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Preview: Amber's Delectable Delights

Amber's Delectable Delights

Updated: 2017-11-17T07:28:53.348-05:00


We Have Moved!!


Have you heard?  Amber's Delectable Delights has moved.  I am so very pleased to announce the launch of my new site.   We are at new site, with a new name, a new look, new recipes, and the whole shebang!  Please come and check us out! Don't worry, Amber's Delectable Delights is not going anywere.  This site will stay live with all of the old recipes and anything that you have saved in your readers will not dissapear.  I will just not be posting here anymore.The new site has a lot of great things to offerPrinter friendly postsCustom badge to "Take Me Whisk You"Follow Sugared Whisk by e-mailFollow Sugared Whisk on FacebookFollow Sugared Whisk by RSS Feeds[...]

Strawberry Cream Cake


I was searching around for a white cake recipe for my Dad's birthday when I came across this recipe on Cook's Illustrated website.  The idea of the whole thing just sounded mind blowing.  I mean who would not love a giant size gourmet strawberry shortcake with a cream cheese whipped cream topping.  Heck, the whipped cream recipe alone won me over.  This cake is so light and fluffy that it is great for the warmer months when you just don't want to eat anything that will make you feel like you ate a brick.  Light, fluffy, and fantastic -  A must try dessert!  Strawberry Cream CakeSource: Cook's IllustratedCake1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder1/4 teaspoon table salt 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar  5 large eggs (2 whole and 3 separated), room temperature 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly 2 tablespoons water 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Strawberry Filling 2 pounds fresh strawberries (about 2 quarts), washed, dried, and stemmed 4 - 6 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons Kirsch pinch table salt Whipped Cream 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon table salt 2 cups heavy creamInstructions FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour round 9 by 2-inch cake pan or 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and all but 3 tablespoons sugar in mixing bowl. Whisk in 2 whole eggs and 3 yolks (reserving whites), butter, water, and vanilla; whisk until smooth. In clean bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat remaining 3 egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. With machine running, gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, increase speed to medium-high, and beat until soft peaks form, 60 to 90 seconds. Stir one-third of whites into batter to lighten; add remaining whites and gently fold into batter until no white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert cake onto greased wire rack; peel off and discard parchment. Invert cake again; cool completely, about 2 hours.FOR THE STRAWBERRY FILLING: Halve 24 of best-looking berries and reserve. Quarter remaining berries; toss with 4 to 6 tablespoons sugar (depending on sweetness of berries) in medium bowl and let sit 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Strain juices from berries and reserve (you should have about 1/2 cup). In workbowl of food processor fitted with metal blade, give macerated berries five 1-second pulses (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). In small saucepan over medium-high heat, simmer reserved juices and Kirsch until syrupy and reduced to about 3 tablespoons, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour reduced syrup over macerated berries, add pinch of salt, and toss to combine. Set aside until cake is cooled. FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM: When cake has cooled, place cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Reduce speed to low and add heavy cream in slow, steady stream; when almost fully combined, increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture holds stiff peaks, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes more, scraping bowl as needed (you should have about 4 1/2 cups).TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Using large serrated knife, slice cake into three even layers. Place bottom layer on cardboard round or cake plate and arrange ring of 20 strawberry halves, cut sides down and stem ends facing out, around perimeter of cake layer. Pour one half of pureed berry mixture (about 3/4 cup) in center, then spread to cover any exposed cake. Gently spread about one-third of whipped cream (about 1 1/2 cups) over berry layer, leaving 1/2-inch border from edge. Place middle cake layer on t[...]

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Quesadillas


Mission accomplished, craving satisfied!  These quesadillas were so simple to make and something that I will definitely be making more often.  I'm even considering the possibility of making some to freeze for a rainy day.  I did change the recipe from what Elly had originally posted, if you have the ingredients on hand; go ahead and roast corn on the cob and add some onion and jalapeno into the mix, check out her version, I am sure they are incredible.Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Quesadillasinspired by Elly Says Opa!-Makes 4 hearty quesadillas-Ingredients2 tablespoon canola oil, divided3 cloves garlic, minced1 1/2 cups corn kernels 1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded or cubed*1/3 cup water or broth1 teaspoon cumin1/2 teaspoon chili powder1/2 teaspoon oregano1 can black beans2 ounces cream cheese2 cups Mexican blend cheese (PepperJack would be great too)4 large (burrito sized) flour tortillasDirectionsHeat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a large skillet, stir in the garlic and corn and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the chicken, water (or broth), cumin, chili powder, oregano, and black beans and bring to a light boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes to let the flavors meld. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the cream cheese.Heat another large pan (grill pan, or cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat, brush pan surface with canola oil. Place a flour tortilla onto the hot pan.  Build a quesadilla by layering a handful of cheese, 1/4 of the chicken mixture and another handful of cheese on one half of the tortilla.  Fold tortilla in half and apply pressure to top to create a sear on the bottom of the tortilla and to make everything stick together.  Once the bottom of the tortilla is browned flip over and brown the other side, once again applying pressure to the top to help the browning process.  When both sides are browned remove quesadilla from pan and cut into 4 even triangles with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.  Repeat process with remaining tortillas, brushing pan with canola oil before each quesadilla.  * I seasoned my chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and chili powder and grilled it over an open flame to bring more flavor to the dish.[...]



I remember going to California a few years back and thinking that it was so strange that Subway asked everyone if they wanted avocado on their subs.  I had never even eaten an avocado let alone spread it all over my sandwich.  Turns out that avocados are actually quite delicious and are great spread upon sandwiches, wraps, or layered into a salad.  As seen below, they obviously make an awesome dip for tortilla chips too.  Guacamole and I might just be new best friends!   

Not only are avocados delicious but they are also a superfood!  Yes, they are pretty high in fat, but it is mono saturated fat, the kind of fat that is good for you and heart healthy.  Avocados also pack in a high fiber content and have double the potassium of a banana. 

Garlicky Guacamole
adapted from Rachel Ray


3 ripe small Hass avocados
1/2 to 1 lemon, juiced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 roma tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon coarse salt

Cut avocados in half around the pit. Separate the halves. Pop out pit with spoon, then scoop flesh of avocados into a bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocados. Add garlic, tomato, and salt to the bowl. Mash and mix the ingredients into a chunky dip using a fork. Serve with corn tortilla chips.

Bacon and Eggs


I was feeling a little generous this morning so I decided to make breakfast for all of my co-workers.  "I brought in breakfast everyone, there is bacon and eggs back in the breakroom."  It wasn't to much later that everyone started coming to me telling me how UNfunny my joke was.  Hey, It's April 1st.  I have a right to be a brat if I want to.  :)   Happy April Fools Day!  

I am not sure where I originally got this idea from but I am pretty sure my sister had something to do with it.  I had not made these for quite awhile but somehow they came to mind when I was thinking of something to take into work.  These were a huge hit with my co-workers.  These would also be a really fun treat to make with children.

There is no real recipe needed here.  The ingredients are simple; mini pretzel sticks, white melting chocolate, and yellow M&M's.  The directions- eh, I am sure you can figure it out.  Melt the chocolate, drop it by spoonfuls over two pretzels and top with yellow M&M's. 

Seeded Hamburger Buns


Many of you probably think that I have dropped off the face of the planet, but I most certaintly have not. I have just been in the biggest slump of all time. I am slowly trying to climb out of it but it is easier said that done. Anyway, enough with my drama. I have tried making hamburger buns before, but honestly it was so long ago I don't remember much other than what I wrote about them. I decided to venture over to my favorite, all things baking, website King Arthur Flour, and check out what recipes they had. This recipe did not disappoint. The dough came together very easily and was great to work with when it came to shaping of the buns. A hamburger bun pan is certaintly not required for this recipe. Simply place the shaped dough onto a baking sheet as you would any other roll recipe. If you have some extra time in the kitchen these buns are definately worth the effort!  Seeded Hamburger Buns As seen on King Arthur Flour For the buns 3/4 cup lukewarm water 1 large egg 2 tablespoons butter or oil 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or Bread and Bagel Topping 2 teaspoons instant yeast 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon onion powder, optional 2 3/4 cups unbleached All-Purpose flour For the topping 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or Bread and Bagel Topping 1 large egg white Directions 1) To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them, by hand, mixer, or bread machine, to make a soft dough. 2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place for an hour, until it's almost doubled in size. 3) Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, flatten it slightly, and divide it into 6 pieces, each weighing about 3 1/2 to 4 ounces. 4) Roll each piece into a ball. 5) Place balls into the greased cups of a hamburger bun pan, flattening gently. 6) Cover and let rise until the buns have doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F. 7) Bake the buns for 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, brush with lightly beaten egg white (or spray with Quick Shine) and sprinkle with seed topping; do this quickly, or the seeds won't stick! 8) Return the buns to the oven and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack. [...]

Coffeecake Muffins


These muffins have made their way into my oven a few times over the last couple months. A hit with my family and again with co-workers. Cooks Illustrated definitely got this recipe right. The delicate taste of cinnamon and pecans in the batter really makes this muffin shine. This recipe can easily be prepared in the food processor, but if a food processor is not available to you the batter can also be stirred by hand or mixed in a stand mixer. Perfect breakfast treat with a mug of hot chocolate, coffee, or even milk.

Coffeecake Muffins
as seen on Cook's Illustrated

1/2 cup (2 oz) pecans
1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces and softened
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
2 Process nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in food processor until nuts are the size of sesame seeds, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.
3. Return bowl and metal blade to food processor, add flour, granulated sugar, and salt and process until combined, about five 1-second pulses. Sprinkle butter evenly over flour mixture and process until butter is oat-sized, about eight 1-second pulses. Remove 1 cup of the flour-butter mixture and stir with fork into reserved brown sugar mixture until combined to make streusel. Set aside 3/4 cup pf streusel for muffin batter and remaining portion for topping muffins.
4. Add baking powder and baking soda to remaining flour mixture in food processor bowl and process until combined, about five 1-second pulses. Whisk together sour cream, egg, and vanilla; add to flour mixture. Process until batter is just moistened, about five 1-second pulses. Add 3/4 cup reserved streusel to flour mixture and process until just distributed throughout batter, about five 1-second pulses.
5. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups and sprinkle with streusel, pressing lightly so that streusel sinks slightly into batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out with several crumbs clinging to it, about 18 minutes, rotating pan from front to back halfway through baking time. Cool muffin tin on wire rack for 2 minutes. Using tip of paring knife, loosen muffins gently transfer from tin to wire rack; cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.

Berries and Cream Cookies


I was inspired to make these cookies by a fundraising catalog I was looking through that was selling cookie dough of a similar fashion. I had all the necessary ingredients at home so I looked for a basic recipe that I could build off of. These cookies turned out better than I could have expected. The sweetness of the dried fruit combined with the creaminess of the white chocolate was definitely an awesome combination. The cookies baked up so puffy and delicious. These are definitely a must try!

Berries and Cream Cookies

inspired by
white chocolate and cranberry cookies

1/2 cup cold butter, shredded
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup dried mixed fruit, roughly chopped
1 cup white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large mxing bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; beat into the sugar mixtue. Stir in the dried berries and chocolate chips and mix to combine. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets before removing to a wire cooling rack.

Whole Wheat Zucchini Oat Muffins


While these muffins are a tiny bit sweet they are not your typical zucchini muffin. These muffins are more on the savory side of the world. The lack of sugar really helps the flavors of the featured ingredinets shine through. The addition of nuts would really add a nice crunch and texture to these muffins.

Quick and easy to prepare and a delight for the whole family. Try these delicious muffins today!

Whole Wheat Zucchini and Oat Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel
Adapted from
Tasty Kitchen

~yields a bakers dozen (13) muffins~

Streusel topping
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons rolled oats
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, cold
⅓ cups rolled oats
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
⅓ cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoons salt
1-½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups packed grated zucchini
⅔ cups buttermilk
2 whole eggs
¼ cups butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
For the streusel: Add all dry ingredients into a small bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients; set aside.
For the muffins: Stir together all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the grated zucchini and mix until it is well coated with the dry ingredients. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and melted butter. Fold into dry ingredients stirring just until combined.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and top with struesel topping.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Sausage Cheese Biscuits


This recipe popped up in my e-mail quite a while ago. As soon as I saw it I knew that someday I would make it, I just had no clue when. Before I tore my kitchen apart, for painting, the other day I wanted to bake one last thing. These came to mind for their simplicity and flavors. I did what I like to do best. Baked them up and shipped them out. My co-workers really enjoyed them.

These biscuits (or scones if you prefer to make them sound fancy) are definitely easy to make and can be done in just a few minutes. If you prefer the simplicity of a big flaky biscuit than these are definitely for you. If you like a little more flavor and zing I would suggest adding some garlic and even a dash of Tabasco sauce. These are simple, delicious, and beautiful. Enjoy.

Sausage Cheese Biscuits
adapted from King Arthur Flour

Yield: 20 biscuits

3 cups (12 3/4 oz) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon
Pizza Dough Flavor, optional
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut in pats
1 cup (8 oz) yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream (low-fat is fine)
3/4 pound breakfast sausage links, cooked and sliced in 1/2" pieces
1 cup (4 oz) diced cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and Pizza Dough Flavor. Add the butter, cut in pats. Work in the butter till the mixture is crumbly.
Add the sausage and cheese, mixing to distribute. Add the yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream.
Mix just till everything is evenly moistened.

Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment or a lightly floured work surface. Pat and roll it into an 8" x 10" rectangle about 3/4" thick. Cut the dough into twenty 2" squares.

If you've been working on parchment, simply lift the parchment onto a baking sheet. Separate the biscuits so there's about 1" between them. If the biscuits aren't on parchment, space them on a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving about 1" between them.

Bake the biscuits for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're a medium- to deep-golden brown.
Remove the biscuits from the oven, and cool them on a rack briefly. Serve warm.

Quarter Pound Cookies


I always say that I am going to stop trying new chocolate chip cookie recipes yet it seems like every time I make them I am using a new recipe. When I saw these outrageously huge 4oz cookies on Shawnda's blog I knew that I would not be able to resist. I grabbed some extra cold butter from the freezer and set out on my marry way. The dough started out on the dry side and I was worried that it would not come together correctly but I was mistaken. By the time the chocolate and nuts were mixed in, the dough was perfect. I pushed the tops of my dough balls down a bit which made them wider and a tad flatter than others, if you want to make sure you have nice tall puffy cookies keep the dough in a ball when you place it onto the cookie sheet.

These cookies are definitely quite impressive in both size and flavor. These quarter pound cookies measure about 4 1/2 inches across and about 3/4 of an inch thick. A slightly crisp outer shell partnered with a gooey buttery inside makes these cookies pretty much irresistible. I will definitely be making these amazing cookies again. I recommend you try them out, immediately.

Levain Bakery-ish Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from
Confections of a Foodie Bride

yields ~12 cookies

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter (very cold, shredded with your food processor)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour (13 1/2 oz)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
12oz good quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Beat the cold butter and both sugars until just combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat just until incorporated.

Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the mixer bowl and mix just until blended. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and mix until distributed. (The dough will be VERY stiff at this point.)

Divide the dough into 12 balls, approx 4 oz each (think a little larger than a golf ball; a slightly rounded 2.5-inch scoop will do the trick perfectly) and place on an ungreased baking pan. Chill the dough for 20 minutes. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until browned on the edges and set in the center. Let cool completely on the pans before transferring to airtight storage.

Banana Streusel Muffins


It has been forever since I had made banana muffins and I figured it was time to give them another go. Before I began to look around for recipes I knew exactly what I wanted. I envisioned a soft, delicate, lightly sweetened muffin with a crunchy streusel topping. I came across this recipe and it sounded like it fit the bill perfectly. I quickly mixed up a batch with a couple of bananas that had ripened beautifully and soon after had a delicious banana muffin for an afternoon snack.

This recipe is definitely my new go-to banana muffin recipe. The muffins rose up high and produced the perfect crumb. The banana flavor was so intense and and the crunchy streusel topped the muffin perfectly. This is a people pleasing recipe that you should definitely make soon.

Banana Streusel Muffins
Adapted from


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed

Streusel Topping
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In a small bowl, beat eggs, sour cream, butter and bananas; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
For streusel, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; cut in butter. If using almonds stir them in at this time. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chipsters


I reached for Dorie Greenspan's cookbook the other day when I felt like baking up something delicious. My plan was to find a recipe in the book that I had all of the ingredients for and that I was able to make right then and there . When I came across this cookie recipe it sounded pretty good so I thought that I would give it a try.If you were to take a peanut butter cookie, an oatmeal cookie, and a chocolate chip cookie and cram them all together into one bite these would definitely be what it would taste like. My husband and I enjoyed the cookies and so did all of my co-workers (especially the pregnant one). I did not have enough of any one kind of chocolate to put into these so I used a combination of bittersweet, semi-sweet, and white chocolate. These were a huge hit all around and I am already planning on adding the recipe to my list of favorites. What is your favorite kind of cookie? Is there any kind of cookie that you would like me to feature here on Amber's Delectable Delights?Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters from Baking, From My Home to Yours, by Dorie GreenspanIngredients3 cups old fashioned oats1 cup all purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda2 teaspoons ground cinnamon1/4 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg1/4 teaspoon salt2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature1 cup peanut butter1 cup sugar1 cup (packed) light brown sugar2 large eggs1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 1/2 cups -bought chocolate chips or chunks.DirectionsPosition the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt.Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Mix in the chips.If you have the time, cover and chill the dough for about 2 hours or for up to one day. (Chilling the dough will give you more evenly shaped cookies.)If the dough is not chilled, drop rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. If the dough is chilled, scoop up rounded tablespoons, roll the balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the sheets. Press the chilled balls gently with the heel of your hand until they are about 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be golden and just firm around the edges. Lift the cookies onto cooling racks with a wide metal spatula - they'll firm as they cool.Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.Storing - wrapped airtight or piled into a cookie jar, the cookies will keep at room temperature for about 4 days. Wrapped and frozen, they'll be good for 2 months.[...]

Garlic Herb Braid


I have been baking bread for about five years now. In that time many different sizes and shapes of bread have graced my dinner table, yet I have never experimented with a braided loaf. The concept is easy, three ropes of dough are carefully maneuvered back and forth until the end of the ropes are reached and a beautiful braid is achieved. Lets just say there is a reason you do not see a picture of my loaf before it was cut. Let's just say that I am going to have to practice this technique. :)

This was one of the quickest yeast bread recipes that I have ever made. The whole process from raw ingredients to baked loaf could not have taken much more than an hour and a half. The end result was quite delicious and went well with the chicken manicotti and salad that was served at my monthly scrapbooking night. This is definitely a recipe that I will make again.

Garlic-Herb Braid
as seen on
Christy's Kitchen Creations from Taste of Home

4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 packages (1/4 oz each) quick-rise yeast
2 teaspoons dried basil
1-3/4 teaspoons dill weed
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 egg
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and seasonings. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water and cubed butter to 120-130 degrees. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 4-6 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough into thirds. Shape each into a 15-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 25 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

Restaurant Style Salsa


I have made salsa a few other times but the results were never anything to write home about. I came across this recipe on Pioneer Woman's site and thought that it sounded right up my ally. Since I prefer my salsa with no large chunks in it, the food processor was definitely my best friend when making this. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make it as chunky or smooth as you like it. Heck you can make half of the batch chunky and half of it smooth. Really, it is so easy and foolproof.

I typically hate cilantro but thought that a teeny bit would be ok in the recipe. I was right, it was fine. Actually this recipe was quite delicious. Even my husband, the condiment hater, was scooping it up all night long. I took my leftovers into work the following day and the entire batch of salsa was polished off in a matter of a few hours.By the way, this recipes makes enough salsa for a small army. I think I had about 4 1/2 cups of it when all was said and done. Another thing to think about is draining the Rotel. The recipe does not mention it, but I did it. It seemed like the salsa would have been to watery if I had not. Enjoy!


Restaurant Style Salsa
Adapted from
The Pioneer Woman

1 can (28 Ounce) whole tomatoes with juice
2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel
¼ cups chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 whole jalapeno, quartered and sliced thin
¼ teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons ground cumin
½ cups cilantro (or more to taste!)
½ whole lime juice

Preparation Instructions
Combine whole tomatoes, Rotel, onion, jalapeno, garlic, sugar, salt, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro in a blender or food processor. Pulse until you get the salsa to the consistency you’d like—I do about 10 to 15 pulses. Test seasonings with a tortilla chip and adjust as needed.
Refrigerate salsa for at least an hour. Serve with tortilla chips or cheese nachos.

Cucumber Finger Sandwiches


This was yet another appetizer that was served at my friends birthday party a few weekends ago. I was not the one that originally made them but I decided that they were so good that I wanted to make them soon. I went out and bought all the ingredients and then made a few little sandwiches here and there throughout the week for my husband and I.

These are super quick and easy to prepare but are best if assembled shortly before serving. They were definitely a hit at the party and with my husband and would be the perfect addition to any get together where something light and fresh tasting was needed. In case you were wondering, I was able to get this cute shaped bread by baking some bread dough in my scalloped bread tube.

Cucumber Finger Sandwiches
adapted from

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian salad dressing mix
2 loaves French bread, cut into 1 inch slices
2 medium cucumbers, sliced
1 pinch dried dill weed

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, mayonnaise and Italian dressing mix. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or preferably overnight.
Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the slices of French bread. Top with a piece of cucumber and sprinkle with dill.
Note - The cream cheese mixture keeps for a week in the fridge so you can make as many or few as you need at a time.

Stuffed Mushrooms


I have always been a fan of the concept of stuffed mushrooms. Big meaty mushrooms stuffed with all kinds of delicious filling and baked until warm. Seriously what is not to love about that idea. The only problem was that up until last weekend I had never actually eaten a stuffed mushroom. Why do you ask, well I happen to hate (with a passion) onion and seafood and I was just sure that every stuffed mushroom I had ever been offered had one or both of those ingredients in it. So to be safe I waited until I could make them myself to truly indulge in their deliciousness. I helped a friend from work prepare some dishes for a birthday party this past weekend and these stuffed mushrooms were one of the first things that I suggested to make. These mushrooms were an absolute hit! There were about 50 pieces made and they were the first dish to totally disappear at the party. I had a few requests for the recipe and many people telling me how delicious they were. The prep work of cleaning all the mushrooms is a little time consuming but is definitely worth it. I will definitely be making these again and again.Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushroomsfrom Annie's Eats originally adapted from AllrecipesIngredients24 whole fresh mushrooms1 tablespoon vegetable oil1 tablespoon minced garlic1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper1/4 teaspoon onion powder1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepperDirectionsPreheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully remove the stems from the mushroom caps, setting the caps aside for later. Add the stems to the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic to the food processor as well, and pulse in brief bursts until them mushroom stems and garlic are finely chopped.Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped mushroom stems and garlic and cook until all the moisture has disappeared, about 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low. Stir in the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and spices. Stir together until the mixture is smooth and creamy; remove from the heat. Using a small spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of filling. Arrange the mushroom caps on the prepared baking sheet. Top with bread crumbs, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are hot and liquid starts to form under the caps. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with fresh herbs if using and serve immediately. [...]

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


I came across this recipe a few weeks ago when my most recent Food Network magazine came in the mail. Since I have yet to find the absolute perfect broccoli cheese soup recipe I figured that I might as well give this one a try. After spilling (and cleaning up) almost 2 cups of milk on the kitchen floor I should have just left the kitchen and tried again another night but I was determined to have this soup for dinner.

I did not have enough time to make bread bowls to go along with this soup so instead I served it with a few slices of garlic toast. The Food Network magazine compared this soup to Panera's broccoli-cheese soup. Although I am not sure how this compares to theirs I do know that this soup was warm, creamy, and delicious. I will definitely make this soup again.

Almost-Famous Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
adapted from Food Network

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 7-inch sourdough bread boules (round loaves)
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
1 large carrot, diced
2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.
Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you'll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)
Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.

Soft Pretzels


I have always been a fan of soft pretzels. They are crisp and browned on the outside and light and moist on the inside. I think that they really are the perfect treat. I have a old stand-by recipe for them that I make often but decided to change it up and try out a new recipe. I used a recipe I found in Peter Reinhart's new book, Artisan Breads Every Day. I was so fond of his first book, The Bread Bakers Apprentice that I signed up to be a recipe tester for this new book. I had an awesome time testing recipes and was excited for the release of the book. The first thing I did when I bought the book was flip to the acknowledgement section and try to find my name. :) Enough about me, back to the pretzels...These pretzels do require a bit of planning since the dough needs to be made a day (or up to 4 days) in advance but the wait is well worth it. Although this will not become my new favorite pretzel recipe it is definitely something I will make again. This recipe just did not represent to me what soft pretzels are all about. Maybe it was not quite sweet enough on the inside, maybe it was not as light and airy as what I expected either. I don't know, it just seemed like something was off. Next time I make this recipe I think that I would shape the dough into a large loaf and make a loaf of pretzel bread. For now I will stick to my other soft pretzel recipe. Soft PretzelsAdapted from Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day(pgs 128-131)Ingredients4 1/2 cups (20oz) unbleached bread flour1 3/4 teaspoons (.4oz) salt or 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt1 1/2 tablespoons (.75oz) brown sugar1 teaspoon (.11oz) instant yeast1 1/2 cups (12oz) lukewarm water (about 95 degrees)2 tablespoons (1oz) vegetable oil or melted butter8 teaspoons (2oz) baking soda, for dipping2 cups (16oz) warm water (about 100 degrees), for dipping1 egg white, for dipping (optional)Pretzel salt or coarse kosher salt, for garnishDo Ahead-Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Whisk the yeast into the lukewarm water until dissolved, then let it sit for 1 minute to hydrate.-Pour the yeast mixture and the oil into the dry ingredients. If using a mixer, use the paddle and mix on lowest speed for 30 to 60 seconds. If mixing by hand, use a large spoon and stir for about 1 minute. A course ball of dough should form.-Switch to the dough hook and mix on the lowest speed, or continue mixing by hand, for 2 minutes. The dough will become slightly smoother. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.-Continue to mix with the dough hook on medium-low speed, or mix by hand for 3 minutes, adjusting the water or flour as needed to form a smooth, firm, but slightly tacky ball of dough. If the dough is very tacky or sticky, add more flour.-Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute to make any final adjustments. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a clean , lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and immediately refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days. (If you plan to bake the dough in batches over different days, you can portion the dough and place it into two or more oiled bowls at this stage.)On Baking day-To make the dipping solution, stir the baking soda into the warm water. Whisk in the optional egg white (this will add a little shine, but it's optional)Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the baking soda solution into a shallow bowl or small pan. -Remove the dough from the refrigerator and immediately divide it into 2 ounce pieces, or 3 ounce pieces if you prefer larger pretzels. Roll each piece into a rope about 17 inch[...]

Turkey Tetrazzini


Wow, I am so ashamed. The last time I posted a dinner item on this blog was way back in July when I posted Cashew Chicken. Seriously, I am just sooo ashamed by this. You all probably think that I about 900 pounds and unable to walk with all the sweets and breads that I have been posting for the past few months. I assure you that I am not 900 pounds and I have been eating more than cookies and bread for dinner. I have just been in a funk and have not been very adventurous in the kitchen. Hopefully this will change with the new year and I will get back to posting more often and with a better variety.I had some turkey leftover from a Christmas Eve dinner and thought that tetrazzini would be the perfect way to use it up. I decided to try a recipe that I found on Elise's site, Simply Recipes, due to the simplicity of it. I was also intrigued by the use of Swiss and Parmesan cheese. Although I managed to dirty way more dishes than I should have, the recipe was very easy to make and came together perfectly. Although the top layer of my dish became dried out and extra crispy (due to a guest that would not stop talking long enough to leave my house) this meal came out delicious. The flavors in the sauce were a perfect match for mushrooms and peas and the pasta was nice and creamy. This was a delicious meal that I would definitely make again. Turkey Tetrazzini Adapted from Simply RecipesIngredients12 oz egg noodles, spaghetti, linguine or other pasta12 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 4-5 cups)1/2 cup unsalted butter1/4 cup all-purpose flour1 1/2 cups of milk1/4 cup cream2 cups chicken broth1/4 cup dry sherry (or vermouth or dry white wine)3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey1 cup peas2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (divided into 1/3 and 1/3 cups)1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese2 Tbsp lemon juiceSalt and PepperGround nutmeg (optional)1/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (or panko)Freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)Method1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Start heating 2 to 3 quarts of water for the pasta. Add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water.2 Cook the mushrooms in 3 Tbsp of the butter over medium heat, stirring, until all of the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, 5-10 minutes. Set aside.3 In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes.4 About now, put the pasta into the boiling water you've heated. Follow the package directions and cook until al dente. While the pasta is cooking continue on with the recipe.5 Into the saucepan with the butter and flour, slowly whisk in the milk, cream, broth, and the sherry. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 8 minutes.6 When the pasta is ready, drain it. In a large bowl combine the pasta, the sauce, the mushrooms, the turkey, and the peas. Stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan and the 1/3 cup of Swiss cheese. Stir in the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Note that if you have been using unsalted butter, and/or unsalted or low sodium stock, you will need to add more salt than you might expect. Just keep sprinkling it in until it is seasoned to your taste. Add a pinch of ground nutmeg if using, again to taste. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 3-quart casserole.7 In a small bowl combine well the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini, and dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits.8 Bake the Tetrazzini in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or[...]

Dipped Cherry Cookies


Wow, another whole month has passed by where I have yet to update my precious blog. What can I say, life has been pretty crazy the past couple of months and it has been hard to keep up. I hope to do better in the new year by updating more often and even possibly moving to my own domain. But for now let's concentrate of the important stuff, Christmas cookies! A couple of weeks ago my sister e-mailed me this recipe and asked if I could make it for Christmas. Since I am such a wonderful sister I went ahead and added it to my Christmas baking list.Making the dough for these cookies is very similar to making a pie crust. Cubed cold butter is cut into dry ingredients and then more ingredients are added and the dough is kneaded (I used my stand mixer for this step) until it forms a ball. The end result of this process is a soft and delicate cookie that is both sweet and chocolaty. I personally love the combination of cherries, white chocolate and almond flavor! These are the perfect treat for the holiday season.Dipped Cherry CookiesAdapted from Taste of HomeIngredients2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour3/4 cup sugar, divided1 cup cold butter, cubed1/2 cup finely chopped maraschino cherries, drained12 ounces white baking chocolate, finely chopped, divided1/2 teaspoon almond extract2 teaspoons shorteningCoarse sugar and red edible glitterDirections- In a large bowl, combine flour and 1/2 cup sugar; cut in butter until crumbly. Knead in the cherries, 2/3 cup white chocolate and extract until dough forms a ball.- Shape into 3/4-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with a glass dipped in remaining sugar. Bake at 325° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.- In a microwave, melt shortening and remaining white chocolate at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.- Dip half of each cookie into chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with coarse sugar and edible glitter. Place on waxed paper until set. Store in an airtight container.Yield: about 4 dozen. I hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas!I made this cake a few weeks ago for my husband's work Christmas party. I did not post it because it was just a chocolate cake with chocolate cream filling and frosted with mint buttercream. It was so beautiful that I could not pass up the opportunity to share a picture of it. [...]

Pumpkin Ice Cream


Every year I look forward to a local ice cream shop announcing that pumpkin ice cream is back for the season yet every year I keep telling myself that I am just going to make it myself instead. This year was the one that I decided to just make it. A few days ago I hosted an early Thanksgiving dinner for my family and decided I would make a batch of this pumpkin ice cream for a light dessert. Although I definitely could have let the batter spend more time chilling in the fridge I got antsy and churned it anyway. The end results were delicious. Just as I remembered it, yet so much more!If you ever thought that you might enjoy a frozen pumpkin pie then you would definitely enjoy this ice cream because it tastes exactly like that. The pumpkin flavor is perfect and the amount of spices is right on. I think crushed up graham crackers mixed in would add another great layer of flavor to this already delicious treat. This is definitely a treat that is perfect for the pumpkin lover in any family. Pumpkin Ice CreamAdapted from Williams-Sonoma~ makes about 1 quart~Ingredients1 cup fresh pumpkin puree or canned unsweetened pumpkin puree1 tsp. vanilla extract2 cups heavy cream3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar5 egg yolks1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon1/2 tsp. ground ginger1/4 tsp. saltPinch of freshly grated nutmeg1 Tbs. bourbonDirections- In a bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.- In a heavy 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/2 cups of the cream and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. Cook until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.- Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the egg yolks, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, the remaining 1/2 cup cream and the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve.- Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4 to 6 minutes. Do not allow the custard to boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.- Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice water, stirring occasionally until cool. Whisk the pumpkin mixture into the custard. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.- Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the bourbon during the last minute of churning. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving. [...]

Apple Cinnamon Rolls


While I was at my parents house last weekend I grabbed some apples off of their tree and was set on a mission to make something delicious with them. I debated over all of the possibilities; turnovers, cinnamon rolls, pie, muffins, bread, strudel and finally decided that apple cinnamon rolls sounded quite good. Although diced apple could easily be snuck into any cinnamon roll recipe I figured that I might as well try a new recipe while I was at it.This dough came together quickly and nicely and turned into a dough that was smooth and perfect to work with. The vanilla glaze adds just enough sweetness to the rolls that a heavy cream cheese frosting is just not needed. I opted for the making and baking the rolls in the same day but there are instructions on spanning it out over two days. These rolls were a hit with my family and also with my co-workers. I will definitely be making these again in the near future. Apple Cinnamon RollsAdapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, pg 144-145Ingredients4 1/4 to 5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour1 package active dry yeast1 cup milk1/3 cup butter1/3 cup granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon salt3 eggs3/4 cup packed brown sugar1/4 cup all-purpose four1 tablespoon ground cinnamon1/3 cup butter1 cup finely chopped, peeled applehalf and half or light cream1 recipe vanilla glaze (below)Directions1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 1/4 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a saucepan heat and stir milk, 1/3 cup of butter, granulated sugar, and salt just until warm (120-130 degrees F) and butter almost melts; add to flour mixture along with eggs. Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour).3. Punch dough down. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease two 9 x 1 1/2 inch round baking pans or 2 baking sheets ; set aside. For filling, stir together brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and cinnamon; cut in 1/3 cup butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.4. Roll each half of dough into a 12x8 inch rectangle. Sprinkle filling and apple over dough rectangles. Roll up each rectangle starting from a long side. Seal seams. Slice each roll into 12 pieces. Place cut sides down in prepared pans or baking sheets.5. To bake the rolls right away; cover the dough loosely and let it rise in a warm place until nearly double, about 30 minutes. To bake the rolls later; cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 24 hours. When ready to bake the rolls uncover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.6. Break any surface bubbles with a greased toothpick. Brush dough with half-and-half. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until light brown (if necessary, cover rolls with foil the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning). Remove from oven. Brush again with half-and-half. Cool for 1 minute. Carefully invert rolls onto a wire rack. Cool slightly. Invert once again onto a serving platter. Drizzle with Vanilla Glaze (recipe below).Vanilla GlazeIn a small bowl stir together 1 1/4 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon light-colored [...]

Chocolate Cherry Chip Cookies


I have had this bag of cherry chips sitting in my pantry for the longest time and never knew exactly what I was going to do with them. I had actually forgotten about those cherry chips until I came across this recipe one day. Chocolate and cherry is such a great combination that I thought these cookies would be great, and well, they were.

The batter for these cookies was pretty thick, so I went ahead and smashed down the top of the dough once I placed it onto my baking sheet to make sure the cookies spread evenly and did not stay clumped up in a big mountain. I actually kind of like the crackled effect they turned out with. Oh, in case anyone is wondering I found the bag of cherry chips at Walmart and I am pretty sure that they still carry them. I think these cookies would be a great addition to holiday baking lists.


Chocolate Cherry Chip Cookies
Adapted from
Picky Palate

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 bag of
Log House Cherry Chips
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and use a cookie sheet with a
silpat liner.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs and vanilla until well combined.
3. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients then stir in white chips and cherry chips. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.
4. Bake for 9-11 minutes, should still be soft in center. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Spicy Spiral Bread


In honor of World Bread Day 2009 I decided to venture into the land of filled breads. I found this recipe for Spicy Spiral Bread on King Arthur's website and the idea of refried beans and cheese as a filling really intrigued me. Other than the adventurous filling ingredients this bread is made just like most other yeast bread recipes and calls for ingredients that are staples in most pantries. When I tried to remove the bread from the pan, shortly after coming out of the oven, some of the bread stuck to the bottom of the pan and created a tear in the loaf. I think this happened because the filling was heavy and warm. I would suggest letting the bread cool about 25 minutes in the pan and then making sure to loosen around the edges before trying to remove the loaf of bread. The taste of this bread was a taste that was new and interesting to me. I tried the bread at room temperature and thought that the different textures from the beans and the bread made a nice match. I think it would taste even better warmed up and I plan on trying that tomorrow. This bread is something that I will definitely make again and I plan on playing around with different flavor combinations next time I make it. Happy World Bread Day 2009 to everyone!Check out my past years entries into World Bread day.2008 - English Muffin Bread2007 - Italian BreadIf you love bread as much as I do you might also want to check out my collection of yeasted breads and quick breads. I am sure there is something there to satisfy every bread lovers craving.Spicy Spiral BreadAdapted from King Arthur FlourIngredientsDough2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour2/3 cup yellow cornmeal2 teaspoons instant yeast1 1/2 teaspoons salt1/2 teaspoon chipotle or hot chili powder or 1/4 teaspoon ground chilies2 teaspoons sugar2 tablespoons olive oil1 cup + 2 tablespoons waterFilling16-ounce can refried beans8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese1 to 3 tablespoons taco seasoning or 1 tablespoon mild chili powder*Optional filling add-ins include 1/2 cup diced raw onion, sliced black olives, diced jalapeño peppers, 1/4 cup salsa, chopped fresh cilantro, or 1/2 cup cooked and drained ground beef. If you use more than three of the preceding options, you'll probably have leftover filling (which is delicious served in taco shells or burritos). The filling should be firm, and should total around 2 cups altogether.DirectionsDough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, yeast, salt, chili powder, sugar, olive oil and water. Mix until a rough dough forms, then knead: 10 minutes by hand, or about 8 minutes by. The dough is soft; work with it gently. Turn the dough into a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until it's doubled in bulk.To prepare the dough in a bread machine, place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your machine according to the manufacturer's instructions, and program the machine for Dough or Manual. Let the machine complete its cycle.Assembly: Roll the dough into a long, 8 x 24-inch rectangle. Spread it with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the filling, leaving a 1-inch margin along the edges. Fold in the two short ends, and roll the dough into a 24-inch log. Pinch the dough to seal it well.Keeping the seam side down, ease the log, in a loose spiral, into a greased 9-inch round cake pan. Pat the spiral down so it's flat and even across the top. Cover the dough and let it rise till it's eve[...]