Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

We have joked about the big jar of Nutella at Costco for almost a year now.  It's huge.  I mean, who really needs that much Nutella?  When we first saw it my Nutella loving then 6 year old went crazy!

You can see the "Please Mom!" look in his eyes.

But, we didn't buy it.  We really don't need that much Nutella.  So you can imagine my surprise when in February my husband came home with one of those big jars.
My 4 year old side by side with the giant Nutella
It was on sale.  He figured out that even if we didn't eat through the entire jar of it, the sale price was better than buying the smaller jar of it.
So my kids have been eating Nutella on toast, Nutella sandwiches, Nutella in their get the idea.  And now, I'm baking with Nutella.
Here's a recipe for some absolutely delicious Nutella chocolate chip cookies.  They didn't last long in our house.
2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, melted
2/3 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c Nutella
1 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter, mixing well after each addition.
Add the Nutella and mix briefly, swirling the Nutella throughout the dough. Stir in the chocolate chips. Drop the dough by the tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms of the cookies have just started to turn brown.
Allow to cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Minecraft Cake

I love making creative cakes for my kids.  Minecraft is the 'Thing' right now, so I knew my 7 year old would really enjoy this cake as part of his birthday celebration.  I searched Pinterest for Minecraft cakes and saw ones similar to this posted.  I liked it because it was easy and effective. 

I made all the elements of the cake the night before the party. The base layer of the cake is blue Jell-O.  I made it according to their Jigglers recipe (mix packet with 2 1/2 Cups boiling hot water, place in pan - or in this case casserole baker - in fridge to set).
Separately, I made the Rice Krispie Squares and the Chocolate cake.  The day of the party I put everything together.  It came together quickly. 

1. Slide a knife through the Jell-O to cut into squares - everything about Minecraft is block-y.  The Jell-O is the water.

2. Cut the cake into same size squares - my cake cut into 16 good sized cake pieces. 

3. Frost each square of the cake with green frosting as you place it out.  I placed the cake pieces right on top of the Jell-O.  The cake is the land.  Some of the pieces of cake layers on top of each other to give it that building look of Minecraft.

4. Cut the Rice Krispie Squares into the same size as the Jell-O and Cake squares.  Lay those down as the sand of the beach.

5.  We added to the look of the cake with 2 Minecraft figures (Steve and a Creeper) and their accessories.  Some people who have done a similar cake did use foldable downloads to make their figures with.  The figures were part of our son's birthday present from us. 

Top view of the Minecraft cake ready to go to the party.
It may be simple, but my son and his friend loved it!  They thought it was so cool - and tasty too!

My son looking on as we sang Happy birthday to him.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Penguin Cupcakes!

My sweet daughter turned 4 in January.  We had a penguin party to celebrate!  Instead of cake we had cupcakes.  These little cupcakes were so cute and fairly easy to assemble.  I made a white cupcake and frosted the top with vanilla icing as the base.  For the penguins I used:
 ...Oreos, chocolate chips and Sunkist fruit snacks.  I opened the little packages of fruit snacks and took out all the orange ones.  My kids snacked on the rest.
 I carefully opened up the Oreos, putting aside the cookie only part for later.  The icing part became the face base.

I cut the fruit snacks into 3 pieces each.  One piece became the beak.  The eyes were chocolate chips.
I carefully broke the cookie piece of the oreo in 2, these became the wings.  The trickiest part was making sure the pieces stayed sticking up.  I used a knife to cut a slit to stick the pieces in, this worked.  The remaining cut fruit snack pieces became the feet.  I placed all the cupcakes on a foil lined tray and then sprinkled powdered sugar over everything to make it look like snow.  Very cute and the kids loved them!