Monthly Archives: February 2015

February Wrap-Up

feb-2015-wrap-up-1February literally felt crazy to me.  And while it’s been outrageously cold in some parts of the country, it has been unbelievably warm here in Utah.  I can’t even believe it’s winter.

The warm weather keeps tricking me into thinking it’s March instead of February.  I actually sent a friend a Happy Birthday text message A MONTH EARLY the other day.  This has literally never happened before.

I had a really great collection of recipes this month, and it was tough to choose a favorite.  I’m going with the Coconut Buttermilk Skillet Cake though.  Because it was so dang freaking delicious.  And you can make it right in the skillet, so there’s no mixing bowl to wash.  Double bonus.

The most popular recipe this month has been the Cookie of the Month… the Chocolate Lava Cookies!  After a feature on BuzzFeed, this little cookie got some big and well-deserved attention.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, now is your chance.


chocolate-lava-cookies (4 of 2) Chocolate Lava Cookies

These chocolate cookies boast a gooey fudge center.  All the fun of
a lava cake, in a cookie!

orange-slow-cooker-rice-pudding-5 Orange Rice Pudding

This easy dessert is made in the slow cooker.  It’s perfect for days
when you want to have dessert waiting for you, but don’t want to bake.

red-velvet-rockslide-brownies (4 of 4) Red Velvet Rockslide Brownies

From the new Red Velvet Lovers Cookbook, this beautiful brownie
tastes as good as it looks.  My kids’ eyes nearly popped out of their
heads when they saw it!

cookie-dough-truffles (5 of 1) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffes

It’s really just an excuse to eat cookie dough!  I tried out several
different coatings, and you can read about the pros and cons here.

cheesecake-cookies (13 of 7) Cheesecake Cookies

I made graham cracker cookies with cheesecake filling, and they
taste just like little pieces of cheesecake!  Awesome topped with
fresh berries too.

Coconut-buttermilk-cake-2b Coconut Buttermilk Skillet Cake

You can mix and bake the cake all in this skillet – the ultimate
one-dish dessert!  No frosting required either.

black-and-white-bark-5 Black & White Bark

For those I-need-chocolate-and-I-need-it-now days, this easy to
make bark uses dark and white chocolate and pieces of Oreo cookies.

lemon-sour-cream-muffins-7 Lemon Sour Cream Muffins

These are creamy, light, and flavorful.  The remind me of spring!
Fabulous with or without poppy seeds.

carrot-cake-lemon-ginger-frosting-5 Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Frosting

This cake is Em’s contribution to the blog this month.  She was
appalled that I hadn’t posted a carrot cake recipe already, so
she did it for me!

Coming up next month:  Mint.  And green.  And potatoes.  And peanut butter.  More cookies.  More brownies.  More cheesecake.  That’s how we roll around here.

Got comments or suggestions for me?  Please comment below or email me at

Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Frosting

 This original carrot cake recipe uses fresh carrots and cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese FrostingOne difference I have noticed between my beloved sister and myself, is that when we are baking, I really prefer to make cookies and bars, while Em tends to bake a lot of cakes.

The real problem with this is that she and I live in different states, so if I want a sample, I have to make it myself.  I’m turning it over to Em now, to tell you about her latest genius cake creation.


Whenever I’m thinking about recipes that I could underwrite to this blog, I have to do my homework to make sure I’m not repeating something Jen has already done.

This week I decided to make a carrot cake as a homecoming surprise for my sister-in-law who has been out of town caring for her 94-year-old grandmother for two weeks because, let’s be honest, she’s kind of a saint.  My husband requested carrot cake.

I figured, of course Jen has already done a carrot cake recipe, but then I checked, and then I double-checked.  Then I triple-checked only to find that no such recipe existed on that pages of Jen’s Favorite Cookies.  Upon a little introspection, I’ve decided both to right this wrong and disown my sister for having a baking blog without this obvious and amazing staple.

(See related post: Hummingbird Cake)

Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting from

Add this to your Cake Recipes board on Pinterest!

I discovered not too long ago that people either love or loathe carrot cake, which I find surprising since carrot is one of the few cakes that I actually enjoy.  Having said that, I ordered a slice of carrot cake from a bakery once and I learned that day how painful and cruel life can sometimes be because I bit into it and found a raisin.

Maybe people who dislike carrot cake have only tasted the ones riddled with superfluous garbage like raisins and walnuts.  “Yuck!” said the woman who is posting a recipe with ginger and lemon zest in a cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting from JensFavoriteCookies.comCarrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting from

I guess I get it though, putting vegetables in cake sounds a little off-putting, albeit markedly less offensive than the time my Mom put vegetables in Jell-O (true story).

Another possibility is that none of these carrot cake haters has had a carrot cake made specifically for them…a really fun gesture when you’re not trying to take photos of your creation afterword to make it look like you know what you’re doing, which I never do.

So, you know, ignore the smears of orange frosting where there used to be lettering because the welcome home gesture was both hilarious and well-deserved.


Want more?  Try these made-from-scratch cakes!



Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Frosting
Cook time
Total time
A fresh carrot cake from scratch with lemon ginger cream cheese frosting.
Recipe type: Cake
  • 1½ Cups flour
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ Cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ Cup grated carrots
  • drizzle of honey
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • ¼ powdered sugar
  • ¼ milk
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated finely
  • zest of 1 lemon
  1. For the cake: . Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan; line bottom of pan with parchment paper (trust me).
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add eggs and vegetable oil until well mixed. Add carrots and mix.
  3. Pour into pan. Drizzle with honey. Bake for approximately 40 minutes (or until a cake test comes out clean). Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. For frosting: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix until smooth.
  5. Add more powdered sugar and/or milk to get a consistency you like.


Lemon Sour Cream Muffins

This lemon muffin recipe uses sour cream for flavor and creamy texture.  You’ll love these heavenly lemon muffins!

Lemon Sour Cream Muffins from I know there are parts of the country that are having terrible cold and snowy weather right now.  But Utah is not one of those parts.

I mean, it’s February, normally the coldest part of the year here, and the weather is warm and dry and spring-like.  Tulips and daffodils are starting to grow.  People are going outside with no jackets on at all.

I feel like I’m living in Arizona.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you.  I hate everything about winter, so I’ll take any warm and sunny day that comes along.  I’ll take it, I’ll smile, and I’ll probably purchase some lemons.

Because spring = lemons.  Right?

(See related post: Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins)

Lemon Sour Cream Muffins from

Pin this to your Breakfast Recipes board on Pinterest!

My last lemon muffin recipe was a disaster.  Please don’t be under any illusions that I have a gorgeous kitchen and all my baked goods come out perfectly.  I can almost guarantee I have had more disasters than you.  And I bet my sink has more dirty dishes than yours too.

I was leery about trying them again, since the last batch was so bland and gross, we ended up throwing them out.  No one would eat them.

But, we all have to soldier on at some point, and it was time for me to conquer lemon muffins.

Lemon Sour Cream Muffins from Lemon Sour Cream Muffins from

I really think the sour cream is key here.  Can you substitute greek yogurt?  Sure.  I might even do it someday.  It’s just that I heart sour cream.

Though, to be honest, I had to seriously resist the urge to use buttermilk.  Heavenly, sweet, delicious buttermilk.

(See related post: Spiced Zucchini Crumb Muffins)

Lemon Sour Cream Muffins from

My research tells me that people are just not that interested in a lemon muffin that does not include poppy seeds, so I hereby give you permission to add poppy seeds to these muffins.  As many as you want.  No changes necessary.

But, consider the seed-free variety too.  This clean simple flavor will put you right in the mood for spring!


Want more?  Check out these lemon recipes!

sugar-cookie-recipesstrawberry lemonadelemon syrup


4.0 from 1 reviews
Lemon Sour Cream Muffins
Cook time
Total time
A creamy lemon muffin.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  1. Combine oil and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add eggs and mix well.
  2. Add the zest and juice of one lemon, and sour cream, and mix well. Add salt, baking powder, and flour, and mix until combined.
  3. In a lined or well-greased muffin pan, fill cups about ⅔ full with batter. (This batch makes 12 muffins, so split the batter as evenly as possible between the 12 cups.)
  4. Bake at 400F for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.


Black and White Bark

This dark chocolate bark recipe includes white chocolate, too.  It’s sure to be one of your favorite chocolate bark recipes!

Black and White Bark from - dark and white chocolate, chips, and cookies make a super easy treat!I was doing so good today.  Drinking my smoothie for breakfast, eating my veggies for lunch.

And suddenly, I was craving chocolate.  CRAVING.  The kind of craving that takes over your life and commandeers all your thoughts.

I went in a frantic search through my pantry for chocolate, and found a couple items in the chocolate chip box.  Items like this chocolate bar and this white chocolate bar.  And a half a bag of white chocolate chips.  And a bag and a half of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

And since I had to run to the store for something else anyway, I grabbed a package of Oreos to complete my black and white theme.

(See related post: Chocolate Lovers Bark)

Black and White Bark from - dark and white chocolate, chips, and cookies make a super easy treat!

Add this to your Chocolate Recipes board on Pinterest!

I love how quick and easy it is to make chocolate bark.  I mean, melt, spread, chill, cut.  Easy as pie.

And where did that saying come from anyway?  This is WAAAAAAY easier than pie.  No contest.

The best part of this process has got to be making all the pretty little swirls.  I love that part.  Mostly because I am no good at making anything pretty, but this stuff is eeeeeeeasy.

I almost said easy as pie again.  But forget that.  This is easy like Sunday morning.

Black and White Bark from - dark and white chocolate, chips, and cookies make a super easy treat!Black and White Bark from - dark and white chocolate, chips, and cookies make a super easy treat!

Come to think of it, my Sunday mornings are not exactly a breeze either.  I need some new sayings.

It’s like falling off a log.  Like taking candy from a baby.  You get the picture.

20 minutes from now, your chocolate cravings could be totally satisfied!


Want more?  Try these easy barks!

peppermint bark featuredchocolate lovershomemade candy



Black and White Bark
A simple chocolate candy.
Recipe type: Candy
Serves: about 20 pieces
  • 4 oz. good quality chocolate
  • 4 oz. good quality white chocolate
  • 4-5 Oreo cookies, cut into quarters
  • a small handful each of chocolate chips and white chocolate chips
  1. Break chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave safe dish. Melt in the microwave, in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth.
  2. Spread chocolate on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Break white chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave safe dish. Melt in the microwave, in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and smooth.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of melted white chocolate in dollops onto spread chocolate. Use a toothpick (or I used a skewer) to swirl the chocolate and white chocolate together into pretty patterns.
  5. Place Oreo pieces evenly on the swirled chocolate, and sprinkles any crumbs on top. Sprinkle chocolate chips and white chocolate chips on top.
  6. Chill in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, until set. Use a large knife to cut into pieces. Store in fridge or freezer.


Coconut Skillet Cake

Of all my cake recipes, coconut might be my favorite! This is the best coconut cake recipe because it uses buttermilk and is made in a skillet.

Coconut Buttermilk Skillet Cake from - A delicious one-dish dessert!

Here’s the thing about me and cake.  I cannot make a layer cake look good to save my life.  They always look like they were frosted by a 3 year old when I make them.  (Not naming names, *cough* Hummingbird Cake *cough*)

Sometimes, I’d just rather not deal with trying to make a cake look pretty at all.

Which is exactly why this skillet cake is all that and a bag of chips.  Not only is it all fantastically coconut and buttermilk, but since it’s just one cute little layer in a skillet pan, no one expects it to look like a work of art.

Just a little glaze and some toasted coconut are all the toppings this baby needs.

(See related post: German Chocolate Skillet Cake)

Coconut Buttermilk Skillet Cake from - A delicious one-dish dessert!

Pin this to your Cake Recipes board on Pinterest!

I have to tell you that when it comes to buttermilk, I have created monsters.

Literally one minute ago, my daughter asked me if I bought buttermilk while I was at the store today.  She was devastated when I told her no.  (I try not to buy it unless I really really need it, because I’m a freaking addict and I will fill the house with buttermilk baked goods.)

When I asked her what she wanted it for, she looked at me as if the answer was completely obvious.  “Cookies.”

Well, let’s be honest.  It’s hard for me to say no to that.  I have a feeling I’ll be running to the store for buttermilk later.

Coconut Buttermilk Skillet Cake from - A delicious one-dish dessert!

You know what’s super fun?  Seeing my recipes and photos in print.  I know it’s a little self-indulgent, but seeing my Coconut Buttermilk Skillet Cake and my Orange Slow Cooker Rice Pudding in the spring 2015 issue of Dish & Done magazine really made me smile.

Check it out.  The cover looks like this:

Dish and Done - one dish desserts, including Coconut Skillet Cake from

So don’t worry about the frosting.  A cake made in a cast iron skillet has it’s own kind of beauty!


Want more?  Try these delicious coconut recipes!

chewy-chocolate-coconut-cookiesrecipe for coconut cookiessamoas-brownies-5


Coconut Skillet Cake
Cook time
Total time
A simple, one-dish coconut cake made in a cast iron skillet.
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 8
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup coconut + more for garnish
  1. In a 12-inch skillet, melt butter and cool slightly. Add sugar, and use a wooden spoon to mix well.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix. Add salt, baking powder, and mix until combined. Add flour and buttermilk alternately, stirring until combined. Stir in coconut.
  3. Spread batter to cover the entire pan. Place the skillet in the oven, and bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes. Garnish with coconut.
This cake can also be made in a 9-inch skillet, but increase baking time to be sure cake is done in the center.


Cheesecake Cookies

This miniature cheesecake recipe makes delicious cookies.  Try this cheesecake cookies recipe when you are craving something creamy!

Cheesecake Cookies from - these are just like miniature cheesecakes, and taste great topped with fresh berries!True story:  I was in the mood for cheesecake.  Who can say why?  Maybe I saw one of those old ads with the angels eating cream cheese in heaven.

Or maybe it was because I was remembering that time I made Chocolate Cheesecake.

At any rate, I just wanted a little something cheesecake-like.  Something creamy with graham crackers and berries on top.  Just a little something.

It’s a rare day when the thing I’m craving isn’t chocolate or caffeine, so I figured a little indulgence was in order, and I whipped up some cheesecake cookies.

Don’t you love how I say I “whipped them up” like I’m some sort of cookie-baking savant?  Truth is, my first attempt at this cookie was a disaster.  A very tasty disaster, but a disaster nonetheless.

Cheesecake Cookies from - these are just like miniature cheesecakes, and taste great topped with fresh berries!

Add this to your Cookie Recipes board on Pinterest!

Since I don’t want you to have the inconvenience of having to eat your mistakes (not that I minded, ahem.), I’m including some before, during, and after shots, so you totally know what to expect.

First thing to expect:  crumbly graham cracker dough.  If it’s too crumbly to bake, you might have to eat the dough before the kids get home from school and while you are still wearing yoga pants.  Darn it.

Cheesecake Cookies from - these are just like miniature cheesecakes, and taste great topped with fresh berries!Cheesecake Cookies from - these are just like miniature cheesecakes, and taste great topped with fresh berries!

Second thing to expect:  It was a touch on the tricky side getting these little graham cracker cookie bowls shaped right.  I used my 8/18 cookie scoop to form the cookie, and the backside to form the hole in the middle.  Then I used my fingers to pinch the edges even more, making straight sides.

Or something close to straight sides.  It’s not exactly precision work.

Cheesecake Cookies from - these are just like miniature cheesecakes, and taste great topped with fresh berries!Cheesecake Cookies from - these are just like miniature cheesecakes, and taste great topped with fresh berries!

Third thing to expect:  I had more graham cracker dough left after my cheesecake filling was all used up, so darn it, I just had to bake a few little non-filled cookies.  No one complained.

And last, expect that this recipe makes far too few cookies.  Only about 18, if you’re careful.  So expect to find yourself wishing you had doubled the batch!

Want more?  Try these cream cheese recipes!



Adapted from KitchnMe

Cheesecake Cookies
Cook time
Total time
A graham cracker thumbprint cookie with cheesecake filling.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 18
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Fresh berries, diced and sprinkled with sugar (optional)
  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine butter, brown sugar, and egg white. Add baking powder, flour, and graham cracker crumbs and mix well. Mixture will be crumbly.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla, beating with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
  3. Place a scoop (about 2 tablespoons) of graham cracker dough on a baking sheet. Use the back side of the cookie scoop or spoon (or fingers) to form dough into a bowl shape, pinching sides to make them straight and well packed.
  4. Fill cookie "bowls" with cream cheese filling.
  5. Bake at 350F for 11-13 minutes. Let sit on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  6. Top with fresh diced berries, if desired.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles


cookie-dough-truffles (5 of 1)I have a confession to make.  I kind of hate dipping things in chocolate.

I don’t hate eating things that have been dipped in chocolate, just to clarify.  But I do hate dipping them.  It’s always a mess and they never come out looking beautiful and professional.  It’s just very unsatisfying.

So for these cookie dough truffles, I experimented with rolling them in all kinds of things, and yes, dipping them too, to give you and I lots of options.  Variety is the spice of life, right?

The kids were all over these little dough-like balls.  They thought they were cheesecake balls, because I made them with cream cheese.  Cream cheese is one of my favorite things ever.  I’ve never made a recipe with cream cheese that I didn’t like.  Even things I don’t like taste better with cream cheese.  Like crab.  (I’m not much of a seafood lover.  But cream cheese crab dip is to die for.)


In my attempt to give some non-dipping options to these little truffles, I came up with the following options.

1. Sprinkles.  Sprinkles are always good.  But… they don’t cover entirely, they fall off, and it takes a lot of sprinkles to cover an entire batch of cookie dough truffles.  But if you are a sprinkles lover, I say go for it.

2. Cocoa powder.  I’ve seen other kinds of truffles rolled in cocoa powder, so it definitely deserved a try.  It’s much easier than the sprinkles, but the taste of unsweetened cocoa is something less than desirable, to say the least.  This was my least favorite option.

3. Sugar.  The sugar was super duper easy to work with, but I didn’t really think it got the job done.  It didn’t have the coverage to really make them look like nice, perfectly round little truffle balls, even though the taste was obviously awesome.

4. Cocoa powder + sugar.  This was by far my favorite option.  I mixed some sugar and cocoa powder together to roll them in.  It gave a nice coverage that made them look coated in something, and tasted far better than the plain cocoa powder.


And let’s not forget the obvious dipping option.  I used almond bark to dip mine.  It melts easy and chills into a nice hard crust.  I used 4 oz. and did about a quarter of my batch, so if this is what you’re using for all of them, you’ll need about 16 oz.

Any way you make them, you are going to end up with a safe (egg-free) cookie dough bite that is totally to die for!

Want more?  Try these easy candies!

almond balls featuredcoconut-trufflestruffles recipebuckeye recipe


Recipe adapted from Shugary Sweets, via Food Fanatic

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Prep time
Total time
Cream cheese cookie dough truffles, rolled in cocoa or dipped in chocolate.
Recipe type: Candy
Serves: 3 dozen
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (or mini chocolate chips)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder + 3 tablespoons sugar, for rolling *(optional) OR
  • 16 oz. almond bark or candy melts, melted *(optional)
  1. Place cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat until smooth.
  2. Add brown sugar, vanilla, and salt, and mix until smooth. Add flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Chill mixture for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to form small balls of the dough. Roll dough in a mixture of sugar and cocoa powder, or dip in melted chocolate.
  6. Set balls on a lined baking sheet, and chill for 1-2 hours in the fridge, or 20-30 minutes in the freezer before serving.


Red Velvet Rockslide Brownies {Cookbook Review}

This homemade brownies recipe comes with a red velvet twist!  These are amazing brownies with marshmallows and chocolate on top.

Red Velvet Rockslide Brownies from - These homemade brownies are topped with marshmallows and chocolate!I have SUCH good memories of red velvet.

My mom used to make red velvet cake from scratch all the time.  And by all the time, I mean, for our birthdays.  It always had pink cream cheese frosting, and if you were really lucky, she would make it in the heart shaped pan for an extra I-love-you feeling.

Nowadays, we pick our birthday cakes, and I’m just the kind of pain-in-the-you-know-what that chooses brownies over cake.

Which is exactly why a red velvet brownie is an inspired idea.  I can have my red velvet and eat it too.  So to speak.

And ermygerd, not just brownies but brownies with marshmallows and chocolate on top.  Just for kicks.

Red Velvet Rockslide Brownies from - These homemade brownies are topped with marshmallows and chocolate!

Pin this to your Valentines board on Pinterest!

This is just one of around 50 (yes, you did read that right, FIFTY!) red velvet recipes in Deborah Harroun’s new book, Red Velvet Lovers Cookbook. 

There’s a little of everything in this book.  We’re talking cakes, cookies, cheesecake, waffles, crepes, breads, eclairs, and of course, brownies.  I definitely need to dive in and try a few of these, but these Rockslide Brownies really caught my eye and were a great choice for my first recipe from the book.

Red Velvet Lovers Cookbook

Shall we talk pros and cons, in case you are thinking of getting the book for yourself?

Pro:  Diversity.  There are lots of recipes of all types, and lots of ways to get your red velvet.  Want some red velvet cannoli?  You can have it.  More of a biscotti fan?  That’s there too.  Donuts?  Yes.  Cocoa?  Yes.  Waffles?  Naturally.

Con:  Big batches and lots of fat and sugar.  The brownies made a big ol’ pan, which required a whole cup of butter and 3 cups of brown sugar.  The classic cake is four humongous layers.  The gooey butter cookies use a whole brick of cream cheese PLUS half a stick of butter.  These are not skimpy recipes (I’ll leave it up to you whether that’s a pro or a con) and she doesn’t skimp on the ingredient list.

Pro:  These recipes are heavenly.  Several of them use my favorite ingredient, buttermilk.  (You know about my love affair with buttermilk, right?)  You’ll be the star of the summer pot luck.

Con:  You’re going to need a lot of red food coloring.  Since it’s red velvet, it’s not something I’ll be using every day.  But for Valentines, birthdays, or special occasions, this will be a really fun one to have on hand.

Red Velvet Rockslide Brownies from - These homemade brownies are topped with marshmallows and chocolate!

Wondering how to get this book in your very own hands?  Here are a couple ways…

1.  Go over to Deborah’s site, check out her Red Velvet Oreo Cream Cheese Stuffed Brownies (*drool!*) and enter to win the cookbook and Kitchen Aid stand mixer.  (And hurry!  The giveaway ends tomorrow!)

2. Click over to Amazon and order the The Red Velvet Lover’s Cookbook for yourself.


Red Velvet Rockslide Brownies

Delicious red velvet brownies topped with marshmallows and chocolate.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 20 bars



  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons red liquid food color
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 cups flour


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • about half of a 10-ounce bag of mini marshmallows (3-4 cups)


For Brownies:

  • Mix the melted butter and sugar together. Add eggs, food color, and vanilla, and mix well.
  • Whisk together baking soda, salt, baking powder, cocoa, and flour. Add to butter mixture and mix until combined.
  • Pour 1 cup batter into a lined or greased 8x8 pan, and the remaining into a lined or greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350F, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. About 20-23 minutes for the 8x8 pan, and 40-45 minutes for the 9x13 pan. Let cool.

For Topping:

  • In a saucepan, make the topping by melting the butter, and adding cocoa and milk, stirring until combined and melted. Remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
  • Cover the 9x13 pan of brownies with marshmallows, then pour chocolate mixture over the top. Cut the brownies in the 8x8 pan into ½-inch cubes. Sprinkles cubes over the top of the marshmallows and chocolate.
  • Let topping cool before cutting into 20 squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Recipe from From Deborah Harroun, Red Velvet Lovers Cookbook.

Orange Rice Pudding

Make this rice pudding with cooked rice and orange.  This easy recipe for rice pudding in the crock pot will blow your mind!

Slow Cooker Orange Rice Pudding from - so easy, creamy, and delicious, it's bound to be an instant hit!People tell me all the time how much they love rice pudding.  So much so, I started to question myself.


Let’s not kid ourselves.  Rice + milk does not equal dessert.  It’s probably why it’s taken me, what?  3 years? to post a rice pudding recipe.  Perhaps you remember my similar feelings about bread pudding?

My beloved husband Robb, the man with terrible taste in dessert foods, is among those who adore rice pudding.  And he gladly ate a couple heaping helpings of this stuff.

One thing I can say for this recipe… it’s made in a slow cooker.  I adore slow cooker recipes.  It’s one pot, and if you use one of those liners, there’s next to zero clean up.  Just my speed.

Slow Cooker Orange Rice Pudding from - so easy, creamy, and delicious, it's bound to be an instant hit!

Pin this to your Dessert Recipes board on Pinterest!

When I was doing a little rice pudding research, I was surprised to find very few recipes that included some kind of flavor.  Most of them were just basic plain old pudding, maybe with cinnamon.

If I’m going to bother with rice pudding, I’m going to take it up a notch and infuse some kind of interesting flavor in it.  Which is how I landed on orange and pecan.

Slow Cooker Orange Rice Pudding from - so easy, creamy, and delicious, it's bound to be an instant hit!Slow Cooker Orange Rice Pudding from - so easy, creamy, and delicious, it's bound to be an instant hit!

The recipe only requires the peel of the orange, so if you are coincidentally planning to eat an orange anyway, it will work out perfectly for you.  Just drop some big old chunks of orange peel in the crock pot on top of your rice, so they are easy to retrieve before serving.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to share this recipe with the readers of Dish & Done magazine.  You can see my feature in the Spring 2015 issue.  It looks like this:


This particular issue is full of one pot meals, (and desserts!) so I’m sure you’ll find it very useful.

Want more?  Try these comforting favorites!



Orange Rice Pudding
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A creamy rice pudding infused with the flavor of orange, and garnished with pecans.
Recipe type: Slow Cooker Dessert
Serves: 4 servings
  • ¾ cup long-grain enriched white rice
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 orange
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 cups 2% or whole milk
  • dash of salt
  • pecan or walnut chips, to serve
  1. Line the slow cooker with a slow cooker liner, or generously grease the insides and bottom with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle the rice evenly in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Pour the sugar over the rice, sprinkling as evenly as possible.
  4. Using a paring knife, gently remove the outer peel from the orange in large pieces, taking care not to remove the white pith underneath. Place pieces of orange peel on top of the rice and sugar.
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. Gently pour half-and-half and milk over rice. Add a dash of salt.
  6. Cover and cook for 2½ - 3 hours on high.
  7. Remove pieces of orange peel. Spoon rice pudding into serving dishes and garnish with pecans or walnuts.


Chocolate Lava Cookies

Similar to the cake, chocolate lava cookies are filled with a fudgy chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Lava Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.comNothing goes better with chocolate than chocolate, I always say.

I’ve been dying lately over chocolate lava cakes.  Like this one.  And this one.  And OMG THIS ONE.

Being the self-proclaimed cookie connoisseur that I am, I’ve been racking my brain to figure out the best way to turn this gorgeous, over the top, heavenly chocolate cake into a cookie.  And I think I found it.

Or maybe I just found a new way to eat 3 cookies in the space of 10 minutes.  (Like I needed a new way.)

My intention was that these would make a fun little Valentine treat.  You know, the kind you can tuck in a lunchbox for your rugrats, or put on a plate for your favorite neighborhood kids, or surprise your coworkers with.

Chocolate Lava Cookies from

Not that it has to be February for one to enjoy chocolate with more chocolate inside.  I personally think chocolate chocolate treats belong in my life every month.

The key to the lava in this cookie is hot fudge sauce.  The kind that comes in a jar, and sits on the shelf in the ice cream toppings area of the grocery store.  I’m a BIG fan of homemade hot fudge sauce, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the right stuff for this cookie.  This cookie requires the kind that comes in a jar.

Not chocolate syrup.  Not magic shell.  Hot Fudge Ice Cream Topping and only that.  Agreed?

And don’t warm it up, either.  You’ll just end up regretting it.  Spoon it right out of the jar at room temperature into your cookie dough, and in a few minutes, you’ll have a cookie that is literally exploding with chocolate fudge.  Lawd have mercy, this is my idea of heaven.

Chocolate Lava Cookies from

Before you go scrolling to the bottom for the recipe, let me quickly share two important points.

IMPORTANT POINT #1:  This is the Cookie of the Month for February!  Yay!

KEC Silicone Mats

That means that you can win prizes by making this recipe, and proving it to me by sending me a photo of it.  This month’s prize is brought to you by Kitchen Executive Chef.  Their high quality Silicone Mats are used at least twice a week at my house, and often more than that.  They are my favorite mats because they are thick and very nicely made.

Enter to win a set of mats one of three ways:

1. Share a photo of your Chocolate Lava Cookies on Instagram, and tag me, @jensfavoritecookies, in the description.  Find me on Instagram here.

2. Drop a photo of your Chocolate Lava Cookies on my Facebook page.  I’ll share it will all my Facebook fans!  Find me on Facebook here.  (Make sure you don’t just tag me, it must be posted on my Facebook page.)

3. E-mail a photo of your Chocolate Lava Cookies to me at:

Winner will be chosen and announced on Friday, February 27, in my month end wrap-up post, so keep your eyes peeled to see if your name is announced!

Can’t wait?  Order your silicone mats today using the promo code  JFCOOKIE  and receive 25% off the regular price!  Order them here.



I’m not the only one ringing in February with chocolate cookies.  My friends have all posted chocolate cookies today too!  Take a few minutes to check out all these fantastic chocolate cookies!

Chocolate Lava Cookies from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
Triple Chocolate Cookie Bars from Crumb: A Food Blog
Flourless Dark Chocolate Cookies from The Cooking Actress
Caramel Chocolate Chip Cashew Butter Cookies from Magnolia Days
Chocolate Orange Ginger Cookies from Gotta Get Baked
Chocolate Chip Compost Cookies (gluten-free) from Heartbeet Kitchen
Fudgy Kalhua Brownie Cookies from Bake or Break

Chocolate Lava Cookies

These simple cookies are filled with hot fudge for a delicious chocolate treat!
Author: Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar + 1/4 cup for rolling
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • jarred hot fudge sauce (6 ounce)


  • Cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs, vanilla, and water and beat until smooth.
  • Add salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder and mix well. Add flour and mix on medium low just until combined.
  • Divide the dough into 24 pieces that are roughly equal in size.
    Place a piece of cookie dough in the palm of your hand and flatten it out like a thick disc . Place a little hot fudge (about 1/2 teaspoon) in the middle of the dough and wrap the dough around it, rolling it into a ball to seal it.
  • Place 1/4 cup of sugar in a small bowl. Roll the cookie ball in sugar and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing it out on the cookie sheets. we used a half sheet pan and were able to get 12 cookies on one pan.
  • Bake 6-8 minutes or until the cookies are set and start to slightly crack on top slightly. Let cool on the baking sheet for 1-2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.