Tag Archives: dessert

Rosemary Parmesan Shortbread.

For a “Secret Santa” gift exchange, I was asked to make a savory treat to counteract all of the sweets that are so readily available this time of year.  I was intrigued by this recipe, as it called for powdered sugar in addition to the parmesan and rosemary.

The Husby walked into the kitchen while these were in the oven and said,

“Are you making fettuccine alfredo?  I thought you were baking today.”

Overall, I was pretty pleased with these.  They’re definitely different, but the balance of the sweet and savory was just right.  And even though they were met with mixed reactions from those who tried it (the Husby wasn’t a fan but the Fruitaholic kept asking for more), I can see myself making these again and serving them alongside a nice big bowl of pasta.


Rosemary Parmesan Shortbread – from Food Network

– 2 Cups Flour

– 1 Cup Confectioners Sugar

– 2 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped

– 1/2 tsp. Salt

– 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan

– 2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

– 1 tsp. Water

Using a hand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, rosemary, salt and parmesan.  Add the butter and water and pulse until a soft dough forms.

Spread a large sheet of plastic wrap onto a work surface and transfer the dough onto it.  Form the dough into a log along the long edge of the plastic wrap.  Roll the log into the plastic wrap and twist ends until the log is tight and compact.  Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, until firm.

Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.   Slice the log into 1/3 inch thick slices and arrange on baking sheet.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges begin to brown.

Cool shortbread on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to completely cool.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cinnamon Chip Cream Cheese Cookies.

Last week, we saw some below zero windchill temperatures here in Chicago.  Neither the Husby nor I wanted to leave the house so we placed an order through an online grocery delivery service.  It was our first time ever doing so, and I was kind of excited to peruse their selection.  I literally gasped with joy when I saw that they sold cinnamon chips.  These suckers are fairly elusive, and I was so pumped to finally find some that I ended up ordering 3 bags.

In my arsenal of recipes to try, I had found one for cream cheese cookies with Andes mint chips, and although I had a bag of mint chocolate chips in my pantry, I decided to sub it out with the cinnamon chips instead.

These cookies are deliciously light and fluffy and would be a great addition to your holiday (or everyday) baking collection.

Cinnamon Chip Cream Cheese Cookies – inspired by  and adapted from Sweet Treats and More

– 1/2 Cup Cream Cheese, at room temperature

– 1 Stick Butter, at room temperature

– 1 Cup Sugar

– 1 Egg

– 1/4 tsp. Salt

– 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder

– 1 Cup Flour

– 1 Package Cinnamon Chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Using a handmixer, beat cream cheese and butter until combined.  Add sugar gradually, then egg and salt, followed by flour and baking powder.  By hand, mix in half of the cinnamon chips.  Chill for at least 20 minutes.

Using a cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon, drop dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes until edges are just starting to brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, microwave the remaining cinnamon chips in a small bowl in 30 second increments until melted.

Pour the melted cinnamon chips into a plastic ziploc bag and snip off a small piece of the corner.  Pipe onto cookies and let cool.

Enjoy a few with a big, cold glass of milk.

WB Challenge #2 – Bacon and Cheddar Apple Pie.

This month’s theme for the What’s Baking Challenge was a fitting one for November:  Thanksgiving.  I hope everyone was able to spend time with family and friends and sufficiently stuffed your faces with turkey.  I know I certainly have been.  It’s leftover city around here…. Not that I’m complaining though.

While Thanksgiving has always been my Dad’s holiday, for the past couple of years, I’ve slowly been given more responsibility for our grand feast.  Last year, we hosted at our house (30 people!!) so we decided to make the turkey and take care of the appetizers while Dad made all of the sides and pies.  This year, we did the same thing but on a much smaller, more manageable scale of only 10 people.

I’ve been making this pie for the past 3 or 4 years and it’s always a hit on our Thanksgiving dessert table.  It takes a simple apple pie and elevates it to another level.  The addition of the cheddar and bacon to the crumble topping gives the pie just a little bit of that savory kick.  It’s not overwhelming, it just gives your palate a slight wake up call.

Bacon and Cheddar Apple Pie – slightly adapted from Rachael Ray

– 1/2 Package Center Cut Bacon

– 1/2 Cup Flour

– 1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

– 3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

– 1 cup Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar

– 4 Golden Delicious Apples – peeled, cored and sliced

– 1/4 Cup Sugar

– Zest of One Lemon

– 1 Frozen Pie Crust, prebaked according to package directions

Preheat oven to 400.  Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy.  When bacon is cool to the touch, crumble and set aside.

Combine flour, brown sugar and butter cubes in a medium bowl.  Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the flour and sugar until crumbly.  Stir in the bacon and cheese and refrigerate.  This part can be made up to 2 days before use.

Toss apples with sugar and lemon.  Transfer to the pie crust and sprinkle bacon mixture on top.  Put the pie crust on a foil lined baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.  Cover with foil and bake another 45 minutes.  Cool before serving.

WB Challenge #1 – Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the cooking board that I frequent.  Some of the girls have banded together and created a monthly baking challenge called What’s Baking? (it’s a play off the name of the board, What’s Cooking?).  This is the first month of the challenge and the theme was Fall Cupcakes.

Immediately, the ideas started flowing through my brain. There were so many different ways I could go with this: Maple Pecan with Candied Bacon, Sweet Potato with Cranberry and Brown Sugar, Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, Apple Cider with Rosemary Frosting….

Lucky for me, the due date for this challenge coincided with the Husby’s birthday weekend, so I went straight to the source and asked him what kind of fall themed cupcakes he’d like for his birthday.  His answer was simple: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.

I searched the internet for the perfect recipe.  There are so many different Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipes out there.  I finally chose one that had an ingredient that jumped out at me:  Freshly ground Black Pepper.  I was very excited to see what it would add to the otherwise simple flavor profile (it was super yummy).

So what did the Husby think of his birthday cupcakes?


Make sure to stop back on the 30th for a link to the round up of all the What’s Baking? Fall Cupcakes!!

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting – slightly adapted from Sassy Radish


– 1 Stick Butter, Unsalted, Softened

– 1 Cup Brown Sugar

– 1/3 Cup Sugar

– 2 Cups Flour

– 2 tsp. Baking Powder

– 1 tsp. Baking Soda

– 1 tsp. Cinnamon

– 1 tsp. Ginger (I used fresh because I had extra on hand, but the original recipe calls for ground)

– 1/2 tsp Nutmeg

– 1/8 tsp. Cloves

– 1/2 tsp. Salt

– 1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper

– 2 Eggs

– 1/2 Cup Buttermilk mixed with 1 tsp. Vanilla

– 1 1/4 Cups Canned Pumpkin


– 2 8oz Packages Cream Cheese, Softened

– 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, Softened

– 2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)

– 1/4 Cup Grade B Maple Syrup



Preheat oven to 350.  Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together 1 stick butter, brown sugar and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper into a medium bowl.

Add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture.  Add 1/3 flour mixture, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk/vanilla.  Repeat, then add remaining 1/3 flour mixture.  Beat in pumpkin until smooth.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners until 3/4 full.  Tap the tin once on the countertop to release air bubbles.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool.  After 10 minutes, remove cupcakes from muffin tin and cool completely before frosting.



Beat together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup.  Fill a piping bag with frosting and swirl over cupcakes.  Add a candy corn pumpkin for decoration and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set frosting.  Dig in!

Chai Tea Bread

Another one of the Fall flavors I love is Chai.  I love the way its spiciness hits my tongue and lingers on my tastebuds.  I could easily spend the morning with a good book and a chai tea latte (if time ever allowed me).  So when I found this recipe on the cooking board I frequent, I knew I had to make it.  I followed the recipe to a T and can’t really imagine making any changes, it was so good!

Chai Tea Bread – from Sugarplum Musings

For the Bread:
– 1/2 Cup Butter
– 3/4 Cup Sugar
– 2 Eggs
– 3 tsp. Vanilla
– 1/2 Cup Prepared Black Tea, cooled (I used English Breakfast)
– 1/3 Cup Milk
– 1/4 tsp. Cardamom
– 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
– 1/8 tsp. Cloves
– 3/4 tsp. Nutmeg
– 2 tsp. Baking Powder
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 2 Cups Flour
For the Glaze:
– 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
– 1/4 tsp Vanilla
– 3-6 tsp Prepared Black Tea (I used 6 to get the right consistency)
– Additional Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray the bottom of a loaf pan with Pam.
Using a hand mixer, cream together sugar and butter.  Beat in eggs, tea, milk, vanilla and spices on low speed until well combined.  Slowly add the baking powder, salt and flour.  Stir until just moistened.  Pour into pan.

Bake 50 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes then remove loaf from pan and cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together powdered sugar, vanilla and 3 teaspoons of the tea, adding more little by little until the glaze is of a spreadable consistency.  Spread glaze over the bread and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing.  It’s even better the next day.

Roasted Honey Ricotta Figs.

Well folks, this here post marks the end of the dinner party series.  It only seems fitting to feature the end of our meal — DESSERT!!

Again, food photography is not my strong point.

Roasted Honey Ricotta Figs – adapted from Weight Watchers and Food Network

– 12 Figs, halved

– 2 Tbsp Chevre (we used Trader Joe’s Chevre with Honey)

– 6 Tbsp Ricotta

– 2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves

– Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste

For the Sauce:

– 1 Tbsp Butter

– 3 Tbsp Honey

– Pinch of Cinnamon

– Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400.  Place figs, cut side up in an 8×8 square baking dish.

Meanwhile, melt butter and mix in honey, cinnamon and salt.  Drizzle mixture over the figs and roast for 10-15 minutes.

While the figs are roasting, combine cheeses and thyme.  When the figs are done, spoon cheese mixture over the figs and top with a few grinds of fresh pepper.

**We had extra pistachios left over from another dish so we used those to top as well.  Also, once we transferred the figs to the the serving dish, we drizzled the figs with the leftover honey-butter mixture that was left in the baking dish.

Sugar Cookie Pie.

A few weeks ago, we had our good friends over for dinner.  They supplied the steaks with truffle mushroom sauce (YUM!) and asparagus and I was in charge of a side and the dessert.  I found this recipe while searching the food blogs for something quick and tasty.  It just screamed summer to me.

Was it good?  We just about finished the whole pie, and the kiddos gobbled it up too.

Sugar Cookie Pie, adapted from The Dainty Vegetarian

– Premade Sugar Cookie Dough (I used the entire roll and found it made a bit too much crust.  Try starting with 1/2 roll and work your way up from there)

– 8 oz Package of Cream Cheese  at room temperature (I used reduced fat – it would also be yummy with strawberry cream cheese!)

– 4 oz. Creme Fraiche

– 2 tsp. Vanilla

– 1/4 Cup Sugar

– Grated Lemon Zest, to taste

– Fresh Fruit for topping

Preheat oven to 325.  Press cookie dough into pie pan and bake for 35 minutes (My crust “bubbled up” in the middle and was a bit uncooked, so I poked it down after about 20 minutes.).  Let pie crust cool.

Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, creme fraiche, vanilla, sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl.  Blend with hand mixer until smooth.  Pour and spread into pie crust.  Top with your favorite summer fruit and enjoy!