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

 

#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

#CranberryWeek: Cranberry Swirl Bread

Welcome to #CranberryWeek, hosted by Caroline of Caroline’s Cooking. We’ll be 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.

National Cranberry Day November 23rd – which is Thanksgiving Day this year. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the extended weekend with family and friends. I love cooking all day (all week, really) and enjoying a plateful of the best sides of the year.

Last year’s #CranberryWeek was such fun – I’d made 3 of those recipes within the month and can’t wait to see what everyone is sharing this year.

Cranberry and Walnut Swirl Bread for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)

To kick off this week I’m sharing a beautiful bread perfect for you holiday morning. The bread itself is sweet, flaky, and buttery. The swirl is tart with walnuts providing texture.

Cranberry and Walnut Swirl Bread for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

Cranberry Swirl Bread

Ingredients for bread:

  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/3 C butter, cubed
  • 3 – 3 1/2 C flour
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pkt (0.25 oz) instant yeast (I used Red Star Platinum)

Ingredients for filling:

  • 1 C chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts (optional)

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water, and butter over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool down to 120 – 130 degrees F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together 1 C flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add the warm milk mixture and mix 2 minutes at medium speed. Add the remaining flour and switch to the dough hook. Knead until the dough comes together around the hook and pulls away from the bowl.
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and keep in a warm place until doubled in side, about an hour. (I put mine in the microwave.)
  4. Make the filling: In a small saucepan, heat cranberries, water, and brown sugar over medium heat, until cranberries are soft. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter, vinegar, and walnuts. Allow filling to cool.
  5. Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll into a rectangle. Spread the filling on the dough, leaving a 1/2″ border on all sides. Roll, like cinnamon rolls. Cut in half and place into two greased 9″ x 5″ loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place, about 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Bake bread 40 – 45 minutes, until an internal temperature of 190 degrees is reached.

*This recipe is adapted from https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cranberry-swirl-loaf*

Cranberry Swirl Bread for #CranberryWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other great cranberry recipes:

Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cranberry Apple Pecan Bread from Cookaholic Wife

Cranberry Apple Pie from House of Nash Eats

Cranberry Butter from Family Around The Table

Cranberry Coffee Cake from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Cranberry Loaf from Making Miracles

Cranberry Moscow Mules from Books n’ Cooks

Cranberry Mousse Chocolate Dessert Bowls by The Freshman Cook

Cranberry Swirl Bread from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Double Chocolate Cranberry Almond Bark from Frugal Pantry

Frosted Cranberries from Bear & Bug Eats

Pear Frangipane Tart with Cranberries from Caroline’s Cooking

Roasted Cranberry Chicken Salad from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

#FantasticalFoodFight: Shortbread Cookies

unnamed

Good morning, everyone.

I think I have a problem.

I’ve joined another blogging group! Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes decided to start up this new food party when The Secret Recipe Club came to a close. Maybe she has a problem too!

But it’s not a bad problem.

Who ever decided problem had to have a negative connotation?

Anywho.

The solution to our problem? Cook/bake, eat, and write. It’s always nice when problem has a simple solution.

This month everyone is baking shortbread cookies!

shortbread-cookies-sew-you-think-you-can-cook

My mom loves to bake cookies and I knew it’d be the perfect activity to do with Firecracker when she came to visit. We did a Salted Caramel Shortbread cookie and he loved to help cut out the fun Christmas shapes and sprinkle the salt on the caramel frosted buttery cookie.

shortbread-cookies-sew-you-think-you-can-cook-2

Don’t let the tears fool you, Treat enjoyed his cookie, too! Firecracker decided that he didn’t like the caramel on the cookie so we decorated them in a variety of methods. Stars and reindeer received full caramel treatment, trees got a drizzle, and the wreaths were left plain.

shortbread-cookies-sew-you-think-you-can-cook-3

This recipe makes approximately 4 dozen cookies, depending on cookie cutter size.

Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks butter, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 bag (14 oz) caramels, unwrapped
  • 2 tbsp milk

Steps:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the vanilla until incorporated then add the flour in stages until a smooth dough is achieved.
  2. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Roll out dough to 1/4″ thickness on a floured surface. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters, place on a baking sheet an inch apart. Keep any unused dough in the refrigerator while working.
  5. Bake cookies 14 minutes, until lightly golden. Place on cooling racks.
  6. Combine caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Spoon caramel onto cookies, spreading to the edges. If caramel gets too hard, simply reheat.
  7. Sprinkle cookies with Kosher salt while the caramel is still warm. Return cookies to a cooling rack.
  8. Store cookies in an airtight container, use wax paper to divide the layers.

*This recipe is adapted from http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/salted-caramel-shortbread-cookies/9716f0d7-ce05-4740-b402-f80a95daeff5*

Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies for #FantasticalFoodFight from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see all of the other Fantastical Shortbread Cookies click here:  

If you would like to join our Fantastical Food Fight, you can learn more on our informational page.

Poppy-Seed Cake (Makowiec)

Today’s recipe comes from Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland. I received this beautiful cookbook for Christmas last year.

Poppy-Seed Cake | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

We were invited to a party for the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics with the request to bring a cultural dish. Unfotunatley, we weren’t able to make it due to a long day at work for my husband.

Yea, remember the Games? Did you forget that happened this year?! Not going to lie, I kinda did, too. But I wasn’t able to watch much of them due to my current time zone combined with those little children of mine.

Anyway.

I knew I wanted to bring a Polish dish and decided on trying this Poppy-Seed Cake.

This cake uses a LOT of poppy seeds.

It’s probably a good thing I ended up not sharing this cake at the party because with my luck one of the guys would’ve been randomly drug tested the next day. I was seriously nervous about the poppy seed concentration when I thought my 2 year old was acting a little loopy. If you’re concerned about your intake of poppy seeds, check out this article, which provides a guideline to poppy seed consumption limits.

I had some dilemmas with the recipe, though. And actually, the photographs I’m sharing with you today are from my second attempt. Attempt number 1 is in my freezer, as it’s still quite edible, just far from beautiful.

The recipe called for a pound of poppy seeds. Do you have any idea how many poppy seeds make up a pound!?! I’m still finding stray poppy seeds in the corners of my kitchen!

My food processor couldn’t break down the tiny seeds into a paste, so I recommend getting a spice grinder and working in batches. Because my poppy seed texture wasn’t quite right, I had a lot of extra liquid which caused seepage out of the cake roll.

I had so much left over filling that I decided to simply try again! The second time I (sorta) followed a different method for the cake I found on YouTube.

I would honestly suggest halving (or quartering!) the filling recipe, but I’m leaving it as written.

Poppy-Seed Cake (Makowiec)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 lb poppy seeds
  • 3 C milk
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 C superfine sugar
  • 1 C chopped walnuts
  • 1 C slivered almonds
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 egg whites, beaten

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2/3 C superfine sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 C whole milk, warmed to 105-110 deg F
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 C bread flour
  • 2/3 C golden raisins
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Ingredients for the glaze:
  • 3/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • milk, as needed

Steps:

  1. Heat poppy seeds and milk in a pot over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Cover and let sit over night.
  2. Drain the seeds, place in a food processor, and pulse until they form a paste. Add the sugar, nuts, zest, and extract, and pulse a few seconds. Remove to a bowl and fold in the egg whites.
  3. Allow yeast to proof in the warm milk, 10 minutes.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg yolks, stirring until combined. Add the milk and yeast. Add some of the flour and mix. Switch to the dough hook and slowly add the remaining flour and the raisins. Knead until the dough forms around the hook.
  5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough and roll lengthwise. Place cake on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet. Cover and let rise an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Brush cake with the egg. Bake 45 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk until smooth and runny. Pour over cake while still warm.

Poppy-Seed Cake (Makowiec) | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com