Happy Halloween! I made these cookies for the trick-or-treaters at Ben’s office. I thought they would be more fun than little bags of candy, and too cute for words. I also thought they would be quick and easy. Cute, yes. Quick and easy, kinda.
This Halloween treat can be made in a day, but I spread the preparation out over 3 days.
Day 2: Brush ice cream cones with chocolate and let set.
Day 3: Assemble & decorate hats.
My original plan was to make royal icing to decorate the hats, but as the deadline approached and a stack of about 100 papers needed grading, I broke down and bought tubes of Wilton icing in orange, black, green and purple. As I completed the last hat I was very thankful that I’d made this adjustment. Sometimes you just have to take shortcuts.
The Wilton icing tubes are pretty great. You simply attach Wilton decorating tips and get creative. It’s easy to switch out tips and the colors are nice and vibrant. It’s often hard to achieve really vibrant color when you color your own icing, so this saves time and the stress of making the perfect color you’re looking for.
Witch Hat Cookies
24 chocolate sugar cookies
24 sugar ice cream cones
1 package chocolate candy coating
2 large bags M&M’s
Various icings, sprinkles, decorations, etc.
Melt chocolate coating according to package instructions.
Use a pastry brush to coat all the cones with chocolate. I found it easiest to place a few fingers in the cone to hold it while I brushed on the chocolate. Stand up on parchment paper and let set.
Fill the ice cream cone with your choice of candies. Candy corn, M&M’s, Skittles, whatever.
Use some of the frosting to pipe around the base of the ice cream cone. Top with the cookie and flip over to set.
Decorate as desired.
These are a fun treat and would make a fun party favor. Happy Halloween!
There is something very special in store for the trick-or-treaters at BMWB this Friday! To prepare for this treat, I had to make some chocolate sugar cookies. These cookies were easy to put together, did not require any chilling, or rolling, and tasted sweet, crunchy and rich. They will also be the perfect shape and texture for my Halloween treats.
This recipe originally came from my dear friend, Martha Stewart. I found it on How to Eat a Cupcake. I doubled the recipe to make these cookies and ended up with about 45 medium sized cookies.
I only needed 30 for my Halloween goodies, so I had some dough left over. I thought about freezing it and using it later, but then I found a roll of Rolos hiding in my cabinet leftover from my candy bar blondies. Maybe, just maybe, I could wrap the dough around a rolo and bake it to create a cookie with a nice caramel surprise inside. Genius!
These cookies turned out to be quite delicious. I think that there are a lot of candies that could be hidden inside this cookie dough. The dough is sturdy and not too sticky, so would probably be a good dough to experiment with. I will definitely make these cookies again. Easy, chewy, delicious and versatile.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies (Courtesy of Martha Stewart and How to Eat a Cupcake)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup vegetable shortening, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375F. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in melted shortening (or butter). Add egg and vanilla; mix until creamy. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
Using a 1 inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are firm, 10-13 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.
The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
One of my best memories is eating a traditional French macaron at Harrods in London 12 years ago. A delicate, light, crunchy exterior with a sweet luscious filling. They were about the size of your palm, and I think we went back to Harrods a few times just to buy more. I haven’t had a real macaron that delicious since. This challenge made me crave those macarons and want to recreate them. Was I successful in this endeavor? No way. But, it was still a fun challenge.
I made two kinds of macarons. One plain almond with a white chocolate eggnog ganache filling. The second was a chocolate macaron with chocolate ganache.
Our front yard is covered in leaves. Trees in our neighborhood are boasting leaves in all shades of red, yellow and orange. The grocery store is selling several different kinds of pumpkins and gourds, and my previously neglected scarf and gloves are being used daily. It is fall.
A bushel of apples picked at an orchard in New Mexico arrived at Ben’s office last week, courtesy of a client. Ben came home with about a dozen of the cute, little, red apples. I’m not sure what kind they are. Originally Ben thought we could make a pie, but I wasn’t sure how the apples would bake. Quite frankly, I did not want to put in the effort necessary to bake a pie just to have it be less than delicious thanks to shoddy apples. So, applesauce it is.
The applesauce was a nice combination between chunky and smooth. The cinnamon gave it a warm and satisfying flavor. The apples were not too sweet, not too tart, and make a delicious, warm, comforting applesauce. I think this was a great choice for using our plethora of apples.
Crock Pot Applesauce
10 medium sized apples (gala, golden delicious, granny smith, fuji, whatever you have)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch cardamom
1/4 cups water or apple juice
Peel, core, quarter and slice the apples.
Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Pour water or apple juice on the crock pot, then add apple mixture.
Like many other people who are dealing with the less than stellar economy, Ben and I have tried to be more aware of what we spend, what we buy, what we waste, and how we can be a bit wiser with our money. My baking and cooking habits are a big part of our budget, so I have been trying to use what we have in the house as often as I can and making recipes revolve around those ingredients instead of finding a recipe that requires that I buy everything and use nothing I have on hand. I was proud of myself for using just 1 butternut squash in two recipes last week. This recipe was also a way to use what we had. It makes cooking more fun and makes me try things I would not have otherwise.
This chicken salad came about like many meals do for me; I had to either use some chicken thighs I had in the fridge in the next few days, or they would need to be thrown away. So, I made a decision to do something with them…that something was yet to be determined when I put them in a plastic bag to marinate in some Italian dressing that was almost empty. After an overnight flavor bath, I still had no plan. Well, I guess baking them would be a good idea. So, that’s what I did.
While they were cooking, I went rummaging in the pantry and fridge for some inspiration. Celery…onion…mustard…mayonnaise…basil…Parmesan cheese…pine nuts…Carrie’s Chicken Salad was born. I will say that the idea for the pine nuts was not my own. A sandwich place in College Station, Blue Baker, put pine nuts in their chicken salad and it was one of my favorite items on the menu. That and the Mediterranean pizza. I sure do miss that place. If you ever go for breakfast, you must get the spinach, egg and feta breakfast sandwich on a croissant. It is decadent, but will also keep you full enough to not need a big lunch. Ok, back to the matter at hand…
Originally I made this pasta dish because I had leftover squash from the butternut squash spice cake. In the future I will buy a butternut squash with it’s sole purpose being the foundation of this meal. I was expecting something tasty, and I was not disappointed. How can one go wrong with a pasta dish where bacon and sage are involved? You can’t.
I found so many variations on butternut squash sauce for pastas. At first I started to get an anxiety attack. What is the BEST way? Please! Someone! Just give me the all time best recipe so that I will stop wasting my time browsing recipe after recipe finding something about the ingredient list or preparation in each recipe to be lacking! Then an ingenious idea came to me. Would it be so wrong for me to take the things I liked best about all the recipes and make…my own recipe? I keep getting braver and braver, people! One of these days I will use nothing but pure instinct in the kitchen…someday.
When things start to fall on you when you open the pantry door, you know some action must be taken. A box of Rice Krispies came sliding out of the pantry yesterday while I was trying to reach something else that was stashed underneath it. As fate would have it, my Martha Stewart cookie of the Day recipe was Crispy Chocolate Marshmallow Treats. The ingredient list is simple and short: butter, marshmallows, cocoa, rice krispies and semi-sweet chocolate.
I wasn’t expecting these to be anything special, but they were so much better than a normal rice krispy. These are more adult in flavor, and not as gooey and sticky as the original. I used Hershey’s dark cocoa and drizzled semi-sweet chocolate on top. The chocolate makes them decadent, dense and delicious.
Last week I made 3 batches of blondies hoping to create something irresistibly delicious. I originally planned on making a Candy Bar Blondie with a variety of candy bars chopped into chocolate chip sized pieces. I used a basic blondie recipe and then just replaced the chips and buts with the candy pieces.
Attempt #1 resulted in a yummy treat filled with chopped Snickers, Rolos, Reeses and Twix. The problem was that the edges rose up on the sides and stayed there after the blondies cooled creating a sunken and sad looking baked good. A blondie sinkhole. I used a metal 8×8 inch pan which I’d greased. The middle of the blondies were incredibly gooey, but the edges were hard and caramelized. Hmmm. I decided to try again.
Attempt #2 used the same combination of candy bars, sans the Twix because I ran out. I tried to bake this one in a glass pan which I greased and floured. I assumed the problem was my baking pan preparation. Same basic recipe. New pan. Same problem. Intriguing…and a tad bit frustrating.
Vegetables are so versatile. They can be enjoyed raw, roasted, steamed, fried, sautéed, boiled, and surely a few ways I’ve neglected to mention. One of my favorite things about vegetables is that they can be enjoyed as a savory side dish, an entrée or in a sweet baked good. The butternut squash in this cake adds moisture and texture, and a very subtle flavor of squash that is a nice complement to the tart buttermilk and sweet vanilla and spices.
I used a traditional bundt pan, which I greased and sugared. This is my new favorite way to prep a pan for baked goods. I used this method on a pan of blondies yesterday that came out beautifully. The two batches I tried before stuck like crazy, but this sugaring thing seems to be pretty foolproof.
The batter was smooth and smelled wonderful even before it was baked. I used 3/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice in the batter because I was out of ginger. I think it worked well and still provided the fall spice flavor.
This is an easy recipe that can be prepared ahead of time since it needs to cool before applying the glaze.
Step aside Marie Callendar. Your frozen pot pies, while delicious and a snap to bake, cannot hold a candle to these truly delicious and homemade chicken pot pies. Yum.
The cool fall weather we’ve had the last couple days here in Amarillo demanded some serious comfort food. Ben made a fire Saturday afternoon since the temperature hovered around 40 most of the day and dropped down to 30 that night. Today it was close to 90. Gotta love the Panhandle!