Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Marshmallow Turtle Bars #FoodieExtravaganza

Caramel, chocolate and pecans are the key ingredients of those delicious little candies known as turtles. Add a crust and throw a few mini marshmallows in the mix and what you’ve got is marshmallow turtle bars. They are sticky, gooey and more-ish!

This month my Foodie Extravaganza group is bringing you loads of chocolate recipes, both sweet and savory, in celebration of National Chocolate Day at the end of October. I’m not a big sweet eater but I am fond of chocolate when it is either dark, semi-sweet or paired with caramel. A dark or semi-sweet chocolate caramel combination would be ideal, especially with pecans. Which brings us to my recipe.

These guys are sooooo good.

2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 63g confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup or 85g unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce or 397g can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 115g pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup or 150g semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup or 165g toffee-and-chocolate candy (such as chopped up Heath bars)
1 cup or 50g mini marshmallows

Heat oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 9 x 13 inch or 23 x 33cm pan by greasing it or lining it with baking parchment. Personally, I'm a fan of the parchment.

Cut the chilled butter into cubes and put it in a food processor with the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt. Pulse until the dough just starts to hang together.

Use your clean hands to press the dough firmly into your prepared pan.

Bake until golden around the edges, about 12-15 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the condensed milk, egg, and vanilla. Pour the filling over the baked crust.

Sprinkle on the marshmallows first, then the chopped pecans, chocolate chips, and toffee pieces putting some of each until you’ve used up all of them.

Bake until the filling is set, the edges are golden brown, and the marshmallows are melted, about 25 minutes.

Cool completely and cut into bars. If you live in a warm climate, you might want to keep these in the refrigerator.


How will you celebrate National Chocolate Day? I’d like to recommend making a few of these. Many thanks to our host this month, Kathleen from Fearlessly Creative Mammas.

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook group Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.

Pin it! 


Monday, April 25, 2016

Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Chocolate Muffins #MuffinMonday

Chocolatey muffins stuffed with peanut butter cups make a fun surprise for the peanut butter and chocolate lovers in your life. 

A couple of weeks ago our weather was poor, by which I mean it was actually raining. It has been so weird here lately and I don't know if it's just a change in the overall world climate or if we have only the cloud seeding that goes on to thank for our abnormally wet weather. Anyway, rain and high winds meant no sailing for us on the weekend so my husband suggested that we venture out to explore a big grocery store that is off our usual route. And before you get all, your husband is the best! yes, he is, but there is also a large hardware store nearby. Alas, unfortunately for him, it is closed on Friday mornings (who knew?) so I guess we'll have to go back.

This particular store advertises that they have the largest stock of imported foods from the United States and the United Kingdom and I don't doubt it. It was just after Easter so I even scored a discounted bag of miniature peanut butter cups, which became the inspiration for these muffins. Because who doesn't like to find a little bit of chocolate covered peanut butter when they bite into a muffin? Nobody, that's who.

Please make sure you scroll on down to see the other lovely muffins that my Muffin Monday bakers have for you today.

1 3/4 cups or 220g flour
3/4 cup, firmly packed, or 150g brown sugar
1/4 cup or 25g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup or 125g sour cream
1/3 cup or 80ml canola or another light oil
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup or 150g semisweet chocolate chips
12 miniature peanut butter cups

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it liberally or lining it with paper liners.

Whisk together your flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, sour cream, oil, milk and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold them together until just combined.

Separate out a small handful of the chocolate chips for popping on top of the muffins and fold the rest into the batter.

Spoon or scoop about two-thirds of the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Unwrap your miniature peanut butter cups and poke one into each cup of the batter.

Top with the remaining batter divided out amongst the cups. Sprinkle on the reserved chocolate chips.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove them from the pan and cool them further on a wire rack.


You look like you could use a muffin today. Might I suggest one of these?

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Chocolate Filled Bundt Bread #BreadBakers

This lovely Bundt loaf boasts loads of dark chocolate in a slightly sweet yeast bread, with a thick chocolate glaze. Perfect for a decadent breakfast or even dessert.

This month my Bread Bakers are pushing out the cacao boat, using cocoa, chocolate or carob in a variety of breads. Many thanks to my fellow Dubai blogger, Shireen from Ruchik Randhap, who is hosting this great event.

I bookmarked this recipe from Just a Pinch more than a year ago, renaming it Chocolate Filled Yeast Bundt Cake so maybe Bread. From a quick read through, it sure sounded more like bread than cake. I ended up adjusting a few ingredients so it's even more bread-like than the original but whatever you call it, it's good and chocolatey.

For the dough:
4 cups or 500g all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cup or 315ml warm milk (110°F or 43°C)

Note: If you are using organic or unpasteurized milk, heat it to 180°F or 82°C and then cool down to the right temperature. Read more about how, why and when to scald milk here at Pastry Chef Online.

For the filling:
12 oz or 340g dark chocolate

For the glaze:
6 oz or 170g dark chocolate,
2 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing Bundt pan
1 tablespoon golden syrup

Optional: Sprinkles for decorating

Grease a 10-inch  or 25cm Bundt cake pan with butter and sprinkle with flour.

Sift the flour into the bowl of your stand mixer and add salt, yeast, sugar, eggs and warm milk.

Mix with the bread hook until all of the flour has been incorporated into the wet ingredients and you have a sticky dough.

Cover the dough bowl with a kitchen towel and leave it in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough doubles in size.

When the hour is almost up, melt the 12 oz of dark chocolate either in a double boiler or in the microwave with a few short zaps. Set it aside to cool a bit.

Sprinkle your clean work surface with flour and knead the dough for a few minutes.

Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape that is 12 x 16 in or 31x41cm. Spread the cooled chocolate on it.

Roll the up the dough, jelly roll style, starting from the longer side. Pinch the ends together.

Quickly move the roll to your greased Bundt cake pan, trying to make sure the seam side is down. Sprinkle with flour and then cover with a towel for 30 minutes.

Start preheating your oven so it will be at 350°F or 180°C when the 30 minutes are up.

After half an hour

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Leave plenty of headroom for the bread to rise. Because rise it certainly will!

Leave to cool for about 15-20 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack. I had to trim some off of one side of my bottom to get it to stand up straight.

For the glaze, warm up all ingredients in a double boiler or with a few good zaps in a microwaveable bowl until chocolate is melted. Let it cool a little and pour over the bread.

Decorate with sprinkles, if desired.


Breads with Cocoa, Cacao or Carob in any form

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Yin Yang Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Fudgy dark cookie on one side with chewy oatmeal cookie on the other side, these two halves complete or more importantly, complement each other. 

This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange theme is love and hearts which started me thinking about what love really is, I mean, beyond the heady first rush and tumble of quick emotions, all the highs and lows that are often the hallmarks of young relationships. I’m talking about the comfortable love that settles in, where you can complete each other’s sentences and anticipate each other’s needs, and still thoroughly enjoy spending time together, laughing, traveling, playing. And that brought to mind yin and yang, the Taoist concept of two halves that together complete wholeness.

I’m not sure that’s something two people can ever truly accomplish, but let me just put it out there that this year, in just a couple of short months, my husband and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage and 32 years of laughing, traveling and playing together. Of raising babies to young women of whom we are most proud, moving about the planet making homes in six of the seven continents and sharing the joy of life with friends and family too numerous to count. We have been so blessed.

Since we are both flawed human beings (Ain't nobody perfect folks!) still growing and learning about each other and life, I will never complete him and he may never complete me. After this many years of experience, I believe that complementing each other seems a much more worthwhile goal anyway. Together, we make a pretty solid team. Just like these cookies. These aren’t traditional cookies for Valentine’s Day but bake them for someone you love anyway.

And just because everyone's thinking it anyway, this scene:

Note: Start early in the day to allow chilling time for the two doughs.

Ingredients for about 3 dozen cookies
For the yin:
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g brown sugar
3/4 cup or 150g granulated sugar
1/3 cup or 75g butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 125g flour
3/4 cup or 75g unsweetened extra dark cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the yang:
1 cup or 200g granulated sugar
1/2 cup or 115g butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups or 156g flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 95g uncooked quick rolled oats

To decorate: handful each white and semi-sweet chocolate chips
Useful tool: 5 in or 13cm length of stiff wire for marking where to cut the cookie dough

For the yin dough:
Cream your butter with the two sugars.

Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat again.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the mixing bowl. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

Roll into a thick log about 2 inches or 5cm in diameter and cover tightly with cling film. Put the dough log in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

For the yang dough:
Cream your butter with the sugar.

Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat again.

Sift in your flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.

Add in the oats and keep mixing until thoroughly combined.

Roll into a thick log about 2 inches or 5cm in diameter and cover tightly with cling film. Put the dough log in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

Try to get your logs the same approximate size

While the dough is chilling, bend your wire around the neck of a bottle, first one way and then the other, to make a tool the approximate outline of the division between the yin and yang.

Once the dough is well chilled, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Prepare your cookie sheet by greasing it with non-stick spray or lining it with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Putting the two together 
Slice your two cookie dough logs into even slices. Use your wire tool to press down on the slices to mark where to cut them into two. You can, of course, do this free hand. But the pieces might not match up as neatly.

Use the tip of a sharp knife to cut each slice apart. Fit them back together, one half light, the other half dark, pressing gently to make them one on the prepared cookie sheet.

Decorate each with one white and one dark chocolate chip.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until just done for chewy cookies.

Leave to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.


These would also be pretty cool for Chinese New Year, another holiday coming upon us shortly. Many thanks to Deepti of Bakingyummies for handling the hosting responsibilities this month!

Check out all the other interpretations of love and hearts from my fellow Creative Cookie Exchange bakers this month.

We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life). We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chocolate Praline Pretzels #ChristmasWeek #Giveaway

The perfect mix of sweet and salty, these chocolate-covered pretzels are dipped in crunchy pecan praline. They make a great hostess gift or holiday party treat. 

Welcome to Day 6 - the FINAL DAY of fabulous Christmas Week. This annual event was started in 2012, and is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic. This year we have 36 bloggers sharing festive sweet recipes for the event. Plus we all chipped in for a huge Amazon Gift Card Giveaway (Three prizes: $500, $250 and $50!) so be sure you scroll on down to the bottom to enter!

And since it's the last day, I've got to give a bit shout out to Kim for all her hard work organizing this week of treats and sweets and for shepherding 36 bloggers in various time zones! It was a challenging and magnificent feat. Hats off, my friend, hats off!

Adapted from this recipe from My Recipes.

Butter for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups or 165g chopped pecans
1/4 cup, firmly packed, or 50g light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream
7 oz or 200g semisweet chocolate bars (I used two Lindt bars.)
Butter for greasing baking pan
55-65 pretzel sticks

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and butter a 9 in or 23cm round cake pan.

Stir together your chopped pecans, brown sugar, salt and cream. Spread the mixture out evenly in the pan.

Bake for 10 minutes then take the pan out and stir the mixture.

Spread it out again and bake an addition 10-15 minutes or until sugar is slightly crystallized.

Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn the praline out onto a cutting board. Allow to cool completely and then chop finely with a sharp knife.

Spread the praline bits out on waxed paper or baking parchment.

Place your chocolate in a microwave-safe measuring cup and microwave on high for 15 seconds at a time, stirring well in between time, until just melted. You don’t want the chocolate super hot or it will be too runny.

Dip your pretzels in the chocolate.

Then lay them on the praline bits.

Cover with more praline bits.

See the pretzel sticking out? The chocolate part should be completely covered.

Wait about 10-15 seconds till the praline bits are stuck on, tapping down gently on the pile.

Remove the covered pretzels to a lined tray to harden up. You may find as you go on that the smaller bits of praline stick first so you are left with bigger pieces in your pile. Use a knife to chop them more finely, if necessary.

The work station. Not pictured: A Charlie Brown Christmas showing on my laptop.
This job takes a while but requires little brain. 

Continue until you run out of praline bits or chocolate or pretzels. I ran out of praline bits first this time, and made more than 5 dozen chocolate praline pretzels.

The pile gets tiny. 

Now box these babies up and share them with a neighbor or friend!

Recipes from Day 6 of Christmas Week! Please visit all our talented participants:

You must be 18 or older and a resident of the United States or Canada to enter.

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