Spiced Molasses Cookies with Creamy Vanilla Frosting [Giveaway]

Spiced Molasses Cookies

Dark, rich, gooey spiced cookies topped with sweet, creamy vanilla frosting.  In regards to molasses cookies, it really can’t get much better than this.  Spiked with cinnamon, clove, ginger and allspice, these cookies get their deep, dark color and flavor from a 1/2 cup of unsulphered molasses.  I just love the way the molasses pours from the measuring cup into the mixing bowl.  A slow stream of seemingly molten deliciousness.  These cookies are just one of the many that can be found in Stacy Adimando’s Cookiepedia.  Offering a wide range of recipes, The Cookiepedia is a great resource for beginners and seasoned cookie bakers.  What I really love about the book is that it provides variations for each cookie recipe.  Spreading a thin layer of creamy vanilla frosting on these classic molasses cookies elevates them from yum to o.m.g. yum.  I’m giving away 5 copies of The Cookiepedia below.  Continue reading for the recipe and giveaway deets.

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Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

For those of you who know me well, seeing this post might just make you laugh.  I’m usually quite vocal about my disdain for classic Green Bean Casserole.  In past years, I’ve actually placed a ban on all Green Bean Casseroles, threatening immediate disposal of any canned extravaganzas attempting to weasel their way into my Thanksgiving spread.  Not wanting to insult anyone’s family traditions any further, I’ll leave my unpleasantries surrounding the side at that.

To my dismay, I had several friends request Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving this year.  Rather than immediately denying their requests, I agreed to make it with this version in mind.  Fresh green beans are baked with homemade wild mushroom soup then topped with crispy fried shallots.  The finished casserole is fresh, well balance and 100% worth the extra time.  I just love the crunchy bits of shallot both on and throughout the creamy filling.  While I may not have any good things to say about classic Green Been Casserole, I would highly recommend this version for your Thanksgiving dinner.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

So I threw a little Halloween get-together this past weekend and I served these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (aka Ghost Burgers) for dessert.  Given the audible wave of oooo’s, ahhh’s and mmm’s that spread over the room, I’m going to have to say that they were a smash hit.  Moist, rich and decadent, these cream cheese frosting filled pumpkin cookie sandwiches are spiced with a comforting blend of ginger, clove and cinnamon.  So bold.  So flavorful.  And… so easy!  The dough comes together simply with a whisk (no mixer needed) and the cookies can be made on any old baking sheet.  I’ve seen many stores now selling whoopie pie pans.  Don’t be fooled!  You don’t need them :)  If you had a Halloween party this year, I would love to hear what you served for dessert.  Please share below!  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata

Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata

Several weeks ago, a friend of mine from high school requested on my Facebook page that I share a recipe for a fancy pumpkin pie.  Later that day, I was browsing the cookbook section of Williams-Sonoma and surprisingly, I saw this gorgeous recipe for a Pumpkin Ricotta Crostata in a Martha Stewart cookbook.  Flavored with pumpkin, nutmeg, lemon and vanilla, this rich and creamy crostata is exactly what I was looking for.  It captures the spirit of pumpkin pie packaged in decorative, flavorful pastry deliciousness.  I hope she approves :)

If you would like me to feature a certain type of recipe on Kitchen Konfidence, please feel free to contact me on my personal Facebook page or on the KK fan page.  Many of my updates on Facebook are public (and open to comments), so you are welcome to subscribe if that’s your thing!  Now, on to the recipe…

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Brooksters [Brownie + Cookie]

Brooksters, Brownie and Cookie

You might be wondering what a Brookster is right now.  It’s a mini Brookie.  Which is a brownie cookie.  In other words… delicious.  This ingenious idea is courtesy of those talented Baked boys, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.  I was wandering around William-Sonoma last week when I noticed a box of Brookster mix sitting on the shelf.  I’m not one for purchasing boxed mixes; however, the idea definitely intrigued me.  I just had to recreate it at home.  This Brookster recipe features decadent, golden brown chocolate chip cookies baked atop dense, incredibly chocolatey brownie cups.  The marriage of these two well known confections results in a dessert that is just pure perfection.

An important note about the cooking times and temperatures for this recipe.  I baked several batches of these Brooksters at different times and temperatures to test out various textures and consistencies.  First, I baked the Brooksters at 375 for about 17 minutes.  This resulted in cooked outsides with a molten, fudge-like core.  I baked the next batch at 350 for about 20 minutes and the finished desserts were more evenly cooked through.  I am partial to undercooked brownies, so I definitely preferred the first batch.  For this reason, my instructions below suggest cooking the Brooksters at 375 for 17 – 19 minutes.  If you like your brownies completely cooked, then I would recommend going lower and slower (350 or 325 for 20 – 25 minutes).  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Earl Grey and Lemon Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Earl Grey and Lemon Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Over the past few years, I’ve made many different types of ice cream and I’ll have to say, this is one of my favorites.  Perhaps because I am a huge fan of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.  I find the contrast between cool ice cream and sweet, textural chunks of cookie dough to be just heaven.  In this recipe, bold, bright lemon cookie dough bites are mixed into a creamy, almost refreshing Earl Grey ice cream.  Earl Grey, a blend of Indian and Ceylon teas, gets its distinct flavor from the oil extracted from the bergamot orange, a cross between a sweet lemon and a sour orange.  The citrus notes of bergamot orange pair nicely with the lemon cookie dough.  I urge you to give this recipe a try.  A perfect treat for a hot summer evening.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Baby Apricot Clafoutis

Baby Apricot Clafoutis

Several days ago, a friend generously graced me with a small bounty of baby apricots.  These little things are seriously adorable.  No larger than a fat cherry, the baby apricot is sweet, colorful, slightly tart and wonderfully fragrant.  Every ounce of my self control was needed to avoid devouring them on the spot.  To feature this seasonal treat, I decided to bake them in a clafoutis, a rich, creamy French dessert.  Flavored with light rum, lemon zest and vanilla, this warm, comforting Baby Apricot Clafoutis is a versatile dessert that comes together with minimal effort.  The batter can easily be made in a blender and used with any fruit you have on hand (regular apricots, cherries, strawberries, figs, raspberries, etc.).  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Bacon Jam Hand Pies

Bacon Jam Hand Pies Bacon Jam Hand Pies.  Oh yes.

I recently sat in on an online food photography workshop taught by Penny De Los Santos.  One of the assignments included photographing a food truck experience.  While Penny was making photographs of Skillet (the food truck), the owner mentioned one his products, bacon jam.  Since first seeing that bacon jam, I’ve been dying to make a version of my own.

This recipe for Bacon Jam Hand Pies features rich, savory bacon jam encased in light, flaky pastry.  Topped with smoked sea salt, these hand pies are to. die. for.  Please note that the recipe below is quite in depth, so plan your time appropriately.  But do give this a try, you won’t be sorry.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce

Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi with Mushroom Sauce The process of making traditional gnocchi has always seemed a little daunting to me.  And I find this perplexing.  First, I am Italian.  So, this should come naturally, right?  Second, given the short, simple ingredient list (potato, flour, egg, salt), one would think that gnocchi are easy to make!  However, they aren’t.  The key to making delicious, light gnocchi is in the technique.  A technique I have yet to master.

Several months ago, I stumbled upon this recipe for Ricotta Cheese Gnocchi (via Mark Bittman).  Despite my preexisting worries surrounding gnocchi making, I decided to give this recipe a try.  Results: amazing.  The simple process outline below will result in light, fluffy gnocchi that are utterly delicious.  Made with shiitake mushrooms, brown butter, shallots, sherry and sage, the accompanying mushroom sauce pairs well with the pillow-like gnocchi.  However, if you are looking to focus more on the gnocchi, I would recommend serving with a simple sauce such as a basic tomato sauce or a brown butter sage sauce.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Ginger Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce

Ginger Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce

The weather in San Diego has been quite sporadic recently.  Our beautiful, sunny days interrupted by bouts of wind, rain, sub 70° temperatures and even… hail!  During one of these recent cold spells, I found myself craving a Holiday-esque dessert.  Something one would eat while bundled in a blanket next to a crackling fire enjoying the catty banter of the Real Housewives.  My answer to this craving: Ginger Cake with Salted Caramel Sauce.  Spiced with fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon, clove and white pepper, this ginger cake is warm, moist and so comforting.  The spiced cake is perfectly accented by a salty-sweet caramel sauce and cool whipped cream.  If you find making caramel at home daunting, I urge you to just try making the cake.  It is seriously legit.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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