cookies

Bready or Not: Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread

Posted by on Feb 1, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, lemon | 0 comments

Almost exactly a year ago, I shared my recipe for Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread. Now I’m sharing a slight twist: Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread!

Bready or Not: Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread

If you have oranges growing or catch a good deal at the store, use them for this shortbread! You could also use Clementines or other citrus; I’m not sure how many you’d need, but you want almost 1/2 cup of juice.

Bready or Not: Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread

One of the wonderful things about this shortbread–like its predecessor–is that it’s fantastic to pack and ship or bring on trips. These cookies are firm and durable while still soft to eat, and they keep for at least a week.

Bready or Not: Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread

These cookies have the signature buttery-soft texture of shortbread complemented by the slight grit of cornmeal. The orange in these cookies makes them milder than the all-lemon version. If you have orange extract, use that as well!

Not only are these cookies delicious, but they look pretty, too.

Bready or Not: Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread

Bready or Not: Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread

Bready or Not: Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread

This Bready or Not original makes a 9×13 pan of fresh-tasting shortbread that is both firm and soft. It’s excellent for shipping or travel.

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • zest and juice of two oranges (just under 1/2 cup juice)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract (or orange extract)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • turbinado or sparkling sugar

Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and apply butter or nonstick spray.

In a mixer bowl, combine the butter, sugar, orange zest, and extract. Beat until it's light and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add orange juice and stir.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients until it is just mixed. Dump the dough into the ready pan and use an uneven spatula to even it out.

Use a knife to score the bars, gently cutting through to establish where it will be sliced again after baking. The dough is very sticky; wipe the blade between passes, and dab the excess back into the top. It doesn't need to look neat. Completely sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar or sparkling sugar.

Bake until the shortbread looks dry and golden, about 35 to 40 minutes. Immediately use a knife to follow the previous lines and slice the shortbread into bars (when cool, the shortbread will likely crumble when cut). Set the whole pan on a rack to cool, eventually lifting them out by the aluminum foil to finish cooling.

Store in sealed containers at room temperature. This citrus cornmeal shortbread is excellent for travel and shipping as it keeps well for at least six days.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Citrus Cornmeal Shortbread

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Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

These Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars are thick, lush, and oh-so-good.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

I had to make this recipe twice to get it right. The first time I made it, I chilled it for only a few hours and then started to cut up the bars. It became a huge, awful mess. I was embarrassed by how they looked–crumbles more than bars–but my husband took them to work and people went crazy over them.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

It turned out, the recipe produced something seriously delicious… but it sure needed a lot more time to set.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

Therefore, I made them again. I also tweaked it from the original by taking out extra pecans and adding the essential ingredient of cream of tartar. I mean, what the heck? Something can’t be named Snickerdoodle and lack cream of tartar!

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

This time, I let the bars set in the fridge for almost a full day before I sliced them. The top crackled but the bars stayed cohesive–and my husband’s co-workers went bonkers over them, yet again.

This recipe makes a lot, too. The bars fill a 13×9 pan all the way to the top! Have a lot of containers handy, or keep them in the original pan with plastic wrap or foil over the top.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

These Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars would wow a crowd at a holiday potluck! The leftovers keep well for days, too.

Modified from Shugary Sweets.

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

These Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars are thick and lush, filling a 13×9 casserole pan all the way to the top. Be sure to read through the full recipe before you start–the baked bars need to set overnight in the fridge, at minimum, before being cut, or they’ll make a delicious mess.

  • Crust
  • 8 ounces graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Cheesecake Filling
  • 2 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Snickerdoodle layer
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • Topping
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Line a 13x9 baking dish with aluminum foil so that it is covered on the bottom and all four sides; apply nonstick spray or butter. Set dish aside. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse graham crackers with pecans and sugar until everything is reduced to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until it clumps.

Press the crumbs into the bottom of prepared baking dish. A handy way to do this is to lay a piece of wax paper over the crumbs, then use a glass to compress the bottom crust. Form an even layer.

Next, start the cheesecake filling. In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes. Pour over the filling over the graham crust.

Time for the cookie dough top crust! Clean up the bowl and use it to beat the butter with sugar for 2 minutes, until it's fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla. Add the baking powder, salt, flour, cinnamon, and cream of tartar. Use your hands to form flat pieces of dough to lay atop the cream cheese. Fill in the holes until you form a cookie dough lid.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon topping, and sprinkle that over the top layer.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. The cookie dough layer should be completely cooked and golden, even if the middle still jiggles a bit. The cheesecake bars will completely fill the pan.

Remove from oven and cool completely. Once it's cooled, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight or full a full day. THIS IS IMPORTANT. It will be delicious if you cut into it early, but it will also be a complete mess when cut!

After the bars have had a long chill, cut them into bars and keep stored in fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars

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Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, cookies | 0 comments

We’re kicking off the Christmas season with a recipe that’s been a favorite of mine since 2003: Soft Gingerbread Bars!

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

My original recipe was clipped from the inside of a Land O Lakes butter box. Before trying that recipe, I had associated gingerbread with dry, hard cut-out cookies.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Land O Lakes enlightened me. They taught me gingerbread could be rendered into soft, chewy bars that were a sugary equivalent to crack cocaine.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

These bars have been a household favorite ever since. You can cut the gingerbread into fancier shapes, but I prefer basic bars. These bars are soft and luscious, embodied with the divine scent of Christmas itself.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Plus, this is the perfect recipe when you’re low on time–it mixes together quickly and bakes in under 20 minutes. No standing around the oven for an hour, waiting for batch after batch of cookies to be done.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

As soft as these bars are, they are surprisingly durable. When my husband was deployed in the Navy, I mailed several batches to him overseas. I packed them in Gladware with napkins for padding, and they survived the journey, intact and tasty.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Modified from the original recipe at Land O Lakes Butter. Originally posted at Bready or Not back in 2012 on Live Journal.

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

These soft, thick gingerbread bars whip together in no time and bake in under 20 minutes! They are surprisingly durable, too, and keep well for weeks for mailing–even to overseas. Plus, they smell and taste like sugary heaven. Modified from a Land O Lakes recipe.

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • Topping
  • 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a jelly roll or large bar pan with aluminum foil.

Combine the 1 1/4 cups sugar, butter, egg, and molasses in a large mixer bowl. Mix until creamy. Add the flour, baking soda, and spices and mix until just combined.

Press the dough evenly into the pan. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of sugar across the top. Dust the sugar with your fingers to fill the nooks and crannies.

Bake the pan for 16 to 20 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Cool completely. Cut into bars or other shapes. Try to resist eating them all.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Soft Gingerbread Bars

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Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, maple | 0 comments

These Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies are light, crisp, and full of maple goodness.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Story prompts inspire stories. Cookbooks inspire new spins on already-great recipes. In this case, I found my inspiration in the cookbook MAPLE, which also provided the basis for my Maple Pear Galette and part of my Maple Apple Pie (aka Voltron Pie).

I loved the look of the original recipe, but right off the top, I knew I needed to make some adaptations. I don’t keep whole wheat pastry flour around. I decided to substitute with cake flour since it was also lower in gluten.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

As a result, the cookies are surprisingly light and crisp. However, this also means they can overcook–and fast! Keep an eye on them as they near the end of baking time. Better to have them slightly underdone when you pull them from the oven, as they’ll finish cooking on the cookie sheet.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

I also went with white chocolate rather than milk or dark chocolate. I find the mellowness of white chocolate better works with maple flavor.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Now, maple sugar can be pricy stuff at supermarkets, if you can find it at all. I buy it in bulk at Amazon. If you glance through my maple recipes, you’ll find plenty of ways to use it up!

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Walnuts–and other nuts–are easy to roast in your oven. Line a rimmed pan with foil. Add the nuts in an even layer. Bake at 350-degrees for like 7 to 10 minutes, shifting them once sometime in there, until the nuts are fragrant. Let’em cool, then use them or eat them.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

The combination of flavors here–maple, white chocolate, walnuts–makes these the perfect cookies for autumn.

… Except, well, if you know me, I believe in summoning up the goodness of maple all year round. Awesome things shouldn’t be confined to one season.

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

Bready or Not: Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies

These cookies combine cake flour and all-purpose flour to create lightly-textured cookies full of maple flavor. White chocolate and chopped walnuts add extra crunch and oomph. Watch these cookies carefully in the oven–their lightness means they can also quickly overcook.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup roasted and chopped walnuts

Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and maple sugar until creamy. Beat in the egg followed by the oil and vanilla. Scrape the sides of the bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together the two flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mix until they are just combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips and walnuts.

Use a tablespoon scoop to dole out dough onto the prepared sheet pan, leaving space for each cookie to spread. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until cookies puff and are just turning golden--watch them carefully at the end, as they can overcook quickly! Let them cool on the sheet about ten minutes and then transfer to a rack to completely cool.

OM NOM NOM!

 

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Bready or Not: Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Pudding Cookies

Posted by on Nov 2, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, pumpkin | Comments Off

Every fall, I like to bake goodies using Jell-O’s Pumpkin Spice Pudding. Every fall, I’m frustrated when Walmart doesn’t carry it until later in October, and not for long.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Pudding Cookies

 

This stuff is like a secret weapon if you love autumn flavors. Pudding mix of any kind creates extra softness and a lovely texture whether you’re making cookies or bundt cake; this version adds delicate pumpkin and spice flavors, plus a lovely shade of orange.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Pudding Cookies

This cookie dough doesn’t need to be chilled. Just whip it together and bake. The resulting cookies are plump, soft, and downright pretty to behold. Oh yeah–another advantage of using pudding mix is that the cookies stay soft and fresh for upward of a week.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Pudding Cookies

Other Bready or Not recipes featuring both pumpkin flavor and pudding mix:
Pumpkin Pudding Snickerdoodle Cookies (pumpkin spice mix)
Pumpkin and Pudding Mix Pound Cake (vanilla pudding mix)

Modified from Boys Ahoy.

Bready or Not: Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Pudding Cookies

Bready or Not: Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Pudding Cookies

These chewy cookies are perfect for autumn or all year round. Jell-O Pumpkin Spice Pudding Mix is a seasonal favorite at Walmart; you can also find it on Amazon for an inflated price. This pudding mix adds a delicate pumpkin spice flavor to these cookies, along with a seasonally-appropriate orange tint. Store the cookies in a sealed container and they’ll keep for up to a week.

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 (3.4oz) package Jell-O Instant Pumpkin Spice Pudding
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup milk or semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Combine flour and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and both sugars. Beat in pudding mix until blended, followed by the eggs and vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips until just combined.

Using a cookie dough scooper, place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 -10 minutes. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before moving to a cooking rack. Store in air-tight container. Makes two dozen.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Chocolate Chip Pecan Pumpkin Pudding Cookies

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Bready or Not: Double Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies | Comments Off

Chewy. Dense. Loaded with peanut butter in the dough and in the candy morsels. These cookies have it all going on.

Bready or Not: Double Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I used creamy-centered peanut butter M&Ms for this (yay, clearance shelf) but you can also use tried-and-true Reese’s Pieces, or mix of peanut butter and chocolate chips. Just having a slight touch of chocolate in these cookies really makes the peanut butter flavor pop.

Bready or Not: Double Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

You’ll need to smash the dough balls flat before baking; these won’t spread at all, really. They will likely be even denser if you use all rolled oats. I like to use a mix of oats. That way some blend, and some stay chewy.

Bready or Not: Double Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

If you’re not in the mood for oatmeal cookies, I have a recipe for regular double peanut butter cookies, too–and these are a favorite because they are great to ship!

Modified from Crème de la Crumb.

Bready or Not: Double Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Bready or Not: Double Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut butter in the dough, peanut butter in the candy morsels: these deliver the nutty flavor in a lovely way. These are ideal cookies for the peanut butter lover! Modified from Crème de la Crumb.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oats, rolled or quick (or a mix)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 white sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Reese's Pieces or similar (or mix of peanut butter chips and chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together until they are fluffy. Mix in the peanut butter, followed by the egg and vanilla. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in the Reese's Pieces.

Use a scoop to dole out the dough onto a cookie sheet. The dollops stay fat, so flatten them by hand or with a glass. Bake teaspoon-sized scoops for 11 to 13 minutes.

Let them cool on the sheet for about 10 minutes, then move them to a rack. Store in an airtight container.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Double Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

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