Rolo Monkey Bread

“If you can lean, you can clean”

Back when I was a college freshman, working retail, I had a boss who would say that. If he caught anyone leaning against a wall or the column next to the register zoning out he would say that so that they got back to work. And if he caught you, he usually made you clean.

I feel that is my life now.

But I am catching myself and I then mentally freak the fuck out and then try to do 10 things to make up for that ‘clacking off’. I never feel like I can just sit and relax. Even if I am on FB, it’s generally to do something related to the blog account, some side hustle stuff, or the account for the dogs I am trying to figure out how I am going to build.

Or if I am on instagram, I am scrolling through and engaging with people that are niche related and I am

The trifecta of getting ‘ish done is when I am pumping, while sitting at the computer so I can write a blog post and search using a specific platform, earning me extra spending money. Extra points if I am listening to a pod cast and I remembered to plug my phone into the fast charger at the desk.

Life just never feels like it ever slows down.

And, in someways, we aren’t doing that much either. Autumn goes to gymnastics 1x a week and that’s it, but the general life maintenance makes things chaotic. From prepping clothes and bottles for the next day, laundry, walking dogs, cooking dinner and dishes, the week night quickly speeds by and before we know it, it’s time for bed and another day of madness until the weekend comes when we try to tackle bigger projects, hang with friends and family, and maybe even get in a nap.

It just feels that I need a month of no distractions and crap to get really caught up on life, with the things I need to do and just want to do.

But that’s why I am always looking for short cuts for things.

I certainly like to make monkey bread or pies or pizza by scratch, but there are times when it’s just easier to grab some biscuits or a pre-made crust or order take out.

And when you add some chocolate candy to the dough… dessert perfection!!!

I love that the Rolo candy, hidden inside the dough ball, gets all melty and gooey. The cinnamon glaze that envelopes each dough ball is perfect with that sweet caramel and chocolate filling too.

Serve this with some ice cream and you are in for a great dessert treat.

Some people might just think that monkey bread is for breakfast,but I think that you will convince them pretty quickly that it’s great for dessert as well when you serve up this sticky sweet caramel and chocolate treat!!

Rolo Monkey Bread

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 rolls of biscuit dough, 16.3 ounces each (8 biscuits per roll)
  • 32 Rolos
  • 2/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup butter, melted

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cut each biscuit into 2 equal pieces.Stretch each biscuit out
  3. Combine the sugars and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. Dip each dough ball into the melted butter, then into the sugar mixture.
  5. Place each coated dough ball into the bundt pan. Pour any remaining butter over the dough balls.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and the top pieces are firm.
  7. Let cool for 5 minute before inverting on a serving plate.

 

Advertisements

Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies

reeses-pieces-chocolate-chip-cookies

How ready are you for the holidays? Be honest.

I’m like ‘woooo, I’m all set.’ And then I realize that I didn’t actually buy gifts for anyone other than Autumn. Wonderful.

reeses-pieces-chocolate-chip-cookies_01

I think at this rate I will get everyone’s gifts purchased, wrapped up, and shipped by Valentine’s Day. #theworst.

At least I remember to move that damn elf every day. Granted one morning I moved it at 3.15 and another at 4.35. Maybe I am sleeping so poorly because Sprinkles the elf is haunting my dreams.

reeses-pieces-chocolate-chip-cookies_02

Maybe I can just gift everyone cookies for Christmas. I mean, I’ll be baking tons of them as it is. And these are some awesome cookies!

I love peanut butter in cookies but sometimes peanut butter cookies are just too much. They are so great but can be rather intense and rich, but the standard chocolate chip cookie base with some Reese’s Pieces mixed in. It’s just the perfect amount of peanut butter. I won’t tell if you sneak one right off the cooling rack!

reeses-pieces-chocolate-chip-cookies_03

Be sure to bake up a batch for Santa. And don’t forget about another batch for yourself!

reeses-pieces-chocolate-chip-cookies_04

Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 24 Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Reese’s Pieces
  • 1 1/2 Cups semi-wweet chocolate chips

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  3. Cream together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  4. Stir in Reese’s Pieces and chocolate chips.
  5. Chill for 1 hour prior to baking.
  6. Portion 24 cookies on the baking sheets (you may need to bake in batches).
  7. BAKE for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes prior to removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from Tollhouse

Mexican Chocolate Cake

mexican-chocolate-cake_02

We got a big update on our house and its schedule today! So exciting!

I’ve been meaning to do a big house update but it keeps getting pushed aside in the busy holiday hustle and bustle. Plus, we had some drama related to some framing in our house and I didn’t think it was appropriate to write about it we figured it out.

mexican-chocolate-cake_01

That being said, the drywall is up in our house and the stucco will be getting applied this week. Ultimately all of this will work out that our house will be move in ready for the end of January/ start of February. I just can’t wait to move in!

We have already purchased our fridge, washer, dryer, our bed frame, and dining room set. Other things have been picked out like Autumn’s bed and some artwork for some walls but we have lots of shopping to do! I’m currently obsessed with curtains so I’m trying to figure them out in all the different rooms. So far, we only have the curtains for the bonus room and I am in love with them. Plus, I got them for a steal as they were sale and I have a designer discount too!

mexican-chocolate-cake_04

I’m looking forward to getting it all set up and feel like home. It is going to be so incredible!

In other news, I’m addicted to this cake.

mexican-chocolate-cake

It’s the perfect balance of chocolate and spice. The spice being the cinnamon, so it’s not spicy, but it adds an extra perfect something that is killer in this cake. The way that salt brings out flavors, the cinnamon really amps up the flavors of the chocolate.

Plus, it has an incredible frosting on top that seals the deal. Bliss.

The cake and frosting are both really easy to make so I hope you’ll whip it up asap so you can enjoy a big slice, just like me!

mexican-chocolate-cake_03

Mexican Chocolate Cake

Makes

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1 Cup water
  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 cups unsifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour milk (buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Frosting

  • 1/1 Cup butter
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 pound (1 package) confectioners’ powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Process

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 metal pan.
  2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the butter, oil, cocoa, and water. Heat until the butter is melted and everything is combined. The mixture just needs to be warm enough to melt the butter, do not make it to hot or it will scramble your eggs
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, sugar, buttermilk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add in the melted butter mixture.
  4. Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Five minutes before the cake is done, prepare the icing. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat on medium until bubbles form around edge. Remove from heat, the add the vanilla extract and the confectioners’ sugar. Then mix in the nuts.
  6. Let cake cool before you pour the icing over the whole cake.

Cake and frosting recipes adapted from Martha Stewart

Bee a Thoughtful Guest with Gather Chocolate

gather-chocolate

Hi. I like bees.

Is that a given with the name of my blog? Hopefully!

gather-chocolate_01 gather-chocolate_02

So it should come to no surprise that I was head over heels in love with the that recently arrived at my door step. What a wonderful package to open up at the end of a long day!

I was so eager to open up my box of handmade Gather Chocolates from Harbor Sweets, a New England based confectionery company.

What’s so special about this box of chocolate?

gather-chocolate_03

Besides, just being chocolate and therefore awesome. The Gather Chocolate box contains a delightfully delicious assortment of chocolates that have a wonderful purpose, besides being a great sweet treat.

Harbor Sweets teamed up with the Pollinator Partnership to help support the bees!

gather-chocolate_04

The Pollinator Partnership is the largest non-profit organization devoted exclusively to the health of the pollinators. Supporting pollinators, like bees, is so very important as they are vital in our food production. We all know that bees are in real trouble so helping them is extremely important in their well being, and ours.

Harbor Sweets created the assortment of chocolates in the Gather Chocolates box to highlight rich natural flavors like honey, molasses, sour cherry, and coconut.

gather-chocolate_05

I enjoyed sampling the 12 piece box of chocolates ($18.50), but there is a smaller 6 pieces sampler for $12.50 that would also make for a wonderful gift. There also is a larger gift set that has other New England treats like cookies, honey from Ipswich, MA, and tea. Perfect for the holidays!

gather-chocolate_06 gather-chocolate_07

The Caremlized Honey Truffle had a nice deep floral note to the filling.

The Cashew Caramel was addicting with the salty and sweet combination of flavors.

The Sour Cherry was my favorite as it was rich in flavor that wasn’t too sweet

Pomegranate Molasses was such a unique flavor.

I could have eaten a dozen of the Coconut Clusters.

The crunch from the Sesame Crunch was wonderful in contrast to the other fillings.

gather-chocolate_08

Bee a thoughtful guest with a box of these Gather Chocolates.

A bottle of wine and a box of chocolates. It makes the perfect gift for a hostess, boss, friend, or even yourself!!

____________________

Giveaway

Leave a comment saying which flavor you would like to try for your chance to win a 12-piece box of Gather Chocolate.

Ends 11/7 at midnight. Open to US residents.

____________________

While I enjoyed Harbor Sweets chocolates, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

It’s the last day of S’mores Week 2016.

Amanda and I have had a blast making all these S’mores treats. 10 in total!!

Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-01

That’s a lot of chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallows.

I lost track of how many times I’ve gone to the grocery store for ‘just one more bag of mini marshmallows”.

Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-02

While my family has been enjoying some treats (I actually share most with neighbors and our coworkers), they are thankful that S’mores week is wrapping up so I can fully clear off the kitchen counter of all the s’mores goodies. I get it, nothing worse than being surrounded by sweets and they are all off limits to you. ha!

Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-5 Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-6

Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-7 Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-8

But I think giving me the time to whip them into goodies like these Chocolate Chip Cookie Smores Bars and S’mores Cheese Balls and S’mores Crack is worth the wait!!

Also worth the wait… our S’more Ebook!!

We are putting the finishing touches on our ebook that is a collection of the S’mores recipes we have shared on our blogs over the years, plus brand spankin’ new ones that we not posted here before! So many S’mores!!!!!!

Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-9 Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-10

Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-11 Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-12

In the mean time, make these Chocolate Chip Cookie S’mores Bars and enjoy the weekend while we wrap things up.

The bars consist of layers of a graham cracker base, chocolate chip cookie layer, and a roasty, toasty marshmallow and chocolate layer.

Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-03

How can you beat the combination of S’mores and Chocolate Chip Cookies?!?!

You can’t!!!

That is why you just have to make these delicious treats!

Smores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars-04

 S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Makes 24 bars

Ingredients

For the graham cracker crust

  • 2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup butter, melted

For the cookie layer

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) of semi sweet chocolate chips

For the top layer

  • 2 Cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 Hersey Bars, broken into segments

Process

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 13×9 glass pan.
  2. Make the graham cracker crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Mix well.
  3. Evenly spread in the pan
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl; set aside.
  5. Beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  6. Spread into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Immediately add the marshmallows to the top. Place under your broiler for 1-2 minutes (keep an eye on it!) to melt and lightly toast the marshmallows.
  9. Sporadically place the chocolate pieces. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into 24 bars.

____________________

smores-granola-1-2

Whip up this S’mores Granola this weekend that Amanda is sharing over on her blog! It’s the perfect topping for some granola or