Bite-Size Sea Salt Chocolate Fudge Cookies

I’ve been doing a lot more baking (and running) during this time. It’s not that I have more free time – like many others working from home with  kids, my free time seems to be less than ever … but on the weekends, I take a break from work and enjoy baking. I don’t feel guilty if my kids don’t want to join me (though sometimes they do), because I’m with them all week. So instead, I enjoy baking something and we all enjoy it Sunday evening for dinner.

A few weeks ago, a coworker of mine shared that she had some extra masks from a friend who had made them. We have yet to get any cloth masks, and she offered to share some with me. She loves anything chocolate, so to thank her, I baked some of these cookies to share with her. If you like chocolate, and slightly salted chocolate, I highly recommend you try these out. They’re easy, don’t require and dough sitting, and require one bowl to make. And, if you make them the size I do, they’re small and you can easily enjoy more than one at a time.

Bite-Size Sea Salt Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Bite-Size Sea Salt Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + pinch of sea salt for topping
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (you can also melt the butter over the stove top, being careful to not let it burn).
  3. Add in the cocoa powder, sugar, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla. Mix well.
  4. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Mix until just combined and the dough has formed — do not overmix.
  5. Scoop out the dough, and make rounded tablespoon-full size balls (for larger than bite-size, you may want to do about 2 TBs of dough) Press them down slightly (they don’t really spread, so this will be how they look), and add 3-5 chocolate chips on each dough ball. Sprinkle sea salt on top of each cookie.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will be soft and may look undercooked when they come out of the oven, but you don’t want to overcook them. Cool on a cooling rack and then enjoy.
  7. Makes about 2 dozen bite-size cookies.

Put them in a tupperware and share them with a friend! Or just eat them yourself.

Bite-Size Sea Salt Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Some questions for you:

  • Are you a salted chocolate fan?
  • Do you have masks? What kind?

 

Fresh Berry Tart Recipe

During this social isolation time, we’ve been having Sunday dinner at our house instead of with B’s family. With this new routine, I’ve been trying to bake something new each Sunday for us to try. And a few weeks ago when I asked B what he wanted, he replied fruit tart.” Fruit tart? I had no idea what he meant by that, but after scouring a few different places for recipes, got this one, and I have to tell you – it’s a winner. B, FW and LM all loved it. Even a week after eating it, FW asked for more and B told me it was one of the best things I’ve ever baked.

So, now I’m documenting the recipe for posterity – and sharing it with you! If you like fruit desserts, you must make this.

Fresh Berry Tart - I Crashed the Web

Fresh Berry Tart

Here’s what you need:

For the dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
  • 1 large eggs + 1 egg yolk

For the berry filling

  • About 3-4 cups of berries — I used 1 cup fresh blueberries, 2 cup fresh sliced strawberries and 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 lime (fruit and zest)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose four
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1 TB water

Here’s what you do:

Make the dough:

  1. Combine butter and sugar into the food processor. Cream until they are light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs to the food processor and continue to blend.
  3. Combine flour and salt, and add to the food processor. Pulse a few times, or until the mixture comes together and appears to make a ball. Don’t overmix!
  4. Remove dough from food processor and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or overnight.

Make the tart:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9-inch tart or pie pan with non-stick cook spray. When chilled, remove the tart dough from refrigerator. Place the dough in the pie pan, and using your fingers, lightly press the dough and spread out onto the bottom of the pan and up the sides.  The dough should be uniform in thickness (about 1/4-inch thick).
  2. In a large bowl, toss the berries with sugar, zest and juice of the lime, and the 2 tablespoons of flour.
  3. Spoon the berries into the tart shell. Drop pieces of butter over the top.
  4. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the dough is light golden brown on the edges.  Cool about 1 hour.
  5. In a saucepan, heat the apricot jam and water until  combined.
  6. Use a pastry brush or small spatula to brush the warmed jam over the top of the tart.

I also made fresh a whipped cream to top the tart. It was great!

Some questions for you:

  • What do you prefer — fruit desserts or chocolate desserts?
  • What’s the last thing you’ve baked?

Cherry, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

When it comes to desserts, B is a big fan of anything strawberry-rhubarb related, especially pies, crisps and cobblers. I, on the other hand, are more of  a cookie fan – especially good chocolate and white chocolate chip cookies. Opposites attract? Perhaps (after all, as B says, I have more of a “sweet tooth” and he has a “meat tooth”). But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good crisp every so often.

Since strawberries, cherries and rhubarb are all in season (yay for summertime!) I decided to pair them all together for this recipe. The tanginess of the rhubarb goes great with the sweetness of the cherries and strawberries and the color of the fruit mixed together is simply gorgeous! Confession: I’ve now made a variation on this recipe THREE times this summer. Does that mean I’m now more of a fan of cookies than cobblers/crisps/etc? No … but this IS good! Definitely scroll down below the recipe for some notes to see other ways to make this delicious recipe.

Cherry, Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 Tablespoons cold butter, sliced into tabs
  • 2 cups pitted cherries, sliced in half
  • 2 cups strawberries, cut in half (or cut smaller if you have really big berries – I like all my fruit to be about the size of the rhubarb)
  • 2 cups of rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup pecans

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
  2. Toss rhubarb, strawberries and cherries with white sugar and spread in baking dish.
  3. Put butter in a food processor along with brown sugar, flour, oats and nuts and pulse until it is completely combined, at least one minute. It will look like a dough and no longer be separate. This is the topping.
  4. Crumble and spread the topping over the fruit and bake about 40-45 minutes or until it just starts to turn brown.

Notes:

  • You can make this with a variety of fruits, just make sure that you have 5-6 cups of fruit total. Got more cherries than strawberries? That’s fine! A cherry rhubarb crisp is delicious on its own. And, cherries and strawberries together work nicely also. If you’re doing more sweeter fruits (like strawberries) than rhubarb, you may want to cut down on the sugar, though.
  • The topping can be made with just walnuts, just pecans or a mixture of both. I prefer a mixture of both or just pecans.
  • For the topping, you must mix it well enough so it forms almost a dough. A few times I’ve made something like this but made the topping more crumb-like and it does not hold up well in baking.
  • What’s the difference between a crumble, crisp and cobbler? Why is this a crisp? Because the topping contains oats! See more, here. #nowyouknow

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like rhubarb?
  • Prefer fruit desserts or chocolate desserts?

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

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

B loves anything cinnamon sugar flavored. Snickerdoodles? Yes. Cinnamon buns? Definitely. Cinnamon French toast? Of course! Cinnamon donuts? Yes. So when searching for a different type of dessert recipe and I stumbled across these, I knew I had to make them. The warm cinnamon sugar doughy bites and sweet dipping sauce? Omg. I swear, I made them for B…not me. Not at all.

Regardless who they were for – they were SO delicious. If you have a potluck to go to and want to impress with a delicious finger-food-friendly dessert, I highly recommend you make these. They’re best eaten the day of, so get baking now!

 Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites
Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites (inspired by Cooking Classy and Cook Craft Love)
Here’s what you need for the pretzels:
  • 2¼ tsp active yeast
  • 1¼ cups warm milk
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 3 cups flour, plus up to 1/4 more for sprinkling/working the dough
  • ¼ cup baking soda

For the coating:

  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
For the Dipping Sauce
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs half & half
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Here’s what you do:
  1. Combine warm milk, add honey and yeast in a mixing bowl. Whisk together and let rest for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to get bubbly.
  2. Add flour to mixing bowl and mix with dough hook attachment until combined. Once the dough has combined, continue to knead on low until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes. Dough should be soft and somewhat sticky.  Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm or room temperature environment for 1 1/2 hours or until nearly doubled in size.
  3. Fill a 4 qt pot with water and bring to a boil and preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a ball. Cut the ball into 4 quarters and roll each quarter into a log about 16-18 inches inches long. Cut each log into about 3/4 in-1 inch bite-sized pieces.
  4. Slowly add baking soda to water about one Tablespoon at a time – don’t add it all at once or you may boil over. Place about 8 dough balls into boiling water at a time and boil for 30 seconds. Remove dough from boiling water and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to dry. Do this until all pretzel bites are boiled
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or other nonstick paper and add bites to cookie sheet, evenly spaced.
  6. Bake at 450 degrees for 9-10 minutes or until brown.
  7. While the dough is cooking, feel free to make the dip. Cream together cream cheese, butter, half and half and powdered sugar until dip reaches your desired thickness.
  8. Remove bites from oven and allow to cool for 8-10 minutes. After cooled somewhat, dip the bites into melted butter and roll in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Enjoy with the dip!
 Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites and cream cheese dipping sauce

Peanut Butter Banana Bread (a.k.a. GLORIOUSNESS)

Apparently this is the summer of me baking breads. It started with strawberry bread. And then blueberry lemon bread. And this week? Peanut butter banana bread. That’s right – peanut butter + banana, baked into a dessert-like bread.

It tastes as good as it sounds (but not was good as it looks – sorry the pictures are not that good. The bread is just not photogenic with my phone camera).

If you like peanut butter and/or bananas, this bread is for you. Even if you don’t really like bananas, but enjoy dessert/quick breads, this is for you. It’s moist (#sorryimnotsorry) and dense, with  the perfect amount of sweetness to make it a great snack, breakfast, or dessert. Promise me you’ll try it out sometime, okay?

 

peanut butter banana bread_i crashed the web

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperatre
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups flour (+1 Tbs flour, which you’ll use below)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips, tossed in 1 Tablespoon flour

For glaze (optional):

  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk (I used a little over 1 TB to achieve the consistency I liked – an I had only coconut almond milk on hand and it was perfect!)
  • 1 tablespoon  peanut butter

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs and mashed bananas. Combine with an electric mixer.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture.
  4. Mix in peanut butter chips tossed on flour
  5. Spray loaf pan with Pam or other cooking spray. Pour banana batter into greased loaf pan.
  6. Optional – sprinkle additional peanut butter (or chocolate!) chips on top of uncooked loaf.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  8. To add glaze, let cool for 30 minutes or until cool to the touch. Whisk together sugar, milk and peanut butter and drizzle on top of bread. Enjoy!
peanut butter banana bread_i crashed the web

enjoy!

Oatmeal Heath Bar Cookies

I think Heath Bar should also be called the Forgotten Candy. I LOVE love LOVE Heath Bar. It’s one of my favorite candies. Growing up, Heath Bar Crunch Ben & Jerrys was my favorite ice cream and was almost always in my family’s freezer (yes, I know I’m lucky). But it’s also a candy I forget about when I think of candy. If I’m craving something sweet and want to buy candy, too often I’ll choose something like a peanut butter cup, peanut M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces – and leave Heath Bar forgotten. So, this is an ode to my favorite, forgotten candy bar- Oatmeal Heath Bar Cookies. These are based one of my favorite recipes – Special K cookies – but have a few different ingredients.

Oatmeal Heath Bar toffee Cookies - i crashed the web

Oatmeal Heath Bar Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 c. uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 2 c Special K cereal
  • 1 c. Heath Bar, chopped into pieces (OR buy a bag of Heath Bar that’s pre-diced/crumbled and ready for baking)
  • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix Special K, oats, Heath Bar and chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugars until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg is added.
  5. Stir in flour mixture slowly, mixing well.
  6. Stir in oat mixture and mix with wooden spoon until well blended.
  7. Make tablespoon sized scoops on greased baking sheets.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes.

Got a chocolate lover in your life? These aren’t THAT chocolatey so you may want to add more chips. OR chop up a HERSHEY’S bar and add to batter as well! That’s what  did for the one in the pic above.

Oatmeal Heath Bar Cookies omg - i crashed the web

 

 

HERSHEY’S KISSES Stuffed Pretzel Chip Cookies

I’ve been on a baking spree lately. Seriously, it seems like all I think about all day is baking. And running. When I’m going to bake or run next. I think I may have a baking addiction? Or a brunning addiction? (Baking+Running)

That’s why when Influenster sent me a J’Adore Vox Box, featuring a HUGE family-sized package of HERSHEY’S KISSES, I knew I had to bake with them. I mean, after I opened the bag and devoured a few for  breakfast before a run a sensible dessert, I realized I should probably bake with at least some of them. So I did what any blogger would do – I made a Pinterest board for inspiration – and then decided just to pretty much make up a recipe. And thankfully, they came out.  They came out beautifully!

kisses

NOM NOM

Looking for a pretty easy recipe that’s a fun surprise (hey, you don’t know the KISSES are there until you take a bite!)? Or simply want an excuse to buy a lot of HERSHEY’S KISSES? In any case, enjoy!

HERSHEY's KISSES Stuffed Pretzel Chip Cookies - i crashed the web

HERSHEY’S KISSES Stuffed Pretzel Chip Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 c. uncooked old fashioned oats
  • 1 c. Special K cereal (optional, but I love the extra crunch)
  • 1 c. crushed pretzels
  • 1 c. chocolate chips or chunks or whatever chocolate you have on hand
  • 1 bag HERSHEY’S KISSES, unwrapped (I used about 30 .. or about less than half of my family sized bag)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix Special K, oats, crushed pretzels and chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter, vanilla and sugars until fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each egg is added.
  5. Slowly stir in flour mixture, mixing well.
  6. Stir in oat-cereal-pretzel-chocolate mixture and combine with batter, mixing with a wooden spoon until well blended.
  7. Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes, until chilled. This helps the batter from spreading.
  8. When dough is ready, make about tablespoon sized balls and flatten them with your hand. Gently press Kisses in middle of flattened dough, and wrap dough around it so all you see is a cookie blob (yes, scientific term) and no chocolate is showing. Place dough-covered Kisses on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  9. Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes.
beautiful!

beautiful!

Some thoughts on this recipe:

  • I LOVE chocolate covered pretzels, and crunch in my cookies, which is why I added the pretzels. You could likely leave them out.
  • I bet this would be just as good with some other fun flavors of KISSES – I haven’t baked with the caramel ones but I imagine those would be AMAZING.
  • I had a few of the mini KISSES on hand and I decided to make some smaller cookies. Just so I could eat 2-3 at a time without REALLY eating 2-3 cookies, right?

DISCLOSURE: I received this giant family size package of HERSHEY KISSES (and some other cool products in the J’Adore Vox Box) products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. If by testing them they wanted me to eat or bake with them, then they succeeded. But I think it was a win-win, don’t you agree?

Questions for you:

  • How much do you bake? Lately it’s been 1-2x a week. I know, I have a problem. At least my running is closer to 5-6 days a week 🙂 It’s when they switch that I’ll get worried.
  • Are you a sweet/salty fan? Yup! Which is why I love pretzel M&Ms, chocolate covered pretzels, peanut M&Ms, etc.
  • What’s your go-to baking recipe? I used to be a cupcake baker – but it seems that I’ve gotten myself into a cookie-baking frenzy.
  • Is it Friday yet? Sadly, no. But Happy Hump Day!