Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

IMG_9002

As most of you may know…all of the posts so far on this blog are from my good friend Samantha Ho. She takes the photos, edits them, gives me feedback, and encourages me to do what I love. Not only is she the photographer, but she’s also my apartmentmate and a sister in Christ who constantly cares for me, encourages me, teaches me, and cares for me. We’ve only know each other a little more than a year and a half, but I’m extremely thankful for her.

The reason for that was because a) you all should know how awesome Sam is, and b) pictures today are taken by me. I know–amateur photographer here! But Sam was kind enough to let me use her DSLR and to give me tips. She did tell me to not photograph brown on brown though…woops. If these pictures look funny, please forgive me! But please also teach me so I can learn. I hope these pictures still look okay though; I tried!

IMG_8982

About these cookies–oreo cheesecake cookies! They’re one of the thickest and chewiest cookies I’ve ever had…and it’s bursting with oreos and a little bit of cream cheese. Now I normally don’t bake with Oreos (usually because each pack is like $3…), but when they’re on sale (it was $2.22 at Ralphs!), I go crazy. There’s so many possibilities–cupcakes, cheesecakes, cakes, truffles, ice cream, brownies, and the list goes on and on–and I love it. This recipe uses 18 oreos, and there’s 30 oreos per pack, and I have two…so 18 oreos down, 48 more to go (maybe less because I keep eating them as I walk by…). Expect more oreo posts soon!

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen large cookies
From
Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons butter, softened
2 heaping tablespoons full fat cream cheese
(you want to use full fat because you’re replacing the butter with cream cheese)
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
18 Oreos, crushed

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda and set aside. In another bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugars. Add the egg, and vanilla; combine well. Add in the flour mixture gradually and stir until a dough forms. Fold in the crushed oreos.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. I left mine in the fridge for a day; I think that refrigerated cookie dough makes thick and chewy cookies.

IMG_8993

(Nice, thick, and chewy cookies…with oreos in every bite!)

Roll the dough into tablespoon or 2-tablespoon sized balls, depending on how large you want your cookies to be. Place them on a lined baking sheet (do not flatten them! They’ll flatten as they bake and cool) and bake for 8-11 minutes until the edges are slightly browned. The centers will look soft and puffy, but they’ll deflate as they cool. Enjoy!

IMG_9021

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!

Chocolate Swirl Bread

IMG_6784_1

I am done with midterms! Hip, hip, hooray!!! And as usual, to celebrate, I’ll blog. Today we have a chocolate swirl bread (insert “ooooohs” and “ahhhs”)–and it is delicious. I followed the recipe exactly and the dough came out to be a little saltier than I would have liked it, so I would probably reduce it to 1 teaspoon next time. I also used bread flour instead of all-purpose flour, and the bread was extremely moist and had the right amount of chocolate. Definitely perfect to go with your cup of coffee in the morning!!

Chocolate Swirl Bread
Makes one loaf
Adapted from Recipe Interrupted

Ingredients:

3 cups bread flour, plus a little more for kneading and rolling
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk

Mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add the warm water and melted butter; mix until incorporated. If ingredients do not form a ball, add in a few more tablespoons of water. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly. Add in a little flour if the dough is too loose or wet. Place the dough in a buttered mixing bowl, rolling the dough around in it briefly to coat the dough lightly with butter. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and allow dough to rise for 2 hours in a warm spot, until about doubled in size.

Mean while, make the chocolate ganache filling. Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Heat the cream just to boiling and pour over chocolate. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until chocolate is completely melted. Whisk the chocolate and cream together until smooth, then whisk in the egg yolk. Allow the ganache to set in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before using.

Once the dough has risen, roll if out to about 13″ x 18″ on a lightly floured surface. Spread the ganache on the dough; leave about a 1/2-inch border. Roll the dough into a log beginning with the long edge. Cut the dough in the middle. Stretch out dough slightly and twist the two lengths of dough together. Place the twisted dough into the loaf pan, tucking the end down towards the bottom of the pan.Brush the exposed surface of the dough with egg white. Bake for 50 minutes (mine was done earlier), or until bread is golden brown. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

P.S. If you head over Recipe Interrupted’s post, there are step by step pictures!
(Photo Credit for my post: Samantha Ho)

IMG_6781_1

Mmmm. I love bread. As you continue to read my blog, you’ll find that 1) I’m a picky eater, and 2) I love bread. I’m a total carb girl. My favorite part in a dumpling is the outer dough-y skin. My favorite part in a pizza is the crust (I actually sometimes eat everything separately. Toppings, then some of the cheese, then the bread). I love carbs, and that’ll probably all come back to bite me in the butt later on. But for now…bread4life. Actually, wait. Using the words bread and life in the same sentence reminds me of this:

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.'” – John 6:35 (ESV)

Desiring God says this: “Jesus is the bread that endures to eternal life. Coming to Jesus and trusting him is what it means to eat the true bread of heaven.” Eating the true bread of heaven means putting our faith in Jesus Christ and believing in the gospel. The gospel is the greatest act of love and the greatest gift one can receive. Jesus sent His son to die on the cross for our inadequacies, our sinfulness. Because of Christ’s work on the cross, we have a new life in Jesus and we will receive eternal life in heaven. It’s mindblowing–who would send his one and ONLY son to die for ME, a sinner unworthy of mercy and grace? Who would love me unconditionally despite all my sinful actions? Who would DIE on the cross to save MY sins, something that he didn’t even do? The answer to all of them: Jesus Christ. He is our Savior, our beloved. He is the bread of life.

Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy Reading, Eating, and Baking!

BBQ Chicken Pizza Cups

IMG_6967_1

I have my last midterm for the quarter tomorrow…and here I am, blogging away. Study break, right? But even though I have a test tomorrow I’ve baked two days in a row already (insert #whataremidtermsidontknow)…I have a problem. Le sigh. Anyways, I’m not allowed to bake until this midterm is over. I guess this is the closest thing I’ll have to baking: blogging.

Today I present to you all…BBQ Chicken Pizza Cups! First off, who knew barbecue was spelled with a “c” and not a “q”?? If I didn’t get a little squiggly line under “barbeque” I would’ve never known. Secondly, I made these this past summer…and this is the best pizza dough I’ve had so far. It’s so soft, and I think the bread flour really makes a difference. The nice thing about this is that you can do pretty much anything you want with it. Pizza cups are fun to eat, and easy to take on the go when you’re in a rush. They’re a little more time consuming because you’re trying to mold the dough into a little muffin tin, so when I’m a lazy I just roll it out into a rectangle and bake it as a regular pizza. The dough still works for whatever you decide to do. The other day I made two batches of dough, bought a few toppings, and had a pizza party for me, J, my sister, and her boyfriend. It was good, except I totally mis-proportioned (is that a word?) the dough and I ended up with the biggest pizza that was almost double their pizzas. It was an accident, I promise! :p

(Photo Credit: Samantha Ho)

IMG_6961_1

BBQ Chicken Pizza Cups
Makes about 9 pizza cups
Adapted from My Kitchen Snippets

Ingredients: 

For the Pizza Dough:
1 packet dry yeast
3/4 cups of warm water
2 cups + 2 tablespoons bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar

For the Filling (you can really use anything):
1 cup cooked chicken
1/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 small red onion, cut into cubes
1 cup barbecue sauce
pepper and seasonings to taste
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it stand about 10 minutes or until frothy.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, olive oil, and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Knead it into a smooth dough; add a little flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover and let it rise until doubled.

Meanwhile, mix together the chicken, mushrooms, onions, pepper and seasoning, cheese, and barbecue sauce in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

When the dough has risen, punch the dough down and roll out the pizza dough on a clean, floured working table. Cut the dough to fit into a greased muffin tin. Fill the cups with the filling, and top it with more cheese. Bake in a preheated 375˚F oven until the pizza cups are bubbly and brown. Cool slightly in the pan before removing it.

Alternatively, you could also just roll the dough out to make a regular pizza. Just roll it into a rectangle/circle, top with your favorite sauce or toppings, and bake for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Now back to studying for my midterms…oh, econometrics, why are you so boring!

Until next time,

Soli Deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

IMG_6537

It’s been a while…sorry readers! I’ve been pretty caught up with school due to midterms. This past week I had a paper and midterm on Tuesday, and back to back midterms on Thursday. I needed to stay up to do work/study…so I actually got my first coffee-like drink from Starbucks. I usually get hot chocolate or some other non-coffee drink, but this time I got a skinny vanilla latte and skinny caramel macchiato (don’t worry, they were on two separate occasions). Both were pretty good, but I’m still not a super huge coffee fan. They did the trick though and kept me up long enough to get more studying in.

But… HURRAY!!!! I’m finally done with midterms (I have one more on Thursday, but it can wait). I’ve been itching to bake, but I figured I should probably blog first. Today I present to you all…BLUEBERRY CRUMB MUFFINS!

IMG_6536

Yes, this is from the same box of blueberries Sam bought from Costco. Diana is a blueberry-aholic (how appropriate considering she just turned 21 HAHA). Okay, maybe not that extreme, but I know she really likes blueberries. Anyways, the muffins came out to be super delicious–I loved how the blueberries burst and how the crumb topping just complemented everything. The muffins stayed moist and were perfect the next morning for breakfast; I brought some to work and my coworkers loved them! I’d definitely try this recipe again, and I hope you do too. It’s 9 in the morning and blogging about this is making me hungry…blueberry muffins for breakfast would sound really good right now actually…hm. We’ll see what I can do.

Photo Credit: Samantha Ho

IMG_6539

Blueberry Crumb Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
Adapted 
All Recipes

Ingredients:

For the muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

For the crumb topping:
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the muffins: Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the vegetable oil, milk, egg, and vanilla. Mix this with the flour mixture–do not overmix or you’ll end up with a tough muffin. Fold in the blueberries.

For the crumb topping: Mix together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles cornmeal.

For assembly: Fill muffin cups 2/3 of the way full . Sprinkle the tops with the crumb topping mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

IMG_6548

Enjoy!

Soli Deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!

 

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_8387_1

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate and White Chocolate Chip cookies. What a mouthful…OF DELICIOUSNESS! Hehe.

But seriously–these cookies are da bomb. I added a little almond extract in addition to the vanilla extract…and WOW! The almond really compliments all the flavors in the cookies. These cookies have so many things going on–oatmeal, cranberries, white chocolate, and semi-sweet chocolate. It’s so chunky, but I love it because you get a little bit of something in every bite. As long as there aren’t any nuts (oh, I don’t like nuts by the way. The only whole nuts I’ll eat are peanuts; I’ll eat flavors of other nuts or nuts ground up in macarons or something, but if it’s a whole cashew or pecan or almond etc.–I’ll pass.) in the cookies, I’ll be okay (insert thumbs up emoji here).

This is a short post (partially because I have a loooongggg to-do list this week), I’ll add some more recipes soon. As usual, photography by the wonderful Samantha Ho, who, by the way, was the one who begged me to make these cookies. That is all!

IMG_8386_1

Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen
Adapted from All Recipes

Ingredients:

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375˚F.

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

In a separate medium bowl, cream together the brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts. Stir in the flour mixture, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the dried cranberries, the  semi-sweet and white chocolate chips.

IMG_8357_1

Drop by tablespoon dollops onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Before & After

OH! One more thing:

 photo (2)

Follow me on Instagram! That is all.

Soli deo Gloria, and happy reading, eating, and baking!