Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin Twinkies

I didn't intend for this to be a week of pumpkin goodies, but it is Halloween, so sure, why not? But about these twinkies--seriously so good. It's been a while since I made twinkies, so I figured a fall inspired flavor would be good. Soft and tender cakes are filled with a cream cheese and marshmallow cream filling.  Which is perfect for the pumpkin cakes. And super easy. It all starts with a prepackaged cake mix and a can of pumpkin. Boom, twinkies about a half hour later. Dave and I might trick or treat these over to some friends tonight. Unless we eat them all first. Which is a distinct possibility.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin and Spice Molasses Cookies

Molasses cookies are a fall standard, but each year I try to find a slight different version. Enter these pumpkin and spice molasses cookies. The trick with these guys is that they have pumpkin in them, making them a little soft and chewy. Plus all the spices and flavors of a standard molasses cookie. And then they're dipped in white chocolate for a creamy finish. No, it's not too much going on, why would you say such things? These cookies are perfect, delicious and I can think of a handful of people who might want to see a few of these in their cookie tins this holiday season.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake Snickerdoodles

Where do I start with these cookies? Pumpkin, so of course they taste like fall. Cheesecake, yup a creamy filling inside each cookie. And Snickerdoodle, because, hello? Snickerdoodles! But I need to be honest--these cookies are a touch time consuming and the dough will work against you a bit. But your patience will be rewarded with an amazingly good cookie. The cookie is soft, coated in cinnamon sugar and full of pumpkin flavor. Plus a creamy center surprises you with a lovely cheesecake filling. These would be a perfect cookie for a fall festival or even your Thanksgiving dessert table (I promise you, it is not to early to start thinking about your Thanksgiving menu!).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

Ok, so I've talked about the little peanut butter pretzel nuggets I can't get enough of. So of course a cookie was in order. These chunky cookies offer two types of peanut butter flavor--actual peanut butter cookie dough and Reese's Pieces strewn throughout for crispy, crunchy fun. And the salty pretzels offer more crunch and flavor. These were a hit with the peanut butter feign in my house (that'd be Dave) and I loved everything about them too. Didn't even miss chocolate! All kinds of peanut butter goodness from a cookie with a tender inside and tons of crunch. Yum!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Root Beer Float Cookies

Since our little guy is schedule to arrive just before Christmas, cookie season has started, so get ready for lots of fun and delicious cookies coming your way. Both with recipes posted here and for my lucky friends and family, expect some tins to arrive a bit early this year (hey, I'll have to clear out the freezer to make way for dinners so Dave and I can remember/have time to eat once we're a family of three). But before I get into the holiday treats, these cookies were special birthday baking for my nephew Aidan who turned 11 last week! That boy is a root beer fan, so I wanted to make him a cookie in a favorite flavor. But I also wanted to make something new since I just make these Root Beer Sandwich Cookies. So I went with a root beer twist on chocolate chip, using white chocolate chips for the "float" flavor. The result is a delicious cookie with a slightly crisp edge and soft interior, packing lots of root beer flavor and studded with white chocolate to add sweetness and creaminess. Win!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Glazed Pumpkin Donuts

I may or may not have bought new donut pans specifically for this recipe. Ok, so I did. But I swear I'll use them for lots of other delicious donuts too! It's pumpkin season and I've had a hankering for donuts, but when did donuts get to be $1.29 each from the bakery at the grocery store? That definitely is highway robbery. So really, the pans are an investment. And they were rightfully christened with these delicious, cakey, pumpkin gems. Ok, first the donuts: perfect, tender, just the right amount of spice to enhance the pumpkin but not overdone and so soft and fluffy inside. Then they're topped of with a simple glaze (and some of them got double dipped because I had extra glaze!). Yes these are the baked pumpkin donut you've been waiting for.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Caramel Apple Cake

We are loving apple season right now. Beautiful, delicious, fresh apples have been abundant lately--one of my most favorite things about New England. We've been buying tons from the farm stand and last weekend went to the orchard to get them fresh off the tree. There's just something about eating an apple right off the tree while walking in the orchard that makes it taste that much better. Of course, with the abundance of apples, we've been eating a few a day (each!) but I've had my eye on some recipes as well. I'm not a huge baked fruit fan--like pies--but there are some recipes I can get behind, one of which is the awesome Caramel Apple Cake. That just sounds like fall, right? And I got to tell you, it's delicious. The cake is tender and full of flavor, with shredded apples throughout, a nice brown sugar boost and then topped with a caramel sauce drizzle, it doesn't need anything else. Well, maybe to be served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yeah, that happened. And it was a very good thing. I'm so glad that I got to make this recipe for this month's Secret Recipe Club!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pork Chops with Garlic and Lemon Sauce

You guys, I made an awesome dinner the other night. Seriously, we were both super satisfied with these amazing pork chops. Oodles of flavor and on the table in about 20 minutes.Seriously, what more could you ask for? The pork chops are delicious and tender, and the sauce has a good balance of lemon and garlic to offer something a little different and bright. What I enjoy of these stove top pork chops is how easy it is to keep them juicy and moist, which can sometimes be tricky when you're working with them on the grill--they can get dry so quickly. So in addition to a delicious chop, you also get a lovely sauce with this recipe. By the way, that sauce was pretty tasty when it made it's way to my baked potato, too.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Double Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

There's something about a chocolate cookie with chocolate chips that just makes me smile. And made that some dark chocolate--on both levels--and that's even better. Rich and delicious, soft and just begging for a glass of milk to be dunked in, these cookies are lovely and delicious. Definitely will make it on the Christmas baking list. A dark flavored cocoa paired with a dark chocolate chip makes it just a touch more elegant than a regular double chocolate cookie. It's the grown up version and as a chocolate feign, I love everything about it.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Beef and Barley Soup

It's definitely turned to fall this week. The leaves started to turn, then the cool weather, then the rain. Which means we're in one of my favorite cooking seasons! Bring on the crock pots and soup pots and fill them to the bring with chilis, stews and soups for hearty, heart-warming and deliciously cozy suppers. And this soup is one of our favorites for this season. It's wholesome, super tasty and can really fill you up without feeling heavy. The fresh vegetables are perfect and I must tell you--this recipe is what made me understand why good soup taste the way it does. The secret is leeks. Regular onion is great (and also in this recipe) but leeks just bring a whole other element and really set this dish apart from other homemade beef soups. Dave and I have been enjoying this recipe for five years and I've just become accustomed to doubling it. And we still fight over the leftovers.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

I may or may not have made 3 batches of these cookies last month. For real these are good. I took a batch to my sister's surprise 40th birthday party and no one could get enough. One person even said they were the best chocolate chip cookies she's ever had. Sure, I'll take that compliment. These are soft chocolate chip cookies with just a bit of something extra thanks to the addition of malted milk powder. The flavor difference is subtle, but it's there and makes for a delicious treat. Plus, can we talk about the amount of chocolate chips in these cookies? It's a lot. Like several chips in every bite--yum! These cookies are going on the holiday list (keep an eye out people!)--sometimes it's good to have just a touch of an alternative to a chocolate chip cookie. And this is one that's a keeper.