Amish Sugar Cookies

I have no idea why these cookies are called Amish but I do know they are the best cookies on the planet. I know that’s a huge claim but they totally deserve it. I know they don’t look like much but trust me.
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I’ve said many times that I’m much more of a savory than sweet person. I can eat a cookie and be good but chips, don’t leave me alone with the bag. These cookies are a totally different story. Somehow 4 simply disappear and all I’m left with is a few crumbs and sprinkles in my lap wondering what just happened. They just melt in your mouth.
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Another good/bad thing, depending on your self control, is that this recipe makes a large batch. That means enough for to share and to gorge yourself. But seriously, these are great to feed a big crowd. Joel’s company has grown a ton since he started working there 2 1/2 years ago and I really like to surprise them with treats every once and awhile but it’s gotten hard to make something that can feed a group of them that’s still relatively easy for me. They routinely request these and these and guys, I like you and all but those are so not happening on the regular. These cookies are perfect for the occasion.

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And who doesn’t love sugar cookies? So they will be a definite crowd pleaser. Also, bake sales. Do those still happen? If so, these are the cookies to make. I would buy them all. Then eat them all. And I wouldn’t regret it one bit.
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Amish Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter., room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
½ tsp. salt
4½ cups flour
sprinkles to garnish, optional

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a mixer, cream together the butter, oil and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.

3. Add in baking soda, cream of tarter and salt and mix until just combined. Mix in flour in increments and mix again until just combined.

4. Scoop cookies onto prepared baking sheets, top with sprinkles if desired and bake for 10-12 minutes until just barely golden on the edges (be careful not to overbake). Let cool for 3 minutes on baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

*recipe from Cookies and Cups

 

Banana Pudding Sundae

More ice cream is coming your way! I hope you aren’t getting tired of it yet.
Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Today’s recipe is for a delicious, simple ice cream sundae created by Top Chef All-Star, author and busy mom Antonia Lofaso. I have always loved Top Chef and it’s amazing to see the careers chefs build because of the show. Banana Pudding Ice Cream
Antonia recently teamed up with Breyers to create 5 amazingly easy and delicious family friendly recipes inspired by her childhood and favorite ingredients. All the recipes feature Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream which is now made only with milk and cream sourced from farmers who do not treat their cows with artificial growth hormones. The vanilla beans that go into this sinfully simple ice cream are 100% obtained from Rainforest Alliance Certified vanilla beans and sustainable farmed sources. Pretty awesome, right? Because much of the time, there’s just not enough hours in the day to make homemade ice cream so knowing we can choose something that’s better for our family and the environment is a major plus.
Banana Pudding Ice Cream

All of the recipes seriously scream summer and it was incredibly hard to choose just one to feature this week. After some family polling, we decided on the Banana Pudding Sundae. This sweet little sundae took about 5 minutes from start to finish and was a total crowd pleaser. The kids were hanging on my legs, begging for more. Banana Pudding Ice Cream
It starts off with Breyers Natural Vanilla Ice Cream and is topped with caramelized bananas and vanilla wafers to simply recreate the childhood classic, banana pudding. The bananas were sweet and when combined with a bite of cookie, tasted like banana bread topped with ice cream. Honestly, I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did. Sort of didn’t want to share with those little beggers.
Banana Pudding Ice Cream
The combination of temperatures and textures made this perfection for me and I predict it will be making many appearances around here this summer.

I have to share these last two photos of my little assistant. I told him I was going to take some pictures quick then we could eat. He disappeared and reappeared in a flash with his new camera he got for his birthday in hand. He thought we needed an extreme close up.
Banana Pudding Ice Cream

Gosh I love this boy. He’s going to be 5 on Sunday and I’m trying to keep it together. Banana Pudding Ice Cream
*Disclaimer: the ice cream was provided to me free of charge but all opinions are my own.

Banana Pudding Sundae
recipe from Antonia Lofaso
serves 2

1/2 large ripe banana, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar
1 tsp. butter
1 cup Breyers® Natural Vanilla Ice Cream
4 vanilla wafer cookies

1. Put banana pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkle flat sides with turbinado sugar. Melt butter in a small nonstick skillet and sauté bananas.

2. To assemble each, scoop Breyers® Natural Vanilla Ice Cream into a small wide rimmed glass. Then wedge 2 cookies on either side and top with sautéed bananas.

 

S’mores Ice Cream

S'mores Ice Cream

S’mores and ice cream are basically the two best foods summer has to offer so I decided to combine them into a rich and outrageous dessert. Let me warn you, there’s some major chocolate overload in this ice cream. You all know I’m not a huge fan of chocolate so I will admit this wasn’t my favorite ice cream ever but I loved the flavor combinations. Plus, it’s so rich that just one small scoop is enough. S'mores Ice Cream
Like I mentioned on Monday, I love an ice cream with lots of stuff and some texture. Plain ‘ole vanilla or chocolate just isn’t my thing. The marshmallows add a creamy, chewy texture and the graham crackers bring some crunch. They also help break up the richness of the chocolate.
S'mores Ice Cream

If you are a chocolate lover, as Noah likes to call himself, or big s’mores fan you have to try this ice cream for your next gathering. I guarantee it will be a big hit.
S’mores Ice Cream

1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla ice cream
3 graham crackers, coarsely crushed (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup mini marshmallows

1. Place the sugar, eggs and cocoa in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

2. Bring the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. With the food processor running, slowly pour the milk into the chocolate mixture through the feed tube. Process until well blended. Pour the mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir mixture constantly until it is thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Be careful not to let it boil or the eggs will scramble. Place a fine mesh sieve over a clean bowl. Pour custard through the sieve. Allow to cool slightly then stir in the cream and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold, or overnight.

3. Stir the chilled custard then freeze according to manufactures directions on your ice cream machine. In the last 3 minutes, add the graham cracker crumbs and marshmallows. Eat immediately or place in a freezer safe container and freeze.

*Ice cream base recipe from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book.

Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple M&M Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple M&M Ice Cream 4July is National Ice Cream month and it’s also the week of Noah and my birthdays so I’m sharing ice cream recipes all week that are a delicious way to celebrate. Because who doesn’t like ice cream? If you don’t, I’m not sure if we can be friends. Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple M&M Ice Cream 5
It’s been unbearably hot here the past few days with the heat index up to 110 degrees so it was kind of perfect timing to have all these homemade ice creams around the house. I made three different recipes for Noah’s birthday party that you will see this week along with an easy, tasty recipe from Top Chef All-Star Antonia Lofaso.
Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple M&M Ice Cream 7Today’s ice cream is a mouthful and was my hands down favorite of them all. When Noah and I were talking ice cream for the party he said he wanted a chocolate one, vanilla one and a blue one. Well, you all should know by now that I can’t leave well enough alone so we couldn’t just do plain flavors. Booring. I like a good, trashed up ice cream so we built upon the base flavors. First, we thought of M&M’s then I suggested a fudge ripple since he’s a little chocoholic. Then as we were making the ripple, I decided to add a little crunchy peanut butter since it’s Noah’s new favorite food. All those ingredients combined into a rich, creamy, crunchy dream come true. I mean, not much is better than peanut butter and chocolate. Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple M&M Ice Cream 2
And look how pretty. Don’t you love all the colors?
Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple M&M Ice Cream 8Wednesday will bring you some “chocolate goodness,” as Noah would say. Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple M&M Ice Cream 6
Peanut Butter Fudge Ripple M&M Ice Cream

2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp. vanilla

for the peanut butter fudge ripple:
2 tsp. sugar
2 oz. evaporated milk
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 Tbsp. crunchy peanut butter
pinch of salt

1/2 cup M&M’s

1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the sugar into the eggs until thickened and pale yellow. Beat in the flour and salt. Set aside.

2. Bring the milk to a simmer in a heavy saucepan. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Be careful not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large, clean bowl. Allow the custard to cool slightly, then stir in the heavy cream and milk. Refrigerate overnight, or until completely chilled.

3. Meanwhile, bring the sugar and evaporated milk to a simmer and cook until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate, peanut butter and salt. Allow to come to room temperature then refrigerate until ready to use.

4. Stir the chilled custard, then freeze according to manufacturers instructions. During last minute, add M&M’s. Remove ice cream from ice cream maker and dollop fudge ripple over it. Carefully fold in the ripple, only mixing a couple times to keep the ripple rather than incorporate. Place into a freezer safe container and freeze.

*Ice cream base recipe from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book.
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Samoas Krispie Treats

Samoas Rice Krispie Treats 4
You know what’s the best idea ever? A babysitter. During the week. While your husband is at work. That’s what’s going on as I write this. Yep, I’m in a coffee shop by myself sipping the most glorious iced coffee known to man. Is it really that good or is just because I’m alone and don’t have this toy going off every 2 seconds? When I was first considering this I felt guilt and was having a hard time justifying it since I don’t have a real job. Then summer started and I decided it would be good for everyone’s sanity.

In four hours I’m able to write posts for the whole week and they can be more substantial and include quality information. I even have time to run an errand by myself too. Not having kids screaming through the grocery store that the other is touching them is worth the money alone. Instead of writing and editing photos after the kids are in bed, I can actually spend quality time with Joel. And I feel so refreshed and way more patient when I return home.
Samoas Rice Krispie Treats 3
Rice krispie treats take me back to easier times when I was the kid, not the adult taking care of them. They are just so dang nostalgic for me. Add a girl scout cookie twist and it’s like I’m running around outside barefoot without a care in the world. I guess what I’m saying is I should make rice krispie treats everyday. Did I just find the solution to world peace?

This ooey-gooey treat is made by combining chocolate cereal, toasted coconut marshmallows, a coconutty chocolate topping and a drizzle of caramel. That’s some serious, messy indulgence right there.
Samoas Rice Krispie Treats 2

We all know samoas are the king of all the cookies so these are a complete no-brainer. So go make these, then hide in the closet and pretend those kids banging on the door are just playing a friendly game of hide and seek instead of stalking you.

Samoas Krispie Treats

8 oz. toasted coconut marshmallows
3 Tbsp. butter
5 1/2 cups cocoa pebbles cereal
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted coconut
Caramel sauce, for drizzling

1. Spray a 13×9 with non-stick spray. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and marshmallows. Stir until combined.

2. Drizzle melted marshmallows over the cocoa pebbles and stir until completely combined. Press into prepared pan.

3. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave, in 30 second increments. Once melted, stir in the toasted coconut. Spread thinly over the rice krispie treats. Drizzle with desired amount of caramel sauce.

 

Sunday Inspiration {S’mores Edition}

Smores 3
I have to admit I don’t love marshmallows. The only time I’m down with them is when they are brown, bubbly and melty between chocolate and graham crackers. Aka the s’more. With summer around the corner, s’mores are going to be all over the place. But why stop at a simple, traditional s’more when you could make them into pies, cookies and desserts galore. Am I right?

S’mores Macaroons. You so fancy.

Fun and portable Mini S’mores Hand Pies.

Making anything sweet and salty is always a good choice.

S’mores Buttercream Frosting, whaaaat?

S’mores for breakfast? Yes and yes.

S’mores Cookie Dough Dip. You all know how I feel about dip.

Make ’em boozy

Add fruit, it makes them healthy.

I’m seriously dying over this pie.

Toasted S’mores Milkshake. Enough said.

Ooey Gooey s’mores combined with oatmeal cookies. Winning combination.

A kid’s dream right here.

A new campfire spin on s’mores.

So there you have it, enough s’mores recipes to last you all summer.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 6
I just realized it’s been over a year since I shared a cookie recipe. Say what? Super weird seeing that we make cookies quite a bit. But I guess we have our favorites and don’t always branch out.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 4
Well, Noah and I were craving cookies recently so we decided to try out a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. I love a cookie with a little texture and chew so when I came across this recipe, I had a feeling it would be a winner. Especially since it’s been declared King Arthur Flour’s Recipe of 2015. That’s quite a claim so we felt it our civic duty to make sure.
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I haven’t tried any of their other recipes but I have to say these were pretty dang delicious. They are packed with melty chocolate chips, chewy oats and crunchy walnuts (not in the original recipe). Pretty much my dream come true when it comes to cookies.
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My only complaint is that they didn’t stay fresh for very long, probably 3 days max. But, if you’re like us and don’t eat your way through a batch in that amount of time, you could freeze half for when your sweet tooth hits.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 1
Do you like nuts in your cookies? I’ve found people either love them or hate them. I think they totally make a cookie but Joel of course doesn’t agree so I usually bake half without and the other half with so we can both be happy. The kids will take a cookie any way I give it to them so they are easy to please! If you don’t dig walnuts, just leave them out. I taste tested both options, for you guys of course, and they are great either way.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies 5
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon regular table salt
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until combined. Add in the egg and egg yolk, one at a time. Mix in vanilla. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients until dough comes together.

3. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Using a cookie scoop, place dough on cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet then remove to a cooling rack.