Baking · Breakfast · Dessert · Random Recipes

The Past Unspoken

Chocolate Stuffed Muffins

Chocolate Stuffed Muffin

Oh, chocolate – you are amazing.  Which is why I was rather thrilled to see that Random Recipes – hosted by the fantastic Dom of Belleau Kitchen along with the Chocolate Log Blog (cuz chocolate!!!) –  was going chocolate this month, in addition to the normal rules.  I only have two dedicated dessert books, but found that a number of my books had at least one chocolate recipe tucked away.  In the end a non-dessert book won out, and with that these delicious chocolate filled muffins from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes.  I did make a slight adjustment to the recipe, as the basic muffin directions called for zest which is something I avoid due to an allergy.  I also decided to go with milk chocolate chips, while the original recipe didn’t say one way or another.

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The best thing about this recipe is that the technique can be used for making other types of filled/stuffed muffins.  I could see pieces of fruit, jam, or caramel (!) doing rather nicely in this delicious muffin – or being really naughty and putting brownie or cookie dough in the middle!  If I was to do chocolate again I would probably use something more like a chocolate nugget as the chips didn’t really give it as much chocolate as I was expecting – or use a chocolate spread like Nutella!

Baking · Dessert

Thinking About You

Dark Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Dark Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Warning: If you do not love chocolate this is not the blog post for you.  However if you have a sweet tooth that won’t settle for anything less but the good stuff then stick around.  This cookies have been a work in progress for a few months now, as was having a hard time finding the right balance – and then I decided to throw caution to the wind and grabbed some super dark chocolate bars.  While I’m not normally a fan of the darker chocolates, Joey is so I knew that worst case scenario he would enjoy them! So I cracked those chocolate bars up in to chocolate chunks and went for it.  Thankfully I had some special guests that night who were willing to test out the newest recipe.  Success!

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I might tweak this again in the future, maybe half dark chocolate and half white chocolate, but then again why mess with chocolate perfection?  The trick with these is letting them have time in the fridge to relax and chill – it keeps them from attempting to become one large chocolate mess which might have happened with one of the test recipes.  Also, when the cookies come out the center will look a bit soft but that’s okay as they will firm up while cooking on the sheet.

52Weeks · Baking · Dessert · Vegan

It’s Cold Out

Vegan Chocolate Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Cookies

Last post from 2013’s /52weeksofcooking and hoping oh so much that I stay on track in 2014, and get everything finished in 2014.  The last challenge posed a bit of a question for me as I had done my “holiday tradition” cooking for Thanksgiving.  However Christmas Eve wound up giving me the perfect opportunity to continue what is fast becoming a holiday tradition – vegan cookies for my sister(s)-in-law.  The first few years I stuck to a vegan sugar cookie recipe I found online but this time I wanted to try something different, even though I knew that would increase the risks of something going wrong.  My biggest fear was hard cookies, so I took every precaution I could think of to insure soft fluffy cookies – and it worked!

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I’m not sure if it was the chilled dough or just dumb luck but the cookies were perfection.  The outsides were crisp with moist insides, almost brownie like – and the powdered sugar help cut down on the extreme chocolate taste.  These might not be the cookies I made with my family growing up, but I can easily see these being the cookies I make with my family going forward.

Now time to focus on 2014!  Fingers crossed I won’t fall so far behind this year 🙂

52Weeks · Baking · Dessert

Down this River

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies

I’ve been trying to be good, trying to avoid the temptation to bake (and eat) as many cookies as possible – since it is that time of the year.  However when I saw the /52weeksofcooking challenge required the use of cranberries I could resist making a sweet treat.  Many moons ago I worked at a certain coffee chain known for serving a cranberry bar that one might describe as blissful.  My original plan was to recreate those bars in a cookie form, but that was before embarking on a journey to find white chocolate chips – a journey that was unsuccessful.  So I decided to do a very scientific taste test to see what type of chip would go best with the dried cranberries.  In the end I went with milk chocolate chips, with dark chocolate chips winning first runner-up (butterscotch and semi-sweet were the other competitors).

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I still plan to try these again with the white chocolate chips, for scientific reasons of course!

52Weeks · Dessert · Home Cooking

I Love

M&M Bark

Originally this post was going to be a guest post for an awesome food and crafts blog but for some reason they decided to not use it 😦  So after waiting for over a week to see if they would change their mind, or just respond letting me know they got the original email with the post, I decided to share it here.  When it comes to fall my mind always goes to varios types of candies, and the variety of ways they can be used.  Last year I made some Kat-Kit Cookies while the year before that I treated my friends to some Kit Kat Cheesecake.  This year I debated all sorts of goodies, and then realized this was going to fall in the middle of our trans-state move and scaled back a bit.  After checking what my temporary kitchen had equipment wise, I went for a triple layer bark – with some fall colored M&Ms (tho left over M&Ms from Halloween would work just as well).  This recipe is so simple, with or without a double-boil, it just requires prior  planning since the bark takes a bit of time to “dry”.
chocochips

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I got lucky and found a bag of Halloween themed chocolate chips (not pictured due to spaz – this photo is with a “regular” bag of chips) and spent a bit of time splitting up the orange and black in order to create the triple layer effect.  Another option would be two bags of white chocolate chips and using food dye to create the orange layer. doubleboiler
whitelayer

Triple Layer Chocolate Bark

I normally make this the night before, that way when I get up in the morning it’s ready to break.  I took this batch to work as a good-bye treat for my coworkers, and to insure I didn’t eat the entire thing by myself…

I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their candy week – homemade bark with store bought candy make the perfect treat!

Baking · Dessert

If I Fall

Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies

I try to avoid the sweets, I really do, but last week my company sponsored a bake contest as part of a BBQ and I couldn’t say no.  I debated a few different recipes, such as my peach cookies, before deciding to go all out with some hard-core chocolate brownies.  These brownies are not diet friendly, but they are incredibly delicious and sometimes one has to indulge in the tastier things in the life.  These brownies are inspired by the ones in the original Betty Crocker cookbook, and then adjusted for what supplies I had on hand in college when I first made these tasty treats.  So many of the recipes I enjoy as a married 20-something are based on dinners-gone-wrong from college, and a few of the desserts also fall in that category.  I perfected the “art” of refrigerator pizza/pasta and also learned the importance of having certain basics in the house at all time – such as those required for making chocolate chip cookies and/or chocolate chip brownies.  These brownies don’t require baking chocolate, cocoa powder, or anything else that wouldn’t be readily found in a dorm room which makes them the perfect recipe to have on hand for a last minute get together.

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Unfortunatly the picture that goes along with this post has gone missing – however after being hounded for the last week for the recipe by coworkers I’m going to go ahead and post it.  Once I find the picture I’ll make sure to add it, that or I’ll just have to make another batch of them!

Baking · Dessert · Secret Recipe Club

No Name

St. Patrick’s Day Cookies

Andes Mint Cookies

First I just want to say my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston along with their friends and family.  I have spent many wonderful days in this colorful and lively city and the pictures I’m seeing today remind me how suddenly things can change.  

As most of you have probably seen by now I’m a member of the amazing Secret Recipe Club, which is a blog link up party where people get to explore and then create a dish from another blog.  While my normal post went up last week with Group A I am bringing a bonus SRC post today from Group B.  Maria’s Close to Home blog has a little bit (okay a lot a bit) of EVERYTHING!!!!  From crafts to nutrition tips to recipes she is a very talented women, and her talent seems to be carrying over to the next generation.  When I saw these minty green cookies I immediately knew this was the recipe for today.  Many moons ago I had the fortunate to spend a St. Patrick’s day in Boston and while the details are a little…hazy…it was a fantastic day spent with great friends.  As an added bonus I’m leaving for Dublin in just over two weeks and will be staying right by the St. Patrick Cathedral – so Maria I really was meant to have your blog!

I did have to make a slight change to the recipe as I couldn’t find any sort of mint chips, however Andes Mints crush up fantastically in the blender so I was set.  I also skipped the green food coloring as I have an aversion to green cookies after a less than pleasant experience in HS.

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Note: picture is on it’s way however my photographer is currently out so might have to wait until he returns! trying to figure out this instagram thing in the mean time…


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