Author: Nastassia

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies Sandwiches | Otis Spunkmeyer

Cookies are definitely one of my favorite snacks and they have been since I was a kid. I would love it when my mom packed chocolate chip or white chocolate macadamia nut cookies for snack time. I felt especially lucky when I would get raspberry Linzer cookies or any sandwich cookie for that matter. Sandwich cookies felt extra special because you not only got cookies but a little added goodness too, be it jam or marshmallow fluff or whatever sweet filling held the two delicious cookies snugly together.

Since it’s already August and back-to-school is definitely on everyone’s mind, I wanted to revisit my childhood love for cookies. So I’m having fun with Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chunk Cookies and making them into the perfect lunchbox treat.

Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Using only a few quality ingredients you can make a homemade chocolate hazelnut spread that is perfect for your Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chunk cookies. This is such a fun way to use chocolate hazelnut spread and makes for some chocolaty rich treats. Wrap up these cookie sandwiches with parchment and twine and they are not only cute and compact, but easy to transport. And who are we fooling these are so good you can make yourself a few too and enjoy them at your desk!

Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Homemade Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Otis Spunkmeyer Chocolate Chunk Cookie Chocolate Hazelnut Cookie Sandwiches

OTIS SPUNKMEYER Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies Sandwich

This simple 4 ingredient chocolate hazelnut spread is a great alternative to buying the store bought version. Add it to your favorite cookies or even on top of pancakes or waffles.

Ingredients

  • 6 Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chunk cookies
  • Natural parchment paper for wrapping
  • 3 cups of raw unsalted hazelnuts
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut oil (sub coconut oil or neutral vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place hazelnuts on a lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in over for 10-12 minutes.
  • Remove from over and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a kitchen towel and roll out nuts to remove most of the skins.
  • Add hazelnuts to a food processor and blend until a butter is formed. Scrape down the sides as needed. Should take 8-10 minutes to come together.
  • Heat chocolate over a double boiler until melted. Set aside.
  • Once hazelnut butter is creamy and smooth add the melted chocolate, sea salt and vanilla. Blend/pulse until well incorporated.
  • Arrange cookies to make sandwiches with one side top down. Spread homemade chocolate hazelnut spread over top of one half of the cookie. Cover with second cookie.
  • Wrap with parchment paper. Seal with tape or twine and it is ready for the lunchbox.

I’m proud to partner with Otis Spunkmeyer for this Back to School recipe. While I am being sponsored by Otis Spunkmeyer for my posts and activities, all opinions expressed are my own, and all claims or program details shared should be verified at OtisSpunkmeyer.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.

DIY Rosé Gummy Bears

Let Me Eat Cake Rose Gummy Bear photo

This recipe is going to change everything.

In case you have not heard (and I don’t know how you haven’t it’s all the rage) Sugarfina came out with Rose Gummy Bears as a spin-off to their Champagne Gummy Bears. When the rose version was released it sold out in 2 minutes, crashed the Sugarfina website and there is a 10,000 person waiting list for them.

I am sure these are amazing, I’m sure they are delicious, but while you are waiting why not just make them at home. This recipe is simple to whip up and in no time you could be enjoying Rose Gummy Bears.

Now watch the video it has everything you need to know!

The Perfect Coffee Cake Muffins

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Coffee cake is one of those breakfast items that I often order when I’m dining out, but never think to make at home. And I don’t know why that is because it is so simple to whip up, it’s super pantry friendly, and it’s darn tasty. A few key ingredients that you always have at home are all you really need. The real magic here is the T-Sugars Cassonade Sugar (brown sugar) in the recipe that gives this cake deep caramel touches throughout the streusel. Plus the bonus of T-Sugars Icing Mill sugar dusted over top for added sweetness to finish things off. These sugars are my pantry staples. They work in most sweet recipes and their perfect packaging makes them easy to store and use again.

Speaking of ease, that is one of my favorite things about this coffee cake recipe. It can be adapted to your favorite fruit or what you have in season or you can keep it classic with no fruit at all. Since it is Summer I decided to throw in ripe fresh peaches and blueberries. Both are vibrant, juicy and have the loveliest floral essence to them. Paired with the richness of the streusel top, you will find yourself wanting to make coffee cake at home more often. At least I do!

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Makes 12 muffins

For the streusel:

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup T-Sugars Cassonade Sugar
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • *after cooked sprinkle T-Sugars Icing Sugar Mill generously over the top of the cake

For the cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/opcups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup T-Sugars Cassonade Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 8tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter browned (melted over the stove top)
  • 1 fresh peach diced
  • 1/2 pint of fresh blueberries
  1. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick spray. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. For the streusel, whisk the sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl to combine. Cut the butter into 1-tablespoon pieces, then add it to the mixture and use your hands to mix it in until you’ve formed moist crumbs. Set aside.
  3. For the cake, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl to combine. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, sugar, vanilla extract and browned butter to combine.
  4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, and mix until fully combined with a spatula. Do not over mix.
  5. Fold in fruit.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and top with the streusel.
  7. Bake the coffee cake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before topping with T-Sugars Icing Sugar Mill. Slice and serve.

Best Ice Cream Shops in Los Angeles

Happy National Ice Cream Day! In celebration I’ve got a list of some of my favorite ice cream shops in Los Angeles. What better way to celebration everyone’s favorite frozen treat than by heading out and enjoying a scoop (or two).

This story was originally publish on Citizine.tv you can check it out there as well!

Carmela

LA seems to have a trend in seasonally specific ice cream flavors across it’s ice cream shops, but who can blame us we have great produce. Carmela is just such a purveyor who uses farm fresh ingredients and often sells at local farmers markets from their cute retro ice cream truck and at specialty food shops around the city. Their crowd favorite is the fresh mint with cacao nibs. As far as fresh mint ice creams go, this one it the tops.

Honeymee

Honeymee in Koreatown serves soft and creamy ‘true milk’ ice cream (but really soft serve). They use fresh California milk to create the perfect milk ice cream. The classic topping is raw honey and/or honeycomb that comes from a local certified bee farm. True milk soft serve plus honey, it sounds simple enough, but it is in that simplicity that it shines. It is truly an addictive sweet treat. If you want to have even more fun with it they offer the Babee, which is the true milk soft serve drizzled in honey and served in a sweet bun. Think of it as the hot dog of ice creams.

MagpiesSoftServe

Los Angeles is very much an ice cream or gelato shop kind of town, you don’t often find soft serve available or stand alone soft serve locations. Magpies in Silverlake is changing that. The recently opened shop is already pleasing crowds with their soft serve made from scratch. Their small opening menu includes only seven flavors like strawberry rhubarb and malted milk chocolate, along with housemade toppings.

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McConnell’s, the Santa Barbara darling with locations in Grand Central Market and now Studio City, churns small batch ice cream using milk and cream from their own creamery. Their ice creams as rich and creamy and leave you wanting more. They use quality locally sourced and organic ingredients in their ice creams. Their flavors range from classic to seasonally specific. They are deliciously modern yet homey. Even if it is just a taste, be sure to their sea salt cookies and cream it is one of my favorites!

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Sweet Rose Creamery, now with five locations from Santa Monica to Mid-City, offers amazing farmers’ market inspired ice cream crafted by co-owner and chef Shiho Yoshikawa. With seasonal flavors like Summer corn and stone fruit sorbet, you will question whether you are eating ice cream or the fruits/vegetables themselves. They also have a solid selection of classic flavors that are always available like vanilla, salted caramel, and fresh mint.

Salt&StrawPint

Salt & Straw, a Portland transplant that already has three shops in Los Angeles, (Larchmont, Venice, Studio City) is quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite and developing a cult following comparable to their following in PDX. Their menu plays heavily on community. They partner with local artisans for ingredients to craft unique ice cream flavors like their Stumptown Coffee and Compartes Love Nuts flavor. Another very special aspect to the Salt & Straw menu is head ice cream maker Tyler Malek’s monthly rotating lineup of flavors inspired by the seasons. While they offer classic flavors (with a twist of course) like sea salt caramel ribbon, they get inventive with ingredients and pairings offering things like Avocado & Strawberry Sherbet or Strawberry with Cilantro Lime Cheesecake.

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Given where you live in LA, you likely have a Scoops you are not terribly far from. Each location serves a rotating selection of creative flavors and often take customer suggestions. Scoops Westside, my personal favorite have fun offerings like red velvet rocky road or chai kahlua. However, there is one constant between the locations, and my personal favorite flavor, brown bread. There is not bread it this, the nutty deliciousness comes from a healthy serving of Grape Nuts. I can’t help but order a scoop every time I visit.

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Tucked away in Sierra Madre in what feels like a small town shopping center is Mother Moo Creamery. Karen Klemens hand crafts some incredible ice cream here using organic Strauss cream and milk. The flavors are decadent and rich and the selection small, which makes the ordering process a little easier. While you may want one scoop of everything, may I suggest her Organic Cornflakes flavor. It takes like childhood mornings in ice cream form.

BennettsIceCream

This Original Farmer’s Market family owned old-fashioned ice cream stand, Bennett’s Ice Cream, has been serving customers since 1946. It definitely has a nostalgic look and taste with thick and almost chewy ice cream. While they have inventive flavors like cabernet savignon, I always stick with the classics like butter pecan or rainbow sherbet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet of the Week | McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams

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I don’t need an excuse to eat ice cream, especially with Los Angeles having ice cream weather practially year round. BUT, when one of my favorite ice cream shops releases new summer flavors, that is reason enough to get in my car and head on down. Run don’t walk, these flavors are so good. And this month is National Ice Cream month, so even more reason to eat all the ice cream.

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The new summer flavors include Pistachio Amaretto (my personal favorite of the bunch), Summer Fruit Cobbler, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter. They also have a Summer Pie Shake and some awesome ice cream sammies – Summer Fruit Cobbler Ice Cream with Vanilla Gooey Butter Cookies Raspberry Lingonberry Sauce and Pistachio Amaretto Ice Cream with Sweet Corn Sugar Cookies.

McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
12075 Ventura Place 
Studio City, 91604

 

 

Otis Spunkmeyer Mini Muffin Fruit Kabobs

Fourth of July is just around the corner and as temperatures start to soar the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven. Instead, this is the best time of year to really get creative with your sweet treats and create simple and fun no-bake desserts. To celebrate summer and summer entertaining I’ve got a treat that is perfectly patriotic for this coming holiday weekend. It is also a great activity with your kids; you can create a skewer bar with all of the fruit and muffin toppings for the kids to assemble themselves. And it is a great back to school lunch box snack.

I’m going red, white and blueberry with these Otis Spunkmeyer mini muffin fruit kabobs. You can use any fruit that you like, it doesn’t have to be this strawberry blueberry banana combo that I have here. But if you are looking for patriotic, this is a festive American flag combo. For these party skewers I used Otis Spunkmeyer mini blueberry muffins with a honey yogurt dipping sauce. This also works great with the Otis Spunkmeyer mini chocolate chip muffins. You can pair those with banana and strawberry, or apples and throw in a peanut butter dipping sauce.

Who doesn’t love food on a stick! It doesn’t get any cuter than these Pinterest-worthy mini muffin kabobs. Try them out for your next get-together. The fruit and muffin combinations are endless and they are a better-for-you-treat!

Otis Spunkemyer recently launched a brand new line of sweet snack foods at grocery stores across the country that have better-for-you-ingredients and taste more homemade – exactly what consumers have been asking for! To celebrate this milestone for the brand, which has been around since the 1970’s, they are creating a one-day pop-up on the Santa Monica Pier. The pop-up won’t be a traditional storefront, but rather a giant inflatable obstacle course that ends in an Otis Spunkmeyer ball-pit! And lots of free food samples will be available to anyone who wants to come by! The pop-up event will be one day only: Saturday, July 2 from 10am-5pm.

OS Mini Muffin Kabob Ingredients
OS Mini Muffin Kabobs

OTIS SPUNKMEYER Mini Muffin Kabobs

makes 2 skewers

A simple and cute way to present mini muffins and fresh fruit in your kid’s lunchbox. Serve with an easy yogurt dip for added protein.

Ingredients

Directions

  • In a bowl mix yogurt and honey together with chopped mint. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  • Thread strawberries, muffins, raspberries and bananas on wooden skewers alternating between fruits and muffins.
  • Serve kabobs with sauce in an airtight container for dipping. Kabobs can be wrapped in plastic for lunchbox transport.

Sweet of the Week | Pompompurin x Plan Check x Chococat

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If you are a Sanrio fan, this is sweet deal is for you! Plan Check Kitchen + Bar and Sanrio are teaming up once again – this time to feature Pompompurin and Chococat. Plan Check and Sanrio have partnered on an exclusive menu promotion to celebrate the characters’ 20th anniversaries. Pompompurin is a laid back Golden Retriever with a talent for napping and Chococat is a boy cat with a chocolate nose who is a little scatterbrained at times. (check out more info and cute pics below)

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Otis Spunkmeyer Golden Creme Cake Ice Cream Cones

Summer is here and it’s officially ice cream season! While I love a good scoop of ice cream, it can sometimes be a messy affair. So I decided to skip the mess, but still enjoy an ice cream inspired treat this summer.

Otis Spunkmeyer Golden Crème Cake ice cream cones are the perfect way to have your cake and eat it too. They are a super simple treat to make with just a few steps to assembly. The Otis Spunkmeyer Golden Crème Cakes are perfect for cake balls because you can skip the two step process of making cake and then making frosting, they come perfectly packaged as one and roll together so easily – available at your local Walmart, Gelson’s, Amazon Fresh and other retailers nationwide. These sweet treats can be made in advance for a party or you can even host a summer DIY party around creating these cute little cones in all sorts of colors and with a sundae bar of toppings. They are the cutest desserts that will wow your party guests and make for the perfect activity with your kids. No party necessary to enjoy these crème cake cones, but it is certainly a fun excuse to throw one! Keep reading to see the step by step recipe! 

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Cornflake Crunch French Toast | Reimagining Cereal

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ReimagineCereal #CollectiveBias

Sometimes you’ve just got to shake up your breakfast routine. While I love a good classic French toast or a bowl of cereal, it is so much more fun to reimagine their possibilities. I’m taking two of my favorite breakfast staples and combining them to create a simple and fun breakfast – Cornflake Crunch French Toast.

This recipe adds just a few more steps to your French toast routine and makes for a fun activity with your kids. They can help you crunch up your Cornflake cereal topping before you coat and bake your French toast. Head on over to your local Vons to pick up Kellogg’s Cornflakes in the cereal aisle!

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What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups cornflakes
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 thick cut slices of bread (I use a French loaf or brioche loaf)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Fresh fruit of your choice.

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Preheat oven to 375degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk the eggs, milk and sugar in a shallow dish. Crush cornflakes by hand into small pieces and place in another shallow dish. Cut your bread into thick slices. Soak the bread in the egg mixture, turning once and remove the bread. Let the excess egg mixture drip off and then dip the bread in the cornflakes pressing gently to coat. Turn over and coat the other side.

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Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat Add half of the coated bread slices and cook until golden brown. Transfer to baking sheet and cook remaining butter along with remaining French toast slices.

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Transfer to the over and bake until the French toast is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve with maple syrup and fresh fruit of your choice.

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*Optional: Cut your banana slices, top with a heaping serving of granulated sugar. Carefully using your crème brulee torch, torch sugar on top of bananas until golden brown. Allow to cool and then top on French toast.

Please visit this website for more inspiration for creative breakfast and snack creations – http://cbi.as/3ypo-