Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cookie Butter Swirled Cheesecake Bars

I'm fairly sure a majority of the good people of this Nation are cookie butter addicts... I mean, why wouldn't you be? It's spicy, it's sweet, and has a little hint of saltiness.... It's a little unexplainable just how delicious this butter is.

And I love that they offer it at Trader Joes, among other things (OBSESSED with that store) and no, they aren't paying me to say that (unfortunately, because I love me some Trader Joes gift cards *ahem*).

I'm so excited about the many varieties of cookie butter they have to offer there; swirled with chocolate, cookies and cream, so many choices... But the classic, it's just, classic.

The cookie butter pairs perfectly with the semi-spicy crust from the Speculoos cookies and the creamy cheesecake... These bars are amazing. You can eat three and say you "Barely had like, even one piece"

New Years Resolutions, Schmu Years Resolutions...

For the Crust:
16 Speculoos Cookies
12 graham cracker squares, original flavor
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt

For the Cheesecake:
28 ounces cream cheese, softened (approx. 3.5 boxes)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
8 ounces sour cream
3 large eggs, room temp
2 Tablespoons flour

Cookie Butter Swirl:
3/4 cup Cookie Butter Spread
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (1/2 a box)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In the bowl of your food processor, crush the cookies into fine crumbs. Add in the sugar and pinch of salt and pulse to combine. With the processor running, pour in your melted butter until incorporated and the cookie crumbs begin to stick together.
Line a 13x9" pan with aluminum foil, spray lightly with cooking spray, and press the cookie crumbs evenly into the bottom and part way up the sides, about 1/2 an inch, set aside.
In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla until incorporated. Add in the sour cream and eggs, beating on low speed until completely mixed. Pour over the prepared crust.
In a small bowl, mix together the cookie butter, cream cheese, sugar, and egg until smooth. Drop by spoonfuls over the top of the cheesecake mixture and drag a knife back and forth to create a swirl pattern.
Bake the bars in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the edges are golden and set while the center still wobbles slightly. Cool completely on a wire rack before chilling for three hours and up to overnight.
Cut into squares and serve; one pan yielded about 6 squares (kidding). Make sure to store remaining bars in the fridge.

*recipe adapated from Rose Bakes

Friday, January 2, 2015

Spinach Artichoke Dip

"Hi, my name is Veronica and I am a dip addict"....

Ugh, I LOVE dips! I have yet to meet a dip I didn't like...

Lately, I've been loving the idea of appetizers for Holidays. No main course, no dessert, just an array of appetizers. Then I can eat as much as I want and call it "sampling". I made this dip for our New Years Eve celebration and it was perfect... I may have even had it for breakfast the next morning.

For the Dip:
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 of a large onion, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients in the order listed. Pour into a lightly greased 8x8" square baking dish and sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Serve with bread, chips, veggies, or a spoon...

Enjoy this cheesey deliciousness.

*recipe adapted from Yammie's Noshery

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Baklava Pull Apart Bread

If you like an overabundance of nutty and sweet... This pull apart bread is for you. It's yeasty, doughy, crunchy, and sweet. We had this pull apart bread for Christmas morning and we found we didn't even need the honey syrup. It has all of the flavors of Baklava, minus the pesky hassle of Phyllo dough.

It takes a little work and love but trust me, it's sooo worth it...

For the Dough:
3 Tablespoons warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk
2 1/2-3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Honey Syrup:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
pinch of salt

In a small bowl, activate the yeast by combining the 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast with the warm water and sugar. Whisk quickly just to combine and allow it to rise for 5 minutes, until bubbly.

To make the dough: Fit stand mixer with dough hook attachment. In a small saucepan, combine the 1/4 cup unsalted butter and 1/3 cup of milk. Stir over medium heat just until the butter has completely melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine 2 cups of the flour with the remaining sugar and salt. Add in the yeast mixture, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Stir together on low speed for 2 minutes then increase to medium and mix until the ingredients are well incorporated. Start by adding in a 1/2 cup of flour, a little at a time and up to 1 whole cup. You want the dough to pull away from the sides but still be slightly sticky. Knead for 2 minutes or until smooth.
Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, prep the filling.
In a small bowl, stir together the 1 cup of sugar and cinnamon, set aside.
In the bowl of your food processor combine the pistachios, walnuts, almonds, lemon zest and salt. Pulse 4-5 times until the nuts are chopped. Add in the vanilla and pulse just until large clumps form. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, combine the honey, water, and salt for the honey syrup. Heat over medium until it starts to bubble and then lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened and reduced by a third. Pour into a heat proof container and cover.

When your dough has doubled in size, turn it out on to a floured surface, gently flatten.

Roll out into a 20x12 inch rectangle. Don't worry about having a perfect rectangle.

Brush the 1/2 cup of melted butter over the top. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture and sprinkle the nut mixture evenly over the top.

Slice the dough into 6 horizontal strips and gently stack each strip on top of each other. Slice into 6 semi-even squares.

Prep a 9x5" loaf pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray. Layer each stack, standing upright into the loaf pan.

Cover with plastic wrap and allow the bread to rise in a warm place until doubled and fills the pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake the bread for 30-35 minutes or until a dark golden brown on top and completely cooked in the center.

Allow to sit in the pan for `15-20 minutes so the bread doesn't fall apart upon inverting. Remove the bread from the pan, drizzle with honey syrup or serve on the side.

Enjoy this nutty, rich, and sweet pull apart bread!

*recipe adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Eggnog Scones

I'm really not the biggest eggnog fan. Growing up, we used to have Christmas at my Aunt's house and she would serve boozy eggnog (not to the children! Don't get your panties in a bunch...) All I ever wanted was the little chocolate cup they would serve it in.

These scones though, are a whole different story. They are moist, slightly spicy from the cinnamon chips, and the eggnog makes them uber creamy... They are the perfect sweet treat with your Peppermint Mocha or on Christmas morning. The best part? They can be pre-prepared and frozen for a quick breakfast after a long night of Santa-ing...

For the Scones:
(makes about 8 scones)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup cinnamon chips
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cold eggnog, plus 1 Tablespoon
*sugar for topping

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice until combined. Work in the cubed butter until the mixture is crumbly, if larger pieces of butter remain that is ok, it makes for a flakier scone. Add in the 3/4 cup of cinnamon chips and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, vanilla, and 3/4 cup of the eggnog. Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix on low just until it comes together.  Dump out dough onto floured surface and shape into a 3/4" thick rectangle. Cut to your desired shape, I cut mine with a round cookie cutter but if you like the triangular shaped scones, shape dough into a round and cut into triangles (like a pizza).
Place scones on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining 1 Tablespoon of eggnog and sprinkle with sugar. Place the entire cookie sheet in the freezer to set up while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Bake the scones for about 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Scones are best enjoyed warm... Enjoy!

*recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Link Party and Giveaway!

Everyone loves trying new festive foods and crafts during the holidays. Link up, visit each others links, and help each other with inspiration and to see what everyone is making this Holiday season.

This party will run from December 10th until December 20th. Link as many times as you like and don’t forget to stop by the other links.Please no link parties or etsy shops.  Also, don't forget to enter our Holiday giveaway! The winner will receive 2 gift cards and some other great items to help with your Holiday shopping! A winner will be selected and notified on December 21st . Make sure to enter below! Good luck and we can't wait to see what you've been working on! !

Veronica from Morningnoonight


      Cranberry Bliss bread
                                                 Candy Cane Popcorn

                                     Gingerbread-latte Cupcake with lemon

Amy from Crafts, Cakes, and Cats


    Gingerbread Cream cheese dip

                                              Snickerdoodle Scones

                                             Hot chocolate bar

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cranberry Bliss Bread

You've all had the Cranberry Bliss Bars from Starbucks, right? Little short bread cookies studded with white chocolate chips and dried cranberries that come in at a whopping $20 a box... Yes, those.

As delicious as they are with a Caramel Brulee latte, I refuse to pay that price.

So, why not turn it in to bread form? Well, it's cake really...

You get more bang for your buck this way (and by bang I mean slices)... And, you can shove the whole loaf in your mouth without people staring at you... What Starbucks? I paid for it...

For the Cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

For the Frosting:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 Tablespoons milk or cream
handful of dried cranberries for scattering over the top

For the Chocolate Drizzle:
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a standard 9"x5" loaf pan, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder/soda, and salt, set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and butter. Add in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Mix in the vanilla. Gently mix in dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk but starting and ending with the dry mix until incorporated. Stir in the cranberries and white chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake.
Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack.

Mix together ingredients for your frosting and spread evenly over the top, sprinkle top with dried cranberries. Allow frosting to set.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the white chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Microwave for 30 seconds or until completely melted, do not over heat.
Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate over the top of the frosting and cranberries.
Allow the chocolate to harden, slice, and serve.

I am in love with the moist butter cake studded with tart cranberries and crunchy, milky, white chocolate chips. This bread is the perfect festive treat... Enjoy!

*recipe adapted from The View From Great Island

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Orange Sweet Rolls

I grew up eating Orange Sweet Rolls... you know, the kind that came in the terrifying pop can (I swear they still scare me). Were they packed with artificial flavors? Sure. Were they super duper sweet? You betcha... But they were so dang good.

My childhood friend and I would polish off the orange rolls and then move on to pizza rolls and cherry 7up for lunch/dinner... All while watching SNL. Classy, right?

When I stumbled across this recipe, I knew I had to try it... Do you want to know a secret though? I'm terrified of yeast. Mix too much and you're eating hockey pucks... Make the water too cold when mixing and the yeast wont rise. That's too much pressure, y'all...

These rolls were fairly easy though and rose perfectly and had a delicious buttery-yeasty taste. The orange isn't too overpowering nor the frosting too sweet. They. Are. Perfection.

For the Dough:
3 (2 1/4 ounce) packets active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs, beaten
4-6 cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

For the Frosting:
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2-3/4 teaspoon orange flavoring (optional)

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees, when it reaches temperature shut off.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the yeast and warm water and allow it to sit for 5 minutes until it bubbles.
Add in the honey, melted butter, salt, and beaten egg. Whisk to combine.
Attach the dough hook and add in your flour, 1 cup at a time until you reach 4 cups. After that, add a 1/2 cup at a time until the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl. The dough will be sticky but shouldn't stick to your fingers. Oil a large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover and allow to sit in the warm water until the dough has doubled in size, around 45 minutes.
When the dough has finished proofing, place on a large floured surface and roll out to a 16"x24" rectangle.

Combine filling ingredients in a large bowl and spread out in an even layer over the rectangle...

Butter a large baking pan, about 13x9". Starting at the farthest width, roll into a jelly-roll shape, towards you, seam should be on the bottom. Cut into 24 even rounds, about 1 inch in size using a sharp knife. Place in your buttered dish...

Cover with a towel and place in your warm oven to proof again, around 20 minutes or until the rolls are doubled in size.

Remove the rolls from the oven and heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown and cooked through. Meanwhile, make your frosting...

Whisk together all of the ingredients for your frosting, you may need to add more powdered sugar or cream to reach desired consistency. The frosting should coat the back of a spoon but still be pour-able. Drizzle over the warm rolls and serve.

Light, doughy, and slightly tangy... Heaven.