Hi-Hat, Hi-Hat, It's Off to Work They ...

If I want to get into the food blogging game, I've got to step it up.  I've got about 30 cupcakes and other recipes all ready to post but am having serious time management issues. 

Between my youngest randomly learning to stand up all on his own (be still my "ohmygod he's going to get a concussion because his brother just ran around the corner screaming "Tsaaooo Tsaaoooo" while swinging three magnetic trains in the air like a rodeo champ and they're both going to be crying in a minute" heart.) and my oldest repeating a bad word I said in practically an imperceptible whisper while making these glorious cupcakes, time seems to elude me. 

Worth it?  We'll see once they've been taste tested. 

I, like many people who've made them, first heard about them at Bakerella (who I adore!) who got the recipe from MarthaStewart.com who got it from the cookbook Cupcakes!  You've all had success, what could go wrong?

Well, only making the icing three times because I got yolk in the first batch.  The second one turned out beautifully then O had a meltdown and when I got back to it, the frosting had deflated.  The third time was relatively similar in the meltdown department, but it was a dual effort from both my little angels.  That's what I get for undertaking these with no other parental supervision than my own. 

So, about 675 cups of sugar later, I scrapped the "stand at the stove for at least 12 minutes with a HAND MIXER (What is this, 1923?!) while your glass bowl sits over a bowl of simmering water and you get Popeye Arm and hope your sugar reaches 160 degrees and your kids are pulling at your pant legs" icing and went with a peppermint buttercream instead. 

Easy Peasy!

Big Daddy gets to take these beauties to work tomorrow to share with a classroom full of Air Force boys.  Don't think they'll last too long. 

If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right...

Just for a Hi-Hat remix, I slapped a chunk of After Eight Chocolate Bar on the inside of every cupcake before I baked them and dipped the tips in crushed peppermints. 


Peppermint Buttercream

1 Cup Butter (I use salted, takes away some of the sweetness)
About 4-5 Cups Icing Sugar
1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 T Peppermint Extract

Whip butter until fluffy and alternately incorporate icing sugar and whipping cream. 
Add extract to taste. 


Drizzle Ma' Nizzle...

With a container of *gasp* leftover cookie dough in my fridge, I knew I needed to bake something before I ate all the dough. 

Like, yesterday..

With that in mind, I also knew that I didn't just want cookies, I wanted something more..

It hit me that I'd read an amazing recipe over at Bake or Break the other day. 

I had to make it.  So do you.

You'll thank me.  Your pants might not, but your family and friends will!

Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
Recipe adapted courtesy of The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook via Bake or Break. 
(Printable Recipe)

1 & 1/2 C Graham Crumbs
5 T Melted Butter
2/3 C Mini Chocolate Chips (I used regular siuze, it's what I had..)
~Preheat oven to 325°,  Butter a 9" square baking pan and line with parchment paper.  (Leave enough to extend over sides of pan.)  Butter the parchment paper.
~Combine graham crumbs and butter until moistened, add chocolate chips. 
~Press into bottom of pan and 1" up sides.  Bake for 6 minutes.  Set on wire rack to cool.

Cookie Dough

5 T Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1/3 C packed light brown sugar
3 T Sugar
1/8 t Salt
1 t Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

~Using an electric mixer, mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour. Mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.
(For this part, I suspect had I used this particular recipe for the dough, the cookies would have had a different texture, more "dough-like", I had dough from actual cookies left over, so I used that, the outcome was chewy cookie inside the cream cheese mixture and crispier tops.)
1 1/4 C Cream Cheese, Softened
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Large egg, at room temperature
1 t vanilla extract

~Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar just until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating just until blended.
Pour batter into baked crust. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls over the top of the filling.
Bake about 30 minutes, or until set. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Drizzle Ma' Nizzle...
For chocolate topping, melt 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of butter if necessary to make chocolate smooth. Drizzle over top of bars. Cool bars in pan completely, about an hour.  (I used 1/4 cup and had plenty, with some left over.  If you want more drizzle, use the full 1/3 Cup.)

Cut into squares and place on gut serve!



On a quest to feed my poor family something that wasn't chicken or pasta, I opted for homemade pizza last night.  After I'd made up my mind, I realized how ridiculous that was since I was alone with two babies and dough just doesn't make itself.  Does it?  If it does, tell me.

Well, the Gods of Something or Other were looking down on me because both boys cooperated.  Not only did they cooperate, they played together.  And nobody got hurt!  Nobody cried! 

I decided to hunt for a quick and easy dough since Daddy was going to be home in about an hour and I was hungry.  My bowl of dry Cinnamon Toast Crunch didn't cut it for the day.  (I should tell you that I have an affinity for Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  Perhaps an unhealthy one.  Clearly.)  But, that's a story for every another day. 

Before I dough searched, I chopped up my toppings.  I was seriously hoping that I hadn't jumped the gun..

Cheese Please!  (And mushrooms, and bacon, and onions...)

Alas, I found the perfect dough recipe and it's so simple, I barely had to lift a cinnamon sugar coated finger!
Rise Up, Rise Up!

Quick Pizza Dough
Adapted From: allrecipes.com
(Printable Recipe)

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 1/2 cups bread flour (I used All-Purpose, worked out fine!)
2 tablespoons olive oil  (I used Vegetable Oil, also worked fine.)
1 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. (Here's when the house starts to smell like a bakery, yum!)

Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.  (Now, the dough had done nothing to me, so I didn't beat it per se, I stirred it with a wooden spoon and when it was good and raggedy looking, I floured my hands and started kneading it.  I think it probably much preferred this method.)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round.  (I did this step IN the bowl, and then caressed the round gingerly with a light coating of oil.  Less mess on my counter.  I didn't want to clean it.  So there..)

I also left it to rest on the stovetop for what felt like 4 hours (Mommy time), but was really only half an hour in real-life.

Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker's peel dusted with cornmeal. (I greased the pan, next time I'll corn meal it.  Turned out fine, I just want to see if there's a huge difference.)

My, what uneven (dough) balls you have..
Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  (You'll notice here that the recipe seems to have skipped the part where you roll out the dough.  I did that just in case I wasn't supposed to put my toppings on a lump of dough.  I just assumed it should be done, I think I aced it!)

Yes.  YES..

Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.  (I'm guessing, like most pizzas, this is to set up the toppings so everything isn't wobbly and oozy.  Yes, those are technical terms..  This was perfect because I turned our pizzas into Calzones.  I topped half the dough round with sauce and toppings, folded one half onto itself, pinched it closed, and added vents to prevent a massive explosion in my oven.  Again, with the cleaning.. I do enough around these parts.) 

Anti-Explosion Vents..

Dinner was a success, what came out was a crunchy AND chewy crust, and not too dense.  Next time, I think I'll add some garlic to the dough, just to give it some extra flavor.  I'll probably sprinkly some parm on top too, just because I can. 

Daddy's calzone was the size of a small country, G had an 8th of mine, and O ate cheese and Alpha-Ghetti.  Everyone ate well.

Oh, Melty Cheese..

I think we have a weekly winner!  Peet-zah!


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