Since I haven’t baked anything in the new year, I wanted to bring something sweet to Easter this year (even though my job was to bring a veggie side dish… I went rogue!). I looked through my cookbooks for inspiration, and realized that I bought a signed copy of Lindsay Landis’ Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook and never actually tried a recipe. Here is me meeting Lindsay and getting my book signed.
This book is awesome. It is contains recipes that all use a specially formulated cookie dough created by Lindsay. What is special is that there are NO raw eggs in the recipe. So you have all the yumminess of cookie dough without the salmonella.
I can’t believe I went nearly FOUR years without trying a single recipe. Since hubby hates chocolate, I decided to try the white chocolate-macadamia nut cookie dough blondies. But I didn’t use the macadamia nuts because we have a nut allergy in my family. I was worried they would be missing something , but I just added a little more white chocolate chips instead, and they were perfect. Seriously, they were SO good. Everyone loved them and there were only a few left.
They were soft and cakey, and the cookie dough topping was the best. I decorated mine with pastel sugar to make it festive for Easter. Can’t wait to try more recipes from this book!
Happy New Year, everyone! Goodbye, 2015. I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!
I made the cake above for a NYE party, and I didn’t love the recipe. I can’t put my finger on it, but there was something I didn’t like. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to figure out why, because I hate having cakes go wrong. The scientist in me should be able to work it out 🙂
I’m a bit behind in posting, but now that the holidays are over (except NYE), I have some time to catch up. I made this pumpkin bread pudding for Thanksgiving, and it was really good. It had a very subtle pumpkin flavor, but I think the pumpkin puree gave it a nice texture (so I wouldn’t omit it from the recipe). So this is perfect if you like pumpkin, but don’t LOVE pumpkin.
I used fresh pumpkin, as I always do, but you can use canned as well. I actually made the puree in October and froze it for a month, since there are never any pumpkins around by the time Thanksgiving comes. It worked out fine, and I think you can probably freeze fresh pumpkin even longer. We’re going to experiment next October and freeze some pumpkin for about 10 months so we can use it in a beer. Stay tuned!
Pumpkin bread pudding (adapted from tahnycooks.com)
For the bread pudding:
1½ cups whole milk
1¾ cups half and half
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree (can use canned)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
6 cups of cubed bread (I used Challah bread)
For the butter sauce:
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup butter
⅓ cup light Karo syrup
¼ cup half and half
To make the pudding:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat eggs in a bowl by hand. Then add the milk, half and half, sugar, vanilla bean paste, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk until combined. Stir in the cubes of bread.
Spray a 9x13 Pyrex baking pan with Pam cooking spray. Add bread pudding mixture and let sit for about 20 minutes so the bread soaks up the egg and milk.
Bake 45-55 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Serve with warm butter sauce. You can make the pudding ahead of time and make the sauce a day later to serve, but make sure you bring the bread pudding to room temperature before pouring on the sauce, so it soaks in. You can even make little slits with a knife before pouring so that it gets absorbed. No need to do this if you pour the sauce on when the bread pudding is fresh out of the oven.
To make the sauce:
Heat the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan until it melts.
Then add the Karo syrup and half and half. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until all the sugar is dissolved. This takes 1-2 minutes. Pour evenly over bread pudding and serve.
I hope everyone had a great Halloween! It’s my all-time favorite holiday, and it lasts a full month in my house. I love to decorate with spooky decorations, go to haunted houses (the scarier the better), and of course cook and bake with fresh pumpkin.
This year, I searched Pinterest for new and interesting pumpkin recipes and found these baked pumpkin donut holes (by livewellbakeoften.com). They are so good! They go great dipped in your morning coffee, or as a dessert. The best part is that they are made in mini muffin pans, so they are super easy.
You can bake them ahead of time, and then dip in melted butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar the day you want to serve them.
It’s been a looooong time since I’ve posted, and part of the reason is the little guy above. Our poor cat Hades had a urinary block in mid-August, and it has only gotten fully resolved recently. Turns out, he had to be hospitalized 3 times, and ended up having surgery the last time he was there (third time’s a charm, right?).
Without being too graphic, the surgery involved the removal of his male anatomy so that he will no longer get blocked if he develops urinary crystals. Poor guy had to wear a cone for 2 weeks and even though he got his stitches out yesterday, he has to wear the cone a few more days.
It’s like he’s saying, “Mom, why are you photographing my humiliation?”
He really has been a trooper through the whole process.
But you know who else was awesome? Our vet and his entire staff. They made sure our Hades was well cared for, and made sure the entire ordeal was affordable for us. At one point early on, I was worried we wouldn’t be able to swing the surgery and THAT was a scary prospect. But they worked with us, so that we could have the procedure done. Hades was so close to death the third time we brought him in, but they worked fast and brought him back (which was amazing). We are so grateful.
So when Hades had his stitches out yesterday, I decided I wanted to make cookies to thank everyone. And since Hades can be difficult at times (as his name suggests), I decided to make Hades cookies so they can bite his head off!