Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite days mostly because of how girlie it is.  Pink, red, hearts, glitter, flowers:  it all adds up to a happy girl.  I saw the idea for this bark from Heather at Sprinkle Bakes back during the holiday season and I couldn’t wait to adapt the recipe to make this Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark for Valentine’s Day.

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I think this Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark would be so adorable wrapped up in a pretty cellophane bag tied with a ribbon.  I used a heart-shaped soft plastic ice cube tray that I have had in my collection just waiting to do something with it and it worked pretty well, but I think these treats would be just as cute without the heart shape, made in a mini muffin pan with festive paper liners.

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark begins with candy melts.  I used Sugar Cookie-flavored Wilton Candy Melts that I colored light pink as the base for the bark, but if you have trouble finding that flavor, use vanilla and add some of your own sprinkles.  The sugar cookie base could not be a easier to make and it’s nice to finish making a cookie dough and not even have to shape it into cookies!  You simply pour the dough out onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet, spread it out into an even layer and bake until the crumbles are lightly browned.  Next I melted the candy melts and filled each cavity of my heart-shaped tray 1/3 full and you would do the same with the paper liners of a mini muffin tin.  Lastly, top the still liquid melts with the cooled cookie crumbs and let them set.  Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts are fun to make and so delicious and cute.  Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other special occasion.

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: ~30-40 hearts

Perfectly sweet and slightly salty cookie crumbles top colored candy melts to make this fun and festive bark

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (you could also use canola oil)
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 (10 ounce) package Wilton Sugar Cookie (or vanilla) Candy Melts
  • pink food coloring

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except candy melts and food coloring for the cookie dough. Use an electric mixer or a spatula to mix until well combined.
  3. Line a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
  4. Spread the cookie dough evenly over the lined baking sheet. You want pea-sized clumps.
  5. Bake until lightly browned, about 25 minutes.
  6. Cool completely.
  7. Place the candy melts into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 1 minute increments until melted and smooth. Add a couple of drops of food coloring and mix to blend.
  8. Use a small spoon to fill the cavities of a silicone or soft plastic heart-shaped ice cube tray (or a mini muffin tin lined with paper liners) 1/3 full. Use the spoon to spread the melts up the sides of the cavities. While melts are still liquidy, sprinkle the cooled cookie crumble into the pan over the melts. Gently press down so that the cookie gets well incorporated into the melts.
  9. Cool completely before removing from the pan.
  10. Recipe adapted from sprinklebakes.com

Bonus:  I had a bit of cookie crumble left over and it is THE MOST fabulous ice cream topping that every existed.  Worth making a double batch??

Sugar Cookie Crunch Bark Hearts {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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Valentine’s Day means chocolate in one form or another and I love the idea of giving your loved one homemade chocolate candy to remind them how special you think they are.

Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I have met very few people who don’t go crazy for the combination of chocolate and peanut butter and so these Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups are the perfect sweet treat to present to your valentine or just a friend next week.

Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups are simple to make and the sweet milk chocolate with the slightly salty peanut butter and the crunch from the puffed rice cereal is truly a combination made in heaven.  If you prefer semi-sweet or dark chocolate, you can modify the recipe to your liking by substituting your favorite chocolate for the milk, which happens to be my favorite.  I combined brown sugar with the peanut butter for the filling for these cups and only needed 1/4 cup for the entire recipe which makes me feel good.

Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Make your Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups in festively decorated mini muffin liners and place them into heart-shaped boxes and you’ve got a homemade boxes of chocolates to give to some very lucky people.

Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: ~30 peanut butter cups

Sweet, creamy milk chocolate wrapped around a crispy peanut butter filling is the perfect treat for your valentine

Ingredients

  • 1 cup puffed rice cereal
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, blend the cereal until fine, but not powdery. (If you do not have a food processor, you could simply place the cereal into a bag and crush it lightly with a rolling pin.) Pour the crushed cereal into a medium bowl.
  2. Place the peanut butter and brown sugar into the food processor and process until smooth. Add the peanut butter mixture to the bowl with the cereal and use a spatula to mix to combine.
  3. Place this mixture into the freezer for 1 hour. (This will make the peanut butter mixture easer to work with.)
  4. Line a mini muffin pan with ~30 paper liners.
  5. Place the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave in 1-minute increments until chips are melted, stirring between increments.
  6. Use a teaspoon to fill the paper liners ~1/3 full of the melted chocolate. Remove the peanut butter mixture from the freezer and use a spoon to scoop out about 1 tsp-sized balls of the mixture, gently flatten the balls and place them on top of the layer of chocolate you have already placed in the muffin liners.
  7. Finally top peanut butter balls with remaining melted chocolate to cover and fill the liners. You don't want the liners filled to the brim, but leave about 1/16 of an inch of room on top.
  8. Place the muffin pan into the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened, about 1 hour.

Homemade Crunchy Peanut Butter Cups {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Interested in other homemade candy ideas?  I’ve got some other great recipes for you below:

Homemade Kit Kat Bars are super simple to make and accurately re-create that favorite candy bar that you love.

Sweet, salty, crunchy and creamy all at the same time, Pretzel Toffee Fudge is easy to make but completely irresistible.

Everybody loves homemade caramels and with my step-by-step photo tutorial, you’ll be able to whip up a batch of Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Caramels with no problem.

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The holidays call for cranberries in one form or another and I am just not a fan of cranberry sauce.  It should come as no surprise that I choose to meet my holiday cranberry quota with a dessert.  This Cranberry Shortbread Tart is an extra special dessert that will look stunning on your holiday table.

Cranberry Shortbread Tart {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The perfection of this Cranberry Shortbread Tart is the result of the contrast of flavors.  Rich, buttery shortbread that has the added flavor components of ground, toasted almonds and cornmeal is sandwiched around a tart and tangy cranberry filling and the combination is simply delightful.

Cranberry Shortbread Tart {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Cranberry Shortbread Tart

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 1 9-inch tart (serves 12-16)

Bright, tart cranberry filling sandwiched between rich buttery shortbread crust and topping makes a gorgeous and delicious holiday dessert

Ingredients

    For the filling
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp orange marmalade (or you could use apricot jam)
  • For the shortbread crust/topping
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup, plus 1 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (16 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 large egg yolk

Instructions

    For the filling
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar dissolves, this will only take a few minutes.
  2. Then, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the cranberries pop and the liquid has thickened into a syrupy consistency.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool while you make the crust/topping.
  4. For the crust/topping
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Place sliced almonds onto a baking sheet and bake for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned and toasted. Turn oven off.
  7. Have a large bowl and food processor ready.
  8. Measure the 2 cups of flour into the large bowl. Take 2 Tbsp of the flour out of the large bowl and put it into the food processor. Into the large bowl, then add the cornmeal and salt. Set aside.
  9. In a food processor, pulse the toasted almonds with the 2 Tbsp of the flour until fine. Pour the almond mixture into the large bowl with the rest of the flour mixture.
  10. Next in the food processor, combine the butter, sugar, orange zest and extracts and pulse until smooth and creamy. Add the egg yolk and pulse to combine.
  11. Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and pulse until a cohesive dough forms.
  12. Coat a 9 1/2 X 1-inch fluted metal tart pan with a removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray. Gently and evenly press half of the dough into the tart pan, pressing the dough up the sides of the pan. Cover the crust with plastic wrap.
  13. Form the remaining dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate both the crust and extra disc of dough for 30 minutes so that it gets firm.
  14. Preheat oven to 325 again.
  15. Place the tart pan onto a baking sheet and prick the dough that is in the tart pan all over. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 35 minutes.
  16. If the crust has puffed up during baking, use the back of a metal spoon to gently push the crust down to make room for the filling.
  17. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly.
  18. Use your fingers to evenly crumble the remaining shortbread dough over the top of the filling. The pieces should be large, about the sizes of peas and marbles.
  19. Bake the tart on the the baking pan until the topping is golden brown, about another 30-35 minutes.
  20. Cool completely before carefully removing the rim of the tart pan. Cut and serve.
  21. Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking

This Cranberry Shortbread Tart recipe requires several steps but none of them is difficult,  The crumbly topping and crust are the same dough divided in half.  The filling could not be simpler to make, but you just need a little bit of patience as the filling cools and the crust gets popped into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.  The wait will be worth it, trust me.

Cranberry Shortbread Tart {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays around here, and I’m loving it!  I am kicking off the holiday cookie season with a bang!  These Gingersnap Mocha Cookies are some of THE BEST cookies I have ever tasted and will now be a yearly addition to my cookie platter.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

Last year a few weeks from this time, I was in New York City presenting Matt Lauer with a ginger molasses cookie on The Today Show.  The recipe that I shared on the show is one that has been in my family for four generations and that I will continue to make without fail each Christmas, but it will just have to share the ginger spot in my holiday cookie repertoire with it’s new friend, the Gingersnap Mocha Cookie.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

You know I love a sandwich cookie because everything is better with a frosting or filling and I love that you get to sneak two cookies into one.  Caribou Coffee contacted me about creating a new recipe inspired by their new holiday drink, the Gingersnap Cookie Mocha.  I was thrilled to be included in this challenge and immediately had a vision for these cookies in my mind.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

These Gingersnap Mocha Cookies stay so soft and chewy for days which is precisely the way I always want my cookies to be.  The combination of ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg make your entire home smell like the holidays instantly and that mocha filling sends these cookies over the edge into pure cookie bliss.  The mocha filling is simply chocolate buttercream with coffee used to thin the buttercream rather than vanilla or cream.  I used a combination of semisweet and milk chocolate because I love the balance of rich and sweet.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

The spicy flavor from the ginger together with the chocolate with just a hint of coffee flavor is pure perfection as far as flavor balance.  One person who tried these Gingersnap Mocha Cookies told me that the cookie made him “weak in the knees” because it is so delicious.  I promise once you make your first batch of Gingersnap Mocha Cookies, you’ll be coming back to them year after year and they will be a new holiday favorite of yours too.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12 cookie sandwiches

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies: Soft. chewy, perfectly spiced and filled with decadent mocha buttercream, these cookies are sure to be an instant holiday favorite

Ingredients

    For the cookies!
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies into
  • For the filling!
  • 3 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp milk chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp hot brewed coffee (I used Caribou Reindeer Blend)

Instructions

    For the cookies!
  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add molasses and mix to combine.
  3. Add hot water and baking soda and mix.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until well blended and no streaks of flour remain.
  5. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and form the dough into a ball at the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Place the granulated sugar into a shallow bowl.
  9. Use a small cookie scoop (or spoon) to scoop tablespoon-sized balls of dough. Roll balls of dough in your hands and drop the balls into the sugar rolling the ball around in the sugar to coat evenly. Place sugared dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets leaving 2 inches in between cookies. The dough is easiest to work with when it is chilled, so if necessary, in between baking the sheets of dough, return the dough to the refrigerator to keep dough chilled.
  10. Bake 10-11 minutes or until tops of the cookies are cracked and edges feel set.
  11. Cool cookies completely.
  12. For the filling!
  13. Place both types of chocolate chips into a small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chocolate in 1-minute increments until the chips are melted and smooth. Stir and then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  14. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the melted chocolate into a clean medium bowl. Add butter and use an electric mixer to beat the butter and chocolate together until smooth.
  15. Add the powdered sugar and mix well.
  16. Add the hot coffee and mix until well blended, smooth and creamy.
  17. (Note: If the filling is too runny, add more powdered sugar 1 Tbsp at a time; if too stiff, add 1 tsp of coffee at a time until desired consistency is reached.)
  18. Lay out half of the cookies upside down on a clean counter or baking sheet. I like to scoop my filling into a small ziptop bag, cut one of the corners of the bag off and use it as a piping bag to pipe about 1 Tbsp of filling onto the cookies. You could also simply use a spoon to spread the filling onto the cookies.
  19. Top with remaining cookies to make sandwiches and enjoy.
  20. These cookies would be particularly delicious served with coffee.

Gingersnap Mocha Cookies {satisfymysweettooth.com}
Need creative ideas for packaging your holiday cookies? Check out my board on Learnist for 7 great ideas!

Be sure to check out the new Gingersnap Cookie Mocha at Caribou Coffee this holiday season and also follow Caribou Coffee on Pinterest and Instagram to keep up on all of their seasonal specialties and news.

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Yes, Pumpkin Pie is a classic and I will certainly be making one for Thanksgiving next week, but in addition to the classic, I also like to make something with a little twist on the good old pie.

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Icing are one of my all-time favorite pumpkin recipes and would still satisfy that craving for something pumpkin after turkey dinner.

Apples are probably tied with pumpkin for people’s favorite fall dessert flavor and this Apple Streusel Cake will provide comfort with warm spices and sweet apples.

Slab pies are a great way to still serve pie but without so much fuss.  This blueberry version is calling my name and could be made with frozen blueberries if fresh are not available.

If I’m making something that is not either apple or pumpkin, you know it’s going to be something chocolate like this classic Chocolate Pie from The Pioneer Woman.

Butterscotch is another flavor that makes me think of fall for some reason.  I bookmarked this Pumpkin Butterscotch Spice Cake Trifle and have been dying for an excuse to make it.  Trifles are such awe-inspiring desserts, yet they can be so easy to make.

I LOVE pecan pie maybe more than pumpkin and I am naturally drawn to any pecan dessert that incorporates chocolate into the mix.  These Caramel Pecan Turtle Bars are such a fantastically rich combination.

Tarts are so beautiful and look complicated, but actually are easy to make, especially with step-by-step instructions like in this recipe for a French Pear Tart from The Mediterranean Dish.

Maybe you want to totally step away from classic fall flavors all together and go with a much loved flavor combination:  peanut butter and chocolate.  These Peanut Butter Cup Pots de Creme from Glazed and Confused look dangerously delicious.

Still want to serve pie, but just not pumpkin?  Check out my board on Learnist for 7 other irresistible pie flavors.

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