Tag Archives: mini chocolate chips

Red Velvet Valentine Bars

Red Velvet Valentine Bars @ NancyC

You’ve probably heard of cookie exchanges…they happen quite a bit around Christmastime. We’ll, this year at work some of us had a little Valentine cookie exchange. I was kind of short on time, so I needed to make something fairly easy, but still wanted it to be very yummy. I’ve seen lots of recipes for cake mix bars and cookies lately, so I thought I’d come up with my own version of Red Velvet bars made with cake mix. After all, any Red Velvet recipe seems appropriate for Valentine’s Day and using cake mix makes it really easy!

These bars are actually more like brownies than cookies–with lots of M&M’s and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips added in! If you’re looking for a simple Valentine treat to make, with lots of yummy chocolate flavor, you still have a little time to try these out!

RED VELVET VALENTINE BARS by NancyC

Makes a 9×13″ pan 

  • 1 (16.5-ounce) box of Red Velvet cake mix (I used Duncan Hines®) Signature Red Velvet Cake Mix)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (11.4-ounce) bag Valentine M&M’s (about 1 2/3 cups), divided

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease or line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Mix cake mix, egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract until blended–your batter will be fairly thick, but still stirable. Fold in the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and 3/4 cup of the M&M’s, stirring to distribute evenly in batter (save the rest of the M&M’s for sprinkling on top).

Press batter evenly into your prepared 9×13″ pan and sprinkle with the remaining M&M’s, pressing them into the batter. Bake at 350˚F for 23 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean (the toothpick may have a red tint to it when you pull it out). Cool completely, then cut into bars (if you lined your pan with parchment paper, lift the bars out of your pan with the parchment paper edges, and cut into bars).

These are very rich and chocolatey with all those M&M candies and chocolate chips in there! What kinds of goodies are you making for Valentine’s Day?

Chocolate Chip Chocolate Syrup Brownies

Chocolate Chip Chocolate Syrup Brownies II @ NancyC

A few weeks ago, I bought an old cookbook from the ’70s at a flea market and found several recipes tucked inside it that had been clipped from newspapers and magazines. And there was an old recipe card, too–for Chocolate Syrup Brownies. Since I already had some chocolate syrup in my fridge, I decided these brownies would be the perfect recipe to try out first. There was a little note on the recipe card that said these brownies had a mild chocolate flavor, so I thought I’d up the chocolate flavor a bit by adding some mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter.

I was really happy with the way these brownies turned out! They’re so yummy and really easy to make–just stir them up in a bowl, pour in a pan, and bake. They are more cake-like than fudgy, but they are also very moist and the chocolate chips give them a rich chocolate flavor. Next time you have a craving for brownies, this would be a great recipe to try!

CHOCOLATE CHIP CHOCOLATE SYRUP BROWNIES by NancyC, adapted from an old Great American Recipes recipe card

Makes a 9″ square pan

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Dash of salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup chocolate-flavored syrup (I used Hershey’s)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and lightly flour a 9″ square pan, or line with parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth; add eggs and blend until very creamy. Add a dash of salt to the mixture.

Stir in flour, mixing to blend well. Add chocolate syrup and vanilla, blending well, then stir in the chopped nuts and mini chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared 9″ square pan, smoothing batter evenly in pan. Bake at 350˚F for 32 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on wire rack (loosen edges before brownies cool to avoid sticking–if using parchment paper, you don’t need to do this).

Cut into squares and serve.

Chocolate Chip Chocolate Syrup Brownies @ NancyC

I haven’t tried any recipes from the old cookbook yet, but I’m glad I discovered the Chocolate Syrup Brownies recipe tucked inside! It was like getting a little bonus with my cookbook. 🙂

Have you made brownies with chocolate syrup?

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Chocolate Chip Coffee Toffee Scones

ChocolateChipCoffeeToffeeScones@NancyCreative.com It’s been a while since I’ve made scones. I think the last ones I made were Blackberry Scones, and that was about a year ago.  So when I had the chance recently to try some different coffee blends, compliments of Community Coffee, I thought of making scones because they go great with coffee in the morning. And I decided it would be fun to try making some coffee-flavored scones. I envisioned them with some chocolate chips and toffee, too–those flavors are always good with coffee. These scones are more cake-like than biscuit-like. They’re more dessert-like than breakfast-like. But if you like having dessert for breakfast, then you’ll especially like these! 🙂 Everyone who tasted these scones really liked them, so I think you will, too. CommCoffee

This scone recipe calls for 1/4 cup very strong coffee (plus 2 more Tablespoons for the glaze). I used the Golden Caramel Blend, but any of these other blends (House Blend, Creme Brûlée) would work well in this. And just a little note–as these scones were baking, they were looking a little puffy, which worried me a little when I took them out of the oven. But as they cooled, they settled down nicely. So don’t be alarmed if you notice some puffiness when you take them out of the oven!

CHOCOLATE CHIP COFFEE TOFFEE SCONES by NancyC

Makes 8 scones

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup very strong coffee, cooled (you’ll also need 2 more Tablespoons for the Coffee Glaze-see below)
  • 1 large egg

COFFEE GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons very strong coffee, cooled
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Half & Half (light cream)
  • Additional mini chocolate chips and toffee bits for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In medium-size bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Use pastry cutter to blend butter into flour mixture; mixture will be crumbly . Stir in mini chocolate chips and toffee bits.

In small bowl, mix plain Greek yogurt, coffee, and egg until smooth. Blend yogurt mixture into the flour mixture, stirring until clumps of dough form (dough will be a little sticky).

Sprinkle some flour over the dough in the bowl to make it less sticky, and with floured hands, knead a few times and shape dough into a ball. Place dough on your parchment-lined baking sheet and pat into an 8-inch circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Use a knife to score into 8 wedges, then bake at 400˚F on your center oven rack for 17-18 minutes, until golden. Note: If you bake these less than 17 minutes, your scones may be under-baked in the middle. Also, the scones may look a little puffy, but they will settle down as they cool.

Cool scones for about 20 minutes (or you can cool them completely), then top with the Coffee Glaze.

To make glaze, put powdered sugar in a small bowl, then add the coffee and Half & Half (light cream) and stir until ingredients are well blended. Drizzle over cooled scones-you can drizzle as little or as much as you like (you’ll probably have some extra glaze left over). Then lightly sprinkle some additional mini chocolate chips and toffee bits over the glaze. Let glaze set, then cut into wedges where scored, and serve.

ChocolateChipCoffeeToffeeScones2@NancyCreative.com Coffee and coffee-flavored scones are a great way to start the day! This was the first time I’ve used coffee as an ingredient in a recipe. Have you made any recipes with coffee?

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Mini Cannoli Cups

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Here’s an easy recipe I made with Nasoya® Won Ton Wraps. I had never used these wraps before, so I was interested in trying them out when I was offered some complimentary product from Nasoya® (they also provided all-natural-won-ton-wraps_0a gift card to cover the cost of other ingredients). I decided to try a dessert-like recipe from their site called Cannoli Cups and I also created my own recipe for an appetizer, which I’ll share with you in my next post. If you’re not familiar with these Nasoya® wraps, they are all-natural and super easy to use! You can find them in the produce section next to Nasoya® tofu and other products.

I made my cannoli cups a little differently from the original recipe, making them mini-size. I also added way more chocolate chips than the original recipe–actually by mistake! For some reason I thought the original recipe called for 1 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (it only called for 1/3 cup), so I started off adding 1 cup and mixing it into the ricotta cheese mixture before catching my mistake! But it was one of those happy mistakes, because the lightly-sweet creamy ricotta filling in these cannoli cups taste great with all those chocolate chips! And the won ton wraps make a nice little shell for this yummy filling. This recipe calls for 1 package of Nasoya® Won Ton Wraps and each 12-ounce package has about 52 wraps in it–this recipe will fill up just about all those wraps so it’s great to make for parties and other gatherings!

MINI CANNOLI CUPS adapted from Nasoya.com

Makes 48-52 cups

  • 3 cups fresh ricotta cheese (I used Part-Skim)
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, plus extra chips for sprinkling on top
  • 1 (12-ounce) package Nasoya® Won Ton Wraps

Place the ricotta cheese in a medium size mixing bowl. Stir or beat with a mixer on medium for about 2 minutes, until cheese is smooth and creamy. Add in the powdered sugar and blend well, mixing or beating until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips, then place in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place each won ton wrap in the base of a mini cupcake pan, pressing down to create a mini bowl. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and fill each cup with a slightly heaping 1/2 Tablespoon of filling–then return to oven for 4 to 5 more minutes, until the cups are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then put on serving plate and sprinkle tops lightly with additional mini chocolate chips. Serve warm (if serving later, keep refrigerated until ready to serve, then warm them in the microwave). I prefer these warm, but you can also serve them at room temperature.

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These Mini Cannoli Cups are perfect if you’re wanting to serve something sweet and bite-sized. The other recipe I made with these wraps is a savory appetizer that I’m sure you’ll love, so look for it in my next post!

Chocolate Chip Muffins

ncChocChipMuffs1nm

I realized that it’s been awhile since I made anything with chocolate in it, so I thought it would be a great time to make some Chocolate Chip Muffins! These are nice and cake-y, with lots of chocolate chips in every bite! In fact, it’s so chocolatey, you don’t need a glaze on this muffin because it’s plenty sweet all on its own. The muffin tops do brown around the edges, as you can see in the photo–so be sure not to over-bake, or the whole muffin top will get brown as well and the muffins will be on the dry side. If you like chocolate for breakfast or brunch, these are perfect…and they make a great afternoon snack, too!

CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS by NancyC

Makes 21 muffins

  • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup non-GMO Canola oil or light olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk or light cream (Half & Half)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line 2 standard-size muffin pans with 21 paper liners; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In medium bowl, mix oil, eggs, milk or light cream (Half & Half), and vanilla, blending well. Blend in the Greek yogurt, mixing well.

Pour liquid mixture into flour/sugar mixture and mix until just combined–do not overmix! Fold in the chocolate chips, blending evenly into the batter.

Spoon batter into the lined muffin cups, filling slightly more than 3/4 full. Bake at 375˚F for 16 to 17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely (or go ahead and eat them warm!).

Now that the weather has cooled off  a little, I’ve been enjoying doing more baking. What have you been baking lately?

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