Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Funnies!

And you thought your cake wreck ruined a birthday. Check out the new funny dessert related comic from Off the Mark.

Bake well and prosper!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Attack of the 50 Millimeter Cookie

WARNING: You might gain 5 pounds of weight just looking at the following cookies.

The mission, since I chose to accept it:
Put the brownie in the cookie dough and bake the cookie. (A→B=COOKIE)
I can't deny that I wasn't afraid of this mission. I mean, an entire 1/2 cup of dough for one cookie?!! That's just crazy!

Well, troops, I did battle in my kitchen and took this glob of dough and smacked a brownie in it.
Above, you can see the size of the beast compared to a normal spoon. Stop shuddering. It's going to be ok. As seen below, I attacked that beast and balled it all up.
Then I put those monsters on a tray and entrapped them in a small and hot compartment AKA The Oven.
To my surprise, the plan worked. The dough didn't take over the pan. Instead, it transformed into scrumptious cookies! (You can put your Uzis down now.) Brownie Pillow Cookies (found at the always wonderful Bakerella's site) 1 package brownie mix (I used my Supernatural Brownie recipe, of course)
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda1
2 oz. bag miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Make brownies according to package and let cool. Cut about ten 1 inch squares. Enjoy the remaining brownies.

For the chocolate chip cookie dough, beat butter with a mixer until creamy. Add brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs, yolk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl and stir together with a wire whisk. Add flour to butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in mini chips.

Let dough chill covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use a measuring cup to scoop batter by the 1/2 cup. Since it’s chilled, you may need to pack it with a spoon. Then use the spoon to remove the dough from the cup and place it on parchment paper. Work quickly so the dough remains chilled or either prepare one cookie at a time so the rest of the dough remains cold.

After the dough is on the parchment paper (Erika's Extra - I've never used parchment paper), make an indention and place a 1 inch square brownie in the center. Press the brownie down gently and work the remaining dough around the brownie. You can use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. (Erika's Extra - I found that once the brownie was covered, it was a good idea to pinch some of the extra dough off so the cookies weren't TOO large.)

If your dough gets too soft, you can chill the rolled dough balls for a few minutes right before baking.

Prepare six cookies at a time using a large baking sheet (15 X 20) and bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. Return the remaining dough to the refrigerator until time to bake the second batch.

Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes about ten cookies using a little less than a 1/2 cup of dough for each cookie.

If your cookies start to get too brown before they are done baking, you can place a sheet of aluminum foil over top for the last few minutes.
Bake well and prosper!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Comics, How I Love Thee

Yes, this is another midweek interruption to say, once again, that I LOVE comics. I'm considering marrying them. It's true! Off the Mark has provided me (and all the other people reading the comics) this little gem of food fun:

For more, visit

Bake well and prosper!

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Man Named Ron

Woohoo! I'm back to baking and this blog post has a recipe.

So, while I was in Ireland, (Wait.....real quick! Check out my cute oven mitt and pot holder from Ireland! Look! A Black sheep. This goes well with my goose measuring cups, giraffe teaspoons, and alligator rug. :) Yay!)
It says baaa! So cute!
Ok...back to what I was saying. While I was in Ireland, a loyal follower of my blog and a fellow running friend on twitter decided to swim, bike, and run in Coeur d'Alene. This is an IronMan race, which means it's a race that only crazy people do. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. Um, that's 140.6 miles altogether and that's just wrong!

Ron's been teasing me in his comments on my blog posts that he deserves a dessert after this race since he didn't eat too many sweets while training for this insane event.

Well, the joke's on him because today in the mail is a box of goodies. One of the treats happens to contain these:
Mmmmm! Rolos. (I'm not sure what kind of joke sending cookies is, but just go with me folks.)

I stumbled upon the recipe for Rolo Cookies and my eyes liked what I saw. Seeing the Nerd's Wife is a Texan, I knew I could trust her recipe. (Interesting fact about me today: I was born and raised in Texas.)

Moving on.

Check out the thickness of this cookie dough! It was crazy. And yet, it wasn't thick enough to completely stick to the beaters. Please note the mess on my fridge on the left side of picture.
These cookies were very fun to make because they involve doing a magic trick.

Place Rolo in dough. Now you see it....
Now you don't! TADA!
Rolo Cookies (from thenerdswife)
2 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cups cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 pkg Rolos
A bit of sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Beat sugars and butter until fluffy.
Add vanilla and eggs to mixture.
Beat until combined.
Combine flour, coca, and soda.
Add flour mixture to fluffy mixture.
Unwrap the Rolo candies. (Erika's Extras: I found it helpful to unwrap the Rolos before I even started making the batter. It takes awhile to unwrap them!)
Shape about a teaspoon of dough around each Rolo.
Be sure to cover it completely.
You want it to be about the size of a golf ball.
Press one side of the dough ball into the leftover sugar.Place sugar-side up on a baking sheet, about two inches apart.
You'll end up with about three dozen cookies. If you don't want to make that many right away, just put the dough balls in a Ziploc bag and freeze them.
Bake for eight minutes until the edges start to crisp.
Erika's Extras: Wait to cool a bit, and then devour when the rolo is still slightly warm and gooey. Mmmm!

Let's see a close up of these. Super yum!

Bake well and prosper!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ireland - Part 4 - Scary Roads and Pretty Flowers

DISCLAIMER: The blogs about Ireland do not have recipes. *GASP*

This is the last post about my trip to Ireland and the dessert I had while there. Aw...stop crying. I know you're sad.

Here's a pretty flower to cheer you up.

That's from the glorious gardens of the Muckross House in Killarney. Of course, to get to this house (or ANYWHERE in Ireland), one must travel the scary roads.

They were very windy and knowing there were steep hills beyond the curves didn't help. Here, have another flower to calm your nerves.

What's that you say? Ah, yes. The roads WERE tiny. In fact, sometimes cars/trucks had to crawl by each other.But sometimes the roads were fun, like when I drove through a tunnel.

And what's consolatory is the fact that pretty flowers grew by the roads. So if you weren't driving, you at least could focus on nature's beauty and not the frightening roads.
When I was in Kilkenny, I stopped at a cute cafe across from Kilkenny Castle, and this dessert caught my eye.
I HAD to ask....what in the world was it?
Gooseberries and custard! I've never had a gooseberry! Of COURSE I had to try it. I mean, look at the weird hairs on it!

The gooseberries were very tart, but in a good way, and the custard evened it out very nicely. If I had access to gooseberries here, I would make this as a perfect lite summer sweet. Yummy!

Bake well and propser!

Ireland - Part 3 - Crosses, Cliffs, and Castles OH MY!

DISCLAIMER: The blogs about Ireland do not have recipes. *GASP*

Besides green, one thing Ireland has tons of is Celtic crosses (and I kinda fell in love with them!)The one above and below are from Clonmacnoise (which was founded in 545 AD.)
This one is from the Rock of Cashel (which is a castle, but we're not to that subject yet.)
Then there are cliffs. Beautiful and majestic and ruggedThe above cliffs are the Cliffs of Moher. For the more adventurous, the below are Slieve League (Cliffs of Slieve - slieve = mountain.) They are almost three times higher than the cliffs of Moher.
Check out the pieced together panoramic.
With all this majestic land around them, I can see why people in Ireland built castles. They had to try to be as wonderful as the cliffs!
Above is what's left of the Rock of Cashel and below is taken from the inside. It must have been quite an impressive castle back in the days.
Below is Kilkenny Castle. Can you believe people still lived here in the 1900s?! The last family to live here was the Butler Family.
Speaking of Butlers....I read in my guidebook that Butler's Chocolate Cafe (Butler's) in Dublin was a chocoholics paradise.
I picked an assortment of chocolates and regrettably I have to say that none of them wowed me. The Bailey's cream filled one was the best and most enjoyable, but nothing to write home about.
Grant it...I've recently been spoiled with amazing chocolate in Charleston, SC (Christophe Artisan Chocolatier), so Butler's had a lot to live up to.
I also spotted a brownie that I HAD to try.
Unfortunately, I learned after taking this photo that this was the BOTTOM of the brownie, and not the top. It didn't have a very good chocolate flavor (and personally, the supernatural brownies I make are TONS better.)

Ah well. One not so amazing dessert on my trip did not make me turn my back on desserts for good. :)

Bake well and prosper!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ireland - Part 2 - Churches

DISCLAIMER: The blogs about Ireland do not have recipes. *GASP*

Even though the Irish might shy away from this topic, they can't deny that religion has played a huge part in the history of their country. I think it's wonderful that there are so many saints from Ireland and I think it's fascinating and a little disquieting that, when you think about it, quite recently there have been battles and rebellions over religion. (I guess every country has it!)

I went to only a few churches in Ireland. I say only a few because when I was in Italy I felt like I never needed to go to church again since I had been in so many. (However, in Ireland you usually had to pay to get in to the churches which I wasn't a fan of.)

The churches were all very unique.
And their interiors were even more unique! (Ha! You thought I was going to say uniquer!)
I really enjoyed the vibrant colors of the stained glass windows.
When I was growing up, every morning there were donuts at church on Sundays (and if you think I didn't eat more than one with this sweet tooth of mine, think again.) Well, if we had the donuts I found at Walsh's Bakery in Clifden, Ireland, I wouldn't have been a very fat child. They were so amazingly good and so ridiculously fresh!

I spotted them on the counter where I was ordering lunch and even though a small voice in my head said, "Donuts are for breakfast!" the large, operatic voice in my head said, "GET IT!"
I was enjoying it so much that I almost didn't even take time out to take a picture. Here's the lovely bit I saved for a snap of my camera followed by the snap of my mouth.
If you are in Clifden, make sure to stop here and get EVERYTHING. (My mom really enjoyed the flapjacks...some granola bar looking thingy.)
Bake well and prosper!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ireland - Part 1 - Green!

DISCLAIMER: The blogs about Ireland do not have recipes. *GASP*

I was originally going to write one big post on Ireland, but I realize I would inundate everyone with too much info at once. So, over the next couple of days I’ll give you some insight into my take aways from Ireland and the dessert I had.

Now, what’s the first thing that people think of when Ireland is mentioned? (No, not drinking.) Green!

Let me tell ya, there was plenty of green for even Kermit the Frog to say it IS easy being green…in Ireland.

The rolling hills of farm land.... to the banks of a river....
to the walkway of a
Why, this would be a different color in Arizona, but definitely green in Ireland!
Even when it was cloudy, it was green.
Did you know that there are sheep in Ireland? Yeah, and they like to eat green.
When I was in Westport, I was fortunate enough to get to eat at Quay Cottage. It was the best meal I had in Ireland. The service was great and the price was reasonable. If you are in that part of Ireland, make sure to stop here. (Call ahead for reservations.)
For dessert I had the meringue with ice cream and strawberry/port compote. It was SUPER yummy and my taste buds LOVED the sugary goodness! I will have to make some meringue and soon! When I left the restaurant the scene on the way back to the car was the perfect way to end an evening.
Bake well and prosper!