Oh, America how I miss thee. I miss your Christmas decorations that come way too early, your change of seasons, and your mountains of canned pumpkin puree. That last part is really pulling on my heart strings. I live in Dubai, and canned pumpkin does not come easily. At home I usually can grab some year round and go pumpkin crazy. In Dubai, not so much.
Hello everyone! From the magical land of Dubai! To say these past couple of months have been a crazy ride is a complete understatement. Moving two small children across the world is pretty insane. Most people would probably not recommend uprooting your whole family and move to the Middle East. I say if you’re young and the opportunity to immerse your kids in an amazing multi-cultural city full of adventure, DO IT!!!
No worries Luke! This Wampa may be huge, but he doesn’t have any arms that need cutting off. Your’e safe. So go change your jedi underpants before anyone notices. Now Luke can have his revenge yet again. This time though, it’s the sweet kind.
Perfectly moist cupcakes baked with toasted coconut and mini chocolate chips inside, swirled with vanilla frosting, and topped with a miniature Magic Cookie Bar. To make these Magic Cookie Bar Cupcakes even more decadent, they’re drizzled with sweetened condensed milk.
I’m so excited for today…it’s Christmas tree time! I’m usually in the Christmas mood around August, but when I finally get the tree decorated and the stockings up I feel it’s official. Christmas just got real. This is the first year we have introduced our four year old to “The Elf on the Shelf”. We started that a few weeks ago because any extra incentive for my preschooler to behave is priceless. He affectionately named him Norman and even though he considers Norman a friend, he’s a little terrified at how much power Norman holds. These days Oliver seems to be a little more well behaved, and that my friends is quite magical 🙂
Hands down, my favorite dessert is the Magic Cookie Bar. I write about my obsession for the retro treat in my post about these Biscoff Magic Cookie Bars. I’ve been on a mission to mash my favorite cookie bar with other desserts. I thought the cupcake was the perfect place to start. You can make anything the inspiration for your cupcakes and I love that!
Last week I posted a super easy and adorable tutorial for these Ferrero Rocher Chocolate Spiders. I made my favorite chocolate cupcakes and topped them with the hairy coconut chocolate spiders. My son Oliver, who has inherited my really crazy, borderline ridiculous obsession for chocolate, still would not go near these guys. I guess no matter how delicious something is, if it has eight legs you squeal and run away. And that’s exactly what my four year old did. I just shrugged and ate his cupcake.
These little guys were so easy to make (little patience required) and will make everyone giggle at your next Halloween party. At first glance you’ll have to take a second look. These little guys are creepy! But in an “Omigosh you’re so yummy, get in my mouth” kind of way.
Start by toasting some sweetened coconut for a little bit. While the coconut is toasting, melt your dark chocolate in a double boiler or a microwave. Pour melted goodness in a piping bag and snip the end off. No need for a piping tip.
Take those chilly spider bodies and drizzle some melted chocolate on the side. Now this is where you have to move quick. The chocolate spider legs are going to want to melt in your warm fingers. Place a spider leg carefully onto the melted chocolate. 4 on each side of course! We want to be anatomically correct.
- 1 package of Ferrero Rocher Chocolates
- ¼ cup toasted coconut
- 4 oz. melted dark chocolate
- candy pearls
- Set oven to 350 F and toast coconut on baking sheet for 8-10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Melt chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Fill a piping bag and snip the tip off.
- Slice each Ferror Rocher candy in half.
- Dip the candies in the dark chocolate. Top with toasted coconut. Place them in freezer to harden.
- On parchment paper, pipe out little V's with the chocolate. Put those in the freezer to harden.
- Once the spider bodies have set, drizzle melted chocolate on each side and secure four legs on each side of the body.
- Attach little eyes to the front.
Infamous Magic Cookie Bars with a little twist. Biscoff! Buttery Biscoff cookie crust with Biscoff sweetened condensed milk, dark chocolate chips, walnuts, and coconut. I wouldn’t have my Biscoff Magic Cookie Bars any other way!
Magic Cookie Bars are something I hold dear to my heart. My mother made them nearly every week during the holiday season. So you can say it’s one of my favorite sweets. Each bite brings me back to Southern California, where the December weather is cool, and Amy Grant’s Christmas album is on repeat. It’s about a week before Christmas and butterflys are fluttering in my little 6 year old tummy because Christmas morning is nearly here! I still get that way weeks before the big day. I’m 31.
One of the reasons I love Magic Cookie Bars is they’re classic and vintage. I adore vintage things. In the photo below, the layers are a little different. In my Biscoff Magic Cookie Bars the layers are as follows: Crust, condensed milk, chocolate chips, walnuts and coconut. Does it really matter? I’m not sure, but if there are some Magic Cookie Bar enthusiasts out there who would disagree, I implore you to make mine and then decide.
I’m still on a pineapple high. From these amazing cupcakes I posted about a couple of days ago. I’m still longing for them as I type. When I sought out to make the Pineapple Dole Whip Cupcakes, I bought A LOT of crushed pineapple. I pretty much cleaned the super market out. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough in case I botched the first round. Oh, but I didn’t. They turned out perfectly delicious. So here I am with leftover cans of crushed pineapple itching to be put into another yummy dessert. I was thinking blondies, (which I still might make with pineapple for another post) but I wanted something chewy and dense. I was also thinking coconut. Coconut needs to be with pineapple. They complete each other. The almonds just weaseled their way in.
The combination was a winner.
They were so delicious I ended up eating some for breakfast. I don’t know if it was the crunchy almonds or coconut, but it tasted perfect with my morning coffee and thus my guilt was gone. The sweet and tart pineapple is baked right into the cookie bar base so you get these bursts of pineapple flavor with each bite. I sprinkled the almonds and coconut on top right before baking. The finished result was a crunchy, golden, buttery top layer.
- ¾ cup butter melted and cooled
- 1½ cups packed brown sugar
- 1½ tablespoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple drained.
- 1 cup white baking chips
- ⅓ cup slivered almonds
- ⅓ cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish.
- Microwave the butter until melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In your electric mixer on medium speed with a paddle attachment, beat the melted butter and sugar until smooth.
- Next beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- On low, blend in the flour mixture.
- Fold in the crushed pineapple (drained really well) and white chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into greased dish and sprinkle coconut flakes and almonds on top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
- Cool until set and drizzle melted white chocolate on top.
If you want death by pineapple: