Hot Chocolate Mix & Free Printable Tags

If you haven’t noticed from many of my previous projects, I absolutely love Valentine’s Day. Today I made a Valentine’s gift (in advance!) – a Hot Chocolate Mix. I found the recipe here at Half Baked Harvest. The only changes I made was that I used all dark chocolate chips instead of a mix of milk chocolate chips and white chocolate chips because dark chocolate was all I happened to have on hand. Which of course is such a surprise at my house. ๐Ÿ˜‰

January 28’s project: Dark Hot Chocolate Mix

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In effort to be “scientific,” Marcus and I made one mug with water and one mug with milk. Take it from us, do NOT make this mix with water. It tastes much better made with milk. With the milk, it was pretty tasty. (Though in my opinion I’ll admit, it still was not quite as good as my beloved Cadbury Hot Chocolate.) Marcus said this mix was far better than the hot chocolate from the store, especially since you can control all the ingredients.

If I make this mix again, I might try using Cinnamon chips in place of the white chocolate chips.

I also made printable tags using a super cute graphic from Designs by CP. I’ve uploaded it here so you can print out tags for your own Hot Chocolate Mix gifts for Valentine’s Day. (I’ve uploaded them as Word docs so that you can customize them easier.) I’d recommend using a heavier card stock-like paper if you have any or a photo paper with a completely blank back, not the kind that has logo, etc, on the back.

20130128-211843.jpgHot Chocolate Mix cards – front

20130128-211851.jpgHot Chocolate Mix cards – back

Drawstring Bag & Cookies

Not a very exciting project for today – yet another drawstring project bag. I still needed one more bag for my prize donation at my knitting group’s anniversary party tomorrow.

I did however make another batch of the chocolate chocolate chip cookies from January 18’s post. This time, I used all white sugar and dark chocolate chips and made sure to under-bake them. This batch was even better than the first one!

January 25’s project: Drawstring Bag & Cookies

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For Monday, I plan on chopping up a gorgeous wool sweater that I rescued from Goodwill.ย Someone had apparently not read the “hand wash only” tag and threw it in the washing machine. Their loss is my gain! ๐Ÿ™‚ (Hopefully it will be dry by then. January isn’t the best time to be washing sweaters. Sigh)

Icebox Oat Cookies

When I looked outside the window this morning, it had snowed quite heavily overnight, which naturally put in me in a baking mood. I also figured that it would nice to make some cookies for my husband Marcus, since while he dutifully tried one of the chocolate cookies I made last Friday, chocolate really isn’t his thing. I’ve also been wanting to try out icebox cookie recipes (cookies that are sliced after being refrigerated) and recently came across this recipe that I knew Marcus would just love.

I was right. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

January 21’s project: Icebox Oat Cookies

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The only problem was that after letting Marcus sample the raw dough, which had the consistancy of no-bake cookies, he didn’t want me to actually bake any of it! We ended up compromising: I got to bake one log into (very under-baked cookies), and he claimed the remaining unbaked log to take into work for his lunch. You can see the second log of raw dough in the background of the photo above.

And in case anyone would like to make some raw dough/cookies for themselves, here’s the recipe:

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“Rolled Oat Cookies” from Best of Taste of Home’s First Ten Years *

1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup water

1 ts vanilla

3 cups quick-cooking oats

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 ts salt

1/4 ts baking soda

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add water and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Chill for 30 minutes. Shape into two 1 1/2″ rolls; wrap tightly in waxed paper. Chill for 2 hours or until firm.

Unwrap and cut into 1/2″ slices. Place 2″ apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 375ยฐ for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yeild: about 3 12″ dozen. (I think I might have cut my cookies a bit generously because even if I had been allowed to bake the whole batch, it would have only been about 2 dozen, if that.)

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I think that if you don’t have a lot of time to wait for the dough to firm up, you could just make drop cookies using this recipe. Also, I’d recommend cutting the dough logs rather thin because I think that these cookies would be best when crispy. Assuming you leave enough dough to actually bake, of course.

*If you don’t already own this cookbook, run – don’t walk, run! – to the store and buy it. Today. Your mouth will thank you.

 

 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of the struggles I knew I was going to face in my MSED challenge was the balance of creating while still managing to fit in the boring stuff like laundry, dishes, etc, as well. During the last couple days, the boring stuff has been slipping a bit so that’s what I tackled today instead of playing around with a new design for a knitting needle roll-up case. The house is now tidied up for the weekend, but of course I didn’t have time required for the roll-up case. I did, however, decide that I had time for some baking.

I knew that my friend Annie was coming over tonight for a movie night so I decided to make some cookies. I’ve been wanting to find a good chocolate cookie recipe for a while, so that’s what I chose. After looking through a surprising number of cook books that didn’t have quite the type of cookie I was looking for, I found the recipe “Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies I” here at AllRecipes.com.

I used half white sugar and half brown sugar, added 1 ts of instant coffee, and increased the salt and baking soda to 1 ts each.

January 18’s project: Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I am very happy with how the cookies turned out. They were just as quick to mix up as my usual go-to cookie recipe (Tollhouse), which I was very glad to note. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and wonderfully chocolatey, but without being too sweet. I think this recipe would also be tasty with peanut butter chips and maybe walnuts too. Watch out, milk just might have a new favorite cookie!

In addition to the very very good cookies, we had also some fun new tea that Annie recently ordered from David’s Tea. Tonight we tried the Stormy Night black tea, which was quite nice – not as spicy as I’d feared, and the Cookie Dough white tea which was awesome! (And quite appropriate to have with the chocolate cookies too.) So that’s why the lovely Fiesta tea cup & saucer are in the background. The tea cup is empty because the tea was sooo good that I drank it all before I remembered to save any for the “photo shoot.” ๐Ÿ˜‰20130119-000041.jpg

Needless to say, this recipe will definitely be made again. (And again, and again, and again, and again …)