Saturday, July 14, 2012

No Egg Chocolate Chip Cookies

Earlier this week I rushed out to the grocery store just to buy chocolate chips because I had to make these "Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies" and within 48 hours my family devoured them. I had enough ingredients to make another batch... or so I thought... I set the butter and cream cheese out to soften and waited, in this heat it didn't take long for the butter and cream cheese to soften so I began to cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar together and added the vanilla. Then I went to the fridge and GASP! NO EGGS!

I immediately "googled that sh!t"... what could I substitute for an egg? Alas, google never fails me and I found a few different egg substitute options and chose to use 2 TBS of water plus 1 TBS of veggie oil, as corn starch creeps me out ever since I made "oobleck" with my students, and I didn't have a banana or applesauce. So I mixed it all together, crossed my fingers and popped the first sheet in the oven. Voila! Nine and a half minutes later they didn't look any different then the batch I made with eggs... Then came the taste test... DELICIOUS! Since I know there are many people out there with egg allergies, I thought I would share this adaptation! ENJOY!

No Egg Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda

1 cup sugar
3 oz cream cheese
10 tbs unsalted butter
1.5 tsp vanilla
2 tbs water
1 tbs veggie oil

12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, the original recipe said 375, but they browned too quickly so I lowered the temp. I hope my oven hasn't gone wacky!

Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl and set aside.

Cream sugar. softened butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl. Once creamed add the vanilla and mix on a medium speed. Then add water and veggie oil, mix on high until fluffy.

Add half of the dry ingredients and mix on medium. Scrape down the sides and mix again before adding the second half. Add the second half and repeat.

Mix in the chocolate chips with a spatula.

The batter will be a little more loose than your average cookie batter. And I was a little worried about this, but it didn't spread any differently then the first batch I made with eggs. The only thing I noticed was I did have to form some of the balls a little more as I placed them on the pan. So next time I might refrigerate the batter to see if that helps.

Scoop the batter into 1.5 inch balls about 1 inch apart and back from 9-12 minutes. I always ere on the shorter side and then add on if needed. Each batch I baked took nine and a half minutes.

Remove from oven and allow them to set on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes. I tried taking one off after my normal one minute rest and they weren't quite firm enough.



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Custom Wine Glasses

Today is my little sister's 21st birthday! Twenty-one years ago I was at the Milwaukee County Zoo taking an art class on drawing zoo animals. When Grandpa Al came to pick me up he had news, I was a big sister... again! Now while I don't always understand my youngest sister because there is such an age gap between us, I do love her dearly and I am excited for this milestone in her life, even though it makes me feel older than dirt!

To celebrate I bought her booze (of course) and made her some custom wine glasses. I was originally going to do the doily wine glass tutorial I saw on pinterest, but couldn't find doilies at the Dollar Store or at JoAnn's. But I did wander into the scrapbooking section and was inspired to change my mind because doilies are for old ladies anyways. I picked out a sheet of scrapbook paper with a cute heart pattern with streamers instead.

Custom Wine Glass Tutorial

Supplies Needed

4 wine glasses (dollar store find)
1 sheet of scrapbook paper
2 foam brushes
1 spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
Cotton swabs
Modge Podge- Matte finish
Clear Acrylic Sealer

Step 1
Remove the sticker from the bottom of each wine glass- use the rubbing alcohol sprayed on your cotton swab to remove any stuck on paper or glue. Dry with a paper towel.

Step 2

Trace the bottom of the wine glass onto the back of the scrap book paper, then cut out the circle.

Step 3

Cut a slit halfway down the circle.

Step 4

Spread a thin layer of modge podge onto the bottom of the wine glass.

Step 5

Align and press the circle onto the bottom of the wine glass. Smoothing out any bubbles and slightly overlapping the slit you cut. WHOOPS! Didn't take a picture of that step. DOH!

Step 6

Trim away any paper that hangs over the edge. I did this by tipping the glass upside down and carefully guiding my scissors along the edge of the glass. Here is a picture of my wine glass before that step. You can see a slight edge of paper on the right side.

Step 7

Apply a thin layer of modge podge over the paper. Let this dry for about an hour and then reapply another layer. I put on about 5 layers of modge podge before I could no longer feel the papery texture. Then I sealed it with a Clear Acrylic Sealer to get rid of the tackiness.

Step 8

Once dried and sealed, enjoy with your favorite beverage! I will have to ask Molly to document that step for me, as it would be rude to use her birthday gift!

Happy Birthday Molly!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Scrap busting

I started making headbands a few months ago with my scraps, I was in serious need of dejunking my fabric bins. I found a really great tutorial here I happily sewed up a bunch of these and gave them to my kids and their friends. I found that this particular pattern works great for those of us (not me) that have an abundance of thick hair, but not so great for those of us (me) that have fine hair and/or babies. The search was on for an alternative fabric headband. I didn't find one...

Plan B
Take the existing pattern and make it narrower, instead of a 1/4 inch seam, I sewed in on the 5/8 inch seam allowance. Success for the adults, but again, the headband didn't really work for the kiddos and babies.

Plan C
Make little bows and attach them to pony tail holders.

Here's what you need:
Scrap material 3x4 inches
Pony tail holders
Double folded bias tape in coordinating color or you can make your own (I did on a few of these)
Fabric glue
The usual sewing stuff (scissors, machine, thread etc.

Here's what I did.

Cut scraps into 3"x4" rectangles, my rotary blade is my best friend.

Sew two pieces together (1/4 inch seam) right sides together, leaving about 1 inch opening to turn the fabric.


Turn right sides out

Push out those pesky corners

Hand sew or glue (yes, I said glue) the seam shut. Fabric glue works just fine for small seams that are not holding major body parts together. a few dots in and smoosh it together.

Scrunch it up in the middle and stich together or pull out that fabric glue.
You're going to need the glue no matter what you've done before for this next step.

Put a generous dollop of glue in the middle of the scrunched up part. Hold the pony tail holder in there until it starts to set up.

Wrap a the bias tape around to cover and glue it down to cover.

That's it!

But wait...those bows are too big for itty bitty babies.

Instead of sewing two of the 3x4 rectangles together, I folded on in half, right sides together and sewed around leaving a one (1) inch opening to turn the fabric. Follow the rest from above.

Wait wait wait...your itty bitty baby doesn't have enough hair to put in a pony tail holder?

Glue down a baby barette to the back of the bow instead of a ponytail holder. I found plain baby barettes at one of the large chain department stores. The itty bitty bows also work out great added to a bobby pin for the older kiddos.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

No Bake Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

This morning the hubby was on Facebook and suddenly said "Ooo that looks yummy". He showed me a picture of a chocolate mousse cheesecake that his friend posted on pinterest. It did look yummy and after looking at the recipe it not only looked delicious but complicated! Now I've made cheese cakes from scratch before, but didn't feel like spending a day in the kitchen heating up the house when it was 98 degrees outside. So I created my own "no bake version"! If you would like to make the fancy version, you can find it here... I am sure it is decadent! But if you'd rather go the no bake route, you can follow my recipe. Either way... Enjoy!

No Bake Cocolate Mousse Cheesecake


1 Oreo cookie pie crust

Cream cheese layer-
8oz of softened cream cheese
4oz of cool whip
1/4 cup sugar

Mousse layer-
1 1.4oz sugar free instant chocolate pudding
1 packet of Dream Whip (Found in the baking aisle at my local grocery store)
1.5 cups of cold milk

Ganache layer-
6oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks (or chips)
Heavy Whipping cream (I bought a half pint container and probably used about a quarter of it (approximately 1/4 cup)... Sometimes I just don't measure things, and go by look and texture instead.)


Beat cream cheese with electric mixer until smooth. Add in the sugar and beat until smooth. Add 4oz of Cool Whip (half of an 8oz container), beat again until smooth and somewhat fluffy.

Spread in the bottom of the pie crust. Chill in refrigerator while you make the next layer.

Add the contents of both the pudding mix and the dream whip into a bowl. Add the milk and beat for at least 2 minutes, longer if you want it fluffier. Chill this for 5 minutes in the fridge to firm up before adding it to the cheesecake layer. Once it has firmed up, carefully spread it onto the cheesecake layer. Then chill in the fridge while you make the final layer.

Pour the chocolate chunks into a microwave safe dish, set about a TBS to the side for tempering. I love using my Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker for melting chocolate! Pour in some heavy cream... Just enough to lightly cover the chocolate. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir, then again for 30 seconds. Don't worry if it looks curdled or like it isn't melting like straight chocolate, you will smooth it out later. Stir in the reserved chocolate pieces to cool the chocolate down. Depending on your microwave, it may take longer... But after the two 30 second intervals, I reccomend lessening it to 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between. Once the chocolate is melted, begin to beat it with your mixer. As you beat the chocolate, slowly stream in more cream until the chocolate is smooth.

Spread the ganache layer on the cheesecake and chill for at least two hours. This is the hardest part.

Finally enjoy with a scoop of the remaining Cool Whip. This baby is rich!