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.

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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Cinnamon Roll French Toast

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While looking up some recipes to make for a special Easter breakfast, I came across too many that I wanted to try. French toast, cinnamon rolls, quiche… why not make them all? I decided to combine two of the three and make Cinnamon Roll French Toast. It was easy to prep ahead of time and didn’t require many ingredients. I baked the cinnamon rolls the night before so that they would be completely cooled and just stale enough the next morning. When it was time for breakfast, all I did was whip up the egg mixture and grill the French toast. Easy, delicious and healthy. Okay, so it’s not healthy, but it is a sweet breakfast treat.

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Cinnamon Roll French Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 can (12.4 oz.) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

  1. Bake cinnamon rolls as directed on package. Let cool completely.
  2. Spray griddle or skillet with cooking spray. Heat griddle to 375 degrees or heat skilled over medium heat.
  3. Slice each roll in half crosswise.
  4. In a shallow dish, whisk eggs, milk, 2 tablespoons maple syrup and vanilla until combined. Dip each cinnamon roll slice into egg mixture, flipping to coat completely. Place on griddle and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together icing and remaining 2 tablespoons syrup. Microwave for 10-20 seconds, until combined and smooth. Serve over French toast.

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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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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.

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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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.

Cinnamon Roll Puppy Chow

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Add a Christmas morning twist to the classic Muddy Buddy / Puppy Chow treat with this sweet cinnamon mixture. The cinnamon cereal and vanilla coating make for an addictive snack that everyone will rave about at your next holiday party!

Ingredients

  • 7 cups Cinnamon Chex
  • 1/2 cup canned vanilla frosting.
  • 1/4 packet Duncan Hines Cinnamon Roll Frosting Creation
  • 1 cup vanilla almond bark
  • 1-2 cups powdered sugar

How-to:

  1. Place Chex and pecans in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together frosting and Frosting Creations packet. Add vanilla almond bark and microwave in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Don’t over do it because it will become too thick. Pour over Chex/pecans and use a spatula to gently stir until coated.
  3. Pour cereal into large Ziploc bag and add powdered sugar. Seal and shake until cereal is fully coated. If needed, break apart frosting clusters and add more powdered sugar and shake until all pieces are coated. Pour onto a baking sheet covered with wax paper to cool.

 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

20131117-212016It’s hard to beat a classic chocolate chip cookie. From the sweet smell of the kitchen as they bake to the melty, gooey texture when they’re fresh out of the oven, there’s a reason why this basic cookie is a dessert staple. Since I currently have a salted caramel addiction, I decided to add a little twist to this simple sweet.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 15 unwrapped caramels, each cut into 6 pieces
  • sea salt

How-to:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of standing mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until well combined. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir until dough forms. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for one hour.
  3.  Preheat oven to 350F. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of chilled dough and press in a few caramel pieces. Roll into ball and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat until dough is gone. {Helpful hint: try to not place caramel pieces on bottom of the ball because it will stick to the baking sheet}
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes, until edges are set and lightly browned. Do not over-bake them! Even if the centers don’t look done, they will firm up. I figured this out the hard way. Sprinkle hot cookies with sea salt. Let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sea Salt Peanut Butter Brownies

20130930-220913You know the phrase “We go together like peanut butter and jelly?” Well, I think it should be changed to peanut butter and chocolate. It’s a classic combo that can’t be beat. These brownies help prove my point. Topped with sea salt, it is the perfect balance between salty and sweet.

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Ingredients:

For brownies:

  • 10 Tbsp. butter (1 1/4 sticks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Sea salt to sprinkle

How to:

  1. Butter the bottom of an 8″ x 8″ baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Butter paper. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine butter and sugar. Stir in vanilla and eggs until fully incorporated. Mix in cocoa, flour and salt until smooth. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until toothpick comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool in pan for a few minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To prepare the frosting, cream the peanut butter and butter until combined. I used a standing mixer on medium-high speed to make it light and fluffy. Slowly stir in powdered sugar until completely incorporated. Spread over cooled brownies. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Enjoy :)

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Overnight Baked French Toast

20130914-112913There’s nothing like a fall morning in Washington with a pumpkin spice latte in hand, my dog curled up on my lap and the Huskies on TV. This baked french toast was just the icing on the cake! My mom made this breakfast for me when I made a trip home last month. It was the perfect start to the day – and an amazing trip!

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread (or different dense bread, but not pre-sliced sandwich bread!)
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (cold, cut into pieces)

How-to:

  1. Grease a 9×13 pan with butter. Tear bread into bite-sized pieces and create an even layer at the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour evenly over bread. Cover with foil or cling wrap and place in fridge for several hours or overnight.
  3. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixed and crumbly. Transfer to Ziplock bag and store in fridge until ready to bake.
  4. Rise and shine! Take pan and topping out of fridge. Preheat oven to 350F. Uncover and press down on bread with spatula to completely coat with egg mixture. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the top.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cover with foil if the top starts to get too brown. (It will be softer and more like pudding when you bake it for less time and will have a perfectly crisp top when baked for the full hour)
  6. Serve with syrup and powdered sugar.
  7. Store leftovers in fridge and reheat in microwave for breakfast the next day!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies with Salted Caramel and Nutella Filling

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My boyfriend and I both love salted caramel-flavored desserts. We bought salted caramel gelato at the grocery store and it was gone in less than a week. You just can’t beat that sweet, yet buttery and salty flavor. Since I also love chocolate, I wanted to combine these two favorite ingredients and create a caramel, chocolate cookie. Why not go all out and throw Nutella in there, too? I normally like to share my baked goods with friends or co-workers, but these didn’t leave the house. That good.

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Ingredients

For the cookie:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup Nutella
  • Sea salt (to sprinkle on top)

For the salted caramel filling:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Melt butter in a medium-sized sauce pan. Take off heat and stir in brown sugar, cocoa powder, eggs and salt until combined. Stir in baking soda and flour. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Place in fridge while making salted caramel.
  • Now for the caramel filling: measure butter and cream, set aside. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, mix sugar and water until sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, turn heat up to high. Then tilt and swirl pan while mixture boils. It will start to caramelize and turn a golden-yellow color. Take off heat and add in butter. Stir in cream. Mix in vanilla and salt. Set aside to let harden while you begin forming cookies.
  • Scoop one heaped tablespoon of dough onto cookie sheet. Create thumbprint-sized indentation in middle. Fill with 1/2 tsp. of Nutella then top with warm caramel. Place about 1/2 tsp. flattened dough on top and seal edges. Sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat until you run out of dough. (Makes about 15 cookies)
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until dough isn’t gooey. (Well, not too gooey. I like under-baked cookies)
  • Transfer to wire rack to cool. Enjoy warm or cooled :)

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S’more Puppy Chow, Please!

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Happy National S’mores Day! In honor of this summery holiday, I decided to add a twist to my favorite treat. Hence this recipe for s’more puppy chow! You can experience this campfire combo without camping in the woods.

Besides being addictive and delicious, puppy chow always brings back great memories. My best friend and I used to make this all the time. We have been friends since third grade and now almost 15 years later and a few states away, we are still as close as ever. Munching on puppy chow reminds me of our annual family vacation to Lake Chelan, snacking after a snow day full of sledding on the golf course and a night in watching A Walk to Remember for the one millionth time. Girl friends are the best :)

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups Golden Grahams
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

How to:

  • In a large saucepan, melt chocolate, peanut butter, butter and vanilla over low heat.
  • Once smooth, add 3/4 cup marshmallow. Stir until combined. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in Golden Grahams and remaining marshmallows until fully coated in chocolate mixture.
  • In a large Ziplock bag, pour in powdered sugar. Then spoon in the cereal mixture. Seal and shake, shake, shake! I love this part :)
  • Once coated, pour onto wax paper to cool.
  • Serve and try not to eat the whole bowl in one sitting (or do!).

Bacon Pancake Strips

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No more ordering bacon as a side to your pancakes… Combine them! You can’t beat crispy bacon surrounded by a fluffy pancake! It may look strange, but these classic breakfast fares taste great together! For people who like to dip their bacon in the overflow syrup from your pancakes (which I know I do!), these delicious dunkers will save you a step. The sweet and salty combo is sure to please your palate!

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Ingredients:

  • 5 pieces bacon, warm and cooked
  • 1 cup Bisquick
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

How to:

  • Preheat griddle to medium heat and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  • Mix together the Bisquick, egg, milk and vanilla until smooth.
  • Place strips of bacon on griddle a few inches apart.
  • Using a large spoon, cover each strip with batter. Make sure some of the batter is on the outside of the bacon, too. Once that side is cooked, flip and cook the other side.
  • Serve with maple syrup. Use a fork and eat it like a traditional pancake or dip the strip in syrup!

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