Buffalo Chicken Dip

Call it what you want: Crack Dip, Buffalo Chicken Dip… You know it and love it.

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Buffalo Chicken Dip | A Nerd Cooks

You all know this dip. It’s a classic. You’ll find it at many parties (certainly at most of mine!), and for good reason. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

It can be fairly versatile, too. If you’re a pescatarian, consider subbing in cooked, chopped shrimp for the chicken. Vegetarian? Omit the chicken/shrimp entirely. Gluten-free? Switch up the dippers to meet your needs.

Need more buffalo chicken action? Hop on over to my Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken recipe! You can do a lot with it (pizza, baked potatoes, mac and cheese, etc.), and it couldn’t be easier to make. It’s a definite favorite in my house!

Buffalo Chicken Dip | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need:

  • 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (we’re a Frank’s household)
  • 1 (1 oz.) packet Ranch seasoning
  • 1 lb cooked chicken breasts, shredded (rotisserie chicken is handy here)*
  • vegetables, pitas, crackers, chips, etc. for dipping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, Greek yogurt/sour cream, shredded cheese, hot sauce, and Ranch seasoning. Stir in the cooked chicken.

Pour the dip into an oven safe dish, and top with some more cheese. Bake for approximately an hour.

Try to exercise a little patience (or else burn your mouth on the hot dip), and dig in!

*you can also use a proportional amount of canned chicken

Buffalo Chicken Dip | A Nerd Cooks

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies – Updated

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Pumpkin and chocolate were meant to be together, especially in these pumpkin chocolate chip blondies!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies | A Nerd Cooks

When asked which recipe you would like to see next, and given the choice between these blondies and some buffalo chicken dip in informal polls on Facebook and Instagram, these blondies were the clear winner.

I can’t really blame you. Look at them.

And yes, I know that what is traditionally thought of as “pumpkin season” has come and gone. But I maintain that pumpkin should be consumed year-round. In addition to that, pumpkin and chocolate should be consumed together, year-round. Need more proof? Take a look at these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal CookiesPumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Chocolate Sauce, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. I think you see what I’m talking about.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies | A Nerd Cooks

I made these blondies for the first time going on 6 years ago and felt like they deserved a face lift. The original blog post can be found here.

You’ll need:

  • 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips, plus a little more for topping the blondies
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus a little more for topping the blondies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, making sure to leave some overhang on the long sides. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined.  Next, add the pumpkin puree. The mixture will look kind of curdled, and that this is completely normal. You’re doing just fine.

Reduce the speed to low, and, little by little, add the dry ingredients. Next, add the chocolate chips and mix until they are distributed throughout the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick, when inserted into the center, comes out clean.  Allow the blondies to cool, cut into squares, and enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies | A Nerd Cooks

Bourbon Moscow Mules

Bourbon + lime juice + ginger beer = one seriously delicious cocktail

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Bourbon Moscow Mule | A Nerd Cooks

At this point, it’s probably not a secret that I love bourbon. Check out my Bourbon Pumpkin Shrub and Bourbon Chocolate Sauce for just a couple of examples. I also love a good Moscow Mule. This version brings my two loves together.

Bourbon Moscow Mule | A Nerd Cooks

Start with a classic Moscow Mule. Pivot slightly by subbing bourbon for vodka. And there we have it: a Bourbon Moscow Mule.

Bourbon Moscow Mule | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need (makes 1 drink):

  • 1.5 oz bourbon (I like Bulleit)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • ginger beer
  • lime wedge, for garnish (optional)

Pour the bourbon, lime juice, and ginger beer over ice (in a copper mug, please!). Enjoy!

Looking for more Mules? I’ve got you covered. Check out these Cranberry Vanilla Moscow Mules, original (with a slight twist) Moscow Mules, Caramel Apple Moscow Mules, Pomegranate Champagne Moscow Mules, and of course, the Old Kentucky Mule.

Bourbon Moscow Mule | A Nerd CooksBourbon Moscow Mule | A Nerd Cooks

Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies

These cookies are soft, full of warm gingerbread spices, and have pretty, crackly-looking tops

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Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

To be honest, I’ve never been wild about gingerbread cookies. In my experience, they’re hard, dry, and just all around meh. It it just me? Or have I just been eating the wrong gingerbread cookies all along?

Regardless… THESE gingerbread cookies are something else entirely. They’re super soft and warmly spiced. The powdered sugar lends a bit more sweetness, in addition to allowing for the pretty, crackly tops.

Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

This delicious recipe comes from the blog Self Proclaimed Foodie. Based on the cookie scoop that I use, this recipe has consistently yielded 2.5 dozen. Depending on what you use, you may get 2-3 dozen.

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tbs + 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground gigner
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsb salt
  • 12 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup molasses*
  • tbs heavy cream (I did use milk one time, and it was fine)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, spices, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low until combined.

Turn the mixer off and add the cut up butter. Mix again, but at medium-low speed, until all of the dry ingredients are coated in butter. This will take about 1-2 minutes.

Reduce the mixer’s speed to low. With it still running, slowly add the molasses and heavy cream. Mix until the dough is evenly moistened and everything is combined.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours (or up to overnight) or freeze for 20-30 minutes.

When it’s time to bake the cookies, line another baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll the chilled dough in the granulated sugar until coated. Next, roll the dough in the powdered sugar.**

Place the dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet, approximately 1 inch apart from one another, and bake 10-12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven once they start to crack. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Notes:

*Spraying your measuring cup with cooking spray before pouring the molasses in helps keep the measuring cup mostly mess-free

**When it comes to rolling the dough in the powdered sugar, more is more. The first couple of times that I made these cookies, I skimped on the powdered sugar. Sure they looked like they were pretty much covered, but when they baked, the powdered sugar kind of melted. You’re going to want to really coat them in powdered sugar. See the photo below for what you’re aiming for.

Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

Pomegranate Champagne Moscow Mules

Ring in the New Year with a sweet and bubbly Pomegranate Champagne Moscow Mule!

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Pomegranate Champagne Moscow Mules | A Nerd Cooks

Yes, I’ve been super absent these last few months. Sorry, friends. As it does so often, life has gotten in the way of blogging. Fortunately, it’s been for very positive reasons.

At the risk of sounding like Taylor Swift (sorry, guys), 2017 has been a pretty great year. Yes, I know that most of the year has been trash, and that the world is a dumpster fire… but things have been good from a personal standpoint.

In addition to us having our health, jobs, family, friends, and all of that standard (but super important!) good stuff, there have been other important developments. My career development award was funded in August, I was promoted to Assistant Professor in October, and we bought our first house later that same month. All in all, life is treating us very well. Stay tuned for photos of our incredible new kitchen!

Pomegranate Champagne Moscow Mules | A Nerd Cooks

Though things have been crazy and busy, I wanted to close out things out with a delicious and bubbly cocktail that is perfect for ringing in the new year. Pomegranate juice provides color and sweetness (plus antioxidants!), ginger beer and lime lend a bit of bite, and champagne makes things extra bubbly. You won’t regret toasting the new year with this pretty cocktail.

Looking for more riffs on the Moscow Mule? Check out the Old Kentucky Mule, Caramel Apple Moscow Mule, Cranberry Vanilla Moscow Mule, and a slight variation on the original Moscow Mule.

Pomegranate Champagne Moscow Mules | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need (makes 1 cocktail):

  • 1.5 oz plain vodka
  • 2 oz pomegranate juice
  • 2 oz champagne/sparkling wine
  • 3 oz ginger beer
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • pomegranate arils and lime wedge, for garnish (optional)

Pour vodka, pomegranate juice, bubbly, ginger beer, and lime juice over ice and stir to combine. Garnish with pomegranate arils and a lime wedge if you’re feeling fancy.

Toast and sip!

Note: If you’d like a sweeter cocktail, you can decrease the amount of ginger beer and increase the amount of pomegranate juice.

I hope you all have a safe and very happy new year’s celebration. See you in 2018!

Pomegranate Champagne Moscow Mules | A Nerd Cooks

Pomegranate Champagne Moscow Mules | A Nerd Cooks

 

Most Popular Posts of 2017

Let’s revisit the most popular posts on A Nerd Cooks in 2017! This year’s list is a bit of a hodgepodge, though cocktails definitely dominated–4 out of 10 popular posts were boozy! Aside from the cocktails (and the cupcakes), your favorites look pretty healthyish. Good on you guys.

Now, let’s go to the list. Anything with an asterisk beside it was created in 2017.

  1. Dirty Coke Floats

Dirty Coke Floats | A Nerd Cooks

2. Broiled Grapefruit

broiled_grapefruit4-2

3. Pressure Cooker Green Chicken Chili*

Pressure Cooker Green Chicken Chili | A Nerd Cooks

4. Watermelon Nectarine Caprese Salad

Watermelon Nectarine Caprese Salad | A Nerd Cooks

5. Sweet Potato Pecan Muffins*

Sweet Potato Pecan Muffins | A Nerd Cooks

6. Three Ingredient Slow Cooker Taco Chicken*

Three Ingredient Slow Cooker Taco Chicken | A Nerd Cooks

7. Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream | A Nerd Cooks

8. Coconut Mojitos

Coconut Mojitos | A Nerd Cooks

9. Blood Orange Bourbon Sours

Blood Orange Bourbon Sours | A Nerd Cooks

10. The Grapefruit Crush

Grapefruit Crush | A Nerd Cooks

Did any of your favorites make the list? What are you interested in seeing in 2018? Comment, tweet at me, hit me up on Facebook, or heck, follow me on Instagram, and let me know what you’d like to see!

Have a safe and happy new year’s celebration, everyone!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are chewy, sweet, and full of pumpkin and Fall spices.

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Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

So, it’s been a minute.

I don’t think I’ve ever gone this long without posting something. I’m pretty sure I baked these cookies back in September… I even missed out on A Nerd Cooks’ birthday in August (the blog turned 6!!). In my defense, lots of things have been happening! To give you a little taste:

  • I/we have been doing a bit of traveling and have had friends and family visiting us.
  • I was promoted to Assistant Professor at Duke!
  • We bought a house!!

We moved in last weekend, and are so happy here already. I’ll likely share some photos of the kitchen at some point, because it is GORGEOUS. But only after the inside of the house stops looking like a tornado passed through.

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

As for the cookies? Well, they’re pretty fantastic. Unlike many pumpkin cookies (like these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies), these are chewy, not cakey. You have the oats and drained/blotted pumpkin (see instructions below) to thank for that. Beyond that, these cookies are full of pumpkin spice flavor as well as chocolate chips. Scroll a little further for the recipe!

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

This recipe comes from the blog Sally’s Baking Addiction.

You’ll need (yields 30-36 cookies):

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups + 1 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for pressing into the top

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Line a medium-sized bowl with paper towels. Add the pumpkin puree to the lined bowl. Using the paper towels, squeeze a bit of the moisture out of the canned pumpkin. Check out Sally’s blog for a visual. Removing some of the moisture from the pumpkin helps produce a less cake-like cookie. Which is what we’re going for here.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and oats together. Set this aside.

In another medium-sized bowl, whisk the melted butter, maple syrup, sugars, egg yolk, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop ~1.5 tbs-sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Smoosh the dough balls down slightly. They don’t spread much on their own, so they need some help in this department. Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Press a few chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies while they are still warm. Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies | A Nerd CooksChewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies | A Nerd Cooks