Biscoff Stuffed Sugar Cookies

I’ve already confessed my love of Biscoff Spread on here and I get pretty excited about any opportunity to use it when I’m baking. When I originally saw this cookie recipe I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it because the cookies were filled with Nutella. I realize it’s basically sacrilegious to say I don’t love Nutella, but it’s just not my thing. Biscoff Spread however, is totally my thing, so it only made sense to fill these cookies with Biscoff!

And let me tell you, that was an excellent choice. The light flavor of a sugar cookie pairs perfectly with the cinnamony  Biscoff to make a cookie that is really delicious. I was planning to give all these cookies away after baking them, but I’ll definitely squirrel away a few for myself!

Biscoff Stuffed Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Biscoff Spread
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 7/8 cup (14 tbl.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. coarse ground sea salt
Directions
  1. Divide the Biscoff Spread into teaspoon sized drops and place on a wax lined cookie sheet. Freeze for 20-30 minutes while you prepare the cookie dough.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with wax paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together then set aside.
  4. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar until creamy and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and the vanilla. Slowly stir in the flour mixture until combined.
  5. Before assembling the cookies, place 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl and take the Biscoff out of the freezer. Use a tablespoon sized scoop to make balls of cookie dough. To assemble the cookies, take one tablespoon sized ball of dough and flatten it slightly, sprinkle lightly with sea salt and place a piece of frozen Biscoff on top. Take another ball of cookie dough and smooth it over the top of the Biscoff and seal the edges with your fingers. Roll the ball in sugar to coat and then place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough and Biscoff spacing the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake the cookies for about 10 to 13 minutes until the edges are set and just beginning to brown, the centers will still look soft and puffy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Enjoy!
Makes: 24 cookies
Adapted from Cookin’ Canuck

Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread

This is my last semester of grad school and it’s been… busy. Since I haven’t had much spare time to make complicated dinners, soup has become my go-to meal. I’ve been making a big pot on Sunday afternoons and then enjoying the leftovers throughout the week. Most of the time I’m pretty content just eating soup on its own, but every now and then it’s really nice to have some cornbread to go along with it.

I made a batch of this Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread over the weekend and it’s delicious! The jalapeños add a little spice without being overpowering and it’s perfect crumbled up on top of some soup, or on the side with a pat of butter.

Ideally this recipe should be made in a cast iron skillet. My skillet is a little on the small side, so I baked half the batter in there and divided the remaining batter up between some mini-muffin tins. I froze the little cornbread muffins so I can pull them out of the freezer the next time I’m eating soup that could benefit from some tasty cornbread!

Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of cornmeal (yellow or white)
  • ½ cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk (or 2 tbl. white vinegar + enough milk to equal 2 cups)
  • 2 jalapeños, diced
  • 1 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put the oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven for several minutes until it’s hot and sizzling.
  2. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. Whisk the buttermilk and egg together, then add to the dry ingredients. Fold in jalapeños and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  4. Take the skillet out of the oven and pour the hot oil into the batter, stir until combined. Pour the batter back into the cast iron skillet and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over the top.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes until the top is brown and beginning to pull away from the sides of the skillet. Let cool for a few minutes then cut and serve. Enjoy!
Source: A Cozy Kitchen

Fluffernutter Blondies

In my hometown where I grew up, there used to be a lunch spot that had the most amazing sandwiches, soups and baked goods. One of the items on their menu was a grilled fluffernutter sandwich, it was one of those things I always drooled over but never actually ordered. The restaurant went out of business a few years ago, before I ever got the chance to try their fluffernutter sandwich. Since then, I’ve come to realize that you should never turn down the option to eat something with fluffernutter in the name!

These blondies are loaded with mini Reese’s cups and peanut butter with swirls of marshmallow cream- basically everything you could hope to have in a blondie. Be warned though, they are pretty rich, so cut small pieces!

Fluffernutter Blondies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz. bag Mini-Reeses
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the baking soda, salt and flour together until combined, then set aside.
  3. Cream butter and peanut butter together in a mixer, then add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the peanut butter cups and chocolate chips.
  5. Spread the batter in the bottom of a pan then drop the marshmallow cream in tablespoon sized dollops over the surface. Use a knife to swirl into the batter.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the side comes out clean, don’t overbake. Allow to cool before slicing. Enjoy!
Adapted from Cookies and Cups

French Onion Soup

When I first decided to become a strict vegetarian, French Onion Soup was one of the things I missed the most. Admittedly, one of my favorite parts is the bread and melted cheese on top, but the caramelized onions and rich broth are hard to beat too! A few years ago I discovered some beef-flavored vegetable broth that was vegetarian-friendly and naturally, the first thing I made with it was French Onion Soup. I experimented with several recipes before coming up with this version, which happens to combine wonderful taste with ease of crock pot preparation. The onions slowly cook and caramelize all day and when you get home at night all you have to do is add some liquid and this delicious soup is ready to go. It’s super easy and low maintenance, and it tastes great.

If you’re a vegetarian and are looking for a beef broth alternative, I’ve had good luck with the brand ‘Better than Bouillon’. There are other brands that work great too, and I’ve also heard that mushroom broth will add a similar flavor.

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds yellow onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 8 cups beef broth (low sodium) or vegetarian beef broth alternative
  • 1/2 cup Sherry
  • Salt and pepper
  • French Bread
  • Gruyere or Swiss cheese
Directions
  1. Turn the crock pot on high and add the butter. While the butter melts, thinly slice all the onions and add them to the crock pot along with the sugar. Stir to combine and then cook on high for 5-6 hours, or low for 8 to 10 hours, until the onions have caramelized.
  2. Stir the flour in with the onions and let it cook for about 3 minutes. Slowly add the beef broth and sherry then cook on high for about an hour until it’s hot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toast the bread in a toaster until browned on both sides. If you have oven safe bowls, ladle the soup into the bowl then place a piece of toast on top. Layer a slice of cheese on top of the bread and put in the oven under the broiler setting for a few minutes until the cheese melts. If you don’t have oven safe bowls, place the toasted slices of bread on a cookie sheet and put a slice of cheese on top and cook under the broiler until the cheese melts, then put the pieces of toast and melted cheese on top of the soup. Enjoy!
Makes: 6 servings
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Blueberry Bread (or Muffins!)

I’ve been on a big blueberry kick for the last month or so and have been buying a fresh carton nearly every time I visit the grocery store. Mostly I eat them on my cereal in the morning, or mixed with some vanilla Greek yogurt for a snack in the afternoon. Last week though, I realized I had way more berries in my fridge than I was going to be able to eat in a timely fashion so naturally I decided they needed to be baked into something!

This blueberry bread is one of my favorite recipes, it’s moist and the blueberry flavor really shines through. There are two flavor options with this bread- a lemon version that has lemon extract and zest baked into the bread and a lemony glaze that goes on after baking, or the brown sugar streusel option that has almond extract in the bread and a tasty streusel topping. I have to say that I ever so slightly prefer the streusel version. Partially because I’m a little bit addicted to anything that has a streusel, but also because I love the nutmeg and almond extract, they sound a little unusual to pair with blueberries, but the end result is delicious. Both options are fantastic though, you really can’t go wrong!

Blueberry Bread (or Muffins!)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. almond extract (or 1 tsp. lemon extract for lemon version)
  • 1 heaping tbl. lemon zest (for lemon version)
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries, mashed
  • 1/2 cup milk
Topping for Streusel Version (goes on before baking)
  • 2 tbl. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tbl. oats (traditional or quick cook)
Topping for Lemon Version (goes on after baking)
  • 3 tbl. lemon juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Directions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees for muffins, or 350 degrees for bread.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, then set aside.
  3. Use a mixer to beat the butter until creamy then add the sugars and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time followed by the extract and lemon zest (if using). Stir in the mashed blueberries.
  4. Fold in half the flour, then half the milk. Add the remaining blueberries then the rest of the flour and milk. Stir until just combined.
  5. Pour into bread pans or muffin tins.
  6. Streusel Version- mix the nutmeg, oats and sugar together and sprinkle on top of the batter. Press down gently.
  7. Bake muffins for 25-30 minutes and the bread for 35-40.
  8. Lemon Version-  heat the lemon juice in the microwave for a few seconds then add the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the cooled bread/muffins.

Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce

My day almost always starts off with a bowl of Cheerios and some fresh fruit. I love eggs and other breakfast foods, but I’d rather eat them for dinner instead of first thing in the morning. One of my go-to dinners for nights when I’m feeling lazy is a couple of fried eggs on toast. This baked egg dish takes that general concept and bumps it up a few notches. There is a layer of tomato sauce, a little mozzarella cheese and an egg baked until the white is set, but the yolk is still soft and runny. Serve it with some toast on the side for dipping and it’s a tasty and ridiculously easy meal!

Baked Eggs in Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/4-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 slices of bread
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Heat up the tomato sauce in the microwave or on the stove and divide it evenly between 4 oven safe bowls or ramekins. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the warm tomato sauce and then use a large spoon to make a shallow indentation in the cheese and sauce. Gently crack the eggs and put one in each ramekin being careful not to break the yolk. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny.
  3. When the eggs are almost done, toast the bread and cut the slices in half. When the eggs come out of the oven, sprinkle them with salt, pepper and fresh basil. Serve immediately and use the toast for dipping. Enjoy!
Makes: 4 servings
Adapted from A Tasty Kitchen

Chocolate Cherry Hearts

When I was in high school I took several years of Spanish class. Our teacher was very generous with extra credit, and one of the ways we could earn some was by bringing chocolate or baked goods to class. Since I love to bake, that was clearly a policy I exploited! After 3 years of Spanish classes I could barely put together a coherent sentence, but the many baked goods I brought to class ensured I made it through with great grades.  The first time I made this cookie recipe was for that class, but I lost the recipe shortly after and haven’t made them since! When I started thinking about what Valentine-themed cookie I wanted to make, these were the first ones I thought of and fortunately I was able to find the recipe again.

Red Velvet is always a popular, and delicious, choice for Valentine’s day, but if you’re looking for something a little different these Chocolate Cherry Hearts are an excellent alternative. The chocolate cookies have a shortbread-like texture and the maraschino cherry frosting tastes good and adds a great pop of color!

Chocolate Cherry Hearts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
Directions
  1. Use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the milk, egg, vanilla, and almond and mix until combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture and beat until just combined. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour until the dough is easy to handle.
  3. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Lightly flour a surface and roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Use heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut out each cookie and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Let them sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before moving to a wire rack to cool.
  5. To make the frosting, use a mixer to combine the butter and powdered sugar. Add enough maraschino cherry juice to achieve a spreadable consistency and beat until fluffy, then frost the cookies.
Adapted from Taste of Home

Penne Pasta with Vegetables and Caramelized Onions

Slightly blurry, but super yummy! :D

Pasta is one of those meals that I’m pretty much always in the mood for- it’s good in the summer when it’s warm out, and it’s even better this time of year when you want a warm, filling dinner. Lots of pasta recipes come with heavy cream sauces and lots of cheese, and while those are certainly delicious, it’s nice to have a lighter option too. Even if I wasn’t looking for a healthy pasta meal, this would still be one of my favorites! The caramelized onions and dried cranberries both add a delicious and a unique flavor. Feel free to add more vegetables if you have a favorite that isn’t included in the recipe!

Penne Pasta with Vegetables and Caramelized Onions

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 8 cups water
  • 5 tbl. olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 cup broccoli flowerets
  • 1/2 cup chopped red or green peppers
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tbl dried Italian herb mix
  • Coarse ground sea salt
  • Parmesan cheese
Directions
  1. Boil a pot of water and cook the pasta until tender. While the water is heating up and the pasta is cooking, prepare the rest of the vegetables.
  2. Heat 2 tbl. of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil it hot, add the onions and cook until brown and caramelized. Add the broccoli, carrots and peppers and cook until the vegetables are slightly tender. It’s best if the vegetables still have a crunchy texture, so don’t overcook. Add the cranberries, herbs and salt to the cooked vegetables.
  3. When the pasta is done and has been drained, move the vegetables to the edges of the skillet and pour 3 tbl. of olive oil into the middle. When the oil is hot add the pasta and stir thoroughly to mix all the ingredients together.
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving. Enjoy!
Makes: 4-6
Source: An Original

Gooey Cookies ‘n Cream Bars

Marshmallow Cream and Oreos. Basically, that’s all you need to know about these bars. Well, there’s also Cookies ‘n Cream chocolate bars and a top and bottom cookie layer with Oreo crumbs mixed in.

All together, these bars are fantastic, which is a good thing since they’re a little time-consuming to put together. The actual mixing part is very straight forward, but the dough is on the sticky side, as is the marshmallow cream. Layering everything together did test my patience a little bit, but, turn on some good music and it won’t be too bad. Plus- the gooey end result will be more than worth it!

Gooey Cookies ‘n Cream Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup Oreo crumbs
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped Oreos
  • 2 king-sized Cookies ‘n Cream candy bars (e.g. Hershey’s)*
  • 3 cups marshmallow creme
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with foil and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cookie crumbs, baking powder and salt.
  3. Cream the sugar and butter together until pale yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat together. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Place half the dough in the prepared pan and press evenly using the back of a greased spoon on your fingers. Put the remaining dough in the fridge to chill for a few minutes. Break the Cookies ‘n Cream bars into chunks and place them evenly across the dough. Scatter the Oreo chunks across the top. Use a small spoon to put little dollops of the marshmallow cream all over the surface. Take the remaining dough out of the fridge. Scoop out a tablespoon or two sized ball of dough and flatten it into a ‘shingle’ then place it on top of the marshmallow cream. Continue with the rest of the dough, it doesn’t have to make a perfectly smooth layer over the top, it’s fine if some marshmallow or Oreo are sticking through.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, the top should be slightly browned. Let them cool before using the edges of the tin foil to lift the bars out of the pan. Eat at room temperature, or pop them in the microwave 30 seconds to heat them up. Enjoy!
Adapted from Willow Bird Baking