HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope your holiday was full of love, good food, and joy. To celebrate the fresh page that is January, I have two things to offer you: first, a giveaway! Keep reading to learn how to win a copy of my book, HER DAILY BREAD, just in time for the new year. Second, I have rounded up 20 of my personal favorite recipes on Wood & Spoon. If you’ve ever wondered where to begin with the recipes on this site, here it is. Let’s get started!
(Note: The contest is now closed) This time of year is normally when I jot down resolutions and goals, but I’ll be honest: I’m not sure where to start this year. Surprisingly, the unknown kinda feels good. While any sort of work goal or personal intention might seem hazy from where I sit on January 4th, I do know what I want more of in 2023. Instead, pursuing the things that fill my heart is a pretty good place to start. I want more intentional time with my family, growing friendships, creative and curious endeavors, and a deepening relationship with God. Surely that’s enough to keep me busy the next 365 days.
If you’re like me in that boat, I want to offer a giveaway for a copy of my book. HER DAILY BREAD is all about how relationship with others, God, and even ourselves intersect with the most simple of things. Plus, with year-long readings and 52 recipes, it’s enough to keep you on pace all year round. If you’d like to win a signed copy, write a comment at the bottom of this post telling me what you want more of in 2023. No resolutions required, just hope and anticipation. Good luck!
20 Recipes to Make in 2023… in No Particular Order
Second, here’s a few recipes to make in 2023! These are my most favorite of favorites- salty chocolate chip cookies, the fluffiest red velvet cake, and a creme brûlée custard that is absurd. If you’re looking to expand your baking horizons, these are the recipes to make in 2023.
What’s that saying? You can take the girl out of Kentucky, but you can’t take the Kentucky out of the girl? Well, today’s recipe is case in point. This brown butter bourbon chess pie is all of my favorite flavors. Sweet and salty, with subtle caramel and nutty undertones, this Southern pie is RICH and seriously delicious. If you’re looking for the perfect fall-flavored pie, you’re in luck! Let’s dive in.
So what is a chess pie? Similar to a custard pie, chess pies bake up with eggs, sugar, cornmeal, milk, and vinegar. Sounds weird? Yeah, I kinda agree. But somehow, it totally works. Some add lemon, others add cocoa powder, and some just choose a simple buttermilk filling; all are delicious, if you ask me.
Chess pies are wildly popular here in the South and usually find a home in old timey recipe boxes and cookbooks. Usually made with a buttery pastry pie crust, chess pies have gooey centers that are somewhat reminiscent of gooey butter cake bars, and today’s pie is no exception. If you’re salivating, let me tell you about this bourbon situation.
Brown Butter Bourbon Chess Pie
Brown butter is king on this blog. If you’re unfamiliar with how to brown butter, please check out my in-depth tutorial here! It’s the perfect underlying flavor for this pie’s other components which include bourbon and brown sugar. For the bourbon, I like to use a high quality spirit that I enjoy sipping on, because the flavor really comes out. Rule number one: Bottom barrel whiskeys need not apply here.
How to Make Bourbon Chess Pie
To make this bourbon chess pie, we start with a perfect pie crust. I opt for my all-time favorite recipe which you can find here. Once par-baked, the filling ingredients come together: brown butter, sugar, cornmeal, milk, eggs, and bourbon. The mixtures stirs together until smooth and then is poured into the crust. The pie bakes for about 45 minutes or until the center of the pie barely wiggles. Allow the whole thing to cool completely prior to serving.
I’d recommend serving this pie with a cup of coffee or at least a glass of water- it is RICH. Like most Southern desserts, this bourbon chess pie will definitely satisfy a hungry sweet tooth. If you get a chance to make it, let me know what you think! In the meantime, happy Thursday and happy baking!
If you like this recipe for Brown Butter Bourbon Chess Pie you should try:
This brown butter bourbon chess pie is a gooey, sweet and salty pie with warm hints of whiskey.
Total Time:1 hour 30 minutes
For the crust:
1–3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
5 tablespoons (approximately) ice water
1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water
For the pie:
½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons quality bourbon
1 white tablespoon vinegar
4 large eggs, beaten
To prepare the crust:
Whiz the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine (Note: you can also do this by hand with a pastry cutter!) Pulse in the shortening and butter, just until evenly dispersed in pea-sized clumps. Begin adding ice water 2 tablespoons at a time until moist clumps begin to form. Remove dough from food processor, form it into a flat round disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour prior to use.
When you’re ready to bake the pie, roll the dough out on a well-floured surface into a 1/8-1/4” circle about an inch larger than your pie plate on all sides. Roll the dough loosely back onto the rolling pin and lift it into the pie dish. Gently fit the dough into the pie plate and trim off any excess dough leaving a 1” border around the edge of the dish. Fold the lip of the dough under so that it extends just over the edge of the pie plate and crimp the edges as you prefer. Prick a few holes in the bottom of the dough with a fork and place the whole pan into the freezer to chill briefly, about 15 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
When the oven is preheated, remove the pie plate from the freezer and line the insides of it with a piece of parchment paper. Use either pie weights or dry beans/rice to weigh down the dough and bake for about 20 minutes. Low the oven temp to 350 degrees and set the pie aside to cool while you prepare your filling.
To prepare the filling:
In a saucepan over medium heat, begin browning the butter. Slowly melt the butter, stirring regularly. The butter will begin to fizz and foam- stir constantly and do not let the butter burn. You’ll notice amber flecks showing up on the bottom of your pan- keep stirring until you notice a nutty aroma and the butter mixture is mostly golden. Remove from heat to a separate bowl immediately, being sure to scrape any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Set it aside.
In a large bowl, stir to combine the sugar, brown sugar, cornmeal flour, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, bourbon, and vinegar, whisking to combine. Stir in the eggs thoroughly and finally add in the butter. Pour the mixture into your par-baked pie shell. Bake in the 350 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes or until the edges are well set and the innermost circle of pie is still just a bit jiggly. Allow to cool completely prior to slicing. Serve slices with a sprinkle of flaked fleur de sel.
Call me pathetic, but I am 100% trying to be a cool mom. I guess, for now, while my kids aren’t entirely embarrassed of me (yet), I want to be ultra-visible in their worlds. When the teacher needs a Mom to show up, I’m the first to yell, “Pick ME!” When the school says parents can come eat lunch, I’m literally already on my way.
The same goes for school parties. My kids are young, so birthdays, holidays, and random special days get all the bells and whistles. A few weeks ago, Aimee turned 8, and we celebrated with cupcakes and snacks in her classroom. I could have made it easy, buying store-bought cupcakes, or maybe one of those mall cookie cakes. But you know me better than that, right?
Instead, I found the most complicated tie-dyed candy-dipped cupcake on the internet and convinced Aimee that this was “the one.” She took the nibble, so there I was, the day of her party, sweating in the kitchen to impress second graders. Really, I should be embarrassed.
Baking = My Love Language
Baking has and always will be a mode of love for me. Even if the cake comes out dry or the bread craters, the effort really matters. It’s a tangible way I get to show people they matter to me, and can’t we agree that birthdays count for double?
Aimee’s birthday cupcakes were a hit (I think? I hope?), but they triggered a mental rabbit hole of other hi-hat cupcakes. And that, my friends, is how these s’mores hi-hat cupcakes were born.
S’mores Hi-Hat Cupcakes
I’ll be honest: I’m not always on the s’mores train. They’re sticky and kind of a mouthful if you ask me. But I know I’m mostly alone in that, so I wanted to create this recipe for the crazies out there that think s’mores is where it’s at. (Plus, these are so cute, yeah?)
These s’mores hi-hat cupcakes feature a graham cracker cupcake, a marshmallow swirled topping, and a quick dip in a milk chocolate shell. True to their origin dessert, these cupcakes are, indeed, MESSY. But they are good. I’ll give them that. If you’re not a big marshmallow fan, I’d recommend a marshmallow buttercream instead! Whip up a standard buttercream and fold in store-bought marshmallow fluff. Truly, it’s so good. I prefer it to the meringue, honestly, but remember, I don’t love marshmallows anyways.
Show off to your kids, their friends, or whoever with these s’mores hi-hat cupcakes! Impressed or not, you’re a winner in my book either way. Happy baking and happy fall, y’all!
If you like these s’mores hi-hat cupcakes you should try:
These s’mores hi-hat cupcakes feature a graham cracker cupcake, a marshmallow topping, and a chocolate candy shell!
For the cupcakes:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1–1/4 cups cake flour
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
1–1/2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup milk, at room temperature
For the marshmallow topping:
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature (see notes)
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate topping:
1–3/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1–1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
To prepare the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12-compartment cupcake tin with liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed using the paddle attachment for 2 minutes until creamed. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring on low until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the cake flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add half of those dry ingredients to the butter bowl, stirring on low to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add half of the milk, repeating with the remaining dry ingredients and milk once combined. Scarpe the sides of the bowl and fold in any unincorporated bits. Use a large cookie scoop to portion the batter between the 12 tins. Bake in the preheated oven for about 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
To prepare the marshmallow topping:
Place a small saucepan with an inch or two of water on the stove on low heat. Fold up a paper towel and dampen it with the vinegar. Wipe down the inside of a metal mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) as well as the whisk attachment for your mixer. (This cleans your bowl of any residue that may prevent your egg whites from fluffing. Once cleaned, add the eggs whites, sugar, water, and cream of tartar to the bowl. Place over the pot of water to set up a double boiler, being sure that the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Begin whisking gently regularly until the sugar completely dissolves, about 4-5 minutes. You can test the mixture for dissolved sugar by carefully rubbing a small amount of the mixture between your fingers- it should be smooth. Place the bowl on the mixer and begin whipping on high speed until the mixture fluffs to stiff peaks, about 9-10 minutes. Put the marshmallow topping into a piping bag fitted with a large tip and pipe the mixture onto the cooled cupcakes as desired. Once done, put the cupcakes into the freezer to chill briefly, about 15 minutes, while you make your chocolate topping.
To make the chocolate topping:
Combine the chocolate chips and oil in a microwave safe medium-sized bowl. Heat gently in 30 second increments (to prevent the chocolate from seizing) until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour the mixture into a glass or small bowl that you can dunk the cupcakes into. Once the cupcakes have chilled for a few minutes, quickly and carefully invert each one into the melted chocolate, dusting the finished tops with extra graham cracker crumbs if desired. Pop in the freezer again briefly to set up the chocolate and then serve! Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are assembled.
I just have one question: WHO DIED AND MADE PIE THE QUEEN OF THANKSGIVING DESSERTS? Ok, sure, pumpkin and apple and pecans all taste delightful, particularly when baked in a perfect, buttery pie crust, but it’s almost as if we’ve forgotten all other desserts in November. What about the cakes and cookies? What about the ICE CREAM, people? If you’re in favor of enjoying more frozen treats like this no-churn cinnamon maple swirl ice cream, just sit tight; today, we’re about to get all up in this goodness.
Since entering adulthood, I’ve become accustomed to asking a number of questions like, “What can I bring?” This time of year, when parties and social gatherings reign supreme, there are few sentences as scary to utter . Like, what if I get stuck bringing the dish no one likes? What if I’m asked to make something I’m not comfortable with? Or worse- what if the host leaves my question open-ended, and I’m forced to just GUESS what to bring?!?
The Perfect Ice Cream to Serve at Thanksgiving Dinner
This no-churn cinnamon maple swirl ice cream is the hero for all of those woes. Since forever, pies have been the shining star of Thanksgiving tables, but I really think we’ve dropped the ball when it comes to ice cream. Let’s be honest- MOST people have ice cream on hand to serve alongside all of those Thanksgiving pies, but few really know how to do it with pizazz. For that reason, I decided to bring to you this no-churn cinnamon maple swirl ice cream.
This ice cream starts with a simple no-churn vanilla bean base. Sweetened condensed milk, heavy whipping cream, and just a hint of vanilla bean paste come together to create a cloud-like fluffy mixture. The swirl here, though, is the star: maple syrup, brown sugar, and loads of cinnamoncome together with a little water and butter to create a spiced and sweetened sauce that swirls into the fluffy cream. After a brief freeze, this no-churn cinnamon maple swirl ice cream is ready for anything from pumpkin pie to an apple crumble. Incidentally, I recently poured a reheated cup of my morning coffee over a scoop of this ice cream, and it was nothing short of heavenly- easily the best dessert I’ve had in a month.
I declare we are no longer scared to offer up the question, “What Can I Bring”; this no-churn cinnamon maple swirl ice cream is the perfect Thanksgiving menu item no one has even thought of. Give it a try, pop it in the freezer, and consider your Thanksgiving contribution complete. You’re welcome!
This no-churn cinnamon maple swirl ice cream is a vanilla bean ice cream swirled with a simple cinnamon maple sauce.
For the cinnamon maple swirl:
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2–1/2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
For the ice cream:
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Begin by prepping the swirl. Combine the light brown sugar, water, and cinnamon in a small saucepan over low heat on the stove. Bring to a rolling bubble, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add in the butter and maple syrup. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
When cooled, combine the condensed milk and whipping cream in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip on medium speed using a whisk attachment on the mixer until it becomes fluffy and cloudlike. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the cooled cinnamon swirl until smooth. Layer ¼ of the ice cream mixture in the bottom of a 9×4” loaf pan and drizzle the top with some of the cooled cinnamon swirl. Repeat this process until all of the ice cream and drizzle have been used. Use the end of a knife or a skewer to swirl the two together barely and then freeze until solid, about 6 hours, in the freezer. Enjoy!
This past week has been one for the books. What started as fun dinner party to celebrate my 34th birthday turned into a surprise visit from my brother, loads of encouragement surrounding the announcement of my first book, and the most fun weekend away with girlfriends. It may not take parties and vacations and heart-warming messages in your DMs to feel loved, but, man, I just feel so covered up in it. Thank you for being part of it!
On the recipe front, October has been quiet in these parts for a few reasons. First, this site got an overhaul! Have you noticed? Do you love it? Is it working for you? My computer designer has been hard at work to create a site that puts the FUN in functional, and I think we really landed on something good. In addition, I’ve been hard at work creating fun little surprises for the upcoming book launch- think special holiday treats, giveaways, exclusive recipes to share early on, and more! I’m learning that writing a book is hardly just writing. There’s edits and marketing and so much more involved than I ever could have imagined, and as a result there’s been a little bit of radio silence on the recipe end of things. Thankfully, I think we’re back and ready to move ahead full-steam, and I hope you are too!
These peanut brittle cookies taste like the South to me. I didn’t try delicious peanut brittle until I moved to Alabama, but since then, I’m realizing it’s one of those cult following foods that some people are just seriously into. I decided to combine the caramelized bits of nuts and crunch with the sweet and salty goodness of a cookie, and the result is delightful: a chewy peanut butter cookie loaded of melted brittle, chopped peanuts, and peanut butter chips. If you’re a peanut butter lover, say hello to your new best friends.
To make these peanut brittle cookies, we start with the brittle. Sugar, water, and corn syrup cook on a stovetop until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter, chopped peanuts, and a bit of baking soda are quickly added before the mixture is carefully spread out onto a prepared pan to cool. Once room temperature, the brittle will be hard and ready to be chopped into bits for the cookie dough. Butter and peanut butter combine with white and light brown sugar to create a soft and chewy dough. Bits of the chopped brittle and peanut butter chips are added to the mix, and rounds of dough can be baked in the preheated oven. After cooling slightly, these peanut brittle cookies are seriously chewy and layered with peanut flavor.
If you or someone you love is a peanut brittle fan, these peanut brittle cookies will be a dream. Give them a try and let me know what you think! I’m looking forward to sharing another recipe with you all next Tuesday, so stay tuned!
If you like these peanut brittle cookies you should try:
These peanut brittle cookies feature a peanut butter dough and are loaded with chopped homemade brittle and peanut butter chips!
Total Time:40 minutes
For the peanut brittle:
2 cups (400 gm) sugar
½ cup water
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1–1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1–1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cookies:
3/4 cup (170 gm) unsalted butter
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1–1/2 cups (300 gm) light brown sugar
½ cup (100 gm) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2–1/2 cups (370 gm) all-purpose flour
1–1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1–1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup peanut butter baking chips
2 cups peanut brittle, chopped into pea-sized pieces, plus more if desired for rolling
To prepare the peanut brittle:
First, read through the instructions completely and have your brittle ingredients prepared and close by. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir to combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Turn on medium heat and begin heating the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Hook a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and heat the mixture, continuing to stir occasionally, until it comes to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the peanuts and begin stirring with a rubber spatula continuously for about 10 minutes until the mixture reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the butter, baking soda, and vanilla. Be careful, as the mixture will eb hot. Pour the hot mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and carefully smooth it into a thin layer quickly. Allow to cool completely prior to storing in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to two days in advance.
To prepare the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Melt the butter over medium heat on the stove. Stir regularly and remove the pan from heat immediately once all is melted. Pour into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the peanut butter. Add the brown sugar, sugar, and vanilla extract, stirring to combine. Add the eggs and whisk to incorporate.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the mix immediately and fold to combine. Don’t waste a lot of time as the mixture will be harder to work with as it sits and cools. Fold in the baking chips and peanut brittle.
Scoop tablespoon-sized scoops (I use a medium cookie scoop) of dough on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. If desired, place some additional peanut brittle into a large plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush it into a sandy mixture. Roll the dough in your hands to smooth and roll briefly in the crushed brittle to pick up little shards of the candy on the dough. Bake in the preheated oven 10-11 minutes or until the edges are set. Allow to cool briefly before eating!
It’s October, which means I officially don’t feel bad about pushing pumpkin baked goods. I know some of you fall into the uber-cozy category of humans that thinks things like pumpkin spice lattes, fluffy scarves, fleece socks, and jewel tones are appropriate all year long, but I’ve been holding back on this recipe for weeks in an attempt to salvage the sanity of those who can only tolerate fall-ish stuff sometime after Labor Day. Today’s recipe, this pumpkin swirl bread, certainly falls into the cozy category, and it makes for an excellent baking challenge for those of you who might be willing to roll up your sleeves and attempt a slightly more challenging baked treat. Let me tell you how to make it!
This pumpkin swirl bread is a love child of two of my favorite recipes: pumpkin yeast bread and cinnamon swirl bread. For years, cinnamon toast has been a go-to breakfast favorite in my house, and I decided it was high time we had a fall alternative for our mornings. The dough for this tender bread has pumpkin purée, sweet maple syrup, and flavored pumpkin pie spice. The center is a swirl of cinnamon and brown sugar- just enough to add a smidge of flavor and that beautiful inner spiral, but not so much that it becomes overpowering. I like to serve slices warm and toasted with salted butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
How to Make Swirl Bread
To make the bread, we start with the dough. Active dry yeast dissolved in lukewarm water before we add in the remaining liquid ingredients: milk, maple syrup, oil, and pumpkin purée. Once combined, we add in the flour, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. The dough is stirred and kneaded in a stand mixer until stretchy and slightly tacky.
After its first rise, we roll out the dough and layer in the filling: first an egg wash, then a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. The dough is rolled tight into a loaf and allowed to rise a second time in a prepared loaf pan. After baking, the loaves are golden brown and fragrant with yummy autumnal spice!
This pumpkin swirl bread is a great weekend baking challenge. Bonus: it makes two loaves, so you can keep one for yourself and share the second with someone else! A win-win for everyone! Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Happy Baking!
If you like this pumpkin swirl bread, you should try:
1 cup (240 mL) milk, room temperature (I use whole)
¼ cup (60 mL) maple syrup
2 tablespoons oil (I use canola)
1 cup (225 gm) pumpkin puree
5 cups (650 gm) all-purpose flour
1–1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
For the filling:
1 large egg
6 tablespoons (75 gm) sugar
2–1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour
To prepare the dough:
Pour the warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over top of it. Allow the yeast to dissolve, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the milk, maple syrup, and oil. Add the pumpkin puree and stir to combine. Add two cups of flour, the salt, and the pumpkin pie spice to the wet ingredients and stir until well integrated. Add an additional 2-1/2 cups of flour and, using the dough hook, knead the bread on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until the bread starts to become stretchy. Add additional flour to the bowl during the kneading process to get the dough the right texture. You are looking for a tacky, stretchy dough.
Grease a large bowl and place the dough in it, covered with a piece of plastic wrap, to rise until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours. If the dough seems to have a hard time rising, move the bowl to a slightly warmer area of the kitchen. I like to let mine rise next to a warm oven.
To prepare the filling:
Once risen, remove dough from bowl and separate into two equal pieces. Roll each sheet of dough on a lightly greased work surface into a 6”x20” rectangle. Whisk the egg with 2 teaspoons of water and brush this wash over the surface of each sheet of dough. Reserve the extra wash.
Combine the cinnamon, sugar, and flour in a small bowl and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the surface of each piece of dough.
Starting at one of the narrow ends, roll the dough snug up the length of the long ends of the rectangle until you’re left with a tube-shaped roll of dough. Pinch the ends to seal the dough closed. Place each loaf roll into their own greased loaf pan (8.5″ X 4.5″ X 2.75″). Cover with Saran wrap and allow to rise again for about 1 hour, or until the dough has risen one inch over the top of the pan. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Once risen, brush a thin layer of wash over the tops of each loaf. Put the loaves into the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 375. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until loaves have turned golden and sound slightly hollow when tapped on the top.
Allow to cool in pan for ten minutes and then remove to finish cooling on a cooling rack.
Beware of using a small pan. This recipe requires a large enough pan to accommodate the dough.
If your bread is not rising well, place loaves in a slightly warmer spot in your kitchen. I let my bread rise next to a warm oven.
Allow bread to cool completely prior to slicing.
Bread will keep on the counter for several days but will keep best in the refrigerator for up to 6-7 days. There’s no preservatives in this stuff so it won’t last as long as your supermarket bread- eat fast!
Wrapped securely in aluminum foil, bread will keep in a freezer for up to four months.
We all have our fair share of good intentions. I, for one, could fill a book with all the well-meaning words and ideas that I’ve failed to bring to life: the things I meant to say, the opportunities I meant to pursue, and the dreams and goals that got tossed on the back burner until further notice. Those forgotten intentions are casualties of the busy pace of life that so many of us are accustomed to, and sometimes, our good intentions just fall through the cracks.
I see the daily effects of this when it comes to parenting my kids. At any given moment, my head is filled with all sorts of things I want to teach or experience with them, but more often that not, they get set aside for another day, another season, or a later time when life has slowed down. In years past, those unrealized good intentions have left me with a healthy dose of The Mom Guilt, but I’m learning that those feelings just aren’t mine to carry; most of us are doing the best we can, and it’s important that we offer ourselves grace for whatever is left undone.
Summer of Good Intentions?
So cue my Summer of Good Intentions. As my kids were wrapping up their school years, we came up with a Summer Bucket List. It’s two months of small, daily bits of happiness to chalk onto our calendar in the coming weeks. The idea is that each day of the summer will have one designated activity (go on a picnic! paint a picture! play hopscotch! swim at the pool!) that we’ll jot out and capture via a photograph or some kind of memento, and at the end of the summer, I’m going to upload the pictures into a quick photo book to save for years to come.
I fully anticipate there will be more than a few hiccups. Although I’m sure we’ll wind up with some disaster days that no one wants to rememberer, I’m eager nonetheless. I want my my kids to have proof that the intention was there. Even if this project falls through the cracks with all my other good intentions, I know memories will be made in the process. It feels right for the season we’re in. If you find yourself with the capacity to do something similar with your own family, I hope you’ll join me! I need a few more ideas to round out our summer bucket list, so send any fabulous options my way.
White Chocolate Espresso Cookies
As Aimee and I were brainstorming bucket list activities, it was so fun to see many baking projects. Probably a fifth of our list has to do with cookie dough or homemade popsicles, and every time she suggested another food activity, my heart soared. She is truly a girl after my own heart. Today, I’m sharing a recent baking project of ours: espresso white chocolate chunk cookies.
A few weeks ago, Aims asked if we could bake cookies and pulled out my bag of fancy white chocolate. I added espresso powder for grown-up flavor, and the baked end product was simple and incredibly delicious. It turns out that terrific white chocolate pairs perfectly with espresso and muscovado sugar cookie dough, and thus, espresso white chocolate chunk cookies were born.
The dough for these espresso white chocolate chunk cookies is one that you can reference all year long. The muscovado sugar keeps them chewy and caramel flavored and it is sturdy enough to handle a wide variety of mix-ins. Since then, we’ve added pecans, dark chocolate, and even some crushed pretzels; none of those varieties have been a disappointment.
Check out the recipe for these espresso white chocolate chunk cookies below, and, while you’re at it, fill me in on all of your summer happenings! I am eager to start penciling in all of my favorite things, and I look forward to hearing from you too. In the coming weeks, we’re going to transition to a full-on summer recipe deep dive, so prep your palates for frozen treats, berries, and more. Happy Wednesday and Happy Baking!
If you like these espresso white chocolate chunk cookies you should try:
These cookies are made chewy with muscovado sugar and are flavored with chunks of white chocolate and espresso powder throughout!
Total Time:15 minutes
1 cup (230 gm) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (200 gm) muscovado sugar
1 cup (200 gm) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
3 cups (410 gm) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground espresso or instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cups white chocolate, chopped into large pieces
Preheat the oven to 360 degrees. In a large bowl stir together the butter, sugars, and vanilla. Once combined, stir in the eggs. Add the flour, espresso, powder, soda, and salt and stir until almost combined. Stir in the chocolate. Scoop 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized rounds of dough 2” apart on a cookie sheet prepared with a sheet of parchment. Freeze for a couple of minutes until the dough is no longer warm but is cool to the touch, then bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes or until the edges are golden and set. Allow to cool briefly before consuming!
On any given day, the very most delicious thing in my freezer isn’t ice cream or popsicles or casseroles wrapped for the future- it’s biscuits. For a few years now, I’ve been pre-baking and bagging up baked flaky biscuits to reheat at a moment’s notice, and my family absolutely loves it. I’ve probably said this before, but secretly, I hope that freezer stash becomes one of those things my kids fondly remember- Mama and her Ziplocs full of biscuits. Today, I’m sharing a biscuit that is new in our rotation, honey spelt biscuits, as well as more about the exciting news I shared with you all last week: my book!
HER DAILY BREAD
So, if you missed it last week, be sure to go back and read all about my exciting news. My very first book has been in the works for years now, and, after what has seemed like an eternity, it’s nearly here. This coming fall, my book, Her Daily Bread, will hit shelves, and my hope is that its pages full of stories, encouragement, and (you guessed it!) recipes will nourish your heart and belly as much as it has mine.
The book is a 365-day devotional for women that considers how various areas of our lives (think marriage, motherhood, womanhood, friendship, work, personal growth, hospitality, and, of course, FOOD!) connect to our hearts and relationship with God. Via silly anecdotes, personal stories, and memories from years past, I’ll share some of my own experiences and thoughts in hopes that it will prompt you to reflect on your own.
What to Expect from Her Daily Bread
Her Daily Bread contains a year’s worth of entries, 52 of which are recipes. While this site focuses mainly on sweet and baked goods, the book contains a smattering of recipes I grew up on and have become near and dear to my heart. You’ll read about my favorite lemony chicken salad, the sun-dried tomato quiche that reminds me of my sister, and the coffee cake my Mimi makes every Christmas morning. I’ll share some simple staples too, like my favorite shallot vinaigrette, my go-to grilled chicken marinade, and the quinoa salad I use to get my kids to eat lots of veggies.
For those of you that come here strictly for the sweets- don’t fret. There’s loads of desserts and breakfast baked goods too, including the best Dutch apple pie I’ve ever eaten and the one-bowl freezer cookie dough that has taken up residence in my home. Nothing’s too fancy or advanced; this book is all about the easy favorites I enjoy in my own home.
I’m looking forward to spilling more on the book in the coming weeks. For now, I wanted to say thank you for all of the encouragement and love I’ve received so far. This has been such a rewarding and growing time for me, and it feels good to have people come alongside in support. THANK YOU. Truly. So without further ado, let’s get on to the main event here: honey spelt biscuits.
Honey Spelt Biscuits
These honey spelt biscuits were my attempt at expanding the tastebuds of the little people in my life. They’re well accustomed to the buttery white flour biscuits that I’ve been making for years. These, however, naturally sweetened with honey and prepared with hearty spelt flour, are a different animal. There’s more texture, nuanced flavor, and loads of opportunity here: biscuits with jam, biscuits as a bread offering for supper, or even served plain and crispy, straight from the oven.
We make these honey spelt biscuits the same as all my other favorites. The dry ingredients are stirred together before ice-cold butter is stirred in. Milk and honey are added until the dough is comes together into a shaggy, tacky mixture. Pat the dough out into a rectangle and cut into three same-sized pieces. Stack them one on top of the other and repeat the layering process twice more. This helps to give us those flaky layers we all love. Once layered, pat the mixture out and use a small biscuit cutter to trim out rounds of dough. After a quick bake in a hot oven, the biscuits are golden and ready to be slathered with honey butter. YUM.
Give these honey spelt biscuits a shot sometime this week. If my kids like them, you just might too. Happy Sunday to you all, and happy baking!
If you like these honey spelt biscuits you should try:
This recipe makes 16 mini honey spelt biscuits that are flaky and layered like Southern-style biscuits!
Total Time:25 minutes
Yield:16 Mini Biscuits
1 cup (130 gm) spelt flour
1 cup (140 gm) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, diced
½ cup cold milk
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon honey
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: Spelt flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a pastry cutter or the back of two forks to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until integrated in pea-sized clumps. In a large measuring cup, stir together the milk and honey (they likely won’t mix super well. It’s okay.) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and use the pastry cutter to stir and mix them well together until a shaggy dough comes together.
On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough out into a rectangle. Use a large knife to cut the dough into thirds. Stack each piece of dough on top of one another, press out again and repeat the cutting and stacking. Cut and layer the dough once more and then gently press or roll the dough out until ½-3/4” thick. Use a small 2” cutter to trim out rounds of dough by flouring the cutter and pressing straight down. Gather any leftover scraps and trim out more biscuits. Arrange the dough pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 14-15 minutes. Melt the remaining honey and butter together and brush the mixture on top of the warm biscuits. Serve.
We’re coming out of that time of year when people go nuts for all the cozy fall flavors: pumpkin, apple, maple, pecan, and more. Don’t get me wrong- I love a traditional Thanksgiving dessert as much as the average bird, but you know what’s always in season? CHOCOLATE. That single ingredient has gotten me through more breakups, celebrations, hard days, and more, and today, chocolate is the ingredient that will shine in our newest recipe: Ghirardelli Chocolate espresso tarts. Let me tell you all about them.
These chocolate espresso tarts are not for the faint of heart. These rich treats are for the chocolate lovers who aren’t afraid of a little indulgence and want to celebrate the coming weeks with a dessert special enough for the occasion. Here, a simple press-in cocoa and espresso powder-scented shortbread crust is baked in individual tart forms and filled with a silky semisweet chocolate ganache. Each serving is finished with a dollop of espresso whipped cream which complements each chocolatey bite both with flavor and texture. Here’s how to make them.
How to Make Them:
First, we start with the crust. Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso come together with a pool of melted butter. The crumbly aftermath gets pressed into the bottoms of 5 individual fluted tart pans and baked in a preheated oven. In the meantime, we can make the ganache. The Chocolate Chips combine with whipping cream and unsalted butter to make a ganache that sets up as it cools . Finally, we top each with espresso-scented cream and any extra crumbles of the chocolate crust you may have on hand. Voila!
The holidays may look different this year, but we can make them sweeter with celebratory treats like these. Many thanks to Ghiradelli for sponsoring this #GhirardelliBaking post; check out their site and your local stores for both their bittersweet and semi-sweet baking chip options that make our efforts in the kitchen rewarding and delicious. Happy Baking!
If you like these Chocolate espresso tarts tarts you should try:
These chocolate espresso tarts have an espresso and cocoa powder shortbread crust and are filled with a buttery semisweet chocolate ganache. Each one is topped with a dollop of espresso whipped cream!
For the crust:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup Ghirardelli cocoa powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
2 cups Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
For the espresso whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar
To prepare the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt to combine. Add the melted butter and stir with a spatula to just barely combine into large moist clumps. Pat the mixture between 5- 4” fluted tart pans with removable bottoms. Gently press up the sides first and then pat the remaining crust into the bottom. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 or until the crust is set. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling and whipped cream.
To prepare the filling:
Place the chocolate chips in a large heat-safe bowl. Gently heat the cream in the microwave or over a stovetop until barely bubbling. Pour over the chocolate chips and cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow to sit for 5 minutes and then use a whisk to stir to combine. Add the butter and salt and stir or beat to combine. Divide the mixture between the prepared tart pans and allow to set up at room temperature. When ready to serve, spoon on dollops of espresso whipped cream and enjoy!
To prepare the whipped cream: Dissolve he espresso powder in the whipping cream in a large bowl. Whip at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue whipping until fluffy to your liking.
It’s here! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I don’t know about you, but I fall into the camp of people who really like Christmas- the lights, the music, and the wonder of it all has always captivated me in a special way, and even though things are different this year, the feeling remains the same. COVID can’t rain on this parade, and we’re going to kick off the festivities with a seriously yummy treat: brown butter cake with candied pecans.
I know- this site has been pecan-heavy this year. We’ve made cookies and tarts and loads of other sweets, but you can’t blame me- pecans reign supreme here in the South. Today’s recipe is a small, 6″ naked layer cake made with brown sugar layers, a brown butter buttercream, and sugared pecans throughout. Here, we have all the cuteness and festivity of a layer cake packaged in a smaller, more manageable-for-a-few-sized dessert. Let me tell you how to make it!
Making the Cake
First, we start with the cake. Butter, oil, and two kinds of sugar are creamed together in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Eggs and vanilla come next, followed by the dry ingredients. Bake the batter in three 6″ pans and then set aside to cool. In the meantime, you can get started on the pecans! A little butter is melted down and stirred together with Diamond of California Pecans Halves. Toss in some cinnamon and sugar and bake in the preheated oven until toasted. Allow to cool and just try not to eat them all in the meantime. Finally, with a little brown butter we whip up a frosting with powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Voila!
To stack this cake, I used a piping bag outfitted with a large round tip. Squeeze rounds of buttercream all over the tops of each layer as your stack the cake, being sure to scatter in some of the chopped candied pecans as you go. If you’re like me and want a little extra frosting, you can frost this cake as you normally would. Decorate the top with extra pecans and save any leftovers for sharing with friends and family in the coming weeks.
Many thanks to my friends at Diamond of California for sponsoring this post! They have long been my go-to brand for all things nuts, and this cake is no exception. Be sure to search “diamond” in the search tab of my site to see other recipes made with their yummy products over the years! Happy December and Happy baking, y’all!
If you like this brown butter cake you should try:
This brown butter cake has simple fluffy layers with a brown butter whipped buttercream and candied cinnamon sugar pecans throughout!
For the cake:
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1–3/4 cups cake flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the candied pecans:
2–1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups Diamond of California Pecan Halves
For the buttercream:
1–1/2 cups unsalted butter, divided
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon milk or heavy cream
To prepare the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease three 6” round pans and cut out parchment paper rounds to fit into the bottom of them. Set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, canola oil, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth, about a minute and a half. Add the egg and yolk and stir until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and stir in any unincorporated bits. Add half of the cake flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir on low to combine. Add ¼ cup of the milk as well as and vanilla. Stir on low. Add the remaining cake flour and milk and stir on low just until combined. Fold in any unincorporated bits. Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake in the middle of the oven for about 22-25 minutes or until the cake has puffed, turned golden, and a toothpick inserted just barely comes out clean. Don’t overbake! Set aside to cool completely.
To prepare the pecans:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, stir together the butter and vanilla and then toss in the pecans. Add the sugar mixture and toss to evenly coat the nuts. Spread the nuts out on the baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Once dry and aromatic, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
To prepare the buttercream:
In a small saucepan, dice ½ cup (4 ounces) of the butter and place on medium-low heat. Allow the butter to melt, sizzle, and begin to foam, stirring regularly all the way. Once the butter begins to bubble, stay next to the pan, stirring all the while, and watch as the buttercream turns pale golden to a fragrant amber-colored mixture. Remove from heat, being sure not to burn the butter, and place in a heat-safe bowl to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, add the brown butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and add in the remaining butter. Cream on medium speed until smooth, about one minute. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and stir to combine. Add the cream and whip for 1 minute to fluff up.
To assemble the cake:
Use a serrated knife to trim the domed top off of the cakes. Chop about ¾ cup of the pecans. Add the frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe rounds of frosting all over the top of the first cake and sprinkle pecans on top. Repeat this process with the remaining two layers, stacking the cake as you go. Serve and enjoy!