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Cakes & Pies, Recipes

Orange Chocolate Chai Roll

I’ve always wanted to make a swiss roll cake. Every time I watch a baking show on Food Network or my favorite show the Great British Baking Show, I’m memorized how they roll the cake and fill it with deliciousness. So when my friend Adam told me he made one, we started talking about different flavors to put together for a Christmas one. He inspired me to create my own. 

I used cocoa powder, brewed chai tea, and orange zest for the cake batter. For the filing, I used cream cheese, pumpkin spice seasoning, more zest and orange juice. 

When I sliced into the orange to add the juice, I realized I accidentally bought blood oranges at the market. I was so excited, I actually did a little dance. When my Papa and I were in Sicily, we would eat a blood orange every morning with breakfast. It was like he was sending me a little sign from heaven! 

INGREDIENTS

CAKE:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chai tea
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons juice from orange
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar to aid in rolling

FILING 

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Heavy whipping cream

INSTRUCTIONS

MAKE THE CAKE:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line (10×15”) pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Beat eggs at high speed for 3 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. 

Beat in sugar, tea, and vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cocoa, salt, baking powder, and flour. 

Blend the dry ingredients into wet ingredients.

Spread in the prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. 

Bake for 10-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done because if you lightly poke the top with your fingertip it will slightly bounce back.

While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface, lay a sheet of parchment paper on top of the towel. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar and cocoa powder (about ¼ cup). 

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar and cocoa. Remove parchment paper carefully.

Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour (or you can wrap it and chill it overnight).

MAKE THE FILING

Combine cream cheese, pumpkin pie spice, and 1 teaspoon orange zest in a medium bowl. Beat at medium speed until well mixed. 

Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream, beating well after each addition until smooth and creamy.

Gently unroll cooled cake. Spread filling over cake to 1/2 inch from all edges. 

Starting at the 10-inch side, gently roll up the cake. 

Sprinkle with additional orange zest just before serving. 

Cut into slices. 

Recipes, Small Bites

Festive Italian Dip

Creamy, spicy, addictive sausage dip that takes just minutes to throw together.

This dip is so good, it will be the hit of the party! Honestly you can even serve this dip mixed with pasta and have a hearty pasta dinner! There is so much packed into this dip, from the spicy Italian sausage to the gooey cream cheese!

The base for this dip is Hot Italian sausage. Don’t worry if spicy food isn’t your thing, this sausage honestly isn’t very spicy, it adds a nice flavor punch. Plus, paired with the cream cheese, it all balances out perfectly. I started by cooking the sausage in a large skillet. Once the sausage was cooked, I transferred it to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up some of the grease. Cutting out some extra fat. 

Next, I wiped the same skillet clean, getting rid of some of the sausage grease but not all of it. Sauté up some onions, red peppers, tomatoes and garlic. Oh and add in a little Italian seasoning for good measure. And don’t forget the… WINE! I used Scout and Cellar Field House Chardonnay. It adds a zesty flavor!

Roughly chop up some baby spinach, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Honestly I just grab a handful from the bag, throw it on the cutting board and run my knife over it a few times, making sure there are no huge pieces. I used the whole 6 ounce bag of baby spinach. 

Then grab the cream cheese. I cut mine into four squares so it melts quickly. Make sure to grab the shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese too. Add all that cheese right into the skillet and stir. 

At this point I strongly encourage you to grab a spoon and taste! Mmmmmm!

Now, pour the mixture in a casserole dish. Sprinkle some more cheese on top, cover the whole top!

Bake it to perfection until the cheese is golden brown and the sides are bubbly. Your kitchen will smell like heaven! Serve with a baguette or crackers.

So let’s get cooking! 

Ingredients 

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound hot Italian ground sausage
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 6-oz package fresh spinach, rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees. 

In a bowl, mix together the two cheeses and set aside. 

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage. Once cooked, remove from the skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. 

Using a paper towel, wipe the skillet clean and saute the onions and red pepper in the same skillet, for 3-5 minutes, until translucent. 

Stir in tomatoes, and Italian seasoning; cook for 1 minute. 

Add the cooked sausage back to the skillet and stir to combine, cook together for 2 minutes. 

Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid has almost completely evaporated.

Stir in spinach and salt, and cook for 2 minutes or until spinach is slightly wilted. 

Reduce heat to medium; add cream cheese and 1 cup of the shredded cheese mixture. 

Cook and stir mixture until cheese is melted.

Pour mixture into a 2-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with the rest of the cheeses.

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or cheese is bubbly and golden brown. 

Serve with crostini or crackers.

http://www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen.
Cookies, Recipes

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

A soft and chewy, chocolate cookie topped a chocolate mint drizzle and a sprinkling of crushed candy canes. 

Chocolate and peppermint is a popular combo, especially during the holiday months. This is another recipe that I created for my brother. He loves chocolate and peppermint! I basically took my red velvet cookie recipe that I adapted from Paula Deen, and just switched out cake box mix and the topping!

These chocolate cookies are soft, chewy, and a bit fudgy in the center. I love the addition of the peppermint flavor because it really awakens the cookie. Crushed peppermint candies make a festive, crunchy topping for these festive cookies. They are the perfect holiday cookie and  will get you in the holiday spirit ASAP. Perfect for cookie exchanges, holiday gatherings or alongside a cup of iced cold milk. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 (18 oz) box moist chocolate cake mix
  • 1 (8 oz) package room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick room temperature butter

Chocolate Drizzle 

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract 
  • 2 large candy canes, crushed

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. 

Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. 

Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls. 

Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 minutes. 

The cookies will remain soft and gooey. 

Cool completely 

Melt semi sweet chocolate in a double boiler (or in the microwave, just be careful to stir frequently so chocolate doesn’t burn) until it’s smooth.

Add peppermint extract and whisk together. 

Drizzle a dollop of semi-sweet chocolate over each cookie.

Sprinkle a few pieces of crushed candy cane on top of the chocolate cookie centers while the chocolate is still warm. Let chocolate set for 30 minutes to an hour.

Cookies, Recipes

Triple the Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Lovers, this cookie is for you!

These cookies are so easy to make and will satisfy every chocolate craving!

For these cookies, I start with natural unsweetened cocoa powder, then add in milk chocolate chips and my favorite white chocolate chunks. I love the triple effect from the cocoa powder, chocolate chips and white chocolate chunks- it adds an extra depth of richness.

You could also use semi-sweet chips instead of milk chocolate or dark chocolate instead of white chocolate. Seriously, use your favorite chocolate!

Here’s the gist on how to make these Chocolate lover cookies! 

CREAM. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.

MIX. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Slowly pour the flour mixture into the wet mixture and mix until just combined. Then fold in the chocolate chips and white chocolate chunks,  chill the dough in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

BAKE. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 350°F for 8 to 10 minutes, or even until edges are slightly crisp and the center is soft.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon milk 
  • 1 ½ cups chopped white chocolate bar, 2 bars
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

Instructions

In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. 

Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. 

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together until combined.

With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour into the wet ingredients. 

Beat on low until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. 

Beat in the milk, then the chocolate chips and chunks. 

Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper .

Scoop and roll into balls. Arrange 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheets. 

The cookie dough is sticky, I like to keep a cup of water next to the bowl and dip the scoop in to help the dough from sticking. 

Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes or until the edges appear set and the centers still look soft. Allow to cool completely. 

Cookies, Recipes

Pecan Maple Bacon Cookies

My brother, Robert and I have this little tradition where we like to uniquely wrap each other’s Christmas and Birthday presents. He loves to use TONS, and I mean TONS of tape but not just scotch tape, he uses packing tape! So as I got older, I thought it’s pay back time! I knew I needed to start to come with unique ways to wrap his presents. The first year, I placed a gift card in a bowl of water and froze it. He had to wait for it to melt to get his present. Each year, I try to get more and more clever! Opening presents on Christmas and birthdays at our house is definitely an adventure! 

Robert loves bacon so for his birthday, I made all things bacon… Maple Bacon cake, Candied bacon and these cookies… Maple Pecan Bacon Cookies! 

That year, I slid his gift card in the bacon cake so when he sliced into it, there was his gift card. I’ll share that recipe, another time. 

If you are a sweet and salty fan and love bacon, this recipe is for you! The smokiness of the bacon, combined with the brown sugar, the chocolate chips and the maple flavor . . . . It just doesn’t get any better!

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 5 ounces cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, (1 stick) melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar, packed light-brown
  • 1/2 cup sugar, granulated
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract- if you can’t find, just use maple syrup 
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips

For the maple glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions

Place bacon in a cold pan. Turn heat to medium and cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Once cooked, remove to a bowl to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt.

Combine melted butter, bacon and any bacon drippings in the bowl of a stand mixer. 

Add brown and granulated sugar and mix. 

Once combined, add egg, then add maple extract. 

Using a large kitchen spoon or ¼ cup measure, slowly add the dry mixture to the mixer. 

Once combined, add the chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Mix, then divide dough in half. 

Place one piece of dough on a large sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll up into a 10-inch long tube. Repeat with remaining dough.

Refrigerate dough to chill for at least an hour. 

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. 

Slice cookie dough into ½-inch-thick slices and place them onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until they start to become brown around the edges.

For the glaze, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, cream and salt. 

Dip the tops of each cookie into the glaze and sprinkle with chopped nuts. 

Let the glaze set for a few minutes before serving.

Cookies, Recipes

Espresso Chocolate Cookies

I love the way coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate, which is why I decided to add some espresso powder to my chocolate cookie recipe. These cookies are a perfect companion for morning coffee or after dinner drinks. To get a nice, dark coffee flavor I used a Café Bustelo® espresso coffee.  But you could use any coffee or espresso powder.

You definitely want to leave a few of these for Santa. They will give him the pep he needs to continue delivering presents!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, for topping the cookies

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the semi-sweet baking chips and butter. Heat in the microwave for 15 seconds. Stir and then heat for another 15 seconds. Stir. If the chocolate is mostly melted do not heat again. (If the chocolate seizes or hardens a bit it is ok.) Set aside.

Add sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla to a large bowl. Whisk well until they are completely incorporated, light, and airy.

Add the slightly warm chocolate to the egg mixture and whisk continuously until fully combined and smooth.

Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder. Stir well to incorporate, but don’t over mix. The mixture should be very loose, just like a brownie mix.

Set in the freezer for 15 minutes or refrigerated for at least 2 hours. 

Using a 2 tablespoon, scoop out balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. .

Press 5-9 chocolate chips on top of each cookie and press down slightly. 

Bake for 11-14 minutes. 

Allow cookies to cool on the pan for at least 3 minutes before moving.

Cookies, Recipes

Root Beer Float Cookies

I love finding new and interesting products on Amazon. One night I was looking through the different extracts that are out there and I came across ROOT BEER! 

Immediately my dad popped into my head, he loves root beer floats. I knew I had to order it so I could create a Root beer float cookie for him!

These cookies are soft, sweet and creamy with a buttery glaze drizzled over the top giving you that familiar root beer flavor! These cookies go great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a cold glass of milk! 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon root beer extract (found it on Amazon)
  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

The glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoon root beer extract
  • 2 tablespoons hot water

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, egg, milk and root beer extract. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. 

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients bowl, whisking to combine. I add a cup at a time.

Drop the dough by teaspoons 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. You can use a small cookie scoop or spoon. 

Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes. 

Cool completely before adding the glaze. 

For the glaze

Mix together all of the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. 

Stir until well combined. 

Using a fork, drizzle the glaze over the top of the cooled cookies. 

*if glaze is too thick, add another tablespoon of hot water, until you get the consistency you desire. 

Cookies, Recipes

Red Velvet Cookies

Paula Deen’s Red Velvet cookies recipe was the inspiration for this cookie. I absolutely love red velvet cake, it is my favorite! So when I watched Paula Deen make red velvet cookies out of a cake box, I fell in love! 

These cookies are the easiest cookies you will ever make! All you need is 5 simple ingredients and yes, I said a box of cake mix! And the best thing is that this recipe can be used with any cake mix for so many great flavor combinations! Wait to see my Chocolate Peppermint cookies! 

So if you are looking for a soft and tender, beautifully crackled cookie with a white chocolate drizzle, look no more!  

Ingredients

  • 1 (18 oz) box red velvet cake mix
  • 1 (8 oz) package room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick room temperature butter
  • White Chocolate Drizzle
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips, melted 
  • Christmas Sprinkles

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. 

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. 

Beat in the egg, Then beat in the vanilla extract.

Beat in the cake mix. 

Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. 

Scoop and roll into balls. Arrange 2-3 inches apart on the baking sheets. 

The cookie dough is sticky, I like to keep a cup of water next to the bowl and dip the scoop in to help the dough from sticking.

Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. 

Bake for 12 minutes. 

Let cool on wired rack.

White Chocolate Drizzle 

While the cookies are cooling, place the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, microwave for 10 seconds.

Remove and stir then place back into the microwave for 10 seconds.

Remove and stir until completely melted. Be careful not to overcook the white chocolate!

Dip a fork or spoon into melted chocolate, and let the first large drip (to prevent a large drop) land in the bowl. Drizzle chocolate over the edges and tops of cookies. Sprinkle Christmas sprinkles immediately. Let dry for 15-25 minutes. 

This recipe was inspired and adapted from Paula Deen.

Cookies, Recipes

Rolo Snickerdoodle Cookies

I am a sucker for all things sweet and salty. Why choose one when you can have both? These cookies have it ALL! They are made with browned butter, plenty of chocolate-covered caramel chunks, and pretzels pieces. Each cookie dough ball is rolled through cinnamon sugar for that classic snickerdoodle finish before baking to perfection. 

The difference… 

  • The unsurpassable nutty flavor from browned butter!
  • The Chocolate caramel goodness of Rolo® candy!
  • The Crushed pretzels, slightly salty, crunch with every sweet bite!
  • The mini marshmallows, caramelized toasty yumminess !
  • The Cinnamon sugar, giving you the traditional snickerdoodle taste! 

What is browned butter?

Browning butter is very easy because all you’re doing is gently cooking butter. This melting method gently cooks the butter until it develops a nutty flavor and toasted aroma.

How do I brown butter?

Cut the butter into pieces and place in a pan over medium heat. Stir the butter as it melts. After the butter has completely melted, continue cooking on medium heat until the butter turns a light amber color and smells nutty. Immediately remove from heat and pour into a bowl. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped chocolate covered caramels, I used Rolo® candy
  • 1 cup mini pretzel twists, crushed
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 cup cinnamon sugar, to roll cookies in 

INSTRUCTIONS

Add 1 stick butter to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the butter begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Set aside to cool. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the remaining 1 stick butter, the cooled browned butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until combined. 

Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until combined. 

Add the vanilla, beating until creamy. 

Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. 

Fold in the chocolate caramels, mini marshmallows and pretzels. 

Roll the dough into rounded 1 tablespoon size balls and then roll through the cinnamon sugar. 

Place 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. 

Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. 

Remove from and cool on a cooking rack. 

Eat warm (highly recommended) or let cool and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Cookies, Recipes

Red Wine Espresso Truffles

These truffles have all my favorite flavors in one…Chocolate, Espresso & Red Wine!

Get ready to add this easy recipe to your holiday dessert list! Because is there anything better than red wine and chocolate?! 

It’s the red wine that makes these dark chocolate truffles stand out from all the rest. Scout & Cellar Gallivant Cabernet Sauvignon adds flavors of black raspberry and currant to the richness of the chocolate and espresso! 

Don’t be afraid of the fancy sound that truffles bring. 

All you do is mix the ingredients, refrigerate, scoop into balls, roll in cocoa powder and refrigerate again before serving. 

So pour yourself a glass of Scout & Cellar Gallivant Cabernet Sauvignon, and let’s make some truffles! 

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons dry red wine, such as Scout & Cellar Gallivant Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2 teaspoons Confectioners Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 4+ tablespoons Cocoa powder, for dusting

Instructions 

Place chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. 

Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium high, just until it boils. 

Pour hot cream directly into the bowl with chocolate, then add wine, powdered sugar, vanilla and espresso powder. Gently whisk the mixture together until chocolate is smooth and melted. (If chocolate does not melt completely, place it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring until it melts completely.) 

Cover bowl, then place it in refrigerator to set, 1 to 2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper Pour about 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder into a wide plate or pie dish. 

With a small scoop or spoon, scoop chocolate, place into the bowl with the cocoa powder and roll it into a ball. 

Place on the prepared baking sheet, then repeat with remaining chocolate.

Refrigerate truffles for 30-60 minutes to set. 

Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

http://www.scoutandcellar.com/whiskawaykitchen