Ultimate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
First, Happy Halloween! Even though our little pumpkin is too young for Trick or Treating (or even having a clue that today is Halloween!), I still couldn’t resist dressing her in spirited gear. I think she looks pretty cute, but I might be a little biased. Second, I have to admit that in this house black and orange are not just colors you wear on October 31st. They are colors we rock all year long in support of our hometown team – the Cincinnati Bengals! Truth be told, when I saw this special bag of chocolate chips at Target the first thing that popped in my head was “Tailgate cookies!” Because who doesn’t like to eat delicious and spirited cookies while watching football? But it just so happened that I used the chocolate chips the day before Halloween, so holiday spirit works too.
If you are a fan of Sunny Side Up on Facebook (and why wouldn’t you be ;)), then you may have seen my post yesterday about my entire house smelling like chocolate. These cookies are the reason why my house smelled so delicious. They are called “Ultimate Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies” and the name is pretty much spot on. The cookies are rich with a crispy exterior and melt-in-your mouth fudgy interior. I used a bag of Halloween chips which were half orange-colored white chocolate and half semi-sweet chocolate, but you can use whatever chips you have on hand! All semi-sweet, all white chocolate, a mix of chopped up leftover Halloween candy… If it tastes good with chocolate, chances are it will taste good in these cookies!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips*
3/4 cup butter, softened and divided
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips of your choice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of butter. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat together the remaining butter and brown sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down bowl in between. Add the melted chocolate and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well combine. Stir in chocolate chips.
Using a medium size cookie scoop, drop 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes then allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to a cooling rack. Definitely serve with a large glass of cold milk!
Source: Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookie Special 2012
Fourth of July Recipe Round-Up
There is a good chance that many of you will be partying it up for the Fourth of July. If you are still thinking about what you want to bring to the party, here are a few ideas!
ABC Puffs – Avocado, bacon, and cheese. Need I say more?
Soft Pretzel Bites with Easy Beer Cheese – Always a crowd pleaser, and you have plenty of time to make the dough before the Fourth!
Cold Veggie Pizza Appetizer – One of Jesse’s all time favorites. Super easy and delicious!
Main Course Ideas – Tired of plain old Hamburgers and Hot Dogs? These ideas might spice up your Fourth!
BBQ Turkey Burgers – A fun fusion of two grilling favorites – BBQ and Burgers!
Chicken or Pork with Southwest Marinade – This marinade is great way to spice up your grilled meat. Different than a lot of the soy based marinades, it uses Chipotle peppers for heat and Orange Juice to freshen it up and add acidity.
Coffee-Chipotle Pulled Pork – My favorite pulled pork recipe. In case it’s raining or if you just don’t to spend your Fourth standing over a grill – let your slower cooker or Dutch oven do the work!
Side Dishes -
Tangy Mustard Cole Slaw – An absolute must if you’re serving pulled pork!
Creamy Mustard Potato Salad – Another one of my cookout favorites.
Corn Casserole from Scratch – A crowd favorite made from scratch!
Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes – what could be more perfect for the 4th?
Giant M & M Cookies – these would be so cute with red and blue M & M’s!
Sweet Cherry and Blueberry Pie – Natural red and blue in a American dessert classic
Sweet Southern Boy: A Virtual Baby Shower for Nikki
In just a few short weeks (or less!) my good friend Nikki, from Seeded at the Table, will be welcoming home her second baby boy! Of course we couldn’t let this opportunity for a celebration to pass, so Kelsey, from Apple a Day, and I joined forces to host a virtual shower in Nikki’s honor. Because Nikki recently moved to Mississippi and has been getting in touch with her Southern, we came up with what we think is the perfect theme - Sweet Southern Boy!
Nikki was one of the first bloggers I got to know “in real life” after starting Sunny Side Up several years ago. I could immediately tell that she was a wonderfully genuine and friendly person. She even helped to convince me to attend my first food blogging conference and we, along with Joelen, were roomies at the Foodbuzz festival in 2011. Even though we had only ever “talked” online as soon as we met in person it was like we were old friends. We laughed (and ate!) our way through San Francisco. She continues to be one of my all-time favorite bloggers and great friend. I can’t wait to for her to have this new sweet baby and expand that beautiful family of hers!
Congratulations on your Sweet Southern Boy, Nikki! I couldn’t be happier for you!!
To celebrate Nikki’s Sweet Southern Boy, Kelsey and I gathered a fabulous group of Nikki’s favorite bloggers for a virtual shower. There are lots of delicious treats and some very cute shower decoration ideas.
Thank you so much Kelsey and the rest of the shower contributors. I just wish this were a real shower so we could all get together and really enjoy your great contributions!
First, my fabulous co-host, Kelsey. The Mississippi Mud Cupcakes she made are a perfect nod to Nikki’s new home.
Joelen, from What’s Cookin’ Chicago, made these fabulous Fried Apple Corn Muffins. Yum!
One dessert that always reminds me of the South is pie. So these Mini-Peach Pies from Krissy at Krissy’s Creations are just perfect for a Sweet Southern Boy themed shower.
I would love to see these delicious Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets at the next baby shower I go to. Yum! Brought to you by Nicole of Prevention RD.
Liz, from The Lemon Bowl, went straight to heart of all Southern drinks with this Sparkling Sweet Tea with Lemon and Mint.
Sheila, from Eat2gather, is a girl after my own heart with these Easy Chicken Enchiladas.
Biscuits are a classic Southern treat, and Rachel’s Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits look amazing!
Jessica, from My Baking Heart, baked up this perfect looking Cream Cheese Banana Bread.
These fusion cupcakes from Krystal, of Mrs.Regueiro’s Plate, are the perfect Southern shower dessert- Sweet Tea Cupcakes.
I love this twist on bite size sandwiches that you often see at showers. Mini ham sandwiches with pineapple chutney on buttermilk biscuits from Lisa the Cooking Bride.
Look how perfect these cookies are! Brought to you by Callie, at Little Morgan People.
These Bow-Tie Cupcake Toppers, by Brooke from Lemon Drop Shop, would be a show stopper at any baby shower!!
Rebekah, from Twinkle and Twine, contributes this really adorable table setting and shower favor idea for a “Bay-by Shower”! How cute is this??
Finally, for my own contribution, I blended what I see as the ultimate baby shower appetizer and Southern treat. Pimento Cheese Deviled Eggs!
7 hard boiled eggs, cooled and deshelled
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 Tbsp diced pimentos
1 tsp dry onion flakes
1-2 Tbsp milk
Dash of garlic powder, salt, and pepper
Additional pimentos, green onion, and paprika for garnish.
Cut hard boiled eggs in half length wise. Remove the yolks and place in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 10-15 seconds. Add the cheeses and mayo and process in 5 second increments, until the cheese is mostly blended. Add a tablespoon of milk and process until the texture is smoother (this may require another tablespoon of milk). Add the remaining ingredients and process for about 15 seconds to combine.
Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a star, with pimento cheese mixture*. Use the pastry bag to fill each egg white half. Garnish with additional pimentos, green onion, and a dash of paprika.
*Alternatively you could just use a spoon to fill the eggs, or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off.
Note: This will make more pimento cheese than you will need to fill 7 eggs (14 egg halves). You can either make more eggs and discard the extra egg yolks, or you can just use the delicious filling like classic pimento cheese spread on crackers or even as a sandwich!
Adapted from The Lady and Sons Cookbook
Did you know that March is one of my favorite months of the year? Why? Well, St. Patrick’s day, of course! As I’ve mentioned before, I was an Irish dancer turned Irish dancing teacher. For a good chunk of my life March meant shows, parades, more shows, and celebration. March 17th meant taking the day off from school (or work) and dancing (or watching dancers) at local libraries and pubs.
For the last few years I’ve been bummed to be without my Irish dancing family during this fun month. This year I am going to make the best of things by celebrating the month with FOOD! Starting with these fun treats. They are not traditional Irish fare. Not even close. But they’re fun, easy, and tasty. And a good way to kick off my March! Truth be told, I like them better than regular Rice Krispie Treats.
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1-10 oz package large marshmallows
6 cups Toasted Oats Cereal with Marshmallows (Lucky Charms)
Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by lining with foil (leaving a 1-inch overhang) and generously spraying with non-stick spray.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and marshmallows, stirring often. This should take about 3 minutes. Stir in the cereal, making sure to evenly coat. Dump the coated cereal into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.
Source: Irish Fun, Food & Crafts (a little magazine I picked up in the check out aisle 4 or 5 years ago!)
And just for fun – here is a throw back parade picture! That’s me in top middle! Maybe I’ll dig up a few more old Irish dancing photos for the next few posts…