Dessert

Soft Gingersnap Cookies

Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I ultimately settled on Soft Gingersnap Cookies, but I wasn’t really sure what to name these cookies. Technically they aren’t ginger“snap” cookies since they have none of the crunchy “snappy” texture that the traditional cookies have. Some people refer to the soft version of a gingersnap cookie as a molasses cookie, but since those typically have less ground ginger than these cookies, I felt Soft Gingersnap Cookies would do the trick.

Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I first made these cookies for the Lemon S’mores with Soft Gingersnap Cookies. Side note: If you are missing summer right now use some of these Soft Gingersnap Cookies to make yourself some Lemon S’mores and you will be feeling all the summer vibes. Normally, even with Christmas cookies I am all about the chocolate, but when I first made these Soft Gingersnap Cookies they kind of stole the show. Here I was sneaking into the kitchen to grab another cookie and thinking, who is this person dying to eat another cookie that’s not chocolate or lemon?

Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

There’s a few factors in play here that account for my bizarre behavior. One, these cookies are so soft and chewy, which to me is the best kind of cookie. Two, the ginger, cinnamon, cloves and molasses all work together to make it taste like you’re literally taking a bite out of the holiday season. Finally, the cookies are rolled in sugar before being baked giving them that sweet crunch on the outside that is irresistible.

Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

This recipe makes nice big cookies and like most drop cookies, they freeze really well. You could either freeze them baked in freezer bags or you could freeze the dough balls to make freshly baked Soft Gingersnap Cookies all December long.

Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

To freeze dough balls, form the balls of dough, skipping the sugar rolling step, and place them on a parchment or wax paper lined tray that will fit in your freezer. Once firm, put the dough balls in a freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake them that is when you can roll them in the sugar. Use the recipe’s oven temperature and time and just add a couple more minutes to account for them being frozen. Do you ever freeze cookies or freeze cookie dough?

Soft Gingersnap Cookies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Soft Gingersnap Cookies
 
Yield: 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, plus additional for rolling the dough
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the egg and molasses and beat to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Place a few tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl. Use a medium cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon of dough; roll into a ball then roll in the sugar before placing on the baking sheet. Continue, placing the cookie dough balls about 2” apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are puffy and the edges have started to lightly brown. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet then carefully move the cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool.

Recipe from Taste of Home.

Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge

Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Have you heard of Christmas Crack? It’s a layered candy dessert of saltines, toffee and chocolate that is sweet, salty and – you guessed it – seriously addictive. I wanted to turn this classic Christmas holiday treat into a new chocolate fudge variation. This recipe is similar to the Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge I posted last week, but instead of pecans and caramel we’re loading the semisweet chocolate up with saltines and toffee bits.

Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

The bottom layer is a layer of saltine crackers. I think a big reason this fudge is hard to stop eating is because of the saltines. I hadn’t eaten saltines in forever, but as soon as I opened the sleeve for this recipe I couldn’t stop munching them! So before we even add the chocolate we’re already in a losing battle. Unless your goal is to bring a dessert that gets wiped out first at the potluck, in which case you definitely would be winning that battle!

Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Anyways, on top of the salty cracker layer I added half a batch of the smoothest ever chocolate fudge that has been loaded with crunchy toffee bits. Why half a batch? Well that’s because we’re doing a second layer of saltines followed by the second half of fudge! Christmas Crack is normally very thin so I wanted to add two layers of saltines so the salty element of the treat would come through. On top we have more toffee bits. I think I went a little light on these; the sweet toffee flavor is so good so feel free to top it to your heart’s content!

Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I already find the original World’s Smoothest Chocolate Fudge addicting so having the salty saltines and sweet toffee bits made it that much harder to resist. So we just ate a bunch and then gave the rest away so we wouldn’t have to fight the urge to eat the whole batch. You’ve been warned! When you cut this fudge, the saltine crackers on the bottom break off everywhere so you could spread a thin layer of chocolate down first if you want, but I found it still had enough crackers making it the way I listed in the recipe below.

Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

One other element of this recipe that I want to discuss is our method for making this fudge. If you’ve read or made any of my other fudge recipes you will know that I always use a double boiler to melt the chocolate evenly without it getting burnt. I use and love this universal double boiler since it’s inexpensive and fits on any pot. However, when I was making this last batch, I was thinking about how I make chocolate ganache by warming the liquid in a nonstick pot and then adding the chocolate chips and letting them melt. I figured I would give it a shot with the fudge since using the double boiler is easy, but if I could use just one pot instead of two, it would be even easier.

Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m so glad I tested it because it worked! I made sure to use low heat the entire time and I was constantly stirring the mixture to make sure none of the chocolate burned. So if you don’t have a double boiler and don’t feel like buying one then definitely give it a try with my new instructions below! Happy Friday, everyone!

Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Saltine Toffee Fudge aka Christmas Crack Fudge
 
Yield: 32 to 64 pieces depending on how small you cut them
Ingredients
  • 25 saltines (a little less than 1 full sleeve)
  • 1 ounce Baker's unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • One 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup toffee bits, plus more for topping
Directions
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper with some overhang so it’s easy to pull the fudge out of the pan. It is easier if you crunch up the wax paper in your hands then smooth out into the pan. Layer 16 saltines on the bottom. They will be overlapped a little.
  2. Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a medium nonstick pan over low heat, stirring regularly with a heatproof spatula to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn.
  3. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and stir to combine. Let the mixture get a little warm then pour in half the bag of chocolate chips. Stir to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of chocolate chips and stir until fully melted, being sure to scrape the bottom as you stir. Stir in the vanilla extract and remove from the heat. Add the toffee bits and stir to combine.
  4. Pour half the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan onto the saltine layer and smooth the top with the spatula. Make a new layer of 9 saltines then pour over the remaining half of the chocolate mixture, smoothing the top. Top with additional toffee bits. Refrigerate until the fudge is set; I usually let mine set overnight. Carefully pull the fudge out of the pan using the wax paper overhang, place on a large cutting board and cut into bite size squares with a clean, sharp knife. I usually cut mine into quarters and then cut each quarter into 16 pieces to get 64 pieces. Best eaten straight from the fridge.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral if you purchase something. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

World’s Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge

World's Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have some more fudge for you today and you will not want to miss this one! This is the first non-chocolate fudge variation I’ve posted, but that’s okay because we have peanut butter. If you are someone that likes to eat peanut butter off a spoon and lives for the center of a Reese’s then you will love this creamy peanut butter fudge.

World's Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

It has the same smooth texture of the original fudge that you get from using sweetened condensed milk instead of granulated or powdered sugar. The fudge has just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of vanilla letting the peanut butter flavor really shine through.

World's Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

You can thank my former boss, Darcy, for this creation! Two years ago I set out to attempt to convert my fudge recipe into a peanut butter version after Darcy said that was her favorite flavor. I swapped the bag of chocolate chips for peanut butter chips and used a white chocolate baking square instead of the unsweetened chocolate one so there wouldn’t be any cocoa flavor in the fudge. Finally, I got rid of the butter and added in peanut butter. Normally just peanut butter on its own isn’t a great swap for butter in baking, but since we’re making candy and only using two tablespoons I figured I would give it a shot.

World's Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

The end result was peanut butter perfection and I’ve been making it this way ever since! I was so excited it worked out since not all my variation attempts have been successful. One of the versions I was hoping to post this year did not set up quite right, but that just prompted me to come up with an even better flavor idea that I will be sharing next Friday!

World's Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now back to this addicting peanut butter version. I make a note about it in the recipe, but I’ve only ever made this with creamy “regular” peanut butter, like Jif, so I can’t guarantee you will get the same results if you use the type of peanut butter that you have to stir because the oil separates. Usually that type of peanut butter doesn’t work as well in baked goods and treats. Also, as I say with all the fudge, I think this tastes best eaten cold straight from the fridge. Yum!

World's Smoothest Peanut Butter Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Peanut Butter Fudge
 
Yield: 36-64 pieces depending on how big you cut them
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce Baker's white chocolate baking squares
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, like Jif
  • One 12-ounce bag peanut butter chips
  • 1 14-ounce can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Melt peanut butter and the Baker’s chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in half the bag of peanut butter chips and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of peanut butter chips and stir until fully melted.
  4. Carefully stir in the condensed milk to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula.
  6. Refrigerate until the fudge is set then cut into bite size pieces. Best eaten straight from the fridge.
Notes
I have only made this with creamy Jif-type peanut butter. I can not guarantee the same results with a natural peanut butter (the type you have to stir because the oil separates). Also, a peanut butter with less sugar might not taste sweet enough.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral if you purchase something. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s not even December, but I can’t help diving into holiday season content. I just have too many recipes I’m excited to share! Normally I don’t start listening to Christmas music until December, or at the very least I wait until Thanksgiving is over, but I’ve been seriously in a holiday mood this year. I think it was all the baking I was doing the week before Thanksgiving and the early snow we got here in New England, but I have to confess that I had Christmas music playing in my kitchen two weeks ago. Oops!

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

If there’s one dessert that is guaranteed to get me in the Christmas spirit it has to be Diane’s fudge. I love my stepmom’s classic fudge recipe (and you all do too – it’s the most popular recipe on Lemon & Mocha!), but I love all the fun variations I’ve made over the years even more. I’ve shared S’mores Fudge – crazy good – and Chocolate Peppermint Fudge – so Christmasty!

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Today, we’re all about the Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge. In case you aren’t familiar, chocolate turtles are chocolate covered pecans with caramel inside and they kind of look like little turtles. I wanted to take those flavors and bring them into this classic semi-sweet chocolate fudge. The end result was messy, but so good!

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

The chopped pecans are folded into the fudge so you get a little crunch in each bite. The caramel is drizzled on the fudge then swirled in before the fudge sets.

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I used Smucker’s salted caramel sauce since I love how quick it is to whip together a batch of fudge so I didn’t want to over-complicate it with homemade caramel. Do you think you will try this twist?

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Turtle Caramel Pecan Fudge
 
Yield: 36-64 pieces depending on how big you cut them
Ingredients
  • 1 ounce Baker's unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • One 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14-ounce can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ⅓ cup caramel, see note
Directions
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Melt butter and the Baker’s chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in half the bag of chocolate chips and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of chocolate chips and stir until fully melted.
  4. Carefully stir in the condensed milk to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and the pecans.
  5. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Drizzle the caramel sauce over the top of the fudge and use a knife to swirl into the fudge.
  6. Refrigerate until the fudge is set then cut into bite size pieces. Best eaten straight from the fridge.
Notes
Your caramel should be soft enough to drizzle off a spoon. If it’s too firm from being in the fridge, heat it slightly.

 

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie went down in the Lemon & Mocha kitchen and it was as amazing as it sounds (and looks)! When I was brainstorming what desserts I wanted to share for Thanksgiving I knew I was going to make the Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle, but I wasn’t sure about my second dessert. Usually for Thanksgiving everyone immediately thinks of pie and my pie-loving husband has converted me into a pie fan over the years. I don’t like to share recipes on Lemon & Mocha that I’m not 100% satisfied with and while I have made a bunch of really great tasting pies, I wouldn’t say I’ve perfected them yet. However, there is one type of pie I have perfected, if I say so myself, and that is ice cream pie.

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

I have made many, many ice cream pies over the years and I’ve shared a few on here as well, although not nearly enough! I’ll work that into the schedule for 2019. Graham crust, cookie crust, ganache-topped, candy filled, cake filled – you name it, I’ve whipped it up. I may have even eaten a slice or two. Clearly I’m kidding, many, many slices have been consumed, all in the pursuit of perfection though.

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

This Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie is a nice break from the traditional Thanksgiving dessert table and the big bonus is that it’s so easy. Like so easy I even waited until the week of Thanksgiving to share it because you barely need any time to put it together. Although it is quick to make, it does require at least eight hours of freezing time so definitely read the instructions all the way through and plan accordingly.

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

The base of this ice cream pie is a regular graham base with some cinnamon and ground ginger mixed in for that warm spiced holiday feel. Then we have pumpkin ice cream. You could certainly make your own and if you need a recipe I have had great success with all of David Lebovitz’s recipes from The Perfect Scoop. I had just come back from my vacation last week so I went the easy store-bought route, especially since so many brands have delicious-sounding pumpkin flavors right now. I bought the Talenti pumpkin gelato; it was really creamy, packed with rich pumpkin flavor and even had pie pieces in it – bonus!

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

On top with have whipped cream and homemade sugared pecans. These pecans are tossed in egg whites and pumpkin pie spices then baked. They are so addictive, especially when they’re warm, so it was really difficult saving them for this pie! I find that ice cream tends to be a universal crowd pleaser and I know from experience there’s a lot of ice cream crazed families out there so this is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert. Although I highly recommend pumpkin ice cream you could certainly substitute a different ice cream flavor of your choice, just don’t skip those candied pecans! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pumpkin Pecan Ice Cream Pie
 
Yield: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
for the pie
  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 quart pumpkin ice cream or gelato
  • 2 cups whipped topping, such as Cool Whip (see note)
for the pecan topping
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces pecan halves
Directions
for the pie
  1. You have two pan options here. The first is a spring form pan lined with plastic wrap. Sometimes I like doing it this way so it’s easy to pop it out and put the pie on a cutting board for a nice even cut or onto a platter. The second option is to make the pie directly in a glass pie pan. If you’re doing option two (directly in the pie pan) and want a firmer crust bake the graham crust at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes then let cool completely before adding the ice cream.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, the granulated sugar, the ground ginger and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Pour into the prepared pie dish and press down with your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup to make an even crust layer, going slightly up the sides of the pie dish. Don't go too high up or the crust on the bottom won't be thick enough. Put in the fridge for 2 hours or the freezer for 1 hour before the next step.
  3. Scoop the pumpkin ice cream or gelato into the graham crust. If you want to make the ice cream easier to spread, beat it with a stand mixer for a minute. Spread the ice cream into an even layer then let set in the freezer for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Combine the whipped topping with the remaining 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Spread on the firm ice cream pie. When you’re ready to serve, top with the pecan topping.
for the pecan topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg white and vanilla until frothy. Add the pecan halves then toss to coat. Add the sugar mixture and combine to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet and spread out the pecans. Bake for 1 hour, tossing the pecans on the pan about every 15 minutes. Let cool before placing on top of the pie when ready to serve.
Notes
If you want to use homemade whipped cream, follow these instructions. In a cold metal bowl of a stand mixer or in a large cold metal mixing bowl with a hand mixer, use cold beaters to beat 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon until stiff peaks form. Do not top put on the ice cream pie until you’re ready to serve it. You can make the whipped cream a day or two ahead, just store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve then lightly beat with a whisk before topping the pie.

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission for my referral. This does not affect the retail cost of the item. Thank you for supporting Lemon & Mocha!