Posts Tagged ‘cocoa’

Funfetti Stuffed Chocolate M&M Cookie Cake

This double chocolate M&M cookie cake has a surprise in the middle – a Funfetti truffle layer! Top with Funfetti frosting and this cookie cake is perfect for any celebration.

Funfetti Stuffed Chocolate M&M Cookie Cake 2

I graduated with my PhD in microbiology almost 6 months ago and still have yet to solidify a big-person job. Although this fact is quite unsettling, I have to admit that time off from the real world has been incredibly nice especially after all that hard work. I’ve spent a lot of time with my dad and step mom, been able to travel around a bit to see family and friends, and can pretty much bake/cook, workout/hike/kayak/play pickleball or tennis whenever I want. There’s so much to do with all the events and activities in the village and then the Smoky Mountains are just an hour away.

To help pay the bills however (such as student loans and storage for all my stuff still in Memphis) I did pick up a part-time job working at the gym in town. I check people in, sell memberships, answer questions, and tidy up the place. It’s kind of related to microbiology – I’m killing a bunch of germs on all that equipment! Not quite what a PhD is useful for but at least it’s something in the meantime. The best part is that 99% of the patrons are incredibly friendly. People here seem genuinely happy and I can only hope that not only a place this this village will exist when it’s time for me to retire (it’s never too early to plan for retirement right?) but that I will also still be as active and happy as they are here.

Funfetti Stuffed Chocolate M&M Cookie Cake 3

However none of that has anything to do with this cookie cake, other than the fact that it has the potential to smack a smile on your face and celebrate life. This double chocolate M&M cookie cake isn’t just any old cookie cake, it also has a Funfetti truffle layer in the middle and Funfetti frosting. You guys know how much I love stuffing cake batter/cake balls into everything in sight and this cookie cake is no exception. I love how well the bright M&Ms and sprinkles contrast with the rich chocolate color. You don’t need a special occasion to make this cookie cake but it certainly would be a great birthday cookie cake! (It does happen to be my good friend Becky’s birthday today!)

Funfetti Stuffed Chocolate M&M Cookie Cake 1

One year ago: Everything Bagel Bites with Bacon-Scallion Cream Cheese Dip

Three years ago: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
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Gluten-Free Avocado Brownies

These gluten-free brownies are so fudgy they will blow your mind. The surprise is that they are made with avocados topped with a fun, green avocado frosting!

Gluten-Free Avocado Brownies 1

Two gluten-free brownie recipes in one week!? Craziness I know but Sunday’s was a single serving while today’s was made with avocados, and let me tell you they were crazy fudgy. Nearly had to scrape them out of the pan and eat them with a spoon fudgy. “It’s so fudgy I’m going to die!” – paraphrased quote from Agnes of Despicable Me.

Who knew avocados could render such a consistency in baked goods? Then to literally top it off, they are frosted with a green avocado frosting. Surprisingly you do not have to worry about the frosting turning brown. Evidently sugar is the secret weapon against avocado-oxidation.

Whip these up and see if anyone suspects they are anything other than regular fudgy brownies with some frosting you decided to “dye green”. I know most people I offered them to not only had no idea they were gluten-free but could not detect the avocado. The suspiciously green frosting was the only clue.

Gluten-Free Avocado Brownies 2

Two years ago: Baked Banana Almond Pancakes
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Gluten-Free Brownie for One

Gluten-free brownies don’t have to taste gluten-free. This recipe makes two rich and fudgy brownies that taste so sinful you’ll be thankful there were only two.

Gluten-Free Brownie for One

I kind of dropped the ball on Single Serving Sunday the past two weeks. In order to make it up to you I made you brownies – brownies which can be enjoyed by both gluten-haters and -lovers. Many gluten-free baked goods are made with gluten-free flour mixes and tend to have a slightly different texture. These babies, however, are made with cornstarch and result in the fudgiest brownies you ever did see. I made these same brownies in the past as a full-sized batch and with a peanut butter layer in the middle. They were so dangerous that I decided they would be a great candidate for a smaller batch setting (for those of us with weak self control) and they turned out just as famously! This time I threw in some walnuts, but that’s totally up to you.

Gluten-Free Brownie for One 1

Two years ago: Strawberry Fruit Dip

Three years ago: Homemade Whole Wheat Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Tomato-Pancetta Butter
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Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

My favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies are now available in a chocolate lovers version, with a chocolate base and tons of chocolate chips for double the chocolate!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 2

One great thing about perfecting my favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies is barely needing to look at the recipe now to whip up a batch. It’s burned into my brain. This leads me to experimenting with things such as adding raisins and now doubling up on the chocolate. With already 3 cups of chocolate chips in the cookies, you’d think it would be at maximum capacity, but there was still room for cocoa in the base! You can use regular chocolate chips or try the springtime chocolate chips like I did for a pretty contrast. Throw some pastel sprinkles on there while you’re at it because it’s finally spring!

Is there a recipe that you have memorized? Have you ever changed it up?

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies 1

One year ago: Butternut Squash Orzo with Pine Nuts, Balsamic Drizzle, and Fried Sage

Two years ago: Chicken Pad Thai
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Blueberry Blue Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake gets a spring-time makeover with blueberries, blue food coloring and even a blueberry cream cheese frosting. It’ll disappear faster than you can slice it.

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cake 2

Warning: this is not a joke. I know it’s April’s Fools Day but I truly did make a blueberry blue velvet cake with blueberry cream cheese frosting topped with more blueberries. Why? Because my nephew Luke LOVES blueberries so I made him the bluest and blueberriest cake I could possibly come up with for his birthday last week. He actually had his own personal blue truck shaped blueberry blue velvet cake, but everyone else had to share this cake. It disappeared as fast as I cut it, making me think I baked a magical disappearing cake!

Blueberry Blue Velvet Cake 1

One year ago: Rainbow Guacamole Deviled Eggs

Three years ago: Baked Funfetti Doughnuts
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Small Batch Green Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

This small batch of 6 green velvet cookies studded with white chocolate chips tastes just like it’s cake ancestor. Perfectly green for St. Patrick’s Day or change up the color for your favorite holiday!

Green Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not only is St. Patrick’s Day one week from tomorrow, this week (March 9-15) is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Week! However, this week is already jam-packed with St. Patrick’s Day recipes but I took the opportunity for Single Serving Sunday to combine these events into a small batch of green velvet white chocolate chip cookies. I was incredibly pleased with how well the flavor of these turned out. They taste just like red velvet in cookie form… except green. And the recipe only makes 6 regular-sized cookies or one jumbo if you’re feeling like Cookie Monster.

Just promise me you won’t wear white while making these? Food coloring and white clothing to do mix :-/.

Three years ago: Nutella Fruit Dip
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Honey Almond Ice Cream with Fudge Ripple

The other day while walking around Knoxville, a cute black tuxedo kitten came running up to me and showed no fear as I bent over to scoop him up. My first thought of course was “I want to take you home!” but this cat was so friendly I just knew he had to have an owner, despite the lack of a collar and the apparent conjunctivitis (poor little guy). So I resisted the urge to steal him and set him down. However, he had other plans as he continued to follow me around for the remainder of the walk and even parked outside my friends door for awhile. If I were still in Memphis I would’ve known exactly where to take him (The House of Mews non-kill shelter and adoption agency) but alas I am now on the other side of the state. I have started researching for similar organizations in this area in case he shows up at my friends door again.

Honey Almond Ice Cream with Fudge Ripple 2

Not going to lie, I hope he shows up again. I still have regrets about not keeping the last friendly-possibly-homeless-kitten that tried to force it’s way into my life (oh, Fenna). But I digress…

One of the things I did not put into storage when I left Memphis and moved in with my parents was my ice cream maker attachment for the Kitchenaid (thankfully they own a standmixer so I didn’t have to lug here that as well). My parents always have ice cream on hand but when their stock ran low I made sure to let them know to not buy any – I was making it homemade!

Honey Almond Ice Cream with Fudge Ripple 1

I let them have a say in the flavor choices and ended up deciding on this toasted almond ice cream made with honey and swirled with a fudge sauce. The honey flavor was very subtle while the toasted almonds were the stars. I used some leftover fudge sauce as topping but actually preferred it without the extra chocolate on top. As many of you already know, I’m a minimalist most of the time when it comes to chocolate. But however chocolate-y you like it there’s no denying this ice cream.

Honey Almond Ice Cream with Fudge Ripple 3

One year ago: Garlic Lover’s Pizza

Three years ago: “Creamed” Berry Cheese Spread
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Cookie Dough Oreo Cake

By now I am sure all of you are aware of one of the newest additions to the Oreo lineup, cookie dough. Personally I think that homemade versions such as Lindsay’s (Love & Olive Oil) and Tessa’s peanut butter ones (Handle the Heat) would win hands down. For the purposes of this cake however, homemade Oreos were not necessary. Chopped up Cookie Dough Oreos were mixed into the chocolate cake and used as decoration, but the real purpose of this creation was to make a cake that resembled a giant Cookie Dough Oreo covered in frosting. And if I do say so myself, I believe I succeeded.

Cookie Dough Oreo Cake 1

I made this cake for my step-mom’s birthday. It consists of super moist layers of chocolate cake with bits of Cookie Dough Oreo which are sandwiched around a layer of cookie dough filling, then swaddled in cookie dough frosting and topped with chocolate chips and more Cookie Dough Oreos. There’s some serious cookie-on-cookie action going on here. If you’re feeling really ballsy, serve it up with a scoop of Cookie Dough Oreo ice cream. I stuck with plain vanilla.

Cookie Dough Oreo Cake 2

One year ago: Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Three years ago: Butterscotch Haystack Cookies
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Chocolate Covered Strawberry Peeps Cupcakes for Two

Remember during November when I shared a Thanksgiving dinner for two on Single Serving Sunday? Well I had originally intended to do a Valentine’s dinner for two today, but slacked off and only made dessert. It’s still a dessert for two, making it a perfect dessert for you and a special someone to enjoy together.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Peeps Cupcakes 1

These cupcakes were inspired by my strawberry stuffed cupcakes I made awhile back which were a huge hit – white cupcakes with a whole strawberry stuffed inside and topped with fresh strawberry buttercream. But this time around the cupcakes are chocolate, making them chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes! In case that isn’t good enough, they are also topped with chocolate dipped strawberry flavored Peeps.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Peeps Cupcakes 2

Two years ago: Cinnamon-Blueberry Bread Pudding

Three years ago: Asiago Bagels (with Chipotle Pepper or Garlic & Chive Cream Cheese)
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Homemade Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Mix

Every winter I whip up a new hot chocolate mix. This year I decided to try two kinds, white hot chocolate pods and now cinnamon mix. This version was made on the fly while my parents were in town for my graduation. We were getting ready to go to a drive-thru Christmas light show and I realized I didn’t have any hot chocolate mix to prepare and bring for the show. So I pulled up my favorite mix recipe and added cinnamon. If you haven’t had cinnamon and chocolate together before, you’re missing out!

Homemade Cinnamon Hot Chocolate Mix

Two years ago: Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Mix

Three years ago: Bacon and Cheese Egg McMuffin Cups
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