Blueberry Lemonade Bars

Dessert | July 26, 2016 | By

Blueberry Lemonade Bars It’s a crazy summer for us in the Gowan household, but I’m still holding onto my baking time. It sounds crazy, but its kind of like therapy for me. Last weekend, the kids were having a rest time and I was excited to get into the kitchen and try these Blueberry Lemonade Bars.

First let me say, I LOVE lemon bars. Heck, I love anything lemon flavored. Citrus just equals summer for me. These Blueberry Lemonade Bars are the perfect little treat in the summer time, and just the best thing to pack for a summer picnic or potluck dinner. I took this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and put my own spin on it. I swapped out the raspberries for blueberries simply because that is what is in season for us right now and I had a bunch leftover in my fridge. 

These bars are really tart and not so sweet. The buttery lemon crust really helps balance out the whole thing. Also, don’t forget a dusting of confectioner’s sugar over the top because that will sweeten them up ever so slightly as well! 

Enjoy!

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Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Dessert, Holidays | December 24, 2015 | By

raspberry shortbread cookiesMerry Christmas Eve! These Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies are what we’ll be putting out for Santa Claus tonight. And Bryn has asked to put out carrots for the reindeer. 

These cookies are just perfect to me. They have an very intense almond flavor, which you all know is just my jam. I used this recipe from Cooking Classy, but increased the amount of almond extract. 

So what’s everyone doing for Christmas Eve? We’re enjoying a 65 degree day (!!!!) here in upstate New York by taking Beau for an extra long romp at the dog park and then getting a few last minute things at the grocery store. Yes, I’m taking two small children to the grocery store on Christmas Eve, but I forgot some treats for Christmas morning breakfast. 

Trevor and I have plans to finally watch the best Christmas movie ever tonight – “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and there will probably be adult beverages and some more gift wrapping involved. We have a full weekend of activities planned so it’s nice to have a couple days at home with just the four of us. I’m super excited for Christmas morning, and I think having kids on Christmas makes it even more fun.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and I’m going to take the rest of the week off, and I’ll be back on Monday with a recap of our holiday festivities! 

In the meantime, make these Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies and tweet me a picture. I love to see what recipes you guys are baking from my blog (shout out to my Aunt Marsha for making yesterday’s Lemon Ricotta Cookies!

Christen in the Kitchen’s 12 Days of Christmas Cookies 

Day 1: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Day 2: Press Cookies 

Day 3: Peanut Blossoms

Day 4: Ultimate Ginger Cookies

Day 5: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles  

Day 6: Buckeyes 

Day 7: Lemon Ricotta Cookies 

Read on for the recipe!

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Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Dessert, Holidays | December 23, 2015 | By

Lemon Ricotta CookiesOkay, so I think these Lemon Ricotta Cookies are the second-to-last cookie recipe that I’m going to bake for this Christmas. While it’s been a seriously tasty couple of weeks, I’m in need of a little new year’s detox after all this sugar (ha! Watch, I’ll post even more sugary treats in January). 

Anywho, these Lemon Ricotta Cookies are really soft, and I absolutely love how citrusy they are. They’re intensely lemon-flavored with none of that weird, fake lemon taste. It’s just a pure, simple cookie that’s really tart while being sweet. It’s a great balance between all the heavy chocolate and peanut butter treats that I tend to gravitate towards. 

This recipe is originally from Giada de Laurentiis and I made zero additions or subtractions, which is pretty rare these days. All in all, its a great, easy to whip up kind of cookie. Case in point, I actually made these with Bryn and we both had quite a bit of fun (cooking with kids isn’t like my absolute favorite thing to do since it’s not very relaxing).

Read on for the recipe and enjoy!

Christen in the Kitchen’s 12 Days of Christmas Cookies 

Day 1: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Day 2: Press Cookies 

Day 3: Peanut Blossoms

Day 4: Ultimate Ginger Cookies

Day 5: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles  

Day 6: Buckeyes 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Uncategorized | December 21, 2015 | By

pumpkin snickerdoodlesHey there! I know I went MIA for a few days, but I’m back with yet another cookie recipe. So I think its mathematically impossible to fit in 12 total cookie recipes this week, but I have four really good ones planned so that should make up for it, right? Today’s Pumpkin Snickerdoodles are actually really good for Christmas or Thanksgiving.

So I think one of the tricks for doing a really good grouping of Christmas cookies is doing a bunch of different flavors. I like to do cookies with chocolate, peanut butter, fruit, citrus, peppermint and more. It’s kind of nice to throw these sweet cinnamon pumpkin cookies into the mix. It also doesn’t hurt that these Pumpkin Snickerdoodles are super chewy, which is one of my favorite qualities in a cookie. 

I used the recipe as-is from A Bitchin’ Kitchen, which is a super easy and straight-forward recipe. I chilled the dough overnight which I think is much better than the one hour that the original recipe calls for. 

Read on for the recipe.

Christen in the Kitchen’s 12 Days of Christmas Cookies 

Day 1: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Day 2: Press Cookies 

Day 3: Peanut Blossoms

Day 4: Ultimate Ginger Cookies 

(more…)

Ultimate Ginger Cookies

Dessert | December 15, 2015 | By

Ultimate Ginger cookiesHey! I’m back with the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies, and you’re going to want to run and make these Ultimate Ginger Cookies. They are just proof that Ina Garten reigns supreme with some of her recipes. These cookies are spicy without being heavy and just an awesome chewy cookie. 

I’ve really been on a ginger kick this Christmas season (see my Gingerbread Bundt Cake for even more proof). It’s just a great dessert flavor without being overly sweet. I really like the addition of crystallized ginger in these cookies, but it isn’t complete needed. If you have everything else, don’t worry about buying another ingredient. Just make the ginger cookies without and they’ll be just as good! 

My mom was the one who originally shared these cookies with me, and she had bumped up the ground ginger in the recipe and I totally agree. Bring on the spice!

Read on for the recipe!

Don’t forget! Enter my $50 Whole Foods Gift Card giveaway here! 

Christen in the Kitchen’s 12 Days of Christmas Cookies

Day 1: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

Day 2: Press Cookies

Day 3: Peanut Blossoms

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Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie and Whole Foods Gift Card Giveaway

Dessert, Giveaway | December 14, 2015 | By

Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie Let’s take a quick break from the Christmas cookies and talk pie, shall we? This Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie is my second collaboration with the awesome folks at Whole Foods in Albany (stay tuned to the end of the post – there’s a giveaway!) 

I really love to try new desserts for Christmas. I know everyone has their allegiances to certain pies on Thanksgiving (typically apple and pumpkin), but Christmas is special. It’s a time to try a new dessert, maybe something a little more decadent and this Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie is a home run! 

So this Bacon Bourbon Pecan Pie was born. The family and I stopped into our local Whole Foods the other day to pick up the ingredients and I really love the bulk section. It’s great to be able to buy exactly what you need for this recipe. I also wanted some big, whole pecans to make the design on the top and they had those in bulk took. A huge bonus – they had a 20 percent off beer sale on Saturday so you know we took advantage of that! 

Bacon Bourbon Pecan PieThis pie is just everything I’m looking for in a holiday dessert. Not too sweet, but really delicious. The bacon cuts through the sweetness of the maple syrup and gives the pie that nice salty bite. I recommend a really high-quality bacon in this. No cheap flimsy bacon so go for some thick cut, center cut strips of bacon. Just make sure to chop them up pretty small (a little bit smaller than the pecans) so that it blends in nicely with the pecan pie. 

I used my mom’s pie crust recipe for this pie since it’s shortening based. I wanted something not super rich (an all-butter crust can be), and it compliments the filling. 

Read on for the recipe (and click alllll the way to the end for the chance to win a $50 gift card from Whole Foods!

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Cranberry Nut Bread

Breakfast, Dessert | November 24, 2015 | By

Cranberry-Nut-BreadGood morning, everyone! I went MIA for a few days there. Things got a little crazy at the end of last week, and then Trevor was away hunting for the opening weekend of deer season here in New York so I was flying solo. We had a really fun weekend, but I seriously crashed when Trevor got home Sunday evening. 

I’m really looking forward to Thanksgiving and getting to see some of the Gowan side of our family. So there’s going to be quite a few people at the Thanksgiving table this year, and I’m even more excited because there are going to be a ton of kids! Hadley is ready to combust with excitement for how many cousins she’s going to play with! 

Today’s recipe is a big family recipe from my side of the family. My mom used to make this Cranberry Nut Bread every year the day before Thanksgiving (that’s when she did all her baking – like the pies, rolls, etc. – were all done ahead of time). We’d eat it every Thanksgiving morning as my mom was cooking in the kitchen. My sisters and I used to just hang out all morning, help out in the kitchen and watch the Macy’s parade. I really do love the traditions about every holiday, and part of Thanksgiving in the Deming household was this bread!

Outside of Thanksgiving, you can definitely make it leading into Christmas as well since its the classic combination of cranberries and orange. I especially like the whole wheat flour in this. It just adds a better texture to it. This recipe does make two loaves. If you don’t want of that, you can cut it in half or freeze the second loaf for another time. 

Read on for the recipe.

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