Hot Cocoa Cookies

I was going to take my sweet time in writing the blog post for these cookies, until last Thursday happened.

Last Thursday I attended a cookie swap mom’s night out with my MOPS group. <link>

There were prizes awarded for best decorated and best tasting.

Guess who brought the best tasting cookie?

If you’re thinking, “Well if it wasn’t you than this is a terrible story.” You’d be right. It was me!

I had shared a Facebook video of some chocolate cookies with marshmallows and chocolate icing and sprinkles on my Facebook page with the caption “I know what I’m making for this year’s cookie exchange!”

And I did! And they were fantastic! They literally taste like a rich cup of hot chocolate, the real stuff.

So now I’m typing this post up on my phone in the Whole Foods parking lot while the boys take a late afternoon nap.

This recipe makes 39 cookies.

Hot Cocoa Cookies

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Mini marshmallows (2-3 per cookie) or 20 large marshmallows

Ingredients for icing:

  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 C hot water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat melt the butter and chocolate. Let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until combined. Add in the melted chocolate and mix well. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. Refrigerate an hour to over night.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with silipat mats.
  5. Using a tablespoon measure scoop batter and roll into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets and gently flatten. Bake 12-15 minutes, until they just start to set.
  6. Meanwhile, cut marshmallows in half.
  7. Remove cookies from the oven and press 4-6 mini marshmallow halves or 1 large marshmallow half on top of each cookie, cut side down. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Allow cookies too cool on the baking sheets.
  9. Make the icing: Combine ingredients and spoon over cooked cookies. Decorate cookies with sprinkles before the icing sets. Allow the finished cookies to cool 30 minutes before storing and serving.

*This recipe is adapted from Glory at http://www.glorioustreats.com/2013/12/hot-cocoa-cookies.html*

Hot Cocoa Cookies | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

The Anything Bag

It’s FINALLY time for a sewing post!

This blog is titled SEW You Think You Can Cook after all.

My latest Thursday Thoughts post was about carving out some “me time” after the kids go to bed. One of the hobbies I wanted to get back to was sewing.

So how many times have I pulled out my sewing machine since September?

2. 2 times.

Sure, I’ve got excuses: husband’s travel, too many dishes, toys to be fixed, online shopping, birthdays and holidays, etc.

But! Bedtime (KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD) has been going really well this month so it’s all good. In fact, my husband asked me if we could “cancel Christmas” to not mess with the magic that’s been happening.

With the holiday season right around the corner I knew I couldn’t procrastinate sharing this sewing tutorial any longer. You can give your gift in one of these bags and it’s a two-for-one!

The Anything Bag (1) | Sew You Think You Can Cook

This “anything bag” was given to Firecracker on his 2nd birthday from a friend who does manage to break out her sewing machine. The bag has been filled with wooden toy trains for the past year and a half.

As the Hotwheels car collection grew and grew I knew I needed more of these bags. My friend gave me the tutorial, I bought some fabric (actually, another friend found some Cars scrap fabric for me), and it sat there. For months.

I’d finally admitted confusion and defeat and sent the supplies to my mother-in-law. She returned the supplies in the format of a cars bag the following week! She assured me, as did my friend, that the bag is quite easy and quick to sew together – once you figure out how.

With the promise of teaching me in person on her next visit, we went to “the mother ship” as she calls it (Joann’s) to gather more fabric for some more bags. I now needed a large one for PAW Patrol toys (truth be told, I need a second large bag for PAW Patrol toys after Treat’s second birthday!).

The Anything Bag (2) | Sew You Think You Can Cook

I took step by step notes to develop a tutorial in my own words. We didn’t take pictures, though. We established, that for the purpose of a blog post, we needed to work with something smaller. Photos of large pieces of fabric simply don’t help the reader visualize each step. Additionally, I used two different fabric colors for the casing to make the steps easier to see. Using two different fabrics is not necessary as one side will not be visible in the completed bag.

My mother-in-law left. But only one or two weeks went by before I got my sewing machine back out and made the bag you’ll see here! It took just under an hour, but I’d uncovered some verbiage that confused me and I learned how better to describe this tutorial. The following week I made a second smaller bag (I do have two children after all!) and it only took me 30 minutes!

The Anything Bag (3) | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Here’s how to make The Anything Bag

Before you get started, you need to decide how big of a bag you want to make. You can do any size you want! The only things you need to do to ensure it’ll all work out are:

  • both bag fabrics are the same size
  • the casing is cut to a minimum 3″ width and a maximum length 1″ shorter than the width of your bag fabric
  • the drawstring is longer than the circumference of the bag

Examples:

  • The trains bag
    • bag fabric 22.5″ x 13″ (2)
    • casing 21.5″ x 4″ (2)
    • drawstring 45″ x 3″ (1-pieced)
  • The PAW Patrol bag
    • bag fabric 33″ x 13″ (2)
    • casing 32″ x 4″ (2)
    • drawstring 65″ x 3″ (1-pieced) *I actually find this drawstring to be way too long
  • The tutorial bag *I’m guestimating here as I used scrap fabric to piece everything together
    • bag fabric 9.5″ x 9.5″ (2)
    • casing 8.5″ x 3.5″ (2)
    • drawstring 18″ x 3″ (1-pieced)

Use a 1/4″ seam allowance unless otherwise stated.

Sew your two casing pieces together, right sides together, on the short end.

Casing step 1

Fold, right sides in, and sew the second short end. You now have a ring. Iron the seams and then flip it right side out.

IMG_4798

Fold the casing hotdog style and iron it flat.

IMG_4799

Lay out one piece of your bag fabric, right side up on the table. Place your folded casing, opening up, at the top of the bag fabric in the center, ensuring that there is a 1/2″ from each end. Place the second piece of bag fabric, right side down, on top, making a sandwich.

bag assembly

Pin, and sew along that top edge. Iron.

Open up the bag, and fold hotdog style, right sides in. The casing will be in the center of the bag.

bag assembly 2

Sew along the 3 open edges, leaving a 3″ gap on one side to pull the bag right side out. Option to trim the corners of excess seam fabric; doing so will reduce the bulk in the corners of the bag. Pull the bag right side out through your 3″ gap.

IMG_4803

Fold the opening edges of that 3″ gap in, iron, and top stitch closed. Press one side of the bag into the bag to create the reversible bag.

IMG_4804

Now, make the drawstring. (Option – to use a piece of nice ribbon, rope, or shoelace instead!)

Fold the ends 1/4″ in. Iron. Fold the entire fabric hotdog style. Iron. Tuck the length in on itself again. Iron.

Starting with the short ends first, top stitch with an 1/8″ seam allowance around the edges.

Thread the drawstring through the casing. Center it. Option to sew a straight line through the casing, holding the drawstring in place. Tie the ends for a finished look.

The Anything Bag Tutorial | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

 

 

#MuffinMonday: Shoofly Muffins

Muffin Monday It’s time for another Monday filled with muffins!

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins to brighten their Mondays. There isn’t a theme to #MuffinMonday posts so anything goes, as long as it’s a muffin!

You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

The Shoofly Muffins I’m sharing with you today come from our favorite cookbook of all time,  Brunch at Bobby’s! It’s the only muffin recipe in this book yet is quintessential Bobbby Flay. The molasses in this muffin gives this sweet breakfast treat that punch of flavor and slight smokiness the chef is known for in his cooking.

If you’re making gingerbread cookies this holiday baking season, save some of that molasses for these muffins!

In the summer of 2012 my husband had corrective eye surgery. It’s crazy to think that our kids have never known their dad with glasses! We were married in 2010 and it’s incredible to look back at pictures from our first two years of marriage.

“People change after marriage” is a common adage that’s typically given a negative connotation. Unlike the cartoon figures of men gaining weight and “giving up,” my husband has done the opposite! (With the exception of getting grey hairs; love you, hun!)  He’s dropped the video game play and picked up adventure racing and Crossfit. Looking at photos from our wedding day, he looks like such a baby!

While in Biloxi (sorry about that detour there!) we had dinner at a restaurant called Shoofly…something. I don’t even know if it’s still around. To be honest I don’t even remember anything about the food, but it was in a beautiful setting on the water with an incredible sunset.

Now I’ve never had a shoofly pie so I can’t provide any insight on if this muffin really does taste like the pie that requires shooing of flies. 

This recipe makes one dozen muffins.

Shoofly Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 stick cold butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 C boiling water
  • 1/2 C molasses
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, brown sugar, allspice, and salt. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Set aside 1/2 C of the mixture.
  3. To the remaining flour and butter mixture, add the baking soda, boiling water, molasses, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 of the way full. Top with the reserved butter and flour mixture. Bake 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

*This recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay’s  Brunch at Bobby’s*

Shoofly Muffins for #MuffinMonday from Sew You Think You Can Cook

And don’t forget to check out these other muffin recipes:

Apple Butter Muffin Tops from Farm Fresh Feasts

Apple Streusel Muffins from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Beet Muffins from Passion Kneaded

Candied Fruit Christmas Muffins from Food Lust People Love

Crab Corn Muffin from Kelli’s Kitchen

Fruitcake Muffins from Palatable Pastime

Jim ‘n Nick’s Cheesy Muffins – Copycat from Making Miracles

Shoofly Muffins from Sew You Think You Can Cook

#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars

It’s the final day of #CranberryWeek hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking. We’ve been sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

My husband chipped away at the dish full of cranberry cream cheese bars with a warmed serving after the boys went to bed. I think he used it as his source of energy before tackling the dishes from dinner. 😉

I on the other hand, would have a little bit in the morning around 10 am. You know, when my first breakfast has worn off but it’s too close to lunch to have a second breakfast.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)

I really like desserts that are acceptable for my mid-morning snack. The crust of these bars is made of oats – breakfast. The filling involves cream cheese – breakfast. Cranberries are a fruit – breakfast!

I liked eating my cranberry deliciousness with whipped cream, but no one would complain if you served yours with vanilla ice cream.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C + 1 tbsp sugar, divided use
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 C key lime juice (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 can (16 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, oats, brown sugar, 1/4 C sugar, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and the butter with a hand mixer. Set aside 1 1/2 C. Press the remaining mixture into the prepared pan. Bake 12 – 15 minutes, until golden. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add in the condensed milk, key lime juice, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Spread over the baked crust.
  4. In a small bowl combine the cranberry sauce, cornstarch, and remaining tablespoon of sugar. Evenly distribute over the cream cheese.
  5. Top with the remaining oat mixture.
  6. Bake 40 – 45 minutes, until golden.

*This recipe is adapted from Danelle at https://www.letsdishrecipes.com/2014/12/cranberry-cream-cheese-bars-with-quaker-whole-grain-oats.html*

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great cranberry recipes:

Cranberry Bliss Bars (Starbucks Copycat) from Family Around The Table

Cranberry Clementine Gin from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cranberry Clusters by The Freshman Cook

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cranberry-Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bark from Books n’ Cooks

TBD from Palatable Pastime

Panettone from Caroline’s Cooking

You Make Me Blush Cocktail by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Warm Cranberry Punch from Everyday Eileen

 

#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Tandoori Chicken

It’s day four of #CranberryWeek hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking. We’re sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

I always like to do a savory item during these events, particularly when we’re celebrating a fruit that’s sweet and tart. Going savory with cranberry isn’t too difficult given it pairs so well with every item of Thanksgiving dinner!

I was going to make a cranberry balsamic roasted chicken but then I noticed someone else had planned to share a cranberry balsamic chicken! I’d already done the shopping list for chicken dish idea number one so I had to improvise with something new.

I took the original idea and combined it with a cranberry curry recipe  I’d found. I didn’t have curry powder (I thought I did) but found some tandoori seasoning my sister-in-law gave me. I read the ingredient list and thought those flavors complimented cranberries perfectly! Game on.

I roasted the chicken to achieve a crispy skin, served it with rice, and the tandoori-cranberry sauce. It has heat, it has tart, it has sweet. A fabulous twist on a week night chicken dinner.

An Original Recipe

Cranberry Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 6 – 9 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken
  • 1 1/2 tsp tandoori seasoning, divided use
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 can (10 oz) Rotel
  • 1 C vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 C dried cranberries
  • 1 C fresh cranberries

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a metal cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Season chicken on both sides with S+P and 1 tsp tandoori seasoning. Place, skin side up on the prepared cooling rack. Bake 40 – 45 minutes.
  3. In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and mustard seeds 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/2 tsp tandoori seasoning, ginger, and cardamom, coating the onions. Cook another minute. Add in the Rotel, broth, dried cranberries, and fresh cranberries. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until reduced to a chutney-like consistency, about 20 minutes.
  4. Serve chicken with rice and top with the cranberry mixture.

Cranberry Tandoori Chicken for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other cranberry recipes:

Apple Cranberry Crisp from Everyday Eileen

Cranberry Apple Jam from Cookaholic Wife

Cranberry Chicken from Frugal Pantry

Banana Cranberry Pistachio Muffins with Chocolate Glaze from The Crumby Kitchen

Cranberry Pound Cake from Palatable Pastime

Cranberry Tandoori Chicken from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Oatmeal Cranberry Pancakes from Jonesin’ For Taste

Orange Cranberry Bundt Cake from A Day In The Life On the Farm

Sparkling Bay Breeze from Family Around The Table

 

#CranberryWeek: White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip

It’s day three of #CranberryWeek hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking. We’re sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

I made this dip last year at Christmas and it was enjoyed by all. Who doesn’t love a dip in a bread bowl!? I held on to it hoping that #CranberryWeek would indeed return in 2017.

White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip for #CranberryDip from Sew You Think You Can Cook

The photos taken at my parents’ house last year were not worth editing and I knew I’d have to make this dip again. It’s still delicious – the cheddar cheese has a bite that challenges that of the fresh cranberry while the cranberry sauce lends just a back-note of sweetness.

White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 C shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 C shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 block (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 C cranberry sauce
  • 1 sourdough boule loaf

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together shredded cheese and cream cheese until combined. (Option to reserve some of the cheddar cheese for topping.) Fold in the cranberries and cranberry sauce.
  3. Create a bowl from the sourdough by cutting the top and scooping out the insides, leaving enough thickness for a wall. Cube up the removed bread for serving.
  4. Pour cheese mixture into the bread bowl. Place on a baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Top with reserved cheese, if desired, and broil until golden.
  5. Serve with cubed sourdough bread, vegetables, and crackers.

*This recipe is adapted from https://californiagoldminer.com/recipe/white-cheddar-cranberry-dip*

White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great cranberry recipes:

Butternut Squash Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries and Fennel from Caroline’s Cooking

Cranberry Almond Chicken Salad Wraps from Family Around The Table

Cranberry Cheeseball by The Freshman Cook

Cranberry Cobbler from Cookaholic Wife

Cranberry Gremolata from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cranberry Orange Relish from Books n’ Cooks

Jellied Cranberry Sauce from Palatable Pastime

Orange Cranberry Sweet Rolls from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Pear Holly Cocktail from Bear & Bug Eats

Roasted Green Beans with Cranberries from Making Miracles

Slow Cooker Cranberry BBQ Chicken from Jonesin’ For Taste

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pot Roast from Everyday Eileen

White Cheddar and Cranberry Dip from Sew You Think You Can Cook

White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies from House of Nash Eats

#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Cider Punch

It’s the second day of #CranberryWeek hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking. We’re sharing cranberry-inspired creations all week long in celebration of national cranberry day. Search #CranberryWeek to keep up to date and follow the #CranberryWeek Pinterest board for more cranberry inspiration.

Cranberry Cider Punch for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Do you have a themed beverage at your holiday gatherings?

I’ve done one for The 4th of July and for Auburn game day (both of those a sangria). Surprisingly, I’ve not done one for Thanksgiving or Christmas! How is that possible?!

This punch I’m sharing for #CranberryWeek is non-alcoholic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little something to it should you desire.

The simple syrup created for this drink uses brown sugar instead of granulated sugar, giving it a beautiful Autumn color. Star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange impart their flavor on the sweetener.

Burst cranberries provide a bit of pizzazz that dress this punch up for holiday season.

Cranberry Cider Punch for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

Cranberry Cider Punch

Ingredients:

  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 C water, divided use
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 1/2 small clementine peel
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 C fresh cranberries
  • 3 C apple cider
  • 1 1/2 C cranberry juice
  • 1 bottle (12.7 oz) ginger beer

Steps:

  1. Make simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, 1 C water, cinnamon sticks, star anise, clementine peel, and nutmeg. Bring to a low boil until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
  2. Put cranberries and remaining 1/3 C water in a small skillet. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst. Remove from heat.
  3. In a pitcher (or punch bowl), combine the cider, cranberry juice, 2/3 C simple syrup, and ginger beer. Gently stir to combine.
  4. Serve over crushed ice and garnish with burst cranberries.

*This recipe is adapted from Jessica at https://www.howsweeteats.com/2014/11/cranberry-cider-punch/*

Cranberry Cider Punch for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (3)

Be sure to check out these other great cranberry recipes:

Cranberry Chicken Salad Wrap by Making Miracles

Cranberry Dijon Ham by Cookaholic Wife

Cranberry Cider Punch by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cranberry Margaritas by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Cranberry Orange Wild Rice by Jonesin’ for Taste

Fresh Cranberry Muffins by Family Around the Table

Pickled Cranberries by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Salad with Cranberry, Pear, Walnuts and Gorgonzola by Palatable Pastime