Sunday, August 24, 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies

There is nothing better than a good classic peanut butter cookie.  I always loved to make these when I was young and not much has changed.   You can add chocolate chips or nuts and even oatmeal to this recipe but I always just prefer them plain.....simple and delicous!


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus a small bowl of extra sugar for finishing cookies)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flour


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl cream together softened butter and peanut butter.  Beat in both sugars until light, about 2 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla until incorporated evenly.  Add salt, baking soda and flour and beat until just combined.

On a prepared cookie sheet (lined and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) Roll dough into small balls and place 1/2 inch apart.   Using the back of a fork first dipped in water and then dipped in granulated sugar, gently flatten each dough ball and make a crosshatch pattern.  (press fork down in one direction and then lift up.  Then press fork down in other direction across the lines to make pattern).  

Bake for 10 minutes until cookies are slightly browned on edges.  Let cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.  Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Muffins with Lemon Glaze

We just returned from spending the summer in sunny California!  What a nice extended vacation.  We stayed with my Aunt who has the most fabulous fruit trees in her backyard.  How nice to go out and pick a lemon, orange or apple anytime we wanted.  I use lemons ALL the time when I cook and bake so this was just super convenient.  Also since it was so nice and hot where we were and you pick the lemons fresh off the tree you get this warm very juicy piece of fruit to use which was so easy to extract juice from.  The kids made fresh lemonade a few times which they absolutely LOVED.  The recipe that I made, Lemon Zuchinni Bread was super delicious and light and refreshing.  The perfect summer treat.

Beautiful Lemon Tree


1 c grated Zucchini
Zest of 1 lemon
2 TB lemon juice
1 c sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (or scant 1/2 c of milk with 1 TB lemon juice mixed in)
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tap salt

Lemon icing
1 c powdered sugar
2 TB lemon juice
1 TB milk


For cake mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) together and set aside

In large bowl beat eggs, add sugar and oil and mix until combined.  Next add buttermilk and lemon juice and lemon zest. Fold in grated Zuchinni.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until well combined.

Pour into prepared lined muffin tins to make muffins or a greased loaf pan to make a cake.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 min for muffins or 40-45 min for loaf pan.

For the icing combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk together.  Drizzle over warm cake.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Coconut Macaroons

I make these cookies A LOT!  They are a big hit everywhere I bring them.  If you are a fan of coconut, these are the cookies for you! It's one of those recipes that I don't need to bother measuring anymore and it always comes out delicious.  The trick is to let them get pretty dark and toasted and then the sugar and coconut will caramelize on the bottom of the good!


cups sweetened coconut
½ cup sugar
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt


Line a baking sheet with a silpat baking liner or parchment paper. Mix together all ingredients in a medium bowl until moistened. With damp hands form small haystack shapes on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cookies are golden brown. Let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack. They are also delicious if you dip the bottoms in melted chocolate. Just let harden well before packing up.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wheat Free Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been trying to eat wheat free as much as possible and the hardest part is dessert.  I still need something sweet to eat every once in awhile.  These cookies are the perfect sweet bite and only 5 ingredients.   Now I have to try not to eat them ALL by myself!  So if you like bananas, chocolate and almonds these little cookies are just for you!


2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 cups almond meal (almond flour)
1/3 cup almond butter
1/4 chocolate chips (extra minis for garnish, optional)
1 tablespoon coconut sugar (also optional - I like the added sweetness)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In medium bowl, mash bananas.  Add almond butter and stir to combine.  Next add almond meal, coconut sugar and chocolate chips and mix until incorporated.   On lined cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray drop cookie batter using two teaspoons.  Sprinkle the tops with mini chocolate chips if desired.  Bake for 22 minutes until cookies are slightly browned on top and bottom.  Let cool completely before serving.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Red Velvet Cake Dip Ball

Here's another fantastic, delicious dessert dip!  What's better than Red Velvet?  This one is really fantastic.  It was the most popular one I served at my New Year's Eve party and a HUGE hit with the adults.  You can serve anything with this dip, pretzels, graham crackers, cookies etc.  I love pretzels with it, something about the sweet and salty aspect of that combo is a winner with me.


1 package (8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups red velvet cake mix,dry
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar 
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Vanilla Wafers, pretzels, graham crackers, or other cookies for dipping
In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer beat the cream cheese and butter together until combined. Add in the Red Velvet cake mix, brown sugar, and powdered sugar and beat until combined.   Mixture will seem extremely dry and you will think it will never get creamy but I assure you it will.  Just keep beating it together and have patience.

Place the mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap.  Bring up all the corners of the plastic wrap and wrap into a ball.  Refrigerate the ball for about 1 hour or until it is firm enough to keep its shape.  You can also put it in the freezer for quicker results.

Place the rainbow sprinkles on a flat plate and roll the unwrapped cheese ball in the sprinkles.  Make sure to press the sprinkles into the cheese ball until it is fully covered.
Place the ball on a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.  The cheese ball will be very firm straight out of the refrigerator so let stand for about 10-15 min before serving.  Also you may want to place a few small spreaders on the platter to make it easier to serve. 


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chocolate Crumb Cake Loaf

A nice change from the usual cinnamon crumb cake.....This VERY chocolately version is to die for.  I used our favorite chocolate cake recipe found here....Ultimate Chocolate Cake and made a delicious dark chocolate crumb topping.  When I combined the two it was over the top delicious.  This recipe makes two loaves so you can share with friends ;)


Ultimate Chocolate Cake batter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously spray two loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Prepare Ultimate Chocolate Cake batter and pour half batter into each loaf pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder and melted butter.  Mix with a fork until big crumbs appear, set aside.  Remove cakes from oven after baking for 20 minutes...the cake will not be done and probably be runny.   Top each loaf with half of the chocolate crumb mixture.  Place cakes back in the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Immediately dust the entire top of the cakes with powdered sugar and then sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.  Set aside to cool before cutting and serving.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Heart Shaped Cupcakes (using a regular round cupcake pan)

Happy Valentine's Day!!
I wanted to make some Valentine's Day cupcakes to donate to my children's school PTA Valentine's Day Bake Sale.   I have seen this technique around Pinterest and other Food blogs but have never tried it myself.  This is so simple and they come out adorable with no special tools or cupcake tins.  All you need is 24 marbles or large round glass beads, two regular round cupcake pans and 24 cupcake liners and you are all set.  You can of course make your favorite cupcake and frosting recipes but in a pinch a boxed mix and canned frosting works out great!
Cake batter, prepared (any flavor you like)
1 container frosting, any flavor/color
2- 12 cupcake pans
24 cupcake liners
24 marble or large round glass beads
sprinkles or decorations optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.  Prepare cake batter according to box directions or recipe.   Pour batter about 1/2 - 2/3 full and then carefully place a marble between pan and cupcake liners to make indentation (as seen in picture below).  I have also placed marbles in-between pan and liners before pouring in batter.  I think this might be easier and you will not accidently overfill liners although either way will work.  Bake cupcakes for 20-23 minutes.  Cool completely on rack before frosting.  Now you can be creative and frost and decorate your cupcakes anyway you like.