Archive for ‘Chocolate’

April 13, 2013

Perfect Brownies

I’m pretty sure I’ve made this declaration before: I like Betty Crocker Brownie mix and I don’t care who knows it. I am consistently disappointed by homemade brownie recipes. Sure, they are good and chocolatey and often have many redeeming qualities. But every one I had tried had always fallen short somehow.

Until I made this recipe. Which came pretty darn close to box-mix goodness. These brownies have that crackly top and a dense inside that is fudgy without being oily or greasy. This is a go-to utility brownie. Good for bake sales, small children, pizza nights, grandparents, husbands, wives, friends, dogs. Wait. Not dogs. They can’t have these brownies.

But you can. And the best part? If brownies any even make it alive in your house past a few days and start to get a little stale, crumble ’em up on ice cream. I can verify this is a truly excellent and resourceful and delicious idea.

Perfect Brownies
adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker

1¼ c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11-12 oz  semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped
1 c (two sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 c granulated sugar
1 c packed light brown sugar
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and line bottom with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, salt, and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.Over a double boiler (or heat-proof bowl resting on a pot of boiling water), melt together chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Turn the heat off but leave the double boiler over the hot water. Whisk the sugars into the chocolate until combined. If using a small double boiler, transfer the mixture into a large bowl. If using a heat-proof bowl, remove from the pot of water.

Add 3 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Do not over mix to ensure fudgy brownies. Sprinkle in the dry ingredients, and then fold in until just barely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, with just a few crumbs. Let brownies cool completely before cutting and serving. (Who are we kidding… grab a fork and dig in!)

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April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

There is nothing like Easter to give you an unlimited license to be cute.

We are talking pastel colored, bunnies and baby chicks, little kids in flowery dresses cute.

I love Easter, but I HATE jelly bean.

Just thought you should know.

This guy tried to catch my little chocolate birdies more than once. He’s pretty cute too.

Happy Easter!

March 18, 2012

Harvard Man Cookies

Am I allowed to brag a little?

Okay thanks guys! I am officially dating a HARVARD MAN.

Yep, my man is headed to Harvard for graduate school next year! My first reaction? Yes! A chance to make themed cookies!!! I mean, congratulations, honey!!!!

But of course, I couldn’t resist. I just had to whip up a batch of crimson Red Velvet roll out cookies complete with cream cheese frosting Harvard H’s. I also made some Harvard cocktails and hit up The Coop for a Harvard tee.

While this was slightly beside the point for this occasion… these actually weren’t my favorite cookies. I found them to be a bit chalky. If I make them again, I think they need more butter or liquid and a little less cocoa powder so they are a little less thick and a little more red.  But they were fun to make – I had never heard of red velvet cookies before, only cake or cupcakes! And I’m always up for a kitchen adventure.

So all I have to say is….. GO CRIMSON!! And really, congratulations to my Christopher 🙂

Red Velvet Roll Out Cookies
adapted from ireallylikefood.com

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, seeds scraped out
  • 1 tbsp red food colouring
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk powder
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cream together butter and confectioners sugar. Add the egg, vanilla seeds, red food colouring, and 2 tbs milk and mix well.  Sift together the cocoa, buttermilk powder, flour, baking powder and salt and add to the wet ingredients. The dough should be soft but not sticky. After mixing, let it rest for five to ten minutes, then roll out to 1/4 inch thickness dusting very lightly with cocoa powder if needed. Cut into desired shapes and bake at 400 degrees for 6-7 minutes. Frost with your favorite cream cheese frosting!

March 5, 2012

Hey stranger….

Okay. It’s been a while. But let’s not make this awkward. We are old friends right? Time means nothing?

Yeah, yeah, get on with the chocolate, right?

I have to say, I had all but given up on this little blog of mine. It’s not that I didn’t miss it, and it’s not that I haven’t been baking. I just thought perhaps it had run its course.

But then I got a call from a friend, who, much like this blog, I hadn’t talked to in way too long. Let’s just say she was in need of some chocolate therapy. And I realized…. so was I. So I got out my mixing bowls and my trusty camera. I don’t think I fully appreciate how much I missed full on baking until I was elbow deep in graham crackers and chocolate chips.

OH…and there’s a new addition to my baking team…. MEET ARTHUR! I’m sure he will be making some appearances…

Betsy, darling, this is for you. Sorry I couldn’t mail it.

A graham cracker crust with chunks of chocolate.

A gooey caramelly-chocolate center, studded with pecans and chocolate chips.

Topped with a sticky sweet swirl of caramel on top.

Yes. Please.

Chocolate Turtle Pie
recipe from Mrs. Field’s I Love Chocolate Cookbook

Crust:
1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs
3 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
4 tbs unsalted butter; melted

Filling
5 egg yolks
2 tbs sugar
3 tbs water
3/4 c sugar
6 oz semisweet chocolate; finely chopped
2 c heavy cream; scalded
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 c chopped pecans
Caramel topping (like the kind you put on ice cream)

Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, blend the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Stir in the milk chocolate. Press the crust mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a heavy medium saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water over low heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then let boil without stirring until the syrup turns a light amber. While the syrup is boiling, brush down the sides of the pan from time to time with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the hot cream (be careful, it will bubble rapidly). Continue stirring, over heat if necessary, until all of the caramel is dissolved into the cream. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Whisk about 1/2 c. of the hot caramel cream into the eggs to warm them. Transfer the warmed eggs to the caramel cream in the saucepan. Stir in the chopped semisweet chocolate and the vanilla, stirring until melted and smooth. Pour the filling mixture into the pie crust. Sprinkle the pecans and chocolate chips on top.

Bake for about 35 min., or until the center is just set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then refrigerate until firm, about 4 hrs. Drizzle caramel on top when cool.

June 19, 2011

Chocolate Beet Cake

Beets.

Chocolate cake.

Juicy, earthy vegetables.

Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting.

Try to hide them under your napkin during dinner.

Beg your father for just onnnnnne more slice.

Pop, thanks for making me eat my vegetables.

But more importantly, thanks for teaching me to love the sweet stuff.

Pop, believe it or not, your daughter, the same one who used to cry at the dinner table over a plate of sundried tomato meatloaf, has baked a chocolate beet cake. The same girl who needed a kiddie plate to separate her peas from her potatoes until the age of 17 has combined vegetables and dessert into one single pan.

Guess what? It was delicious.

The sailboat is for you, pops. The cake… well…. it was for you, but you weren’t around, so I ate it myself. In your honor of course. With a tall glass of skim.

All the love in the world to the best papa a girl could ever have!

Chocolate Beet Cake
Adapted from
Veggie Belly

1/2 cup milk/semi-sweet/dark chocolate chips (your preference)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups cooked and pureed beets
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, sugar, and oil. Slowly, add the beets, chocolate, and vanilla and beat until just combined.

Sift together the cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir until just combined, being careful not to overwork.

Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let most cool in pan, then carefully remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting

1/2 cup butter (if using unsalted, toss in a dash of salt)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4-1/2 cup cocoa
milk as needed

In an electric mixer, cream together butter and peanut butter. Add sugar and cocoa powder and whip until combined. Add milk as needed and whip on high to achieve desired consistency. Try to frost the cake before you eat the whole bowl!

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