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.

WIAW #24: TGIF!

Today’s What I Ate Wednesday post is a FRIDAY. Alas, it wasn’t an overly exciting Friday-  just your standard workday Friday.

 

Breakfast was egg whites and veggies. I know – shocker. I’m a creature of habit 🙂

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Lunch was mishmash – leftover spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce and basil (yummmm!) as well as a pre packed salad with a store-bought veggie burger.

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Snacks that day included some super salty almonds (Yum!) and more spaghetti squash. This time with honey and cinnamon. I forgot to take a picture (thus a photo of the empty container).

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B and I had a long run planned for Saturday, so we opted for a low key Friday night. I love vegan food before long runs, so we tried out a new restaurant. The food was pretty good – I had a sweet potato veggie burger wrapped in collard greens.

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And of course, I had to have dessert. I made myself a mini bowl with a bunch of random treats – white chocolate chips, banana bread, chex and chocolate.

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That concluded my Friday. As always, click on the badge below to see what WIAW is all about.

Some questions for you:

  1. What do like to eat the night before a long run? Anything vegan, typically. Wraps, sandwiches, salads etc. YUM!
  2. What’s your typical Friday night? This wasn’t typical but it was nice to stay in for a change!
  3. Have you ever had spaghetti squash in a sweeter manner, like I did?

Triple Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies

I think I’m a gingeraholic. Here are a few signs I’ve noticed:

  • Nearly every night I drink a cup of ginger tea with honey.
  • I love ginger candy. Especially this kind 🙂 (HINT I love surprise gifts …)
  • When we get sushi, I tend to ask for extra ginger. (unless B is there, then I just eat his)
  • Dried ginger? Candied ginger? Crystallized ginger? I have to have it.

So when I got home last week from a shopping trip and found myself with two small ginger-roots PLUS a tube of minced ginger, I wasn’t surprised. But – what to do with all that ginger?  I made some stir fry dishes, curries, etc. but I wanted to bake something. Surprised? I’m not. But when I searched for ginger recipes (including the ginger chocolate biscotti recipe B loves) I was surprised and disappointed that I couldn’t find ONE that called for fresh ginger. They either called for powdered ginger, or candied ginger (which I know I could make … but I wanted to bake right away!). SO I decided to sorta create my own recipe, using fresh ginger. I was able to combine a few other recipes and ideas (a lot of the ginger cupcakes/cookies/etc. recipes called for molasses with their candied ginger) to come up with these. And I think these came out FABULOUS.  Even B, not a ginger fan, enjoyed them! trip chip ginger cookies - i crashed the web Triple Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies Here’s what you need:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (likely one stick), room temperature
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweetened chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweetened chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (feel free to use more regular chocolate or even dark chocolate if you’re not a white chocolate fan. I LOVE white chocolate and loved the chips with the ginger!)

Here what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream together the sugar, butter and molasses. Add in eggs, one at a time, and beat until well mixed.
  3. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, ground ginger, baking soda and salt.
  4. Combine creamed mixture with the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir in the diced fresh ginger, chocolate chips, chocolate chunks and white chocolate chips.
  6. Let batter sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour in your fridge. Can’t wait? Sometimes I just let it sit in the freezer so it hardens – I believe this helps prevent the batter from spreading out when cooking
  7. Drop the batter by the teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until edges start to brown.
  9. Enjoy!
Triple Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies

COOKIE DOUGH

Triple Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies

Yum – enjoy the Triple Chocolate Chip Ginger Cookies!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like ginger?
  • White chocolate or dark chocolate? white chocolate all the way!
  • Have you ever had ginger candy? What’s your favorite kind?

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars

Just in time for the holidays, I’m excited to share with you a recipe that is delicious and perfect for peanut butter and chocolate lovers.

This is not realllllly a holiday recipe, but you can dress it up with red and green and then it’s the perfect for the holidays! It’s not difficult to make but it IS somewhat time consuming because it’s a few layers. But I promise it’s worth it because it really is that good.*

*if you don’t like peanut butter or chocolate you WON’T like these. I can’t be held responsible for your taste buds.

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars - icrashedtheweb

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars

Here’s what you need:

For the cookie layer

  • 1/2 c butter (1 stick)
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c flour

For the peanut butter caramel layer

  • 30 caramels, unwrapped
  • 3 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream

For the peanut butter fudge layer

  • 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (I ended up using about half semi-sweet and half milk chocolate)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. candy topping – I used peanut butter M&Ms that were red and green

Here’s what you do:

  1. For the cookie layer: Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 in. pan with foil and/or spray with cooking spray. Creaming the butter and sugar with a stand mixer until fluffy. Slowly stir in flour. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes until it starts to slightly brown. Cool for at least 20-30 minutes before continuing.
  2. For the peanut butter caramel layer: Mix caramels, peanut butter, and heavy cream in a pot over medium to medium low heat. Stir until smooth and melted. Carefully pour on top of cookie layer. I used a spatula to evenly spread on top of cookie. Chill at least 15 minutes before adding chocolate peanut butter layer.
  3. For the chocolate peanut butter layer: Melting chocolate chips and peanut butter together in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Stir until smooth and peanut butter is incorporated and pour over caramel layer. Again, I used a spatula to spread evenly and carefully. Top with candy of your choice – I use red and green M&Ms and sprinkles to fit within my holiday theme.
  4. Chill bars until completely firm; I chilled mine in the fridge for a few hours and then let sit at room temperature before cutting.

Peanut Butter Fudge Caramel Bars (1)

Semi-Homemade Buckeye Brownies!

I know I’ve expressed my love for peanut butter and chocolate before. There’s just something SO perfect about the way the two flavors combine and the creaminess of peanut butter mixing with the creaminess of chocolate (don’t get me started on white chocolate and peanut butter — that’s amazing in my opinion).  So, naturally since stumbling upon this recipe, I’ve now made this three times. Once, for a Cleveland-themed party (thus the Cleveland beer), once for B’s birthday, and once for … hmm … I don’t remember but I’m sure there was a good reason.

Anyway, this recipe is super easy but SUPER delicious. A coworker told me these were the best brownies she had ever had! AND – shh – I even use a brownie mix. It may be a little time consuming (hey, I only said it was easy) because you have to make three separate layers and let them cool  – but it’s worth the wait. Try this IMMEDIATELY.

For my non-Ohio friends – Buckeyes are peanut butter chocolate candy. They’re like an amazing peanut butter cup, shaped like a nut from a local tree (the Buckeye!). I wrote about them once before .. or twice.

three layer buckeye brownie bars - peanut bar + Brownie + chocolate OMG! - I CRASHED THE WEB

Three-Layer Buckeye Brownies

Here’s what you need:

For the Brownie Layer:

  • Brownie Mix
  • Beer! – You can replace the water quantity with a stout-like beer (so my brownie mix called for 1/3 c. water – instead, I used 1/3 c. Great Lakes beer to continue with the Buckeye/Cleveland theme)

For the Peanut Butter Layer:

  • ¾ cup peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Topping:

  • 1½ cups semi-sweetened chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter

Here’s what you do:

  1. First, make the brownies! I did it the easy way and just doctored up a brownie mix. Feel free to make your own brownies or beer brownies if you choose – really any work. I went with the beer-themed brownies to keep with the Ohio theme. If you want to do that too, make brownies and cook them according to directions in a 13×9 in. pan – but instead of adding water, replace that same quantity with a dark, stout-like beer. After cooked, cool completely (at least 1 hour).
  2. Then, make the peanut butter layer. Try not to drool! Beat together peanut butter, butter and vanilla on medium high until smooth and creamy. Then, turn your mixer on low and alternate adding a little powdered sugar and then adding a little milk/cream. Mix well between each addition and keep mixer on low until both ingredients are added. Then, increase the speed and beat until super smooth and spreadable. NOTE: If it’s too dry, add a little more cream – if it’s too thin, you may need a little more sugar. Using a spatula, spread the peanut butter layer evenly on top of the brownies.
  3. Make the chocolate peanut butter topping. Melt together the chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave. Keep an eye on this – you DON’T want it to burn! I stirred mine about every 20-30 seconds for a few minutes until it was melted and combined. Pour over the peanut butter layer and spread evenly with a spatula.  Let set for at least 1 hour.  Or put it in the fridge if you can’t wait that long 🙂

I’ve made this a few times now and each time I cut them differently – sometimes I cut them into 1 1/2-2 inch squares, other times I make them smaller and more bite-sized and put them in mini cupcake papers (like I did for B’s birthday).

Enjoy!

three layer buckeye brownie bars - peanut bar + Brownie + chocolate OMG! - I CRASHED THE WEB buckeye brownies - i crashed the web

Chocolate Heath Bar Pecan Cookies

I love Heath Bar. I know, I’ve professed my love for all things Heath Bar before – and told you it was probably my favorite candy, thanks to my early love of Ben & Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch ice ream (which is no more:(). But seriously – a cookie or candy or dessert with Heath Bar is deadly around me – I just can’t say no!

Which is why when I was perusing my Magnolia Bakery cookbook and came upon this recipe, my eye immediately was drawn to the page with the Chocolate Drop Cookies. Even though I don’t really like chocolate cookies (I know, I’m weird), I knew I had to give these a try. Heath Bar AND white chocolate chips? Count me in! At least I could share them, right?

Chocolate Heath Bar Pecan Cookies

Chocolate Heath Bar Pecan Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons milk (I used unsweetened original Almond Breeze almond milk – it’s what I had on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup Heath Bars cut up into small chunks (I bought the pre-diced bars from the baking aisle)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients – flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt – in large bowl and set aside.
  3. In another  bowl cream the butter and sugars until smooth. Add eggs and beatwell. Then, add the milk and vanilla. Blend for another minute or until no lumps remain.
  4. Stir in flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the pecans, chopped Heath bar and the white chocolate chips.
  5. Refrigerate batter until firm, about 45 minutes (or freeze for 25-30 min).
  6. Drop tablespoon size dallops of dough on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, cool cookies on the sheet. Remove the cookies after 1 minute and cool on wire cooling rack.
Chocolate Heath Bar Pecan Cookies

Enjoy! Milk optional.

 

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
  • What’s your favorite candy to add to cookies?
  • Almond milk, regular milk or soy milk? Almond milk all the way. Yum!
  • Besides traditional chocolate chip cookies – what’s your favorite kind? I need suggestions 🙂

A Chocaholic’s Dream … Double (or triple) Chocolate Chunk Cookies

My grandmother passed away last week. I know – it’s not quite the opening you expected in a blog post about chocolate cookies. But let me explain.

My grandma was a chocaholic. For as long as I can remember, she always loved chocolate. Mallomars were actually her favorite cookie; I’ve heard countless stories about how the local grocery store where my dad grew up in the Bronx called her the “Mallomar lady.” My parents would buy boxes and boxes of Mallomars and wrap them to give her as holiday gifts. To be honest, I never really liked Mallomars. And I’m certainly not a chocaholic – as you may have noticed, I hardly ever make something that’s chocolate based. And when I do, it’s often for B or other friends and family. And during the holidays, I always made sure to include something chocolate when baking, because I knew that would be what my grandma would like best. In fact, I even brought her some Rolo Stuffed Peanut Butter Brownies this year before Christmas when I visited her with my dad.

(image via npr)

I’ve been somewhat of a funk since she passed away. I know, it’s normal – and I know, I don’t usually post about stuff like this on here. But I tend to look back on old blog posts as some sort of a diary and I want to remember this time. In fact, it feels good to remember her here and to think about her love of chocolate. Anyway, in case you haven’t noticed, there are two main ways I deal with stress/anxiety/etc. in my life – running and baking. So I’ve been doing a lot of both this past week. And one of the recipes I made, I made in honor of my grandma. Because I know she would have LOVED these cookies.

My grandma, B and me on our wedding

My grandma, B and me on our wedding

Got a chocolate lover in your family? Or maybe you have the chocaholic gene in your family? (My dad got it too!) Then you’ll love these cookies. They’re soft, chocolatey and well – pretty much everything a chocolate cookie should be.

triple chocolate chunk cookies icrashedtheweb

Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweetened chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. semi or milk chocolate chunks (I used mini Hershey kisses, chopped up)
  • OPTIONAL – for the extra chocaholic: 1/2 c. your favorite M&Ms (I used some peanut M&Ms in some, but didn’t photograph those)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa and baking soda.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl of a stand mixer. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Slowly add in flour mixture, about 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips, chunks and M&Ms (optional, but without the M&Ms they’re only double chocolate chunk cookies:)).
  6. Allow dough to chill in refrigerator for 30 min to 1 hour.
  7. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  8. BAKE for approximately 10 minutes, until cookies are puffy. Cookies will be a little bit cracked on top but still soft.
  9. Cool on wire racks.
  10. Share with our favorite chocaholic or enjoy yourself!
double chocolate chunk cookies - i crashed the web

These are technically double chocolate chunk cookies since you can’t see the peanut M&M ones. I dare you to wait for them to cool!

triple chocolate chunk cookies with milk - i crashed the web

Surprise! They go well with milk.

And because this wasn’t the happiest blog post, I leave you with a famous/fun Mallomar reference. My grandma wasn’t the only one with Mallomar addiction 🙂 (and this is from the Sopranos – so it’s obviously got some language that’s NSFW)