Kitchen Treaty http://www.kitchentreaty.com Sun, 21 Dec 2014 16:24:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 5 DIY Coffee Syrup Recipes (Perfect for Last-Minute Gifting!) http://www.kitchentreaty.com/5-diy-coffee-syrup-recipes-perfect-for-last-minute-gifting/ http://www.kitchentreaty.com/5-diy-coffee-syrup-recipes-perfect-for-last-minute-gifting/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:00:48 +0000 http://www.kitchentreaty.com/?p=13205

Homemade gifts are always the best gifts – even more so when they’re gifts from the kitchen. I especially love the idea of whipping up a huge batch of coffee syrup, distributing it between some cute glass bottles or mason jars, tying it with some ribbon and maybe a tiny evergreen sprig, and then gifting it up with maybe a mug or a half-pound of gourmet coffee beans. It’s a gift that would make a coffee lover like me merry indeed.

Here are 5 DIY Coffee Syrup Recipes that are perfect for last-minute gifting.

5 DIY Coffee Syrup Recipes

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Sparkly Chocolate Snickerdoodles http://www.kitchentreaty.com/sparkly-chocolate-snickerdoodles/ http://www.kitchentreaty.com/sparkly-chocolate-snickerdoodles/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 16:12:25 +0000 http://www.kitchentreaty.com/?p=14057

Sparkly Chocolate Snickerdoodles recipe - These rich, fudgy, and crackly snickerdoodles shimmer with sugar.

Iiiits cookie time! It’s the time of year when so many of us bite off more than we can chew. Literally and figuratively. I mean, there are so many cookies to be made this time of year!

In years past, I’ve headed home from the grocery store loaded up with bags of ingredients for no less than eight different types of cookies. And then set out to make all of them inside of one day. Even before I had a kid (and therefore much less leisure time), eight different kinds of cookies were tough to turn out in one day. Let alone one season.

This year, instead of handing out cookie plates with a vast variety of cookies in all shapes and sizes, my labor of love for the season is not quite so laborious. I’m planning to give out mason jars filled with just one delicious variety of cookies: Sparkly Chocolate Snickerdoodles.

Sparkly Chocolate Snickerdoodles recipe - These rich, fudgy, and crackly snickerdoodles shimmer with sugar.

Eight of ‘em fit perfectly into a wide-mouthed jar. Screw on a jumbo cupcake liner and tie on some kitchen twine and we’re good to go. Who wouldn’t want to receive a jar of chocolate snickerdoodles for Christmas? I’m hoping for no one, because I’ve got a busy week full of mason jars and cinnamon and sugar up my sleeve. Not literally, because that would be uncomfortable and sticky.

Sparkly Chocolate Snickerdoodles recipe - These rich, fudgy, and crackly snickerdoodles shimmer with sugar.

Because these cookies are dark, the sugar in the cinnamon-and-sugar coating shimmers and shines. Hence the “sparkly” in the name. Perfect for the season!

Plus, these little suckers are so easy. They’re basically a traditional snickerdoodle recipe with some of the flour swapped out for cocoa powder. Not even “basically” – that’s exactly what they are. I kept everything else the same, down to rolling copiously in cinnamon and sugar before baking.

Sparkly Chocolate Snickerdoodles recipe - These rich, fudgy, and crackly snickerdoodles shimmer with sugar.

The result is chewy but a little soft, chocolatey but still clearly snickerdoodles. And crinkly and cracked along the top, just like a good snickerdoodle should be.

Sparkly Chocolate Snickerdoodles recipe - These rich, fudgy, and crackly snickerdoodles shimmer with sugar.

Another bonus with these cookies is that they’re great to make with the little ones. My toddler loves forming the dough balls and rolling them in cinnamon and sugar. But they still turn out perfectly round after baking. Win win!

Sparkly Chocolate Snickerdoodles recipe - These rich, fudgy, and crackly snickerdoodles shimmer with sugar.

Yup, just one Christmas cookie this year. Simplification is a good thing (and so are Sparkly Chocolate Snickerdoodles).

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5 Cozy Crock Pot Coffee Recipes http://www.kitchentreaty.com/5-cozy-crock-pot-coffee-recipes/ http://www.kitchentreaty.com/5-cozy-crock-pot-coffee-recipes/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:05:53 +0000 http://www.kitchentreaty.com/?p=13988

Crock Pot coffee drinks are one of the most awesome things to happen to Christmas morning. They stay piping hot so you can return to the kitchen time and time (and time) again to refuel. They’re especially awesome when Santa needs a little extra help waking up because he and Mrs. Claus were up all night putting the finishing touches on a custom play kitchen. Not that we know anything about that.

Here are 5 Cozy Crock Pot Coffee Recipes for a caffeinated Christmas.

5 Cozy Crock Pot Coffee Recipes

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Slow Cooker Peppermint Vanilla Lattes http://www.kitchentreaty.com/slow-cooker-peppermint-vanilla-lattes/ http://www.kitchentreaty.com/slow-cooker-peppermint-vanilla-lattes/#comments Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:05:23 +0000 http://www.kitchentreaty.com/?p=14010

Why is it that Christmas trees always look way, WAY bigger once you get them in your house? More than ever before, our eyes were bigger than our living room this year. We ended up with a giant of a tree I still gape at it whenever I pass by.

This year is the first year we’ve had to use an actual ladder to dress our tree, just like in the movies, teetering dangerously on the top step – you know, the one you’re not supposed to use – risking life and limb. Literally life and limb, because I nearly took down both myself and the tree. BUT we made it happen. And now we’ve got a mammoth tree lording over our living room, with one bottom branch so heavy with dozens of toddler-hung ornaments that it’s touching the ground.

And all is right with the world.

Christmas is indeed the most wonderful time of the year, and one of the reasons is the excuse to brew up fancy “lattes” and pile copious amounts of whipped cream on top. These Slow Cooker Peppermint Vanilla Lattes are just plain necessary on Christmas morning.

Slow Cooker Peppermint Vanilla Lattes - An easy Crock Pot latte recipe with festive mint and warm vanilla flavors. Stir it all together and come back two hours later to a coffee shop in your kitchen! (We love these on Christmas morning!)
Slow Cooker Peppermint Vanilla Lattes - An easy Crock Pot latte recipe with festive mint and warm vanilla flavors. Stir it all together and come back two hours later to a coffee shop in your kitchen! (We love these on Christmas morning!)
Slow Cooker Peppermint Vanilla Lattes - An easy Crock Pot latte recipe with festive mint and warm vanilla flavors. Stir it all together and come back two hours later to a coffee shop in your kitchen! (We love these on Christmas morning!)

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Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce http://www.kitchentreaty.com/kale-pomegranate-pizza-with-creamy-pesto-sauce/ http://www.kitchentreaty.com/kale-pomegranate-pizza-with-creamy-pesto-sauce/#comments Mon, 08 Dec 2014 16:05:27 +0000 http://www.kitchentreaty.com/?p=13950

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

My recipes usually start out as haphazard semi-ordered lists, saved right here in “draft” – or unpublished – form on the blog. I love having all of my notes saved easily in one place, but on the flip side, I’m terrified that one day I’ll wake up to find I accidentally published something that reads like this:

Layer on crust –

creamy kale pesto sauce
could add cooked chicken here
mozzarella cheese
onions
3-4 cups baby kale tossed with 2 teaspoons olive oil – pile it on!
Pinch salt
Bake
Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds

NIRVANA

I guess my notes for this Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce do pretty much sum up what I’m about to say. Yes – it’s really, really good, yes, even “NIRVANA.” It’s got a rich and garlicky pesto sauce in lieu of the traditional tomato, then it’s layered with melty mozzarella, a few bits of onion here and there, and a giant pile of kale that cooks down into kale-chip-like goodness. Sprinkle on a good bit of pomegranate arils for a sweet/salty contrast (which also happens to look fabulous) and HELLO GORGEOUS PIZZA!

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

All caps. All about the caps.

Up on my fridge, I have a list of recipes that I’m currently working on, and for about two months now, “Christmas Pizza” has been on the list. As you’ve guessed, this is it – the Christmas pizza! Not that it should only be made this time of year. It’s just that the vibrant red and green couldn’t be more spot-on.

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

So here’s what we’ve got. A double dose of kale – both in the pesto sauce …

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

And then a big ol’ pile right on top of the pizza.

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

This is before spreading it out – but I just had to take a pic of Mount Kale first.

Kale has become one of my favorite pizza toppings. You take a big old bunch of the stuff, tear (or cut) into bite-size pieces, and toss it with olive oil. Then – yep – pile it on, and sprinkle with a little coarse salt. It bakes down to manageable perfection with crispy bits here and there. Highly recommended.

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

For the version photographed, I used an entire batch of this dough, and it made for one big, extremely thick pizza. Possibly a little too thick, unless you love thick. Otherwise, go with your favorite homemade or store-bought pizza dough. As much as I enjoy making pizza dough, nine times out of 10 these days my dough is straight from the Trader Joe’s refrigerated section. It’s great, inexpensive, and so so easy.

Kale & Pomegranate Pizza with Creamy Pesto Sauce recipe. Two doses of kale - both in the creamy, garlicky pesto and piled on top - make this vegetarian pizza a green powerhouse (in the most delicious way, promise!) Top with ruby-red pomegranate arils for color and a little irresistible sweet and salty contrast.

NIRVANA!

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7 Marvelous Muffin Recipes for Christmas Morning http://www.kitchentreaty.com/7-marvelous-muffin-recipes-for-christmas-morning/ http://www.kitchentreaty.com/7-marvelous-muffin-recipes-for-christmas-morning/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:05:35 +0000 http://www.kitchentreaty.com/?p=13990

Christmas is just around the corner. How did that happen? Oh, right. It happens every year. Still somehow takes me by surprise, usually. But I love almost every second of it, even with the inevitable bit of holiday whiplash.

We’re all about fun little traditions around here, and one of those is a fresh batch of muffins on Christmas morning. Sometimes fancy, sometimes simple, always festive and delicious.

So I thought I’d round up some especially festive muffins for the big day. From gingerbread to eggnog and from cranberries to chai … you’re sure to find your perfect Christmas morning muffin recipe among these 7 Marvelous Muffin Recipes for Christmas Morning. 

7 Marvelous Muffin Recipes for Christmas Morning

 

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Warm Spiced Vanilla Cocktail http://www.kitchentreaty.com/warm-spiced-vanilla-cocktail/ http://www.kitchentreaty.com/warm-spiced-vanilla-cocktail/#comments Wed, 03 Dec 2014 12:05:52 +0000 http://www.kitchentreaty.com/?p=13543

With winter solstice right around the corner, it’s optimum time for getting cozy. Fuzzy blankets, front-of-TV cuddles, flickering candles, steaming-hot drinks. I mean, when the sun goes down at 4:30 in the evening, what else can you do but cradle a warming winter cocktail and wholeheartedly embrace the season?

Alcohol helps. Just sayin’. (Just kidding. Mostly. It is very warming!)

Warm Spiced Vanilla Cocktail with Cinnamon-Sugar Rims - Cozy spices, vanilla, Baileys, and bourbon make for a cozy hot cocktail recipe that'll warm up the coldest of winter nights.

This is another throw-together recipe that, with a few tweaks, has become a fast winter favorite. We wanted a warm cocktail; I didn’t want to go to the store. So we made do with what we had in our cupboards. And we adored the outcome.

Warm Spiced Vanilla Cocktail with Cinnamon-Sugar Rims - Cozy spices, vanilla, Irish cream, and bourbon make for a cozy hot cocktail recipe that'll warm up the coldest of winter nights.

With the star anise, these Warm Spiced Vanilla Cocktails have a bit of a chai latte air, though mostly, they just kind of taste like the season. Vanilla – best if you can include the bean but totally fine without – plus a good dose of nutmeg and cinnamon to boot. Irish cream and bourbon for the lushy part of the equation – wonderfully warming and just darn tasty.

The rim though. That cinnamon-sugared rim. It’s a keeper. It reminds me of cinnamon toast. Except no bread. Or toaster. Just cinnamon sugary goodness.

Warm Spiced Vanilla Cocktail with Cinnamon-Sugar Rims - Cozy spices, vanilla, Irish cream, and bourbon make for a cozy hot cocktail recipe that'll warm up the coldest of winter nights.

We may not be seeing the sun right now, but things like this can definitely still brighten our days (and nights).

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White Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Blondies http://www.kitchentreaty.com/white-chocolate-chip-gingerbread-blondies/ http://www.kitchentreaty.com/white-chocolate-chip-gingerbread-blondies/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 14:10:49 +0000 http://www.kitchentreaty.com/?p=13757

You know,  I think it’s just not right that gingerbread is a holiday-season flavor. It’s too insanely delicious to be relegated to just this time of year.

Why don’t we see it in spring? It might just be excellent with rhubarb! Or as a syrup in coffee. Gingerbread iced coffee in June. I know I’d love it, but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t fly here on the blog. Bah, humbug.

White Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Blondies - Moist, chewy, rich, and perfect for holiday cookie platters. No mixer and only one bowl needed!

Well, I guess I’ll just have to embrace gingerbread right here, right now. And in the form of these dense and moist, chewy and sweet White Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Blondies.

These blondies are so full of gingerbread goodness that they look more like brownies than blondies. But trust me – that’s brown sugar-molasses-spiced-delicious goodness all up in there. With a hefty dose of white chocolate, both drizzled on the top and in chip form in the batter itself.
White Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Blondies - Moist, chewy, rich, and perfect for holiday cookie platters. No mixer and only one bowl needed!

I love the buttery, rich spiced flavor of the blondies, but the white chocolate gives a cool contrast that draws you in bite after bite. Plus, it looks pretty and kind of snowy drizzled over the top. I’m wishing now I’d sprinkled some white nonpariels over the chocolate drizzle for a little extra bit of festivity. If you make these, you should try it! It’ll look like snow. Pretty.

White Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Blondies - Moist, chewy, rich, and perfect for holiday cookie platters. No mixer and only one bowl needed!

When I developed this recipe, I literally just threw this and that into a bowl, spread it into a baking dish, and crossed my fingers. I was shockingly surprised (and admittedly proud) at how well they turned out. The edges do tend to stay a bit high compared to the middles, but I love them that way. More crispy edges without one of those funky maze-shaped brownie pans works for me.

White Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Blondies - Moist, chewy, rich, and perfect for holiday cookie platters. No mixer and only one bowl needed!

These also freeze so well that I could make several batches and keep them in the freezer. And then so I can pull one out whenever I wish. Like on the Fourth of July! Or any other day in the year that’s not the holiday season! Rebel blondies, my friends. Gingerbread 365!

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5 Delicious Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce http://www.kitchentreaty.com/5-delicious-ways-to-use-leftover-cranberry-sauce/ http://www.kitchentreaty.com/5-delicious-ways-to-use-leftover-cranberry-sauce/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 12:05:20 +0000 http://www.kitchentreaty.com/?p=13890

This started out as a mini round-up of Thanksgiving leftover recipes that don’t involve turkey, but when I realized that three of the five recipes were made with cranberry sauce – and I didn’t want to stop there – that I should just keep cranberry sauce, arguably the best part about Thanksgiving. I always make gobs of the stuff, not only because I love it, but also because I love the leftovers.

Ready to get saucy with your leftovers, too? Here are 5 Delicious Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce.

5 Delicious Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce

 

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Cranberry Bliss Muffins http://www.kitchentreaty.com/cranberry-bliss-muffins/ http://www.kitchentreaty.com/cranberry-bliss-muffins/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:05:37 +0000 http://www.kitchentreaty.com/?p=13904

How much do I love Starbucks and how often do we go there? Well, my toddler requests a stop almost daily, if that tells you anything. I’m not proud. But hey, at least she thought McDonald’s was a farm (truth).

Cranberry Bliss Muffins - Inspired by the famous Starbucks bars, these cream-cheese frosted muffins are studded with cranberries and white chocolate. The perfect breakfast treat for the holidays!

Starbucks is a weakness, for sure. And around this time of year, their cranberry bliss bars are also a weakness. A buttery blondie base studded with white chocolate and cranberries and then smothered in cream cheese frosting, more cranberries, and a white chocolate drizzle? Pure holiday nirvana.

Cranberry Bliss Muffins - Inspired by the famous Starbucks bars, these cream-cheese frosted muffins are studded with cranberries and white chocolate. The perfect breakfast treat for the holidays!

I allow myself maybe one or two per year, but that doesn’t mean I don’t dream about them otherwise. Or offshoots. Like Cranberry Bliss Muffins. I had to create them. It was my calling. My mission. My density.

Cranberry Bliss Muffins - Inspired by the famous Starbucks bars, these cream-cheese frosted muffins are studded with cranberries and white chocolate. The perfect breakfast treat for the holidays!

The muffins themselves are buttery and craggy, more dense than light, almost more moist scone than cake. With their cream cheese frosting and white chocolate drizzle, I didn’t want the muffin itself to be light and fluffy. Otherwise, they would be cupcakes! These are unmistakably muffins – but with frosting. And toppings. And awesomeness.

Cranberry Bliss Muffins - Inspired by the famous Starbucks bars, these cream-cheese frosted muffins are studded with cranberries and white chocolate. The perfect breakfast treat for the holidays!

A muffin with frosting – totally acceptable for the holidays.

A few recipe notes

The base of these muffins is adapted from the blueberry muffin recipe in a seriously incredible new cookbook, The New Best Recipe, from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated. These guys exhaustively test recipes until they come up with what, they feel, is the best version of each one. It’s a different sort of muffin recipe – no milk, only sour cream – but the result is rich and thick, even vaguely reminiscent of the blondies these muffins are inspired by. Be sure to follow the steps as stated – vigorously whisking the egg, beating it with the sugar, GENTLY folding the wet and dry ingredients together – or your muffins may turn out tougher than you like.

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