Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

5It’s Thanksgiving Prep time… what are your preparing? Is the ENTIRE family coming to your house for days?? Check out these soft, chewy Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip cookies that are not only “easy as pie” but they are something you can make this week and stick in your freezer for when the hungry numblins come over. Oh and in case you are fretting they are actually easier than pie, quite easier.  

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesI have this really great friend {that lives a little to far away} but she makes amazing moist chewy cookies called “pudding cookies” and that is how I adapted this recipe. Instead of using vanilla or chocolate pudding mix I used the seasonal “Pumpkin Spice” that Jell-O has out this time of year. It gives just a hint of pumpkin and not an overwhelming taste. 

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies
a chewy moist pudding cookie with just a hint of pumpkin spice.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter softened
  2. 1/4 cup white sugar
  3. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 tsp. vanilla
  6. 1 tsp. baking soda
  7. 1/2 tsp. salt
  8. 2 1/4 cup flour
  9. 1 bag chocolate chips
  10. 3.5 oz pumpkin spice instant pudding
Instructions
  1. Combine butter, sugars, vanilla, and pudding mix {not the ingredients for the pudding just the mix itself}
  2. Beat until fluffy
  3. Beat in the eggs
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the dry ingredients {baking soda, salt, flour} and gradually add in to butter mixture
  5. Fold in chocolate chips
  6. Bake @ 350 degrees for 9 minutes DO NOT OVER-BAKE, let the cookies continue baking for 1-2 minutes before putting them on cooling rack.
  7. And as Kara would say on her hand written recipe Enjoy! : )
Adapted from my bestest Kara
Adapted from my bestest Kara
The Rustic Pear http://66.147.244.93/~therusu9/

Cranberry Bliss Scones

sconeYep I know what your thinking-Starbucks-Cranberry Bliss Bars…its that time of year and since I’m listening to Christmas music and thinking of Christmas card ideas, it is only appropriate to share with you this slightly {Winter} recipe. With the Alaska storm coming and bringing the chill its only right that you make these scones to enjoy with your next cup of joe.  Cranberry Bliss Scone

Cranberry Bliss Scones
Yields 8
A scone version of Starbucks Cranberry Bliss Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup sugar
  2. 2 cups flour
  3. 1 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 8 tablespoons frozen butter
  7. 1/2 cup sour cream
  8. 1 egg
  9. 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  10. 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Frosting
  1. 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  2. milk to thin
  3. 1/4 tsp almond extract
  4. 1/4 tsp vanilla
  5. Extra Cranberries
White Chocolate Drizzle
  1. 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  2. 1 tsp oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Combine dry ingredients, whisk to combine
  3. Grate butter into flour mixture using large holes of grater. Work butter into dry ingredients with your fingers. Add in cranberries & white chocolate morsels.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream & egg
  5. Use a fork to stir in to flour mixture, dough will form large clumps. Use your hands to press the dough into ball. Keep pressing dough until it looses stickiness and pat onto floured surface.
  6. Form a 7 in circle and about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 8 triangles
  7. Place on silpat mat or baking paper and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Cool and prepare Frosting
  9. Combine powdered sugar with vanilla & almond extract
  10. Add milk to form thin glaze frosting.
  11. Drizzle over coolled scones, then sprinkle cranberries
  12. In microwave combine white chocolate morsels & oil heating for 30 seconds, stir and heat an additional 15 seconds. Drizzle over top.
Notes
  1. Adapted From http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/2014/09/better-than-starbucks-cranberry-bliss-bread.html
  2. & My Baking Addiction http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/glazed-orange-scones/#_a5y_p=1030233
Adapted from My Baking Addiction
The Rustic Pear http://66.147.244.93/~therusu9/
 Cranberry Bliss Scone

 

A Camping Breakfast

Um yes, hello where have I been!?!?!?  Well……hereIMG_0260 and here…IMG_3147    oh yes it’s been a busy busy summer… and now my life is getting extra busy after work and on my days off with photo clients so needless to say as much as I am very ready to get back in the kitchen, it might be just a bit yet! I did want to share a cooking moment from this summer…every year our big family goes to the lake over the 4th of July for a campout, we’ve done this since I can ever remember and the tradition gets greater every year! One thing that has not changed is the breakfast….”THE BREAKFAST” and no one misses or sleeps in on their day off for this!!! 

Breakfast over the Campfire-cooking begins at 7am!

Now it is the job of every person that sleeps around the campfire under the stars to keep the fire stoked all night so that in the morning the coals are nice and hot for cooking…but some years the degrees drops down way to low where it is just tooo hard to climb out of your sleeping bag in the cold to run grab another log for the fire, especially if that means getting your feet wet in the dewy grass- I may or may not have chosen to stay in my warm cocoon than get another log for the fire ;) Either way someone usually is there early to make sure the fire is just right :) 

Steps to making that perfect campfire breakfast

1. Warm up your cast iorn skillet & melt your butter

1. Warm up your cast iorn skillet & melt your butter

 

2. add your hasbrowns

2. add your hasbrowns

3. sprinkle a generous handful of salt & pepper on top

3. sprinkle a generous handful of salt & pepper on top

4. gather your 10+ dozen eggs together

4. gather your 10+ dozen eggs together

5. find some willing hands to get crackin'!

5. find some willing hands to get crackin’!

IMG_9583

even the bright eyed & bushy tailed campers will get to work!

even the bright eyed & bushy tailed campers will get to work!

Meanwhile back at the campfire things are starting to sizzle, including Uncle Kurt’s hand so being the genius family we are we get out the duck tape! IMG_9558 IMG_9561

and add some length to our stirring sticks

IMG_9567 IMG_9569

6. start cooking your veggies, green peppers-onions & mushrooms

6. start cooking your veggies, green peppers-onions & mushrooms

IMG_9575IMG_9587IMG_9592IMG_9608More campers start to arrive, they smell breakfast! Those who didn’t spend the night camping come back for breakfast looking nice and refreshed! On very warm years you might have a few kids popping in the lake, this year it was way too cold, but not to cold to catch fish! bluniers

7. Get your bacon sizzling

7. Get your bacon sizzling

8. have a "discussion" if bacon grease gets dumped or kept for the eggs.

8. have a “discussion” if bacon grease gets dumped or kept for the eggs.

 

 

9. dump in the eggs

9. dump in the eggs

10. keep dumping

10. keep dumping

 

11. fill your cast iron skillet to the tip tip top {we have a lot of mouths to feed!}

11. fill your cast iron skillet to the tip tip top {we have a lot of mouths to feed!}

 

12. Flip your smokies and leave in the skillet

12. Flip your smokies and leave in the skillet

 

13. make sure people are bring the breakfast condiments

13. make sure people are bring the breakfast condiments

 

14. and Grandma's coffee cake is a must! {cinnamon rolls pictured that were just as good too!}

14. and Grandma’s coffee cake is a must! {cinnamon rolls pictured that were just as good too!}

 

 

15. Come and Get IT!!!

15. Come and Get IT!!!

Banana Pudding from Magnolia Bakery {NYC}

magbake 4While visiting NYC in 2012 we of course stopped by the Magnolia Bakery and waited in the crazy line for cupcakes that really on a cupcake scale of 1-10 were well under 5 in my opinion. While we were at the door waiting our turn the door greeter asked us what we were getting today, she is the one who recommended the banana pudding which I personally would have never bought. But I am oh.so.glad we did!! This banana pudding was Ahh-Mazing! Absolutely delightful! mag bake 7And you know what…I found a recipe that tastes just as good as the real NYC stuff {better according to Crystal & Kayla my taste testers} IMAG0896

 

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding
a must try NYC favorite
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Ingredients
  1. 16 oz can sweetened condensed milk, yep we started out with the good stuff
  2. 1 1/2 cups cold water
  3. 1 box vanilla instant pudding
  4. 3 cups of heavy cream
  5. 1 box of mini Nilla Wafers, I found the mini ones and loved that you could get more in your dessert! however the original ones would work just fine too.
  6. 4 sliced bananas, ripened
Instructions
  1. In the mixer beat sweetened condensed milk & cold water for 1 minute, then add pudding mix and beat for 2 more minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. (or until your banana's ripe) :)
  2. In the mixer bowl beat heave cream until stiff peaks form, fold in pudding mixture until fully combined.
  3. In a trifle bowl layer nilla wafers, ripe banana's, and pudding then cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Enjoy!
Adapted from Kristan @ Confessions of a cookbook queen
The Rustic Pear http://66.147.244.93/~therusu9/

lemon & orzo | the perfect summer blend

lemo 2 blDoes anyone who gardens have asparagus coming out the wazoo?! Even if you don’t have it fresh from the garden, this time of year is perfect to pick some up from your local grocer! I don’t know of a more perfect summer blended salad than this, a cold orzo pasta with hint of lemon skirting around your taste-buds, with a fresh combo of cherry tomatoes & asparagus. lemo 3 bl  

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad
a classic summertime salad that will have you going back for more
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz orzo, some pkgs come in 16 oz (can use more or less to your taste)
  2. 1 pound or bunch of asparagus, cut in to bite size pieces
  3. 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  4. 1 lemon zested and juiced
  5. 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1 clove garlic minced
  7. 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley minced
  8. Kosher salt, to taste
  9. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  10. Feta Cheese
Instructions
  1. In large saucepan bring water to boil, add a pinch of salt and asparagus, cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain asparagus and immediately add to ice cold water to stop the cooking.
  2. In another large pan bring water to boil, add a pinch of salt and orzo. Cook according to package instructions (usually 9 mins, stirring occasionally) Drain and add to cold water to stop the cooking.
  3. Drain orzo and asparagus and mix with tomato halves.
  4. Mix olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, salt & pepper in a bowl and add to orzo mixture.
  5. Add feta cheese or you could also try grated parmigiano reggiano as Adrienne suggested. If you want this dish to be vegan you can cut out the cheese completely.
  6. Cover and refrigerate, best served cold.
Adapted from A Big Mouthful
Adapted from A Big Mouthful
The Rustic Pear http://66.147.244.93/~therusu9/
What are your memorial day plans? Cookout? Reunion? Need a salad side dish-try it! :) lemo 4 bl

Cherry Rolls | The Kraft Kind

cherry rolls//the rustic pear Now I know what you all are thinking… Kraft as in Kraft Brand cheese which means you can go to the store and buy these ready made beauties//wrong// they are a yeast rise roll and were introduced to my by none other than the Kraft Girls’kraft girls so that’s where you get The Kraft Brand Cherry Roll :) 

cherry rolls// the rustic pear

 

 

Cherry Rolls
a sweet roll with a cherry pie filling center and a light frosting on top! {instead of a cherry on top ;)}
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Ingredients
  1. 1 stick of butter, melted
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1 1/2 cup milk
  4. 2 tablespoons yeast
  5. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 cup sugar
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 5 cups flour
  9. 1-2 cans of cherry pie filling
For Frosting
  1. 2 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1/2 stick butter, softened
  3. 3 tablespoons milk
  4. 1/4 tsp almond flavoring
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla flavoring
Instructions
  1. Warm milk & water, add melted butter
  2. Whisk together salt, sugar, eggs in a separate bowl
  3. When warm liquid is at 120 degrees add yeast
  4. Whisk and add egg mixture
  5. Put on dough hook and stir, add in 5 cups flour... keep adding flour until not sticky 1/2 cup at a time. (dough shouldn't stick to the sides a great deal but will be just a bit sticky to the touch)
  6. Beat until smooth
  7. Grease with oil a large bowl and dough.
  8. Let rise till double in size
  9. Roll out on a oil greased counter-top and use a biscuit or round cutter to cut into circles
  10. Put on cookie sheet and let rise (approx 10-15 min)
  11. Poke fingers in middle to create a crater to add cherries
  12. Add approx 3 cherries per roll, try to not get a lot of the filling in your crater, just the cherries or it will overflow
  13. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes
For Frosting
  1. Mix together powdered sugar, butter, milk, and flavorings, you want frosting to be a bit thicker for frosting so it doesn't run off the rolls so add more powdered sugar as needed
  2. Use a cake decorator with simple tip to pipe on rolls
Adapted from The Kraft Girls
Adapted from The Kraft Girls
The Rustic Pear http://66.147.244.93/~therusu9/

 

cherry rolls//the rustic pear

The only way to make these rolls better is to bake them with the Kraft girls … guaranteed they will have every one of theirs the exact same size and shape! :)

Alissa’s Birthday Cookies

1{Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosted Chocolate Chip Cookies-Whew! I knew Alissa’s Birthday Cookies was a better title} My dear friend has a birthday in just a few short days, when thinking about celebrating a friends birthday I always think,… hmm what is their favorite?! One of Alissa’s favorites is cookie dough so searching around my recipe book {ahem pinterest} I got an idea, Chocolate Chip cookies frosted with cookie dough! Sally’s Baking Addiction had a recipe for cookie dough cookie sandwiches. I used her cookie dough frosting recipe and my cousins Janell’s recipe for the cookies. These were worth the “sweet cheat” I just used on my “8 week challenge” 7

Happy Birthday Alissa! Thanks for the inspiration, and I have a vat of leftover {real} cookie dough coming your way, along with these cookies! alissa bday cookiesAlissa in one of her favorite places this summer {cape cod

9

Alissa's Birthday Cookies
a chocolate chip cookie crispy on the outside, soft in the middle frosted with cookie dough frosting
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For Cookies
  1. 2 C shortening (Crisco)
  2. 2 C brown sugar
  3. 1 C sugar
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 2 tsp vanilla
  6. 2 tsp salt
  7. 2 tsp soda
  8. 4 1/2 C flour
  9. 2 1/2 C chocolate chips
For Frosting
  1. 1/2 C butter, softened
  2. 3/4 C brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla
  4. 1 C flour
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 1/4 C milk
  7. 1 C mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Make cookies and bake at 375 for 7-9 minutes depending on oven temp.
  2. For Frosting, beat butter
  3. add brown sugar
  4. add vanilla, flour, salt
  5. then add milk until creamy
  6. fold in chocolate chips
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction {& Janell :)}
The Rustic Pear http://66.147.244.93/~therusu9/
8

 

Lemon Kale Chips

k 003I love lemon, so adding lemon to Kale sounded like a must-try! You do have to be careful not to leave your kale “saturated” or sitting in the oil/lemon mixture or they will not become crunchy during baking…its more like soggy spinach. {I know from experience x2} They make a great snack for anyone craving a munchy but a healthy alternative to potato chips. k 002

Lemon Rosemary Kale Chips
sweet & salty...and crunchy!! Satisfies your munching the health way!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tsp olive oil
  2. 1/2 lemon freshly squeezed
  3. 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  4. 1/2 tablespoon sea salt (or kosher salt)
  5. 2-3 cups of Kale
Instructions
  1. Mix olive oil with lemon juice
  2. Break your Kale off the center stem
  3. Toss Kale in oil/lemon mixture until evenly coated, noticed not to leave it to "saturated" or your kale will become soggy in the baking process
  4. Lay out on parchment paper and baking sheet with minimal overlapping
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until ends of Kale start to turn brown/crunchy.
The Rustic Pear http://66.147.244.93/~therusu9/

Roasted Rosemary Carrots

c 010

 My friend Hannah posted some inspiration for me, so here’s the first of some more vegan/healthy recipes. It couldn’t be happening at a better time! I going for the goal and challenging myself with the 8 week challenge! …And teammates remember…I am very competitive! {now lets hope I keep up the motivation to stay competitive!} :) I was at the Garlic Press for lunch the other day and tried their version of rosemary carrots, here’s my version. You could probably roast these in the oven just as easy but I decided to roast them on the grill for the extra flavor, plus I’m ready to be grilling! Note: when “roasting” them on the grill you have to be very careful to not turn your skinny carrot vertical or it will be “roasting” with the coals! :)

I started with a pound of carrots. Wash and peel them 

 c 001

 

Bring a pan of water to boil and then add whole carrots. Boil until tender, not mushyc 011

 

Drain. Cut carrots in 3 inch slices c 004Prepare your glaze {Recipe below} and brush on individual carrot  slices. c 005

Grill Carrots for 10-15 minutes, sprinkle extra rosemary on carrots while grilling. c 006and Enjoy! c 008

 

Roasted Rosemary Carrots
a fresh taste of spring, grill roasted for extra flavor
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pound carrots
  2. For glaze
  3. 4 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  5. 1 tsp rosemary, plus a little extra for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Peel carrots
  2. Bring water to boil
  3. Boil carrots until tender, not mushy
  4. Cut carrots in 3 inch slices
  5. Grill for 10-15 min, be careful not to drop your carrots down the grill grate! :) Sprinkle a little extra rosemary while grilling.
The Rustic Pear http://66.147.244.93/~therusu9/

 

 

{Individual} King Cakes

kc 1 A memory I always have at my previous job is someone always bringing in “King Cake” from Great Harvest  complete with the baby, so this year even though Fat Tuesday is over I plan to bring “individual” King Cakes for everyone. Only one has the baby in it… I am sure hoping the little plastic thing didn’t melt baking it in the oven! kc 4I tried to mark it so I know which one it is but quickly lost track after all the frosting and sprinkles everywhere. Have any of you baked a baby in  a cake before? Any Tips? :) Even if you aren’t making King Cake, these cinnamon buns are scrumptious! kc 6

{Individual} King Cakes
Yields 12
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For the rolls
  1. 6 Cups Bread flour
  2. 1/3 Cup Sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
  5. 2 eggs, at room temp
  6. 1/3 Cups butter, melted and cooled
  7. 2 Cups milk at 120 degrees F
For the Filling
  1. 1/4 Cup butter, softened
  2. 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  3. 3 Tbsp sugar
  4. 2 Tbsp brown sugar
For the Frosting
  1. 1 1/2 Cup powdered sugar
  2. 1 Tbsp milk + add more until you reach desired consistency
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  4. 1/2 tsp almond flavoring (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a mixer combine 4 cups of the bread flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
  2. Heat milk to 120 degrees add to flour mixture with eggs, butter, and milk.
  3. Stir with paddle until combined then add 2 cups of remaining bread flour.
  4. Switch to dough hook and beat for 5-6 min
  5. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, add dough cover with towel and set in warm place to rise.
  6. In about 45-50 min dough should be rising (doubled in size) punch down on to a oil based counter.
  7. Use oil on rolling pin and roll out 24x12 inch onto counter.
  8. Cover completely with softened butter then top with cinnamon in sugar.
  9. Fold rectangle in half so it is more "square", with a pizza cutter cut into strips about 1/2-1 inch in size.
  10. take the strips and twist them at the ends, then roll in a pinwheel and set onto greased cookie sheet (or sil pat mat)
  11. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until rolls start to brown at top.
  12. You may have to push middle of your pinwheel back down before cooling so you don't have "mountain" rolls.
  13. Drizzle with frosting. {and sprinkles of course!}
Notes
  1. if you aren't planning ahead {like me} and your eggs are not at room temp you can run warm-hot water over them until they feel "room temp"
Adapted from The Kitchen Addiction
The Rustic Pear http://66.147.244.93/~therusu9/