The weeks following the winter holidays always feel peaceful to me. The rush is over and it’s time to catch my breath and rest. When it’s chilly and raining outside, I love spending time at home curled up in my coziest fluffy pajama bottoms and fuzzy socks. Give me a blanket, 75 pillows, a warm cup of tea and these Cinnamon Crumble Scones for ultimate coziness!
The crumb topping on these scones will remind you of a cinnamon crumb cake, which makes them extra nostalgic and comforting. The technique of folding the dough over itself gives them a flaky layered texture. For the tenderest scones, make sure not to over work your dough.
I remember my grandma making coffee cakes and sweet muffins for breakfast, along with eggs, sausages, hot coffee and a big pitcher of milk on the table. The older generation really loved their coffee cakes. I’ve noticed that many Millennials and Gen Z’s think coffee cake contains coffee. Maybe some coffee cake does contain coffee, but in general, coffee cake is called that because it’s typically eaten with coffee. A classic coffee cake is usually a subtly sweet cake with cinnamon, crumb topping and maybe some icing. The Apple Crumb Cake recipe I’m sharing with you has the elements of a classic coffee cake, but so much better! The cake is fluffy and soft, the crumb topping is chunky and plentiful, and the apples are perfectly tender. And don’t get me started about the icing!
Why do most of our grandmothers cook and bake so well? Because they’ve had decades of trial and error to perfect their recipes, tweaking them here and there until they’re approved and loved by their families, neighbors and friends. This cake has had its share of trial and error. She has earned her place as a well-loved, delicious, beautiful queen of coffee cakes.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add apples, sugar and cinnamon.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer apples to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Work in butter with your fingertips until mixture looks like wet sand. Press together to make 1/2-inch chunks.
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a 9-inch cake pan with a removable bottom*, or a 9-inch springform pan, with parchment paper. Wrap the bottom of cake pan with aluminum foil and place pan on a baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar, with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
Beat eggs and vanilla into butter mixture in three separate addition, making sure each addition is incorporated before adding the next.
In a small bowl, whisk milk and sour cream together.
On low speed, mix flour mixture into batter in three separate additions, alternating with milk mixture. Beat just until combined.
Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Smooth top with a spatula.
Drain any excess liquid from apples. Top cake batter evenly with apples, then topping mixture.
Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and continue cooling.
In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt and 2 tablespoons of cream. Add additional cream until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over cooled cake.
I never imagined that I’d ever be posting a peanut butter cookie recipe. There are already crunchy peanut butter cookies, soft ones, chewy ones, and those peanut shaped store bought ones out there. I mean, do we even need another peanut butter cookie recipe? After I tasted this one, it’s a resounding YES! These soft, tender cookies combined with a silky, smooth filling are a new peanut butter experience that I had to share.
The key to getting the soft texture in the cookie, without being dry, is cake flour. So don’t substitute it, because it’s vital to achieve the correct texture. Make sure to weigh your flour for the most accurate results. The second important ingredient is heavy whipping cream. Just a little added to the filling gives it a luxurious, silky texture.
This recipe makes sixteen medium size peanut butter cookies, which will give you eight sandwiches. If you want more, you can double the recipe or make the cookies smaller. Smaller cookies will have a shorter baking time.
What’s better than the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking or the smell of fresh coffee brewing? The smell of a warm, sweet buttery loaf of this Butterscotch Bread! The aroma is so heavenly that I’m convinced angel grandmothers bake this on a regular basis in heaven. The rich scent is accompanied by a soft, tender bread topped with a silky butterscotch glaze.
It all starts with browning your butter first. It adds a nutty, deep butter flavor. When browning your butter, use a light colored saucepan so you can see the visual clues. You’ll see it start to foam and brown specks will collect on the bottom of the pan. It will smell nutty and fragrant. Keep a close eye on it. It can go from brown to burnt in a quick second. When your brown butter has cooled to room temperature, the rest of the recipe comes together quickly. You can also brown your butter a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperate before using.
This delightful bread goes well with coffee or tea and is just as delicious the next day. Store covered at room temperature.
In a small saucepan, cook butter over medium heat until brown and fragrant. When brown specks (not black!) collect at the bottom of the pan, immediately transfer butter to a small bowl. Let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of an 8 x 4-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the insides.
In a medium bowl, beat brown butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk until smooth.
Stir in flour mixture in two additions. Mix just until combined. A few lumps are okay.
Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Bake until top is deep golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 38-43 minutes.
Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, them turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Top with two coats of butterscotch glaze.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and salt.
Continue stirring over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for two minutes.
Turn heat down and slowly stir in heavy cream. Keep stirring until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Transfer mixture to a small bowl and let cool until thickened.
Whether you call them apple blossoms, apple dumplings or apple fussbudgets, (which are named after your great grandfather’s second wife’s cousin), these are cute little apple pastries. I made them because I was craving apple pie, but I didn’t have enough apples to bake one. I didn’t invent them, and I don’t know who did, but I’ve had frozen ones and I’ve seen them on restaurant menus. I thought it would be fun to make them, and it was! I could’ve just put some pie dough in muffin cups and made quick little pies, but flower shaped things automatically get extra points for cuteness. And if you know me, you know I love my cute bakes!
In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice until combined.
Add brown sugar, sugar, melted butter, flour, cinnamon and salt to apples. Stir until combined.
In a medium bowl, mix together all topping ingredients. Set aside.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll pie dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
Cut out 12 5-inch blossom shapes, re-rolling dough as necessary.*
Lightly mark a 2-inch circle in the center of each blossom. Make cuts between the petals to separate them, just up to the edge of the center circle.
Top each blossom with about 2 generous tablespoons of apples.
Brush dough petals with egg wash. Form blossoms by lifting and overlapping each petal 1/2-inch in a spiral pattern similar to a rose. Tuck the last petal under. Press petals together to seal so filling won't leak out.
Top each with a spoonful of topping. Place in refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Don't skip this step. This will help blossoms keep their shape.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Brush blossom dough all over with egg wash. Wipe any drips off of parchment paper. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is starting to bubble, about 23-28 minutes.
Drizzle blossoms with caramel sauce.
*When re-rolling pie dough, cover and let rest for several minutes to help avoid shrinkage.
I had tea with with a well mannered hedgehog once on a crisp fall day. He brought me a tiny bouquet of flowers, which I placed in a small jam jar filled with water. He said the delightful maple scent of these Madeleines reminded him of his time in the woods, as a young hoglet. When he had his fill of the delicate little cakes, I wrapped some in a tea towel for his journey home.
As cooler weather approaches, I’m always looking for a little something to enjoy with a warm drink and a good book. Although traditional Madeleines typically remind me of spring, these Maple Brown Sugar Madeleines have a cozy fall feeling. They go well with coffee, tea or hot cocoa. If you want to make them for a friend, make the batter and keep it in the refrigerator. Bake the Madeleines right before your friend arrives.
I used a spherical Madeleine pan to make these maple scented little cakes. The Madeleines made in this pan are a little thicker and fluffier than those made in a traditional oval pan. To find the Madeleine pan I used, click here. You can certainly use a traditional pan if you prefer. Keep in mind that the baking time will be shorter and you will end up with about twice as many.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar and maple extract, on high speed with an electric mixer, until batter is voluminous, light in color and holds its shape when you lift the beater, about 8-10 minutes.
Combine melted butter and maple syrup.
Gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture in three additions, alternating with the melted butter. Fold just until combined, being careful not to deflate batter. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to make sure all flour is combined.
Cover and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a spherical Madeleine pan* with nonstick spray or melted butter. Dust the pan with a light coating of flour. Tap out the excess flour.
Fill the wells of the Madeleine pan with batter 3/4 full, about 2 tablespoons each, using a scoop**, a spoon or a piping bag. If you're using a traditional oval Madeleine pan, fill 3/4 full, about a generous tablespoon of batter in each.
Bake until golden brown around the edges and puffed in the center, about 10-12 minutes. Baking time for oval Madeleine pan will be about 7-8 minutes. Do not over bake.
Cool in pan for one minute then turn Madeleines out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Top with maple icing and nuts.
In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, maple extract and one tablespoon of milk. Add additional milk as needed. Stir in a pinch of salt to taste.
Brush icing onto Madeleines with a pastry brush. Apply nuts to the edges of Madeleines. Serve immediately. Madeleines are best served the day they're baked.
We’ve all heard our parents telling their childhood stories of walking miles to school and suffering worse hardships than we ever had to. My mom used to tell me stories like that, but she had a sense of humor, so her stories were always fun to listen to. She used to tell me about her friend’s mother, who would make big, delicious oatmeal cookies. My mom would trade her baloney sandwich nearly every day to get one of those cookies from her friend. She reminisced about those cookies so much, that I set out to make her some when I learned to bake. She and my grandmother would taste test batch after batch of my cookies over the years. I have probably baked enough oatmeal cookies to circle the earth. Okay that’s an exaggeration, but seriously I have baked quite a few. Of all the oatmeal cookies I’ve baked, these are one of my favorites!
Most of the time when you see fruit added to an oatmeal cookie, it’s dried fruit, like raisins or cranberries. That’s mostly because if you just dump fruit into your cookie dough, the fruit releases water, leaving soggy spots in your cookies. To solve that issue, for this recipe, I macerate the blackberries before baking. The purple blackberry juice that’s released from the berries is used to make a beautiful lilac icing to drizzle over the cookies.
In a small, light colored saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until dark golden and fragrant. You will see brown particles sink to the bottom. Keep a close eye on it. It can go from toasted to burned very quickly.
Remove from heat and immediately transfer brown butter, including the brown particles, to a small bowl. Refrigerate until solid, about one hour.
Place blackberries in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and toss to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes until berries release their juices.
Drain blackberries and reserve the juice.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat brown butter, softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs and vanilla extract in three separate additions and beat until well combined.
Stir in flour mixture just until combined.
Stir in oats until combined.
Gently fold in blackberries.
Scoop 1/4 cup sized portions of dough, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared cookie sheets. *I used a #16 2 ounce scoop.
Bake until cookie tops are set and edges are golden brown, about 13-15 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Pass reserved blackberry juice through a sieve to remove seeds.
In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream and one tablespoon reserved blackberry juice until smooth. Add more blackberry juice, a little at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
To the indecisive German baker who invented marble cake, I thank you! Marble cake, sampler platters and tasting flights are the perfect solution for those times when you just can’t decide. Let’s take one more decision off the table. No longer will we have to decide between chocolate and strawberry cookies. These marble cookies are the best of both worlds. Chocolate and strawberry are opposites in many ways, but complement each other so well. After all, who doesn’t love chocolate covered strawberries?
The dark chocolate cocoa powder gives these cookies a deep chocolate flavor. Freeze dried strawberries provide the sweet strawberry flavor and color. I crushed the strawberries with a mini food processor, but you can also use a mortar and pestle, a clean spice grinder or a sturdy plastic bag and a rolling pin. When you crush the 1 1/2 cups of freeze dried strawberries called for in the recipe, you’ll end up with about 1/3 cup of strawberry powder. To find freeze dried strawberries, click here.
This recipe makes about eighteen cookies but you can also make nine large cookies as seen on my recent TikTok video. Follow the instructions for large cookies. To view video, click here.
Pecan pie was my mom’s favorite, but she didn’t bake pies, so I always used to bake her one for Thanksgiving. One year, I made a chocolate version. It was delicious, but let’s just say it wasn’t user friendly. It was gooey and hard to serve. Over the years, it eventually morphed into these Maple Pecan Brownies. The brownie version is still delicious, rich and gooey with toasty pecans, but much more user friendly.
Enjoying Maple Pecan Brownies with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee is a must. Thinking of it brings back memories. I can practically smell my dad brewing the coffee to go with these brownies.
Maple Pecan Brownies
Rich, gooey brownies topped with pecan pie filling
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, overlapping the sides an inch or two. Spray parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until well combined.
Mix in eggs and vanilla, one at a time, until well combined.
Mix in cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until well combined.
Stir in flour just until combined.
Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Bake just until top is set, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare pecan topping.
When brownie top is set, remove from oven. Gently pour pecan topping around the outer perimeter of brownies, to avoid making brownies sink in the middle. Evenly distribute the pecan topping over the top gently with a spoon.
Return the brownies to the oven and continue baking until the topping is set, about 20-25 minutes. Brownies will stop jiggling and topping will look deep golden brown. Toothpick inserted inside will have a few moist crumbs on it. (If your topping starts to brown too much on the edges before the inside is done, apply aluminum foil around the edges as you would with a pie.)
Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting, about 2- 2 1/2 hours.
Cut into squares, wiping knife between cuts.
In a medium bowl, stir together maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, egg, maple extract and salt until well combined.
Stir in pecans until well coated with maple syrup mixture.
These Apple Spice Cookies were one of my most popular cookies last fall so I decided to bring them back a little early this year. I’m definitely not the type of person to be drinking pumpkin spice lattes in 90º weather in the middle of August, but these are my favorite fall cookies ever so I wanted to give them a proper head start. The combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in this cookie dough will remind you of cinnamon rolls and apple pie and help you look forward to fall.
The apples in this recipe are cooked briefly on the stovetop to bring out the flavor and create the perfect texture. Dropping raw apple chunks into cookie dough or cake batter is never a good idea. If you’ve ever baked an apple pie, you know that apples release liquid as they’re cooked and that liquid will end up in your baked cookies, creating soggy spots. So definitely don’t skip this step!
These gorgeous, golden brown cookies are perfectly delicious on their own, but extra credit goes to the Brown Butter Icing for taking them over the top!
Make sure to head over to TikTok to watch the video of these Apple Spice Cookies being created.
In early September, I saw someone announce the fall season on social media. In addition to people pointing out that it was too early for the announcement, the word police corrected the person with the word autumn. Since both terms are correct, we can call the season whatever we prefer. I think autumn is a pretty sounding word, so I’ll use it for the rest of this post. Whatever you call it, these Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves are a perfect little celebration of the season. They have just the right amount of pumpkin spices, making them so fragrant that your kitchen will smell like cozy autumn heaven.
I call them loaves because I originally made them in mini loaf pans. They’re so cute and delicious that I often give them as holiday gifts. This year I decided to try them in ramekins and I loved the results! I used 6-ounce ramekins, but you can use 8-ounce ramekins, any size mini loaf pans, a muffin pan or even an 8 or 9-inch loaf pan. Keep in mind that baking times will differ. To find the ramekins I used, click here.
Pumpkin Spice Mini Loaves with Caramel Filling
Mini loaves of tender pumpkin bread with caramel filling and luscious cream cheese frosting
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour seven 6-ounce ramekins or six 8-ounce ramekins or any loaf pans of your choice.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
Beat in pumpkin and vanilla until combined.
Stir in flour mixture just until combined.
Divide batter evenly into prepared ramekins. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Do not overbake. (Mini loaves or muffins bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on size. 8 or 9-inch loaf bakes for 40-50 minutes)
Cool completely if serving in ramekins or remove from pans after cooling for 10 minutes. Continue to cool on wire rack.
Make 3/4-inch well in the center of each loaf. Fill with caramel sauce. (For an 8 or 9-inch loaf, poke multiple holes with a skewer. Fill with caramel sauce.)
Top with cream cheese frosting and pumpkin seeds
Cream Cheese Frosting
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer until smooth.
Add vanilla extract and salt and beat until combined.
Gradually add powdered sugar and beat at medium speed until combined.
Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined.
Have you ever had mudslide cake? It’s a deliciously messy chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and marshmallows, also known as Mississippi mud cake. I saw one covered in a layer of marshmallow fluff and it made its way into my dreams. I woke up with the inspiration to make a cookie version of the gooey mudslide cake.
I saw a few mudslide cookie recipes out there that used standard size marshmallows and chocolate chips mixed into the cookie dough. If you’ve ever baked with marshmallows, you know that they nearly disappear during the baking process. Chocolate chips melt beautifully into little pools of chocolate, but then harden once cooled to room temperature. I happily volunteered to address these challenges! After some trial and error, I created a satisfying cookie with plenty of gooey marshmallow goodness and a rich fudge filling that stays soft at room temperature. Dreams do come true!
Marshmallow Mudslide Cookies
Chocolate fudge-filled cookies topped with toasted marshmallows
Melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk together in a double boiler or in the **microwave in a medium microwave safe bowl.
Stir in chopped nuts. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Heat oven to 350º.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer.
Add granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time and mix until well combined.
Add vanilla and mix until combined.
Add dry ingredients in two increments, mixing just until combined.
Roll fudge filling into tablespoon sized balls
Roll cookie dough into 1/8 cup balls then flatten into a disc with your fingers and place a ball of fudge filling in the middle of each disc. Wrap the cookie dough around the ball of filling, sealing it completely.
Place cookies about 2 inches apart on large baking sheets.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Turn on broiler.
Place a marshmallow on top of each cookie.
Broil cookies until marshmallows are toasted. This takes about 1 minute. CAUTION Watch cookies carefully when broiling! They can go from done to burnt in the blink of an eye!
*I used Kraft Jet-Puffed S'moreMallows, but if you're unable to find them, use jumbo marshmallows. Cut them in half lengthwise with kitchen shears. Place on cookies cut side down.
**To melt fudge filling in microwave, heat for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave for 10 second intervals, stirring until melted.