Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

Last week some of my siblings and I, along with our parents and a few of our kids went up to a relative’s berry farm and picked some fresh raspberries.  I LOVE me some fresh raspberries.  I think they have to be one of my favorite fresh fruits, or at least right up there with fresh peaches and cherries!  I used most of the raspberries we picked to make some Raspberry Jam (which I will share here soon), froze some for smoothies, and still had a few left over to sprinkle over our cereal and to throw in these yummy cookies.

Chocolate-Raspberry-cookies

I wanted to make some raspberry scones, but at the last minute decided to make up a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies and throw in some of the fresh raspberries!  Oh…My….Goodness!  They are so good!  The chocolate and the tangy raspberries make the perfect combination of sweet and tart when combined.  I especially liked them when they were warm right out of the oven.

Raspberry-picking 2014

I simply made a few adjustments to one of our Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes and threw in some white chocolate chips along with the raspberries.  I wanted the raspberries to remain as whole as possible instead of being smashed in the cookie, so I was very careful with the cookie dough.  I made the dough all the way up and added the raspberries at the very end.  I simply broke the dough apart and added a little at a time to a fresh bowl and then sprinkled the raspberries in the bowl in layers.  Does that make sense?

Chocolate-Raspberry

Then when the scooped the cookie dough into balls, I scooped up some raspberries in each ball with an ice cream scoop, so that the raspberries were spread evenly to each cookie.  If you don’t have access to fresh raspberries, you could just as easily use some frozen raspberries straight from the freezer.

Chocolate-Raspberry-cookies

 

Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Cream the butter & sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla and almond extract and mix well together.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Add white & semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  6. Place cookie dough into separate bowl by breaking into pieces and scatter the raspberries in the dough so they are distributed evenly and do not get smashed up.
  7. Scoop out cookie dough with a spoon or ice cream scoop making sure to grab a couple of raspberries for each cookie.
  8. Place on greased cookie sheet.
  9. Bake in a 350° oven for 12-15 minutes depending on how big you make your cookies.
  10. The cookies should be golden brown on the edges and white an fluffy in the centers.
  11. Cool on a baking rack.
  12. Makes about 48 cookies depending on the size.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2014/07/chocolate-raspberry-cookies.html

raspberry-recipes
These Chocolate Raspberry cookies are a fun and unique twist to the regular chocolate chip cookie!  They will be gobbled up quickly though so be sure and pull some aside for yourself before your family and friends eat them all!

Chocolate-Raspberry-cookies

These would be fun to serve to your girlfriends at a Bridal or wedding shower…or serve at your book club meeting!

What are some of your favorite fresh fruits?

Chocolate-Raspberry-cookies



Pizza Dough Recipe

Do you love pizza? All of my kids LOVE it when we make homemade pizza.  We even make our pizza dough from scratch most of the time.   If you haven’t ever made pizza dough from scratch, you won’t believe how easy it is.

pizza-dough-recipe 8

This pizza dough can be made in your mixer or by hand.  We usually just mix it up by hand so that I don’t have to clean the mixer…is that lazy? haha!

Pizza Dough Recipe

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/4 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  5 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour, divided

pizza-dough-recipe 7

  1. Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Combine 1 1/4 cups cold water, oil, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and stir together.
  3. Combine 5 cups of the flour, yeast mixture, and cold water mixture in bowl and mix together until fully incorporated.
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface from the left over flour. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 2 minutes).  Add the rest of the flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky).
  5. Set dough aside while finishing your dinner prep if you are using the dough within the next hour to bake.
  6. Divide dough into two large balls and roll out into two pizza crusts.  Roll them thin as they will rise and thicken while baking.  (or break into several small pizza dough balls for individual pizzas).
  7. Top the pizza crusts with your favorite toppings and Bake at 400 fro 18-25 minutes depending on how thick the pizza crust is.
  8. If you are making the dough to use later, simply divide the dough in half (or more individual pieces), and place in a ziploc bag coated with cooking spray. Seal and chill in the fridge overnight or up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.
  9. You can freeze the dough in heavy-duty, freezer-safe zip-top plastic bags for up to 2 months; thaw dough overnight in the refrigerator.

pizza-dough-recipe 5

We love to add a variety of toppings for the kids to throw onto their pizza.  Some of our favorites are:

Cheese

Ham

Mushrooms

Olives

Pepperoni

Artichokes

Peppers

Tomatoes

pizza-dough-recipe 1

What are your favorite pizza toppings.



Snickerdoodle Recipe

During our Fourth of July family BBQ, the adults and some of the older kids were sitting around talking about our sister and brother-in-law who were missing from the festivities.  They moved out to Florida last year the day after the Fourth and we were missing them.  My sister always brought her yummy Snickerdoodles to family functions.  My older brother was missing the Snickerdoodles almost as much as we were missing their family!  Since he shares a birthday with my 10 year old daughter (which was yesterday), we thought it would be fun to make him some Snickerdoodles with my sister’s recipe.

Snickerdoodles

These Snickerdoodles are so tasty.  They are crispy on the outside and soft, moist and chewy on the inside.  The perfect combination for a cookie in my humble opinion.  These cookies taste just as great over the next couple of days too.  I usually only like cookies right after they are baked…or straight out of the freezer.  We also usually double the recipe so that we can freeze the rest of the cookies and pull them out for later.

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodle Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shortening (we use Butter Flavor Crisco)
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 2/3 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • Cinnamon & Sugar Topping
  • 1 TBSP Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Add butter, shortening and sugar in a mixer on beat together on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients one at a time while continuing to mix together.
  5. Turn off mixer and set aside.
  6. Make the Cinnamon and Sugar Topping in a small bowl.
  7. Roll the cookie dough into small 1 to 1 and 1/2 inch balls.
  8. Roll each cookie ball in the Cinnamon and Sugar mix.
  9. Place cookies on a greased cookie sheet.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.
  11. Should be a nice golden brown color that is crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2014/07/snickerdoodle-recipe.html

Snickerdoodle-cookies

During the school year…if I plan ahead, the kids can pull a cookie out of the freezer and place it in their home lunch, so that it is perfectly thawed in time to eat it at school.

Snickerdoodle-recipe

These cookies remind me of my sister so much!  Wishing she were actually the one here to make them…but they will have to do until we can see her and her family again.

Do you have an all time favorite cookie recipe?

Snickerdoodles-Cookie-Recipe



Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

This summer, we restarted a dinner making schedule with the kids! We have done this before when the kids were younger and it only lasted for a few months.  This time around the kids are older and the kids are actually enjoying it.  This means that each one of my five children are in charge of making our family meal one night a week.  On Sunday we plan our weekly menu and each kid is encouraged to come up with the menu for their dinner.  I help with suggestions and we try to come up with something different each time.

Macaroni-and-Cheese

I am telling you…a mom could get used to this! The kids have been really excited about their meals and it has been fun to see how serious they are taking this.  I have had to reign some of them in from creating a 5 course meal…haha! I thought they would grumble more about it…but give it some time…right?!  6 weeks in and we are still doing pretty good.

Some of the best things that have come out of this are the following:

  • Kids are learning how to cook and bake.
  • WAY less complaining about what we are eating for dinner because they are in charge.
  • They realize how much work goes into making a meal and have been much more helpful with the clean up.
  • They are eating things that would normally elicit groans and “nose plugged eating”.
  • They are branching out and searching out fun new recipes…by themselves!!

We shall see how long it lasts!

Macaroni-and-Cheese


My eldest daughter wanted to make some Homemade Macaroni and Cheese in the Crock Pot since we had a really busy day on her dinner night last week.  We got this recipe from a friend a couple of years ago…and if you like Macaroni and Cheese…and easy Crock Pot Dinners…you will have to give this one a try.  You can also make this in a 9×13 pan and bake it in the oven if you don’t have or don’t want to use a Crock Pot.

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

8 ounces cooked elbow macaroni
One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick ) of butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (about 5 cups)
Dash of paprika

  1. In a large 4-quart slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray, mix the macaroni, evaporated milk, milk, butter, salt, pepper, eggs and all but 1/2 cup of the grated cheese.
  2. Sprinkle the reserved cheese over the top of the mixture and then sprinkle with paprika.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 3 hours and 15 minutes.
  4. Turn off the slow cooker, stir the mixture and serve hot.

*If you don’t have a slow cooker, grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan with butter, add the mixture and bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.

Macaroni-and-Cheese



Watermelon Sorbet

 

It’s hot out there!  And you need a way to cool off that is tasty, refreshing and not a million calories…right?!  If you love watermelon, you are going to love this refreshing Watermelon Sorbet Recipe.  This is a perfect way to beat the heat this summer.  Whip some up for an afternoon snack or to serve at a party or BBQ.


watermelon-sorbet

Watermelon Sorbet Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups watermelon

watermelon-sorbet

Directions:

1.  Cook the sugar, water and lemon juice together, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
2.  Remove from heat and chill.
3.  Cut up the watermelon and remove all seeds.
4.  Puree in a blender or food processor.
5.  Stir into chilled syrup.
6.  Freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
7.  Pack into an airtight container and store in the freezer.

watermelon-sorbet

Serve this up immediately in small cups or bowls to your guests because that summer heat will melt this quickly!  If you are looking for some more great summer recipes to cool you off, you may want to check out this Watermelon Slush Recipe I shared a couple of weeks ago.

watermelon-sorbet

Need some more cool and refreshing summer treats? Check out these past Idea Room recipes!

Strawberry Lemonade Slush Recipe

Frozen Lemonade Recipe

Orange Julius Recipe

Coconut Lime Sorbet

Orange Sorbet

Fruit Popsicles

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Lemon Ice

Homemade Lemonade Recipe

Limeade Recipe

Watermelon Slush Recipe

Last week we had a strange wintery storm blow in which brought some low level snow and cold rain.  VERY unusual for June…not unheard of here in Utah…but strange none-the-less.  But a couple of days later the heat was soaring again in the upper 90′s.  So of course some cold and slushy drinks were in order.  I know you have heard me talk about my love for all things icy and slushy.  This time I thought I would try making a Watermelon Slush.  I have heard of them but had never tried one.  I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty it was.  I thought it might be a little bland…but it really was so refreshing and good!

Watermelon

I was a bit surprised that the kids liked them as much as they did.  The youngest, who doesn’t really eat anything other than quesadilla’s and string cheese wasn’t really a fan…but I knew she wouldn’t be.  She prefers to eat the watermelon “not all mushed up!”  These slushies melt REALLY fast so be sure to serve them up immediately.  I definitely liked them better when they were icier…but that may be a personal preference and a texture issue.

fruit-smoothies

Watermelon Slush Recipe

  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

Directions:

  1. Place watermelon and ice into a blender. Pour in lime juice, sugar, and salt. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.  Garnish with fresh mint leaves (optional).  Add additional flavorings if desired.

Watermelon-recipes

So go ahead and make these up for your friends and family on a super hot day.  Serve them up for your next summer party or shower.  They are definitely cool and refreshing and worth a try.

Watermelon-Slush

Watermelon slush not your thing? Check out these past Idea Room recipes!

Strawberry Lemonade Slush Recipe

Frozen Lemonade Recipe

Orange Julius Recipe

Coconut Lime Sorbet

Orange Sorbet

Fruit Popsicles

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Lemon Ice

Homemade Lemonade Recipe

Limeade Recipe



Strawberry Lemonade Slush

strawberry-lemonade-slush

Summer! Who doesn’t love summer?  One of my favorite parts of summer is drinking ice cold drinks and eating popsicles.  I have never made my own Strawberry Lemonade, even though it is one of my favorites.  Why not?  I have no idea…but decided it was time to test out a recipe.  I came up with this really yummy Strawberry Lemonade Slush.

strawberry-lemonade

My whole family gave this recipe a thumbs up.  I like it because it is just tart enough but not too overpowering.  If you like a tarter drink, add more lemonade concentrate or less water.

strawberry-lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade Slush

8 oz. Fresh Strawberries (washed & hulled)

1 cup of ice

1/4 cup of frozen lemonade concentrate

1 cup of water

mint leaves (optional)

Throw all the ingredients, except for the mint leaves into a blender.  Blend together until slushy and smooth.  Pour into drink glasses and serve immediately.  Garnish with mint leaves if desired.  Serves 4.

strawberry-lemonade-slush

 

This drink would be fun to serve at a BBQ or for your Fourth of July Picnic.  It would also make a great drink for your shower or birthday party.  Or, if you are like me…you want to drink it on an ordinary day while sitting on the back porch watching the kids play outside.

lemonade-recipe

Because of my obsession with icy drinks and treats, I have shared a few of my favorites in the past.  You might remember some of the following:

Frozen Lemonade Recipe

Orange Julius Recipe

Coconut Lime Sorbet

Orange Sorbet

Fruit Popsicles

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Lemon Ice

Homemade Lemonade Recipe

Limeade Recipe





Chocolate Silk Pie Recipe

We recently celebrated my husband’s birthday.  He requested his mom’s Chocolate Silk Pie.  I was happy to oblige!  Who doesn’t want a slice of Chocolate Silk Pie?

Chocolate-silk-pie

This is a pretty simple recipe to make.  I use a store bought Oreo Crust to make it even easier (gasp!).  You can also make this using a regular pie crust.  If you need a good pie crust recipe, you can use my Grandma’s recipe which is my absolute favorite Pie Crust Recipe, which I shared here:

Pie Crust Recipe

Chocolate-silk-pie

If you go with an Oreo Crust recipe you will just need to make the pie filling.  If you make a regular Pie Crust, roll out the dough and place it in a pie dish.  Trim the excess and then flute the edges of the pie crust.  Chill for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator to allow the dough to relax (this will help prevent the crust from shrinking as you bake it).

Once the dough has rested, use a fork to lightly prick the bottom of the pastry. Take a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper and press it into the pie plate, gently pushing it right up against the pastry. Fill the sheet of foil or parchment paper with pie weights, dried beans or even uncooked rice to hold it in place. This weight helps the pie dough hold its shape.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, then remove it from the oven and take out the pie weights and the aluminum foil liner.  Set it aside to cool.

Chocolate-silk-pie
Chocolate Silk Pie Recipe

1/2 cup butter (softened, room temperature)

2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled

1/2 cup white sugar total (divided into TWO 1/4 cups and used at different times)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 prepared 8 inch Oreo Crust or Pastry Crust

Directions

  1. Cream butter in a mixing bowl. Gradually beat in 1/4 of a cup of the sugar with an electric mixer until light colored and well blended.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat your eggs into stiff peaks to help form stiff peaks.  Gradually adding the other 1/4 cup of sugar.
  3. Fold gently in the thoroughly cooled chocolate, and vanilla extract. And the butter mix.
  4. Spoon the chocolate filling into a cooled, baked pie shell.
  5. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Chocolate-silk-pie

Serve with lots of ice cold milk!  You will LOVE it!

For your birthday do your prefer cake or pie?


Brownie Mint Cookie Recipe

Earlier I shared with you some simple printable Cookie Bags that make a great gift for your favorite Dads, Grandpas, and the father figures in your life.  The cookie bags can also be used as a Thank You or small gift for a lot of other people…just print out the blank one.  In the earlier post I shared some pictures with some amazingly delicious Brownie Mint Cookies.  Several of you emailed me and left comments about sharing the recipe.

brownie-mint-cookie

Today I am going to share the recipe with you so that you can make your own Brownie Mint Cookies.  You guys are going to LOVE these!  This recipe is from a local Cookie and Sandwich Shop and they are one of my family’s favorites.  They are sure to be a hit at the family BBQ this summer!

Browine-Mint-Cookie

If you like chocolate brownies and mint…you will not be disappointed.  Just be sure to have plenty of ice cold milk on hand because you are going to need it!

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Brownie Mint Cookie Recipe from Cutler’s Cookies

Brownie Mint Cookie Recipe

Brownie Mint Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour (or all purpose)
  • Mint Frosting
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
  • green food coloring
  • Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until well blended.
  3. Add dry ingredients and mix.
  4. Cookies can be rolled out and cut out with circle cookie cutter or dropped and placed onto a greased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Cookies are done when the top is slightly cracked and no longer looks wet.
  7. For Brownies double the recipe and then spread into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-24 minutes.
  9. For Mint Frosting mix the butter and powdered sugar. Add only enough milk to make a smooth consistency, Start with 1 Tablespoon and add till good texture. Add mint extract and enough food coloring for a light green color. The frosting should be thick, not runny.
  10. Beat softened butter, cocoa, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Add the vanilla and a splash of milk (just enough to make a good spreading consistency) and blend well.
  11. Assembly: Spread the cooled cookies with about 1 tablespoon of the mint frosting. Allow to set up for 10 -20 minutes to make spreading chocolate frosting easier. Top the mint frosting with the chocolate frosting.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2014/05/brownie-mint-cookie-recipe.html

brownie-mint-cookie

If you want the Brownie Mint Cookies to be round like the ones pictured you can roll out the cookie dough and cut out cookies in a circle shape with a circle cookie cutter.  Or…you can make them into traditional Brownies by doubling the recipe and then spreading the dough into a greased 9×13 pan.  You will just need to increase the baking time to 22-24 minutes.  You can also just drop the cookie dough into round balls on the cookie sheet if you are pressed for time.

chocolate-mint-cookie | theidearoom.net

No matter what way you make them…you are sure to enjoy them!  Are you a fan of mint and chocolate?



Pasta Salad Recipe

The BBQ season is here!  And that means warm summer nights and picnics with delicious food.  One of our favorite BBQ dishes is this Pasta Salad.  This is one of our favorite Pasta Salad Recipes, and is always a hit.  I thought I would take it up a notch and serve the Pasta Salad up in some small mason jars.

pasta-salad

I love that you can package this Pasta Salad up in these fun mason jars so that your company and guests can grab individual servings sized Pasta Salad in a Jar!  Might as well put this in a jar too right?

fourth-of-july

I think this would make a great addition to any picnic or BBQ and ups the cuteness factor of your table setting too!  Another bonus is that you can make them before hand and store them in the fridge until you are ready to serve them so that they are nice and chilled when its time to eat.

salad-recipe

Here is the recipe…

Pasta Salad Recipe

Pasta Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package rotini pasta or bow tie pasta
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound provolone cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 pound salami, cubed
  • 1/4 pound sliced pepperoni, halved
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 (10 ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian salad dressing

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions.
  2. Drain, and rinse with cold water. In a large bowl, combine pasta with tomatoes, cheese, salami, pepperoni, green pepper, & olives. Pour in salad dressing, and toss to coat.
http://www.theidearoom.net/2014/05/pasta-salad-recipe.html

fourth-of-july-printables
I thought these would also be fun for your Fourth of July BBQ too.  So I was sure to make the labels so that they could fit into your Fourth of July decor with the colors I chose.  Simply print out the free printables I am sharing today on regular white paper or cardstock and then trace the mason jar lid and cut out the labels so that they fit your jars perfectly.  Then just place the label on top of the lid and then screw the mason jar ring on.

pasta-salad

If you are looking to up the cuteness factor even more, attach a wooden or plastic fork to the jar so that the recipient can eat it straight from the jar.

pasta-salad-recipe

If you would like to download the Pasta in a Jar Labels, click on the link below:

{Pasta in a Jar Labels}

*If you are not a fan of The Idea Room on Facebook, you will need to click like first and become a fan. After you become a fan you will need to click on “Get your free gift” in the upper right hand corner of the Idea Room FB page and then click on “Previous Downloads”.

pasta-salad

What are some of your favorite BBQ foods?

how-to-make-pasta-salad



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