Friday, November 30, 2012

Cherry Almond Bread

I always think that cherries and almonds shouldn't work together but they really do and the result is always perfect.  I think the almond flavors just really make the cherry shine as a true star.  And it's a rather holiday-like combination, so this bread seemed a perfect fit for gifting this season.  A bread with a moist crumb, dotted with almonds and sweet cherries, you'll love the smell and taste and know immediately it is meant to be shared.  Which is why I made this my treat to this month's recipient of my Foodie Pen Pal package.

The Lean Green Bean

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Butterfinger Blondies

Apparently my sister's house is the "good" house in her neighborhood.  The one that gives out full-sized bars for Halloween.  I know this because at Thanksgiving, there was a still a bucket of full-sized candy bars sitting in her dining room, waiting to be put out of their misery.  Amongst the orphaned candy bars were some Butterfingers.  "Don't worry," I said, "I'll take care of these little guys."  And it was a good thing because despite the three pies, blondies, various cookies, breads, fudge and pumpkin roll, these bars were the only dessert my sister, Amy, wanted that whole week.  And I can't say I blame her.  The sweet and salty combo in these blondies is perfect and the thick layer of frosting makes them stand apart from the typical bar.  The peanut butter and chocolate flavors are apparent and divine but not overwhelming or dominant.  Dave and my brother in law, Nate, also loved them, stating they were actually better than eating a Butterfinger in candy bar form.  Dave even went so far as to request them for his birthday baking next month (I totally smuggled three more Butterfingers out of Amy's house to do so).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Chili

I love recipes that encompass many of my favorite things, like Mexican flavors, comforting chili and using my crock pot.  This chili is full of flavor and easy to make, plus it makes the whole house smell like yum as it cooks away all day.  The perfect meal for a crisp fall night, especially a busy weeknight, since you can toss everything in the crock pot in the morning and have dinner on the table quickly in the evening.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and that you are able to celebrate with friends, family and wonderful food.  I'm thankful for many things this year, including my wonderful readers.  Thanks for visiting, commenting, and making it fun for me to bake and blog.

I'm at my sister's for the holiday and yesterday my niece Abi and I started making desserts with Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Blondies.  Hope you have all the tasty treats you want and get to share them with people you love.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


It's another doodle!  As promised, this is a special doodle which is actually what would happen if a Snickerdoodle and a Gingersnap got married and had a baby.  You get the soft, cinnamony goodness of a Snickerdoodle on one side and the molassesy, ginger yummyness on the other, smooshed together in on lovely cookie. This is a wonderful holiday cookie combining two favorites and it's totally worth making. It might seem like you're working twice as much to get one cookie, what with making two kinds of dough and then rolling them twice, but I argue you're working half as hard to get two cookies in one.  Either way, you need these cookies for Santa this year.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Apple Pie Bread

As American, apple pie, where did you think I was going with this?  Are you hosting a bunch of people at your house for Thanksgiving and wondering what you're going to feed them for breakfast while you're busy with the bird?  Me neither, but my sister is (and I'm one of the lucky people who completely intends to drive her crazy (and be helpful) that day) so I came up with a delicious quick bread that's perfect for the holiday and can be made in advance and made for sharing, perhaps as a little hostess gift.  As in, it would be really nice of me to make this and bring it to my sister's house since we're staying there for a week.  (See, that's how I talk myself into more baking.)  The bread is soft with a tender, buttery crumb lending a nice "crust" effect.  Big chunks of apple are scattered throughout and a perfect cinnamon topping make this an excellent replica of pie.  It's like pie for breakfast.  Or a snack.  Or dessert.  Or whenever you want pie but want something a little more coffee-dunking friendly.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cinnamon Cranberry Swirl Cookies

Swirled cookies are probably one of my absolute favorites.  To make, to eat, either way I love these cookies and they totally put me in a holiday mood.  And these particular swirl cookies are extra holiday mood inducing.  A perfect cinnamon-spiced dough wrapped around tart fresh cranberries with a perfect holiday coloring--yes, these will do just fine on my cookie tray.  One bite and it's a burst of holiday flavor in your mouth, with a subtle crunch and a perfect balance of tart and sweet in a simple cranberry sauce filling.  This cookie could easily be one of my new favorites.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


It may not be the prettiest thing to look at but boy is it tasty and it reminds me of home.  This is comfort food in my world.  Delicious and easy to prepare, this is one of those dishes you can count on being right every time.  But it's also one I don't think of making often and every time I do make it, I think, "I should make that more often," and then forget about it for a while and the cycle continues.  I went to the farm stand recently, saw a bunch of cabbages and immediately thought of this dish.  When I took my little cabbage to the register, the attendant said, "Isn't this a cute little cabbage?"  "Yes," I said, "I thought to myself, aw, I want to take you home and eat you."  And the attendant and I perfectly understood each other.  Yeah, we had a moment.  And even if you don't typically like cabbage, this dish might surprise you.  Cooked down, coated in butter and added to carbs?  Yeah, that's the way to eat cabbage.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bourbon Chicken

You know that awesome feeling you get when you replicate a restaurant or take-out meal in your own kitchen?  The part of you that sings when someone tastes it and says, "This tastes exactly like the stuff you get at so-and-so?"  Yeah, get ready because that's exactly how you'll feel when you make this.  Ever get the bourbon chicken at the Chinese/Asian stand at the mall food court?  Or just sample it from the guy standing there with a tray of toothpicks with a chunk of saucy chicken on the end?  This is that chicken.  And it's amazing.  It's got a blend of a little sweet, a very mild spice and and overall sense of yum.  The chicken is juicy and flavorful, and the sauce has a great consistency of not too thin or too thick, so it goes great with the chicken over rice.

Secret Recipe Club

Did you notice that it's the second Tuesday of the month so it's Secret Recipe Club time again?  Cause it is!  By now, you probably know what that means.  Each Monday a group of bloggers post a recipe they've made from another blogger's repertoire.  Nobody knows who's featuring their blog until that day and it's a fun chance to visit new blogs and try something different. Visit some of the other bloggers in my group by checking out the blog hop at the bottom of this post.  To learn more about Secret Recipe Club, click here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pumpkin Roll

As you may know, I don't generally do cakes.  I've make a few here and there, but I don't have the patience for decorating, so I stick to the things I love--like cookies and muffins.  But, like any good Girl Scout, before I hang up my apron in defeat, I do like to give a good try to anything.  So the idea of baking a thin cake and spiraling it up with filling to make a rolled cake was a challenge I'd be willing to accept.  While seemingly difficult, I thought it was more about engineering that actual patience with details so since decoration was not necessary, I might be able to succeed here.  And who knew I could do it?  While there are a few tweaks I'll make for my next go around, I loved this cake and this process.  Dave was in awe and could have finished the whole thing if I'd have let him.  The cake has perfect texture with a lightness to it, not dense or heavy.  The cream cheese filling is sweet but not sickly and the addition of fiori di sicilia (like I did in the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins) offers a slight citrus note the complements the pumpkin and spices, as well as the lightness of the cake.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

I'm a year-round ice cream eater.  I don't care how cold it is outside or how cold I complain that I am, if I want ice cream, I'm going to eat ice cream.  Additionally, ice cream is generally the cure for what ails you in my family.  Sore throat?  Cough medicine, plenty of fluids, and ice cream.  Headache?  Two ibuprofen and ice cream, with sprinkles.  When my dad broke his leg and my mom took a photo of him in his cast to send to us, he was conspicuously eating something out of a bowl.  Immediately my then-three-year-old niece said it must be ice cream (it totally was).  Because ice cream has healing powers.  Apparently.  I bought some ice cream, deciding vanilla would be a good choice because a) Dave loves vanilla; and b) I could turn it into any flavor milkshake I wanted.  So when I offered Dave a milkshake after spying some leftover pumpkin in the fridge, I had an ulterior motive.  Of course Dave accepted the offer and when I asked if he wanted a special flavor, he's ears perked.  He surprised me at wanting to try a pumpkin pie flavored milkshake, but we were both glad he did.  This milkshake tastes eerily similar to it's pie counterpart, tasting exactly like the creamy pie goodness, with a dash of graham cracker crust and a perfect dollop of whipped cream.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon White Chocolate Bars

What had happened was I wanted to make a yummy pumpkin treat.  And I wanted a bar treat.  And I wanted something "in" said bars, like a chip or candy.  Perhaps of the white chocolate variety.  Oh, but cinnamon is so tasty with pumpkin.  Luckily I found this delicious recipe that yielded an amazing, soft cake-like bar that was a full-on pumpkin flavored treat with a smattering of white chocolate and cinnamon chips strewn throughout.  A delicious dessert, snack, breakfast (no judging!--pumpkin is healthy, right?) for you to enjoy and share.  I'm pretty sure Dave and I only shared these with each other--I honestly don't remember if Madaline and Ernie had any.  But still, it wasn't like I sat and ate the whole pan (cause I totally could have).  I love the texture and the combination of flavors is perfect for fall.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These are deceptive little monsters.  Oh, they look so innocent with their perfect pumpkin hue and their tasty streusel-y topping, like a lovely little fiber-filled muffin with a little sweetness.  Then you bite it and bam!--cream cheesey goodness all wrapped up inside.  These muffins are amazing.  I took them to a meeting and they went untouched for a little while.  Then someone had one.  And someone else noticed they weren't "normal" so they grabbed one.  And of course the other side of the table caught wind of the hidden treasure in these muffins and before I knew it, well, let's just say I didn't bring any leftovers home.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Welcome to a week's worth of pumpkin recipes!  And I could have done something interesting like showed you how to make your own pumpkin puree or use pumpkin in a savory dish, but really?  We're gearing up for the holiday season in a house that churns out cookies like they're going out of style.  Of course, every recipe is going to be sweet, scrumptious, and perfect for your Thanksgiving (or other holiday) gatherings.  It you expected anything different, you clearly don't know me that well.  I basically live on sugar, butter and chocolate for two months straight and then wonder in January why my pants don't fit.  So you're welcome and enjoy these tasty pumpkiny treats!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

This is a story about eating your stress.  A couple of weeks ago, my dear friends Rachel and John moved into their first home (yay!).  A delightful but stressful experience in general, this particular move was compounded by the fact that the in-laws decided to "help."  And while good intentions always come from the heart, they sometimes are not thought through to an extent allowing the recipients of those good intentions to truly appreciate the gesture.  Such as the in-laws deciding that they would come to the house before the movers came in that afternoon and start painting.  Let me repeat: putting in fresh paint, on walls, before and while the movers bring large boxes and miscellaneous furniture into the house on an already stress-filled day.  Dave and I had already invited Rachel and John to our house for dinner that night, thinking they'd want to get away from the boxes and mess, and in all likelihood, a kitchen unequipped to make ramen noodles let alone anything else until said boxes and mess were unpacked and put away.  So when Rachel burst through our doors venting about their overly-stressed day, before she even finished talking, I went to the fridge and pulled out a giant bowl of this delicious, satisfying, sweet, salty, crunchy bark that seemed to let the stress just melt away.  Yes, this bark has healing powers.  Or it's at least good enough to make you forget about your troubles, at least for a few hours.