Pecan Sticky Buns

Do you have breakfast plans this weekend? Or are you looking for something sweet to add to your Easter brunch next weekend? If so, you’re in luck, because I have the recipe for the best-ever sticky buns.

These are one of my favorite breakfast treats. My mom made them on occasion when I was a kid, and I was always excited when they made an appearance on the breakfast menu.  I’ve tried a number of other sticky buns since then, and I have yet to find any that are as good as these. They are full of caramel and pecans, with a hint of cinnamon. And they are perfectly gooey and sticky.

Sticky buns may seem intimidating, but they are really pretty simple to make. If you can make a cinnamon roll, you can definitely make these. It starts with a rich yeast dough which is filled with chopped pecans, butter, brown sugar, and a little cinnamon. The topping is just brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, a little more cinnamon, and a ton of pecans.

As always, you can leave the pecans out of both the topping and the filling, or substitute another nut of your choice. Most of the sticky bun recipes I see do not include cinnamon, especially in the topping. I really like it in there, but you can definitely leave it out as well. And you could put whatever you like in the filling – add a handful of raisins or other dried fruit if you’re so inclined, or even some mini chocolate chips if you want to really take it over the top.

 

These are so good, and you probably have everything you need already in your pantry. Make these this weekend or for Easter brunch (or both!). I promise you will love them!

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Pecan Sticky Buns
Servings
Ingredients
Rolls
Topping
Filling
Servings
Ingredients
Rolls
Topping
Filling
Instructions
Dough
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  2. Scald the milk (bring it just to a simmer) and add the butter. Let cool to warm room temperature while the butter softens and partially melts.
  3. Transfer milk mixture and yeast to stand mixer. Add sugar and eggs and mix well with the paddle attachment. (You can also do this by hand with a large spoon).
  4. Add salt and 4 cups flour and mix well with the dough hook attachment (or a spoon).
  5. Continue to knead dough, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour, until dough is only slightly sticky, about 5 minutes with the mixer.
  6. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Topping
  1. Combine all ingredients except pecans in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Boil for 1 minute.
  3. Pour into a greased 9"x13" baking pan and sprinkle with pecan halves. Set aside.
Filling and Assembly
  1. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a small bowl.
  2. Roll dough, once doubled, into a 12"x 22" rectangle.
  3. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with filling.
  4. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting on the short end. (You should end up with a roll 12" long.)
  5. Cut into 1" slices and place, cut side up, onto topping in prepared pan.
  6. Cover and let rise again until doubled. See note to prepare the night before and bake in the morning.
  7. Bake at 350-degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes (no longer!) for the topping to harden slightly.
  9. Invert onto serving platter, scraping any pecans and topping left in the pan onto the top of the rolls.
  10. Enjoy warm! Rolls will keep up to 3 days covered at room temperature, but do yourself a favor and microwave them for a few seconds to rewarm before eating. 🙂
Recipe Notes

Note: To make these the night before, follow instructions until the second rise (in the pan). When rolls are not quite doubled in size, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The next morning, remove from refrigerator and preheat oven. Once oven is preheated, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

  • Substitute pecans for your favorite nut, or leave out completely.
  • Leave out cinnamon in the topping and/or filling if you prefer. If leaving the cinnamon out of the topping, consider adding a pinch to 1/4 teaspoon of salt for that salted caramel flavor.
  • Add fillings of your choice - raisins, dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, etc.
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Lemon Puff Balls

Today I’m bringing you a recipe that is a twist on a childhood favorite of mine – chocolate puff balls. I’ll share that recipe with you soon, but since I just posted a chocolate recipe , I decided to mix things up a bit.

Are you still dealing with winter where you are? Spring seems to have sprung here, much to my dismay. I definitely miss the cold, snowy winters of Cleveland. The spring weather here is finally convincing me to bake things a little less heavy and rich. I have tossed around the idea of lemon puff balls for some time, and this weekend I finally tackled them.

So what is a puffball? It’s nothing mysterious, really. Just a steamed cake, usually served with a warm sauce instead of frosting. The original recipe is a chocolate cake with a vanilla butter sauce. This time, I’ve made a lemon cake with a lemon sauce. I added a drizzle of raspberry sauce as well, but that’s completely optional.

You really could do this with any variety of citrus. And feel free to use a sauce of your choice, or just a dusting a powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream. Chocolate sauce would be great on an orange cake. Or you could just use extra milk in place of the lemon juice (and remove the baking soda) for a vanilla cake and top with citrus sauce or hot fudge.

This is a great recipe for beginner bakers. It is a simple, one-bowl cake recipe that doesn’t require an electric mixer.  However, you do need some ramekins or Pyrex bowls and a steamer. I use four 10-oz Pyrex bowls, but you can use up to six bowls or ramekins, as small as a 5-oz size. Just make sure they are heat-safe. I have large pasta pot with a steamer insert that I use, but you can use any steamer you have, or make your own with a large soup or stock pot.

The cake is fairly light, in both flavor and texture. Which is why I highly recommend adding the sauce to it. The sauce soaks up into the cake to make it extra moist and flavorful. If you’ve never had a puff ball cake before, you definitely need to give these a try. 

 

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Lemon Puff Balls
Servings
Ingredients
Puff Balls
Lemon Sauce
Servings
Ingredients
Puff Balls
Lemon Sauce
Instructions
Puff Balls
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and wisk until combined.
  2. Pour into 4 to 6 greased ramekins or Pyrex bowls (5 to 10 oz each).
  3. Steam cakes in a steamer for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Lemon Sauce
  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened and clear.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir until butter is melted.
  3. Serve warm over puff balls.
Recipe Notes

A drizzle of raspberry sauce adds a nice pop to the lemon cake.

Use any citrus you'd like for both the cake and the sauce. Or omit the citrus sauce and top with warm hot fudge sauce on an orange puff ball.

You can also top with whipped cream or ice cream.

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Mud Pie for Grandpa

I am a long-time collector of recipes. Cookbooks, magazines, recipe cards – I love them all. For years I copied or clipped recipes from all of the above, and I keep them in a set of binders. More recipes than I’ll ever get around to making. As I was looking through those binders looking for inspiration, I came across an old recipe for Mud Pie. It came out of a children’s cookbook, Alpha Bakery by Gold Medal Flour.

Sometime in roughly the mid-90’s, I made this recipe for a family dinner. I don’t remember the exact occasion, but my grandparents, and maybe others, had come to dinner. Anyway, I made the mud pie and we all thought it was delicious. Several months or maybe even a year later, my grandfather asked about the dessert. He wanted me to make it again. He described it as a brownie or cake with whipped cream on it. Well, neither my mom nor I, or anyone else, could remember such a recipe. (I know – that really makes you want to try a recipe we couldn’t remember a relatively short time later.) He continued to talk about it on occasion, and how much he liked it. But we just could not figure out what that recipe was.

My grandpa passed away in 2006, and I still hadn’t figured out what dessert he was remembering. Fast forward several years, when my parents were moving into their current house and I was helping them to pack up. I was looking through all of my mom’s cookbooks while packing them when I came across the Alpha Bakery cookbook. I flipped through it to see if there were any recipes worth saving, and as soon as I saw the Mud Pie recipe I knew that was recipe Grandpa kept asking about. I copied it then and put it into my binder, to be forgotten again until this past weekend. Since his 95th birthday would have been later this week, I knew it was time to make it again.

The base is a rich brownie with chopped nuts. I used slivered almonds because I had some on hand. But you can of course use the nuts of your choice, or leave them out. Replace them with chocolate chips (any flavor) if you’d like. You top the brownie with hot fudge sauce. I used a homemade sauce, but you can definitely use a jarred sauce – fudge sauce, not chocolate syrup. I also think this would be delicious with a caramel sauce instead. Then top it all with whipped cream. I used a stabilized whipped cream, since I knew we wouldn’t eat it all at once. You could use regular whipped cream if you have enough people to serve that there won’t be leftovers. Or Cool Whip works too. But if you are making your own whipped cream, consider playing around with the flavors. Personally, I think a little almond extract in it would be perfect. But strawberry or cherry extract and a little red or pink food coloring would be delicious. Or peppermint extract and green food color for a grasshopper type of pie. The possibilities are endless.

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

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Mud Pie
A dense, fudgy brownie topped with hot fudge sauce and whipped cream. Lightly adapted from Gold Medal Flour's Alpha Bakery
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Brownie Base
Whipped Cream
Course Dessert
Servings
Ingredients
Brownie Base
Whipped Cream
Instructions
Brownie Base
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F and grease an 8-inch cake pan or pie plate.
  2. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and nuts.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean. Time will depend partly on the size of your pan.
  5. As soon as the brownie comes out of the oven, poke it all over with a skewer or fork. Spread the fudge sauce over the brownie and let cool completely.
Whipped Cream
  1. For stabilized whipped cream, combine gelatin and water in a small saucepan and let sit until thick.
  2. Melt gelatin over low heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, remove from heat and cool slightly.
  3. While gelatin cools, whip cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add vanilla. (At this point, for regular whipped cream, whip a little longer until stiff peaks and use immediately.)
  4. Beating slowly, gradually add the cooled gelatin mixture to the whipped cream. It will start to look a little curdled, but beat at low to medium speed just until combine and peaks are stiff.
  5. Spread or pipe onto cooled brownie base.
  6. Serve with shaved chocolate or additional hot fudge sauce.
  7. Store in refrigerator.
Recipe Notes
  • Use any nuts you like, or substitute with any flavor of chocolate chips.
  • Jarred or homemade hot fudge sauce works great. Experiment with flavors. Try caramel sauce, or chocolate-mint fudge sauce instead.
  • Use Cool Whip in place of whipped cream.
  • Or flavor your whipped cream with any extract you like. Enhance with food color if desired. Think mint, strawberry, etc.
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Pumpkin Spice Ghost Munch Caramel Corn

Hi guys! Are you over the pumpkin spice craze yet, or do you have room for more? I hope you’re still into it, but if not, it’s super easy to leave it out of this recipe. In fact, this is super customizable. You can really make it for any holiday or special occasion. But more on that in a minute.

Do you all know what Moose Munch is? It’s a caramel corn by Harry and David that is typically coated in chocolate. It is delicious. This is my take on it, all dressed up for Halloween. And it’s super easy, even with homemade caramel corn. Yes, I said homemade. I promise it’s not hard to make, and you probably have all of the ingredients you need in your pantry right now. Yes, you need a candy thermometer, but they aren’t expensive and it is sooooo worth it.

I love this caramel corn. My mom has been making it for as long as I can remember. She always adds salted peanuts, which I think add the perfect salty component. You can, of course, use whatever nuts you like. But make sure they are salted and roasted. If you don’t use salted nuts, give the caramel corn a heavy sprinkle of sea salt before baking. You’ll thank me later. You can certainly stop once the caramel corn is made, and you would have an absolutely delicous snack. But if you want something special for a holiday or party, or just because, go ahead and add some chocolate. I used chocolate almond bark and pumpkin spice chips, but you can use any chocolate that sounds good to you. Chocolate chips, white chocolate, almond bark, peanut butter chips. Like I said, anything you want.

Candy melts also work well, so it’s super simple to customize the colors. Go for red and green at Christmas. Or red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July. How about some pretty pastels for Easter? Or use your teams colors for a fun tailgating snack. And the sprinkles are optional, but there are so many fun varieties out there, you are sure to find some that will work for whatever event you’re making this for. Put out a big bowl for everyone to much on and it will be gone in no time. Or divide it into individual bags with matching ribbons or tags for a fun party favor. However you decide to customize this, you should definitely give it a try!


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Pumpkin Spice Ghost Munch Caramel Corn
Homemade caramel corn coated in chocolate.
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pop popcorn. You can do this in an air popper, a stir popper, in a pan on the stove, or even in the microwave. You can use a small amount of butter or oil, but you don't wanted seasoned or salted popcorn. You will need 10 cups of popped popcorn.
  2. Combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in a medium to large saucepan and cook over medium to medium-high heat.
  3. Cook and stir until butter is melted and mixture begins to boil. Insert candy thermometer and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, without stirring, until mixture reaches 248 degrees, or firm ball stage.
  4. Remove from heat and carefully stir in the baking soda. The mixture will foam up, which is why you want a larger saucepan than you think you need.
  5. While caramel is cooking, combine popcorn and nuts (if using) in a large greased baking pan. I'm talking about a sheet pan, preferably with 2-inch sides. If you don't have a pan this big, the bottom part of a large broiler pan may work. Or divide evenly between two 13x9-inch cake pans.
  6. Pour caramel mixture (after baking soda has been added) over the popcorn and nuts. Stir well to coat all pieces. If you do not want to use nuts, sprinkle the coated popcorn with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
  7. Move to a 250-degree F oven and cook for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The caramel corn is done when no "loose" caramel is pooling in the bottom of the pan. Everything should be coated onto the popcorn and it shouldn't be too sticky. It will firm up the rest of the way once cooled.
  8. Once caramel corn is cool, melt the chocolate in a large bowl. Toss with 6 cups of the caramel corn until completely coated. Spread onto parchment- or waxed paper-lined baking sheet and let harden. I placed mine in the fridge for a few minutes to help it set.
  9. If using more than one type of chocolate, like I did, melt each type separately. I used 1/2 cup each of pumpkin spice chips and chopped chocolate almond bark. I mixed each type with 3 cups of the caramel corn.
  10. If you want to add sprinkles, add them to the chocolate-coated popcorn before it sets,
  11. Combine coated caramel corn with uncoated and mix well to distribute. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Recipe Notes
  • You can use any type of chocolate or chips that you want. Dark, milk, white, peanut butter. Colored candy melts also work great and make it easy to customize for any holiday or event.
  • Try red and green for Christmas; red, white, and blue for Fourth of July; team colors for tailgating; school colors for graduation.
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Apple Cider Cookies for the Go Bo! Bake Sale

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen recently that I signed up to donate decorated cookies for the Go Bo! Bake Sale. For the whole story, go check out that link. In short, a 12 year-old boy (Bo) was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. While fighting cancer, he started the Go Bo! Foundation to fund cancer research and childhood treatment. The year he passed, a bake sale was planned as a fundraiser for the foundation. A local cookier took to social media to spread the word about the bake sale and ask any other cookiers to donate decorated cookies. That was in 2012, and they raised $5,000 at that bake sale. As word has spread, more and more cookiers have donated. Last year they were able to raise over $30,000!

When I heard about the fundraiser, I knew I wanted to decorate some cookies to donate. I pored over cookie after cookie on Pinterest, and finally settled on a design. It was a hybrid of a few others I had seen out there, and I have to say I really love the way they came out. I made royal icing transfer and then attached them to the flooded cookies. Here are the images I used as templates.

After I knew what design I wanted to create, I had to decide what flavor to make. I love my basic butter cookie recipe, but I wanted something a little more special. So I thought about the apple cider shortbread I had made at Christmas last year. I knew I could combine that idea with my favorite butter cookie, so that’s what I did. Most of the flavor comes from instant hot cider mix, but I felt like it needed another punch of apple flavor, so I reduced some apple cider down to a syrup and mixed that in as well. It was exactly what I was looking for! I think these will be making a reappearance at Christmas this year!

There aren’t a lot of easy substitutions for this recipe. But you could brown the butter and then cool and solidify it before creaming with the sugar. Or, use maple syrup instead of the cider syrup for a hint of maple. And, I suspect you could use instant (sweetened) ice tea mix instead of the cider mix (leaving out the reduced cider syrup) for a summery version of this cookie. In fact, I may try that next summer!

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Apple Cider Cookies
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place apple cider into a saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook until it is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cream butter with sugar and hot cider mix.
  3. Beat in egg, vanilla, and cooled reduced cider.
  4. MIx in salt and flour until well blended.
  5. Depending on how warm your butter was, you may need to chill the dough for up to an hour to make rolling easier.
  6. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to nearly 1/4 inch thickness, and cut out with desired cookie cutter.
  7. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. Cookies should be lightly browned around the edges.
  8. Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely.
  9. Decorate as desired. You can also decorate with sprinkles before baking.
Recipe Notes
  • Use parchment or silicon mats on the cookie sheets if desired.
  • Roll thinner if a crisper cookie is desired.
  • Use maple syrup in place of the reduced cider for a slight variation.
  • Omit the reduced cider and replace the hot cider mix with sweetened ice tea mix for a summery cookie.
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Zucchini Bread – Made with Spaghetti Squash!

Hi Everyone! I know I’ve been pretty absent here this summer, but I promise I am getting back to baking and will be bringing you lots of new recipes soon! I am so ready for fall – fall weather, fall flavors, fall color. It’s my favorite time of year. 🙂

But for those of you still clinging on to summer, and the bounty of your vegetable garden, I have one more summer recipe for you. Actually, with the cinnamon, it tastes like the start of fall, but it’s a great way to use up your squash.

This was originally my mom’s zucchini bread recipe, and people LOVE this bread. It’s got a nice strong cinnamon flavor and is super moist because of the zucchini. I was gifted a spaghetti  squash from a co-worker, and of course I was immediately challenged to bake something with it. I wondered if I could use it in place of zucchini in baked goods. So I did a little research, crossed my fingers, and went for it. 

This is the second recipe I’ve tried using that substitution, and I can’t tell the difference between the original and the spaghetti squash version. Yes – it works! The only difference is that you have to cook, and shred, the spaghetti squash first, whereas the zucchini is shredded and added to the batter raw. Also, you need to measure the squash by weight, since it is much more dense than shredded zucchini. 

Yes, you can absolutely use zucchini as originally intended. And while I used walnuts in mine, as always, the nuts are optional or changeable. Pecans are always delicious in sweet breads. Hazelnuts or macadamia nuts would be really interesting too.  This recipe uses only cinnamon, but you could change that up too. Add in a little bit of nutmeg or cloves for more of a fall flavor. And you can absolutely bake this in standard 8″x4″ loaf pans. I couldn’t resist trying out this beautiful new swirl pan I just got. And I have to say that I am loving it.

Serve this warm or at room temperature. Or toast it and spread on a little butter. Or cream cheese. Or, if you want to go all out, drizzle on some cream cheese icing for a decadent treat. I think I need to go make another batch of this and do just that….


Print Recipe
Zucchini Bread - with Spaghetti Squash!
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
Loaves
Ingredients
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
Loaves
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Whisk eggs and sugar together until thick and very light yellow in color.
  2. Whisk in oil and vanilla until combined.
  3. Stir in shredded zucchini or squash.
  4. Combine dry ingredients and stir into batter along with nuts, if using, just until combined.
  5. Pour into two 8"x4" greased loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees F for 60-70 minutes. (See notes).
  7. Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Serve warm or room temperature.
  8. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature or a week refrigerated.
Recipe Notes
  • Zucchini should be grated raw, with or without the peel.
  • Spaghetti squash should be cooked (steamed or baked) and shredded before adding to batter.
  • If you are using larger loaf pans (like the pan I used, or a 9"x5" pan) the bread will cook faster. Start checking after 35 minutes.
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No Bake Corn Flake Cookies

Oh my goodness you guys, it has been a loooong summer already. Things have been super crazy around here, which is why I haven’t been posting much. But I think things are calming down, so I am hoping to get back to a semi-regular schedule here on the blog.

Also, it has been super hot here the last few weeks, and it looks like it is going to continue for a while. Are you dealing with this extreme heat as well? If you are, and even if you aren’t, you’ll love the next few recipes I’ve got planned for you, since they are all no bake! This first one couldn’t be easier. It is only four ingredients, and you probably have most of them in your pantry now. You only need chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, peanut butter, and corn flakes.

But as always around here, there are lots of ways you can customize it. The original recipe, which my family has made for years, uses marshmallows in place of the corn flakes and presses in into a 9″x13″ pan. My college roommate once made something similar with corn flakes. Since I am not a fan of marshmallows (that original dessert is just about the only way I eat them), I loved that twist on the bars. You can use either marshmallows or unsweetened cereal, or a combination of both. If you don’t like corn flakes, I would try something like Chex cereal, or even Rice Krispies. You want something that isn’t too dense. You could also stir in some nuts or even dried fruit if that’s your thing.

These cookies are simple and quick to put together, and they won’t heat up your kitchen. They aren’t fancy, but they are delicious. I hope you try them, because I know you will love them!

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No Bake Corn Flake Cookies
Servings
cookies
Servings
cookies
Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter in a large bowl in the microwave, or a large pot on the stove top on medium-low.
  2. Stir in corn flakes, gently, until completely coated.
  3. Scoop with a large ice cream scoop onto parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Store at room temperate, for softer and slightly sticky cookies, or in the refrigerator for firmer (and less messy) cookies.
Recipe Notes
  • For bars, press into a greased 9"x13" pan. Refrigerate until firm before cutting.
  • Use 2 (10 oz) packages of mini marshmallows in place of the corn flakes.
  • Use a combination of marshmallows and corn flakes.
  • Use any other cereal of your choice - preferably an airy cereal like Chex or Rice Krispies.
  • Substitute 1 cup of cereal (or marshmallows) with 1 to 2 cups of nuts or dried fruit.
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Coffee Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking you don’t need another chocolate chip cookie recipe. But you’re wrong. Because not only is this cookie delicious and different than most of your chocolate chip cookie recipes, this one doesn’t have to be a chocolate chip cookie.

This recipe is based off of a recipe we made all the time as kids. We always had homemade cookies in our school lunch. Always. (My mom is the best. 🙂 ). The oatmeal chocolate chips cookies were a regular and a favorite. I was thinking about them the other day, and I thought they might be improved with a bit of coffee. (I was right). I made a few other changes (took out one egg white, used all brown sugar, melted the butter) to make them even chewier. Also a good idea.

But as I said, these don’t have to be chocolate chip cookies. In fact, the original recipe called for either chocolate chips OR shredded coconut. You could absolutely make that substitution here. Or add chopped nuts. Or dried fruit (you know, like raisins, if you’re in to that kind of thing). Or any combination of the above. The coffee is not an overwhelming flavor, but it really does add an interesting element to the cookie. Yes, you can leave it out. Or, if you want a real coffee punch, use up to twice the amount I’ve called for.

One thing you shouldn’t do is skip the chilling the dough step. Especially when using the melted butter, you really need to chill the dough to get a thicker, chewy cookie. Unless you want a thinner, crispier cookie. In which case, you should bake these as soon as they are mixed. (But seriously, why would you want that??) Whatever way you make these, you should definitely make them soon. I was informed that these are “husband approved”, and that I didn’t need to bring these in to the office to share. (Sorry guys!) 🙂

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Coffee Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Servings
cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine melted butter and brown sugar and mix well.
  2. Add egg, egg yolk, coffee (dissolved in water), and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips or other mix-ins.
  5. Refrigerate dough at least 30 minutes.
  6. Scoop chilled dough by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheets.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and just set. Do not overbake.
  8. Cool completely on wire rack. Store in airtight container up to a week.
Recipe Notes
  • Use any flavor chips you like.
  • Substitute chopped nuts, shredded coconut, and/or dried fruit.
  • Use any combination that sounds good to you!
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Unicorn Pizzelles Three Ways: Cookies, Sandwiches, and Stroopwafels

Hi everyone! Is it too late to jump on the unicorn bandwagon? 

What a busy spring it has been. I was out of town for work most of the last month, and when I finally got back I had this small matter of my wedding to attend to. 🙂 It turned out to be a beautiful day, at least for the few hours we needed it to be. It stormed the night before and then again that afternoon, but in the late morning it dried up and the sun actually peeked out a little bit. It was a small ceremony, with only the two of us and the pastor (and photographer), but it was perfect, and everything we wanted it to be. I made my own wedding cake – I know, everyone says not to do it – but it turned out great. I made one of the geode cakes that has become so popular lately. Do you want to see a picture?

So, as you can see, I have been busy, and I have been baking. I just haven’t had time to do much for this blog. But I got a pizzelle maker from my parents for the wedding, and I knew I had to do something fun with it. Since I hadn’t made any unicorn treats yet, and they seem to be so popular, I decided it was time. And because I just can’t leave something well enough alone, I made a couple of variations.

Of course the “plain” cookie is delicious, but I also used a circle cutter to cut smaller circles and filled those with white chocolate buttercream. Then I rolled them in sprinkles. Because unicorn cookies need sprinkles. And for the larger cookies, I filled some with a caramel stroopwafel filling. Stroopwafels are a pizzelle-like cookie from the Netherlands filled with a cinnamon caramel. I had never had one, but they sounded delicious – and they are. Apparently you can place it over a steamy mug of coffee or tea, and that will warm the cookie and filling slightly, making it even better.

Pizzelles are so easy to make. Yes, you need a pizzelle iron, but they are totally worth it. They are a really simple batter, and they cook up so fast you can make a ton of cookies pretty quickly. And, they work perfectly with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend if you are GF.  You can flavor them with any extract you want. And you can fill them with almost anything. They make great ice cream sandwiches. Or curl them into an ice cream cone while they are still warm. Or spread on some peanut butter, or Nutella, or cookie butter….

If you aren’t into unicorns, go with darker colors and make galaxy-inspired cookies. Or, with graduation season upon us, color these with your school colors. They would be great for a graduation party! However you make them, you should make them soon!


Print Recipe
Unicorn Pizzelles Three Ways
Basic pizzelles, with two optional fillings.
Servings
Ingredients
Pizzelles
White Chocolate Buttercream
Stroopwafel Filling
Servings
Ingredients
Pizzelles
White Chocolate Buttercream
Stroopwafel Filling
Instructions
Pizzelles
  1. Beat eggs and sugar with the whisk attachment of an electric mixer until light yellow in color, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add vanilla and cooled, melted butter and mix until combined.
  3. Sift together flour and baking powder, and gently stir into egg mixture.
  4. If desired, divide into three equal portions and color each portion a different color.
  5. Place each color into a small disposable piping bag, cut off the ends, and place all three into a larger piping bag.
  6. Or, using a long spatula, place the three colors side-by-side in the large piping bag.
  7. Preheat and grease a pizzelle iron according to manufacturers directions.
  8. Pipe about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter onto each circle and bake 25-35 seconds.
  9. Remove from iron with a spatula and place flat onto a wire rack to cool.
  10. For smaller cookies, use about 1/2 tablespoon batter and cook for 15-20 seconds.
  11. As soon as cookies come off of the iron (you have about 15 seconds tops), use a 2 to 3 inch round metal cookie cutter to cut a circle out of the middle of the cookie. Cool on wire rack as above.
White Chocolate Buttercream
  1. Combine chocolate chips and cream in a microwavable bowl.
  2. Microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips are melted. (You are making a white chocolate ganache.)
  3. Cool ganache to room temperature, either on the counter or in the refrigerator.
  4. Place buttercream into a bowl, and beat in cooled ganache.
  5. Sandwich two small pizzelles together with the white chocolate buttercream, and roll edges in sprinkles if desired.
Stroopwafel Filling
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 234 to 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove from heat and cool slightly, no more than 5 minutes.
  3. Working quickly, and CAREFULLY (it's hot sugar!), spread about 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture on one full-size pizzelle and top with another cookie.
  4. If the mixture gets too thick before you finish filling cookies, place the pan back on the burner on low until the mixture starts to thin back out.
Recipe Notes
  • Use any extract you like. Anise is a traditional flavor for pizzelles.
  • Use any colors you like, or leave it uncolored and drop by spoonfuls instead of piping the batter.
  • Fill the cookies (or not) with any filling you like. Ice cream, buttercream, Nutella, etc.
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Cherry Chocolate Chip No-Churn Ice Cream

Is it warm enough for ice cream where you live? It’s been warm off and on here, but the truth is we will eat ice cream all year long. 🙂

Do you remember the cherry curd I made? I mentioned at the time that you could swirl it into ice cream, and that’s exactly what I did with it! I have made a few no-churn ice creams over the years, and I have to say that I love them. I have an ice cream maker as well, and have made traditional ice cream too, but I really do love the simplicity and texture of the no-churn varieties.

It only takes a few ingredients for the base, and it is endlessly customizable. And there is no chill time, then churn time, then freezer time like traditional ice cream. You mix the ingredients together and stick it in the freezer for a few hours to harden. That’s it. Homemade ice cream in six hours or so. You really can’t beat that!

So the base starts with just a can of sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream. Whip the cream to firm peaks and fold it into the condensed milk. For vanilla ice cream, just add some vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste. Or go crazy with your add-ins. Choose any other extract that sounds good to you. Stir in nuts or chocolate pieces, or drizzle in fudge sauce or caramel. Or do like I did and fold in cherry, or any fruit, curd. You can stir in some cocoa powder to the sweetened condensed milk before adding the whipped cream. I made one that called for a melting peanut butter into the condensed milk before adding the whipped cream.

For this particular recipe, I folded about a cup of the cherry curd into the base along with about a half cup of mini chocolate chips. I prefer the mini chips in ice cream because they aren’t as hard to eat when frozen as a larger chip is. I stirred the curd almost completely into the base, but you can leave it as streaky as you’d like. Place the mix into a freezer-safe container, and add a drizzle of curd to the top. Cover tightly and freeze for four to six hours, or until the ice cream is hard.

This no-churn ice cream is so smooth and creamy, I really do prefer it to regular ice cream any more. And it’s so easy to make, there really is no excuse not to try it! 


Print Recipe
Cherry Chocolate Chip No-Churn Ice Cream
Course Dessert
Servings
Course Dessert
Servings
Instructions
  1. Beat the heavy cream with an electric mixer until firm peaks form.
  2. Fold the whipped cream into the condensed milk until almost fully combined.
  3. Fold in the cherry curd and chocolate chips until well distributed or fully incorporated, depending on your preference.
  4. Place into a freezer-safe container and freeze for 4 to 6 hours, or until ice cream is firm.
Recipe Notes

Variations:

Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla or any other extract to the sweetened condensed milk before folding in the whipped cream.

Stir in any nuts or candies of your choice (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups total) after folding in whipped cream.

Melt 2/3 cup peanut butter and mix into the condensed milk before folding in the whipped cream.

Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup cocoa powder to the condensed milk before folding in the whipped cream.

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