Sweet Treats For The Holidays – Hawaiian Crunch White Chocolate Bark

This is a sponsored post. My opinions are my own.

Hawaiian Crunch White Chocolate Bar | Cooking In Stilettos

Have you seen all of the commercials advertising that the holidays are JUST around the corner? Have you started your holiday shopping yet?

Growing up, a majority of my shopping was done on Christmas Eve.  My dad and I had a tradition of doing family shopping on Christmas Eve, followed by a major present wrap session, wrapping everything in oodles of paper, tape and bows. As I got older, I still would shop closer to Christmas but, with the crowds and chaos at the stores, I started to do a majority of my shopping online (much to my UPS and FedEx driver’s chagrin). This year, I did some thinking about holiday gifts and decided that I’d do something different.  Some of my gifts are going to be straight from my Stiletto Kitchen – made with lots of love and laughter and given to family and friends.

With homemade treats on the mind and knowing how I test a recipe a few times before I pronounce it “perfect”, I needed to get to research mode and start planning! After all, the holidays are only weeks away and some of these gifts need to be sent with a bit of planning and packing care.  After perusing one of my favorite sites, Yahoo! Food, I came across an idea that essentially gave this gal a light-bulb moment – How To Make Chocolate Bark Without a Recipe…. 

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Wrapping Up #CookieWeek With Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Welcome to the last day of Cookie Week, hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen! We’ve teamed together with 10 other talented bloggers to bring you 5 fantastic days of cookie recipes to get you in to the holiday spirits.  We hope you’ve enjoyed this week as much as we did! Don’t forget to check out and enter our fantastic giveaway and our #CookieWeek Pinterest board full of all the cookie recipes you’ve see here this week!

Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies | Cooking In Stilettos

It seems like we were JUST starting Cookie Week and here we are, wrapping up the final day of what has been a week of cookie inspiration.  This group of bloggers that I have been thrilled to share cookie recipes with are amazing and I really have to commend them for some seriously awesome cookie luv they have shown this week and the ideas that they brought to the table (or cookie jar) have been nothing short of awesome.  I have so many ideas for the holidays thanks to them.  And major major kudos to Kim and Susan for an amazing job that they did keeping us all on track.

OK – enough chatter from me, let’s get to the cookies I brought to the party – these Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies.  Whenever I make chocolate treats, I always have a little jar of instant espresso nearby.  There’s something about melding the flavors of coffee and chocolate that just makes the treats taste so rich and chocolatey.  I can’t explain it but, in my opinion, it’s a must have ingredient.  When I went to gather the ingredients, I realized that I was out of my favorite chocolate bars that I love to use in treats and would have to punt.  I grabbed some bittersweet chocolate chips and decided to see what magic I could rustle up.  I played with a recipe from Martha Stewart and this cookie is perfect for your next coffee break, a mid-day pick me up or on the go.  Would I recommend having one late at night, ummmmm.. nope.  I’m all about the espresso but I do think this made me a bit more “aware” and if I had these late night, I fear that insomnia would strike.  Make these for the holidays and gift them to the chocolate and coffee lover in your life.  But make a double batch and hide some away for yourself for those days you need a bit of a boost…. 

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A Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake So Good It Will Stop The ’24’ Clock & Why I Adore @BeamlyUS #Beamly


My friends know two things – when I’m watching “24” or “The Kitchen”, the phone is silent. I do not answer calls, texts etc. However – one thing I must confess – I’m following along with the live action online on my iPad or my phone with my fave app, Beamly.

We’ve talked about Beamly before – when I did this Scandalously Inspired Cocktail – and if you haven’t joined – you might want to ASAP – especially before the fall shows come back. Where else can you chat about Suits (if I ever need a lawyer to have my back, I need Harvey on speed-dial), Real Housewives of NJ (soon to return with even more of the crazy), Masterchef (where a local gal is in Chef Ramsey’s kitchen and I hope she wins) and Orange is the New Black (who doesn’t love that show!).

One thing I love about the peeps on Beamly is the fabulous conversations you have – I mean – ever watch a show and miss something? I do that all the time – there are times I would watch Revenge and thanks to the excellent convos in the Revenge TV Room, I was able to catch the hidden drama while I was too obsessed with figuring out what shoes Victoria was wearing. I’ve met some amazing people on there, including some of Cooking in Stilettos’ readers and I’d love to see you there too!

So – when thinking about what I could share with you, I thought I’d share a recipe that I saw on this past weekend’s episode of “The Kitchen” on Food Network. Marcela made this to.die.for Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake and it looked divine – (as you can see from Sunny’s face on Marcela’s Instagram). It was one of those “I see it – I must make it” recipes and, curled up on my couch with the JuniorSousPug, I totally fell hard for this cake while watching ’24’ – so much so I focused ON the cake and not on the show – and I got lost. Thankfully the Beamly peeps in the 24 TV Room got me up to speed.

So – morale is the story is if you get lost and miss something on your fave show, Beamly has you covered! Now – I just need to see if there are any leftovers so I can curl up and watch SUITS with another slice of this chocolate stout bundt cake.


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Tried and True: Mexican Chocolate Loaf Cake


Mexican Chocolate Loaf Cake | Cooking In Stilettos

When I was in Barnes & Noble not too long ago, there was a book on a shelf that caught my eye – Exotic Table: Flavors, inspiration, and recipes from around the world–to your kitchen.  I had heard good things about the book but wasn’t sure if I was ready to buy it just yet – I had some other ones I was looking at and playing with in the kitchen.  Then, as I wandered around, I thought “I can just LOOK at the book and see what the recipes are, right?”  Flipping through the pages of Exotic Table, I made note of some recipes I wanted to try and then it opened to this glorious Mexican Chocolate Loaf Cake.  Now – you know I adore Mexican chocolate – from my favorite Mexican Hot Chocolate to my tried and true Mexican Chocolate Cookies and Mexican Chocolate Pudding and don’t forget that Spiked Mexican Chocolate Mousse I made for a chocolate themed gal’s night menu.  So – when I saw that cake, I knew that I was a goner – that cookbook was in my hot little hand, I marched my stilettos to the register and to my kitchen it went.  … 

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Girl’s Flight Night With @GodivaChoc and Spiked Mexican Chocolate Mousse #TruffleTakeOff

This is a sponsored post. My opinions are my own




For a fabulous soiree, there are some musts – great friends, amazing cocktails and, if it’s a Girl’s Night – chocolate!  I was thrilled to have an opportunity to host a Girl’s Flight Night with Godiva and see how my gals loved Godiva’s latest Ultimate Dessert Truffle Flights.

Obviously, with Godiva at the helm, you knew that chocolate was going to be the theme of the soiree so I decided to create a menu to highlight the flavors that are featured in the Ultimate Dessert Truffle Flight…. 

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Recipe Redo: Mexican Chocolate Cookies for #TheLeftoversClub

Mexican Chocolate Cookies

One of my favorite cookies ever is these Mexican Chocolate Cookies.  However, the recipe and photo was in dire need of some severe updating.   When perusing recipe ideas for this month’s Leftovers Club, I knew that these needed to be featured – rich, chocolatey and with a kick from the cayenne and black pepper – well, let’s just say that I was asked to make a second batch because these cookies go quick.  Thankfully, right after photographing these lovelies, I boxed up a bunch of them and they were sent on their merry way to Florida to one of my new favorite bloggers, Shaina of Take a Bite Out of Boca!

The Leftovers Club - Logo

Shaina’s blog is a must read daily – full of wit, sass and a ton of delicious inspiration.  She’s followed her passion and is now one of the sous chefs in the Publix Aprons Cooking School in South Florida.  Shaina also has ties to the Philly area as she’s originally from Jersey and relocated to South Florida.  Trust me – if you want the best restaurant recommendations or some fabulous recipes like her Homemade Peach Guacamole, Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Cherry Muffins and this divine sounding Apple Ginger Smoothie.  You need to bookmark her blog and check it out regularly – it’s that good!

Make sure to save this recipe as well because these cookies are going to be a tried and true in your house if you like a bit of spice in your chocolate.  Just don’t get mad at me when you are asked to make extra batches ;)

On to the recipe:

Gather Your Ingredients

Mexican Chocolate Cookies - Ingredients

The spices and the flour

Mexican Chocolate Cookies - Spices

Time to bake

Mexican Chocolate Cookies - Baking

Letting them cool

Mexican Chocolate Cookies - Cooling

Now – don’t you want a bite?

Mexican Chocolate Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 5 oz. bittersweet (70% cacao) chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of cooled espresso or strong coffee
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of Mexican vanilla
  • ¾ cup of all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Powdered Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small glass bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave on high for 1 minute until almost melted. Stir until smooth.
  3. Add cooled espresso/coffe to the chocolate and cool to room temperature.
  4. In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the egg and mix until blended.
  6. Add the cooled chocolate and vanilla and mix until fully blended.Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  7. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, black pepper & cayenne pepper. Whisk well.
  8. Gradually add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and beat until just blended.
  9. Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoons, drop the dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes or until almost set.
  11. Let cool on the baking sheets for two minutes, then remove to cooling racks.
  12. Let cool fully.
  13. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Slightly adapted from Cooking Light.

Check out what confections my fellow Leftovers Club bloggers made and shared!


[The Recipe Redo Series is when I take one of my earlier posts here at Cooking In Stilettos, redo the recipe with new pictures and add any tips I’ve learned along the way. This Tried & True originally appeared back in December of 2009: Mexican Chocolate Cookies. Promise not to laugh at the beyond horrid photo please.]

Obsessed With: Nest With Chocolate Truffled Eggs

I have to say I don’t go crazy decorating for the holidays – but when I saw this Nest With Chocolate Truffled Eggs from Williams Sonoma, I thought how gorgeous it was and how perfect it would look as a dining room table centerpiece.  I’m afraid to see what other Easter goodies that the Williams Sonoma catalog will feature. Thankfully, for my wallet’s sake, it hasn’t arrived in the mailbox just yet.

I know, I know – behave Lys.