Coconut, almond, & walnut chocolate chip cookies

Lately I have been obsessing over this cookie from Levain Bakery. If you have never visited a Levain, the cookies are the size of your fist and loaded with goodies like nuts and chocolate chips. They are absolutely perfect.

I decided to make my own batch of loaded cookies. I slightly changed the flavor profile by using almond extract instead of vanilla, and I added in walnuts AND coconut flakes. More goodies, the better. I didn’t make the cookies giant-sized (though they are big), but you easily could by doubling the scoop size and slightly increasing the baking time. These cookies are chewy/slightly gooey in the center, so if you prefer more of a crispy cookie feel free to bake them an extra 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!

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Dark chocolate rum bundt

HAPPY 2018!

I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s celebration with family and good friends… and most importantly, good food.

With every new year, I like to reflect on the last. Some years are better than others, and some years I never want to think about again. But there’s something all years have in common: I end them thankful. Thankful for being alive, thankful for having my family in my corner at all times, and thankful for opportunities to be a better version of myself.

Wait… I mentioned good food earlier. I am ALWAYS thankful for good food. And speaking of good food, today’s recipe is for a cake that I made for New Year’s Day last year. It was a big hit in my chocolate (and alcohol) loving family. This is exactly what food is meant to do – bring people together. Even people who don’t have much in common have at least one thing – they eat.

So what does 2018 have in store? Helping others has always been a focus of mine (which is why I teach), but I’m going to work on extending this beyond school. I’ve always been invested in my own health, but I want to be more consistent with exercise and worry less about trivial matters. I want to take more trips, and experience new things. I want to try different foods – for my own enjoyment, and for your reading pleasure. I want to be the best wife, daughter, teacher, and friend that I can be.

How about you? What are your hopes and wishes for 2018? Continue reading Dark chocolate rum bundt

Rainbow cookies

Anyone from NY knows that rainbow cookies are a big deal. They are a colorful staple in almost every bakery.

These traditional Italian cookies are chewy, soft, fruity, nutty, and chocolatey. They’re basically perfect, and beautiful to boot.

Making them takes a little bit of patience, but worth every minute. Give it a try! Continue reading Rainbow cookies

Chocolate swirl challah

Wishing everyone who celebrates Hanukkah a happy holiday!

Challah is a traditional Jewish bread made with eggs that is slightly sweet and super delicious. This variation is created using the bread machine (which makes baking bread soooo much easier) and is prepared with cocoa powder and  chocolate chips to add more subtle sweetness. Enjoy this at breakfast time, brunch, or just as a snack! It’s fabulous toasted up with some cream cheese or jam.

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Peppermint dark chocolate oreo truffles

OK, so these technically aren’t a baked good, but they’re damn good.

Chocolate + peppermint is an EPIC Christmas dessert combination… and if you throw Oreos into the mix, it becomes even more magical.

I first made Oreo truffles around 10 years ago, and have since tweaked the recipe. I have used 4 different Oreo flavors (regular, peppermint, golden, and peanut butter) and so far this is my absolute favorite variation. If you’re one of those people who hates mint chocolate, you can always use a different combination of Oreo, chocolate, and extract.

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Vanilla-frosted chocolate cake donuts (vegan & low-sugar)

Who doesn’t love a chocolate donut?!

I’ve been obsessing over my new donut pans, and this particular recipe I used for my third attempt at homemade donuts. Prior to this flavor, I already made an oatmeal chocolate chip donut (recipe from sarah lynn) and a vanilla cinnamon donut. Both came out absolutely fabulous. It was time to attempt chocolate.

sarah lynn’s oatmeal chocolate chip donuts
complete with chocolate glaze… omg

Donuts are VERY sugary, and most of the recipes I came across also had added fat from eggs and dairy. I tried lightening things up a bit by using stevia in place of sugar, nondairy milk, and applesauce as a binder instead of eggs. The texture still came out perfect and the donuts were still sweet. Unfortunately, I still have yet to come up with a low-sugar frosting that still tastes great…

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No-bake nutella pie

It’s technically still summer, and still pretty warm. And I still don’t feel like turning my oven on.

When my mom found a recipe for a Nutella cream cheese pie that was no-bake, I was all over that. With a few tweaks like incorporating Oreos, adding some vanilla extract, substituting full-fat cream cheese for some lighter Neufchatel, and using Cool Whip Free instead of regular Cool Whip, I was ready to dominate this pie. Each bite is a piece of pure, chocolatey, creamy, heaven.

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