Thursday, October 31, 2013

Iced Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Happy Halloween!  Growing up I was never a big fan of pumpkin, and thus never baked much with it.  However this time of year I always start to feel an increasing pressure for pumpkin baked goods.  So I gave in and started baking more with it this year - and learned that pumpkin is mainly a vessel for delicious fall spices.  These cookies were the final touch in winning me over!  They are a soft spice filled cookie, with a light sugary/spiced icing on top - great for a blustery autumn day.

Note - if you are in the UK and have struggled to find cans of pumpkin, no worries, just roast your own!  Follow this link for simple steps and pictures of how to roast a pumpkin.  And remember: you can substitute any type of squash you like the flavor of, in a recipe that calls for pumpkin.  If you are sticking with pumpkin - pick a small one, as they tend to be sweeter.  I roast and puree a few pumpkins at the beginning of the season, then freeze little containers with 1 cup of puree - a great way to have easy pumpkin all season.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

S'more bars

Graham crackers have not made it to the UK yet, so of course s'mores don't exist here either.  They are one of those things I did not eat often in the states, however as soon as I can't have them...

One of my class mates brought over these soft graham cookies last summer and they were delicious!  I hadn't realized that baking a cookie with the flavor of graham crackers was soo easy (homemade graham crackers just didn't seem worth the effort).  These cookies are definitely worth making and eating on their own - but of course I figured they might be improved by adding in chocolate and marshmallows.

I tried a few variations of stuffed cookies, then found that a bar cookie was less effort, and allowed a better distribution of chocolate and marshmallows in every bite. Luckily none of my friends complained at having to try 4 or 5 variations of these cookies over the last few weeks... I used milk chocolate in my last edition, to make it more similar to the S'mores of our childhood - but they are also delicious with a dark chocolate, if you want a more adult version.

The Fudgy (chai/mocha optional) brownie

In my house chocolate is basically always an appropriate choice. Whether you are celebrating, mourning, or having a stressful or happy d...