Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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For a summer-inspired dinner yesterday, I grilled zucchini slices to have as a side with our barbecue chicken. We still had one left over, so I decided to mix it up and make a sweet treat instead. Since it would only be for the two of us, I didn’t want to make a batch of two dozen. Instead I created this chocolate zucchini recipe that only yields eight muffins, which is a much more manageable amount. Although I could probably finish a dozen myself, I would prefer to be able to fit into my jeans.

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If you’re looking to sneak some vegetables into your diet, this is a good way to enjoy some zucchini. It’s not exactly healthy, but I guess you have to start somewhere. The zucchini flavor is hardly noticeable as the chocolate is the dominant flavor. You can vary the amount of chocolate by using more or less cocoa powder and by adding or omitting the chocolate chips.

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The muffins turned out nice and moist with a firm top, creating a nice texture. Next time I might try the recipe with bananas or apple sauce instead of the oil and substituting the all-purpose flour with whole wheat to make it a little healthier.

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

{Makes 8 muffins}

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with paper liners (I found these cute parchment paper cups at Target).
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg. Beat in sugar and oil, until combined. Add cocoa, vanilla and zucchini, stirring until fully incorporated.
  3. Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, mixing until just moist. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins filling them 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle the tops with additional chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.

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Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

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It’s hard to beat a classic chocolate chip cookie, but I decided to sprinkle on some sea salt to create that salty, sweet flavor and it was a hit. I made them for a pool party that we went to this weekend and I was happy to take home an empty container – success!

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I have tried numerous recipes on my quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, but my mom suggested that I try this foolproof recipe. The cookies stay thick and fluffy because of the cornstarch, which is exactly what I was going for! Flat, crispy cookies are not my idea of a mouthwatering sweet treat. It’s safe to say that I found my new go-to recipe!

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Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix on medium speed until combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop a tablespoon of dough onto baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. The tops will not brown, but don’t cook longer than 10-11 minutes. Let cool on wire rack.

Lemon Blueberry Cake

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Lemonade is the ultimate summer flavor. Add some fresh blueberries and you’ve got a seasonal stand-out. Add cream cheese frosting and it’s unstoppable. Although I think most desserts need to have chocolate in them, my fiance prefers fruit-flavored sweets.This layered cake was a treat that we both enjoyed and it’s perfect for a 4th of July party! Your taste buds will be seeing fireworks as they burst with flavor.

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The recipe makes enough batter for a three-layered cake or a two-layered cake with some cupcakes. I decided to go the cupcake route to add some variety. Topped with creamy icing, the dense, moist cake makes for a refreshing summer treat.

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Lemon Blueberry Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • zest and juice of 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (if you use frozen, do not thaw!)
  • 1 Tbsp. flour

For the frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

Make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 9″ cake pans with cooking spray and/or line muffin pan. Set aside.
  2. Using a standing mixer, beat the butter on high until creamy, about 1 minute. Add sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture and beat on low until incorporated. Add milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir lightly until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, toss blueberries with 1 Tbsp. of flour and gently fold into batter. Do not over mix, or the cake will be too dense.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake cake layers for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. If you chose to make cupcakes, bake those by themselves for about 10 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed for 3 minutes, until no lumps remain.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar while mixing on low speed until frosting thickens. Add cream, vanilla and salt and stir on low until combined, then increase speed to high and beat for 3 minutes.
  3. If frosting is too thick, add additional tablespoon of cream.

To assemble:

  1. If the cake layers did not come out with a level surface, use a serrated knife to trim the tops off until they are flat.
  2. Place 1 layer on your cake stand or plate. Evenly cover with frosting. Top it with the second layer, more frosting and then the third layer. Finish by frosting the top and the sides.
  3. Garnish with blueberries or lemon slices, if desired.

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Happy National Doughnut Day!

Happy National Doughnut Day! I’ll use any excuse to eat these cakey, glazed sweets.  Pinterest obviously knows what’s up because I came across numerous mouth-watering recipes that I can’t wait to try! Below are a few treats from some of my favorite bloggers. Doughnut they look delicious?

donut2Biscuit Donuts with Natural-Colored Glazes from My Name is Yeh

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Blackberry Glazed Buttermilk Brown Butter Doughnuts from The Kitchy Kitchen

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Classic Buttermilk Baked Doughnuts with Chocolate + Vanilla Glaze from Edible Perspective

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Grapefruit Glazed Cake Doughnut from Bakeaholic Momma

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oreos

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Oreos + Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough = Cookie Heaven

When it comes to desserts, my favorite flavor combination is chocolate and peanut butter. It’s hard not to like, right? That’s why I thought these chocolate peanut butter cookie dough sandwich cookies would be perfect to make for a little dinner party at our house. A meal isn’t complete without some sweet treats!

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The recipe is surprisingly simple. It uses ingredients that I already had in my kitchen and wasn’t too time consuming. I like to “test” the dough as I bake. Let’s just say not all of the eggless peanut butter dough made it to the cookies…

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Homemade Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Oreos

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg

For the peanut butter cookie dough filling:

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

For the cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars and mix until combined. Mix in egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture and mix on low speed until dough forms.
  4. Take rounded teaspoon of dough and place on prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 8 minutes, until set. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy. Add sugars and beat until combined. Add the milk and vanilla, beating until fully incorporated. Gradually add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until dough forms. Gently stir in chocolate chips.

To assemble the cookies:

  1. Drop 1 tablespoon of filling onto half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, pressing lightly to create a sandwich.

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Coconut Macaroons with Nutella

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Happy Easter! I hope everyone is enjoying some quality family time, egg hunts and sweet treats! If you’re looking for a last-minute dessert, these macaroons are a quick, delicious cookie that everyone will love – even those who don’t love coconut.

Coconut Macaroons with Nutella

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 5 cups coconut
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • Cadbury milk chocolate eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, coconut, salt, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in large bowl, until dough forms. Drop by spoonful onto prepared cookie sheet. Use your thumb or a spoon to make an indentation in the center to form a nest shape. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  3. When completely cooled, fill each nest with 1-2 tsp. of Nutella and top with a few eggs.

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Easter Coconut Cupcakes

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How is Easter already in three weeks? I feel like it was just yesterday that the grocery store was full of Valentine’s Day treats, but I do love seeing aisles full of jelly beans and chocolate bunnies. The mini Cadbury chocolate eggs are one of my favorite Easter candies, so I decided to make some coconut cupcakes topped with the pretty, pastel sweet.

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 18.25 oz. box white cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

For the frosting + topping

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 bag Cadbury mini chocolate eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins and set aside (makes 24 cupcakes).
  2. For the cupcakes: In a large bowl, combine egg whites, coconut milk, apple sauce and coconut extract. Add cake mix and stir until combined. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins and bake for 20-22 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.
  3. For the frosting: In a medium bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, alternating with heavy cream. Add coconut and vanilla extract. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and spreadable. Add more powdered sugar if it is too thin or heavy cream if it is too thick.
  4. Frost each cooled cupcake and then sprinkle with shredded coconut. Top with three Cadbury eggs.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup

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Sometimes you just need a good ol’ chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven. If you don’t have the time or energy to whip up an entire batch this “cookie in a cup” recipe is the perfect quick fix. You still get the warm, chewy cookie and melted chocolate chips without the mess. The sweet treat will definitely satisfy a cookie craving. Make sure to have a glass of milk close by!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 3 drops of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • slightly less than 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp. semi-sweet chocolate chips

How-to:

Combine butter, sugars, vanilla and salt in microwavable mug or cup. Add egg yolk and stir until combined. Mix in flour, stirring until dough forms. Gently fold in chocolate chips and then sprinkle some on top. Microwave for 40-55 seconds, until almost set. It will continue cooking once it is out of the microwave, so no need to over do it.

S’more Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

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I always want some more cupcakes! And this classic campfire treat turned unique sweet is no exception. The Nutella frosting is just the icing on the cake… literally.

These s’more cupcakes take me back to summer and sitting around a bonfire at the beach, roasting marshmallows and laughing with friends. Although it’s already warming up in Vegas, hopefully these sweet treats will offer those of you still living in the snow a little taste of summer and sunshine!

S’more Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

Ingredients

For the graham cracker crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon. sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup black coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • salt to taste
  • mini marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs to decorate

How-to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. To make the graham cracker crust, combine crumbs, sugar and butter until evenly coated. Place a tablespoon of the mixture into each cupcake liner. Use a glass to press down on the crumbs, until a solid crust forms. Bake for 5 minutes, let cool before filling with cupcake batter.
  3. To make the cupcakes, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, canola oil and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. The batter will be thin. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Fill baking cups until 2/3 full and bake for 14-16 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.
  4. To make the frosting, beat butter in the bowl of a standing mixer on high for 2-3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. Add Nutella and cocoa powder, then beat on medium speed until combined. Add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and the vanilla extract. Add more heavy cream if it is too thick or add more powdered sugar if it is too thin. If frosting is too sweet, add a pinch of salt. Place frosting into pastry bag or Ziploc bag and use scissors to snip the corner. Pipe onto cupcakes, then sprinkle on graham cracker crumbs and mini marshmallows.

Circus Animal Cookies

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What’s better than a cookie within a cookie? Not a whole lot. This nostalgic treat is sure to bring back memories of your childhood. I incorporated the Mother’s Circus Animal cookies I enjoyed as a kid into a basic sugar cookie to create this pretty, pink cookie. They would make for a festive Valentine’s Day sweet (I know I’m a little late on this one…) or for a girls’ baby shower.
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Circus Animal Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 14 oz. bag Mother’s Circus Animal Cookies, crushed (leave some larger chunks)

Recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Gradually add flour mixture and stir until dough forms. Using a spatula or wood spoon, mix in the animal cookie chunks and crumbs until fully incorporated. Take a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it into a ball. Place on ungreased cooking sheet.
  3. Bake for about 8 or 9 minutes, until edges are set. Be careful not to over bake, even if they don’t look done, because they will harden as the cool (it took me a few batches to figure out this trick). Remove from baking sheet to cool on wire rack. Make sure to try some fresh out of the oven, too. Delicious!

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Raspberry Sea Salt Shortbread Cookies

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Spread the love with these heart-shaped raspberry sea salt shortbread cookies this Valentine’s Day. The raspberry sea salt creates a sweet and salty treat that your special someone is sure to love! I think it would also be fun to sprinkle it on some chocolates or caramels to add a pretty, pink touch!

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Ingredients

{For cookies}

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

{For raspberry filling}

  • 2 oz. white chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp. fresh raspberry puree (blend 1/2 cup of raspberries until smooth)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. whipping cream

{For raspberry sea salt}

  • 2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. raspberry puree

Directions

{For the cookies}

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mat and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until combined. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture and mix on low until combined.
  3. Place dough on a floured surface and use floured rolling pin to roll out dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough into hearts by using small hear-shaped cookie cutter with scalloped edges. Place hearts on cookie sheet and chill in fridge for 10 minutes before baking.
  4. Bake for 17 minutes, until edges are slightly browned. Let cool before frosting.

{For raspberry filling}

  1. Place white chocolate in microwaveable bowl and melt in microwave for about 30 seconds.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add raspberry puree and vanilla and continue to beat. Slowly add melted chocolate and powdered sugar. Add in the whipping cream to create a lighter consistency. Beat until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Place filling in a piping bag (or Ziploc bag). Cut off the tip and use to fill the cookies.
{For raspberry sea salt}
  1. Place sea salt and raspberry puree in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix them together, until salt turns pink and there are no clumps. Sprinkle a small amount on each cookie.

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Seahawks Super Bowl Sweets

Happy Blue Friday! Since I have lived in Seattle for 23 years of my 24 years of life, I am beyond excited that the Seahawks are in the Super Bowl! I wish I was there to experience the energy and excitement of the city, but these Seahawks-themed treats will have to do.

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Cupcakes and Cashmere is my favorite blog and the pom pom cupcakes that she made in honor of the Super Bowl are so cute! Obviously the green and blue one is the prettiest ;)

superbowl 8These festive 12th Man Mojitos from Posh Little Designs are sure to liven up a Super Bowl party. From the blue and green ingredients to the 12th Man flag and football-shaped kiwi, it just screams “Go Hawks!”

superbowl 9It can’t be a Seahawks celebration without Skittles! Marshawn Lynch would love these cookies from The Emerging Foodie.

superbowl 10One of the things I miss most about Seattle is Trophy Cupcakes. You just can’t beat a triple chocolate cupcake. I’m sure these spirited sweets have been quite popular lately! As they say – “The 12th Man needs a Trophy.” Agreed!

GO SEAHAWKS!!!

Crock-Pot Hot Chocolate

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I feel weird writing this post because it is currently 70 degrees in Vegas (yes, it’s January – it still blows my mind), but I wanted to share this recipe for hot chocolate because it’s a cozy Valentine’s Day treat, especially when paired with these vanilla creme Peeps and cute “nuts about you” mug – both from Target.

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My boyfriend’s mom made this delicious hot chocolate while we were visiting them in Wyoming for Christmas. She had it waiting for us when we got back from snowmobiling and it was much appreciated! After freezing on the mountain, it felt amazing to put on fleece sweats, sit by the fire and sip on this rich hot chocolate while watching the snow fall outside. I have learned that my favorite part of outdoor winter sports is warming up with a warm drink in the lodge afterwards – preferably spiked with Baileys :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

How-to:

  1. Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla and chocolate chips in a Crock-Pot.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted.
  3. Stir again, then ladle into mugs. Keep the Crock-Pot on low and stir occasionally to enjoy hot chocolate for hours.

Other ideas:

  • Stir with a peppermint stick or add crushed peppermint candy
  • Top with marshmallows and whipped cream
  • Add other flavors, such as butterscotch, gingerbread or caramel
  • Substitute white or dark chocolate in the recipe
  • Add fresh-brewed coffee or espresso
  • Add whipped cream vodka or Baileys

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Chocolate-Dipped Cheesecake Cookies

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“It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!” – Agnes, Despicable Me

Yes, she is talking about a unicorn, but she easily could have been describing these cookies. They are so soft and moist, plus anything dipped in chocolate is delicious. These chewy cookies would be a yummy Valentine’s Day treat for your special someone – and very cute wrapped in a Mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 8-ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

How-to

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter.
  3. Add sugar and mix until smooth.
  4. Beat in eggs and vanilla
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture and stir until combined.
  6. On an ungreased baking sheet (or baking sheet with Silpat mat), drop rounded tablespoons of dough
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, until edges are set. When in question, I always err on the side of underbaked because they will still continue to cook ounce out of the oven. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.
  8. Cover baking sheet or plate with wax paper and set aside.
  9. Melt chocolate chips in microwave, stirring at 30-second intervals.
  10. Once melted, dip bottom of cookies and then place on prepared baking sheet or plate. Let chocolate harden. Enjoy :)

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Brown Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

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It’s hard to beat a classic chocolate chip cookie, but this recipe might just take the cake (or the cookie). Brown butter makes everything better and the oatmeal creates a chewy, amazing texture. It was my first time baking with the Silpat non-stick baking mat that my boyfriend’s brother and sister-in-law got me for Christmas. It worked perfectly and results in easy cleanup!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat baking mat.
  2. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally as it continues to cook, until golden brown and smells nutty. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in cooled brown butter until fully incorporated. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. Gradually add dry ingredients until well mixed. Gently stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  5. Roll dough into balls (about 1 1/2 Tbsp) and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes, until edges are set. Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely – or eat them warm :)

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Caramel Popcorn Milkshake

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Happy National Popcorn Day! In honor of this tasty holiday, I wanted to share this unique treat from SHe by Morton’s in Las Vegas – a caramel popcorn milkshake! The creamy milkshake infused with caramel popcorn is AMAZING and a fun twist on the classic movie theater treat. It’s definitely worth a try on your next trip to the Strip. If you don’t have any plans to visit Vegas in the near future, you are in luck because I found a recipe on Sugar and Charm that also looks delicious.

Cracker Jack Caramel Popcorn Milkshake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. imitation butter flavoring
  • caramel sauce
  • 1 box Cracker Jack

Blend the ice cream, milk and butter flavoring in a blender until smooth. Swirl caramel inside the rim of the glass, then pour in the ice cream mixture. Top with Cracker Jack or your favorite caramel popcorn.

* To make it more like the milkshake at SHe by Morton’s, I would try adding some caramel popcorn into the blender and mixing it with the ice cream, milk and flavoring.

Maggiano’s Chocolate Zuccotto Cake Balls

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The Chocolate Zuccotto Cake from Maggiano’s has been a long-time favorite of mine. Even after sharing several family-style Italian dishes, I can always find room for this fudgy, chocolatey concoction.

My boyfriend and I were at Macy’s and they were having a special event where Maggiano’s was serving bite-sized samples to shoppers. Instead of the cake, they had cake balls, which were tiny bites of heaven. Rob doesn’t like overly-chocolate desserts (crazy, I know), but he loved these! Hence this recipe that tried to replicate these tasty treats – and, in our opinion, succeeded!

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I used non-fat)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 10 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 3 cups whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 2 packages of Ghiradelli dark chocolate melting wafers

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease 9″ x 12″ cake pan and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together eggs, milk, canola oil and vanilla. Mix in sugar until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. On low speed, gradually mix into egg mixture until fully incorporated. Mix in boiling water. Batter will be thin.
  4. Pour into prepared cake pan and cook for 25-30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool. Once cool, use hands to break into crumbles.
  5. In a microwavable bowl, combine chocolate and 1/2 cup whipping cream. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Let cool. In the bowl of electric mixer, beat remaining 2 1/2 cups of whipping cream until soft. Mix in chocolate mixture on medium speed until combined. This should be the consistency of a chocolate ganache, but fluffier. Set aside.
  6. In another bowl, heat chocolate and butter in microwave for 1 to 1/2 minutes, until melted and smooth when stirred. Let cool. In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup heavy whipping cream until thickened. Add powdered sugar and continue whisking until it reaches the consistency of whipped cream.  Add cooled, melted chocolate and whisk just until incorporated.
  7. In the bowl of a standing mixer combine cake crumbles, ganache and mousse. I did this in two batches, so I used half of each. Place cake mixture into large bowl and refrigerate until hard enough to roll into balls. Line cooking sheet with parchment paper and roll into small balls. Place back in fridge until re-hardened.
  8. Melt chocolate and dip balls, then place on wax paper lined baking sheet. Place in fridge to harden. Serve chilled and store in fridge.

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Season’s Treatings!

Merry Christmas from Treats and Trends! Hope everyone got their holiday baking done! If not, below are a few recipes I wish I had time to try this season. They all look delicious and festive!

SONY DSCPeppermint Bark Oreo Cookie Balls from Heather Likes Food.

buckeye barsBuckeye Bark from She Knows. {Similar to my chocolate covered peanut butter balls, but in bark form.}

marshmallowsChocolate Dipped Marshmallows from She Wears Many Hats.

brownie bitesHot Cocoa 3 Musketeer Brownie Bites from Inside BruCrew Life.

pretzelsChocolate Covered Pretzels from Merry Thought.