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Triple Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Let’s make cookies!

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

This is an especially fun post because it’s written as part of The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap (organized by the wonderful Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen). The deal was this: each participating food blogger receives the names of three other food bloggers. You make some scrumptious cookies, mail a dozen of ‘em off to each of your assigned bloggers, and in return, you receive three packages of ahhhmazing homemade cookies from other bloggers. It’s Secret Santa-style, so you don’t know who’s sending you cookies until they arrive on your doorstep. I sent these triple chocolate (!!!) peppermint thumbprint cookies to Erin at Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts, Victoria at Love Laugh Cook, and Dani of The Adventure Bite.

On my end, I received some amazing Salted Chocolate Pistachio Cookies from Annalise at Completely Delicious, a batch of Toffee Butter Cookies with Chocolate from the wonderful Melissa at Bless This Mess, and a scrumptious tin of Cranberry Shortbread Cookies from Julie of Julie Bakes! If anyone needs me, I’ll be donning my fat pants and baking my own batches of these ladies’ incredible cookies now that we’ve all posted our recipes.

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Aside from being fun (and, um, delicious) the Cookie Swap is also a fundraiser: the Cookie Swap team has partnered with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, an amazing non-profit that provides research support to help fight pediatric cancer. All proceeds from this Cookie Swap go to help them further their mission. So far, we’ve raised over $12,000! Each participating blogger made a personal donation, and our incredible sponsors (that’d be OXO, Dixie Crystals, Brownie Brittle, and California Olive Ranch) matched those donations dollar for dollar. You can make your own donation to the organization here, or – if you’re craving some tasty mail of your own – order a package of their gourmet cookies to help support their work!

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

AND NOW. Let me tell you about THESE cookies. These cookies with chocolate, and then MORE chocolate, and then some peppermint, and then (duh) even MORE chocolate. Also, I rolled them in powdered sugar. It’s Christmastime! Salads are for January.

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

I used semi-sweet chocolate for the centers of these cookies, and dark chocolate for the drizzle, so despite the insane amount of candy involved they aren’t overwhelmingly sweet. If you like to keep things on the sweeter side, you could substitute milk chocolate for the semi-sweet.

Triple Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies

Also, I found this super-festive candy-cane-y string at Target when I was shopping for wrapping supplies for my cookie swap cookies. And then almost immediately after that, I read some article about “the most terrible annoying cliché things food bloggers do in their pictures,” which included tying things up with string. Which obviously, in Jessie world, translated to “OH, I AM SO GOING TO TIE THESE COOKIES UP WITH STRING.” So there you have it.

To sum up: The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap was so much fun – thanks to Lindsay and Julie for organizing, and thanks to the ladies who sent me such amazing cookies! Check out Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and make your own donation (or order some cookies!) this holiday season. Also, make these cookies!  [read more…]

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Roasted Red Pepper Baked Ricotta

Ummm…CHEESE.

Do I really need to say anything else?

Roasted Red Pepper Baked Ricotta

I guess I’ll tell you a little bit about this PARTICULAR cheese. Because this PARTICULAR cheese (ricotta, b-t-dubs) is topped with an insanely yummy roasted red pepper balsamic sauce (HEY-O) and then baked in the oven and then topped with some parsley and then slathered on some garlicky, buttery crostini and then shoved into one’s face with great abandon. You with me? Yes? Good.

Roasted Red Pepper Baked Ricotta

This is a great appetizer option now that we’re all gearing up for the holidays (WAIT, WHERE DID 2014 GO?!) Make the red pepper sauce ahead and keep it in the fridge if you like, then assemble and serve the baked ricotta whenever it strikes your fancy. Pro tip: This is the perfect amount for a small dinner party (or, y’know, my lunch on a Tuesday), but double it if you’re feeding a crowd.

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30 Minute Creamy Corn and Tomato Pasta

Quick, easy dinners are the best kind of dinners. This particular dish has only six ingredients (unless you count salt and pepper, which are basically like oxygen or butter or anything else that makes life possible, so obviously I don’t) and takes less than 30 minutes to throw together. It even has cream cheese, which I actually almost never use but is sometimes just completely 100% necessary. In this case, it makes a delightfully creamy sauce that lends a great richness to the simple combo of pasta, corn, and tomatoes.

30 Minute Creamy Corn and Tomato Pasta

I am especially in need of fast and easy meals this month, because I have been traveling nonstop over the last few weeks while still trying to keep up with the whole grad school thing (WHAT was I thinking) and planning this oh-so-awesome conference that you should all go to. I was in Portland with my parents for a few days (HI, PARENTS) and then in Seattle for the International Food Bloggers Conference (full recap coming soon! ish). and THEN I was in Pennsylvania for the Big Harvest Potluck. It was all a whirlwind, but SO much fun. Except now I’m catching up (sort of) on sleep and work and blogging and more work. So cooking a whole big delicious meal, while high on my list of priorities, isn’t really happening. [read more…]

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Creamy Apple Tomato Soup

I’m not entirely sure that I’m ready for soup weather.

Creamy Apple Tomato Soup

Sure, it’s nice when I’m able to start busting out my boots and sweaters again. And sure, it’s nice to be able to turn my oven on without turning the entire apartment into a sauna. But it’s always so hard to say goodbye to summer produce. Especially when the food blogosphere jumps back on the pumpkin train and you feel like you’re hanging on to summertime all by your lonesome. I’M JUST NOT READY FOR PUMPKIN, YOU GUYS. [read more…]

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Stone Fruit Tartlets

I am in loooooove with these tartlets.

Stone Fruit Tartlets

First, they’re delicious, which is obviously somewhat important. Second, (the VERY important part) they are MINIATURE, which means they are perfect for dinner parties where everyone gets a cute little individual dessert (also, perfect to make for just yourself and eat one by one over the course of an afternoon). [read more…]

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