Friday, July 29, 2011

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am back!!  But already planning my next trip to the Caribbean!  We had such a good time on our trip that we will be going back in about 6 months.  We went to St. Thomas, St. John, Antigua, Tortola, and Nassau.    The water was amazingly clear and we saw tons of fish and sea turtles.   The beaches looked like screen savers, it was ridiculous! Here are some pictures from my trip.

Snorkeling in St. John off Honeymoon Beach

Snorkeling in St. John off Honeymoon Beach
St. John, USVI,  Honeymoon Beach
Swimming at Coki Beach, St. Thomas

Valley Church Beach, Antigua

Valley Church Beach, Antigua with a Corona
Valley Church Beach, Antigua

Atlantis Resort, Bahamas, Top of one water slide
Kayaking of Tortola, BVI
Moving on to the baking, I have a friends that is still nursing her baby and cannot have nuts so I wanted to make thing that she could eat.  I found this recipe and decided to give it a try.  This cookie surprised me.  It was super moist and amazingly chocolaty, but at the same time very light and fluffy.  They really puff up in the oven.  I didn't make them as big as the recipe called for because there needed to be enough for me to share with everyone.  So I made big cookies, but not giant cookies.  I also changed the recipe a little bit, I didn't have dark cocoa powder so I used regular unsweetened cocoa powder, and I added vanilla.  These cookies got tons of compliments so I am sure you will love them too!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from Love From The
Yield: about 3 dozen large cookies
2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter, cold and cubed (1 Cup)
1 1/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Or Dark Cocoa
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 1/4 Cup Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2 1/2 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare baking sheets.
  2. Cut up the butter into cubes.  Add to the bowl of your elecrtic mixer and add the sugar.  Cream on high speed with the paddle attachement until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, be sure to scrape the bowl.  Add the vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix just until combined. Add in the chocolate chips. (the dough will be thick)
  5. I used a cookie scoop and scooped over size balls of dough, rolled them and flatened them just a little bit.  The orignal recipe calls for giant cookies where the dough is divided into 12 pieces, but if you want more to share, I would make smaller cookies.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until cracked on the top.  Let cool on sheet for 4 minutes and then move to cooling rack.
  7. Enjoy with a glass of milk!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trip to the Caribbean

Hello to all my followers!

I am putting a pause on my baking blog while I enjoy a vacation in the Caribbean. I will be back blogging the week of the 25th.  I cant wait to come back and check out all the new recipes on everyones linky party's.  I am sure I will be baking up a storm when I get back so be sure to check in later this month for some new recipes!  I hope everyone is having a great summer!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Strawberry Oat Muffins

I love summers in California for the fresh fruit.  Strawberries are less then $1 per case so my refrigerator is stocked full!  I also had buttermilk I needed to use to soon, so I went on a hunt for recipes with both these ingredients.  I found this recipe and decided to give it a try.  The first batch of muffins I made without liners and that was a mistake. They were ok but for sharing with my co-workers, the liners work better.  I really liked the muffins because they are almost tangy from the buttermilk.  Its not too sweet, and the strawberries bring nice flavor.  I think this muffin would be good with any berry too, so if you don't have strawberries, try blueberries or raspberries.   I also love muffins with a topping, so I made a crumble with some oats and brown sugar that I sprinkled on top of some, but those all got eaten, sorry for no photos.  I didn't have time before work to take better pictures so I snapped this terrible photo with my iPhone.   Overall this is a great healthy breakfast or snack!!

Strawberry Oat Muffins - Adapted from
Yield - 18 Muffins
1 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Egg
1/4 Cup Canola Oil
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1to 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Fresh Strawberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Grease or line a muffin tin.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the oats and buttermilk, let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the egg, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla together.  Add in the oat mixture and mix.  
  5. Stir in the flour mixture until all incorporate.  Add the chopped strawberries and mix until incorporated.
  6. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy for a healthy breakfast or midday snack!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Acai Bowl

So I know this is a baking blog, but this is one of my favorite meals and I really wanted to share this!  I have always loved smoothies, but this is 10x's better!  I first tried an Acai bowl a few years ago at a small Brazilian restaurant in Santa Cruz, Ca.  Since then I have been scouting restaurants in California that have them on their menu.  Last summer I found a place in Encinitas, called Lotus Cafe & Juice Bar.  They have delicious Acai Bowls but I am only home in Encinitas every few weeks.   A few weeks ago I found a place in Newport Beach called Nekter Juice Bar.   I had a few from there but I really wanted to just make these at home.  I know you can get these at some of the chain smoothie places, but homemade is always better.  I bought a pack of the Acai Smoothie Mix made by Sambazon, some bananas, frozen berries, blueberries, strawberries, granola, apple juice, soymilk, coconut, and honey.  It seems like a lot of ingredients, but if you eat a lot of fruit, then I bet you already have most of the ingredients.    These only take a few minutes to whip up and its a super healthy summer treat.   My favorite breakfast!!

Nekter Acai Bowl

This bowl is huge, but so DELICIOUS!
My homemade Acai Bowl
Acai Bowl - Me
Yield - 2-3 Person Bowl
Smoothie Ingredients:
1 Package of Acai Smoothie Mix
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup Frozen Mixed Berries
1 Cup Soymilk or Apple Juice or Almond Milk - Could be more or less depending on thickness

1-2 Cups Granola, your favorite type....
1 Banana, sliced
1/4 Cup Blueberries
A few Strawberries sliced
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Honey, drizzled on top


  1. Add the frozen acai, frozen berries, frozen banana, and soymilk or apple juice to blender.  Blend on low speeds until you get things moving.  Increase speed to high and blend until smooth but still thick.  
  2. Pick a medium size bowl and put some granola in the bottom.  Pour the smoothie on top.  Add the blueberries, sliced banana, and sliced strawberries.   Put more granola on top, and the shredded coconut.  Drizzle some honey on top.
  3. Enjoy!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July Cupcakes

Happy 4th of July!!

I hope everyone has a great holiday.  I wanted to make something for the celebration of America, but was a little lazy today.  After a hike this morning and a day at the beach, my time and energy was limited.  I decided on just a vanilla cupcake with a vanilla buttercream.  I wanted to do something fancier, but ill save that for next year.  I didn't even have any themed cupcake liners, so I had to use princess ones I have.  The cupcake recipe is the same one as the churro cupcake, just without the cinnamon and more vanilla.  I loved that cupcake so much I had to make it again.   They are so light and fluffy, I think this will be my go to vanilla recipe from now on.  The buttercream is pretty basic, but still very delicious.  I highly recommend you try this recipe!  

Vanilla Cupcakes - Adapted from my Churro Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
1/2 Cup Butter, unsalted and room temperature
1 Cups Sugar
2 Large Eggs, separated
1 1/3 Cup Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup Milk
1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

  1. Preheat your oven to 350˚F and line a muffin tin with baking cups.
  2. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed. Once the butter is smooth and creamy, turn the mixer to low speed and add the sugar. Keep beating the butter and sugar mixture until light and fluffy.  
  3. Add the egg yolks one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition.  
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. In a small bowl, stir the vanilla into the milk.  Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the butter-and-sugar mixture. You’ll want to start and end with the flour, and mix just until incorporated after each addition.
  6. In a medium bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. It’ll be white and foamy. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
  7. Fill your lined muffin cups about ¾ full of batter. Bake for about 18 minutes or until a cake tester stuck in the middle comes out clean. 
  8. Let cupcakes cool completely.
My Favorite Vanilla Buttercream
1 Cup Butter, unsalted and room temperature
3 Cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1-2 Teaspoons Milk

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. 
  2. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add powdered sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until just blended. Add milk until you have the consistence you desire.  
  3. Add coloring if you want to get the red and blue.
  4. Frost the cupcakes, then ENJOY!!