Homemade Oreo Cookies



Pecan Shortbread Bars


S’mores Pie

Needing a desert to bring to a barbecue, I adapted this recipe to use up ingredients available in my pantry while the baby napped: a few packages of graham crackers, half a package of marshmallows, only 1-1/2 cups of granulated sugar, and King Arthur cocoa powder. With a S’mores Layer Cake and S’mores Bites, I think I have completed the round of S’mores recipes for awhile.

Servings: 8 to 10 pie slices

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, divided
2 eggs

12 graham crackers
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Prepare crust
Grind graham crackers in a food processor or by rolling crackers inside a sealed plastic bag. Add 1/4 cup granulated sugar to the crushed crackers and mix in a medium bowl. Melt 6 Tbsp. of butter and add to the crushed crackers and sugar, stirring to combine. Press mixture into a pie pan and place in the refrigerator while preparing the brownie.

Make brownie
Preheat  oven to 350 degrees-F. In a double-boiler, melt remaining 10 Tbsp. butter, remaining 1-1/4 cups sugar with cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Remove from heat and add eggs one at a time, thoroughly incorporating. Add salt, vanilla extract, and flour, stir to combine.

Assemble and bake
Pour brownie batter into prepared crust and bake for 25 minutes. Cut marshmallows in half and place cut side down on the baked brownie. Return to oven for 4 minutes. Turn on broiler and place pie a few inches from the flame. Watch closely and toast marshmallows for 2 or 3 minutes, turning the pan to brown evenly.

Let cool completely in pan at room temperature. Use a sharp knife dipped in water to slice so the marshmallows do not stick to the knife.

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Berry Butter Bars

The inspiration for this recipe is Momofuku Milk Bar’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Bars. These are definitely ooey and gooey. I placed them in a mini cupcake liner to make them easier to serve and it is best to store them in the refrigerator.

Servings: 36 bars

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 eggs, separated
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
11 oz. mixed berries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or chef’s choice

2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
1/4 tsp. salt
16 oz. Confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Make cake batter
Preheat oven to 325 degrees-F. Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, dry milk, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Melt butter and add to the bowl, stir to combine. Add two eggs, one at a time, and thoroughly incorporate. Line an 8-inch x 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper. Press mixture into the cake pan into one thick, even layer. Scatter berries across the batter and set aside.

Make cheese filling
Beat together cream cheese and Confectioners’ sugar. Add remaining two eggs, one at a time, and thoroughly incorporate. Add vanilla extract and mix. Pour cheese filling over the berries and cake batter. Use the back of a spoon to push the cheese mixture into the corners of the pan and be sure to cover all of the berries if possible.

Bake for 40 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. The center will still be slightly jiggly when done. Let cool to room temperature in the pan.

Slice and serve
Cool in the refrigerator or freezer in the pan. The bars are easier to cut when cold. Remove from pan and slice. Transfer to serving plate or into muffin cup liners. Serve at room temperature, store in the refrigerator.

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Blueberry Breakfast Bars

Cherry Turnovers

I’m going through a cherry phase right now, I buy them whenever I see them. I modified my Apple Turnover recipe to use cherries today in this tasty turnovers.

Servings: 12

1 lb. cherries
12 Tbsp. (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided, cold
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 egg white
1 tsp. milk


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
7 to 8 Tbsp. chilled water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. sparkling sugar

Prepare dough
Mix flour, 1 tsp. sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add 4 Tbsp. of the butter. Blend in a food processor or with a pastry cutter until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Cut-up remaining butter into small pieces and add to dough mixture. Continue mixing until the largest pieces look like large peas. Add water one tablespoon at a time until dough just holds together. Toss with hands until dough rolls into a ball. Flatten into two 4-inch-thick discs between wax paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Prepare filling
While dough refrigerators, pit cherries and set aside. In a medium pot, combine cherries, lemon juice, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon, corn starch, and vanilla extract. Heat over medium heat until thickened, approximately 5 minutes.

Roll dough
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees-F. Remove dough from refrigerator, let soften so the dough malleable but still cold, approximately 5 minutes. On a piece of parchment or wax paper, roll each dough disc into large circles, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 4-inch diameter circles with a biscuit cutter, yielding approximately 6 circles from each rolled disc of dough. Place dough circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Prepare egg wash
Lightly beat the egg white and stir in milk. Set aside.

Build turnovers
Fill each circle with approximately 1 Tbsp. of the filling leaving 1/2-inch edge around the square. Use a pastry brush to add egg wash to the dough edge. Fold in half to form a half circle turnover. Press edges together to seal. Brush top of turnover with egg wash and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. Cut slits in the top of the turnover to allow steam to escape during baking.

Bake turnovers
Bake until crust is lightly browned, approximately 18 minutes, rotating half way through for even baking.

Remove turnovers from oven and slide onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Cherry Cobbler Bars

The cherries at the market today looked so appealing, I bought them without a plan and baked these cobbler/bars a few hours later by combining several recipes from my favorite cooking blogs.

Servings: 32 bars

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened, divided
3 eggs
1 lb. cherries

2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt, divided

Make crust
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees-F. Melt 7 Tbsp. butter and set aside to cool slightly. Combine melted butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract in a medium mixing bowl. Add 1 cup flour, and 1/8 tsp. salt and mix until dough forms. Line an 8-inch x 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper and grease with 1 Tbsp. softened butter. Pour crust dough into the pan and press with the back of a spoon to flatten the crust and fill the pan. Bake crust for 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Leave in the pan and transfer to a cooling rack until ready to add filling.

Make filling
While the crust bakes, remove and discard pits and stems from the cherries and set cherries aside.  Melt remaining 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and brown butter by cooking for 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. In a medium mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients: melted butter including any darker solid bits, eggs, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 1/8 tsp. salt.

Assemble cobbler and bake
Place cherries on top of baked crust. Pour filling over the cherries.  Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before removing from the pan.

Discard the parchment paper. Cut bars and serve. Store at room temperature.

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Quiche Lorraine

I made two of these quiches for the brunch we recently hosted. It was the fastest dish to be eaten and the one that garnered the most compliments. The next time I make it I will take a picture of the quiche slices to add to this post.

Servings: 1 quiche, 8 slices

1 Pie Crust
3 eggs
2 large leeks, yielding approximately 2 cups chopped leeks
1 medium onion, yielding approximately 1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
1-1/2 cup diced ham from approximately 1/2 lbs. ham
3 oz. grated Jarlsberg cheese (substitute with any Swiss variety) from approximately

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Prepare and chill crust
Make the pie crust and roll into a 10-inch diameter circle. Line a glass pie plate with the crust and crimp edges. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Caramelize onions
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and cook the chopped leeks and onions over low heat. Stir occasionally and continue to cook until browned and caramelized, approximately 30 minutes.  Set aside when done.

Prepare egg filling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees-F. In a medium mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the heavy cream, sour cream, nutmeg, and pepper, and stir until combined.

Assemble quiche
Spread the caramelized onions on the bottom of the chilled pie crust. Top with the diced ham. Sprinkle on cheese, retaining 2 Tbsp. to add to the top. Pour egg filling into the pie crust.  Top with remaining 2 Tbsp. of cheese.

Bake quiche
Place quiche in the middle rack in the oven and bake until crust is browned and filling is set, approximately 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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Pink Elephant Sugar Cookies

I struggle with sugar cookies every holiday season – they are either to thick and chewy or too thin and crispy. I finally found the perfect sugar cookie recipe, and thanks to Annie Eats, a new method for icing the cookies that yield professional looking results. Using a Pinterest inspiration, I placed the cookies in paper CD cases for party favors at a recent brunch we hosted (picture at the bottom).

Servings: 48 large cookies

1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg

1 cup Confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 tsp. almond extract
2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar
In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar for several minutes until well incorporated and smooth.

Add remaining ingredients
Add egg and mix until incorporated. Add vanilla and almond extracts and combine. Add flour and salt and mix until dough forms and is smooth.

Chill dough
Divide dough in half and roll each half into a 10-inch diameter circle. Wrap in wax or parchment paper and refrigerate until firm, approximately 1 hour.

Cut shapes
Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll to desired thickness, around 1/4-inch. Cut shapes and transfer shapes to parchment lined cookie sheets. Combine dough scraps, roll, and chill again to yield more cookies.

Bake and cool
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees-F. Bake cookies on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets for approximately 8 minutes, turning cookie sheets half way through baking to ensure even baking. Remove cookies before they brown. Let cookies rest 2 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired.

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Strawberry Tart