Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

everything cream cheese pastries

Back in September, my family spent a weekend in Delaware for my cousin’s wedding. One of our favorite things to do when we visit new places is to find a good coffee shop, and that we did.

Everything Cream Cheese Pastries | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Everything Cream Cheese Pastries | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

We popped into a cute college-town coffee shop on rainy Saturday morning to grab warm drinks. While we were at the counter the bagel selection caught our eye, and on a whim, Lane and Carter, the bagel connoisseurs of the family, each got a toasted everything bagel with cream cheese. Before that trip bagels had just been so-so for me. They were fine, but I didn’t love them. But, out came these piping hot bagels, golden and seasoned to perfection. One bite into them and I was completely sold. They were the best bagels I have ever had and my siblings were geniuses for ordering them. (more…)

blood orange bundt cake with cinnamon caramel

Last week we covered wine and chocolate as a delicious Valentine’s Day treat. This week, in honor of the month of everything pink and red overlapping with wonderful winter citrus season, I’m excited to bring you this blood orange bundt cake covered in cinnamon caramel!

Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Caramel | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Blood Orange Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Caramel | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

While I love citrus on its own, my appreciation for blood oranges in drinks, meals, and baked goods has grown throughout the years. The vibrant jewel toned ruby red insides of the oranges combined with the bright orange peel are enough to warrant attention on their own, but the amazingly fresh flavor and the gorgeous pink color that the juice provides makes this the perfect cake for this time of the year. (more…)

red wine brownies

When Monday and Tuesday feel like they could be a full week in and of themselves, fudgy red wine brownies are a much deserved treat. Because, yes, red wine and brownies, all in one.

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Homemade brownies are one of my favorite desserts. Until I was about halfway through high school I had only ever had boxed brownies. We always made the Ghirardelli boxed brownies, which, don’t get me wrong, are the best boxed brownies you can find, but they don’t hold a candle to homemade brownies. I distinctly remember trying brownies that Will’s mom, now my mother-in-law, made for a family dinner when we were dating. I had never had a brownie so delicious. When I found out that she was using the recipe written by a local chef in a cookbook my family owned, I never looked back. From then on, it was homemade brownies or no brownies. The spin is sometimes different (these red wine brownies are a bit more risqué than the traditional dark chocolate walnut version), but the texture and flavors are just as amazing.

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

With February right around the corner, these super fudgy brownies with a hint of red wine flavor are perfect for your Valentine’s Day or galentine’s day celebration, for watching Olympic ice skating competitions or the Bachelor, or, if your week is like mine, for your Monday and Tuesday. ;)

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Joking aside, these brownies are the best of both worlds – intense fudgy chocolate with subtle red wine peeking through in each decadent bite. They are easy to throw together, and make a unique treat to serve to friends, dare I say, paired with a cup of red wine? Let’s make it over-the-top!

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

You can find this recipe over on Lexi’s blog, ready for your weeknight baking adventures. If you make these fudgy red wine brownies, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@hopehwoodhouse) and comment below! I’d love to see!

Fudgy Red Wine Brownies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

orange cranberry scones

Scones have always been one of my favorite treats for breakfast, brunch, or tea. They feel fancy but still cozy, and look impressive but are easy to make.

Orange Cranberry Scones | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Orange Cranberry Scones | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Orange Cranberry Scones | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Growing up, my dad would make chocolate chip scones for holiday breakfasts, and berry scones in the summer. We would snatch them warm out of the oven while the chocolate was still melty and the berries were juicy, scalding pockets of flavor amidst the soft, buttery breakfast bread.

Orange Cranberry Scones | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Orange Cranberry Scones | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

For Christmas breakfast this past year, my dad went out on a limb and tried an orange cranberry variation that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind. This recreation of those delicious scones is perfect for citrus season. The fluffy, buttery scones taste so fresh and light with the addition of orange juice and orange zest, and the dried cranberries bring just the right amount of sweetness.

Orange Cranberry Scones | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Drizzle them with honey and an extra pat of butter and you’ve got the dreamiest of breakfasts, or cover them with clotted cream and jam for the most elegant and delicious tea with friends. No matter how you serve them, orange cranberry scones will be the stars of the show. I made these over the snow days last week and have been nibbling on them every day. I get so excited each morning to come downstairs and toast one to have with my tea for what feels like such a fancy breakfast. :)

Orange Cranberry Scones | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Orange Cranberry Scones | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Orange cranberry scones are flaky, buttery, and moist with a fresh citrus flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness from dried cranberries.

Orange cranberry scones are flaky, buttery, and moist with a fresh citrus flavor and the perfect amount of sweetness from dried cranberries.

Orange Cranberry Scones
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks), cold butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
½ cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup orange juice (from 1 orange)
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons milk
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and cut it into the flour mixture using two knives, a pastry blender, or quick hands, until there are pea-sized clumps throughout the flour. Stir in the dried cranberries.

Combine the orange zest and orange juice and pour into the flour mixture. Add the milk and mix just until combined, being careful not to overwork the dough. If the dough is too dry, add additional milk, one tablespoon at a time.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat into a round or rectangle that is about 1 ½ to 2-inches thick. Cut into 6 to 8 pieces (6 for large scones, 8 for reasonable-sized scones ;)) and put each piece on a baking sheet a few inches apart from each other. Brush the tops of the dough with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve immediately.

Scones are best the day they are made, however, you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them.

Orange Cranberry Scones | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

healthy breakfast cookies

Tis’ the season for new resolutions and healthy eating. While I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, I do like having a healthy reset after an indulgent holiday season. Healthy breakfast cookies are the perfect solution.

Healthy Breakfast Cookies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Healthy Breakfast Cookies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Often times we struggle with healthy eating not because we are unsure of what is healthy and what is not, but because in the midst of our busy schedules, we don’t allow enough time to prepare healthy food and instead end up grabbing an unwholesome snack or heating up an unhealthy meal. Today we are going to combat that by making a big batch of healthy breakfast cookies to keep on hand for when you are running out the door in the morning, or when that 3pm hunger hits you at work.

Healthy Breakfast Cookies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Healthy Breakfast Cookies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

My favorite thing to get at the local coffee shop on campus is a “banana chocolate ball,” made by a local bakery. I don’t even like bananas (it used to be marketed as a coconut chocolate ball, which was much more appetizing to me), but I have been getting these little balls of tasty goodness since I was in college and love them! I have tried to recreate them many times in the past, with many failures along the way, but I finally developed a close replica!

My version of these healthy breakfast cookies is gluten free, vegan, and naturally sweetened. It is filled with nuts for protein, with optional add-in ingredients to break up the flavors and texture. I like to add blueberries, additional chopped nuts, or, in this case, deep dark chocolate. Use the add-ins to make them your own and to change them up from week to week!

Healthy Breakfast Cookies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Healthy Breakfast Cookies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Thanks to the banana and almond butter, these treats are soft and moist. They are filled with good ingredients and healthy enough for breakfast, snack, or even as a substitute for sugary desserts after dinner. I brought a bag of these to Paris with us a few weeks ago and even my hot chocolate and croissant-loving family was asking for them before we headed out in the morning.

Healthy Breakfast Cookies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Healthy Breakfast Cookies
Makes about 21 1½ tablespoon cookies

¾ cup dates, packed (soaked for 10 minutes in warm water and then drained)
¼ cup honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
1 medium ripe banana
2 tablespoons natural salted almond butter or peanut butter
¾ cup almond meal
½ cup rolled oats (if you are making these gluten free, make sure to get certified gluten free rolled oats)
½ cup unsweetened coconut
¼ cup almonds, chopped
¼ cup additional optional add-ins: dried fruit, chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, blueberries, flax seed, chopped nuts, etc.

In the bowl of a food processor, pour in the soaked dates and pulse until only small bits remain. Add the banana and almond butter and mix again until combined, scraping down the sides as needed.

Next add the almond meal and rolled oats and pulse until everything is combined. The dough will be sticky and wet, but should stick together when you scoop it.

Scrape your dough into a mixing bowl. If it feels too wet to the touch to form into cookies, add another few tablespoons of almond meal and/or oats and stir. If you want to add additional mix-ins, stir them into the dough now. I used dark chocolate chunks, but also love adding chopped pecans and craisins. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop 1 ½ tablespoon balls of cookie dough onto your prepared baking sheet. They won’t expand so you can place them close together, without touching. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the tops have a hint of golden brown. Let the cookies set on the pan for a few minutes. Serve immediately.

Store leftovers in an airtight container for a few days. If you want to keep them longer, store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. I love pulling these out of the freezer for a quick on-the-go breakfast or snack!

Healthy Breakfast Cookies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Healthy Breakfast Cookies | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

brown butter ginger cookies

If you make one type of cookie this holiday season, let it be brown butter ginger cookies. Out of all of the cookies I have made all year, these are my favorites and the ones I have made the most often, which is crazy, since I just started making them in November. The name aptly describes them – you can clearly taste both the brown butter and the ginger, but neither overpowers the other. Ah-mazing.

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Brown butter makes your whole kitchen smell glorious, and the deep, nutty flavor penetrates each bite. The dusting of sugar that coats each dough ball bakes into a sparkly pillow. All of that combined with ginger and cardamom, these cookies are soft, warm, and so flavorful. They are so delicious that I can never stop at just one.

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

In the past few weeks I have brought these to family gatherings and work potlucks and have heard raves each time. While they look like gingersnaps, they are so much better!

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Since they require brown butter, which adds a step to the cookie making process, I make the process easier by browning the butter one night, letting the brown butter cool throughout the evening, and making the dough the next night. Don’t let brown butter stop you from trying these! You can definitely make these in the span of a few hours (especially if you speed up the cooling in the fridge), and I have done that a few times, but sometimes it is easier to only devote a little bit of time in two chunks, instead of a longer amount of time once, with dead time in the middle. If you have a day when you do all (or most) of your holiday baking, brown the butter at the beginning, continue with the other recipes, and come back to it when you are done with the other things on your list. The extra time is worth it!

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies | Pass The Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Drop the rest of your holiday baking pans and whip up a batch of these for everyone you know.

Brown Butter Ginger Cookies
¾ cups butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup molasses
1 egg
2 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar, for rolling

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until it is medium-brown. You will notice the bubbling will stop and it will smell nutty. This should take between 5-10 minutes. Remove the butter from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. To speed up this process, pour the browned butter into a shallow bowl and refrigerate for a bit. It is okay to use if the outside is firm and the inside is liquid.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl after 2 minutes. Add in the molasses and egg and mix to incorporate.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and salt.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar and butter mixture. Mix until the ingredients are combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the sugar into a bowl. Scoop or roll chilled cookie dough into 2 teaspoon to 1 ½ tablespoon-sized balls and roll them in sugar. I like the 2 teaspoon size (I use the small cookie scoop), but the 1 ½ tablespoon gives you even more of that chewy center. Place the dough balls 2-inches apart on the baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes for the small cookie dough balls, or 12-15 minutes for the larger dough balls. They will still look like they are not quite done when you take them out. Don’t bake them until they look done, otherwise the edges and the base will get harder.

Barely adapted from Bake from Scratch Holiday Cookies magazine.

sparkling pomegranate punch cocktails

We are almost halfway through December – are you holiday partied out yet?

Sparkling Pomegranate Punch Cocktails | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

I have been to a few parties and gatherings, and have a few more on the docket before Christmas, but I’m feeling good about the pace so far. Some years my introverted self gets overwhelmed with all of the holiday get-togethers. I have found that, while it can be more work to host a party, I sometimes prefer being the host to being a guest. When I host a party, I’m guaranteed to know everyone I invite, which takes away the stress of making small talk with strangers, and even if I have to go back and forth to the kitchen, I often feel more relaxed in my own home than I do somewhere else. (more…)

baked brie with mulled wine-soaked fruit

Remember that delicious mulled wine we made last week? We’re repurposing it today for a stunning, but amazingly easy holiday appetizer: baked Brie with mulled wine-soaked fruit.

Baked Brie with Mulled Wine-Soaked Fruit | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Baked Brie with Mulled Wine-Soaked Fruit | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Around the holidays, I find myself running around like crazy, trying to do everything I possibly can with every group under the sun. Next Saturday alone I am meeting up with five groups of people for five different events from 9am-11pm. I know it is a crazy schedule, but I love all of the people I get to see and have fun at every event, which makes it difficult to cut back. But doing everything and being everywhere can be exhausting, and leaves me with no time to prepare. That is one reason I love this baked Brie so much – while it looks fancy, you can have this app ready in 15 minutes! (more…)

mulled wine (glühwein)

With the last Thanksgiving dish washed and the slow start back to work and school today, the holiday season has officially begun! This is my favorite time of the year. Lights twinkle on houses and trees, holiday parties begin, and there is so much festivity all around.

Mulled Wine (Glühwein)| Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Recently, I was looking back at some photos from my study abroad semester in college (which I can’t believe was five years ago!) and remembered that some of the best memories I made on my trip were during this time of year. The town I lived in in the Netherlands was only an hour from the German border, and only a few hours away by a direct bus to the German town of Bremen, which was known for it’s Christmas market. As one of our last excursions of the semester, my travel buddy, Hannah and I decided to take a day trip to the Bremen to explore the small, historic town and see the vast Christmas market. (more…)

thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese

What do you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers?

Filled with turkey, sweet cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon, and gruyere, this Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese is easy, delicious and perfect for your day-after lunch. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Filled with turkey, sweet cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon, and gruyere, this Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese is easy, delicious and perfect for your day-after lunch. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

In my opinion, the only lunch option on the day after Thanksgiving should be some form of leftovers. For the traditionalists, there is the leftover plate – simply the same plate of food they made the day before, reheated. For those looking for a slight twist on the traditional leftover plate, there is the classic leftover sandwich, or bread topped with everything from the day before. I’ll admit, I like one traditional plate of Thanksgiving food after the big day, but after that it gets a bit boring. This year, we’re taking it a step further than the turkey sandwich with a Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese. Turkey, cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon mustard, melty gruyere cheese, and golden butter toasted bread come together for a sandwich that rises high above other family members’ boring leftover plates.

Filled with turkey, sweet cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon, and gruyere, this Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese is easy, delicious and perfect for your day-after lunch. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Filled with turkey, sweet cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon, and gruyere, this Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese is easy, delicious and perfect for your day-after lunch. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

We’ve done Thanksgiving leftovers in breakfast form with sweet potato biscuit sandwiches, in case you are looking for a whole day worth of leftover recipes, but gooey, melted cheese on warm toasted bread with all of the Thanksgiving toppings is hard to resist for Friday lunch. Granny Smith apples get slightly softened by the heat, but still add a little crunch and balance out the cranberry sauce perfectly and the Dijon provides a flavor you may not have tasted the day before.

Filled with turkey, sweet cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon, and gruyere, this Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese is easy, delicious and perfect for your day-after lunch. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Filled with turkey, sweet cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon, and gruyere, this Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese is easy, delicious and perfect for your day-after lunch. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Filled with turkey, sweet cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon, and gruyere, this Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese is easy, delicious and perfect for your day-after lunch. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Maybe you plan on shopping all day for Black Friday? This is a great welcome home sandwich that those non-shoppers can make for you. It is quick, easy, and delicious, and uses up tasty leftovers too! The best combination.

Filled with turkey, sweet cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon, and gruyere, this Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese is easy, delicious and perfect for your day-after lunch. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Filled with turkey, sweet cranberry sauce, tart apple slices, dijon, and gruyere, this Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese is easy, delicious and perfect for your day-after lunch. | Pass the Cookies | www.passthecookies.com

Repurposed leftovers forever!

Thanksgiving Leftover Grilled Cheese
Makes one sandwich, but is easily multiplied

½ tablespoon butter
2 slices hearty bread
2-3 slices of leftover turkey
5 thin slices of granny smith apple (about ¼ of the apple)
4 ounces gruyere cheese, grated (can also use sharp white cheddar cheese)
2 ½ tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
swipe of dijon mustard, to taste

I’m giving you exact measurements here, but feel free to adjust the measurements and make this how you like it!

Spread butter on the outside of one slice of bread. Spread cranberry sauce on the inside of one slice of bread and mustard on the inside of the other slice. Top both slices of bread with grated cheese (putting cheese on both sides will hold the sandwich together), then top one side with the turkey and apple slices. Put the two halves together.

In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted and bubbling, place your sandwich in the skillet, with the buttered bread facing up (so the bread that was not buttered is now in the hot buttered skillet). Toast until golden, then flip and toast until golden on the second side and the cheese is melty. Serve immediately.

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