Seattle Chocolates Truffles and a Giveaway!

***UPDATE***
This contest has ended. The winner will be announced on Friday, August 31st. Thank you to all who entered, shared, followed, liked and subscribed!

A few weeks back I posted a recipe for White Chocolate Lemon Truffles and lamented the loss of my favorite Seattle Chocolates truffle flavor. Wouldn’t you know it, someone over at Seattle Chocolates read my little blog and I was contacted by their brand manager with an offer to taste some of their newest creations. Sometimes, blogging has its perks! Free chocolate is a pretty sweet deal. Of course, I couldn’t possibly keep all the deliciousness to myself! I also couldn’t stop myself from eating all the amazing truffles they sent me though. Thankfully the kind people at Seattle Chocolates agreed to host a little giveaway. That’s right! Free chocolate for one very lucky reader! Maybe you?! I’m so excited I can’t stand it! Bakerlady’s very first giveaway! Yippee!

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Lazy Heath Bars

I’ve been cleaning my house like a crazy person for two days. If you know me, you know this is NOT normal behavior. Usually I’m perfectly content for my house not to resemble a museum or some kind of scientific lab. I prefer to spend my time on the floor doing puzzles or coloring rather than scrubbing. Things are clean enough. Or, as my father-in-law used to say “good enough for government work”. He was allowed to say things like that. Jeff worked for the IRS for 20+ years. When houseguests are coming however, I become a short freckled version of Adrian Monk. Ok. Not quite that obsessive. Close though.

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Bakerlady’s Best of Blueberries

I started thinking about blueberries after my 6th friend posted on Facebook that they were blueberry picking. No joke. Who knew that all the cool kids go blueberry picking in August? Actually, come to think of it, a few weeks ago when my sister watched my munchkins, she took them out to harvest some blueberries from a local farm. I totally should have though of doing that! Man! When did I become such an un-fun mom? Gotta work on that! It seems to me that with all this berry picking going on, folks might appreciate a recipe (or seven) to use up some of that abundant fruit. So here’s the great big Bakerlady’s Best of Blueberries post!

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Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie

A few years ago I went to Disneyland on a mission. That mission was food. Glorious, delicious food. You see, I’ve been enjoying Disneyland pretty much my whole life. I went several times as an adult with my sisters and cousin. No kids, just four 20-somethings having a blast. I took a trip after the birth of each of my children. A mommy break sometimes is absolutely essential to keeping your sanity. In all these trips however, I’d never truly realized the fabulousness of Disneyland food. Obviously there are things that are overpriced and a little bland (it is a theme park after all), but there are unexpected delights as well. I started reading Disneyland forums a few months before this particular trip. I was doing research (yes, it’s a sickness…I know) and compiling a list of all the great things people recommended consuming while at the Happiest Place on Earth. The list got very long very fast. Over 5 blissful days of appetite stretching, gluttonous eating I managed to taste everything on my list. Most items met or exceeded my expectations. One cookie blew me away. The forums just called it “the cookie”.

This cookie. A light sweet dough with white and chocolate chips swirled with raspberry. Bliss. Usually when something is overhyped as being simply divine, the real thing doesn’t measure up. I cannot express to you how excited I was when at first bite I realized Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie was everything I wanted it to be and more. It is beyond delicious. You can find it at Pooh Corner and at some of the shops on Main Street. Can you sense my joy at finally having one in my hands??

I’d heard that Disneyland will give you the recipe for things if you ask. Not true. At least, not true with this cookie. Perhaps because they don’t actually make it in the park. It’s made by a company called Selma’s. And they aren’t about to hand out their recipe (I can’t really blame them). Thankfully, my cousin Shannon (also a baker and a Disney freak) managed to piece together a close copy using Selma’s snickerdoodle dough as a springboard. I tweaked her recipe a little, using almond extract instead of raspberry. I also used a trick I learned from America’s Test Kitchen and added an egg yolk for a super soft and chewy cookie. The result is pretty near a perfect match. Big and chewy, swirled with raspberry and the sweetness of two kinds of chocolate.

The only trick in making these is the swirl of raspberry. It is VERY easy to mix it too much and end up with a bright pink cookie instead of dancing raspberry swirls. Working 1/4 of the dough at a time is the key to getting the proper twirly action.

Dollup about 1 tablespoon of jam over the top of one quarter of the dough.

Then use a knife to sort of cut it in.

Don’t stir! There should still be clumps of obvious jam.

Then, using a cookie scoop, drop the dough on your prepared cookie sheet.

And flatten slightly.

Repeat with the remaining dough, working with one quarter of it at a time.

Depending on the size of your cookies, your bake time can vary from 8 minutes all the way to 17. I wanted mine to resemble the big bakery sized cookies they serve at the park. Only bake until the edges are faint golden and set. The middles will still be soft and puffy.

I can almost hear the faint screams of people going down Splash Mountain and the buzz of the pretend bees outside Pooh Corner as I eat these cookies. It was a vacation in my kitchen as the aroma of chocolate and raspberry started wafting out. At first bite I knew I was in deep trouble if I didn’t find someone to “gift” the batch to. They were so soft and chewy and the flavor of the dough and the mixed in jam & chocolate was exactly right!


If you’ve ever tried this treat in Disneyland and love it as I do, make sure you have people to help you eat these before making a batch. The temptation to sing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah while you consume the entire tray will probably be too great if you are by yourself with these. Partly because having another one isn’t going to cost you four bucks like it does at the Magic Kingdom! Without any monetary ramifications holding you back, there’s no telling what you might do. Seriously.

Print Recipe for Disneyland’s White Chocolate Rasberry Cookie

Disneyland’s White Chocolate Raspberry Cookie
adapted from Rumbly In My Tumbly

2 1/2 C Flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C butter, room temperature
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Raspberry Jam (I used about 4 TBSP)
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Cream the butter & sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg/yolk, vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add white & semi-sweet chocolate chips.
2. Scoop out about 1/4 of the dough into a smaller bowl. Add about 1 T of jam and cut it in using a butter knife. Be careful not to MIX it, or your dough will turn pink, you want more of a swirl.
3. Take the jam swirled dough and scoop by spoonfuls  (I used a large melon baller/ice cream scoop) onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon or spatula and place in a 350° oven for 12-17 minutes. *Your bake time may be less depending on the size of cookie you make. I wanted mine big and bakery sized, so they took a little longer. Take them out when the edges are set but the center is still puffy and soft. Cool on baking sheet 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all the dough is used.

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Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Cookie Monster is a classic. A friend of mine shared this video with me saying this is how she feels every time I post a new recipe. She’s so sweet. Enjoy a good laugh by watching this:

A while back, this same friend gave me a cookbook full of deliciousness. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever baked out of it. Especially the Razz-ma-tazz bars. Oh yum. I decided to let my hubby choose something for me to bake in honor of Sabrina. I’ll bet you think shared with her too huh? No. I’m totally lame and didn’t realize until after I’d sent them to work with the hubster that I should have saved some for Bri. I’m such a spaz. I know, it’s not as nice a story now. Sorry. 😦

Put aside your disappointment and make some of these cookies. They are full of crunchy nutty goodness and rich chocolate. It’s a basic peanut butter cookie, kicked up with chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. You’ll love them.

Next time Sabrina. I’ll share some cookies maybe.

Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
From NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (12-oz pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts

Directions
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and peanut butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and peanuts.

DROP dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Press down slightly to flatten into 2-inch circles. I used a glass dipped in a little granulated sugar.

BAKE for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are set but centers are still soft. Cool on baking sheets for 4 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Frosty S’mores Cups

Summer is here!! Time for long evenings watching the waning rays of sun disappear behind shadowed evergreens, enjoying a cocktail as the day slips away. Family, friends, cookouts and s’mores! It is no secret that I love s’mores. But sometimes, I want the flavor without having to fire up the flames. I love this easy dessert because I can make a batch and keep these delightful cups stashed in the freezer for when the chocolate graham cravings hit.

I put these babies in individual baggies so they are all ready for me to eat up (usually around midnight). They are sweet and cold with perfect layers of graham, chocolate, mallow and more chocolate. Topped with a cool and creamy hit of cream!

If you like s’mores, you will LOVE these. They are lip smacking good. I topped mine with a little graham sprinkle and some mini chocolate chips. Gorgeous!

You may have to devour more than one! And there’s nothing wrong with that!

 

Frosty S’mores Cups
from Easy Baked

  • 18 graham cracker squares (9 sheets)
  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. whipping cream
  • 2 c. mini marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 c. cold milk
  • 1 box (4 servings, 3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 (8 oz) container of Cool Whip (thawed in fridge)
  • 1/4 c. mini chocolate chips (as topping)

DIRECTIONS

Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs. Melt butter and add to graham crackers, mixing until well combined to make crust.

Prepare muffin pan by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray. Evenly divide crust mixture into all 12 cups, saving about 1/4 cup to use as topping later.

Place milk chocolate chips and whipping cream into a small bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.

Spoon chocolate into a zip top bag, cut a tip off and evenly pipe chocolate into the center of each cup, on top of the crust.

Divide Marshmallows among cups.

Mix cold milk with pudding on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in 1/2 of the Cool Whip container (the rest will be used as topping).

Spoon filling into a large zip top bag (and ZIP it or you might have a mess!)  Clip a corner off and pipe pudding into each cup evenly.  Try to pipe it in between the marshmallows so that the whole cup is filled.  I did have a little left over (which was really tasty straight out of the bag!) Use a knife to smooth the tops level with the top of the pan.  Freeze for at least a couple of hours.

Allow the pan to warm just a bit before running a butter knife around the edge and popping out each dessert cup out.

For topping, I just piped a little bit of the left over Cool Whip on each dessert using a decorating tip.  Then I sprinkled the remaining crust and mini chocolate chips on top.
Serve cold right away– or put them in a sealed container and freeze until you are ready to serve.

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Chocolate is grand, but oatmeal raisin cookies will always be my favorite. Packed with hearty rich flavor and succulent raisins, these cookies are absolutely perfect. Big and thick, soft and chewy. I love them. I’d take these over any other cookie out there. Any day of the week. And twice on Sunday. Odd saying. Anyone know where it comes from?

Soaking the raisins in the egg mixture is the key to this recipe. It produces lots of plump juicy morsels to bit into with all that oat deliciousness.

If you’ve had hard, dry versions of this cookie before and been turned off the whole notion of Oatmeal Raisin, give this recipe a whirl. They are simply delicious.

Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

-3 eggs beaten
-1 cup raisins
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 cup butter
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-1 rounded teaspoon cinnamon
-2 teaspoons baking soda
-2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1- Combine eggs, vanilla, and raisins in a small bowl, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

2-Preheat oven to 350 F

3-In a large bowl cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together. In another bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda, stir into creamed mixture. Then stir in raisin mixture, and rolled oats. Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until just set on the edges. Cool 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then remove to a cooling rack.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

You would never know it is the middle of June. At least not if you live anywhere near me. The famous line “It rains 9 months of the year in Seattle” is holding true. So far this month we’re running below average for temperatures (hovering near the mid 50’s…for a HIGH) and above average rainfall. Higher than normal for the Pacific Northwest means lots and lots of wet dreary days. It looked so much like mid-September out there today, I got the urge to make one of my favorite fall cookies.

I’ve wanted to recreate a treat I had over the weekend anyway, and the weather cooperating was a good excuse to do it sooner rather than later. While I was away last weekend, I stopped in four different bakeries to sample some goodies. Research you know. All for you.

These cookies are heavily spiced with cinnamon, cloves and ginger with a soft chewy texture that is  absolutely glorious. Perfect for warming you inside when it is all grey and gross outside. For those of you who live where  webbed feet are not a side-effect of your address, think of me huddled in a sweater as you enjoy one (or three) of these cookies with a nice glass of frosty-cold milk. Perfection.

There are a couple of tricks to getting perfectly craggly tops on your morsels of molasses. First, chill the dough. Second, do not overbake these. Mine were perfect right at 12 minutes in the oven. You want the edges to be just set, but the tops to still be all puffed up. As they cool down, you get those gorgeous cracks.

Finally, the secret weapon. Flicks of water. Yes. I know, it’s crazy. I read this in a cookbook years ago. After you’ve rolled your dough in sugar (to give it that beautiful crystallized finish), wet your hands slightly. Then, holding your hands over your baking sheet, pretend there’s a wasp flying into your face.  Bzzzzzzz. Bzzzzzzzz.

Protect yourself! Shake your hands around like a bit of a maniac, flinging water droplets on top of the cookies. Seriously, these are the kinds of things I do when baking. Also when a bee gets near me. One of the plus sides of the Seattle weather is the limited number of nasty bugs. Wasps are pretty much as menacing as they come around here. Your children (or husband) may think you’ve completely lost it as you flail around in the kitchen, but your cookies will look fantastic when they’re done. And if that isn’t worth a little ridicule, I don’t know what is. Bake and enjoy!

Ginger Molassas Cookies
Adapted from Paula Dean

3/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream the shortening and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the egg and molasses and beat until completely incorporated. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt and add to the mixture. Stir until combined.

Chill in fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

Roll the dough into balls about 1-inch in diameter. Roll the balls in sugar. Place 2-inchs apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Flatten the balls slightly with your fingertips. Wet your hands and flick water droplets over the cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes until set at edges but still puffy. Cool on 10 minutes on cookie sheet (set on rack, not on the counter). Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Cheater Churros

Easiest recipe ever. Perfect as a backup dessert during a dinner party I recently had. One of my guests couldn’t eat the main attraction (which was very sad because the chocoflan was incredible). So, I made these quick and easy churros for him. A quick bake, dunk in some butter and a roll in cinnamon sugar. These airy delights were absolutely delicious!

Cheater Churros
from Six Sisters

Ingredients:
1 sheet frozen pastry puff sheet, thawed (usually they come in a 2 pack . . . if you want to make both sheets, just double the recipe)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Unfold and cut puff pastry sheets in half lengthwise, and cut each half crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips.  Place strips on a lightly greased parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown (mine only took 8 minutes). Meanwhile, combine sugar and cinnamon.  Remove pastry sheets from oven and dip in butter, then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Let stand on a wire rack 5 minutes or until dry.

Makes 18 churros.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

The only time I’ve ever cared about the raw eggs in cookie dough was when I was pregnant. Honestly, I figured if I got sick eating something so delicious it would be worth it. Until I was growing another human that is. Those months were torture. The things we do for our children. If I had known about these cookie dough truffles back then, I’m sure I would have gained about 100 pounds with each pregnancy. Now that the little munchkins are hovering around mixing bowls waiting to lick the batter/spoon/bowl/anything with dough clinging to it, I find that I’m mildly guilt ridden at the idea I could make them sick. Nevermind that I never once felt ill after “helping” my mom with cookies as a kid. Chalk it up to societal pressure. Am I the only one who feels it?

Finally, I found an answer. These delightful little bites hold all the perfect flavor of chocolate chip cookie dough and no eggs. Oh sweet joy! And for those of you who love cookie dough ice cream, just freeze smaller balls and drop them into some plain vanilla — ah-mazing.

We start with a basic cookie dough, but instead of eggs, use a little milk to give it the right consistency. And, since we’re making small truffle sized treats, use mini chocolate chips instead of the full size version. Cover and chill the dough about an hour. Yes, you will want to just eat it immediately. I can’t give you any tips on how not to. A spoonful or two may have found its way into my gullet.

Then we roll the dough into bite sized balls and pop it into the freezer to chill up a little more.

Finally, a little dunk in some chocolate to contain all that sweet dough goodness inside a decadent shell. I’m a fan of the dip, scoop, tap, swoosh method. You’ll need a bowl of melted chocolate, some waxed paper, two forks and your chilled dough balls.

Dip in chocolate.

Scoop it up with a fork.

Tap off the excess and swoosh it off the fork (with another fork) onto the wax paper to firm up.

Then, drizzle with a little melted chocolate for that truly professional look.

Perfection.

And, absolutely scrumptious.

Print Recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
from Eat. Drink. Smile.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

14 oz semi sweet or milk chocolate chips
1 T shortening

Directions:

Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.

When dough is firm enough to handle, form dough into 1″ balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate and shortening in microwave until smooth. Using forks as a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into chocolate to cover. Tap on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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