Flourless Chocolate Cake

Happy February! Today I am sharing a dessert that is perfect to make any time of year but would be perfect to serve for Valentine’s Day as it’s oh so chocolaty! It’s a Flourless Chocolate Cake.

This is probably one of the simplest cakes I’ve made since it only required 1-bowl to make. In a microwave-safe bowl I combined chopped semi-sweet chocolate and butter and microwaved it in 30-second intervals until the butter melted. There’s no need to keep heating the two until the chocolate melts. By the time the butter has melted the chocolate is soft enough that it will finish melting when the two are stirred together, and you don’t want to overheat the chocolate. After the butter and chocolate were smooth, I stirred in sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Next, I added in three eggs. To make incorporating the eggs easier I broke the yolks of the eggs. And finally, I stirred in cocoa powder. I used Dutch-process cocoa powder, but you could also use regular unsweetened cocoa powder as well.

Once the cake was baked and cooled, I topped it with a quick and easy chocolate ganache. To speed up the ganache setting I placed the cake in the refrigerator. You could let it set at room temperature, but it will take a few hours to do so. Once the ganache had set, I dusted the top with confectioners’ sugar and added a few raspberries for a sweet touch. If you do refrigerate the cake, just be sure to let it sit at room temperature prior to serving. I let mine sit for about 45 minutes and it was perfect.

While I thought the cake was going to be overly sweet, surprisingly it wasn’t. It was decadent though. Reminding me of the perfect chocolate truffle, rich and smooth. One other perk about this cake… it’s gluten-free. I’m not gluten-free, but I know for those who are sometimes finding a dessert that is easy to make with simple ingredients and not lacking in flavor can be a challenge.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

For the Cake:

1 4oz. semi-sweet chocolate baking bar*, chopped

1 stick unsalted butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

For the Chocolate Ganache:

1 4oz. semi-sweet chocolate baking bar*, chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

Confectioners’ sugar and raspberries (or another berry) for topping

*I used a Ghirardelli baking bar, alternatively you could also use 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with baking spray. Line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper and then spray the paper.

In a microwave-safe bowl add the butter and chocolate and heat in the microwave for 30-second intervals until the butter has melted. Stir the two together until smooth.

Stir in the sugar, salt and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture until smooth. Next, stir in the 3 eggs until they are well combined, and the mixture is smooth once again. Finally, stir in the cocoa powder until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. The cake will form a thin crust and the temperature of the cake should be 200 F when an instant read thermometer is inserted in the center.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully loosen the edges of the cake and invert the cake onto a serving platter. Allow the cake to cool completely.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place the heavy cream in a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave until it begins to simmer, 45 seconds – 1 minute.

Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then stir both together to melt the chocolate. Keep stirring until the mixture is smooth. Let it sit for a few minutes so it can thicken up a bit and then pour over the cake. Spreading it onto the cake evenly.

Let the ganache set, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Once the ganache is set, dust the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar and top with raspberries.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Recipe modified from King Arthur Baking

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

In my opinion you can never have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes. You need your basic one and then you need those “special” ones that have some fun ingredients that really make them stand out. I came across the recipe for these Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies in a recent issue of Food Network Magazine. Not only do they have cookie butter in the dough, but they also have sprinkles. I made them twice around the holidays using red, green and white sprinkles and just recently again for a friend and her family using rainbow sprinkles. Oh, and in case you are wondering, cookie butter is similar in consistency to peanut butter but is made with speculoos cookie crumbs, a fat, flour and sugar and it’s quite tasty.

To make the dough I whisked together my dry ingredients in one bowl and my wet ones in another. After combining them, I folded in the chocolate chips and sprinkles. The dough was quite soft so I refrigerated it for about 2 hours so it could firm up. Now, if you are thinking of freezing the dough to make it later, you could skip refrigerating it and scoop it out and place it on a wax-paper lined baking sheet and freeze until hard and then place the dough in resealable bags in the freezer until you are ready to bake it. You will just need to add a minute or two to the baking time.

Once the dough was firm I scooped and dropped it onto my prepared baking sheets and pressed some additional sprinkles into the dough before baking them. I believe you can never have too many sprinkles. Whenever I get vanilla soft serve in a cup I ask for sprinkles in the cup before the ice cream is added and then more sprinkles on top. Yum!

After removing the cookies from the oven, I let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. The rainbow sprinkles gave the cookies a nice fun look. With Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter just around the corner you could really customize these for each of those holidays or any other occasion.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 30 cookies
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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup smooth cookie butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons sprinkles (or jimmies, not nonpareils), plus more for topping

Directions:

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter, cookie butter and both sugars with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, then beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and sprinkles until combined and evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, until the dough is slightly firm, but still easily scoopable.

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a standard cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Press additional sprinkles onto the dough.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are set around the edges, puffed, but still soft in the middle. Let cool on the sheets for 3 to 5 minutes until transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Recipe slightly modified from Food Network.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

One of my favorite soups is Broccoli Cheddar. I got hooked on it years ago when I tried it at Panera’s. I didn’t attempt to make it myself though until I came across a recipe from The Pioneer Woman. And while it is delicious it makes 12 servings. Now, I have no problem eating leftovers or cooking something to eat over the course of a few days, but 12 servings is a bit much. That’s A LOT of soup for one person! Recently, by chance, I came across a recipe for broccoli cheddar soup that was the perfect amount – 2 servings!

Now, the recipe seemed so simple that I had my doubts that it could be delicious, but it was. Truthfully, sometimes the simplicity of ingredients makes a recipe all that better. You can enjoy the flavor of what you are making without it being masked by other ingredients. If you are making broccoli cheddar soup what you really want to taste is the broccoli and cheddar, and that’s what you get with this soup and in less than 30 minutes. You can’t beat that.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:

1/4 cup chopped yellow onion

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed

1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cup 2% milk

3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup cooked or frozen broccoli florets

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

In a medium saucepan melt the butter on medium heat. Add in the onions and sauté until the onions are tender. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until well combined. Gradually add in the milk and then the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cook and stir until the soup has thickened, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the broccoli and cook until heated through. If using frozen broccoli cook until the broccoli is tender and no longer frozen. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted.

Recipe from Taste of Home

Peanut Butter & Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Some pairings just taste good together – like peanut butter and chocolate, peanut butter and banana and banana and chocolate – so I figured that three would taste just as good (or better) together. And that’s how I came up with this Peanut Butter & Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf.

Although, I was a little discouraged when I tasted the first loaf I made. It was a bit dense, and the banana flavor was overpowering. With my second loaf, I reduced the amount of flour in the batter and increased the amount of peanut butter. The loaf then ended up being super moist with an equal balance of peanut butter and banana flavor. Now some people who tried it tasted the banana more or the peanut butter more. I think that might be due to preference of one over the other. I was able to taste both.

Now, I would like to think this loaf is somewhat healthy since the bananas are a good source of potassium and the peanut butter protein, but I am sure some would beg to differ since there is sugar and chocolate chips in the loaf as well. But a little sweetness isn’t a bad thing sometimes. If you’re really trying to stick to any health-related New Year’s Resolutions though, you could omit the chocolate chips and use maple syrup in lieu of the sugar. In doing so though you will have to add a little extra flour to the batter to account for the extra liquid.

Peanut Butter & Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup creamy peanut butter

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray 9 x 5 loaf pan with baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until just combined. Add the vanilla extract. Stir in the mashed bananas and peanut butter until just combined.

With the mixer on low add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf ban and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

A New Year Tradition Revamped

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday season. Can you believe 2023 has rolled in already? I am convinced that after July 4th the year basically just flies by. At that point the summer is sort of winding down. Yes, I know that sounds crazy considering that July is just starting and there’s still August to get through. But, after that it seems like the anticipation of summer fun fades away. And then September rolls in and it’s all about back-to-school and the Fall. And before you know it it’s Halloween and then Thanksgiving and lo and behold the Holidays are upon us again. Not trying to be negative or anything but it’s definitely true that as you get older time somehow goes by faster. It’s probably because we are more aware of days, dates and holidays and everything that must – and needs to – get done. All the traditions and things we just do because we have been doing them forever. The holidays are the perfect time to get caught up in that. As they say, it’s hard to break with tradition. Not that there is anything wrong with it, I’m guilty of it myself.

For as long as I can remember I’ve eaten ham on New Year’s Day. It was something that my parents always cooked on New Year’s Day. I am not a 100% sure why, I vaguely recall my mom saying it was for good luck. I did a Google search once and as it turns out there’s a belief that you should eat pork on New Year’s Day as pigs move their snouts forward when eating – or something to that effect. This forward motion brings you luck in the new year. Here’s the thing though, I am not a fan of ham! There may have been a few times when I did enjoy it and look forward to eating it but definitely not often. The tradition is so engrained in me though that even though my dad passed away 7 years ago, and my mom has been in a nursing home longer than that I still make ham for myself on New Year’s Day! Subconsciously it’s probably a way for me to feel comforted and connected to memories.

For a few years I would begrudgingly eat the ham for a few days. And let me tell you even the smallest ham is too big so there would always be a ridiculous amount of leftovers even after me eating it for those days. One year, I even chopped up some of the ham and froze it convinced that I would do something with it, I didn’t, and it ended up getting tossed. Two years ago, I decided to make soup with it. And it was the best decision ever. So now, I look forward to the ham only because of the soup I know I will be making with it. For tradition’s sake though I still eat a slice or two on New Year’s Day. Come January 2nd though it’s time for Ham & Potato Soup.

I like to think it’s somewhat healthy since it is homemade and loaded with vegetables.

Just ignore the stick of butter and whole milk that’s also needed to make it. Truth be told, those are the ingredients that help to make it creamy and delicious so they can’t be omitted.

Unfortunately, even after making my delicious soup I still have more than half of the ham left in my fridge. I was hoping to buy a small canned one this year but by the time I got to the supermarket they only had 2 large ones left and I wasn’t in the mood to start driving around looking for a small one. So, once again I will chop up some of it and freeze it and really make a conscious effort to use it for other things. Maybe I will make something controversial like a Ham & Pineapple Pizza. LOL!

Ham & Potato Soup

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

3 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped*

2 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup flour

4 cups (32 oz. carton) low-sodium chicken broth

3 cups whole milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

*Use 1 very large or 2 medium potatoes. Chop the potatoes into decent sized chunks as they will break down as the soup cooks.

Directions:

In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté until the carrots begin to soften and the onions are translucent. About 4-5 minutes.

Add the ham and potatoes, stir everything together and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Stir in the stock, mixing everything together. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and boil for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Stir occasionally.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add in the milk. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken and the soup is heated through.

Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula. 

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Happy Holidays! A time of get-togethers, good food and even better desserts! If you are looking for a delicious cake to make for any of your get-togethers that has a festive touch to it this Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake just might be the one. A delicious creamy cheesecake is sandwiched between two red velvet cake layers and then frosted with a tangy and slightly sweet cream cheese frosting!

To ensure that your cake layers and cheesecake are the same size, use the same pans to bake them. While two pans may be the same size, one may have straighter edges than the other. I baked my cake layers and cheesecake in 8-inch round cake pans. You could also use 9-inch ones but keep in mind that your cake layers and cheesecake won’t be as high.

And while I did have to smooth the sides of the cheesecake a bit to get it flushed with the cake layers once the cake was assembled, I am sure it would have been a lot worse if I hadn’t used the same pans for all the layers.

And after a crumb coat…

I finished frosting and decorating the cake.

This cake will take you 2-3 days to bake and assemble depending on when you bake and/or refrigerate your layers. I opted to bake my cake layers on day 1, wrapped them in plastic wrap once they cooled and then refrigerated them. The following day I made my cheesecake layer and refrigerated that overnight. And finally, on the third day I made the cream cheese frosting and assembled the cake. You could also opt to bake everything on the same day and then refrigerate overnight, or the cheesecake one day and then the cake layers the following day and then assemble the cake once the cake layers have cooled. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that the cheesecake layer will need to be refrigerated at least 6 hours before assembling. Regardless of the baking schedule you choose you will end up with a delicious cake that will be perfect for your holidays, any other festive occasion or just because!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Ingredients:

Cheesecake:

3 8oz blocks cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature

Red Velvet Cake:

1 15.25 of package of Red Velvet Cake Mix (I used Duncan Hines)

3 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk*

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 8oz block cream cheese, at room temperature

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 cups Confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

*Make your own buttermilk by adding 5 teaspoons of vinegar to a measuring cup and then adding enough whole milk to make 1 cup. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature, or until the milk becomes thick and appears curdled.

Directions:

For the Cheesecake:

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Line an 8-inch round cake pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang, and set aside.  

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour with hand mixer on low speed until just combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and continue beating on low until incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time and continue beating until everything is combined.

Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared pan. Place the pan inside of a larger pan (larger cake pan or a roasting pan) and fill with water halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Afterwards, crack the oven door open and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and then refrigerate overnight.

For the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with baking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl beat together the buttermilk, eggs and oil with a hand mixer on medium speed until well combined. Using a fine mesh sieve (or a sifter) sift the cake mix over the buttermilk mixture. Beat on medium speed until just combined and then use a rubber spatula to gently stir the batter together a few times. Divide the batter among the prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 26-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

If you are baking the cake layers ahead of time wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

Add the cream cheese, butter and Confectioners’ sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on low until combined. Raise the speed to medium high and continue beating the frosting until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and continue beating on medium speed until incorporated.

If the frosting is too soft to use refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, or until desired consistency.

To Assemble:

Level the red velvet cake layers and crumble the cut pieces and set aside.

Spread a dollop of the frosting in the center of a cake board and place one of the cake layers on it. Spread a thin layer of the frosting on the cake.

Carefully remove the cheesecake layer from the aluminum foil and place it on top of the cake layer. Gently spread a thin layer of the frosting on the cheesecake and then top with the remaining cake layer, cut side down.

If need be, use a paring knife or long spatula to smooth the sides of the cheesecake to be flush with the red velvet cake layers.

Crumb coat the cake – cover the cake with a thin layer of frosting and refrigerate for 30 minutes. If the remaining frosting begins to get too soft place it in the refrigerator for the last 5-10 minutes.

Reserve about a cup of the frosting and then use the remaining frosting to cover the entire cake.

Sprinkle the top of the cake with the crumbled red velvet cake.

Transfer the reserved frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe dollops on top of the cake.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

Peppermint Spoons

‘Tis the season for hot chocolate! Whether you are building the perfect hot chocolate bar to share with others or just enjoy a piping hot mug yourself hot chocolate is the perfect drink for the season. And there are so many ways to enjoy it, just plain, with an avalanche of marshmallows, a mound of whipped cream, or as I prefer it, peppermint flavored. And while you can get peppermint flavor using a  syrup or stirring it with a candy cane another fun and creative way to do so is by making peppermint spoons.

First things first, you are going to need a silicone spoon mold. I recently purchased this one from JoAnn’s. They are also available at different craft stores (i.e Michael’s & Hobby Lobby) and they all seem to be the same size and have 8 cavities.

Now, I opted to use candy canes, but you could also use starlight mints. This time of the year I find that candy canes are just easier to find. After unwrapping them I broken them into a few pieces and added them to the bowl of my food processor and processed them until they were about crumb-size. While I normally just crush things by using a rolling pin, I really wanted the pieces of candy to be small and the same size to make it easier to fill the cavities of the mold.

Next, I spooned the crushed candy into the cavities of the mold. I made sure to fill each cavity to the top since the candy would settle considerably as it melted. To make maneuvering my mold in and out of the oven easier and give it more stability, I placed it on a baking sheet.

To melt the candy, I baked it in a 300F preheated oven for about 15 minutes. After removing it from the oven the cavities were only about half-way filled with the melted candy.

I refilled each cavity with the remaining candy and returned it to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. I made sure to add extra candy where the spoons seemed to be on the thinner side. Doing so help to prevent the spoons from breaking when removing them from the molds.

After the second bake the spoons were thicker. I let them cool completely in the mold before removing them.

Now these spoons are perfect to use as is, but, if you are planning on gifting them you can jazz them up a little by dipping them in white chocolate (or milk chocolate) and adding some sanding sugar or sprinkles. Next, place each one in a baggie – I used pretzel bags that you can get in the baking aisle of your local craft store – along with some mini marshmallows. Add a good mix of hot chocolate and you have the perfect gift for a neighbor, teacher, or anyone else on your list.

Peppermint Spoons

10 large candy canes or 40 starlight mints

Silicone spoon mold

Baking Sheet

Preheat the oven to 300F and place the silicone mold on the baking sheet.

Crush the candy. If you have a food processor, I recommend crushing them in there so the pieces are all the same size. If not, you can place the candy in a resealable bag and crush them using either a rolling pin or kitchen mallet.

Spoon the crushed candy into the cavities of the mold. Fill them all the way to the top as the candy will settle as it begins to melt. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the candy is completely melted.

Remove the pan from the oven and fill the cavities with the remaining crushed candy. You want to make sure that there are no thin spots in the spoons as this will cause them to break when you remove them from the mold. Return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.

Allow the spoons to cool completely before carefully removing them from the molds. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cookie Palooza: Blueberry Crumb Cookies

I’ve saved my favorite cookie for last… A Blueberry Crumb Cookie. I got the idea for this cookie while baking one of my favorite summer desserts, a Blueberry Crumb Cake. Granted you can make it anytime of the year, but it tastes best when the blueberries are at their sweetest. Initially I was thinking of using fresh blueberries in the cookie, but for a few reasons I didn’t think it was the right move. I was concerned that some of the blueberries would be sour (not a good thing for a cookie), inevitably different sizes (you kind of want uniformity in a cookie) and that they might turn the cookies blue during baking. Since cookie dough is a lot thicker than cake batter, I thought that there was good chance of the blueberries being slightly decimated while folding them in. Thankfully I was able to find dried wild blueberries that eliminated all those concerns I had from using fresh ones.

For these cookies I made two mixtures… The cookie dough and the crumb topping.

Once both were ready, I rolled scoops of the dough in the crumb topping and then placed it on my baking sheets. And in case you are wondering, no, the crumb topping won’t burn and yes it will stick to the cookie even after baking.

And yes, the cookies will spread a bit while baking, but I don’t suggest refrigerating the cookie dough prior to scooping and rolling them in the crumb topping. You want the cookie dough to be slightly sticky so the crumb topping will adhere to it. And there’s no harm in a larger cookie. They don’t flatten and are slightly thick so it’s all good!

And I must say that while these cookies are delish the day they come out of the oven, the blueberry flavor gets stronger each day after so you may want to make these a day or two ahead of time and keep them stored in an airtight container prior to serving, sharing or giving. Because of this these cookies are the perfect cookie to mail to someone. They stay moist and the flavor only gets better.

I hope you have enjoyed this year’s Cookie Palooza and hopefully one, two or maybe all of these cookies will earn a spot on your cookie trays this holiday season!

Happy Holidays (and Happy Baking!)

Blueberry Crumb Cookies

  • Servings: 30 Cookies
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Ingredients:

For the Cookies:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup sour cream

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup dried blueberries*

For the Crumb Topping:

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour

*I used dried wild blueberries from Trader Joe’s

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

For the cookies: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat together the butter and both sugars with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat until just combined. Add in the lemon juice and sour cream and continue beating until well combined.

With the mixer on low add in the flour mixture. And then fold in the blueberries.

For the Crumb Topping: In a medium bowl whisk together both sugars, the cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. You may need to use your hands to really get the mixture combined well and to form the crumbs.

To make rolling the dough in the crumb topping easier (and less messy), first scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, then roll in the crumb topping and then return to the baking sheets. Place the dough 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are set and beginning to brown around the edges. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store cookies in an airtight container.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn Spatula.

Cookie Palooza: Brown Sugar Vanilla Cookies

Cookies are my least favorite dessert to photograph. Sometimes they just don’t look as appealing in a picture as they do in “real life.” As is the case with today’s Cookie Palooza cookie… Brown Sugar Vanilla Cookies. They taste great, but that’s just not coming across in the pictures since there are no add-ins to give the cookies dimension.

They are essentially a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips. They get their flavor from, you guessed it, brown sugar and vanilla. While most chocolate chip cookie recipes call for using a combination of white and brown sugar which produces a cookie that is crispier, only using brown sugar in these cookies leaves you with a cookie that is chewier and denser. Something a little more comforting during these cold winter months. They are also the perfect cookie to make for anyone on your list who likes a simple cookie without much fuss.  

Brown Sugar Vanilla Cookies

  • Servings: 30 Cookies
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Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar until light & fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time and then add in the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture until combined. The dough will be very soft. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to firm up so the cookies won’t spread as much while baking.

Use a cookie a cookie scoop to drop the dough 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the edges of the cookies begin to brown. Cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

Cookie Palooza: Big Island Oatmeal Cookies

If you are dreaming of being somewhere warm during the colder months today’s Cookie Palooza cookie may help transport you there mentally. It’s an oatmeal cookie loaded with coconut, pineapples and macadamia nuts. All standard things you will find growing in Hawaii, hence the name, Big Island Oatmeal Cookies.

On my first attempt at making these cookies I used dried pineapple and I quickly learned that baking with dried pineapple is not like baking with dried cranberries or blueberries. The pineapple pieces dried out so instead of being chewy and adding flavor to the cookie they were a bit hard and had no flavor. On my second attempt I switched these things up and decided to use canned pineapple tidbits in pineapple juice that I drained. I also added in coconut extract to amp up the coconut flavor and opted not to chop the macadamia nuts. Also on my first attempt I chopped the macadamia nuts and they pretty much got decimated since they are so soft. When you bit into the cookie you really weren’t getting the crunch or taste of them.

So, with my tweaks, my cookies were perfectly loaded with pineapples, macadamia nuts and coconut in two forms. And the taste was exactly what I had hoped for. Not too sweet, the perfect amount of coconut flavor, a little crunch from the macadamia nuts and some added sweetness and taste from the pineapples. Also, because of the pineapples the cookies were incredibly moist. One of the reasons why it’s necessary to let them rest on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire to cool completely.

While these cookies may not have any of the standard flavors of the holiday season, they will be a welcome addition to your holiday baking menu. Yes, peppermint, sugar cookies, chocolate, etc. are delicious, but a little something different is good as well.

Big Island Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1 1/2 cups flour

3 cups old-fashioned oats

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup macadamia nuts

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup pineapple tidbits in juice, drained

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and both sugars with a hand mixer on medium speed. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. Add the vanilla and coconut extract and beat until everything is well combine.

With the mixer on low add in the flour mixture.

Fold in the macadamia nuts, shredded coconut and pineapple tidbits.

Use a cookie scoop to drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are set, and the edges begin to brown.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula.

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