Chocolate Chip “Cookie Dough” Dip — As Good As The Real Thing

Cookie dough. It’s one of life’s little pleasantries. I mean, come on, who doesn’t sneak a little taste of the raw cookie dough while baking? I certainly do, even though my Grandma taught me as a child that one does not eat raw dough because of the raw eggs. What can I say? I’m a rebel. šŸ™‚

Anyway, as great as raw cookie dough tastes, it does not make a real snack. It’s also not very good for you.

So, when I saw all these recipes on Pinterest for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip, I was intrigued and wanted to see what it entailed. I’m the first to admit that dips aren’t always my thing. Non-dessert dips tend to include ingredients that I don’t like — particularly mayonnaise — so I generally am not interested in either eating them or making them.

A few of the recipes actually were very much like real cookie dough and were generally just egg-free versions of the real thing. But, a lot of them were healthier, “fake” cookie dough versions made out of chick peas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans) which are the main ingredient in hummus.

At first I was kind of skeptical. Despite my partial Middle Eastern background, I was never a huge fan of hummus because I usually find it grainy and dry. That being said, however, I wanted to try out the dip.

I made it once last year and it turned out OK, but not great. But, after making it a couple more times this year, I’ve changed ingredients around and played with the recipe and think I’ve ended up with a pretty good version.

So, here’s my recipe for Chocolate Chip “Cookie Dough” Dip:

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Note: This picture shows a double recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chick peas/garbanzo beans
  • 3 Tablespoons oats
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sweetener of choice — I use 3 Tablespoons of Light Brown Sugar and 1 Tablespoon of White Granulated Sugar. You could also use Splenda, Honey, or another alternative sweetener. You can also adjust the amount based on preference.
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Equipment:

  • Food processor
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spatula
  • Can opener

Instructions:

1. Safety first! Make sure you properly know how to use a food processor. The blade is very sharp.

2. Open and drain the can of chick peas and rinse them thoroughly. Add the chick peas to the food processor.

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3. Turn on your food processor for about 30 seconds and allow the chick peas to break down a little bit before you add the other ingredients.

4. Next, add the oil, oats, vanilla, sweetener, and baking soda. Turn the food processor back on and let it run until the mixture is smooth.

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5. You may find that the mixture is slightly dry. If so, add a splash of water until it is a smooth, creamy consistency. If, for some reason, the mixture has too much liquid, add an additional tablespoon of oats.

6. Pour the mixture in your favorite serving bowl and stir in the chocolate chips.

7. Serve with graham crackers, Nilla Wafers, or other cracker or cookie of choice and Enjoy!

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So what do you think, would your friends be able to tell the difference?

 

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Easy Taco Stack-Up

Spring’s almost here!

You know what that means? Picnics. Yeah, I know, I know…who wants to think about picnics when it’s still snowing…but warm weather will be here before you know it.

So, today, I’m offering up one of my go-to picnic and/or party recipes: Easy Taco Stack-Up.

While it may not look like much, Taco Stack-Up is definitely a delicious little casserole that is easy to make and really versatile. You can dress it up or dress it down however you like! And, it’s not just good for a picnic or a party — it’s also a really great and easy dinner recipe too!

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Easy Taco Stack-Up

Makes: One 13×9 in. casserole.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cans Campbell’s condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 2 packages of taco seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 package of at least 8 burrito (large) size flour tortillas (If you prefer corn tortillas or another variety, feel free to change it up)
  • 1 package shredded cheddar cheese

Tools:

  • One 13×9 baking dish (I use a clear glass Pyrex dish)
  • One large skillet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Colander/strainer
  • Ladle
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions:

1. Place the ground beef into the skillet and brown it over medium heat until it is cooked thoroughly.

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2. Once the ground beef is cooked through and no pink remains, drain the beef. Once drained, return the beef to the skillet.

3. Add the taco seasoning, cheddar cheese soup, and water to the ground beef and stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Just in case you've never used it, this is the Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup.

Just in case you’ve never used it, this is the Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup.

 

4. Simmer the beef mixture on medium heat for approximately 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and is no longer watery.

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5. Once the beef mixture has simmered thoroughly, prepare your 13×9 baking dish by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.

6. Using a ladle, transfer enough of the beef mixture into the baking dish to cover the bottom. Layer one and 1/2 tortillas over the mixture and start alternating layers until you are out of beef mixture.

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7. After you have doneĀ  the last layer of the beef mixture, place two whole tortillas on top of the stack-up. (If you feel the top is not completely covered by those two tortillas, you can tear smaller pieces off another tortilla and cover open spaces.)photo(57)

8. CoverĀ  the stack-up with aluminum foil and place itĀ  in a 350 degree oven. Bake for 20 minutes.

9. After 20 minutes, remove the aluminum foil from the stack-up and sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top of the stack-up. Return to the oven uncovered until the cheese is melted (approximately 5 minutes).

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10. Remove the stack-up from the oven.

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11. Cut, serve, and enjoy!

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At the beginning of this post I talked about how versatile this recipe is:

To jazz it up, add beans, onions, and/or green peppers to the beef mixture. Also serve it with your favorite taco fixings like sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

Fast and Easy Pepperoni Rolls For Every Occasion

Superbowl Sunday — one of the biggest (if not the biggest) party days in the United States is upon us this weekend. Wings and pizza are the usual fare, but sometimes you want something homemade, and lets face it, a little less expensive to get us through the game.

So, here’s my extremely easy, pretty fast, and definitely delicious recipe for pepperoni rolls to help get you through the game!

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Recipe Makes:Ā  3 Large (approx. 14 inches in length) Pepperoni Rolls which are ideal for slicing for a crowd, or 6 smaller (approx. 7 inches in length) Pepperoni Rolls.

**For the purpose of this demonstration (and since I was making Pepperoni Rolls for a party), I made the large Pepperoni Rolls because I sliced them before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Rhodes frozen pizza dough (contains 3 loaves of dough) or any other frozen or fresh pizza dough of your choice.
  • 2 8oz bags of shredded mozzarella cheese (approx. 4 cups)Ā Note: You may not uses all 4 cups, but it’s best to have extra just in case.
  • 3/4 lb. of sandwich pepperoni (the large, salami size pieces) Note: Again, you probably will not use all of the pepperoni, but it is better to have more than you need than to run out.
  • 1 stick margarine, melted
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 egg, beaten

Tools:

  • Pastry sheet, or appropriate surface to roll dough on
  • Rolling Pin
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 Pastry/Basting Brushes
  • Saucepan
  • 10″x 15″ baking sheet

Instructions:

1. If you are following the recipe and using the frozen Rhodes pizza dough, follow the directions on the bag to thaw the dough. You can either place the dough in the refrigerator overnight or place it in a warm place for 3 to 4 hours. The dough does not have to rise before rolling.

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2. Once the dough is thawed, set up your rolling surface. I use a Tupperware pastry sheet. Instead of using flour to coat my rolling surface, I spray the pastry sheet with non-stick cooking spray. For rolling the frozen dough, this works better than flour.

3. Separate the 3 loaves of dough. If you are making 6 pepperoni rolls, cut each loaf in half prior to rolling.

4. Place the first loaf on the pastry sheet. Spray the rolling pin with a small amount of non-stick cooking spray.

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5. Roll the dough out until it is approximately 14 inches long and 8-10 inches wide.

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6. Try to roll the dough out as straight as possible. If the edges are relatively even, the pepperoni roll will be neater and less likely to unfurl as it bakes.

7. In a small saucepan, melt the margarine and add the garlic powder and Italian seasoning (there are no particular measurements for the spices — just add to taste).

8. Using the basting brush, spread the margarine mixture on the dough.

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9. Evenly spread the pepperoni and mozzarella on the dough. (Use as much or as little as you wish.)

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10. Slowly roll the pepperoni roll as tightly as you can, leaving the edge underneath the roll. Tuck the ends under roll also.

11. Spray the baking sheet and transfer the pepperoni roll to the baking sheet.

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12. Beat the egg, and lightly brush the pepperoni roll.

13. Bake the Pepperoni roll at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

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14. Let cool.

15. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

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Questions? Comments? Let me know how your pepperoni rolls turn out!

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