counting counting counting

I haven’t posted on here in about two weeks. I know that.

But.

School started and I got a job all within a week. Then, I got called down to Carmel to help my old restaurant with the AT&T Pebble Beach golf tournament.

Needless to say, I haven’t had much spare time. Yes, I’ve cooked lots and lots of food in the last two weeks. Note-worthy meals, but, I was tired and didn’t photograph. Excuses excuses. I know I know.

But.

That’s the reality of the situation.

This week Paul and I are driving up to Chico so that I can help some friends with a party they are throwing (doin’ the appetizers). In addition to this help, we are meeting up with friends to celebrate my 25th birthday. It’s not actually this weekend, but, it’s next week, so, celebrate we will.

Things will get back on track here quickly and pictures and posts will be abundant. Until then, I’m tired and irritable and focusing on that “light at then end of the tunnel”… a two week vacation to Telluride, Colorado at the end of June.

Counting, counting, counting…

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Hazelnut Boysenberry Thumbprint Cookies.

There was a storm last night. I thought that I slept great, I usually do when it’s storming…wind and rain are calming.

I guess not. Because today, I’m exhausted. So, instead of being super productive with my day (which was the plan), after class I came home, ate leftovers from last nights dinner, took a shower, and made cookies.

I know this picture isn’t very good… but I still think it’s interesting.

I love that even when Hazelnuts aren’t in or paired with chocolate, they still taste like it… at least to me. But, then again, what do IIII know?!

I was talking to one of my best friends today and we both decided that this particular Tuesday is just plain not a good day. Everyone I know, including myself, woke up in bad moods…

So I thought to myself, “What always makes you happy?”. Butter and sugar.

They look delicious and I haven’t even baked them yet!

And now they look super amazing. And they are.

They are the most amazingly delicious cookies ever made. I love them.

So, what started as a bad day is ending on a rather good note. Spectacular cookies always fix everything.

Baked Apple Cake Bites with Maple Glaze and Bacon Bits.

I’m at that point with my refrigerator and pantry. They are both basically empty, but I refuse to go to the grocery store until Friday. We have dinner for tonight and are busy tomorrow. I’m. Not. Going.

But.

There is something I’ve been meaning to do… and today was the day to do it.

I’m catering a party at the end of this month and I needed to test an idea I have for it. It just so happens I have all the ingredients in the house. Ha! Success!

BAKED APPLE CAKE BITES WITH MAPLE GLAZE AND BACON BITS

Ingredients: 2 apples ( I used Pink Ladies), butter (3 sticks), nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar, bacon (2-3 strips of the good stuff), powdered sugar, maple syrup, and this recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cooking-live/classic-white-cake-recipe/index.html

THE SHMECIPE:

Gather your ingredients. Whelp, scratch that, well, kind of. This is a lot of items to have on your counter while you’re cooking, so, just have things handy.

Start with your apples. Peel, chop, dice, and dice some more.

In a small pan, melt about 1/3 of a stick of butter and add your apples. Add nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves to your liking. Once those are well incorporated and it seems like your apples are softening just a bit, add some brown sugar, roughly a quarter cup. Stir in, let melt, and turn off the heat. Let ’em sit.

Follow the recipe from Food Network (I know, I know, how horrible of me). If you have a better one for classic white cake, pass it on. After having used this recipe, I like it, but I would LOVE to try something else. Yes, I’m following a recipe for the cake, but, as I have mentioned before, with baking, I just have to. The rest of this idea is mine though.

In a small pan, get that bacon going. Get it nice and crispy-like, perfect for adding a nice crunch onto those little bites!

So. You’ve got your batter, your apples, and your bacon. Incorporate your apples into your batter and fill cupcake tins about a third of the way up.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until you do the toothpick test.

Your bacon should be completely cooled, ready for choppin’ so, chop away!

Creating your Maple glaze is uber easy. Combine with a whisk your maple syrup and powdered sugar. Whisk together to form a smooth, silky, glaze that isn’t too watery, but isn’t just a bucket of powdered sugar. Once you have desired texture and your little cakes have cooled a bit, glaze the tops, and, while the glaze is still wet, sprinkle with bacon bits.

These perfect little treats would be a great addition to any Superbowl party or just for having around (I know my husband will be inhaling them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner).

side note: when making the batter, don’t hesitate to add more sugar than it calls for, not a whole lot, but a littleĀ  wont hurt; I’m not a big sweets person (like, super sweet), but this could use a bit more. Also, it’s going to look like you’re adding a ton of apples, but do it… I used small apples and wish I had used bigger ones, mine needed more. Ok, that’s all. Happy Eating!