Tag Archives: chocolate

Day 12: Samoa Bars


It’s girl scout cookie season and since I cannot find Girl Scout cookies being sold anywhere in NYC, I’m making my own! I must admit that Thin Mints are my favorite ones, but those are not the ones I’m making tonight. I especially love eating thin mints after you put them in the freezer! I bought some cookies last year and froze them, but they are at my parents house in Texas! Hopefully my dad hasn’t broken into them and I can eat a couple when I go home for Easter weekend! That’s wishful thinking though because if there are sweets in the house, then my dad always hunts it out and finds it! As a kid it used to drive me insane when my dad would eat my Christmas candy especially because I was known for hiding mine and saving it! I was such a miser with my candy!

Anyway, onto Day 12 of the Pinterest Project, where I am making Samoa bars! I’m not a big fan of coconut, but I do love caramel and chocolate, which should be no surprise there. This recipe that I’m trying out was originally posted on the blog ‘Baking Bites’ and it was repinned from there. I’ve seen this recipe all over Pinterest, so I’m hoping it’s a keeper!

Samoa Bars


Cookie Base

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)


Preheat oven 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9×13 inch pan, or line with parchment paper. [I didn’t have a 9×13 baking pan, so I used a cookie sheet and tried to estimate the size when rolling out the dough.] In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Beat in flour and salt until dough is crumbly. Pour dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer [or roll the dough out like I did onto a cookie sheet]. Bake 20-25 minutes or until edges are light brown and base is set. Cool completely before topping.

Preheat oven 300 degrees. Spread coconut evenly onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and toast for 20 minutes. [I only toasted mine for about 9 minutes since the oven was still extremely hot from cookie the cookie base]. While toasting coconut, stir every 5 minutes until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet, then set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When melted, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula. Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.

When cooled, cut with a large knife or pizza cutter. I used the pizza cutter which was way easier! Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent it from burning. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean sheet of parchment or wax paper to set. Place all the remaining chocolate into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle chocolate over the top of the bars. [The chocolate was too thick, so I just took a spoon and drizzled the chocoalte on top of the cookies. It doesn’t look that pretty, but it does the trick]. Let chocolate set before storing in an airtight container.

Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.

The Samoa bars turned out way better than I anticipated. The only problem that I had was that the chocolate took a while to harden, so I put the bars in the freezer for a few minutes and it turned out to be a great idea. It ended up only taking a few minutes for the chocolate to set and if I hadn’t put the bars in the freezer it would have taken a few hours since the chocolate was so hot. This is definitely a healthier and cheaper alternative to purchasing Samoas from the Girl Scouts. No offense Girl Scouts, as I used to be one too, but let’s be realistic, your cookies are always going up in price and there aren’t that many cookies in the box! If you like cookies that are both firm and chewy then you’ll like these. Also, the coconut doesn’t taste that strong, which is good if you’re like me and not a big coconut fan. Eat a bar or two with a glass of milk and you’ll be happy!


Day 9: Two (exactly two) Chocolate Cupcakes


I LOVE chocolate. I mean honestly, what girl doesn’t love chocolate?  I personally wouldn’t trust a girl who says she doesn’t love chocolate because she has to be lying, but that’s me. Men have steak as their comfort food and well women, we have chocolate and all kinds of chocolate at that! White, Dark, Milk, you name it, we got it and trust me, I’ll eat it. If you want to win me over, then buy me some chocolate, but it better me the good stuff like See’s or Godiva! With chocolate on my mind, I can’t think of a better way to start off the weekend then with a rich chocolate cupcake! Sometimes it’s good to indulge a little and that is just what I’m going to do today. After all, I think I deserve it after this long week at work 🙂

For day 9 of the Pinterest Project, I am baking Chocolate Cupcakes. [Side note: for those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, the Pinterest Project is something I started March 1st where everyday I create something that I have repinned onto my Pinboards.] Back to the cupcakes and chocolate !  These aren’t just any cupcakes, this is a special recipe that bakes exactly TWO cupcakes, which is perfect because it’s not like I need 24 all to myself. This recipe was repinned from “Brett Bara’s” blog.

Two (exactly two) Chocolate Cupcakes


  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda (just eyeball half of a quarter-teaspoon and it will be fine)
  • 1/16 teaspoon salt (otherwise known as a pinch)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/16 teaspoon vanilla (ie, just a few drops)
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips (optional)
  • Chocolate Frosting (mini recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a second small bowl combine the wet ingredients (water, oil, vanilla). Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Using a muffin pan, divide batter between two cupcake liners and then sprinkle chocolate chips on top (I used Hershey’s mini baking kisses). Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.


Chocolate Frosting


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon half and half or any milk/cream
  • dash of salt


Melt butter in a small bowl. Combine all remaining ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes until icing starts to set. Whisk icing again then allow it to reach room temperature until cupcakes are cool enough to frost. [Brett recommends that you start on the frosting immediately after you put the cupcakes in the oven, so that it will be ready to go once the cupcakes are cool.]

While making these I thought that this would also be a good recipe to use for making mini cupcakes. I’m almost positive that you could use a mini-muffin pan and make 12 mini-cupcakes from this recipe. Obviously the baking time would have to be altered, but a few mini-cupcakes might be fun to make as well! I’ll have to test it out, but my guess is that it would take about 10-12 minutes to bake the mini ones.

If you like chocolate, then this is a recipe for you! The only issue I had with these cupcakes was the when I was making my frosting it started clumping together as opposed to being really smooth. But, that was probably my fault as I started making the icing and then walked away from it for about 15 minutes so some of the ingredients had already begun to set. Overall though, I was very satisfied. I only ate half of a cupcake, so I’ve got plenty of chocolate to eat later!

The softest, chewiest chocolate chip cookies


A few months ago I bought a new cookie sheet – a Martha Stewart cookie sheet to be exact. With that cookie sheet came a recipe for the softest chocolate chip cookies I have ever made in my life. I am by no means obsessed with Martha Stewart, but this recipe is just that amazing. This cookie sheet was the first Martha Stewart housewear item I have ever bought, but based on this recipe alone, I’m impressed by Martha. The cookies stayed soft, even after they were cool and even days later. This has yet to happen with any other cookie receipe I’ve tried. If you’re like me, then you hate it when you spend all your time mixing, measuring and spooning cookie dough just to have hard cookies. After all, it’s those melt in your mouth ones that are the best! I’ve made this recipe numerous times (including two nights ago) and everyone loves them! Try it out and trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies [makes about 3 dozen]


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup [2 sticks] unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar [I use dark brown sugar instead]
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups [about 12 ounces] chocolate chips [Hershey’s makes mini milk chocolate kisses for baking and that’s what I use.]

[All the ingredients you’ll need and definitely use the mini kisses in lieu of normal chocolate chips]


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium until light and fluffy. [I just mix it by hand with a large spoon.] Add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
    2. Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
    3. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes. [I remove them from the baking sheet immediately.] Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

[Cookies straight out of the oven on my Martha Stewart cookie sheet]

[Cookies! Golden brown and cooked to perfection.]

After baking these, it’s hard to resist eating them right away. Even though the recipe states it yields 3 dozen cookies, I normally get at least 4 dozen out of a full batch. Also, I’ve used light brown sugar, but the dark brown sugar just gives the cookie dough a richer taste. These cookies will change your world.

Happy munching!