Toasted Pecan Shortbread with Spiked Toffee Sauce

Toasted Pecan Shortbread with Spiked Toffee Sauce

Toasted Pecan Shortbread with Spiked Toffee Sauce

Recipe by: Adapted from Ina Garten
Yield: around 20 shortbread cookies

The butteriest! These buttery shortbread cookies boast toasty pecans throughout, and the buttery rum-spiked toffee is the perfect complement. You’re gonna love these.

Cookie Ingredients:
3/4 pound (1 1/2 cups) unsalted Plugrá butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans*

Toffee Ingredients:
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup Plugrá butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup dark rum

*To toast pecans: spread pecans on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for around 6-7 minutes, tossing occasionally, until fragrant. Chop while still warm.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In a separate, large bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together for 1-2 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Pulverize the toasted pecans in a food processor for a few pulses (or crush by hand) until very fine, and then stir into the dough by hand. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap, form into a thick rectangle, and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and cover three baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle of 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 1-inch by 3-inch rectangles and place these on a cookie sheet (position them 2 inches apart because they will spread slightly). Bake the cookies for around 20 minutes, rotating and switching positions of baking sheets once partway through baking. Remove the cookies when they’re just slightly colored on the edges and let them cool completely on their baking sheets.

To make the toffee sauce, bring the brown sugar, butter, heavy whipping cream, and rum to a boil in a heavy saucepan over high heat, whisking frequently. Once the mixture boils, turn the heat down slightly to medium-high heat and whisk constantly for 8 minutes, until the mixture is thickened. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl. Serve it smeared on cooled shortbread cookies. Store any extra cookies and toffee sauce in airtight containers, heating up the toffee sauce in the microwave to refresh as needed.

Gooey Carmelitas

Gooey Carmelitas

Recipe by: Adapted from Our Best Bites
Yield: 20 carmelitas

These are gooey, chocolatey, caramelly, and amazing! They’re quick and simple to make, and served warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, they’re to die for.

1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (or you can use all light)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 Ghirardelli dark chocolate bar (I used 86%)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)
store-bought caramel sauce, warmed according to package directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang that will help you to pull the bars out later. Spray the paper a little with cooking spray.

Beat butter in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add brown sugars and cream until fluffy, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour slowly, mixing until just combined, and then stir in the oats. Press about 2/3 of the dough into your prepared pan, covering the bottom. Sprinkle chocolate chips, pieces of the chocolate bar, and nuts (if using) over the top. Pour caramel sauce over top just until the bars are all nice and drizzles (you probably won’t use the whole jar).

Take pinches of the rest of your oat mixture and flatten them into “shingles” in your hands, laying them over top of your chocolate and caramel filling until it’s roughly covered. Bake the bars for 22-25 minutes or until top is light brown. Don’t overbake them. Let the bars cool in the dish until they are room temperature. Lift them out and onto a cutting board and slice (I like to drizzle them with melted chocolate at this point). You can store them in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve them — and at that point, I recommend heating them up and adding a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream!

Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars with a Shortbread Crust

Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Bars with a Shortbread Crust

Recipe by: Adapted from King Arthur Flour (crust) and Shared Sugar (cheesecake)
Yields: about 18 bars

These cheesecake bars are the perfect summer treat: sweet, creamy, tangy, buttery, and easy to prepare!

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Cheesecake Layer Ingredients:
32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 eggs
5-6 tablespoons lemon juice, depending on how tart you usually like your lemonade!
lemon zest from one lemon (reserve a little to sprinkle on top)
1 cup sugar
strawberries, quartered*
powdered sugar for topping
*Note: I probably bought 2 pints of strawberries but didn’t quite use them all. I didn’t quarter mine because I thought they’d be pretty whole, but they were a bit hard to eat and I’ll quarter them next time I make this recipe!

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 13 in. baking dish with a parchment paper sling. Cut the butter into the flour and confectioners’ sugar and press into the baking dish (I used a food processor to cut the fat into the flour, and then the bottom of a dish to press the mixture into the pan). Bake 20 minutes or until light brown. Let cool on wire rack.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, add the cream cheese, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar. Mix until the ingredients are creamy and the cream cheese is fully incorporated. Pour into the pan with the cooled crust. Then evenly distribute the strawberries.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until filling is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar and/or lemon zest.

Cherry Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Cherry Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 20-25 cookies

These are tender, buttery shortbread cookies replete with cherries, tangy lemon, and rosemary. Enjoy them hot from the oven and freeze some for baking in a pinch.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves, chopped finely
3/8 cup powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (about the zest from one lemon)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
about 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and dried rosemary. In a separate large bowl, cream together the butter, lemon zest, and powdered sugar 2-3 minutes or until pale, light, and fluffy. Mix in the lemon juice. Beat in the flour mixture and then stir in the cherries by hand to be sure everything is combined.

Use a sheet of wax paper to roll the dough into a 1 1/2-inch wide log (if you’re having trouble, chill the dough for a bit in the fridge before rolling it). Wrap plastic wrap or foil around the logs and freeze them until firm (you can also double-wrap them and leave them frozen for up to 3 weeks at this point. When you’re ready to bake, just use a serrated knife to cut the cookies and bake as usual. It make take a few minutes longer since they’ll be baking from frozen, but just keep an eye on them.) While they cookies are freezing, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the center. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Use a serrated knife to slice each log into 1/4-inch slices and place these about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 8-10 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool for a couple of minutes on the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. In the meantime, melt white chocolate according to package instructions (usually half-power, in small increments, stirring often) and spoon it into a plastic zip-top bag with a tiny corner cut off. Set cookies on wax or parchment paper and squeeze the melted chocolate from the zip-top bag over them in a zig zag design. Let them dry. Store them in an airtight container separated by leaves of parchment or wax paper for up to a week.

Cookie Butter Cookies (with Coffee Butter and Salted Caramel Butter) and a Biscoff Spread Giveaway!

Cookie Butter Cookies

Recipe by: Adapted from Housewife Eclectic
Yield: 24 cookies

These warm cookie butter cookies are delicious right out of the oven, or schmeared with coffee butter, salted caramel butter, or even a little extra cookie butter!

1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crunchy cookie butter (Trader Joe’s Speculoos Spread or Biscoff Spread)
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and two sugars until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the cookie butter and egg and combine. Add in the flour, baking sodar, and baking powder, and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently remove from the pan to a cooling rack so the bottoms don’t get too brown. Cool completely and spread with coffee butter, salted caramel butter, or more cookie butter!

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