Tag Archives: dessert

vanilla-kissed snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles – a classic cookie with a classically silly name.

dough

I love baking in the morning – particularly the early morning.  There’s a comfortable quietness hovering like mist over meadows in the dawnlight.  It’s very peaceful.

And if you’re gearing up for holiday baking just as I am, then you could probably use all the peace you can find.  Heeheehee.

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This sort of peace is particularly cinnamon-sugary… and you know, I’m okay with that.

If you’re going to a cookie exchange, looking for a cookie to wash down that piece of pumpkin pie with, or just looking for a bite of delicious simplicity, then you should give snickerdoodles a try. (They’ve certainly never let me down.)

This recipe varies slightly from your typical snickerdoodle in that I added vanilla extract and used vanilla sugar.  Pure cookie perfection.

Vanilla-Kissed Snickerdoodles

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups vanilla sugar, plus more for coating
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus more if necessary (ha, necessary)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift or whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Set this bowl aside.  In another large bowl, beat butter and 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat to fully combine.  Add dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.  Chill dough for about an hour.

Combine remaining vanilla sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl for rolling the balls of dough.  After dough has chilled, use a small ice cream/cookie dough scoop or a rounded teaspoon to form balls of dough – roll these in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Place them two-inches apart on the baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes – until the cookies begin to set and crack.  Let cookies cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely (or as long as you can wait without inhaling one…)

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Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!!  Let the joys of holiday baking commence!

peanut butter cookies & an anniversary

I’ve had this blog for a full year now.

pb cookies

As cliche as it seems I have to admit it; the time certainly flew by and nothing really turned out as I had initially planned in all that time.  Of course, this should come as no surprise to anyone since things seldom turn out as-planned.

I’ve already decided that I’m perfectly okay with that fact.

To celebrate the best continuities in life – family, friends, and a die-hard love of cooking and baking – I decided to bake another batch of peanut butter cookies.

I’ve already posted a gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe on this blog, but I wanted to try my hand at a different recipe.  Also, these particular cookies remind me of an assortment of celebratory things – perfect for a blog-iversary then, yes?

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My brother loves peanut butter cookies.  I am partial to them as well, especially because they remind me of holiday baking with my mom.

All while I was in the kitchen making these, I’m fairly sure my dog thought they were for him; he loves peanut butter too (so clearly, he’s my puppy brother…gah, that commercial cracks me up, especially since the other little girl obviously thinks the first girl’s idea is ingenious).

The little things that make you smile certainly make altering plans worth-while.

Peanut Butter Cookies (adapted from the fabulous Smitten Kitchen)

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (I used smooth)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • additional sugar (about 2 tablespoons) for rolling/sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Whisk or sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

Beat peanut butter and butter together in a large bowl until fluffy.  Add sugars and beat well.  Add egg and beat until smooth & well-mixed.  Add milk and vanilla extract.  Add flour — gradually to make it easier to mix — and mix until completely combined.  Stir in peanut butter and chocolate chips. (I added dark chocolate chips to only half of the dough because I wasn’t certain of my audience’s taste preferences – if I were making them just for me, I would add them to the whole batch – yum!)

Put additional sugar on a plate and drop cookies by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar to cover the pretty cookie tops.  Place cookies on a baking sheet and press cookie tops lightly with a fork in a criss-cross pattern.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Take cookies out of the oven to cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to continue cooling.

outoftheoven

Eat and enjoy as soon as they are cool enough to inhale.

Endless thanks to all of you for reading!  :)

Iced Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies

This last weekend and week have been absolutely crazy…

cookies

I suppose the whole story, if I were to tell it, begins with a tea party…

If you keep up with the blog and recall from the last post, I expressed an interest in having a picnic-type get together with some friends — fortunately, some of my friends had the same thing in mind so I didn’t have to wait long to have my wish granted.

Long story short, I baked cookies…

Because tea parties and friendly gatherings require cookies – it’s an unspoken necessity.

lavender

The tea party attendees happened to be the same crowd that I joined to track down some delectable Lavender Lemonade.  Naturally, I thought it was only fitting to play with these flavors again.  Recalling previous happy food memories while forming new ones  - how could foodie-life get better?

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I’ve made this cookie recipe before as a simple, plain-Jane shortbread.  Smooth, buttery, and not overly sweet, the base for this cookie pairs perfectly with afternoon tea.  Also, it is extremely easy to throw together (always a major plus).  Noting that both floral and citrus notes commonly complement multiple tea varieties, I was sure I could dress this shortbread up for the party with great success.

I’m happy to say I was correct.  Fresh lemon zest and lemon juice make this a vibrantly flavored cookie.  The lavender also brightens the flavor and seems so festive and unique, it is definitely a treat.  If you like lemon desserts at all and you’re feeling a little adventurous, I urge you to try this recipe.

These cookies are sure to be a hit – they certainly were with my friends.

iced

Iced Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies

inspired by Montcarte and cookie recipe modified from Gooseberry Patch

Cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  •  1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
  • zest from 1 ½ lemons
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

For the cookies – Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Cream butter, powdered sugar, lemon and vanilla extracts, and lemon zest together until well-incorporated.  Add flour, one cup at a time and stir in (or mix in with your hands – it’s easier) the dried lavender flowers.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Roll out the dough to about 1/3-inch thickness.  Cut out shapes and place on ungreased baking sheets.  Prick the tops of the cookies with a fork.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden in color and the tops are still light.  Cool on wire racks (with paper towels underneath for when you ice them later).

For the Icing – Whisk together the first three ingredients.  Add one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice at a time with whisking in between.  The goal is to create a smooth icing that is fluid, but not too runny.  After cookies have cooled completely, dip the top of each cookie into the icing and set them on a wire rack to dry.  The icing will dry on the cookie making these beautiful little desserts easy to store in an airtight container while on your way to a swanky tea party.

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These are almost too pretty to eat…

Almost.

Ree’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Recently, the thought occurred to me that it might be high time for some pie.

piesliced

What began as a fleeting whim became an urgent need after catching The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) whipping up a peanut butter pie on her Food Network show…

One of the talented, funny, and overall amazing ladies who first made me want to start baking with a whisk in one hand and a camera in the other – Ree’s humble food-blogging beginnings have transformed into a well-loved blog, another blog that features the tasty creations of other cool & quirky food-bloggers, fantastic cookbooks, a television show, and even some spiffy stories featuring a rather cute basset hound.

Wow.

Hmm…I wonder if her pup likes peanut butter as much as this goof.

goof

Probably.

Anyway, while watching this pie being put together by the Pioneer Woman herself, I was inhaling sipping coffee in shorts and a tank top, knowing full-well that as the morning sun shone on, the temperature was already climbing towards the low nineties.  Needless to say, one of the major selling points of this pie as a summertime dessert was the fact that it wouldn’t require having my oven on all afternoon in June’s sweltering heat.  Getting the crust set in the oven only takes about five minutes time, and while this no-bake pie sets up in the refrigerator, you can cool your heels in the air conditioning or perhaps by a pool.

The overall simplicity of this recipe adds to its appeal too.

Although, I think what really had me swooning was the pie’s crust composition…

cookies

Twenty-five Oreos in a blender.  This is serious business.

Not so serious that you can’t have a cookie while pie-making.

Remember, this is a judgement-free zone.

oreo crust

Judgment-free and full of chocolate cookie crumbs and peanut butter…

I like this place, I may stick around for a while.

mix

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

recipe courtesy The Pioneer Woman

for the crust:

  • 25 whole chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos, of course)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

for the filling:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • one 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
  • one 8 oz. package of whipped topping, like Cool Whip

Preheat the oven for 350 degrees F.  Crush 25 cookies in a blender or food processor.  Melt butter and once cooled, mix melted butter with finely crushed cookies with a fork or in a food processor.  Pour crumb mixture into pie pan and press to form the crust.  Put crust in the oven for about 5 minutes, until crust is set.  Set aside to cool completely.

In a large bowl, whip peanut butter and cream cheese until well-combined (using a hand mixer or using a stand mixer makes this quite easy, indeed).   Gradually add powdered sugar with mixing to combine completely.  Add and mix in Cool Whip.  Once filling is fully-incorporated, pour into the pie crust and smooth the surface with a spatula.  Allow the pie to chill for at least an hour to set before serving.

This pie is very rich, so I suggest a small sliver…maybe with a little ice cream too…

yum

Mmm…pie.