RSS Feed

Tag Archives: chocolate

Paleo Brownies

Posted on

It’s MS Awareness Week. Once a year I let myself get preachy about MS. Congratulations, it is that time of year. Feel free to skip this section and scroll down to the recipe.

You may have noticed a change in the content of my blog; that’s because I recently decided to try a Paleo diet to help with my MS. I’ve noticed some pretty significant improvement so I’ll be keep the diet around.

Most people who know me also know that I have MS. It’s a pretty nasty disease- you can read about it here. MS is different for everyone. I was diagnosed about 6 years ago in my last semester of seminary. My presenting symptoms were vision problems; since then I have wrestled with fatigue, numbness, and weakness in my legs. I told you that it is a nasty little devil.

I’m very lucky that I am still able to do most of the things that I love to do and my disease has been relatively quiet. I’d gone about 4 years without an attack until it made itself known again this last December. I really struggled with this attack because I’d been off medication for some time to have another baby and I was still breastfeeding my daughter. It is hard to go into the doctor and hear that you must immediately stop feeding your child so that you can take high level steroids and try a new disease modifying therapy. But there it was. The good news is that since I’d become pregnant and had my daughter new drugs were available- PILLS! A normal person would not be that excited about taking pills everyday but when you have grown accustomed to giving yourself (nasty) injections every day; pills get you giddy. And so, 2015 started with a new regimen. I’ve spent years reading various things about diet and MS but you all know I’m a foodie and giving up my biggest hobby seemed too steep a hill to climb. Until now. I have a busy career, an amazing family, and if changing my diet could help with those things, by God, I’m going to do it. And so, here we are. Since mid-January I have removed gluten, dairy, and refined sugar from my diet. You’ll notice from my obsession with trying brownie recipes; I haven’t given up chocolate- merely made some adjustments.

Talking about my chocolate addiction is a great segue into the recipe today. I find keeping my diet is a whole lot easier when I know I have something on hand at home so I try to keep a container of brownies in the fridge and a bag of Costco’s chocolate covered super fruits in the pantry. If you decide to use a dry sugar (coconut, etc.) use 1 cup. I’ve made these with both coconut sugar and maple syrup and I just happen to prefer maple syrup but that’s just me. You could also double the recipe for an 8×8 pan but a loaf pan makes plenty for me. These are very rich so a little goes a long way. Not to mention they are kind of expensive.

Also, I’m lazy and I don’t like too many dishes so I make these in the blender. Because they are gluten free, you don’t have to worry about over-mixing. I wouldn’t recommend that method with a “normal” brownie recipe.

 IMG_1678

Paleo Brownies (Here’s the original)

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ c. maple syrup
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil, melted (to be honest, I just guess and sometimes it comes closer to ½ c.)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix ingredients in a bowl until smooth or throw them in a blender. Pour into a parchment lined 8×4 loaf pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.

Cool brownies and cut them into squares. I keep mine in the fridge.

I’m Baaaaack!

Posted on

Wow! It has been an insanely long time since I have blogged. Life has been more than a little crazy. I accepted a new call in Missouri and we packed up and headed south. We are now (mostly) settled into our new lives in this beautiful place. I say “mostly,” anyone need a house in Council Bluffs, Iowa?????

While we are waiting for our house to sell we are renting a little townhouse so my kitchen is a bit of a downer after my previous three ovens. However, we are adjusting. But don’t expect too much from this blog until we upgrade!

So, what recipe is worth of my return post? I thought I’d share this little dandy with you today. Think the candy bar but a whole pan of them.

Peanut Butter Bars

Ingredients
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup + 4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Directions
In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan. In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring every 30 seconds until melted until smooth. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares.

Chocolate Mint Pie

Posted on

When I was growing up the chef at the local country club was a dessert genius! He had a million incredible recipes but one that really stood out was something he called, Tipton Pie. When I started baking I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to find this recipe but never did. However, this one is very close. If you like this recipe save it! I dug it out of an old Baker’s recipe book and you can’t find that little booger anywhere to save your life… trust me, I’ve tried.

This recipe is incredibly simple and no-bake (a nice perk considering it is 103 degrees today). If raw eggs make you nervous just get the pasteurized ones at the grocery store. Also, if you are hardcore you could make this with real whipped cream but I don’t recommend it. Strangely, Cool Whip is your best bet as it sets up better than real whipped cream. Can you believe that I am saying that?! But it is true.

Chocolate Mint Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup thawed Cool Whip
  • 1 baked 9-inch pie shell (I use a graham cracker crust)

Cream butter, gradually beat in sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate, vanilla and peppermint extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating about 1 minute after each. Fold the Cool Whip into the chocolate mixture and spoon into pie shell. Chill at least 4 hours.

Triple Chocolate Oreo Cookies

Posted on

When I was in graduate school I had a great friend who would eat dinner with us every night. It was heaven! She and I both loved to cook and we would happily putz around my apartment kitchen and cause trouble. We didn’t have a dishwasher (besides my husband) but he generally kept quiet because we would concoct some pretty good stuff. Sadly, she now lives far away and I’m on my own in the kitchen. However, she sends great recipes my way for which I am endlessly grateful. On Mother’s Day she emailed this winner to me.

This recipe is incredible and I recommend that you drop what you are doing and get the ingredients. The Oreo flavor comes through and couples with the other flavors perfectly. I’m not usually one for white chocolate but in these it is wonderful. Don’t worry about chopping the Oreos perfectly, just throw them in a sandwich bag and get rid of whatever tension ails you.

 Triple Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ cup Dutch Cocoa (Or Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped Oreos (around 8 cookies smashed)

Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. Gradually incorporate into butter mixture. Mix in white chocolate chips, chocolate chips and Oreos . Bake for 8-10 minutes

No-Bake Cookies

Posted on

It has been unseasonably warm around here and I’m not one to heat up the house. So the oven has been largely quiet. That does not mean, however, that I have been going without. I’m pretty good at finding ways around whatever inconvenience may present itself. Especially when the end result is chocolate.

I made no-bake cookies quite a bit as a kid but (like Twinkies and Fritos) I forget how good they are. Then when meandering around the grocery store I saw them in the bakery. $4 for a dozen of these little boogers!! Are you kidding me?! I had some “natural” peanut butter that my husband accidentally bought at Costco and I finally had a way to dispose of the stuff.

I used around 4 cups of oats because the natural peanut butter is thinner than the usual stuff. I recommend starting on the low end and then seeing what you need. Another warning, these babies are addictive and they were a regular go-to during middle of the night baby feedings (until they disappeared). She isn’t the only one who gets hungry!

No Bake Cookies

  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 2 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C Milk
  • 4 Tbsp Cocoa
  • 1/2 C Peanut Butter
  • 3- 4 C Quick cooking Oats
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla

Add the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Stir in the next 3 ingredients and drop onto parchment or foil lined cookie sheets. Let cool until set.

Black & White Cheesecake Squares

Posted on

I don’t think that it is any great secret that I am a bit of a chocolate addict. Also, I spend a lot of my time perusing Pinterest. There is a little something I have noticed about Pinterest: the theory seems to be circulating the Internet that EVERYTHING is better with cream cheese. Frankly, I don’t disagree. That is why when I came across this little gem from Martha Stewart I was in the kitchen trying it out in no time.

Just a couple of little things. Chill these before you eat them. Much like a cheesecake these are better cold. I took a little nibble while they were only room temperature and I was none too impressed. A few hours in the fridge and they were delicious. Also, a whole cup of dough to crumble is a lot. I just nibbled on it while I was crumbling. What?! Waste not, want not.

 Black and White Cheesecake Squares

  •             2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •             3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  •             1 teaspoon baking soda
  •             1/2 teaspoon salt
  •             10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  •             2 cups granulated sugar
  •             3 large eggs
  •             2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  •             8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  •             1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both long sides, then spray foil.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until smooth. Add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Increase speed to medium; beat until incorporated.

Reserve 1 cup of dough; cover, and refrigerate. Press remaining dough into bottom of prepared dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake until base is set and edges are puffed, about 25 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack.

Mix cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread over cooled base; crumble reserved dough on top. Bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in dish on wire rack, then lift out using overhang. Cut into squares.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Posted on

It’s my birthday! Let’s not go into details about years, grey hairs, or anything else. Suffice it to say, my husband and I are the same age for a few months. Every year I spend copious amounts of time perusing recipes and deciding what cake to make myself this year. Yes, I make my own cake. No, I don’t consider that narcissistic at all.

My cake (or this year, cakes) is always chocolate and this year is no different. In fact, these little cakes are especially deep and dark in the chocolate department. If you haven’t noticed, I really prefer glazes on cupcakes. I have a couple of reasons for that: a) the flavor is better and more intense (icing is for pansies) and b) it is sooooo much easier and it looks nice (I’m lazy). Note: This recipe makes a lot of cupcakes, share them with friends or break out large cupcake tins.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee (I used espresso- don’t judge it is MY cake)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins (I got 36 cupcakes from this recipe).

Put the butter, coffee, water, and cocoa in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH until the butter melts, about 2 minutes. Whisk to combine.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Beat the sour cream with the egg and vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk the hot cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir in the sour cream mixture just to combine; don’t overmix. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin tins, filling each one about 3/4 of the way full. Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes completely in the tin on a rack. Remove from liners and return cakes to a rack.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 6 ounces  chocolate, finely chopped (I used milk chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons corn syrup

Put chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring cream and corn syrup to a boil (or just microwave 1 minute), then pour it over the chocolate. Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes, then stir until smooth. Spread 1 tablespoon warm glaze evenly over each cake, or dip cupcakes tops into glaze.