Tag: leah bakes

Leah Cooks the Best Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Leah Cooks the Best Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes from Sally’s Baking Addiction

David turned Still Younger Than I Am last month, and he requested strawberry shortcake for dessert, but not actually a cake, but maybe cupcakes, or something like cupcakes, he said. He’s so lucky I can speak David. I went with strawberry shortcake cupcakes, which was 

Healthy-ish Pumpkin Muffins

Healthy-ish Pumpkin Muffins

My girls take a snack to school every day, and it’s turned into a struggle. If they had their druthers, they’d happily eat nothing but yogurt-in-a-tube or Swedish fish every day of their lives, but, unfortunately for them, they don’t have their druthers. They have 

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Last week we got about five inches of snow, and when my husband asked if I was going out with the kids when they went to play in it I…well, I laughed. Snow is lovely and pretty and peaceful, but only when I’m inside a warm house, with a book in my hand, looking at it. My kids were so disappointed when I didn’t put on thirty different layers and snow pants and impossible-to-tug-on boots after I wrestled them into theirs. On days like that they want me to be outside with them, sledding and building a snowman and having snowball fights and all of that ruddy-cheeked nonsense that people who enjoy frostbite like to do.

See, here’s the thing: you have to not mind the cold to enjoy the snow. I don’t like to be cold. I think cold-enjoying is left to people who are either insane, or live in Wisconsin. So: inside I stay, where there are books to read and a fire to sit by and snacks that don’t require thawing out. I will make the requisite hot chocolate when the children come tumbling back inside, sure. But I can only make the hot chocolate if my fingers haven’t frozen into arthritic gnarled tree branches of hypothermic agony, so to my children I say, I’m sorry: you go play outside. Mama will be right here to help you wring the icicles out of your hair and peel the frozen socks from your feet when you come back in.

To assuage my guilt today (and to put off doing the vacuuming I said I would do), I had these cookies waiting for the kiddos when they came back inside from Antartica the backyard. They’re ridiculously easy to make, other than the stuck-together fingers that come with cutting 15 stale marshmallows in half, and since nothing says “I love you” and “I’m sorry I hate freezing to death” like a bunch of baked sugar with some chocolate, I’m sure I’ll be making these again the next time we’re snowed in and I’m looking for an excuse to not be outdoorsy.

Winter is hard. Let these cookies make it better. You can thank me when you’re not outside making snow angels, too.

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

(from Genius Kitchen)

Yield: 30 cookies

Cookie Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 15 large marshmallows, halved

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

 

Directions

For the cookie: Preheat oven to 350º F. Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg, then vanilla and milk and mix well. Add flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder and beat again until the batter just comes together. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Press a marshmallow half into the center of each cookie, then bake for 2 minutes more. Cool completely, then frost.

For the frosting: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, milk and butter. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until they melt completely, then cool until the mixture is thick enough to spread on top of the cookies.

 

You Know What They Say (A Simple Spring Cake)

I was so, so happy when the email came through Friday to announce that school was closed for the day. It was the first day of spring, and in our part of Pennsylvania, the beautiful, warm weather of the day before had dissolved into…snow. A 

The Granola Bars That Make All Other Granola Bars Taste Like Baked Dirt

I make food all the time, right? And, exactly the way I am with books, I have a bad habit of finding a really great recipe, making that great recipe, having it turn out really, really well, and then promptly forgetting where I found said recipe 

It’s Called Christmas Biscotti. Because it’s Christmas, That’s Why

I keep telling myself that I’m not going to be one of those people (i.e., every adult with a family in America) who gets stressed out over the holidays.  Nooo, I keep thinking.  This is the most wonderful time of the year!  Carols and jingle bells and balsam-and-cedar-scented candles, dagnabit!  I WILL be happy.

But.  Too much to do.  I’m sullen, overtired, and cranky that we ran out of clean washcloths and I’ve a mountain of laundry to wash.  I dried my hair once this week.  Once.  I won’t tell you how many times I’ve washed it.

No, more than that.  Don’t be gross.

Thursday, I dropped SK off at preschool and raced home (not raced, not raced.  I mean, I drove the speed limit, Officer.  Please put that ticket book away) to throw together some biscotti for a get-together with friends later that afternoon (it’s really book club, but since I haven’t read a single selection since August because I’ve been settling for the likes of Tina Fey’s Bossypants and Mindy Kaling’s book in those last quiet moments before bed at night, well…).  I also remembered I had to defrost the chicken and fold the laundry and vacuum the living room and order those gifts and exactly how long does this biscotti take to make?!  Are you JOKING ME??

But I made it, with 30 seconds to spare before we had to leave to pick up Saoirse.  And the best part, the very best part, was watching Quinn walk around the kitchen, giggling, licking the spatula from the mixer bowl.  Oh, don’t give me your lectures about salmonella and why in the world was my toddler walking around with what’s essentially a flat stick near her mouth.  I haven’t the time.

She was having a blast.  Somehow there was flour in her hair.  She kept saying “Nyum! Nyum! Nyum!” It was adorable and sweet and for a moment–just a quick second–time slowed down enough for me to get down on the floor with her, laughing, and have a toddler-sized conversation.

I think she still had the flour in her hair when we left to pick up Saoirse.  Ah, well.  You know me.  I don’t get tense about this kind of stuff.

Oh, here’s the recipe.  I got it from some Better Homes & Gardens holiday magazine I picked up at the grocery store a couple of years ago because it had cookies all over the cover and I was hungry.  If you’re a fellow coffee fanatic and want to eat something mid-morning as an excuse to have another cup of coffee, well, here you go.  And no, I didn’t include more photos.  What do you think I am, a food blogger?   I’m just trying to be nice.  Sheesh.

Christmas Biscotti                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         adapted from Better Homes & Gardens: Christmas Cookies, 2009

1/3 c. butter, softened

2/3 c. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. black rum (or rum flavoring, I suppose)

2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. fine orange zest

½ c. pistachios, chopped

½ c. dried cranberries, chopped

½ c. dried apricots, chopped

(Note: I usually go a little more generously on the fruits/nuts, just because I’m crazy like that.)

for powdered sugar icing:

Stir 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with 1-2 tbs. milk in a small bowl until icing is easy to drizzle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.  Beat until combined, scraping bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and rum until combined. Gradually beat in the flour.  Stir in orange zest, pistachios, cranberries, and apricots.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; divide dough into three portions.  Using well-floured hands, shape each portion into an 8-inch-long loaf. Place loaves 3 to 4 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper; flatten loaves slightly to 2 inches wide.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and tops are cracked.  Cool on cookie sheet on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.  Transfer baked loaves to a cutting board.  Using a serrated knife, cut each loaf diagonally into ½-inch-thick slices.  Place slices, cut sides down, on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Turn slices over; bake for 8 to 10 minutes more or until dry and crisp (but not overly brown).  Transfer cookies to wire racks; let cool completely.  Drizzle with powdered sugar icing; let icing dry.  Eat mass quantities with espresso roast coffee while pretending you’ll save some for friends.