Bird’s Nest Cookies

Martha Stewart’s Bird’s Nest Cookies

I meant to post this when I made these at Easter time, but life got in the way…

Here we have crumbly, buttery chocolate cookies, spread with whipped ganache:

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And topped with coconut and jelly beans to create these springtime treats:

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Mint-Chocolate Brownies

 

 

Martha Stewart’s Mint-Chocolate Brownies
Fudgy brownies with a surprise inside: York Peppermint Patties.

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Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies

Soft & Chewy M&M Cookies

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Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Cane Cookies, from Betty Crocker

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Chocolate-Spot Cookies

Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Spot Cookies

Halloween-colored cookies studded with Reese’s Pieces:

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M&M Bars

M&M Bars, as published in The Washington Post

This recipe consistently makes the Post’s list of most-viewed recipes every month, so I figured I should try them (plus, my son’s very very favorite thing in the whole wide world is M&M’s.)  I stirred 2 cups of various M&M’s–plain, peanut, peanut butter, and miniature–in to the blondie batter to mix it up a bit.  I’d sprinkle a few more M&M’s  on top of the bars before baking them again, but otherwise, they are full of colorful M&M fun.

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Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Crunch and Caramel Filling and Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Chocolate Cake with Milk-Chocolate Crunch and Caramel Filling and Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Cake recipe from Confetti Cakes for Kids

I made this cake for my son’s 4th birthday party, which had a superhero theme!  He couldn’t decide which superhero he wanted to grace the cake, so I just included all of his favorites…apologies to any Marvel/DC purists.

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Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Hershey’s Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Did you know Hershey’s makes these itty-bitty peanut butter cups?  They’re the perfect size for stirring in to and topping treats, like these peanut butter-laced brownies.

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Movie Munchie Ice Cream

Movie Munchie Ice Cream, inspired by The Washington Post’s Buttered Popcorn Semifreddo

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love those Buttered Popcorn Jelly Belly beans, and those who think they are the nastiest things ever.  If you are the former, please continue.

After an afternoon at a Nationals game recently, I came home with a full box of buttered popcorn–apparently my son’s eyes were bigger than his stomach and he couldn’t manage to eat the popcorn he selected after he had already eaten a pretzel, a snowcone, peanuts, and lemonade.

So, putting my popcorn bounty together with my love for ice cream and lack of adventurous company to try something called “Buttered Popcorn Semifreddo”, I thought I’d wing it and make popcorn ice cream.  I liked the idea of the semifreddo’s pretzel crust, so I thought pretzels would make a good mix-in for this ice cream.  Going along with the movie snack theme, I figured I needed one more thing to make this creation complete: PEANUT M&M’s.

This frozen movie snack trifecta came together beautifully: a salty-sweet combination with the essence of buttered popcorn and loads of pretzels and M&M’s.

Movie Munchie Ice Cream

  1. Soak 2 quarts of popcorn in 3 cups of milk for 30 minutes.
  2. Blend in a blender or food processor and strain.  Discard solids.
  3. Whisk together 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar and milk mixture.
  4. Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Chill overnight.
  6. Chop pretzels and peanut M&M’s to yield about 2/3 cup of each.
  7. Freeze custard in an ice cream maker about 25 minutes.
  8. Mix in pretzels and M&M’s during the last few minutes of churning.
  9. Eat immediately as soft-serve or freeze overnight to achieve a harder consistency.

The mix-ins:

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The ice cream (a horrible photo–this tastes way better than this photo looks):

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Cherry Toffy

Cherry Toffy, “mistakenly adapted” from Martha Stewart’s Cherry Tuiles

I have an admission: my baking is not perfect!  Sometimes I end up with a bag fat FAIL when I try something new.  Sometimes I end up with something completely different than what I intended, but still interesting and tasty just the same.

Fortunately this recipe turned out in this latter category.  I think I made the cookies from this recipe too large when I dropped them onto the baking sheet so they all melted together into one gooey sheet.  Once they cooled, I just ripped the layer of goo off the baking sheet and broke it up into bite-sized pieces.

They were good, but definitely not what Martha intended with this recipe!  The bits were a cross between toffee and taffy, hence my dubbing them “toffy” (“taffee” seemed too cutesy.)  Dried cherries stud the candy and taste great with the buttery caramel flavor of the resulting candy.

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