Trying things I Pin on Pinterest-Espresso Cardamom Shortbread

Shortbread is probably my favorite cookie. I don’t make them often, but when I do I tend to eat the entire batch myself.  A few weeks ago in my This and That I mentioned this Espresso and Cardamom Shortbread by Sweet and Savoury Pursuits.

From my Chocolate+Turkish Coffee Cookies to my Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Ice Cream.   you can tell that putting coffee into sweet treats is one of my favorite flavor combinations. So when I saw this shortbread on Pinterest I knew I had to try it.

cardamomandespressoshortbread

It did not disappoint! Because I very rarely make shortbread, I did not make any adjustments to the recipe and followed it to the letter.

First you dissolve instant espresso in vanilla extract. This was a totally new concept to me! At first I was skeptical that the instant espresso would dissolve in such a small amount of liquid, but it totally worked! The aroma of the vanilla and espresso was heavenly. Then you cream together butter, confectioner’s sugar and the espresso/vanilla in an electric mixer. Even if the shortbread had not turned out well, I am glad I tried this recipe because the combo above, with a different butter:sugar ratio, would be the PERFECT espresso frosting.

After everything is well mixed, you add your dry ingredients that you mixed together in a separate bowl. This results in thick, not quite crumbly dough. The instructions then say to press the dough evenly into a greased 9×13 pan. This was the only issue I had with the recipe, I personally didn’t feel there was enough dough to evenly spread in such a large pan. So I spread it as far as I could without sacrificing thickness. Then you score our your bars.

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After scoring and dotting your bars,  you bake at 325°F for 30 minutes, rotating once. After I pulled these guys out of the oven, I had to try them. The espresso and cardamom flavors are subtle, resulting in a rich, toasty flavor that my mom couldn’t quite pinpoint, but really enjoyed. She described it as a caramel. I’ll agree that the espresso lends a warm rich flavor that combined with the buttery shortbread does come across as a little caramel-like. Which we loved.

I have had about 6 with my morning coffee this a.m.  They just go so well dunked in my morning joe! All in all, I really enjoyed this shortbread, the flavor is warm and comforting, and these cookies were a cinch to put together.

For the recipe be sure to hop over to Sweet and Savoury Pursuits and give it a go!

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Smore’s Cookie Bars

The best smore I have ever had was after finishing my second leg of the Atlanta Ragnar Trail race this year. It was 4 am, I just finished a 5.5 mile loop through the woods after running like 6 miles earlier that day and only eating trail mix and a pasta dinner. Which sounds like plenty of food when I type it out, but for me in that moment it was not.

The last mile of the loop all I could think off was food. Potatoes. Meat. I distinctly remember contemplating which flavor potato chip I would prefer. FACT: I don’t really like potato chips. Basically, ya girl was hungry and desperate.

So I emerged from the woods, passed off my race belt and headed straight for the bonfire and smore’s station. Because they had a smores station at 4am (REI knew what’s up). I snatched up a Hershey Bar, a marshmallow, a graham cracker and a stick. Some poor souls surrounding the campfire were NOT ROASTING SMORES and were also between me and my meal.

Less than delicately, I shoved my way to the fire explaining ” I just really need this marshmallow toasted”. Lit my marshmallow on fire (I like my smores well charred) and waited until it was ready. Then I smashed it between two crackers and some chocolate and wolfed it down in two bites. It was transcendent. Gooey marshmallow, the chocolate bar still solid, molten only by the now carcinogenic marshmallow. Bliss.

So with these cookies I tried to recreate that moment. How does one recreate the perfect bite that was the result of running far more than normal, at a strange hour, in the middle of the woods,  and a bonfire? smoresageddonLD

Cookie bars were the only option. I thought about individual cookies, making regular smores in the oven, but really there was no other choice. Cookie bars were my best bet.

Graham Cracker laced cookies crust, topped with milk chocolate bars while still warm, then crowned with marshmallows. A quick broil, and your bars are done. You can eat them while still gooey, as pictured above, or wait until they have cooled the next day. The cookies will be soft and chewy, the chocolate returned to its solid state, and the marshmallow still sticky on top. 4am smore’s bliss achieved.

Smores Cookie Bars

  • Servings: 40 1-inch squares
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks of butter, softened (1 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4/ cup brown sugar
  • 1 package graham crackers (8 crackers)
  • 6 chocolate bars ( I used Hershey Bars)
  • 40 Jumbo marshmallows

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375°F.  Put graham crackers in a bag and smash until in about 1/2 inch chunks. Add butter to a stand mixer or large bowl and beat until soft. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix until fluffy. Then add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and graham cracker crumbs.

Spread cookie dough into 13×9 inch pan. Use a greased spatula to even the top. Bake in oven for 20 – 25 minutes. Remove from oven and while still hot place unwrapped chocolate bars across the top of the cookies. Then immediately top chocolate with marshmallows. Broil for one minute or just return to oven to brown marshmallows.

Let cool for a few minutes and then serve. These are also quite tasty completely cool.

 

Lemon “Cookie” Strawberry Shortcakes

This started out as a total disaster. I had grand plans of making Amerikaners also (known as Black and White Cookies) with sprinkles and lemon for Fourth of July. As I made the dough it seemed a little off. If you follow along in my Instagram stories you know what I mean. The dough was REALLY thick. The directed portions were large. When I pulled them from the oven they much more resembled dense biscuits over cake-y  cookies. Looking back, I realized I left out AN ENTIRE INGREDIENT (milk) But it all worked out in the end.

Anyway, I was devastated. Both because my recipe failed and I was looking forward to Amerikaners. I haven’t had any since we lived in Italy and a German friend made some (should have gotten her recipe!) But then I tried one of my failed cookies. Lemony and dense, I immediately knew what I could use them for.

whipped cream

The lemony “cookie” (they are more like biscuits to me) was perfect for strawberry shortcakes! I took out my strawberries and put them in a bowls with some sugar and whipped some heavy cream and Boom! Strawberry Shortcakes.

Eaten alone, the cookie/biscuits are not too sweet with a hint of lemon. Topped with strawberries and whipped cream the lemon flavor really pops. The juice from the berries soaks into the cookie/biscuit and the whipped cream is cool on top of the ripe strawberries. If I had to describe the taste with one word it would be summer.

LemonBiscuitStrawberrySHortcake3

 

Lemon Cookie Strawberry Shortcakes

Inspired by: This recipe 

Ingredients

  • Cookie/Biscuits
  • 9 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Sprinkles (if you want)

Strawberries

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Whipped Cream

  • One cup whipping cream
  • 1/8 cup sugar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Beat butter and sugar together in an electric mixer or large bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon extracts. Combine flour and baking soda in another bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three batches, mixing well after each addition.

Scoop 1/4 cup batter onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Bake for 20 minutes.

While those are baking, put your strawberries and sugar into a bowl. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the strawberries and sugar to combine, forming a nice juice. (aka macerating the strawberries).

Either with an electric mixer or by hand with a whisk and a clean bowl, fiercely whip the heavy cream and sugar until thick and fluffy. (With my mixer this took about 1 minute and 30 seconds on high).

Cut a cooled biscuit in half and top with strawberries and whipped cream!

 

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies-Actually trying recipes I Pin on Pinterest

So I have had a Pinterest account for as long as Pinterest has existed. Or rather at least since 2011. Pre-child and husband I would spend HOURS on Pinterest pinning anything and everything. To the point where my personal pinterest is a little out of control. So when I started my blog Pinterest, I made a point to pin with more intention, and actually “do” or try the things I pin.

Consider this my first Pin post.

One of the first things I learned how to bake were chocolate chip cookies using the recipe on the back of the Nestle’ chocolate chip bag. Now, 9 time out of 10, when I am in the mood for cookies those are what I bake. I have been on the hunt for new chocolate chip cookie recipes, but this marshmallow recipe really intrigued me.

marshmallowcookiechompLD

These are the Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Chocolate Cookies from Completely Delicious.

I don’t know if it is because it is summer and these gave me fire-free s’more nostalgia, or because I had more melting chocolate I needed to use, but I am so glad I tried this recipe.

In her pictures her cookies are more disk-like, and mine are puffy. I suspect this is because I scooped them directly onto my cookie sheet instead of scooping and rolling in to balls per her direction. I also did not fully cover the marshmallows with chocolate, because I am lazy.

But! The cookies did not suffer at all as a result. The actual chocolate cookie is dense and chewy, reminding me of my favorite brownies. The marshmallow on top melts just enough, like the inside of a perfectly toasted s’more. After you cover the marshmallow in chocolate and let them cool, the chocolate on top adds a nice crunch.

Marshmallows are not a favorite of mine, though I loved these homemade ones. Because of this I figured I was safe making these cookies, and would be able to stop after one and eat them slowly over a few days like a normal person. I was wrong. After inhaling more than a few, I froze the rest, where they call to me but luckily are not easy to eat straight from the freezer (but did it stop me from trying?)

In her notes Annalise says they are best eaten the day they are made, but I actually really enjoyed them the next day. I might be weird.

marshmallowcookiesLD

In summation, everyone run over to Completely Delicious Stat and make these cookies. You won’t regret it.

Thanks for reading my first Pinterest Post! Hop on over to my Pinterest and let me know what you want me to try next either over there or in the comments down below.