nourishing & unapologetic
Born Daily is back in the kitchen.
I'll be honest, I've never left. My clothes know it and my thighs show it. But... in the name of butter and good karma, I'll take it for the team.
Shamefully, I've not shared any of my latest culinary happenings.
I've had a few people ask recently if I'd be returning to the tastier and more style sides of this space. And, that's a resounding YES. I love y'all and I love yapping my trap. So, there's more to come on this here blog.
What better way to get back in the groove then at the kickoff of the holiday baking season? I've got 12 recipes that I think are perfect for Santa's plate, your family gatherings, and that work party. All of these recipes I've made (sometimes more than once) but failed you with snagging my own pictures of some of them. All original recipe sources/authors are credited and linked.
Going in particular order, because -- I play favorites:
12. Frosted Cranberry Orange Drop Cookies
These cookies are all things winter in one bite -- tart cranberries and bright winter citrus with the indulgence of cream cheese frosting.
They're simple to make but pretty enough for a party. Taste of Home has a winner in these!
And, fun fact, I took third place in my company's Fall Festival dessert contest with 'em.
11. No Fuss Pie Crust
Secret: I pretty much only like pie if it's ice cream or chocolate. I think it's because pie crust frustrates me. Impatience is the root of all my frustration and not the pie crust but I digress. So, when I saw this recipe on Pinterest that heralded "no butter, no chilling, no rolling," my interest was piqued. And I did exactly what you shouldn't do -- busted out a new recipe for Thanksgiving. Much to my surprise, this pie crust held up its claims. It was easy. It was quick. It was pretty dang good.
The Country Cook calls this Wham Bam Pie Crust, all I can say is thank you, ma'am!
TIME FOR PIE
10. French Silk Pie
Just above I confessed chocolate pie is one of my one and only likes in pie form. And this recipe is the sole reason why. Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, held nothing back with this one. It is dreamy, creamy, and actually really easy. I found this originally in her cookbook, but it's also online on her blog, and mine too.
WHIP THIS UP
9. Sugar Cookie Bars
Growing up sugar cookies were my least favorite cookie, like lowest on the list. But I've grown to like them... especially these sugar cookie bars that will win about anyone over. They come together quickly but are rich and memorable. Plus, they're easy to make festive with a few drops of food coloring or sprinkles.
8. Brownie Crinkles
You don't have to read past 'brownie.' But if you do, I'll tell you it gets better because they're gooey and dusted with powdered sugar. There are several variations of these -- some from scratch and others from boxed brownies. Because I am generally baking a ton of things at once, I opt for the box mix version. Cincy Shopper has a great one.
7. Pumpkin Cream Pie
Pumpkin pie purists, you might what to skip this one. But if you're open to spicing up your pumpkin pie, make this one from Lauren's Latest. It is unexpectedly delicious. It's creamy like it's name but it's still so full of flavor. And trust me, making the homemade whipped cream is a MUST.
SPICE IT UP
I'm a sucker with anything 'doodle.' That's a given. But these cookies, from Averie Cooks, are a classic mash-up of molasses cookies, gingersnaps and snickerdoodles. They are soft; the molasses carries them through, and the sugar coating put them over the top. You think you're not going to like them and then they'll steal the attention on any cookie platter.
5. Buried Cherry Cookies
If there's one cookie I've eaten my weight in during my lifetime so far, it's this cookie. It's from a cookbook that my parents have had for umpteen years at this point. I'm linking a recipe from Taste of Home because I know it matches. They're not fancy and they're not for everyone. But if you like cherries and chocolate, you don't want to miss this one. They are a teeny bit messy but I promise they're worth it.
4. Caramel Cheesecake Bars
Holidays give us a reason to celebrate the richness and indulgences of the season, right? These are your answer to that. They are classic cheesecake bars COVERED in a homemade caramel sauce. You can cut them small because they are a lot extra, plus everyone will want a bite. Six Sisters' Stuff knocked it out of the park with these.
SWEET TOOTH FIX
3. Peanut Butter Balls
A candy maker I am not. But these peanut butter balls will impress anyone. And if you are a Reese's fan, this recipe gets you pretty darn close. This will become a regular in your treat rotation.
MAKE A CLASSIC
2. Orange Marmalade Muffins
I know, I know, a muffin?! But let me continue because these muffins are one-hundred-percent amazing. I've been making these muffins for ten years now. Seriously, they are that good. The buttermilk is secret ingredient and makes them so, so tender. You're welcome; you just found your Christmas morning breakfast.
I can't find a recipe online so I'm listing my copy here:
1. Cannoli Cookies
Saved the absolute best for last. These are Nick's favorite cookie of all time. They seem a bit fussy but they're rich in all the best ways. And a cookie sandwich just amps up the appeal. Take the time to make these. Use the real ingredients. And, follow the directions. Normally I am not a stickler but just do it just like the recipe and you'll be rewarded.
CANNOLI FOR CHRISTMAS
Let me know what you make and love. I'll be back soon with a savory edition too. And, if you have any can't miss holiday favorites, drop them in the comments for me.
Until next time--
If you've been reading for a while, you know I love me some chocolate. Good news on that front, I made you a classic: no bake cookies. They're basic, but chockfull of chocolate, peanut butter, and oats. (Wait, I just gave you a a third of the ingredient list right there...) They come together in minutes in one pan. Oh, and they're incredibly addicting. So seemingly there's no bad news. BUT, I'm wearing a bridesmaid's dress in less than a week. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF? Thank goodness it's A-line and a teeny bit forgiving.
The recipe is almost a non-recipe that can turn out splendidly. OR, it sends you over the edge because you need a straw for your cookies or they've setup like hockey pucks. For this very reason, my own mother refuses to make no bakes. So, over the years, I've tweaked and tried to perfect them. More times than not, the recipe below will net you a winner.
Let's get to it.
Classic No Bake Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk (I prefer 2% or whole)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (if you're feeling bold, try special dark cocoa)
Combine all ingredients in medium-large sauce pan. Stir well. Bring ingredients to a boil.
Pro tip: This is the tricky, critical part. You want the start of a rolling boil but not one you sustain for too long. As soon as you get a good boil, turn the heat off and remove from stove top.
Once removed from the heat, immediately stir in:
1/2 cup peanut butter (I always put a little extra in, probably about 1 tablespoon or 2 extra!)
1 teaspoon vanilla (the good stuff, no artificial)
3 cups old fashioned oats.
More Pro Tips:
This measuring tool from Pampered Chef is a LIFESAVER when you're using peanut butter. I'm not one for too many gadgets but this is a good item!
And, most no bake cookies call for quick oats. I am not a fan. I love the full size oats. They add more body to the cookies and make them look more uniform. Doubters (like my husband initially) will be convinced.
I'm a lifelong fan of Mexican vanilla. It's the best thing. My grandparents once took a trip to Cozumel (which my gma endearingly pronounced "Coashamel" and brought back some vanilla. I'm pretty sure we used that vanilla well beyond the expiration window but, really, can vanilla go bad? The smell of Mexican vanilla evokes a strong response from me, one of bliss and eagerness. Now it's the only type of vanilla you'll find in my cupboard.
Stir well. Then drop by tablespoons on to waxed paper. Let sit. (and save yourself a scoop of the hot mixture. You've earned it!)
Okay. Enough belaboring a basic recipe. You can do this. Make them tonight since you likely have all of the ingredients on hand.
We'll talk again soon. Perhaps about our house. Perhaps about some Friday favorites. So much to say, coming soon.
Until next time,
6/28/2014 6 Comments
Unsurprising Confession: I really love cookies. The only other sweet I'd forego a cookie for is a brownie. But as of late, the Born household has been on a cookie kick.
Now, I must request a virtual ROUND OF APPLAUSE for Sally over at Sally's Baking Addiction for this kick butt recipe! It is undeniably one of the best cookie recipes I've ever made. (And this sweet tooth has made a lot of cookies over the last 28 years...)
What makes these cookies both addicting and awesome is their classic simplicity. My vegetable preferring husband is a sucker for soft cookies. He liked these Soft-Baked Monster Cookies so much requested I make these cookies two nights in a row.
These are perfect for any bake sale, picnic, family get together, or just an afternoon snack.
What these cookies aren't perfect for is bikini/swimsuit season. Seriously, you need willpower of a Saint to refuse one (er, three). Summer is in full swing and we're headed to Florida in a few weeks. This is when I should be eating greens, protein, and nothing enjoyable. But if you've been reading this blog, you know that I tend to prefer things that aren't going to keep me slim and trim. But as I grumble about what I look like (and maybe reach for another cookie at the same time) , I have to remind myself that I prefer to eat what I love and run a little more than regiment my diet. (For those who tell me that's not the way to think, I know this but I'm not looking to be a super model (I mean I'm 5'1.5" for goodness sakes!), just healthy.) I'm never going to be lean or cut because it's not something I value over being in the kitchen generating a form of love and a few calories.
But in the spirit of swimsuit season, let's quickly reflect on this wardrobe component that most women despise. And, then I'll share a few I'm coveting and/or considering. Then I promise I'll give you the goods on the cookies.
You might have seen this video on Facebook, but I wanted to share it here. I'm not sure what to think of Jessica Rey's call for modesty as means of empowerment. I am conflicted. On one hand, I think she's brilliant. I totally get not wanting to be seen as an "object". It repulses me to think that an article of clothing can slingshot our evolutionary advanced mind back to the more archaic times. But..
Here's my argument: a power suit is not about the amount of fabric and fit, but rather the mental and emotional feelings one has when wearing it. Power suit= self-confidence. To me, wearing any swimsuit at all and feeling like a rockstar in it is empowering. If that's a itsy bitsy bikini for some or a full-on one piece with a skirt, so be it. I will throw in the caveat that there are some swimsuits that are just not suited for all body types and generally you know when that's the case. And complete honesty, I am totally guilty of judging someone else for wearing something I don't think is flattering on them but that's my problem and my misstep. Seriously, who am I to judge what someone else feels best in?
All that said, here are a few swimsuits, in a variety of styles, I think are adorable for summer 2014:
I know after trying on swimsuits (virtually or in a store), I want a reward. Here's yours.
Soft-Baked Monster Cookies
Recipe source: Sally's Baking Addiction
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I prefer Mexican vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick oats*
3/4 cup your favorite M&Ms
1/2 cup milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
*I never have quick oats on hand, so I just put a little over a 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats in the food processor, pulsed for a few seconds, and viola!
Thanks for letting me ramble on today. I sincerely hope if you're on the hunt for a swimsuit this summer that you find one that makes you feel 100% beautiful and/or comfortable. If you do, celebrate with these cookies. If not, commiserate with these cookies. Either way this recipe is a homerun! Talk to you soon.
PS For the mommas out there debating whether to pass on the pool or splash with your kiddos, check out this article. It's a good read.