December 15, 2014

Chewy Mocha Toffee Chip Cookies #fbcookieswap

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Nothing says Christmas more than a tray of cookies and these Chewy Mocha Toffee Chip Cookies are a super sweet gift to include on your cookie tray.  The combination of coffee, chocolate, toffee and pecans is absolute perfection.  I would have to say this is my most favorite cookie that I have made this year!
Chewy Mocha Toffee Chip Cookies for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  #fbcookieswap
These cookies are huge and anyone you share them with is going to love them.  That is why I made this my choice to share this year with the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  I first made these when Grumpy's dad and step mom were visiting.  They went over well everyone!

After a little bit of prompting from my good friend Sherri Jo, I decided that this year I would participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  Last year we were busy in the purchase of our home and I really didn't have time to think of making and shipping off cookies.  I have participated a few other times and it is always fun and exciting to receive notification that someone has received your package as well as receive one yourself.  We also had the opportunity to work with a few brands as well as donate to a good cause (Cookies for Kids Cancer). Thank you to OXO and Dixie Crystals for the thank you gifts you sent to me!  Thank you also for matching our donations to Cookies for Kids Cancer.  While I didn't get to use my decorating kit on these cookies, I did get to use it on my snowman cookies!
Chewy Mocha Toffee Chip Cookies
This year I had the privilege of sending cookies to Kathi of Laughing Spatula, Sue of It's OK to Eat the Cupcake, and Elisabeth of Floating Kitchen!  I hope you all enjoyed these cookies!

Wouldn't YOU like to try one of these big yummy cookies?  :)

If you happened to miss out on the cookie swap this year and want to make sure to be on the in next year, be sure to follow this link to sign up for a reminder to join!

Chewy Mocha Toffee Chip Cookies

Ingredients



  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans
    Drizzle
  • 1 tablespoon coffee
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • Instructions

      1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  In large mixing bowl with hand mixer at medium speed, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar.  Add egg and beat until creamy.
      2. In a smaller mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir to combine.  Using hand mixer on low speed, mix in half the flour mixture until combined.  Add remaining flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.  Dough will get a little stiff but is still very workable.
      3. With a wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips, toffee bits, and pecan pieces.
      4. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Scoop dough using 1/4 cup scoop measure and place on cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.  
      5. Bake 15 minutes (longer if needed, cookies should not look wet on top).  Remove from cookie sheet and cool on cooling rack until completely cooled.
      6. Make drizzle by combining powdered sugar and coffee.  Add more or less coffee if needed to make smooth enough to drizzle.  Drizzle over cooled cookies. 

      December 14, 2014

      Amaretto Cranberry Swirled Cheesecake #SundaySupper

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      Its no secret.  I love incorporating booze into my food.  I love the flavor it brings to your recipes and this Amaretto Cranberry Swirled Cheesecake is no exception!  The homemade cranberry sauce boosted with Amaretto Liquor swirled into this almond flavored creamy baked cheesecake is absolutely to die for!
      .
      This week #SundaySupper is bringing you libational treats. With Christmas and the New Year just around the corner, there will likely be a lot of celebrating happening over the next few weeks and we want to share with you some of our favorites!

      Thank you DB from Crazy Foodie Stunts and Alice from A Mama, Baby, and Shar-Pei In the Kitchen for being our hosts this week!

      I have always been a huge fan of almond flavor.  As an adult, that love of almond flavor carried over into my love for Amaretto.  When I saw Claudia over at What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine (one of my long time blogging friends and fellow (former) NY'er) had a recipe for Cranberry Sauce that had Amaretto in it, I knew I was making it for our Thanksgiving dinner!  I used the leftovers from this recipe to incorporate in my cheesecake!
      This cheesecake made it into my office.  I imagine everyone there must think I'm nuts to make a cheesecake and bring the whole thing in, but that's what I did.  :)  Grumpy wasn't home the week I made this and even if he was home, the whole cake could not have been eaten by us.  As it is, the day after I took this cheesecake into work, I see only 1 slice left the next day when I returned to the kitchen, and I believe that slice didn't sit around too long either!  So, I must not be the only one who thought the cheesecake was yummy.
      What are some of your favorite Libations?  Is it an appetizer, drink, savory, or sweet treat?  I would love to know! 

      Amaretto Cranberry Swirled Cheesecake

      Amaretto Cranberry Swirled Cheesecake

      Ingredients

      • 1 package graham crackers (12 sheets in 1 package)
      • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
      • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
      • 1 cup Amaretto Cranberry Sauce (follow link for recipe)
      • 1/4 cup water
      • 1 cup sugar
      • 2-1/2 packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese (12 ounces)
      • 1 cup light sour cream
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
      • 1/8 teaspoon salt
      • 4 large eggs

      Instructions

      1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
      2. Wrap the outside bottom of 9" spring form pan with heavy duty foil.
      3. Place crackers in food processor and proccess until fine crumbs are formed. Add cocoa powder and pulse a few times to combine. Slowly add melted butter while processor is running on low and process until combined. Press mixture into bottom of spring form pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.
      4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
      5. Place cranberry sauce and water in food processor. Process until smooth. If mixture is still too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is thin enough to swirl into cheesecake.
      6. Combine 1 cup sugar and cream cheese in large mixing bowl. Mix at medium speed until smooth. Add in yogurt, vanilla, and almond extract and mix until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
      7. Pour cheesecake mixture over prepared crust. Using a large tablespoon, spoon cranberry sauce over the filling. With a table knife, drag through cranberry sauce to swirl into cheesecake batter.
      8. Place spring form pan into deep baking pan and add hot watter to baking pan to a depth of 3 inches. Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until center of cheesecake barely moves when pan is touched.
      9. Turn oven off and cool cheesecake in oven for 3 hours. Remove from oven, run knife around outside edge. Cover and chill 8 hours.
      Prep Time: 00 hrs. 30 mins.
      Cook time: 01 hrs. 00 mins.
      Total time: 1 hrs. 30 mins.
      Tags: amaretto, cheese, cheesecake, chocolate, cranberry, dessert, holiday desserts

      Libations
      Savory Libational Dishes
      Sweet Libational Desserts
      Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

      December 09, 2014

      Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies

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      Tis the season for Peppermint!  These Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies are fudgy with peppermint flavor, and crushed peppermint decorating the top making them very festive!
      Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies

      I've wanted to make the hot cocoa cookies ever since the first time I tried one a couple of years ago. This year I seem to be on a huge peppermint kick when it comes to holiday related items. Peppermint is one of my favorite flavors so when I thought about making these hot cocoa cookies, I naturally went to the thought of peppermint flavor in the cookie as well  as the icing with crushed peppermint candy canes topping them.
      Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies
      These cookies were so easy to make and after eating about 3 of them I decided I had to get them wrapped up and in the freezer so I could have them to give out with my Christmas Cookie baskets this year.
      Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies
      While I love the whole cookie I have to say my favorite part is the fudge coated marshmallow with the crunchy mint topping.  Oh heck, its all good.  Just make them and you will see what I mean. They may look and read like a lot of work, but really, they aren't.  Mix, scoop, bake, pop a marshmallow on top, bake a little more, cool.  Then when ready to put the fudge topping on just melt the butter, mix in the rest of the ingredients and spoon it over top of the cookie, sprinkling the peppermint on top before the fudge dries.  Then try to not eat them before they are ready to pack and put in the freezer.  I dare you.

      This recipe is slightly adapted from one found on glorioustreats.com.

      Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies

      Published 12/09/2014
      Peppermint Hot Cocoa Cookies

      Ingredients

      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
      • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
      • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
      • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 1-1/4 cups brown sugar
      • 3 eggs
      • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 24 regular sized marshmallows, cut in half
      • Icing:
      • 2 cups confectioners sugar
      • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
      • 1/4 cup hot milk
      • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
      • 3 candy canes, crushed

      Instructions

      1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter and chocolate chips on high power, at 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until chocolate and butter are melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
      2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In another medium sized bowl, with hand mixer on low speed, mix brown sugar, eggs, and extract. Add cooled chocolate/butter mixture and mix until combined.
      3. Gradually add flour mixture to egg/chocolate mixture stirring until just combined. Cover bowl with wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
      4. When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Don't be tempted to go higher in heat, you need the lower temp for these cookies. Roll cookie dough into 1" balls and place about 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. Flatten cookies slightly.
      5. Bake cookies 12 minutes. Remove from oven and place marshmallow, cut side down, in center of cookie. Return to oven and cook another 2 minutes. Cool completely on cooling rack.
      6. To top with fudge icing, mix together sugar and cocoa powder. Add melted butter, hot milk, and vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Spoon 1 tablespoon of icing over top of cookie, spreading some if needed. Top immediately with crushed peppermint. Let icing dry completely, store in cool dry place.
      Yield: 48 cookies
      Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.
      Cook time: 00 hrs. 14 mins.
      Total time: 34 mins.
      Tags: cookies, Christmas, Holiday, Chocolate, Peppermint, Homemade Holiday Gifts, Marshmallow

      December 05, 2014

      Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints

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      If your looking for a different cookie but still a festive cookie for the holidays, then you have to look no futher!  These Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprints are not only pretty and festive, but they are delicious and everyone will be asking you for the recipe!
      Thanksgiving morning at 4 am, I was already busy in the kitchen.  I made dinner rolls for our dinner at my Aunt Ann's home and I also made these cookies!  I wanted to take a little gift box of cookies to leave with her to enjoy after we were gone.
      These also would be the perfect cookie to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve.  Imagine how tickled he would be to find these waiting for him!
      This recipe will only make 18 cookies, so if your looking to feed more people, then you may want to double the recipe.  I tend to not like to have too many cookies hanging around because if I do have them, we tend to eat them!  These cookies would definitely have been a problem spot for both Grumpy and me.  I boxed up a dozen of them, had two for myself and Grumpy had the other 4.  All in one sitting.  I have to say these are definitely Grumpy and Honey approved.
        

      Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

      Published 12/01/2014
      Red Velvet Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

      Ingredients

      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
      • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
      • 1 egg
      • 2 teaspoons red food coloring
      • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
      • 1-1/4 cups flour
      • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1/8 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 cup Andes peppermint pieces
      • white dipping chocolate

      Instructions

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
      2. In medium sized mixing bowl, using hand mixer on medium speed, mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg, food coloring and extract and mix until combined.
      3. In a separate bowl mix together 1-1/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually mix flour mixture into butter mixture until combined.
      4. Shape cookies into 1" sized balls, press indentation with thumb in center of ball. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and press back of teaspoon into center of cookie to form a more prominent thumbprint. Place 1 teaspoon andes mint candy pieces in center of cookie. Return to oven and bake another 2-3 minutes.
      5. Remove from oven and transfer cookies to cooling rack. Cool completely.
      6. Melt white dipping chocolate in microwave according to directions. Drizzle over top of cookies. Let chocolate harden prior to storing.
      Yield: 1-1/2 dozen cookies
      Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.
      Cook time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
      Total time: 35 mins.
      Tags: cookies, Christmas, Holidays, Homemade Holiday Gifts, Chocolate, Peppermint

      December 03, 2014

      Sauteed Haricots Verts with Bacon and Buttered Breadcrumbs

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      This month the Virtual Supper Club is bringing you the theme "Warm up to Winter".  With the chill in the air, there is nothing more cozy and comforting than food that warms you up!  These Sauteed Haricots Verts with Bacon and Buttered Breadcrumbs is a side dish that delivers!

      Sauteed Haricots Verts with Bacon and Buttered Breadcrumbs
      Haricots Verts are one of my favorite vegetables of all time.  I think it ranks right up there with Roasted Asparagus. Haricots Verts seem to be in the stores in abundance right now. I'm sure it has something to do with the holiday season!  I love to get mine at Trader Joes.  All I have to do is rinse and cook.  I hate the work of trimming a bean!  I used a leftover dinner roll to make my breadcrumbs and oh my did that ever make the dish super flavorful!  This may use a little more dishes than you want to on the stove, but in all honesty, it is well worth it!  Think about adding this recipe to your Christmas Dinner sides.  Everyone will love them, promise!
      Sauteed Haricots Verts with Bacon and Buttered Breadcrumbs


      Be sure to check out the rest of our Virtual Supper Club Menu for this month!


      Val  – English Cottage Pie

      Susan – Cheesy Spinach-Artichoke Dip

      Sarah - Roasted Garlic and Shallot Potato Soup with Cheesy Croutons

      Shelby – Haricots Verts with Bacon and Buttered Breadcrumbs

      Jerry – Warm Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze

      Sandi - Red Wine Marinated Beef Stew


      Sauteed Haricots Verts with Bacon and Buttered Breadcrumbs

      Published 12/03/2014
      adapted from Cooking Light.com
      Sauteed Haricots Verts with Bacon and Buttered Breadcrumbs

      Ingredients

      • 1-12 oz package Haricots Verts, rinsed
      • 2 Tablespoons Butter, divided
      • 1 small shallot, chopped
      • 1/2 cup sturdy bread crumbs (I used a homemade dinner roll)
      • 2 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
      • salt and pepper to taste

      Instructions

      1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large non stick skillet until bubbly. Add shallots and saute for 1 minute. Add Haricots Verts and saute for 7 minutes or until beans are tender.
      2. While beans are sauteing, add remaining tablespoon of butter to small skillet. Once hot and bubbly, add bread crumbs and toss to coat, cooking until slightly browned and crispy. Remove from heat.
      3. Add bread crumbs and bacon to green beans. Serve warm.
      Prep Time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.
      Cook time: 00 hrs. 07 mins.
      Total time: 12 mins.

      Nutrition


      • Calories: 121
      • Fat: 8
      • Dietaryfiber: 1
      • Totalcarbs: 9
      • Nutrition information calculated using MyFitnessPal.com

      Tags: bacon, Butter, Holiday Food, side dishes, Sides, vegetables, Virtual Supper Club, diabetic
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