Baking · Cookies

Ultimate Fudge Brownies– The Real Deal

It’s Knights Night at our house!  Tonight is game 3 of the Western Conference of the NHL Stanley Cup Final.

We love our Knights!

Ultimate Fudge Brownies cut into “pucks” for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Usually we do homemade pizza on Knights night, but tonight is a school night and I needed to keep it a smidge more simple.  I’ve been planning this idea for a while, so it was really easy to pull together with minimal effort.  All you need to pull this off is a 3 inch circle cutter, a stencil slightly smaller than 3 inches, and some edible shimmer spray.  I recommend using a foil pan to contain any off spray from the project.  These were as fun to create as they are delicious to eat.

I’ve promised you my Ultimate Fudge Brownie recipe for a while now, but the end of the school year sprint has really thrown us for a loop.  Sorry it took so long.  Enjoy!

GO KNIGHTS GO!

#VegasBorn

 

 

Baking · Cookies

The 12 Days of Christmas Baking, Day 4: Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Breakfast Cookies

Every autumn, as a personal rule, I greedily hoard fresh pumpkins of every size, and I carefully tuck away a few bags of fresh cranberries into my freezer. I find a guiltless satisfaction knowing I have such beautiful ingredients to add to any recipe on a whim. And who could blame me? In these cooler months it is vital to our health to boost our meals with as much extra nutrition as possible, to ward off any threats to our immune system. I’m not necessarily calling pumpkins a super food by any stretch of the imagination (although I do adore them in all forms), but cranberries definitely possess enough antioxidants and vitamins to speak for themselves.

As these are two of my favorite flavors in the world, I couldn’t help but come up with a recipe which embraces the pleasures of both ingredients harmoniously. This was, surprisingly, much simpler than I anticipated. Instead of channeling a traditional pumpkin spice cookie vein, I immediately reflected on a beautiful breakfast cookie that my grandmother used to make when I was a child. Instead of the simple, charming flavors she used to use, I turned it seasonal and rich with warming spices.

The texture is a cross between a muffin and a cookie in its density. Since word combining seems to be all the rage with recipe hybrids lately, would we call it a muffie or a coofin? (Would anyone care for a cronut or a merookie?). It matters not. A cookie by any other name would taste as sweet.

Continuing on the antioxidants topic, I shamelessly added dark chocolate, too. I like a LOT of comforting spices in my recipe. It’s not adequate unless the aroma fills your home with warm holiday cheer. Normally one would not expect chocolate and the combination of spices to play nicely together, but this is a pleasant exception.

Tuck in with a plate of these cookies, a cup of your favorite tea and some good morning literature on a cool, quiet morning. You’ll be glad you did.

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Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Breakfast Cookies

1 cup butter (room temperature)

2.5 cups sugar

2 cups pumpkin

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

3 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cups finely ground oat flour

2 cups chocolate chips

2 cups cranberries (dried or frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, then pumpkin and vanilla. Sift together all dry ingredients and spices. Slowly add dry to wet ingredients a few scoops at a time to combine. (Do not over mix.) Gently fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries. Scoop quarter cup portions onto a parchment lined baking sheet. (I usually do 5 per tray so they don’t run together.) Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom and the centers spring back. Cool before serving.

In my original recipe I used dried cranberries. Recently I did not have anything on hand except my cheerful bags of frozen cranberries. This was a delightful shift in not only the texture, but also taste. While it truly comes down to personal preference, I happily sacrificed the chewy dried cranberry pieces in exchange for the tart jewels which brightened every bite. I leave it up to a vote amongst my readers which choice of cranberries you believe is better.

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Look how those gorgeous rubies bleed their sweet juices into the cookie. Heaven!

Baking · Cookies · Special Occasions

The 12 Days of Christmas Baking, Day 1: Shortbread Snowballs

First, I owe a shout out to all of my faithful friends and family who constantly stick with me and have shown support to me all these years.  This new chapter is dedicated to you.  I love you.

I’m just barely getting this blog back up and running after a 3-4 year hiatus.  It was rough getting through cancer treatment/recovery and resuming a normal life, but I think I am there (“normal,” hah!) and stronger than I have been in years.  I would like to believe that my thyroid and I once had a happy, non-toxic relationship when I was much younger.  I do miss it and life without the constant medical appointments or meds, but who cares when it is such a blessing just to be alive?  I’m counting my blessings, and they are plentiful.  That being said, I have plenty to be grateful for, and what better way than showcasing some of my favorite things to do in my favorite season of the year?

I give you The 12 Days of Christmas Bake Along

Many years ago, a friend of mine brought something similar to these to my sister’s cookie exchange.  I loved them so much that I sought out a similar recipe, tweaked it just a smidge, and a family favorite was born.  My husband gives these as gifts at work, and I now bring them to my own cookie exchanges whenever I have the opportunity.  I hope you get a chance to enjoy them as much as I do.  They’re so easy to make, I’ll give you the recipe.  😉

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for Day 2 of my 12 Days of Christmas Bake Along.  Post pics of your own Sublime Shortbread Snowballs on the Modern Domestic Goddess community page.

Day 1: Sublime Shortbread Snowballs (Skill level: Easy)

Ingredients

1 cup salted butter, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for rolling later)

2 cups all purpose flour

1.5 teaspoons almond extract

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

1 cup blanched, slivered almonds

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and almond extract with an electric mixer. Gradually add flour, and mix until the dough comes together like chunky sand. Using a wooden spoon, fold in mini chocolate chips and slivered almonds.  Scoop cookie dough into 1 tablespoon sized portions. Squeeze/roll together in hand to make round balls. Space two inches apart on tray. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until bottoms are just slightly browned. Prepare a large bowl or platter with a generous layer of powdered sugar.

Remove cookies from heat and place directly in powdered sugar. Roll until evenly coated. Allow to cool and roll once more in powdered sugar.

Yields approximately 2 dozen cookies.

For a printable version, click here.