Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I was deciding what to bake up for Valentine’s Day I immediately thought of these Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies I made over Christmas. I initially made these more for Matt since he loves cherry, but they ended up being one of my favorite cookies.

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These soft and chewy cookies are loaded with cherry preserves, dried cherries, and chocolate chips. The flavor of the cherry preserves is subtle because the dried cherries and the chocolate chips take center stage. The combination of the two, especially baked into a chewy cookie, is habit-forming.

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

One of my favorite things about these Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies though was that they stayed fresh in an airtight container for so long! Not that they will last that long in your house, unless you’re a crazy normal person like me and made 10 bazillion different kinds of cookies by the hundreds for Christmas. Then you’ll be happy to know that the dried cherries keep them tasting like you just made them the other day.

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

You will need red food coloring to get that perfect color for Valentine’s Day. Between these and the Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies I have a whole bunch of boxes of food coloring lying around with the red missing so I either need to invest in just red food coloring or come up with something for my green, yellow, and blue!

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and enjoy these Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies!

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Cherry Crinkle Cookies
 
Yield: about 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup cherry jam or preserves
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup sweetened dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red sanding sugar
Directions
  1. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl beat the butter, ½ cup of the granulated sugar, and the brown sugar with a mixer on medium high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg, beat to combine, then add the jam, both extracts, and the food coloring. Beat until combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the flour mixture on low speed and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate and dried cherries. Tightly cover the dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough needs to be firm; I left my dough overnight both times.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set side.
  4. In a small bowl combine the confectioners’ sugar and sanding sugar. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball and roll in the confectioners’ sugar mixture to coat completely. Repeat with the rest of the dough and space about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 18 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden and the cookies are cracked on top, making sure not to overcook. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

 

Recipe from December 2017 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Chocolate-Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

Valentine’s Day gives me all those sappy love feels, not just because of all the hearts and pink covered chocolates in the stores, but because that was the day Matt and I had our first official date ten years ago. The two weeks after we met we had our little dinner dates in the dining hall and lunches on the quad, but this was our first real date.

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

When Matt asked me to go out to dinner on “Thursday” I didn’t even realize it was Valentine’s Day at first. As we walked through Boston we held hands in the pocket of Matt’s coat since neither of us brought gloves on the cold night. Matt wanted to surprise me and show me this hidden sneaker store. It is fronted by a convenience store and you have to walk through the Snapple machine in the back so he said he needed deodorant to get me to go over there (not sure why he picked something so unromantic and didn’t go with shampoo or something 😂 but sappy and goofy sums us up pretty well). Then we went and had burgers, fries, and milkshakes; I can still feel the energy of that night like it was just last week.

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since I was especially feeling like celebrating love this year I wanted to make something that looked cute while tasting next-level delicious. Enter these Chocolate-Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats.

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

I find normal krispie treats bland so I started brainstorming on how to make them into a treat I would want a second and a third of. My first thought was to cover it in semisweet chocolate since chocolate makes everything better and it would also let me use the adorable heart sprinkles I bought.

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

Then I looked at the recipe on the back of the Rice Krispies box and thought that if we were bothering to melt the butter we might as well keep melting to brown it to create a richer, toasted flavor, similar to my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lastly, adding some extra mini marshmallows at the end gives you little pockets of gooey marshmallow. These amped up krispie treats are so quick to make, but when you’re done they look (and taste!) like they just came out of a bakery. Time to express your sappy love feels this Valentine’s Day with these Chocolate-Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats!

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats
 
Yield: 12 regular or 9 jumbo krispie treats
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4¾ cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • Sprinkles
Directions
  1. Line a 13x9 pan or a 9x9 pan (see note) with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. In a large pot big enough to fit all the cereal, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, making sure to continuously swirl the pan, until the butter is golden brown in color, about 4 minutes. Lower the heat then add 4 cups of the marshmallows, stirring until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
  3. Add the cereal to the pot and gently stir until coated. Gently stir in the remaining ¾ cup of mini marshmallows. Pour the contents of the pot into the prepared pan and spread evenly. I used a small piece of wax paper to lightly press on the krispie treats in the pan to create an even-ish surface without pressing too hard (you don’t want the krispie treats to be dense). Let cool completely.
  4. Once cooled, remove the foil from the pan and cut the krispie treats with a sharp knife. Line a small baking pan or sturdy cutting board that will fit in your fridge with wax paper and set aside.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and the vegetable oil to a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. I used a 2 cup measuring cup since it is deep and narrow - ideal for chocolate dipping. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then continue microwaving and stirring at 15-second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. Dip half the krispie treat into the melted chocolate and let the excess drip off. Coat with sprinkles and set on the wax paper to cool. Continue with the remaining krispie treats, melted more chocolate as needed, then place in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden. Remove from the fridge as soon as the chocolate has hardened then store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Notes
For 12 normal-sized krispie treats use a 13x9 pan. For 9 jumbo-sized krispie treats use a 9x9 pan.
The krispie treats stay for a few days, but they taste best the same day.

 

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy February! If you missed the last post, I am baking, photographing, eating, and posting each of the Food Network Magazine’s 12 Months of Muffins. February’s muffin does not disappoint: Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins. Yup, you read that correctly. Chocolate and caramel – life is so sweet.

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate muffins are basically cupcakes disguised as acceptable breakfast food so I was ecstatic to see some chocolate muffins in the monthly muffin list. Not that I don’t consider cupcakes acceptable breakfast food, but I need to keep up appearances. The cupcake, I mean muffin, batter is chocolate with chocolate chips in it, hence the “double chocolate.” The muffin is moist with little pockets of gooey melted chocolate chips.

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

What takes these muffins over the top is the dulce de leche in the center. The recipe name says “Salted Caramel” because I wanted to stay true to the original Food Network wording, but what we really have here is some smooth and heavenly dulce de leche. Dulce de leche is sweetened milk that has been slowly cooked until it caramelizes. In my opinion it tastes much creamier than regular caramel sauce because of the milk. You can buy or make your own for this recipe. I made my own because I didn’t want to go to the store and I already had a can of sweetened condensed milk, which is all you need to make some!

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

The dulce de leche is dolloped right in the center of the half baked muffins. My muffins developed a little air pocket in the center, which was from some of the dulce de leche getting absorbed into the muffin after it was done baking aka making it super moist and decadent. I hope you enjoy these muffins for breakfast, dessert, and everything in between!

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Muffins
 
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup thick dulce de leche
  • Flaked sea salt
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips (leaving 3 chips aside) and stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk and vegetable oil then whisk until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Evenly pour the batter into the prepared paper liners. Each muffin cup should be filled ⅔ to the top. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins have started to set, but the center of each muffin is still liquidy. Remove the muffin pan from the oven and working quickly, dollop 1 heaping teaspoon of dulce de leche into the center of each muffin. Return the pan to the oven. Continue to bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Make sure to insert the toothpick into the muffin itself and not the dulce de leche.
  5. As soon as the muffins are out of the oven, use a grater or microplane to grate the chocolate chips you set aside over the tops of the muffins. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with the flaked sea salt. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move the muffins to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
Notes
The batter is supposed to rise and bake over the dulce de leche. Some of my dulce de leche stayed on the top of my muffins because I probably let them cook too long before dolloping on the dulce de leche. They taste delicious either way so don’t worry too much about it.

 

Recipe from January/February 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Pomegranate Orange Muffins

Pomegranate Orange Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Back when we were seniors in college Matt bought me a subscription to the Food Network Magazine for my birthday. We had only been dating a year and a half, but Matt was already well-versed in my food obsession. The first official Food Network Magazine issue had only come out a few months before my birthday in 2009 and I’ve been subscribed to the magazine ever since.

Pomegranate Orange Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every month when it comes in the mail I get so excited and quickly start scouring it from cover to cover; pointing out recipes to Matt and devouring all the latest food news. After going through it multiple times, I tear out all the recipes I want to make and add them to my growing recipe binder collection. The binders have page numbers and even a table of contents (remember, I like to organize and make lists 😉), but then they tend to just sit there. I always want to make something from them, but then I find a new recipe I want to try from a blog I read or a new cookbook or something on Pinterest and I rarely get back to the Food Network Magazine recipes that I just had to try.

Pomegranate Orange Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

So this year I have decided I am going to make an active effort to cook from the magazine. When the January issue showed up with a Muffin of the Month section I knew I had found out just where to start! I will be posting each month’s muffin at the start of each month for 2018. 2018 is the year of muffins! Who knew?

Pomegranate Orange Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

First up, January’s Pomegranate Orange Muffins. I love a good citrus muffin and these did not disappoint! They are moist on the inside, slightly crispy on the outside, and pack the perfect amount of clementine punch. Prettiness and the short prep time also give January’s muffins serious bonus points.

Pomegranate Orange Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

You don’t taste the pomegranate seeds that much since they are just pressed onto the top so feel free to substitute. Matt and I thought raspberries or blueberries would make a nice alternative; I will have to try one of those next time because I will definitely be making these muffins again!

Pomegranate Orange Muffins  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pomegranate Orange Muffins
 
Yield: 18 muffins
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 clementines
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds (or raspberries or blueberries)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake pans with 18 paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine then make a well in the middle of the flour mixture.
  3. Wash 2 of the clementines then cut them into 8 pieces each, leaving the peel on. Blend the 2 cut clementines and the milk in a blender until smooth. Add the eggs and blend until incorporated.
  4. Pour the egg mixture into the center of the flour mixture. Add the melted butter then mix until just combined. You want the batter to still be lumpy, but without any pockets or streaks of flour.
  5. Scoop the batter evenly among the paper liners filling each cup about ¾ full. I found a cookie scoop to be the least messy way to divide the batter. Divide the pomegranate seeds (or raspberries or blueberries) and put some on the top of each. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out with no batter on it and the muffins are golden. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then move the muffins to a cooling rack until completely cooled.
  6. Cut the remaining clementine in half. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and the juice from half the clementine. Stir until the glaze is thick, but drizzle-able, adding more juice from the other half of the clementine if needed. Drizzle the glaze on the muffins then let the glaze set for 10 minutes.
Notes
If you only have 1 cupcake pan, buy another! Just kidding, put 6 of the liners aside until the first 12 muffins bake and the pan cools.
The original recipe calls for aluminum-free baking powder stating aluminum may react with pomegranate and make the batter blue. I made sure to use aluminum-free baking powder, but I still had a little blue on my muffins around the edges of the pomegranate. I have not yet experimented with non-aluminum-free baking powder to see if the batter would have been even more blue-tinged, but just a word of caution!

Recipe from January/February 2018 issue of Food Network Magazine.

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Boo! Look at these little monster cookie sandwiches! How cute are they? I’ve been wanting to make some special Halloween treats for a couple years now, but I haven’t made anything since these Witches’ Cauldron Cupcakes or these Leftover Halloween Candy Cookies. We always end up being away on my favorite month of the year – I guess that’s what happens when it’s your birthday month and your anniversary month!

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

Even though it seemed like we were away for most of October this year I was determined to finally make a new Halloween treat. I scoured Instagram and Pinterest trying to find a chocolate dessert that wasn’t shaped like a spider, but I had no luck. So after being inspired by the candy monster eyes I had in my baking drawer (doesn’t everyone have candy monster eyes in their baking drawer?) I came up with these cuties.

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

The best part is that they taste so good. Or maybe the worst part if you were hoping to not devour five of them and then not fit in your pants. That’s okay, go buy some leggings. Anyways, this is my first time making these sea salt dark chocolate cookies and it will definitely not be my last. I made them smaller so the cookies sandwiches wouldn’t be so big, but if you were making them just for cookie purposes you could double the size to two tablespoons of dough. The marshmallow filling has the right amount of sweetness and the creaminess balances nicely with the dark chocolate.

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches  |  Lemon & Mocha

So go ahead and make these tasty monster cookie sandwiches – no special decorating skills required! And have a happy Halloween!

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Also one recipe note that I want to point out in advance – the cookie dough needs to be made ahead of time. It has to chill for at least three hours so definitely plan ahead!

Chocolate Marshmallow Monster Cookie Sandwiches
 
Yield: 12 cookie sandwiches
Ingredients
for the cookies
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Sea salt for sprinkling
for the filling
  • 7 ounce jar marshmallow fluff, about 2 ½ cups
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Neon gel food colors
  • Candy monster eyes
Directions
for the cookies
  1. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, both kinds of cocoa powder, the baking soda and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, mix the butter on medium speed until smooth, about one minute. Add the sugar and mix on medium-high speed until combined and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on high speed until combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
  3. On low speed, carefully pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. On high speed mix in the milk until combined, then the chocolate chips. The dough will be very thick and sticky (and tasty!). Avoid eating it so you have batter to make cookies with and put it in the fridge, covered, to chill for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
  4. When you’ve properly chilled the dough, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit for 20 minutes if it sat in the fridge for longer than 3 hours so it’s easier to scoop.
  6. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough (I used the Oxo medium cookie scoop) and roll into a ball. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough. I had 12 balls on each cookie sheet (maybe could have had more, but some dough got taste-tested). Sprinkle each cookie with a little bit of sea salt.
  7. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack. Let cool completely. If not frosting right away, store in an airtight container at room temperature.
for the filling
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, carefully combine the fluff, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt on high speed. Once fluffy divide into smaller bowls depending on how many different colors you want to use. Add the food coloring and mix until the desired color is reached.
  2. Spread about a tablespoon of filling on a cookie then sandwich with another cookie. Continue until all cookies have been sandwiched. The filling is not very thick so do not put too much on or it will ooze out the sides. You could try thickening it with more powdered sugar, but I thought it would make it too sweet. Press monster eyes into the sides.
Notes
I prefer to use Ghirardelli chocolate chips, either their semi-sweet or their bittersweet.

Salted dark chocolate cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Marshmallow filling from Bakerita.