Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

photo 5 (2)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks butter, melted and cooled

1 1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups min chocolate chips

Instructions:

In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. In large bowl, beat together melted butter (make sure it is cooled) and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, stirring until incorporated. Stir in vanilla extract.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring until mixed. Fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place heaping teaspoonfuls of dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating trays halfway through cooking. Remove cookies from oven when the edges are golden brown. Let cookies sit on tray for one minute before removing to cooling rack.

Mac and Cheese with a Twist (Butternut Squash!)

Mac and Cheese with a Twist (Butternut Squash!)

This version of mac and cheese is absolutely delicious! The butternut squash makes the cheese sauce super creamy and it reheats well!

Ingredients:
12 oz pasta shapes (I chose pipette because they held the sauce very well)
1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, cubed
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk (this is additional, not from the above)
8 oz smoked cheese, shredded (I used gruyere, but you can use any smoked cheese)
tablespoon butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. If you bought a block of cheese, now is a good time to shred it. Cook pasta until 1-2 minutes before it is “al dente.” Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, cook squash and 2 1/2 cups milk over medium heat until squash is very tender, stirring regularly. It should become mushy.
Combine 1/4 cup each milk and flour. Stir into squash mixture and cook for 2 minutes. This will make the sauce very thick.
Add cheese and stir off heat until fully blended. Pour pasta into the cheese and mix until completely coated.
Place mixture into greased, non-stick pan. Melt butter and mix with bread crumbs. Sprinkle on top.
Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden brown. Remove from oven and serve!

There are lots of variations to this recipe. Try one of these, or make your own:
– Add crumbled pieces of cooked bacon before baking
– Add onions before baking
– Use cheddar or a different cheese
– Sprinkle extra cheese on top before baking

Cream Cheese filled Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Cream Cheese filled Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Filling:
4 oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Cupcakes:
any carrot cake or chocolate cake mix – (yields 18 cupcakes)

DIRECTIONS:

Start by mixing the cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix in sugar with mixer until blended. Spoon mixture into a small bowl and refrigerate.

DSC01317

Follow the directions for your cake mix/recipe. Line cupcake surprise pan with paper liners. You do not need to grease the prong in the middle of each cup. Spoon batter into each cup until 1/3 full. Remove cream cheese filling from the refrigerator. Carefully spoon filling onto each prong. You can use how much or how little filling you want; I used about the size of a standard bouncy ball that you would find in a vending machine. Once each cup has filling, add batter to each cup, ensuring they’re about 2/3 or 3/4 full. Bake according to your recipe. Let the cupcakes cool for at least 15 minutes before tasting!

DSC01323
*To purchase a cupcake surprise pan look here: http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Non-Stick-Surprise-Cupcake/dp/B00570C0A6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1371586062&sr=8-2&keywords=cupcake+surprise

**Check back for other varieties of surprise cupcakes, and feel free to share any ideas in the comments!