Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cookie Dough Carrot Pops

Cookie dough!
Can't go wrong...right?
But I have to say...this is the first time I have actually made egg-less cookie dough.
Yes, that means I have been eating raw eggs since I was a kid.
I never really worried about it too much. husband has been taking a microbiology class.
He has shared with me the dangers of eating raw eggs. friends, disease!
(Really, I can't remember what he said but it is BAD. Shame shame.)
So I have changed my ways.

So for the cookie dough recipe, I searched Pinterest.
I finally settled on this recipe from The Lady with the Red Rocker.
I did make a few minor changes, because I am allergic to recipes...but I really loved a couple things about her recipe.
1- I love that her recipe has baking soda in it. Even though it is not needed for leavening, I want this to taste exactly like regular cookie dough, and regular cookie dough has baking soda.
2- I love that it has plenty of vanilla and also some brown sugar....'cause my favorite cookie recipe has both.

So now let me share my version of the recipe. (I made half with chocolate shavings and the other half with crushed white chocolate chips.)

Egg-less Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
1/2 cup butter (soft)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. milk
1-1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or shavings)
1/2 cups white chocolate chips (or pieces)

(FYI....I don't get fancy when mixing cookie dough. I don't sift, or use separate bowls or anything like that.)

*Basically, use a stand mixer or hand mixer and cream together butter, sugars, vanilla & milk until fluffy. Add salt, baking soda and flour (starting with 1 cup flour and add more if the dough is too soft) and mix until fully combined. Add chocolate chips (or shavings) and gently mix with spoon until evenly combined.

Now your cookie dough is done.  Either grab a spoon and dig in, or continue to make carrot pops. If you are going to make carrot pops, refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes while you get everything else ready.

-For carrot pops, you will need toothpicks, orange candy melts, parchment paper, and some green ribbon/twine.

-Get out a large sheet of parchment and toothpicks, and now you are ready to form your cookie dough.

-Start with about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough per carrot. Using your hands, roll cookie dough into a ball, and then form one end into the "tip". Just kind of roll the end so it is slightly tapered. It will be like a short, fat carrot. Once you have formed all of your carrots, stick toothpicks into the fat end and cool in the fridge or freezer until super firm.

-Once your carrots are firm, you can get ready to dip them. Using a shallow bowl, melt about half a bag of orange candy melts according to package. One at a time, hold carrots by the toothpick and dip into candy melts. Roll carrot until all sides are covered. Lift out of chocolate and shake off the excess, and then scrape the bottom of the carrot against the edge of the bowl, and then set that bottom side on a piece of parchment. Repeat with all of the carrots, and then let the covered carrots set up in the fridge.

-Now, you can take what's left of the candy melts and spoon it into the corner of a freezer bag. Once the carrots are set up, remove from fridge. Snip the corner off the freezer bag and drizzle the "lines" onto the carrots. Before the lines set, pick up each carrot and move to clean parchment paper.

-Let candy melts set one last time. Once the carrot are completely set up, remove from parchment and tie ribbons onto the toothpicks.

These will keep for several days in the fridge and can be served on their own, or in a bucket of dirt. :)

Okay, not real dirt.
But I did crush some chocolate graham crackers. They looked really cute and my kids were a little creeped out by it. Win win.
I have to say, I love this cookie dough, and the white chocolate chips were my favorite. Thanks to the Lady with the Red Rocker for sharing this recipe.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Huckleberry Cream Cheese mini Pies

As I have mentioned a time or two (or ten)...I live in Idaho.
In the late summer, the mountains give us an awesome gift...
Oh my gosh!
If you haven't had the opportunity to try huckleberries you are missing out.
I can't say I am a big picker, but my parents and my kids are.
You can pick the berries in the summer and then wash and freeze them.
Perfect way to have one of our favorite desserts all year long!

Huckleberry Cream Cheese Pie (or in this case mini pies)

This dessert is something my mom has made for years. She is awesome. Have I mentioned that before? She is a great cook. She is the reason I love good food. And in turn, the reason I love to cook.
Anywho. My husband and step-dad LOVE my mom's Huckleberry Cream Cheese Pie. By the way...normally this is a full-sized pie. I happen to have a thing for cupcakes, or mini desserts.
So here is my version.

Huckleberry Cream Cheese Mini Pies 
w/ Pecan Shortbread Crust

for the crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter- softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
-In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Using a fork, mix all ingredients until well blended. 

for the cream cheese layer:
8 oz. cream cheese (1 package)- at room temp.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
-Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon mixture into the corner of a gallon freezer bag or piping bag.

for the huckleberries:
1 cup frozen (or fresh) huckleberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp. corn starch
-In a saucepan, add all ingredients and stir over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Continue cooking and stirring for about 3 minutes until thick. Remove from heat.

to assemble:
-Heat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with liners. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of shortbread dough into each muffin tin. Using your fingers, press evenly into the bottom of each liner. Bake for 12 minutes and then let cool in the pan.

-Once cool, snip the corner off the gallon bag or piping bag and pipe cream cheese mixture on top of each crust. Pipe cream cheese layer about 1/2 inch thick, leaving room for a thin layer of huckleberry mixture. Put in the fridge to set for about 30 minutes.

-Once cream cheese layer has set, spoon a layer of huckleberry mixture over top. Once all mini pies are done, put in the fridge for an hour or more to set.

Once cooled, remove from muffin liner and serve....either cold or bring to room temp. Serve with whipped cream if you like.

 YUM! These are so cute and so delish. They are just the perfect size for one little serving. 


*If you want to make a full size pie, just press the shortbread crust into the bottom of a
pie plate and bake for 20 minutes instead of 12. Cool and then spread cream cheese layer over top. Cool again and then pour berry mixture over top and let set in fridge. Easy enough.

*If you can't pick your own huckleberries, sometimes you can buy them frozen. But, if you cannot find huckleberries, this would work with blueberries (or any berry). Just adjust the amount of sugar in the berry mixture depending on how sweet or tart the berries are. Blueberries tend to be a bit sweeter than huckleberries, so maybe use a little less sugar.