Merry Christmas! Enjoy a cup of cocoa, a good book and time with family and friends!
Monday, December 24, 2012
Monday, December 17, 2012
Good morning! I hope that you had a great weekend. Are you ready for Christmas? Do you have all of your gifts purchased, and all of your baking finished?
I baked up a storm this weekend and I made this delicious and easy Salted Caramel Peanut Bark. If you are looking for an easy recipe for last minute gifts or for your Christmas celebration look no further.
Salted Caramel Peanut Bark
Recipe from Good Housekeeping Magazine
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine 3 Tablespoons corn syrup, 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 teaspoons of salt. Add 2 cups of peanuts and stir to coat. Spread evenly in a single layer on parchment paper lined pan and bake for 15 minutes or until brown and caramelized. With two forks separate the nuts and then cool completely. Stir into 12 ounces of melted dark chocolate until well coated and then spread evenly onto waxed paper. Refrigerate until set.
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Hello! I hope you are having a good weekend. Are you decorating for Christmas? Do you have your tree up?
Is it warm? Do you feel a chill in the air? Or is it downright cold? Today it is a little chilly here and of course I am experimenting with some hot chocolate recipes. I made some raspberry hot chocolate and thought you might want to try it!
Raspberry Hot Chocolate
Adapted from Food Network
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped or 6 oz 60% Ghiradelli bittersweet chips
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, I use Droste
- 3 tablespoons raspberry liqueur (recommended Chambord)
- Snowmen, candy cane marshmallows for garnish, optional
Combine everything except the liqueur in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes.
Continue to cook, whisking frequently until smooth and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in liqueur, top with marshmallows and serve immediately.
This hot chocolate is delicious, it is creamy, sweet, chocolaty and there is a hint of raspberry, it is like eating a candy bar. I know that I do say that all of the time but lets face it, I would not write about something that I do not like!
I hope you try it, and if you have a favorite chocolate recipe do let me know and I will come and check it out!
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Hello! I know that the holidays are a crazy time for many, myself included. Between the cooking, cleaning, baking, family, friends, parties and all that the holidays entail it is always nice to sit and take a minute to relax. I like to do that with a cup of cocoa!
But then again if you have followed this blog or my other one, Pine Cones and Acorns, for any length of time than you already know that.
Although I love good old fashioned cocoa I do like to experiment a little with new recipes. This week, I found a copy of Southern Living 2011 and inside was this delicious recipe for Gingerbread Cocoa.
Recipe from Southern Living
Makes 16 cups
2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp. apple pie spice
11/2 tsp. ginger
1 gallon of milk
Whisk together first four ingredients in a 6 quart pan. Gradually add milk and whisk until combined. Cook mixture over medium heat for 20 minutes or until bubbles appear around the edges of the pan.
You can either serve immediately, or transfer to s slow cooker and leave on low to have a wonderful beverage all day long.
I enjoyed this cocoa, it is rich and creamy and the gingerbread flavor is a wonderful addition to the cocoa. The other thing that I like is that the recipe is for a crowd, it make 16 cups! I think it would be perfect for Christmas morning or a skating party or even a cookie exchange. I already have this added to my family Christmas menu.
I hope you try this recipe and if you have a great cocoa recipe than let me know.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Today is my birthday and I thought I would try something totally new for my cake. This is an unbelievable chocolate cake and chocolate fudge frosting from Jennifer Hill at the Foodness Blog.
Moist Chocolate Cake
Monday, November 5, 2012
Good evening! I hope you are having a great day and hopefully not braving unseasonably cold weather as we are. Goodness the weather is strange, but for many this is the time of year to break out the mugs for hot chocolate!
Hot chocolate is a staple in my diet, in fact it is my "breakfast of champions" all year long. Although I am a traditionalist I sometimes branch out to try variations.
This Basil Mint Hot Chocolate is a recipe that came across recently and it is unexpected and delicious! I hope you will give it a try!
Basil Mint Hot Chocolate
Recipe from Liana Krissoff
11/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of fresh mint
1/2 cup of fresh basil
pinch of salt
2 ounces of 60% or more chocolate chopped
In a medium sauce pan combine the milk, cream, mint, and basil and salt. Place over low heat. Place the chocolate in e bowl that will fit over the pan, like a double boiler ans is also large enough to hold the milk mixture too.
Stir chocolate frequently and remove the milk from heat as soon as it is simmering. Let the milk steep with the bowl of chocolate sitting on top, for two or three minutes. While the milk is steeping stir the chocolate until melted. After two or three minutes, pour the milk through a sieve to remove the mint and basil, then pour over the melted chocolate and whisk until combined.
Pour into mugs, add whipped cream if you wish and garnish with a sprig of mint.
What do you think?
I know it is an unconventional pairing to have the savory basil along with the more traditional mint but I think it is interesting and refreshing.
I hope you have a fabulous day! Enjoy!
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Hello! Happy Day!
I know that it is November, but I was so busy this week that I did not have time to post my caramel apples that I made.
I know a lot of people enjoy these around Halloween, but I personally like to eat them all year. In fact when I am in Wisconsin I frequently visit Amy's Candy Kitchen for gourmet home made caramel apples.
When I am at home I like to make caramel apples from scratch, as well as using my favorite Halloween treat, Kraft caramels. This year I made both versions, but today I showing the ones I made using Kraft caramels.
The recipe is so easy, in about 20 minutes you have a nice tasty treat.
Kraft Caramel Apples
1 bag of Kraft caramels
5 washed and dried apples
1 tablespoon of water
Unwrap all caramels and place in a microwave safe bowl, add water. Heat for three minutes or until the caramels are melted. Place sticks into the apples and dip into the caramel. Place apples on a Silphat and place into the refrigerator.
Options: If you want to dip in chocolate, I use chocolate chips and melt them then dip the apples and roll in cranberries, and pistachios.
Are you a fan of caramel apples? Do you have a special recipe that you use? I would love to hear about it.
Enjoy your weekend!
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
As winter has reared its head and a chill has settled in on the back of Hurricane Sandy I thought it would be nice to sit with a cup of cocoa and relax after the storm. We have been battered since last Friday and frankly I could use a little break.
Traditional Hot Cocoa Recipe
1 cup of milk
2 Tablespoons of Heavy Whipping Cream
11/2 Tablespoons of Coco Powder (Droste)
1 Tablespoon of sugar
Mini Marshmallows for garnish
Pour milk and heavy cream into a small pan, heat to almost boiling. Add sugar and dissolve, whisk in coco powder. Pour into mug and garnish with mini-marshmallows.
I hope that you have fared well in the storm. For those of you who are without power and have suffered from this terrible storm, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Be safe.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Monday, October 15, 2012
Good morning! I hope your weekend was wonderful. Did you enjoy the beautiful Fall weather? Perhaps take a few walks, see the changing leaves? Or is it already pretty chilly in your area?
My mom actually took advantage this weekend of the weather to finish her winter garden preparations and to dress her window boxes for Christmas.
If you read this blog or my other blog, Pine Cones and Acorns than you know I LOVE hot chocolate. This weekend I thought I would change things up and have some Mexican Hot Chocolate.
Are you familiar with it? This chocolate is infused with one of the main spices of the season, cinnamon. I think it taste delicious and this recipe serves four so you can share with some friends.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
3 cups of whole milk
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 vanilla bean split or 1/4 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
2 cinnamon sticks
3 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chopped
Heat milk, cinnamon and vanilla bean(if using extract or paste wait until you mix in the chocolate) over low heat until the mixture is hot, do not boil. You will see little bubbles around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat and let the mixture steep, like a tea for at least 5 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean pod. If you are using vanilla bean paste or extract add it now, along with the chopped chocolate. Return to a low heat and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is slightly frothy. Pour into cups, serve and enjoy.
I hope you like it! Enjoy and have a great day!
Friday, October 12, 2012
Hello! Happy Weekend to you! I hope that yours is off to a fine start. Mine is great! I have already been baking, and frankly if my day involves baking and a little chocolate than all is well.
I do not know about you but I am a huge fan of rice pudding. Plain rice, not so much. Perhaps it has something to do with the sugar and the cream?
I am not sure but I actually think it has something to do with fond memories. I always associate chocolate rice and rice pudding with my grandmother. Now this is not chocolate rice, chocolate rice believe it or not was a diet, back in the 70's. You would take rice, cocoa powder and some sort of sweetener, I think Sweet and Low liquid and sprinkle I few drops on. Voila, chocolate rice! Whenever my grandmother wanted to loose a few pounds she went on the chocolate rice diet.
I just made this recipe up today, but you can use your own rice pudding recipe and just add candy bars and you will have a similar dessert.
Chocolate Almond Toffee Rice Pudding
1 take out container of rice
1 cup of milk
1/2-3/4 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 tsp of Almond extract
1 large Almond Toffee Candy Bar
Prepare a 9x9 baking pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350. In a separate bowl, combine milk, cream and egg. Whisk until combined. Add vanilla bean paste and almond extract. Then add rice. Mix well and pour into pan. IF THE LIQUID DOES NOT COVER THE RICE, ADD A LITTLE MORE CREAM. Then take the candy bar and break into bit sized pieces. Sprinkle the pieces over the top of the rice.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked through. Let cool a little then serve.
Enjoy and have a great weekend!
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
If you like chocolate truffles than this is a give away for you! Lindt is giving away 1 million bags, all you have to do is go to their Facebook Page and print the coupon.
I you are looking for something sweet that has all of the flavors of Fall come over to my other blog, Pine Cones and Acorns and try my family recipe for Slab Apple Pie, it is scrumptious.
Enjoy your day!
Friday, October 5, 2012
|Image Source Sweetpolita|
Happy Birthday Mom! Enjoy your day!
I love you!
Come over to my other Blog Pine Cones and Acorns to read about the 10 Things I Learned From My Mother.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
How do you like the look of these cookies? Let me be the first to tell you that they are FABULOUS! I think they may be the best chocolate chips cookies I have ever made!
I have been on a search for a chocolate chip cookie that looked and tasted like the ones my mom made while I was growing up. Even though I have her recipe which is the standard from Nestle Toll-House I can never get them to stay fat and crunchy, they turn flat and chewy with little mountains of chips. Which I do not like.
Over the past year I have tried "the best" recipes from Internet searches, magazines, The New York Times, cookbooks, etc and I have never found a recipe that could duplicate the memories of my childhood...until now.
This recipe was not invented by me(sadly) but comes from one of my favorite blogs, London Bakes. Kathryn has a fabulous food blog and if you do not know of it, leave here immediately after reading this post to go check her out. You will love it!
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe adapted from London Bakes
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Bean Paste or vanilla Extract
11/2 cups of flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp instant coffee
11/4 cups of chocolate chips
optional: sea salt flakes to sprinkle on top
- Preheat oven to 350, prepare your cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silicon mats.
- Put the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat and cook until it starts to bubble and has turned a lovely golden brown color. Take off the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and coffee.
- When the butter has cooled, cream it together with the sugars until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat again.
- Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the chocolate chips.
- Chill the mixture in the fridge for any time between 30 minutes and 24 hours. I chilled 1 hour for the first batch and 24 for the second.
- Using an ice cream scoop or a cookie scoop, place spoonfuls of the dough on the baking sheet and, if desired, scatter a little sea salt on top.(I did not)
- Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until the edges of the cookies just start to turn golden brown and are firm to the touch.
- Allow to cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. This is important because they continue to cook and get firm, also, they won't fall apart when you try to remove them
- Pour a glass of milk or brew a cup of tea and enjoy! Oh, and share with a friend!
Did I mention how much I love these cookies? Seriously, they are fabulous! I did make a few changes, Kathryn used whole wheat flour, I was out, and she used less chocolate chips, 2/3 of a cup, and also she sprinkled with the sea salt which I forgot.
I am making these again this weekend to go with the Pumpkin Blue Cheese Brie Baked Macaroni I made on my other blog Pine Cones and Acorns Blog.