In The Kitchen, Recipes

Sunday Sweets

While they say you learn something new every day, I am not sure I believe it is EVERY day. Often, to be sure. But I feel like, once school is behind you anyway, the literally every day thing may not necessarily continue to apply. 

Today happened to be a learn something new day for me. I learned that you can make homemade “corn syrup”. I wanted something sweet, but not chocolate. I decided on hard caramels. I had all but one ingredient: light corn syrup. I didn’t want to go to the store for that one little thing. So I consulted the internet to find out just how necessary the corn syrup is. In the past I have made hard caramel with just sugar and water, so I know it works. But I wanted to make the creamier version of the candy this time and was not sure if simply omitting the corn syrup would still work or not. 

I found no definitive answer on that front (though I am inclined to say the corn syrup is not totally necessary, I could be wrong), but I did find that you can make a homemade substitute called invert syrup, and while it requires some time and patience, it couldn’t be easier to do! I even managed it – and the subsequent caramels – without a candy thermometer by using the drop test method but the less fearless out there may want to invest in the candy thermometer. (I will be getting one from J at some point that he has no use for, cause some things I won’t chance it, but hard candy is usually simple enough to just do the drop test to check if it is done or not.) 

The invert syrup requires only three ingredients: 

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

All you have to do is combine all the ingredients in a heavy saucepan and place it over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly until it comes to a boil, then wash down the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals that may be present. I know the science behind this, I just forget the specific terminology but the gist of it is when making candy, undissolved sugar getting into this sort of sugar syrup mixture at this point will make for less than desirable results. I speak from experience. So, just trust me when I say to not skip this step, tempting though it may be to do so. Place the candy thermometer in and let it boil without stirring until it reaches 230°F. Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool to room temperature. It is now ready to use. Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. 

I saw no mention of the shelf life on this but I’d imagine it ought to last a good while. I love knowing this recipe now, as corn syrup is not something I tend to keep on hand. I do however keep sugar and cream of tartar on hand. This is going to be so handy, being able to just make my own “corn syrup” when I spontaneously decide to make something that requires it! It looks and tastes just like the Karo light corn syrup, and of course, functions like it in recipes. 

Once the syrup had cooled, I moved on to making my caramels. Pardon my lazy photography, at this point I’ve had a very long day, and I’ve been dealing with insomina the past week or so, and am exhausted. Taking time to do anything more than this for pictures for this post simply is not happening. 

I had planned to make the recipe a second time just to get a good feel for it, then share. Unfortunately I had only bookmarked the recipe on my phone’s browser. I was having some problems with my phone that required a factory reset to fix. Silly me, I thought using the stock browser whilst logged in to my Samsung account would, oh, I dunno… save my bookmarks so I would not lose them in the event of a factory reset or a new device. Apparently being logged into the browser with Samsung means NOTHING because my bookmarks are all gone. If there is a way to get them back it’s buried in some obscure location in the settings that I cannot find. I tried just searching the internet for the recipe again  (as well as a butterscotch recipe I was really excited to try out) but while of course I can find plenty of others, I can’t find the same ones again. Figures. 

 I forgot to grease my wax paper so they all stuck. Whoops. I would normally use parchment paper but don’t have any. Popping these into the freezer for a while helps loosen them though so all is not lost. Just, next time I really need to remember to grease the wax paper if I am still without parchment paper. Actually what I really want to do is get some candy molds. But we’ll see. My beloved craft store back in Pittsburgh has an awesome selection of candy making supplies. Maybe I’ll ask my dad to take a look for some molds the next time he is in the vicinity of the store. 

I stuck lollipop sticks into some of them, just for fun. I’ve been wanting lollipops lately for some reason. I need some good round lollipop molds, too. Ok, don’t need them. Just want them. Same difference right? 😅

Until next time. xoxo

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In The Kitchen, Recipes

Homemade Waffle Cones

As much as I adore krumkake and certain krumkake recipes do yield a cookie sturdy enough to be used as an ice cream cone, my favorite recipe is one that is much too delicate for that purpose and honestly the ones I have tried that can be used as ice cream cones I have not cared for too much and I find them to still be a bit too delicate. With that thought in mind, I decided to look for an actual waffle cone recipe.

The first page of google search results yielded a handful of recipes with low ratings and not great reviews… except for one. I decided to give that one a try. 

I did make a little change to the ingredients. The recipe calls for whole (dairy) milk, which I do not keep on hand. I buy it if I know I will be needing it for something where my preference of unsweetened almond milk won’t work for one reason or another but generally speaking it isn’t something you will find in my fridge. I had measured out two tablespoons of the almond milk into the bowl when I remembered I have heavy cream. I decided to use that for the third tablespoon, figuring that it would perhaps even things out a bit and make it a touch more as if I had used the whole milk called for.

I used my krumkake iron to bake them off as well, when the recipe instructs making them on a griddle or in a skillet. I figured the krumkake iron would be much easier – the batter gets pressed to an even thickness when the lid is shut so no worrying about trying to spread the batter evenly, and because both sides of the iron heat up, the cook time per cone was much shorter. With the heat setting at 3, I let them go a while longer after the “ready” light came on before checking them to see if they were cooked enough. (I find it is best to leave the heat lower and just let cookies bake longer in the iron to reach the desired doneness than to turn the heat up higher and keep a shorter cook time – too easy to get burnt cookies that way!) The average cook time on them till they were done was about two and a half minutes, but I let some go to three minutes or slightly beyond to get a little darker and more crisp for the sake of experimenting a bit. The two and a half minute mark seemed ideal for my preferences, though.

They did sometimes want to cling to the iron a bit but were easy to wiggle loose with a spatula, then I rolled them around my krumkake form to shape them into cones. 

The final result is some very pretty and quite tasty homemade waffle cones. 

Now if I actually had some ice cream to put into them… 😅 But they are good enough to eat on their own as “cookies”. 

I have been wanting to make some homemade ice cream, it has been a long time since I have done that; probably going on two years or so now. Maybe I can squeeze the ingredients into my budget when I get groceries this week, and then I can have some yummy homemade ice cream in homemade waffle cones! 

If you’d like to try the waffle cone recipe I found, it is available on Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking: just click here to see her post with the recipe. 

Totally unrelated side note: My mom’s dog is named Gemma. 😜 

Until next time. xoxo

In The Kitchen, Recipes

Bunny Crack: Recipe (Sorta)

I had seen this online a while back, and made note because I wanted to make some myself. Some folks call it Bunny Bait, others Easter Crack. So I just threw the two together: Bunny Crack. Call it what you want, it is a quick, easy to make spring-time snack, whether you celebrate Easter or not. You can easily tweak it for other holiday/times of year as well.

I say this is “sorta” a recipe because you really needn’t measure a single thing. The instructions I had specified using small pretzel sticks, and mixing everything together on a cookie sheet. I used the little square, waffle-like pretzels. I like those ones, and it seemed like a better choice to me, keeping things close to the same shape and size. I did do the sheet pan mixing thing, because I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to dirty a bowl for this. But it was NOT easy mixing this up on a cookie sheet. I say go for a bowl or better yet, a large zip top bag to shake the ingredients together! 

Anyway, the ingredients for this are as follows:

Salted popcorn (I used butter flavored cause hey, that is what I had)

Peanuts (salted, unsalted? The instructions I had did not say. I used salted. Whatever floats your boat here, I guess!)

Chex cereal (I totally forgot this so mine does not have it)

Pretzels

M&M candies (I thought I was getting the spring colored ones. The packaging lied to me. But M&M’s are M&M’s and I had a buy one get one free coupon to use, so it’s all good! You could even use peanut M&M’s if you want. Be wild!)

Sprinkles (I used jimmies, but again, whatever you like is going to work)

White chocolate candy melts

Amounts? Be bold. Be daring. Be crazy. Just eyeball it on everything. I double dog dare you. Seriously though just wing it, it’s going to taste good regardless. Ok, ok… I will at least say you will likely need 12-16 oz candy melts, assuming your mixure uses one bag of microwave popcorn. I used about 9 or 10 oz for mine, but I did not quite use a whole bag of popcorn and I was saving some of the candy melts for something else. 

You want to start by gathering all your ingredients – once melted the candy melts start to re-harden fairly quickly so you don’t want to have to stop to re-melt them. Once everything is gathered, you want to mix together everything but the candy melts of course. Melt those suckers till they are nice and smooth (depending on how powerful your microeave is, 1-2 minutes total, in 15-20 second bursts and stirring very well after each burst). Some recipes have you mix the popcorn, pretzels, and cereal woth half the candy melts and then add the remaining ingredients but I say it is going to be easier to just mix it all together in one go. Again I bet a big zip top bag and shaking the ingredients to coat it all with the melted chocolate would be a fantastic way to go about this. Regardless, once everything is mixed up, spread the mixture out on a wax paper lined cookie sheet, and let it sit till the chocolate sets. You can pop it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes, if you like. Then break it up in pieces, and enjoy! 

Baking, In The Kitchen, Melting Pot, Recipes

Swedish Coconut Cookies

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My oh so impressive photo, taken while the cookies were cooling on the counter. Yes, this is the only picture I took of them. *shrug* What can I say? I’m no food stylist.

On the hunt for a little something that could be made with some ingredients we have on hand that need to be used up, I found this recipe for Swedish Coconut Cookies. Both J and I are fans of coconut, so I figured I’d give the recipe a try.

It’s sort of like a cross between shortbread cookies and sugar cookies, leaning further toward shortbread cookies, but with the added bonus of some yummy coconut.

The dough comes together quickly and easily, and you only need one mixing bowl and a couple measuring cups and spoons. Low mess baking is a rarity, and one of my favorite things since usually when I bake it involves turning the entire kitchen into a disaster area I hate having to clean up once all the fun stuff is over. lol

You start off by mixing together all the ingredients except for the coconut – initially it’ll look dry and crumbly like when you make pie crust, but just be patient and give it a couple minutes and it will come together. Then stir in the coconut, shape the dough into 1-2 logs (depending on how big a batch you’ll be making/what size cookies you ultimately want) and wrap in wax paper then chill in the fridge for about 2 hours till the dough is firmed up. Slice it up and bake, and leave the cookies to cool on the pan for about 2-3 minutes before removing them to cool completely. And did I mention they only require seven ingredients total?

I told you. EASY.

I only made a half batch, and got about 2.5 dozen cookies from it. 29 cookies total, to be precise. Granted I totally ignored the size suggestion in the recipe when shaping the log of dough – I just went for what looked like an ideal cookie size to me, and sliced them into half inch thick slices when ready to be sliced and baked off. (If you have multiple logs of dough to work with, leave the ones you’re not slicing and baking in the fridge till you’re ready for them, otherwise the dough will soften up and become difficult to slice and the cookies will spread out WAY too much while baking.) I was able to place eight rounds of dough onto each cookie sheet perfectly, with none of them running together as they baked. They do spread a good bit so do NOT ignore that “2 inches apart” instruction. I’d even scoot them a wee bit further apart than that, if you’ve got the room on the sheet to do so. Also worth noting I baked mine on parchment lined sheets. I bake pretty much everything on parchment lined pans, because parchment paper is just amazing. If you’ve never used it to line your cake pans or cookie sheets before, I highly recommend you pick some up on your next trip to the grocery store to give it a try. Just know it can be finicky to tear a piece off, and it rolls right back up on itself, so it’s a little bit of a PITA to work with. But it is SO worth it!

Anyway. J’s not had a chance to try any of the cookies yet (work) but I’ve had a couple and I have to say they’re quite tasty. They are a bit more crisp than I’d prefer – almost lace cookie-like in a way. Even the ones I pulled from the oven a couple minutes sooner in an attempt to get them softer while still baked through were just a bit more crisp than I’d really like them to be. I could probably drop the bake time by a couple more minutes to get them to my liking. Next time. Not a fault of the recipe by any means – just a personal preference that requires some testing to find what bake time works to get there. While I do not find them to be particularly amazing, they are quite good, and I’m likely to make them again in the future. I can’t help but wonder if they’d benefit from using coconut extract in place of (or in addition to) the vanilla extract. And throwing in a bit more of the flaked coconut wouldn’t be a bad idea either. 😉

Get the recipe by clicking here.

Until next time. xoxo

Baking, In The Kitchen, Recipes

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been having a bad weekend. What better cure for a crummy string of days than some cookies? Well, actually I can think of several things right away but I’m working with what I’ve got, folks. That means baking cookies.

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I had been wanting to bake these particular cookies for a while but somehow the chocolates for the “stuffed” aspect kept vanishing before I ever got around to baking cookies. Mystery… *innocent look*

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Anyway. Everybody likes their cookies a certain way so let me tell you first and foremost what kind of cookies this recipe is going to give you: soft, chewy, THICK cookies. If you like your cookies thin and/or crispy, keep walkin’ cause this is not that kind of recipe. I’m not convinced that those kinds of cookies will work for “stuffed” cookies but since I do not make them I really can’t say but if you want to give it a go then by all means don’t let me stop you. My only advice to you would be to only stuff and bake one cookie first just to see what happens. If it works out well then you can keep on going; if not you can bake off the rest of your dough as plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies as if that was the plan all along and you’ll have only sacrificed a single cookie to the Cookie Gods.

If, however, you agree with me that cookies are best when they’re thick and soft and chewy with only the slightest hint of crispness at the very outer edges then read on as there’s an excellent chance you’ll love this recipe. I’m not going to promise you will definitely love it because hey, you never know. But you just may agree with me that it’s the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. I came up with it myself (via altering other recipes to suit my preferences) though I have a sneaking suspicion it exists as it is for others out there too. I mean, chocolate chip cookies are kind of popular afterall.

Of course, you can make this recipe minus the “stuffing” and you’ll have fabulous plain chocolate chip cookies. I actually did half plain half stuffed today. But I’ll leave that up to you. Have I mentioned that this recipe is also ridiculously easy? I made these (unstuffed) a while back rather spontaneously one day and J commented on the short amount of time it took for me to go from “I want cookies” to sitting down eating cookies while the dishwasher did it’s thing cause I was totally done baking.

What you’ll need:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

11.5 oz milk chocolate chips

1 bag Dove Caramel & Milk Chocolate chocolates

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Unwrap the Dove Caramel & Milk Chocolate chocolates and place unwrapped chocolates in a bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla till well mixed.

On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple times if needed. Once all the flour mixture has been incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips.


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Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out 1 Tablespoon of dough; shape into a ball and gently flatten it a bit. Place one of the Dove chocolates on the dough, then take another 1 Tablespoon scoop of dough and place it on top of the chocolate. Gently press the dough closed around the chocolate to form a ball; place on the parchment lined cookie sheet and press lightly to flatten it slightly. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing cookies about 2 inches apart on the sheets.

Bake for 10-14 minutes until edges are golden brown and tops look mostly dry. Ovens vary and some run a little higher or lower in temperature, so check the cookies after 10 minutes and add on a minute or two at a time as needed till the cookies are done. Allow the cookies to cool for 4-5 minutes on the sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

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I even (finally) learned how to make a printable recipe for y’all. Probably not the easiest way to do it but what the heck it works. Or, it SHOULD. Someone will have to verify it and let me know. If it doesn’t work… I have no idea what I’m doing so I can’t fix it, sorry. No, I have no shame… not about my complete lack of technical prowess anyway. Click the print button below to print this recipe. Hopefully. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you…

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(Yes, I even took time to design my own print button. Because existing ones I found were ugly. Mine is pretty.)

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Until next time. xoxo

Baking, In The Kitchen, No Filter Friday, Recipes

No Filter Friday

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A little bit of a different photo for this week’s No Filter Friday, but I could not help myself with this one. =)

As y’all know I love my cinnamon, and as such cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite treats. However, for many years I could not find a recipe for a homemade cinnamon roll that I really liked. As crazy as it sounds, the canned ones from the grocery store were better. Well, I finally found a recipe that is fantastic! I made two batches, two days in a row. The bulk of them went into vacuum sealed bags and into the freezer to be baked off another time – it is the nature of them to dry out quickly and when you only have two people to cook/bake for, baking up a full batch at once is not the best approach. I’ll be making up another batch soon, probably, to have more in the freezer. While they are not quite as good baked from frozen as they are from fresh, it’s darned close. Close enough that if you did not know for a fact they had been frozen, you would not be likely to figure it out on your own that they were not freshly prepared. You can’t decide last minute you want some cinnamon rolls – you do still need to plan a bit in advance so they have time to thaw out and rise before baking when you pull them from the freezer. But it is still a lot faster and easier than starting from scratch, and this particular recipe is much better than those store bought ones I used to rely on! You can find the recipe and tips on freezing them on Mavis Butterfield’s blog by clicking here.

In The Kitchen, Recipes

Sweet Treats

coffee cake

I have the house to myself for the weekend. I’ve caught up on some youtube videos, baked a coffee cake (KAF Coffee Crumb Cake recipe; really just to use up some self rising flour we have that needs used; the recipe is just ok – it needs some changes/tweaks in my opinion but good enough and it serves the purpose), swept and vacuumed the floors, and am waiting on a second load of laundry to finish up in the dryer so I can fold that stuff and get a load of towels in to dry. I’ve still got some other things I’d like to tackle as far as cleaning up goes, but decided to take a break for a little while to try to catch up on some blogs and such.

On the subject of sweet treats, I recently discovered a new favorite dessert that is super quick and easy to make. It initially LOOKS like a grilled cheese sandwich…

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But it’s actually marshmallow and Nutella.

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Yep. Ooey, gooey, yumminess. You just spread some Nutella on a slice of bread (less is more here, though this is going to be a little messy to eat regardless but keep it in mind and don’t go heavy on the Nutella though you may be tempted to!) then place a few mini marshmallows on top of the Nutella. You can do more or less, depending on how much marshmallow you want. Place another slice of bread on top, lightly butter both sides of the sandwich and cook in a hot skillet for a couple minutes on each side till it’s nice and golden brown. Just like making grilled cheese – but it’s dessert. 😀

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Another yummy and super quick treat I have made recently, which I did not get a picture of, is Nutella magic shell ice cream topping. Magic shell ice cream topping is awesome stuff, but I never buy the store-bought varieties. If you’re not familiar with what it is, it’s a syrup-like product that when poured over ice cream hardens to form a chocolate “shell” over the ice cream. It comes in a variety of flavors, with chocolate being the most common. You may be familiar with this product from local soft serve ice cream places; many of them offer a “dip” in chocolate or cherry flavor. That “dip” is simply magic shell topping. It’s one of those things that is so stupidly simple to make, it’s silly to buy because you can save money making it yourself and it takes mere minutes. Though with any magic shell recipe you will want to plan in advance so it has time to cool down before serving, because if it’s still too warm when you use it, it’ll just melt your ice cream and that’s not what you want.

Magic shell, of any flavor, is simply a mixture of chocolate (milk, semi sweet, white chocolate, in this case we’re using Nutella) and oil, and depending on the flavor you’re making candy flavoring oil. Wilton Candy Melts (and other such products) work well here, too. You have to make sure the flavor oil you use is meant to be used with chocolate, otherwise it will not work and your melted chocolate will seize. I have several recipes I have made over the years for different flavors of magic shell ice cream topping but that will be for another day as today Nutella is my sweet tooth’s focus.

To make Nutella magic shell ice cream topping, all you have to do is place 13 oz of Nutella in a microwave safe dish, add 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil, and microwave for about 20-30 seconds till the oil melts (it’ll only take a few seconds; coconut oil has a low melting point, and depending on the temperature your oil may already be liquid when you measure anyway) and the Nutella is slightly warmed. Stir together till well mixed and smooth, and let cool to room temperature before pouring over ice cream. It should be a very liquidy consistency. Store leftovers at room temperature in an air tight jar. It will keep for about a month. Shake well before using. Remember, do NOT store this in the fridge!

If you don’t want to make such a large batch, here are the amounts for a couple smaller batches. The coconut oil amounts don’t have to be too precise so don’t worry about fussing too much with that; I do weigh out the amount of Nutella with a digital kitchen scale though. The process will be the same regardless of what size batch you make, just adjust heating time in the microwave accordingly. You just need the nutella to warm slightly; it should not take long even for the full batch.

4 oz Nutella + 1 Tablespoon (scant) coconut oil

2 oz Nutella + 1/2 Tablespoon (scant) coconut oil

1 oz Nutella + 3/4 teaspoon (scant) coconut oil

I am very much a fan of Nutella, and love finding new ways to enjoy it. I’ve made Nutella cakes and icings, I spread it on toast, I have made Nutella cookies and brownies etc… I admit sometimes I just sit down with a jar and a spoon and dig in. I’m a hardcore Nutella addict like that. LOL What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy Nutella?

In The Kitchen, Recipes

Nutella Mousse for 2

Based on my experiences, there are very few who don’t love Nutella. This post is not for those few. 😉

This recipe is super quick to prepare, but you will want to plan ahead as it needs about two hours in the fridge before serving. With just two ingredients, you can’t lose. And, if you really need to make more than two servings, it is easy to increase the recipe to make however much you need!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Nutella

Begin by whipping the heavy cream to soft peaks. You can do this either by hand with a whisk or with an electric mixer. I just use a whisk and whip by hand. For this small an amount it is more hassle than it is worth to drag out the electric mixer, for me. Your feelings may differ.

You do NOT need to add sugar to make a sweetened whipped cream. The Nutella is sweet enough it will take care of that. I do like to add a little splash of vanilla and a teensy dash of salt, but that’s completely optional.

Be mindful not to over whip the cream. You want to just get it to hold a soft peak – if you over whip cream it starts to turn into butter and while I am all for homemade butter (seriously, try it sometime you will love it!) that is not what we are after here. As soon as your cream starts to hold soft peaks, stop whipping!

Now, add a small bit of the Nutella to the whipped cream. No need for a precise amount here, just spoon a small dollop out of the 1/4 cup you measured out. Whip this into the cream just till the mixture is blended and the cream has thickened up a little more. It should not quite be at the stiff peaks stage, but firmer than before. (If you do take it to stiff peaks no worries, it will still turn out fine.) Now add the remaining Nutella and gently fold it in with a rubber scraper (you might call it a spatula) till it is evenly incorporated.

Now spoon the mousse evenly into *two small dessert bowls. I like to use an offset spatula to smooth the tops, but you can do whatever you like in this regard. You might even prefer to put the mousse into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe it into the bowls instead! Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for two hours before serving, so the mousse can set up. Garnish with additional (very lightly sweetened) whipped cream and shaved chocolate if desired.

* I like to just spoon this into one mini trifle dish, and serve with two spoons for sharing. Or, you know…. when being a little piggy and considering this one serving instead of two. 😝

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As for increasing this recipe, notice the ratio of Nutella to heavy cream: it is one part Nutella to two parts heavy cream. So if you wanted to use, for example, two cups of heavy cream you would need to use one cup of Nutella.

As a totally unrelated note: Props to one of my local news station’s weather men for not missing a beat in the following little tale: I had just turned the news on at the tail end of a story about some massively large potato. I honestly wasn’t paying too much attention and it was only a couple seconds so I really missed why this was newsworthy – record breaking potato I guess. *shrug* Anyway when they cut the video and went back to the newsroom the two anchors made some comments about how long you would need to exercise to work off the thousands of servings of fries or mashed potatoes that potato would make and asked the weather man what his guess was, and his witty and immediate response was “Well either way, taters gonna tate.” Tickled my funny bone pretty good. 😂

Baking, In The Kitchen, Recipes

Perfect Oatmeal Cookies

Normally I’d have pictures to include in this post. However, WordPress is being an obstinate little prick lately and refuses to upload new pictures. (And no, I’m nowhere near the storage limit so that’s got nothing to do with it.)

So instead all I can do is tell you that this recipe results in what is, in my opinion, the perfect oatmeal cookies. I’m not much of a fan of cookies in general, and I am especially not fond of making them myself. But there are times I don’t mind the effort that goes into baking a batch of cookies. Oatmeal cookies are one I nearly exclusively make myself, because other people just don’t make them right. Oatmeal cookies should not be thin, dry, crispy, cracker-like discs. They should NEVER have raisins in them. Chocolate chips are off-limits as well. A tiny pinch of cinnamon is ok sometimes. But I mean tiny. It should be just enough to lend a subtle touch of flavor, not so much that it’s overpowering. For the record, I love cinnamon… just not with my oatmeal cookies!

I tried dozens of recipes trying to find the perfect one, only to decide that such a recipe did not exist and I’d have to come up with something myself. I used my cookie baking knowledge (for someone who doesn’t care much for cookies/baking cookies, I do still know a fair amount about the process) and I took one of the recipes that was somewhat close to what I wanted, and I made the changes necessary to conjure up the perfect oatmeal cookies.

They are thick – but not too thick – moist, and chewy. Absolute perfection in a cookie. Again, just my opinion. But it’s my recipe so I am allowed to say it’s perfect if I want to! They’re just basic ol’ oatmeal cookies. Sure, you can taint them with raisins or chocolate chips or something if you absolutely must, but once you do that, it’s not MY recipe anymore. No. This recipe is for the oatmeal cookie purists who just want a plain old oatmeal cookie without any of those other things that people cannot seem to leave out of oatmeal cookies that simply do not belong in oatmeal cookies.

Even J really liked them, and he does not usually like oatmeal cookies much.

I wish I could insert the pictures for you. Stupid WordPress. But that’s ok, the pictures are with the recipe on MRM. And you can get it here: click me baby!

You’re welcome.

PS – Seriously. You’re welcome. I created this recipe years ago, when I was still a teenager. And I vowed to never share it with anyone. But I decided that it was unkind of me to keep this recipe to myself. It’s just too good not to share it so others can enjoy it too.

I apologize in advance for any expansion of your waistline that might occur as a result of sharing this recipe with you. 

In The Kitchen, Recipes

Hot Chocolate vs Hot Cocoa & A Recipe

Though most people use the terms “hot cocoa” and “hot chocolate” interchangeably, the two are actually different drinks.

To keep it quick and simple, hot chocolate is made with milk and chocolate while hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, sugar/sweetener, (usually) dry milk, and water. If you want to know more about the differences you can check out this information from Best Friends Cocoa: clicky 

One of my favorite cold weather drinks is hot cocoa. I have no objections to hot chocolate, either, but between the two cocoa is my preference. I can’t pinpoint what it is about cocoa I prefer. I simply enjoy it more.

It’s super simple to make homemade hot cocoa (and hot chocolate, too) and one of the things I like about homemade hot cocoa is that you can prepare a bigger batch of cocoa mix to keep on hand. Then whenever the desire strikes, you can have a cup in just the couple of minutes it takes to heat up some water!

Many of the recipes for homemade cocoa mixes make quite a large batch. Which is not always necessarily a bad thing. But sometimes, you just want a smaller batch. So I decided to come up with a smaller – but still generous – batch. I made a hybrid – both cocoa and chocolate in one recipe. I like the bit of extra chocolaty flavor the chocolate adds to it, but if you’re more of a strictly cocoa kind of person you can omit the chocolate chips and have just straight cocoa mix. It will still be delish.

Click here for the recipe:
Click here for the recipe: