chocolate chip toffee shortbread cookies

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One of my favorite cookie recipes of all time is this soft and chewy toffee chip cookie recipe from Serious Eats. I almost always have a batch tucked away in the freezer ready for last-minute guests to enjoy. So, naturally, while I was picking out recipes for my 2014 treat boxes, this one from The Kitchn caught my eye.

This recipe kept the same flavor profile (chocolate + toffee) that my usual treat recipients love, but with a new delivery method: shortbread!

The crumbly shortbread is a great complement to the melty, sweet chocolate and crunchy toffee bits. These cookies, much like their soft and chewy siblings, were an absolute hit. Everyone who received them raved about them, and I’ve already gone through most of the “bumper crop” that was stashed in the freezer, which means you should probably make some of these ASAP. You could even get creative and roll them into a football shape for that big football game that is coming upl in a couple of weeks!

chocolate chip toffee shortbread cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1 cup Heath toffee chips

Instructions

    Mixing:
  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until soft. Add powdered sugar, and salt and continue beating at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla extract, beating until combined.
  2. On low speed, mix in the flour until the dough comes together. Add the chocolate and toffee chips and mix just until combined.
  3. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a log about 1 foot long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap both logs in parchment or plastic wrap and secure the ends. Refrigerate the rolls until firm. If baking more than 3 days later, place dough in freezer to stay fresh and thaw in the refrigerator overnight prior to baking.
  4. Baking:
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the top third and bottom third of the oven.
  6. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
  7. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into 1/2-inch thickness and arrange about 1 inch apart on your prepared baking sheet. (They won't spread much).
  8. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pans once, until the edges are firm to the touch and just barely brown. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets to prevent breaking.
  9. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
http://wee-eats.com/2015/01/20/chocolate-chip-toffee-shortbread-cookies/

[ Recipe from: TheKitchn ]

toffee shortbread cookies - wee eats

 

peppermint bark

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Since I couldn’t share my holiday basket recipes with you in December (that would have spoiled the surprise for the recipients!), I’ve decided to share them with you in January! Here’s a quick peek at what we’ll be covering…

IMG_9051-baskets

  • Gingerbread blondies
  • Peppermint bark
  • Parmesan-thyme crackers
  • Cheddar crisps
  • Cinnamon-apple bourbon
  • Toffee chip shortbread cookies

Today’s topic: Peppermint bark.

The first time I had peppermint bark was years ago at Williams Sonoma and at almost $30 a pop I limited myself to their free samples and other, cheaper, knock-off varieties of the holiday treat. While I was thinking about what to put in my 2014 baskets, I realized that I still had a good amount of Chocoley laying around and thought it would be perfect some holiday bark!

You can use any chocolate you like, of course, but I’ve already told you about how I love the snap of Chocoley’s Candy Molding formula, which makes a nice sturdy base for this bark without having to temper the chocolate at all. Just melt and pour, then top it with some white chocolate and a generous sprinkling of crushed candy canes on top and voila! You have a whole sheet-pan of peppermint bark for a fraction of what you would pay for the tiny bit you get from Williams Sonoma one!

peppermint bark

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 14 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 3 candy canes, chopped or crushed

Instructions

  1. Line a sheet pan or 9-by-13 pan (for neater corners) with aluminum foil and/or parchment, smoothing out any wrinkles.
  2. Melt dark chocolate over just steaming water in a double boiler. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals at 50% power, stirring in between each session).
  3. Stir in the peppermint extract and pour into prepared pan, spreading to form an even layer. Set in the fridge to firm up while you melt the white chocolate.
  4. In a separate bowl, melt the white chocolate in the same manner as the dark chocolate (it may take less time).
  5. Remove dark chocolate layer from fridge and pour white chocolate over the dark chocolate layer, spreading the white chocolate to form an even layer. Sprinkle with candy canes and return to fridge for about 10 minutes to set up.
  6. Set on the counter to continue firming up, about one hour, then cut into desired size chunks.
  7. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
http://wee-eats.com/2015/01/11/peppermint-bark/

 

gingerbread blondies

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! I’m sure I should be focusing on green things and healthy recipes, but I made these gingerbread blondies over the holiday for my Christmas treat boxes and it would just not be fair for me to keep them from you.

I know exactly what some of you are thinking right now: “Gingerbread? Ew!” But, hear me out… I know that you think you don’t like gingerbread. You probably had a bite of a gingerbread house as it was under construction and spit it out in disgust, or ate the legs off of a tiny gingerbread man only to be disappointed by the flavor… or maybe you had a bite of some dry gingerbread cake that fell to pieces in your mouth.

I’m here to tell you that those, my friends, are not what gingerbread is really all about. These blondies, on the other hand, will redeem every negative gingerbread experience you’ve ever had in your life. They are soft and delightfully chewy and filled to the top with molasses and spices that will make your mouth do the happy dance.

I adapted the recipe from Mr. Eats’s favorite blondies.  I kept the basic ratios the same, but punched up the spices and added a healthy dose of molasses to make these babies really shine.

DSC_0233-gingerbread-blondies

gingerbread blondies

Ingredients

  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and parchment. Lightly grease the parchment with cooking spray or butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer until fluffy. (If you are using a stand mixer, you will want to use the paddle attachment)
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate the egg after each addition.
  5. Scrape down the bowl and add the molasses, beating until incorporated.
  6. Add the vanilla and continue beating another 10 or 15 seconds until it is mixed in.
  7. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low just until moistened. Add the other half of the mixture and beat on low until just combined, being careful not to overmix. There should be no traces of white flour in the dough.
  8. Spread batter into the prepared pan - it helps if you moisten your hands and use them to help spread and pat the batter into place (it will be quite thick and sticky). Bake until edges are dry and the center is completely set, about 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean.
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack and cut into squares.
http://wee-eats.com/2015/01/06/gingerbread-blondies/

gingerbread blondies pin

chocolate chip almond muffins

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Apparently December is brunch month for me – with pain au chocolateapple pie biscuits and cinnamon-almond scones and now… muffins! Sure everyone else is helping you make Christmas cookies but here at Wee Eats we are committed to ensuring you are covered for your most important meal of the day.

These muffins are adapted from Monica over at Playing with Flour. She’s got tons of gorgeous goodies over on her blog, I highly recommend you stop by and check her out!

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These are not those big, dense muffins from your nightmares. The almond flour in these muffins give them a remarkably light crumb, they have a touch of sweetness, and then sliced almonds on to give them a nice little “crunch” as if to say “Good morning, Sunshine!”

Although her recipe calls for orange zest, I left it out because I’ve never really been into that whole chocolate-orange thing. Instead, I added a dash of almond extract to complement the almond flour and sliced almonds, and took these guys another route.

almond muffin pin 2

chocolate chip almond muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 to 15 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with liners. Grease liners, if desired, to aid in easy removal of muffins.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the mini chocolate chips and toss to coat with the flour mixture.
  3. Place sugar and almond meal into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  5. Add vanilla and almond extracts, then add the buttermilk and beat on low speed until combined.
  6. Remove bowl from stand mixer and add the flour mixture. Fold flour mixture into wet mixture, stirring just until combined.
  7. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin cups (the batter will be very stiff), filling them nearly to the top and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
  8. Bake until muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 12-14 minutes. Let muffins cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the pans and set onto the rack to finish cooling.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/12/16/chocolate-chip-almond-muffins/

[ Recipe adapted from: Playing with Flour ]

apple pie biscuits

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Apple pie isn’t something we really do around here. I mean, I’ve made it once or twice, but it’s just not usually on my radar. And that, my friends, is a shame because I love apples. Like, a lot.

I love them in muffins and cakes, I love them dipped in peanut butter, piled on top of toast, or even on their own.

So why, you may wonder, when fall presents itself and apple pie season rains down upon us, do I not use the opportunity to make a thousand apple pies?

I don’t know. I honestly couldn’t tell you, except that I tend to be pie-averse in general. Generally speaking I hate rolling out dough, but then I just spent like two days rolling and shaping croissants with no problems so what’s the big deal with apple pie? It just… doesn’t excite me.

BUT, if you take that very same apple pie flavor and stuff it inside of some biscuits, like that lovely lady Joy the Baker did recently… well, now you’ve got my interest.

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When I told Mr. Eats what I was making, he thought I was a crazy person and replied with “Hm, weird.” About a half a dozen biscuits later though, he was forced to wave his white flag and submit to the glory that is these biscuits.

And honestly, what’s not to love about a light and tender biscuit dough filled with freshly sliced apples that have been sauteed in cinnamon, sugar, and butter. Though not the most photogenic thing I’ve ever made, these babies would (and did) make an excellent after dinner snack, midday snack, or an equally delightful breakfast treat.

apple pie biscuits

Ingredients

    For the Apple Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 large Fuji apple, peeled, cored and sliced very thin
  • pinch salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • For the Biscuits:
  • 2 cups Self-Rising Flour (I made my own - see below)
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into half-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon for the topping.
  2. Make the filling:
  3. Heat butter in a 9 inch skillet over medium heat until it melts. Add cinnamon and sugar and stir to dissolve to sugar. Add the apples and toss to coat. Cook for about 4 minutes until the apples are just slightly softened, but not cooked through.
  4. Set aside to cool.
  5. Make the biscuit dough:
  6. Place flour in a medium bowl and add cold butter cubes. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the dough until the pieces are about pea-sized. Add the granulated sugar and stir to combine.
  7. Create a well in the center of the butter and flour mixture and add 2/3 cup buttermilk. Stir the mixture together until it is well-moistened and holds together well.
  8. Add the remaining buttermilk if the dough looks too dry, as needed.*If you're using your own homemade self-rising flour or you'll want to add the full 3/4 cup of buttermilk.
  9. Spoon dough onto floured work surface and use your hands to gather it into a ball and gently pat it into a small rectangle.
  10. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2-inch thick, about 7-inches x 10-inches.
  11. Arrange cooled apples in a single layer over half of the rolled out biscuit dough and fold the bare side of the dough over the apples. Gently press the edges to seal in the apples and pat the dough into a 6 x 8-inch rectangle.
  12. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into 12 squares.Carefully transfer each biscuit onto the prepared baking sheet, placing them about 2-inches apart.
  13. Bake the biscuits:
  14. Brush each biscuit top with beaten egg and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  15. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until the biscuits are golden brown and puffy.
  16. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  17. Serve warm or cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Biscuits are best enjoyed within two days of baking.
  18. Reheat briefly at 400F in the oven before eating.
http://wee-eats.com/2014/12/02/apple-pie-biscuits/

[ Recipe Source: Joy the Baker ]

apple pie biscuits | wee-eats.com