Spooky Spider Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Spider Cookies

choco pb spider

Alright, it is the first cold day in Fall and the first day of October, I am pumped for Halloween! I will, however, curb my enthusiasm with yummy recipes that are rather ghoulish in celebration of this Fall’s Halloween. I hope these recipes will be fairly easy and fun for you to share with friends, coworkers, or family.
These cute and creepy spider cookies are made on a peanut butter cookie base filled with a chocolate truffle .

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 24 round chocolate truffles
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 48 candy eyes

    Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. Place the softened butter and peanut butter in the mixer and beat until fluffy. Then add both sugar and beat again until fluffy. Scrape the bowl and beat in the vanilla and egg.
    3. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Turn the mixer on low to slowly incorporate the flour mixture.
    4. Roll the cookie dough into 24 – 1 1/2 tablespoon balls and spread 12 out on each cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Quickly use a pestle to press a cavity in the middle of each cookie. Then place back in the oven and bake another 6-10 minutes, until golden.
    5.  Once the cookies are out of the oven, cool until almost at room temperature (but not very warm) and place a truffle in the cavity of each cookie. If the cookies are too warm, the truffle will melt. If the cookies are cool, the truffle won’t stick. (You can also wait until the cookies are completely cool, then glue the truffles in with chocolate to be safe.)
    6. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Scoop the melted chocolate in a zip bag. Close the bag and snip off a small portion of one corner to create a hole. Pipe 8 legs on each cookie, starting from the truffle body down.
    7. Then use the remaining melted chocolate to glue 2 eyes onto each truffle spider. Cool until the chocolate is firm and serve.     choco pb spider1Enjoy!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PRINT RECIPE (Thanks to A Spicy Perspective for this fun recipe!)
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Harvest Beans

The day was cooler and I was really craving something comforting and filling for dinner. I had never made this recipe before but I thought I would wing it and see what happened. Turns out it was pretty good and I have made it several times since. These Harvest Beans are full flavored BBQ enhanced bean, the peppers, onions and dark chocolate give it nice complexity that leaves your palate wanting another taste. I hope you enjoy this recipe as the leaves change and a crispness enters the air.

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Harvest Beans:

What you will need:

beef

1 15.5 oz Great Northern Bean

1 15.5 oz  Pinto Bean

1 15.5 oz  Black Bean

1 15.5 oz Kidney Bean

2 tsp. Onion Powder

3 tsp. Ginger

1 tsp. Chili Powder

2 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tsp. Pepper

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 tsp. Paprika

4 slices of Ham (hand chopped)

1 1/2 pounds Ground Beef

1 Green Pepper

1 Orange Pepper

1 Medium Onion

5 tsp. Truvia

1/4 cup Molasses

1/4 cup BBQ sauce

1/4 cup Ketchup

1 Tbsp. Honey

1.5 oz Dark Chocolate

chocolate shavings

How to make it:

Pre-heat the oven 250 degrees.

In a sauce pan melt the dark chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. After melted add the BBQ sauce, Ketchup, Honey, Truvia and the Spices. Stir until completely combined into a rich sauce. Set aside.

In a large baking dish place the beans and pour all the sauce over it set to the side and let the beans soak up the flavor for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile chop the onion and peppers place in a skillet along with ground beef. Brown the beef until almost all the pink is gone, the onions are translucent and the peppers are soft and easy to cut. (You may want to begin cooking the onions and peppers 5 minutes or more before adding the beef.) Once done drain the grease and add the meat (ham and beef) and onions and peppers to the baking dish . Stir all ingredients until thoroughly coated.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2.5 to 3 hours.

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Enjoy!

Chocolate Goulash

As my husband counts down the days to his fantasy football draft, hunting season, and the start of the NFL Football season, I am reminded that summer is in it’s end days. Fall is closing in with it’s crisp cool mornings and the changing of leaves. I am a fan of Fall so the change in season is welcome with me.

This recipe is a taste of Fall. I hope you enjoy!

Chocolate Goulash:

You will need

1 lb. ground hamburger

1 20 oz canned venison cut into cubes (or substitute whatever kind of meat you would like).

3 -14.5 oz diced tomatoes

1 onion

1 green pepper

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

2 1/2 tsp. of salt

1 1/2 tsp. of pepper

1 1/2 oz Cocoa Mill’s Bittersweet Chocolate

1 tsp. toasted and crushed cumin seeds

10 peppercorns toasted and crushed

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. parsley flakes

1/2 tsp. horseradish minced (or creamed)

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. honey

1/8 cup of white vinegar

12 oz Tri-color rotini

1. In a large sauce pan combine cooked venison, tomatoes, sour cream, coriander, 2 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. of pepper, toasted and crushed cumin and peppercorns, cumin, parsley, bittersweet chocolate and garlic. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then reduce to a simmer stirring occasionally.

2. Chop the green peppers and onions place in a skillet with with ground beef, cook until beef is done. Drain the grease and add meat and veggies to the saucepan.

3. In a small bowl mix the horseradish, lemon juice, honey, and white vinegar until well blended. Add to the sauce pan.

4. In a separate saucepan cook the rotini (about 7 minutes) al dente. Drain and add to the goulash. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve immediately and Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Chocolate Chili

The countdown to fall begins: school will be back in session, jobs back in full swing and life begins to pick up the pace. I always enjoy welcoming a new season with heartwarming recipes that are not only good for the body but good for the soul. This recipe will delight your senses and your appetite.

Welcome the change in season with me and try this Quick and Easy Chocolate Chili.

You will need:

A slow cooker

1 lb ground beef

1 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes

1 green pepper chopped

1 onion chopped

1 14.5 oz can of corn

1 14.5 oz can of kidney beans or great northern beans

1 package McCormick chili seasoning (I know you may think this is a cop-out but it’s the easiest for me.  Obviously you can substitute your own spices for this step)

1 1/2 oz of Cocoa Mill Bittersweet Chocolate

(You can also add venison or other meats if desired. If you choose add additional meats use 2 packages of spice mix instead of 1.)

1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and stir until mixed. Cook on low heat all day (8am-6pm)

2. Stir well before you are ready to serve. Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese. Enjoy c:

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Ok, I have resisted this for a long, long while however it looked super easy and supper yummy….

Having three little ones running around who are always hungry for a good snack, I thought this would be a healthier alternative to offer them. Pudding is a favorite at our house amongst the children and hubby and however hard I try to feed the healthy foods I am met with great resistance. I will say I have tried the kale smoothie and that went over like a lead balloon. I am reminded of Jim Gaffigan and all his kale remarks here is one:

jimgaff

I happen to like kale, a little olive oil, garlic, salt pepper yummy… My family happens to hate the green stuff, I guess they think it “tastes like bug spray” too, lol.

Anyway if you are feeling adventurous give this avocado pudding a try, I don’t think you will regret it.

So here it is Chocolate Avocado Pudding. I hope you enjoy it!

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Avocado Chocolate Pudding

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

  • 2 ripe medium avocados, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup honey or raw agave nectar (or other sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 cup milk (regular or almond milk, coconut, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Blend all ingredients, until smooth, in a blender, food processor or using a hand-held mixer. Serve immediately, or chill first.

AVOCADO CHOCO

Summertime: Mini Mint Cheesecakes

grasshopper
Oh my, oh my…. The days are getting warmer and warmer and It is time to have a bite that will cool you down and lift your spirits. Mini Mint Cheesecakes are the perfect summertime treat. These delectable bites are easy to make and cute to serve with tea or as a potluck bring along dish. Cool your taste buds and the summertime heat with these nifty little bites:

Ingredients:

Crust

Crushed Chocolate Cream Cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted

Filling

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup green crème de menthe liqueur

Topping

Sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Grasshopper-Tarts

Steps

  •  Crumble about half the cookies into fine crumbs to make 2 cups cookie crumbs.
  • In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter. Place foil baking cup in each of 18 regular-size muffin cups. Press about 1 tablespoon cookie mixture in bottom of each baking cup or use tartlet molds. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Bake 5 minutes.
  • In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently, until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in liqueur. Pour about 1/4 cup of the filling on top of each of the cookie crusts.
  •  Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until edges are set and centers are still slightly jiggly. Turn oven off, and open door slightly. Cool cheesecake in oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool at room temperature 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until cheesecakes are chilled. Top with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Protein Bars

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Sometimes we don’t need a guilty pleasure, instead we need a chocolate feel good about myself snack. This seemed like it would work for those warmer days when you still need a chocolate pick me up.

Chocolate Protein Bars

chocprotein

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 scoops protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup Stevia
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt

Directions:

  • 1.Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • 2.Mix almond milk, egg whites, applesauce, peanut butter and yogurt together in a small bowl.
  • 3.In a separate bowl, mix flour, protein powder, Stevia, baking soda, salt and cocoa together and then combine with wet ingredients.
  • 4.Pour mixture into a greased 8″ x 8″ glass dish and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

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