Sunday, March 29, 2015

Strawberry Madeleines

My husband absolutely loves Madeleines! Whenever we go to Costco he has to pick up a box of them. Honestly, I can't say that I blame him... They buttery cookie with a soft inside and slightly crisp exterior is perfection.

When his Birthday rolled around on March 14th, I knew just what to make him... These strawberry Madeleines. They use a fresh strawberry puree for a pop of pink and butter... Lot's of butter. Please invest in one of these pans, it's so worth it!

For the Madeleines:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup strawberry puree (make this with 1 cup strawberries, 1 Tablespoon sugar, and a splash of water)
9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease your Maeleine pan with cooking spray or shortening, set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar with the lemon zest until fragrant. Beat in the eggs until light and creamy, approx 5 minutes.
Gently mix in the flour a little bit at a time, just until combined.
Add in the melted butter and mix just until incorporated.
Add in the strawberry puree. If you're looking for a stronger strawberry flavor, add a dash of strawberry flavoring or if you want them more red in color, add a dash of red food coloring.
Chill the dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
When time is up, scoop the dough into the molds, roughly 1 Tablespoon in size.
Place in the center of your oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

These cookies are great by themselves, fantastic with a bowl of chocolate ice cream, or dipped in a cup of coffee (my favorite way). Enjoy!

*recipe adapted from Coffee and Crumpets

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Hello blogging world! I can't believe it's been almost two months since my last post... For some reason, I lost the love of blogging. I was uninspired by ideas and have been busy working on a better me. I've officially turned into a Gym/Zumba addict (in the most healthy way possible, of course) and just didn't know how to fit in decadent treats. I also didn't want to load the blog with "healthy" things and scare you all away with words like "flax meal" and "chia seeds"!

So, I may have some posts in the future with healthy treats or dinner ideas but for now, I will stick to what I know... And hopefully shove food in everyone else's face while I eat one (OK, maybe 3) slices... All in moderation, right?

With Spring right around the corner and us all moving forward in time, I wanted a recipe with a fun pop of flavor. I found a delicious recipe for this bread over at Chef in Training and knew I had to make it... Who doesn't like the lemon and blueberry combo? This bread is moist and I love the slight zing of lemon and pops of blueberry... It's the, y'all.

For the Bread: 
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 cups fresh blueberries

For the Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon zest
2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 2-9x5" loaf pans with parchment paper; grease and lightly flour, set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla until creamy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Now, add in the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, being sure to start and end with the buttermilk, mix until just combined. Gently stir in the blueberries.
Divide batter evenly between the 2 prepared pans and bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let the bread cool for 15 minutes in the pan before inverting on to a cooling rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for your glaze. Pour glaze evenly over the 2 loaves, allowing it to drip down the sides. Allow the glaze to harden on the top of the loaves and then slice and serve... Enjoy!

I am in love with the buttery bread, the pops of blueberry, and the tangy glaze... It's the perfect combo!

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