Archive for the ‘Cookie’ Category

The Best Blondies Ever

I have a sweet tooth.  Big time.  Some might say it’s a problem or possibly even an addiction.  But I just think that I’m passionate about sweets, especially good sweets (I don’t want to be wasting those calories on just any sugar-filled baked good!)  So when I get a sugar/chocolate craving, I need something that I can make quickly and easily that will be rich, delicious, and full of flavor.  And these blondies do the trick. 

They are really moist (just don’t over-bake them) and you can vary the recipe according to what’s in the pantry or what your mood dictates.  My favorite combination is chock full of milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, toasted pecans, coconut, and toffee chips.  Ridiculous overload? I think not.  But if it is for you, instead try white chocolate and cashews, dried cranberries with dark chocolate, milk chocolate and walnuts or any number of possibilities!  This is a great go-to recipe for satisfying a sweet tooth or as a quick dessert for last minute guests.  Once cooked, cooled, and sliced, they even travel well. I brought a bunch with me last weekend to Richmond to give to a bunch of newly graduated college kids! 

 Blondies (the best ever)

  • ½ cup of butter, melted
  • 1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ cup to 1 cup of chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or any other combination

The possibilities are endless…

  • ½ cup to 1 cup of milk chocolate, white chocolate, or dark chocolate chips
  • ½ cup to 1 cup of toasted walnuts, pecans, almonds, or any other nut toasted
  • ½ cup of dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, etc)
  • ½ teaspoon of mint extract or almond extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Butter and flour an  8×8 pan.  Mix the melted butter with the brown sugar – beat until smooth.  Beat in egg and then vanilla.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.  Add the flour mixture into the butter/sugar mixture and mix until all the flour is incorporated.  Mix in any additional ingredients (choco chips, nuts, etc). 
  3. Pour into pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until set in the middle.  Cool on a rack and then cut into squares and serve.



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So these appear complicated and like something you might find in a French patisserie – but have no fear – they are so absolutely simple!  Two ingredients.  That’s it.  All I needed to buy for this recipe was puff pastry and the cane sugar was already in my kitchen. 


This is a simple but beautiful cookie that you can make very quickly and easily.  I kept mine very minimal but you can add spices such as cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg, or cinnamon.  If you are in the mood for chocolate, add some chocolate chips before rolling up the dough.  Palmiers, due to their simplicity, are paired nicely with coffee, tea, or espresso.  They would also go well with another dessert.  If you want a savory appetizer, replace the sugar with Parmesan and roll into it a very thin layer of pesto.


Palmiers (Elephant Ears)

Adapted from Garrett McCord of Vanilla Garlic at Simply Recipes

           Lots of granulated sugar (I prefer to use cane sugar)

           Puff pastry

           Parchment Paper (aka baking paper) or a Silpat baking mat

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of sugar over your workstation. Roll out the puff pastry to about 10X12 inches. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup of sugar (and spices or chocolate chips if using) over the dough.

2 Roll up the left vertical side inward, stopping in the middle of the dough. Roll up the right side of the dough. The two rolls should be meeting at the middle and touching. Press the two sides together gently and let the dough chill in the fridge for at least half an hour or in the freezer for 20 mins. Repeat with any more puff pastry you may have.

3 Starting at one end, cut off pieces of the log, in slices about 1/2 inch in thickness. Lightly sprinkle sugar onto each side. Pinch and press the sides of the two rolls together to ensure that they don’t unroll during baking. Place on large parchment lined baking sheets, or a baking sheet lined with a Silpat. They will increase size dramatically, so leave plenty of room between each cookie and only bake a dozen at a time.

4 Set the tray in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the sugar has caramelized. Allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy.


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