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

#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

 

Gingerbread Mummies

 

Halloween is next Tuesday, which means we’ve made it to the end of my themed Halloween week.

The true reason for choosing the theme of mummy this year was to make gingerbread mummies. I’ve seen these pop up on Pinterest every Halloween and it’s one of those “I wish I thought of that” moments. I think they’re completely adorable!

There’s nothing that says you have to use a gingerbread cookie recipe, but it is quite a fun way to transition into the holiday season everyone is really waiting for.

Gingerbread cookies aren’t my favorite, but after this recipe they very well might be! This particular recipe has a perfect balance of ginger and cinnamon, of sugar and spice.

The boys loved helping make these cookies – particularly touching the frosting of every single mummy, forcing us to keep (and eat) all of the decorated cookies for ourselves.

Halloween Gingerbread Cookies | Sew You Think You Can Cook

We made a sheet-full of small gingerbread men to turn into mummies with the leftover candy melts I had from the mummy caramel apples. By all means use your favorite recipe for royal icing or a store bought tube of decorating frosting.

We turned the rest of the dough into fun Halloween shapes -bats, cats, ghosts and pumpkins! I shared these non-child-contaminated cookies with my Bible study group.

This recipe makes approximately 4-5 dozen cookies.

Gingerbread Mummies

Ingredients:

  • 4 C flour
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 C molasses
  • white candy melts, or other white frosting

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg, mixing until incorporated. Add in the molasses, mixing until combined. Slowly add in the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Roll the dough to 1/6″ thickness. Cut out gingerbread men and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  6. Decorate mummies with frosting.

*This recipe is adapted from https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/gingerbread-cookie-cutouts*

Gingerbread Mummy Cookies | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Mummy Caramel Apples

We’re just over a week away from Halloween (not that you’d know it from all the Christmas paraphernalia in the stores already) and that means it’s time for my week long theme!

Halloween isn’t my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving wins that honor), but when it comes to blogging I look forward to my themed week the most.

It will be hard to beat the Harry Potter theme last year, but what I’ve got in store for you this week is simply too cute to resist!

I’ve been contemplating this mummy theme for a few years now, honestly, and I’m excited to finally be bringing it to you!

We’re going to start with caramel apples, which get the adorable mummy treatment.

Caramel apples have never been my go-to treat, but after a recent trip to Disneyland, I’m now hooked!

Mummy Caramel Apples (baby) | Sew You Think You Can Cook

While walking around main street to find a place to watch the parade, I caught a glimpse of a caramel apple in a shop window. I immediately decided I needed one – I was craving something sweet yet fresh and I thought a bright Granny Smith apple coated in caramel would do the trick. It did take a while before I finally found that apple – in the Winnie-the-Pooh part of the park making it that much better!

Mummy Caramel Apples (toddler) | Sew You Think You Can CookI made 6 caramel apples for this blog post and I have no shame in saying that I personally ate 5 of them! My afternoon apple and Nutella snack simply got replaced with a mummy caramel apple. And it was glorious, and might just have ruined regular apples forever. Firecracker took all the slices with eye candies.

Mummy Caramel Apples

Ingredients:

  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 6 popsicle sticks, skewers, or cocktail stirrers
  • 14 oz caramel squares, unwrapped
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • white candy melts
  • 12 candy eyes

Steps:

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry the apples and remove the stem. Carefully push the popsicle sticks into the stem of the apples.
  2. In a microwaveable bowl, combine the caramels and the cream. Microwave 1-2 minutes, until caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds.
  3. Dip the apples into the melted caramel, working quickly and carefully. Place coated apples on a parchment lined tray and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
  4. Melt the candy melts according to package instructions. Use a spoon to drizzle the candy over the caramel apples, to create a mummy. Dip two candy eyes into the candy melt and stick to the apple. Repeat for all 6 apples and return to the refrigerator to set.

Mummy Caramel Apples | Sew You Think You Can Cook

 

#AppleWeek: Apple Pie Bread

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Welcome to the final day of #AppleWeek hosted by Carlee of Cooking with Carleee! Over 2 dozen bloggers have been celebrating the humble apple and elevating it into over 80 sensational recipes.

For my final offering of the week, I went with a dessert. While, the recipe title says “bread,” there’s no fooling. This “bread” is a cake. It starts by creaming together butter and sugar. Don’t be fooled by the loaf pan, you’re having cake for breakfast and it’s fantastic.

Apple Pie Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 C milk

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla until fully incorporated. Add in the flour and baking powder, mixing until combined. Add the milk until the batter is smooth.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Top with half of the brown sugar mixture and half of the chopped apple. Repeat with the remaining batter, brown sugar, and apple.
  5. Bake 40 – 45 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Ashely at https://wishesndishes.com/cinnamon-apple-pie-bread/*

Apple Pie Bread for #AppleWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

When I received the Sandwich Hero knife from Chicago Cutlery for #AppleWeek I knew my final recipe just had to be a bread (okay, cake) of some kind. This knife has all sorts of hidden special talents and can handle most any task in the kitchen. For the use of cutting this bread/cake, it handled the mission wonderfully. I could cut through the sweet treat without crushing it or mashing the apples into the crumb.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a knife block from Chicago Cutlery, and check out some great apple recipes:

Apfelstrudel Recipe (Apple Strudel from Scratch) from House of Nash Eats
Apple and Onion Cornbread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Apple Butter Cheesecake from The Redhead Baker
Apple Chicken Stew from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Apple Cider Dark & Stormy from The Crumby Kitchen
Apple Mincemeat Pie from Palatable Pastime
Apple Pie Bread from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Apple Pie Pancakes from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Apple Praline Bread from Family Around the Table
Apple Stuffing Crusted Pork Chops from Caroline’s Cooking
Battered Chocolate Caramel Apple Slices from The Freshman Cook
Caramel Apple Pull Apart Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Apple Crack Slaw Eggrolls from Dad What’s 4 Dinner
Cinnamon Apple Donuts from Daily Dish Recipes
Diminutive Caramel Apples from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Easy Caramel Apple Butter from Grumpy’s Honeybunch
Fast and Easy Peanut Butter Yogurt Fruit Dip from Cooking With Carlee
Mom’s Apple Cake from Books n’ Cooks
Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Roasted Butternut Squash and Apples from Simple and Savory
Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples from Feeding Big
Savory Apple Turkey Brie Galette from Bear & Bug Eats
Swiss Vegetarian Autumn Lasagna With Apples & Squash from All That’s Jas

Disclaimer: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

#AppleWeek: Apple Cinnamon Rolls

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It’s the second day of #AppleWeek and time for my first recipe! I will be sharing three recipes throughout the week and decided to break them into a breakfast dish, a savory dish, and a dessert.

I’ve already done a German apple pancake this year, so naturally the next logical step is cinnamon rolls.

We love cinnamon rolls and when I make them from scratch the weekend just seems that much better. Instead of going with my typical Christmas morning cinnamon roll dough, I opted for a more busy morning friendly recipe – one hour cinnamon rolls.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients for Rolls:

  • 1 C warm milk (105-110 deg F)
  • 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast (I used Red Star Platinum)
  • 1/2 C sugar, divided use (I used Dixie Crystals)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 4-4 1/2 C flour
  • 1/3 C butter, at room temperature
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled and finely diced

Ingredients for Icing:

  • 1/4 C butter, at room temperature
  • 2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 C powdered sugar

Steps:

  1. Dissolve yeast and 1 tbsp sugar into the warm milk. Let proof 5 – 10 minutes.
  2. Place 4 C flour, remaining sugar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the yeast mixture and stir on low. Add the egg and oil. Once the dough starts to come together switch the paddle attachment for the dough hook and knead 5 minutes. Add flour 2 tbsp at a time, as needed. Let rest 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  4. Roll dough out on a floured surface into an 18″ x 24″ rectangle. Spread the dough with the softened butter. Distribute the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly, pressing lightly. Add the diced apple.
  5. Roll the dough lengthwise and gently pinch the seam closed. Cut into 1 1/2″ cinnamon rolls. Place cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 – 25 minutes, until lightly golden.
  6. Make the frosting: In a medium bowl, whip together the butter and cream cheese using a hand mixer. Add in the corn syrup, vanilla, and lemon juice. Mix until incorporated. Add in the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  7. Allow cinnamon rolls to cool slightly before frosting.

*This recipe is adapted from Lauren at https://www.laurenslatest.com/1-hour-cinnabon-cinnamon-rolls-best/*

Apple Cinnamon Rolls for #AppleWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Dreamfarm provided #AppleWeek bloggers with a set of their Levups and a set of Levoons and my kids instantly became obsessed with them (see!). Firecracker can’t wait to help with baking even more than usual when I pull out these helpful gadgets.

Dreamfarm

When it comes to baking, precision in measurements is key to achieving that perfect cake or bread. These products help make that possible. They have a leveling scraper that you can pinch across the top of your measuring cup/spoon. It’s pretty fun. (Check out my Instagram video of the Levups in action here!)

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for your own set of Levups and set of Levoons, and check out some great apple recipes:
Apple Almond Butter Manchego Grilled Cheese from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Apple Almond Chicken Salad from Books n’ Cooks
Apple Bacon Jam from Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids
Apple Cinnamon Rolls from Sew You Think You Can Cook
Apple Fritter Pie from Dad What’s 4 Dinner
Apple Nachos from Simple and Savory
Apple Pecan Chicken Salad from The Chef Next Door
Apple Turnovers from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Applesauce Cake with Soft Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting from Cooking With Carlee
Autumn Apple Sipper from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Bavarian Apple Oatmeal Streusel Cheesecake from All That’s Jas
Caramel Apple Cupcakes from Amy’s Cooking Adventures
Grilled Apple Tossed Salad from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Mini Apple Muffins with Oatmeal Streusel Topping from Family Around the Table
Nutmeg Apple Conserve from Feeding Big
Red Cabbage with Apple from Palatable Pastime
Roasted Apple and White Cheddar Soup from 4 Sons ‘R’ Us
Sauerkraut & Sausage with Apples from House of Nash Eats

Disclaimer: Thank you to #AppleWeek Sponsors: Rodelle, Dreamfarm, Casabella, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Pryex, Chicago Cutlery, Rainier Fruit, and Veggie Wash for providing prizes for #AppleWeek free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #AppleWeek. All opinions are my own.

Blackberry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies #DarkRecipes #SolarEclipse

Are you in the path of totality for the solar eclipse today? If you are, I am so incredibly jealous!

The pastor of our church actually headed out of town back to her home state of Nebraska where her family farm will experience the magic and wonder. I’m kind of wondering why we didn’t think to make a vacation out of the once-in-a-lifetime event.

I’ve been nervous though about protecting my children.

the boys

I know the approved solar eclipse glasses are not exactly kid approved – definitely not toddler approved! My children don’t exactly keep things on their faces anyway.

My mom shared some great pinhole projector ideas, one of which involves making one of out a box large enough to stick your head into. That definitely seems like the safest bet for my rascals – just stuff their head in a box and that should protect their eyes!

The local library has an event going on and I was super pumped to go to it. But the more I thought about it, the more I figured it probably wouldn’t be the safest idea. Could I really keep an eye on my two high-energy boys amidst a sea of over 100 people and get a chance to view the eclipse through glasses? I have to go with the non-selfish vote of “no.”

Our balcony doesn’t get sunlight in the morning, when the partial eclipse is supposed to happen for us in SoCal, so using a colander to project the shadows onto the ground isn’t going to work well, either.

We might be able to go to the playground. It’s not like my children look up at the sun on a regular basis anyway. And they are so young that they’re not going to understand the beauty of the event. Only problem for me is that I won’t have glasses (I was counting on using those provided by the library!).

Watch it be cloudy anyway and all my fretting is for nothing.

If you haven’t caught the eclipse frenzy you can fake it with some dark recipes. Kind of like that big football game you pretend to care about just for the food. Thanks to Sue of Palatable Pastime for coming up with and hosting this event!

Blackberry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • milk, if needed
  • blackberry jam

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, chocolate extract, and salt until smooth.
  3. Add in the flour and cocoa powder and beat until the dough comes together. If it is too dry, add in a tablespoon or two of milk.
  4. Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball, place on a prepared baking sheet, flatten slightly, and press your thumb (or a small spoon) in the center.
  5. Bake 15-17 minutes, until set. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Once cool, fill thumbprints with blackberry jam.

*This recipe is adapted from Grishma and Vikas at http://www.feastie.com/recipe/zaika-zabardast/blackforest-thumbprints*

Blackberry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies for #DarkRecipes #SolarEclipse

Be sure to check out these other Dark Recipes for the Solar Eclipse:

Chinese Mooncakes (Snow Skin Mooncakes) by Caroline’s Cooking

Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies by Palatable Pastime

Eclipse Pizza by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Homemade Moon Pies by Family Around the Table

Ramen and a Martini from the Abyss by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Sweet Dark Cherry Crepes by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Triple Chocolate Cookies by The Freshman Cook