Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Milky Way Rice Krispies TreatsWhere has the summer gone?  I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized all at once that we’re basically into fall territory and it’s been over two months since I last posted!  So what have I been up to?  It’s a good question and I’ll let you stare at these delicious Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats while I explain!Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Work work work.  That’s basically been my life…working overtime and spending my little bits of time off with the husband, camping, and having my nieces over when I had the chance.  Oh and (squealing with excitement) working on buying a house.  We will be moving in mid-October!  I am beyond excited and feeling like more of a grown-up every day! :) Oh, and no more overtime, so I am one very happy girl!  I’m very much a to-do list writer/goal-setter and my latest goal is to post weekly!  Come October, with move-in and immediately beginning the update of a new-to-us-but-actually-very-old farmhouse, I really hope I can maintain that goal!  I’ll be posting lots of before and after pics, too!Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

I can’t wait to have a kitchen of my own to cook and bake in to my heart’s content!  Speaking of cooking and baking, these Milky Way Rice Krispie Treats are my new favorite.  I even like them better than the Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats I made for Valentine’s day…and I so LOVED those.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Everything about these makes my mouth water.  Chocolate Rice Krispies smothered in vanilla caramel marshmallow, with chunks of Milky Way candy bars and a light drizzle of caramel.  Is your mouth watering yet?  Mine is.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

I am an absolute candy fiend…I rarely buy any because it disappears so fast.  I love it all, but Milky Ways…ohh, Milky Ways are my kryptonite.  I bought a bag of fun size candy bars to use for this recipe, and don’t you know that half of them were gone before I could blink.  Oops.  It’s a good thing I didn’t need them all!  I blame it on my mad, mad love for caramel.  I can’t just resist it, which is why I had to give the Original Rice Krispies Treats a delicious, caramely, Milky Way twist.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

I layered my 9×13 pan with buttered wax paper because I knew I wanted to remove them from the pan, cut them up and dip them in chocolate.  A good buttering will suffice if you plan on serving them straight out of the pan.  I wanted chunks of Milky Way in my bars, so I chilled the pieces too keep them from melting when I mixed them into the warm rice krispies-marshmallow mix.  You could keep them room temperature and let them melt into the mixture if you so choose.  I used this easy microwave caramel sauce recipe, but you could use salted caramel or storebought caramel sauce.Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Milky Way Rice Krispies Treats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 8 oz package of vanilla caramel marshmallows
  • 6 cups chocolate Rice Krispies cereal
  • 3/4 cups chopped Milky Way candy bars (9 fun size bars)
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • Optional: Candy melts or chocolate for dipping

Instructions

  1. Melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
  2. Remove from heat and add cereal. Mix until evenly coated.
  3. Fold in chopped candy bars. Drizzle mixture with half of the caramel sauce and gently mix.
  4. Press into a buttered 9x13 pan using wax paper or buttered hands. Drizzle with remaining caramel.
  5. Let cool to room temperature before slicing and removing from pan.
  6. Melt candy melts or chocolate by the method of your choice. Dip the bottom each piece in chocolate and then drizzle some over the top. Let chocolate harden before serving.

Notes

Keep the candy bars chilled; it makes for easier chopping and keeps them from melting when you mix them into the rice krispies.

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/09/12/milky-way-rice-krispies-treats/

Turtle Ice Cream Cake

Turtle Ice Cream Cake

I love ice cream!  Who doesn’t?!  I love ice cream cake, but again, who doesn’t?!  Do you want to know what I don’t love?  The price of a pre-made ice cream cake.  It’s just a little ridiculous and completely prevents me from actually buying them.  There’s a totally obvious and very easy solution though: make your own!Turtle Ice Cream CakeTurtle Ice Cream Cake

This Turtle Ice Cream Cake was so delicious!  Fudge and caramel oozed out of every bite and the hard chocolate on top was quite literally the icing on the cake!  I intented to use actual Turtles (the candies…just in case), but could not find them at my grocery store.  I opted for Dove caramel filled dark chocolates plus chopped pecans instead.  I had no complaints!Turtle Ice Cream CakeTurtle Ice Cream Cake

I so loved the thick chocolate layer on top, but it made it a little difficult to cut into.  I used a very tricky technique where I took a chef knife and hacked at the cake until it sort of cracked on its own, then followed the natural break lines with my knife for a nice clean cut.  To avoid having to use said technique, simply drizzle the chocolate over the top instead of spreading a nice thick layer.  You could also use magic shell chocolate or make your own magic shell and it will be a little thinner.Turtle Ice Cream CakeTurtle Ice Cream Cake

Okay, so this was my first time making ice cream cake, right?  Trial and error.  It actually went very well, but next time, I must remember not to use slow churned ice cream.  It might seem obvious because it’s softer and melts much faster, but it didn’t even occur to me when I was at the store.  I was thinking, “what is the best tasting ice cream I can buy to make this cake super delicious…ooh yes! slow churned!”  Oh well!  It tasted amazing and that’s all that matters, right?  Right!Turtle Ice Cream Cake

Turtle Ice Cream Cake

Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 qt vanilla ice cream
  • 1.5 qt chocolate ice cream
  • 1 10-15 oz. jar of fudge ice cream topping
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 12 Dove caramel filled dark chocolate candies, roughly chopped
  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 Tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Let vanilla ice cream soften.
  2. Line your dish with plastic wrap for easy removal. I used a 2 1/2 quart round casserole dish.
  3. Spoon vanilla ice cream into dish and level with a spatula. Cover and let it freeze until firm.
  4. Spoon half of the fudge topping onto the vanilla ice cream layer and spread evenly. Top with chopped pecans and Dove candies and drizzle caramel over the top, reserving a couple tablespoons of both the caramel and pecans to garnish the final product. Spoon remaining fudge topping on top and spread evenly. Cover and place back in freezer until firm. Meanwhile, let chocolate ice cream soften.
  5. Spoon the chocolate ice cream over the fudge layer and level with a spatula. Return to freezer for a couple hours to let the whole thing freeze completely.
  6. Melt butter and chocolate chips together by the method of your choice and let cool until it is just about room temperature.
  7. Remove ice cream cake from the freezer and invert onto cake plate. Gently pull the plastic wrap away from the cake.
  8. Drizzle the cake with melted chocolate, or cover it entirely (or both) and caramel. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans over the top. Serve immediately, or place back in the freezer until ready to serve.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/06/28/turtle-ice-cream-cake/

Mini Grasshopper Cheesecakes

Mini Grasshopper CheesecakesI’ve had mini grasshopper cheesecakes on my mind since I made Oreo cupcakes with an Oreo baked into the center.  I knew I wanted to do something similar with Thin Mints/ Grasshopper cookies but wasn’t sure exactly what.  Then I remembered how much I love cheesecake…the rest was history. Mini Grasshopper CheesecakesAs soon as I started thinking about cheesecake, I remembered a recipe I used years, and I mean YEARS ago, from my parents’ magic bullet manual.  It was surprisingly amazing and I wanted to try it again.  I found the very simple cheesecake recipe on the bullet website, and even though I actually have a magic bullet, I used a mixer and bowl to prepare it.  I added mini chocolate chips, mint extract, and green food coloring to the cheesecake batter.  I finished these beauties off with a generous dollop of chocolate ganache and Andes candies for garnish.  It was absolutely perfect!Mini Grasshopper CheesecakesMint and chocolate go so well together!  It is definitely one of my favorite flavor combination, right up there with salt and caramel.  I absolutely love mint chocolate chip ice cream, Thin Mints, peppermint bark, and I order nothing but peppermint white mochas as soon as they’re available at Starbucks in fall!Mini Grasshopper CheesecakesThese cheesecakes had a great mint flavor and soft texture.  After I took them out of the oven, the center seemed a little darker in color and I was nervous they hadn’t baked completely.  As they cooled, they looked better and once the ganache was on, I tried one and they tasted heavenly!  Yes, I was successful in waiting until the end to dig in for once!  I used paper cupcake liners that are just a tad bit smaller than normal, and the cookie was the perfect size for a crust!Mini Grasshopper Cheesecakes

Mini Grasshopper Cheesecakes

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 30 mini cheesecakes

1 mini cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • green food coloring
  • 30 grasshopper cookies
  • Andes candies for garnish
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup cream/milk/half and half

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and place a grasshopper cookie at the bottom of each.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until combined. Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each. Add peppermint extract and food coloring and mix until evenly distributed. Fold in mini chocolate chips.
  3. Fill paper liners 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheesecake is set in the center. The edges may brown slightly. Let them cool to room temperature.
  4. For the Chocolate Ganache
  5. Microwave cream and chocolate chips in microwave safe container at 50% power for 30 seconds. Stir and continue to microwave in intervals of 15-30 until almost completely melted, then continue to stir until smooth. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, until it is just about room temperature.
  6. Pour ganache over cooled cheesecakes and let set. Garnish with Andes candies just before the ganache is almost sett. If the ganache is not firm enough, the candies may fall over or move.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/05/01/mini-grasshopper-cheesecakes/


Cake Pops to Celebrate Nature

Celebrate Nature with Cake PopsEveryone loves cake pops!  I think that is a large part of the reason why they’re one of my favorite desserts to make.  I just love when the treats I make are eagerly gobbled up by their happy recipients who barely manage to let out an “ooh, they’re so good” between mouthfuls!  It absolutely makes my day.  If you’ve had one, you can understand how cake pops quickly became popular and so well-loved!  They’re insanely rich and moist, super cute, and are the perfect size for portion control…or at least they can be if you have any sense of self-control and can keep yourself from eating three at a time like I do.  I’d be lying if I said I did not have a cake pop for breakfast today.  I can’t help it, I love them so much!

Earth Day Cake PopsBlue Bird Cake Pops

I’ll use anything as an excuse to whip up an adorable treat, and Earth day was just as good a reason as any to come up with something delicious!  I made little Earth Cake Pops and I couldn’t resist celebrating the long awaited arrival of spring with little blue bird pops!  While on the subject of Earth Day, I  must tell you how much I really love these Earth Day Cupcakes by Bird On A Cake!  They are way too cute!

Celebrate Nature with Cake Pops

Cake pops are so easy to make; all you need is a 9×13 inch cake, some frosting, and candy melts or chocolate chips to coat it.  I usually use a cake mix for convenience and a jar of store-bought frosting because it is so much easier and honestly, you’ll never know the difference!  I’ve done it both ways and they taste amazing either way!  You can even use the bits of leftover cake you slice off when making a layer cake and leftover frosting to make just a few as a treat for yourself!

Earth Day Cake PopsBlue Bird Cake Pops

 

Earth Day Cake Pops

Yield: 48 cake pops

Ingredients

  • 1 9×13 inch cake
  • 3/4 container of frosting
  • 1 package of blue Wilton candy Melts
  • green sugar sprinkles
  • orange sprinkles
  • mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Crumble the cake in a large bowl until no large pieces remain.
  2. Add the frosting and mix with the back of a wooden spoon (or your hands) until combined throughout. The consistency should be such that you can form balls that hold their shape without cracking or crumbling.
  3. For Earth Cake Pops:
  4. Form balls from the mixture with your hands, or use cake pop molds. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to let them firm up.
  5. Melt candy melts according to package directions.
  6. Dip a stick into the candy melts and insert about halfway into cake pop. Let that harden for a minute.
  7. Dip the pop into the candy coating to cover it entirely and let the coating harden.
  8. Use a toothpick dipped in the melted candy coating to draw on the continents, then dip it in (or sprinkle with) the green sprinkles before it dries.
  9. For Blue Bird Cake Pops
  10. Form the shape of the bird bodies from the mixture with your hands and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  11. Insert stick and dip pops in the same way as you for the Earth Cake Pops.
  12. Before the coating has completely hardened, insert the mini chocolate chips as eyes and the orange sprinkle as a beak.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/04/23/earth-day-cake-pops/

 

 

Leprechaun Bark

Leprechaun BarkHolidays are a great excuse to eat chocolate…not that anyone really needs an excuse to eat chocolate.  I saw this lucky leprechaun bark and knew I had to make some for St Paddy’s Day.  I actually don’t celebrate St Patrick’s Day at all, but I thought it would be cute, not to mention super tasty!Leprechaun Bark

I love mint and chocolate together, so I used Andes baking chips (+ a little dark chocolate) for the bottom layer.  I added a handful of white candy melts to just less than a full bag of green candy melts to lighten up the color for the top layer of my leprechaun bark.  You can use a microwave, double boiler, or whatever method you choose to melt the chocolate and candy melts.  I microwaved them at 60% power for about 1 1/2 minutes, stirred well, and continued microwaving/stirring at 15-25 second intervals until they were completely melted.  You could add mint flavoring to the candy melts if you’d like, but I thought there was a perfect amount of mint flavor from the Andes chips.
Leprechaun Bark

Leprechaun Bark

Ingredients

  • 1 10 oz bag Andes baking chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vegeatble oil
  • 2 cups green candy melts
  • 1/2 cup white candy melts
  • green m&ms, sprinkles, or anything you'd like to decorate with

Instructions

  1. Melt the Andes chips and chocolate chips together with 1 tsp vegetable oil using the method of your choice. Let it cool for a few minutes, until it is just about room temperature.
  2. Spread over layer of wax paper as thick or thin as you'd like and let sit until completely hardened. You may place it in the refrigerator to speed up this process.
  3. Melt the green and white candy melts according to package directions. Again, let it cool for a couple minutes before spreading.
  4. Spread over the hardened chocolate. Use a spatula to spread/smooth it out.
  5. Sprinkle m&ms and sprinkles over the top and let it harden.
  6. Break or cut into bite-sized pieces.

Notes

If the bottom layer is cool (ie has been refrigerated), the top layer will set fast when you add it, so work quickly to get all your decorations on (or let it come to room temperature before spreading).

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/03/18/leprechaun-bark/

Leprechaun Bark

Oreo Cupcakes

Oreo CupcakesWhen I first came across the trend of baking oreos/reese’s peanut butter cups/nilla wafers/you-name-it on the bottom of a cupcake, I couldn’t help but want to hop right on that bandwagon.  How could you not love something so easy and adorable – plus that space taken up at the bottom of the cupcake liner means the batter will make more cupcakes!  Of course, that didn’t happen – at least not right away.  I’m in the bad habit of pinning/bookmarking/dreaming up wonderful recipes and ideas and then fiiiinally getting around to them much later (or never!).  And as per usual, much time has passed since I decided I wanted to do this…but hey, at least I finally did it and made these oreo cupcakes!

Oreo CupcakesOreo Cupcakes

I was very pleased with they way these turned out!  The bottom half of the Oreo stayed crisp and the top half softened; you could put a bit of batter and smoosh the Oreo onto it so it would all be softer, but I liked how it made a pseudo-crust on the bottom.  After a few days the bottom half of the Oreo did soften up as well.  These cupcakes were really soft, moist, and light and springy.  They look sort of dense in the photo above, but I assure you, they were very light.  Not that there is anything wrong with a dense chocolate cake recipe, especially when it’s dark chocolate!  The frosting had a subtle marshmallow and cream cheese flavor, which I think worked very well with the cupcake.  It didn’t hold its shape incredibly well, but I didn’t want to add too much powdered sugar and alter the taste much.  I actually ended up liking the softened look the peaks had as a result.  Overall success – definitely something to do again and experiment with different things (like Thin Mints, maybe in time for St Patrick’s Day!).

Oreo CupcakesOreo Cupcakes

Oreo Cupcakes with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 6 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 30 cupcakes

Ingredients

    For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 box of Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup (~10 1/2 T) Butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 4.2 oz package Oreo Cookies 'n Cream instant pudding mix
  • 1 package oreos
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 container jet puffed marshmallow fluff
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp cream

Instructions

    For the Cupcakes:
  1. Line baking sheet with paper liners and place an Oreo in each. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix cake mix and all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth (beat on low until incorporated then about two minutes on medium).
  3. Spoon or pipe batter on top of the Oreo.
  4. Bake according to package directions (at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean).
  5. For the frosting:
  6. Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add marshmallow fluff and beat until incorporated.
  7. Add powdered sugar, starting with 3-3 1/2 cups. Add vanilla and mix.
  8. Add additional powdered sugar and cream until you reach desired consistency.
  9. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Notes

This frosting isn't incredibly stiff, so be careful when piping. If you pipe it too high, it might not hold its peaks well or it could sort of collapse! You could add more powdered sugar to make it stiffer if you wish.

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/02/28/oreo-cupcakes/

 {this post originally appeared on my former blog, elisebakes}

Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

I love caramel.  I love it so much that I often always put a spoonful of caramel sauce into my coffee, followed by a spoonful of caramel sauce into my mouth.  It’s one of those things I just can’t keep around for fear of my uncontrollable urge to eat it all in one sitting.

Caramel Stuffed Chocolate CookiesCaramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

These cookies were so amazingly delicious that before I knew it had happened, I had eaten three of them and they hadn’t even had time to cool.  Yes, I have a problem…and that’s why I happily gave them away to anyone who was willing to take them [an easy task].  The cookies had a great flavor and texture; they stayed pretty soft kept in an airtight container.  The rolos inside…well, that was the icing on the cake.  While they were still warm, the caramel was gooey, melty and a little messy; once they cooled, it was still soft and caramel-y, without the mess.
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies: (Adapted from my baking addiction)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 24 Rolos, unwrapped
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter for a minute, then add both sugars and beat until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs and beat until well incorporated.
  3. Slowly add dry ingredients and beat until combined.
  4. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375.
  6. For each cookie, flatten a 1 Tbsp sized amount of dough and wrap it around a rolo.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 7-10 minutes until set and slightly cracked.  Let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Chocolate Strawberry S’mores

Strawberry Chocolate SmoresLast week I made chocolate graham crackers and strawberry marshmallows; it was only natural that they came together as s’mores.  It’s February and 20°F outside, so yeah, too cold to start a bonfire in Wisconsin.  I ‘d be lying if I said the thought didn’t cross my mind, but I settled for the broiler.  This was my first time making s’mores in the oven and let me tell you, it was easy peasy.  It was less messy to make than over a fire, but there’s really no way to eat a s’more without getting marshmallows all over your fingers (or your hair – what a pain!).  I decided not to, but you could add a piece of chocolate, or spread nutella /peanut butter on the graham cracker or add your own twist to it.Strawberry Chocolate Smores

The heart graham crackers didn’t break apart in the middle as perfectly as they look, I had to use a knife to help.  The squares did with no problem though.Strawberry Chocolate Smores

 Just let your broiler preheat on high.  Then place the bottom graham cracker on a baking sheet and top it with a marshmallow.  Broil it for 1-2 minutes, remove the pan, and let it cool a bit.  Place the top graham cracker on and you have yourself a s’more!

Chocolate Fondue

Chocolate Fondue via elisebakes

Fondue is the probably my favorite way to celebrate Valentine’s day – or pre-celebrate in our case.  We needed to eat up the last bit of strawberries that have been hanging out in the fridge, so I put together some strawberry shortcake skewers.  We didn’t stop our dipping there though, we added some strawberry marshmallows, bananas, and rice krispies treats into the mix.  It was a great way to spend our date-night-in last Thursday!

Chocolate Fondue via elisebakesChocolate Fondue via elisebakesChocolate Fondue via elisebakes

Chocolate Fondue:Chocolate Fondue via elisebakes

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Follow your fondue pots instructions, they should read something like this.
  2. Add heavy cream and milk to fondue pot and heat on 4 1/2 until bubbling.
  3. Reduce heat to 3-3 1/2 and add chocolate chips ~1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a whisk (plastic is ideal so you don’t risk scratching the inside of the pot).
  4. When the chocolate is completely melted, turn heat down to 2 1/2-3 to keep it warm.

Notes: You can add in 1/4 cup of liqueur for flavor if desired, just add it after the chocolate chips have melted and give it a stir.  You can use any kind of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate; it’s a great way to use up the half-full bags sitting in the pantry!

Homemade Chocolate Graham Crackers

Chocolate Graham CrackersHow cute are these homemade chocolate graham crackers?  And they were pretty easy to make, too!  Chocolate Graham Crackers
I cut them into hearts for Valentine’s day, but you could do any shape, or just leave them rectangular!  They tasted pretty close to the store-bought ones as far as flavor goes.  They weren’t quite as crispy right out of the oven, but they hardened a bit after they were completely cool.  I think I can safely say I won’t be buying graham crackers again!Chocolate Graham Crackers
Chocolate Graham CrackersChocolate Graham Crackers: (from The Kitchenarian)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cold milk
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit in your cookie sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cocoa, sugar, and baking powder together. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender.
  3. Combine the honey and milk in a small bowl, stir until the honey dissolves completely in the milk.
  4. Add the liquid into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix in with a fork until the dough comes together. Add a little more milk if necessary.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and fold it over gently 10 to 12 times, until smooth.  Divide the dough in half and keep the remaining dough covered in the bowl.  Transfer half the dough to a piece of parchment.
  6. Roll the dough into a rectangle shape until it is 1/16-inch thick. (It will be approx. 10 x 14 inches.) Trim the edges and prick the dough evenly with a fork.  Place the rolled-out dough pieces on the lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough. For the hearts, I rolled the dough, pressed the cookie cutter into it, and peeled up the scrap dough, and added it to the remaining half, which I shaped into a rectangle as instructed.
  7. Bake the crackers for 12-15 minutes, or until you begin to smell chocolate. Halfway through baking, sprinkle top of crackers with sugar.
  8. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little more sugar and immediately cut them into rectangles with a pizza wheel or knife if desired. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes: Be patient when cutting in the butter, don’t stop until it’s crumbly – it won’t stick together like a dough, but make sure the butter is well distributed.  I ran a pizza cutter gently across the top before baking so the paired pieces would break apart when cooled (and to make the break in the heart), and then cut them into squares after they’d cooled for a couple minutes.