Tag Archives: baking

The best cookie you’ve ever tasted

eyeheartprettythings-saltedcaramel-cookies

I don’t say this lightly, these are by far the best cookies you will ever taste. As someone who doesn’t like chocolate (jaws drop in astonishment and people are constantly trying to convince me that maybe I’ve never HAD good chocolate, or maybe I just don’t like MILK chocolate‚Ķ No people, I literally hate ALL chocolate.) So I have never been able to appreciate that craving one can get for a moist, chewy, delicious cookie. To me, a cookie is a cookie, no big deal. Until I made these for the first time. Then I finally understood the danger of keeping butter, flour & sugar stocked in my pantry.

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup caramel sauce
1 tbs vanilla
2 eggs
3 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 bag Werther’s chewy caramels, cut into pea size pieces
Kosher sea salt, for sprinkling

Set oven to 350 degrees. Beat together the butter, sugar & brown sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Mix in the caramel sauce & the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time & mix until combined.

In a different bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add flour mixture to your wet ingredients, blending until combined. With a spatula, gently fold in the white chocolate chips & caramel bits. Keep dough cool in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.

Scoop a spoonful of cold dough & roll into a ball. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden around edges. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack.

Tip: For fluffier, chewier cookies, I pop the cookie sheet of dough balls into the fridge for 3 minutes before putting them in the oven to bake. The extra cold dough makes the cookies lighter & fluffier. If you want flatter more crunchy cookies, skip this step :)

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You could easily modify this by adding chocolate chips instead of white chocolate, or even some broken up salted pretzel pieces might be tasty!

Recipe adapted from here.

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Pastel Layered Cake

Baking and assembling this cake took me the entire evening before the baby shower until the wee hours of the morning. I wanted a long, layered cake that would surprise everyone with beautiful pastel colors when it was sliced. I used 3 boxes of white cake mix and divided the batch into 6 separate bowls. I added a tiny amount of food coloring to each bowl, and spread each batch onto a jelly roll pan in order to get the long, thin layers. I baked them much less than the recommended bake time, because the layers are so thin. I kept a close eye on each batch to make sure they didn’t burn.

Once the cake was baked, I used a cardboard cake board that I found at Michael’s and cut it into a long rectangle. I used this to slice around to make sure each layer was the same exact size. Then I used the same cake board as the base, so that I would be able to transport the cake without it bending. I layered each color with a thick buttercream frosting, using extra frosting in the shallow areas to make the layers lay flat.

Overall, the cake was a little bit wonky because it was my first time trying this, but I think it turned out nicely given that I’m no pro baker :)

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Amazing! No-Flour No-Butter Peanut Butter Cookies

Today I woke up and felt this hankering to bake some cookies. Living in Los Angeles, it’s difficult to get excited for “Fall” weather since it’s pretty much non-existent. But the past few days, I haven’t been running the air conditioning, which translates to fall weather. So I’m excited to bust out my colored skinnies, lightweight scarves, t-shirts rather than tanks and bake me some cookies.

Unfortunately I didn’t have enough butter in my fridge to bake anything, so instead I found this recipe from The Kitchn the requires NO butter and NO flour, and they only take 10 minutes to bake. I literally whipped these bad boys up in less than 20 minutes. I am so stoked at the results. It’s a lighter, fluffier tasting peanut butter cookie. It has crunch, and ¬†right out of the oven they’re soft, warm and yummy inside.

SUPER SIMPLE recipe for delicious NO-butter and Gluten Free peanut butter cookies:

Preheat oven to 375.

Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
additional sugar for rolling

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients. With a tablespoon, scoop and roll dough into balls (it will be sticky) and roll balls in the additional sugar. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet approximately 2″ apart and flatten slightly with a fork in a crisscross pattern. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool for about 2 minutes before removing from baking sheet.

Enjoy!! XOXO Kiira

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The Magic of Baking

Baking is like magic. Yep, I said it. It’s magical. Out of nothing (well, nothing significant when standing alone) appears something delicious. Flour, sugar, butter…throw together and POOF, desserts! I’ve always been a super frugal girl, so I joke with my husband Josh that baking is like creating free food – the BEST! Since there’s always flour, sugar, baking ingredients & butter in the house my brain doesn’t put monetary value to it, it’s just like the most amazing free food ever. :) Lol

Yesterday we hosted our small group for the first time, so I made it my mission to wow everyone with an array of delicious treats. I’ve always loved having people over and sharing time over good food, but over the past year I’ve really jumped head first into a passion for entertaining guests, cooking & baking.

I figured it’d be easy if everything was relatively bite sized (real intention: laziness motivated by not having to wash 15 sets of silverware!) I made my old stand-by, Lemon bars, which are an easy fix since I have an abundance of lemons dangling off the lemon tree in my backyard. I’ll post that recipe a little later, because the main focus is the mini-pies I made for the first time. Which ended up much better than I had anticipated (I was nervous about these little guys).

For these mini cherry pies, I used regular muffin tins. They are SO simple. Just store bought refrigerated pie crust and a can of cherry pie filling. I followed the tutorial from Sew Sweet Stitches, which walks you through a from scratch cherry filling. I didn’t have time to make the filling from scratch with everything else I was doing, so I settled for canned but they was seriously great.

I had half a container of fresh blueberries in my fridge, so I used the remainder of the pie crust dough to make these mini blueberry pies with a lemon streusel topping. OMG my new favorite! I took this recipe from Pillsbury and modified it a little bit. Instead of using their coconut streusel topping, I created a lemon streusel to give them some zippiness. Then I drizzled them with lemon glaze.

Lemon streusel:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Lemon glaze:
Combine 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar with enough lemon juice to make a thick glaze. Drizzle over cooled pies.

(Photo credit Jessica Burns)

And last but not least, my third dessert was a new one that my amazingly talented foodie friend Jessica introduced me to. They’re Martha Stewart’s Strawberry Shortcake cookies and they’re one of my new favorites. You can find the recipe and an awesome photo-journey walking you through the steps of making these wonderful little treats here on Jessica’s blog. :)

Happy baking!!

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