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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chocolate Ginger Scones with an Egg Nog Glaze

The holidays are not over yet and neither is my obsession with chocolate and ginger..  I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas celebrations.  I know I did.  My daughter was quite thrilled that Santa brought what she had asked for and my son could care less about opening gifts or playing with his new toys.  But we did get to spend the whole day together just hanging around in our pajamas and having a nice family nap time.  I really needed that.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Recipes

Well, I am finally all set for Christmas.  I finished up my wrapping last night and my baking today.  I have one more half day of work tomorrow and then I am off for a day and a half. Yipee!!  I hope the kids let us sleep in a little on Christmas morning.  I remember how excited I used to get as a kid. And I remember how my three brothers and I used to pester our parents until they woke up so we could open out presents.  However, now as a parent I see that perhaps we should have let them sleep.  Lol.

That's ok, the best part of Christmas is seeing those little faces light up knowing that Santa came and left them special gifts under the tree.  It makes us, as parents, feel like kids again ourselves.  I hope you all enjoy the holidays however you may celebrate.  Here are some last minute ideas for holiday treats if you have not finished baking yet.  Just click on the picture for the link to the recipe.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Candy Cane Hot Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats (#BloggersforSandyHook)

I am participating in Cookie and Crafts for Sandy Hook, a tribute to Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Though this recipe is not technically a cookie, it is something fun to make with your kids and remember how precious they are.

For more information on how to  help support the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, click on the buttons to the right of my page, or see Dorothy at Crazy For Crust.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chocolate Ginger Crepes

It is hard to remain festive in light of the tragedy that occurred last Friday in my state.  Knowing that this happened a little over a 1/2 hour away from us and that it could have easily been my child, does not make it easier.  The families of Sandy Hook, CT deserved to spend the holidays happy and carefree with their loved ones, not burying them.  

As parents, we all strive to give our children an innocent childhood, but then we realize that some things are out of our control. I remember being worried about having kids for fear of all the things that could happen to them in this world.  It shouldn't be like this.  I think all parents will be holding their children a little tighter this holiday, I know I will.  And please keep all the families affected by Friday's tragedy in your prayers.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dark Chocolate Ginger Cupcakes with a Vanilla Mascarpone Frosting

Sorry, but I still can't get enough of the chocolate and ginger combo.   I am addicted.  I just want to put it in everything.  I think they need to make a chocolate ginger cereal.  Oooh...that would be really good!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gingerbread Rice Krispie Treats

Wow! The past ten days have been nutty.  My poor 6 year old daughter has been out of school with pneumonia.  We have been battling, fevers, horrific coughing, really bad nose bleeds, very messy sneezing and extreme boredom.  The good news is that she is finally feeling better and is able to return to school.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mini Cinnamon Egg Nog Donuts with an Egg Nog Glaze

Before I share this recipe with you, I want to give a shout out to the wonderfully talented Ashton from Something Swanky that I met while attending Online BlogCon.  She is the artist behind my new blog design.  I have been wanting a face-lift for my blog for a while now, but didn't have the know how to do it myself.  So I contacted Ashton and told her what I wanted and she brought my ideas to life.  Now every time I click on my page, I have a huge smile on my face. If you are looking for your own blog face-lift, check out her Etsy shop here.  She has great prices, is very friendly, and does a fabulous job.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Mini Chocolate Ginger Donuts with an Egg Nog Topping

I can't believe it's December already.  The whole year went by so fast.  Over all, it was a good year, but I am really looking forward to some happy changes for the new year.  I try to remind myself that in life, everything happens for a reason.  I just need to find the patience to wait and see how it all pans out.

While I wait I will continue doing what makes me the happiest...baking!  Ever since I made those Chocolate Ginger Cookies, I have had cravings for something else chocolaty and spicy.  So over the weekend, I dusted off my Babycakes donut maker and made these Chocolate Ginger Donuts.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Triple Chocolate Nutella Cookies

I needed to make some cookies quick the other day for a party.  I really wanted to make my Triple Chocolate Mocha Cappuccino Cookies, but I didn't find any Jif Mocha Cappuccino flavored Hazelnut Spread at the grocery store, so I ended up using Nutella.  I had forgotten how much I love Nutella.  We have it in the kitchen cabinet all the time, but I try to ignore the jar when it calls to me.  I know that if I open it up and smell that intoxicating chocolate hazelnut scent, I will be helpless against it.  My hand will automatically grab a spoon and next thing you know, the jar will be empty and I will be licking every last trace of that velvety chocolate spread from all surfaces it dripped onto.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No Bake Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

I hope everyone made it through the holiday and the crazy shopping days safe and sound.  I did not go out on Black Friday.  I refuse to go out on Black Friday.  After working 10 years in retail, I know when to stay away from the stores.  Instead I stayed home and put up my Christmas tree with my daughter.  The extra long weekend was mostly relaxing and very much needed.

For Thanksgiving Day we went to my in-laws and I  made this delightfully easy cheesecake to bring to with me.  It was well received.

I made it using the homemade dulce de leche I whipped up the other day in the slowcooker and both cream cheese and mascarpone cheese.

All you have to do is mix all the ingredients together, dump it in the ready made pie crust and throw it in the fridge for a bit.

I was going to spread some of the leftover Cool Whip on top, but not everyone is found of cream.  Instead I used my vegetable peeler to shave a bar of dark chocolate into little chocolate curls and sprinkled it on top of the cheesecake.  I really love the mix of cream cheese and dulce de leche.  Sweet and cheesy!

No Bake Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

by The Sweet Chick
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: none
Keywords: no bake dessert dulce de leche cream cheese mascarpone cheese Cool Whip cheese cake pie

Ingredients (8- 10 servings)
  • 1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 pkg (8 oz.) mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup dulce de leche
  • 1 cup Cool Whip whipped topping
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Keebler Ready Crust (any flavor)
In a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and dulce de leche.
Then add in the whipped topping and vanilla extract. Mix on low until all combined.
Pour the mixture into the pie crust and place in fridge for 2-3 hours to set.
Before cutting a slice you can top the pie off with extra whipped topping, chocolate shavings, or sprinkles.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Homemade Dulce de Leche Revisited

I was all out of dulce de leche and really in the mood to make a yummy dessert  for my Argentinian in-laws for Thanksgiving using this sweet Spanish caramel.  What was a girl to do?  Make some more of course.  Now that I know I can make it in a slowcooker anytime I want, it makes it a lot easier. Just click on the photo below for the link to the recipe I used the first time.

Homemade Dulce De Leche

The first time I made dulce de leche in a slowcooker, I followed the recipe exactly.  It said to set the slowcooker on low for 9-11 hours.  I set mine for 10 hours.  The results were a light, creamy, sauce-like dulce de leche that was great for pouring over ice cream, crepes, pancakes, waffles, or my Mini Churro Donuts and Churro Crepes.

Mini Churro Donuts
However, the consistency was not ideal for when I wanted to spread it on toast, or between a layered cake or fill cupcakes, like my Churro Cupcakes with Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting.

Nor was it good to used in baking like when I made my Dulce de Leche Rice Krispie Treats, Dulce de Leche Stuffed Scones, and Dulce de Leche and White Chocolate M&M Cookies.

So I decided to experiment a little with the settings on the slowcooker to get the right consistency of dulce de leche I wanted.  First I set in on high for 6 hours.  When I went to get a sneak peek after 6 hours, I did not see the darker color caramel I was expecting.  I put the cover back on and set it for another 6 hours on high.  I went for a second look and it did indeed look darker.  I did not take the jars out of the slowcooker yet, for the simple fact that I do not have the proper thongs and I didn't want to risk another ride to the emergency room by sticking my hand in extremely hot water.  So I left the jars sitting in the water overnight to cool off.  In the morning I woke up to a glorious jar of the dark, thick, velvety smooth, dulce de leche of my dreams.  You could stick a fork in it and it would stand straight up.  Perfection! So I guess every slowcooker is not the same.  I don't care that it took me 12 hours to make, because it really didn't take much effort, it's homemade, and it was cooked in canning jars that are now sealed and can be saved for a later date to use in recipes or to give away as gifts for Christmas.  The clear glass jars make it easy to monitor the dulce de leche for the results you want.  So whether you like it more as a sauce or you want to use it for baking, go ahead and make some today.  It's good stuff!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Maple Recipes

This week is a short work week for me, but still a busy one.  We are spending Thanksgiving Day with my in-laws.  I need to figure out what I am going to make and bring.  We have a showing for our house on Friday.  Which is also the day I wanted to get my Christmas tree up.  If I can get that done, then Saturday I can take pictures of the kids in front of the tree and start putting together my Christmas photo cards.  Then Sunday is my niece's baptism and we have a reception at my parent's house afterwards.  And somewhere in there I need to do some more Christmas shopping.  No big deal, right?

Carrot Cake Muffins with Cinnamon Maple Mascarpone Frosting

In the meantime, I thought I would put together a list of tasty recipes featuring maple syrup.  These would be great to share for the holidays.  Just chose a recipe and click on the picture for the link.

Maple Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Maple Chocolate Chip Rice Krispie Treats

Maple Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies

Maple Zucchini Nut Bread

Maple Chocolate Chip Scones
Apple Cider Donuts with Maple Glaze
Maple Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes with Soynut Butter Frosting

Ok, so Thanksgiving is almost here and Christmas is right behind and there is so much to do.  Cooking, baking, shopping, decorating, wrapping.  Of course relaxing is not one of them.  Instead of stressing out, I made cupcakes.  Who needs yoga? Have a cupcake.

For the cupcakes, I used the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can, except replacing 1 cup of sugar for 1 cup of caramel.  The cupcakes were great, but not much caramel flavor.  I will have to add some more next time.

For the frosting, I adapted the recipe I used to make my Peanut Butter Fluff Frosting.  I used soynut butter instead of peanut butter.  The combo of the salty soynut butter and the sweet chocolate cupcakes was just what I was looking for.  I even drizzled some extra caramel on top and added dark chocolate sprinkles to finish it off.

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes with Soynut Butter Frosting

by The Sweet Chick
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert chocolate caramel soynut butter marshmallow fluff cupcake 

Ingredients (32 cupcakes)
    For the cupcakes
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup Hershey's Dark Cocoa
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 cup caramel (or caramel topping)
    • 1 cup boiling water
    For the frosting
    • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 cup creamy soynut butter
    • 4 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
    • 5-6 tablespoons milk
    For the cupcakes
    Heat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
    In a large bowl or stand mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    Add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, and caramel. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
    Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
    Pour batter into prepared muffin tins using a small ladle. If you use a regular scoop like I did, you will make a mess.
    Bake at 350º F for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
    For the frosting
    With a mixer, blend butter and soynut butter until smooth.
    Sift in confectioners' sugar and beat on low speed.
    Add milk and increase speed to high.
    Add fluff. Beat for 1 minute.
    Using a small spatula or a cake decorating tip and bag, add frosting to the cupcakes.
    Drizzle with extra caramel and sprinkle with dark chocolate bits if you want.
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    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Chocolate Ginger Cookies

    OK, so I was supposed to do this post yesterday, but I was so close to finishing this book and I had to know how it ended.  Have you read it?
    It is a ridiculously twisted book.  I am not sure if I should say the author is brilliantly creative or down right creepy.  Either way this book is a nail-biting, page-turning, plot-twisting, can't-put-down kinda book.  If you have read it, you will know why I couldn't post last night.

     But I am here now to share a new recipe.  My husband found this tin of crystallized ginger chips at T. J. Maxx.  He wanted me to use it to make him some cookies because he loves ginger snaps.  I like ginger, but I can't say I am fond of the hard cookies.  There was a recipe for soft chewy ginger cookies on the back of the can, so I adapted the recipe slightly and made these Chocolate Ginger Cookies.

    The ginger chips are delicious.  They are sweet, but with just a bite of tangy ginger.  If you don't find them at the store, I did spot them here at and here at Sur La Table.  You can also make the cookies without the chips and they will still have plenty of spicy flavor from the the ground ginger, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon.

    I am happy that I put some cocoa in the mix.  Ever since I put chocolate chips with the pumpkin spice in my Maple Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread I was hooked on the chocolate and spice combo.

    The dough for these cookies is nice and thick.  I used a cookie scoop to measure out the size cookie I wanted and then rolled them into balls.

    Then you just roll them around in some granulated sugar.  Don't they look pretty?  These will be great for the holidays.  Perhaps Santa might like to have some on Christmas Eve when he comes to deliver our presents.

    I know my husband really like them.  He hadn't even finished eating them all and already wanted me to make another batch.  I brought some to my mom and some to work also.  No one had anything bad to say about them. I was surprised at how many people loved ginger cookies.  I guess I will have to make some for holiday gifts this year.

    Normally, chocolate chip cookies are my number one favorite cookie, but I think they have to move over and make room for these Chocolate Ginger Cookies.  They are moist, chewy, sweet, and tangy.  And it is very hard to eat just one.

    Chocolate Ginger Cookies

    by The Sweet Chick
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Keywords: bake dessert ginger chocolate cookie 

    Ingredients (36 cookies)
    • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup cocoa
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
    • 1 cup sugar (plus 1/4 cup for rolling dough in)
    • 1/4 cup dark molasses
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 1/2 cup Crystallized Ginger Chips
    Preheat oven to 375º F.
    In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and cocoa.
    In a stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar. Then add the molasses, egg, and milk.
    Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
    Add the ginger chips and mix until all incorporated.
    Chill the dough for about an hour. Then with cookie scoop measure out dough and roll into balls.
    Next roll the balls of dough into granulated sugar and place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
    Bake 10 minutes at 375º F. Remove from the oven and place on cooling racks until completely cooled.
    Grab a glass of cold milk and a couple of cookies and enjoy!
    (Recipe adapted from The Ginger People)
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    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    Honey Carrot Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

    #honey #oatmeal #raising #cookies

    My mom handed me a recipe the other day.  She found it in her archives of recipes.  It was called Biscuits aux Carottes (Carrot Cookies) and was written in French on the back of an old yellowed calendar page with several folds in it and stapler holes.  She handed me a jar of honey along with the recipe to get me started.  Thanks Ma!

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    Pumpkin Soynut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I can't believe it is November already.  There are only seven more weeks until Christmas.  I suppose I should get a move on my Christmas shopping.  Every year I say I am going to start early and every year I am running around last minute.  There is so much to do.  Oh well, I guess I will just eat another cookie to deal with the stress.  These bite size cookies don't taste fattening and they have some healthy attributes like pumpkin and soynut butter, so maybe I will have two.

    I wanted to make pumpkin and peanut butter cookies, but I didn't want to have to pull out the Epi Pen for my two year old son.  And since he loves cookies and I am a nice mom (most of the time), I used soynut butter instead.  Every time he sees me baking he circles me saying "mmm, nom, nom" until I give him a treat.  Sometimes I barely get my goods out of the oven and he is there with his goofy grin.  Apparently he inherited my sweet tooth.

     The first time I made these I didn't add the pumpkin pie spice.  The cookies were still tasty, but lacking some extra punch.  So when I made the second batch, I added 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice and that added just the right amount of flavor boost to make these special.

    I really did enjoy the soynut butter flavor in these.  You can definitely change it to peanut butter if you want, but for those with peanut allergies like my son, the soynut butter works great.

    I also like that these cookies don't flatten out.  They stay fluffy and light.  I adapted this recipe from my Maple Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies  recipe.

    Pumpkin Soynut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    by The Sweet Chick
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Keywords: bake dessert snack nut-free pumpkin chocolate chips soynut butter cookie 

    Ingredients (40 cookies)
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
    • 1/2 cup soynut butter
    • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
    Preheat oven to 350º F.
    In a stand mixer add butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat on low until well mixed and texture is smooth.
    In a separate bowl combine flour, spice, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir until all is well blended.
    Then slowly add dry mixture to the wet mixture and beat on low until it becomes a dough like consistency.
    Then add the pumpkin puree, and soynut butter and give it a good mixing.
    Finally, add the chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
    Using a spoon or cookie scoop, drop by tablespoon or so onto a greased cookie sheet leaving 2 inches between each dough ball.
    Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and wait 5 minutes, then remove from cookie sheet and place on cooling rack until completely cooled.
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