Biscoff Cream Pie

Biscoff cookies are “Europe’s favorite cookie with coffee”. Many of you might be wondering, “The crunchy cookies you get on airplanes?” And to you I say, Yes, the pleasing little crispy cookies served in-flight. They are delightfully crunchy cookies with an almost caramelized flavor. But wait… there’s more!

A few years ago, America was introduced to Biscoff cookie spread! What!?! That’s right… a spreadable cookie cream! I can’t even begin to imagine how that creamy magic is made. All I really need to know is that it’s the texture of peanut butter, but taste like a Biscoff cookie. It’s insanely enjoyable to eat. I’ve mainly had it on apple slices or toast, but a while back I had the crazy idea for a Biscoff Cream Pie.

The idea came to me months ago while I was making one of my all time favorite pie recipes. I wish that I could take credit for this one, but I’ve got to give some serious props to the queen of food blogs herself, Ree Drummond the pioneer woman! Her Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie is not only one of my favorite pies to eat, but also to make! The flavor is pure peanut butter heaven, and the texture is just perfect. The phrase “creamy and dreamy” didn’t come about because of the catchy rhyme… it was because of this pie! And it’s almost wrong how easy it is to make. Anyway, thank you to Ree Drummond for your wonderful recipes and inspiration!

At any rate, while I was scooping out the peanut butter for yet another perfect peanut butter pie, I couldn’t help but to compare the texture of the peanut butter to the wonderful Biscoff cookie spread. Much too long of a story short… a new and wonderful pie was born!

This is the perfect cream pie for fall, and I seriously hope you and everyone you know try it today!

Biscoff Cream Pie Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 cup creamy Biscoff spread (although I'm sure the crunchy kind would be delicious)
  • 8oz softened cream cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 8oz thawed Cool Whip

Crust

  • 1 8.8 ounce package of Biscoff cookies
  • 5 tablespoons butter (melted and cooled)

Directions

Step 1
This is a chilled pie, so the first thing we've gotta do is cook off that crust, so it'll have plenty of time to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grab your Biscoff goodies!
Step 2
Of course now I see the coupon I could have used for the spread! Oh well.

Dump the whole package of cookies into a large food processor.
Step 3
They smell so good! I'd say that they're almost like really fancy graham crackers, but that really doesn't do them justice!

Press the pulse button until you're left with sweet sandy crumbs. It was about 10 pulses for me.
Step 4
If you're a priss like me that plans ahead for your garnishes, then scoop out about a tablespoon of crumbs.
Step 5
The crust won't even miss them, and they'll look super cute on top of the pie!

Pour the melted and cooled butter in with the crumbs.
Step 6
Work the butter into the crumbs so that everybody gets a little.
Step 7
Pour the buttery bits into a pie pan.
Step 8
Press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of your pan using whatever you've got: a measuring cup, a clean hand, another pie pan, a bottle of wine... you get the idea.

I used a standard sized pie pan, because it was my first time making this crust. I have a larger fancy looking pan, but I wasn't sure if I'd have enough crust to fill that one.
Step 9
This worked great, but it was definitely a thicker crust. The filling is so rich that the thick crust works well, but if you have a bigger pie pan I think you'd definitely have enough crust to go around.
Step 10
Bake the crust for about 7 minutes in your preheated oven, and prepare to swoon when you smell it hot out of the oven!
Step 11
Now on to the filling! Following along with Ree's recipe (I like calling her Ree like we're really friends!) you'll need a full cup of the Biscoff spread.
Step 12
As you can see, it's almost the entire 14.1 ounce jar.

Add the cup of Biscoff spread along with the block of softened cream cheese into your mixer bowl.
Step 13
Cream on high; scrape down the sides; cream on high again.
Step 14
Add the powdered sugar in two batches, scraping down the sides in between mixes.
Step 15
It almost looks like cookie dough at this point. Anyway, enough about cookies... it's time for Cool Whip!
Step 16
The whole container gets toppled into the mixer.
Step 17
Doesn't that look like a bowlful of fun?

As the name implies "whip" the filling on high to get it nice and creamy dreamy.
Step 18
Scrape down the sides, and whip one last time on high.
Step 19
It should look absolutely luscious and fluffy.
Step 20
Pour the creamy goodness into your cooled pie crust, and smooth out the top.
Step 21
Pop into the fridge and chill for at least a couple of hours before you try to cut into it.

This will be harder than it sounds... especially after licking off your smoothing spatula! I won't blame you if you don't give it long enough... as you'll be able to see in a second, I couldn't wait either. It was definitely still on the softer side when I cut into mine.

Once you can't stand the wait any longer, sprinkle the reserved cookie crumbs over the top.
Step 22
Now the only things left to do are to cut a slice,
Step 23
and grab a fork!
Step 24
Enjoy!

Caramel Applesauce Cupcakes

“That cupcake was better than any cupcake I’ve ever paid money for!”

That’s a quote from my sister Mandy, after trying one of my Caramel Applesauce Cupcakes. A glowing endorsement of course, but let me tell you a few things about Mandy. She doesn’t like: spice cake, apple cider, applesauce, or any kind of cooked apple. So I’m thinking if she loved these cupcakes that much (which have a spice cake base that’s made extra moist by using applesauce and apple cider, plus they’re topped with a homemade Apple Cider Buttercream) then anyone will!

I made these up the other week to donate for a neighborhood Fall Festival cake walk. I was really trying to think of a seasonal cupcake. Well once the idea for these occurred to me, that was it! I thought they’d be awesome, and as much as I try not to toot my own horn… I’m afraid I’m about to start some tootin’! They really are insanely good. There’s no other way to put it. I’ve made a few notes in the recipe, but the shortened version is: these are insanely moist cupcakes, so don’t bake them too many days before you’re serving them… they just get more and more juicy as time passes!

Please top them with my recipe for Apple Cider Buttercream! It’s the perfect topper for any fall flavored cake, but since these are apple-y already it’s just a match made in heaven.

Caramel Applesauce Cupcakes Recipe

Allergy Egg
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable

Ingredients

  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • caramel cubes
  • Apple Cider Buttercream (see link to recipe above)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees (or according to your cake mix's specific directions), and line a couple cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners.

Here's the line-up for these awesome little cakes.
Step 2
Every recipe I've ever looked at for replacing oil with applesauce in baking calls for all natural unsweetened applesauce. Well, all I had was strawberry flavored single serving Mott's... and boy was it perfect! I say use whatever kind of applesauce you like or have on hand.

It was very convenient that my little single serving cup just happen to be 1/3 cup!
Step 3
Go by your box mix's instructions, and replace whatever amount of oil it calls for with applesauce.

Next I measure out the apple cider and water in the same measuring cup.
Step 4
Now dump the cake mix, apple cider, water, applesauce, and eggs into your mixer.
Step 5
Blend together the length of time it calls for on the cake mix box, and watch a fragrant, creamy batter develop.
Step 6
Now set up your assembly line with the cupcake pans, your batter, a spoon, and the caramels.
Step 7
Divvy out the batter evenly amongst the cupcake liners. According to my box's instructions this should make 24 cupcakes.
Step 8
As you can see, I ended up with 22. Once they came out of the oven though I thought they looked perfect so I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Gently press one caramel into the center of each cup of batter. I'm not sure if it will be for you... but this was extremely satisfying for me! I need to find a job somewhere smooshing caramels into cake batter.
Step 9
Bake in your preheated oven, and here's what they looked like 17 minutes later. It's like magic... where did the caramel go?
Step 10
Well a couple of notes on that:

1) Obviously they sank to the bottom. On the first and second day, we had about a 20% chance of the caramel sticking to the liner when the cupcake got unwrapped. None of us really minded, but I just wanted you to be aware to be careful unwrapping. Once we discovered that it could happen, we started peeling more carefully and had very few "sticks" after that.

Step 11
2) These are insanely moist cupcakes. Because of that, the caramel on the inside will be getting softer as the days go by. So, the cupcake I had the day I made them contained a still very chewy and firm candy on the inside. Whereas the cupcake I ate three days later had an almost liquified caramel sauce at the bottom. It was a bit more messy, but I kinda liked it even better! Anyway, keep that in mind and plan accordingly as to when you'd want to bake these for your event or party.

I topped these with my Apple Cider Buttercream.
Step 12
It's the perfect match for the moist apple spice cake! I also topped each one with a quarter of a caramel to give people a sneak peek as to what they'd find inside.
Step 13
I also found these candy apple flavored candy corns, which I think would be a cute topping as well.
Step 14
However you end up topping them, just make sure you keep an eye on your husband and four year old... because they will begin to mysteriously disappear!

Apple Cider Buttercream

This is the only frosting recipe I need for the fall months.

I love trying to cook and bake with seasonal ingredients. Right now (at least in Georgia) you can’t get more seasonal than apples. Our family has easily developed a “5 apples a day” household habit. You’re also guaranteed to find some local apple cider in our fridge during autumn. At first, Wyatt wasn’t so sure about cider. I had to really talk him into trying that first jug this year. He finally relented to taking one sip, and followed it up by saying “It’s dusty, but you were right… I like it!”

It’s the perfect accompaniment to any fall flavored cake. Think of any cake you might make for Thanksgiving: applesauce, sweet potato, pumpkin, caramel apple, golden butter… Apple Cider Buttercream would be the ideal topping.

It comes together in a snap… butter, sugar and cider get creamed into the perfect storm of sweetness. If you’ve got a mixer, then you’ve got no excuse for not making this deliciousness!

Apple Cider Buttercream Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider

Directions

Step 1
It all begins with one creamy and dreamy stick of softened butter.
Step 2
Beat the heck out of it for as long as it takes to get it fluffy.
Step 3
My estimate would be a couple of minutes.

Next, dump in about half of the powdered sugar, and beat on medium low.
Step 4
Scrape down the sides and add in the rest of the sugar.

Beat on medium low... again.

Scrape down the bowl... again.
Step 5
You should end up with buttery little sugar pearls like these.

Believe it or not... all you need now, to turn these buttery balls into a luscious buttercream, is just 4Tbs. of apple cider!
Step 6
Add in the apple cider, and beat on medium until you end up with a velvety frosting.
Step 7
The apple cider scent is absolutely intoxicating!
Step 8
I could seriously eat this on any kind of cake, and be happy!

Candy Corn Cookies

Wyatt’s favorite Halloween candy (and possibly favorite candy of all time) is candy corn. Because of this, we always end up with way more than we need floating around the house this time of year.

This year, I decided to make some Candy Corn Cookies to try something new. I put a spin on the ever so popular cake mix cookies. They turned out great, and we all loved them! I made a batch for a neighborhood Fall Festival (it was really a Halloween Festival but no one calls them that anymore) and they really went over well. I donated them for the cake walk, and was super pleased to see them get picked by the kids that won!

Whether you’ve got a Halloween event coming up, or if you find yourself with too much leftover candy corn after the holiday… these are the perfect quick cookies!

Candy Corn Cookies Recipe

Allergy Egg
Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Occasion Halloween

Ingredients

  • 1 box golden butter or yellow cake mix
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup candy corn (chopped)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the two sticks of softened butter into your mixer bowl, and beat on high for at least a minute or so.

You always want to get butter or shortening super fluffy at the beginning of almost any cookie dough.
Step 2
Dump in the whole bagful of cake mix, and mix in on medium speed.

You'll be left with big buttery crumbs like these.
Step 3
Crack in the egg.
Step 4
Mix on medium speed again until blended into a smooth cookie dough paste.
Step 5
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and toss in the cup of flour.
Step 6
Mix in until barely incorporated.
Step 7
For the candy corn I measured out a cup first...
Step 8
not that measuring is super important here.

And then I chopped it all up slightly. I wanted to keep some nice sized pieces, but didn't want to deal with whole pieces while balling up the dough.
Step 9
Just so you know, chopping candy corn is easier said than done. But I still think it was worth it!

Now make sure every single candy corn bit makes it into the mixer.
Step 10
Blend on a medium low setting for maybe 10 seconds or so.

I'm basically trying to spare my hands the work of stirring the candy into the thick dough.
Step 11
Look at that... I mean that's some seriously thick cookie dough.

Plunk the huge blob of dough back into the mixer bowl.
Step 12
Use a cookie scoop or spoon to make balls of dough that are about the same size.

Set them a hefty 2 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Step 13
Once my cookie dough is balled and lined up like little buttery solders, I like to break off a few more candy corn pieces for something special I do with cookies.

I like to look for blank spots on the tops and strategically press in some extra bits here and there. See the difference?
Step 14
I do this with chocolate chips, or whatever item has ended up in our cookie dough that day. It usually makes for the loaded up cookies you just want to grab!

Pop the pan into your preheated oven, and bake for 12 minutes.

This dough makes enough for two full big pans of cookies. You can either make both now, or make one pan and save the rest of the dough.

I get another fresh sheet of parchment, and scrape the other half of the dough right into the center.
Step 15
Shape the dough into a candy studded log.
Step 16
Then just roll it, rubber band it, and label it... and you'll have a whole new pan of cookies for another day!
Step 17
After 12 minutes, this is what I pulled from the oven.
Step 18
As you can see, these are really light colored cookies. Don't be tempted to keep baking them for more color, because you'll just burn the bottoms and melt the candy even further!
Step 19
These are so buttery and delicious!
Step 20
I hope you love them!

Candy Corn Pudding Parfaits

Here’s another quick and easy Halloween treat for you!

Layers of colorful puddings get topped with sweetened whipped cream and festive garnishes. Use any type of pudding that your family enjoys… as long as they’re flavors that will lend themselves to food coloring. For the toppings you could use all kinds of things: sprinkles, cookie crumbs, candy corn, or any kind of small Halloween treat come to mind. I used some of my Halloween Spider Cookies  and Wyatt loved it!

Candy Corn Pudding Parfaits Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Occasion Halloween

Ingredients

  • 1 box cheesecake flavored pudding mix
  • 1 box white chocolate flavored pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream (about a one pint container)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • yellow gel food coloring
  • orange gel food coloring

Directions

Step 1
Any light colored pudding flavors would do the trick here. The main thing is making sure that they'll take the food coloring easily.

I liked the sound of cheesecake and white chocolate.
Step 2
So it gets really complicated here.

Mix the puddings according to their package directions.
Step 3
Add a nice sized blob of food coloring.
Step 4
Make one flavor yellow,
Step 5
and the other flavor orange.
Step 6
Place a gallon sized ziploc in a large measuring cup, and fold down the top.
Step 7
Pour in the yellow pudding.
Step 8
Reseal the top, and you have an instant piping bag!

Pour the orange pudding into another bag,

Place both bags into your fridge to thicken up a bit, and move on to the whipped cream.
Step 9
Pour the cream into mixer, and whip on high for about 3 minutes.

Add the sugar.
Step 10
and whip another 30 seconds or until you're pleased with the stiffness of the cream.
Step 11
Repeat the ziploc trick with the sweetened whipped cream, and you'll officially be the proud owner of three bags of sweet goop!
Step 12
Press the pudding back away from one corner of each bag, and snip off a small tip.
Step 13
Now it's just a matter of layering the ingredients into a cute dish!

The yellow goes first.
Step 14
Follow it up with a little orange.
Step 15
Then top it all off with some sweetened whipped cream.
Step 16
They're nice and candy corny as is, but of course I felt obligated to go further.
Step 17
The spider cookies on top might have been a bit much, but hey... it's Halloween.

Halloween Spider Cookies

Here’s another creepy Halloween treat for you! These are a great sweet treat project to make with kids, because it’s only a few ingredients, and they are quick and easy!

I’d seen these on top of cupcakes in a Halloween magazine last year, and I thought they looked like something I might actually be able to make. Well, after whipping these up, I can say that anyone can make these look just as cute as a magazine photo shoot… with the right supplies.

Wyatt and I tried to make these last week, but I learned that all frostings (or glue as Wyatt called it) are not created equal. I could have made homemade frosting, but he seemed just as happy to listen to Halloween music and eat the supplies! At any rate, one more trip to the store later, we made these!

Halloween Spider Cookies Recipe

Meal type Dessert
Misc Child Friendly, Pre-preparable
Occasion Halloween

Ingredients

  • Halloween Oreos
  • Reeses Pieces
  • thin licorice (like)
  • chocolate frosting

Directions

Step 1
Here's the original lineup of ingredients I used.
Step 2
The "cookie icing" was definitely the wrong choice for these.

As you can see, it's extremely loose.
Step 3
Wyatt didn't care in the least.

All he wanted to do was eat Twizzlers and Reeses Pieces anyway.
Step 4
On the other hand, I still wanted to make spiders. The next day I bought this cookie creme frosting and it worked great!
Step 5
I also found the chocolate flavor much more pleasing than the other icing.

Anyway, now that I had the right "glue", it was time to start making some spiders!

I started by pulling apart some of the green licorice, and breaking it off into equal sized pieces. After making one with longer legs and another with shorter legs, I found that the shorter legs worked much better.
Step 6
Grab an Oreo, and dollop two globs of frosting where you'd like his eyes to go.
Step 7
Squish on a couple of conveniently colored Reeses Pieces, and BAM!

Step 8
He's got eyes!

Now squirt a generous line of frosting along the side so that you'll have enough room for four legs.
Step 9
I'll give you three guesses what comes next.
Step 10
That's right... spider legs.

Add four more on the other side, and all he needs now is a name.
Step 11
Ok so maybe don't name them, just eat them!
Step 12
And have a Happy Halloween!

Chocolate Chip Rainbow Cookies

If you’re ever looking for a kid friendly cookie, then look no further than Chocolate Chip Rainbow Cookies!

Just the sight of these makes my son, Wyatt, smile. Actually, these were his brainchild. We love to make cookies together. Our system goes a little something like this: I measure everything out, he uses a measuring cup to scoop and dump the pre-measured ingredients into the mixer, he grabs handfuls of dough and eats as much as he can, I let him do it several times then end up taking away his height a.k.a the dining room chair that raises him up to assistant baker level.

Months ago while we were making a batch of cookies, he wanted to dip them in sprinkles. I just knew that once in the oven they were going to melt all over the place and make a huge rainbow mess. But he can be very persuasive, so we tried it anyway. I couldn’t believe how perfectly cute they came out of the oven! It does freak me out a little, wondering what kind of crazy witchcraft or unnatural ingredients goes into making sprinkles… but not enough to ruin the fun of these cookies!

I’m sure that any kind of cookie dough would work with this method, but please try my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies if you’ve got the time to make them!

Chocolate Chip Rainbow Cookies Recipe

Ingredients

  • chocolate chip cookie dough (Try my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies!)
  • rainbow sprinkles

Directions

Step 1
Use a cookie scoop or a spoon to make a ball of your cookie dough. Any size works here from bite-sized to super duper (just be prepared to adjust your cooking time).
Step 2
Now plunk one side down right into your bowl of sprinkles.

Since I used a scoop, mine have a flat side. I plunk the dough with the flat side up to keep that side sprinkle free for the cookie sheet.
Step 3
Mush it around a bit until your happy with the sprinkle coverage, and voila!
Step 4
Sprinkled cookie dough!

Line the sprinkled balls up on a parchment lined cookie sheet leaving at least an inch and a half in between.
Step 5
For my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies they will bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. That's for about ping pong sized balls of dough. If you've made bite-sized or super duper sized, make sure to adjust your size down or up accordingly.
Step 6
This is my son's favorite way to have chocolate chip cookies!
Step 7
Of course I love them too...
Step 8
so much that I took a million pictures of them!

Monster Sandwich Cookies

Happy early Halloween!

We love this holiday, and I’m always trying to think of something fun and new (and usually sweet) to do with Wyatt for Halloween.

I have a recipe we worship in our house for Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. I’d made a batch of these to share with you guys, and after I’d finished my photo shoot for the blog I thought, “Why stop there?” So Wyatt and I checked our pantry, and then made a trip to the store to get some extra candies and cans of frosting. I think he almost enjoyed shopping for supplies as much as he enjoyed making these!

Obviously you could use store bought cookies, and any given assortment of candies to make these. I really hope you try my chocolate chip recipe or even my Peanut Butter Cookies if you’ve got the time!

Please let me know if you come up with any other great ways to decorate these guys… I’d love to see what you come up with!

Monster Sandwich Cookies Recipe

Directions

Step 1
Here's the lineup: cookies (of course), colorful frosting, and candies!
Step 2
For the candies, I used a mix of candies, marshmallows, and chocolate chips.

The marshmallows are the perfect base for eyeballs, and I love the chips for the teeth.
Step 3
I used canned frosting instead of making it from scratch. Knock yourself out if you've got the time and the powdered sugar.

For the green I used Duncan Hines frosting creations caramel flavored, along with some neon green coloring.
Step 4
I had to use the whole tube of green, but I think I ended up with a nice eery green color.
Step 5
For the purple, I just used a can of regular vanilla frosting.

I didn't have to use the whole tube this time, but you can see it was still a pretty sizable blob.
Step 6
I think it ended up a nice color, but use as much coloring gel as you like to get the results you like best.

I transferred both of the frostings to gallon sized ziploc bags.
Step 7
Snip the corner of the make-shift pastry bags, and you're ready to start sandwich making!
Step 8
Surprisingly enough, these sandwiches begin with two cookies.
Step 9
Flip one of those bad boys over, and put the tip of your frosting bag right on the cookie.
Step 10
Fill up almost the whole cookie, moving side to side. Leave some empty space towards the back of the cookie so that it'll sit up at a slight angle. This will make it look like your monster's mouth is open!
Step 11
Place the other cookie on top and apply a small blob of frosting to the front. I opted for the other color here... monsters aren't matchy matchy.

This will give your eyeballs somewhere to stick.
Step 12
For the eyes, I used marshmallows with frosting and M&Ms.

Start by getting just a small dab of frosting with a toothpick, and smear it onto a mini mallow.
Step 13
Then stick on a mini M&M, and...
Step 14
Bam! Eyeball.
Step 15
To make bigger eyes, slice a full sized marshmallow in half.
Step 16
On the non-sticky side smear another toothpick full of frosting, and smoosh in another M&M.
Step 17
Pretty cute huh?

Now just a couple upside down chocolate chips, and you've got yourself a monster!
Step 18
Here's a different one I made with Reeses Pieces teeth and equal sized eyes.
Step 19
Wyatt even made one! I helped with piping the frosting, but he did everything else on his own.
Step 20
I thought it ended up looking pretty awesome...
Step 21
and so did he!
Step 22
Here's another one of mine with mini chocolate chip teeth, and jumbo Reeses eyes.
Step 23
Wyatt really liked this one.

Step 24
He kept calling him Mike Wazowski, which I found very funny and silly!

So here's the whole lineup...
Step 25
These little guys are so cute!
Step 26
Just let your imagination (and your kids' imaginations) run wild, and I'm sure you'll come up with tons of spooky ways to make these Halloween Monsters!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everybody loves chocolate chip cookies… well everybody I know anyway. And if you’re into the soft and chewy sort, then these are the perfect cookies for you!

Brian has a family recipe that belongs to his great Aunt Maureen. We’ve used it for years, and they’re great cookies. The thing that I found really different about this recipe is the fact that it’s part butter and part butter flavored crisco. Something about that combination gives them a great flavor. About a year or two ago, I came across a recipe online that’s uses a couple teaspoons of cornstarch to keep the cookies soft and chewy. I love this recipe so much that I’ve probably made them at least ten times. I decided to try and merge the two recipes together to make soft, chewy, and super flavorful cookies. It totally worked!

These are fantastic! If you’re feeling adventurous, add in the optional cinnamon. Brian’s favorite cookies of all time are snickerdoodles. He suggested adding just a touch of cinnamon to give the cookies a hint of that snickerdoodle taste. It actually worked out really well, yet it doesn’t overpower the chocolate “chipness” of the cookies.

Please make these, and let me know what you think! I think they’re the perfect chocolate chip cookies!

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup butter flavored crisco
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (don't use coarse salt here)
  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips (I never use the whole bag, but it's up to you)

Directions

Step 1
Start by placing your softened butter, along with the butter flavored crisco, into your mixing bowl.

Also preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Step 2
If butter flavored crisco is good enough for Aunt Maureen, then it's good enough for me!

Add in the two kinds of sugar.
Step 3
Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, cream everything together on high. Give it a few minutes on high to make sure it gets nice and fluffy.

This is one time during the cookie-making when you can't over mix. You want it creamy and fluffy like this.
Step 4
Crack the egg into a small bowl. Do this first to make sure it's not a creepy egg... I've gotten a black one before, and I'll never forget it!

Add in the vanilla, and whisk together with a fork.
Step 5
Dump the sweet smelling egg mixture into the mixing bowl, and mix on medium until just incorporated.
Step 6
Place a sieve over a bowl, and add in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and the cinnamon (if you're feeling adventurous with your cookies).
Step 7
Gently shake the dusty mixture into the bowl.

You'll end up with a fluffy pile of dry ingredients.
Step 8
Add about a third of the dry mix into the cookie dough.
Step 9
Mix on medium until barely incorporated.

Step 10
Scrape down the sides, and repeat two more times.

Or if you're using a helper, it might be more like four or five more times.
Step 11
Just try to make sure that as soon as all of the flour (including the sides and bottom of your mixing bowl) is incorporated you stop mixing! Over mixing the dough at this point is a definite mistake.
Step 12
Some folks gently fold in the chips at this point by hand. I have arthritis and for me that was always the hardest part of cookie making. Well that and trying not to eat a whole batch.

Anyway I feel that I get the same effect by dumping in my chips,
Step 13
and turning on the mixer at the absolute lowest setting for about 10 seconds.

See... perfect!
Step 14
I always line my best cookie sheet with parchment paper before laying down any cookie blobs.

This was our first time using a cookie scoop instead of spoons.
Step 15
Someone got a bit overexcited.
Step 16
Good cookie help is hard to find.

So I ended up doing most of these by myself.
Step 17
Bake them in the 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
Step 18
I like mine nice and light and chewy. Allow them to cool, if you can stand it. They'll hold their shape much better if you can keep your hands off of them for at least 10 minutes.
Step 19
These are soft, chewy, and absolutely delicious.
Step 20
All in all, they're the perfect chocolate chip cookies!
Brown Sugar Bread Pudding

Brown Sugar Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

I’ve never had anyone taste my brown sugar bread pudding and not proceed to rave about the perfectness of this dessert. The caramel sauce alone would make almost everything awesome (although it’s hard for me to imagine anything helping out the flavor of grapefruit… yeuck). But the bread pudding is wonderful on its own. Serve it: with the sauce, without the sauce, with ice cream, without ice cream, today, tomorrow, yesterday… you get the idea.

This is the only bread pudding recipe you’ll ever need!

Seriously. There’s really not much else to say.

Brown Sugar Bread Pudding With Caramel Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

Pudding

  • 6 cups cubed bread
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Topping

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Sauce

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup half and half

Directions

Step 1
One of the convenient things about bread pudding is that you can really use almost any kind of bread.

I used an italian loaf from the regular grocery store. It was unsliced, but there was nothing really fancy about it.
Step 2
This was a pudding made out of desire instead of necessity. Basically I just wanted to eat bread pudding in a bad way. It was not a clever use of stale bread.

I'm actually not sure if I've ever made bread pudding out of necessity. I usually just get in the mood and then about a day or so later I find myself eating half a pan of bread pudding and trying not to judge myself.

Anyway, if you're like me and find yourself using fresh bread, try to plan ahead at least a day. All you have to do is cube your bread and leave it in a bowl overnight to dry out. When you get up in the morning, the top will be dry and underneath will still be soft. Make sure to toss it around several times so everyone gets a turn on the top to stale.
Step 3
When you're confident that your bread is dry enough (or you just can't wait any longer to get down with the pudding) preheat your oven to 350.

Dump your cubes into the pan that you plan on baking in. I had initially cubed about 7 heaping cups of bread. However, I ended up taking a cup's worth out after my pan test.
Step 4
It was definitely going to overflow, so the turtles at our pond will get extra bread tossed to them next time.

For the topping you'll need about a half a stick of butter, but I steal a tablespoon from it first.

Use the butter wrapper and rub the tablespoon all around the bottom and sides of your baking dish.
Step 5
The rest of the half stick goes into a small food processor along with 1/2 cup of lightly packed brown sugar.

Looking back I would have chopped up the butter a bit, because I kept having to take breaks to mush the butter chunk down to get it to blend.
Step 6
Pulse several times until you have a well blended sugar butter paste.

Set aside until you're ready for the pudding to go into the oven.
Step 7
In a large bowl, crack open your 4 eggs. Then carefully separate two more, but only add the yolks.
Step 8
Add 2 cups of half and half along with 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla.
Step 9
Dump in 1 cup of regular sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and whisk the heck out of the whole mixture.

You want a creamy, yellowish, and bubbly concoction.
Step 10
Now it's time for these two crazy kids to get together and make some sweet sweet dessert lovin'.
Step 11
Carefully pour the custard over the pan of bread. Try to get everybody covered.

Here's the pan covered in custard.
Step 12
You want to make sure that everyone is REALLY soaked. To ensure a super saturation, smash all of the cubes down into the gunk with a spatula.

Make sure to go all around the pan, and show no mercy. No bread makes it out of this thirsty!
Step 13
Once everything is thoroughly sopped, let it just sit and soak all the goodness in for at least ten minutes.

Sprinkle your brown sugar butter topping all over the top of the pan.

Now all you need to do is pop the pan into the preheated oven, and bake for 40 minutes. Keep in mind that all stoves are different with their heat and cook times. You want everything set without a jiggly center.
Step 14
While the pudding bakes in the oven is the perfect time to make your brown sugar caramel sauce. Let me just reiterate that this is such a delicious sauce!

Start by heating one stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it's not a stick anymore add the sugars, and beaten egg. Whisk everything together.
Step 15
I made a pretty amateur mistake, which i hope we can all learn from. I didn't temper my egg before dumping it in.

Surprise scrambled egg caramel!
Step 16
It's actually not that big of a deal... just an inconvenience. If this happens to you, set a mesh sieve over a bowl. Pour in your sauce, and leave your sweet scrambled eggs behind.
Step 17
Now pour your sauce back into the saucepan (still over medium heat) and stir occasionally as you wait for it to bubble.
Step 18
This took about four minutes.
Step 19
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the half and half.
Step 20
Replace the pan over the medium heat and bubble away for another three minutes.
Step 21
Pull the pan off of the heat, and allow your lusciously smooth caramel to cool.
Step 22
This brown sugar caramel sauce would be delicious over almost anything!
Step 23
I served this at first with a salted caramel ice cream. It totally doesn't need it!

This stuff is so good that it really doesn't need any extra flavor help from anything else. If you do choose to serve it with ice cream, I believe this is one time when plain old vanilla is really the way to go.
Step 24
Please try this immediately!