The Sweetest Season 2017 & Mint Chocolate-Dipped Shortbreads

mint chocolate-dipped shortbreads

If you like holiday sweets and treats and supporting a good cause, then today’s post is for you!

It’s always fun to do blogger sweepstakes and virtual recipe exchanges, and this one is no different. For The Sweetest Season 2017, dozens of bloggers are sharing brand new, holiday-inspired cookie recipes and encouraging donations to the Cookies for Kids’ charity.

the-sweetest-season-banner

If you’ve been a think fruitful reader for a bit, then you know that I love a good shortbread. They’re buttery, not too sweet and can be jazzed up easily with a special extract or topping.

And today’s recipe takes that to whole new, holiday festive level.

mint chocolate-dipped shortbreads

Meet the Mint Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread cookie. It’s your cup of coffee or tea’s best friend. It’s sure to wow holiday guests. It’s the perfect thing for your holiday cookie exchange. And it’s quick to make with low ingredients.

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Creative S’mores

s'mores dip

There’s no wrong way to make a s’mores.

I know, that’s a pretty bold statement. And after polling you guys on Facebook last week, I know that there are folks on both sides of the issue. Do you have to stick to the classic graham cracker, Hershey’s chocolate, just toasted marshmallow equation or can you get a little creative and crazy with your s’more? Is s’more individuality allowed?

Well, I say yes!

As long as you’re enjoying the wonderful combination of chocolate, cracker (or cookie) with toasty mallow, then you’re doing right and enjoying summer (or whatever season, I suppose).

I got so much good feedback from what creative things you do with s’mores, so I thought I would share some inspiration, along with a recipe for S’mores Dip!

The Mallow

There are many more debates about how to get the perfectly cooked marshmallow, but I really feel that there are two main camps:

  1. You like your marshmallow browned (not burnt) evenly across and gooey inside. This is achieved by cooking your marshmallow rotisserie-style over the coals or by not getting too close to the coals.
  2. You either like your marshmallow evenly browned or burnt, but you burn it either way (I’m in this camp).

The Cracker/Cookie

You guys had so many ideas around this, so here are a few of my favorites:

The Chocolate

The varieties ranged a lot here, too, so here are some ideas:

  • Reese’s cup
  • A Rolo in the marshmallow
  • Dark chocolate
  • Slightly warmed by the fire
  • Nutella
  • Sub for strawberries or a nut butter
  • Hershey’s cookies and cream chocolate
  • Symphony bar

s'mores dip

And if you really want to go off the rails, make this simple, shareable S’mores Dip. You basically add your chocolate topped with mini marshmallows in a cast iron skillet and stick it in the grill for a few minutes. Then, you can all hover over the dip with crackers or cookies in hand and dip away.

What could be more summer-worthy?!

Recipe Card
s'mores dip recipe card

*Click or tap on recipe card to enlarge and save.

Raspberry Almond Bars

real simple raspberry almond bars

You just know when you’ve found a perfect dessert.

It has a nice mix of textures.

It tastes like something new yet somewhat familiar at the same time.

And for me, it’s often cheap and easy to make. (Bonus points if you made it yourself!)

raspberry almond bars

These Raspberry Almond Bars from Real Simple meet all of those categories, while still having some class and refinement to share. These are not your average bars, but packed with crunchy almonds and sweet raspberry jam on a shortbread-like crust. And most of the recipe is done in the food processor!

raspberry almond bars

These bars make me long for a tea party with friends or a family picnic.

However you decide to enjoy them, I guarantee that they will be a memorable sweet treat.

*Click or tap on recipe card to enlarge and save.

Spring Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

cookie ice cream sandwich with popcorn

This is not a sponsored post, but I do love popcorn.

Spring has sprung… and I basically can’t stop making new desserts.

With all of the fresh fruit and citrus coming in season (and butter and flour always in my fridge and pantry),  I’ve been in full-fledged baking mode.

But, there are also times when you want to celebrate all that’s wonderful about spring (being outside, celebrating with friends, taking it easy) without working too hard to create a tasty treat.

cookie ice cream sandwich with popcorn

This “recipe” or food idea of sorts is perfect for those times.

I was inspired by SkinnyPop popcorn to share a spring, popcorn-inspired recipe.  I couldn’t help but imagine my popcorn in a  halo around a cookie sandwiched with vanilla ice cream.

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Meyer Lemon Tart

meyer lemon tart

I don’t know if you remember or were reading the blog then, but I really got excited about Meyer lemons about this time last year.

These special citrus fruits are like a mix of lemon with clementine or orange. They are not as tart, and the flavor is sweet and complex. I’ve even just used these guys sliced up in water for a refreshing treat.

But, this year, I was on a mission to make a Meyer Lemon Tart after picking up a bag of these lovelies from Trader Joe’s.

meyer lemon tart

This was probably also influenced by our recent watching of The Great British Baking Show season 2 on Netflix. We hadn’t seen that season yet, so we had to catch up. I do so love the sweet competition and British sentiments of the show. It’s quite relaxing to watch people bake masterpieces (unless, of course, they go wrong).

Here’s the deal with lemon tarts:

  • They are one of my favorite desserts on planet Earth.
  • If you can nail the crust and the curd, then you’re good to go!
  • They are a multi-step process and a bit of a labor of love.
  • Kerrygold butter will majorly step up your tart game. (I just discovered this!)

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Blogsgiving Dinner: Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

bourbon pumpkin pie

I’m so thrilled that it’s that time of year again: Blogsgiving!

You might remember that last year I joined a group of awesome bloggers to share fabulous, fresh and easy recipes for your T-day meal (kind of like a progressive dinner but on the internet). I made Apple Sidecars, Mushroom Spinach Farro and Sweet Potato Pie, and a bunch of other bloggers made some amazing things, too.

blogsgiving_logo_2015

This year, Meghan from Cake ‘n Knife and Susannah from Feast + West are hosting another Blogsgiving Dinner with more than 60 blogs sharing recipes throughout this week!

Feel free to take a look at my recipe below, then wander on over to one of the many bloggers involved in this celebration of holiday food.

See the whole menu in Part 1 and Part 2 of the recipe round-up to get your holiday meal planning wheels rolling. There are so many drinks, apps, meals and zerts to try out!

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What to Do With an Old Banana

brown sugar banana bars

First off, thank you all for the kind words and thoughts as I celebrated a big blog bday. You guys are the best, and I couldn’t/wouldn’t want to do it without you.

Now, on to today’s recipe!

There’s nothing more sad than a forgotten banana.

When you’ve got some collecting spots and blackening slowly, it’s almost like they’re just staring at you…and maybe attracting fruit flies.

But, it’s all worth it when you get to make that comforting banana bread or load up a smoothie with all types of fruits and greens.

Or, you can make some chewy, brown sugary banana bars.

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Just Be Icebox Cake

icebox cake

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about not thinking a lot.

Let me explain. I’ve been doing my best to just be.

Not to worry about the future (whether it’s today or five years from now). I tend to do that too much. Not to feel like I’m not doing enough in life. Not to focus so much on myself that I miss the world around me.

I’m trying to just be. Move forward. Do everything I can to make the world around me a better place and not get frustrated when I can’t do it all on my own.

icebox cake

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