These festive cranberry brownies are made with my Double Chocolate Brownies recipe, with just a few tweaks using Ghirardelli 72% cacao dark chocolate chips & the addition of cranberries. Just click the links for the recipe and info on the awesome chips.
I’ve been wanting to make homemade Graham crackers for awhile. After researching a number of recipes, here is what worked well for me. They were a big hit with the family!
- 1 cup softened butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 TBS honey
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and honey. Mix until blended.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flours & baking soda. Add to the butter mixture a little at a time. Mix well.
- Place the mixture in a gallon bag. Knead in the bag until you form a ball.
- Roll out dough between 2 sheets of wax paper to about 1/8″ thickness
- Cut the sheet of dough into individual cracker sizes. I used a square biscuit cutter. Use the blunt end of a skewer (a toothpick is too small) to make holes in the crackers.
- Carefully move the squares to a parchment lined cookie sheet
- Optional: Sprinkle each square with a pinch of cinnamon sugar
- Place in freezer for 30 minutes to harden
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Bake until crackers begin to brown, about 15-20 minutes.
My hubs loves these cookies! They are part shortbread, part sugar cookie and chocked full of pecans. They have been a family favorite for over 25 years. We make these every Christmas.
I use a small cookie scoop for these cookies.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 2 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 TBS vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Pecan halves for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream sugar and shortening. Then add eggs, one at a time.
- Add all other ingredients and mix well.
- Drop by teaspoonfuls on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Optional: Press a pecan half on top of each cookie.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
This is one of my favorite desserts to make when preparing a special dinner. It’s showy and requires a lot less effort than you might initially think when perusing the recipe. Granted the recipe is a bit lengthy, but it is for both the cookie tacos and the white chocolate sauce. Don’t be intimidated – it is actually very easy to make both items. You just need to be organized. I recommend making the cookie taco shells the day before you plan to serve them.
So a bit about this recipe… My mom gave me a cookbook back in the late 1980s – Southwest Tastes, by Ellen Brown. It was a compilation of recipes from the PBS series, Great Chefs of the West. There were several well know chefs from San Antonio highlighted in the book; thus, the reason for my mom’s thoughtful gift. Although this cookbook is no longer in print, the recipes are timeless. I have made just about every recipe in this cookbook and it was really responsible for my culinary education. My mom taught me the basics and set the foundation. This cookbook took me to the next level.
Cookie Tacos w/White Chocolate Sauce & Fresh Fruit
The original recipe was published in Southwest Tastes, by Ellen Brown, a cookbook born out of the PBS television series – Great Chefs of the West. This cookbook is out of print. The recipe was contributed by Anne Lindsay Greer (now McCann). McCann, who is from the Dallas area, has written numerous cookbooks.
I have made some changes to the original recipe that I think make it a bit easier. This is not a difficult recipe, although the many steps might seem a little intimidating. I promise you can do this!
- Cookie Tacos:
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup blanched almonds
- 1/4 water
- White Chocolate Sauce:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 ounces good white chocolate
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Papaya, cut into small chunks
- Strawberries, sliced
- Store bought chocolate sauce
- Grated white chocolate & mint for garnish
- Cookie Taco Prep:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place sugar and almonds in processor until ground very fine. Add water to make a thick paste. I recommend not adding all the water at one time. Add in the whole amount only if needed. Let sit for at least 10 minutes before piping onto pan lined with parchment paper.
- You can use a piping bag or a TBS size scoop to make half-dollar size rounds. Leave 4 inches between cookies because they spread. I can only put 4 cookies on a large baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes on middle rack. When evenly browned remove from oven and immediately cut parchment between each cookie with scissors. You must work quickly. Fold the edges of the paper to form a taco and place between 2 boxes of kitchen wrap, until set. They set in about 30 seconds. Continue baking and shaping until you have made all cookies. Set aside. You can make these the day ahead – leave them in a tray and lightly cover with a bit of plastic wrap.
- Sauce Prep:
- Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Place 1 cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan & add sugar mixture. Heat over low to medium setting, whisking often.
- In the mean time, combine the other cup of heavy cream and egg yolks in a small bowl.
- When first batch of cream is warm, add cream and egg yolk mixture. Continue to whisk, until mixture is just starting to bubble.
- Add white chocolate & whisk continuously until chocolate is incorporated. When sauce is thickened, remove from heat and whisk in vanilla.
- Place custard in a glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to cool.
- To serve, ladle white chocolate sauce on a plate and add a swirl of regular chocolate sauce. Place cookie taco on top of sauce. Spoon fruit into taco. Sprinkle grated white chocolate on top and add a sprig if mint for garnish.
These sweet and savory treats are effortless to prepare, and an Easter tradition in our house. Simply melt white chocolate bark, and add peanuts, crushed pretzel sticks & pastel mini marshmallows. I sprinkled them with Fancy Sprinkles for a little bling.
You can make this recipe with different colored chocolate and marshmallows.
- 16 oz white chocolate bark
- 1 1/2 cups pretzel sticks, broken up a bit
- 1 cup peanuts
- 2 cups mini pastel marshmallows
- Optional: Seasonal sprinkles
- Melt white chocolate bark according to package directions.
- Once smooth, add in other ingredients (except sprinkles). Fold and mix with a spatula.
- Drop spoonfuls of the mixture on parchment paper. If desired, add seasonal sprinkles to the top.
- Allow to set for at least 20 minutes. Can be stored in a sealed container for 2 weeks.
This is your lucky day! You’re gonna love me for finding & then baking these cookies. They are topped with brown butter icing, and it is fantastic! I found the recipe for these tender morsels at Sally’s Baking Addiction. I followed her recipe exactly, & they are perfect! Just what you need for St. Patty’s Day! No luck needed ~ just read the darn the recipe & follow it!!! LINK to the RECIPE:
BUTTERMILK BROWNIES all dressed up for Valentines Day! These brownies are lighter & fluffier than regular brownies, and are topped when still warm with a beautiful butter & confectioners sugar frosting. I have been making them for years and there’s a reason ~ they’re darn good. You can make ‘em fancy or just plain in a pan. See the recipe for more deets. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
- 1 cup water
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (or your oil of choice)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 box (1 lb or 4 cups) powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups chopped pecans for garnish or your topping of choice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 15x20x1 inch deep pan or 2 smaller pans.
- Heat water, butter and oil in a saucepan until just beginning to boil.
- While the water, butter and oil are heating, place all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Add heated water, butter and oil to dry ingredients and mix well.
- Add in the buttermilk and eggs and mix thoroughly.
- Pour batter into prepared pan or pans. Bake for 15 minutes or until tester comes out clean when placed in the center. Cool for 8-10 minutes and then frost.
- Heat butter in a saucepan. When melted add in cocoa and mix until smooth. Then add buttermilk and heat until just slightly bubbling. Remove from heat and add in vanilla and powdered sugar. With a whisk, mix until smooth.
- Frost the cake when it is still warm. Top with desired garnish.
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES on deck! These are the moistiest (not a typo) & fudgiest bars ever, and an absolute must for your valentine baking! Don’t you just L O V E the chocolate drizzle & salt flakes. I also make these with a white chocolate drizzle and rose petals. Use your imagination for inventive toppings, but…Use. This. Recipe. It’s so gooood! I used Hershey’s cocoa & semi-sweet chocolate chips to make these irresistible chocolate treats! Mailed half to my niece and sent the rest to my hubs work – had to get them out of the house and away from my tummy! These guys are addictive!
Double Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Fudge Brownie Recipe.
Dark Chocolate Cranberry Brownies: Eliminate the 2 cups of chocolate chips. Instead use 1 cup dark chocolate chips and add 1 cup fresh cranberries. Everything else is the same.
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups cocoa (I used Hershey’s)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 TBS vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour ( I used King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour)
- 2 cups chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s semi sweet chocolate chips)
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (white or semi-sweet or whatever sounds good to you)
- Salt flakes or rose petals for garnish (the salt flakes are extra special because they really bring out the chocolate flavor)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9" x 13" pan with parchment paper
- In a medium saucepan, begin to melt butter on very low. Continue with the next step.
- Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Then add in the cocoa, salt, baking powder & espresso powder, and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- When the butter is melted, add the sugar and stir to combine. Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Add the hot butter & sugar to the cocoa mixture. Then add vanilla. Stir until smooth.
- Add the flour and chocolate chips. Do not over stir. You want the mixture to just incorporate the flour.
- Carefully pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth it out to all the edges.
- Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean (with just a few crumbs).
- Remove from oven and cool completely. Cut and decorate or just eat them out of the pan!
- Melt the chips in the microwave. Once melted, scoop the chocolate in a small plastic bag with a spatula. Push the melted chocolate toward one corner. Cut the tip of the bag (I cut off a really tiny piece) and squeeze to drizzle over the cut brownies.
The first time I made these my hubs was like, “Fruitcake cookies? Not sure about that.” Once he tried them, he was hooked! They are so light & so tasty! And, the lemon drizzle ~ YAAAS!!!!
Fruitcake Cookies w/Lemon Drizzle
- 3 Tbsp brandy
- 1 1/4 cups fruitcake mix
- 1 1/4 cups + 1 TBS all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 TBS unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Microwave brandy & fruitcake mix until bubbling, about 45 seconds. Let cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
- In your mixer, beat butter, sugar & the egg, until creamy. Reduce speed to low and add half the flour mixture, then sour cream, then remaining flour, mixing until combined after each addition.
- Fold fruit mixture and stir to evenly distribute.
- Drop tablespoons of dough 2 inches apart on to baking sheets. Bake until light golden brown, about 10 to 13 minutes. Cool on wire racks completely.
- Whisk powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle over cookies and let set.
Aren’t these the sweetest looking cookies. I used my usual recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies and simply sprinkled with red and green sugar crystals. My recipe for chocolate chip cookies will ensure you have moist, fluffy cookies, because I learned a long time ago to switch out butter for shortening. I used butter flavored shortening for this batch! Enjoy!