Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Bailey's Chocolatini




Good morning! I do not know about you but by New Years Eve I am a little tuckered out from all of the holiday celebrations so there are years that I do not actually make it until midnight.




This year I am going to try but to make it to the countdown but I will not be out partying, I will be home celebrating quietly with a small group of family and friends. I am still working on the menu but one of the cocktails is going to be this Bailey's Chocolatini, after all what is a celebration without a little chocolate.



Bailey's Chocolatini

2 oz. Bailey's Irish Cream
1/4 oz. of vodka
1/2 oz. Godiva Chocolate liquor

Pour sprinkles into a saucer, bub the rim of a martini glass with lemon and place glass upside down in saucer to line rim. Place a few ice cubes into a shaker, add all liquors, shake well and pour into a chilled glass. Enjoy!


I hope that you have a happy and safe celebration! Remember to drink responsibly and do not drink and drive.

Happy New Year!

Linking to:
Stone Gable The Scoop

Monday, December 30, 2013

Green & Blacks Luxury Cocoa



Luxury Cocoa
Recipe from Green & Blacks Chocolate Recipes

1 cup of whole milk
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
2 cinnamon sticks, about 2 inches long
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons of sugar

Put the milk, cream and cinnamon sticks in a pan and slowly bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

When ready to serve remove cinnamon sticks and reheat the milk. In a mug add cocoa powder and enough milk to form a paste and stir.

When milk is just heated pour into mug and stir to blend, then add the sugar to taste and stir well, serve with cinnamon sticks.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Bailey's Hot Chocolate

Just in case you feel like you need something a little stronger than traditional hot chocolate. 




2 cups of milk
21/2 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
11/2 oz. Baileys Irish Cream

Directions:

In a small saucepan boil the milk. Once boiled remove from heat and add the chocolate, whisk until smooth. Add Bailey's Irish Cream and garnish with whipped cream.




Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!



A Merry Christmas to you! I hope that your day is filled with the love of family and friends!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Twas the Night Before Christmas




A Visit from St. Nicholas
Clement C. Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"


Merry Christmas! I hope that you have a fabulous day with your family and friends!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Wittamer Hot Chocolate


Good morning can you believe that it is only five days until Christmas?  I have so much to do and yet I find myself not wanting to do anything but sit around with a cup of cocoa and watch old Christmas movies. Thankfully I am almost finished, and frankly what is left is really just extra so if it is not finished no big deal.



One of the things I have been doing while I am procrastinating about my holiday projects is experimenting with chocolate drinks. This is one of my new favorites, Wittamer Hot Chocolate from David Leibovitz. The recipe is from his cookbook The Great Book of Chocolate, which is filled with wonderful recipes, and suggestions of chocolate shops and cafes around the world.  

Wittamer Hot Chocolate
Recipe David LebovitzDavid Lebovitz

1 quart of whole milk or half and half
8 oz. of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a saucepan heat the chocolates and 1 CUP of the milk. Stir until melted. Then add the remaining milk and cinnamon and heat.

Stir briskly with whisk or use and immersion blender to make this smooth and creamy.




I should tell you that this is European drinking chocolate, not nasty powered stuff from a mix. It is very strong, and chocolaty. Even though the recipe serves four your could probably serve six people, a little of this tasty drink goes a long way.




Enjoy the hot chocolate. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Neilsen Massey Peppermint Hot Chocolate

I am a huge fan of hot chocolate but then again if you read this blog you already knew that. Now that the weather is getting downright cold and the holidays just around the corner this Peppermint Hot Chocolate is the perfect drink for yourself and your guests.



Recently, Neilsen-Massey the vanilla and flavoring company offered me the opportunity to try a few of their products. As I routinely use the Vanilla and Vanilla bean paste I thought I would branch out and try something new, one of the flavors I choose was the peppermint extract and boy am I happy that I did.



The pure peppermint extract is smooth and is the perfect compliment to the rich chocolate flavor of this cocoa. There is no aftertaste, just a sweet, fresh and minty flavor. In addition to hot chocolate I think it would be fabulous in cakes and brownies, not to mention a few savory dishes as well. 



Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
1 teaspoon, plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
2 cups of whole milk
1/2 cup of half and half
5 oz. 60% chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon  Neilsen Massey  peppermint extract

candy canes or Andes Peppermint candy for garnish

Take 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of sugar and whip until soft peaks form. Set aside in refrigerator.

In a medium saucepan add half and half, milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar, whisk together over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth then add the extract and mix again. Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream, candy canes or chopped peppermint candy.




I hope that you have a great holiday. Enjoy your time with family and friends this week!


NOTE: I have not been compensated for this post. I was given a sample of  the product.  My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way by the manufacturer. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Herhey's "Perfectly Chcocolate" Hot Cocoa




Tis' the Season to be jolly, fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la. I have my halls decked, presents wrapped and shipped and I am ready to settle in and relax. 




I love relaxing with a cup of homemade hot cocoa while sitting next to a roaring fire, and a good book. I think it is the perfect way to end the day. Don't you?




Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Hot Cocoa
Recipe from Hershey's

1/4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup of sugar
3 cups of milk
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla

whipped cream for garnish

In a small bowl mix sugar and cocoa and set aside. In a saucepan heat milk to just boiling. Once boiling mix 1/3 cup of milk into the cocoa/sugar mixture and stir until creamy, then pour into the hot milk and whisk then stir in vanilla and whisk again. Pour into mugs and serve with marshmallows or whipped cream. 




I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Creamy Hot Cocoa





Creamy Hot Cocoa
Recipe from All Recipes
Serves 4

1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup of sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/3 cup of boiling water
31/2 cup of milk
3/4 tsp of vanilla
Garnish whipping cream


In a saucepan add cocoa, sugar, and salt. Blend in the boiling water and stir. Simmer and stir for one or two minutes. Add milk and bring to a soft boil then remove from heat and add vanilla. Garnish with whipping cream and enjoy. 






Thursday, December 5, 2013

Bicerin: A Chocolate and Coffee Drink



The Christmas season is the perfect time to try new rich and chocolaty drinks and I am always in search of new ones. Recently while perusing one of my favorite cookbooks, Luscious Chocolate Desserts by Lori Longbotham I discovered a chocolate drink that was new to me, it's called Bicerin. Pronounced "beech-en-Reen", bicerin is a favorite drink in the Piedemont region of Italy. Traditionally it is served in a small glass so that you can see each layer, I skipped that and just whisked all of the ingredients together. 




Bicerin

2 cups whole milk
2 cups of hot strong brewed coffee
3 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of sugar or to taste

Bring milk just to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, pour the hot coffee into a heatproof pitcher or glass measuring cup and whisk in the chocolate and sugar until smooth. Then whisk in the hot milk. Taste and add more sugar if you prefer it a little sweeter. Serves 4-6.




This drink is perfect for a cool, lazy Saturday afternoon with friends. I hope that you try it and the many others I will be posting this month to celebrate the holidays.

If you would like to know more about the history of Bicerin or places in Italy to try it David Lebovitz wrote a great post about it HERE.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes with Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting



Now that Thanksgiving is over it is time to pull out all of the recipes I have been collecting this year to try at Christmas. Gingerbread is a staple of the holidays and I thought that the addition of chocolate would be perfect. 

As this is my first time combining the two flavors I decided to try an easy recipe first, one in which the base is a box cake mix. The cupcakes came out perfect, and the chocolate frosting is an excellent addition, although you could also use a cream cheese frosting too. 




Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes 
Recipe from Betty Crocker

1 box  chocolate fudge cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1/4 cup molasses
2 teaspoons ground ginger
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Chocolate Frosting
sprinkles for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350, prepare cupcake pans with cooking spray or paper liners. Make cake mix according to directions on the box. Stir in molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and clover. 
Bake 18-20 minute or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 20 minutes. 
Once cool, frost with chocolate frosting. 

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting
Recipe from Hershey's

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

Melt butter in large bowl, whisk of use electric hand held mixer to bled in cocoa. Add one cup of powdered sugar, and a little milk, alternating between the two until both are used up and the frosting is creamy. Add vanilla and blend. 



There are many recipe for Chocolate Gingerbread recipes that I want to try this year, the next one will be completely from scratch. Do you have a recipe that you have made before and love? If so please share it because it is always nice to have recipes to try that others know and love. 


Monday, October 28, 2013

National Chocolate Cake Day!


Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake


Good morning! Today is National Chocolate Cake Day! Did you know that? There is also a National Chocolate Cupcake Day, National Dark Chocolate Day and many more days devoted to chocolate, in fact I read recently that there is at least on day a month devoted to the celebration of chocolate. 

Moist Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

I LOVE chocolate cake! I have tried many cake recipes, but the two that I always come back to are the Moist Chocolate Cake from Foodness and Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake. In fact the Hershey's cake is one that my family has been making since my mother was a child and that is over 60 years. 


Moist Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting

Do you have a "go to" family recipe for chocolate cake and scrumptious frosting? Or are you open to trying new recipes each time you make a cake?

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake

I would love to see or hear about your chocolate cake recipes, please share your links or recipes with us in the comment section. 

Have a fabulous National Chocolate Cake Day!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Salted Carmel Hot Chocolate




In my world hot chocolate is an everyday occurrence, it is my coffee or tea but for many they only like to drink it during the cool crisp days of  Fall and the downright cold days of Winter.

Normally I am a purist, the most I will add to my hot chocolate is a dollop of whipping cream. However I was persuaded to try something new this year and it is delicious. 

Salted caramel hot chocolate is just that, rich dark chocolate, infused with the creamy buttery taste of caramel, and sprinkled with salt. The perfect drink for Fall and Winter!

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate 
Serves 2-4

1 1/4 cups of milk

1/4 cup of heavy cream

2 Tbsp. water
2  Tbsp. granulated sugar
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 

2-3 tablespoons of dulce de leche or caramel sauce
whipping cream for garnish
sprinkle  of sea salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream, water, and sugar. Place over medium heat and whisk occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and heat the mixture until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. Then add the dulce de leche, add it to your taste preference.  Blend mixture with an immersion blended. You can do this  in the saucepan but  make sure that you are careful or you will have hot chocolate all over the kitchen! If you do not feel like blending it than just whisk vigorously. Pour into cups, garnish with whipped cream and salt. Enjoy!

If you have a hot chocolate recipe please share!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

I love bars, and in fact I am pretty sure that I make note of that each and every time that I post a recipe for them here. Seriously, what it not to love, they are easy, no bake, and you can add or subtract pretty much anything and they always taste delicious!




This bar is your standard Scotcheroo but with a twist, a little salt and a lot more peanut butter in the form or peanut butter cups, or in my case peanut butter pumpkins.





Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

Bars

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of corn syrup
1 cup of peanut butter
6 cups of krispie rice cereal

Topping:

2 cups of chocolate chips
1 cup of broken pretzels
6-8 snack size peanut butter cups

Prepare an 8 x 8 inch pan with cooking spray. In a medium sauces pan over medium heat combine sugar and syrup and heat until sugar is dissolved. Then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, once incorporated add the cereal and mix well. Pour into prepared pan and press down evenly. Set aside.

In medium saucepan, over low heat melt the chocolate chips. Once melted, remove from eat and add the pretzels and mix well, then add the peanut butter cups. Pour chocolate mixture over the cereal mixture and smooth out. Cool, cut and enjoy!




These may be my new favorite cereal treat! The blend of the sweet and the salty flavors is a crunchy surprise and it is delicious!




The great things about the topping is that you can add whatever you have, pretzels, graham crackers,  or even more cereal. As for the peanut butter cups, you could add whatever bars you have, Snickers, Twix, Kit Kat all for a little added flavor and crunch!


I know that many people are a fan of cereal treats and Scotcheroo's but tell me what is your favorite thing to add to them? 

I hope you enjoy and have a great day!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Fudge Brownie Tart from Southern Living Magazine



I love gooey, chocolate, fudgy desserts, even more if they are dripping in rich hot fudge.

This dessert is something that I have made for years, it came in the mail on a flyer from Southern Living Magazine. Sadly I cannot find the name, so I made up my own, if you know the correct name please share it with me. 



This dessert is easy and one that I think would be perfect for the upcoming holidays as an alternative to the traditional spice of the season. Don't get me wrong during the holidays I try to eat my share of pumpkin pie but I know there are others who do not feel the same love I do for pumpkins.



Fudge Brown Tart

Ingredients:
11/4 cups of chocolate wafer crumbs
1/3 cup of butter, melted
1/2 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cup of brown sugar packed
3 large eggs
2 cups of chocolate chips, melted
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnishes: ice cream, hot fudge

Combine the crumbs and the melted butter and press into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake at 350 for 6 to 8 minutes.

Beat the softened butter at medium speed until fluffy, then add brown sugar and beat well. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well. Stir in melted chocolate, flour, coffee and vanilla. Pour filling into prepared crust.

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, cool completely on wire rack. Garnish with ice cream and fudge if you feel like it. Otherwise enjoy it plain.

NOTES: The original recipes calls for 1 cup of chopped pecans in the batter. I did not use them. Also, DO NOT OVER BAKE! This pie is supposed to be gooey inside.





I hope you try this scrumptious chocolate tart, if you do come back and let me know what you think!

Linking to:
Stone Gable

Friday, October 4, 2013

Inside Out German Chocolate Cake

Post may contain affiliate links.



German chocolate is a favorite in my family, and each person has their own way of making it. Some put the coconut and pecan icing on the entire cake, others on the top and between the layers, still others only on the layers and then frost the rest with rich, chocolate frosting on the outside. Personally I like it with a combination of chocolate frosting and the coconut and pecan, that way you get the best of two cakes. 





Recently I cane across a recipe for "Inside Out" German Chocolate cake on Epicurious and thought I would do a little comparison between their recipe and my tried and true one.  This cake requires a little more work than the standard cake but trust me it is worth it in the end. 






Inside Out German Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Epicurious

Moist Chocolate Cake
Ingredients
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

Directions:

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. 


Filling:
Recipe from Epicurious

7 oz. sweetened flake coconut, toasted
1 cup toasted and coarsely chopped pecans
14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour condensed milk into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate and cover tightly with foil. Bake milk in a water bath in middle of oven 45 minutes. Refill baking pan with water to reach halfway up pie plate and bake milk until thick and brown, about 45 minutes more. Remove pie plate from water bath.
Stir in coconut, pecans, and vanilla and keep warm.

Frosting:
Recipe from: HERSHEY'S Cocoa

Ingredients:


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

Melt butter in large bowl, whisk of use electric hand held mixer to bled in cocoa. Add one cup of powdered sugar, and a little milk, alternating between the two until both are used up and the frosting is creamy. Add vanilla and blend. 

Assemble:

Once cakes are cooled, cut each cake in half so that you end up with four layers. Place one layer onto a cake plate and spread a third of the coconut/nut filling on the layer, then add the second cake and add more filling and another layer of cake and more filling, finally add the last layer of cake. Spread cake with a thin layer of chocolate frosting to control the crumbs, let cool in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Frost entire cake with remaining frosting. Then enjoy!




This cake is moist, chocolaty and nutty. Compared to the standard German Chocolate Cake frosting the "inside out" has more depth to the flavor, it is richer, nuttier, and taste more like a carmel sauce mixed with the coconuts and pecans. 

I could have eaten a bowl of the coconut filling alone and in fact I think that I did. I have to tell you that I think this is now my "go to" frosting and cake for guests. It really is delicious and a special treat for the guests. 

Have a great day!

Linking to:
Savvy Southern Stlye
Rattlebridge Farm

Thursday, September 26, 2013

S'more Cereal Treats


Sunday was the official start of Fall and while I am excited to break out the pumpkin and the spices I thought just one last summer treat would be nice. 

Frankly I love cereal treats and could make and eat them weekly. I like that you can combine most any cereal with marshmallow and add chocolate and you have a tasty treat!



S'more Cereal Treats

3 Tablespoons of butter
1 10 oz. package of marshmallows
6 cups of graham cracker cereal

2 cups of chopped chocolate of chocolate chips

Prepare pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large sauce pan melt butter over low heat , then add marshmallows and stir until the marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat, add the graham cracker cereal and stir well. Pour into pan and press down.

In small sauce pan melt chocolate and then spread over the cereal treats. Cut and enjoy!




Simple and delicious with the essence of your favorite summer s'mores! Gooey marshmallows, crunchy graham cereal and smooth creamy chocolate a match made in heaven.

I hope that you enjoy these and if you have your own version please share it with me. 

Linking to: