Monday, August 9, 2010

Peanut Butter and Ketchup Cookies

Yes, you heard me. Peanut butter....and ketchup. I stumbled across this recipe on the Heinz website along with a few others I may want to try, ketchup apple pie I'm looking at you.

I baked a bunch of these and took them to work. As I figured they were a hard sell. I knew all I needed was one person to eat it and see that it wasn't terrible and then everyone else would follow. Finally a brave co worker gave it a try and of course they enjoyed it. Honestly, if I never told you there was ketchup in it you would never know. It taste like a regular peanut butter cookie with just a hint of something you can't put your finger on. A tiny kick, a little hint of spice. It surely makes the cookies a cool color.

I would say give it a try, at the very least you can say you ate a cookie with ketchup in it. Or make it for your friends and don't tell them whats in it until after.

Peanut Butter and Ketchup Cookies

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 peanut butter, I used creamy
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside,
Cream together peanut butter, butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Add ketchup and egg, beat until mixed.
Blend flour mixture into peanut butter mixture.
Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Press cookie flat with fork in both directions if you wish to make the tic tac toe design.
Bake 8 to 10 mins.

It is super easy to make. If anyone tries this let me know what you thought!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Punk Rock Flea Market

My very first large public sale story!

91 Cookies
60 Rice Krispie Treats
15 Muffins
1 Crumbcake and
102 Cupcakes later
it's finally over!

Friday morning our alarm went off, at the ungodly time of 4:45, and somehow I convinced my boyfriend to stay home from work. We eventually got up and I decided to make us cinnamon roll pancakes before I had to be in work. Mid baking I get a text saying that my work is closed, turns out a crane fell on the roof. Seriously, a crane...fell..on the roof. The store was back open that night and since no one got hurt I was allowed to say HELL YEAH! NO WORK. Turned out great that we were both off since it very rarely happens. We made the smart call to work on stuff for the market since I knew I would have so much to do for Sunday. Well....we kinda ended up at the movies...and then to dinner. All we actually ended up making on Friday was 5 trays of Peeps Rice Krispie Treats. I wasn't very worried because I took off work Saturday and I knew we would bang it all out then.

Saturday comes and we sleep through our alarm. Late start already. Plus my boyfriend's band got a very last minute call to play the O.A.R after party at Hard Rock Cafe Saturday night. So again, more baking time gone. We got started on cupcakes first. I did four kinds. Cinnamon Toast, Kit Kat Mocha, Blue Velvet and Bacon Chocolate Chip.

There are some of the super redic cards Greg made up. The cupcakes themselves took a long time, mostly because of the bacon I had to bake in the oven to make the bacon chocolate chips that went inside the cupcake. I could have, and should have, made them the day before. By the time allllll the cupcakes were done I attacked the chai crumbcake which took much more time to bake than planned. Greg had to leave to play the gig and I decided I needed a break. I made the very unwise move of turning off the oven and heading out with him. Had a few drinks, enjoyed some music and next thing you know its 1 am and I still have a lot to do! The drummer and singer of Greg's band plus both of their girlfriends all came back to our place to help. They stayed until 4 am helping me bang out cookie after cookie after cookie and packaging everything together. Greg and I stayed up until 5 and then just had to call it quits.

We woke up around 7:30 to make all the frosting for the cupcakes. Literally ran around the house getting ready and finally headed out to the city! We brought fans and spray bottles and food and water. You would think we were staying over night. Doors opened at 10 and we were set up around 1030. We had a perfect spot right next to the open door so we got some breeze and caught all the people coming in and out. Also the staffers who had to stand by the door to check people coming in had to stare at my food all day and eventually ended up buying things, enjoying it and buying more.

It was pretty steady from 1030-330 then it started to die. The rain came, which felt great coming in through the door but I think it kept people from coming out. Around 430 a guy we met at another booth made an announcement on a mic he had that he was giving all this stuff away for free. I asked him if he would make one for me saying that all my remaining stuff was going for cheap. It caught everyones attention and I got rid of  some remaining things. The event ended at 5 but we stuck around til about 530 still selling to all the other vendors who were packing up. At the end of the day I only went home with 4 muffins!! I never though I would have sold so much or made so much money. We both felt so proud that we accomplished so much. I got an amazing response from people and it just reminded me of why I do this in the first place. Seeing people take the first bite and then just smile meant a lot to me.  Having people come back later for seconds meant even more. We met a nice photographer who was dying over the look of my bacon chocolate cupcakes and asked if he could take a picture. Of course I said yes and asked if he would e-mail me the picture he seemed excited about it and offered to take more pictures. I am dying to get them back! As for now my crappy pictures will have to do. I was just so busy baking I never had a minute to really take pictures the whole time.

Full list of things I baked-

Strawberry Lemon Streusel Muffin
Banana Nut Crunch Muffin
Heath Cookies
Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Peeps Rice Krispie Treats
Chai Crumbcake
Blue Velvet, Cinnamon Toast, Kit Kat Mocha and Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Espresso Cream Cheese Rice Krispie Treats

I have been baking more lately for different occasions that have come up. My new problem is finding the time to take pictures that actually look good and getting stuff up on the blog. Punk Rock Flea Market is coming up soon and of course I am starting to freak out. For about a week I have been calm, cool and collected but that is gone and now I am confused, stressed and panicky. This was a recipe I tried out and assuming I liked it I would have it be something to sell that day. Sadly I won't be making these again. Greg liked it, as did my friend who happened to come over right after I made them. I personally didn't like it and no matter what I just can't get myself to sell something I don't like even if others seem to. I am not really a coffee/espresso/whatever person so maybe this was a silly idea in the first place.

3 TB salted butter
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp
2 Starbuck Via (the recipe called for the medium one, i used the strong one by mistake oops)
A good size pinch of sea salt
10 or 11 ounce bag of mini marshmallows
8 ounce bag of chopped toffee bits (1 cup used in bars, and remainder used for sprinkling on top)
6 and 1/2 cups rice krispies

Spray a 13 x 9-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a very large 6 or 8 qt. pan, melt the butter and cream cheese over low heat (low heat, do not let the cream cheese burn or cook!). 
For these next steps, work fast. 
Once melted add in both the starbuck via’s, then a good sized pinch of sea salt, stir. Using a rubber spatula immediately add in the marshmallows—all the while keep an eye on the bottom of the pan, don’t let it burn. Once marshmallows are added just keep stirring until melted.
After its melted take off the heat, add in the 1 cup of toffee bits, stir, and then add in the Rice Krispies until well combined. 
Stir Stir Stir. Mix. Mix. Mix
Once all mixed then transfer mix to your prepared pan and push down into pan with spatula or water-wet hands. 
After it’s all smoothed over this is when I like to add a small sprinkling of sea salt to the top, then the rest of the toffee bits.
Place in fridge to set and cool. They need to cool completely before cutting. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Strawberry Crumble

Fourth of July came and went and of course I baked for Greg's family party. It was a sorta 4th party but mainly it was a joint graduation party for his brother and sister. I ended up making strawberry jello poke cupcakes with cool whip on top and blueberries. I also made 3 trays of cookies. All fudge brownie type cookies. One tray had M&M's in the cookies, one had coconut M&M's and one had York peppermint patty bites in it. Everything I made was gone in no time. I couldn't believe how fast it all went! Sadly I have no pictures since I literally baked and brought hot items to the party. (I was icing and topping the cupcakes at the party because I was so short on time) I will make the brownie cookies again for the purpose of putting them on the blog....or just so I have an excuse to make them and eat them again.

Yesterday Greg's friend invited a few of us for dinner and of course I offered to bring dessert. I had work that morning and had barely any time to bake something up. I opted to try something I had never done, which always makes me nervous since I like to try everything before giving it to others. I did a strawberry crumble with custard sauce topping. More like a strawberry-blueberry crumble. I had a handful of left over blueberries from the cupcakes so I threw them in too.

Again, I brought this over hot and barely had time for pictures so don't mind the super rushed job.

Strawberry Crumble

1 quart strawberries
1/4 cup honey

For the topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
1. Heat the oven to 350° F.
2. Prepare filling: Mix the halved strawberries and the honey in an 8×8 ungreased pan,
3. Prepare topping: Mix all the ingredients with your fingers until crumbly, sprinkle over fruit mixture and bake at 350° for about 35 to 40  minutes, until golden brown and the fruit is bubbling out everywhere.

I doubled this recipe and used slightly more than the called more fruit, more fruit surely doesn't hurt the recipe. This dessert really surprised me. Mixing the fruit with so much honey had me nervous, for I am not a huge fan of honey. I put it in the fridge once we got there to let it set and we actually ate it cold and everyone loved it. I personally didn't care for the sauce but thats' just me. For breakfast this morning I tried it warm with some cool whip and it was fantastic. I would love to make this again with different kinds of fruits I wouldn't normally eat.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

M&M Bars

I was asked to bake for a co-workers baby shower this week. Of course I was excited for the business. My mind went crazy automatically thinking of all the things I could do. Cupcake towers! Pink frosting! It's a girl wrappers! Such an excuse to be dorky...oh wait, the shower is in 2 days? And I'm working everyday until then. And you just want M&M bars.Alright.

Yes, I am bummed. It was the first time I would be baking for a baby shower and I just kept thinking of all the people that would be there. I really wanted to impress everyone and give them something great. The M&M bars are amazing, seriously so good, but I wish I could have done more. 

I ended up making a batch of  Reese's Pieces bars too. Same recipe but I used...yes you guessed it...Reese's Pieces. Apparently they were a hit. Everyone loved them. Best part is today someone who was at the shower asked me if I could bake for her daughters birthday. You will never guess what she wants me to make......
M&M BARS (swanked from)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups M&M's (I only used about a cup and a half and still felt like it was a ton of candy)

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly spray a 10 X 15" jelly roll pan with non-stick spray. (I used a 9x13 dish)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In another large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar, stirring until evenly distributed. Allow to cool slightly. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating very well after each one. Mix in vanilla extract. Stir in the flour mixture and when combined add in the M&M's. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 24-26 minutes, until they are shiny and golden brown on top. Try not to overbake these or they will be dry. A cake tester will most likely not come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.

As I said I didn't use the jelly roll pan, and I baked it for 25 minutes. I let it cool for a while and even after I cut into it they didn't look done. They tasted amazing though. After letting them cool for even longer I feel like they started to look more cooked and did not taste cakey. The pictures of these bars that were posted on the site where I found the recipe looked very dry on top and not quite how mine did. I even looked at the site where that person found the recipe and they looked super brown and dry. Maybe it was the pan I baked it in or the time or something but mine came out so moist and light colored. They were addicting. They must contain some kind of crack because everyone loves them and wants me to make them all the time!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chocolate Marshmallow Pie

Last week Greg and I attempted to make s'mores pancakes for breakfast, silly us. We literally just threw marshmallows, chocolate chips and graham crackers in with regular pancake batter and called it a day. They were not the best thing we ever made but it did leave me with left over ingredients that I felt obligated to use come the next day.

I knew I had to find something that incorporated all of these things, but I didn't want to just make s'mores. Going through the closet I spotted my pie plate and decided it needed to be used. Poor thing hardly ever leaves the shelf. After some thought I came up with chocolate marshmallow pie. I have never made anything like it. Never made a chocolate pie, actually never made more than that one strawberry pie I posted before. I was pleased with the outcome, which means it didn't taste like dirt and that was a plus. The consistency was very odd, but not in a bad way. Sort of gummy. Maybe I should have used slightly less marshmallows? Or maybe, after the filling set I should have taken it out of the fridge before serving. All in all it was interesting.

Chocolate Marshallow Pie

10 graham crackers
5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Break up graham crackers and combine them with the butter until coarse crumbs form.  (I opted to keep the pieces a little bigger)

Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate using a spoon and your hands.

Bake for about 10 minutes in an oven at 375 F.

4 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, heat marshmallows, milk, and chocolate chips on low heat until the mixture is melted together. Be sure to stir constantly.

Then combine the marshmallow mixture with the half and half  in mixer until it is well blended.

Pour the filling into the baked crust and leave the pie in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes and rant

I feel as though I have been really hard on myself lately. Mostly for not being able to find time to do more baking and work on the blog. Of course I pick a hobby that involves putting out a lot of money, money that I don't really have to be putting out in the first place. I really get unhappy when a full week has gone by and I haven't made anything. Not baking equals not blogging. Everyone told me that blogging would be a full time job and that I would have to be very committed to it. I understood the risks before I went into this. What is the point in having a blog when I am posting so infrequently? When I do get the chance to bake there is a brief moment of happiness, like 'yay I can go blog about this now'. That moment is short lived because I then remember how all we have is a crappy digital camera that does not do my food justice. It is such a long and stressful process trying to get decent pictures for my posts. The lighting in our apartment is pretty terrible too, so that does not help either. I see other blogs and I am blown away by the pictures and the long passages that accompany the recipes. All the followers that these bloggers have, all the comments. I just wonder what am I doing this all for. Baking makes me happy. Baking makes me feel good and makes me feel useful. I enjoy making something that others can appreciate. I love playing with flavors and ingredients and tools that I never have before. I just feel like that isn't enough. I don't know what to do, how to get my name out there. How to get my food out there. I feel stuck in a rut right now. Money is tough and time is short and life is stressful. There are days I just want to give up and go back to not having a passion or hobby. But what good would that do? I apologize for my rant :( 

Moving on, I made jelly doughnut cupcakes! They were a bit of fun to make mostly because I am a nerd and was excited to use lemon zest for the first time. Plus I have never made filled cupcakes either. Surprisingly simple. I just used my smallest circular cookie cutter and stuck in in the top and twisted and tada the middle of the cupcake came right now. The only negative things I could say about these cupcakes are I did not like the jelly filling. I used raspberry jam and I guess I now know I do NOT like raspberry jam. I would like to make these again, just have to figure out something different to fill them with.

1 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
½ cup milk
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt

good quality red jelly (any flavor)

powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour or line 6-8 wells in a cupcake pan. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, zest and milk beat well. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat until the batter is light and fluffy. Fill each well 2/3 of the way filled. Bake approximately 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the middle cupcake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and take a small corer, knife or melon baller and scoop out some of the center of the cupcake. Fill with jelly (I just spooned it in). Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
From Coconut & Lime