Tag Archives: chocolate

Quick Banana and Milk Chocolate S’Mores

A little over three years ago, I bought my first home, a condo. A month later, this blog was born. I was so excited to finally own a place after renting so many apartments. I searched design blogs and poured over websites looking at furniture and paint colors. Well, this past weekend, I spent every minute cleaning every nook and cranny because I’ll be putting my sweet little condo on the market. I accepted a job in Atlanta about three weeks ago which I’m really excited about but getting a home ready to list for sale is purely exhausting. I passed up on a concert, barely ate any meals and drank way too much coffee. Late Saturday after realizing I’d eaten nothing all day, I picked up Chinese food and almost fell asleep eating it. Yesterday I decided I needed to make something for the blog so instead of making something healthy and sustaining, I made these Quick Banana and Milk Chocolate S’Mores. Only because they were quick.

Graham crackers are topped with milk chocolate, banana slices and marshmallow which is then toasted under the broiler for a quick minute and a half when everything becomes soft and gooey. Eating these s’mores reminded me of when my friend Lori and I used to make s’mores in the toaster oven at work. The smell would waft throughout the office and at one point our CFO came over and asked what we made that smelled so good. Everything about these s’mores takes me back to that time. The milk chocolate is creamy, the marshmallow is oozing, and the banana is toasted and mellowed out. Yes, this was my dinner last night. And considering I still have a little more to do, it just might be my dinner tonight.

Have some left over marshmallows? Try this Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake!

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Preheat broiler to high. Place graham cracker squares on a foil-lined baking sheet. Divide chocolate evenly among 4 squares; top evenly with banana slices. Spread 1 tablespoon marshmallow crème (or place 1 marshmallow) on each of 4 remaining squares.

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Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate just begins to melt and marshmallow creme lightly browns.

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Carefully top banana with the marshmallow-topped squares.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Whole marshmallows

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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Cocoa Horchata Martini

Have you tried RumChata yet? Where has this stuff been all my life? I first heard about it last year when a bartender asked my friends and I if we wanted to try a certain cinnamon whiskey with some RumChata.  We all had the same questionably curious looks on our faces since we had absolutely no clue what she was talking about or what she had even said.  RumChaWhat? Well, I’ve had it enough times since that night to know that this belongs in my liquor cabinet and close to my heart.  And this Cocoa Horchata Martini is an easy, delicious way for you to try it if you’ve never had it before.

RumChata, a liqueur made of horchata (rice, cinnamon and sugar) and rum, is mixed with crème de cacao and chocolate milk to make for the perfectly creamy, cinnamon, chocolatey after dinner drink. RumChata alone is a yummy after dinner drink but when mixed with chocolate, it also becomes dessert.  This martini bestills my RumChata-dreaming, chocolate milk-loving heart.

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                        In a small bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine, then spread onto a shallow dish. Fill another shallow dish with 1/4 inch of water.

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Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add RumChata, creme de cacao and chocolate milk. Cover and shake until chilled.

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Dip 2 martini glass rims in water and edge each glass in cocoa-sugar. Divide martini into prepared glasses.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Chocolate almond milk

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Family Circle magazine

Chocolate-Cherry-Almond Smoothie

Every once in a while I become obsessed with certain foods and eat them constantly. I’ve been through brownie batter fits, black bean burger rages and trail mix binges. Recently, I’ve been on an almond milk kick. I’m not really the biggest milk drinker in general and only have it in the house if a specific recipe calls for it or if I have a box of cereal. But lately, I’ve been drinking almond milk, both plain and chocolate, like it’s going out of style. I decided the chocolate almond milk was begging to be mixed with the bag of frozen cherries I’ve had in my freezer for a while now and despite the fact that I’m always cold and am still dealing with 11 inches of snow from the other day, I wanted to make a smoothie. This Chocolate-Cherry-Almond Smoothie completely knocked my winter socks and slippers off.

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Cherry Greek yogurt, chocolate almond milk, frozen cherries, and a dash of almond extract are blended together until smooth making for a rich, sweet and satisfying smoothie. Regular milk and regular yogurt could be substituted here but I really love the thickness of the Greek yogurt and the added hint of flavor the almond milk provides. The chocolate almond milk adds just the right amount of chocolate which pairs so perfectly with the bright cherries. With 1 gram of fat and 14 grams of protein, this smoothie is perfect for breakfast, an after workout drink or satisfying enough for dessert.

Chocolate-Cherry-Almond Smoothie (makes 1 smoothie)

  • 1/2 cup non-fat cherry Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate almond milk (I used Silk)
  • 1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries (fresh pitted cherries may be used instead, just add ice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

Combine all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Add ice if necessary to reach your desired thickness. Top with a cherry and chocolate shavings (if desired).

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Almond Hot Chocolate

What the what is going on with the weather?  I’m tired of thinking about it, hearing about it, and worrying about it.  It was almost 60 degrees in Philadelphia on Sunday after weeks of lows hitting single digits and wind chills hitting negative degrees. So finally when we thought we might actually be getting a break…we get five more inches of snow.  I mean, seriously? We are tough and can handle it but we like to complain so we are sick of it. After thawing out, I’m cold again and I’m not happy about it. I’m tired of drinking hot tea so I expected this Almond Hot Chocolate to do the trick.

Almond milk, cocoa, and honey are heated together which results in a unique and creamy hot chocolate. Almond milk is creamy and pleasantly fragrant with a subtle sweetness that works perfectly in a recipe like this. Don’t be scared of almond milk if you haven’t tried it. I love it tons more than soy milk and it’s lower in calories and sugar than regular milk.  If you want to tiptoe your way into trying almond milk, this recipe is good start. I’m cozy and warm right now after drinking this but I’m sure I’ll be freezing again tomorrow.

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In a medium saucepan, cook the almond milk, cocoa and honey over medium heat, whisking constantly, until piping-hot, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, if using.

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Pour the hot chocolate into mugs. Top with marshmallows.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Double Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Bourbon Ganache

This is a cookie that will whip all your other cookies’ asses.  There are cookies…and there are COOKIES.  This, my friends, is a bad-ass COOKIE.  As in it’s almost a meal and if you can eat more than one, then you are my hero.  I took these Double Chocolate-Chip Cookies with Bourbon Ganache to work and got a lot of rave reviews.  One co-worker even commented that he wanted to make a grown-up cookie for a party and could I send him the recipe?  That is a successful cookie in my book.

Semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream are mixed together and chilled before being knocked out by a hit of some good old bourbon and chilled again until thickened.  The creamy mixture is then spread between two basic chocolate-chip cookies (i.e. if you really wanted to use store-bought cookie dough here, you could) where you now have the chocolateyest (not a word) and most decadent sandwich cookie.  Because of it’s richness, I would consider either using milk chocolate in the ganache (since semi-sweet chips are in the cookie dough) or making the cookies smaller.  I used a small ice cream scoop for my cookies and think they could have been half the size.  These cookies aren’t joking around, I’m just going to tell you.  They have an attitude and aren’t afraid to show you.  I nearly didn’t finish one and I swear I heard it laughing at me.  I dare you to take them on.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add vanilla, beating until blended.

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Combine flour and next 2 ingredients in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. Stir in morsels just until combined. Drop dough by level spoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, using a small cookie scoop (about 1 1/8 inches).

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Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets to wire racks, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).  To make ganache, microwave semisweet chocolate morsels and whipping cream in a 2-qt. microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 2 1/2 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt, stirring at 30-second intervals.

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Whisk in bourbon, softened butter, and vanilla. Cover and chill, stirring occasionally, 1 hour and 30 minutes or until thickened to a spreadable consistency.

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Spread Bourbon Ganache on flat side of half of cookies (about 1 Tbsp. per cookie); top with remaining cookies.

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Cover and chill cookies 2 hours or until ganache is firm.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Southern Living magazine

Oregon Chocolate-Cherry Cookies

I try to change up the cookies I make every year because the only cookies I’m willing to repeat are my peanut butter cookies (thanks to my family and friends who always say “But you are making your peanut butter cookies, right?”).  If you aren’t careful, you can either end up with a bunch of beige/white cookies (i.e. peanut butter, sugar, chocolate chip, butter) or nothing but chocolate cookies.  I like to have a little bit of both.  These Oregon Chocolate-Cherry Cookies may not sound like holiday cookies but really, who’s to judge?  Any cookie is a holiday cookie in my opinion.  And what holiday isn’t made better by lots of chocolate?

These cookies have both cocoa and chocolate chips and are topped with a drizzle of even more melted chocolate.  Dried cherries added another layer of flavor which I have to say is what drew me to these cookies (which is I guess why they are called Oregon cookies).  Dried cherries are like candy to me and I will eat them in just about anything.  These cookies are chewy and very chocolatey – perfect for the chocolate lover in your family.  Leave a plate of these for Santa and he’ll be happy.  Just don’t forget the milk!

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The ingredients:

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Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg, beating until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.  Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

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Stir in 1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels and dried sweetened cherries.

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Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on lightly greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake, in batches, at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks. Drizzle cookies with 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels, melted, if desired.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Coastal Living magazine

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I hope that putting vegetables in your baked goods doesn’t freak you out.  Some people are no stranger to zucchini bread, muffins or pancakes while others, who’ve never tried it, cringe at the very thought. These just might be the same people who can’t stand any fruit in their salad.  (Sorry, I just don’t get it.)  I know someone who would never go near a cake with zucchini in it like this Chocolate Zucchini Cake, but I’m all for it.  Would I ever sit down and make a chocolate cake for no reason if I couldn’t justify it?  Well…probably.  But regardless, somehow in my whacked out brain, zucchini justifies it.

Chocolate cake batter, flavored with cocoa, reduced-fat cream cheese and reduced-fat buttermilk, is made even more healthy with the addition of shredded zucchini.  An extra toss of chocolate chips in the batter along with the mocha-like chocolate drizzle on top only establishes this a decadent chocolate cake.  The zucchini not only adds a healthy component to this cake but it also helps it to stay moist so your aren’t left with a dry clunky dessert.  If you handed a piece of this cake to someone and didn’t tell them zucchini was in it, they’d never know unless they inspected the tiny green flakes in each piece. So why not give yourself a break and make yourself a chocolate cake? You really don’t need to justify it.

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The ingredients:

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Preheat oven to 350°F. To prepare cake, coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust pan with 1 tablespoon flour. Place sugars, cream cheese, and vegetable oil in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add eggs and egg whites, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

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Lightly spoon 2 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 1/2 cups flour and next 5 ingredients (2 1/2 cups flour through cinnamon) in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

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Stir in zucchini, 2/3 cup chocolate chips, and nuts.

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Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

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To prepare glaze, combine 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons cocoa in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.

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Combine milk, 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, coffee, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a 1-cup glass measure. Microwave at medium 45 seconds or until chocolate melts, stirring after 20 seconds. Combine powdered sugar mixture with chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk.

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Drizzle glaze over cake.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

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