Espresso Cookies with Biscoff Buttercream

I love to fly.  There is something fun about going to the airport.  Maybe its the anticipation of the trip.  Maybe its the fact that you’re getting away for a bit.  Or maybe its the tasty Biscoff Cookies that you often get on the plane.  I seriously love those cookies.  In fact, my aunt and uncle sent me a huge container of them one year for Christmas…and I enjoyed each and every one of them.  So you can imagine my excitement when I heard about Biscoff Spread.  Yup, this spread is made in Belgium from actual Biscoff Cookies…and it’s addictingly delicious!  The spread is similar in texture to peanut butter, but so much tastier.  If you haven’t tried Biscoff Spread yet, then you owe it to yourself to try it today!  (Check out their Store Locator to find Biscoff Spread near you.)

Lotus Bakeries, the folks who make Biscoff Spread, have created an awesome contest asking people to show how they enjoy Biscoff Spread.  There are so many delicious ways to use this spread that it’s hard to select just one!  I’ve spread it on toast for a breakfast treat and on apples for an afternoon snack.  But one of my favorite ways to use Biscoff Spread is in a buttercream frosting.  I’ve used the Biscoff Buttercream as a frosting for an entire cake or as just the filling in between cake layers…and it’s incredible!  So when I came across Biscoff’s “Spread the Love” contest, I knew I wanted to do something with the Biscoff Buttercream.  After playing around a bit, I came up with this recipe for Espresso Cookies with Biscoff Buttercream.  I made an entire plate of these sandwich-style cookies, and they were gone in a matter of minutes.  In fact, one neighbor told me they were the best cookies she had ever eaten.  And you know what?  She’s right!  These sandwich cookies rank up there on my list of top desserts, too!

Just like the Biscoff cookies, Biscoff Spread is also made in Belgium.  And while the Spread has a similar texture to peanut butter, it is actually nut-free.  So it’s a perfect option for anyone with nut allergies!  Also, Biscoff Spread is trans-fat and cholesterol free, and it doesn’t contain any genetically-modified ingredients or artificial colors.  Wow, that’s a lot of really good stuff there!  I know I personally support companies who make a concerted effort to use all-natural ingredients in their products.

Biscoff Spread is a sweet, creamy spread made with Biscoff Cookies. Try this delicious European alternative to peanut butter or chocolate spread. Upload your Biscoff Spread photo to enter Biscoff’s “Spread the Love” contest for a chance to win a trip for 2 to Belgium!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Biscoff . The opinions and text are all mine.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Biscoff .  The opinions and text are all mine.

Espresso Cookies with Biscoff Buttercream

Ingredients

    For the Espresso Cookies
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • For the Biscoff Buttercream
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy Biscoff Spread
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

    For the Espresso Cookies
  1. Using a countertop mixer fitted the paddle attachment, add shortening and butter to the bowl and beat on medium speed until light and creamy (about 3-4 minutes).
  2. Add sugars and beat on medium speed until blended.
  3. Add eggs and beat on medium speed until blended.
  4. Add pudding mix and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed until blended.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cornstarch, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir dry ingredients until well combined. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the bowl of the countertop mixer and beat on medium speed until blended. Add rest of dry ingredients to the bowl and beat until blended.
  6. Line 2-3 sheet pans with parchment paper. Using your hands, take approximately 1 Tbsp of cookie dough and shape into round ball. Place dough on the parchment paper. Repeat with rest of dough, spacing the balls of dough about 1.5"-2" apart. Before baking, use the base of your hand to gently push the dough balls into flat 1/2" thick discs.
  7. Back at 375 for 12-14 minutes, or until edges of cookies just begin to turn golden brown. (Use caution to not overbake as the cookies will be hard!)
  8. Cool cookies on a cooling rack.
  9. For the Biscoff Buttercream
  10. Using a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes.
  11. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until mixture is completely blended.
  12. Add Biscoff Spread and beat on low speed until blended.
  13. Add heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat on low speed until combined.
  14. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for approximately 2 minutes, or until frosting is light and fluffy in texture.
  15. To Assemble Cookies
  16. Insert a star tip into a small pastry bag (or a sandwich bag with one corner snipped).
  17. Fill bag about half-full with buttercream.
  18. Flip one of the cookies over and pipe a ring of frosting around the outside edge. Top with another cookie.

Notes

If it is a hot day, consider refrigerating the buttercream for 10-15 minutes. It will harden up and hold its shape better as you pipe it.

http://spicedblog.com/espresso-cookies-with-biscoff-buttercream.html

Mozzarella Pesto Panino + more from ABC’s The Chew

Mozzarella Pesto Panino

 

Like much of the country, we’ve been suffering through a crazy heat wave for the past week or so.  At one point, the thermometer in my car read over 100 degrees, and for upstate New York…that’s hot.  Really hot.  I’m from the South, so I understand hot days (although it’s amazing how fast you forget the heat!).  But one good thing that has come from this heat wave is the fact that my garden is now overflowing with fresh herbs.  The herbs had been growing pretty slowly up until last week, but now I swear I can almost watch them grow thanks to this heat and sunshine!  You may recall me mentioning that I’ve been watching ABC’s food show The Chew every afternoon now, so I decided to check out the hosts’ recommendations for fresh herbs.

Right away, I discovered Mario Batali’s Mozzarella Pesto Panino, and I knew this sandwich would soon be appearing in my kitchen!  I’ve always liked Mario Batali, probably because of my like obsession of all things Italian.  It’s been great to hear all of Mario’s suggestions and cooking tips on The Chew.  I’m a huge fan of grilled sandwiches (like this Crazy Sriracha Grilled Cheese), and I found this Mozzarella Pesto Panino to be a delicious addition to my recipe list.  Plus, it really highlights the flavors of fresh basil…which I happen to have a ton of in my garden right now!  Mario also recommends making an “adult basil pesto” by throwing some spicy peppers into the food processor with the basil pesto.  This was a genius idea as it added a whole new layer of flavor to these sandwiches!  (Of course, you can adjust the amount of peppers you add based on your own personal tastes.)

Cast of ABC's The Chew #food #thechewSpeaking of herbs, I personally hate to let fresh herbs (either from the market or the garden) go to waste.  Carla Hall, one of Mario Batali’s co-hosts on The Chew, recently gave some tips on preserving fresh herbs.  Not only do these tips allow you to use herbs year-round, but they also save money since you aren’t wasting any of your delicious fresh herbs!

Carla Hall’s Tips for Preserving Fresh Herbs

  1. Chop the stems off of the bunch of herbs and store them in a glass with fresh water.  Change the water as soon as it becomes cloudy.
  2. Dry the herbs in an oven at 180F degrees for several hours.  (To make this even easier, you can use a microwave to dry herbs like I did in this recent post on making Citrus Sea Salts.)  Dried herbs lose their flavor quickly, so try to use them within a couple of months.  Also, dried herbs have a more intense flavor, so you should only use about 1/3 of the amount as you would with fresh herbs.
  3. Freeze the herbs in olive oil using ice trays.

Check out the video clip below for more of Carla’s tips on how to preserve fresh herbs!

As you can see, The Chew is full of tasty recipes and convenient cooking tips! Tune In: Fresh Daily. 1e|12p|c on ABC.

Mozzarella Pesto Panino

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • 4 small Ciabatta rolls, halved
  • 1 pound mozzarella, sliced
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 Serrano peppers, chopped and stems removed (optional)
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, chopped and stem removed (optional)
  • 2 pickled jalapeno peppers (optional)
  • 1 pickled cherry pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat a grill (or grill pan) over medium high heat.
  2. Spread a spoonful of pesto across each of the rolls, and top with a few slices of mozzarella, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
  3. Place the sandwiches on the grill and place a kitchen brick on top and cook until toasted, about 5 to 10 minutes per side.
  4. Remove from heat and cut in half to serve.
  5. For more heat, combine the peppers in a food processor, pulse until finely minced, then add the remaining pesto, and pulse until combined. Serve spicy pesto with adult sandwiches. (Optional)

Notes

Tip: For varying taste palettes, don't overload the panini with pesto. Rather, serve a dish of pesto on the side.

Recipe courtesy of The Chew.

http://spicedblog.com/mozzarella-pesto-panino-more-from-abcs-the-chew.html

Chew_ABC_logo_Thicker

The Chew celebrates and explores life through food – from cooking to food trends, restaurants, holidays and more all aimed at making life better, fuller and more fun. Featuring celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and Carla Hall, lifestyle expert Clinton Kelly and fresh face of healthy living Daphne Oz, “The Chew” is a leap forward into a delicious new kind of talk show. 

Watch The Chew Weekdays at 1e|12p|c on ABC!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by ABC via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of ABC.

Kitchen Redesign with Delta Faucet

Delta Kitchen Faucet options #Touch20 #DeltaFaucetInspired

As a food blogger, I spend the better part of my days in the kitchen.  (Unless of course I’m putting up a new post, or checking out PinterestFacebook, or Instagram.)  My wife and I have lived in our house for a little over two years now, and when we first moved in, I loved the kitchen.  I’ve always enjoyed spending time in the kitchen, so I appreciated the seemingly large counters and natural design of the kitchen.  But as I began spending more time on Spiced, I realized there are several things I would love to change about my kitchen.  And believe it or not, more counter-space is one of the top things on the list.  But the #1 thing on my kitchen wishlist is a new sink.  I personally love undermounted sinks as it makes counter clean-up so much easier.  And I’m kinda particular about my kitchen faucet, too.  I need a faucet which is easy to turn on without getting covered in sticky dough or some other messy ingredients.  So I am happy to announce that I am beginning a small kitchen redesign, and the first step will be replacing the current faucet with a new Delta Touch20 Faucet.  I can’t wait!

Delta's Kitchen Personality Quiz #Touch20 #DeltaFaucetInspired

I’ve decided to go with the Delta Touch20 Faucet for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, these awesome faucets are touch-activated.  Yup, that’s right.  You can turn it on and off with a simple touch.  That’s incredibly beneficial for me because when I’m making recipes like Rustic Pizza Dough or Smoky Whiskey BBQ Burgers, I need an easy way to turn on the kitchen faucet without getting raw ingredients all over everything.  Delta’s Touch20 Technology lets you turn on (and off) the water flow with a simple touch.  There is also an automatic shut-off after 4 min which helps prevent water waste.  (I can imagine that being a nice feature for those of you with kids who might forget to occasionally turn off the water!)  Delta Faucet’s Touch20 Faucets rely on the same technology as your smart phone, tablets, and ATM machines.  How cool is that?  I can’t wait to install this high-tech kitchen faucet!

Delta Kitchen Personality Quiz #Touch20 #DeltaFaucetInspiredDelta Faucet offer 8 different lines of kitchen faucets, and they also offer 3 different options for bathrooms (in case your bathroom needs a little upgrade).  But, for me, one of the hardest things about upgrading faucets is deciding which option is the best.  Not only do I have to select the right style, but then I have to decide on the correct finish.  Well, Delta Faucet knows that many people struggle with this same problem, so they created some online style and kitchen personality quizzes to help you decide which faucet is the best option for you!  As it turns out, my style is Transitional and my kitchen is officially a Party Place!  And with each quiz, Delta gives you suggestions for which faucet designs might be the best options given your style.  I know I personally appreciate all the help I can get!  After taking the quizzes and looking at the suggested options, I think the Cassidy style is the best fit for me, and I personally like the Arctic Stainless finish.  I can’t wait to get this project started!  So now it’s your turn…which new faucet would you select?
Delta Faucet: Cassidy Style #Touch20 #DeltaFaucetInspired

Delta-Logo

 

Delta Touch2O Technology for your kitchen and bathroom is precisely in tune with your every touch. Take the quiz to learn which faucet style best describes you at deltafaucet.com

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Delta via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Delta.

Classic Meatloaf Burgers and Seasoned Fries from ABC’s The Chew

Cast of ABC's The Chew #thechew


As a food blogger, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen.  In fact, some days I spend the entire day in the kitchen.  While I absolutely love recipe developing and creating fun new ideas, it sometimes gets kinda boring in there.  I typically have the radio on, but I feel like the stations just replay the same songs again and again. But recently I discovered The Chew, a food show that airs at 1e|12p|c on ABC, and this has been a fun addition to my daily routine!  The hosts are engaging, and the food and recipe topics always sound delicious.  Let me tell you…The Chew has been an entertaining way to break up the day!

While each episode that I’ve watched has been enjoyable, I was particularly struck by one of the episodes earlier this week where the hosts remade a number of different Old Fashioned Favorites, including Oven Fried Chicken and Creamy Peanut Butter Cookies.  But I’ve always had a weakness for a delicious burger and fries.  As a kid, I ordering hamburgers almost exclusively when we would go out to eat.  And I still love a good burger and fries!  So I was particularly intrigued when Carla Hall, one of the hosts on The Chew, used a simple meatloaf recipe for hamburgers.  I loved that Carla put a twist on the ordinary by using meatloaf, a classic winter-time dish, to make delicious burgers, a summer-time staple around my house.  (Ok, who am I kidding?  Burgers are a staple in our house year-round!)  Check out the link below to watch the entire episode, and then Tune In: Fresh Daily. 1e|12p|c on ABC for other episodes.

In the same episode, Carla also demonstrated a recipe for Seasoned Fries.  If you’ve never made homemade fries, then now is the time!  As you know, fries don’t hold their texture well over time, so it’s best to eat them right away…and there’s nothing better than making your own and serving them straight out of the pan!  Carla’s seasoning mix is quite simple, and you can always adapt the various spices to your own tastes.  Some mandolins feature the ability to make fresh-cut waffle fries, but if you don’t have this type of mandolin, then you can easily make “regular” stick fries…trust me, they’ll be just as delicious!

Speaking of delicious grilled food, I’ve also included a clip below where the hosts of The Chew discuss how to keep Grilled Chicken juicy, create a tasty Grilled Cantaloupe + Garden Veggie Salad, and whip up a refreshing Watermelon and Cucumber Drink.  Carla even talks about using peeled cucumbers as ice cubes…creative!!  Put all three of these together, and that sounds like a pretty amazing summer meal!

Hopefully these recipes and ideas have inspired you to create some delicious new summer dishes!  Don’t forget to spend summertime with The Chew!  The show airs weekdays at 1e|12p|c.

Classic Meatloaf Burgers

Yield: 8 burgers

Ingredients

    For the Burgers
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, finely ground
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 8 Hamburger Rolls
  • mayonnaise, to serve
  • honey mustard, to serve
  • bacon, to serve (optional)
  • For the Spicy Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • pinch salt

Instructions

    For the Burgers
  1. In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, eggs, horseradish, garlic, Dijon mustard, ketchup, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate larger bowl, combine ground beef, pork, onions and carrots. Add the breadcrumb mixture, and gently mix with hands until combined. Form into patties and set aside on a parchment lined sheet tray.
  3. Preheat a lightly oiled grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill the burgers for 4-5 minutes per side, cooking to an internal temperature of 155F. Remove and allow to rest.
  4. For the Spicy Ketchup
  5. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  6. To Assemble
  7. Place burgers on buns and top each with a small amount of Spicy Ketchup.
  8. Finish assembling burgers with desired condiments.

Notes

Recipe courtesy of The Chew

http://spicedblog.com/classic-meatloaf-burgers-and-seasoned-fries-from-abcs-the-chew.html

Seasoned Fries

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 Russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more to garnish if desired)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Instructions

  1. Preheat oil oil to 325 degrees F.
  2. Cut potatoes into 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch thick matchsticks.
  3. Prepare a sheet pan with paper towels and a cooling rack. Begin to par cook the potatoes in the preheated oil for 6 minutes. The potatoes should take on minimal color. Remove from oil with a large slotted utensil to the prepared sheet pan. Allow par cooked potatoes to cool to room temperature and blot off excess oil with a paper towel.
  4. Increase oil temperature to 360 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the spices. Toss the par cooked potatoes in the spice mixture, working in batches, and place in the oil to fry for 3-4 more minutes or until crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined sheet pan and season with additional salt if desired.

Notes

Recipe courtesy of The Chew

http://spicedblog.com/classic-meatloaf-burgers-and-seasoned-fries-from-abcs-the-chew.html

Chew_ABC_logo_Thicker

The Chew celebrates and explores life through food – from cooking to food trends, restaurants, holidays and more all aimed at making life better, fuller and more fun. Featuring celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and Carla Hall, lifestyle expert Clinton Kelly and fresh face of healthy living Daphne Oz, “The Chew” is a leap forward into a delicious new kind of talk show.

Watch The Chew Weekdays at 1e|12p|c on ABC!

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by ABC via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of ABC.