Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Carrot Cookies with Vanilla Maple Drizzle...




I hope everyone is having a nice Spring Break.... or had a nice Spring Break! My girlies are off this week, but my nieces had last week off.

So, anyway... I have some yummy cookies that not only will the Easter Bunny love, but I think you will too!

My aunt sent me a recipe for Carrot Cookies around Christmas time, but I've only just gotten around to making them. I tweaked the ingredients a little and added a drizzle on top.

These cookies are fabulous anytime of the year, but are especially perfect for Easter. Since they have carrots in them, of course.

The little specs of orange look pretty, don't they!?!




They are a no fuss cookie and great to take to an Easter brunch or dinner as a dessert.


Carrot Cookies

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Pinch Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Egg
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Shortening
  • 1 Cup Carrots, Cooked and Mashed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside. In a small prep bowl, beat the egg and add the vanilla into the beaten egg, then set aside. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. 

Add the egg/vanilla to the creamed sugar and shortening. Mix until just combined, scrapping down the sides of the bowl. Next, add the sifted flour mixture to the wet ingredients in thirds. Finally, mix in the mashed carrots. 

Drop the cookie dough by tablespoon, about an inch apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes. Cool the cookies on the sheet a few minutes before transferring to cooling racks. Frost with Vanilla Maple Drizzle (recipe below). Makes a little over two dozen cookies. 

Vanilla Maple Drizzle

  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Half & Half
  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
In a small bowl whisk together the sugar, syrup, half & half, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle onto somewhat cooled cookies. 

Enjoy! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thin Mint Cookie Popcorn...




If you love Girl Scout Cookies as much as I do, and popcorn, you'll love this tasty treat I've whipped up.

It takes absolutely no time at all. 

The local Girl Scout Troop were selling their famous cookies right outside the grocery store where I like to shop. How could I pass them up? There was no way I was NOT going to buy some of that deliciousness. 


Our family favorites are Thin Mints and Samoas. When we get these cookies in the house they are gone within days. 




I love throwing together recipes using popcorn as an ingredient, because it is so versatile. You can pretty much add anything to it and it will turn out fabulous!

When making this popcorn treat, I did use green gel coloring to color the white chocolate morsels, but it really didn't show up once I mixed in the crushed cookies, so I have it in the recipe as an optional ingredient.

Dress up your popcorn with some Thin Mints...... do it!


Thin Mint Cookie Popcorn

  • 10 Cups White Popcorn, Popped
  • 1 (12 oz) Bag of White Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 Sleeve of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies
  • Green Gel Coloring (Optional)
Place the popcorn into a very large bowl (making sure there are no kernels) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then set both aside.

Crush the cookies in a large zip lock bag, then set aside. In a double boiler, melt the morsels. Cool the melted morsels a few minutes. If using gel coloring, add a small amount of the gel coloring and stir until incorporated. 

Working quickly, pour the melted morsels over the popcorn, stirring to coat. Add the crushed cookies, also stirring to coat. Pour the popcorn mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, as evenly as possible and set aside to set. If you are in a rush, you can place the popcorn in the refrigerator to set. Break apart into pieces and serve.

*I love Girl Scout Cookies, and wanted to incorporate them into a recipe. I am not paid to endorse any of their products.


Enjoy!

I'm linking this recipe up to I'm Lovin' It!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Irish Cream Iced Coffee...

 

I like St. Patrick's Day for the plain and simple fact that we can all claim to be Irish on that day.

I actually do have a smidgen of Irish in me. My maternal grandfather is 1/2 Irish. Just a little fact about me that I thought I'd share.

Here's another one...

We were stationed in Newport, Rhode Island for three years and being so close to Boston, St. Patrick's Day is huge there. They have a parade that is loads of fun. People dress-up in wacky green attire and the bars are open....... early!

And another...

I always try to make something festive for the day. For the most part it's corned beef, which we make sandwiches with. I love the left-overs!

While I'm still making corned beef, I have another festive item on the menu. Iced coffee. With Irish Cream. It's delish.

Totally worth adding to your St. Paddy's Day celebration.

"May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks.
 May your heart be as light as a song.
 May each day bring you bright, happy hours.
That stay with you all the year long."
~Irish Blessing


Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Irish Cream Iced Coffee

  • 1 Cup Cooled Coffee
  • 1/2 Cup Irish Cream Coffee Creamer
  • 1/4 Cup Half and Half
  • Ice Cubes*
Stir together the coffee, Irish Cream coffee creamer, and half and half. Pour into one large glass or two small glasses. Add the ice cubes and serve. Makes about 2 cups.

* If you don't want the ice to water down your drink. Shake the ice in, like you would a martini, and pour into the glass(es) and serve. 

Enjoy!  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Simple Garlic Cheesy Bread...


 
Oh my goodness.

Do I have an artery clogging recipe of deliciousness for you.

The first time I had this garlic cheesy bread was in the summer... at my sister-in-laws... at my nieces 8th grade graduation party.

A neighbor brought it over.

I was totally smitten. Smitten, people. I mean, I am a sucker for bread and cheese. Cannot pass either of them up.

So, anyway...

After tasting deliciousness, my mother-in-law started making this, like, repeatedly. I swear we had this bread with three dinners... in a row... while we were staying there.

I then made it for my family when my girls and I vacationed in California. Everyone LOVED it.

I've finally gotten around to making it for the blog. Throw caution to the wind and just make it. Will you, please?

I know it's fattening. I know. Just make it every so often. It will be hard though, because I guarantee this...... YOU WILL BECOME ADDICTED.

Fair warning.


Simple Garlic Cheesy Bread

  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Butter, Softened
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese, Divided
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 4 Sprigs of Green Onion, Diced (Optional)
  • 2 Large Loaves Crusty French Bread
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the mayo, butter, parmesan cheese, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and garlic cloves until well combined.

Cut both loaves of french bread in half length wise. Divide the mayo cheese garlic mixture between the garlic bread, spreading it on the "cut" side of the bread. Place the halves of bread onto the baking sheets (two on each). Bake for 10-12 minutes, remove from the oven and divide the remaining cup of cheddar cheese and sprinkle on top of the bread. If using green onion, sprinkle that on as well. Return to the oven for another 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. 

Slice into 2-inch (or larger!) pieces and serve warm.

Enjoy! 
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