Maple Sandwich Cookies

Time for Sunday baking!

After my faculty/student mixer where I made carrot cake cupcakes, I had a TON of maple cream cheese frosting left over.  Instead of throwing it away (or eating it straight with a spoon), I decided to incorporate it into my weekly baking.  I didn’t want to make cupcakes again since I’m low on cupcake liners.

Then inspiration came… hmm I could make maple homemade oreos… Sounds delicious right?  Since I don’t have enough cocoa powder to make chocolate cookies and digging out my cars seems like a terrible idea, I thought of another alternative: maple cookies!

Homemade Maple Cookies + Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Maple Sandwich Cookies

adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Graham Crackers and Smitten Kitchen’s Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp sea salt
7 tbsp of butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
5 tbsp milk
2 tbsp vanilla extract
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

In a food processor pulse together dry ingredients.  Add butter, maple syrup, milk and vanilla and process until it’s a smooth ball.  Wrap in saran wrap or wax paper and chill for a few hours or overnight.

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees, roll out the dough and cut into circles.  No need for fancy tools.

You could pretty much do this in any shape you’d like.

Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.  Let the cookies cool completely.  If you’re in a hurry throw them in the freezer for a few minutes.

Put your maple cream cheese frosting in a plastic bag and cut off a corner.

This will make it easier to fill the cookies, no need for a knife!

Pipe a dollop of frosting on one side of the cookie

Press the other cookie onto the frosting.

Makes about 30 deliciously sweet cookies.

Enjoy!  Watch out for maple drippings!

I googled maple cookies after I made these and a lot of the recipes use maple flavoring!  That’s nonsense!  Use the real thing!

What’s your favorite type of sandwich cookie?

P.S. Don’t forget to go vote for my penguin olives over at Mara’s blog for the Cute Food Saturday, The Cuteiversary Contest!

P.P.S.  You can win some maple syrup to make this at Jessica’s VERMONSTER giveaway!!!

Just a Taste

Happy Saturday all!

On Wednesday when I picked the fella up from the airport, he mentioned he really wanted tapas.  So tonight, we went to a wonderful tapas restaurant here in Ithaca called Just a Taste.

We started with a wine flight.  I got the light red flight and he got the Spanish flight.

His was better than mine 🙂

We ordered 5 tapas (well really 6 but one never arrived)

Tortilla Espanola

Garlicky greens with blue cheese and walnuts

Goat cheese flatbread

Potatoes with Chipotle Aioli

Grilled Mahi Mahi

Everything was amazing!  The exception was the Mahi Mahi, which I didn’t care for.  The lovely fella ended up eating all of it!  It was too fishy for my taste!

If you’re in the Ithaca area, I highly recommend this place!  It was very tasty!  The lovely fella gives it an 8.6/10.  Pretty high rating!

Now we’re off to my neighbor’s birthday party!  I see more wine in my future.  Have a great night!!

Snowy Dinner Party

Yesterday, when I went to class, I stepped out of my apartment building and was basically knee deep in snow!

None of the sidewalks had been plowed or shoveled!  Getting to class was nuts!  But in the end I made it!  After two classes and a mixer, I headed home to start making dinner for a few friends.  I had two dishes planned.

One I saw on the Food Network while working out at the gym a few months ago.  The second from the NY Times.

First Dish: Veronica’s Vegetarian Meatloaf with Checca Sauce:

This was a hit!  It’s actually supposed to be made in a loaf pan but I made it in a 9×13 baking dish because I would have had to make multiple loaves.  It was very tasty!  I think it was a favorite here last night! As usual I made a few changes, instead of spinach I used beet green from the beets in the next recipe.  It was a great way to make use of something that usually gets thrown away!  And it tasted delicious!  I will definitely be making this again!  Maybe for Christmas this year?

Second dish: Marinated Giant White Beans and Beets

I thought this was really good!  As usual I made some changes.  I only had half a pound of lima beans since I used the other half to make Ginormous beans earlier this week so instead I added half a pound of chickpeas.  According to the lovely fella and another guest, it mixed very well with the vegetarian meat loaf.  This wasn’t hard to make but it was sort of time intensive.

All this goodness was enjoyed with Rhoda‘s homemade bread!

Sooooo good!  Soft and delicious!

Here’s my plate:

After dinner, we trudged through the snow to see an improv show, which was pretty funny.  Very entertaining.  Then the lovely fella and I watched The Hangover, which I thought was REALLY funny.  I feel like everyone in the world had seen The Hangover except me.  Have you seen it?

This morning, it’s still snowing 😦  Not sure what the plan is but either way it should be fun!

Have a beautiful day!

Also… Go over to Mara’s Blog and vote for my olive penguins to win the Cute Food Saturday contest!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Holey Moley!  We got a full blown snow storm!  I’m guessing we got around 2-3 ft? More than I’ve ever seen!  It’s still going strong!

So as I mentioned before, I am baking for a faculty/student mixer today.

I carefully chose a recipe I had made in the past…

Enter carrots:

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Combine went ingredients in a larger bowl (mix in one egg at a time).  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Mix together.  Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts.

Line your cupcake pan.  Fill about half way.  DO NOT over fill!  This is what happens:

I overfiled my first dozen and they got terribly messed up!  I ended up having to make another half batch to make up for the mess ups.  I just knew these cupcakes were jinxed!! Oh well.  Turned out fine in the end!

Bake for about 20-22 minutes depending on the strength of your oven.

For the frosting….

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

16oz of cream cheese (I used reduced fat)
1 stick of butter, softened (I left it out over night, it’ll be fine)
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 cups of powdered sugar

With a hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter, add the maple syrup and mix some more.  Gradually add the powdered sugar.  Chill in the fridge for about half an hour.  Spread on cooled cupcakes for carroty/mapley deliciousness!!

Off to class!  Have a wonderful day!!

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

My bananas aren’t ripe 😦

I’m a banana fan as I’ve mentioned in the past.  I usually have at least one per day sliced up in my oats or on toast or in a smoothie.  The riper the better!  Today my bananas are just yellow.  While I could have enjoyed it on a piece of toast, I really wanted oatmeal but I try to use really ripe bananas in my oats.  I guess because of the sugar breakdown as they ripen, they’re sweeter when riper?

Point being… my bananas were not quite ready for oats.  Then I remembered Christie‘s Carrot Cake Oat Bran I read about yesterday and decided to recreate my own!

My combo contained:

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill 8 Grain Hot Cereal (or oats or oat bran)
1 carrot, finely grated
lots of cinnamon
dash of allspice
squirt of vanilla extract
topped with plain greek yogurt, agave nectar and a few pieces of walnuts

Pretty delicious!  Interesting way to get a veggie in!

Still… nothing beats the creamy sweetness my sliced banana adds to my oats!  I’m going to try this again but next time with a banana as a sweetener instead of agaven nectar!

Thanks for the inspiration, Christie!

Today is another busy day!  Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!  But something fun…Tonight I’m baking for a faculty/student mixer!  I’m a little concerned because it was advertised as such: “Come mingle with faculty! Enjoy tea and coffee! Savor Karla’s delicious baked goods!” … just a little pressure to make sure it’s great!

See you tonight for some baking!!


The lovely fella is here!  No exciting food today!  We had Ginormous Bean Extravaganza for dinner!  He approved!

And guess what…

Photobooth photoshoot…

Hair cut like woah! So relieved to not have that terrible mop anymore!

Have a beautiful night!!

GINORMOUS Bean Chipotle Extravaganza!

Hi friends!

I hope you’ve all have a great day!  Mine has been busy and sadly not very productive but oh well!  As I mentioned before, I’m trying to have more complete, balanced meals.  Today was a success!

Oats for breakfast, sandwich and soup for lunch, cantaloupe for a snack and dinner…

Just plain delicious!  I found this recipe on 101 Cookbooks a long time ago and bookmarked it for future making. I finally got around to doing so.  Of course I tweeked the recipe (quite a bit actually) but it still turned out delicious!

Ginormous Bean Chipotles Extravaganza

adapted from 101 Cookbooks Giant Chipotle White Beans

1/2 lb dried lima beans, cooked in salty water
1 tbsp olive oil
few dashes of cayenne, more for more heat
1 tsp chopped garlic
14oz can of diced tomatoes (I only had whole tomatoes so I chopped them up myself, works fine)
2 tsp dried oregano (more if you use fresh)
1 tbsp of adobo from a can of chipotle peppers
1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1-2 handfuls of kale, chopped
1-2oz crumbled feta (or other crumbly cheese like cotija… which apparently doesn’t exist in Upstate NY…)

Heat the oil (about medium heat) in a pot, add the garlic and the cayenne, cook for about a minute.  Add tomatoes, salt and oregano.  Cook for a few minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the cooked beans and adobo sauce.  Stir in the kale and cilantro.  Transfer to a baking dish, bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

I had mine with red quinoa!

and a huge salad!

You should definitely try this recipe!  It was soooo good!  If you’re one of those people who hates lima beans (don’t get this by the way) you can probably use any other bean, maybe cannellini?  That being said, I thought the lima beans were the perfect bean for this dish!  So big and “meaty”!  Delicious!!

I seriously loved this flavor combo!  Chipotle, feta and cilantro!  What could be better!?!

Try it!  I bet following the original recipe would be even more delicious!  She makes a cilantro pesto that I was just too lazy to make 🙂 Hence I just stirred in some chopped cilantro…

This is also a great make-ahead dish!  I actually prepared it all on Sunday, and today I just stuck it in the oven while my quinoa cooked.  Healthy and Delicious dinner in 15 minutes!  Voila!

Anyway, now I’m off to read before Lost!!  Anyone else as obsessed as I am?!?

Have a fantastic night!!