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Reader Favorites from 2013!

I have lots of yummy things to share with you soon, but I’ve taken the last week off from blogging to spend some wonderful time with my family. For now, I thought I’d share this little recap for you of the most loved recipes from 2013. A few of my favorites (like this, and this) didn’t make the cut, but really, everything you are getting on this little piece of the web is something I make over and over again, or else I wouldn’t share it with you!

Thanks for sharing this past year with me. For those of you that read my ramblings, I am more grateful than you could ever know.

1. Angel Wings

Buttery cookies with a touch of cinnamon. These tender cookies mimic puff pastry, without the labor intensiveness!

Angel Wings | Sugar and Grace

2. Warm Goat Cheese Dip w/ Artichokes & Roasted Tomatoes

One of my most favorite appetizers everrrrr. You just can’t beat hot and bubbly goat cheese.

Warm Goat Cheese Dip w/ Artichokes and Roasted Tomatoes | Sugar and Grace

3. Gingerbread Scones

I love scones, and this is one of my favorite variations. Gingerbread for breakfast!

Gingerbread Scones | Sugar and Grace

4. Kale & Brussels Salad w/ Bacon & Pecorino

I guest posted this recipe on my bff’s blog, and it has been one of her most popular posts as well…for good reason. This salad takes a bit of time, but you can prep it in steps, and it is SO worth it.

Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad w/ Bacon & Pecorino | Sugar and Grace

5. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Cookies

One of my husband’s favorites…he kindly “suggests” that I make these again and again. And the butter is cut in half!

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil Cookies | Sugar and Grace

6. Hummingbird Cake

A southern staple. Gotta try it.

Hummingbird Bundt Cake | Sugar and Grace

7. Copycat Babe’s Salad

A recipe inspired by the sweet, tangy, super unadorned salad at one of our favorite fried chicken spots. It’s incredibly easy, and so, so tasty. My little boy loves it!

Copycat Babe

8. White Sangria

One of the prettiest things I’ve ever made I think. Fresh fruit thrown together with some wine…such a fun summer drink. You can leave out the wine in a glass or two and serve some in a special glass to your kids…they’ll think it’s the coolest thing ever!

White Sangria | Sugar and Grace

9.  Chocolate Almond Oat Bites

One of the biggest revelations for me this year, truly. You can have a healthy dessert that tastes AWESOME. This is a recipe I will go back to again and again.

Gluten Free Chocolate Almond Oat Bites | Sugar and Grace

10.  Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

I fell in love with Chicago style pizza last year, and became completely obsessed with this recipe when we determined that is a darn near perfect imitation. And made at home. Just flat out delicious.

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza | Sugar and Grace

Did any of your favorites make the list? Anything that was left off? I would love to hear what recipes you graciously brought into your homes and shared with your families and friends this year!

Wishing you all a joyous, blessed 2014. Thank you again for sharing this year with me.

 

JPJanuary 1, 2014 - 5:53 pm

LOVE this recap! Could your pictures be any more awesome??

Dark Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies w/ Cherries and Cashews

Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies w/ Cherries and Cashews | Sugar and Grace

Well, it’s official.

I will never understand my husband. At least when it comes to food.

Just when I think I have his tastes pegged, he goes and surprises me. And then confuses me. And then, crap, I don’t know which cookies to share with you.

Dark Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies w/ Cherries and Cashews | Sugar and Grace

I made these with the intention of leaving part of the dough plain, for the picky man I love so much. Then, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, he ended up liking the ones with the mix-ins more.

So, I’ll let you choose! This is simply a basic refrigerator cookie dough with the addition of some yummy ingredients. And really, those can be customized to fit your tastes. The saltiness of the cashews and the tartness of the cherries really played well  against the dark chocolate, but I’m sure toffee chips would be yummy, or you could try one of the prettiest holiday combos…pistachios and cranberries.

Dark Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies w/ Cherries and Cashews | Sugar and Grace

Or, you can leave ’em pure and simple, which as you probably know by now, is this plain jane’s cookie of choice.

Dark Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies w/ Cherries and Cashews | Sugar and Grace

 

When left unadulterated, they are a lot like this chocolate sugar cookie, only without the rolling. And that’s the beauty of refrigerator cookies…you get that dense, chewy, sugar cookie texture with very little work. You can make the dough ahead of time and then slice and bake when ready…perfect for busy holiday evenings!

Dark Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies w/ Cherries and Cashews

Ingredients

1/2 c butter, softened

1 c sugar

1/4 c packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 3/4 c + 2 Tbs flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1/4 c cocoa powder*

1/3 c cashews, chopped (optional)

1/4 c dried cherries, chopped (optional)

*I prefer dutch processed cocoa in most of my recipes…my go to is Hershey's Special Dark.

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugars in a large bowl until fluffy. Add egg, mix, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in vanilla.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl and mix until combined. Add in cherries and cashews (or any other mix-ins) if using. Form dough into three logs and wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 and remove dough from fridge. Unwrap, and slice into 1/4" slices. Place 2" apart on a parchment lined baking pan and bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes. Remove cookies from pan and cool on a cooling rack.
http://www.sugarandgrace.com/2013/12/21/dark-chocolate-refrigerator-cookies-w-cherries-and-cashews/

Dark Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies w/ Cherries and Cashews | Sugar and Grace

 

JennDecember 23, 2013 - 3:48 pm

These are pretty 🙂

I can just imagine how rich and chocolate-y these must taste; they sound fabulous! I have a limited amount of patience for cut-out cookies and I haven’t quite perfected the technique either, so slice-and-bake sounds wayyy better. 🙂

bree@sugarandgrace.comJanuary 9, 2014 - 2:57 am

Alexandra, I’m the same way…I love cut-outs, just don’t usually make the time for them. Suffice it to say I was thrilled to see that you could get similar texture and flavor with refrigerator cookies! These might just take the place of cut-outs for the foreseeable future 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

Cranberry Upside Down Cake {A Reflection on Coming Home}

In the Advent devotional I am reading, John Piper talks about the joys that exist in coming home for the holidays.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake | Sugar and Grace

As someone for whom “home” means so incredibly much (in all it’s different meanings), I was drawn in.

He says that the reason going home for the holidays is so special is because we are “destined in the depths of our being for an ultimate Homecoming.”  He says that all other homecomings are foretastes, and for me, this concept is so incredibly poignant.  If the joy, and warmth and pure, unconditional love of home here on earth is so magical and so wonderful, how much more so will our ultimate Homecoming be?! Just can’t fathom.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake | Sugar and Grace

The past few weeks have been tough ones for our family, and my husband’s family in particular. Watching a family member battle cancer is hard. Way harder than any of us expected. The encouragement I received though the advent devotion was this… God sent this newborn king so that we all have this amazing, incomprehensible, most joyous Homecoming waiting for us. Without this baby born in a barn, there is no eternal homecoming for us. God allowed his son to be born simply so that he could die….so that we, then, had this magnificent home to return to someday.

The pastor that did the service this weekend referred to the graveside as resurrection ground, and I love that. Leaving the home we know is hard, but I imagine that being born into our ultimate Home has to be the best thing ever.

So I baked a Christmasy cake for you, in celebration of that most magical night in Bethlehem. And because I think my mother-in-law would have liked it. I hope you do too.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake | Sugar and Grace

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

INGREDIENTS:

8-10 oz fresh cranberries, washed and patted dry
11 Tbs unsalted butter, softened and divided
1 c brown sugar
Scant 1/2 c pecans, coarsely chopped (optional)
2 eggs
1/2 c buttermilk, divided
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c all purpose flour
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

In a cast iron skillet, or round cake pan, melt 5 Tbs butter in a preheated 350 degree oven. Carefully remove from oven and tilt slightly back and forth to coat all sides. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the melted butter. Top with the cranberries and pecans (if using) and set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together eggs, 2 tbs buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside

In the bowl of your mixer, stir together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the remaining 6 Tbs of softened butter and 6 Tbs buttermilk. Beat for exactly a minute a half. Add in the egg mixture in thirds, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Pour batter over the cranberries, and carefully spread. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

When you remove the pan from the oven, the butter will still be hot and will help loosen the cake from the pan. Carefully tilt your pan back and forth again to help the cake loosen from the sides. Let cool for a couple minutes, then invert onto a serving platter or cake stand. This can be tricky…just make sure you use oven mitts! It’s a lot easier with a cake pan, but I love using a skillet for this so I just have to be quick and careful about flipping it. Regardless, it will taste the same, so don’t worry about pieces sticking to the bottom of the pan. Just pull them off and put those little caramel bits back on top of the cake…it happens all the time.

Serve warm with ice cream, or in the morning with coffee.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake | Sugar and Grace

Recipe adapted from, and with thanks to Joy of Cooking

 

toniDecember 21, 2013 - 1:45 am

Very poignant….very heartwarming…Mary would be so proud!
By the way….cake is delicious!

Gingerbread Scones

I don’t get cabin fever.
Gingerbread Scones | Sugar and Grace

Nope. The good Lord made me a homebody, and a four day lock in because of our massive Texas ice storm just meant I got to do EVERYTHING I WANTED for 72 hours straight.

I crafted, and wrapped presents, and (much to my husband’s dismay) watched lots of Hallmark Christmas movies. I read a book and drank lots of coffee and made lots of sugary things with my four year old. Just what a cooped up little boy needs, right?

So when I was craving gingerbread, I decided that, instead of making cookies, I would be healthy and make breakfast.
Gingerbread Scones | Sugar and Grace

Breakfast with lots of flour and butter, but breakfast nonetheless. Mmhmm.

I simply tweaked my favorite vanilla bean scone recipe by adding some spices and molasses, and we ended up with this spicy sweet plate of Christmas carbs. Theres not a whole lot better than gingerbread, a Christmas tree, and being inside with my family for four days.

Gingerbread Scones

print recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

2 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c cold butter, cubed
2 eggs
1/4 c molasses
1/2 c to 2/3 c milk*
Coarse sugar

*You may also use half and half to make these richer, but I didn’t notice a huge difference so opted to go with the less-fat option of using milk.

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture.

Whisk eggs, molasses, and milk together in a medium bowl. (I always start with 1/2 c milk) Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is moistened. Add remaining milk if needed.

Sprinkle flour on an ungreased or parchment lined baking sheet. Divide dough into two pieces, and shape each piece into a six inch circle on the pan. Brush with milk and sprinkle with coarse/turbinado sugar. Place in freezer for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, remove pan from freezer and cut each circle into six wedges, using a sharp knife or pastry cutter. Sometimes it helps to wet your knife with cold water if the dough is too sticky. Return pan to freezer for another 15 minutes.* Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425.

When ready, remove from freezer again and separate wedges slightly from one another so they have room to rise in the oven. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Serve warm.

*Once frozen, the scones can be wrapped and sealed, and kept in the freezer until you are ready to bake them. I often freeze half the scone dough and bake the other half. Then, on busy weekdays, I can just pull one out and bake in the toaster oven!

Gingerbread Scones | Sugar and Grace

ATasteOfMadnessDecember 16, 2013 - 5:20 am

Ooh. These scones are so festive!! I can’t get enough gingerbread flavored goodies: I just had a gingerbread latte and after that drank some gingerbread white hot chocolate. I think having these scones next is the only natural thing I can do!

Julie @ Lovely Little KitchenDecember 16, 2013 - 5:43 pm

I’m with you- I could stay home for days and never be bored! Sounds so cozy! Love your recipes Bree!

breelinne@gmail.comDecember 16, 2013 - 9:49 pm

As I do yours Julie! Thanks!

breelinne@gmail.comDecember 16, 2013 - 9:52 pm

Ooo I know what you mean! I take advantage of all the seasonal flavors I can! 🙂

toniDecember 19, 2013 - 7:22 pm

Oh….these sound so warm and comforting! Got to make…..
And I’m blessed the good Lord made you the way you are!

Friday FavoritesDecember 20, 2013 - 6:43 pm

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Angel Wings

Angel Wings | Sugar and GraceI like recipes with meaning.

Even if I have no clue what the meaning is, I always tend to gravitate towards recipes that sound as if they have a long, storied past…Cakes and cookies and pies that have monikers given to them by excited grandchildren, or breads and casseroles with names bearing the mark of their generation.

Chess pie!
Hummingbird cake!
Buckeyes!
King Ranch Chicken…Peanut Butter Blossoms…Pineapple Pretties…Monkey Bread…Poke Cake…Shepherds Pie…Brown Betty

I’ll try anything with names like those.

Angel Wings | Sugar and Grace

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[…] Angel Wings from Sugar and Grace-so light and delicate, perfect with a cup of coffee! […]

Joan@Chocolate and MoreDecember 11, 2013 - 2:49 pm

Bree! your Angel wings were wonderful, I had to fight the kids just to get 2 of them to enjoy with my coffee. I can’t believe how delicate this cookie is, I thought for sure it was made using puff pastry. Can’t wait to make up my own batch of these. Thank you so much, so glad I was lucky enough to be one of your recipients for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

AyannaDecember 13, 2013 - 6:35 pm

Hi Bree, thanks SO much for the yummy Angel Wings! Like the other person that commented, I thought for sure they were made with puff pastry! Loved that they weren’t overly sweet, they were just perfect! I enjoyed eating every last one of them and was really sad when they were all gone! Now that I have the recipe, I guess I have no excuse not to make me some more!:)

CarolDecember 14, 2013 - 9:05 pm

I have seen these made with store bought puff pastry.

breelinne@gmail.comDecember 15, 2013 - 4:26 pm

Yes you can definitely do that! This recipe isn’t exactly a puff pastry, but it works in the same way. The texture is a little more buttery, a little less flaky.

DinaDecember 15, 2013 - 10:10 pm

they look lovely!

KatrineDecember 16, 2013 - 4:31 pm

I’m going to a cookie exchange, and I’m on the hunt for the perfect cookie to take. These look great! How many does this recipe make?

breelinne@gmail.comDecember 19, 2013 - 1:50 pm

I’m so sorry for my delayed reply! This makes about 3 dozen.

[…] 1. Angel Wings […]

[…] Angel Wings […]

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