If you’ve been a reader of The Spiffy Cookie for awhile, you are familiar with my approval of Melt‘s rich and creamy organic butter substitute. I was immediately won over when it made my favorite chocolate chip cookies even better than I could’ve imagined. Since then I’ve used it on many occasions including a week long challenge where I made Nutella swirled banana bread snack cakes, corn chowder with zucchini and orzo, and German chocolate s’mores gooey cake bars. And of course, I also enjoy spreading it like butter over toasted bagels and anything else I can get my hands on. I have only tried the regular MELT buttery spread but really want to try out their honey and chocolate versions. I wasn’t able to find those two in Memphis, and after checking their store locator I will not have better luck in the Knoxville area. Boo hiss. I may have to order it directly from them online.
So am I telling you all of that and why should you care? Because now it’s your chance to win some Melt of your own to try!
- Leave a comment on this blog post telling me how you would use Melt in your baking and/or cooking. Leaving a comment is essential in order for me to get in touch with you later.
- Follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post to complete your entry. Both must be completed in order to enter the giveaway.
Earlier this year I was introduced to Zulka Pure Cane Sugar, an all-natural and unrefined granulated sugar, and was very pleased with it after testing it out in several recipes. Today, I’m writing to let you know about Zulka’s Holiday Bake-Off contest! To celebrate the holiday season, Zulka is hosting a Holiday Bake-Off Facebook contest for a chance to win $500 to Sur La Table! Entering is easy:
- Create a recipe using Zulka Pure Cane Sugar
- Upload the recipe with an image of your creation to Zulka’s “Bake-Off” Facebook tab by December 22 for a chance to win a $500 gift card to Sur La Table!
I know I am not giving you much warning with the deadline only being a couple of days away, but if you needed an excuse to bake any more festive treats for the holidays now is the time! To sweeten the deal, I am also giving away a bag of Zulka to one reader! Just use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post (giveaway ends Sunday night).
But before you rush off to enter the contest and giveaway, you really should stick around for this recipe I made. It’s a chess pie recipe from the days when my parents lived in Texas. My mom included this recipe in the recipe box she gave me when I left for college many years ago but I did not make it until now. In her directions she said to use lemon juice, coconut, or crushed pineapple. With Meyer lemons in season right now, there was an obvious winner.
Being that this was the first ever chess pie that I have made, I was a bit nervous to share it with people who had grown up in the South and ate this pie on the regular. To my satisfaction it passed the test. I was told that they had had regular, buttermilk, and chocolate chess pies but never lemon – and they liked it! Sounded like a good candidate for me to enter into Zulka’s Holiday Bake-Off ;-).
Have you had a chance to check out The New Southwest Cookbook by Meagan of Scarletta Bakes? If not then today is your lucky day because not only am I sharing a recipe from her new cookbook, but am also hosting a giveaway for one lucky reader to receive a copy!
To start, there’s a chapter which covers all the essentials for a southwest kitchen pantry as well as acceptable substitutions when you cannot locate a certain ingredient in a recipe, which I completely appreciated as sometimes it is difficult to find certain ingredients. Then there is a “building blocks” chapter covering all the condiments and foodstuffs seen in southwestern cooking from roasted chiles to homemade corn tortillas. Although it is not necessary to make your own tortillas, salsa, etc. from scratch, it certainly adds to the experience. I really want to try making my own tortillas once I get my hands on a tortilla press.
Browsing through the subsequent chapters, several recipes immediately struck me such as the fried sage smashed potatoes and the dulce de leche layer cake with sweet pecan “pesto”. The picture of that cake made me swoon, with pecan “pesto” dripping all over the place. But when I saw the pinto bean breakfast patty melts I knew it was time to treat myself to a hearty, spicy breakfast.
These breakfast patties were easy to throw together and I loved that they could be wrapped up before being cooked and saved for later since I typically only cook for myself. After being fried and topped with cheese, these patty melts were layered with spicy flavor – both in heat and spices. If you are a bit timid to spiciness you may want to consider removing the seeds from the jalapenos.
Want to win a copy? Use the Rafflecopter widget to enter after viewing the recipe below!
One year ago: Chewy Molasses Cookies
It seems incredibly fitting that November is Peanut Butter Lovers Month because my blogiversary just so happens to also be in November, specifically today! I cannot believe I have been doing this for 3 whole years now and Peanut Butter & Co. is helping me celebrate with a giveaway for their Total Nut Case gift assortment. After all, I am definitely a “total nut case” for peanut butter and I know many of you are as well!
But first, let’s talk about favorite peanut butter recipes. As you know I have many, but one recipe that I revisit most in my dreams is peanut butter pie. I’ve made pretzel, cookie dough-s’more, chocolate chip-layered, funfetti-layered, and cookies and cream peanut butter pie varieties. Today I am adding another to the list – The Bee’s Knees using none other than Peanut Butter & Co.’s Bee’s Knees peanut butter. With a homemade graham cracker crust, a fluffy honey-peanut butter filling, topped with more whipped cream and a chocolate honey drizzle, I’d say this is one heck of a pie for a celebration! Don’t forget the sprinkles ;-).
My 3 year blogiversary giveaway is for a gift assortment bursting with 8 jars of peanut butter (Smooth Operator, Crunch Time, White Chocolate Wonderful, Dark Chocolate Dreams, Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, The Heat Is On, Mighty Maple, The Bee’s Knees), 4 jars of jam (Seriously Strawberry Jam, Rip-Roaring Raspberry Preserves, Gorgeous Grape Jelly, Awesome Apricot Preserves), a 10-pack each of Dark Chocolate Dreams and Smooth Operator squeeze packs, 3 assorted flavors of Peanut Brittle (original, spicy, and coconut), a box of Corny Crunch peanut butter caramel popcorn, and a box each of our PB Swirl Brownie, Mighty Fine PB Cupcake, and Old Fashioned PB Cookie baking mixes. It even comes in a custom Peanut Butter & Co. reusable gift box topped with a silver holiday bow. Be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post to enter for a chance to win!
One year ago: Funfetti Cheesecake White Chocolate Brownies
Did you know that this coming Monday, October 28th, is National Chocolate Day? I’m here to tell you to not just celebrate it with any old chocolate, but try something new. Bar & Bean is an online marketplace for small-batch craft chocolate (less than 250 tons annually). The makers of the chocolates they stock are working to reintroduce and redefine a flavor that has been dominated by large producers.
I was sent Bar & Bean’s Baker’s Set which is a mix of 5 craft chocolate bars:
(2) Poco Dolce – based in San Francisco, CA and started by Kathy Wiley. “Poco Dolce” literally translates from Italian as “not too sweet”, which aligns with the company’s mission of staying on the “savory side of sweet”. Bittersweet with Sea Salt – light sprinkling of Grey Sea Salt.
(3 & 4) Escazu – based in Raleigh, NC and started by Hallot and Danielle. Uses an antique roaster and stone grinder to make chocolate in a more traditional method to bring out flavor complexity. Chipotle Chili & Vanilla – 74% dark chocolate that is complemented with a spicy kick of chipotle chili. Pumpkin Seed and Guajillo Chili – 73% dark chocoloate with roasted pumpkin seeds and guajillo chili.
(5) Dick Taylor – based in Aracta, CA and started by two college buddies Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor. Dick Taylor uses only organic cacao and organic cane sugar in its bars. They roast their beans in their modified Royal #5 coffee bean roaster. Aged for at least 2-4 weeks to further develop and stabilize flavor. Fleur de Sel – 74% Dominican Republic with hand harvested sea salt.
The first bar I tried was the Escazu Pumpkin Seed and Guajillo Chili Dark Chocolate bar, and it inspired me to incorporate pumpkin seeds into the pumpkin peanut butter cups I had been planning to make for today, which is National Pumpkin Day (and also the usual PB+Choc Saturday). Then I went after the two sea salt bars because that’s one of my favorite things in special chocolate. And as a result the pumpkin peanut butter cup with pepitas then got a sprinkle of sea salt on top as well!
Unfortunately, I did not leave enough leftover to make these cups completely out of the chocolate I was sent, but the recipe was inspired by all the craft chocolate I got to try. These little cups are the perfect combination of pumpkin, chocolate, and peanut butter in order to fully celebrate. To make the celebration even better, be sure to find the Rafflecopter widget after saving the recipe in order to enter to win your own set of craft chocolate.
As for the PB+Choc portion of today’s celebration, today Ohio State plays Penn State which means many people in my life are enemies on this day. Hopefully it will only last the day. Penn State is coming back after a 4OT win against Michigan, so it should be a really good game. They are still not eligible to play in the B1G or National championship games, so it’s really to the benefit of the conference as a whole if we win O:-). However, I don’t particularly want to go to the Championship game either because as good as I do believe we are, I am not sure we are at the same level as Alabama or Oregon. As much as I hate to admit it.
When I first got to try Melt, I fell in love with how fantastic it worked in my favorite chocolate chip cookie. Who knew a butter substitute could taste so good? After that it because my go-to butter substitute and I even participated in a challenge where I used it for all my butter needs for a week. Never heard of Melt? It is a healthy butter substitute made with “good” fats like coconut butter and virgin coconut oil. It even comes in honey and chocolate flavors! Unfortunately, I was unable to find those fun flavors in stores near me, but I gladly snagged some more of the regular.
After so much success using Melt as a substitute in baking and cooking in the past I decided to post about it as a condiment on a nice, warm, toasty cinnamon-raisin bagel. And since it is Single Serving Sunday, it’s a recipe for just ONE bagel! Because if you are like me, you sometimes don’t need an entire batch of bagels, or don’t have room for them all in your freezer to save for later. So I whipped up this one bagel and immediately scarfed it down with some Melt spread on top.
If you’ve ever shopped for bakeware or have spent any time in the kitchen you have probably heard of Baker’s Secret. Not only do many bakers depend on Baker’s Secret, all Baker’s Secret Essentials products have a premium non-stick coating, are durable & long lasting, are metal spatula safe, are dishwasher safe, and have a full lifetime warranty. What’s your favorite fall recipe using your Baker’s Secret products? Tell me about it in the comments section and then enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget at the end of this post!
With the holidays fast approaching, Baker’s Secret gave me an early holiday present of two of products in order to create two different festive recipes to share with you. I received their 9-inch pie pan and 12-cup muffin pan. Today I am sharing a savory recipe using the pie pan because your pie pan has more utility than just making sweet, delicious pies. How about POTpie? But not just any potpie, a potpie with sweet potato and a lattice crust!
This potpie recipe had been my go-to for many years. The original recipe used canned condensed potato soup, but I like to use cream cheese instead and add in my own potato. This time I decided to use sweet potato (which I peeled and cooked in the microwave for 4 minuets) and some extra seasonings to make it even more fall-appropriate. As for the crust, don’t let the lattice top intimidate you. I simply used a can of crescent dough, sealed the seams and cut into strips. Easy peasy and looks great with the addition of an egg-white wash.
Only a few weeks ago, I discovered that not only did Heather “Cupcakes” Saffer of Dollop Gourmet win Cupcake Wars, but she is from my hometown Rochester, NY! We’ve already discussed how the next time I am back in town we need to bake cookies and, obviously, frost the crap out of them. After seeing her Ultimate Dude Cupcakes, I think we will be a dangerous duo and might need to wear elastic waist-band pants for this adventure.
But what does all this have to do with you? Well I am excited to have her posting here today for the finale of her cookbook blog tour for The Dollop Book of Frosting! I have a pre-release copy already and just from flipping through the recipes, it has exceeded my expectations. I love frosting but tend to stick to cream cheese or peanut butter frosting, however I think she has converted me. I had no idea there were so many uses and unique flavors for frosting!
And it gets even better because you have until Friday, September 20th to enter to win a grand prize package of frosting-related things and a signed copy of her cookbook. To find out how to enter, stick around and read what Heather has to share with you. Also, if you have any questions for her leave them in the comment section at the bottom of this post as she will be checking in throughout the day to respond.
One year ago: Loaded Baked Potato Dip
Hello Spiffy Cookie readers! (I love saying that.)
I’m Heather—frosting lover, Cupcake Wars winner (gotta hang onto that 15 minutes!), parenthesis over-user, and author of The Dollop Book of Frosting!
And the cookbook (and writing it) is what I’m here to talk to you about today.
First off, I want to throw Erin some super-thanks for having me as a guest blogger. She’s got her nose to the grindstone finishing up that dissertation so I’m happy to take a load off her writing schedule for today. Also, I’m honored to have the attention of her faithful readers (you!)!
If you haven’t heard of The Dollop Book of Frosting (it doesn’t hit store shelves until this Wednesday) then I’d like to inform you that it’s not your average frosting cookbook (is that even a thing?).
I mainly wrote The Dollop Book of Frosting to debunk the myth that frosting is just for cupcakes and cookies. Because it’s not. Not even kinda. Frosting is for everything. I think Erin would agree.
Writing a cookbook is a pretty intense experience so it helps to come up with a solid strategy before you start. One of my initial thoughts was that I needed to include a variety of flavors—pumpkin being one of them.
In all honesty, I’ve never understood the fall pumpkin craze. I love pumpkin but when we’re talking pumpkin coffee and pumpkin milkshakes all we’re really getting is pumpkin flavoring. When you’re craving pumpkin aren’t you craving real pumpkin? I know I am.
Which is why I decided to devise a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting using real pumpkin.
But first a quick backstory—
In creating this very recipe for the cookbook I thought it would be neat to cut a whole pumpkin and bake and then puree the insides of it to add to the frosting. So fresh!
Well, either I wasn’t lifting enough weights back then or I bought an extra tough pumpkin because I couldn’t for the life of me cut through that thing; and I just about sliced my hand off in my efforts.
So I switched to canned pumpkin. But I swear it’s still real pumpkin—it’s just much safer to open.
And luckily it turned out so deliciously creamy, pumpkin-y, and fabulous!
I really hope you enjoy and use this Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Frosting and Pumpkin Pizza recipe this pumpkin season.
The decorate-your-own pizzas are a fantastic snack for your pumpkin carving parties and any leftover Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese frosting can be used to fill pumpkin muffins, dip gingersnaps into, or serve atop pumpkin bread with a tall glass of pumpkin beer.
Read the rest of this entry »
I interrupt today’s regularly scheduled Single Serving Sunday post with a celebration of the release of Nicole Morrissey’s cookbook, Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking (Skyhorse Publishing). Complete with a giveaway of the cookbook to one lucky reader!
Nicole Morrissey is the blogger behind Prevention RD and is a registered dietician offering smart, sustainable solutions to healthy weight loss since she started her blog in 2009. She firmly believes that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and this motto is evident in her recipes. From healthier versions of mozzarella sticks and chicken tortilla soup, to creative recipes such as creamy chicken pesto enchiladas and carrot cake pancakes you’ll be satisfied while also being proactive about your health. There are even chapters dedicated to carb and dessert lovers
Alright folks, to show how much I care about you I am offering a chocolate giveaway today! You’ve been really great sports through all my dissertation-writing rants and I am sure you will take care of my guest posters, so you deserve some chocolate. But I’m not talking about just any old chocolate – how about some Sucré chocolate?