Happy Valentine’s Day!!

For Valentine’s this year my friend and I decided to make cake pops for the first time and bring them into our office. My good friend Jessica gave me her  ‘secret’ recipe and they turned out amazing! We chose to do red velvet because it fit the Valentine’s color scheme and they sure were yummy!

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Samoa Cookie Bars

At it again. The newest dessert creation from my Pinterest board that my friend and I tried out  are these delish Samoa Cookie Bars.  Waiting  for those girls scout cookies to come around once a year for those caramel ooey gooey Samoa cookies, just does cut it for me. These bars are a great fix for a Samoa cookie craving and turned out wonderful! As a fair warning these do take some time.

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Makes 30 bars

Cookie Base

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Topping
3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
1 bag semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Make the cookie base first.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan. In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla. On a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.IMG_4220

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While cookie base is cooling, make topping.

Preheat oven too 300. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread coconut over the top.

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Toast for 20 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes until the coconut is toasted. Let it cool on the baking sheet.

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Place the unwrapped caramels in large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.

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Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.

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When cooled, cut bars into squares with a knife.

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Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching

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Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or tin foil. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into  ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

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Chocolate Sprinkle Thumbprints

This recipe is to die for. Shortbread cookies are my all time favorite treat especially around the holidays. This cookie turned out exactly how I imagined and I will be making them again. I brought these to work last week and my co-workers enjoyed them as well. These cookies are supposedly famous in Pittsburgh, so if I ever make it back there I be on the hunt for them so I can experience the cookie that inspired such a great recipe. I have been slowing making way through my Pinterest board and now I can check these off my list and add them to my recipe box. I will forewarn you if you are looking to make a quick cookie, this may not be the best choice.

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This recipe yields roughly 2 dozen cookies

For the cookies
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 small container of Chocolate sprinkles

For the frosting
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!)
3 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract
4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I use my silpat when baking to line the baking sheet; however, if you don’t own a sitpat then you can use parchment paper. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt; set aside. Pour the chocolate sprinkles into a small bowl; set aside.

On medium speed, cream together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. Once it is mostly incorporated, slowly increase the speed back to medium-high and beat for another minute or so until a dough forms.

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Scoop out a tablespoon of dough, roll it into a ball. As I was going along I found the sprinkles stick better if you make a slight indentation with your thumb or melon baller on the top of the cookie first, and then roll the sides of the cookies in the chocolate sprinkles placing it on the cookie sheet. Note: Picture below doesn’t show the indentation with the thumb before applying sprinkles.

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Space cookies about 1½ inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 18 minutes, halfway through the 18 minutes make the indentation deeper. The cookies should not brown much at all around the edges. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:
Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the cookies are cool, pipe some frosting into the middle of each cookie (or you can spoon it in).

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Lava Chocolate Chip Cookies

For Matt’s birthday I thought I’d try something I knew he would love for dessert. What better than a chocolate chip cookie, with melted chocolate oozing out of the middle topped with vanilla bean ice cream? Well I can think of a lot of things, but for Matt this could very well be where heaven meets earth. These cookies turned out absolutely perfect and let’s just say he was very very pleased, “this is probably the best dessert I’ve ever had!”

Ingrediants:

1/2 cup, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 bag milk chocolate chips
Makes 9-10 cookies

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray, I think the cooking spray with flour in it works best.Microwave for 30 seconds. Cream the butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the remaining chocolate chips.


Place 1/2 cup chocolate chips in a Ziploc bag, and make sure it’s completely sealed shut.

Lay the Ziploc bag flat in the microwave. Remove bag and flip, microwaving for another 10-15 seconds until all the chips are softened. Set aside to cool.

Using half the cookie dough, scoop 1.5-2 tbsp of dough.

Flatten the cookie dough out and place it in the previously coated muffin tin.


Cut a small tip in the corner of the bag, and squeeze a layer of the melted chocolate over the cookie.


Scoop and flatten the remaining cookie dough and place on top of each chocolate layer.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are just browned.

Cool completely before removing from the muffin tin, running a knife around the edge to help loosen.


Top the warm cookie with your favorite ice cream. Use any left over melted chocolate to drizzle over the top and serve!

*Recipe provided Kevin & Amanda blog

Milky Way Brownie Bites

The past couple of months a friend and I have been inspired to make fun dessert recipes we have found on Pinterest. The latest creation turned out wonderfully and was a hit! This recipe is super easy and is perfect for any occasion. We used a box brownie mix rather than making them from scratch to save time. If you have a brownie mix you love, that will work too.brownie

For the Brownies:
1 box brownie mix; ingredients on back of box
48 milky ways; frozen for at least 1 hour

For the Caramel Sauce:
15 caramel candies
2 tbsp heavy whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray nonstick miniature muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine brownie mix and ingredients

3. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the brownie batter into the miniature muffin tins

4. Place one frozen milky way directly in the center of the brownie batter, press down gently.

5. Bake brownies in preheated oven for 9-10 minutes, do not over bake! Let brownies cool for a few minutes before removing onto a cooling rack.

6. While brownies are cooling, prepare the caramel sauce. Place the caramel and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments until the caramel begin to melt; stir frequently. Continue warming and stirring the caramel until you have a smooth, creamy mixture.

7. Drizzle caramel onto the center of each brownie bite. To store brownies, seal in an airtight container at room temperature.