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Archive for the ‘simple recipies’ Category

one year ago: corndogs y’all

oh, it’s been a while. this i know. it’s been a pretty hectic month. between the two of us, there have been trips, house huntings, happy news and dumb news. i’m also still a “cupcake explorer” testing out vanilla cupcakes on a lip-sealed-till-it’s-discovered mission. so while my coworkers have been enjoying the cakes of my labor, y’all have been kept in the dark (till the day the recipe is cracked). so with the month of august…came a whole lot of crazy…but at the end of the day, the baking keeps me sane….so it’s high time we get back on track here.

it’s birthday season here at work, so i have lots of excuses to bake away. this week’s request: anything lemon.

i found this cookie on pinterest months ago and have been dying to make it….so thanks to tracy’s 39th birthday and his love for anything lemon, i had the perfect excuse.

lemon crinkle cookies
(adapted from Lauren Brennan’s award winning recipe)

ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

preheat your oven to 350º. line three cookie sheets with parchment paper OR lightly grease pans and set aside.

in your mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high till fluffy. mix in vanilla, zest, lemon juice and egg. scrape down your bowl and add in salt, baking powder, baking soda and flour. mix till all ingredients are combined.

measure out powdered sugar onto a plate. roll your dough into small (tablespoon sized) balls and roll in powdered sugar, covering the whole surface.

place on your prepared cookie sheet about two inches apart. bake at 350º for about 9 minutes or until the tops of your cookies begin to show small cracks.

remove from oven and let your cookies cool on the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack to cool to room temp. or just eat them all right away, your call. you can also dust with more powdered sugar if you like.

and the result…..holy. moly. these cookies were delish. so light and fresh, with the perfect amount of zest to sweet. if you’re a fan of citrus…i would highly recommend these cookies. come to think of it….they would probably be just as tasty with some orange or lime as a substitute to the lemon.

you should absolutely squeeze in a batch or two of these cookies as the summer comes to a close.

enjoy!

-L

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“these are stupid good”

since july is coming to an end, i’m considering this post to be a little christmas in july. but, the only thing that would even qualify this as a christmas recipe is the fact that there are dried cranberries in these cookies and as i was making them last night i thought that these would make a great addition to my thanksgiving/christmas holiday dessert playlist! so, thank you ryan, our newest team member at work, for the suggestion of this brilliant little cookie. who knew i’d be into such a zesty morsel. but, i guess you never really know until you try!

ingredients

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 T grated orange zest

1 teaspoon orange extract

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup dried cranberries

11.5 oz. bag of white chocolate chips

preheat your oven to 350 degrees. baking time is 10-12 minutes or until golden.

let’s get this zesty party started! in your mixer’s bowl blend together softened butter and sugars until smooth and creamy. add your eggs one at a time mixing well in between. follow that up with the extracts and the zest mixing until well blended. add your flour and baking soda, again blending together well. follow that up with the oats and the chocolate chips. i really just threw in the entire bag of chips, because let’s be honest what’s the fun in not doing that.

place dough in dollops (hehe) on your cookie sheets, well spaced out and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden @ 350 degrees. once baked, set them out for two minutes to cool before carefully placing them on wire cooling racks. and that’s it. quick, simple and quite possibly life changing. i’m just saying!

happy friday

-b

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one year ago: cinnimini rolls

my little birds were skeptical about said blueberries….AND the giant bag of chocolate chips a certain (wonderful) kitchen host had left on the counter definitely didn’t help my “blueberries are delish” argument….but when all was said and done, these muffins were a hit. (and only one of my little birds picked around the blueberries)

if you’re looking for a kid friendly treat, muffins are a great choice. you don’t need a boxed-mix in your cabinet because you probably have all the ingredients you need. as far as equipment, you only need a couple bowls, a spoon and a muffin pan…no mixer required (that would actually hinder this recipe) not only are they super simple….but they are also a super quick treat – we’re talking under and hour quick.

ingredients:
streusel topping:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter (chilled)

muffins:
3/4 cup milk (room temperature)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg (room temperature)
2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries (fresh, frozen or drained canned)

preheat your oven to 400°.

prepare your muffin pans. either line with paper baking cups, or spray the bottom of the pan with cooking spray. set aside.

begin with your streusel. (if your cool enough, roll your R’s every time you say streusel….it will make you feel much fancier. i mean, don’t feel bad if you can’t do it….i can’t either….but the girls certainly enjoyed using the extra flair) in a medium bowl, stir your flour, brown sugar and cinnamon together. cut in your chilled butter till your mixture is crumbly, with the largest pieces about pea-size.

tips and tricks:
cut in” is a term used for mixing butter or shortening into your ingredients. you cut the butter with a fork or knife as you stir/mix it with the ingredients. the result is a crumbly mixture instead of a smooth mixture. use chilled butter, so that it keeps its form as you mix. if your butter is softened, it will just mix in smoothly with your ingredients.

in a large bowl, combine flour (sifted), sugar, baking powder and salt. mix all these ingredients together and in the center, make a well.

tips and tricks:
a “well” is exactly what it sounds like, a sunken in area. stir your ingredients together and run your spoon around the edges making high walls. then, in the center of your dry ingredients, scoop out a well.

these are your “dry ingredients” + “well”

in another medium-sized bowl beat together milk, vegetable oil and milk till well blended.

these are your “wet ingredients”

pour your wet ingredients into the well you have created in your dry ingredients. stir your ingredients together just until your dry ingredients have absorbed your wet ingredients. your batter will be lumpy, and that’s the way you want it. about 10-15 times around the bowl should be enough. don’t be tempted to keep going…over-mixing will create a tough or compact muffin.

tips and tricks:
please believe me when i say, don’t over-stir your ingredients. i know it’s hard to look at lumpy ingredients….but i’m telling you, if you stir till it’s smooth…you’re going to get dense muffins. over-stirring causes the gluten in the flour to over-develop and results in a tough muffin, peaked tops or tunnels.

next comes the blueberries. (or strawberries, apples, bananas, chocolate-chips…whatever you prefer)

tips and tricks:
wash your fruit and toss them in flour. this just helps your fruit not to fall to the bottom of your muffin.

gently fold your berries into your batter.

tips and tricks:
the term “fold” is used when you need to stir in an ingredient gently. we have already mixed this batter up as much as we need to, so in this step we fold for two reasons: 1. to avoid over-mixing and 2. to be careful not to squish the berries. fold by scooping your spoon or rubber spatula under all your ingredients and lift up and fold over to the other side of the bowl. continue doing this till your berries are thoroughly mixed in.

spoon your batter into your baking cups, dividing evenly. only fill your cups about 3/4th full. sprinkle your streusel on top, about a tablespoon for each muffin.

bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. you’ll want to transfer your muffins from the pan to a cooling rack after about 3-5 minutes of cooling. removing them from the pan prevents moisture from collecting between the pan and the bottom of your muffin.

serve warm….with butter, if you’re smart like me.

enjoy!

-L

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when it’s the first night of little birds baking club…what else would you make?! chocolate chip cookies are a classic. everyone needs a solid chocolate chip cookie recipe up their sleeve. we asked the girls how many of them had made chocolate chip cookies and a number of hands went up in the air. when we asked how many had made cookies from scratch, and not out of a plastic tube…all the hands went down. needless to say, the girls were pretty pumped to make AND eat these little guys. they all herded around me and took turns adding ingredients. oh, and hands down – being the one who gets to crack the egg….is the most coveted responsibility.

with little bird recipes, i’ll point out some tips that will be helpful for a new baker…and obvious to an experienced baker. bare with me on some of these….or enjoy them, depending on where you stand.

adapted from Baking Basics, by Betty Crocker

ingredients:
(wet ingredients)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) *unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 large eggs
(dry ingredients)
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 12oz bag** semisweet chocolate chips

equipment:
stand mixer w/paddle attachment
OR large bowl w/wooden spoon
cookie sheets
cooling racks

* instead of using all butter, i used half butter half shortening. my butter vs shortening experience is: butter makes a better tasting cookie, but also makes a flat cookie while shortening helps the cookie keep a good shape…..so using both = best of both worlds (taste and shape).

** can you believe this recipe actually called for a 24oz bag of chocolate chips?!?! i mean, my dad’s famous cookies only call for 6oz…so i had a hard time even using a whole 12oz bag. i cut it off at about 10oz….i mean, come on? you want some cookie with your chocolate chips?!

preheat your oven to 375º

prep – since your butter and eggs need to be room temperature, start by prepping all your ingredients. remove butter and eggs from the fridge and let sit on your counter while you measure out the rest of your ingredients. the time it takes to measure out all your ingredients into separate bowls….should be just enough time for your butter to soften up enough to beat easily.

tips & tricks:
“packed” brown sugar
: means to pack it into the measuring cup – pressing it in firmly. if the brown sugar has been packed firmly, it will keep the measuring cup’s shape when removed – if it crumbles apart, you have not packed it well.

flour: when you measure your flour, don’t scoop you’re measuring cup into the flour and shake or tap on the counter to get in as much flour as you can. you want your baked goods to be light and fluffy, not dense, so the way you measure your flour makes a big difference. instead of using your cup to scoop up flour, spoon your flour into the measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife. also, take the time to sift your flour. this just helps to get air into your flour. if you don’t have a sifter, just use a fork to stir up your flour.

eggs: if you want to avoid egg shells in your dough, crack your eggs into a separate bowl and make sure any accidental shells are removed before mixing them in. also, crack your egg on the side of the bowl….not the side of the counter – the less raw egg spills you have to worry about cleaning up, the better.

mix – using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment OR by hand in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, beat your butter, both sugars, vanilla and eggs at a medium speed till light and fluffy.

we call these our “wet ingredients” (mix first)

at a low speed, slowly stir in your flour, baking soda and salt. add in your chocolate chips. (by all means, go crazy with the 24oz if you want to….but, i’m just sayin, my 10oz was plenty)

these are our “dry ingredients” (mix into your wet ingredients)

bake – using a ice cream scoop or two spoons, transfer your cookie dough to cookie sheets. bake at 375º for 12-15 minutes. mine only took 8 minutes…so be on the lookout. once the edges have turned golden brown, remove and place the pan on top of a cooling rack for about five minutes. then carefully (once the cookies aren’t ooey-gooey anymore) transfer just the cookies from the pan to the cooling rack. cool to room temperature, if you can wait that long.

tips & tricks:
baking time really varies from oven to oven. always check on your treat earlier than the recipe calls for. with cookies, what you’re really looking for, are the edges to begin to turn golden brown. the cookie will also start to form cracks on the top. once your edges are brown, remove your cookies and place the pan on top of a cooling rack for about five minutes, or until the cookies can be removed from the pan without falling apart in a gooey mess. as the cookies cool….the insides of them keep baking so what seems like underdone when you first remove them from the oven, becomes the perfect, soft, break-apart without hearing a crunch, cookie once it has cooled.

that’s it. once your cookies have cooled, bust out the milk and enjoy.

for the record dad, the recipe was named “the best” chocolate chip cookies. in no way do they trump your famous cookies, so don’t feel threatened. love you! :)

-L

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they say it’s your birthday, na na na na na na na na!

one year ago: lazy bird birthday!, lazy bird beginnings…

guess who’s a year old?!?! happy birthday lazy bird!

B and I have discovered we’re not compatible in quite a few areas….we don’t like the same scents, we are opposites when it comes to picking nail polish for pedicures and even when it comes to desserts…for instance, coconut and/or pecans will ruin a desert for me while B just can’t get enough! however, in planning this post we were very excited to figure out that we strongly agree on one thing…we’re…dum dum dum…cake compatible! we are both white cake & white frosting girls….or as I like to call it, “wedding cake” girls! and really…what other treat would you make for a birthday party?!

this recipe is super simple and wouldn’t have taken much time at all IF, DFW hadn’t been in the middle of some crazy weather…and we didn’t have to take multiple breaks to park it in front of the weather channel…or even under some cushions in the bathroom. we still finished all our baking much earlier than we usually do….so i’m thinking you could whip these little buddies up fairly quickly as well. and let me take a moment to give a shout out to B’s own “weather man steve” who gave us a running commentary on the storm radar, as we dared to bake in the kitchen. safety first folks.

ingredients:
(yields 2 dozen regular + 2 dozen mini cupcakes)
cake: (adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sugar
5 large egg whites, room temperature

frosting:
disclaimer, this is scary…but delicious
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup crisco
4 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup marshmallow cream

preheat your oven to 350º. line your cupcake pan with wrappers.

in a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. set aside

measure out milk in another small bowl and stir in vanilla. set aside.

in your stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat your butter on a medium high speed till pale and fluffy. add in sugar and continue beating till mixed well.

reduce speed to low and add in 1/3 of your flour mixture. scrape down edges and add in half of your milk mixture. repeat this (flour, milk, flour) till all is mixed in, ending with the flour, and scraping down the sides in between. your batter should look nice and fluffy.

in a seperate medium sized bowl, whisk your egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

with a rubber spatula, fold your egg whites into your cake batter.

spoon your batter out into your cupcake pans, filling only 3/4ths full.

bake for 16 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test – inserting in the middle of a cake and coming out clean.

remove from oven remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes, then remove your cakes from the pan and set on a cooling rack. doing so prevents moisture from collecting at the bottom of the pan and cake.

___________________________________

while your cupcakes are cooling go ahead and get your frosting going.

on medium high speed, cream together butter and crisco, till fluffy.

reduce speed to low and slowly add in powdered sugar, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

mix in vanilla and marshmallow cream. again, pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl. continue mix everything together at a high speed till your mixture resembles whipped cream.

transfer to a piping bag and top your cakes off with a large dollop of frosting…and of course, add confetti and a candle and make a wish :)

the cakes were a big hit. we both agreed that the cakes were better served chilled….maybe it was the frosting that we preferred cold….but who’s to know?! enjoy!

one birthday down, one to go….

-L&B

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i mean….does it really get cuter than a bunny cake?! I think not! this build-a-bunny cake is thanks to the lessons of mama G. i tell the story like this, every Easter my brothers and i made this cake with our mom as kids. however, when i told mom we were making this for the blog, she said “i can’t believe you remember making that cake. i think we only made it one time.” needless to say, i was a little crushed to hear her say that. i guess when you’re a child your imagination really does run a little wild and you only remember life the way you want to. oh, well. maybe someday when i have my own children we’ll be sure to make this EVERY Easter! hehe :)

step one: bake your cakes.
Using your favorite cake recipe, prepare two cakes in 9″ round cake pans. bake, remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

step two: cut your cake
only one of your cakes will be cut to form the ears and the fancy bow tie! cut the cake as shown below:

step three: assemble your bunny
this should be self explanatory…ears at the top….bow tie at the bottom…i mean, there’s a picture if you really need it:

step four: frost your bunny

step five: decorate your bunny

(ears)

(bowtie)

(nose)

(eyes)

(whiskers)

while we decorated our bunny piece by piece….laura fell into the typical spindler pattern and gave the bunny a name: edward….my husband then gave edward a voice…oh dear, thank goodness this blog doesn’t have audio. :) please enjoy this adorable bunny cake, not only for easter, but for spring time and birthdays too! we love edward and hope that you too will want to create a new friend. (don’t get too attached though….cause then you might have trouble eating him)

– L & B

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