Category Archives: Recipes

Whole Grain Rosemary Fudge Brownies

Simple, moist, and delicious!

 

Oooooooo, rosemary!!

Fragrant, delicious, and oh so versatile.

Now, I love just about ALL fresh herbs, so it’s super hard to pick a favorite. But, if I had to, it would probably have to be rosemary. After all, not only is it exquisitely yummy, but its aroma alone can get my mouth watering every, single time.

We’ve tried — and loved — rosemary in so many different ways:  with garlic, lemon, potatoes, Kalamatas…you name it. The possibilities are truly endless.

And then, of course, there’s rosemary and chocolate.

We first fell in love with this unique flavor combination with our Dark Chocolate and Rosemary Lava Cake, and we’ve been dying to try it again ever since. Thus, these brownies were born.  And, trust me, they did not disappoint.  In fact, we’re ready to try cookies next!

Fellow dark chocolate aficionados, prepare to fall head over heels for these delectably moist, luscious bites of rich chocolaty goodness.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy rosemary?  Be sure to let us know in the comments.

 

 

Whole Grain Rosemary Fudge Brownies

(Yields 20 brownies)

Ingredients:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir in the flour and rosemary until well combined.

Lightly grease a 7 x 11 baking dish (we used virgin coconut oil).  Spread the batter evenly into the dish.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges are firm, and the center is almost set.

Cool to room temperature, cut into squares, and serve!

 

Creamy Veggie Stuffed Shells

shells4

Can you say Craziness?!

That was December -all of it. Full of fun, laughter, inspiration and craziness.

Andy and I took a little getaway to Puerto Rico and had so much fun in the sun, in the jungle and strolling down the cobblestone streets of Viejo San Juan. We came back to a complete whirlwind – my birthday, a new puppy, a trip to Minnesota, hosting Christmas Eve and traveling for Christmas.

Needless to say, by the last week of December I had no groceries except those vegetables sturdy enough to survive the month. Sometimes an empty fridge is a perfect inspiration for a new dish. I pulled out my favorite staple (Laughing Cow cheese!) along with zucchini, carrots and onions and Voila! This Creamy Veggie Stuffed Shells Casserole was born. It was so good I ate it three different times.

Give it a try my friends!

Hugs for a new year,

Bree

shells2
pulsing the veggies

Here’s What You Do:

Stuffing the shells
Stuffing the shells

Here’s What You Need:

Jumbo shells (about 1/2 box =15)
1 large zucchini, chopped roughly

1 large carrot, chopped roughly

1/2 a large sweet onion, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon  garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon Penzey’s Mural of Flavor*
1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 wedges Laughing Cow Light Swiss
Extra virgin olive oil
Good quality marinara (Tomato basil)
Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
shells5

Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cook shells according to package directions, al dente, and set aside. Drizzle a pan with evoo and heat over medium high. Meanwhile quickly pulse the carrot, zucchini and onion in a food processor. (Or chop very finely). Add to the pan along with the seasonings and heat for 3-4 minutes or until the veggies start to soften. Stir in the Laughing Cow wedges to coat. Spray a pyrex baking pan with organic non-stick spray and carefully stuff the shells. Pour the marinara gently over the top to coat (about 3/4 of the jar). Sprinkle lightly with the cheese. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more. If you like it more golden brown, feel free to broil 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of Parmesan. Yum!

*I love this salt free seasoning with a unique, light flavor, but in a pinch you can substitute Italian Blend seasoning. shells3

Kid Tip: I admit, this was not one my boys were excited to try – something different after all! But, once my four year old tried it, he really liked it. I cut it into pieces for him and added a good dollop of Parmesan, of course!

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Valentine Boston Creme Pie

Everybody has a favorite dessert. Most folks have a sweet heart. Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly. Being the logical person that I am, I took those three facts into consideration when I made this Boston Crème Pie recipe recently.

Remember that romance means something different to everybody. So approach your romantic dinner and dessert from the perspective of your sweetheart. Consider the question: “What would they love?” in the planning of your evening.

If your sweetheart is a morning person, maybe breakfast served with flair would be romantic. If they are allergic to chocolate, then you’ll want to choose sweet treats that appeal to their preferences. Romance doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Light a candle, place a tablecloth on the kitchen table, use the good dishes, put some soft music on and wear an outfit that becomes you. Romance will follow.

 

Boston Crème Pie

Ingredients

1 package Yellow Cake Mix prepared according to package
1 box French Vanilla Instant Pudding prepared according to package
1 can Chocolate Frosting

Gather your ingredients.

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare cake according to package directions. Bake in two 9-inch round pans. Set frosting container on stovetop to warm while cake bakes. Cool cakes after removing from oven. Prepare pudding according to package directions. Place one cake on plate. Using long knife or piece of thread, slice cake in half horizontally. Layer pudding and cake halves. Frost top of cake with chocolate icing. Allow icing to drip down the sides of cake. Chill in refrigerator 1 hour.

Prepare your cake according to package directions.

Approximate Nutritional Information: Servings Per Recipe: 8 servings, Amount Per Serving: Calories: 481, Total Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 595mg, Total Carbs: 84g, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Protein: 4g

Make It a Meal: Serve this dessert with a romantic dinner for your sweet heart on Valentine’s Day, their birthday, your anniversary or any other special day. Serve with your favorite strong coffee or sweet red wine.

To make this dessert extra special, I used some super heart shaped pans. I have a 5-inch heart shaped pan and a whole bunch of cupcake size pans that make up individual serving sized cakes.

Trim round cake into heart shape. Slice cakes in half.

Instead of your regular 8-inch round pans, you can use an 8-inch heart pan. My mom has a set of these and we’ve sure gotten our money’s worth in use over the years. If you can’t get your hands on heart shaped pans, you can cut a heart shape out of your round cakes. That’s what I did for this cake. I didn’t plan far enough ahead to borrow mom’s pans!

Simply take a piece of paper and draw a heart on it, or print one from a website. Lay the paper on top of a single layer of cake, and cut around the pattern. For best results, wait until the cake is completely cooled.

 

Spread pudding over cake layers.

Variations: Place sliced strawberries or cherries inside with the cream layer. Add a few drops of red food coloring to your vanilla pudding to turn the cream pink. Use a strawberry or cherry cake mix instead of yellow cake. Instead of chocolate icing, use vanilla or strawberry frosting.

Frost and decorate your cakes with candies or fruit.

Remember that romance means something different to everybody. You’ll want to put a little thought into planning your romantic meal. My husband was thrilled that I picked his favorite dessert and made it special for him! Just wait ’til Valentine’s Day, honey!

 

 

Salty Sweet Rainbow M&M Cookies

I’m so excited to share one of my favorite cookie recipes today. Thick, soft-baked, buttery cookies that are overloaded with sweet and salty goodness. Trust me, you’ll find these completely irresistible.

We’re going to begin with my favorite cookie dough base. This cookie dough is incredibly special and goes above and beyond what a regular cookie dough can do. Start with your usual suspects – butter, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, baking soda, etc. You’re going to add cornstarch to your usual cookie ingredients.

Cornstarch is my secret weapon in cookie dough. It’s the cornstarch that makes the baked cookies so thick and soft. So chewy and doughy. So perfect! Think about it… cornstarch is the ingredient thickening up your soups, softening your pie fillings, and giving your gravy a full-bodied texture. Just think of what it can do for cookie dough!

For the mix-ins, I used chopped up pretzels and colorful M&Ms. I love sweet and salty treats, and the combination of the two just works in this simple cookie dough base.

I used a couple of my tried and true cookie tricks in this recipe. I chilled the dough after mixing it. I chilled this dough overnight – about 12 hours.  Although it requires me to think ahead, I chill the dough for nearly every single cookie I bake. I cannot stress this step enough. After mixing your cookie dough, chilling it firms up the fat (butter, in this case) and gives the flour time to absorb liquid evenly. It reduces a cookie dough’s stickiness, making it firm and much easier to work with.

Next, I baked today’s cookies larger than usual. I wanted a “statement” cookie to go along with the colorful M&Ms and crunchy pretzels. About 2 generous tablespoons of dough went into each cookie. And finally, it is important to note the baking time – a precise 9-10 minutes. No more! Once the cookies came out of the oven, I had to press the tops down a bit because they were so puffy from all the dough I used. That’s why you see all the gorgeous little crinkles on the cookie tops.

The soft, doughy interior, the chewy edges, the crinkly tops, the thick size, the salty/sweet taste, the huge chunks inside make these cookies an instant favorite. I know you’ll love them, too!

P.S. Don’t forget to come see me and all of my recipes over at Sally’s Baking Addiction. I love connecting with new readers!

Sweet & Salty M&M Cookies

makes approximately 2.5 dozen

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 broken pretzel pieces
  • 3/4 cup mini M&Ms (or regular size)

Directions:

Line an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Set aside.

In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in pretzel pieces and M&Ms. Chill dough (covered) for 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Drop balls of dough (1.5 tablespoons each) onto cookie sheet OR used a standard-sized cookie scoop. Stick a few M&Ms on the tops so they show after the cookies bake. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Do NOT cook them longer than 9 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack.

*Do not drop dough onto warm cookie sheets. Allow cookie sheets to cool completely between batches.

adapted from The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

chocolate fudge cake

Chocolate Fudge Cake

I think chocolate is one of the best foods ever invented! It has taste, color and texture that make it unique but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can mix chocolate with many flavors – orange, ginger, mint, coffee and chili to name a few. Over the holidays I baked my favorite chocolate fudge cake and boy, it went down well! Here it is, minus a big chunk which my husband and son surreptitiously removed whilst I was looking for my camera!

chocolate fudge cake

Some people might think this a simple and basic recipe … and they would be right. The truth is that simple is often best – something that can get overlooked in an age where culinary expertise seems to know no bounds. All I know is that whenever my family sees me baking this cake their faces light up. So here’s the recipe for all chocolate fans who want to see smiling faces.

Chocolate Fudge Cake – Recipe

You need 2 baking tins for this recipe 8 inches (20cm) diameter. Grease with a little butter.

Fudge Ingredients:
8 ounces butter
2 ounces dark muscovado sugar
8 ounces bittersweet (dark) chocolate
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake Ingredients:
6 ounces caster sugar (superfine sugar)
6 ounces butter
3 beaten eggs
3 tablespoons golden syrup or corn syrup (golden syrup works best but not so easy to find)
1  1/2 ounces cocoa powder
1  1/2 ounces ground almonds
6 ounces self-rising flour

First, make the chocolate fudge, which will need to be chilled before you can use it.

Method: Break the chocolate into small chunks and put into a medium pan with the butter, sugar, milk and vanilla extract.

chocolate fudge ingredients in the pan

On a low heat, stir with a wooden spoon until it’s all mixed and melted. Place the pan to one side to cool for a few minutes then pour into a glass bowl to cool further.

ingredients for chocolate fudge almost melted

When cooled sufficiently, chill for about an hour in the refrigerator.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F while you make the cake mix.

Method: Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and place to one side. In a separate, glass bowl beat together the sugar and butter until soft and light. Gently stir into this the eggs followed by the ground almonds and syrup. Take the sifted flour and cocoa powder and slowly fold into the mixture until you have a smooth but slightly runny consistency. Note: if your mixture is a little thick just add a teaspoon of water at a time until the mixture drops from a spoon.

Take the 2 greased baking tins and spoon the cake mixture into them equally.  Put the tins in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. When you remove them, check with your fingertips to make sure the sponge is springy – that’s when you know it’s ready. Place the tins to one side for a few minutes before you turn them out.  Wait until the cake sponges have fully cooled then sandwich them together with half of the chilled chocolate fudge. (I find a spatula or palette knife makes this easy). Then spread the remaining half all over the outside of the cake. This is the part I love doing!

My family prefers a really thick layer of chocolate on the outside of the cake so I use more than half the chocolate fudge for that. Slice and serve on its own or with heavy cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Simple and sumptuous!

Looking for a more adventurous chocolate dessert recipe? Then check out the following – they certainly look and sound fabulous!
Choc Chip Cookie Fudge Sandwiches
Choc Chip Cannoli Pie
Spiced Mocha Fudge Cake

There are some amazing facts about chocolate – eg. cocoa beans were grown as far back as 1500 BC by the Olmec Indians of Mexico. Click here for more chocolate facts.

Chocolate Cake Ball Stuffed Oreo Pudding Cookies

Many of you may be scolding me for posting these decadent, irresistible cookies only two days into the new year when the most popular resolution is to lose weight or at least eat healthier. But I just cannot help myself! It is impossible for me to resist so why must I be alone in consuming all of these cookies? The more I share, the less I have to eat!

These cookies are made with chunks or Hershey’s cookies and cream candy bars, Oreo pudding mix (which makes them super soft), and chocolate chips. But inside there is a surprise – a moist chocolate cake ball! It seems like I always have some sort of truffle frozen in my freezer and they are perfect for jazzing up cookies and cupcakes.

CHOCOLATE CAKE BALL STUFFED OREO PUDDING COOKIES

Makes 3 dozen

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 (4.2 ounce) package instant Oreo Pudding mix

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

2-2.6 oz. (5.2 oz. total) Hershey’s Cookies N Cream Candy Bars broken into small pieces

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 dozen uncoated chocolate cake balls

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats, or parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in pudding mix until blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix to combine. Stir in cookies n’ cream pieces and chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.
  3. Using a cookie dough scooper, form golf ball sized dough balls. Flatten one out in the palm of your hand, place one cake ball in the center, and wrap the dough around it. Place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Repeat with remaining dough and cake balls.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes. You do not want to overbake these! They will barely be golden on the edges and bottom. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before moving to a cooking rack. Store in air-tight container.

Source: Adapted slightly from The Girl Who Ate Everything.