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Rocky Road Cookies!

rocky-road-cookies

Rich fudge cookies covered in a pile of marshmallows, chocolate and almonds.

A perfect rocky road combination!

Confession: I’m not a fan of ice cream. I mean, it’s ok- but it isn’t like my favorite dessert. The rocky road combination of marshmallows, chocolate and almonds began in ice cream- back in the early 1900’s. It was actually the very 1st creative ice cream flavor- prior to its invention there was only vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Stop and imagine that for a minute. The world with no mint-chip ice cream…

So they invented this crazy new flavor, and then the Great Depression hit- and people didn’t have much money to buy ice cream. In a feat of marketing genius, it was given the name “Rocky Road” to relate to what people were going through and boost sales. It must have worked, because this flavor of ice cream has stood the test of time and is still filling the freezers of America.

rocky-road-cookies

Since ice cream isn’t my favorite dessert, I like to take these flavors and create other things with them instead! I made Rocky Road cupcakes a couple of years ago on Easybaked, and they are still one of my favorite recipes. Yum.

rocky-road-cookies

These are easy to make, and a perfectly rich, but not too sweet treat for any holiday or celebration. Or just for Mondays. Mondays always need good cookies.

Here is how we made them (printable recipe here)

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 24, 4-inch round cookies)

Cookie: 

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Toppings:

  • 1 bag of mini-marshmallows
  • 1 bag of Wiltons candy melts in dark cocoa
  • 1/4 bag of Wilton’s candy melts in white
  • 1 cup of sliced almonds
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Add butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa together in  large mixing bowl.
  • Blend on medium speed with a mixer until smooth.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until smooth (use clean hands at the end, to knead into a soft ball of dough)
  • Roll out cookie dough on floured counter.  
  • Cut into large circles (you want to have room for all those toppings!) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  
  • Bake for 8 to 11 minutes until the edges are firm.
  • Slide parchment paper off cookie sheet with cookies on top. Allow them to cool on counter.
  • Melt dark cocoa candy melts in microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until smooth.
  • Spoon about a tablespoon of chocolate on the top of a cookie and spread to edges.
  • Immediately (before chocolate hardens) add marshmallows, almonds and chocolate chips. They all don’t have to touch the melted chocolate, and some can be loose on top.
  • Finish all cookies in the same manner.
  • Melt white candy melts in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until smooth.
  • Place candy melts into a small zip-top bag, clip a corner and drizzle white chocolate over the top of each cookie as shown.
  • Allow everything to harden up.
  • Store in an air-tight container for up to 5 days (the marshmallows get a little chewy past that point). Make sure to layer parchment paper between the layers of cookies when storing them.
  • Enjoy!

rocky-road-cookies

My thoughts: There is just something unbelievably good about marshmallows on a cookie. The chewy sweetness of those, the crunchy nuts, the soft chocolate cookie… I LOVE these! Sometimes the love of a dessert is as much about the textures as it is about the flavors- and this cookie wins in both categories!!!! I hope you get a chance to try these! Enjoy! ~r

Other favorites for the cookie jar: (click on a photo to see the recipe):

Gingerbread Cookies!German Chocolate CookieChocolate Chip Oatmeal CookiesChocolate Espresso Cookies!!!

 

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Pumpkin Guts!

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Pumpkin Guts Dessert!

This delicious coconut cream pie dip is disguised as gooey pumpkin guts (with sliced almond “seeds”)~ a perfect Halloween treat!!

I love carving pumpkins. The smell is my favorite part, it reminds me of being very small and in a homemade costume anxiously awaiting trick-or-treat time. We always carved pumpkins several days earlier, but we lit them on Halloween and all evening the lids would quietly cook in the candle flame, filling the house with an indescribably wonderful scent that still reminds me of childhood whenever I smell it.

I carved a pumpkin for this recipe.

1. To serve this dip in.

2. To use as a reference in coloring this dessert!

Pumpkin Guts!!!!Isn’t it fun?  I savored the smell and enjoyed the squishy guts between my fingers…I even roasted a few seeds and ate them with salt as a reward for getting my pictures taken!

Want to know how to make this yummy fall treat?  It is SUPER easy!  (Printable recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups of shredded sweet coconut (to desired consistency)
  • 1 cup of sliced almonds
  • 1 box (3.3 oz.) Jello Brand White Chocolate Pudding (instant)
  • Milk (to make pudding according to package)
  • Orange and yellow food coloring
  • Chocolate cookies for dipping!

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make pudding as directed on package and color to desired shade with food colors
  • Place coconut in a large zip-top bag and add the same food colors to the bag. Toss and mix coconut until colored as well.
  • Mix pudding with enough coconut to make a gooey pumpkin consistency.
  • Mix about half of the almonds in, and use the rest to sprinkle on top.
  • Serve with chocolate cookies or graham crackers for that “Almond Joy” taste!
  • Enjoy! 

Halloween dessert!My thoughts:  Well, I love coconut, almonds and chocolate- so this was a given “perfect” dessert for me!  I think it would be fun to serve this with a “murdered” pumpkin, I just didn’t have time to draw a dramatic face and stick a big knife in mine! Serve it up classy, or make it into a funny Halloween treat- either way, it is easy and soooooo yummy!  ~Enjoy!!!!! ~r

Pumpkin Guts!Other fun fall desserts here on Easybaked (click on a photo to see the recipe)

Halloween Swirl Cookies!!!Frosty Candy Corn Dessert!Ginger Maple CookiesSpider Cupcakes!

Rocky Road Cupcakes!

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Rocky Road Cupcakes!!!!These chocolate cupcakes are filled with creamy marshmallow and topped with a rich ganache frosting, marshmallows and almonds! YUM!!!!!

These are fork-eating cupcakes!  You’ll love that combination of rocky road flavors in these rich and messy-to-eat cupcakes.

Rocky Road Cupcakes4I absolutely love this frosting.  I have used ganache for many recipes, but I’d never taken the time to whip it up into a frosting.  Now that I’ve tried it, I will be back for more- this frosting is so rich and chocolatey!!! Ready for a recipe?

Here you go: (printable version)

INGREDIENTS:

  • One box of chocolate cake mix (with oil, water and eggs to make according to package)
  • One large jar (13 oz) of Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
  • One bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips *
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream *

(*double these two ingredients if you want to pile your frosting high like mine is)

  • One bag of mini-marshmallows
  • 1 cup of slivered or sliced almonds
  • a little white chocolate to drizzle on top, if desired

DIRECTIONS:

  • Start your frosting first, as it needs to chill before you beat it, and double the recipe if you want piles of frosting like mine.  I went a little overboard for fun pictures!! 🙂
  • Place 1/2 cup of whipping cream into a medium saucepan and heat it on the stove until the cream starts to bubble just a bit on the edges, stirring as it heats.  Turn off the heat, add the chocolate chips and cover for 5 minutes.
  • Stir melted chocolate and warm cream together until completely smooth (a “ganache”).  Put it in a medium bowl and refrigerate until it is a cool, spoonable consistency (30 minutes to an hour).
  • Make cake mix according to box, and divide equally into 24 cupcake lines placed in a muffin tin.
  • Bake as directed on box, and cool completely.
  • Core cupcakes using a small knife, or a cupcake corer.  I used the Chicago Metallics one, and for $4 there is just no reason to not get one- it makes filling cupcakes SOOOO easy!  Isn’t your birthday coming up???

So easy to core cupcakes!

  • Spoon entire jar of marshmallow fluff into a gallon-size zip-top bag and clip a corner off with scissors.  Squeeze the marshmallow into the middle of each cupcake and then trim a little of the core you removed and place the “lid” back on top of the filling.
  • Remove cooled chocolate ganache from refrigerator and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  • Place icing in a gallon size zip-top bag that has been fitted with a decorating tip in one corner, and pipe icing onto the cupcakes.
  • Decorate with almonds, and mini marshmallows.  I also added some mini chocolate chips (because I had some leftovers from another recipe) and I melted some white chocolate to drizzle on top.  Be creative and make these little marshmallow-y cupcakes irresistible!!!!


Rocky Road Cupcakes!!!!!

 

My thoughts:  These are FABULOUS cupcakes.  I love the gooey marshmallow creme surprise in the middle!  And that frosting….. oh my.  A few tips:  the frosting does harden up, so get those almonds and marshmallows placed in it as soon as you are done piping the frosting on.  This is good, because it holds all those yummy toppings in place!  Also, store these all sealed up.  You know what happens when you leave the bag of marshmallows open?  Yucky, rubbery, dried up marshmallows!  The same will happen if you just let these set out. 

I hope you love these little yummy desserts!!!!  ~r

Rocky Road Cupcakes with marshmallow filling!!!!Want some other ideas for that new cupcake corer?  We love filled cupcakes here at Easybaked!  Here’s a few of our favorites:

Cinnamon Roll Filling in a yummy cupcake!Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cupcakes!!!Toxic Slime-filled Cupcakes!Mocha caramel filled cupcakes3

Frosty Almond Joy Cups

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Frosty Almond Joy Cups!These adorable frozen cups are layered with chocolate, coconut and almonds.  A new twist on some favorite flavors!!  These use a mini cheesecake pan that is SO much fun, but if you want, you can make these in muffin tins lined with cupcake papers instead.  This recipe makes 12 frozen cups.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 c. of crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. whipping cream
  • About 2 cups of shredded, sweetened coconut
  • About 1 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 c. cold milk
  • 1 box (4 servings, 3.9 oz) instant coconut pudding
  • 1 (8 oz) container of Cool Whip (thawed in fridge)
  • 1/4 c. Wilton’s Candy Melts (to drizzle on top as decoration)

DIRECTIONS

  • Crush Oreos into fine crumbs. (I love my KitchenAid food chopper for this job!)
  • Prepare mini cheesecake pan by placing disks into the bottom of each cup.
  • Evenly divide crust mixture into all 12 cups (I used a Mini Tart Shaper to press crumbs firmly into the bottom of each cup).
  • Place semi-sweet chocolate chips and whipping cream into a small bowl and microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
  • Spoon chocolate into a zip top bag, cut a tip off and evenly pipe chocolate into the center of each cup, on top of the crust.
  • Sprinkle about a tablespoon of coconut and slivered almonds into each cup

Almond Joy How-to

  • Mix cold milk with pudding on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in 1/2 of the Cool Whip container (the rest will be used as topping).
  • Spoon filling into a large zip top bag (and ZIP it or you might have a mess!)  Clip a corner off and pipe pudding into each cup evenly.  Try to pipe it in between the coconut and almonds so that the whole cup is filled.  I did have a little left over (which was really tasty straight out of the bag!)
  • Use a knife to smooth the tops level with the top of the pan.
  • Freeze for at least a couple of hours.
  • Allow the pan to warm just a bit before popping each dessert cup out.  Poke a finger up through the hole in the bottom of the pan and grab that Almond Joy cup by its crust.  Remove the disk from the bottom and you are ready to add topping. 
  • For topping, I just piped a little bit of the left over Cool Whip on each dessert using a decorating tip.  Then I topped it off with a little melted chocolate (Wilton’s candy melts) and a whole almond with some coconut.  You could decorate yours however you want!
  • Serve cold right away– or put them in a sealed container and freeze until you are ready to serve.

Frozen Almond Joy Cups!!My thoughts:  I love Almond Joy candy bars…I love Oreos and anything frozen….so I love these!  These were inspired by an earlier recipe, Frosty S’mores Cups.  I ran across coconut pudding in the store the other day and the wheels started turning.  I think it turned out perfectly– it’s like a coconut cream pie with Almond Joy bars mixed in. mmmmm…….!  I hope you enjoy these little treats!  

Almond Joy cups!
Do you like coconut?  We LOVE it here at Easybaked!  Click on a picture to see other recipes with this yummy ingredient:

Caramel Coconut Creme CupsCoconut Cheesecake BonbonCreamy Coconut CheesecakeLemon Drop Cookies with Coconut

Opera Creams

Opera Cream Candy These cream-filled chocolates are so smooth and rich you won’t be able to stop at just one!

I work in a genetics lab.  Every year at Christmas my co-worker Gail brings in the most wonderful candy I’ve ever eaten.  Every year I ask for the recipe and she smiles and says that she can give me the recipe but that I’d need to visit and learn the recipe from her.  Now that I’ve made it, I understand.  This is not a typical Easybaked recipe, it’s very involved.  It’s fun and challenging and oh- soooo worth the effort though!

Gail recently retired and about a week ago I visited her in her kitchen to learn how to make opera creams.

This is a recipe passed down to her from her mom, who had all kinds of thoughts about the making of this candy.  My favorite was that the recipe works best on sunny days and if it’s raining you might as well just wait to make it another day.  We had a beautiful sunny December day to make our candy on, so I’m sure she would have approved.

Lets start with the recipe– that’s the easy part.  I’m going to post it twice– once with pictures and videos and once just straight so you can read it easier.

Gail's moms recipe card

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Chocolate (of your choice) for dipping- we used tempered dark chocolate bits

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put sugar, cream, cream of tartar and corn syrup into a large saucepan and mix well.
  • Use a pastry brush and a little water to brush all of mixture down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar stuck to the sides.

Use a pastry brush to brush water down sides of panGail and her moms candy thermometer

  • Cover pan and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring mixture to 240F degrees
  • (While you are waiting for this to come to temp, butter the bottom and sides of a shallow glass or ceramic dish.)

Bring to 240F degreesDon't stir!!!

  • Remove from stove and add salt, butter and vanilla– do not stir!
  • Pour mixture into buttered dish (don’t use plastic!) and allow this to cool completely (we put it on the back porch where it was cool and this took 2 hours)
  • Spoon cooled mixture onto clean countertop (it will be like a very sticky caramel)

Pour into a non-plastic dishCooled mixtureKnead into a soft cream

  • Work with hands until firm and creamy- it takes 20-30 minutes and this is pure craziness….here are the stages to expect:
  1. sticky caramel- fairly firm
  2. slimy/ buttery texture– almost like its falling apart
  3. sticky but workable
  4. so sticky that you literally cannot move your fingers and you are sure you will have to get the mixture surgically removed.
  5. no longer sticky- but like playdough with little crumbs falling off at the edges…keep kneading!
  6. Finally creamy and smooth- kneads together in one beautiful dough- like ball.

I filmed Gail as she went through this process.  Click HERE to see the near-miraculous transformation from sticky to creamy smooth!

  • Place this ball of filling in a dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 2 days….yes. TWO DAYS.
  • Bring cream filling back to room temp and roll into balls.

Roll into ballsDip into chocolate...

  • Dip into melted chocolate and cool.
  • You can mix nuts or coconut into the cream if you like, or just leave them plain.


Opera Cream CandyMy thoughts: amazingly yummy.  The cream is just like no other candy I’ve tried.  It is worth every bit if the effort it took us to make these.  I found myself cringing as people popped them whole into their mouths though…I kept thinking, “SAVOR those!!!  You’ve no idea how hard I worked on them!!!”  So hard, in fact that I took a two hour nap when I got home!

Opera cream CandyNow for the recipe in an easy-to-read format:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 c. sugar
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/8 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t butter
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Chocolate (of your choice) for dipping- we used dark tempered chocolate bits

DIRECTIONS:

  • Put sugar, cream, cream of tartar and corn syrup to a large saucepan and mix well.
  • Use a pastry brush and a little water to brush all of mixture down the sides of the pan to remove any sugar stuck to the sides.
  • Cover pan and bring to a boil.
  • When boiling, uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  • Bring mixture to 240F degrees
  • (While you are waiting for this to come to temp, butter the bottom and sides of a shallow glass or ceramic dish.)
  • Remove from stove and add butter and vanilla– do not stir!
  • Pour mixture into buttered dish (don’t use plastic!) and allow this to cool completely (we put it on the back porch where it was cool and this took 2 hours)
  • Spoon cooled mixture onto clean countertop (it will be like a very sticky caramel)
  • Work with hands until firm and creamy.
  • Place this ball of filling in a dish, cover with a damp towel and refrigerate for 2 days.
  • Bring cream filling to room temp and roll into balls.
  • Dip into melted chocolate and cool.
  • You can mix nuts or coconut into the cream if you like, or just leave them plain.

Opera Cream Candy

A huge “thank-you” to Gail for spending so much time teaching me her family recipe!  We had such a fun day together cooking AND trying lime phosphates while we waited for candy to cool!

Having fun while the candy cools!

Enjoy!!!!!  ~r

Other (easier!) Christmas recipe ideas from Easybaked~ Click on the image to be taken to the recipe:

Chocolate molten lava cupcakesCake balls filled with cream cheese frostingChocolate bonbonsHot Chocolate Pops!

Toasted Coconut Cheesecake Bonbons

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I just found out that the word bonbon comes from the French word bon which means “good”…so these are goodGOOD!!!! (GOOOOD!) With toasted coconut on the outside and chewy coconut and cream cheese on the inside they couldn’t get any better! Oh- wait—yes they can!  Bite into one of these bonbons and you’ll find creamy dark chocolate and almonds inside!  YUM!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag (24-30 pieces) of Dove chocolates (dark chocolate with almond)
  • 8 ounces of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 12 ounces (one bag) of white chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp of coconut extract
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups of shredded sweetened coconut (divided)
  • 1/2 cup of butter (melted)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Unwrap all of your chocolates.
  • Soften Philadelphia Cream Cheese in the microwave for about 30 seconds- until it is warm and smooth after stirring.
  • Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between until they are melted and smooth.
  • Add softened cream cheese to the melted white chocolate and stir well.
  • Stir in coconut extract.
  • Add flour and mix until it forms a thick, sticky dough.
  • Fold in 3 cups of coconut.
  • Using your hands, take about 2T of dough, press it into your palm, place a chocolate in the center and wrap the dough completely around it.
  • Smooth the dough by rolling it a little between your hands and set it on an un-greased cookie sheet. Repeat this process with remaining dough and chocolates.
  • Brush melted butter over tops of cookies and press remaining coconut on the tops and sides of the cookies.
  • Brush the coconut topping with butter and place in the oven.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. If coconut is not sufficiently toasted on the tops of the cookies at this point, turn your broiler on high and finish toasting it. (This will happen quickly under the broiler, so keep an eye on them!).
  • Remove cookies from the cookie sheet and place on parchment paper to cool. They can be served warm or cooled to room temperature first– either way they are delicious!

My thoughts: mmmm…..I love these!  I created this recipe for Real Women of Philadelphia and it took me awhile to decide which chocolate to use in the middle and how to get the cookie part to taste REALLY coconutty (I just made that word up!)  These cookies remind me of the Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory– seriously one of my favorite desserts and now in cookie (BONBON!!) form 🙂  ENJOY!

I shared this recipe on these wonderful blogs:

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