Tag Archive: white chocolate

Nov 10 2013

Raspberry Magic Bars

Everyone needs a quick dessert she can whip up at a moment’s notice. Something that shows you made an effort even if you’re short on time. Magic Cookie Bars are just these treats. Just a few ingredients and a half hour in the oven and you’re well on your way to cookie heaven.

Raspberry Magic Cookie Bars

The traditional version is one everybody knows: layers of graham cracker, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, coconut, and walnuts. In my family, we add butterscotch chips for a little more pizzazz. The formula works well as a base for a multitude of options. As long as you have the graham cracker crust and sweetened condensed milk, you can change it up to suit your mood. Have fun with it!

Raspberry Magic Cookie Bars

I had a jar of fancy raspberry peach champagne jam staring at me for far too long. It was languishing and needed something to add its uniqueness to! Thus, Raspberry Magic Bars were born. Feel free to change out the jam for an infinite number of iterations. A different magic cookie bar for every day of the week!

Raspberry Magic Cookie Bars

With Christmas coming soon, you’ll want to save this beauty! Perfect for the cookie trays you’ll be bringing to parties throughout the season!

Raspberry Magic Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 24
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup raspberry peach champagne jam
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 14-ounce container sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for a glass dish; 350 degrees Fahrenheit for a metal dish.
  2. Drop the butter in the bottom of a 9"x13" baking dish and pop it in the oven while it's preheating to melt the butter. Remove when the butter is melted, about 7 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter. Toss with a fork to evenly coat and then press down evenly over the bottom of the dish to make a crust.
  4. Heat the jam in the microwave or a small sauce pan until it's thin and fluid. Pour evenly over the crust.
  5. Sprinkle coconut evenly over the jam layer.
  6. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top.
  7. Sprinkle with walnuts and white chocolate chips, pressing down lightly to embed them in the milk.
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until mostly set and lightly browned around the edges.
  9. Cool completely before cutting and serving.



Feb 01 2013

#FirstOnTheFirst: Creamsicle Oatmeal Lace Cookies

When Kate and I discussed the initial #FirstOnTheFirst challenge for 2013, we decided to select something easy. Something that people probably haven’t made before, but that wouldn’t be too daunting of a task, so as not to scare anybody off. Something to instill confidence and get the year started off on the right foot. Thus came florentines. Delicate, crunchy cookies that add a little sense of culture. Fancy without being fussy. My kind of treat.

Creamsicle Oatmeal Lace Cookies

When I said florentines, I meant lace cookies–cookies spread out so they look like a doily with the holes in them–so I made Oatmeal Lace Cookies. Which are kind of like florentines, but not really. More like every oatmeal cookie I have ever tried to make, as I am notorious for my dough spreading an obscene amount and making me look like a darn fool. I never seem to manage plump, chewy oatmeal cookies. This was in the bag!

And it was. Really. I can’t complain about the process. The batter came together really quickly. It was a little tedious portioning out only 6 cookies at a time, but after seeing Kate’s Florentine Brittle, I was a little on edge and not in the mood for the equivalent of lacy oatmeal bar cookies. There’s just one thing. I skimped on the butter. By half.

No wonder why it seemed like it went so well!

Creamsicle Oatmeal Lace Cookies

I don’t think you’ll miss it. (Which is why I left it out in the recipe below.) While these could have been lacier looking, the taste is spot-on in that sweet spot between cookie and candy–caramelized goodness that is hard to put down. Make sure you have a place where you can share these–5 dozen is far too many to eat all by yourself! (And if you can’t, the freezer will hold them for you until you’re ready for them.)

Creamsicle Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 60
  • ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) unsalted Kerrygold butter, softened
  • ½ cup vanilla sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 6 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, finely ground
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
  • ¾ cup white chocolate morsels
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars, beating until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add the extracts and mix until just combined.
  5. Add the flour, salt, and oats, mixing on low until just combined. Stir in the white chocolate by hand, being careful not to overmix.
  6. Portion out the dough with a teaspoon, being careful not to place too much. Space at least 2 inches apart on sheet.
  7. Bake one sheet at a time for 9-11 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and leave on sheet for 8 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Next month we’ll be decorating cakes. I’m shaking just thinking about it. I am an eater, not a decorator, so this will be interesting… Take on a new cake decorating technique and join us! We’ll be posting on March 1st at noon. Check the First on the First tab above for more details.

How did everyone else do with this challenge?

Disclosure: I am member of the Kerrygold Food Blogger Network and was provided with free Kerrygold unsalted butter, which was used to make this recipe. All opinions and photographs remain my own, unless otherwise stated.

Jan 08 2013

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies – Or, Make Your Dessert AND Eat It, Too!

To some, January is a month of making resolutions. Seeking a renewal in spirit in the pursuit of denial, they deprive, deprive, deprive for the “greater good.” That’s fine and well if you are a sadist, but I’m getting too old for that sort of thing.

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

I’d rather take a page out of Julia Child’s book, leaning more toward “everything in moderation, including moderation.” Want to eat healthier? Who doesn’t! Instead of breaking out in a sweat at the mere thought of walking past the donuts, eclairs, cakes, and cookies while shopping for your spinach and broccoli, why not take matters into your own hands and revamp your cookies for a treat you can eat without the unnecessary shame game? Works for me!

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

Oatmeal lends itself well to a moderate dessert, being not only a heart-healthy option, but one that transitions well from the breakfast table to desserts. Add to it whole wheat pastry flour, dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and a little bit of raw sugar, and you’re doing pretty well. So well you can manage some high quality white chocolate morsels. A little bit of sweetness to balance the cranberries, without being too indulgent. If there is such a thing.

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

These turned out somewhere between crunchy and soft cookies. If you’d like them softer, bake for less time or don’t flatten the mounds. Crunchier? Thinner dough and/or more time in the oven should accomplish that nicely. I’d guess that they last for 3 days packaged in an air-tight container on the counter, but I couldn’t tell you for sure–mine are nearly gone in less than 24 hours. If you’d rather spread out your sweets, you can always freeze them for up to 3 months. Portion control achieved!

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 36
  • 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup raw (turbinado) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chunks or chips (the real deal--not artificial junk)
  • ¾ cup chopped toasted pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out 2 nonstick baking sheets and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with a hand mixer (you can also use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs until well incorporated.
  4. Add the oats, flour, baking soda, and kosher salt, beating until well mixed.
  5. Stir in the dried cranberries, white chocolate, and pecans.
  6. Using a medium cookie scoop, portion out the dough, 6 cookies per tray. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon or your fingertips.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges.
  8. Let rest on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

You may have noticed something unusual in the method for this recipe–the recommendation to use a hand mixer. While I almost never used my hand mixer before, preferring my workhorse 6-quart KitchenAid for most jobs, through the generosity of my boss and his wife, I had a little splurge money to use at Sur La Table recently. I decided to upgrade my cheap-o hand mixer of unknown vintage to a Cuisinart 220 watt, 7-speed model–in metallic pink! People could hear my squeals of delight 7 blocks away, I swear! Upon arrival, I needed to put this pretty princess to the test–so I threw cookie dough at it. Not something I would normally make with a hand mixer. Penelope (that’s what I’ve chosen to name her) was up to the task, surprising me with her brawn  I turned her on and at the lowest speed, I almost lost her–she was that much more powerful than I was anticipating. I didn’t have to get above speed 1 at any point in the process (though I did push her to the next level, just to see what she had in her–WOW!). Did I need a hand mixer? Nah, my old one was limping along just fine. Am I sorry I got her? Nope! I will surely make more excuses to pull out Penelope and give her a good workout!



Jul 04 2012

Buttery Jam Cookies

I don’t always adjust well to change. We remained in our former apartment for over 10 years, even though the allure of it faded 8 years ago. The routine is comfortable and I don’t always like shaking it up.

buttery jam cookies

But shake it up we did, recently buying a house of our own and starting down the path of homeownership by moving in as soon as possible. As in less than an hour after the closing was completed. I had had enough of the apartment and couldn’t wait to be in our own space. It was 95 degrees, early evening, and we had no means to move furniture, but that didn’t deter me—we were spending the first night of ownership in the house.

kitchen island

The first couple of nights on an air mattress in the living room were not exactly comfortable ones. I felt like I was doing a core exercise all night atop a full-body exercise ball. When half the furniture finally came (the rest had to be abandoned til next weekend, thanks to strong thunderstorms), I could finally sleep on a bed again. Except I still haven’t slept because the quiet is too quiet and every little noise stirs me, even the refrigerator simply making ice down the hall. Visions of vermin dance in my head, every noise a validation of my nightmare.

kitchen island

To try to ease along the process of feeling comfortable in my own home, I decided it was finally time to bake. This came with its own concerns. The oven—a 24-inch wall unit—is considerably smaller than what I’m used to. My sheet pan will not fit in it; my baking sheets only just barely make the cut. This is not an avid baker’s ideal tool. On the other hand, with the back problems I’ve had, I can definitely appreciate not having to bend over with hot pans. It’s so easy pushing and pulling pans when you can stand upright! But would it pass the test?

wall oven

As I preheated the oven, I found some literature left behind by the prior owner. Well, actually it was the prior, prior owner, now-deceased, the house having been a flipped property. The receipt was still attached, indicating the age of the oven to be about 10 years. I assumed it was older, so that was a happy surprise.

It took me a couple tries to get the timer set without turning off the oven but after that, I was golden. It worked just fine! And the cookies? Delicious! A perfect reward for all the hard work we’ve been putting into this move.

buttery jam cookies

I adapted the recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours, which is pretty dog-eared already from all the marking I’ve done of recipes I must try. This one is pretty uncomplicated and shouldn’t take you too long to throw together.

Welcome to the new kitchen! I don’t bake out of a pantry anymore–we’re moving up in the world!

Buttery Jam Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 40
  • 8 Tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup raw sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons whole milk
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup chunky cherry preserves
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth.
  3. Add the sugar and beat for one minute.
  4. Add the egg and beat for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until just combined. The mixture may look curdled, but that’s okay.
  6. Add the preserves and beat on low for 1 minute.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low until just incorporated.
  8. Stir in the white chocolate.
  9. Drop by rounded teaspoons, or with a small cookie scoop, onto the baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are firm and just barely browned on the edges.
  10. Let rest on baking sheet for 1 minute before removing cookies to wire racks to cool completely.


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