Confetti Pudding Cookies

These cookies are super soft, full of sweet vanilla flavor, and covered in colorful sprinkles!

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Confetti Pudding Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

I originally intended to cover these cookies in red, white, and blue sprinkles for the 4th of July, but after trips to 2 different grocery stores, couldn’t find sprinkles in those colors. Very disappointing. They were going to be Firecracker Pudding Cookies.

Once I resigned myself to using multicolored sprinkles, I really debated calling them Funfetti Pudding Cookies. But I feel like they’re not technically Funfetti since the sprinkles are only on the outside and not the inside, too.

Anyway, I settled on Confetti Pudding Cookies. Still an okay name, right? At least the cookies are cute. And they taste great. The sprinkles make the outside a bit crunchy, while the cookies themselves are soft and tender.

Confetti Pudding Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

The original recipe for Pudding Cookies comes from Crazy for Crust; I’ve also shared Lemon White Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies and Chocolate Cookies and Cream Pudding Cookies, too.

*dough requires ~1 hour of chilling*

You’ll need (yields approximately 24 cookies):

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.

Add the pudding mix, baking soda, and kosher salt. Mix until combined. Add the flour. Mix again until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. Add the white chocolate chips and mix on medium-high speed until they are well distributed throughout the cookie dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour the sprinkles into a shallow bowl. Scoop ~2 tbs balls of dough and roll it around in the sprinkles. Place the sprinkle-covered dough balls onto the prepared cookie sheet. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the chilled balls of cookie dough on the prepared baking sheets, approximately 2 inches apart. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until the edges just start to turn brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Confetti Pudding Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

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Container Gardening 2017 – Herbs and lemons

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Hi all! I realized I haven’t shared anything about container gardening in a while, and I wanted to quickly share with you some of the things that I’m growing this summer:

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I have two of these planter boxes on legs. One of them is dedicated solely to basil. Lots and lots of basil. I have three plants that are doing quite well. I use it in so many things: salads, risotto, and Caprese salads (versions 1 and 2 here).

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I also have some mint growing, which methinks will be excellent in some mojitos. There’s also some parsley growing in this planter box, but it was pretty wilted and sad looking when I was taking the pictures.

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My Meyer lemon tree has been doing really well, too! I got it last spring as a 2 year old tree from Four Winds Growers. It spends the cooler months in our guest bedroom, which fortunately gets a lot of southern light. Once things warm up, I move it out onto our front porch (if you can call it that), where it thrives in the heat and sunlight.

It has flowered a couple of times. The first time, last summer, a couple of small lemons even set. Unfortunately, when I was away at a conference, things took a turn for the worse and the lemons dried up and fell off. Very sad.

It flowered again this spring, and two more lemons ended up setting.

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Sadly, since taking these pictures, the smaller of the two lemons died and fell off. Very disappointing. But the larger lemon is still hanging on. Fingers crossed that it makes it.

Since moving the tree outside, I’ve been battling with some pests. In the near future I’ll show you how I’ve been handling them. Stay tuned!

The Palace Cafe Cocktail

This cocktail is fresh, herbaceous, and very refreshing.

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The Palace Cafe Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

I declare this my official summertime cocktail.

This recipe makes good use of the Rosemary Infused Vodka and Homemade Sour Mix that I shared with you over the past couple of weeks.

They’re fizzy, sweet, and perfumed with herby rosemary flavor. They are also slightly dangerous in that they go down very easily.

The Palace Cafe Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

This cocktail is inspired by one that I enjoyed at The Palace Cafe in New Orleans. The food was delicious there, too.

You’ll need (makes 1 cocktail):

Add ice, vodka, Domaine de Canton, and sour mix to a cocktail shaker. Shake until very cold. Strain into a glass with ice. Top with ginger ale and garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Sip!

The Palace Cafe Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

Homemade Sour Mix

Homemade Sour Mix is so easy to make, and is so much better than the neon green store bought stuff.

Homemade Sour Mix | A Nerd Cooks

Just like it says above: super easy to make and waay better than the store bought stuff. Stash it in the fridge and break it out whenever you feel like whipping up a cocktail.

You’ll need (makes ~3 cups):

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 3/4 cups lime juice, freshly squeezed

The first thing you’re going to do is make a simple syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water.  Stirring occasionally, heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove from the heat and allow it to cool completely. Once cooled, pour the simple syrup into the container in which you’ll be storing the sour mix.

Add the lemon and lime juices to the simple syrup. Give everything a shake until well combined. Seal the container and store the sour mix in the fridge.

Stay tuned, because I’ll be sharing a cocktail next week that uses this sour mix AND the Rosemary Infused Vodka that I shared recently.

Homemade Sour Mix | A Nerd Cooks

Rosemary Infused Vodka

This infused vodka is full of herbaceous flavor, embarrassingly easy to make, and makes the perfect addition to cocktails. 

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Rosemary Infused Vodka | A Nerd Cooks

Before (above) and after (below).

This infused vodka is so easy to make. It only requires a little forethought and patience (~5 days). It’s really fragrant and flavorful, and makes a great addition to cocktails.

Rosemary Infused Vodka | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need:

  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3.5 cups plain vodka

Place the sprigs of rosemary into a jar (or other container that can be sealed). I used a quart Ball jar. Top with vodka. Seal the container and wait 5 days. You’ll see the vodka go from colorless to a clear gold/green.

And there you have it. You’ve just made Rosemary Infused Vodka! You can remove the rosemary from the container, or not. The flavor will continue to intensify the longer it’s left in the vodka. You can store the vodka right in the container in which it was infused and stash it wherever you keep your booze. I keep mine on top of our bar.

Stay tuned for a recipe for Homemade Sour Mix + a cocktail to make using it AND this vodka!

Rosemary Infused Vodka | A Nerd Cooks

Chocolate Cookies and Cream Pudding Cookies

These treats include a beloved flavor combination baked into super soft pudding cookies. 

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Chocolate Cookies and Cream Pudding Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

Honestly? I’m not sure what to say about these cookies. What is there to say, really? They’re super soft, chocolate pudding cookies studded with white chocolate chips and chunks of Oreo cookies.

In my opinion, cookies get no better than this. Then again, I’m fairly obsessed with cookies and cream, well, everything. Check out the bottom of this post for more cookies and cream-flavored recipes!

Chocolate Cookies and Cream Pudding Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

The original recipe comes from Crazy for Crust; I’ve also shared Lemon White Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies, too.

*dough requires ~1 hour of chilling*

You’ll need (yields approximately 24 cookies):

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until smooth.

Add the pudding mix, baking soda, and kosher salt. Mix until combined. Add the flour. Mix again until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed. Add the white chocolate chips and chopped Oreos and mix on medium-high speed until they are well distributed throughout the cookie dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop ~2 tbs balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the chilled balls of cookie dough on the prepared baking sheets, approximately 2 inches apart. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until the edges just start to turn brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven and press additional white chocolate chips into the warm cookies, if desired. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Need more cookies and cream-flavored desserts? I got you.

Chocolate Cookies and Cream Pudding Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

Chocolate Cookies and Cream Pudding Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

Orange Creamsicle Crush

These cocktails are super refreshing and taste just like a creamsicle.

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Orange Creamsicle Crush Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

The weather is warming up again, and that invariably puts me in the mood for a Crush. They’re refreshing, lightly sweet, and can be made in a variety of flavors. For example, I’ve shared Grapefruit Crushes with you before.

Thanks to the combination of fresh orange juice, triple sec, and whipped cream vodka, these Crushes taste just like an orange creamsicle.

Orange Creamsicle Crush Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need (makes 1 cocktail):

  • 1.5 oz whipped cream vodka
  • .5 oz triple sec
  • 2 oz. orange juice (freshly squeezed, please!)
  • lemon-lime soda or citrus flavored sparkling water (Orange La Croix is my go-to)

Add the whipped cream vodka, triple sec, orange juice, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake for 10 seconds or so, or until very cold. Strain into a tall glass with ice. Top with lemon lime soda or sparkling water. Garnish with an orange slice if you’re feeling fancy.

Looking for more warm weather cocktails? Check these out, too:

Orange Creamsicle Crush Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks

Orange Creamsicle Crush Cocktail | A Nerd Cooks