Reader beware: It’s a doozy!

Disclaimer:¬†Wow! I had this post written and nearly ready for posting, back in JANUARY! Eek. I’m not sure what happened, but I have decided it is time to revise and post this bad boy. So sit back, grab a mug of coffee and get ready for some giggles! ūüôā¬†

The title says it all. This post is chock full of craziness! Such is my life as of lately. I am full force into phasing into my student teaching. I spend all day, every day with my little kiddos and I love them to death! Last week was quite the week however, and I had every intention of writing about it in the middle of the week and of course, things got too hectic. The reason this week was a doozy has to do with the wide array of situations I was exposed to and handled this past week! I dealt with blood, snot, poo and vomit – all within 4 hours! I am pretty sure that is record, unless you’re a parent, then of course it might be a daily¬†occurrence. ūüėČ If you’re interested to find out the story behind these bodily fluid stories, keep reading. Otherwise, scroll down to the best part of this post… the goodies I baked today!

It was a doozy of a day…

Before beginning my story it is important to understand that I have begun ‘phasing in’, which means I am slowly taking over subjects throughout the day so I will be nearly full time by the time February begins. That being said, I am teaching the entire morning now. So rewind to Wednesday. We had just finished our reading block, and were all nestled together doing our little math calendar routine when all of a sudden a hand goes up and I hear a Mrs. Santie!! {Which generally drives me nuts, because the kids always yell my name, I’ve been working diligently to teach them patience!} Its my little sweetie, “MY NOSE IS BLEEDING!!!” And was it ever, I no sooner got tissues to her and the blood was gushing out of her nose. I freaked! I haven’t even had a bloody nose myself, and I was unsure of school procedures for such a situation, so I sent one of my kiddos to find my mentor teacher. She wasn’t in the hallway like I thought she was – so my little guy begins pounding on the shared room to get the attention of one of our para-educators! {Think Mervyn’s “Open, open” commercials!}

The funny part is that if he had run back into our classroom, the door is always unlocked in there! Haha. Long story short, my little kiddo was okay and I learned procedure for bloody noses. It was fairly comical.

Everything seemed to be back to normal after lunch. We did our math lesson, and got through our math quizzes. The kids worked so hard. It was great! We transitioned into our Daily 5 time {Which is essentially like the Silent Sustained Reading {SSR} time we had as kids}, the kids grabbed their school boxes and found their reading spots. All was good. Their time was up so we were gathering back on the carpet to evaluate their success and the kids started freaking out… “EWWWW it stinks!”, “It smells like fart!!” I tried calming the kids down but geez, it really did stink and it wasn’t going away!

Fast forward… we had finished Daily 5 were now lining up for recess and another one of our kiddos had a break down and started arguing with mentor teacher, he started crying and his whole face was covered, I mean COVERED with snot. So I stayed back and calmed him down. We walked out to recess and the kids were all playing nicely. After recess it was time for P.E., we all lined up, and guess what? It still stinks! Just about then, my teacher noticed a strange mark on one of our kiddos pants. She approached him, “Did you have an accident?”, he absolutely denied it as he was backing up into a bush to cover his bottom!¬† Long story short — the smell at carpet?! He pooed his pants! Oh my goodness, it was sooo bad. I felt horrible for him, and for everyone who had to enter our classroom!! We sent him to the nurse and then headed up to check on him. After talking with the office staff, we checked our mailbox and headed back into the hall where we noticed a second grader running¬†down the stairs, when all of a sudden… vomit. Oh geez… all I could think was “Really?!” and then, “Oh no! Damage control time!” Our little kinders were walking out to second recess, I had to guide them around the vomit and get them to walk outside, they were like deer in a headlight, couldn’t get over what they were seeing!

Needless to say, it was a doozy of a day!

Kind of like my treats I made yesterday. I think we all know that I love¬†chocolate and peanut butter. You can’t go wrong there! This is a doozy of a delicious¬†combination!

Double Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies with Peanut Butter Buttercream

Double Chocolate Espresso Sandwich Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
8 T unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
¬ľ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
¬ĺ cup chocolate chips
1 tsp instant espresso powder

Directions:

1. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. Stir in the egg and vanilla.
3. Gradually mix in the flour mixture to the wet mixture, until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Separate the dough into two and roll them into 2 uniform logs about 12 inches long. Refrigerate it until firm enough to slice.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6. Cut the logs into 1 inch slices and place 1 ¬Ĺ inches apart on the prepared sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the dough looks just baked. The cookies should be tender, so do not over bake. {Note: watch these closely! I was chit-chatting with a friend and not paying attention. My cookies turned out crispy. Take out a little earlier than your judgement tells you!}

Peanut Butter Buttercream

Ingredients:

2 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3 T milk

Directions:

1. Cream together butter and peanut butter.
2. Add vanilla, mix until creamy and combined.
3. Slowly add powdered sugar until incorporated.
4. Add milk and then whip until creamy. Frosting should be slightly thick.

Source & Recipe: Lovin’ From the Oven, originally from Jules Food

Cheers! Hope y’all have a fabulous weekend!! ūüôā

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44/52: Homemade Halloween Oreo Cookies with Patrina

Good morning and Happy Halloween!

I felt it was only appropriate to end the month with something festive and of course with my October baking project! My aunt and I both decided to take a month off in September because of the craziness of school for me, and her as well {I don’t know how she does it with 4 kids, 3 being teens/tweens!}. So here we are with our October goody… homemade oreos! Who doesn’t love an oreo? I don’t think it is one of those goodies I could eat all the time, but I definitely have my spurts where oreos just hit the spot. Overall these were yummy! The cookie is crisp, but so much better than the store-bought version. The filling was pretty good, but I think they would have been just as good with a regular frosting in the middle – but then again, I guess they wouldn’t be homemade oreo cookies then?!

These are super fun Halloween treats. I think I’m going to put together some treat bags for my MAE cohort today — we have long days with double classes tonight. Eeek. We could probably all use the sugar rush!

Homemade Oreo Cookies

Ingredients:
For the cookies:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened or Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar {Use 1 cup for a truer-to-original Oreo wafer or more sugar for a sweeter chocolate cookie}
10 tbsp {1 stick + 2 tbsp} unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg

For the cream filling {white}:

4 tbsp {1/2 stick} unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ňö F.¬† Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar.  Mix briefly to combine.  Add the butter to the bowl and pulse or mix briefly to incorporate.  Add in the egg and mix until the dough forms a cohesive mass.
  3. Scoop between 2 tsp to a scant tbsp of batter {depending on how large you want them} onto the baking sheet.  Continue scooping, spacing the dough balls a couple of inches apart.  With moistened fingers, gently press down on the dough balls to flatten slightly.  Bake for 9-11 minutes {closer to 9 minutes for smaller cookies}, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Transfer the baking sheets to a wire rack and let cool completely until the cookies are firm and set.  Be sure the cookies are completely cooled before filling.
  4. To make the filling, combine the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth.  Add the confectioners’ sugar to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the vanilla extract.
  5. To assemble the cookies, pair them up by size.  Use a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip to pipe a swirl of filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair.  Sandwich together with the remaining cookie and press down so that the filling reaches the edges.

Yield: 20 to 30 sandwich cookies, depending on the size

Source & Recipe: Smells Like Home

Anyway, I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday…. what are your Halloween plans?! Did you do anything fun this weekend? Have a great week everyone!

36/52: Choco-Oat-Chip Cookies with Patrina

Whoa… this might be a record. Two posts back to back, in one week. I’m quite the over-achiever aren’t I? ūüėČ Just kidding! I’m posting this a week early, which will likely put me ahead of my 52 week/52 posts goal but, considering this is my August long distance baking project I can’t bear to post it come September! So… grab your cup of coffee, kick you feet up and get ready to stroll down memory lane with me! ūüôā

When I think back to my childhood memories I can almost always remember having Nestle Toll House cookies freshly baked in the house, all the time. They are as American as apple pie to me! It was always so exciting when I opened my lunch box and saw a freshly baked cookie in its little zip lock baggy. There is something so magical about them. Since school is approaching, we decided that for our August long distance baking project that we would whip together some Nestle Toll House cookies!

As much as I love the traditional recipe, it’s by far not my absolute favorite texture, etc. But, like I said there is something so nostalgic about them! I started searching the internet looking for little ‘twists’ to the traditional recipe… when I stumbled on this neat little ditto… the history of the Nestle Toll House cookie!

The Nestle Toll House Story

Ever wonder how we got our name? It all began in the 1930s, with
the Toll House Inn, owned by Ruth and Kenneth Wakefield. Here, Ruth would
prepare delicious, home-cooked meals that would be served for her guests.

An Unexpected Surprise
One day, while preparing a batch of Butter Drop Do cookies, a favorite recipe
dating back to Colonial days, Ruth cut a bar of our NESTL√Ȭģ Semi-Sweet
Chocolate into tiny bits and added them to her dough, expecting them to melt.
Instead, the chocolate held its shape and softened to a delicately creamy
texture.

A Favorite Was Born
The resulting creation became very popular at the Inn. Soon, Ruth’s recipe was
published in a Boston newspaper, as well as other papers in the New England
area. Regional sales of our delicious NESTL√Ȭģ Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar
skyrocketed. Eventually, the NESTL√Ȭģ TOLL HOUSE¬ģ Cookie recipe was printed on
the wrapper of our Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar.

As the popularity of the original NESTL√Ȭģ TOLL HOUSE¬ģ cookie continued to grow, we
looked for ways to make it easier for people to bake. Soon, we began scoring
the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar, and packaged it with a special chopper for easily
cutting it into small morsels.

The World’s First Morsels
Shortly after, in 1939, we began offering tiny pieces of chocolate in
convenient, ready-to-use packages and that is how the first NESTL√Ȭģ TOLL HOUSE¬ģ
Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels were introduced.

Since they were first used by Ruth Wakefield in what would become the most popular
cookie of all time, NESTL√Ȭģ TOLL HOUSE¬ģ Semi-Sweet Morsels have inspired
millions of people to bake and share their cookies and their wonderful baking
stories.

Isn’t that cool?! ¬†I just love knowing the story behind things. ūüôā Well, my searches online were not so successful. I didn’t find anything that was a minor tweak to the recipe… so we decided to go with another¬†Toll House favorite – Choco-Oat-Chip cookies! I just love the addition of oatmeal to cookies.

As I was baking these, I forgot how huge the batch is. There was so much cookie dough! I ended up only baking about half of the dough, and ended up freezing the rest… stay tuned for next week’s blog post. A super fun tutorial that includes the freezing of this dough! ūüôā Until then, tide yourself over by whipping up some cookies for your kiddos first day back at school. I know they’ll remember that special Toll House cookie in their lunch box or Toll House cookie for an after school snack when they grow up, just as much as I still¬†do!

Nestle Toll House Choco-Oat-Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt {optional — omit if using salted butter}
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup {2 sticks} butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTL√Ȭģ TOLL HOUSE¬ģ Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts {optional}– {I used chopped pecans}

Directions:

Preheat¬†oven to 375¬į F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat brown sugar, butter and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats, morsels and nuts; mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets {I lined mine with parchment paper}.

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12 to 13 minutes for crispy cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Source & Recipe: Nestle Toll House

33/52: Killin’ time & Butterscotch and White Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies

So the past few days have been… interesting. A learning experience if you will. I have worked since I was 16. I worked all the way through my college degree and most of the time even worked 2 jobs. Needless to say, I am used to working. I tend to be a workhorse and certainly take pride in all of my work. When I transitioned out of my job with NEP and into school I had about 2 weeks off but it felt like no time because we had so much to catch up on and Winston had his eye surgery. Right after that time off I jumped into school and it pretty much occupied all of my time so although I wasn’t bringing home a paycheck I still felt like I was working. Well… I have a few weeks off. It’s our “summer break”, meaning we are off from August 10-September-ish {whenever we start going into our prospective schools — PLU classes start September 6}.

The first few days, even the first week of this break I was smitten… time to catch my breath and re-organize/complete projects around the house. Awesome! Now? I am seriously starting to get bored. I am seriously learning how to not being doing something. Its hard! It also¬†doesn’t help that my lower back issues from May have started up again and my knees are acting up right along with it. I honestly feel like my body is that of a 40-year-old! Because I am not feeling the best and really have nothing to do as far as errands until tomorrow, I opted to stay in, ice my back and relax. Come 11am I was bored out of my mind… so naturally I thought, “I’LL BAKE!” Yeah… except our air conditioner went out 2 days ago and we’re waiting for the repair man to come out. After realizing that turning on the oven would make the temperature in my condo rise to ohh say about 85-90 degrees {inside!}, I decided to forgo that project. So I walked Winston a little… fiddled around and was still bored out of my mind. I checked the clock, surely it is close to 2:30 and then that means Johnny should be home in 30 minutes! Right?! Wrong. Soo wrong. I had only killed about 45 minutes.

Are you kidding me?! I bit the bullet. I have a serious¬†problem with baking, it is always my ‘go to’ hobby when I’m bored. So,¬†I quickly found a recipe to use up some of the chips in my baking cupboards and got to work. I have never really made chocolate cookies before. They honestly intimidate me a little. Regular cookies are so easy to see when they’re done, they get a little golden and then you just keep an eye on them. Chocolate cookies are a little tricky since they’re… already… brown. But, I think I gauged these just about right! I waited until they started to crack just slightly on the top. They seemed perfectly baked in the middle.

Side note: These cookies actually call for peanut butter chips which I think would be to-die-for in this recipe. But, I had butterscotch and white chips so that’s what I used! And I think these are pretty yummy. They aren’t chocolatey enough for my tastes personally but I think they are definitely a nice change from a traditional cookie. I am excited to send these off with my hubby to work tomorrow so his crew can have some Friday treats!

I love the texture on these cookies. They make me smile!

Butterscotch and White Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 c butter-flavored shortening
1/2 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c butterscotch chips
1 c white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Cream together butter, shortening, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time.

3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, espresso powder and cocoa powder. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time {so as to not tighten the dough} to combine and then mix in the chips.

4. Using a cookie scoop or a spoon, drop onto an ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Source & Recipe: Slightly adapted from Our Best Bites cookbook

I am glad I sacrificed a few degrees in the condo to make these guys. Because baking makes me¬† t——h—— i——s happy! See?!

Hehe. So now, I have just a little time until my hubby gets home and hopefully I won’t chat his ear off when he walks in the door. You would think that I was living a completely secluded life the way I start rambling when he gets home. Poor guy. ūüėČ Off to ice my achin’ back and stretch out before the hubby gets home. I hope everyone has an awesome end of their week! I am ready for it to be Saturday, my bestie¬†from age 13 will be driving into town {she lives out of state and is visiting right now} and we get to spend some time together. Her hubby is going out with my John’s {Senior & Junior} and fishing on the sound and Kindle and I get a girls day! It is sure to be fabulous! What do you guys have planned for the weekend?

 

 

 

 

31/52: Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons with Patrina

Last month I introduced my new baking project — Long Distance Baking! {See tab at the top of the blog} To refresh your memory, the gist of the project is…My Aunt who lives in Colorado and I will alternate choosing baking projects each month, bake them on the same weekend and share pictures and thoughts about the recipes! Last month my Aunt chose Homemade Hostess Cupcakes. I would venture to say they are even better than the real thing! This month was my turn to choose the recipe.

I have tried to take over a new leaf lately, mostly to get ready and anticipate the lack of time that I will have come fall due¬†to my¬†full schedule of¬†full-time graduate school and my internship in the elementary school.¬†That concept combined with my hubby’s recent love of coconut macaroons and the desire to cross off another item on my Kitchen Bucket List led me to choose¬†Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons to bake¬†this month! We had some yummy coconut macaroons while in Vegas back in June, but I have loved coconut macaroons ever since I studied abroad in England and France during J-term 2008. I’m not sure that I had ever had a real macaroon until then. They were so chewy and delicious — an instant favorite.

Speaking of… That trip was ridiculously amazing. I have always had a thing for studying World War II. Probably because my grandfather served in the Navy as a fighter pilot over the Pacific during the war. I should make a post just about his story one of these days, it’s unbelievable. Anyway, when the opportunity came up to study World War II in England and France I wanted to go with everything in me. I had never left the country before. Thanks to my amazing mother it became a reality. I will never forget the experiences of seeing the impact¬†the war¬†had on London, and England as a whole or the experience of walking the beaches of Normandy¬†and seeing the battle field where so many of our men lost their lives on D-Day. Or, walking through the bunkers the Germans used {which still hold the guns they used},¬†or the many beaches where so many of our men fought for not only our freedom but that of the world, or walking through the American gravesite paying tribute to the soldiers… the memories are ones that I cannot truly put into words but they were most certainly life changing. I only have a few pictures from my travels because sadly the hard drive of my laptop crashed and I cannot find the backup CD. ūüė¶ Nonetheless, here are a few pics from the trip to England and France! Good and emotional times.

On the Thames River & Boardwalk

 

¬†Oxford – Christ’s Church {parts of HP were filmed here}

Stonehenge — so windy and cold!


Point du¬†Hoc, Normandy, France —¬†to the West of Omaha Beach

Me on Gold Beach {taking a picture of the mulberry}

Anyway… on with the macaroons. Sorry for that tangent! As I was saying while I was over in England/France I had amazing coconut macaroons and pain au chocolat {OH MY GOODNESS}.¬†To this day I have not been able to find anything that¬†is even comparable at bakeries or stores.¬†So¬†I’m not really¬†sure why it took me so long to want to re-create the macaroons, but alas a lightbulb went off and I started the search for the perfect recipe.¬†I was still apprehensive because I had this perfect ideal in my head of¬†what these macaroons should taste like.¬†And to my¬†present surprise¬†{and my Aunt’s too} this recipe did not disappoint! These macaroons are so easy; they are so good you would think they took hours to make. I will be making these again very soon because we have already devoured the recipe I made less than a week ago!!¬†You¬†need to make these and when you do¬†I’d love to hear what you all think? Be sure to let me know if you think they are as good as I do once you give them a try!!

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:

1 14-ounce package sweetened shredded coconut (about 5 cups)
4 large egg whites
2/3 C sugar
1/3 C All-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Approximately 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate or white chocolate {or both!}, melted {use double broiler method} and cooled to room temperature

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 325¬į F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut, egg whites, sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla.

3. Drop packed tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart. {I used my cookie dough scoop, and it worked wonderfully but you could also just used a regular tablespoon}

4. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until lightly golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

5. When cool, dip the bottom of each macaroon in the chocolate and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Store the macaroons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days – if they last that long!


{Tip: My condo tends to run warm all year round, so I¬†chose to keep mine in the fridge so the chocolate wouldn’t melt once firmed — if your chocolate starts melting, store them in the fridge in the same airtight container.}

Source & Recipe:
Real Simple

Happy Friday! I hope y’all enjoy your weekend!

14/52: Shortbread Cookies

Unfortunately for me and my baking habits, my husband doesn’t have near the sweet tooth that I do. {Although I’m sure my weight begs to differ with me on that one ;)} Half of the baking experiments that pop up in our kitchen are the result of a creation that popped into Johnny’s mind, or something that just sounds good to him. Whenever he presents the opportunity for me to bake – I jump on it! One of his favorite desserts are shortbread cookies. Personally, I could care less about them. They aren’t sweet enough for me. If I am going to waste calories on dessert I want to make it worthwhile! Give me cupcakes, cheesecake, brownies… you get the idea. But since I haven’t really made him any shortbread cookies I caved when he brought up the idea. {Not to mention I got to knock another recipe off my Kitchen Bucket List!}

After much searching, I finally settled on an Ina Garten recipe, mostly because the cookies are dipped in chocolate so I figured that would be a good compromise for the lack of sweetness. ūüėȬ† I made half dipped and half not – relationships are about compromise, right?! But, let me tell you… this recipe changed my world and my whole opinion on shortbread cookies! These were absolutely delicious. Buttery and slightly sweet but surprisingly delightful. This recipe is definitely a keeper in the Santie house!

Yummy little dudes! What I love most about shortbread cookies is that you still get to roll them out and cut into cute little shapes… but they don’t have to be perfect looking like sugar cookies. In fact, I think they’re better if they don’t look perfect.

Eeeek! Look at that delicious buttery goodness!

Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 to 7 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped {Omit if not dipping}

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low-speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put 3 ounces of the chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. (Don’t trust your microwave timer; time it with your watch.) Stir with a wooden spoon. Continue to heat and stir in 30-second increments until the chocolate is just melted. Add the remaining chocolate and allow it to sit at room temperature, stirring often, until it’s completely smooth. Stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth and slightly cooled; stirring makes it glossier.

Drizzle 1/2 of each cookie with just enough chocolate to coat it.

Source: Ina Garten

Yummy! Have a good weekend everyone!

12/52: Everything Cookies.

Are you familiar with everything bagels? You know the kind, with the onion, seeds and everything all nestled on top of the bagel. Yum! Well this cookie for me is an everything¬†cookie. Its everything a cookie should be, slightly crisp yet ooey¬†gooey and chewy. Plus, you get every type of goodie inside that¬†you could think of. They totally remind me of the toffee cookies you can buy at Border’s coffee shop. So good, right? Well as soon as I made these, they quickly became a household favorite. This last time I switched things up a bit, because we are most certainly a nutty house (haha – in more ways than one). We love pecans! These cookies are so yummy that we had to get them out of the house, so excuse the lack of pictures. I took one right before loading up the extras to take to the office. I can’t have these bad boys lying around!! ūüôā

At first glance they might just look like normal chocolate chip cookies, but do not be fooled! Try these bad boys out for yourself… you won’t go back!

Everything Cookies

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1/4 c. shortening [NO substitutions!*]
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. packed DARK brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 c. Heath bits
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. white chocolate chips
1/4 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

*Don’t get me wrong – I am a firm believer in butter… but do not try to leave out the shortening. This recipe changed my mind about the sickening stuff!


Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 375. Combine all of your dry ingredients except for sugars in a small bowl, run a whisk through and set aside. In the bowl of a stand-up mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until combine. While the mixer is still running, add one egg at a time allowing each egg to be incorporated before adding the next. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients until incorporated. Add in your heath bits, chocolate and white chips and nuts by hand, mixing until combined. Drop dough onto cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until just brown on the edges. Allow to cool for two minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack to finish cooling.
Mmmm… delicious!
 
Source: slightly adapted from Our Best Bites.
xoxo, ss