Chonky Boys: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches that Scream Summer!

Featuring my thick and nuggy Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookies, these ice cream sandwiches are the stuff that summer dreams are made of.  If you've ever had the Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich at Disneyland , you are going to LOVE these!  These big and bold chocolate chip cookies are based on a recipe from my culinary school studies at Auguste Escoffier, but with a few modifications to give them that Jennuine touch.  They make the perfectas book for a fat slice of real vanilla bean ice cream.  And those mini chips?  You just gotta have that extra cronch! Thank goodness this recipe only makes 8 sandwiches, otherwise I would be eating them for breakfast lunch and dinner.  This way, my big family can help save me from my inner child diet-saboteur.   Print With Image Without Image Chonky Boy Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches Yield: 8 Author: Jenn Erickson Loaded with chocolate chips and buttery, brown-sugary vanilla flavor, these mall-sized cookies form a perfect partnership with a

Cranberry Upside-down Babycakes
~Holiday Baking with Hodgson Mill~

The very best baked goods start with using quality ingredients.  It's always a joy to discover a new source for ingredients that are a cut above the rest.  So it was a distinct pleasure to have found my new favorite whole wheat flour, compliments* of Hodgson Mill as part of their Have a Grain Holiday Recipe Contest .   Hodgson Mill is a family-owned business that's been grinding grain in in Illinois since 1882! Their business may be 125 years old and their promise of wholesome, naturally healthy food (with no artificial preservatives, additives or colorings) timeless, but their commitment to the environment through sustainable practices is as modern as can be!  I hope you'll give Hodgson Mill flours, pastas, cereals, mixes and other fine products a try .  Use the Hodgson Mill 100% stone ground wheat flour with my Cranberry Upside-down Cakes and you'll be an instant convert! The tart cranberries glazed in brown sugar glisten like jeweled

Kiwi Sorbet -- A LIght & Merry Holiday Dessert!

  Cookies, pies, cakes and fudge -- so many delicious, decadent holiday treats!  I do enjoy the buttery, frosted, chocolate dipped and sprinkled sweets that come with this festive time of year, but.... the end of a big family feast there's often little room or desire for a rich dessert.  That's why I'm so excited about this insanely easy to make and blissfully delicious Kiwi Sorbet!  It's light, refreshing, and just look at it -- Garnished with fresh pomegranate arils, it couldn't look any more Christmasy! Kiwi, in December?  Yes indeed!  California Kiwis are harvested in late fall and are ready to enjoy all winter long!  I learned a lot about kiwifruit and other California agricultural products when I wrote for the Clever Girls California Grown campaign.  Did you know that you can bake with Kiwifruit?  They have the same lightly sweet and delightfully tart qualities of fresh plums, which led to my husband's creation:  Kiwi Tea Cake . 

Delicious! Baking with California Grown Kiwi
~Kiwi Tea Cake Recipe~

Thank you to California Grown for encouraging me to connect with California growers and encouraging California consumers to "Choose California Grown" when they can. ---------------------------------------   When you think of winter fruits, what do you think of?  Pomegranates, cranberries, pears, persimmons...  If you're a fan of serving healthy seasonal foods to your family that is locally or domestically grown, you may want to add another fruit, low in calories and high in antioxidants, to your list of winter favorites -- The Kiwifruit!  Fuzzy as a newborn reindeer on the outside and green as mistletoe on the inside, this funky little fruit is simply bursting with holiday spirit!   As a lifelong resident of California, I was surprised to learn that my home state produces around 98 percent of the kiwifruit grown in the United States.  California has nearly 300 kiwifruit growers who spend around $18.1 million annually in the state -- contributing sign

Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake
~Dessert with Friends & Duncan Hines~

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There's no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On! .  -------------------------------------------- The holidays are such a busy time, so I find it helpful to keep a few tricks up my sleeve and a few shortcuts in my pantry.  With a box of Duncan Hines cake mix, a few other pantry staples and a little imagination, you can be ready with a perfect holiday dessert quicker than you can say "Bob Cratchit". When I found out about the opportunity to write for Duncan Hines, I knew immediately what I was going to share:  It's my Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake, a family favorite!  This delicious cake is so easy to make and unlike many gingerbread cakes, isn't too heavy on the spices or molasses.  Just imagine a cozy winter evening with some dear friends, hot cocoa, tea or coffee, and a scrumptious

Gingerbread Delights & Hodgson Mill $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway
A Little Birdie Told Me...No. 50!

A page from my Great Grandmother's hand-written cookbook. ---------------------------------------- Welcome to  "A Little Birdie Told Me..." Tuesday No. 50! To celebrate, everyone who links up and comments this week will be entered in a random drawing for a $25 gift certificate to Hodgson Mill! (details below) ----------------------------------------   We may no longer bake with lard or molasses by the pint like my Great Grandma Maggie did, but one thing hasn't changed:  Using a high quality flour makes all the difference in your baked goods. I recently had the opportunity to sample some of the flours from Hodgson Mill , a family owned business that's been grinding grain since 1882!  I can honestly say their wheat flour is the best I've ever baked with. I'll be sharing my recipe for Cranberry Upside-down Babycakes, using Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat flour on Friday, but in the meantime,   Hodgson Mill is gener

Snow Globe Cupcakes ~ Edible Winter Wonderlands in a Jar

There's something about snow globes -- those whimsical glass domed mini worlds -- that evoke a childlike sense of wonder and delight in all who give them a shake.    When I created my Woodland Terrarium Cakes back in September, it struck me that if I turned the jars the other way around, they'd be reminiscent of a snow globe.  I knew right then and there that my girls and I would be experimenting with Snow Globe cupcakes during the holidays! The cakes are constructed from a single cupcake, frosting, rolled fondant, and royal icing.  I added just a shake of white nonpareils to the mason jar for the snow.  I experimented with a few types of jars, but my favorite turned out to be a wide-mouth half-pint mason jar.  The wide mouth gives enough room for the cupcake to be put in (and taken out to eat later!). The snowmen are easy enough for kids to make, and the project would make a fun activity for a winter party!  Here's how it's done...

Calling all Creatives: Win an Elmer's Looks for Less Prize Pack

  Did you know that Elmer's glue was invented in 1942 by a Georgia Tech chemistry graduate? The company was sold to Borden in the mid-1950s, which is why the Elmer's mascot, Elmer the bull, looks so much like his "sister" Elsie who graces the Borden label.   I can't speak for those who grew up in the 1940s, but as a child of the 70's I can definitely say that my earliest memories of childhood creativity were with Elmer's glue and school paste -- inevitably there was always a kid in every class who thought that eating the paste was a novel idea. I'm glad to say that that child was never me. But I digress... Flash forward almost forty years, and you'll find me today still using the same reliable Elmer's products (and some new ones too). I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Elmer's Looks for Less Challenge where bloggers were asked to recreate popular home design looks with Elmer's & X-acto prod