Friday, January 7, 2011

Cheddar-Jalapeño-(Bacon) Cornbread Muffins

Hey, it's been a whole year since this little blog came into being! Easily one of the crazier years of my life, but I've enjoyed cooking my way through it and sharing that with anyone kind enough to stop by and read the recipes. So a big thanks to anyone reading this, as there isn't much of a point without an audience :) Now, back to cooking!

These muffins were originally conceived for the Iowa-Penn State tailgate, to go along with a very formidable batch of venison chili. While my first attempt at these had several major problems, I made them again for a dinner party a few weeks ago and they were very well received. I split the batch into two halves, one that included bacon and one without for the vegetarians in attendance.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Irish Cream Hazelnut Fudge

Being that it's January 2nd, I realize that posting my Christmastime baking recipes, most of which require sugar, butter, cream and all manner of deliciously bad things, may not be going over so well with some New Years resolutions. Well... this one isn't going to be any different, but I will get back to making food that doesn't require a lot of gym time soon!

There are always a few staples that I look forward to having each year during the Christmas baking season. The peanut butter cookies with chocolate kisses, frosted sugar cookies in various shapes, rum balls, Buckeyes, and fudge! Fudge is by far my favorite 'find' every year, because it was the one thing I've never been able to make, so it was always a welcome treat when someone else brought it to parties. Fudge is also a favorite because it's so versatile -- there are as many flavors of fudge as there are bakers to make them. And because fudge is usually so intense that only little pieces are a good idea, I usually manage to sample a large number of options.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies

As I'm sure is very apparent by now, I'm a big fan of chocolate. 'Big fan' may be a gross understatement, but I'm reasonably certain it's in my DNA... in fact, whenever someone in my family is jonesing for some chocolate, we're often lovingly teased that our Hellman-side is showing. Obviously it's not shocking at a woman is down with chocolate, but even more than just straight chocolate, I think the person who first decided to combine chocolate and peanut butter should be given as many accolades as possible. It's a magical combination!

Chocolate-Candy Cane Cookies

Hello! I know I promised lots of recipes over Thanksgiving, but somehow that week moved very fast and by the next time I had a second to look up and breathe, final were done. Crazy! I'm now just under 7 months away from graduating, which is very exciting. But you're not really reading this to hear about my adventures in nursing, you're here for delicious recipes, so I'll get to it.

I spent the entire first week of my break baking and going to dinner parties... rough life, I know :) I discovered these cookies last year when I first started procrastinating for school by looking at cooking websites and blogs, and they've been a huge hit. The chocolate cookies aren't so sweet that they're cloying or make your teeth hurt, and the peppermint frosting adds a punch of sweet. Plus, it's like a dessert breath mint!