It’s been a while since my last recipe post. I feel like I’m in confession … forgive me followers, my last recipe post was over two weeks ago. But let me explain. In the past two weeks I have been on 7 flights, in 5 airports, on 4 trains, and dealing with 96 inches of snow that just won’t stop. I had proactively baked two extra recipes over Superbowl weekend thinking that even though I’d be all over the place, I could still post some recipes while I was on the road. But 96 inches of snow.
On the bright side, I did make it down South last week for a quick vacation with my family, and despite the hassle of getting there and getting home, I am happy to report that the sun does still actually exist, and it was so nice to feel warmth and sunshine again. I’ll include some vacay pictures at the end of this post. And because of a leak in the wall due to the 96 inches of snow (and ice), I had to fly home a day early last night, but I’m going to sleep in my own bed for 6 nights in a row – which I am pretty excited about. So I’m trying to channel the recent memory of sunshine and my reunion with my own bed to write a cookie post that is not just writing eff snow over and over.
I discovered cookie butter two years ago, and it turned my world upside down. It’s totally lives up to the hype. If you’ve never had it before, I recommend speeding over to Trader Joe’s and picking up a jar and bring a spoon so you can dig into it in the car, no shame. The only downside of cookie butter is that there is no Trader Joe’s close by to me and I can’t venture far in 96 inches of snow, so I went in search of an alternative – and found Biscoff Spread which I found at Stop and Shop. Also best eaten with a spoon, the crushed up cookie spread tastes gingery with a caramel flavor and just delicious. I’ve only baked with cookie butter before when I made chocolate chip cookies stuffed with cookie butter, so I took to the interweb to browse some recipes that use cookie butter/biscoff spread as a main ingredient. And I came across this recipe from Averie Bakes and decided to give it a try Superbowl weekend since I had some taste testers around. I stuck to this recipe for the most part and just adapted a bit around the final prep.
- 1 egg
- 1 cup creamy Biscoff Spread (or Cookie Butter)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
Step 2: Scraping down the sides of the bowl first, then add in the flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and mix on a low speed until incorporated. The dough should be soft and a little oily.
Step 3: Using a medium cookie scoop, place even-size balls of dough on a large plate and flatten slightly and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before baking. Chilling the dough is mandatory, otherwise the cookies will spread out too much.
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a sil-pat or parchment-lined baking sheet, place the cookie mounds at least two inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees until the edges of the cookies are set. Take the cookies out of the oven and let them sit on the tray for a few minutes to firm up before transferring them to a cooling rack.
So in full disclosure, I did not form the cookies into mounds before chilling the dough, and it was a pain to try to hack away at a giant ball of very chilled dough to make the individual cookies, so mine were a little more crumbly than expected, but man oh man did they taste good. Remember people, looks are not everything. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. And there’s Biscoff on the inside of these cookies, and it’s delicious. They kind of taste like a gingersnap and a chocolate chip cookie had a delicious cookie baby.
I’ve seen this book all about baking with Biscoff on Instagram a few times, and think it might be time for me to buy it and do some more Biscoff baking.
Alright, so let’s do a little recap of the past few weeks – mostly in photos because that’s easier and I’m tired. For all of you who want to know what 96 inches of snow looks like in the city, this is the view on the sidewalk on my street right now. If you want to get anywhere, you have a skinny 18 inch pathway with 7+ foot snowbanks on either side of you. Not to mention the lovely melting icicles of death that are crashing down around you. Our alley way is currently a giant icy watery mess which is now causing leaks into my condo which is super fun to deal with while being on the road. But on the bright side, this crappy winter mess has reminded me how nice it is to have such great friends. It takes a village to deal with this mess. My friend Jacqui and her husband came over Sunday after the latest blizzard to check on my place since my Boston flight was cancelled coming home from vacation and she even shoveled out my path, which was so nice! My upstairs neighbors and I have been teaming up on trying to deal with all the snow, and they checked on my place this week while I was in Philly and found the leak in the wall. So it’s a been a brutal winter, and I can’t wait until summer, but it’s been made easier with the help of my friends. Also, I’ve put the search for a boyfriend/husband on hold because now I have a Handyman, a Plumber, an Electrician, a Cleaning Guy, and most recently we’ve added Vinny the Snow Shoveler to the mix – who has been shoveling out my car and shoveling off our roof. So I think I’ve got everything I need with my mafia of handymen!
I intentionally started with the snow picture, so that I can end this post on a sunny note. Thankfully, before we even knew this was going to be the end-of-the world death winter, my dad booked a little family vacation for last week on a Disney Cruise in the Caribbean – with my parents and my sister. So even though there was the whole blizzard and forgotten passport debacle (as documented in my last post) we successfully made it to Miami last Tuesday, and got this beautiful sunset on our way out of the arctic tundra. It’s the first time in a while I did not mind getting on a plane.
We hopped on the Disney Wonder cruise ship in the port of Miami for a 4-night cruise to Disney’s private island in the bahamas, Nassau, Bahama and Key West, Florida. If you’ve never done a Disney Cruise, I HIGHLY recommend them. This was my 8th time on a Disney ship. I love everything Disney. First stop – Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the bahamas. This is the view from Serenity Bay, the adult-only beach on the far side of the island. We drank mimosas and soaked up the sunshine all day.
On vacation, I’m more of a one-really-delicious-heavy-drink a day instead of pounding beers or multiple other drinks. And the Miami Vice – which is half Pina Colada and half Strawberry Dacquiri – is one of my favorite vacation indulgences. Especially with a caribbean sunset in the background.
Friday we were in Nassau, Bahama – which we’ve been to so many times before that we decided to stay on the boat and just relax instead of walking around Nassau. The first day of the cruise, we won $150 in the spa so my sister and I got massages in the morning. Friday night was Pirate Night, arghhhh matey, on the ship, which ended with a pirate party and fireworks at night. Disney really knows how to do a party right in the middle of the ocean.
And what better way to spend Valentines Day than having a sunset dinner on the boat with your parents? Disney has a great restaurant on the ship called Palo which is a fancier restaurant that you can make reservations at and have a more upscale dinner than the regular group dining. The best part is the made-to-order chocolate souffle for dessert, which I would show you a picture of, but I pretty much attacked it as soon as they put it in front of me.
With our third blizzard in 3 weeks in Boston, my flight was cancelled back to Boston on Sunday, so I flew into NYC with my family, and took a long Amtrak from Stamford back to Boston to get my shoveling on and deal with the mess up here. I had to be in Philly for a big meeting Tuesday morning, so I flew out Monday night to make sure I could get in a good night sleep and not deal with Tuesday morning travel delays. Well the Sheraton fire alarm went off from 12-2am that night, and we had to evacuate our rooms and sit in the hotel lobby until we were allowed back in our rooms at 2am. And then it snowed a few inches in Philly Tuesday so all of the clients worked from home. Oh well. The meeting still happened. And then I had to switch my flight to come home Wednesday night to deal with the leaky wall in my apartment. But I can’t complain about the extra few nights this week in my bed.
And as a way to survive the remainder of winter, I booked a trip with two of my favorite friends to Punta Cana in early April. With the big 3-0 rapidly approaching, and cabin-fever snow induced insanity from the almost 100 inches of snow in Boston, I needed something to look forward to so that I am motivated to get up each day. Last year Caitlin and I booked our April Cancun trip around this time because of the snow. So I did some research a few weeks ago and we settled on going to the Westin in Punta Cana. And this year our friend Katie is coming too, so we’re going to take Punta Cana Shelton-style. Less than 50 days to sunshine and more pina coladas on the beach. Thank tha lawd.