Baking with B: Chocolate Spice Cookies

Do you ever get tired of making the same thing, over and over again? (I used to feel that way about birthday cakes.) I was searching for something to serve during a recent family visit and none of my old standards were really grabbing me. Trying something new didn’t really appeal to me either- I didn’t have the time or energy for experimenting.

I was beginning to feel discouraged until I thought- hey, why reinvent the wheel? You know a lot of great classic recipes, B. Why not spice one up so you can have the best of both worlds?

I took my own advice. Literally. I whipped together the ingredients for my favorite butter cookie recipe (also featured here) and turned things up a notch. I’m pretty pleased with the results, too- these Chocolate Spice Cookies melt in your mouth just like a butter cookie, but taste like a gingersnap, with an extra splash of chocolate to keep things sweet.

Chocolate Spice Cookies (makes 28)

3/4 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. nutmeg

1 1/2 c. chocolate chips, melted

Cream together butter and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, sift together spices and flour and mix with wet ingredients, adding one spoonful at a time until ingredients are fully combined. Divide the dough and shape into two flat discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Use your hands to shape dough into desired shape, before placing on a parchment-lined cookie sheet approximately one inch apart. Press down each cookie with a fork before baking 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cookie rack until fully cooled.

Melt chocolate in a double-broiler or microwave until smooth. Dip each cookie halfway into the chocolate before placing on waxed paper. Refrigerate until chocolate is set.

B’s Tip: Just because I used chocolate chips doesn’t mean you can’t use your favorite baking chocolate or chocolate bar to make the melted chocolate! You may want to drizzle the chocolate over the cookies instead, or skip that step altogether and throw your chocolate chips into the dough before baking.

The best thing about making over a classic recipe like this is that the variations don’t have to stop there- you can change up the chocolate, switch out the spices, or add nuts or your favorite dried fruit for even more flavor. Your cookies don’t even have to be the same shape- I tried molding mine into logs before squashing with a giant serving fork, instead of the usual circular cookies I make. See? Spicing up your old routine can be addictive. I highly suggest you try it too. You never know what you might come up with!

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

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Baking with B: 7 Days of Christmas Treats: Butterscotch Confetti

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This recipe is probably one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made on my blog, and definitely one of the prettiest. I’m not always a fan of butterscotch chips- sometimes I find them just way too sweet- but when you throw in salty peanut butter and fluffy marshmallows the result ends up sleek and smooth, and melts in your mouth. The only challenging part of this recipe is going to be preventing yourself from eating all of these babies before the holidays arrive.

Butterscotch Confetti (makes 36)

1/4 c. butter or margarine

1/2 c. peanut butter

1 c. butterscotch chips

8 oz. small colored marshmallows

Melt butter and peanut butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in chips until melted. Cool until you can hold your hand on bottom of pot. To speed process, stir while holding pan in cold water until cool enough. Add marshmallows and stir until all are coated. If you like, add 1/2 c. chopped walnuts and/or 1/2 c. medium coconut to mix things up and add a little bit of bite. Pack down in a 9×9-inch pan that has been lined with wax paper. Refrigerate for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

B’s Tip: The original recipe calls for a 9×9-pan but you may want to experiment with different sizes and shapes of pans to create a shape that works best for you. Honestly? I would have preferred a thicker square and may try using an 8×8-inch pan next time.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50

Last year I counted down to Christmas by baking seven different types of Christmas cookies as per my favorite Swedish holiday tradition. This year I’m making it a thing, and sharing seven more delicious recipes with you. This is the last post in this year’s series, but for more inspiration, you can check out more of my baking here. For even more recipe inspiration check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: 7 Days of Christmas Treats: Pineapple Log

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Sometimes you don’t know how a recipe turns out and you just have to go for it. Vanilla, pineapple and cream cheese don’t necessarily sound like the most appealing flavors individually, but when they come together in this chewy little number the result tastes like piña colada-flavored fudge. It’s more sweet than fruity, and you can’t taste the cream cheese at all.

Just because a recipe turns out surprisingly good doesn’t mean it’s also surprisingly easy. Sometimes these no-bake recipes require following instructions to the letter, so here’s a few words from the wise:

  • Do make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature before even attempting to beat. You may want to try breaking it up in cubes first to make your life easier, or even better, use a beater with a paddle attachment to make the cream cheese light and fluffy.
  • Don’t buy vanilla wafers thinking you can make your own vanilla wafer crumbs as easily as you can with graham crackers. They’re tough to crumble on their own without a food processor, and the recipe requires the crumbs be superfine for the best blending.
  • Do drain the pineapple within an inch of its life. The recipe does not require the extra moisture and adding too much icing sugar to compensate can turn these cookies very sweet, very quickly.
  • Don’t cut your marshmallows without a glass of cold water by your side for rinsing off your scissors. The marshmallows will get sticky and end up gumming up the blades of your scissors when you cut them. (Maybe some brave soul will attempt this recipe with marshmallow fluff and let me know what they think?)

Try this recipe if you dare- and if you want a little taste of the tropical this holiday season, I definitely think it’s worth the risk!

Pineapple Log (makes approximately 48 slices)

4 oz. cream cheese

2 1/2 c. icing sugar

1 c. vanilla wafer crumbs

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c. crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 c. tiny colored marshmallows, cut into quarters (use scissors)

shredded coconut

Beat cheese until smooth. Add sugar, crumbs, salt and pineapple. After mixing together well, if this seems very soft, work more crumbs or icing sugar into the batter keeping in mind that it won’t get much firmer when chilled. The amount extra that you will need depends on how well you drained the pineapple. Now mix in the marshmallows. Shape into log and roll in shredded coconut. Chill. Slice to serve.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50

Last year I counted down to Christmas by baking seven different types of Christmas cookies as per my favorite Swedish holiday tradition. This year I’m making it a thing, and sharing seven more delicious recipes with you. For more inspiration, you can check out more of my baking here. For even more recipe inspiration check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.