Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I hope you all are having a spooktacular day! While we are getting ready for a wave of trick-or-treaters, I've put together a list of my favorite candy cookies- perfect for leftover candy or any clearance candy you pick up tomorrow. Or, if you're like me and eat candy all year-round, you can enjoy these cookies throughout the year, too! Take a look at my posts from earlier this month for more ideas. 
Oatmeal Raisinettes Cookies

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I just got back from a great trip to my former hometown of Boston. I lived in the city for four years and loved it! Now that I am in Southern California, I really miss being able to walk or hop on the subway (locally known as the "T") to amazing restaurants and historical sites. I fell in love with the city (and met Mr. Sleuth while I was there!) and wouldn't trade my time there for anything (even the super cold weather)!

One of our favorite places to go when we lived in Boston was Finale. This incredible dessert restaurant has several locations in the city, but the Park Plaza location is definitely the best. For dine in, their molten chocolate cake is the best ever! They were on the bandwagon before everyone and their mother started serving molten cake. 

In their bakeshop, you can buy cookies, cupcakes, and mini desserts to go. Of course, I tried four of their cookies. At $1.99 each, they are not a big investment. The cookies are a little bigger than the average size you would make at home. 

Here's a quick recap of the cookies:
Triple Chocolate- Dense, rich, brownie-like cookie. It satisfies brownie and chocolate cravings but not a cookie craving.
Chocolate Chip- Favorite of the group- Instead of chocolate chips, this cookie had layers of chocolate. Yum!
Chocolate Chip Walnut- Traditional and buttery- This cookie had lots of chocolate chips and walnuts.
Snickerdoodle- Bread-like, lacks flavor. With all of the other great desserts Finale makes, it's hard to believe this came out of their kitchen. After two bites, I decided to save it for breakfast the next day.

I could go on forever about Finale, but I will spare you the dissertation. Email me or leave a comment if you have questions. Visit for more information.

Finale on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kit Kat Bar Cookies

Kit Kats are some of my favorite candies to have at Halloween! I always try to find the variety packs with dark, milk, and white chocolate bars. This time I've tried out another way to enjoy these delicious chocolate covered wafers. As an added bonus, these are easy to prepare! The cookie itself is soft, so it pairs with the chocolaty crispiness  of the Kit Kat well. I thought it needed a little more chocolate, so I added mini chocolate chips, too.
What's your favorite Halloween candy?


3 Tbsp margarine
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 packages of "fun-sized" Kit Kats, broken into large chunks
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.
Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix.
Gradually fold in the flour and baking powder. Stir in chocolate chips.
Put half of the dough on the bottom of the loaf pan. Place Kit Kats in a layer on top of the dough. Spread remaining dough on top of the Kit Kats.
Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned on top.
Yields 8 servings.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rice Krispies Treats with Skittles

Here's the second Rice Krispies treat recipe I promised! If you like your cereal with a fruity twist, then this is the treat for you! It sounds odd, I know, but it is hard to go wrong with this combo. I liked the Skittles mixed in, but you can certainly make regular Rice Krispies treats and top them with Skittles instead.

1 Tbsp margarine
1 1/2 cups marshmallows
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 fun sized package of Skittles

Melt margarine and marshmallows in a sauce pan. When melted, remove from the heat and stir in cereal and Skittles. Press mixture into an 8x8 pan and allow to cool before cutting into squares.
Yields 16 squares.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Treats with Peanut M&Ms

With Halloween coming up, I've created two versions of Rice Krispies treats to use some of the extra candy you may have around. Watch for the other kind later this week. This version was addictive and tasted great warm and cooled. You could even mix in peanuts and chocolate chips in addition to the Peanut M&Ms if you'd like. 


1 Tbsp margarine
1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cups marshmallows
3 Tbsp ice cream topping (I used chocolate fudge Magic Shell)
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 fun sized package of peanut M&Ms

Melt margarine, peanut butter, and marshmallows in a sauce pan. When melted, remove from the heat and stir in cereal and ice cream topping. Press mixture into an 8x8 pan. Press peanut M&Ms on top and allow to cool before cutting into squares.
Yields 16 squares.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Aunt Joy's Cakes

Is it possible for two people to eat one pound of cookies in 24 hours? YES! I'm not proud, but Mr. Sleuth and I (mostly me) consumed a one pound bag of bite-sized chocolate chip cookies from Aunt Joy's Cakes in less than 24 hours. Thin and crispy, these delicious melt-in-your mouth morsels were slightly larger than a half dollar and made with lots of chocolate chips. Looking at the cookie, I was concerned about the chocolate chip to cookie ratio (too many chocolate chips, I feared), but it was just perfect.

Aunt Joy's offers a variety of cookies, cakes and other treats. One pound of the bite-sized chocolate chip cookies is $16. Delivery and shipping charges vary. Pick up times are limited to Monday-Friday 8am to 4pm (my only complaint). For ordering information, visit their website or call 818-845-4326.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coconut M&M Cookies

Have you tried the new Coconut M&Ms? I must admit I was a bit disappointed with them since there wasn't much coconut flavor. I decided to use them for some coconut chocolate cookies instead! 

This recipe produces a chewy, brownie-like chocolate cookie. The M&Ms add a nice crunch. Since the coconut M&Ms are larger than the average M&M, I topped the cookies with them. If you prefer them mixed it, give them a rough chop first. The cookies would taste great either way!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 package coconut M&Ms

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add egg, Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in coconut. Drop by well-rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Top each cookie with two M&Ms.
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until cookies are puffed and set.
Yields 18 cookies.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Almond Joy Cookies

In celebration of Halloween coming up, I made a cookie version of one of my favorite candies- Almond Joy (I have a lot of favorite candies!). These cookies are deliciously soft and chewy. I used whole almonds to top the cookies, but next time I will try sliced almonds so the crunch is less harsh.

Now, to be fair, I haven't always been a fan of Almond Joy and would be disappointed when it showed up in my Halloween candy bucket. I feel like Almond Joy is more of an adult candy, so I won't be plaguing the neighborhood kids with it. What treats are you handing out this Halloween?

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded coconut
48 almonds

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips with the butter. Heat in microwave until almost melted.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat egg and brown sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually add the melted chocolate and mix until well-combined. Fold in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in coconut.
Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes.
Drop rounded tablespoons two inches apart on the lined baking sheets. 
Bake for 12-15 minutes. When removing the cookies from the oven, immediately press two almonds into the top of each cookie.
Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before enjoying.
Yields 2 dozen cookies.

Monday, October 3, 2011


After a delicious lunch at BGR (try their veggie burger!) at the Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, I made a stop at Patagonia, a neat little cafe/shop specializing in delicacies from Argentina, including bite-sized treats!

After trying my three selections from the case, I think a trip to Argentina may be in order! I had an almond cookie and two versions of alfajores (dulce de leche spread between two shortbread cookies and then dipped in chocolate). The almond cookie was grainy and forgettable. The alfajores were spectaclar! Be on the lookout for a make at home version. Version 1 was the size of a jumbo marshmallow. Two thin, soft shortbread cookies held a 3/4 inch layer of dulce de leche. The entire sandwich was drenched in chocolate. Version 2 had significantly more cookie (shell shaped sugary butter cookies) with just a thin layer (hardly visible) of dulce de leche filling. About a quarter of the cookie was dipped in chocolate. Version 2 was more to my taste plus it was a lot easier to eat!

Desserts from their case are sold by the pound. My three items were $2.44 with tax. For details on their menu and three Florida locations, visit
Have you ever had alfajores?