Desserts

Eggnog Hot Chocolate Pound Cake

What happens when you mix eggnog and hot chocolate? One amazing cake with two of your favorite winter beverages! Perfect for holiday parties.

Eggnog Hot Chocolate Pound Cake 1

Today is the Friday of the last weekend before Christmas. What are you doing this weekend? If I had to guess many of you will be baking cookies, attending holiday parties, and/or crazy enough to go shopping. I remember the last time I tried going to the mall the weekend before Christmas (and not to buy a present, just retail therapy with a friend and neglected to realize what weekend it was) and it took over an hour to get out of the parking lot. Insanity. Never again. I am however committing to the other two aforementioned tasks this weekend – getting covered in snow-like sugar while baking and then eating party food until my belly resembles Santa’s.

Eggnog Hot Chocolate Pound Cake 2

This pound cake embodies the two best wintry drinks: eggnog and hot chocolate. Both eggnog and hot chocolate mix are used in the making of this pound cake, which results in the perfect pound cake to appear at your next holiday party. It didn’t take long for it to be reduced to crumbs. Spike it with a little bit of rum if you dare.

P.S. Does anyone else see the face in the swirl in the pictures above? It looks like Bugs bunny with his ears slightly chopped off to me.

Eggnog Hot Chocolate Pound Cake 3

One year ago: Meyer Lemon Chess Pie

Three years ago: Pecan Fruit Cake
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Browned Butter Fruit Cake Cookies

It’s the season for fruit cake! The combination of a chewy cookie, candied fruit, toasted nuts, and browned butter will convert even the fruit cake haters.

Browned Butter Fruit Cake Cookies 1

You guys want some cookies!? – said by Corky Romano in a fake Girl Scout voice. Seriously, get your cookie faces ready because today you will be bombarded by all kinds of fantastic holiday cookies compliments of the 2014 Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. It’s just like a cookie swap party but it’s all done through the mail and who you are getting cookies from is a surprise! It’s the fourth year of this grand event and I’ve managed to be a part of it all four years, so yea it’s a good time and you should join us next year if you missed out. This year I received Christmas Cake Batter Cookies from Erin (Currently Coveting), Triple Chocolate Peppermint Cookies from Jamie (The Gaited Baker), and Cinnamon Pinwheel Bites from Ani (Confessions of a Foodie). I loved how all of them were different and festive!

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As for my recipients, I sent fruit cake cookies to Janet (Babcakes Bakery), Liz (That Skinny Chick Can Bake) and Kristen (From Captain’s Daughter to Army Mom) and they got great reviews! I bet these cookies would convert fruit cake haters. How can you go wrong with the base for my favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies combined with candied fruit and toasted nuts? Oh and in case that’s not convincing enough, I browned the butter. Because browned butter = amazeballs.

Follow #fbcookieswap for more holiday cookie recipes!

Browned Butter Fruit Cake Cookies 2

Three years ago: Gingerbread Pancakes with Crumb Topping

Four years ago: Perfect Hamburger
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Dip

Take your love of raw cookie dough to a new level with this cookie dough dip. Made with peanut butter and Reese’s cup for all the peanut buter lovers out there.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Dip 2

Hard to believe that a year ago today I formally graduated with my PhD. Technically I acquired the title of “Dr.” 3 months prior in September when I defended my dissertation but December 13, 2013 is when I wore the fancy robe and got my giant degree (literally it’s huge). And today I am celebrating yet another graduation. No not another of my own (I haven’t been going to school in secret for the past year). My cousin Alex is graduating from Physician Assistant school!

To mark this momentous occasion I’ve decided to lay on some more news. Leading up to today, I have posted clues (1/2/3/4) on Twitter but no one tweeted any guesses. Either the clues were much too vague or no one saw them (I’m betting on the latter). I also dropped another hint on Thanksgiving when I commented about something I was looking forward to and a couple of you figured it out…

…what do you think?
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Hot Chocolate Brownie Bites

Simple chocolate brownie bites are topped with frosting that tastes just like hot chocolate. Don’t forget the marshmallows on top!

Hot Chocolate Brownie Bites 1

I may not be the biggest chocolate fan when it stands alone and neither do I enjoy a glass of cold chocolate milk. However, if you place a mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows in front of me, nothing can prevent me from draining it (except maybe if it’s made with water instead of milk). So when I discovered that my friend Heather created a hot chocolate frosting I could not wait to try it – it quite literally tastes just like hot chocolate and it therefore spoon-worthy. Seriously, other than cream cheese or peanut butter frosting I rarely have the urge to eat frosting alone off a spoon but this stuff rocks. I have already used Dollop Gourmet Hot Chocolate Frosting on top of Greek yogurt thumbprint cookies and now I’ve been caught in the act of dolloping again. This time on top of brownies.

P.S. It’s also National Hot Chocolate Day, so if you live in the northeast you better run out and buy some of this frosting. I know I plan to snag a bunch (including the other 3 flavors) when I am home in Rochester for the holidays. Heck I’m tempted to mix it into some hot milk to make frosting-hot chocolate!

Hot Chocolate Brownie Bites 2

One year ago: Pinto Bean Breakfast Patty Melts

Two years ago: Chewy Molasses Cookies

Three years ago: Andes Crème de Menthe Chocolate Cookies
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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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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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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

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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Brownie Peanut Butter Cups Revisit

Turn your favorite brownies into mini brownie peanut butter cups mixed with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and topped with peanut butter and more chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Brownie Peanut Butter Cups 1

For those of you who went of for Black Friday or even Thursday sales, I hope you achieved whatever it was that you set out to do. I avoided all shopping locations like the plague. However, while browsing the Black Friday ads I did see one that caught my eye – Verizon was offering many smart phones for $100 off and some for free. As you may know, I have been resistant to turn in my dumb phone for many years to the point that I have repurchased the same dumb phone off ebay whenever the previous was dying just to avoid the transition. But, I did admit that I would eventually need to cave in and with such a good deal, it seemed like now was the time. Lucky for me the deal was also available online so I didn’t even have to go to the Verizon store. While I wait for it to arrive, I will be spending some quality time with my beloved dumb phone. We’ve had some good times, LG Dare, and I am sorry to tell you that you are being replaced by the Samsung Galaxy S5. For free. And it was only $20 extra to add data. But I will do my very best not turn into one of those people who spends more time on their phone than interacting with the people around them. That was the biggest reason I didn’t want a smart phone in the first place (other than the cost).
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