Chocolate gingerbread is gingerbread’s elegant sister. It has the warm spices we love in gingerbread combined with the earthy depth of chocolate. Topping this rich, tender loaf with silky cream cheese frosting is the best possible choice to take it over the top. It’s a lovely loaf to enjoy during the holiday season and beyond. Enjoy it with a hot drink for a cozy, comforting winter treat.
My fascination with Christmas cookies started as a child when my elderly neighbor used to bring over a tray of her homemade Christmas cookies every year. I loved the moment where I got to choose a cookie from the beautiful, interesting selection. In my humble opinion, I think a holiday cookie should be something special. It should be something that you don’t eat on a regular basis, maybe because it seems fancy or requires a little extra work to make. Or maybe it has a special meaning or a fond memory. These Chocolate Raspberry Cookie Tartlets check all the boxes for me. They have that something special a cookie needs to be the star of the holiday cookie tray…tender jam-filled chocolate dough, dipped in shiny chocolate with a pretty pop of red.
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.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are traditional holiday cookies, probably because of the pretty, crackly powdered sugar covered exterior that reminds us of snow. They always seem to show up on cookie trays at Christmas time and I’ve loved them since I was a child. I decided to take my old favorites to another level by adding a surprise inside! Two years ago, I made some cookies with fudge filling that my family and friends raved over. They’re my Marshmallow Mudslide Cookies. To view the recipe, click here. I used the same concept for these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. I filled them with a simple, smooth fudge filling that stays soft at room temperature. The results were absolutely delicious!
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.
I took my love of personalized trail mixes to the next level by creating these Chocolate Trail Mix Oatmeal Cookies. Everything I love about those wonderful add-ins is combined in cookie form, then dunked in melted chocolate. They become beautiful when you decorate the tops with the add-ins. I used freeze-dried raspberries for my cookie tops because of the tartness and vibrant red color. Feel free to choose your favorite combination of add-ins and get creative when decorating the tops. Your additions combined, minus the oats, should be about two cups.
This perfect pumpkin cake brings back memories. The tender, moist texture reminds me of the pumpkin cake bars I used to make in junior high. I got the treasured bar recipe from an old children’s cookbook. I lent the cookbook to a neighbor and never saw the book or the recipe again. Through trial and error, I came up with this cake, which I think is even better! It’s so delicious it doesn’t need frosting, but the classic pairing with cream cheese frosting takes it over the top.
Every peach season, I get excited by the abundance of peaches at my local farmers market and I end up buying way too many. So if you’re like me and you have ripe peaches sitting on your counter, turn them into peach purée. I love adding peach purée to my iced tea or adding it to desserts like this moist, tender cake. This is one of my most popular cake recipes on social media, and for good reason. It does not disappoint! To watch the TikTok video, click here.
I had pineapple smoothies two days in a row. There’s something so vibrant and refreshing about pineapple. It feels sunny and tropical. Should scones ever feel sunny and tropical? I’m going to say yes! Scones deserve a summer vacation too. They can take a break from tea parties and coffee shops and enjoy a little sunshine.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you experience your first bite of a scone with a burst of pineapple flavor. I immediately thought, “Why isn’t this a thing?” There are probably other pineapple scones out there in the universe, but they’re definitely not well known, like the very popular blueberry scone for example. I’m going to go so far as to say, pineapple scones are better than blueberry scones. There, I said it. (And this is coming from a person who loves blueberries.)
Lavender and honey go so well together. Bees know it, fairies know it, princesses know it. The flavor combination is so delightful in these cookies, that I decided to share them with you. In addition to delicious, compatible flavors, these cookies have a divine texture combination. The shortbread cookies have a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Together with the silky, smooth honey buttercream, they’ll make you feel fancy and regal. You’ll hold your head up higher, ring for your tea and declare that you do indeed deserve fine things!
Some people are nervous about baking with lavender because they don’t want their baked goods to taste like soap or perfume. That can be a concern if the lavender flavor is too pronounced. However, if you don’t use enough you won’t be able to taste it at all. There’s a fine balance. If you use the right amount, it will taste pleasant and have sweet undertones. I used two teaspoons of culinary lavender in these cookies, but you can adjust the amount to your tastes. You can start out with one teaspoon, bake a small sample of dough and taste it, to customize the flavor.
Speaking of tasting, my grandmother always said, “taste as you go.” This is also helpful when making the honey buttercream. Typically, when making other flavors of buttercream, you add more powdered sugar if your buttercream is too thin. In this case, adding more powdered sugar can make the buttercream too sweet. Once you have added the amount of honey that tastes good to you, you can add a little cornstarch if you need to stiffen it up a bit.
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.
This cheerful little loaf cake feels like a spring or summer picnic with lemonade and sunshine. It’s similar to a pink lemonade cake that my elderly neighbor used to make when I was growing up. She made it for all the neighborhood kids and we always gobbled it up. When I was about eight years old she taught my friend and me how to make it. She used a yellow cake mix in a large baking pan and poked holes all over the cake, then drenched it in a pink, sugary lemon icing. I transformed that happy pink lemonade memory into a delightful loaf cake made from scratch.
To watch the TikTok video, click here.