Friday, November 30, 2012

Lemon Meltaways

Oh my gosh you guys, I have like 5 bajillion recipes I want to share with you all.

There's so many ideas running through my head I don't even know where to begin.

Have you guys ever felt that way? Well that feeling for me also comes with extreme anxiety...

Can I be honest with you all? I'm the type (if there is a "type" for me) of girl who writes down what she's going to say before she calls someone, or when I read a text before I get in the shower, I rehearse my response in my head and if I don't reply the second my hands are dry... Anxiety hits!

So I've been rehearsing all of these recipes and crafty things for you, but I honestly need to show patience. And I'm creeping up on my 100th blog post... I can't believe it! So I want it to be super spectacular and amazing.

This is a great recipe and a change from all things peppermint this time of year.

Try it at your next cookie exchange :)

For the Cookie:
(makes 12 sandwich cookies)
1 cup salted butter, room temp
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

For the Filling:
1/4 cup butter, room temp
2 ounces softened cream cheese
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
A few Tablespoons of milk, depending on desired consistency

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add in the vanilla, lemon zest and juice. Mix until combined, scraping down the sides as you go. Sift in the flour and cornstarch and beat on your low setting until just combined.

Take Tablespoon sized scoops and roll into balls, continue until you have about 24 cookies. Placing them 1 inch apart on your cookie sheet. Press the cookies gently with a fork to imprint. Bake for 20 minutes and cool completely.

While your cookies are cooling, combine all of the filling ingredients. Use a knife to spread on one side of the cooled cookie then sandwich them together. Try to match up the sizes as evenly as you can.


I think the next time I would make these cookies a tad smaller as they tend to be a little doughy. You could almost get away with 1/2 of a Tablespoon size here. However, they melt well in your mouth and have the cheek tingling lemon taste!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cookies-n-Cream Brownies

I'm kind of nervous y'all...

I'm getting my wisdom teeth pulled out tomorrow (I know, how old am I right?!) I've been pushing it back, and I finally had to just buck up and do it. Ugh...

Soft foods for a week? Don't you know I'm a FOOD BLOGGER... She didn't seem to care. But I've never been under anesthesia, I've never even had surgery!

I briefly ran through the "what if's" with my husband. I mean, what if I'm allergic to anesthesia and puff up like a lion seal? He promised he'd still love me.

Or what if I'm under and they make the split second decision to pull all my teeth?

I think at this point he wasn't really listening... but HONESTLY PEOPLE! This is scary stuff....

So I had to make something extra delicious before I'm stuck eating cotton swabs for the next week...

These didn't photograph as well as I wanted, I thought the red would be pretty for the Holidays, but it doesn't really give off that generic "cookies-n-cream" vibe.

Oh well, they taste delicious and whip up fast.

Happy Monday everyone!

For the Brownies:
1 box brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker fudge)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

For the Frosting:
4 oz softened cream cheese
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon milk

Around 10 crushed Oreos

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 11x7" pan.

Make your brownies according to the package directions and toss in the chocolate chips. Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
Let the brownies cool completely.

With a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until creamy. Add in remaining ingredients and beat (feel free to add more or less milk to get your desired consistency).
Frost the cooled brownies and sprinkle with crushed Oreo's.
Cut and serve!

Enjoy everyone. Promise me you will eat delicious food for the next couple days... Just don't tell me about it :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone... And I'm pretty sure I've gained 10 pounds. Probably from this cheesecake alone. But who cares right? That's what New Years resolutions are for.

Did you all have a nice Holiday? Did anyone venture out for Black Friday?

I attempted Walmart to get ONE thing for my boys and it was gone before it was even time to pick them up. What happened to honesty and manners? Out the window when play kitchens are involved I guess...

Anyways, if you had to deal with Black Friday crazies or your strange Uncle Bill this holiday season, this cheesecake will make you feel alllll better!

Enjoy and Happy late Thanksgiving everyone :)

(recipe adapted from

For the Crust:
1 3/4 cups Vanilla Wafer Cookie crumbs (I bought the ones from Trader Joes.... TO. DIE. FOR.)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Pecan Pie:
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla

Brown Sugar Cheesecake:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
4 eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Start by making the crust.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Pulse cookies (about 30) into fine crumbs in your food processor. Pour crumbs into a bowl and measure out 1 3/4 cups. Place crumbs along with brown sugar back into the food processor. Pulse to combine. Pour in melted butter and pulse until crumbs are coated. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" spring form pan. Bake for 6 minutes, set aside and cool.

Start the pecan filling. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir constantly. Pour filling into prepared crust and set aside.

Reduce oven heat to 325 degrees. With your hand mixer and a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat the vanilla and cream on low.

Pour cheesecake mixture over the pecan pie filling and bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed for another hour.

Remove pan from oven and run a knife to loosen the edges. Let cool completely then transfer to the fridge for 6 hours to overnight.

Bring to room temperature before enjoying!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cookie Butter

Can you believe it's less than a week until Thanksgiving?

Where has this year gone? Wasn't it just April?

I'm really trying not to think about the fast approaching holidays because I still have so much to do... I haven't gotten a single Christmas present yet. Pure Awesome...

It's OK, this butter makes up for not being Holiday ready. It literally TASTES like the Holidays, all bottled... urm... jarred up!

It whips up really fast too so this is the perfect last minute holiday gift or dessert. Serve with cookies, apples, crackers or on little toasts. People will love it... Trust me!

For the butter:
(slightly adapted from Betty Crocker)

2 (8.8 oz) packages of Biscoff Cookies
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon molasses
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2-1 cup water

  • In your food processor, pulse the cookies into fine crumbs. Turn off the processor and add in the cinnamon, brown sugar, ground nutmeg and vanilla. Process until combined.
  • With the food processor running, through the spout, stream in the molasses and oil. Allow to mix and the crumbs dampen.
  • Continue running the food processor and slowly stream in the water, you will need anywhere from the amount  listed. You are looking for the consistency of peanut butter.
  • Pour cookie butter into airtight container and place in the fridge. It will thicken a bit.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Almond Poppyseed Bread

I know, I know... another bread recipe!

I honestly can't help it. I'm a bread addict. I need bread eaters anonymous... For the sake of my THIGHS people!

I adapted this recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything blog. Have you seen her blog? Check it out. SUPER CUTE!

This makes 6 little loaves (hello, perfect for Christmas gifts) or 2 big loaves to hoard and eat all for yourself... I mean...

For the Bread:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
1 1/8 cups vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons Almond Extract
1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Glaze:
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your loaf pans (I use aluminum foil to insure no sticking).
Place all of the ingredients in your stand mixer and beat to combine. Seperate evenly into your pans and bake for 60 minutes, check on the bread the last ten minutes, if still undercooked cover with aluminum foil so the top doesn't get too dark. (The 60 minutes baking time will be around 20-30 if choosing to use the small laof pans). Remove loaves from oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place all of your glaze ingredients in a small pot set over medium heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Poke the loaves with a toothpick and brush multiple times with the glaze, it should be thick enough to stick to the top without dripping too much down the sides.

Enjoy warm with coffee, by itself, with a fork... You know!!

(Look at the sun glistening off of the glaze... mmm)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Grandma Vi's Russian Tea Cakes

I've grown up making these cookies for Christmas as far back as I can remember. These cookies, cut out sugar cookies, and pecan fingers are a custom in our home. I hope to pass on this tradition to my children as well.

This is my Grandma's recipe that comes form a tiny red book my mom typed up in the 70's. I cant wait to go through and try all of her recipes one day. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to meet my grandmother, but I like to think my cooking abilities come from her. I hope I'm making you proud Grandma!

I hope you make these cookies this holiday season, you might have even made them yourself and called them a Mexican Wedding Cookie. Whatever you call them, they are my ultimate favorite! Biting into them brings back so many childhood memories!

Happy Holidays everyone...

Cookie Dough:
(Makes about 2 dozen)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Extra powdered sugar, in a bowl,  for coating

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. With your hand mixer, combine the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add in the flour and salt and mix until a crumbly dough forms. Stir in the nuts.
  3. Working with your hands, shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place about an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Cool for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to your bowl of powdered sugar. Roll warm cookies into the sugar and cool completely on a wire rack. Roll once more in the powdered sugar and enjoy!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

(Do you see the chunk missing? That's from my toddler who likes to stand there and grab pieces of whatever I'm shooting. Ha!)

This pie is so right. It's wrong. 

You know when you see something on TV and you just HAVE to make it. I was super sick last weekend, where even the thought of a cracker conjured up awfulness, and I WANTED this pie.

The recipe comes from Pioneer Woman and I have to say, I just love everything she stands for. 

I mean, when does cream cheese + peanut butter + Oreos make a bad thing!?

So lets cut the chit-chat and make this sucker.

It's the bomb diggity...

For the Crust:
25 Oreos
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pie Filling:
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 container of defrosted cool whip

Chopped up, left-over, Halloween candy (of the peanut butter cup variety)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In your food processor, pulse the cookies until crumbly. Pour in the melted butter and pulse 4-5 times, just to get it incorporated. Press the cookie crumbs evenly into the bottom and sides of your pie pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.

With a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until combined. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and beat to incorporate. Add in the container of thawed cool whip and beat mixture until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. The mixture will be fluffy and delicious (trust me folks, lick the beaters on this one. With it off... of course.)
Pour filling into the prepared crust, smooth the top and sprinkle with the candy.
Place in your fridge for MINIMUM an hour and your freezer for another 30 minutes. The longer its chilled the better it tastes.

Enjoy this peanut butter cream heaven...

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I have been far too excited about this recipe not to share with all of you anymore. I apologize for the Christmas theme, as it is only November 3rd, but I had to prepare it in advance for a Christmas Lineup over at the Frugal Girls. Please keep an eye out for this feature recipe the morning of December 18th! Enjoy everyone. (Did you know there is only 52 days left for shopping? And then again, not really, because who shops on Christmas? oh wait,  my husband! Ha!)

Christmas is a time of joy, love and peace. Yet we often lose ourselves in the craziness of the holidays. We try to buy the best, most expensive presents for our loved ones when we should be creating memories with them instead.

So I say, there's no better way than getting in the kitchen and baking with the ones we care about most.

This is a fantastic treat to give as gifts or start as a cookie tradition for your family. I introduce: Snickersnaps!

"Snicker what!?" you say.

A Snickersnap! (or Gingerdoodles). This delicious cookie is a combination or two traditional Christmas treats: a Snickerdoodle and a Gingersnap. The spicy-gingersnap cookie pairs so well with the neutral cinnamon Snickerdoodle. I knew I HAD to make this recipe when I saw the idea over at BakerGirl. 

This recipe takes a little extra time, as you are essentially making 2 batches of cookies, but the end result is well worth it.

I used my favorite recipes for the cookies to make it my own.

Enjoy! And remember to cherish the holidays with the ones you love. Bring the kids in the kitchen to bake with you and snap lots of photos as you go!

Classic Snickerdoodles:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon gloves
pinch of salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg

Snickerdoodle coating:
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Gingersnap coating:
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Start the Snickerdoodle dough:
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the butter, shortening and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in the eggs and mix until no yellow remains. Reduce the speed to low and add in the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Place the dough in a separate bowl, cover and place in fridge while you make the Gingersnap dough.

For the Gingersnaps:
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of your *cleaned* stand mixer, beat the brown sugar, molasses, vegetable oil and eggs until smooth and combined. Mix in the flour mixture, stirring until the dough comes together. It may be crumbly but this is normal, work dough into a ball with you hands. Place in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill both dough's for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Snickerdoodle coating ingredients.
On a plate, pour the granulated sugar for the Gingersnaps.

Taking a quarter size amount of Snicker doodle dough, roll into a ball and toss around in the cinnamon-sugar coating.
Take a quarter sized amount of the Gingersnap dough (you may need to work it with your hands) and roll in the sugar.
Place both doughs together gently and squeeze. Roll into a large ball and place on your prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes or until puffy and slightly golden.
Let cool on the sheet for a minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

*Depending on the size of your cookies, this will make anywhere from 2-3 dozen*

Your house will instantly smell like Christmas!

Happy Holidays to you all!