Is there an unofficial end date to when we are allowed to cook and bake with pumpkin? Well, even if there is, I plan to ignore such a date and bake with pumpkin until I am tired of it! This year I am really loving the pumpkin: pumpkin granola, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin soup, and now these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are popping up on blogs all over right now, and I needed to try them out for myself. These really are a combination of two greats: spiced pumpkin and the chocolate chip cookie.
The pumpkin helps to keep the cookies soft, and pumpkin pie spice helps to really bring out the pumpkin flavor. Chocolate chips ... [Continue Reading]
I learned to love baking early on. I started with box-mix brownies and of course, cookies. Chocolate chip, gingersnaps, and Snickerdoodles were a few of my early favorites. I fondly remember being about 12 years old and making a batch of Snickerdoodles, and then happily bringing a warm napkin-wrapped cookie out to my dad who was working in the front yard. Today, I'm lucky enough to still live just minutes away from my parents, making it easy to share my baking efforts with them. It goes the other way, too- the other day, I stopped by to pick something up at my parents' house and my mom sent me home with a few warm buttermilk pancakes, fresh off the griddle, wrapped in a paper towel.
These ... [Continue Reading]
A real s'more, made with a warm, gooey marshmallow that has just been toasted over a crackling fire, is a real treat. It's not surprising that s'more-inspired treats have been popping up on blogs in all corners of the internet this summer. There is just something special about s'mores, and I can't help but pin so many of these treats. The only s'more dessert that I've actually made this summer, though, are these cookies (plus a few microwave s'mores, which can't compare to the real thing).
I actually made two batches of these cookies in a row, one week and then the next, because I liked them so much. Which surprised me because I was not sure how much I liked these when I first tasted ... [Continue Reading]
Wait, didn't I just post a recipe for blackberry crumb bars? Aren't crumb bars and pie bars basically the same thing? Yes, actually, they are. But I made both recipes within days of each other and both are totally worthy of sharing here. If you asked me to choose which dessert bar I liked better, I couldn't. Each is equally irresistible and easy to make. The main difference is that the fruit filling in these peach pie bars has eggs and Greek yogurt mixed in, which creates a creamy, fruity filling. Both recipes are completely adaptable to whichever fruits you're craving at the moment.
I have been eying this recipe for a long, long time. Pie bars are great because, well, they are pie in a ... [Continue Reading]
I just can't get enough of the fresh summer fruits that are available right now. Blueberries, strawberries, and peaches are my three absolute favorites, but raspberries and blackberries are also high up there on my list. Most of the time I enjoy fresh fruit on my morning bowl of oatmeal or cereal, as a side with my lunch, or sometimes as a topping for Greek yogurt.
Other times, though, I take advantage of sweet summer fruits by turning them into dessert. It's hard to beat a fresh fruit crisp, cobbler, or pie topped with a little vanilla ice cream.
If you took a crisp and crossed it with a pie, you would get these crumb bars. One dough makes both the bottom crust and crumb topping, ... [Continue Reading]
I bake cookies all the time, but somehow it's been a long time since I've made biscotti. Lately Brad has been reminding me of that fact, telling me more than once that I really need to bake some biscotti sometime. The other morning I had a few extra minutes and felt like playing around in the kitchen, so I mixed up the dough for these cranberry almond biscotti. Biscotti are very easy to make. You bake the cookies twice- first the dough is shaped into two logs and baked, and then you bake the cookies a second time after slicing the logs into individual biscotti.
These cranberry almond biscotti are a wonderful treat for breakfast or a snack. They are crisp on the outside and slightly soft ... [Continue Reading]
How can you turn a good chocolate chip cookie into a great one? That's what we've done right here, my friends. First, brown the butter to create that complex, nutty flavor that is browned butter. Then, hide a little Nutella surprise inside each cookie. Finally, sprinkle the cookies with some sea salt after baking to achieve that wonderful sweet-salty combination that makes baked treats extra delicious.
As you might imagine, these cookies are delicious. They are definitely rich, and I think they would have been great even without the Nutella in the center. Next time, I might try them without, since that would save a step and I don't usually keep Nutella on hand. You can decide what you ... [Continue Reading]
I've been on a bit of an oatmeal kick lately. We have oatmeal for breakfast most mornings, and I've made homemade granola, oatmeal muffins (recipe to come soon!), and oatmeal cookies. Then, I decided to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, but with some cocoa powder added in to make them Cocoa Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.
These cookies are the best of many worlds. The cocoa powder lends a subtle cocoa flavor to the cookies, which are deliciously soft and chewy. The oats contribute to the chewy texture, and the chocolate chips give an added dose of chocolate flavor. If you're lucky enough to have a free couple of minutes in your afternoon, pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy one of ... [Continue Reading]
What is it about cookies that makes everyone love them so much? (I'm assuming that since I love cookies, everyone else must, too.) Is it that there are so many delicious types of cookies, they never get boring? Or maybe that it's so easy to grab one out of the cookie jar or freezer, no scooping or cutting off of a piece required?
I always like to have cookies on hand in my freezer, for when a sweets craving hits (which happens to me pretty much every day :) ). The only problem I've been having lately is that there are too many good recipes to choose from. I'm not sure if Pinterest makes this problem better or worse, as I feel like I'm always looking and re-looking over the ... [Continue Reading]
A donut pan is one of those kitchen gadgets that always looked like it would be fun to own, but was probably not something that I would buy for myself. So I was super excited when I won a donut pan that Tracey was giving away on her blog! It arrived in the mail on Friday and I made my first batch of donuts on Sunday morning. They were really easy to make, and while they aren't health food, they're not too bad, either, since they're baked and not fried. Thanks again, Tracey for the fun giveaway!
I made these maple donuts with cinnamon sugar and they turned out really good. I had actually bookmarked the recipe in the middle of the night while feeding William. Lately, I've been catching up on ... [Continue Reading]
Sometimes, you want a sugar cookie, but don't want to go through the process of rolling out dough, cutting out shapes, and decorating. For those times, these soft frosted sugar cookies are the perfect solution. They're quick and easy to make, and turn out just as cute as decorated sugar cookies, especially if you add some fun sprinkles.
The cookies are super soft and just about melt in your mouth. I've made them a couple of times now, and this last time I made them in mini size. I like the mini size so much better than the large cookies; they are just the right size for snacking. The large cookies, while delicious, were a bit much to eat in one sitting.
These cookies are fun to make ... [Continue Reading]
Are you a coffee lover? How about coffee and toffee together? Here we have a buttery cookie with plenty of espresso flavor. Bits of chocolate covered toffee add crunch and more buttery sweetness. Although these cookies are thin, they have a chewy texture, which is the perfect contrast to the crunchy toffee. I made these thinking they would be good, and they turned out even better than I expected. The only disappointing thing about these cookies is that there's only one left in my freezer. :(
One year ago: Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream
Espresso Toffee Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown ... [Continue Reading]
This pound cake was my first baking project after William was born. I could not wait to get back into the kitchen, especially since I wasn't able to enjoy sweets while pregnant (and therefore didn't bake much). The other day, William was fed and napping and I was feeling up to it, so I made this ricotta orange pound cake.
I've enjoyed a couple of slices of this cake with a morning cup of coffee, but it's actually more of a dessert treat than a breakfast treat. It's incredibly rich and buttery, with a delicious orange flavor. The cake would make a great dessert topped with some fresh strawberries. I'd recommend macerating the strawberries to bring out their juices, by sprinkling them ... [Continue Reading]
Last week we celebrated my birthday. Usually I would make some sort of cake or cupcakes to celebrate, but since I'm following my low-carb diet I decided not to. As the day went on, though, I started thinking about Julia and how she was going to think Mommy's birthday isn't much fun at all, with no cake or presents. (I'd already treated myself to a new wallet and had received my other gifts before my birthday.)
That leads us to these cookies. I thought Julia and I could have some fun together after school baking them, and then we put a candle in one after dinner to sing, "Happy Birthday." So, I made myself birthday cookies, but mainly for Julia since I shouldn't be eating them (although I ... [Continue Reading]
As my due date approaches, my nesting instinct has kicked in, compelling me to organize, clean, and do other tasks around the house to get ready for baby. Maybe what they call nesting is real, or maybe it's just a myth, but either way, over the past few weeks I've felt the need to clean out the refrigerator and freezer, organize my desk, update my photo albums, make sure my recipe binder is up-to-date, and keep the house clean and tidy. And that doesn't include all of the getting-ready-for baby tasks that I've enjoyed doing, especially washing, folding, and putting away all of those cute little clothes, washcloths, blankets, and burpcloths. How come laundry is so fun when it's in preparation ... [Continue Reading]
Last week I mentioned that I haven't been baking much these past few months because I need to watch my blood sugar during my pregnancy, and who wants to bake all sorts of yummy things that they can't eat? Not me. This past weekend, though, I just had to get into the kitchen to do some baking. I chose to make these Vanilla Bean Sablé Cookies because they are small and relatively low in sugar. Each cookie has only 14 grams of carbohydrates, so I felt ok about sampling one or two before giving the rest away.
The cookies are so pretty with flecks of vanilla bean throughout. They are buttery with a hint of vanilla, a shortbread cookie that's made a little more elegant because of the vanilla bean ... [Continue Reading]
When soup, chili, or even a salad is on the menu for dinner, it seems a necessity to have some kind of bread along with it. When I'm going the homemade route, I'll usually either make a yeast bread or rolls, or some biscuits. Biscuits are a good choice when you don't want (or have) the rising time required for most yeast breads.
Whenever possible, I try to incorporate whole wheat flour into my baking. My family has come to enjoy the flavor of whole wheat baked goods, and I like the fact that I'm sneaking a little more nutrition into our food. Whole wheat flour is great in pizza dough, muffins, breads, pancakes, and even these cinnamon rolls.
Spread with a little butter, and maybe some ... [Continue Reading]
Coffee lover that I am, I was so excited to try these Vanilla Latte Cupcakes. Coffee-flavored cupcakes are topped with a Vanilla Espresso Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Yum. I especially loved the flavor of the cupcakes themselves, and would have no problem eating them without frosting. The frosting and coffee bean garnish do make for a really pretty presentation, though, don't they?
This was the first time I've tried making a Swiss Meringue Buttercream, and it was a success. I had read about this type of frosting many times, and was interested to see how it differed from a regular buttercream frosting. Swiss Meringue Buttercream does take more time to make, but isn't really all that ... [Continue Reading]