Friday, July 31, 2015

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies.


Y'all. These cookies. I can't even type because I'm eating my 4th one. For breakfast. 

I kid not.

They are THAT good! 

These Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies are loaded to the brim with goodies...semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and cocoa nibs. Before you even think about omitting the cocoa nibs, just don't. Run to Whole Paycheck Whole Foods and grab you some. Or order them online here, at Amazon. (Those are the exact brand I used.) The cocoa nibs don't add any sweetness, but they add this fantastic crunch to the cookie that MAKES the cookie! Trust me. 

I used 2 different methods since I didn't have the cookie scoop that the recipe called for: a small scoop, which made the cookies turn out thin and very chewy - definitely smaller than the picture above. Then I used this method on "How to Scoop the Perfect Cookie" and those turned out as big as the picture above but still thin and chewy...which is ok with me, because this makes them heavenly! 

Make them and see for yourself... You will love them!

recipe adapted from here

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tbs espresso powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 c unsalted butter, softened 
1 c granulated sugar
1 c firmly packed brown sugar 
2 large eggs
1 tbs vanilla extract
2 tsp coffee or coffee extract (I used coffee)
1 1/2 c semi sweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 1/2 c milk chocolate chips
1 c cocoa nibs
1 tbs sea salt (I love Maldon!)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and coffee extract, beating to combine. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks, chocolate morsels, and cocoa nibs.
  4. Using a 1 3/4-inch spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough onto prepared pans 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Here are some other cookie recipes I love:
Orange Chocolate Chippers
Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies
No-Bake Biscoff Cookies
Soft Batch Dark Brown Sugar Coconut Oil Cookies 
Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer Salads.

{Watermelon + Feta Cheese + Jalapeno + Mint + Lime Juice}

My friends and family all know that I am not a big salad eater. Especially as a meal on its own. I just don't get excited about salad for a meal, when there's so many other more exciting and healthy options out there. My tune changes in the summer, though! Throwing light and delicious fresh produce together becomes one of my favorite things to do! Here are some of my favorite salad recipes for summer...enjoy them on their own, paired with a piece of grilled chicken (using this recipe), or as a side dish. I would love to hear what your favorite summer salads are, in the comments! Enjoy!

-The one pictured above is my current fave: watermelon, feta cheese, jalapeno, fresh mint, and lime juice. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Also good if you had thinly sliced red onion! Another version of this salad that I make a lot is the Blueberry Watermelon and Feta Salad.  

-Heirloom Tomato Salad w/Fresh Peaches, Goat Cheese, and Pecans - This is the salad that is pictured below. It happens to be my favorite summer salad, hands down! I've made this too many times to count! You don't have to get fancy and use heirloom tomatoes, although it is beautiful when you do. Use any ripe tomato that you have, and it will turn out delicious! 

- Tomato Avocado Cucumber Chick Pea Salad with Feta and Greek Lemon Dressing - This is a new recipe that I've just discovered, but I can tell it will be a staple! I love the fresh, bright flavors of this salad! I served it at a get together I had last weekend, and everyone loved it... even the non chick pea lovers! Here's a tip: If you plan to make and save this for later, or make a big batch and eat it throughout the week, don't add the avocados until you are ready to serve. 

-Grilled Peach Salad w/Buffalo Mozzarella and Arugula - I've blogged about this little gem before! It's a summer favorite for my family! It's so easy to put together and looks very impressive on a large platter for a get together! 

- Peach & Tomato Salad from the New York Times 101 Simple Salads post. (You guys must read that post! Many great salad ideas are shared!) I've made this salad so many times since reading that post. It's just so simple, yet tasty! I 

-I know most of you are pressed for time in the morning. I am always running late, so here's a quick summer salad recipe that I make for myself a lot: half a can of chick peas (rinsed and drained), big handful of cherry tomatoes (cut in half), half a cucumber (chopped). It's so good just like that...and very healthy! Depending on how much time I have, I will also add chopped red onion, squeeze of lemon, a couple shakes of balsamic vinegar, and a little feta cheese. It's takes 2 minutes to throw together and doesn't require any cooking! You have fresh veggies and protein in the chick peas for a well-rounded meal! That same salad is great if you have left over grilled chicken to sub for the chick peas! 

**One other little tip I wanted to share: I've been adding fresh herbs to my salads this summer, and it makes SUCH a difference! My favorites to add are mint and basil!