Yes, Pumpkin Pie is a classic and I will certainly be making one for Thanksgiving next week, but in addition to the classic, I also like to make something with a little twist on the good old pie.

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing are one of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes and would still satisfy that craving for something pumpkin after turkey dinner.

Apples are probably tied with pumpkin for people’s favorite fall dessert flavor and this Apple Streusel Cake will provide comfort with warm spices and sweet apples.

Slab pies are a great way to still serve pie but without so much fuss.  This blueberry version is calling my name and could be made with frozen blueberries if fresh are not available.

If I’m making something that is not either apple or pumpkin, you know it’s going to be something chocolate like this classic Chocolate Pie from The Pioneer Woman.

Butterscotch is another flavor that makes me think of fall for some reason.  I bookmarked this Pumpkin Butterscotch Spice Cake Trifle and have been dying for an excuse to make it.  Trifles are such awe-inspiring desserts, yet they can be so easy to make.

I LOVE pecan pie maybe more than pumpkin and I am naturally drawn to any pecan dessert that incorporates chocolate into the mix.  These Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars are such a fantastically rich combination.

Tarts are so beautiful and look complicated, but actually are easy to make, especially with step-by-step instructions like in this recipe for a French Pear Tart from The Mediterranean Dish.

Maybe you want to totally step away from classic fall flavors all together and go with a much loved flavor combination:  peanut butter and chocolate.  These Peanut Butter Cup Pots de Creme from Glazed and Confused look dangerously delicious.

Still want to serve pie, but just not pumpkin?  Check out my board on Learnist for 7 other irresistible pie flavors.

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A funny thing happened to me in my kitchen that resulted in these delicious bites of randomness.  I was in the process of making S’mores Brownie Bites because I am on a s’mores kick lately, and I had my brownie batter all mixed up, my marshmallows ready to go and then I realized that the few graham crackers that I thought that I had left over from S’mores Ice Cream Cake had become dessert in an act of desperation the night before!  I was so bummed, but did not want to run to the grocery store and had to use the brownie batter that I had already prepared so I looked through my pantry for brownie batter mix-in inspiration.

Peanut Mallow Brownie Cups {satisfymysweettooth.com}

My eye immediately caught the huge container of honey roasted peanuts that we always have on hand for snacking and I thought, people love the fluffernutter flavor combination (peanut butter and marshmallow cream), so why not still use the mini marshmallows that I had planned on and then throw in some of the peanuts?!  I wasn’t sure if my idea was going to be genius or a total flop and waste of ingredients, but I am happy to report that a slight panic over one missing ingredient resulted in the fantastically sweet & salty combination that is Peanut Mallow Brownie Cups!

Peanut Mallow Brownie Cups {satisfymysweettooth.com}

You already know how much I love anything individually-sized and that I have an obsession with cookie cups, so despite the unexpected manner in which these Peanut Mallow Brownie Cups came to be, they really don’t seem like that much of a stretch for me, do they?  The brownie batter is perfectly fudgey and not too sweet which makes the sweet, gooey marshmallows the perfect addition.  I always love a little crunch in my desserts and so the honey roasted peanuts are just the perfect little addition.

Peanut Mallow Brownie Cups {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I decided to top the Peanut Mallow Brownie Cups with a dab of quick peanut butter icing just so that I could decorate them with a few extra peanuts and marshmallows, but you could certainly skip that step.

Peanut Mallow Brownie Cups {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Peanut Mallow Brownie Cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 brownie cups

Peanut Mallow Brownie Cups: Dense fudgey individually-sized brownies filled with honey roasted peanuts and mini marshmallows are the ultimate sweet and salty treat

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup miniature marshmallows, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • 1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • For the optional peanut butter icing
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1-3 tsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips together in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until chocolate is fully melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Mix in eggs and vanilla until well combined. (Make sure to mix immediately after adding eggs so that the hot chocolate mixture does not cook the eggs).
  4. Mix in flour just until you no longer see any streaks of flour remaining.
  5. Gently fold in the marshmallows and peanuts using a spatula or wooden spoon.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to fill paper liners in prepared pan 3/4 full of batter.
  7. Bake 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the brownies comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
  8. Cool completely.
  9. For the optional peanut butter icing
  10. Put peanut butter in a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, until it gets a bit runny.
  11. Mix in powdered sugar and stir until smooth.
  12. Add milk 1 tsp at a time to reach desired consistency.
  13. Spread a small amount of icing onto each cooled cupcake and top with extra marshmallows and peanuts if desired.

Peanut Mallow Brownie Cups {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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I regret that these bad boys missed making their debut in time for the Kentucky Derby, because for some reason, Bourbon Pecan Brownies seem like the perfect thing to eat while watching a horse race wearing a pretty dress and huge hat.  I can’t say I have ever been terribly excited about the event, but any excuse to get dressed up, sip sophisticated cocktails and bet on animals based on their funny names is just fine by me.

Bourbon Pecan Brownies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Don’t worry, I’m sure you can think of plenty of other occasions to serve these Bourbon Pecan Brownies.  These brownies begin with a fairly traditional batter that gets chopped pecans mixed in.  The real magic begins when you pull these babies out of the oven.  The hot brownies are then bathed in bourbon that soaks into the warm surface and infuses every inch of the cakey, tender brownies.  Once the drunken brownies have cooled, they are topped with even more decadence when you smooth a bourbon-infused buttercream frosting over them.  And if that is not enough intoxicated brownie debauchery for you, I drizzled the top of the Bourbon Pecan Brownies with melted semisweet chocolate and decorated them with more pecan pieces.

Bourbon Pecan Brownies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Bourbon Pecan Brownies

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 16-20 brownies (depending on what size you cut)

Bourbon Pecan Brownies are pure chocolate decadence basted in whisky and topped with bourbon-infused cream and melted chocolate

Ingredients

    For the brownies:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup (5 1/2 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • For the bourbon frosting and topping:
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • extra pecans for garnish

Instructions

    For the brownies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line an 8X8" pan with foil allowing the foil to overhang the edges slightly. Grease foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, cook sugar, butter and water until boiling, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Stir until melted and smooth.
  5. Crack eggs into a separate small bowl and mix in vanilla.
  6. Add eggs and vanilla to chocolate mixture while whisking constantly so that the eggs don't curdle.
  7. Finally, stir in flour, baking soda, salt and chopped pecans until just combined.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth to even out the batter.
  9. Bake 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with only a few crumbs on it.
  10. Immediately brush or gently pour the bourbon over the hot brownies and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  11. For the bourbon frosting and topping:
  12. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, bourbon and vanilla and blend slowly until smooth.
  13. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread the frosting onto the cooled brownies evenly.
  14. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, microwave remaining 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips in 30 second increments until melted and smooth.
  15. Spread melted chocolate over frosted brownies.
  16. Gently press additional pecans into the warm chocolate for decoration.
  17. Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Baking

Bourbon Pecan Brownies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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With all of the traveling that I did in December, this may be the year that I made the fewest Christmas cookies!  I made the Today Show Ginger Molasses Cookies more than I ever have in one season, but that was pretty much the extent of my holiday baking.  What I am saying is, I did not get my cookie fix this year.  So, I hope you will welcome these Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies that are packed with some of my favorite flavors and ingredients.

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

There are a few food trends that I hope will die off in 2014 such as bacon incorporated into desserts and pork belly everything (sorry pork lovers!).  But one trend that I hope is here to stay forever is browned butter baked goods.  I am always an all butter baker anyway but when you take the five minutes that it takes to heat butter until the milk solids separate, true magic happens.  Once the milk solids separate from the butter fat and sink to the bottom of the pan you are heating your butter in, those solid bits begin to turn golden brown as they are heated and this process creates quite possibly the most mouth-watering smell in the world.  The nutty, rich, buttery smell that results should literally be bottled and sold as a perfume or room spray.  Eau de brown butter anyone?  Ok, maybe I’m getting a little carried away although once you make these Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies you’ll understand my obsession.

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies begin with the obvious star ingredient, browned butter and the dough only continues to improve with the addition of each other ingredient.  Butterscotch is another wine of my favorite flavors.  I love the butterscotch disc hard candies that you find alongside root beer barrels in random candy dishes.  The buttery, sweet and slightly salty flavor of butterscotch is just so satisfying.

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies are some of the best cookies that I have made in a long time.  I made them on a Saturday and then packaged up a few of them for each of my friends who I went od dinner with that night and they agreed that the recipe is a winner.

Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Watch this video to learn how to brown butter

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Brown Butter Butterscotch Pecan Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 40 cookies

1 cookies

Rich and nutty brown butter dough stuffed with sweet, creamy butterscotch chips and crunchy pecans

Ingredients

  • 12 Tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease or line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and both sugars for 2 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and mix to incorporate.
  4. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
  5. Mix in pecans and butterscotch chips.
  6. Roll dough into 2 Tbsp-sized balls and place onto cookie sheets leaving 2 inches in between as cookies will spread slightly while baking.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  8. Recipe adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

Notes

Per cookies: Calories: 143 Fat: 8g Carbohydrates: 21g

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I hesitate to say that I have “mastered the art of French macarons”, but I have certainly found a method that works well for me.  I have enough confidence in my basic recipe and technique for making the shells that I felt brave enought to mix it up a little.  Generally, I use all almond flour for my shells, but for these Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream, I used half almond flour and half peanut flour.

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

The peanut flour did not make any difference in the form or texture of the macaron shells but just lended a subtle peanut flavor.  This peanut flavor paired delightfully well with the honey cinnamon buttercream that was sandwiched between the shells.  The flavor is reminiscent of a peanut butter and honey sandwich.

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

When making these Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream, or any macaron shells for that matter, I have a few tips that should help you learn how to make macarons easily.

  • Plan ahead.  Aged egg whites whip into stiff peaks more reliably for me.  All that means is that you should separate your egg whites at least 2 days before you plan to make the macaron shells.  Store the egg whites in a covered container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.  This step seems to dry out the egg whites slightly which makes them perform better upon whipping.  I love to use my OXO egg separator to make sure I don’t get any yolks in my whites.
  • DO NOT use egg whites from a carton.  They don’t seem to hold stiff peaks as well.
  • Be organized.  Before you begin whipping your egg whites, have all of your other ingredients measured out in bowls and ready to go.  Then when you are ready to incorporate them into the egg whites, they are all ready.
  • Parchment paper is a must when making macarons.  Your macarons will be very easy to peel off the paper if cooked properly.

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 14 minutes

Total Time: 54 minutes

Yield: about 20 filled macarons

Macarons with a subtle peanut flavor that are sandwiched around sweet honey cinnamon buttercream

Ingredients

    For the macarons:
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
  • 1/4 cup peanut flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites, aged and at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • For the buttercream:
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Instructions

    For the macarons:
  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Measure and sift almond and peanut flour and powdered sugar into a clean, dry bowl. Set aside.
  3. Prepare a disposable pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip.
  4. Place egg whites in a clean, dry medium bowl and using an electric mixer (use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer), beat eggs on medium speed for a few minutes until they get bubbly and frothy and you can begin to see the tracks from the mixer in the whites.
  5. Keep the mixer on medium speed and slowly incorporate the granulated sugar into the egg whites in several increments.
  6. Increase speed to high and beat egg mixture until stiff peaks form (when you lift the beater out of the egg whites, the mixture does not droop when inverted; alternatively when you can tip the bowl upside down and the egg whites do not move).
  7. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and fold into the egg whites using a spatula. Do not worry about "deflating the meringue". Continue with 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture and finally with the last of the flour mixture. Mix until no dry, flour streaks remain.
  8. Use spatula to load mixture into prepared pastry bag.
  9. Pipe 2-inch circles onto parchment paper leaving at least 1-inch in between each circle.
  10. Firmly tap the baking sheet against the counter a few times to help flatten the batter.
  11. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. The batter will dry slightly while the oven preheats.
  12. Bake shells 1 baking sheet at a time for 14-16 minutes. Shells are done when they can easily be lifted off of the parchment paper cleanly.
  13. Cool completely before filling.
  14. For the buttercream:
  15. Combine all ingredients using a mixer until smooth and creamy.
  16. Pipe about 1 tsp of buttercream onto half of the shells and top with remaining shells.
  17. Store in airtight container. Macarons taste even better the day after they are made. 🙂

mix egg whites on medium speed until frothy and mixer begins to leave marks, then slowly add granulated sugar

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

increase mixer speed to high and mix until stiff peaks form (you can turn the bowl upside down and the mixture does not move)

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

fold in dry ingredients in three increments

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

mix until no flour streaks remain

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

pipe onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth} Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

bake

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

Peanut Macarons with Honey Cinnamon Buttercream {Satisfy My Sweet Tooth}

DID YOU KNOW?  Peanuts are a great snack because they can help keep you full and feeling satisfied.  Protein and fiber provide you with a feeling of being full longer and they also provide long-lasting energy because they have a low glycemic index which helps to maintain a stable blood sugar.

I hope you have enjoyed the peanut recipes that I have brought to you this week and that you have learned something new about how peanuts and peanut butter can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet.

*The Peanut Institute sponsored my trip to California, but all opinions expressed are, as always, my own.

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