Pecan Cookies – Simple and perfect for the season

pecancookies5A perfect and simple recipe that is perfect for cookie exchanges, gifts, to have next to coffee with friends or just for a little treat to have around. This recipe is not complicated and requires just the bare essentials you would have around your baking pantry.

The only thing that I had to purchase for this recipe was the Demerara sugar (also called Turbinado sugar), which I found quickly for under $3 at my near by Trader Joe’s, but you can find it in most grocery stores. I especially didn’t mind going out of my way to get this sugar because these cookies were “awesome” according to Little Diva.

Another thing I liked about making these is that it was simple enough that Little Diva helped me make them and she had so much fun!

pecancookies2 So this is what you need:

 

1 cup Pecan Halves

2 cup Flour

¾ tsp Kosher salt

½ tsp Baking powder

2 Sticks (½ pound) Unsalted Butter (at room-temp) (I used low fat butter)

½ Cup Demerara Sugar

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

24 Whole Pecan Halves

 

Preheat the oven to 350.

Place 1 Cup of the pecan halves on a sheet pan to bake for about 5 minutes, until they are toasted. (Make sure they don’t burn) Cool completely.

Place cooled pecans plus ¼ cup of the flour in a food processor with the steel blade and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Place the mixture in a medium bowl and add remaining flour, salt and baking powder and stir.

In a bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Turn mixer to low and add vanilla and dry ingredient mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together.

Use a small ice cream scoop and form the batter into balls about 1 inch or so. Place the balls at least 1 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets.

Press a pecan half into the center of each ball of dough, pressing the pecan just about halfway down.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown around the edges. Cool for 5 minutes before placing on wire rack to cool completely.

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-I hope you enjoy these delicious cookies.

They just make you enjoy the fall weather that much more…next to a fresh cup of coffee of course!-

 

*Adapted from Barefoot Contessa*

 

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Easy No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

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It got very hot over here in our neck of the woods. I’ve been wanting to make something new for a dessert but everything I had in my recipe binder required use of the oven.
I was not about to let the air in my house get any warmer than it already was at that point. So oven use was out…completely. So I came across this recipe on Pinterest (love that site♥) and I made changes to make it my own.

Once again, this recipe uses coconut oil in place of butter.
Many people I’ve come across think coconut is gross. Well, I myself do not like to eat coconut at all. (however, I enjoy the smell)
The great thing about coconut oil is that it does not taste like coconut. It has a mild fragrance of coconut, but when used in most recipes you can hardly notice it.

So come on, and give it a try if you already haven’t☺

 

So this is what you need:

  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter
  • ½ Cup Honey
  • ½ Cup Coconut Oil
  • 2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • ¾ Cup Chopped Nuts (I used pecans because that’s what I had on hand)
  • 1 ¼ Cups Chocolate Chips (I used semi-sweet but you could use dark chocolate too)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

 

Melt the peanut butter, honey and coconut oil over med-low heat in a saucepan.

(watch to make sure it doesn’t burn)

 

Once melted together remove from heat and add in oats, chocolate chips, nuts and vanilla. Stir together until the chocolate is completely melted.

 

Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan and cool in the fridge.

When mixture is hardened, cut into bars. Store in the fridge or freezer.

(For thicker bars, you can pour mix into a 9 x 9 pan)

*Recipe adapted from Pinterest post by Money Saving Mom

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Homemade Vanilla Bean Scones (similar to the ones at Starbucks)

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Ingredients

  • SCONES:
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2/3 cups Sugar
  • 5 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 sticks (1/2 Pound) UNSALTED Butter, Chilled
  • 1 whole Large Egg
  • 3/4 cups Heavy Cream (more If Needed)
  • 2 whole Vanilla Beans
  • GLAZE:
  • 5 cups Powdered Sugar, Sifted
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk, More If Needed For Thinning
  • 1 whole Vanilla Bean
  • Dash Of Salt

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Split the vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise and scrape out all the vanilla “caviar” inside. Stir caviar into cream. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Sift together flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Cut cold butter into pats, then use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the flour. Keep going until mixture resembles crumbs.

Mix vanilla cream with egg, then combine with flour mixture; stir gently with a fork just until it comes together.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly press it together until it forms a rough rectangle. (Mixture will be pretty crumbly.) Use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick. Use your hands to help with the forming if necessary.

Use a knife to trim into a symmetrical rectangle, then cut the rectangle into 12 symmetrical squares/rectangles. Next, cut each square/rectangle in half diagonally, to form two triangles.

Transfer to a parchment or baking mat-lined cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes, removing from the oven just before they start to turn golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

VANILLA GLAZE

To make the icing, split one vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the caviar. Stir caviar into milk; allow to sit for awhile. Mix powdered sugar with the vanilla milk, adding more powdered sugar or milk if necessary to get the consistency the right thickness. Stir or whisk until completely smooth.

One at a time, carefully dunk each cooled scone in the glaze, turning it over if necessary. Transfer to the cooling rack. Allow the glaze to set completely. Scones will keep several days if glazed

*Recipe Adapted from Pioneer Woman

Very Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Recipe

cookie bars1

  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 cup Flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Baking soda
  • 3/4 cup Chocolate chips

Melt butter and brown sugar in microwave safe bowl until melted. Let cool.

Add vanilla and egg – mix well.

Add dry ingredients gradually. Blend well, and pour into greased 9×9 pan.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Rainbow Swirl Cookies (so neat looking)

swirlcookies

My daughter and I have been wanting to do a colorful baking project and came across this idea in my mess of recipes and ideas torn out of magazines. After looking at it the recipe is just a sugar cookie recipe. What makes this looks so cool is the way to use food coloring…yes I know you all reading this knew that part 🙂

Anyway I used a bag of Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix (that I got free by using coupons 🙂 ) And I used box of neon food coloring along with regular “yellow” and “blue” food coloring.

Ok so first you make the dough as instructed on the box/bag. Then divide the dough into equal quantities for how ever many colors you would like. Mix the food coloring to color desired into the dough.
I did four colors; Yellow, Pink, Purple and Green.
swirlcookies3

(Unfortunately, as you can see, I didn’t have four bowls all the same size. LOL)

After the coloring is mixed into the dough you may need to put it into the fridge for about 10 to 20 minutes before the next step.

When the dough is some what chilled, take each color of dough and roll out grape sized balls of dough and set them aside. (see photo below)
Do not mix the colors together, that part comes next.

swirlcookies4

Now, once all the dough is now in small grape sized balls. Take one of each color and gently roll just until they stay stuck together, they will kind of look like a beach ball.
Don’t over roll!
If the dough gets to sticky put back into the fridge for about 10 minutes or so then continue.
swirlcookies5

Ok now the next part.  Take one of the colored “beach ball” and roll it out to make it like a “snake”.
Kind of how you would roll out play-doh to make spaghetti when you were 5. Of course, my daughter loved this part.

swirl cookie

Once the dough is rolled out into a long “snake”. Start from one end and roll the end and continue to make it into a “spiral”.  What you should end up with is this:

swirlcookies2

Then you can either choose to bake as they are, or you can add some sprinkles!  We did sprinkles because…well…my daughter wants to put them on everything. So we rolled the side of the cookies in the sprinkles.
Just make sure there is plenty of space between the cookies when you get ready to bake them because they do spread out some. We baked them at 350 for about 7-9 minutes, make sure you keep an eye on them closely.

Then when they are all done you have some neat looking cookies. And people will think you are even more cool…

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