Friday, December 28, 2012

Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm back.  Sort of.

How was your holiday?  Wonderful I hope.  How are your bellies?  Still stuffed with food I hope.  Because mine definitely is.  And I wouldn't want to be the only one.

I'm pretty sure the feast we prepared a few days ago for 10 people could have easily fed 50.  I'm not sure why I do that, but I find it completely necessary to go way over the top for all holiday meals.  If the meal doesn't require two solid days in the kitchen...I'm not satisfied and neither is my mother.  The Bell women won't have it any other way.

Maybe we should start inviting more guests. you like to join us next year?


I'm completely aware that cookies are probably the last thing you want to see right now...but I need you to know that these are a very solid exception.

As of now I've already whipped up three batches.  And my father, who literally never eats sweets, can't keep his paws off of them.  He's the reason I decided to make a few more batches.  If dad even goes in for round one, you know you've got something worth while.  But if he's going back for number twelve three days know you've hit it out of the park.

Trust me on this one.  Make these things.  And take a few (but probably way more) to your New Years festivities.  Or stay home on New Years and eat the whole batch.

Makes: 2 dozen
Prep Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 9 Minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 9 minutes
Adapted From: Ambitious Kitchen

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 jar Nutella, chilled in refrigerator
coarse sea salt for sprinkling

  1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter until it beings to foam.  Continuously whisk until the butter begins to brown on the bottom of the saucepan, about 5-7 minutes.  As soon as the butter is brown and begins to give off a nutty aroma remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl to prevent from burning.  Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  3. With an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended.  Beat in the egg, yolk, vanilla, and yogurt until combined.  Add the dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed just until combined.  Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  4. Chill the dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Measure out a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball.  Flatten the ball very thinly into the palm of your hand and then place 1 teaspoon of chilled nutella in the middle and fold the dough up and around it.  Gently roll into a ball (it doesn't have to be perfect!) and make sure the nutella isn't seeping out anywhere.  If it is, cover it up with more dough.
  6. Place dough balls on a cookie sheet, 2 inches apart and flatten the tops ever so slightly with your fingers.
  7. Bake the cookies 9 minutes or until the edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown.  Remove from oven and let sit on the baking sheets for several minutes.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.  
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Eggnog Crumble Cake

Last Monday I did a little guest post over at the lovely blog, This Heart is Mine.

And just in case you didn't have the chance to check it out last week, I promised that I would share it here this week.  I wouldn't want you missing out you know.

So, before I head off to Missouri (bright and early in the morning!) and get even slower with my blog posts...I figured now would be the best time to share this little gem as a little "please forgive me when I abandon the blog for a few weeks" type thing.

I've always been a lover of breakfast.  No matter the hour of day or time of year...I need my breakfast.  And if I'm should probably steer clear.

I'm usually a light and savory type of breakfast girl.  But I completely understand the glory that comes from switching it up every once in a while.  It's a special occasion thing.  Like when my mom makes her world famous waffles.  Or when the holidays roll around.  That's the time when you need a big gooey cinnamon roll or a stack of pancakes and a steaming cup of coffee to get into the holiday spirit.  Nothing kills that spirit like an egg white omelet stuffed with vegetables. (Even though I'm on the egg white omelet boat 360 days a year.)

'Tis the season - Might as well eat cake for breakfast.  Right? Right.

Just as I'm not usually on the sweets for breakfast bandwagon, I'm typically not on the eggnog bandwagon.  But I will admit, I love the flavor.

And that's why this breakfast "cake" knocks it out of the park.  It's sweet.  But not too sweet.  The flavor of eggnog is there but you don't feel like you're drinking a big glass of heavy cream.  The whole wheat flour gives it a boost in the texture department, and justifies the whole sweetness thing.  It's quite perfect.

I recommend whipping up this little treat for an early morning family gathering.  Or maybe a mid afternoon nibble.  But of course it would also do as a late night snack.  I don't want to limit you, you know.

Either way, you'll be the hit of the season.

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Makes: one 9x13 cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

for the coffee cake-
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + an extra 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar + an extra 1/3 cup
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup eggnog

for the crumble-
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

for the eggnog glaze-
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup eggnog
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of nutmeg

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray or rub with butter.  
  2. In a small bowl combine 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, set aside.  In another small bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves, whisking to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, add butter and sugars whisking until smooth.  Whisk in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.  Slowly add dry ingredients and eggnog until a batter forms and then whisk until smooth.  Pour half of the batter in the baking dish and then sprinkle the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture over the top.  Cover with the remaining batter, gently spreading with a spatula until even.
  4. To make the crumble combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over cake and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cake is set in the middle.
  5. While the cake is baking, make glaze by heating all glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Allow to come to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside until cake is finished baking.
  6. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately poke holes all over with a toothpick.  Drizzle glaze over the top.
  7. Cut, serve, enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies

After seeing all kinds of posts about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2011 I knew I needed to join in on the fun this year.

Baking cookies, meeting new bloggers, donating to a great foundation, and receiving three DOZEN amazing cookies of my own?  No need to twist my arm.

Seriously though.  You want to know where to sign up for next year don't you?  Luckily if you click right {here} you'll be there in no time.

Before I get to the cookies I sent out...I should tell you about the deliciousness that I received.  The first box that arrived was a little box of heaven.  They were salted nutella chocolate chip yummy goodness.  The second box had a cookie bar with chocolate chips, m&ms, oats and some sort of gooeyness.  The third box had the most adorable chocolate crinkle cookies.  All of them were equally delicious and resulted in several upset (but oh so happy) tummies.  As soon as I find the recipes for them...I'll update this so you can enjoy too!  And thank you to the three wonderful people that sent the cookies!  You're amazing!

After much deliberation I decided to go with a Double Chocolate Cherry Cookie because 1) I love chocolate and 2) I love dried cherries.  It's as easy as that.  The recipe makes 4 dozen since I was making 3 dozen to send...and well...that last dozen...might have been for me...but either way it can be scaled down quite easily if you aren't planning on baking cookies for a village.

So get to baking.  You won't regret it once you sink your teeth into a big chocolatey cherry.  Mmm.

Adapted from the Milk & Cookies Cookbook

Makes: About 4 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dutch process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons espresso granules
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups chocolate chips
2 cups dried cherries

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, espresso granules, and salt in a bowl and set aside.  
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the paddle attachment, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter for several minutes until light and fluffy.  Combine the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl and add to the butter/sugar mixture gradually.  Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Slowly add the flour/cocoa mixture until just combined.  Make sure not to over mix.
  4. Remove bowl from the stand and stir in chocolate chips and cherries using a wooden spoon.  Using a tablespoon (or something equivalent) drop the dough onto the baking sheets placing the cookies about 2 inches apart.  Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  5. Grab a glass of milk and enjoy! cute is that box label!  Photoshop goddess Ashley from The Uniqueness of Being made it.  Go visit her and tell her how awesome she is!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Foodie Gift Guide 2012

The discrepancy between the amount of things I wanted to put on this gift guide and the amount that I did is...heartbreaking.  But on this one I went for the less is more principle.  Holiday shopping is overwhelming as it is.  No need to throw a million wonderful things at you and make it even more complicated right?

So I picked out a few of my absolute favorites.  And fortunately I think there is a little something for everyone on here.  No need to have a die hard foodie on your list to use this gift guide!

I also wanted to share Ashley's gift guides from The Uniqueness of Being.  They are pretty fabulous and go far beyond your foodie loving friends.  Part 1 includes gifts for the foodie, the crafty ones, and the men.  Part 2 includes gifts for the fashionista, the camera lover, and the pop culture fanatic.  Check them out, she's got all of the bases covered.

And of course you can always take a peek at my 2011 Foodie Gift Guide for a few more ideas!

1. Chocolate Hazelnut Spread from Askinosie Chocolate
-This stuff is to die for.  Along with everything else they make.  I'm also a big fan of the Dark Chocolate + Crunchy Sugar Crystals and Vanilla Bean CollaBARation Bar.

2. Barefoot Coffee Roasters
-I'm a major coffee lover.  And while I haven't had this...I'm pretty sure I should.  They have amazing combinations and it was voted in the top 4 of Food & Wine Magazine's Boutique Roasters.

3. Home Made Winter Cookbook
-This is a given.  The original Home Made Cookbook made my list last year.  And I love it to pieces.  Now I just need to get my hands on this one.

4. Julia Child Wall Art from Pot and Pantry
-Kitchen wall art.  Everyone needs some.

5. Pig Trivet from Jonathan Adler
-This was a hard one to narrow down.  But so adorable.  Right?  I also love his collection of bottle stoppers.

6. DIY Goat Cheese Kit from Belle Chevre
-No need for explanation here.  A simple kit to make your own cheese?  Yes please.

7. Lucky Peach Subscription from The McSweeney's Store
-A creation straight from David Chang of the Momofuku restaurants.  Food porn at its finest.

8. Silpat Baking Sheet Liner from Williams Sonoma
-An absolute necessity for the baker in your life.  Don't have a baker in your life?  Send me one of these and I'll send you baked goods for a month.

9. Camano Coffee Mill from Old Faithful Shop
-Back to the love of coffee thing.  And the love of old beautiful things.  This is a gorgeous thing to have on the counter even if it's not going to a coffee lover.

10. Calendar Year Dishtowels from Anthropologie
-Oh, Anthropologie.  Your kitchen products make my heart sing.  Seriously though.  Can I have it all?

11. Kyocera Revolution Ceramic Knife Set from Williams Sonoma
-Have you used a ceramic knife?  I finally purchased one a couple months ago and I'll never go back.  Your foodie friend needs one of these.  Or several.  I promise.

12. Jiro Dreams of Sushi 
-I can't tell you how wonderful this movie is.  It's simple.  Beautiful.  Everything that food should be.

13. P&H Soda Syrups from P&H Soda Co.
-These are so fun!  I'm definitely ordering the ginger syrup and making a cocktail.  Oh wait...this is a gift guide for other people?  Huh.  Maybe I'll share the cocktail?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Guest Post at This Heart of Mine

Happy Monday!

I have a few quick announcements before I run off to my first dreaded final.

First and foremost...I'm doing a guest post today over at This Heart of Mine for Amy's Homemade for the Holidays Series!  I'm pretty excited about it and have a feeling you will be too once you see the Eggnog Crack...I mean Eggnog Crumble Cake that I'm sharing.'s to die for.  I'll be posting the recipe here on Scarborough Food Fair within the next week but don't wait.  Click {here} to check it out.  Go drool.  Go now. 

As for the rest of the week....Tomorrow I'll be posting my 2012 Foodie Gift Guide!  I meant to have it out a bit earlier but let's be honest, you aren't completely finished with your shopping...are you?  If you are...there is no way you're sitting in front of a computer right now reading this.  You're far too productive for that.  You're probably running a marathon or something.  And if you are reading this, you should browse the internet a bit longer and stop making the rest of us look bad.  Please and thank you.

Wednesday...I'll be posting the recipe for Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies that I sent out for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  I'll tell you more on Wednesday but if you missed out this year you MUST sign up next year.  So far I've received the most delicious chocolate chip nutella cookies and some sort of fabulous chocolate chip/oat/m&m cookie bar...and still have a dozen on the way.  Hello cookie heaven.

Don't forget to head over to This Heart of Mine and tell Amy how wonderful this series is!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Mac and Cheese Bites


Have we had the "Oh my goodness it's DECEMBER" talk yet?

No?  Well can someone explain how it happened so quickly?

I feel like I've been trapped in a bubble of school work and actual work for the last two weeks.  And apparently such bubbles make time speed up because when I looked at my planner this morning I snapped out of a daze to realize it was already December 7th.  What?  How?

Luckily my days in the busy world of la la land are numbered.  I'm done with class and on the home stretch with two more finals and one more paper.  Not too bad.  And once again, I should be either a) studying for those two finals or b) starting that paper instead of writing this post but...I'm not.

So on to the good stuff.  Mac and Cheese Bites.  Hello, I love you.

I could stop there.  But I won't.  Typically I'm not a mac and cheese kind of girl.  It's nothing personal.  I just never have the urge to whip up some mac and cheese.  Maybe I ate it too much as a kid.

*On that note...When I was little my dad and I would go to the lake nearly every weekend in the summer, which put a good 45 minute drive between us and mom.  And that meant that we ate hot dogs (the ones with cheese on the inside, obviously) and mac and cheese for almost every meal with the occasional peanut snack in between.  Talk about a kid's (and dad's) dream.*

But after a nibble of these...I was back on the bandwagon.  The texture from the cracker crust, the flavor from the boursin, and the creaminess from the cheese and sour cream is to die for.

I'll admit...I had a few spoonfuls as I was loading them into the muffin tins.  How could you not?  It's actually a required step.

These bites are perfect for a holiday party and will make you the hit of the party.  I promise.  Not going to a party though?  I would put this stuff in a dish and bake it up the same way for dinner.  You'll be the hit of the household.  I promise.

Adapted from Annie's Eats

Makes: 36+ bites
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes + 10 minutes cool time
Total Time: 45 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

16 ounces elbow noodles
2 cups butter cracker crumbs (Ritz)
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 (5.2 ounce) package Boursin garlic herb cheese
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to the box directions until just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes.  Drain.  Meanwhile, lightly grease several standard muffin tins with cooking spray or butter.  
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, and the melted butter with a fork.  Spoon a bit of the mixture into the bottom of each tin and press down with a fork or the bottom of a small glass.
  3. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, add it to a large mixing bowl with the remaining cheese, boursin, and cold butter.  Mix well.  In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk, and sour cream whisking to combine.  Add the liquid mixture to the pasta.  Stir in the salt and garlic powder.  Mix well.
  4. Divide the noodle mixture between the prepared muffin tins.  Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes.  Let cool in the tins at least 10-15 minutes before removing from the pan.  Serve immediately.

P.S.- Some exciting things are coming up next week!  On Monday I'll be guest posting over at This Heart of Mine for Amy's Homemade for the Holidays series!  She already has some great posts up so you should go check it out!  Also, on Wednesday I'll be posting my recipe for the Double Chocolate Cherry cookies that I sent out for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap so stay tuned for all of that yummy goodness!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Plenty Cookbook Giveaway Winner!

The time has come...

To announce the Plenty Cookbook giveaway winner...

And...the super yummy cookbook goes to...

Congratulations Krista Lee from MissCellaneous!  It sounds like you had an amazing Thanksgiving experience.  Having food fresh from the wilderness that was cooked with pure creativity had to be the most gratifying meal EVER.  Thank you for sharing!

To everyone else that entered, thank you so much!  I loved hearing bits and pieces about your holiday and I truly wish I could give each and everyone of you a prize.

In other news...

It's currently snowing in Boston.  And it's lovely.  I want to curl up on the couch and watch movies all day.

I can't do such things because I'm swamped with papers and presentations.

I'm begging you to bare with me until I get myself out of this swamp of school work.  I promise I'll be back soon!

Have a great weekend everyone!
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