Double Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Oh yeah, you know you want those, right?

One picture is not enough for these sweet babies. Played Bunco last night with a bunch of good friends and made these sweeties for the treat. They are awesome and pretty easy to make.

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

1 3/4 cups sugar, plus more for rolling

1 egg

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 – 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips

1 Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment.

2 Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium size bowl.

3 Beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

4 Put about 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Scoop dough into about 2 tablespoon size and roll into balls then roll in sugar until coated. Place 8 balls on a cookie sheet.

5 Bake 12 – 14 minutes or until sides are set and tops begin to crackle, about 12 – 14 minutes. Let sit on pans for about 5 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.

recipe from Sarah Kieffer’s 100 Cookies

Beef Noodle Skillet

I don’t know about you but where I live we are just being bombarded with snow and it’s so cold! I’ve been on the lookout for some hearty winter meals and this one was great! Another pretty easy, one pot meal for a cold winter’s night.

2 tablespoons butter

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground beef

3 tablespoons tomato paste

12 oz egg noodles (No Yolks brand egg noodles recommended

2 tablespoons mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

2 1/2 cups beef broth

a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons heavy cream

salt and pepper

1 In a large skillet, combine butter, onion, garlic, and ground beef. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Drain excess grease but leave a little for flavor.

2 Stir in tomato paste and let cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add noodles, mustard, paprika, beef broth, Worcestershire, and 1 cup hot water. Stir to cover, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is just about al dente and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.

3 Add sour cream and heavy cream, stir in and cook for about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

recipe from The Pioneer Woman

One Pot Sausage Pasta

This was a hit with everyone here, highly recommend! Easy to make and don’t you just love a one pot meal?

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

1 yellow onion, diced

2 teaspoons oregano

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

salt and pepper

1 (28 oz) can tomato puree

2 tablespoons tomato paste

4 cups chicken broth

1 pound fusilli pasta

1/3 cup mascarpone cheese

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

10 – 12 basil leaves, plus more for topping

1 In a large deep skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sausage, cook and crumble until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent and sausage is well browned, 5 – 7 minutes.

2 Add oregano, fennel seeds, garlic, salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine. Add tomato puree, tomato paste, chicken broth and stir to make sure everything is well combined.

3 Add pasta and stir until it is totally covered in sauce. Turn heat to low and put lid on pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta has absorbed the liquid and is tender, about 20 minutes.

4 Turn off the heat. Add mascarpone and stir to combine. Add mozzarella and stir until melted. Add Parmesan and basil, tearing large leaves as needed. Garnish with more Parmesan and basil leaves.

recipe from The Pioneer Woman

Oreo Ice Cream Pie

I made a couple of Oreo Ice Cream Pies yesterday for my friend Paul.

Paul helped me out one night in a blizzard on the way home from work and I made him tell me his favorite dessert so I could thank him for being there for me. Don’t they look delic?

Here’s what it looked like before the whipped cream, YUM-O!

CRUST

1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (that’s about 18 regular stuff Oreos, I pulverized them in my food processor)

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

FILLING

4 cups Oreo Ice Cream (I took it out of the freezer right when I started and it was just about melted enough when I got to it)

12 Oreo Cookies, crushed (I broke them up with my hands so they would be chunky)

TOPPING

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup Oreo Cookie crumbs (I decided to leave these out of the whipped cream layer because there was already a lot of Oreos in the pie)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 For the crust, stir together Oreo crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a pie plate.

2 For the filling, stir together the ice cream and crushed Oreos. Spread carefully over cookie layer in pie plate.

3 For the topping, beat on medium high to high the cream, sugar, Oreos, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread over ice cream layer.

4 Freeze for 4 hours before serving.

recipe from Dinner then Dessert

Salted Caramel Pecan Pie

Isn’t that a beautiful pie? I’m pretty proud of it and it tasted amazing as well! For those of you who follow my blog, you will already know that I am a pretty good baker but I struggle with yeast breads and pies so this was a major accomplishment. Highly recommend!

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup butter

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon sea salt

3 eggs

2 cups pecan halves

1 refrigerated pie crust, follow instructions on box for bringing to room temperature

1 Stir together sugar, water, and corn syrup in a large skillet. Cook over medium high heat, without stirring, for 8 – 10 minutes or until mixture turns a deep honey color. Remove from heat.

2 Add butter and stir until melted. Gradually stir in cream. Stir in sea salt.

3 Pour mixture in a large bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.

4 Preheat oven to 350.

5 Whisk eggs into cooled caramel mixture then stir in pecans.

6 Unroll pie crust and shape it to fit a 9″ pie pan. Fold edges under and crimp.

7 Pour filling into crust. Bake for 50 -55 minutes.

recipe from Spicy Southern Kitchen

Candy Cane Reindeer Pops

Aren’t they cute? Again another easy treat to put together and also another fun one for kids to try. I just love Christmas!

1 bag chocolate candy melts

1 box mini candy canes

1 package lollipop sticks

1 box red hots

1 package small candy eyes

1 Melt candy melts according to package directions.

2 Lay out a piece of parchment or wax paper on a work surface.

3 Place two candy canes in a heart shape on the paper. Place a lollipop stick at the bottom point of the heart. Carefully spread a spoonful of chocolate into the heart, adjusting candy canes and lollipop stick as needed to keep shape of heart.

4 Place a red hot at the bottom tip of the heart then place two candy eyes right below the V in the heart.

5 Let chocolate set before moving them.

recipe from Finding Zest

Christmas Graham Crackers

I thought these little Pretzel Christmas trees that I made the other day seemed lonely so I put them on a graham cracker with a chocolate snowman and they seemed much happier and I was happier too because I got to keep playing with food.

1 bag white candy melts

1 box graham crackers

1 bag Ghirardelli Chocolate Snowmen

1 batch of Pretzel Christmas trees, instructions here

snowflake sprinkles

1 Melt candy melts according to package directions.

2 Lay out a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on a work surface.

3 Dip long end of a graham cracker in the candy melts and shake gently to remove excess chocolate. Set carefully on the parchment paper, add a chocolate snowman, a pretzel Christmas tree, and some snowflake sprinkles. Let sit until chocolate is set.

Easy Pretzel Christmas Trees

Aren’t they adorable? And so easy to make too! It would be a fun project with the kiddos.

1 bag green candy melts

1 bag stick pretzels

star sprinkles

Christmas sprinkles

1 Lay out a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper on a work surface.

2 Melt candy melts according to package directions.

3 Place 3 pretzels on the parchment paper in a triangle shape with the tip of the triangle at the top. Carefully place a spoonful of the melted candy melts into your pretzel triangle and spread carefully to cover, moving pretzels back into shape as needed.

4 Place a star sprinkle at the top then cover the rest with Christmas sprinkles.

5 Let set before removing from parchment paper.

inspiration from Fab Everyday

Christmas Treat Trays

I’ve hosted a couple of Christmas gathering this year – one for my Bunco group and the other for my Book Group and I wanted to do something fun for the dessert. Last year I did Chacuterie dessert boards which was fun but also a lot so this year I decided to make little individual treat trays.

I found these cute trays at the Dollar Store, score! They were the perfect size for my idea.

Then I hit up Trader Joe’s and I was on my way! I’ll give you a list below of some of the things that were in the trays.

Trader Joes Candy Cane Joe Joes Sandwich Cookies

Trader Joe’s Baton Lover’s Quartet Rolled Wafter Cookies

Mini Stroop Waffles (I dipped these in chocolate and topped them with sprinkles)

Trader Joe’s Mini Dark Chocolate Mint Stars

Trader Joe’s Sweet and Salty Snack Mix (which I put in a Christmas cupcake liner in the middle of the trays)

Pepperidge Farm Milano Slices Peppermint Cookies

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Peppermint Chocolate White chocolate

Oreo Thins dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with peppermint

I’m probably forgetting some things but you get the idea! Everyone really liked this treat and I think I’ll do it again and mix up the things in the tray.

Pretzel Christmas Wreaths

Here’s a cute and easy Christmas treat you could do with the kids, little older kids maybe.

1 bag Wilton green candy melts

1 bag tiny twist pretzels

Christmas sprinkles

1 Melt candy melts according to package directions.

2 Lay out a large piece of parchment paper or wax paper on a work surface. Using a medium size biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter as a guide, draw a circle on the paper.

3 Dip bottom of pretzel in melted candy melts and lay along circular guide. Repeat until you have a full wreath shape. Now repeat with another layer on top of the first, the pretzels do not have to line up.

4 Now cover with desired Christmas sprinkles and jimmies. Let candy melts set before removing from paper.

idea from “Young Wild Me Family” on Instagram