M&M’s Cookies

IMG_0265

Almost the entire state of North Dakota is experiencing blizzard-like conditions, so I figured it’d be a great day to stay indoors and try out some new recipes! These cookies from Picky Palate are amazing, and the M&M’s can easily be substituted for something of your preference. They also include my favorite cookie ingredient: vanilla pudding mix! It keeps them soft and fluffy.

Mix your sugars and butter (at room temperature!) together until combined. Add your egg and vanilla mixing to combine.

IMG_0245

Then add your flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt, stirring to combine. Lastly, stir in your chips and m&m’s.

Drop medium-sized scoops on a lined cookie sheet:

IMG_0251

Cook for 10-12 minutes and let cool.

They come out looking like this:

IMG_0269

Fluffy and colorful! Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 stick/1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose Gold Medal Flour
  • 3 tablespoons Instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1-1 1/2 cups Mini M&M’s

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream your butter and sugars until well combined. Add your egg and vanilla mixing to combine. Add your flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt, stirring to combine. Add chips and m&m’s stirring to combine.
  3. With a medium cookie scoop, place dough 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Macaroni and Spinach Muffins

IMG_0212

Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite foods of all time, but let’s be honest, it’s not exactly the healthiest. When I found this recipe from Emily Bites I knew I had to try it! It’s like mac and cheese but with REAL cheese, perfectly portioned and even sneaks in a vegetable!

The Ingredients:

IMG_0189

Directions:
1.    Pre-heat the oven to 400. Lightly mist a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
2.    In a small sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, mixing it into the butter until thick. Stir in the milk and garlic and raise the temp to bring the mixture to just under a boil. Add the cheese and whisk mixture together until thoroughly combined into a cheese sauce.

IMG_0192
3.    Remove the cheese sauce from heat and then mix in the egg and egg white (binding agents) until combined.
4.    In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, cheese sauce, salt and pepper and mix together.

IMG_0196

5.     Spoon the mixture evenly into the cups of your prepared muffin tin.

IMG_0198

5.    Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tops slightly brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Enjoy!

IMG_0200

Recipe

Ingredients:
4 c cooked macaroni
1 T butter
1 T flour
1 c skim milk
1 garlic clove, minced
3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 egg
1 egg white
1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained and patted dry (or you could use 1 cup cooked fresh spinach)
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
1.    Pre-heat the oven to 400. Lightly mist a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
2.    In a small sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, mixing it into the butter until thick. Stir in the milk and garlic and raise the temp to bring the mixture to just under a boil. Add the cheese and whisk mixture together until thoroughly combined into a cheese sauce.
3.    Remove the cheese sauce from heat and then mix in the egg and egg white until combined.
4.    In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, cheese sauce, salt and pepper and mix together. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cups of your prepared muffin tin.
5.    Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tops slightly brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.

Yields 12 muffins.

St. Patrick’s Day Green Velvet Cupcakes

IMG_0174

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day I wanted to make something yummy and green! I’ve never made cupcakes from scratch, so I thought I’d give it a try. Honestly, my first dozen were a disaster, because I overfilled the cupcake tins (here’s where my box-only cupcakes history ruined it for me — their directions always say fill it 2/3 full!) The cupcakes came out looking like big mushrooms…but still tasty!

The second batch was much better! Thanks to Love From the Oven for the recipe!

Here’s what I used:

IMG_0146

I only used about half of the green food coloring bottle, but more or less could be used depending upon the color green you prefer. Mine turned out like this:

IMG_0150

And this is an example of how high to fill the tins if you want the cupcakes to be deformed and enlarged! (Oops! seriously, don’t fill them this high!)

IMG_0153

The cream cheese frosting was so easy; no stove required! It ended up being the perfect texture.

IMG_0172

Lastly, the result!

IMG_0176

IMG_0173

Green velvet cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 oz green food coloring

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your muffin tins or add liners.

Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with whisk. Add in remaining liquid ingredients. Whisk until blended and sit aside.

Place all dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together well.

Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or two until well combined.

Pour into your cupcake tin and cook for about 16 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan.

Cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 package of softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 bag powdered sugar (2 lb bag)
  • Milk as needed

Cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Gradually add in powdered sugar and continue mixing. Add in milk as needed to get to the desired consistency. I used a ziplock bag with the corner cut off to pipe the frosting on and topped with some green sprinkles!

Burlap Wreath

Last December I was looking for some cute homemade Christmas gifts for friends and family. I love looking at Etsy for ideas and, like always, I found  my  inspiration. It was a simple monogrammed wreath that would be perfect for all seasons!

It ended up being inexpensive, easy and cute! The perfect project.

I purchased all of my materials at Hobby Lobby, and started with a basic stick wreath.

2012-12-20_18-43-40_46

I had seen little burlap flowers on Etsy but wasn’t sure how to make them. I also couldn’t find any tutorials! I ended up cutting about foot long strip of burlap and folding it in half lengthwise. Then I slowly wrapped it in tight circle while   twisting to create edges. It was sort of a trial and error process!

I hot glued the burlap flowers, little white flowers and pearls on one side of the wreath.

I also purchased a wood letter and covered it with burlap.

2013-03-11_12-50-57_743

Here’s the final product:

2012-12-21_17-50-13_342

Peanut Butter Reese’s Pieces Cookies

These are officially my new favorite cookie. With perfect amount of peanut butter and crunch, they stay soft for days thanks to the instant pudding mix!

photo

Here’s what you’ll need:

3/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. reeses pieces
1 c. butterscotch chips

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and pudding mix and set aside. In a large mixing bowl cream butter (make SURE it’s room temp!), peanut butter, and sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and honey and beat again. Slowly add the dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips, reeses and butterscotch chips.
  2. Drop by tablespoon onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350* for 10 minutes. Cool on pan for 3-4 minutes, then remove to a wire rack. Store in a tightly covered container.
  3. Enjoy these amazing cookies!

PhotoGrid_1361088067118

Recipe Adapted from Inside BruCrew Life.