Bisquick Cookies – Easy, Fluffy – Yummy!

12 Apr

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I don’t know about you but I have always associated Bisquick baking mix with PANCAKES – probably because that’s what we always used it for when I was a kid – every week my dad would make Mickey shaped pancakes with apples, and they were my favorite! Now that I am an adult living on my own, I have come to realize what an amazing shortcut/helping hand Bisquick can be for so many things in the kitchen! I recently wrote about how Bisquick makes a quick and delicious cinnamon roll, but today I am in the mood for some COOKIES (as I often am), so I figured it was time to incorporate some more Bisquick into my baking

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Don’t these look amazing? Pair them with some ice cold milk and you’ve got yourself a meal – wait, I mean a snack. I don’t eat cookies for dinner, I’m an adult! Ok, well, these are so good you may want to eat them for dinner. No judgment here.

Bisquick Chocolate Chip Cookies (Recipe courtesy of Plain Chicken)

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg
2 3/4 cups Bisquick baking mix
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
1/2 cup nuts, chopped, if desired (optional)

Directions

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, mix butter, sugar, vanilla and egg. Stir in Bisquick mix, chocolate chips and nuts. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet, d about 2 inches apart; flatten slightly. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.

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One bowl cookie dough – now that’s right up my alley!

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I got to use my new cookie scoop on these – aren’t they cute?

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I can’t imagine an easier recipe – seriously quick, smells great, and tastes even better – these were great warm from the oven, nice and fluffy and an almost cake-like texture, but still a cookie consistency (as if that made any sense ha). The best part is that I had literally all the ingredients on hand – I skipped the nuts but that’s more a personal preference, and everything else I had waiting and ready for me to whip these up!

Are they going to win any bake-offs? No. Are they delicious, easy, and moist? Yes. So, it’s a WIN in my book!

Quick Cinnamon Rolls Skip The Rising Thanks To Bisquick

16 Mar

Ah, Bisquick – is there anything it can’t do? I mean seriously – pancakes, pot pies, waffles, biscuits, dumplings, and now – cinnamon rolls? I have done cinnamon rolls from scratch before, and they are amazing, but time consuming. Well, with these bisquick cinnamon rolls, you get to skip the dough rising step (which means a faster oven to mouth time – which is definitely important!)

Bisquick Cinnamon Rolls (Recipe Courtesy of Chocolate, Chocolate and More

Ingredients

4 cups Bisquick mix
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons sugar

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
2 Tablespoons butter melted

3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
1. In a large bowl, Combine Bisquick, buttermilk and sugar in a bowl using a fork. Mix just until all combined to create a dough.
2. In a medium bowl, Combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and nuts in separate bowl. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter and stir to moisten. Set aside.

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Dough and The Filling – Ready For Action

3. Generously flour rolling surface.I know it seems like a lot but trust me, this is a sticky dough. Turn dough out onto surface and start patting into a rectangular shape with your hand. Flour your hand well also.
4. Use a rolling pin to thin dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. Do not over-roll, the dough will stick

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Dough-tastic

5. Once rolled out, pour 3/4 cup melted butter over entire surface then spread with pastry brush to even out and get to the edges.
6. Sprinkle sugar/nut mixture over butter.
7. Start rolling dough from long end.
8. Slice into 16 pieces

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SO MUCH Buttery goodness!

9. Transfer slices to a well greased (sprayed) 9 x 13 pan. I used a spatula to make it easier

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Ready To Bake

10. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, util just golden brown on tops.
11. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
12. Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until desired consistency and drizzle over topped of rolls.

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Frosting- check. Time to Eat

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YUM

These really were seriously easy – and fast! I think cinnamon rolls from scratch can be intimidating for a lot of people – they require rolling, and rising, and waiting, and precision – and I know for me sometimes those things don’t come so easily. But these were really the perfect recipe for anyone to make, not to mention that I pretty much had everything on hand already (minus the buttermilk)

They were nice and soft, and I personally love me a soft doughy cinnamon roll! The pecans got nice and roasted which give an awesome crunchy texture to an otherwise pillowy sweet roll. The rolls were perfect warm, but were delicious cold too!

I will definitely be making these again – possibly tomorrow. Seriously – they are that good!

“Eat Your Oatmeal – It’s Good For You!”

1 Mar

When I was a kid, I used to hear adults say “Oatmeal will stick to your ribs” – and it always creeped me out, as I had this mental image of the oatmeal literally coating my insides and why would I want that? Gross! Honestly, I am not even sure why this saying exists – it is confusing to impressionable young minds! But seriously – it was for that reason that I stayed away from oatmeal all through my youth and teen years. It is only recently that I have come to acknowledge the many virtues of the oat – it’s healthy, cheap, versatile, and who doesn’t love a hot breakfast? I know I do. I eat it every day at work, and even sometimes on the weekends. Like this weekend for example…

photo 1 (2)I was browsing through my new favorite recipe book – “Budget Bytes – Over 100 easy, delicious recipes to slash your grocery bill in half”, and I have to admit – I could not WAIT for this cookbook to come out – I have been a HUGE fan of the Budget Bytes Website for a long time – and when I saw they were gonna have a cookbook I pre-ordered it through Amazon, and spent hours poring over it. This recipe for Autumn Delight Baked Oatmeal caught my attention right away – combining oats, pumpkin, and apple plus craisins and walnuts in a delicious warm oat bake? Sign me up!

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It was SUPER easy to make, only one bowl and one whisk needed (the fewer dishes the better in my book!). The wet mix definitely resembled and smelled like pumpkin pie – yum! Once I had the wet stuff combined, it was time to add the oats, walnuts, craisins, and apple

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Then it was time to get in into the pan and then the oven! It smelled great baking – reminded me of my favorite season – FALL!

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I loved the way this came out – we enjoyed it hot right from the oven, and the texture was great – oats and the craisins/apples and the nuts – you never knew what you were going to get in each bite! And it tasted sort of like pumpkin pie – only a more breakfast-y version!

You can check out this and other great wallet-friendly recipes in the cookbook, available through Amazon – I highly recommend you order your copy ASAP!

This recipe and the others in the book are NOT currently available on their website, but they have TONS of others to choose from online – here are some other amazing recipes that I have gotten from Budget Bytes:
Chunky Vegetable Lentil Soup
Garden Tomato Soup
Slow Cooker White Bean Soup
Vegetable Polenta Casserole
Chicken and Pumpkin Soup
Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal (which I blogged about too – check out the post here)

The Best Valentine’s Gift – Delicious Dessert Made Just For Me By My Love

15 Feb

I am a sucker for Valentine’s Day – the hearts, flowers, declarations of love – it’s sappy and silly and I don’t care, I love it all. And I especially love when my man gets in the kitchen and whips me up something delicious and sweet for Valentine’s Day! When he found this recipe for Peanut Butter Snickers Cheesecake Brownie Pie he was sold – the combo of chocolate, brownies, peanut butter, cheesecake, and pie – I mean, who wouldn’t be intrigued?

Peanut Butter Snickers Cheesecake Brownie Pie (Recipe courtesy of Inside BruCrew Life

Ingredients
For the Brownie Layer
1 sheet refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
1 brownie mix for 9×13 pan (I used a Pillsbury mix)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 egg
For the Cheesecake Layer
1 package cream cheese, softened (8 oz.)
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 bag Peanut Butter Snickers Minis, chopped into quarters (11.5 oz.)
Topping
1 container Cool Whip (8 oz.)
2 Tablespoons chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

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Prepping the base – pie crust and brownie mix

1. Let the pie crust sheet sit out on the counter for about 15 minutes. Remove wrapping and unroll gently. Press into a 10 inch pie plate and crimp edges. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the brownie mix, oil, water, and egg. Mix just until combined. It will be very thick. Spoon into pie plate and spread out. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.

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Cheesecake gets ready to be spread on top of the brownie

3. While the brownie pie is cooking, place the cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, and peanut butter and beat again until creamy. Stir in the Snickers candies by hand. When the brownie pie is finished baking, remove from the oven and gently spoon the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie. Spread out very gently. Cover the edges of your crust with foil to keep them from burning. Return to the oven and bake another 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Refrigerate until completely cooled. Top with the Cool Whip and sprinkles. Cut into 12 slices. Keep covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

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The Brownie layer gets a delicious peanut-buttery Snickers topping

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The delicious finished product (cooled and topped with whipped topping)

We ended up cutting this into 8 pieces – but that is actually a decision I regret – we definitely should have paid attention to the recipe and cut it into 12 – as it is REALLY INTENSE. It’s rich, and delicious – but you don’t need much of it, that’s for sure. The brownie layer is thick and fudgy, and the peanut butter cheesecake layer is nice and creamy, and the snickers add a great textural aspect to it. The whipped topping is a nice fluffy end to the pie, and overall – it’s a perfect pie for peanut butter and cheesecake lovers. Personally? I am NOT much of a cheesecake fan, but I did enjoy this – probably because I am a HUGE brownie fan and I loved that these brownies were nice and dense. Also, I LOVE LOVE the Peanut Butter Snickers that are used in the pie, so this was definitely a win win overall – paired with a nice tall glass of milk to wash it down, it was the perfect sweet to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my sweetie!

“Savory” French Toast Bake Scores Big On Flavor – Thanks To The Pioneer Woman!

5 Feb

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I received this cookbook as a gift from my Mother In Law for Christmas – and I must say, it was definitely one of the best gifts I received! I love The Pioneer Woman – I love her show on Food Network, I subscribe to her blog updates, and now I have this beautiful book I can love (and love to use!) too!

 

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…and I am not kidding when I say the book is beautiful – it is colorful and hefty with thick glossy pages, full of fun stories, anecdotes, and great pictures not only of food but of Ree’s family and life

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Oh, and I LOVE that each recipe has step by step instructions with a picture to accompany each step – isn’t that great? For my first attempt at creating a recipe from the book I chose the Bagel and Cream Cheese Baked French Toast – as I love French toast casserole, and this one just happens to be a savory version that contains the best kind of bagel – the Everything Bagel!

The Recipe:
Ingredients:
6 Everything Bagels
Butter for greasing pan
One 8oz. Package Cream Cheese
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbls chopped chives, plus more for serving
1 tsp. Dry mustard
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1/2 tsp. Salt

Directions:
Grease 9×13 casserole dish with butter
Tear bagels into peices and place in casserole dish
In seperate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cream, cayenne, chives, mustard, and salt
Meanwhile, cut block of cream cheese into small squares and place them all over top of bagels in various places (note: whole top will not be covered)
Pour egg mixture all over bagels
Sprinkle cheddar cheese all over
Cover with foil and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight
Bake 450 degrees for 45 minutes, uncover and finish baking 15 to 20 minutes more. Cut and serve with extra chives…

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Here it is the night before, all ready to be slid into the oven the next morning for a delicious breakfast! It was really easy to put together, in fact I did it in under 10 minutes!

I may have made a few adjustments to the recipe based on the fact that I didn’t *exactly* have all the right ingredients…I used skim milk instead of whole milk and heavy cream, and I had no dry mustard so I added some regular yellow mustard instead, and I also didn’t have any chives, so I used onion powder. And it actually still turned out pretty good! It might have been more rich and had more depth with the fattier milks and the chives, but I think I did alright considering!

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Oh, hello melted cheese-y bagel-y cream cheese-y goodness

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This smelled awesome while baking, and has that awesome crispy top soft center thing going on (with a consistency similar to bread pudding)

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It tasted REALLY good – it was savory and chees-y, and I will definitely be making it again, and I also can’t wait to try more of Ree’s recipes from this book!

Can A Cake Become A Chex Mix? Yes – It Surely Can

20 Jan

So, Pinterest is great, isn’t it? A place to get ideas for everything from weddings and showers to parties, fashion, and my personal favorite – RECIPES! Any recipe you can ever imagine is on there, and I have made some really great things off of recipes I have “pinned”

My husband and best friend and I have a shared board where we can all pin funny stuff – but the REAL purpose of this particular board could definitely be summed up as “This recipe looks good – Catie needs to make it for us” – which is where the idea for the Better Than Sex Chex Mix came from
It’s basically a Better than sex cake in snack mix form. What is a better than sex cake, you might be wondering? Well, it’s chocolate cake infused with fudge and caramel, and topped with whipped cream and toffee bits – and IT. IS. AWESOME. It’s moist and sweet and delicious – and while I don’t know if it’s quite as amazing as the name states, I will concede that it is one of the best cakes out there
So obviously when it came to this Chex Mix, I knew I was a goner – so I immediately sent my husband to the store and got ready to mix it up

Better than Sex Chex Mix
Ingredients
8 cups Chocolate Chex® cereal
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, MINI size
1 cup MINIATURE marshmallows
1/2 cup caramel bits (found by the chocolate chips in the baking aisle — or chop up regular caramels)
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 cup MILK chocolate baking chips (or more if you’re a huge chocolate fan)
1/2 cup vanilla (white) chocolate baking chips
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

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Directions
• Into large microwavable bowl, measure cereal; set aside. Line cookie sheet with waxed paper or foil.
• In 2-cup microwavable measuring cup, microwave brown sugar, butter and corn syrup uncovered on High 1 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until melted and smooth. Stir in baking soda until dissolved. Pour caramel mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave on High 3 minutes, stirring every minute. Spread on cookie sheet. Cool 10 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces.
• Make sure Chex mixture is cool to the touch (so candy doesn’t melt.) Evenly sprinkle mini peanut butter cups candy and miniature marshmallows over Chex mixture.
• In small microwavable bowl, microwave caramel baking bits and cream uncovered on High about 1 minute or until chips can be stirred smooth. Use a spoon or fork to drizzle over snack. Microwave the milk chocolate baking chips next, starting with 20-seconds and stirring, then at 20 second intervals until the mixture is completely smooth (microwave temps vary, so watch the chocolate and stir frequently until it’s of drizzling consistency). Drizzle over the snack mixture. Then microwave the vanilla (white) baking chips in 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth, and drizzle that over the snack mixture. (Note: The vanilla and milk chocolate chips should not need cream added.) Quickly sprinkle coarse salt over all while candy drizzles are still wet.
• Refrigerate until set. Break apart and store in tightly covered container. Perfect for gift giving!

The only changes I made to this recipe were that I used mini rolos instead of peanut butter cups (I happened to have them on hand), and I skipped the caramel chips altogether – they didn’t have them at the store and I didn’t feel like unwrapping and chopping up regular caramels – luckily the end result did not suffer from these changes!)

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Now I realize this isn’t exactly “baking”, as it only uses the microwave, but it DEFINITELY still counts as dessert (considering how much sugar is in it…)

I love the textures on this, the crunch of the chex, the softness of the rolos, and the slight salt taste you get every so often is a great balance of flavor too – I would definitely make this again, and it would be a great thing to bring to a party since it can really be an appetizer or a dessert!

Birthday Baking – Chocolate Cake Gets A Special Surprise Center

19 Jan

There are few things I love more than celebrating birthdays – and my husband’s 27th birthday was no exception! I was thrilled that he would finally be joining me and we would both be in our “late 20’s”, and I couldn’t wait to lavish him with presents, dinner and a party, and of course- BIRTHDAY CAKE!

I started with my Go-To Chocolate Cake Recipe, which has sour cream in the batter to make it extra moist
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This cake is delicious, and pretty versatile too – which means there is some room for some experimentation…hmm…luckily, I knew just the thing to get my creative juices flowing

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This book of mouth-watering frostings is written by Heather Saffer – who is actually local to Rochester NY where I live, and she is a baker who owned a cupcake shop here, and she recently won Cupcake Wars on Food Network and now is a pretty big deal, with her book and doing all kinds of appearances – check out her website Here, and you can Buy Her Book on Amazon (you can get it for your Kindle too!)

So when I saw the Salted Caramel Buttercream Recipe in the book I knew it would be the perfect “glue” between my two layers of chocolate cake
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The Salted Caramel Frosting was very easy to make on the stovetop, and once I tasted it I knew it would compliment the chocolate perfectly!
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Once I had the frosting made, I whipped up some Vanilla Buttercream to add to it to give it a perfect fluffy consistency
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Ok so cooled cake layers = check
Chocolate frosting per chocolate cake recipe = check
Salted Caramel frosting = check
Vanilla Buttercream frosting – check

All the pieces were complete, and now it was time to assemble!
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I mixed the caramel and vanilla frostings together and smeared them all over the bottom layer of cake, and I was sure to get it all the way to the edge – as this is a frosting you will want to savor with each and every bite of cake – trust me!

Once that was all set, I placed the top layer on and frosted it all up, and then stuck it in the fridge until party time

I must admit, I was nervous to serve it to my friends and family – as a layer cake isn’t exactly something you can inconspicuously try before the guests arrive (unlike Cookies which are perfect for pre-taste testing!)

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But everyone (me included!) loved the way this turned out – the cake was nice and moist, the chocolate frosting sweet, smooth, and almost a bit tangy with the sour cream, and the salted caramel really stole the show here – it was thick, sweet, but somehow not overly sweet. Needless to say, there were no leftovers of this cake – which my waistline is glad for but is a little sad at the same time (no cake for breakfast? UGH!)

If you want to make your own salted caramel or Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, then I highly suggest you pick up a copy of Heather’s book – I know I can’t WAIT to try out more of her recipes (Cinnamon Whiskey Buttercream or Maple Bacon are calling my name I think…YUM!). My dad’s birthday is next month so you better believe I will be using The Dollop Book of Frosting again real soon!

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