Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gingerbread Cocoa

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. 

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. 

Enjoy your day!

Linking to:
Coastal Charm
Savvy Southern Style

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Moist Chocolate Cake and Fudge Buttercream Frosting

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
1¾ cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated white sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ tsp baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute by putting 1 tbsp white vinegar in a cup then filling the rest up with milk; let stand 5 minutes until thickened)
½ cup butter, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (or 2 tsp instant coffee in 1 cup boiling water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch pans, line bottom with parchment paper circles and set aside. I USED  THREE 6 INCH PANS. THIS WILL MAKE TWO SMALL 3 LAYER CAKES. 
In a bowl of stand mixer, stir together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla beaut until smooth, about 2 to three minutes. 
Remove bowl from mixer and stir in hot coffee with rubber spatula, the batter will be very runny.
Pour into pans and bake on middle rack for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean with a few crumbs attaches. 
Allow to cool on wire rack for 15 minutes, run butter knife around the pan. Invert pans onto rack. Cool completely before frosting. 

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

 1 stick of softened butter
 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
 1 tsp. vanilla 
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 cup of milk
1/8 cup of whipping cream

Mix all dry ingredients together, then add butter and slowly add cream and milk to achieve desired consistency. Mix for 3 minutes with electric mixer to get the frosting creamy and fluffy. 

This cake is FABULOUS! It is moist, a cross between fudge and brownies and the best cake I have ever made. I love it! The frosting is creamy, chocolaty  and a great addition to the cake!

I wish you were here to share it with me!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Basil Mint Hot Chocolate

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! 

And please come back and tell me if you try this recipe or any others. 

Linking to :
Home Stories A to Z Tues
Thrifty Decor Chick
Savvy Southern Style
No Minimalist There
Home and Garden Thursday
Rooted in Thyme
The Polohouse

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Apples

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
recipe Kraft


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!