A Taste For Spice »

Masthead header

Tag Archives: sweets

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! 🙂


Print Recipe
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.

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!


Print Recipe
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.

REFRESHING LEMON BARS

Here’s a Summer treat that can’t be beat. I’ve never had these before until my hubby told me how much he loves them. When we went into a small Amish town a few weeks ago I tried my first lemon bar. Honestly, for as great as their goods are I wasn’t too impressed with them at all. There wasn’t much of a lemon flavor to it! So it had me motivated to do some research on how to make these things that I believe should be packed with zing.

I came up with what I feel is a perfect marriage. One thing is for sure, never make lemon bars without the lemon zest! And there’s no reason to be using too many eggs in a recipe when you can use baking powder. I’m pretty sure no one wants an eggy tasting lemon bar.

For a gluten-free version just use your favorite all-purpose gluten free flour instead.

I don’t know about you but some vanilla ice cream sounds pretty freakin’ amazing with this right about now!

 

Print Recipe
REFRESHING LEMON BARS
Servings
bars
Ingredients
CRUST
FILLING
Servings
bars
Ingredients
CRUST
FILLING
Instructions
CRUST
  1. In a large bowl combine the flour and powdered sugar thoroughly with a whisk.
  2. Pour half of the melted butter into the bowl and mix with a large spoon until everything starts to come together. Pour the rest of the melted butter, mix until most of the butter is absorbed and then use your hands to fold the dough until everything comes together in a ball.
  3. Evenly spread out the dough into a 9" x 13" baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350 F degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden.
FILLING
  1. Zest your lemon first before juicing them and set aside in a small bowl.
  2. In a standing mixer combine the granulated sugar, flour, and baking powder on low. Then add the egg yolks and increase the speed to medium until everything is combined well.
  3. Reduce the speed back to low and slowly add the lemon juice. Then increase the speed again until everything is mixed together and looks frothy.
  4. Pour the mixture over the baked crust and put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes.

CRANBERRY PUMPKIN OATMEAL BARS

If you’re an oatmeal cookie and pumpkin pie fanatic like I am then you’re gonna love my Cranberry Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars. They complement each other perfectly when put together as one. Sometimes it’s nice to change it up on a cool Autumn morning eating one of these warmed up instead of a bowl of oatmeal. There’s quite a bit of sugar and carbs going on in this recipe but you definitely don’t need a large portion to get a fair share of complex carbohydrates and fiber to fuel you for an active start to your day. Enjoy!


Print Recipe
CRANBERRY PUMPKIN OATMEAL BARS
Servings
bars
Ingredients
BARS
FILLING
Servings
bars
Ingredients
BARS
FILLING
Instructions
BARS
  1. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together except for the melted butter and juice. Then go ahead with adding the melted butter and juice.
  2. Use your fingers to incorporate it together with the dry ingredients until you have a semi-moist crumbly texture. Set aside ¾ cup of the mixture then place the rest into your 7” x 11” baking dish that has been coated with a cooking spray. Press the oat mixture into the baking dish so that it’s packed together and level.
FILLING
  1. Mix all of the filling ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour the filling over the oatmeal crust in the baking dish and level it out. Then take the reserved ¾ cup of the oatmeal mix to sprinkle evenly over the top.
  2. Bake at 325 F degrees for about 40 minutes or until the top is golden. Let the oatmeal bars cool before cutting.