Marshmallows

Welcome to the New Year! I am very busy these days cleaning my little heart out, and I so rarely get to get back to my kitchen and do what I do best….. create wonderful treats! The adorable five-year old in my home simply adores fluffy Marshmallows…. unfortunately his palate isn’t quite as refined as I had hoped… but again, he is five! He was not a fan, but every other child and adult loved these delicious, fluffy, homemade wonderful Marshmallows. So, one child dislikes but so many others loved!

These Marshmallows are so ridiculously easy to make. This is about the fourth experiment with marshmallow madness and I am very pleased with the results. Plus the cleanup was pretty minimal considering the task! These are an oldie but a goody!

These toast just like your typical store-bought ones, only they toast a little quicker. I of course had to “toast – test” on my stove top, but it was so worth it. I can’t help but be delighted by the results. I added a few egg whites to my mixture to add a little more fluffiness and to avoid a dense, taffy-like chew. They were the perfect texture and very tasty.

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And, as you can see from my “toast-test” these amazingly rough cut treats toast and melt just like those jet puffed store-bought Marshmallows, only they taste one hundred times better. I had to use a fork, no judging!

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Please forgive the terrible photography, I can only good at so many things! As you can see from the photos above, they toast and they come apart blissfully like we love our toasted treats to do! They smoosh like a campfire charm and bounce off of one another as I packaged them for dear friends. They keep in an airtight container for a week, but I had some a few days past and they were still very yummy!

*yields roughly 96 rough cut 1×1 inch Marshmallows

So, here is what you will need…

  • 2 TBSP plus 2 1/2 tsp. Gelatin
  • 1 C. Ice Water
  • 2 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Egg Whites, the larger the better
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla Extract, or 1/2 of a scraped Vanilla Bean
  • Powdered Sugar, sifted,  amount may vary so just keep it on hand

Here was my process…

  1. Oil and coat with powdered sugar, a 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan. make sure to get the sides too!
  2. In the large bowl of your fabulous standup electric mixer, pour Gelatin over 1/2 C. of Ice Water and let stand until softened.
  3. In a heavy bottomed large pot, combine Granulated Sugar, Corn Syrup, Salt and 1/2 C. Ice Water over low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until sugar has dissolved. Once sugar has dissolved bring mixture to a boil. Using a candy thermometer and not stirring bring the mixture to 240 degrees F. This should take 11 to 13 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and pour over gelatin mixture. Stir until gelatin is dissolved.
  4. Beat on high-speed until mixture is white, fluffy and nearly tripled in size. This should take 6 or 7 minutes in a standing mixer.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl beat egg whites and vanilla until they hold stiff peaks. Add to fluffy mixture and beat until just combined.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan, and give yourself a break if you can’t get it all out of the mixing bowl, it is sticky!
  7. Sift powdered sugar over the top of the mixture in the baking pan. Make sure to completely cover the top. Any excess will fall off when you are done.
  8. Let chill uncovered in refrigerator for at least 5 hours and up to one day.
  9. Take a thin knife and separate the edges from the sheet of Marshmallow. Turn the pan over onto a baking sheet covered in parchment and using your fingertips, gently loosen the edges and gently ease the Marshmallow out onto the prepared baking sheet. Once the sheet is free, roughly cut 1 inch squares and promptly roll each Marshmallow in powdered sugar to completely coat.  Brush each Marshmallow gently to remove any extra sugar. Toss in a bowl and watch them bounce off of each other.
  10. Promptly enjoy!

These marshmallows re great as a sweet treat, smooshed in a S’more or in some fancy hot cocoa… its up to you! I promise you won’t be disappointed no matter how you choose to enjoy them!

Happy Baking and Candy Making!

Honey Oatmeal Cookies

So…. my poor yet amazing boyfriend has been in the hospital for a week and let me tell you, hospital “food” is not only depressing it is disgusting! After sitting in the ER on a very hard wooden chair for 13 hours, then sleeping on a very hard chair next to his bed in his hospital room, then sleeping on the hard cement floor in the waiting room…. I was hoping for at least a hot cup of joe. Of course, after a week of hell, it would be crazy to have even that. I ended up with a slightly warm cup of sludge and a questionable pastry. It was enough to make me cry. Well, cry more that is.

I stayed by my man, like any good woman would do, but I was suffering too! We finally came home the other day, and I was hungry, sad, happy and worried all at the same time! So… I just wanted to make myself some comfort food. What says comfort like oatmeal in cookie form? I love oatmeal raisin cookies and I love honey. The simple idea of baking them lifted my spirits and gave me the energy to take care of my still very sick boyfriend. It was just what the doctor ordered!

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So, here is what you will need…

  • 1/2 C. Butter, softened
  • 1/4 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. Vietnamese Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • I large Egg
  • 3 Tbsp. Honey
  • 3/4 C. All purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 C. Old Fashion Oats
  • 1 1/2 C. Raisins

Here was my process…

  1. In your mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until mixture is smooth.
  2. Add spices, salt, baking soda and vanilla. Mix on a low speed until combined.
  3. Beat in Egg and Honey.
  4. Add flour and mix until combined.
  5. Add oats and raisins and mix until your dough forms. About 2 minutes.
  6. Cover tightly and chill for at least 2 hours.
  7. Once the dough has chilled, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment. Drop cookies onto prepared baking sheet. Cookies will spread out, so make sure to leave  2 inches between cookies.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.

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Enjoy these super chewy cookies at breakfast, or lunch or really whenever you feel a little bit down. I’m telling you, after a week in the hospital watching the person you love suffer, these cookies will be like a giant hug for your soul.

Happy Baking!

Soft-Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

First of all let me start by saying…… YES! These were such a hit in my house as well as my dear friend Jessica’s house. They passed the five-year old test and won over the thirty something crowd without any hesitation. These cookies are going to be a new classic for me, and I am proud to present that to you!

I have been a real stick in the mud the past week or so and my poor boyfriend was so overly patient and understanding of my irrational ways. I decided that the only true way to say “I’m Sorry” was with cookies. He eats and claims to like all of my baking, so I thought I would make something that he always asks for, soft-batch chocolate chip cookies. It is amazing what a little cornstarch can do to a cookie!

These cookies are chewy without being under-baked and they stay fresh for up to seven days! They are kind of a wonderful cookie. There were four other test batches before this one, and I finally got the results that I was looking for…. mouth-watering chocolaty chewy goodness.

There are a few fun little tips when trying to make a thick, chewy and soft cookie. First of all, chilling the dough results in thicker cookies. You have to chill this dough for at least 3 hours, but you can chill up to 3 days. Second, using melted butter and a dash of extra flour will result in a more chewy cookie! The Chocolate chips don’t really stick to the dough because of the butter, but if you evenly distribute them to the best of your ability, the cookies will be just fine.  You can always add more to individual cookie dough balls before baking. Using more brown sugar thank white sugar will give you a very moist and soft cookie! But finally cornstarch will give you the desired softness you have been searching for! These are simple tricks and tips to making a crowd pleasing cookie that all people can enjoy!

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Here is what you will need…

  • 2 1/4 C. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 C. Butter, melted, just a touch browned
  • 1 C. Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg + 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 C. Chocolate Chips

Here was my process…

  1. In a large mixing bowl lightly mix together flour, baking soda, salt and cornstarch. Place to the side.
  2. In a medium size bowl combine melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Whisk together until smooth and o lumps of sugar remain.
  3. Quickly whisk in vanilla, egg and egg yolk until well whisked!
  4. Pour butter mixture over flour mixture and mix until just combined. The dough will be very, very soft but that is how it is supposed to be!
  5. Fold in Chocolate Chips, they will not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but again, just fold them in and you can add a few here and there if needed.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.
  7. Once chilled, let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. While you let the dough sit, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Roll dough into balls about 1 inch around, and place on baking mat. If you need to smush them down a bit go ahead, they will taste amazing no matter what, but the higher the ball the thicker the cookie!
  9. Bake at 325 degrees F for 10 – 12 minutes. The cookies will no look done, but take them out anyway. They bake for a little bit longer on the baking sheet. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 9 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

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These cookies are so super yummy…. I am thinking about baking more right now. Not to mention they are a real treat for your tummy!

Happy Baking!

Mom’s Carrot Cake

Hello all! The miserable humidity of summer has finally given way to the cold crisp air of Winter. I can finally bake without dying in my kitchen, and once again the holiday season is upon us… and I am inspired. Candy, cookies, bread and cakes! This is the best time of year, and the most fun in the kitchen. Tis the season for Butter.

For my comeback recipe I present you with my mothers Carrot Cake. It is simple, moist, delicious and elegant.This is the perfect fall or winter cake with so much flavor packed in it is hard to believe there are no secret ingredients. I do enjoy an element of surprise, but that might be best left in other areas of the house… 😉

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So, what you will need…

  • 2 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1  1/2 C. Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Eggs, well beaten
  • 2 C. Carrots, peeled and finely grated

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 Stick Butter, softened
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 lb Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease cake pan and set aside.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients.
  3. Add Vegetable Oil, Eggs and Carrots*Make sure to beat the eggs very well and to peel and finely grate the carrots.
  4. Mix all ingredients until very well combined and pour into prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees F for 30 – 35 minutes or until cake tested comes out clean.
  6.  Let cake cool completely before frosting.
  7. Combine all ingredients for the frosting in mixing bowl. For the best and the fluffiest frosting use and electric mixer!

This cake is delicious and addicting. It is great for every occasion and you can dress it up any way you could ever dream of. This cake is as moist as cake could get without falling apart… it is a cake fit for the angels.

Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a cake. 😉

Happy Baking!

Brown Butter Cookies

I can’t resist the taste or smell of browned butter. I am feeling a little “snacky” these days, thank you nature, and all I can think about is guacamole and browned butter. So, I turned it into a cookie! Not the guac, haha, I have to let perfection lie on that one.

This cookie has a crisp delicate body that literally melts away in your mouth. The lack of egg gives it so much character, and it almost acts as a less dense shortbread. It is a very different cookie, and it is delicious and versatile.

These are a lot of recipes for this cookie out there, mine is a little different because I use a little Maple Sugar in mine. I like to pay homage to my home state in my baking. It actually really makes a difference. The taste is so smooth and savory. I like the idea of a savory cookie. Maybe next time I will toss some Taleggio Cheese in there.

After spending the last few days working with chocolates, blogs are on their way, I wanted something less sweet, more satisfying . The smell wafting from the oven is worth it alone. It makes my home smell like heaven. And yes, my version of heaven is filled with butter!

So, you will need…

  • 2 Sticks Sweet Cream, Unsalted Butter
  • 2/3 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Maple Sugar, a little maple goes a long way
  • 2 1/3 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt, plus extra to sprinkle on top.

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, melt butter on low heat until browned. About 7-9 minutes.
  3. Once butter is browned remove from heat and add granulated sugar and Maple Sugar. Stir in until well combined. Don’t wait for the sugar to dissolve because it isn’t going to. 😉 Let cool for about 5 minutes until cooled.
  4. Combine the flour and baking powder and slowly mix into the butter mixture until a smooth delicious dough forms.
  5. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on prepared baking sheets.  Give each ball a little room to expand.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees F. for 18-20 minutes or until edges start to look golden blonde.

You can pair this cookie with a creamy soft cheese and some fruit, or toss it on top of a nice bowl of frozen custard. There is no wrong way to eat these. Plus the smell is intoxicating, so even if you don’t like cookies, bake them! Plus it gives your guy a little something to look forward to. Which makes him super sweet and compliant 😉

Happy Baking!

Perfect White Chip Brownies

Once you taste these you will understand why I have the nerve to title a recipe “perfect”. Please don’t think me rude! I love brownies and I like to play around with recipes until I find a recipe that makes me happy. This one was super easy actually, and I only made two batches before finding what I longed for… a beautifully moist brownie with a perfectly chewy crust… I mean, that is what brownies are supposed to be!!!! I love white chocolate, so I mixed in white chocolate chips to add a more complex flavor. It works! These brownies are so good, I am not allowed to have any more or I will definitely lose my waist to these scrumptious brownies!

So, you will need…

  • 1 C. Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 4 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 3/4 – 1 C. White Chocolate Chips
  • Lots of Love

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease brownie pan with butter
  2. Combine sugar, melted butter and vanilla, mix well with wooden spoon.
  3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs with a hand whisk until fluffy. Add to sugar mixture and combine well.
  4. Sift together flour, cocoa, salt,  and baking soda and mix into sugar mixture until smooth.
  5. Add white chocolate chips and mix until everything is combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes.

I enjoyed mine fresh out of the oven with a little bit of frozen yogurt… it was amazing. I forbid myself from having more than one… but i don’t think I have the willpower. These are so delicious, you owe yourself a bite!

Happy Baking!