We’re kicking off the Christmas season with a recipe that’s been a favorite of mine since 2003: Soft Gingerbread Bars!
My original recipe was clipped from the inside of a Land O Lakes butter box. Before trying that recipe, I had associated gingerbread with dry, hard cut-out cookies.
Land O Lakes enlightened me. They taught me gingerbread could be rendered into soft, chewy bars that were a sugary equivalent to crack cocaine.
These bars have been a household favorite ever since. You can cut the gingerbread into fancier shapes, but I prefer basic bars. These bars are soft and luscious, embodied with the divine scent of Christmas itself.
Plus, this is the perfect recipe when you’re low on time–it mixes together quickly and bakes in under 20 minutes. No standing around the oven for an hour, waiting for batch after batch of cookies to be done.
As soft as these bars are, they are surprisingly durable. When my husband was deployed in the Navy, I mailed several batches to him overseas. I packed them in Gladware with napkins for padding, and they survived the journey, intact and tasty.
It’s holiday time, so that means it’s time for super-fast microwave Maple Cookie Fudge!
“But Beth,” I hear you saying, “You just featured a fudge recipe a month ago!”
Aha! I did indeed. That pumpkin fudge is delicious indeed, with its texture and taste like pumpkin frosting, but it also gets soft if it’s not kept chilled. THIS fudge recipe has endurance. Fortitude. Maple.
This is a shortcut fudge without any need of a candy thermometer or stress. I like to use the microwave, but you can use the stovetop if you want. You can keep the maple cookies chunky, if you desire, or grind everything to crumbs–your choice! I actually like some small chunks mixed in for texture.
The maple flavor is nice and consistent here, not cloying, while the marshmallow fluff grants the texture some extra oomph. If you want, you can add in some nuts as well, but if you keep your cookies kinda chunky, they can add some nut-like texture to the squares.
This would be the perfect quick fudge to make for a holiday party where everything needs to stay out on a counter for hours! The leftovers will keep very well in a sealed container in the fridge, too.
Come to think of it, this maple cookie fudge is just about perfect if you ignore the pesky nutritional side of things.
The B is for Broken anthology is on sale for 99-cents today through November 28th over at Kobo! The book features 26 diverse stories around the theme of “broken.” My story is for the letter K, and I won’t say more than that.
The sequel to Breath of Earth has a cover, and it’s glorious and fiery! You can see the exclusive cover reveal for Call of Fire today over at The Mary Sue.
These Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies are light, crisp, and full of maple goodness.
Story prompts inspire stories. Cookbooks inspire new spins on already-great recipes. In this case, I found my inspiration in the cookbook MAPLE, which also provided the basis for my Maple Pear Galette and part of my Maple Apple Pie (aka Voltron Pie).
I loved the look of the original recipe, but right off the top, I knew I needed to make some adaptations. I don’t keep whole wheat pastry flour around. I decided to substitute with cake flour since it was also lower in gluten.
As a result, the cookies are surprisingly light and crisp. However, this also means they can overcook–and fast! Keep an eye on them as they near the end of baking time. Better to have them slightly underdone when you pull them from the oven, as they’ll finish cooking on the cookie sheet.
I also went with white chocolate rather than milk or dark chocolate. I find the mellowness of white chocolate better works with maple flavor.
Now, maple sugar can be pricy stuff at supermarkets, if you can find it at all. I buy it in bulk at Amazon. If you glance through my maple recipes, you’ll find plenty of ways to use it up!
Walnuts–and other nuts–are easy to roast in your oven. Line a rimmed pan with foil. Add the nuts in an even layer. Bake at 350-degrees for like 7 to 10 minutes, shifting them once sometime in there, until the nuts are fragrant. Let’em cool, then use them or eat them.
The combination of flavors here–maple, white chocolate, walnuts–makes these the perfect cookies for autumn.
… Except, well, if you know me, I believe in summoning up the goodness of maple all year round. Awesome things shouldn’t be confined to one season.
Some foods are delicious but not particularly photogenic. These Pumpkin Nutella Swirl Muffins, however, have it all going on.
Chocolate and pumpkin are a fantastic pairing. Nutella works so well here, creating a shiny chocolatey cap to these bright orange muffins.
The texture of these is magnificent: cakey and fresh, with a light pumpkin taste. Plus Nutella. We can’t forget the Nutella.
Speaking of which… if your Nutella is older or you’re near the bottom of the jar, it can be lumpy and hard to spread. To fix that, put the Nutella in a microwave-safe dish and give it a zap in the microwave.
Trust me, that lumpy Nutella may still be delicious, but you want it to be soft enough to create a beautiful swirl on these muffins!
Modified from The Novice Chef.