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Peppermint & Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate and peanut butter. Chocolate and peppermint. Why not combine these tasty duos into one trio? Dark chocolate peanut butter cookies with crushed peppermint candy cane on top.

Peppermint & Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies 1

Are you familiar with the Christmas car costumes that appear this time of year? The reindeer antlers and nose or the elf ears and hat? Do you think they are ridiculous? If so, then I think you are zero fun. My friend Suzanne and I have been on the hunt for the reindeer get-up for years, ever since we first laid eyes on it. Unfortunately it proved to be nearly impossible to find as it was sold out in every store we checked year after year. We did find it online but that felt like cheating. Well guess what? While at Walgreens on a totally different mad hunt (searching for chalk – who knew chalk would be such a hard thing to find), I walked right past a display full of the reindeer costumes. Done and done. My car is adorable and I don’t care what anyone says.And then like an idiot, I rolled down my window while driving (had to get rid of a bug) and one of the antlers flew off. Thankfully I was able to turn around and retrieve it.

Peppermint & Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies 3

Along with silly car costumes, another thing that appears around Christmas-time is a plethora of candy canes. Like it or not you will somehow end up with at least one in your possession. To help you find purpose for all those minty holiday treats (or fruity if you’re lucky enough to get a fancy one), PB&Co has challenged a group of bloggers to come up with #CandyCaneHacks aka solutions to excessive candy canes. So I did the first logical thing that came to mind – smash to bits and sprinkle on top of cookies. Using a trusty 4-ingredient flourless peanut butter cookie recipe, I made dark chocolate peanut butter thumbprint cookies filled with more dark chocolate dreams peanut butter and topped with crushed peppermint candy cane. Want more peppermint flavor? Add peppermint extract instead of vanilla to the cookie dough.

Want to get your hands on some of Peanut Butter & Co’s peanut butter? Use the Rafflecopter widget located at the bottom of this post and enter to win 2 jars of your choosing. Can’t wait? Use the code ” YUMSQUADLOVE” and receive 25% off their online store for the month of December. And follow #CandyCaneHacks for ideas on how to pair candy canes with your favorite peanut butter.

Peppermint & Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies 2

One year ago: Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells

Two years ago: Sugar Cookie Spoons for Hot Cocoa

Four years ago: Blueberry-Almond Turtles
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Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice

Weeknight meals don’t have to be boring. Try this apple cider glazed chicken served with browned butter rice and toasted pecans. Ready in the time it takes to cook rice.

Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice

If you are a ZipList user, you should have received an e-mail notifying you that starting tomorrow they will no longer be supporting their recipe box and shopping list platform. If you haven’t already you can transfer your saved recipes to the Epicurious Recipe Box and save all your shopping lists and recipes to your computer. Visit http://www.ziplist.com/savemyziplist to save your shopping lists and recipes.

What does this mean for The Spiffy Cookie? As you may have noticed, I have stopped adding the ZipList button to my recipes. However, I have always included a “Print/PDF” button at the bottom of every recipe as an easy way to print or save as a PDF. I have a file folder on my computer with subfolders for various food categories as if it were a digital version of a recipe box on my desktop, but instead it is filled with recipe PDF files. There are also options at the bottom of each recipe to share via various social media. Pinterest is a useful tool for organizing a virtual recipe box as well and it’s accessible from anywhere.

Feel free to practice saving, printing, and/or sharing on the recipe I am sharing today. It’s an easy weeknight meal for chicken with an apple cider glaze and rice tossed with toasted pecans and browned butter.

One year ago: Homemade Whole Grain Pancake Mix

Three years ago: Breakfast Pizza

Four years ago: Fortune Cookies & Baked Oatmeal
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Cone Head Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting

Have some fun with your vanilla cupcakes and turn them into adorable cone head cupcakes with frosting that looks and taste like an ice cream sundae.

Cone Head Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting 1

National Cupcake Day is exactly one week from today! In an effort to prepare you, 26 food bloggers including myself have banded together to share cupcake recipes today. I took the opportunity to whip up a cupcake creation that I have been meaning to make ever since I thought of it.

Cone Head Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting 3

You know the adorable cone head ice cream sundae at Friendly’s? Well I recreated it in cupcake form! A vanilla cupcake is topped with a literal scoop if buttercream frosting made with ice cream and decorated with a chocolate dipped waffle cone, miniature Reese’s pieces, and whipped cream. Even if you’ve never heard of or had a cone head ice cream sundae, you won’t be able to resist these little guys.

Cone Head Cupcakes with Ice Cream Frosting 2

One year ago: White Cheddar Mac & Cheese in a Mug

Three years ago: Toffee Apple Dip

Four years ago: Brownie Peanut Butter Cups
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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Saturday Roundup 2014

For all you peanut butter and chocolate lovers out there, here is a roundup of recent peanut butter and chocolate creations to feast upon.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Roundup

After losing Braxton Miller to injury at the beginning of the season and an early loss to Virginia Tech, I did not think Ohio State had a good chance at snagging the Big Ten Championship this year. But then JT Barrett found his grove and proved to be just as good as Braxton, so much so that he also became a Heisman candidate. That was until last week when he too was injured and now my Buckeyes head into the conference championship game with Cardale Jones as QB. What are the chances we are lucky enough to have not 2 but 3 amazing QBs? I guess I will find out later today!

Being the last game before bowl season, I decided to do a roundup of all the PB+C recipes I have shared this year. Evidently I have been on a brownie, pretzel, oat, and candy-ish things kick. You’ll also notice that I do try to keep my background colors somewhere in the scarlet and gray range, but I epically failed with the smoothie – how did I allow blue and yellow in there?

Two years ago: Gingerbread Dip

Three years ago: Apple Butter Chewy Cinnamon M&M Cookies

Four years ago: Gnocchi with Goat Cheese and Spinach

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cookie Cake

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Spinach Dip

This spinach dip is not only easy to throw together, but also delicious. This creamy spinach dip has water chestnuts and onion mixed in for some crunch.

Spinach Dip 1

Ready for all the college football conference championship games tomorrow? After a rough week for the Buckeyes in spite of the win over Michigan I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the Big Ten game. I suppose the show must go on in spite of the tragic loss of Kosta Karageorge. My thoughts are with his family, biological and Buckeye-family.

With college football season nearing it’s end and pro football still going strong, dips and other snacky foods are in high demand. How about this creamy spinach dip which requires not cooking at all. Just mix and serve! Would be great served in a big bread bowl.

Spinach Dip 2

One year ago: Bananas Foster Pancakes

Two years ago: Christmas Red Velvet Mug Cake

Three years ago: Spinach Artichoke Dip
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Potica Nut Roll Revisit

Whether you spell it potica or povitica (or call it something completely different), this Slovenian sweet nut roll bread is better than cinnamon swirl bread, in my biased opinion.

Potica Nut Roll 1

When Christmas rolls around, fruit cakes start appearing along with many other traditional Christmas recipes. While my dad does make a killer fruit cake, the pastry I most look forward to is Potica. Potica looks like cinnamon swirl bread but it’s got a little extra that make it that much better. It comes in many different shapes and sizes but for my family’s recipe the sweet, yeast pastry dough is rolled out really thin and then spread with a coating of ground up nuts and sugar before being rolled up and baked (we use a clean sheet of floured fabric to make rolling easier). Sometimes it’s a straight log, sometimes it gets bent it into a horse shoe shape, and other times it gets baked in a bundt cake pan. Whatever shape you prefer it’ll come up just right. What’s important to me is toasting a slice and then spreading butter on it. Holy yum.
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Easy Chicken Curry

Need an easy chicken curry recipe in a hurry? Throw together this yellow chicken curry dish with potato, carrot, and onion for a quick weeknight meal.

Easy Chicken Curry

Evidently, a year ago I had already busted out the eggnog in my baking. I can barely wrap my head around the fact that it is December already let alone bust out the eggnog. Did you know that this time last year I was only 10 days away from graduating with my PhD? I had already defended and passed my dissertation in September but awaited the ceremonial part. Maybe I should plan something special for my 1 year graduation anniversary… more of that later.

Let’s make curry. This recipe is fairly quick and easy, making it a good weeknight meal. Just don’t do what I did and completely forget to add the onions. While eating it I sat there pondering why it didn’t taste quite right, as if something was missing. Oh look there’s the onion I was supposed to chop up and cook in it. And you better believe I cooked up that onion and stirred it in. I have to admit however, that this was not my favorite curry recipe. It was pretty good but I think it would have been better if I had made it with coconut milk. The evaporated milk just didn’t have the depth of flavor I was looking for, so next time I will try coconut milk and have reflected this option in the ingredients.

One year ago: Eggnog Cheesecake Bars with Cranberry Swirl

Two years ago: Hot Cocoa Blossoms

Four years ago: Latkas

EASY CHICKEN CURRY

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

1 lb. baby red skinned potatoes, quartered

2 carrots, peels and sliced

1 small white onion, sliced

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used whole milk Chobani)

1 (14 oz.) can evaporated milk (or coconut milk)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 cups cooked basmati or jasmine rice

Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add chicken and cooked until no longer pink. Transfer chicken to a plate.
  2. To the same skillet, add about tablespoon of oil followed by the potatoes, carrots, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add curry powder and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Stir in yogurt and milk and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Stir in salt, pepper, and chicken. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro, if using.

Source: Adapted from Semi-Homemade, September/October 2010.

Signature

Speculoos & Pumpkin Spice Oreo Lasagna

Serve lasagna for dessert! This dessert lasagna is made with graham crackers, golden pumpkin Oreos, cream cheese, cool whip, and cookie butter. In other words, delicious.

Biscoff & Pumpkin Spice Oreo Lasagna 1

After how big of a hit the chocolate peanut butter cup lasagna was last year, it seemed like a no brainer to try it again with another beloved spread – Speculoos aka Biscoff. With the help of some pumpkin spice Oreos, this dessert lasagna disappeared just as quickly as the peanut butter version. I brought it to a chili cook off and there wasn’t a single dollop left by the end of the night – people were scraping up every last bit of it. Basically, if you are looking for a killer make-ahead dessert for an upcoming party then look no further. Pumpkin is totally acceptable after Thanksgiving.

P.S. You can now follow me on Instagram! Oh technology!

Biscoff & Pumpkin Spice Oreo Lasagna 2

One year ago: Homemade Italian Bread & Garlic Bread

Two years ago: White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Three years ago: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Four years ago: Homemade Applesauce

SPECULOOS & PUMPKIN SPICE OREO LASAGNA

Serves 24

Ingredients:

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy cream

FILLING

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature

1-1/2 cups Biscoff or Speculoos cookie spread

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

16 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

15 whole graham crackers

1 (12.2 oz.) box Golden Oreos with Pumpkin Spice Creme

1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

TOPPING

8 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed

1/4 cup toffee bits

Directions:

  1. For the chocolate drizzle, melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream together in the microwave in 15 second increments, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  2. Prepare the filling: In a medium mixing bowl, whip together cream cheese, cookie spread, powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla. Whip for 2-3 minutes until fully combined and smooth. Add the thawed whipped topping 8 ounces at a time. Continue to whip until fluffy and light. Set aside.
  3. In a 9 x 13 inch dish place one layer of graham crackers (7-1/2 sheets). Spread 1/3 of the filling mixture over the crackers, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the chocolate chips. Gently press a layer of Oreos into the filling and top with another 1/3 of the filling. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the chocolate chips and top with another layer of crackers followed by the final 1/3 of the filling.
  4. Frost with whipped topping, and sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate chips and toffee bits. Drizzle with chocolate. Chill for at least 4-6 hours before cutting into 24 squares.

Source: Adapted from my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Lasagna.

Signature

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Candied Walnuts and Sage Vinaigrette

Your favorite fall flavors now come in a healthy salad with roasted sweet potatoes, dried cherries, candied walnuts, and a sage balsamic vinaigrette.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Candied Walnuts and Sage Vinaigrette 1

By now I am sure most of you have seen the new Star Wars trailer. If not, do it now. I may have freaked out just a little bit when I saw it and now already cannot wait for next Christmas – the finale of Mockingjay and new Star Wars! But there are exciting movies to see this year as well. I already saw Mockingjay Part 1 and up next is the finale of the Hobbit. The winter holidays rock, don’t they? To make up for the colder temperatures we get stuffed with amazing food, decorate cookies, see pretty lights, and get to snuggle in front of a cozy fire and/or movie.

But today’s recipe is not for decorated cookies or even a hot beverage to drink while enjoying wintry activities. It does have some of those comforting flavors that come out this time of year though and shockingly enough it is in the form of a salad. Roasted sweet potatoes are tossed in a mixed greens salad with dried cherries, candied walnuts, and a sage vinaigrette. I got to bust out my white balsamic vinegar for this vinaigrette but you could definitely use regular if you cannot find white. Different color, same taste.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Candied Walnuts and Sage Vinaigrette 2

One year ago: Quick Turkey Noodle Soup

Two years ago: Gluten-Free Ooey Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

Three years ago: Pecan Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake

Four years ago: Matzo Ball Soup
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Boozy Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

Throw that leftover pie into a blender with some ice cream and make a milkshake! Add rum for a boozy adult beverage and don’t forget the fresh whipped cream.

Boozy Pumpkin Pie Milkshake 1

Alright smart phone users, what apps (preferably free) does this smart phone novice need to check out for my fancy new phone? I am getting obvious things like facebook, twitter, instagram, and waze but beyond that I’m a bit clueless. So tell me what you use most and why. I’ve been in the dark so long my parents and their friends probably know more about smart phones than I do.

And now for your Thanksgiving desert leftovers, if you were lucky enough to have any. Sometimes pie is so good you wish you could drink it with a straw. Well, now you can! Blend up a slice, crust and all, along with some ice cream and a bit of rum and you’ll be ready to cozy up in front of the fire. Or in my case, I drank it while watching foot ball last night. The Ohio State vs Michigan game was a close one but thankfully we were victorious. Unfortunately our QB JT Barrett is injured and out for the remainder :-(.

Boozy Pumpkin Pie Milkshake 2

One year ago: Peanut Butter Mousse Cookie Cups

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Reeses Pieces Giant Cookie for One

Three years ago: Peanut Butter Reeses Pieces Giant Cookie for One

Four years ago: Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
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