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Rocky Road Cookies

Hey everyone!

As I write this my head is all plugged up and my throat is scratchy.  That’s right: the little cold I had a few days ago decided to annoy me a little more than I thought it would.

Luckily it seems like the whole sore throat portion of this cold is nearly done with.  Now it’s mostly just a stuffy/runny nose.  Thank goodness.  There’s nothing worse than a sore throat.  Yuck, right?

I generally like to look on the bright side.  One might wonder what the bright side of having a cold is.  Well, I don’t have to go through much effort cooking myself meals, because everything tastes the same.  And by the same I mean vaguely of plastic.  😀

And oddly enough this morning my coffee tasted like onions.  And it was pecan supreme coffee sooo…..

😉

When it comes right down to it, I’ve never thought colds are as bad as allergies.  I’ve always felt for people who have allergies.  It seems like some people start getting the sniffles and sore eyes in early spring, and then have allergies straight through to fall.  I’m guessing you get very well acquainted to Claritin if you’re like that.

So for everyone who has a cold or allergies right now and has problems tasting like me, here’s a recipe that you wouldn’t want to make.  Because you definitely want to taste it: rocky road cookies!

These are reminiscent of a s’more with the ooey, gooey marshmallow on top.  And when I make them I always say Sookie’s line from Gilmore Girls about rocky road cookies for Dean.  😀

These are perfect for those upcoming nights by the campfire, and I think they’d make an awesome and wonderfully rich cookie sandwich with ice cream in the middle.  Yum!

(Slightly adapted from a rocky road cookie recipe on Simply Whisked)

Rocky Road Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • For cookies:
  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup butter-flavored shortening
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts, plus more for topping
  • 24 large marshmallows, cut in half.
  • For chocolate drizzle:
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. shortening
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a couple cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the shortening and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add in the eggs and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl if you have to.
  5. Add in the dry ingredients ½ cup at a time, mixing until incorporated.
  6. Add in the chips and peanuts.
  7. Form the dough into 2 tablespoon sized mounds and place on the cookie sheets.
  8. Bake for 9 minutes, then remove from the oven, top with a marshmallow half, and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until lightly brown.
  9. Allow cookies to cool. While cooling, prepare the drizzle by placing chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and heating in microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until chocolate is melted. Stir in shortening and mix until smooth.
  10. Drizzle the chocolate over cooled cookies, then top with reserved peanut pieces.

 

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Spicy Vinaigrette

Hey everyone!

Well, it’s official.  I have a little touch of a spring cold.  My throat is sore.  My body is slightly achy.  Why is it always in the spring?  That’s OK.  I’ll just hang out with a mug of hot tea.  I won’t let this little bugger annoy me.  🙂

Since spring is in full bloom I’ve really been in a salad mood lately.  I’ve also been in a rhubarb mood.  I need some rhubarb pie asap.  😉

Do any of you grow rhubarb?  I’ve never tried.  And since I don’t have any lying around, my rhubarb dreams are just going to have to go on the back burner for the moment.

But not my salad dreams.  My salad dreams are right in front of me, ready to be fulfilled.  😀

Now, if you’re going to have salad dreams, you know you’re going to have to have an awesome vinaigrette to pour all over that goodness.

I like a lot of different vinaigrettes, but lately I’ve been in the mood for something with a little kick.  Enter the spicy vinaigrette.

This has a nice little kick from cayenne pepper and regular ol’ freshly ground black pepper.  Mmm.

This is so good over a nice bed of greens, but I also really like vinaigrettes like this over grilled veggies.  Give it a try sometime.

And how good would a spicy dressing like this be over a salad with some fruit, like strawberries or cubed mango?  Yum!

(From a spicy vinaigrette recipe on Martha Stewart)

Spicy Vinaigrette
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  • ¾ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a jar, close, and shake well to combine before using.

 

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Lemon Icebox Cake

Hey, all!

I hope you all had a fantastic Easter holiday last weekend.

So, is everybody getting spring fever now?  Are all of the kids getting antsy?  How much school do kids have left in your area?  It seems like they all get done around here by the 15th of May or so.

That’s waaay sooner than school used to let out when I was a kid.  I remember going some years until about June 6th, and then starting again around the 1st of September.

As I’ve mentioned countless times before, I’m a real fall and winter kind of gal.  The scarves are fabulous, the desserts are apple-based, and the the nights are crisp.  It’s my kind of weather.

But how does the old saying go?  “One cannot live on bread alone”…well, actually maybe I could.  Anyhoo, similarly you could probably say something like “One cannot live on colder temperatures alone.”  Because yes, even me, who is forever drawn to hats and mittens, is officially ready for spring and summer.  😀

The grass is green.  The garden is ready to be planted.  And my lace-up espadrilles are begging to be worn!  🙂

So to celebrate spring and all things sunshine, I bring you yet another lemon dessert.  This week it’s lemon icebox cake, aka lemon eclair cake.

I’m guessing the reason why its alternative name is eclair cake has to do with the custardy filing.  Mmm, mmm, good!  And let’s just say if you’re obsessed with pretty layers in desserts, this is the cake for your.  Gotta love those layers!

I once saw a chocolate eclair cake made on America’s Test Kitchen, although I think they pretty much shunned the use of graham crackers.  After the success of this cake I pretty much think I need to whip up the chocolate version sometime.

Enjoy!

(Slightly adapted from a lemon icebox cake recipe on Six Sisters’ Stuff)

Lemon Icebox Cake
 
Ingredients
  • For cake base:
  • 2 (3.5 oz) packages instant lemon pudding mix
  • 1 (8 oz) container whipped topping
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 (16 oz) package graham crackers
  • For frosting:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. whole milk
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
Instructions
  1. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the pudding mixes, whipped topping, and milk until totally combined.
  3. Place a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of the 9x13 pan, breaking some crackers up into smaller pieces if you have to to make them fit in one even layer.
  4. Spread half of the pudding mixture over the graham crackers. Place another single layer of graham crackers over that.
  5. Layer the last half of the pudding on top, then place another layer of graham crackers over it.
  6. To make the frosting, mix all of the frosting ingredients together until completely combined. Spread frosting on top of the cake, and refrigerate for at least four hours to set up. Keep leftovers in the fridge.

 

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Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello everyone!

Happy Easter tomorrow for any of you who celebrate.  For those of you marking the holiday, are you planning anything special?  Any Easter egg hunts in the works?  Do you plan to eat anything lemon based?  Or maybe you plan to indulge in a slice of carrot cake.

Mmm.  Everyone should do the carrot cake thing, don’t you think?

When I was a little kid I pretty much thought that Easter egg hunts were the epitome of a good time.  I mean, it’s all about the thrill of the hunt.  🙂  But to be honest I only seem to remember really going on an Easter egg hunt maybe twice.  If you plan to look for Easter eggs just remember to write a little note to yourself about where you hid them, just in case the kids don’t find them all.  You don’t want to end up like Kirk from Gilmore Girls and have the whole place smelling like rotten eggs for a week.  😀

How about coloring Easter eggs?  When I was a kid we’d just dunk the eggs in that special egg food coloring and that was pretty much it.  Or maybe sometimes I’d put a rubber band around the egg to make a stripe.  WOW, right?  Haha.  ;D  Or if we were feeling REALLY wild we’d make those Jello eggs in that special plastic mold.  Does anyone else remember those?  And sometimes you’d layer the colors.  Don’t tell me I was the only one who did that.  🙂

But now all you have to do is hop on Pinterest and you find a myriad of cool egg dying tricks.  I really like the eggs that are kind of tie dyed.  I think that just involves regular food coloring and paper towels.  And then there are the ones that are colored with beet juice.  Very cool.

But even though they may seem simplistic now, I’ll always have a soft spot for those traditions from childhood.  I mean, they may  not have been ombre or anything, but I thought Rice Krispie eggs were pretty awesome.

😉

This post is not about eggs.  I actually don’t care for hard boiled eggs.  That was one downside to coloring them.  Nor is this post about lemon or about carrot cake.  This is a post for those people who just want to add something quickly to a holiday dessert tray.  Or for those people who want a quick cookie to make with the kiddos this weekend.  And what could be more universally loved than a chocolate chip cookie?

This is one that’s bound to make you smile.  The raw cookie dough reminds me of the frozen cookie dough we used to get at Sam’s Club when I was a kid.  Yep, I stole a few of those and ate them raw back in the day.  No lie.  🙂

But the secret ingredient here is cream cheese, which creates a nice, soft finished product.  Mmm.  Soft cookies.  I always have a weakness for the soft cookies!

Happy Easter!

(Slightly adapted from a cream cheese chocolate chip cookie recipe on Sweet Little Bluebird)

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, cream cheese, and sugars until creamy. Add the vanilla and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl if you need to.
  4. In a separate bowl add the salt, baking soda, and flour together and stir.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet all at once, mixing until just combined.
  6. Turn off the mixer and add in the chocolate chips, stirring them in with a wooden spoon.
  7. Drop the cookie dough onto prepared sheets in heaping tablespoons. Flatten down the cookies with your hand and bake for 9-11 minutes, until just slightly golden brown.

 

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