Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bailey's Chocolatini




Good morning! I do not know about you but by New Years Eve I am a little tuckered out from all of the holiday celebrations so there are years that I do not actually make it until midnight.




This year I am going to try but to make it to the countdown but I will not be out partying, I will be home celebrating quietly with a small group of family and friends. I am still working on the menu but one of the cocktails is going to be this Bailey's Chocolatini, after all what is a celebration without a little chocolate.



Bailey's Chocolatini

2 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
1/4 oz. of vodka
1/2 oz. Godiva Chocolate liquor

Pour sprinkles into a saucer, bub the rim of a martini glass with lemon and place glass upside down in saucer to line rim. Place a few ice cubes into a shaker, add all liquors, shake well and pour into a chilled glass. Enjoy!


I hope that you have a happy and safe celebration! Remember to drink responsibly and do not drink and drive.

Happy New Year!

Linking to:
Stone Gable The Scoop

Monday, December 30, 2013

Green & Blacks Luxury Cocoa



Luxury Cocoa
Recipe from Green & Blacks Chocolate Recipes

1 cup of whole milk
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
2 cinnamon sticks, about 2 inches long
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of sugar

Put the milk, cream and cinnamon sticks in a pan and slowly bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

When ready to serve remove cinnamon sticks and reheat the milk. In a mug add cocoa powder and enough milk to form a paste and stir.

When milk is just heated pour into mug and stir to blend, then add the sugar to taste and stir well, serve with cinnamon sticks.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Bailey's Hot Chocolate

Just in case you feel like you need something a little stronger than traditional hot chocolate. 




2 cups of milk
21/2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
11/2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream

Directions:

In a small saucepan boil the milk. Once boiled remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisk until smooth. Add Bailey's Irish Cream and garnish with whipped cream.




Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!



A Merry Christmas to you! I hope that your day is filled with the love of family and friends!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas




A Visit from St. Nicholas
Clement C. Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"


Merry Christmas! I hope that you have a fabulous day with your family and friends!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Wittamer Hot Chocolate


Good morning can you believe that it is only five days until Christmas?  I have so much to do and yet I find myself not wanting to do anything but sit around with a cup of cocoa and watch old Christmas movies. Thankfully I am almost finished, and frankly what is left is really just extra so if it is not finished no big deal.



One of the things I have been doing while I am procrastinating about my holiday projects is experimenting with chocolate drinks. This is one of my new favorites, Wittamer Hot Chocolate from David Leibovitz. The recipe is from his cookbook The Great Book of Chocolate, which is filled with wonderful recipes, and suggestions of chocolate shops and cafes around the world.  

Wittamer Hot Chocolate
Recipe David LebovitzDavid Lebovitz

1 quart of whole milk or half and half
8 oz. of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a saucepan heat the chocolates and 1 CUP of the milk. Stir until melted. Then add the remaining milk and cinnamon and heat.

Stir briskly with whisk or use and immersion blender to make this smooth and creamy.




I should tell you that this is European drinking chocolate, not nasty powered stuff from a mix. It is very strong, and chocolaty. Even though the recipe serves four your could probably serve six people, a little of this tasty drink goes a long way.




Enjoy the hot chocolate. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Neilsen Massey Peppermint Hot Chocolate

I am a huge fan of hot chocolate but then again if you read this blog you already knew that. Now that the weather is getting downright cold and the holidays just around the corner this Peppermint Hot Chocolate is the perfect drink for yourself and your guests.



Recently, Neilsen-Massey the vanilla and flavoring company offered me the opportunity to try a few of their products. As I routinely use the Vanilla and Vanilla bean paste I thought I would branch out and try something new, one of the flavors I choose was the peppermint extract and boy am I happy that I did.



The pure peppermint extract is smooth and is the perfect compliment to the rich chocolate flavor of this cocoa. There is no aftertaste, just a sweet, fresh and minty flavor. In addition to hot chocolate I think it would be fabulous in cakes and brownies, not to mention a few savory dishes as well. 



Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon, plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
2 cups of whole milk
1/2 cup of half and half
5 oz. 60% chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon  Neilsen Massey  peppermint extract

candy canes or Andes Peppermint candy for garnish

Take 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of sugar and whip until soft peaks form. Set aside in refrigerator.

In a medium saucepan add half and half, milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar, whisk together over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth then add the extract and mix again. Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream, candy canes or chopped peppermint candy.




I hope that you have a great holiday. Enjoy your time with family and friends this week!


NOTE: I have not been compensated for this post. I was given a sample of  the product.  My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way by the manufacturer. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Herhey's "Perfectly Chcocolate" Hot Cocoa




Tis' the Season to be jolly, fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la. I have my halls decked, presents wrapped and shipped and I am ready to settle in and relax. 




I love relaxing with a cup of homemade hot cocoa while sitting next to a roaring fire, and a good book. I think it is the perfect way to end the day. Don't you?




Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Hot Cocoa
Recipe from Hershey's

1/4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup of sugar
3 cups of milk
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla

whipped cream for garnish

In a small bowl mix sugar and cocoa and set aside. In a saucepan heat milk to just boiling. Once boiling mix 1/3 cup of milk into the cocoa/sugar mixture and stir until creamy, then pour into the hot milk and whisk then stir in vanilla and whisk again. Pour into mugs and serve with marshmallows or whipped cream. 




I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Creamy Hot Cocoa





Creamy Hot Cocoa
Recipe from All Recipes
Serves 4

1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup of sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/3 cup of boiling water
31/2 cup of milk
3/4 tsp of vanilla
Garnish whipping cream


In a saucepan add cocoa, sugar, and salt. Blend in the boiling water and stir. Simmer and stir for one or two minutes. Add milk and bring to a soft boil then remove from heat and add vanilla. Garnish with whipping cream and enjoy. 






Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bicerin: A Chocolate and Coffee Drink



The Christmas season is the perfect time to try new rich and chocolaty drinks and I am always in search of new ones. Recently while perusing one of my favorite cookbooks, Luscious Chocolate Desserts by Lori Longbotham I discovered a chocolate drink that was new to me, it's called Bicerin. Pronounced "beech-en-Reen", bicerin is a favorite drink in the Piedemont region of Italy. Traditionally it is served in a small glass so that you can see each layer, I skipped that and just whisked all of the ingredients together. 




Bicerin

2 cups whole milk
2 cups of hot strong brewed coffee
3 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of sugar or to taste

Bring milk just to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, pour the hot coffee into a heatproof pitcher or glass measuring cup and whisk in the chocolate and sugar until smooth. Then whisk in the hot milk. Taste and add more sugar if you prefer it a little sweeter. Serves 4-6.




This drink is perfect for a cool, lazy Saturday afternoon with friends. I hope that you try it and the many others I will be posting this month to celebrate the holidays.

If you would like to know more about the history of Bicerin or places in Italy to try it David Lebovitz wrote a great post about it HERE.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting



Now that Thanksgiving is over it is time to pull out all of the recipes I have been collecting this year to try at Christmas. Gingerbread is a staple of the holidays and I thought that the addition of chocolate would be perfect. 

As this is my first time combining the two flavors I decided to try an easy recipe first, one in which the base is a box cake mix. The cupcakes came out perfect, and the chocolate frosting is an excellent addition, although you could also use a cream cheese frosting too. 




Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes 
Recipe from Betty Crocker

1 box  chocolate fudge cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons ground ginger
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Chocolate Frosting
sprinkles for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350, prepare cupcake pans with cooking spray or paper liners. Make cake mix according to directions on the box. Stir in molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and clover. 
Bake 18-20 minute or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes. 
Once cool, frost with chocolate frosting. 

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting
Recipe from Hershey's

1 stick butter melted
2/3 cup of cocoa
1/3 cup of milk
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla

Melt butter in large bowl, whisk of use electric hand held mixer to bled in cocoa. Add one cup of powdered sugar, and a little milk, alternating between the two until both are used up and the frosting is creamy. Add vanilla and blend. 



There are many recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread recipes that I want to try this year, the next one will be completely from scratch. Do you have a recipe that you have made before and love? If so please share it because it is always nice to have recipes to try that others know and love.