Pecan Shortbread Biscotti

The word “biscotti” literally means twice baked in Italian.  The fact that we are baking something twice might make this recipe sound complicated, but it’s really not!  This biscotti is sooo- buttery and very light and sweet.  You will enjoy it down to the last crumb.IMG_0269BISCOTTI.

This is special biscotti.

This recipe is more like biscotti meets shortbread cookie meets butter pecan–and then dip it into a steamy hot cup of joe.

It is SO. STINKIN’. GOOD. IMG_0293Making biscotti is really not any more advanced than making cookies.  You really don’t have to do anything fancy other than separating it into two log shapes.IMG_0262And then once that is baked, you slice it as thin or thick as you would like, and put the slices back into the oven.IMG_0273Flip those bad boys over and put the pan into the oven for its final hurrah!IMG_0299.jpgI’m telling ya, invite some friends over, and watch those caffeinated comrades of yours devour every last bite of this delectable biscotti!  Ciao!

Pecan Shortbread Biscotti

  • Servings: 36-40 slices
  • Difficulty: Not difficult, time consuming
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What you need:

  • 3 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease well.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together at medium speed until creamy (just a minute or so).
  3. Add extracts and beat in eggs one at a time, mixing into butter/sugar.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together flour and baking powder with a fork.
  5. Add flour mixture to creamed butter/sugar/eggs and mix until well combined.
  6. Fold pecans into batter.
  7. Shape into two logs.  (I would divide the dough into two similar-sized sections, then shape them into two log shapes.  They should be 2″ wide and about 10″ long.)
  8. Place the logs side by side on prepared baking sheet and place in oven.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  10. Remove from oven and slice logs into slices- should make 18-20 slices per log.
  11.  Turn slices flat to one side on the cookie sheet and bake in oven for additional 15 minutes or so.
  12. Remove from oven, flip slices over, and bake for the final 15 minutes until crispy and golden.
  13. ENJOY with a hot cup of coffee!

 

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Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re gluten free, you’ll love this recipe.  Even if you’re not, you will love this recipe! The peanut butter flavor is exploding out of these crumbly, delicate, little cookies.  It’s like eating peanut butter from a jar…well, minus that awkward stuck-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth feeling.  Peanut butter, sugar, and mini chocolate chips.  NO FLOUR! Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 2 Are any of you guys angry eaters?

Like, okay, we have all heard of emotional eaters.  But I am not going to call myself an emotional eater because A) that sounds like a horrible condition, and B) I don’t get hungry with every emotion I feel.  If I am sad, I’m sad.  Don’t shove a hot dog in my face–I want a hug, sheesh.  If I am exceptionally happy, I am happy and I want to buzz around and be energetic and productive and maybe even a little annoying. I don’t have time to think about eating.

I do a pretty good job watching what I eat throughout the day.  I have a pretty balanced diet and try to not to overdo it.

Wellllll…make me angry…and that’ll all change reeeaaal quick.Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 1

I had a long, crazy day at work and I just wanted to come home and relax for five whole minutes before I had to make dinner.  I walk in the front door, and the first thing I see is my husband and he is up to his elbows in WORK.  He brought work home with him…grrr.  So there’s that.  Then, I realize he has already eaten something for dinner so now I can’t make what I was planning on anymore.  A handful other things bug me on my way to our room; my totally not leak proof water cup tips over as I am carrying it under my arm and water seeps out all over me and I trip on my way into the closet as I am trying to kick off my heels.  Game…OVER. Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 3I am ticked.  Hangry at this point.  I don’t want to make anything.  I am scrounging through the cupboards and opening the fridge again and again in my attempt to find a quick fix.  I grab the caramel corn.  I eat a handful of that.  I see the bag of mini marshmallows and shove some of those down, too.  I’m pacing around the kitchen blowing off some steam.  Finally, I walk to our tall cabinet and I just stand there staring into it, processing everything that has just occurred.  Then something catches my eye…it’s Cap’n Crunch.  Crunch Berries, of course.  I ate it.  And, it wasn’t even that good.

FYI: I DO NOT EAT CEREAL.  LIKE, EVER.

What have I become?

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 6

Well, my emotions got the best of me.  I am certainly an angry eater.

I am an angry eater who had nothing but sugar for dinner tonight.

Let’s hope this warm spearmint tea can make me forget.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: Makes 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: You cannot mess this up
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What you need:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
  2. Line ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper (optional)
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl
  4. Form about 1 inch round balls (one tablespoon dough) and place on cookie sheet
  5. Using a fork, press and flatten each ball just slightly
  6. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes.*
  7. Let cookies cool completely before transferring from pan
  8. ENJOY with a glass of cold milk!

 

*Note: the cookies should still look semi-fluffy and on the verge of not being done.  10 minutes is typically the longest I have gone.  Be sure to let them cool, otherwise, they’ll fall apart!  I did try to make them in a mini-muffin tin, but they need to cook a bit longer and cool MUCH longer before you can successfully transfer them from the tin.  Perhaps cook them the day before you transfer them?  Let me know if you get creative with this recipe!

 

Karlie

 

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookie 4

 

Lucky Charms Crunch Bark

I took one of my beloved childhood favorites and covered it in white chocolate.  Holllllller.  To add a sweet/salty snack element, I added white cheddar popcorn to the recipe and served it in a bowl as a snack mix/bark.  I made one pan with popcorn and one without.  I like the one with popcorn better.  However, both are absolutely, positively, “magically delicious”!IMG_8250We are halfway through March, people!  That means that Spring is finalllllly within reach! Halllllllelujah!  It cannot come soon enough.  We have all “sprung forward”, my mom is already asking about our Easter plans, and people are leaving on trips for Spring Break.  And, speaking of Spring Break trips, Joey and I are leaving for good ol’ Mississippi on Saturday.  It will be my first trip to the South, and I’ve never been more excited for humidity, swampland, and authentic Southern food.  More updates on that in the coming weeks!

But for now, back to this chocolate-covered cereal. IMG_8301I figured I had to post something St. Patrick’s Day-ish.  So this is what I came up with.  This crunchy, sugary-sweet bark recipe is stinkin’ addicting.  I made (and documented) the first batch using just Lucky Charms and a package of white almond bark.  You just separate the cereal–marshmallows in one bowl and hard cereal pieces in another–and melt the white chocolate (I used almond bark), combine it, and voila!  It turned out spendidly.  Earlier this week, though, I decided to make another batch for our bible study group.  I just felt like it needed a little more salty-sweet action.  Want to know what I did?  I bought a bag of White Cheddar Smartfood Popcorn and mixed it in!  It was the crown jewel.  My friends could not get enough of it.  (See additional pictures at the bottom of post.) IMG_8033First you separate the hard pieces from the marshmallows (and try not to eat all the marshmallows). If you are adding popcorn like I did, you can layer the popcorn evenly with the cereal pieces at this point. IMG_8071Then you want to melt a pound of white chocolate or almond bark and pour it onto the cereal bits.  You’ll have to mix it together and then spread it out again to make sure it all sticks together in the end. Let’s make it pretty!IMG_8184Add your marshmallows and push down gently so that they stick into the white chocolate.  Let it sit for a few hours and break it all up!  You’ll be in your own Lucky Charms heaven. 

Lucky Charms Crunch Bark

  • Servings: As many or few as you'd like
  • Difficulty: super easy
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What you need:

  • box of Lucky Charms cereal, separated into 2 cups dry cereal and 2 cups marshmallows
  • pound of white almond bark or white chocolate
  • white cheddar popcorn (optional)

What to do:

  1. Get out a baking sheet or jelly-roll pan and line it with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Spread dry cereal pieces onto lined baking sheet. (If you are adding popcorn, do this now.)
  3. Melt your white chocolate according to package instructions- you MUST heat in intervals.
  4. Pour melted chocolate over cereal and mix gently to combine, pat cereal back together to form a layer again.
  5. Before chocolate hardens, top with marshmallows and press down lightly- just enough that you don’t break marshmallows, but hard enough that they stick into the bark.
  6. Let your creation cool and harden.
  7. Break into pieces and serve!
  8. ENJOY!

Notes: If you’re a sweet and salty addict like me, I’d suggest adding the popcorn to the mix.  Check out the photos below:IMG_8444IMG_8446IMG_8497IMG_8508

Fresh Strawberry Cookies

These bright pink cookies are made with REAL strawberries!  They’re extra fluffy, super moist, and loaded with strawberry flavor.  I don’t know if you noticed but…they’re PINK! These are the perfect treat for any pink occasion! heartcookie So!  Valentine’s Day is on Saturday!  That’s exciting, right?  Anybody else excited?

….?

Okay! Moving right along…

I figured since love is in the air this time of year I would post a recipe for something that you might love.  It is safe to say that I love these cookies, so I hope you do too.  They are bright pink, which is kind of a funny color for a cookie, but they taste really good!  Let me describe how they taste:  let’s say you had a moist, fluffy, frosted strawberry cupcake in your hands.  If you took that cupcake and flattened it in between your hands and shaped it into a round cookie, you would have a….mashed up, sticky, not-so-pretty strawberry cupcake cookie.  However, it would still taste good!  If you love the taste of strawberry cupcakes, but you’d prefer a sophisticated cookie over a messy cupcake, you will love this recipe! IMG_6670I have a confession.  The only reason I’m beyond excited for Valentine’s Day this year is because I’ve convinced myself that my boyfriend is going to propose.  I really shouldn’t get my hopes up, though.  Any time we go out somewhere, I start to think it is going to happen.  So it probably won’t happen.  But I think about it all the time. It’s BAD.

That is all I am going to say about that.

Cookies! heartcookie4 

Fresh Strawberry Cookies

  • Servings: Makes around 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • red food coloring

For the frosting:

  • 3 oz box strawberry jello
  • block of cream cheese, softened
  • powdered sugar
  • water

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Place strawberries in a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed or liquefied. Set aside. (If you don’t have those things, mash strawberries with a fork until they are a pulp.)
  3.  In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add in pureed strawberries and mix until evenly blended.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda with a fork.
  7. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture one cup at a time and mix well. (Batter will be thick.)
  8. Stir in pecans and 5-10 drops of red food coloring to the dough if you’d like.
  9. Drop tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350(F) until edges are slightly brown.

**While cookies are cooling, you can make a simple frosting!

  1. In a small bowl, blend together a block of cream cheese and a package of strawberry jello using an electric mixer.
  2. Beat powdered sugar into mixture and add drops of water until you reach desired frosting consistency.
  3. Frost cookies with a spoon, or place frosting in Ziploc bag, cut the corner, and decorate!
  4. ENJOY!

 

NOTES** Frosting these cookies is the key to making them exceptionally moist!  You can create just about any frosting you want.  I frosted mine in several different ways and stored them in a sealed container and they stayed moist until they were all gone!  I also tried rolling some dough up into plastic wrap (like a tube) and threw it into the freezer to bake later.  This works just as well!  It’s kind of like slice and bake cookies from there! If you tend to like a little less sweet, opt for no frosting, but keep these cookies sealed up in storage for moisture!

Birthday Rice Krispie Treats

Sprinkles make me SO happy!  This recipe makes me happy too!  Easiest birthday treats ever! Cake mix + Rice Krispie Treats + SPRINKLES!  birthday2HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR KARLIEEEEEE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE!

Today is indeed my birthday!  Hooray!  I am officially 24 years old. Weird. The big 2-4.  This is the first birthday I’ve had where I feel like I am actually getting older.  23 didn’t seem too bad last year, but 24…not sure how I feel about it.

Birthdays.  Gotta love ’em!  Since it is my birthday, I thought it would be nice to share a fun little birthday treat recipe!  It is pretty darn easy.  If you have ever made Rice Krispie Treats successfully, I will guarantee you can handle this one.  It’s literally the same as making those, but you add one other ingredient to bring out the birthday flavor: cake mix! birthday Tell me this picture doesn’t make you happy?!  They’re chewy, gooey, marshmallow-y, and festive!  Any person at any age will appreciate this fun recipe! These treats are great, too, if you are in a hurry because you can whip them up in like 5 minutes.birthday5 

Birthday Rice Krispie Treats

  • Servings: Makes 12-15 squares
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 (10 oz) bag of large marshmallows (or mini)
  • 2/3 cup of dry yellow or white box cake mix (dry mix straight from the box, not batter)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of sprinkles of your choice

What to do:

  1. Grease a pan of your choice (8″x 8″, 11″x 7″, or 9″x 13″) and set aside.
  2. Over low heat on stove, melt butter in large saucepan.
  3. When butter is melted, add entire bag of marshmallows and stir constantly.
  4. Stir in dry cake mix when marshmallows are completely melted.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in cereal.
  6. When cereal is coated, mix in half of sprinkles. (Don’t mix too much or the sprinkles won’t be as pretty!)
  7. Press into greased pan and top with remaining sprinkles.
  8. For firmer treats, let sit 30 minutes before cutting into squares.
  9. ENJOY!

 

 

 

I got the idea from: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/03/25/cake-batter-rice-krispie-treats/

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my favorite recipe for all things Chocolate Chip Cookie.  No doubt about it.  I’ve used the same recipe to make cookies, cookie bars, and even little cookie bowls!  I’ve never had a cookie recipe that is so multipurpose! choc3I don’t know what it is about Chocolate Chip Cookies, but they rule the roost in the dessert world.  If someone asked me what my favorite dessert was, I wouldn’t necessarily say it was Chocolate Chip Cookies.  BUT, for some reason, whenever I make them, the dough tastes so good that I can’t stop eating it.  It’s like the Chocolate Chip Cookies get into my brain!  Wait, here’s another good one: I wake up in the morning and I am feeling extra “good”, so when I make my coffee, I have it with almond milk and a little Stevia instead of loading it with creamer.  Good job, right?  Wrong.  My eyes are immediately drawn to the Chocolate Chip Cookies and I decide I’ll eat two of those for breakfast instead of real food.  WHAT?!  …Like I said, Chocolate Chip Cookies seem to dominate the {dessert} world.

They own me.choc5My Uncle Jim is the one who got me into these Chocolate Chip Cookies.  He lives in a small town in Northern Illinois and people know him as “The Cookie Man”.  I’ll never forget the time I went to his house and he showed me his ways.  Here are three things he taught me that affect how good (or bad, I guess) your cookies will turn out.  You have to have the perfect combination of white and brown sugar.  If you don’t, your cookies will flatten out or burn to a crisp.  Another helpful hint is to use instant vanilla pudding in the recipe.  It adds an all-around better taste than adding vanilla extract to your cookies.  Lastly, you need to beat in your eggs separately.  A lot of people overlook that step.  Don’t forget to mix them in separately!   choc8

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: About 4 dozen
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 3.5oz package instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. In a large bowl, cream softened butter, brown and white sugars, and vanilla pudding with mixer until smooth.
  3. Beat in one egg. Then, beat in second egg.
  4. In small bowl, measure 2 1/2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix with fork.
  5. Add flour mixture to butter and sugar mixture slowly and mix until combined.
  6. Mix in bag of chocolate chips by hand.
  7. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets, about 1-2 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 11-13 minutes until just barely golden for chewy cookies. (If you want crunchy cookies, cook until golden.)
  9. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to plate!
  10. ENJOY!

**Notes: This recipe is extremely versatile.  If you want to whip up a batch of cookies and store the rest in the fridge for later, go for it!  Just keep your dough covered.  The cookies are just as yummy if the dough is chilled.   Also, if you want to make cookie bars instead, just use a 9″x13″ pan and bake them until the tops are golden.  Those are divine.

 

 

 

Nutter Butter Truffles

nutterbutter3When I was in college, my roommate crushed up some cookies, added cream cheese and then covered little scoops in white almond bark.  I have been tainted ever since.  End of story.

Truffles are habit-forming.  Literally.

hab·it–form·ing

adjective \ˈha-bət-ˌfȯr-miŋ\

: causing a strong need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something

:  inducing the formation of an addiction

Mmhm...check, and…check.  Truffles cause a need in my life.  My roommate made her truffles with Oreo cookies back in the day.  I took it a step further and tried it out with Nutter Butter cookies.  My oh my, the results were astounding.  nutterbutter4

Nutter Butter Truffles

  • Servings: Makes 25-35 truffles (varies by size)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 16oz package of Nutter Butter cookies
  • 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 24 oz block of vanilla almond bark/vanilla coating
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • cocoa powder for garnish

What to do:

  1. Empty package of Nutter Butters into a food processor and pulse until cookies are ground up finely. (If you don’t have a food processor, just crush up the cookies inside a gallon-size Ziploc bag)
  2. Add the cream cheese and powdered sugar to processor and continue pulsing until thick dough is formed. (If using the Ziploc bag, just add cream cheese and powdered sugar to bag and knead it with your hands)
  3. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls (I wouldn’t go any larger) and place balls onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Freeze until firm (30 minutes-1 hour)
  5. Melt almond bark or candy coating per package instructions in the microwave.
  6. Dip frozen balls with a fork one at a time into almond bark, let excess run off, and place back onto wax paper-lined cookie sheet. (Because the inside is cold, they should harden quickly)
  7.  Transfer extra almond bark/candy coating and peanut butter to small Ziploc bag and knead until combined.
  8. Cut a VERY small opening in one corner of the bag, creating your own icing bag.
  9. Drizzle truffles in a zig-zag motion, or whichever pattern you please!  **Any plain truffles can be sprinkled with cocoa powder as well!**
  10. ENJOY!

 

**Notes: Truffles should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and are best served chilled.  They tend to crack open if they get too warm. Have fun! nutterbutter1