Cookie Dough Fudge

19 Dec

Cookie Dough Fudge

I am getting awfully excited for Christmas. It’s less than a week away—pretty hard to believe it snuck up on me this fast! I love to give treats away for Christmas. They’re obviously the perfect gift because they’re from the heart, homemade, rather inexpensive, and for the stomach. What more could you want?

This fudge is ridiculously easy. You don’t need to use a candy thermometer or worry about exact times to get the right consistency here. It’s all in the sugar! (No, really, it really does depend on how much powdered sugar you use.)

I whipped up a batch of this for a holiday potluck and have leftovers in my fridge to give away to any holiday visitors. I always feel the need to have a homemade treat on hand–you never know who you might need to give it to!

Cookie Dough Fudge

Start by making your cookie dough.

Cookie Dough Fudge

Now start the fudge base by combining butter, brown sugar, and half-and-half in a pan.

Cookie Dough Fudge

Heat on medium-low until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.

Cookie Dough Fudge

Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Stir until smooth after each addition.

Cookie Dough Fudge

 

Keep stirring until smooth and very thick.

Cookie Dough Fudge

After the last cup of powdered sugar is added, stir well until very, very smooth.

Cookie Dough Fudge

Toss in the cookie dough and stir to incorporate evenly.

Cookie Dough Fudge

Sprinkle in the chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Cookie Dough Fudge

Spread in a parchment-lined pan, and refrigerate until set.

Cookie Dough Fudge

Cut into bite-sized, 1-inch pieces. Continue reading 

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Molasses Cookies and The Second Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

12 Dec

This year I had the pleasure of participating in the Second Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Basically, a long, fancy name for a good, ol’ fashioned cookie exchange. Don’t mind if I do.

Here’s how it worked: Lots of food bloggers signed up to participate in this cookie swap, which was organized by Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen (two absolutely amaaaazing food blogs, drool drool yum yum hungry hungry). Once everyone signed up, you receive 3 matches who you will send cookies to, and 3 other people are assigned to send cookies to me. These 3 matches are kept secret until cookie time. When it came time (last week), I baked 3 dozen cookies–1 dozen for each of my secret matches–and sent them on their merry way.

It was fun to check out my secret matches’ food blogs, too. I can never have too many food blogs to read, I tell ya. If you want to see the wonderful ladies who I sent cookies to, check out Lacey from Small Town Cookie, Fran at Fran’s Favs, and Lauren at A Picture Journey. They are talented, talented bakers!

I also got some cookies of my own! Many many thanks to Rosie at ForkPenMouth for Buckwheat Cocoa Nib Shortbread Cookies, Amanda at Culinary Quirks for the most incredible Strawberry Cheesecake Sandwich Cookies (my husband devoured these in minutes), and Tina at The Daily Bite for melt-in-your-mouth Italian lemon cookies!

Here’s the recipe I made for the cookie swap. These are classic, thin, chewy molasses cookies. My husband calls them Christmas cookies because they seriously do taste JUST LIKE CHRISTMAS. I used to call them brain cookies because I would just plop the dough dough on the cookie sheet and after they baked, I thought they looked like brains. (I know, really mature.)

This cookie swap has really gotten me in the Christmas spirit. Happy Christmas cookies to all!

Beat together the melted butter and brown sugar until light and smooth in texture, about 3 minutes.

Add your egg, and beat a little more.

Pour in that rich, thick molasses.

In another bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, salt, and all those Christmassy spices.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, and stir by hand just until combined. Refrigerate dough for an hour or two.

Form little balls and roll into the white sugar.

Bake for 8-10 minutes until crackly on top. Continue reading 

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Broccoli Cheese Soup

5 Dec

My grandma is old-fashioned. That’s putting it mildly. She has a very ’50s-housewife mentality, bless her heart. Now you might think that since I have a cooking blog, that I, too, am old-fashioned, cutesy, and housewifey. You’d be wrong (although I don’t mind the cutesy part).

No matter how many times I try explaining to my grandma that it’s actually not necessary for me to fold my husband’s laundry, cook his favorite meals every day, and go to bed with curlers in my hair, she never stops trying to make me change (again, bless her heart).

On Black Friday, we were eating Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch like happy little turkeys. We were taking turns reheating our individual plates. My husband heated his plate up first, so he was almost finished eating by the time I was just sitting down. Seconds after I sat down, my grandma addressed my husband.

Grandma: “Now if you want any seconds, just tell Adrianne and she’ll go get them for you.”

Husband: Says nothing; stares at me.

Me: “Nice try, Grandma, but actually he can get them for himself.”

This is a typical scene when we’re at  Grandma’s house. She always laughs my comments off and thinks I’m being cheeky. I am amazed at her tenacity to make me a doting servant. She puts up a real fight, though—I’ll give her that.

This soup is one of my personal favorite meals. I make it a lot (whether or not my husband approves). He likes it, too, though, so I don’t think Grandma would get on my case too much.

Broccoli cheese soup is one of my favorite things to order at restaurants. It usually never disappoints. It’s hard for me to recreate it exactly at home, but this version might even be superior. It’s easy and even heartier with the addition of potatoes and carrots. It’s thick, chunky, and even has a creamy base—just like restaurant-style.

Chop broccoli, carrots, and potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Cover with water and the bouillon cube. Simmer veggies about 10 minutes, or until tender.

Stir in cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese. Mix until smooth. Continue reading 

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Cookie Dough Whoopie Pies

28 Nov

Did you collect anything when you were a kid? I was the queen of collections. To give you an idea, I collected rocks from our driveway (kids have simple minds), postage stamps (those things are maybe worth some money now…), Precious Moments figurines, and, best of all, Lisa Frank stickers. For all you roughly 20-to-30-something year-old ladies out there: REMEMBER LISA FRANK??

Lisa Frank stickers were the best because they were ultimate girly. Rainbow colors, butterflies, ponies, and I don’t even remember what else. And stickers, wow. Imagine the profits the Lisa Frank company was making on stickers. Stickers: tiny pieces of colorful, glossy paper with an adhesive back, marked up 300%. Maybe I should get into the sticker business.

Until that day, however, I’ll stay in the cookie business. (And by business, I do not mean to imply that I actually have a cookie business; rather, I just make a lot of them.)

This is another quality recipe from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook. I’d never even made whoopie pies before, but I’d always wanted to. So naturally, cookie dough whoopie pies seemed like a great place to start.

These are great sandwich cookies because the cookie halves are soft, chocolaty, and cake-like. And the cookie dough center? Can’t go wrong with that.

Stir together your dry ingredients. Get the egg, oil, milk, and vanilla ready.

Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and add the milk, oil, beaten egg, and oil.

Mix together until dough is all moistened and no large lumps remain. The mixture should look like thick cake batter (and taste like it too!).

Using a tablespoon-sized scoop, portion cookie batter onto a Silpat-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are set. Let cool for a few minutes on the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. They’ll look like rounded, fluffy cake cookies.

Start mixing up your cookie dough filling by beating your brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

Add the rest of your ingredients, and lastly, sprinkle in those chocolate chips.

The perfect filling.

Throw a dollop of cookie dough filling between two whoopie pie halves, and mush them together lightly until the filling reaches the edges.

Admire your handiwork, and share with others if you’re feeling generous. Continue reading 

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Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

21 Nov

Still not sure what to make for Thanksgiving TOMORROW??? Freak out!! No need to stress, just take a look at some of my favorite dishes that are perfect for holidays.

If you’re looking for an alternative to the ol’ mashed potatoes and gravy, why not try my rich Scalloped Potatoes? Even though these are 100 percent savory and main-dish-worthy, I tend to think of this dish as an almost dessert. Why, you ask? They’re that good! I just want more and more of them after I’ve cleaned my plate.

OK, so I don’t have any classic turkey recipes, but let’s say you’re shunning that whole tradition and want pork instead. And why  not? (And maybe all of the turkeys are sold out at this point, anyway.) Why not try my favorite Roast Pork recipe? The pork is tender, flavorful, and, best of all, simple!

As far as sides go, look no further than my past post of Baked Pineapple Stuffing. It’s a classic for my in-laws, and once you’ve tried it, you won’t regret it!

If you’re like me and hoard as many carbs as possible on holidays, check out my White Sandwich Bread. It’s classic carbs all the way.

And now for desserts. You might be running out of steam by the time dessert baking rolls around. If that’s the case, I won’t blame you for one second if you whip up a batch of easy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

And there you have it, folks. A few more ideas to stress you out ease your holiday cooking load. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Broccoli Casserole

14 Nov

Food has a sentimental effect on me. I just celebrated my wedding anniversary this week, and you better believe I can’t think of my wedding day without thinking about food.

The night before my wedding day, I stayed up late making batch after bath of homemade butter caramels to give out as favors to my wedding guests. Thankfully I had a troupe of workers (a.k.a. select family and friends) to cut and individually wrap them in parchment paper and fold cute, little favor boxes. Needless to say, it was stressful.

And yet, I look back with so much pride and the utmost sentimentality when I think of all those caramels that I made with love.

What do you make that’s chock-full of memories and love?

This is a casserole recipe, and, by golly, casseroles always feel sentimental and homey to me. In honor of Thanksgiving coming up next week, I wanted to share an alternative to that green bean casserole. It’s very similar—but made with broccoli instead of green beans and incredibly easy. It even has those tasty french fried onions on top! Happy casserole baking!

Start by gently steaming or cooking your broccoli.

Mix together the soup, milk, soy sauce, pepper, 2/3-cup onions, and 1/2 cup cheese. OK, so it doesn’t look the most appetizing yet. Just give it time!

Combine the cooked broccoli and soup mixture in a casserole dish.

Bake for 25 minutes, then top with remaining cheese and french fried onions. Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Continue reading 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwich Cookies

7 Nov

I swear one of my husband’s pet peeves is how technologically unsavvy I am…and purely when it comes to tech lingo. For the life of me, I cannot stop calling my laptop charger a battery, no matter how many times he corrects me. I do realize this can be confusing when I say, “Crap! I forgot to bring my battery with me!” when I’m sitting there typing away on my laptop with no apparent difficulty or loss of function. But come on, details, details.

Also, who the heck thought it was a good idea to call PCs “PCs” and not call other laptops (like Macs) PCs?? Here’s my thinking: PC means personal computer, so if I have any sort of computer, it’s my PC, right?! Who’s with me? No one. Well that’s OK. I’ll fight these battles alone.

Maybe your current pet peeve is how many cookie dough recipes I’ve been posting ever since buying The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook. Well tough (cookies)! I cannot get enough cookie dough. Doesn’t matter how many times per week day I eat it.

This recipe is the best of both worlds because you get chocolate chip cookie dough (yum) sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies (double yum). Enjoy!

Start by stirring up your cookie dough. No funny business.

Place cookies on a lined baking sheet and slightly flatten with your fingers or the bottom of glass.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until edges start to brown.

Meanwhile, stir up eggless cookie dough for the filling.

Throw a dollop of cookie dough filling between two cooled cookies.

Now it’s time to smoosh those cookies together until the filling reaches the edges. (Apparently “smoosh” is not a real word, but that’s exactly what you need to do in this step.)

Keep filling, smooshing, and eating. Continue reading 

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!! (I think…?)

Halloween is such an odd holiday, if you can even call it that. What, exactly, are we celebrating? Candy, I guess. And that’s OK until you’re in middle school and suddenly too old to be cute when you knock on peoples’ doors begging for candy. (Ahem…the kid who knocked on my door and just stood there without saying “trick or treat.”) I will gladly give you candy if you will at least go along with the charade and pretend to be a cute, little kid who says the requisite “trick or treat.”

So today, no, I do not give you a candy recipe. ‘Cuz I’m not a kid anymore (but more truthfully because I didn’t think to make one).

So here’s something for grown-ups—spinach artichoke dip. (Because we all know kids say “ewwww” when they hear “artichoke.”) More for us grown-ups, thankyouverymuch.

This recipe originates from The Pioneer Woman, and, without ever meeting the woman, I’d say I trust her with my life. Her recipes are quality. So enjoy!

Melt the butter and cook the chopped garlic for a quick minute or two until fragrant.

Toss the spinach in, and cook it until it wilts.

Then cook up your chopped artichokes until they lightly brown.

In a new pot, cook the butter and flour together until it bubbles.

Add the milk, and cook, stirring constantly, for a few minutes until it thickens.

Add the cream cheese and other cheeses. Stir until they get all melty and the mixture is smooth.

Add the wilted spinach and cooked artichokes. Stir to combine.

Pour dip into a casserole dish and top with more grated Pepper Jack cheese. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until it starts to get bubbly and even a little brown.

Yum. Continue reading 

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Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie Dough Thumbprint Cookies

24 Oct

I am hopeless when it comes to directions. Forget about offering me tips like, “Go north on Main Street.” I’ll counter back with, “How am I supposed to know which way is north?” Come on, people! It’s hard for some of us.

It’s not hard for all of you, though, is it? Some people just have an aura of good-directionness around them.

Take my husband, for example.

The first time we went to NYC on our own, we were just two college kids taking an adventurous trip for the weekend. Naturally, I was terrified. And just as naturally, my pre-husband (pre-marriage, FYI) was in complete control.

We left Grand Central Station, my pre-husband assertively navigating up the right streets and down others and me lugging my roller-bag suitcase behind me, half-walking, half-running, and panting all the while. I was sure we were lost. I wanted a taxi with my whole heart, but for some reason, a taxi was not an option. We walked 10 or 50 blocks, depending on who you ask.

And then, out of nowhere, we were at our destination. This was a small miracle to me, the hopeless direction girl. But pre-husband never batted an eye. (Aura of good-directionness, I tell you.)

Today’s destination is not nearly as navigationally challenging as that trip to NYC; it’s just to some cookies. So come on, no reason not to make these.

I first made these cookies approximately one month ago. Then I made them again two weeks later. And then I made them two days ago (and put the last batch in 30 minutes ago). Yes, folks, they are that good.

These cookies are special because they’re not your run-of-the-mill thumbprint peanut butter cookies with a unwrapped, waxy chocolate kiss lazily thrown on top. (But don’t get me wrong, those lazy kiss ones are great, too!) The chocolate cookie dough topping is what takes these over the edge. They are rich and chocolatey and peanut-buttery. The ultimate trifecta in my book.

Cream your butters and sugars together. You know the drill.

Add the rest of your ingredients to complete the dough.

Shape the dough into tablespoon-sized balls, roll into sugar, and make a thumbprint impression with your thumb.

Bake at for 10-12 minutes until golden on the edges.

Before the cookies cool (and before you take them off the sheet), deepen the thumbprint with the back of a spoon.

While the cookies are cooling, start on your chocolate cookie dough topping. (Eggless, of course!)

It should look like this at the end. Smooth, chocolatey, and oh-so-perfect as a topping for the peanut butter cookies!

You know what comes next: you put it all together and admire your handiwork. Then you eat your handiwork. Continue reading 

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Banana Crumb Muffins

17 Oct

Freshman year, first semester of college, every single day, I walked the same, exact route from my dorm to my classes and back again. For some reason, I was too frightened/lazy/unsure to try another path. (Well, I am directionally challenged. But, alas.)

To elucidate this even further, the only reason I knew that route in the first place was because that’s the way I followed some hall-mates my very first day on campus.

Right now, you’re probably thinking I’m really pathetic. But LISTEN! Here’s one of my theories: We are creatures of habit and comfort. Sometimes we try something for the first time, and it fits the bill, so we never think to deviate from that first attempt.

So what? you ask.

Well, second semester came, and I had classes in different buildings and locations, and I couldn’t just follow the same crowd of freshman to my usual classes down my usual path. So I looked at some campus maps and learned how to walk another way to campus. And it was equally satisfying. Maybe even more so because I tried something new.

Wow, Adrianne, you’re getting all philosophical on us today. Well…I do have an ulterior motive. You probably make the same, exact banana muffin or banana bread recipe every single time. And that works for you. And that’s OK, but it’s not enough. Branch out, try THIS recipe. It’s new and different and equally satisfying. Maybe even more so.

These banana muffins are special because you don’t mash the bananas like usual. You slice them into thin, little pieces and gently fold them into your soft and pillowy, thick and rich batter. Then you top them with a professional-looking crumb. Perfection.

Butter your pan nice and good.

Combine the ingredients for the crumb topping.

Rub the mixture between your fingertips until it becomes crumbly.

Stir together all the dry ingredients and part of the wet ingredients. Then combine the dry ingredients and the sour cream in alternating additions.

Now the batter should be thick and pillowy.

Slice those ‘naners. Then fold them ’em right in the batter.

Fill your muffin tins, evenly dividing the batter. They will be quite full.

Sprinkle with crumb topping, then bake them until golden brown on top. Gobble gobble. Continue reading 

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