Cookie Dough Dip

Of all the food served at the recent baby shower I hosted, this dip was probably talked about the most.  I think everyone liked it and several people asked how to make it.  It is a nice sweet alternative to the typical savory dips/appetizers served at parties.  Its also totally addictive!

The only change I make is adding more powdered sugar than what is called for.  I like a thicker dip, so I would guess I added closer to 1 cup but I just eyeballed it.

Cookie Dough Dip

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 {8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup confectioner’s/powdered sugar {I used maybe 1 cup?}

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for garnish

1/2 cup chopped nuts – optional {I always omit}

Nilla wafers or graham crackers for dipping

Directions

Melt the butter with the brown sugar in a small saucepan.  Stir until the butter is melted and sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until combined and fluffy.  Slowly add the cooled butter mixture and beat to combine.

Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.  Place in serving bowl, cover and refrigerate. 

Add additional mini chocolate chips before serving for garnish if you choose.

Chocolate Glazed Donut Muffins

Um, wow…these were really good and sooo quick and easy to make.  They are a perfect treat for dessert or breakfast.  They definitely have the flavor of a donut without all that greasy fried business.  The chocolate glaze = major heaven.  And whatever you decide to do with any leftover glaze is your business so do what you gotta do to get rid of it.  😉

Chocolate Glazed Donut Muffins

{Source:  Originally from Elle’s New England Kitchen, as seen at Milk & Honey and Elly says Opa!

Make 12 muffins

INGREDIENTS:

For the Muffins

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • scant 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1-1/4  tsp. vanilla extract

For the Glaze

  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • sprinkles (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a standard muffin tin.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the canola oil, butter, milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, combining gently by hand until just moistened.
  3. Spoon the batter in the prepared muffin tins {they will be very full!} and bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely.
  4. To make the glaze, combine the chocolate chips, butter, corn syrup and vanilla extract in a double boiler (or in a stainless steel or glass bowl over some simmering water). Stir until the chocolate is melted and everything is incorporated.
  5. Dip the tops of the muffins into the glaze and immediately top with sprinkles, if using.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Who doesn’t love the peanut butter and chocolate combo?!  I know the hubs and I do!  Maybe even a little too much around this time of year when the PB and chocolate Easter treats are out.  I must buy at least one package of the Reese’s eggs every year.  But in addition to that package this year, I went ahead and made these cupcakes since we were really in the mood for some peanut butter and chocolate!

The only changes I made were related to the frosting.  I didn’t have any frozen whipped topping on hand, so I added a few tablespoons of milk.  I also added more powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, and about a teaspoon of vanilla extract too.

Overall, they were pretty good.   I definitely loved the frosting and really liked the concept of a filled cupcake.  However, I was a little disappointing that the cake part was a tad dry.  I reread the directions over and over, and I don’t think I did anything wrong.  But after I finished mixing the cake batter, it seemed really thick.  I don’t know if that contributed to the dryness?  So in the future, I’ll use another chocolate cake recipe and use this filling and frosting with it.

Have a glass of milk nearby!

PS – I love these cupcake liners!  They are greaseproof and the colors stay solid after baking.  It used to be a pet peeve of mine that beautiful designs on cupcake and muffin liners would disappear after baking.  Not anymore!  I found these at HomeGoods. 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

{Source:  Pennies on a Platter}

For the filling:
1 cup powdered sugar {or more}
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the cake:
1 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs

For the frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 T. milk

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two cupcake pans with liners.

For the filling, mix the powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium speed until fully combined.  {I probably should have used a little more powdered sugar for a stiffer mixture.  You want them to be similar to buckeyes.  I had already started rolling them when I realized it though so I just continued with the softer mixture.} With your hands, roll the mixture into 1-inch balls, creating at least 24 count.  Set aside on wax paper or a baking sheet. {I had a few extras.}

For the cake, stir together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl.   In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beating one at a time, mix in the eggs.  Scrape down the bowl.  Mixing at low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Spoon or pipe a tablespoon or two of the batter into each cupcake liner. Drop a peanut butter ball into each cupcake well and top with the remaining cake batter. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until passes toothpick test. Cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting.  Using the paddle attachment of the electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter, salt, vanilla, and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly mix in the powdered sugar. Blend until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped topping until fluffy.  Add the milk to achieve desired consistancy.  I tasted the frosting at this point and wanted it to be a little sweeter, so I added another 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I bet all wives have at least one thing that their husband requests they make that is just like their mom made (or their grandma, or whoever).  The husband will sometimes even get a copy of the recipe so that all the wife has to do it make it.  But, for whatever reason it still doesn’t turn out just right.

These cookies are that recipe in my world.  Tim’s grandma made these cookie and so there is no other chocolate chip cookie that can stand up to them.  To Tim, they are the ultimate chocolate chip cookie.  To me, oatmeal cookies have raisins in them, not chocolate.  But whatever, I’ll try to make them just as well.

And after each attempt (and fail), Tim says something like “did you mix them by hand or with the KitchenAid?  Grandma always mixed them by hand.”  Of course I used my mixer, its 2010!!  Or he’ll say, “did you remember the dash of cinnamon?”  Um, no that’s not written on the recipe card!  Or “did you use the right kind of oats?”  ???!!!  Frustrating!!

So, even though they never are just right for Tim, they are still pretty dang good!  They puff up in the oven, but flatten a lot as they cool, ending up a little crispy on the edges, and a little chewy in the center.  Very tasty even though they piss me off!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is exactly how the recipe reads:

1 cup shortening {I’ve used 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup Crisco before and all butter without much difference}

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, unbeaten

1 tsp hot water after eggs {huh?}

1 tsp vanilla

1.5 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups oats

1 package chocolate chips

Mix into cookie dough.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes or until brown.

Peanut Butter Cake Bars

I can’t really think of a better combination of flavors than peanut butter and chocolate.  It is certainly my favorite anyway!  So, not only do these bars have great flavor, the texture is great too.  They are somewhere in between blondies and cake, but leaning more towards blondies.  Yum!

Peanut Butter Cake Bars

{souce: taste of home}

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter – I used crunchy, but would have preferred smooth PB
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips – I used semi-sweet

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
  • Yield: 2 dozen.

Oreo Truffles

These could be a very popular treat for parties all throughout the year, but I only seem to remember to make them around the holidays!  I always manage to make a mess when making them, but it is worth it!

OREO TRUFFLES

{source:  Kraft}

Ingredients

1 package Oreo cookies, finely crushed using a food processor, divided

1 package {8 oz.} cream cheese, softened

2 packages {8 oz. each} Semi-Sweet Baker’s Chocolate, melted {I only used 1 and a half packages and it was just enough.}

Directions

Mix 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls. {I definitely had less than 42 balls, but I made them pretty large.  I would guess I had around 30-35?   I placed each ball on 2 parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerated for a few minutes to firm them up before dipping.}

Dip or drop balls in bowl of melted chocolate, roll to coat, lift with 2 forks allowing the excess chocolate to drain off, place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Variation – Sprinkle truffles with colored sugar or sprinkles in addition to or in place of the cookie crumbs.

Saltine Toffee

I started my Christmas baking marathon off with this recipe.  I’d never made it before, but have seen it on many blogs so my expectations for it to be delicious were high.  It did not disappoint!  I’m sure it will be one of the first treats to disappear off the cookie trays!  I love the salty and sweet combo!

Chocolate Caramel Crackers, aka: Saltine Toffee, aka: Crack

{Source:  Smitten Kitchen, but I’ve seen the recipe all over the place}

approximately 40 Saltine crackers or crackers of your choice
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into a few large pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
A big pinch of sea salt – optional
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or a nut of your choice – optional

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet completely with foil, and then line the base of the foil with parchment paper, cut to fit.

Line the bottom of the baking sheet with crackers, covering all parts.

In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together, and stir it over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it has begun boiling, let it bubble for three more minutes, stirring it well. It will thicken a bit as it cooks. Remove from the heat and add the salt and vanilla, and then quickly pour it over the crackers. You’ll want to spread it quickly, as it will begin to set as soon as it is poured.

Bake the caramel-covered crackers for 15 minutes, watching carefully as it will bubble and the corners might darken too quickly and/or burn. You can reduce the heat if you see this happening.

Remove from oven and immediately cover with chocolate chips. Let stand five minutes, and then spread them evenly across the caramel. An offset spatula works great here. If you’re using them, sprinkle the chocolate with toasted chopped nuts.

Once completely cool — break it into pieces and store it in a container. It should keep for a week.

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