Saturday, January 26, 2013

Almond Joy Brownie Batter Cookies


It seems as if our family has been playing "musical colds." Have you played this game? One family member gets sick, passes it on to another family member, gets better, and picks up a different cold. We all just rotate between colds to the music of sneezing and coughing. And there are cough drops and Alka Seltzer as prizes. 

It's not a fun game. 

However, after weeks of playing this "game," I think we are finally (knock on wood) done!

In order to celebrate, I made cookies! Better yet, they are super easy cookies that start with a brownie mix! All the flavors of an Almond Joy in a chewy cookie!

See that delicious coconut filling? Yum.....

Almond Joy Brownie Batter Cookies
1 box brownie mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup chopped almonds (or more if you prefer)
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips (or more if you prefer)
1/2 of a 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together the brownie mix, eggs, and oil until well combined. Stir in almonds and chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut and sweetened condensed milk.

Now, you can put these cookies together two different ways. You can scoop a large mound of cookie dough, flatten it in your hand, then scoop a smaller mound of the coconut mixture onto the cookie dough and wrap it up in the cookie dough. Or, you can scoop a mound of cookie dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, flatten it, then scoop some of the coconut mixture onto the dough, and place a smaller, flattened piece of cookie dough on top to cover it. Either way, these cookies will be on the larger side.

Cook on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 12 - 14 minutes, or until set. Let cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes, and then enjoy! These are especially good when they are warm.

Adapted from

Friday, January 25, 2013

Italian Cheese Loaf

Whenever I try a new recipe for dinner, I always watch my husband's face as he takes his first bite. If he eats it without changing facial expressions, then I know that the recipe is just okay, nothing noteworthy. If he gets this look of deep concentration, then it's either really good, or really bad. When he bit into this Italian Cheese Loaf, he got that look of deep concentration....and then devoured it....I took that as a sign that we have a winner here.

It's a warm, crusty loaf with a hearty filling of Italian spices, refreshing tomatoes, and melted cheeses.  

Italian Cheese Loaf

1 loaf (1 pound) French or Italian bread
8 oz. ground turkey or Italian sausage or ground beef, browned and drained (if necessary)
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, chopped (I used the white part and most of the green part)
1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese (I actually used the stuff in the can, and it worked great)
1/3 cup chopped olives
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 

Cut off the top half of the loaf of bread. Set aside the top half. Hollow out the bottom half of the loaf, leaving a 1/2 inch shell. 
Mix the remaining ingredients together and spoon into the hollowed out bottom half of the loaf. Top with the top half of the loaf and wrap in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. (When I baked this, it was only warm inside after 25 minutes. So I removed the top half and broiled the bottom half for a minute or two to get the cheese all melted)

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Appetizers