Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Baking the Day Away

One of the perks of being a teacher are the nice long breaks around the holidays. This week I have off and decided that I wanted to try out the new oven and bake. As I'm sure you've noticed if you read my blog very often, I am not much of a baker. I enjoy experimenting with cooking but baking isn't really my thing. Well I thought that it would be fun to ask my cousin Amanda to come over and "bake the day away." We had SO much fun and made some really yummy goodies.

First we started out making "White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies" by Paula Deen.

Here's the recipe, our changes are bold:

White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies

1 stick butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts (1 cup slivered almonds)
1/2 cup candied cherries (used 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries instead)
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Set aside.

Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add milk to the butter mixture and then add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Batter should be stiff.

In another bowl, combine nuts, cherries, and white chocolate. Then add to batter, stirring only to blend.


Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for approximately 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Finished Product:


Next up were "Pumpkin Apple Streusel Muffins"
Ingredients:

* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/4 cups LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
* 2 large eggs
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
* 1/4 cup granulated sugar
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons butter or magarine

Directions:
PREHEAT oven to 350ยบ F. Grease or paper-line 24 muffin cups.

FOR MUFFINS:
COMBINE flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine pumpkin, eggs and oil in medium bowl; mix well. Stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling three-fourths full.

FOR STREUSEL TOPPING:
COMBINE sugar, flour and cinnamon in medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over muffin batter.

BAKE for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool slightly.



And lastly were Andes Mint Cookies:


* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 3/4 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 large eggs
* 1 (10 ounce) package Andes mint baking chips
* 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Blend butter, brown sugar, white granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla and eggs until ingredients are mixed.
3. Add Andes Baking Chips and mix.
4. Add Flour and continue to mix until all ingredients are well blended together.
5. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 45-60 minutes.
6. Spoon out approximately 1 oz of dough per cookie.
7. Form a ball and then slightly flatten.
8. Place on non-stick baking pans and bake for approximately 8-10 minutes.
9. Cool on pans for 2 minutes, then remove.



Overall my favorite cookie was the White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies. They are soooo yummy! I haven't tried the muffins yet, I'm waiting to have one with my morning coffee. :)

We had a total blast and are planning on doing it again closer to Christmas time. Thanks Amanda for a wonderful day!

4 comments:

  1. You're very lucky to have the whole week off. I wish I did as there is so much to do before we have everyone over on Friday!

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  2. That's so weird… Dirk didn't bring any delicious baked goods to work today… must have forgotten.

    Just joking. Those all looked really good, I liked the edit on Paula Deen's recipe, almonds and cherries are awesome together, I'll have to try that.

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  3. Those all look really good, but the Andes Mint cookies sound and look awesome!
    So do the Paula Deen Cherry Chunkies one's, but I'll have to check out the ingredients cuz that woman likes to sneak in an extra chunk o' butter in Everything! They look very good though. :)

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