Kassidy’s Tropical Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend Kassidy made these cookies for me once – I was hooked! A delicious alternative to regular cookies. These are great because they are vegan, plus gluten & dairy free!


Update:  I increased the almond flour by 1/4 cup and added a scoop of pureed pumpkin.  Cookies were much more “cookie” like, meaning they held their shape better and consistency was good!  Pumpkin flavor was very slight and almost unnoticeable.

2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 agave nectar (I use a bit less honey)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (73% cacao or higher)
1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, cashews, macadamia)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted


Preheat over to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, combine coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Fold in the chocolate, nuts, and coconut.

Spoon the dough 1 tbsp at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, pressing down with the palm of your hand to flatten, leaving 2 inches between each cookie.

Bake for 7-10 minutes, until lightly golden. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes, then serve warm.

Salted Carmel Chocolate Cake

I am usually one to say that a boxed cake really is just as good as a homemade cake. And I can say that, because I’ve made quite a few homemade cakes that take forever to put together and rarely are worth their effort. I was usually right – box cake was better.


When Andrew and I both took our first bite of this masterpiece that he created for my birthday, we had no words. Our eyes said it all. Gooey homemade carmel. Rich dark chocolate icing. Moist deep dark chocolate layers of cake … oh my. Seriously, we were giddy with excitment. We had to share. We sent cake to the neighbors. We ate more cake.

Yes, this one takes a ridiculous amount of time. Expect hours in the kitchen … but then expect to have a party in your mouth. A rockin’ party where only the cool kids are invited. No boxed cakes allowed.

See Recipe here!

Andrew’s Hot Cocoa




Many nights, after the kids are tucked away in bed, you’ll hear this conversation in our home:

Me: Let us sit (collapse) on the couch and watch (Downton Abby/30 Rock/ThatNetflixMovie)! And (added smile and knowing look) won’t you pretty please make your special hot cocoa that I love so much?

Husband: But of course my love.

(isn’t he great?)

Cooks Illustrated Hot Cocoa

Serves 4 in small mugs

Why This Recipe Works
Our ideal hot cocoa recipe would give us serious chocolate flavor and a rich, satisfying consistency. We found that 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder sweetened with 1 tablespoon of sugar added enough chocolate flavor to our hot cocoa recipe without being overpowering. Many recipes recommend mixing cocoa powder and sugar with a little water before adding the milk, and we found this to be worthwhile. Water has the effect of releasing the cocoa powder’s fruit, chocolate, and coffee flavor nuances. We also discovered that heating the mixture of cocoa powder, sugar, and water for two minutes before adding milk further deepens the flavor.

If you want to increase or decrease this recipe for hot cocoa, the key ratio to remember is one and one-half tablespoons of cocoa and one heaping tablespoon of sugar per cup of liquid. If you have whole milk on hand rather than low-fat, go ahead and use it, omitting the half-and-half.


6 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder, measured by dip-and-sweep

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch table salt

1cup water

3 cups low-fat milk (1 or 2 percent)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup half-and-half


1. In heavy 2-quart saucepan, whisk together cocoa, sugar, salt, and water over low heat until smooth. Simmer, whisking continuously, for 2 minutes, making sure whisk gets into the edges of pan.

2. Add milk, increase heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally with whisk, until steam rises from surface and tiny bubbles form around edge, 12 to 15 minutes. Do not boil.

3. Add vanilla and half-and-half. For foamy cocoa, beat hot cocoa with hand mixer or transfer to blender and blend until foamy. Divide between four mugs, top with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired, and serve immediately.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread


Can’t believe I haven’t posted these yet. Each year they are a
favorite! One of the blogs I like to follow, Beautiful Frugal Life,
just reposted them so I had to make them again at our house. Andrew
and I don’t believe in eating pumpkin bread without chocolate chips,
so I always toss a big full bag into the batter before baking. Yum!!!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread


1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
2/3 cup water
3 cups white sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour three
7×3 inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and
sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the
flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir
the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour
into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when
toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cocoa Brownies with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting


This is another shout out to Not Without Salt – my new favorite site
to persue and grow hungry while doing so. Look at her pictures and
tell me that you aren’t dying to make (or rather, eat) one of her
delicious creations!

My favorite part of our homeschooling adventure has been the service
part of our lessons. This week, we are focusing on the letter B. And
so, of course, we Baked Brownies. And we brought them to a friend who
starts with the letter B.

So I was happy to marry the two – Not Without Salt’s peanut butter
brownies, and our learning of the letter B.

I’m still thinking of what to make for the letter Z. But thankfully
we have some time before we get there. 🙂

You can see the full recipe here

Fourth of July Pie


Omit the blueberries, and this could be just a summer pie! I’m not a
big fan of already made pie crusts, but I do have to say that it
helped to make this pie simple, quick, and yummy.

You can see the original recipe

Chocolate-Drizzled Strawberries and Cream Pie

1 quart FRESH strawberries
1 8-oz. package cream cheese at room temperature (light is fine)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 9″ graham cracker crust (store-bought or homemade)
1-2 ounces chocolate

In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, brown sugar, and
vanilla until light and fluffy. In a separate large bowl, beat the
whipping cream and powdered sugar until medium peaks form. Add about
1 c. of the whipping cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Beat
until smooth and well-combined. Add the remaining whipping cream
mixture and mix until just combined. Spread in the graham cracker
crust and refrigerate for a few minutes while you prepare the

Wash the strawberries and cut off the stems. Blot dry with a paper
towel and then gently press, cut side down, into the whipped cream
mixture. Set aside.

If using a chocolate bar, break it into equal pieces and place in a
small Ziploc bag. Microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes, stopping the
microwave every 20 seconds to mash the bag. You want the chocolate to
be melted but not hot at all. When the chocolate is melted, snip a
corner off the bag and drizzle it over the strawberries. Refrigerate
for at least three hours before serving. Serves 8.

Self Filled Cupcakes


This picture doesn’t do the cupcake justice. On the outisde – humble
chocolate cupcake. On the inside – surprise decadent creamy
deliciousness! Notice how there is only one cupcake in this picture?
it was the only survivor from the other 24 that were around just
yesterday …

Self Filled Cupcakes:


* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* 1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), or to the
temperature recommended on the cake mix package.
2. Prepare chocolate cake mix according to package directions, but
do not bake. In separate bowl cream together cream cheese and sugar
until smooth. Beat in the egg until well blended, then stir in
chocolate chips.
3. Line cupcake tins with cupcake papers. Fill 2/3 full with
chocolate cake batter. Add 1 teaspoon cream cheese mixture to the
center, and top with more cake batter.
4. Bake according to package directions for cupcakes. Cool and
frost with chocolate or cream cheese frosting.

Rich Chocolate Truffle Pie


***If you are on a diet, then you need to look away from this recipe
and picture right now. I’m serious. You probably just gained 5
pounds by glancing at it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you***

One of my favorite parts of having a baby is trying out all the fab
food people bring us for meals in the weeks that follow. This pie
recipe came from my friend Jen, who did warn me that it is full of
fat, but quite delicious and rich! Needless to say, I couldn’t wait
to try it out on my own. And it’s also super easy … next time I’m
going to buy an already made cookie pie crust instead of bothering
with my own crust, cutting the prep time on this down to just about
nothing. I chose to melt the chocolate and cream on the stove instead
of the microwave, and it worked out perfectly. In case you don’t feel
like there is enough cream in the recipe, you can top it like I did
with even MORE whipped cream and chocolate shavings. YUM! Now I
have to go run a few miles after blogging about this one … I no
longer can fit into my jeans.

Rich Chocolate Truffle Pie:


* 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
* 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
* 1/4 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1 (9 inch) prepared chocolate cookie crumb crust (or a fully
cooked pie crust)


1. In microwave dish combine chocolate chips and 1/2 of the cream.
Cook on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until
smooth. Cool to room temperature. Stir in sugar & vanilla. Set aside.
2. In small bowl, beat the rest of the cream until soft peaks form.
Beat in chocolate mixture on high speed 1/3 at a time. mix well and
spoon into crust.
3. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.

Best Ever Chocolate Cake

At our house, we call this “lacey’s cake”, because she enlighten us to this delicious recipe.  I’ve made a ton of chocolate cakes from scratch, and I can honestly say this one is not only the easiest to make, but also the best!  You can literally just toss it together in a quick afternoon and have a wonderful dessert for friends and family.  And you don’t have to tell them it was made from a box … unless you want to share this secret!

*thanks to christie for the bon appetit version of this photo! 

The Best Chocolate Cake

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 small package instant chocolate pudding mix
16 oz sour cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
12 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together except chocolate chips.  Then fold chips into batter.  Bake approx. 45 minutes in a bundt pan. 


1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
2 tbsp. butter

Heat above ingredients in a 1 quart sauce pan, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted. Cool slightly. Glazes one 8 or 9 inch layer.