I’m all baked out I think. After this weekend, I don’t think I want to see butter and flour again. I made peppermint chocolate cake, Christmas funfetti cupcakes, Millionaire’s shortbread, chocolate crack-up cookies. While I had a blast baking with my friends, I need a break from my mixer. Ok that is until I make our chocolate bourbon pound cake for Christmas Eve.
Before I take a cookie hiatus, I was to share one of my favorite Christmas cookies I’ve made this year. Part sweet, part savory. Perfect for nibbling on before a big dinner. I can’t wait to experiment with more shortbreads in the future, but this might just be my favorite one!
Sweet & Savory Rosemary Shortbread
(Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit)
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½” pieces
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus whole leaves
- 1 large egg, beaten to blend
- Coarse sanding sugar (for sprinkling)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt until very light and fluffy, 7–10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add flour, and 2 tsp. chopped rosemary; mix just to combine. Dough will look shaggy and a little dry (it’s not!).
- Press dough into two 8”-diameter cake pans. Brush with egg, sprinkle with sanding sugar, and top with rosemary leaves.
- Bake until shortbread is golden brown and sides pull away from pan, 20–25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool in pan before turning out and cutting into wedges or bars.
Shortbread dough can be made 1 month ahead; wrap tightly and freeze. Shortbread can be baked 1 week ahead; store wrapped tightly at room temperature.
Before I dive into this post, I want to first say THANK YOU to everyone for the amazing feedback of my Behind the Scenes post on vmacandcheese. A very special thanks again to Victoria for having me! I’m so excited to welcome my new readers, so let’s all share a little treat…
Who doesn’t love an oatmeal cream pie? I mean really. I think it’s the definition of a comfort snack. We ate pretty healthy foods growing up – balanced meals and processed foods in moderation. When I was in 4th and 5th grade my younger brother and I would go to our neighbor’s house after school until our parents got home from work. One of the perks of this situation is that Mrs. Fritz always had Little Debbie oatmeal cream pies stocked in her pantry. It was one of those things that I had never had before and I never ate anywhere else. As soon as we dropped our backpacks, we headed toward the pies. I even loved the crinkling sound of opening its plastic wrapper. It was the perfect individual afternoon treat – sweet and nutty, with a little taste of rebellion.
Every so often I get a familiar craving for an oatmeal cream pie. As part of my new mantra, “just bake it already!” I made them when I was dreaming of something sweet and nostalgic this past weekend. These absolutely did not disappoint. They completely transported me to those after school days, but of course they were even better home made. Please go make these cookies soon…I promise they are perfect.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: four, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and molasses on high until light and fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so make sure everything is incorporated. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the oats.
- Drop the dough on to a cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room between each spoonful. Bake until cookies are just set at the edges and a bit soft in the middle, about 11 minutes, rotating pans half way through. Leave on sheets to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
- For the filling, beat the cream cheese and confectioners sugar in a mixer until light. Spread on half of the cookies and sandwich with the rest.
Oh, and did I wish you a Happy February yet? I guess these heart shaped pies are a bit of a Valentine’s homage (or just a testament of my oatmeal cream pie love). Since I don’t have a Valentine this year, I’m sharing this holiday with a bunch of my favorite bloggers. For the week leading up to the 14th, check back for some seriously amazing guest posts. I’m totally feeling the blogger love this month!
I’ve had many friends joke with me recently about how my food blog is well, lacking food. My apologies! I’m just having too much fun going out with these friends almost every night to be at home and bake. This is a good problem to have and I’m totally happy with it.
I had a little time this week squeeze in a baking project though, so I’ll end this week by sharing a recipe I started the week with: this super comforting chocolate chip peanut butter cookie pie. I made this simple dessert for some friends on Sunday night for the premiere of season two of Downton Abbey. It was the perfect thing to nosh on while getting lost in the romantic countryside setting and Crawley family drama.
Cookie pie is a perfect comfort food. Like a warm gooey chocolate chip cookie, but with some crunchy peanut butter mixed in and served deep dish like a pie. Um, what’s not to love here? This is an easy one folks. So when the winds gust up and it’s pretty chilly outside, spend a few minutes to whip this one up. You won’t be disappointed.
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Pie
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 1/4 tsps salt
- 6 Tbs butter, softened
- 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla until well combined. Beat on high for a bit. Add the egg until fully combined
- Slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing well until incorporated.
- Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Pour and press batter into a 9″ round pan (mine is silicone so I don’t need to butter/flour/line with paper – but if you need to, do so now).
- Bake for about 20-22 minutes. (You still want it to be a little soft in the middle)
- Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then release the cake. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!
I have to be honest. I didn’t love my first French macaron…possibly because it was rose flavored, which tasted like eating perfume. But it has been two years since I studied abroad in Paris for a semester and had that first macaron, standing outside Ladurée on the busy Champs-Élysées so the memory of the popular cookie has faded.
For my birthday this weekend, my mom gave me two boxes of macarons from Mad Mac, an “authentic French madeleine and macaron” company based in NJ. Biting into a hazelnut one, I remembered immediately what I learned to love about the delicate and sweet cookies in Paris. They actually aren’t too expensive ($18 for a box of 12) and I think they’re totally worth it if you aren’t up to trying to make them yourself. I loved the hazelnut, but the lemon and vanilla were also fantastic. (Also, I have to note that they’re gluten free, which is great for my friends over at Delight!)
I’m officially mad for macs again. (Watch out French Twist DC!) Have you had a Mad Mac? What do you think?
These are my absolute favorite Christmas cookies. Every Christmas Eve my family hosts a large party for family and friends. We cook the Italian feast and everyone else brings dessert. One year, my Jewish high school boyfriend’s family came to the party and brought these amazing pistachio cookies. My aunt asked for the recipe that night and I’m so glad I have it now because it’s basically one of the only wonderful things I still hold on to connected to that relationship. Ha.
These cookies are soft, sweet, have the perfect pistachio flavor, oh and they are an awesome color!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup softened butter
- 8 oz. softened cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1 package instant pistachio pudding (3.75 oz. box)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Beat together sugar, butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla and egg. In a separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients; whip into butter mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Shape teaspoon fulls of dough into round balls or finger-like shapes and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown on the bottom. Let cool.
- Drizzle/decorate with melted chocolate and/or sprinkles. (I make them both ways!)