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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

 

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What do you do when a pan of brownies doesn’t turn out right?

I tried out a new recipe a few days ago for toffee brownies, and while they tasted delicious, they weren’t exactly the fudgy texture I was looking for.

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So there they were – a 9×13 pan of perfectly fine cooked brownies, sitting on my counter, waiting to be eaten. Only I knew we wouldn’t eat them as they were. And I didn’t want to throw the entire pan into the garbage.

And then I had an idea.

Brownies + homemade chocolate icing + chocolate shell.

All in one bite.

A brownie batter flavor and consistency, the best part of brownies, made in a way that won’t make you sick if you eat it (even though I do it anyways).

All I can say is thank goodness for kitchen mishaps because this bad batch of brownies turned into one the best (and messiest and most fun) treats to ever come out of my kitchen.

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These brownie bites may be messy, but they’re extremely easy: a pan of fully baked brownies, crumbled, and mixed with frosting. Rolled into balls and covered in chocolate.

But better.

Because the middle really tastes like brownie batter.

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They are rich.

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They are chocolate, in chocolate, and wrapped around more chocolate.

And they are good.

 

Brownie Batter Bites

  • 1 9×13 pan of cooked brownies, recipe of choice (I based mine off of this recipe)
  • 16 oz. chocolate frosting of choice – preferably homemade*
  • 2 cups good semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • sprinkles
  1. Once brownies are cooked and completely cooled, crumble the entire pan into a large bowl.
  2. Add frosting to brownie crumbs and mix together. It will be messy, but fun.
  3. Roll into balls (it will make 40-50, depending on the size) and put on a baking sheet in the fridge. Let them rest and settle for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Take out of fridge and melt chocolate.
  5. Coat each brownie bite in melted chocolate, place on foil or wax paper lined baking sheet and douse with sprinkles.
  6. Let sit until chocolate is hardened.

*Homemade Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened
  • 2.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  1. In large bowl, mix together the sugar and cocoa.
  2. Blend the sugar with the softened butter until light and smooth.
  3. Add in milk, vanilla, and salt until combined.
  4. If it isn’t at your desired frosting consistency, add powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has thickened up.

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I’m not sure what it is, but I am obsessed with coconut right now.

Maybe all this winter weather is simply too much for me, and, in response, I’m making things that remind me of the light and airy days of summer.

Whatever the reason, I’m okay with it.

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First there was the Banana Pina Colada Muffins. Then German Chocolate Cupcakes.

And now…something I’m calling German Chocolate Cookie Bars.

But I guess they could also be called “I made too much German Chocolate icing and need something else to use it in” bars. Or “those cupcakes disappeared too quickly and we need a new sweet treat in the house” bars.

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Even if you don’t have a good reason to make these, do it anyway. You won’t regret it.

 

German Chocolate Cookie Bars

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Icing (see this post for icing directions):

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Earth Balance
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 –1 cup pecans

Chocolate Topping:

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

 

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Cream Earth Balance/butter and sugar.

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Beat in flour, vanilla, and salt.

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The crust will be ready when the mixture is combined but still crumbly and when it clumps up when you press it together (like above).

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Dump crust into 8×8 baking dish and press into an even layer.

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Bake crust at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until set and golden around the edges. Let the crust cool completely.

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Once the crust is cool to the touch, spread on your cooled icing into an even layer on the crust.

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To make the chocolate topping, put your dark chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute, stirring every 20-30 seconds or until chocolate is melted and smooth.

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Dump chocolate on top of icing and smooth out, covering the entire dish.

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Let sit at room temperature until chocolate layer is set.

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I cut these into 16 pieces (from an 8×8 dish), and I’m glad I didn’t cut them any bigger!

These bars are delicious, but very rich, thanks to the coconut icing.

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But the richness didn’t stop me from having two of them right away.

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Out of all the homemade treats we made this year, Nick and I received the most comments about this one.

I thought for sure we’d here more about our homemade chocolate covered toffee or the incredible cocoa roasted nuts or even the almond brittle…but nope.

People love oreos. And I guess that means they love oreo bark.

Turns out that it was one of the easiest treats we made this year.

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Oreo Bark

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 10 oreos, crushed or chopped
  1. Lay a sheet of parchment paper down on a sheet pan.
  2. In microwave safe bowl, heat white chocolate chips for 1 minute, stopping to stir after 30 seconds.
  3. Once the chips are melted, spread white chocolate on parchment paper and place sheet pan in the fridge for 10 minutes or until the chocolate is set.
  4. When the white chocolate is hardened/set, heat your semi-sweet chips for 1 minute in another microwave safe bowl, stopping to stir after 30 seconds.
  5. When the semi-sweet chips are melted, smooth it over the white chocolate and sprinkle on the crushed oreos.
  6. Press the cookies into the chocolate.
  7. Place sheet pan back in the fridge until chocolate has set, about 10 minutes.
  8. Break bark into bite size pieces.

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Yeah, I’m about 3 weeks late with this post.

I know the holidays are over.

I should be posting my resolutions and goals instead of a cookie recipe, but I can’t help it.

Maybe one goal I have this year is to eat more cookies.

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I’ve been debating whether or not to share this recipe. It’s one I whipped out of nowhere that actually turned out really good.  So good that my husband – who isn’t the biggest fan of mint and chocolate – loved them.

And would you believe I’d never made crinkle cookies before this? I know – I’m way behind on my baking bucket list.

After snatching up a bag of candy cane Hershey’s Kisses, I had dreams of these cookies.

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What I wanted?

Minty striped kisses barely melted into a deep, rich chocolate crinkle cookie. 

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I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. And the cookies were good.

Bonus points for this recipe: No one knew they were whole wheat – I like finding tricky ways to get more whole wheat into my family and friends, and chocolate is one of the best ways to do it.

 

Mint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 24 Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses
  1. Mix cocoa and melted butter and let cool slightly.
  2. Mix in 1/2 cup of the flour, brown sugar, sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, and salt until combined.
  3. Beat in the last 1/2 cup of flour.
  4. Cover and chill the dough about 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  6. In small bowl or dish, combine powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp cocoa.
  7. Roll dough into 1” balls, roll in powdered sugar/cocoa mix and place on baking sheet.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes until cracked and set.
  9. Let cookies sit for about 30 seconds and then place one Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss on each cookie.
  10. After another 30 seconds – 1 minute, move cookies to a cooling rack/plate/cutting board to cool.

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I love mint + chocolate together, so these were some of the best things I ate this holiday season. You can make them even more minty by adding just a 1/4 tsp peppermint extract to the dough, but even if you’re not a huge fan of mint, these cookies are still a fun recipe to make.

Either way, you’ll be left with very festive cookies – the red and white stripes will set these apart from any other cookie at the table.

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My Nany was one of a kind.

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She ate a bowl of ice cream every single night before going to bed. She made the best Chex Mix, deviled eggs, and potato salad.  She used to let us girls crawl all over her in her favorite recliner and put our Strawberry Shortcake doll’s rollers in her hair.

She was a yard sale fanatic, marking up her newspaper each week with the houses she wanted to visit early Saturday morning. And even though most things at yard sales are cheap, Nany never missed a beat – she was a hard bargainer and would rarely pay more than fifty-cents for anything.

She loved Hardee’s breakfast biscuits, grits, and coffee. She had a collection of housecoats, slippers, and long beaded necklaces hanging on the back of her bedroom door. Her house was decorated in mauves and country blues and had one of those frilly curtains hanging around her shower.

We played in her make up, using her mood lipstick as much as possible – even tricking my dad into putting some on one day.

She gave the best hugs and kisses.

And, no fail, you’d get a phone call on your birthday from her. But not just any phone call. As soon as you picked up, she’d start singing “Happy Birthday”, adding her signature “I love you. Guess who?” at the end. We never had to guess – we’d know that sweet, southern, joyful voice anywhere.

I miss that. I miss her.

Many of her recipes, including her famous deviled eggs and potato salad, were lost when we lost Nany. She never wrote them down and no one has been able to recreate them yet.

But one recipe lives on, and it’s one that my dad and his brother remember as one of their favorite snacks and a true treat when Nany would pack it in their lunch bags.

 

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Nany’s Chocolate Sauce.

Or Would-be-cake-frosting-if-it-included-butter.

And Delicious-spread-for-saltine-crackers.

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According to my dad, the best was when Nany would pack a few chocolate sauce and saltine sandwiches in their lunchbags because, by the time lunch rolled around, the crackers were just a bit soggy, making each salty-sweet bite even better. Sort of like when your mom would pack you a pb & j sandwich and the bread would be mushed together and soggy from rolling around in your bookbag or locker until lunch. I loved that.

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Sadly, I never had this when Nany was alive. She didn’t make it much once the boys were grown up, but it’s so simple, I knew I could make it and create my own memory of her special chocolate sauce.

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Yes, it’s one stick of butter away from being homemade cake frosting.

But it’s also incredibly easy and delicious. And very good spread between a few saltine crackers…or eaten right off the spoon.

Nany’s Chocolate Sauce

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk
  1. Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt in bowl.
  2. Add in milk and vanilla and stir until mixture is combined, adding more powdered sugar until sauce is thick enough to spread onto crackers.
  3. Serve.

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Back to Blah

Guff….my tummy is all gurgly again. I don’t know if this Honduran stuff kicking in again or something that is just not agreeing with me.

I’m not really feeling as bad as I did the first few days we were back, but I’m not feeling very good. Nick said I’m normally weird when it comes to my stomach, and that’s probably right. But I want to be normally normal! Maybe I need an allergy test or something.

My yogurt snack today was tasty, thanks to 2 things.

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Fresh, local raspberries (ridiculously good) and dark chocolate covered dried raspberries (holy yum).

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I got these raspberries today from The Chocolate Spike and they are delicious! Why can’t I find dried raspberries more often? They’re so good.

I had a fun snack break with some coworkers, finished up work for today and headed home. I was hoping to get in a run today (finally), but that was a no go. One, I started getting these weird stomach cramp-type things in my side, like in my ribs? but now they’re just everywhere in my poor belly.  Then it started raining when we got home. I’m hoping Nick and I are both feeling up to a run this weekend so we can get back to it. I miss it! but I don’t want to start when I already don’t feel great.

Dinner was good, again! These zucchini from the farmer’s market are just too good. I need more!

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We heated up the leftover couscous, mustard chicken and veggies tonight – thank goodness I had something easy in the fridge because I did not feel like cooking tonight.

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Lovely local veggies  🙂

Alright guys, I’m off to lay in my pjs, read, and hope that my tummy starts feeling better soon.

What was the best part of your day today?

Mine was eating lunch outside with Nick and buying those awesome chocolates  🙂

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Wow – it has been way too long since my last chocolate review!

I guess I haven’t been going as much lately, but I think I need to start again.

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Nick’s sister wanted to go to the Chocolate Spike while they were in town this weekend, so we stopped by after church on Sunday.

I can’t go in there and not get something, so Nick and I split a dark chocolate dipped graham cracker (which was awesome) and I got this Lavender Blackberry Dark Chocolate Truffle.

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I think I need a job here.

Honestly.

Could I just look at gorgeous chocolates and help create new flavors every day? I have so many ideas…

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The lavender in this truffle was very faint but complemented the blackberry amazingly well.

I love fruit + dark chocolate combinations.

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The sweet hints of the blackberry in the creamy ganache filling, covered with the dark chocolate shell balanced each other perfectly.

I was very sad when this truffle was gone.

Now….what flavor is next?  🙂

What’s your favorite chocolate?

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Well, my headache is almost gone right now, but I can feel it coming back. 😦

My friend at work had some excedrine migraine and I think that + coffee helped a lot. It seemed to just about go away a few hours ago, but not completely, and I can feel it creeping back in. I bought a diet drpepper at lunch so I can have some more caffeine this afternoon if I need it, plus I had aleve in my purse, too. I’m hoping it just doesn’t come back full force! This was probably the worst one I’ve had in years so I do not want it pounding in my head this afternoon.

Lunch today was easy leftovers, especially since I had no energy to pack anything else last night.

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I had another serving of my veggie mac + extra broccoli for lunch, drizzled with a little olive oil

Easy and it didn’t require much thinking or work on my part last night….which is good since I was stuck to the couch for hours with my head between 2 pillows to keep the light out of my eyes!

And then this.

I bought this yesterday at lunch but had no desire to eat it yesterday. I could have had it, and almost did, but I wanted to have it when I would actually enjoy it, so Nick and I split this at lunch.

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We went to this local bakery and they had fresh French Macaroons, so I had to pick up a chocolate one to try.

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This was so light and chewy and it had the best cocoa flavor. I wish I could have taken a picture of the middle but I was too busy making a mess – there was this little pocket of chocolate ganache filling right in the middle. So good – a great little desset in the middle of a gloomy, achy day.

I have a fun snack for this afternoon with something I made last night – I haven’t tried it yet, but they smelled good so I’m hoping I can post the recipe later!

Here’s hoping my headache doesn’t come storming back *crossing fingers*

Have you ever had a macaroon like this one? What’s your favorite flavor if you have?

They had chocolate and a vanilla one, I think. I may need to go back to try the other one. This was delicious.

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Well, we didn’t get our car back tonight. I guess one part didn’t fit right, but it should be ready tomorrow! I’m really ready to have the car back – we’ve been squeezing into our little truck for the past few weeks, and I’m running out of foot room with all the bags I take to work every day.

My lunch held me over pretty well, but I did get hungry enough for my green smoothie around 4 this afternoon.

Super green to the rescue!

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This one was

  • 1 cup Almond Breeze
  • 2 -3 cups spinach
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 Tbsp peanut butter

This was the perfect amount to get me through until dinner.

We came home and finished thawing the buffalo while prepping the rest of dinner. I was hoping it would stay nice long enough for us to grill out (Nick’s favorite thing to do) and it turned out to be the perfect weather. So nice that we sat outside to eat.

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Nick grilled us up some buffalo burgers while I made the sides.

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I cooked up some fresh corn on the cob we got today, and made some of those zucchini crisps that Nick likes so much. He requested them tonight!

Now.

Dessert.

Nick requested this instead of a cake after we saw it on Food Network a while back.

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I even had to go buy a springform pan just to make this since I didn’t have one.

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The Un-Springing…

Are you ready?

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I made Giada’s Chocolate Honey Almond Tart, and it is the most decadent and one of the easiest desserts I’ve ever made!

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It is not low fat, low sugar, or low anything.

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I cut no corners, made no modifications.

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And every single bite was amazing.

What a way to end a birthday – Nick had 2 slices! I did cut ours into 12 slices, and you could cut it even smaller. It’s pretty rich, and I have no clue how Giada figures you only get 6-8 servings out of this! I would definitely recommend the recipe, though. It was simple to make and amazing to eat.

I’ve got to finish some laundry and prep my lunch and maybe breakfast for tomorrow.

What’s your favorite thing to make in a springform pan? Now I need more ideas  🙂

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I guess it has been a little too long since the last time I did yoga – my arms and back are sore from so many down dogs and planks! But it’s a good sore.

Are you super excited that I’m not having the barley dish today? I loved it, but I was ready for something new today. I had to root around in the freezer last night, hoping I had marked the bags correctly and look what I found!

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Thank goodness I actually thought to write down what it was. And thank goodness it was still good.

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I also brought the most random sides to have with my pizza, but hey – they worked.

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Seriously – who eats broccoli and tomato with pizza? I do. Everything was good, too.

One of my coworkers brought these in this morning, so I had to snag a few for me and Nick to have as our “lunch dessert”. The strawberries are from his garden and another coworker covered them in chocolate and then brought them to us! Very sweet, but I hope she kept some for herself – I probably would have covered them in chocolate but left them at my house for our enjoyment only.

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I had 2, he had 3.

What can beat regular chocolate covered strawberries? Farm-fresh chocolate covered strawberries. These put all the ones I’ve bought this year so far to shame. They were perfectly ripe and juicy.

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I think this afternoon is supposed to be pretty rainy and nasty, so I’m not sure if we’ll end up running or not. If not, I’m hoping to do some yoga after work in the comforts(?) of my own home. One reason I’m not a fan of doing yoga at home is our house it not very big, and the ceilings are pretty low in most of the rooms so I can’t fully extend my arms up – I guess people were a lot shorter in the 40s when this house was built. The one room that does have higher ceilings is right beside our bedroom so I couldn’t do yoga in the morning (which is my eventual goal) without waking Nick up – I’ll have to get creative.

Maybe I need to ask for a portable DVD player for my birthday this month….hm. Then I could yoga outside on the porch, in the dining room which has higher ceilings….the wheels are a-turnin’.

What are you having for dinner tonight? I have lots of random stuff to use and no idea what to make!

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