Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Almond Butter Cups

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Almond Butter Cups | cookiemonstercooking.com

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Almond Butter Cups | cookiemonstercooking.com

I know, I know.  You can just buy peanut butter cups at the store.  But can you buy dark chocolate and pistachio almond butter cups???  I have never seen such a delicious treat so clearly I needed to just go ahead and make them myself.  {Although if anyone has seen something along those lines please share so I can go check them out … and have even more candy in the house.  On second thought, don’t tell me.}

So with Easter coming up I figured it would be fun to share a recipe for homemade candy.  Because as much as I kid, we all know that I prefer to make things myself anyway.  And these almond butter cups?  They only have a few ingredients … and you can pronounce every single one.  Plus, they are easy – nothing complicated here.

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Almond Butter Cups | cookiemonstercooking.com

And one of these with a cup of tea at night can make any day better.  I have a bad habit of getting on the internet and researching medical ailments anytime I have an itch or cough or obsessively think I have new mole (it’s never new).  Which leads to me convincing myself I am dying of something or other.  Which then leads to a giant flip out over nothing … some yelling at my husband since he tells me I’m fine and I don’t believe him … you know, total awesomeness.  Hypochondriac much?

Anyway, I may done this the week I made these almond butter cups.  Hot tea + almond butter cups = a cure for all made up sicknesses.  As does a visit to the doctor who also confirms that your husband was indeed correct.  Oops.  But we won’t dwell on that fact.

Decadent dark chocolate, creamy almond butter and a little saltiness from some crunchy pistachios.  I mean, you just can’t go wrong.

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Almond Butter Cups | cookiemonstercooking.com

And dark chocolate is totally healthy, right?  Just go ahead and nod your head in agreement.

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Almond Butter Cups

Yield: 12 cups

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Almond Butter Cups

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped and divided
  • ½ cup creamy almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or melted butter, if needed
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios, chopped

Instructions

  1. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  2. Add half of the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 50 percent power for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted, stirring after each. Alternatively, use a double boiler to melt the chocolate.
  3. Using a small spoon or a cookie scoop (my preference!), evenly distribute the melted chocolate in the prepared tins. Gently drop the pan on the counter several times if needed to help flatten and smooth the chocolate out so it is in an even layer. Transfer the pan to the freezer and let firm up for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat together the almond butter, 2 tablespoons butter and confectioners’ sugar until nice and smooth. If your mixture isn’t completely smooth, add in the vegetable oil (or melted butter) and beat again (I needed to do this). When the chocolate is ready, remove the pan from the freezer. Drop small spoonfuls of the almond butter mixture on top of the chocolate, use a small spoon to help spread it out if needed and again drop the pan on the counter several times to help flatten/smooth it out. Transfer the pan back to the freezer and let firm up for another 15 minutes.
  5. Melt the remaining half of the chocolate using the same method described above. When ready, remove the pan from the freezer. Working 2 to 3 cups at a time, drop even portions of the chocolate on top of the almond butter layer. Quickly drop the pan on the counter several times to even out the chocolate (since it is so cold it will harden much faster this time). Immediately sprinkle the tops with some of the chopped pistachios. Repeat with the remaining cups. Freeze the pan once again for 15 minutes or until the chocolate is completely set.

Notes

I prefer to store these in the refrigerator in an airtight container. We like to eat them chilled but you can definitely let them come to room temperature before serving. Just depends on your own preference!

This is one of those recipes that I think the quality of chocolate makes a difference. The better chocolate you use, the better they will taste!

These are not super duper sweet with the dark chocolate (they are definitely sweet but you catch my drift). Use semi-sweet or milk chocolate if you prefer instead.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/04/16/dark-chocolate-pistachio-almond-butter-cups/

Source:
Adapted from The Comfort of Cooking. Originally from Fifteen Spatulas.

 

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze | cookiemonstercooking.com

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze | cookiemonstercooking.com

I’m all about the citrus lately … in case that wasn’t already blatantly obvious.  Which even surprises me, considering about two years ago I hated (like with a serious passion) any type of citrus in baked goods.  Sure, I have always loved fruit but in cookies or cake and the like?  I don’t think so jack.  Clearly the times have changed.

So today I have for you an orange chocolate chip quick bread.  No mixer required.  Just some bowls, a whisk and a spatula.  And a quick bread means you can eat it for breakfast right?

That may have been the case if I didn’t go right ahead and smother it in a brown butter glaze.  And oh goodness gracious this glaze.  I would just drizzle it straight into my mouth all the time if that wouldn’t give my dentist a heart attack.

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze | cookiemonstercooking.com

And I have the best dentist so I wouldn’t want to do that.  So side story – the first time I went to this dentist after we moved here they were asking all about me and what I did and I mentioned this blog.  It has become a huge conversation topic during each visit and a few weeks ago while I was having two old cavities replaced I mentioned the lemon poppy seed cupcakes.  Within seconds, some of the other staff materialized in the room and wanted to know why I didn’t bring any for them to sample.  It was pretty entertaining.  But really, is it a good idea to bring cupcakes to your dentist??  That are made of lots of sugar??

Anyway, my husband went in for his check-up a week later and all they wanted to talk about was the cupcakes.  Ha!  Who’s more popular?  This girl, that’s for sure.  Why I care that my dentist likes me more than my husband I don’t know.  Let’s just go with it.

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze | cookiemonstercooking.com

So make a loaf of this bread for yourself or maybe for Easter brunch, yes?  And if you find yourself licking some of the glaze with a spoon just let it happen (but don’t tell your dentist it was my idea).

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze

Yield: 1 (8 ½ by 4 ½ inch) loaf

Orange Chocolate Chip Bread with Brown Butter Glaze

Ingredients

    For the bread:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil*
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • For the glaze:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • about 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.**
  2. To make the bread - in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and egg until well combined (it will clump together at first but just keep whisking and it will smooth out). Add in the vanilla, coconut oil, milk and orange zest and whisk again to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix.
  3. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, until a tester inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean. If the top starts to brown too quickly, tent loosely with aluminum foil. Once the bread is cool enough to handle, gently run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the glaze - add the butter chunks to a small skillet. Let the butter melt over medium heat and then continue to cook, whisking frequently, until it begins to brown (this takes several minutes). You should see brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Once you see those bits, turn off the heat and continue to whisk constantly for about 30 seconds, until the butter is golden brown. Be careful not to burn the butter - those bits can turn black quickly.
  5. Transfer the browned butter to a small bowl (make sure you get all those caramel bits in the pan!). Let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes. Add in the confectioners’ sugar, milk, vanilla extract and salt and whisk to combine. Add more milk or confectioners’ sugar to achieve the consistency that you want. Pour the glaze over the completely cooled cake. Let set before slicing to serve.

Notes

*Make sure that you melt the coconut oil first and then measure out the correct amount (otherwise you may use too much). Alternatively, you can also substitute in canola or vegetable oil - they should both work fine here.

**If you only have a 9x5 inch loaf pan, you can go ahead and use it. However, be sure to check the loaf while baking about 5 minutes earlier than noted in the recipe above.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/04/11/orange-chocolate-chip-bread-brown-butter-glaze/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

With brown butter.  Just go ahead and add that to the end of the title up there.  The length was getting a little crazy (and tongue-tying) so I cut it off.  The first clue was when my friends couldn’t repeat the title back to me after trying them … yeah, time to change the name.  But really it’s a super important part of these cookies, so we’ll just pretend it’s up there with the rest.

You don’t even want to know how many attempts it took to get these cookies just right … but it was soooo worth it.  Even the failed batches were delicious – although the amount we had in the house (and still have in the freezer) was / is borderline ridiculous.  So I started force-feeding them to friends.  Apparently I’ve turned into the crazy cookie lady.  But I promise they enjoyed them so it’s cool.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

Kidding aside, these peanut butter chocolate chip pretzel cookies are incredibly good.

  1. They have that sweet and salty thing going on big time, which I just can’t get enough of lately.
  2. They are chewyyyy.  Essential.
  3. There’s the brown butter factor.  Which we just can’t overlook.  Whole different level of goodness I tell you.

If you’ve never browned butter, don’t be intimidated.  And don’t get too upset if you burn it the first time.  Ahem, I may have some first-hand experience in that department.  After you do it a time or two you get the hang of it … and then there is no turning back.  Your world will be changed.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies | cookiemonstercooking.com

So go make me proud and bake up a batch of sweet and salty cookie awesomeness.  Or just come raid my freezer … there’s plenty to go around.  I’ll share, promise.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Yield: about 22 to 24 cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup roughly crushed pretzels

Instructions

  1. Cut the butter into chunks and add to a small skillet. Let the butter melt over medium heat and then continue to cook, whisking frequently, until it begins to brown (this takes several minutes). You should see brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Once you see those bits, turn off the heat and continue to whisk constantly for about 30 seconds, until the butter is golden brown. Be careful not to burn the butter - those bits can turn black quickly. Pour the butter into a bowl and let cool down so that it’s warm and not hot.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cooled brown butter and peanut butter. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Add in the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth and completely blended. Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Beat again on medium until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the chocolate chips and pretzels. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. When the dough is done chilling, scoop about 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of dough (I used my larger cookie scoop) and drop onto the prepared baking sheet about 2 to 3 inches apart. Sprinkle the tops lightly with some of the sea salt.
  5. Bake for about 9 to 10 minutes, until the cookies are set and the edges are a light golden brown (they may not look completely done but will continue to cook when you take them out). Let the cookies cool directly on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack.

Notes

I don’t usually use natural peanut butter when baking but it’s all I’ve been buying lately and it worked fine for me with this recipe on numerous occasions.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/04/02/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-pretzel-cookies/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

Is it breakfast?  Or dessert?  Both??  I say eat it for whichever your heart desires.  For me, that was breakfast … and I enjoyed every last bite.  But seriously, I’ve been staring at my computer screen for about 10 minutes trying to decide which category this bowl of creamy polenta goodness fits into best … and I still haven’t made a decision.  I can be very indecisive. Just ask my husband, he’ll gladly verify that fact.

But polenta, let’s get back to the polenta.  Last year I made breakfast polenta for the first time and totally fell in love.  So I decided I should make some more … and really jazz it up.  Make it super snazzy.  You know, lots of dark chocolate, pistachios (because they are pretty) and to make it even more fun a mascarpone drizzle.  Yeah, that’s right, a mascarpone drizzle.  Awesome.

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

So this dish isn’t quite as in-your-face sweet as a piece of cake, making it perfectly acceptable for breakfast (at least that’s what I told myself).  The dark chocolate melts into the warm, slightly sweet creamy polenta and then you get some crunch from the pistachios … and for the grand finale you finish it off with a mascarpone drizzle, which also sort of melts into the mixture.  Perfection.

But don’t drizzle the mascarpone sauce onto a super hot bowl of polenta and expect it to stay for pictures – that whole melting thing.  That’s what I get for being impatient and refusing to wait for it to cool down a bit to take photos … because I wanted it in my belly as soon as possible.

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

Dark chocolate. Pistachios. Mascarpone.  Go make it happen.

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle

Yield: about 4 servings

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle

Ingredients

    For the polenta:
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarse polenta (not instant or quick cooking)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the mascarpone drizzle:
  • 2 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For topping:
  • dark chocolate chunks (or chopped dark chocolate)
  • shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. To make the polenta - add the milk, water and salt to a medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a low simmer. Slowly pour in the polenta in an even stream, whisking constantly the entire time. Turn the heat down to low and partially cover with a lid. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, whisking every few minutes to get out any lumps (be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan). You want the polenta to thicken and have a creamy consistency. If it starts getting too thick, you can add in a little more milk (a tablespoon or so at a time).
  2. Meanwhile, to make the mascarpone drizzle - add the mascarpone, milk, maple syrup and vanilla to a small bowl. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  3. When the polenta is done cooking, remove from the heat and add in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
  4. Ladle the polenta into bowls. Top with some of the chocolate and pistachios. Drizzle with some of the mascarpone mixture. Serve immediately.
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/21/pistachio-dark-chocolate-polenta-mascarpone-drizzle/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Boozy Brownie Pretzel Trifles

Boozy Brownie Pretzel Trifles | cookiemonstercooking.com

Boozy Brownie Pretzel Trifles | cookiemonstercooking.com

I’m back with more sweet and salty goodness.  Because it’s Friday and what better way to end the week than with another boozy dessert for St. Patty’s Day?  You can go right ahead and add these to your weekend plans … you certainly won’t regret it.

Plus these boozy brownie pretzel trifles are super easy … you can have them ready in no time flat.  Getting to eat dessert quicker = a huge bonus.

Boozy Brownie Pretzel Trifles | cookiemonstercooking.com

Now, I used some of the chocolate stout brownies to make these little guys, but feel free to use whatever brownie you would like.  Crush up some salty pretzels, whip up some fresh whipped cream and then layer layer layer.  And that’s it!  Then grab a big spoon and go to town.

Can I also just say how much fun it is to crush pretzels?  I personally like to add them to a baggie and then bang them up with a rolling pin or measuring cup.  I’m not exactly sure why I find this so amusing, but I had a grand old time doing it for this recipe.  And let’s be clear that it’s not to get out any pent up anger … I kinda hop around while doing it.  Thank goodness nine times out of ten no one is around when I do this.  If my husband is home, he kinda smirks / laughs and then walks away.  But seriously, it’s fun stuff.  I keep trying to convince him he needs to try it.  No such luck.  Lameeee.

Boozy Brownie Pretzel Trifles | cookiemonstercooking.com

So tell me about your weird kitchen habits … make me feel better about my strangeness.  And then we can eat some brownie trifles together in yoga pants because that’s how I roll.  Sounds like a plan, yes?

Boozy Brownie Pretzel Trifles

Yield: whipped cream for about 3 mini trifles, but varies

Boozy Brownie Pretzel Trifles

Ingredients

    For the whipped cream:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon irish cream liqueur
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For assembling:
  • chocolate stout brownies, cut into small chunks*
  • pretzels, gently crushed

Instructions

  1. To make the whipped cream - add the heavy cream, sugar, irish cream and vanilla extract to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Start with the mixer on low and then increase the speed to medium high. Whip until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat, or the mixture will look curdled.
  2. To assemble - place a few brownie chunks in the bottom of a small jar. Layer on some of the whipped cream, then some of the crushed pretzels. Repeat this process until the jar is full, ending with the pretzels.

Notes

* I used about 1 cup of chopped up brownies to make 3 small trifles. And while it may be obvious, I only used the brownies from the linked recipe (not the frosting!).

The amounts / servings here will just depend on the jars you are using. If you need more of something, just increase the amounts!

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/14/boozy-brownie-pretzel-trifles/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Chocolate Stout Brownies with Irish Cream Frosting

Chocolate Stout Brownies with Irish Cream Frosting | cookiemonstercooking.com

Chocolate Stout Brownies with Irish Cream Frosting | cookiemonstercooking.com

I’m finding it very hard not to lick my computer screen as I’m writing this.  I’m currently on a self-imposed sugar ban for a bit and frankly looking at these pictures is making it very difficult to hold on to my willpower.

I love dessert and while it’s not something I would ever give up, let’s just say that we were eating it a little too often for a time period there.  So I’m trying to take a step back for a bit and have only been having a cup of tea at night before bed.  It hasn’t been all that bad … until I went to edit these pictures.

Chocolate Stout Brownies with Irish Cream Frosting | cookiemonstercooking.com

Because the rich, fudgy brownies topped with a thick layer of creamy dreamy irish cream frosting staring back at me are not helping one little bit.  And seriously, these are crazy fudgy.  Not cake-like at all – more like a flourless chocolate cake even though there is flour involved.

Now let’s talk about the stout factor.  I said it about this chocolate stout cake and I’ll say it again about these.  You don’t actually taste the stout – it just really intensifies the chocolate flavor – making them outrageously chocolaty and obviously plate-licking good.

Chocolate Stout Brownies with Irish Cream Frosting | cookiemonstercooking.com

And did I mention that these are finished off with a dusting of sea salt?  A little salty, plenty sweet and boozy?   Now that’s one heck of a combination right there if I do say so myself.

Chocolate Stout Brownies with Irish Cream Frosting

Yield: about 16 brownies

Chocolate Stout Brownies with Irish Cream Frosting

Ingredients

    For the brownies:
  • ½ cup chocolate stout (regular works fine too!)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • For the frosting:
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons irish cream liqueur
  • For finishing:
  • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. To make the brownies - preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil (leaving an overhang on the sides) and then spray well with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Add the stout to a small saucepan. Bring the stout to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes (keep an eye on it - you don’t want it to burn - every so often I’ll gently swirl the pan). Set aside to cool.
  3. Cut the butter into chunks and then add to a heatproof bowl. Add in the chocolate chips. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (don’t let the water actually touch the bowl) and stir occasionally until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.
  4. Carefully transfer the melted chocolate mixture to a medium bowl and let cool slightly (you want it to be warm to the touch). When warm, add in the sugar, vanilla, salt and reduced stout and mix until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until just combined. Add in the flour and gently fold into the mixture. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the surface of the brownies starts to crack. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely (don’t try to remove them until they are completely cool!). Once cool, lift out of the pan using the foil overhang. Set on a cutting board.
  6. To make the frosting - add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar. Once incorporated, increase the speed to medium and beat until well combined. Add in the salt, vanilla and irish cream. Beat on low speed until incorporated and then increase the speed to high and beat for about 3 minutes, until fluffy.
  7. Spread the frosting in an even layer over the cooled brownies. Sprinkle lightly with some flaky sea salt. Cut into bars.
http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/03/12/chocolate-stout-brownies-irish-cream-frosting/

Source:
Brownies adapted from Foodie Crush. Originally from Bon Appetit. Frosting barely adapted from my irish cream cupcakes.

 

Oreo Football Truffles

Oreo Football Truffles | cookiemonstercooking.com

Oreo Football Truffles | cookiemonstercooking.com

Let’s talk about a little problem I have – an obsessive need to be doing something at all times.  It’s really bad.  Don’t get me wrong, I spend plenty of time with friends and do fun things … but I can’t sit still when I’m at home.  I also talk too much according to my husband.  Which feeds into the whole need-to-be-doing-something-at-all-times thing … or chatting.  I do like to chat.

So this is what happens when I get bored.  And the husband tells me to shush because he’s trying to do work (or watch TV … let’s be real here).  My mind inevitably wanders to food and I head into the kitchen to make cute little football-shaped truffles.

Oreo Football Truffles | cookiemonstercooking.com

Because that’s what most people do with their time, right?  Well, at least I sure do.

So let’s turn our attention to these little truffles.  An easy oreo base coated in chocolate and then finished off with some white chocolate “stitching.”  The hardest part is waiting for the chocolate to set so that you can dig in and enjoy.

Oreo Football Truffles | cookiemonstercooking.com

I would say that I should learn to relax a little bit better … but then there wouldn’t be any oreo football truffles.  And I mean, who wants that?

Pssst … don’t forget to enter the $500 Tiffany & Co. gift card giveaway going on right now!

Oreo Football Truffles

Yield: about 32 truffles

Oreo Football Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 batch oreo truffles, prepared up to the point where they are ready to be shaped*
  • 16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • about 4 ounces white chocolate or candy melts
  • piping bag and small tip

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper (preferably one that will fit inside your freezer). Roll the oreo mixture into small balls about 1-inch in size and then shape into a football (I found it was easiest to put the round ball on the baking sheet and then flatten the top a bit and kind of pinch the edges to shape into the football). Once you have shaped all the truffles, place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 45 minutes so they can harden before dipping in the chocolate.
  2. Add the semi-sweet chocolate to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 50 percent power for 30 second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted, stirring after each. Alternatively, use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. Dip the truffles into the melted chocolate so they are well coated, shake off the excess and then place back on the prepared baking sheet to dry (I’ve found that the easiest way to dip is with two forks, so you can gently shake off the excess chocolate).
  3. Once the chocolate is set, melt the white chocolate using the same method described above. Spoon the chocolate into a piping bag fitted with a small tip (I used a #2 tip). Pipe the stitching onto each football. I did a few test runs on the wax paper to make sure the chocolate wasn’t too runny and would hold its shape (let it cool slightly if it won’t).
  4. Let the chocolate set completely before removing the truffles from the baking sheet (I usually stick them in the refrigerator to speed up the process). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

*For the linked oreo truffle recipe, you don’t need to crush the 5 cookies for garnish. I just used 30 whole cookies with the 1 package of cream cheese for these football truffles.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/01/29/oreo-football-truffles/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Football Cupcakes

Football Cupcakes | Cookie Monster Cooking

Football Cupcakes | Cookie Monster Cooking

Let’s chat about Super Bowl food today.  Because the big game is coming up and well, food is super important.  Like what I did there?  I know, I’m so funny {ahem, not really}.

And since the Patriots didn’t pull out a win this past weekend, my attention is now devoted solely to good eats for the game.  Although let’s be honest, as much as I do like watching football, food is always more important in my little world.

Football Cupcakes | Cookie Monster Cooking

So we’ve talked about wings and chili and cornbread … and now it’s time to talk about dessert.  And football cupcakes are just so fun.  Am I right?  I about died of cuteness when I finished making these and started screaming for my husband to come look at them since I was so impressed with myself.  Ha.  I don’t think he appreciated that too much.  His excitement over my “cute” food is not quite as high as my own…

Now you can use your favorite chocolate base and any white colored frosting here, but let me suggest that you use a cream cheese frosting.  It pairs awesome awesome awesomely with the chocolate base.  Can you tell I am a huge supporter of that combo?

Football Cupcakes | Cookie Monster Cooking

So go make some cute food for the big day.  And be sure to check out the game day category on the site if you’re looking for some other fun ideas!  Although none will be as cute as these cupcakes … I outdid myself this time (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself!).

Football Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Football Cupcakes

Ingredients

    For the cookie garnish:
  • ½ batch of this chocolate sugar cookie dough
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 batch your favorite vanilla or cream cheese frosting*
  • green gel food coloring
  • 1 batch your favorite chocolate cupcakes**
  • piping bags and tips

Instructions

  1. To make the sugar cookies - roll out the dough as directed in the sugar cookie recipe linked above. Cut out 24 mini football-shaped cookies (about 2 inches in length and about 1 ¼ inches width at the widest point) - I just used a knife since I didn’t have a cookie cutter in that shape. Bake as directed in the recipe (375 degrees for about 6 ½ minutes). Let cool on the baking sheet for several minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  2. To assemble - spoon a small amount of the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a small tip (I used a #4 in size). Pipe the stitching onto each cooled cookie (slightly towards the top of each football).
  3. Next use the green gel food coloring to tint the remaining frosting the desired shade of green. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto each cupcake as desired (I used a large star tip).
  4. Carefully set each cookie into the icing, on a slight diagonal, so that it stands up on its own.

Notes

*I used this recipe for cream cheese frosting, however feel free to use your own favorite vanilla, cream cheese or any white colored frosting. You’ll need enough to frost 24 cupcakes.

**I used this recipe for dark chocolate cupcakes, however feel free to use your own favorite. Again, you’ll need 24 cupcakes.

You will likely have some extra chocolate sugar cookie dough. I made a few extra cookies just to enjoy separately but feel free to cut back the amounts slightly.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/01/22/football-cupcakes/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking

 

Healthier “Brownie” Snack Bars (No Bake)

Healthier "Brownie" Snack Bars (No Bake) | Cookie Monster Cooking

Healthier "Brownie" Snack Bars (No Bake) | Cookie Monster Cooking

It’s finally Friday and I think we should celebrate that fact with some chocolate.  This was my first full week back with my day job and well, I’m exhausted.  And cold.  As in whenever I’m home I sit with a giant fleece blanket wrapped around me cold.  And then I walk around with the blanket still on and Emma the beagle kinda chases me around the house.  She reallly likes fleece blankets and will do just about anything to snuggle in one.

But I’m getting sidetracked.  Chocolate.  Yes, very important.

Healthier "Brownie" Snack Bars (No Bake) | Cookie Monster Cooking

So after the holiday baking craze I’ve been trying to cut back on sugar for a little bit.  Just until I start to feel normal again.  I can’t go too long without cookies … that would just be wrong.

I’ve been playing around with dates in my kitchen for a few months now and am happy to have a recipe like these healthier brownie snack bars on hand.  Because let’s face it – I get some mean sweet cravings and can be a little grumpy if I don’t get my fix.

These snack bars taste like little brownie bites – with plenty of chocolate and some coconut for topping.  Now let’s be real here – these obviously are not like big thick gooey brownies topped with ice cream.  Butttt they are delicious and will help get rid of any massive chocolate cravings.

Healthier "Brownie" Snack Bars (No Bake) | Cookie Monster Cooking

So get out a glass of milk and let’s celebrate the weekend with chocolate.  You know you want to.

Healthier “Brownie” Snack Bars (No Bake)

Yield: 16 (2 inch square) bars

Healthier “Brownie” Snack Bars (No Bake)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup walnuts halves
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 10 large medjool dates*
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, plus more for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on two sides. Set aside.
  2. Add the walnuts and pecans to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped (but don’t go so far that they start to turn into a paste). Add in the dates, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, vanilla extract and salt (if using, also add in the ¼ cup coconut flakes). Continue to pulse until the dates are finely chopped and the mixture starts to come together in clumps.
  3. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and use your fingers to press into an even layer. Sprinkle with additional shredded coconut and gently press into the bars with your fingers. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator and allow to chill for about 1 hour.
  4. Remove the bars from the pan using the parchment paper (or plastic wrap). Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (I found it helps to put a layer of wax paper between the bars so they don’t stick together).

Notes

*For the dates – rip them in half and remove the pit before adding to the food processor. You should have about 1 cup.

http://cookiemonstercooking.com/2014/01/10/healthier-brownie-snack-bars-bake/

Source:
Cookie Monster Cooking