Tag Archives: easy recipe

A little something to keep you warm…

This week has really been kind of awful. Not one big bad thing, but a few solidly built medium sizes issues that add up to a whole lot of not awesome. Consequently, my Christmas spirit has reached a new low. Christmas used to be a really big deal when I lived at home, and now that most of my college friends have moved on and my family is hours away…I am just feeling a little less merry this year. But enough of that. On to the important thing!

Nutella Hot Chocolate. That’s right, you heard correctly. Nutella. Hot. Chocolate.

Nutella Hot Chocolate (makes 1 serving)

  • 1 cup of milk (most any milk will work)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of Nutella

Over medium heat, warm milk in a saucepan. When warmed through, add Nutella and whisk to combine. Continue heating over medium heat, whisking as necessary, until cocoa is steamy and frothy. (Make sure not to boil or scald the milk!)

Crazy simple right? I am a little ashamed to admit that the thought never occurred to me. Usually I eat my Nutella right off the spoon. What do you think Verhanika?

Recipe and picture from Creature Comforts.

Pumpkin Magic Cookie Bars

Happy Friday everyone! Why am I in such a fantabulous (that’s right I said it!)mood today? Because i’m not at the office! I took a much needed vacation day, and other than taking a shower and making a pb&j, I haven’t really accomplished anything today. Sadly, Andy is stuck at the office today, but it sort of worked out because I can sleep in and do nothing without feeling like i’m neglecting my husband.

So what I have for you today is an awesome twist on something everyone, and I do mean everyone, in my family begs for every year for Christmas. Magic Cookie Bars. “Oh, you made Rocky Road Fudge and Triple Chocolate Mint Brownies from scratch this year? Awww, thanks. Does this mean you didn’t make any of those Magic Cookie Bar things?” I kid you not. So here we go Pumpkin Magic Cookie Bars.

Pumpkin Gingersnap Magic Bar

4 cups gingersnap crumbs
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 cups pumpkin puree
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1 ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 ½ cups pecans, coarsely chopped
1 ½ cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 x 13 inch non-stick pan with baking spray.

Combine gingersnaps and butter and stir until well blended. Press mixture onto bottom of pan. Even out with the back of a spoon so it is all the same level (or close enough).

Combine sweetened condensed milk, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg and stir until well combined. Pour mixture over gingersnap crust.

Sprinkle on white chocolate chips and pecans then finish by sprinkling coconut on top.

Place assembled pan in the oven and bake for about 25-35 minutes. Let cool in pan completely and then transfer finished pan to the refrigerator to chill before cutting.

*The original recipe called for lining the pan with aluminum foil and then spraying with baking spray, but every time I’ve done this it sticks and then I have to spend extra time pulling baked on foil from the bottom of my bars.

I think I might go do something productive now, after I remove all four of our boy cats from where they’ve draped themselves across my legs and feet.

Image and original recipe from here.


Marshmallow Surprise Cookies

It’s beginning to look a lot like…okay, so it still looks like summer, but according to several aisles at Target and about 20 aisle at Hobby Lobby, the magical winter wonderland that is Christmas is right around the corner. Yours for only $9.99! There are some serious events to prepare for/enjoy before I can really get into the holiday spirit, but I had a great weekend making cinnamon ornaments and yarn wreaths with my Aunt Ingrid. We had a lot more on the “to do” list, but we traded in additional crafting time for getting pedicures and doing a little shopping. After everyone left yesterday the house seemed empty and way too quiet so I took a nap and then decided to do some baking. This is the Week 1 recipe of  the 2012 twelve weeks of Christmas treats from the blog Baked Bree.


1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 marshmallows, cut in half

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla


Mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. ( I like to use a whisk)

Cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy.

Add egg, milk, and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. ( I like to make sure all the dry ingredients are thoroughly combined before adding them to the wet ingredients, this cuts down on the amount of mixing that needs to be done and will ultimately result in a lighter cookie)

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop, drop batter about 2 inches apart. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Take the cookies out and press the marshmallow half into the cookie. Put the cookies back into the oven for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Make the frosting by whisking together sugar, butter, cocoa, milk, and vanilla. ( That’s right, a little extra whisk action!)

Top with frosting and cover the marshmallow.

Honestly, these are too sweet for me. I prefer my desserts to have a salty or tart element to balance out the sweetness. Andy thinks I’m crazy, and he swears these are really, really good.

No Bake Nutella Cheesecakes

One of my lovely readers *coughVerhanikacough* emailed me a request for a gluten free dessert. Having never made one before I have to say I was a little excited about the challenge.  Little did I know that gluten free wasn’t nearly as complicated as I though it would be. Although, the ingredients were a little more expensive.  I know you guys are going to want to try this as soon as you read the title so i’ll keep this short, here you go!


For the crust:
• 12 Gluten-free Chocolate Sandwich Cookies such as KinniToos Chocolate Vanilla Sandwich Cookies, crushed into crumbs
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 2/3 cup Nutella
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (make sure that it is gluten-free)
• 1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, such as Kraft Cool Whip (gf), thawed
For the Garnish (optional):
• Whipped topping, optional
• Crushed gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies (such as KinniToos Chocolate Vanilla Sandwich Cookies).

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the Oreo cookie crumbs and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between your individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer.

2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and Nutella until smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well blended and no streaks remain.

3. Evenly pipe or spoon the filling into individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

4. If desired, garnish with additional whipped topping, chocolate shavings, and/or toasted, chopped hazelnuts.

Recipe Tips/Things I Learned:

  • Don’t use fat-free cream cheese, while it tastes okay, it gives the cheesecake a bitter after taste.
  • If you want to get a little fancy, put your filling into a freezer bag, cut off one of the corners and squeeze, you now have a quick and easy way to “pipe” your filling into the bowls.
  • You might want to make sure there is someone around to help you with tip two. Trying to prop the bag open with the edge of your mixer and a water glass……yeah, things could get a little messy. Much better to have someone around to hold open the bag.
Ingredients and photo from here.
Directions from here.

Coconut Ice Cream

I knew the recipe was meant for me as soon as I realized that the only equipment I would need to create it were a blender and a freezer.  Being vegan was just an unexpected bonus. Lately, I have been toying with the idea of becoming a vegetarian. My wonderful husband suggested that we give it a try for the month of August and then take it month by month from there. It’s not that I don’t like meat, I just don’t like the guilt I feel after eating it. Consequently,  I’ve been doing some recipe research and I am finding a lot of great options out there. I think the best way for me personally to make the transition is to concentrate on finding recipes that I like that just happen to be vegetarian vs. trying to incorporate large amounts of meat substitutes into my diet.  I still have a couple of weeks to figure things out, and of course i’ll keep you all posted, but for now delicious ice cream. This one is for you, Keith & Stacy!


  • 1 (16-ounce) package silken tofu, drained
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted


In a blender or food processor, combine the tofu, coconut milk, sugar, salt, vanilla, and coconut extract. Process until smooth.

Add in the toasted coconut and give it another whirl, just until it is combined.

Pour the ice cream into a container and sprinkle with more toasted coconut if you want. Freeze until completely firm.

As you can see, I toasted my coconut a little longer than the original recipe. I just happen to like the coconut when it becomes a little brittle and crunchy. And now that I am done posting this I am on my way back to the kitchen for another scoop.

Recipe and Instruction Images by Baked Brie