Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flat & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I just wanted to share this flat & crispy chocolate chip recipe with you. I prefer a more soft, thick, bakery style cookie. Landon prefers the flat and crispy kind. I have to admit...these are pretty good. I kind of felt like I could eat more because they were so much thinner than my normal cookies. ha ha. Behind this jar of cookies is my new favorite kitchen tool. Thank you mom and dad for the ipad! I am loving it using it OFTEN!

Flat & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/2 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 1/4 c flour
1/2 T baking soda
1/2 T salt
1 egg & 1 yolk
1/2 t vanilla
1 bag chocolate chips or M&M's (semi, dark or milk...your choice!)

Preheat oven to 325.

Melt the butter and allow it to cool slightly. Mix the sugars and the melted butter. Add the eggs slowly and mix. Add vanilla.

Sift together the flour, soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate.

Drop heaping tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 11-14 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool on the sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Edible Pineapple Flowers

Martha are so clever. I loved this idea for cupcake toppers. Aldi had their pineapples on sale for $.99! I was so excited to use half of my pineapple for these flowers. I whipped up a batch of hummingbird cupcakes and topped them with the pineapple flowers. The only thing I did different was place them in muffin tins after they were finished in the oven to get the cupped flower effect. Go HERE to make these beautiful flowers!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

Our family enjoyed Hot Cross Buns for breakfast this morning. It is an old English Easter tradition that I have always wanted to try. I saw them on The Pioneer Woman's site a while ago and knew that was the perfect recipe to start out on! It is her cinnamon roll base (YUM) filled with cinnamon and raisins. It is pretty tasty! Go HERE for detailed instructions. Hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend celebrating the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! HE IS RISEN! Happy Easter!

Hot Cross Buns

For the buns:
2 c whole milk
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c sugar
1 package Active Dry Yeast
4 c flour
1/2 c (additional) flour
1/2 t (heaping) b. powder
1/2 t (heaping) b. soda
2 t salt
1/4 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 c raisins (i used a little more....we like raisins)

For the egg wash:
1 egg white
splash of milk

For the glaze:
1 egg white
powdered sugar
splash of milk


Combine 2 cups milk, canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan. Stir and heat until very warm but not boiling. Turn off the heat and allow to cool until mixture is still warm, but not hot–about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle yeast over mixture. Add 4 cups of flour and stir to combine. Mixture will be very sticky. Cover with a towel and set aside for 1 hour.

Add 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir till combined.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar with cinnamon and whatever other spices you want to use.

Lightly flour surface. Press to slightly flatten dough. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle on about a third of the raisins. Then fold the dough over on itself and flatten again so the dough is “plain” again. Repeat the sugar/raisin process, then fold the dough again. Repeat a third time until all the raisins are used. (You won’t use all the sugar/cinnamon mixture.)

Pinch off ping pong or golf ball-size bunches of dough. With floured hands, quickly roll it into a ball, then turn the edges under themselves slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes…an hour-plus is better.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 degrees


Mix 1 egg white with a splash of milk. Brush onto each roll.

Bake for 20 minutes, give or take, or until tops of buns have turned nice and golden brown.

Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.


Mix 1 egg white with enough powdered sugar for icing to be very thick. Splash in milk as needed for consistency.

Add icing to a small Ziploc bag and snip the corner. Make icing crosses on each roll, making sure they’re completely cooled first.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Low Fat Crunchy Granola

I decided to fill my cookie jar with something healthy this week. The cookies just kept calling my name, and I needed something guilt-free to snack on. I LOVE this granola is super simple and quick to make. It is also very customizable. Just add your favorite nuts in place of the almonds. Add dried fruit, toasted coconut or dark chocolate chips after baking. Mmmmm. It is a great, crunchy topping for yogurt, salads or ice cream! This is a recipe for a small batch since I am the only one who ever eats granola around here. Hope you enjoy!

Cooking Spray
2 c rolled oats
1/3 c brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 T water
1 t vanilla
1/2 c almonds, or your choice of nuts

Preheat oven to 275. Lightly spray your baking pan with cooking spray.

Combine the oats and nuts in a large bowl.

Microwave your brown sugar, water and salt in a microwave safe bowl for one minute. Stir in the vanilla. Pour on top of the oat mixture and stir until the oats are covered.

Pour onto the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

I just wanted to share my favorite salad dressing with you! I eat salad on a daily basis...and I never get tired of this dressing. It is SO easy and really compliments a fresh sumer salad. My usual salad consists of Romaine, Strawberries, Blueberries, Mandarin Oranges, Feta, Grilled Chicken and Granola or sliced almonds. Hope you enjoy!

Poppy Seed Dressing

1/2 c mayonnaise (regular, lower fat, fat free)
1/4 c skim milk
1/4 c sugar (or splenda or stevia)
1/8 c white vinegar
Poppy Seeds

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk together until smooth!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Jalapeño Popper Dip

I realize these are the worst pictures ever. I am not a photographer, and I definitely don't know how to make a dip look good in a picture. I can guarantee that you will love this dip though. It is wonderful...easily halved too! You can use 1/3 less fat cream cheese and olive oil or reduced fat mayo to make a "reduced-fat" version. Hope you enjoy it!

Jalapeño Popper Dip


2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 (4 oz.) can diced jalapeño peppers, drained
½ cup shredded Mexican style cheese
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.

Combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, green chiles, jalapeños, and shredded cheeses. Mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula until smooth and evenly combined. Spread the mixture into a 9x9 (or similar) baking dish.

In a separate bowl, combine the panko crumbs and parmesan. Stir with a fork until combined. Sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture and spray lightly over the top with cooking spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the top is golden. Serve warm with baguette slices, chips, or veggies.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Brownies with Crunchy Coconut Pecan Topping

I just have to say that these brownies were DANGEROUS. I loved the topping a little too much...crunchy and flavorful! I love any kind of brownies...cake-like or fudgy. These were definitely a little more on the cake-like side. Landon really prefers fudge brownies, so next time I will make them that way. To make this a quick semi-homemade dessert....use your favorite brownie mix and just make the topping!

3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 large eggs
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch pan.

For the topping:
Stir together topping ingredients until combine.

For the brownies:
In a saucepan melt the butter on low heat. Remove the pan from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Into a bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and stir into butter mixture until just combined well.
Spread batter evenly in pan and sprinkle with topping. Bake brownies in middle of oven 35 to 45 minutes, or until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it. You may have to add a piece of foil over the top for the last half of cooking to keep the topping from getting overdone.

Cool brownies...or immediately top with ice cream and ENJOY!