Allison Day
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Samoas Bark

Samoas bark

After yesterday’s face-off between Thin Mints and Samoas, I couldn’t let Thin Mints just run away with the victory that easily!

I mean, that Thin Mint Oreo Milkshake was insanely delicious, and I can’t deny it deserved to win, but… to be honest, I’ve kind of always been just a bit more of a Samoas girl.

Samoas bark

This Samoas bark was something I made for my sister last year for Christmas – we were visiting my grandparents for Christmas, and I wanted to be able to give my siblings something, but didn’t want to have to lug all their Christmas gifts all the way to Arizona and back.

Since Kristen’s known for being a lover of all things Samoas, I had the idea of making a Samoas-inspired chocolate bark for her. (Patrick got homemade licorice caramels – I’ll be posting that recipe later this year.)

When I thought up the idea, I did a quick search to see if anybody had made this before. And while yes, of course there are people who’ve made Samoas-inspired chocolate bark before, none of the recipes out there were quite what I had in mind.

This recipe couldn’t possibly be simpler. Layers of chocolate, shortbread, caramel, coconut, and more chocolate – just like the Girl Scout cookie! Except even more decadent, because you get way more chocolate and caramel in every bite with this version. (No regrets.)

If you like Samoas, then you’ll definitely love this bark – and love how easy it is to make!

Samoas bark

Ingredients

  • 22 oz chocolate, divided
  • 10.6 oz (2 packages) Walkers shortbread
  • 22 oz caramel bits
  • 1 cup coconut

Cooking Directions

  1. Line a small rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 15 oz of the chocolate in a double-boiler, or in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring well in-between microwaving.
  3. Spread the chocolate evenly over the parchment paper.
  4. Put the shortbread in a ziplock bag, seal the bag, then use a rolling pin to crush the shorbread into crumbs. Spread the crumbs evenly over the chocolate, and lightly press into the chocolate with your fingers. Let the chocolate cool completely before proceeding.
  5. Melt the caramel in a double-boiler, or in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring well in-between microwaving. Stir in the coconut.
  6. Spread the caramel mixture evenly over the shortbread.
  7. Melt the remaining 7 oz of chocolate. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel, to create stripes. Let everything cool completely.
  8. When the bark is completely cool, use the parchment paper to remove the bark from the baking sheet, and place the parchment-lined bark on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the bark into triangles (or whatever shape you prefer).
  9. Enjoy!

Thin Mint Oreo Bailey’s Irish Cream Milkshake… and an epic face-off between Team Thin Mints and Team Samoas!

When it comes to Girl Scout Cookies, are you Team Thin Mints, or Team Samoas?

Everybody’s one or the other. My mom? Team Thin Mints. My sister… solidly in Team Samoas.

But what about Tagalongs, I ask you? Or Do-Si-Dos? Or the classic but unfairly maligned Trefoils?

Those cookies are great and all… but I guarantee you, it’s the Thin Mints and Samoas people go for first.

(Trust me – I used to be a Girl Scout!)

So on Fridgg, which cookie comes out as the winner – Thin Mints or Samoas?



Thin Mints get an early lead, with Laurie’s no-churn Thin Mint ice cream and Thin Mint truffles edging out Deb’s Samoas scones!



And it looks like the Thin Mints are keeping their lead, with Jamie’s Thin Mint-inspired naughty Girl Scout cocktail and Justine’s Thin Mint pots de creme – although Claire’s Samoa cookie doughnuts do look delicious!



But wait – do Samoas have a chance? Lisa’s Samoa rice krispie treats, Phillip’s Samoa mini doughnuts, and Jess’ homemade Samoa cookies all look like winners!



But alas, it wasn’t to be! Team Thin Mints takes the win, with this boozy Thin Mint Oreo Bailey’s Irish Cream milkshake from Peabody!

Did your team win? Tell me who you were rooting for!

(As for me? I’m Team Tagalongs. I’m a rebel like that. 😉)


Thin Mint Oreo Bailey's Irish Cream Milkshake

Obviously, I had to try out the winning milkshake – because when you mix Thin Mints, Oreos, ice cream, and booze, everybody wins!

And my goodness, was it delicious! It tastes like drinking minty oreos… not a bad way to enjoy your Girl Scout Cookies!

Thin Mint Oreo Bailey’s Irish Cream Milkshake

Recipe barely adapted from Sweet Recipeas.

Ingredients

  • 4 large scoops of good vanilla ice cream
  • 100ml (about 3 oz) Bailey’s Mint Irish Cream (or an equivalent amount of milk for a non-alcoholic drink)
  • 4 Thin Mint cookies
  • 4 Double-Stuffed Oreos
  • whipped cream and extra cookies to garnish

Cooking Directions

  1. Add the ice cream, booze or milk, Thin Mints, and Oreos to a blender. Starting low and slowly increasing the speed, blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass, and top with whipped cream and additional cookies.
  3. Enjoy!

Ladurée, Paris {May, 2014}

After a very long and food-filled first day in Paris, we got quite a late start on day two.

By the time we made it out of our hotel room, it was already past noon – so we started our day with another pain au chocolat as well as a jambon panini from the bakery downstairs.

It being a Monday, the crowds around the Eiffel Tower had quieted down a good bit, so we were able to find a quiet bench in the park to enjoy our breakfast/lunch.

And a macaron.

As you do in France.

After a short ride on the Batobus from Eiffel Tower to the Saint-Germain-des-Pres stop, we unexpectedly found the Ponts de Arts – the love lock bridge.

It’s insane how many locks there were on that bridge!

No, we did not add to it. Not really our thing.

From there, more walking, more wandering.

Wandering, but not aimlessly!

Ladurée Bonaparte was our goal today, to try the other famous macaron bakery in Paris.

We were there for the macarons, but if only we had time to try all the other beautiful sweets there! Everything looked so delicious, but alas, we only had 24 hours left in Paris, and a body can only consume so much in one day.

After making our purchases, we walked back to Saint-Germain-des-Pres, and took the Batobus to Notre Dame exit.

Of all the memorable moments we had in Paris, the one that sticks out most to me is the moment we walked into the plaza in front of the Notre Dame. The cathedral is spectacular – one can’t help but feel a sense of awe standing next to it.

As usual, we weren’t of a mind to battle the lines to get inside, so instead we wandered.

There’s a pretty little park behind the Notre Dame, so we sat in the shade a bit, and got into the macarons we bought at Laduree.

So which were better – Ladurée or Pierre Hermé?

Well, Ladurée’s macarons were a little more vibrantly-flavored, while we just slightly preferred the texture of Pierre Hermé’s macarons.

In other words… inconclusive! Guess we just have to go back to Paris and eat more macarons. You know, just to be sure…

After resting a bit (and sharing a few macarons), we took a little time to wander around Notre Dame island, before we went off to explore the other side of the river!

Weekly Wanderings {2017, week 7}

My wanderings around my world this week started with…

Eating waffles and talking tech with fellow nerdgals at a Girl Develop It meetup.

An awesome start to the week.

Bacon and blue cheese waffle

… and then I went home and reheated waffles from our freezer, then topped them with fried eggs and bacon. Because Son wanted waffles too. 😅

Waffle with frico egg and bacon

Got The Pho Cookbook last week, so this week it’s time to make some pho!

Pho in the pressure cooker

Went for a walk on Valentine’s Day. Tried to take a photo of some pretty flowers. Instead got Son photobombing my photo. 😏

Son photobombing my photo

… got the photo of the flowers anyways.

Blossoms

Our aloe plant has gotten to be quite plump!

Aloe plant

Pho success!

Pho ga

Sprouted palm tree seeds look like little pink bugs.

Palm tree seeds

Itty bitty garden at the base of the palms.

Base of the palms

Deceptively calm rain on leaves.

Meanwhile, I nearly got blown away (and definitely got soaked) on my walk home.

Rainy leaves

Current dinner: spinach + chickpeas + eggs, and then add radish kimchi. Super easy, oh so healthy, and really really tasty.

Chickpeas, spinach, egg, kimchi

~~~~~~~~~~

Where are you wandering this week?

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Butter Chicken Hand Pies

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Whether you’re celebrating your sweetie, hanging out with your gal pals, or want to bring a treat into the office (because who doesn’t love cupcakes?), this week I’ve rounded up ten of our top last-minute Valentine’s Day treats from Fridgg.

For example, you could seduce your sweetie with these tasty oysters with chocolate and a saffron sauce!

These chocolate hazelnut truffles from Katherine of Gouda Monster are perfect for valentines or galentines!

This decadent dark chocolate and raspberry souffle from Serena of Foodful Life is sure to please!

This easy chocolate cherry banana bread from Joanne of Family Food Ideas is perfect to make for friends or family.

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without something from Elizabeth of Sugar Hero! Her nutella pound cake petit fours are tasty and easy, especially if you use store-bought pound cake.

These nutella hearts from Stacie of Simply Stacie are totally sweet and super easy to make.

Another easy last-minute Valentine’s Day from Stacie of Simply Staciehugs and kisses rolls!

Take a shot at love with these fiery chocolate shots from MJ of MJ’s Kitchen.

These easy nutella cupcakes from Elizabeth of Sugar Hero! are so simple to make, they’re perfect if you need a last-minute Valentine’s Day treat!

Our top last-minute Valentine’s Day treat also comes from Stacie – since they’re made with jarred butter chicken sauce, these butter chicken hand pies are a breeze to whip up for a cute Valentine’s Day dinner!

Butter chicken hand pies

I love butter chicken, so I was excited to have an excuse to try out these fun butter chicken hand pies.

Despite a slight mishap on the butter chicken side of things, once the butter chicken was made I found these to be super easy to make, and quite tasty!

Butter chicken hand pies

The original recipe used jarred butter chicken sauce, while I made my own butter chicken from scratch and used that as the filling instead. If you’re looking for a quick last-minute treat, the jarred version may work better, but I urge you to try out the butter chicken recipe if you have more time – it’s definitely worth the extra effort!

Butter chicken hand pies

Butter Chicken Hand Pies

Slightly adapted from Simply Stacie.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 batch of butter chicken (save the rest for another meal, or you can make multiple batches of hand pies)
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 package of refrigerated pie crust dough (enough for two pies)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp water

Cooking Directions

  1. Cook the butter chicken. When the chicken is finished, shred one of the pieces of chicken and mix it with a bit of sauce to moisten, then stir the cilantro into the shredded chicken.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Unroll both pie crusts and, using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many heart shapes as you can from the dough.
  4. Lay half of the hearts on the baking sheet. In the center of each heart, add about a teaspoon of butter chicken mixture. Place the remaining hearts on top to cover. Using a fork, press down the edges of each heart to seal.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and water. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg mixture on the tops of the hearts.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot.
  7. Enjoy!