Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies

Back when my oldest (now grown) kids were little, I started a tradition that has stuck to this day and will probably continue until I am too old and feeble in mind and body to get to the stove. Mind you, there are some who would say that I already am feeble in mind, but that’s another story. And those people don’t get cookies from me. ๐Ÿ˜›

The tradition started because when they were little, I was too broke to buy them Christmas presents. I always had food in the house though so I figured that I may not be able to get them gifts, but they could have cookies. Plus, I always seemed to be trying to recreate a festive Norman Rockwell sort of holiday (even though my family is more like one of those Christmas movies where they are dysfunctional as all heck, yet are funny and have each others backs) and cookies seemed one way to do it.

So even now, I make cookies. Lots…and lots…of cookies. Oh my gosh, do I make cookies. I am the reason there is a shortage of baking supplies in Kentucky every year. And the reason my kids, husband and myself all need larger clothing come New Years Day. I usually make about 15 different kinds of cookies plus fudge, scones, all sorts of baked goods. Then we get fatter.

One of the ones I have been making since the first year I started this is Thumbprint Cookies. Who doesn’t like those, huh? The ones I make aren’t fancy; there are no unusual ingredients in them though I have branched out in the toppings since back in the day. These are simple, easy for a beginning cook, great for the kids to help with and they taste yummy. You can top these with jam, marmalade, different curds, chocolate kisses. You name it. This makes a LOT of cookies but the recipe is easily cut in half.

You know the drill… ๐Ÿ™‚

Thumbprint Cookies

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 bag mini chocolate chips (make sure it’s the mini ones; the regular sized ones poke out and get hard when baked plus make it difficult to shape the cookies)
  • toppings of choice
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs until light and creamy.
  3. Add in the flour and baking powder. Mix well.
  4. Fold in the chips; mix well.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
  6. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Make a bowl shaped indent on the top of each cookie ball. I use the cap from a 2 liter bottle of pop; it works perfectly.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes; until the edges of the cookie are light brown and the tops are set. While still in the pan, lightly repress the indentation since baking will have made it puff out.
  8. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack. When they are cool, fill with your choice of toppings. Store with waxed paper between the layers so they don’t stick together.

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Nutella Cocoa Krispies Treats

Nutella Cocoa Krispie Treats

Nutella Cocoa Krispie Treats

Yes… yes, you read that correctly. Rice Krispie treats on Nutella flavored steroids.But even better… made with Cocoa Krispies. Why? Because we all know I’m a big believer in the premise of if you can make the calorie, sugar and fat count higher, go for it! ๐Ÿ˜›

Some of my readers may recall that it took me ages to get on the Nutella bandwagon. Truthfully, I’m still not 100% on it. I’m kind of that person running behind the bandwagon, holding a cookbook in one hand, a bag of candy in the other yelling “Hey! wait for me!!” as the wagon rushes off into the distance and everybody else gets on the newest bandwagon. I’m always a few years behind on the trends because well… I’m ornery.

These are amazingly good. The Nutella flavor is subtle but if you were to add more Nutella to it, they wouldn’t set correctly. These are gooey, very chocolatey, sticky and did I mention gooey? They’re also easy as anything could be. The cream in them btw, is simply so that the marshmallow mixture doesn’t scorch while you’re stirring to get the marshmallows and the Nutella to melt.

You know the drill. Get to cookin’!

Nutella Cocoa Krispies Treats

  • 26 ounces marshmallows (one 1lb bag and 1 10 ounce bag)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing pan and hands
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 8 cups Cocoa Krispies Cereal
  1. Line a 13×9 inch pan with nonstick foil. Grease the foil with about 1/2 tablespoon butter. In a large heavy bottomed pot, melt the 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat.
  2. Add in the marshmallows and Nutella. Stir constantly over barely medium heat (about 4 on an electric stove) until the marshmallows and Nutella are melted and well combined.
  3. Turn off heat and QUICKLY add in the cocoa krispies and stir until the cereal is well coated with the marshmallow mixture.
  4. Turn out into the buttered pan and using lightly oiled or buttered hands, press the mixture into the pan.
  5. Either chill for about 2 hours if you like your krispie treats firmer or let set at room temp for a few hours until firm enough to cut.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

Boozy Browned Butter Brownies

Boozy Browned Butter Brownies

Boozy Browned Butter Brownies




Heh. Title as tongue twister. I thought about Browned Butter Baileys & Kahlua Brownies, but that just wasn’t as fun. Then again, I’m probably just easily amused.

I posted on my facebook page earlier that I found it funny that bloggers are accused of *cough cough, I’m looking at you, Martha Stewart* not testing recipes and just generally not knowing what they are doing. Why did I find that funny? Because it took me more than one pan of these brownies to get it right, to get it to where I thought they were good enough. Mind you, my boys absolutely loved the pans that didn’t make the cut. Brownie overload. But I was NOT going to post a recipe/slash photo that wasn’t good enough. And I know I’m in the majority with that opinion. The majority of bloggers I know won’t post something that either doesn’t turn out magically wonderful on the first try or that they haven’t decided is great after the 73rd try (and fail). We take as much pride in our work as people in any other job. The ones that don’t are the ones that disappear after six months because blogging is work. The things we post don’t happen in five minutes. We spend hours a day creating (or recreating and making our own the recipes of others) recipes, photographing them, writing posts etc etc. Why? Because we love you *breaks into the Mickey Mouse Club Theme Song* And because we love to cook, and love to write and love the people we meet. Bottom line though? Find a decent blogger…and chances are you are finding someone whose recipes you can trust. I hope you count me among them. If for no other reason than my sons are over here getting nauseous and fat from too many brownies.

Boozy Browned Butter Brownies

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 4 ounces good quality unsweetened chocolate (Again, Ghirardelli makes a good one), coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 3 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square pan with foil; butter the foil.
  2. Place your butter in a medium saucepot. Over medium heat, melt the butter and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the butter is golden brown. Watch carefully, cause this can go from brown to black in a second and then all you’ll have is 3/4 of a cup of trash.
  3. Remove from heat and add in the 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate. Let sit for five minutes, then stir to get a smooth mixture.ย  Stir in the brown sugar and a 1/2 cups of the white sugar. Add in the vanilla and 3 of the eggs, one at a time, and stir well after each one.
  4. Stir in the flour, then spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons flour. Using a hand mixer, beat at low speed until well combined. Add in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the egg; beat well.
  6. Add in the liquors (you can btw, sub any favorite liquor for the Kahlua and Baileys. Using all of one of them would be yummy, as would something like Amaretto or Frangelico or maybe Peppermint Schnapps for a Christmas version) and beat well.
  7. Pour the cream cheese batter over the top of the brownie batter. Spoon portions of the remaining brownie batter over the cheesecake batter and use a knife or the back of a spoon to swirl the two batters together. The brownie batter is thick so don’t expect it to swirl easily.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.
  9. Let cool in pan on a rack for about an hour, then use the foil to take the brownies from the pan. These will cut easier (and have a better texture) if you let them chill overnight. Slice with a hot sharp knife.

Copyright Notice: From Cupcakes To Caviar images and original content are copyright protected. Please do not publish these materials anywhere without prior permission.

 

 

Happy Blog-I-Versary To Me (& Something For You)!!

Today is my one year blog-iversary. Yep; I am a year old today. That won’t come as a surprise to most of you whom I sure often think that I have the maturity level of a one year old. Though truthfully, that may be an insult to the vast majority of one year olds, now that I think about it.

But yep… From Cupcakes To Caviar is one year old today. Now I can get one of those cool widgets that shows recipes from a year ago without the widget looking at me and saying “Whatchoo talkin’ bout Janet? You can’t use this yet.” And yes, in my little world, widgets talk. So do animals, both real and stuffed, my computer keyboard, various fruits and vegetables, my ceramic pigs and my toes. This could be why no one else ever wants to enter my little world. But that’s ok, because going by the above list, I already have tooย  much damn company for my own good. Oh yeah… and Twinkies. They talk to me. Lots. Usually they just say “eat me… NOW, wench!” and I am so frightened I obey. Twinkies are Demi Gods.

So today for my blog-i-versary, I bring you brownies. No no, not just any brownies. C’mon how often do I do things the normal way? No, these are special “don’t feed them to your kids” brownies. No really; don’t. They have booze in them, on them, drizzled over them. These are a cocktail in fudgy form. I don’t want to be responsible for drunken kiddos.

I was actually rather proud of how these turned out. The brownies are thick, incredibly fudgy and have a nice chewy bite to them (have I mentioned that I love Cooks Illustrated in recent days?) The original recipe came from C.I. with just a few minor changes made by me. But the buttercream frosting and the Kahlua Caramel Drizzle (yes, you read that right. Thank me later) are all me. The Kahlua drizzle is absolutely amazing if I do say so myself. It is thick and chewy and intensely Kahlua-ish (hey, I needed a word! Don’t be hatin’)

But that’s not all. For sticking with me for a year (or in some cases, since you started reading this post because someone told you there was a giveaway… it’s all good) I have a present for you. But to find out what it is, you have to click that “continue reading” link hehehe. Continue reading

Lucccccyyyyyy, I’m Hommmmmeeeeeeee! Cook Me Some Dinner!!

Oooo, Ricky, can we go to the club tonight!?

No Luccceeeee! You need to be cooking dinner for me!

Ohhhhhhh…. Rickkyyyyyyy! WAHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Ummmm…. yeah. That’s my way of saying I’m back! Did ya miss me!?ย  huh huh huh!? Was there an emptiness in your life the past 2.5 weeks while you waited for my return? Did you mourn and eat lots of Twinkies in my honor?

Well…. moving is done. We are settled with nary a box in sight. Well, one box but it’s my husbands and I’m not touching it… unless it sits there too long. Then I’ll hide it.

I had forgotten how much I hated moving. The only thing it is good for is that you have a clean house for a while. I think from now on we will just move every time the house gets dirty. Easier than cleaning.

Seriously though; moving sucks. By the time I finished culling things in the old house and packing up I was already exhausted. Then once we got everything here, all the unpacking and setting up pretty much fell to me since my husband had to work. Talk about tiring! A three bedroom house…. unpacked in like 3 days. Why you ask? Because I am extremely anal and couldn’t handle the idea of living in box city for longer than necessary. So I practically killed myself getting it done. I am one of those people who HAS to have it feeling like home. I need a magic wand or a potion to create “instant cozy”. If you see one on ebay, keep me in mind.

Then, as life is wont to do, it used it’s massive sense of humor to add Bronchitis to the settling in process. I’m still recovering from that and 99% of the time, tend to sound like Minnie Mouse after she has been sucking on a helium balloon. Kinda funny actually. Except when I try to sing. Then it’s just frightening. I think I have traumatized Joshie and all the cats.

Butttttt… I have FINALLY been able to start cooking again. Between setting up and illness, I didn’t cook a thing for the longest time. So all my grand plans of having a backlog of recipes and posts when I gotย  internet access back were ruined. But that’s ok. I’ll still be cooking for you. Have a new one for you right now as a matter of fact. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wanted a cobble the other day but didn’t have the things I needed to make a good home made one so I improvised. I guess it must have worked since my non sweets liking husband had two servings. Yay me!

This is supremely easy to throw together and a perfect Autumn cobbler. It is rich, decadent and smooth (starting to sound like I cloned George Clooney) with a crunchy biscuit topping that goes over the top by taking a dunk in butter and then a cinnamon sugar mix (omit the cinnamon on if you don’t like it {I see you Ann!} or can’t eat it.). Add in a shot (or so) of Butterscotch Schnapps and this is one tasty cobbler!! So get to cooking! Then get to eating. Then get to telling me how yummy it was!

ย Apple, Pear & Butterscotch Cobbler

  1. 1 20 ounce can apple pie filling
  2. 2 15 ounce cans pears in juice, drained (reserve juice from one can)
  3. 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  4. 1/3 cup sugar
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  6. 1 cup butterscotch chips
  7. 1/3 cup butterscotch schnapps
  8. 1 7.5 ounce ten count can buttermilk biscuits
  9. 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  10. 1/3 cup sugar
  11. 2 teaspoons cinnamon (or more if desired. Can also be omitted)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter a 13 x 9 baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Whisk in the reserved juice from the can of pears.
  • In a large bowl, combine the apple pie filling and pears. Mix in the cornstarch mixture.
  • Pour in the butterscotch chips and the schnapps. Combine well then spoon into the buttered baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the last 1/3 cup sugar and the 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  • Open biscuit can. Dip each biscuit in the melted butter, then in the cinnamon/sugar mix. Lay on top of fruit in baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 until the biscuits are golden brown and the fruit is bubbly and thickened, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Say yum many many times.

Sweets For The Sweet

I’ve mentioned my kids before. I have six. Five boys and one girl. My three oldest are grown and married and have given me five grandchildren. Honest, they started young. I’m really only 29. Honest and truly. Sigh. Not falling for it are you? Moving on… I still have two teens (16 and 14) and a two year old at home. Nice age spacing huh? ๐Ÿ˜› It was something in the water. It must have been. By the time my youngest gets out of high school, I won’t be too far away from social security. I think I’ll stop thinking about that though and go look for wrinkles for a few minutes.

Ok, back. Wrinkles glared at menacingly. They’re still there. I don’t think they were impressed.

My teen boys are almost done with the school year. Next Friday is it. Zach will be graduating eighth grade; with honors no less. He’s an awesome kid. Jordan will be finishing his freshman year of high school. Once upon a time, I wasn’t sure if he would even make it TO high school, much less finish a year. Not because of anything due to him, but due to the things he has to deal with on a daily basis. Both Jordan and Zach have grown so much this year in so many ways.

When Jordan was born, he had a Strep B infection and Pneumonia.ย  He came very close to death and was in the hospital for almost 2 weeks. We started noticing developmental delays when he was about 3. To make a long story short, Jordan has mild M.R., is Autistic, has one hellacious case of ADHD, minor OCD and has had many schizophrenic/psychotic episodes and these have increased as he has gotten older which is fairly typical. He has had more inpatient stays in the hospital for aggression and psychosis than any one boy should have to deal with. Through it all, though he’s not perfect, he stays the sweetest child one could ever hope to know. He would give the shirt off of his back (literally) just to have a friend. He has a warped sense of humor (I have no idea where he got that) and loves his family and his God with all his heart. He can’t decide if he wants to be a forklift driver, work at Starbucks, drive a semi or become a chef. Personally, I think he can be anything. We are hoping he will be able to enter into a live in vocational school here in the state after high school. He will learn to be as self sufficient as he is able to be, learn skills for work and learn things like working with money and social skills. He is sixteen going on eight going on forty and will always be a child in many ways and I hope he knows how much I love him

Zachary was my youngest for a long time. Eleven years almost. Sometimes that shows in the way he acts lol.ย  However, he has also had to be older than his years so many times due to having a brother with disabilities. You can’t be part of a family with someone who is challenged without it changing you in some way. Except for his first few years of life, he never got to be the baby brother to Jordan and now he is older than him, just not biologically. It hurts me for him at times to think of that. So many times he gets shoved to the side because of his older brothers needs and now his younger brothers needs. But he still laughs, still jokes, still loves to play practical jokes on everyone who breathes near him and has a sense of responsibility, that while he pushes it aside at times because…well, he IS fourteen after all, that would put many adults to shame. He is a gifted student who is always on the honor roll. He can’t decide whether to join the military, be a chef, a writer, an artist, an architect, a lawyer or so many other things that change according to his moods. Personally, I think he can be anything. He is fourteen going on forty and sometimes going on three lol. I hope that he too knows how much I love him.

I wanted to make them a treat today and well, you can never go wrong with cookies. They are typical boys. The second they saw the cookies on the cooling racks, they were beggin for them. I let them beg for a minute…or 15… because I’m cruel that way ๐Ÿ˜›

I also made a double batch because I know that between them and Russell, that’s the only way I’ll get more than one.

These are wonderful cookies. They are stuffed full of dried cherries, milk, semi sweet and white chocolate chips. They have a subtle almond flavor, a nice chewy bite with a crisp edge and the tartness of the cherries is offset wonderfully by the sweetness of the various chips. You can also add nuts to these but I don’t like nuts in cookies other than white chocolate macadamias so I didn’t. Nuts are good in fudge and sometimes in brownies but they have to stay away from my cookies. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cherry Chunk Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 5 ounce package dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add extracts and egg and beat thoroughly
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture and mix well. Add in the cherries, chips and nut (if using).
  4. Drop or scoop by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 until golden brown, about 14 minutes.
  5. Cool on pan for a minute then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. Eat about 6 of these and vow yet again never to look at sweets. Wait until the kids are in bed and eat more. Rinse; repeat.

But I Don’t Even LIKE Peanut Butter!!

 

I’ve never been a big fan of peanut butter. Give me a PB&J about once a year & a Reeses peanut butter cup every once in a while and I’m happy. Even with the PB&J, there are strict guidelines that must be followed or I won’t eat it. It has to be Jif Peanut Butter (or Peanut Butter Company’s Cinnamon Raisin flavor), it has to be on smushy “I am so filled with preservatives it’s disgusting” store bought white bread and the ratio of peanut butter to jelly is simply this; there must be enough of each that they drip off of the bread onto my hands, onto my shirt, onto every surface within a five foot range.

So why, when perusing the Easter candy aisle at Kroger the other day, did I drop a bag of Reeses Pieces into my cart? I have no idea. I have never liked them. But I think I have found a way that I can enjoy them… in massive quantities… with milk… and hidden away by myself so that nobody else can have any. Ever.

I took my go to chocolate chip recipe (it’s one that I have played with over the years until I got that nice chewy yet crispy texture that I think a cookie should have) and added a bag of Easter (oooo, look at the pretty colors!) Reeses Pieces along with two small bags of the new Reese Peanut Butter Cup Minis (2.5 ounce bags you can find at the checkout aisle).

If you like peanut butter, you’ll love these. If you like chocolate, you’ll like these. If you’re a fan of Reeses Pieces, you should be in heaven. Just remember…. massive quantities and all by yourself so nobody else can have any.

REESE’S PIECES &PEANUT BUTTER CUP COOKIES

  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter (one stick)
  2. 1/2 cup solid shortening (I used the Crisco stick)
  3. 1 cup brown sugar (preferably dark)
  4. 3/4 cup white sugar
  5. 2.5 teaspoons Vanilla extract
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1 tsp baking soda
  9. 3 cups all purpose flour
  10. 12 ounce bag Reeses Pieces
  11. 2 2.5 ounce bags mini Reese peanut butter cups
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In large bowl, cream butter, sugars, vanilla and eggs until creamy.
  • In small bowl, mix together salt, baking soda and flour.
  • Mix flour mixture with wet ingredients until fully combined.
  • Add in the Reeses pieces and mini peanut butter cups.
  • Put by large spoonsful on an ungreased cookie sheet (mine were probably a bit less than 1/4 cup dough per cookie. They need to be large to be able to enclose the candy; otherwise it sticks out and will end up melting all the pan and sticking).
  • Bake until light golden brown. If there is a shiny wet spot in the middle of the cookie, leave for another minute or two and check again. They are big so you need to watch to make sure they cook thoroughly. Mine took 15 minutes.
  • Let cool on the sheet for a minute then put onto a rack to finish cooling
  • Get some cookies, a glass of milk or cup of coffee and go hide in the closet until you’re done.

"Hmmmm, I wonder if I can grab the rest and hide in the closet before momma notices?"