Mexican Spice Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Mexican Spice Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Mexican Spice Cinnamon Chip Cookies

Now that all the Valentine’s Day candy and goodies have been consumed, and I’ve done enough exercise to work off the extra pounds I gained, I can turn my attention back to baking up some more treats.

It’s pretty chilly outside this morning, so I’m cranking up the heat with these Mexican Spice Cinnamon Chip Cookies. I love a cookie with a kick, and that’s exactly what these spicy, chocolaty gems are. These cookies have a delightfully crisp exterior, and a moist and chewy center. When you bite into the cookie, you first experience the chocolate and cinnamon flavors mingling and dancing on your tongue, but as you continue to chew, you begin to taste a bit of heat from the cayenne and cinnamon spices.

If you are planning to share these with the kids, or if you want a cookie with a little less heat, you can certainly adjust the amount of cayenne pepper you mix into the cookie dough; lowering the amount by half or more, to mellow them out a bit.

~Enjoy~
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Mexican Spice Cinnamon Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (10 ounce) package Hershey’s Cinnamon Chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with baking spray, or line with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and beat on low speed until thoroughly combined. Fold in the cinnamon chips.

Form the dough into 1 inch balls. Place approximately 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until cookies are just set. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.

Pumpkin Spice Bars with Neufchâtel Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Spice Bars with Neufchâtel Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Spice Bars with Neufchâtel Cheese Filling

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. Where has the time gone?
I know how crazy the grocery stores can be the closer it gets to the holiday, so I’m very thankful that I was able to get all of my Thanksgiving grocery shopping completed last weekend. Now I won’t have to endure combat shopping – at least, not until Black Friday. 😉

Preparing the Thanksgiving meal will still have to wait a couple weeks, but that leaves me plenty of time to whip up some tasty desserts, like this recipe that I first posted back in 2008 – Pumpkin Spice Bars with Neufchâtel Cheese Filling.

The pumpkin spice pairs so perfectly with the Neufchâtel cheese, making this one of my favorite Autumn dessert recipes, and a favorite at the Thanksgiving table.

~Enjoy~




Pumpkin Spice Bars with Neufchâtel Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Spice Bars

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Lucerne Best of the Egg, Egg Beaters or other egg substitute (or 2 eggs)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 15-ounce can 100% pure pumpkin

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 8 x 8 baking pan.

In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

In large bowl, beat together egg substitute, sugars, oil, vanilla and pumpkin until smooth.

Gradually add flour mixture into pumpkin mixture and beat until just combined.

Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let cool completely on wire rack.

Neufchatel Cheese Filling

1 8-oz package Neufchâtel cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a small bowl, beat Neufchâtel cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla until smooth.

Put it all together

After pumpkin spice bars have cooled completely on wire rack, remove from pan and cut in half lengthwise.

Spread Neufchâtel cheese filling evenly on one half of pumpkin bars.

Carefully place other half of bars on top of cheese filling. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Before serving, cut into individual servings sizes and dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Molasses Spice Cookies

Molasses Spice Cookies

Molasses Spice Cookies

i took my weekly trip to Barnes & Noble on Sunday, to look at the cookbooks they had in their “bargain book” section. I found a wonderful cookbook entitled “Favorite Brand Name 100 Best Holiday Cookies”. It was marked down to $7.00 and had some wonderful looking recipes in it, so I decided to purchase it and bring it home with me. 🙂

The first recipe I decided to try from the book, was the Molasses Spice Cookies. The recipe calls for the oven temperature to be set at 375 degrees, and to bake the cookies for 15 minutes. The first batch of cookies I baked at this temperature and for that amount of time turned out way too dark on the bottoms. I decided to lower the oven temperature down to 350 degrees, and bake them for only 10 minutes. The cookies turned out perfect!

~Enjoy~



Molasses Spice Cookies (from “Favorite Brand Name 100 Best Holiday Cookies” cookbook)

1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup granulated brown sugar* or granulated sugar

*Granulated brown sugar is brown sugar that has been processed to have a light, dry texture that is similar to regular granulated sugar. It can be found in the baking aisles of most supermarkets.



Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease cookie sheets.

Beat granulated sugar and shortening about 5 minutes in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; beat until fluffy.

Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt and mustard in medium bowl. Add to shortening mixture; beat just until blended.

Place granulated brown sugar in shallow dish. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cookies stand on cookie sheets 2 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks; cool completely.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies



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Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

Here’s another recipe featuring one of my favorite Fall ingredients – Pumpkin!

I love pumpkin in almost everything…pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread, and especially pumpkin muffins. The pecan streusel topping on these wonderful pumpkin spice muffins adds the perfect finishing touch. In fact, these muffins are so incredibly moist and delicious, I’m having a hard time stopping myself from eating the whole batch. 🙂

~Enjoy~




Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 (15 ounce) can solid-pack pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pecan Streusel Topping

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper baking liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin-pie spice. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix butter, eggs, sugars, pumpkin, and vanilla until combined.

Gradually add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture, and mix gently until smooth.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan, filling three-fourths full.

For topping, stir together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over muffin batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan for 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack.

Makes 24 muffins.



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Cinnamon Apple Spice Dessert

Cinnamon Apple Spice Dessert

We had another beautiful day here in Alaska today. The temperature actually reached 70 degrees, and the sky was clear blue all day! As I write this blog post, it is 7:00pm and the temperature is sitting at 67 degrees. The sun is still quite high in the sky, because we’re currently getting over 16 hours of daylight here. As a matter of fact, the sun won’t set until approximately 10:00pm tonight. That’s one of the things I absolutely love about the spring/summer season here in Alaska – the long hours of daylight! 🙂

Because it was so beautiful outside today and I wanted to get out and enjoy it as much as possible, I decided to bake a fairly simple dessert for tonight. It may be simple to prepare, but the taste is absolutely out of this world! I just love the combination of flavors in this treat – cinnamon, apples and spice cake. Yum! 🙂

~Enjoy~




Cinnamon Apple Spice Dessert

1 package (18.25 ounce) Betty Crocker Super Moist Spice Cake Mix
1 1/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
8 tablespoons butter, softened & divided
1 egg
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 can (20 ounce) Wilderness No Sugar Added Apple Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

With a pastry blender, combine cake mix, oats and 6 tablespoons butter in a large bowl until crumbly. Set aside 1 cup of these crumbs for topping.

To remaining crumbs, blend in egg. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 12 minutes.

Place reserved crumbs (the 1 cup) into a medium bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, nuts, cinnamon, and sugar. Blend with pastry blender until well mixed.

Spread apple pie filling on top of baked base. Sprinkle with cinnamon crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cool on wire rack. Drizzle with Vanilla Glaze, if desired. Cut into squares.

Vanilla Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
1 – 2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.



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