Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

Alright, here it is. The long-awaited recipe for the cinnamon rolls! I say long-awaited, but it’s only been 4 days since I first posted a picture on Facebook and Instagram. ;-) I received many comments and inquiries, though, so I know y’all are all excited! I know everyone will be spending Thanksgiving with their family tomorrow, and I can tell you one thing. THIS is the perfect breakfast item to make and it’ll impress all your family and friends!

The pumpkin dough is initially rolled out and cream cheese is spread all over. Then the dough is folded, rolled again and sprinkled with a browned butter, cinnamon and brown sugar mixture. Yes, you heard me correctly – browned butter. Yum! The baked rolls are then slathered with orange-flavored cream cheese icing. Mmm… it seriously doesn’t get better than this, folks.

I mean, just look at the picture…

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

And another…

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

I apologize because I unfortunately ran out of time and wasn’t able to get step-by-step pictures posted, so if you need to see some visuals please visit the original recipe on Food52’s site. The link is listed below in the recipe. If I’m able to snap some pictures of my own, I’ll upload them at a later point in time.

This will be my last post for about a week as I’m on vacation with family for the holidays. I, like many other Americans, find myself reflecting this time of the year on all the things I have to be thankful for. My list seems to increase every year, and for that alone I am both blessed and thankful. I want to thank you all – my family, friends and people I’ve never even met – for all your support with my blog. It’s only been 4 months, but it’s been an awesome 4 months so far! I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful, happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Icing
Adapted from Food52
Yield: 18-20 Rolls

2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk, warmed
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 cup cream cheese
1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3 Tablespoons orange juice
Pinch of salt

1. Combine the yeast and warm milk and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, spices and salt. Add in the eggs, pumpkin puree and yeast mixture. Mix until just combined and then add the butter. Mix the dough until well combined and then knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough will stick to the bottom of the bowl, but resist the temptation to add more flour.

3. Transfer the dough to a clean, greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in volume, 1 – 1 1/2 hours at a warm room temperature. When the dough is almost finished rising, prepare the filling by browning the butter in a skillet until it is golden and toasty. Let the butter cool slightly and then combine it with the brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Generously grease 2 8- or 9-inch baking pans and set aside.

4. Transfer the risen dough to a well-floured surface and pat the dough into a 12-inch square. Break up the cream cheese and gently spread it on top of the dough, being careful not to tear the dough. Fold the dough into thirds, starting from the bottom so the cream cheese is completely sealed inside of the dough. Then, roll the dough into a 16-inch by 20-inch rectangle with the long side facing you. Dust off any excess flour with a pastry brush. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the top.

5. Starting from the bottom, gently roll the dough into a log. Cut the log into generous 1-inch slices. Gently place the cut rolls into the prepared pans, cover and let rise until almost doubled in size, 1 – 1 1/2 hours. (See note)

6. When rolls are nearly doubled in size, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Bake rolls until they are cooked through and lightly golden, approximately 20 – 25 minutes. While they are baking, prepare the glaze by whisking the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, orange juice and salt together until smooth. Let the rolls cool for about 5 minutes and then cover them with the glaze. I ended up doubling the recipe for the glaze and was glad I did. It’s a sweet roll, but I love a lot of icing. :)

Cook’s Notes

If you want to freeze the rolls in order to bake the following day, doing so before the 2nd rise is the perfect time. Wrap your pans in 2 layers of plastic wrap and a layer of foil; freeze. The following day, let the frozen rolls come to room temperature and complete their final rise before baking as directed.


Black Pepper Popovers with Chives and Parmesan

The people over at Food52 are going to start thinking I’m a stalker because here is yet another recipe I found from their site! :) I make no apologies, though, because their website just rocks, and so far every recipe I’ve made from their site tastes incredible.

While browsing for recipes the other day, I had Thanksgiving on my mind. I was trying to find ideas for things that I could cook this year and that you all might enjoy as well. I know a lot of family’s menus include some sort of a bread. In our family, it is Little Grandma’s Raisin Bread. This isn’t that fancy raisin bread with the cinnamon swirl (although that stuff is tasty!). Instead it is bigger-than-your-face loaves of buttery brioche bread with raisins folded into the dough. No frills, no bells and whistles, but man is it the best stuff in the world. Toast it and slather it with melted butter – perfection.

Raisin Bread is a staple in our family and nothing will ever replace it, but I wanted to find a savory item that could be eaten along with the meal, such as a biscuit or roll. That’s when I found this recipe and decided it would be fun to try. I honestly can’t recall having ever made popovers, and I’ll admit it was a bonus to see relatively few ingredients and a short list of quick, easy instructions.

Black Pepper Popovers with Chives and Parmesan

The batter is easily whisked together by hand and then poured into a pre-heated muffin tin. It makes exactly 12 popovers, so that’s yet another bonus. The batter is filled to the top of each cup, so don’t access your cupcake-baking experience and assume that they’re far too full. The batter will rise, puff up and pop over the edge, hence the name. :) Also, you need to lightly butter the muffin tin before placing it in the oven to pre-heat. I was a bit worried because my butter had slightly browned, but they did taste burnt at all and, if anything, it added to the wonderful flavor.

These popovers are crazy easy to make and are actually quite versatile as well. Instead of the parmesan you could use gruyere or pecorino. You could even play around with other fresh herbs or add in different spices. They bake in about 30-45 minutes, so this is something you could easily prepare and pop in the oven as you’re setting the table and putting the finishing touches on everything. By the time that’s done and you’re about to announce that it’s time to eat, the popovers will be ready and the feast can begin! Enjoy, and do let me know if you try any other flavor combinations!

Black Pepper Popovers with Chives and Parmesan
Adapted from Food52
Yields: 12 popovers

2 cups milk (I used whole milk)
4 large eggs
4 Tablespoons butter
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest

1. Preheat oven 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). Lightly coat a 12-cup popover pan or muffin tin with melted butter or oil.

2. Whisk together the milk, eggs and butter in a large bowl until blended. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

3. Place the buttered pan in the oven to heat for 7 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and fill the cups evenly with the batter. (Tip: Use a 4-cup liquid measuring cup to pour the batter.)

4. Bake for 18-20 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Continue baking until the popovers are a deep golden brown, approximately 15-18 minutes.5. Let the popovers cool briefly in the pan and then serve. Popovers can be reheated at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes. Don’t even think about reheating in the microwave or you’ll end up with a soggy mess!

Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Glaze

There are a lot of flavors that I associate with the holidays, one of which is gingerbread. It contains a myriad of different spices and flavors that combine together to create a very complex taste. I found this particular recipe while browsing Food52’s site and knew I had to make it. The recipe has some unique ingredients, such as dry mustard and beer, that contribute to the depth of flavors. It also contains chocolate both in and on top of the cake, so you really can’t go wrong. ;-)

The recipe does contain beer, but all alcohol gets cooked out during the baking process. If you’re concerned about using beer (or are just too lazy to buy some), you can easily substitute water in its place. I highly recommend sticking with the beer, though, as it really does amp the flavor. The recipe calls for a Porter, Ale or any similar dark brew. There are a lot of gingerbread cake recipes that call for Guinness as well, but I opted for a Porter. More specifically, I used Black Butte Porter as it had a 97 rating by some beer reviewer. ;-) You only use 3/4 cup and will therefore have leftover beer, so you might as well purchase a kind you’ll actually want to drink!

Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Glaze

This recipe originally derives from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes by Elisa Huntsman, which is a book I bought just a few months ago on amazon for $34. Just one month later, used hardcovers were going for double that and new were going for $200+. The book is out-of-print and apparently now considered a rare book, so man, am I glad I purchased it when I did!! :) You will no doubt see many more blog entries from that book over the next few months.

This cake is very easy to make and is simply mixed by hand in a large bowl. Some melted chocolate is added to some of the batter and then swirled together. I just used a skewer and did circular motions around the cake once to create the marble effect.

Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Glaze

The original book recipe uses a chocolate buttercream frosting on top, while the Food52 revision calls for a chocolate glaze. Since I was doing this in a tube pan, I felt the glaze would be the easiest and look the best. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that I do not own a decorative bundt pan, despite being certain I owned one. So, the sides of my cake look a bit raggedy, but I assure you it does not take away from the flavor at all! :)

Once the cake is fully cooled, place it on a cooling rack. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and then place the rack on top. This will help collect any glaze that falls off the cake. Pour the melted chocolate glaze on top and then cool in the fridge until it’s set. I wanted the cake to be completely covered, but you could also simply drizzle it on top if you don’t want it to have too much chocolate. I’m not sure there’s such a thing as too much chocolate, though. ;-)

Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Glaze

I personally think the cake tastes best at room temp, so I would remove it from the fridge a good 30-45 minutes before serving. Be sure to use a hot knife when cutting it. This cake is moist and rich and full of flavor, and it would be a perfect addition to your holiday menu! Enjoy!

Gingerbread Cake with Chocolate Glaze
Adapted from Food52
Original recipe from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Serves 12-16

2/3 cups canola or vegetable oil
2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
4 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cups dark beer (See note)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 teaspoon canola oil

Chocolate Glaze:
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon butter, softened
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Grease and flour a large (10-12 cup capacity) bundt or tube pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, molasses, eggs and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking powder and baking soda.

3. Pour half the flour mixture on top of the eggs and fold the batter a few times. Add the buttermilk and fold until smooth. Pour the rest of the flour mixture on top, fold a few times and then add the beer. Fold until completely mixed. Remove 2 cups of batter and set aside; pour the remaining batter into the prepared pan.

4. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate and 1 teaspoon oil on low; stir until smooth. Stir or fold into reserved cake batter.

5. Pour chocolate batter on top and use a skewer to swirl the two together. Bake in preheated oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes and then turn it out onto a rack to cool.

6. To make the glaze, combine the chopped chocolate and butter in a medium bowl; set aside. Heat the cream in a small saucepan on medium just until it starts to boil. Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit untouched for 5 minutes. Then, gently stir the mixture until it is smooth. This will take a minute or two, and a whisk can be used to gently whisk it together. Place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to set up the chocolate, and then serve the cake at room temperature.

Cook’s Notes

Guinness, Porter, Ale or any other dark beer would be perfect for this cake.

Roasted Carrot Soup

I’m on a huge soup kick lately, and the weather in Dallas has made it perfect for such food. I normally make chili, chicken noodle soup and maybe some sort of stew. This year, however, I wanted to branch out and try some new recipes. I also wanted to focus on recipes that were healthier and had a lot of flavor. This recipe achieved just that goal.

My friend and fellow foodie, Sara, joined me on Saturday to help with a full day of blog cooking. I’m not sure she knew what she was in for when she agreed to help! ;-) We both agreed this recipe sounded amazing, plus you can’t go wrong with 9 simple ingredients. The only ingredient that can be high in fat and calories is the olive oil. An easy fix would be to reduce the amount to 3 Tablespoons or even in half to 2 Tablespoons. You just want to make sure your carrots are nicely coated, though, so they don’t stick to the pan and that you have enough oil to cook the onions.

This is one of those recipes that doesn’t require a huge amount of work or utensils. The sliced carrots are broiled in the oven until soft, while the ginger and thyme are infusing the vegetable stock on the stove. The carrots are added to cooked onion and garlic, and then the strained stock is added to the pot with the onions and carrots. Once the soup is cooked a bit longer, you blend the soup until it’s smooth, season and serve. Sara had the excellent idea of throwing fresh thyme into the soup (and not just as a garnish). This was a great idea and added such a nice touch of flavor! The result was a rich, creamy soup that boasted a very impressive amount of flavor. It was served perfectly with our popovers, the recipe of which will be posted tomorrow. :)

Roasted Carrot Soup

Roasted Carrot Soup
Adapted from Food52
Yields: 4-6 Servings

1 3/4 pounds carrots (See note)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 inch-long piece ginger, peeled and sliced
1 sprig thyme, plus more for garnish
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste

1. Peel and cut the carrots into 1/2-inch rounds. Toss the carrots with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Place onto a foil-lined, rimmed cookie sheet.

2. Set an oven rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source and turn on the broiler. If your broiler has a low or high setting, use the low setting. Broil the carrots until they are soft and starting to brown, approximately 15-20 minutes. Check them every 5 minutes and toss the carrots to ensure even browning.

3. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil and add the ginger and thyme sprig. Turn heat down to medium-low and gently simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Put the onion in a medium stock pot with the remaining olive oil. Brown the onion over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, and then add the carrots.

5. Strain the vegetable stock and add to the pot with the onions and carrots. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the carrots are soft enough to puree.

6. Using either an immersion blender or a standard blender, puree the mixture until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add a little more stock or water. Season with salt and pepper. If desired, chop a little thyme and toss into the soup.

Cook’s Notes

Most stores sell carrots in a 2-pound bag, so I used the entire bag and the soup turned out the perfect consistency.

Apple Crisp Bars

I subscribe to a lot of food-related blogs, websites and various other “Recipe of the Day”-type subscriptions. The other day I received an email for these apple crisp bars and I just knew I needed to make them! First of all, they contain apples, and there’s nothing more that I want this time of year than warm apple pie. Secondly, the Raspberry Oat Bars were such a success and so I was anxious to try another similar bar recipe for comparison’s sake.

Apple Crisp Bars

These bars are a nice improvement from the raspberry bars in that they stay crisp longer. The topping does get a little soggy after one day, but the base stays nice and crispy like a Nature Valley granola bar. Even after 2 days the base was crispy and firm.

The best part about these is you can make them in one bowl. Other than removing some of the topping for the top, it’s all prepared in the pan itself. The original recipe did not say to toss the apples in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon and lemon. It actually says to just sprinkle it over the apples in the pan. I wanted to ensure they were coated, though, so that’s why I recommend everything is tossed together in a bowl. If you really want to dirty up as few dishes as possible, though, just layer and sprinkle. :)

The bars are awesome warm, room temp, cold or even with a nice dollop of whipped cream or, dare I say, vanilla ice cream. :) Enjoy!

Apple Crisp Bars
Adapted from “One Bowl Baking” by Yvonne Ruperti
Yield: 12-16 bars

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (See note)
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 sticks (9 oz.) unsalted butter, melted
2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, halved and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (218 degrees C) and line a 13×9 inch pan with parchment paper.

2. In the baking pan, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the butter and stir until combined. Remove 2 cups of the crumbs from the pan and set aside. Firmly press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan.

3. In a medium bowl, toss the apple slices with the 1 Tablespoon sugar, lemon juice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread the apples on top of the crust and sprinkle the reserved oat mixture on top.

4. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes to begin softening the apples. Remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes longer, or until the oat topping is golden and the apples are completely tender. Cool on a wire rack and then cut into bars.

Cook’s Notes

I did not have whole-wheat pastry flour on hand, so I just used all-purpose flour and they turned out great.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes

I have one word to describe these mini cakes – uh-mazing!! Once again, I was browsing Food52’s site and ran across this recipe, sans the cream cheese filling. I was intrigued because I’d never had a soft pumpkin cookie. The name is very deceiving, though, as these are far from cookie texture and are much more cake-like.

Seeing that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and pumpkin-flavored anything is on a lot of people’s minds, I thought it appropriate to tackle this recipe before some of the others on my increasingly-growing “Want to Make” list of recipes. Plus, I already had all the ingredients in my house and so they were the perfect recipe to whip together Monday night.

These little gems are awesome. They’re full of pumpkin flavor and yummy spices, and best of all they’re packed with chocolate chips. However, I decided to take it to the next level and sandwich them together with cream cheese icing. I mean, who doesn’t love pumpkin and cream cheese together? AND with chocolate chips? Be still my heart.

For all of you watching your weight, the bonus is that each cookie (sans filling) is only 55 calories. That means you can have 2 cookies for just over 100 calories. Unfortunately, these cookies are like that Lays slogan – “Bet you can’t eat just one.” Yah, I failed that test. BUT, if you want something a bit healthier, skip the cream cheese filling and you can enjoy the cakes on their own. Trust me, they don’t really need the frosting, but in my opinion it makes them sublime. :)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Cakes
Adapted from Food52
Yield: 70 cookies or 35 sandwiches

Pumpkin Mini Cakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips (See note)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
orange zest, to taste (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, pumpkin, vanilla and egg until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined; fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over-mix!

4. Using a #70 scoop, place level scoops of batter onto the cookie sheet, leaving an inch in between the cookies. Alternately, you can drop by a tablespoon if you don’t care about uniformly-shaped cookies. ;)

5. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Mine took exactly 12 minutes.)

6. Allow cakes to cool completely before removing from the cookie sheet. Repeat the baking process until all the batter is used.

7. For the frosting: Cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. On low speed, add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add vanilla extract. If desired, add a little orange zest for additional flavor. Pipe a 1-inch circle onto a cake and sandwich it together with another cake. Good luck eating only one!! :)

Cook’s Notes

1. I placed my chocolate chips into a food processor for a few seconds in order to break the chips into smaller pieces. It’s not necessary, but it helps disperse the chocolate since the cookie scoop is quite small. Alternately, you could just use mini chips. :)

Triple M Cookies

I’m back with another awesome cookie recipe. Did the name intrigue you? Well, don’t get too excited. I was just too lazy to write out the full name. ;-) I found this recipe on one of my favorite foodie sites Food52. On the site, they’re called Magical Marvelous Memorable Cookies. That’s just too much of a mouthful, no pun intended. So we’re just going to call these Triple M Cookies and be done with it. :)

These cookies are an excellent idea for a person who wants to make cookies on the fly. They’re essentially a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe with other stuff tossed in for fun. The beauty of this cookie is you can make it a thousand different ways depending on what you put in it. The author suggests granola or any other cereal, crushed pretzel pieces or some other salty snack food, chocolate chips or chocolate candies, any type of nut and various spices, such as cinnamon, allspice and cardamom (if desired). You could even toss in dried fruit, such as cherries, raisins, currants or chopped up apricots. Really, the possibilities are endless.

I made these cookies twice. The first time I used up some leftover Rice Krispies, crushed pretzel sticks, pecan pieces, milk chocolate chips and semisweet chocolate chips. They were awesome, although I couldn’t really taste the Rice Krispies. The second time around I made them exactly the same, except I substituted granola for the Rice Krispies. I liked that result much better, plus it allowed me the chance to find the perfect baking time.

As is my new method with most cookie recipes, I immediately scooped the batter into balls onto a cookie sheet, wrapped them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them for a few hours or overnight. If you’re too impatient to wait, I’m sure they’ll work just fine. The cookie will have an overall better texture, though, if you can allow them to chill for at least 1 hour. :) I lightly pressed these cookies down and, in my opinion, they spread just the perfect amount. These cookies are amazing out of the oven and have a crisp and chewy texture. The next day they’re not quite as soft, but they still have wonderfully crisp edges and a chewy center (so long as you don’t overbake them!)

I definitely plan on having some fun with these cookies and trying out different candies, cereals, chocolate, fruits and nuts. Let me know if you come up with any fun flavor combinations!

Triple M Cookies

Triple M Cookies
Adapted from Food52
Yield: 2 – 2 1/2 dozen

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup granola (or other cereal)
1/2 cup crushed salted pretzel pieces (or other salty snack food)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or other chocolate pieces)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or other nuts, optional (See Note)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, allspice or cardamom, if desired

1. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy; scrape bowl well. Add egg and vanilla, beat for about 30 seconds and then scrape the bowl.

3. On low speed, add the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the granola, pretzels, chocolate chips and nuts.

4. Scoop dough by rounded scoopfuls and place on a parchment-lined pan. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Alternately, you can freeze them for about 20 minutes and then bake them.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (218 degrees C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.

6. Place chilled cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheet and lightly press down to flatten. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, or until the edges are lightly brown. Do not over bake!! My cookies were perfect at 11 minutes, but you’ll need to check them closely as all ovens are different.

7. Put cookies on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Cook’s Notes

1. If you do not add nuts, replace that 1/2 cup with more cereal, pretzels or chocolate chips. Otherwise, cookies might spread too much