Hello again! Yes, we have been on an almost month long hiatus. It was not intentional. In fact, the three of us discussed how we wanted to avoid the post-Christmas silence this year. Obviously that fell through.
I love these cookies so much. They’re giant, and chewy, and full of all the spices of the holiday season - but not too spicy, lots of molasses flavor, and accented by a sweet sugar coating that causes delightful crusty crinkles all over. I actually can’t imagine making these at any other time of year (I think I actually have a mental restriction on the idea) which makes them that much more special. Molasses cookies come but once a year!
These cookies are a refreshing change from the typical Christmas cookie assortment. They have a great texture - crumbly and studded with oats and chopped almonds, but not at all clumsy or chunky. The not-too-sweet, buttery cookie base is a perfect backdrop to the cranberry white chocolate pairing.
Spritz are a Christmas cookie standard. Although deliciously simple, they can also be a bit…well, simple. They easily take the back seat to other, more indulgent, treats.
That’s why I’m so excited about these jazzed-up Christmas spritz. That simple butter cookie is piped into attractive rosette swirls, baked to a light golden crunch, smeared underside with creamy sweet dulce de leche, and then sandwiched to form a show-stopping treat.
Our 7th Cookie in our 12 Day line up is chocolate drizzled, caramel coated nuts & popcorn aka crunch munch (yes, we’re coining the name). Wait, that’s not a cookie?! I guess we are fudging things a little. :) But, maybe after giving this a try, you’ll forgive us.
Okaaaaaay, so I use bourbon in a lot of my desserts. Yes, I brought a bourbon walnut pie to an Octoberfest party and yes I accented my chocolate chess pie with a boozy bourbon whipped cream. My favorite bread pudding is bourbon raisin with a bourbon butter sauce that could make you tipsy. I love bourbon! Just gotta own it.
Christmas has become our Italian holiday (where Easter we go full out Polish). And if there is something I’ve learned from living among Italians, they love their cookies. At any family gathering from weddings to funerals, there are platters upon platters of homemade cookies.
Okay, so not cookies. But the fourth in our line-up for The Twelve Days of Cookies is a family staple during the Christmas season, so I couldn’t resist sneaking it in. Besides, these candy cane brownies wouldn’t be out of place at a cookie-exchange party, in a tin gifted to friends, or gracing your holiday dessert spread.
I don’t really like eating candy canes myself. I mean, maybe one per year. After that, their charm kind of wears off. And yet, you basically have to deck out your Christmas tree with candy canes…So, what to do with the excess? Crush them up, and sprinkle them over a deep cocoa brownie topped with a fluff of pink peppermint buttercream!
For one thing, they require very little preparation or fuss. I made them in the amount of time my 5-month-old was happy to sit in her bouncer. Magic.
They’re also gluten free. I know, that’s not always the best advertisement for baked goods, but it’s undeniably handy to have a couple GF recipes in your collection, like if you have a GF friend or relative … or if you set out to make cookies but you have no flour (yes, real life story, don’t ask, it has been a long week and it’s only Tuesday). But these cookies are so delicious that you would never even guess it. Magic.
And they are cookies, but they taste like brownies. Fudgy, chewy, chocolatey brownies. But no flour or butter needed! Like I said, magic.
I might add that found this recipe in Food52’s Genius Desserts cookbook. Magical AND genius.
Whenever an occasion arrives and cookies are called for, these cookies come to mind. So it didn’t take long for me to volunteer them for Day 2 of our 12 days of cookies this year. They are unbelievably easy and flexible and taste SO GOOD. Seriously, there is something spectacular about the texture of these cookies — crumbly, shortbready yet with a bit of chew and ample patches of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate.
…on the 1st Day of Christmas, my true love brought to me
A lofthouse-style sugar cookie!
This holiday season, we are so excited to be bringing you 12-days worth of sweet treats that will make for great gifting, sharing, leaving out for Santa, or gobbling up yourself as you wait for the coffee to brew on Christmas morning!
Day 1 of The Twelve Days of Cookies starts off with these delightful Lofthouse-style cookies. A blending of batters that meets somewhere between cookie and cake, these soft, buttery vanilla rounds bake up with a little dome reminiscent of a muffin top. Topped with a fluff of buttercream frosting and a shake of festive sprinkles, these cookies are irresistible to adults and children alike.
Putting a meringue layer in my cakes is quite possible the best thing I’ve ever thought to do in the kitchen. It adds such a delightfully light and airy crunch and sweetness. I’m hard pressed to think of a cake it wouldn’t work with (except maybe maybe a stodgy gingerbread or carrot cake), but it went especially well with this cake. Peppermint flavored meringue with chopped chocolate folded into it and baked till crisp and melt-in-your-mouth is like a holiday party in your mouth on its own, but layer it with red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting, a delicate minty whipped cream and crushed candy cane and you’re just hitting all the spots.
briefly mentioned this book in my Advent post last year but I wanted to revisit it as Advent approaches. When my oldest kids were very young, I found it difficult to navigate this time of year. I had grown up with some pretty solid family traditions and carried expectations of the same into married life, but I found my husband and I rather fumbled through the first couple of Advents, unsure of what would be our own family traditions. And when the children were so young as to seem hardly aware and their memories weren’t very long term, lots of times it felt like we were just going through motions. Gradually, however, it all began to stick. They remembered one year what we had done in the last. The traditions were setting! Around that time, I purchased this sweet little book, Advent Storybook. I wanted something like an advent calendar, but which didn’t involve siblings fighting over a tiny piece of chocolate (a predominant memory of my childhood Advents). I wanted something that would help lead the kids’ anticipation for presents into a more fruitful season of patience and waiting.
When the fresh cranberries first hit the shelves I couldn’t resist buying a massive bag at Costco. But besides plans for fresh cranberry-orange relish for the Thanksgiving table, and cranberry orange muffins of course, I didn’t have many more fresh cranberry recipes up my sleeve... and yet there were still pounds of cranberries in the fridge.
friend of mine and I put on a fancy Friendsgiving feast for some of our close friends - “fancy” because we tried to pick out-of-the-ordinary dishes and flavor combinations and then plated and served all the courses. There were 14 adults so it was a bit of work! But thankfully most of the work was upfront and we were able to prep and cook everything and have it ready to go. So it wasn’t actually stressful or rushed at all - it was fun and even a bit of a rush!
I was happy to use this as an occasion to get a pie post up on the blog so I took charge of the soup and dessert course. We were going for a loosely inspired Southern-themed menu and since I knew chess pie is classic Southern but I also really wanted something chocolate, I settled on chocolate chess pie. As a further nod to the south I decided to accent it with a bourbon whipped cream and a salty caramel pecan crunch. And a little dollop of a smooth ganache just to make it that much more chocolatey.
Ok I can’t lie. I was conflicted about sharing this recipe with you. It was tasty, yes. Would I make it again? Not sure. (To be fair, this is the second time I’ve made it - I won a pie contest with this tart last year…!) The crust wasn’t my favorite. It was yummy, but … well … I would prefer a pie crust. But I really wanted to give you guys a gluten free option. The custard was a little too rich for me, too. But my husband LOVED it. If you know me, you know that I’m a hopeless, helpless second guesser. I don’t make decisions easily and I question myself after almost every move. So when it didn’t turn out as awesome delicious perfect as I imagined it would, I basically crumpled into a despairing heap. And I decided I wouldn’t blog about it, because I didn’t think it was amazing and I wouldn’t make it again.
But after a few hours - and my husband’s very positive reviews - I started to rethink my approach. It wasn’t a disaster. It wasn’t a disappointment. It wasn’t gross. It tasted good and had a great creamy texture with a nutty crust. The fact that it wasn’t my favorite didn’t seem a reason not to post it. I’ll note what I would change, but otherwise, here it is!
Easy as pie. Who in the world came up with that?! I’m not sure. But I feel they must never have made one. In my baking experience at least, I have never, ever said: “Oh, this ol’ pie? I just whipped it up right before dinner.” No way. How would my crust have been chilled? How could my pie have set? IT ISN’T POSSIBLE! Cake on the other hand….
We recently moved from Florida to Colorado, where my husband is originally from. In fact, we moved back to the same city where he grew up—into the same house he lived from when he was 6 weeks old to 18 years and heading off to college.
That’s right. We’ve moved in with his parents while we work on getting a new venture off the ground.