Monday, December 27, 2010

Cheese Crescent Triangles

These were a last minute addition to our Christmas Day Munchies- I saw Feta Cheese in Jason and Monica's fridge, and knew I had seen a recipe I wanted to try that called for Feta. I decided I would improvise and use what we had at the house to make these little bites, and they turned out really well. Even the kids loved them! This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Cheese Crescent Triangles adapted from

1 package Crescent Rolls
4 oz Feta Cheese
1 Tablespoon italian seasoning blend
2 green onions, chopped
1 egg,well beaten
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. In small bowl, combine Feta cheese, seasoning, onions and 3 tbsp of egg. Toss with fork until well combined.

Unroll crescents, and separate into 4 rectangles. Press seams to seal, and press each rectangle into a 7 1/2 in x 5 inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into 6 squares. Place a tablespoon of cheese mixture on each square, and fold over into a triangle. Press edges to seal. Brush the top of each triangle with beaten egg, and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Bake 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Eggnog Cheesecake

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a great holiday filled with good food and great people. I was scheduled to work Christmas night, so I volunteered to make dessert so I could make it ahead of time and leave it with my family if I did indeed have to go into work. As it turns out, I got super lucky and got cancelled last night so I was able to enjoy the holiday dinner with my Mom, my brother and his (as of yesterday) FiancĂ©e, her two boys, her mom, and my little Cooker Boy. We had a great day- no stress, good food, and lots of fun!

This was my first attempt at a true cheesecake, and I am super pleased with how it turned out. I changed the crust from graham cracker crumbs to gingersnap crumbs, as I received a tin of gingersnap cookies as a gift and thought they would compliment the eggnog flavor well. I also doubled the crust recipe, as I wanted to continue the crust up the sides of the cheesecake a bit. 

Eggnog Cheesecake adapted from Taste of Home
makes 1 9-inch cheesecake, about 12 servings

2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
4 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup eggnog
1/2 teaspoon rum or vanilla extract
dash ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan, and wrap two pieces of heavy duty foil around bottom and up sides of pan. Combine crushed cookies, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl and toss until combined. Press crumbs into bottom and up sides of springform pan. Place pan on baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Let cool on wire rack.

Combine cream cheese, sugar and flour in large bowl and beat until smooth.  Add eggs, and beat on low speed until just combined. Slowly stir in eggnog, extract and nutmeg. Pour filling into crust and tap on counter lightly to get rid of any air bubbles in the filling.

Place springform pan inside a larger baking dish, and add 1 inch of hot water to bottom of baking dish to create a water bath.  Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until the center is just set and the top of the cheesecake appears dull.

Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then gently run knife around the edges of cheesecake to loosen from pan.Cool 1 hour longer, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, remove outside ring of springform pan, and top cheesecake with freshly whipped cream and another dash of nutmeg.

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Cookies: Angeletti

I love baking Christmas Cookies, and this year is no exception. I have been trying some new recipes this year, and am excited to share them with you! This recipe is a new one, at least new to me- and I love it. I've made 4 batches in the last 2 weeks. This recipe came to me in an email from Real Simple highlighting 50 recipes for Christmas Cookies. I flipped through, and decided that these sounded simple as well as yummy. I was definitely right on both counts! This is a kid friendly recipe- no mixer required. My little guy enjoyed helping me make these, from the stirring all the way to adding the sprinkles as a finishing touch!

Angeletti  adapted from

Makes 36 cookies

1 stick unsalted butter,melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine melted butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a medium sized bowl and whisk until combined. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until dough comes together. Flour your hands, roll even tablespoons of dough into balls, and place 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake 7-8 minutes or until cookies are puffy and bottoms are lightly browned. Cool completely before adding glaze.

Combine powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy cream in a small bowl. If you're watching your waist (it's splurge!) you can replace the cream with water or milk. Stir until combined, then dip the top of each cookie in glaze to coat. Apply festive sprinkes and enjoy!

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cookie-Sour Cream Cake

I promised here's the cake recipe! As I  mentioned in my previous post, the bottom tier of this cake is my favorite Chocolate Cake recipe, which I've used in many posts- most recently in the Snickers Cake. It's a great recipe- and it has turned out a wonderfully moist cake every time I've used it. This time i paired it with the same Vanilla Buttercream I used with the Cookie-Sour Cream Cake in the top layer.

I made cupcakes for the Cooker Boy's birthday celebration at Daycare, and tried a new recipe that turned out really well, the Cookie-Sour Cream Cake. I decided to use that same recipe for the top layer of the birthday cake because it is  really delicious and something a little unexpected. It's great paired with Vanilla Buttercream, and I topped this layer with homemade Marshmallow Fondant.

All in all, I was pleased with how this cake turned out. Being my first time making a multi-tiered cake as well as my first time making and working with Marshmallow Fondant, I can't complain. The guests at our party were all impressed, and the Birthday Boy was super excited to get the cake he'd picked out a few weeks earlier.

Cookie-Sour Cream Cake from The New Betty Crocker Cookbook
As is, this recipe makes one 8-inch layer, or 12 cupcakes. Double for a layered cake if desired.

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup stick butter, softened
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
8 cream filled sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pan with nonstick spray, or fill muffin tin with paper liners.

Combine all ingredients except cookies in large bowl, and mix on low speed with electric mixer for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl frequently. Increase speed to high, and continue beating for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Stir in cookies and pour into pan or fill muffin liners 2/3 full.

Bake cake 30-35 minutes- cupcakes 25-30 minutes- or until cake springs back when touched. Cool 10 minutes, then remove from pan to wire rack.

Vanilla Buttercream from The New Betty Crocker Cookbook

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup stick butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-2 tablespoons milk

Cream butter in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed. Add powdered sugar slowly, beating until combined. Add vanilla and milk, increase speed to high and beat until smooth. If needed, add more milk 1 tablespoon at a time to thin to a spreadable consistency.

Marshmallow Fondant 

Instead of trying to rephrase the site I got this recipe from, I'm gonna tell you to just check out Peggy Weaver on What's Cooking America. She has the recipe as well as instructions for working with fondant. I couldn't do this process justice, as I've only made it once. The fondant has a great marshmallowy taste to it, instead of the strange aftertaste I noticed when I used a pre-made version. I'll definitely be trying  this again!

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Cooker Boy's 4th Birthday

It's my Birthday!!

This past Sunday was the Cooker Boy's 4th birthday. I can't believe how fast he's growing up! This is the first year that he has been really excited about his birthday, and he had been planning a Spiderman-themed party for months. A group of our family and close friends gathered at our house to celebrate, Spidey Style- complete with "web"...that story will follow!

A few weeks ago, the Cooker Boy and I were both under the weather. We spent an afternoon lounging and looking at pictures of different Spiderman cakes on Flickr. The Cooker Boy was very vocal about what he liked and didn't like, and after about an hour of looking at cakes, he'd picked his favorite. I wasn't so sure I could pull it off, but I would certainly try. Check out the inspiration here.

This cake is definitely far from perfect, but being only the 2nd time I've worked with fondant, and the first time I've ever made a tiered cake, I was pleased! The bottom tier of the cake is my favorite Chocolate Cake recipe, the same recipe I used for my Snickers Cake. The top tier is a Sour Cream Cookie Cake that I found in my Betty Crocker Cookbook. It is a delicious cake! I'll be sure to get the recipe up this week. Both tiers are filled and covered with Vanilla Buttercream, and Spiderman's face is covered in homemade Marshmallow Fondant.

I made a cake the previous weekend using Wilton's premade fondant, and it worked well, but I wasn't super thrilled with the taste of the fondant. I found an easy recipe for Marshmallow Fondant and decided to give it a try. It was very easy to make and the taste is far better, but I had a little trouble with the rolling part. It seemed the Fondant was either too sticky or too dry at first- I just couldn't find the happy medium. After rolling and rerolling the same bunch of Fondant a few times, I pitched it and decided the bottom tier of the cake would just be covered in Buttercream. I saved the rest of the Fondant for Spiderman's face, and gave it a go the next day. I had much better luck the second time around!

As for the rest of the menu, we had:

Buffalo Chicken Dip with Pita and Tortilla Chips
Pigs in a Blanket
Spinach Artichoke Braid
3 Varieties of Chex Mix*

I have to say I underestimated the amount of food I'd need by far- either that or my guests were super hungry! I also forgot to take pictures of the food during the party! I'm still getting the hang of the food blogging thing, especially when it involves a party.  I'm not the kind of person to serve Pizza or premade food at a party, so I spent the morning/afternoon of the party cooking. I hadn't eaten anything all day myself, so I was shocked when I looked up to see most of the food had disappeared in minutes! I also forgot to mention that the Pigs in a Blanket were for the kiddos..(The Cooker Boy requested his Birthday Party Menu include Hot Dogs and Cheese I compromised!) and they were inhaled by the adults! I guess we're all kids at heart.
We had a great time- the Birthday boy was super excited about having his friends over for a party, and especially about his Spiderman Cake. Here are some pictures:

Whack-a-mole! Mommy's favorite arcade game turned into a home version!
Evan helping Ben out on his new wheels

The following is what happens when your good friends (who happen to be childless at this point in time) give your child a Spiderman Glove that shoots real "web" (silly string). Revenge is sweet my friends, just wait until you have kids and Auntie Beth comes to visit!

I had "web" on my ceiling..ceiling fan..floor..walls..

Arni was the tallest guy around, and could still barely get the "web" off my ceiling!

Thanks to everyone who came to the party- we had a great time. Your friendship and love mean so much to Ben and I- loud games and silly string included!

Check out my friend Kaytie's blog, Confessions of a Viking Wife. I love her account of the web incident! Kaytie and her hubby Arni are newlyweds, and they are leaving the Sunshine state to move to Colorado in January. We're gonna miss you, but I'm glad I can follow your adventures on your blog!

Recipes will follow soon!

*The Chex Mix was generously provided by General Mills as part of a MyGetTogether party package I recieved through my participation in the