Monthly Archives: February 2017

Chocolate Fudge Cookies

chocolate-fudge-cookiesMy coworkers are always bugging me to bring them cookies. These chocolate fudge cookies have been a topic of discussion for a couple weeks now.

And, I get it, it makes sense. I bake, blog, and promote my recipes every weekend. It looks, from the outside, like my house is full of cookies, brownies, muffins, and cake.

The reality, I’m afraid, is a bit less sexy.

First, there’s the fact that I have three teenagers. Teenagers who are under the impression that if they don’t eat the cookies the first minute they see them, they will miss out forever.

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It’s not far from the truth.

Then there’s the fact that I like to do my own cookie eating on the weekends, and try not to leave them around to tempt me during the week.

And sometimes I make recipes like this one, which only make a few cookies total, so there’s almost no hope of them lasting a full day.

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Fun fact about chocolate cookies: when the dough tastes like fudge, so do the cookies. OH MAN.

These are not everyday cookies. These are special occasion cookies. Very special.

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After all, this much chocolate is not to be taken lightly.

I should remind my coworkers of that fact.

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Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Oversized fudgy chocolate cookies with chocolate chunks.

Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, or 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

  2. Place chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe dish and microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and combined.

  3. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Mix well. 

  4. Add salt, baking powder, cocoa powder, and flour. Mix just until combined. Don't overmix.

  5. Add chocolate and butter mixture to the dough, mixing only as much as needed to incorporate.

  6. Chop chocolate into chunks, and fold into dough.

  7. Form dough into 12 large cookies, about 3-4 tablespoons each. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool on the pan 1-2 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.

Snickerdoodle Bars

Snickerdoodle BarsSnickerdoodles are such a classic cookie, aren’t they? Today, we are using them to celebrate.

I took Hippie Chick driving on the road for the first time today. Teaching your youngest child to drive is a weird experience. I was less terrified because I had been through it before, more terrified because she’s my only daughter, and sort of relieved that this will be the last time I do this.

Reminded me of potty training, truth be told.

My boys were so different behind the wheel. They had this, “I can do this, leave me alone,” kind of attitude. Like they were annoyed that I had to be sitting next to them. Hippie Chick has a more, “everything is scary, tell me I can do this,” kind of attitude. I’m not sure which is more frightening.

Snickerdoodle Bars

On the bright side, she is a fast learner. She’s also less likely to drive us into the gutter than her brothers. (Not completely UNlikely, mind you, just LESS likely.)

So we are celebrating with snickerdoodle bars.

These little gems are pretty much exactly like their rounder counterparts, but with the bonus of not having to scoop 5 dozen cookies onto a baking sheet. Since I pressed these into a 9×13 pan, I only have to bake once, wait for them to cool, and cut them into bars.

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I cut the edges off first, and then cut into 16 long bars, but you could really cut any number you like. If you like squares, I recommend doing 20.

I thought about frosting these, but they didn’t need it. They are perfect just the way they are!

Snickerdoodle Bars
4 from 1 vote
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Snickerdoodle Bars

A classic snickerdoodle cookie in bar form.

Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 16 bars
Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups flour

For Topping:

  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9x13 pan by greasing or lining with parchment or wax paper.

  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well.

  3. Add vanilla, cream of tartar, salt, and soda and mix well. Add flour and mix just until combined. Mixture should be dry and crumbly.

  4. Press dough into prepared pan. It will have an uneven top, but if you prefer it to be very flat, you can use a spatula or wooden spoon to press the dough flat.

  5. Mix sugar and cinnamon topping in a bowl or shaker. Sprinkle a generous amount over the top of the dough.

  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool before cutting into 16 long or 20 square bars.

 

Pink Layered Slush

layered-slush-drink-2 I had the idea for this layered slush drink weeks ago, and I honestly couldn’t wait to actually make it.

I was a little worried that the reality wouldn’t live up to the idea in my head.  Turns out, I had nothing to worry about.

I love the idea of a layered drink. Once you understand the principle behind it, you can make your own beautifully colored creation with almost any flavors you want.

The secret to creating layers is sugar content.

Pink Layered Slush Drink

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If a liquid with a lower sugar content is on top of a liquid with a higher sugar content, they will tend to stay there. The sweeter stuff naturally wants to be on the bottom.

For this drink, I started with a layer of grenadine. This syrup is very sweet, not to mention colorful, so it makes a good bottom layer. Then I added a layer of Cherry 7-Up. This pink soda is not as sweet as a straight syrup, but still has a fair amount of sugar. I finished it up with a layer of light lemonade.

It has to be a sugar-free drink to keep it floating above the soda layer. Regular lemonade won’t do. Find one with an artificial sweetener. And if you want to spike the drink, add some vodka to this lemonade layer.

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The addition of the ice kind of helped keep the layers from mixing too much. Though it melts fast, so get everything ready to go before you start.

And can we just talk about how cute these paper straws are? Since I was making these for Valentines day, I chose flavors in red and pink colors, and straws with hearts and pink stripes. I love these particular paper straws because they don’t disintegrate like some other brands, so you can actually use them, and they come in a ton of cute patterns and colors.

They’re almost a Valentines Day gift all by themselves!

Shop Paper Straws Now

 

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Pink Layered Slush

A layered slush drink with red and pink colors.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 medium glasses

Ingredients

  • 6 cups ice cubes divided
  • 6 ounces grenadine (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup cherry or strawberry flavored soda *see notes
  • 1 cup light lemonade *see notes

Instructions

  1. Place 2 cups of ice in a blender and add grenadine. Use an ice-crushing setting to blend into a slush. Pour into 4 separate glasses.

  2. Quickly rinse blender. Add 2 more cups of ice, and cherry soda. Blend into a slush and carefully spoon mixture into glasses.

  3. Quickly rinse blender. Add 2 more cups of ice, and light lemonade. Blend into a slush and carefully spoon mixture into glasses.

    Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

The soda you use must be full-sugar and not a light or diet soda. The lemonade must be a light or diet lemonade, and not a full-sugar variety.

These melt quickly, so have ingredients and glasses prepared ahead of time, and serve immediately.

I had trouble getting the lemonade to mix into the ice, so I had to use a spoon to mix it in the blender before spooning into glasses.

The layers will mix a little bit, don't be too worried. It gives the layers a seamless, ombre look. I have found that these are best enjoyed in small to medium sized servings.

 

Red Velvet Trifle

red-velvet-trifle-7As I was putting these together this morning, The Fruitarian wandered into the kitchen to see what I was up to. When he looked around, realized I was putting together some kind of trifle, his eyes doubled in size and he started drooling.

It was like watching a cartoon character.

He snapped a couple pictures with his phone, which he sent to his best buddy, and mused about how he could make all his Facebook friends jealous. Then he had a moment of fear. “I do get to eat this, right, Mom?”

And there’s my opening. Every mom can recognize an opening like that.  “Yes, of course you can have one. Just as soon as your chores are done.”

BOOM. Just like that, the family room was getting cleaned. It was brilliant.

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Red velvet is all the rage these days. You can literally find any dessert food, breakfast foods, or snack in a red velvet variety. I myself have made cookies, brownies, and dips, among other things. And my friend Deborah has an entire cookbook devoted to red velvet recipes.

With good reason, too. You absolutely cannot go wrong with red velvet. Think of it as having a light chocolate flavor, and a gorgeous deep red color.

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I love pairing red velvet with cream cheese, because, well, cream cheese is heaven. And you can’t make a red velvet cake and then not cover it in cream cheese frosting.

Unless you want to go to jail. Pretty sure it’s a criminal offense.

I also love red velvet with chocolate. But let’s face it, I love everything with chocolate.

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I should probably tell you that while the fillings in the recipe below only make enough for about 4 medium sized servings, the cake is enough for about 4 times that much. So if you want to make this for a crowd, double, triple, even quadruple the filling layers, but just make one cake.

And keep at least one serving for me.

 

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Red Velvet Trifle

Chunks of red velvet cake with chocolate mousse and cream cheese whipped cream.

Servings 4 servings +
Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 prepared red velvet cake, unfrosted (*see notes)
  • 2 cups whipped cream divided
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

For Cake Layer:

  1. Prepare cake according to package instructions. It's easiest if you bake it in a 9x13 pan, but you can do it with any size pan. Once the cake is cooled, cut into small squares.

For Chocolate Mousse:

  1. Place cream in a large bowl and whip until it forms stiff peaks. Divide whipped cream in half, place half in a separate bowl.

  2. Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted. 

  3. Add melted chocolate to the divided whipped cream. Use a spatula to gently fold chocolate in. Stir until mostly incorporated. (If there are streaks, it's okay.) Let mixture chill until you're ready to use it.

For Cream Cheese Whip:

  1. Whip cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mix well. 

  2. Gently fold in remaining whipped cream with a spatula. Chill mixture until ready to use.

To Prepare Trifle:

  1. This can be made in a large trifle dish, or individual cups. 

    Layer chunks of cake, chocolate mousse, and cream cheese whip, and repeat layers.

  2. If desired, garnish with cake crumbs, sprinkles, chocolate curls, or chocolate cookie crumbs.

Recipe Notes

I did not include the ingredients to prepare the cake in this recipe, since each brand's instructions vary. I used one that called for 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, and 1 1/4 cups water.

I only used about 1/4 of the cake to create these. If you want to increase the number of servings, you could double or even quadruple the amounts of the other layers without needing more cake.