Have you ever had a French Macaron? Macarons are one of those treats that are memorable enough that you would KNOW if you’ve had them or not! I enjoyed my first French Macarons a couple years ago, when a friend shared a batch she had made. That was all it took to be hooked! French Macarons have such a unique combination of textures (crisp, chewy and smooth) and come in such an endless array of flavors!
Not only are the flavor options endless with French Macarons, but so are the colors and shapes! Mindy Cone (of Creative Juice) has just published the most beautiful and inspiring book FULL of creative ideas for Macarons! Her book, Gourmet French Macarons is loaded with full page photos (taken by Mindy herself!) and all the instructions for creating the most adorable, beautiful and fun Macarons ever!
Aren’t they amazing?
These are just a few of the over 75 creative ideas packed into Gourmet French Macarons!
And you don’t have to worry about perfecting these fun shapes on your own… the book includes a CD with all the printable templates you’ll need!
Feeling inspired already? I know I am, after looking through this fun book!
Gourmet French Macarons is available now on Amazon, but one lucky Glorious Treats reader is going to win a copy!
Would you like to win a copy of this beautiful book?
Simply leave a comment below sharing if you’ve ever had a French Macaron (and if so, what’s your favorite flavor)?
Details - One entry per person. Giveaway ends Wednesday, October 9th, 9pm Pacific. Open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be chosen using Random.org. Book for giveaway provided by Mindy Cone.
All images courtesy of Mindy Cone/ Creative Juice.
Keep up with Mindy and all of her pretty and creative projects on Creative Juice, Facebook and Twitter.
*********************************** Giveaway Closed ***********************************
Winning comment #18- Doreen
Fall is one of my favorite times of year to bake. There is just something extra special about filling the house with warm, rich fragrances when there is a chill in the air.
This Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake combines a moist and flavorful apple cake with a sweet cream cheese filling, and an incredible praline frosting. Although this recipe does require several steps, the end results are delicious, impressive and perfect for any fall celebration.
When I first came across this recipe (originally from Southern Living) I considered skipping the cream cheese filling in an effort to simplify the recipe. But I usually try to make a recipe as listed before making changes, so I figured I’d give it a try as is. The filling is delicious and adds a nice creamy texture to the overall recipe. I will say, the apple cake and praline frosting are both delicious, so if you don’t care for cream cheese, or want to speed things along I think you could omit the filling. If you are going to leave out the filling, be sure to reduce the overall baking time.
Another suggestion would be to bake the cake one day, then frost it the next day, to break up the work a bit.
This cake would be perfect for a fall brunch, and is a delicious treat with a glass of milk, or cup of coffee.
Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Rich, moist and full of flavor, this is the perfect bundt cake for a special occasion.
Cream Cheese Filling-
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Challenge butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely chopped pecans
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup oil (canola, olive or vegetable)
3/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups peeled and finely chopped apples (I used Granny Smith)
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup Challenge butter
3 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans, for garnish
Grease and flour a (14 cup) bundt pan, and set aside.
Prepare cream cheese filling-
Beat the cream cheese, butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until blended and smooth. Add egg, flour and vanilla and beat until just combined. Set aside.
Prepare cake batter-
Preheat oven to 350*F and bake pecans for 5-7 minutes until lightly toasted and fragrant.
Meanwhile, stir flour, both sugars, salt, baking soda and spices together in a large bowl.
Stir in eggs, then oil, apple sauce and vanilla.
Stir in apples and pecans.
Spoon two-thirds of the apple batter into the prepared pan, then spoon cream cheese filling over the apple mixture, leaving a 1 inch border around the edges of the pan.
Spoon remaining apple batter over the cream cheese filling.
Bake cake at 350*F for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a long wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan, on a wire rack about 1 hour. Remove cake from pan, and cool completely (an additional hour).
When the cake has cooled, prepare praline frosting.
Combine brown sugar, butter and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute (set a timer).
Remove pan from heat and add vanilla extract, then powdered sugar. Whisk together until fully combined. If needed, pour frosting through a fine strainer to remove any powdered sugar lumps. Cool frosting slightly (about 5 minutes) until it has begun to thicken slightly, but is still easily pourable. Pour over cake, as desired. Garnish with pecans, if desired.
Happy fall baking!
It seemed only fitting to kick off the first day of fall with an easy pumpkin recipe! These Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Bars are super simple to mix up and are a perfect snack cake, or breakfast treat. These bars have a mild pumpkin flavor, a nice balance of spices, and lots of yummy white chocolate chips (my favorite part!). These bars have more of a cake texture than cookie, so if you want to call it Pumpkin Snack Cake, go for it!
Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Bars
These simple fall bars come together quickly and will disappear just as fast!
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup Challenge unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla exract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 package (12 oz.) white chocolate chips
Prepare a 9"x13" pan by lining it with parchment paper, or greasing it with bit of butter.
Preheat oven to 350*F.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices and set aside.
In another large bowl whisk together the melted butter and sugars. Add the egg, then vanilla and pumpkin and blend together well with the whisk (no need for an electric mixer).
Pour the bowl of dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, add the white chocolate chips and blend together with a spatula or wooden spoon just until fully incorporated.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly in the pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until it appears set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.
Cool fully, then cut into bars as desired.
Use 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice in place of the individual spices, if desired.
Feel free to use semi-sweet chocolate chips in place of the white chocolate, if desired.
Ready to kick off your fall baking?
After you whip up these Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Bars, you can try a few more of my fall favorites…
Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Hole Muffins
Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake
I spent a bit of time wondering what to title this blog post… maybe “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies”, or “Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies”… because after experimenting with LOTS of chocolate chip cookie recipes (tough job I have, right?), this recipe is my absolute favorite.
In the end, I settled on the title ”Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies”, because that’s what they are. And although these are in fact “perfect” to me… I know there is a wide range of thoughts on what makes a perfect chocolate chip cookie.
For me, a perfect chocolate chip cookie has a lightly browned edge, soft and chewy center, and rich flavor… they should not be puffy or cakey, but also not be totally flat, or crisp. Wow, lots of words to describe a pretty simple cookie!
So, if you like chewy, flavorful, easy to make Chocolate Chip Cookies, then this recipe needs to come to life in your kitchen very soon!
Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
A perfect balance of textures and flavor, these chewy chocolate chip cookies are a favorite in our house!
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) Challenge unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg PLUS 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
(optional- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans)
In one large bowl add flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
Melt the butter, then add to another large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer.
Blend melted butter with both sugars, and beat (or stir vigorously by hand) until the butter and sugars are well combined and the mixture is smooth and shiny.
Add the egg, then the egg yolk, and continue to beat until fully incorporated.
Add vanilla and blend well.
Pour flour mixture slowly into the mixer, then the chocolate chips (and nuts if desired), and blend just until all the flour is incorporated.
Preheat oven to 350*F and move the bowl of cookie dough to the fridge for 10 minutes (while the oven heats up).
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop the batter (using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop) onto the parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Bake cookies, one baking sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes (I usually bake mine for 10 minutes).
Remove the cookies from the oven when the edges of the cookies are just BEGINING to get golden brown, and the centers of the cookies appear slightly under-baked.
Allow the cookies to cool about 5 minutes on the baking sheets, and they will continue to cook, and firm up. Once partially cooled, carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
Keep the remainder of the dough in the fridge while you are baking the others. Keeping the dough cool will help the cookies keep their shape while baking.
Final recipe by Glorious Treats, adjusted from Cooks Illustrated.
I really like to bake these cookies on parchment paper, as noted. Feel free to use Silpat lined baking sheets, or lightly greased baking sheets, but your results may not be identical to mine.
Be careful not to over bake the cookies, or they will not have the soft, chewy texture I've described. Be sure to remove the cookies from the oven while they still appear to be slightly under-baked.
These Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies now have a permanent place on my list of favorite recipes! I love that they can be mixed up and enjoyed all in less than an hour, perfect for an after dinner treat. My girls love helping me mix these up… and eat them up!
Perfect for breakfast “on the go”, these yummy Morning Glory Muffins are packed full of delicious and healthful ingredients.
I recently enjoyed a muffin at a local bakery that was labeled a “Morning Glory Muffin”. It looked like it had lots of delicious things in it (raisins, coconut, carrots), and of course I had to try it since my name (Glory) was in it.
The bakery muffin was really delicious, and so decided to try my hand at making a whole batch. A quick search on Google yielded several recipes that sounded similar, and then I found a recipe by Earthbound Farms which claimed to be the ”Original Morning Glory Muffin Recipe“. As I read the list ingredients it indeed looked to be a perfect match to the bakery muffins. I also found it to be a fun coincidence that the original recipe was created in 1978, the year I was born.
I baked up a batch and they were a perfect match to the bakery muffin…. and perfectly delicious!
Once they were cooled and I had enjoyed one or two (it’s called research people, research!) I pulled out a few new props I had recently picked up at Kohl’s, a pretty blue plate and gorgeous sunflower place mat. I had headed to Kohl’s earlier in the week for a perfectly reasonable purchase of dish towels… and somehow came home with several new photo props, opps! =)
Morning Glory Muffins
These healthful and delicious muffins are perfect for a quick breakfast or snack.
Yield: 22-24 standard sized muffins
1 1/4 sugar
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup vegetable (or olive) oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large apple, peeled and grated
1 cup (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups grated carrots
Preheat oven to 350*F and line two muffin pans with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Add the coconut, raisins and nuts, and stir to combine, then set aside.
In a separate (large) bowl, whisk the eggs well, then add oil and vanilla.
Add grated apple, pineapple and carrots and stir until well combined.
Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend until fully incorporated.
Scoop the batter into one of the prepared muffin tins (using an ice cream scoop works great). Fill liners almost full.
Bake 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Bake second pan of muffins.
Notes - The muffins will remain fresh (when covered) up to 3 days. The muffins can also be frozen up to 2 months.
These delicious muffins are certainly more nutritious than a standard bakery muffin, and I’m sure would work well with a few additional healthy adjustments. Feel free to replace some of the all purpose flour with whole wheat flour, and/or reduce the sugar a bit.
Prop notes – Blue plate and Sunflower placemat from Kohl’s.
Disclaimer – I was compensated by Kohl’s by way of a gift card to purchase props for this post. All text, images and opinions are my own.