Salted Brown Butter Krispie Treats

It’s good to keep a few recipes in your arsenal that are no stress, can always be found in your pantry, and impressive AF. This is mine – Salted Brown Butter Krispie Treats. The perfect treat to whip up for a friend’s birthday, block party, or spontaneous movie night.  

The two elements in this recipe’s namesake – Salt and Brown Butter – help to breathe new life into this somewhat elementary snack. Brown butter – with it’s nutty flavor and aroma – is a magical secret ingredient that will noticeably enhance any sweet or savory recipe. The flaky sea salt offsets the sweetness of the marshmallow and give a bit of a bite to the treat. (in my opinion, adding flaky sea salt is always a good idea). 

The recipes comes together in a just a few quick steps, and then sets at room temp in an 8-inch square pan (this one is my go to for all bars). Great for sharing…or for eating on your couch while watching Bridesmaids. Just saying.. 

 xoxo,

Elizabeth 

Follow me on Instagram and tag #littlebitsbakery so I can see all the recipes you make. ♥

Salted Brown Butter Krispy Treats
Yields 16
snap, crackle, pop!
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Ingredients
  1. 4 ounces (113 grams) unsalted butter
  2. 1 10-ounce (285-gram) bag marshmallows
  3. 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  4. 6 cups (160 grams) rice krispy cereal
Instructions
  1. Prepare an 8-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, so that the paper overhangs all four sides. This will make removing and serving bars easier.
  2. In a large pot on the stove, melt butter over medium-low heat. As it melts, it will begin to foam and turn golden brown. Stir the melted butter frequently, scraping up the bits on the bottom, until the color darkens and gives off a nutty fragrance - about 90 seconds in total. Be sure to stir constantly and keep the heat low, or else the butter can quickly over-brown and become burned.
  3. Once the butter reaches the nutty brown color, reduce heat to low and add the marshmallows, stiring gently to melt.
  4. Turn off heat and fold in the cereal and salt until evenly combined.
  5. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread into all four corners. Using a piece of parchment paper, press the top of the mixture to create a flat top and bars that are dense.
  6. Let cool at room temperature, then cut into squares.
Notes
  1. If you like bigger pockets of marshmallows, add an additional 1/2 cup of marshmallows to the mixture with the cereal and salt. These won't melt completely and will create softer bars.
  2. I love bold salty sweets, but reduce the amount of salt if you want a more subtle flavor.
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Little Bits Bakery. 

Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies

By nature, I’m a bit of a lazy baker. It takes something really special and truly delicious to make me commit to a two-page recipe (I see you, almond croissants), or stand over a stove stirring for 30 minutes (saffron risotto, my true love). So when I heard about Sarah Keiffer’s Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies I was both skeptical and intrigued. Rather than putting the dough in the oven and forgetting about it while you online shop or make your 5th cup of coffee that day, this recipe keeps you locked in from start to finish. But trust me, it’s worth it. These cookies are impossibly thin, with beautiful ridges, crispy edges and soft middles. A dream of a cookie. 

When the dough comes together, you form into balls that will be chilled for 10 minutes. Once you place sheets into the oven and the dough begins to bake, the centers become incredibly soft and puffy, rising up like little balloons. The “pan banging” element – which literally is picking the cookie sheet up 4-5 inches and dropping it so it bangs against the rack – forces that puffed up dough to drop and spread the entire cookie wider on the sheet. You continue to do this as often as you want, but ideally about every 2 minutes in the last 8 minutes of baking to create the ridged look you see below. 

Because I firmly believe flaky sea salt makes everything better, I added a few chunks during the last few “bangs” of the dough. I regret nothing.

the dough comes together, you form into balls that will be chilled for 10 minutes. Once you place sheets into the oven and the dough begins to bake, the centers become incredibly soft and puffy, rising up like little balloons. The “pan banging” element – which literally is picking the cookie sheet up 4-5 inches and dropping it so it bangs against the rack – forces that puffed up dough to drop and spread the entire cookie wider on the sheet. You continue to do this as often as you want, but ideally about every 2 minutes in the last 8 minutes of baking to create the ridged look you see below.

xoxo,

Elizabeth 

Follow me on Instagram and tag #littlebitsbakery so I can see all the recipes you make. ♥

(Pan-Banging) Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 10
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
18 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  5. 1 and 1/2 cups (297 g) granulated sugar
  6. 1/4 cup (50 g) packed brown sugar
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  9. 2 tablespoons water
  10. 6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces, ranging in size from 1 inch to 1/4 inch
Instructions
  1. Place your oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with aluminum foil, shiny side down.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter on medium-high until creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add both sugars and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and water and mix 30 seconds on low. Add the dry mixture while mixer is running on low until combined. Lastly, add the chocolate and mix on low into the batter for 30 seconds
  4. Form the dough into 1/3 cup balls (100g). For accuracy, place a piece of parchment over your kitchen scale and scoop dough out to measure.
  5. Place 3 balls on a prepared pan, spacing equal distance from each other, and transfer the first sheet into the freezer for 20 minutes before baking. Keep additional sheets in the fridge while the first is baking, and move the second tray into the freezer once the first tray goes into the oven (repeat same steps for 3rd tray).
  6. Place the first chilled baking sheet in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Pick up the baking sheet on both sides and lift about 5 inches, then gently drop back onto the oven rack. This will cause the puffed up center to fall down and push the dough out. Repeat this step every two minutes for 8 more minutes.
  7. During one of the last "bangs", sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt on each cookie.
  8. Cookies will be in the oven for total of 18 minutes, until the edges are golden brown but centers still are light and soft.
  9. Remove from oven and let set on tray for at least 5 minutes before moving to cooling rack, using a large spatula to transfer if needed.
Notes
  1. Do not put more than 3 cookies on each tray, as these will spread greatly and bleed into each other.
  2. Don't skip the freezing, as the dough will be too soft and spread too much.
  3. Be sure to use baking chocolate rather than chocolate chips.
  4. Bake cookies on the dull side of the aluminum foil (tip à la Smitten Kitchen), to ensure an extra-crisp, golden brown bottom. Parchment paper can also be used.
  5. Cookies stay fresh in an air-tight container at room temp for up to 5 days.
Adapted from The Vanilla Bean Blog
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/
 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

If someone tries to tell you their favorite treat is a reese’s peanut butter cup, tell them to hit the road. That is not peanut butter and chocolate. It is a dry crumbly peanut butter imposter dipped into a waxy faux-chocolate faker trying to leave your mouth disappointed and ruin your day. 

Dramatics aside, if you’re going to do peanut butter and chocolate together, do it right. Your taste buds will thank you. This recipe comes from one of my favs, Smitten Kitchen, with just a few tweaks of my own. 

There are three steps standing between you and heaven.

First off, make the filling. Lining a plate or cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a bowl, combine peanut butter, powdered sugar and salt with a rubber spatula. It’s basically impossible to measure out peanut butter in a measuring cup (at least for someone as impatient as me). Use a kitchen scale to save yourself angst – this one is tiny and oh so useful. Put a little elbow grease into it – the peanut butter is stubborn but important to combine evenly. Using a teaspoon or small kitchen spoon, scoop out mixture into small balls on parchment, and pop into freezer. 

Next, move onto the cookies. Using hand or stand mixer, beat room temp butter, peanut butter, and sugar until creamy and fully mixed. Add in the vanilla, egg, salt and beat an additional 30 seconds. Sift in baking power and cocoa, mixing 30 seconds more. Add flour until fully combined, scrapping the sides as necessary. 

Assembly line! Fill a small bowl with granulated white (or brown!) sugar, set aside. Remove peanut butter balls from freezer. Line two cookies sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper. Portion out some dough using a spoon or cookie scoop (cue the ever-useful #40 scoop) and flatten into a disc. Place a peanut butter ball in the center, and wrap the dough around the ball until fully covered, rolling gently between palms to smooth out edges. Dip into bowl of sugar and gently toss to coat. Place on cookie sheet and press just enough to give it a flat top.   

                  

Bake cookies. Pop trays into the oven for 8-10 minutes or until cookies have just a slight give to the touch. Remove from oven a let rest for 5 minutes before moving to cookies rack to completely cool.

Store: At room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. But let’s be real… they won’t last that long. 

xoxo,

Elizabeth 

Follow me on Instagram and tag #littlebitsbakery so I can see all the recipes you make. ♥

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Yields 12
Chocolate and Peanut Butter, a Match Made in Heaven!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. FILLING
  2. 2/3 cup (170 grams) creamy peanut butter
  3. 2/3 cup (80 grams) powdered sugar
  4. Two teaspoons of flaky seas salt
  5. COOKIE
  6. 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  7. 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, plus more to coat cookies
  8. 1/2 cup (95 grams) dark brown sugar
  9. 1/4 cup (65 grams) creamy peanut butter
  10. 1 large egg
  11. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  12. 1 1/3 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
  13. 2/3 cup (55 grams) cocoa powder
  14. 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  15. 1/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Heat oven: To 375 degrees F.
  2. Make filling: Line a plate or cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt with a rubber spatula, until evenly combined. Using a kitchen spoon or teaspoon, scoop the mixture into balls on the parchment, spacing about 2 inches apart. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter, peanut butters, and both sugars until creamy. Add vanilla, egg, and salt and beat for 30 seconds. Sift the baking powder and cocoa powder, and beat 30 more seconds. Add flour and mix until evenly combined, another 30 seconds. Scrape sides down as necessary.
  4. Assemble cookies: Fill a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of white or brown sugar and set aside. Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Using a #40 cookie scoop, portion out dough and shape into a disk in the palm of your hand. Place a peanut butter ball into center of disk and roll dough around it until covered, using the palms of your hand to smooth. Drop dough into sugar and toss to coat. Place on prepared sheet and press gently to flatten the top. Repeat with remaining dough. The cookies will not spread, so you can place them close together.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies give just slightly to the tough. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely.
  6. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Notes
  1. I find it far easier to weigh peanut butter than to measure it out in a measuring cup, so this is where a kitchen scale becomes your best friend.
  2. Creamy peanut butter works best here. If you're using a "healthy" natural peanut butter, make sure the oils haven't separated before you scoop it out. (if they have, give the jar a good stir before using).
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Little Bits Bakery. 

 

Morning Glory Muffins

Muffin Monday! That’s a phrase I’ve seen roaming instagram lately, and I gotta say I love it. There are few things more devastating than a Monday morning, with five whole days standing between you and the next weekend happy hour. But this week I’m just a little bit more prepared, with a dozen of Morning Glory Muffins by my side.  

If we lived in a perfect world, our Monday morning breakfast would be a country omelette, home-made sourdough toast, berries handpicked from the garden, and fresh-pressed orange juice all laid out on a beautifully set table and served to you by Ryan Gosling. Hey, a girl can dream. But more often than not, my Monday breakfast ends up being a Starbucks pre-cooked egg wrap or stale conference room bagel. These Morning Glory Muffins have become my best way to avoid such a catastrophy. 

 

Packed with a mix of vegetables and fruit, and just slightly sweetened, they will keep you full from your AM commute to lunch, and serve as a great snack to get you through that awkward 2pm stomach grumble. Another recipe that is highly customizable, you can make many variations such as:

  • Adding in raisins, dried cranberries, or dried apricots
  • Using maple syrup or agave nector instead of honey
  • Using crushed pineapple (drained) instead of orange juice
  • Substituting apple sauce with almond or peanut butter + 1/3 cup oil

 

Great on their own, with a smudge of butter or almond butter, or with a swirl of cream cheese frosting, these bad boys will stay fresh-to-death for 5 days, which conveniently is the length of a work week. 

xoxo,

Elizabeth 

Follow me on Instagram and tag #littlebitsbakery so I can see all the recipes you make. ♥

Morning Glory Muffins
Yields 16
A power muffin to get you from Monday to Friday like a boss
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups (260g) whole wheat flour (measured correctly)
  2. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  3. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 cup (64g) unsalted chopped pecans
  7. 3 large eggs
  8. 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
  9. 1/4 cup (85g) honey
  10. 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
  11. 1/3 cup (60g) smooth applesauce
  12. 1 teaspoon orange zest
  13. 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice
  14. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  15. 1 cup unsweetened coconut
  16. 2 cups (260g) shredded carrots (about 4 large)
  17. 1 cup (140g) shredded/grated apple (about 1 apple)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Line a 12-count muffni pan with cupcake liners or grease with non-stick spray
  3. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pecans together until combined. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, honey, oil, applesauce, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla together until combined.
  5. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined, and add coconut, carrots, and apple. Gently mix everything together until combined and no flour pockets remain, making sure to scrap up the bottom. (at first the mixture will appear very wet, but whole wheat flour is dense and will thicken up the batter when mixed)
  6. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners (you can fill all the way up to the top, as this batter will not expand much)
  7. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F and then reduce oven temperature to 350°F, baking for an additional 15 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the muffins to cool for 15 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. These muffins will stay moist and fresh at room temp for up to 5 days!
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Little Bits Bakery. 

 

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

It’s Friday folks! And yes it might be rainy and gross with no sunshine in the near future, but it is still Friday. And on this Friday I am going to brew myself a strong cup of earl grey tea, and eat some Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies. They are crunchy and sweet, and the perfect end to what has been a shockingly long week. You can make a batch on the weekend and enjoy them as an afternoon treat all week. 

 

These shortbread cookies are a slice-and-bake style, meaning no messy cookie scoops or trying to roll out balls of dough. You shape the dough into logs, then slice into discs and pop into the oven. However, that does mean the chilling is an absolutely must. If you skip this step, the cookies will spread and loose their classic round shortbread shape. Be sure to use parchment paper or silicon baking mats – I always use these baking mats for any cookies to ensure they bake evenly and don’t stick or burn! 

  

Before chilling the dough, you can roll the logs in course brown sugar to help give a touch of extra sweetness, crunch and a pretty finish – I use this demerara sugar. Rolling the dough before chilling is my preferred method, as the sugar pellats really stick into the soft sides of the logs. Once chilled, the dough can be too firm to grab onto the sugar.  

  

 

xoxo,

Elizabeth 

Follow me on Instagram and tag #littlebitsbakery so I can see all the recipes you make. ♥

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies
Yields 2
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 and 1/4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  2. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  4. 1 cup (200g) packed Light Brown Sugar
  5. 1/3 cup (67g) packed Dark Brown Sugar
  6. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  7. 2/3 cup (135g) coarse demura sugar
Instructions
  1. Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl.
  2. In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, and both light and dark brown sugars together on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the vanilla and beat until combined. Scrap down sides as necessary.
  4. While the mixer is running on low, add the dry ingredients. Increase the speed of the mxier and beat until the dough comes together.
  5. On a floured surface, kneed the dough 4-5 times. Divide in two, and shape each half into an 8-inch log, about 3 inches or so in diameter. Gently roll the logs into the demura sugar to the desired coating.
  6. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight.
  7. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with either parchment or silicone baking mats.
  8. Remove logs from fridge and slice into 12 equal cookies. Place on the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart and bake for 12-14 minutes or until brown around the edges.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. If making ahead, you can chill the dough for up to 4 days before baking.
  2. Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1 week.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Little Bits Bakery. 

New England Visit

I love New England. I love its history, and architecture. I love its brutal winters, breezy summers, and it’s gorgeous fall foliage. I love it’s obsession with lobster cookouts and Dunkin Donuts coffee. I always thought I would move back to the Boston area after college, but instead I met a cute from New Jersey and decided that was a pretty good place to live too. 

And while I miss Beantown, moving away has given me the chance to see it from a completely new angle.  I realized the other day that while I was from Boston, I really didn’t know anything about the city anymore. I has been over 9 years since I actually lived in the Boston area, and so much has changed since then, including me. I knew Boston as a child and teenager, but never as an adult. 

So when Bryan and I decided to take a few days off and road-trip it through New England for a few days, I was excited to experience the city in a way I hadn’t before. We started in Boston, popped up north to Portsmouth for a night, and ended the trip in Brattleboro, VT. Along the way we met up with friends and family, ate and drank everything in our path, and bought a few momentos to take back home. 

Below are some of my favorite moments from the trip! Be sure to check them out on your next New England visit! 

Stop #1: Tatte Bakery – Boston, MA

Given the late hour of our arrival to Boston (hello 1am, I see you), the first crucial stop in Boston that morning was for coffee. Per the recommendation of my cousin, we popped into Tatte Bakery, on Boylston Street near Fenway Park. The second we walked in, I knew I would love it. Tatte has major french bistro vibes – large subway tile, painted white brick, display case of delicate pastries, and a open window into the kitchen where pastries chefs were hard at work. It was the perfect kind of quiet – subtle noise so that you didn’t feel intrusive, but not so loud that you couldn’t read a good book in the corner. 

Bryan and I started off with an almond croissant and some drinks (me, cappuccino | him, earl grey tea). The croissant was perfect – flaky and flavorful on the outside, but soft and buttery on the inside. The almond paste was fantastic – you could have eaten it with a spoon. We then split a bacon egg and cheese sandwhich on home-made sourdough. There are no pictures because it was literally so good that I forgot that I do this now. You’ll have to use your imagination. 

(side note: food blogging really makes you harness your self control. Picture first, then bite.) 

Tatte set the perfect vibe for the trip – no rush, just perfect food, drink and company. 

 

     

Stop #2: The North End – Boston, MA

I grew up going to the North End constantly, so this one was admittedly not new. My family and I would often visit this part of Boston for the Italian food, pastries, and festivals that they hold every summer (if you’re heading that way in August, check out the The Fisherman’s Feast). So while an “oldie but goodie”, we stopped by this waterfront area to hit up the favorites.

We ate lunch at Regina Pizzeria, the original location that has been open since 1926! If cheese could talk…omg. I ordered the Quattro Formaggi which was incredibly – super cheesy, perfectly crisp and flavorful crust, tons of oregano flavor. Heaven. 

We then went down the street to Mike’s Pastry. And before the haters jump in here, I know Mike’s is a tourist attraction that the locals turn up their nose at. But I really am not worried about that. It is quite an experience to go to, battling the crowds and aggresive pastry-eaters, and they make one heck of a cannoli. So haters, sit down. 

 

         

Stop #3: Downeast Cider House – Boston, MA

Hard cider is not only delicious, but it is straight up American.  The husband completely turned me on to it, and now it is a staple in our wine fridge. If you find a really good cider, it can be like a mix between a deliciously dry champagne and a really fruity and tart wine.

Our absolute favorite is Downeast Cider, which just happens to be brewed in Boston. It is unfiltered, so you can see real pieces of apple floating in it, and so sooo good. Really tart, and not too sweet. They make an original, cranberry, winter blend, pineapple… the list goes on and on. The Cider House “tasting room” is in their actual warehouse, and has a great “behind the scenes” vibe to it. God Bless America. 

  

Stop #4: Popovers On the Square – Portsmouth, NH

Popovers is one of our favorite spots in New England. A small cafe right on the main Congress Street in downtown Porstmouth, it blends all the best parts of a big time bakery and small town coffee shop. They are most famous for their namesake popovers, served with a side of maple butter. Popovers themselves are seriously dangerous – they are so light and fluffy that you feel like you can eat 5 of them, but upon doing so realize “hey, that was a lot of freaking food” and end up in a coma. 

Personaly, I think a popover-induced coma sounds pretty awesome. 

  

Stop #5: Stonewall Kitchen Cafe – York, ME

Stonewall Kitchen products are a staple in most bakers cabinets. Their mixes and jams, syrups and spreads! What’s not to love. The headquarters for the brand is about 15 minutes north of Portsmouth in York, Maine. They have every product you could possible want, plus an adorable little cafe that puts their money where their mouth is and serves you up their favorites right on a plate. Bryan and I split their belgium waffle which was perfectly crisp and flavorful. 

I walked out of that cafe with a great cup of coffee and about $150 worth of merchandise. Whoops.

    

Stop #6: The Grafton Village Cheese Company – Brattleboro, Vertmont  

The final stop on our whirlwind trip was Brattleboro, Vermont – a quaint and artsy town right in nook where Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire meet. Some good friends of ours just moved there, and this trip marked the perfect chance to stop in for a visit. One of the neatest spots they took us was the Grafton Village Cheese Company – a cheese company founded in 1892 by local dairy farmers. The factory still produces cheese on-site, the process of which you can watch through a glass wall. They also sell their own cheeses, as well as local meats, syrups, chocolates, and more. 

       

Alright, that’s a wrap on our New Englad trip! Hope the next time you pop up to the East Best Coast, try out some of these fabulous places. 

xoxo,

Elizabeth 

 

Easy Turtle Candies

It’s been so great to see Little Bits Bakery come alive the past few weeks. It was a rough start, trying to figure out domains and wordpress themes, and how to confidently post my own thoughts onto the always friendly and compassionate internet. Once I really hit my groove, I had my site get hacked and lost everything. But here we are, one month and several newly-installed virus protectors later, with some delicious candies ready to share.

Turtle Candies – or their full name of Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtles – are a really simple candy to make a big impression with. While you can get quite granular with the details (i.e. homemade caramel), I like to keep my recipe easy to ensure you can whip them up with little notice. All you need to make Turtle Candies is:

  1. Whole Pecans
  2. Soft Caramels (I use these)
  3. Semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate 
  4. Flaky sea salt 
  5. Crisco Shortening (optional, but highly recommended) 

I like to use whole, non-salted pecans for this recipe. Start off by putting pecans on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and roasting at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes (stirring about 1/2 way through). Once pecans cool slightly, line the cookie sheets with fresh parchment and create piles of about 5-6 pecans, at least 4 inches apart. 

Then, take your unwrapped caramels and microwave them (in a safe bowl, duh) for about 3 minutes, or until completely smoothly and runny looking. Be sure to stop the microwave every 30 seconds or so and give a good stir, scrapping up the bottom, to ensure the caramel doesn’t burn. Drop about a tablespoon amount of caramel on each pile of pecans, making sure that each pecan is partially covered so that the piles stick together. 

   

Repeat the same process for the chocolate, melting in 30 second increments until smooth and glossy. Remove to microwave and add a heaping tablespoon of crisco. Crisco is not just used by your Southern Grandma, it also helps makes melted chocolate super smooth and a more manageable consistency for a recipe like this where you are dripping it over something. However, don’t get crazy and try to use butter or margarine because they both contain water which will make your melted chocolate really gross. Drop about a tablespoon of the melted chocolate over the caramel. Don’t worry about evenly covering it – they look even better when you can see both layers! 

Lasty, top the melted chocolate with a few pieces of flaky sea salt. I like to get mine from a local spice shop in Red Bank, NJ, but if you don’t want to go searching for it try online – you can’t beat this brand. I also like to let the chocolate set for about 5 minutes before I top with sea salt so that the salt sticks to the chocolate but doesn’t sink into it too much. 

 Let the candies completely set before you try to move them – I recommend putting them in the fridge for at least an hour, but longer is good if you can handle the wait. Once hardened, move to an air-tight container and keep in the fridge for up to a week! 

And there you go! Gorgeous Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtle Candies to hand out as gifts, bring to a party, or eat all yourself.  

xoxo,

Elizabeth 

Follow me on Instagram and tag #littlebitsbakery so I can see all the recipes you make. ♥

Turtle Candies
Yields 24
Chocolate Caramel Pecan Turtle Candies... a long name for a sweet and salty treat!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 Cups Whole Pecans (I like non-salted)
  2. 10 oz Soft Caramels
  3. 10 oz Semi or Bitter-sweet Chocolate
  4. 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Shortening
  5. Flaky Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place pecans on a cookies sheet lined with parchment paper and roasting for about 7 minutes (stirring about 1/2 way through). Allow to slightly cool.
  3. On fresh parchment, create piles of about 5-6 pecans, at least 4 inches apart.
  4. Unwrap the caramels and place in microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 3 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir, until completely smoothly and runny looking.
  5. Drop a tablespoon amount of melted caramel on each pile of pecans, making sure that each pecan is partially covered so that the piles stick together.
  6. Repeat the same process for the chocolate, melting in 30 second increments until smooth and glossy. Remove melted chocolate from microwave and add a tablespoon of Crisco, stirring until smooth.
  7. Drop a tablespoon of the melted chocolate over the caramel. Let set for about 5 minutes.
  8. Top each turtle with desired amount of flaky sea salt.
  9. Let set for at least one hour on cookie sheets, preferably in the fridge. Move to air-tight container to keep fresh for up to 1 week.
Notes
  1. The "piles" can be make larger or smaller depending on your personal preference. However, I find when you make them larger than the recipe describes they can become messy and fall apart.
  2. The caramels will get soft if you leave them at room temp, so for the least amount of mess always store in the fridge!
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Little Bits Bakery. 

 

 

M&M Cookies

I missed the boat a little on Valentines Day this year. I started off super prepared – I bought my pink and white M&M’s in January with every intention of whipping up a beautiful cookies post for the most romantic and cheesy holiday all year. But a nasty cold, slammed week at work, and days of sleep deprivation later I was like “meh, I’ll get ’em next year”. So now a solid week past Valentines Day, I had two bags of M&Ms and no Valentine (JK – Bryan is always my Valentine because we’re married now so he has no choice). I decided to make the cookies anyway, because the world can always use more love and cookies, am I right? 

This recipe is a great base for all different types of cookies – chocolate chip, m&m, peanut chip, white chocolate chip – you get the picture. A few notable differences from other recipes out there: 

To get a soft texture, add an extra egg yolk. Egg yolks help form the texture of a cookie, and adding in 1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk helps keep the dough heavenly soft.

To get a chewy cookie, add more brown sugar. This recipe has twice the amount of brown sugar to white sugar. Brown sugar makes cookies moister and chewier than white sugar, because it contains molasses, which adds moisture, and is slightly acidic, which allows the proteins in the dough to firm up faster, creating a chewier texture. 

The result of all this? A cookie even cupid could love. 

                            

                             

This is a pretty straightforward recipe of mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, add filler, bing bang boom cookies. Use this cookie scoop to make sure all your cookies are about the same size. 

Make sure you use room temperature butter and eggs here. Why you ask? Why can’t I just throw everything in together and have delicious cookies? 

Because science! 

When certain ingredients (eggs, butter, dairy) comes to room temperature, it forms an mixture that traps air. When you bake something in an oven with those ingredients, that air expands and creates a really fluffy baked good. In this situation, the room temp butter also allows you to cream the butter and sugar more evenly. When all your ingredients are distributed uniformly through a batter or dough, the end result will be a much better product.

I’m actually really happy with my delayed Valentine’s Day batch of cookies, and let me tell you why. A few days go by past the 14th, people move on from their intake of pink sugar and overpriced roses, and they fall into a funk. Then BAM! Just when they think the holiday love is over, I hit them with these bad boys. Heck of a silver lining, right? 

       

Until the next holiday that I fail to prepare for…

xoxo,

Elizabeth 

Follow me on Instagram and tag #littlebitsbakery so I can see all the recipes you make. ♥

M&M Cookies
Yields 30
A year round M&M cookie, adaptable for all you Holiday needs
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  5. 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  6. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  7. 1 large egg, at room temperature
  8. 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  9. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  10. 1 cup M&Ms of your choice
Instructions
  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat softened butter for about 1 minute on medium speed until creamy.
  3. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar, then beat on medium-high speed until creamy and combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  4. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Pour in the M&Ms and beat on low speed for 30 seconds or until combined. Once completely combined, cover cookie dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and up to 5 days.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  6. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. Drop by Tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet. Roll softly in the palms of your hand to shape.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. The centers should appear very soft and puffy.
Notes
  1. Making Ahead: Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Allow to come to room temperature and continue with step 4. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well for up to 3 months. Bake frozen cookie dough balls for an extra minute, no need to thaw.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Little Bits Bakery. 

No-Bake Energy Bites

I know “energy bites” are blowing up the internet lately, but I’ve never been one to turn down a great thing just because everyone knows about it. These bites have gotten me through many hectic no-time-for-breakfast mornings, busy afternoons where my only other snack option is the candy bowl on a colleagues desk, and road trips to Boston with unforgiving rush hour traffic on rt. 95. 

To make the bites, all you need is one bowl and a sturdy spatula. Stir everything together until the wet and dry ingredients are evenly mixed. Cover the saran wrap, and pop into the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up. This will make it easier to roll the mixture into shape into balls.  

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Once cooled, shape the mixture into a ball size of your choice. You can use a cookie scoop for this, or get crazy and use your hands. Place each balls on the prepared cookie sheet and pop back into the fridge for 15 minutes. Try to summon your self control and not immediately eat 5 of them.  If you succeed, they’ll stay fresh for up to 5 days! 

(note: if you’d rather have bars thans balls, press the mixture into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment and refrigerated for 45 minutes, then remove from pan and slice into bars) 

 

The absolutely best thing about these is that they can be completely customized based on your taste and preferences. So if you have food allergies or are looking for other fillers, give these a try:

  • Different chocolate: I like to use dark chocolate chips because I think that flavors goes a long way. But you can of course substitute in any other kind of chip such as butterscotch, milk chocolate, white chocolate, cinnamon chips, etc. Or if you chocolate isn’t your thing (no judgement), you can leave this part out all together.
  • Different nut butter: If you are allergic to peanuts, there are many other nut butters you can use for this, like almond butter, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, or others. My absolute favorite is the Big Spoon Chai Spice Peanut Butter, which taste like the holiday season and fills your heart with joy (not to oversell it…). 
  • Different sweetener: I think honey works great in this recipe, but agave nector is also a great choice. 

Keep experimenting until you get the right combination, making sure that you balance the “dry” and “wet” ingredients. If the balls aren’t taking shape trying adding more of the honey/butters, and if it’s so sticky that you can’t get it off your hands throw in some more oats! You do you, boo boo. 

xoxo,

Elizabeth 

Follow me on Instagram and tag #littlebitsbakery so I can see all the recipes you make. ♥

No-Bake Energy Bites
Yields 20
No-bake energy bites to help you snack like a boss
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
  2. 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  3. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  4. 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  5. 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  6. 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  7. 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.*
  2. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  3. Makes about 20-25 balls.
Notes
  1. If you don't have flax seeds, just increase the amount of dry ingredients slightly.
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Little Bits Bakery. 

Greek Yogurt Lemon Bars

To me, life is all about balance. You shouldn’t eat pizza and deep-fried oreos everyday, but you also shouldn’t resign yourself to a life of kale, celery, and rice cakes (btw, gross). As a former fat kid (seriously though), I learned early on that depriving yourself of something only makes you want it more. Diets will send you on a rollercoaster of weight loss and gains, and cutting something out of your life completely (dairy, gluten, sugar, whatever) is unbelievably hard to maintain and often unproductive.*  

*unless your doctor tells you to for health reasons. I’m not an MD ya’ll, I just bake.

I like to follow a few simple guidelines to stay healthy and happy:

  • Eat a balanced and colorful diet (get all up on those vegetables) 
  • Drink lots of water, even more than you think you should 
  • Sleep! Nothing is more important than sleep
  • Workout when you can, and choose something that makes you feel happyIf you hate running, don’t run. Find another cardio that makes you feel good! 
  • Be nice to yourself, both mentally and emotionally 
  • Treat yourself to things you like, whether it be wine, or chocolate, or a really trashy rom-com 

And in the name of balance, it is great to have some go-to recipes for things that both taste delicious and won’t leave you in a regret-filled sugar coma 20 minutes later. Enter, Greek Yogurt Lemon Bars. Only 150 calories, packed with flavor and protein, and the perfect treat to remind yourself that hey! you’re awesome and deserve things that taste great and look pretty. 

This recipe, adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction (#girlcrush), has a buttery graham cracker crust, and a not-terribly-sweet filling made from only 6 ingredients: greek yogurt, cream cheese, eggs, lemons, vanilla extract, and sugar. Make sure you use a very thick greek yogurt like FAGE or Chobani, and normal block-style cream cheese, or else the filling will not set properly. 

It will only take about 30 minutes of baking at a low temp to set the filling, but then you’ll need to pop them in the fridge for at least 4 hours to complete cool. Trust me, they’re worth the wait. Use that time to call your mom or write a thank you note or catch up with those dang Kardashians. 

 

Once set, cut into 12 squares and top with fresh fruit or a little dollop of lemon sorbet! Great for a dinner party or afternoon brunch or just because life is tough and you deserve it. 

xoxo,

Elizabeth 

Follow me on Instagram and tag #littlebitsbakery so I can see all the recipes you make. ♥

 

Greek Yogurt Lemon Bars
Yields 12
Light and zesty, a great lemony treat!
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Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr 45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
4 hr 45 min
Ingredients
  1. Crust
  2. 1 cup (128g) graham cracker crumbs (about 7-8 full sheet graham crackers)
  3. 4 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
  4. Filling
  5. 6 ounces (168g) brick-style light cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  6. 3/4 cup (181g) plain nonfat or low fat Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  7. 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  8. 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  9. 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  10. 1/3 cup (80ml) fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  11. 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  12. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  13. optional: top with fresh fruit or lemon sorbet when serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the bars out of the pan before cutting. Set aside.
  2. Make the crust: Mix the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a medium bowl until combined. Evenly press crust into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until completely smooth, about 1 minute. On medium-high speed, beat in yogurt until completely combined. Then beat in the eggs and egg yolk until combined. Finally, beat in the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until everything is combined and no lumps remain.
  4. Pour filling onto the crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center of the bars no longer jiggles (remove from the oven and gently wiggle the pan to check). Allow the bars to cool at room temperature set on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 3-4 hours or even overnight.
  5. Once chilled, lift the parchment out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Notes
  1. Make ahead tip: Prepare the bars 1-3 days in advance and store covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/
Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Little Bits Bakery. 

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