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    7 Lemon Poppy Seed Recipes to Bake Now

    Step into a world of zesty delight with our collection of lemon poppy seed recipes. From cakes and cookies to bread and scones, enjoy these endlessly snackable creations. 

    We used the reverse creaming method to create a cake batter that bakes up nice and level with a delicate crumb to absorb every drop of the lemon curd between its layers.

    These soft, cake-like cookies stay moist for days thanks to a buttery dough that’s enriched with creamy ricotta cheese. Refrigerating the dough firms it up for easier scooping.

    Using candied fruits to decorate is a simple, easy way to elevate the look of your cakes as well as add another layer of texture in every bite.

    Poppy seeds are the traditional filling of these cookies, which are associated with the Jewish holiday Purim. The name refers to the villain of the Purim story, Haman.

    The delicate crunch of the streusel topping gives way to an aromatic, soft crumb. With added texture from the poppy seeds, you won’t be able to get enough of this Lemon-Poppy Seed Streusel Bread loaf. It’s great for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or an anytime treat.

    This Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake is summer’s sweetest wake-up call. Buttermilk in the batter gives this one-layer wonder a cakey crumb that contrasts beautifully with the crunchy streusel topping.  LEGGI TUTTO

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    10 Sweet Treats to Bake for Spring

    March 19th marks the official first day of spring in the U.S., and we’re welcoming in the new season with 10 spring-inspired bakes that will brighten any day. From the zing of lemon to the burst of fresh berries, each recipe is crafted to infuse your kitchen with the vibrant essence of spring. So, grab your apron and embark on a flavorful journey that promises to bring the joys of the new season, no matter what the weather outside may hold.

    Sticky-sweet strawberry filling is smeared, rolled, and twisted into a buttery brioche dough, and a final sprinkling of pearl sugar offers an element of elegant crunch to this loaf.

    With spring officially sprung, there’s no better recipe to celebrate with than this light yet luscious Hummingbird Pie with Pecan Crust. This pie’s crust may look like any other, but it packs a surprising punch of Schermer Pecans, lending a light, toasted crunch to the deliciously flaky and buttery base of this pie. The nutty, slightly rich notes of pecan act as the perfect counterpoint to the sweet, fruity flavors of the filling. Slices of fresh banana are layered on top of the crisp pecan crust and then blanketed in a smooth pineapple coconut cream. Topped with a cloud of light and fluffy Whipped Cream, this pie is a cool treat sure to satisfy all through spring and even into the dog days of summer.

    Who needs cream cheese frosting when you’ve got a layer of cheesecake filling? These bars combine two of our favorite cakes in one: crumbly chunks of carrot cake baked into a velvety layer of cheesecake. Fair warning: you may not be able to have one without the other again.

    By swapping the traditional cream cheese filling with vanilla bean-scented Mascarpone Cream and replacing the congealed topping with fresh strawberries, we’ve given this classic pastry a modern salty-sweet makeover.

    These party-perfect bars are creamy, crumbly, and crispy all at once. For the best results, we suggest refrigerating overnight. But if you’re in a hurry, you can cut that time down to at least 1 hour before serving.

    A tender almond cake speckled with earthy poppy seeds and a strawberry-dappled top dusted with confectioners’ sugar, this simple yet chic one-layer stunner embodies the flavors of spring. We call it “a counter cake” because you’ll want to keep it on your counter all season long as a sweet treat for impromptu guests (and yourself).

    Inspired by the busy bees of spring, we paired chopped honeycomb and orange blossom water to create a delicate floral and honey scone. Crowned with golden honeycomb chunks and a generous drizzle of white chocolate, these baked goods offer a surprising flavor combination you didn’t know you needed until now.

    Cheesecake is a dessert for all seasons, but this one is geared directly toward spring. We traded the traditional graham cracker crust for a spicy gingersnap crumb base that complements a sunny citrus cheesecake filling. But the coup de grâce is the bright and beautiful blueberry topping, a glistening crown that offers jammy berries in every bite.

    Combining a double-dose of zippy lemon flavor in both the cookie and the glaze tastes like spring baking at it’s finest. Add the crunchy finish of sweet sparkling sugar and you’ve got one knockout cookie. LEGGI TUTTO

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    Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies

    Looking for the perfect batch of Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies? Look no further! This recipe guarantees cookies that are soft and chewy every time.

    Every baker needs a recipe for Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies in their repertoire. And this one’s my favorite. I’ve made countless batches, so it’s a little unbelievable to me that I’m just now sharing them with you. It seems that 2024 is the year that I re-explore classics and family recipes. It’s so important to include these essential and fundamental recipes here. Because everyone loves them, and for good reason!
    These cinnamon-sugared rounds are pure comfort food, and a taste of childhood for many. You won’t find a recipe easier than this one – it’s extremely simple to throw together and yields the most buttery, soft and chewy snickerdoodles ever! The cinnamon-sugar coating provides just the right amount of cozy. They’re done in about 45 minutes from start to finish, so they’re the perfect lazy weekend bake.

    Ingredients for the Perfect Batch
    First, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and fine grain sea salt. The cream of tartar serves as an acid in this recipe, preventing the sugar in the dough from crystalizing. Which helps the cookies stay soft and chewy instead of crunchy. It’s also a leaven, which gives the cookies their characteristic pillowed exterior.
    Note: Sometimes cream of tartar will clump during storage over time. If you pull a lumpy teaspoonful from the bottle go ahead and sift it! Nobody wants to find a bitter lump of cream of tartar in their cookie.

    Creaming the Butter and Sugar
    In a separate large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. This step is crucial for creating the perfect texture in your cookies. Creaming the butter and sugar helps to incorporate air into the mixture, resulting in a lighter and more tender cookie. Next, mix in the eggs.

    Combining the Wet and Dry Ingredients
    Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Using an electric hand mixer (or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment), beat together on low speed until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated with the wet ingredients, and a smooth dough forms. Avoid overmixing, as this can lead to tough cookies. The dough will resemble that of sugar cookies.
    Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (or overnight if you like). Chilling the dough helps it firm up, making it easy to scoop and roll into balls. It also reduces spreading during baking.

    Rolling the Dough in Cinnamon Sugar
    While the dough is chilling, prepare the cinnamon sugar coating. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. I add a pinch of salt to this mixture to make the flavors really pop! This is optional. But give it a try! Just a pinch.
    After the dough has chilled, use a cookie scoop (I like this one) to portion out the dough. Roll each scoop into a ball between your palms. Then, roll each cookie dough ball in the cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated.

    Baking and Cooling the Snickerdoodles
    Place the coated dough balls onto parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 2″ space between each cookie. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes, or until the edges are set, the cookies are puffed, and the tops are lightly golden brown. Be cautious not to overbake; these cookies are done at 8 minutes. They may seem slightly underdone in their centers, but will firm up as they cool.
    Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This helps to prevent them from breaking apart when they’re still warm.

    Tips for Cookie Success!

    Make sure your butter is softened. Room temperature is even better – the butter will cream more easily with the sugar and create a better texture in your cookies.
    Don’t skip the chilling step! Chilling the dough helps to prevent the cookies from spreading too much during baking, resulting in thicker and chewier cookies.
    For extra flavor, you can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the dough along with the eggs. I usually do not add vanilla to this recipe, because it allows the buttery flavor and the cinnamon-sugary goodness to shine.
    1/2 cup of brown sugar can be swapped in for 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. This adds a little depth of flavor, but it will compact the cookie’s texture.
    Store any leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.

    Gluten-Free Option: For a gluten-free version, simply substitute 1 to 1 or cup for cup gluten-free flour in equal amounts for the all-purpose flour in this recipe. I personally enjoy using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, which yields fantastic results.
    Dairy-Free Option: If you’re avoiding dairy, you can use a dairy-free butter alternative in place of regular butter. Look for brands like Earth Balance or Miyoko’s Creamery for a rich and creamy buttery flavor without the dairy.

    With their soft and chewy texture and cinnamon sugar coating, these classic snickerdoodle cookies are sure to be in regular rotation. They’re perfect for enjoying with a glass of cold milk or alongside a cup of hot coffee. They also make a nice care package gift, and are certainly most welcome on holiday cookie trays.
    Related Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Cookies

    Classic Snickerdoodle Cookies

    Heather Baird

    These soft and chewy cookies are coated in a perfect blend of cinnamon sugar. This recipe is simple and classic with all the hallmarks of traditional old-school snickerdoodles. For the best results, remember to chill the dough before baking and be mindful not to overbake—optimal doneness occurs at around 8 minutes. The cookies may seem slightly underdone, but they will firm up as they cool. You may notice the lack of vanilla extract in this recipe. I prefer these cookies without it, because the cinnamon and butter flavors really shine through. However, if you’d like to add vanilla to your dough, do so when you add the eggs. (1 1/2 teaspoons.)

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 8 minutes minsCook Time 8 minutes mins30 minutes chill time 30 minutes minsTotal Time 46 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 36 cookies

    Equipmentbaking sheetsparchment papercookie scoop
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Cookie Dough2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon cream of tartar sifted1/8 teaspoon fine grain salt1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature1 1/2 cups granulated sugar2 large eggsCinnamon-Sugar Coating2 tablespoons granulated sugar1 tablespoon ground cinnamonPinch of salt
    Instructions Cookie DoughPreheat the oven to 400°F. Cover two or more baking sheets with parchment paper.In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Set aside.In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and mix again.Add the dry mixture to the creamed butter mixture. Mix together on low speed until a consistent dough forms. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.Cinnamon-Sugar CoatingMeanwhile, on a small shallow plate, combine the ingredients for the cinnamon-sugar coating.Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough and then roll it into walnut-sized balls. Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.Place about 2” apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool on the pans until firm enough to transfer to wire racks. Cool completely.Store cookies air tight.
    NotesWhat to expect: Buttery, cinnamon-sugar coated snickerdoodle cookies that have all the hallmarks of the classic. Soft and chewy, slightly pillowed with some crackling on top – and above all perfect for sharing. 
    Brown Sugar: 1/2 cup of brown sugar can be swapped in for 1/2 cup of granulated sugar in the dough. This adds a little depth of flavor, but it will slightly compact the cookie’s texture.
    Cream of Tartar: Don’t skip the cream of tartar in this recipe—it helps to give the cookies their characteristic tangy flavor and chewy texture. Also sift the cream of tartar if it looks lumpy.
    Bake Time: These cookies are perfectly done at 8 minutes in most ovens. 10 minutes will make the exterior slightly crunchier.
    Gluten-Free: Use cup for cup or 1-to-1 gluten-free flour in place of the all-purpose flour. Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Baking’s flours are excellent choices for this recipe. 
    Store: These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
    Freezer Friendly: This snickerdoodles recipe is freeze-able! After rolling the dough into balls and coating them in the cinnamon sugar mixture, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure they are not touching.
    Place the baking sheet in the freezer and flash freeze the dough balls for about 1-2 hours, or until they are firm.
    Once the dough balls are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Layer parchment paper between the dough balls to prevent sticking. Store the dough balls in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
    Remove the desired number of frozen dough balls from the freezer and place them on a lined baking sheet, spacing them apart. Cover with plastic wrap and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bake as directed.

    Keyword all purpose flour, butter, cinnamon sugar coating, classic snickerdoodle cookies, cream of tartar, granulated sugar, homemade, Snickerdoodle Cookies, Snickerdoodles, soft and chewy, unsalted butter

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Magic Granola Cookie Bars

    Magic Granola Cookie Bars are made with your favorite ready-made granola. Just five ingredients makes them an easy, quick fix!

    Leave it to me to take something healthy like granola, and make it a little naughty. Magic Granola Cookie Bars are inspired by Magic Cookie Bars (also called 7 Layer Bars, or Hello Dollies). Heard of them? The recipe was published in the 60’s, and home bakers have been making them ever since. A big part of the recipe’s appeal is how easy it is. And also how deliciously chewy-gooey the bars are.
    The inspiration recipe uses 7 layers of ingredients, that includes mix-ins like baking chips, coconut, and nuts. The most important ingredient of them all? A can of sweetened condensed milk. It holds everything together, and creates the most craveable soft, chewy texture. I wondered if a granola mix could be used in place of all those mix-ins. Because a bag of granola already has a lot of things in it – nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips. (Depending on the variety you use.) I just had to try it, and I’m so glad I did!

    Use Your Favorite Granola
    Start with a box or a bag of your favorite loose granola or granola clusters. You could also use homemade granola if you have some on hand. You’ll need 3 cups, so if you’re purchasing it, get the ‘family size’ container. If you use clusters, break them up with your hands. Or, pound the bag with a rolling pin to break up the clusters before measuring. I used dark chocolate chip sea salt granola clusters, which made the baked bars taste like the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bar, ever!’
    Next, you’ll need graham cracker crumbs and butter for the cookie base, and a can of sweetened condensed milk. I also included sweetened flake coconut. This can be optional, but it’s very tasty!

    Make the Crust
    Mix up the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl and pour it into a greased 13×9 inch baking pan. Tamp the crumbs down evenly using the flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass.
    Then, pour the sweetened condensed milk – directly from the can – onto the crust. Really easy so far, right? Right.

    Layer on the Granola
    Here’s the fun part. Because anything goes! Sprinkle on your favorite granola blend. You’ll need 3 cups. Opt for granola with simple ingredients (no corn syrup).

    Layer on the Coconut
    I used sweetened flake coconut but unsweet flake coconut will work also. This ingredient can be optional, but it adds another toasty layer of flavor.

    Bake until Golden Brown
    Place the pan in a preheated 350°F oven and bake for 25 minutes. Prepared granola has already been baked once. So it’s important to tent the bars with foil halfway through baking so it doesn’t overbrown.
    Just out of the oven, and while the pan is still hot, toss on a handful of chocolate chips. I mean, if you’re feeling extra. (I usually am!)

    Cool and Cut
    Let the bars stand in the pan until cool. You can serve them directly from the pan, or turn them out as I did. However, if you plan to remove them from the pan, line it first with aluminum foil that overhangs the sides. You’ll have an easier time removing it than I did.

    These bars are deliciously soft and gooey in the middle, with chewy edges. The chocolate chip granola mix I used made these bars taste like the best oat bars I’ve ever made!

    So, did I manage to reduce the ingredients? Yes. If you don’t use the optional coconut, the whole pan uses just 4 ingredients. But I think the coconut really adds something. So, it’s worth trying!
    The possibilities are endless with all the granola mixes on the market now. I think I’ll use my favorite cranberry-almond with flaxseed for my next attempt. Seeds, nuts, dried fruits, coconut, chocolate chips all do well in this recipe. There is one caveat: avoid granola mixes that include freeze dried fruit, such as strawberry and apple slices. They don’t hydrate to a nice texture, and the pieces near the top tend to burn.
    This recipe is a quick bake for weeknights, or even busy weekends. There’s big payoff with little effort – *chef’s kiss!

    Related Recipe: Healthy Homemade Granola

    Magic Granola Cookie Bars (5 Ingredients!)

    Heather Baird

    Half cookie bar, half granola bar, 100% delicious! These bars start with your favorite ready-made granola mix. Choose oat-based granolas that have additions like peanuts, almonds, flaxseeds, quinoa, craisins, raisins, dried fruit, and chocolate chips. Avoid granola mixes that contain freeze-dried fruits such as strawberries and apples – the baked texture is tough and strange, and they tend to burn.Use loose cereal-type granola or clusters. If you use clusters, break them up by hand or pound the bag with a rolling pin to break them up before measuring.Remember that ready-made granola has been baked once already. Tent the pan with aluminum foil halfway through baking to prevent the top from overbrowning.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 10 minutes minsCook Time 25 minutes minsTotal Time 35 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 24

    Equipment9×13 inch panaluminum foil
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs about 12 sheets crushed fine1/2 cup unsalted butter melted14 oz. sweetened condensed milk 1 can3 cups oat granola any variety with nuts, raisins, chips, etc.1/2 cup sweetened flake coconut optional
    Instructions Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with aluminum foil so that it overhangs two long edges of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray.In a large mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Stir until well combined, or until the mixture has the appearance of wet sand. Pour the crumbs into the prepared pan; spread evenly and tamp it down with the bottom of a flat measuring cup, or the palms of your hands.Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crust. Scrape out the can with a rubber spatula to get every last bit out of the can.Sprinkle the oat granola over the sweetened condensed milk in an even layer. Use a rubber spatula to press the granola down into the milk layer.Sprinkle the coconut evenly over the granola.Bake for 25 minutes, tenting the pan with foil halfway through bake time to prevent overbrowning.Cool completely in the pan. You can serve the bars directly from the pan, or after the bars have cooled completely, lift up by the edges of the foil to remove from the pan. Then, cut into 24 pieces.Store the bars in an airtight container.
    NotesWhat to expect: These are the oat version of magic cookie bars. They have soft chewy texture with extra chewy caramelized edges. 
    Optional? You decide: Sweetened flake coconut can be an optional ingredient, but it gives the bars a nice texture reminiscent of the original magic cookie bars.
    Endlessly variable: honey-oat, cranberry-almond, peanut butter-flaxseed, dark chocolate-pecan.. There are hundreds of oat granola mixes out there to try, so have fun experimenting with different flavors!

    Keyword chocolate chips, graham cracker crumbs, granola mix, homemade granola bars, magic cookie bars, oat granola, sweetened condensed milk, unsalted butter

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    5 Recipes You Should Be Baking to Celebrate the Lunar New Year

    February 10 kicks off the Lunar New Year, a 15-day-long celebration of the beginning of the new year in the traditional Chinese calendar. For those who celebrate, the very light takes on a bright red hue. For these 15 days in China and all other countries that celebrate the Lunar New Year, the cheery glow of red lanterns illuminate the roads, with red paper pasted over windowpanes and doorways for good measure. At night, fireworks shout across the horizon in rapid succession and burst in dazzling, rhythmic fashion—an unsurpassed spectacle considering the Chinese invented fireworks. At the close, thousands of lanterns are lit and sent to the sky, with hopes and dreams scrolled on the paper that will soon be consumed by the growing internal flame. 
    But perhaps the quietest tradition is the most important: the reunion dinner, held on Lunar New Year’s Eve. The entire extended family gathers around the dinner table to dine on an multicourse meal made up of dumplings, rice cakes, and more. Food plays an integral part in welcoming the new year, and there is much to feast on. Start this new year, the Year of the Dragon, in sweet fashion with our five home baker-friendly recipes featured in our January/February 2020 issue. 

    Walnut Cookies (hup toh soh)
    A common treat found in pastry shops in China year-round, during Chinese New Year, home bakers often make hup toh soh as a crunchy treat to welcome visitors and family to their home. Supposedly, the original walnut cookies contained no walnuts in the dough. The “walnut” in the name might have been used to refer to the cookie’s crunchy texture, or its wrinkly, golden appearance. 

    Pineapple Buns (bolo bao)
    Instantly recognizable with its crosshatch design on top, pineapple buns are a treasure to have come out of Hong Kong bakeries in the 20th century. Contrary to what its name would have you think, no pineapple is used in making these buns. Instead, the title refers to its similarity in appearance between the crispy top and a pineapple’s bumpy exterior. The base bun is made of a milk bread dough—sweet and fantastically fluffy.

    Coconut Almond Rice Cake (nian gao)
    For Chinese New Year, a number of rituals ensure luck and fortune: wearing red, not cleaning, burning fake money and coins, and, most deliciously, eating nian gao. This traditionally steamed sticky rice cake is almost 2,000 years old, first coming to prominence around AD 200. The cake’s potential luck is due to being a homonym, with nian gao sounding similar to the Chinese characters for “higher year,” meaning you’ll have a bountiful year by eating a slice of this iconic rice cake. Of course, consuming cake is always lucky in our book. Click here for our recipe!

    Sweet Egg Tarts (dan tan)
    Hailing from the city of Guangzhou in the 1920s, the Chinese variation of the egg tart features a crisp, crumbly shortcrust made with lard and a luminous, egg-rich custard. Once the dish came to Hong Kong, it transformed again, getting a tender cookie-like pâte sucrée crust but keeping the reflective custard. Though a relatively new addition to the Lunar New Year feasting, the egg tart is one more sweet way to celebrate the new year. 

    Barbecue Pork Buns (char siu bao)
    A Cantonese and dim sum classic, this bao is special because it is steamed rather than baked, making it both fluffy and sturdy. Once steamed, the dough will form a chewy skin while staying snowy white and gently heating a tender filling of barbecue-style pork (or char siu). Pork is symbolic during the Chinese New Year, standing for strength, wealth, and blessings. Click here for our version of this dum sum classic. LEGGI TUTTO

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    Soft M&M Cookies

    Soft M&M Cookies are deliciously tender and loaded with M&M Candies. They taste just like the soft-baked cookies from the mall’s cookie kiosk!

    I hope you’re not tired of cookies! Since the holidays are over, I decided to work on some recipes that are more evergreen. And these soft M&M cookies are good for any occasion! I’ve tested them a few times now, adjusting the M&M candy to batter ratio. I think these are just about perfect. In fact, tasting them made me feel a little nostalgic. They remind me so much of the cookies I’d get at our local mall, from a popular patriotic-sounding cookie kiosk (you might know the one).
    The hallmarks of those kiosk cookies were their large size and soft texture. They were golden brown underneath with pale tops, and cakey – almost underdone – centers. The M&M chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies were favorites of mine. This cookie recipe is like a combination of the two!

    Make the Brown Sugar Dough
    Combine butter, white sugar, and light brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream them together well. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again. I made these on a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, but you could also use a hand mixer and an extra-large mixing bowl.

    The Secret Ingredient
    Mix together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. To this mixture add a 3.4 oz. package of dry instant vanilla pudding mix. While it’s true that I don’t often use convenience foods as ingredients in my baking, I do make exceptions. It wasn’t until I made this Caribbean Rum Cake with dry pudding mix in the batter, that my opinion of this ingredient changed completely. I was skeptical. But it gives baked goods a soft, tender texture, and I’d never received so many compliments and recipe requests for a bundt cake before!
    In these cookies, the pudding mix imparts noticeable vanilla flavor, and keeps the middles soft during baking. It really gives them the flavor and texture of my once beloved mall cookies.

    M&M Minis
    Combine the dry mixture with the creamed butter, and mix well until a pale golden-hued dough is formed. Then, add the M&M candies and fold together. I used M&M minis here, because I was gifted a huge container. I like how they disperse well throughout the dough. However, regular M&M’s work just fine, too.

    Portion by the Level 1/4 Cup
    These cookies are large. So use a standard size trigger ice cream scoop or portion dough by the level 1/4 cups. Place some extra M&Ms on top of the dough balls for a bakery-made appearance, if you’re into that (I am!)
    Chill the portioned cookies on the pan in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or you can even speed the process by putting them in the freezer for 7-10 minutes.

    Bake for about 13 minutes, or until they’ve spread significantly. The tops should be quite pale and look a little under-done in their centers.

    As I mentioned, these cookies will spread. So bake no more than 4 to 6 to a 9×13-inch baking sheet. If you want to make them perfectly round, grab your largest round cookie cutter. Encircle the cookies’ edges with the cutter while the cookies are still hot. Move the cutter in a circular motion. (See this video for the technique in action!) The cutter will push the edges into a perfect circle. The cookies are quite pliable and will need to stand on the baking sheet until they are firm enough to move to a wire cooling rack.

    These Soft M&M Cookies were fun and uncomplicated to make. If bake sales are still a thing, I could see these selling out first! I can’t help but compare them to the mall’s cookie kiosk cookies – big, soft, and filled with candy. Kids will love them. And kids at heart (like me!) may love them even more!

    Soft M&M Cookies

    Heather Baird

    Soft M&M Cookies are deliciously tender and loaded with M&M Candies. They taste just like the soft-baked cookies from the mall’s cookie kiosk! Please note that this recipe uses one small box (3.4 oz.) of dry pudding mix in the dough. It is used as a dry ingredient added directly from the package to the flour ingredients. This helps soften the cookies helps them keep that tender texture over time.These cookies will spread, so give them plenty of room on the baking sheet. Because the centers have a slightly underdone texture when baked, it can be difficult to judge their done-ness. However, there are some visual cues that will help: The cookies should be spread significantly yet slightly mounded and pale in their centers. The edges will appear set and matte, while the center may still have a slightly glossy appearance. Don’t be tempted to overbake! The appeal of these cookies is their soft texture.

    #wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #5A822B; }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-33 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-50 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50); }#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0 .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-66 svg * { fill: url(#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66); }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-33 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-50 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }linearGradient#wprm-recipe-user-rating-0-66 stop { stop-color: #5A822B; }No ratings yet

    Prep Time 20 minutes minsCook Time 13 minutes mins20 minutes chill time 20 minutes minsTotal Time 53 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 16 cookies

    Equipmentlarge baking sheets 2 or more
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature1 cup light brown sugar packed1/2 cup granulated sugar2 large eggs2 teaspoons vanilla extract2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking soda1/2 teaspoon fine grain salt3.4 oz. instant pudding mix 1 small box3/4 cup M&M candies I used M&M minisM&M candies for garnishing dough balls up to 1/3 cup
    Instructions Line 2 or more large baking sheets with parchment paper.In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat well until creamy and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until well incorporated. Scrape down the bowl and mix again briefly.In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and the dry pudding mix. Whisk well to combine. Add the dry mixture to the creamed butter mixture and beat until a lightly golden-hued dough is formed. Scrape down the bowl and mix again briefly. Add the 3/4 cup of M&Ms. Fold in using a rubber spatula.Portion the dough by level 1/4 cup measures, or with a standard-size trigger ice cream scoop (which has 1/4 cup capacity) onto the prepared baking sheets. Space them at least 2 inches apart (fit no more than 6 dough mounds to a 13×9 baking sheet, or 4 mounds to be extra-sure cookies won’t spread into each other). Dot the tops of the dough mounds with more M&M candies. Refrigerate dough mounds on the baking sheets for 20 minutes, or speed chill time by freezing them for 7-10 minutes.Preheat the oven to 350°F.Bake the cookies for about 13-14 minutes, or until they are well spread and slightly mounded in their centers. Bang the pan on the countertop once to flatten the centers slightly. The edges should look set and matte, while the middles will look pale and slightly under baked. Don’t overbake.Remove the cookies from the oven. They will be loose and pliable, and will need to remain on the baking sheets for 10-12 minutes, or until firm enough to transfer to wire racks for cooling. (See recipe notes or blog post for perfectly round cookie hack, while cookies are still hot on the pan.)Store cookies air-tight, in a zip-top bag or in a large resealable plastic container.
    NotesChill: Be sure to chill the cookies – this is important. The cookies will spread too much during baking if not chilled.
    Bake Time: Keep an eye on bake time. I usually bake on an electric range at my workshop, but my home oven is gas. The electric oven baked the cookies done at the 13-minute mark. My gas oven runs hotter and baked the cookies more quickly.
    Freeze: Dough can be portioned on baking sheets and frozen, then the frozen dough mounds can be placed in a freezer bag and kept for 6 months. To bake, remove frozen dough mounds to a baking sheet and cover; place in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Bake as directed.
    Perfectly Round Cookies: See this video.

    Keyword all purpose flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, granulated sugar, instant vanilla pudding, m&m candies, mall cookies, soft baked cookies

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    Iced Gingerbread Latte Cookies

    Put some pep in Santa’s step with Iced Gingerbread Latte Cookies – the café-inspired treat that combines the warmth of gingerbread and rich coffee flavors.

    Special Report: These Iced Gingerbread Latte Cookies are my new favorite cookie of the season. I have so many cookies on my ‘holiday favorites’ list, but this one goes right to the top. What makes them so great? First, I love the bold taste of coffee in baked goods. And there’s nothing subtle about the coffee flavor in these treats. They are absolutely loaded with cozy ginger and rich coffee flavors. Soft, with crackled tops, their middles are tender and fudgy in texture. The coffee glaze sets to a shine on top, and a few grains of coarse sea salt makes them absolutely crave-worthy!

    Make the Dough
    I love that this dough mixes up in one bowl! To get started, melt the butter in a big heatproof mixing bowl in the microwave. You can also do this in a saucepan on the stovetop. Immediately add instant espresso powder and ground spices to the warm butter. This is important! The butter needs to be warm in order to dissolve the espresso powder.

    Whisk everything together, then add the sweeteners: molasses, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Whisk these ingredients in until well combined. This may take a couple of minutes. Because it takes a little extra whisking for the thick, syrupy molasses to incorporate. Also, add the salt at this stage.

    Next, add 1 large egg, vanilla extract, and baking soda to the bowl. Whisk well to combine.

    Finally – the flour! Add the flour to the bowl and mix on low speed. I used a hand mixer, which worked well and quickly. You could probably stir by hand, but this dough is thick and will take a few minutes to get smooth.
    When smooth and thick, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours (or overnight).

    Shape the Cookies
    Scoop the chilled dough by the 1/8 cup, or 2 tablespoons. Roll the dough into balls between your palms. This is a fun and easy job, because the chilled dough is so play-doh-like. Space the dough balls at least 2 inches apart.

    Bake the cookies at 375°F for about about 10 minutes. The ball shape will flatten, and the cookies should form cracks on top. They should be puffy when initially removed from the oven, and will deflate slightly as they cool.

    Cool completely before icing. The cookies are pretty darn tasty un-iced, but OH, the icing! It’s so coffeelicious.

    Make the Icing
    Pour 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon high quality instant coffee and 3 tablespoons boiling water; whisk. For the coffee, I used Starbucks Blonde Roast Premium Instant.
    You could use the same instant espresso powder that is used in the dough recipe, if you prefer. But start with a much smaller amount, about 1/4 teaspoon. And add more to taste. Why start with a small amount? Because espresso powder is stronger, and more concentrated in flavor than instant coffee.

    Ice the Gingerbread Latte Cookies
    There’s nothing to it! Just dip the cookies, crackled face down, into the warm icing, and let the excess drip back into the bowl. Turn the cookie upright. You’ll still have those gorgeous crackles! Everything else will be coated in glaze.

    The icing will set up quickly! So, as you dip each cookie, sprinkle on a few grains of coarse sea salt immediately. If you wait too long, the salt will bounce right off. I have a bag of course light grey Celtic Sea Salt, and just a few grains does the trick. The salt is optional, but it will round out the sharpness or bitterness, in the coffee. (Read more here about why adding a pinch of salt to your coffee is a good idea!)

    The cookie centers have a soft, almost fudgy texture, and the icing really ties everything together in a neat little package for coffee-lovers. Make these for someone who loves gingerbread lattes, or just your favorite coffee connoisseur!
    Related recipe: Muddy Reindeer Cookies (Chocolate-Dipped Gingerbread Cookies)

    Iced Gingerbread Latte Cookies

    Heather Baird

    This coffee house-inspired treat combines the warmth of gingerbread with the bold, rich flavor of coffee. Make them for the coffee connoisseur in your life!Plan ahead. The cookie dough needs to chill for 2 hours minimum before baking. You can make this dough up to 2 days ahead and keep refrigerated. You’ll need 1/4 cup of instant espresso powder for the cookie dough. I use and recommend DeLallo brand or Medaglia D’Oro. Also needed is 1 teaspoon of instant coffee for the icing. I recommend Starbucks Blonde Roast Premium Instant. It has smooth flavor and dissolves well. You could also use the instant espresso powder for the icing, but begin with a much smaller amount than 1 teaspoon. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon for starters, then add more to taste if needed. Yields 16-18 cookies (my batch yielded 16 1/2).

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    Prep Time 15 minutes minsCook Time 10 minutes mins2 hours chill time 2 hours hrsTotal Time 2 hours hrs 25 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 16 cookies

    Equipmentlarge cookie sheets (2)
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Cookies3/4 cup unsalted butter1/4 cup instant espresso powder2 teaspoons ground ginger1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg1/4 teaspoon ground cloves1/2 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup light brown sugar packed1/4 cup molasses1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt1 large egg1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract1 teaspoon baking soda2 cups all-purpose flourCoffee icing3 tablespoons boiling water1 cup confectioners’ sugar1 teaspoon instant coffeeCoarse grain sea salt
    Instructions CookiesIn a large microwave-safe bowl, heat the butter at 100% power until completely melted and hot (about 1 minute, to 1 minute 30 seconds). Immediately whisk in the espresso powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Whisk well until completely incorporated.Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, molasses, and salt to the bowl, and whisk to combine, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Whisk well until smooth. Add the flour and mix using an electric hand mixer on low speed. Mix until a thick consistent batter/dough forms.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight (and up to 2 days before baking). The chilled dough will be firm and pliable like clay or play-doh.Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.Scoop the dough by the level 1/8 cup, or 2 tablespoons. Roll into a ball between your palms and place on the parchment sheet. Place dough balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.Bake each pan for 10 minutes. The dough balls will flatten as they bake, and the tops will become cracked. Remove and let cool on the pans until firm enough to transfer to wire racks, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.Coffee icingPut the tea kettle on for the boiling water.In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and the instant coffee. When the water boils, add 3 tablespoons of boiling water to the mixture and whisk until the coffee is dissolved and creamy coffee hue is achieved.Dip a cookie crackled face-down into the icing. Let the excess drip back into the bowl and turn upright. Place on a wire rack and sprinkle a few grains of the coarse sea salt on the cookie before the icing sets. Repeat with the remaining cookies. The icing will want to form a crust if it stands for too long, so use it immediately, or cover it with a damp paper towel to prevent drying.Allow cookies to stand until the icing sets completely, about 20 minutes. Serve to delighted coffee lovers and gourmands.
    NotesDough balls can be frozen for up to 2 months and thawed in the refrigerator overnight. Bake as directed.
    This recipe is adapted from a NY Times recipe for Gingerbread Latte cookies by Vaughn Vreeland. 

    Keyword Christmas cookies, crinkle cookies, gingerbread latte cookies, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, iced gingerbread latte cookies, instant coffee granules, instant espresso powder, molasses

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    Sweet and Salty Nut Bars

    Sweet and Salty Nut Bars will be the latest and greatest addition to your holiday sweets menu. Made with a buttery shortbread crust, soft chocolate-peanut butter center, and topped with salty mixed nuts – they hold something for everyone!

    No doubt about it, these Sweet and Salty Nut Bars are perfect for the holidays! A cross between a cookie bar and a candy bar, they’re sure to be welcome on either cookie or candy tray. A crumbly shortbread crust is the base for a nutty chocolate-peanut butter fudge center. Then, it’s topped with more roasted, salted, mixed nut goodness. It’s the best of salty and sweet together.

    Make the Shortbread Crust
    Begin the crust with 1/2 cup butter, brown sugar and flour. It’s such a simple combination of ingredients that make magic when mixed together. Start with a wooden spoon, and when the mixture clumps, use your hands to knead the mixture together.

    After everything is combined and crumbly, pour the mixture into the bottom of a parchment-lined 8×8 inch square baking pan. Tamp the crust down into the pan with your palms or with the bottom of a flat measuring cup. Bake it for 12 minutes in a preheated 350F oven, and then cool completely.

    Make the Smooth Peanut Butter-Chocolate Filling
    Next, prepare the filling. It’s such an easy fix! Combine sweetened condensed milk, semisweet chips, and peanut butter. Heat on the stove top and stir until smooth.

    When the mixture is smooth, add in mini marshmallows. Stir while cooking over medium heat. It will take a few minutes for the marshmallows to melt and incorporate. Just keep stirring!

    Add Salty Mixed Nuts
    Stir in a cup of roasted, salted mixed nuts. Don’t go for ‘lightly salted’, we’re looking for well-seasoned mixed nuts with roasty flavor. The Planter’s mix I used has peanuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios (similar here).

    Pour the chocolaty mixture over the prepared, cooled shortbread crust. It will begin to set up quickly, so smooth the top as best you can and then…

    Sprinkle the nuts evenly over the surface of the fudgy filling.

    Even the Top
    Using flat palms, or the bottom of a flat measuring cup, tamp the nuts down into the chocolate filling. Allow the candy to set until completely cool and firm. You can also refrigerate the pan to speed setting.

    Remove the slab from the pan by lifting it out by the parchment paper. Then cut it into squares. I portioned generous slices (16 total), however, these are rich. You could easily cut them smaller to double the yield.

    Salty-sweet-crunchy-nutty – what’s not to love? These travel well, and can be easily be packaged for gift giving. While they’re not exactly cookies, I think they’d be welcome at any cookie swap!
    Related recipe: Easy Toffee Walnut Bars

    Sweet and Salty Nut Bars

    Heather Baird

    These bars are a harmonious blend of sweet and salty, featuring a buttery shortbread base, luscious chocolate-peanut butter filling, and a generous sprinkle of roasted, salted mixed nuts on top. With their dual personality as both a cookie and a candy, they’re the ideal treat for holiday dessert gifts or gatherings. Please note that salted butter is used in the shortbread crust. Unsalted butter can be used in its place. If you do this, add a pinch of fine grain salt to the flour mixture.

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    Prep Time 29 minutes minsCook Time 12 minutes mins1 hour setting time. 1 hour hrTotal Time 1 hour hr 41 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 16 pieces

    Equipment8×8 inch baking pan
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 1/4 cups all-purpose flour1/2 cup brown sugar lightly packed1/2 cup salted butter room temperature1 can 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk2 cups semisweet chocolate chips½ cup creamy peanut butter2 cups mini marshmallows2 1/4 cups roasted salted mixed nuts such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, and peanuts
    Instructions Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper so paper hangs over all four sides.Combine flour, brown sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir, using wooden spoon, until large clumps form and then use hands to knead mixture together. Press dough into bottom of prepared pan; bake 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place on cooling rack to cool completely.In medium saucepan, combine sweetened condensed milk, semisweet chocolate chips and peanut butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Add marshmallows and stir well. Cook until marshmallows melt and can be stirred into the chocolate- peanut butter mixture. Add 1 cup of mixed nuts; stir to incorporate. Pour mixture over crust and spread evenly using spatula.Sprinkle remaining 1 1/4 cup mixed nuts on top of the filling while still warm. Gently press the peanuts into filling using fingertips. Refrigerate bars 1 hour or more before cutting. Bring to room temperature before serving.Store bars at room temperature in air-tight container or covered in plastic wrap.

    Keyword brown sugar, christmas candy, Christmas cookies, fudge filling, mini marshmallows, salted mixed nuts, shortbread crust, sweet and salty nut bars, sweetened condensed milk

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