Super Bowl Cookie Cake


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This past Friday I gave a cooking party for a group of fun young ladies. We had lots of fun! and they loved the cookware and the recipes.

At the end of the class, the host inquired about making a cookie cake.  She needed to make one for her son’s birthday. I will tell you that it is not something that i have never thought of making because my children really never asked for it. But i told her that the best way would be to use a grande round mold, or even the flexipat to make a rectangular size cake because the cookie will not stick and it will be perfect. Look!!!

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So Luci, thank you for the idea, and for inviting my daughter and I to try to make one. I hope that you were able to make one for your child’s birthday.

Since it is still early in the afternoon, you guys maybe able to make one right before your party starts:-)

Of course, I could have made it all from scratch, but many of you, I am sure will welcome the short and quick version so here it is:

Ingredients for large cookie cake of 14x 10 inches:

  • 1 box of nestle cookie dough
  • 1 can of green icing.
  • 1 can of brown icing
  • 1 can of white icing
  • 1 box of cake decorating box

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  1. Turn the oven to 325.
  2. Empty the content of the cookie dough on the roulpat.
  3. Place a small roulpat on top of the dough since it will be very sticky.
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  5. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to make a rectangular that will fit the flexipan.photo
  6. Place the flexipat on top of the cookie, and  flip the roulpat so that the cookie will be in the pan.photophoto
  7. Cook the cookie for 13-15 minutes ( depending how you like your cookies- I like mine soft so i cook the cake for 13 minutes).
  8. Let the cake cool completely.
  9. Decorate as you wish.

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We made some cookies in the shape of cookie helmets and footballs to place on top of the cake and bake them also for 13 minutes.

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May the best team win tonite!!! Yeah!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Melted Snowman


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Snow… I wish we had snow here in Spartanburg. It would be fun;-). I am not asking for a lot, just a day or two to see the snow fall, and to be able to make a snowman… it is so magical and it makes such good memories.

Well, today, in spite of snow, I made a snowman in my kitchen. I found the idea of Better Homes and Garden Websites.

Ingredients for 14 Melted Snowmen cookies:

Ingredients for the chocolate cookies:

  • 3/4lb of bittersweet chocolate chips,
  • 1/2 stick of butter,
  • 3 large eggs,
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar,
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract,
  • 1/3 cup of all purpose flour,
  • 1/4 tsp of baking powder,
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans ( optional- I substituted with mixed chocolate chips instead.)
  1. Turn your oven to 350.
  2. In a microwave-proof bowl, place the chocolate and the butter and cook for 2 minutes on high. Let it cool.
  3. In a mixer, place the eggs and the sugar and beat on high until the eggs turn pale yellow, and become fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla to the chocolate mixture and pour into the egg mixture. Stir.
  5. Add the flour, the baking powder, the salt and the nuts ( if you are using any) and mix well. Let it rest for 5 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Scoop the batter into 2 inches rounds onto a large silpat that you would have placed on a large perforated sheet. Space them out every inches.
  7. Cook for 6 minutes. The cookies should have cracked, but make sure that the crack is not wet when touching with your fingers for doneness. Let cool on rack. When the cookies are cold, follow the steps below to make the melted snowmen.

If you are running out of time, you may use the Dark Chocolate Chip refrigerated Cookie from Pillsbury. If you do, cook them according to directions. 

If you are using the demarle cookware and a silpat, cook for 15 minutes. 

Ingredients for 14 Melted Snowmen Cookies:

  • 1 recipe of the brownie chocolate chip cookies ( above)
  • 1/2 of a vanilla almond bark.
  • 14 mini reeese cups
  • 14 regular sized reese cups
  • 14 orange sprinkle
  • 28 mini chocolate chips
  1. Bake the cookies according to directions
  2. Melt the vanilla flavored almond bark in the microwave for 60-90 seconds. But stop at half time and stir to prevent the chocolate to scorch.
  3. Cut the end of the regular Reese to make the trim of the hat. Set aside.
  4. Pour the vanilla chocolate coating over each cookie.
  5. Place the “trim” of the hat, and a small Reese to make the hat.
  6. Place two mini chocolate chips to create the eyes.
  7. Place the orange sprinkle to make it look like the nose.

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Snowglobe Cupcake


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Yesterday I hosted a birthday party for a sweet girl named Mckenzie. Her mom wanted to host a tea party/ cooking class as her birthday party. Because it is much more fun to actually eat things you made yourself, i planned a small finger food menu for them to make. We made savory things as well as desserts… We had to have sweets, right??? it was a tea party after all. The theme of yesterday Cooking Class was Winter wonderland so I tried to come up with recipes and desserts that would reflect that theme.

Cupcakes are always a favorite. Children as well as adults love cupcakes so I really wanted to make cupcakes with them as well. The problem, however, is that sometimes what the simplest cucpake decoration can become tedious and frustrating. Believe me…’

I also wanted the cupcakes to follow the winter theme of the cooking class. With this in mind, I searched my coobook, and the internet for a decoration that would be fun and yet not to difficult. The idea that i am using today comes from the book ” Hello, Cupcakes” from Karen Tack.

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes:

  • 1 recipe of vanilla cupcake
  • 1 recipe of vanilla frosting
  • 6 chocolate graham crackers cut in half
  • 4 square of almond bark chocolate flavored coating
  • 12 white gum drops
  • 12 black gum drops
  • 1 fruit roll up
  • clear sprinkles
  • blue sprinkles
  • small tubes of frostings of various colors from Cake Mate

1 Bake the cupakes according to directions mentioned below. If you do not have time, it is fine to use the box cake mix. I use that sometimes. I prefer the vanilla mix from Betty Croker. Follow directions, but bake the cupcake for 15 minutes if using a Demarle cupcake pan.

2. Prepare the frosting.If you do not have time, you may use the Whipped cream   Frosting from Betty Croker. 

3. Melt the chocolate coating in the microwave for 60 sec. or until completely melted and free of lumps.

4. Place half of a graham cracker on a plate, and with a pastry brush, brush the graham crackers to coat it and to glue the cupcake on it.

5. Lay the cupcake on its side on the graham cracker, with the bottom of the cupcake facing you.

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6. Spoon the vanilla frosting on the flat part of the cupcake and with a knife, make it smooth and flat.

7. Cut the white gumdrop in half, and press the gumdrop completely flat to make the head and the body of the snowman.

8. Cut the gumdrop to make the hat.

9. Place the cupcake flat and sprinkle clear and blue sprinkles to make it look like snow.

10. With scissors, cut a very small strip of the red fruit roll up and use it to make the scarf.

11. With various colorful cake mate frosting, draw the eyes, and buttons of the snowman.

C’est tout!!!

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Ingredients for 12 cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour,
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder,
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 6 Tbsp of butter,
  • 2 large eggs,
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk,
  • 2 Tbsp of vanilla extracts,
  • 1/2 cup of milk.
  1. Turn the oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour, the salt and the baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and the butter until it becomes light and fluffy.
  4. Add one egg at a time beating well.
  5. Add the flour mixture in 3 times, alternating with the milk ( 2 times).
  6. Beat well until well combined, but do not overbeat.
  7. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake holes. I used a straight cupcake tray and cook for 15-18 for normal size cupcakes or until they are cooked ( when inserting a toothpick, it should come out clean)
  8. Let the cupcakes cool before decorating with the frosting.

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Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 6 oz of cream cheese at room temperature,
  • 1 tbsp of unsalted butter at room temperature,
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla,
  • 1/2 cup of powder sugar.
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese.
  2. Then add the sugar and finally the butter at little at a time.
  3. If the frosting is too soft, refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Gingerbread Men


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Last week as we were preparing our kitchen for a children cooking class, Lisa asked me if we could make a real gingerbread house. I did not have time then, but planned to do that this week-end. And so we did. Yesterday morning, I set out to prepare gingerbread men, and Lisa worked at making the dough and the paper patterns for the gingerbread house. It was so much fun;-) It had been such a long time since we last decorated cookies together. I had missed it. Almost like being a child again. We spent our morning making various gingerbread men. I used the recipe from http://www.simplyrecipes.com that I halved.

Ingredients for about 20 2-3 inches gingerbread men:

  • 1 1/2 and 2 tbsp cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 and 2 tbsp teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature, softened)
  • 1/4 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • half of a large egg ( mix the egg well and use half of it)
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses

Royal Icing:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cup confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)

In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix well.  Set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar until the mixture becomes whitish and fluffy. Add the eggs and  the molasse. Gradually add the flour mixture but beat at a very low speed so as not to make a mess;-) Then with your hands mold the dough into a ball. Divide the dough in 4 balls, and wrap each ball into plastic wrap. Place those in the fridge to cool for at least an hour. When you are ready to roll those gingerbread men, place the roulpat on your counter. I used the large one. Place one ball on the roulpat, and flatten it with your hand. Then roll the dough flat into about 3/15 of an inch with a rolling pin. Not too thick and not to thick. Place the gingerbread men on a large silpat that you would have placed on a perforated sheet and cook them in a warm oven for 8-10 minutes or until they are firm but not darkened. Remove them from oven and let them cool before decorating.

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Royal Icing
The traditional way to make Royal Icing is to beat egg whites and lemon juice together, adding the powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. With modern concerns about salmonella from raw eggs, you can either use powdered egg whites or heat the egg whites first to kill any bacteria.

With the heating method, mix the egg white and lemon juice with a third of the sugar into a bowl that you would place over a pot of boiling water. Stir vigorously so that the eggs will not cook, but the mixture will get warm to the touch or until the mixture’s temperature is 160°F.  Remove the bowl from the boiling water, add the sugar and beat until you have stiff peaks.

If you are doing the cold method, mix 2 egg whites with 2/3 cups of sugar and beat until the mixture is fluffy and makes hard peaks. Add lemon juice to get the consistency that you need. If this icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency.

Use a pastry bag with a writing tip or plastic ziploc bags. Place an open ziploc bag into a bowl and spoon the icing in it. Close the bag, cut the corner and decorate the gingerbread men as you wish. Et voila!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Lasagna Cupcakes


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When you are hosting a cooking party for children, you have to be really prepared because they work quickly,  and they do not well with dead time. In light of this, I was looking for fun recipes that would be easy to make, good to eat and that would also occupy them for more than 1 minute. 😉

As I  searched the net for recipes,  I found a recipe of Lasagna Cupcakes. I will tell you that the recipe title took me a bit by surprise. How can one make cupcakes with Lasagna? But after reading the recipe, i realized that the only cupcake part was the use of a cupcake mold.  Because the recipe sounded yummy, and easy to make, i decided to make those at the cooking class, and the kids love them! They not only loved the idea of making Lasagna Cupcakes, but they love, love to eat them well as well. Yeah!!!!

Ingredients for about 40 cupcakes:

  • 1 lb of lean ground beef or lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 can of pasta sauce of 24 oz.  ( I used ragu traditional)
  • 2 tbsp. of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of basil, rosemary mix from Demarle
  • 1 pack of wonton wraps of 12 oz.
  • 1 can of ricotta
  • 1 pack of cheddar cheese or any other cheese of your choice
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

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In a frying pan, warm up the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the meat and cook until it is no longer pink. Add salt, pepper, sugar, tomato paste and tomato sauce and mix well. Bring the mixture to boil, turn the heat down and cook for another 15 minutes.

Set 2 mini cupcake trays on a perforated sheet and set all the ingredients in bowls around you to allow easy access.

First place one wonton wraper in each cupcake opening. Then add 1 tsp of the meat sauce in each wonton. Add 1/2 tsp of ricotta on top of the meat. Sprinkle cheese over the ricotta. Then with a dough cutter of about 1 inch, cut circles. Place one circle on top of the cheese in each cupcake. Add meat, ricotta and cheese again. C’est tout.

Cook in a warm oven at 375 for 15- 18  minutes or until the edges are brown. Enjoy!!!

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Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fun Turkey Cookies for the Upcoming Holidays.


This past week-end I gave a cooking class to a group of 11 girls aged 11, 12. Since it was for a birthday party and the birthday girl wishes to become a pastry chef, I thought of making all kinds of fun snacks, cookies and pastries with Thanksgiving as the common theme.

On the menu, we made “pig”lgrim hat, a turkey out of cheese and fruit, cupcakes with turkey tops and finally corn husks out of sugar cookies.  They had fun.  They did find the class a bit challenging but they thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope that they will be able to duplicate those recipes at home.

I would have loved to make a cake and teach them to decorate it as pastry chefs do, but their attention span is so short, and their fine-motor skills still still not perfect that I decided to do things that they would be able to make at home on their own, without the help of an adult;-)

The recipe I am presenting you today is nothing that I am used to send you as it is using pre-made and bought ingredients, and the recipe is not that healthy, but I thought I would share it as  you may enjoy to make theses with your loved ones  during the Thanksgiving Holidays.

Ingredients for 12 large cookies: 

  • 1 pack of sugar cookie dough
  • 1 pack of M&M ( peanuts, or regular) as long as you are only using red, orange, yellow and brown colored ones.
  • 1 box of chocolate whipped frosting.
  • 1 bag of candy corn
  • 1 tube of yellow frosting
  • 1 tube of black frosting
  • 12 small Reese cups

Turn the oven to 325. Place a large silpat on  a large perforated sheet and set aside. Open the tube of sugar cookie dough and cut 12 slices that you will place at 1-2 inches interval on the silpat. Cook the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the rim of the cookies are a nice golden color and the center of the cookies is still white.

When the cookies are  cooked, remove them from the oven, and let them cool completely before decorating ( it will take at least 1 hour).

With a spatula, spread the frosting all over the cookie and decide which one you want to make ( M&M, or candy corn). Start placing the candy corn, or M&M alond the edge of the cookie almost all around. Then start a second row, and a third as shown below. Place a Reese cup in the middle. With a knife, cut the tip of a candy corn and glue it on the Reese cup with a bit of frosting. Use the yellow icing to make the eyes and the feet, and the black to make the pupils. Repeat this with all the cookies. You may eat them as you finish them, or later on. They are very good even a couple of days old. Enjoy!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Croissant Croque Monsieur


You must have noticed that I don’t cook many lunches. I am usually so busy that I will eat on the run. I will usually have whatever is left-overs; it can be soups, salads… But with teenagers in the house, it is imperative to have things in the fridge that will cater to their enormous appetite. My husband being from Germany, always order some cold cuts for fixing sandwiches so I have to think to buy bread or various sauces to fix those sandwiches. This week-end however, I could not stop from buying those yummy looking croissants they had standing in the entrance way of the store ( why do they do that?!?! tempt you all the time;-) So instead of eating them up, breakfast was already past.. I decided I would fix Croissant Croque Monsieur for their lunches.

A Croque Monsieur is a typical French sandwich. It usually a hot grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Though the most common is fixed with gruyere or emmenthal, you really can use any cheese that make you fancy. Some Croque Monsieur are served with Creme Bechamel on top, but I skip that step…

The word “Croque” means Crunchy, the word “Monsieur” means Mister. “The reason behind the combination of the two words is unclear—and is colloquially shortened to croque. While the origins of the croque-monsieur are unknown, there are many speculations on how it was first created. The croque-monsieur’s first recorded appearance on a Parisian café menu was in 1910. Its earliest mention in literature appears to be in volume two of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past (À la recherche du temps perdu) (1918)” Wikipedia.

No matter what “Croque-Monsieur” really means,  it is  a fun and fancy alternative to the monotonous  wheat and salami sandwiches my kids eat most days;-)

I actually suggest that you should offer those for your guests if they are staying over your house over the week-end. They are so so easy to make and so yummy;-)

Ingredients for each person: 1 large croissant, 2 slices of Smoked Ham, 2-4 slices of sharp cheddar or cheese of your choice.

Slice the croissant in half in its length, then spread a bit of butter on one side of the croissant and a little bit of mustard (Dijon, or honey-mustard on the other half). Place the slices of meat on top of the bottom half of the croissant, then place the cheese and place the other half of the croissant on top. Cook in a Panini press, or place in a warm oven and cook for 10 minutes at 350. Et voila. Serve with a salad and more mustard.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!