Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Gift Books







These are just a few of the books from my chocolate cook book collection. Sorry I was in a hurry and did not take individual photos of them, these photos are from Amazon if you are interested in getting a few for yourself.

Are you done Christmas shopping? Are you ready for the big day? Do you have an excellent chocolate cookbooks to recommend? I would be interested in hearing about any that you enjoy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Party Chocolate Dessert Bar


Are you ready for the holidays? Will you be hosting a party? I love to have a dessert bar at all of the party's that I host, that way the guests can try a little of each thing. One of my favorite dessert bars, is a Chocolate Bar. 




At this party, which I think would be great for "Ladies Night Out", a Christmas Party or even a birthday, I made Hershey" Famous Chocolate Cake, Double chocolate cheesecake with fresh raspberries, Snowflake Brownie Bites, several "Cereal Bars" and I also served chocolate candies for those that did not feel like more than a bite. 




All of these recipes are easy and many can be made ahead and frozen and then thawed at a later date to be served at your own party.






In addition to these recipes there are so many easy, home made treats that your guests would love.






You can also purchase items from the bakery and combine with an assortment of holiday chocolates. Or ask your family and friends to each bring their family favorite for all to enjoy. Whatever the case I am sure it will be lovely. 






What sorts of treats have you made for your holiday parties? I would love to hear all about them.

Links desserts above:
 Double Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberries
Hershey's Chocolate Cake and Frosting
Scotcheroos


Linking to the following:

Stone Gable

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Christmas Wish For You




A Christmas Wish for You
Author Unknown

I wish you the joy of Christmas,
The spirit's sweet repose.
I wish you the peace of Christmas
To mark the year's close.
I wish you the hope of Christmas
To cheer you on your way,
And a heart of faith and gladness
To greet each coming day!



Come over today to The Enchanted Home where I am guest hosting. Tina's blog is beautiful and chronicles the building of her "English Country" dream home! It is spectacular. I am giving some easy tips about holiday entertaining. 

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake


This post contains affiliate links.



Are you looking for an old fashioned chocolate cake recipe that is delicious, chocolaty and easy? Then look no further than the back of your HERSHEY'S Cocoa can. My family has been making this recipe since I was a little girl and we love it, paired with the frosting also listed on the can it is a perfect combination.
  

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, HERSHEY'S Cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.





This cake is frosted with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING" which I posted here, it is my go to frosting and the most requested frosting that I make.

As I mentioned yesterday, this recipe along with several others posted this week were used at a "Chocolate Bar" that I had at party we hosted for the holidays. There are many easy ideas that you can uses for your own holidays entertaining.





What are you baking for the holidays? I would love to know if you are making some delicious chocolate recipes, I love trying new things! Leave me a link in the comments section.

I am guest posting tomorrow at The Enchanted Home for Tina. Come over and see Tina's beautiful dream home!



Friday, December 16, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Marshmallow Treats




Everyone has heard of Rice Krispie treats and of course Scotcheroos but these treats are new to me, they are a combination of the both. The best (term used loosely) ingredients from both recipes and combine into one chocolate cereal square of goodness.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of light corn syrup
1/2 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
21/2 cups of Rice Krispie cereal
1/2 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Directions:

In a sauce pan stir corn syrup, and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until melted, add vanilla. Fold in chips, marshmallows and then add the cereal. Stir until blended. Pour into an 8 in greased pan. Cool and then cut into squares. Then ENJOY!





All of the chocolate treats this week were used together to make a great Chocolate Bar for a holiday party that we had. I think you might find a few recipes here to use for your own holiday party.

Have a great weekend! Don't forget to go over to HERE to track SANTA'S journey on Christmas Eve. I think your grandchildren and even your own kids would enjoy it. My nieces and nephews are counting the days!




Thursday, December 15, 2011

Double Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberries




Are you looking for a beautiful, delicious dessert to serve for Christmas or a holiday gathering? This cheesecake is delicious! It was my first time using this recipe which I adapted from an ad for Philadelphia Cream Cheese which I continually see in the magazines around the holidays, and it could not be easier or more scrumptious.





Philly Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients:
18 Oreos large, 3/4 of a bag of the small ones or 11/2 cups of crumbs
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted
4 packages(8oz) cream cheese softened
1 cup of sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1tsp vanilla
8 oz melted chocolate chips, cooled slightly
4 eggs
1 package of berries of your choice

Directions:

Heat oven to 325. Mix cookie crumbs and butter and press into bottom of spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes and cool. Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla until well blended. Add Chocolate and mix well. Then add eggs one at a time, on low speed and until just blended. Bake for 55 minutes until center is almost set. Remove from oven, run knife around edges and cool. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Top with berries of your choice and serve.




Come over to Pine Cones and Acorns for yummy Christmas Cookie recipes all week. Enjoy the holidays! Enjoy your family and friends!

Joining these parties:
The Charm of the Home
Linking to:
Jennifer Rizzo
A Stroll Thru Life
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Savy Southern Style
DIY by Design
The Christmas Spirit Alive 365
French Cupboard , The Shabby Creek Cottage 
 No Minimalist Here
Elna-Sudden
The Shabby Creek Cottage
The Charm of the Home
Linking to these great blogs:
French Country Living

Monday, December 12, 2011

Braquier Chocolate Bomb...Unique Christmas Gift or Party Favor


Apparently this is the latest Christmas dinner "must have" a chocolate bomb by Braquier the chocolate company. The bomb is filled with candy, sugared almonds and all sorts of other goodies. The outer shell is made from 70% dark chocolate.

You place the Braquier bomb in the middle of a table, light the wick (you have 30 seconds) and let the fun begin. The bomb explodes and chocolate and candy go flying.


Personally I prefer a more sedate Christmas dinner party, but I am sure that there are many who would enjoy this. If you are interested you can purchase it here. It is made in France and as far as I can see it is only available for shipping in Europe.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal No Bake Cookies






Chocolate and peanut butter are a delicious combination for cookies, throw in a little oatmeal and I think you have an easy satisfying treat ( isn't oatmeal a health food). These cookies are a family favorite because they are easy and use things you probably already have in the pantry. I think they are a great addition to your Christmas cookie plate.

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup Skippy peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla

Waxed paper or Silpat Baking Mat




Directions

In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper or
Silpat Baking Mat drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, let cool and enjoy. 








Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Chocolate Pot From Paris

I have been in Paris for a the last week, and I think that aside from eating my weight in eclair chocolat, I probably drank my husbands weight in chocolat chaud! I cannot get enough of Parisian hot chocolate, I love it dark, with whipped cream, and without, and I particularly like it when it comes in a little pot like this!


Chocolate pot with wood molinet

Getting ready to make the perfect cup
I love hot chocolate!
 I purchased this pot on my trip this past week, it is a traditional design, made in porcelain. The original pots like this were made of precious metals, and like chocolate were only owned by the very wealthy.

To use this little pot, you place your chocolate pieces into the pot, add the hot milk and sugar if that is your recipe, wait a few moments for the chocolate to melt; place the molinet into the pot and put the top on. Take the molinet between your two hands and rub the stick between them as if you are starting a fire. This will emulsify the milk and the chocolate and make it frothy. Pour and enjoy!

Perfect dark chocolate chunks to melt!



How do you make your hot chocolate? Do you have a special pot? Do you have a fabulous recipe that you use? I would love to hear about it! This little post make the perfect cup!



If you want to see more from my trip to Paris come over to Pine Cones and Acorns, and see the adventures I had.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ganache 101, Lessons from Martha Stewart

The holidays are a crazy time for everyone, trying to get the presents, wrap, cook, clean, bake, decorate and a myriad of other things. I myself am always looking for shortcuts or simple ideas to save time. In the December issue of Martha Stewart she has a fabulous article title Ganache 101.





Martha explains that with a little chocolate and some heavy whipping cream you have the makings for some delicious and easy but fancy desserts. From these two simple ingredients you can make a frosting, a filling, a glaze, and a truffle.



The Basic Recipe:

Take 8 ounces of quality chocolate and chop into uniform pieces with a serrated knife, place into a bowl. Then take one cup of heavy cream and heat to just a boil. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate pieces. Let stand for 10 minutes. DO NOT STIR!!!!
Whisk the mixture until smooth and shiny to break any lumps and to emulsify the chocolate and the cream.
Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl to be sure to get all of the mixture incorporated.



To use the ganache:

While its warm you can pour it over a cake as a glaze, you can fill tart shells and make a filling.

At room temperature you can beat the ganache until fluffy and use as a whipped filling or frosting.

And finally once chilled you can use it to make truffles!

All of these are easy and tasty additions to your holiday baking. Do you have any ideas for using ganache? Do you make your own truffles? I would love to hear some of your ideas, please if you would like to share leave your ideas in the comment section.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy your family and friends during this special time of the year. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Chocolate pumpkin pie, yummy! Photo Pine Cones and Acorns
Thanksgiving Day
 
Over the river and through the wood
To Grandmother's house we go.
The horse knows the way
To carry the sleigh
Through white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes
And bites the nose,
As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring,
Ting-a-ling-ling!
Hurrah forThanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,
Trot fast, my dapple gray!
Spring over the ground
Like a hunting hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,
And straight through the barnyard gate.
We seem to go
Extremely slow~
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood~
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for fun!
Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

By Linda Maria Child

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chocolate Velvet cake with fudge filling and Coconut Pecan Frosting


Last weekend was my birthday and my sister made this cake for me! It is fabulous and very easy to make.

The cake is a chocolate velvet and the recipe is from Southern Living magazine. The recipe can be found here. If you do not have the time to make a cake from scratch than use a cake mix, there are some excellent ones out there.

The filling is one that I make all of the time, it is my go to recipe. I use it for the filling or to frost cupcakes and cakes too. The recipe is from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa Can. I have posted on this frosting here.

Hershey's Famous Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients and Directions for filling/Frosting:

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

Melt butter and add cocoa, stir together until smooth. Alternately add milk and powdered sugar, mix on low with an electric mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and stir.

I like to add a little more milk so that is is more spreadable. Do what suits you.


Pecan Coconut Frosting.

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 beaten egg yolks mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup  coconut
1 cup chopped pecans toasted

Mix the following ingredients on medium heat for 12 minutes:
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 beaten egg yolks and tsp water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Once this is thickened add the coconut and the pecans.



To make cake, slice the cakes in half, set aside. Place one layer of cake onto a cake plate or serving platter, spread with a layer of the chocolate frosting. Add second layer, frost with chocolate frosting and a layer of coconut pecan frosting. Add another layer of cake. Frost entire cake with chocolate frosting and then top the cake with coconut frosting.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scotcheroo Cereal Treats




I love these treat! After all who doesn't like a good cereal treat? I made these last week and posted the recipe on my other blog Pine Cones and Acorns. Here is the recipe for the Scotcheroo cereal-treats.




Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! Tootsie Roll Love




Happy Halloween!!!!


Enjoy some of your favorite chocolate treats! I know I will be hoping that we get lots of little goblins and ghosts because I do not want to have too many of there left over. I love Tootsie Rolls!



I cannot eat just one!



Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownies

I recently saw this recipe on Pinterest and thought it would be a great treat to make and take to a casual get together, school outing, church or family get together. The recipe is so simple, and from the reviews of family and friends they are delicious!




Peanut Butter Cup Crunch Brownies
Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker.


Ingredients:

1 9x13 batch of brownies from scratch or box
10 peanut butter cups chopped
1/2 cup salted peanuts
11/2 cups of milk chocolate chips
11/2 cups of creamy peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter
11/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal

Directions:

1. Prepare your brownies according to the directions and bake for 5 minutes less than the time stated. About 20-25 minutes.

2. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the peanut butter cups and the peanuts. Bake an additional 5 minutes.

3. In the meantime, on low heat, mix butter, peanut butter and chips until melted and smooth. When done add the Rice Krispies Cereal.

4. Pour mixture over the brownies and spread evenly. Let cool a few minutes and then place into fridge for 2 hours. Cut and serve. Store in air tight container in the refridgerator.







I changed the recipe, I took a short cut and used a box, dark chocolate brownie mix. I did not use the peanuts as I don't really like them.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend! I see a few more baking projects in my weekend plans! Enjoy! Come back and tell me if you make these and how you like them!

Linking to:



French Country Living