Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Bars

The texture from this picture makes my mouth salivate for more!

My family is getting tired of me being home already. Why, you ask? Because I bake. Every. Single. Day. My parents have a beautiful kitchen so OF COURSE I am going to take advantage of it! They have to quit their diets every time I come home.

I’m keeping this post short and simple so I can spend more time with my family and MAYBE get some work done on my pesky paper!

This recipe is PERFECT for  your Thanksgiving evening. You can taste (and smell) the wonderful flavors of autumn (the pumpkin and spices), but you can still recognize the familiar and comforting snickerdoodle. It is an extremely easy recipe to make (only ONE bowl to clean!!) and will have all of your guests asking for seconds!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in salt, egg, nutmeg, pumpkin and vanilla extract until well combined. Add in flour and stir until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
  3. Pour dough – it will be thick – into prepared baking dish and smooth it into an even layer.
    Stir together remaining 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Sprinkle dough evenly with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, until bars are set and the edges are just very lightly browned. Cool in the pan before slicing.

Cinnamon Scones and Procrastination

I love baking in my parent's purdy kitchen! 🙂

I am SO happy to be home and surrounded by the people (and canines) that I love.

There are other perks of being home, however. One is being able to get my eyebrows done for a reasonable price. Another  is having the opportunity to bake with a standard sized oven. Even though I am grateful to have a kitchen at school, it is SUCH a pain to attempt to make cookies (or scones in this case) on half sheets. So when I am home I try to take advantage of the appliances around me.

I brought home A TON of work to get done over the break, the major assignment being an 8-10 page paper. As of right now, I have three sentences written. It is so hard staying focused when being around family. And being able to relax. And the due date not being tomorrow. I will procrastinate for now, but I guarantee that later this week I will be freaking out and scrambling to get this work done!

How am I supposed to work when I can hang out with these cuties??

Today I decided to attempt to make a recipe from The Pioneer Woman’s website. I stumbled across this recipe a while back, but unfortunately stores were not carrying an ingredient: Cinnamon chips. Apparently they are only around through the holiday season. After making this recipe I am STOCKING UP so I can make these delicious scones all year long.

I have never made scone’s before, and I was extremely pleased with this recipe. It was simple, quick, and did  not require many ingredients. The results were great: they had the perfect amount of cinnamon and were not too sweet (but still satisfied my sweet tooth teeth).

Ingredients and Directions are from The Pioneer Woman.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 5 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 Cup) Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 cups Heavy Cream
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Cinnamon Chips
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Heavy Cream*
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and baking powder. Cut butter into pieces, then cut into dry ingredients with a pastry cutter** until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cinnamon chips.
  3. Mix together cream, egg, and vanilla extract. Pour into flour/butter mixture, stirring gently with a fork to combine.
  4. Turn onto work surface (mixture will be very crumbly and falling apart.) Gently press together on the sides as you flatten (or roll, with a rolling pin) the top. Form either into a large circle or a large rectangle. Mix together topping ingredients, stirring with a fork. Sprinkle over the top of the dough, lightly pressing.
  5. Cut into wedges (from a circle) or triangles (from a rectangle.) Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Serve with coffee.

* I did not have heavy cream on hand, but I found a great substitution here!

**I do not have a pastry cutter (I am a poor college student after all) so I used my hands. Although this was a bit messy, It got the job done!

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate and Mint Chip Cookies AND Homebound!

I LOVE the Holiday Edition Oreos!!

I have been waiting so long for this day to come! I’ve been patiently counting down the days, the number of classes, and the number of large assignments until I could finally go home. I have only been home once (unfortunately for a sad reason) this semester and I have been looking forward to a mental break.

I miss my family and my puppies (I affectionately call them my babies) and I can not wait to spend an entire week with them, although I will miss my Nicky-Poo terribly!

Anyone who follows baking blogs has probably heard of the AMAZING Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are absolutely epic. Nicholas LOVES those things. They have even received several requests for birthdays. Since Christmas is a little more than a month away, I decided to get a head start on my holiday cookie baking, and make these bad boys. They are AMAZING: chocolatey, soft, gooey, and with the refreshing (but not overwhelming) taste of mint. It is a wonderful mixture of  rich chocolate and mint.

I brought a TON of them to the lab with me and all I had was one left! I decided to be a “Teacher’s Pet” and I gave it away to my teacher :P.

ANYWAYS, here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup andes mint chips
  • Oreos
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Cream until light and fluffy: margarine, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and mint extract.
  3. Combine in separate bowl: flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.3
  4. Gradually beat the dry mixture into the creamed mixture.
  5. Stir in semi sweet and mint chips. At this point I would recommend refridgerating the batter for AT LEAST a few hours…the longer the better. The dough by itself is really hard to manipulate.
  6. Scoop the dough with a tablespoon and roll into a ball. Place one ball on top of an oreo, and another one below the oreo. Press down on the dough, making it completely surround the oreo. Make sure none of the oreo shows and that it is completely enclosed.
  7. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

 

Crockpot Loving and 3 Ingredient Pulled Pork Sandwiches

It is hard to take a pretty picture of a messy sandwich!

Last year when Nicholas and I both lived in the dorms, it was difficult to escape the mediocre food served in the Dining Commons. Yeah, the food was edible, but it was FAR from enjoyable. Once in a while we would splurge and spoil our taste buds by ordering delivery. Our entree of choice was ALWAYS pulled pork; it was a delicacy not served in the Commons, and it was also affordable. We would order pulled pork from several different dining venues, all of them equally good. However, I didn’t know what amazing pulled pork tasted like until I had the pleasure of trying some for dinner at his family’s home.

To say that it is amazing is actually an understatement. It is fantastic, stupendous, marvelous, a culinary work of art (do you get my point??). The pork is EXTREMELY tender and the sauce is light but flavorful.

As stated in previous posts, I am far from a talented chef. It wasn’t until the end of August that I actually started cooking for myself.  If I can make this meal, ANYBODY can. With the crockpot, the pulled pork essentially cooks itself! I leave for class at 9:30 and I come home to the delicious aroma of my dinner which is (pretty much) ready to eat!

As a college student, it is often difficult to make my own meals. Lots of recipes require many ingredients, all of which end up costing a ton of money. This pulled pork requires only THREE ingredients! Although the pork shoulder can be a little pricy for my college budget (it costs me about $7 at Walmart), you will have a TON of leftovers. I usually end up freezing the extras and eating them for lunch during the week.

I have to thank Nick’s fabulous mother, Judy, for sharing this recipe with me. It not only makes Nicholas happy, but it is truly a wonderful meal that we both thoroughly enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Pork Shoulder
  • An 18 oz bottle of your favorite Barbeque sauce (we personally use and enjoy Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • A 12 oz aluminum can of Coke
  • Rolls (optional, but we always use them! I’m sure that this recipe would also be great over rice)
  1. Place the pork shoulder in the crockpot. Pour the can of coke and the entire bottle of barbeque sauce over the pork shoulder. Place the lid on top, and cook on LOW for eight hours.
  2. Remove the pork shoulder from the crock pot. Place the actual pot from the crockpot (with the liquid inside) into the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes (we do this so that the fat firms on the top and you can just scoop it out!)
  3. While waiting for the fat to surface, shred the pork shoulder. I personally find that using two forks to shred works best for me!
  4. After the fat rises to the surface, remove pot from the refrigerator and scoop out the fat. Place pot back into the crockpot and add the shredded pork. Cook on high for about ten minutes, or until the pork and juices are warm.
  5. If making sandwiches, remove pork from the crockpot with a slotted spoon and drain before placing on rolls. You will want the juices to drain a good bit, or your roll will get too soggy! After adding the drained meat, I get a regular spoon and top it off with the juices.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing

Maybe if I keep my baked goods on top of my studies the Study God will give me all of the answers on my exam??

Some things are meant to be together. Eggs and bacon, toast and jam, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake are a few examples. But one matching rises above all of the rest (at least in my mind), that being peanut butter and chocolate. I am salivating just thinking about the love affair that occurs in my mouth every time I munch on these two simultaneously.

You may have noticed that this is my first cupcake post. Well, there’s a reason for that…I have yet another secret to reveal: I don’t enjoy making cupcakes. It isn’t that I don’t like EATING cupcakes, it is just the whole frosting thing. It’s time consuming (in my opinion) and me being a perfectionist makes it take a lot longer. Recently, however, I decided to invest in a piping bag that comes with several tips! I have found that piping is much quicker and easier (and it makes them look so gosh darn cute!).

Friday I am going home for Thanksgiving break! I am seriously so excited. Since my younger sister is allergic to peanuts, I decided that I wanted to get this recipe over and done with before I get home so she can eat all of my yummy treats!

I was skeptical to try out this recipe. For one, the dark chocolate cupcakes contain coffee. I HATE COFFEE. However, the cupcakes came out full of flavor and moist. What makes these cupcakes so awesome is the peanut  butter icing. It is light, fluffy, and it is the perfect compliment to these cupcakes.

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes (Adapted from a recipe found here)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cold brewed coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease or line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, milk, oil and vinegar. Mix until smooth, batter will be thin. Pour into prepared cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
After  these bad boys cool, it’s time to prepare the frosting.
Fluffy and Light Peanut Butter Frosting (Adapted from Allrecipes)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
  • 1 1/2  cups confectioners’ sugar
  1. Place the butter, shortening, water and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar. Once the sugar is fully incorporated, add milk. Beat for at least 3 minutes for it to get good and fluffy.

I decided to fill some of my cupcakes with the peanut butter (because I never had) and I topped them off with half of a reese’s pieces mini cup (totally optional!)

Triple Layer Brownies (With a funny inappropriate name)

Triple Layer Brownies AKA Orgasm Brownies

I know this post is coming a bit late, I will try to avoid this as much as possible in the future. The last couple of days have been very hectic: Yesterday Nicholas was sick (still is), and I babysat all night. Today was Penn State’s final home game of the season! We lost, but we put up an amazing fight.

However, I promise you, with the quality of today’s post it was worth the minor delay. I am not exaggerating when I say that this is my absolute favorite baked good of all time. If you have a sweet tooth (or sweet teeth like me) this will definitely become one of your favorite go-to recipes. Because of its overwhelmingly satisfying taste, it has been dubbed (rather inappropriately) the “orgasm brownie”.

It’s technical name is the triple layer brownie: three distinct layers loaded with unique flavors that all come together to form a rich, sweet, and decadent creation.

The first layer is the brownie; you can use whichever recipe you desire! Don’t have a lot of time? Use a box mix (I won’t tell anyone!). Personally when I have the time, I prefer to make my creations from scratch. I have listed my (current) favorite brownie recipe below with the ingredients.

The second layer is the vanilla frosting. I have a somewhat shocking confession to make: I am not a fan of frosting. I know that this is a direct contradiction to prior claims that I have a set of sweet teeth, but I find that store bought icings are WAY too sweet. However, I have found the perfect solution: homemade vanilla icing. It is quick and easy to make. Most importantly, it is not overly sweet. It would also be great for other recipes such as cupcakes.

The final layer (and my favorite layer) is the chocolate covered rice krispies. This adds a nice crunch and decadence to the brownies. It also adds an amazing quality to the overall texture.

Brownie Ingredients (The one I used is from Allrecipes) I made a few alterations:

  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  2. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack.
Next is the hardest part; waiting for the brownies to fully cool. I waited approximately one hour. You then need to make the frosting, which is also a recipe from Allrecipes. I made an alteration with these ingredients as well:
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar, shortening, water and vanilla. Beat on low speed to combine, then beat on medium speed for a full five minutes. It won’t look like Icing at first, but keep the mixer going for a full five minutes, and then you’re done!
  2. Spread the icing evenly over the COOLED brownies
Last comes the chocolate rice krispies layer.
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips (I’m sure you could use semi sweet chips, but I prefer milk chocolate)
  • 3 cups rice krispies cereal (for my fellow college students, the cheaper brands work fine as well)
  1. In a small saucepan melt the chocolate chips over low heat stirring constantly as to avoid burning. Once chocolate is smooth, shut off the heat and mix in the rice krispies until they are totally coated.
  2. Spread the chocolate covered rice krispies evenly overtop the frosting.
  3. Put into the refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting. I find that this makes their overall final appearance nicer, and it helps make the cutting easier.

Pumpkin Funfetti Chocolate Chip Cookies and 100 Days!

Seasonal and festive cookies...with chocolate chips!

As a Penn State student, I along with most (if not all) of my peers, have been disgusted by the abuse that has been made public within the past couple of days. It sickens me when such acts are committed, especially when it is by an individual in a position of power. Luckily our justice system will take care of the criminal, and our campus has done an excellent job of following through with cleaning out certain faculty and administrative members.

As expected, this news has unfairly tarnished Penn State’s reputation. I absolutely love this school: the environment is welcoming, the education you receive is phenomenal, and our contributions to charities and research are unparalleled. The actions of one sick man should not erase the wonderful impact that over 44,000 students and countless alumni leave on society.

Today was a great day for Penn State students (aside from the news of Joe Paterno’s convenient retirement announcement). Today marked 100 days until THON. For those of you who don’t know, THON is the WORLD’s largest student-run philanthropic organization. It is a non-profit organization that raises funds and awareness for pediatric cancer. Since 1977, THON has raised more than $78 million for the Four Diamonds Fund. If you are interested in donating, or would like to learn more, you can click here.

In celebration of 100 days until THON, I decided to bake something that children would LOVE. I have never met a child that is against Funfetti. The only problem with Funfetti cake is that it tends to come out a bit dry; the pumpkin fixes that problem! It makes the cookies not only extremely chewy and soft, but it also makes them have a nice “fluffy” appearance. And of course, since this is my creation, I HAD to include chocolate chips.

The combination of seasonal flavors, festive funfetti, and rich chocolate results in a cookie that will have you reaching into the jar many, many times (not that I know this from personal experience…).

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of funfetti cake mix
  • 1/2 cup of AP flour
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the funfetti cake mix, flour, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add the eggs, vegetable oil, and pumpkin puree. Stir until all dry ingredients are moistened.  Mix in the chocolate chips. Use a tablespoon to create your individual cookies. Roll into balls, and place on sheet.
  3. Press down and slightly flatten the tops of each cookie dough ball. This helps them spread a bit. Place in the oven for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.

Pin It

Previous Older Entries