Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cakes, brownies, cookies, and my own recipe!

I have come to terms with the fact that my favorite pastime is baking.  Andy and I haven't been going to or leading a faithgroup (small group) this year, so I haven't had something every week to bake for, but that hasn't stopped me from doing it!  Sometimes, when I have just a couple of hours and no plans, I spontaneously bake.  I'll invite friends over to eat my creations, bring them to work, or just have them around for Andy and me to enjoy them.  I love it.  Here are some of my recent creations...
Pistachio Cake

mmm delicious!

Ganache-filled German Chocolate cupcakes

homemade Hostess cupcakes

so fun!

Last night Andy went to hang out with his old roommate and friend Derek, so I decided to do some baking.  I've been meaning to make some cookies to give to our neighbor across the street, John, who has been so kind and neighborly this winter with his plow and shovel.  He has helped dig out our cars and plows the street every time there is a snowstorm--which happened a lot this winter!  Cookies are not my forte when it comes to baking, but it definitely is the quintessential baked good one would give to one's neighbor, wouldn't you say?  I was reading all sorts of blogs last night about chocolate chip cookies and how to achieve the best... melted butter or room temp butter creamed?  I have yet to master the chocolate chip cookie, so I thought I'd give it another go.  But then I remembered the raisins I bought on sale this week.  Maybe I'll do oatmeal raisin chocolate chip?  I had a blog open, the top of the oatmeal container, and a Sunkist raisins cookbook opened all at once, and I played around with the recipes until I created my own!  I must say, the cookies turned out beautifully.  Not to mention yummy, too!  I hope our neighbor feels blessed.  Here's the recipe:

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield:  36 cookies

3/4 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 tsps. vanilla
1 egg plus 1 yolk
1 1/2 c. flour
2 c. oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 - 1 c. raisins
1 1/2 - 2 c. chocolate chips  (I obviously recommend the 2 cups!)

Preheat the oven to 325.  Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.  Mix the butter and sugars by hand with a wooden spoon until incorporated.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well blended.  Dump in the dry ingredients and mix by hand.  Stir in the raisins and chips.  Drop well-rounded balls of dough onto the cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 mins.  Do not overbake... cookies are done when the edges JUST START to look golden brown.  Transfer to a drying rack to cool.  Even if they feel a little jiggly, they will finish baking on the rack.  This ensures soft and chewy cookies.  Enjoy!


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