Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Pretzel Cookies

I was in Atlanta last week for work (hence my silence) and when I’m there, I like to go to a cute little spot called The Cookie Studio. The first time I was there, I immediately proclaimed “This is the kind of place I want to own.” This time when I was there, I said the same thing to the owner who handed me some tea and told me how hard it is. I always say that when I’m done working, I just want to make cookies. And while my dreams aren’t dashed, I realize owning my own cookie place will probably never happen. BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t make cookies anytime I want to. A day after flying home, I was eager to make some cookies. These Chocolate Pretzel Cookies were exactly what I had in mind.

Chocolatey cookie dough is mixed with pretzel pieces and semi-sweet chocolate chips before being dropped onto a cookie sheet and topped with a whole mini pretzel. Chocolate and pretzels? Mmkay! The only thing that would be better? A little peanut butter. My wheels are turning. Anyway, these cookies are a perfect treat when that after dinner sweet tooth starts talking. The worst part is trying to just eat one. Making cookies is so satisfying to me. Whether I ever make cookies for a living or just make cookies at home, making cookies will always be the sweetest thing I do.

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Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar for 2 minutes, until fluffy.

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Beat in egg and vanilla extract until just combined. Pour in flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. Carefully fold in chocolate chips and chopped pretzels.

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Drop tablespoonfuls of batter on baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Press down lightly to flatten. Gently press a whole pretzel on top of each cookie.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Family Circle magazine

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Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars

I’ve already given away dozens of the cookies and treats I’ve featured this week but I still have so many left in my house. It’s killing me. I’m trying sooooooo hard not to eat them and for the most part, I’m doing pretty good. Or at least I was. But these Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars are evil little magic waves of sweetness and they are torturing me. They appear in my dreams, whisper my name when I’m standing strong, and wrap their sweet scent around me everywhere I go. My knees are getting weak.

Inspired by traditional Hello Dollys, I changed things up by using pretzel crumbs in place of graham crackers, caramel topping instead of butterscotch, peanut butter filled morsels in place of plain chocolate, and almonds instead of pecans. The result is basically…well…crack. I was doing so good on watching my sugar and this week it’s all down hill. I know that’s what happens during the holidays but I thought I could keep it under control. This is the problem with working from home. I no longer have an office to take all these leftover cookies to so instead they sit in my kitchen. They taunt me. Make fun of me. Call me names. This weekend may turn into a real battle. Me against them. I have a feeling these layer bars will be the victor.

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Gooey Pretzel Caramel Bars (adapted from Hello Dollys)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 ground pretzels
  • 1 9-oz package Nestlé Toll House Milk Chocolate Morsels with Peanut Butter Filled DelightFulls(or 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips and 3/4 cup peanut butter chips)
  • 1 12.25-oz jar caramel topping
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place butter in 13 x 9 inch pan and melt in oven. Swirl to coat bottom and sides with butter. Spread pretzel crumbs evenly over bottom of pan. Layer morsels over pretzels crumbs followed by caramel topping and almonds. 

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Pour condensed milk over almonds. Sprinkle coconut over condensed milk.

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Bake 25 minutes until edges are golden brown and bubbly.

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Let cool completely before cutting into bars.

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Easy Salty and Sweet Christmas Bark

I used to go with my mom to a small chocolate store half an hour from where we lived in Illinois every December. We would pick up bags of red, green, brown and white melting chocolate which we would bring home, melt and pour into different Christmas molds like wreaths, bells and snowmen. I really miss that. I hadn’t played with melting chocolate since then which was way too long ago. I found melting chocolate at Target and next thing I know, I’m throwing pretzels, chocolate cookies and peanut M&Ms into my cart. I ended up making this Easy Salty and Sweet Christmas Bark.

Why haven’t I been doing this before? Making bark is SO easy! And now that I know that, I’ve been looking up different kinds of bark on Pinterest and my mind is reeling. I want to make more! Now that I know where to find melting chocolate, how easy it is to work with and how stinking good it is, I’ll start making bark all year, not just during the holidays!

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Easy Salty and Sweet Chocolate Bark

  • 1 pound white melting chocolate (I used CandiQuik vanilla candy coating)
  • 1 cup pretzels (preferably holiday shapes – trees, bells & stars)
  • 6-8 chocolate sandwich cookies with red or green filling (like Oreo)
  • red and green m&ms (regular or peanut)
  • red and green sprinkles

Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or wax paper; set aside. Chop cookies into 1/4th; set aside. Melt chocolate according to package directions. Pour half the melted chocolate onto the baking sheet; spread to approximately 1/4 inch thick.

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Working quickly, add the pretzels, cookies pieces, m&m’s, and sprinkles over the chocolate in a sporadic pattern.

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Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate on top of the pretzels and cookies. Garnish with additional sprinkles; if desired.

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Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to set. Once set, break the bark into pieces.

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Chocolate-Pistachio-Cherry Biscotti

I didn’t grow up familiar with biscotti. I’ve only ever made it once and each time I make it, it seems daunting. But even though there are a few steps, it really is easy. I took some of this Chocolate-Pistachio-Cherry Biscotti to the Philadelphia Eagles tailgate I went to on Sunday and saw someone eat one, then walk over and grab another one. I hadn’t even tasted one yet so I tapped him on the arm and asked him how they were. “The best biscotti I’ve ever had,” he said. His wife agreed and said she’d never seen him eat TWO biscotti. I was thrilled!

With a chocolate dough base, these biscotti have dried cherries (my fave!) and pistachios mixed into the dough giving little flecks of red and green that seem so appropriate for the holidays. Dried fruit and nuts are such an amazing combination and putting them in a cookie is a great way to enjoy them without having to cut into a fruitcake. With one end dipped in a little semi-sweet chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate, these will sure to satisfy your chocolate sweet tooth.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

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Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating until blended.

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Stir in pistachios and cherries.

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Place half of dough on each prepared baking sheet. Shape each half into a slightly rounded log about 10 x 3 inches using floured hands. (Dough will be very sticky.)

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Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until dough is firm to the touch. Let cool completely on baking sheet on a wire rack.

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Transfer logs to a cutting board, and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-wide slices with a serrated knife. Place slices, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake 4 minutes on each side or until crisp. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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Dip ends of biscotti in dark chocolate, and drizzle with white chocolate, if desired.

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Place on wax paper to set.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Coastal Living magazine

Gingerbread Cocoa

It really is kind of amazing how different your house can feel once you put up Christmas lights. So when you have the lights on and look out the window to see it is snowing delicately outside, doesn’t your mind instinctively develop a hot chocolate craving? Not to mention that it’s so cold out that sometimes you want to drink something other than coffee to warm you up. This Gingerbread Cocoa is warm cup of festive comfy goodness.

Cocoa, sugar, apple pie spice, and ground ginger are combined with milk and whisked together until warm and smooth. The cocoa and spices melt away and develop a warm, subtle spicy flavor that will make anyone wonder what’s in this milky cup. This recipe called for a gallon of milk which was a little more hot cocoa than I needed so I cut this recipe in half… and in half again. I also used unsweetened vanilla almond milk because I’m crushing on it lately and it’s what I had on hand. The result was a creamy, chocolate-y thing that makes you go hmm. And perfect for a snowy day.

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Whisk together first sugar, cocoa, apple pie spice, and ground ginger in a pot or Dutch oven until blended; gradually whisk in milk.

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Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

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Transfer to a slow cooker, and keep warm on LOW, if desired.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Southern Living magazine

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Cherry Flavored Filled DelightFulls™

Oh my goodness, you guys. First of all, roaming around the baking aisle of my local grocery store or Target this time of year can make my heart go pitter patter. I found myself stocking up this weekend on baking supplies (even though I wasn’t planning on doing any holiday baking for another month) all because of these flavor filled morsels. Say whaaaat? I get pretty excited about chocolate-covered cherry things so when I saw the cherry flavor filled morsels and this recipe for Dark Chocolate Brownies with Cherry Flavored Filled DelightFulls™, I was sold. I loaded up my cart and started some early baking.

Dark chocolate chips give this batter a rich, deep flavor (way better than boring old cocoa). Cherry flavor filled morsels are then folded into the batter which ups the ante. Chocolate-covered cherries in a brownie? Yes, pleeeeeeaaaase! There isn’t much else I can say about this other than if you don’t like chocolate-covered cherries, I would recommend some of the other flavors like peanut butter, caramel or mint. These brownies are too good to pass up. And the best part? The recipe doesn’t call for the whole bag of morsels so you’ll have plenty left over to nosh on while you wait for the brownies to bake.

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Preheat oven to 325° F. Line 8-inch-square baking pan with foil. Lightly grease. Heat dark chocolate morsels, sugar, butter and water in small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate and butter are melted. Pour into medium bowl. Stir in eggs, one at a time, with wire whisk until blended. Stir in vanilla extract. Add flour and salt; stir well.

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Stir in 3/4 cup DelightFulls morsels. Pour into prepared baking pan.

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Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup DelightFulls morsels over batter.

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Bake for 42 to 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Lift out by foil edges to cutting board. Carefully remove foil. Cut into bars.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love it

Source: verybestbaking.com

Fudgy Oatmeal Bars

After talking the other day about how I haven’t been eating so good lately and need to eat more salads, well this is part of the reason why. I can’t help but bake. I love it. If I could bring you guys a cookie, brownie or cake recipe every single day, I would. In fact, I think I’ve only ever made one cake for this blog and it was around Thanksgiving when I was having my family for dinner. Otherwise, how am I going to eat a whole cake? Or a whole batch of cookies? Or a whole tray of brownies? Well don’t tempt me because it can be done! But here is the great thing about these Fudgy Oatmeal Bars: they freeze perfectly so even if you only want one brownie, freeze the rest and forget about them. They’ll always be there when you get that chocolate craving.

Creamy brownie batter is poured over a toasted, light oatmeal crust and topped with even more sprinkles of oatmeal goodness. The result is a cookie-ish brownie that is rich and chewy and begs for a glass of ice cold milk. A little addition of espresso powder melts into the background making the bittersweet chocolate really shine. For a low-calorie brownie, this is mighty tasty. So pour yourself a glass of milk and dig in. Brownies are meant to be enjoyed, not regretted.

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Preheat oven to 350°F. To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon 4.5 ounces flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Add canola oil and butter; toss with a fork until crumbly. Remove 3/4 cup of oat mixture; set aside.

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Press remaining oat mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with baking spray. Bake at 350°F for 13 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly.

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To prepare filling, weigh or lightly spoon 3.4 ounces flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

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Combine milk and espresso granules in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until espresso dissolves. Add 3 tablespoons canola oil, 3 tablespoons butter, vanilla, and eggs to milk mixture, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring to combine. Fold in chocolate.

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Spread batter over prepared crust in pan. Sprinkle with reserved 3/4 cup oat mixture.

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Bake at 350°F for 32 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pan on a rack.

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Cut into 28 bars.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

 

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