food

The BEST Sugar Cookies

Okay, so it has definitely been a hot minute since I’ve blogged, buuuut it’s the holiday season and that has been my excuse for absolutely everything. Over the holidaze, I love love love baking cookies. This year I made twelve different kinds – yes you read that correctly. It was an expensive and fattening weekend to say the least. One of my favorite kinds to make are sugar cookies simply because decorating them is so much fun and I really get to be creative. However, in my baking experience I noticed that so many sugar cookie recipes end up with me toiling in the kitchen rolling out the toys and making the perfect thickness of cookies just for them to expand in the oven. I need clean edges! Then, my life was changed and I stumbled upon a recipe and tweaked it a bit to make it perfect! Enjoy!


 

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter, unsalted, COLD. I also suggest slicing the butter at each Tbsp. mark as it will be easier to mix.
  • 1 heaping cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour – be sure not to pack it when measuring!
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch (this is the secret trick! Instead of baking powder, this will insure it doesn’t rise and leaven and spread).
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Parchment paper
  • Extra flour for rolling dough out

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar. Once combined, add eggs and mix on low speed until smooth. You don’t want to mix too fast and potentially melt the butter.
  3. Add flour, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until all comes together. It may seem like an eternity but I promise it will all come together.
  4. Flour a clean space as well as the rolling pin and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Use your cookie cutters and keep repeating this process until all the dough is used up!
  5. Cook for 8-11 minutes. They won’t really brown, so be careful not to overcook them!
  6. Let cool and then decorate with icing and sprinkles.

Here are my Christmas ones below!

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Creamy Buffalo Mac N’ Cheese

I don’t know about you, but I can certainly live off of buffalo mac n cheese, actually anything buffalo for that matter! I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t like it. Since I’m always exploring new ways to incorporate it into meals and instead of shelling out my paycheck to restaurants for this delicacy, I decided to try it out for myself. I mean just look at this ❤ ❤


 

Ingredients:

  • Pasta – I use shells or elbows
  • 12 oz. breaded chicken – I use Purdue Simply Smart
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 6 oz. (slightly more than half a block) of cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • Blue cheese crumbles (optional)

 

Directions: 

  1. Begin to boil water for pasta. Once boiling, add a pinch of salt and pasta. Let cook until al dente (about 7-9 minutes).
  2. Cook the Purdue chicken strips as per directions on front and cut into small cubes.
  3. Cut the cheddar cheese block into smaller slices so it melts easier.
  4. While pasta is cooking, in a medium sauce pot, add cream cheese, butter, and milk. Allow the cream cheese to soften and butter melt over medium heat.
  5. Add both cheddar cheese and mozzarella. Let the cheeses begin to melt, continually stirring.
  6. Once the cheese has just melted, add the wing sauce and hot sauce.
  7. Combine the mixture over low heat. Once the mixture is all melted and combined, it should be super cheesy and stringy. Remove from heat.
  8. Strain pasta and put back in the pot it was cooking in.
  9. Pour the cut chicken and the cheese mixture over the pasta. Stir gently to combine everything.
  10. Serve and drizzle some more hot sauce on top! If you included blue cheese crumbles, definitely sprinkle some on top!

 

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Apple of My Eye Apple Pie

So it feels like ages since I went apple picking, and I promised I would share just what I did with all of those apples. A few days after apple picking, I whipped up this recipe for everyone to enjoy – however, I’m just posting about it weeks later. It has been so hectic on my end – starting a new job, helping with my sister’s wedding & bachelorette party, it never ends!

This is a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving, especially if you’re having a more intimate, smaller gathering. A great alternative to apple pie – and you don’t have to worry about how big of a piece you take 😉


Ingredients:

  • 10 apples (this is only because I had sooo many)
  • 4 Tbsp. of butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Crumb Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers (this is optional)
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. butter (melted)
  • 1 roll of pre-made pie crust (optional if you don’t want to wrap the apple in dough)
  • Ice cream! Caramel sauce, whatever you’d like!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash apples and set aside.
  3. Prepare the crumble topping by combining flour, graham crackers (if used), oats, brown sugar, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and then melted butter until mixture is combined and crumbly. Set aside.
  4. Peel and chop 4 of the apples.
  5. Add these chopped apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup to a large frying pan and cook over medium heat for about ten minutes (until the apples are softened and tender!). Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. With the remaining 6 apples, cut the tops off and use a spoon to scoop out the insides. Be careful to not go all the way down/pierce the skin of the apple! Leave a perimeter within the apple as shown below. It should resemble an “apple bowl”.
  7. Fill your “apple bowl” with the filling from the sauce pan you just made. Fill about 3/4 of the way, or halfway if you’d like to be generous with the topping.
  8. Cut the rolled dough into strips and “mummify” or wrap the apples! It can be a bit tricky to have them stick to the apple so definitely press the dough strips into one another so they don’t unravel.
  9. Place the apples into a pie pan (I had to use two) because just in case of drippings, it doesn’t overflow as it potentially could on a flat baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  11. Serve warm and with your favorite ice cream! I recommend Ben & Jerry’s cinnamon one.

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Double Stuffed, Cookie Dough Fried Oreos w/ Nutella

Yes. You read that title correctly. Luckily summer is over and it’s okay to indulge a bit (thank goodness for sweater season!). If you still want to reminisce on the summer feels, like carnivals and festivals, what other way to do so than fried oreos?! These are incredibly easy to make, and I must admit I make them more often than I should. I like to add cookie dough, because well cookie dough is everything and I personally believe it to be it’s own essential food group. And of course the Nutella drizzle just speaks for itself. Enjoy!


 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Oreo’s (I usually get the mega-stuffed, or whichever new flavor they have at the time)
  • 1 Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough roll
  • Aunt Jemima pancake mix (I use this because you just need to add water to the mix)
  • Vegetable oil (enough to fry the Oreo’s in)
  • Confection sugar
  • Nutella

Directions:

First, prepare the pancake mix in a medium sized bowl. If using Aunt Jemima, it is 2 cups dry mix and 1 1/2 cup water.

Begin to heat up the oil in a deep frying skillet, or a fryer if you have one.

Next, take your Oreo’s and twist the top off of each (gently, so the cream stays on one of the cookies). Take a heaping teaspoon of cookie dough and press onto the cream to flatten so it looks like it is just another disc of cream. Put the cookie that you just took off back on.

I recommend doing this to all of the cookies first, and then once that is done, begin dipping them into the pancake batter, as it is more efficient.

Once all the cookies are done and the oil is heated (you can test by flicking a few drops of water in it – you’ll hear it sizzle and see it bubble), begin to dip the cookies into the pancake batter. Using a spoon, gently place them into the oil.

As they begin to cook, line a plate with paper towels to absorb the oil for when you remove them.

You’ll notice the Oreo turning golden brown. If the oil isn’t high enough, simply use the spoon to turn the Oreo to fry the other side as well.

Once a nice, bronzed, golden brown color, remove the Oreo from the oil and let cool on the paper-towel lined plate. Continue doing this until all Oreos are done.

Once cooled, sprinkle confection sugar and drizzle Nutella all over those bad boys! This is where you can really go to town, use as much as your heart desires 🙂

 

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Pumpkin Spice Crumb Cake

It is officially the first day of Fall! I seriously could not be happier. Although I’ve been sipping on my pumpkin spice coffee since it’s seasonal debut early September, today makes my order much less embarrassing as it is now officially Fall. I just wish the weather would follow suit and stop being 80 degrees! I can’t wait for hoodies, chilly mornings and nights, football Sunday, leaves, bonfires, ugh I can go on and on. What better way to ring in the most amazing season with some delicious pumpkin spice crumb cake! Crumb cake is my guilty pleasure, and during the fall, everything must be pumpkin flavored, so viola – the pumpkin spice crumb cake was born.


Ingredients:

CAKE:

  • 2 cups floured (always spoon in the flour and level off with a butter knife, otherwise flour gets packed in and you get too much flour!)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick of butter, room temp.
  • 2 heaping cups of sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 can of pumpkin (I’ve only seen 15 oz ones)
  • 1 cup milk (2%, whole, whichever you prefer)

CRUMB:

  • 1 stick COLD butter (will be easier to form crumbs)
  • 1 firmly packed cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.  Then beat the sugar and room temperature butter until combined.  Add eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin until batter is smooth. Add the dry ingredients in the bowl you set aside slowly, alternating with the milk.  Beat again until smooth and batter comes together. Pour the batter into your sprayed pan and even out with a spatula.

For the crumbs, combine all of the ingredients into one bowl.  This is where it gets fun! You can either get down and dirty and use your hands to combines everything, or you can use a fork or pastry cutter.  Since I like big crumbs, I always use my hands. Sprinkle your newly formed crumbs all over the poured cake batter.

Bake 45-50 minutes, until crumbs turn a light golden brown and a knife or toothpick comes out clean from the center.  You can serve it with some vanilla ice cream, or as I did, with a dollop of whipped cream.

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