Bourbon Pecan Blondies

Approved by the husband …

Bourbon Pecan Blondies
16 WW Points (Green), 2020, Bake From Scratch, brownies, Desserts, Velik Favorites
Difficulty: Easy Servings: 16 Source:

2 cups (440 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter*, melted and cooled slightly
¼ cup (60 grams) bourbon
1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
1½ cups (170 grams) chopped pecans, divided

The classic Southern pairing of bourbon and pecans stars in this blondie batch. The batter is as versatile as they come, so you can sub out the bourbon and pecan for any other type of liquor or nuts. Président® butter, the official butter of Bake from Scratch, is behind these blondies’s extra fudge texture, as well as their sweet butterscotch notes.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add melted butter, stirring just until combined. Stir in bourbon and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in flour and 1 cup (113 grams) pecans just until combined. Spread batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup (57 grams) pecans.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and cut into 12 blondies. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Melissa’s notes – Original recipe says 12 servings, but I cut them at 16 – still large!

Cardamon Cookies

Cardamon Cookies
2020, cookies, Desserts, Velik Favorites
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Servings: Yield: 32 Source:

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1 teaspoon cardamon
3 Tablespoon sugar

Beat the butter and sugar together until combined. Then add the eggs in one at a time and mix.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and the 1/2 t. of cardamon. Slowly add to wet mixture.

Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

When you are read to bake the cookies preheat the oven to 325.

Combine the 1 t. cardamon with the 3 T. of sugar on a plate.

Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter and roll in the cardamon/sugar mixture.

Place on cookies sheets lined with parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Melissa’s note – I scooped these using my black cookie scoop.

Flourless Chocolate-Chili Cake

I made this for Valentine’s Day! I bit of heat in each bite.

Flourless Chocolate-Chili Cake

2020, 6.7 WW Points (Classic), cakes, Desserts, Eating Well, Prepared by Melissa
Prep Time: 35 mins Total Time: 5 hrs 15 mins Difficulty: Easy Servings: 16 Source:

12 ounces dark chocolate (70-73% cacao), chopped
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
⅓ cup grapeseed or canola oil
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Confectioners’ sugar for garnish
Whipped cream for serving

Instructions Checklist

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and coat the paper with cooking spray.

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler over barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. (To improvise a double boiler, bring 2 inches of water to a bare simmer in a large saucepan; set a medium or large metal bowl on the pan, allowing at least an inch between the water and the bottom of the bowl.) Remove from heat and stir in oil, vanilla, cinnamon, almond extract, chile powder and salt.

Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Fold in the chocolate mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake the cake until the top is just set and beginning to crack, about 35 minutes. (The center will still be moist.) Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour.

Remove the pan sides. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Let the cake stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream, if desired.

To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Equipment: 9-inch springform pan, parchment paper

286 calories; 18.9 g total fat; 8.6 g saturated fat; 87 mg cholesterol; 95 mg sodium. 152 mg potassium; 25.7 g carbohydrates; 1.6 g fiber; 23 g sugar; 3.5 g protein; 315 IU vitamin a iu; 9 mcg folate; 26 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 35 mg magnesium; 22 g added sugar

HEATH Bits Peanut Butter Cookies

HEATH Bits Peanut Butter Cookies

2020, cookies, Desserts, Hershey’s
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 7 min Difficulty: Easy Servings: 36/80 Source:

1 egg
1-1/3 cups HEATH BITS O’ BRICKLE Toffee Bits (8 oz. pkg.) , divided
1-1/4 cups light brown sugar packed
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 teaspoon salt

1. Heat oven to 375°F.

2. Beat shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add egg; beat just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup bits; reserve remainder for topping.

3. Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet; top each with reserved bits.

4. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until set. Do not over bake. Cool 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes about 36 cookies.

For me, this made 80 cookies using my size 100 scoop.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

For the cheesecakes:
6 gingersnap cookies
5 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
5 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup pumpkin puree
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
For the maple whipped cream:
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 375, and line 6 cups in a muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Drop a cookie in each liner, with the flat side down.
3. In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, pumpkin puree and spices.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between the 6 cups and bake for 15 minutes.
5. When the cheesecakes are done, the centers will be only slightly jiggly when poked.
6. Remove the cheesecakes gently from the pan, and then refrigerate at least 4 hours.
7. When ready to serve, beat together the cream until soft peaks form. Then, stir in the maple syrup and continue beating until slightly stiff. Dollop over each cheesecake and serve.

This recipe is easily doubled or tripled to make more mini pumpkin cheesecakes.

Original recipe says it makes 4 cakes, I found I had excess batter and made 6.

11 WW Green Points with whipped cream, 8 without

• Prep: 15 Minutes
• Cook: 15 Minutes
• Chill: 4 Hours

Source: Desserts for Two (6 servings)

Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel

Strudel is a light, crispy pastry made up of layers of filo dough. In our version, cranberries add a bit of tang, but raisins work equally well.


2 piece(s) frozen fillo dough, at room temperature (if using 9” x 14” sheets, use 4)
3 teaspoons butter, melted
2 Tbsp, plain dried plain breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 small, peeled, cored and sliced fresh apple(s), or 1 extra large
1 tablespoon dried cranberries or raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F; spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Place the sheets of phyllo on a work surface and cut into four 12 x 8 1/2 inch rectangles; cover with a damp towel. Stack 2 rectangles and brush 1 teaspoon of margarine; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of bread crumbs. Stack remaining 2 rectangles directly over bread crumbs; brush with another teaspoon of margarine and sprinkle with remaining teaspoon of bread crumbs.
3. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; add apples and toss to coat. Spread apple mixture lengthwise down the center of the phyllo and sprinkle with dried cranberries. Roll up the dough; place the strudel, seam-side down, on the baking sheet. Brush the top of the strudel with the remaining teaspoon of margarine. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

My “small” apples were too large. Using 1 extra large apple should be plenty.

I had smaller sheets of fillo (9” x 14”). I used 4 sheets total for this recipe.

3 WW Freestyle SmartPoints

Made – October 2019

• Total Time: 25 Minutes
• Prep: 10 Minutes
• Cook: 15 Minutes

Source: Adapted from Weight Watchers (4 servings)

Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies

Small batch chocolate chip cookies for your next cookie craving! Make just a half batch of chocolate chip cookies the next time you need a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie!


6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk (egg white reserved for another use)
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon fine salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
⅓ cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Line a light-colored baking sheet with a silicone mat.
2. In a medium bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 20 seconds.
3. Add the sugars, and beat for about 30 seconds. The mixture will turn a pale color and be fluffy.
4. Next, add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until just combined.
5. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a separate bowl.
6. Sprinkle the flour on top of the butter mixture, and beat just until combined.
7. Stir in the chocolate chips.
8. Scoop the dough into 12 dough balls, and space them evenly on the baking sheet.
9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, removing the cookies from the oven when the edges just start to turn golden brown.
10. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 1 minute before moving them to a wire rack to cool.

• Prep: 10 Minutes
• Cook: 8 Minutes
• Total Time: 18 Minutes

Source: Dessert for Two (Servings: 12 | Yield: 1 dozen)

Piernik – a Polish Christmas cake

Piernik – a Polish Christmas cake

Ingredients (for the cake)
140 g unsalted butter
300 g honey
100 g light brown sugar
365 g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
3 large eggs
Ingredients (for the filling and the ganache)
250 g plum jam
225 ml double cream
140 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
3 tablespoons clear honey

1. Method Grease and line the base of a deep 20cm cake tin with baking parchment.
2. In a saucepan, put the butter, honey and sugars, then cook over a medium heat until fully melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 140C.
4. Sieve all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them together.
5. Once the butter mixture has cooled, whisk in the eggs, then pour that into the flour and spice mixture and mix until fully combine. Careful not to overmix the mixture of you will end up with a dry cake. Pour into the cake tin and cook for about 1 hour. Check whether the cake is done with a skewer, then remove from the oven and let it cool completely.
6. In the meantime, prepare your ganache by putting the chocolate, honey and cream into a saucepan and melting over medium heat, mixing to combine the ingredients together. Remove from the heat and let it cool and slightly thicken. Mix it from time to time.
7. Once the sponges have cooled, use a serrated knife to slice the cake into three equal layers. Position the bottom layer on your a wire rack, then spread half of the jam on. Top with the second layer and cover that with the rest of the jam, then position the remaining layer on top.
8. Put a sheet of baking parchment/foil under the wire rack, so that it collects any extra ganache which will drop off the cake. Once the chocolate ganache has reached a slightly denser consistency, pour that over the cake and let it completely drip down the sides, so that the whole cake is covered. Leave to cool and harden.
9. When ready, use a palette knife to transfer the cake onto a serving dish/platter.

Made for Melissa’s birthday, 2019!
Source: Baking with Attitude (Servings: 12 | Yield: 1 cake)

Chocolate Coconut Brownies

Chocolate Coconut Brownies

Crisco ® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 cup Crisco® Pure Organic Coconut Oil, melted
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups Pillsbury BEST™ All Purpose Flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups sweetened coconut flakes, divided

Heat oven to 350°F. Coat 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.

Combine sugar and oil in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and 1 cup coconut. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup coconut.

Bake 30 to 33 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.
• Prep: 10 Minutes
• Cook: 30 Minutes
• Ready in: 40 Minutes

Source: Pillsbury (Servings: 24 | Yield: One 13 x 9 pan)

Gluten-Free Fudgy Teff Brownies

Gluten-Free Fudgy Teff Brownies

Whole-grain teff flour (made from a tiny ancient grain) has a nuance of cocoa flavor to start with, making it a natural choice for brownies. These gluten-free brownies are moist and satisfying, intensely chocolaty and have a tender texture.


6 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅔ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 cold large eggs
½ cup teff flour
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper or foil coated with cooking spray, allowing it to slightly overhang opposite edges.
2. Bring 1 inch water to a bare simmer in a medium saucepan. Combine chocolate and butter in a metal bowl large enough to rest in the pan without touching the water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from heat.
3. Add sugar and salt and stir until combined. Let cool until barely lukewarm, 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, whisking briskly after each. Add flour and whisk briskly for 30 seconds to thicken the batter. Stir in nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, about 1½ hours. Lift the overhanging ends of paper or foil to remove from the pan. Cut into 16 brownies.

To make ahead: Store airtight for up to 2 days.

• Prep: 20 Minutes
• Ready in: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

Source: Eating Well (Servings: 16 | Yield: one 8-inch pan of brownies)