chocolate raspberry sandwich cookies

Valentine’s day is literally a blink away and I feel we all deserve a little something decadent. And cute. And damn delicious.

Say hello to dark chocolate shortbread cookies stuffed with raspberry buttercream. (Made with fresh raspberries no less.)  Shaped like hearts …. because everyone knows a treat shaped like a heart tastes better than a treat not shaped like one.

I do not post cookies often because honestly, I really don’t like making them. But I do LOOOVE a good shortbread cookie so there are exceptions, especially when they are as special as these little gems.

There is some fussiness to this between making sure the dough is chilled enough, to whipping up the frosting and then assembling it all. That said, these are worth every second of the effort and then some. Plus it Valentine’s Day – its worth the extra lovin’…am I right??!!

You could of course forgo the filling. The chocolate shortbread happens to pair AMAZINGLY well with coffee. If you have raspberries on hand though make the filling. You will not regret it!

Enjoy!

 

 

chocolate raspberry sandwich cookies
 
chocolate raspberry sandwich cookies Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 12 mins Total time: 42 mins Serves: 18 sandwiches
Ingredients
  • cookies:
  • 1cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½cups flour
  • ½cup dark cocoa powder
  • ½tsp kosher salt
  • filling:
  • 1pint fresh or frozen raspberries
  • ½cup butter, room temperature
  • 2cups confectioners sugar (more or less depending on how thick you would like it)
  • 1 to 2tbsp milk
Instructions
  1. Cookies: In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on low-medium speed until combined. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla on low until just combined.
  2. On low speed, beat in flour, cocoa powder and salt until the dough starts to come together. Stop mixing at this point, over mixing will cause cookie to be tough.
  3. Divide dough in half and form each into a disk. (You can use a little flour if its too sticky.) Place one disk in between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll out to ¼" thickness. Do the same with the other disk. Place both in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  4. After dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the dough out into desired shapes using a cookie cutter (I used a 2" heart to make 18 sandwiches). Place cutouts on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 10-13 minutes. Allow the cookies to set on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before placing on wire rack.
  5. Spread raspberry filling on the completely cooled cookies to create sandwiches. Keep in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
  6. For the Raspberry Filling: Place raspberries and 2tbsp water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer. Allow to simmer until raspberries completely break down. Pour raspberries into a fine sieve to remove seeds. Pour back into the pan and simmer until reduced to ¼ cup. Allow to cool completely.
  7. In a stand mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the cooled raspberries reduction and sugar and beat until completely incorporated and fluffy. Add more sugar if it's too wet, a little milk if too dense. Keep in refrigerator until ready to assemble cookies.

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tsum tsum printable valentines

It’s time to take the tree down and start thinking about Valentine’s day! [Please tell me I am not the only one who still has a tree up.] I happen to adore pink, red, hearts and all things adorable so yeah, Valentine’s Day is well loved in my world. When Jettie received a plethora of small collectible toys for Christmas, I couldn’t help but think how fabulous they would be as Valentines. So I grabbed some Tsum Tsums and created a couple cards.

Not gonna lie guys, I am sort of obsessed with the way they turned out.

Here is what you will need to make your own:

Simply print the FREE printable, cut out the cards and place a Tsum Tsum on top to see which orientation looks best. With a pencil, mark a dot underneath the Tsum Tsum – off to one side a bit and then do the same on the other side. These holes are what you will thread your twine through. You need 2 of them hidden under the Tsum Tsum vertically in order to hold the Tsum Tsum in place. Thread the twine through the holes from the back and tie a bow neatly around the top of the Tsum Tsum. Use a piece of tape to provide a little extra security on the backside, over the holes and twine.

I love that Tsum Tsums have a gender neutral vibe to them including characters that both girls and boys love. (I also designed the cards with a more more friendship and less “in love” vibe…I remember this being a big thing when I was in grade school. Figured I’d make it easier on everyone by not having random love claimed in the 1st grade.) The one thing that could make these cuter would be a Tsum Tsum Valentine box. I haven’t talked to Jettie yet but oh yes…I would love to tackle that craft project.

You can find more Valentine’s design at the PPJ Shop!

Happy Valentine-ing!

 

 

 

 

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coconut almond date balls

I had granola on the mind bad…with every intention of whipping up a batch this morning and dazzling the internet with my homemade granola skills. Oven was preheated, baking sheet was lined with parchment and the bowl was ready for ingredients. Too bad I had no oatmeal on hand. Well, that’s a lie. I had about 1/4 cup…I know small batch recipes are all the rage, but that’s a bit of a stretch.

So onto date balls I went. Happy accident as these little boogers are yum!

If you are a LÄRABAR eater – that would be us – date balls should be a very familiar taste for you. I believe the first ingredient in most Laras is dates, which is the main ingredient here as well. Of course dates are loaded with natural sugars, which is a bad thing depending on who you talk to…and since we are on this topic, honestly I am so confused at this point as to what is good and what is bad, so I’m just gonna throw up a white flag here and say “at least it’s not refined sugar”. I mean that’s the absolute worst right? (If you are eating a donut right now please ignore me to the fullest.)

[I used deglet noor dates in case you were curious. And no, I haven’t a clue how to say “deglet noor” or what the difference is between it and all the other dates that I cannot pronounce are. My extensive research into them only involves the fact that I think they are delightfully tasty.]

Much like the trusty ol’ bars, the thing I love about these balls is the fullness you feel. It’s sweet but it doesn’t leave you with a sugar hangover and best of all it gives you just the right boost for those moments when you absolutely need it. Plus my kids love these things and you absolutely can’t beat that.

There are about 1 zillion plus 23 energy ball recipes on the internet. If you roll your eyes at mine I absolutely will not blame you. But, if by chance, you have never made these healthy treats please give at least one recipe a try. Doesn’t matter which one…unless it’s gross. In that case just find another recipe until you hit jackpot. (Like this one…DING! DING! DING! DING! DING!)

Enjoy!

 

 

coconut almond date balls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12 balls
Ingredients
  • ⅓cup whole raw almonds
  • 20 pitted dates (I used Deglet Noor dates)
  • ½cup unsweetened coconut flakes (divided)
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 1tbsp water
  • dash of kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse about 10 times until all the large pieces are broken up.
  2. Add the dates, ¼cup coconut, coconut oil, water and salt and process until no large pieces of date are left and a ball forms when you roll it in your hands.
  3. Divide the mixture with a small ice cream scoop or a teaspoon - forming each one into a ball with your hands. Next, roll each ball in the remaining ¼ coconut flakes. (I had to press my balls into the flakes a bit to get them to stick.) Refrigerate for at least one hour for the flavors to meld. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. (I like to keep mine in fridge.)

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grapefruit shortbread cookies

If you’re on the desperate hunt for an insanely easy and even more insanely delicious treat to whip up for the holidays this cookie is calling your name.

Christmas cookies have a tendency to be heavy and rich. And they should be…it is the holiday season after all. As good as those cookies are, there are times when I crave something lighter…but still a treat of course. Enter these cute little guys.

I’m a grapefruit fanatic which means if something says it has grapefruit in it I better taste the grapefruit. Unlike lemons, the pungent taste of grapefruit often becomes lost when baked. That’s why you need lots of zest (and if you got a drop or two of quality grapefruit essential oil). Even at that though, the cookies themselves do not exactly scream grapefruit. And that is why glaze was invented.

You know what pairs will with everything  grapefruit? Dark chocolate. Just a drizzle will do. It takes these cookies from everyday to Merry Christmas Everyone!

If you are wondering how a shortbread cookie differs from other cookies it mostly boils down to texture. These are light and airy. Crunchy but in the most delicate sort of ways. The flavor is full of butter because they are made with a boatload of butter. Best part of all…the pair perfectly with coffee and tea.

I hope your holiday season is full of your favorite treats…with this one possibly being a new one. My kids prefer sugar cookies over these (shocker) but that doesn’t bother me at all. More for mama.

Enjoy!

 

 

grapefruit shortbread cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: About 30 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1cup softened unsalted butter
  • ⅔cup powdered sugar
  • zest of 2 pink grapefruit
  • 3tbsp freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2 drop grapefruit essential oil (optional)
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 2cups flour
  • For the grapefruit glaze:
  • 2 to 3 tbsps freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 1cup powdered sugar
  • For the dark chocolate drizzle
  • 1cup deal chocolate chips
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl fitted to a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar together until pale yellow and creamy. About 3 minutes. Add the zest, juice, oil (if using), vanilla and salt and mix on low until incorporated. Slowly add the flour and mix on a medium low setting until dough comes together.
  2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. With floured hands roll into a log that is about 2"
  3. in diameter. Tightly wrap plastic wrap around it and chill in fridge for 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove log from fridge and slice into ¼" discs. Place on baking sheet and throw back in fridge for 10 minutes. (Dough needs to be super chilled for baking.) Bake on middle rack for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms just begin to turn golden. Cool on sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  5. While cookies are cooling make the glaze by conbining juice and powdered sugar. If glaze is too thick add more juice, too thin - more sugar. Set aside.
  6. To make the drizzle, place chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 40 seconds and stir. Microwave again for 15 seconds and stir. Repeat this until completely melted and chocolate is ready to drizzle.
  7. Once cookies are completely cooled place about a ½tsp of the glaze in top of each one and spread ever so slightly, keeping at least ¼" from edge. Repeat with all cookies and then lightly drizzle with dark chocolate. Allow to dry at room temp or place in freezer for faster drying. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

 

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diy whipped body lotion

Hey! I’m blogging…what the heck, right?

Sorry for my lack of presence here. Good news is that my hiatus has to do with exciting things going on in the etsy shop. It’s been a great year for designing….but we can talk about all that later.

What does need to be talked about now are last minute gift ideas for Christmas. I know you are probably thinking that hand making a lotion right before the holidays is pushing it. But this one is soooooooo easy. (Really it is.)

Here is what you need:

  • 1 cup unrefined shea butter – (can be found at most health food stores)
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 8 to 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil *optional (be sure to use a high quality brand. I like DoTerra, Young Living & Rocky Mountain – but there are other great brands as well – simply do your homework.)
  • 2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil *optional

Place the shea butter and coconut oil in a mixing bowl fitted for a stand mixer. Whip with the whisk attachment for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lavender and coconut oils (totally optional – I like the scent and little extra luxury they add) and whip for another 5 to 8 minutes or until lotion is the consistency you like. *You can also use a hand mixer – you may need to mix slightly longer. **If not using the essential or olive oil simply whisk the shea and coconut butters until they have reached the desired consistency.

Put the lotion in a glass container fitted with a lid. (This recipes fills about 4, 4oz jars) Gift it or save some luxuriousness for yourself. (Or both!) If your house is extra warm (summer months) you may want to place in fridge to avoid melting.

Use after showers for extra moisturizing. I use this every night before bed as well. It leaves my skin so soft and silky for way longer than any store-bought brand I have ever tried.

And because it’s Christmas and I am all about the giving here are some FREE PRINTABLE LABELS (2″ circle in size) to make your lotion extra special. I simply placed my lotion in a 4oz jar, cut the labels out with a 2″ hole cutter, double stick taped them on the top and tied a pretty ribbon around the lid. Darn cute if you ask me.

(I know my labels say “organic” but I change the printable to “whipped” because I liked that better. Did not want to shoot them again though, hope you understand….I have a feeling you do.)

This makes a great hostess, teacher, neighbor, girlfriend, boss, secretary….basically everyone gift! Fair warning, once they use it they will want to know how you made it. Lucky for you it’s super easy to tell them.

Merry Gifting!

xo,

 

 

 

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