Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you like your chocolate chip cookies thick and still somewhat soft, this is the perfect recipe. Use the mega size chips for that extra chocololate-y-ness
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (extra large chips or chocolate chunks)

Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.  Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mis in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 15 – 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

 

 

Gingerbread House Cake

This is more of a how-to rather than a recipe.  The idea for this cake when was spurred I saw a similar image in a magazine. It can be done using your favorite recipe for gingerbread cake, or you can simply purchase a pre-made vanilla cake with white frosting. I was short on time, so that’s exactly what I did here. I made the little gingerbread houses by cutting them freehand from gingerbread cookie dough and baked them. Then, I adhered them by pushing gently into the frosting on the cake to go completely around. I put a few on top then garnished with rosemary sprigs and cranberries. You could sugar the rosemary and cranberries as well. That is it!  I would recommend that the cake you make or buy should be taller rather than a typical 9″ two layer cake. If you are baking your own, I would recommend using 8″ or even 6″ pans and make three layers. 

Easy Apple Tart

One premade store-bought pastry crust for a 9″ pie, single crust

3 Granny Smith, apples, cored and peeled and thinly sliced*

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 tablespoons apricot preserves (other jam such as strawberry may also be used)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Unroll the pastry dough and gently fit it to a 9″ tart pan, gently press to fit and trim off the excess dough by pressing on the fluted rim. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.

Place the cored and sliced apples in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice, the cinnamon and sugar to coat. Arrange the apple slices in circles as shown above starting on the outside and working towards the center and allow them to overlap slightly.

Warm the preserves in a small dish in the microwave. Brush the preserves over the apple slices. Bake until the edges are golden and the apples have cooked down a bit, about 1 hour.  Cool completely before removing the tart pan ring.  More preserves may be brushed over the tart at this point if a glossier look is desired. 

* Cortland, Macintosh or any other firm type of apple may be used as well. An easy way to get the uniform slices such as the picture above is to use an apple slicer. I have a few on my shop The Hive Shop. The link is on this page. 

Caramel Corn

This recipe comes from a good Instagram friend Kim, @ingleepartyof 5

10 cups popped popcorn

2 cups packed brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp. salt

two sticks butter

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 250F

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the popcorn over both sheets and add a bit of salt to each tray.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Add sugar and syrup. Stir constantly. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes, continue to stir. Remove from heat and immediately add vanilla, baking soda and cream of tartar.

Pour caramel over the popcorn and toss to coat. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  

Cool completely and break into pieces. Enjoy!

Note – this makes a terrific gift packed into decorative tins or in goodie bags tied with ribbon!

 

Chocolate Bread Pudding

This recipe is from DeliaOnline

INGREDIENTS

9 slices good quality white bread, one day old, taken from a large, medium sliced loaf
4 tablespoons dark rum
 
You will need a shallow ovenproof dish 7 x 9 inches and approx. 2″ deep, lightly buttered.

Begin by removing the crusts from the slices of bread, which should leave you with 9 pieces about 4 inches (10 cm) square.

So now cut each slice into 4 triangles. Next, place the chocolate, whipping cream, rum, sugar, butter and cinnamon in a bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, being careful not to let the bowl touch the water, then wait until the butter and chocolate have melted and the sugar has completely dissolved. Next, remove the bowl from the heat and give it a really good stir to amalgamate all the ingredients.

Now in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and then pour the chocolate mixture over them and whisk again very thoroughly to blend them together. Then spoon about a ½ inch (1 cm) layer of the chocolate mixture into the base of the dish and arrange half the bread triangles over the chocolate in overlapping rows. Now, pour half the remaining chocolate mixture all over the bread as evenly as possible, then arrange the rest of the triangles over that, finishing off with a layer of chocolate. Use a fork to press the bread gently down so that it gets covered very evenly with the liquid as it cools.

Cover the dish with clingfilm and allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours before transferring it to the fridge for a minimum of 24 (but preferably 48) hours before cooking.

When you’re ready to cook the pudding, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C). Remove the clingfilm and bake in the oven on a high shelf for 30-35 minutes, by which time the top will be crunchy and the inside soft and squidgy. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes before serving with well-chilled whipped cream poured over.

Classic Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Food and Wine Magazine

Ingredients

  • 2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), melted
  • 1/2 packed cup plus 2 teaspoons light brown sugar, divided
  • 2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries or huckleberries

How to Make It   

Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir together crushed graham crackers, butter, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a bowl. Press mixture into bottom of a 10-inch springform pan; wrap bottom of pan in aluminum foil, or place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. (Leave oven temperature at 375°F.)    

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, egg yolks, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Using clean beaters, beat egg whites in a separate medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Fold egg whites into cream cheese mixture in 3 additions. Pour mixture into prepared crust, and smooth top.   

Bake cheesecake at 375°F until filling is puffed and top begins to dry out, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 1 hour.   

Whisk together sour cream, remaining 2 teaspoons brown sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a bowl. Gently spoon onto cheesecake; smooth using an offset spatula.    

Bake cheesecake at 375°F until center is set (center will wobble slightly), 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 1 hour. Place in refrigerator until chilled, at least 6 hours or up to 8 hours or overnight.    

Meanwhile, stir together blueberries and remaining 3 tablespoons granulated sugar in a small saucepan; cook over medium-high, stirring often, until blueberries start to release juices and sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool.    

Run a knife around edges of cheesecake in pan. Remove springform ring from cheesecake, and transfer to a serving platter. Spoon blueberry sauce over cheesecake just before serving.

Creamy Hazelnut Pie

recipe courtesy of Taste of Home
Ingredients:

1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 1/4 cups Nutella, divided

1 8oz. carton frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 chocolate crumb crust (9″)

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 cup of Nutella until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread evenly into crust.

Warm remaining Nutella in microwave for 15-20 seconds, drizzle over pie. Gently swirl with a knife. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Yield – 8 servings

 

Concord Grape Cobbler

Concord Grape Cobbler adapted from Arthur Street Kitchen

 

Serves 4-6

  • 1 stick (113g) butter
  • 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup low fat milk (or almond milk)
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tsp vanilla extra
  • 2 cups seedless concord grapes (or other fruit) – if they have seeds, cut in half and remove them!
  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Place the butter in one 10 inch cast-iron skillet or, as I used, two 6.5 inch skillets (just halve the butter and put some in each). Place in the preheated oven and allow the butter to melt.

Prepare the grapes by coating them with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Using a hand whisk, stir in the milk, sugar, vanilla, and lime juice, until well combined.

Once the butter has melted in the skillet, carefully remove from the oven and pour the batter into the pan with the butter. Working quickly, top the batter with the sugared grapes. Place back into the oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes until the batter is golden and has risen around the fruit. Place a large baking tray under the skillet to catch any batter or butter overflow.

Allow the cobbler to cool, preferably for around 20-30 minutes. I always allow my cobblers to cool a little before eating as this allows the fruit juices to thicken underneath the batter.

Easy Lemon Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Here I go again! Loving my coconut desserts! This recipe is both easy and delicious.

1 can (13.6 oz.) coconut cream, well stirred

1 pkg. yellow cake mix

3 eggs

1 tbsp. pure lemon extract

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

1, 7 oz. bag sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350F.

Reserve 2 tbsp. of the coconut cream for the frosting. Beat the cake mix, remaining coconut cream, 1/2 cup of the coconut, eggs and lemon extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed for three minutes. Spoon batter into paper lined cupcake tins (I used the large size tins), filling 2/3 full.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool in pans then on racks. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting – beat butter, reserved coconut cream and cream cheese until well blended. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until smooth. Frost each cupcake amply, then dip (see pictures) in the coconut lightly. Be sure to roll the cupcake around to get well covered in the coconut. ENJOY!

4 Ingredient Key Lime Pie!

If you’re in a hurry and need a dessert, I highly recommend the recipe on the back of the Nellie and Joe’s key lime juice.  Just 4 ingredients and done in no time.  It’s one of my go-to summer recipes! In the picture above, I made a shortbread crust as an alternative to the traditional graham cracker crust.  Equally as delicious. To order this product just click here Nellie & Joe Key West Lime Juice.

blend all ingredients together, pour into pie shell and bake in preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes. Cool completely and chill before serving.