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Archive for the ‘White Chocolate’ Category

I know that it’s still only September, but I really couldn’t resist. The rain and wind came this weekend and with it I decided that some pumpkin baking would remedy my post summer blues. Embrace the crappy weather, drink a few pumpkin spice lattes and chai teas. I’m already much happier just thinking about some of my favourite things.

It was a hard decision trying to figure out what to bake. Last years pumpkin cookies were so delicious but it was time to venture out and make something new. And so after much blog and Pinterest surfing I found these…pumpkin oatmeal cookies.

Normally pumpkin cookies end up tasting just like cake, but these are a bit heartier thanks to the oatmeal. Fresh out of the oven they were nice and crispy but within a day they softened up. No complaints from my end though.

These are the kind of cookies that you can change up. Like nuts? Throw them in there. Raisins, dried cherries, chocolate chips? You name it, it can happen. I decided that half of the batch would have butterscotch chips in it, while the other half would be saved for white chocolate chips and craisins. My favourites are the white chocolate chip cookies, I think it’s a texture thing, loving the craisins!

Ps. Does it sound weird to combine butterscotch chips and pumpkin? Or pumpkin with white chocolate chips and craisins? Just trust me, the pumpkin still shines through and these are both delicious combo’s.

Picture sitting in Starbucks, drinking a pumpkin spiced latte and eating a homemade pumpkin cookie, all the while crushing your competition at a Suduko race. It doesn’t get more perfect than that.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from My Baking Addiction

Ingredients

2 cups flour             1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda    ½ tsp nutmeg
1 ½ tsp cinnamon   ½ tsp ginger
½ tsp salt                ½ tsp all spice
3/4 cup butter         1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar             1 ½ cups pumpkin
1 egg                      1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried craisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy.

Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well.

Add flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Combine until all ingredients are incorporated.

Fold in white chocolate chips and dried craisins, or whatever additions you choose.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned (I baked mine for 13).

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I’m not a huge fan of fast food. I’ve never stepped into an Arby’s or a Harvey’s. When at Wendy’s I get the salad, and I can’t even remember the last time that I had actual McDonald’s food. I say “actual food” because I am 100% guilty of purchasing McDonald’s sundaes, McFlurries and ice cream cones. Don’t even get me started on Dairy Queen, when summer hits we become best friends all over again.

Subway may be my main exception for the lack of fast food. If I’m ever out-of-town, Subway is often on the safe list of places to grab food from. Classic ham and cheese sandwich with a few of the toppings and don’t you dare forget the cookie. No not the chocolate chip cookie, the best cookie that I’ve ever eaten, the white chocolate chip macadamia nut one.

After receiving a can of macadamia nuts from Hawaii I decided that I was tired of waiting for the rare trip to Subway to get my hands on their cookies and instead opted to make my own. For some reason I always thought that these cookies would be hard to make. Turns out the only hard step is finding macadamia nuts. These cookies were just as basic to make as any batch of cookies and had the house smelling sweet and delicious in no time.

Chewy cookies just like the bought ones…looks like Subway may have just lost a customer.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

2 cups flour              ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt                 ¾ cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar   ½ cup white sugar
1 egg                       1 egg yolk
3/4 tbsp vanilla        3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl beat together the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the egg, then the egg yolk and vanilla.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just moistened. Mix in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheets.

 Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges look golden brown and the middles don’t look quite set. (12 was enough for me)

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Valentines Day has never been a big thing for me.

Elementary school always meant parties to celebrate the holidays and I liked that. Valentines Day we would make our own “mailboxes” so that everyone could deliver Valentines cards and chocolate to each other. Then grade 3 hit.

This one day I got to go to the orthodontist where an appliance was cemented into the roof of my mouth. The best part of it was that it came with a key which was needed to crank the appliance tighter every night. Aka, a child’s worst nightmare. Oh, and don’t forget the part that this was “installed” on Valentines Day in grade 3. Needless to say I wasn’t allowed to eat any chocolate or candy and therefore wasn’t in a very loving mood.

Grade 4 things improved. The appliance was gone and a new student, the hottest boy I’d ever seen, now graced the hallways of our elementary school. He was a stud. Tall, dark and handsome, athletic and boy did he ever know how to rock the mushroom hair cut and tear-aways. Long story short, I was 1 of 3 girls that he gave a Valentine to.

He gave me an Aladdin Valentine and in return I gave him my heart.

Celebrating Valentines Day hasn’t really been a top priority for the past few years but then I saw these on Smitten Kitchen the other day and knew that they had to be made. My heart shaped cookie cutter was bigger than the one that Deb used so I only ended up getting 9 large pieces per sheet (instead of her 16). Because my brownies were a tad bit undercooked, and therefore stickier, I thankfully didn’t have a huge problem with crumbling edges.

The chocolate or the white chocolate brownie, I still can’t decide which one is my favorite. I guess I should keep taste testing to determine what’s best. To save you the trouble. That’s right, I’m doing it for your sake…

Brownies made with love, displaying love and tasting delicious…that right there has Valentines Day written all over it!

Black and White Brownies

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

6 tbsp semi-sweet mini chocolate chips or 7 tbsp white chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter        3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs                    1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt             2/3 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Be sure that ends of foil extend over opposite sides of the pan. Butter foil.

Melt white or semi-sweet chocolate and butter together pot of water.

Whisk in sugar and eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.

Add flour and salt together, stirring until just combined. Spread into prepared pan.

Repeat this recipe with the other kind of chocolate and a second 8×8-inch square pan.

Bake for 23-25 minutes (I took mine out after 24 minutes).

Cool pans on a wire rack at room temperature for 10 minutes then continue cooling in the freezer (frozen brownies are much easier to make clean cuts from). Once solid, transfer brownies in their foil to a large cutting board. Carefully press the cookie cutter into the brownies and slowly pull out the heart shaped center. Repeat. Once 1 row has been completed, cut the row off from the rest of the sheet and then cut into individual pieces. Continue using the cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes. Cut final pieces. (Instead of cutting the sheet of brownies into individual pieces and then using the cookie cutter I decided to do it in the reverse order and found it to be much more successful).

Insert the dark cut-outs into the centers of the light brownies, and vice-versa. From here, you can let them warm up to room temperature or wrap them up in the freezer until you will need them.

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There are some things that I don’t like to do when baking.

I don’t enjoy prepping baking pans with butter/shortening and flour. I refuse to sift my dry ingredients together, talk about a major waste of time. Pie crusts freak the heck out of me but I’m willing to do it because the taste of a homemade pie crust trumps any pre-made crust hands down. I detest cutting shortening into dry ingredients but I also don’t like using a pastry blender. Normally I am not a fan of forming cookies, and last but certainly not least, I have no desire to cut the finished product or to dish food out.

But I love baking. I swear.

Let me start by saying that these cookies are delicious. My pictures don’t do them justice. Chocolate sandwich cookies and then white chocolate peppermint filling. Yes you read that right, white chocolate peppermint filling. Joy the Baker, you my friend, are a genius. I only wish that my filling would have been as pretty as yours instead of being runny.

The bad news…these cookies made me incredibly angry. They were frustrating to make and a number of times I just about threw the rolling pin. Not good. The dough didn’t seem to stick together for me so when the instructions told me to shape the dough I had quite a difficult time. Maybe my problems were due to the fact that I don’t have an electric mixer, or maybe my patience was just running low that day. Who knows.

In the end these cookies were worth the hard work. I guess that means that I’m still on good terms with Joy.

Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Cookies

3/4 cup granulated sugar              1 1/2 cups + 3 tbsp flour

3/4 cup + 1 tbsp cocoa powder     1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt                                 1/2 cup + 7 tbsp butter at room temperature

 Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the butter a few pieces at a time and mix with an electric mixer.  Continue mixing until peddle-size pieces form.  

Transfer the ball of dough to a board and use the heel of your hand to shape the dough into a 5 by 7 inches rectangle. Cut the block into two pieces.

One at a time, roll each block of dough between two pieces of lightly floured parchment paper until about 1/8-inch thick.  Using a cookie cutter, cut into 2 inch rounds (I used the mouth of a glass).  

Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool on the sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

White Chocolate Peppermint Filling

1/2 cup whipping cream           1 cup white chocolate chips

1/4 tsp peppermint extract (more can be used if desired)

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to boil over medium heat.  

Remove from the heat and add the white chocolate chips and peppermint extract.  Make sure all the chocolate is covered by the cream.  Let stand for 1 minute (this is important), then whisk the white chocolate until completely melted.

Transfer the filling to a small bowl and let stand until room temperature.  

Place filling in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or an hour, until a thick consistency is reached.  (Mine was left overnight and was still a bit runny so I decided to add icing sugar to the mix).

Assembly

Place half of the cookies upside down on a work surface.  

Spoon filling onto the tops of half of the cookies and top with another cookie. Press the cookies together until the filling comes just to the edges.

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Dike dates are one of my favorite things. Back in the high school days, when we first got our drivers licenses, my friends and I would pile into someone’s car and drive down to the dike to watch the airplanes take off and land. We loved every second of our new found freedom, gossiping about the latest happenings and the older boys that we were in love with.

Come to think about it, nothing has changed. I still love my friends and I love our dike dates.

On our latest outing I brought some biscotti that I had made for us to dip in our purchased coffees. I thought that the treat would be one of the highlights of the night. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Near the end of our evening the cops showed up to where our car and 2 others were parked. Make out patrol we figured…is our city really that boring? Wrong again.

Turns out we were in the middle of a take down since the car two down from us had been stolen. The cop ordered the male out of the car so that he could arrest him but instead of giving in our friend decided to book it right in front of our car…then followed the cop who was screaming for back up. Being the brilliant girls that we are we decided that it would be a good idea to open our doors so that we could hear what was going on. Smart, right? Plan B was even better so we decided to make our way home…passing at least 10 cop cars on our way.

Good friends? Duh. Great biscotti? Yes. Most eventful dike date EVER? Hands down.

This biscotti will forever remind me of that epic night. Hopefully you will have other memories attached to it…although a stolen car and a police chase will always take the cake.

Cranberry White Chocolate  Chip Almond Biscotti

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

½ cup dried cranberries       ½ cup boiling water
3 cups flour                        2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt                           4 tbsp butter
1 cup sugar                        3 eggs, plus 1 egg beaten
1½ tsp vanilla                     1½ tsp almond extract
½ cup white chocolate chips

2 tbsp butter                       1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chip

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Place cranberries in a small bowl, and add boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.

With a beater beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. One at a time add the 3 eggs. Add the vanilla and almond extract. Combine with the dry mixture, and mix on low speed until combined.

Add the drained cranberries and white chocolate chips.

Divide the dough in half and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll each piece into 16-by-2-inch logs and transfer to a prepared baking sheet (Parchment paper on the baking sheet).

Brush the beaten egg over the logs and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for roughly 25 minutes. Cool the logs for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Using a serrated knife, cut the logs crosswise on the diagonal into ½-inch-thick slices. Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange slices, cut sides down, on the rack. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool.

In a double boiler melt the butter and chocolate chips. While the mixture is still warm dip the ends of the cooled biscuits into the chocolate. Place on a baking sheet and allow to cool.

*Note: This recipe made roughly 4 dozen biscotti. Storing the biscotti in the freezer works well.

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