Tasty Tuesday: Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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Thank you Baker by Nature for today’s recipe….

Prep: ook

Cool: ield: 2 dozen

 

Ingredients

For the Buttered Pecans:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups pecan halves, finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies:

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted until browned
  • 2 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (don’t pack the flour into the measuring cup!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet OR dark chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks
  • 24 pecan halves, for decoration, optional

Instructions

For the Buttered Pecans:

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside until needed.

For the Brown Butter:

  1. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook for about 3 minutes – stirring almost constantly – until the butter has browned.
  2. Pour the brown butter into a heatproof bowl, being sure to scrape all of the “toasted” bits into the bowl as well.
  3. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or until the butter is at room temperature. You’ll know the butter is at room temperature when you press a finger into the top and it makes a slight indentation. It should not be liquid at all.
  4. Once the butter is at room temperature, you’re ready to get baking!

For the Brown Butter Bourbon Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside until needed.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine then set aside until needed.
  3. In a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine browned butter and both sugars and beat on medium-speed until light and fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add in the vanilla and bourbon and beat until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating for 15 seconds after each addition. Turn mixer off. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour, stirring only until the flour begins to disappear. Fold in the chocolate chunks and buttered pecans.
  4. Roll 3 tablespoon sized scoops of dough between your palms to form a ball (they should be big; almost a 1/4 cup), then place on prepared sheets (make sure to leave enough room in between each cookie for inevitable spreading). Continue this process until all the dough has been rolled. Press a pecan on the top of each cookie dough mound, if desired.
  5. Place baking sheets in preheated oven, one at a time, and bake for 9 to 10 minutes, or until golden at the edges but still soft in the middle. Repeat with all cookie dough. Sprinkle cookies with sea salt right when they come out of the oven. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Remember if you submit a recipe to me and I use it in my blog, YOU will receive a FREE gift from me….What is your favorite recipe during the holiday season?

Pack up those holiday cookies and take them with you as a hostess gift to your next party.  Thirty One’s Little Carry Alls are perfect for this…These novelty Littles Carry-All Caddys are also the perfect solution for organizing the little things in your life. From office supplies to eating utensils and cosmetics, this caddy helps keep your life in order by keeping everything right at your fingertips. Great for gifts, small toys, crafts, office desks, candy and seasonal home décor.  Lots of choices for everyone in the family.  You can even use these as a stocking stuffer instead of traditional stockings.

Personalize Holiday Gifts

Finding gifts for friends and family used to be easy for me….. I would note things there were interested in or wanted and probably wouldn’t buy for themselves or it would be something that triggered a memory.  Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons (mainly the MS) this has become more and more difficult.  If I don’t buy it or write it down when I am thinking of it….it is gone out of my head never to return.

I love giving things that are personal to friends and family.  I know it can be the difference between giving something they enjoy and something truly unforgettable. No matter how long your shopping list is this holiday season, these fun and creative ideas can add a personal touch which makes your gift one they’ll never forget! 

The holidays are a great time to celebrate the hardworking loved ones in your life. Maybe they’re driving the kids to and from practice and need some extra storage. Or they’re educating little ones and need a place to put all their classroom supplies. Or they’re nurses and need to be extra prepared for those extra-long shifts. Regardless, a Large Utility Tote or Medium Utility Tote will be a perfect fit for their busy schedules.  Here are some fun ways to personalize their bags:

For moms:

    • Chaos Coordinator
    • Too blessed to be stressed
    • Bless this Hot Mess
    • Wife. Mom. Boss.
    • Mom Life
    • Messy bun & gettin’ things done

For teachers:

    • Prepare to get schooled
    • Stop. Grammar time!
    • Because I’m the teacher, that’s why.
    • The influence of a great teacher cannot be erased
    • Teach, Love, Inspire

For nurses:

    • Work Hard. Stay Humble.
    • Sleep all day, Nurse all night
    • Boo Boo Crew
    • Hair up, Scrubs on
    • Comfort & Joy

 

Home is where the heart is, so help your friends and family make their space festive for the holidays with some of these keepsake decorations. Our Statement Canvas Pillow Cover is perfect for any room – and with so many options for embroidered or printed personalization, you can be sure to find something for that special person in mind.

Here are a few ideas for personalization:

    • Choose a Christmas Tree with the phrase “Home for the Holidays”
    • Use a festive lyric like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
    • Add a name along with a snowglobe or snowflake design
    • Insert Baby’s name with the phrase “First Christmas”

Other products like the Close to Home™ Round Tray are perfect for those who love to host friends and family for those big holiday meals. And with the endless possibilities of playful personalized phrases that can be added, their guests are sure to be served well.

    • Eat, Drink & Be Merry
    • Let’s eat!
    • All are welcome
    • The Miller Family
    • Gather Here
    • Eat, Pray, Love
    • Bless this Home

 

For all those people in your life who have a flair for the dramatic, our bold products and prints are sure to fit their personal style. Plus, by adding some sassy personalization to go with it, their one-of-a-kind bag can complete any look.

Our classic Cindy Tote™ Ltd., casual Retro Metro® Bag or new Festival Mini Backpackall make great gifts for those who want to stay on trend this season.

Personalization makes any bag mean even more:

Whatever you pick, remember about 90% of Thirty One’s products can be personalized… make the gift you give this holiday season one they will remember.

Have a blessed day!

 

Spiritual GPS


Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

GPS has changed our lives. So much so that many people today cannot even read a map. We don’t have a clue how to figure out North, South, East and West. We don’t have to.

We have GPS. Global Positioning Satellite systems.

We have it in our phones.

We have it in our watches.

We have it in our cars.

GPS has changed our lives. It helps us know where we are going and how to get there.

To pursue God’s calling in my life, I must discover my spiritual GPS.

The G in spiritual GPS is gifts. Finding God’s calling for your life begins with gifts. The spiritual gifts God has given you. The supernatural, better than your average bear abilities He has put within you. When God calls you to do something, He gives you the gifts that will enable you to do it. God’s plan never lacks God’s resources.

Check out the first part of Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship (His own master work, a work of art)” (Ephesians 2:10a, AMP).

You sometimes have to give some thought and effort to discovering your spiritual gifts.

Here are three of mine:

  • Teaching is one of my spiritual gifts. I have always had the ability to take complex truths and make them simple. I thought and often still do think that everyone can do that. Not true. I call it “putting the cookies on the bottom shelf.”
  • Encouraging is one of my gifts. I often spell “encourage” as “in courage” – because when you encourage someone, you pour courage into them.
  • Laughter is one of my gifts. I can make people laugh. Sometimes they laugh with me. Sometimes they laugh at me. But they laugh. And the Bible tells us that laughter is good medicine.

God placed those gifts in my life when He created me in my mother’s womb. The more I use them, the more they grow.

We all have gifts that God has given us. We need to know what they are. Because they are hints at God’s plan and design and calling for our lives.

So, the “G” in spiritual GPS is gifts.

The P in spiritual GPS is passion.

Ever notice how different people are passionate about different things?

We had a tornado this week in the area just West of Kansas City. Some of our church members are so passionate about helping people, they simply had to go do something. My son and daughter-in-law took a day off of work to go help their neighbors. Some of those neighbors lived less than a quarter mile away from them – and lost everything. There were so many people showing up to help that the police had to turn some people away because of the unusually heavy traffic on the rural Kansas road that runs through the area.

Back to the next part of Ephesians 2:10. “For we are created in Christ Jesus (reborn from above – spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used).”

Reborn …

Transformed …

Renewed …

Ready to be used …

Sounds like passion to me!

I have been speaking for women’s conferences and writing books and devotions for women for 30 years. I love it. Why? It lets me do what God created me to do. It fits my gifts – encouragement, leadership and teaching. It fits my passion – helping people become everything God created them to be.

So, the G in GPS stands for Gifts.

And the P in GPS stands for Passion.

The S in GPS stands for Story.

God – who designed me with a purpose in mind – is writing my story. He has been writing my story all of my life. The Bible tells us that He knew who we would be before He even created the world. The Bible tells us that He planned our story while we were still in the womb. The plan came first!

He is writing His story in and through you and me. And that story – our experiences, good and bad – helps us find our calling.

Back one more time to Ephesians 2:10 for the last part of that verse: “For we are created … for good works, which God prepared (for us) beforehand so that we would walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us).

Did you catch what that verse says? God created you for doing good. God has prepared and gifted you to do good. God has given you passion for doing good. He is writing a good story in and through us!

Throughout the course of your life, God has been at work in you. Writing His story. Giving you the desire and the ability to do what He has created you to do. Why have these gifts and passions always been present in your life? Because they are part of your story.

God will help you discover your spiritual GPS – your calling.

You will find it in your gifts.

You will find it in your passion.

You will find it in your story.

Have a blessed day!

Thankful Thursday: My Story

Today I am thankful for my story….

There was a time when I was Negative Nellie, looking at my past and not liking myself very much.  I’m sure I am not alone, right? My story is a bit messy – addiction, relapse, recovery, and a whole lot in between but it is the story which made me the person I am today.  There are days when I don’t like the way I look or sit on the “pity pot” because of circumstances BUT for today, I am grateful for all of these things.  I am even learning to like myself, a little bit at a time.

I recently re-read a blog post by LYSA TERKEURST entitled “Learn to Love Your Story“.  It is helping me to change my perspective every day but especially on those days when Negative Nellie comes for a visit.

She talks about loving your story – your life – being content in the moment and enjoying it! WOW!  This week has been an emotional roller coaster and I am not sure I even know why.  No major fiascos, no crisis – just little hiccups which quickly sent me on a road less traveled (okay so maybe it is traveled a little bit more than I want it to be).

It is strange but I can almost tell when I wake up, if I am going to love my story day.  Crazy, right?  Hubby always ask for a warning or a text alert message.  Thankfully, I am starting to share how I feel without getting snarky.  On those days I  STOP, take a breathe and regroup.  Praising and thanking God for my life… my story.  See I forget sometimes.  My life may not be a story book or full of lots of happy endings but it is MY story.  It is the life he gave to me.

Hubby and I were talking the other day about just this thing.  We were reminiscing about days gone by.  I have no regrets nor does he because it is because of those things we are blessed to be in each other’s lives today.  We had our struggles.  We had our heartache.  We had our joys.  Life wasn’t perfect but we got through it to get us where we are today.  The struggles still come but now we try to look at the differently – together.  I’m learning this time around in recovery, marriage is a joint effort and I don’t have to carry things all on my own.

Lysa talked about “pre-deciding” to LOVE her story.  NOTE to self: change my point of reference BEFORE the day begins.  Stop thinking about the “what if” and “predicting” what may happen in any given situation.

I decided I would look at it all through the lens of noticing the rich evidence of life through each mess and mishap.

Did I do it all perfectly? Nope, not at all.

But even if we choose to be noticers with thankful hearts just once today, we’ll start to look at our stories in a different way.

A more beautiful way.

So I whispered, “Notice. Be a noticer. See all the fun represented here and thank God for these moments.”  Noticers see the lovely in front of them and learn to love their story.

What might happen if you pre-determined to look through the lens of lovely today?

Thank you Lysa for reminding me to look through the “lens of lovely” today.

Have a blessed day!

Tasty Treat Thursday: 502 Baking Company

 

Last day of the month and I decided to share with you an AMAZING bakery…..   Here is their story:

Toni Marie and Judy Celeste were independent bakery owners (Sweet Marie’s Bakery and All You Need Is Cake, respectively). They first met when they were vendors at the Brick Farmers Market  They decided to combine their talents and created 502 Baking Company. They are dedicated to producing quality, hand crafted baked goods made with care. Their scratch bakery is conveniently located on Brick Boulevard in Brick, NJ

As you can guess, I met these two lovely ladies at the Brick Farmer’s Market.  It was love at first bite when I tried their macaroons.  Every week, I stopped and picked up a few along with some other yummy treats for hubby.  I tried different things and each one was more delicious then the last.

In January, 2019 they opened their bakery in Brick.  They offer pies, cookies, cakes, special occasion cakes, danish, scones, pignoli, cannoli, turnovers, cupcakes, brownies, crumb cake, cheese cake, breads, bagels, donuts and so much more.  They have a few tables so it is a great place to grab a cup of coffee and a treat to catch up with friends.

In addition, to their own homemade yummy treats they support other local small business owners by carrying a sampling of their products…..

You know my friend Rachel from Wicked Good Spice Mixes Co or at least you should since she is a regular on our Tasty Tuesday blog.  There is an array of spices and vinegars for every taste bud.  Need some recipes, check out Tasty Tuesday or go to their website.  My favorite is peach or pear balsamic vinegar with some olive oil on my salad.  Light and a little goes a long way!

Have you ever heard of Holly Jolly Jams?  Holly Jolly Jams are homemade in small batches with a low-sugar recipe, using only the freshest ingredients, hand-picked or locally purchased when available.  I first tried these at a craft show and stock up on them every time I see her at a show.

Need gluten free or vegan products?  They have you covered with some treats from Starseed Bakery. Starseed Bakery is a 100% Gluten, Dairy, Soy, and GMO Free Bakery in Rockaway, NJ. Committed to the NEW Definition of Healthy Food. For all those with food restrictions, we’re your solution. You can indulge in delicious breads, bagels, all occasion cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies, muffins, seasonal favorites and more without the worries of gluten or other allergens. Enjoy our wide variety of vegan options, grain free, sugar free and natural sugar products. We are committed to sourcing ingredients which are organic, safe, fair trade, local, non-GMO, no pesticides, herbicides or chemicals.

Are you a tea drinker?  Pick up some “Oh You, TEAse”. It is the mission of Oh You, TEAse to provide excellent quality, superior taste and a naturally occurring smile within each cup. Pinkies up.  Want to create a great gift?  Why not combine one item from each of these small businesses in a basket?

Plan ahead and I will gladly help you customize a tote for you.  How about a Fresh Market Thermal filled with goodies for a  new homeowner or a graduate. The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes. A must-have for family picnics, tailgating, trips to the beach, days on the boat, potlucks, grocery shopping or weekend camping. Its water-resistant Leak Lock® thermal lining means you can add ice to this cooler bag to keep food and drinks cold. Need more room? The sides unsnap and expand to give you more space inside. Long handles allow you to carry it over your shoulder when you need to be hands-free. The Fresh Market Thermal also features a zipper closure for securing contents and an exterior front pocket to hold other important items.

Who do you know who would love either a basket of goodies or just a few treats from this amazing bakery?  Be sure to let us know what you tried and how you liked it.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!