Posts Tagged With: Chocolate

Nutella Half-Moons

In case you forgot, there is like 10 days until Christmas.

Nutella Half moons

Which means it’s the perfect time to make cookies! Yay!

Especially ones that are wonderfully filled with Nutella that are absolutely the best for dunking in hot cocoa, and that look festive with their snowy dusting of powdered sugar. Perfect for snowy days in. When you have holiday music blaring, Christmas lights on, and a fire going ( or at the very least a candle).

This is a cookie I fiddled with after Mr Ginge saw it on Pinterest and has basically begged me to make them for him. For weeks.

nutella half moon cookies

A few notes before you start.

While super delish and worth the work, these are a bit fiddly and time consuming. Because I wanted a super soft cookie, the dough is very soft and you’ll want to be generous with the flour when you  go to roll them out. Also, I used a dumpling maker to fold these over. If you don’t have one of those, then I recommend going the full moon route and just stuffing Nutella between two rounds. These also freeze wonderfully, so if you have any leftovers after the holidays, these will last in the freezer.
nutella filled cookies

Nutella Half Moons

inspired by these cookies by kokocooks 

makes about 5 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • about 1 cup of nutella
  • icing sugar for dusting

 

  1. 1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, or until well combined.  Add in the sour cream and the vanilla.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and soda. Gradually add it to the butter mixture or until  well combined. The dough will be very soft, a bit thicker than cake batter. Cover it in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for several hours, or if you want to speed things up a bit, in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F . Line your cookie pans with parchment paper.
  4. Working in batches so that your chilled dough stays firm, roll it out to about 4mm/ 1/8 in thick. Cut with a round cutter about 3in/ 8 cm in diameter. I used a dumpling maker, so I cut it with the base. If doing half moons, place 1 tsp nutella in the centre of the round then fold over, pressing lightly to seal. If making full moons place about 2 tsp nutella in the centre of a round, top with another, then seal with a fork. Carefully transfer the cookies to your prepared sheets. Repeat with the rest of the dough
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. While still warm, dust lightly with icing sugar, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy baking!

-Mel

Categories: Cookies | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Ooey Gooey Bars

I have a bit of an odd situation.

Ooey-Gooey bar

Since I imagine some of you might be food people, I’m hoping to pick your brain. In return for said brain picking, I’ll offer you a family favourite, something that has morphed from a type-writered page of  dog eared community cookbook.

This summer, to keep me busy, Mr. Ginge planted me a garden. Just a little row along the side of the house where I could grow some herbs and a few veggies.

Ooey Gooey Bar - GB

I am a complete gardening newb. Kinda just winging it and hoping to get a successful harvest. I may have, however, underestimated my tomato plant.  It’s flipping ginormous, and is covered with little green tomatoes, which are just starting to colour and ripen on the mass of vines. Now that is all fine and dandy, except my little cherry tomatoes are literally exploding. I’ll go to pick on of the vine, only to find it split from top to bottom on the side. I’ll pick another, slightly under-ripe globe, only to look down a moment later to find it burst and juices leaking over my hand.

My tomatoes literally can’t contain themselves.  They are the Cadbury cream egg goo of the tomato world.

Is this normal? Is this just an effect of my monstrously huge tomato plant? Or are my tomatoes just too beautiful to live?

Inquiring minds want to know.

ooey gooey chomp

Ooey Gooey Bars (a.ka. Seven layer bars *)

makes 1 8×8 pan

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup graham crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecan
  • 1pkg chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In the 8×8 pan, mix together the graham crumbs and the butter. When all the crumbs are coated, press them firmly into the bottom of the pan with the back of a spoon.
  3. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the base, followed by the chocolate chips then the coconut . Pour over the can of sweetened condensed milk, trying to evenly cover the toppings.
  4. Bake in the preheat oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the milk is bubbly and golden brown.
  5. Let set for at least a half an hour, then slice into squares. Understand why they are ooey gooey.

Gone
* I lightly adapted these from a coverless blue community cookbook that as been on my Mom’s shelf for as long as I can remember. The best credit I can give is to F. MacPherson. 

Categories: Bars | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Candy Sushi

My father is an incredibly picky eater.

Candy Sushi Dish

He likes what he likes and that’s it.

With some things, we seem to think it is all in his head. Like watermelon. The man will claim up, down, left, right, and until he is blue in the face that he hates it. However, I know better.

One time, I made some juice, poured myself a glass, then sat down. Dad, seeing that juice had been made, got up and poured himself a glass. When he came back into the room, the glass had been downed, except for one little sip in the  bottom.

“You drank the juice?!?” I asked

He nods, and looks at me if I were crazy for asking a question like that.

” That was watermelon juice”

He then set the glass down, and leaves the last sip, which stayed there until the dishes were done later that night.

Another time, this time in a restaurant, I ask dad if he would like some gum. He says sure pops it in his mouth and gives it a few chews, while I am there snickering beside me. He looks at me laughing, then clues into my joke.

” This is watermelon gum isn’t it”

When I burst out laughing, he then starts to freak out about the gum that I had given him.

I am such a nice daughter.

Candy Sushi

So, you’ll understand my hesitation when he claims he doesn’t like things. Like sushi.

For this month’s Improv challenge hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, I combined the two ingredients, Fish and (white chocolate) Chips to make candy sushi. Something I have been dying to make ever since I saw it floating around pinterest.

I recruited my sister as a helper and as chief  taste test distributor, and once we had some samples, she passed them around.

After offering one to my dad, she runs back into the kitchen, hollering  “I GOT DAD TO EAT SUSHI!!”

He never asked for a second.

Red Candy Sushi

Candy Sushi

makes about 24 pcs

  • 1/2 pkg marshmallows, regular or mini
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 24 fish shaped candies ( I used Swedish fish and Blue Sharks)
  • 12 sour fruit strips, split in half.
  • Additional white chocolate or ready-made icing
  1. In a large saucepan, melt together the marshmallows, white chocolate chips and butter, stirring until smooth. 
  2. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the cereal. While it’s still warm, form them into little oblong patties, using a couple tbsps for each.
  3. Top each patty with a fish candy, then wrap the fruit strips around the fish, sealing with a bit of white chocolate or icing on the underside.
  4. Let set for about 15 minutes then enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out what other’s have come up with using Fish and Chips!

 

 

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I also linked this recipe to : The Weekend Potluck!

Click the link to check out more great recipes!

Categories: Candies | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

Mr. Ginge and I got our taxes done on Friday.

cpbp cookies

I know. Our Friday nights are hella cool.

Regardless, we decided to stay downtown and get something to eat instead of heading back home, only to have to drive back out a little while later.

Nearby the tax place is a little Chinese buffet called the OK restaurant. Despite the name they are actually pretty good; decent prices, quiet, and they have this little crab thingies that are awesome. Mr Ginge and I will fight over them. Anyways, with a name like that and my sense of humour, it was let just wide open for puns. This was how our night went:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel

Mr Ginge: What do you feel like for dinner? Pizza? Chinese?

Me : Ya. Chinese sounds good.

Mr Ginge: OK

Then later while we were eating.

Me: How are  your crab thingies?

Mr. Ginge: OK

Then for dessert:

Me: You going up or dessert?

Mr. Ginge: OK

And then finally as we got the bill:

Waitress: And how was your meal?

Both Mr. Ginge and I : OK

Now imagine copious amounts of sniggering at every ok.

Chocolat PB Pretzel Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

makes 32 cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup crushed pretzels
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
  • 32 whole mini pretzel twists (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the vanilla.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Gradually add it to the butter mixture, mixing so that it is combined.
  5. Fold in the crushed pretzels and the peanut butter chips. Scoop  by the rounded tablespoon onto the prepare baking sheet. Top with a whole mini pretzel, squishing down lightly, just so that the pretzel sticks to the top and the cookie stays thick.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool on the sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I have a weird sense of humour.

-Mel

Categories: Cookies | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

The hardest part I find about blogging is finding something to say.

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes - GB - Copy (2)
Often, I can’t think of anything to say. Like now.  So instead I`ll blather on about what`s been going on Chez Ginge.

  • Both Sash Moustache and Chewy have been dropped off at the vet to get fixed. And they have to stay there for two days after the surgery( which went well, and last time I called they were doing well in recovery).Jack looked at us strangely when we walked in sans cat. In true cat-lady style, I miss them already. I’m so not looking forward to not having my snuggli for another night. 
  • Mr Ginge is a BIG movie fan, and often brings home a couple movies for us to watch. Recently, he’s brought home Rise of the Guardians and Playing for Keeps.  Me, being the absolutely mature woman that I am, loved Rise of the Guardians. If you haven’t seen in, please do. It’s absolutely wonderful, and it’s kind of funny thinking of Hugh Jackman as a fluffy bunny. I absolutely hated Playing for Keeps. I hate stupid characters. Girls that fall for the whore of a main character. Characters that do blatantly stupid things. Random and violent changes of mood or heart. Sadly it’s not limited to movies. I’ve thrown books across the room for the exact same reason.
  • I finally got into a program that will help me get better. I’m anxious and nervous about starting, and in true Melli style have run through situations a million times through my head, but I’m also hopeful about the treatment. While I absolutely love the doctors I have, I’m sick of appointments and going to see them, hahaha.
  • Speaking of Doctors, I have been absolutely hooked on Doctor Who. My sister is in love with the show, and honestly, I was getting sick of not understanding  her jokes and references. So I decided to watch it, despite not really being a sci-fi fan, and generally hating anything to do with aliens. Aaaaaaaand now I’m hooked.  I’m only on season two ( of both Dr Who and Torchwood…..) But I’ve already watched and re-watched soooo many episodes.  I’ve been rocking a Union Jack tee à la Rose circa Empty Child (one of my favourites) thanks to my lovely sister, who has also been rocking the same shirt.
  • Oreos are a bad thing to have in our house. I bought a pack to make these cupcakes  for Mr. Ginges birthday, and we’ve had to hide the bag so that Mr Ginge and I don’t devour them all.

Cookies and cream - GB - Copy (2)
Cookies and cream is one of Mr Ginge’s absolute favourite combination, so these cupcakes were irresistible  I like that they don’t make a super huge batch. Just enough to share, and not have a whole bunch kicking around the house for a while.  Especially when you are already hiding the Oreos.

cookies n cream - GB - Copy
Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

makes 9 cupcakes

For the cake:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  •  1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup light cream
  • 1/2 cup crushed oreo ( or reasonable facsimile) cookies, plus additional for garnish.
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with 9 liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar, until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple times.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.
  4. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add it to the wet mixture, alternatively  to the cream. 3 parts dry to 2 parts cream. Beat until combined.
  5. Fold in the crushed oreo cookies.
  6. Divide the batter between the 9 liners, and bake 15-18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool a couple minutes in the pan, then move to a wire rack and cool completely.

For the frosting: (from French Vanilla Cappuccino Cupcakes) 

  • 1/2 cup milk or light cream
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the flour and 1/8th of a cup of milk, whisking until combined. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Slowly pour in the remaining milk, whisking constantly until it has thickened to about the consistency of custard. Set aside and cool to room temperature. 
  2. Meanwhile, beat together the butter and the icing sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Slowly pour in the cooled milk mixture and continue beating until light and fluffy.
  4. Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a wide tip, and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with additional cookie crumbs
  5. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Talking about those cookies have made me want them. Ugh.

-Mel

Categories: Cake and Cupcakes | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Nutella Crispy Rice Rolls

Sometimes you just need a classic and easy treat. Like a cereal treat.

Nutella Crispy Roll - GB

And then sometimes you need to take that classic crispy treat, and load it up with some chocolate. Then roll it all up and drizzle it with more chocolate.  And then just as the chocolate starts to set you slice it up and scarf it down like the crispy-rice-chocolate vehicle that it is.

Nutella roll - GB

And the best part? Scarfage can happen in like half an hour.

Awesome sauce.

nutella roll slice - GB

Nutella Crispy Rice Rolls

makes about 12 rolls

  • 3 cups puffed rice cereal ( Please excuse the holiday cereal. It was cheap )
  • 2 cups marshmallows ( about 1/2 a package)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups Nutella
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Line a 9×13 jelly roll pan with plastic wrap and set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan, melt together the marshmallow and butter, stirring to melt evenly. Once melted, stir in the vanilla. 
  3. Immediately stir in the cereal, coating it evenly with the marshmallow mixture. While it’s still warm, dump it onto the prepared pan, pressing into all the corners, until you have a thin even layer.  Let this set for a couple minutes.
  4. When the cereal is cool, but not completely set, spread the Nutella over top, leaving a bit along a long edge plain.
  5. Roll cereal treats by holding the edge of the plastic wrap with your thumbs, then lift up the cereal treats and roll towards the other edge, mking sure to lift up the plastic wraps as you go.  Once it was rolled, I wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap, the set it in the fridge to help firm it up. 
  6. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips. You could you a double boiler or the microwave, but make sure not to burn it. Burning chocolate is not a nic smell.

I burned the chocolate.

7. Drizzle the melted ( and not burned) chocolate over the top of the roll. Stick it back in the fridge for a few minutes to let it firm up, then slice and enjoy.

Sooooo simple and so hard to stop eating. :)

- Mel

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I linked this recipe up to The Weekend Potluck and Strut Your Stuff Saturdays! Click the link to heck out more great recipes!

Categories: Bars | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

M&M Blondies

It’s time for an episode of ” Mel-is-Embarrassing-and-Can’t-Be-Taken-Anywhere”.

m&M blondies

Grocery Store Edition.

Monday, Mr. Ginge and I decided we would pick up the fixings for pizza after we ran some errands around town. Coffees in hand, we wander around the store, picking up this and that for dinner and the upcoming week, including a very fresh and delicious looking box of donuts.  As we were headed to the check out, Mr Ginge decides he wants olives on his pizza, do heads back to the deli to scoop some out.

Because the basket was full and rather heavy, I set it down on the floor in front of the stand, as we discussed the pizza merits of one olive versus the next. As he scooped, I set my half-empty coffee cup on the ledge, so that I could answer my dinging phone. Well, I don’t know whether I didn’t set it on the ledge enough, or that I hit it with my coat sleeve, but my coffee ended up airborne, landing unpside down in my basket of groceries all over the fresh box of donuts.

DSC_0025

I was able to grab it before the entire contents ended up in my basket, but I still ended up with a mess, and a man with a look of utter disbelief on  his face, frantically looking around to see if anyone could tell if he was with the nimrod beside him.

You’d think that would be bad enough, but no.  I didn’t have any paper towel, or tissues, or napkins, or any bits of absorbent paper lingering in my purse, so I had to leave it as is. Which means I had to put by sopping wet ad very sticky groceries up on the belt and have the poor cashier ring them through. I was kinda hoping that she wouldn’t notice, or, you know, soggy groceries weren’t all that uncommon of a thing, but apparently not. Having dealt with the mess that was my purchases, she whips out some paper towels and starts wiping down my groceries, in front of her very busy line, not saying a word.

Needless to say I couldn’t wait to leave. Neither could Mr Ginge.

These have nothing to do with that grocery store trip. There was a mix that I used to make often when I was younger that would always get gobbled up quickly by my family. I was looking to recreate the taste in a from-scratch way and this is what I came up with. My mom, who remembered them the most, agreed that they were spot on.

M&M blondies

M&M Blondies

makes one 8×8 pan

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens The Ultimate Cookie Book

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup M&M’s candies ( Please don’t substitute. We tried it once with Smarties, and it was a whole different animal)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 8×8 pan and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium, melt together the butter and the sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Beat in the egg and the  vanilla until combined.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.  Dump it into the butter mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Fold in both the M&M’s and the chocolate chips into the batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading with an offset spatula to even out.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and the centre is set.
  7. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then cut into bars while warm, and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

With a tall glass of milk and one of these bars, I just might be able to forget my latest embarrassing episode.

-Mel

Categories: Bars | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Buttertarts

I am a fairly avid reader.

Buttertarts 1 -GB

 

And by reader I mean if my nose isn’t stuck in a cook book or a food magazine, it’s stuck in a trashy romance that I am more than likely going to whip through in a matter of hours. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy other types of books, but I also enjoy trash.

Give me all the vampire, werewolves, witches, curses, otherworld fantasy romances you’ve got. I’ll be in my happy place.

buttertarts unbaked -GB

Having said that, I will admit I am a very unobservant book chooser. More often then not, I browse the romance section of the book store ( or lets face it the bargain section) and if the cover appeals to me, I’ll pick it up. 9 times out of 10 I’ll read the back cover, to make sure I haven’t read it, then home it goes.

This is where I usually discover, that it is part 6 of some absurdly long series, and I have no idea what is going on. ( Fortunately, there are some series which haven’t been too bad, the Dark Hunter series I read very badly out of order, as well as many Nora Roberts series that I have gotten second hand).  This causes some very frustrated attempts to read, and then I finally break down and go on the hunt for the other books in the series.

Does anyone else do this, or is this just a uniquely Mel thing?

buttertarts baked - GB

Regardless of any incurred frustration, I have stumbled on some amazing series this way. Or amazing in the fact if you enjoy trashy novels like I do! :D

Honestly, I think I’m even worse when it comes to cook books. I see them on sale or cheap and I am compelled to buy them. Recipe overload. And then when push comes to shove, I turn to my most favourite cook books ( which I have often bought at full price) or a family recipe that is neatly stashed away in my recipe box.

Like these butter tarts. I’ve probably flagged a similar recipe in more than one cook book, but when Mr. Ginge begs me to make them, I turn to the hand written card I copied from my Mom’s recipes.

Go figure.

102_8226

Butter Tarts

makes 12 buttertarts

  • pastry for a 10 inch double crust pie
  • 1 cup of add- ins of choice ( I used walnuts, white chocolate chips and chocolate chips, but really you could use whatever you fancy. Or none. They are infinitely customizable)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup golden corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. On a floured surface, roll out your pastry to 1/8 of an inch and cut 12 5 in circles. I don’t have a cutter that big so I use a clean tupperware dish.  Set each round into an ungreased muffin pan, gently folding the edges so that the pastry fits right down into the cup. 
  3. Sprinkle your choice of add ins evenly over the bottom of the pastry. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, cornsyrup, brown sugar, melted butter and salt. Pour into the prepared shells, so that they are each about 3/4 of the way full.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven 20-25 minutes, or until the filling has set. Let them cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and cool completely. ( make sure to do this, other wise any overflowed filling can set and make it hard to get the tarts out. Then you have a mess. A big one.)

From Mom’s recipe archive. 

Last time I made these, Mr Ginge left me one. He took the rest.

- Mel

 

Categories: Dessert | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Mr. Ginge’s Christmas in a Cup

Normally, I’m a purist when it comes to a cup of hot chocolate.  If I feel like imbibing, then my normal move is to add a splash of Irish cream in to my cup.

DSC_0034

Not one to let me get into a food rut, Mr. Ginge urged me to try his favourite holiday time drink when I told him I had never tried it. While the “recipe” itself seems like a no-brainer, it was his description that sold me: ” You’ll like it. It’s like Christmas in a cup.” And I one sip, I knew exactly what he meant. It’s the perfect drink to snuggle up to on the couch, in a room lit only by the tree, while big, puffy Christmas snow falls outside.

DSC_0031

Mr. Ginge’s Christmas in a Cup

makes 1 cup

  • 1 cup of your favourite hot chocolate ( I won’t lie, I use instant mix, but this would work just as well with homemade, or straight from the coffee shop)
  • 1 oz peppermint schnapps
  1. In to your cup of hot chocolate, stir in the peppermint schnapps. Snuggle in and enjoy. 

Happy Holidays!

- Mel

Categories: Beverages | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Chocolate Drizzled Mocha Cookies

Guys!

I’m guest posting over at The Cook’s Sister! Head on over there to get the recipe!

Don’t forget to say hi to Amber!

Categories: Cookies | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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