Friday, June 21, 2013

Brown Butter Bourbon Chocolate Chip Blondies

I just love the idea of booze and dessert coming together...and I'm definitely no stranger to adding a splash of alcohol to a recipe. I'm actually a big fan of it!
I was planning on sticking to the original recipe and just melting the butter, but then I remembered how much better browned butter is! The first time I tried it was with these  Chai Spiced Coconut Blondies. Amaaazzzzzing!  

The brown butter gives the blondies a super rich and nutty flavor. Throw in some bourbon and chocolate and you have a winner!
If you're not a fan of the booze you can always leave it out, along with the extra tablespoon of flour. But seriously, why would you want to do that?!?
If you're looking for some other boozy recipes be sure to check out these Bourbon Pecan Pie Brownies, Stout Chocolate Cupcakes, and Champagne Cupcakes...enjoy! :)

Brown Butter Bourbon Chocolate Chip Blondies
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 stick butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup bourbon
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8 x 8 inch baking pan with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. 
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Cook butter, stirring frequently (swirling the pot also works well), until a deep golden color develops. There will be little bits and pieces in the butter that will turn brown, but make sure they don’t burn. The butter should take on a nutty sort of flavor, and this should take around 7-8 minutes. Immediately pour brown butter into a heat-proof mixing bowl, scraping all the bits into the bowl.
  • Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Beat butter and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla, and bourbon, mixing until combined. Stir in the flour mixture, followed by the chocolate chips.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, cut into bars and serve.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Butterfinger Mason Jar Trifles

Oh. My. Goodness. 

I think I’ve found my new favorite dessert. 
These little babies are made by layering super rich and moist chocolate cake, peanut butter sauce, whipped cream, and crushed Butterfinger bars…all wrapped up in individual jars. 

Be sure to make them in advance so that the chocolate cake has time to soak up the peanut gooood!
The best part is that they are super easy to make and they’re portable. The perfect dessert for a summer picnic, or a great gift for a lucky friend! :)

{for the cake}
1 box Devil's Food cake mix
1 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coffee, cooled

{for the peanut butter sauce}
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all natural peanut butter

{to assemble}
16 snack size Butterfinger bars, crushed
2 cartons (8 oz) whipped topping, thawed
8 pint-size mason jars


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine cake mix, Greek yogurt, water, and coffee in a large mixing bowl. Batter will be very thick.
  • Bake in a greased 9x13 inch pan for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes clean (be careful not to over bake). Cool on a wire rack. Cut into ¾-inch pieces.
  • To make the peanut butter sauce: melt corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, and butter over medium low heat. When sugar has dissolved, add peanut butter and stir until melted.
  • In the bottom of each of 8 mason jars, place a few pieces of cake. You can crumble the cake in order to get it to fit into the bottom of the jar. Drizzle peanut butter sauce over the cake. Add a layer of whipped topping, and a sprinkling of crushed Butterfingers to each trifle. Repeat layers to fill jars, finishing with whipped topping and a few crushed Butterfingers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cardamom Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches

I LOVE ice cream sandwiches. They are the quintessential summer dessert. Seriously, what is better than a cookie and ice cream all in one bite? What more could you ask for? 
So what is so great about these ice-cream sandwiches? Well, they're made with the most delicious Cardamom Snickerdoodle cookies. The cardamom gives it a bit of a grown-up twist to your typical cinnamon and sugar cookie. They are crisp around the edges with a chewy center. Pair that with some spiced banana ice cream and you have perfection!
Now, lets get to the "ice cream" part of this recipe. I was utterly shocked when I realized how easy this was to make. Just throw a couple of ingredients into a food processor and you have the most delicious and creamiest ice cream everrrr. It's like magic! 
Oh and did I mention that the best part is that it's guilt free?! Which means having ice cream for breakfast is totally acceptable! :)

Cardamom Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches
Recipe adapted from The Nest

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Cream the butter and ¾ cup of the sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined. 
  • Sift the flour, cream of tartar, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined. 
  • Mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small bowl. Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoons and shape the dough into balls. 
  • Roll the dough balls in the sugar mixture and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. 
  • Bake the cookies for 13 to 14 minutes, or until the centers are set. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet.
  • Place one cookie top side down. Scoop 1/3 to 1/2 cup of ice cream onto the cookie. Place another cookie top side up on the ice cream and press gently to flatten the ice cream between the two cookies. Serve the ice-cream sandwiches.

Spiced Banana Ice Cream
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
4 peeled medium bananas, sliced into coins and frozen until solid
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Blend bananas in food processor until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream. (It will take a few minutes, just keep scraping down the bowl and keep blending!)
Blend in cardamom and cinnamon. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

This is a very easy salsa that you toss in a honey lime vinaigrette. It's light, refreshing, and perfect for a summer cookout!
It doesn’t even need to marinate in the fridge. It’s perfect and delicious served at room temperature with tortilla or pita chips, on top of tacos, or straight out of the bowl with a spoon!
The sweetness from the honey and the heat from the jalapeno pepper is the perfect combination. It’s not crazy spicy...just really good!

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salsa
Recipe adapted from Jehan Can Cook
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice from a lime
3 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 jalapeno, diced

  • Remove husks from corn and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes. The corn should have some brown spots and be tender. Turn frequently. Remove and let cool.
  • In a small bowl or jar; add the lime juice, garlic, honey and olive oil. Shake and set aside.
  • Run a sharp knife down the cob to remove as much of the corn kernels as possible. Add the corn into a large bowl. Next add in the diced tomato, onion, black beans, avocado, and jalapeno. Give that a light toss and add the vinaigrette. Stir well until combined and serve cool or at room temperature.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Whole Wheat Pita Pizza

We loooove pizza. This recipe is the perfect size for a personal pizza and it's a much healthier alternative to the homemade pizza we usually make.

This recipe reminds me of when my mom used to make us little pizzas using naan as the was so good! There’s something about a whole wheat pita that just gives such a great texture and hearty flavor to the pizza crust...and it's very filling!
The best part about this entire recipe is that it literally took me about 15 minutes to make. Quick and easy?? Yes, please. This one is definitely a winner!

Whole Wheat Pita Pizza
Recipe adapted from Whole Living
4 whole-wheat pita breads
4-5 sun dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
fresh basil, finely chopped 

Spinach and Basil Pesto
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1 cup fresh basil
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

For the pesto:
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until well blended. It's that easy! :)
To assemble the pizzas: 
Arrange pita breads on two baking sheets. Spread about 4 tablespoons of pesto on each. Scatter chopped sun dried tomatoes on top, and then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle fresh basil on top. Transfer the baking sheets to the oven, and bake the pizzas until the mozzarella has melted, about 20 minutes. Remove the pizzas from the oven, and transfer to a cutting board. Cut each pita pizza into wedges and serve!