Chocolate

Homemade Chocolates

Homemade Chocolates Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Learn how to make homemade chocolate in little wax candy cup wrappers. Kentucky bourbon balls topped with chopped pecans, peanut butter cups, and almond joy candies. These candies make a great gift or dessert for the chocolate lover in your life or valentine. Make these ahead and freeze. Simple way to make chocolate candy at home that taste like Reese's and mars candy and bourbon Balls. Find the recipe for making these chocolates in mini muffin tin on thewoodandspoon.com

This is a public service announcement to the men of the world. Listen closely, boys, because I’m only going to remind you of this one time. Are you ready? Here it goes:

Next Tuesday, February 14th, is Valentine’s Day. DO. NOT. BLOW IT.

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

On Valentine’s Day

Back in high school, performance on Valentine’s Day was everything. Giant teddy bear? Check. Heart shaped balloons and bouquets of carnations? Check, check. Brian McKnight/ KC and JoJo mix tapes and folded loves notes  shoved through the vent of your locker? Might as well be the boyfriend starter kit.

Once you get to college, things escalate a bit. Dinner dates, rose bouquets, and jewelry are the new gifting norms, although, if you can land a guy who opts for concert tickets and cooking classes, YOU ARE WINNING AT EVERYTHING.

Unfortunately, after college and into adulthood, Valentine’s Day loses a bit of its luster. Babysitters are impossible to book, restaurants are too crowded, and somehow, husbands think items like dustbusters and  shower curtain liners qualify as legitimate gift options (they don’t, BTW). It’s no wonder that people get fed up with Valentine’s Day. What’s there to love about overpriced retail gimmicks and packing into movie theaters with a bunch of hormonal, sweaty-palmed middle schoolers whose moms think they’re watching the newest Pixar film with their “friends” (they’re not, BTW).

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

A Tip to the Guys

Guys, I’m going to break it down for you as plainly as I can. Please, let me make it simple for you. Are you ready?

EVERY GIRL LIKES VALENTINE’S DAY.

Yep. You heard me right. That includes your girlfriend who boycotts Hallmark and laughs at the nervous kid wearing a tie and sport coat to his first date. It includes your wife who claims flowers are a waste of money, but gives you the silent treatment when you come home empty handed. And it evens includes the gal who begs you not to give her a gift and says you celebrate her love every other day of the year.

No matter what they tell you, every woman wants a gesture of love on Valentine’s Day, and I know this will come as a shock to you husbands out there, but it almost always has nothing to do with… *cough* you know what. (Literally, the brains of guys everywhere are spontaneously combusting right now.)

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

What Women Really Want

You know what we want? We want chocolate. And not just any average heart-shaped, store bought, golden box of chocolates. We want delicious, melt in your mouth homemade chocolates, made by the sweat of your brow and at the expense of your time spent with a remote in your hand. Specifically, we want these bourbon pecan, peanut butter cup, and coconut almond chocolates. There. Now you know. So let’s get to it.

Homemade Chocolates

These homemade chocolates are no bake and are made with just a few basic store bought ingredients. I decided to include a few variations of homemade chocolates so that there’s an option for almost everyone, but primarily so that the overachiever boyfriends can impress their ladies with an assortment of all three. But girls, don’t be afraid to get in there and make these for your man too! If he’s got a sweet tooth like mine does, just a few of these beauties will go a long way and he will be grateful you passed on the conversation hearts and sappy card.

Homemade Chocolates

Bourbon Pecan

First up is bourbon pecan. If you’ve ever had the Southern treat of “Bourbon Balls,” you can expect something quite similar here. With a dark chocolate shell, these little bourbon pecan homemade chocolates are filled with powdered sugar, toasted pecans, and premium booze. These are perfect for the bourbon lover in your life, or someone who loves their desserts extra dark and extra sweet.

Homemade ChocolatesPeanut Butter Cups

Peanut butter cups take homemade chocolates to the next level. Everyone loves the store-bought variety of peanut butter cups, but have you ever had one literally melt upon impact with your mouth? Prepare for that here. These peanut butter cups are RICH, filled with a fluffy peanut butter cream filling and coated with smooth milk chocolate. A crowd favorite, if you’re ever in doubt, just go in this direction.

Homemade ChocolatesHomemade Chocolates

Coconut Almond Chocolates

Finally, my favorite of these homemade chocolates, the coconut almond chocolate. Filled with sweetened coconut and a little extra sugar, these little friends are coated in a milk chocolate blend and topped with a single toasted almond. Anyone who knows anything about candy will know what a treat they’re in for when they spy these little friends. For a nut-free option, leave off the almond and top with a few flakes of toasted coconut or a sprinkle of sea salt. Perfection!

These homemade chocolates require some special equipment like a mini muffin tin and little waxed paper cups for the candies, but the assembly is quite simple. In a pinch, you can used paper mini muffin liners, although, beware that some stickage can happen. And if you’re not a fan of dark or milk chocolate, feel free to swap up the top used in the recipes! I like each chocolate as the recipe is written, but certainly you can switch it up if desired.Homemade ChocolatesHomemade ChocolatesAny man friend that takes the time to muster these up for his lady is worth his weight in gold chocolate and has certainly outdone himself on Valentine’s Day. You should give these homemade chocolates a try for your significant other, friends, co-workers, or secret admirer- they’re sure to overflow with heart eyes and appreciation.

On the off chance that your special someone doesn’t like chocolate, let me encourage you to just let them know they’re loved in a special way. You probably already know what types of things make their heart skip a beat, so I’d challenge you to go the extra mile to make someone feel like a million bucks next Tuesday. Happy weekend, Happy Valentine’s Day, Happy #monthofchocolate,  and as always, cheers to you!

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Bourbon Pecan Chocolates

These homemade chocolates includes peanut butter cups, bourbon pecan candy balls, and coconut almond candies. No bake, easy to assemble, simple gift option!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 28

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 11/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 11/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • ½ cup pecans, finely chopped, divided

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together. Stir frequently to ensure that the chocolate does not get too hot. If you allow the chocolate to become too hot, it could seize up, so be sure to keep the water on medium-low heat. Once melted, set off to the side while you prepare your filling.
  2. In the meantime, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, and bourbon in a medium sized bowl. Once fluffy and smooth, stir in ¼ cup of pecans. Set in the fridge to chill briefly.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with waxed paper candy cups. Fill a plastic sandwich bag (or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip) with approximately half of the melted chocolate and snip the tip of it off, being sure to not cut too large of a hole or allow all of the chocolate to drip out immediately. Squeeze 1 teaspoon of chocolate in to the bottom of each of the paper candy cups and then set the plastic bag aside. Use a small instrument (I use a small clean paint brush or the end of a chopstick) to paint the chocolate up the sides of the paper candy cup, coating up at least half of the height of the paper. This prevents the filling from showing out the sides of the chocolate once the candies are assembled. If you don’t care if the filling shows, you can skip this step. Once covered, place the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once firmed up, scoop teaspoon sized rounds of the bourbon pecan filling into the bottom of each cup. You can lightly wet your finger and gently smooth out the top of the filling to make a flatter mound.
  5. Add more chocolate to your plastic bag and then top the filling with an additional teaspoon of chocolate. Use your paint brush to smooth out the chocolate and cover the filling completely, and then gently rap your pan on the counter to smooth and settle all three layers of the candy. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining pecans. Allow them to rest in the mini muffin tin in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store candies in the fridge for up to two weeks. The candies may form a white film on the chocolate if stored at room temperature for extended periods of time.

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Peanut Butter Cups

These homemade chocolates includes peanut butter cups, bourbon pecan candy balls, and coconut almond candies. No bake, easy to assemble, simple gift option!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24

Ingredients

  • 11/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 11/2 tablespoons shortening
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together. Stir frequently to ensure that the chocolate does not get too hot. If you allow the chocolate to become too hot, it could seize up, so be sure to keep the water on medium-low heat. Once melted, set off to the side while you prepare your filling.
  2. In the meantime, cream together the peanut butter and butter in a medium sized bowl. Add the salt and powdered sugar and continue to beat until smooth and fluffy. Set in the fridge to chill briefly.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with waxed paper candy cups. Fill a plastic sandwich bag (or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip) with approximately half of the melted chocolate and snip the tip of it off, being sure to not cut too large of a hole or allow all of the chocolate to drip out immediately. Squeeze 1 teaspoon of chocolate in to the bottom of each of the 24 paper candy cups and then set the plastic bag aside. Use a small instrument (I use a small clean paint brush or the end of a chopstick) to paint the chocolate up the sides of the paper candy cup, coating up at least half of the height of the paper. This prevents the filling from showing out the sides of the chocolate once the candies are assembled. If you don’t care if the filling shows, you can skip this step. Once covered, place the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once firmed up, scoop teaspoon sized rounds of the peanut butter filling into the bottom of each cup. You can lightly wet your finger and gently smooth out the top of the peanut butter to make a flatter mound of filling.
  5. Add more chocolate to your plastic bag and then top each peanut butter mound with an additional teaspoon of chocolate. Use your paint brush to smooth out the chocolate and cover the peanut butter completely, and then gently rap your pan on the counter to smooth and settle all three layers of the candy. Allow them to rest in the mini muffin tin in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store candies in the fridge for up to two weeks. The candies may form a white film on the chocolate if stored at room temperature for extended periods of time.

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Almond Coconut Chocolates

These homemade chocolates includes peanut butter cups, bourbon pecan candy balls, and coconut almond candies. No bake, easy to assemble, simple gift option!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 30

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 11/2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 11/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 30 whole almonds, toasted

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water on medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and shortening together. Stir frequently to ensure that the chocolate does not get too hot. If you allow the chocolate to become too hot, it could seize up, so be sure to keep the water on medium-low heat. Once melted, set off to the side while you prepare your filling.
  2. In the meantime, beat together the butter, coconut, corn syrup, and powdered sugar in a medium sized bowl. If you wish for a smoother, less clumpy filling, feel free to whiz the mixture in a food chopped briefly. Set the filling in the fridge to chill briefly.
  3. Line a mini muffin pan with waxed paper candy cups. Fill a plastic sandwich bag (or a piping bag fitted with a small round tip) with approximately half of the melted chocolate and snip the tip of it off, being sure to not cut too large of a hole or allow all of the chocolate to drip out immediately. Squeeze 1 teaspoon of chocolate in to the bottom of each of the paper candy cups and then set the plastic bag aside. Use a small instrument (I use a small clean paint brush or the end of a chopstick) to paint the chocolate up the sides of the paper candy cup, coating up at least half of the height of the paper. This prevents the filling from showing out the sides of the chocolate once the candies are assembled. If you don’t care if the filling shows, you can skip this step. Once covered, place the pan in the fridge or freezer to chill for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once firmed up, scoop teaspoon sized rounds of the filling into the bottom of each cup. I like to roll teaspoon sized balls in the palm of my hand and then flatten slightly to make flat round disks that fit inside the paper liners.
  5. Add more chocolate to your plastic bag and then top the filling with an additional teaspoon of chocolate. Use your paint brush to smooth out the chocolate and cover the filling completely, and then gently rap your pan on the counter to smooth and settle all three layers of the candy. Place a single toasted almond on top of each candy. Allow them to rest in the mini muffin tin in the fridge or freezer for at least 30 minutes. Store candies in the fridge for up to two weeks. The candies may form a white film on the chocolate if stored at room temperature for extended periods of time.

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Mint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Mint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Chewy chocolate cookies made from semisweet chocolate filled with a simple Andes mint chocolate ganache. This cookie sandwiches are a fun cookie to make with kids and taste delicious for the chocolate and mint lovers. Make ahead and freeze cookies if you know how to! Find the recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

It’s here, it’s here! Does it feel like Christmas morning, or is it just me? It’s MONTH OF CHOCOLATE ! That time of the year when you get mouth-watering, ooey gooey, chocolate filled// topped// smothered// drizzled// speckled// dipped recipes ALL. MONTH. LONG. Can you even stand it?

Mint Chocolate Sandwich CookiesMint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Month of Chocolate

Okay, so #monthofchocolate is not exactly a thing YET, but you better believe that I’m going to do everything I can to make it one. You see, I belong to the small minority of people (outside of the folks at Hallmark) that gets really revved up about Valentine’s Day and all the lovey dovey, heart shaped candy and tacky stuffed animals that come with it. So I decided to dedicate this month to the ingredient that everyone loves most throughout February and serve up all chocolate dessert, all the time. If you happen to belong to the rare breed of human that doesn’t like chocolate (I’m looking at you, Mimi), my apologies. I’m sorry for the onslaught of chocolate recipes and also just sorry for you in life. How do you live without chocolate!?! Maybe I’ll change your mind this month.

Mint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

What better way to kick off this month-long Augustus Gloop-ish parade of recipes than mint chocolate sandwich cookies. These sandwiches are the golden ticket. Here, two thin and chewy chocolate cookies stack together filled with a fudgy mint chocolate ganache. Sounds like a dream right? My friend Rebecca started serving up cookies galore a few months back. After seeing hers, I knew I had to make something that delicious happen in my kitchen. These mint chocolate sandwich cookies are the product of that dream. I assure you that no one in my house was disappointed about it.Mint Chocolate Sandwich CookiesMint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Assembling the Cookies

First, the cookies themselves come together with melted semisweet chocolate chips. Next, the fudgy cookie dough bakes in the oven to form perfectly round and crackle-topped chocolate cookies. After cooling, these little beauties get slathered in a mint chocolate ganache and nuzzled up together to form the most perfect little cookie stack, maybe ever. I use a cookie scoop to keep my cookies uniform in shape and size, but beauty isn’t everything here. If you’d prefer, you can make an extra helping of ganache and simply frost the top of each cookie for an equal cookie to ganache ratio. Sounds like a win to me.Mint Chocolate Sandwich CookiesMint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Once prepared, these mint chocolate sandwich cookies wind up being small, thin cookie stacks, just slightly wider than a certain commercially produced chocolate sandwich cookie that everyone in America already knows and loves (cough, Oreo, cough). These mint chocolate sandwich cookies are soft, two bite, fudge cookie dreams that beg for a glass of milk, cup of coffee, and a friend to share them with. I hope you’ll give them a try and stay tuned for all of the chocolate madness that is sure to ensue this month. I have a dazzling few weeks planned for us and I can’t wait to hear how you all feel about it. Later this week, I’ll be sharing the treats you will want to make for your Valentine, BFF, or whoever you’re celebrating on Cupid’s day, so check back on Friday for that. Cheers to you and have a great week!Mint Chocolate Sandwich CookiesMint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

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Mint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

The mint chocolate sandwich cookies are thin and chewy chocolate fudge cookies stacked with layers of thick and creamy mint chocolate ganache.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 25
  • Category: Cookies

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 3/4 cup (170 gm) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (220 gm) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 gm) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups (340 gm) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 21/2 cups (325 gm) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch

For the filling

  • 10 ounces (280 gm) of chocolate mints (Like Andes) or mint baking chips, unwrapped and broken in half
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) heavy whipping cream

Instructions

To prepare the cookies

  1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, brown sugar, sugar, and water. Stir occasionally until melted and then add in the chocolate chips. Continue to stir until melted. Once melted, pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to just lukewarm temp.
  2. Once cooled, add the egg and stir until thoroughly mixed. Then add the flour, powder, soda, salt, and starch and mix just until combined.
  3. Place the dough in the refrigerator to set up for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The dough should be cold and able to roll into balls.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop out 2 teaspoon sized balls (I use my small cookie scoop), and roll them slightly in your hands to make smooth, rounded balls. Arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 8-9 minutes or until the edges are set. The cookies should be thin and flat once cooled. Allow to cool completely.

To prepare the filling

  1. Place the mints in a small, microwave safe bowl and pour the cream in a microwave safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave the cream for about 30 seconds or until the cream started to steam and bubble. Remove the cream from the microwave and pour directly over the chocolate, stirring just slightly to make sure as much of the chocolate is covered as possible. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Stir the chocolate mixture with a whisk until a smooth ganache forms and all of the chocolate is melted. If your chocolate does not melt completely, place in the microwave for 10 second intervals, stirring until the ganache comes together. Allow the ganache to sit out at room temperate until it hardens slightly to become a thick, frosting consistency chocolate cream.
  2. Once ready to prepare the cookies, scoop approximately 1-1/2 teaspoon sized dollops of the ganache on the bottoms of half of the cookies. Press another cookie on top of each ganache topped cookie and allow to set up or enjoy immediately. You’ll likely have extra filling, but you can certainly use that for drizzling on top of the cookies. The ganache can be stored in the fridge and reheated for use for up to one week.

Notes

  • If your dough is too hard upon removing from the fridge, your cookies may not be as thin and flat when you finish baking them. Allow the dough to sit out at room temp for a few minutes if the dough is ice cold.
  • A cookie scoop is not necessary, but will keep your cookies the same shape and size which is ideal for building a cookie sandwich.

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Recipe adapted from: Jackie Schmidt

Trail Mix Cookies

Trail Mix Cookies recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. Fun cookies to make with kids! These trail mix cookies have raisins, chocolate candies (m&M's), peanuts and oats! The cookies have crisp edges and chewy centers and are simple and easy to make. Requires short time and one bowl to make. Trail mix cookies are good summer camp recipe, school recipe, craft idea to bake with kids. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

There’s a few things I need to get off my chest today. So if you were in need of another inappropriate post about my breasts- here it is. (!!!)

Let me start with a shout out to all the baby mamas out there that manage to nurse their children for extended periods of time. Ladies, how do you do it? Is there some sort of magic cream or ancient metal nipple shields that I need to know about? When the kid starts teething, do you play through the pain? Because over here, it is just NOT HAPPENING.

Nursing

George is 8 months old today (Why?! How?! When?! Didn’t this just happen yesterday?), and although he is still nursing, I can promise you that his days of voyaging on the Maidens of the Milk (my boobs, obviously) are numbered. Teeth, dwindling supply, and a vivacious 2 year old sister that is highly distracting every time George saddles up to the bar (again, my boobs) has got me counting down the days till we’re done.

I know that a lot of moms really love nursing, and I know that it’s a special bonding experience for mama and her baby. Yes, breast milk has all of the vitamins, and it’s so much less expensive, and the convenience of having a vending machine strapped inside your bra is just a ridiculous benefit to pass up. But George and I have bonded. He’s growing and healthy, I’ve got some milk stored in the freezer, and to be honest, I’d probably empty out all of the money in my purse right now if it meant never having to hear the mechanical “whee-woo, whee-woo, whee-woo” of my Medela breast pump ever again. There’s so many wonderful benefits to breastfeeding, but what I’m trying to say is, I think we’re almost done.

Trail Mix CookiesTrail Mix CookiesTrail Mix Cookies

The most selfish gain I’ve had from getting to nurse my babies is the snacks- those extra calories I get to indulge in each day. At our house, there’s never any shortage of snacks, and recently, we added trail mix cookies to the list of favorites. These trail mix cookies are pretty much always my next snack waiting to happen. Peanuts, chocolate candies, raisins, and oats, all stuffed into a delicious cookie dough that bakes up golden and delicious. A combination of my loaded oatmeal cookie dough and candied walnut chocolate chip cookies, these trail mix cookies are packed with all the trail mix fixin’s and are adaptable to include any other toppings you may have a hankering for. Cashews? Yup. Toffee? Sure. Reese’s Pieces? Do ya thang.

Trail Mix CookiesMaking the Cookies

We tried some trail mix cookies while visiting Blackberry Farm a few weeks ago, and I spent my first few days home making test batches of the cookies to get them just right. The dough starts by creaming butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. After adding eggs, vanilla, and a sprinkling of dry ingredients, you dump in all the trail mix goodies you can find. Give the dough a quick chill (or a long one, if you want puffier, chewy cookies), and just try not to eat it all straight from the bowl. It’s that good. These trail mix cookies have crisp edges and chewy centers. If you’re anything like me, you may opt to bake them until they’re golden brown, with little crunchy bits throughout.

Unless you’re an 8 month old on an all-milk diet, you need trail mix cookies in your repertoire. Sweet, salty, or whatever your craving is, these trail mix cookies will satisfy the urge to snack. Give them a try and let me know what you think! There’s loads of other cookie recipes on the cookie recipe page of my site, so give that a check too. Oh, and enjoy this happy little video that I made for you all! Happy Wednesday and cheers to you!

Trail Mix Cookies

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Trail Mix Cookies

With chopped peanuts, raisins, chocolate candy, and oats, these trail mix cookies are sweet, salty, and simple cookies that are sure to please a crowd.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 30

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 21/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 cup candy coated chocolate (like M&Ms)
  • 3/4 cups unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 3/4 cups raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Start on low until incorporated and then increase to medium, beating until smooth, creamy, and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on low just until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. In a small bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and corn starch. Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat on low just until the mixture is combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed and add the chocolate, peanuts, and raisins, stirring on low just until combined.
  3. Scoop 3 tablespoon sized balls of dough (I use a large cookie scoop) about 3 inches apart on to a cookie sheet prepared with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. These cookies are large and in charge and they need room on the baking sheet. If the dough is not cool to the touch and slightly firm, place the baking sheet with dough balls in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes to allow the dough to set up- this keeps the cookies from spreading too much. Once ready, place the pan in the oven and bake until the edges and top of the cookie are beginning to turn golden and have set up, about 9 minutes. The centers will still appear underdone. Cool on a cooling rack, or just dive right in and enjoy.

Notes

  • For crunchy, textured cookies, refrigerate for less time and bake a minute or two longer, or until the cookies is golden all over the top. For a chewy, softer cookie, refrigerate the dough for an hour and then bake for recommended length of time.

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Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

Blackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Post Recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood blogger. this is a simple citrus cheesecake with a chocolate black bottom and homemade chocolate cookie crust made without Oreo's. Follow the instructions perfectly to get a cheesecake with a flat, smooth top without cracks every time. Drizzle with extra chocolate sauce or top with Meyer lemon slices for decoration. This is what to do with you Meyer lemons! Find the recipe for this easy cheesecake prepared with a water bath in a springform pan on thewoodandspoon.com

New Year’s Eve is slowly inching its way up my list of favorite holidays. Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, yes… but New Year’s Eve? There’s never any shortage of party.

Blackberry Farm

For the second year in a row, we earned our New Year’s Day hangovers in the hills of the Smoky Mountains at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN. A luxury hotel boasting strong culinary offerings and a James Beard Award winning wine and dining program, Blackberry Farm is a cozy, Southern retreat for those in need of a good meal and R&R. We visited Blackberry Farm this time last year (you may remember this post about it), and enjoyed it so much that we made reservations to visit again only a week or two after returning home. The resort, just as I recalled, was nothing short of magnificent, and we had a terrific time ringing in the New Year.

2017-01-04_0011Blackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake PostBlackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Post

A Glimpse of Our Trip To BF

Much like last year, Brett and I made the trip north with our friends Rayne and James. Leading up to the trip, Rayne and I spent an obnoxious amount of time preparing our packing lists, which included shopping for glamorous outfits to wear to the New Year’s Eve party. After searching everywhere for the perfect cocktail dress, I ended up raiding my sister’s closet, borrowing her black lace dress from last year’s homecoming.

All of the trip preparation ended up being totally worth it because the New Year’s Eve party did not disappoint. I spent the evening fangirling some country music stars that were at the party (*cough* Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts *cough*), tripping over the dance floor with Brett, and eating my feelings at the dessert bar (see below for exhibit A). The party was rad, but honestly, who wouldn’t feel like a million bucks dancing the night away with their man-friend and sipping champagne cocktails with their BFF. Also, let’s not forget that I had managed to shimmy myself into my teenage sister’s LBD- a little fact that made me fist pump every time I thought about it.

Blackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake PostOverall: FANTASTIC!

The weekend was incredibly relaxing, complete with some walks around the property, morning yoga, a trip to the spa, and a few hours each day spent cuddled around the fire. The only downside was the two (or seven) pounds I gained while there from day drinking consuming so much food. WORTH IT.

Blackberry Farm boasts some of the best food and dining I’ve ever experienced in my life, so I spared no calorie, sip, or bite in making sure that I got the best of what the resort had to offer. I meant to bring my camera to share some images of the trip, but I saved my luggage space for all the pairs of Spanx I needed, so you’ll have to settle for these iPhone shots instead. Even so, there’s no denying the beauty of Blackberry Farm and the fun that we tucked under our belts there. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, I urge you to do so- it’s fab.

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

So are you ready to hear about this Meyer lemon cheesecake yet?

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

Meyer lemons are the sweeter, more floral tasting sister fruit to the regular old lemons you might commonly buy. They usually pop up in the grocery stores throughout the winter, so if you see them, GET THEM. They are a prize to be honored in your kitchens, and add wonderful flavor to sweet and savory dishes alike.

Making the Cheesecake

This Meyer lemon cheesecake features a rich chocolate crust and a thin layer of chocolate cheesecake on the bottom. We start by preparing the crust which zips together quickly before being pressed into the bottom of a springform pan. The recipe for the cheesecake filling is no fail, in my opinion, because it never cracks, is always creamy, and is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. With a bit of cream cheese, eggs, and sugar, the filling beats together to create a thick and luscious filling that is so tasty, you may find yourself licking the bowl.

Take care while preparing the cheesecake filling to follow the instructions closely, because there’s nothing worse than pulling your cheesecake out of the oven only to find that it’s burned, cracked, runny, or soggy crusted from a leaky waterbath. #beenthere #donethatBlackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Post

Meyer lemon cheesecake, with its fancy citrus, black bottom, and rich, decadent taste, feels like a fancy dessert fit for celebrating the new year. Maybe throw on your little sister’s dress, eat some cheesecake, and feel like a rockstar for a minute. Maybe make this Meyer lemon cheesecake and dream about all the good stuff this coming year has for you. My prayer is you’ll find lots of joy, love, and cake in 2017. Happy New Year!

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

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Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

This meyer lemon cheesecake is a black bottom cheesecake with a chocolate crust. Tart and creamy, this cheesecake is a great make ahead dessert option, and is a rich and lemony treat, perfect for the chocolate and fruit lovers in your life!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

For the chocolate crust

  • 1 cup (130 gm) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup (65 gm) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2/3 (80 gm) cup flour, sifted
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 gm) butter, melted

For the cheesecake

  • 6 ounces (170 gm) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 11/2 pounds/ 3 blocks (680 gm) of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (155 gm) sugar
  • 3 large eggs (170 gm), room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 41/4 tablespoons (65 ml) of meyer lemon juice (about the juice of 11/2 large meyer lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon of packed meyer lemon zest (about the zest of 2 large meyer lemons- avoid the white pith)

Instructions

To prepare the chocolate crust

  1. Prepare a 9″ springform pan by wrapping it in sheets of aluminum foil. I use 3 layers of extra wide foil wrapped to the top lip of the pan. Spray the inside walls and bottom of the pan with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together the dry ingredients until combined. Add the melted butter and stir just until combined. Gently pat out your chocolate mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Set aside while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

To prepare the cheesecake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and get some water boiling in a kettle or saucepan for your water bath.
  2. Set a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Beat cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed (I use 4 on my Kitchen Aid Mixer) for 2 minutes to remove all clumps. Do not overbeat, but scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. If many clumps remain, ensure that your cream cheese has softened to room temp.
  4. Add the sugar and beat on medium for an additional 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat to combine an additional 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the heavy cream, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat to combine.
  5. Strain the cheesecake batter through a mesh strainer into a reserved bowl and then fold in the lemon zest. Remove 3/4 cup of the cheesecake batter and stir it into the melted chocolate. Spread the chocolate cheesecake over the top of the chocolate crust. Next, pour the remaining cheesecake batter over top of the chocolate layer. Gently rap the pan on the counter to help any air bubbles escape.
  6. Place your springform pan into a slightly larger baking dish/pan and fill the larger pan with the boiling water you prepared for the water bath until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  7. Carefully place both pans in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. After an hour of baking, the edges and top of the cheesecake should be set but still slightly jiggle in the center. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to bake for an additional 30 minutes in the oven. Prop the door of the oven open slightly with a wooden spoon and continue to cool the cheesecake for another 30 minutes in the cooling oven.
  8. Discard the water bath, remove the foil and then place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill for several hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for several days.

Notes

Notes

  • I wrap my springform pan with three layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. This is to protect your crust from any water leakage of your springform pan. Many pans will claim to be waterproof but your crust will get soggy and inedible if water leakage happens. Don’t take any chances!
  • I use a 11″ round cake pan for my water bath but you can use any oven-safe dish that you have. Once of my readers used a roasting pan and that works just fine!
  • The cooling process seems lengthy and unnecessary, but it helps to prevent drastic temperature changes that can cause structural issues with your cake.

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Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are chewy chocolate chip cookies warmly scented with coriander and other spices and candied walnuts. You can substitute pecans or other nuts here. These make terrific holiday or Christmas chocolate chip cookies and can be made ahead and frozen. Save the extra candied walnut pieces for future baked goods. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com. cookies, cookie recipes, walnuts, candied walnuts, cookies with nuts.

Is it entirely cliche to talk about how fast time flies in the month of December? All year long we wait and wait (and wait) for the Christmas season to roll around and then poof- you carve a turkey and suddenly it’s December. I’m not sure how that much joy and celebrating can squeeze into a one month time frame, but you can bet that I’m going to do my very best to try.

Christmas with Kids

Now that I’m a mom, my M.O. during the month of December is to drum up as much holiday cheer and merriment for my children as possible. For George, my 7 month old, that’s a bit of a stretch, but for my 2 year old Aimee, the wonder of Christmas is alive and well. She counts the ornaments on our tree and drinks her milk out of a Santa mug. She’s captivated by all of the twinkling lights everywhere and  she rocks her red and green pjs like it’s her 9-5. This is the first year it’s magical for her, so I’m determined to make it count. Now is the time to start traditions that she will grow up on, and who knows, maybe even pass on to her kiddos someday. AM I HORMONAL OR IS THAT JUST, LIKE, THE MOST PRECIOUS MOM JOB EVER?

Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are chewy chocolate chip cookies warmly scented with coriander and other spices and candied walnuts. You can substitute pecans or other nuts here. These make terrific holiday or Christmas chocolate chip cookies and can be made ahead and frozen. Save the extra candied walnut pieces for future baked goods. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com. cookies, cookie recipes, walnuts, candied walnuts, cookies with nuts.

Cookie Traditions

Near the top of my list of traditions to pass on to the babies is cookies. Cookie decorating, cookies for Santa, cookies with milk before bedtime, and all the other cookie-related Christmassy things you can think of. In case you haven’t heard, cookies reign supreme over 95% of all other foods throughout the Christmas season, and this time of year just wouldn’t be what it is without a cookie or two.

For that reason and about a million more, I am thrilled to be a part of the #calmandbrightcookienight virtual cookie party being hosted by Natalie and Holly of The Modern Proper. If you haven’t heard of these fabulous ladies, their blog, or their vision for reinventing food and the way we share it with others, then cancel your plans for the evening and plan on spending an hour or two skimming their blog. It’s filled with beautiful words, stunning images, and food that makes your belly growl. Today, the ladies behind The Modern Proper are hosting a virtual cookie exchange with over 30 other food bloggers who will also be sharing cookie recipes!

Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are chewy chocolate chip cookies warmly scented with coriander and other spices and candied walnuts. You can substitute pecans or other nuts here. These make terrific holiday or Christmas chocolate chip cookies and can be made ahead and frozen. Save the extra candied walnut pieces for future baked goods. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com. cookies, cookie recipes, walnuts, candied walnuts, cookies with nuts.

Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m bringing these candied walnut chocolate chip cookies into the mix. They’re lightly spiced with coriander, cinnamon, and all-spice which adds a winter warmth to an already delicious and decadent chocolate chip cookie. This recipe, adapted from Tara O’Brady‘s earth shattering chocolate chip cookie is chewy, buttery, and rich from scattered flecks of dark chocolate, with an added crunchy sweetness that can be attributed to the candied walnuts. To quote the Dos Equis man, “I don’t always eat chocolate chip cookies, but when I do, I add candied walnuts and proceed to eat 12 of them.” True story.

Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are chewy chocolate chip cookies warmly scented with coriander and other spices and candied walnuts. You can substitute pecans or other nuts here. These make terrific holiday or Christmas chocolate chip cookies and can be made ahead and frozen. Save the extra candied walnut pieces for future baked goods. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com. cookies, cookie recipes, walnuts, candied walnuts, cookies with nuts.Making the Cookies

To prepare these candied walnut chocolate chip cookies, we start by making the walnuts, which cook up quickly on the stovetop in a mixture of butter, sugar, and spices. The butter and sugar melt around the chopped nuts, creating a thin sheet of sugary spiced glass around each nut. This keeps the nuts from getting gummy or overly chewy in the cookie, and also adds a sweet little crunch to every bite of cookie. While the nuts cool, the cookie dough is prepared. With a little butter, sugar, flour, and salt, these cookies come together in a bowl with a wooden spoon before the added candied walnuts and chopped dark chocolate take them to the next level. Candied walnut chocolate chip cookies are sweet, spicy, salty, and most certainly Santa worthy.
Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are chewy chocolate chip cookies warmly scented with coriander and other spices and candied walnuts. You can substitute pecans or other nuts here. These make terrific holiday or Christmas chocolate chip cookies and can be made ahead and frozen. Save the extra candied walnut pieces for future baked goods. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com. cookies, cookie recipes, walnuts, candied walnuts, cookies with nuts.
While these candied walnut chocolate chip cookies taste excellent fresh from the oven, I find they taste best once cooled, or even the following day, as the cookie firms up and the flavors in it seem to keep developing over time. They freeze well in airtight containers, both pre and post baking, which makes these an excellent make-ahead treat. Plus, if you’re not a fan of walnuts, you can easily substitute pecans, pistachios, or another favorite nut, if preferred.
Many thanks to The Modern Proper for hosting this most special cookie party. Please give these candied walnut chocolate chip cookies and try, and then check out the other bloggers who are participating in the #calmandbrightcookienight in the list below! Happy Monday and cheers to you!

Virtual Cookie Party!

Floating Kitchen – Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies http://www.floatingkitchen.net/peppermint-chocolate-thumbprint-cookies/

Brewing Happienss – Mint Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies http://www.brewinghappiness.com/mint-chocolate-gingerbread-cookies-calmandbrightcookienight/

The Vintage Mixer – Ginger Creams with Browned butter Icing http://www.thevintagemixer.com/2016/12/christmas-cookies-ginger-creams/

Wu Haus – Raw Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Sandwiches http://www.wuhaus.com/blog/2016/12/12/raw-vegan-gingerbread-cookie-sandwiches

The Almond Eater – Homemade Almond Biscotti http://thealmondeater.com/2016/12/homemade-almond-biscotti/

Chocolate + Marrow – Brown Butter Gingerbread Madeleines  http://chocolateandmarrow.com/2016/12/12/brown-butter-gingerbread-madeleines-recipe 

Hungry Girl Por Vida – Lemon Pistachio Linzer Cookies https://www.hungrygirlporvida.com/blog/2016/12/12/lemon-pistachio-linzer-cookies/

Honestly YUM – Ricciarelli (Italian Almond Cookies) http://honestlyyum.com/18212/ricciarelli-italian-almond-cookies/

Husbands That Cook – Chocolate Sugar Cookies http://www.husbandsthatcook.com/2016/12/chocolate-sugar-cookies/

The Judy Lab – Sea Salt Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies http://www.thejudylab.com/recipes-blog/sea-salt-chocolate-chocolate-chip-cookies

Gather and Dine – Chocolate Almond Spelt Cookies http://www.gatheranddine.com/chocolate-almond-spelt-cookies/

Betty S Liu– Cardamom Persimmon Cookies with Olive Oil Dark Chocolate Ganache http://bettysliu.com/2016/12/12/cardamom-persimmon-cookies-olive-oil-dark-chocolate-ganache/

Harvest and Honey – Milk & Cookies https://harvestandhoney.com/2016/12/12/milk-cookies/

Bakerita – Chocolate Rugelach (gluten free + refined sugar free) http://www.bakerita.com/chocolate-rugelach-gluten-free/

The Fauxmartha – Snowball cookies http://www.thefauxmartha.com/2016/12/12/snowball-cookies/

The Kitchen Paper – Soft Toffee Cookies http://thekitchenpaper.com/soft-toffee-cookies/

Life Is But A Dish – Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cookies http://www.lifeisbutadish.com/chocolate-peppermint-cream-cookies/

Oh Honey Bakes Pomegranate Pistachio and Almond Biscotti http://ohhoneybakes.com/pomegranate-pistachio-and-lemon-biscotti/

The Brick Kitchen – Coconut Raspberry Wagon Wheels http://www.thebrickkitchen.com/2016/12/coconut-raspberry-wagon-wheels/

Alexandra Cooks – Classic Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies http://www.alexandracooks.com/2016/12/11/classic-cream-cheese-cutout-cookies/

Hello My Dumpling – Ginger Viennese Whirl Cookies with Matcha Passion Fruit Filling http://www.hellomydumpling.com/ginger-viennese-whirl-cookies-matcha-passion-fruit-filling

Snixy Kitchen – Peppermint Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies http://www.snixykitchen.com/2016/12/12/peppermint-chocolate-marshmallow-cookies/

Tending the Table – Almond Macaroons with Satsuma Marmalade https://tendingthetable.com/2016/12/12/almond-macaroons-with-satsuma-marmalade/

Milly’s Kitchen – Grapefruit Fennel Shortbread Cookies http://www.millys-kitchen.com/millys-kitchen/2016/12/12/grapefruit-fennel-shortbread-cookies

PDX Food Love – Chocolate Bourbon Swirl Meringues http://pdxfoodlove.com/chocolate-bourbon-swirl-meringues-for-calmandbrightcookienight/

Lasting Ingredient – Lemon Lime Shortbread http://www.lastingredient.com/2016/12/12/lemon-lime-shortbread/

Heart Beet Kitchen Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies http://heartbeetkitchen.com/2016/recipes/type/dessert/chocolate-peppermint-crinkle-cookies/

Carly Diaz Dark Chocolate Pistachio Shortbread Cookie https://www.carlydiaz.com/blog/2016/12/12/dark-chocolate-pistachio-shortbread-cookies

Cloudy Kitchen – Early Grey Shortbread http://www.cloudykitchen.com/blog/2016/12/11/earl-grey-shortbread

Lena’s Kitchen Blog Shortbread Cookies Three Ways http://www.lenaskitchenblog.com/shortbread-cookies-three-ways/

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Candied Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

These candied walnut chocolate chip cookies are chewy, buttery, and rich, lightly spiced with crunchy candied nuts and flecked with chopped bits of dark chocolate.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 30
  • Category: Cookies

Ingredients

For the candied walnuts

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon all-spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

For the cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chopped into tablespoon sized pieces
  • 11/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 11/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 11/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Fleur de sel or flaked salt, as desired

Instructions

To prepare the candied walnuts

  1. Combine the butter, vanilla, sugar, and spices in a medium, non-stick over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the nuts and stir regularly using a rubber spatula until the nuts have toasted and the sugar has begun to melt, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and spread out the nuts to cool on a sheet of parchment paper.

To prepare the cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat (I use the same skillet used to prepare the nuts). Once barely melted, remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugars to the melted butter and stir until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, stirring each until combined. In a separate, medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and coriander. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stirring until almost combined, and then fold in the chocolate.
  3. If your dough is shiny and still somewhat warm, allow to sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm up slightly. This will prevent the cookies from spreading too much.
  4. Scoop 1-1/2 tablespoons (I use a medium cookie scoop) rounds of dough approximately 2 inches apart onto a prepared cookie sheet. Bake in the preheated oven about 10-12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies have just barely begun to crack. Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack prior to enjoying. Cookies will keep in an air tight container up to 3-4 days but are best eaten on day of baking.

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Recipe Adapted From: Tara O’Brady

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a perfect make ahead Christmas / holiday / winter dessert made with Williams-sonoma peppermint bark. The chocolate cookies are like chocolate wafers and are made with hot cocoa mix. The filling is a mascarpone cheese whipped cream mixture that holds its shape as a frosting and helps to keep the cookies soft. the whole thing is topped by white chocolate and semisweet chocolate peppermint bark. Make this impressive layer layered dessert for you friends or next dinner party. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

Can you just feel the excitement? Surely it’s not just me. At our house, the tree is up and our stockings are hung. I’ve already made an unnecessary amount of Christmas cookies and my kitchen smells like a cinnamon stick/ fir tree hybrid. My Christmas socks are back in rotation, and I’m about one Mariah Carey song away from my husband refusing to ride in the car with me anymore. Surely this holiday cheer isn’t reserved just for me- IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

This time of year always elicits a number of merry memories and feels for me, and as I grow older, I find myself trying to cultivate that same wonder and excitement for my own family. I want my babies to grow up on the sounds and smells and sights that make this time of year so rich. Fires crackling in the fireplace. Christmas lights glowing on street lamps at night. Cookies and milk and Nat King Cole. Candlelight services and that babe in a manger and the jittery excitement that makes sleep impossible on Christmas Eve. This time of year is filled with so many opportunities to love people and make memories, and it’s just one of the million things I can’t wait to share with my children as they grow up.

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

Growing up, there were always a few Christmas staples that I looked forward to every December, including Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark. I can close my eyes and distinctly remember those trips to the mall to pick up a tin or two to take home and pick at for the next few weeks days. To this day, it’s the go-to gift for my grandfathers each year and it’s a favorite to share as hostess gifts at holiday parties.  Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark is iconic, unmatched in quality and taste, and it’s one of those Christmas favorites that I know my kids will grow up on as well.

Ok, so now that you know how much I heart Peppermint Bark, let me tell you how excited I am to be partnering with Williams-Sonoma and TheFeedFeed to bring you today’s recipe. Literally, unless Ina Garten herself knocked on my door and asked me to help her and Taylor Swift make roast chicken and chocolate cake for Jeffery, I could not be more excited. Even as we speak, there’s fireworks and explosions going off in my heart and I can hardly even type because I can’t keep from throwing out some jazz hands. (!!!)

Peppermint Bark Icebox CakePeppermint Bark Icebox Cake

This is a peppermint bark icebox cake. Made with layers of hot cocoa cookies, peppermint and mascarpone whipped cream, and little crumbles of peppermint bark, this icebox cake is a dessert that will make all your days merry and bright. The lightly sweetened cream is rich in flavor and delicate in texture, making it a perfect match for the thin and crispy cocoa cookies. I used hot cocoa mix to produce the wafer thin cookies, and their chocolaty, slightly salty flavor is just to die for in this cake. The star of the show is the peppermint bark, which adds a creamy crunch to every bite and makes this a visually stunning and festive cake.
Peppermint Bark Icebox CakePeppermint Bark Icebox Cake

The cookies for this peppermint bark icebox cake can be made and stored in the freezer up to a couple of weeks in advance. In a pinch, you can substitute store bought chocolate wafers, but don’t underestimate the sweet and salty goodness you’ll miss out on with the homemade version. The cream, which takes only a few minutes to whip together, helps to soften the cookies as it refrigerates over night, so that when you’re finally ready to slice into the cake, the layers are creamy and cake-like, punctuated by the crunchy bits of peppermint bark.

I wouldn’t change a thing in the world about this recipe, unless I could insert a mandatory cup of coffee and background music of the “Christmas Vacation” theme song. This peppermint bark icebox cake is a delicious reminder of why this is the most wonderful time of the year, and I know you won’t regret making it. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Oh, and P.S., when you go pick up your peppermint bark, do yourself a favor and buy and extra tin… or four. Whatever. Do what you gotta do.

Peppermint Bark Icebox CakePeppermint Bark Icebox Cake

All of my gratitude, hugs, high fives, and holiday blessings to Williams-Sonoma and my friends at Feedfeed for inviting me to be apart of the #barkyeah campaign. It’s an honor to promote a product that has played such a delicious role in my Christmas traditions and I’m thrilled to share it with everyone!

Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

*This post is sponsored by Williams-Sonoma and Feedfeed, but as always, all opinions are my own.

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Peppermint Bark Icebox Cake

This peppermint bark icebox cake features layers of hot chocolate wafer cookies and peppermint mascarpone cream, and is sprinkled with small bits of Williams-Sonoma peppermint bark.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup hot cocoa mix
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the icebox cake

  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 pound of peppermint bark, finely chopped.

Instructions

To prepare the cookies

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again until thoroughly combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the flour, hot cocoa mix, salt, and baking powder. Stir on low until well combined.
  2. On a clean surface, pat the dough out into a flat, round disk. Allow to chill in the fridge until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. On a clean surface with a heavy dusting of cocoa powder, roll out the dough until 1/8” thick. If the dough feels too sticky, allow to chill a bit more in the fridge or add more cocoa powder to your surface or rolling pin. Cut 2-1/2″ round cookies out of the dough with a biscuit or cookie cutter. Place 1-1/2″ apart on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven about 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature prior to using in the icebox cake.

To prepare the icebox cake

  1. Add the mascarpone cheese, cream, sugar, and extract to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low for a minute to combine and then slowly increase the speed, whipping just until stiff peaks form.
  2. Prepare an 9″ springform pan by spreading 3 tablespoons of cream on the bottom of the pan. To begin forming your cake, arrange one layer of cookies over top of the cream, breaking the cookies as needed to fill in large gaps. Spread 1/5 of the cream (a heaping 3/4 cup the mixture) evenly over top of the cookies. Sprinkle a small handful (approximately 1/5) of the peppermint bark over top of the cream. Repeat this process 3 more times, stacking layers of cookie, cream, and bark. Add one final layer of cookies and the remaining cream to the top of the cake, smoothing out the top until flat and even. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or at least 12 hours, to allow the cookies to soften and the flavors to blend together.
  3. When ready to eat, decorate with any remaining peppermint bark, or even Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Snow. Slice and serve chilled.

Notes

 

  • For a taller cake, use a smaller (7″-8″) springform pan, lining the sides with a tall sheet of acetate which will serve as extended sides to the pan. You’ll end up making about 6 layers of cake using this method.
  • In a pinch, store bought chocolate wafers can be used instead of the cookies. You’ll need approximately 18 ounces of wafers.

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Espresso Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Espresso Caramel Thumbprint Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are simple coffee and chocolate / cocoa flavored cookies rolled in sugar with a pressed thumbprint in them. They are filled with a simple stovetop make ahead instant espresso caramel that firms up and holds its shape. Drizzled with more milk or semisweet chocolate. These are great cookies for cookie party , cookie exchange, and holiday/ Christmas gatherings. Find the recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

So were you prepared for Thanksgiving? Did you pull your stretchy pants and adult bibs out of storage? Did you participate in all of the carb loading and day drinking?

We spent Thanksgiving in Florida this year which means I sucked in my post-dinner turkey gut while laying poolside at my parents’ house in 80 degree weather. Nothing begs for a bikini like 3 days of power eating and a body that hasn’t seen the sun since early august. Gag.

Traveling home is always a breath of fresh air and vacation from my long list of daily responsibilities. My mom graciously steps in as part-time caregiver of my babies, laundry folder, coffee maker, and dish washer, and still manages time to hang out as my BFF. Even just typing it out brings me a sigh of relief. She’s an amazing Superwoman/Mary Poppins gem of a woman and I can’t believe I get to call her mom. Espresso Caramel Thumbprint CookiesWhile my mom is busy doing all of my jobs, I get to play in the kitchen. This setup works well for both parties, as I get a break from mama duties and my family gets to taste test all of the treats I’m working on for the blog. This year, I was scheduled to participate in the #holidaycookieparty2016, a virtual and real life cookie exchange that Rebecca set up for a few fellow bloggers, so my family got to try out these espresso caramel thumbprint cookies. 

 My husband is a huge fan of thumbprint cookies. His mom made the traditional jelly filled thumbprint cookies when he was growing up, so when I told him about the cookie exchange, he immediately called for some thumbprints. These espresso caramel thumbprint cookies are sugar dusted chocolate cookies with an espresso caramel filling and a dark chocolate drizzle. The cookie dough is scented with espresso which really helps that coffee flavor to go the extra mile. The caramel is thick, gooey, and decadent- so much so that you won’t mind having an extra cup or two to drizzle on your apple pie and ice cream leftovers from Thanksgiving.Espresso Caramel Thumbprint CookiesEspresso Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Cookies this beautiful may seem a bit intimidating, but once you have the elements prepared, they’re actually pretty simple to make! This is a great recipe to join your kiddos or other little helpers in to the kitchen to lend a hand. Plus, at a time of year when cookies are king and everyone needs a fun recipe to bring to holiday cocktail parties, you’ll want to have these espresso caramel cookies ready to share.

I hope your Thanksgiving was delicious and joyful, and I also hope you’ll give these espresso caramel cookies a try! Be sure to check out the recipes from the other bloggers participating in the holiday cookie exchange below! Many thanks to Rebecca for hosting this little cookie rodeo, and cheers to you!

Espresso Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

 

Holiday Cookie Exchange 2016

Wife Mama Foodie | Gluten Free Icebox Cookie

Now Forager | Vanilla Bean Marshmallow & Pink Peppercorn Shortbread Cookies

DisplacedHousewife | Chocolate Peppermint Crinkles

Tutti Dolci | Brown Butter Chai Snickerdoodles

The Daley Plate | Romany Creams

Fig & Bleu | Cornmeal & Cherry Shortbreads

Cloudy Kitchen | Anzac Biscuits

The Beach House Kitchen | Double Chocolate Peppermint Sugar Cookies

Vanilla and Bean | Cocoa Nibby Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Chez LaRae | White Rollout Cookies

Husbands That Cook | Apple Cider Snickerdoodles

Rainy Day Bites | Melody Cookies

Bakeritablog | Brown Butter Shortbreads With Dark Chocolate

The Jam Lab | Thandai Shortbread Cookies

Katie Clova | Espresso Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

Food Fashion Party | Stuffed Shortbread Cookies

My Kitchen Love | Chocolate Toffee Shortbread

No Crumbs Left | Peanut Butter Blossoms

 

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Espresso Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

These espresso caramel thumbprint cookies are sugar dusted chocolate cookies with an espresso caramel filling and a dark chocolate drizzle.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup sparkling sugar or granulated sugar

For the coffee caramel

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

To assemble cookies

  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate

Instructions

To prepare the cookie dough

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine the cream, vanilla, and espresso powder. Stir to combine and continue preparing the dough.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolk and beat to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the cream/vanilla/espresso mixture and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  4. Scoop out 2 teaspoons sized (about 3/4 inch balls) of dough and roll in hands into a ball. Toss the balls in the sugar until well coated and then place them about 2 inches apart on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Using the rounded back of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, lightly press “thumbprints” in the centers of each ball to create a cratered round of dough. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are set, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and gently pat dough the centers of the puffed dough with the measuring spoon again if needed to maintain a cratered center. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

To prepare the coffee caramel

  1. Stir to combine the heavy cream and espresso powder in a measuring cup. Set aside
  2. Evenly spread the sugar in the bottom of a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally while the sugar is melting, incorporating all the clumps of sugar. After about 6-7 minutes, the sugar should have evenly melted. Allow to brown to a dark amber color and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the butter chunks and stir until melted and combined. Next, carefully add the heavy cream in a slow stream, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute and then remove from the burner. Stir in the salt and the pour into a heat proof container (I use a mason jar) and allow to cool.

To assemble the cookies

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Set aside once melted.
  2. Fill each round of cookie with caramel (about 1/2 teaspoon). Melt caramel in 15 second intervals in the microwave, if needed, in order to get to the best consistency. Allow the caramel to set up slightly before drizzling with the melted chocolate.

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Recipe adapted from: Sunset Magazine

Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake This is a rich, fluffy, and moist dark chocolate cake make with dutch process / special dark cocoa powder. The cake recipe is a one bowl, simple, easy, make ahead cake recipe. The cake is filled with chocolate cookie crumbles made like milk bar crumb. There is also a sweet and salty caramel in the middle and a fluffy chocolate frosting made from melted semisweet and bittersweet chocolate chips. You can make this a naked cake or frost the outside as well. Find the recipe for this celebration / birthday cake / chocolate lover best cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Chocolate Caramel Crumble CakeChocolate Caramel Crumble CakeHere in America, it’s the morning after election Tuesday, and let me just say that I’m thankful. 

I’m thankful to live in America. I’m thankful for the right to vote. I’m thankful for the freedoms and liberties that my country and its leaders have afforded me.

To be honest, though, I’m mainly thankful that my hope is not dictated by politics. My joy and peace do not stem from a winning vote. In fact, I can list a million things that I have to be thankful for right at this very moment, and not one of them has anything to do with whoever ends up living in the big house on Pennsylvania Ave. Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

Instead of spending our time chit-chatting about politics, let’s skip right to dessert. On days like these, we need something sweet like chocolate caramel crumble cake to remind us that it’s all good. To remind us to take life one slice at a time. So if you’re not too busy planning your retirement to Canada, let’s settle in and discuss this cake, shall we?

Chocolate cake is no stranger to me. My favorite chocolate cake is regularly in rotation around our house and I’d cast all of my votes on this beauty if I could. There are so many things you can do to a really good chocolate cake recipe to make it feel like a million bucks, but if you ask me, you can never go wrong with salty caramel and chocolate crumbles. So let’s hang out there today.
 
This chocolate caramel crumble cake is a three layer chocolate cake with drizzles of homemade salted caramel sauce and crunchy chocolate shortbread crumbs in between. I prefer to make this salted caramel sauce, and the chocolate crumble recipe was modified from my favorite shortbread crust recipe that can be found here. Once the cake has been stacked, the whole thing is coated with a sweet and silky whipped chocolate frosting that is made with a combination of cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and real bits of heaven (so you know it’s good.)
chocolate crumble cake stop motion 
I made little stop motion video of this chocolate caramel crumble cake so that you could watch the assembly yourself. This recipe makes enough frosting to coat and decorate the entire cake, but a naked cake never hurt anybody either. So if you prefer a naked cake, you can check out more photos and written instruction on how to stack one here.
If this election has you all hot and bothered for more cakes, you can find a few more cake recipes here including the pumpkin and burnt sugar cake I made a few weeks ago. You can also check out my instagram for more chocolate cake decorating inspiration- I even made this cake for my birthday a few weeks ago!
 chocolate caramel crumble cake
Happy Wednesday to all you Republicans, Democrats, and Independents out there. No matter who you voted for, this cake is for you! Cheers!

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Chocolate Caramel Crumble Cake

Chocolate caramel crumble cake is a three layer chocolate cake stacked with coats of fluffy chocolate frosting, drizzles of salty caramel, and sprinkles of chocolate cookie crumbles.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

For the chocolate cake

  • 21/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 21/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 21/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 21/4 teaspoons corn starch
  • 11/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 11/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cups black coffee, hot
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 11/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

For the chocolate crumbles

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the chocolate frosting

  • 21/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 11/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 11/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup prepared salted caramel sauce

Instructions

To prepare the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 3 (8″) round cake pans with baking spray and line the bottoms with parchment rounds.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the dry ingredients and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, loosely combine all of the wet ingredients and these to the bowl of the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed for just shy of 2 minutes, scraping the bowl (and bottom of bowl!) twice throughout.
  3. Pour equal amounts of batter in to all 3 pans. Carefully place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until center is just barely set and toothpick comes out of cake almost clean. Allow to cool in the pans and on a cooling rack for 20 minutes and then remove from pans to continue the cooling process. Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.

To prepare the crumbles

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar on medium low speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low until large crumbs begin to form. Chill the crumbs in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set the crumbs.
  3. Spread the crumbs out onto a quarter sheet pan and bake in the oven, tossing occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, or until crumbs are baked and set.

To prepare the chocolate frosting

  1. Whip butter in the bowl of a stand mixer over medium speed (I use 4 on my Kitchen Aid) for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, and salt and beat for an additional 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the melted chocolate, beating until throughly combined for an additional 1-2 minutes. Place in the fridge if it is too soft. This is enough frosting for a 3 layer, 8″ cake.

To assemble to cake

  1. Spread a small dollop of frosting on a cake board and place one chocolate cake layer on top. Spread 3/4 cup of frosting on top, spreading it evenly to the edges of the cake. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of caramel and sprinkle with 1/3 of the crumbles. Repeat this process once to assemble the second layer.
  2. To finish the cake, set in place the final cake round. Spread 1 cup of frosting on top and decorate as desired, garnishing with the remaining caramel and crumbles.

Notes

  • Cakes can be made ahead and frozen. See my blog post for chocolate cake for more tips on cake baking.
  • Frosting can be made ahead and frozen. Bring to room temperature and re-beat prior to using.
  • Store bought caramel is fine, but see the link in my post for my favorite salted caramel recipe.
  • Chocolate crumbles can be made ahead and frozen.
  • You can half this recipe to prepare a smaller 6″ cake.
  • This cake can be frosted and decorated as a traditional cake as well. Instead of preparing it as a naked cake, you can pipe a dam of frosting on top of each layer of cake and fill with caramel and crumbles. Once the cake is stacked, coat it in a thin crumb coat and place in the fridge to set up. You can finish it by frosting and decorating as desired.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

 

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Guys. Please tell me I’m not the only one. Please, please tell me that I am not actually the sorriest person on the planet.

The other day, I was vacuuming the nursery when I came upon a stubborn bundle of fuzz that refused to be sucked into the vacuum even after rolling over it five or six (read: fifteen) times. Instead of tossing the fuzzie in the trash, I picked up the little guy with my toes and then dropped it back on the ground to attempt to vacuum it up from a different angle.

WHAT. IS. THAT. 

What degree of laziness does one have to have if they are willing to relocate grunge on floor to avoid a short walk to the garbage can to throw it out?

[Throws hands in the air] I disgust myself. 

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake Cherries

But this is the kind of stuff that is all over my life right now. With a handful of balls in the air and more than a few hats that I wear on a daily basis, I find myself halfway-ing a good number of areas of my life. I work out, but I fail to eat right. I buy a birthday gift but forget to mail the card. I play with my babies, but get tired and end up relying on Mickey Mouse to drag us through the final hours of the day. I’m still trying to get the hang of balancing all of the things that I want to make time for and as a result, some things just don’t get the attention they require.

Between work and babies and all of the other things that end up receiving little nuggets of my time, this blog is often one of the many forgotten outcasts of my life. Since starting this little corner of the interwebz, I have had the intentions of working on a number of photography and web-based skills (computer hacking skills…nun-chuck skills…. bow-hunting skills), but that list of tasks has long been shuffled under a mound of other things. Finally, this past weekend, I set aside some time to tick a few things off of my list and I am thrilled to share the results with you.

I made a stop motion film! 

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Okay, I understand this is not a huge deal and I can totally hear every teenager on the planet whispering, “that’s so easy” under their breath. Also, there’s no need to point out the flaws because I totally see them. But for me, this took a bit of learning and I am so excited to have even attempted it. I’d officially like the thank The Academy, my Canon camera, and both of my babies (for napping at the same time last Saturday) for giving me the opportunity to shoot and stitch this little guy together.

You’ll see that the video is a stop motion film of the building of a naked black forest ice cream cake. Naked cakes are my favorite to make, so naturally, naked ice cream cakes are pretty much the center of my  universe. I love them almost as much as I love my own children. Not really, but close.

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

This black forest ice cream cake was created using my favorite chocolate cake recipe and a frozen, ice cream-esque filling that I adapted from Ina Garten’s mocha icebox cake. While a traditional black forest cake is filled with Kirsch soaked cherries and lightly sweetened whipped cream, my version boasts boozy bourbon cherries (because the South, y’all!), hot fudge drizzles, and simple, creamy layers of ice cream. The whole thing is stacked together and left in the freezer for a rainy day.
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake
You can totally shortcut any and all portions of this recipe and substitute store-bought favorites. Instead of homemade cake, try a box mix. Instead of making the ice cream filling, set a quart of your favorite grocery store variety on the counter to thaw out slightly before making the cake. I always have a jar of fudge sauce in my fridge and try to prepare the cakes the night before, so day-of labor is minimal at best. 
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake I recommend that you read through the full list of instructions before starting. The process is simple in nature, but lengthy in detail so make sure you know what you’re doing before you get started. Also, I’ve included a couple of snapshots in this post to illustrate the two methods of building a naked cake. Have fun watching the short little movie, and I sincerely hope it inspires you to make a naked cake of your own. Happy Monday!
 

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

Needed:
3 prepared 6″ chocolate cake layers (I bake a half batch of this recipe in 3- 6″ pans)
1 recipe of ice cream filling, unfrozen (see below)
1 recipe of bourbon soaked cherries (See below)
1/2 cup chocolate fudge sauce (I like this recipe, but store bought is fine)
 

Directions:

1. Line a 6″ cake ring  with an acetate sheet collar (see notes). Alternatively, you can line the sides of a 6″ round cake pan with a collar of wax paper or parchment paper to use as a guide/mold for building your cake. This is not a necessary step, but certainly makes building your cake much easier. If using the cake pan, line the bottom with a small piece of parchment to ensure easy removal from pan.
2. Place one leveled cake layer in the bottom of the cake ring. Using a pastry brush, soak the first layer of cake with approximately 1/3 of the cherry syrup. Smooth 1 cup of the ice cream mixture over the top of the first cake layer. Sprinkle 1/2 of the cherries on top of the ice cream and then drizzle with 1/4 cups of hot fudge sauce. Repeat this process once.
3. Place the final cake layer on top of the built cake. Soak with the final third of cherry syrup and smooth 1-1/2 cups of the ice cream mixture on top.  
4. Cover the cake loosely, and place in the freezer to set up for 4 hours or until firm. 
5. Remove cake from freezer 10-15 minutes prior to serving for easy slicing. Uncut, the cake will keep in the freezer for 3 weeks. 
 
Notes:
1. I use 3″ x 20″ wide acetate sheets to line my cake ring. As a result, I end up requiring two sheets total to cover the height of my cakes. See here for additional instructions on building cakes with acetate sheets. 
2. If you prefer to not use acetate sheets and cake ring as a supportive mold, you can build the cake as I did in my video! Keep in mind that you have to work quickly as all that fluffy ice cream likes to squish out the sides. 
 

Ice Cream Filling

Ingredients:

8 ounces of mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean 
2 tablespoons of good quality bourbon, optional (I use Blanton’s)

To prepare the no churn ice cream:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the mascarpone, sugar, whipping cream, vanilla and bourbon. Whip with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Set aside until ready to use in your cake.

Bourbon Soaked Cherries

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) of stemmed and pitted dark cherries
2 tablespoons of good quality bourbon (I use Blanton’s)
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

To prepare the cherries:

Roughly chop cherries into small bits. Place in a bowl and stir together with sugar and bourbon. Set aside for 30 minutes prior to use to allow the cherries, sugar, and bourbon to produce a syrup. When ready to use, strain the cherries from the syrup, reserving both for the cake. (Note: with this preparation the cherries freeze into icy bits of booze and fruit. If you’d prefer a sweeter, softer filling, you can cook the ingredients above with an additional 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch over low heat, stirring and smashing the cherries regularly until it has thickened to a jam-like consistency. Allow to cool before assembling with cake.)

Black Forest Ice Cream Cake
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake
Black Forest Ice Cream Cake

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple and fast no churn ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream machine. Simply combine sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, cherry puree and whole black sweet cherries. Add chocolate chips for the best creamy cherry frozen dessert ever. Make ahead in less than 30 minutes, recipe available at www.thewoodandspoon.com ranier cherries, tart cherry, red, black cherries.

I can’t wait to tell you about this no churn cherry chip ice cream, but first, we have to talk vacay. We just got back from a trip to Mexico, and I can’t tell you how much I value my time spent there. Beyond margaritas and fish tacos and poolside amenities, there was rest and a lot of time- quality time with my husband.

Remembering Yourself On Vacation

Somewhere between the nine to five and the raising two kids and the daily checklist of things to do, I have forgotten how to laugh. I’ve forgotten how to joke. I’ve forgotten how to play and how to flirt and how to make lazy conversation with my husband. In Mexico, there wasn’t any business talk. No work stress. No employees calling in sick, or check lists, or babies with a belly ache or needing more milk or one more bedtime story. There was me and my husband and the words and the air that flowed in between us. That’s all.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple and fast no churn ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream machine. Simply combine sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, cherry puree and whole black sweet cherries. Add chocolate chips for the best creamy cherry frozen dessert ever. Make ahead in less than 30 minutes, recipe available at www.thewoodandspoon.com ranier cherries, tart cherry, red, black cherries.

To be clear, I understand that this is not always real life. Real life contains joy and happiness and series of perfectly mundane moments, but real life is also work. Real life can be hard and busy and full. And when life gets like that, the last thing I remember to do is to act in love. It can become challenging to remember all the reasons why you decided to do life with someone.

And Remembering Ourselves

We didn’t need Mexico or sunshine or spa appointments or mint flecked, frozen beverages, but we needed vacation. We needed quiet time to connect and to be ourselves- the people we were when we chose each other. The people who aren’t covered up in work stuff or baby drool or mounds of tasks to check off our lists.

To my mother-in-law who kept our babies while we were gone: thank you. You sewed into our marriage. Your time made us better.

And to those of you who are in desperate need of something new: find it. Take time off. Take a trip or a drive or just fifteen minutes before the day ends to love the person you’re with. Fight for the things that are important to you and invest in the things that give you life.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple and fast no churn ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream machine. Simply combine sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, cherry puree and whole black sweet cherries. Add chocolate chips for the best creamy cherry frozen dessert ever. Make ahead in less than 30 minutes, recipe available at www.thewoodandspoon.com ranier cherries, tart cherry, red, black cherries.

Good Habits

My friend Susan Goodman wrote an incredible book called “Pursue Possibilities”. In it, she talks about forming habits and she poignantly says that whatever you want your life to look like in ten years has to start today. If you want to be a CEO of your company in ten years, you have to act like a CEO today. If you want to author a book in ten years, you have to write today. And if you want to be holding your husband’s hand in ten years, you need to hold his hand in the gritty now.

In ten years, I want to be holding my husband’s hand. In ten years, I want to be sitting at the dinner table with my family and know that the decisions I made ten years ago made my present life that much sweeter. But I need reminders to participate in the now. To actively partake in the moments that make our marriage sweet today.

So reader, I beg you to remind me of this daily. Hold me accountable. And as your friend, I promise to do the same.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple and fast no churn ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream machine. Simply combine sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, cherry puree and whole black sweet cherries. Add chocolate chips for the best creamy cherry frozen dessert ever. Make ahead in less than 30 minutes, recipe available at www.thewoodandspoon.com ranier cherries, tart cherry, red, black cherries.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple and fast no churn ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream machine. Simply combine sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, cherry puree and whole black sweet cherries. Add chocolate chips for the best creamy cherry frozen dessert ever. Make ahead in less than 30 minutes, recipe available at www.thewoodandspoon.com ranier cherries, tart cherry, red, black cherries.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

And if you are currently reading this saying to yourself, “Sheesh, I wish she would hurry up and talk about some ice cream,” OK! Here it comes!

I decided to make this no churn cherry chip ice cream for my Mimi. She’s tried this recipe and prefers it with larger chunks of cherries throughout, but I’ve made it here with fewer cherry bits and the added crunch of dark chocolate. If you’re really into cherry flavors, you can add more cherries or a little cherry liquor for good measure.

How to Make It

First, we roast dark cherries in the oven with sugar and salt until they’re soft, sweet, and syrupy. Roasting makes everything feel a little more sophisticated, right? Then, we purée a portion of the cherries to mix in with our vanilla ice cream base, and leave the remainder of the cherries in halves or quarters so that each bite of ice cream contains juicy fruit goodness. If you want a smooth ice cream without any tiny bits, be sure to strain your cherry puree prior to adding it to the cream mixture. Sidenote: This will also save you the embarrassment of getting cherry skins stuck in your teeth. Add a little chocolate to your cream and wham, bam, thank ya ma’am, your ice cream is ready for the freezer.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple and fast no churn ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream machine. Simply combine sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, cherry puree and whole black sweet cherries. Add chocolate chips for the best creamy cherry frozen dessert ever. Make ahead in less than 30 minutes, recipe available at www.thewoodandspoon.com ranier cherries, tart cherry, red, black cherries.

If you’ve made any of my no churn ice creams in the past, you know that they are quite easy and come together with very few ingredients or kitchen equipment. This recipe is no exception. Besides the roasting of the cherries and time spent in the freezer, this recipe can be whipped up in less than ten minutes! This means that you get to spend less time in the kitchen and more time loving on someone important to you (Read: snuggling your man friend or planning your pending nuptials to Harry Styles).

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple and fast no churn ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream machine. Simply combine sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, cherry puree and whole black sweet cherries. Add chocolate chips for the best creamy cherry frozen dessert ever. Make ahead in less than 30 minutes, recipe available at www.thewoodandspoon.com ranier cherries, tart cherry, red, black cherries.

No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a simple and fast no churn ice cream recipe that doesn't require an ice cream machine. Simply combine sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream, cherry puree and whole black sweet cherries. Add chocolate chips for the best creamy cherry frozen dessert ever. Make ahead in less than 30 minutes, recipe available at www.thewoodandspoon.com ranier cherries, tart cherry, red, black cherries.

Happy Monday to you all! If you try out this recipe, let me know what you think about it in the comments section below!

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No Churn Cherry Chip Ice Cream

No churn cherry chip ice cream is a combination of sweet, roasted cherries, chocolate chunks, and a creamy no churn ice cream base that is flavored with high quality bourbon.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 pounds of dark cherries, stemmed and pitted (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons high quality bourbon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped chocolate (milk or dark, depending on your preferences)

Instructions

  1. Chop cherries into halves. Add the cherries, sugar and salt to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture has reduced and thickens slightly. Pour the cherries into a bowl and place in the fridge to cool completely.
  2. Once ready to prepare the ice cream, remove 1/4 of the roasted cherries and place the remaining cherries and syrup into a food processor or blender to puree. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip cream to stiff peaks.
  4. In a separate large bowl, stir together the sweetened condensed milk, cherry puree, and bourbon. Fold the whipped cream into the milk mixture. Fold in the remaining chopped cherries and chocolate.
  5. Spread the mixture into two loaf pans or into one larger, freezer-safe dish. Place in freezer for 6 hours or until frozen.

Notes

  • For a less cherry-forward flavored ice cream, use as little as 1 pound of cherries. You can use up to 2 pounds while still achieving a good consistency ice cream.
  • For a smooth ice cream, puree all of the cherries and strain using a fine mesh strainer prior to adding to the milk and whipped cream.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!