Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chocolate C"Hunk" cookies

Wowzers! I'm tired! I chase a couple of toddlers for a couple minutes and I'm done for...I don't think that's a good sign. But couldn't resist the little toddler giggles that were escaping their precious little mouths.
So I am somewhat recuperating, and sipping some tea and talking to you.
I would LOVE to say that I have a plate of these steamy c"hunks" next to me, but I don't. I think my weight watchers tracker wouldn't even post a number for these lookers, it would just give me a big frowny face :-(
But I can still get some pleasure out of sharing them with you. I can imagine us sitting together with our cup of teas listening to Michael Bublé  and just taking our time eating these warm, gooey, rich, nutty chunks of heaven....yeah I know you can see it too...aaaaah (can you tell I haven't had many sweets lately) 
But seriously these cookies resemble a mix between a brownie and a rich chocolate cookie. and are totally worth the time. These cookies are a knock-off of the version sold at the popular Levain Bakery
Make sure you don't bake them too long, they can become quite dry and crumbly.
Best is to take them out when they still seem slightly gooey in the middle, not a lot mind you but just slightly, you don't want them to be too gooey.
 I will just sit here with my milk-less tea and grapes, trying really hard to imagine they taste like chocolate.
but on a different note, I've really been impressed with the weight watchers system. granted when people ask me how I feel, my response goes something like this...

Them: "so how are you feeling now? since you've been on the program for a couple weeks now. you should be feeling great...right?"
Me: "uhm, have you ever seen a drug addict in rehab?" "yeah that's how I feel"
Them: " ...I'm sorry..."
Me: "Oh no it's actually really great!" insert quirky smile*

It really does feel like a detox...but a good one! a needed one! (well I guess any rehab or detox is good)
I've been "forced" to make a lot of good choices in my foods and eating habits!
but enough said hubby is waiting to use the i'll leave you with these awesome cookies, think of me while you make and eat them  ;-)

Giant Double Chocolate Cookies
Yield: 12 very large cookies
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1¼ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. 
  2.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed just until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts with a spatula.  Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead briefly by hand to be sure the ingredients are well combined.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 ounce portions (or divide into 12 equal pieces).  Roll each portion of dough into a ball and flatten just slightly into a disc.  Place on the prepared baking sheets, a few inches apart.  Bake 16-20 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe adaptedfrom Annies eats who adapted it from My Baking Addiction, who adapted it from Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives, inspired by Levain Bakery

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sweet Peach cupcakes and a birthday to celebrate!

So today is Thursday... ,Ydw, oui, ja, si and yes that means tasty goodness coming your way! and today i have an awesome treat!  But also today is the perfect day to celebrate's my sister's birthday today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! so I dedicate these pretties to her today! 
Peaches are in season this month, and I get the best of the market in GA = awesomeness. fresh, sweet and huge GA peaches directly from the local farmers here in GA, can't get any better than that!
I LOVE peaches! from the first bite all the way to wiping the juice off your chin in the end. yum!

These pretties are a simple yet "not-too-sweet" cupcake. they resemble a peach cobbler more. 
The cupcake is a simple vanilla cake with fresh peaches scooped in the middle and topped with a sour cream/ whipped cream mixture. The frosting (well it can't really be considered a frosting) the topping is slightly sweet and really complements the peach cupcake. 
the cupcakes don't rise too much so they are smaller cupcakes. Also since they have the fruit in the middle, the cupcakes don't have a similar size. they really do resemble muffin or cobbler style desserts. 
but the flavor is to die for. My husband, who loves death-by-sugar frosting's was not too keen on these. I however don't like the overly sweet frosting's and tend to scrape mine off. but these are scrumptious just the way they are... a perfect balance.

My sister and I are 18 months apart and were always asked if we were twins lol
although i know we have been through a lot and times have not always been good, we both gone our own ways and have our own life. but nonetheless we are sisters and I would never ask for another! Hope you have an amazing day! Enjoy! one step closer to 30 (ugh I'm so not looking forward to that!) Here are some pics of my sister and I ( Oh no she didn't!!!...oh yes I did) ;-)

Sweet Peach Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 medium nectarines, peeled, halved, pitted, and finely chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 medium peach, halved, pitted, and very thinly sliced, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cupcakes: Sift together flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir together milk and vanilla.
  2. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With mixer running, add eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating twice with milk mixture.
  3. Line a standard muffin tin with baking cups. Fill each with 1 tablespoon batter, 1 heaping tablespoon chopped peaches, and an additional 2 tablespoons batter. Bake until edges begin to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool in tin.
  4. Make the topping: Whisk together cream, sour cream, and sugar to medium peaks. Top cupcakes with a dollop of cream and peach slices.
Recipe adapted from Martha stewart

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Butter Cream

So middle week munchies have weaseled their way into my day. And since I have no treats, or anything remotely interesting to eat. I thought I would write a post about some overly interesting and delicious treats. Definitely beats eating the 4-5 hundred some calories, I'm sure you hips are already reaching out further than they should...*sigh
In my defense I make a lot of cupcakes and baked goods but don't eat very many. the cooking and baking gives me enough satisfaction, that by the time these babies are cooking, I'm quite satisfied and full! no complaining here!

These little angels were light airy and very very rich, a great combo for hip growing lol
The butter-cream was an ordinary butter-cream enhanced with vanilla bean and vanilla buttery smooth. I tend to prefer the meringue butter-creams, thew are airier and less buttery. But this time around this butter-cream enhanced the vanilla cupcake by a long shot. 
It's a simple yet sophisticated flavor and like I mentioned before it's rich. Decorating possibilities are endless and very versatile ;-)  
Try this recipe out and let me know what you think! 
Just be very gentle while making these and whatever you do...DO NOT over beat! 


While you drool looking at the pictures lol 
here are some great tips I found very very helpful! 
just click here to find them. 
PS the books are pretty awesome too on this site!

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes With Vanilla Bean Butter Cream Frosting: 



Makes 18-20 cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour (I used King Arthur's brand)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  1.  Center a rack in the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and egg whites.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla bean seeds at medium speed for 3 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are very light. Add in the vanilla extract and one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until well incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter fully incorporated and smooth, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
  5. Once ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Using a large scoop (about 3 tablespoons), distribute the batter between 18 muffin wells, filling each well 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean. Cool on wire rack.



3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (this helps maintain the bright white color)
1 ½ pounds (24 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

  1.  In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and seeds from vanilla bean until fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add in confectioners’ sugar, and continue beating until well blended.
  2. Add in vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened.
  3. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

*Cupcakes were frosted using the large round tip from Bake It Pretty
*Cupcake liners from Publix

Cake recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake via My Baking Addiction

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Worship Wednesday; God's Blessing Like Water Flow

This Wednesday was jam packed with messages, encouragements and loving words and reminders from my Savior!
Crave was awesome this morning God really revealed Himself to me! I love when He does that so personally and direct.

(Crave on Wednesday's is something our church provides, it's a prayer and meditation time for the women of the church)

We have been going through the Jesus Calling book, every week we get a small piece of paper with the message and corresponding verses for that specific day. Of course you come and follow God's calling, meaning you read whatever He puts on your heart. Such a sweet time of communion with our Lord. I Love it and "crave" it ;-)
for today (the 8th) we got to read this:

I speak to you from deepest heaven. You hear Me in the depths of your being. 
Deep calls unto deep. You are blessed to hear Me so directly. 
Never take this privilege for granted. 
The best response is a heart overflowing with gratitude
I am training you to cultivate a thankful mind-set. 
This is likebuilding your house on a firm rock, where life's storms cannot shake you. 
As you learn these lessons, you are to teach them to others. 

I will open up the way before you, one step at a time.

 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;

All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
Psalm 42:7;

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Psalm 95:1-2; 

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
Matthew 7:24-25

The yellow words are the words that somehow stood out to me while I was reading.
God placed the word "water" on my heart.
We meet in the sanctuary, when walking in I was struck by the sound of the AC running. usualy people (including me) find the noise quite distracting. Today the sound reminded me of rushing water and waterfalls. I was reminded of the sound of cool flowing water.
I love the sound of rain, it's calming to me. The sound of the AC and the thoughts on waterfalls and rain, led me to this song by Laura Story  (watch the video here). She sings "What if your blessings came through raindrops?" and it just touched me someway.
I pictured a girl standing in the rain with her arms raised, just accepting the raindrops as they surround her. A picture of how God just engulfs us with blessings and gives us all we need "one step at a time"
Our joy is to joyfully and freely receive with a thankful and grateful heart. Sometimes I just concentrate on getting cold and wet that I miss out on what God has given me.

A good friend illustrated it so perfectly; she saw god pouring out blessings. There were 4 different kinds of people. the first received the blessings (rain) gratefully and without hesitation. The second person received the blessings but still fearfully hid under an umbrella, receiving only bits here and there. The fourth person just stayed inside the comfort of his home and never ventured out, this person declined the blessings of God and continued with what he thought was the best plan...his plan. the fourth person had absolutely no idea about Gods blessings and was completely oblivious of the blessings being poured down all around him.
As I was thinking about it, in my mind I could see all these things "raining" down over us and we were standing with open arms and hearts to receive them. Then I thought of how, in the natural, when it's raining we automatically want to grab our umbrellas because we don't want to get wet. However, in the spiritual, who wants an umbrella or other barrier up when God is raining down all these wonderful gifts on us? We want to be completely saturated by those things and by His Spirit!
We sing the song "Rain Down" and ask God to open up the heavens and rain down on us. And in reply He says, "Look up! I already have! Receive the blessings I've given you!"

Are you standing under an umbrella waiting for God's blessings? Or are you standing in the deluge, soaking up every drop?

I want to be the first person, the person who ventures out boldly and gets soaked with Gods blessings! The person who is not fearful for he knows he has an awesome God protecting him!
His house is built on firm ground and stable on the rock, even the storms can't budge it! THAT is who I want to be!

Hope this was a blessing to you as well! God bless you!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Wow that sure is a mouthful...literally! But who doesn't LOVE cookie dough right? I remember begging my mom for cookie dough when she made chocolate chip cookies for my dads lunches. We would get one spoonful, and maybe a lick from the bowl. I'd savor it and take as long as I possibly could to finish up the tasty goodness. When my parents moved back to the states and I stayed back to finish my degree, I lived with a family, The mom ALWAYS had a batch of frozen cookie dough in her freezer for the taking...
heaven on a cold spoon ;-)

This cupcake is a very rich and very safe version of cookie dough (egg less). The cupcake itself tastes like a chocolate chip cookie. It doesn't stop there...the cupcake has (egg less) cookie dough inside it. Can you imagine biting into a chocolate cookie, and being met with the gooey sweetness of cookie dough? then to top all that off the cookie is covered with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting!!! yes you heard right "chocolate chip cookie dough frosting" rich it's practically a crime! Be still my beating heart!

For those health freaks (you know I love you) that get concerned about raw cookie dough, don't fret! the cookie dough is made with  sweetened condensed milk and therefore does not require eggs. no raw eggs = no salmonella risk = happy mommy. And I am seriously not that concerned with the whole eating raw flour debate. I really don't think I consume enough raw flour for it to be a problem. But you are free to have your own opinion ;-)

I opted for the quick version and omitted making my own small cookies to place on top of the cupcakes.
I used the chips ahoy mini cookies, saved time ;-)

We brought these to our small groups 4th of July party and they were a hit! The party was a huge hit and we had an awesome time! It was fun to sit back and relax with good I take that back GREAT food and amazing company! Check out some of the pic's from that evening!

Our awesome 3rd of July party ;-)

Here is the recipe for these delectable cupcakes ;-)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Printable Recipe

Makes 12 cupcakes


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tin with some pretty liners you should need 12.
  2. Beat  the butter on medium-high in the bowl of an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment, until soft, about 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Mix the eggs in one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.Scrape down sides of bowl if needed.
  4. In a separate. medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.stir to blend well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated.
  6. Blend in the vanilla. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
  7. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.



  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3.5 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Combine sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. about two minutes.
  3. Beat in the flour, the sweetened condensed milk and the vanilla until incorporated and smooth.
  4. Stir in the mini chocolate chips and cover with saran wrap. Put in the refrigerator until firmed up. about an hour.
  5. To fill the cupcakes, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with a chunk of the chilled cookie dough mixture.


  • 1 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. 
  2. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.
  3. Frost the filled cupcakes as desired, sprinkling with mini chocolate chips and topping with mini chocolate chip cookies for decoration.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Hello Baker
Cookie dough and Frosting courtesy of Annie's Eats, originally from  The Cupcake Review, filling from How to Eat a Cupcake