The Quickest Chocolate Blackout Cookies

As if I ever need an excuse to eat cookies – but Friday night cookies seem so much more special.

IMG_2445[1]

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve gotten to a point in life when Friday night means a couple things;

  • Comfy clothes
  • Tv/Netflix Marathon
  • Slightly more indulgent food than my Monday – Thursday routine
  • Dessert. And when dessert is cookies … I can justify having 1 ( million-zillion-trillion … especially if they smell like brownies)

I don’t miss the days of late nights, slipping into the shortest dress/ skirt I own with the highest heels – predrinking and then partying until my feet want to fall off. Been there – done that.

IMG_2386[1]

Give me Mr. LTSL, a good movie and some good food …. Damn, Daniele I’m a happy little lady! I know you’re thinking I’m old – I’d like to think I’m ‘maturing’ … I say that, as I remember last Saturday I spent the morning covered in a winnie the pooh blanket, drinking chocolate milk, watching Inside Out ( also, wicked good movie!!).

These cookies though!! So easy to throw together, they taste extra fudgy, and sprinkles. Oh how I love me some sprinkles – and frosting … and dunking these in milk.

IMG_2449[1]

The Quickest Chocolate Blackout Cookies

Ingredients

1 box devils food cake mix

½ tsp instant coffee

1/3 cup oil

2 eggs

1 can prepared chocolate Frosting

Chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare two large cookie trays.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together cake mix, coffee, oil, and eggs until combined.

Roll into 1 inch balls, and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets (the cookies will spread).

Bake 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Allow to cool completely, then frost and sprinkle

IMG_2463[1]

Advertisements

Wisdomist Wednesday : Kindness

The nicest thing happened to me today.

782a699bca6e0e3aa2cc3c352bce8374

This morning, much like every morning I headed into my favourite Starbucks to pick up my morning cup. It’s a bit embarrassing how often I go, so much so, that the barista’s know my order as soon as I walk in and they gleefully ask each morning “ The Sharana Special, today?” – I change it up sometimes, but hardly ever. Most often, I say yes please with a big smile. I never use to be a Starbucks drinker, and there are only certain drinks that I actually like. But these last couple of weeks, I’ve needed a Starbucks blend fix.

And so, I headed in.

To my surprise, there was a huge line up. I probably shouldn’t have been shocked – it was definitely the morning rush – but I normally get in when there aren’t many in line. Behind me stood a gentleman than began talking to a lady in front of me ( I assume, they were co-workers) – so that it would not be awkward, I offered him to go in front of me. To be honest, with the swarm of people – one more person in front of my wasn’t going to make a difference – also, he was talking to a friend. I want to help foster morning chit-chat, before the day’s hustle begins.

download

I patiently waited my turn – admiring all of the holiday knick-knacks ( PS I CAN’T WAIT TO START DECORATING MY HOME … but I won’t until the end of the month … or at least not until Santa comes to town!!). We got up to the counter and the gentleman in front of me gave his order – a Grande Vanilla blah blah blah blah blah Latte … and whatever she’s having ( pointing to me).

I was shocked.

This kind gentleman was paying it forward. He offered to pay for my morning cup. SO FREAKING NICE OF HIM!! I probably said thank you only a million times. But I was truly taken back.

I think far too often we see and are surrounded by the negatively in the world. Far too often we forget that there are actually kind people out there, people with good hearts and how far even the smallest of gestures can change someone’s day and attitude.

Whether it’s a cup of coffee, holding the door open – just saying hello. You don’t have to go out of your way at all – it doesn’t have to be expensive, nor extravagant – it really is just a small gesture to sprinkle kindness into the world.

c4dbbebc4b9c53432e9b15ffa253d7b9

This morning was a good reminder, that – it’s nice to be nice.  Get out there and get your kindness on folks!!

(Not so fat) Fat Tuesday Beignets and Boozy Cafe Au Lait Sauce

It’s not ironic that I haven’t blogged in what feels like a lifetime, yet still I poke my chubby cheeks through on Fat Tuesday.

Happy Fat Tuesday Y’all!!

… what’s that, I’ve been back 5 seconds and I’m already annoying you?!?

You’ll forget when I show you these bad boys!!

1940309_10151999900270954_1564387985_n

HELLO – LICK YOUR LIPS – OH MY YUM – STICK TO YOUR HIPS- DELICIOUSNESS

Baby, I’m back!! And I’ve revamped this recipe slightly so it’s still lick your lips – oh my yum … but not so much stick to your hips.

Baked instead of fried … that’s my only real change. I added orange zest too – because let’s be honest, dark chocolate coffee and orange zest ….. HOLY MOLY  – seriously, you rock my world!!

… I also added a bit of alcohol.

Let’s be honest, you missed me — I missed you, so I’m trying to butter you up with fluffy dough, chocolate, coffee and booze. The love … it’s mutual.

So, shall we get carried away with a little soft-pillow-action

If that last sentence sounded strange to anyone else … sorry… awkward. I have a bad habit of taking it too far…

… and create a diversion with deliciousness … NOW!!

1974522_10151999900300954_553148887_n

Beignets and Cafe Au Lait Sauce

Beignet Recipe
Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Warm Water

1 package of Dry Active Yeast

1/4 Cup of Granulated Sugar

3 Cups of Flour

1 Tbsp Fresh Orange Zest

1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 Tsp Sea Salt

1/4 Cup Cold Butter ( the colder, the better)

3/4 Cup Buttermilk

1 Large Egg

1/4 Cup Icing Sugar ( or more… depending on how snowy, you want your beignets)

IMG_0993

Directions:

1) In a small bowl, combine warm water, 1 tbsp sugar ( of the 1/4 cup you measured out), and dry active yeast. Set aside and allow to get foamy — approximately 5 minuets.

2) In an other small bowl, combine the remaining sugar and orange zest.

IMG_0995 IMG_1003

3) In a medium sized bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and your sugar mixture. Mix to combine, trying to get rid of any lumps.

4) With a large fork or pastry cutter, cut in cold butter. You want the dough to resemble fine crumbs ( kind of like you’re making scones, or biscuits)

5) Add your buttermilk, egg and yeast mixture to your dry ingredients. Mix until a soft dough forms — the dough will be sticky, don’t be alarmed .. you’re doing just perfect 🙂

IMG_1004 IMG_1106 IMG_1103

6) On a floured surface, knead your dough until it is smooth to touch.

7) Lightly spray the dough bowl (no need to clean), and add your smooth dough back into the bowl to rise for 15 minutes.

8) Spray and prepare 2 large cookie sheets to bake your beignets. Once dough has risen, transfer back on to a floured surface. punch down and roll into a 1 inch thick square.

9) Using a floured knife cut your square into 2 inch wide strips, and then each 2 inch wide strips int 2 inch squares.

IMG_1019 IMG_1022

10) Gently place each square onto your prepared baking try, leaving 1 inch between each. Next, gently spray 2 sheets of plastic wrap and recover your shaped beignets. Allow to rise one more time for 30 minutest.

11) Preheat oven to 350 oc. Once the second rise has taken place, bake your beignets for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

12) While still warm, dust ( or bury ) in incing sugar.

IMG_1049

Boozy Cafe Au Lait Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:

1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

1 Tbsp Ground Instant Espresso Powder

1 Tbsp Ground Instant Coffee

1 1/4 Tbsp Corn Starch

2 Cups of whole Milk

1 Tbsp Kahlua ( feel free to use any liqueur of your choice, or omit, or your favourite extract … hazelnut would be fantastic!!)

1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

IMG_1031

Directions:

1) In a large pan, over medium heat whisk together sugar, espresso, coffee, cornstarch, milk and kahlua.

2) Heat to a boil.

IMG_1032 IMG_1039 IMG_1046

3) Reduce and simmer until thickened – the sauce, should coat the back of your spoon and not drip off.

4) Remove from heat and quickly whisk in chocolate chips, until smooth.

1938029_10151999900185954_1019851050_n

Get your warm beignets and …  Laissez les bons temps rouler!! 

Stay sweet, and please — let me know how you’re celebrating today’s Fat Tuesday!!