Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kitchen Sink Cookies....

Everything but the kitchen sink go into these hardy and feel good cookies or at least that is the idea of this recipe. This cookie was a staple in the Nelson Family home growing up and I remember they were my dad's favorite cookie. I even have a sweet memory of my dad helping me make them, partly to help his daughter and partly because he knew he would benefit from helping me make these delicious cookies, and the memory is sweeter because my dad often times was not found in the kitchen.

So a few days ago I made this recipe for the first time in who knows how long. I came across this oldie by goody while looking for a cookie recipe to make for my co-worker who had been gone for almost 2 weeks due to a procedure she had done. Candace (my other partner in crime and co-worker) and I wanted to give her a warm welcome back, so we made her a banner and I decided to make her some cookies since while out she wanted me to bring her her favorite cupcakes I make and I never did (I know, horrible friend). So to make up for my absence, I decided to make her Kitchen Sink cookies.

These cookies were a hit at work and my co-worker Candace even requested I bring some more the next day (I spoil them with my baking) and my manager kept asking for the recipe. I love this cookie because of its crunchy but soft texture, and buttery taste that compliments the sweetness of the cookie, making the cookie delish. Honestly I was delighted to see after all these years how good Kitchen Sink Cookies are and what a hit they still are.

With this recipe you can be creative and add whatever you want to them. I would have added coconut to this recipe but was out but for sure next time I will do so. You will be amazed with how simple, easy and quick these are to make.

Kitchen Sink Cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups Cornflakes or Rice Krispies
1 cups nuts (pecans or walnuts)
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

To start off preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Start off by using a medium size bowl combining the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt . Set aside. Then in a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugars. Mix until combined and the mixture is light and fluffy. Once mixed, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add in increments and do not over mix the batter. next take bowl off of stand mixer and incorporate the oats, cornflakes/Rice Krispies , nuts and chocolates chips with a spoon. And then if you feel like being creative, you can add anything to this mix, M&M's, raisins, coconut, another cereal with a good crunch or whatever you want, just make it taste good.

Once dough is combined and it tastes yum, chill for about 30 minutes. Once chilled, scoop out good size heaps and then roll into a balls. I place 6-8 cookies on a sheet and bake them for 9-10 minutes (just depends on your oven too), watching them closely so that they don't over bake. I usually can tell the cookies are done when the edges barely get brown. Once baked to perfection , remove from the oven and let cool.

Thad likes to have his cookies a little warm with a glass of milk.
So enjoy these good old classic cookies, that require everything but the kitchen sink. These little cookies will for sure be calling your name long after they are all eaten.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Patience Please

I am changing my look so please be patient as I figure out what colors- fonts- and texts I like and don't like, etc. Please feel free to leave comments or feedback on what I've done thus far with my "new" look.

I am currently cooking up a fabulous recipe for this week!

So stay tuned...

ps Isn't this vintage mixer adorable. I found it here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cupcakes and Bama Football......

Living in the South, Football is like a religion, life is planned around football, wedding dates are set according to if there is a home game or away game and everything else is put on hold each Saturdays to take part in game day festivities. When I first moved here I amazed by the magic and energy that is here during football season. To just walk into a grocery store was to see everyone dressed head to toe in crimson red and hounds tooth. And when I attended my first game day on the Alabama campus I was in awe by the tents and spreads people had. They had tables full of yummy foods, flat screen TVs and all the comforts of home.

So for the Bama vs. Penn State game I was asked by Thad's work, who was having a tent out on the quad and were having some clients come into town for the game, to make 100 Alabama cupcakes and 100 brownies. It was my first official catering job.

I made two kinds of cupcakes, I made the Surprise Filled Cupcakes (chocolate and cream cheese) with a butter cream chocolate frosting and vanilla cupcake with a strawberry filling and a whipped butter cream frosting. As garnish I made over 200 scripted A's, both red and white out of royal icing. From this experience I learned the hard way that royal icing does not hold up in 100 degree weather but if you were having a party indoors they would do just fine.

For the chocolate cupcakes I made the Surprise Filled Cupcakes which were made bt my mom growing up. These are rich with the dense chocolate cake, cream cheese and semi-sweet chocolate chips and a creamy chocolate frosting to finish it off, plus it looks so pretty.

Surprise Filled Cupcakes

Start off by preheating the oven to 375 degrees and line two twelve cup cupcake pans with cupcake holders, set aside.

Surprise filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 eggs
pinch of salt
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the filling use a small bowl and mix the softened cream cheese, the sugar, egg, pinch of salt and chocolate chips. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.

Chocolate Cupcake:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons coco
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups water

Start off by combining the first 5 ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer(flour, sugar, coco, baking soda and salt), set aside. Once combined, gradually add the next 4 liquid ingredients (vinegar, vanilla, oil and water), mixing until barely combined. Once all ingredients are added mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Once completely mixed, I like to use an ice cream scooper to dish my batter into the cupcake pan. I Fill the cupcakes about half-way full, then drop in a 1/2 tablespoon of the surprise filling into each cupcake. Place in oven letting bake for about 13-20 minutes. Mine are usually perfect at 15 minutes.

Once removed from the oven, place on cooling rack and let cool completely. These surprise cupcakes can stand alone in taste without frosting but if you want to dress them up, you can start on the chocolate frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. Click
here for chocolate frosting recipe

These cupcakes are always a crowd pleaser and are delish!

For the vanilla Cupcake, I used a recipe from Magnolia which is a world famous bakery in New York City and my neighbor Becky a while back let me borrow her Magnolia's Cookbook and I loved their vanilla cupcake recipe. This recipe with the strawberry filling and the whipped butter cream frosting, you feel like you are eating strawberry short cake to go. So yum.

Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Begin by preheating oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12 cup cupcake pans with cupcake holders. Set aside.

Start off by combining the flours in a small bowl, mix and set aside.

In a stand mixer bowl cream the butter until smooth and fluffy on medium speed. Then slowly add in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add each egg one at a time, mixing between each addition. Next add the dry ingredients, in three parts alternating with the milk and then vanilla. Beat well but make sure to not over mix. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl before scooping them out into the cupcake pan.

Note that this batter will be a thicker batter. Using the handy ice cream, fill the cupcake holder to 2/3 to 3/4 full. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. My were done at 17 minutes and I just used a small butter knife and once it came out clean I knew they were done.

Once done remove from oven and let cool completely. While cooling you can start on the frosting and the filling.

For the filling I used a Strawberry filling and boy was it good.

Strawberry Filling
2 cups hulled Strawberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
3 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup whipping cream

Start off by measuring out two cups of strawberries (I bought frozen strawberries and just let them unthaw)in a small bowl. Add sugar and let stand. Then measure out 1tablespoon gelatin and place in a small bowl; add 2 tablespoons cold water to gelatin and let the gelatin soften. Then add 3 tablespoons boiling water to gelatin mixture and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Then stir the dissolved gelatin into strawberries and let cool.

While strawberry mixture is cooling, whip a 1/2 cup of whipping cream until it is stiff. Check Strawberry mixture and when the consistency is like a heavy syrup, then fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture. When all ingredients are combined and mixed, place in refrigerator to chill and set.

Once completely chilled and the cupcakes are cooled I cut out a dime to a penny size hole and piped the strawberry filling into the hole.

Lastly once the cupcakes have been filled it is time to make the frosting. Since this combo has a strawberry shortcake feel, I thought nothing would be better then a light fluffly butter cream frosting to top it all off. To see this recipe click

These cupcakes work best when made the night before and sit in the refrigerator to allow the filling and frosting to harden.

Both these cupcakes are great recipes and are fun for any event and any occasion. And are so delicious.

Bon Appetit!