Saturday, November 29, 2014

Caramel Macchiato Cupcake

Attention coffee drinkers - I have got a treat for you.  A caramel macchiato cookie!!!   You heard that right - a coffee infused cookie, drizzled with salted caramel sauce - all the delicious flavors that you love to drink - in cookie form. 

I am in no way advocating that you boycott your favorite caramel flavored coffee drink - I'm simply offering you a new way to enjoy it. 

Give this cookie a try - you will not regret it. 

Caramel Macchiato Cupcakes

2 ¼ cup Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbsp Espresso Powder
½ tsp Salt
¾ cup Brown Sugar + ¼ cup for Rolling
¾ cup Sugar + ¼ cup for Rolling
¼ cup Cream Cheese, cut into pieces and softened
6 Tbsp Butter, melted
⅓ cup Vegetable Oil
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Salted Caramel Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder. Set aside.

In another large bowl mix together ¾ cup Brown sugar and ¾ cup sugar with softened cream cheese.

Mix until smooth. Add melted butter and stir until incorporated.

Whisk in the oil, then whisk in the egg, milk and vanilla.

Stir in the flour mixture slowly using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

In small bowl or dish, whisk together remaining ¼ cup of brown sugar and ¼ cup of white sugar. This will be used for rolling cookies.

Using a cookie scoop, gather about 2 tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball and then roll into the brown and white sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. With the bottom of a flat bottom glass, gently press down onto the top of each cookie dough ball until they are about 2 inches in diameter.  Sprinkle cookies with additional brown and white sugar mixture.
Bake for 12 minutes or until they just turn golden brown on the edges.

Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing.  Remove and then allow to cool on wire rack.

Drizzle the tops of cooled cookies with warmed salted caramel.

I didn't realize that I took so many pictures of these cookies - I must have been REALLY hungry!


Friday, November 28, 2014

Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies

It's Black Friday!!

My advice to any of you who are heading out into the scary world of black Friday shopping - arm yourself.  Not with weapons or credit cards - no, no - arm yourselves with SUGAR.  An adequate supply of sugar will carry you through the long lines at the checkout and might even come in as a valuable negotiating tool when an army of angry shoppers are arguing over the last toy on the shelf.

Take my advice shoppers - don't rely on coffee to carry you through the day.  Cookies work much better as energy boosters --- AND you can tuck them into your purse and get through even the most crowed isles without spilling your drink.  Shop hands free this year people - skip the coffee and pack cookies!

What better way to give yourself a little pick me up than with a cookie loaded with peanut butter, chocolate, butterscotch and white chocolate?

Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies
  • 1/2 cup of melted unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter morsels
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar until combined. 
Whisk in the egg. 

Whisk in vanilla and peanut butter. 

Sift in flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined. You will need to use your hands here and work the cookie dough until flour is no longer visible. 
Fold in peanut butter morsels, mini chocolate chips and white chocolate chips until evenly distributed. 

Form one inch balls with the cookie dough and place then on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 8-9 minutes.  Cool on wire racks. 

Bake a batch of loaded peanut butter cookies and shop on blog friends.  As for me, I'll be munching on my cookies on cyber Monday. 


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Roasted Garlic Hummus

I FINALLY figured out why in the world I could never get my homemade hummus as smooth and creamy as the store bought varieties.  In a word - skin!

Chick pea membranes are tough and do not break down - no matter how powerful your blender.  I have been adjusting ingredients and tweaking my hummus recipes for years, just trying to achieve a creamy texture when all along - all I needed to do was to remove the peel from my chick peas.

Here is my official hummus disclaimer - you WILL spend a ridiculous amount of time popping the skin off of each individual chick pea and it IS a mind-numbing task.  BUT, I promise you that it is worth it.  Every second that you spend removing membranes is going to pay off in the best hummus that you have EVER eaten.  (Put on some groovy music and the time that you spend peeling won't seem quite so painful.)

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Hummus
  • 1 and 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas (about one 15 ounce can - drain, rinse, and reserve 1/4 cup liquid)
  • 4 roasted garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup tahini, stirred well
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup reserved chickpea liquid or water
  • sea salt, to taste
For the hummus: Peel the skins off of all the chickpeas. This may be done in advance to save time if you prefer - cover the peeled chickpeas and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Place the chickpeas into your food processor or high speed blender and pulse until they are somewhat mashed.

Add the remaining ingredients. Taste - and add a little salt if needed. Add more olive oil and/or reserved chickpea liquid to thin out if needed.

Spoon the hummus into a bowl and drizzle with additional olive oil, a sprinkle of parmesan, a couple pieces of chopped roasted garlic, and a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper if desired. Serve with spiced pita chips and fresh veggies. Cover tightly and store up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

This hummus is soooo good.  I ate it for lunch every single day for a week.  And the only reason that I stopped after a week is because I ran out.  I hope that you like it as much as I do.