Friday, November 21, 2014

Giant Chocolate Candy Bar Cookies

This is one of those super-duper easy cookie recipes you have got to keep in your pocket at Christmastime!  

Speaking of my favorite time of year... It's not even here yet, but I am slowly beginning to decorate for Christmas (early for me), and I was in the mood for a delicious and festive batch of cookies for our family.  Before introducing you to the cookies, let me say how much we loved having snow this week!!!  It snowed and it stayed on the ground for two days, which is practically unheard of in a Kentucky November!  It was just so perfect with my husband on vacation at home and the beautiful snow, not to get out our Christmas decorations!  I never have out anything up before Thanksgiving, but it never has snowed this early either.  We'll wait until after Thanksgiving to put up the big Christmas tree, but we have so much to decorate that it'll take days even without the tree! So I'm around the house decking the halls and loving it!

I found this fun chocolate cookie recipe in the Gooseberry Patch cookbook, The Harvest Table, and when I saw it included only 3 ingredients plus candy bars I was excited!  We have (way too many) mini candy bars left over from fall parties even after I threw a lot away.  These cookies are perfect for your leftover candy bars.  The secret ingredients is a box of devils food cake mix so they're really fast to make.  They aren't a cakey texture but instead very chewy and moist like cookies should be.  I thought adding some cute sprinkles would be even more festive for our kids!  These big chocolatey candy bar cookies are irresistible, and I hope maybe they will make their way into your festivities this season, too!  

They might even be perfect for "Santa" to munch on Christmas Eve! ;)

Giant Chocolate Candy Bar Cookies

•1 box Devils food cake mix
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
•1/2 c. Canola oil
•10 mini chocolate bars, chopped ( I used a combination including Reeses cups, Take 5, Kit Kat and Whoppers)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Using a mixer, mix together the cake mix, eggs and oil until well blended.  Add the chopped candy bars.  The batter will be thick.  Pop in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.  

On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop rounded golf ball sized dough balls about 3 1/2 inches apart.  Top with sprinkles and lightly press them in dough.  Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool a few minutes before eating. A glass of milk is recommended for these cookies:)  Makes about 18 cookies.

* Note: The candy bars surprisingly dissolved/melted into the cookie when baked, so keep the chunks large if you want to really taste the candy bars inside.  These cookies keep well when aired in a tightly seals container.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Classic Banana Nut Muffins with Vanilla Bean- Cinnamon Glaze

Chilly mornings outside call for a cozy fireplace and a hot breakfast to warm the body and soul!  Banana-nut muffins are one of those classic recipes that smell divine, taste delicious, and call you back to your Grandma's kitchen table.  My muffins are topped with an easy vanilla bean-cinnamon glaze that makes them a real treat!  I use vanilla bean paste which is one of my favorite things ever!  You can find it in specialty food stores or order it online.  It's certainly worth the hassle to find, but if you don't any real vanilla extract is delicious too.  

A batch of these muffins are perfect on a November day to serve to your family after raking leaves or accompany your afternoon coffee while you're starting your Christmas list!  There really isn't a time when fresh baked muffins wouldn't be delicious!  

I hope you'll find time to revel in this festive season of Thanksgiving hush before the holiday bustle really begins!

Banana Nut Muffins 
From: Keeping Good Company Cookbook

3 c. All purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. Butter, melted
1 c. Milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. Very Ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c. Walnuts, chopped (pecans are delicious too)

Vanilla Bean- Cinnamon Glaze:
(I "eye balled" this recipe, so I don't have exact proportions here.. Sorry but that's how I tend cook sometimes, but here is a good idea of what I did. Delicious!)

1-2 Tbsp. Butter, softened
1/2. Tsp. vanilla bean paste (or extract)
Dash cinnamon
1 c. Powdered sugar, sifted 
1-2 Tbsp. Milk

Stir butter, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Add the sugar and gradually milk until the right smooth consistency you want.  It is a glaze, so you still want it a little runny.  Heat in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds and stir until smooth.  
Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine all the dry ingredients.  Combine all the wet ingredients, except bananas.  Fold the wet ingredients gently into the dry until carefully mixed.  Next fold in the bananas and nuts until just blended.  

Scoop into greased muffin tins (if using paper liners, still spray with baking spray) and fill about 2/3 full with batter.  Makes about 18 muffins.  Bake for 16-18 minutes.  

Let cool for about 10 minutes before carefully spreading on the glaze.  It will drop down the sides, but that's okay!

Enjoy while warm and freeze leftovers, if you have any, for a fast breakfast treat.

Who else is loving the leaf piles these days?!!

Have a sweet day!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Chewy Caramelitas

Say hello to my new favorite decadent dessert, carmelitas!!!

At first glance you can see how delicious they look!  These bars have an outer layer similar to a soft and chewy oatmeal cookie and they're filled with caramel and chocolate!  What a scrumptious combination and perfect for the fall season.

I've been spying this recipe for a while on Pinterest, and when Mr. Cozy finished his last Chairman's conference at work, I thought these yummy bars could help us celebrate.  Needless to say, my sweet tooth of a husband loved them, but we all did!  They're fast to whip up and most of the ingredients I keep on hand.  I didn't have quite enough caramels this time, but I melted some butterscotch chips along with the caramel.  They were still delicious, but the next time I'll make sure I have plenty of caramels so they'll live up to their name.  Also a dash of cinnamon in the crumble would be so perfect....(I can't not tweak a recipe!)

I would only tell you the honest truth, and caramelitas are amazing!  

So maybe the next time you want to surprise your family with a homemade treat you can try them out.  Pour a glass of frosty milk or fresh coffee with a caramelita for a perfect way to unwind on a chilly day!

From: My Crazy Deliciousness

3/4 c. Melted butter
3/4 c. Brown sugar
1 c. All purpose flour
1 c. Old Fashioned oats
1 tsp. Baking Soda
Dash of salt
32 Caramels, unwrapped
1/2 c. Heavy cream
6 oz. Chocolate chips (I used 1 cup.)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a medium bowl mix melted butter and the next 5 ingredients.  Spread out half the mixture in a 8x8 inch baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, carefully heat the caramels and cream over the stove in a saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave.  Whisk together until smooth and creamy.

Once the crust is baked evenly spread out chocolate chips and drizzle the caramel over top.  Crumble the remaining oat mixture over it all and carefully spread out.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Let cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting.  Enjoy alone or with vanilla ice cream!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thank You for 5 Years!!!

This week celebrates 5 years of recipes from The Cozy Little Kitchen!

It's hard to believe 5 years have passed since I first started my humble adventure here with so much excitement but little knowledge of how to blog!  We lived in a charming carriage house style apartment owned by our dear friends.  It was very cozy with a small kitchen so I knew my blog title had to incorporate those very things. 

Now, we own a 1940s cape cod cottage!  I still have a cozy little kitchen, but much bigger than before!  

I love my cheery yellow kitchen with antique plates on the wall, aprons hung, and jars filled with coffee and candy scattered around.  It's a galley style with a sunny window, original baseboards and a new school house style light!  I find it's the prettiest in the glow of candles because it takes me back to a simpler time... I hope this blog does for you!

Friends, thank you so much for reading my recipes, my life stories, and my heart because that's exactly what I share here. Although life has become less organized as a mom of two busy kids, I plan on writing and sharing with you as long as I can!  Please join me into my 6th year here at The Cozy Little Kitchen and at my newer family blog, Bringing Home Baby C.

May you always leave here with a bit of refreshment from God and inspiration to not only cook more but enjoy it, too!

Happy November!  I am so thankful to God for you all!!!