Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

We have yet to receive our first measurable snowfall, so we’ve had a rare opportunity to enjoy a long Autumn season this year. Our temperatures have dropped dramatically though over the past several days, and have only been in the 20’s. Despite the colder temperatures, I’m thankful for the lack of snow. I absolutely love the Autumn season, but in Alaska the season tends to be very short. I’m glad it has decided to stick around a little longer this year.

Now that we’ve turned the calender to November, it’s getting to be that time of year when we’re all a little bit busier with planning, and making preparations for the upcoming holidays. I can’t believe Thanksgiving is less than three weeks away. Although I tend to stick with my usual tried-and-true Thanksgiving holiday menu, I still find myself prepping weeks in advance. You’d think by now I’d be able to make Thanksgiving dinner in my sleep, but I still spend a lot of time prepping, to ensure everything turns out just right.

With my time divided between work, family, and holiday preparations, I’ve been finding little time to do any baking. That’s why this recipe for Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies is so wonderful. Not only are these cookies delicious, with generous amounts of chocolate and pumpkin spice flavors, but being that they are “no-bake”, I can whip up a tasty treat for my family in no time at all.

~Enjoy~
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Chocolate Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 (3.4oz) box of pumpkin spice pudding mix
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 cups dry quick-cooking oats
Waxed paper

Directions:
In a heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk to a boil. Let mixture boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and add the pudding mix, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and oats to the saucepan; mix well.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let cool until set.

Makes approximately 30 cookies.

Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

For St. Patrick’s Day this year, I decided to make some Whoopie! (Whoopie pies, that is)
I have purchased Whoopie Pies at bakeries in the past, but I’ve never tried to make them at home – until now. I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised at how easy they really are to make. They don’t require a ton of ingredients, and they bake up in a jiffy.

The cakes are soft, moist, and springy to the touch, and the filling is creamy and sweet. I used mint extract and green food coloring for the cream filling, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, but you could omit the food coloring altogether, or substitute another color, and add different flavoring; if desired. Everyone loves to experiment with different flavors and color combinations, don’t they?

Have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! And if you’re in the mood, make some Whoopie! (pies)

~Enjoy~
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Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 cup milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add dry ingredients, alternating with milk, and mix until just blended.

Drop batter by tablespoonfuls, about 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 6-7 minutes, until cakes spring back when touched. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 2 minutes. Transfer cakes to wire racks to cool completely.

Match cakes in pairs so tops and bottoms are similar in shape. Spread bottoms with Mint Cream Filling, recipe below, and cover with top.

Makes 18 whoopie pies.



Mint Cream Filling

6 tablespoons butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
4-5 drops green food coloring
3-4 tablespoons milk

In a medium bowl, combine butter, powdered sugar, mint extract, food coloring, and milk. Mix until smooth. Spread on the bottoms of half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.

(To print this recipe, click on the ‘Print & PDF’ button below)

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Skillet Cookie

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Skillet Cookie

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Skillet Cookie

Earlier this week, we had 40 degree temperatures and it was raining. On Wednesday it started snowing, and by Thursday we had about 9 or 10 inches of fresh, fluffy snow. I wake up this morning to find that the temperatures have taken a nose dive and have dropped down into the teens. It’s a bit windy this morning too, which makes it feel much colder outside. It’s shaping up to be the kind of day where I just want to stay indoors and do some household chores. Better yet, maybe I’ll just do some more baking.

Speaking of baking, have you ever made a giant cookie in a cast iron skillet? If you haven’t, you might want to give it a try. I made this ooey, gooey, rich and chewy Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookie in my Lodge cast iron skillet, and it is fantastic! The outside is slightly crisp, while the inside is soft and moist.

I’m seriously contemplating warming up a slice of this cookie, placing a scoop of ice cream on top, and having it for breakfast. That probably won’t do my diet any good, but it sure would make me happy.

~Enjoy~
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Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Skillet Cookie

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups dark chocolate & mint morsels (plus 1/3 cup more for sprinkling on top)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10″ or 12″ cast iron skillet with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, chocolate syrup, and vanilla; mix until smooth. Gradually add in the dry ingredients; mix until well combined. Fold in the 1 1/3 cups dark chocolate & mint morsels.

Press the dough evenly into the prepared skillet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cookie is just set.

Remove skillet from oven and place on a wire rack. Sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup dark chocolate & mint morsels. Let cool, then cut into wedges.

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Let the Christmas cookie baking begin!! Christmas cookie #1 – Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies.

I love the flavor combination of dark chocolate and mint, so I was thrilled when I found the limited edition Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels at our local Target store. Limited edition items like these go pretty quickly around here, so you have to snap them up when you find them. Unfortunately, there were only a few packages left on the shelf when I found them, so I was kind and only purchased one.

After sampling these soft & fudgy Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies though, I may have to go back to the store and see if they’ve received another shipment. :)

~Enjoy~




Dark Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in the dark chocolate & mint morsels.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Brownies

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Brownies

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Brownies

I’m so sorry my posts have been few and far between lately. I’ve just been so busy both at home and at work, and I haven’t had a chance to do much baking or photo taking. I’m hoping things will calm down here soon and I’ll get a chance to post more frequently. I can’t even believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away! Once again, it seems like the holiday just totally snuck up on me.

I did get a chance to make these Flourless Chocolate Walnut Brownies this past week though. I love experimenting with recipes and trying to make treats that are eggless, flourless, etc…, just to see how they turn out. Sometimes the result turns out to be great, and sometimes not. Well, without a doubt, these brownies turned out to be absolutely delicious. I must warn though that they are more geared for the serious chocoholics and sweet tooths out there. Since both chocolate chips and cocoa are used in this recipe, the brownies have a very rich, chocolate flavor. The large amount of chocolate, combined with the sugar, also makes them very sweet.

So if you’re a serious chocoholic or have a very large sweet tooth, this recipe is for you. If your sweet tooth isn’t quite that big, then I’d recommend cutting the brownies into very small squares and enjoying just a little piece at a time.

~Enjoy~




Flourless Chocolate Walnut Brownies

1 cup butter, cut into pieces
10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
6 large eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 x 8 inch square baking pan.

Combine butter and chocolate chips in a heavy medium-sized saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted.

In a large bowl, mix the sugar and cocoa powder together. Add eggs and whisk until well blended. Whisk in the chocolate-butter mixture, then fold in the walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares. Dust with powdered sugar; if desired.

Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars

Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars

Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars

If you’re like me when I first stumbled upon this dessert, you’re probably wondering “what the heck is a Nanaimo bar?” Well, according to Wikipedia, “The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin popular across North America. It is a bar cookie which requires no baking and is named after the West Coast city of Nanaimo, British Columbia. It consists of a wafer crumb-based layer topped by a layer of light vanilla or custard flavoured butter icing which is covered with melted chocolate made from chocolate squares.”

This is the first time I’ve made this dessert, and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and how quickly it came together. At first I was a little intimidated by the fact that it had three layers, but I wasn’t going to let that deter me. (it was really quite simple to make)

I decided to make my bars a little more “seasonal” by adding a bit of pumpkin pie spice to the bottom layer, and using Pumpkin Spice flavored pudding mix in the second layer.

This dessert turned out to be wonderfully delicious, and I can envision making it again in the very near future. Just don’t ask me to pronounce Nanaimo. :)

~Enjoy~




Pumpkin Spice Nanaimo Bars

Bottom Layer:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Second Layer:
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons instant pumpkin spice pudding mix
2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons milk

Third Layer:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

Bottom Layer:
Melt butter, sugar, cocoa, and pumpkin pie spice in the top of a double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, and walnuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8” X 8” pan.

Second Layer:
In a medium bowl, cream butter and pudding mix. Add powdered sugar and milk; beat until smooth. Spread over first layer and refrigerate until firm.

Third Layer:
Combine chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for approximately 30 seconds, until chips are melted. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly and pour over second layer. Place in refrigerator to chill. Cut into squares.

Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

It sure is looking very Fall-like around here. The leaves are changing color at a rapid pace, and falling off the trees even more rapidly. There is a distinct chill in the air every morning now, and the temperature only warms up into the low to mid 50’s during the day. Even though the calendar shows that Autumn is still a week away, I’d say it has definitely already arrived here in Alaska.

What better way to celebrate the arrival of Fall, than with Pumpkin recipes!!! For my first pumpkin recipe this season, I decided to make this delightful Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Spice Biscotti. This is the first time I’ve attempted to make biscotti, and I was quite surprised at how easy it actually was. I only needed two bowls to mix the ingredients in, one for the wet ingredients and one for the dry, and everything could be combined together by hand. The scent of pumpkin and spices filled the air as I mixed the ingredients together, and my kitchen smelled like a pumpkin patch while the biscotti were baking in the oven. It was wonderful!! I decided to dip the ends of the biscotti in melted chocolate, just to add a little something extra. I’m currently dunking one of these crisp little biscuits in my morning coffee and munching away on it, and I must say – it tastes very yummy!

The weather forecast is calling for another wind storm to hit our area this evening, and the wind is expected to continue blowing through Sunday. They say wind gusts could reach up to 100 miles per hour again. I’m hoping our trees don’t blow down and our electricity stays on, but I think I’d better make a trip to the store to stock up on batteries, ice, and non-perishable food – just in case.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

~Enjoy~




Chocolate-Dipped Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Biscotti ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons canola oil

Dipping Chocolate ingredients:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet, or cover with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and oil with a wire whisk until smooth. Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined.

With floured hands, divide dough in half and form two logs lengthwise on the cookie sheet; approximately 15 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Leave a little space between logs and sides of cookie sheet.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes on the cookie sheet. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Move logs to a cutting board and slice into 1 inch slices. Lay slices on their sides on the cookie sheet.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti

Bake for 10 minutes. Turn slices over and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until biscotti are crisp and start to brown.

Remove biscotti from oven and place the slices on a wire rack to cool completely. Dip ends of biscotti in chocolate; if desired. (instructions below)

Dipping Chocolate Directions:
Place chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, then microwave for another 20 seconds. Add vanilla extract and stir until blended and smooth.

Dip one end of biscotti in chocolate. Place on waxed paper and let sit until chocolate sets.

Makes approximately 20 biscuits.

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