Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Remember me?

I’m a bad blogger, I know. The only excuse I can offer you is that I’m busy with an almost one-year old (can you believe my baby is almost one!?) and I haven’t been very creative in the kitchen. I tend to make the same dishes over and over again, all of which are already on my blog. And the few times I’ve made something new, well, it just wasn’t blog-worthy.

Well, these cupcakes are definitely blog-worthy. My husband, Audrey, and I went to my brother and sister-in-law’s condo for the 4th of July and I brought these cupcakes and my favorite salad (recipe to come!). I know my brother loves the combination of chocolate and peanut butter so I made these with him in mind. The chocolate cupcake is made with sour cream, making it super moist, and then they’re topped with a truly amazing peanut butter frosting.

The combination is perfection. You must make these soon.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the cupcake:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
2 large eggs

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

To make the cupcake batter, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; whisk together and set aside.  In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix just until incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the whipped topping until smooth and fluffy.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Source: Annie’s Eats

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PostHeaderIcon Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

 

This was our (belated) Valentine’s Day dessert. Often times the biggest dilemma in our household is what I should make for dinner/dessert. Such problems, huh? :) I always want to make something new (so I can experiment with new recipes and post them to my neglected blog) but my husband always requests old favorites. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE our old favorites as well but I like trying new recipes. So, when I came across this amazing recipe for Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes I knew we would both be satisfied.

The cupcake base is a simple one-bowl recipe with a little espresso powder added in to amp up the flavor. Then they are brushed with Kahlua and topped with Kahlua buttercream frosting. Yes, they do taste as heavenly as they sound. They were very easy to whip up, I was able to make the cupcakes during Audrey’s morning nap and the frosting during her afternoon nap. I love being so productive during her naps. Even though Valentine’s Day is over this is definitely a treat that can be made anytime for your special someone.

 

 

Chocolate Kahlua Cupcakes

Yield: approx. 20-24 cupcakes
Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup warm water
¾ cup buttermilk
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For brushing the cupcakes:
Kahlua liqueur

For the frosting:
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
7-8 Tablespoons Kahlua liqueur
2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.   Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a large mixing bowl combine the cocoa powder, espresso powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk well to blend.  Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract to the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high speed until smooth, 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full.  Bake until the tops spring back when pressed lightly, about 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Poke a few holes in the top of each cupcake with the tines of a fork and brush with Kahlua while still warm.  Allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated.  Add in the Kahlua and beat on medium speed until well blended.  Add in the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

 

Source: Annie’s Eats

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PostHeaderIcon Browned Butter Brownies with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

Yes, really.  If that title doesn’t make your heart skip a beat then I don’t think you’re human.

I’m sure most people are trying to lose those extra holiday pounds (myself included) so save this recipe as I’m sure the sugar high from Christmas will wear off eventually. These brownies are truly amazing. Moist brownies topped with the sweetest peanut butter frosting, it’s truly the perfect combination. However, make sure you make these brownies when you have guests because this is not a dessert you want to be alone with. The only mistake I made when making these was doubling the recipe and making a 9×13 pan of delicious brownies. I highly suggest making the original recipe (in an 8×8 pan) unless you’re feeding a ton of people since these brownies are so sweet, a little bit definitely goes a long way with these bad boys!

Browned Butter Brownies with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

For the Brownies:
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour

For the Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting:
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
Pinch of salt

Directions:
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Continue cooking until butter has turned a golden-brown color. It should smell caramel-y. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and cocoa. Add vanilla. Stir in eggs on at a time, until well-incorporated. Stir in salt and flour until just combined.

Line an 8 x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper. Pour in brownie batter and smooth the surface. Bake brownies at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until brownies are set. (A toothpick inserted will still come out with a few crumbs) Allow brownies to completely cool before frosting.

Make frosting by beating butter, powdered sugar, peanut butter, and pinch of salt until light and fluffy. Spread over brownies. Slice brownies into 16 squares.

Makes 16 brownies.

Source: One Lovely Life

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PostHeaderIcon Chocolate Chip Bars

I have a little confession to make. One that I’m not super proud of. While I was pregnant I only blogged at a certain time since that is when my creative juices flowed. I wish I could say it was always in the afternoon while sipping tea and eating scones. Sadly, it was not like that at all. My creative juices flowed at an odd time…..around 2 am. I’m not kidding. I always went to bed super early (like I do now) and it was around the third trimester that I always woke up at the exact same time, around 2 am, and CRAVED a huge glass of milk and something sweet. While eating I would jump on my computer and blog (How did I only gain 35 lbs while pregnant??). I wish I was joking but that was the only time when I had the energy and creativeness to blog. Now I have neither of them but I try my best to blog. Anyway, I do have a point to this – I wish I had this recipe back then. I know my pregnant self would have absolutely loved these bars at 2 am. However, I’m very glad I didn’t have this recipe because I would have a lot more weight to lose right now. :)

This recipe was passed on to me by my mother-in-law, who received it from her mother. I love making recipes passed on by family since you know that they’ll always turn out delicious. I was a little hesitant on making this recipe since it contains shortening (ewe!) but I got over my fear and used it. I’m sure it would be just as good with butter but it was darn good with shortening. This recipe is very simple – you just mix the first list of ingredients together and press it into a 9 x 13 pan for the crust. Then you top it with beaten egg whites, brown sugar, and chocolate chips. Yup, it does taste as good as it sounds!

 

Chocolate Chip Bars

Ingredients:
For the cookie base:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks (save the egg whites)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon water

For the topping:
3 egg whites
1 cup brown sugar
6 oz. chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

For the cookie base – Mix ingredients in order given until well-combined. Evenly press the mixture into the 9×13 pan.

For the topping – Beat the egg whites together until peaks form. Gradually mix in the brown sugar and chocolate chips to the egg whites. Spread over the cookie base and sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Bake at 350°F for 25 – 30 minutes.

 

Source: Grandma Jane :)

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PostHeaderIcon Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

This recipe is not new to my blog, but one that definitely deserved to be rescued from the archives. This recipe was one of my very first posts and since these cupcakes are a favorite around here I thought they deserved to be showcased again. They are so good that even my husband (who is not a chocolate fan) requested I make these for his birthday. I was hoping he would ask for a difficult dessert or a layered cake so I could try a new recipe but he wanted these, and for good reason, they are amazing! The base is a deliciously moist cupcake that tastes like a brownie on steroids. Soooo good! But what puts these over the edge is the frosting, it’s my favorite go-to vanilla buttercream frosting. I have spent hours perfecting the recipe and I couldn’t be happier with the results.

It’s best to make these cupcakes ahead of time, this enhances the flavor of both the cupcake and the frosting. It also allows the frosting to harden a bit, making it even more delicious. The recipe below is for regular size cupcakes. However, if you’re making mini cupcakes, which I did, the baking time decreases to about 11-13 minutes. Just keep a close eye on them after 10 minutes.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. espresso powder
1 cup boiling water
½ cup sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1¾ cups sugar
2 large eggs

Directions:

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).  Combine the cocoa powder and espresso powder in a small bowl.  Add the boiling water and whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Set aside and let cool to room temperature.  Once cool, whisk in the sour cream and vanilla extract.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Stir together with a fork to combine; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.  Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed.

With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternately with the cocoa-sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat each addition just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake 18-20 minutes (or 11-13 minutes if making mini cupcakes), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Annie’s Eats

My Favorite Vanilla Buttercream Frosting!

Yield: enough frosting for 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

6 cups confectioners’ sugar

pinch of salt

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions:

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.

Slowly add the rest of the ingredients a little at a time. I usually start by adding a cup of confectioners’ sugar along with the salt and vanilla extract. Then I add 1/4 cup heavy cream, slowly add in more confectioners’ sugar and heavy cream until all 6 cups (or so) of confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 cup of heavy cream are added. (Do not add all 6 cups of confectioners’ sugar at once or you’ll have a mess)

Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice.

Decorate cooled cupcakes as desired.

Source: Melissa Bakes Original

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PostHeaderIcon Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate chip muffins have always been my favorite muffin, even while growing up. However, when I was young, I was not a baker. Thankfully, I love to bake now. Even though I wasn’t a baker growing up, I still made chocolate chip muffins when I was craving them…..from a box. I know, a box. Shame on me! I would never use a box mix these days but back then I didn’t know what a difference baking from scratch makes. The muffins I used to make wouldn’t stand a chance against these homemade chocolate chip muffins. If only I could turn back time and set myself straight. At least I’ll be able to bake “the correct way” for my daughter. :)

As I’ve said, these are soooo much better than boxed muffin mixes. These muffins are so delicious and very easy to whip up, so throw those boxed mixes out. The addition of buttermilk gives these muffins a rich, tangy flavor which I absolutely love. Since my husband isn’t a fan of chocolate chip muffins (I know, that baffles me as well!) I halved the recipe, which made 6 perfectly delicious muffins. I saved two for myself and gave the rest to our doormen.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Set pan aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl stir together the melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract until well blended. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid mixture into the well and gently stir until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into muffins cups. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove muffins from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

 

Source: Two Peas and their Pod

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PostHeaderIcon Andes Mint Brownies

The moment I saw this recipe I instantly saved it for future use. I mean, who doesn’t love the combination of chocolate and mint? About a week after I saved the recipe I found these bad boys on clearance at Target…..

Could it be fate? I think so.

I love trying new versions of brownies and these definitely did not disappoint. I loved how moist they were, and the mints inside were a nice added bonus! (But I still think my all-time favorite would have to be these s’mores brownies – you must try them!) Like most brownies, make sure you cut them when they’re still a little warm so they don’t crumble apart. I cut them about 20 minutes after taking them out of the oven and they didn’t crumble too much.

I decided to halve the recipe since a pregnant woman doesn’t need an entire pan of brownies just laying around. I made them in an 8×8-inch pan and it worked perfectly, no change in the baking time. I saved a couple brownies for my husband and I to snack on and packaged the rest up for our doormen and neighbor. I love sharing my baked goods!

Andes Mint Brownies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
1 package Andes mints (24-28 mints) or 1 package of Andes baking chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, and salt. Set aside.

If you’re not using Andes baking chips, unwrap all the mints and coarsely chop. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring well to combine. Whisk in the vanilla and then the eggs. Blend well.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Gently stir in the chopped Andes mints. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 32-35 minutes, until the brownies are set in the middle but not overbaked. Let cool completely, slice into squares and serve.

 

Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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PostHeaderIcon Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you gave up sweets for Lent do not look at these pictures. You have been warned.

I haven’t really been craving sweets lately (weird, I know!) but the instant I saw this recipe I was smitten. Anything with cake batter is truly amazing so the combination of cake batter and chocolate chip cookies is almost too good to be true. Don’t worry, it’s true! These chocolate chip cookies are delicious and I love their slight cake batter flavor.

You do need to purchase a box of yellow cake mix when the recipe only calls for 1 cup. But save the rest of the cake mix, I’ll be posting more cake batter recipes in the upcoming months!

I made half of this recipe and it still made a ton of cookies so expect a lot of delicious cookies if you make the entire recipe. Whenever I make chocolate chip cookies I usually freeze some of the cookies. Just roll the raw cookie dough in balls and freeze them in a tupperware container. That way you can pop one or more in the oven whenever you get a craving for a fresh chocolate chip cookie (I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing). ;)

Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 cup yellow boxed cake mix
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, and slightly cooled
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons colored sprinkles

Directions:
In a large bowl sift together the flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside. In a bowl, beat together the melted butter, egg yolk, egg, and vanilla until slightly creamy. Add the sugars and stir well.

Add the flour mixture, stir until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and sprinkles.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes (the dough may be a little runny).

Preheat oven to 350.

Once dough is chilled, scoop heaping tablespoons worth of dough onto greased cookie sheets. The dough should be slightly smaller than a golf ball. Keep dough cool until it goes in the oven.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden and the center sets.

Cool for 5 minutes on the sheet, then place on a cooling rack to cool.

Source: adapted from Stephanie Cooks

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PostHeaderIcon Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts

 

I subscribe to way too many cooking magazines. I love getting them in the mail, reading through them, and admiring the amazing photography. When I received the February issue of Bon Appetit with “The Best-Ever Brownies” on the cover, I knew I had to make them ASAP!

This past weekend my brother-in-law and his friend came to visit. Since they are high school boys (who are always hungry) I knew this was the perfect occasion to make these “best-ever” brownies. I have so many recipes that I have held off making and I’m glad I did not put off making this! These brownies are so easy to make and very delicious!

This was on the cover of the magazine next to this recipe and it’s so true:

WARNING: YOU WILL EAT THE ENTIRE TRAY

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts

Ingredients:

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)

2 teaspoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt (generous)

2 large eggs, chilled

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup walnut pieces

Directions:

Position rack in bottom third of oven: preheat to 325 degrees. Line 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray. Set pan aside.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla, and salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot).

Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake brownies until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into squares.

Source: Bon Appétit, February 2011


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PostHeaderIcon Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, Baking Illustrated. This cookbook is like the bible for bakers. Small font, no pictures (just drawings), and amazing recipes! I love the fact they test every recipe again and again until it’s perfect. And when I mean perfect, I literally mean perfect. I have never tried a recipe from Baking Illustrated/Cook’s Illustrated that I have not absolutely loved.

These are huge cookies! I am not a fan of thin crispy cookies so if you are like me, you must make these immediately. The hardest part of this recipe was not eating the raw cookie dough (since I’m pregnant). That was tough. Very tough.

These are best enjoyed right out of the oven, but they do store well in an airtight container.

 

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 18 large cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 oz) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm

1 cup (7 oz) brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 – 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower- middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the ball of dough with your fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are soft and puffy, about 15-18 minutes (mine needed to bake longer), rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a wide metal spatula.

Source: Baking Illustrated


 

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