March 27, 2015

Baked Chocolate Mocha Doughnuts

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it's advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.  #McCafeMyWay #CollectiveBias 

A chocolate baked doughnut enhanced with McCafe Colombian Coffee and then dipped in a chocolate mocha glaze for that double chocolate mocha effect creating a drool worthy treat to enjoy with your morning cup!

Do you have a friend who will do anything to help you out no matter what? Are you that kind of friend? I have to admit that I am probably one of those lucky people who has a friend like that. I met her when we first moved to Albany 4-1/2 years ago and have been best of friends ever since. Because of the time of day that we would meet up, I must admit, that we have always been the friends who have a glass of wine together, but, if I didn't have to get up and go to the office on a daily basis, I bet we would have been that morning cup of coffee friends too because we both love our coffee! Jill faithfully babysits our three kitties whenever Grumpy and I have to be away from home for more than a full day. She talks to them like they are her own kitties and I know she gives them a lot of treats and they certainly love her right back! Because Jill is so special to us, I decided that I was going to treat her to doughnuts and some McCafe Coffe.
I am a pretty picky girl when it comes to my coffee. I like a medium to dark roast best. What is funny is that I never was a "real" coffee drinker until I met Grumpy. After we started living together I had to put to use that coffee pot that I usually only pulled out when Dad was around. I remember many evenings on the front porch with a hot cup of cappuccino and Grumpy and every morning since we've been together has been a fresh brewed cup or two of coffee.
When I found the McCafe coffee made with 100% Arabica Beans in my local Wal-mart I decided that I was going to have to give it a try. I will admit, the packaging certainly attracted me, however, my affection of coffee, the fact that there were 8 different flavors made me decide I just had to try it! Kind of funny how that works isn't it? However even better, the coffee sold me once I tried it. I picked out two bags, one of the Colombian (medium to dark roast) and a French Vanilla. Every once in a while Grumpy will like a flavored coffee and French Vanilla is always his choice.
I found my McCafe Coffee in the same aisle you would find the tea, hot cocoa and creamer at my local Wal-Mart.
The McCafe Coffee also comes in coffee pods which would be my choice for my friend Jill's gift! Because Jill loves our kitties so much and is such a great friend for taking care of them for us, I thought it would be great to put together a gift basket that included some McCafe Coffee Pods for her the next time we visited.

After I came home with my coffee the first thing I thought of was doughnuts! I absolutely love my Mom's Fry Cakes but because I don't care to deep fry too often, I tend to bake my doughnuts. I started thinking dark chocolate baked doughnuts enhanced with the Colombian coffee I had just bought. I also thought about how dark and delicious Nanny's Mayonnaise Cake was and how I could perhaps make some baked doughnuts that combined the coffee and mayonnaise with the chocolate to get this wonderful deep, dark chocolate doughnut. I am very happy to say that I succeeded and the result was exactly what I was looking for and perfect to go with that cup of McCafe Coffee!

Watch this pretty cool animation of my process in making the doughnuts!

What would you do for your best friend who would go above and beyond to do something for you?

Baked Chocolate Mocha Doughnuts

Shelby Law Ruttan
Published 03/27/2015
Baked Chocolate Mocha Doughnuts


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons coffee
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Glaze ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons brewed McCafe Colombian Coffee
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1-2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and spray a doughnut baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix flour through salt together to combine. Add milk, mayonnaise, coffee, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until smooth.
  3. Fill each doughnut cavity 1/2 full with batter and bake 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Cool doughnuts in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
  5. Assemble glaze by stirring together coffee, milk, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth and of dipping consistency. Add more powdered sugar or milk as needed.
  6. Dip doughnuts top half in glaze then sit back on cookie rack to allow to dry. Top with sprinkles if desired.
Yield: 1 dozen
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 15 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 14 mins.
Total time: 29 mins.
Tags: chocolate, coffee, doughnuts, baking, dessert, snack, breakfast, brunch, mocha

March 21, 2015

Lemon-Strawberry Chia Seed Muffins

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Lemon-Strawberry Chia Seed Muffins - An egg-free muffin flavored with Lemon and Strawberries and the added benefit of white whole wheat flour and Chia Seeds! This Lemon-Strawberry Chia Seed Muffin is low-carb, low sugar, and absolutely delicious!

An egg-free muffin flavored with Lemon and Strawberries and the added benefit of white whole wheat flour and Chia Seeds! This Lemon-Strawberry Chia Seed Muffin is low-carb, low sugar, and absolutely delicious!

Did you know that Chia Seeds were good for diabetics? I knew they were good for you in general, full of omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, but I did not realize that they also help the body to regulate carbohydrates. Once the seeds are ingested, they form a barrier in the stomach which in turn slows the ingestion of sugar in the bloodstream.  Another benefit is continued energy, not just a burst! This is great news for me to have come across for Grumpy's sake!
After learning this, I decided that Grumpy needed to get over his chia seed aversion and it started with these muffins!

I look so forward to the Diabetic Living magazine showing up on my nook and the most recent issue had this recipe in it.  Usually, when I get my magazine, the first thing I do is go through it and bookmark recipes I find interesting and that I want to try. It had only been a couple of days since the magazine showed up on my bookshelf and I couldn't wait any longer, I had to make these delicious muffins!
This recipe calls for ground Chia seeds. Grumpy is always telling me that he thinks my Chia seeds are disgusting. So another plus to this recipe was he would't know there were chia seeds in the muffins! I ground the seeds in my coffee grinder which made it very easy. Chia Seeds thicken and gel up when added with wet ingredients and when I was mixing all of the liquid together, it kind of made me think of an egg the way the seeds got jelly like in the mixture and it likely acted as the binding agent since these muffins are also egg free.

I also would suggest with the arrival of spring and spring ingredients that you add some rhubarb to this mixture or top the muffin with a little rhubarb jam or sauce! 

Lemon-Strawberry Chia Seed Muffins
slightly adapted from Diabetic Living Magazine

Lemon-Strawberry Chia Seed Muffins


  • 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup fat free milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup whole oats
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Truvia Brown Sugar Blend
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium sized mixing bowl, Stir together Chia seeds, water, fat free milk, canola oil, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  2. In another medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together white whole wheat flour, whole oats, Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, baking powder, and grated lemon peel.
  3. Add flour mixture to chia seed mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in Strawberries.
  4. Divide between muffin tins and bake for 15-18 minutes.
Yield: 12 muffins
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 18 mins.
Total time: 38 mins.


  • Calories: 144
  • Totalcarbs: 19
  • Dietaryfiber: 2
  • Fat: 6

Tags: eating healthy, heart healthy, chia seed, lemon, strawberries, Diabetic Friendly, Diabetic recipe, Low Carb, Low Sugar, Muffins, Breakfast, Brunch, Snack,

March 16, 2015

Cookie Butter Crispy Creme Bars

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CrispyIsBack #CollectiveBias

A brownie/oatmeal base, smothered in chocolate cookie butter and topped with a cookie butter creme, decorated prettily with M&M's® Crispy! These Cookie Butter Crispy Creme Bars are a mouthful of comfort with the chewy base and creamy fudge like cookie butter cream combination and the  M&M's® Crispy give them that crunch factor!

Do you remember the M&M's® Crispy? I know I do and I am super happy they are back! There were two reasons I love this M&M's® product. I love the crispy part and I loved the fact I could have a candy that was a lower calorie per snack bag (only 180 calories per serving!) and I could have a treat that wouldn't dig into my calorie allotment for the day too deep. 

I have to tell you that these M&M's® caused a slight altercation between Grumpy and me. Yup, we had a little bit of an unsettling moment between us because of them. I made my recipe more than once. That meant I needed more than one bag around the house. See that jar full of candy in the photo above? I filled that jar and happily left if for Grumpy to munch on while I was at my Food Blog Conference. You would have thought that would have been enough for him. I bet you can guess where I am going with this, right? A food blogger's worst nightmare is finding a product or finished recipe gone before they can make the recipe or photograph the final product. I had that nightmare last weekend as I prepared to do a final run of my recipe! I went to the pantry where I had put the bag of M&M's® Crispy only to find that there was only about a cup of them left in the bag! Bad, bad Grumpy. I have a feeling that won't happen again any time soon! Being a seasoned blogger, he knows that for the most part, certain items are "untouchable" until I say so. I think the fact he tasted the candy the week before, "thought" I was done baking, and liked the candy, well, I guess I can't entirely blame him for digging in!
Two rules that should always be enforced in a food blogger home: 1.)Never do you ever eat anything without asking first and 2.) Hide whatever you don't want someone to find and sneak into on you! The effect of following those two rules? Nobody, and I mean nobody has to have any tears over the situation and yes. I did cry. I'm not ashamed to admit it. I only had enough left to make this recipe and no snacking for me while I was doing it.  Do you have any idea how much that hurt? Oh, that was so hard to do!

That said, I have to say that when I saw that my local Walmart had a big M&M's® display back in their candy aisle, I about went crazy. Everything we love and want in one spot! Grumpy's favorite choices have always been the almond and peanut, where mine has always been the crispy choice. I have a feeling after the "situation" I just told you about that Grumpy loves those crispy one just about as much as I do! I think when we go out shopping next weekend I may have to stockpile and "hide". 
I found my M&M's® Crispy in a big display in the candy aisle at my local Walmart
I was in a mood for something chocolate, chewy, creamy and crunchy. I was inspired by a few different recipes I had seen on the internet and came up with this particular outcome. A bottom layer made with chocolate, chocolate cookie butter, and oatmeal as the main flavors. I then spread some chocolate cookie butter over the bottom layer when it was nice and hot (so it would melt) and let it cool for my final part of the recipe - the creamy, fudge like (uncooked) cookie butter layer. 

Need to slip the finished product out of the pan to cut into perfect squares? No problem! I used both a ceramic baking dish and a glass baking dish in testing of this recipe. I only sprayed with cooking spray and these bars slid out very easily when I wanted to cut them.  They need to be completely cooled and sit a few hours after completion of the entire recipe, so if you can wait that long, you can cut them just like I did! 
What would you do with these M&M's® Crispy? Would you create a recipe with them or would you be tempted to just eat them out of the bag (like Grumpy did!). I would tend to do both! If your looking for more great ideas for recipes or party ideas with M&M's® Crispy be sure to check out their social hub!

Optional ingredient suggestions: If you do not have or can't find chocolate cookie butter or regular cookie butter, feel free to use a hazelnut spread or regular peanut butter in place of cookie butter in my recipe. I'm sure the results will be just as tasty!

Cookie Butter Crispy Creme Bars


  • Cookie Base
  • 1-1/2 cup whole oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup chocolate swirled cookie butter plus 1/3 cup for spreading on baked dough
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • Creme Base
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup regular cookie butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (or more if "someone" hasn't eaten them on you!) M&M's® Crispy


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and toffee bits. Set aside
  3. In another medium mixing bowl, mix together the butter, cookie butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract until creamy. 
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mixed until well combined.
  5. Press the cookie base into the bottom of your 9x13 pan covering the entire bottom of pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately spread with 1/3 cup of chocolate cookie butter. Set aside and let cool completely.
  7. Make the creme base by mixing together the butter, cookie butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract until well combined and creamy. Gradually add the flour to the butter mixture mixing well until thoroughly combined. Spread creme base over top of cookie base.
  8. Decorate with M&M's® Crispy and drizzle with melted cookie butter (about 2 tablespoons can be melted in the microwave up to 1-1/2 minutes).
  9. Cut bars into small squares and serve. Store in airtight container.
Makes 36 bars.

March 08, 2015

Jello Poke Cake for #SundaySupper

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An easy way to make an elegant retro recipe dessert using white cake mix drizzled with Black Cherry and Lime Jello over each round of cake. The jello seeps down into the poke holes in the cake making the pretty design, the end result frosted with Cool Whip for a super easy and pretty dessert that impresses!

Want to learn how to make the perfect poke holes for your cake? Be sure to read on to find out my secret!

This week's #SundaySupper Event is being hosted by Heather of Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
Jello Poke Cake was a really popular recipe when I was a young girl in the 70's. It seems Jello itself was a huge ingredient back in the day! My mom made this cake, my Nanny made it and Grumpy tells me his mom it also. I have a feeling that back in the "day" there weren't too many homes that didn't have this cake grace their table at one point in time.  It also happens to be one of Grumpy's favorite recipes!

To get the desired effect, I suggest that you use the wider end of a chopstick to make your poke holes, and make a lot of them. I would also not "pour" the jello over the cake, I would use a tablespoon and gently spoon it over top, being sure to spoon right over those poke holes so the jello will seep down through them. Just look at those beautiful lines in that cake! 

I have never been a big cake mix from a box fan, however, when it comes to making this recipe, I truly recommend it. There is something about the texture of the boxed mix that differs in the way the jello soaks through the cake compared to a homemade cake. Yes my friends, there is a time and place for everything, and the time and place for a cake mix, in my book, is definitely for this recipe.
Be sure to check out the other "Retro Recipe's" for this week's Sunday Supper Event at the end of this post!

Jello Poke Cake

A Retro Recipe
Published 03/08/2015
Jello Poke Cake
Easy to make with a white cake mix! Baked into rounds, drizzled with jello and frosted with cool whip!


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 box black cherry jello
  • 1 box lime jello
  • 2 cups hot boiling water
  • 1-8 ounce container cool whip, thawed in refrigerator


  1. Make the white cake mix per box instructions, following directions for baking in round cake pans. Let cakes cool completeley. Poke holes in cake using the wide end of a chop stick. Push the chop stick through the cake all the way to the bottom of the cake. Repeat several times on cake layer. Set cakes aside.
  2. Place black cherry jello powder and lime jello powder in two separate mixing bowls. Pour 1 cup hot boiling water over each bowl of jello powder, stirring until jello has dissolved. Let cool slightly (about 10 minutes).
  3. With a tablespoon, spoon the black cherry jello over 1 round of cake and then the lime jello over the second round. Cover cake with plastic wrap and store overnight in the refrigerator to allow jello to set.
  4. At least an hour before serving, layer and frost cake with cool whip. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve. Store any leftovers in refrigerator. The cake will store for several days in the refrigerator.
Yield: 12
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 30 mins.
Refrigeration time: 12 hrs. 00 mins.
Total time: 12 hrs. 30 mins.
Tags: retro recipe, jello, cake mix, cool whip, easy recipe

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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

February 22, 2015

Sweet and Salty Popcorn Ball Bites #SundaySupper

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Sweet & Salty Popcorn Ball Bites, the perfect mix of crunch, sweet, salt in a little bite!

These Sweet and Salty Popcorn Ball Bites are the easiest popcorn ball you will ever make, and that is a promise! The caramel is nice and chewy and the salty peanuts, toffee bits, and white chocolate in the recipe put this one at the top of all its competitors in the popcorn ball world. Its really hard to mess this one up and I know because I'm the biggest candy messer-upper of all time!

This week, the Sunday Supper family is celebrating the Oscars with food that will put you in a party mood.  Well, when it comes to movies, who doesn't think popcorn? I decided I would make something special with my popcorn, something that always been a favorite of mine since my young days of trick or treating when our neighbor would give us homemade popcorn balls for our treat. This made popcorn balls a special occasion food for me because we never had them any other time when I was growing up.

This week our #SundaySupper event is being hosted by Katie of Ruffles & Truffles

These were so easy. You don't need a candy thermometer, you will just slowly boil the syrup on the stove for 5 minutes, stirring while boiling so it doesn't burn.  I think the secret ingredient is the karo syrup and sweetened condensed milk.  The latter being the ingredient that made it super successful. You need to let this mixture cool a little bit after pouring over the popcorn because it needs to cool down enough to not melt the white chocolate chips your adding to the mix. I found that after cooling, the chips still melted some, but that wasn't a big deal. They still turned out so yummy I had a hard time leaving them alone!

Be sure to check out the other party foods that the #SundaySupper family is bringing to you this week at the end of this post!

Sweet and Salty Popcorn Ball Bites

a Cooking Light recipe - slightly adapted
Published 02/22/2015
Sweet and Salty Popcorn Ball Bites
Sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy all filling your senses with these perfect little bites!


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 5 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 cups air popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips


  1. Place popcorn in a large bowl. Set aside until syrup is ready.
  2. Combine butter, sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, add condensed milk and continue to boil for 5 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. Pour butter mixture over popcorn and stir gently to coat completely. Set mixture aside to cool about 5 minutes. Toss in peanuts and white chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop out about 1/4 cup measure of popcorn mixture and shape into balls. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with fleur de sel. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 25 mins.
Total time: 25 mins.

Nominees for Best Supporting Appetizers:
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