Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Peach Buckle

Cobbler is a southern staple. My grandma used to make it a lot and my mom. Peach, Cherry, and Blackberry Cobbler were the most popular in my family. Honestly, I was never a huge fan. I ate it, but it was never a particular favorite of mine. Their cobblers consisted of the biscuit top and my grandma always included dumplings inside hers (which I always picked around). So, since I never really loved cobblers, I never considered making one.

And then, I saw a "cobbler" on Pioneer Woman site and I examined the pictures very closely... it didnt look like the cobblers I had seen. No, it looked like it had crispy, buttery edges (which, incidentally, I'm a HUGE fan of). I decided that this is a cobbler I could fall in love with. Hers was a blackberry cobbler, but not liking the seeds (and I couldnt find fresh ones at the store) I opted to try a peach one and boy, is this recipe simple and delicious. But, folks... it's not technically a cobbler... it's a buckle. You should definitely try this. Hot out of the oven, it's divine. It gets pretty soggy on day two, but the flavor is still excellent.

Incidentally, I only made a half batch of pioneer woman's recipe and I used all splenda, so I calculated the whole buckle as having about 700 calories. Not bad when you can get 4 good sized servings out of it (or if you just sit down with an oven mitt in your lap and consume the whole thing straight of the oven, hey, it's only 700 calories...).

Peach Buckle
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup self rising flour
1/2 milk
1 cup splenda (if using real sugar, only use 1/2 cup)
2 fresh peaches peeled and sliced
extra splenda for the top

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut your butter up and pit in the pan you are going to be using to bake the buckle. Melt the butter in the oven while it's preheating (dont burn it!)

Meanwhile, mix your sugar, flour, and milk together with a whisk. Pour mixture into the melted butter and place your peaches on top.

Bake till golden brown. Now, I put extra splenda on the top right before I took it out of the oven and thats why mine has that white-ish tint to it. If you used real sugar it would melt better and look prettier.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Whoopie Pies

I have never really thought much about whoopie pies. I've never had homemade ones. Never seen homemade ones and never even knew that they were called whoopie pies... I thought they were just chocolate creme cookies. Like, a little debbie oatmeal creme pie, except with chocolate cookies, instead of oatmeal.

But, reading Cookie Madness I saw a post from her about homemade whoopie pies and they intrigued me. I kind of dismissed them initially. But, I found myself thinking about them more and more and finally I decided, they would be a fun addition to SQB's Birthday Cookies.

When the cookie part first came out of the oven, frankly, I was a little disappointed, the cookies tasted salty to me. Not as sweet as I had hoped for.

But, after they sat overnight with the creme filling inside them. Wow!!!! They became very delicious. These are awesome! They are soft and moist cookies and the creme inside is fluffy and sweet, but not cotton candy sweet- just right sweet. A great recipe that I will definitely make again when I am looking to impress people. (They weren't hard at all to make!) Apparently, I'm not the only one that thinks they are good, I got a text message from SQB after she had tried them that said... "OMFG the whoopie pies are soooo good!"

My work here is done.

Recipe is here (I made the amish version).

(I apologize for my picture taking skills... they suck lately. I take like 15 pics per item and I'm struggling to find one good one out of all of them! Uggh).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, another birthday... another occasion to bake! My friend SQB and I have been friends since the 6th grade! We met on burrito day in the cafeteria. True Story.

Anyway, her birthday was Wednesday! Yay! Happy Birthday! So, since we've been friends for like 15 years now and we've shared an apartment together for a year and I was the maid of honor in her wedding... you'd think I know a lot about the type of sweet tooth that she has. Right?? Like, that's a prerequisite for a maid of honor, no? Well, apparently I somehow got around that prereq. I started to think over the weekend what I could make for her... and I was drawing a blank.

I started thinking about when we lived together... what kinds of desserts did we eat then? I remember making iced brownies for a crowd (texas sheet cake) for a halloween party and I think she liked those... I also remember we always made the same meal... lasagna, cheese and sausage dip with chips, and reese piece's peanut butter cookies (from the packages). I know all kinds of main dishes that she likes and veggies and I know what she doesn't like... but the desserts were eluding me... (Oh crap.... as I type this, I now know EXACTLY the cookie she would have wanted.... Grandma Cookies!!!! Uggghhh.. how did I forget that?? Okay, well thats for another time.. damn, I cant believe I forgot).

So, I decided to go the multiple cookie route. 1. My Signature Cookie (of course) and when I saw this recipe for double chocolate chip cookies, I decided they looked promising...

Oh my god, y'all these are da bomb! (Sorry, I somehow channeled Britney Spears there for a minute). The spread a lot on me, so next time I think I'll chill the dough first a bit. The only change I made was I added more chocolate. More chocolate chips... I used a whole bag of ghiradelli milk chocolate chips (11.5 ozs). 4 ozs was melted with the butter and the rest were mixed in the dough. And I also added 2 oz of ghiradelli semi sweet chunks.

And added note... This recipe calls for DUTCH processed cocoa. Now, my regular grocery store doesn't carry and DUTCH processed cocoa. Only natural cocoa. Is there a difference? Yes, there is... And you can use natural cocoa subsituted for DUTCH, but you have to add some baking soda to the recipe as well. Luckily, I found DUTCH cocoa at Harris Teeter... It's Hershey's Dark Cocoa and its a lovely black color and dutch! Score!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tangy Pineapple Cream Pie

I'm still looking for tasty low calorie desserts. And, I think I may have hit the jackpot this time! I saw a recipe awhile back on Cookie Madness for something called Millionaire Pie. I had never heard of this pie, even though Anna on cookie madness says that its a southern classic. Recipes that have pineapple in it, can't be southern classics, can they? I mean, unless you live in Southern Hawaii or something. Who had pineapple in the south?

I digress... I read over the ingredients for this millionaire pie and I started thinking... I might could make this low calorie!!! At first, I was a little hesitant... my last low calorie idea didn't turn out so well... but this one had promise.

I went to the grocery store yesterday afternoon seeking out the ingredients... crushed pineapple in it's own juice (no extra sugar added) check fat free sour cream check low calorie, fat free cool whip check... so far so good... and then we get to the sweetened condensed milk. Now, I knew that there was a fat free sweetened condensed milk... I checked the label and the sucker has 1100 calories for one can!!!!!! Yikes!!!! So, I paced up and down the baking aisle for a few minutes, pondering what to do... should I just scratch the whole pie? Nahhh.. I dont want to walk back to the refrigerated section and put the cool whip and sour cream away. I tried to think of what has the sweetness and consistency of sweetened condensed milk... not much, but I finally decided to buy a box of instant fat free, sugar free vanilla pudding...

And that's how this recipe was born... I've made a bunch of changes to the pie, so I changed the name and I'm calling it my own....

Tangy Pineapple Cream Pie

Graham Cracker Crust: (you could use a pre-made one if you like, but if you do, I'd halve the rest of the recipe).
3/4 cup of Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Butter melted

1 box of jello instant pudding, vanilla fat free, sugar free
(you'll actually only use 14 oz of prepared pudding)
3 cups of cold milk (for the pudding)
4 tbsps sour cream
4 tbsps of key lime juice
2 8 oz cans of crushed pineapple in its own juice, drained
3 cups of cool whip

First, prepare your pudding according to box instructions, set aside to set.

Preheat the oven to 350 and mix the melted butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs together and pat into the bottom of a 9.5 inch glass pie pan. If you like more crust and want it to go up the sides, then double the recipe. I just wanted a little base crust. Put into the oven to bake for about 3-4 minutes. Just enough to firm up a little. It will still be pretty loose on top, but its okay, the filling is thick.

Prepare filling. Measure out 14 ozs of the prepared pudding (almost 2 cups) and place in a large mixing bowl. Then add sour cream, key lime juice, drained pineapple, and the cool whip and Stir well, incorporating all ingredients.

Pour filling into cooled pie dish and freeze for 1 hour then pull out of freezer and put into fridge for at least 4 hours. It fills the pie pan COMPLETELY.

What you get when you are finished is a deliciously tangy and sweet, creamy, refreshing pudding type of pie. It is yummy! I might also just skip the crust all together and pour into individual ramekins for little pudding desserts sometime, also.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Signature Cookie.

So, I know that this blog is still young and I haven't even scratched the surface of cookie recipes, but this one folks... this cookie might just become my signature cookie.

By signature cookie, I mean the cookie that I'm known for. The cookie that I bring to functions and mail to friends on their birthdays... Amy's Cookie, if you will. So, with that being said, I shouldn't reveal the recipe, right? I mean, it's my signature cookie, it deserves some mystery, that's part of the allure of a signature cookie (yes, I will italicize signature cookie everytime I type, and when I say it aloud, I will always use the quotation mark fingers, because it's that type of cookie). But. whatever, I'm not a bitch. I always hate that actually... when someone brings something to a potluck that is smack ya momma, finger lickin' good... and then when you compliment them profusely they never offer up the recipe and then when you actually ASK them for it, they say.... "Oh, it's an old family recipe." Like, if I had the recipe, I'd rush home and mass market it or something. Jeez. Give me a break. I'm about sharing. And this is a cookie recipe that should be shared!!! (For one, because its pretty freaking time consuming... so, I dont want to get stuck with being the only one making it...) The only thing I require for those of you who make it... is that you tell peeps... Yeah, this is Amy's Signature Cookie... Unless you hate it, in which case, you don't know me, never heard of me.

Here is the recipe... It's really time consuming because you have to let it chill overnight and then after you do, you have to essentially work each cookie into a ball and then flatten them out for your cookie shape, cause they stay the exact same way through cooking. And the require a LOT of ingredients, but they are worth it. I think next time, I'll double the batch and freeze half the dough into a cookie dough log so that I can just slice and bake the next time without having to shape the cookies everytime. Also, the cookies look underdone when you pull them out of the oven, but after they sit out, they firm up.
The pictures didn't turn out well, I actually almost forgot to take pictures before I packed them all away! So, thats why the pictures suck. Don't judge this cookie by the pics, it's delicious.
By the way, these probably have like 10,000 calories per cookie... which is why I only had two last night. And I counted those calories as my dinner. I had to chew gum the whole time I was baking them to keep from nibbling on them as I took them out of the oven. I'm such a sucker for hot out of the oven cookies.

See, they look a little underdone, but they are perfect.

Packaged up and ready to go! (Don't think there aren't 15 more sitting in my freezer waiting to be eaten... mmm)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Energy Bars

It's about that time again. Time to start buying energy bars and thinking about what to eat before and after weekly long runs. I usually stick with Kashi brand bars, rolls, etc. They are fairly natural and have lots of fiber, protein, etc.

But, I like the idea of homemade energy bars. And I found a good base in this recipe. It might be a little sweet for me to actually eat after runs, so I might use a little less honey, but it is so versatile and could have any nuts or fruits throw into it! It tastes like no bake cookies without chocolate.

Energy Bars:
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Honey
1 1/2 cup Quick Oats
In a sauce pan, heat the peanut butter and honey until it is well incorporated and a little runny. Then add in the oats and stir. Heat them just long enough to incorporate everything. Not to cook it. Pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and let cool.
They come out very sticky and chewy, but nonetheless delicious. (and cheap!).
I wrapped them in parchment paper and then put them in a ziploc bag to make them easier to handle on the go.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Low calorie=crap.

Well, that's probably a little too harsh of a title. But this didn't exactly turn out the way I had envisioned.
It was supposed to be a chocolate sponge cake that has like 50 calories per slice. I've never made a sponge cake, so maybe that's to blame... but it turned out to be more like a rubber pancake than a spongy cake.

It kinda looks pretty though doesn't it? The cool whip (I can't say whip without over pronouncing the "h" ever since I saw that episode of family guy) and strawberries tasted good! There's a low cal dessert recipe for ya!

Yeah, no more low cal sponge cakes for me...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

White Chocolate Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

When the people speak... I listen. And this time the people requested something with oatmeal. And so I scoured countless cookbooks for the perfect oatmeal cookie recipe.This is what I found.

Okay, so it actually came out about like this...
My mom: "Why no oatmeal cookies? I love oatmeal in cookies."
Me: "Oh yeah, I like oatmeal in cookies, too."
Then I went on recipezaar, found the recipe in like 2 seconds and whipped them up.

My alterations:I made them even MORE healthier by splitting the cup of flour into 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup all purpose flour. They came out delicious! But watch them, because I only had to cook them for about 5-6 minutes (smallish cookie scoop). Also make sure you flatten them out before you bake them, because they do not spread. I used white chocolate squares instead of chips. Next time, I might try the chips.

They are very homey tasting, and I think that's because of the cinnamon flavor in them. Usually, I'm not a big fan of fruit with chocolate, but this combination of cranberry with white chocolate is absolutely perfect! But I'm sure you could substitute any dried fruit.

They are delicious though! I'm going to use this same basic recipe but do some experimenting try to make some good energy bars.