Sunday, June 30, 2013

Carrot Cake Cookies

Carrot cake is a favorite in our household that was previously reserved for special occasions worthy of 3 layer pretty cakes.  But I recently stumbled upon a picture of a "carrot cake cookie" and thought it was worth a shot.  I was a bit nervous that if I left my recipe as is (to maintain its delicious flavor and texture), and just baked them as cookies, I'd get a very flat cookie.  And, I did indeed come out with a flat cookie, no matter how small I made them, but that turned out to be ok.

These cookies may not win any awards for beauty - but they sure make up for that in taste.  And the flatness of the cookie means you finally get the perfect ratio of frosting to cake in every bite!  Carrot cake is now welcomed into the world of every day finger food recipes in our house.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Caramel coated salted pretzels

I recently had caramel coated pretzels as a topping on ice cream at a great shop in town and fell in love.  While the shop did sell small bags of them, they were five pounds each, way too expensive to fulfill my cravings, so I set out to make my own...  I was a little worried that these would not be worth the effort, as I envisioned carefully watching a candy thermometer trying to get caramel just to the hard crack stage, then rushing to individually dip pretzels before it cooled to much.  Then I realized I could just make them like caramel corn - replacing the popcorn with pretzels and baking them in the oven.

These come out of the oven looking very innocent - you can barely see the caramel coating, you might even make the mistake of thinking it doesn't have enough caramel.  But then you put one in your mouth, and then another... and then half the bowl is gone and you feel sort of sick.  So here is my warning - do not make these without having someone to share them with!  They are delicious, addicting, and way too easy to eat.  These are so easy to make and make an amazing party snack.  Everyone is impressed by someone who makes their own caramel!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Chocolate Chip Nutella Swirl Cookies

I think this cookie recipe is probably my second-most american recipe that I have (#1 will be posted at some point soonish).  It is inspired by a recipe from Martha Stewart (here) - called thousand layer cookies - in which they layer chopped chocolate in between sheets of cookie dough.  I was intrigued by the idea of layering things into a chocolate chip cookie - but didn't think chocolate was quite exciting enough to warrant the extra effort of rolling the dough, etc.  One of my friends who had recently dog sat for us (and thus I owed cookies to), is obsessed with Nutella, so I went with that.  I opted for more of a jelly roll cookie than a rolled flat one, making a less homogenous cookie, with bites that burst with Nutella.

These cookies basically follow the American premise that if you take two things that are delicious, and add them together, you get an even better result (ex: the deep fried twinkie?? ).  If you are still unsure if you want to bake these, I'll just add that someone told me it was the best cookie I had ever made, and I sort of have a reputation for making decent cookies.

The Fudgy (chai/mocha optional) brownie

In my house chocolate is basically always an appropriate choice. Whether you are celebrating, mourning, or having a stressful or happy d...