Category Archives: Sweet indulgences

Pecan & Grape Salad

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Can you tell I’m a lover of summer side salads? My last post was broccoli and cauliflower salad, have you tried it yet? I have received some great positive feedback on it’s deliciousness!

I had never heard of grape salad before one of my wonderful coworkers brought it to one of our potlucks (yes, my workplace is awesome because we have occassional celebratory potlucks).

This “salad” really belongs more in the dessert category. But hey, I live on the edge and eat it right along side of a meal. 😉

Pecan & Grape Salad

  • 7 or 8 cups red seedless grapes, washed & stemmed (about one very large bag, or two small bags)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pecan Topping

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Directions:

  1. Combine sour cream, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in the grapes until well coated. Pour the grape mixture into a large serving bowl.
  2. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and pecans. Evenly sprinkle the sugar and pecans on top of the grapes. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes about 10-12 servings.

Recipe adapted from Deliciously Sprinkled

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Filed under Salads, Side dish, Sweet indulgences

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This recipe is extra special, do you want to know why? It’s my 50th recipe and blog post!!! I can’t believe I have posted so many recipes, time flies when you’re having fun! But seriously, these cookies are out-of-this-world! They are soft and fudgy with a rich chocolate flavor, kind of like a brownie cookie.

I should mention, step 1 of the directions is a bit different. I have never done this before when making cookies and I decided to give it a shot. It worked great!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter (melted and cooled – directions in step one)
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons strong coffee
  • 2 3/4  cups all purpose flour (more if it’s too sticky)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Melt ½ cup butter in the microwave for 30-40 seconds or until completely melted. Transfer to the refrigerator and cool until solid, about 30 minutes. Leave the other ½ cup butter out to bring it to room temperature.
  2. With a mixer cream the melted/solid butter, room temperature butter, sugar, and vanilla until creamy and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until just incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until incorporated. Then gradually add the coffee. If the dough is super sticky add another tablespoon or two of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Roll the dough into even balls (about two tablespoons each) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. They may appear slightly underdone, thats ok, you want them to be soft and fudgy.

Makes about 24 large cookies.

Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum

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Filed under Sweet indulgences

Almond Crescent Cookies

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Less than two weeks until Christmas!! If you’re still looking for another cookie recipe to round out your cookie menu, consider this one! I had never made crescent cookies before, and they are one of Aaron’s favorites. I love almonds and these have a lovely almond flavor from the extract and ground nuts.

Have a great week-before-Christmas! 🙂

Almond Crescent Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cup ground almonds (ground in a food processor)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add extracts and mix until combined. Gradually add the flour and then the ground almonds.
  2. Form into a tablespoon sized ball, then form into a crescent shape.
  3. Bake on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cookies begin to very slightly golden.
  4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar when you remove them from the oven.

Makes 28-30 cookies.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

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Pumpkin Butter

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Are you tired of seeing pumpkin things everywhere yet? I’m not, and I don’t think I could ever be! This stuff is excellent on toast, muffins, and my personal favorite… corn bread. I’ve also whisked it in with half and half or vanilla coffee cream to make a homemade pumpkin creamer. No need to stop at Starbucks for a pumpkin spice whatever, just have it at home!

On another note, only two more weeks until Thanksgiving. Which means only two more weeks and a day until the most wonderful time of year is here! 🙂

Pumpkin Butter

  • 15 oz. pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  1. In a small sauce pot combine the pumpkin, vanilla, cider, sugar, spices and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes or until thickened, stiring frequently. Remove cinnamon sticks.
  3. Pour butter into glass jars and cool before refrigerating. It keeps well in the fridge for at least a few weeks.

Makes  enough to fill two glass jam jars.

Recipe adapted from Skinny Taste

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Filed under Snacks, Sweet indulgences

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

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Let the pumpkin frenzy continue! I’ve been making pumpkin recipes as often as I have time for lately. Even the morning oatmeal can be easily turned into pumpkin spice oatmeal, yum!

This recipe is perfect for Sunday brunch. You can make it ahead the day before,  pop it in the oven in the morning and relax in your pj’s until it’s ready. 🙂

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

  • 1 loaf of bread (I used sourdough, but ciabatta or french would be great as well), torn into bite sized pieces
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • pure maple syrup, for serving

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Directions:

  1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 casserole dish. Place the bread in the dish and spread evenly.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and spices. Pour this mixture evenly over the bread chunks. Cover dish and refrigerate overnight (if you don’t have all night that’s fine, just let the bread soak up the liquid for at least 30 minutes on the counter).
  3. To make the streusel topping combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut the butter into the mixture using a pastry cutter or fork, until the mixture has a crumbly texture. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook the casserole.
  4. When you’re ready to bake the casserole preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the french toast mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the french toast is set and beginning to golden.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod

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Filed under Breakfast, Sweet indulgences

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze

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Pumpkin season is officially here! One of the most wonderful flavors in my opinion is pumpkin. Pare anything pumpkin with a crisp and sunny fall day and a happy gal I will be! Fall is absolutely my favorite season. All seasons have their pros and cons, but the sights and smells of fall are the best. The leaves changing, football, cool nights, apple orchards, cozy fires, I could go on and ON!

This recipe is one of my pumpkin treat staples. The cookies are much more cake-like than cookie-like. How can you go wrong with a little portable c00kie-cake?! You can also add a little pure maple syrup to the glaze if you’re feeling fancy.

Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Directions:

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the pumpkin, vanilla and egg and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and combine until incorporated.
  2. Spoon into heaping rounds onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until just set in the middle and starting to golden on the edges.
  3. Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, cinnamon, butter and vanilla. Slowly add the milk until you reach your desired consistency.
  4. Cool the cookies on a cooling rack with parchment paper underneath. Spoon the glaze on top of the cookies.

Makes approximately 22-24 cookies.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

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