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    Compost Cookies (to Satisfy Every Craving!)

    Compost Cookies® are loaded with all kinds of sweet and salty snacks. Adapted from Milk Bar’s famous recipe, this version has peanut-ty flavor.

    Compost Cookies. I think we can all agree that it’s not the most tempting name. But don’t let that fool you! These cookies are buttery rounds of YUM. Filled with plenty of mix-ins that include chocolate chips, peanut butter morsels, pretzels, graham crackers, oats, honey-roasted peanuts, and coffee grounds. Yes! You read that right. Not used coffee grounds, but fresh ground coffee. Each bite offers something unique for the ultimate snacking experience.
    The story goes that these cookies were born of necessity due to an ingredients shortage. And sweets chef Christina Tosi of Milk Bar fame made something special from what was on hand. They’ve been called Kitchen Sink Cookies and Garbage Cookies due to their impressive amount of add-ins. Tosi says “Call them what you want, and make them as we make them at Milk Bar, or add your own favorite snacks to the cookie base in place of ours”. Which is exactly what I did.

    One special ingredient I added to the base dough is plain yellow cornmeal. This gives the cookie even more creaveable texture. I’ve made these a few times now – with and without – and I love the cornmeal addition. However, if you don’t have cornmeal on hand, it can be replaced with an equal amount of flour. No big deal!
    Get all the dry dough ingredients into a big bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside. Next, it’s time to raid your snack pantry!
    My suggested mix-ins: broken pretzels, honey-roasted peanuts, broken graham crackers, peanut butter morsels, oats, ground coffee, semisweet chocolate chips.

    Compost Cookie mix-ins.
    The Milk Bar cookie recipe encourages experimentation, which makes me happy. Who doesn’t love a variable recipe where almost anything goes? However, my peanut-ty take was so well-received that I keep repeating the same ingredients. And that was the reason I decided to post the recipe here.
    Gather the recipe’s mix-in ingredients, or whatever mixture of snack foods that inhabits your pantry, and stir them together in a bowl. Set aside to make the base dough.

    Make the base dough
    In the bowl of an electric mixer (preferably a stand mixer) cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Add an egg and vanilla extract; blend those together well.

    Add the dry mixture and beat until just combined. Don’t over mix!

    Finally, get all those bits and bobs in the bowl and mix briefly. Beat together for 10-15 on low speed. This should distribute the mix-ins throughout without beating them up too much.

    Look at that gorgeous dough chock full of – everything! All of those additions seem to be held together with a whisper of cookie dough. But in the end, the cookies bake up with a nice balanced ratio of dough to mix-ins.

    The right measure.
    Portion these by the level 1/4 cup measures. Use a standard size ice cream scoop if you have one. Because it’s approximately 1/4 cup capacity. Space the cookies far apart. They will spread a little. If you find they’re spreading a little unevenly, you can gently push the cookie edges into a round shape using a butter knife while they are still hot.

    Add some extras on top! This gives the finished cookies bakery-made appeal. I used broken pretzel sticks on some of the unbaked cookies, and tiny twists on others. Bake the cookies. They should be well browned on the edges and barely set in the centers. About 13 minutes was just right in my oven, but no two ovens are alike. So keep an eye on them as they bake.

    I’m tempted to call these ‘Midnight Snack Cookies’ instead of ‘Compost Cookies’ because they sweet, salty, crunchy, chewy, chocolaty, and peanut-buttery all at once. They satisfy every craving!

    This recipe makes about 2 dozen (I got 21 in my kitchen), so there’s plenty to share. Although, no judgment here if you decide to keep them all to yourself!
    Related recipe: 10 Cup Cookies

    Compost Cookies

    Heather Baird

    Simply put, this is a really delicious cookie with a lot of stuff in it. Adapted from Milk Bar’s famous recipe, this cookie has an abundance of sweet, salty, and crunchy ingredients. This rendition of the recipe has peanut-ty flavor with honey-roasted peanuts and peanut butter morsels in the mix. It also has semisweet chips, oats, crushed graham crackers, and ground coffee. A small amount of plain yellow cornmeal bumps up the texture of the cookie dough. If you don’t have any on hand, you can still make this recipe. Swap in 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour for the cornmeal.Be careful not to overbake these cookies. The cookies are done when the edges are brown and the center is just set and still soft and pale. 13 minutes was just right for my oven, but since ovens vary, I urge you to keep an eye on the cookies as they bake.

    #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 15 minutes mins1 hour chill time 1 hour hrTotal Time 1 hour hr 35 minutes mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 2 dozen

    Equipment¼ cup measure, or trigger ice cream scoopparchment paper2-4 Light aluminum cookie sheets
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 1 cup all-purpose flour1/3 cup plain yellow cornmeal stone ground1/2 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon baking soda1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt1 cup honey-roasted peanuts1 cup broken pretzel sticks or tiny twists or a combination of the two1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers about 8 squares1 cup semisweet chocolate chips1/2 cup peanut butter morsels such as Reese’s1/3 cup quick cooking oats1 tablespoon coffee grounds1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature1 cup granulated sugar2/3 cup light brown sugar firmly packed1 large egg at room temperature1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Instructions In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.In a separate large bowl combine the peanuts, pretzels, graham crackers, peanut butter chips, oats, and coffee grounds. Stir to combine.In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat again until well combined.Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture and beat until just combined on low speed. Scrape down the bowl as needed and beat again briefly.Pour in the mixture of add-ins and stir together on low speed until they are all well dispersed throughout the dough, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the bowl with a large rubber spatula to make sure there are no hidden pockets of plain batter. If you find some, incorporate them using a large rubber spatula.Line large cookie sheets with parchment paper (avoid using dark-coated cookie sheets; light aluminum works best here). Scoop dough by the level 1/4 cup measures and place them on the cookie sheets, well-spaced because these cookies spread. Top with additional chips, nuts, and pretzels, if desired. Chill the dough on the sheets in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.Preheat the oven to 375 F.Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the centers are just set yet still soft. The centers will look underbaked. Let the cookies stay on the pans until they are firm enough to transfer, 5-7 minutes. If cookies aren’t perfectly round when they come out of the oven, use a butter knife to gently push the edges into shape while they are still hot. Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.Store cookies airtight for up to 5 days. To freeze cookies, store double bagged freezer bags with the air removed for up to 2 months.
    NotesUse the right pan: Light aluminum pans work best with this recipe, as dark-coated non-stick pans tend to make the edges of the dough spread.
    Anything goes! Fritos, tortilla chips, cereal, nuts, dried fruit – you name it. The original Compost Cookie recipe has potato chips as an ingredient. If you plan to swap in potato chips, choose a thicker cut variety with ridges so they’ll stand up to being mixed into the cookie dough.
    This recipe was adapted from Christina Tosi’s recipe from Milk Bar. 

    Keyword compost cookies, garbage cookies, ground coffee, kitchen sink cookies, midnight snack cookies, peanut butter morsels, semisweet chips

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Mint Chocolate Chip Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

    Add some holiday flavor and color to your cookie tray with Mint Chocolate Chip Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies!

    Shortbread is my favorite kind of cookie. That’s no secret to long-time blog readers, I’m sure. The formula is so simple and the end result so delicate and buttery, I’m always dreaming up new ways to flavor and shape the dough. This year for a Christmas cookie offering, I decided to make them into thumbprint cookies! These Mint Chocolate Chip Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies are fun and festive with bright color and zingy mint flavor. Mint chocolate chip ice cream lovers will want to make these.

    Cream the butter.
    Cream one cup of butter with 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar until smooth. A hand mixer will work just fine for this task. The ratio of sugar makes the shortbread lightly sweet so the mint and chocolate flavors shine through.

    Color and flavor.
    Frontier Co-op Organic Mint Extract is what I keep in my pantry to make minty treats. It’s not overpowering if used in moderation. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the extract, along with a little green food color to the creamed mixture. I used a pastel green gel food color, but it ended up being bolder than I expected – but I like it! A few drops of liquid green food color would work just fine also.

    Add in the flour and mini chocolate chips. Mix until just combined. Don’t be tempted to overmix here, tender shortbread depends on not developing the flour’s gluten.

    Scoop and shape.
    Portion the dough out onto parchment-lined baking sheets using a cookie scoop (or a slightly heaped tablespoon). After scooping, make a well, or a thumbprint, in each dough ball. I use the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measure.

    Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, then reshape the ‘thumbprint’ after baking. The cookies will puff up a little under the heat, and the well becomes shallow. Just press the 1/2 teaspoon measure into the divots to make them slightly deeper.

    Fill and drizzle.
    After the cookies cool, fill the wells with rich chocolate ganache, then drizzle the tops with leftover ganache.

    These cookies lively little minty bites. They remind me of an Andes mint in cookie form!
    This blog post is sponsored by Go Bold With Butter. View more butter recipes at this link.
    Related recipe: Peppermint Snowball Cookies

    Mint Chocolate Chip Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

    Heather Baird

    The classic flavor of mint chocolate chip brings a mashup of shortbread and thumbprint cookies together! Use real butter to achieve the perfect crumbly shortbread texture. Rich chocolate ganache fills the ‘thumbprints’ with an extra drizzle for good measure.Please note that because these thumbprint cookies have a shortbread base, there is no chemical leaven or egg in the ingredients.

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    Prep Time 30 minsCook Time 12 mins1 hour cooling time 1 hrTotal Time 1 hr 42 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 24

    Equipment1 disposable piping bag or zip top storage bag
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric Cookies1 cup unsalted butter softened1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar1/2 teaspoon mint extractGreen food color2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chipsGanache Filling2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips1/3 cup heavy cream
    Instructions CookiesPreheat the oven to 350°F.Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and creamy.Add mint extract and green food color; mix to combine.Next, add flour and mini chips; mix until just combined (avoid overmixing).Remove dough from the bowl; shape into 1-inch balls. You can also use a 4- teaspoon capacity cookie scoop. Roll the balls between your palms, and then place 1/2 inch apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.Create a well in each dough ball with your thumb or by using the rounded back of a 1/2 teaspoon measure. Chill dough for 15 minutes.Bake for 10-12 minutes.Once baked, reshape the wells with the handle of a wooden spoon or the 1/2 teaspoon measure. Let cool on the baking sheets.Move cooled cookies to a parchment paper-covered work surface.Ganache FillingHeat semisweet chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute at 100% power. Allow the mixture to stand 1 minute. Whisk until you have a silky, shiny ganache.Transfer the ganache to a disposable piping bag or a zip-top bag with the corner snipped. Fill each cookie well with the ganache. Use any leftover ganache to drizzle over the cookies.Let stand until cookies are completely set, about 1 hour.Enjoy right away! Or store the cookies an airtight container with layers between pieces of waxed paper.
    NotesMake ahead: the shortbread thumbprint cookies can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month. To thaw, place them in the refrigerator overnight. Make the ganache and fill as directed in the recipe. 

    Keyword Christmas cookies, mini chocolate chips, mint chocolate chip cookies, shortbread cookies, thumbprint cookies

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are rich, bite-size sweets with a mini Reese’s cup nestled in their centers. Serve alongside a tall glass of milk – Santa will thank you!

    Full disclosure: I make these cookies year-round. But my Christmas cookie giveaway trays would not be complete without them! Everyone loves them. Especially Reese’s peanut butter cup lovers. These cookies are baked in a mini muffin tin, which creates the perfect size chocolate cookie cup to hold a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup. They are chocolatey, chewy, and so delish with that perfect center of peanut butter.

    Portion the dough.
    Use a cookie scoop (4 teaspoon capacity) to portion the dough and then roll them into balls between your palms. The chocolate dough has a little peanut butter in it, so it is unsticky and very easy to shape. Place each dough ball in the cavity of a mini muffin pan. My mini muffin pan has 24 cavities. This recipe makes about 36 cookies so I had to re-wash my pan and re-grease it for the last dozen.
    Before you start baking, go ahead and unwrap the 36 mini Reese’s peanut butter cups and have them ready to hand.

    Bake the cookies for 12 minutes. They come out of the oven looking a lot like mini chocolate muffins!

    Add the peanut butter cups.
    Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, press a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup in the center of each baked cookie. Be careful, though! The pan will be hot. Now, you could stop right here and have some really good-looking cookies. But the holidays call for something a little extra.

    Dress them up!
    Whip up an easy peanut butter drizzle by melting peanut butter baking chips with just a little vegetable oil (I used olive oil). This makes the peanut butter mixture more fluid, more drizzly. I put the peanut butter mixture in a piping bag with a small hole snipped in the end, but you could use a zip-top bag with the corner snipped.

    Get out your favorite holiday sprinkles to give these some festive color. I used some holly berry quins, but jimmies would look nice, too.

    The chocolate cookie cup is so soft and chewy, which perfectly contrasts the peanut buttery flavor of the peanut butter cup. These are so poppable – a little too easy to eat, if you ask me!
    Related recipe: Peanut Butter Cup Hot Cocoa Bombs

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

    Heather Baird

    These cookies are beloved by kids of all ages. Chocolatey, chewy, and peanut-buttery, they’ll disappear fast! Unwrap the mini Reese’s cups ahead of time and have them ready to immediately press into the cookies after they are taken out of the oven.

    #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 minsCook Time 12 minsTotal Time 32 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 36

    Equipmentmini muffin tin with 24 cavities
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 2/3 cup all-purpose flour1/3 cup dark cocoa powder1 teaspoon baking soda1/8 teaspoon fine grain salt1/2 cup sugar1/3 cup creamy peanut butter1/4 cup unsalted butter softened1 egg2 tablespoons whipping cream1 teaspoon vanilla36 Reese’s peanut butter cups miniatures unwrapped1/4 cup peanut butter chips1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    Instructions Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the cavities of a mini muffin pan with flour-based baking spray (or grease pan with nonstick cooking spray).In small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, peanut butter, and unsalted butter on medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg, whipping cream, and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture on low speed until blended.Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. (I used a cookie scoop, 4 teaspoon capacity.) Place one ball into each muffin cup.Bake 12 minutes. Immediately press 1 peanut butter cup into center of each cookie. Cool in pan on cooling rack. Combine the peanut butter chips and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals until the mixture can be stirred smooth. It should be a little runny and pourable. Transfer the mixture to a zip-top bag with a tiny hole in the corner snipped. Drizzle over hot cocoa bombs. Let stand until set, about 15 minutes.Drizzle the peanut butter mixture over 5 cookies at a time, then immediately top with sprinkles. Continue working like this until all of the cookies are drizzled and sprinkled. The peanut butter drizzle will set up quickly, so be swift with your sprinkling.Allow the cookies to stand until set, about 5-7 minutes. Store the cookies airtight until ready to serve.
    NotesPlace the unwrapped peanut butter cups on a plate and then on  a countertop away from the stovetop. This prevents them from softening and melting. They should be firm enough to press into the hot cookie cups right when they come out of the oven. If your kitchen is particularly warm at room temperature, place the peanut butter cups in the refrigerator while the cookies bake.

    Keyword chocolate cookie dough, cookie cups, mini Reese’s cups, peanut butter cookie dough, reese’s peanut butter cups

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    Christmas Dessert Board

    Learn how to make a crowd-pleasing Christmas Dessert Board! Build your own board around a homemade touch, while adding semi-homemade and store-bought treats.

    ‘Tis the season for lots of sweets! And what better way to serve them to a crowd than with an abundant, filled-to-the-brim dessert board? I was asked by my friends at to create a guide for building a board that won’t keep you in the kitchen all day. This assembly holds everything your party guests could ask for, including scratch-made shortbread cookies, rich layered cheesecake bars, and a host of semi-homemade and purchased sweets.

    One dough, three cookies!
    This scratch-made cookie is perfect for filling up real estate on a large dessert board. And who doesn’t love shortbread? Whip up one barely sweet shortbread dough and divide it into three portions. Then, add sweet or savory ingredients to each dough. Toffee-chocolate chip, orange-cranberry, and savory smoked cheddar jalapeno cookies are all made from the same dough! Get the recipe at at this link: Gift or Enjoy: Endlessly Customizable Christmas Shortbread Cookies Recipe.

    Layered cheesecake bars.
    This is another homemade touch that will really make your dessert board special. Cheesecake bars are classic, but this recipe gives them a twist. Make three flavors of cheesecake from one pan of cheesecake bars: Peppermint Patty, Cookies ‘n Cream, and Pecan Pie. Get the tutorial and recipe on Endlessly Customizable Layered Cheesecake Bars.

    Semi-homemade treats.
    Some ready-made sweets just need a little dressing up for the holidays. Crushed peppermint and holiday sprinkles can make ordinary sweets look magical! And they’re easy to put together (kids can help!). Find instructions to make these treats in the photo gallery on

    Purchased sweets.
    Seek out colorful and beautiful ready-made ingredients to make your board extra-festive. You can’t go wrong with Sconza’s Holiday Jordan Almonds. I admire this company so much, because they take such care to make all of their sweets beautiful – so you can take them straight from the package and add them to your arrangement. I also used their Milk and White Chocolate Cherries and Gingerbread Toffee Mixed Nuts.

    Christmas Dessert Board
    The photo gallery on has all the information on how to put your own board together, including choosing a board, using containers, and styling tips for a gorgeous spread. See it all in a clickable slide show HERE on
    Related recipe: The Ultimate Southern Brunch Board with Homemade Pimiento Cheese

    You may also enjoy: LEGGI TUTTO

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    Easy Toffee Walnut Bars

    Easy Toffee Walnut Bars are crowd-pleasing treats and only require a few ingredients! Add them to your cookie baking roster this holiday season.

    If you like to bake-and-give for the holidays, then you should add these to your short list. One pan makes a whole bunch of servings, and everyone loves them. They are chewy and chocolaty with a crumbly shortbread base. I make them year-round, because they are one of my husband’s favorite treats, plus they are SO EASY. Casual as they may be to make, they still taste special enough to make an appearance on fancy Christmas cookie trays.

    Shortbread base.
    Whisk together flour and confectioners’ sugar. Then blend a whole cup of butter into the flour mixture. I used a big serving fork’s tines to mash the butter into the flour to fine crumbs. But you could use a pastry blender if you have one.

    Press the crust mixture into the bottom of an aluminum foil-lined and greased 13×9 baking pan. The flour mixture packs well under your palms, or use the flat bottom of a measuring cup.

    The easiest filling!
    In a separate bowl, beat together sweetened condensed milk, an egg, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

    Add to this mixture a bag of milk chocolate-covered toffee bits (such as Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits) and chopped English walnuts. Mix this all together until all the bits are well dispersed.

    Next, pour the mixture over the crust and and bake. The Heath bits and sweetened condensed milk mixture will puff and turn golden as it bakes, creating a chewy crave-worthy toffee topping.
    Easy Toffee Walnut Bars

    I couldn’t help but add an extra drizzle of chocolate on top of each square. This can be optional, but it makes a really pretty presentation. When the chocolate is set, they package up neatly in cellophane bags for gift giving. They also look really pretty on a dessert buffet arranged with some Florentine Cookie Bars.

    Easy Toffee Walnut Bars

    Heather Baird

    These bars are always a hit with their buttery shortbread crust and chewy toffee topping. Made with mostly pantry staples, they come together quickly and are easy to package for holiday gift giving.You can find the Heath milk chocolate-covered toffee bits in the baking aisle at most US grocery stores next to the chocolate chips. If you can’t find the bits, you may buy Heath milk chocolate-covered toffee bars and crush them with a rolling pin to create the 8 oz. of bits needed for the recipe.

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    Prep Time 10 minsCook Time 40 minsTotal Time 50 mins

    Course DessertCuisine American

    Servings 30

    Equipment13×9 inch panzip top bag optional
    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar1 cup cold butter at room temperature1 large egg at room temperature14 oz. sweetened condensed milk one can1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt8 oz. milk chocolate covered toffee bits one package1 cup chopped English walnuts3 oz. melted semisweet chocolate optional
    Instructions Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil that overhangs the edges and grease the foil with nonstick cooking spray.In a large bowl, whisk together flour and confectioners’ sugar. Mash the butter into the flour using the tines of a fork, or with a pastry blender. Combine until crumbly.Press the crust mixture into the prepared baking pan. Bake 15 minutes.Meanwhile, combine the egg, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Fold in toffee bits and walnuts.Spoon the mixture over the baked crust. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and slightly puffed.Cool in the pan about 15 minutes, then refrigerate until firm. Lift the slab from the pan using the overhanging aluminum foil. Cut into 30 pieces.If using the chocolate drizzle, place the melted chocolate in a zip top bag with a tiny hole in the corner snipped. Lay the bars on a parchment-covered work surface and drizzle each bar with chocolate. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes.Package bars in cellophane bags for gift-giving, or store them airtight between waxed paper.
    NotesA delicious variation to this recipe is to swap in pecans for the walnuts.

    Keyword 13×9 dessert, easy toffee walnut bars, Heath mik chocolate-covered toffee bits, shortbread crust, toffee bar recipe, toffee bars

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    Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

    Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies are buttery beyond words! The cookies are speckled with black tea and fragrant with bergamot notes.

    This is an easy riff on my favorite classic shortbread recipe. With just five ingredients, it’s so wonderfully uncomplicated. Earl Grey tea gives it refined flavor and beautiful fragrance, I may just add these to my holiday cookie giveaway trays!
    To make these cookies extra-special, I used a fondant impression mat to make them a little fancier than usual. (I think they look like millwork!) Shortbread, when handled just so, molds so beautifully. It’s not difficult, and I’ll show you how in the video at the end of the blog post. However, if you’re not into molding the cookies, there are also simple slice-and-bake instructions in the recipe notes.

    My current favorite offshoot of the Earl Grey family is Empress Grey. It’s a bit bolder and has a more pronounced orangey flavor than regular Earl Grey. I also really love using Earl Greyer by Republic of Tea in baked goods. It has bergamot oil added to the leaves (see this Earl Grey au Lait Cake). I recommend using your favorite variety in this recipe.

    The dry ingredients.
    First, open up about 8 Earl Grey tea bags. Pour them out into a bowl and give the tea mixture a good look. The tea should be fine, but if you see any large dry leaves floating around, grind them finer in a mortar and pestle (or put the tea in a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin).
    Pour the fine tea into some all-purpose flour and whisk to distribute the tea evenly throughout. Additionally, add in some fine grain sea salt and confectioners’ sugar.

    Cream the butter.
    Butter is such an important ingredient in this recipe because it imparts so much flavor. The ratio of butter to flour also gives the shortbread its unsticky texture. Cream 1 pound of room temperature butter well in a standing mixer before adding the dry ingredients.

    As the mixer blends the dough together, it will clump around the beater. This is a good sign that you’re on the right track. Mix it until the dough becomes so cohesive that the motion of the mixer beater begins to clean the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a piece of plastic wrap and pat it into a disk shape. Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

    Molding the shortbread.
    I really wanted to make this shortbread look as beautiful as it tastes. My initial plan was to use my new patterned rolling pin to give the dough surface a gorgeous baroque pattern. Well, in full disclosure – and after many tries – I just couldn’t get it to work right. I received a faulty rolling pin with too shallow a pattern and wobbly handles. What a disappointment!
    As I rolled and re-rolled in frustration, I thought to myself “This is awful, I’d have more luck with an impression mat”. Which was a real lightbulb moment. Then I remembered this Baroque Scroll Relief Mat I purchased for wedding cake-making. It was perfect and turned out flawless tablets of dough.

    How to help molded shortbread cookies keep their shape.
    First of all, and especially with molded shortbread with this amount of detail, you need to freeze the cookies. If molding tablets as I have, freeze the tablets before cutting them into smaller cookies. The edges will be sharper and the cuts will be cleaner. Then transfer them to a cookie sheet.

    Second, bake them from their frozen state. Cold butter releases its water content slower and the cookies won’t puff out of shape.
    Third, bake them at a lower temperature for longer. 300F for 20 minutes was perfect for these 3 to 4-inch cookies. A lower temperature ensures the cookies stay beautifully pale, and the steam escaping from the butter does so slowly. Again, this helps the cookies from distorting or puffing too much.

    From the oven, the cookies will be slightly puffed and lightly golden around the bottom edges. The cookies should have a matte appearance when they are done. I just love how architectural they look!
    Sidenote: These cookies remind me so much of the edging and millwork on the Wedgwood-inspired Tree we put together for a Confetti Fix blog post last year (you can see that post here). I’m obsessed!
    Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

    I’ve eaten more of these than I care to admit, but they are too good to resist! They make excellent company with a cup of hot tea and a good book. The molded cookies make a fancy-looking gift presented in a little bag tied with ribbon. However, if you’re not inclined to go that route, see the easiest instructions for slice-and-bake cookies in the recipe notes.

    Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

    Heather Baird

    Earl Grey Shortbread is buttery and rich with delicate notes of bergamot and black tea. Use the tea in sachets, which hold finely ground tea instead of large loose leaves. If using loose-leaf tea, grind the tea to fine consistency in a mortar and pestle, or put the tea in a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin.This dough molds beautifully as pictured, or use the slice-and-bake instructions in the notes of this recipe. The silicone impression mat I used is linked in the blog post and recipe. Be sure to note that when baking molded cookies, the temperature and time is low and slow: 300F for 20-22 minutes.This recipe yields about a 2 ½- 3 dozen molded cookies. However, if you’re going the slice-and-bake route you’ll end up with about 4 dozen. Please note the change in temperature and baking time for the slice-and-bake version.

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    Prep Time 40 minsCook Time 20 minsTotal Time 1 hr

    Course DessertCuisine Scottish

    Servings 3 dozen

    Ingredients US CustomaryMetric 4 tablespoons Earl Grey tea about 8 teabags4 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
    Instructions In a large mixing bowl, combine the Earl Grey tea and flour. Whisk together to disperse the tea throughout the flour. Add the salt and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk until well blended.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed. The dough will slowly form as the beater turns. When the dough is well formed it should not be sticky, and it will be thick and clump on the beater.Remove the dough to a piece of plastic wrap and pat into a disk. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.Dust a work surface with flour. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into quarters. Place a quarter on the dusted work surface. Dust the dough and a rolling pin lightly with flour. Roll the piece to a little greater than 1/2-inch thickness. Pick up the dough as you roll to make sure it isn’t sticking to the work surface. If it is, gently prod it loose with a spatula and throw a little more flour underneath it. Lightly re-roll.Use an art brush (or pastry brush) loaded with flour to liberally flour the silicone impression mold. Turn the mat over and tap out excess flour. Lay the rolled dough over the impression mat and press the dough into the cavities with your fingers. Then, use the rolling pin to roll the dough flat to about 1/4 inch. Flip the mold over onto a parchment sheet and gently peel the mold away from the dough revealing a tablet design. Cut away the excess dough from the edges and transfer the molded piece to the freezer to stiffen completely (about 10 minutes). Meanwhile repeat the molding process with the remaining dough.Preheat the oven to 300F.Remove the frozen dough tablets from the freezer and cut into 3-4-inch lengths. Bake the cookies from their frozen state for 20-22 minutes, or until they are very slightly puffed and have a matte surface. The cookies should be pale with the bottom edges very light golden in color.Let the cookies cool on the pans until they are firm enough to move, about 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Keep shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 days.
    NotesSlice-and-Bake Version:
    Mix the dough as directed. Divide the dough into two portions. Roll each portion into a log shape about 12 inches long and roll in plastic wrap. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
    Preheat the oven to 375F.
    Slice the logs into 1/3 inch coins. Transfer them to parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly brown. Let cool on the baking sheets until they are firm enough to transfer to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature.

    Keyword Earl Grey Cookies, Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies, molded shortbread, shortbread, slice-and-bake cookies

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    The Best Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

    Embrace the flavors of the season with the Best Pumpkin Recipes for Fall! I’m sharing some of my favorite pumpkin treats, from pumpkin cakes and cookies to pumpkin bread, and more. All easy to make and brimming with the festive flavors of warm, savory-spiced pumpkin!

    Pumpkin Dump Cake
    Table of Contents

    Bring On The Fall Vibes with These Cozy Pumpkin Recipes

    Who else has waited all year for pumpkin season? Because, same. For pumpkin lovers like yours truly, I consider fall our Superbowl.  
    With the most pumpkin-full time of the year rolling around soon enough, today I’m sharing my favorite treats featuring the fall season’s star ingredient.
    I’m dishing some of my all-time best pumpkin recipes. From cozy pumpkin cookies to pumpkin loaves, muffins, and even a pumpkin cake or two for good measure. Get ready for your kitchen to smell like a sweet and toasty pumpkin spice dream!
    What Makes These Recipes the Best?
    Everyone loves a good pumpkin recipe, but what makes these ones better than good? These pumpkin baking ideas are:
    Easy. As always, it’s my mission to share the best baking recipes that any home baker can whip up when a craving hits! These pumpkin recipes are easy AND delicious.Full of pumpkin flavor. Warm and cozy, sweet and spicy – my pumpkin recipes don’t fall short on all the classic flavors we know and love. Perfect for the season. Fall means the festive season is just around the corner! I’m sharing goodies that are great for everyday baking, but also just as perfect for sharing with friends and family come the holidays. 
    Tips for Cooking with Pumpkin
    Some added guidance when turning pumpkin into the best fall treats:
    You Can Use Canned or Homemade – Sort Of. Most pumpkin recipes will turn out just as great with fresh pumpkin puree made from scratch as they would with canned pumpkin. However, the flavor and texture of fresh pumpkin can vary, so that’s something to keep in mind when baking. Pumpkin pies, for example, usually come out the best when made with trusty, canned pumpkin.Speaking of Canned Pumpkin… Pumpkin puree in a can isn’t the same as canned pumpkin pie filling. If your recipe calls for canned pumpkin, make sure you’re using the right ingredient!Swapping Pumpkin for Eggs, Oil, or Butter: You can swap 1/4 cup pumpkin puree for one egg in most baking recipes. You can also substitute pumpkin puree tablespoon for tablespoon in place of oil/butter.Bake Thoroughly. Because pumpkin is so moist, it’s important to keep an eye on the baked goods while they’re in the oven, and after they come out. Make sure the centers aren’t still raw/gummy after baking.Pumpkin Puree Substitutes: Run out of pumpkin puree? Or maybe you forgot to add it to your shopping list, or you’re just after something different. Good alternatives to pumpkin are mashed/pureed sweet potatoes, canned yams, or butternut squash. These can be substituted 1:1 for pumpkin puree in most recipes!
    14 Recipes You Have to Try
    Have your pumpkin puree at the ready for these festive recipes that are perfect for fall baking!
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    Pumpkin Cookies
    Let’s start with a true classic: rich and tender, delicious and spiced pumpkin cookies. I’ve frosted these with a decadent melt-in-your-mouth brown sugar icing. A bite out of one of these is the definition of bliss!

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
    A soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie with a fun fall twist. These pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are loaded with rich pumpkin spice flavor, made extra moist and tender thanks to real pumpkin puree.

    Perfect Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting
    Light and fluffy pumpkin cake is layered with the flavors of fall in this easy pumpkin dessert. Filled with buttery frosting enriched with browned butter plus a touch of pure maple syrup.

    Pumpkin Apple Muffins
    Two autumn favorites come together in these easy pumpkin apple muffins! Soft and pillowy pumpkin muffins are filled with sweet apple chunks and cinnamon spice. This recipe instantly puts everyone in a fall mood!

    Salted Honey Chewy Pumpkin Cookies
    These chewy pumpkin cookies are just the best, with all their buttery, spicy deliciousness and whatnot. Just TRY to resist having a second or third. Perfect for a Thanksgiving or Halloween cookie platter!

    Pumpkin Dump Cake
    This pumpkin dump cake might just be one of my all-time favorite fall desserts. I always come back to this moist cake recipe that’s choc full of real pumpkin flavor, prepared with a boxed yellow cake mix and a crunchy, nutty graham cracker topping.

    The Best Easy Pumpkin Bread
    The perfect quick bread loaf to bake this fall! You’re going to love this classic pumpkin bread recipe as much as I do, I just know it. I can’t think of many people who can resist a soft and tender slice of this pumpkin-spiced loaf.

    Easy Pumpkin Blondies
    Serve these easy pumpkin blondies at all your fall gatherings and watch them vanish from the plate! This blondies recipe is packed with pumpkin flavor (not to mention, melty white chocolate chips!) and is super simple to make.

    Pumpkin Scones
    These flaky and moist pumpkin scones are exactly what I’ll be having with my morning coffee all season long. Drizzled with brown sugar icing and so buttery!

    Easy Pumpkin Roll
    Roll up all the scrumptious flavors of pumpkin and spice into an impressive yet easy dessert. This pumpkin roll is creamy, it’s tender, and just an all-around winner.

    Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Cake
    This breakfast dessert starts with a store-bought cake mix and ends with the most incredible pumpkin cinnamon roll cake. This easy cake recipe is a go-to treat for fall mornings, made from moist cake swirled with cinnamon and drizzled with glaze.

    Pumpkin Molasses Cookies
    If there was ever a recipe to make you feel like a frolic through your local pumpkin patch, this is it! These pumpkin molasses cookies are so soft, sweet, and tender, and taste just like they came from a bakery.

    Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
    Creamy cheesecake with tons of pumpkin flair! My pumpkin cheesecake recipe is the best for fall entertaining as it never fails to wow. The texture is divine and the flavors are a pumpkin lover’s dream come true.

    Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)
    If you love those soft pumpkin cream cheese muffins from Starbucks, wait until you’ve tried this homemade version. This copycat recipe inspired by the classic coffee shop treat tastes a million times better when it’s fresh from the oven!

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    Photo Journal: Summer Silver Linings

    Hello, hello! Today I’m sharing a few personal updates, along with some recipes I’ve been working on that are featured elsewhere on the web. I hope you enjoy reading about what I’ve been up to this summer!

    I’ve surprised myself, making time for another personal update here. Our summer so far has been hot and muggy (and buggy!) as it usually is in the southern US. Swarms of June bugs are flying aimlessly across the lawn like they are drunk on the humidity. It’s kind of miserable outside. But July is my birthday month. To celebrate, I might visit a gem and fossil shop and add another rock to my collection. And maybe get myself a donut while I’m in that neck of the woods.

    As you can see from the lead photo, I’ve been painting again. Before baking became my life, I’d planned to be a fine artist of some sort. I haven’t made a piece of art on canvas in more than a decade. But lately, my soul has needed the kind of therapy that can only be had by putting brush to canvas. I’ve been missing my Churro so much. So I decided to paint his portrait. He loved bananas and the teddy he came with from the rescue. So I included them in the composition.
    Although I’ve taken Churro’s passing pretty hard, it has made me rediscover my love for painting. A silver lining if ever there was one.

    A new face.
    Now, this seems like an opportune time to tell you about my new helper. Chico is a little black jelly bean of a dog. Cute as a button with a tail that never stops wagging, except when it thunders. My husband fell in love with him at the shelter, and although I didn’t think I was ready for a new dog, it turns out that I needed Chico very much. And he needed us. too.
    He’s an older dog. It seems that’s what we’re drawn to rescue. So I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I’m running an old folks home for dogs. All the while following my rescue heroes with more experience than I have, Steve Greig and Peabody Johanson (of Sweet ReciPEAs).

    You can read a little bit more about Chico in this Instagram post.

    My work elsewhere.
    A couple of months ago I whipped up some Spicy Mango-Tamarind Ice Pops to help promote Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race on social media. You can watch me make them right here on Facebook or on Inspired by artisanal Mexican paletas, these treats embrace sweet and spicy with a sprinkle of chile-lime seasoning on each ice pop.

    This is another chilly treat I made for Food Network – Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwich Cake! You can find the recipe right here. It’s a lot like my Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches Cake, but with a strawberry crunch spin. I love recipes like this for summer. Some assembly required, but no cooking or baking!

    Kitchen storage.
    I shared this on social media a while back, but some of you may not have seen it yet. Check out this article I wrote for HGTV: Create a Chef-Worthy Kitchen With Our Storage Secrets. All of these photos are from my workshop, and are my storage methods that are easy to employ in your own kitchen. While browsing through you’ll find a couple of recipes. Don’t miss my Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Caramel and Peanuts! They taste like a Snicker’s bar in cookie form.

    Southern summers force me into a slower pace. One that makes me want to recharge by spending time alone thinking, baking, taking pictures, and now painting. And so I will.
    I hope summer has been kind to you so far. Onward and upward!

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