Oatmeal Date Cookies

Oatmeal Date Cookies

I do not like raisins. They are one of the foods that sit pretty high on my short list of dislikes. This means I never eat oatmeal raisin cookies. I consider it a loss to have to cut out an entire type of cookie from my diet. An oatmeal cookie has so many desireable qualities. Deep carmelized sugar and chewy baked oats make for a delicious combination.

With a large container of fresh dates and lack of ideas to use them for, along came these cookies. I chopped up the dates to resemble a raisin, then replaced the raisins in my cookie batter. Let’s just say I made up for the many years of missed cookies by almost eating the entire batch alone.

Despite my disfavor to the original dried fruit, I can confidently say that this version of an oatmeal cookie is superior. The fresh dates add even more deep dark caramel flavor to the already oey gooey cookie. Please let me know what you think of this much needed upgrade.


Double Cookie Birthday Cake

Double Cookie Birthday Cake

I am positive after reading that title you are asking, “What the heck is a double cookie birthday cake?” It is a creation from my own head. A vanilla cake stuffed with eggless cookie dough then coated in a cookies and cream icing, i.e. double cookies.

The idea started with last years birthday celebration for my husband. His all-time favorite cookie is a snickerdoodle, so I made him a triple cookie birthday cake. It was literally three different layers of cookie smothered in a salted caramel buttercream icing.

My Triple Cookie Cake recipe can be found here.

For his birthday this year, I wanted to keep the theme going for my husband. So instead of three layers of cookie, I made three layers of classic vanilla cake; the cookie portion would come in with the icing and stuffing (making it only a double cookie cake).

To finish it off? An optional drizzle of creamy rich chocolate ganache and a big ball of cookie dough.

The finished result is a classic vanilla birthday cake that everyone knows and loves jammed with those nostalgic cookie flavors of your childhood.

Spicy Kitchen Sink Cookies

Spicy Kitchen Sink Cookies

The concept of a kitchen sink cookie is simple: you put everything in but the kitchen sink. It is one of those recipes that works with almost anything and everything you have in your baking pantry. This means it is a great recipe to keep in your pocket when a baking emergency comes up, i.e an impromptu party or impromptu house guests.

For my version of kitchen sink cookies I use a combination that I find is well balanced, salty, sweet, and spicy. For salt I throw in pretzels and kettle cooked chips, kettle cooked so they retain their crunchiness. The sweet comes from butterscotch and chocolate chips. Finally, the spicy from some chipotle roasted peanuts.

If you do not have spicy peanuts you can throw red pepper into the cookie mix, roast your own peanuts in a spice mixture, or simply use plain peanuts.


The cookie base for the recipe is heavy in brown sugar and butter, which results a gooier more buttery cookie. In my book, the ultimate cookie is one that is cooked on the outside and still gooey on the center. The trick to a perfect texture is twofold, chilling the butter before baking and under baking the cookie. I take the cookies out of the oven when the edges just start to brown then I let them cool on the cookie sheet.

Chilling your cookie dough before baking it prevents the butter from spreading too much during baking. If the butter spreads too much the finished cookies will be thin and not thick and tender.

This recipe would also be delicious as a chocolate chip cookie using only chocolate chips as the add-in. And of course, I recommend a large glass of ice cold milk to accompany your fresh out of the oven warm cookies.

This cookie may be the strangest, most delicious, and well balanced cookie I have ever eaten.

For more tips on cookie making, see this post.



Blueberry Pie & Lemon Cookies

Blueberry Pie & Lemon Cookies

The end of summer inches closer day by day. Although I am ready for cooler days, I will not miss the beautiful bounty that summer brings. So as of late, when I bake, I find myself leaning towards the best fruits of summer. You cannot argue with the proposition that lemon and blueberry are some of the best summer fruits.

Although I am not the biggest fan of fresh blueberries—it’s a texture thing–I love the way they taste baked into something. Lemon is the perfect counterpart to balance the sweet fruit. The southerner in me always leans towards making a pie or cake, but when I make something so large, my husband has trouble eating all of it. A simple solution is to make something smaller: cookies. To meet in the middle, I created cookies that taste like pie using all of the best ingredients of summer.


A few tips for making better cookies:

  • Be careful not to overwork your dough, if you do your cookies will become tough.
  • To prevent overworking the dough, mix together your ingredients until they are just together.
  • Never kneed your dough.
  • To prevent cookie spread, chill your dough before baking. This allows the butter to harden back up.
  • Parchment paper is the perfect way to prevent your cookies from sticking to the pan.


Cherry Cheesecake Ice-Cream Sammies

Cherry Cheesecake Ice-Cream Sammies

August is notoriously sweltering hot in the low country. For cooks, this means foregoing recipes that use an oven to avoid heating up the house and instead opting for recipes that cool you down. I can think of no better way to cool down in the summer heat than with ice cream.

Growing up in the south, my mom loved to make us homemade peach ice cream with one of those old fashioned ice-driven churners. The result was loosely churned ice cream with chunks of cold fresh peaches. A perfect treat after playing all day on a long, sticky summer day.

Even today, when my husband and I visit my mother for a summer holiday or gathering, she loves to make ice cream with the same machine–and many times it still includes peaches. So of course when I registered for my wedding, I wanted to include an ice cream maker. I thought it would be so lovely to be able to make my own ice cream at home


Tips to perfect your own ice cream:

• If you want a more pungent flavor, soak your flavoring in your milk starting the night before you make your ice cream base.

• The difference between this ice cream and others is the larger amount of cream and egg yolks used in the recipe.

• Always temper your eggs to avoid creating scrambled egg ice cream.

• Make sure you completely cool you base in the fridge before you add it to the ice cream maker.

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream Sandwiches

Chocolate Cookies


• 1 Stick of Butter, softened
• 1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar
• 1 Large Egg
• 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
• 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
• 1/4 Cup of Cocoa Powder
• 1 1/2 Cups of All Propose Flour


  1. Beat together butter and sugar until thoroughly combined and continue to beat for another three to four minutes until fluffy.
  2. While beating, combine your remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl and mix together.
  3. In a small bowl, beat together you extract and egg.
  4. Mix 1/2 of your dry mixture into your butter mixture.
  5. Follow by your adding in your egg mixture, beating until fully combined.
  6. Finish by mixing in your remaining dry mixture.
  7. Shape dough into a disc, cover in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for one hour.
  8. On a well floured surface, roll out your chilled dough to an 1/8 inch thickness.
  9. Use your desired cookie cutter to cut out your cookie rounds.
  10. Place all of your cookie rounds on a slip-mat lined cookie sheet.
  11. Let the cookies rest in the fridge for another ten minutes before baking. While the cookies chill, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes or until just done. Let cool completely before using.

Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream

• 1 Block of Creamed Cheese, softened
• 1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar
• 4 Large Egg Yolks
• 1 Cup of Whole Milk
• 2 Cups of Heavy Cream
• 1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
• 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
• 1 Cup of Fresh Cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped


  1.  Pour your milk and cream into a large sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Do not let the milk heat over a simmer.
  2. While the milk heats, whisk together cream cheese, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt and egg yolks until thoroughly combined. Continue to beat for an additional one to two minutes until fluffy.
  3. Slowly temper the egg mixture with your warm milk. Start by adding about 1/2 a cup at the time, pouring slowly while you continually whisk by hand.
  4. Once all of the milk has been tempered in, pour the custard back into your saucepan.
  5. Heat over medium and cook the custard, stirring continually. Heat until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon or is at least doubled in thickness.
  6. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer.
  7. Let the custard cool completely in the fridge before churning, about one hour.
  8. When ready, add the custard to your ice cream maker and churn according to the machines instructions.
  9. Once churned at soft, stir in your cherries.
  10. Place ice cream into a sealable container, and let harden for at least one hour before serving.

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with Pluot Jam

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies with Pluot Jam

Rich, buttery, salty, crumbly….sometimes a fresh home baked shortbread cookie can be the best dessert out (well a classic chocolate chip cookie still may trump it).

It has been extremely difficult to push myself to post this week. My editor had me stretched a bit thin, writing three reviews in one week. And as a writer the last thing you want to do is force some half-hearted story. Needless to say, like most Sundays, most of my day has been spent recharging. My husband and I have created a small ritual in eating bad and binge watching shows every Sunday.

A bit of inspiration has come from one of our favorites, the Great British Bake-off. And if you have not watched it, you absolutely must. If like me, you have finished all of the seasons, there is also a Great Australian Bake-off. Yes, the Aussies have a version too! Their “bakes”, on the GBBO, are filled with jams, and most pair great with tea. These pistachio cookies would make Paul and Marry proud. Scrummie!

Pluot Jam


  • 7 Pluots, quartered
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Sweet Red Wine
  • 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
  • Pinch of Salt


  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for one hour or until reduced in half.
  3. Let cool before placing in sealable container(s). Can store in the fridge for up to one week, or freeze for 6 months.

Pistachio Shortbread Cookies


  • 1 Stick of Butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
  • Dash of Salt
  • 1 Cup of Pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons of Pistachio Oil


  1. Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. With your fingers, mix the butter into the dry mixture. Mix until it resembles course sand.
  3. Pour in pistachios and oil, mix with spoon until fully incorporated.
  4. Cover bowl, and let rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a cookie sheet pan, with edges on all four sides, mash down your cookie mixture creating one even layer.
  6. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  7. After removing from oven, quickly take a cookie cutter, in the desired size, and stamp into cookies, creating scored cookies. Once cooled remove the stamped cookies from the sheet.

Triple Layer Cookie Cake with Salted Caramel Butter Cream

Triple Layer Cookie Cake with Salted Caramel Butter Cream

Gooey salty sweet homemade caramel buttercream stuffed between three distinct layers of thick, soft, chewy cookie cake layers: rich chocolate chip, buttery white chocolate blondie, and a classic crumbly snicker doodle. This may be the best birthday cake ever imagined.

With my husband’s birthday sneaking up last week, I knew I had to bake him a cake since I do every year. And this year I wanted to top last year’s Chicken and Waffle Cake.

I am not going to lie; I did not get this one perfect by any means. Just by looking at the pictures you can see how messy the butter cream is in its application, and the slight lean this cake had.

In baking this cake, my day started with three failed attempts at making a caramel (even though I did not stir the sugar), and it continued its path downhill. Between running out of eggs and flour, forgetting to add half of my butter to the snicker doodle layer, under cooking each layer (because I underestimated just how thick each cookie would be), a broken butter cream that had to be re-whipped, and finally, rushing to finish stacking the cake before serving it that night.

Being an experienced baker there are many days you forget just how challenging baking really is, and this cake was a harsh reminder. Luckily, after a practice round I have improved the recipe so it does not have to be as challenging for you.

Due to my failed attempt, you will notice that your layers are not as thick as the ones pictured. I have adapted the recipe to actually make it work, which means slightly thinner layers.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Layer


  • 2 Sticks of Butter, Softened
  • 3/4 Cups of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/2 Cups of Flour Flour
  • 8 Ounces of Chocolate Chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then grease and flour and 8 inch cake pan.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add in vanilla, baking.., salt, and then eggs one at a time
  4. Mix in flour one cup at at time.
  5. Mix in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour batter into pan, bake in over for at least one hour.
  7. If after an hour the cake is not done, cook until toothpick comes clean from center.

Snicker Doodle Cookie Cake Layer


  • 2 Sticks of Butter, Softened
  • 1 1/3 of Sugar
  • 2Eggs
  • 1/2 TablespoonVanilla Extract
  • 2  3/4Cups of AP Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 3/4Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • Mixture of 1/4 Cup of Sugar and 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon


  1. Grease and flour and 8 inch cake pan, set aside.
  2. In your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar.
  3. Add in vanilla, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  4. Mix in eggs and flour, alternating between the two.
  5. Pour into cake pan, top with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

White Chocolate Blondie Layer


  • 2 Sticks of Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups of AP Flour
  • 8 Ounces of White Chocolate Chips


  1. Grease and flour an 8 inch cake pan, set aside.
  2. In your stand mixer, cream together sugar and butter.
  3. Add in salt, eggs, baking powder, and vanilla
  4. Add eggs and flour, alternating between the two.
  5. Mix in white chocolate.
  6. Pour into prepared cake pan, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Salted Caramel Butter Cream


  • 2 1/4 Cups of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Of Water
  • 1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 9 Egg Whites
  • 6 Sticks of Butter, Softened
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt


  1. In a small saucepan, heat water and 1 and 1/4 cup of sugar over medium heat, do not stir.
  2. Once the mixture is boiling, stir to dissolve sugar. Do not stir again after this.
  3. Bring mixture to a light amber color, remove from heat, add in cream then salt. Be sure to whisk until fully combined. Set aside.
  4. In a double boiler, heat egg whites and remaining sugar. Whisking until sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are warm.
  5. Pour whites into stand mixer and whip on high for 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
  6. Add butter, a little at a time, whisking on high until fully incorporated.
  7. Next add in the vanilla, then slowly pour in caramel. Mix until shiny and smooth, for a minute it may look broken.

Assemble the cake, layering the cookie cake layers with buttercream then topping the final layer with buttercream in any decorative manner you like.

Creme Brûlée Cookies

Creme Brûlée Cookies

Every southerner’s New Years day is filled with collard greens and black-eyed peas, a delicious superstition that may never die. Collards represent wealth and black-eyed peas luck. Even though I hated this tradition as a child, my grandmother made me eat a plate full of them every year. Like most of us below the Mason Dixon, I should be a millionaire by now.

For this New Years Day, I suggest we adhere to the typical new year go-to meal, but after you have your hoppin’ johns, try a new dessert that is hard to pass over (even on a full stomach). I am suggesting the Creme Brûlée Cookies that were featured in the most recent Bake From Scratch Magazine, which coincidentally happens to be my all time favorite magazine. But if you are hesitant to boot your family’s deep-rooted New Year’s Day dessert tradition, this recipe is great to tack on to any old ritual.

These cookies are little pieces of art that will liven any New Year party or meal. The base is a thin, short cookie that holds a luscious little round of creamy vanilla custard.

Below you will find my take on the recipe…



Creme Brûlée Cookies

Cookie Dough Ingredients:

• 3 egg yolks (50 grams)

• ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) vanilla extract

• 1 ¼ cup (155 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and baking

• ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

• ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (70 grams) powdered sugar

• ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons (120 grams) unsalted butter, cold


1. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla and set aside. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and combine on low speed. Cut the butter into 1-centimeter (0.5-inch) cubes and add it to the flour mixture. Continue to mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about 5 minutes. Do not overmix. If the mixture starts to stick together, it will not absorb the eggs and it will be very sticky and hard to roll. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix just until incorporated and you have a homogenous dough, about 30 seconds. Form the dough into a flattened circle and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour, minimum. Note: It did not take 5 minutes to incorporate the butter. I suggest watching the mixer until the mixture turns sandy.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat. Parchment paper works just as well.

3. Roll out the pâte sucrée 0.5 centimeters (0.2 inches) thick. After rolling out the dough, I placed it in the freezer for a few minutes to make cutting easier. Using a 4.5-centimeter (1.75-inch) pastry cutter, cut 30 circles from the dough and place them on the half sheet. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes to prevent spreading. Bake the circles just until the edges are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Be sure to cook the cookies until golden, undercooked cookies will turn soggy after adding the creme brûlée.



Creme Ingredients:

• 5 egg yolks (85 grams)

• ⅓ cup (60 sugar) plus more for sprinkling

• 1 ½ cups (350 grams) heavy cream

• 1 tablespoon (10 grams) Grand Marnier

• ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Place 2 (4-centimeter [1.5-inch]) silicone demisphere molds with 15 cavities per mold on a half sheet pan.

2. In a small bowl, combine all the crème brûlée ingredients and blend them with an immersion blender. A regular mixer works just as well. Fill the molds with the crème brûlée. Pass the flame of a propane torch over the surface of the cavities to pop any bubbles. Place the half sheet pan in the oven, but before closing the door, pour 1 centimeter (0.5 inch) of warm tap water into the pan around the molds. Close the oven door and bake until the crème brûlée is set, about 25 to 30 minutes. When you lightly shake the pan, the crème brûlée should not move in the center. Allow to cool to room temperature, pour the water out of the pan and then place it in the freezer. Freeze for at least 6 hours. Make sure they are frozen before removing or you will lose the shape of the domes.

To assemble, Unmold the frozen crème brûlée and place a dome on each of the tart dough bases. Sprinkle a tiny amount of sugar on top of the crème brûlée. Caramelize the sugar with a propane torch, using the lowest setting. Decorate with gold leaf ( I used copper). Allow to thaw completely before serving, about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.


Find the original recipe here

Cheesecake Stuffed Cranberry & Orange Cookies

Cheesecake Stuffed Cranberry & Orange Cookies

By no means am I a traditional holiday baker. The holidays brings the welcome challenge of innovation for me. This year, the task of marrying my husband’s love of cheesecake with something my nieces and nephews will adore has been nothing short of troublesome. My husband’s favorite dessert is fruit-topped cheesecake, and every kid loves a soft, fresh-baked cookie.

This Christmas, I had to bake my nephew some cookies considering he specifically asked to decorate cookies with his “Aunt Lenny”. I was not going to show up with plain ol’ cut and bake cookies.


Cranberry and orange was the first flavor that flooded my mind when I thought of Christmas treats, and how easy would it be to take some creamed cheese (which most of us keep in the fridge) and stuff it inside.

Welp, not as easy as you think. I had to throw out the first batch because my batter was too thin.

A few tweaks later, and my kitchen filled with the scent of warm brown sugar as these little discs of Christmas spirit baked. My husband stood over me as I removed these cookies from the oven, begging for a cookie much like my nephew would.

When you open your cookie jar, the scent of fresh orange invades your nose. The first bite is familiar like a buttery sugar cookie, then the tart cranberry hits your palate which is finished by the velvety surprise of creamed cheese.

I omitted a lot of sugar from the cheesecake filling for this recipe. The cookie base is sweet, and you want your friends to be surprised by the tangy jolt of cheesecake that oozes out of the center.

Be sure to keep your husband from eating too many, so your kids or nephews and nieces can have a few.

Cheesecake Stuffed Cranberry and Orange Cookies

Cookie Dough Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of dried cranberries
  • Zest from two oranges
  • 2 tablespoons of juice from the oranges

For the filling:

  • 4 ounces of creamed cheese, softened
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 tablespoon of powdered sugar


Cream the butter and sugars together with a mixer until fluffy. While that mixes, combine all of the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add to the creamed sugar and butter, the vanilla, orange zest, and juice. Once incorporated, slowly add in your dry mixture and egg yolks, alternating between the two.

You will finish the dough by mixing in the cranberries by hand.

Cover the dough and place it in the fridge to let it rest for at least two hours.

Note: Spreading of a cookie occurs when the fat (your butter) is not cold. You can reduce the amount of spreading by chilling the dough before cooking. Alternatively, if you like a thin more crisp cookie, then don’t worry about spreading and bake the cookies immediately. For this cookie you want to avoid as much spreading as possible to prevent the filling from escaping.

Next you will prepare the filling. In a small bowl combine the vanilla, creamed cheese, and powdered sugar. Mix by hand (I used a fork) until fully combined. Place in the fridge while your dough rests.

When the cookie dough is close to being chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove the dough and filling from the fridge to begin forming the cookies. I take a bit shy of a tablespoon of dough, form a ball, then flatten it to a disc. Next take a teaspoon of filling and place it on the center of your dough disk. You will then take another disc of dough and place in on top of your filling, pressing the edges to seal the cookie dough. You should be able to fit about 5-6 finished dough balls on each cookie sheet.

Bake for about 10 minutes. Be sure to watch the cookies towards the end, and remove them once the edges start to brown.

Let cool and share with your loved ones!