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Monday, February 25, 2013

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soon the month of February will be ending.  We will enter into March and be that much closer to the season of Spring here in New England.  This reality makes my heart happy!  I completely LOVE spring time.  I love the newness, the gentle greenness, the fresh sweet smells and all the precious new beginnings that often come with Spring. 

Just as much as I adore Spring I love a good cookie recipe.  I think it has to with being a mom as my girls live for cookies!  Especially chocolate chip cookies. 

I thank the lovely Emily from Life on Food for sharing this cookie recipe that I share with all of you today. I discovered Life on Food  through my February assignment for February's Secret Recipe Club.  I had a wonderful time browsing through Emily's blog to pick the recipe I would make.  I really did try and find a recipe that wasn't sweet or baked.  I wanted to prove to all of you that I do in fact make things that are not baked. Such recipes that don't have sugar and butter in the them but rather veggies, pasta or even tomato sauce.  Unfortunately, the jar of Cookie Butter (that can be purchased at Trader Joe's) that was in my pantry had to be used.  Yes, it had to be used or else it would continue to be snuck out for a finger lick here and a finger there.  So yes, I followed my heart and my usual path of happiness and baked up a batch of Cookie Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The original recipe from Life on Food is actually called, Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookies but because of the necessity of my need to use the Cookie Butter I substituted the CB for the Biscoff. It worked out just perfect.  The cookies were soft.  The cookies were perfectly sweet with the hint of spice and richness that came from the Cookie Butter.  I was completely delighted with this recipe.  A definite recipe to be repeated!
Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
           ( slightly adapted recipe from Life on Food )
1 stick (8oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup Cookie Butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Cream together butter, Cookie Butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla extract.  Mix well all together.
3. In a large bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Scoop out balls of batter onto prepared cookie sheets.  Slightly flatten with the bottom of a flour dusted glass if you wish.
5. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes depending on what size your cookies are.  I made pretty big cookies so it took closer to 12 minutes.
6. Allow cookies to cool for as long as you wish and enjoy! Store in a large sealed bag or container.

Happy Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Baking!

This recipe has been linked up to Inside BruCrew Life for Trick or Treat Tuesday!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Banana Bread Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze

I really did think I had seen it all when it comes to baking with bananas.  I have made dozens and dozens of banana breads! Such as Blond Banana Bread and Raisin Banana Bread.  I have baked cupcakes with bananas, muffins, coffee cake and bundt cakes too.  I have even made luscious banana desserts layered with creamy whipped cream and tender cookies.  But, I have yet to bake scones with bananas.  That is until just recently.  My baking world has since been shaken with happiness with discovery of this recipe of these amazing scones.
The scones themselves are not too sweet and have the lovely existence of a moist banana bread texture.  The brown sugar glaze that is poured on top is completely outstanding and brilliant.  I'm sorry but you truly can not make these scones without the presence of the glaze.  It just would not be fair to your taste buds.  I telling you do NOT skimp on the glaze and leave it out of this recipe.  You will highly regret it if you do.  End of story.
Go ahead and grab those precious ripe bananas and whip up this recipe.  You will be so glad you did.
Banana Bread Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze
(recipe discovered from the oh, so talented food blog of Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice)
Scone Batter Ingredients:
2 large, ripe bananas - to equal about 1 cup mashed (I used 3 small)
4 Tbsp milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
4 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup chopped walnuts - optional
Glaze Ingredients:
1 Tbsp salted butter
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4-1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
raw sugar for sprinkling over top of scones
1. Mash bananas and if needed add in enough milk (from the 4 Tbsp's) to equal 1 cup.  Stir in milk, yogurt/sour cream and vanilla extract to mashed bananas.  Set mixture aside.
2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Add in butter pieces using a fork, pastry cutter or your finger tips until butter pieces are not bigger than the size of a pea. 
3. Add banana mixture into dry mixture.  Stir just until all of flour has been combined. Stir in chopped walnuts at this point if using them.
4. Place a piece of parchment paper over large dinner plate and then form scone dough into a disk on top.  The disk of dough should be at least 1" thick. Cover dough with another piece of parchment paper.  Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
5. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Flip scone dough onto a cookie sheet with the top piece of parchment paper being the lining of the cookie sheet. Peel off the second layer of parchment paper. Slice 8 wedges from the scone disk - pull them slightly apart to give them some room to expand.
6.  Bake for 25-27 minutes, until scones are firm to the touch and have light golden brown edges.  Cool completely and cut apart any scones that baked together.
7. Make glaze by melting butter and milk together in a large glass measuring cup in microwave for 30 seconds.  Add in brown sugar and vanilla extract.  Stir well to combine.  If needed microwave mixture an additional 30 seconds to allow for sugar to melt completely into butter/milk.   Whisk in confectioner's sugar - 1/4 cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency of a thick glaze. Pour glaze over scones and then sprinkle with raw sugar if desired.  Serve and enjoy!

Happy Banana Bread Scones with Brown Sugar Glaze Baking!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chocolate Ribbon Coffee Cake with a Milk Chocolate Ganache

Go ahead and try and reach through your screen to take a little finger scoop of that ganache. I dare ya!.... I know you want to.  How can you not when you see all that lovely chocolate yumminess right in front of you!?! And then of course seeing that pretty bundt cake of a coffee cake creation underneath the chocolate ganache probably doesn't help matters much either. I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry to be teasing you with such a delicious cake.  I will never, never, never do it least not again today.  I can't promise what will happen in the future. ;-)
 As soon as I saw this lovely cake on Louanne's blog I took immediate action and printed off the recipe right away.  And then the skys opened up and a lovely group of ladies fell upon me.  A group of talented ladies that bake together (virtually) on a monthly basis from the cookbook called, Coffee Cakes - Simple, Sweet and Savory by Lou Seibert Pappas . 
The baking group is called, The Home Bakers.  I immediately took action and joined the group.  I could not be more delighted to have joined this group as ALL of the recipes in Lou's book are amazing!  AMAZING!!!

 Without fail coffee cakes make my heart do a little pitter patter dance of happiness.  In my world coffee cakes represent sweetness of friendship, closeness of family and surprises all around.  Coffee cakes can be eaten anytime of the day in my book. Morning, noon or night.  And they taste best when shared with others...especially over a hot cup of tea, coffee or even better, hot chocolate.  Happiness is life filled with coffee cakes.
Fruit is often found in these special cakes.  Then again so are spices and nuts and dried fruit.  Even better chocolate simply lives to be a in coffee cake.  Thus the beauty and reality of this Chocolate Ribbon Coffee Cake is magic.  The magic comes from the tender and light crumb of the cake that surrounds chocolate, nuts and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon.  Perfection.  Milk chocolate ganache was my desired addition to this cake. You can do as I did or leave the cake plain. Either way you will make the right choice.
If you do choose to top your cake with a ganache here is the recipe I used.....
Milk Chocolate GANACHE
*1/4 cup heavy cream
*1 bag milk chocolate morsels
In a large sauce pan heat heavy cream over medium heat just until steam begins to rise from the cream.  Remove sauce pan from heat and carefully stir in milk chocolate morsels.  Stir until morsels are completely melted and incorporated into the heavy cream.  Ganache will thicken as it cools.  Pour over cake.  Any remaining ganache can be stored in refrigerator in a sealed container.  Heat in microwave for 30-60 seconds to enjoy over ice cream, cakes or your finger.
Please visit the lovely Louanne's Kitchen for the full recipe of this cake.
Happy Chocolate Ribbon Coffee Cake Baking!
This recipe has been linked up to Trick or Treat Tuesday at Inside BruCrew Life and Buns in My Oven - What's Cookin' Wednesday :-)


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