Monday, September 19, 2011

#36: Hot Chocolate Cookies with Marshmallows

I was moved to bake again thanks to my unhealthy obsession with pinterest. Having first discovered this virtual pinboard in August down in Provo, I have been finding FABULOUS desserts I felt compelled to make in the summer... but am just now getting around to ACTUALLY trying them. For instance, this summer I ran into this little gem of a recipe: Hot chocolate cookies. Now, I love hot chocolate, but I knew a woman that would appreciate them even more than I would- Midge Baird. Evidently hot chocolate is her vice, so what better way than to win her over than with sweet, sweet desserts? I am a genius. As a result, I spent this last dreary, windy, cool Saturday afternoon baking to my heart's content, and here be the finished goods:

#36: Hot Chocolate Cookies with Marshmallows (as adapted from


2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup hot chocolate mix
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups mini marshmallows


1. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.
     - I'm talking, STIFF PEAKS kind of fluffy. Get out those electric mixers, sugar. I have learned these guns just won't do the trick if you want super chewy cookies.

2. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, hot chocolate mix, salt and baking soda.
     - I took my own spin on the recipe at this point. I went ahead and added an additional 1/4 cup of hot chocolate mix, since the taste of chocolate was WAY too subtle... and if you know me at all, you know I am anything BUT that. Oh, and if I were to make this cookie again, I would cut the amount of salt in half. Biting into the cookies, I would catch random pockets of salt in my mouth... and that's weird.

3. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Mix until well blended.
     - I broke out the electric mixer again.

4. Place by rounded teaspoon onto parchment lined baking sheets.
     - Or live dangerously like me, and DON'T use parchment. I also went ahead and put the back of a spoon to each cookie to flatten them out a bit before putting them in the oven.

5. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until slightly firm.
     - I did eight minutes, for the following step...

6. As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, begin topping with marshmallows.
     - After making the magic that was my rocky road cookies, I knew I wanted to get my marshmallows a little sticky and golden, like smores, so I went ahead and took the cookies out at 8 minutes, put 4-6 marshmallows on top of each cookie, and then returned them to the oven for an additional 3 minutes.

7. After cooling for a few minutes on the baking sheet, move to wire wrack until completely cool.

There you have it. Delicious, easy... and Mothers Baird approved.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

#35: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cake

OH HEY! Gosh, it's been awhile since I have updated, and to be honest, a LONG TIME since I have baked. My project has turned in to a bit of a BUST, for a variety of reasons-

a) I had a personal trainer all summer and didn't lose any weight. I think this is due to the fact that I was literally consuming up to four sticks of butter a week thanks to my desserts. Needless to say, since ending my baking, my pants are fitting much more comfortably.

b) School started. This year has been MUCH LESS HECTIC, but what with a new block schedule, work out routines, and nightly skyping dates, my baking has taken a backseat.

c) I had a couple of rough recipes. I retried my snickerdoodles at Mindy's house right before I came home to the Tri-Cities for the summer, as well as my Mrs. Field's Chocolate Chip cookie recipe at home before school started, and neither turned out. Talk about a blow to my ego.

It is time to update though, because prior to my departure from Provo, I baked one last time, and the results were pretty spectacular. Considering it was my last weekend in Utah, as well as Brent's birthday, I really wanted to make a cake. The one I chose was DELISH- just like the cookie, BUT IT WAS A CAKE. Genius.

#35: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cake (as found in Sandra Lee's Bake Sale Cookbook)


1 package (18.25 ounces) white cake mix
1 package (4-serving-size) instant white chocolate pudding and pie filling mix
2/3 cup refrigerated liquid egg whites
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white baking chips
1 1/4 cups chopped macadamia nuts
2 containers (12 ounces each) whipped cream cheese frosting


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Add egg whites, coconut milk, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down the side of the bowl; beat on medium for 1 minute more. Batter will be thick. Stir in white baking chips and 1/2 cup of the chopped macadamia nuts. Spread into prepared pans.

3. Bake for 32 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool in pans.
     - Just as side note, for whatever reason, these cakes didn't rise very well. They tasted GREAT, and were fluffy enough, but they didn't rise. Hmm.

4. For macadamia nut frosting, in a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the remaining chopped macadamia nuts and one container of the cream cheese frosting.

5. To assemble, place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with macadamia nut frosting; top with the second cake layer. Frost entire cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting. Garnish with the remaining 1/4 cup macadamia nuts.
     - I am NOT a cake decorator, as you will soon see. My frosting was sloppy, and I was too impatient to garnish the cake, so I just stuck the remaining nuts and chips in he middle of the cake, but DANGIT! It tasted great!

So, my first attempt at a layered cake was a success. I didn't get to enjoy it very much though, as Stephen and I left the next morning to begin our voyage back to the Tri-Cities (tear). Here are some pictures we took though- sorry about the quality, we were in the middle of a candlelit dinner, complete with Kneaders sandwiches and Ghost Adventures. Sounds like my kind of heaven.