No-Bake Chocolate Crunchers

No Bake Chocolate Crunchers

A few of you have commented about how you like to beat the heat. No-cook meals are popular, and I too turn to no-bake desserts when I crave a cookie. This recipe for No-Bake Chocolate Crunchers was intended as a last-minute holiday cookie. Consider this Christmas in July!

Like Vacation Cookies, these cookies can be made with ingredients likely already found in your pantry. The filling is a combination of nuts, dried fruit and cereal held together with chocolate and sandwiched between vanilla wafers. I chose a  walnut, dried cranberry, corn flakes and semi-sweet chocolate mixture.

No-Bake Chocolate Crunchers

The recipe called for only 1/3 cup of (melted) chocolate chips to cover 48 vanilla wafers. I used all of the 1/3 cup for just 24 vanilla wafers, so I ended up using nearly an entire bag of chocolate chips to coat the filling and the wafers. I guess this proves when it comes to chocolate, I am my mother’s daughter. And despite filling the cookies with a slightly heaping teaspoon of the nut, fruit, and cereal mixture, I had enough filling left over to make 10 additional sandwich cookies.

The cookie was very chocolaty, which was great because just one sated my sweet tooth. The cranberries lent a tart bite here and there, but balanced the overall sweetness quite well. I anticipate I will make variations of these cookies quite often. I may also turn these no-bake cookies into partially baked cookies with homemade vanilla wafers or homemade chocolate wafers when the weather turns cool. Happily, for this summer-lover, that is still a long way off. Enjoy!

No-Bake Chocolate Crunchers

No-Bake Chocolate Crunchers
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: at least 24
Ingredients
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 cup corn flakes, coarsely crushed
  • at least 1⅓ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • at least 48 vanilla wafers
Instructions
  1. Combine the walnuts, dried cranberries, and corn flakes in a large bowl.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Heat on high power for 1-2 minutes as needed, stirring half-way through.
  3. Pour the melted chocolate over the nut, fruit and cereal mixture. Stir to evenly coat (a rubber spatula works well here).
  4. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt ⅓ cup of the chocolate chips. Heat just 30 seconds at a time, and stir until smooth.
  5. Cover the flat sides of two vanilla wafers with the second batch of melted chocolate.
  6. Place a slightly heaping teaspoon of the chocolate-covered nut, fruit and cereal mixture on the chocolate side of one of the vanilla wafers.
  7. Top the mixture with the other vanilla wafer, facing the chocolate side of the wafer towards the mixture.
  8. Repeat until all vanilla wafers have been turned into sandwich cookies.
  9. If desired, drizzle melted chocolate across the tops of the cookies (a wire whisk works well here).
  10. Allow to stand at room temperature to firm.
Notes
Suggested Combinations: 1) macadamia nuts, cranberries, and white chocolate chips 2) pecans, raisins, and butterscotch chips 3) peanuts, raisins, and milk chocolate chips Other Ideas: use puffed rice cereal in place of corn flakes, or substitute marshmallow pieces for the nuts or dried fruit.
 

 

2012′s 12 Months of Giveaways {Giveaway 7: Potholder & Oven Mitt Sets} CLOSED

Bright Flowers Potholder & Oven MittHere we are on the 12th day of the month again, so it is giveaway time. I have been amazed by how quickly time seems to keep speeding by this year. When I started 2012′s 12 Months of Giveaways with a Built Potholder & Oven Mitt Set back in January, I had no idea how I would come up with 11 other giveaways with which to entertain readers throughout the year. But here we are, over half-way through.

I’m going back to the beginning this month and offering another Potholder & Oven Mitt Set, except this time I want to make two lucky readers happy. To enter to win either the Bright Flowers set seen above or the Pucci Inspired set seen below, simply leave a comment on the blog post. Most of us have been enjoying/tolerating/coping with crazy hot temperatures this summer, so tell me what you do to beat the heat. Or, tell me about your favorite go-to recipe when turning on the stove or the oven just isn’t an option.

Fine Print: This giveaway will end at 1201 a.m. EST on July 29. I will use a random number generator to pick the winners. The first winner selected will be able to choose his/her desired design. I will notify the winner via the email address provided in the comment form. The winner will have 72 hours to contact me to claim the prize before another winner is chosen. Apologies to International readers as I am able to ship only to U.S. mailing addresses.

Good Luck!!

***This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you for entering!***

Pucci Inspired Potholder & Oven Mitt Set

A Flavor of July: Spicy Tomato Jam

Spicy Tomato Jam

Does not pair well with peanut butter. This is the only negative I can offer in regards to the spicy tomato jam recipe seen in Herbivoracious by Michael Natkin. At first, I was skeptical – tomatoes…in a jam? But as the author pointed out, tomatoes are a fruit, so I tried it. And wow, am I glad I did! Though nearly every blog post I write is about food, I tend not to get overly excited about food. This however, I am overly excited about.

Tomato jam is the perfect, simple recipe to turn to when you need to use up an abundance of tomatoes or want to get rid of those slightly bruised tomatoes that are no longer the prettiest but remain perfectly edible. This tomato jam had quite a bit of heat to it, hence why I changed the recipe name from Tomato Jam with Rosemary and Saffron (in the cookbook) to Spicy Tomato Jam (on the blog). The other reason is saffron threads run about $18 a pop at my local grocery store, so I opted out of that particular option.

Spicy Tomato Jam

I took a lead from the cookbook and ate my tomato jam along with a grilled cheese sandwich. In the winter, one of my favorite comfort meals is a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. In the summer, I still love grilled cheese, but hot soup is typically the last thing I want. Spicy tomato jam is a perfect alternate to get that hot, tomato taste with a plain grilled cheese sandwich.

But what else can tomato jam be used for? Because the jam has a consistency more like that of a very thick salsa than that of a gelatinous jam, it can be easily substituted anywhere you would typically use a dip. Try it with tortilla chips, or dip jalapeño poppers in it. Eat it with meats – pork chops and applesauce becomes pork chops and tomato jam – or use it as a substitute for shrimp cocktail sauce. Scramble tomato jam in with an egg, or add it to pizza or pasta sauce. Top crostini with goat cheese and tomato jam. Get creative, and enjoy!

Spicy Tomato Jam

 

Spicy Tomato Jam
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds tomatoes, cored, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Allow the mixture to simmer until thick and syrupy (from thin and watery), at least one hour.
  3. Serve at room temperature.
Notes
I allowed my tomato jam to simmer for 90 minutes to get to the thick consistency I desired. The tomato jam can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.