M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies (for Valentine’s Day)

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My M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies for Valentine’s Day are a back to the basics cookie! This cookie will make you and everyone around you happy!

2015-02-12-4565 M&M Choc Chip Cookies for VD

Happy Friday everyone! Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow I wanted to give you all a cookie that’s my kind of cookie! There are a lot of cookie lovers out there and I’m one of them! You just can’t beat a good cookie. :)

Don’t get me wrong, other desserts are good for the right occasion, but cookies always make the day seem a little brighter. I know my boys sure think so!

I hope you guys like enjoy this variation of one of my favorite cookie recipes. Of course I made a few changes and came up with this recipe that has me in my happy place again. Today I share with you my M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies for Valentine’s Day.

ENJOY!

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The first thing my oldest asked me is what are the red things? No, they’re not red hots. The red things are mini M&M’s.

You know the red & green mini M&M’s they sell at during the Christmas Season? I try to buy several bags of those after Christmas when they’re clearanced. I separate the red and green M&M’s by color and freeze them. Then I use the red ones for Valentine’s and anything I want, and the green get used for St. Patrick’s Day and anything else I want.

Easy, easy, easy!

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So we’re using red mini M&M’s and I also like to use miniature chocolate chips for these cookies. I also added 2-3 tablespoons of Valentine’s sprinkles, just because they’re fun. But you can do whatever you want to. :)

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As you can see, I have Valentine’s Day in parenthesis. Although I made these cookies for Valentine’s Day, you could easily make these cookies for any holiday or special occasion. Simply change the colors any way you want to.

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M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies (for Valentine’s Day)

Ingredients:                                                                                        2015-02-12-4565 M&M Choc Chip Cookies for VD

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, preferably unsalted

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding mix

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)

1 cup mini M&M’s

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

2-3 tablespoons Valentine’s sprinkles, optional

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two cookie sheets with baking mats or parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Mix together the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla. Continue mixing until incorporated. Using a mixer or by hand, slowly add the flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips, mini M&M’s and sprinkles. Stir until ingredients are evenly distributed through dough.

3. Use a cookie scoop to scoop dough onto prepared cookie sheets placing about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Bake until cookies are golden at edges. Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 24 Cookies

 

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Iced Red Velvet Banana Bread

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My Iced Red Velvet Banana Bread makes the perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast, snack or dessert! This banana bread gets even better when it sits in the fridge overnight. :)

2015-02-06-4404 Iced Red Velvet Banana Bread

Valentine’s Day is such a fun time to make wonderful food for the special people in your life! It doesn’t have to be a romantic thing, it can just be a food thing! If you ask me, any gift no matter how small, is pretty special when given from the heart. :)

If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I love banana bread! If you’re new to my blog, I love banana bread! Either way, thank you for taking the time to look at ding my blog today!

If you’re interested in checking out a few of my other banana breads such as my Chocolate Cherry Chip Banana Bread, or maybe my Blueberry Banana Bread, or even my Cinnamon Streusel Banana Bread. If you’re interested in more banana bread take a minute to search, there are many more!

Today I bring you my Iced Red Velvet Banana Bread, enjoy!

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This banana bread is so moist and tender..it’s wonderful! I always add a few miniature chocolate chips to this one. Whether you add the chocolate chips or leave them out, your banana bread will be wonderful!

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Funfetti Red Velvet Brownie Sheet Cake

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My Funfetti Red Velvet Brownie Sheet Cakes makes a delicious Valentine’s Day dessert or anytime dessert in no time at all!

2015-01-30-4301 Funfetti Red Brownie Sheet Cake

Combos of all kinds seem to be all the rage right now! The combinations being done in the food world are just so much fun! So I decided to put my own spin on some flavors that people usually love! The whole make it your own deal, you know?

With Valentine’s Day approaching soon I just had to make a few fun and slightly different combos of my own!

Did you catch my Red Velvet (Valentine’s) Brookies last week? I had so much fun with last week’s combo dessert I wanted to make another one with a really good frosting!

So, today I have made for you a Funfetti Red Velvet Brownie Sheet Cake with a blush buttercream frosting! Also, in the buttercream frosting I have a hint of cherry and almond to make the buttercream even more incredible!

I guarantee you this buttercream frosting is guaranteed to please! Or you can always use canned frosting if you prefer.

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A couple on details first. Make sure you use a 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan that is 1-inch high to prevent overflow during baking. Spray pan generously with cooking spray.

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First put together the Valentine’s Funfetti cake batter and pour it into the prepared pan. Then put together the Red Velvet brownie batter according to the instructions below. Pour that over the Funfettii batter. Swirl batters together with the tip of a knife, pulling some cake batter to the top surface.

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While that is baking, make your buttercream frosting and set it aside. Take the cake out of the oven, let it cool completely. You can either follow my instructions below or change it however you want to.

2015-01-30-4295Now all you need to do is frost the cake and add a few more sprinkles. :)

Put the cake in the fridge until you serve it. Cut the cake, serve and ENJOY!

Funfetti Red Velvet Brownie Sheet Cake

Ingredients:                                                                                       2015-01-30-4283

1 Valentine’s Funfetti Cake Mix, of any variety of Funfetti

3/4 cup water or milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 Red Velvet Cake Mix

1/4 cup chocolate milk or water

1/3 cup oil

2 large eggs

3 cups powdered sugar

1 cup butter (preferably unsalted)

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 – 1 teaspoon cherry extract (start with 1/2 teaspoon, adding 1/4 teaspoon more at a time)

1/4 teaspoon clear vanilla extract

2-4 tablespoons milk

Valentine’s sprinkles, if desired

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with cooking spray. The sides of the pan must be 1-inch high to prevent overflow when baking!

2. Beat the Funfetti cake mix, 3/4 cup water or milk, 1/3 cup oil and 3 eggs in large bowl using a stand mixer, or with a hand held electric mixer on medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Spread evenly in prepared pan. Stir by hand, red velvet cake mix, 1/4 cup water, 1/3 cup oil and 2 large eggs in a medium bowl only until blended. Swirl batters with tip the tip of a knife, pulling some cake batter to top surface.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack.

4. Using a stand mixer, or a hand held mixer beat the powdered sugar, flavored extracts, and milk together. Beat for about 3 minutes, or until desired consistency is achieved. Frost cake, decorate with sprinkles and refrigerate until serving.

Makes 16-24 servings

 *If you want a brighter frosting simply add red food coloring 1 drop at a time beating after each addition.

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Red Velvet (Valentine’s) Brookies

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My Red Velvet (Valentine’s) Brookies are such a great treat for Valentine’s Day! How can you go wrong with Red Velvet and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough?

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Ah yes Brookies, a cookie and brownie in one. What a wonderful delight! A lot of people LOVE Red Velvet, my youngest is one of them. So I decided weeks ago I needed to make a few Red Velvet delights for the approaching Valentine’s holiday.

Being that so many people LOVE Red Velvet, brownies and chocolate chip cookies – I just knew I had to do Red Velvet Brookies!

For those of you who aren’t crazy about Red Velvet, please try these anyway! The homemade chocolate chip cookie dough paired with a freshly baked Red Velvet brownie might just be enough to win you over. It sure worked for me!

Although I was thinking Valentine’s Day when I made these, they could be made for any holiday you want! Simply change up the ingredients and colors a bit and you have a whole new Brookie to enjoy!

Red Velvet (Valentine’s) Brookies, enjoy!

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As you can see I used a few Valentine’s Day sprinkles and M&M’s…but not too many.

really wanted the wonderful flavors of Red Velvet and Chocolate Chip Cookie to come through and be enjoyed!

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One little Red Velvet (Valentine’s) Brookie all by itself. Just waiting to be eaten. :)

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These Brookies are SO moist and SO wonderful, it’s hard to put into words!

If you don’t want to use homemade cookie dough you can always use 16 ounces of refrigerated cookie dough.

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Be sure to let your Brookies cool completely and they shouldn’t crack on you. I have some cracks as you can see in the pictures, because the Brookies were not completely cooled. Let’s just say I was working against the clock here. Sun seems to be in limited quantity here in Minnesota, especially lately!

Red Velvet Valentine’s Brookies

Ingredients:                                                       2015-01-23-4302 RV (Valentine's) Brookies

Red Velvet Brownies:

1 Red Velvet Cake Mix

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup milk

2 large eggs

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, preferably unsalted

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 large egg, room temp

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding mix

1 cup miniature chocolate chips

2 tablespoons Valentine’s Day sprinkles

1/4 – 1/2 cup Milk Chocolate M&M’s, or any kind you prefer

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Mix together the brown sugar, sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla. Continue mixing until incorporated. With a mixer or by hand, slowly add the flour, salt, baking soda, and instant pudding mix. Mix until combined. Stir in mini chocolate chips and sprinkles. Mix until both are evenly distributed through dough. Or take out refrigerated cookie dough to warm up a bit. Set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl,  mix together the red velvet cake mix, vegetable oil, milk and egg until smooth and thick batter is achieved. Keep in mind this will be thick because it’s a brownie batter.

4. Spread the batter in the lined baking pan or sprayed baking pan. I strongly recommend using parchment paper here. Set aside.

5. You only need 16 ounces of cookie dough, the size most refrigerated cookie dough comes in. If making homemade cookie dough, take a few ounces off and use to bake a large cookie or anything you want. Using a small cookie scoop begin scooping small balls of cookie dough placing them on top of the red velvet mixture, press down slightly. Repeat process until you have used 16 ounces of cookie dough. Cover as much of the red velvet brownie mixture as possible. Sprinkle with 1/4-1/2 cup M&M’s, if desired. See note below.

6. Bake 42-47 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. Cool on cooling rack for 30-45 minutes before cutting and serving.

*You can sprinkle the M&M’s on top of the mixture at the end, like I did OR you can mix them into the cookie dough when mixing in the miniature chocolate chips and sprinkles. Keep in mind the M&M’s sprinkled on top at the end may crack during the baking process. If you don’t like that simply mix them into your cooking dough.

 

 

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Double Chocolate Almond Cookies

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This recipe is so good and so basic. Just the right amount of almond extract takes this double chocolate cookie to a whole new level!  

2014-01-14-114 Double Chocolate Almond Cookies These cookies are so easy and so yummy! Aside from minimal clean up, the nice thing about this cookie is the kids can help you make them. It always nice to have a simply baking project they can help out with. :)

I made a sort-of similar cookie about this time last year, but this year I wanted to change it up a bit.

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[Read more…]

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Black Cherry (Valentine’s Day) Cake

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

I just wanted to share one more easy Valentine’s recipe with you guys.

So, the other day I was thinking about how I would like a Valentine’s Day cake to look. I knew I wanted something pretty, something simple, and of course something delicious, all at the same time.

All of a sudden, Chobani Black Cherry yogurt popped into my head. I thought hmm, it’s pretty, pink, and delicious. Of course, I still had yogurt on the mind from the last couple of days.

Sounds perfect for Valentine’s Day! :)

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A glimpse of the fun heart pans before they go in the oven. The few little dark spots are real pieces of Black Cherry.

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Adding this to your cake batter makes all the difference in the world. You could even add a little almond extract to your cake batter if you wanted to.

Megamommy.com

Megamommy.com

One heart cake was decorated with a heart made from sprinkles, as you can see above. The other heart cake was sprinkled all over with sprinkles. The blob on the right side is a piece of black cherry, sorry.

Two different looks, both very cute. Today we had two different cakes going to two different places – therefore two different looks. That way, we (my husband & I) both knew which one to grab in the morning.

Black Cherry (Valentine’s Day) Cake       

INGREDIENTS

1 package white cake mix, (regular size)                                      036

1-1/4 cups water, or amount called for on back of box

4 egg whites

1/3 cup canola oil

1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) Greek style black cherry yogurt, divided

1 carton (8 ounces) extra creamy whipped topping, thawed

almond extract, if desired

red food coloring, optional

Valentine’s sprinkles, if desired

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, egg whites and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Fold in one carton of Greek black cherry yogurt.

2. Pour into baking pans of your choice sprayed with cooking spray. I used the disposable heart pans for a work function, they aren’t at all necessary. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

3. Place remaining Greek yogurt in a medium bowl; fold in whipped topping. Add the almond extract 1/4 tsp. at a time to the mixture, if you like the flavor of Almond. You will probably end up using about 1 tsp. of Almond extract. If desired, gently fold in red food coloring, one drop at a time for a pretty pink color. Spread mixture over cake. Store in refrigerator.

4. Decorate with Valentine’s Sprinkles, if desired.

Adapted from: Taste of Home

Megamommy

 

 

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Valentine’s Funfetti Cupcakes: Done Two Ways

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Today I did something a little different. I used the same cupcake two different ways, both of which are simple & delicious!

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Being that Valentine’s day is almost here I thought I would make my guys another of their favorites – Mini Cupcakes.

I apologize in advance to those of you that like an exact recipe to follow. I know some people don’t like just going with the flow, and I’m sorry.

Today’s recipe is very loosey goosey. Let’s just call it a guide, more than a recipe. How’s that? If you don’t already cook or bake like that, you will. Most kids have no problem telling you what they like and what they don’t.

As you can see in picture one, on half of the Mini Cupcakes I used a glaze with cute Valentine’s sprinkles of course. On the other half I used pink vanilla frosting with different Valentine’s Day sprinkles.

We were equally divided on here on which one we liked best. So I guess it’s like they say – everyone likes something different. You know how it is, everyone really does seem to like something different. :)

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So here are most of your basic ingredients. Of course I don’t have the oil photographed or the soda I used in the glazed cupcakes.

If you already bake with yogurt at times, you know how wonderful it can be in the right recipes. The best part is you get a hint of the flavor, but it’s very subtle. Plus it’s a great way to add a little more nutrition, yes even to cupcakes.

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As you can see the yogurt barely changes the color of the cupcake batter.

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One of the pans fresh out of the oven. They smell wonderful!

Valentine’s Funfetti Cupcakes      

Megamommy.com

Megamommy.com

Ingredients

1 Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix

water, egg & oil as called for on back of cake box

1 (6 oz.) container yogurt, I used Yoplait Strawberry Banana

Powdered Sugar

Vanilla extract

Water, or soda, I used Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash

1 container pink vanilla frosting, or your favorite vanilla frosting recipe colored pink with a few drops of red food coloring, you could even add a little extract here (strawberry, or whatever) to give the frosting a special flavor

Valentine’s Sprinkles, if desired

Megamommy Note: By adding strawberry banana yogurt to the batter you will get a hint of strawberry banana flavor and a slightly pink color. 

Most kids like the flavors of both strawberry and banana. But, when you make these cupcakes again later on, experiment with different combinations to see which your family likes best.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray mini muffins cups with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.  Prepare cake mix following package directions. Fold one (6 oz.) container of yogurt into cake batter.

2. Bake for time recommended on back of cake mix. For mini cupcakes this is usually 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans apx. 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

3. Frost mini cupcakes with vanilla frosting (or any flavor) you choose. Decorate with sprinkles. Or follow steps listed, to glaze some, or all of the mini cupcakes.

For Pink Glaze:

1/4 cup milk, or any flavor soda you want

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla (omit if using flavored soda)

In a mixing bowl combine ingredients with a whisk. Stir until glaze is smooth. You could heat this slightly on the stove, but there’s really no need to heat the mixture. When adding the liquid to the powdered sugar, keep in mind you want the glaze thin, but not too thin.

Simply dunk each cupcake in the glaze with a fork, or by hand. Place mini cupcakes on a rack to dry. Decorate with sprinkles. Allow to dry for approximately 15 minutes, or until no longer wet.

Makes 48-60 Mini Cupcakes

Megamommy

 

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Simple Valentine’s Heart Brownies

Simple & Delicious Valentine's Brownies

Simple & Delicious Valentine's Brownies

Today’s recipe is really more of a guideline than true recipe. This post is really more of a how-to on making any simple recipe “your own” as they say.

In general my approach to baking and cooking is this…I truly believe it is the simple, well done, recipes that usually make people the happiest!

I don’t know how it is at your house, but my fella’s love brownies!

I mean they L-O-V-E brownies!!

Don’t get me wrong, I like brownies, but not like they do. But that’s okay, because if ever I want to make them happy, a fresh pan of brownies will usually do the trick. :)

So let’s take a look at what we have going on today.

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Simple Valentine’s Heart Brownies

INGREDIENTS

1 box brownie mix prepared according to package, whatever brand you prefer

Use a regular family size mix if you want a 13X9-inch pan, if you want a smaller batch, use a small box for a 8-in. x 8-in. pan.

Can of Vanilla frosting, any brand you prefer

Food coloring if you wish to tint the frosting, you will only need a drop or two

Sprinkles if desired

Cookie cutters if desired, otherwise a plastic knife works fine

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DIRECTIONS                                          

1. Spray whatever size pan is called for on box, set aside. Preheat oven as called for on box, most brownies bake at 350 degrees F, check back of box to be sure.

2. Bake brownies for time given on back of box. Always go with the minimal amount of time, check every two minutes after that if brownies need more time.

3. Cool brownies completely. Now you need to decide if you want to cut the brownies with a knife, or a cute shaped cookie cutter. For these, I used two different sizes of hearts.

If you decide to cut the brownies with a knife – chill the brownies in the fridge first, once chilled cut them with a plastic knife, you will be surprised how well this works.

4. Once your brownies are plated, you are ready to add a frosting drizzle. I simply heat some of the canned frosting in the microwave. The amount is up to you, it’s not a precise measurement, it’s simply personal preference. Just eyeball it, you can always heat up more of you want to. Remember, you want the frosting warm enough to be used as a drizzle, not boiling hot.

5. Now it’s time to dress the brownies up a little. When you have the amount of frosting you want heated up – you may want to add a drop or two of red food coloring for a pretty pink color. 

Maybe you want to add a small amount of flavored extract (start with 1/4 tsp.), but maybe you don’t, either way they’ll be good.

*Now the best part. Add whatever type of sprinkles/toppings you want. If you want to use Valentine’s Day sprinkles they’re always very cute. 

Or you could simply use micro or mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips or even mini M&M’s. You decided, it’s your dessert! :)

Megamommy

 

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Downside-Up-Cookies

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downside-up-cookies

We had the BEST cookies the other night and I want to share all the details with you guys! Okay, okay I know I just said the other day I was going to try and make more bars, cakes, and other various desserts. But, I just couldn’t resist making these cookies.

I was trying to think of a sort-of Valentine’s Day type of dessert, if that even makes sense, and this is what I came up with. It’s really nothing new, and more than likely has been done a million times before.

Really, what hasn’t been done with a cookie?

Nonetheless, I want to share this awesome-tasting cookie with you not because I think I’ve created something new, but because the flavors are so good together. I want you to enjoy them too.

I really think you’re going to like this one!!

So, I started with just a bag of Betty Crocker White Chip Macadamia Nut Cookie Mix. The Betty Crocker Cookie mixes are surprisingly good if you haven’t tried them before.

For a quick weeknight dessert they work out very well.

To the cookie mix add the butter and egg called for on the back of the package. Use the regular size package, not the snack size.

 If your dough is too sticky simply pop the bowl in the fridge for about 10 or 15 minutes. When you drop the dough onto the cookie sheets for baking be sure to make these cookies smaller!

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The cookies are on the cooling rack, just waiting for something more to be done with them. You can tell by this picture, I have definitely made the cookies smaller, but not tiny.

I suppose you could make them as small as you want to, but I just went with a nice two-bite size. You want these smaller, because this cookie is meant for nibbling.

You want to be able to sit down and eat a few (or several) and enjoy. :)

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If you’re a fan of White Chocolate and Macadamia Nuts, you know that the two together are absolutely delicious, but can sometimes be too rich. I’m happy to say you don’t have to worry with these little gems.

Even with the chocolate added to the bottom (which is now the top) and the sprinkles, these cookies are not too much – the flavor is excellent! :)

   Yummy, yummy!

Downside-Up-Cookies                 025

Ingredients

1 Package of Betty Crocker White Chip Macadamia Nut Cookie Mix

butter, called for on back of package

egg, called for on back of package

chocolate chips (milk chocolate, semisweet, or dark chocolate chips are all good here), or chocolate candy coating

sprinkles, if desired

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with a silpat liner, if you have one.

2. Bake cookies according to instructions on back of package. I baked mine at 350 degrees, check after the minimum time indicated. You can always bake the cookies for another minute or two, if need be. Keep in mind, the cookies are smaller and you want to bake them just until the edges are firm and center is just barely set when lightly touched.

3. Cool at least 2 minutes on sheets, then remove cookies with a spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. When cookies have cooled completely, melt chocolate chips in microwave oven. I didn’t measure exactly how much I used, maybe half a bag. Take out a couple of sheets of wax paper, then place wire rack over wax paper sheets. This is for easy cleanup, some of the cookies will drip chocolate.

5. Turn all the cookies over so they’re ready to grab without looking and put some chocolate on the bottom and spread it around with the back of the spoon. You don’t need any special equipment. If you want to add any type of sprinkles be sure to add them now, while the chocolate is still wet and will the sprinkles will cling. Allow cookies to dry on wire rack, bottom side up.

 

Megamommy

 

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