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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Golden Oscar lollipops

The Oscars are coming up this weekend, and I figured I'd take out my good old trusty Oscars lollipop mold and make a few gilded chocolate lollipops in honor of the event!

For these lollipops (unlike the ones I made a few years ago), I actually dyed the white chocolate "gold" (the coloring said gold, but it was more a yellow-orange), and then sprayed them with the edible gold spray.  I put them in a little shot glass with some gold gumballs that I had ordered a while ago for something and ended up never using.

These are the ones from two years ago, all packaged up:

At this point in time, I have no plans for the Oscars (I actually have dinner reservations with some girlfriends that night), but maybe I'll bring them to my friends at dinner...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook

This year, I bought myself a Valentine's Day present. Well, actually two.  The day after Valentine's Day, while B was working, I treated myself to a a bowl of Ramen at Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop at the new (and awesome) Gotham West Market.  Then, I walked into The Brooklyn Kitchen (a cute kitchen-y store with supplies and food...and they even have classes!), and stumbled across some delicious sounding (albeit expensive) chocolate bars from a place called "Liddabit Sweets."  I debated buying one, until I saw the "Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook" just next to them, a little further back.  The old adage "Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime," popped into my head.  Why buy ONE candy bar when I could learn how to make them, and a whole bunch of them, at that!

Let me tell you one thing: this cookbook has tons of recipes!  Literally, tons.  On quick count, I counted 70!  They have recipes ranging from homemade nonpareils to marshmallows to caramels to homemade candy bars.  Some of the recipes that I want to try just from skimming the book include, but are most definitely not limited to: salted soft chocolate (similar to a Tootsie Roll), cherry cordials, peanut butter & jelly cups, gumdrops, beer and pretzel caramels, salt water taffy, nougat, marzipan, and about 8 different candy bars...just to name a few!!!

I see a lot of candy in my (and your!) future...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Cereal bars with peanuts and pretzels

I saw this recipe and was intrigued.  The original recipe was called Good Morning Sunshine Bars.  It was a no bake bar made with cereal, hence the name "good morning sunshine" bars.  But then I started reading the recipe and saw all the corn syrup and brown sugar in them, and then they were topped with chocolate, and I thought to myself that these probably aren't the healthiest breakfast to eat.  So what if the main ingredient was Chex cereal?

But just because I thought that they probably wouldn't be the best breakfast option, didn't mean that they didn't sound good to me!  So I played around with them a little bit.  I assumed the syrup would be sweet, so I decided I'd add an additional salty element, and I decreased the peanuts to a half cup (I didn't chop them -- I was lazy), but I did add a cup of crushed pretzels to the mix to up the saltiness and make them salty-sweet (I also decreased the salt to about a teaspoon).  I even debated leaving off the chocolate.....but who was I kidding?  Everything is better with a little chocolate!

Cereal Bars with Peanuts and Pretzels
Adapted from these Good Morning Sunshine Bars from Bake or Break, originally from Baked Elements


6 cups of Rice Chex (I used 3 cups of Rice Chex and 3 cups of Corn Chex)
1/2 cups salted peanuts
1 cup of pretzels, broken
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt (if you like things a little more salty, you can easily go up to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt)
6 ounces milk chocolate


Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan (I used Pam).
Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the two short sides.
Butter the parchment (I used Pam, again).

Place Chex, peanuts, and pretzels in a large bowl.
Mix together until combined.

Place brown sugar and corn syrup in a medium saucepan.
Stir together and cook over medium heat.
Bring to boil for one minute.
Remove from heat.
Stir in peanut butter, vanilla, and salt.

Pour sugar mixture over cereal mixture.
Stir gently until cereal is coated with sugar mixture.

Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Allow to cool to room temperature (or place in fridge for 15-20 minutes).

Once bars have cooled, melt chocolate (the microwave or a double boiler will work).
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the bars.
Allow chocolate to set.

Using the parchment overhangs, remove the bars from the pan.
Cut into bars, 3 x 1.5 inches.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chocolate "lovebugs"

I made so many Valentine's treats this year that I actually didn't get around to posting these in time for Valentine's Day!

Honestly, I had thought I was done.  I made chocolate covered pretzels, brownies, chocolate-covered heart-shaped raspberry marshmallows, and chocolate heart-shaped cookies.  I thought I went so overboard, in fact, that I didn't even bring them all to B.  So I definitely didn't think I needed anything else.  But then while scrolling through some websites or blogs (I honestly don't remember which), I came across some "lovebugs."  I thought they were cute.  But I didn't do much with the idea.  Until I remembered that I had a lady bug chocolate mold!

So I thought it was fate, or at least something like fate, that I had the lady bug mold AND pink chocolate at home (I was going to make some pink love bugs for Valentine's Day)....but then I saw that I had red chocolate in the fridge, and I just knew I had to make them!  It really was fate!

So after all the roses and chocolate for Valentine's Day have faded, I had these sweet little chocolate lovebugs to give to my Valentine!

* I used dark chocolate for the spots, eyes, and lines.  If I had powdered food coloring, I would've dyed the dark chocolate black, but I didn't, and I still think they turned out fine! *

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

In case you're looking for some last minute ideas for Valentine's Day, I've come up with a few sweet ideas for your sweetie this Valentine's Day.

Red Velvet

Red Velvet and White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Red Velvet Cake Pops and Cake Balls
Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies
Red Velvet Cupcakes (or Mini Cupcakes)

Anything Involving Hearts

The cookie below has a heart-shaped sprinkle placed on top of it.  You could easily bake a sprinkle into the top of each cookie if you so desired.

Lovin' Spoonfuls
Oreo pops with heart-shaped decorations
Heart-shaped cake pops (or regular cake pops with heart-shaped sprinkles), or these
Heart-shaped homemade marshmallows, either plain or chocolate-covered
Heart-shaped deep chocolate cookies, drizzled with white chocolate and topped with a few heart sprinkles
Chocolate covered pretzels with heart sprinkles

Chocolate (!!)

Frankly, in my opinion, anything chocolate will do, although I am particularly a fan of dark chocolate.  Here are just a few chocolate ideas for your sweetie on Valentine's Day.

Chewy Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips
Loaded Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Potato Chip Dulce De Leche Fudge
"The Best" Fudge Brownies
Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Flourless Chocolate Earth Cake
"Death by Oreo" Mini Cupcakes
Chocolate Chip Cookie, Oreo, and Brownie Bars

...just to name a few!

Whatever you make, whatever you do to celebrate, I hope your Valentine's Day is sweet!!

Valentine's Day treat

Looking for a quick and easy Valentine's Day treat?  Try some chocolate-covered pretzels with heart sprinkles!

I was looking for a quick and easy treat for Valentine's Day to counteract the somewhat time-intensive but AWESOME chocolate-covered heart-shaped raspberry marshmallows and to complement the decadent chocolate roll out cookies and fudgy brownies.

I originally was going to make them in white, dark, and milk chocolate, but then time got away from me....and milk chocolate seemed like a better option than dark, since the cookies and brownies were so rich.

Valentine's Day Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
By yours truly


Pretzel rods
Chocolate (in milk, dark, white....or any combination)
Chocolate for drizzling
Sprinkles of your choice (I chose mini hearts, regular sized hearts, and pink and white nonpareils)


Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, making sure not to burn it.
Dip the top 2/3 of a pretzel rod into the chocolate and allow the excess to drip off into the bowl.

Place the pretzel on the lined baking sheet.
Apply sprinkles to wet chocolate.

Additionally, if you plan to drizzle them with a contrasting colored chocolate, allow the chocolate to harden.
Once hardened, melt a contrasting chocolate and drizzle onto the pretzels.
Apply sprinkles, if you'd like.  The sprinkles will only stick to the wet chocolate drizzle.

Allow to dry and then wrap in lollipop bags or place chocolate-side up in a small vase or cup.

Fudge brownies

I was thinking the other day, as I was getting ready to bake all my homemade, pre-made cookie dough, that I've baked a lot of cookies lately.  I mean, A LOT of cookies.  There were the 30+ GIANT cookies for the baby shower, and the 200+ regular-sized (mini, compared to the giant ones) ones for baby J's bris.  And somewhere in the middle of it all I thought to myself "I haven't made brownies in a really long time.  I could really go for a brownie."  Not that I should be eating brownies on my diet, but a nice fudgy brownie just sounded perfect.

So in the midst of the cookie baking party I had with myself the day before the bris, I was talking to a friend of mine, and she told me that she had just made a brownie recipe that I had pinned (someone other than me looks at that?!) and that they came out awesome.  So it was apparent to me that when I made brownies, I should probably start with these.  And from the sounds of it, I might not need another brownie recipe ever again!

Fast-forward a few more days, and I decided to bake those brownies.  B and I still aren't sure what we're doing for Valentine's Day (we have a reservation, we may stay in), so I figured if we stayed in I should have a sweet treat.  So (being the huge dork that I am) I made one heart-shaped brownie, just in case.

Now one thing about these brownies.  They're called "The Best Fudge Brownies."  I do not use the word "best" lightly.  I've never posted a recipe that I myself called "the best."  Just because I may think they're the best, doesn't mean you will think they are.  I'll call things "my favorite" - and I even called my peppermint bark "awesome" - but never "the best."  There's one thing, though.  These brownies are pretty freakin' awesome!  And easy.  Oh, are they easy.  I made them in one bowl, with a whisk, and I didn't even have to leave the butter out for a few hours to come to room temperature.  AWESOME.  These are definitely going to become a go-to brownie (along with my mom's favorite, these cappuccino brownies).

"The Best Fudge Brownies" 
From Yammie's Noshery


2 sticks of butter
2 1/4 cups of sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups of cocoa powder (I used Dutch press)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 cups chocolate chips


Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.  I lined mine with parchment paper and then sprayed it with Pam.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the butter and sugar in a microwave safe bowl.
Heat in the microwave, stirring about every 30 seconds, until the mixture is bubbly and smooth (mine was smooth, but not so bubbly).  You can also do this on the stove.

Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Mix together the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and flour.  I just sifted it into the butter mixture, in about 3 additions.
Add to the butter mixture, mixing until smooth.
Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 28 minutes.  I baked mine for 25 minutes.  They were delicious, but very gooey when they came out of the oven.  They did set up nicely when the cooled.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Heart and flower chocolate cookies

Remember those homemade cookie dough Oreos I made a week or two ago?  I became (mildly) obsessed with the cookie portion of those Oreos.  They were SO good.  And easy.  Literally, insanely easy to make.  No mixer needed, they came together seamlessly.  And unlike so many other cut-out cookies, you don't need to chill the dough before rolling them out.  Just place the just-made cookie dough between two sheets of wax paper, roll it out to your desired thickness, and then -- get this -- just place those rolled-out sheets of cookie dough in the fridge (in order to keep mine flat, I put them on a cookie sheet before placing them in the fridge).  Seriously.  Then they're ready to let the cookie cutters do their work whenever you want them to.

Since the butter is melted instead of having to be brought to room temperature, you can make them as soon as you decide to on a whim, as I did.  Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching and I wanted to make some cookies.  I have no plans yet, but I assume that B and I will do something low key.  But of course there will have to be desserts.  And since I think I'm subconsciously trying to make up for not remembering if I made anything last year (and if I did, what it was....for more on that, see here), I've made a few.

I thought about icing these with royal icing, but they were so delicious on their own, and I was afraid that the royal icing wouldn't mesh well with their insanely rich chocolate flavor.  Instead, I drizzled them with a teeny bit of white chocolate for some sweetness and color contrast, and then left some plain and put sprinkles on some of them.

Rich Chocolate Roll-Out Cookies
Originally from Love & Olive oil, from these homemade cookie dough Oreos


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder -- Since they were so good the first time I made them, I stuck with the dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey's special dark)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


Melted white chocolate
Any sprinkles or colored sugar that you want to use


In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter and sugar until combined.
Whisk in the vanilla and melted chocolate.
Add the egg and whisk until incorporated.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.
Stir flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, using your hands if needed to form a smooth dough, using your hands if needed to form a smooth dough.  I used a large whisk and it worked beautifully.
Divide the dough into two, and roll each piece to 1/4 inch thick between two pieces of waxed paper.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 325F.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Cut out your desired shape using cookie cutters from the dough sheets.  I used a small heart and small fluted circle which looked like a flower.
Arrange on prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between cookies.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are set and just starting to darken around the edges.  Since my cookies were on the smaller side, I had to eyeball them a little.  I ended up baking them for around 9 minutes.  The dough is SO dark, I honestly don't think you'll see them "darken around the edges."

I waited for mine to cool, and then drizzled them with some melted white chocolate.
While chocolate is still wet, apply sprinkles or colored sugar.

Chocolate-covered marshmallow hearts

I had to admit it; I never really loved Valentine's Day.  I'm sure you could say that for many years I was jaded as I didn't have a valentine of my own to spend the day with.  But even now, I am still not a huge fan of the holiday.  There is so much hype around the holiday that I'm pretty sure that the real importance of it is lost behind tons of red and pink hearts, overpriced prix fixe dinners, Valentine's Day cards, and red roses.  Not that's there's anything wrong with those things.  But still, the hype is pretty intense.  There was already an entire aisle of Valentine's Day candies at my local drugstore as early as mid January (it could've been there earlier, it's just that I haven't been in the store in a while).

One thing I do like about Valentine's Day?  All the cute heart shaped treats you can make!  Want something festive?  Make it heart shaped, pink or red, cover it in hearts, or put some flowers it, and voila! it's a Valentine's Day treat!

Last year Valentine's Day fell just a few days after I got back from Thailand, and the day after my mom's 60th birthday (and birthday party).  It was a whirlwind and I was pretty jet-lagged.  B invited me over for dinner and I honestly don't even remember if I made dessert or not.   Tsk, tsk Julie, how bad of me to not remember?!

This year I decided that I needed to make a few Valentine's Day treats.  I think my subconscious realized that I had to make up for last year!  I had a few ideas up my sleeve (stay tuned for those, soon), and kinda dove in head first.  I thought about starting with something a little smaller-scale, but you know me, and that's just not really the way I roll.  I wanted one that would be memorable enough to counteract the fact that I didn't make anything (memorable?) last year.

So what did I make as my first Valentine's Day treat?  Well, remember those raspberry marshmallows I made a few weeks back?  Well, part of the reason I made them was because I wanted to make sure they were good before Valentine's Day.  So that I could make these, clearly.  I mean, duh!

Since I wanted a tasty treat for Valentine's Day, and I wanted it to be heart-shaped, naturally, I decided on pink raspberry marshmallows cut into hearts.  But no, I didn't stop there, I then went and dipped them into chocolate, because it seemed like a good - and clever, if I do say so myself - idea.  Because what's better than a homemade marshmallow in the shape of a heart?  Dipping one in chocolate, and covering it with cute decorations!  Which is exactly what I did!

I dipped half in dark chocolate and the other half in milk chocolate.  Then, I drizzled half of each with some white chocolate, for decoration, and then topped those with some mini heart sprinkles in red, pink, and white!

I was so excited about these that I had to actually post this before Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!!  

Chocolate-Covered Raspberry Marshmallow Hearts
Raspberry marshmallows originally posted on the blog here


1 cup of water, divided
3 envelopes gelatin, unflavored
2 cups sugar (granulated)
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla (which I left out this time, since the last time I made them I forgot it, and I thought they turned out deliciously!)
1/4 cup raspberry jam
1 drop red food coloring (I ended up using about 3 drops...could've used a few more)

Generous amount of icing sugar to coat the marshmallows, about 2 cups (icing sugar = powdered sugar)

Butter for pan (I used Pam)

Chocolate for coating the marshmallows - milk, dark, white, or any combination of them
Sprinkles in different shapes and colors (I used mini heart sprinkles and white non pareils)


Grease a 9 x 9 inch pan with butter (or Pam).  You may want to use a slightly larger pan, since the last time I made them they were insanely fluffy and reached the top of my 9 x 9 inch pan.  I wasn't sure which sized pan to use, so I stuck with the 9 x 9 inch pan and then ended up having to slice the marshmallow into 1" thick pieces, coating them in the powdered sugar, and then using my small heart cookie cutter and cutting the hearts out of the sliced marshmallow.

In a small saucepan over medium heat (I was lazy, I microwaved it in 30 second increments), warm 1/4 cup raspberry jam (or any other flavor) until it becomes runny, about 3 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Place a fine sieve over a small bowl and pour the warm jam through the sieve to catch any seeds and create a puree.  Set aside for now.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, pour in 1/2 cup of the water and sprinkle with the gelatin.
Set aside to allow the gelatin to soak in.

In a medium sauce pan over high heat, add the sugar, corn syrup, remaining 1/2 cup of water, and salt.
Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for 1 minute.
Remove from the heat.
I pour my sugar syrup into a 2-cup measuring cup, which makes it easier and safer to pour into the mixer bowl.

Turn the mixer to low and mix the gelatin once or twice to combine it with the water.
Slowly add the hot sugar mixture by pouring it gently down the side of the bowl, and continue to mix on low.

Add the raspberry puree and one drop of red food coloring.
Turn the mixer to high and continue to whip for 10 to 12 minutes until the marshmallow batter almost triples in size and becomes very thick.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently to avoid overflowing batter.
Add additional drops of red food coloring, if needed, until desired color.
Stop the mixer, add the vanilla, and then whip briefly to combine.  Oops, I forgot that.  It's all good, they're super tasty.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and use a spatula or bench scraper to spread it evenly in the pan.
Work quickly, as the marshmallow becomes more difficult to manipulate as it sets.

Grease a piece of plastic wrap with butter (again, I used Pam) and lay it across the top of the marshmallow.
Press firmly on the plastic wrap to seal it smoothly and tightly against the marshmallows.

Leave the marshmallows to set at room temperature for at least 3 hours, or -- even better -- overnight.
The marshmallow will be too sticky and soft to cut before then.

Sprinkle work surface or cutting board with icing sugar.
Run a knife along the top edge of the pan to loosen the marshmallow slab.
Invert the pan and flip the marshmallow out onto the work surface.
Scoop handfuls of the icing sugar and rub all over the marshmallow slab.

Spray a small heart cookie cutter (or any other shape that you'd like to make) with Pam.
Cut out marshmallows with the cookie cutter.
Roll each of the freshly cut marshmallows in the remaining icing sugar to coat them completely.

Let the marshmallows dry for about 30 minutes.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

Microwave the chocolate in 30 second increments, until it is melted and thin.
Dip each marshmallow into the chocolate, making sure to remove excess chocolate.  I do this by removing them from the chocolate with one fork, and then transferring it to another fork, and back and forth until most of the excess chocolate has been removed.
Place them on the wax paper-lined baking sheet.
If using sprinkles or decorations, apply them to the wet chocolate.

Let cool and allow the chocolate to harden (I used the fridge for this part) before removing from the wax paper and packaging them up.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips

For the bris this past weekend, I made those dark chocolate and milk chocolate chunk cookies.   But I didn't stop there!  Then I made those cranberry white chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  But I didn't stop there, either.  You know me.  I had a few more cookies up my sleeve.

Next up were these chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips.  I made them years ago and they were such a hit.  They happen to be one of my all time favorite cookie recipes on the blog (they're also a top 10 most popular post on the blog!).  Which is why I almost scrapped making them.  See, I went on a diet and I've been SO good, and I knew that if I made these cookies there was a good chance I'd eat a bunch of them.  But they were too good to not make, and plus, I've been getting much better at that whole willpower thing!

The other reason I made these anyway?  The baby's grandma LOVES white chocolate.   It's the least I could've done for her!  Sure, there were white chocolate chips in the cranberry oatmeal cookies, and even some white chocolate lollipops, but I love the creaminess and sweetness of the white chocolate chips in this super dark, decadently chocolate cookie.  I think it really gives the white chocolate a chance to shine, without being all too sweet!

Chewy Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips


1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder)
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet (or line with parchment paper).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. 
Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addiction. 
Add the salt and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and baking soda.
Gradually add to the creamed mixture 

Fold in chocolate chips. 
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.  I used my mini scooper to make smaller cookies.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until fluffy but still soft.  My smaller cookies baked for about 6 minutes.
Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cranberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies

When I made the oatmeal cranberry cookies for the baby shower last month, I debated adding white chocolate chips to them. I knew I should've, but for some reason, I decided against it.  The oatmeal cranberry cookies were absolutely delicious, and I loved the sweet-and-tartness of the dried cranberries.  But I did want to try them with the white chocolate chips.

So the next variety of cookies I made for baby J's bris were these cranberry white chocolate oatmeal cookies.  I added a little cinnamon to them, because I love cinnamon, and because I thought it would go well with the other flavors in the cookies.  Boy, was I right!  I'm so happy I added it (although I'm sure the cookies would be delish without the cinnamon, too!).

Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies with White Chocolate Chips


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 tsp of ground cinnamon
2 cups sweetened dried cranberries (we both used Craisins)
1 and 1/4 cups old fashioned oats -- for some reason, these were left out in the directions below, so I added them in
2 cups white chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. 

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  
Set aside. 

Beat butter at medium speed with mixer until creamy.  

Add sugars, beating well.
Add egg and vanilla, beating until blended.  
I added the oats here.
Gradually add flour mixture and beat until blended, scraping bowl as needed.  
Stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips.  I did that using a spatula, since the dough was thick and getting stuck in my hand mixer.
Drop dough by heaping spoonful onto cookie sheet.  I pressed them down a little to flatten them.
Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.  

Cool on sheet for about 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. 

Dark chocolate chunk cookies

Last month I made a bunch of giant cookies for my friend's friend's baby shower (the milk chocolate chunk, oatmeal cranberry, peanut butter monster cookies, and the coconut oatmeal chocolate ones).  I also made extra cookies to take to a friend's birthday celebration but the bar wouldn't let me bring them in.  What to do with the extra cookies?  Well, I started by bringing one of each flavor to B.  B and I agreed that the milk chocolate chunk cookies were the best of the bunch (I knew he was smart!).

So when my friend had a baby at the end of January, and they were planning the bris, I offered to make some treats.  Of course I was going to make some chocolate lollipops, but I wanted to make something else too.  We decided on an assortment of cookies to be served at the brunch.

While I definitely made some milk chocolate chunk cookies, I also decided I would make a second batch with dark chocolate chunks.  The original recipe called for semisweet chocolate anyway.  Even though I made an entire batch of milk chocolate chunk cookies, I'll spare you yet another blog post about them.  So why did I mention them in the first place?  I just didn't want you thinking that I only made a few varieties of cookies for the bris.

I have to say, these cookies are so delicious, you could put just about anything in them (trust me, I'm thinking about it now...).  So it's not at all a surprise that these dark chocolate chunk cookies are as delicious as their milk chocolate counterparts!

Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Originally from Smitten Kitchen, and posted as "Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies" on this blog


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips -- I used 2 cups of dark chocolate chunks, which I got from cutting a giant dark chocolate bar cut into chunks


Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). 
Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. 
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. 

Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. 
Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. 

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. 
Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup (for a ridiculously large cookie, one or two tablespoons for more standard-sized cookies.  I used my cookie scoop, which if I had to estimate, is about 1-1.5 Tbsp) at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. 
Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. 
I pressed the tops of my cookies a little to make them more like discs, since I wanted them bigger and flat.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes (closer to 12 minutes for non-1/4 cup scoop cookies...Mine took 15 minutes and came out perfectly!) in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. 
Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

White chocolate lollipops

My friends R + R had a baby just over two weeks ago.  R + R, kinda funny, since that's the complete opposite of what they're getting with their newborn, who apparently likes to sleep well during the day and is up often at night to 'party.'  But I digress.  They had an adorable little boy, and this morning was his bris.

For his older sister's baby shower 4 years ago, I made a ton of baby-themed chocolate lollipops and sugar cookies with royal icing in baby shapes.  So when it came to the bris, I asked R if I could bring anything.  We decided on something a little different than the last time, but I did end up making cookies (just several cookies in 4 flavors, but I had to skip the royal icing because of the busted Kitchen-Aid).  I also made a few chocolate lollipops, to give out to the kids and to a few lucky adults (especially the baby's grandma, who adores white chocolate)!

These were from his big sister's baby shower almost exactly 4 years ago:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cookie dough Oreos

So about a week ago, I started seeing new Oreo flavors popping up.  It started on Instagram, and shortly thereafter I saw them on Facebook.  So it should be no surprise that when I went to Target later that day to pick up some stuff, I checked out the Oreos on the shelf.  Sure, they had double stuff, and some kind of lemon Oreo, and then there were also mint ones, and a few other flavors (have you seen the triple-decker ones with 3 cookies and a layer of regular and chocolate cream?  Well those were there, too).  But out of sight?  The two new flavors I had been seeing on those Instagram and Facebook feeds.  Cookie dough and marshmallow crispy (!!!).  (Later, after I had made the dough for these cookies and was starting the blog post, I saw that they were slated to come out on February 3rd, which was, incidentally, the night I made the dough.  I even thought about stopping at Target on my way home from work on February 3rd, but with the snow and the subways running so bizarrely, I decided against it.  Bad move on my part.  I'll had to wait a few more days to check them out.)

So despite the fact that I have a ton of Oreo-themed recipes on this blog (things with Oreos - such as these, this, and even these - as well as homemade Oreos), I don't particularly love Oreos.  I think it's the cream, since I do love the crunch of the uber-chocolately cookie when the cream has been strategically removed.

Since I couldn't get my hands on the Oreos in the store, I kinda wanted to make these when I saw them online at work that fateful day a few days ago.  Homemade cookie dough Oreos.  Sounded pretty good to me.  And the gross weather outside (New York City got 4.3 inches of snow, although it seems like a lot more) made it easier for me to justify coming home from work, relaxing a little, and then baking (rather, making cookie dough to bake tomorrow).  Plus I really wanted to see if the cookie was actually really close to an Oreo cookie.  Imagine what fun I could have with a(nother) great roll-out chocolate cookie!

Honestly, I found the filling to be insanely sweet, and wasn't a super huge fan of it.  I'm sure if I played around with it a little, I might be able to decrease the sweetness while still making it taste like cookie dough, but I didn't do that this time.

All I can say?  Oh.  My.  Gosh!  These cookies are AMAZING.  I love that they're so intensely decadently chocolatey.  I have a feeling I'll be making the cookies again soon....very soon!

Homemade Cookie Dough Oreos
From Love & Olive Oil


For the cookies:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder -- I had intended to use my Dutch cocoa, but I ended up using dark cocoa powder, simply because it was easier to reach in my kitchen.  I thought they came out delicious!
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the filling:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cream or milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips


In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter and sugar until combined.
Whisk in the vanilla and melted chocolate.
Add the egg and whisk until incorporated.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.
Stir flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, using your hands if needed to form a smooth dough, using your hands if needed to form a smooth dough.  I used a large whisk and it worked beautifully.
Divide the dough into two (I ended up dividing into 3), and either roll each piece to 1/4 inch thick between two pieces of waxed paper, or roll into two 2 1/2 inch diameter logs.  I opted for the rolling method.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 325F.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Cut dough logs into quarter inch thick slices, or cut out 2 1/2 inch circles from the dough sheets.  My circle cookie cutter is about 1.5 inches, so that's what I used.
Arrange on prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between cookies.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are set and just starting to darken around the edges.  Since my cookies were smaller, I had to eyeball them a little.  I ended up baking them for just under 9 minutes.  The dough is SO dark, I honestly don't think you'll see them "darken around the edges."

Prepare filling:
Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Mix in flour, salt, and vanilla extract on low speed until incorporated.
Add cream and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add more cream if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
Stir in chocolate chips.

Assemble cookies:
Spread or pipe about 1 tablespoon of filling onto underside of half of the cooled cookies.
Top with remaining cookies.
Press lightly to adhere.

Cookies will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to one week.
Let come to room temperature before eating.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Football cookies

I wanted to make football shaped cookies for the Superbowl.  The only problem?  I didn't have a football-shaped cookie cutter.  I went into a store or two looking for one, but they were sold out.  So I decided I needed to head to my baking store looking for one, but with their hours, it would be difficult to work it out.

So, the Wednesday before the Superbowl, I finally got my hands on a football cookie cutter.  And helmet, pennant, and jersey ones, too, but I'm saving them for later.  Honestly, at that time I didn't even know what I was doing for the Superbowl, but at least at that point I knew I'd be able to bring some football cookies :)

I decided to try a new cookie recipe, too, because I was intrigued by it for two reasons.  First off, it used almond extract.  Yum!  Then, it used powdered sugar instead of granulated.  My interest was piqued!  The almond flavor was faint but I really enjoyed it.  Despite the recipe saying so, I didn't really notice a change in the texture with the powdered sugar.  These were really tasty!

I wanted to ice them with royal icing, but with the still-busted Kitchen-Aid, it was going to be really hard to make the icing.  Then I thought about covering them in chocolate and piping the laces on in white chocolate, but I figured that those would end up being too similar to the chocolate football lollipops I made.  Someone had suggested covering them in fondant, so on my second run to the baking store in one week, I picked up some colored rolled fondant for the cookies.  I scored the fondant with a toothpick and then covered over it with a little bit of white chocolate for the laces.  (I also think they'd be great with royal icing,)

Almond Flavored Sugar Cookies


1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (I even sifted it this time!)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a mixer or using a hand mixer, cream together powdered sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Add egg, and almond and vanilla extracts, and mix until combined.
Sift together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, and mix until well combined.

Divide dough into two disc shapes, and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes (or up to 3 days).

Roll out dough to 1/8-1/4" thick and cut into cookie shapes.
Place on lightly greased of silpat covered cookie sheet (I used a parchment lined cookie sheet, ungreased).

Bake for 7-8 minutes (my first batch took 7 minutes, the second were more golden and were only in for about 6 minutes).
Remove and cool on cookie sheet.


Frost with royal icing or cover with fondant.
(I adhered the fondant to the cookies with a little bit of water on the fondant, and then slight pressure to affix it to the cookie.  Don't press too hard, the cookies with crack.)

Decorate with white chocolate "laces."

Superbowl football lollipops

Although I made football cookies for the Superbowl, I didn't want to stop there (that post will be up soon).  So I pulled out my football chocolate lollipop mold that I bought 2 years ago when I had a Superbowl party, and decided to make some lollipops!  I also had a helmet lollipop mold, but decided that with the colors of the teams this year, it would be difficult to get chocolates some of those colors (bright lime green?!  I actually think I saw Wilton Candy Melts in that color once, but I didn't buy them...and didn't have time now...and couldn't dye white chocolate that color).  Luckily for me, I had white, dark, and milk chocolate here...and footballs are brown!  So I made some dark chocolate footballs and some milk chocolate footballs, and did the detailing in white chocolate.

Usually, when I detail chocolate lollipops, I do the detailing in the mold first, let it dry, and then fill in the rest/background afterwards.  However, this mold was a little different, and the cavities for the detailing were convex instead of concave (translation: they didn't have a little cavity to fill), so I made solid lollipops and then waited until the lollipops were hardened, removed them from the mold, and did the white "laces" detailing then.

I think that they turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself!