Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests Recipe

We’ve made Chocolate Birds Nests in the past, but this year we changed it up…. by adding Nutella!

These Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests were a lot of fun to make with my girls.  It gets them in the kitchen with a combination of cooking and crafting.

And we also picked up a little Edible Grass this time around.  It’s easy to snip into bite-sized pieces with kitchen shears and adds a nice visual touch, but it isn’t necessary if you’re having a tough time finding it.  (And I picked mine up for half off after Easter – since these can be a fun treat all season long.)

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All our ingredients gathered and ready to go….

Since there is no actually baking involved, it’s mostly mixing and shaping and decorating, once the chocolate chips are melted.

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Melt the chocolate at half power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.

Then stir in the Nutella.

(And, yes, my kids are wearing superhero costumes while we cook.  That’s how we roll at our place.)

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I slowly poured in the noodles while they stirred.

Make sure all the noodles get covered in the chocolate mixture, because that is the glue that holds everything together.

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Spray some nonstick baking spray in the muffin tins and scoop in some of the chocolate noodles.

You want to be able to shape them into nests with your fingers, so with a small indention in the center, or at least flat as opposed to hill-shaped.  If it’s too bumpy and you’re having trouble flattening it, just take some out.

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Put three eggs in the center of the nest and sprinkle a little edible grass over top, if you like.

You can see that my kids also added a few of the confetti-like bunnies that came with the edible grass.

This recipe makes 24 nests, but if that’s just too much for you, you could half the recipe.  Or share with all the neighbors.

When you first make them, the nests will be gooey and will fall apart if you try to pick them up.  They are still okay to eat, especially for anxious kids who want to try their creations, but they’re much easier to eat if you let the chocolate set first.

Put the pans in the fridge for an hour or so to help the chocolate set (because if you live in a humid place like me, that would take forever at room temperature), and then scoop them out with a spoon.  Preferably a plastic spoon so you don’t scratch the metal.

Store them in covered containers, using waxed paper to separate stacked layers.

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Chocolate Nutella Birds Nests

Ingredients:

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup Nutella
12 oz. chow mein noodles
72 candy-coated malted milk chocolate eggs (I used Whoppers Robin Eggs)
Edible Grass, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)

Melt the chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl at half power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.  Stir in the Nutella.

Pour the noodles into the chocolate mixture and stir gently until they are all fully coated.

Spray 24 muffin tins with nonstick baking spray and scoop a spoonful of the noodle mix into each tin.  Move the noodles with a spoon or your fingers so that they are shaped like a nest.

Place 3 chocolate eggs in the center of your nest while the chocolate is still slightly melted.  Sprinkle a little edible grass over the top, if desired.

Put the nests in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the chocolate to set.  Remove from the muffin tins with the help of a spoon.

Store in a closed container in the fridge, using waxed or parchment paper to separate stacked layers.

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And here’s the free printable PDF of the recipe:

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests

Happy Eating!

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Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Annnnnd….. now that it’s almost Easter, I’ve noticed that I’ve completely forgotten to post our St. Paddy’s Day dessert.  So here it is!  ;)

We made these Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Cookie Bars based off of the Lemon Cheesecake Bars that I love so much.  But we made these green (and mint) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

They were a hit with both my kids and my coworkers, so I may try other variations in the future, since the recipe is flexible.

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The ingredients are pretty easy to pull together, especially if you already happen to have cream cheese on hand.

The base for it is a box of cake mix, which makes it a speedy dish to throw together.

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The crust will seem a little dry at first, but massaging the ingredients together will help.

If your kids like to get messy, this is a great job for them to help with.

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You’ll reserve some of the mix for the crumbles that go over the top, but the rest gets pressed into the bottom of the pan.  This is also a good task for little hands.

The crust will seem very thin but don’t worry, it will rise a little as it bakes.  Just be sure you spread it out to cover the entire bottom surface of the pan.

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I add the food coloring to the cheesecake ingredients before blending, so the mixer brings it all together evenly.

The more you use the deeper the color will be.  I was going for bright and bold because it was a themed dessert for St. Patrick’s Day, but if you’re going for a subtler minty look, start with only a little color.

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You can see tiny chunks of cream cheese in my cheesecake mixture because it wasn’t fully at room temperature when I mixed it.

This is okay, though.  It will still bake up just fine.

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Sprinkle the crumbles over the top for a fun look.  They also add a nice texture to the finished dessert.

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You can technically cut them into any shape you’d like, but I favor the rectangles.  I cut it twice lengthwise, and then cut those three rows into pieces about an inch thick.

This gives me 30 pieces, which makes it a great recipe for sharing!

Don’t eat these when they first come out of the oven and are still warm – chill them for the best results.  They can be enjoyed at room temperature too, but because of the cream cheese, you’ll want to be sure to store leftovers in the refrigerator.

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Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

1 box chocolate cake mix (15 to 18 oz.)
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Green food coloring, gel or liquid

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In one bowl, combine the cake mix, one egg, and the vegetable oil.  You may need to use your fingers to help it all come together.

Spray a 13” x 9” baking pan with nonstick spray.  Reserve about 3/4 cup of the chocolate crumb mixture for later use, and press the remaining batter into the pan.  It will be thin but should cover the entire bottom of the pan.

In another bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.  Then mix in the other egg, the sugar, extract, and a little food coloring.  Beat until smooth, adding more food coloring if needed until you reach your desired color.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the chocolate crust in the pan.  Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture evenly over the cream cheese.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with dry crumbs.  Cool on a baking rack until it reaches room temperature, then slice.  Make two cuts lengthwise and then cut into ten pieces across to make 30 pieces that measure approximately one by three inches.  Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving for best results.

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For the free printable PDF version of this recipe, click the link below:

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Happy Baking!

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Mini Gingerbread Cookies: Autumn Leaves

Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies Recipe by Roaming Rosie

It’s Fall!  So I made my Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies, but instead of tiny Christmas shapes, I made autumn leaves.

Mostly because I love these flavors alllllll season long.  Not just in December.

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Look at all the yumminess!

Cinnamon, ginger, molasses…. this is a good lookin’ list.

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It’s starting to come together now.

I love showing all the flavors that combine to make these cookies so special.

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I used the smallest of the nesting cookie cutters from the Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Cookie Cutter Set.

Which, incidentally, I also used to make my Fall French Toast.

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So many cookies!

My kids helped me make these.  They loved cutting them all out.

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My girls also helped me to decorate them.  We dipped them into the icing, which is quicker than spreading it on.

(Make sure to click on the recipe link to see the full directions.)

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Yum!

I used regular chocolate sprinkles for some, but to get the yellow and orange combination, I had to pick the ghosts out of the Wilton Halloween Ghost Mix Sprinkles.

It’s amazingly difficult to find sprinkles in Thanksgiving/Autumn colors in the stores.  But the Ghost Mix is pretty easy to find around October.

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So once again, here is the recipe:

Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Happy Baking!

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins Recipe

These Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins are incredibly moist and flavorful.

A combination of pumpkin puree and virgin coconut oil, blended with a healthy helping of cinnamon, give these muffins a layered dimension of flavor in every bite.

And, really, these mini muffins can function as one giant bite apiece, but I suggest savoring them.

Especially with coffee.

I’ve been wanting to create a pumpkin muffin recipe for a while, and I wanted to incorporate coconut oil.  I’m really glad I did, because I feel that the coconut oil was what pushed these over the edge of awesomeness and made them totally irresistible.

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Above are of some of the ingredients.

The cream cheese goes towards the cheesecake filling that is used to top these muffins with a deep swirl of melt-in-your-mouth smoothness.

I used more cinnamon that I find is called for in similar recipes.  I like to taste my spices.

But there’s no nutmeg.  I know people often put it in pumpkin recipes, but I do NOT eat nutmeg.  It’s too strong and, at least for me, it distracts from the other flavors.  I find that cinnamon is a wonderful compliment for pumpkin, but if you really, really love nutmeg, then you can toss in a smidgen.  If you must.  But it’s unnecessary.  (Don’t do it.)

Plus, you can use vegetable oil if you don’t have coconut oil handy, but the coconut oil adds so much flavor that it’s worth the effort to pick some up if you don’t already have it on hand.  Like I said, it’s the turning point for intense flavor and moisture.

Virgin or extra virgin coconut oil will have a stronger coconut taste and aroma, so that’s the best to use.

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And you do lose some health benefits by melting the oil (which is solid at room temperature) in the microwave, but when I’m baking while heating something for dinner after working a full day… I take shortcuts.  Didn’t feel like washing a saucepan.

Just make sure if you melt the oil in the microwave, that you do it on 50% and for no longer than necessary.  About 30 seconds at a time.

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Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon with a fork or whisk until the colors are completely combined and the cinnamon is evenly distributed.

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Mix together the sugars and wet ingredients.

I just used a fork.  (Shortcuts means not pulling out the mixer.)

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This time, I actually blended the sugars and pumpkin first, then added the oil and eggs, but you could throw all of it together at the same time, too.

As long as it’s all well blended.

Then you’ll gradually add in the flour mixture.  Do not overmix it, though.  It should be smooth, but if you beat it too much the muffins may be tough.

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Here are the filling ingredients.

Again:  just mixed it with a fork.

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I had considered layering the pumpkin mix, then cream cheese mix, and then more pumpkin, but I’m glad I decided against it.  This method was easier and, as long as you swirl it, the cream cheese mixture still makes it into the center of the muffin.

Fill the mini cupcake liners about 3/4 full with pumpkin batter, then dollop about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mix on top.

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Next, you’ll swirl a toothpick through the muffins, which will drag the cheesecake portion over the top and mix it into the center, too.

Don’t over do it.  You’ll want some large chunks of cheesecake, so don’t swirl it to the point of thinning it out so much you can barely see the cream cheese any more.

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Doesn’t that look AMAZING???

And they taste even better.

You can eat them right out of the oven, but I prefer them at room temperature.  They should be stored in the refrigerator, because of the cream cheese, but can be left our for a while without spoiling.  (I ate a few of the ones I’d brought into work and left out in the break room all afternoon, before putting them back in the fridge at the end of the day.  They were fine.)

I suggest serving them at room temperature, but they’re also good cold right out of the fridge.

I haven’t tried freezing them.  They were gone in a few days!  ;)

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup melted coconut oil, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).  Prepare mini muffin pans with 5 dozen mini cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt with a whisk or fork.  In a large bowl, use a mixer or a fork to cream together pumpkin, granulated and brown sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Gradually incorporate the flour into the pumpkin mixture until batter is smooth.  Do not overmix.

Make the cheesecake filling by creaming together the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.

Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with pumpkin batter.  Top each with approximately a teaspoon of cheesecake filling.  Combine by gently swirling a toothpick through the batter.

Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let sit in pan for two minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Store covered in the refrigerator.  Serve at room temperature.

[Note:  I use virgin coconut oil because it has wonderful taste and aroma of coconut that compliments the muffins, but you can substitute vegetable oil if you need to.]

Here is the free printable PDF:

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins Recipe

Happy Baking!

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Spider Web Peppermint Patties

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I am enchanted by these Spider Web Peppermint Patties!

Seriously easy and super cute Halloween treats are my favorite.  Like my Vampire Donuts or Oreo Ghosts or Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns.

And these are in that vein.  (Is that a Halloween pun??)

Candy plus icing, and done.

I used peppermint extract to flavor the icing, which was nice with the peppermint candy, but you could also use vanilla.

Spider Web Halloween Peppermint Patties

I made icing with a scoop of powdered sugar, a sprinkle of meringue powder, a dash of peppermint extract, and a splash of water.

(You can see the actual recipe on my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies, but here I used peppermint extract instead of almond.)

I put the icing in a baggy, snipped off the end, and drew the webs with the icing on top of the York Peppermint Patties.  I drew an asterisk, then made a swishy circle in the shape of a spider web.

I lost the plastic spider-shaped rings I thought I had, which would have looked cute in the photos, but the candy still looked good.  And the kids were super happy!

Happy Halloween Snacking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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.

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We’re getting there…

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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.  ;)

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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.

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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