Archive for December, 2012

Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

December 24, 2012


There are some recipes that I’m a bit hesitant to share.  I know it seems greedy, but there is always something about those recipes that make them over the top, or very unique, or are just plain delicious.  And I don’t want to give that away!  Clearly, this post has unwillingly become about my selfishness.


But let me tell you this: I almost kept this cookie recipe from you.  Yep, they are that good.  Think: butter pecan ice cream mixed with coconut cream pie all tucked into a chocolate chip cookie.  They are not only over the top, and unique, but they are beyond delicious.  And I wanted to keep them all to myself.


In the spirit of the season of giving, here you are.  It’s not too late to add one more cookie to that gift basket, or dessert table or especially to leave for Santa tonight – trust me, they will work.


Coconut Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Cookie Madness)

Toasted Pecan/Coconut Mixture
  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup, sweetened flaked coconut
Cookie Dough
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1.5 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, use vanilla extract as substitution
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a frying pan, melt butter over medium low heat until bubbly and brown.  Add pecans and stir to toast for about 8-10 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Add coconut and continue to stir until the coconut has toasted, and is fragrant, another 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let cool.
  4. In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds until creamy.  Add brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth and creamed. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until they are combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. Slowly mix in the flour mixture.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips, toasted pecans and coconut into the dough.
  8. Using a heaping tablespoon measurement, scoop out dough onto baking sheet and bake for about 14 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

December 13, 2012


The original recipe for these was called “Chubby Hubby Truffles.”



You know, like the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor.






Oh, sorry!  I didn’t think I needed to say any more.


Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles (recipe from Culinary Concoctions of Peabody)

2 cups pretzel sticks, not packed in
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp. golden syrup (light corn or maple syrup will also work)
¼ cup malted milk powder
½ tsp. vanilla bean paste (or extract)
3 tbsp. powdered sugar

For Coating
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

For topping:
pretzel stick pieces
½ cup peanut butter chips

Using a food processor pulse together the pretzel sticks, peanut butter, butter, golden syrup, malted milk, vanilla bean paste, and powdered sugar until it all comes together and forms a thick paste.  If it seems too crumbly or dry, add a tablespoon or two of milk.

Using a tablespoon measurement, scoop and roll into balls.  Place on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

To make coating, place chocolate chips and oil in a bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted and smooth, making sure to stir between each interval.  Using a fork, dip each peanut butter ball into the chocolate, rolling around to ensure that it is evenly and thoroughly coated.  Place each truffle back onto the wax paper lined baking sheet, and back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In another bowl, melt the peanut butter chips the same way as the chocolate chips.  Place in a ziplock bag or piping bag, cut off a tip, and pipe a dollop of melted peanut butter chips onto each truffle.  Top with a pretzel piece.

Cheese Bread

December 6, 2012


So, people.  I’ve decided to become a vegan.  No, no, not forever.  But for a month.  It’s the month long vegan challenge!  I’ve done it before, quite successfully, in fact.  But this time, for some reason, I think it will be harder.


For one, I’m going to do this right through the holidays.  So holiday parties are pretty much going to be a nightmare: candy and cookies and chocolate, galore!  Can’t have any of it.  Second, as soon as I decided to do this, all I could think about was cheese.  This was not a good sign.  I immediately looked up recipes for parmesan crisps, and cheese straws.  I even thought about making a cheese ball as my last hurrah!


But I decided on something a little more subtle and a bit more classy, if you will.  A quick bread filled with two full cups of different cheeses.  Delicious, especially toasted with a smear of soft goat cheese on top.  Don’t worry – you won’t have to go through this vegan challenge with me (but I will send good vegan vibes your way, if you do!).  I have some delicious, dairy-filled holiday recipes coming your way.  But me, I will miss my cheese.  Oh and ice cream.  Oooh, I think I’ll go have some now before the month starts.


Non Vegan Cheese Bread (slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

No, people, I’m not against vegans.  That’s why I want to become one for a month!  Dairy-less holiday treats are just as tasty.  But I’ve already made some with the milk and eggs!  That’s why I’m promising you those posts.  So there.  That’s what I call a disclaimer.

On to the cheese: the recipe calls for cubing the cheese, which is oh-so-lovely when you come upon a chunk and it’s just all of this cheesy gooeyness that consumes the bite.  Yum.  But what about the rest of the bites?!  So I’m gonna be bold and suggest shredding the cheese.  For equal opportunity cheesy bites.

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. salt

4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed

1 1/4 cups milk

4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350.  Brush a 5 x 9 loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter.  Sprinkle half of the parmesan cheese to coat the pan.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.  Fold in cheddar cheese, making sure that the cheese is well coated by the flour mixture.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, 3 tablespoons butter, egg and yogurt.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour in wet ingredients.  Gently fold until everything is well incorporated, making sure that you do not overmix.  The mixture will be very thick.

Pour into prepared pan, and spread evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick tester comes out clean.  Let cool in pan, on wire rack, for 15 minutes, and then invert on to wire rack to cool completely.