‘Tis the season for cool mornings, warm coffee, and one of my other winter favorites — Cranberry Bliss season at Starbucks!
If any of you have ever tried their heavenly cranberry bliss bars laced with white chocolate and cranberries, you know the reason why these treats fly off the pastry shelves each day. So for my fall baking season this year, I decided to experiment and try translating this favorite into a cookie. Hence the name, “Cranberry Bliss Cookies”!
Last week some of my good friends brought me over a huge back of freshly-picked pears and apples. And as I was trying to plan how to put them to use over the next week, the idea of caramel pears came to mind. And then better — caramel pear cookies!
I’m always looking for an excuse to pick up a bag of those adorable little caramel bits at the grocery store, so was more than happy to give the recipe idea a try. Went with a cinnamon-y dough, and then just finely diced the pear so that there could be some nice little fruit chunks in there. And oh my goodness. They turned out A-MAZING. Seriously, I was expecting them to be tasty, but they were go-back-for-seconds-and-thirds-and-(ok-admit-it)-fourths crazy good. I actually ended up making two batches of them last weekend, so took them to share with friends and family and neighbors, and everyone gave them rave reviews.
Earlier this week, I hosted a little birthday gathering for a beautiful friend who recently moved to England but is back home (yay for us!) for a few weeks. And when I asked her what might “happen” to be one of her favorite desserts, she responded that she always loves cheesecakes, but then also really loves peanut butter and chocolate. So I decided to bring together the best of both worlds and make these Reese’s mini cheesecakes!
It was also a chance to use a new little kitchen purchase that I finally caved in to buy – this mini cheesecake pan. Sure, you can make little cheesecakes in mini baking cups, but I had long admired the sleek vertical lines of this pan, so may have squealed in delight just a tad when I finally purchased one of my own.
This past Saturday night was one I always look forward to each month — book club!
Our pick of the month was a bit of fan fiction indulgence for all of us “Pride & Prejudice” groupies. Our beloved Elizabeth and Darcy were swept up in a (gasp!) murder mystery in PD James’ recent release, “Death at Pemberly”. Who would have guessed?!? While the majority of the group ended up giving it less than raving reviews, it was definitely a fun idea for a summer read. AND to celebrate, I decided to go a tad English (although I don’t know if these totally count) and bring my version of an English trifle to share — these adorable Easy Butterfinger Brownie Trifles!