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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hot Chocolate Cookies with Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate Cookies
1 sticks butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1-2/3 cup flour
2 packages of hot cocoa mix (I used Nestles)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
chocolate chips (optional)
Marshmallows (optional)

1. cream together both sugars and butter until light and fluffy
2. in another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients
3. mix in egg and vanilla
4. slowly add in dry ingredients
5. add chocolate chips
6. chill dough for an hour
7. bake at 350 for 9-11 min (add marshmallows on top for the last three min)

I tried this recipe without chocolate chips and marshmallows, with just chocolate chips, and with chocolate chips and marshmallows and I enjoyed it best with both chocolate chip and marshmallows. although if i don't have marshmallows on hand in the future, just chocolate chips is still delicious. Without either one I thought it was a little bland. I made hot chocolate and drank it with the cookies and it was great!
All recipes that I post on here are good enough that I would make again. Found this recipe off the website Bakerella.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Angry Baker

So Gary said I should change my blog name to The Angry Baker. He has a point. When things don't go smoothly I get frustrated really fast. Last night I was trying to bake a chocolate cake for a family my small group is providing thanksgiving dinner for. I had this picture in my mind of a chocolate cake with a yellow boarder and orange and yellow roses and Happy Thanksgiving written on it. An autumn looking cake. Well, chocolate buttercream frosting just doesn't smooth out as well as the regular. It would have been better if I just smoothed it on with the spatula. Instead I put it is the fridge like you would with regular butter cream. Then tried to "iron" out the icing. Well it just made the icing look more crackly. For my perfectionist personality this annoys the crap out of me! Then I made regular butter cream frosting a dyed it for the colors I needed to decorate the cake. Well I put like 1 tsp too much water in because it was not stiff enough to make the flowers. They looked awful and I just threw all the icing out. This morning I had another go at it. This time the icing was really stiff and the flowers turned out nicely. The cake is decent looking, but it would have been much better if I hadn't tried smoothing out the chocolate frosting. I would make it all over again just because of that, but it would be a ton of wasted supplies. Plus it takes hours to make a cake, frosting it, and decorate it with flowers. I just don't want to go through the flower making again.
I did make another cake this morning for myself and used the leftover chocolate frosting I had in the fridge. I sat the frosting out on the stove while the oven was on baking the cake. This helped warm up the frosting so it wasn't so hard. Then I just used a spatula to smooth it on the cake when it was still slightly warm. It went on very smoothly and nicely...much better looking then sticking it in the fridge and then trying to iron out the creases. Oh well, live and learn.
Don't think professional cake decorating is in my future. Way to stressful for my perfectionist personality and I just don't think I am good enough. It isn't even enjoyable to decorate cakes when you worry and get upset so much because they didn't turn out right. Think I will stick with my cookies and brownies...I'm not much of a cake eater anyway :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sweet Brownie Treats for Gary's Class!

Tonight I think I made some of the cutest little treats I have made so far! These look like mini cupcakes but they aren't. You bake a batch of brownies (whichever are you favorites) When they are cooled a little you form them into balls and place in the freezer for about 14 min. During this time you take a peanut butter cup candy molding and place whatever color candy coating you wish in each cup till it is about half way filled. Before the candy coating sets, take the brownie balls out of the freezer and place the brownie balls in the candy coating in each cup...making sure the candy coating doesn't come up over the edge. Remove from the molding once the the candy coating has hardened. At this time take you favorite icing and pipe over the top . If you wish you can place sprinkles on top. This gives the illusion of a mini cupcake but is actually a brownie ball covered in candy coating and icing.

 I tried to get a picture showing the brownie in the center, but it is hard to see....

Here is the peanut butter cup candy molding I used as the base. Just fill up half way with whatever color candy coating you wish to use. 

I also made brownie balls, which is similar to cake balls. You bake a batch of brownies and then you can do two things. 1. take the brownies and turn into balls place a stick in the center and then dunk into candy coating or 2. take the brownies and add your favorite icing, freeze until it is stiff enough to form into balls. place stick in the center and dunk into melted candy coating. Sprinkles on top are optional of course. You can also add crushed cookies, nuts, etc on top...whatever floats your boat :)

All wrapped up and ready to go tomorrow!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving thankfulness!

Thought since it is almost thanksgiving that I would do a thanksgiving post. Also the message at the The Bridge yesterday was about thanksgiving and taking pleasure in what God has given us and how that is a form of worship.
I remember as a 10 or 11 year old I was feed a stray cat and her babies in hopes that they would gain my trust and I just remember after one particular night when one of them let me get really close to it, I stood outside and prayed my thankfulness to the lord for that simple little thing and how excited I was. I had to have been out there for an hour just talking to him about my feelings of happiness and hopes of gaining trust from one of the three little kittens. Such a simple prayer of thanksgiving from a child! But about year after that prayer one of those kittens, now grown and mother of one herself, did befriend me. This is almost unheard of from cats that are born strays, they never trust people. Yet this sweet cat whom I named Midnight trusted me! Some would say it was the food I gave her. But I must disagree. Midnight had a another kitten, when no one else was around but me, she brought that two day old kitten out from under the patio and layed it in front of me on the grass. She layed down next to it and held her head high and puffed out her chest in pride, showing off her beautiful kitten to an 11 year old girl whose prayers were answered beyond measure! A cat that was born feral was bringing her vulnerable kitten out from hiding just to show it off to me! After a couple minutes she took her kitten back under the patio. But I will forever remember that gesture from a simple animal.

As an adult, with the daily stresses of finances and raising a child I have a tendency to forget these simple things that I used to find so much pleasure in. So now I will take the time to once again appreciate the things that the Lord has given me, rather then be distracted from the hecticness (if that is a word) from life.

What I am  MOST thankful for (of course) is my savior, Jesus, who has given me purpose and meaning to life. When everything else in life is taken from me, I still have the hope that someday he will make life whole again. A savior who loved me so much he wanted to feel my pain and so limited himself to the human body and played by the laws of mankind that he set up, even when being beaten and spit on and nailed on a cross he didn't call down angels to save himself. Who knows what it is like to pray to the Father to have the pain taken away, but it isn't. Who is faithful when I am unfaithful. Who died for me while I was still a sinner. Who is teaching me grace and courage. For his patience because i am a slow learner!
For my husband, who treats me with gentleness and kindess, with soft words rather then criticism and condemnation.
To a son, who is randomly gives me kisses and says I love you. Who always wants me to sit and watch tv or play toys with him.
To my mom and dad who raised me the best way they new how. Telling me of Jesus, sending me to a christian school. For putting up with my selfish behavior and laziness!
For my siblings whom I share fond memories of growing up with and present memories as well.
my nieces and nephew whom I adore! Whom I wish I could see more of so I could spoil them :) Who put a smile on my face.
For The Bridge and the people who are apart of it or were apart of it. Who helped me during a difficult time in my life. A time when I was distant in my relationship with the Lord, due to bad church experiences and my own personal bad decisions as well as difficult circumstances. I don't know if I would have ever stepped back into a church, if it weren't for a few people who kept at us, constantly inviting us to events. I need to work on my shyness so that I can do this for someone else in return and I need to get over my fear of rejection!

I am thankful for nature, for animals, for my dogs. For a house, for Gary's job, for friends who put up with me! :) For being able to stay at home with Kydan.
I am thankful that health this summer was exceptionally good and after small relapse in september, that once again my health has been good. And even if my health wasn't good, I would like to think that I would still be thankful, because some day my body will be made whole!
thank you Lord!

Oh and how could I forget cookie?!!! :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

S'more Cookie Bars (the recipe that almost went to trash)

This was the recipe Gary was talking about on facebook that I threw away but later was looking through the trash to get it back. :) I tried this recipe while it was warm and did not care for it so I threw it away. Later I tried a piece again when it was completely cool. SOOO much better :) I have another smore bar recipe that I think is a little better than this one, but this one is still worth keeping around.

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Hershey's milk chocolate bars
1 cup marshmallow creme

1. heat oven to 350. Grease 8 in baking pan.
2. beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. add egg and vanilla; beat well. stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until blended. press half of dough into prepared pan.
3. Arrange chocolate bars over dough, breaking as needed to fit. spread with marshmallow creme. scatter bits of remaining dough over the marshmallow; carefully press to form layer.
4. Bake for 30-35 min or until lightly browned. cool completely on wire rack.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stuffed Cookies and Prayer

So I adapted these recipes off the website pickypalate. You can pretty much stuff a cookie with anything! The day after Halloween I stuffed a couple cookies with chocolate candy that Kydan got from trick or treating. Yesterday was a tough day emotionally so I gave way to temptation and made some brownies than made my favorite cookie dough recipe...wrapped some of the cookie dough around a brownie piece and baked it...the result was deliciousness!
Here is a picture of a snickers stuffed cookie:

Her is the brownie stuffed cookie:

On another note I just want to thank everyone who has been praying for Gary and I while we go through this stressful time....without going into too much detail due to confidential reasons...Gary and I have been working towards becoming foster parents since this past spring. We had two particular boys in mind whom if everything worked out fostering we would have liked to adopt. These boys Gary knows very well and the youngest boy has grown pretty attached to Gary even developing Gary's sense of humor and such. There is a third brother but he has many problems that Gary and I don't feel qualified to deal with.
Yesterday we were told that another couple is interested in adopting all three of them. This is devastating news for us since we had no clue...for 6 plus months we had have dealt with fears, worries, hopes, dreams, praying for these boys and this decision. Last week were finally approved to be foster parents and set up a date to talk about visiting. Needless to say this has come as a complete shock to us.
I have compared it to having a miscarriage all over again. The hopes, dreams, the maternal sense growing as you prepare yourself to love and care for another human being.  The whole day after my miscarriage I cried, and so I cried most of yesterday.
I know God has a plan, but that doesn't make it easier to deal with. All I have to do is look at his word to know that current difficulties have purpose when you can see the whole picture. I just can't see the whole picture like he can. However, that doesn't take away the pain of the moment. Yes there are other kids out there who need a home with parents who will love them, and maybe someday we might consider that...but just like a miscarriage you don't want to be told you can always try wanted THAT baby, not another baby.
But there is still hope that we could get these boys...we will go through with the weekend visits and such and just wait to see what happens. Waiting is the hardest part.
As many of you know, Gary and I can't have any more children of our own. Based on a decision we made due to my health problems that were brought on by my pregnancy with Kydan. But since middle school I have considered fostering/adopting as a great alternative to having biological children...why bring more kids into a difficult, painful world (I was depressed in middle school) when there are children who are already in the world who need a family. So when we made the decision to finally start this process of fostering to adopt it felt right...Please keep praying that God's will will be done, even if it means the boys going to another home. I want what is best for them and for us, even if it hurts in the meantime. Thank you again.