Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hot Chocolate with Eggnog Whipped Cream

Good morning! I hope that your week has been great. Can you believe that it is the night before Christmas? Where did the time go? Tonight is the time to relax and enjoy your time with family and friends. 

My favorite drink on a cold winter day, or any day for that matter is a steamy cup of hot chocolate. Recently I have discovered that a dollop of egg nog whipped cream makes it the perfect winter beverage!

 Eggnog Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3-1/2 cups of egg nog
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2  teaspoon ground nutmeg

Place whipping cream and egg nog in a chilled bowl and whip until medium soft peaks form, then add powdered sugar and nutmeg and whip just a lit more to incorporate. Do not over whip or you will have something resembling butter.

Top your favorite hot chocolate (or try on of the many I have made here in the past few years) or hot beverage with a dollop of egg nog whipped cream and enjoy!

I hope that you have a wonderful day and a very Merry Christmas!

Sharing at:
Coastal Charm

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

I hope that you have a wonderful and happy day surrounded by the love of family and friends. 

Merry Christmas. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Easy Caramelized Almond Bark with Sea Salt

Christmas is just a few days away, can you believe it? I am so looking forward to spending time relaxing, going to Midnight mass, breakfast with my family and of course eating lots of treats. This Easy Sea Salt Bark is one of the things that I cannot wait to eat. 

I have made so many batches of this bark for family, friends and for our house. It cannot be any easier  or delicious. The mix of sweet, salty and crunchy is scrumptious. If you are looking for a lat minute, easy gift for family or friends this is something you should try. 

Easy Caramelized Almond Bark with Sea Salt
Recipe from Epicurious

1/2 cup of sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon butter
11/2 cups roasted almonds
1 pound dood quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
coarse sea salt for garnish

Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat of tin foil, set aside. In a small saucepan combine water and sugar, stir over medium-low until the sugar is dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil and cook, string occasionally swirling the pan and brushing down the sides with a pastry brush until the caramel is dark amber, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately sir in butter until melted. Working fast stir almonds until well coated and spread onto baking pan, separate the nuts the best you can. Let cool and break up any large clumps. Set aside 1/4 of the nuts.

Stir chocolate in a medium bowl, set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Remove from heat and add nuts from making sheet. Spread the nut mixture on the same baking sheet, make sure to keep the nuts in one layer. Top with the reserved nuts and then sprinkle with sea salt. Chill until set.

I hope that you have a great week and that you have a minute to slow down and enjoy all the beauty of the holiday season. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Polar Express Hot Chocolate

Once of my favorite things to do at Christmas is to watch all of the classic movies, both new and old, Rudolph, Frosty, White Christmas, Elf and of course the Polar Express. I personally love the "hot chocolate" scene and dance.

In the next few days before the holidays why not make a batch of Polar Express Hot Chocolate, flip on the movie and enjoy a little time with your family and friends?

I discovered this recipe from Honey & Fitz several years ago and just made it this past week. It is easy and delicious!

Polar Express Hot Chocolate

11/2 cups of heavy cream
1 can of sweetened condensed milk 
2 cups Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
6 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large pot combine all the ingredients listed above and cook over low heat for 30-40 minutes and all ingredients are melted and incorporated. Stir frequently. Serve with whipped cream, marshmallows or just enjoy it plain.

I hope that you enjoy this holiday season!

If you like hot chocolate I have a Hot Chocolate Board on Pinterest with this recipe and about 400 others!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Bailey's Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding

My mom loves bread pudding so I often make it when she is visiting. I love to experiment with different "breads," sometimes I have french, plain white, croissants, cookies or whatever laying around and I hate for it to go to waste. 

This week I had an extra loaf of brioche from Thanksgiving and this pudding was the result. It is creamy, chocolaty, buttery and has a hint of Bailey's Irish cream. If you do not like to use alchol, omit the Bailey's it will still be buttery, sweet and chocolaty.

Bailey's Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding

3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
8 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 load(11/2 lbs) Brioche
5 ounces dark chocolate chopped
1/4 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 slices

Butter a standard loaf pan, or spray with cooking spray. If you want the pudding to come out whole add a piece of parchment to the pan as well.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar and cinnamon. Cut the brioche into 1/2 slices and dip into the egg mixture.
Place the 1 layer of soaked brooch pieces into the pan, then alter with chocolate and butter. Then add another layer of bread ad chocolate and butte. Do this until all the bread is used up.
Pour the remaining milk mixture over the pan. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 30 and bake for 1 hour.

Garnish with chocolate, a drizzle of Bailey's and whipped cream.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Decadent Dark Hot Chocolate on the Eve of St. Nicholas

Decadent Dark Hot Chocolate 
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen
Make 9 cups

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 ounces see or bittersweet chocolate roughly chopped
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or the seeds from a tiny segment of vanilla bean pod
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all ingredients ingot the bowl of a food processor and blend until powdery. Keep in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

To use:
Heat one cup of milk in a saucepan over medium heat until steamy. Add 3 tablespoons of cocoa mix and whisk for another minute or two until the mix is dissolved and the cocoa is creamy. Pour into cups and top with whipped cream or marshmallows. 

This hot chocolate is a great, go to mix to have in the cabinet, it is also a wonderful gift to give with a cute mug and some homemade cookies. I will be snuggling down with a cup, or two this evening after I put my slippers out for St. Nicholas to fill tonight.

Do you celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas? We have celebrated it our entire lives, he leaves treats in our slippers or stockings on the eve of December 5th and we find it December 6th. Then we get our presents on Christmas day. 

If you would like to know more about the holiday come over to my other blog,  Pine Cones and Acorns and read all about it!

Happy St. Nicholas Day

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mast Brothers Classic Hot Cocoa

Now that the Christmas season is upon us and the cool weather is settling in, it is the perfect time for cocoa! Honestly, I could drink it morning, noon and night I love it that much. 

While I have my "go to" recipe I am always open to trying something new. This classic hot cocoa recipe from Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook is smooth, chocolatey and delicious! 

Classic Hot Cocoa
Serves 4

4 Cups whole milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces dark chocolate

In a medium saucepan combine milk, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla, bring to a boil, string frequently. 

Shave chocolate over each mug or add a toasted marshmallow.