Sunday, January 31, 2016

Flatbread Crackers

I whipped up a triple batch of these crackers for Christmas gifts for my family this year. I know the idea of making your own crackers might seem a bit far-fetched, but these are really simple to put together.

I used sage for the herb-yness, feel free to use anything you might have on hand. 


Flatbread Crackers
From Pinch of Yum

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp herb of choice, I used sage
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 450. In a food processor mix flour, salt, sugar, pepper, herbs, and oil until combined. Pour in water and mix until a dough forms.
2. Remove from food processor and mush dough together to form a ball.  Divide into 4 equal pieces and let sit for 10 minutes.
3. Roll each piece out as thin as possible.  Bake for 4-5 minutes then turn and bake an additional 4-5 minutes. Turn off oven and let crackers hang out in the oven for 2 hours to get nice and crispy. Break into pieces and slather with some cheese and pour yourself a nice glass of wine.

These would be a great way to class up your Super Bowl party next weekend!  Everyone will be impressed you made crackers in your own kitchen.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Brown Sugar Shortbread Toffee Bars

I don't want to oversell this dessert, but it was my favorite that I made this holiday season.  It is quite decadent so you'll want just a bite, but then you'll need many many more bites later.

You can't go wrong with a sweetened condensed milk layer.

Not to be outdone is a chocolate layer.

Then top it all with toffee bits! I told you it was decadent!

Brown Sugar Shortbread Toffee Bars
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp butter
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups toffee bits

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Beat butter and sugar until combined, 1-2 minutes. Mix in flour. Dough will be dry.  Press into prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned, and let cool slightly.
3. Melt butter and milk in a small saucepan and pour over shortbread.  Bake 12-15 minutes, until filling is bubbled and browned. Remove from oven.
4. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the filling and place back in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from oven and spread chocolate with an off-set spatula.
5. Sprinkle toffee bits evenly and press into chocolate layer. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

YES! I need more!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Carrot Soup

 It is officially winter. That means it's soup season!  This carrot soup comes together in a flash so it's great for a weeknight.

Carrot Soup 

2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp red curry paste
2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup water, to cover
lemon or lime juice, for serving
1 cup chopped toasted almonds, for serving
1. In a large pot melt butter over medium high.  Cook onion until translucent. Stir in curry paste, then carrots and cook a minute or 2. Add in coconut milk, salt, and water. Add more water to cover if necessary.
2. Simmer until carrots are tender, 10-15 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to blend soup until it's silky smooth. Serve with a squeeze of lemon/lime juice and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.

Super simple soup for any night of the week.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cranberry Bliss Bars, Starbucks Copycat Recipe

If you have never tried a cranberry bliss bar from Starbucks, I am really quite sorry for you.  However, luck is on your side, because now you can make them in your very own kitchen!

These are going to be a great addition to my Christmas dessert tray. I love a good bar cookie recipe because you don't have to keep rotating cookie sheets all day long.

Cranberry Bliss Bars
From Recipe Girl

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
6 oz white chocolate chips

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
6 oz white chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9 inch pan, set aside. Melt butter a small bowl in the microwave, stir in brown sugar. In a large mixing bowl mix butter and sugar mixture with 2 eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
2. Gently stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips. Spread into prepared pan, batter will be thick and almost dough-like. Bake 18-21 minutes. Cool completely.
3. Using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat in half of the melted white chocolate.  Spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with cranberries and drizzle with remaining white chocolate.

I chose to cut mine in triangles because that is what Starbucks does.  Feel free to just make rectangles or just eat the whole pan with a fork while watching Lifetime Christmas movies.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars


It's a cheesecake!

It's an apple crisp!

It's so much graham cracker crust!

Apple Streusel Cheesecake Bars

For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

For the cheesecake:
3 packages cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

For the apples:
3 apples, peeled, cored, finely chopped
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

For the streusel:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup butter, softened

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Mix together melted butter and graham cracker crumbs. Press into a 13x9 inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
2. Wipe out that bowl and mix cheesecake filling together until smooth.  Pour onto crust.
3. Wipe out the same bowl and mix the apples with cinnamon and sugar.  Spread evenly over cheesecake layer.
4. Mix the streusel ingredients together until it resembles wet sand.  Sprinkle evenly over the apples.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until filling is set and streusel is browned.  Cool for at least 3 hours before slicing into bars.

This makes a ton of massive bars so your Christmas crowd will be stuffed for sure. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Brownie + Cookie = Brookie

It's time for the 3rd annual Christmas cookie party! You can see our previous parties here and here.

I baked up a massive batch of brookies to bring to the event. What is this mythical brookie I speak of? Why, it's when a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie come together in the words of Grayson from Top Chef "like sex in the mouth."

Yes, they are that good.

From Cookies and Cups


For the cookie dough:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips

For the brownie
1 box brownie mix, 18oz
1 1/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs and vanilla and mix. Mix in baking soda, salt, and flour until combined. Then stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.
3. Mix flour and brownie mix. Add in eggs and oil and stir until combined.
4. To assemble the cookies: Take a tablespoon full of each dough and roll together. Bake 2 inches apart for 9-10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cool for 3-4 minutes on sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Note: If you only have 1 cookie sheet to bake with, put the dough in the fridge while each batch bakes in the oven.

This recipe makes a ton of cookies and you will be glad because they are delicious!

We will definitely all be eating cookies for days. Excellent work everyone!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Green Tea Chocolate Cake

I got a free can of matcha powder from an Amazon seller a few weeks ago.  It was fine as a cup of hot tea, but I wanted to know what else this perplexing green powder can do.  A quick internet search led me to see I could bake with it!

And so I give you green tea chocolate cake!

Green Tea Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2-3 tbsp matcha powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8x8 inch pan. Beat butter and sugar until light an fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly add in flour, baking powder, milk, and sour cream.
2. Take half of the batter into another bowl and mix in cocoa powder. Mix matcha powder to the first bowl. 
3. Place alternating dollops of the batter in the prepared pan.  Use a knife to swirl. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before serving.

I know this sounds totally weird, but it is delicious I promise. Try the batter with 2 tbsp of batter before you go and add another to the mix to see if you like the flavor.

This would be a fun addition to your Christmas baking...because it's green and it's delicious! Also, since it has tea in it you can totally eat it for breakfast.