Tag Archives: chocolate

Mini S’mores Bites

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Gimme s’more of these s’mores! Do you ever wonder why they’re called s’mores? It is a pretty inventive name, and I would like to know who was sitting around a campfire dreaming up this delicious combination of flavours.

It seems like the s’mores flavour is all the rage right now. I come across cool s’mores inspired desserts every day on Pinterest, and I pin them all and (like most things on pinterest) forget about them for a few months. I don’t know why it is because there are soo many delicious things on Pinterest, and I have probably pinned ALL of them. I will make a point to consult my board of recipe pins for often for inspiration.

Well anyways, that is exactly what happened with these little babies. I pinned them back in the fall, and finally got around to making them for the first time a few weeks ago (yes I said the FIRST time…since that time, these have been made again!). But really, they are so freaking easy, and once you buy the ingredients for the first batch, you WILL have leftovers for another one… I promise. IMG_1653

I made these the second time as a last minute backup dessert to bring to a potluck when my first option was on the verge of failing. THAT’S how easy they are.

Everybody loves s’mores, and let’s face it…most of us probably don’t have access to a campfire everynight, so these little morsels make a stellar substitution. I like these when they are still warm and gooey from the oven, but they are equally delicious at room temperature. I’m gonna go scrounge up my leftover s’mores ingredients and make…..s’more s’mores!! Ohh it had to be done!

Mini S’mores Bites

From Texas Cottage via Pinterest

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 milk chocolate bars (the regular size of Hershey’s or Jersey Milk) * I only used 3 bars, 2 for the pieces under the marshmallows and one for melting to dip, but use whatever works for you
  • 12 large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and melted butter in a bowl.

Equally divide the graham cracker mixture between the cups of a 24 cup mini muffin pan. Press crumbs down to form a shallow cup. Bake 4 –5 minutes until edges are bubbling.

Break chocolate bar into rectangles and place one rectangle on each baked graham cracker cup. Cut marshmallows in half crosswise and place one half on each cup, cut side down. Return to oven for 1-2 minutes until marshmallows are soft.

Place pan on a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes. Remove cups from pan and continue to cool completely.

Once cool, melt remaining chocolate bar in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring until completely melted. Dip the top of each marshmallow in the melted chocolate and turn right side up to cool.

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Filed under Candies/Truffles

Banana Chocolate Swirl Muffins

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I have an outrageous stash of bananas in my freezer right now. Just when I feel like it’s going down in size, I shove a few more in there. You see, I have a verrry small window of opportunity for banana eating. Once they start developing a few brown spots, I’m done with them..into the freezer they go! I was starting to get a little tired of bananas smashing onto my feet every time I opened the freezer, so the only logical solution was..banana bread!

Now, I already have a billion favourite banana bread recipes, but of course I had the urge to try something new, something different. Let me tell you there are lots of variations on banana bread out there that look amazing. Peanut butter banana bread? That has my name written all over it. Lime coconut banana bread? Delicious! I will definitely be making those sometime soon since my banana pile doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller!

However, this time I wanted something that I could whip together with ingredients that I already had on hand at home, so I settled on a chocolate banana marbled loaf. I switched up a few things and Banana Chocolate Swirl Muffins were born! The chocolate swirl adds just a hint of decadence to take the muffins to a new level of banana bready goodness.  These have a nice presentation and are a welcome change of pace from the standard banana bread, without straying from the classic flavour too much.

Make a loaf, make muffins, make mini muffins, whatever you want! I now have a stash of these muffins in my freezer, along with the ever growing stash of bananas. I’m not complaining!

Banana Chocolate Swirl Muffins

Adapted from Cooking Light

Makes 1 loaf, 12 muffins, 36 mini muffinsIMG_1467

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or plain yogourt)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute.

Add banana, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and beat until blended.

Gradually add flour mixture, stirring by hand just until combined. Set aside.

Put chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish and microwave on medium power in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted. Let chocolate cool for a few minutes.

Add 1 cup of batter to melted chocolate and stir to combine.

For muffins, add alternating scoops of chocolate and banana batter to lined muffin tins and swirl with a knife or toothpick. (For mini muffins, I put a small spoon of each batter into the tin and swirled it around with a toothpick). For mini muffins, bake 10-15 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean. For regular muffins, bake 20-25 mins.

For a loaf, alternate scoops of batter into a greased loaf pan, and swirl with a knife. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Filed under Breakfast, Muffins, Quick Bread

Chewy, Chunky Blondies

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Hello friends!

I can’t believe I have let so much time pass since my last post! I honestly do not know where the time went. I blame it all on Thanksgiving. Too much turkey and pumpkin pie left me unable to function for a week. Just kidding, we all know there’s never too much pumpkin pie! Sadly, I am all out of pumpkin, but stocked up on apples from a recent trip to the apple orchard, so you can probably expect some kind of apple-y recipe coming soon!!

IMG_0948I resisted the urge to buy another can of pumpkin while grocery shopping this week, but I am still dreaming about pumpkin oatmeal and pumpkin pancakes, so I may have to secretly buy another can to fulfill my desires. I am pumpkin craaaaaaaaazy! Tim Horton’s has a bunch of new pumpkin stuff, including a pumpkin tea! Has anyone tried it? I will definitely be sampling it sometime soon. I’ve had pumpkin lattes, and pumpkin coffee before, but never even imagined pumpkin tea! Sounds amazing.

So back to reality, the recipe I have for you today has nothing to do with pumpkin, but I promise it is still a winner! I realized that my recipe books are neglected, because I usually resort to the internet (blogs!) to find new recipes. I have a large stack of amazing recipe books, so I decided to venture into them to IMG_0950find a treat to make last weekend. As I have mentioned before, Dorie’s recipes are always really good, and her Chewy Chunky Blondies sounded easy, but delicious. I love chocolate chip cookies, but sometimes they can be a little boring, so this is a good way to get the same taste, but in a different format. It’s like a cookie-brownie! The blondies are thick, and chewy (especially the edges), as the name suggests. You can add in as many or as few mix ins as you like. Just keep the amount of add ins the same (2 cups) and feel free to add what you like! I used what I had on hand, which was chocolate chips, skor toffee bits, and coconut. I think they would also be good with some nuts to add a little texture. You could even throw some halloween candy in there (maybe reese’s pieces?) to make a fall themed treat. The possibilities are endless!

IMG_0957The batter is really thick, just like cookie batter, but very different from brownie batter. I baked mine for 40 mins, and they were still soft in the middle, but they firmed up as they cooled. If you bake them too long, they will become really crispy when cooled, so depending on the texture you’re looking for, adjust the time. For my oven, 40 mins was perfect, and since I do like a softer cookie, next time I may try decreasing the time slightly.

 

 

Chewy, Chunky Blondies

Slightly adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8x8inch baking pan.

Combine first four ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk to combine.IMG_0963

In a large bowl, beat butter with a hand mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add both sugars to butter and beat for another 2-3 minutes until well combined.

Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until incorporated.

Reduce the speed to low, and slowly add dry ingredients. Mix until just IMG_0973combined. (I usually stop mixing when not much flour is visible. Since I am going to stir in the chocolate chips after, the rest of the flour will be combined at that stage. It is important not to overmix here!)

Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips, coconut and toffee bits.

Spread batter into prepared pan, and smooth the top as best as possible.

Bake for about 40 minutes. The blondies will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan, and the top will be a golden brown colour.

Transfer the pan to a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.

Turn blondies out onto another rack to cool completely.

Cut into 16 bars when cool, and store in an airtight container.

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Filed under Bar Cookies, Cookies

Turtle Ice Cream Pie

Hello everyone!
I made this treat almost one month ago, and I am just getting around to posting it now! I know, it is ridiculous, and I have no excuses! But please do excuse the bad photos because this dessert was consumed at a food party, and I didnt have the chance/or the time to think of taking pictures of it! Either way, it was delicious and I would definitely make it again, but do a few things differently.
The flavours were amazing and the homemade caramel is the key. You could easily substitute a storebought caramel sauce, but  I would recommend that you try to make the homemade one! It is really not that difficult and I think it really brings everything together.
I made mine in a glass pie plate and it was very hard to get it out of the plate when it came time for serving. I would probably make it in a springform pan next time, or line the bottom of the pie plate with parchment paper.Also, the layering of the ice cream does take some time, and in total, I made this pie over the span of three days. It is really not something that you can make on the fly. With that in mind, it is not difficult to put together, just requires a bit of time.
The crust on this pie is ridiculously good and I would definitely consider using it again for something like a cheesecake. You can use whatever flavour of ice cream that you want. I ended up alternating layers of vanilla and dulce de leche. I wanted to use coffee instead of vanilla, but couldn’t find it on time! I think that may have created more of a distinction between the flavours, because the vanilla and dulce de leche kind of just combined into one, especially with the caramel sauce in between! Still very good, but I felt a little dissapointed after all the time spent making the layers!
 
Turtle Ice Cream Pie
Adapted from Epicurious
 
 Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves or pieces, toasted
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Caramel Sauce/Filling:
  • 3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pints (4 cups) ice cream

Ganache:

  • 5 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely chop pecans, or pulse in food processor until desired texture (I chopped mine by hand so the pieces were a bit larger than if done in a food processor, but it added a little more texture to the crust). Combine graham cracker crumbs,pecans, and sugar. Pour melted butter over graham cracker mixture, and blend until completely moistened. Press mixture into bottom and sides of a pie plate or springform pan.
Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes (once you take it out of the oven, it may puff up a little bit, just press it back down with a spatula. Cool completely. Wrap in foil and freeze at least 1 hour. Keep it in the freezer.
Sauce and Filling:
Bring brown sugar, whipping cream and corn syrup to boil in saucepan over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves. Boil for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter, vanilla, and salt. Cool completely.
Soften 1 cup ice cream in microwave on low in 10-second intervals. Spread ice cream evenly over crust. Spread 1/4 cup caramel over ice cream. Freeze pie until ice cream and caramel are firm, about 1 hour. Repeat layers with same proportions with three one cup portions of ice cream, and two 1/4 cup portions of caramel. Freeze pie overnight. (This is really important, the ice cream will not solidify to an appetising texture in a few hours. This is why this cannot really be made the same day you plan to serve it)
For ganache:
Combine chocolate, cream, and corn syrup in medium metal bowl. Place over saucepan of simmering water and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Cool at room temperature until thick but still pourable, about 30 minutes.
Pour ganache evenly over frozen pie. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pecans. Drizzle with some of remaining caramel sauce. Freeze until ganache is firm, at least 45 minutes.
 Serve with remaining caramel sauce.

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Filed under Pies/Tarts

The Best Chocolate Cake

I will look no further, my search for the perfect chocolate cake is over! Ok, that is probably a little bit of a lie because I will probably see another recipe that claims to be ‘the best’ and try it out… but hopefully I will look back on this post because this truly is the BEST chocolate cake ever!! This cake could be made with a million different types of icing, but if you’re looking for a true double chocolate cake, this cake, with the ganache icing is to..die…for.
A while ago it seemed like I was making a new batch of chocolate cupcakes every weekend trying to find the perfect chocolate cake recipe, and they always left something to be desired. This one has ended my search and I am seriously not kidding, it is amazing. So enough chatting, and here is the recipe!
The recipe makes A LOT of cake. It made two 8 x 2 inch layers and 18 cupcakes! I think it was originally meant for three 9 x 2 inch pans, but use whatever you have and make the rest into cupcakes! The cupcakes were perfectly baked at the same temperature for 25mins.
The ganache is a little tricky to spread on the cake. You want to cool in until it is thick enough to spread without just flowing off the cake. Once you have it on the cake, put the cake in the fridge because trust me, it will start melting and shifting your layers.

Double Layer Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Epicurious

CAKE
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate ( I used Baker’s Semisweet. 1 wrapped square is 1 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk ( to make your own buttermilk put 1.5 tbsp of lemon juice/vinegar into a measuring cup and add regular milk until it reaches the 1.5 cup mark, let it sit for 5 mins and voila…makeshift buttermilk!)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
GANACHE
  • 16 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
For the Cake:
Preheat oven to 300F. Grease bottoms and sides of cake pans and line the bottom of the pans with a circle of parchment paper (you can trace around the paper and then cut it out to make it fit). Grease the paper once you have put it in the pan (you don’t want the cake to stick!)
Chop the chocolate and combine it with the hot coffee in a bowl. Let the mixture sit while you prep everything else, stirring once in a while until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl beat the eggs with an electric mixer until slightly thickened (about 5 mins). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture until combined well. Add sugar/flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined (you don’t want to mix it too much, or the cake will become dense).
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45mins to 1 hour. Watch the time, the original recipe says 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 mins but my cake was done in 40-45 mins. Once a toothpick comes out clean, its done. I would start checking around the 40 minute mark.
Cool the layers completely in the pans, and then run a knife around the edges and carefully turn them out onto parchment paper covered cooling racks. If you’re keeping the cake layers un iced overnight wrap them very well in plastic wrap once they are completely cool.
For the ganache:
Chop the chocolate
Bring cream, corn syrup and sugar to a boil in a 2 quart saucepan. Keep the heat around medium, and stir the mixture frequently to avoid burning. Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has come to a slight boil, remove from heat, add chocolate and whisk until melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to mixture, whisking until melted. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool slightly until you are able to spread it easily onto the cake.
Resist the urge to eat spoonfuls of ganache. It is delicious creamy, buttery, chocolatey goodness, but save some for the cake!!
To keep with the animal theme from my last post, I leave you with a picture of my Lola, and my best photoshoot subject. She is a true diva and she likes to pose for my pictures 🙂

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Oat-nana-tella Muffins

I am the worst blogger of all time. Between planning for our new house, and juggling working overtime and the gym, I have not had a lot of time for baking lately, or even cooking.I saw this recipe TODAY and knew immediately that I had to try it. I always have bananas in the freezer, and I bought a jar of nutella a long time ago for some kind of baking project, and also just to reminisce about that week so long ago that I spend in Paris. They eat a lot of nutella in Europe, at least in Paris. Nutella crepes are delicious. I’m still working on my master plan to bring crepe stands to Canada!
Anyways, back to the muffins..I have dubbed them Oat-nana-tella Muffins…Oatmeal, Banana, Nutella! They are pretty healthy, at least as healthy as muffins can be. Haven’t you seen that nutella commercial? Nutella is good for you! How do they jam billions of hazelnuts into one jar? I’m not sure, but the commercial says they do so it must be true!

 

The original recipe says you can use oat bran or quick cooking oatmeal. I don’t have oat bran, so oatmeal it is. I like the texture that oatmeal brings to the cupcake. When I was little my mom always used to make those oatmeal chocolate chip muffins that you make from a little bag of muffin mix at the grocery store. Those were the best!! The texture of these remind me of those.

For any muffin recipe the procedure is pretty much the same, mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, and then combine. Once they are combined, be really careful to only mix it as little as needed. As soon as there are no streaks of flour, you’re done. There is no need for a hand mixer with muffins, get out the wooden spoon and work those muscles! I had to bake them for 15 mins for them to be fully cooked, but your oven may be different so keep your eye on them!
I also used half whole wheat flour (only because I ran out, I would have used all whole wheat if I had it). Honestly, you won’t even know it’s whole wheat. I do a lot of my baking with whole wheat flour. If you’ve ever had cookies made by me, chances are they were made with whole wheat flour. Its almost undetectible in lots of things. I definitely admit that it can’t be used for everything, but try using half whole wheat, half all purpose to start, and see how you like it. I also just realized that I completely forget to add the vanilla when I made these, but they are still pretty good.
In the end, they were pretty good…I wish the nutella flavour came out a little bit more, but it could have been because I ate one when it was piping hot, and flavours always develop more once it cools…I couldn’t help it!
Oat-nana-tella Muffins
Adapted from Baking Bites
Makes 8 muffins
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp canola oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 med.)
3 tbsp Nutella
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375F. Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together canola oil, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, mashed banana, Nutella and buttermilk until very smooth.
 Pour into dry mixture and stir just until combined. Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove muffins from tin and cool on a wire rack before serving. Store in an airtight container when cool

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Filed under Muffins

Triple Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Hello!
It has been a long time since I’ve posted anything here, which is not good! We have been so busy the past few weeks, time has just flown by. Things have calmed down and we have finalized everything for our new house (!!!!!!), so I should get my life back to normal now! Anyways, I made these cookies a few weeks ago and I was very very impressed.
 I made a trip to the Lindt outlet store here in Ottawa, and was able to find Ghiardelli Cocoa Powder which is something I have looked for and been 100% unsuccessful in finding in Canada! They also had Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips, but I didnt splurge for those…yet! Sometimes I get frustrated at the lack of quality baking products available in Canada, and specifically in Ottawa. So when I found this, I was beyond ecstatic, and immediately started searching my recipes for something to make with it!
I thought the idea of a double chocolate chip cookie with oatmeal sounded good, and I threw in some white chocolate chips which I still had hanging around from some Christmas baking. The results were sooo delicious…I want to say that the good quality cocoa powder made a difference, but  I have never made these cookies with any other cocoa powder, so I can’t be sure. But I like to reassure myself that this purchase was well worth the investment!
These cookies almost tasted like little brownies, they were very chocolatey, but so good, and I couldnt stop eating them (which is pretty much the norm with any cookies, but I’m serious, these ones were really good!!!).
I tend to have a hard time straying from the traditional chocolate chip cookie because I know it is reliable, and it is always delicious, but I am glad I tried these ones out and they are even healthy because they have oatmeal….right?! Anything with oatmeal qualifies as breakfast in my books……haha.
Let me also tell you about how much I looooooooove my cookie scoop. I sent my Mom on a wild goose chase for this cookie scoop at Christmas and of course she found it for me! It’s the OXO Medium sized cookie scoop, and honestly, I don’t know how I made cookies without it before. Each cookie is the same size, and comes out shaped relatively well. It also makes the cookie scooping process so quick and easy! Less time spent scooping cookies onto tray = more time spent eating cookies! The OXO scoop runs around $20, and there are definitely some cheaper options out there, but I would highly recommend this one.
Everytime I sit down to write a post here, I tell myself I will keep it short and get to the point, but somehow I always end up blabbing for a few extra paragraphs….I guess there was a reason I could write a 12 page essay in a few hours (I do not recommend this! hehe). So without further ado, here is the recipe:
Triple Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from All Recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips ( I used half white half semi-sweet
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  1. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in oats and chocolate chipes, mix well.
  2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are almost set. Cool 1 minute on cookies sheets, then move to wire racks. .

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Filed under Cookies