Monday, October 20, 2014

Caramel Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies

Oh my gosh y'all,.. I lurve stuffed cookies.

Like this recipe, or maybe this one.... 

But, I honestly think this one is my favorite so far! It combines soft gingery cookies with a gooey caramel center.

It takes plain old gingerbread men to the next level. Plus, it's soft and stuffed with caramel, totally not Christmas related. Make these year 'round...

For the Cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 1/2 cups plus 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
24-26 packaged caramels

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until combined. Add in the molasses until its completely incorporated. Add in the eggs, one at at time, making sure to scrape the sides as you go. Mix in the vanilla and spices until combined. Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Unwrap your caramels.
When the dough has chilled, take about 1 Tablespoon in your hand and roll it into a ball, flatten slightly. Place a caramel in the center of the dough and top with another flattened Tablespoon of dough.

Seal the edges and roll into a ball, place on prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Continue with dough, I fit about 8-10 cookies per sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until puffy and the edges are lightly golden.

Allow to cool slightly before consuming. The caramel hardens when it cools so these cookies are best the day they are made but if you heat them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds they are absolutely perfect... Soft, spicy dough paired with gooey caramel... Does it get any better than that?

*recipe adapted from

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cheesy Garlic Chips

Growing up in Northern California we had one of the best pizza restaurants They brewed their own beer, had an arcade with pool tables, and had the best cheesy garlic pizza they cut into "chips".

The crust was thin, the cheese was gooey, and it was loaded with thick chunks of garlic... Ugh, I can taste it.

Now it's easily at my fingertips with this recipe. It doesn't taste exactly like the one from my childhood but it comes pretty close. Between the huz and the kids, this pizza was gone before I could blink...

For the Pizza:
Pizza dough
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees.
Roll out pizza to a 12 inch circle.
In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter and garlic. Spread all over the top of the dough.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella.

Carefully slide dough on to the preheated pizza stone and bake in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes or until bubbly and browned.
Remove, let cool (enough not to burn your mouth), slice and enjoy!
These are amazing served with marinara sauce for dipping or a creamy garlic sauce!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Monster Eye Cookies

My first Halloween blog of the season! I wanted to make sure I got at least one in before time got away from me...

Does everyone have their costumes picked out yet? I'm not sure if I'm dressing up yet this year but my oldest is SpiderMan (of course) and youngest is Captain America... I almost have the whole Avengers on my hands! (Now if only Chris Hemsworth showed up....)

If you're looking for a quick, yet fun Halloween recipe to whip up for the kids, this is the ticket. Plus. who DOESN'T want an excuse to eat eyeballs???

For the Cookies:
(about 18 cookies)
1 box white cake mix
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
food coloring (I used pink, blue, green, and yellow)
powdered sugar

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and egg until combined. Add in the white cake mix until incorporated.
Divide into separate bowls equal to the amount of colors you want to use. Dye each batter and place in the fridge to firm up for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Place about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar into a bowl.
Working with one dough color at a time, scoop about a Tablespoon amount and roll into a ball and then into the powdered sugar to coat. Place on cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Continue with remaining dough and colors.
Bake in preheated oven for approximately 10-12 minutes or until crackled and lightly browned.
Immediately upon removing from the oven stick decorative eyes into the dough.
Cool completely before serving, enjoy!

(the blue ones remind me of Cookie Monster!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Flan Cake

Do you like flan? Do you like cake? How about mixing the 2?

This magical cake can be any flavor and although the flan is poured on top of the batter, it magically sinks to the bottom (or top). Fine, I know its not really magic, and it's science and weight distribution and such but its magggiiiccc.

P.S: If you hate boxed cake mix recipes, this one isn't for you...

For the Cake:
Caramel Topping
1 box Butter Cake Mix plus ingredients listed on box
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour the inside of your bundt pan. Pour 1/2 cup of the caramel topping on the bottom.
Prepare cake according to box instruction and pour the batter evenly over the caramel, set aside.
In a large bowl, gently whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla, and almond extracts. Pour over cake batter.
The batter will start to rise above as the flan mixture sinks, this is OK.
Fill a 9" cake pan half way with water and place in your preheated oven. Place the bundt pan filled with cake/flan into the center of the cake pan (this creates a water bath) and bake for 45 minutes.
Cover the top with foil and continue to bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool at room temperature for 2 hours before placing in your fridge to cool over night.
Prior to serving, place the bottom of the bundt pan in warm water for 1-2 minutes before inverting on to your plate, this prevents the caramel from sticking.
Slice, service, and enjoy! I just love the combination of the buttery cake and creamy flan... Enjoy!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Last week the Family and I took a trip to Apple Hill.

Among the apples and cider are the delicious Cider Donuts. The fry them upon order so they arrive warm, crispy with cinnamon and sugar, and soft in the middle. You could easily devour 4 of them in 1 sitting... Not that I would know.

Now, if you haven't been to Apple Hill or have no tried Apple Cider donuts... You can now make them at home! It is the ultimate Fall breakfast!

For the Donuts:
(makes around 16 donuts)
1 1/4 cups apple cider
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temp
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Coating:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Place apple cider in a small sauce pan and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until cooked down. Place in refrigerator to cool down while you mix the rest of the ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of the apple cider, egg, melted butter, and sugars until combined. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla just until incorporated. Add the wet ingredients into the dry just until combined (it may still be slightly lumpy).
Grease your donut pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pipe dough into the pan 3/4 of the way and cook in the preheated oven for 9-10 minutes.

While donuts are cooking, whisk together the cinnamon and sugar for the coating and set aside. In a separate bowl, melt the butter.
When the donuts have baked and cooled slightly dunk into melted butter and then the cinnamon sugar mixture until coated. Continue until all donuts are baked and coated.

Enjoy this perfect Fall treat! It has all of the tastes of apple cider packed into the sugary sweet donuts!

*recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cheesecake Filled Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

These demure little cookies. So cute, right?

If you consider food "cute" of course.

I honestly have about 10 recipes with pumpkin lined up... I think my husband is over it already, and it's not even October... Whoops! Sorry I'm not sorry.

So, not only do these cookies pack the delicious flavors of a soft snicker doodle but they're stuffed... I'd say "with what you may ask" but obviously you can read, or you wouldn't be here. Unless you came for the pictures in that case:

and also: aksjdhaskjfhdskjfhdskjhsdkjalkfakldhf

Alright, lets make cookies, shall we?

For the Pumpkin Snickerdoodles:
(24 cookies)
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup butter, unsalted and softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla

For the Cheesecake Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add in the pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients on low speed, just until combined. Cover dough and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
To make the cheesecake filling, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for an hour with the cookie dough.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Remove dough and filling.
Mix together ingredients for the coating in a small bowl, and set aside.
Take 1 Tablespoon of cookie dough in your hand and flatten like a pancake, place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center. Take another tablespoon of cookie dough, flatten as well, and seal around the edges. Roll dough into a ball and place in the coating mixture. Rolling the dough ball around to cover completely, place it on your prepared cookie sheet.
Flatten balls with measuring cup and bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden around the edges.
Let cool completely on a rack. Cookies are best enjoyed warm!

Enjoy the delicious crunchy coat, smooth cream cheese filling, and soft pumpkin cookie. These will make the perfect Fall treat!

*recipe adapted from The Recipe Critic

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Homemade Its It Bars

This post is dedicated to my Mama.

The one thing she craved while she was pregnant? This San Francisco treat (and I'm not talking Rice-a-Roni).

If you aren't familiar with an Its It bar, 1. I'm sorry and 2. It pairs vanilla ice cream with chewy oatmeal cookies... and the whole thing is dipped in milk chocolate.

Ugh, so good. You know it's the real thing when you get that lingering spiciness in your mouth after you take a bite. I made 4... I would suggest making 8. They go fast. This recipe isn't exact science. I made 4 sandwiches as it was the perfect amount for my chocolate shell however, you will still have leftover cookies and ice cream. Go to town.

For the Oatmeal Cookies:
(Quaker recipe)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned oats

Quality Vanilla Ice Cream
Milk Chocolate Magic Shell

Start by making your cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time until mixed and then add in vanilla.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Carefully add to butter mixture just until combined. Stir in oats.
Drop by rounded Tablespoons on to parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven until golden around the edges, 10-12 minutes.
Cool cookies completely.

Now, slightly soften the vanilla ice cream. Place a scoop of ice cream on to the top of one cookie and sandwich another cookie on top. Place on separate cookie sheet and place in freezer to re-harden.
Shake your magic shell and pour into a shallow dish.
Dip each sandwich into the chocolate to cover completely. Use a fork to remove and place on a cookie sheet. Place the sandwiches back into your freezer to harden up, about 1 hour.

Serve, bite, roll eyes back into head, and enjoy! Love y'all!