January 24, 2010

Dessert Time! Let's Talk Pancake Cookies a/k/a Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies

These are, so far, my favorite homemade cookies. At this point, my husband is probably saying "how many homemade cookies have you even made?" That is beside the point. These are good. Really, really good. He would agree with me.

I got the recipe from PickyPalate.com. She is a genius with creative recipes, especially cookies. I plan on trying out some more. However, for right now, I am stuck on these. Especially since I bought the industrial size bag of Oreo cookie pieces. Who knew they made such things? Probably people that bake from scratch more than I. To me, though, they are the greatest thing since chocolate chips in flavors other than chocolate.

Anyhow, to make these great cookies you need the following ingredients:

Although you do not need to line them up on your counter like that. See that big bag of Oreo pieces? Did I lie?

Also, when looking for your ingredients, you may also find this recent stocking stuffer from Santa and think it is also a little piece of genius:

You may also wonder why it has not found its way into your giant hard block of brown sugar yet. Must. Rectify. Soon.

You also need some bowls. One for dry ingredients and a larger one for the wet ingredients, and then later the combined ingredients. Actually a stand mixer would be best. I have one in the basement. If only I had more counter space to keep it up here all the time so I wouldn't forget to use it!

If you have a small puppy, you may realize that while you are trying to bake, she is trying to make sweet love to your husband's shoes:

Back to our baking - you need measuring cups and spoons too, so grab some:

Then, if you are like me, you will look and wistfully dream of more counter space. Just a bit more:

Measure out 6 tablespoons of sugar and 6 tablespoons of brown sugar. Realize some of your flour has spilled into your brown sugar. Decide it will just make it extra flavorful:

Yep, puppy still loving the shoes:

Mix the dry ingredients which include 1 1/4 cup of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a bowl:

Next, take one stick of softened butter and the sugars and put them in the larger bowl where you will cream them together. Here they are pre-creamed:

I actually don't think my butter was softened enough, but I made do. After that is creamed, you add 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and mix it all together. Next, add 1 cup of chocolate chips and Oreo pieces (the recipes call for 8 whole cookies crushed but I just throw in whatever I feel like at the time). Sometimes I put in a tad much:

During this process, your oven should be preheating to 350 degrees. Once everything is all mixed up, use a medium cookie scoop (or a spoon or your hand) and drop the cookie dough on a cookie sheet.

And if you want to take a picture but forget, you can try to get one through the oven door:

Bake 7-9 minutes until the edges are golden but the cookie is still soft. Stand for about 3 minutes before putting on a cooling rack. I stored mine in our bottom drawer. The dog kept watch:

Then heaven:

These are almost gone. I made them yesterday:

I am eating one now.

Things I learned:
  • This recipe calls for salt but every time I use it, the cookies taste too salty. My husband didn't notice until I mentioned it, but then he noticed it. I eliminated the salt this time and they tasted better.
  • These would probably be better made with a mixer and not by Dani hands.
  • I need a silipat liner for my cookie sheet
  • I really don't know what a silipat liner sheet is.
Tell me:
  • Should I get a silipat liner?
  • Can anyone recommend a good cookie scoop? The one I use is made of silicon but the dough just seems to stick to it?
  • Do you have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that is a bit different?

*Bet you are wondering why these are called Pancake Cookies, right? Well, the first time I made them, I did not have a cookie scoop so I used a tablespoon. The cookies turned out HUGE. Yummy, but quite large. From then on, my husband and I have referred to them as the Pancake Cookies.

January 17, 2010

Let's Dip: Sausage, Cream Cheese and Rotel? Maybe I Am Not a Crack Addict

As I stated in my introduction, this blog stemmed from my desire to make dips and desserts, for better or for worse. New dips were recently explored at a holiday party my husband and I threw in December. However, the two new dips did not turn out quite as I expected. I blamed this on two things (1) no trial run/taste test and (2) that stupid basketball crockpot.

So last night I decided to recreate the one dip I really wanted that night and which I found on the Crockpot Lady's Blog:

The Crockpot Lady likened it to Mommy Crack. I thought "I like crack!". While that is not exactly true, I do like food crack - you know, that stuff that is horrible for you but so addicting you just cannot stop eating it. In dip form? Heaven.

So I got out the smaller 2 qt crockpot I bought just for the holiday party:

And began gathering the ingredients. First up, pork sausage:

I used Bob Evans because I like to buy expensive things. Ha! Actually I had a coupon. Next up, cream cheese:

That is HEAVEN. Really, what doesn't taste good with cream cheese? I got the 1/3 less fat to convince, I mean fool, myself that this dish would not be so bad for me. Finally, the last ingredient:

If you don't know what Rotel is (because frankly I didn't), it is basically what the can says, diced tomatoes and green chilies. I am loving that concept.

The instructions were simple. Plop the cream cheese in your crockpot:

Dump in the cooked and crumbled sausage on top:

And then dump in the Rotel:

Cook on high for 45 minutes or low for 90 minutes. I opted for low. It smelled good. It was piping hot. It looked like this:

Um, does that look like a dip? It kind of looks like sausage soup.* I think it was the consistency that bugged me the most. I like my dip to be a bit thicker. Also? Apparently pork sausage doesn't really agree with me. Who knew?

I REALLY wanted to like this dip. But, I can't. It is too soupy for me.

Things I Learned:
  • Cream cheese does not make everything okay
  • I will try anything with cream cheese in it
  • I am a sucker for dips
  • Warm food makes for a warm tummy which will warm up your ice cold fingers
  • I fling a lot of raw meat around when frying it
  • I need some taste testers
Tell me:

Have any of you made this before? Is there something else I should do? I am not beyond trying this dip again. Commenters on the Crockpot Lady's website mention Velveeta in the place of the cream cheese. Generally that has a thicker consistency and I have had it as a dip before. I might have to give that a try since I still have a can of Rotel.

What are your thoughts?

*I even checked my photo against the original recipe photo from the Crockpot Lady's site. It was basically the same. Apparently it is supposed to look like that?

January 13, 2010

A Crackpot with a Crockpot..or Two..or...

Before I was married, my favorite appliance was this:

I also used a pot - to boil water for noodles. Seriously. I lived on buttered noodles for way too many years of my life.

After we were married, I decided to become all domestic-like. After reading some blogs, I got one of these:

My inspiration was the Crockpot Lady. She made something different in her crockpot every day for a year. Such dedication. I cannot bring myself to cook once a week regularly. However, she did get me to purchase a crockpot and start making some meals. I have about 5 in rotation (more on that later).

In December we had a party so I needed more crockpots. My brother gave me his small basketball one (yes, it is really shaped as a basketball and prompted a guest to say "You have a BASKETBALL on your counter). Too bad it sucked as a crockpot. An hour and a half later and nothing was warm, let alone hot, and my brother was trying to salvage my dip on the stove (more on that later).

So out I went and purchased this one, the perfect size for dips. We all know I like dips:

Then Christmas came and one of my Santas bought me this magnificent thing:

Two crockpots in one = heaven. I also got this little gem for even smaller dips (or fondue!):

Can one ever have enough crockpots?


January 3, 2010

Welcome to Dips & Desserts!

This blog started with a name. I was on the phone with my Mom and mentioned how all I knew how to "cook" were dips and desserts. We both thought that phrase made a wonderful name and thought it would make a fantastic store or bakery. Then we laughed because neither of us can cook that well. Heck, one of us can barely cook at all. (Hint: Me). But I told my Mom that day that I would use the name in the future.

Then my husband and I decided to have our first holiday party in our new home. We weren't serving dinner so I didn't really need to cook, but I wanted to have some things homemade. Naturally, I had three dips, and a few desserts. However, only one of my dips actually turned out. The same was true of the desserts, in my opinion at least. It was a holiday party and everyone was drinking so no one cared but me.

The next day I told my husband that I was going to recreate those dips to figure out what went wrong. "I want to PERFECT them," I said. To that, my husband replied:

"We can't survive on dips and desserts alone."

A blog idea was born.

So, what is Dips & Desserts? It is not a cooking blog. I could not even begin to pretend it is. What I expect it to be is a cooking journey. As I say off to the side, despite the fact that I don't cook, I have long hoarded many, many recipes with the intent to "someday" try them out.

Today is someday.

Well, maybe not today, but soon. I hope you will follow me along - laugh with me, cry with me, offer me tips, secrets, recipes. I know I will need the help.