Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Fudgy Cookie Hiding it's Fudgy Goodness in a Light Color Cookie

If you are looking for a fudgy cookie that stays soft and almost tastes like a brownie - grab yourself a cake mix. No - really. Recently I made Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies with Chocolate Chips and they were great, fudgy and soft. The color is light and seems like they wouldn't be too great - but looks can be deceiving. These are fudgy, yummy, and easy!

Cake Mix Cookies - Chocolate with Chocolate Chips
1 (18.25 – ounce) box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil until smooth. Alternately you can do this step in the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mixing ingredients on low until combined.
Mix in chocolate chips until evenly incorporated.
Using a medium (2- tablespoon) cookie scoop portion the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet 2- inches apart. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until lightly golden at the edges.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Being Saucy (and Sassy) in a Slightly Healthier Way

So we tried making a version of Chick-Fil-A's chicken - which did it taste like theirs? No, probably because I made it, but along with it - we made a healthier version of the famous Chick-Fil-A sauce. Now news flash - their sauce packets are crazy unhealthy. Every time I think about going there, I change my mind, why get a chicken sandwich if you skip the sauce because of the calories? Well... I found this recipe for a knock off of the famous sauce. I've heard it's just barbecue sauce and honey mustard anyway - but this is a low-sugar, low-calorie version (and low WW point version). While this isn't an exact knock off, it does taste like it, oddly so. Dipping chicken into this was actually really good. I enjoyed it, as did Andy. It was a tad too much mustard for me - but I still kept dipping my chicken in it - so clearly not THAT mustardy. So if you are looking for a lower-calorie version of a good sauce for chicken - go for it. This does make three cups worth - so be prepared! We have a giant jar in the fridge now, ready to be used at a moment's notice. Perhaps it's time to bake some chicken soon.

Chick Fil A Copycat - Low-Cal
1/2 cup tomato sauce (scan to ensure 0 points)
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1-1/2 Tbsp 0 point natural sweetener o' choice (stevia, monkfruit, truvia, swerve, etc)
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
4 Tbsp yellow mustard
5 Tbsp sugar free syrup (pancake syrup)
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
1 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise

First, we're making the BBQ sauce part of the sauce. In a medium pan, heat and stir together the tomato sauce, worcestershire, garlic, onion and chili powders, black pepper, paprika, vinegar and sweetener. Mix till well combined, then turn off the heat.
Now. the Honey Mustard part. Add the dijon, yellow mustard, dried mustard, syrup, honey, lemon juice and turmeric. Whisk till combined. Then. add the yogurt and mayonnaise. Whisk till smooth and combined. Serve immediately or refrigerate to let the flavors meld.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Buns of Honey

Honeybun Cake is a crowd favorite - it's easy, delicious, it has cinnamon and glaze. Done.
This recipe is awesome. I love that it's easy to mix it with a spatula in a bowl - no mixer needed. The glaze goes on the hot cake so it soaks in and makes the cake that much more moist. (Oof... there's that word.)
I make this cake as a coffee cake - a breakfast food. Let's be real - it's really dessert...
I've had people push me out of the way to get a piece of this cake - it's that good. (Also that person was actually that rude.)

Honeybun Cake
What you need!
1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
4 whole Eggs
1 cup Sour Cream
¾ cups Vegetable Oil
1 cup Light Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2 cups Powdered Sugar
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preparation Instructions
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Make it!
By hand, blend the cake mix, eggs, sour cream, and oil until well-incorporated. The mixture will be pale yellow; it’s okay if it has some lumps! Then set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon until well-blended; set aside.
Pour half of the cake batter into a greased 13×9 pan, spreading the batter out into a thin layer. Add half of the swirl mixture to the top, covering the entire layer of batter. Don’t be alarmed if it looks like you’re over-saturating the cake—it’ll taste great! Pour the rest of the batter on top, and spread the batter until the cake is even. Top the cake off with the rest of the swirl mixture. With a knife, swirl the batter until you create a beautiful masterpiece.
Place the cake into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, make the glaze. In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until glaze is of desired consistency. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour glaze onto the hot cake. You might have to pick up the cake and tilt it to spread the glaze evenly. Let the cake sit for a few minutes so the glaze can set and serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The Great Northern Bean is a thing

The Great Northern Bean is a thing. How odd of a name for a bean, yes? I mean I don't know the meaning of any other bean names, but this one? I was SURE that was just a weird generic name - nope, that's the name. My recipe called for them and I stood in the store with two cans of beans in my hands - neither of them Great Northern Beans. Off to Google to figure out which one to use. As I looked down at my phone I saw another shelf of white beans... Great Northern Beans! BAM! THOSE were the beans. Now honestly I have no earthly idea how or if they are different than any other bean - but the recipe said to use them - and I did. We made this Sausage Bean soup - yes another soup.... we do SO many soups lately, but they are warm cozy... and this one? Crockpot. The best part was I set up the crockpot on my handy chair in the dining room to be safe away from Bernard and yet - forgot to actually turn it on. Good thing Andy was working from home and I had asked if it smelled good - he said it didn't smell like anything - oops... Phew! Thankfully he turned it on high for 4 hours and by time dinner time rolled around we had hot tasty soup.

Slow Cooker Sausage, Spinach and White Bean Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (12.8-ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups baby spinach

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
Place sausage, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, beans, oregano and bay leaves into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth and 2 cups water until well combined; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. Stir in spinach until wilted.
Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

I'll have some more s'more bark please!

Most of the time I bake something, it's for the challenge, or because I think someone will like it, because it looks like it is good. This time? This was all about me. Golden Grahams (or Honey Grahams - thanks Aldi), marshmallows, and chocolate - s'more bark. Yes and yes. Oh my yes. We were heading on a weekend away with family and snacks are a needed thing - almost a requirement. This s'more bark was high on my list of things to make to bring somewhere with lots of people - mostly because I was afraid of eating it all. It was a valid fear - let's be honest. I ended up packing the food box early and putting this container on the bottom because I could not get my mitts out of it. Shockingly I had some leftovers but I could not be trusted with them in my house - work is the perfect resting place for all sweets! It flew off the shelf. I love making something that's delicious - love even more sharing with people.
I may have found my Sweets and Treats recipe for 2020! That's right - in January!

S'mores Candy Bark
2 11.5 oz packages milk (or semi sweet) chocolate chips
1 Tbsp solid vegetable shortening
5 cups Golden Grahams Cereal divided
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

Place a heat proof bowl over 1 inch simmering water. Pour chocolate chips into the bowl, add shortening. Melt, stirring occasionally until completely smooth. Alternatively, melt chocolate and shortening together in a microwave safe bowl, using the melt function on your microwave. Stir until smooth.
Meanwhile, line a large baking sheet with waxed paper or line with a silicone baking mat. Spread 4 1/2 cups cereal and marshmallows on pan. Crush remaining 1/2 cup cereal and set aside.
Drizzle melted chocolate over cereal and marshmallows. Spread using an offset spatula until evenly distributed. Sprinkle with crushed cereal.
Chill for 1-2 hours. Break apart and enjoy.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
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