Posts Tagged ‘dark chocolate’

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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Smoked Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well Memphis, it’s been fun. Over the weekend I had one last hurrah downtown and it was a blast. I haven’t danced that much in awhile and my legs and abs were actually tired the next day. But today I leave Memphis to journey all the way to the other side of the state where I will reside until I solidify a job. It will be nice to spend more time with my parents but for the sake of my monetary health I hope it doesn’t take long.

These cookies were whipped up for everyone that helped with the big move into the POD last weekend (along with an assortment of other goodies and beverages). The flavor was inspired by one of my favorite cookies from Keep It Sweet Desserts, mixing smoked sea salt, caramel bits and dark chocolate into my beloved chocolate chip cookie base. This is my first recipe using smoked sea salt and it’s a pretty awesome addition to a cookie. However, I cannot claim that they are as good as hers which is why she owns the awesome cookie/brownie/blondie business!

Smoked Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Three years ago: Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts
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Dark Chocolate Pistachio Saltine Cracker Toffee

After finding the dark chocolate roasted pistachio toffee at Trader Joe’s over the holidays I have been a bit obsessed with the combination. First I annihilated that toffee, then I baked mini pistachio cupcakes with a dark chocolate ganache, and now made my own version of that toffee using the saltine cracker toffee recipe as the base.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Saltine Cracker Toffee 1

Crispy crackers are topped with crunchy toffee, a layer of dark chocolate, and sprinkled with chopped pistachios. If you thought the original saltine cracker toffee was hard to resist, just wait until you get your hands on these. And as a side note, feel free to be amazed at the fact that I was able to make these without a trip to the grocery store. I wasn’t kidding when I said my pantry was stockpiled, needing to be used up before moving.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Saltine Cracker Toffee 2

One year ago: Meyer Lemon Curd

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Cinnamon Raisin Apple Bars

Three years ago: Strawberry Fig Newtons
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Mini Pistachio Cupcakes

On Sunday I told you about how I had the pleasure of meeting and baking with Heather Saffer of Dollop the day before. She was incredibly nice and very easy to get along with. It was cool to talk about her experiences in the food world – being on Cupcake Wars, owning a cupcake shop, and having a cookbook. It’s interesting how different it is from just having a food blog, living in my own little world.

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Funny thing was when she said that despite all of her experience, she thinks that I am more of a baker than she is! I don’t know about that but I do tend to be a bit of a control freak when it comes to baking and cooking, so I may have taken over when we were baking together without meaning to. Oops! Thankfully I don’t think it phased her as she gave me one of her Dollop “fr<3sting” shirts when she departed – yay!!! So thoughtful! I wish I had thought of it and I would’ve given her a Spiffy Cookie necklace. Just dropping the ball left and right haha.

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Today I am sharing one of the recipes we made together – mini pistachio cupcakes with a dark chocolate ganache. After much deliberation on what we should make, the pistachio dark chocolate toffee I found at Trader Joe’s inspired me and made the decision easy. We also made flourless brownies with pistachios, because why not?

Mini Pistachio Cupcakes 1

One year ago: Chocolate Cake Ball Stuffed Oreo Pudding Cookies
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Dark Chocolate Chunk Eggnog Cookies

It’s the 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen! This event brings together food bloggers from around the world in celebration of all things cookie. This year, once again, this swap was partnered with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and a donation was collected from every participant. Additionally, the three generous brand partners, OXO, Gold Medal Flour, and Dixie Crystals, EACH matched our donations and as a result ended up raising $13,778.40 for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer!

FBCookie Swap

I sent my matches Meagan (A Zesty Bite), Christina (Stracciatella), and Susan (A Less Processed Life) a dozen each of these dark chocolate chunk eggnog cookies. After I made the eggnog cheesecake bars, I started putting eggnog in everything including the pancakes I shared on Monday. It adds such a great flavor to winter treats and was no exception in these cookies – soft and chewy eggnog cookies with chunks of dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Eggnog Cookies

From my matches I received pecan sandies (Nora of Cats and Commas), lemon glazed cookies (Sheryl of Mama’s Gotta Bake), and compost cookies (Shari of My Judy the Foodie). I stashed away most of them for myself but did bring some into lab to share with my coworkers. Thank you for all the wonderful cookies!

One year ago: Creamy Ricotta Spinach & Shells

Three years ago: Iced & Spiced Applesauce Cookies
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DOVE® Christmas Chocolate Drops

When it comes to holiday baking you typically need two things: butter and chocolate. So when Dove® Promises invited me to bake with Dove® Dark Chocolate I could not resist. Unlike other dark chocolates out there, DOVE® Dark chocolate is not bitter. Instead, it’s creamy and deliciously rich, making it difficult to bake with instead of devouring straight out of the wrapper (which by the way I love the little sayings inside each wrapper). I suggest buying an extra bag just in case you cannot control yourself.

In case a DOVE® Dark chocolate cookie with DOVE® Dark chocolate chunks isn’t enough to get you excited, how about some nuts? In my world, you can never go wrong with nuts especially when it involves chocolate so I was particularly excited about these cookies.

These cookies reminded me of brownie cookies, with their flaky tops and chewy interior stuffed with nuts – just the way I like my brownies!

For more inspiring holiday ideas, be sure to check out the Mars® recipe page http://www.brightideas.com. I am tempted to make the Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich Cake!

Share the Joy with Dove®. Go to BrightIdeas.com for recipes using DOVE® PROMISES® Dark Chocolate and DOVE® Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar. Click. Create. Celebrate.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mars®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies

We need to sit down and have a serious discussion. These cookies? Yea you need to make them, like right now. Don’t make excuses, just go to the store to buy any ingredients you don’t already have on hand and get your oven ready. Why am I so demanding? Because the holidays are just starting to creep up on us and I already think I found my favorite cookie of the season.

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies 3

These cookies use fresh cranberries whereas usually cookie recipes use dried fruits. I have only made cookies two other times with fresh fruit (another with cranberries and one with blueberries) and they nearly caused the same reaction as these did. There must be some strange magic that happens when fresh fruit is used or my weakness for fruity desserts is showing. Yes, this peanut-butter-loving-fiend would have a difficult time deciding between a fruit or peanut butter dessert.

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies 1

In addition to the cranberries there is browned butter, dark chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg. I think those last two spices were the real kicker, adding an especially festive feel to these cookies and making them smell irresistible while baking. Of course you can never go wrong with browned butter either. Just be warned, the dough does need to be chilled which is why you need to whip them up asap!

Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Brown Butter Cookies 2

One year ago: Sweet Potato Pie Oat Bars

Three years ago: Secret Ingredient Sugar Cookies
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Sea Salt Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups and a Bar & Bean Giveaway

Did you know that this coming Monday, October 28th, is National Chocolate Day? I’m here to tell you to not just celebrate it with any old chocolate, but try something new. Bar & Bean is an online marketplace for small-batch craft chocolate (less than 250 tons annually). The makers of the chocolates they stock are working to reintroduce and redefine a flavor that has been dominated by large producers.

Bar and Bean

I was sent Bar & Bean’s Baker’s Set which is a mix of 5 craft chocolate bars:

(1) Ritual Chocolate – based in Denver, CO and started by 2 individuals: Robbie and Anna. Balao 75% Cacao – characterized by citrus and nutty notes. Only 2 ingredients: cacao and sugar.

(2) Poco Dolce – based in San Francisco, CA and started by Kathy Wiley. “Poco Dolce” literally translates from Italian as “not too sweet”, which aligns with the company’s mission of staying on the “savory side of sweet”.  Bittersweet with Sea Salt – light sprinkling of Grey Sea Salt.

(3 & 4) Escazu – based in Raleigh, NC and started by Hallot and Danielle. Uses an antique roaster and stone grinder to make chocolate in a more traditional method to bring out flavor complexity. Chipotle Chili & Vanilla – 74% dark chocolate that is complemented with a spicy kick of chipotle chili. Pumpkin Seed and Guajillo Chili – 73% dark chocoloate with roasted pumpkin seeds and guajillo chili.

(5) Dick Taylor – based in Aracta, CA and started by two college buddies Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor.  Dick Taylor uses only organic cacao and organic cane sugar in its bars. They roast their beans in their modified Royal #5 coffee bean roaster. Aged for at least 2-4 weeks to further develop and stabilize flavor. Fleur de Sel – 74% Dominican Republic with hand harvested sea salt.

Bar and Bean 2

The first bar I tried was the Escazu Pumpkin Seed and Guajillo Chili Dark Chocolate bar, and it inspired me to incorporate pumpkin seeds into the pumpkin peanut butter cups I had been planning to make for today, which is National Pumpkin Day (and also the usual PB+Choc Saturday). Then I went after the two sea salt bars because that’s one of my favorite things in special chocolate. And as a result the pumpkin peanut butter cup with pepitas then got a sprinkle of sea salt on top as well!

Unfortunately, I did not leave enough leftover to make these cups completely out of the chocolate I was sent, but the recipe was inspired by all the craft chocolate I got to try. These little cups are the perfect combination of pumpkin, chocolate, and peanut butter in order to fully celebrate. To make the celebration even better, be sure to find the Rafflecopter widget after saving the recipe in order to enter to win your own set of craft chocolate.

Sea Salt Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups 1

As for the PB+Choc portion of today’s celebration, today Ohio State plays Penn State which means many people in my life are enemies on this day. Hopefully it will only last the day. Penn State is coming back after a 4OT win against Michigan, so it should be a really good game. They are still not eligible to play in the B1G or National championship games, so it’s really to the benefit of the conference as a whole if we win O:-). However, I don’t particularly want to go to the Championship game either because as good as I do believe we are, I am not sure we are at the same level as Alabama or Oregon. As much as I hate to admit it.

Sea Salt Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups 2

Two years ago: Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and Apple
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Easy Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge

For today’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Saturday I am sharing an easy recipe for fudge. Oddly enough I was not a big fan of fudge until I discovered the kind with peanut butter. Just proves how much I am NOT a true chocolate lover. I like it as a contributing flavor instead of the star.

Easy Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge 1

In other news, we may be playing Iowa but I am attending to more important things today – being a proud bridesmaid in my friend Amber’s wedding! I am actually wearing a red/maroon dress which was completely unintentional (I actually was originally hoping to find an olive colored dress).

Easy Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge 2

One year ago: Guacamole Seasoning

Two years ago: Breakfast Quesadillas
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Healthier Buckeyes

After the success I had making healthier cookie dough fondue, I decided to apply those healthier adaptations to my favorite truffle/candy = buckeyes! And a good thing I made these babies healthier because with the stress I am afflicting upon myself this weekend in anticipation of my defense on Monday, I am shoveling more of these into my face than usual. I used coconut oil instead of the butter and dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet. I didn’t substitute the powdered sugar but I did reduce it by 1/2 cup as the coconut oil hardens more than butter when cold.

I also purposely didn’t dip these perfectly in order to emulate the true irregular characteristic of the buckeye nut. You see, not all truffles need to be perfect and pretty, so long as they taste awesome, which these do. I didn’t miss the butter at all and I’m already a big fan of peanut butter and dark chocolate together. Whether you are a buckeye fan or just a pb+c fan you’ll definitely enjoy these, and their sneaky healthier attributes.

Heatlthier Buckeyes

Two years ago: Sausage Stuffed Pretzel Bites
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