Plump Chocolate Chip Cookies

img_4021Since having visited Levain Bakery in New York City, we were on a mission to find a recipe that came somewhat close to what the master bakers at Levain whip up.  It’s plump, soft and delicious! Try it for yourself!

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Apple Upside-Down Cake

Forget the pineapple and hello apple season! T.W.O. decided to mix up the traditional Pineapple Upside-Down cake and make an Apple Upside-Down cake. It’s literally a burst of Fall in your mouth!  Caramelized apples, cinnamon and nutmeg….what is more Fall than that?  (Well maybe pumpkin!) Continue reading “Apple Upside-Down Cake”

Grilled Chicken and Corn with Jalapeño Lime Dressing

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Chicken, corn and Jalapeño are the three main ingredients in this fresh, flavorful summer salad.  It’s a great meal for those bikini-ready diets we are all on this summer.  It’s a beautiful salad that tastes even better and will satisfy any audience.


Grilled Chicken and Corn with  Jalapeño Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

Dressing:
– 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
– 5 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
– 4 ears of corn
– Salt
-Pepper
Salad:
-2 bunches scallions, halved
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive-oil
– Salt
– Pepper
– 4 boneless chicken breasts
– 1 Tablespoon rosemary leaves, chopped
– 2 cups cherry heirloom tomatoes, halved
– 1/4 cup basil, thinly sliced
– 2 cups mixed greens

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the grill.
2. In a bowl whisk together all the dressing ingredients.
3. In a bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and scallions.
4. In another bowl, coat the chicken with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and rosemary; season with salt and pepper.
5. Grill the corn (with some of the husk still on), scallions and chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally. The scallions will take 5 minutes and the chicken and corn should take around 15 minutes.
6. Chop the scallions into 1-inch pieces. Remove the husks and cut the corn kernels off the cobs. Transfer to a bowl and add tomatoes, basil and half the dressing. Toss.
7. Plate the chopped kale and top with corn salad. Top with the chicken and garnish with lime zest and dressing.


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Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

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Cupcakes have been trendy for the last five years.  Everyone has an opinion about each place – the cake part is too dry, the frosting is too much, it needs more sugar, there is too much butter, etc.  Well T.W.O. can ensure you with this Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcake recipe you won’t be disappointed. A glass of milk is required to complete this dessert!


Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:
– 1 devil food cake mix
– eggs
– vegetable oil
– 2 teaspoons vanilla
– 1 stick butter, softened
– 1 cup creamy peanut butter + 1 Tablespoon
– 2 tablespoons milk
– 1 tablespoon vanilla creamer
– 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
– 3 teaspoons vanilla
– mini peanut butter cups
Directions:
1.  Make cupcakes as stated on the box.  Add vanilla to the mix.  Beat well.
2. Place in muffin tins lined with cupcake holders. Place the batter in the cups.  Add a mini peanut butter cup to each muffin tin.  Cook as required.
3. While the cupcakes are cooking, beat the butter until fluffy.  Add the peanut butter, milk, and creamer.  Slowly add in the confectioners sugar and vanilla.  Mix until all ingredients make a nice frosting.
4.  Once the cupcakes are finished baking and cooled, its time to decorate.

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Happy Baking,

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Goat Cheese, Honey & Pistachio Mini Cheesecakes with Meyer Lemon Curd

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Cheesecake – they come in all different flavors, sizes and presentations.  Bet you haven’t had a cheesecake with pistachio, goat cheese, honey, lemon curd and crème fraîche. Well if you have – – you are pretty lucky! If you haven’t…don’t worry, T.W.O. has this delicious, flavorful, satisfying Spring dessert recipe for you!


Goat Cheese, Honey & Pistachio Mini Cheesecakes with Meyer Lemon Curd

Ingredients:

For the pistachio crust:
– 1 heaping cup de-shelled, roasted, and salted pistachios
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
– 1 (11-ounce) log mild goat cheese, room temperature
– 1 (11-ounce) log mild honey goat cheese, room temperature
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1 cup crème fraîche room temperature
– 3 tablespoons good-quality honey
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 6 large eggs

For the Meyer lemon cream:
– 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 2 large eggs
– 2 large egg yolks
– 3 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
– 3/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
– 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. For the pistachio crust, combine pistachios and sugar in food processor until it becomes a fine meal. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the melted butter. Transfer the crust to a spring form pan.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. While the oven is heating, refrigerate the crusts until chilled. Bake the crusts for 10 to 12 minutes until set. Cool completely before filling.
3. For the filling, lower oven temperature to 300°F. Combine the goat cheese and sugar in the kitchen aid. Add the crème fraîche, honey, vanilla, mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix until just combined; do not over mix.
4. Add the filling to the top of the pistachio crust. Place the cheesecake in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, put the cheesecake in the oven overnight.
5. For the Meyer lemon curd cream the butter and sugar in a KitchenAid mixer until light and fluffy.. Slowly add the eggs and yolks and beat for 1 minute, until well combined. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla. Note: The mixture will become curdled and lumpy – – – don’t be alarmed!
6. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. The cream will become thicker, so be sure to not overcook. Once the curd can coat the back of the spoon, transfer to another bowl and press plastic directly on the surface. Let cool at room temperature. Add to the top of the cheesecake and let it refrigerate for a couple hours.
7. When you are ready to serve, top with pistachios and a lemon slice….bon appetite!


 

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Happy Baking!

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Mud Pie Motherload

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Mud Pie has been a traditional birthday cake in T.W.O.’s family since we were babies. These past couple of years, we decided to step up our game and make the motherload of all mud pies. If this doesn’t get your taste buds excited, I don’t know what will. Peanut butter, chocolate, ganache, ice cream, oreo cookie crust and candy….we cover all the necessary ingredients.


Mud Pie Motherload

Ingredients:

Crust:
– 7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
– 1 package oreo cookie box
Ganache:
– 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate
– 2 cup heavy cream
– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Filling:
– 1.5 quartz chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream, softened*
– 1.5 quartz coffee ice cream, softened*
– ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
– 1 ounce dark chocolate, finely chopped, for garnish
– 4 peanut butter cups, finely chopped for garnish
– 1 heath bar, finely chopped for garnish

Directions:

For the crust:

  1. Coat the inside of a 9-inch springform pan with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  2. Place cookies in food processor and pulse until ground. Add melted butter to the crumbs and mix. Press mixture evenly and firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan and freeze until it’s good and set, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften and make the ganache.

For the ganache:

  1. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl; set aside.
  2. Place cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Pour cream over chocolate and let stand until chocolate has melted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir gently until smooth then stir in butter, one piece at a time. let cool slightly before using.

For the assembly:

  1. When ice cream is softened, spread one of the flavors of ice cream over the cookie crust and smooth the top.
  2. Spread peanut butter over the ice cream.
  3. Pour half of the ganache over the top and smooth and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove pie from the freezer and top with the second ice cream flavor.
  5. Pour the remaning ganche on top. Spread evenly.
  6. Top with chopped chocolate candy and put in the freezer. For best results let the pie freeze for 5 hours or over night if possible.
  7. When you are ready to serve, let the pie stand for 5 minutes prior to cutting. Plate and serve!

 

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Happy Baking!

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Very Berry Dessert with Peanut Butter Granola

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Picture this – a family barbeque with ribs, salad, potatoes and a nice glass of VJB Wine.  Sitting outside under the stars in your patio.  Dinner has just finished and someone asks – –  What’s for dessert?  Good thing you prepared this light, refreshing and satisfying dessert – –  – Very Berry Cobbler with Peanut Butter Granola.  It is easy and pairs well with a hearty dinner.  Oh and did I mention – it is in the healthy dessert category! Check it out!

Ingredients
– 2 cups blackberries, washed
– 2 cups raspberries, washed
– 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
– 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
– ¼ cup sugar

Peanut Butter Granola Recipe Here

Ingredients:
– -4 cups rolled oats
– -1/2 cup chia seeds
-3/4 cup peanut butter*
– 
-1/4 cup coconut oil (melted/liquid)
– -1/2 cups of agave syrup
*T.W.O. loves using Justin’s original peanut butter- so delish!

Preheat oven to 350°

In a bowl, carefully mix the blackberries, raspberries, cornstarch, lemon zest and sugar.  Put in a 9×9 Pyrex that has been sprayed with PAM.  Top with the Peanut Butter Granola.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until the berry juice has bubbles.

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imageRemove from oven and serve with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.

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Happy Baking!

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T.W.O.’s Thursday

Sorry we missed you today, but we were T.W.O. busy in the kitchen! 

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See you tomorrow!

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Peanut Butter Cookies

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Peanut Butter Cookies

As you probably have learned, T.W.O. loves peanut butter.  We can have peanut butter in the morning, afternoon and night! We thought we would share one of our favorite peanut butter recipes that have been exchanged between our family members for many years.  The cookies are soft flavorful and nutty! Oh, and we can’t forget about the dough….it’s pretty amazing!

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Ingredients
– 1 cup crunchy peanut butter*
– 1 cube butter, softened
– ½ cup shortening
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 2 eggs
– 2 ½ cups flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda

* T.W.O. likes to bake with Skippy, Jiffy or natural peanut butter (oil pre-mixed)

Cream together peanut butter, butter and shortening with a mixer.  Add in the granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix well. Slowly beat in the eggs.  Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl, so the ingredients blends well.  Add in the flour, baking powder and soda.  Once all the ingredients are combined, you should get sticky, thick dough.  Chill the dough for an hour or until the dough gets cold.

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 Preheat oven to 350.°

 Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Take a spoonful of dough and roll into a ball. Repeat until all the dough is used.  With a floured potato masher, press down on the “balls”.  Don’t smash too much, you don’t want the cookies to burn.  If you don’t have a potato masher, you can flatten the cookie with your hand and use a fork to create a criss-cross design.

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Place the cookies in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Don’t overcook!  Remove from the oven and let it cool on the cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.

Plate the cookies, grab a glass of milk and enjoy!!!

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Happy Baking!

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Berry Lemon Cheesecake

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Berry Lemon Cheesecake – It’s fluffy, light, refreshing, and savory! Most cheesecakes are dense and filling, which bad, but it’s nice to not feel stuffed after dessert. T.W.O. loved the combination of the lemon, berries, cream cheese and eggs that created a light, mousse-like treat and are excited to share this masterpiece with our readers. We guarantee that this will be a hit at your next dinner party, family barbeque or date night. Cheers Lemon Week!

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Ingredients:
 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
 1/3 cup butter, melted
 ½ cup granulated sugar
 2- 8 ounces packages of cream cheese, softened
 2- 8 ounce packages of Neufchâtel, softened
 1 cup granulated sugar
 4 large eggs
 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
 zest from 1 lemon
 ¼ cup corn starch
 2 cups fresh blackberries
 Fresh whipped cream for topping
Preheat oven to 300ᴼF.
In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Mix until the crumbs are sticking together. Press crumb mixture in a 9” spring form pan. Make sure that the crumbs are evenly distributed on the bottom and sides. Set aside.image

Using a KitchenAid mixer, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for about 1 minute each. Before adding an egg, make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl. Add lemon juice and zest and mix for about 3 minutes. Next, mix in cornstarch and beat for an additional 3 minutes until fluffy.

Using a flexible spatula, carefully mix in the berries. You don’t want the berries to break.
Pour the cheesecake mixture in over the graham cracker crust.image

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Set on a wire rack to cool for about 40 minutes.

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Cover the cheesecake and place in the refrigerator overnight.
When you are ready to serve, add a layer of fresh whipped cream to the top of the cake along with some mixed berries and a lemon garnish!

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Happy Lemon Week and Happy Baking!

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