Oatmeal Chocolate Fudge Bars

Lately, I've been so incredibly sick with my pregnancy that the only thing that I'm really able to keep down is chocolate. Yes chocolate. I'm not a doctor but I'm pretty sure the baby needs food, so I've convinced myself that if I mix things that are sort of healthy (like oatmeal) with chocolate, then I'm at least getting something nutritional in my diet. This mentality means that every grocery store run leads me to the baking aisle where I pick up a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips just in case I can't keep the other 'healthy food' in my cart down (If you're a nutritionist or health expert reading this, then I'm sure you're cringing right now). Next I turn to Pinterest to find a recipe involving semi-sweet chocolate chips - thankfully there are a ton.

Lifestyle Hunting Oatmeal Chocolate Fudge Bars

Last night I was browsing Pinterest (bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips in hand) when I came across this recipe for Oatmeal Fudge Bars. I immediately had to make them, did you see the Instagram picture? They really are to-die-for! 

I've listed the full recipe for your baking pleasure below, just remember to pick up a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips the next time you're in the baking aisle (and maybe some of the other ingredients too!) :) 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups oatmeal

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together:

  • 1 can eagle’s brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Mix the butter, eggs and brown sugar. Add vanilla and milk. Slowly incorporate the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix well. I prefer using a stand mixer since it’s quite thick.
  • Spread 3/4 of the cookie mixture on the bottom of a greased 13×9 pan, pour chocolate mixture, then spread rest of cookie mixture on tops in spoonfuls (won’t cover completely-but will leave cool designs). The top can tend to get done before it’s completely cooked, so you can put aluminum foil over it for the last five or so if it looks like it’s browning too much. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool, otherwise it won’t set up and will just run when you cut into it.

Enjoy! 

 

 

 

A New Take on Celebrity Bakery's Thumbprint Cookies

For Mother's Day dessert this year, I decided to try something a little different and bake up a new rendition of my mom's favorite thumb print cookies from Celebrity Bakery. A quick search on Pinterest revealed dozens of different options for thumbprint cookies. I went for this simple, quick and easy thumbprint recipe (it also had the most pins). 

Thumb Print Cookies:

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cup flour

Preheat oven to 375 F

  • Cream butter, sugar and egg together
  • Gradually add flour to butter mixture
  • Pinch off enough dough to form 1 inch balls
  • Roll dough until balls are relatively smooth
  • Place balls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet
  • Use indention in each ball with thumb or spoon
  • Bake for 8 minutes
  • Remove cookies from oven and place on cooling rack

Now for the icing... 

Over the holidays, I made a three layered carrot cake that had the most incredible cream cheese icing. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the recipe called for a lot more icing than was necessary for the cake. This left me with a huge bowl of leftover icing. To keep myself from eating the icing straight out of the bowl, I decided to use it on a fresh batch of sugar cookies and the result was incredible. I know that thumbprint cookies aren't traditionally made with cream cheese icing but I remembered how incredible those cream cheese frosted sugar cookies were and thought, why not do it again? I decided to use the same recipe but cut it in half and the results were just as good as I anticipated. The best part, my mom absolutely loved them!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar (depending on your desired consistency & sweetness of frosting)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and the cream cheese. Slowly blend in the powdered sugar and vanilla, then beat until smooth and well-combined. 

Tip: The longer you whip this frosting, the lighter and fluffier it will become.

 

Spotlight on Figs Prosciutto

As a child, I grew up alongside a huge fig tree in my back yard. During Fig season, we would go out into the yard, armed with paper sacks and pluck the most promising figs before the squirrels and birds got to them. We'd then line the kitchen counters with our brown paper sacks and wait a day or two for the figs to fully ripen. Once they were ready, we would eat those figs like Bubba Gump ate his shrimp - wrapped in bacon, stuffed with goat cheese, drizzled in honey, topped with peppers, mashed, baked or au natural. You get the point- if a fig was in some way involved, we ate it.

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree 

Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree 

Throughout the years, this heavenly combination of cheese, prosciutto, honey and figs became our family go-to family recipe for a crowd-pleasing Fall appetizer. So go ahead and get your invite list ready, because once you try this recipe, you're going to want to make it for your next dinner party.

Fig.JPG

Ingredients:

fresh figs, sliced in half
soft, flavorful cheese, such as gorgonzola dolce, goat or brie
prosciutto, thinly sliced
honey, for drizzling
coarse sea salt

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F

Stuff a small ball of cheese into the center of each fig half.

Wrap the fig halves with narrow strips of prosciutto. The prosciutto will easily stick to itself, so no need to be perfect.

Place the fig halves on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Plate, and drizzle with honey and a light sprinkling of sea salt.


Prep Time: 30 minutes       Cook time: 30 minutes       Yield: 6-8 scones