December 23, 2011

Neiman-Marcus Cookies

Posted by Lisa at 11:31 PM 0 comments
For Christmas this year, I decided to try this apparently mythical cookie. While I find it to be a yummy little thing, I also consider it to be a glorified chocolate chip cookie that's not worth a a purported $250.

I found the recipe here. It was under the ball cookie category, which I assumed meant the cookie would remain relatively round after baking. Instead, they flatted out into what you see up there.

The Neiman-Marcus Cookie

1 c butter
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
2 1/2 c blended oatmeal (I used a food processor, but I believe they used a blender)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
12 oz chocolate chips (I doubled this recipe, and ended up only using 23 oz of chocolate chips)
4 oz Hershey chocolate bar, grated (I actually chopped mine rather than grate, and I used half as much as I was supposed to so it's not very present in these cookies.
1 1/2 c chopped nuts (I used pecans, but ground mine into a powder which essentially ruined the effect of nuts)

Mix together flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. Cream together butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture to butter in intervals. Add in chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls (with a diameter slightly larger than a quarter) and place about 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. A doubled recipe made me 136 cookies, so the above recipe should yield between 60 and 70 cookies.

  Happy Holidays!

October 6, 2010

Apple Butter Cookies

Posted by Lisa at 9:15 PM 0 comments
First and foremost, the taste of apple butter in these cookies is negligible at best. That's okay with me because I'm not all that fond of apple butter.

See, these weren't supposed to be apple butter cookies. They were supposed to be sour cream cookies. I didn't have sour cream, and I had apple butter staring at me from the depths of the fridge. So I substituted and figured everything would go okay. Which it did! 

This turned out to be a fairly moist cookie, but it is definitely a treat meant to accompany a nice glass of milk or perhaps cider. The taste of them isn't too strong; the cinnamon and nutmeg come through just enough. At times it almost tastes like a weak version of Golden Grahams. I'll say this is a nice fall cookie, or a breakfast cookie if you're the sort who enjoys cookies for breakfast.

Apple Butter Cookies

2 eggs
1 c sugar
1/2 c apple butter
1/3 c butter, melted
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Thoroughly beat eggs. Add in sugar, butter, apple butter and mix well. In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture. Arrange by teaspoon on a buttered cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 8 or 9 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes around 30 cookies.

September 9, 2010

Special Treat Crust - Cocoa, Coconut, and Pecans

Posted by Lisa at 10:24 PM 0 comments

The dreaded heat of summer has more or less moved on. This means, of course, that baking season is back. I’m thinking about focusing on cookies this year if only because I haven’t done too much with them. I’m not even sure there’s that much I *can* do with them, so we’ll see.

Recently I made some no-bake squares out of The Cookie Bible. I’m not going to get too much into them because they weren’t baked and I didn’t take pictures. Anyway, there’s a recipe called the Special Treat No-Bake Squares. They were tasty, and apart from a Ziploc bag meltdown they went smoothly. What I most enjoyed was the crust. Even though there’s coconut in there, which I’m not a fan of, I still find it very good. So here’s that:

Special Treat No-Bake Squares Crust

1/2 c butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
3/4 c flaked coconut
1/2 c chopped pecans

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa, egg and salt in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly about 2 minutes, until mixture begins to thicken (I nearly overcooked it and it started to turn into a fudge). Remove from heat; stir in graham cracker crumbs, coconut and pecans. Press evenly into bottom of 9 inch x 9 inch pan.  

In cupcake news, brandi.poff left me a comment waaay back in April about a recipe that sounds just about perfect for autumn:

Hello. I came across your site today by accident, but loved it immediately. I have a suggestion for your next batch of cupcakes. My mother-in-law makes these and we all think they are really great... first off, you need a box spice cake mix, 1 can of pumpkin (I think the 16 oz size or whatever the small size can is)... and right now pumpkin isn't always readily available... so it tastes just as good using about 12 oz. of apple sauce instead... and one package of cinnamon chips (they are just like chocolate chips, only cinnamon and are kind of difficult to find... usually I find them at Kroger), but they are a must for this recipe... you mix the cake mix, pumpkin or applesauce, and cinnamon chips together and it will form a thick gooey batter that you drop into muffin cups and bake at 350* for about 20 minutes or so. They aren't always the prettiest muffins, but they are definitely verrry tasty. Happy baking. 

I have never, ever seen cinnamon chips. I’m very intrigued by the idea. Now, I don’t know if I’ll be able to find them (it’s slim pickins for baking supplies in this area) but if I do I hope to make these and all sorts of future goodies with them.

April 3, 2010

No Easter Treats

Posted by Lisa at 5:02 PM 1 comments

Unless you count these guys. See, right at the beginning of my Spring Break I got sick. Whatever it is should (better) be gone by the end of my vacation and that's what the making of treats will occur. I did, however, dye some Easter eggs. I used a kit because I haven't used one since I was itty bitty and I missed it. I miss the little wire egg scoops but the faces are cute so I'll forgive them their crappy plastic scoops that don't even support the egg. Happy (almost) Easter!

February 12, 2010

Valentine Bears

Posted by Lisa at 12:42 AM 0 comments
For Valentine's Day, my mother and I made up an army of these little guys.

Aren't they ADORABLE? Okay, they look very similar to the Derangedeers I made for Christmas, but are a little less crazy in the eyes.

These were made using Bakerella's cake pop recipe. Notice that these aren't pops. They started out as pops but were too heavy. The chocolate started cracking under the pressure. Here's a basic materials list and rundown on the assembly once you've reached the ball rolling phase:

Chocolate Melts
Brown M&M's or Reese's Pieces (paws and cut in half for ears)
Pearl Mints (eyes) (I don't know what these are actually called but they were in the wedding supply aisle of Wal-Mart
Strawberry Daiquiri Jelly Belly's (cut in half for noses)
Candy Hearts
Edible Ink Pen

1. Roll cake/frosting mixture into two sizes of balls, one for the head and one for the body.  Use your thumb to make an indent in the tops of the bigger ones.

2. Place balls on wax paper covered pan and freeze for 30 minutes to an hour to firm them up.

3. Melt some chocolate (I used chocolate melts of the bulk candy variety mixed with some melted butter) Take cake out of freezer. Push lollipop stick all the way through a bigger ball making sure the indentation is on top.

4. Spoon a little melted chocolate into the indentation and push a smaller ball on top. Don't push the stick all the way through the head. Move the body ball up if you need to. The chocolate should dry pretty fast but you can put them in the fridge or freezer for a minute to speed it up. This should bond the body and head together pretty well.

5. Once the body and head are secure, roll them in some melted chocolate until they are fully coated. Turn bear to let excess drip off.

6. You can attach the eyes, ears, noses, heart and feet before they dry if you're super quick, but I did if after each bear dried using a dab of melted chocolate to attach them.

7. This is where you'll notice your bears might be cracking. If this happens, or you want to avoid it happening, remove the sticks in a twisting motion as not to crack the chocolate.

I feel like I'm forgetting to mention something, but this will at least give you an idea of what to do if that's the case.

January 25, 2010

Lavender Pepper Cookies

Posted by Lisa at 8:42 PM 0 comments

I was a bit skeptical about my ability to experience lavender as anything but a fragrance. I've been putting off using it for a while, but tonight was the night to give it a shot.

The lavender taste in these is strong enough to stand out, but not so much so that it was offensive. The pepper leaves a lingering spice that is an interesting and new experience for me in a cookie. I probably wouldn't make these too often, but they'd be a nice change of pace from your average chocolate chip or peanut butter cookie.

To achieve the lavender taste, I made some lavender sugar. The smell was overwhelmingly perfumey to the point where I was more or less choking in a purple haze, minus the purple.

Lavender Sugar

3/4 c sugar
1 3/4 tbsp dried lavender
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Using food processor, grind up ingredients. I can't exactly tell you when it's done. I probably didn't do it for more than 30 total seconds on pulse.


The actual cookie recipe Fannie Farmer's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookie recipe.  I've used it in a variety of ways in the past because it's a pretty good base cookie to toy with.

Lavender Pepper Cookies

1/2 c butter
lavender sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk
1 1/4 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp ground pepper

Cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in lavender sugar. Add egg and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Add milk. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and mix into butter mixture. In small bowl, mix together sugar and pepper. Spoon batter onto buttered cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with sugar/pepper mixture and flatten slightly with fingers.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 9 minutes. Makes 22 2.5 inch cookies.

A note: These cookies flatten right out, so make sure you don't place them too close together. Also, they don't necessarily come out perfectly round.

January 14, 2010

Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Orange Decorator's Frosting

Posted by Lisa at 1:31 AM 0 comments
These are the teeniest tiniest little cookies. I don't know why I made them so small, but they are the perfect, pop-in-your-mouth size.

As you can see, these are about half frosting. I think it gives a much needed moisture to these otherwise dry cookies.What I discovered in making these is that I'm really not a fan of cocoa powder. It just doesn't taste right when I'm looking for a chocolaty treat. I do, however, still enjoy citrus sweets in just about every way.

The recipe for these cookies comes straight from Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cookbook. The only difference is, I apparently made them bigger than she wanted because I ended up with about 20 less cookies that the recipe said I'd get. These are meant to be super small.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Sugar Cookies

1/2 c butter
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk
1 1/4 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 c cocoa powder

Cream butter until soft and fluffy. Beat in sugar. Add egg and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Add milk. Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder in separate bowl and stir into butter mixture. Mix well and arrange by teaspoon on buttered cookie sheet about one inch apart. Bake at 325 degrees for 8-11 minutes. Makes 50-60 (I got 32)

Note: These don't flatten out very much while baking, so if you're looking for a thinner cookie, flatten slightly with your fingers or a fork before putting in the oven.

Second note: This mixture is a little bit too think to spoon on, so I found it easier (though messier) to just roll them into balls my hand.


The frosting on these is an altered version of my Christmas cookie frosting. I wanted orange frosting. This was, indeed, that, but it could be much better. I'll work on that another time.

Orange Decorator's Frosting

2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest

Cream butter and vanilla until soft. Blend in sugar, juice and zest.


So school is starting up in less than a week and I'm not sure what that's going to leave me with for baking time. If I had to guess, I'd say little to none. But! I'm not too worried about it. I'll do what I can to keep this going without massive gaps between updates.

(My birthday is next week, too. Happy birthday me.)

January 4, 2010

Maple 2: Electric Boogaloo

Posted by Lisa at 3:57 PM 0 comments
So I may have been finished up with ginger, but I wasn't quite done with this maple thing. When it came down to it, I realized I hadn't really had maple anything outside of the wide world of pancakes and waffles. I did a little perusing and found a maple cake recipe I wanted to try, tweaked it, and here I am.

Yes, the frosting is still marshmallow.  What can I say, I really enjoy that creamy, fluffy, smoothness. You'll notice, though, that I swapped the sprinkles out for the chopped pecans. I think the difference is...what makes it.

But in all seriousness, these look exactly like the last cupcakes I posted, so I had to do something to distinguish them.

Maple Spice Cupcakes

2 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
1 c pure maple syrup
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.Beat butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating in between each. Add maple syrup and vanilla. Switch to low speed and add flour alternately with water, being sure to end with flour. Fill liners about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Makes 22.


These aren't maple-y in the sense I was expecting, but they are good nonetheless. The nutmeg comes through a little heavy, but not in a bad way. The cinnamon doesn't come through very well, but might be accentuating the nutmeg. These would get a 3.6 out of 4 if I actually rated cupcakes.

January 2, 2010

Maple Ginger Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

Posted by Lisa at 4:10 PM 0 comments
First and foremost, I didn't like these one bit. It may well have been the worst cupcake I've ever had. That being said, someone else said that they weren't that bad. Not good, mind you, but not *that* bad. Who might enjoy these? People who like the taste of ginger without the spice, marshmallow fluff without the taste, or the smell of maple syrup without any other trace of maple syrup.

They look pretty though, don't they? Note that I didn't want to put sprinkles on because these wouldn't have been a sprinkle cupcake even if they DID come out delicious, but I was basically forced to do it. So there's that.

I knew I was going to be using up the rest of my candied ginger. That was all I knew when I started this. From there I decided, "Well maple syrup doesn't sound like it would do too bad with ginger." And then, "Marshmallow and maple syrup sounds pretty good!" which is how I ended up here. I stand by my reasoning that these things could very well taste good together if done properly.

Another thing: the structural integrity of the cupcake is a bit shaky. You can get an idea from the picture. Having put too much candied ginger in a fairly watery batter, it all sank to the bottom and detached while baking. So yeah. There's that too.

Here's the recipe anyway:

Maple Ginger Cupcakes

2 eggs
1 tbsp maple extract
1 c sugar
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c milk
1 tbsp butter
1 1/4 c chopped candied ginger
1 tsp ground ginger

Beat eggs and maple together until blended. Beat in sugar. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger together in separate bowl. Add to egg and sugar mixture. Heat butter and milk together until butter melts. Add to mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in candied ginger. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Makes 12.


The marshmallow frosting came from here and is the only thing I liked about this cupcake. Or rather, would have if I could taste it.

December 21, 2009

My Take on Bakerella's Christmas Cake Pops

Posted by Lisa at 8:07 AM 0 comments
So when I saw these things on her site, I thought "Golly gee, those are adorable." I immediately wanted to make them. Sadly, the process was not as easily as I would have liked and, well, my results are lacking.

Let's do a comparison:

Here are her versions:

Cute, right? Look at those Rudolph's! LOOK AT THEM!

And here are my sad little versions:

Okay, my trees aren't so bad. They don't have stars because I couldn't find any, and they don't have the great texture because I couldn't do it without mangling the whole thing.

But that reindeer. That is one entirely deranged animal. Where did I go wrong? Well, the eyes are candy coated sunflower seeds which are all different shapes and sizes and lent perfectly to the crazy eyes. I honestly couldn't find anything better to use for the eyes. Aside from that, I was sawing down a bunch of mini pretzels trying to get antler shapes because I couldn't find those nifty alphabet pretzels. And finally, I'm just plain terrible at working with candy melts, or any sort of melted object and what has resulted from this is a herd of reindeer with apparent skin conditions. Ah well.

To see how to make these and all sorts of other ridiculous cute edibles, go here.

Merry almost-Christmas to you all!

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