Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

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Today we had to have quite a bit of work done on our sprinkler system. My learning from this…. If you are going to have Chemlawn aerate your lawn, you are supposed to flag your sprinkler heads and station covers. Seriously?? I’ve never seen anyone in our neighborhood do that before and if that’s the case, they might want to tell people this in advance. I can think of so many other things that I would have liked to spend that money on…several new outfits, a new flip flop wardrobe, cruise for 1, weekend getaway, 300 chocolate chip cookies from Paradise Bakery….. :/  One of these days I need to figure out how to make Paradise cookies. In the meantime, these will do….

They were awesome. Slightly crispy on the edge and soft and chewy in the middle.

2 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 large Eggs
2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 cups Pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add the salt, vanilla and eggs. Beat well, about 1 minute.

Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake until cookies are slightly golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Servings: 36
Calories 185
Total Fat 11.5g
Total Carbohydrates 18.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.0g
Protein 2.3g
Nutrition Grade D

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Kenneth Cole Reaction Women’s Get In Slip On

Easter Cake Pops

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Today we had a cake pop making party. The girls love decorating them. I used the same recipe as last time. You can find the recipe here.  Still have some work to do on the decorating part of them. The sprinkled ones are so much easier to do than the animal ones.

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I couldn’t find the stand to hold them up, so we improvised. I used a trifle dish lined with Peeps. In the center we filled it with Jordan almonds and jelly beans. It worked perfectly.

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We made chickens and bunnies. For the chickens we used leaf sprinkles for the wings, feet and hair. We used triangles for the beak. For the bunnies, we used sliced almonds for the ears, chocolate sprinkles for the whiskers, eyes and pink dots for the nose and tail.  I found all of them at Michaels.

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Today’s Leopard Print Find: Reef Women’s Reef Heart Breaker Sandal

Apple Dumplings

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This is one of my favorite desserts. It is even better as leftovers the next day, if you have any left over. I listed the ice cream as optional, but really it isn’t. Add a scoop and drizzle some of the sauce on top. Trust me, you’ll thank me. As an added bonus, if you eat the whole thing it can count as a serving of fruit. :)

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1 Apple
1 can (8 Oz) Crescent Rolls
1/3 cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Oz (4 Tbs) Sprite
Ice Cream (optional but highly recommended)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 8×8 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

Peel and core apple. Cut apple into 8 slices.

Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll and place in baking dish.

Melt butter on stove top. Add sugar and stir just until blended. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over apples.

Pour Sprite around the edges of the pan and between the two rows of dumplings. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 35 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sauces from the pan over the top.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Servings: 8
Calories 221
Total Fat 9.5g
Total Carbohydrates 31.5g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Protein 3.2g
Nutrition Grade D

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Havaianas by Lori Jack “Top” Swarovski Crystal Flip Flops (41/42, Black/Leopard)

Glazed Lemon Muffins

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We got a juicer last month and every time I put lemons in it I hated to throw away all of the fluffy lemon zest. So I finally decided to make some muffins with it. If you don’t have a juicer you can still just use the normal zesting method. Trying this with oranges tomorrow.

1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups Bread Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
6 oz vanilla Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 large Lemon (pulp and juice from juicer, or zest and juice if you don’t have a juicer)
1 cup Sugar
2 large Eggs

Glaze:
1-1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with baking liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. On low-speed, mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Mix in 1/2 of the yogurt mixture. Alternate until all combined.

Divide evenly among muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

Set rack over wax paper. In a small bowl, stir powdered sugar with lemon juice and water until smooth. Pour over muffins, spreading to edges with a small knife. Let set for 30 minutes.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Servings: 12
Calories 259
Total Fat 8.8g
Total Carbohydrates 43.4g
Protein 2.8g
Nutrition Grade D-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Grazie Women’s Peacock Flip Flop (I got these in blue & green and I love them!) You can see the other 2 colors when you click the picture.

Fairy Brownies

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Taylor wanted to make brownies today and Megan wanted to watch The Oscars. Taylor was a lot happier than Megan. Once they got to the “We Saw Your Boobs” song, Megan looked at me and said “I’m not impressed.” I have to say I wasn’t either.

Taylor found a recipe in her fairy cookbook for brownies. We changed them up a little bit, but she was happy. They aren’t really rich without the frosting, so it would make the perfect brownie sundae brownie.

Brownies:
1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Powdered Cocoa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and cocoa just until blended. Add to butter mixture and combine until free of lumps.

Spread batter into prepared baking dish.

Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.

Frosting:
2-1/2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar

In a small saucepan over medium low heat, whisk flour and milk. Stir constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (and not grainy).

Add the milk mixture and beat until it resembles whipped cream.

Add to cooled brownies.

Servings: 12
Calories 316
Total Fat 18.6g
Total Carbohydrates 34.6g
Dietary Fiber 0.9g
Protein 3.4g
Nutrition Grade D-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Leopard Bathtub Art Print Poster by Todd Williams, 12×12

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

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I haven’t blogged for awhile because I was still recovering from book fair. It was a huge success but I was completely wiped out. I didn’t do a lot of cooking for those 2 weeks. These were our Super Bowl Brownies, per Taylor’s request. She loves anything with chocolate and peanut butter.

2 cups Unsalted Butter
4 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
6 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate
6 Eggs
3 tablespoons Instant Coffee Granules
2 tablespoons Pure Vanilla Extract
2-1/4 cups Sugar
1 & 1/4 cup Flour, divided
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
3/4 cup Peanut Butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour (or use non-stick cooking spray for baking) a 13″ x 9″ baking dish.

Melt the butter, 2 & 1/2 cups of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water (or double boiler). Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine (do not use mixer) the eggs, coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the prepared pan. Spoon the peanut butter over the top of the chocolate mixture and swirl through it with a knife.

Bake for 20 minutes, then tap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake. Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into large squares.

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

Servings: 20
Calories 494
Total Fat 34.6g
Total Carbohydrates 44.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.9g
Protein 7.0g
Nutrition Grade D-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: It?s Exciting Lighting 002518G Battery Powered Indoor/Outdoor Leopard LED Wall Sconce

Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

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When we went on our cruise last fall, we had another couple that dined with us. I was really iffy on that at first and was afraid we were going to end up with some strange or grumpy person. We ended up meeting a great couple. They were in town tonight so got to meet them for dinner. We had a great time, but really wish we would have been dining on the ship instead.

I tried a few different recipes for chocolate chip cookies. This one was my favorite. The perfect soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie.

2-1/4 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
2 large Eggs
2 cups (12 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside.

In large bowl, mix the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Reduce speed to low. Add salt, vanilla and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute.

Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Servings: 36
Calories 151
Total Fat 8.1g
Total Carbohydrates 18.7g
Dietary Fiber 0.7g
Protein 1.2g
Nutrition Grade F

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Black/Brown Flocking Leopard Satin Window Curtain Drape Set+Sheer Liner+Valance

Pecan Pie Muffins

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The girls are loving their new Kinectimals game. They put off getting this one because they thought all you did was “pet” the animals. Now it’s one of their favorites. I’m proud to say that Megan’s first pet is a Leopard named after me. Taylor’s is a Cheetah that she named after Lily. Lily and I had a very confusing day not knowing if they were talking to us or the TV. Lily had about 50 fetching false alarms. She missed out on a lot of napping time chasing all those fake balls.

If you could smoosh a pecan pie into a muffin, this would be it…..only 5 ingredients and tastes just like pecan pie.

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1 cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
1/2 cup Flour
1 cup Pecans, chopped
2/3 cup Unsalted Butter, softened
2 Eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray (I don’t recommend using baking liners for these)

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add flour and stir until just
combined. Stir in pecans.

Spoon batter into muffin cups. About 1/4 cup in each. Bake for 22 minutes.

Adapted from Paula Deen.

Servings: 12
Calories 228
Total Fat 17.5g
Total Carbohydrates 17.1g
Dietary Fiber 1.0g
Protein 2.4g
Nutrition Grade C

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Coach Chelsea Ocelot Print Jayden Caryall 21084M (Brown/Multi)

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

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We were snowed in today so it was a pretty uneventful day of cleaning up Christmas, watching TV and praying that what I’m suddenly feeling isn’t the flu. So I’ll just leave you with this…part 2 of the Teacher’s Cookie Exchange.

1/2 cup Butter
2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Milk
4 Tbs Cocoa
1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 tsp Vanilla
3 cups Old Fashioned Oats

Add the first four ingredients into a 4-quart sauce pan.

Bring to a rolling boil and hold for 1 minute.

Remove from heat.

Add peanut butter into the hot mixture and stir until melted.

Add in vanilla.

Mix in the oats and drop by tablespoons onto wax paper.

Let cool until set.

Servings: 24
Calories 155
Total Fat 7.2g
Total Carbohydrates 21.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.1g
Protein 2.4g
Nutrition Grade C-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Beige Leopard Cheetah Fashion Straw Cowboy Hat

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Christmas shopping is finished! Everything is wrapped! Now the only thing I have left to finish is the 26 random acts of kindness. Since I’m not working, I have to do something without money. That makes it a little challenging. One down, 25 to go!

This wasn’t the one, but I had to make 3 dozen cookies for the teachers cookie exchange at school.

3/4 stick Butter Flavor Crisco Baking Stick
1-1/4 cups Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
2 Tbs Milk
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1-3/4 cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 -1/2 cups Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 8 minutes.

Servings: 36
Calories 81
Total Fat 4.2g
Total Carbohydrates 9.5g
Protein 0.9g
Nutrition Grade D-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Purple Leopard Fuzzy Dice