Double Chocolate Cake

When I’m scrolling through Facebook I see a lot of people posting recipes with pictures that look mouth watering.  So I ask, “have you made that?”  The most frequent response I get is, “no, but I’d like to.”  And then I’m a little leery.  What if someone accidentally left out a key ingredient?   We’ve all seen those pictures of Pinterest fails…recipes or projects that look easy and amazing and when someone attempts to replicate them they bear little resemblance to the original picture.  We had special friends coming for the weekend and a belated birthday to celebrate so when I saw this picture and recipe for a chocolate cake (that the person who posted had not yet made) I decided to give it a try anyway.  I can’t eat chocolate but everyone LOVED the cake and the icing so my efforts were worth the risk.  And I’ll make it again.  The other good thing about this particular recipe is that it made an 8”x8” cake which was the perfect size.

Ingredients:

1 cup AP flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup boiling coffee

Preheat the oven to 325.

Whisk together the dry ingredients.

Add the egg, milk, oil and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minute.

Gently stir in the boiling coffee.  The batter will be thin.  Pour into an 8”x8” pan that has been greased and floured.  Bake for 35 minutes.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Icing:

1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

This was the intriguing part.  To me.  I’ve never made an icing like this!  Melt the chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted.  Once the chips are melted stir in the sour cream and vanilla.  Give it a good hard stir for a creamy consistency.

Viola!  You have icing that sets up beautifully.  Almost the consistency of fudge.  I inverted the cake and put it on a plate to ice but you could do it right in the pan.

I garnished the cake with fresh raspberries.  Slice and enjoy!

NOTE:  The cake is super moist.  I put it in the freezer for awhile prior to icing it…it is much easier to frost.  The recipe called for boiling water (or coffee) and I chose to use coffee.

I’m not sure whether this recipe would work doubled and baked in a 9×13 pan or as two layers.  Some recipes work that way, others don’t.

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Pudding Shots

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A few weeks ago we went to our favorite music festival and I made pudding shots.  I made three different pudding shots – a caramel apple with Apple Pucker and Butter Shots, a coconut cream with Malibu Coconut Rum, and a chocolate and salted caramel with Baileys.  The chocolate was the most popular and I just made another batch for a friend.

Ingredients:

1  4 oz. box instant chocolate pudding

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup strong coffee

3/4 cup Baileys Irish Cream

1/2 cup caramel topping

8 oz cool whip

salt flakes

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In a medium size bowl whisk together the pudding, milk, coffee, and Baileys.  Whisk in the caramel topping.

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Fold in the cool whip.

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Spoon into little cups with lids, garnish with salt flakes and enjoy.

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Store the pudding shots in the refrigerator.

 

 

Edible Acorns

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This is the Fall of acorns.  It’s almost dangerous walking outdoors!  The squirrels and chipmunks and deer are enjoying the bounty. There are a few real acorns in this picture but mostly they are edible chocolate and nutter butter treats.  A little something that is easy and adorable to put out for guests this Fall.  All you need is a bag of Hersey Kisses (pick your favorite flavor), a bag of Nutter Butters, chocolate chips and a few extra chips to melt for “glue.”

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Dab a little melted chocolate onto one side of the nutter butter and glue on a kiss.

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I set them on a wax paper lined tray (actually a pizza pan) and let the chocolate set. Once the chocolate has hardened, using more chocolate glue, attach a chocolate chip to the other side.  Voila!  Edible acorns.

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Enjoy!

NOTE:  Depending on how many acorns you want to make you may need two bags of nutter butters for one bag of kisses.  If you’re a perfectionist you’ll find Nutter Butter needs a little more quality control.  Lots of lopsided or upside-down cookies.

Chocolate Brownies

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Almost everyone loves brownies. We attended a 4th of July party yesterday and almost every year I’m asked to bring chocolate chip cookies and brownies.

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This brownie recipe is very rich and fudgy.  If you usually make brownies from a mix this recipe will hopefully change your mind. I’ve been making these brownies for years and they are always a hit.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter

4 oz bar of semi-sweet chocolate (I use Ghirardelli)

2 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

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Preheat your oven to 350.

In a heavy saucepan over low heat melt the butter and chocolate. Watch carefully to ensure that you do not to over heat the chocolate.

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As soon as the butter and chocolate are melted remove from the heat. In the same pan stir in all of sugar.

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Add the eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition.

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Stir in the flour and add the vanilla.

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Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 pan. Or one lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes.

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Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. To make this batch of brownies even more chocolatey I sprinkled them with 1 cup of milk chocolate chips once they were baked and returned the pan to the oven for a couple more minutes. Once the chips were melted I used a knife to spread them out and put a half pecan on top to dress them up. They are also good with seedless raspberry jam spread over the top while they are still warm and then drizzled with melted white chocolate.  Whatever you do to the brownies they are great served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzled with hot fudge sauce. Cube them up, freeze them and use them in your chocolate fondue or with a chocolate fountain.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Filled Coconut Nests with Cadbury Eggs

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In Easters past my daughter and I, and sometimes her friends, would color lots of eggs and then decoupage pictures we cut out of magazines, add glitter and hot glue gems on them. Sometimes they were hard boiled (or accidentally soft boiled).  One year I bought brown eggs by mistake. But our favorite was making a hole in each end of the egg and blowing the whites and yolks out. I poked the holes, my daughter had to do the egg blowing. I wasn’t so good at that!   I have a bowl full of those blown eggs saved. I’m kind of a sappy sentimentalist.

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This is a project I would have enjoyed doing with my daughter. Plus Cadbury milk chocolate eggs are her all time favorite Easter candy. The nests were easy.

Ingredients:

14 ounce bag of good coconut

4 egg whites

1/2 tsp salt

food coloring (pick your favorite color)

1 cup Ghirardelli chocolate chips

1 pkg chocolate eggs

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Preheat the oven to 300.

Separate the yolks from the whites and, using a whisk, stir the whites and the salt together. Add a small amount of food coloring and blend into the egg whites. I used the Wilton paste and a little bit goes a long way. Just stir. Don’t whip.

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Stir in the coconut until well blended. Spray miniature muffin tins with cooking spray and put a couple tablespoons of the coconut mixture into each muffin cup. Gently press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of each cup leaving a nice indentation in the center.

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Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until coconut begins to brown a little. Remove from the oven and cool in the tins for about 10 minutes on wire racks.

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Using a metal icing knife remove the nests from the pans to finish cooling on the wire rack.

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Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish stirring every 20 seconds or so just until melted.

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Put about 1 tsp of chocolate in each nest followed by a couple Cadbury eggs. The chocolate will help to secure the eggs in the nests.

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Share these little nests full of goodness with friends and family. They would make a nice addition to Easter baskets or your Easter dinner table. Wrap them in a little Saran Wrap and tie them with pastel ribbon.

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NOTE:  I used my egg yolks to make some vanilla pudding. We will have that for dessert tonight with some fresh berries. You might also want to use a little butter cream icing in the center of each nest and use jelly beans instead of chocolate eggs.

Happy Easter.

Very Chocolate Chocolate Fudge

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One of my favorite holiday traditions is candy making and cookie baking with my very good friend of nearly 40 years. We’ve been doing it together so long we have an easy routine. Usually we start on a Friday evening and finish up our thousands, and I do mean thousands,  of sugary sweet treats on Sunday evening. But this year my friend has joined the ranks of the retired and we are taking an entire week to do what we’ve always done in two and a half days. We always do our candy the first night. This year we are trying a new very chocolate chocolate fudge recipe that another friend shared with us. I cannot eat chocolate but all of the fudge samplers are confirming that the recipe switch was a good one.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

1 14-oz can evaporated milk

4 1/2 cups sugar

1 8-oz bag miniature marshmallows

2 oz unsweetened chocolate

2 4-oz boxes semisweet chocolate

2 4-oz boxes German chocolate

1 T vanilla

2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine butter, milk and sugar in a heavy kettle.  Stir over medium high heat until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking to a full boil. Turn off the heat and cover for five minutes.

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Add marshmallows and stir until melted.

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Break the chocolate up and add a few pieces at a time stirring until all of the chocolate is melted. Add the vanilla.

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Pour into foil lined 9×13 pan. Make sure to butter the foil or spray with Pam. Let stand until cool.

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Once the the fudge has cooled you can lift it out of the pan using the foil, cut into squares and enjoy.

My dining room table is groaning under the weight of all our candy!

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