Tag Archives: Chocolate

Biscotti Time

20 May

Hello my fellow bakers. I admit, it’s been a while since I’ve been in the kitchen and used my wonderful Sandra Lee mixer, but this weekend I was inspired to make one of my all-time favorite recipes! I first discovered this biscotti recipe in college, when I made them for my Italian class. Since then, I’ve made them for family and work functions, and they are always a hit! People often don’t believe that these are homemade (yes, this recipe is THAT good!) Don’t let this recipe intimidate you–these take a long time to make, but the actual process is pretty simple and totally worth it!

Thanks Giada for this scrumptious dessert! (I changed a few things here and there, but feel free to refer to the original)

Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (zap this in the microwave for about 15 seconds if you pull it straight out of the fridge)
  • Zest of one (1) lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups pistachios, chopped
  • 2/3 cups dried cranberries, chopped

(cranberries and pistachio measurements aren’t exact, feel free to add more or less to taste)

  • 12-ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (Giada uses white chocolate, but I am not a fan…use which ever chocolate is your fav!)

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour and baking powder together. Put aside
  • With an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, lemon zest and salt in a large bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  • Add flour mixture and beat until just blended.
  • Stir in pistachios and cranberries.
  • Split the dough in half and form two long logs at the parchment paper. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until logs are golden. Cool completely (about 30 minutes)
  • Place the logs on a cutting board and using a clean, serrated knife, cut the logs into diagonal, 1/2 inch slices.
  • Place pieces on the baking sheet, cut-side down. Bake an additional 15 minutes. Cool completely.
  • Using the double boiler technique, or a microwave, melt the chocolate. Dip half of the biscotti in the chocolate, and place back on the parchment-lined baking sheet. When all the biscotti are dipped in chocolate, place baking sheet in the fridge for about 40 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Ready for eatin’

 

Personally, I like to store the biscotti in the fridge, even in the tupperware, to keep the chocolate hard. You can also freeze the biscotti in an airtight container. Beware, these cookies will not last long if kept in plain sight (because they are so delicious and people will gobble them up!) This is the only biscotti recipe I’ve made, and I’d love to hear what kinds of biscotti you guys have baked (or want to bake!)

Happy Sunday and happy baking!

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Happy V-Day <3

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day lovelies! Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of any yummy desserts I baked today (gasp!). I admit, I slacked off this year. I had something wonderful planned out that required red velvet cake mix, but when I went to two stores, and both were sold out :( Even though I didn’t make this recipe, I still wanted to share it with you, in case any of you are need a last minute dessert, or want something to keep in your recipe box.

I hope you all have a wonderful day with your valentine, romantic or not. Think of it as a day to be thankful for anyone in your life that you love.

Red Velvet Rice Krispy Treats (find the original recipe here)

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter

3 cups mini marshmallows

1/3 red velvet cake mix (powder only)

4 cups Rice Krispy Treats cereal

1 cup baking chips (or chocolate chips, whichever you prefer)

1 tub cream cheese frosting (or make your own!)

Directions

In a large pot over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and cake mix, stirring frequently until the marshmallows are melted.

Remove from heat and stir in cereal, then chocolate chips.

Press into a greased pan (a shallow baking pan works best) and allow to cool in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Cut treats (if you have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, awesome!) and decorate with cream cheese frosting.

Enjoy with your valentine.

 

Have a happy day everyone! As always–it’s a cake walk!

Snowed In: Chocolate Sugar Cookies

24 Jan

This weekend in Boston we finally got snow, and lots of it! Although there was a storm in October (that’s right, October) the snow didn’t last long and the winter has been pretty mild. After a morning at the gym, I was dying to bake something with my new mixer, but I didn’t want to venture out in the terrible weather to buy ingredients. So, I rummaged through my kitchen cabinets and lined everything up on the counter, and tried to figure out what I could make with the basics: sugar, flour, butter, vanilla, eggs, and cocoa powder. Earlier in the week, I made brownies and I didn’t want to make plain sugar cookies. After some Google-ing and blog-reading, I found this blog (I think it is my new fave) and this awesome recipe for chocolate sugar cookies!

Annie’s blog not only has great dessert recipes, but she has AMAZING decorating tips, especially for novice and non-professional bakers. I’ve already started to scour the Internet and Amazon for the best pastry bags and tips (I would love any advice, readers!)

Hope you guys enjoyed your snowy weekend. Drink some tea, coffee, or chocolate–or all three–enjoy some cookies and snuggle under a blanket :)

And FYI, the pink beauty is now called Sandra Lee.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tbsp. butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup confectioners aka powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt, mix together and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar and butter with an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, approx 2-3 minutes  (I put Sandra Lee on speed 4 and it seemed to work fine).  Blend in the egg and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated and no streaks remain.  Form the dough into a disc, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1-2 hours.

Sandra Lee mixin' away

Ready for the fridge

  • Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thickness.  Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters and place cut outs on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes, just until set.  Let cool on the baking sheet about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Decorate as desired.

The finished product

I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture of the cookies before my roommates and I devoured them during our Lifetime movie marathon. And yes, those are Christmas cookie shapes (when there is snow on the ground, Christmas is always in season).

Be on the lookout for a special birthday/bachelorette themed post next week–mature audiences only :) Happy baking and remember, it’s a cake walk!

Ballin’ Cake Balls

15 Apr

I was introduced to cake balls last summer at my job. The interns organized weekly Friday potlucks and I (of course) monopolized the baking requirement. All summer I heard “I just really want to bring it cake balls!” from my co-worker but alas, she never had the chance.

As you’ve probably seen at your local Starbucks, they have started selling cake pops for their 40th anniversary. You could easy stick some wooden dowels into your cake balls to make them into cake pops, but I didn’t have any on hand.

What I love most about these treats is they are bite sized! Perfect to eat dessert on the go…but also dangerous because since they are small (and delicious!) it’s hard to have just one. With that said, I present chocolate covered red-velvet cake balls. Recipe courtesy of Bakerella

Ingredients
1 box red velvet cake mix (you can use a box mix or make it from scratch. Same goes for the frosting)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark/chocolate chips(regular or white chocolate)
Wax or parchment paper

1. Cook cake as directed on the box (13×9 pan instructions)
2.After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
3. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. It usually works best when you use your fingers, but it will get messy!
4. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet that is lined with wax or parchment paper.

5. Chill for several hours. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
6. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.

(Read before you melt chocolate: For best results, melt chocolate in 30-second intervals! Stop to stir and to ensure you don’t burn the chocolate. For white chocolate, make sure that the container you are using is NOT WET. If the bowl is wet, the white chocolate will turn hard and will not melt). 

7. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)

I like to keep these in the fridge in a tupperware container–this way the cake balls stay fresh and the chocolate won’t melt.

This recipe has sneaked its way into my heart, my cook book, and my stomach. I can already tell that this will be a dessert that I will make over and over. It’s a very simple recipe, and I love that you can easily switch the flavor and cake and frosting to your liking. And, it’s roommate approved! YUM!

Do you guys have any favorite cake flavors that you’ll be using in this recipe? Let me know–I love comments!

Happy baking readers! And remember–it’s a cake walk!

Stress-Reliever Brownies

5 Mar

I’m not going to lie, this weekend has been terrible. A paper proposal due Monday, and two midterms this coming week have turned me into a hermit. Add that to the fact that I missed out on an awesome party on Friday night in San Diego (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, aka Mitchell Pritchett from “Modern Family” showed up at opening night at the theater where my boyfriend works…), I was feeling pretty down last night. But, true to form, I decided that baking would relieve some stress. And just like all girlie-girls, I knew that I needed something chocolate. Luckily, I still had a big can of coco powder in my pantry (from my red velvet cupcake post), and an easy brownie recipe. This recipe only has seven–that’s right, SEVEN–ingredients, and they are all things that you will already have in your kitchen. I found this recipe from Allrecipes.com.

Get ready for a delicious study break!

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

When I first looked at this recipe, I thought “What in the heck is self rising flour?!” After a quick Google search, I found that you can make your own self rising flour! Mix 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder. That’s it! If you like your brownies less cakey, you can use regular all-purpose flour.

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease (I used Pam) an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan.

Beat together butter and sugar. Add eggs, and mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, coco, and salt. Slowly add into the sugar mixture (you can add walnuts if you wish).

Spread batter into prepared pan .

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until edges are firm. Let cool before cutting.

Mmm Chocolate-y goodness!

Luckily, they passed the roommate test!

And that’s it! Easy, right? These brownies hit the spot, with a cold glass of milk, and made me forgot all about midterms that the fact that I was in cold Boston instead of sunny San Diego with Mitch Pritchett. Well, at least for a while.

Please, leave comments and let me know how your own baking adventures are going. I hope you guys are enjoying my recipes, tips and advice, as well as enjoying your time in the kitchen baking yummy desserts! Remember–it’s a cake walk!

 

 

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