Friday, May 18, 2018

Biscoff Caramel Toffee Bars

I traveled for a conference recently, and on the plane, they served Biscoff cookies. It was a pretty short flight and that was about all they served. Short flights are fun, they serve the drinks and then it’s time to land. My friend from work hadn’t had Biscoff cookies before, and was thinking that they were coffee-flavored, a flavor that isn’t her favorite. I told her they weren’t coffee-flavored at all. I figured that it was time to make something with Biscoff spread.

I have made a very similar bar cookie to this before, but it only had a caramel filling and not a caramel and Biscoff filling. And it didn’t have toffee either. I recall that those bars were quite rich and buttery, and this recipe just guilds the lily, really. You do want to cut these into smaller bars, as they are very over the top. I like the combination of the caramel and the cinnamon Biscoff. The Biscoff is the strongest flavor; I think the toffee bits just add crunch but not a lot of extra flavor. These aren’t as sweet as you might think them to be, but they are very, very decadent.

Biscoff Caramel Toffee Bars
2 cups butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups flour
11 ounce jar salted caramel sauce
14 ounce jar Biscoff spread
1-½ cups toffee bits

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” baking pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat on medium until light. Add the flour and stir on low until the dough forms. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate the remaining dough. 
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Pour the caramel sauce over the partially baked base. Microwave the Biscoff spread for about 20 seconds and then top the caramel with the Biscoff spread. Crumble the remaining dough on top of the Biscoff, covering the filling as much as possible. Sprinkle the dough with the toffee bits.
Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden and the caramel is bubbly. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Recipe from The Domestic Rebel

Friday, May 11, 2018

Glazed Pineapple Cookies

I wanted to make something more springy for this week. I know that baking doesn’t always seem springy or summery, but there are certainly ways to incorporate sunnier flavors into baking. I found this recipe online, in an article that talked about cookies for summer. Some of their options didn’t seem like I would want to make them in the summer: who wants to roll out cookies and then decorate them in a hot kitchen? I wouldn’t; but these seemed like they’d be great for this time of year.

I really like pineapple, and I have made a handful of pineapple recipes. I liked these as they were a simple cookie, but with the glaze and the optional sparkling sugar jazzed these up a lot. This doesn’t make a huge batch, about two and a half dozen. I stated my glaze with three tablespoons pineapple juice and it was too runny, so I had to add quite a bit more powdered sugar. They looked too plain just glazed, so I searched the cupboard for sparkling sugar and I had some smoked sugar that I used to finish the cookies. The cookies are soft but crisp around the edges, with the great sweetness of pineapple shining through.

Glazed Pineapple Cookies
8 ounce can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice; set aside the pineapple juice for the glaze. In a large mixer bowl, beat the shortening and brown sugar on medium until smooth. Add the egg and mix on medium to incorporate. Add the drained pineapple and vanilla; mix well on medium-low. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir on low, just until the dough comes together.

Scoop onto the prepared baking sheets, using about 1-1/2 tablespoons dough for each cookie.

Bake for about 17 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom and set but still soft. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before glazing.

Make the glaze: in a small bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and two tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice. Continue adding pineapple juice, about ½ teaspoon at a time, until the right consistency for glazing. Glaze the cooled cookies. Top with sparkling sugar, if desired.
Recipe from Taste of Home

Friday, May 4, 2018

Coconut Oil Cowboy Cookies

Trying to find recipes that use an alternative to butter used to be a challenge. Don’t get me wrong, I love butter but since I have a colleague who doesn’t eat dairy, I’ve been looking around for new recipes to try. Thankfully, since coconut oil is so popular now, there are lots of recipes that are dairy free, or can easily be tweaked to make them dairy free.

I have made cowboy cookies before, they are very similar to chocolate chip cookies, with extra mix-ins. This recipe originally called for chocolate chips, dried cranberries and coconut. I swapped out the coconut for crispy rice cereal, since I had some on hand. You could certainly add whatever you would like, just as long as there aren’t too many mix-ins for the dough to handle.

Like any chocolate chip-type cookie, these are easy to make. You can use whatever ingredients you have on hand. If you are making these dairy free, make sure that your chocolate chips don’t contain dairy. Regular semi-sweet chips do have dairy, bittersweet ones often don’t, plus there are several dairy free varieties out there on the market. I really like cowboy cookies or the very similar ranger cookies, and these are no exception. My only change I would make is to add some nuts, or something that adds crunch. I had hoped the crispy rice cereal would add a crunch, but not too much.

Coconut Oil Cowboy Cookies
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup crispy rice cereal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.  In a large mixer bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and egg. Mix on medium until smooth. Add the coconut oil and vanilla and stir on medium to incorporate. Add the flour mixture and stir on low, just until combined. Stir in the chips, cranberries, and rice cereal with a spatula.

Scoop the dough into the prepared baking sheets, using about one tablespoon of dough for each cookie.

Bake for about 8 minutes, until set. The cookies will be soft. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe from The Wholesome Dish