GRASSHOPPER CHEESECAKE SQUARES

I’ve made Creme de Menthe Brownies for years, but when I found this recipe over at The Kitchen is My Playground I instantly fell in love.

The classic combination of a Grasshopper cocktail (creme de cacao and creme de menthe with cream) turned into a beautifully layered cheesecake treat is so very delicious! and a nice change from the deeper, darker and heavier brownie version.

GRASSHOPPER CHEESECAKE SQUARES Yield: 9 squares
1 1/2 cups (30-40 cookies) chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (gingersnaps are also quite good)
1/4 cup butter, melted
24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 LARGE eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons white creme de cacao
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons green creme de menthe
2 drops green food coloring (optional)
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate squares, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray a 9×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Combine chocolate cookie crumbs and melted butter, mixing well.
  • Press cookie crumb mixture into the baking dish. Set aside.
  • Beat cream cheese for a minute at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating well.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Stir in creme de cacoa.
  • Scoop out 2 and a 1/2 cups of the cheesecake batter and pour it over the cookie crumb crust, spreading evenly with a spatula.
  • Stir creme de menthe into remaining cheesecake batter.
  • Using a spoon or small measuring cup to work with small amounts of batter at a time, GENTLY pour the green cheesecake batter on top of the white cheesecake batter in the baking dish. You don’t want to disturb the layers too much.
  • Bake 45 – 55 minutes.
  • Cool to room temperature and then chill over night.
  • Cut cheesecake into small bars. cutting the bars prior to putting on the chocolate drizzle helps keep the drizzle intact and pretty.
  • Microwave chocolate squares in 20 second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval.
  • Add melted chocolate to a ziplock bag and seal.
  • Snip a very tiny hole in one corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the bars. 
  • Store covered in the refrigerator. 

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP CARAMEL PUDDING COOKIES

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CHIP PUDDING COOKIES

Yields 2-3 dozen cookies – Do your own experimenting with pudding flavors and/or chip flavors!  Adapted from Life in the Loft House

1 cup salted butter softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 – 3.7 ounce box GODIVA instant caramel chocolate pudding mix
2 LARGE eggs
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 – 11 ounce package QUALITY milk chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment.
  • Sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, or stand-mixer, combine the butter, sugars, pudding mix, eggs and vanilla.
  • Beat on medium speed until creamy and combined.
  • Gradually add in the flour and baking soda to the mixture, beating on low speed until just combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Drop batter by tablespoons on un-greased cookie sheets.
  • Bake for only 9 to 10 minutes. They may not seemed fully baked, BUT THEY ARE! DO NOT OVER BAKE!
  • Remove from oven and let cookies rest and cool on the cookie sheets. There is no need to transfer them to wire racks, but be sure to cool them completely before putting them in the cookie jar.
  • Enjoy these delicious devils by dunking them in milk! ♥

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

These cookies are meant to be dense because they are served warm with ice cream or drizzled caramel. For best results do NOT just eat them directly from the jar. If you want to just eat the cookie only, for the best flavor and texture heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds first 😀

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES ala MOLLY YEH

Level: Easy Total: 45 min Active: 25 min Yield: 12 servings

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 
2 cups light brown sugar 
2 LARGE eggs, at room temperature 
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract 
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 
1 cup milk chocolate chips 
Flaky salt, for sprinkling 

  • Place an oven rack in the middle position.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper an set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder until combined. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar until JUST combined, scraping down the bottom and sides as needed.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat to incorporate.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix slowly until JUST BARELY combined.
  • Mix in the chocolate chips.
  • Scoop out a slightly-heaping, 1/2-cup scoop of dough and place on a prepared baking sheet.
  • Lightly press the dough to flatten into the shape of a hockey puck. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing 6 cookies on each baking sheet and making sure to evenly space apart.
  • Sprinkle the tops with flaky salt.
    Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges and lightly browned on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

NOTES:

  • The additional flour in this recipe makes for a more substantial cookie that stays firm. The recipe I’ve been using for decades uses 3 1/2 cups flour and only 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Molly’s recipe called for semi-sweet and dark chocolate chips. The flavor of chips is up to you and your flavor palette. I used semi-sweet mini chips and milk chocolate.
  • After placing on baking sheet they can be frozen for use at a later date. If baking from frozen start checking the cookies for doneness at the 20 minute mark.

 

The Revival of the INCREDIBLE MYSTERY FUDGE

Last weekend my friend who is the local Eagle’s Auxiliary president held her last fundraising function for the year. We did a Paint-N-Sip event at the post. We had a great turn out and in the end made a hefty sum to add to the scholarship fund. We did raffle tickets for some incredible baskets, served a small lunch, sipped mimosas and had a great time. It wasn’t my pick for a painting, but it was for a good cause 😀

One of the things we did to raise money was hold a guessing raffle. I made a BIG batch of my incredible mystery fudge. This recipe originated 15 years ago or so when I was approached by Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce to promote their cookbook and sauce. I can’t find the sauce anywhere around here, but it tastes suspiciously like A1 sauce so that makes a great substitute. No one was able to guess the mystery ingredients, but we had some wild guesses – everything from mayonnaise to pop rocks 😀

INCREDIBLE MYSTERY FUDGE
12 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into cubes
2 sticks butter
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce or A1 sauce
2 pounds powdered sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3/4 cups heath bar bits (optional)
3/4 cups chopped pecans (optional)

  • In a microwave safe bowl combine the Velveeta, butter, Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce and chocolate.
  • Microwave on high 2-4 minutes, stirring every minute until mixture is smooth and well blended.
  • Pour the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl.
  • Gradually add the chocolate mixture while beating with an electric mixture until well blended.
  • Beat in the vanilla.
  • Stir in the nuts, heath bar bits or your desired combination totaling 1 1/2 cups.
  • Pour into a greased 9×13 pan.
  • Cover and chill until firm.
  • Store in the refrigerator.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHEWY BROWNIES

These are made from one of the gift jars I made for Christmas presents. They are a simple and perfectly delicious treat for any day 😀

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHEWY BROWNIES
Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 22 mins Total Time 27 mins

1 cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Sift together all dry ingredients.
Place into a jar or airtight container.
Add chips to top and seal tightly.

On a tag add the following:

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS:
½ cup butter, melted, then cooled
2 LARGE eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray an 8×8 square baking dish.
  • Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.
  • Mixing with a wooden spoon gently add the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
  • Add melted butter into mixture mixing just until incorporated.
  • Spread batter in a prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes based on your consistency desire.
  • Cool completely before cutting.

ELVIS COOKIES ala DUFF GOLDMAN

Duff says that the King deserves a cookie. And you know what, he’s absolutely right, and I for one am so glad Duff created a cookie for him! Elvis was known for some odd eating combos and this cookie showcases them all – bananas, peanut butter, garlic, bacon, pretzels… YEP I said garlic. I always make a recipe as written the first time and then adjust from there. I did include the garlic, but I WILL omit it next time. Hubby couldn’t taste it, but I could.

ELVIS COOKIES ala DUFF GOLDMAN yields 30 cookies
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon PURE vanilla extract
BIG pinch of baking powder*
1 garlic clove, minced **(optional)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 VERY ripe bananas
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cup pretzel crumbs (about 5 ounces hard pretzels smashed)
10 bacon strips, cooked crisp and chopped FINE

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl combine the butter, peanut butter, molasses, sugar, baking powder, garlic and salt, mixing until all one color.
  • Add the bananas, mixing until all the same consistency.
  • Add flour and gently mix until incorporated with no lumps.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips, pretzel pieces and bacon.
  • This is my little addition – chill the entire batch of dough for 1 hour before using.
  • Place large walnut sized spoon fulls onto prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  • Chill baking sheets 10 minutes.
  • Bake for 12 minutes or until golden on the outside and gooey in the middle.
  • Cool on wire rack.

*NOTE: Duff qualifies this by saying yes, he said a BIG pinch of baking powder and to get over it 😀

**NOTE: Duff claims that the garlic isn’t weird and that there is actually a long standing tradition of putting garlic in chocolate chip cookies. I have to admit t does sound weird, but in reality no weirder than the bacon 😀 But like I said hubby couldn’t taste it, but I could so I will omit it next time and leave it up to you.

CHRISTMAS OATMEAL COOKIES

This recipe is really versatile!  You can make it like plain old oatmeal cookies or you can roll it our and use cookie cutters at Christmas time, glaze them and decorate with sanding sugar!  Today’s picture is a “June” version.  I’ll try and get a picture next Christmas to add to this post.

CHRISTMAS OATMEAL COOKIES
1 cup butter, softened
1 LARGE egg
1 teaspoon QUALITY vanilla extract
2 1/4 quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup small chopped walnuts’
3/4 cup PACKED brown sugar
1/2 cup FINE sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and oats.
  • Beat together the butter, sugar and egg until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Gradually add the sifted dry mixture into the egg mixture, blending well.
  • Add nuts and chocolate chips.
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake 10-11 minutes.
  • Cool.

SHORTBREAD TOFFEE

SHORTBREAD TOFFEE

Buttery almond shortbread with a layer of gooey caramel and a thick layer of chocolate – who could say no to a piece?

1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup finely chopped, toasted slivered almonds
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
2 Giant Hershey Bars
3/4 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts
1/3 cup chopped almonds, pecans or pistachios
2/3 cup broken stick pretzels

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang all long sides.
  • Lightly grease foil.

  • Beat powdered sugar and 3/4 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and add almonds, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt just until combined.
  • Press on bottom of prepared pan.
  • Bake until golden brown, 25 to 28 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes or so.
  • Melt chocolate in microwave for 1 minute, stir and melt 10 more seconds at a time until smooth.
  • Immediately spread chocolate on top of the shortbread layer and spread even with an offset spatula.
  • Immediately sprinkle with nuts and pretzels, pressing down slightly.
  • Cool in fridge 15 minutes.
  • Slice and serve.

NONA’S TOFFEE BARS

This recipe came from my niece’s, mother’s mother who I never met. This recipe was also written so simplistically that it left a lot to the imagination! I made it as written (with interpretation) the first time. The next time I wrote out new directions and adapted the ingredients to our liking.

NONA’S TOFFEE BARS (as written)
1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 c. flour
1 Giant Hershey Bar
– Nuts as topping

  • Spread on cookie sheet – cook – cool – melt bar and spread on bars – cover w/ nuts – slice

NONA’S TOFFEE BARS (adjusted)
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 LARGE egg yolk
2 cups flour, leveled
1 Giant + 1 regular size Hershey Bar
1/2 cup chopped honey roasted peanuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds or pecans
1/3 cup broken stick pretzels

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Melt butter in large skillet.
  • Add brown sugar and whisk until dissolved.
  • Add egg yolk and vanilla, blending well.
  • Gradually add flour until well blended.
  • Using an offset spatula spread mixture onto a small cookie sheet.
  • Bake 15 minutes.
  • Cool.
  • Melt chocolate in microwave for 1 minute, stir and melt 10 more seconds at a time until smooth.
  • Immediately spread chocolate on top of the toffee layer and spread even with an offset spatula.
  • Immediately sprinkle with nuts and pretzels, pressing down slightly.
  • Cool in fridge another 15 minutes.
  • Slice and serve.

NOTE: I ALSO like to use the shortbread bottom from the Millionaire Shortbread combined with the toppings from this recipe and I call it Shortbread Toffee. I’ll be posting that combination soon.

MILLIONAIRE SHORTBREAD

MILLIONAIRE SHORTBREAD
Buttery almond shortbread with a layer of gooey caramel and a thick layer of chocolate – who could say no to a piece?

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped, toasted slivered almonds
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk** (see note)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup QUALITY, PURE honey
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided ½ + ¼
2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon), for garnish 


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang all long sides.
  • Lightly grease foil.
Beat powdered sugar and 3/4 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and add almonds, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt just until combined.
  • Press on bottom of prepared pan.
  • Bake until golden brown, 25 to 28 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

  • Combine condensed milk, brown sugar, honey, 1/2 cup cream, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup butter in a medium saucepan.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly 24-26 minutes, until a candy thermometer reaches 236°F.
  • Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
  • Immediately pour caramel over shortbread.
  • Let stand at room temperature until set, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Microwave chocolate and remaining 1/4 cup cream in a bowl 30 seconds; stir.
  • Continue to microwave and stir in 10-second intervals until melted.
  • Pour melted chocolate over caramel and spread with an offset spatula.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Freeze 15-20 minutes until set.
  • Use foil overhangs to lift bars from pan.
  • Cut into squares.
  • Store, refrigerated, in an airtight container up to 1 week.

**NOTE: Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk now comes in an easy to use squeeze bottle, but it’s difficult to get it all out no matter what you do. Squeeze out as much as you can and then funnel your heavy cream into the bottle and shake extremely well. This will help remove the remaining sweetened condensed milk easily.

TRIED & TRUE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

TRIED & TRUE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES Yields 36 cookies

This is TRULY the best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever that turns out perfectly EVERY single time! I have been making this recipe for many, many years and it is always a winner!

1 cup SALTED butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup PACKED light brown sugar
2 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
1 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon

2 LARGE eggs
2 ¾ – 3 cups all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups QUALITY chocolate chips (mini chips or chunks, or even chopped chocolate flavor of choice)

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a medium size bowl mix flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder. Set aside.

  • Cream together the butter and sugars until combined.
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla until fluffy.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients until combined.
  • Add chocolate chips and mix well.
 Roll the dough 2 tablespoons at a time into balls and place them evenly spaced on your prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake in preheated oven for approximately 8-10 minutes. Take them out when they are just BARELY starting to turn brown. DO NOT OVER BAKE!! When you remove the cookies from the oven they will still look doughy. This is the secret that makes these cookies the best cookie you ever ate!
  • Let them sit on the baking pan for 2-5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 2 months. 

NOTE:

  • I only use pure, fine sea salt. Sea salt is different than table salt (that is iodized), so if you use salt other than sea salt I recommend testing the recipe first with ½ teaspoon and then adjust to your taste.
  • The size of your eggs can affect the texture and consistency. The dough should NOT be wet or sticky BUT DEFINITELY NOT dry or crumbly either. Add/delete a bit of flour as necessary.
  • For Christmas I change the recipe a bit by substituting 1/4 cup of cocoa for flour and add ½ tablespoon of red food coloring to make them a red velvet version.
  • You can also change up the flavor of the chips… butterscotch, caramel, peanut butter… or add nuts if you like.

FREEZE FOR FUTURE USE
Portion dough, roll into balls and freeze in a single layer in an airtight container for up to 2 months. 

WHIPPED SHORTBREAD COOKIES

WHIPPED SHORTBREAD COOKIES adapted from Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons  Servings 8 cookies

Light, buttery and sweet little cookies are the perfect treat with some hot cocoa. They also make the perfect cookie to fill a tin for a homemade gift or to add to a cookie exchange or neighbor plate of goodies. Using a cookie cutter can add a great holiday touch.

6 tablespoons butter softened
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Icing, optiona

  • Cream the butter and powdered sugar together for at least 4 minutes.

  • Sift together the flour and cornstarch.

  • Add the flour and cornstarch just until combined.
  • Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill the dough for AT LEAST 2 hours in the refrigerator. 
  • Preheat the oven to 300°.
  • Cut the ball of dough into 8 pieces and roll each into a ball.
  • With a fork dipped in cornstarch (to prevent the dough from sticking to the dough), press on the top of each cookie dough ball then top with sprinkles.
  • Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake the cookies for 18-19 minutes, just until the cookies are set and light golden brown on the bottom.
  • Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  • Once cooled, you can do a light coating of icing if desired.