Browsing Tag

chocolate

Homemade Almond Joy Candy Bars

August 29, 2011
 
Hey, friends! I hope you had a great weekend. My mom spent the weekend with us, which meant Joey and I spent the weekend trying to keep up with her. We played tennis, grilled out and went on an 8-mile run this morning. Exactly how I like to spend my weekend. 
For as long as I remember, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of making my own candy bars. I don’t really have a clue why, since I can’t remember the last time I ate a full-sized candy bar or purchased one at the store, but it’s intrigued me none the less. 
Of course making homemade Snickers intimidates the heck out of me, and don’t ask me how to recreate that filling inside a Milky Way. So to begin my candy bar making adventures, I stuck with something approachable: an Almond Joy. 
I suppose it’s only fitting that the recipe I found when I Googled ‘Homemade Almond Joy’ was from Joy the Baker. Trust me, her recipe does not disappoint. We’ve been keeping these babies in our fridge for the last week or so and I can only imagine they would make a great treat wrapped up in waxed paper and tied with a ribbon.  
 
Homemade Almond Joy Candy Bars
Recipe Courtesy of Joy the Baker 
Ingredients
*7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
*1 cup powdered sugar
*1 tablespoon vanilla extract
*Pinch of salt
*2 1/2 cups unsweetened flake coconut 
*30 almonds
*20 ounces good quality milk chocolate chips 
Instructions
*In a large bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and coconut. Stir until well combined. Refrigerate mixture until ready to use. 
*Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave, melting in 30-second intervals until it is completely smooth. 
*Form the coconut mixture into 30 oval-shaped clusters. Press an almond into the center of each cluster. 
*Place one coconut cluster on a fork. Use a spoon to scoop a bit of chocolate over the almond.  This will help the almond stick to the candy and not fall off during dipping.  Lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat.  Lift fork and gently shake to release some of the chocolate.  Scrape the bottom of the fork along the side of the bowl and place on the lined baking sheet.
*Allow chocolate clusters to harden, at least an hour. 
Happy Baking!
Madison

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream

August 22, 2011
  

This weekend, something so amazing came out of my ice cream maker that I can hardly believe it was me who made it. Chocolate and peanut butter are a killer combination in every form, but chocolate and peanut butter together in cheesecake ice cream form? Absolutely killer.

I could keep rambling about how the subtle chocolate flavor compliments the creamy peanut butter perfectly. Or comment on how the cream cheese adds a perfect bit of tang and makes for the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever eaten.

Or I could just encourage you to make some for yourself and actually taste what I’m talking about.

Yeah, that sounds about right. Go forth and make ice cream! What are you waiting for?

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Ice Cream
Inspired by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home

Ingredients
*2 cups 2% chocolate milk
*1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
*2/3 cups granulated sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 1/4 cups heavy cream
*4 oz. cream cheese, softened
*1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter (not natural peanut butter)

Instructions
*In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the chocolate milk and the corn starch until smooth. Set aside.
*In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining chocolate milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil and continue to cook for four minutes, stirring frequently. (I had issues with the mixture boiling over a bit, so watch carefully and remove from the heat for a second or two, if necessary)
*After four minutes, remove from the heat and whisk in the corn starch mixture. Return to heat, bring to a boil and continue to boil for one to two minutes or until mixture is thickened slightly. (A good test: it’s ready when it thinly coats the back of a wooden spoon.)
*Remove from heat and whisk in the cream cheese and peanut butter. Whisk until smooth and well combined. Whisk in the heavy cream. Pour mixture through a mesh sieve and into a bowl.
*Place mixture in the refrigerator and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours or until mixture is completely chilled.
*Transfer chilled mixture to the bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store mixture in an airtight container in the freezer.

Happy Cooking!

Madison

The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You’ll Ever Need

August 19, 2011

I don’t like to over-promise on a recipe, and I’m not fond of people who exaggerate. This post title claims that this is the only chocolate chip cookie recipe you will ever need. And it’s neither an over-promise nor an exaggeration. This is the real-deal, the most amazing cookie I’ve ever made, and a big hit in our house.

I’ve owned a copy of Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard for almost a year now. It’s a beautiful book filled with tantalizing recipes. Unfortunately, I have an endless stack of cookbooks that I have yet to dig into, this being one of them. That is, until last week. I was in a major baking mood last week, so when the hankering for a chocolate chip cookie hit me I went ruffling through my cookbooks in search of a new recipe.

Desserts By The Yard did not disappoint, my friends. Sherry is a seasoned and acclaimed pastry chef, and after trying her recipe for chocolate chip cookies I do not doubt why. They were perfect. Like seriously divine. The perfect mix of soft, chewy and dense, chock-full of chocolate and ever so slightly crispy around the edges.

I know that I’ve shared recipes for chocolate chip cookies on this site before, all of them delicious in their own right, but I think I’m done searching for that perfect recipe. Because, you see, these cookies are it.

Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Desserts By The Yard by Sherry Yard
Ingredients
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour and had equally wonderful results) 
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
*1/2 cup sugar
*1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1 large egg
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips
Instructions
*Place racks in the middle and lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
*Sift together the flour and baking soda and set aside. 
*In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. 
*Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sugar, brown sugar and salt. Continue creaming the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth and lump-free, about 1 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. 
*Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
*On low speed, add the sifted flour mixture. Beat slowly until all of the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate and mix in. 
*Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets, 2-inches apart. Bake, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking, for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and slide the parchment off the baking sheets onto a work surface. Cool the baking sheets between batches. Allow the cookies to cool for at least five minutes before serving. 
Have a great weekend!
Madison

Chocolate Dumpster Cookies

February 28, 2011

I had to work this weekend, and although I love my job, working on a Saturday really isn’t my thing. Unless, of course, you are working on the set of a photo shoot and get to take a bunch of swag, like chocolate and cereal, with you. That helps to make working on a Saturday not so bad.

Baking with chocolate isn’t something I do frequently because chocolate is expensive and I find it hard to justify buying something expensive that I don’t really need. But let’s face it, we all have that drawer in our homes that has a half a bag of chocolate chips, and another quarter bag of white chocolate chips, and so on.

And so, after Saturday’s photo shoot, I came home with three half bags of chocolate to add to my already growing stash. What’s a girl to make when she has a whole bunch of mismatched chocolate and cereal on her hands? Chocolate Dumpster Cookies, of course! Upon first glance, you might think I made a typo. Only a quarter cup of flour is no mistake. It’s quite amazing, actually, that these cookies come together and taste as delicious as they do. Except when you combine chocolate, nuts, more chocolate and some yummy cereal it’s not really hard to believe they’re gooey, dense and 100% divine.

Chocolate Dumpster Cookies
Ingredients

*6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
*2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
*1/3 cup butter
*3 large eggs
*1 cup sugar
*1/4 cup flour
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/8 tsp. salt
*1 1/3 cups Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal (or other cereal of choice)
*2/3 cup rolled oats
*1/3 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
*6 oz. white chocolate chips
*6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchmen paper or Silpat baking mat. Set aside.
*In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate and the butter. Stir frequently until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat together eggs and sugar until well combined. Add in the chocolate and beat until combined. Then, add in the flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt and beat until just combined.
*Stir in cereal, oats, chopped nuts, and chocolate chips and chocolate chunks by hand until well combined.
*Spoon by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely on baking sheet and enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Madison

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

February 21, 2011
This weekend, Joey and I had a date to celebrate the fact that he passed a very important work-related certification exam. Naturally, I thought baking a cake was in order and had intended to share with you a cake and frosting recipe. However, the cake was a tad on the dry side and not yet ready to share. The frosting, on the other hand, was fabulous. 
It was thick, dense, and ultimately rich in the very best sense. And I was so delighted with how easy it was to work with when frosting a cake. The smooth, shiny, velvety texture made cake decorating a breeze. I would, however, offer this bit of advice: this frosting is best eaten on the day you frost the cake. After a day it loses its luster just a bit. Though it didn’t really stop me. 
And now for a public service announcement: If you haven’t gotten your flu shot this year, go and do so this week. Though I felt decently healthy on Friday and was on the mend from my recent sickness, I woke up Saturday morning with chills, intense body aches, and major chest congestion. The doctor’s diagnosis on Saturday was Influenza B, and I spent the rest of the weekend in a ball on the couch. It was no fun and a flu shot could have saved me a bunch of pain and discomfort. 
Take care of yourselves and have a happy Monday!
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
Adapted just slightly from Maida Heatter’s Cakes
Ingredients
*12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
*16 oz. milk chocolate chips
*1 pint sour cream
*1 tsp. vanilla extract 
*1/4 cup milk
Instructions
*Heat semi-sweet chocolate and milk chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until just melted. Remove from heat and pour into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add in sour cream and vanilla and beat 1 to 2 minutes on low heat until smooth. Add in milk and beat an additional 30 seconds. 
*Spoon over cake and spread into an even layer. 
Happy baking!
Madison
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