Monday, August 30, 2010

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

I'm not a huge fan of cherries...but these cookies are yummy! I made them for my Grandma's birthday because she loves Cherry Mash. I also made some with blueberries and raspberries (I just covered them in the chocolate frosting before I added the extra cherry juice). I loved the blueberry cookies....they reminded me of Harry & David's chocolate covered blueberries, which I am now craving. ha ha. enjoy!

1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
½ cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
¼ teaspoons Baking Powder
½ cups Butter, Room Temperature
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1 whole Egg
1-½ teaspoon Vanilla
1 jar (10 Oz.) Maraschino Cherries, Drained, Reserve Juice
1 package (6 Oz.) Semisweet Chocolate Chips (or blocks of chocolate)
½ cups Sweetened, Condensed Milk

-In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and soda. Blend well and set aside.
-In a mixing bowl, beat together butter or margarine and sugar on low speed until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.
-Gradually add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture; beat until smooth and well blended.
-With hands, shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on an ungreased baking sheet. Press down the center of the dough with your thumb.
-Drain maraschino cherries well, reserving juice. Place a cherry in the center indention of each cookie.
-In small saucepan, combine chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk. Heat over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the reserved cherry juice.
-Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the topping over each cherry, spreading to cover the cherry. If frosting seems too thick, thin it with a little more cherry juice.
(I was worried that I read my original recipe wrong when it told me to put the frosting on BEFORE baking. I thought it would melt and run all over. But I did as it said and it is amazing! This super-silky chocolate frosting does not melt or run anywhere! It seals in the cherry beautifully!)
-Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until done. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The best birthday gifts...

Last week I turned 28. My amazing husband took off a couple hours and took me to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch! I am so blessed by my sweet family. Everything I have ever wanted/needed, I ALREADY HAVE! My sweet Brooke will be 2 in less than a month, and my baby girls arrived healthy 2 months ago. I don't deserve such a sweet family....I'm so thankful God has blessed us in so many ways!

Currently my Favorite Muffin Recipe - Blueberry Banana Streusel

My sweet husband bought me a new camera for my birthday! I have decided to start taking pictures of all the food I make, and eventually make a picture cookbook of my favorite recipes! I thought I would post this one on my blog....SUPER easy, and SO YUMMY! Streusel topping is optional...they taste great either way!

For the muffins...
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (or two medium-sized bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

For the Streusel topping...
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar, beating well. Add flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg; beat just until blended.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line tray with muffin cup papers.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together with a wire whisk.
Add butter, eggs, bananas and vanilla.
Mix on low until just combined.
Fold in blueberries...batter will be thick!
Add Streusel topping to each muffin.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Makes 12-15 muffins.