Written on December 3, 2013 at 10:21 am , by Jessica Merchant
Hi friends! I’m Jessica, creator of the blog How Sweet it Is. Since 2009, I’ve been sharing my daily rambles and recipes with my invisible internet friends, talking about bacon and cheese and chocolate and the occasional vegetable. I’m so excited to be here because today we are kicking off the Month of Cookies here on the Delish Dish. I’ll be sharing a new cookie recipe with you each week, bulking up your holiday baking list until it’s uncomfortably plump. ‘Tis the season!
Is everyone else having a difficult time controlling their excitement over holiday cookie time? Me too!
The exact emotions that holiday baking evoke inside of me can barely be described. The nostalgia I feel can occasionally be overwhelming to the point where I’m tearing up while frosting a cookie. I mean, I am definitely a bit dramatic, but cookie baking hits me deep in my soul. Cookie baking therapy is a thing.
Even though my ever-growing baking list is beginning to spiral out of control, I can never help but come up with a few more favorites each year. These cookies (adapted from these Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints) have definitely made the list. If you’re someone who loves a bit of salt with your sweets, these cookies will win you over too.
So much chocolate combined with savory pistachios? Three words: to die for.
My grandma always made a holiday thumbprint rolled in red and green coconut and topped with buttercream. I wanted to take the chocolate route because, well… it’s chocolate. The cookies are quite simple – once you make the chocolate dough and chill it for a bit, you roll it into 1-inch balls. Take about a cup of pistachios and pulse them in your food processor until crumbly, then roll the balls in the egg white wash and through the pistachios.
When it comes to thumbprints, I like to bake them for five minutes, then push my thumb in the center to create the well for the chocolate. A little heat on the thumb is worth it. The cookies bake a bit longer and then once cooled completely, you pour in the fudgiest chocolate ganache. To make the ganache, I simply poured 1/3 cup of warmed heavy cream over eight ounces of chopped high-quality dark chocolate and stirred until it was smooth and thick.
Can hardly take these beauties.
Recipe adapted from Chocolaty Caramel Thumbprints.
Written on December 2, 2013 at 6:00 am , by Naomi Robinson
Now that we’ve settled ourselves from the Thanksgiving feast, let’s get right back to where things are at its best: dessert and chocolate. Everyone needs a good chocolate bundt cake recipe and this one is solid and easy to a make. It’s also a great one to make your own, by adding crushed Whoppers, toffee, chopped Snickers—of course these are my go-to(s).
But this time around I decided to go with something more seasonal like crushed peppermint candy. I kept it subtle and sprinkled two tablespoons at the end on top of the glaze. Of course, if you want a stronger peppermint flavor try 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract or add 1/3 cup of crushed peppermint chocolate candy to the batter. Just remember if you go with the latter, the peppermint chocolate candy will most likely melt into the batter, depending on what kind you use.
And psst . . .if you are out of butter (that seriously, happened to me-gah!), you can sub the ¾ cup of butter for ½ cup vegetable or canola oil. The only compromise is the cake doesn’t quite rise as much and the texture is a bit lighter.
To get started click here.
Written on November 27, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Michael Wurm, Jr.
The holiday season is officially upon us. While there are so many reasons to love this time of year, one of my favorites is the chance to spend more time in the kitchen. I’m a baker at heart and constanly looking for new recipes for sweet little nibbles to have around the house when company arrives.
In addition to delicious treats, I’m always on the hunt for simple, stress-free recipes. I like to have a few recipes that I can whip together quickly for unexpected guests. My go-to place for these ideas is obviously BHG. They have a collection of recipes for Easy Brownies and Bars that is stellar. Everyone loves a brownie or bar and there are endless tweaks you can do to make it really special.
Today I followed this recipe for Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Ganache. This is one of my favorite flavor combinations so trying this recipe was an easy choice.
The crust is actually made with a devil’s food cake mix. Adapting the wet ingredients creates a soft yet crunchy base for these bars.
Slathered with a rich peanut butter filling and topped with a decadent chocolate ganache, these are one bar that will be put on repeat in my kitchen.
I was so impressed with how quickly these came together. I was able to shorten my cooling time by placing the pan on my side porch. This is a trick I learned from my mom when I was little. We’d place iced Christmas cookies in the garage to get the icing to set so we could pack them up quickly. It’s chilly here in Central PA this time of year, so I realize this little trick may not work everywhere.
You can get the recipe for these Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Ganache by clicking here.
So that’s what happening in my kitchen. What’s your quick go-to sweet treat for the holidays?
Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm
Written on November 26, 2013 at 8:30 am , by BHG Guest Blogger
Lindsey Johnson writes the food blog, Cafe Johnsonia, where she shares seasonal, (mostly) healthy recipes. She works as a freelance writer, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer. She also contributes to several blogs including Design Mom. Her other loves are traveling, gardening, and participating in the local food scene where she lives in Utah. Lindsey and her husband are the parents of three budding foodies. Follow Lindsey on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Years ago when I bought my first tart pan (of many), I had no idea how much I would end up loving tarts. I love looking at them. I love eating them. I love making them. For me pie is sort of a once or twice a year kind of thing. But tarts? They’re perfect on a weekly basis. And even though I never thought it was possible, they’ve just edged out ice cream as my favorite sweet treat to make, especially when the holidays roll around.
Sometimes I think it’s because I love tart crust so much. It’s more crispy and buttery like a cookie. Other times I think it’s because the filling to crust ratio is more to my liking. And then there are the endless filling options. When I saw the recipe for Cranberry Tarts on BHG.com, I was instantly smitten. Another great love of mine is cranberries. Oh how I live for cranberry season! I’m the crazy lady buying two or three bags every time I grocery stop so I can fill up my freezer. And while I’m at it, let me just say that I’m glad to see cranberries getting some of the spotlight. They were always destined for better things than canned jellies and sauces, though they have their place too, I suppose.
This recipe called to me! I put my own little twist on it, like I love to do. They weren’t big changes, but simple ones that made it my own. Instead of smaller tarts, I made one large tart. I love nut crusts, so I added some ground pecans. I also used all butter. I used gluten-free flour in place of wheat flour.
The filling itself turns out almost jam-like. It’s sweet and tangy, and perfect on its own, but I wondered how a pinch of pumpkin pie spice and a dash of vanilla extract would taste. It just pushed in a slightly different direction that I really loved. Not so much you would say, “Oh, it’s spiced!” But enough for you to wonder what that extra special something was. I just love chocolate and cranberry together – the tartness of the cranberries and the bitterness from the chocolate are magical. I decided to drizzle the cooled tart with both white and add dark chocolate shavings. By the end, I had one fantastic, festive tart on my hands!
Let me show you how easy it is to make this gorgeous, holiday cranberry tart.
Mix the dry ingredients for the crust together.
Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter. You can also use two butter knives, or your hands. The goal is to work quickly so everything stays cold.
Then add ice cold water – not too much at once. And only enough for it to hold together. The dough will come together into a ball.
Then quickly press it into the tart pan and let it chill while the filling is prepared. (The original recipe directs to roll the dough, but I find that to be a little challenging with the crust is gluten-free. Pressing it works just fine here.)
To make this tart 100% gluten-free, I used gluten-free all-purpose flour in the crust and I substituted cornstarch for the flour in the filling.
The warm filling is poured into the tart shell and baked. The smell as it’s baking is absolutely divine!
Let it cool and drizzle with melted white chocolate and dark chocolate shavings. I used about 2 ounces of white chocolate melted with 1 teaspoon of butter. I couldn’t wait to share this with my family! We all agreed it was a fine tart and would be added to our list of holiday recipes.
Get the Cranberry Tarts recipe here.
Written on November 25, 2013 at 6:00 am , by Naomi Robinson
I made this brownie pie and it was such a big hit with my friends, that I figured why not a chocolate chip cookie pie served with some ice cream, chocolate and caramel drizzle. I tend to think everyone loves a good classic remixed—and thus far, that thought has been reinforced, especially with this one.
An added plus with this recipe is it’s easy enough to assemble. Grab the crust recipe here and the cookie dough recipe here. Fuse the two together and you’ve got pie. See what I mean—e.a.s.y. Along with that, it’s a great treat for all those kiddos that haven’t quite embraced the more traditional pies like pumpkin and pecan.
Now of course you can easily make this your own and try swapping out the chocolate chip cookie for some other variation- like oatmeal, snicker doodle, or get crazy with some red velvet cookie dough. If anyone does go for it and customizes this idea, please come back and let the rest of us know.
Written on November 21, 2013 at 8:00 am , by Erin Gleeson
On a recent trip to Granada, Spain, I bought these adorable Moroccan tea glasses, sold all over Granada because of its Moorish history. I drink a lot of tea during the day while working from my cabin in the woods, but I thought I’d mix it up and make some hot cider instead. (Feels very holiday!)
Since the word Granada means pomegranate in Spanish, I was inspired to add fresh pomegranates to the cider. Starting with this BHG cider recipe, I simmered apple juice, pomegranate juice and spices, then garnished each cup with fresh pomegranate seeds and an apple slice decorated with cloves. I think this would be a fun after-dinner drink on Thanksgiving Day to cozy up by the fire with (plus, it can be spiked with bourbon for the adults!).
Cheers…And Happy Thanksgiving!
Spiced Apple-Pomegranate Cider
Adapted from BHG’s Recipe, serves 6-8
1 gallon of apple cider or apple juice
2 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup maple syrup or packed brown sugar
Peel from 1 organic orange, cut into strips
4 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves, plus more for garnish
Thinly sliced apple and seeds from 1 pomegranate for garnish
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine apple cider/juice, pomegranate juice, and maple syrup or brown sugar.
2. To make a spice bag, cut a double thickness of cheesecloth into a 12-inch square. Place the orange peel, cinnamon sticks and cloves in center of cloth. Bring the corners of cloth together and tie closed with clean kitchen string. Add spice bag to the cider pot.
3. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove spice bag and discard.
4. To serve, ladle cider into mugs. Drop 1 T fresh pomegranate seeds into each glass. To make the garnish, slice an apple into ¼ inch thick circles. Then cut each circle into quarters and push whole cloves into the apple slice (see photo above). Make a little slit in each apple slice to hang it over the side of the glass.
Photos and Illustrations by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, a blog and soon-to-be cookbook full of simple recipe and entertaining ideas inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.