Panettone French Toast

Panettone French Toast

My eyes are bigger than my stomach.  Not when I’m eating (although that happens on occasion) but when I’m shopping.  Put me in the grocery store and I want it all.

My cart is loaded down with produce before I even contemplate what I’m going to do with everything.  You mean I can’t eat peaches, plums, blueberries, cherries, grapes, and apples all in one week?  But it all looks so good.

Panettone French Toast

Then I hit the snack aisle.  Ten bags of chips later, my cart is overflowing and I’m worried about watching expiration dates.  But there’s no way that bag of chips has ten servings in it, and I’m even good about portion control.  So the chips tend not to last that long anyway because when a bag is ¾ the way full of air, it pretty much can’t.

Sweets are my true love.  I’ve trained myself to avoid most bakery treats because they’re never as good as mine and I bake so much that there’s no way I can eat it all.  Walking through the bakery section always makes me a little wishful to pretty much buy it all and stuff my face.  But I resist!  I do buy candy with reckless abandon, along with special flavors of Golden Oreos.  Gingerbread Oreos still have my heart.

Panettone French Toast

Then there was the panettone staring at me in the pantry.  I had to have it at Christmas and now it’s almost expired.  Panettone lasts a seriously long time because of the way it’s made, in case you were wondering how it’s still good four months later.  I wouldn’t let myself waste it.  So I had to eat it.  I know.  Poor me.

I’ve also been craving French toast, which Mom used to make all the time but I haven’t had in probably ten years.  So Mom and I whipped up a batch of Panettone French Toast, and I am so glad we did.  The creamy, custardy center was perfectly off set by the crispy exterior, and the flavors of the panettone still shined through without ever becoming too sweet.  Maple syrup was okay with it, but I loved blackberry jam.  If you don’t have a panettone staring at you, a lot of grocery stores carry them year round, or a basic raisin bread would work.  I’d just soak it a little longer because it’s not as soft and moist as panettone.  I’m just glad I still have half the panettone left to make more French toast next week.  I mean, I have to eat it, right?

Panettone French Toast

 

Panettone French Toast

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

½ panettone, sliced into ½-3/4 inch thick slices

4 large eggs

2 cups milk (I used almond, use what you love)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Pure maple syrup, for serving

Blackberry jam, for serving

Instructions

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk, as well as cinnamon and vanilla, if using.

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Place 1-2 slices of panettone in the custard and allow to soak 1 minute on each side or 2 minutes fully submerged.

Once the skillet is hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the soaked panettone to the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat with the other slices of panettone. Serve immediately with maple syrup and jam.

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Fruity Pebbles Breakfast Cookies

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Post Pebbles, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PostWalgreens http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.

Fruity Pebbles Breakfast Cookies - Gluten Free and Healthy!

I’m a bit of a cereal addict.  Mom and I are the only people who eat cereal in the house and there are at least ten boxes in the pantry.  Yep, you read that right.  Ten boxes.  But constantly eating cereal with milk and maybe a banana for breakfast can get a bit boring after awhile.  I need some cereal variety in my life.

Luckily cereal is one of those foods that is super versatile.  Depending on the variety, it can be used to coat chicken or fish, to top a casserole or macaroni and cheese, or for baking.  I absolutely love baking with cereal.  There’s something fun about it that almost always brings me back to childhood, when life was simple and cereal for breakfast or a lunch box surprise at school was all I needed to be instantly happy.

Fruity Pebbles Breakfast Cookies - Gluten Free and Healthy!

Picking up Fruity Pebbles at Walgreens!

All kinds of heart healthy sweet treats can be made with cereal (in fact, stay tuned for a scrumptious granola bar recipe coming up!), but today I bring you cookies.  Not just any kind of cookies, but healthy cookies.  Cookies that are meant to be eaten for breakfast. That’s right, cookies for breakfast!  Cookies that you can feel great about eating for breakfast.

It’s so important to get a good, heart healthy start to the day, which led me to create Fruity Pebbles Breakfast Cookies to help celebrate American Heart Month.  They are full of super healthy rolled oats, which add fiber, protein, and iron to the cookies and help to lower that pesky cholesterol.  Peanut butter adds some more protein and super healthy fats.  There’s some pure maple syrup for sweetness, and one egg to bind.  But eggs aren’t the bad guys they are often made out to be.  In fact, they are often called the perfect protein and are an important component of a healthy diet.  Plus, there’s the star: Fruity Pebbles!  They happen to be gluten free, so if you use gluten free oats, these cookies are gf friendly!

Fruity Pebbles Breakfast Cookies - Gluten Free and Healthy!

The resulting cookie, is soft and moist in the center with a bit of crunch on the outside.  The peanut butter flavor really comes through with a hint of maple syrup in the background and plenty of that bright Fruity Pebbles flavor I crave on a regular basis.  Make a batch of these and freeze the leftovers for quick weekday breakfasts!

Walgreens is the perfect place to pick up a box of Fruity Pebbles or your other favorite Post cereals.  It’s perfect one stop shopping to pick up cereal and any other little things you might need.  When I was there, I stocked up on candy too!

Fruity Pebbles Breakfast Cookies - Gluten Free and Healthy!

Fruity Pebbles Breakfast Cookies - Gluten Free and Healthy!

Fruity Pebbles Breakfast Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 8 cookies

Ingredients

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)

1 cup Fruity Pebbles

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 large egg

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheet with parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together oats, Fruity Pebbles, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add oat mixture and stir until fully incorporated.

Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop cookies onto prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes until cookies are golden brown and just set. Cool completely on pan. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Cookies may be thawed at room temperature for 1 hour or in the microwave for 30 seconds.

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Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups

Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups

I’ve been really good, no complaining here, but I can’t do it anymore.  I just can’t.  This weather is killing me.  It’s the worst winter ever!  I’m not exaggerating, there’s evidence.  Unless you’re some snow bunny, it’s crazy bad.  If I wanted to live in the Arctic, I would.

First there’s our enemy the polar vortex.  Seriously, he needs to be on the FBI most wanted list.  And I know it’s a he, because he clearly is refusing to ask for directions.  I don’t ever remember school being closed because it’s so cold outside.  I’m literally hibernating like a bear.  I don’t do temperatures in the single digits or below zero.

Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups

Speaking of “snow days” I don’t know whether to be mad I didn’t have all these days off when I was in school or happy.  You know, after awhile those days are gonna have to be made up, which is such a bummer.

As if the dangerously cold temperatures that had us dripping faucets at night weren’t enough, there’s snow.  Tons of it.  Our neighborhood is a depressing Arctic landscape, the parking lots are full of snow mountains, and our deck had to be shoveled!  January was the snowiest month ever here in Detroit.  Not even just the snowiest January, but the snowiest month EVERRRRRRR!  We got our seasonal average in one month.  And what’s it doing right now you ask.  Yeah, it’s snowing.

Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups

Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups

To put insult to injury, that pesky groundhog said there’ll be six more weeks of winter.  He better be wrong, because this girl needs some sunshine and warmth.

For now, I’ll have to settle for these Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups.  I’d never made cookies in the muffin tin before, but I can’t wait to do it again.  You don’t have to worry about the cookies spreading and the crunchy exteriors are perfectly matched by the soft and chewy interiors.  Oh, and this frosting!  It’s a wonderfully creamy mix of cinnamon and maple syrup that is pure heaven, unlike this weather.

Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups

 

Snickerdoodle Cookie Cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 38 minutes

Yield: 12 cookie cups

Ingredients

Cookie Cups

1 stick unsalted butter

¼ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Coating

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Milk or cream, if necessary

Instructions

Make the cookie cups. In a small saucepan, brown the butter. The butter will melt and then bubble until it is dark amber in color and very fragrant. Once this happens, immediately remove it from the heat. Allow to cool 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a muffin tin with shortening.

In a large bowl, beat cooled butter with sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Beat in the egg until once again light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and maple syrup.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add to butter mixture and stir until just combined.

In another small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon for topping. Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop the cookie dough. Roll each scoop into a ball and coat fully in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place in muffin tin. Repeat until cookie dough is all used. Bake for 16-18 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Cool in pan about 15 minutes, before removing from tin and cooling completely.

Make the frosting. Using a hand or stand mixer beat butter with 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Add the maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon and beat to combine. Taste the frosting, if it is not sweet enough, add more sugar. If it is too thick, add some milk or cream slowly until it is spreadable.

Generously frost each cookie with the buttercream. If the centers caved in, this is okay, and the perfect place to add more frosting! The cookie cups may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer, wrapped in parchment and foil, and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Beyond Frosting

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Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

I’m guessing there’s a good chance you’re stressed out right now.  Maybe you’re wrapping up things at work before scurrying home to . . . well, work some more.  Perhaps you’re traveling and hoping Mother Nature doesn’t affect your plans.  Who decided all major holidays should be in the middle of winter?  Or maybe you’re at home prepping food and the house for tomorrow, taking one final inventory of the pantry before you head to the store along with everyone else in the world.  I feel your pain on that one.  I’ll be at the grocery store today.  You might also have guests arriving soon, adding to the to do list.

While I don’t travel on Thanksgiving anymore, I have, so I know what you’re going through.  It can be chaos.  Packing, traveling, unpacking, cooking.  It’s enough to make us forget what this day is all about.  Sure it’s about fantastic food, watching football and parades, putting up Christmas decorations.  But mostly, it’s about spending time with the people we love and enjoying their company.  It’s about being thankful.

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

My best advice?  Take a deep breath.  That’s it.  Right now.  Stop what you’re doing and just breathe.  One or five minutes isn’t going to ruin everything and throw your schedule into shambles.  A few minutes now will ensure calm success later.

To help you out more, I made Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce.  I don’t really eat any traditional foods on Thanksgiving.  Filet mignon is on the menu at my house.  One of the reasons I don’t like Thanksgiving food is because much of it comes from a can, and homemade food is much tastier. I know it’s easier to use canned foods, but with this cranberry sauce there are no excuses.  A few simple ingredients, little prep time, and ten minutes on the stove give you thick, flavorful, homemade cranberry sauce.  It has the perfect balance of tart and sweet, enhanced by plump dried cherries.  Maple syrup gives a smooth flavor that adds complexity, not just sweetness.  It’s also vegan and gluten free, meaning everyone at your Thanksgiving feast can enjoy it!  Best of all, you can make it today and serve tomorrow!  This is sure to become a new Thanksgiving tradition!

Don’t miss my baking prize pack giveaway!

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Easy Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Varies

Ingredients

1 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries, washed and picked over

½ cup dried tart cherries

Zest of one orange

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ cup water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Instructions

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together cranberries, cherries, orange zest, cinnamon, water, sugar, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil while stirring frequently. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened and most of the berries have burst, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled. Sauce may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

I’m a football orphan.  You’ve heard of football widows, but me?  I’m a football orphan.  And the culprit isn’t whom you’d expect.  Dad played college football and he enjoys watching the games on TV.  However, he doesn’t mind doing other things during the games and can hold a full conversation without interjecting some sports related commentary.  He’s content to sit in his chair, half watching the game, half playing some other computer game, quietly enjoying a relaxing Sunday.  He’s a pretty casual football fan.

Mom . . . yeah . . . not so much.  Don’t get me wrong, if things need to be done, Mom does them regardless of what is on TV.  But on Sundays, during the Lions games, she is a bit of a lost cause.  She prefers not to have many distractions, and trying to talk to her about important stuff doesn’t really work, as I can’t manage to tear her attention away from the game.

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

The games all have trained professionals doing play-by-play commentary, but it’s like Mom isn’t aware of this fact, can’t hear them, because I all too frequently hear her basically calling the games over the commentators, creating quite the cacophony of sound.  “That’s a first down” and “Touchdown” can often be heard being yelled in our house on Sunday afternoons.  Worst of all are the outbursts of shouting and shrieking, as though it will make the players run faster or catch the pass, along with Mom turning from play-by-play announcer to coach, criticizing plays, wondering why they were run.  This is only a little distracting while I’m trying to work.  A few gentle reminders calm Mom down . . . at least for a few minutes!

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

I found plenty of calm in this Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze.  I’ve wanted to make this cake for a long time and am so glad I finally got around to it.  The super moist cake is full of fresh, soft pears and comforting, warm cinnamon.  I used the fabulous Warren pears from Frog Hollow and think that made the cake turn out even better.  The pears were sweet, juicy, vanilla -y bits of heaven in the super moist and sweetly spiced cake.  The crumble is soft in parts and a bit crunchy in others, providing contrasting texture, and the glaze brings it all together with the fantastic maple syrup goodness.  It’s not too sweet and is a coffee cake, so it’s breakfast appropriate, but it’s also decadent enough for dessert.  Whenever you eat this cake, it’s definitely a touchdown!

Don’t forget to enter my Warren pears giveaway from Frog Hollow Farm!

 Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

 

Pear Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 12 pieces

Ingredients

Cake

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 ½ cups pears, peeled, cored, and diced

Topping

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Glaze

½ cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

Make the cake. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each addition, until the eggs are fully incorporated and the mixture is once again light and fluffy.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Alternately add the flour mixture and sour cream to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Do three additions of flour and two of sour cream. Add in the vanilla and pears. Stir until the pears are evenly distributed. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.

Make the topping. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter using a fork or your fingers until it is well combined and forms clumps of various sizes. Sprinkle into an even layer over cake batter. Bake for about 40 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

While the cake cools, make the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together sugar, vanilla, and maple syrup until smooth. Add more maple syrup as needed until it can be drizzled over the cake. Serve cake warm or cool completely in pan. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in the microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute until warmed through.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse

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Peach Maple Ice Cream #SundaySupper

Peach Maple Ice Cream #SundaySupper

Fruit and vegetables are some of my favorite parts of summer (along with pretty much everything else).  I love in April and May when it seems like there are new finds in the grocery store each week.  Zucchini, ramps and asparagus are first, soon to be followed by peaches, cherries, and blueberries.  I fill my cart upon first spotting these signs of hope after the long, ugly winter.

The farmers’ market becomes a Saturday ritual once June and July roll around.  For whatever reason, our market doesn’t really kick into gear until the middle of summer.  In the blink of an eye, it goes from only flowers to an abundance of produce: greens, beans, garlic, onions, cherries, berries.  The sun shines as we walk around, all of the farmers happy to see a familiar face.

Peach Maple Ice Cream #SundaySupper

Peach Maple Ice Cream #SundaySupper

There’s nothing like fresh garlic from the farmers’ market.  It is sweet and when roasted has an almost mashed potato like quality.  I could eat a whole head easily!  And the tomatoes, oh, the tomatoes.  Red and heirloom varieties fill the stands.  I can’t get enough of them during their short season, as long as their drowning in vinegar in Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Onions.

But I have a confession to make.  When it comes to most fruits: cherries, blueberries, plums, and especially nectarines and peaches, I much prefer California varieties to those grown locally and sold at farmers’ markets.  To me Michigan and even southern peaches don’t come remotely close to matching the huge, juicy, perfectly ripe and sweet California peaches.  They are my favorite fruit on earth, hands down.  Plus, if you read my blog regularly, you know I want to move to California more than anything.  I know I’m destined to be a California girl.  And I’ll love their farmers’ markets.

Peach Maple Ice Cream #SundaySupper

So for this week’s farmers’ market inspired Sunday Supper, we’ll pretend I’m already living in California and made this Peach Maple Ice Cream there.  For peach ice cream, it’s not overly peachy, but the slight peach flavor, along with a punch of maple syrup and a kick of bourbon made me fall in love with this ice cream.  The smell is intoxicating and lures you in to taking a bite and then another and another.  The creamy texture makes this chilly treat doubly irresistible.  So wherever you live and whatever kind of peaches you use, just make sure you make this ice cream.

Also, I am looking for a publicist to help spread the word about me, as well as my blog.  Please let me know if you or anyone you know can help me out :)   I would really appreciate your help!

Peach Maple Ice Cream #SundaySupper

Peach Maple Ice Cream #SundaySupper

Peach Maple Ice Cream #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 10 scoops

Ingredients

3 large peaches

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup milk (I used almond, but whatever you like will work)

2 large egg yolks

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon bourbon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Peel the peaches and reserve the peels. Place the peaches in a medium bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

In a medium saucepan, place the cream, milk, and reserved peach skins. Bring to a simmer, before removing from the heat, covering, and allowing to steep for 20 minutes. After the cream has steeped, remove the peach skin from it. You may strain it or just fish them out with a spoon (I used a spoon).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly whisk in half of the cream mixture, then add that to the rest of the cream in the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. The mixture should also reach 170 degrees on a candy thermometer. Once this happens, pour the custard into a clean medium sized bowl. Add the maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla, and stir to combine. Allow to cool at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, then place in the refrigerator until fully chilled, at least 4 hours and up to overnight (I chill overnight).

Once the custard is chilled, place the peaches and about 1 cup of the custard in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. Stir the peach mixture into the rest of the custard. Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It may be eaten as soft serve or frozen for about 30 minutes to firm. Ice cream may be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up 1 month.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay

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Don’t forget to check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Appetizers & Salads

Garlic Scape Dip from The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen
Onion Bacon Jam with Bread n’ Brie from Gotta Get Baked
Kale & Pepita Pesto from girlichef
Garden Quinoa Salad from The Urban Mrs
Grilled Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad from Pescetarian Journal
Watermelon-Feta Salad with Pomegranate Drizzle from The Weekend Gourmet

Soups & Sides

Watermelon Gazpacho from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Classic Gazpacho from Curious Cuisiniere
Pea Soup from Small Wallet, Big Appetite
Pickled Garlic Scapes from kimchi MOM
Cheesy Zucchini Hodge Podge from Cupcakes & Kale Chips

Succotash from Magnolia Days
3 Easy Japanese Spinach Recipes from NinjaBaking.com
Michigan-Made Meal with Seasoned Potato Chips from Foxes Love Lemons

Entrees

Summer Veggie Pizza from Country Girl In The Village
Tomato Pie from The Hand That Rocks The Ladle
Kitchen Sink Vegetable Curry from What Smells So Good?
Margherita Pizza from Growing Up Gabel
Cheesy Zucchini Fritters from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Three Sauces with Summer Herbs to Transform a Simple Grilled Dinner from Cook the Story
Vegetable Quesadillas from Cookin’ Mimi
Mushroom Scallion Risotto from Vintage Kitchen Notes
Lemony Summer Linguine with Grilled Vegetables from Neighborfood
Pasta alla Norma Nuda from Juanita’s Cocina
Arugula Pizza from Family Foodie

Desserts

Peach Cobbler from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Coconut Cherry Bars from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Lightened Up Peach and Blueberry Cobbler from Peanut Butter and Peppers

Cherry Brandy Cobbler from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Peach Maple Ice Cream from Pies and Plots
Cherry Clafoutis from Food Lust People Love
Roasted Figs with Caramel, Honey Ice Cream and Aged Balsamic from Crazy Foodie Stunts
Peach Ice Cream Paletas from Basic N Delicious
Gluten Free Sour Cherry Cake from No One Likes Crumbley Cookies

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter today! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Caramel Pretzel Bars

Caramel Pretzel Bars

The Super Bowl means two things for me: commercials and half time.  I like football.  I like the players and their stories.  The underdog winning when you least expect it.  Learning the stories behind the game.  Hearing about the people that aren’t always at the forefront of publicity.  Having something to cheer for, along with the rest of the country, even when it seems there isn’t anything to be happy about.  I love watching the pregame shows.  I’m a FOX viewer, welcoming Curt, Terry, Howie, Michael, and Jimmy into my home every week during the season, along with my local pregame team.  They make me laugh and teach me something about a game I’m not all that familiar with.  I haven’t missed an episode of Inside the NFL in years, even as it changed hosts and networks.

Other than touchdowns and field goals, first downs and punts, I don’t know much about the game itself at all.  Off sides, holding, pass interference, it’s like another language.  When I’m watching Inside the NFL, I fast forward through the highlight segments.  The game itself kind of bores me.  But at the end of the day it’s about moments of amazing plays and winners and losers.  That fascinates me.  I’ll be the first to cheer for an amazing play.  A zero – zero tie heading into the fourth quarter?  I’ll be in the kitchen.

Caramel Pretzel Bars

Caramel Pretzel Bars

The Super Bowl is the only game I actually sit on the couch and watch.  And truthfully, I don’t really watch it.  I can’t get enough of the day long pre game coverage.  Musical performances before the game excite me.  Then the game comes on and I pick up my latest read or my phone to catch up on blog work and email.  But everything gets set aside when the commercials begin.  In a world where I fast forward through every commercial, this is the one night when I am riveted by them, occasionally rewinding to catch it again.  If I need to pause for any reason, it’s during the game I catch up.

Halftime is the best.  A performer’s best in less than fifteen minutes.  It couldn’t get better with not only Beyonce, but also a Destiny’s Child reunion this year.  I’ve seen Destiny’s Child in concert twice and know almost all their songs.  This should be a halftime show that I’ll remember forever.

Caramel Pretzel Bars

Caramel Pretzel Bars

Of course, you need a treat while you watch the game.  Sure, there needs to be savory food, but what’s a football game without dessert?  These Caramel Pretzel Bars instantly struck me as Super Bowl worthy.  A thin, yet firm brown sugar shortbread has amazing texture, some of the best I’ve found in shortbread, along with a mild sweetness.  But the topping of caramel, with its complex flavor, accented by honey, and pretzels make these the ultimate treat.  Crunchy, creamy, smooth, sweet, salty – these bars have everything.  I was really impressed by the components separately as well as together.  I have to say the stand out is the caramel.  It’s so rich and smooth, but somehow the honey flavor is really pronounced, a welcome treat.

Whether you’re watching the game, checking out the commercials, or avoiding the hoopla altogether, these bars are a treat for any day.  They’ll leave you yelling touchdown!

Caramel Pretzel Bars

Caramel Pretzel Bars

4.6 from 12 reviews

Caramel Pretzel Bars
 
Ingredients
Crust
  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Filling
  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (I love Blis)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 cups small pretzel twists, broken into large pieces (I used Rold Gold)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with parchment, leaving overhang to pull the bars out later.
  2. Make the crust. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and mix until the ingredients are combined and the mixture is crumbly. Press into the pan firmly. Bake for 15-18 minutes until light golden brown around the edges.
  3. While the crust is baking and cooling, make the filling. In a large saucepan over medium or medium-high heat, combine butter, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Add the cream and insert a candy thermometer in the pan. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees F. Once this happens, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pretzels immediately.
  4. Pour the pretzel-caramel mixture over the prepared crust and spread evenly over the crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling. Allow to cool completely in the pan. When cool, use the parchment to remove the bars from the pan. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. Bars may stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Saveur

 

 

Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Pecan Pie Cookies

Pecan Pie Cookies

Do you ever want something but don’t want to go through the effort of getting it?  You know, the times when the idea of something sounds amazing, but there are too many steps to get to the amazingness?  Like when you want to go out to eat, take the night off from cooking, but getting ready, going somewhere, waiting for a table, then food, and getting home super late just sound like a huge hassle.  Instead of eating in a restaurant you get take out or better yet, delivery.  Problem solved.

Then there’s that need for a new dress for a wedding, party, or event.  You’ll look great in it once you find the perfect one.  But first you have to go through all the other not so perfect ones.  For me this has often meant hours searching online, hesitant to order anything because of the pain it will be to return the dress when it inevitably doesn’t fit.  The other option, going to the mall, isn’t much better, as you stack dresses into your arms and hunker down in the dressing room for the better part of an afternoon wishing you could wear pajamas to the event because none of the dresses look good.  Maybe you get lucky enough to find a dress that’s close enough to perfect, but more than likely you return home, hands empty, and revert back to the old standby dress in your closet.  Even though everyone’s seen it, at least it looks fabulous.

Unbaked Cookies

Unbaked Cookies with Filling

This time of year, putting up Christmas lights also falls into this category of tasks.  No matter how many years you’ve put up lights, it always sounds easy to do, as we forget the trouble of years prior.  You remind yourself it will look great when finished, your house will be the star of the neighborhood.  But then half the lights don’t work, the rest are a tangled mess, the trees are too tall, the lights won’t stay in the bushes, and it’s freaking cold outside.  The answer?  Put up just enough to be festive.  Let someone else be the star of the neighborhood.

When I’m baking, sometimes I find there’s a treat that sounds amazing, but I just don’t have the time or energy to make it.  Like Pecan Pie.  It’s one of my all-time favorite desserts, and based on your comments, one of yours too.  The flavor is wonderful and sweet; it’s gooey and crunchy, and it’s pie.  I love pie.  But it’s a lot of work to make the dough, chill the dough, roll the dough, make the filling, bake the pie, wait for the pie to cool.  Enter Pecan Pie Cookies.  Pecan Pie’s easier to make cousin, these have all the same amazing flavors as the traditional treat mixed with a cakey sugar cookie.  It’s like eating cake and pie at the same time.  I bet I really have your interest now.

Pecan Pie Cookies

Pecan Pie Cookies

A simple vanilla flavored cakey cookie gets kicked up with pecans.  Formed into a giant cookie cup, they are then filled with a pretty traditional pecan pie filling.  During baking they flatten out, as the gooey pecan goodness spreads over the top and into the cookie, giving you the flavor you’re looking for in every bite.  The cookies are super soft with that rich, maple-y pecan pie goo flavor and lots of crunchy pecans.  Your other Christmas cookies better watch out because these are bound to be your new, easy to make favorite.

Pecan Pie Cookies

Pecan Pie Cookies

5.0 from 2 reviews

Pecan Pie Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
Cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup pecans, finely ground
Filling
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (I use and love Blis)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and ground pecans.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work too. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until once again light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture and mix until a dough just comes together.
  4. Take about a golf ball size amount of dough and form it into basically a very large thumbprint cookie. This will give you a sturdy base with a big indentation in the middle.
  5. Make the filling. In a medium bowl, stir together pecans, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, maple syrup, and butter. Fill the indentation in the cookie dough balls with the filling. Be generous.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cookies are set and light golden brown around the edges. They will have flattened and spread and the filling will cover much of the cookie. Allow to cool completely on sheets. May be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.

 

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes

We all enter contests sometimes, and as a baking blogger, finding and entering contests is pretty much a part of my job.  I found one such contest a few weeks ago.  Giada de Laurentiis of Food Network fame ran a recipe contest asking people to put their spin on one of the recipes from her show of Halloween sweets.  Four winners would be chosen, and they would be featured on the homepage of her website for a day.  This was perfect for me.

So I went to the drawing board.  The episode featured a yogurt and fruit parfait, chocolate cake pops, and pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies.  Hmmmmm . . . pumpkin oatmeal raisin cookies.  What if I turned them into cupcakes?

That’s exactly what I did with the addition of a simple maple glaze.  They were easy to make and fantastic on the first try, exceeding my expectations.  I was super excited.  I submitted my entry, following the rules to a tee and was even retweeted by a Giada fan Twitter.

Unbaked Pumpkin Cupcakes

The day for winners to be announced came.  I was not one of them.  Can’t win ‘em all; I understand that.  But only two winners were chosen.  Not four.  Based on a Twitter search there didn’t seem to be many entries, but mine is clearly there.  Since I know there were more than two entries, three (if there were only three) or four winners should have been chosen as stated.

I’m still a fan of Giada and her food, but this unfair contest has disappointed and upset me a great deal.  It is so important that all contests, perhaps especially those from our food idols, be run properly.  I can assure you all giveaways and contests here will be run exactly according to the rules specified.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes

The good news is these cupcakes are still amazing, healthy, and just in time for Thanksgiving.  Moist pumpkin cupcakes get a bit of chewy texture from oatmeal, along with sweetness from raisins and a bit of spice.  They’re topped with demerara sugar, giving great crunch and flavor.  Though totally unnecessary, a maple glaze makes the whole thing irresistible.  Make these a day or two before Thanksgiving as a power breakfast while making turkey, a snack for waiting and hungry guests, dessert, or as a treat just for you after all the company is gone.  These will be a winner in your book, even if they weren’t in Giada’s.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes

5.0 from 2 reviews

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 11
 
Ingredients
Cupcakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup demerara sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (preferably homemade)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup raisins
Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 11 cups in a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oatmeal, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and cloves. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, syrup, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Pour flour mixture into sugar mixture and stir just to combine. Fold in raisins until evenly distributed.
  3. Using a regular sized ice cream scoop, scoop batter into paper liners, filling all the way to the top. Sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.
  4. When the cupcakes have cooled completely, make the glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, vanilla, and syrup, until a thick yet spreadable glaze has formed, adding more sugar or syrup as necessary. Drizzle over cupcakes immediately. Cupcakes with glaze may be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen without glaze wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours, or in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.

 

Iced Hermits

Iced Hermits

I don’t like fall.  In my mind it has no redeeming qualities.  It’s the bridge season to winter.  Yikes!  Winter!  If there’s anything worse than fall, it’s winter.  But my problems with winter are a post for another day.  Fall has its own unique issues.  The chilly temperatures that have already resulted in my winter coat making its return.  Speaking of which, said coat covers all my pretty clothes.  My sandals have to be stored away until warmth returns.  The seemingly constant rain is depressing.  And when it’s not raining, it’s cloudy.  Bye, sun, see you in May 2013.  The leaves fall off the trees, turning what has felt like an isolated oasis back into the neighborhood house I actually live in.  The pretty flowers fade away to nothingness, as I try to coax the last few to stay around.  The fresh, local produce, it’s gone too.  Fall, well, it’s just depressing.

But, there’s one thing I kind of love about fall.  You won’t tell anyone I’m admitting it’s not totally without merit, right?  The leaves changing color makes everything else a little better.  They’re stunning, making the trees often prettier than when they’re green.  Yellows, oranges, and, reds, my favorite, fill the trees and skylines, showcasing the unbelievable beauty of nature.

Unbaked Hermits

Baked Hermits

One tree in particular sits right in front of our house.  It was never Mom’s favorite tree, but now it has grown and is beautiful year around, never more so than in October, as it begins turning bright orange from the top down.  On the off chance the sun has decided to grace us with its presence, when it hits that tree in the late morning, the orange reflects right in our big front window, the tree itself gleaming in the sunlight.  No matter how cold it may be outside (and sometimes inside as I resist the urge to turn on the heat for the first time), I feel warm.  And just for that moment, fall isn’t so bad.  But then the leaves vanish even more quickly than they changed color, and it’s back to reality.

Trees

Iced Hermits remind me of fall with their spicy flavor, except they’re a lot better than fall.  I’ve made these a few times now, and my enjoyment of them has only increased the more I make them.  They begin with a spicy bar cookie loaded with plump, sweet raisins, and spicy crystallized ginger, one of my all-time favorite foods.  I’m picky about my crystallized ginger and only like the kind from Williams Sonoma by The Ginger People.  It’s so good!  The bars by themselves are amazing.  Which is good because when I made them to take to my friends at the dermatologist office I may not have had time to make the glaze.  Sorry, guys!  I have to say the glaze is pretty awesome though.  It takes only a few minutes to make and is addictively good.  Together, the bars and glaze, along with more crystallized ginger, are the perfect treat for the chilly fall.

Iced Hermits

Iced Hermits

5.0 from 2 reviews

Iced Hermits
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
Bars
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ¼ cups packed dark brown sugar
Glaze
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used skim)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar (more if needed)
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Make the bars. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a rimmed baking sheet about 10 by 15 inches, line it with parchment, and butter the parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Add the eggs and maple syrup and beat until once again light and fluffy. Add the flour and mix until just combined. Add the raisins and crystallized ginger, mixing only until distributed throughout.
  3. Spread the dough in the prepared pan and bake, rotating halfway through, until firm to the touch, slightly cracked, and a toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs, 18-22 minutes. Cool completely in pan.
  4. When completely cooled, make the glaze. In a medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, milk, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the butter is melted and sugar dissolved. This should only take a few moments. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in vanilla and confectioners’ sugar ½ cup at a time. Continue adding confectioners’ sugar until the glaze is thick, yet spreadable. Drizzle glaze over bars immediately so it does not harden. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger and allow glaze to set. Once the glaze is firm, cut and serve.
  5. May be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart