All the Harry Potter themed baking!

Yesterday, I went to a work party, so of course, I had to bake a little something. By a little something, I mean pudding pie and cookies. And because we had decided that our party was Harry Potter themed (we’re librarians, we do nerdy things like this), I decided to make butterbeer pie and butterbeer cookies.

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The cookies I had made before, and I used this recipe. I had made these before, and they turned out great like always. They have pudding mix in them, which always makes for really soft, chewy cookies. But overall, they might just be the best cookies ever. Everyone I’ve made them for has loved them. I like that this recipe also has tips at the end of the post to alter the recipe. One of these is a tip for not chilling the dough before baking, which is something I always do (because who has the time to chill dough?).

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The second thing I made was butterbeer pie, using this recipe. This was something I had never made before, but I was pretty pleased with how it came out. It’s essentially pudding pie with whipped cream mixed in, so the filling is really light and fluffy. When I was mixing it, I was worried that it wouldn’t hold it’s shape, since it was so light. But I chilled it for probably a bit longer than it says to in the recipe, and it worked better than I expected. It was still a little hard to cut, but it at least didn’t melt all over the place the way I expected.

I should also note that I decided to use graham cracker crust instead of regular pie crust, because I like pudding pie with graham cracker crust better. Since the pie really ends up being just a mound of filling and crust on your plate, graham cracker crust mixes in a little bit better, in my opinion.

One last thing I’ll mention is that I wasn’t blown away by the whipped cream. The recipe includes instructions for making marshmallow whipped cream to top the pie with. It’s essentially just whipped cream with marshmallow fluff mixed in. But I had trouble getting the fluff to mix into the cream. The way it says to do it is to whip the cream first, and then fold the marshmallow fluff in, but marshmallow fluff is kind of hard to mix into something that’s cold. And I didn’t want to over mix, and take all the air out of the whipped cream, but it seemed like it was more chunks of fluff in the whipped cream, rather than a smooth marshmallow whipped cream. Not that it wasn’t still tasty, but I don’t know how marshmallowy is was.

If you try these recipes, I’d love to know how they turned out. Or if you know of any other good Harry Potter themed recipes.

Happy baking!

Alyss

(photos courtesy of recipe links)

Christmas baking, part two

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For the second installment of my Christmas baking, I decided to make Nutella cookies, because who doesn’t have enough Nutella in their lives?

This is the recipe I used, courtesy of American Heritage Cooking. I found it on Pinterest, and decided to go with this one over a couple of other Nutella cookie variations.

This one was pretty easy, although this recipe does call for a few more ingredients than the shortbread from the first installment of my baking adventure. I did cut out the chocolate chips, because I’m not a fan of dark or semi-sweet chocolate, and I thought it would be a little much on top of the Nutella. But I’m sure they would be good either way, depending on your preferences.

The one thing I will say is that these cookies seem really easy to overcook. The writer of the post mentions to be careful of over-baking, so I was being careful to watch them, but I think I still managed to cook them just a little bit too long. They were still really good, but I prefer a softer cookie, so I will definitely be even more careful next time I make them.

But even if they were a little bit harder than I liked, they still tasted amazing, so I highly recommend them to anyone who’s a fan of Nutella. Which, let’s be honest, who isn’t a fan?

Happy baking!

Alyss

(photo courtesy of American Heritage Cooking)

Christmas baking, part one

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Although you could probably consider gingerbread and gingerbread cookies to be Christmas baking, they weren’t for anything specifically Christmas-y. So I’m going to consider this to be my first Christmas baking, since I’m baking for a Christmas Eve Eve party. I decided to bake two different kinds of cookies to bring to the party, and started today with shortbread cookies.

This is the recipe I use, so you can check it out if you’re interested.

I’ve used this recipe before, and it’s really simple and easy to do. There are literally only three ingredients: flour, sugar, and butter. And you pretty much just mix them together, knead it a little bit, and then press the dough into a large cookie sheet and bake it. The cookies come out soft and crumbly and delicious every time.

While shortbread isn’t necessarily a traditional Christmas cookie (I’ve definitely made it other times of year), I’ve been making it at Christmas time for the past couple of years. So it’s become one of those cookies that I get a little bit excited for at this time of year.

So this was part one of my Christmas baking, and part two will come tomorrow when I bake another batch of cookies. I’m bringing a lot of cookies to this party.

Happy baking!

Alyss

(photo courtesy of Taste of Home)

Gingerbread cookies


Lara’s tender gingersnaps recipe from Taste of Home

Gingerbread is one of my favorite winter flavors, and always makes it feel a little bit more like Christmas, in my opinion. So I’ve been meaning to bake some kind of gingerbread for a while now, and finally got around to it. I decided to go with gingerbread cookies and found the recipe linked above on Pinterest. I chose it mostly because I already had all of the ingredients on hand, but it ended up turning out really well.

These are definitely softer gingerbread cookies rather than the crunchier kind you might decorate, but I prefer that. So did everyone else who tried them. I brought some to work, and even received comments that these were the best gingerbread cookies that people had ever had. While that’s incredibly flattering, I think it might be more due to the over-abundance of dry and crunchy gingerbread cookies out there. But I’m still glad that everyone enjoyed them.

I should also add that the recipe calls for the mixed dough to be chilled for a couple of hours before baking, but I didn’t have time, so I didn’t chill it. I think they still came out very good. I never really know what the purpose of chilling cookie dough is, and as a rule I tend not to chill my dough. I’ve never had any cookies that have come out bad due to lack of chilled dough, but maybe I’m missing out on even better cookies. Please enlighten me, if anyone knows why some recipes call for chilled cookie dough, and if it really makes a difference.

Whether you want to wait that long for cookies or not (I never do), I definitely recommend trying out this recipe. It’s pretty quick and easy, and makes for some damn good gingerbread cookies.

Happy baking!

Alyss

(Photo courtesy of Taste of Home)