DessertComesFirst

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It’s that time of the semester! Finals are around the corner and everyone is busy making plans for winter break and finishing projects and papers.  For some of us, some of us being me, in addition to papers, projects and finals there is also dance team rehearsal and the dance team show, which everyone should come to :)) With all this work, there is very little time to eat, let alone eat healthy.  When I’m this busy all I crave is yummy sweets.  So I found a few recipes online for healthy, but yummy sweet snacks :))

Yogurt Cupcakes Bites

Triple Berry Angel Shortcake

Blueberry and White Chocolate Chunk Ginger Cookies

 

Happy Finals 🙂

Thanksgiving was on Thursday, and this was the first year we didn’t have the food fest at our house.  This years festivities were at my cousin’s house.  Which meant a lot less stress for me and my mom on cooking and setting up and no clean up, YAY!

But I did make a delicious dessert 🙂  My cousins husband loves Chocolate Cream Pie, his mother who passed away a few years ago always got it for Thanksgiving when he was growing up.  Seeing as I have never tried Chocolate Cream Pie, let alone make it, I decided to try it.

I used a recipe I found online and it came out really well.

Everyone loved the cake, it was absolutely yummy! 🙂

Keeping with the theme of chocolate from last week, I love chocolate chip cookies and so does my best friend and it happened to be her birthday this weekend. So being the wonderful friend I am, I baked her some delicious chocolate chip cookies.  I used a Martha Stewart recipe, because well lets face it she’s the queen home-cooking.

All you need is:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

First you need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda; then put it aside.

    

In a second bowl mix the butter with both sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

      

Then add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until it is well mixed, it should take about 1 minute.

      

Next add flour mixture. Mix until it is combined.  Then stir in the chocolate chips.

  

Cookie Dough, yumm 🙂

Once everything is mixed together cover the backing sheet(s) with parchment paper, then scoop large teaspoons of cookie dough onto the backing sheet about 2 inches apart.

  

 

They should bake for about 10 minutes, my oven is weak so it took like 15 minutes. An easy way to tell if they’re ready is once the cookies are golden brown, you insert a wooden tooth pick in the center of one of the cookies and if it comes out dry it’s ready.

I had cookie dough left over, but it wasn’t enough for a batch of cookies, so I made one huge cookie for my friend and wrote out 21 in large chocolate chips, I think it came out pretty nice, and she said it was delicious 🙂

The last few weeks have been crazy!  I fee like I’ve been buried under tons of work.  My life has consisted of one paper after another, one project after another, with a very small and brief shining moment of peace when I was in Israel.  In between all this craziness chocolate seems to always be my go to comfort snack.  While delicious, it is probably not so good for me but when you are stressed, well health goes out the window 🙂

This is a recipe for chocolate cover chips. I think that just might be the best comfort snack ever, you get that perfect mix of salty and sweet.

This one is a recipe for Chocolate Crunch Snack Mix.  It is another pretty simple recipe, all you need is chex-mix and chocolate.

I don’t really have a point, other than when you are stressed take a break and some time to yourself 🙂

 

My family left for Israel on October 23 for two weeks to visit family.  They were going because it happens to be my Aunt’s (who lives in Israel) 40th Birthday.  SO, it is kind of a big deal, a big enough deal that it has become a sort of family/friend reunion.  Our friends and family from Ukraine came to visit her as well, so it has turned into basically one big party!  I of course could not go because of school and work, which depressed me, a lot.  But about two weeks before they left  I decided to throw caution to the wind and go as well.  So I am writing this post from my Aunts home in Jerusalem, Israel!!!!  Unfortunately I could only go for four and a half days , but I’m already a day in and am so happy I came!!!

Israel is a beautiful country with a long and crazy history.  This is a link to an interesting article/post I found about Israels and the dessert culture there :)) and this is a link to some common and favorite desserts in Israel.  I have had some of these desserts, but have never actually made any except for maybe the sponge cake or wonder cake, but I hope to one day attempt to make Baklava.

This last week has been a busy one so I did not bake anything.  This week I thought I’d just post a few links to some inerserting recipes.  Since Fall is starting soon, I figured why not put a Fall theme on this.

http://the-cooking-of-joy.blogspot.com/2009/04/apple-pie-apple.html

 

http://cheftessbakeresse.blogspot.com/2010/10/tricky-treat-stuffed-caramel-applesno.html

 

http://gallamorewest.blogspot.com/2011/09/pumpkin-cupcakes-with-salted-caramel.html

Aside from my obsession with chocolate, I have an unnatural obsession with red velvet cake.  Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are probably the best comfort food after chocolate brownies and ice cream.  I also like cake pops and cake balls. So I thought why not combine the two!  I found a recipe from Bakerella for red velvet cake balls.  In her recipe she uses a mix, but I decided to make the cake from scratch.  The red velvet cake balls recipe makes about 50 cake balls, which was too much for me, so I cut her portions in half.  She also recommends to use less oil if you’re using the cake recipe for the cake balls because the cake will come out too oily for the cake balls.

The utensils you'll need

For the cake you will need:  1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 Tablespoon cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 egg, 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 1/2 Tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (two drops will be more than enough), 1 oz. red food coloring

You need to pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flower the cake pan.
  

Next I mixed all the dry ingredients in a bowl with a wire whisk.
        

Then stir the egg in a second bowl with a wire whisk.  Then add the rest of the liquid ingredients and mix.
        

Next add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  The recipe says to use a mixer, but I used a whisk and it mixed really well and easy. Then pour into cake pans and put into the oven, for approximately 30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. (it may take longer depending on how strong your oven is)
            

Once the cake is done, take it out and let it cool before you start on the cake balls.  I recommend cutting the cake into quarters to let it cool faster.
    

The next step is to make the cream cheese frosting. You will need: 4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, 1 stick butter (room temperature), 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (once again two drops will be more than enough), 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Beat the cream cheese and butter until it is smooth.  I started off using a hand mixer but it didn’t work well so I switched to a food processor.  It worked much better.
        

Once it is smooth add the vanilla and then the sugar.  Then let the cream cheese frosting sit for a little.
      

Once the cake has cooled and the frosting is done you are ready to make the cake balls.  For this you will need:  red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting, 1 package chocolate bark (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips), wax paper

After cake is cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.  Then mix it with the cream cheese frosting.  I mixed with a spoon and it was clean and easy, but you can also do this by hand, but it will be messy.
    

Roll the mixture into medium size balls and lay on cookie sheet.  This should make 25 cake balls. You can get  more if you roll smaller balls, or make more cake.  Then let them chill for several hours.  If you put them in the freezer it will take approximately an hour to an hour and a half.
  

Melt the chocolate according to the directions on the package.  I set up a double boiler to melt the chocolate.  Double boilers can be bought, but are just as easy to create.  All you need to do is place a large bowl of water on the stove and bring it to slight boil, then place a second smaller bowl with the chocolate in the first larger bowl.  Mix the chocolate constantly until it is completely melted, and then frequently after that.  Make sure the water doesn’t boil too much, keep it small.
    

Roll the cake balls in the chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm.  This part was the biggest pain in the behind ever!  It was really warm in my kitchen and so the once frozen cake balls started to melt and that made it harder to cover them with chocolate.  So I recomend keeping it cool in the kitchen.
    

While it was a pain to cover the cake balls, in the end I got it done, it just didn’t come out as nice as I liked. But they where delicious!