Tag Archives: Chocolate

Chocolate Muffins #BrunchWeek

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Chocolate Muffins

So, my regulars here know that my parents were quite insistent about healthy eating for my sister and me growing up, and nowhere was this more present than with breakfast. Skipping it was never an option, there was very little sugar present, and never anything that resembled a dessert. No sugary cereals, no Pop-Tarts, no doughnuts or coffee cakes or sweet muffins, and even when we occasionally got pancakes or French toast, it was of the whole grain variety.

Chocolate Muffins

Suffice it to say, I was well into my teens before finding out that chocolate muffins were a thing. Eating chocolate for breakfast just didn’t happen in our house. Once I reached adulthood, I began sampling them at coffee shops and bakeries, and concluded that I hadn’t really missed out on anything. Most chocolate muffins leave a lot to be desired.

They seem to come in two forms: either they are overly sweet and taste like an unfrosted cupcake – and really, what is sadder than an unfrosted cupcake?; or they are so determined not to be a cupcake and actually sort of be healthy, that they become dense and flavorless. I’ve long since given up on store-bought chocolate muffins, but I’ve been trying different recipes at home to see if a perfect one existed.

Chocolate Muffins

It took quite awhile, but turns out, yes, everything we want in a chocolate muffin does exist. Obviously, it’s what I’m sharing today (duh). These are definitely sweet enough, but not as much as a cupcake would be. They have a firmer muffin texture, but remain incredibly moist and tender. The chocolate tastes more like breakfast than dessert, if that even makes sense, but it really does! In short, I’m done looking. This is my go-to chocolate muffin forevermore. It should be yours too. Enjoy!

Chocolate Muffins

Source: The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
6 oz. semisweet or dark chocolate chips (your preference)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or them with paper liners.
Stir together the sugar, oil, eggs, milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until well blended. Add the liquids and stir until a smooth batter forms. Stir in the chocolate chips. Fill the muffin cups about three-quarters full. I use a regular ice cream scoop for this.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned on top and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature (they’re tasty both ways).

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German Chocolate Sheet Cake

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

Where did the phrase “as American as apple pie” come from? When you think about it, it makes zero sense, because Americans can hardly lay claim to a dessert of softened apples encased in a buttery pastry. The Germans have apfelstrudel, the French have tarte tatin, and that’s just the beginning. Apple pie is, quite frankly, not American!

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

German chocolate cake, on the other hand – surprisingly, that is 100% American. No lie, this wonderful dessert was created in central Texas long ago, and the German in its title refers to the type of chocolate originally used, not the country of origin. But, I guess the phrase “as American as German chocolate cake” just didn’t quite have the same ring to it…

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

Anyways, I adore German chocolate cake, but it’s usually a real production to pull off. Every time I’ve had it, and all the recipes I saw for it were very tall layer cakes that would’ve taken hours and made a huge mess to complete. I have really been craving this cake lately, but wanted a more simplified version of it, yet refused to dumb it down or compromise any of its winning characteristics.

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

The idea of a sheet cake occurred to me, admittedly with some amount of skepticism. It seemed kind of wrong, and I wondered if the flavor would really translate. But, you never know till you try, so try I did, and I’m thrilled to report that this was extremely successful! It tasted exactly as it should, but was incredibly easy to pull off. Matt took the leftovers to work, as usual, and people there immediately recognized it as German chocolate cake and effusively proclaimed its deliciousness. I have to say, they are correct. I absolutely LOVED this cake and would happily eat my beloved German chocolate cake as sheet cake from now on. Enjoy!

German Chocolate Sheet Cake

Source: The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

Ingredients:

CAKE:
12 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk

FROSTING:
1 cup heavy cream
20 oz. caramel candies, unwrapped; or 2 cups store-bought caramel sauce
2 ½ cups chopped toasted pecans
7 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
Pinch of salt

Directions:
First, bake the CAKE: preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 9×13” baking dish and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, and vanilla until fluffy and light, at least 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.
Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly blend one-third of the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, then half the milk, followed by a third of the flour, the remaining half of the milk, then the last of the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary during this process.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely before frosting it.
Make the FROSTING:
Heat the cream in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until it simmers; add the caramel(s) and stir until melted. Bring the mixture to a boil then remove it from the heat. Stir in the pecans and coconut, plus a small pinch of salt. The cake should be completely cooled before frosting, and the frosting should be cooled to about room temperature. It should be thick but spreadable.
To assemble, carefully pour the cooled frosting onto the top of the cooled cake and use an offset spatula to evenly spread it across the cake. Let it set for at least a few minutes before cutting. Cut into squares and serve.

Chocolate Icebox Pie

Chocolate Icebox Pie

Call me utterly predictable and completely unoriginal, but it’s Pi Day, an arbitrary holiday/designation that is supposed to celebrate math but has been hijacked by food media, so I’m sharing a pie with you. I know.

But, whether it’s Pi Day or any random day, this particular pie absolutely deserves a space on my blog, and in your belly. Such a simple, unpretentious, beloved classic comfort food pie this is; I’m pretty sure every American has a favorite and familiar version in their arsenal.

Chocolate Icebox Pie

This one is particularly awesome because the crust is made from store-bought Oreos, but the filling is made from scratch. I love that unholy juxtaposition.

Chocolate Icebox Pie

I won’t blather on about how delicious this pie is, because everyone already knows the chocolate-y, creamy goodness that is this lovely concoction of chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream. I’ll just advocate for this particular version, it is simply wonderful. Enjoy!

Chocolate Icebox Pie

Source: The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Cookbook by John Stage

Ingredients:

CRUST:
20 Oreo sandwich cookies
3 tbs unsalted butter, melted

FILLING:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tbs cornstarch
1/3 cup flour
¼ tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 tbs vanilla extract
Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish

Directions:
Make the CRUST: preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a regular 9” pie plate. Process the cookies down to crumbs in your food processor. Add the melted butter and process again to combine. Press the cookies evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
Make the FILLING: whisk the sugar, cornstarch, flour, salt and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Combine the chocolate chips and milk in a saucepan and set it over medium heat, stirring constantly. As soon as the chips are melted, shut off the heat and pour half of the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Whisk the egg yolks and vanilla together. Slowly pour the yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture in the saucepan, whisking constantly to make sure the yolks don’t scramble. Now add the chocolate and dry ingredient mixture. Stir to combine, then set the saucepan back over medium heat and whisk constantly. Once the mixture starts to thicken, keep whisking and cook for 2 more minutes. Pour the chocolate filling into a clean bowl and cool for 10 minutes. You can place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the pudding to prevent a skin forming.
Pour the filling into the pie shell and level the top. Chill in the refrigerator for several hours. Spread the whipped cream all over the top and cut into wedges. Keep in the refrigerator.

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Tarragon

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Tarragon

I’ve long since been of the firm opinion that the internet doesn’t need yet another chocolate chip cookie recipe. We all love chocolate chip cookies, everyone has a go-to recipe in their arsenal (I’m quite convinced that this includes everyone, even people who claim they can’t cook and/or bake), so really, what good is it to post such a ubiquitous recipe?

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Tarragon

Until today, when I break my own rule. Maybe I’m sheltered, but I’ve never before seen chocolate chip cookies that incorporated fresh tarragon in the dough. And bourbon too! Bourbon never hurts my feelings.

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Tarragon

These particular chocolate chip cookies won my heart, and I actually did find them unique and special – enough so to share here with my head held high anyways. They have all the elements we require of perfect, chewy-style chocolate chip cookies, but there’s a hint of booze in the background, and a pop of … something … from the tarragon. It certainly doesn’t taste as though you’re chewing on tarragon, but it definitely adds an earthy dimension to such a familiar favorite.

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Tarragon

I highly recommend that everyone take a short break from their go-to chocolate chip cookies recipe and give these a go. They are superlative, and while I’m sure they’ll sway no one from their long-time fave, your usual recipe will certainly forgive you for stepping out on it this one time. It’s very worth it. Enjoy!

Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Tarragon

Source: Ovenly by Agatha Kaluga and Erin Patinkin

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup (packed) brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
¼ cup bourbon (nothing fancy necessary)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tbs finely chopped fresh tarragon

Directions:
First, brown the butter. In a small, preferably stainless steel, saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and continue to heat until it crackles and foams. Once the butter is nutty in color and smell, and you can see little browned bits on the bottom of the pan, shut off the heat and stir to scrape the browned bits off the pan. Set aside and let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cooled melted butter and both sugars on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 1 minute.
Add the whole egg and then the egg yolk, one at a time, and beat on low until fully incorporated. Raise the mixer speed to medium-high, and beat 1 minute until smooth.
Turn the mixer to low, add the bourbon and vanilla and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until barely combined, about 30 seconds. Add the chocolate chips and tarragon, and mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds more.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment or silpats. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and use a cookie scoop to form the dough into 1-inch balls and arrange them on the baking sheets.
Bake 10 minutes, or until light golden brown. It’s good if the cookies look slightly underbaked in the center when you take them out – they will set as they cool. Cool fully before serving.
The recipe says this will get you 24 cookies, but I got 30 cookies, plus a leftover handful of dough, which yes, I ate.

Toasted Pine Nut and Milk Chocolate Short Bread Squares

Toasted Pine Nut and Milk Chocolate Short Bread Squares

How much do I love short bread? Let me count the ways…

Actually no, don’t worry, I’ll spare you that tedium, but suffice it to say these did not disappoint this short bread lover at all! Matt and I spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s taking off work and bumming around Manhattan, where we did some personal shopping for no real reason other than we just felt like it. I know I’m really late to the party, but I finally picked up Ovenly, the book that spills the secrets of the successful Brooklyn bakery by the same name.

Toasted Pine Nut and Milk Chocolate Short Bread Squares

What to make first? Their short bread recipe caught my eye, in no small part because I had some pine nuts to use up, and who wants to throw pine nuts into the garbage, ever? Expensive little nuts, those are.

Toasted Pine Nut and Milk Chocolate Short Bread Squares

My regulars know I’m not a big milk chocolate fan, so I seriously debated subbing in semi-sweet here, but in the end decided to try their version. I’m very glad I did! The milk chocolate really plays off the almost-bitter quality of the pine nuts and it’s a very well-complemented relationship. Also, the short bread itself is barely sweet (just sweet enough) so you welcome the near-cloying sweetness of the milk chocolate. Nothing was even a little bit out of balance. I can assure you, these will get made again. Enjoy!

Toasted Pine Nut and Milk Chocolate Short Bread Squares

Source: Ovenly by Agatha Kulaga and Erin Patinkin

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
3 tbs toasted pine nuts
2 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
1 ¼ cups cold, unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup granulated sugar

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 275 F. Grease an 8×8” baking pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, pine nuts, and milk chocolate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the cold butter and sugar on medium speed until light and barely fluffy, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to overbeat the butter. Turn the mixer off. Add the flour mixture and turn the mixer back on low speed, mixing until just incorporated.
Remove the dough from the bowl and press it evenly into the prepared baking pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Cool completely, then cut into 16 squares. Use a spatula to remove them from the pan.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

So apparently it was National Chocolate Cake Day this past week?? Is that right? I cannot and don’t even try to keep up with all these arbitrary food holidays. And, I personally don’t think chocolate cake needs any reason whatsoever, actually…

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

I picked up one of America’s Test Kitchen compilation magazines last summer and was delighted to find this gem in there. I’d actually been hunting down such a recipe for purely nostalgic reasons. One of the BEST things my mom made while we were kids was this amazing chocolate bundt cake. It had sour cream in it, plus chocolate chips, and it was always made from a boxed cake mix and a boxed pudding mix. I’ve always wanted to make it from scratch, but could never find a recipe that exactly matched its intense chocolate flavor and fudgy texture.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Until now, that is! I mean, I should’ve looked to ATK first. Lesson learned…

This was everything I fondly remember about that childhood cake, made from scratch. I grinned stupidly with every bite. This will forever be my go-to chocolate bundt cake. I’m officially done looking. And whether chocolate bundt cake is nostalgic to you or not, I highly, highly recommend that you start baking this one and make it a nostalgic part of your life. It’s SO good.

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

Source: America’s Test Kitchen Special Collector’s Edition Best Ingredients Recipes, 2015

Ingredients:
1 tbs plus ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1 tbs unsalted butter, melted
12 tbs unsalted butter, softened
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tsp instant espresso powder
¾ cup boiling water
1 cup sour cream
1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
5 large eggs
12 oz. package of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Mix 1 tbs cocoa powder and the melted butter into paste. Using a pastry brush, thoroughly coat the interior of a standard Bundt pan. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat your oven to 350 F.
Combine the chocolate, espresso powder, and remaining ¾ cup cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water over the chocolate mixture and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Whisk mixture gently until smooth. Let cool completely, then whisk in the sour cream. Whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a separate bowl.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the softened butter, sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until combined.
Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating the chocolate-sour cream mixture in 2 additions, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add in the chocolate chips, and give the batter a final quick stir by hand to incorporate the chips.
Transfer the batter to the prepared Bundt pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Rotate the pan once halfway through baking. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto a wire rack. Let cool completely, about 3 hours.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

Yeah, so last week. I mean, doesn’t the presence of Thanksgiving alone provide enough craziness? But oh no, the universe apparently decided that I needed so much more. The week began with a water main break in my city, and our water was off for two days. When it (weakly!) returned, it came with a boil notice that city officials probably lifted a tad too soon, because I got very sick on Thursday!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

So in all the mayhem, I ended up neglecting the blog. I totally meant to share this superlative little dessert last week – pre-Thanksgiving, when it’s still socially acceptable to blog pumpkin desserts, but this recipe is so spectacular that it simply can’t wait another year. A small food blogging faux pas will likely be forgiven once you taste these.

I actually made these cupcakes mostly on a whim. A couple years ago I made and blogged a pumpkin cupcake with chocolate cream cheese frosting, which were quite lovely; so this year I impulsively decided to reverse the cupcakes and see if a chocolate cupcake with pumpkin buttercream worked just as well.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

Possibly even better, I must say! I’ve made this three times in the past week, to overwhelming raves each time. The cupcakes are chocolate-y and tender and soft, with a not-too-sweet and earthy frosting capping them off. So delicious, and I personally think it’s still an acceptable time of year to enjoy these.

A note about the frosting. The first time I made them, I piped on the frosting with a plain pastry bag tip (not the star tip), and two problems emerged. One, they were over-frosted in the sense that I ran out on cupcake #19 (of 24), and two, the frosting looked like the poop emoji. So I used a small spatula to smooth it out and it looked much nicer. When I made it again, I skipped the pastry bag and had plenty of frosting for all 24 cupcakes. If you want the frosting piled high on all 24 cupcakes, I’d increase the recipe by 1 ½.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream Frosting

Source: cupcakes from Homemade with Love by Jennifer Perillo; frosting from In Jennie’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

CUPCAKES:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup cocoa powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup canola oil
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk

FROSTING:
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus a little extra for garnish, if desired
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

Directions:
First make the CUPCAKES: preheat your oven to 350 F. Line 2 (12 cup) muffin tins with liners and set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa in a medium bowl. Add the egg, oil, and sugar to a large bowl and whisk briskly until thick and creamy, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla and milk. Add the dry ingredients, and whisk until just combined.
Evenly spoon the batter into the prepared tins. Bake until a metal skewer or cake tester comes out clean, 15 to 17 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting them.
When the cupcakes have cooled, make the FROSTING: place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat until airy and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, and vanilla extract; beat until well combined.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly sprinkle in one third of the sugar. Beat until well combined. Stop the mixer, and scrape down the sides. Repeat with the remaining sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added, beat the frosting on high speed for 2 minutes.
Frost the cooled cupcakes, and if desired, sprinkle each cupcake with a tad bit of ground cinnamon.

Orange and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones #SundaySupper

Orange and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones

Welcome, welcome to Sunday Supper (yes, I’m ba-ack!!), where our theme this week is Easy Holiday Entertaining. We can all use some help there, am I right?

Orange and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones

My contribution is scones. When we have overnight guests over the holidays, I think the tendency of so many of us is to plan and plan for the dinners, the cocktail parties and the drinks, and then at the last minute we have the “Oh crap!” moment when we realize our guests might want breakfast too.

orange and dark chocolate chunk scones

Enter scones. Scones are SO easy to make, yet for whatever reason, I’ve discovered that people generally don’t seem to realize that. So they think you went all out for them, they are so impressed at your baking prowess, and you barely broke a sweat. Not to mention, scones are delicious, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who disliked them.

orange and dark chocolate chunk scones

These are some of the best scones I’ve tasted, and guys, I think it’s the cake flour. It lends the softest and flakiest texture, and I’m thinking all my scones from now on will have to have some cake flour. The dark chocolate chunks are lovely – sweet enough but not too much so, and make this perfect for a holiday breakfast or brunch treat. Try these out on your guests this holiday season! They’ll love you. Enjoy!

Orange and Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones

And check out the easy holiday entertaining ideas the rest of my Sunday Supper crew brought today!

Source: ever so slightly adapted from Homemade with Love by Jennie Perillo

Ingredients:
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tbs baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
Freshly grated zest of 1 orange
6 tbs unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
½ cup plus 1 tbs buttermilk, divided
1 large egg
6 oz. dark chocolate chunks
1 tsp turbinado, or other raw/coarse sugar

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to combine the three flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest. Scatter the butter cubes over the flour mixture and use a pastry blender or 2 forks to cut the butter into the flour mixture. You want it to form a sandy-looking texture with some pebble-sized pieces of butter throughout.
Quickly whisk together ½ cup buttermilk and the egg, then pour it into the flour mixture. Add the chocolate chunks, and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir the dough together. When it has mostly come together, use your hands to knead for no more than 1 minute to get the little scraggly bits to come together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Pat the dough into a circle between ½-inch and 1-inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 8 triangles. Transfer them to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Brush them with the remaining buttermilk, then sprinkle the tops with the turbinado.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the bottoms are lightly browned and the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving.

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Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream

Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream

I keep yapping about how berry season held us over until stone fruit arrived, and I would be very remiss to exclude raspberries from this little venture. If we’re talking about just outright snacking, I have to admit that raspberries are my least favorite of the four main berries, but I absolutely adore cooking and baking with them. No clue why…

raspberries

So, this ice cream. It was incredibly interesting, and not quite what I was expecting when I read the recipe title. Making chocolate ice cream from scratch generally involves, well, actual chocolate (PSA courteous of Captain Obvious). So I read the recipe title and assumed it contained actual chocolate plus raspberries, and I worried that the assertive chocolate flavor would overwhelm or outshine the more delicate raspberry flavor.

raspberries

Not so. This recipe doesn’t actually call for any chocolate, just good cocoa powder. Which actually relegates the chocolate flavor to a more accompanying background note that complements the raspberries, thus allowing them to be front and center on the taste buds. With each bite there is no mistaking it: the raspberry gets top billing here.

chocolate raspberry ice cream

I would advise churning this ice cream for less time than your ice cream maker suggests. It’s a VERY thick custard, and in my experience, thicker-than-usual custards like to over-churn, and over-churned ice cream is all kinds of inedible nastiness. So watch it carefully, and stop it around 5 or so minutes before you usually do. The major upside of super thick custard is that it yields an incredibly creamy finished product. I hope y’all will enjoy it!

Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream

Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups heavy cream
5 tbs unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups fresh raspberries
Pinch of kosher salt

Directions:
Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, and sugar in a large stockpot. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it may start to foam up). Remove from the heat and add the raspberries and salt. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor. If you wish, press the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions, but subtract 5 to 10 minutes from the recommended churning time to prevent over-churning. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container and freeze about 2 hours or longer before serving.

S’Mores Oat Bars

S'Mores Oat Bars

Happy Fourth of July!! At the risk of being obvious and perhaps a little unoriginal, I’m blogging something s’mores today. It seems the childhood campfire obsession just never, ever gets old, even that said campfire from our childhoods was proverbial at best. Adults just don’t seem to ever outgrow that graham crackers-milk-chocolate-marshmallows combination. If you’ve ever looked at Pinterest, then you know that our beloved S’more has gone on to take on more iterations than our human minds can fathom – it seems you can take *any* dessert and make it into a s’more.

marshmallows and chocolate chips for S'Mores Oat Bars

So today I’m sharing a recipe I found from King Arthur Flour, which called it a S’Mores Granola Bar. With all due respect to KAF, this is not a granola bar, my friends. I just can’t call it that, because using the phrase granola connotes healthiness, and this little treat is not healthy or virtuous in any way. It’s just a delicious cookie that will remind you of s’mores. That’s it.

S'Mores Oat Bars

And that’s totally okay! Enjoy it for what it is, just don’t delude yourself into thinking you or your kids are getting any real nutrition here. Because you’re not. But still, it’s delicious and you should absolutely enjoy a treat tonight after your grill fest! And now I shall sign off, wishing you and yours a wonderful and safe Fourth of July celebration! As for me and Matt, we will be hanging shelves and rearranging furniture. Sigh…

S'Mores Oat Bars

Source: The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

Ingredients:
6 tbs unsalted butter
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 tbs maple syrup or honey
2 ¼ cups rolled, old-fashioned oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 ¼ cups mini marshmallows

Directions:
In a medium-to-large-sized saucepan set over medium heat, melt and stir together the butter, sugar, and syrup, cooking until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the oats, flour, salt, and graham cracker crumbs.
Press slightly more than half of the mixture into a lightly greased 9×9” square baking pan. Let cool completely.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top, then the marshmallows. Top with the remaining crust mixture. I found this easiest to do just by dropping chunks of it evenly over the whole thing with your hands. Don’t try to spread it evenly – it won’t do that anyway, and you’ll just mess up your marshmallows by trying.
Bake the bars 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them rest for 20 minutes, then if you can, cut them into squares while they are still slightly warm. They taste excellent room temperature though.