Sunday, August 29, 2010

Triple Threat Cookies

These cookies are a combination of my three favorite cookies-- chocolate chip, oatmeal chocolate chip and peanut butter, hence the name "Triple Threat".  I often can not decide which of my favorite cookies to make, so this is the perfect recipe for me.  I made these to bring to my Aunt's house and my boyfriend ended up eating half of them! 

This recipe comes from BrownEyedBaker.  She has some excellent recipes, and this one is a must try! The only changes I made to her recipe were that I refrigerated the dough for 24 hours before baking.  I did this mostly because of timing, but it is also supposed to make flavors come together better and it kept the cookies nice and plump instead of flattening out when baked. 

Triple Threat Cookies

Makes 20-24 cookies


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 creamy natural peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Cream together butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract on medium speed for about 3 minutes.  Add the egg and beat to combine. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add in the flour and mix until combined.  Stir in the oats and the chocolate chips

Refrigerate the dough overnight or for up to 24 hours.

Scoop the dough with a medium cookie scoop (about two tablespoons) onto parchment lined baking sheet about two inches apart.  Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool for a few minutes on baking sheet then move to a wire rack.  Store in an airtight container.



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Huckleberry Muffins

Huckleberries are a prized treasure in Montana.  If you are not familiar with them, they are related to blueberries but tend to be more tart and smaller.  They are a finicky berry-- they only grow in the wild and at certain altitudes.  Not to mention, they are a favorite of the bears.


The local Montanans are very secretive about where they pick their huckleberries.  I'd compare it to gold mining during the Gold Rush. No joke.  And those crazy, possessive, gold mining feelings definitely are contagious! 


Here's my mom and I with purple huck stained hands and our water jugs full of berries.  We spent 2-3 hours crouched over in the dense woods picking berries.  It was quite a scene!

We brought home gallons of berries packed in coolers in our luggage.  I spent the whole flight home coming up with grand ideas of what to do with my gold berries.  


Muffins were first on the list.  This is an excellent muffin recipe.  Of course, if you have not been to Montana, hunted all over for berries, spent hours breaking your back to pick them, froze the berries, and managed to get them all the way home, blueberries would work just fine!


You really need to try huckleberries if you haven't sometime.  Also, this will serve as your warning: this batter is ADDICTIVE.  Don't even think about taking that first lick.  You wont be able to stop.

Huckleberry Muffins 

Makes 18-20 muffins

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups huckleberries, or blueberries (If your huckleberries are frozen, thaw and rinse gently)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line muffin cups with with paper liners.

Mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda with a mixer on low speed.

Put the buttermilk, egg and vanilla into a bowl and whisk until just combined.  Slowly pour into flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.  

Pour in the melted butter and beat until the butter has just been incorporated, then turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until the dough in even and smooth.  

Finally, gently fold in the huckleberries.  

Spoon the batter into the paper lines until two-thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let the muffins cool slightly in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Creamy Lime Graham Squares

I love anything lime or lemon.  Bars, sorbets, cupcakes, cookies, ades...everything.  In fact,  you will almost always find my water glass with a lime or lemon wedge in it.  Of course, I bought the granddaddy-of-them-all sack of limes on my recent trip to Costco (yes, the same time as the peaches) and  just realized that I need to use them up, and quickly! Being away on vacation for a week, probably didn't help much.

I haven't quite figured out how to clean as I go while baking.  Probably never will and I'm okay with that.

Anyways, these bars are the perfect treat on a warm day as you serve them chilled.  I think yesterday was the hottest day of summer in Newport so far at a whopping 78 degrees.  Where is the heat??

The bars have a graham cracker dough that is pressed into the bottom, followed by a tart but sweet creamy lime layer, and then are finished off with crumbled graham cracker dough on top.  They are crumbly, creamy, and chewy with crispy top.  How many "c" words do you think I can use to describe them?

Joe (the boyfriend) says this is a "Top 3" recipe.  I think he needs to start a list, because I there has probably been 30 "Top 3" recipes. 

Creamy Lime Graham Squares

Adapted From The Pioneer Woman


Zest of 1 lime
Juice from 4 limes
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 cup crushed graham crackers


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or spray a 8" square pan.

Whisk together lime zest, lime juice and sweetened condensed milk until combined. Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Mix together butter, brown sugar, and egg until combined.  Add in flour mixture and mix until well combined.  Stir in graham cracker crumbs.

Pour half of graham mixture into prepared 8" square pan.  Press into the bottom of pan until completely covered.  Pour lime mixture over top.  Crumble remaining half of graham mixture in fingers and sprinkle over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Let pan cool on counter for 30 minutes, then cut into small bars.  Refrigerate for a few hours until cool. Enjoy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cherry Crumble

Two weeks ago I went on vacation with my family to Whitefish, Montana.  We did a lot of hiking and sightseeing in Glacier National Park, but my favorite part of the trip was picking huckleberries and buying cherries from the numerous roadside stands.  The cherries in the Flathead Valley of Montana are to die for! I have never had cherries so plump and bursting with flavor as these.  They were soft and the juices exploded as you ate them.  Needless to say, I came home still craving cherries.  Unfortunately, the cherries here do not compare to Flathead Cherries.  But these Cherry Crumbles made up for that.

They were the perfect combination of soft baked cherries, and crunchy crumbly oat topping.  Again, I can't stop making fruit desserts this summer.

All that is added to the cherries is sugar to sweeten them, and cornstarch to thicken them up.  I combined the crumble in the food processor, however, you could use a pasty cutter or forks to cut in the butter as well (The food processor takes the least amount of work!)



Here it  is all assembled and ready to go in the oven.  If you pile them up like I did, make sure to place the ramekins on a baking tray before going in the oven.  This will make clean up a heck of a lot easier if it bubbles over!

I couldn't help but eat it straight from the oven, still steaming hot!

Cherry Crumbles

Serves 4 

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman


2 cups pitted and halved cherries
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 cup four
1/4 cup oats
1/2 stick cubed butter


Preaheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir together cherries, sugar and corn starch. Set aside. 

 In the bowl of a food processor add brown sugar, sugar, flour, oats and butter.  Pulse until a coarse meal forms.  

Fill 4 ramekins equally with cherry mixture, and top with crumb mixture.  Place ramekins on baking tray and bake for 30 minutes until cherries are bubbly and crumble is golden brown.  Can be served with a scoop of ice cream on top.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Peach Cobbler

This summer I've been busy baking anything and everything with fresh fruit.  And when you buy fruit at Costco for 2 people, you have to find ways to use it up before its too late!  I bought a big box of peaches last week, and as my boyfriend would say, "I was at war with cobbler".  Each night I was trying a new recipe, or altering one. Needless to say, we filled up on peach cobbler.

This recipe has an interesting method of adding warm water on top of the assembled cobbler.  It ends up making the cobbler extra moist and gooey on the bottom, while having a crispy browned top. However, it appears rather unappetizing when going into the oven.

Trust me, it will turn out just fine.  I promise you will think you did something wrong, but just let that go and have faith in the peach cobbler gods! 

It will end up with a crunchy, crispy, golden top, and a warm syrupy bottom.  Serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and everyone will want seconds!

Peach Cobbler

Serves about 6

Adapted from All Recipes


6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 or similar sized pan with cooking spray.  

In a large bowl, stir together peaches, 1 cup sugar and cinnamon.  

In a bowl stir together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter and sugar on med-high until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately to bowl, starting and ending with flour (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour) and mixing until just combined.

Pour half of peach mixture into prepared pan, then pour cobbler batter on top.  Pour remaining peaches over the batter.  Finally, pour hot water over the peaches.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes depending on the size of your pan, until golden brown.  

Serve with a scoop of ice cream. Enjoy!

Lots of Baked Love,

And so it begins...

Here goes nothin'!  I decided it was time to share my baking adventures (cooking too!).  If nothing else, this will be a glossary for my personal use. However, I hope other people will enjoy my recipes as well.  I will be testing out recipes I find in various cookbooks, on the web, and of course from some of my favorite bloggers. I will also share some of my family's recipes that we have been making for years on end.

My love for baking and baked treats started at a young age.  When I was around 3 years old, I would stand on a chair at the kitchen island and "help" my mom,  however "helping" at 3 meant stealing a bar of butter and eating it like a candy bar.   I grew up baking with my mom, and cooking dinner with both my mom and dad.  I was always in the kitchen whenever something was in the oven, and was sure to be the first one to taste test everything.

Now a mid-twenties girl out on my own, I have continued baking and find any reason I can to bake.  I'm sure this space will encourage me to do so even more!