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    What I've Been Cooking Lately

    What I’ve Been Cooking Lately (Volume One)

    June 21, 2019 Amanda Cross 5 min read
    Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details. Thanks for supporting the brands that make The Happy Arkansan possible!

    I've you've been following me on social media, you know I've been on a baking and cooking kick lately. I'm not quite ready to go food blogger status on y'all just yet. I thought I would start with an in-between of showing you some of my creations. I hope to do a round-up like this every month or so with lots of ideas and inspiration. I'll be sharing tips and tricks for making these recipes as well as pictures of my final product. Today, I am sharing recipes for some cakes, cookies, brownies, and so much more. Let's dig in!

    Note: This post contains affiliate links.

    What I've Been Cooking Lately (Volume One) | Do you want some recipe inspiration? Click through to my blog for some fun reading, tips, tricks, and recipe ideas. #FoodBlogger #BakingBlogger #Foodie #BakingRoundup


    What I've Been Cooking Lately | Cheesecake

    I am not going to lie; this was probably the hardest one I had to make. I tried this in May, and it took a lot of patience.

    I made the crust from scratch, and it was challenging to get graham cracker crumbs. If you have a heavy cup, like a Yeti tumbler, you should use that. I used a Yeti tumbler, and it made crumbling the crackers SO much easier.

    I am excited to try this again because when I first tried it, I didn't have a large cookie sheet. Now, I have a larger cookie sheet that's perfect for the water bath portion of this.

    Also, don't be alarmed if it's all bubbled up when you get it out of the oven, that's normal. It's going to deflate some, and it's just a matter of following the recipe, so it doesn't crack.

    Cheesecake Recipe: How To Make The Perfect Cheesecake by Cookies And Cups

    Editor's Note: Scratch everything I said here about making graham cracker crumbs. I remade this cake over the weekend (after posting this on Friday. I made my graham cracker crumbs in a food processor and it took like a few pulses. Do it with a food processor instead, that's the best way!

    Neapolitan Cake

    What I've Been Cooking Lately | Neapolitan Cake

    This recipe wasn't challenging; it was just interesting. I was in Walmart looking for something to bake with my dad. He got the idea while we were in the store that he wanted a Neapolitan cake. You know, like the ice cream. He wanted me to make a three-layer cake with cream cheese frosting. Yep.

    So, I grabbed a chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry cake mix and went to work. I halved all of the ingredients because all cake mix boxes make enough batter for two 9-inch round cakes. I used two eggs for each batter instead of three like it recommends. Everything else was just a matter of halving all the ingredients listed on the back of the cake box (including the cake mix.)

    I ended up making two batches of my favorite cream cheese frosting, although I probably could have made 1.5x the recipe instead of 2x the recipe. I needed some for the initial crumb coat, and then some more to ice it until it looked good.

    Another tip about making these cakes, they are all probably going to cook at slightly different times. For me, my chocolate cake took longer than my strawberry and vanilla cake. I did a bit of math and tried to find the best overlap time between all three cakes and kept my strawberry and vanilla cakes in the oven until then. When I put my cakes in the oven, I made sure to arrange my cakes so I could get the strawberry and vanilla cakes out without disturbing the chocolate cake.

    My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe: Basic Cream Cheese Frosting By AllRecipes

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    What I've Been Cooking Lately | Chocolate Chip Cookies

    This is the only recipe I've made in my new KitchenAid mixer, but I've made it twice so don't feel bad for me. I love my stand mixer for this recipe because it makes it so easy to make the batter after I've sifted the dry ingredients together a bit. Make sure your butter is nice and room temperature for an even better dough. Chilling the batter also goes a long way for making this batter awesome.

    Also, invest in some cookie/ice cream scoops, friends. I got my cookie scoops from Amazon for super cheap, and they make baking a breeze. I use them for all kinds of batters, and I don't know what I ever did without them.

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe: Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies by The Baking ChocolaTess

    Fudgy Brownies

    What I've Been Cooking Lately | Fudgy Brownies

    Let me tell you a little story about these brownies. I was going for cake brownies, but I missed one crucial step. I forgot the baking powder. Urgh!

    So, if you miss that step, your brownies will still be delicious, they'll just be fudgy instead of cakey. Either way, these brownies didn't last long in my house.

    If you want an actual fudgy brownie recipe, I've heard great things about the recipe: Seriously Fudgy Homemade Brownies by Sally's Baking Addiction

    Brownie Recipe I Used: Cakey Brownies Recipe by King Arthur Flour

    Chocolate Chip Muffins

    What I've Been Cooking Lately | Chocolate Chip Muffins

    The other day I woke up extra early, and I had muffins on my mind, so I made these beauties.

    I found the recipe on AllRecipes, and people liked it for the most part. I ended up making some slight adjustments based on the comments on the post.

    To make these muffins even better, I added about a 1/4th a cup more milk, a few dollops of sour cream, and a few splashes of vanilla extract. I didn't taste the muffins without all these additions, but I feel like they elevated the muffins I made.

    Recipe: Chocolate Chip Muffins by AllRecipes


    What I've Been Cooking Lately | Pancakes

    Last, but not least, let's talk about these delightful pancakes. We aren't going to talk about the sloppy ones underneath, just the perfect ones on top.

    I was in the mood for something besides sandwiches for lunch, so I looked up pancake batter. I was in a pickle because I didn't have any milk to add to these pancakes. Luckily, this recipe doesn't need any milk. It's the perfect recipe.

    If you are making it for just you, know this recipe does make a good amount of batter. I ended up storing my leftover batter in a bowl with a lid on it. I'm going to have some more pancakes later.

    Pancake Recipe: How to Make Homemade Pancakes Without Milk by Working Mother


    There you have it! These are all the things I've been cooking lately, minus a couple of total flops Aka I tried to make crepes the other day, and we are just not going to talk about it.

    I'd love to know if you'd like me to keep this up. Now that I have a stand mixer, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be using it to make even more baked goods.

    What have you been cooking lately?

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    About Amanda

    Hey Y’all!
    My name is Amanda Cross, and I am the blogger behind The Happy Arkansan. I am a blogger, freelance writer, and podcaster. When I am not creating content for any of my content online, I can usually be found baking, watching YouTube, or napping. I love helping millennials and young adults navigate the mess that is adult life. Keep reading for my thoughts and experiences.

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