Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

I’ve been wanting to make cinnamon cookies for awhile.  And, apparently, my new obsession is dipping things in chocolate.

This particular recipe is a thick, cake-like cookie with a strong hint of cinnamon and an emphasis on brown sugar.

And the chocolate just makes it incredibly amazing.

Plus – and this is my favorite part – that thick cookie soaks up warm coffee like it was born for it.  It’s like the perfect breakfast.  (And dessert.  And snack.)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

All the good stuff.

Theoretically you could use light brown sugar … but then you’d be missing out on the extra oomph of molasses.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars 4

We’re getting there…

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars 5

Coming together…

(I’m getting excited.)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Not that I promote eating raw cookie dough or anything but… ohmygosh this stuff is like a gooey pile of heaven.

But it’s a little sticky too, so use nonstick cooking spray to coat your hands before spreading it in the pan.

It will be thin, but that’s okay – it’s gonna rise.  Just make sure there are no holes allowing the pan to show through.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Yum!  Good stuff right here.

Don’t overbake it, though.  I probably could have cooked this one right here about a minute less, since it’s going to keep cooking just a little when you pull it out.  The cookie needs to cool completely in the pan.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

When you cut your cookies, they will present a nicer display if you trim off the crispy edges.

You can see my “edges” in the photo above.  They were a little larger than necessary, but, you know, those were the parts that didn’t make it to the pot luck.  ;)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars 9

You could dip them into chocolate any way you want, but I certainly recommend using dark chocolate.  It has a nice deep flavor that complements the cookie.

I like the way it looks when you dip the corner, but technically you could dip just the bottoms or a full half of the cookie instead.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars 10

Or drizzle the chocolate over it.

Were you still thinking about those “edges” I mentioned?  Here they are (above).  I drizzled the leftover chocolate over them.  For parties I think the dipped corners are gorgeous, but the drizzle does the job too.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars 11

Did I mention these were amazing with coffee?

Did I only mention it once?  ‘Cause these are uh-mazing with coffee.

(Even if you accidentally put too much creamer in your coffee.  Still amazing.)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
10 oz. dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).  Line a 15 by 10-inch jelly roll pan, or baking sheet with sides, with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars.  Stir in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time.  Add in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined.

Spread the dough onto the baking sheet.  It is easier to work with if you lightly coat the parchment paper and your hands (or spoon) with nonstick cooking spray.  The dough will be a little wet and it will be very thin in the pan.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.  Place pan on a cooling rack and allow cookies to cool fully in pan.

Slice the cookies into bars by first trimming off the crispy edges.  Cut three rows lengthwise, then slice those pieces about an inch thick.  You’ll have about 4 dozen cookies that measure about 1 by 3 inches.

Melt the chocolate according to the package directions.  Dip each cookie into the chocolate then place the cookie onto parchment or waxed paper to allow chocolate to set.  Store covered.

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Click below for the free printable PDF recipe with photos:

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Happy Baking!

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Ginger Cookie Truffles

Ginger Cookie Truffles 1

So the other day I was sitting there thinking:  if people make Oreo Truffles all the time, can I make truffles out of other cookies too?

The answer is OH VERY YES.

And the more specific answer would be DUDE IF YOU LIKE SPICE COOKIES/CAKE AT ALL YOU TOTALLY HAVE TO TRY THESE RIGHT NOW.

I chose these ingredients because I’m a big fan of spice cakes and gingerbread cookies and things like that.  My mom can practically live off of ginger snaps.  And fall is on its way.  (Or maybe it’s already here.  I’m not sure:  I live in Florida.)

Ginger Cookie Truffles 2

Anyway, these truffles are basically a combination of cookie crumbs and cream cheese smushed together and dipped into white chocolate.

Then, for a fun touch, drizzled with a little cinnamon chocolate.  Just ’cause.

Ginger Cookie Truffles 3

It took me a little bit of forever to crush up all the cookies because my food processor broke, but it wasn’t difficult.

I like these ginger thins because they’re pretty crispy, which made for great crumbs.

I’m sure you could substitute a different cookie, but you might have to adjust your amounts, and – you know – these ginger thin cookies are incredible so why would you??

Unless you come up with something better – then please let me know.  Food is my favorite type of experiment.  ;)

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I picked up all of my ingredients at Walmart.  But you can also get them online if you can’t find these things locally.  I totally swear by those Ghirardelli wafers.  They seriously rock both in the ease-of-use and taste categories.

Ginger Cookie Truffles 4

The end result?

A silky smooth creamy center exploding with spice and encased in a mildly sweet chocolate that’s decorated with just a hint of cinnamon.

They look good and taste even better.

Ginger Cookie Truffles 5

Ginger Cookie Truffles

Ingredients:

10.5 oz. (2 boxes) Anna’s Swedish Thins or other ginger cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
10 oz. white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers)
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

Crumble the ginger cookies in a food processor or by hand until finely ground.

Mix the cream cheese into the cookie crumbs until well combined and smooth.

Scoop out large teaspoonfuls of the cookie mix and shape into balls.  Place the balls on a tray lined with parchment paper or tin foil.  Freeze for 10 to 15 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate according to the package directions, stirring until smooth.  Take out the cookie balls and dip them into the chocolate using a fork, one at a time, until fully coated.  Shake the fork to allow excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.  Set the truffles on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper until chocolate hardens, using the side of a second fork to push the truffle off the first fork.

When all the truffles are done, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of cinnamon into the remaining chocolate, depending on how much chocolate is left, and stir to combine. Then use a clean fork to drizzle the cinnamon chocolate over the truffles.

Allow to fully set, then store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen.

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Click here to print the free PDF of the recipe:

Ginger Cookie Truffles

Happy Eating!

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Polka Dot Peanut Butter Bananas

polka dot peanut butter bananas

I gotta tell ya . . . ever since I was a kid, I could just never get into Ants on a Log.

You know those things where people spread peanut butter over pieces of celery and dot the peanut butter with raisins meant to resemble little bugs?

Yeah.  I can’t stand celery.

It’s one of those things that I do – very, very occasionally – cook with.  Like in soups.  BUT, I dice up the celery super small and use less than what’s called for.

In other words, if I don’t like the taste and texture of something, I’m not going to eat it as a “snack.”

So, especially considering that I’m not a huge raisin fan either, Ants on a Log was never a thing for me.

Until now.

See, bananas I like.  And combine them with peanut butter and chocolate chips, and BOOM:  super awesome.

Seriously.  The combo kind of tastes like cookies or cheesecake.  It’s like a dessert, but in a slightly healthy snack.  Well, it’s fruit anyway.  And you could use any type of nut or seed butter.

Best part?  The kids can make these treats themselves.

I went ahead and sliced the bananas in half and then in half again (to make four quarters out of one banana, which was easier for their little hands to hold), but then I gave them plastic knives to scoop and spread the peanut butter, and I put out a little dish of chocolate chips for them to stick in the peanut butter.

So it was interactive for them and they got to eat something they made.

Ridiculously simple and ridiculously good.

Happy Eating!

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A Mom’s Counting Primer [A Poetic Parody]

blocks 123

So, a couple of weeks ago I had these nagging words in my head that needed to be written down.

It really started as a kid’s book.  Some sort of humorous counting primer.

It didn’t stay a kid’s book long.

It became a poem for moms who know what it’s like to count.  You know, the you’d-better-do-what-I-told-you-to-do-before-I-get-to-three type of counting.

But the mom in the poem is nice.  She goes up to ten.  (Kind of.)

I recently joined Wattpad, so I posted the poem there.  Grab a glass of wine and head on over to check it out (seriously, I think the whole thing is shorter than this blog post).  Then please share it with all the moms you know that could use a little “time out.”  ;)

Here’s the poem:

A Mom’s Counting Primer [A Poetic Parody]

Enjoy!

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I Have Seen Beyond Infinity

From Beyond Lovecraft Quote

As you may have noticed, if you follow my blog, I read a wide variety of genres . . . but there’s a special place in my heart for horror.

I love how there’s so much you can do with horror, how it can encompass everything else, from science fiction to romance.

Anyway, I’ve been reading a little Lovecraft lately, and while he has many quotable phrases, this particular bit stuck with me enough that I felt I should illustrate it.

So I made this graphic.

It reads:

I have seen beyond the bounds of infinity and drawn down daemons from the stars . . . I have harnessed the shadows that stride from world to world to sow death and madness . . .

The imagery conjures something vast, something terrifying, but in words that translate the concept of cosmic horror with a sense of beauty.

Or, it does for me.

This quote can be found in From Beyond, a story from the collection The Dream Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft.

The photo features a small but very active galaxy in the Camelopardalis constellation and can be found on NASA’s website.

And you can find more images like this that I’ve made in my Quotes section.

Enjoy.  :)

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July 4th Fireworks Painting and Cookies

July 4th Fireworks Painting Activity and Iced Cookies with Roaming Rosie

Happy Fourth of July!

This year, my kids and I did a painting activity and a cookie project that mimicked fireworks.  First, we stamped fireworks with toilet paper rolls, and then we baked some chocolate cookies and iced them in patterns to represent bursts of color.

Both of these things were done on dark backgrounds to make it look like our paint and sugar fireworks were exploding against a nighttime sky.

Even threw in some glitter (edible and not-so-much) for a little extra spark!

Fireworks Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls and Glitter 1

First up:  the painting project.

We reused some toilet paper rolls by transforming them into stamps.

To make the firework-shaped stamps, cut slits around one side of the cardboard roll, making the incisions about a quarter-inch wide (my kids made a few slivers; don’t aim for uniformity here), and then bend back the strips against the palm of your hand to make the pieces stick out.

I put some red, white, and blue (washable) paint into three small paper plates, and we dipped the stamps into the plates and then pressed them into the paper to make our fireworks.

To get a neat effect, overlap your stamps.

Fireworks Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls and Glitter 2

After you’ve covered your paper in fireworks, sprinkle with glitter for a fun sparkly touch!

Allow the paint to dry before shaking off the excess glitter and displaying your art.

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 1

These cookies were not only fun to make – they were delicious too!

Just like the painting activity, we used the red, white, and blue colors against a dark background (in this case chocolate) to represent the fireworks bursting against a night sky.

We used the recipe that I made for my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies, but I made double the batch of icing.

You don’t actually NEED to double the icing – the recipe already makes plenty – but I wanted to make extra, double, totally sure that we’d still have enough icing if my girls ended up squirting most of it onto the counter instead of the cookies.

It turned out, one batch probably would have been more than enough . . . except that one of my containers burst and half of the blue icing spilled out onto a couple of cookies.

But that’s an anomaly.  (Hopefully.)

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 2

When you make the icing, be sure to stir it well until there are no lumps and it drips easily from the fork or spoon in thin ribbons.

Not watery – just thin.  If it’s too thick or clumpy it will clog your spout.

I used my Wilton Candy Making Decorating Bottles.  Mine are quite old but they usually work fine only sometimes explode.  (But seriously, this is the first time I’ve had a problem.)  I’ve been meaning to pick up some new ones anyway.  They’re pretty easy to clean and my girls just love using them.

But if you don’t have bottles like these, you could just as easily put the icing into three separate plastic baggies and snip off the ends to squeeze out the patterns.

If you’re using the bottles, I poured the white icing into them and then mixed in the food coloring with a wooden skewer, the kind used for making shish kabobs.  You could do the same with the baggies, or, if you’re not lazy like me, you could put the icing into three bowls and add the red and blue food coloring to two of them, and mix them before pouring them into the containers.

I made the icing while the cookies were in the oven.  You could make it much earlier in the day, but the longer it sits, the more likely to thicken and then you’ll have to worry about mixing in more water or stirring it to thin it again.

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 3

As you can see, we took the easy way out with these “cut out” cookies:  no cookie cutters.  We just sliced them up with a pizza cutter.  Easy Peasy.  Re-roll and slice again.

(If you’re wondering, that’s cocoa powder sprinkled over the counter to keep the dough from sticking, which you can use instead of flour when making chocolate cookies.)

We made the cookies into rectangles or large squares, all slightly different.  Once baked and fully cooled, I spread some waxed paper to catch the drippings and we all drizzled the icing onto the cookies, overlapping the colors, in a bit of a star burst pattern so that they would kind of look like fireworks exploding.

And, before the icing could harden, we added some white sparkling sugar to add a little extra spark to our cookies and to match the glitter on our paintings.

Again, you can find the cookie recipe on my post for Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies.

Happy Fourth!

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Grobswitchy Cake: a BFG Recipe from Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl's The BFG Grobswitchy Cake

We read The BFG by Roald Dahl recently and my kids LOVED it.

It may have been a bit of a trogglehumper to gobblefunk around with some of those propsposterous words – especially at bedtime when my coffee has long worn off – but it was SO worth it!  It was totally whoopsey-splunkers to see my girls burst into fits of laughter worthy of a big friendly giant.

And then, after reading the novel, we took a look at Roald Dahl’s Even More Revolting Recipes (which is a sequel to Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes), and decided to make the Grobswitchy Cake featured in the book, with just a few small changes.

We wound up using walnuts, because my oldest daughter loves them, and we traded out the amber crystals they suggested to use as grobswitches for Cake Mate’s Gold Sugar Cupcake Gems. 

Roald Dahl's The BFG Grobswitchy Cake 2

Now, I don’t know exactly what we did wrong, since baking with two kids can be … distracting … but somehow we had too much batter for our little pan.  I put it in the oven like that anyway, but with some foil below it to catch the drippings.

(And – just FYI – dripped cake is actually kinda fabulous.)

It’s a pretty typical coffee cake recipe, but with a really beautiful sentiment, since it references how the BFG mixes up dreams:

“It is a little bit like mixing a cake,”the BFG said. “If you is putting the right amounts of all the different things into it, you is making the cake come out any way you want, sugary, splongy curranty, Christmassy or grobswitchy. It is the same with dreams.”

And to explore the story a little more, I suggest stopping by Roald Dahl’s official website.

Happy Baking!

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