Chocolate Toffe Cinnamon Chip Cookies

I stopped in a grocery store that I don't usually shop at the other day just to pick up a few things. As I was making my way down the aisle I saw a bag of cinnamon chips out of the corner of my eye. My husband looked at me like I was crazy as I immediately grabbed 2 bags with a huge smile on my face and tried to (calmly) explain to him how I've tried looking in our regular grocery store for cinnamon chips so many times but never found them.

I had a hard time deciding what I want to make with them (luckily I bought 2 bags and now I know where to buy more) but ultimately decided on some chocolate toffee cinnamon chip cookies when I saw the bag of heath pieces in my pantry. I was a little worried that I might be throwing too many flavors into one cookie, but once I tasted the cookie I realized I had nothing to be worried about! All the flavors married together amazingly!

These are really good. They have a perfect chew with a crispy exterior. The cinnamon and toffee makes them a perfect fall cookie. I decided to use mini chocolate chips because I didn't want the chocolate to overwhelm the cinnamon and toffee. I ended up using about 1/3 cup of cinnamon chips because I was worried about it tasting too cinnamon-y. You could definitely taste the cinnamon but it wasn't overpowering. If you really like cinnamon then add more, but I liked them just they way they were!

I will definitely be making these again, but in the mean time I'll be looking for other recipes to use my remaining bag of cinnamon chips. (Hint, hint... suggestions welcome!)

Recipe - Makes 20 - 30 cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes
  • 2 cups bread flour (regular will work fine too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, egg yolk, and milk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips, toffee chips, and cinnamon chips by hand using a wooden spoon. (At this point I like to chill the dough for at least 1 hour. If you don't they will still taste amazing but they may spread a little)
  5. Drop cookie dough by rounded spoonfull onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 2-3 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 15 in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

The Great Cookie Spreading Experiment

I know I'm long overdue for a post, but this one is a good one! I call this the great cookie spreading experiment. (I feel like Alton Brown!) You see, a few months ago I posted about how I found the PERFECT base for my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I was happy as a girl could be. But then... a few people tried the recipe themselves and reported that their cookies spread a little when they were baked. This confused me since mine hardly spread at all the first time I baked them (maybe it was the weather?).

The recipe that I used called for milk to be added into the cookie dough. I figured that reducing the liquid would reduce the spreading, and so the cookie spreading experiment was born.

(1/4 c, 2 T, no milk)

The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of milk. I made the recipe as written orginally, with 2 tablespoons of milk, and with no milk. The results?

From left to right: no milk, 2 tablespons., 1/4 cup

As you can see, there was a definite difference in the spreading. Sure enough the 1/4 cup of milk DID spread a lot. Even though they all tasted amazing, I had a clear favorite. My favorite was the middle cookie with 2 tablespoons of milk. The reduction from 1/4 of liquid helped with the spreading but having some liquid in there kept it moist and chewy. The ones with no milk were also really good. The bread flour and the extra egg yolk kept them chewy. They held their shape really well, so if you're looking for a cookie that definitely will not spread, skip the milk all together!

So here it is... my OFFICIAL favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe

Recipe - Makes 20 - 30 cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1.5 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini m&m's (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, egg yolk, and milk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and m&m's by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

The Best Oatmeal Cookies Ever

These are definitely the best oatmeal raisin cookies I have ever eaten. I'm usually not a fan of oatmeal raisin. Actually, let me clairfy, I'm usually not a fan of raisin. I like the oatmeal and cinnamon part! These cookies promised that even raisin haters will love them!

The recipe utilizes a method of soaking the raisins for a couple of hours before they go into the cookie. This produces a plump and moist raisin inside the cookie. And even though the recipe promised that you'd love the cookies, even if you hate raisins, I STILL debated skipping them. Lucky for me, I was baking these for a friend who actually does like raisins so I was forced to keep them in, and I'm so glad I did! These cookies are soft and chewy and even better on day 2.

I will definitely be making these again (and again and again). In this batch I decided to mix in some white chocolate and dried cranberries. The recipe is really adaptable so feel free to add in whatever you'd like!

Recipe: From Journey to Crunchville
  • 1 cup butter, room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 TBSP (yes tablespoon) vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinammon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups oatmeal (quick cooking or old fashioned, not instant)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  1. The key is to soak the raisins. This makes all the difference in the world. Beat eggs and vanilla together and then add the raisins, stir. Soak for an hour or two. I just walked by a few times and stirred it while I waited.
  2. Preheat to 350 F. Cream butter and sugars with mixer. In a seperate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinammon, ginger & nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients until well blended. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix well. Now add in the egg & raisin mixture (I used my hands). Then add oatmeal and chocolate chips/nuts and combine well. Form into balls on cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for 2-5 minutes or until firm enough to transfer to wire rack.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

The day has finally come. The day when I have to blog about a dessert that I made that was sub-par. Unfortunately, as delicious as its name sounds, this dessert fell flat for me.

I had a bunch of apples that I wanted to use so I was looking for a good apple recipe. After reading numerous apple crisp, cobbler, and pie recipes I settled on this Caramel Apple Cheesecake Square recipe. The name just drew me in!

The cheesecake layer was good and the apple layer was good (though it probably could've been doubled... the apples sort of got lost), but the crust and the topping left a lot to be desired. The crust was soggy and didn't hold up to the layers very well. If you have a good crust recipe definitely use that instead. I would maybe use this recipe from the lemon bars I made this summer. And the topping just seemed a little too floury for me. I'm really surprised that it didn't turn out better because it had a lot of positive reviews. Oh well... at least I got a few pretty pictures!

Recipe: From
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Streusell topping, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Streusel topping. Bake 30 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping.

Streusel Topping
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.

The Best Carrot Cake

Every time I bake a cake I gain more and more respect for people who can frost and decorate their cakes to be picture perfect. I always have this grand idea in my head that the frosting will come out smooth and seamless, but it never does. So what's a girl to do? Cover the cake with pecans and sprinkles of course!

I don't have too much to say about this cake, except YUM. I thought it had the perfect amount of spice. It was perfectly moist. And the cream cheese icing... to die for! It is the perfect carrot cake and I will look no further for a carrot cake recipe!

I got the recipe off of allrecipes because it had good reviews (and a lot of them!), but I changed a lot after reading some of the reviews. I subbed some oil for applesauce, added some crushed pineapple, and changed the spices around a bit. When I went to add the nutmeg (one of the last steps), I realized I was out. I did, however, have Pumpkin Pie Spice which contains nutmeg so I figured "what the hell?". No regrets!

The recipe called for a 9x13 inch cake but I used three 6" rounds and got a nice tall, small cake. Either way I'm sure it will taste amazing!

Recipe: Adapted from AllRecipes
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 oz crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or nutmeg)
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 3.5 cups confections sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, applesauce, oil, sugars and 3 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in drained pineapple. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and extracts. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cake.

Chewy Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies

A few weeks ago I raved about how I found the perfect base recipe for chocolate chip cookies. This week I decided to experiment a little. The recipe is really similar to Alton Brown's "Chewy". One of the main differences is that Alton Brown uses bread flour. Since I had a bag of bread flour laying around (from the last time I made the chewy), I decided to try my cookie recipe again, but this time using bread flour.

These cookies were a huge hit. Everyone that had them said they tasted like they were from a fancy bakery. I added in some mini m&m's to make them a little more colorful and festive, but those are optional.

These cookies were great on day one, but they seemed to get better and better on the second day. One of main differences between bread flour and AP flour is that bread flour contains more gulten. This gives rise to a chewier cookie. And a chewier cookie is always a plus in my book. :)

Recipe - Makes 20 - 30 cookies
Adapted from AllRecipes
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1.5 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini m&m's (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, egg yolk, and milk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips and m&m's by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Perfect Party Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

No food blog is complete without a basic go-to cupcake recipe. This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan's "Perfect Party Cake". As its name implies, it makes the perfect cake. I've tried other so called "perfect" cake recipes and they just don't compare. This cake has the perfect level of moisture and a perfect texture. (Have I used the word "perfect" enough yet?)It's very light and airy, but it can still hold up to a heavy dosing of buttercream on top.

The cake also uses lemon zest and lemon extract. I thought it would be really lemony but it wasn't at all. It just added a brightness to the taste.

I chose to throw my favorite buttercream on top. It's the Magnolia Buttercream recipe and in my opinion it's the only buttercream recipe you need. It is so simple to make. It comes out perfect every time and, unlike other buttercreams, there is no cooking or shortening involved.

Cupcake Recipe: Adapted from "Baking: From my Home to Yours" - By Dorie Greenspan
Makes about 20 cupcakes

  • 2 ¼ cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk or buttermilk (I prefer buttermilk with the lemon)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

  3. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter, and working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and will aerated.

  4. Fill each cupcake 3/4 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the touch- a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool.

Buttercream Recipe: Adapted From Magnolia Bakery
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Homemade Oreos

I almost never repeat recipes. I have soooo many recipes bookmarked and dog eared that it just doesn't make sense to bake the same thing twice. This recipe is the exception. These cookies are the most demanded item that I bake.

As a matter of fact you probably won't even believe me if I tell you who requested these cookies. The nutritionist at my husband's gym. Yes, you read that right. My husband is taking these cookies to the nutritionist and his personal trainer at his gym. How's that for an irresistible cookie?

I first saw these cookies on Smitten Kitchen (one of my absolute favorite blogs, ever!) a year ago and I knew instantly that I had to make them. Since I've made them they've received comments such as "omg. she's gonna put oreo out of business" and "they taste just like oreos, only better."

The filling is a dead ringer for the oreo filling. The cookie is an improvement. It's soft and chewy (but still sturdy enough to stand up to all the filling) and a tad bit sweeter than the cookie part of an oreo. The original recipe calls for Dutch process cocoa but I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa. It's a mix of natural and dutch process. I think it was perfect for the job because it contributed to the dark, almost black color of the cookie which really resembles an Oreo.

These will definitely impress anyone you make them for. The recipe is really easy to make, just make sure you flatten the cookies slightly before you bake them so they come out flat and round.

Recipe: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the chocolate wafers:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa*
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar**
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
  3. Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.
  4. To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.
  5. To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream. Dunk generously in a large glass of milk.
*I used Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate. It's a mix of natural and dutch process cocoas. I really like how it came out because it made the cookies dark just like real oreos. I also read A LOT of the comments on Smitten Kitchen's original post and it seems that the general consensus is that regular unsweetened cocoa powder will work just fine.
** I went right in the middle and used 1 1/4 cups and this was the perfect sweetness for me.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are hands down the best peanut butter cookies I've ever had.

It's no surprise they come from the Baked cookbook. Have I raved enough about this cookbook yet? These guys are seriously geniuses. Everything I've made from the book is brilliant!

The way these cookies are described in the book is as follows: "neither too dry and crumbly, nor too moist and characterless; rather it is the perfect balance of crispy and chewy". I think that pretty much says it all.

The chocolate chips are the perfect compliment to the peanut butter cookie. The recipe calls for using milk chocolate chips and warns against using semisweet chocolate because that would taste bitter against the peanut butter. I'll take their word for it.

For once, I did not change a thing about this recipe. The recipe requires chilling the dough for at least 3 hours. I chilled mine over night. The cookies were amazing the same day, but I thought they were INCREDIBLE the next day.

Recipe: from Baked (go buy this book!!!!)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
6 ounces good quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

  1. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat teh butter and sugar together until fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. The mixture will look light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and peanut butter until just incorporated.
  3. Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
  4. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with granulated sugar and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the tops of the cookies just begin to brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Mango Jicama Slaw

As Summer is nearing its end I'm trying to eat as many summery foods as I can. I'm looking forward to cooking with all the Fall flavors that I love (apples, pumpkins, butternut squash, ginger), but I am not looking forward to the cold weather the comes along with it.

When I was at the store the other day I have no idea why but I decided that I wanted to buy a jicama. The result is this delicious, fresh salad. It's really easy to throw together; it just involves a little chopping.

We ate this along side chicken tacos and it was a perfect compliment. When you're buying the mango make sure you buy one that isn't too ripe otherwise it'll be slipping all over the place when you try to slice it.

  • 1 jicama, sliced
  • 1 mango, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Half a jalepeno pepper (seeds removed), finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
Just combine all the ingredients and you're good to go!

Chocolate Toffee Cookies

If you're looking for a rich, decadent cookie that will satisfy your chocolate craving, this cookie will get the job done. The cookie has a chocolate base with pieces of toffee and toasted walnut studded throughout.

What's interesting about the recipe is that it only uses 1/2 cup of flour in the entire recipe. It's more like a brownie masquerading around as a cookie than an actual cookie.

The cookie was pretty easy to make. The whole thing came together in about 15 minutes. Then comes the hard part... the dough has to chill for 45 minutes before you bake it off. These are well worth the wait though.

I'm not usually a fan of nuts in my cookie but I decided to leave the walnuts in this time and they were a really good compliment to the cookie! As a matter of fact I didn't make many changes at all to this recipe except for increasing the salt content a little (shocking!) and making the cookies smaller than what the original recipe called for. The original recipe was titled "Giant Chocolate Toffee Cookies" and suggested using a quarter cup of batter per cookie. I wanted to get more than 18 though so I used about a heaping tablespoon per cookie. I also sprinkled the tops with sea salt and added a few toffee pieces on top to make them pretty. But, I promise they'll be just as good if you skip that step!

Also, don't be disappointed if you take a bite of these right when they come out of the oven. They are much much better once they've cooled and rested for a little while.

Recipe: Adapted from Epicurious
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 5 1.4-ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath), coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Cool mixture to lukewarm.

  2. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee and nuts. Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Drop batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto sheets, spacing 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 15 minutes. Cool on sheets. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)

Cappuccino Brownies

I had a talk with myself the other day. I told myself that I was forbidden from making any more recipes that I found on the internet until I started using the (many) cookbooks that I have. I have a tendency to gravitate towards recipes I find on the internet because there are pretty pictures and people have reviewed them and offered their critiques. (Of course, this doesn't stop me from buying cookbooks; it just delays my using them.) Well, I'm glad I "forced" myself to start using my cookbooks because this one is a real winner! So let this post be a reminder to those of you with neglected cookbooks on your shelf...

I started flipping through the book "Bars & Squares" that I have and marking pages of the recipes I wanted to try. Before I knew it half the book was marked! I highly recommend this book. Everything I've ever made from here has come out amazing. I have no idea why it has been neglected for so long. I ultimately decided on the Cappuccino Brownies because it was a rainy day and they just seemed like a good rainy day snack.

You see that corner piece on top? That one is mine!

These are truly brilliant! The brownie itself it amazing. Very dense and chocolaty. The coffee flavored filling is something else all together. This stuff is dangerously addictive! It would make a great cupcake frosting or filling between layers of a cake. The bitterness of the espresso powder cuts the sweetness of all the sugar so the frosting isn't sickeningly sweet like some are. And the ganache on top... well it's chocolate ganache people... need I say more? Individually all the components of this brownie are amazing, but when you put them together it's divine!

This takes a little while to make because you have to let it cool between layers but overall it's pretty easy. Feel free to cut these into small pieces because it is very rich and a little bit goes a long way.

I took a few liberties with the recipe. The recipe below includes the changes I made. First off, I changed the brownie to be a little more like the "baked brownie" that I'm absolutely in love with. I added cocoa powder (in addition to the melted chocolate) and I used part white sugar and part brown sugar. And of course I upped the salt because I tend to do that with almost every dessert I make these days. For the filling I almost doubled the instant espresso powder that it called for because I wanted a stronger coffee taste. The coffee taste is definitely there but it isn't at all overpowering.

In my opinion these are best served cold from the fridge. The filling is little firmer and I think it just brings out the taste more. But then again, I'm the person who puts every candy bar in the freezer before I eat it so my opinion may be a little biased. I'm sure these will be good any way you eat them!

Recipe: Adapted from: Bars and Squares

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1 tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1 - 2 tbsp milk or cream
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  1. Brownie: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the sides and bottom of an 8 x 8 square baking pan (or line with parchment paper).
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, espresso powder, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Put the chocolate chips and butter in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, untill the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat but keep the bowl over the water and whisk in sugars and vanilla until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature. Add in the eggs one, one at a time, whisking lightly after each addition.
  4. Using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just combined. Do not overbeat! Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 - 35 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.
  5. Frosting: In a bowl, combine espresso powder and 1 tbsp of milk or cream, stirring to dissolve. Add in butter and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed to blend then on medium speed until creamy, adding more milk, if necessary to make a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread evenly over the brownie. Chill to harden, about 1 hour.
  6. Glaze: Put the chocolate chips and whipping cream in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Let cool to lukewarm. Spread over frosting. Chill until chocolate is set, about 1 hour. Cut into bars or squares.

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White Chocolate Key Lime Macadamia Nut Cookies

Yes, that's right... another post involving key lime. That's because I bought a bottle of key lime juice the other day to make key lime pie ice cream and I still have half a bottle burning a hole through my fridge (did that work?).

All day long I kept thinking about what I should make with my key lime juice. Key lime pie, key lime tartlets, key lime bars, key lime meltaways? I decided on the key lime cookies because I had all the ingredients on hand. But the good news is, I still have key lime juice left so I predict another key lime flavored treat in the near future. (Read: if you know any must make key lime recipes, send them my way please!)

These cookies are really good. They are basically just white chocolate macadamia nut cookies kicked up a little bit with the addition of lime juice and lime zest. The lime is subtle, not overpowering. It's not the first thing you taste when you bite into the cookie but the lime flavor creeps in as you chew.

I took my new favorite cookie base and subbed the chocolate chips with white chocolate, then added macadamia nuts and key lime. And let me stress again that I cannot say enough good things about this cookie recipe. It is hands down my go to cookie recipe, no matter what I'm adding in. I've tried the NY Times cookie recipe, I've tried AB's "The Chewy", I've tried the Nestle Tollhouse recipe, and I've tried countless other recipes... and you know what? They've got nothing on this recipe! Actually that's not entirely true. The NY Times recipe did teach me a couple valuable lessons.
  1. Salt. The only thing I changed to the base of the cookie recipe was to increase the salt content. And I'm sure a little sprinkling of sea salt right before they go into the oven wouldn't hurt either.
  2. Refrigerate the dough before baking. The NY Times article explains more of the science behind this, but it basically just adds to the depth of flavor. I also find that it prevents the cookies from being too flat and spreading too much. I didn't leave it in for a whole 36 hours (who could?), but even a couple hours does some good here!
Recipe: Adapted from AllRecipes
Makes about 36 cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons key lime juice
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line cookie sheets wiht parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, lime juice, lime zest, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and macadamia nuts by hand using a wooden spoon.
  4. Chill dough in fridge.
  5. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
  6. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

These turkey burgers are packed full of flavor. They have onions, garlic, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta inside. And a generous helping of tzatziki sauce piled on top. This is not your average , dry turkey burger. This guy is moist and flavorful. You won't be missing beef burgers any time soon!

The quantities, and ingredients, in this recipe are incredibly flexible. I'm just starting to acquire a taste for sun-dried tomatoes and olives so I decided to go a little easy on them, but feel free to add in more if want. If you're running short on time you can ditch the onions and garic in place of a litlte onion powder and garlic powder, and use frozen spinach.

I chose to cook mine under the broiler. If you want to throw them on a grill I would add in egg to help bind so they don't fall apart. Also, do not use 99% lean turkey breast. Make sure you go for the 93/7 ground turkey, otherwise your burgers will be really dry! Now go make these! They are easy, delicious, and healthy!

Makes 4 - 5 burgers

Greek Turkey Burger
  • 1.3 lbs lean ground turkey
  • Half an onion, finely chopped
  • 2 - 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Spinach (Fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon corriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 4 oz crumbled reduced fat feta
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Tzatziki sauce (recipe follows)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Whole Wheat Buns
  1. Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are tender and transulcent.
  2. Add in the spinach and cook until it is wilted.
  3. Combine the ground turkey with the onions, garlic, and spinach. Add in the spices, sundried, tomatoes, olives, and feta and combine.
  4. Form into patties.
  5. Place in the oven on the middle rack and broil for 15 minutes, flipping once half way through cooking.
  6. Assemble with lettuce, tomato, and tzatziki sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce
  • 6 ounces plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & Pepper to taste