Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cookie Carnival..first time...

I have been joining some blogging/baking events that I have not participated in the past....and this one is one that I hope to find the time to do monthly...because we always need cookies on hand in our house....I have those hungry little boys to feed!!
I know most of the country is just starting their strawberry season...ours was a couple of months this month's recipe was Strawberry Shortcake Cookies. I was happy with this selection as my boys gobble up strawberries like they are going out of style....
The recipe is pretty simple, not too many ingredients. I was a little skeptical as to how they would all hold together as it was a little crumbly, but it came together and they are delicious. The boys ate them in record speed...but I did manage to get a good picture before they were all gone.

Here is the recipe...

Makes about 3 dozen.
* 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
* 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
* 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 2/3 cup heavy cream
* Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Make these...they are yummy...and not so bad for the kiddos!

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

ps - if you want to join the Cookie Carnival click here for details.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My First Taste And Create

So this is my first time participating in Taste and Create. It is basically a blog event where you are matched up with another blogger and you each bake/make something from each other's blog. Simple, right? Not so simple. I was matched up with Laura and her blog "The Spiced Life", and let me tell you choosing just one recipe to make wasn't easy. There are so many recipes on her blog that tempted me....Thai food, pasta dishes, bread, cookies....etc.... But I finally saw this one and knew that I had to make them with the boys! Aiden didn't really want to participate and Jakob was really only interested in the M&M's...but these are awesome. I, too, was a little skeptical of a recipe that came from a Sesame Street boys love these...and so did all the gals and their kiddos at the playgroup where the pan of them was devoured!

I managed to get a couple of photos before everyone snatched them up, and I was able to bring a couple home to Jason to try, and he liked them too!

I give you.....Sesame Street M&M Oat Bars....

Sesame Street M&M Oat Bars

Adapted from Sesame Street Yummy Cookies: Baking With Kids

1 cup (126 g) AP flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 T water
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cups total of chocolate chips, chunks and/or M&Ms (I used mini M&Ms and mini chocolate chips and topped with regular M&Ms)

Preheat the oven to 375 F with a rack placed in the center. Grease and then line with parchment paper a 9 inch square baking pan. The grease will help the parchment paper stay down.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.Beat the sugar and butter until creamy (it will not get fluffy). Add the egg, water and vanilla and then beat until well blended.Add the oats and the flour mixture and stir in. Add 3/4 cup of the chocolate chunks, chips or M&Ms into the batter and mix in. Do not over-mix.

Spread the batter--it will be stiff--into the prepared baking pan with a spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chunks, chips or M&Ms.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the center is set.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Try these - they are easy to make, fun to make with your kids, taste delicious, and they aren't terribly bad for your kiddos!

And I think I will participate in Taste and Create again....what better way to find new blogs, make new friends, and try new recipes?!? Be sure to stop by Taste and Create and see what everyone else has been making....

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No TWD...again...damn humidity

Well...I really wanted to make this week's Coconut Roasted Pineapple Dacquoise....minus the pineapple. But I was reading on the P&Q that humidity would be an issue. I knew this...I have made meringues in the middle of summer and had them come out chewy and not so meringue-y. So I didn't want to take the risk, even though I secretly like chewy meringues! But with already wanted to sub out the pineapple and the crazy humidex here in GA I just plain bailed.

I apologize to Andrea, of Andrea in the Kitchen, for not participating...please don't hate me! I promise to make this by the end of the year when the weather isn't so sticky! And be sure to stop by Tuesdays with Dorie and take a peak at all the other creations.

Oh....Check out our new logo....pretty awesome eh?

Thanks to Jaime of Good Eats n’ Sweet Treats for passing our contest info on to her friend Lisa of Surviving Oz for creating it. It Rocks!

More treats to follow.....

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monkey Monday

So....need a smile today? Check out Aiden....he likes to lick his lips and slurp when he sees something that he likes or thinks might be tasty....or just for grins! This kid makes me laugh!

Happy Monkey Monday!

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not So Peachy Ice Cream

Unfortunately I am the only one in the house that likes peaches. Jason and Jakob don't really like all things peachy....and I think they are trying to turn Aiden to the dark side! I brought up the subject of this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Honey Peach Ice Cream, with the boys and both said "no thanks!". So I put on my thinking cap, and then realized I had lots and lots of blueberries in the fridge just waiting to be eaten. Honey Blueberry Ice Cream was approved by all and the process began. I was a little apprehensive to attempt this as I don't own an ice cream maker! But some great friends on Twitter (I love my Twitter friends!) sent me this link to David Lebovitz's website with great instructions on how to do it without one! It went fairly well, a little time consuming and meant that I couldn't go anywhere or nap for a few hours in the afternoon but it was so worth it. I actually said that we may never buy ice cream again. But I really still want an ice cream maker....maybe the ice cream fairy will bring me one.

I switched up the peaches with 2 cups of blueberries....but that is all I changed. I did not save any for the end of the recipe - I boiled them all with the honey and pureed them all.....made for a lovely purple shade of ice cream!

A huge Thank You to Tommi, of Brown Interior, for choosing this recipe - it got me to try to make my own ice cream...something I had been to intimidated to do before now! Be sure to stop by Brown Interior for the recipe and check out the Tuesdays with Dorie Blogroll to see all the other creations.
Oh, and I made a small batch of Lemon Sugar Cookies to go with the ice cream...a perfect match!
Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monkey Monday meets Military Monday

There are a lot of people out there in the blog world that have dedicated Mondays to remembering those in the military, both past and present, and remembering those that gave their lives. YoYo over at is working her way through the way too long list of those that have lost their lives in the current Iraq war. Recently, she listed Cpt. Joshua Byers who lost his life when Jason was with him in 2003. I thank her for doing one should forget those that have lost their lives. But I digress....

Today I decided to combine my "Monkey Monday" with the "Military Monday" theme...I dug up this old picture of Jakob with Jason in uniform. It was taken in June of that makes Jakob only three months old....and absolutely adorable!

I am trying to remember if we have pics like this of Aiden....I am searching and when I find one I will be sure to post it on a Monday.

Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Brioche Snails

So awhile ago I tried my hand at Brioche dough....and decided it was not my friend. I am not sure if I did something wrong, maybe didn't let it rise enough, maybe didn't punch it down enough before letting it rest in the fridge over night....who knows?! But what I did with the dough the next day was all worth it. I followed Dorie's recipe for Brioche Snails, with a few twists, and they were YUMMY! Instead of rum soaked raisins I used mini chocolate chips, and I added some orange extract to the pastry cream. How can you go wrong with buttery dough, orange pastry cream and mini chocolate chips? You can't!

Here is how they turned out....probably not as high as they should have risen, but they were some tasty!

I will attempt Brioche again. Some time when I am feeling brave and have the time to make sure I do it right!

Take care,
Love Big, Bake Often

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

No slacking here this week!

I apologize for the lack of blogging. Have had my head in a funk and am trying really hard to pull myself together. So you will understand when I say that I was very thankful that this weeks Tuesday with Dorie's recipe had so few ingredients and was so simple to put together. These Parisian Apple Tarts were so easy to make. Once I made my own puff pastry that is!! I had checked out the P&Q and the recipe and saw that a full butter puff pastry was recommended, and that the brand of puff pastry that Dorie recommended was hard to find and expensive. So I checked the recipe in "Art & Soul of Baking" and saw that their puff pastry recipe was fairly easy....even if I was intimidated by it! So I jumped in with two feet and made a 1/2 batch of pastry. It was pretty easy....lots of steps...and totally worth it!

And with Dorie's recipe basically cutting up an apple, cutting a circle of pastry, put apple on pastry, sprinkle with butter and brown sugar and bake, how could I go wrong?? And I didn't. It turned out great. My homemade pastry puffed like it was suppose to! They are so simple, and so delicious. I really wanted to make some caramel sauce to put on top of them, but I didn't have any heavy cream in the fridge to make some. :( Next time for sure!

Look at them....they are so yummy looking....and look at that puff!

Be sure to check out the other wonderful bakers on the TWD Blogroll, here!
I am looking forward to posting all the goodies I have been busy baking as I hibernate in my AC - it is so freakin' hot here already!!
Take Care,
Love Big, Bake Often