Posts Tagged ‘dark chocolate’
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.
I was sent Bar & Bean’s Baker’s Set which is a mix of 5 craft chocolate bars:
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
One year ago: Guacamole Seasoning
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.
Vegan recipe on football Saturday? No I have not lost my mind on the day when many football fans are out tailgating and cooking meaty goodness. But this recipe is for breakfast in preparation for all the other football activities. Especially if you are a buckeye fan, or just a lover of all things pb+c. Or even a football hater (we can still be friend) who loves breakfast. September is national breakfast month after all.
These pancakes were originally called peanut butter cup pancakes, but to me they look like flattened buckeyes with the circle of peanut butter in the middle, just like the eye of a buckeye (commence eye of the tiger chorus now stuck in my head) so hence the renaming to buckeye pancakes. I did still top them off with chopped peanut butter cups which get a little melty from the heat of the pancakes. Yummy.
They are also topped off with peanut butter syrup. Oh yea, I said peanut butter SYRUP. You will want to bathe in it but I don’t recommend it, so try to resist the urge. By the way, if you don’t have the ingredients to make these pancakes vegan there are notes in the ingredients list for non-vegan alternatives.
One year ago: Bacon and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
I know some people who are in complete agony over the existence of football season – which I pretend to understand. I on the other hand couldn’t be more stoked! Not only is it a welcomed distraction from thinking about/writing/studying for my dissertation in 2 weeks, but it gives me an excuse to indulge in peanut butter and chocolate things. Not to mention all the other glorious football foods that hang around this time of year.
This season, the Buckeyes have yet to have a game scheduled on the Big Ten Network, making it much easier for me to locate a venue for viewing their games (still don’t have internet or cable of any kind at home). Guess that’s a perk to being preseason ranked in the top 5. Even though it wasn’t really a close game last week against Buffalo, I hope they play better today against San Diego State.
Moving on to this ice cream. It’s really just peanut butter flavored whipped topping, but the resulting combination is a creamy, deceptively sinful tasting treat. But of course it wouldn’t be Peanut Butter and Chocolate Saturday without some chocolate, so how about a dark chocolate shell to go with your “ice cream”? You’re welcome.
One year ago: Gluten-Free Jumbo Chocolate Pomegranate Quinoa Cookie
My cousin’s shower the day before her wedding had a spa theme. We put on face masks, make our own lip gloss, and enjoyed veggie dip cups and fruit skewers with dip. But of course no event is complete without dessert! Since I was in charge of the edible portion of the event, I naturally had a difficult time narrowing down my options. In the end I decided upon recreating the white chocolate cookie dough fondue I shared recently, continuing the dip theme for the day. But this time I made it with a healthier spin so as to not bust anyone out of their dresses the next day!
For starters, the cookie doughs contain zero butter. Instead I used coconut oil and then added a little butter extract so that no one would miss that buttery taste necessary for cookie dough. Then I cut back on the caloric intake of sugar by substituting the regular sugar for the only zero-calorie sugar sweetener I have ever liked (Swerve). However, I did keep the regular brown sugar and peanut butter – couldn’t bring myself to modify those. Then I used white whole wheat flour and finally almond milk instead of regular milk.
Then there is the fondue. Last time I made it with store-bought sweetened condensed milk. This time I made my own out of almond milk and honey. I also used dark chocolate for half the chocolate and again substituted the butter for coconut oil, as in the cookie dough. Wait, I forgot to tell you the best part. I didn’t use just any honey, but CHOCOLATE honey. I bet you have never heard of that before, have you? It just so happens my family runs their very own honey company called Winter Park Honey and they sell it! My aunt and uncle gave me some to use since they know how much I love to bake and thought this fondue was a great way to use it, especially since I was going to be able to share my creation with them in person!
Every year come May in Memphis, the 90 degree and up temperatures begin. Except for this year and I’ve been loving every minute of the 70 and 80 degree weather. That was until Monday hit with high 90s and doesn’t seem to want to give up. I saw 103 on my car’s thermometer yesterday, boo! Apparently it’s time to summer through the heat and humidity once again, which means I really dislike turning on my oven. When it’s still over 80 degrees outside at night, turning on the oven just seems wrong with all the hard work my central air is doing.
Time for no-bake granola bars to strike again, this time using almond butter. I love how adaptable this granola bar recipe is, allowing me to try all kinds of flavors and mix-ins. This most recent creation involves almond butter, chopped almonds, dried cherries, and a little bit of dark chocolate. I brought them to my cousin’s bachelorette party weekend and they turned out to be as big of a hit as the coconut pecan cookies. I should have made a double batch!
What’s you favorite mix-ins for granola bars? I’m always looking for new ideas!