OK, these are THE COOKIES! I have been making them for a few years now and it is safe to say that they are my favorite. Once you take a bite you will fall in love because (a) you are a chocolate lover or (b) you will be converted.

I don't know what it is about chocolate, it always tastes better the day after it bakes. So my advice is to wait a day if you can or better yet put in some plastic baggies and freeze. In my house, they go straight to the freezer; I always have a frozen supply to give me a chocolate fix whenever I need it! I don't even take the time to thaw...just eat it frozen.

Most importantly, do not over bake these cookies. They over bake quick and dry-out even faster. I put them on a cooling rack as soon as they are firm enough on the outside but still gooey in the middle.

The rich chocolate and tart cherries compliment each other so well in this recipe you have to try it!

Adapted from Faith Ford
Makes 2 Dozen

1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 Tablespoon boiling water
1 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
Boil water and mix with instant espresso powder, reserve.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and reserve.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and granulated sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add dark brown sugar and beat an additional 30 seconds.

Add egg, beat until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and reserved espresso mixture and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.

Stir in cherries and chocolate chips.

Using a medium 1-inch cookie scoop (approx 2 Tablespoons) drop cookie dough on prepared baking sheets, spacing dough 2 inches apart.

Bake for about 8 minutes; because cookie is very dark, it's difficult to tell when they are done...don't over bake, they will taste better and be soft if you under bake. They should still be soft in the middle but firm enough on the outside to hold shape. Transfer them to cooling rack.




I am frantically trying to get all my Thanksgiving recipes posted for you in case you are still looking for something to make for Thanksgiving. I LOVED this recipe...delicious. If you are looking for something other than the traditional pumpkin pie for dessert this would be a fabulous contender!

Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook <--love this cookbook!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil (preferably Canola)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (see note)

1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
3 Tbs unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
3/4 tsps vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted confectioners sugar

Garnish: (Optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (see Note)

NOTE: To toast the pecans, place on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant.

Another Note: I made the cake with the pecans in the batter. My personal preference, but I think it is better left out and if you want the pecans just sprinkle them on top once it is iced.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and lightly flour a 13 X 9 inch baking pan.
To make the bars: in a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the pumpkin, sugar, oil and eggs until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in the pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Make icing:
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy.

Cover and refrigerate icing 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.

Ice the top of the cooled cake with the cream cheese icing. Garnish with pecans as desired. (My cake was still warm and everyone was gathering around waiting to eat it so I had to cut out indivitual pieces and pipe on the frosting. The cake is much prettier once it is frosted and sprinkled with pecans on top.)



I cannot believe Thanksgiving is already here! This year my family is hosting it at my house so I am frantically trying to get everything organized. So far today I have managed to wash all the china and make this fabulous cranberry-pomegranate sauce. I have never made fresh cranberry sauce and I cannot believe how easy it is! It will be a great addition to the Thanksgiving meal.

Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce
Adapted from Ree Drummond
Serves 12

1 bag (about 12 Oz) Fresh Cranberries
16 ounces, fluid Pomegranate Juice
3/4 cups Sugar, More Or Less To Taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.

Mixture will thicken as it cooks, and will thicken more as it cools.

Cool in a jar or bowl in the fridge. Serve with Thanksgiving turkey.




With Thanksgiving on my mind I was looking for a recipe with pumpkin. I made pumpkin bars the other day (which were AWESOME and I will be posting in a couple days) and I wanted to make pumpkin muffins but I ran into this recipe and it looked so good I had to make it. I was happy I did...delicious!

Banana Crumb Muffins
Adapted from All Recipes
Makes 8 Jumbo Muffins (approx 5 tablespoons of batter per muffin)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes (18-20 minutes for regular size), until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.




My sister is the loveliest woman that I know. She is amazing in every way. If you know her than you are blessed because you will never have a better friend. She is gorgeous, smart, creative, strong, kind and loving. Of course, she enjoys food just like me but she is interested in eating healthy...very healthy. Don't get me wrong, I try to eat healthy too but I have a serious sugar addiction.

I remember one time I stayed over at her house and I woke up at 2am STARVING. She lives a little out of town so I was at the mercy of her kitchen. I went upstairs to ransack the house and all I could find were protein bars, homemade yogurt, nuts and was ridiculous...torture may be a better word. Now you need to know when I wake up in the middle of the night it is for one thing and one thing only...sugar...usually in the form of ice cream. And there was no sugar to be found! I sadly went back downstairs with a bowl of frozen grapes.

The next morning I was awoken by the most wonderful scent...I followed it upstairs and I found a plate of blueberry oatmeal scones waiting for me!

These scones are dense, loaded with berries, delicious and sugar-free...other than icing but that is optional (maybe in your world)!

Oatmeal Scones With Blueberries
Adapted from my amazing sister
Makes 8 scones

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons flax meal
1 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1 large egg
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup milk

1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all the dry ingredients and the blueberries in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, butter and milk. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. The dough will be sticky. Put the dough on a floured surface and pat into an 8-inch round shape, about 3/4 inch thick.

Cut into 8 wedges.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

While baking, make the icing. Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.

When the scones are done baking allow to cool for a few minutes on cooling rack and then drizzle with icing. Serve warm.




My husband and I went to a movie and a book store for our date night last favorite kind of date. I could spend hours in a book store, especially in the cooking section. If you ever see a woman sitting in the corner, on the floor, with a stack of 20 cookbooks around her you can safely assume it is me...I am like a kid in a candy store! I bought The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook and I am so excited to try out the recipes...everything looks amazing.

The next morning I made the poppy seed bread and unfortunately I have mixed feelings about it. I am not sure if I am going to post it or not. I thought it was a little boring and there has to be a better recipe out there, we will see, I am still looking (if you have one please share it with me). The next recipe I tried was the Peanut Butter Cookies and they were a hit!

Peanut Butter Cookies
Adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
Makes about 30 when using a 2 tablespoon scoop

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup chunky peanut butter at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar + extra for sprinkling
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup peanut butter chips

(NOTE: I used creamy peanut butter, eliminated the peanut butter chips and substituted milk chocolate chips...I cannot make a cookie without chocolate!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt.

In another large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Stir in the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips.

On a plate, pour the 1 tablespoon of sugar for the sugar coating. Drop the measured cookie dough (I use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop) onto the sugar coating and cover completely. Put on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Use a spatula to flatten slightly.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not over bake.

Cookies may appear to be underdone, but this is just how you want them.

Remove to a cooling rack and try not to take a bite!



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