Tag Archives: Chocolate

S’mores pie! (AKA pre-made S’mores for tomorrow)

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Who doesn’t LOVE S’mores????

Have you been to Blaze Pizza? They serve amazing custom ordered personal pizza for a dirt-cheap price but most importantly, they also sell ready-made S’mores! Of course, I had to try to make it myself…how hard could it be right? Honestly, it was easy!

Blaze Pizza most likely uses McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits for that crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside finish but I used traditional graham crackers.

End result? Delicioso!

For the melted chocolate finish, all I did was quickly make ganache.
If you want them crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, use the biscuits, if you enjoy the soft and chewy combo, use graham crackers. Delicious either way!

I think I prefer this to freshly made S’mores since the marshmallow cools down and becomes chewy, the ganache is already soft so it’s not like I get a piece of unmelted chocolate.

Ingredients: Makes 2 cookies
4 graham cracker squares (2 sheets)
2 giant marshmallows (cut in half)
1/2 bar of your favorite dark chocolate (think 1/2 of Hershey’s bar)
1/2 bar of your favorite milk chocolate
3/4~1 cup half and half (adjust as needed)

Guide:
Melt chocolate with half and half in a small pot over low heat. Stir constantly. Let it cool until it hardens.                                                              *Will chill fast in the refrigerator or freezer.

Place marshmallows on a baking sheet and broil for 2 minutes or until golden brown.

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Place a tablespoon full of ganache (or a more) on one side of the cracker/biscuit, place 1 piece of roasted marshmallow on the other half.

Put them together, squeeze, and you can eat it immediately or let it cool and enjoy it the next day!

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Mini Zucchini Brownies

Perfect little squares.  Just enough chocolate and nuts.

(I must admit, I was busy making zucchini muffins so my sister Steph did most of the work)

I love sweets but nothing too sweet. I like frosting but only if they’re not too sweet. My friend Calvin makes fun of me and my sisters because we always say “Mmm, this is good! It’s not too sweet!”. So very true. Hahaha.

I found this recipe on-line somewhere and swapped out oil for butter. This brownie is just moist enough,  just sweet enough with just enough crunch. It goes great with a cup of soy latte.

Ingredients: Makes about 32 mini brownie squares
1/2 cup unsalted butter – melted
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 
Guide:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 mini brownie pans.
In a small bowl, mix butter, sugar, vanilla. In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt. Combine wet into dry. It will get pretty tough to mix but it’s ok. It’ not supposed to look like the regular brownie batter.  Fold in the zucchini and walnuts and divide evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of brownies) – Until brownies spring back when gently touched.
Take them out of the oven; let them sit for 2 minutes before moving the cookies onto a cooling rack.

 
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If baking in one big pan, bake for 25-30 minutes.
Store them in an airtight container for up to couple days – room temp

Crispy and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside!

This morning at 5:40am, I was woken up by my foster dog Alfie. He wanted to be let out so I grabbed him along with our dog Mo(hawk) and stepped outside. The air was so chilly that it woke me right up. I contemplated on going back to bed, but the sun was up, I wasn’t tired or anything, so decided to bake cookies! WHY NOT.

I remember reading a basic cookie recipe in “Savory Sweet Life: 100 Simply Delicious Recipes for Every Family Occasion” by A.Currah. Like she has in her title, it was so simple that I didn’t have to dig the book out again for the recipe.

Well, after 30 minutes in the kitchen, our house smelled like a cookie factory. Then I contemplated on what to do with 3 dozen cookies…keeping them all at home would be a BAD IDEA…
I decided to set some aside for my family, then split the rest in half for my colleagues and my boyfriend’s colleagues.

We don’t have any cookies left at home…which means I get to bake something new again! YAHOO~!

Ingredients:Her recipe says 4 dozen, but I made mine so big that I got 3 dozen
1 cup butter (2 sticks unsalted butter) – room temp
½ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups – dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp – pure vanilla extract
2 ¾ cup all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp – finely grounded sea salt
2 ¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Guide:
Preheat the oven to 360 degrees.

Using either a hand mixer or a standing mixer, mix butter and both sugar on medium for 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add an egg at a time and continue to mix. Add in vanilla extract.
Slow down the machine to add flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt until combined.
Add in the chocolate chips and stop the machine once they’re equally distributed in the mixture.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 2 Tbs worth of dough and place them 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for 11 minutes or until you see the corners turn golden brown.

Take them out of the oven; let them sit for 2 minutes before moving the cookies onto a cooling rack.

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Below picture is a good example of what NOT TO DO if you want round cookies.

If you want round cookies and not square ones, I urge you to bake them in 2 batches (2 sheets at a time).
I’m known to be impatient with these things and tend to overcrowd my sheets…so of course today’s cookies came out SQUARE. Still, most importantly, they tasted amazing!

 

 

Mini Nutella Scones

Nutella, can we say YUMMY?! I LOVE Nutella so when I saw this recipe in “Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, I just had to try it. I knew my friend Tracy would love it too so I made two batches to share! Didn’t change a THING and they turned out amazing.

Yields: About 15 Mini Scones (just depends on how small you cut it)

Ingredients: (this is exactly from their book except for things I put in parenthesis)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder like Valrhona (I used a generic brand unsweetened cocoa)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Nutella

Directions: (I usually have it listed as a “Guide” but their directions worked VERY well!)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place the rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until combined.
Add the butter. Use your fingertips to rub it into the flour until the butter is pea size and the mixture is coarse.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and cream. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the dough just comes together. Gently and briefly knead the dough with your hands. Add the toasted hazelnuts and knead gently to incorporate. Flatten the dough into a rectangle approximately 6 by 12 inches. ( it doesn’t need to precise) and spread 1/4 cup of the Nutella on top in a criss cross pattern. Roll the dough up to make a cylinder about 6 inches long, turn it on its end, and gently flatten it into a disk about 1 3/4 inches high. Do not overwork the dough.

Cut the dough into 6 or 8 wedges (cut wedges in half for mini scones) and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the scones for 18-20 minutes (12-15 minutes for mini scones), rotating the baking sheet halfway through, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a scone comes out clean. Do not overbake.
*Baked Note*
Matt & Renato’s advice: Do Not Knead Too Much. Stop working the dough the minute it comes together and don’t worry if there are a few dry bits scattered throughout.

Transfer the scones to a wire rack to cool completely. Place the baking sheet with the parchment still on it underneath the rack.

Assemble the Nutella Scones:
Heat the remaining 1/4 cup Nutella in a microwave until pourable, about 10 seconds on high. Pierce the tops of the scones a few times with a fork. Use a spoon ( or two spoons-one to scoop, one to scrape) to drip the warm Nutella in a zigzag pattern over the tops of the hot scones. Transfer them to a refrigerator to set for 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

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Store in an air tight container (best eaten same day as baked – still good next 2-3 days too)