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Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Cookie Butter Cookies

Cookie butter cookies

Some might say I’m an overachiever.

I say, this is my only good excuse to bake cookies all year, so I’m going to take full advantage of it, gosh darn it!

S’mores cookies

So, yes. I baked three different types of cookies to send to TiAn of Unruly Bliss, Diana of Life Tastes So Good, and Laurie of Food is Love for this year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.

We were technically only supposed to bake one type of cookie, and send a dozen to each of our three matches.

S’mores cookies

But considering Son and I both work from home (no coworkers to fatten up) and neither Son nor I really eat that many sweets (ignore the fact that Son was ready to totally demolish this tres leches cake that I’ll be posting about soon), there just aren’t that many opportunities in my life to bake cookies.

Sweetened condensed milk cookies

Binge baking. It’s totally a thing.

Milano Cookies

Plus, have I mentioned that I got some pretty awesome cookies in return? Brittany of Life of a Bama Girl sent me some delicious Milano Cookies (which my mom promptly stole – these are one of her favorite types of cookies!) (I made something similar a few years ago).

Almond Tartlettes

Janet of Simply So Good sent some fantastic Almond Tartlettes. Son LOVED these.

Cookie butter cookies

In addition to the Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies and Gooey Stuffed S’mores Cookies that I made, I also made these Cookie Butter Cookies from Willow Bird Baking.

These were my favorite.

Super easy to make (they’re like peanut butter cookies, except with cookie butter! Genius.), they result in lots of thin, crispy, gingerbread-y cookies. LOVE. (Also, I accidentally realized that if you let them sit out for a day or two and get a little stale, they get nice and soft, which is also wonderful.)

P.S. If, like me, you haven’t tried cookie butter up until now, just do yourself a favor and go buy a jar. I always roll my eyes when people are like, “ohmygawd this is lifechanging!”, but there’s a possibility I may make an exception here.


  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup crunchy cookie butter (Trader Joe’s Speculoos Spread or Biscoff Spread)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and both sugars until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the cookie butter and egg and combine. Add in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder, and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently remove from the pan to a cooling rack so the bottoms don’t get too brown. Cool completely and enjoy

Gooey Stuffed S’mores Cookies

S’mores cookies

I love Fridgg.

(Obviously, I’m just a bit biased, but hear me out for a minute.)

The thing I love most about Fridgg is the awesome people we’ve gotten. We have such a freaking awesome community!

It’s so cool what a variety of people we’ve gotten from all around the world – from people who just take photos with their phones in Taiwan, to professional food photographers in Massachusetts, to food bloggers from London, India, Australia, Italy, and so many other places!

Fridgg has definitely become my biggest source for finding new food blogs, and tons of recipes I want to try. (I always know when Son is looking at Fridgg, because he will send me links to all the recipes he wants to try… which pretty much ends up being every recipe posted to Fridgg. :P )

S’mores cookies

One of the awesome new blogs I’ve had the pleasure of discovering through Fridgg lately is Life Made Sweet. I like to think of Liz as our resident cookie blogger – seriously, her twitter name is @cookieliz! – so obviously in picking cookies to make for this year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap (because this is one of the only excuses I have to make cookies all year, so I can’t just stop at one type!), I HAD to make sure I made one of her cookie recipes.

I’ve had my eye on Liz’s Gooey Stuffed S’mores Cookies for a while now (don’t they sound amazing?!), so they were a must-try.

Although mine didn’t turn out quite as pretty as hers, they were delicious! Seriously decadent. Also, sticky. As s’mores should be. :D

Oooey gooey!


  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 18oz chocolate chips
  • 20-24 large marshmallows (If you only have mini marshmallows, take about 8-9 and roll into a ball to stuff inside the cookie)

Cooking Directions

  1. Cream the softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar in a stand mixer. Add the eggs in one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the graham cracker crumbs and mix together.
  3. Add the flour and graham cracker crumbs to the wet ingredients in about 3 increments, scraping the bowl down in between. Mix until combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix all together until combined.
  4. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes. While refrigerating the dough, preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll each of your large marshmallows into balls.
  5. Line cookie baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out a portion of cookie dough. Flatten the dough in your hand and wrap the rolled marshmallow in the dough. Wrap the cookie dough around the marshmallow and place about 2-3 inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet halfway through. Let cool 5-8 minutes.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies

Condensed Milk Cookies

Son loves sweetened condensed milk. LOVES it. For a guy who doesn’t have that much of a sweet tooth, it’s kind of nutty how much he likes it.

So when I had to figure out what sort of cookies to make for this year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, Son instantly went for these Condensed Milk Cookies from Jessica of JessKa’s Kitchen. They’re a tasty alternative to your traditional sugar cookies!


  • 250g butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Mix in the sweetened condensed milk.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, and knead together to form a stiff dough.
  5. Roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thick (put your dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden a bit if this is difficult).
  6. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
  7. Place cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies is starting to brown.

Caramelized onion, bacon, and ricotta pizza

Caramelized onion, bacon, and ricotta pizza

Most of my cooking these days falls into the, “What the heck do I do with all these veggies from my CSA box?” category. Which is good, because it means I’m cooking more (and blogging more!) (and eating better!), but let me tell you, sometimes it’s a challenge.

Like, kale. We are up to our ears in kale, and have no idea how to use it. (And don’t tell me kale chips – unfortunately, we’re not really fans of them.)

Or collards. Uh… help? I’ve never cooked with collards before, so I have no clue what to do with them.

And chard… yeah. Can you see a theme here? It’s the greens I have a problem with – everything else is so easy and delicious roasted!

But with the swiss chard we got, at least I was able to find something that sounded good. I was going to make pizza!

Except Son “doesn’t like pizza” (or so he says). So I put off making it for a few days until my little sister was in town.

Yeah… turns out that was a few days too many, because by the time she came over, the swiss chard was ready for the trash can. Oops. -_-

Oh well. I omitted the swiss chard, and made the pizza anyways… and added bacon, because, well, you know me. And my first pizza was a delicious, delicious success! (More or less. I tried hand-stretching the dough I got from Trader Joe’s because I was too lazy to get out the rolling pin… so I got really thick crusts, and a really thin, soggy center. It was tasty, but don’t do that. Don’t be lazy like me.)

And Mr. “I don’t like pizza”? Ate three pieces. And then another the next day. HAH!

Based on this Onion Pizza With Ricotta and Chard recipe from the New York Times.


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 14-inch pizza crust
  • cornmeal or semolina
  • 3/4 cup ricotta (6 ounces)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated (1/2 cup, tightly packed)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 sliced of bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

Cooking Directions

  1. Half an hour before baking the pizza, preheat the oven to 500° F.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until tender and just beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook another 10 to 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown and very sweet and soft. Remove from the heat.
  3. Roll out the dough, oil a 14-inch pizza pan and dust with cornmeal or semolina. Place the dough on the pan.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, egg yolk, and Parmesan. Spread over the pizza dough in an even layer, leaving a 1-inch border around the rim. Top with the onions. Sprinkle with bacon.
  5. Place in the hot oven, and bake 10 to 15 minutes until the crust and bits of the onion are nicely browned. Remove from the heat, and serve hot or warm.

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana

Kale and potatoes have been a bit of a theme in our household lately, primarily because we keep getting them in our CSA box.

Not that I’m complaining.

Way back in my college days, when (dare I admit it?!) Son and I mainly subsisted on $1 microwave dinners and Olive Garden was our idea of fancy, I tried Zuppa Toscana (at Olive Garden, of course) for the first time and immediately fell in love.

However at that time, I didn’t really cook, except to pretend I knew how to make sushi and fail at apple pies. So this soup love remained on my mind’s backburners (pun totally intended) for the next 7 years.

Until now! An excess of kale meant I needed to figure out something to do with all of it. Luckily for me, I had bookmarked this Olive Garden copycat Zuppa Toscana recipe that Angie posted on her blog Eclectic Recipes almost two years ago. Doubly awesome, I had practically all of the ingredients (or close-enough substitutions) on hand.

I made a few “changes” to the recipe based on the ingredients I had: I used sliced chicken and apple sausage instead of the hot Italian sausage; I about doubled the amount of bacon (because, bacon!); I only used 3 cups of kale (that’s all I had); I used whole Lactaid milk instead of the cream (because lactose intolerance is more fun when you don’t have to worry about it.)

My way was quite delicious (also, breakfast the next morning), and I’m quite positive that if I’d stuck to the ingredients she listed it would have been just as wonderful! It’s a very comforting dish – perfect for the cooling fall weather (unless you’re here in LA, where we’re getting 80-degree weather right now :P ).

Find the Zuppa Toscana recipe on Eclectic Recipes!