Archive for March, 2009

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Posted in Dessert, Hobby on March 28, 2009 by Devo
Inside the Cookie

Super delicious!

I thought it was time to try my hand at cookies again. I love cookies but they always take so much work. So, naturally, I chose cookies that take tons of work to make. Although at first I was hating myself because I was completely failing at these cookies. Then I saw the cookie light and at the end they turned out successful. What is so special about these lovely chocolate cookies is that there is peanut butter inside. What a treat.

Cookie Dough:

1-1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup of softened butter (one stick)

1/4 cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

Filling:

3/4 cup peanut butter

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

  1. In a small bowl mix flour, cocoa, and baking soda.
  2. In a large bowl combine sugar, brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter and blend until it is light and fluffy. Then add vanilla extract and the two eggs; mix well. Blend in the flour mixture and then set aside.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the 3/4 cup of peanut butter and confectioners sugar. Then make into about one-inch peanut butter balls. I used my mini-scoop and it seemed to make the right amount. And they really don’t need to be balls.
  4. Scoop out about a tablespoon of cookie dough and flatten it in your hand. Take a peanut butter ball and place it in the middle of the dough. Fold the dough up so it makes like a little chocolate taco shell and pinch together so the peanut butter is hidden as best as you can. Shape it into a circle.
  5. Place the cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Keep them about two inches apart so you don’t have connecting cookies. You can even flatten them a little, they don’t spread a whole lot.
  6. Bake them in a 375 degree oven for 8 or 9 minutes or until you see the cookies set and maybe even crack a little. Then let them cool and enjoy.

This recipe only makes around 15 cookies. That is the basic outline and works well but I am sure there can be some fair improvement on it. Seeing as this is the first time I have made them I’m pretty impressed with them. Both my mom and sister told me they are delicious and I think so too.

Peanut Butter Filling

See? Not really balls at all.

Folding

It just takes a little practice.

Just before going in the oven.

Just before going in the oven.

Looking good, right?

Looking good, right?

[Thank you, Superwife.]

I can’t believe spring break is already over. I probably should have made more use out of all my freetime, but I was fine with just relaxing. But the end of spring break also means that I will no longer just have a kitchen located near me. So the next recipe might be a while but I will try my best. On a bright side though, I am going to get back into making friendship bracelets! I will probably post something about those if I remember how to do some neat patterns.

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Cake Bites Update

Posted in Dessert, Hobby on March 25, 2009 by Devo

Batch of StrawberryToday/tonight I finished another batch of my cake bites. This time I used strawberry cake instead of red velvet. I can’t decide which is better but both are really good. Strawberry is a lot sweeter than the red velvet, just a warning. I think I am more fond of my strawberry batch though because they just look so much better than my red velvet one. But then there is the love that I have for the red velvets because they are the originals.

What I have learned from from these strawberry cake bites is how to make them look a bit nicer. The biggest lesson I learned from last time was keep the cake cold enough so it wouldn’t crumble apart in the chocolate. The solution to this was simple: keep them in the fridge longer or stick them in the freezer for about ten minutes. Well, also, I think our freezer and fridge are set on the lower temperature settings so they are pretty cold. So the times could vary with different refrigerators. I didn’t run out of chocolate this time either so that really helped with the whole appearance of the chocolate.

Strawberry InsideThis time they are actually cake bites. I made them about half the size I did last time. That is mainly for two reasons. The first one being, the last ones were just huge. The second one is the fact that my sister didn’t help me at all with the rolling of these. Last time she dished out the cake with our mini-scooper and she just decided that filling the entire scoop was good. Although I still used a mini-scooper (which is extremely convient for any type of dough that needs to be divided) I only filled half of it and then rolled them. The smaller size made them a lot easier and quicker to dip.

My favorite part of making these is still smashing the cake and the frosting together in a bowl. The red velvet made my hands nice and red but the strawberry just made them smell really good. Plus it is just really cool feeling to squish around. And destroying a cake that you just baked is always a fun time.

What is always great about dipping in chocolate is that I always manage to have a ton of chocolate left over. This time I got an entire tray of chocolate covered strawberries out of it. So good. Now I just need to get my hands on a dipping spoon and I’m good to go.

The recipe is still in the last post about these tasty desserts in case you missed it the first time. I should be posting again soon with the next dessert I will be making.

One advantage to being home (besides access to a kitchen) is I get to use my mom’s really nice camera. Why I didn’t use it last time I made these still puzzles me but I taking full advantage of it this time around. I need to update my camera, it’s a little over three years old.

Beginning of Spring Break

Posted in Update on March 21, 2009 by Devo

I have been home for a little over a day and a half and have already accomplished two semi-productive things. Maybe three.

Besides showering and unpacking what I brought back, the first thing I did was attack our desktop computer. I got on my account and just changed the entire appearance of my desktop. It needed it badly. I am still working with a lot of other things on there but I have an entire week to do this. I just made everything less ugly and cluttered.

My pasta dinnerI was left alone last night because my mother had to work and my sister decided I wasn’t cool enough to hang out with over her friends and a movie. So that left me to find a suitable dinner for myself. Right now my kitchen is under construction. Mom has decided to put in new cupboards, paint, and eventually get new counters. So half of our kitchen is just… missing. There isn’t any food in this house either because when I am at school my mom just doesn’t cook anything for my picky-eater sister. So getting a dinner for myself was a difficult task. But I come up with a brilliant idea that wasn’t too much cooking (because I am terrible at it). Pasta is always an easy choice and that is what I did: delicious pasta. I took our over abundance of elbow macaroni and cooked that. I then warmed up some Ragú sauce in a small pot, chopped up quite a few pepperonis, and added a bit of spices to it. I think the spices were oregano leaves, garlic powder, black pepper, and Italian spice. I could be a little wrong though. But anyway, it turns out it was really good. I just added mozzarella cheese on top and it was a filling dinner.

Before and AfterToday was a big day for me. For the last three years I had been growing out my hair. It finally got to the point of it touching my tailbone a few months ago and I trimmed that by a couple of inches. Today though, I donated again. It was the fourth time I have donated my hair and this is the second longest amount that I have cut off. The second time I donated I cut off 13 inches. Today, I cut off 12 inches. So now a foot of my hair is gone and I am left with incredibly short hair. It is actually shorter than I wanted or expected it to be. But it is fine because it still looks pretty all right. It’s just a very different and I am going to have to adjust.

Although this post is a little silly it is just the start of spring break. I will be home alone a lot within the coming week with my mom working and my sister still in school. That is fine with me, I accomplish more that way. I plan on making two desserts while I am home, even with our busted up kitchen. One will just be a variation of the cake bites and the other I will post a recipe up for.

A Weekend at Home

Posted in Dessert, Hobby on March 2, 2009 by Devo

This past weekend I went back home for the first time during this quarter. It has made me realize three things:

  1. My favorite dog, Lucy, loves me so much and misses me a lot.
  2. Although I love my laptop and everything I have done to customize it, nothing beats the power of our desktop computer.
  3. I miss having a kitchen easily available to me because I want to start making many desserts.

This all sums up everything I have done over the weekend. I played with my dogs, went between my laptop and desktop computer, and made tasty treats. The last of these things made me feel proud of myself because I actually produced something delicious that people like to eat. It impressed both my mom and sister because both know how much I hate cooking. I have lately discovered that I do hate cooking but I really enjoy making sweet stuff. But this new discovery is also held back until I can get more than just a micro-fridge in my room. So while at home, I made Red Velvet Cake Balls. I like to call them cake bites but mine really aren’t bites at all. dsc00004

They were pretty easy to make. Before going home I was stumbling upon stuff on the Internet and came across a blog titled Bakerella. Their recipe for Red Velvet Cake Balls caught my interest because I knew that at my house we had several of the ingredients and I could easily make it. Plus, it just looked really good. I would suggest this treat to anyone who is capable of baking (one of my favorite things to do) and can dip stuff in chocolate.

The recipe can be found here.

I did not use chocolate bark because I really did not want to melt tons of chocolate in my microwave. It just sounded pretty gross to me. Instead I took roughly two pounds of semi-sweet chocolate chips and melted them in our double boiler. (Two bags were nice and Toll House chips but half-way through dipping I ran out of chocolate and had to go buy more. Turns out my six dollars was not enough to buy another pound of Toll House so I used a generic brand instead. It doesn’t matter because it is still good.) That way is was good looking chocolate and was easy to keep at a pretty good consistency. But I’m sure if you want to try this you could just as easily use chocolate bark like the recipe says to.

dsc00003There are a few things that I would have liked to have done differently while I was making this. My first batch that I started dipping was a small disaster and turned out pretty ugly looking. I had problems with the temperature of the cake; they weren’t cold enough. So even before half-way through the batch was dipped the cake started to get room temperature and began crumbling a little bit in the chocolate when getting rolled around. It made the batch look lumpy and unattractive; especially when I started to reach the end of it and was running low on chocolate. The second batch turned out fine because I had cooled them longer so I didn’t have that problem. Also, I believe I made mine a little large. My sister helped me with the rolling of them and she dished out the lumps while I hand rolled them (she didn’t want to get her hands dirty, lame). She dished out some large portions of cake. So next time I would definitely make them smaller. Also, I think next time I will either experiment with using white chocolate or using a different type of cake for the center.

My sister needed to remind of my hatred towards cooking and how I really can only make desserts, but she is “far superior”. She confessed that the only thing that I am better at than her is making brownies. I do have delightful brownies but I hope to change her mind in the future that I am capable of just making that one wondrous dessert. I assisted her later with her peanut butter fudge by mixing it.

In general, I think I am just going to start making things. Either it be desserts or crafty-type items, they will be made by me. I just need to start getting the right supplies.

(In case you were wondering, besides making these I spent a lot of my time playing The Sims 2 or Left 4 Dead. That is just how much I win.)