Tag Archives: sugar

Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

I found this recipe on the package of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips. I didn’t buy those chips for the recipe. It just happened that trying to come up with some ideas how to use the chips I looked at the package and read the recipe. I normally would use them for “Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Smitten Kitchen – our family’s all time favorite. Sometimes I like to add an extra sweetness to this original recipe using different kinds of chocolate chips. This time I thought about peanut butter and that’s why I bought them but when I read the recipe on the box I’ve decided to make them.

And by an accident I’ve discovered the new family favorite cookies!!!ย 

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup white sugar (original recipe calls for 2 cups of white sugar)

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup peanut butter chips (or more)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 F.

2. stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Beat buttter and sugar in large bowl with mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in peanut butter chips.

3. Using a rounded teaspoon drop the dough onto ungreased cookie sheet (I used aluminum foil). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake; cookies will be very soft. They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling. (the original recipe says to bake them 8 to 9 minutes but in my case 8 minutes was too short and the cookies weren’t baked inside)

4. Cool slightly leaving on the baking sheet; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

those cookies are almost like a tiny, thin brownies; crunchy on the outside and so moist and chewy inside. they are delicate to handle because they are really thin. I tried to make an ice cream cookie sandwiches but those cookies seemed to be too thin and delicate. They were falling apart too easily but I really, really enjoyed the flavor:

From this recipe I got about 45 cookies!!! And today, two days after I made them, they are all gone already… .

btw, Happy Birthday America!

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Homemade Marzipan (Marcepan domowe roboty)

First of all today is my turn for a post to World Moms Blog. Please stop by the blog and join the discussion about breast-feeding in public.

As for my blog I’m talking about MARZIPAN!!!!!!!!

Who doesn’t know what marzipan is or who has never tired it… gosh… you don’t know what you’re missing, people ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you like almonds and sugar you will love marzipan because basically it’s an almond paste with some sugar and extra almond flavor fromย  almond extract (some people don’t add it, though).

I grew up eating Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate Covered Marzipan and to these days, when I see this chocolate in a grocery store, I can’t stop drooling. It’s really expensive, though, and only the price keeps me from buying it each time I see it. Finally about a month ago I decided to try to make it at home. Yeah… you see how long it takes for me to finally make something.

It took me 5 months to make a cheesecake from the day I had decided to make it. I have an excuse, though. I was researching for the best recipe and this kind of research takes time ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

The same was with the marzipan. This time, though, I haven’t found any recipe that would suit me, I just got the idea of how to make it. If you google for “marzipan recipe” you will find many of them starting from very simple ones with only two ingredients to very fancy ones. Some call for rose-water, corn syrup or egg whites. Mine recipe doesn’t have any of those, although it has sugar syrup which I made myself.

It takes quite a bit effort to make it at home but IT’S SO REWARDING when you eat it homemade and it tastes just like the store-bought or even better.

From what I read the quantity of used almonds and sugar should be 2:1 (2 cups almonds, 1 cup sugar), and a few extra ingredients like egg whites or corn syrup to help the paste to stick together.

The thing is that after the paste is made you can actually adjust the amount of sugar to your personal likes. Just like I did.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cup blanched almonds, whole

1 cup powdered sugar, plus more for shaping the paste (I made my own by blending regular white sugar until the sugar turned to powder)

2 Tbsp sugar syrup, (I made my own sugar syrup as a substitute for corn syrup), honey can be used insteadย 

1 Tbsp almond extract

DIRECTIONS:

In a high-speed blender or food processor grind the almonds until they turn into almond meal. In my case I used high-speed blender and those almonds didn’t turn powdery/floury. They created a sticky paste that my blender couldn’t work with anymore or I would’ve burned its engine if I continued to work with it. That’s why you can see small pieces of almonds on the picture above. That doesn’t bother me at all. It gives an extra texture and doesn’t change the flavor at all.

After the almonds are all blended move the paste/almond meal into a sauce pan and add powdered sugar. Turn the heat to medium, and stirring constantly with wooden spoon, cook the paste until all the sugar melts. Mix in sugar/corn syrup and stirring constantly cook it over medium high until the mixture starts sticking together into a ball around your spoon. It might take 15 to 20 minutes. Close to the end add almond extract.

You can always taste it and adjust the amount of sugar and almond extract to your likes.

Here I will quote one comment I have found under a marzipan recipe at Smitten Kitchen:

I mix everything first in the sauce pan, then apply moderate heat while continuing to stir until the mass sticks in one ball. The trick is to heat the mixture enough to draw the oil out of the almonds while stirring. Too much heat will evaporate too much moisture causing the paste to get crumbly. Try to rescue by adding more water again after turning off the heat and then let it sit in a cool place (โ€˜fridge) for a day or two.

I did not wait a day or two. I waited until the mixture turned cool and then I portioned into 5 parts. Using an aluminum foil sprinkled with a small amount of powdered sugar I rolled each part into a long log, one inch wide.

Shaping is your personal preference as well. The paste could be shaped into small balls, rectangles, squares, what ever you like. I roll it into a log as it was easy to store.

My recipe doesn’t have eggs in it so the marzipan could be stored in a room temperature. I keep mine in a fridge so it doesn’t get too soft. Whenever I want to eat it I just cut a small piece off of the log and put it back to the fridge.

For the purpose of this post I cut one log into a small pieces

and ate them one by one while taking pictures

the remaining two logs I cut into pieces and covered into dark chocolate

and they tasted like heaven! just like the Ritter Sport brand that I used to eat in Poland.

It wasn’t any fancy special chocolate. I simply melted over water bath 3 oz of regular dark chocolate and pour the it over the cut pieces of marzipan. I didn’t care much about the look. It was all about the flavor and it was PERFECT.

Btw, the recipe is at some point approved by husband… and that is AMAZING ๐Ÿ™‚ he ate half of the chocolate covered piece and the next day he gobbled up 5 whole wheat pancakes with marzipan pieces in them.

Have a great evening, my friends.

You might also like:

Whole wheat blueberry marzipan pancakes

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Chunks Scone

A few days back I woke up way too early.

My baby having a full belly went back to sleep very shortly but I didn’t.

Sitting in front of the computer and browsing through the Internet I stumbled upon post with a recipe for Berry White Chocolate Chunks Scones.

I actually had never baked scones before and after going through the recipe, which is crazy easy, I decided to make it for breakfast.

I took me about 20 minutes to make to dough. I didn’t bake it right away because I didn’t want them to be cold when my husband and two-year old get up.

I used only half of the ingredients from the original recipe and I ended up with 6 huge scones packed with strawberries and chocolate.ย 

I didn’t have white chocolate so I used dark instead and it worked perfect.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 (2 oz) cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup strawberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate, cut into chunks

3/4 – 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream*

extra cream or milk, for brushing (optional)
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)**

* I used only 3/4 cup and it worked just fine

**I used turbinado sugar and it tasted delicious!!!

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425F. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the chopped strawberries and chocolate and toss to coat. Add the cream and stir just until the dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times, then pat out about an inch thick.

Cut into wedges, squares or rounds using a knife, biscuit cutter or glass rim. Transfer onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; if you like, brush the tops with milk or extra cream and sprinkle with coarse (or turbinado) sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm.

The funny part in this story is that all of those scones ended up in my belly and nobody’s else. My daughter after a few bites decided that she doesn’t want them because they make her “dirty”. When hot the chocolate inside those scones is nicely melted in parts and… ohhh so gooey ๐Ÿ™‚

My daughter, though, doesn’t like this kind of texture. She wanted me to feed her those parts where there wasn’t any chocolate or strawberry (which was hard to find in these scones) and she didn’t want to touch them. Husband ate half of one scone and decided it’s too sweet with what I don’t agree. I think they are perfect when it comes to sweetness.

Have a great day, my friends.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie

My New Year Resolution was to bake a cheesecake this year.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cheesecakes. I really do… but I have never baked one on my own. The thing is that I really like to bake or cook from scratch and to make a cheesecake from scratch means to make graham crackers or whatever crackers from scratch as well. And I feel I am to lazy for that. In addition I do not have the right baking dish… and there is always something I find in order to not to make it… .

I made a cheesecakes bars this year but I feel like that doesn’t count. They were delicious, though ๐Ÿ™‚

So, every time when we go grocery shopping I buy a cream cheese. Every single week I tell myself that I AM GOING TO make a cheesecake this week.ย 

Every single week I end up making a smoothie with it instead.

The first time I made it I wasn’t sure about the texture and the taste but after a few changes I really like it. It’s not the healthiest smoothie ever but once for a while it’s good to spoil ones self.

Ingredients:

6 bigย (or 12 small) cubes frozen milk,*

6 small cubes frozen vanilla yogurt,

1/3 cup strawberry yogurt,

1 cup strawberries, frozen

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup flax seeds,

2 Tbsp honey,

* this smoothies is thick. It has a consistency of very soft ice cream. If you want it to be less thick you can substitute the frozen milk with not frozen.

Put all the ingredients in blender. Blend until really smooth. The longer it blends the more of the cream cheese texture disappears.

Scattered Horizons

Three things I love to start my day with:

Coffee,ย 

smoothie,

browsing the web for new recipes

(in that order)

Have a good one, my friends!

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The most delicious Banana Crumbs Muffins

Banana Crumbs Muffins.

The best muffins I made, so far. The most delicious part are those crumbs!!!! I ate them without baking. There was some lefts for the muffins, of course, but I admit that I ate them raw. After they were baked with the muffins… OMG!!!

Heaven!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

This recipe is a keeper!!!

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The best way to start Monday – Cinnamon Butterfly

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with Mondays…, but I totally understand those who hate them…

“I don’t like Monday” Polish movie (very funny, believe me!) from 1971ย  – watching it is a one way how to enter Monday with a good mood.

More tasty and multi-international way is to have a fresh-baked cinnamon butterflies for breakfast:

This is the recipe:

  • 7 g active dry yeast (one teaspoon = 3.1 g)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 Tbps melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 very small eggs
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (I skipped it)
  • 2 1/4 cups plain flour
  • filling: 4 Tbps soft butter; 1/4 cup sugar mixed with 1 Tbp cinnamon
  • glaze: 1 small egg mixed with 1 Tbp milk; some crushed sugar cubes (don’t skip the sugar otherwise the buns won’t be sweet enough);
  • you can put some almond flakes on top as well or make a glaze (I didn’t have almonds or ingredients for glaze so I skipped it)

For directions go to Kitchen Unplugged.

For direction in Polish go to Motylki z Cynamonem.

I made the dough last night and kept it in the fridge till this morning.

To make the dough last night took me about 10 minutes.

This morning I spent additional 10 minutes to roll the dough out, put cinnamon-sugar-butter filling, roll the dough up, and cut.

10 minutes of waiting for them to bake ๐Ÿ™‚

Very easy to make, and very tasty! Worth to try it out!

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Happy Monday, everybody!

Strawberry cake and a few extras ;)

I don’t like gourmet cooking or “this” cooking or “that” cooking. I like good cooking.

James Beard

I like health-conscious cooking, but growing up in the South, I do love southern cooking; southern France, southern Italy, southern Spain. I love southern cooking.

Clarence Clemons

One person cooking at home cannot pay attention to too many things. If a woman makes three dishes, she will get nervous on the first, the second will suffer and the third will be a disaster.
Rene Veaux

Today cooking had started very early. I noticed I have everything what I need for barszcz… and I ran out of my last pot… so it’s the time to cook some more! ๐Ÿ™‚

At the same time banana pudding pie went down the drain (SAD!!! I KNOW!!!), and there was nothing sweet to snack on… and I had everything what I need to make my husband’s favourite strawberry cake.

This is how it started:
Chicken broth cooking
A little more of that fatty stock
Then was the cake… Mixing the batter. Not a big deal… but maybe for somebody who doesn’t have two things already cooking on a stove, one little poppy pants pottering around the kitchen floor all together with the dog trying to beg the hell out of me… I think our daughter spends too much time with Di because she’s started to do the same… beg for food whenever she sees me in the kitchen preparing something…
Strawberry cake!!! here I come!!!
If you interested those are the ingredients:
  • 3 cups of self – raising flour
  • 1 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup purred strawberries, strained*
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (I use orange sometimes, it works great, too)
  • 4 large eggs, beaten

Don’t have self-raising flour?! Don’t worry. It’s nothing more than all-purpose flour with added baking powder and salt. For every one cup of flour add 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Tadah!!! Self-raisin flour served ๐Ÿ˜‰ Exactly: served… I just found out that our dog like self-raisin flour. She ate everything what was on the floor and it looked like she was waiting for more.[sigh]

Anyway this is what has to be done with all those ingredients… It has to be mixed well in no particular order… nothing like the dry ingredients first than the wet ingredients… or mix 2 first with 2 next… and than add the last three… but don’t forget to mix them first but mix the two of the last three first and than add the last one… now you’re ready to add the last mixed three to the first mixed four!!!

Nop… Don’t worry about that. Just mix it all, and you’ll be just fine!

Spray and flour the baking pan and pour the batter into it. What size pan?! Hm… I think mine is 12×18. This batter makes fabulous cupcakes, but I really wasn’t in a mood of doing all the cupcakey thing…

It was so long time ago when I baked this cake for the last time that I actually didn’t pay attention to some details today. Maybe because there was too much going on around me. Cooking barszcz, keeping eye on our Little Getting Better Pants, trying not to step on her, fixing quick-lunch for my hungry husband, taking pictures, and trying not to get dirty at the same time. I mean REALLY not to get dirty because to make the beetroot soup you need the beets. A few.

I cook them whole without peeling first. I was told that if you make them that way they will keep the color, and the soup will be very bloody red ๐Ÿ˜‰ I peel them after they cook, with my hands armed with gloves. You don’t want to do it without the gloves… or if you don’t mind washing your hands with lemon juice after all…

Feel free to try both ways ๐Ÿ™‚

This is what I do after I peel them. I simply grate them to the stock I have made first. I mean I take the meat and bones out from it, but I keep the rest of the vegetables (carrots, celery, root parsley (which is not a parsnip!!! but feel free to use it, too), potatoes).

Some people throw the vegetable, some people use them as a side dish for meat, something like a salad… I just don’t like to do that. I like to eat all of it as a soup.

The soup needs some acid so I use apple cider vinegar. Some people use fresh lemon juice, but it doesn’t work for me… Just don’t like it with lemon juice.

Ah… and at the same time… .

Yep! That’s right. It’s exactly what you think off. My screwed frosting. Strawberry frosting-to-be-or-not-to-be-but-rather-not-to-be!!! I tried to rescue it… but… forget it!

Instead of frosting I used a remaining strawberry purรฉe.

And… I was saying something about little changes in the recipe that I’ve made before but didn’t follow today… Yep… Sugar! Again. The original recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar… I forgot… Simply… Normally I use 1 1/2 cup or even a bit less that that… and it’s fabulous, but not today!

Did somebody cast a spell on me!?!?!

Whoever, whatever, however, damnitever…. stop… please!!! I’ll be good! I, damn it, am good. I vacuumed even… and I’m in so much darn pain… that even 6 pills, bengay, hot shower, hot bath, and freaking cold shower at the end couldn’t help… so… night night everybody… tomorrow I’ll post some of my beetroot soup pictures… .ย  Today I didn’t have any nice clean bowl to use for that purpose, because it happened that it’s the dishwashing day, too…ย  and I’m exhausted ๐Ÿ™‚

and I’m perfectly (im) perfect with Hill ๐Ÿ™‚

Whoever interested in making the beetroot soup go here. She’s got some good recipes and different ways to eat, use, preserve the barszcz. I’m not that good with recipes, but I do my best if you ask ๐Ÿ™‚


Diabetes guaranteed

The first time is always the worst… No matter what some people say about that… Though, it is always unforgettable. I’ll admit to that! Sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh… it depends how the first time went ๐Ÿ˜‰

I baked a banana pudding pie, with home-made vanilla wafers.ย  For the first time.

Everytime a recipe calls for something from the box, like yellow cake mix, or brownie mix, or pudding mix, etc., I always ask myself (or rather omniscient google): can I do it from scratch? I hate buying those fake mixes. Just hate it! I HATE even more to eat them. Yuck!

First of all when I read the recipe for banana pudding pie I had no idea what vanilla wafers are… Now I know. Eureka!!!! Kruche Ciastka!!! So simple! ๐Ÿ™‚

Even more simple to make:

This recipe makes about 65 cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

1. In the bowl combine the butter, sugar and salt. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the egg yolks and vanilla, and beat on low speed until blended. Add the flour, and mix until incorporated and a smooth dough forms.

2. Divide the dough into 4 portions. Roll each portion into a log 6 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

3. Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (aluminium foil will do)

4. Using a sharp knife, cut each unwrapped log crosswise into slices 1/4 inch thick. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until the edges and bottoms are golden, 12-15 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

TAD-AH!!!

Crushed wafers (about 45) mixed with 1/2 cup of melted butter = YUMMY pie crust!!!

Homemade pudding (not so yummy, so recipe is not necessary here). I’ve got to find different one.

Pudding on top of the crust and sliced bananas followed by new layer of crushed wafers and sliced bananas, and second layer of pudding.

Meringue on top

Looking Yummy!

And lets say: JUST looking yummy! What a bummer!

All that work, and the only thing I got from it is D.I.A.B.E.T.E.S!!! Seriously! The pie is awfully sweet. I ate a piece and I felt like I had a shot of the strongest coffee on earth. They saying that smoking one cigarette takes about 15 minutes off of person’s life. After a slice of my pie I felt like I’m about to die. I don’t know how much it took away from my life, but it was A LOT… . Never ever again. I want to live to my daughter 18th birthday at least.

btw, I didn’t cry this time, but at the same time I wasn’t laughing either… I ate my part in a stoic manner, but I didn’t ask my husband to do the same. I knew it’s a very hard piece to swallow… my pie… ๐Ÿ˜‰ and I didn’t want to be THAT cruel to him! He didn’t deserve that…

The only thing I’ll keep is the wafers recipe.

So, I’m still on a mission to find the perfect banana pudding pie recipe with no artificially flavored mixes from the store in it. Wish my luck!

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