White Chip Chocolate Cookies

One of my all time favorite things to do is explore new cities.  I love wondering aimlessly and exploring all the nooks of a city.  Although I hate change, making the move from Columbus to Cincinnati has really given me the opportunity to explore an entirely new city in Ohio.  I am loving it; Cincinnati is yet to disappoint.

Kentucky is right across the river from Cincinnati, so one of the neat things to do is walk over the “Purple People Bridge” that crosses from Cincinnati to Newport, KY.   Husband and I explored Newport on the Levee this weekend and it was great! There were plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops.   We ate at Tom + Chee, which by the way is known for the grilled cheese donuts (I know your mouth just watered, its ok…admit it), followed by aimless wondering.  It was wonderful.

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Tomorrow is my first day of orientation for my residency! Eeee! I’m bundle of excited nerves… which is probably why I baked multiple times this week.  Today I baked my all time favorite cupcake: Buckeye Cupcakes for the cookout all the residents are having tomorrow night.  My other new co-residents aren’t from Ohio, so I figure this will be a good way to explain the Buckeye craze here in Ohio.  Earlier this week I also made these fabulous cookies! I was in the mood to bake, so I used what I had in my pantry.   They turned out extra fluffy and moist.

Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup of baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups white chocolate morsels

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Set aside

3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels.

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5. Drop by well-rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

6.. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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I suppose its time for bed,  early day tomorrow.  Night friends.

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Nutella Chocolate Cake in a Mug

Thanks to Pinterest, I discovered this list of  18 snacks you can cook in a mug, check it out!  This is a dangerous, dangerous thing I have discovered and I wanted to share it with all of you.  You’re welcome.

Husband and I were both craving something chocolatey after dinner tonight, so I decided to whip up the Nutella cake.  Holy deliciousness! I can’t believe how easy it was to throw together and how good it turned out after just a minute and a half in the microwave.  I have to admit, I’m pretty excited to try these other treats out.

Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients: 

  • 4 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons Nutella
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions:  

1. Combine all ingredients in a large coffee mug. Whisk well with a fork until smooth.

2. Microwave on high for 1½– 2 minutes. (Topped ours with whipped cream!)

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Snickers Cupcakes

How is it March already?  I can’t believe how fast my third year of dental school is flying by.  I wouldn’t mind slowing things down just a bit and hovering here for just a moment in time.  The closer fourth year creeps, the more I can sense the stress that will come along with it.

You know whats strange.. When I was overwhelmed and constantly stressed during my second year, I blogged regularly and now that things are a little more relaxed, I’m not blogging as much.  How backwards is that?  I’m still cooking delicious new recipes, I just haven’t gotten around to posting them.  I need to get back in to the swing of things!

For all you Snickers lovers out there, brace yourselves.  I got this brilliant idea from the blog My Baking Addiction (check out this blog, its super cute!).  These cupcakes turned out phenomenal! Everyone raved about them and I cannot wait to make them again.

Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients: 

For the cake:

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs; lightly beaten
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon of vanilla
24-30 frozen Snickers Miniatures

For the frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup caramel topping; plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

For the cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Line 24 cup muffin tins with paper liners.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and water.

4. Evenly divide the batter in to the muffin tins.

5. Gently push a frozen Snickers bar into the center of the batter.

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6. Smooth the surface making sure to cover the candy bar with batter.

7. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

8. Cool cupcakes thoroughly on wire rack.

For the frosting:

1. Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and caramel syrup and combine well.

2. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing well.Once all the sugar has been added, taste the frosting and determine if you want to add more syrup or more sugar. For thicker frosting, add more sugar and for thinner frosting add a tablespoon of water.

Now its time to ice your cupcakes and garnish them with chopped Snickers bars and a drizzle of  caramel syrup. Delicious!

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Mini Nutella Cups

A friend and I made these (Hi Nour!) and they turned out delicious! Love, love, love this recipe.  I have been on quite the chocolate kick lately and these certainly hit the spot! They are the perfect size to satisfy a sweet tooth.  I can’t wait to make these again!

Enjoy 🙂

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Jar of Nutella (12 tablespoons per batch)

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease your mini muffin tin (unless it is nonstick like mine).

2. Cream butter and both sugar in bowl until light, smooth and fluffy! Beat in eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated. Gradually add dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) until all the flour is mixed in!

3. Roll dough into balls 1.5 inches thick. (If dough is too runny, place in fridge for 10 minutes until it is a moldable consistency).  Place in mini muffin tins and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

4. When done, remove from oven and let sit for about 1 minute. Then make wells for the nutella with a shot glass, a similar object or a spoon. Add 1 tbsp Nutella to each cup.  Let cool for 15-20 minutes.

Get creative with toppings! We topped some of ours with m&m’s and pieces of snickers! Yumm!  This recipe made about 3 dozen – so be ready to chow down!

Original source: Daisy Chubb’s

Here are a couple other recipes I have made using Nutella:

Peanut Butter Graham Cracker Balls

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I have a big week ahead of me, tomorrow is my first official day in clinic! Pretty exciting.  My first rotation is in the pediatric dentistry clinic. Open wide kiddos! I’m pretty excited/nervous. I’ve worked so hard for the past two years to finally get to this point! Let’s do it!

I love the way these peanut butter balls turned out.  Delicious! I do need to work on my presentation a little bit though. My kitchen was super warm the day I made these and the balls started softening before I could even get them in the chocolate.  So some of them turned out a bit sloppy, but I progressively got better! I also love that these are bite size desserts, they hit the spot when you need something sweet after dinner.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup crushed nuts (I used almonds)
  • 1 – 1 ¼ cup chocolate (I used semi-sweet chocolate)

Directions:

1. Take your graham crackers and blend to crumbs in a food processor until you get 1 ½ cups. Add graham crackers crumbs to the 1 cup of peanut butter. Add powdered sugar. Mix well.  You want the mixture to be dry enough to be able to form balls. Add a little bit more peanut butter or cracker crumbs to achieve this consistency if need be.

2. Form 20 even sized balls with your hands and place on a wax paper covered plate, cutting board or baking sheet. Freeze for 30-60 minutes.

3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave until just melted (do not overcook!) or use a double boiler and stir chocolate until melted. Placed mini chips or crushed almonds in a small bowl. (You can use whatever topping that you would like, be creative!)

4. Using a toothpick or fork dip the peanut butter balls in the melted chocolate, one at a time, and then toss in the topping until covered. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.

Recipe from: Baby Gizmo Blog

Brownie Cupcakes

Happy 4th of July! What’s everyone up to today?  We  are going out to celebrate a friends birthday (Happy Birthday Andrew!!)  at a new Brazilian Steakhouse, here in Columbus.  I’m pretty excited to check this restaurant out, I’ve never been to a Brazilian Steakhouse before.  From what I hear, I need to be ready to chow down.

In other news, I passed boards part I! Oh my goodness, what a relief. Thank you to everyone who supported and believed in me 🙂  It was a rough road! I think little Leo was my lucky charm. Check out Leo and Diesel napping together, so cute right?

I made these cupcakes for Andrews birthday and he told me to dye the icing blue, so I went full force patriotic! Two birds, with one stone.  This is a great recipe, they turned out so delicious.  I topped the cupcakes with a buttercream frosting and add a chocolate/caramel drizzle to half of them, just to switch it up a little.

Enjoy!

Ingredients for Brownie Cupcakes: 

  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions for Brownie Cupcakes: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In pot, melt butter and two types of chocolate tougher.  Stir until smooth and lump free! Remove from heat and whisk both types of sugars in to chocolate mixture.  Add eggs one at a time.  Blend in vanilla, flour, and salt.

3.  Line 10 muffin pans and divide batter in to muffin tins.  Place in oven for 20-25 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Ingredients for Buttercream Icing:

  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon clear butter flavoring
  • 2 tablespoons water (or milk)
  • 1 tablespoon merengue powder (optional)
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)

Instructions for Buttercream Icing: 

1. With an electric mixer, soften shortening.  Add vanilla, butter flavoring, water (or milk), and merengue powder.  Mix well.
2. Start adding powdered sugar, one cup at a time until well blended.  I like my buttercream frosting to be really sweet, so taste as you go and add more or less depending on your sweet tooth
3. Once cupcakes are completely cool, its time for the best part – decorating! Decorate as you wish 🙂 I added blue dye to the icing and used a piping bag to decorate the cupcakes.
 Happy Fourth of July!!! 

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bread

Every time I manage to use bananas that are on their death bed for something delicious, I get super excited. I can proudly reassure myself that the few dollars I spent on those bananas did not go to waste.  Great feeling.

A friend gave me the idea to make Banana Oatmeal Cookies, but I didn’t quite have enough oatmeal – so instead I made a bread so that I could use part oatmeal and part flour.  This bread turned out delicious, super moist.  Also, it’s very easy to throw together!

I have to admit, the original recipe didn’t actually include chocolate chips… I couldn’t help myself.  Who doesn’t need a little chocolate in their life?

Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup light margarine
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat milk

Instructions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9×5 inch loaf pan and set aside.

2. Cream together the margarin, brown sugar, and white sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until fluffy.

3. Sift together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients alternately with bananas and milk. Mix until blended.

4. Fold in chocolate chips and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes; remove from oven and cover for 5 minutes.