Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, and Sea Salt Cookies

The first cookie you make in the new year should be this one. Seriously. Dark chocolate chunks mixed with pistachios and slight saltiness all in a cookie?! Incredibly good.
Maybe the fact that I baked these in my boyfriend's new oven helped with making these cookies my favorite of 2014. These were one of those desserts that I didn't want to share. I wanted to eat them all by myself. It's been a while since I've felt that way about something I baked. Usually I'm more than happy to share the sweet calories, but I wanted to hoard these.
But I did share. And I strongly suggest you share these in 2015. They are a crowd pleaser! (That is if you can resist eating them all by yourself!)
Have a happy and tasty new year!
Dark Chocolate, Pistachio, and Sea Salt Cookies
Recipe found here: Two Peas and their Pod
Bake well and prosper!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Orange Pecan Icebox Cookies

I made these lovely cookies at the beginning of December and then forgot all about the pictures I took of them. It was a nice surprise to see them in my blog post cue. It was like I was tasting the intricate flavors of these orange pecan icebox cookies all over again.
These cookies are "adult" cookies. No, it's not because they have alcohol in them. As one friend asked, "Is it because they don't contain chocolate or tons of sugar?" Exactly! As a kid I would have passed these over for more chocolatey types. But now that I'm SLIGHTLY older... I love these! I love how the orange and butter flavors blend well together while the pecans help enhance that mixture. If you still have time to bake for Christmas and you have a lot of "older people" visiting, I suggest you consider making these delightful cookies.
Orange Pecan Icebox Cookies
recipe found here: One Perfect Bite
Bake well and prosper! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Stained-Glass Christmas Cookies

Hello! I can't believe Christmas is a couple of days away. I've been baking tons this month but just haven't had the time to blog about my creations!

This weekend I went to THREE parties all within 24 hours of each other. Tis the be exhausted.

The first party was a surprise birthday party for my dear friend Doug. Doug likes lemony treats. In the past I've made the normal lemon bars etc, but I wanted to do something special this year.

I saw stained-glass cookies on the Chew last week when I was visiting family in AZ. I figured Lemon Heads would work well in the middle of these cookies. I was right. I also added lemon frosting on the edges and sprinkled edible glitter on the frosting. I was feeling so Martha Stewart-y...
Speaking of being a crafty home-maker, I made Christmas cards again this year.
I'm already receiving lovely feedback from the folks who received them so far. Yay!
These cookies were very yummy and pretty, but fair warning: the middle is VERY hard seeing it's made of melted hard candy. Don't chip a tooth!
Stained-Glass Christmas Cookies
recipe found here:
Bake well and prosper!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Balsamic Roasted Cherry Brownies

It's not cherry season right now so imagine my surprise when I saw these cherries in a local grocery store! I grabbed them right away because I wanted to try my hand at these brownies.

Unfortunately they weren't great. They felt weak. Yes. Weak. They weren't the normal, healthy texture of cherries. They also weren't very flavorful. But not TOO big of a deal seeing they were about to get a bath in balsamic vinegar and sugar and then be placed in delicious brownies.
I shared these brownies with my wonderful friends who came to my opera performance followed by birthday drinks for moi. One friend asked in amusement, "YOU brought desserts? Aren't we supposed to bring you desserts?"

What can I say? I have lucky friends seeing that this recipe didn't disappoint. I suggest waiting until it's cherry season though so you can get more of a prevalent cherry flavor when baking these.
Balsamic Roasted Cherry Brownies (adapted from Glazed and Confused)
For Cherries:
1 cup cherries, pitted and halved
1 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place pitted cherries on a parchment-lined baking tray and sprinkle with sugar and balsamic vinegar. Roast for about 10 minutes until the cherries start releasing their juice. Remove from oven and let cool while making the brownie batter. Turn oven down to 350 F.

For Brownies:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt butter and chocolate together. Cool slightly. In a large bowl or mixer, whisk eggs. Whisk in salt, sugars and vanilla. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Fold in flour just until combined. Stir in cherry mixture. Pour batter into an 8x8 pan. 

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until shiny and beginning to crack on top. Cool in pan on rack.

Yield: 9 large brownies
Bake well and prosper!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

White Chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wow! The name for these cookies is quite a mouthful! White Chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. Say that five times fast.
As you can see, I haven't baked in a really long time. I just haven't felt like it. Also, most of my precious free time has been spent AWAY from the kitchen (and on dates with my boyfriend. Aw.)
But the holidays are upon us and I felt like baking (not to mention it's cold here in NYC so turning the oven on is quite nice.)
I wanted to make something with peanut butter and then I saw this White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter and decided that I had to try it as the base for cookies. It's really sweet so I added chunks of dark chocolate on top to even out some of the sweetness from the white chocolate.
They are pretty good, but in the long run I prefer regular ol' peanut butter. What can I say? I'm a traditionalist.
White Chocolate Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
You can find the base recipe here:
Just substitute white chocolate peanut butter for the peanut butter and then add dark chocolate chunks or normal chocolate chips
Bake well and prosper!