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Pinned & prepped: Chocolate sprinkle cookies

2014 August 12
by Emily Hill

I have two words for these chocolate sprinkle cookies I found on Taste and Tell, one of my favorite food blogs: HOLY YUM.


No lie. Deborah has done it again, and it’s no surprise because all her recipes—and her photos—are positively delicious. I’m so happy we didn’t tweak the original recipe (other than adding both eggs and the vanilla all at once because I’m lazy like that). It is perfect as is. Of course my photo isn’t nearly as drool inducing but please don’t let it keep you from baking a batch ASAP.


Chocolate sprinkle cookies


The only thing slightly disappointing about these chocolate sprinkle cookies is they didn’t freeze as well as other chocolate chip cookies. I don’t know if it was due to the candy sprinkles or what, but they kind of had an odd taste when you first bit into them. Of course that didn’t stop me from eating a few (or more) straight from the freezer. They’d have to taste pretty off for that to happen!

Like really, really off.

Printable recipe for chocolate sprinkle cookies below.

Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
We found these chocolate sprinkle cookies on Taste and Tell and they've quickly become one of our favorite cookies. Though they don't freeze quite as well as other chocolate chip cookie recipes (as far as taste), it's okay because you'll eat the entire batch. No need to freeze a single one!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup rainbow sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  3. Place the oats in a blender or food processor and blend until fine. Combine the ground oats, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and sprinkles.
  4. Roll the dough into 1½-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown on edges. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Notes
Adapted from an original recipe on Taste and Tell: http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/chocolate-sprinkle-cookies/


Check out other cookie recipes I’ve pinned by browsing my desserts {cookies} board:

Follow Emily Hill’s board desserts {cookies} on Pinterest.

Previous pinned & prepped features:

Homestyle macaroni salad
Caprese stuffed avocado
Cookie dough pretzel bites
Caramel snickerdoodles
Sugar cookie bars
NOEL Christmas banner
Crock pot refried beans
Taco Bell chicken quesadillas
Southern peach cobbler
Oatmeal chocolate coconut chewy cookies
Salted caramel butter bars
Hello Dolly bars
Brown sugar & balsamic-glazed pork loin
Brussels sprouts with bacon & walnuts
Glazed doughnut muffins
Crock pot chicken tacos
Brownie cookies
Peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
Copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets
Slow cooker angel chicken
Slow cooker chicken & dumplings
No-bake peanut butter s’mores bars
Tomato basil Parmesan soup
Chocolate chip cookie n’ Oreo fudge brownie bar


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Stuffed jalapenos & vegetarian burgers

2014 August 7
by Emily Hill


Remember when I used to do the SassyScoops thing? I’ve stayed close to those super sassy gals and one of the things we love doing is getting together for fun-filled—and food-filled—girls’ night in. Our most recent get-together had a vegetarian theme complete with MorningStar Farms vegetarian burgers and stuffed jalapenos.

Don’t worry. We had plenty of dessert and caffeinated beverages too.


MorningStar Farms vegetarian burgers

I made a garlic aioli and my favorite chipotle mayo to compliment the Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burger and Roasted Garlic and Quinoa Burger. My favorite creation from the MorningStar Farms burger bar was this baby:


MorningStar Farms vegetarian burgers

I took that black bean burger and topped it with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado and a healthy smear of chipotle mayo. It was seriously one of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time. In fact, both vegetarian burgers received rave reviews from those sassy gals.

I promise they made some time for eating in between all the chatting.


Girls night in

Girls night in

Here is what the gals had to say:

“While there is truly no substitute for a chunk of cow…I would totally eat MorningStar Farms again. The texture and flavor are great.” ~ Stephanie

“MorningStar Farms was literally the best veggie burger I have ever had.” ~ Kim

“I am surprised at how much I enjoyed the smell, flavor and texture of these burgers. I’ll serve these regularly to my family for a healthy no-meat dinner.” ~ Vanessa

“I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor of the black beans and corn in the veggie burger.” ~ Leisha

“As a vegetarian, this was one of the best meatless burgers I’ve had. The chipotle really kicked it up a notch. Now I can judge meat eaters while also enjoying a flavorful burger. Win/win.” ~ Kristina

They were also fans of the stuffed jalapenos—a new recipe I created for the vegetarian occasion. Normally I’d make them with “real” bacon but I thought I’d give MorningStar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips a try.


Stuffed jalapenos with cream cheese bacon sun dried tomatoes


Although the texture of the vegetarian bacon left something to be desired before adding it to the mixture, it did add a hint of bacon flavor to the stuffed jalapenos. I think next time I’ll increase the amount of bacon as it was slightly overpowered by the sun-dried tomatoes. Either way these stuffed jalapenos are going in my appetizer rotation for sure.


Stuffed jalapenos with cream cheese bacon sun dried tomatoes


Printable recipe for stuffed jalapenos with cream cheese, bacon and sun-dried tomatoes below.

Stuffed Jalapenos with Cream Cheese, Bacon & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
One of the best recipes for stuffed jalapenos. If you're not a fan of sun-dried tomatoes, feel free to leave them out. I used MorningStar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips in the recipe but you can use your favorite "real" bacon.
Ingredients
  • 12 to 15 whole jalapenos (depending on size)
  • 1½ (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 6 to 10 slices MorningStar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips, cooked & crumbled
  • ¼ cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T chopped fresh basil
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Wash and pat dry jalapenos. Slice jalapenos in half, lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and membranes.
  3. Combine cream cheese, bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well.
  4. Stuff each jalapeno half with cream cheese mixture. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. To brown tops, broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to let the mixture burn!
  5. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

 

Whether it’s hosting a party like our girls’ night in or cooking dinner for the family, MorningStar Farms offers a fresh and versatile take on eating well. They’re products (over 30!) are a great way to test the vegetarian waters and their site offers more than 600 recipes. Visit MorningStarFarms.com to discover new ways to enjoy MorningStar Farms and spice up your next girls’ night in.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


ps post script

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German chocolate caramel brownies

2014 August 5
by Emily Hill

When I first imagined these German chocolate caramel brownies, I pictured a pan of ooey gooey chocolate brownies topped with toothache-worthy coconut pecan frosting. Though these aren’t quite that decadent (my waistline is grateful; my taste buds are not), they are a tasty variation of your typical pan brownies. These German chocolate caramel brownies use a cake mix, which makes whipping up a batch even easier.

When it comes to desserts, I love easy. And chocolate.


German chocolate caramel brownies


I was a bit worried there wasn’t enough brownie batter (it’s more like a thick cookie dough) to spread in the pan but even the thin layers baked up nicely. I’m guessing it has something to do with these German chocolate caramel brownies being made from a cake mix. Whatever the reason, the end result was delicious. I served these brownies to Madison’s friends and they were huge fans.

A couple of the boys even thanked me from the other room. That proves these babies are yummy.

Printable recipe for German chocolate caramel brownies below.

German Chocolate Caramel Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
These German chocolate caramel brownies are a tasty variation on your typical brownie recipe. Plus they use a cake mix so whipping up a batch is even easier!
Ingredients
  • 1 (11-oz) package caramels, unwrapped
  • ⅔ cup evaporated milk, divided
  • 1 package German chocolate cake mix
  • ⅔ cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch pan.
  2. Combine caramels and ⅓ cup evaporated milk in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until melted and smooth. Set aside.
  3. Combine cake mix with butter and remaining ⅓ cup evaporated milk in a separate bowl. Add nuts.
  4. Press just over ½ the dough into a 9x13-inch pan. (It will seem like not enough dough but it will work, promise!) Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Remove and sprinkle hot dough with chocolate chips. Cover with caramel mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cake mixture. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cake mix is fully cooked. Cool before serving.

ps post script

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Family movie night just got tastier with Mars Ice Cream {GIVEAWAY}

2014 July 31
by Emily Hill

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with One2One Network and Mars Ice Cream. All thoughts, opinions and love of SNICKERS Brand Chocolate Ice Cream Bars are 100 percent honest and all mine.

I knew we’d be a movie-going family. Nathan is an audio-visual guru and a lover of all things big screen. We’ve had a home theater in each of the three homes we’ve owned and watched more (much more) than our fair share of flicks. Our kids are movie lovers as well and we enjoy nothing more than family movie night in our basement especially during the heat of summer.


Family movie night with Mars Ice Cream

Food and drink are rarely allowed in the theater because that post-popcorn cleanup is a nightmare. But I made an exception after we stocked up on Mars Ice Cream treats. I mean, how could I not when you’re talking frozen novelties that pair delicious, REAL ice cream with the scrumptious chocolate flavor of some of my favorite candy brands?

Livi was a huge fan of the idea. And I threw in a large Diet Coke (see photo) for good measure.


Family movie night with Mars Ice Cream

Mars Ice Cream products include DOVEBAR® Ice Cream Bars, M&M’S® Brand Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich (we only found the cones), SNICKERS® Brand Chocolate Ice Cream Bars (my favorite!) and TWIX® Ice Cream Bars.


We couldn’t find the DOVEBAR Ice Cream Bars or you better believe those would be in the movie night mix.


Family movie night with Mars Ice Cream

The only thing we didn’t love about the Mars Ice Cream products was choosing which one to enjoy during the flick. Because the decision was so difficult, I let everyone have seconds.


Family movie night with Mars Ice Cream

I am so Mom of the Year.


Family movie night with Mars Ice Cream

The entire family agreed Mars Ice Cream products made for the perfect at-home movie night treat. No greasy popcorn kernels in your lap (or between couch cushions), and no sticky fingers because you pretty much inhale that delicious ice cream. I highly recommend picking up your favorite flick and a box or two of Mars Ice Cream ASAP so you too can enjoy a tasty movie night with your family.

Of course, when it comes to choosing—and inhaling—the perfect summer treat inside our outside your home theater, you have only one “real” choice: real ice cream.

For me that means SNICKERS Brand Chocolate Ice Cream Bars. Every time.

Speaking of treats, here’s an extra one—a few outtakes from our movie night photo shoot. Do you think I can blackmail Madison with that one on the left?


Family movie night outtakes collage

And now for a giveaway that will make it all the easier to enjoy Mars Ice Cream with your family!

Mars is giving away 5 full-value coupons for Mars Ice Cream products (coupon ARV $5.50 each) to one lucky ITRML reader.

You can enter this giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. Contest is open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Choose Cherries: Cherry chocolate chip protein bites

2014 July 30
by Emily Hill

Disclosure: The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of the Cherry Marketing Institute. All thoughts, opinions and recipes featuring tart cherries are 100 percent honest and all mine.

I admit it. I’d never heard of tart cherries or tart cherry juice before participating in the 7-Day Tart Cherry Juice Challenge. I thought cherries were cherries. Boy, was I wrong. But before I go into the goodness that is tart cherries, I simply must share the recipe for my new favorite protein bites: cherry chocolate chip protein bites. Who knew adding some coarsely chopped tart cherries to my previous recipe for peanut butter oatmeal protein bites would make these babies even better?


Cherry chocolate chip protein bites

I wasn’t sure if the tart cherries would work with chocolate chips, at least for this girl who isn’t a fan of mixing fruit and chocolate. But the hint of tart cherry was the perfect compliment to the peanut butter and chocolate. These may be even more addictive than the last batch!


Cherry chocolate chip protein bites


You’ll find the recipe for these cherry chocolate chip protein bites at the end of the post because now I want to dive into the awesomeness found in tart cherries and their liquid counterpart, tart cherry juice.

I was super intrigued by research suggesting tart cherry juice may help ease muscle pain associated with intense exercise. I had recently added some treadmill work into my training—which already includes an intense spin class—and my knees and hips were beginning to talk back. Wanting an alternative to ibuprofen, I was all over the 7-day challenge. I drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for 7 days. According to the research, the result should have been less inflammation and muscle soreness post workout.

Did it work?

Believe it or not, YES! Usually HIIT workouts on the treadmill leave me with sore hips and slightly achy knees. But a few days into the challenge and the aches and pains were hardly noticeable. NO LIE.

Being the skeptic I am, I wondered if I it really did help or if my body was adjusting to the workouts, so after those seven days I decided to go off the tart cherry juice for a full week. Want to know what happened? I’d love to tell you but you’ll have to wait for the next installment in this two-part series.

The next installment includes a recipe for a super delicious tropical tart cherry smoothie. Don’t miss it!

In the meantime, you should try the 7-Day Tart Cherry Juice Challenge. I have seen tart cherry juice at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s but you should be able to find it in your local grocery store.


Tart Cherries 7-Day Challenge

In between infusions of tart cherry juice, pop a few of these cherry chocolate chip protein bites. Your body will thank you.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Protein Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Super easy and healthy snack packed with protein. The chopped tart cherries are the perfect compliment to the semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup all-natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • ¼ to ½ cup coarsely chopped tart cherries
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.
  2. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  3. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (I used the smallest scoop from Pampered Chef.)
  4. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.


To learn more about tart cherries and the benefits of tart cherry juice, visit ChooseCherries.com. You can find more tart cherry goodness on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.


ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

Salted caramel pecan ice cream

2014 July 29
by Emily Hill

A little background about this salted caramel pecan ice cream recipe (quote possibly the most amazing salted caramel pecan ice cream you’ll ever taste)…


Salted caramel pecan ice cream with caramel swirl


A couple weeks ago I had the awesome opportunity to participate in the Books Alive summer reading series over on Paging Supermom. Our book of choice? Should I Share My Ice Cream? from Mo Willems, one of our most favorite authors.


Paging Supermom Books Alive Summer Reading Series

To read more about why I chose to feature an Elephant & Piggie book, you’ll have to check out my guest post on Paging Supermom.

As for the ice cream, it was a true labor of love. I had no idea what a labor of love it would be as I’d never made a custard-based ice cream before, one that included a from-scratch salted caramel flavor and from-scratch caramel swirl.*

* You can’t see the caramel swirl in the first photo because I made the mistake of adding it to the ice cream machine before it started.

I learned one important lesson during the process of creating this salted caramel pecan ice cream (note the asterisk above):

Adding the caramel swirl before you add the ice cream to the machine is SO not the way to do it. Make sure you add the caramel swirl after it’s done.

You’ll layer it as you place the finished ice cream into an airtight container for final hardening in the freezer. Oh, and the caramel swirl is totally optional. If you skip it—or choose to use it as an ice cream topping like I did in the photo below—the salted caramel pecan ice cream will be just as yummy…and you’ll have fewer dishes to clean.


Salted caramel pecan ice cream


Printable recipe for salted caramel pecan ice cream below.

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Ice Cream
Serves: 8
 
Quite possibly the best salted caramel pecan ice cream you'll ever taste. The caramel swirl is optional. If you do choose to include it, make sure you layer it *after* the ice cream has been through the ice cream machine. (See directions in recipe.)
Ingredients
Caramel Swirl
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 7 T heavy whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla
Ice Cream
  • 1¼ cups sugar, divided
  • 2¼ cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 T butter
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
Instructions
Caramel Swirl
  1. Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and a pinch of salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Continue to boil but don’t stir! Gently swirl pan until mixture turns a deep golden caramel. Remove from heat and carefully add cream and vanilla. Mixture will get angry and vigorously simmer; caramel will harden. Don’t worry!
  3. Return to medium heat and simmer, stirring until caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Note: You can make the caramel swirl up to 1 week ahead. Cover and keep in refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using. If caramel swirl is too thick to drizzle, warm slightly in the microwave.
Ice Cream
  1. Heat 1 cup sugar in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring with a fork or whisk to heat sugar evenly. Once it starts to melt, stir occasionally so sugar melts evenly. Be patient! This can take a while. Allow it to melt completely until it turns a dark amber.
  2. Carefully add 1¼ cups cream. Again, mixture will get angry and sugar will harden but no worries. Continue to cook, stirring until caramel has completely dissolved. Transfer to a bowl; add salt and vanilla. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Bring milk, remaining 1 cup cream and remaining ¼ cup sugar just to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally.
  4. Lightly whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add half of hot milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly and furiously. You don’t want those eggs to scramble! Pour egg-milk mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula until custard coats back of spoon and registers 170°F. Do NOT let boil!
  5. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, then stir in cooled caramel. Chill custard, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days. Stir once every hour for the first 3 hours or so.
  6. Pour custard into ice cream maker and begin freezing. While ice cream is freezing, melt 1 T unsalted butter in a medium skillet. Add pecans and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature; add to ice cream maker five minutes before ice cream is done.
  7. Transfer ⅓ of the ice cream to a 2-quart airtight container. Drizzle ⅓ caramel swirl over it. Repeat with remaining ice cream and caramel swirl. Freeze ice cream until hard, at least 8 hours and up to 1 week.

If you’re an ice cream fan (and who isn’t?) you’re going to want to give these frozen treats a try…


Grasshopper pie with Oreo crust


Grasshopper pie

Chocolate peanut butter ice cream pie with Oreo cookie crust


Chocolate peanut butter ice cream pie

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.

Almond cake recipe

2014 July 24
by Emily Hill

You are going to die when you see how unbelievably easy this almond cake recipe is. (Thank you, Dawn!) You can whip up this baby in just a few minutes and before you know it, you’ll have the most delightful almond cake to share with friends and family. Or just family. Or just you.

An 8×8-inch pan is a single serving, right?!?


Almond cake


Don’t let the short list of ingredients fool you. This is one noteworthy cake, especially if you’re a fan of almond-flavored desserts.

If you’re not, we can still be friends because that means I don’t have to share my bear claw.


Almond cake


Printable almond cake recipe below.

Almond Cake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Only six ingredients and super easy to make. You'll love this almond cake recipe!
Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 to 1½ T almond extract
  • Slivered almonds
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch square pan or 8-inch pie pan.
  2. Cream eggs and butter. Add sugar, flour and almond extract. Pour into pan.
  3. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before serving.

ps post script

Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.

Don’t forget to sign up for free is this REALLY my life? updates via RSS or email so you don’t miss a single awesome post.