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WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY BUTTER COOKIES

They’re not too sweet, a little chewy from the cranberries, soft, and crumbly like your traditional butter cookie. Without a doubt it’s easy to lose track how many you’ve eaten in one sitting. I swear they magically appear in my hand, I’m not sure how it happens.

I love things during the holidays for a classy look on some dessert options but not much has stopped me from making these during any other time of the year in the past. If you’re in the mood for any kind of cook at any time of year, no one can tell you no and stop you! Just a fair warning, you’ll probably want to double up the recipe. You’ll see why! 🙂


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WHITE CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY BUTTER COOKIES
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. Combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside. 
  3. Cream the sugar and butter in your stand or hand held mixer then add the egg and extracts until well combined. 
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugared butter and beat until just combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl, especially the bottom.
  5. Add the chopped white chocolate chips and cranberries. Use a large spoon to fold everything together in the cookie dough.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a medium (1.5 tablespoon) cookie dough scooper to scoop each butter cookie onto the baking sheet. Use the back of a teaspoon and flatten the center of the cookie with an imprint.
  7. Bake at 350 F degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes.  Let them sit a few minutes to cool before removing.

LOW CARB CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

These cookies are made with almond flour (blanched, but almond meal works too), and you’ll find that almond flour bakes a little bit darker than your usual all-purpose flour. So, don’t let the dark edges that appear almost burnt turn you away. These are crunchy, crumbly on the outside with a nice caramel flavor with a soft center. And I kid you not they taste even better frozen. Which is the weirdest thing I have ever heard of but it’s no joke. The best part about that is you can make a huge batch of these, keep in the freezer for longer shelf life, eat frozen or let them thaw. And, if you want them to taste like they’re fresh out of the oven you can stick a few in the microwave for 5-10 seconds depending on your microwave.

I’ve been on a mission the last few months to find healthier alternatives to pretty much anything edible without so much sugar and refined carbohydrates. Had I not gone on that mission I would’ve never discovered how amazing going keto with a chocolate chip cookie recipe would be. It’s so amazing that quite frankly, I don’t care to have another regular chocolate chip cookie ever again. For the brown sugar substitute, there are tons of brands with different ingredient options out there that you can choose from. But personally I like the ones that use stevia.

The carb count is ridiculously low at about 40 grams of carbs for the entire batch of approx. 3 dozen cookies should you use chocolate chips sweetened with stevia like Lilly’s Chocolate Chips. Which means just a few carbs per cookie max. Just keep in mind though, while these are much healthier to eat, they still are high calorie so that doesn’t mean you can eat a ton of them and not gain some weight! Lastly, when using a cookie dough scooper to portion out the cookies I like to use a spoon wrapped in plastic wrap to squash them a little for a proper cookie shape. Although, you don’t have to! If you don’t, you’ll want to bake them an extra minute or two so the center gets cooked through.

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LOW CARB CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Servings
dozen
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix the almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Combine the butter, coconut oil, and brown sugar substitute together in a standing mixer. Then, add the vanilla extract and eggs.
  3. Once everything is mixed well, add the flour in two parts.
  4. Toss in the chocolate chips and use a large spoon to mix them into the dough.
  5. Use a tablespoon cookie dough scooper to evenly portion out the cookies onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 375 F degrees for about 11-13 minutes. Let cool before transferring to a plate.

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Celebrating National Chocolate Cake Day, I decided to go a bit different from the traditional chocolate cake by complimenting chocolate with the worlds most loved stout, Guinness. If you’re a chocolate lover, and I don’t just mean milk chocolate… you will love this recipe! You don’t have to like Guinness to enjoy this recipe BUT these cupcakes are meant for taste buds that can appreciate a deep, dark chocolate flavor. So, if you’re ready for decadence, brace yourselves and go all out. I decided to pair it with a salted caramel frosting instead of the popular Bailey’s and/or Jameson frosting that a lot of people are doing. Personally, I find the salted caramel does an equal justice to the Guinness and chocolate.

The recipe typically calls for two sticks of butter but if you happen to find yourself making dry cakes; what I do is use half butter and half grapeseed oil. You can use any oil that you prefer but grapeseed oil yields the least flavor so the Guinness and chocolate aren’t competing with the flavor of the oil. When decorating the cupcakes feel free to be creative. I like keeping things simple and so all I did was sprinkle a little cocoa powder and edible gold dust on top. You can find edible gold or silver dust in the baking isle of an arts ‘n crafts store like JOANN’s, Michaels or Hobby Lobby, even Amazon.com. Have fun and HAPPY NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CAKE DAY!


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GUINNESS CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
GUINNESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
GUINNESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the Guinness, cocoa powder, and brown sugar. Whisk everything until smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Add the flour, sea salt, granulated sugar, and baking soda into a bowl of a standing mixer on low.
  3. Pour the Guinness mixture in three parts beating everything until everything is just combined. Increase speed without getting flour to fly out of the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs and plain Greek yogurt with the last part of the Guinness mixture, beat on medium until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the cupcake pan ¾ of the way.
  6. Bake at 350 F Degrees for about 20 - 25 minutes. Poke the center with a toothpick. If it comes out mostly clean then your cupcakes are done.
SALTED CARAMEL FROSTING
  1. In a small saucepan melt the butter, dark brown sugar with the heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract until the brown sugar dissolves. Let it come to a light boil for only a minute and then remove from heat to cool.
  2. Pour the salted caramel into a mixing bowl and pour a little bit of powdered sugar at a time. Start the mixer on low speed at first and bring it up to medium speed.
  3. Mix approximately 2 cups of powdered sugar until you get a nice thick fluffy consistency. Add a little more powdered sugar if needed.
  4. Use a heaping teaspoon to place a dollop of the frosting on top of the cupcake and use the back of the spoon to swirl around in circles until you have it spread out evenly.
  5. Garnish the top with cocoa powder and/or edible gold dust, sprinkles, whatever you prefer to decorate with.

MAPLE CARAMEL BACON BROWNIES

Soooo… I feel guilty coming up with this batch of gluttony, kinda. Thing is, as I always say, I’m all about moderation. I will choose to eat a small portion of pure guilty pleasurable goodness over a lot of some health-ified OOOOKAY tasting recipe. Yes, this is my excuse. This is me justifying that it’s okay to make this. Make it once a year and share it with EVERYONE and then you won’t eat it all to yourself.

The brownie recipe alone is fantastic if you’re all about a chewy, fudgy brownie with a perfect crust and edges. And feel free to add any of your favorite chopped nuts after you’ve combined everything together. Or chocolate chunks if you’re a chocoholic. Mix in some ground Mexican cinnamon for an Aztec flare, along with other spices like chili powder. There’s so many things you can do with a brownie recipe but most importantly, today it’s all about the bacon. CRISPY SALTY BACON! Wrapped around a pool of maple caramel. For goodness sakes!

Hopefully you’re reading this blog entry because I didn’t include this in the recipe… but I did sprinkle a little bit of pink Himalayan salt on top of everything to really make the bacon pop through all the sugary components. It works amazing. It’s worth at least sprinkling a little on one square first to try if you like it. Anyways, make this at least once… like now!

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MAPLE CARAMEL BACON BROWNIES
Servings
squares
Ingredients
Servings
squares
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl use a rubber spatula to mix the melted butter, sugar, and cocoa powder together. Then, add the eggs and vanilla extract.
  3. Lastly, fold in the flour and baking powder until the flour is completely blended into the cocoa mixture. Pour into the baking pan and spread out evenly.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the salted butter. Add the brown sugar and stir until it’s completely dissolved.
  6. Increase the heat to a low boil for about two minutes. Stir in the maple syrup and continue to boil for another 2 minutes until thickened. The syrup is ready once it coats the back of a spoon.
  7. Generously pour the syrup over the brownies and sprinkle the chopped bacon on top.

BOURBON BALLS

A friend of mine celebrated his birthday in September and gave me a little hell for not posting a Bourbon Balls recipe on the food blog in honor of bourbon month. I’ll admit I had never heard of bourbon balls before until he mentioned it. WELCOME TO THE SOUTH, JENN! I had discovered there are so many ways to make yummy bourbon balls and I truly wanted to try a few different variations but because I was on a mission to make a batch for his birthday, it was important that I took into consideration of his nut allergy. Instead of using 1 cup of ground pecans, I used shortbread cookies. All that butter, come on… of course it was still good. So, if you’re looking to make this recipe, feel free to use pecans if you like. I have found using pecans is most traditional.

When making these sexy bite-sized treats it’s important to keep extra bourbon available because depending on the weather that day you may need to add more bourbon. For example, the dry air of Autumn was kicking in and so I had to add an extra splash. And even some times had to dip my finger tips in bourbon that I poured in a bowl to help smooth everything out. Also make sure you use a bourbon that you love drinking.

A few last things to make your bourbon balls more to your personal liking. You don’t have to roll the balls in cocoa powder, you can use whatever you like. Finely chopped coconut shavings, mini chocolate chips, crushed nuts, powdered sugar, or sprinkles. I lightly brushed edible gold dust on top of mine after rolling them in cocoa powder for a subtle look of class, which you can find at pretty much any craft store or on Amazon.com. Let me know how they come out for you!

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BOURBON BALLS
Servings
balls
Ingredients
Servings
balls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Use a food processor to ground the Nilla wafers and shortbread cookies until it’s a flour consistency. If there are any big chunks, remove them.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Pulse several times until everything is combined together. Then, add the bourbon and honey. Let the food processor run until everything forms together like a big sticky ball. Add a splash of bourbon if the dough is too dry.
  3. Place the bourbon dough in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Put about an 1/8 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder in a separate bowl.
  4. Use a medium-sized melon baller to scoop out the bourbon dough. Gently roll the dough in between the palm of your hands until it forms a perfect sphere. Roll each ball in the unsweetened cocoa powder and place in a paper candy cup.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve. They also stay just fine at room temperature.