Friday, August 31, 2012

August Bakin' Friend

My August Bakin' Friend was Erin Vasicek from The Spiffy Cookie. I could hardly wait to see what she chose to bake with the secret ingredient, oatmeal rolled oats, because her blog is one of my favorites to follow. She made Dark Chocolate Black Cherry Oatmeal Cookies, wrapped individually to preserve freshness. I really enjoyed these cookies and so did my co-workers. 

Once I received my package of delicious cookies, Erin posted a recipe for a black cherry cookie filling to pair with the cookies. I still had a few cookies left and all the filling ingredients on hand, so I decided to try making the filling. I realized part way into the recipe that it called for straining the yogurt over night. I was impatient and did not want to wait for the yogurt to strain over night, so I adapted her filling recipe . I also used a filling recipe from Tanya Zuckerbrot  of That’s Fit. 

Black Cherry Cookie Filling

1 container of black cherry Chobani Greek yogurt
1 block of cream cheese softened
2.5 cups of powder sugar

1. In mixer, cream together cream cheese and yogurt
2. Add in powder sugar and mix for 2 minutes so ingredients are well mixed.
3. Spoon it into a frosting pipping bag and pipe onto cookies. Refrigerate the filled cookies.

You should also stop over at Butter and Sprinkles to see what I made with the secret ingredient.

BIG Bakin' Friends
Do you ever find yourself baking tons of goodies and have no one to share them with? Are your family and friends tired of eating cookies, cakes, brownies, and quick breads?   Each month we will be baking goodies, with a secret ingredient, to send out to one another.   Are you ready to make some new friends? 

Then send an email to with Bakin’ Friends in the subject. Emails MUST be received before the 2nd of each month so that Stephanie has time to get all the match ups done. Please make sure to include your full nameyour email addressyour blog name and URL (if applicable), and whether you live in the US or Canada. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August Foodie Penpal

Sarah sent me a box of her favorite treats. I immediately started planning in my mind what I would do with all of them. I figured a few are going to school with to munch on when hungry. The box of popcorn will be shared with my very small group of students to celebrate their hard work next Friday(we will already be 1/2 way through our first quarter). The Milano cookies were a childhood favorite of mine. My grandma always had a drawer of Pepperidge Farm cookies for us when we visited. I am looking forward to trying the pineapple flavored coconut water and the PB company dark chocolate peanut butter.

If you would like to see the package of goodies that I mailed out, visit Tara at A Daily Dose of Fit.

I just want to say how appreciative I am for Lindsay, The Lean Green Bean, for organizing the monthly foodie penpal exchange!!! If you would like to join in the monthly foodie penpal, you may sign up on The Lean Green Bean blog site.  
The Lean Green Bean

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chocolate Shot Oatmeal Cookies

When I think of oatmeal cookies, I always think of the ones my mom makes at x-mas time.  So I had her recite the recipe over the phone so I could make the oatmeal cookies.  After my mom shared her recipe, she shared a memory about this cookie dough: She always made this dough the night before so it could chill. Well sometimes she made too much and would freeze it. One day she remembered there was some in the freezer and thought it would be a nice treat for us. What she discovered was half the dough had been eaten. My sisters and I loved this dough especially frozen. We would pull it out of the freezer, cut a chunk off, and nibble on it.  I hope you enjoy these oatmeal cookies!

Jan’s Chocolate Shot Oatmeal Cookies

½ LB of butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoon of vanilla
1 ½ cup of sifted flour
½ teaspoon of baking soda
1 cup of rolled oats
At least 2 small or 1 large containers of chocolate sprinkles

      1.    Cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar together until fluffy
2.       Add in the vanilla, mix until incorporated
3.       Add in the flour and baking soda, mix until incorporated
4.       Add the rolled oats and mix until incorporated
5.       Lay sheets of saran wrap on counter
6.       Pour the chocolate sprinkles on the saran wrap
7.       Form 1 large log or as many as 3 small logs with the cookie dough
8.       Lay the logs of cookie dough on the sprinkles and roll the log until covered with sprinkles
9.       Wrap up the log in the saran wrap and chill for 3 hours or overnight
10.   When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
11.   Pull out the cookie dough and slice them into even pieces and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 18-25 minutes depending on your oven. Once they are browned on bottom of cookie they are down. Cool on cooling rack.

      Shared this recipe on:

Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen Manic Monday Party
Lil\'Luna Jam Hands Addicted to Recipes Button, Page button Cast Party Wednesday
Mandy‘s Recipe Box

NatureBox of Snacks (August)

I have only participated for 2 months, and I already have discovered new snacks that I never would have bought before NatureBox.

My snacks for August were tastes from around the world:
Bombay Curried Cashews
Dried Fancy Figs
Far East Rice Crackers
Mexicana Mango
Maui Onion Crunch

I forgot to post my snacks for July. Ooopps!
July snacks:
Zesta Fiesta Mix
Sunny Trails mix
Lemon Pucker Pistachios
Garden Tomato Crunchies
Southern BBQ Sunflower Kernels

NatureBox delivers a monthly box of healthy snacks to you. Each box costs just 19.95 with free shipping. Sign up here

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Heartland Turtle Bars

My summer break just ended, so back to the classroom I went. I almost forgot to make the  Baked Sunday morning tasty treat. The recipe this week was to make Heartland Turtle Bars from the cookbook: Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. I strongly encourage you to purchase the cookbook, but you may also find the recipe on Baked Sunday Mornings

This is my favorite recipes yet!!!!! I choose to leave the nuts out because I am not a fan of nuts in my sweets. The bars are best served chilled for a richer taste. I brought some of the bars to work to share with my fellow teacher friends on Friday because figured they all deserved a little chocolate after finishing up our second full week with students. Four of the teachers requested the recipe.  I told them that this was the only recipe I will hand out, and if they want another recipe from Baking Explorations, they will need to buy the book. 

Baked Sunday Mornings

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Crazy Cooking Challenge: Cheesecake

I love Junior's New York Cheesecake recipe and have used the following recipe for a few years. You can find it here. My inspiration for a summer berry cheesecake came from The Flying Quiche blog. She created a recipe for a triple strawberry cheesecake with a strawberry puree added to the batter. I did not have time to make the puree in her recipe and also did not want to add anymore sugar to my cheesecake. So I took her idea and combined it with my Junior cheesecake recipe to create my summer berry cheesecake. 

At the end of the directions, you will see 2 delicious ways to eat this cheesecake.

Summer Berry Cheesecake With a Fork or on a Stick
(makes one 9 inch cheesecake)

(4) 8 ounce packages cream cheese (the regular variety, not light Neufchatel cream cheese) at room temperature 1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2  large eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions for the Cheesecake Filling:

Part 1
  1. Preheat the oven to 350degrees Fahrenheit
  2. generously butter a 9-inch springform pan and wrap the outside of the pan with foil, covering the bottom and extending up the sides.
  3. Place an 8 ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.
  4. Beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.
  5. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of sugar, then beat in the vanilla.
  6. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one.
  7. Blend in the heavy cream. At this point, mix the filling only until completely blended (just like they do at Junior's). Be careful not to overmix the batter.
Part 2
  1. For the fruit filling portion of the cheesecake: you will need 3 small bowls
    bowl 1--smash 1/4 cup blueberries and mix in 1/2 cup cheesecake filling then pour into a plastic bag
     bowl 2--smash 1/8 cup raspberry and mix in 1/2 cup cheesecake filling then pour into a plastic bag
     bowl 3--smash 2 large strawberries and mix in 1/2 cup cheesecake filling then pour into a plastic bag
  2. pour remaining cheesecake batter in buttered and foil wrapped springform pan 
Part 3
  1. now you are ready to pipe fruit flavored cheesecake into batter in pan.  
  2. Snip of the end off the raspberry batter, push the tip into the cheesecake batter and squeeze lightly. continue all the way around the pan. continue with each flavor. I choose to pipe in a circle so each slice of cheesecake has all three summer berry flavors.
  3. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan.
  4. Bake the cheesecake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight

You can enjoy this cheesecake 2 different yet very tasty ways:
First way: slice it and serve with a dollop of whipped cream
Second way: slice it, stick a popsicle stick it it, freeze for a few hours, then cover it with white chocolate and freeze
 I also want to thank Hugs & CookiesXOXO for posting a "how to" for cheesecake on a stick. She too is a fan of Junior's Cheesecake recipe :)

also shared on:
Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen manic-monday-party-9
Mandy‘s Recipe Box
Addicted to Recipes Button, Page button Cast Party Wednesday
Jam Hands Lil\'Luna