No Bake Treats

When I was a kid, my friend Heather and I would make no-bake cookies almost every time I stayed the night at her house.

They were tasty in their own way; it was one of those chocolate, oats, and sugar (loads of it) freezer recipes that we were allowed to make pretty much whenever, on our own. The cookies would harden up in the freezer, but if you waited more than a few minutes to eat them after taking them out, you had a gooey mess on your hands (literally). They were super sweet, and even the child version of me could only eat a few before I felt like puking.

Since then, whenever I see that a new recipe I want to try is a no-bake, I wonder how unsophisticated they’ll taste, and how much of a mess they’ll end up creating.(How pessimistic am I, huh? Geez.)

Yesterday, I tried three new recipes, all happened to be of the no-bake variety.

The first recipe I found here, at loveandoliveoil.com, a food blog aimed at creating inexpensive yet tasty dishes. For me, the best part of making chocolate chip cookies is the dough you get to snack on, so I knew I had to give this recipe a try.

I also like that it doesn’t include egg in the recipe, which, while I have never been affected by eating probably POUNDS of raw cookie dough over the years, it’s always in the back of my mind that raw eggs might contain salmonella.

Since Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us, I shaped the balls of dough into hearts before dipping them in dark chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also made some where I dipped only half of the hearts in dark chocolate.

They both turned out delicious, though I think in the future I will be dipping the whole thing in the chocolate coating because the uncovered dough is hard to hang onto. I may also eventually try to see how this dough tastes when actually baked into cookies!

The second ‘treat’ I made yesterday was a Peanut Butter & Chocolate Rice Crispie Ball. Isaac’s new favorite. I printed out the recipe yesterday, but now I can’t find the exact one online…so weird. It was off of one of the bigger recipe websites, Cooks.com or Epicurious.com. Something like that. Anyway, I tweaked the recipe a bit. Here’s mine:

PB and Chocolate Rice Crispy Hearts

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup rice crispies (or more!)

2 cups dark chocolate chips to melt.

Ingredients website included but I don’t think are necessary:

1 cup powdered sugar

3 TB melted butter

Instructions:

Mix together PB and rice crispies (and sugar and butter if desired).

Roll into balls or whatever shape strikes you.

Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet and put in freezer until firm (approx 30 minutes)

Melt chocolate chips in a bowl, roll shapes in chocolate, place on wax paper covered cookie sheet, and let cool on counter.

Eat.

I also shaped the PB and rice crispy middle into hearts before dipping them in chocolate, so the final result looks exactly like the chocolate chip cookie dough hearts I mentioned above. For this reason, I won’t include a photo.

Also, since I’m not sure which hearts are which, if I make these two recipes at the same time in the future, I’ll probably go with different shapes for the different recipes. Just so I don’t go totally crazy.

The third recipe -and my favorite- I saw while skimming Pinterest. The recipe itself is from About.com. It’s a Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, and since the photo showed these guys with a red drizzle on top, I thought of Valentine’s Day again.

I didn’t have enough frozen raspberries on hand, so my version is about half strawberry, though the raspberry flavor is so much stronger than the strawberries, so it’s hard to tell they’re in there at all.

The ganache (middle part) of mine wouldn’t firm up, even being in the freezer overnight (a lot longer than the 2 hours that the recipe says it will take) and so when it came time to dip them in dark chocolate it was a big mess.

But, the end product was totally worth it, they were so so so good. And instead of red drizzle on top, I used red sprinkles.

Chocolate Raspberry Truffles - Yum.

Up, up, and away

January 31 - Balloons

I took a little walk yesterday, just to get outdoors, away from my baking projects for a bit.

I came across these balloons helping to announce the “Now Leasing” message at our apartment complex. They made me think of Carl Fredricksen, the old man in Pixar’s animated movie, “Up.”

Wouldn’t it be fun to take off into the sky, to destinations unknown, solely by the power of some colorful balloons?

 

Be sure to check out the January Contest at Click it Up a Notch!

The “fruits” of my labor

My challenge today was to photograph fruit, and when I first read that yesterday, I thought, ‘this will be a piece of cake!’

I could not have been more wrong.

I took A LOT of photos. Photos of apples, of bananas, and of strawberries. I took photos of them whole, halved, sliced, together, apart, arranged in funny ways, just sitting on the table. And it all looked so contrived, so boring.

I kept thinking, if it were only summer, and I could take photos of fruit actually growing! But, if wishes were fishes there’d be a big mess.

So I kept trying. After the sun went down, I got out a lamp. Eventually, I got fed up.

This is what happened.

January 30 - #7 - Fruit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See the rest of my 30 day photo challenge here.

It doesn’t rain here ALL the time…

It really doesn’t. I’m not kidding. It fact, it seems to be on a pretty regular cycle of rain a few days, then sun for a day (or sometimes two).

Here are a few more photos from yesterday. When it was raining.

Rain, rain…

Man! So much rain. I guess I should have known, moving to Seattle and all. “They told me it rains here all the time, but I don’t believe them!” I do. I do believe them.

As I was walking though the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at Lake Hills Park yesterday, I had a realization about rain.

While rain won’t kill you (most of the time) it will keep you from doing something you’re not already 100% interested in doing in the first place. Let me explain. Let’s say I had planned to go for a jog around the neighborhood, but I wasn’t really interested in doing that, I just felt that I should. Well, if it was raining, I could say “eh, it’s raining I can’t go jog in the rain!” and that would be that. But, if it was something I really wanted to do, I would do it anyway. “I need to go take today’s photo challenge of the day!” And I would do it, rain or no rain.

This may seem like an obvious thought to some, but really, it’s a good test. Don’t know for sure if you’re really into something? Think about doing it in the rain, and you’ll have your answer.

For me, like I said, I’d go outside in the rain (and people, it was really raining today, no little wimpy drizzle) to take photos. I got all bundled up in 5 or 6 (I lost count) layers to stay somewhat dry.

for Isaac, he went jogging, and got back to the car soaked. But he really wanted to do it, see?

Rain can offer challenges to photography, but it can also offer opportunities.

Like today’s photo, with these happy little raindrop covered-clovers.

#14 Rain drops