Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Cookies

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Pumpkin cookies let’s go. But not those cakey pumpkin cookies with the icing. I can’t with those. These are dense yet fluffy, soft and chewy, but crunchy with the addition of pecans.

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With a light pumpkin taste, but a heavy spice flavor, these Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate cookies are everything I want in a “pumpkin cookie.”

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Pumpkin Pecan White Chocolate Cookies
yields 30-32 cookies

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips (you can substitute for chocolate chips, or seasonal pumpkin chips and cinnamon chips)
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth. About 1 minute. Add in both sugars and beat on medium for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. On low, stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract until combined.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once the dough has almost come together, but still a little floury, add the pecans and white chocolate chips.

*I roughly chop my white chocolate chips (just like in my Perfect CCCs). It lends to a prettier, but more rustic looking cookie which I love.

Using a 1 ½ inch cookie scoop, form golf ball size balls of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not overcrowd the pans. I got 12 balls of dough on a pan, at most. Rough the cookies up a bit so they have pecans and white choclate peeking out. Add a few more of each to the top of the cookies if needed. Optional, sprinkle the top of each cookie with flaky Maldon salt.

Bake for 9 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, the key is to not over bake these! Shy on the underdone side.

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Annie

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Perfect CCCs

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Celiacs and lactose rejoice! Perfect CCC’s free of dairy and gluten are here and just as perfect. I quote my father when I say, (my very non-lactose and non-gluten free father) “These gluten-free and dairy-free cookies are the (insert bomb emoji here).”

Coconut oil replaces the butter and dairy-free chocolate chips are used in replacement of the original stuff. I use gluten-free flour for a 1:1 swap for all purpose and they come out great! Just make sure to chop your chocolate up so you get specs of chocolate throughout, and you must sprinkle with flaky Maldon salt to get the Perfect CCC signature touch!

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Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Perfect CCCss
yields 30 cookies

Ingredients:
1/2  cup melted coconut oil (measures 1/2 cup as a liquid, not solidified)
1/2 cup olive oil (use a basic, not fancy olive oil)
3¼ cups gluten-free flour (i use this brand)
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
12 ounces, Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips, roughly chopped (key step)
Maldon salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl mix both sugars. *You can use light or dark brown sugar. I like a dark cookie so I prefer dark brown sugar, but I switch off depending on what I have on hand. Pour the melted coconut oil and olive oil into the bowl with the sugars and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine. Stir in the vanilla.

In two batches, add the dry ingredients into the butter sugar mixture. I use wooden spoon to incorporate. Once the dough has almost come together, but still a little floury, add the dairy free chocolate chips.
*I roughly chopped my chocolate chips, so I could get more chocolate in each bite. I also love those little shavings of chocolate sprinkled through the dough! 

Form 2-3 tablespoon size balls. I used a standard size cookie scoop, but overload the scoop getting a larger ball of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not overcrowd the pans. I get 8 balls of dough on a pan, at most. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with flaky Maldon salt and any extra chocolate bits leftover from chopping.

Bake for 9 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. Bake until just barely golden around the edges, the key is to not over bake these! Shy on the underdone side.

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Annie

And if you want all the butter and gluten, look no further.

Bites of My Life

This week I was reminded of how much can change in a year, or really more of how different things can be at one point in time, just a year apart. Thank you Timehop for always reminding me of these moments. This week last year, the restaurant group I work for was opening our biggest undertaking to date. I was working around the clock, I hadn't seen my friends in weeks, I was pale from not seeing the sun, there was no time for blogging, reading, watching TV, seeing movies, but I was still loving every minute of it. And have never been apart of something more rewarding. If you are in town this weekend, help us celebrate!

This week, this year, things are relatively slow work wise (a nice break from the hustle that was april-may-june), I'm loving all the time I'm getting with friends and family and yes I'm tanner than I've ever been in my life (LOL). I have time to bake (cue campfire cookies), binge on TV (currently: Southern Charm), saw a movie for the first time in forever (got the invite to an early screening for Crazy Rich Asians: it's so good!!!) and reading. Yes, reading. I finished my 6th book of the year this weekend. 

It's nice to have the change from last summer. This summer has been really "summer-filled" if that makes sense. Lot's of time to enjoy the things you can only really do in the summer. This weekend was spent at the lake with my fam. It was a relaxing, fun and the perfect summer weekend.

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-#NationalPinaColadaDay celebrated a bit more healthy in the form of a protein shake, but it still took me back to Waikiki Beach!
-Princess Elsa at your service! Hilarious but cutest way to start my Tuesday after being asked to dress up as Elsa from Frozen to surprise a bunch of 4-year-old girls while they enjoyed "Princess Camp."
-Trader Joe's Frozen Chicken Tikka Masala doctored up with some peas for color and greens. What is your favorite TJ's frozen meal?
-Got to put my flavor input on this weekends featured drink at The Jones. Included my current favorite things: blackberry, ginger, lemon, gin and tonic.
-I just really love this picture, that is all.
-Campfire Cookies! I mean JK's Campfire Cookies, renamed by my brother-in-law. Get the recipe here for these s'more/Perfect CCC hybrid cookies.
-#LakeBaby
-My favorite breakfast casserole courtesy of one of my besties family recipes! Perfect lake breakfast or breakfast for a crowd.
-Chips in your sandwich or you're doing it wrong.
-Book #6 finished! The goal is 12 in 12 months. 
-Waterloooooooo!!! Who else has tried the new sparkling water craze? I bought the black cherry flavor and I'm loving it. 
-Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Pesto made for the best veggie filled dinner after the all-carb diet at the lake.

Annie

Campfire Cookies

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I'm heading to the lake with my family later today and I was tasked with bringing the "treats." Do I go with the classic Perfect CCC's? I could. Do I take the easy way out and just buy s'more ingredients? No, because it's 100+ in Oklahoma right now and the last thing I want to do is stand around a fire. 

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So instead, I will combine the two. As if my Perfect CCC's and a s'more had a baby, I give you Campfire Cookies. The ultimate summer lake trip treat.

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They are everything you love in a Perfect CCC (hello flaky Maldon Salt) mixed with graham crackers, marshmallows, and a Hershey's chocolate bar. I can think of nothing better right now. I will also take this moment to profess my love affair with Graham Crackers. The most underrated cookie/cracker. They are the perfect after dinner snack. Shmear on a little Cookie Butter or almond butter and you are golden. Graham Crackers I love you. Campfire Cookies, I love you too!

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Campfire Cookies
yields 32-36 cookies

Ingredients:
1  cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups light or dark brown sugar, firmly packed*
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped
1 Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, chopped
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 sleeve Graham Crackers (9 crackers total)
Maldon Salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

Divide your graham crackers into stacks of 4 and 5. Take the 5 graham crackers and place in a large ziplock bag. Using a rolling pin crush the crackers into fine crumbs. This mixture will be added to the dry ingredients, so you want them to be very fine. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Then, take the 4 graham crackers and break them up into small pieces. Small enough to be mixed into the dough, but still in chunks. *see photo above for reference.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, fine graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl mix both sugars. *You can use light or dark brown sugar. I like a dark cookie so I prefer dark brown sugar, but I switch off depending on what I have on hand. Pour the melted butter into the bowl with the sugars and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking to combine. Stir in the vanilla.

Slowly add the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar mixture. I found a wooden spoon to be the easiest for this job. Once the dough has almost come together, add the chocolate chips, marshmallows, graham cracker chunks and 3/4 of the chopped Hershey's bar.
Reserve a few marshmallows, graham cracker chunks and 1/4 of the chopped Hershey bar for topping the balls of cookie dough.

Form 2-3 tablespoon size balls. I used a standard size cookie scoop, but overload the scoop getting a larger ball of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Do not overcrowd the pans. I got 10 balls of dough on a pan. Take your reserved chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows and top each ball of dough with a little of each. Then sprinkle the top of each cookie with flaky Maldon salt. 

Bake for 9-11 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through. Bake until just slightly golden. 

Don't fear, the marshmallows will ooze out and go all over the pan.  For a prettier cookie, take the cookies while they are still warm and using either you fingers or a knife, pull off and trim away the oozy marshmallow.You are simply just cleaning up your cookies. 

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Annie

Visions of Sugar Plums and Cookies and Candy

Christmas is less than a week away, so let's cut to the chase and get baking. Whether you are making cookies for Santa, creating something to give as gifts or just wanting another excuse to eat all the Christmas treats possible, let me be your guide to some of my fave seasonal sweets.

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My Signature Sugar Cookies were the first thing I remember learning how to bake. They get made for various events throughout the year, but always get made on Christmas Eve and set out for Santa. 

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White Chocolate & Cranberry Christmas Cookies need I say more? Mom made these a couple weeks ago for a cookie exchange party and I'll go out on a limb and guess they were a hit;)

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Peppermint Bark is so Christamsy and what I have made the past two years for co-worker gifts!

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Cookie Butter Rice Krispies get a festive flair added to them by using red and green sprinkles to decorate. Also great for co-worker gifts or work pot-luck parties.

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This post has me questioning why I haven't made my White Chocolate Dipped Oatmeal Ginger Cookies this season yet? These suckers are BOMB for lack of a better word.

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Christmas Crack courtesy of my blogger bestie Molly! Need a last minute gift idea? Here you go, and yes it's crack. "Say crack again."

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Dreaming of a white Christmas? These Snowball Cookies help make dreams come true!

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Homemade Turtles are the least scary homemade candy you can make. Because when else, but at Christmas do you make homemade candy?

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Merry Berry Scones are perfect for Christmas morning.

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Lastly, Perfect CCCs - Christmafied! I made a massive batch this year to give as gifts! Packaged them in Chinese take-out boxes, and tied with a red bow! 

Merry Christmas from Take A Bite!

Annie