About ANerdCooks

A nerd cooks... and eats, and bakes, and mixes the occasional cocktail!

Double Chocolate Irish Cream Cookies

These soft chocolate cookies are studded with mini chocolate chips, dunked in an Irish cream glaze, and topped with green sprinkles

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Double Chocolate Irish Cream Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

St. Patrick’s Day is nearly upon us! While you’ll never catch me doing a drunken bar crawl, or even drinking a Guinness (dark beer is not my jam) to celebrate the holiday, I am totally on board with holiday-appropriate boozy treats.

Luckily for me (and you!), all of the classic boozy flavors like whiskey, Guinness, and  Irish cream work really well in baked goods. These cookies have double the chocolate (cocoa powder + mini chocolate chip) and double the Irish cream flavor (in the cookie dough + the glaze). Top everything with some festive AF green sprinkles, and you have yourself a tasty cookie that’s sure to please.

Double Chocolate Irish Cream Cookies | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need (makes ~24 cookies):

For the cookies –

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Irish cream
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

For the glaze – 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.

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

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together for a few minutes until they are light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and add the vanilla extract and Irish cream.

Little by little, add the dry ingredients to the wet, on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the mini chocolate chips and turn the speed up a bit higher to incorporate them throughout the thick dough.

Next, you’re going to want to scoop and chill the cookie dough. Unfortunately, the chilling is necessary. But trust me, it’s worth it!

Scoop and roll the cookie dough into 1.5 tbs-sized balls. Place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours, and up to overnight. When slightly impatient, I’ve been known to put my cookie dough that requires chilling into the freezer (for 1-2 hours) instead of the fridge. I haven’t run into any issues yet!

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line another baking sheet with parchment paper. Move half of the dough balls over to the other cookie sheet, leaving a couple of inches between each dough ball.

Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes or so before removing them to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

When the cookies are cool, mix the powdered sugar and Irish cream in a bowl. Dip, dunk, or drizzle your cookies with the glaze. Top with green sprinkles, if you’re feeling festive. Bonus: the sprinkles that I used add a bit of crunch to these otherwise soft cookies.

Need more boozy baked goods for St. Patrick’s Day? Try Guinness Brownies with Caramel Fudge Frosting or some Chocolate Guinness Cheesecake with Chocolate Whiskey Ganache!

Double Chocolate Irish Cream Cookies | A Nerd Cooks


Almost No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

This pie has it all: cool and creamy peanut butter filling, a sweet chocolate graham cracker shell, and crunchy toppings! 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie | A Nerd Cooks

We can all agree that chocolate and peanut butter are flavor soulmates, right? I’d be hard pressed to identify a more complementary flavor duo. And I bet you would be, too.

Chocolate and peanut butter come together in this cool, frozen pie. It’s fast and easy enough to make on short notice. Plus it requires almost no baking. Just pop the crust into the oven for ~12 minutes, and the rest is just mixing, freezing, drizzling, and you’re done!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie | A Nerd Cooks

But also! Pi Day is nearly upon us! You know, pi = 3.14 … March 14th … 3/14.

Not that I really need much of an excuse to make pie… but I made this in celebration of the day. May your Pi Day be filled with this and other tasty, tasty pies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie | A Nerd Cooks

The recipe for this pie comes from Handle the Heat.

You’ll need (makes 1 pie):

For the crust – 

For the filling – 

For the topping – 

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the graham crackers and sugar until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Alternately, put the graham crackers in a large zip top bag and pulverize them with a rolling pin. Pour the crumbs into a bowl, add the melted butter, and mix until combined.

Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until fragrant. Cool the crust completely on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, use an electric hand mixer to beat the cream cheese, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, and peanut butter until it is light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, use an electric hand mixer to whip the heavy cream until thick and light. Add the remaining 2 tbs powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter/cream cheese mixture. Pour it into the prepared pie shell and freeze for 3 hours. Drizzle the top with melted peanut butter and melted chocolate. Top with chopped mini Reese’s cups and peanut butter chips. Serve frozen or refrigerated.

Looking for more pies? Go sweet with Key Lime Pie or Peanut Butter and Chocolate Fudge Pie. Or maybe go savory and handheld with Butternut Squash, Kale, and Feta Hand Pies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie | A Nerd Cooks

Turtle Brownies

Fudgy brownies, sweet and salty caramel, and crunchy pecans combine to make one delicious sweet treat.

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Turtle Brownies | A Nerd Cooks

There isn’t a whole lot to say here. I think that we can all agree that “turtle” anything is great. Slap some salted caramel, chocolate chips, crunchy pecans, and flaky sea salt on a brownie and you have a very delicious, very messy treat.

Want more brownies? Guinness Brownies with Caramel Fudge Frosting, Triple Chocolate Raspberry Brownies, and Double Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes all have you covered.

Turtle Brownies | A Nerd Cooks

You’ll need:

  • 1 batch Simple Fudge Brownies
  • 2 – 13 oz bags caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • sea salt (I cannot profess my love for Maldon sea salt strongly enough)

Make 1 batch of Simple Fudge Brownies. Or whatever brownie recipe you prefer. Just make sure that it’s in a 13×9-inch pan, or else you’ll need to cut down on the amount of caramel that you make.

While the brownies cool a bit, add the caramels and heavy cream to a medium, heavy-bottomed pot. Stir pretty continuously until the caramel is melted and smooth.

Pour the hot caramel over the brownies, smoothing into an even layer. Top with mini chocolate chips, chopped pecans, and sea salt.

Wait as long as you can manage for the caramel to cool and set up a bit. Cut into bars and eat!

Want more salted caramel and caramel-y applications? Salted Caramel Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies, Salted Dark Chocolate Dulce de Leche Blondies, and Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars ought to do the trick!

Turtle Brownies | A Nerd Cooks

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

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.


*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