St. Patrick’s Day Pretzel Shamrocks

Pretzel Shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day.

How FUN are these??!!

When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I had to create some of these.

A few simple ingredients and two minutes in the oven make for a winner of a special holiday treat.

I had a bag of Rolos left over from Christmas, and I knew I could pull some green M&M’s out of the jar I keep full most all the time.  I had some pretzel sticks, but didn’t have mini pretzels, so that is all I had to buy.  The ones I picked up at Fresh Thyme were Gluten Free and made from rice flour, so a bit lighter color, but completely delish!

Here is the super simple “recipe.”  Do you have some friends or loved ones you’d like to share them with?

St. Patrick's Day Pretzel Shamrocks

  • Servings: as many as you like
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Mini Pretzels
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Rolo Chocolate Candies
  • Green M&M Candies

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Lay pretzels out in the shape of shamrocks on parchment paper lined baking sheet or stone.  Place a Rolo where all three pretzels meet.  Bake for 2 minutes for Rolo to soften.  Remove from oven, and press M&M in center of Rolo.  Cool completely and/or place in freezer to chill.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts.

Phew!  That name is a mouthful….

But it really does say it all!

And I’m betting you would love a mouthful of these simple, but elegant and amazingly delicious treats!

I made these this past weekend for a Sunday family football dinner.

Would you believe me if I told you there are only three ingredients?!?!

Well – four if you count the powdered sugar you sprinkle on top.

Puff Pastry is such a dream to work with!

Keep these ingredients on hand and this recipe up your sleeve when you need a quick, but fabulous dessert or treat.

I’m betting you won’t be sorry. 😉

Red Raspberry Dark Chocolate Puff Pastry Tarts

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Roll out one sheet of puff pastry, and cut into 9 squares approximately 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.  Place a teaspoon of raspberry jam in center of each square.  Top with a piece of dark chocolate.  Pull all four corners to center and pinch to seal.

Bake for 15-18 minutes on baking stone or cookie sheet until puffed and lightly browned.    Remove to cooling rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Serve warm or cold.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Salted Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Salted Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.

Oh My Stars!

These fudgy, brownie-like, dark chocolate, chewy, but crispy heavenly bites may just have you seeing stars!

I saw a photo of these stop-me-in-my-tracks, make-me-wanna-bake, longing-to-get-in-my-belly cookies on ButterandBrioche, but alas the recipe was in metric measurements.

Thank goodness for Convert-me.com!

I’m not quite sure what the addition of ground coffee scientifically does to these, but I do know coffee somehow enhances the true flavor of coffee.

And the sprinkling of flaked sea salt that is just enough to balance the fudgy, chocolately amazingness…. well – all I can say is – you really want to try these!

Here is how I made them after converting:

Salted Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 22-24 oz high quality dark chocolate (I like Moser Roth 70% Dark Chocolate, which I find at Aldi)
  • 8 Tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp instant or fresh ground coffee
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Flaked sea salt (Maldon is my fave!)

Directions:

Melt chocolate and butter in microwavable bowl for 1 minute on high.  Stir.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring, until melted and blended.  Cool.

Mix brown sugar and eggs with electric mixer until thick and doubled in volume, about 4 minutes.  Add the melted and slightly cooled chocolate.  Mix until well incorporated.

Add flour, coffee, baking powder, and salt, and mix just until combined.  Add water, and mix until combined.

Refrigerate the fluid batter for 15-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Scoop batter with a cookie scoop onto baking stone or parchment lined baking sheet.  Once sheet is full, tap lightly 2-3 times on counter to slightly flatten cookie dough.  Sprinkle with a little flaked salt.

Bake for approximately 11 minutes.  Open oven and tap sheet lightly to flatten a bit.  Return to oven for 2 more minutes.  Repeat until cookies are firm around the edges and set in the middle with plenty of crinkles.

Cool for at least 10 minutes on baking stone or cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Extreme Chocolate Cake

Extreme Chocolate Cake.

For those times….
you know them…
when you just need chocolate cake.

I recently saw a question that made me think.

If you had to live without one of the following for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

  • Coffee
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Wine

For me, it would be chocolate.  Though I adore baking and enjoy chocolate (and even crave it sometimes), if I had to give up one of these four, it would be the chocolate.

I can’t imagine not having coffee in the morning.  A world without cheese?!  I’m just not sure that is a world worth living in.  And oh how I enjoy my glass or two of red wine in the evening.

How about you?

Now even though I would choose chocolate if I HAD to make the choice…. THANKFULLY I do not!

So here’s a chocolate cake I made recently (which is slightly adapted from this one I found at AllRecipes) – just because…

Because sometimes life is worth celebrating with chocolate cake!

Extreme Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Frosting
    • 1 cup softened butter
    • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 6 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour three 8-9″ round cake pans.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.  Mix for 3 minutes with electric mixer.  Slowly stir in boiling water by hand with wooden spoon until fully incorporated.  Pour batter evenly into the three prepared pans.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool for 15 minutes in pans, then remove to cooling rack to cool complete.

Prepare frosting by beating butter with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Stir in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar, then milk and vanilla.  Beat until fluffy and spreading consistency.

Spread frosting on each layer of cake stacked on top of each other and decorate as desired.

I shaved dark chocolate on top using a vegetable peeler from a large bar of Trader Joe’s 72% Cocoa Dark Chocolate and placed halved strawberries around the perimeter of the top.  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Dark Chocolate Dream Cookies

Coconut Dark Chocolate Dream Cookies.

Are you a coconut lover?
Is dark chocolate your chocolate choice?

Would you choose a Mounds bar even if you are a little nutty?!

Then these cookies are definitely your dream come true!

They didn’t last long in our house.

I used Moser Roth 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate I purchased at Aldi.  YUM!

Not a coconut fan?
Make them for someone who is…
You just might earn Betty Crocker Baking Super Star status .

Just sayin’…

Coconut Dark Chocolate Dream Cookies*

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup solid coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream coconut oil and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add in egg and vanilla, followed by baking powder, salt, and flour.

Stir in chopped chocolate and coconut.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto baking stone or cookie sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned and set.  Cool completely.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

* Original recipe slightly adapted from Add a Pinch.

Red Velvet Oreo Chocolate Truffles (Cookie Balls)

Red Velvet Oreo Chocolate Truffles  (or Cookie Balls if we’re being less “fancy!”).

If you are looking for a simple, sweet, but festive little treat to share with friends or neighbors or with those you love, these little Red Velvet Oreo Chocolate Truffles might be just the ticket.

They are so simple to make, but turn out so elegant and delish!

You simply crush red velvet (or your favorite flavor) Oreo cookies in the food processor, mix with a block of cream cheese, and make into balls that you dip into chocolate.

Easy Peasy!

Sprinkles make them even more fun! (always!)

I gave little bags to neighbors with silly notes like “You are a SWEET neighbor” and “We LOVE having you for our neighbors.”  I shared others with friends and family.  They were a big hit!

Here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Oreo Chocolate Truffles (Cookie Balls)

Ingredients:

Directions:

Crush oreo cookies in food processor to fine crumbs.  Add softened cream cheese and combine until “dough” forms.

Roll dough mixture into approximately 30 one-inch balls.  Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.

Melt chocolate.  I put mine in a tall, microwave-safe cup for one minute, stir, and then microwave for 30 more seconds.

Dip balls into melted chocolate with a fork, allowing excess to drip.  Place on parchment paper.  Decorate with sprinkles if desired.  Allow to set approximately 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Midnight Snack Attack Cookies

Midnight Snack Attack Cookies

Midnight Snack Attack Cookies.

Oh No She Didn’t!!

Oh Yes I did!!!

I made a cookie for those midnight cravings when you can’t decide if you want sweet or salty….. chips or peanuts….. a chocolate bar or a cookie……..

Yep…   I put it all together in one glorious cookie I’m calling the Midnight Snack Attack Cookie!

Midnight Snack Attack Cookies

I simply started with my go-to cookie dough recipe for chocolate chips, but reduced the flour a smidge to make these cookies a little crispier.  I then added some seasoned dry roasted peanuts and salty, crunchy potato chips with the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

The combination is HEAVENLY.

Use any kind of nuts you like.  How divine would these be with cashews or salty pecans??!!  I also think I would like to try them next time with barbecue potato chips.  I think it would really kick these up a notch!  Replace the chocolate chips with chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups or Butterfinger candy bars.

Go Crazy!  It IS a midnight snack attack fix after all…

Midnight Snack Attack Cookies

I received a gift basket of gourmet cookies for Christmas that had some fun combinations of cookies in them that inspired me to try these.  Can’t wait to hear what you think!

Here is my recipe.

Midnight Snack Attack 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
4 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups Nestle Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts
2 cups lightly crushed potato chips

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 chips and peanuts.  Place dough onto counter and gently add in potato chips, folding in with your hands and trying not to crush the potato chips too much.  Put dough in large Ziploc bag, and refrigerate 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 inches in diameter.  Place on baking stone. Bake for approximately 11 minutes. Allow to cool on baking stone for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

ENJOY!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Dark Chocolate M&M Chocolate Dipped Cookies

Dark Chocolate M&M Chocolate Dipped Cookies.

So the thing about Christmas cookies is that it’s fun to make them fancy.

Well – sometimes fancy might mean taking a usual cookie (like my “Jodi’s Best Ever  Chocolate Chip Cookies,” and using Dark Chocolate M&Ms instead of chocolate chips (DARK Chocolate M&Ms is the key here! They are insanely delicious!), and then dunking them in some more dark chocolate….

…. but only half way….

to be fancy!

They are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

You can make these by simply following my tried and true recipe here and substituting Dark Chocolate M&Ms or your favorite Maybe you want to use chopped up Butterfingers or Snickers or Milky Way candies or maybe even peppermint sticks.

Go wild.  Get fancy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies.

I decided this past weekend to start my holiday Christmas cookie baking.

Every year, I make several of my same, tried and true faves, but I also like to try one or two new recipes, so I couldn’t resist the visions dancing in my head when I came across  these Turtle Thumbprint Cookies I discovered through a Pinterest search.

And – oh boy – they did not disappoint!

If you love the flavor combo of chocolate, caramel and pecan that makes the classic “turtle,” you are going to go nuts over these!

Hope you will give them a try.

Turtle Thumbprint Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 6 doz.
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. (4 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs (divided – yolk for cookies, white for topping)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (please only use pure – not imitation)
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

Topping:

  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • Egg whites (from divided eggs above)
  • 1 jar caramel sauce (your fave – I used Smuckers)

Directions:

Beat butter and sugar in mixer on medium-high speed until well blended – about 3 minutes.  Add egg yolks, vanilla, and almond extract, while continuing to beat.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt.

Reduce mixer speed to low-medium, and add half of the flour mixture.  Beat until incorporated, then add half of milk, followed by other half of flour mixture, and finally other half of milk.  Beat until all ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.

Place dough in Ziploc plastic bag or cover bowl tightly, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk egg whites until fluffy.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls.  Coat each ball with egg white, then roll in chopped pecans.  Place on baking stone (the only thing I bake cookies on) or cookie sheet.  Using a small spoon (I used a baby spoon) or your finger, indent each cookie ball in the center until a circle is formed.

Bake for 12-13 minutes.  Cookies will still be soft when you remove from oven.  Allow to cool on baking stone/cookie sheet.

Once cooled, remove to cooling rack, and spoon in caramel sauce.

Enjoy right away or pack in single layers in Ziploc freezer bags and freeze until ready to serve.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

S’More Cookie Bars

S’More Cookie Bars.

What S’more fun than S’mores?!

And what s’more perfect with hot cocoa or coffee than s’mores.

And what s’more delicious than campfire s’mores?

S’more cookie bars any time of year!

I love these adorable little cookie treats I learned from my daughter-in-law, Colleen, who first served them at a holiday cookie exchange she hosted a couple years ago.

They are simple.   They are fun. They are beautiful.  And best of all, they are SCRUMPTIOUS!

The teeny tiny miniature dehydrated marshmallows totally make them!  I purchased them locally at Make a Cake, a local, charming little cake and candy decorating shop, but they are also available online if you can’t find them near you.

Here is how to make them.

S'more Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

Directions:

After breaking all graham crackers and chocolate bars into rectangles, place one chocolate rectangle between two graham cracker rectangles forming a sandwich.

Melt Merckens milk chocolate one pound at a time in microwave.  Heat for 1 minute on high.  Stir well.  Heat 20-30 more seconds.  Stir well until smooth.

Dip each graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich into chocolate – coating 1/2 – 2/3 of cookie.   Let excess drip, and place on sheet of wax paper to cool and harden.  Dip 4-6, place on wax paper, and sprinkle with marshmallows.  Working in groups allows the marshmallows to stick to the melted chocolate before it cools to harden.  Continue until all are coated and sprinkled with marshmallows.  Allow to cool and harden.

They are ready within 20-30 minutes to enjoy or store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

P.S.  If you are local, I made these to share at the Berry Vine Gifts Christmas in the Woods Open House, which starts today, Friday, November 17th (10-6).  It also runs through the weekend, Saturday, November 18th (10-6) and Sunday, November 19th (12-4).  Come munch on one with a cup of cocoa while you browse the beautiful holiday handmade crafts, antique furniture, and gifts in this one-of-a-kind shoppe (including my art and Colleen’s rustic pallet signs!)