Tag Archives: dark chocolate chips

Dark Chocolate Mocha Pudding Cookies

Dark Chocolate Mocha Pudding Cookies @ NancyCThis is the first time I’ve used instant pudding mix in a cookie. I’ve heard that adding pudding mix to cookie dough keeps the cookies soft, but I wasn’t crazy about the idea of adding pudding mix with artificial flavors, dyes, and other things.

jell_osimplygoodI decided to try adding pudding mix this time because JELL-O recently came out with a new line of instant pudding mixes (and Jell-O mixes) called JELL–O SIMPLY GOOD.  They’re made and flavored with real ingredients like banana, cocoa, vanilla bean, and fruit juices–and they have no artificial flavors, dyes, or preservatives. JELL-O sent me some complimentary samples to try and I used their Simply Good Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix in this recipe. The pudding mix really does make the cookies soft and chewy. These cookies also have a rich chocolate flavor with just a hint of coffee, which pairs well with the dark chocolate chips. And if you want to make them more of a holiday treat, you can add sprinkles on top!

DARK CHOCOLATE MOCHA PUDDING COOKIES by NancyC

Makes 20 to 21 large cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons strong brewed coffee
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 (3.9-ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix (I used JELL–O Simply Good Chocolate)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups dark chocolate chips (you’ll need 2 packages of chips–1 whole package plus most of another package)
  • Optional: assorted sprinkles–chocolate or holiday sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, eggs, and coffee; blend everything well.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, dry instant pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add this flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, mixing until everything is blended. Then fold in the dark chocolate chips, stirring until evenly incorporated in batter.

Use a 1/4 cup size measuring cup to scoop dough and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets, 2″ apart (you should be able to fit 6 cookies per sheet). Flatten cookies just slightly and sprinkle with assorted sprinkles, if desired.

Bake at 350˚F for 12 to 13 minutes or until tops are set. Be careful not to overbake! Cool cookies on pan for 2 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.

If you happen to have any cookies left over, you can store them in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. Or if you want to make a batch ahead of time, you can freeze them for 2 to 3 months.

If you like your cookies on the soft and chewy side, you’ll have to try this recipe! I’m glad I finally tried adding the pudding! Do you add pudding mix to any of your cookie recipes?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

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Dark Chocolate-Almond Trail Mix

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Trail Mix is such a great snack and so easy to make! I just made a mix with some healthy ingredients I had on hand and also added in some new Lärabar Bites that I had recently larabarbitesreceived as complimentary samples. These are truffle-like bites made from real food like fruits and nuts, just like Lärabars. The bites come in 4 different flavors: Cherry Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Macaroon, Double Chocolate Brownie, and Mint Chocolate Truffle. I really liked all the flavors, which is not surprising, since I love chocolate so much! But you can feel good about eating these bites, since they’re made with healthy ingredients and fair trade certified chocolate chips. They’re also gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan and dairy-free.

I thought these Lärabar Bites would be perfect in this trail mix I came up with, which you can make in no time. It’s perfect when you want a healthy sweet snack! This makes 2 1/2 cups, but if you want a larger amount, you can always double the recipe.

DARK CHOCOLATE–ALMOND TRAIL MIX by NancyC

Makes 2 1/2 cups

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped Lärabar Bites, cut into fourths (I used the Double Chocolate Brownie bites) or, substitute 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened or sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds

Add all ingredients to a medium-size bowl and mix. Store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.

It’s nice when a snack is both yummy and healthy, isn’t it? What healthy snacks do you like to keep on hand?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Blondies

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If you’re looking for something sweet to sink your teeth into, these blondies are exactly what you need! Some blondie recipes I’ve made before were more on the thinner side. But these are really thick and chewy. And they’re packed with dark chocolate (or semi-sweet chocolate) chips, dried cranberries, and chopped pecans…a really yummy combination of flavors!

pearson-logoI had just received a sample bag of Georgia pecans from Pearson Farm so I used them in this recipe. Pearson Farm has been growing pecans for over 100 years and they are really good! In addition to their fresh raw pecans that I received, they also sell salted, roasted, and chocolate-covered varieties. I love to much on raw pecans as a healthy snack and use them in dessert recipes when I’m baking. But pecans can also be added to healthy foods like salads, yogurt, and smoothies for a little extra nutrition. They contain vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, E, and B1, calcium, potassium, zinc, thiamin, and magnesium.

I like to think pecans make desserts a little healthier, too, so I thought they’d be great paired with dark chocolate and dried cranberries in this blondie recipe. I was so happy with the way these blondies turned out–a combination of rich, buttery taste with the chocolate-cranberry-pecan goodness mixed in!

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DARK CHOCOLATE CRANBERRY PECAN BLONDIES by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes an 8 x 8″ pan

  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (or substitute white or milk chocolate chips)
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line an 8 x 8″ square baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease or spray with cooking spray; set aside.

In small bowl, soak dried cranberries in hot water for one minute to soften and plump them; drain well and set aside.

In medium bowl, cream butter and brown sugar together, blending well, then add in the vanilla extract and eggs, blending eggs in one at a time.

In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this mixture to butter mixture and mix until all ingredients are combined.

Fold in cranberries, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans. Evenly press batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350˚F for 38 to 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then lift out of pan with edges of parchment paper. Cool completely on wire rack, then cut into squares.

Note: when these blondies are cooling, they do sink a little in the center, but don’t worry when that happens–that’s just what they do!

I often use pecans in my baking–they go well in so many different recipes! Do you use pecans much in your recipes?

Linked to Show and Share at Coastal Charm, Let’s Get Real Friday at Joy Love Food, and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge

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If you haven’t had the chance to use up your candy canes before or on Christmas, here’s a yummy sweet treat you can make with those leftover candy canes! This Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Fudge is super-easy to make and the dark chocolate-candy cane combination tastes really great! Part of the recipe calls for heating sweetened condensed milk in a saucepan, and this works best with a nonstick saucepan (it helps prevent the sweetened condensed milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan). And be sure to stir it constantly when heating to prevent browning or burning. When I mixed the melted chocolate in with the butter and condensed milk, my mixture was not super smooth and creamy–it actually had a pretty thick consistency–but I just patted the mixture evenly in the 8″ square pan, topped it with the crushed candy canes, and it came out fine.

DARK CHOCOLATE CANDY CANE FUDGE by NancyC, adapted from Food.com

Makes an 8″ square pan of fudge

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag dark chocolate chips
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/3 cup crushed candy canes

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving several extra inches of overhang and grease paper with butter or lightly spray with cooking spray.

Heat sweetened condensed milk in a medium nonstick saucepan, stirring constantly, until mixture just starts to bubble or almost starts to bubble (I cooked mine on medium heat for about 5 minutes–that should be long enough).

Remove from heat and add dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and butter to the sweetened condensed milk in the saucepan; cover and let sit about 3 minutes. Then add peppermint extract and stir everything until smooth. Pour or spoon into your prepared 8-inch pan (my mixture was pretty thick, so I had to spoon it in the pan and press it with a piece of waxed paper to spread it evenly). Sprinkle with crushed candy canes, slightly pressing the candy canes into the warm fudge mixture; then chill for several hours, until firm, and cut into small squares.

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I usually end up with extra candy canes after Christmas, so I love recipes like this where I can use them up in a yummy way! Have you made any good candy cane recipes this year?

Dark Chocolate Caramel Nut Bars

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This is a good, easy cookie bar recipe that I’ve had for quite awhile! I think I originally found it in a magazine ad and then I came across it later at Kraft Recipes. This recipe uses a cake mix as part of the ingredients for the yummy chocolatey crust, so it’s simple to put together. I usually prefer making things from scratch, but sometimes a mix comes in handy if you’re in a time crunch. And these bars are so good you may not mind that they’re made with cake mix!

My version of these bars is a little different from the original recipe–I usually use pecans instead of walnuts (this time I used a little of both), dark chocolate chips instead of chocolate chunks, and regular chocolate cake mix instead of German chocolate. When you’re in the mood for a very chocolatey, chewy, caramel treat, this is a great recipe to try! Save some time by unwrapping the caramels ahead of time before you make these!

DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP CARAMEL NUT BARS by NancyC, adapted from Kraft Recipes

Makes a 13 x 9″ pan of bars

  • 1 (11-ounce) bag Kraft caramels, unwraped
  • 1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk, divided
  • 1 package (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix with pudding in the mix
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, divided (I used a mix of pecans and walnuts)
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap caramels and melt them with 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until caramels are completely melted. Remove from heat; set aside.

Mix remaining milk, dry cake mix and melted butter in a large bowl. Press half of the cake mixture firmly onto the bottom of a greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan to form crust. Bake 8 minutes, then remove from oven.

Sprinkle 1 cup of the nuts and 3/4 cup of the dark chocolate chips over the crust. Drizzle evenly with melted caramel mixture. Top with teaspoonfuls of the remaining cake mixture; press gently into caramel mixture with back of spoon. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts and 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips.

Put back in the oven and bake an additional 16 to 18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Note: if you want to eat these warm (they’d be great with some ice cream on top!) wait about 20 to 30 minutes before cutting them so they won’t be so gooey. For less gooey bars, wait about an hour before cutting them, when they’ve cooled more. Be sure not to wait more than a few hours before cutting them; if you do, they will be harder to cut since the caramel and bottom crust will harden some.

It may be a little tricky to get your first piece out of the pan without crumbling it a bit, but once that’s out, the rest of your bars should come out easily!

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The combination of dark chocolate, nuts, and caramel is so good! What’s your favorite chocolate/caramel dessert?

Linked to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener, Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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 nice thick slice of a giant chocolate chip cookie! I thought I’d use dark chocolate chips in my giant cookie and I loved the way it turned out. The cast iron skillet bakes it up just right–thick and chewy on the inside, and crispy on the outside!

NMV-Mad-8-oz-smallSince May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, it seemed like just the right time to make this! Besides, I had recently received a sample of a very quality vanilla extract to use in my chocolate chip cookie–Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract. It has a sweet, creamy, mellow flavor that works well with both sweet and savory dishes. I’ve seen this vanilla at Williams-Sonoma, so I was happy to have the chance to try it out. I thought it worked really well in this recipe and gave the batter a great flavor. If you want a chance at winning a complimentary 2 ounce sample of this vanilla, just leave a comment at the end of this post saying you’re interested in trying it by 8:00 pm CST on Thursday, May 15–I’ll do a random drawing and one winner will be selected and notified by email. The winner will receive the vanilla extract directly from Nielsen-Massey. This giveaway is limited to residents in the continental U.S. CONGRATS TO LORI K. for winning the bottle of Nielsen-Massey Vanilla! The random number drawn was 3, and Lori’s was the 3rd comment that mentioned wanting to try the vanilla!

I hope you get a chance to try this cookie out–it is so, so good. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, this may be a great reason to get one! 🙂

GIANT DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP SKILLET COOKIE by NancyCreative, adapted from The Nourished Life

Makes 1 giant cookie in a 10″ cast iron skillet

  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3.4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (I used Niielsen-Massey Vanilla)
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a seasoned 10″ cast iron skillet with butter or coconut oil.

In medium size bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In large bowl, cream softened butter with granulated and light brown sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, blending well.

Add flour mixture from small bowl to butter-sugar mixture and mix all ingredients together just until blended–do not overmix!

Fold in chocolate chips and mix until the chocolate chips are evenly incorporated into the batter (the batter will be thick, so you’ll need a large sturdy spoon to mix!). Then spread or pat the batter evenly into your cast iron pan and bake at 350˚ degrees for 32 to 35 minutes, or until the edges of the cookie are golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes and cut into slices (as you would a pie) and serve while it’s still warm. A scoop of ice cream on top wouldn’t be a bad idea, either! 🙂

Just a note that it was a little hard getting the first slice of cookie out without a little crumbling and breaking, but after that it was smooth cookie sailing–the other pieces came out very nicely!

I just have one cast iron skillet–my 10″ skillet, but I love using it! Do you cook often with cast iron?

Linked to Wow Us Wednesdays, Full Plate Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Nifty Thrifty Tuesday.

Dark Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookie Bars

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Wow! Talk about rich and chocolatey…these bars have double the chocolate with dark chocolate chips and crumbled Oreo cookies mixed in. And the creamy Oreo filling gives a great taste to these bars since some of it bakes into to batter. I like using the Double Stuff Oreos because I love all that filling! 🙂

I was inspired by a yummy-looking recipe from Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen–I decided to make bars instead of cookies to save time. I also used dark chocolate chips and added even more chips to the batter, so these are super-chocolatey!

DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP OREO COOKIE BARS adapted from Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag dark chocolate chips
  • 20 Oreo Double Stuff Cookies (from a 15.35 ounce package), broken or crushed into medium to small pieces (I put the cookies in a large zip loc freezer bag and crush the cookies–you can use a rolling pin to do this, or even a hammer, used very gently)

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan or line with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until well blended. Add in eggs and vanilla, blending well.

In a small bowl, blend flour, salt, and baking soda; add these dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix everything well.

Fold in the dark chocolate chips and crushed Oreo cookies; mix until these are evenly distributed in the batter (the batter will be thick!).

Spoon batter into prepared 9 x 13″ pan and spread batter evenly in pan with a spatula or the back of a large spoon. Bake at 350˚F for 25 to 27 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan, then cut into bars or squares. These are very rich, so you can cut them small if you want!

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Oreo cookies have been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. They’re certainly not healthy, but every once in awhile I crave some. Are you an Oreo-lover too?