Back-to-School Strawberry Granola Bars

To say that I’m ready to wear big cozy sweaters and tall boots again would be an understatement. September is my favorite month, not just because my birthday happens to be in it, but because the weather starts to change to getting cool enough to break out the fall clothes but you don’t need a heavy winter coat, and the red and yellow (and brown) and orange leaves around have to put you in a good mood. And for those of us that are still in school (aka me), I’m back in high school, starting my senior year.

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When I was little, going back to school was such an amazing time. I would get new pencils, pens, highlighters, markers, backpack, notebook, paperclips, and about anything else that was pink and sparkly. Now that I’m in my last year of high school, I don’t really get the same excitement about it, but using a new pen or eraser is still a little bit fun. The main downfall of going back to school? Not having time to do anything that isn’t school related. It seems that my life now revolves around 3 AP classes and college essays, with a little bit of piano quintet and music theory thrown in there. Baking? I wish.

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A classic of the back-to-school lunchbox is the granola bar. I’ve made them in the past, but these little squares of almond-y jammy goodness are a much better way to start of my school morning. If you make these the night before, they’re an easy grab and go breakfast, and anything homemade just gets my day off to a better start. They come together in a pinch, so even if you don’t have time to make a layer cake, even just a homely little granola bar can brighten your day.
Back-to-School Strawberry Granola Bars- From One Sweet Cookie

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup strawberry preserves (or whatever flavor you want)
  • Slivered almonds (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8 inch square pan and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the pecans in a single layer on the prepared half sheet pan. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until lightly golden and fragrant. Cool completely on the pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and pecans. Pour in the melted butter, and using a wooden spoon, mix together until well combined. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Press the dough evenly into the pan, forming a packed layer.
  4. Using an offset or silicone spatula, spread the preserves over the dough. Evenly sprinkle the slivered almonds over the top. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and fragrant. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool completely.

Now back to studying!

-Rayna 🙂

 

Cherry Almond Goat Cheese Bars

During quartet camp today, I realized that it was the middle of August, and I can’t figure out how my summer managed to go by so fast. Yesterday, I finished my first week of quartet camp, which was fantastic as always. I study chamber music with the program director during the year, so being able to buckle down and work on 2 full quartets in 2 weeks is very intense, but also really fun. The members of my quartet are some of my best friends, so rehearsing with them is really great.

DSC_0054Cheesecake is such a fun but temperamental thing for me to make. As you can see, the amount of cheesecake recipes here on the blog is rather limited, but that’s partially because I have a limited audience that will actually eat the cheesecake. My family tends to stay on the healthy side (surprising for an avid baker) so super rich and creamy desserts aren’t big sellers in my house. Not to mention, goat cheese is one of the few foods that almost no one in my family really likes, so I don’t think these bars ever got the attention that they truly deserve.

DSC_0077I loved these bars that I found on Sift and Whisk. The crust is not graham cracker based, but rather crushed almonds give it not only a wonderful crunch, but an amazing warm flavor too. The mixture of the goat cheese and the cream cheese ensures that the batter is not too dry, but it has a little bit of a tangy flavor because of the goat cheese, which I just loved. The fresh cherries not only mixed into the batter but sprinkled on top provide a sweet contrast to the sour edge of the cheesecake. All in all, I can’t rave about these bars enough.

Cherry Almond Goat Cheese Bars

Ingredients

For the almond crust:

  • 1 cup (140 grams) raw, whole almonds
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (55 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces (226 grams) goat cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (150 grams) cherries
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly, then roughly chop the almonds.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together chopped almonds, flour, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake crust for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack while making filling.
  3. Halve cherries and remove pits. In the bowl of a food processor, process goat cheese, cream cheese, eggs, and sugar. (If you do not have a food processor, you can use a hand or stand mixer. Beat the goat cheese and cream cheese together first, until smooth and creamy, then add the eggs and sugar.) Remove the food processor blade, then gently stir in most of the cherry halves by hand, reserving 18 cherry halves for the top. Pour filling onto cooled crust. Arrange remaining 18 cherry halves, cut side up, on top.
  4. Bake at 325°F for 35-40 minutes, until the center just barely jiggles, or a thermometer inserted in the middle of the pan reads 155-160°F. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours. Cut into 16 squares and serve.

Don’t be fooled by the goat cheese- these are some great cheesecake bars.

-Rayna 🙂

 

 

Toasted Coconut and Lime Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Happy August, everyone! I can’t believe that my summer has gone by this fast, and that in less than a month, I will officially be a high school senior! I just finished up my 2 weeks at gymnastics, and for the next 2 weeks, I’ll be attending another chamber music program. It’s a program I’ve done for many years now, and I can’t wait to be able to participate in it for another fantastic year!DSC_0095This summer was the first summer that I’ve really tried to dedicate myself to music. In the past, I would always respectfully decline my teacher’s wishes to go to music programs with her because I would need to stay to do gymnastics. Now that I’m really trying to push the music aspect so I could study with a teacher that I would want to in college, I didn’t get to spend as much time at the gym as I normally do.

DSC_0116This summer-y bundt cake from My Baking Addiction is the perfect dessert if you don’t feel like cutting up tons of fruit but still want something that’s a tasty summer treat. The lime flavor is very prominent, which I loved! You can always cut back on the amount of zest, but I personally loved it. For the coconut, you don’t have to toast it, but I would highly recommend it. I brought it over to Deanna’s house for dessert, and it got rave reviews. Enjoy!

Toasted Coconut and Lime Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (11 3/8 oz)
  • Zest of 2 medium limes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (9 1/4 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup toasted sweetened flaked coconut

Lime Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream (can vary depending on the thickness desired)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 medium lime

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a 10 inch bundt pan, set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and lime zest mixing together with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add the sugar mixture gradually to the butter and beat on medium speed until light fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in vanilla. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. In a medium bow, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sour cream, beating until well blended after each addition. Fold in coconut. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake 50 minutes to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. After 10 minutes, flip cake onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. Prepare the glaze: Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl and drizzle over cake.

Now make this and enjoy your weekend!

-Rayna

 

 

 

Blackberry, Peach, and Pistachio Crisp {Gluten Free}

Good morning, everyone! I hope all of you have had a great weekend so far. My weekend took an interesting turn of events, and instead of staying home and baking and doing other “house-things,” my best friend Deanna invited me to go to an amusement park in New Hampshire with her and her family. After the 3 hour drive there, we had tons of fun getting soaked and stopping for ice cream (a family tradition at their house) and left me slightly sunburned and very tired. Either way, I had lots of fun and I’m glad I got to go to an amusement park this summer!

DSC_0054_2 One of the things I love most about summer is the produce that’s available. I mean winter produce is fine, and everyone loves a good clementine, but you just can’t beat biting into a ripe, juicy nectarine and having the sweet remains of it drip down your face, making your hands too sticky to touch. I love eating them raw, but I also love making summer treats, and the first thing that comes to my mind is a crisp. They’re so easy to throw together, and such a delicious summer treat. And since it’s gluten-free, everyone can take part in eating it!

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Blackberry, Peach, and Pistachio Crisp {Gluten Free}: Adapted from Keep it Sweet

Ingredients

Topping:

  • 2 ounces (~1/2 cup) oat flour
  • 3/4 ounces (~1/4 cup) old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 ounces (~1/3 cup) salted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 2.5 ounces (~1/3 cup, tightly packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup /  1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 pounds (3 large / ~4 cup yield) peaches, thinly sliced, peeling the skin is optional
  • 14 ounces (~4 cups) blackberries
  • 2 ounces (~1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 ounces (~2 tablespoons) oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9-inch baking dish (or one of comparable volume) and set aside
  2. In a medium bowl, prepare topping; mix together oat flour, oatmeal, pistachios and brown sugar. Add butter and use fingers to combine until mixture is slightly lumpy; set aside
  3. Prepare filling; in a very large bowl, stir together fruit, granulated sugar, oat flour, cinnamon, lemon juice and butter. Spread filling into prepared baking dish; sprinkle evenly with topping
  4. Bake for about 35 minutes or until filling is bubbling and topping is lightly browned, if you see that topping has started to get to brown early, lightly cover with tin foil for remainder of baking time

Who said gluten free isn’t delicious, too?

-Rayna 🙂

Vanilla Bean Latte Layer Cake

Guess what? Rayna Takes the Cake officially turns 2 years old today! If you want to see some really, um, interesting food photography (these, this, or those) and read more about my life after freshman year in high school you can head on back to the beginnings. It’s crazy to think that I’ve already had RTTC for 2 entire years, because when you are in high school, that’s practically an eternity. I’ve had so much fun baking and taking pictures and sharing recipes with you guys and I can’t wait to continue for many years to come!

_D320276I’m still in Canada and I’m just loving it. The people that I’ve met here are so amazing that I don’t want to even think about leaving! I’ll be back in the states on Sunday though, but I won’t be in the kitchen baking. Instead, I’ll be doing more music programs, but this time in New York City, which should be a blast. Not to mention that one of my great friends is joining me. I think I did a pretty good job planning out my summer, don’t you think?

_D320284In order to celebrate RTTC turning 2 years old, I knew I needed to make something spectacular. While I could have made something more culinar-ily (that is clearly a word) complex, layer cakes just have a special meaning that shouts celebration. I’ve made some layer cakes in the past, and clearly RTTC turning 2 called for another one. After making one of Sweetapolita’s incredible cakes for my brother’s birthday last year, I knew exactly where to go to find a delicious layer cake that would fit the bill for such an amazing occasion.

_D320289 2You start out with a simple vanilla bean cake recipe, and the amazing black dots of true vanilla bean are what bring it all together, and something that vanilla extract can’t exactly replace. Then, I made a latte Swiss meringue buttercream, using espresso powder and some cinnamon. I was especially proud because this was my first SMBC, and now I understand why it’s so popular. I’ll never need copious amounts of powdered sugar again! I filled one layer and the outside with SMBC, but then I took some Justin’s chocolate hazelnut butter (so incredible) and heated it with some soymilk because why not. Finally, I just melted some chocolate (I probably should have made a ganache, though) and spread it on top to literally top it off. While I would recommend making this for a crowd, but I understand if you want it all to yourself. 🙂 Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Latte Layer Cake

Ingredients

For the Cake:
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks)(341 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2-2/3 cups (540 g) granulated sugar
  • 9 (275 g) egg whites, at room temperature
  • 4-1/2 cups (570 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (22 g) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 2 cups (480 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
For the Buttercream:
  • 6 large egg whites (180 g)
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks)(340 g) unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, split & scraped or 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) instant espresso powder (or to taste) dissolved into 1 teaspoon (5 ml) boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) cinnamon (or to taste)
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter three 8″ x 2″ round cake pans, line with parchment rounds, butter paper and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the egg whites gradually, mixing until fully incorporated.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Mix vanilla extract and vanilla paste (or contents of vanilla bean) into buttermilk. Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated or finish by hand gently.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. If possible, weigh the batter in each cake pan on a digital kitchen scale to ensure even layers. Smooth with small offset palette knife, and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating once after 20 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick or skewer comes clean. Try not to over-bake.
  5. Let pans cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.
For the Buttercream:
  1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  2. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so). *Don’t begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.
  3. Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and continue mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. Add espresso mixture, vanilla, cinnamon and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
Assembly of the Vanilla Bean Latte Layer Cake:
  1. Place cooled cake layer on cake pedestal, or cake board, face-up. Spread 1 cup of buttercream on top using a small offset palette knife, leaving narrow border along outside edge.
  2. Gently place 2nd cake layer on top, and be sure to center it with bottom layer. Apply another 1 cup of buttercream and spread as you did the first layer.
  3. Gently place final cake layer on top, face-down (so the clean bottom side is facing up). Apply a final layer of buttercream.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with decorative tip (I used Ateco #887), and pipe desired designs on cake to trim and decorate. Sprinkle sliced cake servings with cinnamon, and garnish with espresso beans (optional).

A perfect replacement addition to your morning cup of java. 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies

Sometimes, I just need to take a break. Stop reading my United States History textbook and listening to Beethoven, and just relax for a second. Not something I’m very good at.

Viola is really starting to kick into gear, starting with my orchestra auditions yesterday. So, our conductor assigned us a section that the viola section had to learn, and then go into a small room with the door closed and a screen (It was a blind audition, we couldn’t see the judges). Pretty nerve-racking if you ask me. When I got home from the city carrying my viola on my back, I was ready to plop in bed and go to sleep forever and ever. Well, Mr. APUSH textbook doesn’t think so. So after the chapter of outlining was safely saved on my computer, I FINALLY had time to bake. At the bright and early time of…9:30 at night. Still have PLENTY of time to bake! When I saw this recipe on Carrots ‘n’ Cake, they just sounded too good to be true. One of my favorite breakfast items now transformed into a cookie? Holy yum.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Cookies- From Carrots ‘n’ Cake

Makes 16 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 2 cookie trays.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and use a tablespoon to portion cookies onto the baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cookies start to brown

How easy is that? The perfect cookie to top off a not-so-relaxing day.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, my AP United States History Textbook and I have a date.

-Rayna 🙂

(P.S.) Sorry for the lack of pictures this week, due to the holiday earlier in the week, my mom burned out my battery in my camera while taking pictures of her food. Pictures to come next time! 🙂

Mini Twix Cheesecakes

It can be hard to bake things for a..selective little sister. So when I found a recipe that made her eyes light up and her say “Yum, make that!” you know for certain that it was going to be made. Besides, who can resist something that has CANDY inside of it? These lonely mini Twix bars have been in my cabinet, calling for something delicious to be made out of them. Like last week, I had never made cheesecake before, although I’ve bookmarked many recipes 🙂 After these, with their oh-so-creamy filling but with the slight crunch of the cookie part of the Twix, these mini-cheesecakes are the definition of heaven. So go and get yourself a slice of heaven and make these cheesecakes. 😉

Mini Twix Cheesecakes: Adapted from Gingerbread Bagels

Makes 14 mini-cheesecakes

Ingredients

Crust

  • 6 Graham Crackers
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake

  • 2 packages (16 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used Chobani instead!)
  • 12 mini Twix bars, chopped into small pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees and line 14 muffin tins.
  2. In a food processor, grind up the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Pour into a bowl and add in the sugar. Mix to combine. Add in the melted butter until fully coated.
  3. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture into each cupcake liner and press down firmly with your hand. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer, put in the cream cheese and mix for 3 minutes, or until smooth. (A hand mixer works fine) With the mixer on, add in the sugar and combine. Add in the vanilla extract. Beat in the eggs until fully combined. Finally, add in the sour cream and combine.
  5. Add the chopped up mini Twix bars to the cheesecake batter and fold in.
  6. Using and ice cream scooper, scoop the batter into each cupcake liner. Bake for 30 minutes. Refrigerate the cheesecakes overnight, then enjoy!

If you’re having a bad day, make these cheesecakes. If you’re having a good day, make these cheesecakes. If you’re having any day, make these cheesecakes. You won’t regret it! 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I’m always looking for excuses to bake overly excessive amounts food. Because why not? So when my mom had a dessert party at our place for all of the incoming freshman going to Vassar, (where she went to college) my baking brain was in heaven! I’ll spread out the recipes over a couple of posts so you don’t have to read too much while getting ready for school (something all of us are dreading). Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies: Makes 9 large or 16 small brownies

From Martha Stewart

Ingredients

For the Batter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped**
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Filling

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking pan.
  2. Batter: Microwave the semisweet chocolate and the unsalted butter in a large microwave-proof bowl for about 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring after every thirty seconds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder.
  3. Whisk the granulated sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, and stir until combined.
  4. Filling: Stir together the butter, confectioners sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  5. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling on top of the batter, about 1 inch apart. Drizzle the remaining batter on top, and spread to fill the pan. Drop remaining peanut butter filling on top. Gently swirl with a butter knife, running lengthwise and crosswise through layers.
  6. Bake until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, but not wet, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes then dig in!

** If you would like a less sweet brownie, use 4 ounces semisweet chocolate and 2 ounces bittersweet

It’s peanut butter. It’s chocolate. It’s a brownie. It’s amazing. 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

Toffee Cashew Blondies

When you combine the crumbly goodness of a blondie with the crunch and the warm flavor of a nut with just a touch of toffee bits, what’s not to love? My brother is notorious for complaining about how much I bake with peanut butter, so I figured I would take a break from the endless peanut butter (recipes to come 🙂 ). So, I thought it would be nice to take a break from not only peanut butter, but make a bar cookie- something I haven’t made in awhile. And boy did he love these. So will you!

Toffee Cashew Blondies (from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsalted cashews
  • 1/3 cup toffee bits
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking dish.
  2. Mix together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  3. Cream together the brown sugar and the butter. Add in the eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined.
  4. Add in the flour mixture until well combined. Mix in the cashews, toffee bits, and butterscotch chips (if you’re using them).
  5. Bake until golden brown, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, about 42-45 minutes.

Nutty and Blondies. What’s not to love? 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

Fat Fluffy Snickerdoodles

I have never been a snickerdoodle fan. It just wasn’t special to me. When there were cookies with chocolate and nuts and M&M’s, a plain cookie with some cinnamon and sugar just didn’t ring a bell for my tastebuds.

However, when your sister is as picky as my sister, once you find a recipe she’s even willing to try is amazing. So between my brother having a friend over, my sister willing to try it, added with my curious mind= snickerdoodles. And boy was I right choosing this recipe.

Thanks to How Sweet It Is for this delectable recipe 🙂

Snickerdoodles

Makes 16-20 cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon for dipping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and spray 2 cookie trays
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar with and electric (or hand) mixer, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg and the vanilla extract and combine.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 2 parts, fully incorporating before adding in the second part. Add in the milk to help mix.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and the cinnamon.
  6. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and coat the cookies. Press them down ever so slightly and bake them for 10-12 minutes ( I did 11 and came out perfectly)
  7. Inhale. 🙂

So there you go, a cookie that can put a smile on anyone’s face. 🙂

-Rayna 🙂