Chocolate Dipped Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Pecan Shortbread CookiesYou know what I was just thinking?

It feels like it’s been forever since I made cookies. Like, I can’t even remember the last cookie I made. Eek.

Oh God, when was the last time I ate a cookie?

I. Can’t. Even. Remember.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Is it sad that I’m sort of maybe totally kind of panicking? Cause I am. You gotta understand, it’s a pretty sad day when you realize you haven’t made or eaten a cookie in what seems like a million years.

A. Million. Years.

So, as we can see, when I panic I apparently like to over exaggerate. It hasn’t been a million years, but it has been about seven months since I shared a cookie recipe. You have to admit, that’s kind of a long time. I don’t even know how that happened. Definitely not intentional either. I wouldn’t deprive you like that on purpose. That would just be cruel.

Funny enough, the last recipe I posted was also a chocolate dipped cookie. I really don’t know how that slipped my mind considering it was the beginning of my obsession with dipping the bottoms of cookies. I find it unfair for the top of the cookie to have all the fun. Fair point, huh? The dipped bottom, to me, is like putting a big fat shiny bow on top of a present; it just makes it that much better.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

These cookies almost didn’t make it up on the blog. Why you ask? Oh, let me just tell you. For those that don’t know or don’t remember, my brother has two huskies, (Ms.) Meeka and (Mr.) Archer (look here for their picture). They are the cutest things on the planet. And, that is in no way an exaggeration. Scouts honor on that one. As a rule we don’t feed them human food, mainly because they have super sensitive stomachs and can’t seem to handle it. That doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t try to eat human food whenever they get a chance. Adorable troublemakers. That’s what they are.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

I’m sure you noticed these cookies require some work–I swear the end product is so totally worth it though. The dining room table became my work station, or at least half of the table did. It’s a pretty big table. Decent height. Lined with chairs on each side. I had rows of finished cookies just sitting on wax paper as I finished up with the caramel outlining. There was about five cookies left when it happened.

Meeka, my lovely little niece, came running in and quite literally face dived into a row of completed cookies. I repeat face dived. She tasted licked about two rows worth of cookies before I could pull her away. TWO. ROWS. WORTH. That’s a lot of deliciousness (and hard work, I might add) that went straight into the trash. Oh, and the kicker, in the panic I forgot to finishing filling in the trees with caramel on the cookie I had been working on when the face dive occurred. Ask me when I realized this? When I was opening the container filled with cookies to give to one of my coworkers. I was completely embarrassed. Like, blushing hardcore red. I gave someone an unfinished cookie. Poor under-decorated cookie. Poor person eating the cookie. Sad. Sad. Sad. Luckily, my coworker didn’t seem too mind at all. Thank the Baker God’s on that one.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Anyways, I should probably tell you a little about these cookies. It’s a buttery, melt in your mouth, shortbread cookie packed with chopped up pecan pieces dipped in milk chocolate and then outlined with some caramel. Oh, and it’s stamped with a Merry Christmas cookie stamp to make it festively beautiful. This is probably the first cookie I’ve made that I received equal amounts of compliments on taste and looks. Seriously, people love these cookies. I ate more than half of love these cookies. And, clearly, dogs love them too.

You know what that all adds up to, right?

Winning.

And, the fact, that I absolutely insist that you go make them. If you don’t, I may or may not have to force feed you to eat them. You don’t want that. You just don’t.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Yields: about 30 large cookies

Utensils:
Merry Christmas Cookie Stamp
Large circle cookie cutter

Ingredients:
2 cup (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans
3 cups milk chocolate candy melts
1/2 cup of caramel

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy.
Beat in powdered sugar until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add salt and cornstarch. Mix until incorporated. Gradually beat in the flour until combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the chopped pecans.
Gather the dough as best you can into a ball and place on a piece of parchment paper. Cover the top of the dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll to ½ inch thick. Slide the parchment-covered dough onto a cutting board and place in the fridge. Let chill for about 50-60 minutes.
After the dough is finished chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a large circular cookie cutter (or, cup that is slightly larger than the stamp), cut your cookies into circles. Firmly press the cookie stamp into each cookie-if the dough becomes too sticky or tough to work with place back in the fridge until it’s easier to handle.
Bake for 6 minutes, reverse tray (this will ensure an even color on the cookies!), and bake for another 5 more minutes or until lightly brown.
Let cookies cool for about a minute on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Once cookies have completely cooled, melt the milk chocolate candy melts in a microwave safe bowl, in 15 second intervals, until of drizzling consistency. Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the melted chocolate. Place cookie upside down on parchment paper until the chocolate has hardened.
Once chocolate has hardened, flip the cookie around. Using a piping bag with a very small tip or simply dipping a toothpick in the caramel (I used the toothpick method, it takes more time, but it ensures that the ‘Merry Christmas’ stays legible), fill in the stamped part of each cookie with caramel.

 

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

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{No-Bake} Eggnog Pudding Pie With A Rum Drizzle

Eggnog Pudding Pie

So,

I don’t know exactly what to say.

I don’t even know how it happened, really.

It just did.

Christmas miracle?

Maybe.

This is the second year that I’m posting an eggnog themed dessert to kick off the holiday season. And, yes, I know I’m about two weeks late for the kick off. It’s been busy for me. Very, very busy.

Eggnog Pudding Pie

Two things I need to point out here.

ONE. This is the second holiday season we are spending together. Awhhhh guys, have I told you lately that I love you? Cause, I totally do. And, I’m really happy you’re all apart of my life. Seriously. Thank you.

TWO. For those of you that didn’t know, I don’t like eggnog. I know, how ridiculous. Or, not really, because I’ve met quite a few anti-eggnoggers over the years. It’s just not my thing. And yet, here I am, making another eggnog related dessert. What can I say? I’m complicated like that.

Eggnog Pudding Pie

What I really wanted to make was something with gingerbread. I had been dreaming of gingerbread filled desserts—cronuts, mini pies, candies, truffles—but for some reason I kept circling back to eggnog pudding pie. It could be that I love pudding or even that I’m a huge fan of pie. But, I really think it comes down to this: there are currently three containers of eggnog sitting on the top shelf of my fridge. It’s the first thing I see any time I open the door. Those cartons, just staring at me, giving me the stink eye.

I was over it.

So, naturally, I made eggnog pudding pie.

Eggnog Pudding Pie

Each glass (aren’t these glasses the cutest things?) has a generous layer of graham cracker crust that is topped with a creamy, nutmegy (have I told you I constantly have the desire to add two g’s to nutmeg every time I write it?) eggnog flavored pudding, which is then topped with an excessive amount of whipped cream and drizzled with a rum sauce. I repeat, rum sauce.

Eggnog Pudding Pie

Basically it’s a party in glass. A really, really, festively tasty party.

You know, I may knock on eggnog by itself, but it seems eggnog desserts aren’t half bad. It may have something to do with the rum.

Okay, fine, you got me, it has a lot to do with the rum.

And, come on, is there really anything wrong with that?

Eggnog Pudding Pie

No-Bake Eggnog Pudding Pie with a Rum Drizzle
Yields: About 3 cups

Ingredients:
Eggnog Pudding Pie
2 cups light (or, regular) eggnog
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs

Rum Drizzle & Topping
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
whipped cream, optional

Directions:
Eggnog Pudding Pie
In a small bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and butter until moistened. Spoon crumbs into the bottom of the glasses (or, the container of choice) and set aside.
Combine the eggnog, cornstarch, sugar, and nutmeg in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a bubble and whisk constantly. When the mixture thickens–it’ll be the consistency of country gravy–remove it from the heat and transfer pudding into a bowl.
Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap and let chill for about 35-40 minutes or until set.
Once set, spoon or pipe the pudding on top of the graham cracker crumbs.

Rum Drizzle & Assembly
While the pudding is setting, make the rum drizzle. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, rum, and butter. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil for 1-2 minutes, or until the brown sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
Once cooled, pipe whipped cream on the pudding and then drizzle generously with the rum sauce.

*Eggnog pudding slightly adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

 

Eggnog Pudding Pie

Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves with a Spiked Glaze

Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves with a Spiked GlazeAs promised I have moved on from pumpkin.

I bet you didn’t think I could do it.

It’s okay…I had my doubts too. It wasn’t even that hard either. Mainly because it’s December. And do you know what that means?

Indulging in firsts, seconds, and dare I say fourths of every dessert you can get your fork (or, hands) on—well, yes, but that wasn’t exactly what I was aiming for. It means more (different than pumpkin) festive holiday flavors. Get excited people. Throw a parade, or at least some sparkly confetti in the air, and welcome our old friends eggnog, peppermint, and gingerbread.

Hi friends. I missed you. Some of you much more than others (cough, gingerbread, cough).

What? I can’t play favorites?

Let’s talk eggnog. Everyone’s favorite holiday drink. My whole family loves the stuff. Can’t wait for it to go on sale. Drinks it by the carton. Notice I haven’t said it’s my favorite.

The eggnog gene skipped me. I just don’t like it. And believe me, I’ve tried to jump on the eggnog train. Multiple times. In fact, I give eggnog a fair shot every year, and each year I take one sip make a ewhh gross face and pass the mug over to the nearest person.

Just because I don’t like it, however, doesn’t mean I can’t bake with it. I’m a giver, people. And, if eggnog is demanded—by my family, the holiday, even the world—I will gladly deliver it, with a metaphorical cherry on top.

Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves with a Spiked Glaze

I won’t can’t jump on the eggnog train, but Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves (that’s a mouthful, huh?) with a Spiked Glaze is a whole different story. In fact, I will happily drive that train any day. All aboard!

To all the eggnog lovers (and haters) of the world, I give you a lightly flavored eggnog crumb cake that is ridiculously soft and moist. Crumble in your hand, melt in your mouth moist. The cake is sprinkled generously with a sugary crumble topping that adds a pop of sweetness to each bite, and is then drenched drizzled with a rum-infused eggnog glaze. Is it okay to say that I want to take a bath in that glaze? You’ll understand if you make it. So, go, make it. Indulge. It is, after all, the holidays.

Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves with a Spiked Glaze
Recipe adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Yields: About 7 mini loaves

Ingredients:
Eggnog Cake
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup eggnog
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon nutmeg*
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt

Crumb Topping*
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour

Spiked Glaze
5 tablespoons eggnog
3 tablespoons rum
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted

* I used a ¼ teaspoon nutmeg in my cakes, but I think it would taste better with a ½ teaspoon.
* I had about a cup leftover of the crumble topping, so maybe consider cutting the recipe, as listed above, in half.

Directions:
Eggnog Cake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and generously spray mini loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Grab two more medium-sized bowls. In one of the bowls, whisk together eggs, eggnog, sour cream, and vanilla until well combined. In the other bowl, combine nutmeg, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt—mix until combined.
Starting and ending with the dry ingredients, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture. Mix until incorporated.
Filling each loaf tin about half way (the loaves in the pictures are the result of filling each loaf tin 3/4th full, but that resulted in crumble topping falling all over my oven), pour the eggnog mixture into prepared pan. Even out with a spatula. Set aside.

Crumb Topping
In a medium-sized bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon, and salt.
Add melted butter and flour. Mix until incorporated (working with your hands is best).
Generously sprinkle the top of each loaf with the crumb topping.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Just to be safe, I would place a cookie tray beneath your loaf pan to catch any crumble if it falls.

Spiked Glaze
Once the loaves are done and cooling, make the spiked glaze.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggnog, rum, butter, and powdered sugar. Stir until well combined.
Once the loaves are cool (or, mostly cooled) drizzle each evenly with spiked glaze.

 

Eggnog Crumb Cake Mini Loaves with a Spiked Glaze