Cinnamon Toffee Fruit Dip

Honey crisp apples are taking over my life.

Every day for the past two weeks I’ve been eating one, and every day I stare at the giant beauty and don’t care that it cost $2. Sometimes I like to jazz it up and make a super unhealthy meal with them. Like this dip. Sugar, spice and toffee, baby.

I love making sweet dips like this. Apples and toffee are best friends forever, and I’m totally ok with eating the friendship.

To make this, combine cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a food processor.

Blend until smooth. Stir in one crushed Skor bar (or a few “mini” score chunks).

Blend quickly for a few seconds.

Place in a serving bowl and serve with apples or fruit of your choice.

Cinnamon Toffee Fruit Dip
Adapted from Noble Pig
Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 8 ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 Skor bars, crushed (or 1/2 bag of Heath toffee bits)
3 apples (I used Honey Crisp)

Directions:
In a food processor (or with your mixer) combine cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth. Stir in ONE crushed Skor bar. Place in a serving bowl and serve with apples or fruit of your choice.

Note: This can also be pre-made and placed back in the refrigerator, it will not stiffen up.

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Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

All of the Valentine’s Day posts popping up around the blogosphere are making me super excited. Heart shaped cookies, heart cupcakes, heart shaped s’mores galore! The internet needs a little more pink in it’s mix, don’t ya think?

Here is my contribution – deliciously sweet and creamy red velvet whoopie pies. These babies have a soft outer cookie with a cream cheese filling that will melt your heart.

I ended up making these this past weekend at my boyfriends parents house. We went to visit their new most adorable puppy ever puppy and while I was there I thought I’d get some Valentine’s baking in. These turned out great. Enjoy!

To begin, preheat your oven to 375˚ F. Using a heart template cut out from card stock, trace evenly spaced hearts onto pieces of parchment paper sized to fit two cookie sheets. Place the parchment on the cookie sheets so that the side you have drawn on is facing down; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, beat in about a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk, beating each addition just until incorporated. Repeat so that all the buttermilk has been added and then mix in the final third of dry ingredients. Do not overbeat.

Blend in the food coloring. I used a full bottle almost.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe the batter onto the parchment paper using the heart tracings as a guide.

Bake 6-9 minutes or until the tops are set but not hard, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets at least 10 minutes, until they can be easily transferred to a cooling rack. Repeat with any remaining batter. Allow cookies to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.

Transfer the frosting to a clean pastry bag fitted with a plain, round tip. Pair the cookies up by shape and size. Flip one cookie of each pair over so that the flat side is facing up. Pipe frosting onto the flat-sided cookie of each pair, leaving the edges clear.

I like a lot of frosting…

Sandwich the cookies together so the flat sides are facing each other and press gently to help the filling reach the edges. Awwwww…now these are just pretty.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
Recipe taken from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
For the cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 oz. red food coloring

For the frosting
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Using a heart template cut out from card stock, trace evenly spaced hearts onto pieces of parchment paper sized to fit two cookie sheets. Place the parchment on the cookie sheets so that the side you have drawn on is facing down; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, beat in about a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk, beating each addition just until incorporated. Repeat so that all the buttermilk has been added and then mix in the final third of dry ingredients. Do not overbeat. Blend in the food coloring.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe the batter onto the parchment paper using the heart tracings as a guide. Bake 6-8 minutes or until the tops are set, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets at least 10 minutes, until they can be easily transferred to a cooling rack. Repeat with any remaining batter. Allow cookies to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.

Transfer the frosting to a clean pastry bag fitted with a plain, round tip. Pair the cookies up by shape and size. Flip one cookie of each pair over so that the flat side is facing up. Pipe frosting onto the flat-sided cookie of each pair, leaving the edges clear. Sandwich the cookies together so the flat sides are facing each other and press gently to help the filling reach the edges. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container.

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

It’s raining here in Switzerland. Hard. I can’t say I enjoy that, but it’s nice to have an excuse to turn on the oven.

When it’s raining I like to use whatever ingredients I have laying around to feed myself. Going outside is not an option. No way. Not a chance. Never….unless you have chocolate to give me.

I decided to make this hot spinach artichoke dip with the ingredients I had on hand. It’s super scrumptious. The bubbly cheese, artichoke, garlic and spinach go perfect with tortillas or toasted pitas. I devoured this…fast.

To begin, preheat your oven to 400˚ F. Then, in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, parmesan, sour cream and mayonnaise.

Chop up some artichokes…

and some spinach…

and add chopped spinach, chopped artichokes, roasted garlic, salt and red pepper flakes to cream cheese mixture.

Mix well with a rubber spatula until all ingredients are evenly blended.

Spread into a small baking dish (I used a french onion soup bowl). Sprinkle additional grated Parmesan over the top for more awesomeness and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Serve warm with tortilla chips, pita chips, or crackers. Drool.

Spinach Artichoke Dip
Recipe taken from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup coarsely chopped canned artichoke hearts
4 cloves roasted garlic*, smashed
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. roasted red pepper flakes

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, Parmesan, sour cream, mayonnaise, spinach, artichokes, roasted garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Mix well with a rubber spatula until all ingredients are evenly blended.

Spread into a small baking dish (I used a gratin dish). Sprinkle additional grated Parmesan over the top if desired. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Serve warm with baguette slices, pita chips, crackers, etc.

*To roast individual cloves of garlic, I just throw the unpeeled cloves into a baking dish or pan and bake at 350˚ F for 25-30 minutes. Let cool before squeezing the cloves from the peels.