Hooray! Today is the big reveal day for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap ’12, when food bloggers everywhere are posting the recipes for their cookies that were mailed all across the nation. And with hundreds bloggers participating this year, there were a lot of delicious cookies being swapped! (Just type the hashtag #fbcookieswap into Instagram or Twitter, and you can see all of the sweetness for yourself!)
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.
So after a few weeks of eating pretty healthy in the new decade, I totally caved to a craving this week. One of my friends had mentioned making puppy chow to enjoy with some friends for her pup’s first b-day party, and I couldn’t seem to get it off my mind.
So pretty sure I woke up on my morning off and whipped this up…before breakfast. And of course, enjoyed some of it…for breakfast. :) And enjoyed “chowing” on every bite. Yum.
Every time I make these cookies and share them with folks, without fail someone always raises an eyebrow and asks, “Mmmm, what exactly are those??”
Ha! Well, they happen to be one of my favorite cookies. Our family always used to make them growing up, and I just love the alternative they provide to a standard chocolate chip cookie! They’re wonderfully light and airy and vanilla-y, and have the classic melt-in-your-mouth delightfulness of all meringues. And what’s more, with the exception of the chocolate chips, they are fat free! You can’t say that about too many cookies…