Chocolate-Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

These are one of favorite cookies..ever! Spring is here, and Summer is fast approaching, and these are perfect picnic and BBQ snacks. They take practically no ingredients and they are so light and cute and just plain delicious :) Being so scrumptious, I'd say that sharing is not necessary, and truthfully, you know they will disappear ever so suddenly!

Oven: 350
Yield: about 2 dozen
Bake: 15-18 min

- 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- vanilla extract
- 3/4 C sugar
- 2 1/2 C flour
- 2 eggs *
- raspberry jam
- chocolate chips

Pre-heat the oven to 350. Cream the softened butter and the vanilla extract. Add the sugar and blend until well combined. Then add the flour and eggs alternately until all mixed and smooth. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough in about 1 in. balls. Then take your thumb and make a well in each ball. Place a few chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, or dark - whichever is your fav.) in each well and then cover with jam. Be careful to not overfill with jam. Bake in the oven until cookies are golden brown.

* I used 2 becuase I had small/medium eggs in the fridge, so if you have large eggs on hand try one and see if the dough is moist enough.

Thats it. So simple right! And the pay off is so amazing.
Enjoy [:


Devil's Food Cupcakes with Peppermint Frosting

Peppermint and Chocolate - a classic combo that is so delish!! This recipe is from 500 Cupcakes...one of the greatest little cupcake recipe books ever!

Oven: 320
Yield: 18
Prep: 10-15 min
Bake: 20 min

- 2 C cake flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 C packed light brown sugar
- 1 C butter, softened
- 2 large eggs, seperated
- 3 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 C milk

Preheat oven.
Sift the baking powder, salt, and flour; set aside. Cream the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add egg yolks and beat well. Add melted chocolate and vanilla. Add flour mixture and milk, alternating until all well combined. Beat egg whites in seperate bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into batter. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes.

For this one you can use any frosting of your choosing..whether that it's cream cheese or buttercream or even out of a container (I won't tell :] ). Just substitute the vanilla extract with peppermint..but remember to be conservative with the peppermint..you can always add more but can't always take out.



Coconuty-Bananay-Chocolatey Goodness!

Christmas time is my absolute favorite time of year..and one of the many reasons is all the amazing food to bake, alot of which involve chocolate! So this is my take on White Trash..the concept of combining everything but the kitchen sink into some delicious concoction! It is a recipe that really lets your creative-ness shine :)

- 1/4 C mini nilla wafers*
- 1/ 4 C banana chips**
- 1/4 C walnuts
- 1/4 C mini marshmellows
- 1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
- coconut

*it is best to crush the wafers, banana chips, and nuts into smaller pieces*

1. Combine the wafers, banana chips, walnuts (or whatever nuts you want..or none at all), and marshmellows in a bowl.
2. Melt down chocolate chips in a double boiler or the microwave.
3. Pour melted chocolate into the bowl of other ingredients and stir together.
4. Spread onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with coconut and put in fridge or freezer until set.
5. Break into pieces and enjoy!

** You can find banana chips (just dried bananas) at any health food store or any grocery store in the health food/organic aisle....also if you want another super easy and delish recipe try this one!

That's it! Super easy!! Now heads up..the measurements are all guesstimates because I just decided to try and make this on a whim..and it turned out so good! I would totally suggest letting your baking (or non-baking) creativity go crazy and see what amazing concoctions you can come up with!

Merry Christmas and Happy Baking! :)

Chocolate Banana Chips

Chocolate + Banana = happiness in your mouth!! Here's a super easy and delish recipe with, you guessed it, just chocolate and bananas :)

- banana chips
- chocolate chips
   - white and regular (semi-sweet, milk, or dark..whichever you prefer)

1. Melt your choice of regular chocolate chips in a double boiler.
2. Dip banana chips into chocolate to coat at least half of each one and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Put in fridge or freezer and then while waiting for them to set melt the white chocolate chips.
4. Remove the banana chips from fridge or freezer and drizzle with melted white chocolate chips and put back in fridge or freezer
5. Enjoy!!!

                       Sorry about the blurry picture...taken on my phone..couldn't find my camera
-You can find banana chips (dried bananas) at any health food store or almost any regular grocery store in the health food/organic food aisl


Mini Apple Pies with Whipped Cream!

So I have a Babycakes cupcake maker..and it is awesome! I recently discovered that I could make pies in it..so thats exactly what I did! You could also just use a regular cupcake pan to make these.

Oven: 375
Prep: 25 min
Bake: 20 min*

- 1 piecrust recipe which can be found here
- about 7 apples (peeled,cored,chopped)
- 1/3 C sugar
- 1/4 C cornstarch
- cinnamon
- nutmeg
- salt
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
- 1 egg white (lightly beaten)
- brown sugar

Put the peeled, cored, and chopped apples into a large bowl. Depending on the size of your pie(s) will determine the size to cut your apples. Mix in the sugar, cornstarch, spices, and salt. Roll out the dough and cut out circles using a cookie cutter or coffee mug (you will have to do test cut out to determine the right size for your pan). Then spoon the apple mixture into the prepared dough, put small pieces of butter on them and you can either cover each one with a second dough and brush lightly with egg white and sugar and cut vents. Or you can just leave them topless but still top with butter and a little brown sugar (The brown sugar and butter melt together to make a delish syrup)

*Baking times will vary becuase of the size of the pies, so just bake till crust is golden brown
** The spices do not have measurments becuase I just measured it into my hands..but I would guess about 1-2 teaspoons...and feel free to add or remove your favorite fall spices :)

Now that we have pie..we can't forget the whipped cream!

- 1/4 C heavy whipping cream
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
- cinnamon (the secret weapon!!)

Beat the heavy whipping cream for a few minutes until soft peaks form. Add in some powdered sugar (again no measurements..add until it reaches the sweetness you like..at least a few tablespoons) along with some vanilla extract. Continue to beat until thick and creamy. Then add in some cinnamon...I just grated in a few teaspoons. It complements the apple pie so well!!! Be sure to store in the fridge and serve within 24 hours of making becuase since it is homemade it doesn't have the stability of store bought..but it is so worth it!

I hope this delish and easy treat makes it onto your table this Fall.
Enjoy (:


Super Easy Pie Crust

Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming soon..and I am so ready to get baking (and eating :]). This recipe is from the Thanksgiving issue of the Rachel Ray magazine "Everyday". It turned out so light and flakey!

Makes: Two 9 inch crusts
Prep: about 20 min.

- 2 1/2 C flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 stick COLD butter cut into small pieces
- 6 tbsp. CHILLED vegetable shortening
- ice water

Mix together the flour and salt. Then with a pastry blender (or 2 knives or your fingers) cut in the butter or shortening until it is all about the size of peas. Add in some ice water (a little at a time) and stir with a fork until the dough is moist. Gather it all up into a ball, divide it in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Refigerate for at least an hour and up to 3 days. 
When you are going to roll it out, let it come to room temp. for about 15 minutes. Lightly flour a surface and rolling pin. Roll out, working from the center out, to get the desired size. Continue to flour and turn circle as needed.
And thats all there is to it...Super easy and quick recipe to get your own delish pie crust!

*Make sure the butter and shortening are cold/chilled so it cuts into the four mix..instead of melting
**I add spices like cinnamon to my dough depending on what I am using it for :)



Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

This recipe is from 500 Cupcakes..it is the coolest little book ever! I really love anything lemon..i love the smell and the taste, it is so light and fresh, so when I came across this recipe I knew I had to try it....and it was awesome!!!

Oven: 350
Makes: 1 1/2 dozen
Bake: 20 minutes


-1 C butter; softnened
-1 C gran. sugar
-2 C cake flour
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. salt
-4 large eggs
-1/2 C buttermilk
-1 tsp. vanilla
*add in some lemon juice and zest

-1/3 C lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best)
-1 (14 oz) can condensed milk
*add in some lemon zest

-3 egg whites
-1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
-1/3 C gran. sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Sift flour, bak. powder, and salt together; set aside. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs, then vanilla; beat well after each addition. Then alternate the flour mixture and buttermilk. Finally squeeze in some fresh lemon juice and grate in some lemon zest for an extra layer of flavor. Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes, or until toothpick from center comes out clean. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

To fill a cupcake, make a whole in the top center and then fill with some of the filling mixture. Replace cupcake 'lid' and set aside until all cupcakes are filled.

After all cupcakes are filled, make the meringue and preheat the oven to 450. Frost each cupcake and then bake them in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the meringue turns golden.