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Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

cookiesandcreamricekrispy

Part two of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer bake sale that I posted about on Saturday. Read all about it here (or just scroll down to the last post).  I made Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and these Cookies and Cream Rice Krispy Treats. I saw these on Annie’s Eats a several months ago. For whatever reason, Rice Krispy Treats are always a huge hit at bake sales so I decided to put a twist on them with the Cookies and Cream version.

These were really not hard to make and such a delicous twist on your everyday Rice Krispy Treat. And who doesn’t love Oreos?

Cookies and Cream Rice Krispy Treats
(Recipe source Annie’s Eats)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips because it was all I had!)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces (1 small package) marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups Rice Krispies
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped, plus extra finely chopped for topping
4-6 oz. white chocolate, chopped

Directions:

Melt bittersweet chocolate in a small glass bowl, microwaving in 30 second intervals. Stirring after each 30 second interval, until completely melted. Set aside.  Grease a 9×13″ pan with butter or cooking spray.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Turn off heat and stir in chocolate and vanilla. Gently stir in Rice Krispies and Oreos, mix to coat evenly. Press mixture into prepared pan, leveling the top.

Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stir continuously until completely melted. Spread melted white chocolate over the Rice Crispies and then sprinkle and press in remaining chopped oreos. Set aside to cool and let chocolate set completely. Cut into squares.

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pumpkinchocchipbar2

Every year at about this time the food blogging world goes crazy for pumpkin. Seriously…it’s everywhere, all everyone can talk about. I’m not quite in the fall mindset yet because a) I just love summer so much and all the fresh fruits and vegetables that come with it and b) it’s still 85 degrees here!

The big news this year is the canned pumpkin shortage in some parts of the country. I’ll admit that when I was at the grocery last weekend I couldn’t help but look to see if they had pumpkin in stock. Don’t worry – we’re fine here in Charlotte! No pumpkin shortage for us. I picked up a can and caved and decided to bake these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars that I spotted from Martha Stewart.

I’ll admit, begrudgingly, that these were awesome – especially fresh out of the oven. They have a cake like texture and are very moist. They were great served warm with ice cream on top!

And I’ll also admit…you’ll be seeing another pumpkin post from me soon!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
(Recipe heavily adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (make sure you’re using 100% pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix)
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish by lining it with aluminum foil, shiny side down, leaving about a 1-inch overhang on the edges. Grease foil (I like to use the wrapper from the butter).

In a bowl, mix together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars on medium-high for about 3 minutes, until lightened in color and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until just combined. Beat in pumpkin puree. Reduce speed to low and slowly mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread to ensure it’s even. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the foil and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. About 35-40 minutes.

Let cool in pan. Once cool, lift foil from pan and cut squares.

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icecreamsundaepie

Brandon had been asking for and ice cream pie. I was tempted to make my standby, cookies and cream with an Oreo crust, but decided to look around to see if anything else caught my eye. I saw this Malt Shop Ice Cream Pie on myrecipes.com and thought with a few modifications it would be a winning combination. One of Brandon’s all time favorite desserts is a chocolate malt so I knew he would love this pie.

I think what sold me on it the most was the sugar cone crust. What a fun idea! The crust didn’t really hold together well but I think if I had crushed the cones a little finer I wouldn’t have had that problem. I substituted the strawberry ice cream in the Cooking Light recipe for chocolate and made my own fudge sauce to go in between layers and on top.

I’ll definitely be making this pie again but next time I’ll add more malt powder to get a stronger malt flavor. I think this would be great to serve to dinner guests topped with a cherry!

icecreamsundaewholepie

Malted Ice Cream Sundae Pie
(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons  honey
2 tablespoons  butter, melted
12 sugar cones, crushed
2 cups low-fat chocolate ice cream, softened
1/4 cup malted milk powder, divided
1/2 cup  hot fudge topping, plus more for topping
2  cups low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened
Canned whipped cream

Directions:

Combine crushed sugar cones, honey and butter in a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.

Place softened chocolate ice cream and 2 tablespoons of malted milk powder in a bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth and creamy. Spread mixture evenly into crust and spread hot fudge over the ice cream. Freeze 30 minutes or until firm.

Place softened vanilla ice cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of malted milk powder in a bowl. Beat with a mixer at hight speed until smooth and creamy. Spread mixture evenly over first 2 layers.

Cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm. Top with hot fudge and whipped cream just before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

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chocbiscotti

I made this Chocolate Biscotti along with some Strawberry Scones to send to my grandmother for her birthday last month. The biscotti holds up well when shipped and has a longer shelf life than regular cookies. My grandmother told me she stuck them in the freezer and takes one out when she wants a snack.

This was my first time making biscotti. It was fairly easy and I think it makes a great gift. It’s pretty versatile and can be enjoyed as a snack, dessert or even breakfast (hey, some people like it with coffee!). My husband would be one of those in the “Chocolate is okay for breakfast” camp.

I’ll definitely be making this and other biscotti recipes in the future.

Chocolate Biscotti
(Recipe source Proceed With Caution, originally from Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (followed recommendation to replace with cocoa powder since I didn’t have espresso powder)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped almonds, blanched or unblanched (or about 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or 3/4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
Sugar, for dusting

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Mixture may still be crumbly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, add eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Add vanilla and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. Return mixer to low speed and mix in the dry ingredients in three additions. Mix only until dough comes together.

Mix in the chopped nuts and chocolate and turn dough out onto a work surface. Divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll dough into 12-inch-long logs. Flatten both logs with the palm of your hand so that they are 1/2 to 1 inch high and about 2 inches across and sort of rectangular. Carefully lift the logs onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until they are just slightly firm. The logs will have spread and cracked a little. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes. Leave oven on for second baking.

Use a serrated knife to cut each log into slices between 1/2 and 3/4 inch thick. Stand slices up on the baking sheet (like the picture at the top of the post) and return to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.

Transfer biscotti to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Yield: Around 25 bicotti

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mudpie

We had friends over for dinner Friday night and I wanted to make an easy dessert. Ice cream pie seemed like the perfect thing now that we’re having days with temperatures in the 80’s. This Mississippi Mud Pie did not disappoint. It was great! The recipe was recommended to me from Annie’s Eats.

The only change I would make next time would be to make extra crust. I didn’t have enough to go up the sides of my pie pan. I used a 9-inch pie pan. I’m reflecting that change in my recipe below. Otherwise, everything was perfect. The homemade chocolate mixture is sinfully delicious (I was definitely sampling the leftover chocolate sauce at 7 a.m. Friday morning when I was making the pie!)  and I think the toffee chips make this pie.

Mississippi Mud Pie
(Recipe source Annie’s Eats, originally from Williams-Sonoma)

Ingredients:

FOR THE COOKIE CRUST
2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

FOR THE PIE
1/2 cup toffee bits
1 quart coffee ice cream, softened

Directions:

FOR THE COOKIE CRUST
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together cookie crumbs, butter and sugar until crumbs are well moistened. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Firmly pack in crumbs and work up the sides of the pan.

Bake for 5-10 minutes (depending on desired crust firmness). Note that the crust will firm up more as it cools.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE
In a double boiler, combine the chocolate chips, butter, cream and corn syrup. Heat over low heat, stirring often, until chocolate is melted. If you do not have a double broiler, you can use a small metal bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water. Bowl should not be touching the water.

Alternatively, in a microwave proof bowl, combine the chocolate, butter, cream and corn syrup and melt in microwave in 30-second intervals at 50 percent power. Stir mixture well after each 30 second interval. Do not overcook! Chocolate can burn quickly in microwave.

Add powdered sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and whisk together. Reserve 1⁄3 cup of the chocolate mixture for the top of the pie. Spread the remaining mixture evenly in the bottom of the cookie crust and sprinkle half of the toffee bits over the chocolate. Refrigerate until chilled and set, about 1 hour.

TO ASSEMBLE THE PIE
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the softened ice cream on medium speed until it is spreadable but not runny. Immediately spread in pie shell and freeze until the ice cream is firm, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Reheat the reserved chocolate mixture in the microwave at 50 percent power in 30-second intervals, until it is spreadable but not hot. Use a spatula to spread it over the ice cream. Sprinkle with remaining toffee bits and return the pie to the freezer until it is completely firm before serving, 3 to 4 hours.

To slice, run a knife under hot water, then dry it off. If frozen overnight, pie may need to stand at room temperature for a few minutes before it is soft enough to slice easily.ream

Yield: One 9-inch pie; 8 servings

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I wanted to make a dessert last weekend for the blog (and for our enjoyment on Friday night!). I needed to narrow down my options – it’s a little tough just to say “I want to make a dessert” – so I decided to focus on tarts. I bought a tart pan at Williams-Sonoma a few moths ago and hadn’t used it. I sent Brandon and a few friends an email with tart options and the overwhelming response was that I should either make a peanut butter tart or a chocolate tart. Brandon had the genius suggestion to combine the two. So off I went in search of a chocolate peanut butter tart. I found this recipe online on the cooking blog Alpineberry. It’s originally from Fine Cooking magazine.

This tart did not disappoint for my first foray into tart making. The chocolate and peanut butter flavors went together so well. If you love chocolate and peanut butter as much as I do, I highly suggest you give this one a try!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart
(Recipe source Alpineberry, originally from Fine Cooking Magazine)

Ingredients:

FOR THE CRUST
1 sleeve of Oreos (with cream filling scraped out) or chocolate graham crackers
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

FOR THE FILLING
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp salt
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 tsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

FOR THE CHOCOLATE GLAZE
3 oz  bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 tbsp light corn syrup

Directions:

FOR THE CRUST
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have an ungreased 9 1/2 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom ready.

Place cookies in a food processor and process until finely ground. If you don’t have a food processor, you can place the cookies in a gallon bag and use a rolling pin to crush. In a medium bowl, mix the cookie crumbs and sugar until well blended. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and mix until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Put the crumbs in the tart pan and use your hands to spread the crumbs so that they coat the bottom of the pan and start to climb the sides. Use your fingers to pinch and press some of the crumbs around the inside edge of the pan to cover the sides evenly and create a wall a scant 1/4 inch thick. Redistribute the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan and press firmly to make a compact layer.

Bake the crust in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.

FOR THE FILLING
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and salt to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, brown sugar, and flour until well blended. Slowly add the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and comes to a full boil, about 3 min. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, for 1 min. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter and vanilla; whisk until well blended.

Pour the hot peanut butter mixture into the crust and spread evenly. Gently press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the filling’s surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the tart until cold, about 2 hours, before adding the chocolate glaze.

FOR THE GLAZE
Melt the chocolate in a small bowl in a microwave or in a double boiler over medium heat. (If you don’t have a double broiler, place a small metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.) Add the butter and corn syrup and whisk until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.

Carefully remove the plastic wrap from the top of the chilled filling. Drizzle the glaze over the filling and spread it evenly to cover the tart completely. Refrigerate the tart in the pan until the glaze sets, about 30  minutes or up to 12  hours.

chocpbtart

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banananutellabaked

We have a jar of Nutella in the pantry that I bought to make Nutella Croissants. Last weekend I was making banana muffins and thought it would be fun to put a dollop of Nutella in the center before baking. It was a good idea. Especially warm. So next time you make your favorite banana muffins, try layering a teaspoon of Nutella in the batter. You won’t be disappointed!

Banana Nutella Muffins
(Recipe source Cooking Light and Bakin’ and Eggs)

Ingredients:

2  cups  all-purpose flour
3/4  tsp  baking soda
1/2  tsp  salt
1 /2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4  cup  butter, softened
2  large eggs
1 1/2  cups  mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1/3  cup  plain low-fat yogurt (can sub non-fat yogurt, greek yogurt or sour cream)
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
3/4 cup Nutella
Muffin liners or cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with liners or coat with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. In a separate bowl, combine banana, yogurt and vanilla.

Beat sugar and butter with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy and well blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana mixture and beat until blended. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed just until moist.

Fill muffin tins about 1/4 of the way full with the batter. Place 1 teaspoon of Nutella in the center of each muffin. Fill muffin tins with remaining batter. They should be about 3/4 full.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks – but remember – these are best enjoyed warm!

Yield: 12 muffins

nutellabananamuffins

nutellabananafilled

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