Cookbook Corner – Desserts LaBelle

I am LOVING this fabulous dessert cookbook from the one and only Patti LaBelle and I think you will too! Check out my review below AND check out the recipe for one of my personal favorites from the book, Patti’s “Sprinkledoodles”! 


“Desserts LaBelle” By: Patti LaBelle

This is easily one of my favorite dessert cookbooks of 2017! I know you may be thinking – “Patti LaBelle? The woman who served as a spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association? You mean, Patti the diabetic?” (Part from the introduction) Yes! Also add multi-talented superstar and story teller extraordinaire to your list and yes – you have Patti LaBelle! She is such a talented woman and her talents go above and beyond her vocal range in this standout dessert cookbook!

There are so many fabulous recipes included in this book including “THE Sweet Potato Pie”! You know what I am talking about, right? YouTube or Google, “Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie” – watch, read, learn and thank me later!

Just to name a few recipes throughout there includes – “Jammin’ Blackberry Jam Cake with Caramel Icing” (page 17), “Jackie’s Redemptive Red Velvet Marble Cake” (page 29), “Lemon Meringue Cake” (page 43), “Blackberry Corn Muffins” (page 73), “Berry Mini-Cheesecake Cups” (page 99), “The Very Best Lemon Bars” (page 101), “Caramel and Pecan Turtle Brownies” (page 106), “Sprinkledoodles” (page 113), “Cherry Crumble Pie” (page 119), “Patti’s Perfect Pineapple Pudding Pie” (page 129), “THE Sweet Potato Pie” (page 132 and like I mentioned earlier – Google the story!), “Pear and Cranberry Crisp with Oat-Walnut Topping” (page 150), “Lemon Mousse with Blackberries” (page 176), “Mile-High Biscuits” (page 203), and “Fresh Strawberry Pie” (page 223).

Now remember, this is only a select few of the fabulous recipes offered!

To buy your copy and learn more, click this link – https://www.amazon.com/Desserts-LaBelle-Soulful-Sweets-About/dp/1455543403

BUT before you go – you MUST check out one of my personal favorite recipes from the book, “Sprinkledoodles”! They are FUN – foolproof – fabulous – and festive! Not to mention delicious and versitle. Everytime I make these – people go crazy! 


Sprinkledoodles


Snickerdoodles are very easy cookies—make balls of dough, roll in sugar, and bake.They are usually flavored with cinnamon, but I love my spices, so I also add some nutmeg and cloves. The only problem with them is that they look a little plain. So to jazz them up, I roll them in colored sprinkles. Hence, sprinkledoodles. It’s a simple trick, and you can change the colors for various holidays—red and green for Christmas is a no-brainer.


Makes about 3 1⁄2 dozen cookies

2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar (see Patti’s Pointers)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 2/3 cup multicolored sprinkles (jimmies), for decorating

1. Sift the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves together. Cream the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer set on high speed. One at a time, beat in the eggs and then the vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Cover and refrigerate until the dough is chilled, at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours.

2. Position racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Have two large ungreased rimmed baking sheets ready.

3. Using a tablespoon for each cookie (a 1-tablespoon portion scoop works best), shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Transfer the balls to a baking sheet and freeze until chilled, 10 to 15 minutes. (This trick keeps the cookies from spreading too much during baking.)

4. One at a time, press one side of a dough ball into the sprinkles, being sure they adhere. Reshape the dough into a ball. Place, sprinkle-side up, on a baking sheet. Repeat, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart on the two sheets. Bake, switching the position of the baking sheets from top to bottom and rotating front to back halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are barely browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cake racks and cool completely.


Patti’s Pointers:
This is an old cookie recipe, and before folks could buy baking powder easily in stores, they used a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda as leavening. If you don’t have cream of tartar (and not everyone has it in their pantry), substitute 1 tablespoon baking powder for the cream of tartar and baking soda mixture.

Recipe excerpted from the DESSERTS LABELLE by Patti LaBelle. Copyright © 2017 by Pattonium Inc. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved. Shoutout and special thanks to Grand Central Life & Style for the opportunity to review this fabulous book! For any questions, please email me. 

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Chew This! Margaret’s Peanut Butter-Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com

My newest column features “Margaret’s Peanut Butter-Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies” and I highly recommend you try these! Imagine the most perfect peanut butter cookie – with actual peanut butter filling packed inside! Can you say AMAZING!? I have dedicated this recipe to a dear, sweet, lovable family friend of ours – Margaret Fowler. Her and her family have touched my family and my life in ways we never thought possible. I write all about our special connection in my column this week! Margaret will be so excited to see her picture in the paper! She’s a special lady. 

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature contains tips and tricks when making my “saltine cracker candy” that appears in my cookbook. 

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!


Margaret’s Peanut Butter-Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_2b86fff0-4567-51e3-9596-efd5860bd309.html

Enjoy! 


PIN IT: http://pin.it/s8DUVa0 

Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips 

I could hardly concentrate on taking a photograph for these cookies because I wanted to dive into them so bad! It took me a few tries to develop this recipe and it was actually almost a recipe for a “bar cookie”. However, the finished recipe of this cookie was very much worth the extra time and effort. These chocolate cookies are soft and the rich and pair perfectly with the peanut butter chips. Print this – bookmark it – PIN IT – save it – whatever – just make these! This recipe was inspired by a recipe that was printed on the outside of a bag of peanut butter chips that I found going over some old recipe files. 

Soft Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips

2 1/2 sticks (10 oz) unsalted butter, soft
2 cups white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups white all-purpose flour
2 cups peanut butter chips

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl cream together the soft unsalted butter and white granulated sugar.

Beat in the large eggs and pure vanilla extract.

Stir in the baking soda, salt and instant coffee granules.

Gently stir in the unsweetened cocoa powder followed by gently folding in the white all-purpose flour.

Finally, fold in the peanut butter chips.

Place teaspoon size amounts of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool on their baking sheets.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/570901690256145178/

Classic M&M Cookies 

I love the color – and taste – of these deliciously old-fashioned cookies! They take me right back to my childhood and buying cookies at the mall. These are chewy inside and have a slight crunch outside. I used dark chocolate M&M candies for these but you can use your favorite variety.

Classic M&M Cookies

1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups M&M candy

Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the solid vegetable shortening, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Combine until no white shortening streaks are visable. Mixture will be thick.

Beat in the two large eggs.

Stir in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Gently fold in 1/2 cup of the M&M candy.

Roll dough into teaspoon size balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Top the rest of the cookies with the remaining cup of M&M candy.

Bake, one baking sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 13 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/iOuP_KP

Vanilla Pudding Snickerdoodles 

Lately I have been obsessed with instant vanilla pudding and adding it to baked goods and seeing – and tasting – the results. These “Vanilla Pudding Snickerdoodles” are quickly becoming a favorite around here and I highly recommend you try them!

Vanilla Pudding Snickerdoodles

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/3 cup vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl combine the softened unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture. 

Stir in the vanilla instant pudding mix. 

Stir in the large eggs. 

Beat in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt. Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. 

Combine 1/4 cup white granulated sugar with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in a small bowl. 

Roll tablespoon size balls of dough into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on prepared baking sheets. 

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 13 minutes. 

Remove and allow to cool. 

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/8gFtR59

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chunk Cookies 

I have a slight obsession with chocolate chip cookies. I have a LOT of recipes for chocolate chip cookies – several of them here on my blog. This version is different because of the vanilla pudding and chocolate chunks. I have had vanilla pudding chocolate chip cookies before and I really just was not impressed because the dough was rather bland. This recipe though is nowhere near bland! I have taken the flavor levels up a notch with extra vanilla and lots of brown sugar and added chocolate chunks instead of chips. The results are fabulous! THIS recipe is my newest “go to” FAVORITE chocolate chunk cookie recipe! Highly recommend these!

Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, soft
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 large (5.1 oz.) vanilla instant pudding mix
2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks mixed with 1 tablespoon white all-purpose flour

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl combine the soft unsalted butter, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar until light in color and fluffy in texture. 

Stir in the vanilla instant pudding mix. 

Beat in the large eggs and large egg yolk. 

Stir in the baking soda and salt. 

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. 

Gently fold in the chocolate chunks. 

Roll the dough into tablespoon size balls and place onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. 

Remove and allow to cool slightly. 

Enjoy! 

PIN IT: http://pin.it/E-vnt73

Peanut Butter Fudge Cookies

This recipe is basically what you have when you mix oats into your typical old-fashioned peanut butter fudge – cookies! These are so delicious.

Peanut Butter Fudge Cookies

2 cups white granulated sugar
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal

Start by spraying an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray. 

In a large pot over medium heat melt and combine together the white granulated sugar, unsalted butter and milk. 

Bring to a boil. 

Boil for 2 minutes stirring continuously. 

Remove from heat and add in the pure vanilla extract and salt. 

Add in the smooth peanut butter and stir. 

Fold in the quick cooking oatmeal. 

Pour into prepared pan and allow to cool to room temperature before serving. 

Enjoy!

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Chew This! Celebration Monster Cookies

Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! blaisethebaker@gmail.com

My newest column is all about celebrations – planned and unplanned and never having to find an excuse to celebrate LIFE! To help everyone celebrate my featured recipe is for “Celebration Monster Cookies”! These cookies are fabulous and are full of all kinds of delicious flavors – ground cinnamon, oatmeal, potato chips, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, candy pieces and sprinkles! Now really, how bad could that be!? I am highly recommending you stir up a batch of these for your next celebration! 

Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is all about chocolate chip cookies and how to keep them from spreading. Shoutout and special thanks to Tomi White from Texas for the question. 

Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!


Celebration Monster Cookies

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/neighbors/neighbors_features/article_c4089461-a0f0-57c0-8998-c88e253cf964.html

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/mcittnp

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies 

About a year ago I made a recipe for cream cheese chocolate chip cookies. They were good but not one of my favorites. I put the recipe away and did not think much of it until a friend and neighbor of mine, Jan Lines, mentioned something to me about them. It got me thinking – and hungry – for them again – so I searched online and found a recipe that looked similar to the one I had tried a year ago. I found the recipe a little time consuming and the dough just did not have that much flavor, so I changed it to fit my taste buds. My taste testers, family and friends went CRAZY for them – so I just had to share the recipe here with all of you!

These are best made in advance and chilled in the refrigerator overnight. You can actually make the dough and chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 days! These are the perfect make ahead cookie and wonderful for parties and cookie exchanges.

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature – especially the cream cheese. Also make sure you use chocolate chips AND chocolate chunks for this recipe. The combination of the 2 are magical!

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter
2 oz cream cheese – full fat original
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 heaping teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Start by combinding the unsalted butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. 

Add in the light brown sugar and white granulated sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light in color and fluffy in texture. 

Beat in the large egg. 

Add in the pure vanilla extract, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. 

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour. 

Gently fold in the chocolate chips and chocolate chunks. 

Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. 

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Roll dough into balls the size of two tablespoons and gently press them down with the palms of your hands before placing them onto the prepared baking sheets. 

Bake, one baking sheet at a time, for exactly 13 minutes. Remove and allow them to cool on their baking sheets. 

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/lXc0bEG

Milk and Cookies Snickerdoodles

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook “Milk and Cookies” By: Tina Casaceli. It is easily one of my favorite cookie cookbooks – if you do not already have it – GET IT – and her recipe for Snickerdoodles is quickly becoming one of my very favorites. 

Milk and Cookies Snickerdoodles

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour

Start by combinding the softened unsalted butter and solid vegetable shortening. Beat until light in color and fluffy in texture.

Beat in the white granulated sugar.

Beat in the two large eggs, one at a time until combined.

Add in the pure vanilla extract, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Stir everything together to combine.

Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour.

Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine 1/4 cup white granulated sugar with 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon.

Roll tablespoon size dough balls into the combined cinnamon and sugar mixture before placing onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool slightly.

Enjoy!

PIN IT: http://pin.it/kJKDpyZ