These blondies did more than just make my stomach happy. They clued me in to a little known (to me) fact about Darling Husband. The Snickerdoodle is his second favorite cookie! I have know this man almost six years and have never heard him even mention snickerdoodles! This was life-changing. I make a lot of cookies, and this is only the second time I have made something along the lines of a snickerdoodle. One would think if your spouse liked them so much, you would know and make them regularly. His favorite cookie is chocolate chip and you can't really argue with that. I'd say it's safe to guess most people really like chocolate chip. Snickerdoodle in second place? That was a shocker! However, these bars might have also boosted my love for snickerdoodles. They were dangerously easy to make and my whole house smelled amazing. They have that blondie texture: soft with a little bite. Cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top gives a nice little crust. I think I would even be more tempted to bake these before regular snickerdoodles. Perhaps I haven't given enough credit to this tasty cookie. It's not my second favorite (chocolate chip) but I'll have to add them to the rotation.
Preheat oven to 350. Coat 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside.
On medium speed, with your hand or stand mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Scrape the bowl as needed, beating until fully combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, until just combined, careful not to overmix.
Spread the dough evenly into prepared pan, batter will be thick. I used a spatula to spread evenly. Combine the 2 Tablespoons sugar with the 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of batter. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
I love these bars for fall. Snuggle up with these and a nice warm drink and you can't go wrong. You also just might learn something about the cookie preference of someone you love!
It's been a long time since my last update at Peyton's first birthday. As you can see, she's changed quite a bit. My little Baby P is a full on toddler. She started walking at about 13 months, but she really prefers to run everywhere. She is also very clear about things she prefers. From the jacket she wears, the toys she plays with, the food she eats, the songs I sing...this girl knows what she wants.
Our days are full of play. She's down to one nap a day now, so we have all morning to be out and about. She's happy to go to the grocery store, but hates the mall! Her favorite thing though, is just to be outside. Climbing toys at the playground, throwing rocks, watching birds, she loves it all. As far as indoor activities, she loves getting into everything! Cookie sheets, measuring cups, tupperware, spatulas...and that's all just before lunch. Lately we like building with blocks, but she does get frustrated when things don't fit exactly. We read lots and lots of books, typically the same few over and over. Peyton loves to "cook" and is so sweet about "feeding" all her babies. It's amazing to see her little imagination already so active.
Speaking of active, that should be her middle name. One of our favorite ways to pass the time? Lots and lots of dance parties. Doesn't really matter the song, we'll dance to it. Sometimes I'll glance at her in the rearview mirror and see her dancing in her car seat. I love her playful nature. It's so fun seeing her joy in the simple things.
We haven't had her 18-month visit, but I believe she's about 22 pounds. Food is still a positive thing. There are very few things she won't eat. There are times when she's a little more selective, but veggies, fruit, meat, they're all winners. So far she only says about 5 words. This does lead to frustration for both of us, since we have to communicate through lots of pointing and grunting. I know she'll get some words, but in the meantime it's quite the guessing game. Obviously, I just love this kid. Don't get me wrong, there are many days I want to pull my hair out. However, she is my little buddy and I love the kid she is becoming. Thank you Peyton for making all my days that much better.
Our neighborhood had a block party for Halloween. Since I was dressed as a donut, I made these donut holes to share. Peyton still refused to wear her costume! I put her in a cute Halloween shirt and she had fun playing with the neighborhood kids (who all wore their costumes!). The toddlers loved eating these, and were soon covered in cinnamon and sugar..perfect Halloween evening.
This recipe is easy, easy. Fresh from the oven and dipped in cinnamon and sugar, they are a real treat. All you need is a mini muffin pan. Really the recipe takes no time at all. I am sure kids would have a lot of fun dunking them in the cinnamon and sugar...and then eating them. Perfect for a weekend breakfast or after school snack.
Preheat oven to 400. Generously spray mini muffin pan, set aside.
In a large mixing whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg. Using hands work in brown sugar until clumps are broken up.
In a small bowl whisk cider, egg, vanilla, and 3 Tablespoons butter. Add wet ingredients to dry and fold together until you can no longer see any flour streaks, don't overmix. Fill mini muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
While donuts are baking, set up your dunking station. I used a large shallow bowl for the melted butter and combined sugar with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in a small paper sack. You can also just place your cinnamon sugar combo in another shallow bowl, but the paper sack was very easy.
As soon as muffins come out of the oven dump them on a cookie sheet. First roll them in the melted butter and then coat with cinnamon sugar. I coated the whole donut, but you could also just dip the tops in. Allow to cool on rack, if you can resist!
These little sweeties are no substitute for a wonderful deep fried donut, but you may feel a little less guilty about eating the entire batch.
So do you have oodles of Halloween candy left? We were pretty hopeful that we would have some serious trick-or-treaters here in our new neighborhood...we had about 10. But, we have a whole bag of candy from Costco. That's over 100 pieces. Needless to say I need to figure out what to do with all these fun size bars.
Honestly, I could eat it all. Unfortunately, that wouldn't be the best choice for my waist line. I figure the best way to get rid of candy is to turn it into baked goods. (Logic may not be one of my strong suits) There's a plethora of recipes for things to do with leftover candy. I decided to start with this chocolate shortbread.
Chocolate shortbread is very similar to classic shortbread. The texture is exactly the same. The chocolate flavor was slight, with an extra boost from the M&Ms. It's not an overly sweet cookie, so feel free to wash it down with more of that leftover candy. I think this would also be fun to make with mint candy. That's the nice thing about this recipe, it's a very versatile base.
Chocolate Shortbread Bars with M&Ms from Picky Palate 2 sticks butter, softened 1/2 cup sugar 2 Tablespoons brown sugar 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips 1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt M&Ms for garnish Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 pan with tin foil and coat with cooking spray. Using your stand or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Melt chocolate chips in microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted. Add melted chocolate chips to butter and sugar mix until completely blended. Slowly mix in salt and flour until combined. Dough will be thick. Press into pan and top with M&Ms (I placed them in rows) Bake for 30 minutes. Once cool cut into bars.
I'm really glad I made these bars. Such a good way to keep myself from eating candy......
How do you guys feel about pumpkin? Are you all about the craze? Or totally over it? I love a good pumpkin recipe, but I'm not super nutso about it. I don't need to have every little thing pumpkin flavored. I was at Trader Joe's a few weeks back and they had everything pumpkin! Even dog treats! For me, it just sets the mood for fall. Especially those darn pumpkin spice lattes!
I was all set to make this bread a few weeks ago. On that very day, Darling Husband brought home a loaf of pumpkin bread with chocolate chips from Great Harvest. I'm not the biggest fan of chocolate chips in my pumpkin bread, but wouldn't you know it, I think I ate the whole loaf myself! It was good okay?! But this bread? This bread might be giving Great Harvest a run for its money. It has that perfect pumpkin flavor with a layer of cream cheese running through the middle. I didn't add chocolate chips, but you sure could. The next day Darling Husband text me that the bread was good...success! Take that Great Harvest! (Just kidding, I love your bread)
Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Prepare cream cheese filling:
In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, egg, flour, and vanilla. Using a mixer beat on medium speed until all ingredients are smooth. Set aside.
Prepare pumpkin bread:
In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
In a large bowl mix together pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs. Gradually add dry ingredients, stir after each addition. Pour half the batter in prepared pan, spread cream cheese mixture over the top, add remaining pumpkin batter. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in pan, then remove and allow to cool completely.
This is the bread you make when you want your house to smell like fall. I had to get it out of the house to stop myself from eating the whole loaf (see story above). Even if you're not a pumpkin maniac, you might want to give this a try. It may just change your mind...don't blame me though.
I was really happy when this month's Bakin' Friends ingredient was revealed to be candy corn! I love that sweet sugary stuff! I mailed out these homemade Butterfinger and received these delicious sugar cookies from reader Aisha. I had no idea, but Aisha is expecting a brand new baby in January!! I loved these sugar cookies! Each one was garnished with a piece of candy corn! She used raw turbinado sugar which I think really added that something extra to these cookies. I have never used it before, but I'm looking forward to trying it! I wish I had more of these cookies now, but they didn't last long around here! If you would love to bake and receive some tasty goodies each month head on over to Steph's blog to sign up...it is so easy and worth it!
Are you all dressing up for Halloween? We always have fun with it at our house. At our old house we never had trick or treaters! I'm hoping that we'll have lots in our new house..otherwise I'll have a lot of little candy bars to eat! For the past few years we've been having some of my childhood friends over for a Halloween dinner. We all dress up and stuff ourselves with delicious food. To honor my love of sweets I decided we should dress up as donuts! Pretty easy to do with an inner tube and some spray paint...and a husband who is a pro at spray painting. I made P's costume with a floral wreath and some foam. She HATED it! Would not put it on! We'll see if she'll wear it tonight! We have a block party with our neighbors and then we'll be celebrating with our family tradition of a jack-o-lantern pizza from Papa Murphy's! Candy for dessert of course! Whatever you do, I hope it's fun!