Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

My husband had a meeting after work today, so the little warrior and I decided to make the man of the year his favorite treat- Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I have experimented with so many cookie recipes but today was a Nestle Toll House kind of day- simple and easy.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped nuts

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  • Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  • Stir in morsels and nuts.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

**I didn’t use nuts because I didn’t have any on hand.

Ezekiel helping mommy make cookies…and eating cookies

Blueberry Muffins!!!!!!!!!

 

I LOVE blueberries- well all summer fruit for that matter.  Our friend Matt was coming over for dinner who also loves blueberries so I thought I would make these muffins for dessert.  They were delicious- even better with coffee the next morning.

Ingredients for Streusel Top:

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter

Ingredients for Muffins:

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh blueberries

Method:

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Stir streusel ingredients until blended and cut in butter with a knife, then set aside.
  • In a large bowl beat milk, oil, vanilla, and egg until blended.
  • Add 2 cups of flour, sugar and baking powder all at once.
  • Stir until just moist.
  • Gently add blueberries.
  • Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
  • Sprinkle each with 1 tbsp of streusel.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove muffin cups immediately from pan and place on cooling rack.
  • Eat and enjoy!!!

Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake – By way of Southern Living

Three layers of heaven.

I have always been somewhat intimidated by the cheesecake.  New York style cheesecake with nothing on it remains my favorite.  For Christmas my dad bought me the book Incredible Chocolate Recipes by Southern Living.  I decided since my husband and dad are both chocolate lovers, I would make one of the recipes from my book for father’s day.  I sat down at the table, opened up my book and there it was….the chocolate fudge cheesecake.

I almost made the mistake of not making the cheesecake pictured above.  This is a great way to begin learning how to make cheesecakes.  It is incredibly simple and the preparation took about 30 minutes.  Trust me it’s worth the try.

Ingredients for for brownie batter and cheesecake:

2 (1oz) unsweetened chocolate baking squares
1/2 c butter, softened
1 3/4 c  sugar
6 large eggs
1/2 c  all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped pecans, toasted
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened

Ingredients for chocolate ganache:

1/2 c heavy whipping cream
1 (12oz) package semisweet chocolate morsels

Top with sliced strawberries.

** I used the remaining whipping cream to make whipped cream. I added a tsp. vanilla extract and a little powdered sugar to top the cheesecake**

Method:

  • Microwave chocolate squares at high 1 minute and 15 seconds, stirring once, or until melted. Stir until smooth.
  • Better butter and 1 cup sugar at medium speed with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add melted chocolate, beating just until blended.
  • Add flour, beating at low speed, just until blended.  Stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla and chocolate morsels.
  • Sprinkle toasted pecans evenly over bottom of a greased and floured 9-inch spring form pan.  Spoon batter over pecans.
  • In a clean bowl beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until smoothe; add 3/4 cup sugar beating until blended.  Add 4 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Pour cream cheese mixture over brownie batter.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until set.  Remove from oven, immediately running a knife around edge of pan, releasing sides.  Let cool on wire rack.
  • Melt chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a double boiler on stove.
  • Whisk until chocolate mixture is smooth.
  • Spread warm chocolate ganache over top of cooled cheesecake.
  • Cover and let chill for 8 hours.
  • Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries.

**I used a 9.5 inch glass pie pan**

This desert is truly incredible.  It is deliciously rich and sweet. A chocolate lover’s dream come true!

For more information about Southern Living visit www.southernlivingathome.com

Chocolate Ganache- Simple and Delicious!

Ezekiel licking the bowl.

I love to bake!  A couple of weeks ago my dad retired from his job and we celebrated with a chocolate almond fudge cake- SO SO good.  To make it even better I topped it with the most amazingly simple chocolate ganache.

Ingredients:

1/2 C heavy cream
12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips

Method:

  • Cook the heavy cream and chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler over simmering water
  • Stir occasionally until smooth
  • Remove from heat
  • Allow to set when you spread it over what it is you are using it for

The thing I love about this ganache is that you can add so many things to it- instant coffee, extracts, etc.-  and you can put it on anything- cakes, cupcakes, cookies…you can let your imagination take it away.  It is so good!

Thank God for rain, family and…collard greens!!

I’m sitting here with a hot cup of coffee watching the rain pour down. There is nothing like an Alabama thunderstorm.  The greyness of the sky makes the grass a deep beautiful green that I can’t get enough of.

Today is my brother Shane’s birthday and I have been thanking God for him today. He has always called me sister and that’s to this day one of my favorite things he does.  Last night we ate with the fam and the conversation turned to collard greens- Shane had given me a bundle from his garden two days before.  I spent a good hour cutting them and preparing them night before last and cooked them all night and all day yesterday.  My mouth waters when I think of eating collard greens and cornbread. Mmmmmm.  My family was asking how I cook them and I thought I would share with you…this has been a work in progress and is still in progress.  They are wonderful when seasoned right and terrible if not.  Here are a few pointers to get you started.

Method: A little bit of this and a little bit of that…..

  • Wash the greens very very well.  I usually clean out the sink or a big bowl and soak them in water before washing them.
  • After they are washed you want to cut the stem off and set it aside.  I will take about 3 or 4 leaves at a time and do this.
  • After they are de-stemmed roll the leaves up and cut them. I like to cut them into long strips but you can cut them however you like.  You can also buy them from the store that are already cut and washed but I prefer them out of the garden.
  • After you have cut all of the leaves, cut the stems into small pieces.
  • Put all the cut leaves and stems into a big pot.
  • I always add a ham hock or two when I cook greens. It flavors them nicely.
  • I also use a couple of chopped onions, beef or chicken broth, peppers, pepper juice, a little bit of sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar, and a couple cloves of fresh garlic.
  • After I have everything in my pot I pour enough water to reach the top of the collards.
  • Bring to a boil and let them cook.  I usually bring mine to a simmer after they have been boiling for about 30 minutes.  I let them simmer until tender.

Don’t forget the cornbread!!!!

Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Today is my Nannies birthday. In honor of her I am going to give you the most incredible, scrumptious, delectable peanut butter cookie you have ever put in your mouth.  This recipe is well over 70 years old.  When she was a little girl her school friend’s mother would make these after school as a snack.  She has passed it on to me and I reluctantly give it to you….

**Be careful not to overcook them or make them too big**

Ingredients:

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C peanut butter (good peanut butter)
1 stick softened butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C all purpose flour
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients until well married.
In large bowl beat sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla.
Add peanut butter and gradually mix in dry ingredients.
Pinch off about thumb size and drop onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Dip fork into flour and press cookies down.
Bake for 8 minutes.

Side Note: I used whole wheat flour and added 3 tbsp ground flax seed. You could also add chocolate chips  or nuts.  The key here is to not over mix the batter or make the cookies to large.

My favorite part of this recipe is the balance of sweet and salty. I hope you will enjoy these cookies as much as I do.

my little cookie monster