Monday, January 8, 2018

Toffee Sugar Cookies

Toffee Sugar Cookies 
((Printable Recipe))

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Heath toffee bits

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenhite.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the baking soda and flour. Mix until combined. Stir in the toffee bits.
3. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and place on a parchment lined sheet pan about 2-inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place the cookies, still on the sheet pan, on top of a cookie rack to cool.*
4. When cool, remove the cookies from the sheet pan and allow to continue cooling on the cooling rack.

*Optional: Sprinkle the warm cookies with additional sugar.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

S'more Cookies

Life has taken on a new level of crazy now that my kids are older and in sports. It does not leave me much time for blogging or baking during this season of life. Thankfully, my youngest 11-year-old daughter has taken over as the baker right now in our family. From dinner rolls to cornbread and anything sweet, she is always looking for the next thing to make us.

She found this recipe on her own after wanting to make something similar to my Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies but with graham crackers instead. She even tweaked the recipe and made them her own. These cookies ended up being so good that I promised her I'd set aside some time to blog about them and share them with all of you.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

S'more Cookies
(adapted from Betty Crocker)
(Printable recipe)

1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 sleeve ground Nabisco Original Graham Crackers (about full sheets 8 crackers)
1/8 teaspoon salt
30 large marshmallows cut in half (one-half for each cookie)
about 4 full-size Hershey bars (one small piece per cookie)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat until incorporated.
3. Add the flour, salt, and the finely ground graham crackers on slow speed. Mix just until combined.
4. Use a small cookie scoop and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet pan about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, dip a pair of kitchen scissors in a glass of water and cut the marshmallows in half.
7. After the cookies are baked, gently press the cut side down of the marshmallow into each cookie. 8. Bake for 2 minutes longer.
9. After 2 minutes, place one rectangle of a Hershey bar on top of each marshmallow. Do not place them back in the oven. Allow the cookie sheet pan to cool on a cooling rack.

Makes about 60 cookies depending on the size.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Easy Sesame Noodles

Skip the take-out! If you are looking for fast and healthy food, it doesn't get much easier than this. I like to make this recipe for Easy Sesame Noodles for my husband and I for a light and quick lunch. This recipe makes 2 generous portions. You can easily double it to feed more. If you would like to add more protein to it, toss in some cooked edamame or chicken (for the meat eaters in your life.)

Easy Sesame Noodles
((Printable Recipe))


6 ounces thin spaghetti, cooked and drained (or rice noodles)
2 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons natural peanut butter
1/2 - 1 teaspoon Sriracha or garlic chili sauce
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil*
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Optional veggies: 1/2 cup frozen peas or edamame


1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. If you are adding in the optional frozen vegetables, add them to the cooking pasta and drain together.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, garlic, rice vinegar, sesame oil, peanut butter, Sriracha, and canola oil.

3. Add the drained pasta (and veggies) to the sauce. Toss to coat well. Add in the sliced green onion and sesame seeds. Toss and serve.

Serves 2.

*For the oil: Do not try and skimp out on the extra oil here. I have tried omitting it and the sauce will not stick and coat the noodles. You can drop down to about a tablespoon, but do not go any lower than that. I have also tried adding extra sesame oil in place of the canola/vegetable oil and that throws the flavor balance off too much.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Fluffy Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

This light, fluffy, sweet, and salty buttercream gets piled onto two gorgeous layers of my moist and tender One Bowl Chocolate Cake. Top it off with some mini peanut butter cups and serve it up for a special occasion or an everyday treat.

Fluffy Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting 
((Printable Recipe))


2 layers of chocolate cake (find my recipe here)
mini peanut butter cups (for topping)
1 stick room temperature unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter (I used Smucker's)
4-5 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
generous pinch of salt
4-6 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream

1. Beat the butter, shortening, peanut butter together until light and fluffy.
2. Add the salt and vanilla and mix.
3. Add 4 cups the powdered sugar alternately with 4 tablespoons of milk. (I like to have extra milk and sugar on hand in case the frosting needs to be adjusted for consistency.)
4. Beat until light and fluffy. (For a more traditional frosting, do not beat as long and use closer to 2 tablespoons of milk for a stiffer frosting to spread or pipe.)
5. Divide the frosting in half between the two layers of cake.
6. Top with mini peanut butter cups (optional) and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sun-Dried Tomato Fettuccine

Sun-Dried Tomato Fettuccine
((Printable Recipe))


1 pound fettuccine
8 oz bag spinach, *chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
2 tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
crushed red pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions or until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.

2. Meanwhile, heat the chopped sun-dried tomatoes along with the oil and minced garlic. Add as much crushed red pepper flakes as you like, about 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon. Warm the ingredients until the garlic becomes fragrant.

3. Add the tomato paste and smash it around in the oil to toast it slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the can of diced tomatoes (liquid and all) and the chopped spinach. Simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes.

4. Add in the cream, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. The sauce will be very thick and you can thin it slightly with the reserved pasta water. Transfer the pasta to the sauce and add more pasta water as needed.

5. Enjoy!

*After washing my spinach, I like to put it back in a bag and place it in the freezer. When frozen, crush the back up to "chop" the spinach and add it to your dish.

Other Sun-Dried Tomato dishes you may enjoy:
Eggplant and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto with Almonds
Simple Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Risotto 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Turtle Shortbread Rounds

I'm not the only baker in the family. My mom was known for her baked goods and now my dad has taken over the baking in their house. His Peanut Butter Cup Topped Rice Krispie Treats and Pecan Sandie Rolo Cookies are two of my favorites. But those two may need to step aside and make room for my new favorite....

Turtle Shortbread Rounds
((Printable Recipe))


For the cookies:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the topping:
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag Kraft caramels
1 cup milk chocolate chips
approximately 70 pecan halves


1. Beat the butter well. Add in the remaining ingredients until a dough is formed without lumps. Refrigerate the dough for approximately half an hour.

2. Scrape the dough out onto a work surface and separate into two sections. Roll each section into a log approximately 1 inch in diameter. Flatten the ends of the log and wrap each log in wax paper Refrigerate at least a half hour or until you are ready to bake.

3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice logs into 3/16 of an inch thick and lay out on an ungreased cookie sheet pan. Bake until they are lightly golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and make a small well in the center of each cookie. (You can do this using the end of a wooden spoon.) Let the cookies rest on the cookie sheet pan for 5 minutes. Then, place them on a wax paper covered surface.

4. Meanwhile, in a small pot over a medium heat, melt the butter and mix in the milk, salt, and caramels, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Spoon the caramel into the well of the cookies, allowing the caramel to slightly mound.

5. Lightly press a pecan halve into the center of each cookie.

6. Melt the chocolate and pour into the corner of a freezer bag. Snip the end and drizzle the chocolate over the cookies.

Store the cookies in a cool dry place or in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Easy Lavosh Crackers

There are many recipes out there for homemade Lavosh (also spelled Lavash), but it is often just as easy to find well made Lavosh bread in the bakery section of your grocery store (often sold near the fresh pita). These crackers are very similar to my homemade matzoh. Using pre made Lavosh bread cuts the time on these crackers greatly! These crackers turn out light and crispy and are perfect when you want a light snack.

Easy Lavosh Crackers 
((Printable Recipe))

1 package Lavosh bread
olive oil
sea salt

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Cut the Lavosh into about 2x2 inch pieces.

3. Arrange in a single layer on a large sheet pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt.

4. Bake 4 minutes until the crackers are lightly browned and crispy. Cool on a cooling rack and store in a cracker jar.