Sunday, January 26, 2014

Crock Pot Sweet Potato Turkey (or Beef) Chili and Garlic Cheddar Beer Biscuits

Are you experiencing the same frigid winter temperatures that we're experiencing in Boston (aka Polar Vortex 2)? If so, this slow cooker chili is for you! Side note: as I just typed, "slow cooker," I actually typed "cookie" instead of cooker. Guess cookies are always on my mind. :)

Aaaanyway, back to the slow COOKER chili. This recipe is a breeze! I made it twice in December but am only now getting around to blogging about it. I wanted to make sure to share it with you while there is still plenty of winter weather ahead of us. And in New England, we have at least two more months of it. ;)

This recipe is from a blog, Catz in the Kitchen. This is a great recipe to enjoy on a weekend day when you're busy running errands or getting household chores done...or, on a weekday when you've had a long day of work and don't have the time to cook dinner! Crock pots are seriously the best, aren't they?


-1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
-1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, with liquid
-1 can (15 oz.) black beans, with liquid
-1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, with liquid
-2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
-1 medium onion, chopped finely
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 lb. ground turkey or beef, browned
-2 Tbsp. chili powder
-1 Tbsp. ground cumin
-2 tsp. smoked paprika
-1 Tbsp. brown sugar
-1/2 tsp. salt


In a medium-large skillet, brown the turkey or beef until cooked through. Pour into crock pot (a 5 or 6 qt. crock pot will do). Add the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot and stir until well combined. Place lid on crock pot and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. The chili will be done when the sweet potatoes are soft and fork tender. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

I served this chili with some amaaazing garlic cheddar beer biscuits. Although these biscuits can't be made in the crock pot (darn!), they are incredibly easy and pair very well with this dish. So if you have the time, I highly suggest whipping up a batch of these biscuits to enjoy with this warm, hearty chili.


-2 cups self-rising flour*
-1 tsp. garlic powder
-1 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, chilled
-4 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
-8 oz. beer (pick your favorite!)**
-4 Tbsp. butter
-2 tsp. garlic powder

*Note: If you don't have self-rising flour, don't worry! You can make your own; that's what I did. Just follow this method from King Arthur flour of mixing all-purpose flour with baking powder and salt.

**Also, if you prefer not to use beer, you can substitute milk.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the self-rising flour, 1 tsp. garlic powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Stir in the cheese until well incorporated, followed by the beer.

Turn the mixture out onto a well-floured surface and knead for about 1 minute or until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Form into a round ball and roll or pat it down into a large circle about 1/2-inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter to cut dough into biscuits, and place them onto prepared baking sheets. Roll out scraps of dough again, and continue forming into biscuits until all dough is used.

Melt the additional 4 tablespoons of butter, and mix in the two teaspoons of garlic powder with the butter. Using a pastry brush, give each biscuit a generous coating of the garlic butter. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm biscuits with chili.

We LOVED these biscuits. They were soft, flakey, and full of wonderful flavors. A perfect accompaniment to the delicious chili! 

Please, please make this chili and these biscuits. You won't regret it! It's a meal your whole family will love, and it will both fill and warm you up on a cold winter's night. I promise. :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cookie Butter White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Biscoff. Cookie Butter. Speculoos. I talked about this amazing product last summer on the blog when I made my chocolate and cinnamon chip cookie butter cookies. Do you remember? Well, if not, you should go back and take a look at that post. I go on and on and on about how much I love cookie butter. If you don't yet know it, you need (noticed how I bolded, italicized, and underlined that? :)) to get to know it! 

This recipe is adapted from the ever wonderful, Sally's Baking Addiction. I've made several of Sally's recipes thus far, and they're always excellent!


-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
-3/4 cup dark (or light) brown sugar
-1 large egg
-1/2 cup cookie butter/Biscoff/speculoos spread (creamy or crunchy)
-2 tsp. vanilla extract
-2 cups quick oats (do not use regular oats)
-1 and 1/4 cups white chocolate chips or chunks 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove and let cool slightly. In the meantime, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in a large bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until no lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, followed by the cookie butter spread, until combined. Finally, whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir together with a spatula. Fold in the oats and 1 cup of the white chocolate chips. The dough will be thick and heavy.

Form dough into balls (about 2 to 3 Tbsp. of dough each), and place on cookie sheets, two inches apart. Bake cookies for 11 to 12 minutes. The cookies will look soft and slightly underbaked; this is okay, as they will bake a little more while on the cookie sheets. If desired, press down the cookies slightly to flatten them out (I did not do this). Also, if desired, press remaining 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips/chunks into top of cookies (also, I did not do this step). Allow cookies to cool for 10 minutes on cookie sheets before removing to cool completely on cooling racks. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week. Makes 18 to 20 cookies.

These cookies are sweet but not overly so. The white chocolate chips add to the sweetness. And the cookie butter flavor lends a nice change of flavor from a more traditional cookie. The cookies have some great gingerbread and cinnamon flavor notes. And the oats? Well, they make these a healthy cookie, of course! ;)

I loved the texture of these cookies, too. Chewy and airy with an ever so slight crunch around the edges. Cookie texture perfection!

If you end up trying these cookies, be sure to use quick, not regular oats. But what if you only have regular oats in your pantry? No problem! Pulse those regular oats a few times in your food processor, and voila, you'll have yourself quick oats. As Sally notes in the original blog post, the finer quick oats act more like a flour in this recipe and are important to the way this dough comes together; regular oats won't allow the dough to bind together as it should.

Cookie Butter. Go get yourself some. ASAP.

But a warning if you have this in your house: you may want to eat it by the spoonful.

Don't say I didn't warn you!!

Just realized it's been 17 days since my last post. OOPS! Hopefully I'll get back to posting once or twice a week again soon. In the meantime, hope everyone has been enjoying some delicious goodies in their own kitchens. :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chocolate Avocado Cookies

Chocolate avocado cookies? Yes! You read that right. The avocado in these cookies, along with some coconut oil, takes the place of the butter that you'd find in a traditional cookie recipe. So if you're looking for a slightly healthier option, definitely give these a try! And these cookies are also vegan - another added bonus. Although I do not eat vegan, I have a few friends who do, so it's always nice to have options for dessert recipes I can make for them. :)

This recipe is from Two Peas and Their Pod, an awesome blog.


-1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. sea salt
-2/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
-1/4 cup coconut oil
-1/4 cup mashed avocado
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/3 cup almond milk (or cow's milk - but they won't be vegan)
-1/2 cup chocolate chips (vegan ones, if desired)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder; set aside. In a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric mixer, beat the coconut oil, avocado, and both sugars together until creamy and smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, add half the flour mixture, followed by the milk. Add the remaining dry ingredients and incorporate until well-combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Place dough by the tablespoonful on prepared baking sheets, placing balls of dough about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten the cookies with your hand or a spatula. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, or until set around the edges but still soft in the center. Let cookies sit on baking sheet for about 2 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely. Makes about 20 cookies.

These cookies turned out to be very chocolatey, which I loved. And they were quite dense, chewy, and fudgey also. Score! A very good cookie. Definitely a keeper.

 I have to say though, that although you could not taste the avocado, I do think that if you were looking for a difference in these cookies, you might be able to detect that they don't have butter in them. But honestly, if you weren't trying to figure out what's different, I don't think you could tell! Also, you can't taste the coconut oil either in case you were wondering.

If one of your resolutions is to bake healthier...or to be more "daring" in your baking, then add this recipe to your list. Although I didn't make any official resolutions, in general I am trying to bake and cook more often with ingredients that are less familiar to me. Coconut oil is an ingredient I've been wanting to try but hadn't until recently. So far so good! I used it in this cookie recipe and in another homemade granola recipe I made last week also. I have a feeling coconut oil may become a staple in my kitchen! I've read so many great things about it and am glad I finally gave it a try.

Have a wonderful start to your week, all!

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