Gingerbread Brownies


Now that Thanksgiving is done and over, we’re moving on to other delicious holiday treats.  Gingerbread is one of the many iconic holiday treats when snow begins to coat the ground.  From cookies, cakes and even coffee, we find gingerbread’s spice-laced flavor a holiday extravaganza.  These gingerbread brownies do not disappoint, but keep that in mind: they are hard to keep out of your hands.

Gingerbread is a versatile ingredient.  It can be incorporate into moist cakes or dense cookies.  Gingerbread is fragrantly flavored from ginger and sweetened with molasses or honey.  It posses a versatile spiciness from the ginger making the dishes a sweet and savory treat.  We see it most commonly used in cookies to form little men­–gingerbread men and women.  Today, gingerbread is used in coffee creamers, cakes, breads, icing, hot chocolate and other desserts.  The spiciness makes my taste buds come back for more.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I used gingerbread cookies in place of the cake mix.
  2. DO NOT use the ingredients listed on the box keep to the recipe linked above.
  3. The powdered sugar adds a snow like quality to the brownies.  I added the powdered sugar because it’s necessary for that holiday feeling.gingerbreadbrownies2
  4. You can substitute the cake or cookie mix for a gingerbread recipe passed down from your family; however, you will want to use the dry ingredients only.
  5. The dough will be a little sticky and should have a firmer texture than normal brownies.
  6. I cooked mine for about 20 minutes.  They were the perfect consistency of ooey,
    gooey deliciousness.
  7. The longer the brownies set the firmer they will become.  They should be eaten within a few days of baking.
  8. I like to bake my brownies in one big pan rather than using individual slats because it keeps the edges gooey.  The centerpiece is the best!

By the end of this baking adventure, you will have a simple and delicious holiday brownie.  Gingerbread brownies work well as treats for neighbors or holiday parties.  Within 25 minutes, you have a unique treat that will be gobbled up in minutes.  They can be made with only three ingredients and little time.  The recipe is an easy cheat with professional results for those of us with little time or little experience baking goods.

Leave a comment with your favorite gingerbread treats.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.


Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls


With fall almost over, I have been on a pumpkin buzz.  These pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls are worth those extra calories.  They are simple, but delicious.  The cinnamon rolls work well on Thanksgiving morning for all of your family and friends or during any festive occasion.  Making pumpkin desserts are my specialty and these rolls do not disappoint.  With all the chaotic Thanksgiving cooking, start off with a delicious meal that will wow guests and still leave time for you to sleep in.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. We used Pillsbury Cresent Rolls.  You can also use Pillsbury Grands or your own dough
    of choice.pumpkinpiecinnamonrolls3
  2. I used my homemade pumpkin puree.
  3. I used half the amount of butter.  You just need to brush the dough lightly.
  4. I used the dough as one single sheet; however, I suggest separating the cresent rolls and making cinnamon cresents.  The cresent rolls already have perforated edges that cause the filling to leak out and the dough is difficult to cut.
  5. The cinnamon rolls took about 20-25 minutes to bake completely.  Be sure to keep the tops from burning and the centers cooked all the
    way through.
  6. Be sure to cream the cream cheese in the mixer.  It will help soften and incorporate the powdered sugar better.
  7. Add the powdered sugar in gradually to prevent a mess and allow an even mixing.
  8. As you mix the powdered sugar into the cream cheese, you’ll notice that the frosting will become runnier and more of a glaze.
  9. Be sure to frost your cinnamon rolls right away because the frosting will harden if sat
    too long.


These treats are far from healthy, but everything is okay in moderation.  Right?!  They make a great grab-and-go breakfast meal without all the hustle and bustle of taking hours to make.  Using the Pillsbury dough, alleviates all the time spent in perfecting the dough.  The recipe proves that delicious meals can be achieved in under an hour.

The sweetness of the frosting and the savory, cinnamon filling pair nicely together for decadent, sugary treats.  Since the dawn of time, pumpkin and cream cheese have been partners in crime.  The cinnamon rolls are just the hint of sweet needed after dinner or for a boost along with morning coffee.

Leave a comment with your favorite breakfast combinations.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Pineapple Coconut Bars


We all need a Hawaiian get-a-way or a day at the beach this summer.  These pineapple coconut bars are an Island adventure for your kitchen.  I was inspired to make lemon bars for work, but wanted to add a twist.  After the summer sun that has skyrocketed Arizona heat, a taste of an imaginative vacation is all I need.

Normal lemon bars are usually graham cracker crusts layered with a gooey, lemon center and topped with powdered sugar.  These pineapple coconut bars are a play at each topping.  While the original recipe of inspiration called for raspberry preserve, I swapped them out for pineapple.  I decided to take a whole Island theme to fit with
summer vacations.


Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. You can use any type of preserve that you want paired with coconut.  My suggestions are pineapple, apricot, or raspberry.
  2. Use a food processor to mix the flour and butter.  A food processor is able to grind the butter up and create the crumb texture.
  3. After adding the water slowly, the crust should not be crumbly, it should be processed enough to form a dough and easily spread in an un-greased in one piece.
  4. The eggs will be frothy and bubbly after 30 seconds on high.
  5. Slowly add sugar so that the eggs do not seize up and they incorporate evenly.
  6. Spread as much preserve as you’d like onto the top of the bars.  The more you add the thicker your center will become.
  7. It will take about 10-15 minutes on high for the mixture to become thick and a pale yellow.  Test the thickness with the tip of a spoon.  As soon as you can’t see the spoon tip, you’ll know that the mixture is thick enough.pineapplecoconutbars3
  8. Add the coconut flakes in batches so that you can stir them easier.  I used about a bag and a half
    of coconut.
  9. Let the bars sit after cooking to solidify and hold their shape when cutting into them.

Take them to work or a party with friends.  Everyone will enjoy a taste of vacation with these sweet island treats.  Try different variations to see which one you enjoy best.  Add different toppings to replace the coconut or add nuts to the filling.  There are numerous ideas that can work to please your taste buds.

Leave a message with which flavors you like best.  Follow my Pinterest for more delicious recipes.  Check back next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Nutella Fudge


Fudge is always tricky to make.  It can take quite a bit of time and the right temperature to make the consistency just perfect.  So, note to not get snippy with your mother if you have trouble in the process.  Like shortbread, it can be too hot, too cold, too humid, or any other too you can think of.

However, I didn’t think the nutella fudge was hard to complete for a tasty dessert.  The hardest part about this recipe is trying to keep from eating it while you’re cooking!

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. Have all your ingredients out and measured so you don’t waste time trying to multitask.  Fudge is one thing that you need to keep constantly moving.
  2. Use the salted butter.  Salt makes food taste more flavorful.
  3. I chose to use half and half.  It comes in a smaller container so you aren’t wasting ingredients after the fact.  It also is cheaper at the stores.
  4. I only needed 2½ cups confections sugar (aka powdered sugar).  Too much sugar and you’ll have the fudge too thick.
  5. I didn’t use the vanilla.  While it will round out the flavors more, the fudge was already sweet enough and draws out the Nutella flavoring more.
  6. Let it sit unsettled for at least 2 hours in the fridge taunting you with its deliciousness.Nutellafudge

Now, you have the tips, the recipe and the guts to go out and try this recipe.  Wow your friends and family by making these delicious bites.  I cut out 35 squares so that everyone could get just enough fudge to tickle their taste buds.  There are a bunch of different flavor combinations that you can try from white chocolate, mint chocolate, and peanut butter.  Be sure to know that I’ll be trying
them all!

Leave a comment below with your fudge ideas.  Follow my Pinterest for more recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips from The Cooking Bug.