Healthy Blackberry Spritzer

Drinks | December 31, 2015 | By

Healthy Blackberry Spritzer

Happy (almost) New Years! I’m so excited to celebrate the end of 2015 and ring in the new year tonight. The new year promises to be a great one — full of family, friends, travel and, let’s not forget, new recipes.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been busy testing out new, healthy and tasty recipes. I’m even playing with some sugar-free (yet, completely delicious) dessert options, sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Be sure to check back in over the next few weeks for what I have in store.

Today, I want to share with you this healthy blackberry spritzer — just in time for your New Year’s Eve toast! It’s super refreshing and easy to make so you have no excuse but to whip a few up for you and your friends. For a slightly boozy twist, add a splash of vodka or swap out the sparkling water with champagne or sparkling white wine. 

Cheers to the new year!

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Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Desserts | December 24, 2015 | By

Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! We’ve finally made it to the last day of #12daysofcookies. And, since I always save the best for last, I decided to share my all-time favorite cookie, the banana bread chocolate chip cookie. Yes, you heard correctly. A chocolate chip cookie that tastes like banana bread. *Mind blown*

12daysofcookies2015

Day 12: Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you can’t tell already, I’m a fan of any recipe that is quick and easy. And this cookie recipe definitely checks that box. Better yet, it combines the flavors of two of my favorite classic desserts: banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. Even better yet, its a great excuse way to use up any overripe bananas that are about to go bad. 

These cookies have a cake-like texture usually found in muffins or banana bread, so if you like crispy cookies, this recipe is not for you. Luckily I’m partial to par-baking, so these cookies are right up my alley. Also, they tend to flatten out when baking. But if you shape your dough into a circle when on the cookie sheet and add a little extra batter (about the size of a teaspoon) to the middle of your cookie dough, you can keep your cookies from looking like pancakes.

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Homemade Thin Mints

Desserts | December 23, 2015 | By

Homemade Thin Mints

Pop quiz: Other than the holidays, what is the one time of year that cookies are in season? Answer: Girl Scout Cookie season! But what do you do when you can’t get your Girl Scout Thin Mints fix in the middle of winter? Make them yourself, obviously.

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Day 11: Homemade Thin Mints

This recipe gave me a bit of trouble, but in the end, it was definitely worth it.

For these cookies, I used a recipe gluten-free recipe from  Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen. And though the cookies had just the right amount of mint and were reminiscent of my days in the Girl Scouts, they were extra fragile and, if not handled properly, broke apart. Is this because I used gluten-free flour? Any of my gluten-free peeps feel free to chime in. What do you think of gf flour mixes?

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Nutella Stuffed Sugar Cookies

Desserts | December 22, 2015 | By

Nutella Stuffed Sugar Cookies

Nothing says Christmas more than a good sugar cookie. They are soft, chewy and sweet — what’s not to love? But rather than serve you all up with just another traditional frosted sugar cookie, I decided to combine it with one of my favorite treats: Nutella!

12daysofcookies2015Day 10: Nutella Stuffed Sugar Cookies

These cookies were really fun to make. Something about molding the cold cookie dough and frozen Nutella reminded me of my childhood obsession with play-doh. Another positive: they are incredibly simple to make. Minus the chilling time, they only took me a half an hour to prepare, assemble and bake. Anything that easy is sure to be one of my favorite recipes in no time.

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German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Desserts | December 21, 2015 | By

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Over the last month, #12daysofcookies turned my kitchen into a cookie making factory. I make cookies three times a week, which roughly calculates to two large bags of all-purpose flour, five boxes of butter, 48 eggs, a pound of sugar, four bags of chocolate chips, three ruined cookie batches and many hours recipe testing. I’ve baked so many cookies this month that about a week ago, my cookie creativity started running out — that was, until I ran across these beautiful German Chocolate Cake Cookies.  

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 Day 9: German Chocolate Cake Cookies

What I like about these cookies is that they bring the “wow factor” with very little prep and effort. Better yet, they successfully capture the flavors found in the classic German chocolate cake.

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