Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

As a breastfeeding mom, I was thrilled to get some lactation cookies from one of my neighbors. They were delicious and did indeed help me produce more milk! I realized that I could make more of these myself. What’s nice is there is nothing that says that folks not producing milk can’t eat these as well, and they are a fun recipe to make with your older kid (my 3 year old loves helping!) and they are delicious!

lactation_cookies

I used this recipe (she has three options. I’ve tried 2 and 3, and I actually really like the second best). She doesn’t say how much vanilla to add, so I’ve copied the recipe below with the amount of vanilla I add.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2.5 cups old fashioned oats, not instant
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips (I like Ghiradelli)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 Tbsp whole milk (I use 2%, since I have it anyway for my 3 year old)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until fluffy and light. Beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
  2. Combine flour, flax meal, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a separate bowl.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture to the sugar mixture until it’s incorporated. Be careful not to over mix. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
  4. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, put dough in 1 inch rounds, making sure to leave plenty of room to expand.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  I bake for about 13 minutes, check, and usually bake one more minute.
  6. Remove from oven, and cool completely on cooling rack.

Enjoy!

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Apple Cream Cheese Cake

A friend of mine made this recipe for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). I wasn’t on top of it enough to make it for then, but I did have lots and lots of apples to use up, so asked her for the recipe so I could make it later. I followed the recipe exactly, and used a silicon bundt pan (since my regular bundt pan always sticks). I do wish I had a larger bundt pan for this recipe, however, as the batter basically filled mine, which meant when it rose, it kind of mushroomed over and wasn’t super pretty. The good news is it didn’t spill over into my oven. 🙂 And it tasted delicious, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but I would recommend a larger bundt pan if you have one. 🙂

Here’s the recipe and a couple photos of mine (the glaze I wasn’t quick enough to put on the cake, so it isn’t so pretty, but again, quite tasty!).

Apple-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Ingredients

CREAM CHEESE FILLING: 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

APPLE CAKE BATTER:
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce (I used homemade applesauce that I had canned last year)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (about 1 1/2 lb.)

PRALINE FROSTING:
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Preparation

1. Prepare Filling: Beat first 3 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended.

2. Prepare Batter: Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Stir together 3 cups flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in eggs and next 3 ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in apples and pecans.

3. Spoon two-thirds of apple mixture into a greased and floured 14-cup Bundt pan. Spoon Cream Cheese Filling over apple mixture, leaving a 1-inch border around edges of pan. Swirl filling through apple mixture using a paring knife. Spoon remaining apple mixture over Cream Cheese Filling.

4. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 2 hours).

5. Prepare Frosting: Bring 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3 Tbsp. milk to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until smooth; stir gently 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to cool and thickens slightly. Pour immediately over cooled cake (this is where I let mine cool a little too quickly before pouring, so it wasn’t so pretty).

 

The cake after pulling it out of the oven and taking it out of the pan. It’s a bit mushroomed at the (now) bottom, but oh well!

After putting on the glaze (which I let cool a little too much before putting on the cake, so it’s not super pretty).

A view of the inside (with cream cheese filling). This totally made this cake. I’ve made other apple cakes before, which are good and moist. This one with the cream cheese filling totally made it!

 

Disgustingly rich brownies

I got this recipe years ago from the brother of the guy who I was dating at the time. The name is from them (or someone prior to them), so I can’t take credit for it, but boy oh boy, it’s dead on. If you’re looking for low fat or low cholesterol, this isn’t the recipe for you. But if you’re looking for delicious brownies that you likely want to share with lots of other people, this is for you!

The recipe is quite simple to make:

1 cup butter

3/4 cup cocoa (it doesn’t specify, but use unsweetened. See next ingredient)

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8×8 pan. You could do a double batch and put it in an 11×17 pan with a little extra batter

2. Melt butter over low heat

3. In mixing bowl stir cocoa and sugar together. Then add melted butter

4. Add eggs and vanilla then stir again

5. Add flour and salt and mix until smooth

6. Bake for 40-50 minutes until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of pan (I also test with a toothpick so it’s not just raw batter in the middle)

7. The hardest part: let cool for a while before cutting.

My absolute favorite chocolate chip cookies recipe

I have a recipe that I got years ago from a former co-worker’s wife, Pattie, for chocolate chip cookies. She had been on a fishing trip where they had cookies that she worked to repeat the recipe. These are big and delicious cookies and I have recently been using toffee bits from a local toffee maker (Vern’s in Ft Collins sells the bits). Skor seemed to stop making them a while back (or at least stopped selling them in any store I could find) and I like the Vern’s ones way better anyway!

Anyway, the recipe is nice for those who like bigger, fluffier, chewier cookies. You pull them out of the oven before they are finished baking and allow them to finish cooking on the cookie sheet.

The recipe Pattie put together:

1 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs (she calls for room temp, but I always forget!)

1 tab vanilla (I use high quality mexican vanilla vs. what you get in the regular grocery store and I think it makes a big difference)

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 package Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips (or other high quality semisweet choc. chips)

3/4 cup toffee bits

1 cup nuts (optional. I’ve never personally added them)

1. Cream shortening and sugars and vanilla till light and fluffy. Stir in eggs gently by hand or on very slow speed of mixer

2) Sift together dry ingredients and blend well

3) Stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Add toffee bits and mix well. Add chocolate chips and nuts (if using) and mix well.

4) Let doug sit at least 1 hour in fridge (best if sits overnight)

5) Make into 3 oz balls (personally, I never weigh them and I end up with more cookies. Her recipe only makes about a dozen if you do it in 3 oz balls)

6) Bake at 300 degrees for 18-20 minutes. They will look like they are not done, but take them out anyway. Let cookies sit on cookie sheet to finish cooking as they cool.

You can also swap white chocolate chips and macademia nuts for this recipe.

The world's best chocolate chip cookies ever!

 

Trying a Trifle

One of my college roommates, Angi, has a food blog, Rice and Wheat, that is light years beyond what this blog ever hopes to be. She recently guest posted on another food blog about making a trifle. The photos she takes are absolutely phenomenal, and it made me very eager to try a trifle of my own! We had some friends coming over for dinner a couple weeks ago, so I thought I would try it for that. I had both peaches and raspberries to add as the fruits, so I was ready to go!

The recipe was actually quite easy to follow. I think I had some issues with the cake, since I’m at altitude and Angi isn’t. So my cake ended up looking a little like a mushroom that exploded.

The trifle after coming out of the oven. Hmm. Not so pretty...

But, conveniently, you chop up the cake before serving, so nobody had to know I had this ugly mushroom-top cake. 🙂
So, I made everything else according to her recipe and was so excited to assemble it all. I had a large bowl, but it didn’t have clear sides, so I thought it would be prettier to get to see all the wonderful cream, custard, cake and fruit from the side. Too bad I didn’t think through it all. I had WAY too much food to fit into the tiny little clear bowl I had. Suffice it to say that it tasted way better than it looked. 🙂 But, luckily, we have very kind friends who kept telling me how great it looked!

The poor finished trifle trying to squeeze itself into this tiny bowl. I'm sure it has self-esteem issues now. But we all told it how good it tasted and it felt better.

So, all in all, it turned out great. But next time I will definitely use the large blue bowl and just deal with the fact that you can’t see all the delicious layers from the side.