Lemon White Chip Sugar Cookies

Lemon White Chip Sugar Cookies was a recipe that evolved as it went, I started out making regular sugar cookies, then had a burst of creativity, thus causing me to add lemon zest and chocolate chips. This is a quick cookie recipe that you could throw together at the last minute if you had to. Say you suddenly find out that you have friends coming over for dinner, so you throw together a meal and remember that you have neglected dessert, so what to do? Make cookies of course! They are quick, easy, and one of the most universally loved desserts. These cookies only take twenty minutes total to put together, less if you do not refrigerate the dough. As to the type of chocolate chips you use, white chocolate is traditional, but this time around I made them with semi-sweet and found the stronger chocolate flavor to be a nice contrast to the subtle hint of lemon. However, if you prefer to follow the recipe rather than branching out on your own, use white chocolate chips. This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, La Critico, Friar Tyst, and the Health Inspector.

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, what do you think about these cookies?” Friar Tyst: “Well they’re real good.” The Chef: “I’ve always thought that it’s funny how your opinions are simple in their delivery, yet accurate in their true portrayal of your thoughts.” Friar Tyst: “Huh?”

The Chef: “La Critico, would you like a cookie?” La Critico: “Well I wouldn’t turn one down.” The Chef: “Therefore one would assume that you like them?” La Critico: “Well they’re pretty good little cookies.”

The Ingredients: 2 to 2 1/2 cups of cake flour, 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup raw cane sugar, 1 egg, 1 to 2 tsp. lemon zest, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 to 3/4 cup semisweet or white chocolate chips.

Using a hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add half of the flour and the egg, mix until combined. Add the lemon zest, the remaining flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees; refrigerate the dough while the oven is preheating. When the oven is preheated roll the dough into two inch balls, placing them onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Makes one and a half dozen.

These are on the small side, meaning they disappear even faster!



Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake

Up here in the mountain country strawberries are ripe for the picking. I tell you what, there is nothing like picking your own berries and turning them into delicious treats. There’s just something about fresh fruit that says ‘summer’, don’t you think? Whether it be peaches, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries. I decided to use this in season deliciousness as an excuse to make a cold dessert that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Strawberry Pretzel Cheesecake is smooth, creamy, and delicious with salty sweet hints of pretzel. And because of the addition of strawberries, it has zero calories and is therefore healthy!;) There is no better way to get your serving of fruits for the day! This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef, The Health Inspector, and Friar Tyst.

The Chef: “Mr. Health Inspector, your thoughts on cheesecake?” The Health Inspector: “Well it’s pretty good I guess.” The Chef: “Except for the strawberries, right?” The Health Inspector: “Well you know how it is.”

The Chef: “Friar Tyst, first of all let me thank you for your excellent sous chef assistance. Second of all, what to you think of the flavor combination?” Friar Tyst: “I thought it tasted like cheese!” The Chef: “Granted, anything else?” Friar Tyst: “I thought it tasted like strawberries.” 

The Ingredients: 1 stick butter, 1 to 2 cups crushed pretzels, additional 1/2 cup roughly chopped pretzels,  1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, 2 bars plain cream cheese, 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 8 oz. tub whipped topping, 2 cups halved strawberries.

Melt the butter at 30 second intervals in your microwave. Using a fork, combine it with the crushed pretzels and graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a large rectangular pan. Press the crust down firmly and refrigerate for one hour. Using a hand mixer, mix together softened cream cheese and whipped topping until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, mixing between each addition. Place 1 cup of strawberries atop the crust. Top these with the cheesecake filling. Now add the remaining strawberries and chopped pretzels. Refrigerate for three to four hours, or until you are ready to serve it. Serves 6-8 (if they’re not ‘starving’)

Beautiful food, delicious food……CHEESECAKE GOODNESS!!!!



Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

For a baker, the long-standing debate as to the best way to make a chocolate chip cookie is usually solved through personal preferences. Every once in a while a cookie comes along that is enjoyed by many different tastes, and thus we label it THE BEST chocolate chip cookie. However, I prefer to enjoy all types of cookies equally rather than labeling any one as THE BEST one. That being said, today I am sharing with you one of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes, they are crispy and chewy on the outside, yet soft and chocolatey on the inside. This is because they are made with special, all natural ingredients.;) Dark Brown sugar is obviously the healthier choice when it comes to sugar options. Not only that, but it gives baked delicacies a dense richness that could never be achieved through using the stereotypical “white sugar”. As for all-natural cane sugar, just know that it provides cookies with intriguing little bursts of crunchy sweetness throughout.

The Ingredients: 1 1/2 to 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour, 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup all natural cane sugar, 1 stick butter (salted), 1/4 to 1/2 cup quick oats, 1 egg, 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 1/4 to 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Soften the butter until partially melted, add the egg and both sugars. Mix well and let sit while you measure out the other ingredients. Alternate adding the flour one cup at a time along with half of the oil, mixing well after each addition. Now add the salt, baking powder, and chocolate chips. Mix well. Grease a large cookie sheet with butter. Use a regular cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop to form balls of cookie dough, when all the dough has been used, place these on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes. If you used a cookie scoop you will probably get about sixteen cookies, but if you use an ice cream scoop you will most likely get a perfect dozen. Enjoy them!



Triple Chip Trail Mix Cookies

Some may see trail mix as M&M’s with obstacles, but I see it as a tool to be used in the project of creativity. Because who eats plain trail mix? I myself only eat it as an ingredient in other desserts.:) These Triple Chip Trail Mix Cookies have a delicious crunchy sweetness. Not only that, but they are a true experience you have the saltiness of the peanut and cashew, the hardiness of the almond, the sweet flavors or three different chocolate chip flavors, and a nostalgic chocolate chip cookie texture. As you can see, we certainly enjoyed them! This episode of Delicious Food 101 features The Chef and La Critico.

The Chef: “La Critico, a word on these little delights?” La Critico: “These are pretty good cookies, that kind of flour is definitely better than all those wheat kinds.” The Chef: ” Well it is better tasting but probably not as good for you.” La Critico: “Well you never know about these things.”

The Ingredients: 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg, 1/2 to 3/4 cup indulgent trail mix (the kind with peanut butter, white chocolate, and semi-sweet chips), additional 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 tsp. salt.

Using a hand mixer, cream together the egg, butter and sugar until crumbly. Alternate adding once cup of flour and half of the oil until both are used up. Fold in the trail mix and chocolate chips by hand. Spray two cookie pans with cooking spray, add half of the dough to each one. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

We like to make giant cookies…..:)




Homemade Marshmallows

Before making these, I never thought that one could make homemade marshmallows. Boy was I wrong! These homemade marshmallows did not taste anything like the marshmallows that you buy in the store, they have a natural sweetness and softness that the packaged ones do not have. I have noticed that many things that are packaged taste better when you make them at home. Not only that, but these actually took less than twenty minutes to put together. So instead of posting the typical Easter dessert recipe that contains Peeps or something nasty like that, I decided to provide you with a last farewell to cold days sitting around the campfire, roasting smores….laughing at each other’s attempt at singing…..

What You Need: A stand mixer, the whisk attachment, a sifter or strainer, a small pot, a stovetop, a small baking pan, 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup of cold water, 1 1/2 packets of unflavored gelatin.

Add the unflavored gelatin and 1/4 cup of water to the bowl of your stand mixer. Set aside. Add the sugar, corn syrup, and remaining water your small pot, stir gently until just combined. Turn your burner to high heat and let the mixture come to a rolling boil. As soon as it comes to a rolling boil, count to 60 seconds, then remove it from the heat. Use a fork to break up the gelatin mixture into small pieces.

Using the whisk attachment, turn your mixer to low speed and slowly drizzle in the simple syrup. When all the syrup has been added, increase the speed until it is on high. Allow the mixer to run on high speed for 6-8 minutes or until the marshmallow mixture is white and makes strings when you touch it. While that happens, generously butter a small baking pan. Quickly pour the marshmallow mixture into the baking pan, don’t worry about getting it all out of the bowl. Sift the confectioner’s sugar over the top and press the marshmallow flat with your hands. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, cut the marshmallows into squares and serve…..or make Smores!

They don’t look perfect, but they sure taste that way!


Double Chocolate Cookies

It took me forever to find a good recipe for homemade butter cookies, but when I did, ooohhhh boy…..were they good…..Anyway, I used said awesome recipe to create the Valentine’s Day cookies that I posted a little while ago. But then I got the hair-brained idea to make a chocolate version….let’s just say that dangerous recipes are my specialty. These Double Chocolate Cookies are not only good, they’re great! The chocolate to cookie ratio is just right. Creating a soft, gooey, irresistible, melt-in-your-mouth cookie sure to win over your family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers….random people walking down the street…..that nosy neighbor who spys on you….Sorry, it’s been one of those days. Because hey, who wouldn’t go crazy when their next-door neighbor is constantly staring at them…..Like I said, it’s been one of those days. Enjoy the cookies!

The Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups cake flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 6-8 tbsp. softened butter, 1 egg, 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and the egg for one minute. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Mix for 2-3 minutes or until well combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips by hand. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to an hour or until firm. Use an ice cream scoop or cookie cutters to form your cookies. If using cookie cutters, roll out the dough to a half inch thick. If not, simply fill the ice cream scoop and drop the dough onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for ten to twelve minutes.

Here they are! Feel free to decorate with your leftover Valentine’s candy!



Southern Apple Crisp

I don’t know about you, but I am always ready for dessert, especially if it has a southern twist. Remember those delicious cobblers and crisps that your grandma used to make for you? That you always wished you could make yourself? Well, this Southern Apple Crisp is a shortcut to destiny that tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen! All you need is ten minutes, a few tricks up your sleeve, and the nerve to pull it off! Now, let me tell you how it happened. It was a sunny winter Sunday, we were enjoying a somewhat peaceful afternoon, and suddenly…..Queenbee decided it was time for me to learn how to make apple crisp. So, I researched the different variations, decided on the southern way (of course!), and went off to create! Let’s just say Queenbee is always right when it comes to dessert (she’s right behind me, isn’t she?). As she is a chocoholic, this is the only fruit dessert that meets with her exquisite tastebuds. I can’t say that I blame her, you’ll never know that this is a fruit dessert when it’s topped with a hint of vanilla ice cream….If you are like me, big family….hungry brothers…..you will be doubling this recipe. That’s how good it is.:)




The Ingredients: 1 large can apple pie filling, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 1/2 cup oats, 1 tbsp. cinnamon, 4-5 tbsp. cold butter, 2 tsp. lemon juice (optional), 1/4 tsp. salt (optional).

Cut butter into cubes and add it to a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the sugar, flour, oats, and if using, salt and lemon juice. Using a pastry cutter, work the butter into the topping until pea-sized. Add the pie filling to a small baking dish or standard pie pan, press the topping evenly over the top. Bake at 365 degrees for 30 minutes.

There are no words to describe how good this is, especially topped with all-natural vanilla ice cream……