Nutella Topped Rice Krispie Treats

I haven’t had many have-to-have it pregnancy cravings, so when I get one I’ve been indulging. A few weeks ago, it was rice krispie treats. The day after we’d finished off the pan, I was chatting with a friend and mentioned them. She was like, oh yes! I smothered mine in Nutella while pregnant. Which, of course, sounded fantastic so then I needed some like that.

These were, of course, fantastic. Just the right amount of chocolate. I found a fun box of red, white and blue Rice Krispies, too, so they’re extra festive for today! If you need a last minute dessert, I highly recommend these.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful 4th of July weekend!

NutellaToppedKrispieTreats

Nutella Topped Rice Krispie Treats
(adapted from Liv Life)
Makes 1 9×13″ pan

1/4 cup butter
1 bag mini marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
1 cup Nutella
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. shortening

Grease a 9×13″ pan. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the marshmallows and stir often, until melted. Stir in the Rice Krispies. Transfer to the prepared pan and press down evenly.

In a smaller saucepan, combine the Nutella, chocolate chips and shortening. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Pour over the top of the Rice Krispie treats and spread out evenly. Let sit until the chocolate sets then cut into bars.

What’s Baking: Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars

whatsbaking

I’m officially less than 2 months from my due and I’m starting to feel the crunch. I’m pretty sure by this point with Jake everything was mostly set up, the freezer was filling up with meals and I was (not so) patiently waiting for his arrival. This go, all the baby stuff is still in the basement, there’s list of stuff we still need to buy and any meals that make it to the freezer are retrieved within the week for nights I can’t keep up. I’m pretty much just praying I make it to my due date again because those last two weeks I may finally have some time to get things done.

ChocolateChipPecanCookieBars

One of the things that has been hitting me hard is that my days of me-and-Jake time are coming to an end. He’s at such a fun age right now and I really love spending the day with my little buddy. He’s been super into helping me in the kitchen lately so I’ve been trying to pick recipes that he can be really hands-on with.

The latest theme for What’s Baking was “bars” – and these are perfect for a toddler assistant because there’s no risk of over-mixing and if the quantities aren’t measured out perfectly, that’s just fine. And they only take about five minutes to throw together, which is pretty much how long his attention lasts these days.

TasteTesterJake

Besides being easy, they’re delicious. My little taste tester couldn’t wait to get his hands on one and then all I heard was, “Yum! YUM!” as I packaged them up. I’m sure they’ll be making repeat appearances at our summer barbecues.

TasteTestJake

Want more bar ideas for your summer baking? Check out our host for the month, Cookaholic Wife, for a roundup of all of the goodies the other bloggers made!

Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookie Bars
(adapted from South Your Mouth)
Makes 1 8×8″ pan

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Spray an 8×8″ baking pan with non-stick spray and line with baking parchment. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except powdered sugar. Mix until thoroughly combined and transfer the batter to the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes, until set. Let cool completely, then cut into squares. Roll each square in powdered sugar.

Whole Wheat Biscotti

This month’s What’s Baking challenge was to make biscotti. I wasn’t sure how this would go because I’ve never made it before – and the only biscotti I’ve ever eaten were really dry and unappealing so I didn’t think I liked it.

This changed my mind.

This biscotti is super simple, with just enough sweetness to make them the perfect holiday accompaniment to coffee or tea. Now that I have these under my belt, I’m sure I’ll be trying different varieties next year!

To see the biscotti other bloggers made for the challenge, check out Coleen’s roundup at The Redhead Baker tomorrow!

Biscotti

Whole Wheat Biscotti
(from Food.com)
Makes about 2 dozen

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add in the eggs, vanilla and almond extract and stir until well-combined and dough-like. Divide dough in half anf form into 2 logs about 2″x13″.

Bake for 25 minutes, then cool on a rack for 10 minutes.

Using a bread knife, cut into 1/2″ slices and bake for 10 more minutes, turning halfway through.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Firecracker Cookies

I’ve been on a cookie kick for the last week or so. I mixed up batches of my favorites for a few parties last weekend so I wanted to try something new for this weekend’s festivities. These were super fun and super easy. You can make these with your favorite sugar cookie and buttercream recipes, or just use packages – whichever your schedule allows.

Adding pop rocks on top makes these firecrackers for your tongue but you want to add them right before serving or the moisture of the icing will activate all of the “popping” early.

FirecrackerCookies

Firecracker Cookies
(from momdot)

Your favorite sugar cookies
White icing
Strawberry or Watermelon PopRocks
Red, White and Blue Sprinkles

Prepare your favorite sugar cookies. Once cook, frost and decorate with sanding sugar and sprinkles. Add Pop Rocks right before serving.

Mint Chocolate Chip Krispie Treats

So, I’ve gotten pretty good at time managing holiday prep with Jake around. I didn’t offer to make anything overly ambitious – a fruit tray, a veggie tray and some cupcakes. I planned out things a few days in advance and figured out how to get everything made with plenty of time to spare. What I didn’t account for? How much two days of Easter parties would mess up the poor kid’s schedule. He’s currently taking his first decent nap all week, which is why I’m finally getting around to a blog post.

I debating not even posting these because I feel like they’re too simple – I just added some mint extract and chocolate chips to the classic recipe. But, I’m appreciating simple things more and more – and for not a lot of time or effort, these make a mighty addicting dessert.

MintChocoleChipKrispieTreats

Mint Chocolate Chip Krispie Treats
(adapted from Kellogg’s)
Makes 1 9×13″ pan

3 Tbsp. butter
1 10 oz. package marshmallows
1/2 tsp. mint extract
Green food coloring
6 cup Rice Krispies
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add marshmallow and stir until melted. Stir in mint extract and enough food coloring to reach desired color until well combined. Stir in Rice Krispies until well coated. Stir in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Press the mixture into the pan evenly and let sit for several hours before slicing and serving.

Sprinkle Cookies

I, along with most of my friends from school, are turning 30 this year. It’s weird to think we’re exiting our 20s – mostly because that makes it painfully obvious we’re no longer “just out of college” or “just starting adulthood”. Hello, we’re here.

Adult doesn’t necessarily mean mature, though. We’ve had two 30th birthday parties so far this year: one involved playing dodgeball at a trampoline park and the other was a pizza party. Because, you know, my friends are awesome.

I made up these cookies as a 30th birthday gift for our friend, Douglas. I’d actually made them back in November when Jacob was baptized with blue and white sprinkles and Douglas was crazy for them. His wife held a Christmas cookie exchange in December and he was sorely disappointed I didn’t bring these so I knew they’d be a hit his birthday.

They remind me of the soft vanilla cookies my Mom used to get from the bakery. Just the right amount of chewy center with a slightly crisp edge. And switching up the sprinkle colors makes them perfect for just about any occasion. Or, any 30th birthday party you may be attending!

SprinkleCookies

Sprinkle Cookies
(from Grace and Good Eats)
Makes about 2 dozen

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 small package instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sprinkles

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and pudding mix. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined. Beat in vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well combined. Mold dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Roll the dough into 1″ balls, roll the balls in sprinkles and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges and just set in the center. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Cookie Bars

I know, I know. Another chocolate peanut butter dessert. I think they’re coming close to being their own category on the blog there’s so many of them – but this was too good and too easy not to share.

Magic cookie bars have become a go-to since Jake was born because they’re just so darn easy to throw together. Now that I’ve got the basic recipe memorized, I’ve been playing with all different flavor combos and this one is a particular winner. It’s sort of like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. With peanut butter. And none of the cookie-dough scooping. Can you say win? These also freeze great, so they’re a great one to make if you want to make dessert ahead (or force portion control!)

ChocolatePBMagicBars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Magic Cookie Bars
(a Kate’s Recipe box original)
Makes 1 9×13″ pan

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease a 9×13″ pan and line it with parchment.

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the pan. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the crust. Sprinkle on the oats, chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. Pat the toppings down so they sort of stick into the sweetened condensed milk.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the edges are golden and pulling away from the pan. Let cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting.

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars

If you’re not tuned in to the sports world, here’s a PSA for you: the Super Bowl is Sunday.

I will fully admit that I’m just not into it this year. I’m not crazy about the teams playing. I’m over the drama of deflategate. And compared to the excitement of last year when it was held in our backyard, I’m just feeling meh about the whole thing.

But, football food. Eating during the Super Bowl is like it’s own special event. An it’s all that awesome snacky stuff that’s hard to justify on a regular night. Like chocolate caramel pretzel bars. They’re exactly as indulgent as they sound and a super perfect grab-and-go snack for during the game.

Or, you know, during the commercials.

ChocolateCaramelPretzelBars

Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bars
(adapted from this recipe)
Makes 1 9×13″ pan

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup broken pretzel pieces
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup caramel bits

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Grease a 9×13″ pan and line with parchment.

Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until well combined and press into the bottom of the pan. Drizzle the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the graham cracker crust. Sprinkle pretzel pieces, chocolate chips and caramel bits over evenly. Press gently into sweetened condensed milk.

Bake for 30 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges and starting to pull away from the pan. Remove from oven and let cool completely before removing  from the pan and cutting.

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I need to start out with this: I love Christmas.

This time of year just makes me happy. I love finding the perfect presents for family members. I love pulling out all the ornaments that we’ve collected on our travels so far. I love excuses to get together with family and friends. And, of course, I love making Christmas goodies.

A lot of my baking list is dictated tradition: I make up batches of my Opa’s cookies every year, because it just wouldn’t be Christmas without them. Cookie recipes I love but haven’t made recently get broken out for exchanges. And I make ranch pretzels in mass to give as gifts.

There’s always room for something new, though, which is where these cookies come in. I made up these delicious treats for a cookie swap with some of my foodie friends. They’ll be reaching their destination today so I hope they’re well-loved!

If you haven’t tried cookie butter, you need to. Really. Just stop reading now and go buy some.

In all seriousness, though, it’s sort of like a cross between peanut butter and a gingerbread cookie – which is totally perfect for a holiday goodie like this. It’s safe to say these will be making the baking list again next year!

CookieButterChocolateChipCookies

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from Knead to Cook)
Makes about 3 dozen

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Cookie Butter (I like Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the cookie butter, vanilla and egg until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoon-fulls onto lined baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip and Flax Cookies from Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour (+ Win a Copy!)

I always get excited when a food blogger I admire releases a cookbook. I love having that little piece of the internet on my bookshelf. Nicole Morrissey’s (aka, Prevention RD) first cookbook, Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking, is in frequent rotation around here so when her editor asked if I wanted to review her new cookbook, Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour, I jumped at the chance.

As the title suggests, this book is full of gluten-free recipes – but the recipes are also marked as sugar-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, high-fiber and dairy-free as appropriate, making it a super friendly resource for anyone trying to stick to a specific diet. Neither Mark or I have food allergies, but we have friends and family that do so we’re always looking for tasty things we can make them. We’re also, naturally, a little skeptical of recipes that stick to special diets – I mean, how do you trust chocolate chip cookies that have no butter or flour?

Luckily, Nicole has this thing nailed – these cookies were amazing. If you didn’t know they were gluten-free (and dairy-free, vegetarian and low-carb), you never would guess. They taste like regular chocolate chip cookies – not always an easy feat when you’re making something allergy-friendly. We passed off most of the batch to a friend of Mark’s who has recently gone gluten-free and they went over wonderfully.

And, there are so many equally delicious looking recipes in this book. I’m especially excited to work through the breakfast section and I’m loving that I’ll have a whole bunch of gluten-free cookie options for Christmas cookies for our Celiac family members this year.

Nicole’s editor was also kind enough to offer up a copy for a Kate’s Recipe Box reader. Want to win? Leave a comment below letting me know if you follow a gluten-free or other special diet and your favorite diet-friendly dish to make. I’ll pick one comment at random to receive a copy of Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour, compliments of Skyhorse Publishing. You have until midnight eastern time on September 7, 2014. Open to US residents only.

OoeyGooeyChocolateChipCookies

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip and Flax Cookies
(from Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour)
Makes 16 Cookies

1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips (I used dairy-free chips)

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, flaxseed, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. In a second bowl, lightly beat the egg. Slowly whisk in the coconut oil to the egg, whisking constantly.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, then fold in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

After chilling, preheat the oven to 375F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on the baking sheet. Flatten slightly, to about 3/4 inch thickness.

Bake for 7-9 minutes, until dry-looking and slightly browned. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.