mexican chocolate crinkle cookies

i have a friend.

well actually this is the story of two friends.

one friend is a baker. she makes amazing cupcakes.

another friend likes to eat these cupcakes. and likes to tell us both that we’re slacking on the baking and that we should bake something for him.

today happens to be my friend’s birthday. and me and my other friend and all our other friends got together for his birthday on friday. so i baked him something. because you know it’s good karma to be nice to people for their birthdays.

really, he just got really lucky because i’ve been itching to make these cookies again. we did a mexican theme for friday’s dinner get together so i gave these chocolate crinkle cookies a mexican spin. and they turned out beautifully. when i think of mexican chocolate, i think of cinnamon and cayenne and chili powder. so that’s what i added to this cookie dough. and it worked out. you could leave out the extra spices and these cookies are still fabulous. but i think that if you were going to a mexican themed party, you should add the spices.

happy birthday mike!

mexican chocolate crinkle cookies

  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 c mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  1. preheat oven to 325F. line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. put the unsweetened chocolate and butter in a double boiler and stir often until well melted together. remove the bowl from the pan and let the mixture cool.
  3. combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in the bowl of a mixer. beat on medium speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat on low speed until blended.
  4. stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, chili powder, and cayene together. add the mixture to the egg/chocolate mixture and stir to combine. cover the bowl and put in the fridge to cool for 2 hours.
  5. go shopping. take a nap. whatever.
  6. sift the powdered sugar into a bowl.
  7. scoop the cookie dough out with your handy cookie scoop. roll the cookie dough into a bowl and roll around in powdered sugar. place onto your cookie sheet. repeat leaving about 2 in of space between each dough ball. press each dough ball down slightly so that they stay in place.
  8. bake 1 cookie sheet at a time for 15-17 min until the tops are puffed and feel firm to the touch. let the cookie cool on the cookie sheet for a couple minutes and the let finish cooling on a wire rack.

seriously. these cookies were delish. bake them for your friends’ birthdays and you’ll give them the awesomest present. they’ll be thanking you.

kisses.

recipe adapted from: perfect cupcakes, cookies & muffins (a book i found at barnes & noble in their baragain priced area)

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aunt leah’s cole slaw

today is nasty and rainy and did i mention nasty? well it is. apparently there is this line of severe thunderstorms that is moving through the area.

oh. joy.

see i like the rain. when i’m at home and can nap/sleep to it. but if i have to get out in it, no thanks. and because i’m a rational person, i can’t just call in to work because it’s raining.

anyways…

rainy days like this make me appreciate the sunny days. don’t get me wrong… i’m not ready for it to be summer here. it just gets too damn hot. but i am ready for sunny days and the potential for getting together and bbqs and such. and what goes better on a bbq table than a creamy bowl of cole slaw? not too much. it is the perfect accompaniment to a spicy bbq pork sandwich. this version has been passed to my mom from my aunt leah (my mom’s brother’s wife… just in case you were wondering). i happen to really like it. my mom has made some tweeks because she does that. this cole slaw is definitely the creamy, mayo kind of cole slaw. if you don’t like mayo, this is not your kind of cole slaw. but if you do… give this a chance. plus it’s SUPER simple.

aunt leah’s cole slaw

  • 1 c mayo
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs cider vinegar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 6 whole green onions, chopped
  • a good squirt yellow mustard
  • juice of 1/2 -1 lemon
  • a couple good dashes hot sauce (crystal, tabasco, etc)
  • a good shake of tony’s
  • 1 large bag or 2 small bags of cole slaw mix
  1. mix together everything except the cole slaw mix. put in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight.
  2. add the cole slaw mix and serve.

see. SUPER simple.

hopefully you’ll get to bbq soon and try this…. it doesn’t look like our weather is going to allow that in the near future.

kisses.

st. patrick’s day surprise!

ok i’m going to let ya’ll in on a couple secrets….

for real. we’re friends. i know you’ll keep them for me…

first of all… i’m not a huge fan of holidays in general. i think they tend to be super stressful. who’s going where; who’s bringing what; etc. i mean i’m a planner but holidays are a lot.

second secret… i like food.

oh wait. that wasn’t a secret.

last secret. i like booze. oh that’s a not a hge secret either huh? oh well it’s true. and i don’t mean that i like booze in the i drink everyday type of like but i enjoy a good drink. i even take pictures of good ones at restaurants… see below…

see. beautiful and delicious.

ok so what all does that get you?   i’m not a fan of holidays. but i like food and booze. here’s the trick. holidays that i can celebrate with booze? i’m all for them. cinco de mayo? sure i’ll drink some margaritas to celebrate something to do with mexico. july 4th? of course i’ll have another beer to watch some pretty fireworks that someone else spend way too much money on. halloween? oh i definitely need a shot of something strong if i’m going to be wearing this ridiculous costume. and of course there is that holiday coming up… st. patrick’s day. i’m all for having a drink or two to celebrate something to do with st. patrick and ireland.

what’s better than combining celebrating a holiday and having food for that celebration? oh how about having food that incorporates booze into it. which leads me to your surprise…

IRISH CAR BOMB CUPCAKES!

no joke.

irish car bomb cupcakes

  • 1 c guinness stout, room temperature
  • 1 c (2 sticks) + 2 tbs + 2 c (4 sticks) softened, unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 c heavy cream
  • 2 tsp irish whiskey (such as jameson)
  • 5 c powdered sugar
  • 6 tbs bailey’s irish cream
  1. preheat oven to 350F. line 2 12-c cupcake pans with liners.
  2. add guinness and 1 c butter to a medium sauce pan and bring to simmer. add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. let this cool to just about room temperature.
  3. whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. set aside.
  4. beat together the eggs and sour cream together in a mixer. add the cocoa mixture and beat to combine. slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet on low speed. divide in the cupcake wells.
  5. bake 17-20 min, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. let cool on a cooling rack.
  7. make the whiskey ganache filling by heating the heavy cream until just simmering and the pouring it over the bittersweet chocolate and 2 tbs butter to melt. add the whiskey.
  8. when the cupcakes and ganache is cool, fill the cupcakes. michelle over at brown-eyed baker (where i totally got the recipe) had a brilliant way to do this if you don’t own or want to buy a cupcake corer… in her exact words “Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.” i didn’t pipe the ganache in but just used a spoon
  9. make your bailey’s buttercream by beating the remaining butter in a mixer on medium-high speed. reduce speed and add the powdered sugar until incorporated. add your bailey’s and beat until combined. (i also 1 tsp vanilla at this point and i don’t know if it really made a huge difference but this was the best bailey’s frosting i’ve ever made!)
  10. decorate your cupcakes now!

ok so now that i just threw that in your face i’m going to give you the low down…

these were freaking awesome. like seriously. i was a little hesitant because unlike michelle at brown-eyed baker, i have had a car bomb or two. i like shots but this isn’t my favorite. but these cupcakes were like the perfect cupcake alternative to the shot. the only thing i would change next time (and believe me, there will be a next time) is that i would do a irish whiskey salted caramel filling. how would i do that you ask? well i’d melt together a half – full bag of caramel candies, a splash or two of heavy cream and a generous pinch of sea salt. then i’d add the whiskey after that was all melted together. but that’s my personal preference. i’ve had some co-workers say they were perfect with the ganache. you do what you want. but make these cupcakes for your st. patrick’s celebrations this weekend. trust me.

kisses.

recipe from: brown-eyed baker

baklava cookies

did i ever tell you how much i love baklava?

no?

well i do.

like a lot. i mean it’s up there with wedding cake and tiramisu as one of my favorite desserts. (if we’re being honest, almost any dessert is my favorite dessert. i’m not too particular.)

but i mean this is baklava. i mean c’mon. it’s honey and cinnamon and nuts, which i’m not usually a huge fan of baked goods with nuts in them but this is beyond that. baklava has nuts in it and i don’t mind that one bit. i mean what is wrong with layers of flaky phyllo, nuts and honey? um not too much in my world.

well unless you’re allergic to nuts and then that just sucks that you can’t enjoy baklava.

so i’ve never actually made true baklava. i have printed, saved and pinned many recipes for it but i haven’t actually made it. what i have made is baklava cookies. um combining two of my favorite things ever??! GENIUS. not my genius but i did bake them.

see here’s the story…

i was flipping through my copy of chef spike mendelsohn’s good stuff cookbook thinking on this particular weekend i would make a burger. and then i decided i just wasn’t in the mood for a burger so i flipped through the cookbook because it’s one that i could read like a novel. just as i thought i would put the book up, page 226 magically fell open and it was like the cookie gods were telling me something. and that something was make these freaking baklava cookies. so i did. and they were gooooood. like not just a little good. like real good. like i couldn’t stay away from them good. like i got a “they’re f’in awesome” email. like even my boss, who i never see eat any of the baked goods i bring (which isn’t to say he doesn’t eat them, i just happen to not ever witness it), took them home.

for real.

baklava cookies

  • 2 3/4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 c walnuts
  • 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 c (2 1/2 sticks) + 2 tbs softened, unsalted butter
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp (divided) vanilla
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice – ok in all honesty, i didn’t use this but only because i forgot to buy a stupid lemon and the cookies were still good.
  1. preheat oven to 350F
  2. mix together walnuts, flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl. beat together butter, sugar and salt until smooth and fluffy. beat in the egg and 1 tsp vanilla. with your mixer on low, blend in the flour-walnut mixture until just incorporated.
  3. using your cookie scoop, scoop out dough balls onto an ungreased, parchment lined baking sheet. gently press down with your fingers to slightly flatten each cookie.
  4. heat the honey, remaining butter, remaining vanilla, lemon juice and remaining cinnamon in a sauce pan until syrupy. set aside to cool slightly. (do this step RIGHT before putting your first tray of cookies in the oven)
  5. bake the cookies for 10 min or until just golden. remove from oven and drizzle honey syrup over them. (spike says to leave them on the cookie sheets but i’m a rebel and took them off after i put the next cookie sheet in the oven and drizzled the syrup on the while they were cooling on the racks.)

spike says that this makes 24 cookies but mine made A LOT more than that. probably at least double. but that’s a-ok with me. i mean these were freaking fantastic cookies. which now i’m totally missing and want one… so can you bake some and bring me a couple? k thanks.

kisses.

recipe from: the good stuff cookbook

snickerdoodle bars

so i have a friend who gave up dessert for lent… while i probably should have given up dessert, i don’t think the world is ready for that monster. no sweets for 40 days and 40 nights? yeah i would pretty much be going through withdrawls and catatonic. asking me to do that would be like telling my mom to give up coffee. trust me on this… BAD IDEA.

although if i’m being honest, i’d love to be a very, very small fly on the wall to see what the result of that would be…

anyways… i probably should have given up dessert along with my coke and fast food (both of which i very rarely drink / eat but could KILL for during lent). but i didn’t more power to those of you that did.

you might want to stop reading now…

seriously.

i warned you.

so i pretty much love snickerdoodles. well let’s face it… i pretty much love any kind of cookies but snickerdoodles are up there. ok well every cookie is up there but that’s not really the point is it? but snickerdoodles and sugar cookies hold a special place because of their sheer simplicity and deliciousness. i mean when you get down to it, these are the simplest of cookies. flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter. not too much more than that. and i’m pretty much on a mission to try snickerdoodles in every form out there. snickerdoodle muffins, cookies, cupcakes, and these bars. these bars were quite yummy… but not the same as snickerdoodle. part of that is probably because i’m a bigger fan of cookies than bars but still. they were good enough for someone to ask me for the recipe ASAP so they could be snacks for a road trip to disney… just saying. while i enjoy the cookies more, i would make these again in a heartbeat. they would be especially good treats for tailgating in the fall… again, just saying.

snickerdoodle bars

  • 2 1/3 c flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) softened, unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 c + 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 c packed light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tbs milk
  1. preheat oven to 350F. spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.
  2. mix flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
  3. beat butter until it’s light and fluffy. beat in sugars (minus the 1 tbs of sugar) and salt. beat in eggs one at a time and add vanilla (minus the 1/2 tsp). add the dry ingredients to the batter on a low speed until just incorporated.
  4. spread half the batter in the pan. mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon. sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the batter. drop tsp amounts of the remaining batter on top of the cinnamon sugar mixature.
  5. bake 20-25 min or until golden brown. cool completely
  6. mix together the remaining vanilla, milk and powdered sugar. drizzle over the cooled bars.

simple as that.

kisses.

recipe from: betty crocker