Rose Simple Syrup.

I finally got around to purchasing the Ladurée Sucré (The Sweet Recipes) cookbook a few weeks ago. I’ve wanted it for I don’t know how long, and now that I have it, I want to bake everything in it. And by everything, I mean EVERYTHING. Like, I’m feeling my own Julie & Julia moment about to happen. Of course, I didn’t have half of the ingredients I needed for the first recipe I chose to bake, which included a lot of rose-flavored things, so I have yet to actually try anything from this book. I did, however, take the first step by making my own rose simple syrup, which is a staple in many of the recipes. (Along with rose essential oil which is unexpectedly expensive, but decidedly more expensive to try to make than purchase.)

Rose Simple Syrup Recipe. #rose #syrup #recipe #baking #girlyobsessions

This rose simple syrup is so incredibly, well, simple, that I thought I’d share the recipe. Especially since it can have a lot of other uses, like a sweetener for tea. It would be fabulous served over vanilla ice cream. Or, even more fabulous, splashed in a glass of prosecco! And I bought these insanely photogenic roses that were just too pretty not to share. With the frigid winter we’ve been having in the Northeast, it’s nice to see, and taste, something that reminds me of Spring.

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Almond, Cherry & White Chocolate Cookies.

It’s that time of year again. (Yes, already.) I feel like I say this every year, but this holiday season has been a total whirlwind. Some sort of freaky holiday time warp. The kind where you blink and it’s over. I mean, I blinked and almost completely missed the deadline for this years Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Whoops. But thanks to helpful reminder emails, I was able to bake and ship these cookies in time.

Almond, Cherry & White Chocolate Cookie Recipe. #girlyobsessions #fbcookieswap #cookies #recipe #cookieswap #holiday #baking

Usually, because I always want to try something new, I have a hard time deciding what to bake. But due to the cookie time crunch, I had to go with something I knew. Something tried and true. Something that usually involves almond. After going though several batches of these cookies over the years, I think I’ve finally perfected this recipe. It’s an almondy, seasonal twist on the classic chocolate chip cookie. And it’s SUPER easy. Unfortunately, I had to put considerably less effort into packaging my cookies this year, but from what I can tell they arrived in tact, and that’s all that really matters! I did, however, have time to make them sparkle with a little help gold shimmering sugar. I’ve changed my mind. That’s what really matters. Sparkle.

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Mini Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake with Brown Sugar and Bourbon Cream.

This recipe is born out of my love for several things. One: pumpkin. Self explanatory. Two: cream cheese. I LOVE cream cheese. So much so that I could eat it by the brick. And three: miniature things. I love all things mini, like Coopers and dachshunds.

But would you believe that I’ve never made cheesecake? I don’t know how I’ve missed out on baking this dessert staple. So when trying to think of what I could bake to satisfy my pumpkin craving, I came across a recipe for Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecake and knew I had to try it. But in miniature. Tiny (a little larger than bite size) bits of pumpkiny, boozy, cream cheesy heaven. Just in time for fall. (If you prefer a regular size cheesecake, you can use the same recipe and just adjust the cooking times, which I’ve provided in the directions.)

What’s your favorite pumpkin dessert? Or your favorite cheesecake flavor?

Mini Pumpkin Bourbon Cheesecakes with Brown Sugar and Bourbon Cream Recipe. #girlyobsessions #baking #pumpkin #cheesecake

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Lavender Shortbread with Lemon Cream Filling.

Ever since my road trip around France last year, I’ve been totally obsessed with lavender. I was in search of this vision I had in my head of a perfect, picturesque lavender field complete with stone cottage. I’m glad I annoyed my husband into driving us around for days in search this field (we actually found several), because it led us to some amazing, beautiful places in Provence that were way off the beaten path. And as soon as we got home, we planted a few varieties of lavender in our garden. Not only are they a constant reminder of our trip, but they smell divine, and the flowers when dried can be used in a variety of things – like cookies! It’s been way too long since I’ve baked, so I’m happy to be sharing a recipe that combines two of my favorite flavors: lavender and lemon.

Lavender Shortbread with Lemon Cream Filling Recipe #girlyobsessions

I know some people may not be into lavender, or think it tastes like soap, but I love floral-flavored treats, and these cookies are no exception. The lavender shortbread is buttery goodness and is more savory than sweet, but the lemon cream filling adds the perfect amount of sweetness and fresh, citrus flavor. I actually baked three batches of these cookies. The first was a trial run and they were so well received that I was actually commissioned to bake a second batch for friend. And then I baked one more to photograph for the blog. So overall, these were a big hit. You could just make the shortbread on its own without the filling, which would be yummy with a cup of tea!

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Holiday Cake Crumb Confetti Cookies.

Even though this holiday season is flying by and has been more stressful than usual, I always try to find time to bake. And after participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap last year (see my Barcelona Cookies recipe), I was really looking forward to doing it again. There is nothing better than getting cookies in the mail!

Holiday Cake Crumb Confetti Cookies recipe cookieswap holiday

Like last year, the hardest part was deciding what to bake! My bestie over at A Good Hostess bought me the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook for my birthday and I’ve been itching to try one of the recipes. And since I’m a Funfetti addict, I knew I had to try their cake crumb confetti cookies. The “holiday” part comes from trading the rainbow sprinkles for red, green and white! The recipe was really easy, and the cake crumb is made first and then incorporated into the cookie dough, so it can be used in other recipes or can just be eaten on its own. (There’s nothing wrong with that!)

Thanks so much to Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for organizing two years in a row! And a big thanks to the lovely ladies who sent me some amazing cookies: Lauren from Making Life Sweet and her delicious maple almond brown butter glazed cookies (like all my fave things in one cookie), Emily from Cookie District and her beautifully decorated sugar cookies (almost too pretty to eat, but I ate them all!), and Katie from Sweetness Hunter and her Peppermint White Chocolate cookies that used crushed up Candy Cane Kisses! Yum!!

Here is my recipe for Holiday Cake Crumb Confetti Cookies! Enjoy!

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Simple & Skinny Eclair Cake.

One trait I did not get from my mother is her cooking ability. I can cook, but I just don’t enjoy it. Instead I bake. And my mom would say that she can bake, but doesn’t really enjoy it. That being said, she does have a few recipes that I absolutely love, and since she’s not really into baking, they are always pretty easy. But that doesn’t mean their not tasty, and this one is no exception.

Simple and Skinny Eclair Cake Recipe baking recipe skinny dessert

The great thing about her Eclair Cake recipe is that since it uses mostly packaged foods (Jell-O, Cool Whip and graham crackers), it’s easy to make “skinny.” I used low-fat grahams, sugar-free/fat-free JELL-O pudding, and Cool Whip Free. It tastes just as good as the higher calorie alternative, but has less way less guilt. I don’t know why, but I think of this a summer dessert. Maybe because we always have it at cookouts. But a few substitutions would make it fabulous for the holidays. You could trade the milk for eggnog, the grahams for gingerbread cookies, and either add peppermint extract or crushed up candy canes for the frosting. I’m totally making this next.

The original recipe calls to make this in a 13×9 dish. But because I have portion control with this dessert, I decided to try it as single servings. I used 4oz Ball jars and I used a biscuit cutter to cut my graham crackers into circles. I just dipped the edge in water and it worked like a charm! But…it didn’t help with my portion control. I guess it doesn’t really matter if they’re “skinny” if you can eat six in one sitting, right?

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Homemade candy corn.

As you may have guessed from yesterdays post, I LOVE candy corn. I know it’s just sugar, sugar and more sugar in the form of corn syrup, but I love it. So much so that I wanted to make my own. A few things to note. One, the dough for this candy seems to be very temperamental and does not do well in humidity. Since we’re in the midst of a hurricane, it’s very humid here so the dough never really hardened as well as it should have. But that’s what the freezer is for! Two, some things are just easier to buy at the store. This is one of them. It took me four tries to get the dough right, and what worked for me might not work for you. But that being said, three, this homemade version is yummy and buttery and could easily be adapted to any flavor or shape, making it good for any holiday.

Homemade Candy Corn Recipe halloween

So even though this was a bit of a pain, since I did end up with successful candy corn, I’m going to share the recipe. Enjoy!

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Spiced pumpkin mini muffins.

About a month ago I was on Pinterest (my husband calls me a Pinaholic) browsing through the wonderfully picturesque food recipes when I stumbled across a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Mini Donuts from baking bloggers Blue Eyed Bakers. They looked and sounded delicious! I HAD to make them. After searching for a mini donut pan, I settled for a mini muffin pan (assuming that I would get more use out of it). I followed the recipe exactly, taking the different baking times for muffins versus donuts into consideration. They came out of the pan perfectly after 13 minutes and they looked amazing! The hubby waited not-so-patiently for them to cool enough to swallow (chewing for him is overrated).

Spiced  Pumpkin Mini Muffin recipe

Finally we were able to taste this long-awaited recipe and…I was tremendously disappointed. They didn’t taste quite like I expected I guess. They had been baked perfectly and were moist…but not nearly pumpkiny enough! I wanted it to taste like a harvest-scented candle in my mouth! So even though this blog post was long overdue (sorry Ash), I decided to tweak the recipe to make it all I could hope for…like a pumpkin pie muffin. So please enjoy my creation!

Spiced  Pumpkin Mini Muffin recipe

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Pumpkin Spice Syrup.

Like I’ve said before (and I know I sound like a broken record, but whatever), two of my fave things about Fall are boots and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s. I haven’t actually taken my boots out of hibernation yet, but now that it’s October (what?!), it’s probably time. I do, however, seem to be spending my entire salary on Pumpkin Spice Latte’s. I try to resist, but they are just so damn good addicting. My car just drives itself right to Starbucks. Weird.

But now I need to think about trading my PSL fund for a Christmas fund …only 84 days left! So this is an economical recipe decision. And it’s been a while since I’ve baked, so I’m easing myself back into it with this very simple, very delicious, very versatile recipe.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup and Pumpkin Spice Latte Starbucks recipe

There are a lot of pumpkin spice syrup recipes in the blogosphere. Mine’s not that much different, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth sharing! The syrup is incredibly easy to make, and you probably already have most of the ingredients. Plus, it can be used on anything. I’m using it to make a latte, but I imagine it would be amazing on pancakes or oatmeal. Or in ice cream or yogurt. Or in a martini. Or straight out of the jar (with some whipped cream, of course). So, yeah, pretty much anything.

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Flourless chocolate almond cake.

I’ve been majorly slacking with the baking lately. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, you know? But when your husbands coworker asks if we’re having marital problems because I haven’t sent him to work with any treats lately, then I guess it’s time to get back in the kitchen! And since Jake’s coworker’s favorite baked good is flourless chocolate cake, that’s what I made. With a typical me twist: almond.

I haven’t made this cake in a while. I used to have an amazing family recipe that was written on a post-it. I had it memorized, but somewhere over the years, the physical (and mental) recipe got lost. And it was GOOD. And EASY. So I haven’t made one since, hoping that the recipe would one day come back to be. But it hasn’t, so I started with what I remember being the closest thing – a recipe from Williams-Sonoma. I also used a mixture of Mast Brothers chocolate, a local company  based out of the Bronx. Mainly because I couldn’t resist their pretty packaging…not that you taste the packaging in the cake, but quality chocolate definitely makes it better!

Flourless Chocolate Almond Cake
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