Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Oh dear, I’m starting to feel my stress level begin to rise. You see, silly me, I volunteered to make the cakes for a wedding reception on Thursday – which is only five days away. I’ll be making both a groom’s cake and the bride’s cake. Now I’ve baked plenty of cakes throughout the years, but I’ve never made a wedding cake before. I’m just hoping beyond hope that I haven’t bit off more than I can chew, and the cakes turn out okay. I don’t want to ruin the bride and groom’s big day.

One thing I know for sure I can’t ruin, are these Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Cookie Bars. I’ve been pretty busy lately and I haven’t really had time to bake, but I was watching t.v. one day and a commercial for Papa John’s Pizza came on the screen. Papa John’s was advertising their new mega chocolate chip cookie, and suddenly I had craving for chocolate chip cookies. Instead of dialing my local Papa John’s Pizzeria though, I headed into the kitchen and whipped up a batch of these wonderful cookie bars.

This recipe produces an incredibly moist and chewy bar, and the cinnamon flavor pairs so beautifully with the milk chocolate. Oh, and did I mention they are a cinch to make. You only need a couple of bowls and a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together. No electric mixer required. It’s easy-peasy!

Now, if only wedding cakes could be that simple to make…

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

~Enjoy~
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Milk Chocolate Cinnamon Cookie Bars

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips, divided

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar and oil with a wooden spoon until well combined. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, stirring until well combined. Fold in 1 cup of the milk chocolate chips.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips over top of batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool. Cut into bars.

Makes about 12 cookie bars.

Glazed Spicy Mexican Brownies

Glazed Spicy Mexican Brownies

Glazed Spicy Mexican Brownies

Looking to spice up your day? Well these Glazed Spicy Mexican Brownies just might do the trick. I should warn you though… you’re going to want to pour yourself a tall glass of milk while munching on them. Not because they’re dry, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. These are incredibly moist brownies. No, you’re going to want that glass of milk because these brownies are SPICY!!! They’re rich, chocolaty, and spiced up with a generous dose of chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon.

I would call these more of a “grown-up” brownie. If you’re planning on sharing them with the kids, I would suggest cutting back a bit on the spices – unless you have children who enjoy spicy food.

I have to head back to the kitchen now. We’re having an all-day potluck at work on Monday and I’m bringing Overnight French Toast. I really hope they like it…

~Enjoy~




Glazed Spicy Mexican Brownies

1 cup butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for approximately 30 seconds, until butter is melted. Let cool slightly. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix with a spoon until combined. Add the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne pepper, coffee granules, salt, and baking powder. Mix until the batter is nice and smooth. Fold in 1/2 cup of the chopped walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chopped walnuts evenly over the top of the baked brownies.

Baked brownies with walnuts on top

Baked brownies with walnuts on top

Cool brownies to room temperature before topping with Glaze (recipe below)

Spicy Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.

Set the burner to medium low heat. Cook and stir with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved and everything is well combined.

If glaze is too thick, add more milk. If it is too thin, add a little bit more cocoa powder. (It should be thick enough to stick to a spoon but thin enough to pour)

Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool until it is still pourable. Spoon glaze over cool brownies.

Glazed brownies

Glazed brownies

Let the glaze set before cutting brownies.

Cinnamon Mini-Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

Cinnamon Mini-Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

Cinnamon Mini-Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

I apologize for the lack of posts this past week, but I’ve been spending much of the week getting reacquainted with an old friend. I haven’t spent time with this friend since last fall, but we’ve been able to pick up where we left off without hardly skipping a beat. My friend has also been helping whip me back into shape, which, after being sedentary much of the winter, is greatly appreciated. I’ll write a little bit more about my old friend in a future blog post, but for now, I think it’s time to post another tasty recipe.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy sweet little treat to make for your Mom this Mother’s Day, these Cinnamon Mini-Muffins with Cinnamon-Sugar Topping just might do the trick. The cinnamon mini-muffins are soft, moist & sweet, and the cinnamon-sugar topping is crunchy and delicious.

They would make a wonderful addition to a Mother’s Day breakfast or brunch, or simply to enjoy for a mid-afternoon snack.

~Enjoy~




Cinnamon Mini-Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Topping

Muffins:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 16 mini-muffin cups, or line with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add milk, applesauce, vanilla extract, and vinegar. Stir just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy; do not over stir.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let muffins sit in the pan for a couple of minutes. Remove muffins from pan and place them on a wire rack.

For topping: In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Dip the top of each muffin in melted butter and then roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place muffins back on wire rack to cool.

Makes 16 mini-muffins.

Cinnamon Chip Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

Cinnamon Chip Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

Cinnamon Chip Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

I woke up this morning to discover that it was 10 degrees below zero outside. Yesterday our high temperature never got above zero degrees, and it appears today is going to be a very similar day.

On days like this, one of my favorite ways to heat up my kitchen is by baking. Since today is a holiday and I have the day off from work, I decided to bake a breakfast treat for my family – a Cinnamon Chip Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping.

I just love a nice, warm piece of coffee cake alongside a piping hot cup of coffee – especially when the coffee cake has a crisp, streusel topping, like this one does. I also added a cup of applesauce to the batter, which makes the coffee cake really moist and helps lower the fat content. That means I can have more than one piece, right?? :)

~Enjoy~




Cinnamon Chip Coffee Cake with Streusel Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cinnamon chips

Topping
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan.

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

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Beat at low speed until blended. Stir in applesauce and vanilla. Fold in cinnamon chips. Spread batter in prepared baking pan.

For topping, stir together sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

Deconstructed Cinnamon Buns

Deconstructed Cinnamon Buns

Deconstructed Cinnamon Buns

You’re probably asking yourself… what the heck is a Deconstructed Cinnamon Bun??
Well, the term “deconstructed” in food descriptions usually refers to taking a food that is normally combined one way, changing its form, and putting it back together in a different way.

That’s exactly what happened to these cinnamon buns. They still have the same basic ingredients and great flavor that you would find in a typical cinnamon bun – they’re just put together a little differently.

It’s a delightful way to enjoy a classic breakfast treat. :)

~Enjoy~




Deconstructed Cinnamon Buns

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm milk
4 teaspoons active dry or rapid rise yeast
1 large egg
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:
3 tablespoons butter, cold
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Hershey’s Cinnamon Baking Chips

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk

Directions:
Butter a 8×8 inch square baking pan.

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Combine the warm milk and yeast in a glass bowl or measuring cup. Dissolve the yeast completely.

Add the yeast milk mixture, egg, canola oil, and vanilla extract to the flour bowl.
Mix everything thoroughly. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Prepare the topping mixture: Place the brown sugar into a small bowl. Cut the cold butter into the sugar with a pastry blender until you have a crumbly mixture. Fold in cinnamon chips.
Sprinkle the topping over the batter and lightly press it down.

Place the pan in a cold oven. (it will begin baking while the oven is preheating)
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set on wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.

Prepare the glaze by whisking the milk and powdered sugar together. Drizzle on top, if desired.

Serve warm. (can be reheated in the microwave)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot Cookies

Wish you could sneak a few more veggies into your children’s, or even your own, diet? Well these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot cookies just might help.

Not only are these cookies packed with 100% whole grain oats, but there’s also a full cup of carrots mixed in.

This recipe makes big, soft cookies that are moist and delicious. And who knows… kids might not even notice the carrots. ;)

~Enjoy~




Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Carrot Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (3 pouches) BetterOats Apples & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
1 cup shredded carrots

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and oil until blended. Beat in eggs and milk. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips, oatmeal and carrots.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until golden brown.

Let cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then remove to wire rack to cool.

Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze

Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze

Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze

There’s a little coffee house I go to every once in a while, that serves the best “spicy” mocha. They blend espresso with chocolate, cinnamon and chiles, and the result is just wonderful. I always look forward to the first sip, when the cinnamon and chiles first hit my taste buds. It’s a drink that is certain to warm you up on a cold day.

I thought I would try to replicate the taste of the spicy mocha drink in this Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze. I mixed cinnamon and chili powder into the batter of this rich, dark chocolate cake, and I must say that I was overjoyed with the results. The cake is moist and delicious, and the cinnamon and chili powder add a slight “kick”, but they’re not overpowering.

~Enjoy~





Spicy Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cold water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, chili powder, baking soda and salt. Mix with a whisk until well blended.

Pour the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and cold water on top of the dry ingredients. Stir until thoroughly blended, but do not over-mix.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 15 minutes; invert onto serving plate. Cool completely.
Drizzle with Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze; if desired.

Cinnamon Chocolate Glaze

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 tablespoons milk

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla extract and milk. Drizzle over cooled cake.

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