Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Picture a chocolate snickerdoodle.
With heat.
Not too much heat, just enough to let you know it's there.

Ground Chipotle seems an unusual ingredient for a cookie, but I think it works--I actually put cinnamon in several Mexican dishes I make, so it seems a logical trade to put Chipotle in desserts!

This is a Martha Stewart recipe from her website. I'm always looking for a new, interesting cookie, and this one is pretty simple, so here you go!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or ¼ tsp table salt)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 3/4 cups sugar (divided)

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons cinnamon (divided)

1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle powder (divided)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder, 1 tsp. cinnamon, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down side of bowl. Add eggs and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.

In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. chile powder. Using heaping tablespoons, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place, about 3 inches apart, on parchment or silicone-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are set in center and begin to crack, about 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks to cool completely. (Store in an airtight container, up to 1 week.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

I found these totally cute cupcakes on Tasty Kitchen. I loved the recipe for the cupcakes, but thought the frosting was less than flavorful. I would use this recipe for browned butter frosting instead.

I thought the idea for using green cupcake liners and a craft stick was adorable!

Here's the recipe:

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 whole eggs
3 cups finely chopped Granny Smith apples

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line cupcake pan with liners (20-24 liners)
Combine flour, soda, powder, salt & cinnamon in a large bowl.
Combine sugars, oil, applesauce and vanilla in another bowl. Add eggs and mix well. Add to dry ingredients and gently mix.
Fold in chopped apples.
Pour into cupcake liners about 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Bake 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out not wet. Don't over bake or they get a little dry.
Cool cupcakes and frost with this frosting: (I'd double the recipe.)

Browned Butter Frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 Tbsp. milk
1/3 cup butter

In med. bowl, place powd. sugar, vanilla, & 3 Tbsp. milk. In saucepan, heat butter over med. heat, stirring constantly, until medium brown. Pour butter over powd. sugar mixture. Beat 1 min. or until smooth. Add remaining milk, if necessary. Generously frost cupcakes.

recipe adapted from irunforcake on Tasty Kitchen

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Right Up My Alley

I love me a good movie. I've seen a few notable cinematic selections this year:

1. Inception.
Saw it twice in one week I loved it so much. I even understood 87% of it the first time I watched it. Good show.

2. How To Train Your Dragon.
So funny! Fresh, interesting, entertaining......Hiccup reminds me of Spencer, so of course I'm gonna love it!

3. Toy Story 3.
Seriously....I couldn't imagine TS2 being as good as TS1, but it was! And I can find no fault with TS3, except the absence of Jim Varney, and that couldn't be helped as he is a resident of the Great Beyond.....Disney (well.....Pixar, to be accurate...) nailed TS3! I cried and Nicholas cried in the back of his throat. (His description for getting choked up.)

But if I'm going to be honest, the most under-advertised movie that I've seen three times already, and can see myself watching it SEVERAL more times, is this one:

It's simply called BABIES.

It follows four diversely situated babies from their birth, to approximately one year, chronicling the vast differences in their lives, while simultaneously giving the sense that they aren't so dissimilar after all.

      I'm not even going to get started on how much this movie tickled me. I won't be able to stop, and then you will have a synopsis of the entire thing and thus won't be motivated to watch it yourselves. I will say, however; keep your eyes on Bayar, from Mongolia, and his older brother....pretty sure I wet myself a little over that storyline!

      And I call dibs on this little one:

I. Want. To. Steal. This. Baby.

If any baby out there could even rival the cuteness of my kids, (or yours for that matter...) it's Ponijao.


This little tyke/cherub/ankle-biter is beyond ADORABLE!!

Take note at how even though he is the least materialistically endowed, he is the most giddy, happy, gleeful, carefree, buoyant baby-child I think I've ever seen!!

I dare any of you to watch this movie and not be captivated. It streams on Netflix, and Blockbuster has it on DVD. This movie deserves to be noticed!!

**one minor caveat: Babies is peppered with National Geographic-style boobage. So......you're on your own with that!

Friday, November 05, 2010

A gorgeous home

If anyone out there is interested in buying or knows someone who is interested, my friend Erin is selling her BEAUTIFUL, beautiful home in Pleasant Grove. This girl has serious good taste in homes. If she weren't such a dang good friend and wonderful person, I'd pretty much have to avoid her altogether because her beautiful house makes me covet, and that's WRONG!!!

Check the link below to more sweet photos and information:

Seriously; this house and yard (and family) are awesome!!

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