Tag Archives: beginner

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

7 Jan

Yesterday I got my “subscribe & save” shipment (from amazon.com) of reduced fat Skippy Peanut Butter. Immediately, I had to make cookies — mostly since we still have 2 jars left in the pantry from our last shipment. $8.xx isn’t too shabby for 6 jars of my husband’s favorite peanut butter, either!

This recipe requires peanut butter, one egg, one cup sugar, and a splash of vanilla extract. Seriously, that’s all you need! (Not to mention, these are gluten-free cookies, too!) Now, since I’m trying to cut down fat, I actually used 2 egg whites instead of one whole egg.

Then cream together the sugar. If you’re using one whole egg, this is obviously one step. But I like to whip my whites a bit first.

Next add your peanut butter. This is where one of these cool measuring gadgets would come in handy. Perfect for sticky things that need proper measuring. Combine the peanut butter with the other ingredients and add a dash of vanilla.

So this mixture is probably different from most cookie doughs you’ve made in the past. It’s not firm and crumbly. It’s actually quite thin. Carefully place your dough in small, one inch size balls onto parchment paper on a cookie sheet (for easy removal, later).

Next, sprinkle the cookies with sugar, and criss-cross a fork design into each cookie to flatten them down.

Now I also had three chocolate kisses sitting on the counter. So naturally, they soon appeared on the top of three cookies.

Place cookies in pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. I will warn you, these are not your typical cake-like peanut butter cookies. They actually come out quite flat (which you could control with the size of the cookie, and how much you flatten before you put them in the oven). No worries, they are delicious.

If you like warm cookies out of the oven, be careful – these will appear flimsy at first. But they will set up pretty fast. And with parchment paper, they should slide right off. Cool cookies on a wired rack and store them in an airtight container. They should last about a week on your counter.

If you’re watching calorie intake, replace the sugar with a sugar substitute and be sure to use the egg whites. Enjoy!

For recipe lovers:

1 cup sugar + extra sugar for sprinkling
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

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Hungry? Decorate a Cake…

25 Dec

Today, I returned home from the gym with one very important task in mind, decorate my cake. It was 11am, and I needed to have everything ready for both Christmas Eve festivities as well as Christmas Day fun by 3pm. In all the hustle and bustle, I spent 2 hours decorating this cake, and forgot to eat lunch. Therefore, my lunch was all the delicious, “mandatory” frosting tasting… And I’ve now decided that decorating a cake might as well be a meal – albeit a sugary, caloric, nutrient-rich free meal. Also, as promised, I have pictures today!

Frosted Chocolate Cake

After my crumb coat, see previous post here, I was able to pull off this beauty…somehow. Being that this was my first time and I’m a beginner when it comes to baking, I was quite impressed. To decorate, I used a Wilton Decorating Kit that I picked up a couple years ago from Joanne Fabrics, probably with a 40% off coupon, knowing me!

The kit boasts a 25 piece ensemble – but 12 of those items are disposable decorating bags. The other 13 items are 2 couplers, 5 tips, 4 colors, a flower tool, and illustrated how-to booklet (which I’ve never read…).

First, I tried some practice piping, after watching countless videos on youtube. A shoutout to this video here for teaching me exactly how to pipe – although I watched over ten videos, and about ten years worth of food network too… Keep in mind that a lot of these videos use different types of icing which will affect the overall final look of your piping skills.

After that, I started with the borders. I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out. I was bummed to find out that I only had my small star tip, since a larger star tip would have created a larger shell border.

Next I added the same border to the top of the cake and also some red piping on the side with a flower tip. For writing, I used what I was comfortable with – a ziplock baggie snipped at the corner. I wrote in cursive since I’ve recently learned its easier to write on cakes using a fluid motion. After that I added some swirls with more chocolate icing, and then added some red dots. But at this point, I needed some green in the picture. It was just too red and white.

So along came another ziplock baggie with green frosting. After working with piping bags and tips, the baggies just don’t operate the same. I’ve upgraded to pastry bags and now I can’t use my old standby – oh well! I couldn’t keep the pressure going, so you’ll see the lines get a bit crazy at times. Here is my final finished product. My first attempt at decorating a cake, in a semi-professional manner that is…!

And it made it all the way to church, to my parents house, and inside for our celebration later that evening. Didn’t smudge it one bit!

You can actually see the side of the cake in this shot. It was a fun project and I can hardly wait to have an excuse to decorate another cake!

For recipe lovers:

Buttercream Frosting

3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together butter and sugar, and then add in milk. Stir together ingredients before using hand mixer, otherwise, you’ll get a nicely powdered kitchen counter. You might need to adjust milk or sugar to make the consistency to your liking. Once your ideal consistency is reached, add vanilla and a final stir.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

3 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4-1/2 cup cocoa powder (more cocoa = more dark, fudge-like flavor)
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together butter and sugar, and then sift in cocoa powder. Combine with milk before beating with hand mixer. You might need to adjust milk to make the consistency to your liking. Add vanilla, and give it one last stir.

Cake was a box mix – initial frosting inside and crumb-coating the cake was store bought since I wasn’t planning on decorating anything creative when I initially bought and made the cake (inspiration litterally came overnight…haha). Piping was all above buttercream recipes above.

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