Chocolate slice and bake cookies... cardamom and orange flavors are so warm and perfect for the holiday season! I made these cookies for #Choctoberfest with the help of our Gold Sponsor, Imperial Sugar!
Cookies, Desserts, Recipes

Welcome to #Choctoberfest with Imperial Sugar: Chocolate Orange-Cardamom Cookies

Chocolate slice and bake cookies… cardamom and orange flavors are so warm and perfect for the holiday season! I made these cookies for #Choctoberfest with the help of our Gold Sponsor, Imperial Sugar!

Chocolate slice and bake cookies... cardamom and orange flavors are so warm and perfect for the holiday season! I made these cookies for #Choctoberfest with the help of our Gold Sponsor, Imperial Sugar!

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year, because #Choctoberfest is finally here! From now until the end of the week, I am joining forces with over 100 other bloggers from around the world to post delicious chocolate recipes. Every day, #Choctoberfest bloggers will be celebrating all things chocolate – milk, dark, white, bittersweet, semi-sweet, and cocoa!

Welcome to #Choctoberfest 2017!

We are starting with a #Choctoberfest prize pack from our generous sponsors. Scroll down to learn how you can enter to win. One lucky winner will receive the following:

  • A 100-Piece Cake Decorating Kit from our blog sponsors The PinterTest Kitchen. This set includes a cake turntable, piping bags, piping tips, flower nozzles, scapers, and more.
  • An Instant Pot and a 40-Pound Case of Granulated Sugar from our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar. Imperial Sugar provides high-quality sugar and sweetener products and over 100 years of time-tested recipes. Sweet things happen when people come together in the kitchen, and that’s why Imperial Sugar has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations for generations.
  • Coconut Oil and Chocolate Silk Greens from our silver sponsor Barlean’s, your trusted source for chocolatey goodness superfood nutrition. Barlean’s has a commitment to staying ahead of the innovation curve in providing the absolute highest quality product.
  • A Chocolate Gift Pack from our silver sponsor Forte Chocolates. You’ll receive 12 of their most popular chocolate bars. With Forte Chocolates, you can celebrate life through chocolate. They also have a line of chocolate developed specifically to use in savory recipes.
  • A Chocolate Gift Pack from our silver sponsor Divine Chocolate. You’ll receive one of each of their baking bars, a white chocolate bar, and their top 5 everyday bars. Divine Chocolate is the only Fairtrade chocolate company in the world that is owned by cocoa farmers. Their baking bars are also a delicious vegan option.
  • A Selection of Sprinkles from our silver sponsor Sprinkle Pop. Sprinkle Pop’s bespoke sprinkle creations are one of a kind, just like you! At Sprinkle Pop, you can also order a custom sprinkle mix; there isn’t a sprinkle mix that you can dream up that they can’t create.

That’s a prize pack worth over $400! Open worldwide, except where prohibited. Must be 18+ to enter (21+ in some locations). See terms and conditions for more details.

To enter, simply follow our sponsors using the widget below. You can gain additional entries by following me and the other participating bloggers. A winner will be drawn on October 21, 2018 and contacted via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to come back to my blog for more chocolatey goodness between now and October 20.

Check out our participating bloggers:

The PinterTest Kitchen 2 Cookin Mamas 27th and Olive A Day in the Life on the Farm A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures A Little Fish in the Kitchen addicted 2 recipes Amy’s Cooking Adventures An Affair from the Heart April GoLightly At the Table with R and R Baking Sense Blade & Barbell Blogghetti Body Rebooted Books n’ Cooks Bottom Left of the Mitten Canning and Cooking at Home Cheese Curd In Paradise Chef Sarah Elizabeth Cindy’s Recipes and Writings Coconut & Lime Cook With Renu Cook’s Hideout Cookaholic Wife Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt Daily Dish Recipes Everyday Eileen Fairyburger Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice Family Around the Table Fix Me a Little Lunch Frankly Entertaining Frugal & Fit Get the Good Stuff! Growing Up Gabel Hardly A Goddess Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks Home Sweet Homestead House of Nash Eats Intelligent Domestications jenniferbakes JoAnn’s Food Bites Join Us, Pull up a Chair Jolene’s Recipe Journal Jonesin’ For Taste Karen’s Kitchen Stories Kate’s Recipe Box Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats LeMoine Family Kitchen Life on Food Life, Love, and Good Food Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish Little House Big Alaska Long Distance Baking Maria’s Mixing Bowl Moore or Less Cooking Must Love Home Norine’s Nest Our Good Life Our Sutton Place OVENTales Palatable Pastime Prettysweetblog Red Cottage Chronicles Restless Chipotle Reviews, Chews & How-Tos Sarah Cooks the Books Sarah’s Bake Studio Savory Moments Seasonal and Holiday Recipe Exchange Seasoned Sprinkles Seduction In The Kitchen Simple Family Crazy Life Simply Inspired Meals Snacks and Sips Soulfully Made Stephie The Happy Mom Sumptuous Spoonfuls Sweet Coralice Take Two Tapas Tampa Cake Girl That Recipe The Baking Fairy The Beard and The Baker The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine The Gingered Whisk The Heritage Cook The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen The Olive Blogger The Pajama Chef The Redhead Baker The Saucy Fig The Spiffy Cookie The Weekday Gourmet This is How I Cook Trampling Rose Turnips 2 Tangerines Walking Fruitfully Wendy Polisi Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen Zesty South Indian Kitchen

I know you guys will find great recipes on ALL of of those fabulous blogs this week. But first, before you go check them out… let’s chat about these YUMMY cookies! I made them with Imperial Sugar. In some ways, it seems like all sugar is the same. But since I began baking with Imperial Sugar, I have noticed a definite difference in the quality of my dishes. They’ve been in business for 175 years so they know what they’re doing!! I know that sounds like an ad, but I promise it isn’t. Their regular granulated sugar is not clumpy, their brown sugar is not dry (and the resealable bags are helpful!), and their powdered sugar is so soft and perfect for blending into frosting. If you’re looking for some fun Halloween recipes, look no further. Imperial Sugar has you covered!!

Chocolate slice and bake cookies... cardamom and orange flavors are so warm and perfect for the holiday season! I made these cookies for #Choctoberfest with the help of our Gold Sponsor, Imperial Sugar!

These Chocolate Orange-Cardamon Cookies were so easy to mix together during my son’s naptime. The whole house smelled great after I zested an orange and opened up a jar of cardamom. Then, later that afternoon, my son and I sliced the cookies together and placed them on the cookie sheet to bake. <— that was interesting with a two year old. I put them on the cookie sheet, and he moved them. Sometimes into his mouth. Hahaha! For some reason I never make slice and bake cookies, but I definitely should start doing that more often. One reason why I always say cookies are my least favorite thing to bake is that they seem so tedious to scoop out, but this method eliminates that excuse!

Chocolate slice and bake cookies... cardamom and orange flavors are so warm and perfect for the holiday season! I made these cookies for #Choctoberfest with the help of our Gold Sponsor, Imperial Sugar!

If I thought my house smelled good as the cookie dough was being mixed up, it smelled even BETTER once the cookies were baked. One taste and we all were hooked! The cardamom is perhaps a little unexpected in a cookie, but the more I eat, the more I enjoy them. I think they will be a great addition to a Christmas cookie plate, but also will fit right in with fall baking because what is fall without warm spices? 🙂 Plus they are pretty, so win win! I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do… and don’t forget to check out more recipes below and enter the giveaway above! I’ll be back later this week with more deliciousness. Happy Monday!

Please click here for the first day’s worth of CHOCOLATE recipes!!

one year ago: Healthier Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
two years ago: Kale and Brown Rice Gratin
three years ago: Crockpot Barbacoa
four years ago: Baked Caramel Apple Mini Doughnuts
five years ago: Baked Strawberry French Toast with Strawberry Maple Syrup
six years ago: Maple Cornmeal Drop Biscuits
seven years ago: Pumpkin Spread
eight years ago: Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Chocolate Orange-Cardamon Cookies

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Print

cut out from an old issue of Ladies Home Journal that I ended up with a random subscription to!


  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup Imperial Granulated Sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed Imperial Brown Sugar
  • zest of one large orange, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • coarse sparkling sugar or sprinkles of choice


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cardamom.

In a separate large bowl (I used a stand mixer), beat butter, sugars, and orange zest together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg until just incorporated, and then beat in vanilla. Gently fold in flour and cocoa mixture, mixing only until combined.

Line a work surface with parchment paper, then roll the cookie dough into a 2 inch-diameter log. Roll tightly in parchment paper, then refrigerate for at least one hour. The recipe suggested rotating the log every 20 minutes to maintain shape, but I skipped that step because #momlife. Also, if you have kids helping with this recipe, you may want to divide the dough into two portions and roll into two logs, as one was a lot to handle when getting “help.” Two might be helpful for anyone, with or without kids. 

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Sprinkle sanding sugar or sprinkles on a plate or rimmed baking sheet, then roll log in sprinkles until coated well. You can brush an egg white over the log before rolling if you aren’t suffering from #momlife distraction like I was, but my method worked just fine.

Slice the sprinkled log into 1/4 inch thick, then place on prepared baking sheet an inch apart.

Bake for 9-10 minutes. Cookies should be set and slightly firm when you press into them, but they will harden a little as they cool so don’t over bake. Cool completely on pans, then store in an airtight container for up to one week. If they last that long!!

Disclosure: I received free product from Imperial Sugar to use in this recipe for #Choctoberfest. I was not required to review them or provide positive feedback. All opinions are my own. You can learn more about Imperial Sugar and get great recipe ideas from them on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


If you love cinnamon rolls, and you love blueberries, you NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE! Recipe for Blueberry Sweet Rolls on @thepajamachef
Breakfast, Pastries, Recipes

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

If you love cinnamon rolls, and you love blueberries, you NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE!

If you love cinnamon rolls, and you love blueberries, you NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE! Recipe for Blueberry Sweet Rolls on @thepajamachef

Long time no blog. Lots has been going on in my corner of the real world… including a new job (still at my library, just new responsibilities) and the start of marathon training (Rocket City Marathon in December). I know I could blog in the evening but I’ve honestly been more interested in reading a nice book. Currently, The Outsider by Stephen King. Eeeeek! I’m actually typing away at this post during my lunch break. But I’m back, and I bring BLUEBERRY SWEET ROLLS! These are absolutely phenomenal and I hope you can make them before summer is up. If you like cinnamon rolls, and you like blueberries, you will l-o-v-e these blueberry sweet rolls. #promise

If you love cinnamon rolls, and you love blueberries, you NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE! Recipe for Blueberry Sweet Rolls on @thepajamachef

Homemade cinnamon rolls are my love language. If someone tells me they’re making cinnamon rolls for brunch, and I show up expecting homemade cinnamon rolls and am greeted with their sad canned counterpart… I have to admit I’m a little disappointed. Not that people need to make good food (read: homemade cinnamon rolls) to be my friend exactly, but just that soft, fluffy sweet rolls are absolutely fabulous… and the canned kind are just a little blah. I know people are scared of baking with yeast, but it’s totally doable–and this recipe is a great place to start! For these blueberry sweet rolls, I use the same dough as my Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls… and that dough is SO forgiving. I’ve screwed it up more times than I can count. I’ve mismeasured the yeast, added too much flour, forgotten the buttermilk… I could go on. Basically, it takes a lot to mess up that dough, and even if you do, chances are good that your sweet rolls will still bake up soft and tender. And still be easy to roll out. #winning And for the record, if you invite me over, ask ME to make the cinnamon rolls. I’ll be happy to oblige!

If you love cinnamon rolls, and you love blueberries, you NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE! Recipe for Blueberry Sweet Rolls on @thepajamachefI could eat regular cinnamon rolls year round, but in the summer, I want to add fruit to everything! I mean, I eat copious amounts of fruit every day… so it’s only natural. Peaches! Watermelon! Berries of all types! This time, I loaded up on the blueberries because why not? The sweet blueberry filling I made is good enough to eat with a spoon, but please save some for your sweet rolls. You’ll probably have extra so you can swirl it in your oatmeal, top your ice cream with it, or just enjoy it as is. I added some cinnamon to the blueberry filling because it seemed only natural, but there’s also some cardamom in there to make it extra special. The best part about the blueberry filling is that some of it pools on the bottom of the baking dish as the rolls rise and bake. Yum!! After the rolls are baked up and before you dive in, take a minute to make a super easy cream cheese frosting. I added a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest, and that citrus addition was perfection! I prefer cream cheese frosting on my cinnamon rolls, blueberry or otherwise, but if you want something a little lighter, you could just make a glaze with powdered sugar, cream/milk, and lemon juice. There are recipes online but you could improvise with a cup of powdered sugar, a tablespoon of cream/milk, and a tablespoon of lemon juice and go from there. I highly recommend the cream cheese frosting but if you want something simpler, that glaze would also be fantastic.

If you love cinnamon rolls, and you love blueberries, you NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE! Recipe for Blueberry Sweet Rolls on @thepajamachef

Oh, and while this post is 100% NOT sponsored, if you’re in Nashville… be sure to check out Mr. Blueberry for the delivery service of your blueberry dreams. I used their luscious Michigan blueberries to make these sweet rolls (and to devour!). The season is almost ending (I think the last delivery is next weekend, August 24-25, 2018). Just FYI, friends! 🙂 Have a great Wednesday!!

one year ago: Mexican Lasagna
two years ago: Awesome Kale Salad
three years ago: Cheesy Veggie Pasta
four years ago: Dulce de Leche Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
five years ago: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
six years ago: Cinnamon Bacon Carbonara
seven years ago (wow!): Maple Pecan Pear Scones

Blueberry Sweet Rolls

  • Servings: 12-15 rolls
  • Print

adapted from my Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls


for dough

  • 3/4 cup water – microwaved for about 15-20 seconds, should feel warm like bathwater, about 105-110 degrees F
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk [1/4 cup milk + a couple drops of lemon juice/vinegar stirred and left to sit for 5 minutes works great]
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

for filling

  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

for frosting

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let rest for 5-10 minutes until yeast starts to bubble. When frothy, add salt, buttermilk, egg, oil, and remaining sugar. Whisk to combine. With a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups of the flour. Then using a dough hook, add flour in 1/2 cup increments, mixing on low speed until dough begins pulling away from the side of the bowl. When a total of 4 1/2 cups flour have been added, increase speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. If you need to add an additional 1/2 cup flour, do so during this kneading process. I usually add the extra flour if the dough seems too sticky.

Grease a bowl with cooking spray [you can use the same bowl if you are coordinated enough to grease while the dough is in there/hold it to the side], then allow dough to rise in a warm location, covered with a dish towel, until doubled in size. This should take 1-2 hours.

When dough is almost ready, prepare filling.

In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, stir together blueberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch, then pour into blueberry mixture. Cook for another minute or two until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Allow to cool. Mixture will thicken a little more as it cools.

Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and set aside.

When dough is ready, flour your clean counter top/work surface. Punch down the dough and roll into a large rectangle, about 20×30 inches. Spread butter over dough, leaving a 1 inch margin on all edges.

Next, top with the blueberry filling mixture. You probably won’t use all of it, and if your filling is very runny, you will want to use a slotted spoon to remove excess liquid. I overfilled the rolls so I would recommend starting with 1/3 cup of the filling and adding more from there. Extra filling is great on ice cream or oatmeal, or by the spoonful!

Roll into a tight log, rolling from the long side closest to you. When you are almost to the other end, bring the far long side up and over so the seam is on top. Gently press the exposed edge to the top of the dough to seal.

Divide the log into three sections, then divide each section into four or five rolls depending on how big you want them. Cut with a sharp knife and gently transfer cinnamon rolls to prepared pan. If you lose the filling along the way, just gather it up and sprinkle over cinnamon rolls. Cover rolls with a dish towel and let rise in a warm location for another 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to bake the next morning [this is what I always do]. For the refrigerator rise, remove from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15-17 minutes for 15 rolls or about 18-22 for 12 rolls. Bake until tops begin to brown, but check in the middle to make sure the dough isn’t raw. If they need additional baking time, cover with foil to prevent excess browning.

While rolls bake, prepare frosting. Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or a whisk, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest, beating until combined. Add powdered sugar gradually, mixing until smooth. In my stand mixer this usually takes about 2-3 minutes. When I make the rolls the night before, I leave the butter and cream cheese on the counter overnight so they are soft in the morning.

When rolls come out of the oven, immediately spread half of the frosting on top. Add additional frosting on individual rolls for serving, or when they have cooled down considerably. Serve warm–they reheat well too!