Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Dipping Sauce

At 37 weeks pregnant, there’s not much new that I’m craving these days. Fruit? Yup, still fruit. Especially all of the strawberries, grapes and pineapple. Desserts? Yup, even chocolate, which I’m not usually a huge fan of. Sweet and salty foods? Even better. Which is why I’m a fan of this snack/meal/side dish. Because sweet potato fries are – in my opinion – the ULTIMATE sweet/salty treat. And, they’re even good for you! Or at least better than the other ultimate sweet/salty treat – chocolate covered pretzels. Yum.

Now that the weather is finally warming up, I highly suggest you make these to pair with your favorite meatless (or meaty) entree on the grill. I’ll be sharing a recipe soon that pairs SO well with these, too!

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Dipping Sauce
For the Sweet Potato Fries

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. While oven is preheating, preheat a baking sheet as well.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes into fry-like shapes. (Here’s the knife I use to get the cute crinkle cut fries) Toss with olive oil.
  3. Mix the spices (garlic powder through black pepper) and toss them with the sweet potatoes.
  4. Spread them out on the preheated baking sheets.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until starting to brown on the bottom. Flip and cook until the other side is brown, about 10 minutes.

For the Dipping Sauce

Here’s what you need:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • pinch of garlic powder (I probably used just under 1/8 teaspoon)
  • pinch of salt

Here’s what you do:

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Serve with fries!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like Sriracha?
  • What’s your favorite sweet/salty combo?

Linking up with Meatless Monday.

Toddler-Friendly Foods: Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins

FW is a picky eater. He won’t touch any vegetables or meat*, and there are even just a few fruits he enjoys. His favorite food groups are: bread, bananas, plain Greek yogurt and cheese.

FW does, however, LOVE muffins. And anything remotely sweet. So, I’ve been making a lot of muffins lately, and trying to hide in as many veggies as I can. These muffins are a go-to in our house. You could probably omit some of the honey if you wanted them even lower sugar, but each muffin has about 9 g. of sugar, which is less than is in most non-plain yogurts.

These are easy, a fun color, and I enjoy eating them too! Try them out for yourself. They’re also FW (aka picky eater)-approved 🙂 AND, with their bright green color, they’d be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins
Makes 18-20 muffins

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 ounces raw spinach
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 cup milk (I’ve used unsweetened almond milk as well as whole milk, it depends on what I have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten (I’ve also used .25 c Egg Beaters)
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or use silicone muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray (I have green and pink ones which FW loves to eat out of, so that’s what I tend to use).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In your blender or food processor (I put mine in my Vitamix), mix first 7 ingredients (spinach through butter) until completely pureed. Add in egg.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix together until just combined. Do not over-mix or muffins will be tough!
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean.

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

*Confession – FW did eat some meat somewhat recently – I snuck some ham into (you guessed it) a corn muffin!

Some questions for you:

  • Any tips for picky eaters?
  • Any favorite lower sugar muffin recipe?

Fresh Cherry and Double Chocolate Almond Scones

Do you like fruit? I love fruit. Fresh, juicy fruit is something I crave pretty much year-round. When I was pregnant last year, I couldn’t get enough fruit. And now, FW is a fruit fiend. He’ll eat pretty much any fruit!

This time of year especially, I can’t get enough stone fruit. Nectarines. Peaches. Cherries. So, when Northwest Cherries reached out and asked if I’d like to try some of their cherries, I of course said yes.

The Northwest U.S. is actually known for seven varieties of cherries, including Bing cherries, the most popular cherry in North America, and Rainiers. You can typically spot the sweet cherries by their darker red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.

So, while I’ve been enjoying eating cherries by the handful (and spitting out the seeds … so ladylike), I’ve also been enjoying testing out different recipes using my delicious bounty. In addition to making these cherry pie bars, I have also been dabbling in the scone game (or should I say Game of Scones? #nerdhumor).

These scones are a great way to use some fresh cherries, but also just great in general. The combination of cherry and almond is great, and the dark and white chocolate picks up on the cherries’ sweetness.

The only part about this recipe I don’t like? Chopping and seeding the cherries. But, if you can get past that, then I highly recommend you make these.

Luckily, B decided that he doesn’t mind chopping and seeding cherries, so I see more cherry recipes in my future. If you don’t have yourself a B to chop the cherries, I suggest you wear clothes you don’t care about and be prepared to have deep red cherry hands for a little while!

Fresh Cherry and Double Chocolate Almond Scones

Makes about 12 scones

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups cold butter, sliced into pieces
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup of your favorite chocolate chopped up or chips – I used 1/2 cup semisweet and 1/2 cup of white chocolate chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and chopped

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and powder. Using your fingers or a fork, cut in butter until the batter resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add in coconut milk and almond extract. Combine until batter is wet and sticky.
  4. Fold in cherries and chocolate. Combine with a spatula or spoon until dough is evenly mixed.
  5. Divide dough in half and pat down into two even circles about 1 inch high.  Cut into 6 triangles.
  6. Bake on an oven sheet lined with foil or parchment paper for 12-14 minutes. Enjoy!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite fruit?
  • Do you like fruit desserts?

Disclosure: Northwest Cherries provided me some cherries to sample. All reviews and opinions are my own.

Homemade Gingersnaps

I know, I know. When was the last time I posted a recipe?! This blog used to be all about recipes – but suddenly it’s become about eating, weekends, relaxing, being a mom and running. In all honesty, I haven’t had much time to bake lately. And when I do find time to bake, finding time to write down the recipe is waaaay last on my list.

BUT when I made these gingersnaps, I knew I had to share them. They were easy and so perfect to make now – right before the holidays – and any time of year! They’re quick to make, make enough to share (mine made about 33) and the best part – they taste great! I’d never tried to make gingersnaps before because I know I can always buy them if I want; but I highly recommend you make these. I’m so excited to bake them again and try different add-ins next time – candied ginger, dried cranberries, etc.

homemade-gingersnaps-cookies-recipe

Homemade Gingersnaps

Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 Tablespoons for rolling
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet. (Or use a nonstick surface, I like to use my silat and they don’t need greasing)
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream shortening and 1 c. sugar. Add in egg, molasses and honey and continue to mix until combined.
  4. Slowly add in flour mixture to sugar mixture.
  5. Roll dough into small, Tablespoon-ish size balls. Dip balls into the 3 Tbs. granulated sugar and place onto baking sheet. Bake until light brown, 12-14 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
  6. Enjoy! Makes about 30-36 cookies.

homemade gingersnaps cookies

Some questions for you:

  • Are you a ginger fan? Yes! I love everything ginger. ginger tea. pickled ginger. gingersnaps. gingerbread. ginger candy. yum yum yum!
  • What’s on your holiday baking list?

Energy Balls – a.k.a. Boobie Balls

One of the things I’ve noticed as a breastfeeding mom is that some days I am ravenous. Some days I need two breakfasts. Other days I’m not hungry until 10 but then I need two (or three) snacks!

While I’m not yet actively trying to lose weight (in case you couldn’t tell by my double the ice cream day What I Ate Wednesday post), I am trying to make healthy-ish choices sometimes – for me AND for FW. So I’m so glad to have found these delicious energy balls.

I’d had energy balls like these before becoming pregnant (they’re good for everyone! not just breastfeeding moms!), and Anson had made me some when she and her daughter came over to visit FW and I. But these are a little different. Why? They have ingredients that are supposedly good for breastfeeding – Brewer’s yeast, oats, flaxseed. And yes, these are supposedly good for non-breastfeeders, so feel free to make them, share them with your BF friends and eat some yourself! I’ve been known to share some with B as well:)

energy balls - boobie balls - breastfeeding snacks

Energy Balls – a.k.a. Boobie Balls

Slightly updated from here  

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 cup peanut butter or other nut butter (I like Once Again almond butter or Peanut Butter & Co crunchy peanut butter– I’ve also made with creamy peanut butter and it’s just as good!) (NOTE: the quantity of peanut butter you use will depend on the type/consistency. The more runny the peanut butter – like in many natural kinds – the less likely you’ll need a full cup because it’s so wet. The more dry the peanut butter – as is with a low fat kinda like low fat JIF – you may need more)
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1.5 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Brewer’s yeast (I buy my Brewer’s yeast from Swanson Health* online)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • Optional: 1 cup add-ins – a mixture of chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc. I like craisins and/or chocolate chips, white chocolate chips or mini m&ms

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Here’s what you do:

  1. Combine peanut butter, honey, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium low. (NOTE – I’ve also done this by hand with a large spoon)
  2. Add in the dry ingredients: oatmeal, coconut, Brewer’s yeast, flaxseed and any adding (I added 1 cup chocolate chips).
  3. Roll into small balls, about 1-inch thick. Store covered in the refrigerator and enjoy!

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*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but some of the products mentioned were provided to me by Swanson Health. My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of Swanson

One Sentence Per Picture – Weekend Edition

My weekend … in photos. And one sentence per photo. Here we go!

The Cleveland International Film Festival is here!

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Charcuterie at Crop.

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B and his veal.

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I love lamb.

lamb

Saturday morning coffee shops.

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Too many olives to choose from at the West Side Market.

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Super blue and sunny spring day for a walk.

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It’s almost Indians Opening Day!

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Trees are blooming downtown.

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Sample Saturday at Heinen’s.

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Making pasta.

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Homemade pasta+homemade sauce = happy pregnant belly.

pasta

Sunday morning baking.

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And some more baking – cinnamon sugar pretzel bites.

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Third trimester bump in action!

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Spent the morning going through my closet – three more bags of clothing and shoes gone!

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Another afternoon catching up on work – and my favorite tea in Cleveland!

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And that about sums up the weekend! Productive and somewhat relaxing.

I’m linking up today with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Some questions for you:

  • How often do you go through your clothes and donate them?
  • Have you seen any independent movies lately?

 

Peanut Butter Coconut Flour Banana Bread

Some blogkeeping- there is still one more day to enter the Cleveland Marathon race entry giveaway!

My friend Cuoghi is allergic to coconut. Can you imagine being allergic to coconut? I LOVE it so much and cant imagine not being able to experience all the gloriousness that is coconut. Coconut flakes. Special K cookies. Almond Joys. Coconut ice cream. Coconut oil. Fresh coconut right from the tree!

mekong delta trip in vietnam

You get the picture. BUT up until recently I had never tried coconut flour. It intrigued me but I was intimidated. I knew you couldn’t use it as a replacement for traditional flour in a 1:1 ratio, but was really eager to try it out. Thank goodness the first recipe I tried came out GREAT. Here is a recipe for peanut butter coconut flour banana bread. The texture of this bread reminds me of bread pudding or pastel de elote – it’s really moist (Favorite word!) and not really quick-bread like but still so so so good. I’ll definitely be making this again!

Peanut Butter Coconut Flour Banana Bread

Peanut Butter Coconut Flour Banana Bread

modified from Ambitious Kitchen’s paleo banana bread recipe. This is not paleo-sorry;)

Here’s what you need:

  • 3-4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter*
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. Combine bananas, sugar, vanilla and peanut butter with an electric mixer and mix until smooth. Add in eggs and mix until combined.
  4. Add in coconut flour mixture; mix until just combined – do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle peanut butter chips on top.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle of pan comes out clean.
  7. Cool completely before cutting. Texture will be somewhat mushy – not undercooked but more like a bread-pudding texture. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Coconut Flour Banana Bread-icrashedtheweb

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but some of the product (nut butter, coconut flour) was provided to me by Swanson Health. My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of Swanson.

Some questions for you:

  • Now that I have all this coconut flour – what should I make with it?
  • Do you like coconut?

 

Asian Quinoa Cabbage Salad with Almond Dressing

I know it’s winter. I’ve looked outside – no need to remind me. This is what I see. SNOW.

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Yes, it may be gloomy and snowy (but somewhat pretty, right?). But still, we all need a pop of color sometimes. And bright salads. All year round – don’t we? While I do enjoy eating seasonally, I do also enjoy salads in winter (and soup in the summer). And since we go meatless on Fridays during Lent, here’s an easy meatless meal you can enjoy  then – or even for Meatless Monday or any day of the week.

Asian Quinoa Cabbage Salad with Almond Dressing - icrashedtheweb

Asian Quinoa Cabbage Salad with Almond Dressing

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa* – I like red quinoa, but other varieties should work fine
  • ¼ cup all natural almond butter*
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon (or more, based on taste) Sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage – I like using 1 cup red and 1 cup green for color
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • few handfuls chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped unsalted cashews*

Here’s what you do:

  1. While the quinoa is cooking, you can make the nutty Asian dressing. To do so, mix the almond butter and honey in a medium bowl. Add in soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha and water and mix well until dressing is smooth. and stir until mixture is smooth and creamy.**
  2. Mix half of the dressing with the cooked quinoa.
  3. Add in vegetables – cabbage, pepper, carrots and then add in remaining dressing.
  4. Before serving, top with cilantro and cashews.  Add more Sriracha if you like more spice and enjoy!

Mine made four servings – perfect for dinner and lunch leftovers!

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, but thanks to Swanson Health for providing some of the ingredients (quinoa, cashews, almond butter).  My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of Swanson. AND I’ll  be doing a giveaway so you can get some goodies too, soon 🙂

**I used all natural crunchy almond butter which is pretty oily – if you were using a less oily spread you may need to microwave the almond butter first or add in a little oil / more water to get your consistency to be dressing-like.

Asian Quinoa Cabbage Salad with Almond Dressing

Some questions for you:

  • Do you eat seasonal?
  • What’s your favorite hot sauce?

For more vegetarian posts, check out some of my past recipes or visit the linkup below! I’m linking up with Sarah and Confessions of a Mother Runner.

Meatless Monday: Easy (and adaptable) Overnight Oats

It has been a while since I’ve written a Meatless Monday post – and I don’t know why! I’ve had a few meatfree meals lately, but I haven’t taken the time to truly capture them and write down a recipe and then post them.

So, today’s meatless post is a meal you can enjoy for breakfast. Overnight oats! I make these sometimes when I’m craving something other than my typical egg white and spinach and veggies for breakfast and have been asked how I make them. The answer? It’s always different. There are so many ways to make them. It depends on what ingredients I have. So here you go – a standard overnight oats recipe for you to enjoy and it’s adaptable so you can add or remove the toppings as you please!

Easy Overnight Oats - icrashedtheweb

Here’s what you need:

  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup yogurt (for this recipe, I used  plain Greek yogurt)
  • ½ cup milk (unsweetened vanilla almond milk is my favorite, but I didn’t have any on hand so I used regular milk)
  • 1-2 teaspoons your favorite nut butter (I love almond, peanut and sun butter!)
  • 1-2 teaspoons Chia seeds
  • 1-2 teaspoons honey
  • To top your oats (wait until you’re ready to eat to add these): fruit (I like 1/2 banana, blueberries, nuts and more nut butter)
overnight oats ingredients

basic overnight oats ingredients

 

Here’s what you do:
  1. Combine oats, yogurt, milk, nut butter, chia seeds and honey in a 10-12 ounce jar. Stir with a spoon or shake until everything is pretty combined.
  2. Let sit in fridge overnight or at least 7-8 hours. When ready do serve, add toppings! I love adding some freshly sliced banana, blueberries, a few nuts and even more nut butter.
  3. Enjoy a hearty and delicious breakfast. Or snack. Or dessert. I’m not judging!

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Isn’t that easy? Some modifications I’ve enjoyed include:

  • Adding more milk and less yogurt for a less tangy and less thick oatmeal.
  • Adding some diced banana to the oats in the overnight version and peanut butter. Then topping with more banana and more peanut butter for a peanut butter and banana oats.
  • Adding PB2 or another powdered peanut butter before mixing for a more peanut buttery flavor.
  • Adding dried fruit or coconut to the top when it’s ready to serve
  • Adding flax seed (1-2 teaspoons) for some extra fiber/grit/texture.
  • Topping my oats with more oats (meaning: homemade granola) or a few mini chocolate chips if you’re feeling ambitious.

That’s one of the things I love about overnight oats – in addition to being super easy and not at all time consuming, the possibilities really are endless!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like overnight oats? What’s your favorite combination?
  • What’s your go-to breakfast?

Disclosure: While I was not compensated for this post, some of the product (nut butter, oats) was  provided to me by Swanson Health. My views and comments are solely my own and do not represent those of Swanson. AND I’ll likely be doing a giveaway so you can get some goodies too, soon 🙂

For more Meatless Monday posts, check out some of my past recipes or visit the linkup below! I’m linking up with Sarah and Confessions of a Mother Runner .

 

Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

It’s Christmas Eve! If you’re like me, that means lots of relaxing, eating, and spending time with my family. And maybe some last minute (yes, now it’s really last minute) baking.

If you’re seeking a relatively quick, very easy, festive holiday cookie, look no further. These are great for the chocoholic (sorry, not me) in your family. Or a chocolic friend, because who doesn’t like to be surprised with a plate of cookies this time of year?

Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies-icrashedtheweb

Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

from Cafe Mom

Here’s what you need

  • 2 sticks + 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping cup powdered sugar
  • 2­ Tablespoons hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • holiday sprinkles

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the butter, sugar and ⅓ cup cocoa powder. Mix well until one thorough mixture.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture by thirds and mix until combined.
  3. Roll the dough into small balls, about one-inch in diameter. Indent each ball with your thumb or a small spoon in the center.
  4. Bake for 7-8 minutes until cookie dough is lightly cracked on the surface but still soft.
  5. When they come out of the oven, don’t be surprised if your thumbprint is gone!  You’ll likely need to press the center of each cookie down again to make your frosting well. Cool completely.
  6. While cookies are cooling, make the frosting: mix the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, hot water, and vanilla. Spoon the frosting into the centers of the cooled cookies and add festive sprinkles while frosting is still wet. Allow frosting to set before putting away.

Enjoy! I’m not a huge chocolate fan and even I enjoyed one (or a few). They’re not MY favorite (again, not a big chocolate fan) but they were definitely a hit. For simple modifications, I may play with the filling, adding peppermint or peanut butter in the future.

Chocolate Fudge Thumbprint Cookies

Questions for you:

  • Chocolate lover or not?
  • What are some thumbprint cookies you enjoy? I love jam cookies!