Cookies In A Jar

IMG_20180319_231617

Does anyone else have the problem of a colossal collection of Mason Jars? I have not only inherited more jars than I can count, but I began saving them for God knows why. Mason Jars can be used in many ways more than anyone can imagine, just search Pinterest if you don’t believe me! I was determined to finally clear out the Mason Jar inventory and start using them around the house. I spray painted a few and used them for holding eating utensils in the kitchen, some I use as glassware, others are used for storage in the bathroom and in the spice cabinets. 

Every year, the Club puts on a Princess & Superhero party for the kiddos. We usually include a raffle with a few different gift baskets the families have a chance at winning. I was asked to put together a baking basket using some of the baking supplies we had in house, I wanted to go beyond just a basket with a whisk & spatula in it. My inspiration for the cookie mix in a jar comes from a friend of mine who packages these jars and sells them! I was fortunate enough to have plenty jars on hand to make this happen. This is a favorable gift idea and exemplary gift basket filler. I believe that when packing something edible, sweets are the way to go! The cookie in a jar recipes are a great shortcut to homemade cookies. Typically these gifts are given around the holidays, however they are also great to give as a “Welcome to the neighborhood” and Teacher gifts. Families enjoy receiving these gifts because they are simple to make, and who doesn’t love a fresh baked cookie!?

I’ve included (3) distinctive jars that everyone is sure to enjoy. The directions are simple, You fill the jars with the dry ingredients, & whoever the receiver is they just add in the wet elements and bake to perfection!

IMG_20180322_105726

M&M’s Cookies:

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 25 Minutes

Yield: Approximately 20 Cookies

Mise En Place:

  • 1 1/2 Cups AP Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Holiday M&M’s
  • 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Quart Mason Jar

Assembling Jars:

  • Using a funnel (or paper plate rolled up), pour flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt into the bottom of the mason jar. Top with the m&m’s. Next add in the Sugars, press firmly with a spoon. Seal with the lid and decorate with ribbon & fabric.

Recipe to Include with the Jar:

  • Pour the contents of the Jar into a large bowl & stir to combine. Add 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, lightly melted, 1 egg, beaten, & 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract. Stir until well combined. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Using a cookie scoop, place dough balls onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating.
  • Enjoy!

IMG_20180322_105808

Cocoa Brownies:

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

Total Time: 55 Minutes

Serving: 1 (9×13 inch pan)

Mise En Place:

  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 8 Ounce Mason Jar

Assembling Jars:

  • Add the flour, salt and cocoa into bottom of jar. Pack in the sugars firmly. Seal with lid and cover with fabric & ribbon.

Recipe to Include with the Jar:

  • Heat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Add brownie mix from jar into a large bowl, mix well. Add 2 eggs, 4 ounces unsalted butter, melted, 1 Teaspoon Vanilla. Mix until well incorporated.
  • Add mix into a greased baking pan. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  • Allow to cool 5 minutes. Cut into squares.
  • Enjoy!
  • **Add in 1/2 Cup Chocolate chips into mix for a fudgier brownie!

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies In a Jar:

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 20 Minutes

Yield: Approximately 10 cookies

Mise En Place:

  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 8 Ounce Mason Jar

Assembling Jar:

  • Add flour, baking soda and salt to the bottom of the jar. Add in chocolate chips. Pack in the sugars.
  • Seal with lid, cover with fabric & ribbon.

Recipe to Include with the Jar:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add jar mix into a large bowl & mix well.
  • Cream together 1 Stick butter, softened, & 1 egg. Add 1 Teaspoon vanilla, stir. Add dry ingredients into wet and mix until well incorporated.
  • chill dough for 30 minutes. Scoop small dough balls onto a lined and lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  • Allow to cool at room temperature for 5 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

IMG_20180319_231544

Advertisements

Valentines Day Dessert Guide

photo

I smell sex and Candy, By Marcy Playground is playing right now as I type this, coincidence?? It’s funny because this is my ode to Valentines Day post….

Aside from my music playing in the background, The sweetest holiday (maybe the saddest for some), is this Friday. I’m pretty simple to please when it comes to Valentines day and this is why: I don’t really like box chocolates like I used to. Most are overpriced and have too much sugar and other artificial crap in them. I don’t care to dine out for dinner on Valentines day because even if I were able to get a reservation, the place would be too busy for me, lots of loud noise and slow service. Also, lets not forget I work in a kitchen and will be stuck working  on Friday anyways. While I do love flowers, I don’t really care to receive them because after about a week they begin to look sad as they slowly die and that makes me sad.

So if you’re going to do anything for me on Valentines day to win my heart and make me happy, make me something sweet from your kitchen. I love cookies and chocolate, hint, hint. I’ve put together a list of some of the desserts from my blog that are excellent to make for your sweetheart this weekend. If you want my advise for giving the best gift, make a card from scratch, write the nicest message to your love, and tie it to a box of one of these specially made home goods with love. Anything from scratch automatically wins my affection ❤

For The Love of Sweets!

Pies/Cakes:

I don’t know about you, but I am always down to get into some good pie and or cake even when it’s not my birthday!

Pie Dough: There is nothing wrong with baking a pie for the one you love. Use this recipe for your basic pie dough and fill it with your favorite flavors. Bake me away!

Grain Free Crust: If someone you love has a Gluten allergy or is 86ing gluten from their life, no worries, use this crust instead!

Spiced Carrot Cake: I absolutely LOVE carrot cake. I LOVE it so much this is the recipe being used for my wedding cake! If your looking to blow the mind of your sweetheart, bake this cake. Moist and very tasteful!

Angel Food Cake: A very heavenly treat! I love eating this cake with fresh cut strawberries, ice cream and or whipped cream! You’ll feel like your on cloud 9 after one bite!

Cookies:

Snickerdoodles: (GF/Refined Sugar Free/Vegan) These little guys are made from almond flour, but that’s okay because they are still pretty great!

DSC_0665

Thin Mints: If you missed your local girl scout this year, don’t worry, I got you covered! & seriously, who doesn’t LOVE thin mints!?!?

DSC_0295

Peanut Butter Blossoms: Peanut butter and chocolate, nuff said!

DSC_0007

Cocoa Cookies: This is my fiance’s personal favorite cookie.

DSCN4154

Macarons: This recipe is a bit harder to make, but once complete they are worth the struggle. These also make awesome ice cream sandwiches!

Chocolates:

Truffles: (Dairy Free/Vegan/GF) This is probably the easiest and fastest recipe on here. 2 of my favorite kinds!

DSC_0461

Almond Joys: (Gluten Free/Vegan) My favorite candy and this is my number 1 pick for Valentines day. Just like the candy except way way better for you!

197070_10100563032091395_1819293923_n

Misc. Desserts:

Coconut Rice Pudding: (Vegan/GF/Dairy Free/Refined Sugar Free) Another really good dish to make! Carmelized bananas really make this dish!

DSC_0509

Cannolis: No caption necessary!

DSC_0501

 

Happy Valentines day to all my followers out there!

Love, Amanda! xoxo

Thin Mints

295688_561024130598162_742731265_n

Is this- Yes, yes it is. These homemade thin mints are based off of my favorite girl scout cookie! Tis the season for girl scout cookies and sadly I don’t know anyone around who is selling them, so I had to take the initiative to finding a good recipe and making them myself. They aren’t as good as the kind in the green box, however they are pretty darn close and still worth eating.

As you can see from my photos, my chocolate work isn’t the greatest. I recommend tempering your chocolate for this recipe (if you know how to do that). I also prefer dark over milk chocolate hence why the cookies look darker. The outcome in the flavor is bitter due to the use of darker chocolate..If you prefer your cookies sweeter use milk or semi-sweet chocolate.

Yield: 30 Cookies

Recipe Adapted from: Handle the Heat

DSC_0289

Mise en Place:

-8 ounces Butter, room temperature

-1 Cup Powdered Sugar

-1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

-1 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

-3/4 Teaspoon Salt

-1 1/2 Cups AP Flour

1 Pound good quality Dark Chocolate (or semi-sweet)

-1 Teaspoon Peppermint extract, TT

-1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

Additional Tools:

-Sheet trays

-Cookie cooling racks

-Mixer

-Spatula

-2 Sauce pots

-Rolling pin

-Round cookie cutter

Method of Prep:

-In a mixer, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy.

-Add the powdered sugar and continue to cream. Stir in the vanilla extract, salt, and cocoa powder. Mix until cocoa powder is integrated and the batter is smooth and creamy, resembling a thick frosting.

-Add the flour and mix well. Turn the dough out onto your counter, gather it into a ball, and knead it together into a nice, smooth mass. Divide the dough in 2, flatten into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough really thin. (Sprinkle a little flour on your rolling pin and counter beforehand to avoid sticking).

-Cut out cookies with round cutter, place on a sheet tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

-Meanwhile, prepare your chocolate coating. Using a double boiler, slowly melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally until it is glossy and smooth. Add in coconut oil (this gives the chocolate a beautiful shiny coat and a nice crunch once its hardened). Stir in the peppermint extract.

-Using a fork, gently drop the cookies into the chocolate coating. Flip to coat all sides. Lift the cookie out of the chocolate and try to carefully drain any extra chocolate on the cookie by gently tapping the fork on the side of the pot. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat for the rest of the cookies. Place cookies in refrigerator or freezer to set.

Remember: You are after a thin, even coating of chocolate..I was too heavy on mine 😦 For storage I recommend keeping in the freezer!

Enjoy!

DSC_0295

Peanut Butter Blossoms

DSC_0007

Cookies are as a rule, off limits for me. The holidays are always the hardest for me and well pretty much everyone else on a strict diet. Seeing all the yummy posts on other blogs and via internet of the trillions of different cookies to bake and other fun winter treats to get crazy with, makes it real tough not to give in to temptation of fresh baked goodies.

DSC_0008

Of all the delicious confections and holidays treats that everyone is sharing this season, my absolute favorite would have to be peanut butter blossoms. You may have had this cookie before using a different cookie dough (ie: sugar). This recipe is flawless and I can guarantee you everyone will enjoy them. You don’t need to wait for a holiday to bake them either! Add this into your cookie baking for Christmas. Just do it.

DSC_0003

Active Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Mise En Place:

-1 Cup Shortening

-1 1/2 Cups Peanut Butter

-2/3 Cup Sugar + 1/3 Cup

-2/3 Cup Brown Sugar

-2 Eggs

-1/4 Cup Milk

-2 Teaspoons Vanilla

-3 Cups AP Flour

-2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

-1 Teaspoon Salt

-1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

-1 Bag Hershey Kisses (Any kind will work)

Other Tools:

-Sheet Trays

-Mixer

-Small Cookie Scoop

-Spatula

DSC_0004

Method of Preparation:

-Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

-In a large mixing bowl combine Shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar and 2/3 cup sugar. Mix on medium speed until combined. Approximately 3 minutes.

-Add in one egg at a time then pour in milk and vanilla. Mix for another 3 minutes.

-Add in baking soda, salt and flour (pouring in 1 cup at a time). Continue mixing until well incorporated.

-In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/3 Cup of sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

-Using a cookie scoop, scoop dough (making sure each scoop is level). Scoop into your hand and roll into a nice ball formation. Drop ball into cinnamon/sugar mixture and coat evenly on all sides. Place on a sheet tray keeping some space in between each ball.

-Place tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

-Remove tray from the oven and place a Hershey kiss in the center of each one.

-Let cool for 10 minutes before eating.

Enjoy!

DSC_0005

**Quick Tip: While waiting for cookies to bake, unwrap kisses into a small bowl that way when  cookies are pulled from the oven you can quickly and efficiently place kisses on them!

Cocoa Cookies

Is it possible that food can be better than sex? Yes it is. If the item is properly executed and the person has put a lot of love and passion into their cooking, I feel just about anything you eat can give you what I like to call a “mouth gasm” also know as an orgasm in your mouth, that immediate reaction after taking a bite of something and going MMMM OMG! uuugggghhh nomnomnom…yep an orgasm. Now, I’m not saying these cookies are better than sex or fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, however they are pretty damn good. It doesn’t take a master chef to make a good batch of cookies, but it does take one awesome recipe to create the best cookie. I’m willing to share this recipe with you because its that good and I’m positive everyone will enjoy.

These cookies are Brandon’s favorite so I make them frequently. The fact that they are made from pure cocoa and are soft make them that much better to enjoy. I kept this recipe plain and simple without adding in nuts or chocolate chips. If you want to make these cookies have more personality, feel free to include walnuts and white chocolate chips into the batch. Pour yourself a glass of milk or some hot chocolate and grab a good book. Sit back, relax and enjoy life and these cookies for a little while. 🙂

Active Time: 10 Minutes

Total Time: 20 Minutes

Yield: 12 Cookies

Mise En Place (Ingredients):

-1 Stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature

-1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar

-1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

-1 Egg

-1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract

-1 Cup AP Flour

-1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder

-1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

-1/8 Teaspoon Salt

-1 Cup Chocolate chips (optional)

-1 Cup Walnuts, chopped (optional)

Additional Tools:

-Sheet Tray

-Parchment Paper

-Cookie scoop

-Electric mixer

-Spatula

-Sifter

-Mixing bowl

Method of Prep:

-Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line sheet tray with parchment paper.

-In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Set aside.

-In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

-Add the egg and vanilla extract. Continue mixing until incorporated.

-Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and continue mixing until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts if needed.

-Using a small cookie scoop, scoop batter onto prepared baking sheet spacing cookies 2 inches apart.

-Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are soft in the center and firm on the edges.

-Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to finish cooling completely.

Enjoy!