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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pizzelle Cookies


I love cookies! The easier the better. So, when I got back from my vacation, I wanted some thing quick and easy to get back into the swing of things in the kitchen. 

I inherited an old Pizzelle maker from my Grandmother a few years ago. I had never even heard of these cookies, but I figured what the heck, I'd take the press.

The first time I made the cookies, they came out kinda funny. The batter was too thin and I did not care for the anise that the traditional Italian cookies call for. 

When I found a recipe in my Betty Crocker Cookie Book, the recipe worked much better!

From Betty Crocker:
2 cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup melted butter, allow time to cool
1 Tbls vanilla extract
4 eggs
powdered sugar for dusting



Preheat your Pizzelle iron as directed.
Combine all ingredients until batter is smooth
Drop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the rear half iron and close.
Cook for about 30 seconds and then carefully remove and cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled, dust the cookies with some powered sugar.
Unfortunately, you can only make two cookies at a time. It's easy, but a bit time involved.
I made all of these in about an hour and a half.

Sometimes, the cookie batter will ooze out the side, and sometimes you'll get a thinner, "lacey" design.

If you end up with not so desirable cookies, just break them up over some ice cream.

They make a great ice cream cone substitution.



These are yummy cookies that make a simple dessert with coffee or tea.

Or... enjoy them for breakfast :)


Join me on Wednesday over at Blissful Bucket List to see what else I made with these cookies!



Pizzelle Cookies

by Karyn Granrud
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Ingredients (30 cookies)
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted butter, allow time to cool
  • 1 Tbls vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • powdered sugar for dusting
Instructions
Preheat your Pizzelle iron as directed.
Combine all ingredients until batter is smooth
Drop a heaping tablespoon of batter onto the rear half iron and close.
Cook for about 30 seconds and then carefully remove and cool on a wire rack.
Once cooled, dust the cookies with some powdered sugar.
Unfortunately, you can only make two cookies at a time. It's easy, but a bit time involved.
I made all of these in about an hour and a half.
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Go for the Gold - Olympic Cake Pops


It's the 2012 Olympics!!

As if you didn't know that... It's been kinda hard to miss.

So, to celebrate, I made some Olympic inspired Cake Pops!

What else did you expect from me?

I made a few different ones that you can try out based on your cake pop skill level.

First off, some basic cake pops.


Five colors to decorate the pops. Just dip and dry. 

Simple.

And then, get some Luster Dust and dry paint it on to add some sparkle and shine.

Stunning!

Then, I added a sugar ring to the pops.


One the pops are dry and the luster dust is added, add a ring of melted candy and sprinkle on some sugar crystals.

Gorgeous!

To add some complexity and detail, I made some "donuts" and added some sparkle with sugar crystals.


Finally, I piped some circles with the candy melts and added them to the top of the basic cake pops.

I think they look more like kettlebells, but I'm sure the Olympians would still appreciate this tasty treat!





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Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Taste of Home - Chocolate Mochi


I have been on the Big Island of Hawaii since Tuesday night. It has been so good to be back home with my parents and now with my Sister's family and my Brother's family. There is now 13 people all sleeping under one roof with two six year olds who like to wake up at 6 am... 

Before I left, I wanted to induldge in some local Mochi treats. Last week I shared some Butter Mochi, and today I am sharing some stuffed mochi treats.

I made some Chocolate Mochi following THIS recipe. I have never made regular mochi before, but this was made in the microwave and was relatively easy. 

Use your Sweet Rice Flour (Glutinous Rice Flour - not to be confused with wheat gluten). Add water and microwave it.


Melt Cocoa, sugar and water and add it to the rice and water "glob". 


Slowly fold the mochi over and over to incorporate the chocolate liquid. It takes a while. Just keep going until it's combined. 


When it's mixed, pour it into a 9x13 pan that is sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with cocoa and let sit overnight to firm up.

I poured out my mochi into a 16x11 jelly roll because I wanted it thin.


Flip the mochi out of the pan and dust the opposite side with cocoa. Cut and eat.


I also enjoy mochi wrapped around other treats. One of my favorites is Strawberries. 

Traditionally, the mochi balls have a sweet red bean paste on the inside and when the strawberries are made, they put the bean paste over the strawberry before wrapping it.

I don't like black bean curd, but I do love Nutella! And that's what I used.


I coated the strawberries in Nutella and then carefully stretched the mochi over the strawberry and pinched the ends together to close.


Then, I tried some Mochi Ice Cream.  I could not keep the ice cream cold enough and the mochi soft enough. But it tasted good. I enjoyed it :)  

If you want the real stuff, I hear it's some in some Trader Joe stores.


So, while on the Big Island, I can't pass up an opertunity to go to Two Ladies Kitchen for some yummy mochi.

We bought the Strawberry Mochi, Brownie Mochi, and some Peanut Butter Mochi. 

Such a sweet ending to a great day.


For more Mochi Recipes check out these blogs

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Classy Cake Truffles - by Emily.Kate.Designs


Hi everyone. I would like to introduce my cyber friend, Emily.
Emily makes Gorgeous, Wonderful, Classy Cake Truffles. I follow Emily on Facebook HERE. Check out all of her beautiful cake truffles and fun flavors, like Twinkie, Cola, and Margarita.
Once you graduate from my "elementary grade" Easy Cake Truffles, try your had at these "Graduate level" Classy Cake Truffles.


Classy Cake Truffles

Hey everyone!

I’m Emily, of Emily.Kate.Design.  I’m so excited to be guest blogging for my dear friend Pint Sized Baker!  I’ve always loved everything artsy since I can remember, and in the past few years, it’s expanded to the world of confectionary art.  The most important thing I’ve learned?  Practice, practice, practice!

In continuation of Karyn’s post Perfect Cake Truffles, I am going to give you some tips and tricks that I have learned throughout my baking journey on how to make "classy cake truffles."

Step 1. Roll your cake balls by hand.  I’ve used my Easy Roller a few times and found that at the end of the day, hand rolling works the best, and your truffles have the individual attention and love they deserve!  To make the cake balls consistent, I use a cookie scoop to size out the dough.


Step 2. Melt your chocolate carefully!  I’ve realized that one of the most important steps to cake truffles is the chocolate melting and dipping process.  I always melt my chocolate the same way regardless of the brand.  The way I melt my chocolate is 2 minutes on high, then stir.  Place back in microwave for another minute, stirring every 20 seconds.


Step 3. Dip!  To make Perfect CakeTruffles, follow this post.  Just remember to tap the cake ball on the edge of your dish before placing – that will help them have a perfectly smooth shape!


Step 4. Prepare to decorate.  I think there are three routes to choose: pipe, sprinkle, or both.  I always make sure to plan out my theme before I begin.  I like to use simple sprinkles that won’t take over the entire design of the cake truffle.  Some of my favorites are pearls, non-perils, and sugar crystals.  I think they are all very simple, elegant and classy.  There are endless color choices available, so you should be able to find something that works for you!


Step 5. If you are going to pipe designs, you can use several different materials to hold your chocolate.  I tend to stick with plastic baggies.  I’ve also used cake piping bags, parchment paper, and a piping pen.  The fastest, most inexpensive route is plastic baggies.  Cut a small – SMALL hole in the corner.  You can always make it bigger. 


Step 6. Pipe away!  The key to your designs should be this: less is more!  Simple designs can be very classy.  You can add interest to your design by mixing colors – using colored sprinkles or using different colors of piping.  If you add sprinkles, don’t shake them out of the jar.  Put a desired amount in your hand, and lightly sprinkle using your fingers.  The bigger the sprinkle, the less you should use.  Most people prefer to not have to crunch their way through truffles because of a lot of sprinkles.

You can see in the picture below of few of my favorite designs.  I use both straight and curved lines.  When piping, take your time!  You can always re-melt your chocolate if it starts to harden.  If you keep the hole in the bag smaller, you have more control over your piping.  If you mess up or make a mistake, you can always add a sprinkle to cover it up.


Step 7. Rarely do I ever dip an entire batch of cake balls without having a few “mess-ups”.  But, don’t let them go to waste!  If there are air bubbles, misshapen bites, or odd bumps, just add a design over the top.  As in the photo, your before and after will amaze you with a little creativity.  No one will ever know!


Step 8. To finish them off, place your truffles in their cups/liners and serve!  The cups/liners that you put them in and the tray or dish you serve them on is just as important.  Choose something simple and elegant that will compliment your design.  It will be hard to pass up snagging one of these treats!


Remember the importance of “practice, practice, practice”!  Learning to make “classy” designs doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes practice and a lot of patience.  Come up with your original own designs, color combinations, and sprinkle choices to make personalized cake truffles.  Find inspiration in things around you – even something as simple as a flower!

Good luck and happy decorating!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Taste of Home - Butter Mochi


I am leaving on vacation on Tuesday!! Woo Hoo! 
Off to my parents place for a few days of R&R and hanging out with the aunts, uncles and cousins. 
It's nice to get away from the drain of "real life" and get out for a few days.

Where is the parent's place you ask... Well, it's really nowhere special.
I mean. It's where I grew up. Where I went to school and had my first job and snuck into my club concert.
I mean, well, it's only Hawaii.

It's a really, really long flight and the jet lag is a killer from the east coast.
But, I love going back and hitting the beach and eating some good Local Food!

Like this delicious dessert, Butter Mochi.


This was my first time making Butter Mochi. I always ask someone else to make it. Doesn't everything taste better when someone else makes it? My sister sent me the recipe and I followed it... 
However, what she sent me said to use a block of butter. 

How much is a block of butter?? 

If a recipe said to use a block, how much would you add??

A stick of butter?

A 1/2 pound?

A pound of butter? 

To ME.... a block of butter is a pound. Four Sticks. And that is what I used. 

Don't use 4 sticks. While it was very good and buttery, but it was a bit greasy. 

To make Mochi, you need Glutinous Rice Flour. Check your International Markets for it. Or, Bob's Red Mill has a sweet rice flour that you can use. 



Butter Mochi - Here's What You Need:

1 to 1 1/2 sticks of butter
3 C Sugar
1 (6oz) box Mochiko Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Eggs
12 oz. Coconut Milk
2 C 2% Milk





Soften the butter and mix with sugar. Slowly add in 1/4 of the Mochiko Flour, baking powder, vanilla, and 2 eggs. Add in another 1/4 of the flour, 2 eggs and coconut milk. Alternate in another 1/4 flour and 1 C milk until all flour and milk is added and mixed in until smooth.


Pour into a 9x13 pan and cook at 350 deg F for an hour.

Cut with a plastic knife or wet your knife between cuts.


This is a dense and sticky sweet dessert. 

A favorite in the Islands. This is the kind of treat that mom's make for after sports games and parties. 

I'm looking forward to making some for my family gathering. 

If you want to follow along on my Big Island Vacation, follow along on Instagrams or Facebook.


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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Perfect Cake Truffles


I have "officially" lost 5 pounds!! 
I am so happy. This is the motivation that I need to keep up on my diet. I have been working out and eating better and I feel great for it. 
Last Saturday, I ate so much junk food that I had such a tummy ache, that I was wishing for "Real" food on Sunday. This Saturday, I'm just going to eat normal food and enjoy it. No pigging out on baked goods. It's just not worth it. I want fruit, and yogurt, a sandwich and maybe some pasta. Oh, and definitely some Ice Cream!

Everybody LOVED my super easy Perfect Bottomed Cake Pops and I am totally blown away from the response on Pintrest. It's crazy to me! I never would have thought that would happen. 
Today, I'm going to show you how I make Perfect Cake Truffles. 
This is a step up from getting your fingers covered in chocolate and messy sides that look like your dog licked them.  I've made those before, and I was not to thrilled to share them with ANYBODY!
This method keeps your fingers and utensils out of the chocolate which will produce smooth sides and a perfect bottom. 
Just what every woman wants - a perfect bottom  :)



Step  1. Prepare you cake truffles by making cake pops and laying down the candy wafer disks. Cut your sticks in half and use the shortened stick. Dip, drip and place the pop on the wafer.
Step 2. Twist the stick in the cake pop to release the stick. Do not pull up on the stick to remove it, you will end up cracking the candy shell.
Step 3. Once all of the sticks are removed, you may notice a little funnel protrusion. That is undesirable.
Step 4. Cut off the offending protrusion.
Step 5. Clean flat topped cake truffles waiting for decorations.


Step 6. Put a little of the candy melt into a baggie and snip off a tiny bit of the corner.
Step 7. Fill in the hole that was left from the stick.
Step 8. While wet, smooth the top with your finger. Once dry, check out your "naked" truffle.
Step 9. To hide the filling, take a second color of candy and place it in a baggie and snip off the tip.
Step 10. Drizzle the candy decoration over the truffle and top with a sprinkle. 


Voila!  A step up from Kindergarten cake truffles made with messy fingers or messy chocolate. 
The bottoms are perfect, the tops are round, the sides are smooth, and they will look elegant on your dessert table for your fancy dinner party. 
Depending in how large or small you make them, you can put them into mini cupcake lines or even truffle liners for presentation.

One last note - I know that a lot of cake truffle makes use a toothpick in place of the stick to use as a handle to dip the pops. I tried several times, and each time, I lost the cake in the candy. I was not successful with using that technique. Feel free to try it if you don't like the large hole that the lollipop leaves.



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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Easiest Monster Cookies Ever


So, I am into my fourth week of my diet. I'm a bit bummed because the scale is only showing minimal weight loss. That's really frustrating! 
However, on the bright side, my clothes are fitting better and I bought a pair of shorts a size smaller yesterday! Hooray! So, I guess that's proof that it IS worth keeping it up. 

I've also been drawing strength from other bloggers who are participating in a 5K Challenge over at Red Faces Runners. I'm not running right now, just swimming three times a week. I figure I can run inside all winter long. I love my "me" time. Being  in the water is so relaxing, and I don't have the time or distractions to think about stuff. I just swim and breathe. 

Oh, and sometimes I sing in my head, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." Thanks, Dory!

So, these are the Easiest Monster Cookies Ever! And I mean EVER!! 

Dump a bag of sugar cookie mix into a bowl and mix it with a stick of butter - per the instructions.
To that, dump in a bag of M&M's Snack Mix. I used the Salty and Sweet mix with Pretzels, Almonds, and Raisins.


Measure out the cookies as big as you like. I used my tablespoon cookie scoop.
Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes


Allow to cool... if you can...

And gobble up!

I'm sure you can make your own Sugar Cookie dough and toss in the bag of M&M's. Nothing wrong with that. But if you are like me, and your kid(s) are bugging you for cookies, this is the way to go! 


These were fast, fun, easy, and DELICIOUS! And that's all that matters.



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