10 Chocolate Chip Recipes

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Today is National Chocolate Chip Day–WooHoo! It sounds like a great excuse to enjoy lots of chocolate chip goodies, doesn’t it? Here’s a little roundup of some recipes you may want to try… These Chocolate Chip Muffins are great for breakfast or … Continue reading

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookies

PeanutButterChocChipBreakfastCookies@NancyCreative.com

Cookies for breakfast? That sounds like a great idea to me! I’ve been wanting to make some breakfast cookies, so I was happy to find a recipe for them in my review copy of Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook by … Continue reading

Trix Marshmallow Bars

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With flowers starting to bloom and trees starting to bud, I’ve been enjoying all the spring color outside. And it put me in the mood to make something colorful! I saw some Trix Marshmallow Bars at BettyCrocker.com and just had to try them out! I … Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Blondies

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You’re probably wondering what’s up with this pumpkin recipe. I mean, it’s almost spring–a pumpkin recipe? But I still had a can of pumpkin I bought during the holidays that I hadn’t used and I wanted to make these Chocolate Chip Pumpkin … Continue reading

Pumpkin Pie Magic Bars

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Have you ever heard of a “Dessert Mash-Up”? If you haven’t, it’s simply a yummy creation of two different desserts combined into one! It’s also the name of a new cookbook that has recipes like Blueberry Muffin Waffles, Pumpkin Cheesecake French Toast, Chocolate Cheesecake Sandwich … Continue reading

Zucchini-Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Yay for Friday! It has been such a busy week, I am ready for a slower-paced weekend! And speaking of weekends, I wanted to share a recipe I made last weekend–Zucchini-Banana Bars. These bars are so moist and yummy, just as you … Continue reading

Giant Dark Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

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This cookie is quite different from your average chocolate chip cookie! For one thing, it’s giant-size because it’s made in a 10″ cast iron skillet. I got the idea from The Nourished Life and thought it was great! There’s nothing like having a … Continue reading

Raspberry Jam Oat Crumble Bars

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“Crumble” is an understatement when describing these bars, because they are super–crumbly! These Raspberry Jam Oat Crumble Bars have LOTS of crumbly oat topping and, of course, a raspberry jam filling–if you look hard, you can see the filling! :). I was inspired by this recipe at Kraft and made a few simple changes. If you don’t have raspberry jam, use strawberry jam. Or whatever flavor jam you like best. You could even use spreadable fruit if you want to cut down on the sugar.

These are easy to make and really yummy! You can make them in an 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ square baking pan. If you use a 9 x 9″ pan, the crumble topping won’t be quite as thick, since the pan is a little bigger–so your bars will be slightly thinner, too. But they’ll still be plenty crumbly. And since these bars are so very crumbly, make sure you have a plate to catch those crumbs when you’re eating these!

RASPBERRY JAM OAT CRUMBLE BARS by NancyCreative, adapted from Kraft Recipes

Makes an 8 x 8″  or 9 x 9″ pan (I used an 8 x 8″ pan for this batch)

  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup well-packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup  (1 1/2 sticks) butter, chilled
  • 1 cup (or one 12-ounce jar) Red Raspberry Jam (I used seedless jam)
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line an 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray; set aside.

Mix oats, flour, brown sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press 3 1/2 cups of the oat mixture firmly onto the bottom of your square baking pan. Spread jam over crust. Mix pecans with remaining crumb mixture, then sprinkle over jam (it may look like you have too much crumb mixture for the top, but put it all on!)

Bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. Cool completely on wire rack.

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These bars would taste great warm with a scoop of ice cream, too. I love easy recipes like this! And I usually have all these ingredients on hand anyway, so that makes it even more convenient. Do you like jam bars, or do you have another favorite recipe using jam?

10 Recipes for Valentine’s Day

Here’s a roundup of 10 recipes that your Valentine–or Valentines–will love…some are healthy and some are not-so-healthy (but very yummy)!

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If you’re wanting something sweet for your Valentine breakfast, try these Strawberry Yogurt Muffins–the strawberries on top look like hearts, so they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day!

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Or if you’re wanting something healthy, try this Cranberry-Pecan Oatmeal, made with dried cranberries and chopped pecans. You can substitute dried cherries for the cranberries if you want.

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Or make this Cranberry Almond Oatmeal Bake if you’re feeding a larger group.

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You can also use your dried cranberries (or cherries) in these Cranberry Almond Breakfast Scones for a mid-morning or afternoon Valentine snack!

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Since you may be eating lots of sweets on Valentine’s Day, you’ll want to include a healthy salad in your lunch or dinner menu–this Apple Pear Pecan Salad has dried cranberries in it too, but dried cherries would be yummy as well!

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Savory Strawberry Salsa makes a great appetizer with tortilla chips, and it’s also really good served over grilled chicken!

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Now you need some dessert ideas…Strawberry Cupcakes are just the thing!

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But lots of people prefer something chocolate, and you can’t go wrong with these Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudgy Frosting!

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If you want a healthier dessert, you could always make this Healthy Chocolate Shake

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But, hey, it’s Valentine’s Day–if you want to splurge, make these Dark Chocolate-Covered Cherry Swirl Brownies!

Hope you get a chance to try out some of these treats! Do you have a favorite Valentine recipe?

Frosted Yogurt Sugar Cookie Squares

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I wasn’t quite sure what to call these when I got done making them. My goal was to make sugar cookies, but to make it easier and quicker, I decided to spread the batter in a 10 x 15″ pan and make sugar cookie bars. But after I cut some of them into squares and took a bite, it kind of tasted like a sugar cookie sheet cake. I put the rest in the refrigerator, and the next day I finished cutting them into squares. Guess what? After these were refrigerated, they tasted more like sugar cookies–very thick sugar cookies! They’re actually good both ways. I thought it would be safe to call these “sugar cookie squares” because that name fits either way–whether you think it’s a cake or a cookie!

YOG6ozPLAIN_RHF_JUL2013-300x280And you probably noticed that “yogurt” is also part of the name of these squares. I used Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Yogurt in this recipe–in both the dough and the frosting. This yogurt is smooth, thick, and so creamy–if you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it! I thought it gave these sugar cookie squares a great chewy texture and made the frosting extra creamy. Just add some sprinkles on top and you have a yummy treat to enjoy for the holidays!

FROSTED YOGURT SUGAR COOKIE SQUARES by NancyCreative

Makes a 10 x 15″ pan

  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (I used Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups unbleached flour

Yogurt Frosting:

  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. Line a 10 x 15″ baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

In small bowl, mix plain yogurt and baking soda; set aside.

In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Blend in cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and yogurt mixture from small bowl. Gradually add in flour, a cup at a time, beating well after each addition.

Spread cookie dough evenly into lined 10 x 15″ pan. Bake at 350˚F  for 25 to 28 minutes, until just very lightly golden at edges and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cookies cool completely in pan.

Remove from pan by carefully lifting up with edges of parchment paper. Set on kitchen counter or table and spread frosting over uncut cookies, then add colorful sprinkles. Let frosting set, then cut into squares.

To make frosting: Put yogurt into a medium size bowl, then add powdered sugar a cup at a time, blending well. The mixture will be thick! If you want it thinner, just use less powdered sugar.

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Do you use Goat Milk Yogurt or any other kind of yogurt in your baking or cooking?

I received some complimentary Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk products to use in my holiday baking, but the opinions expressed about the product are entirely my own. 

 

Chocolate Candy Cane Kiss Sugar Cookies

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Here’s a cute yummy little Christmas cookie–little rounds of chocolate sugar cookies with a Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss tucked in the middle! As you can see above, you can also decorate these other ways, but I really love that peppermint-and-chocolate flavor combination for Christmas! These are easy to make, but you need to use these tips to get the best results:

  1. Unwrap the Candy Cane Kisses and keep them refrigerated until ready to use (these kisses get more melty faster than the regular chocolate kisses when you’re placing them on hot cookies (as you can see from the top photo–refrigerating them helps!)

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    Beware of Cookie Fail!

  2.  You need to work fast–after the cookies come out of the oven, press the Candy Cane Kisses into all of them quickly, then remove them from the pan onto a wire rack to cool. If the cookies stay on the hot pan over a minute, the kisses start to get too melty and you will have Cookie Fail! (see small photo)

Those are really the most important things you need to know–and even if you work fast, these Candy Cane Kisses will still get a little melty on you. But they taste so good on top of the little chocolate cookies, I’m okay with that! If these Candy Cane Kisses turn out to be a problem for you, you can use milk or dark chocolate kisses, or butterscotch, peanut butter, vanilla, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate chips (it’s a great way to use up those extra small amounts of baking chips you have left over from other recipes!).

CHOCOLATE CANDY CANE KISS SUGAR COOKIES by NancyCreative

Makes 36 to 38 cookies

  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 36 to 38 Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses (refrigerate them until ready to use) Or, use milk or dark chocolate kisses; or butterscotch, peanut butter, vanilla, milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, cream softened butter and sugar until well-blended. Beat in egg, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Add flour and cocoa powder, and mix until a dough forms (this will be a thick, stiff dough).

Chill dough for 10 to 15 minutes to make it easier to form into balls. Then scoop out slightly rounded teaspoons of dough and roll into balls. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart.

Bake at 350˚F for 10 to 11 minutes, until edges are firm and cookies are dry to the touch.

Remove from oven; working quickly (because the candy cane kisses get soft and melty quickly), gently press a candy cane kiss into the center of each cookie (surface of cookies may crack slightly). As soon as you’re done, remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Do you like making chocolate and peppermint-flavored treats for the holidays?

Linked to Christmas Cookie Swap at Katherine’s Corner.