Easy Chocolate Apple Valentine Treats

Looking for something to wow your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day? These Chocolate Apple Hearts are easy to make and are the perfect Valentine Treats for those you love most! We used a heart shaped cookie cutter for their shape and then dipped  them in luscious milk chocolate before topping with candies, coconut and more.

I am all about spreading a little extra love for Valentine’s Day, but that doesn’t mean it has to break the bank. In fact, after recently completing a basement renovation, my hubby and I decided to stick to gifts that are made from things we already have rather than going out and spending ridiculous amounts of money on shiny things neither of us need.

Now I know the way to his heart is definitely through his stomach, and anything with chocolate gets me bonus points so I immediately went to thinking about what I could make. That’s where these adorable Chocolate Covered Apple Slices come from! I hope you have as much fun making them as I did, I can’t wait to whip up a fresh batch just in time for Valentine’s Day in a few weeks.

For this recipe you will need: Apples, milk chocolate, coconut flakes, sprinkles, candy coated chocolates, large bamboo skewers and heart shaped cookie cutters. 

Chocolate Covered Apple Hearts with candies, coconut and sprinkles

 

Continue reading

Spooky Halloween Chocolate Bark Recipe

A quick and delicious Chocolate Bark that even the kiddos can help make! This treat is topped with a mash up of fun Monster Sprinkles making it a treat everyone will enjoy. 

Sprinkle Pop provided me with the Halloween Sprinkles for the recipe. The recipe and opinions are mine and mine alone.

 I cannot believe that Halloween is just 2 weeks away…it literally feels like it was just Easter last week! I knew as soon as I saw the incredible selection of themed sprinkles on SPRINKLE POPS site that I wanted to make a Chocolate Bark and once I saw the Monster Mash-Up mix I made up my mind that it would be a Spooky one. The mix has eyeballs, ghosts, mummies and pumpkins all combined with colorful Halloween sprinkles. Take a look:

Halloween Chocolate Bark Sprinkles

We don’t get to go Trick-or-Treating anymore so I thought why not make a treat that we can all enjoy. Chocolate Bark is so incredibly easy to make and can be made ahead of when you actually need it. It works out perfectly for me as we have an annual tradition with our families to check out a Haunted Homes Tour in my town where over 20 houses go ALL OUT with creepy decor to spook the neighborhood children (and us adults too!). I already have my bark done and ready to go for when we come back and need something to sweeten our dreams 🙂 .

Spooky Chocolate Bark Recipe

how do you make chocolate bark?

In just a couple quick steps you will have your bark ready to go in the fridge. You have to first melt your chocolate, which you can do over a double broiler (my preferred method) or in the microwave. If using a double broiler you will want to make sure you have a glass or ceramic bowl as well as a small pot. You want to make sure the bowl does not touch the bottom of the pot when placed over top, it should hover just above your water. Fill pot about 2″ with water and simmer over medium heat and keep it at a low bubble. As the bowl heats up it will gently melt your chocolate without burning or seizing.

If melting your chocolate in the microwave you should set the power level to 50% and keep it to 20-30 seconds between stirs at most. Once the chocolate has melted you simply pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet and spread out with a spatula. This is where you would add in your toppings and sprinkles before placing it in the fridge to set!

how long does it take for chocolate bark to set?

I generally try to let it sit for at least 2 hours in the fridge, but if you are in a hurry you can pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes and it will set enough for you to break it. Just make sure that the chocolate is hard to the touch before removing otherwise it won’t break into nice chunks.

Spooky Halloween Chocolate Bark Recipe

Course Dessert, Holiday Treats, Snack
Cuisine American, Halloween Treat
Keyword Chocolate Bark, Halloween Recipes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Refrigerate 2 hours
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 24 pieces (more or less depending on size of breaks)
Author Melissa

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1 jar Monster Mash Sprinkles
  • Food Coloring *If using white chocolate for swirl

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

  2. Melting the Chocolate can be done either using a double broiler or the microwave. Make sure you keep a close eye on the chocolate as you melt it so it doesn't burn/seize. 

  3. My preferred method is the double broiler (see post for detailed instructions). Place your semi-sweet chocolate in glass bowl and melt over medium heat using double broiler.  

  4. Melting chocolate in the microwave -set the power level to 50% and keep it to 20-30 seconds between stirs at most.

  5.  Once the chocolate has melted you simply pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet and evenly spread out with a spatula. 

    ______________________________________________________________________________

  6. *Adding in White Chocolate* 

    If you want to use white chocolate as well you will need to repeat the steps above for melting, once melted you can add in food coloring (we used red/yellow for orange as well as green). 

    You then take spoonfuls of the white chocolate and put it on top of your semi-sweet. Using a knife or toothpick gently drag the chocolate through to create swirls and mounds for an even creepier effect!! 

    ______________________________________________________________________________

  7. Cover in sprinkles, saving some of the eyeballs and ghosts to be placed strategically. 

  8. Place it in the fridge to set for a minimum of 2 hours. See post if you NEED  your bark to set faster!

Recipe Notes

We made 2 different barks, both are pictured below. The swirled one uses white chocolate chips along with the semi-sweet for added color. You can omit that and stick with just semi-sweet like we did for the second bark as well! Get creative and have fun!

Chocolate Bark Toppings

For our bark we chose a creepy Monster Mash-Up sprinkle mix based on the time of year, but you can check out Sprinkle Pop yourself for the endless amount of fun and unique sprinkles for your own chocolate bark creation!

Chocolate Bark Recipe

They create custom bespoke sprinkle blends, dyed in house to match any idea a customer may have. If you can dream it, they can create it as a sprinkle mix. I actually ordered an adorable Unicorn Mix as well, loaded with sparkly sprinkles and wafer paper unicorns that I cannot wait to use in a fun treat for you guys to enjoy!

Now, like any recipe, you can get as creative as you want with your chocolate bark toppings! Along with your sprinkle mixes why not add in chopped nuts, dried fruits, candy coated chocolates or even crumbled cookies to make a one-of-a-kind creation you can enjoy! Thinking ahead to Christmas, how fun would it be to order one of their 15+ Holiday sprinkle mixes and create some bark to give as gifts? Easy, inexpensive and DELICIOUS.

How do you break chocolate bark?

There are a couple of ways you can break it, really it depends on how “uniform” you want your pieces. I believe that each piece should be unique so I am a fan of the break by hand method! Simply hold the sheet of bark in your hands and gently snap in half. Then continue to snap into smaller pieces until you have broken the entire slab.

You can also choose to use a sharp paring knife to help you get more concise sizes for your pieces. In order to do that, you simply place your bark on a cutting board and gently cut into it to break pieces off. You can skor it first (which is going to help guide the bark when you break it) by using the knife to run along the bark without cutting all the way through.

Spooky Halloween Chocolate Bark Recipe

A quick and delicious Chocolate Bark that even the kiddos can help make! This treat is topped with a mash up of fun Monster Sprinkles making it a treat everyone will enjoy. #ChocolateBark #HalloweenRecipes #CandyBarkIdeas

>>>Don’t forget to enter the #CHOCTOBERFEST Giveaway HERE for a chance to win a massive prize pack valued at over $400! <<<

Whichever way you choose to break it  your bark will be a delicious treat that monsters, goblins and vampires will want a second helping of!

Be sure to check out the other bloggers participating in #Choctoberfest below!


Chocolate Orange Cream Crepe Cake Recipe

Now that you know how to make a crepe (from last weeks post) I thought I would share with you how to turn that talent of yours into a delicious dessert that you can enjoy for any special occasion! This Orange Cream Crepe Cake combines creamy ricotta with fresh orange juice and zest and is drizzled with chocolate, which makes it perfect for anytime of year, and a great last minute dessert idea if you are still trying to figure out what to bring to Thanksgiving. Look at how gorgeous it is, especially with the easy to make candied oranges on top.

Crepe-Cake-Recipe

The nice thing with this crepe cake is that you can make it as rich as you would like. You can simply add more layers (we did about 15 crepes) or try adding more chocolate drizzle between the layers. Play with it and have fun! Now follow along with the steps to make your perfect crepe cake below (photo step-by-step below recipe).

Chocolate Orange Cream Crepe Cake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 15 Crepes see post here for how to make them
  • 2 tbsp Orange Zest
  • 1/3 c Orange Juice
  • 1 c Whipping Cream
  • 1 1/3 c Ricotta
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 c Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Instructions

Orange Cream:

  1. Prepare whipping cream by mixing 1c on high speed in your mixer until peaks form, scoop out and place in a covered bowl in the fridge.
  2. Combine ricotta with orange juice, zest and sugar on medium speed in your stand mixer. Once combined, gently fold in your whipped cream you prepared earlier.

Crepe Assembly:

  1. Begin by placing a crepe on a cake stand, add a dollop of your orange cream and gently spread out, leaving 1/2" gap around crepe. If desired you can drizzle chocolate on each layer (or only the top).
  2. Repeat the crepe and cream process until you reach your desired height (we did about 15 crepes)
  3. For your final crepe spread cream mixture right to the edges. Drizzle with chocolate and top with candied oranges.
  4. Place in fridge to chill (at least 2 hours, overnight is best) and serve cold.

Recipe Notes

For the orange juice and zest I used one large naval orange. If you are going to use candied oranges on top you will need a second orange (see link at bottom of page for candied oranges)
You can assemble the cake, including the top layer, a day in advance. Keep in fridge and take out when ready to serve.

Step by step for assembling your crepe cake
  1. Your crepes and candied oranges should already be done at this point, this is for your day of assembly of the cake.
  2. Prepare your Orange Cream (consistency should look like the photo, you do not want it too thick or runny)

Orange-Ricotta-Cream

 

 

 

 

 

3. Save yourself some fussing and put your cake plate on a lazy-susan to make it easy for your cream. Start by putting a crepe on your cake stand and a dollop of cream (approx. 1/8c). Using an offset spatula gently spread the cream on the crepe, stopping 1/2″ from the edge (the cream will spread to the edges as the weight of the layers are added on). If you want it more decadent, drizzle melted semi-sweet chocolate between each layer.

Assembling-Crepe-Cake

 

 

 

 

 

4. Place your next crepe on top and gently press down, repeat step 3 until you have the height you desire (we used approximately 15). When you get to your final crepe you can cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge (at least 2 hours to chill) overnight is better as it allows the cream to settle.

Layered-Crepe-Cake

 

 

 

 

 

5. Finishing touches! Fully cover your final layer with your orange cream and take it right to the edges. Drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate and then top with your candied oranges. Enjoy!

Finished-Crepe-Cake

 

 

 

 

 

How easy was that?! Seriously, if you show up with this to your next family dinner everyone is going to think you are a dessert goddess!! They don’t need to know how simple it was to make, all they are going to care about is the luscious orange cream mixed with the richness of that chocolate!

Delicious and Luscious Orange Cream Crepe Cake - this simple to follow How-To will show you the simplicity of a crepe cake that will please the biggest dessert critic! #CrepeCake #EasyCrepeCake #CrepeCakeRecipe #OrangeCream #ChocolateCrepes

Delicious and Luscious Orange Cream Crepe Cake – this simple to follow How-To will show you the simplicity of a crepe cake that will please the biggest dessert critic! #CrepeCake #EasyCrepeCake #CrepeCakeRecipe #OrangeCream #ChocolateCrepes


Greek Chickpea Salad – Fast, Easy and Delicious!

Are you ready for a super tasty summer salad that takes little time to prep?! Honestly who has time to spend in the kitchen slaving over meals and sides in the summertime…we don’t! We try to spend as much time outside soaking up the glorious sunshine as possible in the summer months, we have to really, about 5 months of the year we have snow on the ground! Anyway, enough about the weather, let’s get started on that tasty Greek Chickpea Salad!!

Chickpea-Salad-Finished

I promise you (with prep included) you will have this salad ready to go in under 15 minutes, making it the easiest side dish to bring to any BBQ or gathering you have going on this weekend. It is loaded full of fresh veggies, black olives and of course chickpeas, and then drizzled with your favorite Greek salad dressing. I love how versatile this Chickpea Salad is too, you can add in fresh zucchini, cherry tomatoes and whatever else your family prefers to clean out your crisper drawers and leave everyone asking for more.

Greek Chickpea Salad – Fast, Easy and Delicious!

Super easy Chickpea Salad that is loaded with fresh veggies, making it the perfect side dish for your next BBQ. It'll impress even the pickiest eaters!

Course Salad
Cuisine American, Greek
Keyword Chickpea Salad, Mediterranean Chickpea Salad Recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Calories 60 kcal
Author Melissa ~ The Olive Blogger

Ingredients

  • 3 cans Chickpeas washed and drained
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper chopped
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper chopped
  • 1/2 Cucumber chopped
  • 1/2 Red Onion chopped
  • 1 can Pitted and Sliced Black Olives drain most liquid
  • 1 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Greek Dressing I use Kraft Feta and Greek
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash Chickpeas and chop peppers, cucumber, and onion.
  2. Toss together all ingredients in medium bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss again.
  3. Place in fridge until ready to eat, and enjoy!
Extra tips on making the best greek chickpea salad everytime

The important thing to remember with this salad is to chop your veggies the same size (approximately…I’m not gonna measure them for goodness sake!). This ensures that each bite has a little bit of everything to make your taste buds happy. Also, you can make it ahead of time and let the flavors mesh together if you prefer, which also means you don’t have to wait until the day of while you are scrambling with the kids and packing the car to go. Be sure to check out our other Salad Recipes, like this White Bean and Kale Salad which can be served warm or cold!

 

Be sure to PIN this recipe so you can make it all year long!

Fresh Vegetables and Chickpeas combined with Feta cheese to make a Chickpea Salad

 


 

 

 

 

Greek Chickpea Salad - A delicious and SUPER EASY salad that is perfect for summer entertaining!

Greek Chickpea Salad – A delicious and SUPER EASY salad that is perfect for summer entertaining!

Delightful Cookies to Make for Bridal and Baby Showers

I don’t know about you guys, but in our family at bridal and baby showers there are always trays and TRAYS of cookies for us to stuff our faces with! There is just something so satisfying about a good cookie, and so many of them are gorgeous to look at as well. I often wander over to the cookie table once I have made my rounds of hellos just to take a look at all of the wonderful creations my friends and family have brought along.

With that being said…I love to see (and eat) the “classics” but I also love to try something new. So whether you’re looking for your next show stopping , mouth watering cookie recipe, or just came to check out a couple of the classics, I hope you leave with a recipe or two that you’ll be excited to bring along to all those showers you have on your calendar!

I am excited to feature some of my favorite cookie recipes you know and love from the blog as well as some great new ones from my fellow bloggers. Here we go!

rhubarb coconut macaroons from: the cookie writer

A perfect flavor combination of sweet with the sour from the rhubarb, what a delicious and beautiful update on the classic coconut macaroon! I will be making this one for a baby shower I have this summer!

Rhubarb-Coconut-Macaroons

courtesy of: the cookie writer, click here for the recipe
Nutella Palmiers from: Beth dunham

Ok so who doesn’t love nutella?! For real right? These cookies use a store bought puff pastry with the tasty chocolate hazelnut spread to create a stunning “cookie” that looks like you spent hours making. This is one you have to make!

Nutella-Palmiers

courtesy of: beth dunham, click here for the recipe
classic french macaron from: ahead of thyme

Ahhh macarons…they are seriously so gorgeous and are the type of “Show-stopping” cookie you will want to make for the bride or mommy-to-be! They melt in your mouth and the buttercream filling gives you the perfect ooey texture you crave in a cookie. I love that you can also customize the filling to coordinate with the shower colors (just add some food coloring before filing!)

classic-french-macaron

courtesy of: ahead of thyme, click here for the recipe
italian choco orange spice drop cookie from: she loves biscotti

if you have ever been to an Italian shower you have seen these gems on a tray, and they are definitely one of my favorites! A cakey texture filled with a hint of spice and the sweetness of the chocolate and orange, everyone always seem to grab these from the tray first!

Chocolate-Orange-Spice-Drop-Cookies

courtesy of: she loves biscotti, click here for the recipe
chocolate peanut butter cheesecake cookie cups from: crumb kitchen

This is a special treat you will want to make for the bride (or mommy-to-be) that you really want to indulge! They are filled with a no-bake chocolate cheesecake and it even uses store bought cookie dough! What a winning combination!

chocolate-peanut-butter-cheesecake-cookie-cups

courtesy of: crumb kitchen, click here for the recipe
classic italian amaretti cookies from: The olive blogger cookie vault

No cookie tray is ever complete for me without a delicious Amaretti! Perfectly crunchy with a chewy middle, it is loaded with almond flavor and goes wonderfully with a cup of coffee. This recipe makes a TON too, which means you will always have them on hand for a quick tray.

Amaretti-and-Coffee

from my cookie vault, click here for the recipe
marlene’s sour cream cookies from: cooking with carlee

Here is a real classic for any cookie tray, the cookie itself is slightly dense with a delicious soft bite and then you can use either a buttercream or royal icing on top (I personally prefer buttercream). You can cut them into any shape you want (cue the cute rubber ducky or gorgeous wedding dress) and then go to town with decorating!

Sour Cream Cookies

courtesy of: cooking with carlee, click here for the recipe
Brownie Biscotti from: The Olive Blogger cookie vault

If you have been following the blog you know that this “biscotti” recipe is a real keeper that everyone loves! It is easier than a traditional biscotti as it does not require flips and multiple bakes, and the chewy brownie flavor is a hit with everyone young and old!

Brownie Biscotti

from my cookie vault, click here for the recipe
OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES FROM: PEPPERS AND PENNIES

This is a classic cookie everyone will love. IT has a crunchy outside and chewy middle and uses steel cut oats and loads of chocolate chips. In fact,  you will probably want to make a double batch with how easy these ones are!

Chewy-Chocolate-Oat-Cookies

Courtesy of: peppers and pennies, click HERE for the recipe
cranberry and pistachio shortbread from: kitchen divas

Every bite of this cookie has cranberries and pistachios, a winning combination that will be enjoyed by everyone. It is a nice update on a classic shortbread cookie that can be adapted to your tastes.

Cranberry-Pistachio-Shortbread-Cookies

courtesy of: kitchen divas, click here for the recipe

 

Remember to follow along with what’s new on Instagram (@TheOliveBlogger) and #OliveYum your photos so I can see and share your creations! Happy Baking!


A fun round-up of cookie recipes for bridal showers! Featuring both classic cookies and new favorites, there is a cookie for everyone!

A fun round-up of cookie recipes for bridal showers! Featuring both classic cookies and new favorites, there is a cookie for everyone!

A fun round-up of cookie recipes for bridal showers! Featuring both classic cookies and new favorites, there is a cookie for everyone!

A fun round-up of cookie recipes for bridal showers! Featuring both classic cookies and new favorites, there is a cookie for everyone!

A fun round-up of cookie recipes for baby showers! Featuring both classic cookies and new favorites, there is a cookie for everyone!

A fun round-up of cookie recipes for baby showers! Featuring both classic cookies and new favorites, there is a cookie for everyone!

A fun round-up of cookie recipes for baby showers! Featuring both classic cookies and new favorites, there is a cookie for everyone!

A fun round-up of cookie recipes for baby showers! Featuring both classic cookies and new favorites, there is a cookie for everyone!