Hot Cocoa Cookies

It’s that time of year again! I signed up for the  Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap again this year and got some great ideas for what to bake for Christmas! In its third year, the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap helps raise money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national non-profit organization committed to funding new therapies used in the fight against pediatric cancer, which claims the lives of more children in the US than any other disease. The swap raised $13,778.40 this year, raised through blogger participants donations and matching donations from OXO, Dixie Crystals, Gold Medal, and Grandma’s Molasses. The goal was $10,000, so to get nearly $4,000 more in donations is amazing! So here’s how the actual swapping part of this works: I was assigned three food bloggers and made one dozen cookies for each of them. In return, I received three different boxes of cookies from other bloggers. Last year, I received a batch of hot cocoa cookies that were SO good I was craving them again this year. So I decided to make some myself! The chocolate cookies are topped with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and a touch of grated chocolate. I based my recipe off of Rachel Ray’s … Continue reading

Caramel Apple Pie

You can never have too many pie recipes during the holidays! This one is a great spin on a traditional apple pie that adds caramel to really amp up the flavor. The recipe comes from Organic Valley and uses their Salted Butter, Whole Milk, and Eggs.   Note: I was sent a coupon to receive one Organic Valley product for free. Organic Valley is a co-op of organic farmers based in La Farge, Wisconsin. The cooperative was founded in 1988 and markets its products in all 50 states as well as Canada and Japan.  Organic Valley promotes organic agricultural methods, with each participating farm certified as organic by the National Organic Program. A problem I still run into when cooking/baking is I rarely read the directions all the way though before starting (a huge no no). So I made a completely different pie crust by accident because I got confused as to where the sugar and egg was supposed to go in the original recipe. Luckily it turned out fine (whew!) but for the original recipe, be sure to head over to the Organic Valley website. Ingredients: CRUST: 4 cups organic, all-purpose flour 1 ½ cups Organic Valley Salted Butter, cut into ½-inch … Continue reading

Spiced Apple Two Bite Tarts

I love fall treats, but I can’t really justify making a whole apple pie for just my boyfriend and I; we would be eating it for days! So I love that this month’s Cooking Light had a recipe for mini spiced apple tarts that I can also share with friends. I adapted the recipe slightly, adding some more fall spices. I also didn’t have any 1% milk on hand so I substituted heavy cream. I also topped mine with mascarpone instead of crème fraîche because I thought it would taste great with these tarts. These are really easy to make; the most difficult part (a.k.a. most time consuming) is dicing the apples. But you definitely want to cut them nice and small so that they fit in the tarts. You also need a mini cupcake tin for this, but you can adapt it to make normal cupcake sized ones if you wanted, just increase the baking time. Ingredients: CRUST 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup unsalted butter 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 tablespoon heavy cream 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon salt 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup) 1/3 cup very finely chopped toasted pecans Baking spray with flour FILLING 2 … Continue reading

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