Recipe: White Beer Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets White Beer Cookies

It’s time for our annual baking with beer blog post. That’s right, while some like to sip a tall one, we like to add it to interesting recipes like White Beer Cookies. These sweet and slightly spicy cookies have a smooth yeasty flavor from the beer and a bright, tart zing from the orange zest. It’s the perfect treat for St. Patty’s Day (or any day, for that matter).

White Beer Cookies
adapted from Sean LaFond

24 oz. Belgian-style white beer
5 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 orange, zested
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

for icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon milk
orange zest

Directions
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir beer and honey together and reduce until there is about 1/3 cup of liquid. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together, then add the vanilla, orange zest, coriander, nutmeg and beer reduction and mix until well combined. Add the flour and baking soda and mix until dough is fluffy and even. Spoon rounded tablespoons of dough onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown around the edges. Remove to a cooling rack and prepare icing by whisking sugar, juice, milk and zest together. Drizzle icing over still-warm cookies and allow to cool before serving.

Recipe: Copycat Three Musketeers Candy Bar

Mrs. Fields Secrets Copycat Candy Bar

What’s better than a candy bar? A homemade candy bar, of course! This copycat Three Musketeers recipe is everything you love about the original, but better—soft, pillowy nougat in the center and a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate coating. And the best part? It only takes a few ingredients!

Copycat Three Musketeers Candy Bars

14 ounces marshmallow creme
32 ounces milk chocolate candy wafers
powdered sugar

Directions
Prepare an 8×8 baking dish by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying it with nonstick spray. Follow package directions to melt half of the milk chocolate wafers in the microwave or on a double boiler. While the chocolate is melting, transfer the marshmallow creme to a mixing bowl. Heat it for 20 seconds in the microwave to soften it before pouring the melted chocolate into it and stirring until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Transfer the dish to the freezer for roughly 2 hours, or until the nougat has thoroughly hardened.

Prepare a shallow dish with powdered sugar and set aside. Take two large pieces of parchment paper and transfer the frozen nougat onto one, removing the foil. Place a cooling rack over the second piece of parchment. Using a sharp knife, quickly cut the nougat into your preferred size of candy bars, then roll each bar in the powdered sugar, so that it has a fine dusting to keep it from getting sticky. (Brush off excess powdered sugar.) Once all nougat bars are prepared and resting on the parchment, melt the last half of chocolate wafers until thin. Coat the bottom side of each nougat bar with melted chocolate, then arrange them on the cooling rack, with about a half inch space between them. Next, pour the chocolate over the tops of the bars, using your fingers or a small spatula to make sure all the sizes are coated in chocolate and the excess can drip down onto the parchment. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden before serving. To keep firm, store in the fridge or freezer.

Recipe: Rice Krispies S’mores Loaf

Mrs. Fields Rice Krispie Smores

A fun twist on two favorite treats, rice krispies and s’mores, this easy dessert is a hit with kids and adults alike and perfect for things like that upcoming bake sale. Infuse graham cracker crumbs into the cereal and marshmallow mix, then roll melted chocolate and marshmallow creme in the middle for a decadent middle. No campfire required.

Rice Krispies S’mores Loaf

1 package mini marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
5 1/2 cups puffed rice cereal
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme
6 milk chocolate candy bars

Directions
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with a sheet of parchment paper sprayed generously with nonstick spray. In a large pot over low heat, melt marshmallows and butter together until smooth. Turn heat off and stir in the cereal and graham cracker crumbs until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Spray your hands with nonstick spray and press the cereal to spread evenly in the pan. Next, spread the marshmallow creme over the entire middle of the cereal mixture, leaving about an inch margin around all sides. Break the chocolate bars and spread them out evenly over the marshmallow mixture, then place the pan in the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the chocolate is melted and spreadable. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the marshmallow, then begin rolling the sheet onto itself (start with one of the long sides), just as you would a cinnamon roll, pulling the parchment away as you roll. Use your hands to shape it into a loaf, seam-side down, then chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting and serving.

Mrs. Fields Rice Krispie Smores

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Freezer Friendly Burritos

Mrs. Fields Secrets Burritos

Next up in our series of freezer-friendly meals is an easy weeknight dinner idea that can also double as a quick, anytime freezer meal in individual portions. These beef, bean and cheese burritos are so simple and delicious, your whole family will love them. Eat them for dinner, or reheat them for a quick lunch. It’s a go-to recipe that can keep going and going.

Beef Bean & Cheese Burritos

1 lb. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8-10 flour tortillas

Directions
Brown ground beef and season with taco seasoning. Reduce heat to low and stir in refried beans. Preheat a frying pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Place a generous scoop of the beef and bean mixture in the middle of a tortilla and top with some cheddar cheese. Roll into a burrito, tucking the ends in and place seam-down onto the heated griddle (sprayed first with nonstick spray). Repeat with remaining tortillas and brown on each side until crispy. Serve immediately or wrap in individual pieces of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

To reheat from frozen: warm in the microwave for three minutes on 75% power, flipping over once. Or (for a crisp version), heat in the microwave on high for one minute, then finish heating in a medium heat pan or griddle on all sides until crisp.

Tips for Freezing Cookie Dough

If freezing cold temps don’t really work for you, we’ve got some great ideas to make them really work for you. For the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite freezer-friendly tips and recipes to get the most out of your freezer. Today, we begin with cookies, which are a perfectly suited for your freezer. You can put frozen cookie dough right into your preheated oven and have freshly baked cookies in a matter of minutes. But how you freeze and store the dough matters, so follow our tried-and-true tips.

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After making your favorite cookie dough (we recommend our Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip recipe), allow dough to sit for a few minutes while you prepare a 9×13 casserole dish with a Silpat liner or a piece of parchment paper lining the bottom. Half of the liner should be hanging over the edge. Form dough into puck-like discs, about an inch thick with a flat top and line them along the bottom of the dish, leaving a little room around the edges.

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Once the bottom half has been filled, fold the liner back over the first layer of cookie dough and fill in another layer on top. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least one hour to get them hard. (You could leave this in the freezer for longer, but the dough won’t last as long or stay as fresh with so much air surrounding it. Not to mention that a 9×13 dish takes up a lot of space!)

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Using two strips of plastic wrap per six dough discs, create a “tube” of cookie dough by using the first strip to weave accordion-style between each disc so that they won’t stick together. Wrap excess around the sides, then wrap the stack inside the second strip of plastic wrap to create a tube. When it’s time to bake, simply preheat your oven, unwrap a tube of dough, arrange them on a lined baking sheet, and bake until golden brown.

Frozen cookie dough will stay fresh in your freezer up to three months, so next time you’re making a batch of cookies, but don’t want to bake them all, pop some in the freezer as a gift to your future self. (Your future self sends thanks!)

 

Recipe: Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Mrs. Fields Secrets Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Listen up, valentines. Today’s recipe is love at first bite. It will make your heart skip a beat, send you over the moon, and every other romantic cliché in the book. These are velvety, cakey cookies with bits of chocolate and just the right amount of chew. That’s right, this is a cookie designed for love. Make a batch for someone you love (or someone you hope to love). They are more reliable than cupid’s arrow.

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon half-and-half
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup regular chocolate chips (for garnish)

Directions
In a medium bowl, stir the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together, then set aside. In a stand mixer, whip the butter on high speed until creamy and light. Add both sugars to the butter and beat until well combined. Add the egg, milk and vanilla (scraping down the sides as needed), then stir in food coloring until well combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix on low until a soft dough with a cakey texture is formed. Stir in the mini chocolate chips, then cover and chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place on a prepared baking sheet, then press the tops gently with your fingers to create a little bit of a flat top. (This will help them spread more evenly.) Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops have even cracks across the surface. Remove and gently tap a few regular chocolate chips into the warm surface for garnish. Transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 18-24 cookies, depending on size.

Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche Star

Mrs. Fields Hazlenut Brioche Star

Today’s recipe is a show stopper in every possible way, except for the fact that it’s super simple to create! (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.) If you can use a rolling pin, you can make this delectable dish. It’s perfect for a dessert or brunch, the soft sweet bread is broken up by thin layers of Nutella. It’s perfect with coffee, hot cocoa, or even a scoop of ice cream.

Chocolate Hazelnut Brioche Star

3-4 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one lemon
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
3/4 cups warm milk
3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)

{for glaze}
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

Directions
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, sugar, lemon zest and yeast. Add in eggs, butter, and warm milk and knead until dough is soft and springy to the touch (about 5-10 minutes). Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Punch down dough and shape into an even ball, then divide into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and then roll the first ball flat into a 10-inch circle. Transfer the circle to a prepared baking sheet. Spread 1/4 cup of hazelnut spread over the first layer, leaving about 1/2-inch perimeter around the edge. Repeat with the next two layers, adding them to the top of the last. Finally, roll the fourth and final ball of dough and add it to the top. Place a 10-inch plate on top and trim around the edges so that you have a perfect circle. Remove plate, then place a round glass in the center of the circle that has a 3-inch diameter. Rest it there, then cut sixteen equal stripes out from the center circle. Next, take two adjacent strips and turn them in toward each other 2 1/2 times, then pinch the ends together to form a point. Continue with the remaining strips.

Mix the egg white and water to make a thin glaze, then brush a thin layer over the entire brioche. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe: Snowball Popcorn Balls

Snowball Popcorn Balls

While some people are not too keen on snow (especially as January drags on), pretty much everybody is keen on popcorn balls! Our favorite fist-sized treat from childhood is the perfect dish to make on a cold, snowy January day. And this recipe is dressed up with shredded coconut to give it a snowy look that tastes like heaven. Try them out with a mug of something warm.

Snowball Popcorn Balls
via Season of Sweets

7 quarts popcorn, popped and cooled*
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package shredded coconut

Directions
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Prepare another baking sheet with an even layer of shredded coconut. Place popcorn in an oversized bowl. In a saucepan, stir sugar, corn syrup, water and salt together, then cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 235 degrees or “soft ball” stage. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla until melted and completely combined. Pour the syrup evenly over the popcorn, then stir with a wooden spoon until you have an even coating. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes, then form popcorn into baseball-sized balls and roll in the coconut for an even coating, then place to cool completely on the parchment-lined sheet. Serve immediately or wrap each snowball in plastic wrap for best results.

*Two tablespoons of unpopped popcorn equals about 1 quart popped.

Recipe: Pinecone Treats

Mrs. Fields Secrets Pinecone Treats

It’s frigid and snowy outside, which means it’s a perfect time to stay inside and make some wintery sweet treats. These adorable, delicious pinecones are a no-bake, fun activity to do with the kids on a snow day. You might even have the ingredients in your pantry. They make a beautiful display and a yummy snack or dessert, especially with a fresh dusting of snowy powdered sugar.

Pinecone Treats

1/4 cup hazelnut spread
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
5 pretzel twists
3 cups chocolate Chex cereal

Directions
In a mixing bowl, combine the hazelnut spread, peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar until a play dough-like texture is reached. Divide into five equal portions, then wrap a portion around each pretzel twist, forming it into a conical shape. Place on a flat surface and begin sticking cereal pieces into the cone, wrapping around from bottom to top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to create a snowy look. Serve at room temperature.

Our Top Ten Favorite Recipes of 2014

Mrs. Fields Secrets Top Ten 2014 Mrs. Fields Secrets Top Ten 2014 2

 

One of our favorite parts of social media is sharing a fresh new recipe with you each week, prepared in a real home kitchen just like yours. As 2014 draws to a close, we took a look back at our favorite recipes from the year, some of which have turned out to be your favorite recipes too. Thanks for re-pinning, sharing, and joining our community. You’re the best part of our job at Mrs. Fields, and we look forward to a sweet new 2015 with you!

So, without further ado, our favorites from 2014:

1. Banana Bread Bread Pudding
2. Breadstick Cones
3. Butterscotch Budino Pudding
4. Cinnamon Stuffed Scones
5. Drop Sugar Cookies
6. Giant Cinnamon Roll Cake
7. Rice Pudding
8. Almond Pizzelle Cookies
9. Chewy Maple Oatmeal Cookies
10. Watermelon Pie

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know!

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