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Sunday, October 30, 2011

New York City's first snow

New York City got it's first snow of the season on Saturday, October 29, 2011.  I had originally planned my day out well.  Return to the city.  Clean my apartment.  Do school work (deadlines - for 2 final papers and research for a paper I'm co-writing with a former professor - are looming).  But the snow deterred me.  I wanted a mug of hot chocolate and for my apartment to smell like freshly baked cookies.  I ultimately decided against the hot chocolate, but in favor of two different types of cookies.  Milk chocolate chunk cookies and chocolate sugar cookies.  They're from one of my favorite cooking blogs, Smitten Kitchen, which a friend introduced me to about two years ago. 

Now I have to admit that dark chocolate is my favorite.  However, I've made the chocolate chip cookies in the past with both dark and milk chocolate, and I much preferred the milk chocolate variety.  So my version of the cookies varies slightly from the recipe on Smitten Kitchen.  Instead of the 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips that her recipe calls for, I used a good milk chocolate bar cut into small chunks.

There's one other problem - she gives these cookie recipes as ice cream sandwich cookies.  With the snow outside, it's way too cold for ice cream sandwiches...but you can be sure i'll be making these cookies again when the weather gets warmer -- with some ice cream in the middle!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween treats

Halloween is around the corner.  I just signed up with my doormen to give out candy to the kids trick-or-treating in the building.  As of now, I have no Halloween plans for this year (and therefore no reason to bake), but I thought I'd pull up some Halloween treats from years past...
Halloween candy bark.  Chocolate with Reese's pieces, Reese's cups, Butterfinger pieces, Health bar, and peanuts, drizzled with white chocolate

Chocolate covered pretzel "fingers"

Assorted Halloween cookies

Mini chocolate cupcakes decorated for Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Brownies two ways

I have a party to go to tomorrow, and I wanted to bring something that was easy (or relatively so) to transport, since my way to the party is not direct.  Brownies and cookies, I rationalized, were easier to carry around than, say, a cupcake carrier with 36 cupcakes in it.  No cookie recipes were calling to me, so brownies were the answer.  But not just any brownies.  Cappuccino Brownies and Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies with Salted Peanuts!  I've made the cappuccino brownies before and am a huge fan (as is my mother).  The peanut butter and fudge brownies with salted peanuts were impressive looking enough on the website that I decided to try them (and they were worth it!).

Peanut Butter and Fudge Brownies with Salted Peanuts

Cappuccino Brownies

And all packaged up and ready to go!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New to the blogging world

I bake.  Often.  For years, my friends have been telling me to start a blog.  My answer was always the same: I'm not tech savvy enough to have a blog.  This weekend, while visiting friends out of town, my friend's husband (an active blogger himself - check it out!) showed me how to set up my blog (translation: he set up my blog while I watched, concentrating; trying to pick up and mentally store all of the information he was giving me).  So here goes my little foray into blogging...

My Dessert Spread from New Years Eve