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S&B Holiday Recipe Ideas

21 Dec

Hey crew! If you’re anything like me around the holidays, you’re trying to come up with some new cookie recipes or find a new food to have out at the holiday spread. Or maybe you’re hosting a big group and you need some ideas for breakfast in the morning?

I wanted to have a short, but helpful post for you guys to help you find some great options within the Spatulas and Buttons archive. I would also LOVE to hear some of your favorites! Leave a comment below with one of the holiday classics that you enjoy making, I’d love to try out new ideas from you all!

Classic cookies that everyone will love…

You guys know my love for trying out and posting cookie recipes here on the blog, so we’ll start there. These are a few of my favorites…

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies:

These ARE my favorite and was my choice for cookie exchange contribution this year. They’re chewy and wonderful, not overly minty (unless you’re heavy-handed with the mint extract…I recommend to not be) and truly PERFECT for the holidays. Whenever I make these, they disappear FAST.

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Sugar Cookies:

This is a classic at the holidays, am I right?! This sugar cookie recipe is one that I personally prefer as it produces chewy wonderfulness. I got have ’em chewy! They’re wonderful when frosted but still tasty if eaten plain.

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Brownie Roll-out Cookies:

These look festive, they can be made into all sorts of shapes and when dusted with powdered sugar, well, let’s be real – it looks like snow. Perfect. No more explanation needed.

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Snacks to bring to that party you’re invited to…

It’s always great to have a few go-to’s for when you’re asked to bring something to the holiday get-together with family. Or, if you’re wanting to be creative and give a hostess gift that will double as snacks. Here are a few options that I’ve found to be delicious…

Chipotle & Rosemary Nuts:

Mixed nuts seem to be a staple at the holidays and this recipe just gives a little pizzazz to the mixed nuts bowl you put out on the table every year. It’s a little spicy, a little sweet with a great layer of rosemary throughout. Yum!

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Cake Batter Dip:

When trying to find a sweet dip to balance out all of their savory cousins (are dips cousins?!), this will win over anyone with a sweet tooth. It’s great with fruit or with plain cookies (e.g. Nilla Wafers).

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Fruity Dark Chocolate Bark:

A different approach to the ‘bark’ that always seems to be out on the dessert table at this time of year. This one uses dried fruit to give a sweet and tangy flavor and a little crunch. It’s also very pretty and would work perfectly as a hostess gift!

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Breakfast for a crowd…

Are you planning on hosting family and friends throughout the next few weeks? If so, when it comes to breakfast, it’s essential to have a few plans in your back pocket. These options would be perfect to feed pajama clad folks and will be a tasty way to start your day…

New York Breakfast Casserole:

This casserole is a twist on the New York bagel, with everything bagels, cream cheese and endless possibilities to add your meat of choice (lox, sausage or bacon anyone?!) and/or veggies. I love this with the classic tomatoes and red onion combo, but you could add in some bell peppers, green onions, etc. It can even be prepped the night before, leaving you more time to snooze in the AM.

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Baked Oatmeal:

A fancier oatmeal that will warm everyone’s stomachs as they wake up for the day. You can add in whichever fruit strikes your fancy (raspberries and blueberries have worked well in my previous experiments). This goes well when paired with bacon and/or sausage (and makes your kitchen smell like the best breakfast restaurant in town).

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Raspberry Scones:

Looking for a bread/pastry (that doesn’t require you to wake up at the crack of dawn) to feed warm to your guests?! These scones are a cinch to throw together and you could easily make a few batches at once. They’d be great paired with some eggs in the morning, providing a perfect item to soak up those runny yolks. Sigh. Now I want one. AND a runny yolk for dipping.

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I’m finally going to get to try out some new recipes over the holiday season, with a break from work and plenty of time to experiment in the kitchen. Can’t wait to share these adventures with you!

And guess what?! This girl finally got herself a DSLR camera! SO excited to capture better and clearer pictures for you all in future posts. I know my iPhone photos won’t win any awards. But hey, I did the best I could with the technology I had. Looking forward to learning the in’s and out’s of the new camera so I can bring more mouth-watering pictures to the blog.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, with time spent relaxing with those you love most, enjoying delicious treats and sipping libations that warm your belly.

Cheers!

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Oatmeal Cookie Granola

22 Nov

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So I realize to many, granola is not the most exciting thing. To those people I say, you need to try THIS granola.

Now, I’ve posted a previous granola recipe on here (which I still thoroughly enjoy and still recommend), but this is granola with a different sort of twist – sweet and kicked up a notch, with different crunch, different flavors (hello again, browned butter) and CHOCOLATE. Yes, there is chocolate in this granola and I know it shouldn’t be my favorite part as at the heart of it all, granola is supposed to be “healthy-ish” (right?!)…but it is. I’m not even sorry about it.

I made this a few weeks back and our apartment smelled soooooooo good. I would make this solely to make my apartment smell like THAT again. If for nothing else, make this to infuse your home with smells of cookies, oatmeal, and browned butter.

Gah.

So. Delish.

Ironic choice of words (and still true words) as this recipe is from Seriously Delish, the cookbook I’ve raved about a few times (the Baked Oatmeal from a few posts back is from here too). I want to make just about every recipe in this cookbook, so this will NOT be the last time you read about it on this blog. Jessica wrote a masterpiece that has the right amount of creativity, taste, coziness AND her hilarious commentary throughout; it’s the perfect cookbook compliment to her blog How Sweet Eats. I’ve read Seriously Delish cover to cover a few times. (P.S. is that weird? I read cookbooks cover to cover. Ok, ok. Yes, that’s weird. Please reserve your judgment.)

So about that granola…

…here we go, in a recipe adapted from Jessica’s recipe in Seriously Delish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 c old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 c slivered almonds (other nuts would work great – pecans or walnuts, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup whole flaxseed (you can do ground flaxseed too)
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, browned
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c  – 1/2 c semi-sweet mini chocolate chips (sprinkle in as much extra chocolate-y ‘sweet’ as you want!)

How to Make:

This is super simple guys, you can whip it up in no time. Whether you do this the morning you plan to enjoy it for breakfast (it’s excellent with some Greek yogurt) or make it the night before.

Before you start mixing, preheat your oven to 325 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set the cookie sheet away for now and locate a large bowl. Now to mix!

In said large bowl, combine the oats…

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…slivered almonds…

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…flaxseed (and I went with whole flax seeds to add some extra texture and crunch, but you can use ground flaxseed if you prefer too)…

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…brown sugar…

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…cinnamon…

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…sprinkling of salt…

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…then stir that all together and set aside. On to the liquids!

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The liquids will all get poured into a saucepan over low heat. Start with the honey…

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…then the coconut oil…

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…and then vanilla.

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Before adding in the butter, you want to brown this up. In a separate small saucepan, melt down the butter over medium/low heat, whisking continually until wonderful brown flecks appear on the bottom of the pan.

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Once it’s at that point, remove from heat and pour it in with the rest of the liquids.

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This liquid concoction smells like HEAVEN right now. Take a moment to take a deep breath in and savor that.

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Sigh.

Ok, now all that’s left is to mix up those liquids in with the dry ingredients. Use a spatula to mix everything and ensure all of the dry ingredients are coated.

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Spread this out on the parchment paper and pop it in the oven. Bake for 3o minutes, stopping to stir at the 10 min, 20 min and 25 min marks. Stir again at the end when you pull it out. The granola should be golden brown and have succeeded in filling your kitchen with delicious smells. (See the pics below to see how this darkens over the cooking time.)

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But wait! As you recall, we have one last ingredient to add in…mini chocolate chip time.

Let the granola cool for a bit before sprinkling the chocolate over the top. To cool, I used the parchment paper to lift the granola out of the pan and set the parchment paper on the counter. Once the granola has cooled for about 15 minutes, I sprinkled the mini chocolate chips throughout the granola and let the chocolate melt a bit (as the granola is still warm). But, I let the granola cool for an hour or two with the chocolate chips.

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I just scooped this it into Tupperware to store. It’s been delicious on ice cream for a sweet and crunchy dessert or mixed with Greek yogurt for a fancy (but easy) breakfast. It’s also great all by itself for a snack.

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Hope you guys give this a try, let me know what you think! And definitely encourage you to get creative and add any other little tidbits to the granola (ideas: spices [nutmeg], nuts [pecans or walnuts], dried fruit, etc.).

To print off this recipe for easy reference in the future, click here

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Nutella Crispy Treats

14 Sep

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“Rice Krispies Treats” as most of us know the gooey and delicious marshmallowy, rice cereal bars…are in fact, tasty. But maybe a little boring? I’m posting this to bring you to a happy, happy place where the rice cereal and mallow squares you thought you knew, get turned upside down with a major chocolate explosion.

This treat can be made with any brand of chocolate rice cereal, but the key to making these addicting and wonderful is the combination of peanut butter and Nutella. OH MY. These will make you and everyone who has one, swoon.

How am I able to say this to you with confidence?

I’ve made these twice, and they’ve disappeared BOTH times within less than 24 hours. The latest occasion was Friday evening and when I returned home after a get-together with girlfriends with 4 remaining in the pan, my husband took the pan from me and 3 disappeared in the next 23 minutes. We compromised and split the last one. (Marriage is about compromise, right?!)

These take about 15 minutes to make (no joke kids, 15 minutes) and all you need is a stove top OR, a microwave would work in a pinch. I modified the recipe from Handle the Heat and I think you’ll love it!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6  (or so) cups of chocolate rice cereal (any brand you want)
  • 1/2 cup Nutella (mounded scoop)*
  • 1/2 cup of crunchy peanut butter (mounded scoop)*
  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows (10 oz)
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder

* I originally stated I added about 3/4 c. of Nutella and PB, but after remaking this recently, this was too much (I had eye-balled it and apparently guessed a bit high the first time I posted this) and resulted in treats that weren’t quite marshmallow-y enough to stick together. So instead, just mound out your scoop of both Nutella and PB, but not quite enough to do 3/4 c.

How to Make:

Alrighty people, here we go. First things first, you need a saucepan if you are going the stove top route. If you have only a microwave, then grab a medium-sized microwaveable bowl. The butter goes into your warming device of choice and melt that baby down.

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Now time to add in the good stuff. Add in your entire bag of mallows…

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…the Nutella…

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…and the peanut butter.

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You want everything to melt down smoothly. The only remaining lumps should be from the peanuts in the crunchy peanut butter.

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Once it’s all thoroughly melted and mixed, add in the 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder and stir that in.

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This extra bit of chocolate is what is going to make your bars GOOD. Not: good. But: GOOD. You feel me?!

Grab a large bowl (bigger is better as this part is a bit messy) and pour in the chocolate rice cereal of choice and then pour your mallow/chocolate liquid over the top.

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Spatulas work well for the next task which is to mix all of the cereal into the mallow/chocolate. Be patient, it takes a bit to get everything all worked in together. Once you have a big wonderful mass of chocolate goodness, you’re ready for the next step.

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Spray a pan with Pam or another similar butter/oil spray and then plop everything in. Use your fingers or the spatula to press everything into the corners and smooth out the bars. Let ’em cool for about 10-15 minutes, which will harden things up enough to cut them.

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Divide these into big OR small bars, but regardless, know that folks will still come and pick from the pan and nibble continuously until they’re all gone. I think it’s the peanut butter, but these are just plain addicting and having one is near impossible.

Hope you make these for your next ‘quick and easy dessert’ occasion!

Chewy Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies

6 Sep

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As promised, it’s double-post Saturday and I’m bringing you one of my new favorite cookie recipes. This was featured in the recent Giveaway Boxes: Revealed! blog post as it was created and shipped off to Johnston, IA. I found this recipe after trying to find the perfect red velvet recipe that would be shipping friendly and have some great flavor. It’s a winner.

My thing with red velvet is that I was always unsure. I never really got why some people would go gaga for red velvet as I always felt there was some flavor lacking. I couldn’t put my finger on what additional flavor I wanted, but I just knew that if I had options between red velvet and something else, the something else usually won. But as I taste tested the batter and finished product of these cookies, my opinion has changed!

These cookies are great with mini chocolate chips – spreading out the chocolatey flavor in the cookie and also adding a little extra chewiness. Plus they look so great against the red color, don’t they?!

Whether you love red velvet or not, I really do think these are cookies you’ll love. If it helps to convince you, the extras made from my double batch went to Luke’s family in Wisconsin and they didn’t last more than 12 hours.

Convinced yet?

Excellent. I assume, yes.

This recipe makes 12-15 in standard form, so I definitely doubled to make enough for my giveaway box and to bring along to Wisconsin. This is a recipe that I tweaked slightly from the amazing blog, How Sweet Eats. Check out her blog for more delicious and creative twists on cookies and other sweets (lots of great shakes and smoothies on there that I’m dying to try out…particularly the boozy ones). I also just got her new cookbook Seriously Delish and am PUMPED to start working my way through it. She has some pretty fantastic recipes and this is just one of many that I’ve tried and put my own little spin on. (She also doesn’t know I exist, but I really do love her blog and cookbook. Big fan.)

And that Bacon Beer Cornbread I mentioned that Luke and I are making tomorrow? Her recipe too.

Ingredients (for 12-15 cookies, recipe is easily doubled):

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 – 2 teaspoon vanilla (we used the good stuff, but the usual stuff we’ll do)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp of red food coloring (the original recipe says 1 tsp but I wanted RED and kept adding until I got the color I wanted)
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips (or more if you LOVE chocolate chips)

How to Make:

Like with most cookie recipes, we start off creaming together the butter and both sugars. Throw ’em in the mixer until everything is light and fluffy, which takes a few minutes.

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Next in are the vanilla and egg. Cream those in for another minute or so (you can see we doubled the recipe with our two eggs in the photo below).

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One of our fun purchases on our honeymoon part 1 in Duluth, MN was a big bottle of Watkins Vanilla Extract. Gosh, I’m obsessed.

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Next is my favorite part – adding the red food coloring! As I noted above, we added more than the original recipe because I really wanted RED cookies. I’m weird like that. I added slowly with the mixer going to I could get a sense of the color saturation as I went.

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Once I was convinced that the color was perfect, in went the remaining dry ingredients.

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Final mix-in was the mini chocolate chips, until the batter looked perfectly spotted with chocolate throughout.

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Now, the ice cream scoop is the perfect cookie dough scooping mechanism, a trick a learned a few years back. Use your ice cream scoop to put 3 x 4 balls of batter on a Pam sprayed cookie sheet and then pop into the oven at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

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Let ’em cool on a wire rack and then devour with a big glass of milk. Ooohhhh so good and totally changed my thoughts on all things red velvet.

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These pack super well and are easy to throw into Tupperware and mail or travel with. I can speak to that on both accounts!

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Mama’s Sour Cream Apple Pie

6 Sep

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I preface this post that it may indeed be double-post Saturday. We’re enjoying a relaxing Saturday watching football, reading, cooking/baking (ok, that’s just me and not my husband) and all in all, decompressing from the week. So enjoy this post and be excited as I hope to have another post coming along to follow it!

I am in that mindset of late summer, where I’m starting to really crave fall. Not to be confused with wishing for snow, I’m simply ready for crisp weather, apple picking, cozy comfort foods and watching the leaves change. Sigh. Fall is the BEST.

However, I know fall weather will quickly become snow and then I’ll be wondering why on earth I didn’t cherish the last few weeks of summer. So, I’m going to do my best to enjoy what’s left of the hot and humid sunshine. In the meantime, I’m going to start in on some of my fall favorite foods. Luke and I are sipping Pumpkin Spice Dunkin Donut coffee (which he had the fantastic idea to sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg. Gosh, I love that guy) and are planning on making a big batch of his mama’s chili with some Bacon Beer Cornbread (um, right?!) tomorrow to celebrate fall in food form. Yes, we’re early but heck, fall foods are so tasty.

(How many more times can I use fall in this post?!)

Now, the classic that I must share with you today to kickstart fall foods is from MY mama – it’s her recipe for Sour Cream Apple Pie!

This is a pie that I remember eating as a little kid, loving the crumbly sweet bits on top and the creamy, tangy apple filling. It’s a slight twist on a classic apple pie, but in the very best way. This pie doesn’t take a lot of time and you can easily whip one up for any occasion! Luke and I made it when we had my parents up for dinner a few weeks back, and it was a hit! We even got to enjoy a few slices as leftovers and I can tell you, this pie is just as good a few days after the fact.

Note – This pie is always best served warm and with some melty, sweet vanilla ice cream. Just trust me.

Ingredients:

Pie:

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (because I just didn’t have time or energy to make from scratch, and the store ones taste just as delicious to me. Your choice!)
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 cups (or more!) of chopped apples (any kind of sweeter apple will do)

Crumble Topping:

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (I like cinnamon so tend to be very liberal with my 1 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup of cold butter, chopped

How to Make:

First things first, prep your pie crust. Bake as directed for one pie crust filled pie and let it cool. Optional: stare at it and dream about the finished pie (is it just me that does this?!)

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Next, combine all of your pie filling ingredients. Yup. Just combine it all. Told you it was simple!

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Pour the whole shebang into the cooled pie crust…

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…and bake at 350 degrees for 30 min, or slightly less if needed. Key thing here is to make sure the pie filling is almost set.

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While your pie is baking you can make the BEST PART – the crumbly delicious topping. (I remember picking this part off of my pie as a kid, and being devastated when it was all gone.)

To make the crumble topping, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl and then add in the chopped up butter. Using your fingers, work the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s crumbly. You don’t want the butter so warm that it becomes mashed in with the dry ingredients so really try to maintain crumbles and not mush. (Apologies for no pictures, fail. Fail. Fail. But trust me, it’s really easy to do and it looks like delicious sugary crumbles if you’re doing it right.)

Spread the topping evenly across the top of the pie (snagging some bits to taste, you know, to make sure it tastes as good as it looks) and bake the pie for 10-20 more minutes, watching for the top to JUST get browned.

Take it out, let it cool a bit and then serve warm with heaping scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream. (Any ice cream will do, Edy’s was the choice of the ice cream selector in our family – Luke.)

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NOM nom nom nom….

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Close your eyes, take a big bite and savor that tangy mix of sour cream and apples, sweet brown sugar and melty ice cream.

Sigh. SO GOOD.

Oatmeal Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

15 Apr

Before I jump into this post about cookies that will knock your socks off…wanted to hint that we’re getting VERY close to another giveaway post. I’ll provide all of the details in my 60th post so everyone is aware of what’s IN said giveaway of treats and what level of excitement they should have (aka high excitement or HIGH EXCITEMENT). Being eligible to win the giveaway box o’ treats is super simple, you just need to be a follower of the blog. That means, you clicked the button in the upper right of the homepage to “follow”, confirmed you’re “following” via the email notification you received and now get lovely emails each time I post. I think it would be great fun to have two winners this time around, so your chances to win are even better than last time!

So if you’re not already a follower of the blog but you enjoy getting baked goods in the mail and enjoy the occasional blog post from me, now is time to make things official.

More details to come in my next post!

Enough with giveaways, let’s get to the baked goods…

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Ok, so I’m on this no-bake treats kick. Not sure where that came from but no complaints as I’ve discovered a plethora of tasty and SUPER easy recipes to share with you all that you can make in a snap. This particular awesome recipe is one that I think most everyone has had at some point. You may have had one at a past potluck, your 3rd grade classmate’s birthday treat, your coworker brought them in as they’re expecting a baby, I don’t know. (I had my first in Girl Scouts in Elementary School and they were called “monkey poop”…how appetizing)

Regardless, I bet some $ that you’ve had some form of this cookie before and now you shall know how to make it.

This recipe is from my soon-to-be Mother in Law (81 days to go until that’s official…not counting down or anything…) and I cannot articulate to you more clearly than to say that these are GOOD and SO addicting. I had coworkers who ate >5 because once they had their first, they couldn’t stop.

This is your forewarning. You can’t have just one. I don’t know if it’s physically possible. (Nor, do I think it’s that fun to have one and be done. C’mon!) What is it about oatmeal, chocolate and peanut butter that is so hard to resist?! As you recall with my other recent post on a very similar yet very different recipe (no coconut or additional nuts/dried fruit additions in these cookies) for no-bake bars, those are also hard to stop consuming. Ah well, we only live once right?!

So, hold on to your socks as we go through the super simple process of making one of the greatest cookies to grace our world.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 lb butter (aka 1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 – 2 1/2 cups of oats (you’ll need to eyeball it to see if it needs more or less oats…ready below to learn more)

How to Make:

This recipe starts off with the first four ingredients being combined in a medium saucepan over medium heat. So in goes the sugar…

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…cocoa powder (thought I’m sure you’re more neat than I was)…

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…butter…(I recommend slicing the butter into smaller chunks to aid in the melting process)…

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…and milk. Bring this mixture to a boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. You don’t want that sugar to burn!

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Once your 3 minutes are up, take off the heat and add in the peanut butter. Crunchy PB is the best as it gives the cookie not only a little crunch but also texture. Highly recommend, friends. (I failed to photography the PB going in…fail…but it’s in there!)

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After the PB comes the vanilla. Stir everything up to incorporate fully.

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Now, the oatmeal. Start off with 1 1/2 cups of oats and then add more, up to 2 cups, to reach the consistency you’re looking for. If the mixture seems too soupy, add more oats. Keep adding until the mixture doesn’t seem to be too soupy. Check out the pictures below if you’re uncertain what level of soupiness is okay and what means more oats.

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Mix everything really well before you begin scooping!

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I have found a new use for my ice cream scoop…perhaps I’m late the game everyone was already playing…but the ice cream scoop is perfect for grabbing cookie batter. PERFECT I tell you! However, before you begin your scooping, lay out wax paper on your counter-top.

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Now, scoop each cookie and plop on to the wax paper to harden. Be sure to leave space between each cookie! This will harden up really fast and are actually insanely delicious when they’re still somewhat moist and falling apart. So if you test one out too soon, it won’t be bad. I promise.

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Once these set (I checked mine after 30 minutes and they were all hard), you can store in Tupperware or feed to hungry humans nearby!

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Enjoy friends!!

And stay tuned for giveaway box details in the next post!!

Cake Batter Dip

7 Apr

Holy cake batter heaven Batman! This may be one of the best dips I’ve ever made and I cannot WAIT for you try it! I’ve already memorized the recipe and know that Luke and I will always have this one in our arsenal when we’re having people over.

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Why is this so good?

I don’t know folks, but it just IS:

  1. Do you sneak cookie dough from the bowl as you’re SUPPOSED to be putting the cookies on baking sheets (you know who you are)?
  2. Do you always order cake batter ice cream when it’s an option (guilty)?
  3. Do you love finding an excuse to still eat teddy grahams (I forgot how AMAZING chocolate teddy grahams are friends…a travesty I realize)?
  4. Do you still enjoy finding ways to add sprinkles into things, just because (c’mon, they make everything more fun)?

If you answered yes to ANY of these things…you…must…try…this…dip.

I found this on Pinterest and was challenged by a friend to give this a go, blog about it so she’d know if this was worthy. Friends, it so is. This is worthy.

Thanks so much to Cassie Craves blog for bringing this joyous concoction to our attention! I made a few tweaks to the original recipe, but the basic concoction was from the aforementioned blog. Can’t wait to check out more of her posts!

Enough with the rambling, let’s get right into the thick of it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix
  • 2 cups of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups Whipped Topping
  • 1-2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp of colorful Sprinkles (plus extra for sprinkling on the top)

For Dipping:

  • Chocolate Teddy Grahams
  • Nilla Wafers
  • Other ideas: flat cookies, fruit, graham crackers

How to Make:

Locate a bowl and your mixer of choice. Then, prepare for some ingredient blending.

First pour in the Funfetti cake mix…

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…the 2 cups of Greek yogurt…

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…the cup and a half of whipped topping…

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…splash in the vanilla…

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…throw in the sprinkles…

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…and blend baby blend! This whips up nice and quick and the sprinkles create a really fun and colorful look too. Use a spatula to help get the dip off the sides if it starts to creep up. Then, spoon into some Tupperware as you need to pop it in the fridge for about 2 hours (minimum) before you dig in. (You can refrigerate longer too, it just needs a few hours to firm up a bit.)

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That does not mean that you can’t lick the beaters…and the extra spoon you just happened to have used…and the bowl that you used…

Sigh. So delicious.

Before you serve, scoop into your serving bowl of choice and have some sweet crispy snacks on hand to use to  dip. We chose Nilla Wafers and Chocolate Teddy Grahams. But plain graham crackers or fruit would work too, just be sure it’s durable so it holds up  as you pile on the goodness, forewarning.

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Make sure to add some sprinkles on top for garnish before you serve it up to all those excitedly lined up with their dipping mechanisms.

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I loved this, those who consumed it also gave it a thumbs up and I really, deeply think you will too.

Let me know what you think when you give this a whirl!!

Oatmeal Chocolate No-Bake Bars

5 Apr

Okay my friends, are you looking for a sweet treat (for a Final Four party perhaps?) that doesn’t take you long to pull together and doesn’t completely throw you off of your “eating-healthy” plan? Something sweet enough to truly make you want to have two but won’t make you feel guilty about eating “bad”?

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You have found the perfect treat!! Plus, these are truly DELICIOUS! There’s a subtle coconut flavor (which can be replaced if you so choose…so sad for you if so) , peanut-buttery goodness and the typical amazing concoction of oatmeal and chocolate to contend with. You cannot NOT like these. I challenge you!

Found these bad boys on Pinterest and featured on the Money Saving Mom blog and wanted to give them a try. I’ve had something similar (which will be shared in a future blog post) from my future mother-in-law – she makes the BEST no-bake oatmeal chocolate cookies. These are similar but slightly different with a coconut spin and are in bar form. You can also customize these guys to be however you’d like with dried fruit and nuts. And if you’re not into coconut, you can leave that out!

And I don’t know why I keep referring to them as ‘guys’, apparently these bars are male?!? Ha anyways, I digress…

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. coconut oil
  • 2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1 c. shredded coconut (if you’re anti-coconut, I swear this consistency isn’t too weird…my anti-coconut fiance loved it!)
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (insert in here any nut you choose OR dried fruit)
  • 1 1/4 c. dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

How to Make:

Prepare yourself for the easiest bar making on the planet! No need for an oven, you just need a stove top. That’s it!

First, you’re going to melt together the first three ingredients. The cup of peanut butter…

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…the 1/2 cup of honey…

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…the 1/2 cup of coconut oil (butter works too if you don’t have coconut oil on hand).

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Melt all of the ingredients together but stirring over medium to low heat. Once thoroughly warmed and mixed, turn down to low and grab another bowl for mixing the remaining ingredients.

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Measure out 2 cups of oats…

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…a cup of shredded coconut (or another dried fruit if you’re REALLY anti-coconut)…

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…the 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (or another chopped nut of choice)…

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…the 1 and 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips…a few may escape and end up consumed, it happens…

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…and the teaspoon of vanilla extract.

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Mix all of these dry ingredients up and then slowly pour in your melted warm ingredients on top. Stir, stir, stir! You need to thoroughly coat everything!

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Then, pour into a greased 9×13 baking pan (higher sides would be better) and spread as evenly as you can on the bottom.

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Then pop this into the fridge until it hardens! Ours was ready to go in about an hour or so, but just keep checking in on it to see if it’s ready to go! Then, slice these up with a sharp knife and serve ’em up to your favorite people…or if you desire after having one, hoard them for yourself 😉

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Regardless, these are delicious, addicting and you really can’t feel too terribly bad about having a treat or two of these.

Enjoy!!

Spicy Caramel Popcorn

22 Feb

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There’s been a plethora of fancy schmancy popcorn recipes floating around on Pinterest lately. I’ve definitely wanted to give some of them a try and finally had the chance over Super Bowl weekend. The Super Bowl and the need for Super Bowl type snacks was the perfect excuse.

Now, I knew if I ended up creating popcorn dripping in deliciousness, it would be tasty yes, but probably give a bit of gut rot as a result. Maybe it’s just me, but TOO much sweetness is overwhelming sometimes. I found a great-looking recipe called Sriracha Caramel Corn via pinterest over at I Am A Food Blog and then tweaked it a bit to go easy on the flavor:popcorn ratio. I’ve renamed this version just ‘Spicy Caramel Popcorn’ as we didn’t use Sriracha and I’ve changed up the amounts of ingredients a bit. But great base recipe, definitely go check out  I Am A Food Blog for more tasty recipes!

This popcorn turned out as a perfect compromise as each kernel definitely had spicy caramel on it but nothing was too saturated. I thought it was a true success (well, it took me two tries to get this right) and had to share it with you all. Here we go…

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of plain popcorn (or roughly 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels)
  • 1 Tbsp of coconut oil
  • 6 Tbsp of butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1-2 Tbsp of hot sauce of your choosing

How to Make:

As with many recipes I post on here, this one is not difficult. It’s great to make in advance for a party (i.e. Super Bowl), make for a late night snack or pack into several Ziplocs to bring to work/school as a mini treat. Possibilities are endless!

Now how to make this stuff? Right, right, that’s why you’re reading this. First, you gotta pop the corn. However you choose to do this with the kitchen appliances available to you, is your choice. I made this at Luke’s parents house and they have this awesome popcorn maker (is there a fancier name for that?!) that heats up your butter or oil (as noted above we used Coconut Oil) and then helps keep your popcorn contained as it heats up and pops. I was in awe. I realize this is likely not exciting to many of you but I was significantly entertained for the few minutes it took to pop this corn. (I may add this to the wedding registry…that’s how cool I think this is).

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To get the ratio of caramel:popcorn that we were looking for, we did 1/2 cup or so of popcorn kernels. This made quite a lot of popcorn! Once your popcorn is all popped, set it aside while you dive into the caramel sauce.

Before we start caramel-ing, preheat the oven to 250 degrees and line a baking sheet (with sides, ideally) with parchment paper or spray it down with Pam or olive oil.

Now to caramel! Heat up the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

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Mix in the packed brown sugar and stir constantly for about 3-4 minutes until it comes to a boil. Forewarning – this can very quickly burn so watch closely! I burned my first batch and had to start all over. Key is to not bring the heat too high, stir constantly and remove immediately once it boils and gets that caramel looking color to it.

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Remove from the heat as soon as the sauce gets that caramel color and set aside to cool.

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In a small bowl, mix the vanilla, salt, baking soda and the hot sauce you selected. If you’re going for more spice – aim for closer to 2 Tbsp (if you’re a real spice lover, you could do a bit more…at your own risk!) if you want less spice and more of a little ‘zing’ mixed in the caramel, aim closer to 1 Tbsp.

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Once this mixture is all combined, add this to the butter/sugar saucepan and stir together. It will likely bubble up quite a bit but have no fear – just stir until all combined and has a nice, silky sheen to it. Taste test it too just to be sure you have the spice level where you wanted.

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Now to combine! Pour the popcorn into the pan you prepped and then slowly dribble in the caramel sauce, turning the popcorn with a spatula to coat everything as evenly as you can. It helps to continue to mix and stir with the spatula after all the caramel as been poured in to really get everything coated.

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Pop this into the oven for an hour, stopping at 15 minute increments to stir and break apart any clumps.

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Once it’s all done, it’s ready to consume!

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Pour out into a large bowl for hungry humans to devour or into individual bowls so no one steals your portion! Or, you can also store this in airtight Ziplocs or containers for about a week.

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Seriously addicting popcorn and not overly sweet. I can promise you’ll love it! (Bold statement I realize, but prove me wrong if you think it’s too bold.)

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With that, I shall end another post. HOWEVER fun news to share…to tempt you to stay tuned…there will likely be another blog giveaway coming soon! The rules shall be the same as last time, all who are official blog followers (meaning you get email notifications when I post and are included in that total number in the upper right on the Home Page) will be eligible to win a treat box from me in the mail, filled to the brim with goodies! More details to come in the next few posts. But if you’re not already a follower, now is the time so you can be eligible! I’m thinking that two lucky individuals will win this time around…

Let me know how the popcorn attempts go, I always love your comments. 🙂

Cheers!

Brownie Roll-out Cookies

26 Jan

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So being home for the weekend means more often than not, when bored and not sure what to do with myself…I end up in the kitchen trying something new. I wanted to do some true baking this weekend, as in recent weeks it’s been more about cooking than baking. What to try…what to try…

I opened up my Smitten Kitchen cookbook for inspiration, as I remembered many a glossy page with cookies and breads on them. I wasn’t disappointed when I turned to this page with these little guys.

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Brownie roll-out cookies is what she called them (here’s her original blog post with the recipe), but essentially they’re chewy chocolate sugar cookies.

I accept! Nothing about that description sounds bad to me! Bonus, I had everything needed in my kitchen. That’s usually what sells me on a recipe that I begin to tackle after 9:30 at night. Call me lazy but it’s crazy cold outside and I didn’t feel like a late night trip to Lunds.

So, this whole recipe is incredibly simple and doesn’t take a lot of time for mixing/cooking. However, do note that this requires the dough to chill for an hour before baking, so factor that into your baking plan of attack. I also didn’t switch up the recipe at all, loved it just the way she wrote it! However, I did add my own finishing touch at the end, which you’ll just have to read about to find out what that was…

Ready to make some VERY tasty and VERY pretty little cookies? I sure hope you said yes, because I’m planning to tell you anyway.

Ingredients (makes approximately 24 cookies):

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • powdered sugar for dusting the tops

How to Make:

Nothing to this recipe! First things first (after pre-heating the oven to 350), mix up the flour…

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…cocoa…

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…salt…

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…and baking powder.

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Whisk all of these items together and then set aside.

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Now, soften the butter (if you haven’t had it set out to soften in advance, which I never do) for a bit in the microwave and then mix the butter and sugar together using your mixer of choice.

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You’ll want it to be light yellow and fluffy. That’s the green light that you’re ready to add the eggs, one at a time.

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Mix that all in and then add in the vanilla. Use a spatula to scrap down the sides if the liquid starts to creep up the sides at all.

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Last, gradually add in the dry ingredients, a bit at a time. I was a bit aggressive and ended up breathing in puffs of chocolate flour dust quite a bit. I do not recommend that situation so be gentle when adding your dry ingredients. Trust me. And also…the dough will get very thick, forewarning.

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Grab some plastic wrap and lay the batter on the plastic wrap and then wrap up all of the dough, nice and tight. Then set that in the fridge for an hour to chill. Turn on some tunes, do the dishes…or turn on some Netflix, don’t the dishes..regardless do something to pass the hour!

Then, time to roll out the dough. This works best on a floured surface and with a floured-up rolling-pin. I use a cutting board for rolling out dough and as it’s small, I did this in batches. You’ll have to modify your method based on what amount of counter space/cutting board space you have. And no fear with the white flour speckles being on the dough, you can rub them off with your fingers and any smudges that remain should bake off in the oven.

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These cookies are best with some thickness – aim for between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Use whatever fun cookie cutter you’d like! I thought it’d be fun to make these look like wafer cookies, so I used a cookie cutter with a flowing edge. I loved the way they turned out! Reminded me of the cookies that are on either side of an ice cream sandwich (which then had me thinking THAT would be a good experiment. I shall report back on how that experiment goes!).


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But back to cookies. Place parchment paper on cookies sheets and give them a good spray with Pam. Then set your cut-out cookies on the parchment paper, nicely spaced out. These get baked for 8-11 minutes, the thinner cookies will be closer to 8 minutes and the thicker ones closer to 11 minutes.

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When they’re done you’ll have firm edges and a softer center. Perfect cookie!

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Set them out to cool, though you must sneak one just to be sure they’re done. It’s the job of the baker!

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Now, my addition to this original recipe of Smitten Kitchen’s is to dust the tops with powdered sugar. It gives the perfect amount of sweetness as I thought the cookies themselves needed just a little something extra. Powdered sugar does the trick!

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You’ll love these, chewy, delicious chocolate and the sweetness of the powdered sugar make these a cookie I’m definitely going to make them again.

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Hope you all enjoy these as much as I did! I’m bringing most of the batch down to the team in Texas this week, I hope you share your batch with a good group of folks too!

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