Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Can you EVEN????

OH is this a GOOOOOD one!!!!

Toasted coconut, salty crunchy macadamia nuts, and semi-sweet gooey bits of chocolate in one cookie!

This one is rich, so when you are really in the mood, a bite into this cookie is going to be an experience you will not soon forget!

Here is how I made them.

Macadamia Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies*

  • Servings: 5 doz large cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 Tbsp. milk
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups shredded coconut (toasted**)
  • 1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Directions:

Beat melted butter and sugars with electric mixer until creamy, then add eggs and egg yolks and beat until well combined.  Add milk and vanilla and beat until well combined.  Then add salt, baking soda and flour mixing just until incorporated.  Remove bowl from electric mixer stand and stir in chocolate, then toasted coconut, and macadamia nuts with a wooden spoon until evenly distributed through the dough.

Place cookie dough in refrigerator for several hours or overnight to chill completely.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Scoop dough out and roll into golf-ball sized balls.  Place on cookie sheet or baking stone and bake for 10 minutes.  Rotate baking stone/cookie sheet and bake for 2 more minutes.  Let cool 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.  These freeze beautifully.

**To toast coconut, spread the coconut flakes out on a sheet pan or stoneware bar pan in a thin layer. Bake at 375 degrees F. Check the coconut every 5 minutes and stir until the coconut is your desired color. It takes about 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Recipe adapted from Mrs. Fields

Raspberry-filled Vanilla Cupcakes

Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes.

If you are looking for a super special, absolutely rock-your-world delicious treat to bake for your special Valentine(s), look no further thank these amazing Raspberry-Filled Vanilla Cupcakes!

I have always admired beautiful cupcakes and love those special gourmet ones that have surprise fillings and are extravagantly decorated, but I have never had much success making them.

I had the urge to give it another try yesterday after purchasing some fun sprinkles I was dying to use somehow.

Disclaimer – I have a weird “thing” for sprinkles and buy way more than I ever use!  I bought three different kinds of red/pink Valentiney ones and one big container of regular ones.  My granddaughter had fun shaking them in the cart while we were shopping!

I found a recipe at RockRecipes.com that I tweaked up a bit.  I was so excited with how beautiful and YUMMY they turned out.

When I handed one to Hubby to taste test, I said,  “Are you ready to have your world rocked by this?”

He loved it!

Here is how I made them.  Hope you give them a try.

Raspberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk

Raspberry Filling:

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 oz. water

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) cream cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk

Directions:

To make cupcakes, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well incorporated.  Stir in vanilla.  Add baking powder and salt, then fold in flour.  Finally stir in milk to create batter.

Pour into paper-lined cupcake/muffin pan.  Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

While cupcakes are baking, prepare raspberry filling by stirring 1 cup raspberries and 1/4 cup sugar in small saucepan.  Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Dissolve cornstarch in water, and slowly pour into boiling berries.  Stir constantly until thickened.  Allow to cool.

Prepare frosting by blending together butter, cream cheese, and vanilla.  Add powdered sugar and enough milk to make a smooth, creamy consistency.

When cupcakes are cooled, use an apple corer to remove a small section from center of cupcake.  Fill with raspberry filling.

Decorate with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles and fresh raspberries if desired.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Perfect Prime Rib Roast

Perfect Prime Rib Roast.

On Christmas Eve this year, we decided on a Simple Surf and Turf Dinner menu to have with the family.  The Surf was Bacon Wrapped Scallops.  The Turf was Prime Rib.  Both were prepared simply, and turned out delish!  Baked potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a Salad of romaine lettuce, apples, dried cranberries and walnuts accompanied the entrees.

I managed to quickly snap this iPhone photo of Hubby cutting the prime rib.  Not the best photo, but this recipe I found and slightly modified is such a keeper, I had to share!  The roasted vegetables not only help to make the perfect base for the au jus, they also taste great too as an extra veggie.

Whenever you want a simple, but elegant entree, this is a winner you will want to try.

Perfect Prime Rib Roast

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 lb Prime Rib Roast (with bones)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Horseradish
  • 1-2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4-6 stalks celery, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet onion, quartered
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Rub roast with horseradish and mustard.

Combine salt, pepper thyme and garlic powder, and sprinkle over roast.

Place celery, carrot, and onion chunks in the bottom of a large roasting pan.  Place roast on top of vegetables.

Roast for 30 mins.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and roast until meat is 135 degrees F.

Remove from oven, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 30 mins.

Make  au jus sauce by placing pan drippings in roasting pan (veggies removed and reserved to serve) over a burner set to medium.  Stir in beef bouillon and water.  Bring to a boil.  Combine cornstarch and water, and whisk into sauce.  Allow sauce to thicken slightly, and serve with roast.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Cranberry Jalapeno Holiday Dip

Cranberry Jalapeno Holiday Dip.

When I was asked to bring an appetizer to my new Daughter-in-Law, Liz’s family Thanksgiving, I knew I had to make this after being told by my BFF, Jill that everyone was “jonesing it” when she made it for a party.

First I had to laugh at our 50+ year old selves using urban slang, then I had to make it and see if it was so!

Well – Yep!  It was a hit! One sister asked if the recipe was on the blog, because she wanted it (here it is Laura!), and another said she normally doesn’t like salsas, but she really liked it.

It is sweet, and it is spicy. It is crunchy, and it is creamy. All of this in a bite!

Thumbs up from all, except for hubby, who said it was… meh… He preferred the other appetizer I made – Pumpkin Pecan Baked Brie – which was pretty amazing too!

But will you make this and let me know and prove him wrong? <wink>

So secret revealed here.  I did not take pictures of the batch I made for Thanksgiving, so I made it again this past week just to get pictures <whistles and rolls eyes… not owning up to the fact that I ate a quarter of it for lunch one day…..>

And guess what else I did with it this week?  I made a leftover cold turkey sandwich and slathered some of this on the Smart Bun first.  YUM!  Who knew it would make a great turkey sandwich spread too??!!

This will be a hit at any holiday gathering, and it is so easy and pretty!  Here is the recipe as I slightly tweaked from a recipe I found through Pinterest:

Cranberry Jalapeno Holiday Dip

Ingredients:1 12oz. bag fresh cranberries

  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced jalapeno pepper slices in a jar (or 1-2 fresh if you like it HOT!)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened

Directions:

Chop cranberries (I used the Pampered Chef Food Chopper, and it worked wonderfully, but you can also chop by hand.  Do not put in a food processor as they will become too mushy), and place in a medium bowl.  Add chopped green onions, jalapenos, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and sugar, and stir gently, but well.

Cover, and let refrigerate overnight.

When ready to serve, strain or squeeze liquid from cranberry relish.

Spread cream cheese in bottom of a pie plate or serving dish.  Top with cranberry relish mixture.

Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, pita chips, celery sticks, or your favorite “dipper.”

Enjoy, and let me know if you and your friends are jonesing it too!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry.

Do you love going to those fun hibachi restaurants where they cook delicious stir fry meals right before your eyes?

This honey garlic chicken stir fry recipe reminds me of the fresh deliciousness of those experiences.

This might very likely be my all-time favorite chicken recipe!

It is simple and easy, made from ingredients typically kept on hand, and so adaptable to your tastes.

Make it with mushrooms and snow peas and onions if they are your favorite vegetables or what you have on hand.

Make it with beef or pork or shrimp – whatever you like best.

Whatever you like, please do try this awesome recipe.

I wonder if it will become one of your favorites like it is for me?

Here is how I made it this past week.

Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sweet red peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 6 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 tsp. cornstarch

Directions:

Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  While oil is heating up, steam carrots in microwave for 3-4 minutes.

Season chicken cubes with salt and pepper to taste.  Allow to rest.

Add broccoli, carrots, red peppers, and zucchini to skillet.  Stir fry until vegetables are tender (approx. 3-4 mins.).

Remove veggies from skillet, and allow to rest.

Add remaining oil to skillet and stir fry seasoned chicken.  Cook 3-4 minutes on each side.

Add the chopped garlic, and cook for approx. 30 seconds.

Add the veggies back to the pan, and cook for a couple more minutes until the veggies are warmed through.

In a bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, honey, and soy sauce.  Pour over chicken and veggies.  Cook for one minute.

Whisk cornstarch with equal amount of cold water.  Add to skillet.  Bring to a boil, and cook for another minutes or so until sauce begins to thicken.

Serve over rice.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Recipe slightly adapted from DinnerAtTheZoo.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples.

When my friend, Janet shared a recipe yesterday on Facebook for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples by Mary from BarefeetintheKitchen, I knew I was making this for dinner last night.

I had just bought some fresh tiny, tender brussels sprouts, and I had bacon in the freezer and apples in the crisper.

And oh am I glad I tried this!  It was absolutely amazing!  A veggie side dish easy enough for an every night dinner as well as being delicious and “special” enough to serve to guests for a special occasion is perfection in my book!

Here is how I made it!  Please let me know if you try and how you like it.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apples

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place bacon in a single layer on stoneware baking pan or shallow baking sheet.  Roast 10 minutes.   Remove bacon from pan and set aside.

Place Brussels sprouts in pan and toss thoroughly in bacon drippings.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Roast for 10 minutes.

Remove pan from oven, and add apple pieces and bacon to Brussels sprouts in pan.  Toss to incorporate.  Roast an additional 10 minutes or until Brussels are browned and apples become tender.

Remove from oven, and sprinkle red wine vinegar on top of all.  Toss, and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Caramel M&M Cookies

Caramel M&M Cookies.

Have you tried the new Caramel M&Ms yet?

O. M. Geeeee!

I would never have believed the Mars Candy Company could made an M&M better than my favorite – Peanut.

My sons love the Peanut Butter M&Ms, and I know they make Crispy and Pretzel and Dark Chocolate, and of course the good old standby – Plain – but these Caramel M&Ms….

They are just the Rock Stars of the family!  The cat’s meow… The bee’s knees.. The bomb dot com!

Once hubby talked me into buying a bag and we tried, I knew I had to make cookies out of these little gems of heavenly deliciousness!

And they did not disappoint!  I made them for a picnic this past weekend, and it’s a good thing I took them all, because I might not be able to resist these babies!

I used my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe – replacing the chocolate chunks with the Caramel M&Ms.  Simple – but oh so delightful!

Give them a try!  Let me know if you agree.

Caramel M&M Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen large cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

4 sticks (1 lb.) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour
2 9.6oz bags Caramel M&M Candies

Directions:

With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until light and fluffy. Add baking soda and salt, and mix another minute. Gradually add flour and beat until well incorporated, but do not overbeat.

Fold in Caramel M&M Candies.  Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With your hands, form a cookie dough ball about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Place on baking stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on baking stone for 5-10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#MadewithM

I am not being paid by M&Ms to promote them, though I wish I was!  

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts!

Seriously…….
could anything be more decadently delish?!

A tender ring of fried sweet dough
drenched in a glorious glaze?

I couldn’t resist making these,
and they did not disappoint.

Every once in a great while,
I allow myself to be treated to a donut….
a wickedly wonderful waste of calories.

But since it is only Hubby and me at home,
a dozen donuts AND holes
are way too much sugary goodness!

So after enjoying one each
(and a few holes – which are completely calorie free  – right?)
I shared the rest.

That really is my joy in baking…
giving it away.

Hopefully creating a brief smile…
a tiny treat or surprise for a loved one or friend.

These are soooooo worth making!
They are easy and quick to make.

I hope you will treat yourself and those you love!

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cup  cake flour  (no cake flour?  no problem!  make it easily by the cupful – take one level cup of all-purpose flour, remove two tablespoons, and then add two tablespoons of cornstarch back in)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup  sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Canola oil, for frying

For the glaze:

  • 3 1/2 cup  powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water

Directions:

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until sandy. Add egg yolks, and mix until light and thick. Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

On a floured surface, roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a donut cutter to cut out approximately 12 donuts and holes.

Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot with a thermometer attached. Heat to 325°F.  Fry donuts a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side about 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Let drain on a paper bag to soak up the excess grease.

For the glaze:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth.  Dip each donut into the glaze. Place on a wire rack above a sheet of waxed paper to catch any excess glaze. Let sit for 20 minutes until glaze is set.

Best served the day they are made, but may be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.

Cheers & Sugary Sweet Hugs,
Jodi

Recipe found at:  Huffington Post’s “The Greatest Homemade Doughnut Recipes You’ll Ever Find.

 

Pecan Tassies: Wedding Cookies

Pecan Tassies:  Wedding Cookies

If I were standing at a wedding cookie table and was told I could only choose ONE cookie from all the varieties on the table…

every single time…. I would choose a Pecan Tassie.

That’s just me.  Now I know my friend Mary would pick the Hershey Kiss Brownie Bite.  Nick would pick the Chocolate Chip.  My friend Wayne would go for the Carrot Cake Thumbprint.  Jake would likely take the Peanut Butter Cup Cookie.  Hubby – he always goes for the Apricot Kolache….  Always – anything apricot.

So this week, as I continue to bake cookies for the wedding cookie table, I made my faves, and I happily continue to bake.

If you could only pick one cookie from the cookie table, which would yours be?

Pecan Tassie Cookies

Ingredients:

  • Cookie Crust
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
    • 2 cups flour
  • Pecan Filling
    • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
    • 2 tsp. vanilla
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Directions:

Prepare cookie crust by blending cream cheese and butter.  Stir in flour and work with your hands to form a ball of dough.   Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Divide dough into 48 balls and place into mini muffin pans.  Press balls in with Mini Tart Shaper (the most genius baking invention ever!) to form shell for filling.

Combine brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and chopped nuts.  Scoop into mini tarts filling 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Bake 12-18 minutes – depending on your oven – until lightly browned.

Cool and gently remove from pans.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Jodi’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jodi’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Wedding cookie baking continues; and I think if my son Nick had his way, the wedding cookie table would be completely covered with chocolate chip cookies.

I often vary this basic chocolate chip cookie recipe up by substituting a portion of the chocolate chips with dried tart cherries (Nick’s current fave) or half the chocolate chips with peanut butter chips, or making them with white chocolate chips and dried blueberries, or half chocolate chips and half chopped Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, but this is my classic, stand-by best ever chocolate chip cookie recipe, and I made three batches for the upcoming wedding.

A couple tips for those that ask how I make these: always refrigerate the dough for at least a few hours before baking, roll dough into large balls, bake on baking stones (no greater investment for baking!), electric convection ovens are the best for baking cookies.

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

4 sticks (1 lb.) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour
2 12-oz bags Nestle Chocolate Chunk Morsels (or your favorite)

Directions:

With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until light and fluffy. Add baking soda and salt, and mix another minute. Gradually add flour and beat until well incorporated, but do not overbeat.

Fold in chocolate chunk morsels.  Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With your hands, form a cookie dough ball about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Place on baking stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on baking stone for 5-6 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Happy Baking!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi