Chocolate Chip Cocoa Pebbles Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cocoa Pebbles Cookies. Yes, that’s right….chocolate chip cocoa pebble cookies. Don’t those words together get you all excited?!?!

CCCP Cookies 1

Baking is like therapy when life’s stresses get the best of me. Creaming, folding and mixing help to put me at ease and bring me to a happy place. When I smell the sweetness wafting from the oven, a smile comes over my face and I forget I have any problems.

These cookies are a result of stressful day. Chocolate chip cookies topped with dark chocolate and cocoa pebbles cereal.

CCCP Cookies 2

The main thing that is important is the fact these cookies are fluffy (mixed with a slight chewy texture). Why is that important? Because we all know that chocolate chip cookies are made to be eaten with milk and so is cereal. The fluffy factor happening with these cookies lets the milk really sink in. This means these chocolate chip cocoa pebble cookies are the ultimate cookies MADE for dipping in milk. I hope you love them as much as me!!

 

Chocolate Chip Cocoa Pebbles Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Melted chocolate and cocoa pebbles cereal for coating

Instructions

In large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy.

Add egg. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Add dry mixture to creamed mixture in 2-3 additions. Mixing lightly between each.

Add chocolate chips after the last dry mix addition. Mix all ingredients well, until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and is soft but not sticky to touch.

Roll dough into ball and place on lightly floured surface. Roll out dough and cut into desired shapes.

Place cookies on cookie sheet and freeze for about 10 minutes (freezing the cookie shapes will prevent the cookies from spreading out flat) while oven preheats to 350 degrees.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes depending on size. Cool cookies completely before decorating.

Once totally cooled, dip the top of each cookie in melted chocolate then cover in cocoa pebbles.

This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.

I used Wilton Dark Chocolate candy-melts for this project (but I am sure most chocolate would work, including milk chocolate or semi-sweet chips). I used about half the bag and about 1/4 tsp of vegetable oil. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe dish for about 1 minute to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds to prevent scorching. When completely melted, add vegetable oil and stir. This little bit of oil helps keep the chocolate from setting too fast and gives is a lovely shine. This does not change the taste of the chocolate and it will set normally.

CCCP Cookies 3

A Giggle, A Curl, A Sweet Baby Girl!!

Something different today, friends! It’s been a whirlwind of sugar cookies, fondant and royal icing in my kitchen this week. I’ve been preparing for a friends baby shower and you know I loved every minute of this.

Its a girl I

And what better way to celebrate a new baby girl than with countless pounds of butter and sugar disguised as an array of little girl onesies, teddy bears, rubber ducky’s, bling bling bottles and a baby carriage(s)!!

Its a girl

Congratulations and Thank You for the order Frontero Family!!! :)

Its a girl II

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Devil’s Food Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies

Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies 1

I’m back! Apologies for my extended absence, as the last few months were given over to tax season.

Real Talk. Are you ready?

Last Monday … (the one just passed) I woke up like I do every day to show each day who’s who and by mid-morning I had been laid off  from my job.  Soo…to no surprise, I had major attitude. Like major. So I was like, Cool, I’m going to go home, reach out to the recruiter and I’ll feel better.

Came home…spoke with the recruiter, set up some job interviews, had dinner with friends….did not work…..still had an attitude. I have no job? There is a freakish heat wave in San Diego, totally sweating and I’m stuck in my house with no A/C feeling sorry for myself. Can you say huge brat? No really, you can.

The next day I was reading a cookbook (I read cookbooks like novels) Christina Tosi’s, Momofuku Milk Bar. Right after the introduction there is a section…and it’s called Real Talk.  Her Real Talk? Stop complaining. Keep your cool.

Woman-up…roll up your sleeves…time to get busy. Christina Tosi’s total attitude of pep talk is what I needed. Sometimes all of us need someone to set us straight. Christina did it. Girl crush? Absolutely.

Note to self: Nothing is ever devastating just an inconvenience.

It’s been a tricky juggling act trying to work on this blog and creating an online cookie company while attending to life’s other responsibilities. Now that I’ve finished the major part of work, I’ am currently on vacation in the Bay Area. There’s no lack of fantastic restaurants and bakeries in the Bay Area, more so in San Francisco. San Francisco, my go to place to  feel inspired when there’s no motivation!!

I’m looking forward to getting back into a more regular schedule with the posts. So I hope you are enjoying your spring, and expect some more posts soon.

San Francisco is currently going through a chocolate renaissance; here is a quick and easy Devils Food Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Toffee cookie recipe. Enjoy!

Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies 2

Devil’s Food Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies

Ingredients:

1 boxed devil’s foods cake mix

1/2 cup {1 stick} unsalted butter

2 eggs

1 1/2 to 2 tbsp. flour

1-2 tsp. vanilla or other flavoring – optional

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup heath bar toffee bits

Handful of marshmallows for garnish

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Use a cookie scoop drop evenly sized potions of dough onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Add marshmallows to the tops of the cookies 5 minutes prior to removing from oven.

Let cool on the sheet for at least ten minutes.

Craft Beer + Chocolate = The New Cupid Couple

It’s that chocolate gift giving time of year again!

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday this year, you may wish to look beyond landing a dinner reservation; it will surely be a cluster of a night for most restaurants.

If you need a fun idea that does not even require you to step into an overcrowded restaurant, then I’ve got you covered.

Stay in instead and do it right with a fancy craft beer and chocolate pairing.

beer and chocolate pairing

Here is my craft beer and chocolate pairing guide for the sweet love in your life:

Before selecting chocolate and a beer to pair it with – it is important to remember the three Cs of beer pairing – compare, contrast and cleanse.

Compare: If you want your chocolate and beer to have similar flavors.

Contrast: Flavors that are different but complement each other nicely.

Cleanse: Lastly, if you’re eating a greasy or fatty food like sausage (doesn’t apply to this situation since we are talking about chocolate pairings); an ideal beer would be a pilsner as it works to cleanse the palate.

Peace Love and ChocolateCraftBeer. Com – Beer and Chocolates Not So Secret Love Affair

https://www.craftbeer.com/beer-and-food/beer-and-chocolates-not-so-secret-love-affair

beer and chocolate

The Kitchn – Beer and Chocolate Four Delicious Pairings

http://www.thekitchn.com/beer-chocolate-four-delicious-pairings-179314

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

2013 Food Bloggers Cookie Swap | Always Room for Dark Chocolate and Butterscotch

Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Pudding Cookies for the 2013 Food Bloggers Cookie Swap.

Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Pudding CookiesIt is probably no surprise to anyone that dessert is one of my favorite parts of any meal, which is why I was so delighted to participate in this year’s great food bloggers cookie swap. The food bloggers cookie swap supports Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. How could I say no!!

For the cookie swap I decided to make butterscotch pudding cookies dipped in dark chocolate.

Butterscotch Pudding Cookies? It’s a super-moist, tender brown sugar cookie with instant butterscotch pudding and butterscotch chips added to the mix. It’s kind of like butterscotch heaven, in my mind. The cookies themselves are not super-sweet, but rather tender with subtly vanilla and brown sugary. The dark chocolate ganache is very minimally sweet, but oh-so-tasty.

Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Pudding CookiesLesson learned: chocolate-dipped cookies are much more rich and satisfying than non-chocolate-dipped cookies.

Dark Chocolate Butterscotch Pudding Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 (3.4 oz.) package of butterscotch pudding mix

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup butterscotch chips

Dark Chocolate Ganache

6 ounces dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 2 tbsp.

Pinch of fine-grain salt

Chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy and fluffy.

Add in the pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract. Beat well until incorporated.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the butterscotch chips with a spatula.

Drop cookies onto baking sheet with a cookie scoop and bake for 10 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.

Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely.

Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan; take the cream off the heat just before boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and add the salt; allow to sit for 5 minutes. Stir until the ganache is smooth.

Once the ganache is totally cooled dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate then cover in sprinkles, transfer the cookie to parchment or wax paper. Repeat the process until all of the cookies are half dipped in chocolate and sprinkles. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 30 minutes.

Apple Pie Muffins

Yes, you read the title correctly – Apple Pie Muffins. Just like warm apple pie if you eat them hot out of the oven like I did. Two wonderful buttery worlds collide and the resulting muffin is everything you need this Thanksgiving.

I did not want these to be typical muffins with barely recognizable pieces of apple and a little spice. I wanted these to be hearty, enthusiastically spiced apple muffins with big chunks of Granny Smith apples and a sweet and buttery crumble topping.

Apple Pie Muffins

If the thought of baking a pie for Thanksgiving is a little daunting, then why not bake apple pie muffins instead?  Honestly who does not love apple pie muffins with a crumb topping!

Apple Pie Muffins

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

2 cups peeled, chopped Granny Smith Apples

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup rolled oats

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

3 tbsp. butter, melted

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 cup muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/4 cups flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, 1/2 cup melted butter, vanilla and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved.

Pour butter mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in apples. Use a cookie or ice cream scoop to fill each muffin well, filling the cups to the top.

In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, rolled oats, and cinnamon. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of melted butter, mixing until well blended. Sprinkle this over the tops of the muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.

Cool on wire rack. Store at room temperature.

Granny Smith Apples

Fun Food Fact:

While an apple a day might keep the doctor away, it may be the perfect substitute for your morning java too! Believe it or not, you may feel as awake and energized as you did post-coffee.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

When I ate one of these cookies, suddenly everything in life made sense. Well, maybe not everything. 

Like if you told me that at age 40 I’d be writing many fragmented and run-on sentences about the food I love to eat on the internet, sharing my life everyday with some invisible internet friends and taking pictures of things I’m about to put in my mouth… I would have clichély laughed in your face. In fact, I still am sort of laughing.

Have you tried Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter?

Cookie ButterIt is a “deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits”. I’ll clarify for you, just like the little biscuit cookies you get on Delta flights (aka Biscoff cookies)?  This spread tastes exactly like it.

My thoughts on “Cookie Butter” the flavor is amazing.  I love gingerbread.  I think some might have a problem with the texture — it was almost too smooth. When I first dug in, I was comparing it to peanut butter (which I prefer crunchy).  Since I did love the flavor, I decided it would be perfect in a cookie.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel CookiesI was right so right.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Speculoos cookie butter or Biscoff spread

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 cups all-purpose flour

Milk – as needed

1/2 cup chopped pretzels

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Melt butter and cookie butter in a microwave-safe bowl in microwave in 30 second increments. When fully melted, mix butter and cookie butter until fully combined. Set aside and let cool.

Place cooled cookie butter mixture in large mixer bowl and cream with sugars.

Mix in vanilla extract and eggs.

Add in flours, salt, and baking soda. If dough is crumbly, add milk until dough achieves desired consistency.

Mix in chopped pretzels and chocolate chips.

Scoop dough onto cookies sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until set and slightly underdone.

Let cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes then transfer to wire rack.

Store in an air tight container.

Enjoy!

Snickerdoodle Cut-Out Cookies

Snickerdoodle

Fall is here, it’s a little difficult to tell with the temperature still warm here in Southern California. But the signs are popping up everywhere else. I think a lot of us really get the first taste of fall when Starbucks reintroduces the pumpkin spice back into their lineup! I know I found myself digging in the back of the closet for my favorite sweaters to drop off to get dry cleaned the day after I saw the sign.

Fall makes everyone think about warm clothes, warm drinks and warm spices. And it makes me think of apple pie, apple cider, warm gooey cinnamon rolls or maybe just a hot cup of spiced chai. All of those things have at least one thing in common; cinnamon. For me, cinnamon is the quintessential fall spice.

And what could be better on a fall day than a nice snickerdoodle? You really can’t go wrong; it’s soft, warm, tender and most importantly has a mellow sweetness and a little cinnamon kick.

Snickerdoodle

If you’re looking for a great new recipe for cut out cookies, that will be perfect for fall, look no further!

snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodle Cut-Out Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, cold

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

3-3 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

Instructions

Cut cold butter into chunks; combine in mixer with sugar and cinnamon until fluffy (about 1 minute).

Add egg and vanilla extract, beat until fully incorporated.

Scrape down the bowl and then just measure and scoop all the flour directly into the mixing bowl, add the salt and baking powder and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. This will only take about a minute and the dough will form a ball on the beater and pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Roll dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use your favorite cutters to cut out shapes.

Line your baking sheets with parchment for even baking (and easy cleanup) and place cookies onto sheets.

Place baking sheets into the freezer for about 10 minutes (this prevents the dough from spreading) while the oven heats to 350 degrees.

Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes depending on your oven.

Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating.

snickerdoodles

Meatless Monday – Be In The Know

No idea how I haven’t heard of this roasted fall vegetable and ricotta pizza before, but I’m glad I did one more search on Pinterest to introduce me to it.

Whenever I scroll through the Martha Stewart website, it makes me feel like there might be a really crazy, OCD housewife living in me. It excites me. Scares me a little.

Meatless Monday Featured Recipe:

Roasted Fall Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza – Martha Stewart

Veggie Pizza

Sweet Tea Vodka Cupcakes

A few days ago, when Orange County decided to be a beautiful 97 degrees, I stuck my head in the freezer. It was one part drama and one part necessity. Mostly drama, I think.

As I was in there, with the cold air hitting my face aka heaven, I took a peek around. Lots of ice cream. Normal. And then there it was a bottle of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. YES! Cupcake time!

Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka

lemon5

Sweet Tea Vodka……. the perfect summer drink or cupcake.

Seriously though, this is basically a summer cocktail in cupcake form. The vodka is definitely not over-powering at all; but there’s a touch of tea and a whole lot of lemon involved. And yes, it’s still miserable in The OC.

lemon3

Sweet Tea Vodka Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 stick butter, room temperature

1 ½ cup powdered sugar

3 tbsp. lemon zest

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup milk

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. sweet tea vodka (I recommend Firefly it’s the best)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

Combine butter, powdered sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating to blend.

Mix in half the flour mixture. Then add the milk and lemon juice. Then mix in the other half of the flour mixture until just combined.

Pour batter into a lined cupcake tin, almost all the way to the top.

Bake the cupcakes at 350 degrees for 16-20 minutes, until cooked through and slightly golden at edges.

Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for a few minutes before moving to rack to cool completely. When cool, brush lightly with about 2 tbsp. of sweet tea vodka. I did two layers.

lemon4

Sweet Tea Vodka Frosting

Ingredients

1 stick butter, room temperature

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

3 tbsp. sweet tea vodka

1 tbsp. lemon zest

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Instructions

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy.

Add in sweet tea vodka, lemon zest, and lemon juice and combine.

If you need to add more powdered sugar to reach your desired consistency, you can.

Pipe frosting on to cupcakes. Or slather it on with a knife.

You can top the cupcakes with whatever you want. I decided a sugared lemon peel was appropriate.