White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

I have not found a cookie in awhile that it is hard to stop eating.  You know, not so rich that you can only handle a few bites and then you’re done?  But more along the lines of “Wow, those are so good I can’t believe I just ate five!!!”.  Yeah, that.  Let me introduce you to these White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies.  They are soooooo good.  The kind of good you can’t just stop at one with.  The are so soft and slightly crisp around the edges and the tartness of the freeze-dried raspberries sets off the sweetness of the white chocolate perfectly.  And I love the slight chewy texture from the oats.  Yep, can’t make these often or we’ll be spending extra time at the gym!

Oh and the bright pinkish red bits make them a lovely treat for Valentine’s Day, don’tcha think?

Enjoy!

 

White Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1½ c. Quick Oats
  • ½ t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Baking Powder
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 1½ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 c. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ c. Raspberry Jam
  • 2 c. White Chocolate Chips
  • 1 c. Freeze-Dried Raspberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In an electric mixer beat the sugar and butter at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla and raspberry jam. Slowly beat in the flour mixture. Beat in the white chocolate chips. Gently fold in the freeze-dried raspberries. Roll into 1½" balls and place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Let cool on pan for 2 minutes then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
Notes
Makes 36 cookies.

 

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Soft-Baked Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

One more Superbowl recipe before the big game this weekend!  Who is watching?  Do you even care about the game and teams or is it ALL about the food?!  I say food, duh.  We’re having a party at our house and I can say with certainty I am looking forward to the food the most.  I have some friends who are fabulous cooks so I know we’ll have quite the spread!

M&M’s Fun Size Milk Chocolate Candy, 11-Ounce (Pack of 6)

I found these cookies a couple of weeks ago via Sally’s Baking Addiction (fabulous blog I JUST discovered–where have I been?!) and she has hit it out of the park with this recipe!  I have trouble getting cookies to bake up soft, thick and chewy and these Soft-Baked Monster Cookies fulfill all three of those requirements perfectly!  The only thing I’d do different next time is use MORE crushed Butterfingers and throw in some Reese’s Pieces!  I knew there was something I was missing after the fact and it hit me that Reese’s Pieces would be PERFECT in these cookies, along with all the other add-ins.

Monster Cookie

Set out some milk along with these cookies at your Superbowl party!  People will need it!

Enjoy!

 

Soft-Baked Monster Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. (2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 c. Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • ½ c. Sugar
  • 1½ c. Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 t. Baking Soda
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 2½ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 c. Old-Fashioned or Quick Oats (I used old-fashioned)
  • 1 c. Regular M&M's
  • 1 c. Dark Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet)
  • 1 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2-4 Regular Size Butterfinger Bars, roughly chopped (I used 2 but if I did them again, I'd use more)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in peanut butter and then eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and oats and mix into the butter/egg mixture on low speed. Mix in the M&M's, dark and semi-sweet chocolate chips and Butterfingers.
  3. Roll the dough into 2 " balls and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes (10 if you want them just slightly underdone), rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes and then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
Notes
Makes 40 cookies.

 

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Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free No-Bake Cookies

Healthy No-Bake Cookies

Today I have given a little makeover to one of my all-time favorite recipes–No-Bake Cookies!  My mom’s recipe is seriously THE BEST.  Yes, I do think that about many of her recipes.  Because it’s true!  I’ve had lots of other no-bake cookies and people have no idea there is an exact time they need to boil otherwise you get dry, crumbly, icky no-bakes.  Such a shame.  Luckily my mom’s recipe uses the perfect ingredients and method and they are no-fail every time.

Like I said, I gave them a makeover…a healthy makeover.  I was curious if altering the recipe with alternative ingredients would yield the same delicious cookie I grew up loving and eating way too many of in one sitting.  Off to experiment land I went!  I wanted them to be dairy-free because we don’t drink cow’s milk or eat cow products in our household unless it’s organic butter or Greek yogurt, so I used almond milk and coconut oil.  I knew it could be tricky because coconut oil will only firm up according to the temperature in your house so these cookies needed a little help in that department.  You must keep them in the refrigerator or freezer after they are done or you’ll have a sticky mess!  But we LOVE them cold, straight from the freezer.

Other changes I made were using a reduced amount of sucanat in place of the refined sugar.  It gave the cookies an amazingly rich, dark chocolatey, fudge taste.  I also used organic peanut butter and thick-rolled organic oats.  Very small changes but they make a world of difference in the nutritional content of the finished product.  Don’t get me wrong, you can’t eat five of these at once because they’re “healthy” or replace your daily fruit servings with a bunch of cookies!  They still have sugar after all, just not refined, processed sugar.  Which is a GOOD thing.  These are still meant to be an indulgence, but one you can feel pretty good about.  Jeremy and I both love them so much…maybe better than the original!  Just don’t tell my mom!

Enjoy!

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free No-Bake Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 3 c. Sucanat
  • ⅔ c. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 c. Unsweetened, Regular Almond Milk
  • ¾ c. Organic Coconut Oil
  • 4 c. Thick-Cut, Rolled Oats
  • 2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 c. Organic Peanut Butter (I use one that is only peanuts and sea salt)
Instructions
  1. Line two large baking sheets with foil.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine sucanat, almond milk, cocoa and coconut oil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute and 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Quickly stir in oats and drop by large spoonfuls onto the baking sheets. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and then place the pans in freezer for about 10 minutes to firm the cookies completely. Store in an air-tight container in the freezer or refrigerator (we like ours really cold from the freezer).
Notes
Makes 30 cookies.

 

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Valentine M&M Blondies

M&M Blondie

Get ready, Valentine’s Day is coming.  Some will roll their eyes, others will get giddy with anticipation of flowers and gifts and then some will just look forward to eating CHOCOLATE.  Lots and lots of chocolate.  Like me.  Nothing like a big box of chocolates whether single or attached.  Everyone loves them.  My favorites used to be Russell Stover and Whitmans while I was growing up but then I discovered See’s and I love, love, loooooove See’s.  As a matter of fact we are actually getting a permanent store in our mall any day!!!  Seriously, pinch me, it’s too good to be true!  And you better believe I will be buying myself a box for Valentine’s Day if no one else does (hint, hint Jeremy).   Raspberry Truffle, Dark Buttercream, Mocha, Orange Cream….ahhhh, they are ALL good.

M&M Blondies

Another great way to get a chocolate fix this Vday is with these M&M Blondies!  They are super rich, super buttery from the BROWNED BUTTER (one of my favorite things to do with butter!) and chalked full of chocolate.  Great for kid’s parties, work parties, your significant other, a night just by yourself….really, just come up with some excuse to make them.

Enjoy!

P.S. What is YOUR favorite chocolate??  Brand, flavor?  I’d love to know!

 

M&M Blondies
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ Sticks Unsalted Butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 c. Brown Sugar, packed
  • ¼ c. Granulated White Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • 1½ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 c. Valentine M&M's
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x9 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it turns an amber color and begins to smell nutty. Brown bits will start to appear in the bottom of the pan.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the browned butter and sugars. With a wooden spoon, stir in the egg, vanilla, heavy whipping cream and salt. Stir in flour, semi-sweet chocolate chips and half of a cup of the M&M's. Spread evenly into the pan and sprinkle with the remaining M&M's. Gently press them into the batter.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes (recommended 27 minutes). Let the blondies cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.
Notes
Makes 16 bars.

 

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4-Layer Brownie Bars

Choc Chip Cookie Brownie

So awhile back I made something that consisted of cookie dough, Oreos and brownies and put it in a muffin tin and baked it.  It had no name and still doesn’t!  Little did I realize that someone had already done these brownie/bar thingies (of course) and had named them Slutty Brownies.  Scandalous!  But totally appropriate.  These brownie/bars are amazingly rich, amazingly good and amazingly sinful.  Don’t think about the calories…it’s worth it.  I decided to revamp my original recipe and do them in a pan, which quite frankly makes a lot more sense than doing them individually in a muffin tin.  Duh.

Cookie Oreo Brownie

Now are you ready for the really good part?  I covered them in PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING.  I mean we just went from slutty to total whore (excuse my language).  Who doesn’t love brownies, Oreos, chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter frosting??  And altogether in one dessert?!  Divine.  And rich.  Yes, milk is a must for this one.

Enjoy!

P.S. If you want to save a little time on these bars, you could make both the cookie dough and the frosting ahead of time and just keep it refrigerated until ready to use!  Or you could even use a cookie and brownie MIX.  I highly recommend the Ghirardelli Double Fudge Brownies!

Choc Chip Cookie Oreo Brownie

Cookie Brownie Bars
 
Ingredients
Cookie Layer
  • ½ c. Granulated Sugar
  • ½ c. Brown Sugar, packed
  • ⅓ c. Shortening
  • ½ Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ t. Baking Soda
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • 1⅛ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Oreo Layer
  • 35 Oreos (will be slightly more than one package)
Brownie Layer
  • ½ c., plus 2 T. All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ t. Salt
  • 1 T. Dark Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 c. Dark/Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ t. Instant Coffee Granules
  • ¾ c. Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ c. Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 3 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Peanut Butter Frosting
  • 6 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 c. Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 2 c. Powdered Sugar
  • 5 T. Heavy Whipping Cream (or whole milk)
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan.
For the Cookie Layer
  1. In a mixer, cream the sugars, butter and shortening until fluffy. Add egg, then vanilla. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and add to wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Press evenly into the pan. Layer with Oreos.
For the Brownie Layer
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  2. Put the chocolate, butter and instant coffee granules into a medium bowl and melt in the microwave at 20 second intervals, stirring between each time until completely melted and smooth. Add sugars and whisk until completely combined. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Add 2 of the eggs and whisk until combined. Add the remaining egg and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or the brownies will be cakey.
  4. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate. Pour the batter over the Oreos.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely on a wire rack and frost with Peanut Butter Frosting.
For the Peanut Butter Frosting
  1. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in one cup of the powdered sugar. Beat in half of the heavy whipping cream. Beat in the remaining powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream. Beat in vanilla. Spread over cooled brownie bars.
Notes
Makes 24.

 

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Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bar

I am not quite done with Superbowl recipes (I’ll have another later this week!), but I made these Cherry Pie Bars a couple of days ago and they were so fantastic I couldn’t wait to share the recipe!  I love anything cherry and combined with the crumbly streusel topping, they are beyond yummy.  And so incredibly easy to make.  I think they would make a lovely Valentine’s Day treat!

Cherry Pie Bars

Enjoy!

Cherry Pie Bars
 
Ingredients
Crust and Topping
  • 1½ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • ¾ c. Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • ¾ c. Unsalted Butter, softened
Cherry Filling
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 c. Granulated Sugar
  • ½ c. Sour Cream
  • ⅓ c., plus 1 T. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 t. Almond Extract
  • 12-16 oz. Frozen, Unsweetened Dark Cherries (I could only find 12 oz. in my store)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
For the Crust and Topping
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into ½-inch pieces and add to the flour mixture. Cut in with a fork or use your fingers (my preferred method) until the butter is evenly distributed and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Evenly press ¾ of the mixture into the bottom of the pan and reserve the rest for topping.
For the Cherry Filling
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour and almond extract. Gently fold in the cherries and pour over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining topping mixture evenly over the top
  2. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (mine took 55 minutes) until the top turns golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.
Notes
Makes 16 bars.

 

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Peanut Butter Fudge Granola Bites

Peanut Butter Fudge and Granola Bites

There was a time in my life when if you had told I could blend peanut butter and beans in a blender and get DESSERT out of the concoction, I’d have said you are CRAZY.  But oh my how true it is.  From brownies to cupcakes, beans are an absolute awesome way to make sweet stuff with less fat and tons more fiber!  And you don’t have to compromise taste and texture to get the health benefits, which is nice.

When I came up with this recipe I was amazed how much it tasted like peanut butter fudge!  So addictive and good.  The short list of ingredients and simple instructions make it a win-win for a healthy, quick dessert!  We love these things and I know you will too.  Just trying to help you stick to those New Year’s resolutions!

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Fudge Granola Bites
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. (14 oz.) Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 c. Organic Peanut Butter (I used one that is only organic peanuts)
  • ⅔ c. Agave (could also use honey)
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • ½ c. Low-Sugar Granola (I used one that is sweetened only with organic apple juice. Try to find one that does not use refined sugar.)
Instructions
  1. Lightly spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, process all ingredients except the granola until completely blended and smooth. Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Cover with foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  3. Cut fudge into 1½" squares. Working quickly, shape into balls and roll in granola. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Notes
Makes 20 bites.

 

 

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Bacon, Bourbon and Peanut Puppy Chow

Bacon, Bourbon, Peanut Puppy Chow

I know it may sound silly, but I love puppy chow (also known as muddy buddies to some).  And just like 7-Layer Bars, I had never made it before!  Crazy, right?  Puppy chow is such a holiday thing to me and I always knew someone else would be bringing it to whatever function I’d be attending so I’ve never bothered to make it.  However, I have always thought that puppy chow needed revamping.  It’s totally yummy but am I the only one that would look for the little nuggets of two or more Chex squares stuck together with an excess of the chocolate and peanut butter mixture??  Know what I’m talking about?  Yes, I’d pick through the puppy chow mix to find those little scrumptious morsels–I’m not ashamed!  I’ve just always thought it needs MORE chocolate and peanut butter goodness.  So I decided to do something about it!

Bacon, Bourbon & Peanut Puppy Chow

I started off doubling the chocolate and peanut butter mixture but then I thought it needed something more.  And that something was alcohol!  Can’t go wrong adding booze to a dessert, right?!  But then my evil mind went even further and thought it needed something even more…like bacon….and peanuts.  Yes, bourbon, bacon and peanuts…in puppy chow.  Things got crazy up in my kitchen people.  Crazy in a VERY GOOD way.  What resulted was the yummiest puppy chow I’ve ever had.  No more digging for the little morsels of Chex Squares stuck together–there were plenty of those!  Now if you don’t want to add all the additional ingredients and stick closer to the classic, that’s totally ok…but the bourbon, bacon and peanuts add such another dimension of yumminess to it.  I highly recommend!  Fabulous sweet/salty snack for a Superbowl party!

Enjoy!

Bacon, Bourbon and Peanut Puppy Chow
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. Smooth Peanut Butter (I prefer Peter Pan)
  • ½ c. Unsalted Butter (I'm sure salted would work fine too)
  • 2 c. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ⅓ c. Bourbon
  • 1 lb. Bacon, cooked and chopped (I tore the fatty pieces off of mine)
  • 2 c. Dry-Roasted Peanuts
  • 9 c. Chex Rice Cereal
  • 3 c. Powdered Sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the cereal, bacon and peanuts.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips at 30-second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each until completely melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon.
  3. Pour the chocolate/peanut butter mixture over the cereal mixture and toss gently until all the cereal is evenly coated.
  4. Place the powdered sugar in a large bag. (You could use a large Ziploc type bag but it will probably not be big enough. I used a large paper bag and I recommend doing that.) Add the chocolate/peanut butter and cereal mixture to the bag. Shake the bag vigorously to evenly coat each piece of the puppy chow with powdered sugar.
  5. Once the mixture is fully coated, store in an airtight container.
Notes
Makes 15, 1-cup servings.

 

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7-Layer Bars

7-Layer Bars

Believe it or not, I have never made 7-Layer Bars.  Shocking, right?!  I’ve always really enjoyed them at parties and church functions but just never made them myself.  And I’m not sure why because wow, they are easy and delicious (duh).  I thought they’d be a great Superbowl dessert and believe it or not, that blessed event is right around the corner.  So it’s time to start planning your menu people!  It’s all about the food.  At least for me it is…I could kind of care less about football.  Sorry, it’s true.

7 Layer Bars

Ok, let’s get to the bars.  The recipe I used called for a potato chip crust which I thought would give it a more salty component but I didn’t notice it much.  So I might add in 1/4 teaspoon or so of salt to the potato chip mixture next time I make them.  Just fyi.  And traditionally the crust is graham cracker so feel free to swap out the potato chips for graham cracker crumbs and follow the recipe accordingly.  I’m not sure which I prefer more.  The potato chip crust actually turned out kind of chewy which I love but I also adore graham cracker crusts so…yeah.  Flip a coin?  Anyway, this recipe is fabulous, you can’t mess it up and it really is super easy and great for parties.  Try them!

Oh and if you want some more Superbowl sweets ideas, check out these past blog posts here and here!   I’ll have another great Superbowl recipe later this week for puppy chow–with a twist!  If you like booze, you’re gonna love it.  And even if you don’t like booze, you’re gonna love it.  Seriously.  Stay tuned!

7-Layer Bars
 
Ingredients
  • 3 c. Regular, Salted Potato Chips, crushed
  • 1½ sticks Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 4 T. Granulated Sugar
  • 12 oz. (2 c.) pkg. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 12 oz. (2 c. ) pkg. Butterscotch Chips
  • 12 oz. (2 c. ) pkg. White Chocolate Chips
  • 1½ c. Walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
  • 3 c. Flaked, Sweetened Coconut, toasted
  • 2, 14 oz. Cans Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 9x13 pan.
  2. Combine potato chips, sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the pan.
  3. Top the crust with the following ingredients, in order: semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut. Combine the sweetened condensed milk with vanilla and pour over the layers.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes and let cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.
Notes
Makes 18 squares.

 

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Peanut Butter and Banana Quinoa Cookies

Peanut Butter and Banana Quinoa Cookies

Woo hoo it’s the first recipe of the new year!!!  I’m so excited.  How about you?  I know you’ve just been waiting on the edge of your seat to see what the first super-indulgent, sugar-laden, fattening recipe would be, right??  Well, the wait is over!  And I really hope you’re not too disappointed because…it’s a HEALTHY recipe!  Yay!!!  Oh, am I the only one saying yay?? Surely not.  I know there had to have been some of you feeling like I was after Christmas…in need of a major refined sugar and fat break.  And I know someone out there made a resolution to eat healthier and drop some weight.  Well, this recipe fits the healthy-yet-incredibly-yummy bill to a “t”!

Peanut Butter and Banana Quinoa Cookies 2

I was soooo pleased with how these came out.  I took great liberty with this recipe and tweaked it to my liking.  It’s got tons of protein from the quinoa, no refined sugar and whole grains.  It’s seriously amazing.  I’ve actually been eating these for breakfast.  They’re quite filling and not too sweet.  Hope you love them as much as I do and they help you stick to that new healthy living resolution!

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter and Banana Quinoa Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. Thick-Cut Oats
  • 1 c. White Whole Wheat Flour
  • ¼ t. Baking Powder
  • ¼ t. Sea Salt (I prefer pink himalayan)
  • ¼ c. Sucanant (or just use more honey)
  • ½ c. All-Natural, Organic Peanut Butter (I use one that has no salt, oil, etc)
  • 1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Ripe Banana, mashed
  • 2 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ⅓ c. Honey
  • 2 c. Cooked Quinoa
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder, salt and sucanant. In a medium bowl, stir together the peanut butter, egg, banana, vanilla and honey until smooth.
  3. Add the peanut butter mixture and quinoa to the dry ingredients. Stir together until everything is thoroughly combined. Drop by large spoonfuls onto the baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
Notes
Makes 20 cookies.

 

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2013 Baking Resolutions

The Baked Brownie
The Baked Brownie. One of my favorite recipes to date!

Happy New Year everyone!  Hope you all had a fabulous New Year’s Eve and are, ahem, recovering from whatever merriment you may have participated in!  I had a laid back, quiet evening in with my hubby and have to say it was very, very nice.  Sometimes you just need to relax and rest!

Last year I made a few baking resolutions for myself and have to confess I am not too proud of how (un)successful I was with them.  Let’s review, shall we?

1.  Bake more international desserts.  Ummm, yeah.  Massive failure on this one.  Early in the year I actually attempted to make Brazo de Mercedes, a delicious Filipino dessert and a favorite dessert of mine, period.   It’s an airy, spongy, meringue-like cake spread with a lemon custard and rolled up.   It’s divine.   And I was doing ok until I got to the rolling part…one crack led to another and before I knew it, custard was oozing everywhere.  And that was the beginning and end of the international dessert experiments.

2.  Bake more classic desserts.  This one I actually accomplished…sort of.  I didn’t do nearly as many as I wanted but I did manage to bake a delicious Coconut Cake, a Hummingbird Cake and a Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake.  I really love cakes so I’m going to try and do a few more classics this year and probably a few not-so-classics.

Orange-Italian-Cream-Cake-Slice
Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake

3.  Bake more challenging desserts.  Hah. Hah. HAH.  I have no patience and in fact have quite a collection of one-pan, easy, no-bake desserts on my blog so that should tell you everything you need to know about that particular resolution.

4.  Bake more healthy desserts.  I’m pleased to say this resolution is one that I did accomplish.  Probably because we eat fairly healthy in our household so making these desserts meant we could actually eat them and didn’t have to send them away to my husband’s office to be devoured.  I managed to make them quite regularly for the blog and as a matter of fact the first recipe of the new year later this week will indeed be HEALTHY.  Yay!

ChocolateChip-Quinoa-Trail-Mix-Balls
Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls

So what are my baking resolutions for this year???  I only have one.

1.  Make what I ENJOY baking. 

What a concept, right?!  I have realized that the resolutions from last year that I succeeded in are actually things that I truly enjoy making and eating.  Too often I think I have to push my limits and do things that require extreme skill and time.  Or I get consumed with trying to figure out what recipe will get “pinned” the most on Pinterest or trying to figure out what other people want to bake at the time, what’s trendy, what holiday it is…you get the point.  And I’ll still keep all those things in mind but I won’t let it dictate what I put on Desserted Planet.  I’ll do things that I genuinely enjoy and get pleasure from making.  I’m pretty excited about it!

So what are your resolutions, baking or otherwise?  I’d really love to hear them!

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New Year’s Eve Eats – Dessert Dips!

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip
Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip by Cookie Crazed Mama

Hey friends!  Man, I feel like I’ve barely recovered from all the Christmas baking and New Year’s Eve is staring me right in the face!  Ack!  I’m not gonna lie, at this point I’m not sure what I’m going to bake, if anything, and quite truthfully these no-bake dessert dips are looking pretty good to me right now.  Very short list of ingredients, no oven involved and just darn tasty.  So this is the direction I think I’m gonna go…because I actually want to enjoy my New Year’s and not drive myself crazy the next couple of days baking non-stop in the kitchen.  Just keepin’ it real people!

So what are your New Year’s baking plans?  Or do you have any??  I’d love to know!

P.S. Check out last year’s New Year’s Eve dessert inspiration here!

Cherry Cheesecake Dip

 

Cherry Cheesecake Dip

Pumpkin Pie Dip

 

Pumpkin Dip

White Chocolate Oreo Fluff Dip

 

White Chocolate Oreo Fluff Dip

Raspberry Lemon Fruit Dip

 

Raspberry Lemon Fruit Dip

Cannoli Dip

 

Cannoli Dip

Funfetti Cake Dip

 

Funfetti Cake Dip

Apple Pie Dip

 

Apple Pie Dip

Candy Cane Dip

 

Candy-Cane-Dip-and-Chocolate-Cookies

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip

 

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip

S’mores Dip

 

S'mores Dip

Pina Colada Fruit Dip

 

Pina-Colada-Fruit-Dip

Brownie Batter Dip

 

Brownie Batter Dip

Orange Creamsicle Fruit Dip

 

orange-creamsicle-dip

Monster Cookie Dough Dip

 

monster-cookie-dough-dip-words

Peanut Butter & Yogurt Dip

 

Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip

Fruit Salsa Dip

 

Fruit Salsa

Nutella Yogurt Fruit Dip

 

Nutella Yogurt Fruit Dip

Caramel Cheesecake Dip

 

Caramel Cheesecake Dip

Chocolate Toffee Cookie Dough Dip

 

Chocolate Toffee Cookie Dough Dip

Snickerdoodle Dip

 

Snickerdoodle Dip

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Baked Caramel Soaked French Toast

Baked French Toast Casserole
Photo by Food Network

A big, indulgent breakfast is very, VERY rare around our house.  Which is why I looooved this past Christmas with my in-laws.  We did breakfast together at my brother and sister-in-laws house on Christmas morning and it is a breakfast I shall never forget.  Bagels, toast, doughnuts, waffles, pancakes…what are those??  No, no, no people.  I’m talking BREAKFAST.  Ham, hashbrown casserole, thick-cut maple bacon, fluffy scrambled eggs and a yummy fruit salad.  Oh and…..Baked Caramel Soaked French Toast Casserole.  Holy crap.

My sister-in-law Rachel, of Foodie Rachel, did the majority of the baking and cooking and man, she totally outdid herself, especially with this French toast casserole.  My intention was to have a small piece of the sweet, syrupy baked goodness but once I had a taste, I was mentally restraining myself from eating whatever was left in the pan.  It was TO. DIE. FOR.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of her French toast casserole that morning but just envision thick slices of French bread, drenched in a sticky, gooey caramel syrup sauce.  (The picture above is the best I could come up with but definitely does NOT do the casserole justice.)

Are you drooling yet?  Yeah, it’s good.  Try it this weekend or maybe make if for a special New Year’s Day breakfast!  Fabulous way to start the new year.

Enjoy!

Baked Caramel Soaked French Toast
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. Brown Sugar
  • ¾ c. Butter
  • ¼ c. plus 2T. Corn Syrup
  • 1 lb. Loaf French Bread, cut into 10 slices, about 1¾ inches thick
  • 4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2½ c. Half and Half
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ t. Salt
  • 3 T. Sugar
  • 1½ t. Cinnamon
  • ¼ c. Butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Cook the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Pour into a 9x13 baking pan.
  2. Arrange bread over syrup.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, vanilla and salt. Pour over bread layers, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least eight hours.
  4. Remove casserole from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Combine cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle over casserole. Drizzle with butter.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve immediately.
Notes
Serves 8.

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Christmas Delivery from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Four Jeni's

Christmas came a little bit early this year.  My husband surprised me a few weeks ago with this little box from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (my favorite ice cream).  See, where we live we only have access to Jeni’s at a few local grocery stores that carry a very limited selection of their ice cream.  So it pained me that I wasn’t able to get my hands on their holiday flavors.  But my husband decided to do something about it and ordered four pints of ice cream (the minimum order off of their website), two holiday flavors and two flavors that I had just been dying to try forever.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

I was so excited to get this box and completely surprised!  Opening it up and discovering the flavors he had ordered was so fun!  We had our very own Boozy Eggnog, Dark Chocolate Peppermint, Queen City Cayenne and Cherry Lambic Sorbet.  They had been frozen in dry ice which meant they were rock solid so we waited and left them sitting out on the counter for about 30 minutes (pure torture!) and finally were able to take a couple bites of each.  Seriously, guys…pure HEAVEN.  It is so hard to even adequately describe the deliciousness of each of the flavors but please take my word for it when I say they were each equally amazing.  I thought for sure my favorite would be the Dark Chocolate Peppermint, but I found myself absolutely craving the Cherry Lambic Sorbet.  It’s literally like thousands of sweet, dark, juicy cherries concentrated into each and every creamy, cold bite.  I’m totally in love.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Unfortunately it’s too late to order Jeni’s in time for Christmas but who cares?!  Order it anyways!  Even if it comes late, it’s still the best gift you’ll get this year!

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Candy Cane Dip and Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies

I’m sure you’ve learned by now I have a slight obsession with mint and chocolate.  From cupcakes to brownies, it might be my all time favorite combination.  This dip and cookies take that obsession to a whole new level.  The dip is divine.  As in, eat-it-with-a-spoon, divine.  It’s creamy, pepperminty, flecked with candy cane chunks and so different than anything else I’ve made for Christmas.  Seriously, if you want to wow people at your next holiday party, make this dip.  It literally took me about five minutes to mix together and then I made these Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies to go with them.  A match made in heaven.  The dip would also be good with bite-size brownies, chocolate chip cookies or even pretzels.

Enjoy!

Candy Cane Dip and Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
  • 7 oz. Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 c. Powdered Sugar
  • 1½ t. Pure Peppermint Oil
  • ½ c. Crushed Candy Canes (plus a little bit more for garnish)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, marshmallow creme and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in the peppermint oil and crushed candy canes. Place in a bowl and garnish with more crushed candy canes. Serve immediately with cookies, brownies, etc.

 

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Big, Fat, Soft Almond Sugar Cookies

Tonight’s recipe is courtesy of Pinterest!  From the blog, Confections from the Cody Kitchen, these soft almond sugar cookies are some of the best I’ve ever had.  I’m talking unbelievably soft, slightly chewy, packed with almond flavor (which I LOVE), don’t require rolling and cutting and don’t even need frosting!  Does it get much better than that?!  I think not!  I never thought I’d find a sugar cookie that wasn’t in some way enhanced with the addition of fluffy, dreamy buttercream but these cookies simply don’t need it.  Now you could always skip the step of rolling them in sugar and go ahead and make frosting but I’m just telling ya right now, save yourself the trouble. You’ve got better things to do.

I did of course make a few minor changes to the original recipe (which is reflected in the recipe I’ve posted).  I can’t help myself.  I thought the almond flavor wasn’t quite cutting it so I added a LOT more to my batter, but you do what suits you.  They’ll be fabulous no matter what.

P.S. If you still feel you need that frosting (I can’t blame you), try these amazing Sugar Cookie Bars or these Thick Cut-Out Sugar Cookies (in a different shape, of course).  Two of my faves.

Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Big, Fat, Soft Almond Sugar Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ c. Sugar
  • 1½ sticks Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ c. Shortening
  • 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 T. Pure Almond Extract
  • 2¾ c. Cake Flour
  • 1 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 T. Cornstarch
  • 2 t. Baking Powder
  • ½ t. Salt
  • Coarse Sanding Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together sugar, butter and shortening until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs and almond extract and mix just until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and beat on medium speed just until flour is incorporated. Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly, place in an air-tight container and refrigerate for one hour or overnight (which is what I did).
  3. Roll dough into 2" balls, about the size of a golf ball and roll in sanding sugar. Place on baking sheets about two inches apart and bake for 12 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Let cool on pans for two minutes and then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.
Notes
Makes 35 cookies.

 

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Fantasy Fudge

The other day I tried store bought fudge for the first time ever (at least that I can remember).  I literally spit it out.  I could hardly believe how gross it was.  It was just chocolate fudge but it almost tasted like fake chocolate and was so grainy.  Oh my gosh, disgusting.  I honestly wondered how do you make something that tastes so bad?  I mean, you’d almost have to do it on purpose.  And then do you say to yourself, “Wow, this is so gross!  Let’s sell it!”?!!  Mind boggling.  At least to me.  So please do me a favor and DO NOT buy store-bought fudge this Christmas.  It is not difficult to make at home and homemade it so, so, SO much better.  I beg of you, make it yourself!!!!

Ok, now that my impassioned plea has been made I’m going to share the absolute best fudge recipe out there—my mom’s!  She makes this fudge every year for Christmas and trust me when I say it is THE BEST there is.  Super creamy, melt in your mouth chocolate goodness.  Of course my favorite way to eat it is to freeze a bunch of it and when a chocolate craving strikes, I dig a piece out and enjoy it cold.  Soooooo good.  I know there are a lot of fudge recipes out there, but go with this one!  It is tried and true and won’t let you down!

Enjoy!

Fantasy Fudge
 
Ingredients
  • 3 c. Sugar
  • ¾ c. Butter
  • ⅔ c. Evaporated Milk
  • 1, 12-oz. pkg. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1, 7-oz. Jar Kraft Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 c. Nuts, chopped (I love English Walnuts)
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. Combine sugar, margarine and milk in heavy 2-1/2 quart saucepan; bring to full rolling bail, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate till melted. Add marshmallow creme, nuts & vanilla; beat until blended. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Let cool and cut into 1-inch squares.
Notes
Makes 64, 1-inch pieces.

 

 

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Dark Chocolate and Candy Cane Cheescake Cupcakes

Hey guys.  Ok, second recipe this week…Dark Chocolate & Candy Cane Cheesecake Cupcakes.  Yes, you read that right.  Cheesecake and cupcakes in one glorious little package.  I loooooove cheesecake cakes.  My first ever was this Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake a few years ago that I made for Jeremy’s birthday when we were first married.  And there have been many since then, including this Chocolate Stout and Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cupcakes and these Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes. But this one is BY FAR my favorite.

I started this cupcake with a layer of crushed Oreo crust, followed by the delicious candy cane cheesecake layer, a dark chocolate cake layer and topped it off with dreamy peppermint frosting and candy cane bark.  OMG, to die for.  My only little issue with this cupcake was the Oreo crust wanted to stick to the wrappers a little but I think that could be avoided with high-quality wrappers.  Mine were pretty cheap.  Also, if you do candy cane bark, be sure to add it the day you plan on serving these.  Otherwise, the moisture from the frosting will cause the little peppermint pieces to bleed onto your cupcake.  Which doesn’t make it taste bad, but I’m not so sure you want your cupcakes to look like they’re bleeding.  But hey, whatever!

I hope you love these as much as I do!  They are definitely going into my regular holiday baking rotation.

Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate and Candy Cane Cheescake Cupcakes
 
Ingredients
Oreo Crust
  • 2 c. Oreo Crumbs
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter
Candy Cane Cheesecake
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ c. Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ¼ t. Pure Peppermint Oil
  • ½ c. Crushed Candy Canes
Dark Chocolate Cake
  • 1½ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1⅓ c. Sugar
  • ½ c. Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 1¼ t. Baking Powder
  • 1¼ t. Baking Soda
  • 1 t. Salt
  • ¼ c., plus 1 T. Vegetable Oil
  • ⅔ c. Whole Milk
  • ½ c., plus 1 T. Strong-Brewed Coffee
  • 2 Large Eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Peppermint Frosting
  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened
  • ½ c. Shortening
  • 4 c. Powdered Sugar
  • ½ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 t. Pure Peppermint Oil
Candy Cane Bark
  • ½ lb. White Chocolate Candy Coating
  • ½ c. Crushed Candy Canes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake tins with cupcake wrappers.
For the Oreo Crust
  1. Mix melted butter and Oreos together in a medium bowl. Press 1 tablespoon of mixture into each cupcake tin.
For the Candy Cane Cheesecake
  1. Beat cream cheese and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in egg and peppermint oil. Stir in crushed candy canes. Fill each cupcake tin with 1 scant tablespoon of cheesecake.
For the Dark Chocolate Cake
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Spoon 2 tablespoon cake batter into each cupcake tin*.
  2. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes. Cool completely in tins on wire racks. Frost with peppermint frosting and top with candy cane bark.
For the Peppermint Frosting
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and shortening until fluffy. Gradually beat in 2 cups of the powdered sugar and then ¼ cup of the heavy whipping cream. Beat in the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar and ¼ cup of heavy whipping cream. Beat in the vanilla and peppermint oil.
For the Candy Cane Bark
  1. Melt white chocolate in microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each. Spread onto a medium baking sheet lined with foil. Cover with crushed candy canes. Put in freezer for 1-2 minutes until bark has hardened completely.
Notes
Makes 24 cheesecake cupcakes. *I had enough chocolate cake batter to make 6 plain chocolate cupcakes. *Some of my cupcakes sunk in the middle, which sometimes happens with cheesecake. They still turned out fine. Just FYI.

 

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Chunky Cherry, Oreo & Brownie Bark

Hey friends!  I have good news.  I had so many recipes that I wanted to share with you before Christmas that I absolutely couldn’t decide which ones to do and made the decision to do them all!  Yes, ALL.  Woo hoo!  So, one recipe every day this week.  I’m going to start with a super easy one today for this crazy good Chunk Cherry, Oreo & Brownie Bark.  This is inspired by a certain frozen custard creation that my husband likes to get at out local custard joint, Andy’s.  The combination of cherry, oreo and brownie in cool, creamy custard has become one of my favorites and I wanted to find a way to put it into candy form–hence, this bark!  I was pleased with how it turned out although I think I’d do a few more cherries next time, but that’s just my preference.  It would be great for any holiday party if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen and it’s definitely perfect for gift giving.  Just put it in a festive cellophane bag and voila!  Perfect foodie gift.

Enjoy!

Chunky Cherry Oreo & Brownie Bark
 
Ingredients
  • 2.5 lbs. Dark Chocolate Candy Coating (such as Ghirardelli or Wilton)
  • ¾ lb. White Chocolate Candy Coating (such as Ghirardelli or Wilton)
  • 1, 9x9 pan of Brownies (I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix and added a teaspoon of vanilla), cut into 1" sqaures
  • 5 c. Oreos (20 cookies), roughly crushed
  • 1 c. Dried Cherries
Instructions
  1. Melt both the dark and white chocolate candy coating (in separate bowls) in the microwave at 20-second intervals, stirring between each. Line your kitchen counter with a large piece of foil. In a large bowl, place the brownie chunks and gently stir in the melted dark chocolate candy coating. Be very careful to not break up the chunks of brownie as you stir. Quickly spread the brownies and chocolate onto the foil and immediately top with the crushed brownies and gently press them into the brownie/chocolate layer. Immediately drizzle with the melted white chocolate candy coating and sprinkle with the dried cherries. Let cool completely until chocolate is hard. Cut into pieces with a sharp knife and store in an air-tight container.
Notes
Makes about 3 lbs of candy.

 

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Crispy Nutella Candy

I know, I know.  Nutella has been SO done.  But believe it or not, I haven’t done many Nutella recipes on this blog.  As a matter of fact, I think the only one I have so far is for these Dark Chocolate Nutella Raspberry Cupcakes.  But there is a reason people love their Nutella recipes so much and it’s because, well, the stuff is DANG good.  I mean really, all you need is a spoon and the jar and you’re pretty much set.  But mix in into your favorite cookie, brownie or in this case Christmas candy, and you’ve got near dessert perfection.

This is another recipe from my baker-extraordinairre friend, Judy.  I will never forget the first Christmas party at my first “real job” after I got out of college.  She brought these, along with a few other goodies (which I can all recall distinctly and do in fact have the recipes for), and I immediately fell in love.  The original recipe calls for peanut butter so I decided this time to switch things up and use Nutella.  And ummm, holy cow, mother of mercy.  Good.  These are good.  Kind of amazing.  As I was shoving the mixture into my mouth…I mean, delicately taste testing a totally finished and dipped candy, I kept thinking they reminded me of a candy bar but I couldn’t figure out which one.  And then it hit me–Ferrero Rocher!  YUM.

These babies are seriously the easiest candy I have yet to make this holiday season.  It’s all done in one bowl and you don’t even have to use your stove.  Love it.

Enjoy!

Crispy Nutella Candy
 
Ingredients
  • 1 c. Dry Milk
  • 1 c. Quick Oats
  • 1 c. Rice Krispie Cereal
  • 1 c., plus 2 T. Nutella
  • ½ c. Honey (try to use a honey that is mild in flavor, otherwise it will overwhelm the Nutella a bit)
  • 1 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 lb. Dark Chocolate Candy Coating Discs (Wilton or Ghirardelli brand is best)
  • White Chocolate Candy Coating for drizzle (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix dry milk, oats, cereal, nutella, honey and vanilla. It will be a very thick mixture. Form into 1½" balls and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while you melt the dark chocolate candy coating. Dip each ball in the dark chocolate candy coating and let dry completely. Decorate with white chocolate, white/red non-pareils or other decor.
Notes
Makes 40, 1½" balls.

 

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