Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

I thought the Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins for among the best things I've ever made, but when I brought these Pumpkin Cookies with White Chocolate Chips into work a few days later, my boss declared, "these are the best things I've ever eaten... the best!"

So, if you are a pumpkin fan, cookie fan, or just someone who enjoys life, give these cookies a go. They may or may not have been my breakfast for two days in a row... OK, they absolutely were my breakfast for two days in a row.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Candy Filled Dark Chocolate PMS-Buster Brownies topped with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Is there a woman reading this who has ever woken up at in the middle of the night feeling extra moody and crampy? How about a man reading this who thinks PMS is something women made up to create an excuse to bitch once a month? To the woman reader, I've got your remedy. To the man, go to hell.

... Just kidding (sort of).

I woke up this morning transformed into a new person - today, instead of the cheery Young Idealistic Baker you may be used to, Cranky McSourpuss will be guest posting about these scrumptious Candy Filled Dark Chocolate Brownies PMS-Busters topped with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting (and an M&M "M" - GO BLUE!)

Editor's Note: After devouring a chunk of brownie, Cranky McSourpuss is feeling a little bit better.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins

I almost regretted making these Pumpkin Spice Donut Muffins when I took them out of the oven and realized they looked just like some store-bought mini pumpkin muffins that had been sitting in my office kitchen for a few days. Then I ate one and that mild sense of regret melted into a sigh of pleasures my senses were overcome with the surprisingly pleasant taste and texture of the donut.

My aunt declared: "perfect taste, perfect texture. The pumpkin really comes through." After brief discussion, we decided that from a scientific analytical point of view, these donuts made no sense. How can something that looks like a mini muffin or cupcake taste so light and fluffy like a donut? How do they achieve their donut-y texture with neither yeast nor vat of hot oil?

True, they weren't so light as a fried donut, but they could give any of the best cake donuts a run for their money. In fact, in a comparison to the Dunkin' Donuts version of a baked pumpkin munchkin donut I bought on a my way to work one day, these were a mile ahead in the race - DELISH!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Pink Peppermint Sugar Cookies

On a typical day at 9am, I'm sitting (sometimes standing) on a train, commuting to work. A few times a week, I get to depend on the kindness of some neighbor co-workers who pick me up so I don't have to ride the train. Lucky for me, today is one of those days, and the reason why I can say it's 9am, and I have already accomplished so much!

Earlier this morning, with the help and driving assistance of my aunt, I delivered a batch of cookies to the Chestnut Hill branch of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

I made these special cookies as part of my contribution to Frosting for the Cause, an organization that asks guest bloggers to create a batch of baked goods, guest post on Frosting for the Cause, and donate the goods to a local hospital or Cancer Society office. I posted about signing up back in July and you can read about it now, if you missed that post.

To read about the Pink Peppermint Sugar Cookies that I made and topped with White Chocolate Crusting Buttercream Frosting, go to Frosting for the Cause to read my guest post! While you're there, be sure to check out some of the other bloggers' amazing recipes and stories about women they know who have been affected by a woman's cancer such as breast or cervical cancer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vegan Gluten Free Fruity Peanut Butter Oatmeal Mounds

Late Thursday night (9pm: not that late, but hey – I’m a working woman now) I scoured the web a little desperately to find a recipe that could hold up to three very important qualifications:
  1. Must be gluten-free (to accommodate for my co-worker’s gluten intolerance) 
  2. Must be dairy-free (she’s lactose-intolerant too – talk about high maintenance!) 
  3. Must call for ONLY ingredients that I already had on hand 
Thank goodness I found a recipe for Vegan Gluten-free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies during a Big Bang Theory commercial break!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Michigan vs. Michigan State Hard Apple Cider Pie

A warning: This pie, much like today's football game underwent a series of ups and downs in its preparation, followed by an outcome that was less than satisfactory. It did taste nice though, so if it still sounds like something you'd want to try out, be sure to read through and learn from my mistakes.

Before I can get to the Hard Apple Cider Pie, I have to tell you a bit about how it relates to Michigan football. So... a bit of background:

The Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry is a very big deal to fans of both schools' football teams! Those who grew up in Michigan also grew up rooting for one team or the other, and those of us who grew up elsewhere and moved to Michigan for school had to scramble to keep up with the rivalry.

Sometimes the banter is friendly, but other times the back-and-forth insults can be downright nasty.

Thanks to this guy, my house said "U of M is a Toilet" from the day of the
Michigan vs.  Michigan State game until the day I moved out!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Oatmeal Pumpkin Pancakes and a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Rain, rain, go away. Come again when my commute to work doesn't include a 10-minute walk uphill to the office from the T-station (subway stop, for all you non-Boston folks).

It's days like this that make you long for sweat pants and hot coffee or tea. At work, I compromise by kicking my shoes under my desk and sipping some pumpkin-flavored coffee from our kitchen.

For the weekend though, I have bigger plans: a super special Michigan vs. Michigan dessert to accompany tomorrow's big game, and these pumpkin pancakes I made once last week that I'll pair with a homemade pumpkin spice latte, the taste of which rivals Starbucks!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Maize and Blue Shapable Butter Cookies

After nearly two months apart from some of my best friends and even more time apart from some others, I spent the entirety of last week giddy with excitement for my looming weekend in Chicago. I made sleeping arrangements, followed the weather forecast with increasing disbelief at my good fortune for going to Chicago during the warmest and most beautiful October days I could dream of, and perused the web for a recipe that would both capture the Michigan spirit and travel easily without crumbling into an colossal mess. Thus the birth of these Maize and Blue Shapable Butter Cookies.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin + Snickerdoodle = A really good cookie

Add some homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice, and you've hit it out of the park!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Spice

To make almost any good pumpkin recipe you need a key set of spices that come together to make Pumpkin Pie Spice. This delectable Fall spice can be purchased pre-made in an expensive tiny package at your local grocery store OR you can save the cash, make only as much as you need, and see how cool the inside of a whole nutmeg looks after it's been grated if you make it yourself at home!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Maize Salsa, Blue Chips

Maize Salsa, Blue Chips. Great concept. Easy to pull off. Easier still to mess up.

Let me explain.