Dealing with life is a piece of cake.

Posts tagged ‘cookies’

The little things, and bigger cookies.

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Food for thought before food for eating:

Have you ever thought about the possibility that today could be the best day of your life, and that you’ll have no idea until it’s passed?

As a society, I feel like we are all waiting for the “next step.” What happened to being present, living in the moment? It’s quite a humbling concept when you really stop to think about it.

I recently moved to Northern California (those of you who are more familiar with California geography, you might argue that I’m residing in central California – you’re right, smarty-pants). The distance from my origin, Orange County, is as follows:

45 minute plane ride
7 hour drive
146 hour walk
I was just curious, so thanks for the info, Google Maps. But how did they get that number? People walk at varying speeds, strides, etc. What about someone with a limp? Do they factor in sleep? What about eating? Did they hire someone to actually do this so they could provide this ridiculous information? Probably not. Anyway…

Unless I decide to hate myself for a few days, I’m just a hop, skip, and a very short flight away from what used to be my home. But let me tell you, my friends, it’s a whole new world up here. (Go ahead, sing it.)

I won’t go into specifics this time, but the change in environment has helped me open my eyes, and as cheesy as it may sound, my soul.

…hoookay Kate…

No, really!

I’m paying attention to details, subtle nuances, moments. And as a result of my awareness, I am appreciating the little things: How beautiful the trees are in the morning, the smell of crisp Northern California air after it rains, the simplicity of a smile from a stranger. These are the moments I breathe in. These are the moments that matter.

It’s easy to say, “Friday was a good day.” Why? What specifically made Friday good? Perhaps it was because you laughed until your face hurt over coffee with a good friend. Maybe it was because you found a blissful moment of solitude while reading on a rainy day. Or possibly because you spent your Friday night playing card games and drinking whiskey with your boyfriend on your living room floor, and you suddenly felt so much love in your heart that you thought it might burst. (My life is awesome.)

Thinking about thinking made me think, do we miss these beautiful moments because we’re dwelling too much on the past? I believe so.

So as I sit here, venturing back into the blogosphere after an extended hiatus, I have decided to let the past go. No frills, no fluff, no explanation or justification. I’m just going to let it go. (Go ahead, sing that too.) This doesn’t mean that I’m forgetting the past, because I certainly wouldn’t be who I am without those experiences. What it means is that I’m going to accept the moments in the past that are…unfavorable, and continue to appreciate the subtle moments that I’ve under-appreciated for far too long. Let ’em shine!

Okay, sounds good! But what does this have to do with baking?

Excellent question, lovely reader!

Appreciating the subtleties in life can be difficult, you really have to be patient and pay attention.

Appreciating the subtleties in cookies, however, well…yeah it’s kind of hard too.

I received a request from a dashing gentleman I am lucky enough to call my main squeeze. He asked me to bake something with protein powder. WTF why? Because he, much like Fergie, is always up in the gym just workin’ on his fitness…I’m his witness. (Sorry I couldn’t help myself.) Not only that, but he just so happens to work for a protein supplement company. Protein powders aplenty up in this biznatch.

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The texture of protein powder always deterred me from testing new brands, flavors, and recipes. Turns out, Isopure is the tits, and the texture-phobia I experienced for so long dissolved into a faded memory. Bye, Felicia.

After deciding on cookies (thought I’d start small), I jotted down basic cookie ingredients, cutting out a lot of the fat and sugar that usually makes sweets so dang-darn tasty.

**WARNING** NO BUTTER WAS HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THESE COOKIES
I’m not kidding. No butter. The fat comes from the one egg.

Wait…so you’re telling me these aren’t absolutely terrible for me?

That’s right! I mean I wouldn’t eat these all day every day, but they’re better for you than others.

Whipped ’em up, threw them in the oven, and voila…protein cookies! My only beef with these is they’re not really aesthetically appealing — kind of bland looking, actually. But I’m just going to chalk that up to the flavor of powder I used (banana cream). And really, this recipe would work with any flavor if banana isn’t your thing. The world is your little swole, protein-stuffed oyster.

I haven’t abandoned my traditional baking practices that keep sweatpants companies in business, don’t you worry. But you can expect a sprinkle of proteinified sweets, and I really do encourage you to give them a try. Who knows, you might appreciate the subtlety.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Protein Cookies

1 large egg
1/2 cup of Isopure Banana Cream Protein Powder
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp vegetable oil
a scant 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine egg, protein powder, flour, baking soda, vegetable oil and milk in a medium bowl
3. Once thoroughly combined, add chocolate chips
4. Grease a cookie sheet and scoop dough into 1-1 1/2″ balls.
*These cookies rise and expand like nobody’s business! Make sure to keep them spread out.*

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5. Bake 12-15 minutes, keeping an eye on them while they bake. Cookies should be barely golden on the bottom.
6. Let cool for about 2 minutes on the sheet, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Boom. Protein Cookies.

Bon Appétit!

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In the meantime, I’ll munch on macaroons.

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A few mornings ago, I opened my eyes, accepted the sunlight coming through the window, and began my lazy morning ritual of scrolling through Facebook, double-tapping pictures of my friends’ lunches on Instagram, and pinning outfits I can’t afford on Pinterest. Suddenly, I received a text from my roommate, who I can only assume had just woken up as well.

Yes, we text each other from just a few feet away. Don’t judge.

The text went as follows:

Bri: Hey boo do you have any plans for today?
Kate: Nope, I need to work out and go to the bank but that’s it.
Bri: Just curious, I have so many things that I want to do today but the day doesn’t have enough hours, plus I love laying in bed!
Kate: What do you have to do?
Bri: Nothing I have to do, just things I want to do. 🙂 I have an eye appointment at 3:30, I’d like to get adjusted, I want to get a massage and a facial, I want to go to the street fair, I want to lay out, I want to do my laundry, I want to go see a psychic. 😉

Okay, so she’s a bit of an overachiever, but I was on board.

It was too cold for the pool or beach, the massage place was booked up until late-afternoon, and who really wants to do laundry? Answer: NO ONE.

Ultimately we decided to a.)Definitely make it to the Huntington Beach street fair. It’s every Tuesday, and I had never been, despite the fact that I’ve lived in Southern California my whole life. b.) We were totally into this psychic idea.

I’ve hit a bit of a rough patch in life, and I’m currently in search of ANY input. This is includes a psychic reading, apparently. I mean, why not, right?

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So we set out for the day. I won’t bore you with the details of how long we searched for a psychic that wasn’t going to charge each of us $100, homemade Panini for life, and the rights to our first-born children. Eventually, we ended up going to a lady located very close to our apartment.

Now I don’t know if this psychic thing is real or a bunch of applesauce, but it was pretty interesting nonetheless.

I won’t share what she said to me, but if she’s right, I have a lot of changes headed my way, in almost all aspects of life. Some sounded pretty darn exciting, others…quite scary.

Regardless, it opened my mind up to possibilities. Who knows where I’ll be a year from now, whether or not I’ll be single, what career path I’ll have chosen, or which people will still be in my life.

I can hope, though, that my roommate is one of them. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have ever thought to seek input from a complete stranger. My roomie is da bomb.

Therefore, I made her some cookies. While we were at the street fair later that day, we passed a booth that was selling cookies. Macaroons, to be exact. And she just happened to mention that she loves them.

Uhh..okay. Easiest cookie ever. Next to snickerdoodles, her other favorite. She’s easy to please.

Poor thing had a rough day, so after I cleaned out our fridge and cupboards, I whipped some up. Just for her.

For you too, of course, but shhh…don’t tell her that. 😉

While I wait to see if the psychic’s predictions are true (one thing already happened, by the way), I’ll be here, munching on these delicious macaroons.

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Easy Peasy Coconut Macaroons

14oz (1 pkg) shredded coconut
14oz sweetened condensed milk
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2. Combine coconut, vanilla, and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Beat egg whites and salt on high until medium-firm peaks form.

4. Fold egg whites into coconut mixture until thoroughly combined.

5. Place 1 3/4 inch balls onto a foil-lined cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 30 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack.

If you decide to dip them in chocolate, allow them to cool completely, melt the chocolate in the microwave for one increment of 30 seconds, stir, another increment for 45 seconds, and stir until everything is melted. Dip the macaroon in the chocolate and set on foil. Don’t touch until it’s completely set, Cookie Monster!!!

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Bon Appétit! 

The most honest cupcake you will ever eat.

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Something weird happened this week. I’m talking borderline supernatural…

I played with a baby, and it was a lot of fun.

Umm…okay…what’s your point…

If you know me but at all, you know that children, specifically babies, make me extremely uncomfortable. I never really knew why, but the idea of holding a baby made me shiver. Yes, they’re cute, but I think it’s because they’re so freaking honest. And small.

As an adult, it’s hard to tell sometimes if other adults like you or not. They’ll tell you how adorable your skirt is, laugh at your jokes, and then go talk to Suzie Gossipsalot about how that is the ugliest effing skirt she’s ever seen, and how that joke wasn’t even funny…and that you’re probably a racist. Great. You’ll never know. Unless Suzie Gossipsalot comes back to tell you what a witch Patty is for talking about you behind your back.

I did say “adult”…right? *sigh*

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But babies…babies don’t hold back. If they don’t like you, they won’t go near you, they’ll glare at you, they’ll avoid you at all costs. That is, until someone hands them over to you, in which case they scream bloody murder.

I’m pretty sure I’d get the point if I walked up to someone and they started screaming and crying. It doesn’t get much more blunt than that. Awkwaaard.

But that was my fear with babies. What if they don’t like me?! And, what if I break it? <– Although that’s a different issue.

This baby, my cousin’s beautiful, happy, silly baby, was such a joy. And I realized how incredibly obsessed I am with her when I woke up this morning. Instead of repinning crafts I’ll never make on Pinterest, I was looking at baby clothes to send to this adorable little muffin. What has happened to me?!

Oh shiznit. I think I’m growing up. Yikes.

I’m not ready to grow up. I still want to live in my own little Kate world, do my own little Kate thing, and be my own little selfish Kate person…for now. Crap! There I go again.

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These cupcakes have the honesty comparable to that of a baby: Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes. What you see is what you get. There’s even a cookie on top, for cryin’ out loud! If you don’t like chocolate chip cookies, you will not like these cupcakes. If you don’t like chocolate chip cookies…I can respect that, but…what the heck, man?

In all seriousness, though, these are pretty darn good. Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite, and I turned them into a miniature cake that tastes like you’re eating the dough right out of the bowl (without the risk of salmonella – score!). Tell me how that can be a bad thing.

They’re comfort food, they’re sweet, they totally hit the spot, and they won’t judge your adorable vintage skirt…

…because it’s a cupcake. Come on.

Be honest, you want these.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes

Cupcakes:

2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Beat butter and sugars together until creamy and pale.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just blended.

5. Add vanilla.

6. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, starting and ending with flour. Beat until combined.

7. Put about 1 tsp of flour in a ziplock bag with chocolate chips. Shake the bag around to ensure each piece is coated in flour. (This helps the chips from falling to the bottom of your cakes.) Fold chips into batter.

8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting:

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp milk
2 1/2 – 3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

1. Beat butter until creamy.

2. Add sugars and beat until smooth.

3. Add flour and beat until combined.

4. Add milk and vanilla.

5. Add powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments until desired consistency is reached.

6. Frost!

I used my cookie recipe to make the miniature cookies on top, but I baked them for about 10 minutes, let them cool, and placed them on my cupcakes for an added treat.

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And, incase you’ve forgotten, Event Blossom’s blog is kicking butt! It’s full of great craft ideas, as well as tons of products to put that finishing touch on your next party. Look how adorable those striped cupcake wrappers are from the Cupcake MOD Party Kit! The blog has been up for ONE YEAR! Happy anniversary, and congratulations, guys!!

Bon Appétit!

I have a big mouth…ful of PB&J cookies.

Want to play a game? It’s the silent game. Whoever talks first, loses. Ready…go!

……..

Okay, I lose. I’m terrible at the silent game. Always have been, always will be. I’m an over-sharer.

Don’t want to hear my story about my windshield wipers? Most wouldn’t. And although I don’t really blame you, I’ll probably end up shoving that C+ story in your ears anyway.

The thing about me, though, is if you listen to my nonsense stories…like how a child in my neighborhood saw me, screamed, and ran away (for no reason…it was broad daylight!)…I’ll listen to your stories about the brand of mustard you used on the turkey sandwich you made for lunch yesterday. And if I love you…then I will actually care about it. Weird, I’m so, so weird.

But when I stop hearing about your turkey sandwiches, I’ll go into nonsense overload. I’ll ramble. I’ll end up telling someone else about the hilarious thing Kitten did a week and a half ago (she stared at a giant Hello Kitty balloon as if it was an impostor). They won’t care. They won’t acknowledge, tolerate, or humor the obsession I have with my cat. Why? Because they’re not you. And if I may be blunt here, their nonsense is nowhere as interesting as your nonsense.

“Kate…you’re rambling.” <– What you’re probably thinking.

And you’re right. I can’t even try to deny that. But my rambling is the infrastructure of the blog that is Sugar Therapy.

Well that, and these Brown Butter PB&J cookies.

Remember when you were in first grade, and your mom packed your lunch? The contents were typically of the following:
– a good ol’ PB&J
– pudding cup
– veggie sticks
– Capri Sun
– a note, that for some reason, all the girls at the lunch table wanted to hear every day. No? Just me?
Perhaps that’s where my need to share things came from…

These cookies taste like Mom’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I’m not exaggerating. They’re childhood, in the shape of two-and-a-half inch circles.

I had a “take 2” moment while making these. First batch…meh. While they came out the way I imagined: small, bite-sized, and delicious, I decided to add 2 tablespoons of water to moisten the cookies so they would spread a little.

Twas a good decision indeed. I’m sure you’ll agree when you make them and taste for yourself.

Relive your first grade lunch. Tell someone a meaningless story. Eat these cookies. Then tell someone about them, because, you know, that’s what we do.

Brown Butter Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

1 1/3 cup flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp water
Jam of your choice. (Strawberry is always my choice.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a saucepan, heat butter over medium-high until it begins to turn golden in color. Once simmering, allow to continue for about 30 seconds, stirring consistently so the butter doesn’t burn.

4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until combined.

5. Beat in egg, vanilla and peanut butter until combined.

6. In two portions, add flour mixture and beat on medium high until combined.

7. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time to moisten.

8. Form 1 1/2 inch balls of dough, and create an indentation with your thumb.

9. Bake for 11-12 minutes and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes to set. Transfer cookies to cooling rack.

10. Once cooled, dollop jam in the middle of each cookie.

11. EAT!

Bon appetit! 

Busy busy as a bee? Cake scraps are your remedy!

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Change is good. But at the same time, change is bad.

Okay, maybe not bad, but difficult…no, challenging. (I’m sometimes indecisive.)

I haven’t updated my blog for awhile, if you haven’t noticed. Life has been nothing short of crazy. I had a birthday, then I got sick. Then…

…I made margarita cupcakes, which were incredible. I’d share the recipe with you, but oh wait, that’s right, I lost my recipe. It disappeared into the universe. Sad.

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I made a wedding cake. I got PAID. Someone paid little ol’ me to make their wedding cake! That was huge step in the right direction. 🙂

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I moved into a cute little two-bedroom apartment in Huntington Beach. Another huge step in the right direction.

I baked 120 cupcakes for a 100th birthday party. Again, I got paid! Surreal. Yet another step in the right direction.

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My life’s GPS is seriously on point lately.

I did mention that change is difficult, though. That wedding cake? Yeah, for three days I barely slept, had a few breakdowns, and was covered head-to-toe in flour.

The apartment: Our move-in date was changed 3 times, we had a constant battle with the leasing office, and we still don’t have a couch or internet…almost a month later.

The cupcakes. 120 really wasn’t that much, but in a kitchen that is an appropriate size for a Keebler elf, it felt like I was being buried alive in red velvet.

I needed something simple. Something that I could make with the simplest ingredients (because let’s face it…I’m broke and didn’t have any fancy ingredients.) Cake scraps. But that seems so…barbaric. So I made cookies! Cake scrap cookies.

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They aren’t pretty. They aren’t fancy. They’re simple. And you can totally get away with eating a few without feeling like a free-loading, bottom-feeding, sweet-toothed creep. It works out.

Well with all of those challenges, what is a little baketress to do?! Well, I took a shower and washed off the flour. I moved into the apartment with an awesome roommate. I settle with watching Friends on the living room floor (for now), and I’m writing this blog directly from my iPhone (thank goodness for 3G!) And then I utilized every square inch of space to make the cupcakes work. I powered through. I conquered!

Mwahaha, watch out world, I’m taking over! And it only gets better from here.

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Cake Scrap Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 sugar
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp onyx cocoa powder (serious stuff)
1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup cream cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and both cocoas in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until pale and fluffy.

4. Add vanilla, then eggs, one at a time until blended.

5. Beat in cream cheese until smooth.

6. Add flour mixture in three parts, beating on medium high until just blended each time. Once the final portion is added, beat for 30 seconds.

7. Place 1-1 1/2 tbsp globs of dough on a prepared cookie sheet.

8. Bake for 11 minutes. Let the cookies set for 1-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

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Bon appetit!

P.S. As I mentioned, this is coming straight from my iPhone…so if the pictures don’t look quite right, or something else is funky, just…ignore it. Well don’t ignore it. Read it, make some cookies, and take some pictures of your own! 😉