Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti

I’m back! Well, I’ve been back for over a week and had sooooo much fun in Vegas that I needed many days to recover. Well, not really, but I did need some time to recover but the other days away from my blog were needed to get my life back in order with routine, work, and eating. Before Vegas I hadn’t gone grocery shopping since I was going away and when I got back, I jumped right into work and sleep and never made it to the store so my eating habits consisted of coffee and any Asian chicken salad I could get my hands on. When it comes to sweets, I tend to reach for a small handful of chocolate chips because I’m one of those people who have chocolate chips on hand ALL. THE. TIME. Usually, I have some dried fruit as well, as I like to mix the fruit and chocolate with peanuts. Talk about a yummy little snack. Anyway, this Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti caught my eye because it’s two-thirds of my favorite snack rolled up into one little crunchy dunkable cookie.

Chocolate chips and dried cherries are mixed into a thick cookie dough batter, flattened, baked, cut and baked again to result in these crunchy on the outside but slightly soft on the inside cookies. I’d never made biscotti before as I’m generally not the biggest biscotti fan (too crunchy) but I loooooooved these! Maybe biscotti isn’t supposed to be a little bit soft on the inside but mine turned out that way and I was hooked. The sweet chocolate and tart cherries are a marriage made in cookie heaven. On a side note, I made these on a Saturday while Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close played on the TV in the background and I ended up watching the whole movie without meaning to. Now when I think about these biscotti, I can’t NOT think about that movie. Strange how certain foods will forever remind you of something completely unrelated to food.

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The ingredients:

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Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and salt in a bowl; stir well with a whisk. Beat sugar and eggs with a mixer at high speed until thick and pale (about 4 minutes). Add oil and extracts, beating until well-blended. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until blended.

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Stir in cherries and chocolate chips.

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Divide dough in half; turn out onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Shape each portion into a 10-inch-long roll, and flatten to 1-inch thickness. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove rolls from the baking sheet; cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

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Cut each roll diagonally into 20 (1/2-inch) slices. Place slices, cut sides down, on baking sheet. Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes. Turn cookies over, and bake an additional 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft in center but will harden as they cool).

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Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on wire rack.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Raspberry-Cream Cheese Brownies

Did anyone watch the Oscars last night?  Of course Bradley Cooper looked gorgeous, the dresses were stunning and Adele’s beauty and voice were flawless.  A while ago I thought about making some appetizers and inviting some girlfriends over to watch the show but after an impromtu Atlantic City trip on Saturday that didn’t get me in bed until 3am, my Sunday was unproductive.  On the ride home, I somehow started talking to my friends about the ridiculously insanely good brownie batter donuts from Dunkin Donuts and about my obsession with brownie batter in general.  Since I spent my Sunday napping and being lazy, I didn’t cook one thing but couldn’t stop thinking about brownies, including these Raspberry-Cream Cheese Brownies I made last week.

Lightened brownie batter is jazzed up with raspberry preserves and cream cheese and baked until light and cakey.  These brownies aren’t the most gooey brownies I’ve ever had but it’s hard for me to find anything bad to say about any brownies.  If you like your brownies cake-like and a little fancy, give these a try.  Any other preserves would work here too like cherry or blackberry.  These treats are great when you just need something chocolate and have brownies on the brain like I did.

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The ingredients:

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To prepare the filling, beat the sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, flour and egg white at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended, and set aside.

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Lightly spoon 3/4 cup flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine 1 cup sugar and the next 6 ingredients (1 cup sugar through the 2 egg whites), stirring well with a whisk. Add to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

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Spread two-thirds of batter in bottom of an 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray (do not coat the sides of the pan). Pour filling over batter, spreading evenly (the batter will be thick). Carefully drop the remaining batter and preserves by spoonfuls over filling; swirl together using the tip of a knife to marble.

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Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool on a wire rack.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

Of all the goodies I made for Christmas, these Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites were by far everyone’s favorite little nuggets that they couldn’t stop oooing and ahhing about.  Everyone loves a cookie…but peanut butter tucked inside of pretzels and then dipped in chocolate?  I dare you to find someone who isn’t interested in these little suckers.  Salty.  Sweet.  Crunchy.  Chewy.  They are addictive.

Peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and powdered sugar are combined to make a pseudo-cookie dough center which is rolled into balls and placed between two mini pretzels.  After a quick trip to the freezer to set, these treats are dipped in melted semi-sweet chocolate chips.  This is so easy, anyone can do it.  And because the chocolate can be melted on the stove or microwave, no oven is required.  Whether it’s the holidays to not, these goodies are sure to be hit for any get-together or party.  Oh, and if the world ends today, these are a pretty good last meal.

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The ingredients:

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In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine peanut butter and softened butter.  Add the sugars and mix to combine.

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Lay pretzels on a baking sheet (you will probably need two baking sheets).  Using a teaspoon, scoop the filling and roll into a small ball, placing one ball on each pretzel.  Top each ball with another pretzel and press together slightly to spread the filling to the edges.  Place sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes to set.

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Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally until completely melted.  Remove the pretzel sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip each half-way into the melted chocolate.  Return to the tray and repeat with remaining sandwiches.

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When all are dipped, return the tray to the freezer to set up completely.  Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator until serving time.

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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Two Tiny Kitchens blog

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