Hawaiian S’mores

School is back in session here in Hawaii which seems crazy early to me because 1) hello, August just started and 2) it is still H-O-T but, I’m not complaining because our favorite haunts (aka the neighborhood pool and beach) are extra quiet now that the big kids are in school. 

Hawaiian S'more

Since our kids are still small, summer is still in full swing for us. We are enjoying extra long days in the sun, water playdates with friends and (Daddy especially) the west side swell. 

Before my cousin Lily went off to the mainland for the summer, we had her over for dinner. Of course, you I can’t have someone over for dinner without making a yummy dessert so I decided to put together the most classic of summer desserts: s’mores. 

I went to the grocery store to grab the ingredients and the local section was calling my name. LOUD. So I went over, grabbed a bunch of pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts and decided that I would put my own twist on the summer dessert staple.

coconut and mac nut smores

I dipped the grahams in melted dark chocolate, then sprinkled with either coconut flakes or macadamia nuts and put them on a cooling rack to dry.

Then, we roasted our mallows, stacked it with a pineapple ring and some extra chocolate (for good measure) and sandwiched it between two decorated grahams and dug in. 

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The Hawaiian S’mores were t-t-t-t-tasty, tasty (Fergie throwback, anyone?) 

The pineapple really lightens up the s’mores which means you don’t have that gross heavy feeling after eating one which means you can have more than one. 

I think that next time I will try with my coconut marshmallows

What’s your favorite way to dress up a s’more? I’d love to hear about it below! 

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Tasty Old Fashioned Donuts

You know those recipe videos that have been floating around Facebook recently? So fun to watch amiright? It’s a good thing calories don’t count when you are just watching food being made or I would be in trouble. 

I stumbled upon this video tutorial for tasty old fashioned donuts during a late night nursing session and knew that I was going to have to make them. 

Soon.

Unluckily for me, Simon Earl is going through the dreaded 4 month sleep regression right now which means I’m awake all the time.

Luckily for my family, I used my lack of sleep to make a big batch of donuts before we met up to surf. 

old fashioned donuts

Because of my lack of cookie/biscuit cutters/shot glasses, (I thought we had a collection going at some point) I used a mason jar lid and a tiny funnel to cut the dough. As you can see below, the funnel has a little lip on the outside of it keep it connected to it’s other funnel friends. Great for organization. Not so great for donut making. The extra little hole made the donuts a little funky looking. 

old fashioned donuts

These babies were tasty – funky funnel holes and all.

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I love that I didn’t use any fancy tools, equipment or ingredients (ahem – funnel-turned-donut-cutter) and they turned out just fine. 

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Do yourself a favor and make a donut tower this weekend. You wont be mad. 

For the donuts:
2 1/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sour cream
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying

For the glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water

(I cheated and used all purpose flour with cornstarch instead of cake flour –  2TB per cup of flour)

Directions

Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg) in a smaller bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar on a low speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and mix together on a medium speed. Add half the dry ingredients, blend. Add the sour cream, blend. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and blend until the dough is well-combined. Place dough in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for an hour.

Place chilled dough on a floured surface. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the donut shapes with pastry cutters or use a roughly 3-inch cup and a roughly 1 1/4 inch shot glass. (BONUS: You can save the insides for donut holes or combine them, roll out your dough again, and make more full-sized donuts). Lightly score three lines in each donut, forming a triangle.

Heat oil to 325°F. Carefully place the donut in the oil scored side up. Let the donut float to surface and cook for about 15 more seconds. Flip and fry 90 seconds. Flip again and fry for 75 more seconds (or until both sides are golden brown).

Create your glaze by combining the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, corn syrup, and hot water until it becomes smooth. (Cover when not using immediately.) Dip the top of each donut in your glaze and set on a drying rack to allow glaze to dry and any extra to drip off.

Recipe courtesy of Tasty.

 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Sugar Cookies

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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Sugar cookies. Total classic Christmas cookie right?

For the past few weeks my social media feeds have been flooded with sugar cookies in all shapes and sizes, beautifully baked and decorated to perfection. 

Aesthetically, my sugar cookies are far from perfect. My stars are a little less than stellar and the edges were a little more crunchy than they should be. 

I left the decorating to Lyla and I think she saved the cookies with her mad decorating skills. (nope, no mom bias here) 

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The actual cookie though is delicious – I followed this recipe with no modifications. Next time, I’ll stay a little closer to the oven to make sure I don’t brown the edges 😉

Do you make sugar cookies at Christmas time? I would love to see your finished products!

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Raspberry Thumbprint

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.
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My Grandma makes awesome jam. 

In our family, it’s as good as gold.

I almost couldn’t bring myself to use it for this recipe because, if I did, I wouldn’t have anymore gold. 

But, a little birdie told me that some more jam may be coming my way for Christmas so I decided to use it up. 

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Don’t have any of Grandma’s jam laying around? No problem. The shortbread cookie base for these thumbprint cookies is delicious on its own. Fill them with whatever kind of jam is your jam (see what I did there?) and I’m sure you will be pleased. 

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup room temperature butter
  2. 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 2 cups flour
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
  7. 1 jar of jam of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract
  4. Add flour and salt and mix until dough is formed
  5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet
  6. Using your finger, make a small indentation in the center of each cookie
  7. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly brown
  8. Remove baking sheet from oven
  9. Fill each cookie with jam
  10. Bake for an additional 3 to 4 minutes
  11. Cool on wire rack
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Peanut Butter Blossom

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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Peanut butter and chocolate. Is there a better combo?

(the answer is no)

I feel like this cookie is a classic and doesn’t need much of an intro. You know what to expect and when you use this recipe from my girl Betty Crocker, you know what you are going to get. 

Pro tip: make sure you roll them in granulated sugar before baking to make them extra pretty. 

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Yields 36
Classic peanut butter and chocolate cookies
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  2. 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  3. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  4. 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  7. 3/4 tsp baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. about 2 TB granulated sugar for rolling
  10. 36 chocolate candies (or a few more if some just so happen to find their way into your mouth)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. In bowl of electric mixer (or large bowl) combine sugars, butter, peanut butter and egg
  3. Mix on medium speed (can also use a spoon) until well combined
  4. Slowly stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder until dough forms
  5. Form dough into 1 inch balls
  6. Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheet
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes
  8. Press an unwrapped chocolate candy into center of each cookie immediately after removing from oven
  9. Let cookies cool completely on cooling rack
Notes
  1. Want to jazz up your peanut butter blossoms this year? Try adding a chocolate peanut butter cup to the center instead of the plain chocolate. My cousin suggested this to me and I can't wait to try - the more chocolate and peanut butter, the better!
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/

 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Grandma Etta’s Cookies

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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This is a special cookie recipe in our household. It is a family favorite, passed down to me by my sweet mother-in-law when Alex and I were first married.

Per family tradition, this cookie only makes an appearance at Christmas time and, seeing as these are Alex’s favorite cookies of all-time, you can bet that it is on repeat in the Byrd house for the entire month of December.

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This recipe makes a thin, somewhat chewy cookie. It’s spicy and citrusy and totally unique.

Because I only bake them at Christmastime, I always roll them in a festive red sugar sprinkle but the color bleeds into the dough when baking which results in a not-so-photogenic (but still delicious) cookie. So, if you plan on making these for a cookie spread or to bring to a party I recommend using regular sugar.

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Does your family have a special Christmas recipe?

Grandma Etta's Cookies
Thin, chewy, spicy, delicious. A family favorite!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
22 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter (room temperature)
  2. 1 1/2 up sugar
  3. 1 tsp ground ginger
  4. 1 tsp ground cloves
  5. 1 tsp baking soda
  6. 1 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1/2 tsp lemon rind
  9. 1 TB light corn syrup
  10. 2 1/4 cup flour
  11. Coarse sugar or sprinkles for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together butter and sugar
  3. In a small bowl, mix together ginger, cloves, baking soda and cinnamon; add to butter/sugar mixture
  4. Add egg, lemon rind and corn syrup to mixture and stir until combined
  5. Slowly blend in 2 1/4 cup flour (more if dough is sticky)
  6. Roll dough into 1" balls, tap the top of the ball in coarse sugar or sprinkles
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until edges are lightly brown
Notes
  1. The original recipe says to mix ingredients with a spoon (you go, Grandma Etta) - I cheat and use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment 😉
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/

 

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12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Crinkle

Bust out those aprons – it’s cookie time! Between now and Christmas, I’ll be sharing 12 delicious cookie recipes for you to try. Share some with your neighbors, bring some to a cookie swap party, or keep them all for yourself. I won’t tell anyone. Promise.

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If you’re happy it the weekend and you know it clap your hands. CLAP CLAP. 

I am so thankful that it’s the weekend. The past few days have been full of doctors appointments, toddler meltdowns and figuring out our new dynamics as we venture out into public. Mentally, I’m exhausted and I am so very glad to have an extra set of hands around for a few days (husbands rock). 
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I don’t have much to say about these cookies (mainly because my brain is fried) except for the fact that I sent the whole batch to work with Alex and got an email the same day from one of his co-workers asking for my crack recipe. 

So, if you only make one cookie this weekend, let this be it. 

 

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
Perfect chocolate cookie - almost like a brownie - rolled in powdered sugar. What's not to love?!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 2 cups white sugar
  3. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups all purpose flour
  7. 2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar (for coating)
Instructions
  1. Mix together the cocoa powder, sugar and oil in a medium bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth and shiny
  2. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into the coca mix until smooth
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and put into fridge for at least 4 hours
  4. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, coat each ball in powdered sugar and place onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper
  5. 5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack
Notes
  1. Make sure you chill this dough - it will be really hard to form into balls without doing so!
Adapted from Collecting Memories
BRINGING UP BYRDS http://www.natashabyrd.com/
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