Chocolate & Vanilla Swirl Shortbread Cookies

I’m excited to kick off my #Choctoberfest recipes with this scrumptious recipe for shortbread cookies! Shortbread cookies are one of my favorite cookies – they’re simple, but oh so good! I love the combination of the vanilla and chocolate and they weren’t too sweet.

These cookies feature baking cocoa from one of our sponsors, Rodelle. I’m always on the hunt for premium ingredients and this cocoa did not disappoint! It’s much darker in color than other cocoa I’ve used in the past and has a richer flavor. In addition to a great flavor, Rodelle’s Gourmet Baking Cocoa has health benefits, including antioxidants, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamins. It’s also kosher, gluten-free and non-GMO.

Rodelle has been around since 1936 and offers a complete line of superior baking ingredients, baking extracts, and gourmet spice blends that will take your culinary adventures from good to grand. I can’t wait to try more of their products in the future!

Chocolate & Vanilla Swirl Shortbread Cookies | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
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Basil Lime Cookies – #FilltheCookieJar

I’ve missed the last couple of months of #FilltheCookieJar because, well….life got in the way. I was determined to make it back this month for the summer theme! I had a little extra time this month with the holiday on Monday and was excited to try a different and unique cookie recipe. I went with something a little sweet with a touch of savory and came up with these delicious basil lime cookies.

They’re slightly crispy with a hint of lime and basil. My daughter was confused when she saw me chopping basil for a dessert recipe, but she’s loving these cookies! Basil is one of the things that remind me of summer. I grow a bunch of it and use it to make pesto, for tomato mozzarella salad and anywhere else I can use it. And you can’t forget about limes…hello margaritas!

Basil Lime Cookies #FilltheCookieJar | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Carrot Oatmeal Cookies – #FilltheCookieJar

What do you think of when you hear spring cookies? Me, it’s all about carrots. I’m not 2961d-cookiejar
sure why, but carrots are something I always associated with spring. That’s why I decided to go with a carrot cookie recipe for this month’s recipe for the blogging group – Fill the Cookie Jar.

These cookies are delicious and more cake like. The carrot flavor is subtle, but reminds me so much of a carrot cake…if only I would have spread a little cream cheese frosting on top. I also don’t feel bad when my kids eat them for an after school snack since they’re “somewhat” healthy. They’re made with whole wheat flour, coconut, carrots and walnuts.

Carrot Oatmeal Cookies | Join Us, Pull up a Chair #FilltheCookieJar

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Mini Shortbread Bites – #FilltheCookieJar

It’s February 2 and that means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! This month, our theme for Fill the Cookie Jar is Valentine’s Day. I was thinking about making something chocolate, but I’m trying to be really good about my eating….so I made some mini shortbread bites for my kids. They loved them and they were the perfect bites for them.

These cookies were easy to whip up and bake. They’re not too sweet and have the perfect amount of sugar to kill a sugar craving. Of course, I had to sample one so I could describe them for you 🙂

Mini Shortbread Bites | Join Us, Pull up a Chair #fillthecookiejar

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Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies – #FilltheCookieJar

This month the theme for the blogging group, Fill the Cookie Jar, is healthy or a cookie/bar that makes you think of a fresh start. For me, January is always a time to get a fresh start especially since I usually indulge over the holidays. These cookies are made with only four ingredients and take 20 minutes to make…plus they’re the perfect little treat to satisfy your sweet tooth!

These cookies use coconut flour in place of all-purpose flour. Coconut flour is high in fiber, protein and healthy fats. It’s also free of wheat and other grains, so a great option for those who have certain allergies.

If you’re not familiar with the Fill the Cookie Jar group, we’re a group of bloggers who share cookie or bar recipes the first Thursday of the month. Be sure to check out the link below to see all the other healthy/fresh start cookies and bars shared by the group.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies – #FilltheCookieJar

Today, I’m filling the cookie jar with these delicious pumpkin sugar cookies. They take the traditional sugar cookie to a whole new level! The flavor is the perfect hint of pumpkin and fits the requirement for today’s Fill the Cookie Jar theme of fall! Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors….I’m drinking pumpkin coffee right now and eating one of these cookies. The perfect way to start the day! One other thing I like about these cookies is that they’re super moist and a little chewy. YUM!!

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies | Join Us, Pull up a Chair #FilltheCookieJar
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Brown Butter Cookie Bars

Sometimes you just need to bake and the day I made these cookie bars was one of those days. They were exactly what I needed! Baking is one of those things that I do to calm and relax me. I wish I would using running or working out, but I think it’s a good reminder for me to slow down. Life has been crazy – it’s seems like it’s been that way lately and I’m looking forward to the end of the school year and lacrosse.

So back to the cookie bars….they’re so good and addicting! I mean after all they have brown butter. I also used Nestle Delightfull Milk Chocolate Morsels filled with Peanut Butter in place of regular chocolate chips. Yes, I know…AMAZING!!!

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Salted Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies

I’m loving everything salted lately….and these cookies are to die for!! I had all intentions of making them for last week’s Fill the Cookie Jar, but I didn’t read the recipe fully and when I went to make them, I didn’t have enough unsweetened chocolate. Fail! So after sending my husband to pick up another bar of chocolate, I quickly threw together the batter and had them ready to go for a Superbowl luncheon at my work last week.

They were delicious and the combination of the chocolate, espresso and sea salt was perfect. They were soft and moist cookies and super rich! I could eat just one and I was satisfied. Trust me, you’ll want to make these for any chocolate-lover in your life. They’re perfect for Valentine’s Day! ❤

darkchoccookies

10 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
sea salt flakes

Finely chop 6 ounces of the unsweetened chocolate. Melt it along with the coconut oil in a double boiler. Stir constantly until the chocolate and oil is completely melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Chop the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate into chocolate chip sized chunks. Set aside.

Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, espresso powder and vanilla. Beat on medium him for 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Gently fold in the flour mixture and then cooled chocolate. Mix in the remaining chocolate chunks. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour until the dough is firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls of dough on the prepared sheets, approximately 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a little salt on top of each ball. Bake one sheet at a time for 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. Allow to cookies to cool completely before removing them from the tray. They will be soft and I found that they broke apart if I tried to transfer them to a cooling rack if they were not cool enough. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 days…if they last that long!

Source: Desserts for Breakfast

 

Cranberry Pecan Pinwheels

I’ve been trying to be really good lately with my diet, but I still have a few recipes left from the holidays that I need to share. We’re finally dug out from this weekend’s big winter storm…around 30 inches of snow fell in a 24 hour period. It’s been crazy and I’m so glad things will be back to normal soon. So needless to say, I’m wishing snow day calories didn’t count!

These pinwheel cookies are so good. I love the combination of the chewy cranberries, sweet honey and crunchy pecans all wrapped up in pie crust. They’re super easy to make and you can easily switch out the filling ingredients to whatever you’d like. I bet apricots and walnuts would be really good!

Cranberry Pecan Pinwheels | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar
zest of an orange
2 refrigerated pie crusts
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
2 Tbsp water
honey for drizzling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cranberries, pecans, sugar and orange zest until well combined. Roll out the pie crusts on a generously floured surface into a square. Brush each pie crust with the melted butter. Spread the cranberry-pecan mixture evenly over both crusts. Roll each pie crust into a log, pinch the edges to seal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water. Brush each log with the egg water mixture and then slice each log into 10 equal pieces. Place the slices cut side up about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and drizzle honey over the top of each pinwheel. Allow to cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

Source: Diethood

 

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap – Peppermint Crunch Cookies

I was once again excited to participate in this year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! This is the 5th year of the swap that brings together bloggers from around the world to exchange cookies – 475 bloggers to be exact! We each get paired with three other bloggers and exchange a dozen cookies. Of course, that’s the best part – getting cookies in the mail. Doesn’t everyone love coming home to find a package on their porch?!?

 The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2015

The three bloggers that I was matched up with were:
Allie from Key Ingredients
Amber from Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Jessica from Golden Brown and Delicious

As in the past, the swap partnered with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, which is a national non-profit organization that funds new therapies used to fight pediatric cancer. There are also several brand partners who match the donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer dollar for dollar! How amazing is that!!

This year’s brand partners are:
Dixie Crystals
Land ‘O Lakes 
OXO

After searching around for recipes, I narrowed it down to this peppermint crunch cookie. Who doesn’t love peppermint at the holidays? The cookies are soft shortbread cookies that include white chocolate chips and small bits of crushed up candy canes. I’m thinking they would be dipped in chocolate…you know, just for an extra special treat.

Peppermint Crunch Cookies | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

 

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ¾ cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
5-6 candy canes, crushed
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the vanilla and egg. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and crushed candy canes.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixer and combine until a dough forms. Mix in the chips by hand.

Scoop out the dough into a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until the cookies start to turn golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.

Now…who did I receive cookies from??
Jessica from A Happy Food Dance – Peppermint Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
Alice from Honestly Fitness – Lemon Coconut Cookies
Sheila from Life, Love and Good Food – Sand Tarts

For any food bloggers who want to get involved in the cookie swap next year, just sign up here to keep updated on next year’s swap!

Recipe slightly adapted from: The Recipe Nut