Blake and I met the most incredibly sweet lady on Monday morning. As she was carrying on with her friend [sister?], she looked over at us and said- “I KNOW you’re curious about the recipe. Do you want to hear about it?”
Well- first, I must admit that I wasn’t really sure what she was talking about but I quickly chimed in (lord forbid I miss out on something) with an enthusiastic “YES!”
Here’s the recipe she shared with us…
- 1 bag of butterscotch morsels
- 2 heaping spoons of [smooth] peanut butter
- 6 cups of corn flakes
Melt the butterscotch morsels over low heat in a large pot. Once melted, sir in the 2 spoons full of peanut butter. Remove from heat. Add the cereal.
Set 2 large sheets of parchment (or wax) paper to the side. Once the cereal is incorporated, scoop out spoonfuls of the “candy” onto the parchment paper. Or- if you’re my husband and like to do things on your own accord- you can make pancake like cookies of the treats. Let cool and then enjoy.
I’m 100% certain that we will have a cookie jar filled with this Breakfast Candy for roughly about the next year. Give or take. See- talking to strangers isn’t always such a bad thing!
I love the recipes you blog about. I haven't tried one that wasn't a hit Do you have any favorite holiday deserts/baked goods you can share? Thanks :) — Anonymous
Thanks, Anon! Feel free to track a few of my favorite recipes [& new one’s I’m dying to try] on my Pinterest page. I will say that the good majority of my Holiday treats make me very nostalgic for my childhood.
I remember one of my favorite Christmas morning dishes being a Dutch Baby that my Momma made years ago. I don’t remember what was specifically special about that morning but I do remember the 4 of us gathering around the breakfast table, listening to Christmas music, and enjoying that puffy breakfast pastry. Here is a simple recipe I found- though I’m pretty sure that the one Mom used was from a cookbook.
Growing up, we had a “Lasagna on Christmas Eve” tradition that was pretty much requisite of mine (my poor brother isn’t even a lasagna fan). These days, tradition has changed (we usually dine out on Christmas Eve as our family has expanded a bit) but lasagna still remains one of my favorite holiday dishes. Here is the link for my rookie attempt at Smitten Kitchen’s Lasagna Bolognese. [throw in a green salad and some bread and call it a meal!]
My favorite Christmas cookies are Linzer Cookies & Almond Crescent cookies. My best friend growing up was German and I remember disassembling lines of Linzer Cookies as a kid and scraping the raspberry jam out of the center of them. I’m not quite sure the cookie portion of the confection was ever eaten- but man, that raspberry jam was good.
I also tried a salted caramel pear recipe last year for New Year’s that was delicious- though the pears weren’t quite ripe yet. [bummer]
Blake’s one Holiday necessity is Noodle Pudding; made for him by Momma H; best served cold. [commonly known also as Noodle Krugel].
Happy Holidays [and full tummies] to you!
For those of you that don’t know me IRL, you shouldn’t be super shocked to hear that I’m a mainline overachiever. While I’m not quite that annoying girl in high school that flailed her arms and knew everysinglequestion the teacher answered, suffice to say [much like Ms Emily], I am overly enthusiastic about almost everything.
And I’ve got quite a gathering of ladies that I’d certainly like to have on my side ((in my corner)) right now— so you know what that means. Cookies [or in this case- dessert bars] for crew!!!
Here’s what will be baking up in my kitchen this weekend:
Congo Bars [photos and original recipe available here]
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups chocolate chips (though I sort of want to try these with mint chocolate chips to make them more Christmas-y)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine the butter and sugar using a mixer until blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, to the sugar mixture, mixing on low in between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix. Add the flour and mix until combined. Stir in the chips.
Coat a 9-inch x 13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and spread the batter evenly into the dish. Bake for 30 minutes, then cover the top with foil to avoid over-browning. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs. You will think they are under-done, but they aren’t. Don’t overbake!
& Magic Cookie Bars (photos and original recipe available here)
- No-Stick Cooking Spray
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 cups (1- 12 oz pkg) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with fork.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars or diamonds.
For perfectly cut cookie bars [it’s all about presentation, people!] line entire pan with foil, extending foil over edge of pan. Coat lightly with no-stick cooking spray. After bars have baked and cooled, lift up with edges of foil to remove from pan. Cut into bars.
A few fun variations- sub chocolate chips or nuts with candy coated pieces, dried cranberries, raisins, mini-marshmallows or butterscotch chips.
[food] pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
- 2 cups unbleached (I used King Arthur) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil (or try applesauce for a lower cal cookie)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Add the flour mixture little by little incorporating completely before adding more.
Important: fight your husband off with a spatula to keep him from eating all of the cookie batter straight from the mixing bowl.
Scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepped baking sheets. Space the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm (about 15-16 minutes). Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. If serving immediately, dust cookies with a thin layer of powdered sugar. (don’t do this step if you’re storing the cookies as the sugar will make the cookies mushy)
Store cookies in an airtight container.
Blake deserves the Husband of the Year award after this weekend. Not that he doesn’t deserve that accolade EVERY weekend- it’s just that his step-up-to-the-plate attitude was very apparent over the past two days. For that [and for him], I’m quite thankful.
While I excel in many things [shopping, running, my job, whitty banter (just to name a few)] moving heavy shit is not on that list. Anywhere. So, as my Mother graced us with three beautiful new pieces of furniture for our house, Blake manned-up and bit the bullet for the sake of decorating. Either that or he got tired of hearing me nag about said furniture and getting it out of my parents garage. 6 one way; half-dozen the other, no?
I figured while he was engaging in all the lifting, moving, shifting and driving, the least I could do was have treats ready for him as he walked in the door. So bake I did— and I must say that my culinary confections [fit for a first grade classroom] were quite delicious.
Cake Batter Cookies
- 1 box of vanilla cake mix (18.25 oz)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- colored sprinkles (1/2 to 1 cup depending on your flair for the colorful)
Preheat oven to 350. Combine cake mix and baking powder in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and combine. Add the sprinkles. Try not to eat the entire bowl of batter. I’d tell you there are raw eggs in there but that’s never stopped me. Take the batter by the spoonful, roll into a ball and place onto a silpat or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Top each cookie with an extra pinch of sprinkles. Bake for 9 minutes (for soft cookies) and allow to cool before removing to a serving platter.
I’m quite surprised that there are ANY of these treats still to be had in our house this morning. But something tells me that the last 2 standing won’t be around for much longer…
original recipe via
almond crescent cookies
11 months out of the year I don’t enjoy baking. But then, December rolls around with all of it’s Holiday cheer and I get all “BAKE ALL THE THINGS!” and decide it’s a good idea to spend countless hours on end sifting flour and chopping pecans. Not that Blake’s complaining. In fact, I made a batch of pretty stellar red velvet cheesecake cookies last night that he couldn’t get enough of. Literally. In fact- he would have eaten the entire plate in one sitting if I had allowed him.
And since I’ve garnered such baking experience ((dripping with sarcasm)) I’ll share with y’all a very special secret that I’ve discovered this year…
are you ready?
For perfect room temperature butter, place your stick (still wrapped of course) on top of the dryer and turn the dryer on. About 10 minutes later, you’ll have room temp butter. Of course, you could always zap it in the microwave for a few seconds but seeing that we don’t own a microwave, that isn’t going to work now is it?
[yes- you read that right. no microwave in the H house. quit judging me.]
But anyhow- back to the quasi-important topic at hand- cookies.
I have two favorite tried-and-true Christmas treats: lenzer cookies filled with raspberry preserves and almond crescent cookies which I- shamefully- most often buy in the boxed version. I stumbled upon a delicious and fairly simple recipe for the latter ((see below)) and I will be whipping up a batch this evening.
Almond Crescent Cookies [aka Christmas on a cookie sheet]
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup icing/powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- icing/powdered sugar to taste for dusting
Cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the almond extract, salt followed by the flour and then the nuts. Shape 1 tablespoon of dough at a time into crescent moons and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet one inch apart from each other. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until they just start to lightly brown, about 12-15 minutes. Sift the icing sugar over the still warm cookies. [recipe and photo c/o closet cooking]
Do you consider it strange that my most favorite sweet in the whole wide world is made of the simplest ingredients?
egg whites and sugar- that is all
However, making these little glorious peaks does take some time and patience; of which I bring neither to the table.
2 hours cooking time? leave the oven open? overnight!? What do you mean overnight!? I just spent 2 hours smelling cookies. I want one now!!
However, I’ve recently discovered that Trader Joe’s sells these little ditties [pre-cooked of course] and get this y’all: 4 cookies are only 110 calories! Perfection for anyone trying to exhibit healthy eating behaviors.
And if I may offer a personal suggestion: take the meringues and dip one side in melted dark chocolate. Let cool and you have your very own black and white meringue. What a darling idea for a no fuss dinner party dessert [pats self on back].
[editors note: forgive my blog for looking so Julia Child-ish today… apparently it’s Foodie Friday in my neck of the woods]
Tumblr eat up…
Y’all my tumblr eat up goodies were just HAND DELIVERED from Mary!!! She came bearing pumpkin whoopie pies, chocolate chip cookies and candy corn fudge. YUM YUM! What a fantastic surprise to top off a wonderful weekend. And look at the darling packaging. Goblins and ghosts and bats… OH MY!
Thanks Mary! B and I have been stuffing our faces with yummy treats all evening.