Tag Archives: chocolate

Energy Bites


Do you need an easy, quick snack? This is it. These little bites are so easy to pull together, I make these almost every week and store so we have something to grab if we are on the run or just need a little bite to hold us until the next meal.  With chocolate and peanut butter, you can’t go wrong with these!

energy bites

Energy Bites, from fabulousfoodblog


1 cup oats
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla


Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Form into 1 tablespoon bites.

Enjoy! Store in airtight container.

Yields approximately 20 tablespoons

energy bites


Chewy Brownies



I had actually never made brownies from scratch, I can’t believe it. Bernie’s mom loves chocolate so whenever she comes over I try to have something with chocolate for dessert. I have made cupcakes and various other treats and this time I thought brownies would do the trick. At first I thought I wanted something with some mix-ins or caramel but then I realized I am a working mom with 1,000 other things to do and I just wanted a good, fool-proof recipe that would be relatively easy. When I saw this recipe was from Cook’s Illustrated I knew it would be good, and who doesn’t love a chocolaty, gooey brownie? These are really rich and fudgy, perfect to go along with a tall glass of milk. While it is really tempting to eat right out of the oven, try to wait until they have cooled, they will be much easier to get out of the pan.

Cook’s Illustrated Chewy Brownies, from Project Domestication

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 c. + 2 TB boiling water
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup vegetable oil + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon table salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chunks


Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 9×13 pan or line with foil.

In a medium bowl, whisk cocoa powder into boiling water until combined. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until melted and combined.

Whisk in butter and oil. Add eggs, egg yolks and vanilla, whisk until smooth.

Mix in sugar until fully incorporated.

With a rubber spatula, fold in the flour and salt until combined. Mix in chocolate chunks.

Scrape the batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top.

Bake 35-40 minutes. Once out of the oven, cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares (if you can resist!).


Hot Chocolate


This is the first time I have ever had homemade hot chocolate.  And let me tell you, it is delicious!  This is the most chocolatey, rich, yummy hot chocolate I have ever had.  Now I just need to make some homemade marshmallows and we will be all set.  Until then, the store marshmallows will have to do.  I can’t think of a better beverage to enjoy with these frigid cold temperatures!


Hot Chocolate Mix

from Annie’s Eats


2 vanilla beans
4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 pounds good quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
9oz. good quality bittersweet chocolate
2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder


Split and scrape the vanilla beans and place in a large bowl (or jar) with a lid. Mix in sugar and work vanilla beans in with your fingers. Bury the pods under the sugar and cover (tightly). Let stand overnight or up to several months at room temperature. When you are ready to use, remove the pods.

Use a food processor to combine the sugar, semisweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, and cocoa. Process in 4-second pulses until the chocolate is finely ground and all ingredients are well combined. You can store the mixture for up to 6 months in an airtight container!

To enjoy your hot chocolate, mix 2 tablespoons with 8oz. of warm milk. Stir until well blended.

Yields approximately 76, 2 tablespoon servings — I know that seems like a lot but you are going to love every bit of it!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies – Really


Ok, so I have declared a previous recipe the best for chocolate chip cookies – and it is good, but I really think I have found a replacement.  Now, I have to admit that during my pregnancy I have turned to Bernie while eating things like frozen pizza and “pigs in a blanket” and said they were the best ever, surprised when he didn’t share my enthusiasm.  To my defense – Bernie really liked these too.  I used bittersweet and milk chocolate because I didn’t have any semisweet and, I liked the mix.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, from Allrecipes


1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium-sized bowl, set aside.  Using mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth.  Next, beat in vanilla and eggs.  Stir flour mixture into wet mixture until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake 8-10 minutes in preheated oven and enjoy!

Yields approximately 2 dozen cookies

Devil’s Food Birthday Cake!


My little brother’s birthday is on Monday and we got together this weekend to celebrate.  When I asked him w hat cake he wanted he just said “something with chocolate.”  This cake is on the cover of my favorite cookbook and I was just waiting for the opportunity to make it.  Not only does this cake taste great – but it looks really pretty too.  Eat this with a tall glass of milk – it is rich!  (And try to not cut yourself a big piece – because you will definitely eat all of it)

Devil’s Food White-Out Cake, from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours


For the cake:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 cup boiling water
4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the filling and frosting:
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large – I used 3)
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

GETTING READY: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-x-2-inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess and line the bottoms with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet.

TO MAKE THE CAKE: Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugars and continue to beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate. When it is fully incorporated, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. At this point, the batter will be thick, like frosting. Still working on low-speed, mix in the boiling water, which will thin the batter considerably. Switch to a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and stir in the chopped chocolate. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with the rubber spatula.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Don’t worry if the tops have a few small cracks. Transfer the cake pans to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)

When you are ready to fill and frost the cake, inspect the layers. If the cakes have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. With the same knife, slice each layer horizontally in half. Set 3 layers aside and crumble the fourth layer; set the crumbs aside.

TO MAKE THE FILLING AND FROSTING: Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.

Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.

When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable — don’t try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting. Although you could keep it in the fridge in a pinch, it’s really better to use it right now.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Put a bottom layer cut side up on a cardboard cake round or on a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a long metal icing spatula, cover the layer generously with frosting. Top with a second layer, cut side up, and frost it. Finish with the third layer, cut side down, and frost the sides and top of the cake. Don’t worry about smoothing the frosting — it should be swirly. Now, cover the entire cake with the chocolate cake crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the filling with your fingers. —don’t be afraid to apply the frosting liberally between layers.  I was afraid I would not have enough for the whole cake – but there was more than enough and I could have spread it thicker between cake layers.

Refrigerate the cake for about 1 hour before serving. (If it’s more convenient, you can chill the cake for 8 hours or more; cover it loosely and keep it away from foods with strong odors.)

STORING: The frosted cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days; let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, or longer if you have the time.

Nutrition information – I don’t know, and don’t want to know!


Willa enjoying her new dog bed



Banana-Chocolate Bread


If you like banana bread and chocolate, you will like this bread.  It tastes like Best Banana Bread, only sweeter.

Banana-Chocolate Bread, from Baking Illustrated

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped course
10 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup plain yogurt – non-fat
2 large eggs, 2/3 cups egg substitute
6 tablespoons unsalted butter Smart Balance butter blend, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (heaping) bittersweet chocolate, grated


1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of regular loaf pan, or grease and flour bottom and sides of nonstick 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. Combine first five ingredients plus chocolate together in large bowl; set aside.

2. Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, egg whites, butter, and vanilla with wooden spoon in medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 1 loaf

Nutrition per servings (of 16 slices): 234.3 calories, 11.6g fat, 2.6g saturated fat, 0.1mg cholesterol, 188.2 mg sodium, 30.1g carbohydrates, 1.9g fiber, 14.3g sugars, 4.7g protein

Christmas Cookies – Part 1 of 5


I love baking.  I love Christmas.  And I really love baking Christmas cookies.  This is one time of year I have an excuse to make an obscene amount of cookies…and eat an obscene amount of cookies, and not feel bad about it.  I try to make everyone’s favorite, but also like to try at least one new recipe every year.  I will be sharing five of my cookie recipes this week as we are approaching Christmas.  I don’t usually make any substitutions and these cookies are in no way healthy – but they sure are delicious.

After 3 trips to Kroger today, I finally got all of my ingredients.  Since we are between houses right now my mom has graciously let me take over her kitchen for 2 days to bake.

I’m not quite sure how much I have spent on ingredients, and I think I will be keeping it that way 🙂

I’m going to start with Bernie’s favorite cookies.  I found this recipe online one year and decided to try it – good thing, Bernie loves these and have taken the number one spot on his list.

Chocolate Mint Cookies, from Allrecipes
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (4.5 ounce) packages chocolate covered thin mints

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the chocolate mixture. **Disclaimer: I have killed 2 hand mixers making these cookies (the days before I had my Kitchen Aid mixer) – if your mixer does not have a lot of power, consider mixing the last bit of flour by hand. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll cookie dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, be careful not to overbake. When cookies come out of the oven, press one mint wafer into the top of each cookie and let sit for 1 minute. When the mint is softened, swirl with the back of a spoon, fork or toothpick to make a pattern with the green filling of the mint wafer. For smaller cookies, break mints in half.

My parent’s cats were really not interested in what I was doing over there, but looked really cute napping under the Christmas tree.