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  • How to Make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

    How to make Easy Snowflake Sugar Cookies

    Yield: about 40 cookies

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    If you don’t have almond extract, feel free to omit. It simply adds an extra element of sweet flavor to the recipe.

    Ingredients

    For the cookies:

    3 sticks (339 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    4 1/2 cups (572 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder

    For the icing:

    2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 tablespoons water or milk

    Directions

    Make the cookies:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until well-combined and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and beat until combined. On low speed, slowly add in the flour and baking powder and beat until incorporated.

    Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Place one dough portion between two sheets of parchment and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining portion of dough. Place the two sheets of dough on a baking sheet and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day. You can also freeze for 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

    Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter, rerolling any scraps and cutting more shapes. Transfer the shapes to the prepared baking sheets.

    If the dough is warm, freeze for 15 minutes or until firmed again.

    Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are set and begin to brown. Be careful not to over-bake. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Baked un-iced sugar cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

    Make the icing:

    In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together all the ingredients except the food coloring. The mixture should be very thick but still pourable.

    Transfer the icing to a squeeze bottle using a funnel. You can also scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip. Before you begin icing any cookies, take a few moments to practice on a piece of parchment paper to get the feel of the icing.

    Holding the bottle or bag tip directly over one corner of a cookie, create lines and dots to enhance the snowflake shape as seen in the photos. If desired, garnish with edible dragees, glitter, or sprinkles. Let the icing set before serving.

  • Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

    How to make Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

    Yield: about 30 cookies

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 15 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the cookies:

    1 1/2 cups (150 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
    1 2/3 cups (212 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
    3/4 cup (150 grams) packed light-brown sugar
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    1/2 cup (118 ml) applesauce
    1 cup (100 grams) peeled and chopped Granny Smith apple
    3/4 cup (90 grams) chopped California walnuts

    For the glaze:

    3/4 cup (94 grams) powdered sugar
    1 to 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    1 tablespoon apple juice or water

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

    Make the cookies:

    In a medium bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

    In a large bowl stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add the egg, egg yolk, and applesauce and stir until well combined. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in the chopped apple and walnuts.

    Drop 1 1/2 tablespoon sized balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.

    Bake cookies until golden and just set, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack set over parchment paper to cool completely.

    Make the glaze:

    Whisk the powdered sugar, syrup, and juice until a thick yet pourable glaze forms. Add more sugar to make thicker, and more juice to make thinner if needed. Drizzle over cookies. Let stand at room temperature until the glaze is set before serving.

    Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

  • Maple Walnut Coffee Cake

    How to make Maple Walnut Coffee Cake

    Yield: 6 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes

    This recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan for 45 minutes. The maple extract is optional, but adds a more intense maple flavor to this cake.

    Ingredients

    Streusel:

    1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
    1/4 cup (32 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup (27 grams) finely chopped California walnuts
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    Coffee Cake:

    2 cups (254 grams) all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
    1/2 cup (54 grams) chopped California walnuts
    1/2 cup (170 grams) maple syrup
    1/2 cup (100 grams) vegetable oil
    1/4 cup whole milk
    2 large eggs, beaten
    1 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
    8 ounces (227 grams) sour cream, at room temperature

    Topping:

    1/2 cup (63 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    2 tablespoons maple syrup

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the bottom of an 8-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    Make the streusel:

    In a small bowl, combine all of the streusel ingredients with a fork until crumbly.

    Make the cake:

    In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, and walnuts. In a small bowl, stir together the maple syrup, oil, milk, eggs, and maple extract. Stir in the sour cream. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour in the wet ingredients. Gently stir until just combined.

    Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the streusel. Spread the remaining batter over the streusel. Sprinkle with the remaining streusel.

    Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes.

    Make the topping:

    In a small bowl combine the sugar and maple syrup until a thick, pourable icing forms. Drizzle over the warm cake. Cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 days.

  • Leftover Halloween Candy Cheesecake

    How to make Leftover Halloween Candy Cheesecake

    Yield: 12 servings

    Prep Time: 30 mins

    Cook: 1 hour

    Do NOT use double-stuff Oreos for the crust. Make the crust with Oreo filling intact.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    36 Oreo cookies (1-14.3 ounce or 405 gram package)
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    32 ounces (907 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    5 large eggs, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups chopped Halloween candy (see above)

    For the topping:

    1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
    Chopped Halloween candy, for garnish

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a food processor, process the cookies until they are finely ground crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool.

    Make the filling:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat. Stir in the chopped candy.

    Pour the batter into the cooled crust. Bake for about 1 hour, or until set and the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool inside for 10 minutes.

    Remove the cheesecake and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 6 hours. Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate.

    Make the topping:

    Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. Pour over the cheesecake.

    Sprinkle the chopped candy over the cheesecake. Serve or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  • Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

    How to make Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

    Yield: 12 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 1 hour

    For a fun twist, feel free to use Speculoos or Gingersnap cookies in place of the graham crackers! You’ll need 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) of crumbs.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    15 whole graham crackers (230 grams)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    24 ounces (680 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
    15 ounces (425 grams) pureed pumpkin
    1/4 cup (77 grams) salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
    1/4 cup (57 grams) sour cream
    3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the topping:

    Whipped cream
    Salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    Make the crust:

    In the bowl of a food processor, combine the graham crackers and cinnamon. Pulse until finely ground. You should have 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) graham cracker crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Maintain oven at 325°F.

    Make the cheesecake:

    In the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin puree, caramel, and sour cream until smooth. Add the eggs and yolk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, flour, and vanilla and puree until just combined. Pour over crust and spread evenly. Bake for 1 hour, or until set and dry at the edges but slightly jiggly in the center. Turn off the oven and allow to cool inside for 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature (this helps prevent cracks). Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Top with whipped cream and caramel sauce before serving.

  • Snickers Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

    How to make Snickers Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

    Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 45 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    Chocolate cupcakes

    3/4 cup (105 grams) all-purpose or plain flour
    1/4 cup (20 grams) cocoa powder
    1/4 cup (20 grams) dutch processed cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated or caster sugar
    1/4 cup (45 grams) brown sugar
    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk

    Peanut butter frosting

    1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    3 and 1/2 cups (435 grams) icing or powdered sugar
    1/2 cup (125 grams) smooth peanut butter
    1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
    1 cup (125 grams) Snickers bars

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). Line a 12 hole muffin tin with patty cases. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder and then add the sugars – give it a stir. Pop the butter into the microwave for a short burst, 10 seconds or so at a time, until it is JUST melted. Give it a stir with a fork to eliminate any lumps.  In a separate mixing bowl, add the eggs, vanilla and butter and whisk together until smooth. Then add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, along with the buttermilk and gently fold until just combined.

    Spoon the mixture into the prepared patty cases and pop into the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until just cooked through. Set cakes out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

    To make the peanut butter frosting, place your butter and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add in half of your icing or powdered sugar and the milk and beat until the frosting starts to come together. Then add the remaining icing or powdered sugar. The icing should be nice and creamy but thick enough to hold its shape. Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes using a piping bag and a large star tip.

    Cut your Snickers bars into bite sized pieces and add one on top of each cupcake. Enjoy!

  • Ultimate Cheesecake

    How to make Ultimate Cheesecake

    Yield: about 12 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 1 1/2 hours

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 3/4 cups (230 grams) graham crackers crumbs (about 15 whole graham crackers)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    2 pounds (907 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (130 grams) sour cream
    1 lemon, zested
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 large eggs

    Boiling water, for the water bath

    For the topping:

    12 ounces (340 grams) fresh raspberries
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325°F.

    Prepare a 9-inch springform pan for a water bath. Place a large square of heavy duty aluminum foil underneath the pan. Gently fold the edges up and around the pan. Repeat twice so there’s three sheets of foil to ensure a waterproof seal. Gently fold the top of the foil around the edge of the pan.

    Make the crust:

    In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and butter until the mixture is moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch nonstick springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Maintain oven temperature.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth and free of lumps. Add the sugar and beat until combined. Add in the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

    Pour the batter into the foiled-wrapped springform pan. Place the pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake at 325°F for 1 1/2 hours, or until set and the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking.

    Turn off the oven heat and crack the oven door open just by 1-inch. Let the cheesecake cool inside the oven for 1 hour.

    Remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the water bath, unwrap the foil, and transfer it to a cooling rack. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it’s not sticking to the sides (which can cause cracks as it cools). Let the cheesecake cool completely on the rack.

    Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Store the cheesecake uncovered to avoid creating condensation, which will create a mushy texture.

    Make the topping:

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the filling ingredients. Heat, stirring and breaking up the raspberries often, until the raspberries release their juices and begin to form a sauce, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and press through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl to remove the seeds. Let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

    Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate and top with the raspberry sauce. Serve.

  • Peach Pie Milkshakes

    How to make Peach Pie Milkshakes

    Yield: 2 milkshakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Note: I like the color and texture that the peach skins provide, so I don’t bother peeling the skin. If you want a smoother texture feel free to peel the skin.

    Ingredients

    For the milkshakes:

    1 1/2 cups REAL® Seal vanilla ice cream (store-bought or homemade)
    1/2 cup REAL® Seal cold whole milk
    2 large ripe clean peaches, chopped
    2 tablespoons REAL® Seal sweetened condensed milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    For garnish:

    Whipped cream
    Ground cinnamon
    Gingersnap or Speculoos cookies, crushed
    Peach slices

    Directions

    Place all milkshake ingredients in a blender and blender until smooth. Pour into two milkshake glasses and top with whipped cream, crushed gingersnap cookies, and peach slices for garnish. Serve immediately.

  • Ultimate Nutella Cupcakes

    How to make Ultimate Nutella Cupcakes

    Yield: 12 cupcakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the chocolate cupcakes:

    4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
    1/3 cup (30 grams) Dutch-process cocoa
    1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
    1/2 cup boiling water
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (113 grams) all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1/4 cup (50 grams) packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 cup (114 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
    1/4 cup (50 grams) vegetable oil
    2 large eggs plus one egg yolk, at room temperature
    2 teaspoons white vinegar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    For the filling:

    1/2 cup (150 grams) Nutella

    For the Nutella buttercream:

    2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
    8 ounces (227 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2/3 cup (200 grams) Nutella
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Ferrero rocher candies, for topping

    Directions

    Make the cupcakes:

    In a medium heatproof bowl add the chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Pour hot water over mixture. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk mixture gently until smooth then set aside to cool.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with foil or paper liners.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, and baking soda.

    Whisk sour cream, oil, eggs, egg yolk, vinegar, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth, being careful not to overmix.

    Using a spring-loaded scoop, divide the batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake until cupcakes are set and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes. Let cupcakes cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

    Fill the cupcakes:

    Use an apple corer or small paring knife to remove the center of each cupcake, being careful not to remove the bottom.

    Place the Nutella in a ziptop bag and snip a hole in one corner. Gently squeeze 2 teaspoons of Nutella into each cupcake.

    Make the frosting:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the Nutella, salt, and vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute, or until well combined.

    Fit a piping bag with a decorative tip and frost all the cupcakes. Top with a Ferrero Rocher candy, if desired. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, or in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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