Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


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Vanilla Almond Biscotti

These pretty Vanilla Almond Biscotti are not-to-sweet and perfectly crunchy — ideal for dipping into your coffee, tea or milk!

Vanilla Almond Biscotti | Sweet Baked Life

I always wanted to make biscotti, but never did; until recently that is.

And gee, what took me so long? It could be that I am not really into baking cookies, OK, don’t hate! I do love cookies, but I guess I don’t have the patience for scooping, shaping, placing evenly on the cookie sheet, baking and repeating the process until all the dough is gone! I would just rather turn my cookie recipe into a wonderful pan of bar cookies!

I am though, always up for making something new. You see, I love watching The Great British Baking Show. My husband thinks I’m crazy and wonders, why to I sit with my eyes glued to this show? Well, it’s because they whip up some of the most interesting things; most I have never heard of before. To me, it’s fun to watch and see how the home cooks figure out how and what to bake. A challenging baking show for sure!

Vanilla Almond Biscotti | Sweet Baked Life

One one episode the bakers were challenged to make biscotti. Now this is something I have heard of and have always wanted to make. I stumbled across the episode, and yes, there were some strange concoctions. But I also watched the segment where the hosts showed exactly how to make biscotti.

As my eyes filled with delight, I knew biscotti was on my list try. The basic recipe looked so easy — my type of cookie for sure. However, do you ever get that feeling when you are watching cooking shows that even thought it looks easy, the magic of TV editing may play a big part of the outcome?

I do! But with this recipe I did not care. I wanted to make a cookie that was simple to make with simple ingredients, so visions of  Vanilla Almond Biscotti began to invade my head as I ventured to my local grocery store to pick up the few items I needed.

Vanilla Almond Biscotti | Sweet Baked Life

I decided to make these one Saturday morning to surprise my boys. And they could barely wait for them to cool before they started devouring them. Yep, must be good if the boys like them. Did I say like? I think I really meant LOVE.

I had to steal some away to save for the photos or this would just be a post with crumbs on the plate!

As I explained to the guys, biscotti means “twice baked”, meaning that you bake them once, cut, put back on the baking sheet and bake again. The outcome is a deliciously crisp, yet soft, cookie. And they are good to eat any time of the day; that is if they last long enough after they come out of the oven!

Vanilla Almond Biscotti | Sweet Baked Life

Vanilla Almond Biscotti

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup almonds

Instructions

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until blended and set aside.

In a large bowl of a stand-mixer with the paddle attachment, add the eggs, butter and sugar and beat on high-speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. The add the vanilla and mix well. Remove bowl from the stand and gradually add the flour mixture and stir by hand until just combined. Then fold in the almonds.

Divide the dough in half and shape into two 3×10-inch logs on the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and firm, about 30-35 minutes. When the logs are cool enough to handle (about 10 minutes), use a serrated knife and cut into 3/4-inch pieces and place cut-side down onto two parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, turning the biscotti half way through, until dry and firm.  Let cool completely in the pan.

Vanilla Almond Biscotti | Sweet Baked Life

These Vanilla Almond Biscotti look as beautiful as they taste! Be warned, they are so good that you may want to double or triple the recipe just to make sure you get some to enjoy yourself!

Sheila

 

{recipe inspired and adapted from The Great British Baking Show & Real Simple}


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Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies

These warm and wonderful Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies give a whole new tropical twist to the traditional cookies you love!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Incorporating coconut into your recipes is a good thing. At least that’s what my hubby says! He loves the flaky stuff and is always asking me to make his favorite German Chocolate Cake. But you know me, I am always looking for something new to make!

Oatmeal cookies are one my guys favorite types of cookies. If you read this blog enough you will know that he loves traditional baked goods and is always asking why I have to bake things that are so complicated.

To me, my baking, and especially these cookies, are not complicated at all! I just thought I would elevate the tasty morsels, just in time for a new fall treat! You see, I love recipes that are quick to make, use simple ingredients, and taste incredible! The hubs however, begs to differ.

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

And I thought, there would be no better way to try out this cookie recipe than with my new mini cast iron pans! I had been dying to buy these and finally made it to Sur La Table where I spied these beauties. First I was only going to get one, than I though, “what the heck,” and I ended up purchasing four of them!

It was definitely the right decision.

Breaking in these pans in by baking my Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies was, to say the least, brilliant!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

And much to my surprise, my husband loved them! I think most of all because he adores the texture of sweet flaky coconut; in its pure form not toasted; him being the purest and all!

I would have also added macadamia nuts, however not sure if the guys would go for that. But next time I may sneak them in just for a bit of crunch and more texture!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

I was also delighted that my son liked them too! Wow, this my be a record — both my boys like something I make!

Using these mini skillets was a genius idea — as they both loved having their own “cookie” in a personal pan all to themselves!

If I knew it was this easy to please these guys, I would have been baking with these pans long ago!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

These Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies came out perfect. They were dense, yet soft and fluffy inside. The combination of the nutty oats, brown sugar and coconut was dreamy. And the sides and top were browned to perfection and had a nice little crunch and you dug into the cookie with your spoon!

I served these to my boys with vanilla bean ice cream – let’s just say this recipe is a winner in my book! And they made everyone’s tummy happy!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut

Instructions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl add the flour and baking soda, baking powder and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to use.

In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment , add the butter and sugars and mix until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Then add the vanilla and combine. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Remove the bowl from the stand and add the oatmeal and stir with a spoon or spatula until combined. Then fold in the coconut and stir until incorporated.

Divide your mixture between 4 mini cast iron skillets, press down gently to make an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the top begins to lightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Eat warm with a scoop of ice cream, or enjoy cold with a big glass of milk!

Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Warm or cold, these Mini Oatmeal Coconut Skillet Cookies are worth every nutty bite!

Sheila


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Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies {with easy homemade lemon curd}

Jump into spring with the lemony delight of these Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies — a soft buttery cookie topped with with easy homemade lemon curd!

Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

Even though the official beginning of spring was a couple of days ago, it does not really feel like spring around here.

Some days have been rainy and windy yest others have had a hint of sunshine, but still chilly. The weather around here just can’t get with the season! However, you can instantly brighten your gloomy days by making a batch of these happy cookies!

The bright lemon curd will surely put a smile on your face and make your tummy dance for more!

Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

I have made these thumbprint cookies many times before, however I usually make them with jam. And since I am such a huge lemon fan, I thought I would try them with this springtime twist.

As well, a co-worker brought in some fresh, off-the-tree lemons, and I could not resist putting them to good use. I had never actually made lemon curd before, but let me tell you, it’s easy! You just combine a few simple ingredients — fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, egg yolks and butter, and in a matter of minutes, you have thick, creamy lemony goodness!

The outcome — a soft buttery cookie, surrounded in sweet coconut and oozing with tart lemon curd. Delish. The unique flavor combination of lemon and coconut is truly joyful!

Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies - with easy homemade lemon curd

  • Servings: 36 cookies
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:

Cookies:
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher slat
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 oz. sweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Lemon curd:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/3 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions:
Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

To a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat until just combined and then add the vanilla. Into a medium bowl, sift tougher the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the four mixture to the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Mix until the dough begins to come together. Dump the mixture on a floured board and roll together into a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the lemon curd. In the top of a double boiler (or in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water), add all ingredients and on medium heat, whisk until mixture becomes thick. You will have to whisk constantly. The curd will be done when it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool.

Roll all the dough into 1-1/4 -inch balls. Then, dip each of the balls into the egg wash and then roll them into the coconut mixed with 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and using your thumb, press down to make an indentation. Place about 1/4 teaspoon of the lemon curd into each indentation. Bake for 25-28 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

These are the perfect cookies for spring, Easter, or pretty much any day, any time!

Jump into spring with these tasty Lemon Coconut Thumprint Cookies. Includes a simple homemade lemon curd recipe too! | Sweet Baked Life

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

Sheila

 

{adapted from Ina Garten and Glorious Treats}


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Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies

These soft Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies will not only melt in your mouth, but they will melt your heart!

Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

I adore shortbread — a buttery cookie that is oh so soft and delicate.

And I especially love the simplicity of these plain, yet delicious cookies. However, in my attempt to make shortbread cookies, I was really craving something more.

I wanted to add some type of chocolate and maybe a bit of a crunch to contrast the softness of the cookie.

So, when wandering the candy aisle of my favorite grocery store, my eyes fixated on the beautiful bright blue wrapper of a Ghirardelli Sea Salt & Almonds Milk Chocolate Bar. Right then and there I knew that this what I was going to use and my Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies were born!

Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

You start with a basic shortbread cookie recipe, then you add the chopped candy bar. Roll them into a log shape, pop it into the fridge for a bit. Then you slice them and bake them until they are lightly golden.

The outcome is a soft buttery cookie with creamy milk chocolate, crunchy almonds and a hint of sea salt. With every bite you will want more!

Now this is a cookie worth sharing as a holiday gift, cookie exchange, or just for consuming them all to yourself! And so easy to make!

But since it is the season for giving, I would suggest you share these scrumptious morsels with those you love!

Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies

  • Servings: 30 cookies
  • Time: 1hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

Ingredients:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 bars (3.5 oz. each) Ghirardelli Sea Salt & Almonds Milk Chocolate Bar, chopped

Instructions:
In a large bowl of an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then mix in the vanilla until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. With your mixer on low-speed, add the four mixture to the butter mixture blend until it comes together to form a dough. Remove the bowl and add the chopped candy bar and mix with a spoon until incorporated.

Dump the dough onto a large piece of wax paper, and shape the dough into a log – about 2 inches in diameter towards the bottom of one of the long side of the wax paper. The roll up the dough using the wax paper and put into the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Remove the dough from the fridge; unroll the dough and remove the wax paper and place on a cutting board. Slice the log into 1/4 inch slices and place on the prepared sheet pan. As a note, the cookies will not spread much, so you can place them close together.

Bake for bout 13-15 minutes, or until the edges just start to brown. Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to the wire rack and let cool completely.

Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies | Sweet Baked Life

For an easy and delicious cookie, make a batch or two of these Chocolate Almond Shortbread Cookies today!

Sheila

 

{Recipe adapted from Delishhh}