Brownies with Red Hot Cinnamon Frosting

Fudgey brownies topped with a cinnamon candy infused frosting

Brownies with Red Hot Cinnamon Frosting

The swimming pool is out to get me. Ok – well not really, but I’ve been having some seriously bad luck in the pool.

So – ya know I’ve had to cross train like crazy since I can’t run these days. Well, half my time is spent swimming – or it was.

Brownies with Red Hot Cinnamon Frosting

My trouble all started on Christmas Eve Eve. I had this feeling like my ear was filling up with water. & then the memories all “flooded” back from my years on the high school swim team (as the slowest and least knowledgable swimmer ever – I mean I did a flip turn in a breaststroke event!) I was experiencing a good old ear infection. & this one was a beast!

I let that booger heal and then I proceeded back to the pool. & within a day’s time I managed to infect the other ear!

Brownies with Red Hot Cinnamon Frosting

So, I took some time off to let me ears fully recuperate. Then, not 3 swim’s later, I totally messed up my eye! That boy watered all day and then was really swollen.

This one was probably my fault. I read online to use dish soap as an anti-fog goggle treatment. I had previously gotten a little in my eye, but after that, I was really careful about “buffing” the soap after it dried. Well, I guess not that careful.

From now on, I’ll just swim foggedly (yea, that’s not a word) through the pool!

Brownies with Red Hot Cinnamon Frosting

Well – enough with that – now on to this awesome treat – perfect for Valentine’s Day!

A bag of red hots has been staring me down. I wasn’t sure how to use them, but then it came to me. I took my favorite brownie recipe (yea, it’s made with pumpkin, but you’d never know it) and added a frosting, but not just any frosting. A frosting flavored with red hot cinnamon candies. Simply melt the candies into a syrup and voila. I recommend making the syrup the day before.

Brownies with Red Hot Cinnamon Frosting

Do you have any special Valentine’s plans?

Brownies with Red Hot Cinnamon Frosting

Ingredients

    Red Hot Cinnamon Simple Syrup:
  • 1 cup red hot cinnamon candies
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Brownies:
  • 3.5 oz 72% dark chocolate
  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1- 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 1.5 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tbsp Red Hot Cinnamon Simple Syrup
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Red Hot Cinnamon Simple Syrup
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon oil
  • 5-10 drops red food coloring, if desired

Instructions

    Red Hot Cinnamon Simple Syrup:
  1. Over medium heat, combine candies, water and sugar in small saucepan. Stir continuously. Candies will clump together. Heat until fully dissolved then allow to cool and set aside.
  2. Brownies:
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 inch glass pan and line with parchment paper.
  4. Melt dark chocolate at 50 percent power in 30 second increments, stirring in between. Once fully melted, set aside.
  5. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  6. In large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, oil and red hot cinnamon simple syrup. Add dry to wet and mix until fully incorporated. Fold in melted chocolate.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place pan on wire rack and allow to cool at least one hour before frosting.
  8. Frosting:
  9. Beat margarine. Add powdered sugar and beat until small pellets form. May take 3-4 minutes. Add simple syrup in 1/2 tbsp increments. Once desired consistency is reached, add cinnamon oil and red food coloring, if using. Beat 2-3 minutes or until frosting is fluffy.
  10. Spread frosting over cooled brownies.
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Brownies with Red Hot Cinnamon Frosting

More Valentine’s Treats:

Cinnamon Pinwheels

Red Velvet Bars

Red Velvet Waffles

Homemade Heart Shaped Churros

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Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddy Cookies

An orange cookie topped with dark chocolate and muddy buddies

Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddy Cookies

I’m the worst with gift cards. Who knows how many I’ve lost and never used.

On my 20th birthday, I had an old Borders’ gift card and I was determined to use it. I scoured the cookbooks for something to get. It took me forever to decide! But I finally selected Kelly Peloza‘s The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur.

Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddy Cookies

I remember sitting in the car mesmerized by all the delicious recipes. One cookie in particular stood out – Puppy Chow Cookies! I couldn’t wait to try these. I mean this is gonna sound crazy, but I had never heard of puppy chow! Also, the cookie base fascinated me. The instructions stated to press the dough in a ziploc bag and freeze before baking?!?

I really think this cookbook (along with Isa‘s and many other sweet treat creators) inspired me to create my own recipes.

Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddy Cookies

So, here’s my version. These cookies include last week’s muddy buddies, dark chocolate and a scrumptious-all-by-itself orange cookie.

Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddy Cookies

Is there one cookbook in particular that inspires you?

Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddy Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • Zest of one orange
  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddies

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In measuring cup or medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, use a fork to combine sugar, brown sugar, canola oil and vanilla extract. Add orange juice.
  4. Add dry ingredients to liquid.
  5. Once dough forms, fold in orange zest.
  6. Divide dough into 24 equal balls. Roll into balls, flatten with palm of hand.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes. Immediately top with about 4 dark chocolate chips. Leave on baking sheet 5 minutes. Then use a knife to spread dark chocolate. Top with as many muddy buddies as you can. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
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 Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddy Cookies

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Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddies

Traditional muddy buddies get a makeover with the addition of dark chocolate and a hint of orange

Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddies

If there was a competition for the wildest looking hair, I would most certainly win by a long shot (OK – well, maybe that’s an exaggeration.) But either way, I kinda hate how my hair looks if I don’t dry it.

For the longest time, even drying it wasn’t enough. At the top of my head there are wisps of hair that never behave – we call ’em horns. They’re so bad, I can’t put my hair up without looking crazy as ever.

I thought there was absolutely no way my hair was ever going to look normal. Then I just happened to find a way to control it in all conditions – rainy days, humid days, you name it – it’s truly a miracle. If I was a fashion blogger and had triple the confidence level, I’d totally do a tutorial and show off my crazy free hair. But that’s certainly not to say my hair is flawless on a regular basis, cause this technique takes time that I don’t always have.

Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddies

Unlike my hair, these muddy buddies are completely uncomplicated. I don’t tend to make this kind of treat, but I certainly should more often. These are so delicious and only require a little effort.

Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddies

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Rice Chex
  • 1/2 cup 60% dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 2 tbsp margarine
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of one orange
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Line baking sheet with waxed paper
  2. Place chex in large bowl.
  3. In microwave safe bowl, melt dark chocolate, cashew butter and margarine, using 50 percent power and 30 second increments. Once melted, stir in vanilla and orange zest. Pour mixture over cereal and stir until cereal is coated.
  4. Transfer cereal into large Ziploc bag. Add powdered sugar and shake until coated. Spread onto lined baking sheet and allow to cool. Once cool, store in refrigerator.
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Dark Chocolate Orange Muddy Buddies

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Tahini Oreo Cookies + Giveaway

Disclosure: I received free products from Sesame King Tahini in exchange for reviewing the product and hosting a giveaway. As always, all opinions and recipes are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support The Emotional Baker!

Tahini cookies loaded with lemon flavor, oreos and chocolate chunks

Tahini Oreo Cookies

Can you believe I wouldn’t make peanut butter treats solely because I didn’t want to deal with the sticky, gooey mess of cleaning the spoon and measuring cup?

In desperate times, I just got a big spoon and estimated the needed amount.

& then, pb and me had a falling out. I guess it was payback for ignoring it so long (but just in baking – not in smoothies or sandwiches!)

Tahini Oreo Cookies

One day I went to get some for snacking purposes and the pb had a weird smell. I was trying a new brand – so I thought maybe that was the problem. Then I went to my favorite brand and it had the smell too, and the taste wasn’t any better – uhh!

Well, I don’t know what’s going on with me, but I’ve been turning to other nut butters until my sitch gets resolved.

So, when I was contacted about trying Sesame King Tahini – I was all in! Of course, I use tahini all the time when cooking, but have never baked with it. I had some leftover oreo crumbs from the Chocolate Peppermint Pie and thought it would make the perfect accompaniment to Tahini Cookies.

Tahini Oreo Cookies

I recommend enjoying these the day after baking, unless you are a die hard tahini fan. For me, the taste was a little strong, but as the cookies aged, they were super delicious!

In search for a Tahini brand? Although I haven’t tested it in hummus, dressing, etc., I highly recommend Sesame King Tahini, at least for the packaging. Typically, when I open a new jar of tahini, I spill the oil when stirring it. With Sesame King, the tahini is not filled up all the way to the top, making it easier to stir. Also, this tahini is available in lots of different flavors, which is awesome. There is light roasted, roasted, cajun, garlic, honey and olive oil.

Wanna try a couple of flavors? Well, you’re in luck. Enter the giveaway below for a chance to win two jars of tahini, in your choice of flavors.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tahini Oreo Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Sesame King Tahini Paste - Light Roast
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp cashew milk
  • 1/2 cup crushed oreos
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 8-10 oreos, broken in thirds
  • about 1/2 cup chocolate chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In measuring cup or medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, use a fork to combine sugar, brown sugar, canola oil and vanilla extract. Once combined, stir in tahini. Then add lemon juice.
  4. Add dry ingredients to liquid. If dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of milk until desired dough consistency is reached. Fold in lemon zest and crushed oreos. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces and roll into balls. Take two chocolate chunks and stuff into balls. Then flatten with palm of hand. Decorate with broken oreos and additional chocolate chunks.
  5. If dough is dry, bake cookies 8 minutes. If dough is wetter, bake cookies 10 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes. Then transfer to wire racks to completely cool.
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Tahini Oreo Cookies

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Chai Tea Granola

Wake up with a delicious granola flavored with tea and spices

Chai Tea Granola

I’m a recycling fiend. I may not hold any records, and I’m sure there’s room for improvement, but anything that has a recycling symbol on it, I’ll do my darn best to make sure it makes it into the can.

Chai Tea Granola

So, that means lots of washing out plastic and glass containers. This past weekend, things got a little out of hand. Now, I may think recycling is a critical part in helping the environment, but you probably wouldn’t guess it if you saw my bedroom. My bedroom is loaded with 25 years of memorabilia and my dresser is covered with used, empty cosmetics containers – eek – How embarrassing!

I finally took the time to tackle all those mascara tubes, lotion bottles and lip balms. It was time consuming (and there’s still more to do!) but it’s great to get them out  (& hey, triad based recycling crew: if they’re not clean enough to meet inspection, please don’t toss them, I really tried to get ’em tidy!)

Chai Tea Granola

Also, on my cleaning list – half empty nut butter jars. Someone in my household – ahem! – leaves jars and jars in the refrigerator. For several weeks, I’ve been working on getting these out. Winston used to help with the plastic jars, but the glass ones are a little more complicated.

One thing that doesn’t get left uneaten is granola. Every week or so I make a new batch. I was solely making Chocolate Granola, which is delicious, but I decided to switch it up. This is based off one of my favorite drinks. Believe me – this is seriously the best thing you can have for breakfast.

Chai Tea Granola

Happy New Year! Here’s to a 2016 full of yummy treats 😉

Chai Tea Granola

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp black tea, from contents of opened tea bag
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with canola oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, sugar, tea leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, salt, black pepper, pecans, walnuts and almonds.
  3. In medium bowl, combine maple syrup, canola oil and vanilla extract. Add to dry ingredients, stir to combine.
  4. Spread in even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Then add raisins, golden raisins and cranberries. Flip granola with spatula until fruit is well incorporated. Press down and then bake an additional 20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool, then store in air tight container.
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Chai Tea Granola

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