Molasses and Chocolate Cookies

It's been a little while since I posted a new recipe so I decided to switch things up from savory back to sweet for this one. I developed this recipe a couple weeks ago and was planning on saving this recipe for an ebook download but got such a positive reaction on Instagram that I am posting it now!

These cookies are chewy, salty, sweet, and have beautiful hits of chocolate! What more could you ask for in a cookie? 

Molasses and Chocolate Cookies #molasses #chocolate #cookies #rainbow
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Molasses and Chocolate Cookies
Chewy cookies with hits of molasses and chocolate.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 C salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 C light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 C + 2 T granulated white sugar
  • 2 T molasses
  • 1.5 t vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C candy coated chocolate drops*
  • Kosher salt or fleur de sel
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper.2. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars. Add molasses and mix until combined, scraping sides if needed. 3. Add vanilla and egg. Mix until incorporated. 4. While the mixer is stopped, add baking soda, salt, and flour. Beat until combined. 5. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir in candies. 6. Place heaping tablespoon sized drops of dough on parchment paper, leaving 2 inches of space between the dough. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Immediately sprinkle with salt. Transfer cookies to wire rack for cooling. Keep in airtight container. * such as m&m candies, I used Unreal milk chocolate candy drops because I loved the natural colors
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 15 cookies

Listening to: Saint Motel

Tahini Bars

These rich, thick bars are reminiscent of blondies but I am not going to call them blondies because their consistency is totally different. They are dense and crumbly, but in the best way. 

Before learning about Molly Yeh's obsession with tahini baked goods, I only knew tahini as an ingredient for hummus. Tahini is toasted sesame seed paste or "butter." However, when eaten alone, tahini is not totally savory but nutty and unique. This past year for food bloggers has been a year of tahini: tahini cookies, tahini bars, tahini blondies, and more. I have finally hopped on that train and heavily adapted this recipe to create a delicious bar that is drizzled in chocolate. 

Tahini Bars #tahini #chocolate

This year, I will be restarting Thursday Thoughts soon but for now I will share some of my New Year's Resolutions! I love resolutions but prefer to refer to them as goals.

Some of my New Year's Goals:

·      Read two books per month, one book is for fun and the other is for personal growth or business development. This month I read The Book Thief and am currently reading Big Magic. The Book Thief was amazing and I highly recommend it

·      Post three recipes on the blog per month, sharing lots of savory, dinner recipes

·      Create some boundaries with my phone, especially scrolling though Instagram

·      Complete weekly 15 Minute Planner sessions, this has been a very useful tool for me so far

Tahini Bars #tahini
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Tahini and Chocolate Bars
Rich tahini bars drizzled with semi sweet chocolate
Ingredients
  • 1/2 C salted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 C light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 C tahini
  • 1 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 T warm water
  • 1 T sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 C semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper: cut parchment paper so that it fits into the dish with two sides overhanging. 2. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the melted butter and brown sugar until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium between additions. Add vanilla and tahini. Mix until combined. Scrape down sides. 3. With the mixer off, add the flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix on the lowest setting until combined. Scrape down sides. Turn the mixer back on to low and add the warm water until just combined. 4. Transfer dough to prepared dish and smooth down with a spatula. Sprinkle sesame seeds evenly over the dough.5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the center is no longer shiny and it is cooked through. 6. Cool in the dish for 5 minutes then, using the parchment paper overhangs, transfer the bars to a cooling rack. 7. Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe measuring cup. Heat on high for 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval until melted. Drizzle chocolate over the bars. Let cool.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8"x8" pan
Tahini Bars #tahini

Listening to: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows audiobook

Brownie Truffles + Thursday Thoughts

This recipe is quick, especially when using a boxed mix, but the product is amazing and people will think you spent hours making them. You can make these for any holiday but changing the decorations but they are great for Christmas because they are a reprieve from the dry and broken cookies that come with the holiday. 

Brownie Truffles

A quick post for a quick recipe!

Thursday Thoughts #5

·      For my podcast junkies: I have been loving the Creative Empire Podcast. The two hosts chat with guests about their businesses and business strategy

·      Need a cookbook for your favorite cook this Christmas? Here are some I love: Molly on the Range, The Pie Project, and anything by Ina Garten

·       Colder weather means more cuddling up and watching movies on Netflix! Some good ones that on streaming now: Spotlight, The Big Short, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (only if you've seen the first), The Jungle Book, The Imitation Game, and Trolls (if you haven't seen it, PLEASE watch it)

Brownie Truffles
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Brownie Truffles
Brownies dipped in chocolate and decorated for the holiday!
Ingredients
  • 1 batch baked brownies
  • 2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles, chopped candy, etc.
Instructions
1. Place a sheet of wax paper on a cookie sheet. 2. Using a tablespoon or scoop, scoop out a heaping tablespoon of brownie, excluding the crust. Roll the brownie in your hand until a ball forms. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Complete until 16 balls are formed. There will be extra brownies left. 3. Place cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. 4. In a microwave safe measuring cup, melt the chocolate chips in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval until completely melted. Don't rush this, it will burn.5. Take out chilled brownie balls and coat them in chocolate, one at a time. Place the ball into the chocolate and, using a fork, roll until completely coated. Place coated ball back on the wax paper. Sprinkle with desired topping, the truffles with cool very quickly so make sure to decorate between dippings. Re-microwave chocolate if needed. 6. Allow chocolate to harden before serving. Keep in airtight container for up to 6 days.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16 truffles
Brownie Truffles

Banana Nut Muffins + Thursday Thoughts

Banana bread and banana muffins are always something I make when there is a surplus of overripe bananas or when the freezer has reached its frozen banana capacity. I don't love raw bananas but I LOVE banana bread. I have been making a version of these muffins for years and have finally compiled ingredients and written a recipe. I always add chopped walnuts when I have them and add chocolate chips depending on the crowd. I will sometimes make them in mini loaf pans but muffins are so easy to share. 

The best thing about these? They are dairy free and oil free so they are perfect for someone watching their cholesterol since they do not contain butter. They are also great for anyone who can't consume dairy. 

banana nut muffins

Below the recipe I have included the first installment of Thursday Thoughts, which are a few things to help get you through the rest of the week! 

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Banana Nut Muffins
Flavorful banana muffins packed with bananas, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
Ingredients
  • 4 small-medium bananas (very ripe)
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 C semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
1. In a standing mixer fixed with the whisk attachment, beat the bananas on low until the mixture is shiny and the pieces are small (about two minutes). Add the sugar and beat until combined. Let sit for 10 minutes. 2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a standard muffin tin with baking cups.3. Add the applesauce, vanilla, and eggs to the banana mixture and beat until combined, scraping down the sides as needed.4. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and beat until combined. Add the flour, one cup at a time, incorporating fully before adding the next cup. 5. Using a spatula scrape down the sides of the bowl and fold in the chopped nuts and chocolate chips. 6. Fill the muffins liners 3/4 full of batter and bake for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.**Since there are chocolate chips in this the toothpick will likely come out with chocolate on it, just make sure there is no batter on it to test doneness.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 19 standard muffins
banana nut muffin

Thursday Thoughts is a new segment to my blog that I will attempt to publish most Thursday, along with a recipe of course. It will be full of links to varying things that stuck out to me during the week including podcasts that I like, songs that I can’t hear enough of, products I love, and inspiration. I am growing a business and brand and am educating myself more through articles, podcasts, and books so some might be on the #girlboss side of things. Hopefully these links and notes will help you pull through the rest of your week!

Thursday Thoughts #1

·      I can’t get enough of Jess Lively’s podcasts! I have been listening to her older ones and am moving through them fairly quickly, I have listened to about 8 in the last few days. I really enjoyed Episode #80 with finance guru Farnoosh Torabi. I am a huge believer in spreading financial literacy and learning more for myself so you can count me in for any interesting but accessible podcast about that topic

·     Cooking Light has been killing it recently with their recipes, photos, and trends. They are not the boring, bland magazine they used to be but their recipes are flavorful, unique, and fun! I recommend checking out their holiday issues (they have a massive Thanksgiving/30th anniversary issue that just left the stands and a Christmas issue that is out right now). I made these and they were so good!

·      The movie Mona Lisa Smiles is on Netflix right now and it is AMAZING and my favorite Julia Roberts film. It takes place in the early 1950s in Boston and the setting will make your fall complete (at least to a California girl). Grab a big mug of cocoa, a blanket and hunker down for a fabulous hour and a half

·      Scoutmob is a fabulously curated site that I have loved for years but I am looking at it again because I am trying to figure out what I am going to give friends and family for the holidays (yay!)

banana nut muffin

Dark Chocolate Espresso Brownies

These simple brownies are seriously good and not too sweet which makes them dangerous since you could devour the whole pan. The way my family finishes off a pan of sweets is by returning to the pan hundred of times and taking teeny slivers. In no time, whatever was in the pan, is all gone.

The dark chocolate compliments the espresso, which shines through. The espresso makes them the perfect breakfast pastry! I think every chocolate thing I make from now on will contain a shot of espresso because, why not! Also, the dark chocolate cocoa powder is one of my new favorite ingredients. It is unsweetened but rich.

brownies

To make the brownies a balanced dessert, top with a scoop of coffee ice cream and a sprinkle of coarse salt. Mmmmmm, heaven!

For a seasonal thought, these brownies are rich enough that even a gold hungry leprechaun might try to snatch one from you! As a child my St. Patrick’s Days were filled with green food, little leprechaun footprints all over everything, green toilet water and even green milk. It especially meant wearing green, which was easy since my school uniform had green in the plaid. Nowadays it means green beer and Irish food! However, a decadent dessert void of food coloring is all I need!

brownies
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Dark Chocolate Espresso Brownies
These brownies are gooey, rich, and so chocolatey!
Ingredients
  • 1/2 C salted butter
  • 1 C + 1 T granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 shot espresso, cooled
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/3 C dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking powder
Instructions
1. In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat and continue to swirl the pan until browned. Do not stir, just swirl. Once the color turns from yellow to tan, take off heat and place in the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment. 2. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Prepare an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper or butter and flour the sides. 3. Beat the browned butter and add the sugar until combined. 4. While the beater is going on medium high add the eggs, espresso shot, and vanilla. 5. Turn beater down to low and add flour, beat. Add cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Beat until combined. 6. Pour batter in prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes until center is set.** Take out and cool before cutting pieces. * I picked up a shot of espresso at Starbucks while I shopped for the rest of the ingredients for the brownies. Make sure you ask for it in a lidded cup or else they will give you a tiny espresso cup with no lid **I did not use the toothpick test for these since I wanted the centers to be a little gooey. I did bake these at altitude though so the time may vary slightly.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8x8 pan of brownies
brownies

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to return back to Tahoe to ski and enjoy the thin mountain air! It was warm and sunny which meant blue bird ski days! I went down to the lake shore and was shocked by how high the lake is! I am so happy that California (and Nevada) is coursing with water again! 

heavenly