Browsing Tag

chocolate

The Secret

The thing is, I want to be open and honest with my son about what he’s eating. The flip side, I want him to eat his darn vegetables. It’s been a struggle, at home. Apparently at school (daycare) he’ll eat most of what they put in front of him. A fellow blogger recently posted a school lunch she prepared for her kids. I commented on the post, and she had the most smack in the face honest and PERFECT advice, this is also why I LOVE her blog!) She was like 3 year-olds don’t get to make demands. Which is so true. I was letting him get the best of me because it was easier than dealing with the dinner time meltdown. But in the long run is that really in his best interest. Not at all. I claim he gets his pickiness from his father, because I’ll basically eat anything. But regardless, it’s up to me to help encourage him and fix that problem. I’m happy to share that we’ve been making progress. We have a deal that he tries at least one bite of a veggie and then he gets to show me how big his muscles have grown and how fast he can run. Win-win for me! He ate the darn veggie and I get to see his adorableness being so proud of himself. I have been getting more creative with hiding veggies in some foods. This recipe, in particular, has a secret ingredient. Zucchini! We have SO much of it (that’s also an understatement) that it was a great way for me to get a veggie in there and use some of it up. I had every intention of making this more of a muffin, but when I ran out of cocoa powder and had to melt chocolate chips, they became more brownie/cupcake like. No complaints here! The next time I make these, I will probable shred the zucchini a bit more finely, or chop it more after shredding it, because he could clearly see it and was hesitant, but gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised.

Chocolate Muffins

Chocolate Muffins

Instructions

  1. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, oils, melted chocolate chips, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Mix just until everything is incorporated and no white remains. Fold in the shredded zucchini.
  5. Fill the muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Notes

This is an original recipe.

S’mores Bars

 

These little goodies are just dreamy. I admit,  wasn’t sure when I read the recipe. I love s’mores, in moderation. I’m not at all a super fan of them, and I enjoy the experience of making them – over a nice fire – more than I do eating them. But, I wanted to try something different. I had intended to bring these along for a work picnic, that was postponed. On the bright side, I had a bunch of these delicious treats to consume throughout the week. I loved the idea of a s’mores themed dessert but it had to be tasty, easy to transport, and easy to make. Check, check and check! This little treat took barely any time to make. Also, I should mention, NO BAKING! you literally do not need to pop anything in that oven. Perfect summer treat indeed. Tasty…..um, yea. Freaking tasty to be exact. These are so yummy I often eat more than one and then wonder why I’ve broken out into a sweat (hello sugar overload!). I also love how they aren’t quite a brownie and not quite a cookie. It’s unique! Also super easy to transport. Just keep ’em cold and they’ll last. Because you need to chill them, I would recommend leaving them in the fridge until you intend to serve them. Now, I’ve had s’mores themed desserts in the past. The graham cracker gets just a touch too crunchy and they just are not very good. I loved these, because you don’t bake anything. You just let it all set and enjoy! It’s soft, satisfying and did I mention delicious? Well…they are!

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 baking dish with foil. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe dish, melt butter. Add in graham cracker crumbs and mix until combined. Press the graham cracker mixture into the prepared baking dish. I used the bottom of a glass to help flatten the crust.
  3. In a saucepan, over low heat, heat the condensed milk and chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and add in the salt and vanilla. Stir until blended. Pour the chocolate mixture over the graham cracker crust.
  4. Sprinkle the marshmallows over the chocolate and press down slightly. Then insert the graham cracker pieces randomly between the marshmallows. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to set if your refrigerator for about 4 hours. Remove from the fridge and cut into squares.

Notes

Williams Sonoma

 

Auntie Lisa’s Whoopie Pies

 

Friday’s call for celebrations. So whoopie pie’s are perfect for the occasion. I LOVE these little pies of happiness. They are so delicious. For my bridal shower, we asked all of the guests to share one of their favorite recipes, and my mom and sister put together a little cook book for me. It was such a great idea and something I still look through, 9 years later. My husband’s aunt shared a recipe for her amazing whoopie pies. I don’t know if any ever lasted at any event she brought them to. They were these little treasures that were hidden until it was dessert time. Once they were unleashed, it was over and they were basically destroyed. I could have eaten the entire platter. Although she has a million amazing recipes, I was so happy to see this one included in the book. I was so excited to try them out. I can’t say that I make them as well as she does, but they were damn delicious. My grandmother also made a version that she would often bring to our house during the holidays,  so this dessert is particularly special because of so many fond memories. It’s a fairly easy treat to put together too. Delicious and easy, the perfect dessert to kick off the weekend!

Ingredients

For the Cookiee

For the filling

Instructions

  1. To make the cookies, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a measuring cup measure out the buttermilk and add in the vanilla, set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and shortening. Add in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F. prepare a baking sheet with a Silpat, parchment paper, or cooking spray. I would encourage a Silpat or parchment paper here.
  3. Using a teaspoon for smaller cookies, or a dough scoop of larger cookies, place the dough on your prepared baking sheet, about an inch apart. They will spread. Using a spoon dipped in water. rub the top of each sough ball lightly to smooth it out a bit. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  4. To make the frosting, whip the egg whites until they are white and thick. Add in the sugar, shortening, and vanilla until the mixture is smooth. You can either spoon the frosting between two cookies, or pipe the frosting, which is what I did.
  5. Store them in an airtight container. Because it calls for raw egg whites, I would keep refrigerated.

Notes

Adapted from Auntie Lisa!

Chewy, Fudgy, Triple Chocolate Brownies

It’s the Monday after my vacation, so I feel like these brownies are an absolute necessity. Also, Mondays. Homemade brownies are so good. I know, opening a box and tossing in a few ingredients seems so much easier, but it’s basically the same amount of effort and tastes way better to make them homemade. This version has been a go to for a while. I even found variations when I had to eliminate dairy from my diet for a bit. Still amazing! Everything about this brownie is perfect. I used milk chocolate since I love milk chocolate, but you can use dark or semi sweet if you prefer. Also, if you want to get super adventurous, you can add in some peanut butter cups or chocolate sandwich cookies. I almost did…….almost. But sometimes the standard brownie is a necessity. And sometimes that brownie needs to meet some ice cream and live happily ever after. These are the things I dream about as I eat my panzanella and a handful of almonds. The flavor is so rich and something I believe happiness is made from. Honestly, I think it could be. the texture is chewy and not at all dry. They are fudgy and just wonderful. I cannot compliment these enough. But really, I would encourage you to try to make a homemade version, even if it is just once. It’s so rewarding to make your own, and this is a simple way to start out. It may (or may not) seem complex or daunting, but I promise once you get into it, you will see it’s not bad. One note from the original recipe that I copied, that I will also share here, is that it may seem to take a while to incorporate the flour into the wet mixture. Trust me, it will mix in. I promise. They will still turn out fantastically and you will still want to eat the entire baking dish worth.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with foil, and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Set a heatproof bowl (like pyrex) over a saucepan with barely simmering water. Add in the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Add in the cocoa powder and blend until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk until combined. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Let cool for 2 hours , or until room temp. Remove the brownies from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.

Notes

Original recipe from Annie’s Eats.

Homemade Fudgesicles

It’s been hot hot hot here the last few days. We spent the weekend mostly outside and it was lovely. Anthony loves to run around and play in his little pool. It’s great. Life is good. When the weather is warmer, Anthony often asks for “boo boo pops”. A term we created when Anthony was teething and the only thing that would make him feel better was to eat popsicles. Because he would go through a million of them in a day, ok maybe not literally, but we did go through a lot, I decided to make homemade popsicles. My first attempt at homemade “boo boo pops” were these fudgesicles. And the result was both delicious……and adorable.

 

As you can see, these are a favorite in our house. What I like is that they are reminiscent of the childhood favorite, but better. Like much better. The flavor is so rich and creamy and chocolaty. It’s like a high jump above the store bought kind. The process to make them is super easy. And it makes your kitchen smell delicious. Every time I make them, without fail, my husband walks in to see what I’m making. I prefer milk chocolate, but you can use dark chocolate if that’s what you like. I use my reusable popsicle molds and with a little TLC they come out perfectly. The trick is to make sure they are actually frozen through. With chocolate pops this good, you’d want to rush the process too, trust me! But don’t you’ll end up pulling the stick out completely and it’s tragic. Once they are ready to eat, just defrost a bit in warm water. About 30 seconds. Then gently start to remove it from the mold. They should come out fairly easily after that.

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, gently melt the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is smooth. Add in the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, milk, and salt. Raise the heat to medium and cook the mixture until it thickens. About 5-10 minutes. You want to make sure you do not over cook the chocolate mixture, you do not want to eat burnt fudgesicles! Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.
  2. Let the mixture cool slightly. Pour into your popsicle molds. For this recipe, I upped the quantity so that it made 6 popsicles, which fits the mold that I use. Place on the tops (the sticks) and place in your freezer and let them freeze completely. Enjoy!

Notes

This recipe is slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen . I doubled the recipe and used milk chocolate since that is my preference!