Category Archives: easy

Triple-Threat Chocolate Cookies

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This is my favorite go-to recipe if I’m in desperate need of a quick chocolate fix – I’m sure there are others out there with me 🙂  My favorite part?  You don’t even need to pull out your mixer!  Those extra 3o seconds matter, if you know what I mean.  The original recipe calls for dark chocolate and milk chocolate chunks, but I find in a fit of desperation you can make these with a combo of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips and still get your choco-bliss on.  Enjoy!

triple chocolate cookies

Recipe adapted from Ellie Kreiger

The Recipe (makes 2 dozen amazingly chocolatey cookies):

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (use can use 1 cup total all-purpose if you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour lying around)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (2 ounces) OR 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup coarsely chopped milk chocolate (2 ounces) OR 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips

2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

 The Process:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (325 F if you use a dark cookie sheet or have an atomic oven like me).

2. In a large bowl, mash together the butter and sugars with a fork until well combined. Add the oil and egg and beat until creamy. Mix in the vanilla.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and the pecans and mix well. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

Easy Baked Doughnut Nuggets (made in a mini-muffin pan, how clever!)

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Easy Baked Doughnut Nuggets (made in a mini-muffin pan, how clever!)

Ok, I won’t lie, if you’re expecting Krispy Kreme-type gooey fried doughnut goodness, you’ve come to the wrong recipe.  These are cake doughnuts.  But the good news is, they’re baked – so you don’t have to hide alone in a dark corner and consume them in total shame 🙂  The flavor is really tasty, and I love the slight crunch to the outside and light, fluffy texture inside.  And a nice bonus not to have to roll out dough and cut into circles.  The original recipe calls for a Cinnamon-Sugar dusting, but I couldn’t imagine a doughnut without a chocolate glaze – so I made some of both.  For science, you know?

baked doughnut nuggets

The Recipe (makes 30 doughnuts in a mini muffin pan):

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (I cut mine to 1/4 teaspoon since I always feel nutmeg can be overpowering)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

2/3 cup milk

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Chocolate Glaze Topping:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 F if using a dark pan).  Grease or spray a mini-muffin pan.

2.  Place the flour, nutmeg, salt and baking powder in a bowl and stir to combine.  Set aside.

3.  Place the butter and sugar in your mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

4.  Break the egg into the bowl and mix again until thoroughly incorporated.

5.  Add half the flour mixture and mix until smooth.  Add half the milk and mix again.

6.  Add the remaining flour and milk and mix again until smooth.

7.  Using a spoon, fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full with batter.

8.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.

9.  Remove from oven and transfer doughnuts to a cooling rack.  Allow to cool completely.

10.  While the doughnuts are cooling, make the toppings.

For the Cinnamon Sugar: Place the powdered sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to combine.

For the Chocolate Glaze: Place the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl.  Slowly add in the milk and whisk until smooth.  Add in the vanilla and whisk again.  Add a little more milk if the glaze seems too thick.

11.  When the doughnuts are cool, sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar and/or dip in the chocolate glaze.

Banana Coconut Scones

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In my newbie travels as a blogger, I’ve come across some really amazing blogs (and some not so amazing, but I digress…).  Edibles & Travels is one of my new faves (I envy the peaks on her muffins 😉 ), and she recently posted a recipe for Banana Coconut Muffins.  Had a nice Caribbean-sounding vibe, brought be back to my honeymoon…you get my drift.  So I thought, hey, I have coconut.  I have a borderline overly ripe banana that’s looking lonely!  And thus, these Banana Coconut Scones were born.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be sipping a Rum Punch, my toes in the sand, enjoying a scone – well maybe not really, but a girl can dream, right?!? 🙂

Banana Coconut Scones

The Recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, cold

2 tablespoons honey

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

1/2 cup sweetened coconut (plus additional for garnish)

1 ripe banana, mashed

The Process:

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2.  Place the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

3.  Cut the butter into pieces and add to the flour mixture.  Work the butter into the flour with your hands until the butter disappears into the flour and it yellows a bit.

4.  Add the honey, milk, and egg to the flour mixture and stir until mixed well.  Add the coconut and mashed banana and mix again until all incorporated.

5.  Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet about an inch apart.  Sprinkle with a little additional coconut, if desired.

6.  Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the scones are slightly golden on top.

7.  Remove the scones and place them on a cooling rack.  They are best when served warm and drizzled with a little honey.  Yum, yum 🙂

Honey Lemon Bars

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Honey Lemon Bars

I’m a huge fan of anything lemon when it comes to baking.  These are amazing, and super simple to put together.  The honey adds just the right amount of sweetness without being overpowering.  A perfectly light, warm-weather dessert 🙂

honey lemon bars

 

The Recipe:

Dough:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold

Filling:

2 large eggs

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest (my addition, but a little more lemon flavor never hurts in my opinion!!)

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

The Process:

1.  Heat oven to 350 F (325 F if using glass or dark metal pans)

2.  To make the dough, place the flour and the sugar in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.

3.  Cut the cold butter into small chunks and add to the flour mixture.  Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until all the butter disappears and the dough starts to hold together a bit.

4.  Place the dough in an 8″x8″ baking pan and press into the bottom in an even layer.

5.  Place in oven for approximately 10-12 minutes to bake.

6.  While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.  Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the honey and lemon juice.  Whisk together until completely blended.  Add the flour and baking powder and whisk again until smooth.

7.  Remove crust from the oven and pour the lemon filling into the pan.

8.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  The filling should not move when you slightly shake the pan.  If it does, place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

9.  Transfer to a cooling rack and allow 10 minutes for cooling before cutting into squares.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy the lemony goodness!

Dreamy Hot Chocolate

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Hot chocolate can’t be beat – no matter what the temperature is outside.  I’ll admit, I’m not one for making it from scratch too often (the convenience of those little packages calls to me…).  This recipe is super simple and the method is pretty smart.  The touch of honey and cinnamon make it extra tasty.  Will definitely be making this often!  Warm and fuzzy thoughts to all! 🙂

hot chocolate cinnamon

The Recipe (makes 4 cups):

6 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

8 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons honey

4 cups milk

The Process:

1.  Measure 1-1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon honey into 4 individual mugs.  Stir with a spoon to make a paste.  Add 1 tablespoon milk into each mug and stir until dissolved.

2.  Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the milk begins to steam and you can see tiny bubbles form at the sides of the pan.  Remove from heat.

3.  Ladle the warm milk into the mugs (about 1 cup each) and stir.  Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.