Quadruple Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

by Renee on September 16, 2014

Quadruple Chocolate Shortbread Cookies | Magnolia Days

Chocolate can help in stressful times. It is comforting and evokes happy feelings. It is the one thing I seek out when I’m feeling sad, under pressure, stressed, or majorly concerned about something. Recent events had me in the kitchen seeking it. I looked around and the bag of candy was long gone. Other sweets were everything but chocolate. The last resort was bags of chocolate chips in the pantry. Popping a handful of those chips in my mouth sparked the inspiration for baking Quadruple Chocolate Shortbread Cookies.

What recent events were causing me stress? It had to do with my dog, Tiger. Bear with me for sharing the details. If you want to skip them scroll down closer to the recipe. It started one morning several weeks ago as he was walking through the den. He stopped, turned, gave me a distressed look, and fell over on his side. I could tell there was something very wrong and immediately took him to the vet. His tests and bloodwork came back fine. An x-ray showed some type of possible mass however more tests would need to be done to find out what was wrong.

Quadruple Chocolate Shortbread Cookies | Magnolia Days

A back story on Tiger first. Over three years ago he had some lumps we thought were typical fatty ones on dogs. We had some of them removed and the test came back positive for cancer (sub-cutaneous lymphoma). The type is one chemotherapy doesn’t do much good. We took the vet’s advice and did our best to make each and every day a happy one for him. The vet said all would be okay until the cancer got into his organs and we thought this time had come.

The next test for Tiger was an ultrasound. It revealed his spleen was enlarged and there was a mass either in it or beside it. A biopsy of both was taken and the results came back benign. The vet who did the ultrasound called Tiger a miracle dog because she had never seen or heard of any dog diagnosed with sub-cutaneous lymphoma to live for more than a few months. There is a possibility it could have gone into a type of miraculous remission. However the major issue at hand was with his spleen and we decided to have it and the mass removed. It is major surgery for a dog.

Quadruple Chocolate Shortbread Cookies | Magnolia Days

How is Tiger now? He is doing great. He plays, snoozes, and is soaking up being spoiled as usual. It was such a stressful time while going through it all. Thank goodness for chocolate and the kindness of family and friends. I was deeply touched by the outpouring of caring and concern for him from so many. He doesn’t like the camera so getting a photo of him is difficult. Click on the link to Tiger Butter Candy in the next paragraph to see the one I took of him for that post.

How are the quadruple chocolate shortbread cookies? They are big, dense, domes full of four types of chocolate; unsweetened cocoa plus milk, dark, and white chocolate chips. I haven’t made these in years. It was time to make them again because it also coincided with this month’s Creative Cookie Exchange theme. Read more about it below the recipe. Take a look at Quadruple Chocolate Loaf Cake and Tiger Butter Candy too. The more chocolate the better.

Quadruple Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

1 hour, 10 minutes

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Quadruple Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or non-stick liner.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.

Add egg yolks and vanilla to creamed mixture and beat until combined.

Add flour mixture and mix just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over-mix.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop rounded dough balls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets using a 1.25-ounce (1.75-inch diameter) ice cream scoop. (I did 8 dough balls per baking sheet).

Bake for 18 minutes, or until almost firm when lightly touched.

Cool cookies on baking sheets for 2 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

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Recipe adapted from Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies on the Food Network website.

The Creative Cookie Exchange theme this month is Comfort Food Cookies. What cookie says comfort food to you? If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura via email (thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com) and she will get you added to our Facebook group where discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

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Mini Chorizo and Cheese Quiches for #SundaySupper

by Renee on September 14, 2014

Mini Chorizo and Cheese Quiches | Magnolia Days

Whoever invented tailgating was one brilliant person. Or perhaps it was a group of people. Or it simply happened out of circumstance. I can’t think of a better way to combat the boredom of sitting outside a stadium waiting for a game than with food and beverages. Then the tailgating tradition crossed over from the stadium to homes. Putting out a spread on your own turf can be quite fun. It can be quite tasty too with these mini chorizo and cheese quiches.

These mini quiches were inspired by mini wine bottles. The kind folks at Gallo Family Vineyards sent me one each of their assortment of 187ml bottles (9 varieties). That alone got me fired up tailgating. The ideas were popping up like crazy. I needed help narrowing them down so I called upon my friend Terry. We agreed something like a little quiche or frittata would do nicely. She even let me borrow this awesome little truck for my photos. It is just perfect!

Mini Chorizo and Cheese Quiches - Magnolia Days

Chorizo and cheese are a heavenly match. I used Portuguese chouriço for these quiches. Look for it in the refrigerated deli meat section around hot dogs and other sausages. I also used manchego cheese because it seem to be the one most often paired with chorizo. Use Monterey jack, gruyere, or a mild cheddar if you cannot find manchego. Speaking of pairings, there are a lot of possibilities of which wine to pair with the quiches. Have some fun and get a variety of mini bottles and see which one you think pairs best. Tailgating and wine tasting at the same time is a winning game plan.

Mini Chorizo and Cheese Quiches | Magnolia Days

It’s tailgating season! Sunday Supper is proud to partner with Gallo Family Vineyards sharing fabulous recipes and wine pairings. Remember to get these adorable and convenient GFV’s mini bottles for your festivities. There is a $1 off coupon or rebate available (depending on your area).  Scroll down to find a list and links to recipes from Sunday Supper contributors and check out Gallo’s BBQ wine pairings too. For another tailgating recipe of mine, check out Liptauer Cheese Spread.

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More on Gallo Family Vineyards: You can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Their website has information on all Gallo Family wines and a store locator.

Mini Chorizo and Cheese Quiches

1 hour

Makes 24 mini quiches

Mini Chorizo and Cheese Quiches

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 1/2 ounces chorizo sausage (refrigerated Portuguese chouriço recommended)
  • 1 double crust pie crust dough (homemade or refrigerated store-bought)
  • 3/4 cup grated manchego cheese
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions (about 2 medium)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 24 mini muffin cups.

Remove and discard casing from chorizo. Finely dice the sausage.

Heat oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced chorizo and cook until browned. Remove from heat to cool to room temperature.

If using homemade dough, roll out thin (between 1/8- and 1/4-inch).

Use a round 2 1/2-inch cutter to cut 24 rounds from the dough. Press 1 round into bottom and up the sides of each muffin cup.

Divide cheese among muffin cups (about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons per cup). Top each with green onions then cooked chorizo.

Whisk together eggs, cream, salt, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly into crusts.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes. Use the tip of a knife to lift quiches from cups.

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Are you searching for tailgating recipes? Take a look at these recipes by Sunday Supper contributors featuring or paired with Gallo Family Vineyards wines:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.


Steak and Asparagus Stir-Fry for #WeekdaySupper

by Renee on September 11, 2014

Steak and Asparagus Stir-Fry | Magnolia Days

A stir-fry is the answer. The question is what to make when you have little time and need a meal in a hurry. I wish I had realized that answer years ago. I can vividly remember those days of driving across town, working long hours, and coming home hungry. There were always those old reliable quick meals which were good and yet lacking in a way. The beauty of stir-fry is how easy it is to change it up. Use different vegetables or tweak the sauce. It is what I did for this steak and asparagus stir-fry.

Stir-frys can also be very healthy meals. You use little oil and can control the amount of sodium or sugar. I am sometimes quite surprised by the amount of sugar (or some form of it) is in savory foods found in restaurants and convenience foods. Beef has many essential nutrients you need. Thinly sliced cuts like sirloin or flat-iron are great choices for stir-frying. There is also minimal loss of vegetable nutrients and flavor when cooked to crisp-tender.

Steak and Asparagus Stir-Fry | Magnolia Days

Steak and asparagus stir-fry is a quick and easy meal too. It can be done in about 20 minutes (or less if you are a speedy at chopping vegetables and slicing meat). Serving it with fast-cooking rice or noodles is a good option and makes a complete meal. One hint is to get it all ready before you start cooking. Line it all up on the counter in order of when you add it to the skillet. Stir-frying goes quick and there is no time to chop up the bell pepper once you get the stir-fry started.

Steak and Asparagus Stir-Fry | Magnolia Days

Are you ready to cook beef for your next dinner? Be sure to scroll down to find more Weekday Supper recipes. Also take a look at the Beef – Let’s Celebrate Pinterest board and check out these Volcano Buffalo Burgers if you like hot and spicy food.

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More on The Beef Checkoff: You can follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and their website.

Steak and Asparagus Stir-Fry

20 minutes

Makes 4 servings

Steak and Asparagus Stir-Fry

  • 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ginger paste*
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper paste*
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 12 ounces boneless sirloin or strip steak, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 pound medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions

Whisk together stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger paste, pepper paste, garlic, and cornstarch in a small bowl.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and shake or swirl the skillet to coat bottom with oil.

Add beef and stir-fry until just browned but not cooked through. Transfer beef to a plate and discard liquid and oil from the skillet.

Return the skillet to high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and shake or swirl the skillet to coat the bottom with oil.

Add asparagus and bell pepper. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add green onions and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

Add stock mixture and stir to coat vegetables. Cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Add beef and any beef juices back to the skillet. Toss and cook for 1 minute. Serve immediately.


*Ginger and chili pepper pastes can be found in the refrigerated produce section near fresh herbs. You can substitute fresh grated ginger and red pepper flakes if the pastes are not available.

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Recipe adapted from one in Cooking Light Magazine May 2014 Issue with inspiration from Asian Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry on the Beef It’s Whats For Dinner website.

Would you like more Weekday Supper recipes? Take a look at these delicious ones made with beef and great for a busy day:


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Beef Checkoff. All opinions are my own.


Walnut Wheat Bread for #BreadBakers

by Renee on September 9, 2014

Walnut Wheat Bread | Magnolia Days

There are a few important tasks to do upon arrival. Every time my mom and I travel to Germany we have a priority of things to do. First is hugging my uncle who picks us up at the airport. We go to his home and unpack. Next order of business is to head out to the bakery and get bread. It isn’t just any bread. It is a big loaf of dense, hearty bread filled with nuts. It seems like it weighs five pounds. We eat slices of it for breakfast with butter and jam. That bread is our all-time favorite. Thinking of it for my upcoming trip is what inspired me to bake Walnut Wheat Bread.

There is also a new bread group. My friend Stacy and I have started Bread Bakers because both of us enjoy baking bread so much. I have been a part of other bread groups that were wonderful. Yet something inside kept nagging to branch out and take the lead on something else. We are excited to launch Bread Bakers with a dozen recipes for favorite breads:

Walnut Wheat Bread is now one of my favorites. It also is excellent toasted and served with butter and jam. It makes a mighty fine peanut butter and jelly sandwich too. The walnuts and peanut butter do not compete and actually complement each other. I have two loaves to experiment with. I’m thinking it would be the right bread for a sandwich filled with turkey salad with pesto-mayo. Oh, and before you click on the link to the turkey salad note the photos do not represent how wonderful it tastes. It’s one of those I look back on and cringe. At least I’ve improved since then.

Walnut Wheat Bread | Magnolia Days

Many thanks to those participating in the Bread Bakers launch. It means the world to us. We also invite any bloggers who enjoy baking bread to join in the fun. Look below my recipe for more information on the group and how to be a part of it. Meanwhile, be sure to take a look at all those wonderful recipes in the list above. I would also like to know your favorite bread. Perhaps it will inspire me to tackle a new recipe too.

Walnut Wheat Bread

3 hours

Makes 2 loaves

Walnut Wheat Bread

  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active-dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 cup all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine.

In a small saucepan, heat water and shortening until 120 to 130 degrees F. (Shortening will not melt)

Add warm liquid to the bowl and stir to combine. Place bowl on stand mixer with the flat beater. Mix on medium-low speed for 2 minutes.

Switch flat beater to dough hook. Turn mixer to speed recommended for using the dough hook. Gradually add walnuts and enough remaining flour to make a firm dough.

Knead with the dough hook for 4 to 5 minutes. While dough is kneading, grease a large bowl.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and hand knead a few times until the surface is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in the greased bowl and turn to coat surface. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or tea towel.

Let rise in a warm place (72 - 75 degrees F) until doubled, about 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, grease two loaf pans (9- X 5- or 8- X 4-inch).

Punch down dough and divide in half.

Roll or pat each half to a 14- X 7-inch rectangle. Start with the shorter side and roll up tightly while pressing dough into roll with each turn. Pinch edge and ends to seal.

Place rolled dough in bread pans. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F while bread is on the second rise.

Bake loaves for 35 to 40 minutes, until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Rotate loaves half way through baking for even browning.

Remove loaves from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

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Recipe adapted from one in the Red Star Centennial Bread Sampler cookbook published in 1981 (no longer in print).

What is Bread Bakers? It’s a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Bread Bakers Pinterest Board. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page.

Bread Bakers

How is the monthly theme determined? We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Would you like to join in the fun? If you are a food blogger, send an email with your blog name and url to Stacy at foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.


Slow-Cooker Island Pulled Pork

September 8, 2014
Slow-Cooker Island Pulled Pork | Magnolia Days

September is Hunger Action Month. There is a national campaign to raise awareness and encourage people to take action and help get food to those in need. I am proud, honored, and thrilled to be a part of a special cookbook of healthy affordable slow cooker meal recipes called Where Slow Food and Whole Food […]

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Zucchini Relish for #SundaySupper

September 7, 2014
Zucchini Relish | Magnolia Days

It is the season of squash. September is an overlap of summer and winter varieties. Zucchini and summer squash are still plentiful in gardens and markets. I do want to get my hands on some pattypan ones before the season end. It won’t be long before one of those giant boxes filled with pumpkins is […]

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Peanut Butter Muffins

September 4, 2014
Peanut Butter Muffins | Magnolia Days

It has been a week of discoveries. One of them being my oven running hotter than what it is should. A sensor must be off a little. It caused some of my cakes and breads to be over-baked. Muffins turned into hockey pucks and that is not a good thing. I finally got an oven […]

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White Bean Salami Pasta Salad

September 2, 2014
White Bean Salami Pasta Salad | Magnolia Days

There it was in the pantry. A half bag of pasta was nestled between rice and beans. Sure dried pasta lasts a while however it seemed to be calling out to me. It was a bag I found at one of those clearance stores. The pretty pattern and shape caught my attention. Then I realized […]

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Pimento Cheese Stuffed Peppers for #SundaySupper

August 31, 2014
Pimento Cheese Stuffed Peppers | Magnolia Days

Summer ends and kicks off party food season. There are tailgating, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s gatherings to have. Some weddings, baby showers, and birthdays could get squeezed in between them too. All those events are what brighten up fall and winter. My eyes light up when I walk into a room and see […]

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Hatch Chile Corn Quiche

August 28, 2014
Hatch Chile Corn Quiche | Magnolia Days

The flavor combination haunted me. Sweet corn and hatch chile seem to be a match made in heaven. It was only recently that I finally tasted the special green chiles. Not only did I taste them, I also had fun with roasting, peeling, seeding and freezing them along with an afternoon of burning fingers. Well, […]

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