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The Elvis Cookie

23 Jan

Elvis Cookies

One of the downfalls of having a sweet tooth and knowing how to bake is…having a sweet tooth and knowing how to bake.  Many times, if the urge hits, I’ll just take a look in my (usually stocked) baking cupboard and whip something up.  Last night I saw a commercial with chocolate chip cookies and lo and behold, 20 minutes later I was in the kitchen with my 3 1/2 year old helper, whipping up a batch of those divine Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies.  And now I have not been able to stop eating them.  I even brought some to work with the intention of handing them out and they never made it past my fingertips.  I try really hard to live by my mom’s rule that if the end product isn’t directly going to someone else, don’t make it.  Because you’ll eat it.  All of it.  But hey, we are in the middle of a polar vortex and I am comforting myself with cookies.  Don’t judge.  This cookie mash-up combines some absolute loves of mine, peanut butter, bananas and bacon.  So in a nod to “The King” Elvis Presley (who loved those items plus honey on a sandwich, which is killer), these were born out of our kitchen. Continue reading

Pumpkin S’mores Cupcakes

14 Nov

Pumpkin S'mores Cupcakes

I have always been obsessed with cupcakes.  And this started way before cupcakes became so trendy and everyone jumped on that bandwagon.  I’m not hating because I certainly understand why everyone should love them.  So many options, in a tiny little package, with pretty little wrapping.

I tend to even use all types of events as excuses to try new cupcake recipes.  Pink Cosmopolitan cupcakes for a bridal shower; boozy cupcakes for Chris’ birthday; strawberry shortcake ones for a summer party.  I have even made cupcakes for dogs.  Like I said, I love making cupcakes.  I previously espoused my adoration of all things fall, so I wanted to put that canned pumpkin to good use before we switched over to gingerbread-mode (which I already did with my lattes. You know, the true signifier of winter.) .  In addition to cupcakes, my obsession with s’mores is pretty high, so this is a combination of two true loves of mine. Continue reading

Strawberries and Cream Slices

21 Aug

Strawberries and Cream Slices

Chris jokes around that I am in charge of “D&D” when it comes to our entertaining.  No, it’s nothing pervy, it means that I take care of the décor and dessert.  When I know that we are entertaining, my mind immediately goes to dessert (duh).  I typically like to try new things each time, always with the threat of a failed first-time dish, but that makes things much more…exciting.  And trust me, it has definitely happened (hello broken cakes!).

We were on vacation when I made this dish and I am all for making things as simple as possible while getting my R&R on, and that includes baking.  We had stopped at a farm stand on the way and there were two baskets of delicious, plump, farm strawberries that were calling my name.  These would have been good on their own, but why not add some pie crust and whipped cream while we’re at it.  Because we all know everything is better with whipped cream. Continue reading

Buttered Popcorn and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

17 Aug

Buttered Popcorn and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a problem and thy name is cookies.  My mom is the “cookie queen”, so whenever she comes to visit us in New York, cookies are constantly coming out of the oven (and straight to my hips!).  If you put a bag of oreos in front of me, I can consume the whole bag no problem, something I’m not too proud of.  I just don’t have an “off” switch when it comes to them.  And that is one of the reasons I don’t make them too often.  Because I will eat them.  All of them.  I love them so and they just mock me right to my face.  When I do make them (and of course sample as I go along), they have to be headed directly to a party/someone’s house/Ella’s preschool, because if they are on my counter for more than five minutes, they will “suddenly” disappear.  Into my mouth.

My little cousin slept over the other night and one of the things I wanted to do was bake cookies with her.  And the only stipulation was that she had to take them home (except for the three that I put to the side for…Ella.  Right, for Ella.). Continue reading

Aunt Anne’s Caramel Brownie Bars

26 Jul

caramel brownie bars

First off, yes, Aunt Anne is real (hi Anne!).  As I have mentioned before, my mom has a major sweet tooth and apparently it was passed along to me in the womb.  I can’t really recall any specific dinners she made us growing up, I mean, of course we ate, but nothing too memorable (sorry mom!).  However, when it came to desserts, I can recall more than a dozen delicious, divine desserts that were always in rotation in our house (which is evidenced by my thighs, even to this day).

I am really, really bad at memorizing recipes.  Even basic, simple dinners that I have made a million times, I still need to read a recipe for.  I just have that block going on in my brain.  However, there is one (and really, probably the only one) that I can do without a recipe.  And it’s this one.  I have made this for some many occasions (as my mom has), that it is permanently engrained in my mind.  Which isn’t a bad thing when it concerns a brownie/bar/caramel hybrid.

As a side note: One of the best things about having a baker in the house is being given the beaters to lick.  Hands down.  No matter what is being made, it is the best part of baking time.  I think Chris cried a little when he realized he would have to share the beaters with Ella.  He’s been (pretty) good about sharing them.  Sort of. Continue reading

Raspberry Jam and Dark Chocolate Dessert Pizza

12 Jul

Raspberry Jam and Dark Chocolate Dessert Pizza

I am such a sucker for mail.  It’s always so exciting when anything, other than a bill, arrives in your mailbox.  One of the sweetest sights to see in our household is a specific-sized box, with a return address from California.  Chris and I always immediately know the contents of said box.  It’s my mom’s jam.  And it’s freaking amazing.

She has been jamming for as long as I can remember and you would think I would have paid attention at least one time out of the 974 times she has made it. Nope (insert shamed daughter).  I have literally sat in the same room with her multiple times while she has made it.  I have no idea how to make it so I have to rely on her to keep our supply stocked (and also keep our close friends and family supplied).  And thank goodness because we go through peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in our house like WHOA.  And it’s not just because we have a three-year old kid.  It is my weakness. (Chris has said on multiple occasions that I have the palate of a toddler…).

So it was a welcome surprise when that box arrived on our doorstep last Friday. It held (glorious) large jars of jam from my mom. It was also perfect timing because we were having people over for dinner and they could be our (willing) guinea pigs for this dessert pizza.

I love raspberries and dark chocolate together, so this was a natural combination in my mind.  The mascarpone lightens up the taste to create something that is divine.  Trust me on this one.  Oh, and those leftover dark chocolate chips?  Gone.  In my mouth.  Another weakness. Continue reading

Grilled Summer Fruit Pizza

8 Jul

Grilled Summer Fruit Pizza

As I am writing this, the thermometer in our house is reading 90 degrees.  In my house.  No, not outside in the sun.  In my living room.  When we bought this great mid-century modern home, with the high-peaked ceilings, sun-soaked living room and custom windows, we didn’t think about the hot, humid New York summers. Or the fact that air conditioning units don’t fit in those custom windows.  Or central air can’t be installed in the (weird) walls. That may have been because we bought the house in March, on a beautiful crisp day.  Not feeling too crisp right about now.

Since it is so hot in my house (as evidenced by the three cold showers I took today), we have been trying to not cook anything inside, and this includes dessert. We made this dessert pizza on the Fourth of July, and it was the perfect ending to a summer meal. Continue reading

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