Monday, November 25, 2013

Cookie Butter Blondies with White Chocolate Chips


This is a perfect bar recipe for the approaching holidays. Not only are these bars absolutely scrumptious, but the cookie butter gives them a gingerbread-y flavor that's perfect for fall/Thanksgiving/Christmas, and the white chocolate chips add the perfect sweet balance. These are sure to get devoured at your next party, or wherever you take them, or by the people in your family.

Just like the raspberry brownies, these bars only dirty two pans - the saucepan you mix the batter in, and the pan you bake them in!

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar.


Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved and smooth. Do not boil.


Cool slightly, then add in the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time.


Next add the cinnamon, allspice, ginger,


baking powder and salt. Stir in one cup of flour at a time


until a soft dough has formed. Spread half of the blondie batter into a greased 9" baking pan.


Place cookie butter in a microwavable bowl and heat for about 15-20 seconds to slightly melt. Drop tablespoonfuls of melted cookie butter on top of the blondie batter in the pan;


swirl cookie butter into blondie batter with a butter knife. Sprinkle with half the white chocolate chips.


Carefully spread remaining blondie batter on top of swirled mixture; top with remaining cookie butter, and then with remaining white chocolate chips.


Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until center is set and the edges are lightly golden but do not overbake. Cool completely on a wire rack,


then cut into squares and serve.


One year ago: Avalanche Bark
Two years ago: Dulce de Leche Chocolate Bars
Three years ago: Oatmeal Spice Drop Cookies
Four years ago: Crumb Topped Apple and Pumpkin Pie

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff, Hearth and Soul, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking #2.

Cookie Butter Blondies with White Chocolate Chips

1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch allspice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 cup Cookie Butter or Biscoff Spread
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Allow mixture to cool slightly.

Stir in vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, followed by the cinnamon, allspice, ginger, baking powder and salt. Stir in one cup of flour at a time until a soft dough has formed. Spread half of the blondie batter into a greased 9" baking pan.

Place cookie butter in a microwavable bowl and heat for about 15-20 seconds to slightly melt. Drop tablespoonfuls of melted cookie butter on top of the blondie batter in the pan; swirl cookie butter into blondie batter with a butter knife. Sprinkle with half the white chocolate chips. Carefully spread remaining blondie batter on top of swirled mixture; top with remaining cookie butter, and then with remaining white chocolate chips.

Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes or until center is set and the edges are lightly golden; do not overbake. Blondies will continue to cook slightly after being removed from the oven. Cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into squares and serve. Makes 16 bars.

Recipe Source: Adapted from the Domestic Rebel

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting


These delightful cupcakes are a fun fall treat, and would make a great Thanksgiving dessert for the folks who (gasp) do not care for pumpkin pie. (I find that little ones, especially, can't warm up to pumpkin pie. Poor them.) Lightly spiced and topped with a (also) lightly spiced cream cheese frosting, it's difficult to eat just one. Good thing this recipe makes plenty. And it starts with a cake mix, so it couldn't be easier.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, pumpkin,


eggs, oil, water,


cinnamon, cloves


and vanilla. Beat on low speed until all the ingredients are moistened, then beat on medium speed for two minutes, scraping down the bowl once in a while. Scoop the batter into paper-lined or greased muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.


For the frosting, combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and cloves


and beat until combined. Gradually add in the powdered sugar


and beat until smooth. Frost the cooled cupcakes


then refrigerate them for an hour or so to let the frosting set. Gobble, gobble!

One year ago: Curried Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Two years ago: Crumb Topped Apple and Pumpkin Pie
Three years ago: Sweet Potato Pound Cake
Four years ago: Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Find more ideas at Hearth and Soul, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking #2, Weekly Creative, Full Plate, Showcase Your Talent, Foodie Friday, Food Frenzy, Foodie Friday (#2), Foodtastic Friday, Friday Flash, Blog Strut.

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes:
1 (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1 4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. vanilla

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar (or more)


For the cupcakes, beat cake mix, pudding mix, pumpkin, oil, water, eggs, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping side of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes or until well blended.

Spoon batter into 24 lightly greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.

For the frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla and cloves in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes. Refrigerate frosted cupcakes for an hour to allow frosting to set.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pan Fried Salmon with Dijon Sauce


At this time of year, as holiday preparations gear up and activities seem to be increasing, it's great to have several super quick and super delicious meals in your arsenal. And if that meal is super healthy, too, then it's a bonus. This salmon fits all three qualifications. Quickly pan fried and then topped with a creamy, mustard-herb sauce, this is a terrific weeknight meal when paired with a steamed veggie or two.

Start by heating the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When it's hot, add the salmon and cook on each side


for 4 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm. Reduce the heat to medium, then add the butter to the skillet,


followed by the green onion and garlic,


and the sage and thyme,


and cook for a minute. Add the wine, and then scrape up any browned bits from the pan. They will add a lot of flavor to the sauce!


Finally, add in the yogurt and milk


and stir until smooth.


Top each salmon fillet with a bit of the sauce, and serve.


One year ago: Apple Cake in the Crock Pot!
Two years ago: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Three years ago: Spicy Sweet Potato and Smoked Sausage Soup
Four years ago: Zesty Cranberry Sauce

Find more great ideas at Mouthwatering Monday, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Melt in Your Mouth, Recipe Sharing, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Tasteful Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff.

Pan Fried Salmon with Dijon Sauce

4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot, diced
1/4 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
3-4 Tbsp. milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Place the salmon in the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until the salmon is fairly firm and the sides are turning opaque/white. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium and melt the butter. Add the garlic, shallot, sage and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute. Stir in the wine and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the yogurt and milk and mustard and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes, until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat and pour the sauce over the salmon before serving.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Cook Like A Champion

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Double Glazed Pumpkin Scones


Who invented scones? I am not sure but I would like to thank them. I think they are one of the best creations ever. And when it's fall, and you want to make all things pumpkin, it's even better. But wait, there's more. These scones are topped with not one, but TWO glazes! First, a "regular" powdered sugar glaze, and then a spiced glaze. Irresistible. Completely irresistible.

I like to use a food processor to make scones - but if you don't have one, just use a large bowl and some arm power.

Start by combining flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg,


cloves and ginger


in a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse or stir to combine. Add the butter; pulse until mixture is crumbly and only small chunks of butter are obvious.


(If you don't have a food processor, just cut in the butter with your fingers, two knives or a pastry blender.)

In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, milk and egg


and whisk until smooth.

Fold the dry ingredients into wet ingredients,


and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide.


Now slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions.


(Note that mine are not equal at all! I'm sure you can do much better.)

Cut each of the portions into four pieces so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.


Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown.


Place on a wire rack to cool.

To make the first glaze, mix the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. When scones are cool, use a brush to spread plain glaze over the top of each scone.


Next, add the cinnamon,


nutmeg, ginger and cloves to the remaining glaze. Drizzle over each scone


and allow the icing to dry before serving (about an hour).


These are just as pretty to look at as they are to eat!


Thank you, scone inventor. Thank you.

One year ago: Sweet Potato Gingersnaps
Two years ago: Lemon Blueberry Bread
Three years ago: Bacon, Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche
Four years ago: Cornbread and Apple Stuffing

Find more inspiration at Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, What's Cooking #2, Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent, Weekly Creative, Blog Strut, Foodie Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday (#2), Friday Flash, TGIF, Friday Food Frenzy, Food on Friday: Scones.

Double Glazed Pumpkin Scones

Scones:
2 cups all-purpose flour
7 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ginger
6 Tbsp. cold butter
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3 Tbsp. 2% milk (or whole milk or half and half)
1 egg

Glazes:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 pinch ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl or in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse or stir to combine. Add the butter; pulse until mixture is crumbly and only small chunks of butter are obvious; set aside. (Or use a fork or your fingers to cut in the butter.)

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, milk and egg. Fold the dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Use a large knife or a pizza cutter to slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.

Bake at 425 for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

To make the first glaze, mix the powdered sugar and milk together until smooth. When scones are cool, use a brush to spread plain glaze over the top of each scone. Next, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves to the remaining glaze.
Drizzle over each scone and allow the icing to dry before serving (about an hour).

Recipe Source: Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Monday, November 11, 2013

Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownies


It has already snowed around these parts, so it's pretty clear that summer is over. So I was pretty excited to see raspberries at Costco the other day, and happily bought two containers. I don't know about you, but summer fruit helps me feel more summery, even if I have to wear gloves to go outside. I concocted these delicious brownies with raspberries thinking it would be a good combination, and I wasn't disappointed. These brownies get even better the second day - as the moisture in the berries leaches out into the chocolate. These are great with vanilla ice cream, and equally good as you stand over the pan and keep cutting off 1/2 inch slices. (Not that I would know anything about that.)

Another great thing about these bars? They only dirty two pans - a saucepan and a 9-inch baking pan!

Start by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Then add the chocolate


and the cocoa


and cook and stir until the chocolate is melted.


Do not overcook - remove from the heat while there are still a few "chunks" of chocolate - when you keep stirring, those chunks will melt.

Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar.


Add the eggs, one at a time,


then add the vanilla and almond extracts.


Now add the flour, baking powder and salt, and stir just until incorporated.


Then add half of the raspberries


and fold them in gently. Transfer the batter to a greased 9-inch baking pan, and press the remaining raspberries into the batter.


Bake for 20-25 minutes or just until set, then cool on a wire rack.


Oh, these are SOOOO good!

One year ago: Ham and Broccoli Roll Ups with Wild Rice Pilaf
Two years ago: Cornbread and Apple Stuffing
Three years ago: Pumpkin Custard Pie (the only pumpkin pie I make!)
Four years ago: Cheesy Vegetable Soup

Find more great stuff at Mouthwatering Monday, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Recipe Sharing, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tasteful Tuesday, Talent Show, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff.

Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

1/2 cup butter
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate
3 Tbsp. cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup flour
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen, divided

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, chocolate and cocoa together over medium low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and almond extract. Gently stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until just incorporated. Gently fold in 1/2 cup raspberries. Transfer to a greased 9-inch baking dish. Press remaining raspberries on top of batter. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until just set. Cool on wire rack. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Makes 16 bars.

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