Health Nut Breakfast Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a food processor or stand mixer, cream softened butter with sugar until fluffy. Add in soy milk and vanilla extract. Then add flour, oats, salt & baking powder. Once combined, add in cranberries and almonds, pulse to combine, then refrigerate batter for at least 10 minutes.
Note: Re-hydrate cranberries to make plump and juicy by putting them in a bowl and soaking them in boiling hot water for 10 minutes, drain and dry and then add to cookie batter.
Spooning tbsp portions onto a greased or silicone matted cookie sheet, bake for 15-17 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool on wire rack for at least 10 minutes to let cookies continue to set up. *Keep in mind that these cookies should be chewy, since there is no egg in them they will never set up to the point of crispiness.
These cookies are healthy and packed with flavor, have them for breakfast or dress them up for a party by dipping them in melted white chocolate. Enjoy :)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter until completley melted (stirring occasionally).
In a bowl, crack the two eggs and add the vanilla, beat until combined. In another bowl sift the flour and baking powder together and lastly put your brown sugar in another bowl. Once the chocolate is melted and cooled for a few minutes you want to temper the eggs by adding a dollop to the egg mixture and whisking it together so the eggs don’t scramble. Add the rest of the chocolate and whisk until incorporated. Add the chocolate egg mixture to the bowl with sugar and whisk until incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients (about 1/3 at a time). Once the batter is all combined, let the batter set up in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
Using a tbsp, spoon the batter into your hands and roll to make a neat ball and set on your greased cookie sheet (your going to want to grease even a nonstick). Leave about half an inch between cookies so they have room to groove.
Bake for 11-13 minutes (my magic number is 13 but each oven is different so keep an eye on them!) Keep this in mind : if the cookies are set up and cracking on top TAKE THEM OUT! Its important not to over bake these cookies, they will finish setting up on the cooling rack. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes and then enjoy! :)
No Fuss Choco Almond Cake
Follow the directions on the back of the cake mix with the addition of the coffee and almond extract. Bake in a well greased round spring form pan and place on a cookie sheet in case of any spills. (*since you are adding extra liquid to the cake mix, your cake may need to bake longer then directed on the box, don’t fret, just bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean)
Once cake is baked, set spring form on a wire rack and slowly release the cake from the spring form. Keep Cake on the bottom of the pan. When cake is cooled, level off the top to make a nice flat top. (* do this by taking a sereated bread knife and laying it flush on top of the cake, slowly + horizontally cut off domed part of cake, set aside to snack on :) ) Frost the cake using your chocolate frosting and then decorate top of cake with your sliced almonds.
This cake may feel like cheating but with the added coffee, almond extract and almonds to garnish, this cake will taste like you spent all day slaving over it, feel free to take the credit, it’ll be your secret ;)
Serve on a nice plate or cake pedestal and enjoy!
Honey Lavender Cupcakes
For the Honey Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a food processor or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. Once everything is mixed add in the honey (*spray your measuring spoon with PAM or any other nonstick cooking spray, it’ll help the honey slide out easier). In a separate bowl sift all the dry ingredients together, then 1/3 at a time combine the wet and dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix the batter otherwise you will be left with tough icky cupcakes. Once batter is smooth, fill your lined cupcake tins. (*I like BIG cupcakes so I tend to fill my tins almost to the top but if you want regular cupcakes fill 1/2-3/4 full) .
Bake cupcakes for about 20 minutes. (*cupcakes are done when the tops spring back when gently pressed or when a toothpick comes out clean when inserted).
Let your cupcakes cool on a wire rack before frosting.
For the Lavender Buttercream Frosting
In a food processor or stand mixer, cream the butter until fluffy, then add sugar, whipping cream, a few drops of purple food coloring and Lavender extract. (*Lavender extract IS VERY STRONG so use a little at first, add more to taste, I personally feel a hint of lavender is best). If the frosting is too stiff, add more whipping cream 1 tbsp at a time, this is all based on preference. Once fully mixed I like to pipe on my frosting using a star tip and then sprinkle edible glitter on top for a festive sparkle. Get creative and have fun!!
Note * Lavender extract is hard to find, I buy mine from Sur La Table, if you cant find extract try finding Culinary Lavender buds, you can heat up the whipping cream and steep the buds in like tea to flavor your frosting.
Maple Cinnamon Turkey Day Cookies
For Maple Icing
For the cookies, beat butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla until light and fluffy, then add the egg yolks one at a time until mixed entirely. In another bowl sift all remaining dry ingredients and add to mixture 1 cup at a time. once everything is incorporated, dump dough onto a floured surface, shape into ball and then separate a wrap separately the dough into four equal parts. place in refrigerator and chill for a minimum of 3 hrs-1 day.
*note: dough will be sticky, do not add more flour, dough will set up while chilling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
When you are ready to cut out and bake your cookies, remove dough from refrigerator and let come to room temp for 5 mins, using a floured work surface roll out your dough until 1/4 inch thick. cut out desired cookie shapes and place on a buttered baking sheet. Before baking, pop cookies in the freezer for 5 minutes to help cookies maintain their shape. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cookies are a light golden brown around the edges. *DO NOT OVER BAKE. Once removed from the oven set them on a cooling rack to cool before decorating.
For royal icing, mix all ingredients together until you get a smooth, glossy consistency. Separate in different bowls if you are dying any icing. *royal icing hardens into a beautiful matte texture, but this also means you have to work with it fast or store it in an airtight container.
*note: for best icing results, pipe the outline on the cookie first to give you an outline to fill in, this will you give you a cleaner and more professional outcome.
Once cookies are decorated, let the icing set till hard, then eat and enjoy :)
Nutty Chocolate Cookies
Using a double boiler, melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips and 1 stick of butter together. Once melted, whisk until silky smooth and set aside to let come to room temp.
In a food processor, cream remaining stick of butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, add the vanilla extract and coffee and then add the eggs one at a time making sure the egg has completely incorporated.
Once chocolate has come to room temp, add into egg mixture. (*if the chocolate is too hot it will scramble the eggs so make sure the chocolate is cool).
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Then, 1/3 at a time add the dry ingredients into the wet. Once all incorporated add the remaining chocolate chips and almonds, pulse to mix and then transfer to bowl, cover with cling wrap and let chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
When ready to bake, flour your hands and spoon a large tbsp of cookie dough into your hands, roll to make a ball, then once placed on well greased cookie sheet flatten to make into a disk.
Bake for 14 minutes or until cookies are set, cool on wire rack, serve and enjoy :)
Super Sticky Bunz
Peheat the oven to 400 degrees
Whip the softened butter with 1/3 cup brown sugar until combined and fluffy. Dollop the mixture into the bottom of 12 cupcake tins. Evenly spread the walnuts into each cupcake tin.
Fold out the first sheet of puff pastry, using a rolling pin, lightly roll over the sheet a few times to smooth over the fold creases, using a pastry brush, brush half of the melted butter over the entire sheet, sprinkle 1/3 cup brown sugar over the sheet evenly leaving a 1/2 inch border, sprinkle 1 tbs of cinnamon on top of that. Loosely start rolling the sheet up lengthwise, pressing to seal. Trim edges off and slice into 6 even sections. Put each slice on top of the butter and walnuts pressing to form to fit the tin. Repeat the process for the 2nd sheet of puff pastry.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and firm to the touch. Invert the bunz on to a cookie sheet and let cool.
Serve and enjoy :)
Festive Pumpkin Pie
For Pie Filling
For the dough, pulse all dry ingredients together in food processor until well mixed, add cubed butter and pulse until mixture takes on a sand like texture or the butter is the size of cubes. Add ice water 1 tbs at a time until dough comes together. Pour dough onto a lightly floured surface, shape into a ball, cut in half, wrap each half in cling wrap and shape into disks. Put in refrigerator and let chill for at least 3 hours.
When ready to roll dough out, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the first disk on a lightly floured surface until dough is about 13 inches or 1/8 inch thick. Delicately, transfer your dough to your pie dish, lightly forming the dough to the dish. Crimp the overhanging dough to the edges of the pie dish using a fork (*DOUGH WILL SHRINK, make sure there is enough dough on the edge that your pie will not collapse on itself). Prick holes all over the bottom of the pie dough using fork, then, using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash all over the dough (this will “seal” the pastry). Blind bake the pie shell in the oven for 8 minutes or just until dough starts to look golden brown. Put on wire rack to cool.
Roll out the second disk of pie dough until 1/8 inch thick and using decorative mini cookie cutters (i used a variety of leaves,pumpkins and acorns) cut out shapes and place on cookie sheet. Using a paring knife, score little designs in the shapes. Place in freezer to hold shape until you are ready to place on the pie shell. When the pre-baked pie shell is cool, start molding the cut out shapes onto the edges of the dough, feel free to overlap and press shapes into original pie shell, this will help it stay. Make sure to set aside a few shapes to place on top of pie once it is already baked.
Brush the edges with the remaining egg wash and place back in freezer until ready to bake.
For the filling, combine all the ingredients together in one bowl, whisking until you have a smooth, uniform consistency. Couldn’t be any simpler.
Remove pie shell from freezer, pour filling in pie shell, place pie dish in the center of a cookie sheet, place extra pie shapes on the sheet to bake and place in a 375 degree oven for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (*Pie shapes will only take about 5 minutes to cook so remove them when necessary and set aside)
When pie is done baking you will want to make sure it cools for at least 30 minutes before serving. Once pie filling is set, place your pie shapes on top of the pie in whatever way you choose.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy :)
***Special Note: Pie dough is hard, in fact it took me 3 tries to get it right. Don’t feel bad if you decide to use store bought pie dough instead, in fact, pillsbury has a great one, just make sure you get the package that comes with two so you have enough dough to work with.
Perfect Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Separate pumpkin seeds from pumpkin guts and place on non stick cookie sheet. Melt the butter and pour over seeds, sprinkle with salt and roast in oven until golden brown 25-40 minutes.
Place in decorative bowl, serve and enjoy :)
Fall Fig Crostata
For the dough best results will come from using a food processor, add the flour, salt and sugar, pulse to blend, add butter and pulse until the butter looks like the size of peas. Then add 1 tbs of ice water at a time until the dough comes together when you pinch it but butter pieces are still visible.
*note: the weather on a hot or cold day will result in a varied amount of water you will need for the dough. The standard is 3 tbs of water but you may need more/less depending on weather conditions that day.
Move the dough to a work surface and wrap with cling wrap. Once dough is wrapped, shape dough into a 6 inch disk and place in refrigerator to chill for a minimum 3 hrs.
For the filling, purely toss all the ingredients together until the sugar starts to dissolve in the figs natural juices careful to not to disfigure the figs while doing so. Set aside.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Take out your dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface, gently roll out the disk until about 13 inches, add filling to the middle of the dough and gently fold the dough up around the filling in a pleated fashion. once dough is all folded, using a pastry brush, brush on cream to the dough and add sliced almonds, pressing to secure. Place in oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and figs are tender.
Let the crostata cool on a cooling rack, meanwhile heat up the apricot preserves until liquidy and then brush on the pastry to give it that beautiful store front sheen.
Serve at room temp or warm and enjoy :)