Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook and Cookie Giveaway

Tate’s Bake Shop is Southampton’s favorite bakery! Founder, owner and baker Kathleen King makes all of Tate’s baked goods from the finest ingredients, just the way she made them when she was 11-years old and first started selling cookies at her family’s farm stand. Her business has expanded a lot since then to include cakes, pies, crumbles and lots of cookies! She is well-known for her signature cookie; thin, buttery and crispy, they are among her best-sellers along with her sour cream coffee cake and pecan pie that she ships all over the country.

Tate’s has been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as in the Washington Post, New York Post, and InStyle.

Tate's Bake Shop Gift Pack Assorted image

In her new book, Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook, with a forward by Ina Garten, Kathleen shares her best-selling recipes and more. Her cookbook is “full of classic, crowd-pleasing American desserts, all made with good fresh ingredients.” According to Kathleen, “All the recipes in this book should take less time to make than it would to go to a store to buy a commercially prepared baked good, so they’re perfect for the busy holiday season when baked goodies are in high demand.”

Tate's Bake Shop Cookbook Giveaway!

The elves at Tate’s Bake Shop generously sent me a cookbook and a gift pack of cookies along with an extra to give away to one of you too! The cookies were happily devoured by my family who loved them. And the cookbook is nothing short of charming with recipes like Peanut Butter Bread, Apple Cream Cheese Tart, Hummingbird Cake, Squash Rolls, Creme de Menthe Pie, White Chocolate Brownies and Toffee Pecan Cookies…see? It’s hard to stop! I want to make everything!

I couldn’t resist the combination of peanut butter and chocolate in the flourless peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie recipe. One of my childhood favorites. They are one of the quickest, easiest cookies to make and will melt in your mouth whether hot from the oven or cooled.

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
(adapted from Tate’s Bake Shop)
1 + 1/4 cups peanut butter, smooth or chunky
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips or 1 bittersweet bar chopped fine

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two cookie sheets or line with silpat.

2. In a large bowl mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg, baking soda and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Stir in chocolate.

3. Form each cookie into a ball using a two tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop or your moistened hands. You can leave them as a ball to cook or press them down slightly with a fork making a ‘criss cross’ in them after putting them on the baking sheet.

4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the cookie or until they are puffed on top and golden on the bottom. Cool them on the cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 40 one-half inch cookies or 20 three-inch cookies.

This Giveaway has Ended! The winner is Farrah of Farrah’s Food Adventures! Congratulations Farrah! Enjoy!   

One winner (U.S. only, please) will receive a gift pack that includes Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies along with a cookbook.
To enter leave me a comment letting me know what your favorite Christmas cookie is.
For extra entries – leave a separate comment for each:
-Tweet the giveaway.
-Follow my blog through Google Friends or through Networked Blogs on Facebook (right sidebar) or both!
-Like this post (down below) on Facebook.

Giveaway ends Sunday night (Dec. 5th) at midnight EST time.

Tate’s generosity doesn’t end there! They have also given me a 15% off discount code to share with you {“cookie”} good through December 31st on all on-line orders.

As we all crowded around the kitchen table oohing and aahing over the box of goodies Moon The Kitchen Cat was feeling left out…he’s used to being the center of attention! He had to check out what all the fuss was over…

Moon The Kitchen Cat and Tate's Cookie and Cookbook Giveaway

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Apple Eggnog Bread Pudding with Raisins and Walnuts

Apple Eggnog Bread Pudding

Oh, humble bread pudding, where have you been all my life? It’s hard to believe this extraordinarily simple but incredibly tantalizing dessert has never been a part of my life! Not once do I remember it gracing my lips. Don’t you feel sad for me? I do.

After being tempted by far too many bread pudding recipes spread from one end of the Internet to the other, I had to find out what the big attraction was. In order for me to execute my own ideas I needed to find out what made bread pudding tick. Because I didn’t have a clue. What I found was a surprisingly basic recipe of sweet custard (eggs, milk and sugar) that is poured over stale bread pieces and slowly baked. Anything more than that is the ‘icing’ on the cake, because all kinds of delicious things can be added, it’s what I like to call a ‘kitchen sink’ recipe. Whatever you have on hand in the cupboard and fruit drawer can be used; bananas, figs, apples, pumpkin, any kind of nut or dried fruit, spices, extracts and even liquor!

This is my new favorite way to use up stale bread. And indeed just about any kind of bread can be used, even sweet, quick breads like banana or pumpkin, challah, brioche and even donuts or cinnamon rolls! The key is to let them get a little stale so they soak up the custard easily. And then let them hang out for a couple of hours in the custard to allow it time to soak in, before baking. There is a world of possibilities and I’m so happy that I’m a part of it now! I have 101 recipe ideas. I have to make up for lost time, right?

I dressed mine up with eggnog, apples, walnuts and raisins. And spiced it up with vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The eggnog serves in sweetening up the custard so you don’t need to add any sugar and it also adds egg yolk to it so you need less eggs. Not to mention the ton of distinctive eggnog flavor that is front and center in every single, decadent bite. The custard transforms the bread so that it almost resembles cake. I allowed mine to sit for three hours before baking so every last drop of custard could be soaked up by the french bread.

This is layered with bread on the bottom and apples, walnuts and raisins spread over top. They caramelize into this sometimes chewy, sometimes crunchy topping that is just wonderful with the soft, moist bread underneath. I couldn’t be any happier with the way my first flirtation with bread pudding turned out!

If this isn’t a warm hug on a plate then please tell me what is?!

Apple Eggnog Bread Pudding

Moon The Kitchen CatApple Eggnog Bread Pudding
(by Reeni)

9-10 cups French or Italian bread, cubed
2 cups apples, cubed
2/3 cup raisins, chopped
2/3 cups walnuts, chopped
4 cups eggnog
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup brown sugar

1. In a deep sided 9×13 metal baking pan add the bread cubes, arrange apples evenly over top then sprinkle with raisins and walnuts.

2. In a large mixing bowl whisk eggnog, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves and nutmeg together. Pour over top of bread cubes. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or over night.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sprinkle or sift brown sugar over top. Place the pan on a sheet pan and put in the oven. Add boiling water carefully to the sheet pan so it comes at least a third of the way up the side of the bread pudding pan. Bake for one hour. Remove the bread pudding from the sheet pan to cool. Allow the sheet pan/water to cool off completely before removing. Serve with whip cream warm, at room temperature or cold. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Printable Recipe

Apple Eggnog Bread Pudding

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A Cookbook Giveaway!

Moon The Kitchen Cat

This Giveaway has ended! Winner announced at the bottom of post.

Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice turned two this month! Happy Anniversary to me! I’m celebrating all month long with giveaways.

One person will receive one of the following cookbooks – winner’s choice!

101 Gourmet Cupcakes in Ten Minutes by Wendy Paul

101 Gourmet Cupcakes in Ten Minutes by Wendy Paul

A Field Guide to Cookies by Anita Chu

Field Guide to Cookies by Anita Chu

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: An All-American Road Trip with Recipes by Guy Fieri

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives: An All American Road Trip with Recipes

Lucinda’s Rustic Italian Kitchen by Lucinda Scala Quinn

Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen

To enter leave a comment telling me which cookbook you would chose if you won and why.

For extra entries leave a separate comment for each:

-Follow my blog through Google Friends.

-Tweet the giveaway.

-Stumble it.

The winner of last week’s Cupcake Lover’s Package is Adrienne! Please e-mail me with your address!

Thanks to everyone who entered! And for all your sweet comments! My heart was glad.

The cookbook giveaway will end next Saturday and a winner will be announced the same day.

Update: The giveaway is over! The winner picked by random integer is Chaya of My Sweet and Savory.

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Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup

I have a hearty soup recipe today for Italian Wedding Soup. The name refers to the meat and vegetables marrying well together. Minestra Maritata means married soup. And it truly is a harmony of flavors with tasty, tender, little meatballs swimming in an herby broth with tubettini pasta, spinach, carrots, onion and garlic. It is the sort of soup you wish was served in a bottomless bowl…

This is a main course soup that is fairly quick and easy to make. Depending on how fast you get the meatballs made and the veggies chopped this can be ready for the table in about 45 minutes from start to finish.

Italian Wedding Soup
(by Reeni)
1 pound Ground Beef, 80-85% lean
1/4 cup Bread Crumbs
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon Sea or Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper
1/2 cup Carrots, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Sea or Kosher salt and Fresh Black Pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Basil
6 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 – 2/3 cup Tubettini or Ditalini*
2/3 cup Chopped Spinach, frozen or 2 cups Fresh, chopped
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated, plus more for serving

1. Mix all the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl using a fork. Form into small meatballs about the size of a quarter using your hands. Set aside.

2. In a large soup pot saute onion and carrot in 2-3 tablespoons of Olive oil over medium-low heat until soft and tender, season well with salt and pepper. Add garlic and basil; saute until fragrant.

3. Add chicken broth and turn up heat and bring to a slow boil. When it begins to boil add meatballs carefully one at a time. Add tubettini and spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 25 minutes.

4. Stir in parsley and Parmesan cheese. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve with additional Parmesan and crusty bread.

*For a heartier soup with less broth add 2/3 cup pasta, for more broth add 1/2 cup.

Pasta with Fried Chile Peppers and Bread Crumbs

Pasta w/ Fried Chile Peppers & Bread Crumbs

This is a bold and sassy recipe for pasta with fried red chile peppers and bread crumbs.

It is a traditional recipe from the region in Southern Italy known as Basilicata. A special pepper is grown there called peperone di Senise; a sweet red pepper with a flavor much like a mild red Mexican chile.

The peppers are dried on strings like ancho chiles. For this dish they are fried until crunchy and added to pasta with tomatoes and pan-fried bread crumbs.

Pasta w/ Fried Chile Peppers & Bread Crumbs

I used arbol chiles and replaced the country bread called for in the recipe with Italian bread.

The bread is baked until dry and crunchy, processed into chunky crumbs and then pan-fried in olive oil to a toasty, golden-brown.

I fell in love with them.

My mind keeps winding back to them and the possibilities. The technique will show up in my recipes again. And again. Just look at the way the bread crumbs stick into all the nooks and crevices.

Pasta w/ Fried Chile Peppers & Bread Crumbs

The peppers are then pan-fried in olive oil to a rich, dark burgundy color that infuses the oil with spice to cook the tomatoes in.

The original recipe calls for cherry tomatoes that I replaced with canned, diced tomatoes. They are cooked along with garlic and anchovies until soft and are mashed gently with a fork into a thick sauce.

The sauce is tossed with the pasta allowing the infused spice to permeate the entire dish.

The bread crumbs are sprinkled over top along with broken up pieces of the crispy chile peppers.

Pasta w/ Fried Chile Peppers & Bread Crumbs

It all works together to make one of the most outstanding pasta dishes that has ever graced my lips.

It’s the kind of rustic dish that I can imagine my Great-Grandma cooking, even though she was from Abruzzo.

She and my Great-Grandpa grew their own chile peppers, figs, grapes and all kind of other fruits and vegetables that as a little girl I thought were exotic. None of my friends or neighbors had grapes growing in their backyard.

Her and Great-Grandpa brought their own ‘special’ seeds with them from Italy. They stepped ‘off the boat’ with naught else but their beloved heirloom seeds.

The Kitchen Cat & Pasta w/ Fried Chile Peppers & Bread Crumbs
While I was immersed in picture taking Moon saw it as an opportunity to sneak up on me… and the pasta!
Pasta with Fried Chile Peppers and Bread Crumbs
(adapted from Saveur)
1⁄4 pound Italian Bread, cut into 1″ cubes
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
6 dried mild chiles, such as peperoni cruschi di Senise, chile de arbol,
guajillos, or pasillas, stemmed and seeded
4 anchovies, chopped or 2 teaspoons Worcestershire or Fish sauce
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 – 14 ounce can Diced Tomatoes
Sea or Kosher salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
8 ounces pasta, like fusilli or rotini
Parmesan, fresh grated, for serving

1. Heat oven to 325˚. Bake bread cubes until hard, about 15 minutes, keeping a close eye on them. Transfer to a food processor; process into coarse crumbs. Heat 1⁄4 cup oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add crumbs; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8–10 minutes. Transfer crumbs to a bowl.

2. Wipe out skillet; heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add chiles and toast, turning once, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a plate; let cool. Tear chiles into 1″ pieces. Reserve oil in skillet.

3. Set reserved skillet over medium heat and add anchovies (if using); cook, breaking them apart with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute. If not using anchovies add garlic, tomatoes and Worcestershire/fish sauce; cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes soften, about 10 minutes. Mash tomatoes with a fork right in skillet and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Meanwhile cook pasta to al dente in plenty of salted water. Drain, reserving 1⁄4 cup water. Transfer pasta and water to reserved skillet of tomatoes over high heat. Toss to combine; cook until sauce thickens, 1–2 minutes. Transfer pasta to a platter; sprinkle with bread crumbs and chiles; drizzle with a little oil and serve with fresh grated Parmesan.

Pasta w/ Fried Chile Peppers & Bread Crumbs

I’m sending this to Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week by Savoury Specialist of Our Taste of Life.

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Vanilla Coconut Snowball Cupcakes

Vanilla Coconut Snowball Cupcakes w/ Sour Cream Frosting

This is a classic recipe for Vanilla Cupcakes with a coconut flavor twist thrown in. They are frosted with a sour cream frosting and dusted with more coconut over top.

The inspiration for them came when I was snowed in for five long days last week. I was craving sweet and uncomplicated. Nothing fancy. Just a little something to enjoy with a hot cup of tea. And help comfort me from the mountain of snow outside and the loss of Internet. And cable. And from the fact the mailman couldn’t make it up the slippery hill to our house so no Netflix either. Oh well.

I had cupcakes. Popable mini cupcakes with a tender, sturdy, moist crumb; slightly reminiscent of coconut and topped with a fluffy, sour cream frosting that added a little bite to them that was positively scrumptious.

Vanilla Coconut Snowball Cupcakes w/ Sour Cream Frosting

Vanilla Coconut Snowball Cupcakes w/ Sour Cream Frosting
(adapted from A Baker’s Field Guide to Cupcakes)(Makes 12-13 regular or 30 mini)
1 + 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 + 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup Sugar
1 + 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup Coconut or Regular Milk, at room temperature
1/3 cup Sour Cream
2/3 cup Unsweeted Coconut Flakes, plus more for topping
Sour Cream Frosting:
2 tablespoons Butter, softened
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
About 3 cups Confectioners’s Sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cupcake pan with paper liners(or a mini-pan). Grease lightly if not using liners.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl; set aside.
3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture in 4 additions, alternating with the milk. Beat briefly after each additon.
4. Stir in sour cream and coconut.
5. Fill cupcake wells about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean (about 15 minutes for mini).
6. Cool pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn out and return to wire rack to cool completely.
7. For the frosting beat the butter, sour cream and vanilla together until fluffy. Add 2 cups Confectioners’ and beat on low, continue to add confectioners’ a little bit at a time until the frosting sticks to the beater when lifted without dripping off. If it gets too thick add in a little more sour cream. Beat an additional 3-4 minutes on low to get a light and fluffy frosting.
8. Fill a small, shallow bowl with coconut flakes. Frost cupcakes and stick the tops into the coconut to coat, using your hand to help it stick if needed.

Moon The Kitchen Cat liked them too!

Vanilla Coconut Snowball Cupcakes w/ Sour Cream Frosting

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Vanilla Coconut Snowball Cupcakes

Arugula and Feta Pasta Toss

Arugula & Feta Pasta

This easy pasta recipe was inspired by Lidia Bastianich. She’s an Italian Chef on PBS with cookbooks and restaurants. I love her food – a mix of rustic, comforting, sometimes complex and often times simple recipes. I caught bits and pieces of her making a pasta dish using Ricotta Salata and arugula and knew instantly I would be making it!

Ricotta Salata is a firm, salty cheese and you may know arugula by it’s other name: rocket – a peppery, mustardy, sometimes bitter salad green. I used what I had on hand and it happened to be Feta, which I found out afterward is a good substitute.

This couldn’t be easier – sauted garlic is tossed with cooked linquine, cheese and arugula for a delicious dish that takes mere minutes to prepare. It’s a wonderful canvas to build on if you want something heartier. A small squeeze of lemon or lemon peel will brighten up the flavors and crumbled bacon or prosciutto would also be great to add in. Next time I’m going to saute some sun-dried tomatoes along with the garlic. Just keep in mind that you don’t really want to cook the arugula – you only need to add enough heat for it to wilt.

Arugula & Feta Pasta

Pasta w/ Arugula and Feta
(Inspired by Lidia Bastianich)
8 ounces Linguine
4 garlic cloves, minced
Olive oil for sauteing
2 cups baby Arugula leaves
8 ounces Feta cheese Ricotta Salata, crumbled
1/3 cup Parmesan, shredded, plus more for serving
Extra-Virgin Olive oil for drizzling
Sea or Kosher Salt & fresh Black Pepper, for serving
Fresh squeezed lemon, optional
1. Cook the pasta according to package directions to al dente.
2. When the pasta is almost cooked saute the garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over low heat until fragrant.
3. Add the arugula and saute until the leaves begin to wilt. Turn off heat.
4. Drain pasta and reserve a 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the cheeses, toss well, add a little bit of the pasta water if needed and a squeeze of lemon/lemon peel if desired.
5. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and Parmesan.
Mix My Granola

I want to give a shout-out and a thank-you to Raoul and Matt of Mix My Granola for sending Moon and I our very own custom mix of “Yummy Cinnamon Granola” with dates, blueberries, cashews, yogurt pretzels, tiramisu caramels, and pomegranate cordials, an absolutely delicious combination that I loved.  At Mix My Granola you can customize your own granola anyway you like it. Almost everything is organic, all-natural, and they have a huge selection of goodies to mix-in – mostly healthy and some that are a little on the indulgent side for granola.

Kitchen Cat approved!

Moon approved Mix My Granola

Arugula & Feta Pasta

Arugula & Feta Pasta on FoodistaArugula & Feta Pasta

Green Chile and Corn Casserole

Green Chile & Corn Casserole

 I made this zesty corn casserole for Christmas dinner and it’s now one of my favorite tried and true side dishes. We needed another side and this combo was brewing in the back of my mind for some time. I thought it would be perfect with my Corn Bread & Sausage stuffing in keeping with the Southern theme I had going on. And I was right.

I threw it together at the last minute and crossed my fingers & my toes that it would turn out. That’s just one of the things I love about it. It’s quick to make as well as to bake but doesn’t sacrifice quality or flavor. I made it since then for a companion to tacos. It’s great alongside any kind of Tex-Mex or Mexican food as well as steak or chicken. It’s creamy, piquant, with a little bit of sweetness from the corn; totally satisfying, comforting and melt-in-your mouth delicious!

Green Chile & Corn Casserole

Green Chile & Corn Casserole
(by Reeni)
1 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 – 4 ounce can chopped Green Chile
16 ounces Corn, lightly steamed if frozen, drained well if canned
1 + 1/2 cup extra sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Sea or Kosher Salt & fresh Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Corn Flake Crumbs or Seasoned Italian Bread Crumbs
1 tablespoon Butter
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8×8 casserole dish.
2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk sour cream, milk, and thyme together until well combined.
3. Add green chiles with juices, corn, and cheddar. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix well.
4. Pour into greased casserole dish. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over top. Cut butter into tiny cubes and dot the top with them.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until top is golden brown and casserole is bubbly.

Green Chile & Corn Casserole

Green Chile & Corn Casserole on FoodistaGreen Chile & Corn Casserole