chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment.

Whip butter on high speed in an electric mixer for 10 minutes, until white and very fluffy. In the meantime, sift together the sugar, cornstarch, and flour. Beat them in on low speed for one minute, then on high speed for 3-4 minutes until well combined.

Transfer to a piping bag fit with a large star tip. Pipe cookies 2″ apart into 1.5″ “stars” and bake 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden around the edges. Cookies might be crumbly, so let them cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.

Once completely cool, dip cookies halfway in melted chocolate and let harden on wax paper or a wire rack.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Still to Full from Thanksgiving Dinner to think about food

Come back tomorrow for cool looking shortbread cookies.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Come on in.  I've saved you a seat.

Oh is this for me?  You really didn't have to bring anything but I do love a nice Riesling.  Thanks.

You look great.  Did you do something with your hair?

I hope you are hungry. 

Sorry some of the food looks a little fuzzy.  Trust me, it tastes as good as it smells.

Don't forget to save room for dessert.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


125 cake balls done - too tired to blog.

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for my family, friends and all of the many lessons I learned this year. 

But I am also thankful for you taking time out of your day to visit the little blog that could.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

No TWD this week

This week's Tuesday with Dorie was chosen by Britin of The Nitty Britty.  She picked the All in One Holiday Bundt Cake.  This looks really good as I've seen several TWDers who have baked it but it didn't make the Thanksgiving dinner list so I'll make this some other time.  Don't forget to visit the other bakers to see what they have been baking!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A New Fav - Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

So many of the recent recipes I've blogged about have been new.  I love trying new desserts saving my tried and true desserts for special occassions.  I love sweets so I often give strong reviews.  But this little cookie - I love.  It came from the chocoholic, my sister.  She found it on someone else's blog (but didn't doesn't know the origin).  So anon blog - THANK YOU.  The only changes I made were to increase the baking soda and use semi-sweet chocolate versus dark chocolate.

When I first tried them, I thought maybe I should have added a little more peppermint extract.  But then I had another one after dinner and realized it was just right.  I only baked one batch, putting the rest in the freezer but I'm already tempted to bake more. 


Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 tsp. of baking Soda
1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg (beaten)
1/4 tsp. of peppermint extract
1 cup of chopped semi sweet chocolate - I used Ghiradelli

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). On low speed, slowly add the beaten egg and peppermint extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. Stir in the chopped chocolate by hand.  Preheat the oven to 375F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop out well rounded teaspoon of the dough and roll them into balls.  I used tiny ice cream scoop which I love for chocolate chip cookies!

Leave about 2 inches between each ball. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before removing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I totally get Twilight

So I'm a little behind with the Twilight thing.  I have to admit, I hadn't even heard about it until the first movie opened last year.  Suddenly all of my friends were up all night reading the entire series before heading to the movies and claiming "Team Edward" or "Team Jake".

This weekend, my sister and I reverted to our 13 and 14 year old selves and read both Twilight and New Moon.  Then proceeded to watch both movies.

I totally get it.  This series was so written for the teenage me.  To love the boy that is soooooo wrong for me and of course our love is greater than any other love before.  Check!

The movies..... not so much.  I was shocked to discover the first movie was written and directed by a woman.  Where's the love?  Oh and I really think Robert Pattinson is a nice guy and I so want to like him.  But he needs a few acting lessons.  Okay my sister says it is not him but bad directing.  Either way, I'm going to need whomever is writing, directing, staring in Twilight 3 - to READ the book and then interview a bunch of teenage girls to find out why we they love it so.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Perfect Party Treat - Cake Balls

Last year, I discovered Bakerella's blog and cake balls.  Now I see them everywhere!  I have visions of dessert buffets with cute little candies filled with cake of various colors and flavors.  Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Mint, Red Velvet, Oreo, Pumpkin Caramel, Apple Caramel (okay you get the picture).   Cake Balls can be made with cake scraps but since I tend to not level my cakes before icing, I never have scraps.  But when I decided to make the extra tall Strawberry cake last week, I saved a tier to try them out.  I am so glad I did.

I crumbled the cake in a bowl and mixed in about 3/4 cup of cream cheese frosting.  Mix the frosting a little at a time.  You don't want it to be too wet, just enough frosting to bind the cake crumbs together.  Then I formed little cake balls. 

I put the cake balls in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.  Otherwise, the balls will come apart when dipping in the chocolate.

For chocolate, I recommend candy melts or chocolate bark.  I made a couple of cake balls with regular chocolate chips and not only was the chocolate a little too thick, but it also took over an hour to set.  The candy melts set in less than 10 minutes.  I purchased my candy melts at Michaels and they come in a wide variety of colors. 

The cake balls were WONDERFUL.  The strawberry cake enrobed in white chocolate was just like biting into a fruit flavored chocolate truffle.  This is definitely something you should add to your holiday buffet table. 

Have you made cake balls?  What's your favorite flavor combination?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Let There be Peace on Earth

Warning - for the next couple of days, most of my posts will be of the chocolate variety due to a visit from my chocolaholic sister.  If anyone knows of a support group to help cure a chocolate addiction, please let me know.  This girl can smell chocolate.  Like the candy I hid on the top shelf in the back of my cabinet 6 months ago and forgot exists?  Yeah - she'll find that in like 3 minutes flat.

So I decided to make a batch of Dorie Greenspan's World Peace cookies.  I've heard nothing but rave reviews from everyone who has ever tried them.  Since you need to refridgerate the dough, I split it in half and put both logs in the freezer saving one for Christmas.  (Note - most cookie doughs freeze quite well and are good up to 3 months in the freezer.  Now is a good time to start making your holiday cookies.  Then you can just pop them in the oven directly from the freezer right before you go to your holiday party.)

These cookies are quite easy to make.  And they are verrry chocolatey. This should definitely satisfy the chocolaholic in your life.  =)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Red Velvet Cake Success

So I love baking something for someone.  I love seeing them enjoy their sweet treat and I absolutely love getting requests.  So after the 3rd or 4th time my parents requested I pick up red velvet cupcakes from Make My Cake on my way to visit, I was determined to master the red velvet cake.  My first attempt was from Paula Deen.  The cake came out a spongy fail.

So this weekend, I decided to try the cake again.  Big Success!  I unfortunately don't know the origin - if you do, please tell me.  I wasn't crazy about the frosting.  When I make this again, I'll use the cream cheese frosting from the Southern Style Strawberry cake but this is a definitely keeper.

Red Velvet Cake
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour*

1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 oz. red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.

4. Make sure you have cake pans buttered, floured, and nearby. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and place them in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. To remove the cakes from the pan, place a wire rack on top of the cake pan and invert, then gently lift the pan. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
Recipe Notes: *Sift cake flour once before measuring, then sift again with the other dry ingredients per recipe instructions.

Cream Cheese Frosting - this frosting was a little too cream cheesy for me.  I recommend using this recipe.

16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
pinch of salt

With an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, until ready to use. If refrigerated, the frosting will need to be brought to room temperature before using (after frosting softens up, beat with mixer until smooth).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Southern Style Strawberry Cake

I first discovered this cake on Joy the Baker's Blog.  Strawberries, cream cheese frosting and coconut?  I'm in!  I've made it a couple of times and it is always a hit.  But before I get to the cake...

Do you remember last week when I mentioned that if you are going to make an edible image for a cake or cookie, you should make more than one because they are so easy to break?  Well mine cracked and... no back-up.  Yes I am so stubborn I don't even take my OWN advice.  =) 

But I was able to put the pieces together on the cake and it still looked cute.

Back to this cake.  This cake is SOOO good.  Make it.  Trust me.  Oh and since we've bonded over my umbrella crack, I'll share a little secret.  This cake comes from a mix.  Yes my friends - I love to bake from scratch but why fight the mix?

Southern Style Strawberry Cake

from: Sweets Soul Food Desserts and Memories

These instructions make two 8 layer cakes.  For the baby shower, I doubled the recipe and made 4 layers.  What, the cake only has three layers you say?  I froze the 4th layer to make cake balls.

1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix (without pudding) - I used Duncan Hines.  Note both Betty Crocker and Pillsbury use pudding in their mix.  I've never used those brands so I'm not sure how it would impact cake.
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry jello
1 Tablespoon self rising flour
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup fresh strawberries, finely diced.  (Strawberries are a nice touch, but the flavor and color comes from the jello so you can omit if they are out of season.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the cake, combine to cake mix, Jello, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the water and strawberries and mix well. Divide the batter evenly into 2 8-inch round baking pans that have been oiled, floured and lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean and the layers pull away from the sides of the pan.

Transfer the layers from the oven to wire racks. Let them cool, still in their pans, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife around the inside edge of each pan, then unmold each layer onto the racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting - I cannot tell you how much I love this frosting!

1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs powdered sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
pink food coloring
4 sliced strawberries (for decoration)

To make the frosting, in a bowl combine the cream cheese and butter. Beat until soft and pliable and no lumps remain. Add one pound (one box) of the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated. Add the second box of sugar and mix until incorporated. If you would like a smoother consistency, and a slash of milk. If you would like a thicker consistency, and a bit more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.

Put the coconut in a small bowl and sprinkle with two or three drops of pink die. Mix with hands to distribute the color and wash hands immediately. Once the cake is frosted, decorate the top of the cake with the shredded coconut and sliced strawberries.  For this cake, I put the shredded coconut in between the layers and omitted the strawberries.   

This is the tallest cake I've ever made - I just love the dramatic height!

Sorry I didn't save you a slice.
What is your favorite "doctored" mix recipe?

Monday, November 16, 2009

What's Your Favorite Red Velvet Cake recipe

Made attempt #2 last night.  Pics to follow.  I really liked it!  I can't say I LOVED but with slight modifications it could be a winner.

What is your go to recipe for red velvet cake?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Welcome Baby

I spent the afternoon with 3 of my dearest friends celebrating the soon to be arrival of a baby girl. 

There is something to be said about old friends friends who have stood the test of time because we are not old.  =)  The five of us whispered about first loves during sleepovers, spent the weekend at the Jersey shore after prom and stayed in touch via letters (which I still have in a hat box at my parents house) during that 1st year apart in college. 

We have stood by each other as we started careers, found a soul mate (4 down, 1 to go)  and now have children.  The five of us couldn't be more different.  But I think it is our acceptance of those differences that have kept us friends for 20+ years.

So on to the food.  I, of course, volunteered to make the cookie favors and cake.  I couldn't decide on one design.  They were so much fun to make.  The cookies are sugar cookies with royal icing.  I promise to share the cake pictures and recipe tomorrow.  It is such an easy recipe that kinda well, yes definitely does, involve a box cake mix (gasp).  I would share today but the pictures are stuck in my camera and it is sleepytime.

Can't wait to meet you little baby Paige!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday meet Sleepy Saturday

No new recipes tonight.  Since it has been pitch black around here since like 6 pm, my evening wasn't very productive.  But tomorrow there will be cake!  Either my 2nd attempt at Red Velvet (the first one wasn't pretty) or Southern Style Strawberry cake (YUM!).  

In the meantime, isn't this the cutest little onesie?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Royal Icing Edible Image

How to make a color flow edible image for a cake or cookie when you don't want to spend $8 on color flow mix.

Step 1 - Print out (or draw) the image you want to create.  Tape wax paper over printed image.

Step 2 - Make thin consistency royal icing (okay you still have to spend money on meringue powder but this can be used for decorating cookies or in buttercream).  According to Wilton, test the consistency of the icing by dropping a small amount of icing into the mixture.  If it takesa full count of ten to disapper, it is the right consistency.  If it disappers sooner, add stiffer icing to the mixture.  If it takes longer than 10 seconds, add more water.  Careful, add water a few drops at a time.  A little water goes a LONG way.

Step 3 - Outline your image and let set.  Next to outline, create a bunch of test dots about the size of a nickel.  This will be your "image set indicator" to determine if your image is dry and ready to be transferred.

Step 4 - Fill in with icing.

Step 5 - Wait

Step 6 - Grab a Snickers, this is going to be a while (2-3 days)

Step 7 - Two to three days later, test dots to see if image is set.  If dot doesn't smoosh when you press down, image is ready to be transferred to cookie or cake.

Step 8:  To transfer, place the wax paper at the edge of your table.  Pull the wax paper down toward the floor.  The image will separate from the paper so put your hand out to catch it.  If you miss, don't worry just go back to Step 1.  No seriously, if you drop the image, it will shatter into a bunch of little pieces and you will have to start over again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Today's Post Sponsored by the Letter C

This week marked the 40th Anniversary of my childhood favorite television show, Sesame Street.  I can't believe that not only is it still on the air, but most of the original actors are still there as well.  My favorite character is Ernie.  I always thought Ernie and Bert were like me and my sister Roxanne.  I was Bert and my sassy little sister was Ernie.  Like Bert, I was way taller than my sister (Ernie) and we shared a bedroom with twin beds.  So similar, right? =)  As I got older, Ernie's place as my favorite was replaced by Strawberry Shortcake, who was replaced by My Melody who was replaced by Smurfette who was replaced by Mickey Mouse who has been replaced by no one (you should see my kitchen).

This show taught me about professions (who are the people in your neighborhood), other languages (okay I think I only learned the word agua but I never forgot it [smile]) and that your imaginary friends can be real to you (Mr. Snuffleupagus).  I hope it is still on the air fifty years from now when I have children (just kidding mom).  Happy Birthday Sesame Street.

So cookie monster, here's some cookies just for you!

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Recipe from Williams Sonoma online


1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Put the confectioners' sugar into a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. [Note:  my butter and sugar would not cream.  This may be because I halved the recipe or my bowl was too big.  Either way, it did not have a negative impact on the cookies.]  Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add 1 egg and beat on medium speed until blended. Add the other egg and vanilla and beat until blended.

Turn off the mixer and add the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended.

Using a teaspoon, scoop up a rounded spoonful of dough. Scrape the dough off the spoon into the palm of your other hand. Roll the dough into a ball. Roll the ball in the confectioners' sugar until covered.

Place the balls on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart.

When 1 baking sheet is full, put it in the oven and bake the cookies until they are crackled and puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Using a metal spatula, move the cookies onto the rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the rest of the cookies.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day #800 billion (okay #11)

So I have tons of things to bake but am finding it hard to bake everyday.  I love baking but when there is a purpose.  Usually I have a sweet tooth but baking sweets day after day (and leftover Halloween candy) have pretty much taken care of my sweet tooth.  I don't mind cookie orders because I know that it is for someone's special occassion.  That is fun!

But forcing myself to bake? Not so much.  Come back tomorrow for something chocolatey - YUM!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

TWD - Peach Crisps

This is another quick and easy recipe - Dorie Greenspan's Cran-Apple Peach Crisp.  Since I was only making 1 serving, I was determined to use ingredients I already had in my kitchen (I'm also pretty appled out.)  So I substituted peaches for the apples and instead of ground ginger, I used ground nutmeg in the topping.  Okay I will use nutmeg in anything but nutmeg is a nice complement to peaches.

I also didn't bother to whip out the food processor choosing instead to use my hand mixer and then my hands to mix together the topping (sans coconut).

It took less than 10 minutes to put together!  The taste is great.  I love peaches.  The topping was a bit buttery but I think that was an error on my part in reducing the recipe.

This week's recipe was chosen by Em of The Repressed Pastry Chef.   Nice choice Em!  To see what other TWD bakers cooked up this week, check out the blogroll.

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Favorite Blogs

I don't have any new recipes to share tonight.  I'll be back tomorrow with my Tuesdays with Dorie sweet.  Tonight, please visit some of my favorite food blogs.

Joy the Baker - she's a GREAT baker and pretty good writer.  You can't help fall in love with her after reading a few posts.  She also has a thing about pancakes.

My Sweet & Saucy - Melody of my sweet and saucy recently opened a shop in California.  I really like her cake designs.  She has both a modern and classic style.  Sweet.

I heart Food for Thought - Recent posts are mostly about home deocorating.  But if you go into the archives you will see why I love this sight.  CB has great tutorials that assure you that whatever you are making is "supposed to look like that" during the process.

Bakerella - As much as I think cookies are the new cupcake.  Bakerella's cake pops are making cake balls stiff competition.  Her cute designs and tutorials will make you a hit at your child's next birthday party.

Tastespotting - Even though my photos never make the grade (something about dull composition, bad lighting blah blah blah), I love this site.  Beautiful photos of great looking food.

Tuesdays with Dorie bakers - So many great baking blogs in one place.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why Don't I like Blondies?

This afternoon I was watching an episode of Everyday Baking and saw a fast, easy, good looking recipe for Blondies.  I've never been a fan of Blondies but I can't honestly remember eating them.  And it basically looks like a chocolate chip cookie so what could go wrong?  So I hopped off the couch and with notebook and pen at hand wrote down all the directions.

While the Blondies are not bad, they are denser than I like.  I can almost taste the butter in an oily kind of way.  Maybe it was because I didn't add baking soda?  Maybe it is just a personal taste?

Update - Blondies were a hit with the family so I guess it is just me.  Enjoy!  =)

I'm going to share the recipe with you because it is the kind of recipe you can make during the week for a last minute dessert.  Don't you feel so efficient when you pop a baked good in the oven while you are eating dinner so that it is nice and hot when its time for dessert?  This is also a great recipe to make with kids.  You just need one bowl and no mixer.  Plus, I fiinally tried baking bar cookies/ brownies with parchment at the bottom for easy lifting out of the pan to cut into squares.  I don't know why I haven't tried this sooner.

Slightly adapted from Everyday Baking (part of Everyday Food)

1 stick melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup walnuts (recipe called for 1 cup)
1 cup chocolate chip morsels

Grease 8x8 inch pan and then line with parchment paper so that paper comes up the side.  Once baked you will be able to easily lift Blondies out of the pan and set on counter for easy cutting.
Whisk melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and salt until well blended and no lumps.
Add flour and stir with spatula until 95% incorporated
Add 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir
Put batter in greased pan
Top with remaining chocolate chips (and walnuts if you are making them with 1 cup walnuts)
Bake for 350 degrees for 40 minutes (mine took 35).
Cool on wire rack.  When cool, remove cookies from pan and cut into squares.

Do you have a better Blondie recipe that I can try?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Now That's... Good Eats

(To a lucky fan, Cook Smart - Alton Brown)

Last month, I won an autographed copy of Alton Brown's new cookbook, Good Eats.    Jen of Beantown Baker met Alton at a local book signing and thought enough of her readers to get an extra copy.  Thanks Jen!

I'm a big food network fan and really enjoy Alton's show.  I've learned alot about food but have to admit, I've never tried any of his recipes.  Jen is a big fan of Alton's recipe for chewy chocolate chip cookies.  Alton has perfected 3 different types of chocolate chip cookies and Jen has tried all.  Please visit her site for her reviews of the Chewy (her favorite) and the Puffy.

The cookbook is just like his show complete with scientific diagrams and fun food facts.  If you are a fan, I highly recommend it.  

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Night Baking Club

Tonight across the country many bakers are putting the final touches on tomorrow's treats and cakes for weddings, birthdays and other special events. 

Many stay up late through the night so that they can deliver the freshest tasting, most intricate designs.

Tonight I am part of the Friday Night Baking Club. 

There isn't anywhere else I would rather be right now than here doing this. 

(Okay maybe sitting courtside watching Lebron and Shaquille beat my poor Knicks.)