Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mexican Gorditas (Griddle Cookies)


Most of us have those cherished childhood memories of our moms making us a special treat. One of my favorite memories as a kid was my mom making these Gorditas (Mexican Griddle Cookies). Seeing her make these cookies usually meant we were in for a treat of Gorditas with Mexican hot chocolate... yummy! I can still picture myself as a young girl patiently waiting until they were done... 
  I have to admit, I still consider myself that same lucky girl. My mom is in her late sixties and still makes special treats for her family. I was having a lucky day this past weekend, when both my dad and I asked her to make Gorditas within the same week. I guess great minds think alike! 
This time I made of point of having my mom measure the ingredients as she prepared the dough so I could document it for the blog. One thing about my mom, she doesn't use a single measuring cup or spoon. Trying to get any recipe from her through the years has been a bit challenging. Well this time, you guys are in for treat!  These cookies are tasty and delicious. They have a buttery flavor with a hint of cinnamon.  They are excellent with a cup of coffee or cup of hot chocolate.  They are great for breakfast (which I had this morning) or an afternoon snack.
This is one of my most cherished family recipes and I hope you give it a try.
Happy Cooking Everyone

Mexican Gorditas (Griddle Cookies)
Makes 18-20

4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups salted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
1/4 cup evaporated milk
3 large eggs, room temp

1. Place all ingredients together in a large bowl

2. Knead with your hands until combined


3. The dough will have a shiny look.  Allow the dough to rest 30-60 minutes. This is an important step to allow the flavors to combine.

5. Once dough has rested, divide into18-20 balls (about 2 inches wide)

6. Between two pieces of wax paper, roll the balls into 5 inch circles. Use a Mexican tortilla press if you have one. They work amazing.

7. Cook cookies on a heated griddle about 3-4 minutes on each side. The cookies should appear toasted.

8. Cool on at kitchen towel for about 5 minutes and enjoy! The cookies will get a bit harder the next day, but it makes them even better for coffee.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pepper Jack and Green Chile Cornbread Madeleines for #thecreativecookieexchange

Have you ever had a savory madeleine? If not, you're in for a treat with my Pepper Jack Cheese and Green Chile Cornbread Madeleines!
The theme for this month's Creative Cookie Exchange was cheese. As most of you know, I can't eat dairy (wah!) except for small amounts of butter or milk/cream in some baked goods, so to be honest, I was unable to eat my own creation. Everyone who tried them, enjoyed them so I am trusting their judgement on this one. I don't think they would steer me wrong!
These madeleines are not the kind you would have for dessert with a cup of tea (although you could if you wanted!). Think of them as the perfect side dish to a bowl of your favorite chili or tomato soup. 
So, c'mon.  Be wild and take a walk on the savory side! You just might find you enjoy it there...

Green Chile and Pepper Jack Cheese Cornbread Madeleines
Makes 24

1/4 c diced yellow onion
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons butter melted and cooled
1/2 cup diced green chiles
1/2 cup grated pepper jack cheese


Preheat oven to 350 f

Spray a madeleine pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a small skillet and cook the onions over low heat until softened. Drain and set aside to cool.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, honey and melted-cooled butter.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the cheese and green chiles.

Spoon enough batter to just fill each madeleine cavity. Bake approx. 10 minutes or until the madeleines spring back when pressed and they are lightly browned.

Remove from oven and cool in pan for about one minute, then remove from pan. Repeat process until all batter is used (be sure to cool the madeleine pan before baking the next batch).

Serve warm or room temp with butter.

As with all Madeleines, these are best enjoyed the day they are baked.

Cheese makes everything better--even cookies! Sweet or savory, you can find them here! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer Fruit & Riesling Pie

Now you can have your wine and eat it too with this Summer Fruit Pie with Riesling in the filling!
I liked that the pie was not overly sweet and the fruit still maintained most of its' shape without breaking down into a pile of mush. You could definitely see the different combinations of fruit that was used in the filling.
The Riesling added a nice fruity note. Be sure to use a Riesling that you would enjoy drinking. I used a J. Lohr Riesling from Paso Robles.
The great thing about pie is how adaptable it is! Use different combination of fruit or the thickening agent of your choice. I used flour because that's what I had on hand, but some people prefer cornstarch or tapioca starch. Also, if you're a pie baker, you may already have your own preferred baking technique. Some prefer to bake at a high temp for the first 15-20 minutes of baking, then reducing the temperature.

If you're looking for a slightly sophisticated dessert that capitalizes on the freshness of Summer fruit and isn't too complicated to make, this recipe is for you. Use a good quality store bought pie crust for a quick short cut to make the recipe even easier!

No matter how you bake it, pie is always delicious!


Summer Fruit & Riesling Pie


Double crust pie crust (store bought or homemade)
Here is my favorite pie crust recipe
Yvonne really likes this store bought crust

6 1/2 cups assorted fresh fruit (I used sliced strawberries, blueberries, sliced peaches and sliced nectarines)
*I cut the strawberries in half and left the skin on the peaches and nectarines and sliced them into 1/4" thick slices)
1/2 cup sweet Riesling wine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup water
Egg wash: one egg beaten with a little water
Demerara Sugar (sugar in the raw) for sprinkling


Place all of the filling ingredients in a medium size heavy bottom saucepan and toss to combine. Cook over low heat until the mixture comes to a simmer stirring often. Simmer and stir until some of the fruit breaks down and the mixture thickens (approx. 5-7 minutes). If you find your mixture is getting too thick, add a little more water.

Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool. To help with the cooling process, stir occasionally to allow steam to escape.

When filling is cool, place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven and preheat oven to 375f

Roll out your crust to approx. 1/8" thick. It should be large enough to fit in the bottom of the pie dish with 1" overhang of crust. Place the bottom crust into the bottom of a glass pie dish (I prefer glass so you can see how done the bottom of the crust it, but metal is fine also).

Scoop the filling into the pie crust lined pie dish. Make sure it is in an even layer.

Roll out the second pie crust to 1/8" thickness. Place the second pie crust on top (you can do a lattice design, cut outs like I did or leave the top crust whole). If you leave the top crust whole, trim the edges then fold under and crimp. Cut a few vent holes in the top with a sharp knife to allow air to escape. If you do a lattice effect you still need to fold the edges of the crust under and crimp. For cut outs, just cut the crust into any shape you want using cookie cutters, then lay on top of the filling making sure you overlap the pieces.

Brush the top crust and edges with the egg wash and sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Place the pie on the preheated cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, loosely tent the top with foil making sure there is space for air to circulate underneath the foil and continue baking for another 15-20 minutes or until the fruit has a slow bubble and the crust is golden brown. If you used a glass pie dish, you can lift the pie high enough to see underneath to check to make sure the bottom of the crust is done too.

Remove from oven and place the pie on a wire cooling rack for several hours to cool before serving.
Serve with whipped cream, ice cream and another glass of wine!

Pie is best eaten same day or next day.

Recipe adapted from Bakeaholic Mama

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Raspberry & Meyer Lemon Madeleines for #theleftoversclub

What are Meyer Lemons still doing in the grocery stores? I'm not sure, but when I saw them in the produce section while I was grocery shopping the other day, I snatched some right up!
As you probably already know by this post and this one and this one, Meyer Lemons are one of my all-time favorite citrus fruits to bake with. I actually prefer them over regular lemons.

Finding these Meyer Lemons in the store was perfect timing for me because the theme of this month's Leftover Club exchange is citrus! The zest and juice of any citrus fruit adds so much flavor to your food whether you are cooking or baking.
I decided to use the Meyer Lemons in one of my all-time favorite cookies, French madeleines. French pastries hold a very special place in my heart. What's not to love about a good French pastry? I could eat flaky croissants, kouign amann and macarons every day! 

I hope my partner Kathia from Basic n Delicious enjoys them!

If you'd like to exchange yummy baked goods with fellow food bloggers from around the country and receive a special package in the mail each month, sign up over at Alwayz Bakin'! We'd love to have you in the group!


Raspberry & Meyer Lemon Madeleines
Makes 2 1/2 dozen madeleines

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
zest from one meyer lemon
3 large eggs, room temp
1/4 cup milk
juice of one meyer lemon
13 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp
fresh raspberries
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)


Butter and flour a madeleine pan. Set aside.

Combine flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.

In another small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, milk and cooled butter. Set aside.

Place the sugar in a small bowl with the lemon zest and crush the zest with the sugar using your finger tips. This process will release the oils from the lemon zest into the sugar and create a lemon scented sugar. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using your electric hand mixer), beat the eggs and lemon scented sugar together at medium speed until pale (approx.   min).

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix at low speed just until combined. Add half of the butter/milk mixture and mix just until combined. Repeat this process ending with the flour mixture making sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl as needed.

Scoop about 1 heaping tablespoon of dough into each cup of the madeleine pan and press a raspberry into the center of each mound of dough.

Bake at 375f for approx. 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown at the edges.

Cool in the pan for 1 minute then gently remove to a wire cooling rack. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Madeleines are best eaten the day they are baked.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

No Bake Cookie Butter S'mores Bites #CreativeCookieExchange

I've been on a bit of a S'mores kick lately. I recently made these decadent Nutella S'moreos for my Leftovers Club partner. There's something about S'mores that's synonymous with Summer don't you think?

The theme for this month's Creative Cookie Exchange was no bake cookies. After all, who wants to turn on the oven on a hot Summer day? Not me and I'm pretty sure you don't either. On those days, these No Bake Cookie Butter S'mores Bites are the perfect treat to satisfy your sweet craving.
So leave the oven off, grab an ice cold drink, kick back in front of the fan and enjoy one of these No Bake Cookie Butter S'mores Bites!

No Bake Cookie Butter S'mores Bites
Makes 12 large cookies or one 13"x9" pan

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup cookie butter
6 cups mini marshmallows + 2 cups
6 cups Golden Grahams cereal
2 cups dark chocolate

Place the 2 cups of chocolate chips in the fridge 15 minutes prior to making. This will help keep them from melting.

Spray a 12 cup silicone muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray or line a 13"x9" pan with nonstick foil (alternatively line with regular foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray).

Place the butter and cookie butter in a large pot and stir constantly until melted. Add the 6 cups of marshmallows and stir constantly until melted. Remove from heat and fold in the cereal then fold in the chocolate chips and remaining 2 cups of marshmallows.

Divide evenly between the muffin cups and press firmly. Allow to cool completely. Once cool, carefully remove from the pan and serve.

Store leftovers in an air tight container for up to 2 days.

To hot to turn on your oven? The theme this month for the Creative Cookie Exchange group is No Bake Cookies! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). We all post on the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking (or this month "no baking"), check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Nutella S'moreos for #theleftoversclub

The theme for this month's Leftover's Club exchange was nut butters! Originally, I was planning to post a cookie recipe using homemade maple roasted almond butter (sounds yummy doesn't it?), but the recipe didn't quite turn out as I had planned and I discovered that I don't really like almond butter. As hard as I try, my mind can't seem to grasp the fact that it's just not peanut butter. I think the taste of the almonds is too subtle for me and I keep expecting to taste peanuts. I was hoping that roasting the almonds in maple syrup and adding cinnamon to the mixture would help amp up the flavor, but neh...almond butter is just not my thing.

So I went with plan B - Nutella! You can't go wrong with Nutella can you? Chocolate + Hazelnuts = Yum. Plus I had a huge jar or it in my pantry...

I debated for quite a while about what to make and decided on not one but two recipes! Homemade Nutella Puff Cereal for my exchange partner Michele's adorable son, Nicholas (he has the same name as my son!) and these decadent Nutella S'moreo Cookies for Michele. Michele does such a great job as the leader of The Leftover's Club I thought she deserved something extra special.

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with the outcome of the Nutella Puff Cereal. While the dough is super easy to make, pinching the dough into tiny balls and rolling them was a little time consuming and too repetitive for me. This would be a great task for the kids to help with (hint,hint)! Also, I thought the Nutella flavor didn't really shine through enough. I'm curious to hear if Michele's son, Nicholas, gives them the thumbs up or thumbs down.
Here's the link to the recipe I tried. If you're into making your own homemade cereals (and you have someone to help you roll the tiny balls), I encourage you to give it a try. The recipe makes a small batch, enough for about 2 servings.
Now, onto these decadent Nutella S'moreo Cookies....I mean c'mon, just look at these things.
Who knew making your own homemade oreo cookies was so easy? And they totally taste like Oreos only better. Just think, you can fill them with whatever filling you want! Since the theme was nut butters, I made a creamy Nutella filling, topped it with some marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crumbs. Oh mama!
I really hope they are delivered to Michele intact and that she enjoys them! Thanks Michele for all you do for The Leftovers Club!
If you are interested in swapping yummy treats each month with fellow food bloggers, sign up over at Michele's blog, Alwayz Bakin!

Homemade S'moreos with Nutella Cream Filling & Marshmallow Fluff
Adapted from Crazy for Crust
Makes approx. 12 sandwich cookies

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temp
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling Ingredients:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup Nutella
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 jar Marshmallow Fluff
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs


Preheat oven to 350f and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using your electric hand mixer), cream the butter and both sugars for approx. 1 minutes scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.

Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients just until combined.

Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoon size balls onto the prepared baking sheets and bake at 350f for approx. 10 minutes or until the cookies are set and no longer look shiny. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheets. Remove to a wire cooling rack.

Make the filling

Place the butter, nutella and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use your electric hand mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add the heavy whipping cream and whip and med-high speed until creamy (approx. 1 minute). Place the filling in a piping bag (decorating tip optional).

Assemble the cookies

Once the cookies have cooled, take half of the cookies and place them upside down. Pipe the nutella filling around the edges of the cookies. Dollop some marshmallow fluff on top then sprinkle with some of the graham cracker crumbs. Place the remaining cookies on top of each of the filled cookies creating cookie sandwiches.

These cookies are best eaten the day they are assembled. You can bake the cookies a day ahead.

The Perfect Strawberry Custard Cream pie


Growing up there was one dessert that always stood out from all of my mom's famous desserts and that was her Strawberry Custard Cream Pie.  She learned to make this pie from a Mexican cook that would broadcast recipes over the radio for the listeners to write down.  This pie was so yummy, I still remember requesting it for my birthday.  
As the years went by, somehow the recipe was lost in one of our moves. Mom tried recreating it once, but it just didn't taste the same.  A few months ago, I was craving this pie so badly I could literally taste it. I thought to myself, I have a food blog.. I can do this this! 
So I daringly attempted to recreate the famous, lost Strawberry Custard Cream Pie recipe at home. My starting point was everything I could remember about the pie... 
 Pie crust, a strawberry custard filling , fresh strawberries and lots of Cool Whip (mom didn't use whipped cream back then, Cool Whip was cheaper ) 
I found a good basic custard recipe (originally for a banana cream pie), added strawberries, replaced the Cool Whip with heavy whipping cream and used an organic pie crust that I love.  When the pie was finished, I brought it to a family dinner and waited for the reactions...
  My sister Miriam was the first to say, "Did you find mom's recipe?" SCORE!  I knew I had it when I took the first bite...
I did my second test run of the recipe this past weekend, made one or two minor adjustments and bingo! Mom's pie was back and even better! 
 This pie is delicious. Everything you want in a cream pie; creamy, fluffy, full of strawberry flavor. The perfect pie for strawberry season.  I brought some to a party and not a single piece was left. I had to keep myself from taking a second piece, trust me I wanted it!  So I guess I will need to make another two very, very soon! 
Of all the recipes I'm proud to call my own, this has to be at the top of the list. I hope you give it a try.
Happy Cooking Everyone

The Perfect Strawberry Custard Cream Pie
Make two 9" pies


2 premade pie crusts
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
7 egg yolks
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons sweet cream butter, softened
1 cup of chopped strawberries
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
10 strawberries, cut in 1/2 for decoration


Prep work:
1. Bake Premade crust per directions on package and set to cool.  Make sure you poke holes with a fork for venting.

 Most Pre-make crust taste ok, but this brand is absolutely delicious.  Tastes like you made it yourself.. super flakey

2. Whip 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream until soft peaks have formed. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar and whip to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Chop strawberries into small pieces to equal one cup chopped (about 7-8 large berries). Place on a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Filling layer #1
1. Bring milk to a boil. Do not let it spill over. Once boiled, set as side.
2 . In a heavy pot, add egg yokes, brown sugar, white sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk together.

3.  Add 1/4 cup of the hot milk to the egg mixture. Whisk together quickly so it doesn't scramble the eggs.  Add another 1/4 cup of milk, and continue whisking. Repeat until you are out of milk.

4. Put the egg mixture on the stove at medium heat. Continue to whisk.
5. Once the mixture begins to boil it will become really thick, continue to whisk for another minute or two until all liquid had turned into a thick velvety mixture. Remove from stove.

6. Whisk in vanilla and set aside for 5 minutes.
7. After 5 minutes, add the butter cut into small cubes.  Whisk until completely melted.

8. Pour the custard in to a glass bowl and cover with either plastic wrap or parchment paper. Put into refrigerator for 1-2 hours, till custard is chilled. (the custard can be chilled up 3 days)

9. Once custard has cooled , beat with electric mixer for 4-5 minutes to get nice and creamy.

10. Add 1/2 cup of custard to the bottle of each pie crust.

Filling layer #2
1. Take the remaining custard, and beat in 2 cups of the heavy whipping cream you prepared earlier and add one drop of red food dye for color, just until blended (approx. 1 minute). Do not over beat or it will break down the cream.

2. Add 1 cup of chopped strawberries.  Mix until blended, but do not over mix or it will breakdown the cream.

3. Divide the filling between both pies

Filling Layer #3
1. Take the remaining whipped cream and divide between both pies.

2. Decorate with the strawberries you cut in half.

Chill pie for at least 3 hours, honestly the longer this pie chills the better the flavor.