Thursday, January 29, 2015
Recently, it was my sister's birthday. So, naturally, I asked her what kind of cake she wanted. I already had cake decorating ideas spinning in my head. To my surprise, she said that she didn't want any cake. Whaaat? I tried to convince her otherwise. No, no, of course you want a birthday cake. It didn't work. She wasn't going to change her mind.
But, surely there's something that she must want, right??? As it turns out, there was something that she had been dreaming of - chocolate dipped pretzel rods. Huh? Why that? She said that she had always seen those lovely decorated pretzels in candy shops and wished that she could buy them, but they were so expensive. She would be over the moon if I could make her some pretzels for her very own.
Well, that's no problem at all. I gathered up all the little decorating goodies I had been amassing - mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, sprinkles, peanuts, and peanut butter chips - and put them to good use. An hour later, there were 24 bright, beautiful pretzel rods all in a row, just for her. She was thrilled!!! It was just the way she wanted them and she couldn't wait to eat them. Birthday wish fulfilled!
Chocolate Dipped Pretzels
24 pretzel rods
1-lb chocolate flavored candy coating
1-lb vanilla flavored candy coating
decorations of your choice (mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, chopped nuts, and sprinkles)
Melt the candy coating in the microwave. Dip each pretzel rod into the candy coating until covered as desired. Lay out on a sheet of parchment paper to set for about 1 minute. Cover with your desired decorations.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Several weeks ago, my sister and I were walking in Target and she pointed out the boxes of white chocolate fudge covered Oreos. She then mentioned how much she wanted to buy them. My reaction, of course, was along the lines of, "What? Don't buy that. I could make you those." Of course, she then responded, "Well, why don't you then?"
Well, I've been so busy making other holiday cookies and treats that I just didn't have time to get around to it. Until the one night I just happened to be melting down some white chocolate to make these White Chocolate Peppermint Shortbread Cookies. I had more than enough white chocolate for the shortbread cookies, and since I also had a package of Oreos, I decided I better make good on my promise.
To my surprise, it was actually really quick to make them. I dressed half of them up with Christmas sprinkles and the other half with crushed candy canes. Surely these are better than the storebought ones, right? After all, these were made with love and you can't buy that. :) I have a feeling that once my sister eats these, she's going to have me make some more (especially once she finds out that I gave away most of them to some other people). Well, 'tis the season after all. And seeing as how it's so easy to do, why not?
White Chocolate Covered Oreos
vanilla almond bark or candy coating
sprinkles or crushed candy canes (optional)
Melt the almond bark in the microwave until it's completely fluid. Dip the Oreos into the mixture and shake off the excess. Lay on a piece of parchment paper and decorate as desired.
Sunday, December 14, 2014
Ooohh, Christmas is getting closer and that means it's time for Christmas cookies, lots of them! Every year, I give away dozens of them to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. Naturally, I also keep back some of them for my family too. So, I am always on the lookout for new recipes to make and add to my list of faves. That's why, when Sarah from the Secret Recipe Club came up with the idea for this Cookie Carnival, I eagerly joined in! What is the "Cookie Carnival" you ask? Well, the members of the Secret Recipe Club once again received another person's blog to peruse and pick a recipe from it to make. But, the catch is that it has to be a cookie recipe. Then, today, we all get to show off the newest addition to our Christmas cookie platters.
I was assigned the blog, Dessert Before Dinner. With a title like that, I think I've found a kindred spirit in Stephy. And if you go check out her blog, you'll see that she has no shortage of dessert recipes. The girl means business! She has everything from the classics, like Lemon Meringue Pie and Watermelon Sorbet, to more exotic recipes like Yuzu Wasabi White Chocolate Macarons and Grapefruit Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting. From perusing through her blog, I came to see that she's a person who is bold, daring, and inventive. She's knows what she likes, but she's also not afraid to try new things and see where her foodie ideas will take her. You go girl!
This time, I opted for one of her classic recipes, Tartine Bakery Shortbread Cookies. And oh boy were they ever good. These shortbread cookies are thick, super buttery, and just sweet enough. One bite, and they absolutely melt in your mouth. You'll find yourself reaching for one after another until all you have left is crumbs. And believe me, you will devour the crumbs as well. I decided to be a little inventive too and dipped these into white chocolate, then sprinkled them with crushed peppermint candy for a festive, Christmas-y touch. Simply delightful! I will definitely put this recipe into my Christmas cookie collection to make every year from now on.
Thank you Stephy for the fantastic recipe!
Tartine Bakery Shortbread (slightly adapted from Dessert Before Dinner)
1 c. + 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp. salt (I increased this to 1/2 tsp.)
1 3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. flour
1/3 c. sugar + more for sprinkling
Cream butter and sugar together. Mix in the flour and salt until well combined. Press the dough evenly into an 8x8 pan and sprinkle with more sugar. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes until golden. Slice while still warm. Remove from pan once cookies are completely cooled.
If desired, dip the cookies into melted vanilla candy coating and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Let sit until the coating sets.