Black Forest Cheesecake #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I always feel a little more nostalgic about my German heritage at Christmas. I think it’s a remnant of Opa’s Christmas cookie packages, which were synonymous with Christmas for all of my childhood. Without even thinking about it, I end up planning some German-inspired dessert for our holiday table – like this Black Forest Cheesecake.

Black Forest Cheesecake

This is obviously not traditional, but the flavors are there – and, I’ll be honest, this is going to be easier than your traditional Black Forest Cake.

I love cheesecakes for the holidays because they can be made a few days ahead. And I love topping them off so you can cover any cracks. (Yes, a water bath will prevent the cracking, but it’s an extra step I never take!)

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This cheesecake is decadent – rich, silky chocolate, topped off with whipped cream and cherries. It’s a showpiece dessert for your table, without putting in a ton of effort.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by holiday prep, this is a great candidate for your menu. Make it the weekend before Christmas and give yourself the gift of one less thing to worry about.

And if you’d like to scoop up a fun, #ChristmasSweetsWeek gift for yourself, make sure you’ve entered the giveaway here:  a Rafflecopter giveaway All of the sponsors for #ChristmasSweetsWeek have been super generous with the prizes they’re offering up to readers!

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#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Bourbon Salted Caramel Coffee with Whipped Cream from With Two Spoons
Chocolate Eggnog Pudding Shots from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Cookie Butter Eggnog Cocktail from My Suburban Kitchen
Hazelnut Hot Chocolate Drops from Family Around the Table
Mulled Red Wine Sangria from Platter Talk
Red Velvet Hot Chocolate from Live Love Texas
Salted Caramel Affogato from Tara’s Multicultural Table
Salted Caramel Apple Cider Martini from Sweet Beginnings
Salted Caramel Chocolate Martini from The Crumby Kitchen
Salted Caramel Mocha Smoothie from An Affair from the Heart
Sugar Cookie Martini from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Breakfast:

Baked Cranberry Eggnog French Toast from The Spiffy Cookie
Maple Bourbon Old Fashion Bread Pudding from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Candies:

Pecan Butter Rum Toffee from Take Two Tapas
Christmas Grinch Bark from Blogghetti
White Christmas Sugar Cookie Dough Fudge from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Desserts:

Black Forest Cheesecake from Kate’s Recipe Box
Butter Rum Cheesecake from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Christmas Cornflake Wreaths from The Mandatory Mooch
Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Cookie Cups from Love and Confections
Cookie Butter Shortbread Bars from Eat Move Make
Fluffernutter Truffles from Mildly Meandering
Frozen Mint Meltaway Pie from Cooking with Carlee
Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes with Eggnog Frosting from The Baking Fairy
Spiced Eggnog Sugarmen from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes from The Beard and The Baker
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Eggnog Butter Frosting from Lady Behind the Curtain
Slice ‘N’ Bake Grinch Cookies from Big Bear’s Wife
Snowmen Macarons from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Black Forest Cheesecake 4

Black Forest Cheesecake
(adapted from Glorious Treats)
Makes 1 9″ cheesecake

1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (about 16 cookies)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 8 oz. packages Cabot Cream Cheese
1 1/4 cups Dixie Crystals Sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Cabot Sour Cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs

Cabot Whipped Cream
1 can Cherry Pie Filling

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed cookies and melted butter until thoroughly combined. Press into the bottom of a spring-form pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate chips at half power, in 30 second intervals, until melted. Stir after each 30 second interval. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the sugar until fully incorporated.

Add in the salt, sour cream, and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. Pour the slightly-cooled melted chocolate into the stand mixer and beat until fully incorporated.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake for 55-65 minutes, until the center just barely jiggles when the cheesecake is moved. Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes, then wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool overnight.

When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and cherries.

Black Forest Cheesecake

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I am all about a festive breakfast for holiday celebrations – and these delicious doughnuts are a perfect treat for Christmas morning!

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These pack a big punch of flavor thanks to LorAnn Oils Chocolate Hazelnut Flavor. Just a little gives these a great, complex flavor – and it’s balanced nicely by the vanilla icing. Sweets & Treats sprinkles make them extra festive and perfect for the holiday!

These are simple enough that you could even whip them up Christmas morning. Assembling the dry ingredients the day before will help speed up prep, and recruit some extra hands to help with the icing and sprinkles – my kids loved lending a hand! You’ll have a fun, special holiday breakfast in no time!

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts 1

If you want to win your own set of LorAnn Oils and Flavors or a Year of Sprinkles Box from Sweets & Treats, be sure to enter the #ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway! There are so many awesome prizes from all of the sponsors! You can enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Puerto Rican Coquito from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Frozen Salted Caramel White Russians from Blogghetti
Gingerbread Salted Caramel Coffee Martini from Daily Dish Recipes
Hot Buttered Caramel Apple Cider Mix from Tip Garden
Salted Caramel Martini from April Golightly
Slow Cooker Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Cheese Curd in Paradise

Breakfast:

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts from Kate’s Recipe Box
Cranberry Eggnog Quickbread from Jonesin’ For Taste

Cranberry Orange Bread from Juggling Act Mama
Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls from Moore or Less Cooking
Eggnog Cinnamon Roll Donuts from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Candies:

Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt
Cranberry Eggnog Fudge from Sweet Beginnings
Snickerdoodle Fudge from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Desserts:

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies from Seduction In The Kitchen
Chocolate Espresso Mousse from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
Cranberry Champagne Cupcakes from Our Good Life
Eggnog Gelato from The Redhead Baker
Festive Coconut Macaroons from For the Love of Food
Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream from Love and Confections
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Peppermint Pattie-Stuffed Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies from Platter Talk
Peppermint Red Velvet Macarons from The Crumby Kitchen
Rum Spiked Eggnog Cupcakes from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Salted Caramel German Chocolate Dessert Shooter from Take Two Tapas
White Christmas Cupcakes with White Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream from Family Around the Table
White Chocolate Cranberry Coffee Cake from Who Needs A Cape?

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts 2

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts
(adapted from  Shugary Sweets)
Makes 8-10

For the doughnuts: 
2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dixie Crystals sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. LorAnn Oils Chocolate Hazelnut Flavor
2 tablespoon unsalted Cabot butter, melted

For the icing:
2 cups Dixie Crystals powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla

Sweets & Treats sprinkles for topping – I used the Sleigh Ride mix

Preheat you oven to 325 degrees. Spray a doughnut pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in the eggs, milk, vanilla, chocolate hazelnut flavor, and melted butter. Beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until well combined and the color has lightened slightly.

Fill the wells of a doughnut pan halfway. Bake for 12-15 minutes – the doughnuts will spring back when pressed lightly or a knife inserted will come out clean when done.

Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the icing. If it’s too thin, add more sugar. If too thick, stir in a little more heavy cream.

Dip cooled doughnuts into the icing, then top with sprinkles.

Let sit until the icing has solidified, about 30 minutes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Doughnuts

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies #ChristmasSweetsWeek

This post is sponsored in conjunction with ChristmasSweetsWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Fluffy and soft on the inside, but crisp around the edges, these Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies will be your new favorite to leave for Santa!

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 5

Chocolate and orange is a nostalgic Christmas flavor pairing for me, thanks to years of chocolate oranges in our stockings! These cookies taste just like that childhood treat.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 1

The bright orange flavor in these cookies are thanks to LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion. Unlike an alcohol-based extract, their bakery emulsions are water-based, so the flavor won’t bake out.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 2

The beautiful look of these cookies is thanks to being rolled in Dixie Crystals powdered sugar before baking. They puff up when the bake, giving the distinct “crinkle” effect.  The contrast between the dark chocolate dough and the white powdered sugar makes for a really stunning effect.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 3

Both LorAnn and Dixie Crystals have fabulous prizes for the ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway! Make sure you take a minute to enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 4

#ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes:

Beverages:

Candy Cane Crunch Milkshake from The Redhead Baker
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Toddy from Strawberry Blondie Kitchen
Frozen Blue Hot Chocolate from For the Love of Food
Grumpy Grinch Punch from For the Love of Food
Merry Mistletoe Cocktail from Who Needs A Cape?
Raspberry Thyme Prosecco Punch from Take Two Tapas
Vanilla Milk Punch from Cooking with Carlee

Breakfast:

Cranberry Orange Make Ahead French Toast Bake from With Two Spoons

Candies:

Cookie Butter Balls from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Homemade Peppermint Patties from Everyday Eileen
White Chocolate Bark from Family Around the Table

Desserts:

Apple Cheddar Hand Pies from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Sparkling Wine, Cranberry, and White Chocolate Layer Cake from Cheese Curd in Paradise
Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies from Kate’s Recipe Box
Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tart from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Cranberry Orange Crinkle Meltawats from Love and Confections
Double Chocolate Mousse Cake from The Crumby Kitchen
Gingerbread Cookie Cups from Moore or Less Cooking
Gingerbread Sprinkle Cookies from Daily Dish Recipes
Grandma’s Chocolate Pie from Tip Garden
Italian Butter Cookies from April Golightly
No Bake Eggnog Pie from Our Good Life
Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Bread from Sweet Beginnings

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies 6

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies
(adapted from Little Bits Of)
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups Dixie Crystals white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. LorAnn Orange Bakery Emulsion
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup Dixie Crystals powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cocoa powder, white sugar, and oil until it comes together.

Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and Orange Bakery Emulsion.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients until just combined.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least four hours.

When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1″ balls. Roll each ball in powdered sugar to cover, and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet to cool completely.

Chocolate Orange Crinkle Cookies

Thank you ChristmasSweetsWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, Lorann Oils & Flavors, Torani, Joyjolt, and Sweets & Treats Boutique for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for ChristmasSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The ChristmasSweetsWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Six (6) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The ChristmasSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the ChristmasSweetsWeek posts or entry.

Chocolate Banana Bread #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary product for this post. All opinions are my own.

New, inventive recipes are always fun – but sometimes you just want a classic.  We love banana bread around here. Add in lots of chocolate, and you’ve got a treat that barely lasts 24 hours.

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It was also a great opportunity to showcase another favorite of ours – Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil. Whether or not you’re a coconut oil fan, you should give this a try. It’s what converted me! It really does have a fabulous butter flavor – you won’t miss the real thing.

Lots of other chocolate goodness this way, too! —>

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Chocolate Banana Bread
(from Chelsea’s Messy Apron)
Makes 1 loaf

1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk

1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 cup coconut oil, measured melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup mashed bananas, approx. 2-3 bananas
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup white whole wheat flour or plain white
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips dark chocolate chips for healthier
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

Run the oats through a blender or food processor until the consistency of flour.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and yolk. Whisk in the yogurt and coconut oil. Whisk in the vanilla and sugar. Stir in the mashed banana.

To the same bowl, add the oat flour, salt, baking soda, flour, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for an hour, until a knife inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool before removing from the pan.

Fresh Corn Salsa (5)

Whisky Chocolate Bacon Chili #Choctoberfest

Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.

One of my favorite parts of #Choctoberfest is getting a chance to show how versatile chocolate can be. Everyone always jumps to cakes and brownies, but there’s so much more than that – how about some chocolate for dinner?

WhiskyChocolateBaconChili1

This delicious chili uses a full bar of Forte chocolate but if you’re thinking “chocolate with meat? gross!”, you’ve got it all wrong. The chocolate isn’t going to be obvious when you dig in, but it add a great depth of flavor and an amazing smoothness to the chili.

WhiskyChocolateBaconChili2

Forte’s motto is “Celebrate Life through Chocolate”, which I’m totally on board with. This chili is simple enough that you can celebrate any day.

Forte is offering a special deal during Choctoberfest – use code CHOCTOBERFEST2018 for buy 3 get 1 free chocolate bars.

And be sure to check out all the other chocolaty goodness being offered up today here: An InLinkz Link-up

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Whisky Chocolate Bacon Chili
(adapted from Wallflower Kitchen)
Serves 6

8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef
1 red onion, diced
2 red peppers, diced
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. cumin
1/4 cup whiskey
2 oz. dark chocolate (I used Forte 64% dark)
Green onions, chopped

In a large pot, crisp the chopped bacon over medium high heat. When cooked, remove the bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon but leave the drippings. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the chunks as you go. When it’s about halfway cooked, add in the onion and peppers. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onion is soft.

Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cayenne, paprika and cumin. Bring to a boil. Stir in the whisky and half of the bacon. Reduce to low and simmer for an hour.

Stir in the dark chocolate until melted and evenly combined. Serve topped with chopped green onions and remaining bacon.

Fresh Corn Salsa (3)

Chocolate Witch’s Brew Cupcakes #Chocotoberfest

Note: I received complimentary product for this post. All opinions are my own.

Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble…

WitchBrew1

What shall we add to the witch’s brew today? Essence of mummy? A pumpkin picked at midnight?

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These adorable cupcakes are reminiscent of a witch’s cauldron, so of course, there’s a magic potion inside – courtesy of Sprinkle Pop! I used two of their sprinkle mixes in these cupcakes and they were so, so perfect for getting the desired effect.

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I used the Lime Green Sprinkle Mix on top of the cupcakes to give the image of a bubbling cauldron. The cupcakes are stuffed with their Monster Mashup Sprinkle Mix. The kids had so much fun biting into the cupcakes to see what the witch had cooked up in her cauldron – ghosts, eyeballs, mummies, and pumpkins!

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These were a quick from-scratch batch of cupcakes and buttercream, but you could always use a boxed mix and icing if you’re more comfortable – the sprinkles are the real stars here!

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This is also the first recipe I’m sharing for this year’s #Choctoberfest – you can check out a TON of other chocolaty goodness from my fellow bloggers right here: An InLinkz Link-up

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Chocolate Witch’s Brew Cupcakes
(adapted from Sugar Spun Run and Wine and Glue)
Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot coffee

For the icing:
1/2
 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk
Green food coloring

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Whisk in the oil and milk until combined. Add the egg and stir to combine. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Add the coffee and stir until evenly combined – it will be quite thin.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pan, filling each well 2/3 of the way.

Bake for 20-24 minutes, until a knife inserted  comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar 1 cup at a time and beat. Add in the vanilla, milk, and food coloring. Beat until fully incorporated.

After the cupcakes are cooled, use an apple corer or small knife to cut holes into the cupcakes. Fill the holes with sprinkles. Ice with the butter cream then dip each cupcake into the green sprinkles. Top with additional sprinkles if desired.

These are best served the same day.

Fresh Corn Salsa (4)

Raspberry Chocolate Sweet Rolls

This post is like a love letter shout-out to my moms club friends. Because, oh, do they humor me.

It’s hard to make friends as an adult, and I was super lucky to fall into this group shortly after becoming a mom. Having a local group of women going through the same stage of life has been invaluable for my sanity.

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And, like I said, they humor me. When I come up with something I get excited about, I can count on them to jump in and be excited too. My latest pet project? Monthly potluck dinners. This month’s theme was “Back to School” so everyone brought slow cooker meals and freezer-friendly casseroles. Next month, we’re doing “Fall Favorites”.

Besides the good company and the opportunity to try things I wouldn’t normally make, this also gives me a captive audience for recipe testing. I’ve been making cinnamon rolls for Christmas for the last few years, but I keep eyeing recipes that are variations. This sweet combo is amazing as a decedent breakfast or special dessert.

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Raspberry Chocolate Sweet Rolls
(adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Makes 16

For the dough:
1 cup milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
12-oz. package frozen raspberries
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. heavy cream

To make the dough:

In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the milk until lukewarm. Add the warm milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Stir in the sugar and yeast using a spoon. Cover with a towel and let stand 5-10 minutes, until yeast is activated and looks foamy. Add the softened butter, eggs, and salt and mix until combined but the butter will be chunky. Slowly add the flour and beat at medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and pliable, about 10 minutes longer.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the dough and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Line the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, sprayed with non-stick spray.

Place the dough on a floured work surface. Roll the dough into an even 10×24 inch rectangle.

To make the filling:

In a medium bowl, toss the still-frozen raspberries with the sugar and cornstarch. Gently mash the raspberries so they are small pieces. Spread evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips. Tightly roll up the dough to form a 24-inch-long log. Cut into 15 even pieces. Arrange them in the prepared baking pan, cut sides up. Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place until they are puffy, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Cover the rolls with foil and bake for about 25 minutes, until they are golden and the chocolate chips are melted. Transfer the whole pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.

To make the glaze:

Whisk the confectioner’s sugar and heavy cream together in a small bowl until smooth. Add more sugar or cream, depending how thick you want the glaze. Pour glaze over the rolls. Serve warm.

Fresh Corn Salsa (6)

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares #FoodBloggerLove

Today we’re celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early with some #FoodBloggerLove and I’m so thrilled to introduce you guys to Nicole from For the Love of Food.

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I was so excited to get to know her blog over the last few weeks – she and I are super similar! She also has two little ones that help her out in the kitchen, family meals are her bread and butter, and she’s crazy for anything chocolate peanut butter.

Yeah, I know – it was like looking in a mirror!

I knew I wanted to make a treat Nicole would love – and I also wanted it to be something her girls could help with. These Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are the perfect fit!

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares 2

My little helpers helped with the measuring and stirring. These treats are no bake, but they do need a few minutes on the stove top to melt the ingredients together so I handled that. They only take about five minutes to prep – perfect for a toddler attention span! – and they’re so, so good. If a peanut butter cup and a crunch bar had a baby, this would be the result.

Nicole, I know you’ll love these! I hope you and your girls get a chance to make them soon! Happy #FoodBloggerLove!

If you’re looking for some more blogger love, check out the #FoodBloggerLove linkup here:

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
(slightly adapted from The Big Man’s World)
Makes 20 Bars

3 cups crisped rice cereal
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup

Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment and set aside.

Add cereal to a large mixing bowl, set aside.

Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until all melted together and well combined.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir until combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth out, and refrigerate for several hours.

Once cooled and solid, use the paper to lift out of the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in a fridge.

Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cakes for 2 #RecipesforTwo

What’s better than chocolate lava cake? Chocolate lava cake with warm, melty peanut butter sauce in the middle. Seriously you guys – this is what dreams are made of.

We fell in love with lava cakes after a cruise a few years ago and they’ve since become my go-to special occasion dessert. And this one is freaking amazing. If you’re a chocolate-peanut butter fiend like me, you will love this! That melty peanut butter is really something special.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it makes just two little cakes – perfect for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or any other occasion where you want something special for a smaller crowd. The recipe can, of course, be scaled up to make more – but sometimes it’s nice to have something already sized for two!

 

Peanut Butter Lava Cakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cakes
(adapted from The Cookie Rookie)
Serves 2

2 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
6 oz. German Baking Chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg + 1 egg yolk
Pinch salt

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray two ramekins with non-stick spray. Combine 1 1/2 tsp. flour with the cocoa power and coat the inside of the greased ramekins with it – shake off any excess.  Place prepared ramikins on a baking sheet and set aside.

Combine 4 Tbsp. butter and the chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar until smooth.

Using a stand mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, and salt on medium-high for about three minutes, until the mixture is think and pale yellow. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate until no longer streaky. Fold in the flour and mix until smooth.

Use 2/3 of the batter to fill the ramekins, then place half of the peanut butter mixture on top of each ramekin. Cover the peanut butter with the remaining batter.

Bake for 14-16 minutes – the top should be set but the cake should still have a little jiggle. Let sit for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and invert onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cakes

Need more ideas for Valentine dishes for two? Here are some great ideas!

Savory

Sweet

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies #ChristmasCookies

If you like the idea of mint for the holidays, but aren’t a huge peppermint fan, these are the cookies for you.

For me, these are a nod to my Grandma.

For as long as I can remember, my Grandma’s contribution to holiday dessert has been a box of Andes Candies. We’ve all come to expect them and holiday dessert is not quite right without them on the table.

When I ran across this recipe that uses Andes chips, I knew Grandma would love them – and I just had to make them.

ChocolateMintChipCookies

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies
(from The Diary of a Real Housewife)
Makes 3 dozen

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 package Andes mint pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches and mix until just combined. Fold in mint pieces.

Roll dough into 1″ balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Can’t get enough cookies? For #ChristmasCookies Week, I’m linking up with lots of other bloggers sharing awesome recipes. You can find today’s batch of goodies below!