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Copycat Swig Sugar Cookies

Have you ever gotten a sugar cookie from Swig?  They are thick, soft, buttery cookies with the perfect melt in your mouth texture and a beautiful dollop of frosting swirled right over the top.  Classic Swig cookies have pink icing, but how could I resist using aqua food coloring?  I have to say, after seeing these I don't think I could ever do pink.  Aren't they just gorgeous!?!?!?!  (Of course you can use YOUR favorite color in your frosting and totally personalize these.) I've recipe tested, adjusted, tweaked some more and am calling these hands down the best sugar cookie I've ever had.  One of the secrets?  My family LOVES almond extract, so I used almond instead of vanilla in the icing and OH.MY.GOODNESS.  It is absolute heavenly perfection!  Almond not your thing?  Feel free to switch out vanilla but my fam swears that this little change knocks these out of the park over Swig cookies, so give it a try - I only add a 1/2 tsp, so it's not overwhelming, just downr
Recent posts

Homemade Fettuccine Pasta

  I spent some time on my stay-cation between Christmas and New Years playing around with making pasta!  I've never made pasta before, but my hubby got me the KitchenAid pasta roller attachment set for my birthday in November and I've been dying to try it.  What a fun process!!  After making a few dough's and reading a TON of information on making pasta, (and binge watching Giada and Bobby Flay in Italy), I found this combination of ingredients to give me some pretty incredible results!  My family agrees that it is going to be really hard to ever go back to regular dried pasta after enjoying this amazing stuff! Just this past weekend, (after all my experimenting), my hubby and I enjoyed a Saturday date day making fettuccine together and we seriously had so much fun!  (To the point where we then made gnocchi together Sunday.)  My hubby now thinks he is a pasta making expert and swears he is going to make it all by himself for me one night.  I'll be completely happy with

Weekend French Toast

We have a newly evolving family tradition on Saturday mornings that involves this amazing French toast!  It happened out of the blue - a few months ago when I woke up and decided I was going to make French toast for the hubby and the rest was history - he has literally asked for it just about every Saturday since, (to the point where he reminds me to get the bread during the week.)  It is that yummy! Part of fun of this tradition involves having multiple toppings available - maple syrup, nutella, biscoff, bananas, berries, pineapple, pecans, (or your favorite nuts), coconut, whipped cream, powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, whatever you like!  Your fam can build their own perfect masterpiece!  (My hubby loves bananas, pecans and maple syrup.) This french toast is nice and crispy on the outside and custardy, (that's actually not really a word but I'm using it anyway), on the inside.  You will want bread that is sliced at least an inch thick so that it doesn't dissolve in the cu

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

There is something so comforting and satisfying about a bowl of pasta smothered in a sauce made from butter, cream and Parmesan cheese.  If you have never made your own Alfredo sauce you are truly missing out because no bottled jar can compare to the beautiful flavor you get from slow simmering these simple ingredients together!  This sauce brings the kids home.  Literally.  My kids have straight up changed their plans when they find out I'm making this for dinner.  It's a family fav for sure, especially when we serve it up with homemade fresh pasta!  ( Recipe for homemade pasta now available here! ) When having this for dinner, we sometimes like to slice up breaded chicken strips and serve them over the top like you get at Olive Garden, but honestly, it's heavenly just by itself, no frills needed.  This sauce also makes a GREAT dip for bread sticks!  ( Check out my favorite breadstick recipe here. ) Ingredients 1/2 Cup Butter 1 tsp Garlic Minced 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

Quick & Easy Jam Tarts

Happy New Year!  For my final recipe of this year I am sharing this ridiculously easy bite size treat that you could literally throw together right now if you wanted to.  Jam tarts were something that my mum made all the time when I was growing up so I completely attribute this recipe to her and my British roots and wonderful childhood memories!  We moved to the United States from England when I was about ten, so I remember many international nights at my school here in the US where my mum would do a big display about Great Britain and serve up these little tarts for people to taste.  Let me tell you, it was a very popular display!  There is something about this little sweet bite that is comforting and fun - and so I think it's the perfect little treat to take us in to 2021. This is definitely a big cheat recipe because I use store bought refrigerated pie crust that you just unroll and cut, but you can absolutely use your favorite pie crust recipe too if you want to go to all that

Phyllo Shell Quiche Bites

I love making mini-quiche with pastry, but I recently started buying these pre-baked phyllo shells , (found in the freezer section), to try out some different appetizers and let me tell you, I'm seriously hooked on these things!!  (Note, this is not a paid advertisement, just a product I really enjoy.)  These little shells make bite size appetizers and desserts so quick to throw together and they are light, flaky, and have a lovely crunch to them.  They are completely delicious and so, so easy!  No rolling, cutting, trying to get the pastry out of the mini muffin pans... I will be making these a LOT! Do you know what I love about quiche?  You can literally mix and match your fillings and seasonings in any way you want and create something very different from the last time you made them.  Some of our favorite fillings include finely chopped cooked bacon, ham, pepperoni, sausage, caramelized onions,  tomatoes, spinach, asparagus, red pepper, mushrooms, jalapeno, Swiss cheese, Gruyer

Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookies

It's National Cookie Day and I wanted to create a new tasty cookie to celebrate.  I have been SO in to pistachios during Covid.  We never have less than at least three huge club size bags here - shelled, unshelled, sweet, spicy - I'm not fussy, I just love a handful as a snack when I am working.  Even right now I have roasted, lightly salted, chili, BBQ chipotle and honey roasted in the pantry!    I knew I wanted pistachios in this cookie and I knew I wanted a shortbread type cookie.  I love shortbread but don't make it very much which is kind of funny being that my mum is 100% Scottish.  My initial idea was to do a sliced roll shortbread cookie with a swirl of Nutella, chocolate chips and chopped pistachios running through it, but it was just one of those days that everything went wrong.  I was out of Nutella - HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?!?!?!  (Don't worry - I have rectified that.)  Then I rolled the dough out too thin and the logs just crumbled into pieces.  I ended u

Quick & Easy Chocolate Trifle

Trifle is traditionally an English dessert that contains sponge cake soaked with alcohol or fruit juice, fruit, custard and real whipped cream, but I love playing around with the layers and coming up with my own combinations.  I was always told that trifle gets its name from the fact that you are using "a trifle of this and a trifle of that" and I love that you can be creative and use pretty much whatever you have on hand.  This particular chocolate trifle I came up with one Christmas with stuff I happened to have in the freezer and the pantry and it now makes a regular appearance at most of our family gatherings.  It is Mike Jr's absolute favorite dessert to the point that he hates when we take it anywhere because there are rarely any leftovers to bring home.  What I love about this particular recipe is that it is soooooooo easy and takes no effort.  It is literally just layering lots of yummy things.  You can change any of these ingredients out to create your own t

Massive Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

My massive chocolate chip cookie recipe is one of my most popular recipes ever.  I have been told multiple times that they are better than any you can buy in the cookie shops here in Utah, and I have to admit, they are pretty dang awesome.  They should be though, they have been made innumerable times to get them absolutely perfect and they been gifted to family, friends, my husbands physical therapy patients and my coworkers over the years more times than I could ever count.  (Let's just say I can pretty much make them without the recipe.)  What honestly makes them so brilliant is the combination of a slightly crisp exterior with a ooey gooey chocolatey center!  They are seriously out of this world delicious.   I decided I needed to try some different variations of this cookie since it has been enjoyed by so many and my hubby requested chocolate peanut butter, so here we are.  I'm not going to lie, these are just as amazing as the originals and one of my own personal favorites

Caramel Sauce

This smooth and creamy caramel sauce recipe was one of the first two recipes I shared on this blog but it needed a makeover badly and was lost in the archives, so here I am giving it a bit of a face lift and the equivalent of a "grand reopening" because honestly, everyone NEEDS this caramel sauce in their life. I love this recipe for so many reasons.  First, it is practically fail proof.  Second, it's made from pantry items that you most likely have on hand right now.  (No fancy heavy cream or half and half needed.) Third, it makes the perfect amount to fill two 8oz jelly jars, so I can keep a jar and share a jar with someone who might need a pick me up.  Fourth, it keeps really well in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.  (This pic was taken two days after I made it with no heating up needed!) This recipe uses evaporated milk instead of heavy cream, so if you just keep a couple of cans in your food storage, you can literally have this any time you want it.  It's

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  Is fall even fall if you don't make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies?!?!  I love the smell of pumpkin spice wafting through my kitchen.  It screams the holidays to me and the holidays just make me so happy.  Baking cookies is a really easy way to bring smiles in to any home, and these are both super simple to make and scrumptious to eat. I've been busy testing many different techniques - melted butter, creamed butter, different measurements of white and brown sugar, baking soda vs baking powder, butter vs oil - (my poor family are probably sick of taste testing), but these suckers finally came out absolutely PERFECT.  These cookies have a beautiful slightly soft, chewy texture, (not overly cakey), with a punch of pumpkin spice and plenty of chocolate.   Honestly, what could be easier than mixing up dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another, combining both, adding chocolate chips, and scooping on to baking sheets?  You can literally be eating these warm and gooey t

Mango Almond Scones

I honestly am a huge fan of any kind of fruit in a scone.  Be it American wedge scones stuffed with fresh fruit or British scones served with clotted cream and fruit preserves, I'm all over it.  The combination of flavors for these particular wedge scones came about especially for my dad.  My Pops was born in Northampton, England, attended Oxford University and then worked for the bank of England before we came here to the US as a family for  his new job in downtown Washington D.C., so he is very British.  When I thought about something fun I could make for him, my first thoughts were of scones, but I wanted to do something different from the traditional British scones that are served with clotted cream.  I decided I would do an American wedge scone with fruit running through it.  My dad loooooooooooooves marzipan so I knew I wanted to incorporate almond flavoring and I know he eats mangoes every time my mom makes salad at home, which is pretty much daily, so I went with those two

Maple Pecan Kolaches (Kolace/Kolacky)

Have you ever heard of Kolaches?  (Kolache/kolace/kolacky.)  They are a Czech pastry that consist of a puffy, soft dough with a nice dollop of sweet filling in the middle.  I first heard of and tasted Kolaches when one of my awesome coworkers brought them in to the office from a local bakery down in Provo for a treat.  When they arrived and I saw the boxes filled with beautiful dough that was either topped with sweet fruity toppings or stuffed with savory meats, (savory ones are usually called klobásník/klobasnek/klobásníky), I was in heaven.  They were absolutely scrumptious!  I recently saw them again on Divers Drive-Ins & Dives when Guy visited the Hruska's bakery in Salt Lake City, Utah and watching the gal make them, I knew I had to try and recreate them myself I have baked these little beauties quite a few times now to test out different methods and types of dough, and I feel like the dough is finally perfect to share.  These Kolaches are made with a soft, buttery brioche

Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks

When it comes to yeast, there are two kinds you need to be most aware of as a home baker.  Instant and Active Dry.  Honestly, they can be basically interchanged in recipes, HOWEVER, if you work with Active Dry, you HAVE to dissolve it in some warm liquid first.  Instant, (also sometimes called rapid-rise or quick-rise yeast), can be mixed straight in with the other dry ingredients.  I like instant yeast the best, and find I get the most consistent results with it, but you do you.  Just know that my recipes are made and tested with instant yeast.   I was always told to pick one kind of yeast and learn to cook with it because you will become familiar with how it works and I have definitely found that to be true.  I do like to bloom my instant yeast every time I use it, just to make sure it's going to work before I put all the effort in to the recipe, so the majority of my yeast recipes will have you add the yeast to warm liquid at the beginning and let it sit for a couple of minute