Archive | January, 2011


22 Jan



Today I wanted hot chocolate, like usual. But instead of my normal hot chocolate, I decided to add a little twist to it. I really like a coffee and chocolate combo, so I added some instant coffee powder to my hot chocolate and voila! Wonders! So, I thought I would share my recipe to you all who love hot chocolate just as much as I do.

Fill a mug 2/3 of the way full with milk (any type) and heat in microwave for 1 minute. Add 2 tsp of cocoa powder, 1 tbsp of sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) and half a tsp of instant coffee (or more if you like it stronger). Fill rest of the way with milk and heat for another 30 seconds. Top with whipped cream and a pinch of instant coffee powder and ENJOY!!!!


yummy 🙂


How Sweet It Is

17 Jan

So, I was on the Web the other day, procrastinating, when I decided to log onto the blog How Sweet It Is (I would have hyperlinked it, but technology is beyond me, so the website is Bad idea. My history homework sat on my desk while I perused chocolate-dipped clementines, vanilla lime pound cake, and many other delicious treats. Basically, everyone should check out this food blog. It’s my favorite, and a great way to pass your day off 🙂


Chocolat (Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie) Balls

12 Jan

I’m a little late, considering that these cookies are holiday cookies, but they’re good any time!  I was at my grandmother’s house, three days after Christmas 2009, and having my annual tradition of eating all of her leftover cookies from Christmas.  She had at least 8 different kinds of cookies, and most of them were familiar to me.  Then, however, she took out another Tupperware, containing three spherical chocolates.  Of course I tried them before even asking what they were!  I bit through the chocolate shell to find a sweet center with peanut butter and crunchy rice krispies! She gave me the recipe and I’ve made them a few times since

I made them right after New Years this year, and entirely by myself for the first time, which was scary.  Usually I let someone else do the dunking part, since I’m really not very good at that.  My grandmother’s recipe makes around 88 cookies, so I always cut it in half, although for some bizarre reason, this time I made them, it didn’t seem to make 44, which was especially strange since I made them small.  What? Are you accusing me of eating an excessive amount of the cookies before they were finished?! Ok, maybe a little 😉

My favorite cookies tend to be ones that you can snag little pieces of throughout the process, and these really are!  Ok ok, enough talking, more FOOD

Why yes, I do have a heart shaped cookie sheet 🙂

Chocolat Balls:

Serves 88

1 stick of butter (melted)

2 cups of peanut butter

3 cups of rice krispie cereal

1 pound of confectioners sugar

11 ounces of milk chocolate

16 ounces of chocolate chips

Directions: combine sugar, peanut butter, and cereal in a large bowl–mix with hands!  Roll into small balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate for an hour.  Melt the milk chocolate and the chocolate chips together in a bowl, and dip the chilled cookies into the chocolate (trick: the colder the cookies are, the easier this is).  Refrigerate again until the chocolate forms a hard shell–approximately another hour.



Snow Day Pancakes

12 Jan

Waking up late on a snow day is an awesome feeling, and can only be topped by waking up late and making Chocolate French Silk Pancakes.  There is nothing I would change about this recipe- it isn’t too sweet, and the whole wheat makes me feel good about myself.  I sprinkled some pieces of ginger onto my pancakes, and my brother added chocolate chips, but I can see walnuts, cherries, and coconut all working well with the cocoa.  These pancakes are really light and fluffy, but filling.  Basically, just make them.

Clean- the- fridge Pumpkin Muffins

9 Jan

Usually, when I get in the mood for baking, it’s because I saw a really cool recipe.  This time, I saw an expiration date.  My buttermilk and pumpkin, both barely touched, were about to expire.  So, I pulled up a pumpkin muffin recipe that looked great and adapted it to make it a little bit healthier.  Nothing special, but these muffins look and smell and taste beautiful.  keep in mind that they’re not that swwet, though; they’re muffins, not cupcakes!  Enjoy!

Clean- the- fridge Pumpkin Muffins (adapted from  here)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-grain pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup applesauce

2 large eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup buttermilk

Turbinado sugar or crystallized ginger for the muffin tops (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a muffin tin with muffin liners or baking spray. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.

 In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, applesauce and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined.

 Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and, if desired, sprinkle turbinado sugar or pieces of ginger. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20- 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of one of the muffins comes out clean.  Cool, remove, and enjoy!

Apple of my Eye

3 Jan

I made muffins yesterday as mournful farewell gesture. Not a farewell to arms but a farewell to vacation. Let us have a moment of silence.

So yesterday I went to the kitchen with a mission! My mission was to eat any sweet treat available! Unfortunately due to certain healthy new years resolutions there was nothing at all sweet unless I was going to eat the bag of sugar! I thought about it for am minute but in the end decided against it keeping in mind the many ramifications that would probably be coming my way if  I did. There were however many fruits to choose from and lots of flour so I cracked open the Betty Crocker cookbook and got to work!

These Apple Muffins are so simple and quick a caveman could make them!  This is all you need.


3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup chopped apple (I used a Red delicious)

Simple as that!

Now there were a lot of directions after that but who has time to read all that fine print? So here’s what I did!

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Put whole apple in food processor and run until the apple has been chopped into pea sized bits

3. Chuck apple and other ingredients into a mixing bowl of your choice

3. Mix everything with a wooden spoon (seriously I recommend mixing with a wooden spoon because I’ve mixed it with a machine and it didn’t turn out well and I mixed it with a whisk and it didn’t turn out well)

4.  When all of the flour has seemingly dissolved and the batter is somewhat bumpy start pouring it into the muffin cups!

5. Put muffin pan and bake for 25- 30 mins or until the muffins are golden brown!

The result will be scrumptious muffins that will probably disappear quickly especially if you have other family members who like to sneak down for a midnight snack (but I’m just speaking hypothetically…shifty eyes…..)  If you run into any problems when making these here’s what probably happened.

Problem                             Cause

Didn’t rise                         Too much mixing or maybe you didn’t put in baking powder

Tough                                 Too much mixing or you didn’t put in enough fat

Tunnels                              Too much mixing

Compact                            Too much flour or too little baking powder

Wow I feel like the number one cause of problems here is too much mixing!

Ok hope you enjoy the New Year!  I’m going to go enjoy these muffins!


Ring in the New Year with Chocolate Truffles!

1 Jan

I’m really sorry to do this to you. Truly, I am.

However–some things need to be said. Some recipes just HAVE to be shared. The love must be spread.

Okay, I’m just going to shut up now and let the chocolate speak for itself…


Chocolate Truffles

(adapted from my idol, Pioneer Woman!)


  • 16 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate (or semisweet if you prefer a slightly less dark chocolate)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • a splash vanilla or peppermint extract (be sparing with the peppermint–that stuff is strong!)
  • 7 ounces good quality milk chocolate
  • sea salt
  • plenty of crushed candy canes

Instructions–Short Easy Version

Heat dark chocolates and condensed milk in a double boiler over medium low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir—mixture will have a slight marshmallow texture. Stir in vanilla or peppermint extract.

Remove from heat, cover and refrigerate for at least two hours. (Can be longer.)

Once chilled, roll into balls, then roll in melted milk chocolate coating. Either leave them plain, sprinkle with sea salt, or roll them in a bowl of crushed candy canes.

Instructions–Long, Drawn-Out, Eye-Candy version

Start off with the greatest ingredient list known to man.


It’’s SO BEAUTIFUL! *sniff*

And hey, while we’re at it, why not invite my dear friend Scharffen Berger to the party?

Ah, yes.

(Why a goat? Just wondering…)

MUCH better now.

I love chopping chocolate so much. It’s a problem.

Do we need a recap of this? This is 3/4 of the package of bittersweet chocolate chips, the whole bittersweet bar, and the 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate (chopped). If you don’t want such a dark chocolate mixture, I’m sure you could use the same amount of different intensity chocolate.

But not me. I’m a chocolate purist.

We’re going to boil ourselves up some water in a medium size pan and set up our double boiler! Over the top of this goes the chocolate in an appropriately-sized glass bowl…

And it should start to melt in pretty short order. *sigh of longing*

Now, in goes the whole can of sweetened condensed milk.

(I don’t understand it either. I don’t ask questions, because sweetened condensed milk makes many things very delicious.)

Mix gently to combine, using a folding motion. It’s actually sort of pretty!

(Is that chocolate dripping down the lens of the camera in the upper left-hand corner? God, I hope so…)

Keep mixing, till the texture gets kinda funky. It’s all good, that’s what its supposed to do!

Now would be when you would add the vanilla or peppermint extract, if you wanted all one type. But me? I’m stubborn and I like lots of flavors.

So I split it up into two and did both.

Now: into the fridge they go. Or, if your fridge is as crowded as mine with delicious leftovers…..

Outside! It’s cold out there too, you know!


…and now, we wait. We admire our trash.

The only thing better than multiple wrappers full of Ghiradelli chocolate is multiple wrappers that USED to be full of Ghiradelli chocolate.

But WAIT! What is that on the back of the chocolate chip bag?

Oh, my. I never saw that.

…anyway! Fast forward one dinner outing to Chevy’s later, and the chocolate comes back inside and is painstakingly formed into balls.

Look at those beauties! (And perched on my absolute favorite thing in the world, a silicone baking mat–in festive green!)

We want to coat them, right? Right. So we get a new bowl and pull out the pot of boiling water again. Into the bowl goes A LITTLE MORE THAN HALF of the milk chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli again), and the remaining 1/4 of the bittersweet chips whose friends you used in the filling. (I used this mix to get a slightly darker than milk coating because I’m not such a fan of milk chocolate….but I suppose you could do whatever you want. I just want to impose my will on you.)

Over the heat till melted. Now comes the slightly tricky part: we want to temper the chocolate so that we get the ultimate coating. (Tempering means that we heat the chocolate to a specific temperature–105° if you must know–and then quickly cool it down to 90° in order to get the chocolate crystals in the right configuration. Once hardened, tempered chocolate will be shiny and have a nice snap when broken….

…like this.) So in order to temper our chocolate, what we want to do is wait just until the chocolate is melted, and then remove it from the heat and quickly add the remaining chocolate chips. Then, you stir, and as the new chocolate melts, it brings the temperature of the overall mixture down to the happy 90° temp. (If you have a candy thermometer, that’s helpful, because you can make sure that the chocolate reaches the 105° and then 90°, but it’s not necessary.)

Ready to coat!

Throw the balls into the milk chocolate and use a fork to get them completely coated.

If for some insane reason you think that the coating is too thick, roll the balls around on the upper inside edges of the bowl. The chocolate will stick to the bowl and leave the truffle alone. Use a toothpick to help you drop the truffles onto your silicone baking mat.

Before the chocolate hardens, take this opportunity to sprinkle the tops of some of the truffles with coarse sea salt.

…OR….instead of plopping the truffles straight onto the baking mat, you could drop them into a bowl of crushed candy cane…

…and then you could use your fork to toss them around and coat them completely, and then, like me, take a horrible picture of the coated truffle….

…and onto the festive green baking mat they go!

So pretty!

And you’re done! With that, you now have around 45 rich, fudgey truffles to do whatever you want with! Give them away…share them with your family…eat them all yourself…

And they have delicious sea salt, or crushed candy canes! How classy!

(The inside of my candy-cane ones was mint-flavored, which I thought was nice.)

And the sea salt ones were very interesting too. Altogether, making these was a great experience.

…even if my kitchen may have had the kitchen version of a hangover the next morning.

(Oh, and by the way, I was able to use some of the leftover milk chocolate for coating to make a pseudo-peppermint bark thingy.)

Happy New Years, everyone. Here’s to a year filled with laughter, good cheer, and–most importantly–abundant amounts of chocolate. 🙂