Cooking with Katie


S’mores Truffles

Talk about a decadent dessert! These little chocolate truffles melt in your mouth and are a super fun way to get your kids involved in the kitchen. They’re as fun to make as they are to eat!


Truffles are really easy to make and, obviously, so delicious! You can make so many different type of truffles using this basic recipe from Pioneer Woman, and then stuff, dip, or roll them in whatever you want. The possibilities are endless!

S’mores Truffles (Truffle Recipe by The Pioneer Woman)

  • 8 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 8 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2-1 c Marshmallow Fluff
  • 1/4 c Graham Cracker Crumbs 

Combine the chocolate and condensed milk in a double boiler.

Melt it until it’s just combined.

Before you put the bowl in the fridge, put it in a bigger bowl full of ice to cool down the bowl, otherwise it’ll crack in the fridge. Once the bowl is cool, put it in the fridge to let it harden.


Then, once the chocolate has hardened, scoop out little balls with a mini ice cream scoop and roll them between your hands. Put them back in the fridge until you’re ready to dip them.

Then combine the marshmallow fluff and a tbsp. of butter in a double boiler and melt it over medium heat until….

…it’s nice and smooth. Then take the truffles out of the fridge, and dip them in the marshmallow mixture. Dip the marshmallow part into a plate of graham cracker crumbs to coat them after. Enjoy!

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Christmas Pretzels

I promise, these are the easiest, fastest, most delicious Christmas cookies ever! They’re great to set out for your dinner guests tomorrow, and even better for a post-Christmas snack the rest of the week! Really all you have to do is melt some white chocolate almond bark (it doesn’t really have almonds in it!), drizzle it on some flat pretzel chips, and then sprinkle crushed candy canes on top. How hard was that?

You could also modify these to fit any season by using food coloring to color the white chocolate different colors for Valentine’s Day, Easter, the Fourth of July, or even Halloween. You could also add different colored sprinkles or candies to them to give them some pizzazz! Get creative and have fun with them! 🙂 Happy Holidays everybody!


Peanut Blossoms

We love to give these cookies away as presents because they’re so easy to make and get ready, and they have a really long shelf life. And who wouldn’t want to get a good, home-made peanut butter and chocolate cookie?!?! Well, I guess if you’re allergic to peanuts, you wouldn’t like them…..Ooo….

Anyway, all of you who aren’t allergic to peanuts can enjoy these delicious cookies; and all of you who are can enjoy the peanut-free cookies I’ll post tomorrow! 🙂 Make these with someone you love and then give them to someone you love even more! Happy Holidays!

Peanut Blossoms (Pillsbury)

  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • sugar
  • Hershey kisses

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, shortening, peanut butter, milk, vanilla and egg; mix with electric mixer on low speed until stiff dough forms. 2 Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. 3 Bake at 375°F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately top each cookie with 1 milk chocolate candy, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around edge; remove from cookie sheets.

Makes 36-48 cookies.


Black Bottom Cupcakes

These cupcakes are like little, choclate-y bundles of happiness! They’re so comforting and make you feel like you’re back in your grandma’s kitchen. Plus, who can resist that combination of chocolate and cream cheese? It’s so tangy and sweet at the same time and satisfies all of your holiday cravings. Happy holidays everybody! (P.S. For those of you keeping track, there’s only 5 days until Christmas. ;))

Black Bottoms

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 5 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c water
  • 1/3 c oil
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. vinegar

Filling:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c mini chocolate chips

Start by combining the dry ingredients for the cake.

Then add in the oil..

..and the water. The cocoa powder made the water turn brown…I don’t have dirty water. 🙂 Stir all the ingredients together.

After the ingredients are combined, add the vanilla, baking soda, and vinegar.  The baking soda and vinegar make a cool little science experiment in your cupcakes. Mix that in as well.

Then, grab some cute Christmas cupcake liners with penguins on the bottom and line a mini muffin tin.

Fill the cupcakes up about 3/4 of the way full. Make sure to spill a little on the pan, just for good measure.

Then combine all the filling ingredients and put a little dollop on each cupcake. Bake them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Makes 36 cupcakes.


Peppermint Chocolate Meringues

Hello everyone! I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much these past few weeks, but school has gotten pretty over-whelming these days and I haven’t had time to do much cooking! I also didn’t have time to do much recipe testing for Thanksgiving. 😦 But don’t worry…I’m going to make up for it with a TON of christmas cookie recipes! We always go all out with the christmas cookies every year, so you’ll be finding a lot of recipes here! The first cookie….Peppermint Chocolate Meringues! The peppermint in these cookies gets everybody ready for Christmas, and the chocolate doesn’t hurt either! Plus, who can resist that crunchy, airy, meringue-y texture?!?!?!?!?! Enjoy these and keep a look out for more cookie recipes to come!

Peppermint Chocolate Meringues

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c mini chocolate chips
  • 3-4 tbsp. crushed candy cane

Beat the egg whites until they’re foamy. Add the salt and cream of tartar and beat them until soft peaks form. Add the sugar slowly, about 1 tbsp. at a time, until they’re very stiff and shiny.

Like this!

Fold in the candy canes,

the vanilla, and the chocolate chips.

Mix it until it’s just combined, and try not to deflate the meringue.

Using a mini ice cream scoop, but them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Put as many on a cookie sheet as possible because they don’t spread.

Bake them at 250 degrees for 40 minutes and then let them cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 36 cookies.


Chocolate Mousse Cream Puffs

Can you imagine anything more perfect? A delicate, little cream puff filled with light, airy chocolate mousse, this is heaven. Filling these with chocolate mousse is a great way to change up a traditional cream puff, and your guests will be very impressed by them! These are any kid’s, or adult’s, dream!

 Speaking of kids, I made these with the help of some very special people. My aunt and cousins live in west Texas and came to stay with us for a few days on their way to Tennessee. The two little girls, Gracie and Molly, had so much fun helping me make these yummy treats.

They are the sweetest little cuties, and I always enjoy getting to spend time with them and their family!

Chocolate Mousse Cream Puffs

Make your pat a choux and bake the cream puffs.

In the mean time, make the chocolate mousse, but double the recipe so that you have some left over! (BTW, I did not have enough heavy cream to make 2 recipes of chocolate mousse, so I just beat 2 egg whites with a pinch of salt in a mixer until stiff peaks formed and used that as well as the heavy cream.)

When the cream puffs are completely cool, fill a piping bag fitted with tip#12 with the chocolate mousse and fill each cream puff. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Keep the rest of the chocolate mousse in the refigerator in ramekins   wrapped with plastic wrap and save to enjoy another night. 🙂


Cheesecake Bars

Cheesecake is one of those things that’s really easy to mess up! When you’re making a traditional cheesecake, it can crack, or not cook through all the way….there’s just a lot of things that can go wrong. Well, this is one cheesecake recipe that is full-proof! It’s practically impossible to mess it up, and the taste is out of this world good! For all you cheesecake lovers out there, this is one recipe you MUST try.

As I mentioned before, this recipe is full-proof. You bake this cheesecake in a 9×13 baking dish, which allows the heat to be distributed more evenly than a spring-form pan. Plus, you don’t have to worry if it has a few cracks here and there because you just pour a bunch of chocolate over the top! Is there any reason not to make this?!?!

Cheesecake Bars (Bakerella)

  • Crust
    1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
    3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
    6 Tablespoons melted butter
  • Cheesecake
    3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened (This recipe makes a ton of cheesecake! It’s also very easy to cut in half!)
    1 cup sugar
    2 Tablespoons flour
    3 eggs
    8 oz. sour cream
    1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • Chocolate Ganache
    8 oz. heavy whipping cream
    2 oz. butter
    8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
    1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Mix graham crackers and sugar together. Add butter and stir until combined.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Pour on prepared crust and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove and cool. Meanwhile, heat cream and butter on stove until just before boiling. Remove from stove and pour over chocolate. Stir until completely combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat with a wire whisk until combined and smooth.

Pour over cooled cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Cut into bars and serve. Makes 30 bars. Enjoy!


Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake

My brother, Asher, just had a birthday a few days ago, but we celebrated it on Saturday with my grandma and uncle. My Grammy helped me decorate the cake and Asher loved it!

So Asher asked for a chocolate chip birthday cake with chocolate frosting, and it was the easiest thing in the world to make! We use this cake recipe so often for when we have company just because it’s so easy to make, and the kids and adults love it! Plus, when you use store-bought chocolate frosting and make your own white icing, you can have the cake made and decorated before you can say “happy birthday’!

Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake

  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 c oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 c chocolate chips
  • 1 can chocolate frosting

Buttercream Frosting: (Wilton)

  • 1/4 c vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp. milk

For the cake:

Coat the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with the oil. Dump everything else in and mix it with a fork until all the ingredients are moistened. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

For the icing:

Cream the butter and shortening together. Add vanilla. Gradually add the sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl often. When all the sugar has been mixed in, it will appear dry. Add milk and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. (If you want to make chocolate buttercream, then just add 1 1/2 oz. of melted unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 tbsp. of milk.)

To decorate:

Apply a thin layer of chocolate frosting to the top of the cake.

For the border, I used tip#21 and made this rope pattern by piping an S on its side, then, starting from the middle of the first sideways S, piped another one, and so on.

For the letters, I used tip#3.

I know this is a fuzzy picture, but for the stars I used tip#16. Just apply a little bit of pressure to the icing bag, then stop and remove the tip from the cake to create these stars.

It was a fun night. ‘Nuf said!


Chocolate Chip Waffles

Waffles are a staple in my family. I got a waffle iron for Christmas when I was, like, 8! My Pop-Pop makes the BEST waffles in the world, and us kids have been watching and helping him do it since before I can remember. It’s always fun when we make them at home, too, though.

I had a very special helper helping me to make these waffles………..and it was my youngest brother, Adin! We decided to make the waffles smaller so that everyone could eat 1 full waffle, and of course, we had to throw some chocolate in there!:)

Chocolate Chip Waffles (Aunt Jemima)

  • 1 c Aunt Jemima pancake/waffle mix
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 2 tbsp. veg oil
  • 1 egg

This is Adin! (Sorry for the bad lighting!) Here, he’s stirring the wet ingredients in a separate bowl from the dry ones………we’ve taught him well!

Now, he’s combing the wet and dry ingredients together.

And, once they’re all combined, he pours them in the greased waffle iron (that I got when I was, like, 8!) and tops them with chocolate chips. Then he cooks them for approximately 3 minutes. Hope you enjoy making these with someone you love!


Chocolate Toffee Mascarpone Bars

This dessert is decadence at its best! Sugar cookies, Skor bars, mascarpone cheese, and chocolate……..what more could you want?!?!?!

These little bars are perfect for entertaining because everyone can just snatch 2 or 3 and there’s not a lot of clean-up (always a good thing)! Plus, kids L-O-V-E them! Oh, who am I kidding, you’ll L-O-V-E them, too! If there’s a nut allergy, though, then you may not want to use Skor or Heath bars; chocolate chips or M ‘n’ Ms work great, too!

Chocolate Toffee Mascarpone Bars (Giada de Laurentiis)

  • 1 lb. refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 2 Skor bars, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. veg. oil
  • 8 oz mascarpone cheese

Start  by combining half the Skor bars, the vanilla, and the thawed cookie dough.

Then, spray a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray, line it with parchment paper, and spray it again. Spread the cookie dough into an even layer, prick it with a fork, and bake at 350 degress for 12-14 minutes.

Now, this is mascarpone cheese. It’s a sweet Italian cream cheese and really adds a lovely flavor to this dessert. If you can’t find it, just use cream cheese. Melt the chocolate and the oil together in a double boiler, and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, whisk in the mascarpone cheese.

When the dough comes out of the oven, let it cool for 15 minutes.

Then, pour the chocolate on and sprinkle with the remaining Skor bars. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.