Blueberry & White Chocolate Fancy S’mores

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Hey, there! While I am away snuggling this brand new babe and trying to navigate parenthood (aka keep him alive) I’ve asked a few friendly bloggers to share a recipe with you. Next up is Amy from Club Narwhal

Also, don’t miss Nicole’s post from last week!

Blueberry & White Chocolate Fancy S'mores

Confession: I don’t love s’mores. I know, I know. Theoretically, I’m on board. I mean, what could be wrong with melted chocolate, roasted marshmallows, and crispy grahams? Not a blessed thing. But throw them all together and it is just a literal hot mess. My underwhelmed feeling towards s’mores probably goes back to that one time I burned my hand roasting marshmallows as a child. It still haunts me. 

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This summer I vowed to make myself love s’mores. And while there were several epic fails along the way, I think I came up with a game changing formula. It involves homemade marshmallows (do not fear), loads of blueberries, freshly baked lemon sugar cookies, and white chocolate. Sandwich all that goodness together and you have a Quadfecta of Awesome. 

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While there is something terribly romantic about bonfires and marshmallows burning like small torches, my childhood pain still lingers. The solution: bake ‘em. This way the chocolate and marshmallows melt at equal rates, which produces a gloriously gooey end product. 

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What takes these guys to the next level are the perfectly zesty lemon sugar cookies that bookend the melted white chocolate and marshmallows. They pair so well with the blueberries. So there you have it: a s’mores love fest. These feelings are new to me but they are growing on me–especially after eating one (or three) of these lovely sandwiches. 

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I hope that Casper grows up to be the kind of man who has strong feelings about s’mores. And bonfires. What about you? Are you pro- or anti- s’mores?

Congratulations, Cindy and Sean! And welcome to the world, dear Casper Hart!

P.S. I’m sharing the Blueberry Marshmallows recipe over on Club Narwhal. Stop by and say hello!

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[recipe]

Print Recipe

Blueberry and White Chocolate Fancy S’mores with Lemon Sugar Cookies

Makes 1 dozen

blueberry syrup (recipe below)

2 dozen lemon sugar cookies (recipe below)

12 blueberry marshmallows

white chocolate bar (enough for 12 s’mores)

For the baked version (great for a crowd or if you don’t have a bonfire): Preheat oven to 275 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, lay 24 cookies face down. Put a square of white chocolate on 12 cookies and blueberry marshmallows on the remaining 12. Drizzle with blueberry syrup. Bake for 3-4 minutes, until chocolate has melted and marshmallows are gooey. Sandwich the white chocolate and marshmallow cookies together and enjoy!

For traditional s’mores, roast the marshmallows and build using lemon sugar cookies and white chocolate!

For the Blueberry Syrup

1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

Combine blueberries and sugar in a medium pot. Bring to a boil and boil for 7-8 minutes, until blueberries are thick and syrupy. Stir occasionally so the syrup doesn’t scorch. You can strain the syrup through a sieve if you like smooth syrup or leave the berries in for a more rustic touch.

For the Lemon Sugar Cookies

Adapted from Lila Loa 

1/2 cup slightly softened butter

1/2 cup light browns sugar

1/4 cup granulated white sugar

zest from one large lemon

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

2 (or 2 1/4) cups all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use the paddle attachment on a stand mixer to cream the butter and both sugars together. This takes about 4-5 minutes on medium speed. The butter will be light and fluffy with just a little grain from the sugar. Add the lemon zest and mix for a minute or two to combine. Things should be smelling really delicious right about now. Add egg and make sure it mixes. Add salt and baking powder and mix until just combined.

Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time (up to 2 cups). Make sure to mix the flour completely. After the third cup, add flour in tablespoon increments (up to 2 1/4 cups).

I used 2 cups of flour and the dough looked like playdough. The dough should not be sticky and should hold together. Lightly flour your counter and roll the dough out very thin–about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. Cut the cookies out and put on a parchment or silicon lined baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Be careful not to over bake. These cookies are light and do not really get golden brown, even at the edges. Makes about two dozen cookies. [/recipe]

Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This post is a little different, as I developed this recipe as a collaboration with my old high school. I was contacted by a lovely woman named Garney, who works at the high school I went to, about a career board display she and some yearbook students were working on themed “Oh, the places you’ll go…” and they thought that this whole blogging and recipe-makin’ thing I do was interesting. The display went live today…and, seriously, who would have thought!? Especially among people who have become lawyers or are headed for medical school. Definitely not too-cool-for-high-school me. I went to a teeny high school, ECHS, in a speck of a town in the middle of Nevada. When I mean teeny, I mean my graduating class had 21 students in it. I did yearbook, the school newspaper, was a cheerleader, and worked at the community pool as a lifeguard. I was not cool at all and was a total awkward-weirdo…and I mean, I kinda still am, I’ve just embraced it. My favorite things to do included writing super-inaccurate-yet-fun horoscopes for the newspaper and using deadlines as an excuse to cut-out on PE, doing photo layouts for the yearbook, as a cheerleader I loved making huge hand-lettered signs for games, and working at the pool was pretty fun since a lot of my friends worked there too. Like many high-school kids, my free time was super important to me and I could often be found hanging out with my pals, driving around aimlessly, and drinking cherry-diet-pepsi’s from the drive-in. I also spent a lot of that free time baking cookies (or boxed cakes or making magazine collages) whilst chit-chatting with my girlfriends. Though I never Instagram-ed or took phone pictures of those cookies since I only had a cell phone my senior year, had about 4 numbers in it, and it was a huge, red, Nokia-brick with a pull-out antennae…no camera in sight.

Truth be told, whenever I made chocolate chip cookies, I would always make the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. Sometimes I would add some huge scoops of peanut butter to the dough, sometimes I’d add walnuts, I almost never measured as carefully as I do now, but basically, I never deviated from that classic recipe. Now that I bake much more and many more things, I have tried many a cookie recipe and I think these chocolate chip cookies may be my favorite yet. They are super soft, tender, a little thick–which is how I love my chocolate chip cookies–and packed with lots of dark chocolate. There’s cream cheese in this dough, which adds to the tenderness, as well as contributing a pleasant tang to the buttery, toffee-like flavor of the dough. These cookies don’t bake up flat, but pleasantly domed with a little chewy edge with soft middles. In my opinion they are pretty much perfect and definitely worth trying out…because, honestly, there are never too many chocolate chip cookie recipes in the world.

Some things I did not know about baking in high school that will save you from a broken-cookie heart:

Baking powder is not the same as baking soda. Baking powder has baking soda plus an acid added to it to create the lift necessary in this recipe. Science!

Don’t forget the salt! I used to think it was okay to just leave salt out of baked goods. Don’t be teen-me! Salt makes all sweet things sing. For most purposes, I use kosher salt, but sea salt is nice too.

Parchment paper and waxed paper are not one in the same. Parchment is coated with silicone which ensures your baked goods will not stick and will also hold up to heat…waxed paper is coated with wax, will not ensure that you baked goods do not stick, isn’t meant to be heated (because wax melts!), and will just break your cookie-lovin’ heart.

Beating the butter, cream cheese, and sugars until fluffy will just whip air into your cookie, making it dry and crumbly, instead of soft and tender.

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

The addition of cream cheese in these cookies makes them extra tender and soft, as well as adding a little bit of tang.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks butter

1/3 cup whipped cream cheese

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

Sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and both sugars together until just combined, but not fluffy.  Scrape the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla, mix to combine completely. Add the flour mixture you set aside earlier and mix until combined, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and continue to mix until everything is just mixed together, but well blended. Fold in the chocolate chips and place the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30, up to overnight. Using a cookie scoop or 2-3 heaping tablespoons, scoop dough into balls and place onto a baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

[/recipe]

Nutty Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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OMG, guys…it’s totally almost Christmas and I am SO NOT READY for it this year. Let’s just blame it on the upcoming move…m’kay? Usually, by now, I’ve baked and confected up a storm. My tree and house have been trimmed with glittery everything and I’ve buried myself in a mountain of wrapping paper & ribbon. This year, not so much. There’s no tree, not a single wrapped gift, or even a sprinkling of glitter. There aren’t even that many treats! But, there are some, like this twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie…so I haven’t completely dropped the ball. Oh, and I have watched Love, Actually no less than 4 times. A girl’s gotta keep some traditions alive.

Luckily we are leaving today to visit our families out in Nevada for the next week and we’ve been assured that Christmas cheer is in full effect…so, we won’t be missing out one bit! Plus, these cookies…duh. I always love a chocolate chip cookie and I am a super-fan of a good-ol CCC with some nutty bits strewn throughout. These cookies take it to the next level of nutty goodness with lots of browned butter and not just my standard favorite, walnuts, but also my other favorites: hazelnuts and pecans (I know…I use favorite far too liberally, but I just love ‘em all!). I would even dare to say that these would be a great treat to leave out for everyone’s favorite, jolly, bearded fellow in the cookie-form with lots of butter, sugar, chocolate, and nuts for extra protein…you know, Santa Fuel.

Anyway, whatever you do or celebrate this holiday season, I hope you and yours have a joyous and cheerful time! Toast some drinks, hug your favorites, revel in the happiness of the season…and eat some cookies!

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Nutty Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from THIS recipe.

2 sticks (8oz) unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups mixed nuts (any you like!)

sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.

Begin by browning the butter in a skillet until the solids become a deep, golden, caramel color and the butter smells nutty like toffee. Pour the butter into a dish and set aside to cool a bit while you gather your ingredients.

In a mixing bowl or stand mixer combine the sugars together with the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the browned butter to the mixing bowl and mix to combine. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing the first in well before adding the second, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add in the vanilla and mix to combine. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts to combine. Using a levered cookie scoop, or two tablespoons, scoop cookies onto the prepared sheets, spacing a few inches apart to allow for spreading. Bake the cookies in the center of the oven, one sheet at a time, for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden. Remove from the oven and cool about 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack with a spatula. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. [/recipe]