Valentine’s Day Cookies

Say the sweetest “I love you!” with these soft, buttery, chocolate-dipped Valentine’s Cookies! This recipe is easy and budget-friendly.

The post Valentine’s Day Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Say the sweetest “I love you!” with these soft, buttery, chocolate-dipped Valentine’s Cookies! (Cookies > Cards 🥰 #Trust) This recipe is so easy and so budget-friendly. Have you seen what people are charging for a dozen cookies lately? Highway robbery!! PS when I tell you this is such an easy recipe, I mean it. You can even make the sugar cookie dough ahead of time, so all you have to do on the big day is cut, bake, and dip.

Overhead shot of Valentine's Day Cookies being held by two hands.

What You’ll need

You’re just seven ingredients away from the most magnificent, luscious, unforgettable Valentine’s Day gift!

  • Softened Butter helps create texture and mouth feel. You’ll know your butter is soft enough when you press your finger on it and it leaves an indentation.
  • Sugar helps sweeten the cookie and creates a crisper texture, so the cookies keep their shape. It also creates air pockets in the softened butter that lighten the dough.
  • Vanilla flavors and scents the cookie.
  • Egg binds the ingredients together and creates texture. It also adds moisture to the dough.
  • All-purpose flour creates a cookie that holds its shape. Bread flour yields a chewier texture with more spread. Pastry or cake flour yields crisper and more crumbly results.
  • Baking powder lightens the dough by creating air pockets that help it rise.
  • Melting chocolate dissolves easily and dries quickly with a satiny finish. Use white, dark, or milk chocolate. You can also use chocolate chips, but they dry with a dull, foggy finish.

make THE Dough Ahead of Time

It’s a genius move to make your cookie dough ahead of time and not just for convenience’s sake. Chilling the dough hardens the butter and helps prevent the spread of your cookies, so they hold their shape better. Resting your dough for multiple days also evaporates moisture, which concentrates flavors and creates a crisper cookie. You can refrigerate cookie dough up to 5 days in advance.

Make Cookies Without A Cutter

You don’t need to buy a special cookie cutter to create the loveliest heart-shaped cookies. Instead, draw or print a heart shape, cut it out, and use it as a guide. Then, all you have to do is trace your knife along the cookie dough to create perfect heart-shaped cookies.

Side shot of Valentine's Day Cookies.

How To Fix Cookie Shapes

If you open your oven to find that your cookies have lost their shape, it can be an easy fix. First, allow the cookies to cool on the sheet pan for a minute, then reshape them by pressing the cookie cutter into them or tracing a knife around the paper cutout. Work quickly; the more the cookie cools, the more likely it is to shatter.

How To Melt Chocolate

You can easily melt chocolate on a stovetop or in a microwave as long as you follow these three golden rules:

  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces so it melts faster
  2. Create a gentle heat so it doesn’t burn
  3. Keep water out of it so it doesn’t seize


How To Melt Chocolate in A Microwave
Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in short 20-second bursts, stirring thoroughly after each burst until the chocolate has a syrupy consistency.

How To Melt Chocolate on The Stove
Add your chocolate to a heat-proof bowl and place it in a pan filled a third of the way with water. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat, then turn off the stove and let the chocolate melt until syrupy.

Storing Valentine’s Day Cookies

You can store these sugar cookies in an air-tight container for up to a week at room temperature. So feel free to make them a few days ahead. You can also freeze them in a freezer-safe container, separated with layers of parchment or wax paper, for up to 3 months. Don’t refrigerate sugar cookies, as it can dry them out and dull their flavor.

Overhead shot of Valentine's Day Cookies.
Overhead shot of Valentine's Day Cookies being held by two hands.
Print

Valentine’s Day Cookies

Say the sweetest I love you with these soft, buttery, chocolate-dipped Valentine's Cookies! Customize them with a white, dark, or milk chocolate dip.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Total Cost ($7.37 recipe / $0.61 serving)
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 27 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 233kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the softened butter & cup of sugar until fluffy.
  • Add the beaten egg and vanilla to the creamed butter and mix to incorporate.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the all-purpose flour and the baking powder.
  • Add half the flour to the creamed butter and mix just until a wet dough forms. Add the second half of the flour and mix gently until a stiffer dough forms. Roll the dough into a ball.
  • Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough ¼ inch thick. Cool for thirty minutes in the fridge. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Once the dough has hardened, cut out the cookies, remove the scraps from the cookie sheet, and leave the cookies behind. Roll any scraps out on a separate piece of parchment, and chill before cutting them into cookies.
  • Place the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies on a baking sheet. Bake the cookies at 350°F for 3 minutes. Next, rotate the pan, so the front faces the back—then bake for 3 to 4 minutes until they slightly lighten in color.
  • Cool the cookies in the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Decorate when cookies have cooled.

To Melt the Chocolate in the Microwave: Melt the chocolate in a bowl wide enough to dip the cookies into but small enough to create a deep pool of chocolate. If using a microwave, melt in 20-second increments, stirring after each.

    To Melt the Chocolate on the Stove Top: If using the stove, place a small wide-mouthed bowl in a pan filled a third of the way with water. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Leave the bowl in the water and stir until the chocolate melts.

    • Dip half of the cookie in the chocolate and garnish if you'd like to. Then place back on the cooling rack, allowing the chocolate to harden.

    See how we calculate recipe costs here.

    Notes

    *If using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground salt (like fine sea salt) or 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground salt (like kosher salt) to the butter
    *Use dark, milk, or white melting chocolate to decorate cookies. You can also use chocolate chips, but they will dry with a foggy finish.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 2cookies | Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Sodium: 63mg | Fiber: 2g
    Side shot of Valentine's Day Cookies.

    How to Make Valentine’s Day Cookies – Step by Step Photos

    Overhead shot of sugar being mixed into softened butter.

    In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the 12 tablespoons of softened butter & cup of sugar until fluffy.

    Overhead shot of egg and vanilla being mixed into butter.

    Add the beaten egg and the teaspoon of vanilla to the creamed butter and mix to incorporate.

    Overhead shot of dry ingredients.

    In a separate bowl, mix the 2 cups of all-purpose flour and the 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder.

    Overhead shot of hand beater mixing dough.

    Add half the flour to the creamed butter and mix just until a wet dough forms. Add the second half of the flour and mix gently until a stiffer dough forms.

    Overhead shot ofof two hands holding a ball of dough over a bowl.

    Roll the dough into a ball, but do so quickly. You don’t want to overwork the dough, as it will create a tough texture.

    Two hands rolling out cookie dough between two sheets of parchment.

    Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough ¼ inch thick, or about the thickness of an ear lobe. Cool for thirty minutes in the fridge. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat it to 350°F.

    Overhead shot of dough being cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

    Once the dough has hardened, cut out the cookies, remove the scraps from the cookie sheet, and leave the cookies behind. Roll any scraps out on a separate piece of parchment, and chill before cutting them into cookies.

    Overhead shot of raw Valentine's Day cookies.

    Place the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies on a cookie sheet or sheet pan. Bake the cookies at 350°F for 3 minutes. Next, rotate the sheet pan so the front faces the back—then bake for 3 to 4 minutes until they slightly lighten in color.

    Overhead shot of baked Valentine's Day cookies.

    Cool the cookies in the sheet pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Decorate when cookies have cooled.

    Overhead shot of milk chocolate being melted and stirred in a white bowl.

    Melt the chocolate in a bowl wide enough for to dip the cookies into but small enough to create a deep pool of chocolate. If using a microwave, melt in 20-second increments, stirring after each. If using the stove, place the bowl in a pan filled a third of the way with water. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Leave the bowl in the water and stir until the chocolate melts.

    Overhead shot of Valentine's Day cookies dipped in white and milk chocolate and decorated with sprinkles.

    Dip half of the cookie in the chocolate and garnish if you’d like to. Then place it back on the cooling rack, allowing the chocolate to harden. Give these amazingly cute Valentine’s Day cookies out to your loved ones, but make sure to save some for yourself!!

    Overhead shot of Valentine's Day Cookies.

    The post Valentine’s Day Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Snickerdoodles

    Score all the bear hugs from the cinnamon lover in your life with this easy recipe for tangy, chewy, cinnamon-sugar-crusted snickerdoodles.

    The post Snickerdoodles appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Score all the bear hugs from the cinnamon lover in your life with this easy recipe for tangy, chewy, cinnamon-sugar-crusted snickerdoodles. The best part is that you probably already have everything you need to make a quick batch right in your pantry!

    Overhead shot of snickerdoodles next to a glass of milk.

    What Is A Snickerdoodle?

    A snickerdoodle is a sugar cookie made with cream of tartar. The dough is rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking, creating a crackly pattern all over the surface as it cooks. Some historians say the snickerdoodle scored its name from the German term schnecke knödel which translates to “snail dumpling.” Others say the cookie was named by New England cooks that loved to give baked goods goofy names. Either way, it’s a must-have recipe in your cookie arsenal.

    Why Cream Of Tartar?

    Cream of tartar stops the sugar in the dough from crystalizing, yielding a chewy cookie instead of a crunchy one. It’s also what gives snickerdoodles their signature tang. Since most snickerdoodle recipes use a combination of cream of tartar and baking soda, I used baking powder to reduce the list of ingredients. Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar, with a touch of cornstarch thrown in to keep the two powders from clumping.

    Overhead shot of a hand holding two snickerdoodle cookie halves and showing off the inside crumb.

    How To Know When Snickerdoodles Are Done

    Snickerdoodles are made from pale white cookie dough, so it can be hard to tell when they’re done, as their color won’t deepen much. It’s best to set a timer, so you don’t have to play a guessing game about when to pull your cookies from the oven. There are also two visual cues that you can look out for:

    • the edges darken a touch
    • the top of the cookie will crack slightly

    Can I Freeze The Dough?

    You can absolutely freeze snickerdoodle dough. First, shape it into two-inch dough balls, but do not roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Freeze the balls on a sheet pan in a single layer, and once they are frozen solid, place them in an airtight container. Separate layers with parchment paper. Defrost them in the fridge in a single layer. When you are ready to bake, roll them in the cinnamon sugar.

    How To Store Snickerdoodles

    You have two options for storing snickerdoodles: keep them at room temperature or freeze them. Avoid refrigerating the cookies, as it can dry them out and dull their flavor. Wait for the cookies to cool completely before storing them in an air-tight container lined with a paper towel to soak up moisture. They’ll stay fresh on your countertop for up to five days and in your freezer for up to six months.

    Overhead shot of snickerdodle cookies, with one cookie with a bite taken out of it.
    Overhead shot of snickerdoodles.
    Print

    Snickerdoodles

    Score all the bear hugs from the cinnamon lover in your life with this easy recipe for tangy cinnamon-sugar-crusted snickerdoodles.
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Total Cost ($3.83 recipe / $0.24 serving)
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Resting Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    Servings 16 cookies
    Calories 205kcal

    Ingredients

    • 8 Tbsp salted butter, softened $1.20
    • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided $0.40
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar $0.18
    • 2 large eggs $0.78
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.57
    • 2 tsp baking powder* $0.13
    • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted $0.30
    • 1 Tbsp cinnamon $0.24

    Instructions

    • Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 325°F. Add the softened butter, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and the brown sugar to a bowl.
    • Mix with a hand beater or stand mixer until the butter has lightened in color and has the consistency of a mousse, about 3 to 4 minutes.
    • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add one egg. Mix to incorporate. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Add the second egg and the vanilla. Mix to incorporate.
    • In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, salt, and sifted flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two batches, incorporating it fully between additions, until a dough forms. Rest the dough, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
    • Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the tablespoon of cinnamon. Shape 2-tablespoon portions of the cookie dough into balls and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roll each ball in the cinnamon sugar twice.
    • Bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan front to back. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes more or until the sides of the cookies deepen in color. Wait a few minutes before placing them on a cooling rack.

    See how we calculate recipe costs here.

    Notes

    *Use aluminum-free baking powder; otherwise, you will have a metallic aftertaste. If you don’t have baking powder, you can make your own with 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon cream of tartar.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 180mg | Fiber: 1g
    Overhead shot of snickerdoodles.

    How to Make Snickerdoodles – Step by Step Photos

    White sugar and brown sugar with softened butter in a white bowl.

    Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 325°F. Add 1 cup of softened butter, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar to a bowl.

    Creamed butter in a white bowl.

    Mix with a hand beater until the butter has lightened in color and has the consistency of a mousse, about 3 to 4 minutes.

    Egg and vanilla being mixed into creamed butter in a white bowl.

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add one egg. Mix to incorporate. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Add the second egg and the teaspoon of vanilla. Mix to incorporate.

    Dry ingredients being mixed into wet ingredients.

    In a separate bowl, mix the 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 2 1/2 cups of sifted flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two batches, incorporating it fully between additions, until a dough forms. Rest the dough, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

    Balls of snickerdoodle dough being rolled in cinnamon sugar.

    Mix the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar with the tablespoon of cinnamon. Shape 2-tablespoon portions of the cookie dough into balls and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roll all of the cookie dough balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture once. Then repeat.

    Eight baked snickerdoodles in a sheet pan.

    Bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan front to back. Bake for an additional 4 to 5 minutes or until the sides of the cookies deepen in color, and the tops have a distinctive crackle pattern. Cool the cookies on the sheet pan for a few minutes before using a spatula to place them on a cooling rack. Try not to eat them all in one sitting! (Beth and I failed.)

    Overhead shot of a hand holding a stack of snickerdoodle cookies.

    The post Snickerdoodles appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Thumbprint Cookies

    Jam Thumbprint Cookies are a Christmas cookie classic made with a shortbread dough, sweet fruit jam, and a nutty coconut coating.

    The post Thumbprint Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    These jam thumbprint cookies have to be one of my favorite Christmas cookies ever. Do I say that about all the cookies? Maybe. But how could they not be my favorite with that snow-ball-like coconut coating and the little jewel-like dots jam in the center? But they’re not just pretty! These little show-stoppers are every bit as delicious as they are nice to look at. Plus, they’re SO easy, so make sure they’re on your cookie platter this year!

    thumbprint cookies lined up closely on a wire cooling rack.

    What is a Thumbprint Cookie?

    Thumbprint cookies are made with a rich shortbread dough that is shaped into small balls with small depressions, or “thumbprints,” in the center filled with jam or other sweet treats. The slightly salty shortbread is the perfect contrast to the sweet jam center and together they make beautiful little jewel-like additions to a cookie platter or afternoon tea.

    Coconut or no Coconut?

    If you’re not into coconut, you can absolutely make these thumbprint cookies without the coconut coating. Simply skip dipping the cookie in egg whites and rolling in the coconut, and continue with the rest of the directions as usual. Another great option is to roll the cookie in granulated or powdered sugar for an icy or snow-like finish!

    Close up of a jam thumbprint cookie with the rest of the cookies in the background.

    What Kind of Jam to Use

    This is where these cookies get fun. You can use any flavor of jam you’d like, so this recipe is a great way to use up the odds and ends of jam jars in your fridge. We used a combination of raspberry, strawberry, and orange marmalade for the cookies in the photos. You can also fill them with other spreads, like lemon curd, caramel, Nutella, or even candies like Rolos or chocolate kisses.

    How to Store Thumbprint cookies

    Make sure to the thumbprint cookies to cool completely to room temperature before storage. Once fully cooled, keep them in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. For longer storage, the cookies can be frozen. Thaw the frozen thumbprint cookies at room temperature before enjoying.

    Overhead view of a pile of jam thumbprint cookies.
    Overhead view of a pile of jam thumbprint cookies.
    Print

    Thumbprint Cookies

    Jam Thumbprint Cookies are a Christmas cookie classic made with a shortbread dough, sweet fruit jam, and a nutty coconut coating.
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Total Cost $2.69 recipe / $0.17 serving
    Prep Time 25 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Chill time 30 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
    Servings 16 cookies
    Calories 133kcal

    Ingredients

    • 8 Tbsp salted butter, room temperature $1.00
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar $0.11
    • 1 large egg, separated $0.21
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract $0.14
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.12
    • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
    • 1 cup sweetened coconut $0.83
    • 8 tsp fruit jam $0.26

    Instructions

    • Add the room-temperature butter and sugar to a bowl. Use a mixer to cream the sugar and butter together on high speed until the mixture is light in color and creamy in texture.
    • Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture and mix to combine. Set the egg white aside for later.
    • In a separate bowl, combine the four and salt until evenly mixed. Add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl with the butter mixture, and mix on low speed until a slightly crumbly dough forms. No dry flour should remain on the bottom of the bowl.
    • Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
    • When you're ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly whisk the reserved egg white until it's slightly runny. Place the shredded coconut in a separate bowl.
    • Divide the dough into 16 equal-sized pieces and roll each one into a ball. Dip each ball into the egg white, then roll it around in the shredded coconut to coat. Place the coated cookies on the prepared baking sheet.
    • Use the back of a round ½ tsp measuring spoon or your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each cookie. Fill each indentation with about ½ tsp jam.
    • Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or just until the coconut becomes slightly golden on the edges. Allow the cookies to cool before serving.

    See how we calculate recipe costs here.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 102mg | Fiber: 1g
    Side view of thumbprint cookies on a cooling rack.

    How to Make Thumbprint Cookies – Step By Step Photos

    Creamed butter and sugar with egg yolk and vanilla.

    Use a mixer to cream together 8 Tbsp salted butter and ⅓ cup sugar until the mixture is light in color and creamy in texture. Separate one large egg and set the whites aside. Add the yolk and ¼ tsp vanilla extract to the butter and sugar and mix until light and creamy again.

    flour and salt added to the cookie batter.

    In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup of all-purpose flour and ¼ tsp salt. Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the butter and mix on low speed until a slightly crumbly dough forms.

    Cookie dough in the bowl with the mixer on the side.

    The dough should be just slightly crumbly, but no dry flour should remain on the bottom of the bowl. If you squeeze the dough together in your hand, it should form a cohesive ball of dough.

    Dough wrapped in plastic.

    Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

    Dough being divided into 16 pieces.

    When you’re ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 16 equal-sized pieces. The easiest way to do this is to first divide it into four, then divide each of those pieces into four again.

    Cookies being dipped in egg white and coconut.

    Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Lightly whisk the reserved egg white until it is slightly runny. Place 1 cup of shredded coconut in a separate bowl. Dip each cookie ball into the egg white, then roll in the coconut to coat. Place the coated cookies on the prepared baking sheet.

    Making indentations in the cookies.

    Use the back of a round ½ tsp measuring spoon or your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each cookie.

    Cookies filled with jam on the baking sheet.

    Fill each indentation with ½ tsp of your favorite jam (we used raspberry, strawberry, and orange marmalade).

    baked thumbprint cookies on the baking sheet.

    Bake the thumbprint cookies in the preheated 350ºF oven for 15 minutes, or just until the coconut becomes golden brown on the edges.

    A pile of jam thumbprint cookies with different colors of jam.

    Allow those beautiful little cookies to cool before serving! 😍

    The post Thumbprint Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Chicken and Biscuit Casserole

    This Chicken and Biscuit Casserole is cozy, comforting, super versatile, and delicious enough to become a family favorite dinner.

    The post Chicken and Biscuit Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    This recipe for Chicken and Biscuit Casserole is a spin on one I’ve been making for friends and family since I had my first kitchen in college. Back in those days—we called it “Sexy Casserole,” because it’s the perfect balance between a vegetable-heavy meal and an indulgent splurge. I’m still making this casserole today because it is endlessly versatile—a true “everything but the kitchen sink” kind of meal—and always satisfying.

    Overhead view of cooked chicken and biscuit casserole with a serving spoon

    Can I substitute…everything

    Yes, you can substitute just about every ingredient in this recipe! That’s why this casserole is an absolute stunner! It can be made at the drop of a hat with whatever you happen to have on hand. For instance:

    • Ground chicken: Sub it for ground turkey, pork or beef.
    • Vegetables: Use whatever you have in the crisper or freezer. (You just want about 4 cups of chopped vegetables, total.)
    • Seasonings: You can use any of your favorite herbs, spices, or seasoning blends.
    • Cheese: Try parmesan or pecorino, white cheddar, asiago – or even without cheese!

    Do I have to make the biscuits from scratch? 

    Nope! You don’t have to make the biscuits from scratch! You can buy a boxed mix and add the cheese to the dry ingredients before following the package instructions for suggested bake times and temperatures. Or, make it even easier, and top it with canned biscuits straight from the tube! 

    Do I really need to use buttermilk?

    Nope! Buttermilk isn’t necessary. Any dairy products like heavy cream, half & half, or whole milk will work, too! You can also make a wonderful buttermilk substitute by stirring ¼ tsp lemon juice into ½ cup of milk or cream and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. (And like magic, you have buttermilk!) 

    If you don’t want to buy buttermilk just for this recipe, you can use the leftovers to make Soda Bread or Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake. Or freeze the leftover buttermilk to use later!

    Can I make chicken and biscuit casserole in one pot or pan? 

    Absolutely! This casserole can be baked right in the same skillet you used on the stovetop–IF that skillet is oven-safe at high temperatures. (No plastic handles, people!) Cast iron or stainless steel skillets are both great options.

    Cooked chicken and biscuit casserole in a serving bowl with a spoon.
    Cooked chicken and biscuit casserole in a casserole dish with a serving spoon.
    Print

    Chicken and Biscuit Casserole

    This Chicken and Biscuit Casserole is cozy, comforting, super versatile, and delicious enough to become a family favorite dinner.
    Course Dinner, Main Course
    Cuisine American, Southern
    Total Cost $8.75 recipe / $1.46 serving
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 45 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour
    Servings 6
    Calories 391kcal

    Ingredients

    Casserole Base

    • 4 Tbsp salted butter, divided $0.60
    • 1 lb. ground chicken $4.49
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes $0.05
    • 1 tsp rubbed sage $0.10
    • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
    • 1 yellow onion, diced $0.37
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
    • 3 carrots, sliced $0.19
    • 3 stalks celery, sliced $0.48
    • 1 cup frozen corn $0.47
    • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.02
    • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth* $0.18

    Biscuit Topping

    • 3 Tbsp salted butter, divided $0.45
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk $0.32
    • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour $0.12
    • 1 tsp baking powder $0.04
    • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
    • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar $0.01
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper $0.02
    • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.62

    Instructions

    Casserole Base

    • Dice the onion, carrots, and celery. Mince the garlic, and set the vegetables aside.
    • Add 1 Tbsp of butter to a deep-sided skillet and melt over medium heat. Add the ground chicken to the skillet and season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and sage.
    • Let the chicken cook, stirring only occasionally to allow time for the chicken to brown. Once fully cooked, remove the chicken from the skillet with a slotted spoon, leaving the extra fat in the pan. If no fat remains, add an additional 1 Tbsp of butter.
    • After removing the chicken from the skillet, add the diced onion to the skillet. Saute until the onions are translucent. Add chopped carrots, celery, corn, garlic, red pepper flakes, rubbed sage, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables for about 5 minutes until the carrots are slightly soft.
    • Break the chicken into smaller pieces and add back to the skillet and stir to combine.
    • Add 2 Tbsp of butter and 2 Tbsp of flour to the skillet. Stir and cook this mixture for about 2 minutes, continuing to stir until the butter has melted and the flour is coating the vegetables.
    • Stir in the chicken broth, making sure to dissolve all of the flour and browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Bring the broth to a simmer, at which point the broth will thicken slightly. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings if necessary.
    • Remove the skillet from heat and transfer the mixture to a casserole dish. Set aside.

    Biscuit Topping

    • Preheat the oven to 425°F.
    • Add the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and sugar to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Sprinkle grated cheese into dry ingredients and toss to coat.
    • Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and stir it into the buttermilk. (It’s okay if the mixture curdles.) Fold the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined.
    • Drop dollops of the biscuit mixture evenly around the top of the casserole.
    • Cut 1 Tbsp of chilled butter into very small pieces and sprinkle over the biscuits.
    • Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.

    See how we calculate recipe costs here.

    Notes

    *We use Better Than Bouillon to make our broth. If using a low-sodium broth you may need to add more salt to the casserole base for taste.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 709mg | Fiber: 3g
    Close up image of baked chicken and biscuit casserole

    How to Make Chicken and biscuit casserole – Step by Step Photos

    Overhead view of ground chicken browning in a deep-sided skillet.

    Add 1 Tbsp of butter to a skillet and melt over medium heat. Add 1 lb. of ground chicken to the skillet and season it with 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. rubbed sage, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until brown. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet with a slotted spoon, leaving the extra fat behind.

    Overhead of diced onion, minced garlic, sliced carrots, celery and frozen uncooked in a skillet.
    If there is no extra fat left once you remove the chicken from the skillet, melt an additional 1 Tbsp of butter in the skillet. Add the diced yellow onions to the skillet and saute until they are translucent (2-3 minutes). Add 3 sliced carrots, 3 sliced celery stalks, 1 cup of frozen corn, and 2 minced garlic cloves, and season with another pinch of salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables until the carrots are slightly soft (about 5 minutes).
    Overhead view of cooking chicken and biscuit casserole base with butter and flour on top.

    Break the ground chicken into smaller pieces, add back to the skillet, and stir to combine. Add 2 Tbsp of butter and 2 Tbsp of flour to the skillet and stir. Continue to stir and cook until all the butter has melted and the flour coats the vegetables (about 2 minutes).

    Overhead view of cook pouring chicken broth into chicken and biscuit casserole base cooking in a skillet.

    Stir in 1½ cups of chicken broth, making sure to dissolve all of the flour and browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

    Overhead view of the finished chicken and biscuit casserole base with a serving spoon to show that the broth reduced but is still slightly soupy.

    Bring the broth up to a simmer so it has a chance to thicken slightly (about 10 minutes). It will still be slightly soupy! Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings if necessary.

    Overhead view of dry ingredients to make cheddar biscuits with cheese coated in the flour.
    Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, combine 2/3 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp granulated sugar, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Whisk to combine. Sprinkle in 1/2 cup grated cheese and toss to coat.
    Overhead shot of cook pouring melted butter into a glass measuring cup containing some buttermilk.

    Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and stir it into a 1/2 cup of buttermilk. (It’s okay if the mixture curdles.)

    Cook pours mixed buttermilk and melted butter into a while bowl with dry ingredients to make cheddar biscuits.

    Fold the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients.

    Overhead view of raw cheddar drop biscuit dough with a red spatula.

    Stir until just combined, taking care not to overwork the mixture.

    Overhead view of cooked chicken and biscuit casserole base in a white casserole dish with uncooked cheddar biscuits dropped on top. There are tiny pieces of butter on top of each biscuit.
    Drop dollops of biscuit mixture evenly around the top of the casserole. Cut 1 tablespoon of chilled butter into very small pieces and on top of the biscuits.
    Overhead view of baked chicken and biscuit casserole in a white casserole dish that's ready to be served.
    Bake the casserole for about 25 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown.
    Side view of cooked chicken and biscuit casserole in a white casserole dish.
    “Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit” — that looks delicious!

    The post Chicken and Biscuit Casserole appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Sugar Cookies

    Sugar cookies are budget-friendly, simple to make, and a delicious way to make memories that will last a lifetime.

    The post Sugar Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Sugar cookies are budget-friendly, simple to make, and a delicious way to create memories that will last a lifetime. Whipping up a batch of this sugar cookie recipe and spending the afternoon decorating them with family and friends is my favorite thing to do during the holidays.

    Overhead shot of round sugar cookies.

    Why These Are The Best Sugar Cookies

    • The dough comes together in minutes.
    • They have a subtle vanilla flavor and aren’t overly sweet.
    • They bake up firm but are still soft and chewy.
    • They don’t shatter when you bite into them.

    6 Tips For The Best Sugar Cookie

    1. Cream softened butter with sugar until it doubles in size and lightens in color. This creates air pockets in the dough, giving you a light and airy cookie.
    2. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Any thicker and the cookies will lose their shape. Any thinner, and they won’t be able to hold the weight of the icing.
    3. Chill the dough after you roll it out, and then cut it. Giving the butter time to harden will make the cookies easier to cut out and help your cookies keep their shape as they bake.
    4. Use simply shaped cookie cutters. Anything too intricate will likely break off or lose its shape as it bakes.
    5. Bake the cookies just until they’re set. You’re not looking for a golden brown; as they bake the cookies will lighten in color. Overbaking them leaves you with a dry, rock-hard cookie.
    6. Cool your cookies completely before decorating them with icing. Spreading icing on warm cookies will melt the icing, so it doesn’t hold its shape and drips all over.
    Hand holding a white sugar cookie with sprinkles in the foreground with red and white sugar cookies in the background.

    How To Soften Butter

    Perfectly softened butter will form an indentation when you gently press a finger into it—like play dough. Here are three ways to achieve this consistency:

    • METHOD #1 Pick a warm spot in your kitchen and leave the butter out at room temperature for an hour or two.
    • METHOD #2 Fill a large glass with boiling water. After a minute, carefully dump the water out. Stand the stick of butter (still in its wrapper) straight up on your work surface and cover it with the heated glass for five minutes.
    • METHOD #3 Chop the stick of butter into four pieces and place it in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave the butter in 5-second increments, being careful not to melt it. Press your finger into the butter after every five-second increment. As soon as there is any give to it, pull it from the microwave.

    How To Cut Sugar Cookies

    Traditionally cookie cutters are used to shape sugar cookie dough. While metal cutters are the most popular, I prefer plastic cutters, as they don’t bend or rust. Of course, you don’t need to invest in cookie cutters to shape your dough. You can use the mouth of a glass or the ring of a mason jar lid, as we did here. If you want to create a different shape, draw it on paper, cut it out, and place it on the dough. Use a knife to trace the outline. Always cut dough that’s been rolled out to 1/4 inch thickness and chilled to create clean lines.

    How To Fix Cookies That Have Lost Their Shape

    If you open your oven to find that your cookies have lost their shape, it can be an easy fix. First, allow the cookies to cool on the sheet pan for a minute, then reshape them by pressing the cookie cutter into them and using a butter knife to separate the trimmings from the cookie. Work quickly; the more the cookie cools, the more likely it is to shatter. Don’t throw out those trimmings! They’re crispy and a total delight.

    Overhead shot of round sugar cookies on a cooling rack. and a counter top.

    Decorating Sugar Cookies

    You can eat plain sugar cookies, but decorating them is always so much fun. Traditionally royal icing is dyed with food coloring and piped onto the cookies to decorate them. But if you prefer a simpler method, you can also garnish the cookies with a bit of icing, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, or a pinch of zest. They will still look and taste amazing. If you want to steer clear of food coloring, grate freeze-dried raspberries or blueberries into a powder and sprinkle them into the icing to create a vibrant pink or purple hue.

    How To Make Royal Icing

    Royal icing is a stiff white icing that’s dyed with food coloring and used to decorate pastries. It can be plain or flavored with vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon zest, or orange zest. When decorating cookies, there are three textures you should make:

    1. Stiff consistency: When you dip a spoon into stiff icing and lift it out, the icing will form a stiff peak that won’t disappear. Use this icing to pipe flowers, leaves, or ruffles.
    2. Piping consistency: When you drip a line of icing across the surface, it will take 20 to 25 seconds to disappear. Use this icing to outline the cookie and prevent flooding consistency icing from spilling over.
    3. Flooding consistency: When you drip a line of icing across the surface, it will take 15 to 10 seconds to disappear. Use flooding consistency icing to fill in the cookie quickly.

    How To Store Sugar Cookies

    Store sugar cookies in an air-tight container for up to a week at room temperature. You can also freeze them in a freezer-safe container, separated with layers of parchment or wax paper, for up to 3 months. Don’t refrigerate sugar cookies, as it can dry them out and dull their flavor.

    Overhead shot of round red and white sugar cookies, with a bite taken out of one of them.
    Hand holding a white sugar cookie with sprinkles in the foreground with red and white sugar cookies in the background.
    Print

    Sugar Cookies

    Sugar cookies are budget-friendly, simple to make, and a delicious way to make memories that will last a lifetime.
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Total Cost ($4.41 recipe / $0.37 serving)
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 7 minutes
    Resting Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 47 minutes
    Servings 24 cookies
    Calories 199kcal

    Ingredients

    • 12 Tbsp salted butter, softened* $1.50
    • 1 cup sugar $0.32
    • 1 tsp vanilla $0.57
    • 1 large egg $0.21
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour $0.24
    • 3/4 tsp baking powder $0.05
    • 1 lb. powdered sugar* $1.00
    • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar $0.10
    • 2 large egg whites $0.42

    Instructions

    • In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the softened butter & sugar until fluffy.
    • Add the egg and vanilla to the creamed butter and mix to incorporate.
    • In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder.
    • Add half the flour to the creamed butter and mix just until a wet dough forms. Add the second half of the flour and mix gently until a stiffer dough forms.
    • Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough ¼ inch thick. Cool for thirty minutes in the fridge. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
    • Once the dough has hardened, cut out the cookies, remove the scraps from the cookie sheet, and leave the cookies behind. Roll any scraps out on a separate piece of parchment, and chill before cutting them into cookies.
    • Place the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies on a sheet pan. Bake the cookies at 350°F for 3 minutes. Next, rotate the sheet pan, so the front faces the back—then bake for 3 to 4 minutes.
    • Cool the cookies in the sheet pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Decorate when cookies have cooled completely.
    • To make the royal icing, combine half of the pound of powdered sugar and all of the cream of tartar in a large bowl. Add the egg whites and whip the mixture to soft peaks.
    • Add half the sugar and mix it at a lower speed to keep the powdered sugar in the bowl. Next, increase the speed to medium-high and whip until the icing is stiff and fluffy, about 1 minute.
    • Thicken the icing with as much powdered sugar as necessary to create a piping consistency for outlining—thin the icing with a bit of water for flooding.
    • If coloring your icing, separate it into as many bags as necessary to create your palette. Then, follow the directions on the food coloring package to make your palette. Next, close the bag and squeeze and press it to disperse the food coloring throughout.
    • Remove as much air as possible and twist the top of the bag to close it. Secure the twisted end with a rubber band. Snip off the tiniest bit of the bottom corner of the bag.
    • Next, gently squeeze the top of the bag while moving it steadily to outline the cookie with the stiffer icing.
    • Then flood your cookie with the thinner icing. Allow the icing to dry before enjoying your sugar cookie!

    See how we calculate recipe costs here.

    Notes

    *If using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground salt (like fine sea salt) or 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground salt (like kosher salt) to the butter
    *If you don’t have powdered sugar, you can make your own by processing a pound of sugar in a blender until it forms a fine powder.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 2cookies | Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 66mg | Fiber: 0.3g
    Overhead shot of round red and white sugar cookies.

    How to Make Sugar Cookies – Step by Step Photos

    Overhead shot of creamed butter and sugar in a white bowl.

    In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the 12 tablespoons of softened butter & cup of sugar until fluffy.

    Overhead shot of egg and vanilla being added to whipped butter.

    Add the egg and the teaspoon of vanilla to the creamed butter and mix to incorporate.

    Overhead shot of hands mixing flour and baking powder in a white bowl.

    In a separate bowl, mix the 2 cups of all-purpose flour and the 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder.

    Overhead shot of hands holding sugar cookie dough over a bowl of sugar cookie dough.

    Add half the flour to the creamed butter and mix just until a wet dough forms. Add the second half of the flour and mix gently until a stiffer dough forms.

    Overhead shot of sugar cookie dough being rolled out between two sheets of parchment.

    Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough ¼ inch thick. Cool for thirty minutes in the fridge. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

    Overhead shot of sugar cookies being cut with a band and a mason jar lid.
    Once the dough has hardened, cut out the cookies. Remove the scraps and leave the cookies behind. Roll any scraps out on a separate piece of parchment, and chill before also cutting them into cookies.
    Overhead shot of naked sugar cookies in a sheet pan.

    Place the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies on a cookie sheet or sheet pan.

    Overhead shot of baked sugar cookies in a sheet pan.
    Bake the cookies at 350°F for 3 minutes. Next, rotate the sheet pan, so the front faces the back—then bake for 3 to 4 minutes.
    Overhead shot of egg whites being poured into powdered sugar.
    To make the royal icing, combine half of the pound of powdered sugar and the 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar in a large bowl. Add the egg whites and whip the mixture to soft peaks.
    Overhead shot of icing being mixed with a hand blender in a white bowl.
    Thicken the icing with as much powdered sugar as necessary to create a piping consistency for outlining—thin the icing with a bit of water for flooding.
    Overhead shot of icing being spooned into a plastic bag.
    If coloring your icing, separate it into as many bags as necessary to create your palette. Then, follow the directions on the food coloring package to make your palette. Next, close the bag and squeeze and press it to disperse the food coloring throughout.
    Overhead shot of hand piping icing onto a sugar cookie on a tray of sugar cookies.
    Next, gently squeeze the top of the bag while moving it steadily to first outline the cookie with the stiffer icing.
    Overhead shot of decorated red and white sugar cookies.
    Then flood your cookie with the thinner icing. Allow the icing to dry before enjoying your amazing sugar cookie!

    Other Great Cookie Recipes

    The post Sugar Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Swedish Meatballs

    Swedish meatballs are a delicious and cozy meal that is easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner but fancy enough for a special occasion.

    The post Swedish Meatballs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    I don’t know about you, but I can’t go to Ikea without getting some of their iconic Swedish meatballs. But I can’t go to Ikea every time that craving hits, so we decided to make a budget-friendly homemade version that is easy enough for a cozy weeknight dinner, yet indulgent enough for an impressive, dinner-party main. Both hearty and comforting, these Swedish meatballs are like a hug in a dish!

    Overhead view of a bowl of mashed potatoes topped with Swedish meatballs.

    What are Swedish Meatballs?

    Köttbullar, known in English as “Swedish meatballs” is a traditional Scandinavian dish of meatballs and gravy. Unlike Italian meatballs, the meat mixture for Swedish meatballs is flavored with allspice (and sometimes nutmeg), and after searing, they are nestled into a creamy gravy fortified with beef broth rather than a spicy, garlicky tomato sauce. 

    What to serve with Swedish meatballs

    Swedish meatballs are typically served with mashed potatoes. (We like ours with a little minced parsley and fresh cracked pepper on top, too!) But they’re also great served over egg noodles, or anything that will serve as a vehicle for that delicious gravy! 

    Traditional interpretations of this dish frequently include a slightly-sweetened Lingonberry jam (a wild, lowbush berry native to Sweden), which has a similar flavor to cranberries or red currants. If you have leftover cranberry sauce from the holidays, that makes a great addition to this meal.

    Can you Make Them Ahead?

    Yes, you can make the meatballs a day ahead. If making a larger quantity, sear in batches, taking care that each meatball is cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 145℉. Allow them to cool completely before refrigerating. To reheat, spread them out on a parchment-lined sheet pan at 375℉ while you make the gravy, and then continue with the recipe as written. Once they have simmered in the sauce, each meatball should reach an internal temperature of 165℉ before serving.

    Close up side view of Swedish Meatballs in the skillet.
    Overhead view of a bowl full of mashed potatoes and Swedish Meatballs.
    Print

    Swedish Meatballs

    Swedish meatballs are a delicious and cozy meal that is easy enough to prepare for a weeknight dinner but fancy enough for a special occasion.
    Course Dinner, Main Course
    Cuisine Scandavian
    Total Cost $5.83 recipe / $1.46 serving
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    Servings 4 4 meatballs
    Calories 545kcal

    Ingredients

    Meatballs

    • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs $0.20
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg $0.03
    • 1/4 tsp allspice $0.03
    • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
    • 1/4 tsp salt $0.02
    • 1/2 lb. ground pork $0.99
    • 1/2 lb. ground beef $2.65
    • 1 large egg, lightly whisked $0.32

    Gravy

    • 4 Tbsp butter, divided $0.60
    • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.03
    • 2 cups beef broth* $0.24
    • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce $0.02
    • 1/8 tsp nutmeg $0.01
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream $0.55
    • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked pepper $0.02
    • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish) $0.10

    Instructions

    • In a medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, nutmeg, allspice, garlic powder, and salt. (Note: Mixing the dry ingredients first will ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the meatballs and prevent you from overworking the meat mixture.)
    • Meanwhile, add the pork and beef to a large bowl. Lightly whisk the egg, then add it to the bowl with the meat. Lastly, add the breadcrumb mixture.
    • Use your hands to mix the meat and seasonings together until evenly combined, but avoid overmixing.
    • Divide and shape the meat mixture into 16 meatballs, about 1.5 Tbsp each.
    • Add 1 Tbsp of the butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted and foaming, add the meatballs. Cook for a minute or two on each side, or until well browned. The meatballs do not need to be cooked through at this point.
    • Remove the browned meatballs from the skillet. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp butter and the flour. Whisk the butter and flour together as the butter melts. Cook the butter and flour mixture for about two minutes.
    • Slowly whisk in the beef broth, making sure to release all of the browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Allow the broth to come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken.
    • Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, nutmeg, and heavy cream. Taste the gravy and adjust the salt or seasonings to your liking.

    See how we calculate recipe costs here.

    Notes

    *We use Better Than Bouillon to make our broth. If using a low-sodium broth you may need to add more salt to the gravy for taste.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 44g | Sodium: 844mg | Fiber: 1g
    Overhead view of Swedish Meatballs in the skillet.

    How to Make Swedish Meatballs – Step by Step Photos

    Breadcrumbs and spices in a bowl.

    Add ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs to a bowl along with ¼ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp allspice, ¼ tsp garlic powder, and ¼ tsp salt and stir until evenly combined.

    Meatballs ingredients in a bowl.

    Add ½ lb. ground pork, ½ lb. ground beef, the breadcrumb mixture, and one lightly whisked large egg to a bowl. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together until evenly combined. Avoid over-mixing because that will make the meatballs tough.

    Shaped meatballs on a red cutting board.

    Divide the mixture into 16 meatballs, about 1.5 Tbsp each, and shape them into balls.

    Browned meatballs in the skillet.

    Add 1 Tbsp butter to a large skillet and heat over medium. When the butter is melted and foaming, add the meatballs. Cook the meatballs, turning occasionally until they are well browned. The meatballs do not need to be cooked through at this point.

    Butter and flour added to the skillet, meatballs removed.

    Remove the browned meatballs from the skillet and add 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour and the remaining 3 Tbsp butter to the skillet.

    Roux being whisked in the skillet.

    Continue to cook the butter and flour over medium heat for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly.

    Beef broth being poured into the skillet.

    Slowly pour in 2 cups beef broth while whisking, making sure to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet. Cook and stir the mixture over medium heat until it comes up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken into a gravy.

    Cream and spices added to the gravy in the skillet.

    Add 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, ⅛ tsp nutmeg, ¼ tsp pepper, and ⅓ cup heavy cream to the gravy, and stir to combine. Taste the gravy and adjust the salt or other seasonings to your liking.

    Meatballs being added back to the skillet.

    Add the meatballs back to the skillet and stir to coat in the gravy.

    Finished Swedish meatballs in the skillet with gravy.

    Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce until cooked through (about 5 minutes).

    Overhead view of a bowl full of mashed potatoes and Swedish Meatballs.

    Serve the meatballs and gravy over a bed of mashed potatoes or egg noodles. Top with chopped parsley and more pepper if desired.

    Super close up image of Swedish meatballs in gravy.

    Ooooh, look at that gravy! So lush!

    The post Swedish Meatballs appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    This chocolate chip cookie recipe is so good you’ll fall in love at first bite. The chocolate chip cookies are chewy with crispy edges.

    The post Chocolate Chip Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    This chocolate chip cookie recipe is so good you’ll fall in love at first bite. The cookies have a hint of salt, so they don’t come off too sweet. They’re chewy with slightly crispy edges. They have deeply developed flavors with nutty notes of brown butter. They truly are exceptional. The best part? You don’t need fancy ingredients, just a few tricks.

    Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan with one of the cookies torn in half.

    How To Make A Better Chocolate Chip Cookie

    Here are my Top 5 Tips to slay the chocolate chip cookie game:

    1. Brown your butter. This one step adds a deep, nutty flavor that takes the humble chocolate chip cookie to a whole new level.
    2. Sift your flour. Humidity and packaging affect the volume of flour. If you don’t use a scale, get a correct measurement by sifting it first.
    3. Use granulated sugar and brown sugar. Granulated sugar adds color and crispness, while brown sugar makes the dough moist and chewy.
    4. Rest your dough. Chilling the dough uncovered helps create a dough with concentrated flavors, a firm texture with less spread, and deeper browns.
    5. Use an oven thermometer. Most ovens can be off by up to 50°. A cheap thermometer can be the difference between a cookie win and a big, fat fail.
    Overhead shot of a chocolate chip cookie on a black rubber spatula in the foreground with a sheet pan of chocolate chip cookies in the background.

    How To Cool Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Never remove cookies from a sheet pan right out of the oven. They are still very soft and are likely to break. Instead, leave them on the sheet pan for five or so minutes and then use a spatula to place them on a cooling rack.

    How To Store Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Cookies should be cold to the touch before storing. Placing a warm cookie in an air-tight container will make it mushy, and you worked too hard for that. Once cooled, place them in an air-tight container lined with a paper towel. Separate layers with wax paper to prevent them from sticking together. Top the final layer of cookies with plastic wrap to reduce exposure to air. They will last at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Refrigerating baked cookies will dry them out. Instead, for longer storage, freeze them for up to 3 months.

    Can You Freeze THIS Cookie Dough?

    Absolutely! Portion the dough with a small cookie scoop or in 2 tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls. Freeze them on a sheet pan with a bit of separation so they don’t stick together. Once they are frozen solid, add the dough balls to a freezer-safe bag and remove as much air as possible. If using a container, top each layer of dough balls with plastic wrap to prevent exposure to air.

    Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a plate with a glass of milk next to it.
    Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan with one of the cookies torn in half.
    Print

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    This chocolate chip cookie recipe is so good you'll fall in love at first bite. The cookies are chewy with slightly crispy edges. They have deeply developed flavors with nutty notes of salted brown butter.
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Total Cost ($4.58 recipe / $0.25 serving)
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
    Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
    Servings 18 cookies
    Calories 204kcal

    Ingredients

    • 12 Tbsp salted butter* $1.50
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar* $0.22
    • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar* $0.08
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.57
    • 2 eggs $0.42
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour $0.18
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda $0.03
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips $1.58

    Instructions

    • In a light-colored, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter over medium heat until the solids separate and turn golden brown.
    • Place the brown butter in a large bowl to cool for a few minutes. When it is no longer steaming hot, set the bowl in the fridge or freezer until it hardens.
    • Once the butter has hardened,break it apart and add the brown and white sugar to the bowl.
    • Use a hand mixer (or elbow grease) to cream the butter and the sugars on low speed until incorporated.
    • Add the vanilla extract and one egg to the bowl. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the second egg. Mix on low speed until combined, and scrape down the bowl again.
    • In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and baking soda.
    • Pour half of the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture and mix on low speed until it barely comes together. Next, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add in the remaining flour, and mix on low speed until a dough forms.
    • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the chocolate chips. Mix until the chocolate chips are interspersed evenly throughout the dough.
    • Roll 2-tablespoon portions of dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Chill the dough in your refrigerator, uncovered, for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.
    • When ready to bake, place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Press the chilled cookie dough balls down with two fingers.
    • Bake the cookies for 4 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan, front to back. Bake for an additional 4 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for at least 5 minutes before taking them off and cooling them on a rack.

    See how we calculate recipe costs here.

    Notes

    *If using unsalted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground salt (like fine sea salt) or 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground salt (like kosher salt) to the butter.
    *Use either light brown or dark brown sugars. Dark brown will give your cookies a touch more spread and chew.
    * If you prefer a crispy cookie, omit the brown sugar and use 3/4 cups total of granulated white. The cookies will rise more and spread less.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 204kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 100mg | Fiber: 1g
    Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan with one of the cookies torn in half.

    How to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies – Step by Step Photos

    Overhead shot of butter browning in a silver pan.

    In a light-colored, heavy-bottomed pan, melt the 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) of butter over medium heat. When it starts to foam, the milk solids will separate from the water in little specks. Continue to cook the solids until they have turned golden brown. The air will smell of hazelnuts.

    Overhead shot of chilled brown butter in a silver bowl.

    Once the butter has been browned, immediately remove it from the heat and place it in a bowl to cool for a few minutes. Once it is no longer steaming hot, set the bowl in the fridge or freezer until the brown butter cools to a softened butter consistency.

    Overhead shot of brown and granulated sugar with chilled brown butter in a silver bowl.

    Once the butter has cooled and solidified into a mousse-like consistency, add the 1/2 cup of brown sugar and the 1/4 cup of granulated white sugar to the bowl.

    Overhead shot of creamed sugar in a silver bowl with hand beaters settled on the rim..

    Use a hand mixer (or elbow grease) to cream the butter and the sugars on low speed until incorporated.

    Overhead shot of eggs and vanilla in silver bowl with hand beaters settled on the rim..

    Add the teaspoon of vanilla extract and one egg to the bowl. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the second egg. Mix on low speed until combined, and scrape down the bowl again.

    Overhead shot of dry ingredients in a white bowl.

    In a separate bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

    Pour half of the flour mixture into the creamed butter mixture and mix on low speed until it barely comes together. Next, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the remaining flour. Continue to mix on low speed until the dough barely comes together. Do not over-mix, as this will give you a tough cookie.

    Overhead shot of chocolate chips being mixed into cookie dough with a red and white rubber spatula in a silver bowl.

    Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 1 cup of chocolate chips. Mix until the chocolate chips are interspersed evenly throughout the dough.

    Overhead shot of cookie dough balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

    Roll 2-tablespoon portions of dough into balls and place them 2 inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Chill the dough in your refrigerator, uncovered, for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.

    Overhead shot of two fingers pressing down on refrigerated balls of cookie dough on a lined sheet pan.

    When ready to bake, place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 350°F. Press the chilled cookie dough balls down with two fingers.

    Overhead shot of of baked chocolate chip cookies.

    Bake the cookies for 4 minutes. Rotate the sheet pan, front to back. Bake for an additional 4 minutes, until the edges are a light golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for at least 5 minutes before taking them off and cooling them on a rack.

    Overhead shot of chocolate chip cookies on a sheet pan.

    The post Chocolate Chip Cookies appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Lightened-Up Tuna Casserole

    This lightened-up tuna casserole recipe is tossed with a creamy garlic-herb sauce, lots of veggies, tender egg noodles and a crispy Panko topping. Raise your hand if you grew up eating tuna casserole! ♡ This was one of our family’s favorite weeknight dinners growing up, and still continues to be one of those recipes I […]

    This lightened-up tuna casserole recipe is tossed with a creamy garlic-herb sauce, lots of veggies, tender egg noodles and a crispy Panko topping.

    Tuna Casserole Recipe

    Raise your hand if you grew up eating tuna casserole! ♡

    This was one of our family’s favorite weeknight dinners growing up, and still continues to be one of those recipes I love turning to this time of year when we’re craving some warm and cozy casserole comfort food. (Forever and always a Midwesterner at heart, right?)

    Three decades ago, we always used to make tuna noodle casserole from a box or with the help of some canned cream of mushroom soup. But it’s actually incredibly simple to make homemade tuna casserole completely from scratch, which gives us the chance to also toss in lots of fresh veggies and lighten up the creamy sauce a bit. If needed, you can also easily adapt this recipe to be gluten-free too.

    I will say that prefer to just serve this pasta “casserole” straight out of the pan nowadays, topped with a generous sprinkling of toasted Panko breadcrumbs, rather than baked the traditional extra 20 minutes in the oven. (Why overcook the pasta when it can be served perfectly al dente with with a melty cheddar cream sauce?) And while I made this batch with the traditional mushrooms, carrots and peas, this recipe would welcome just about any leftover veggies that you happen to have sitting in your crisper drawer.

    Let’s make some modern tuna casserole!

    (more…)

    Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

    Turkey and Wild Rice Soup is a great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers, plus the leftovers are great so it’s the perfect meal prep!

    The post Turkey and Wild Rice Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Have you eaten all of your Thanksgiving leftovers yet?? If not, here’s an amazing soup that you can make with that leftover turkey, and any leftover vegetables you may have laying around from all that Thanksgiving prep a few days ago. This Turkey and Wild Rice Soup is rich, flavorful, and just packed with goodies. Plus, it’s one of those soups that tastes even better the next day, so make a pot of this and you’ll be eating GOOD for the next few days!

    Overhead view of a bowl of turkey and wild rice soup on a wood surface.

    What’s in Turkey and WIld RIce Soup

    This recipe is actually based on the filling for my chicken pot pie recipe, but I used leftover Thanksgiving turkey instead and made it a little thinner to be more soup-like.

    It starts with a basic medley of vegetables (onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and mushrooms) sautéed until tender, then we add a combination of butter and flour that will help thicken the soup and give it body. Next, we add vegetable broth, herbs, and the wild rice blend, and simmer until the rice is tender. Finally, we add in the cooked chopped turkey, heat through, then add a dose of cream for a rich finish. 👌 Perfect!

    Do I Have to Use Turkey?

    This recipe is quite flexible, so if you want to make it any other time of the year other than after Thanksgiving, simply swap out the cooked turkey with some chopped rotisserie chicken! Still super delish and hearty!

    Overhead view of turkey and wild rice soup in the pot with a ladle.

    What Kind of Rice to Use

    For this soup, you’ll want to use a wild rice blend. While you can use wild rice by itself, I find that using a blend of different rices adds more texture and color to the bowl and the rice blends tend to be more affordable than wild rice by itself. I used Lundberg’s Wild Blend, but you can sometimes find generic store versions of this, depending on where you shop (last year ALDI had some). And, since rice is shelf stable, you can save the leftovers to use in other recipes, rather than worrying about it going to waste.

    How to Store Leftovers

    Refrigerate this soup just after cooking so that it cools quickly. Even better yet, divide it into single servings for faster cooling and easier serving and reheating later. Chill completely in the refrigerator overnight, then, if desired, transfer it to the freezer for longer storage. The soup can be reheated in the microwave or in a pot on the stove over medium-low, stirring often, until hot.

    Close up side view of a bowl of turkey and wild rice soup.
    Overhead view of a bowl of turkey and wild rice soup.
    Print

    Turkey and Wild Rice Soup

    Turkey and Wild Rice Soup is a great way to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers, plus the leftovers are great so it's the perfect meal prep!
    Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Soup
    Cuisine American
    Total Cost $8.94 recipe / $2.24 serving
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
    Servings 4 1.75 cups each
    Calories 472kcal

    Equipment

    Ingredients

    • 1 yellow onion $0.37
    • 2 carrots $0.29
    • 3 ribs celery $0.32
    • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
    • 5 Tbsp butter, divided $0.48
    • 8 oz. mushrooms $1.79
    • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour $0.06
    • 1/2 cup wild rice blend $1.20
    • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
    • 1/2 tsp rubbed sage $0.05
    • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
    • 4 cups vegetable broth $0.47
    • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey $3.11
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream $0.55
    • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02

    Instructions

    • Dice the onion, slice the carrots and celery, and mince the garlic. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to a large soup pot with 1 Tbsp butter and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
    • While the vegetables are sautéing, slice the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the pot and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are soft.
    • Add the flour and remaining 4 Tbsp butter to the pot. Continue to stir and cook for about one minute more.
    • Add the wild rice, thyme, sage, pepper, and broth to the pot. Stir until all of the flour and butter mixture has dissolved off the vegetables and the bottom of the pot.
    • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let the soup simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the rice is tender.
    • Once the rice is tender, add the chopped turkey. Stir to combine and heat through.
    • Stir in the heavy cream, then taste the soup and season with about ½ tsp salt, or to your liking. Enjoy hot with bread for dipping!

    See how we calculate recipe costs here.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1.75cups | Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 27g | Sodium: 1451mg | Fiber: 4g
    Close up of a ladle full of turkey and wild rice soup over the pot.

    How to Make Turkey and wild rice soup – Step by Step Photos

    Carrot, onion, celery, and garlic in the soup pot.

    Dice one yellow onion, slice 2 carrots, slice 3 ribs of celery, and mince two cloves of garlic. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to a large soup pot with 1 Tbsp butter. Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.

    Sliced mushrooms added to the pot.

    While the vegetables are sautéing, slice 8 oz. mushrooms. Add them to the pot and continue to sauté until the mushrooms have softened.

    Butter and flour added to the pot.

    Add 4 Tbsp butter and ¼ cup flour to the pot. Continue to stir and cook for about one minute more. The flour and butter will form a paste that will coat the vegetables, that is okay.

    Wild rice blend and herbs added to the pot.

    Add ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp rubbed sage, ¼ tsp pepper, and ½ cup wild rice blend to the pot.

    Vegetable broth being poured into the pot.

    Add 4 cups of vegetable broth. Stir to combine and dissolve all of the flour and butter off of the vegetables and the bottom of the pot.

    Simmered soup in the pot.

    Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the soup to come to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the wild rice is tender.

    Chopped turkey being poured into the pot.

    Once the rice is tender, add 2 cups of chopped cooked turkey (or chicken) and stir to combine. Allow the turkey to heat through in the soup.

    Cream being stirred into the soup.

    Finally, to make the soup extra lush, stir in a ⅓ cup heavy cream.

    Finished soup in the pot with a spoon.

    Taste the soup and add salt to your liking (I added ½ tsp). Keep in mind that adding a little salt really helps the different flavors pop!

    Finished pot of turkey and wild rice soup seen from above.

    Serve the Turkey and Wild Rice Soup hot with some hearty bread for dipping!

    The post Turkey and Wild Rice Soup appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Honey Wheat Bread

    This homemade Honey Wheat Bread is soft, fluffy, flavorful, and perfect for breakfast toast and all of your favorite sandwiches.

    The post Honey Wheat Bread appeared first on Budget Bytes.

    Grocery prices just keep rising and we’re all feeling it, so I decided to revisit some of my old bread recipes. Because if there ever was a time to learn how to make homemade bread, it’s now! It only takes a couple of dollars to make this super delish homemade honey wheat bread that is soft, fluffy, flavorful, and perfect for toast or sandwiches. And while it does take some time to make a loaf of bread, most of that is hands-off time that you can use to tend to other business. ;)

    Front view of a loaf of honey wheat bread sliced.

    What’s in Honey Wheat Bread?

    This recipe starts with the basic yeast bread ingredients: flour, salt, and yeast. Then I added a little honey to give the bread just a hint of sweetness and a little olive oil which helps keep the bread (and the crust in particular) nice and soft. I’ve used a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour for this bread to keep the texture light and fluffy.

    Can I use All Whole Wheat Flour?

    While you can make bread with 100% whole wheat flour instead of a mix of white and wheat, that tends to produce heavier, dense bread. Whole wheat flour absorbs more moisture than all-purpose flour, so you may need to adjust the ratios in this bread slightly. I find that for the best texture, a 50/50 mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour produces the best results.

    How to Store Homemade Bread

    It’s very important to let homemade bread cool completely to room temperature before storing to prevent trapping steam and creating condensation. Homemade bread doesn’t contain preservatives like store-bought bread, so you’ll need to either consume the bread quickly or freeze it for longer storage.

    If storing your bread at room temperature, wrap the bread in cloth or paper to allow just enough airflow to prevent moisture build-up. Homemade bread will last about 2-3 days stored at room temperature.

    If storing in the refrigerator, keep the bread in an air-tight container. This is my preferred method because I don’t usually eat bread that quickly. Bread stored in the refrigerator will stay good for about 5-6 days.

    If you need to store your bread for longer, freeze it. I suggest slicing the bread prior to freezing so you can thaw or use 1-2 slices at a time as needed without thawing the entire loaf. I often toast my slices straight from the freezer for convenience! Make sure to freeze the bread in an air-tight, heavy-duty, freezer-safe container (like a freezer bag).

    Overhead view of butter being spread on slices of wheat bread.
    Overhead view of butter being spread on slices of wheat bread.
    Print

    Honey Wheat Bread

    This homemade Honey Wheat Bread is soft, fluffy, flavorful, and perfect for breakfast toast and all of your favorite sandwiches.
    Course Breakfast, Lunch
    Cuisine American
    Total Cost $2.20 recipe / $0.12 slice
    Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 3 hours
    Servings 12 slices
    Calories 156kcal

    Ingredients

    • 1.25 cup warm water $0
    • 2 tsp active dry yeast or instant yeast $0.34
    • 2 Tbsp honey $0.50
    • 3 Tbsp olive oil $0.36
    • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour* $0.57
    • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour* $0.38
    • 1/2 Tbsp salt $0.05

    Instructions

    • Stir the yeast and 1 Tbsp of the honey into the warm water until dissolved, then set it aside for about five minutes to allow the yeast to activate. A thick layer of foam should develop on the surface of the water.
    • While waiting for the yeast to bloom, stir together 1 cup of the whole wheat flour with the salt.
    • Once the yeast is foamy, add the rest of the honey (1 Tbsp) and the olive oil and stir to combine. Pour the yeast water into the bowl with the flour and salt, then stir until combined. Add ½ cup more of whole wheat flour and stir until combined again.
    • Now start adding all-purpose flour, ½ cup at a time, until you can no longer stir the dough with a spoon. At that point, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and begin to knead all-purpose flour into the dough, a little at a time.
    • Knead the dough for about five minutes, slowly adding flour as you knead, or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands, but is still fairly pliable. I used 1.5 cups all-purpose flour total, but the total flour amount will vary with the type of flour used and relative humidity in the room.
    • Place the kneaded dough back into the mixing bowl and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise at room temperature for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
    • Lightly coat a bread pan with oil. Punch the dough down to deflate, then take the dough out of the bowl. Shape the dough into a log about the same length of your bread pan.
    • Place the shaped dough in the bread pan and let it rise for anohter hour, or until it has risen about 2-inches above the edges of the bread pan.
    • Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Once fully preheated, add the risen bread and bake for 30 minutes, or until the bread is deeply golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped.
    • Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool just a few minutes (to make it easier to handle), then carefully remove the bread from the pan to fully cool.
    • Once cool, slice and serve your delicious homemade bread!

    See how we calculate recipe costs here.

    Notes

    *The total amount of flour needed may vary depending on the brand of flour used and relative humidity. 
    The crust of this bread will be quite firm when it comes out of the oven, but it does soften up considerably as the bread cools.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1slice | Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 294mg | Fiber: 3g
    Sliced loaf of whole wheat bread viewed from the side.

    How to Make Honey Wheat Bread – Step By Step Photos

    Proofed yeast in a glass measuring cup.

    Start by dissolving 1 Tbsp honey and 2 tsp instant yeast or active dry yeast in 1.25 cups of warm water. Set the mixture aside to allow the yeast to bloom. It should develop a thick layer of foam on the surface.

    Flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

    While waiting for the yeast to bloom, add 1 cup whole wheat flour to a bowl with ½ Tbsp salt and stir to combine.

    Yeast water being added to the flour mixture.

    Once the yeast has bloomed, stir another 1 Tbsp honey and 3 Tbsp olive oil into the yeast water, then pour that mixture into the bowl with the flour and salt. Stir to combine.

    More whole wheat flour being added to the dough.

    Stir another ½ cup of whole wheat flour into the dough.

    all purpose flour being stirred into the dough.

    Now start adding in all-purpose flour, ½ cup at a time until you can no longer stir the dough with a spoon.

    Shaggy dough ball in the mixing bowl.

    When a shaggy ball of dough forms that can no longer be stirred with a spoon, it’s time to turn the dough out onto a floured surface to knead.

    Dough being kneaded with a measuring cup of flour on the side.

    Begin kneading in more all-purpose flour a little at a time. Knead for about five minutes, or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands, but is still pliable. I used about 1.5 cups all-purpose flour in total, but the total flour amount can vary depending on the type of flour used and the relative humidity in the room.

    Kneaded dough in the mixing bowl half covered with a cloth.

    Place the kneaded dough back into the mixing bowl and cover it with a towel. Let the dough rise at room temperature for one hour, or until doubled in size.

    Dough being punched down.

    Once doubled in size, punch the dough down to deflate. Remove the dough from the bowl and shape it into a log the same length as your bread pan.

    Dough in a glass bread pan.

    Lightly coat a bread pan with olive oil then place the shaped dough inside. Let the bread rise for another hour, or until it has risen about two inches above the top of the bread pan.

    Risen bread in the bread pan.

    Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Once the bread has risen, transfer the bread to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is deeply brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

    Bread removed from the bread pan after baking.

    After 30 minutes, remove the bread from the oven. Let it cool for just a few minutes to make it easier to handle, then carefully remove it from the bread pan to finish cooling.

    Overhead view of sliced honey wheat bread.

    Once cooled, slice and serve the bread, or store it for later!

    Overhead view of butter being spread on slices of bread.

    The post Honey Wheat Bread appeared first on Budget Bytes.