Category Archives: baking

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Throughout the fall and holiday season, my husband has been super obsessed with Snickerdoodle cookies.  I was probably making him a batch a week, and he didn’t seem to be getting tired of them…but I was.  So I found this recipe on Pinterest, and decided to give his beloved snickerdoodles a new twist–in muffin form.

Ingredient Lineup

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners, or spray well with nonstick spray.  In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the oil, egg, milk, and sugar.

Gradually add the bowl of liquid ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.  The batter will be somewhat lumpy.

Fill each muffin cup a little more than halfway full.

Bake until the tops of the muffins are springy to the touch and light golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small bowl.  In another bowl, mix 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.  While the muffins are still warm, dip the top of each in the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Cover the tops completely.

On another note, look at these beautifully awesome cupcake liners I found at Marshalls.  They are vibrant colors, and don’t turn pale when you bake the cupcakes in them!

A couple of notes about the recipe.  I followed it as written, but the amount of nutmeg called for was way, way too much for my taste.  If you love nutmeg, leave it as is.  But if you find it to be a bit overpowering, as I did, cut the amount of nutmeg to 1/4 teaspoon.

Snickerdoodle Muffins

Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen, found on Pinterest

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup oil (or melted butter)

3/4 cup white sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

For the Coating:

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.  In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.  In small bowl whisk together oil, sugar, egg and milk.  Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake until muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch, 22 to 24 minutes.  While the muffins are baking, combine sugar and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl. Place melted butter in a small bowl. Once baked, shake muffins out immediately and while hot, dip in melted butter, then roll in sugar and cinnamon.


Easy Peasy Pizza Bake

I have been making this insanely easy pizza bake for a few years now, and my husband swears it gets better every time.  I came across the original recipe on the Betty Crocker website but changed it up quite a bit to make it much better!

The ingredient lineup

You should be able to find the pouches of Cheddar-Garlic biscuit mix at Walmart or Dollar General, but if you can’t, 2 cups of regular Bisquick will work (you can add garlic to it if you wish).  Mozzarella cheese or an Italian cheese blend works best, but all I had on hand was this Mexican blend, and I wasn’t fixing to go to the store, so that’s what I used!   Also, you can use any pasta sauce you want.  I just REALLY love the Hunt’s Zesty & Spicy brand…and it’s cheap :)

Preheat your oven to 375.  Then, start by mixing up the biscuit mix with the amount of water called for on the back of the pouch (1 cup for both pouches).  I also added a little Italian seasoning into my biscuit batter.  Mix until combined, being careful not to overmix.

Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with nonstick spray.  Drop half of the biscuit batter, by tablespoonfuls, into the dish at evenly spaced intervals.  The bottom of the dish will not be completely covered.

It should look roughly like this.

Now, pour half of your can of pasta sauce on top of the biscuit dough, then top with half of the pepperonis.

Sprinkle on 1/8 cup of parmesan cheese, then add a layer of the shredded cheese.

Repeat the layers, starting with the biscuit dough.  Drop the remaining dough by spoonfuls into the gaps where there is no dough already (Did that make sense?  It kind of didn’t when I wrote it.  LOL)  When you’re all done with layering, it will look like this:

Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and biscuit dough is cooked through.

And you have a quick, easy, cheap meal that is also delicious!  I also love that you can change it up by using different meats, different cheeses, sauces, even different herbs and spices in the biscuit dough.  You are sure not to have any leftovers!

Easy Peasy Pizza Bake

(adapted from Betty Crocker)

2 packages of Bisquick Cheddar Garlic biscuit mix, 7.5 oz each

1 cup water

1 jar of any pasta sauce, 24 oz (Hunt’s in the can works great)

1.5 oz sliced pepperoni (about half of a small package)

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, whatever you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 375.  In a medium bowl, mix both packages of biscuit mix with water.  Stir until combined.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick spray.  Drop HALF of biscuit dough by tablespoonfuls in evenly spaced intervals in baking dish.  Cover with half of pasta sauce, then half of pepperoni.  Sprinkle on half of parmesan cheese, then 3/4 cup of shredded cheese.  Repeat layers, starting with other half of biscuit dough.  Drop by spoonfuls into gaps that have no dough.  Finish with the remaining halves of the pasta sauce, pepperoni, parmesan, and shredded cheese.  Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and biscuit dough is cooked through.

 

This recipe was shared at:

 Momnivore’s Dilemma Creative Juice Thursday
MizHelen’s Country Cottage’s Full Plate Thursday
Everyday Tastes’ It’s a Keeper Thursday
Allie Makes’ Making it with Allie Thursdays
Bizzy Bakes’ Bake with Bizzy

Things I’m Loving Lately

I had a really great, but BUSY Christmas season.  I have been baking and cooking up a storm, and spending lots of quality time with my family.  There are a few things I have discovered lately that I’m really loving, and I thought I’d share them with you today :)

Babycakes Cupcake Maker

I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond a couple of days ago and found this cupcake maker on the “As Is Merchandise” shelf.  It had been a display model, so it was marked down to $14.99 from $29.99, and I also had a 20% off coupon.  So I paid $13 for a $30 appliance!

The Babycakes lets you make 8 mini cupcakes at a time, and it only takes 5 minutes.  Using this really couldn’t be easier.  All you do is put the liners in, spoon a heaping tablespoon of cake batter into each cup, and let the machine work its’ magic for a few minutes.  This is perfect for when you just want a little sweet snack, and you don’t feel like turning on the oven.  I used this yesterday, and my three year old helped me decorate the cupcakes.

Pinterest

Yes, I was quite late getting onto the Pinterest train!  But now that I’m on it, I can’t believe how many great ideas and recipes I’ve already found.  People are so creative.  I think I joined Pinterest last Monday, and within a couple of days I had already made 3 recipes I had found on there!  How cute are these Santa hat pretzels that I made?

While I’m not one of those people who will spend hours and hours on Pinterest, I love that there’s always new inspiration to be found there whenever I need it.

Professor Layton and the Last Specter

This was a Christmas gift from my husband.  I LOVE this series and I have beaten all the previous games at least twice.  The Last Specter is the fourth game in the series, and serves as a kind of prequel to the previous three games.  I am about halfway done and the puzzles on this game are the most challenging yet.  I also love that there are more minigames in this one, so even when I beat the main story, I can still get hours of enjoyment from this game.

The Caster Chronicles

A couple of weeks ago I was stuck in bed with a stomach virus, and I read the entire 600 page Beautiful Creatures in about 15 hours.  I am currently in the middle of Beautiful Darkness.  The novels are set in the small Southern town of Gatlin, South Carolina, where everybody knows everybody’s business, and anybody different is not welcome.  So when the beautiful and mysterious Lena moves into town to live with her infamous recluse of an uncle, everybody takes notice…especially Ethan Wate, who is exasperated with his small town life since the death of his mother a few months prior.

I am liking this story because of the fact that the writers put so much detail into everything.  I hate YA books where everything just magically falls into place, and the love between the two main characters seems to happen instantly.  It’s just not realistic.  In the Caster Chronicles, events happen in a more leisurely pace, and I really like it that way.

I Am a Reader, Not a Writer

I Am a Reader, Not a Writer is a book blog I discovered a few weeks ago.  It is run by the awesome Kathy, and she hosts many blog hops and always has several giveaways going on!  I am hoping to be able to participate in a few of the blog hops in the upcoming year.

 

Let me know of anything you are loving lately!  Wishing all of my readers the best in the New Year!

The Best Peanut Butter Cup Brownies!

Last month, my sister asked me to help her out by making something for her school’s bake sale.  She’s a teacher, and busy, so I was pleased to do it.  I wanted to make something that would sell well, but wasn’t just your run of the mill baked goodie.  And NO WAY was I making something from a box!  I decided to go with Peanut Butter Cup brownies…everybody loves brownies, and peanut butter cups along with them just makes them that much better!

So here's the lineup.

 

Cream your softened butter and sugar until fluffy, like so:

Then beat in the eggs (one by one)  and vanilla.  I know 4 eggs sounds like a lot, but this is for a 9 x 13 pan of brownies, and believe me, the texture is to die for.

Next it’s time to gradually add in the cocoa powder…

 

and the flour.

 

 

Beat until the batter is fully combined and smooth.

 

Ohhhh yeah.

 

Now you’re ready to pour it into your greased baking dish.  Let me stop right here and say that this brownie batter, just the plain batter, is probably the best I’ve ever had.  You could bake these brownies plain and they’d be delicious.  But I went ahead and added the peanut butter cups!  I cut up 8 full size peanut butter cups.  Pour half of the brownie batter into the pan, smooth it, and then add the chopped peanut butter cups.

 

Then top this with the other half of the batter, and smooth it out.

If you left them like this, they’d hold a yummy surprise inside!  But since I was making them for a bake sale, I wanted to make sure everyone knew what they contained.  So when they came out of the oven, I took 8 whole peanut butter cups, and slightly pressed them into the top of the brownies.  Not too hard, but far enough down so the heat of the fresh out of the oven brownies melts the chocolate of the peanut butter cups.

 

Voila!

 

I cut these up into squares, and my sis told me they sold out, and were raved about!

This brownie recipe is so yummy and versatile, you can do this with any candy!  If you don’t like peanut butter, try this recipe with Rolos, Milky Way, Snickers–or a mix of candy!  Perfect for an after Halloween treat :)

 

The Best Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup cocoa powder

1 cup flour

8 chopped peanut butter cups

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease 9 x 13 baking dish.  Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.  Gradually add cocoa powder, then flour, until totally combined and batter is smooth.  Pour half of batter into prepared dish, then sprinkle evenly with chopped candy.  Spread the rest of brownie batter on top.  Bake approximately 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean.  While brownies are still hot, press whole peanut butter cups evenly into the surface of brownies.

 

 

Double Peanut Butter Delight Cookies

For some ungodly reason, my husband is not a giant fan of peanut butter.  He’s more of a Nutella guy.  Which is OK with me, but sometimes I just want some peanut butter cookies!   I hate only baking for myself.  So last week he actually agreed to eat some peanut butter in a baked good…and I had no problem making one!  I decided on a peanut butter cookie laced with Reese’s Pieces and chocolate chips.  These cookies were chocolately, peanut buttery overload :)

The ingredient lineup.

Start by creaming together the butter, sugars, and peanut butter until smooth.

Beat in the egg and vanilla.  Gradually add the flour and baking soda until combined.  Now, carefully stir in the chocolate chips and Reese’s pieces.

It would be a good idea to chill your dough here, but I was baking kind of late and was in a hurry to get the cookies into the oven.  Scoop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes.  I went a little shorter on the time, because of my innate ability to overbake cookies.  Your oven and baking time may vary.  Let cool on pan for 5 minutes, then move to rack until fully cool…unless you love warm, gooey cookies :D

I know I do :)

Double Peanut Butter Delight Cookies   (adapted from a few sites around the net)

1/2 cup butter or margarine

3/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup Reese’s Pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugars, and peanut butter.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Gradually add flour and baking soda until combined.  Gently stir in Reese’s Pieces and chocolate chips.   Drop dough by tablespoonful onto greased cookie sheet or silpat.  Bake approximately 10-12 minutes, until edges of cookies are golden brown.  Cool on pan for 5 minutes, then move to rack until ready to eat.

This recipe was shared at:
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage’s Full Plate Thursday
Around My Family Table’s Turning the Table Thursday
Everyday Tastes’ It’s a Keeper Thursday
What Allie’s Making Now’s Making It With Allie
Bizzy Bakes’ Bake with Bizzy
Delightful Order’s Delightfully Inspiring Thursday Party

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies

A few days ago, my sister let me know that the Great American Cookies shop closest to us was abruptly shutting down. I wasn’t too sad about this, as I have always thought eating cookies you baked yourself is more fun than eating store bought cookies. There was only one thing on the menu that I loved and thought I might miss: the Red Velvet Brownies. Luckily for me, I found this easy recipe at Hugs & Cookies XOXO, and I knew I wouldn’t have to be missing anything at all.  :)

So we start with the lineup of ingredients.  I promise, you should already have most of this stuff in your house!

The canister with the sheep on it holds my flour. Sheep = fluffy & white = flour. Well it makes sense in my mind at least.

The only thing I needed to pick up at the store was a block of cream cheese.  Also, you will only need the red food coloring from the package.

Preheat the oven to 350, and spray or line with non-stick foil an 8 x8 baking pan.  I sprayed mine because I knew my husband would pretty much be eating them right out of the pan.

We start by combining the melted butter, sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, and red food coloring (I used half a bottle.  The recipe called for a tablespoon but the amount I used was way under.) .  Then whisk in your eggs one at a time.  The batter will be somewhat thin, and it should look something like this:

Whisking makes the little bubbles appear.

Fold in the flour slowly, gradually so that you don’t make a big mess like I did all over my counter.  Your lovely red velvet brownie batter is now ready to be poured into the pan you have prepared.  Set aside 1/4 cup of the batter.

If you have a little measuring cup like this, it makes the last step much easier. Also, please ignore my horribly chipped nails.

In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, more sugar, another egg, and some more vanilla.

I didn't wanna dirty the big stand mixer with such a small amount to mix.

When this is all blended smoothly as in the above picture, dollop the cream cheese mixture on top of the red velvet batter very carefully, making sure you drop it gently in top and it does not sink all the way to the bottom.  By the time you make all the little dollops on top, you should pretty much have it covered, and only need to slightly spread the cream cheese layer out so that the layer is smooth and even.

Like so.

Now you will take that 1/4 cup of red batter you set aside earlier, and drizzle it over the cream cheese layer.  This is why I said having the little measuring cup would make it easy :).  Just make as even a drizzle as you can, it’s OK if it’s not perfect.  Because the next thing we’re going to do is mess it all up!  Take a toothpick and slowly drag it through the surface of the brownies, taking care not too go too deep or too fast (am I still talking about brownies?).  Ahem.  When you are done, they are ready to go in the oven, and should look something like this:

I baked mine for about 28 minutes, but of course all ovens are different.  If I were you I would set the oven timer for 25 minutes, then take them out and do the toothpick test.  If they need more time, put them back in for about 3 minutes per interval, checking for doneness in between.  Here is my finished product!

yummmm

As you can see, these are very thick, dense brownies.  Mine were very moist.

They were also 100 % delicious.  Considering one brownie at “that cookie place” costs about $2.50, and you will probably already have everything you need to make a WHOLE PAN of these, nothing should be stopping you from reveling in red velvet!

This Post has been linked up on:

Gooseberry Patch
Hugs & Cookies XOXO
Home Savvy A to Z

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