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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Peanut butter and pumpkin combine beautifully for cake-y cookies chock full of chocolate chips or M&Ms. Great for parties and snacks this time of year!

I may have mentioned once or a thousand times before but I am not much of a sweet eater. Give me a large link of smoked sausage over a sweet slice of chocolate cake any day. New friends, that is ones I've made in the last four years since I started blogging, are always shocked by this revelation because I bake so much. I love to bake, it’s true! I just give it all away, mostly. When you consider the expensive hobbies some people enjoy, like collecting antiques, horseback riding or racing yachts – even quilting, have you priced quality fabric lately?! - this is relatively cheap. Some eggs, butter, flour, flavorings. I love the creative process of baking, plus there’s the added bonus of feeling benevolent when I give treats away. If you are looking for a hobby, this is a good one!

M&Ms vs Chocolate Chips
I’ve got another confession to make about these cookies in particular. I’ve discovered that I am not a fan of the seasonal M&Ms. I thought they would taste the same as other M&Ms but they really don’t. I think they are sweeter. (See paragraph 1.) The colors are great but next time I make these cookies, I’m going to stick to semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, the only chocolate I actually like. If you like the seasonal ones, by all means, carry on. The cookies themselves were fluffy and cake-y and soft. And not overly sweet when I ate around the M&Ms. Yes, I did that thing.

Many thanks to Laura from The Spiced Life for organizing our Creative Cookie Exchange group and choosing this month’s theme: Celebrate the Pumpkin. Thanks also to Renee from Magnolia Days for putting together our link list of 12 pumpkin related cookies. Make sure you scroll down to check them out at the bottom of my post.

This recipe was adapted from one on the Bob’s Red Mill site.

1/4 cup or 65g crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup or 60g unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g brown sugar
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 125g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 195g canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/4 cups or 113g 5-minute oats
3/4 cup or 150g M&Ms (or sub chocolate chips – see paragraph 2 above) plus a handful extra for decorating (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the peanut butter, butter and sugars together until fluffy.

Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in your egg and vanilla and beat again.

Add in the pumpkin and beat again until combined.

Sift the flour, soda and salt directly into the same bowl. Beat again.

Finally, add the oats and M&Ms and stir well or use your beaters on a very slow speed to combine. You don’t want to break up the M&Ms.

Use a scoop or a spoon to drop balls of cookie dough onto your prepared cookie sheet.

Poke a few more M&Ms on the top of each for decoration, if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven for 12-14 minutes or until just browned. These cookies should be chewy and slightly under- rather than over-baked, if you are going to err on one side or the other. They turn out soft and cake-y and no one likes dry cake.

Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan then remove the cookies and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Repeat the scooping/baking process until all the cookies are done. This makes about 2 dozen, depending on the size of your scoop. Mine is 2 tablespoons or 30ml and I got 27 cookies.


Need a great resource for cookie recipes? Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life), on the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Nutella Bundt with Nutella Glaze #BundtBakers

Nutella Bundt with Nutella Glaze #BundtBakers  Fudgy and soft with a subtle nuttiness, this Nutella Bundt cake with Amaretto and ground almonds, topped with slightly warmed Nutella, is a brownie-like confection that every chocolate or Nutella fan will love.
Fudgy and soft with a subtle nuttiness, this Nutella Bundt cake with Amaretto and ground almonds, topped with slightly warmed Nutella, is a brownie-like confection that every chocolate or Nutella fan will love.

When they were growing up and still at home, I would occasionally find an empty Nutella jar in one of my daughter’s bedrooms - most often the elder, if truth be told - scraped clean of sticky hazelnut chocolate and abandoned under the bed. They spread it on toast, rolled it up in crepes and, as just mentioned, ate it with a spoon. They come by Nutella love naturally, a tale you can read about here, along with a recipe for my Nutella Swirl Muffins. When they went off to university in Providence, no stores near them seemed to carry the creamy delight of our young lives. One year I even sent them jars ordered on Amazon as a special treat, in celebration World Nutella Day. When they were coming home for Christmas last year, I bought a very large jar of Nutella in anticipation (750g or 1.7 lbs by weight) and stashed it in the cupboard. It was opened, a little Nutella was eaten and then, the holidays over, they left. That big jar has been languishing there for eight months now, mocking me each time I opened the cupboard door, threatening to turn rancid, as old things with oil will ever do. I began to scour the internet for recipes with Nutella and finally settled on this one from Nigella Lawson’s site.

I had to adapt it slightly for lack of all the ingredients, but this is essentially Nigella’s cake, fudgy, soft and brownie-like in texture. The additional Nutella warmed and poured on top is mine though. I had to get through that jar, folks!

Without further ado, here’s my contribution to this month’s Bundt Bakers Sprinkles theme, hosted by Terri of Love and Confections. August is Terri’s birthday month and what better way to celebrate than with Bundts with sprinkles. Hope your birthday was the best, Terri!

For the cake:
6 large eggs
1/2 cup or 120g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups or 400g Nutella or whatever hazelnut chocolate spread you have on hand
1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur
1 cup (spooned in, not tightly packed) or 100g ground almonds
3 1/2 oz or 100g dark chocolate
1 pinch salt

For the glaze:
1/2 cup or 135g Nutella

To decorate:
Some sprinkles, of course, to fit our theme

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your Bundt pan by buttering and flouring it, or use the baking spray that already has flour in it. That's what I usually do.

Carefully separate your eggs into whites and yolks. Melt the chocolate for your batter in a microwaveable bowl using a few short zaps and stirring well in between. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, use your electric beaters or stand mixer to beat the butter and Nutella together and then add the Amaretto, egg yolks and ground almonds. Beat well.

Fold in the cooled, melted chocolate.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites with the pinch of salt until soft peaks form.

Add a large dollop of the fluffy whites into the chocolate bowl and stir with a spatula or spoon to loosen the chocolate batter.

Now add the rest of the egg whites, a dollop at a time, folding gently to combine the whites with the chocolate batter with each addition. You are trying to keep it light so this is not the time to mix vigorously. Just gently fold.

Spoon your batter into the prepared Bundt pan, making sure to fill all the curves and crevices. I used my Nordic Ware heart pan (<Amazon affiliate link) with a 10-cup capacity.

Bake on the center rack of your preheated oven for about 40-50 minutes or until it is all puffed up and springs back when touched.

It was even higher when I first took it out but it didn't seem to appreciate my big oven mitt thumb on the tip of the heart. 

It starts to deflate when you take it out of the oven, but don’t be alarmed. This is just concentrating the fudgy-ness inside. Cool for 10 minutes then turn the cake out of the Bundt pan onto a wire cooling rack.

Allow to cool completely before attempting to decorate.

When the cake is cool, warm the Nutella gently in a microwaveable vessel until it can just pour. If it gets too hot and runny, let it cool until it is just pourable but won’t run down the sides of your cake too quickly. Scoop a little up with a spoon and drizzle it back into the vessel to test the consistency.

Pour the warmed Nutella onto your cake and decorate with the sprinkles of your choice, or perhaps some chopped nuts.


Here are this month's "Sprinkles" Bundts:


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chocolate Filled Peanut Butter Cookie Cups #ChocPBDay

My favorite classic peanut cookie dough recipe, baked in a muffin pan, then filled with dark chocolate. This is how you should celebrate Chocolate Peanut Butter Day!

Peanut butter and chocolate fans, have I got a treat for you! This is the second annual celebration of the completely made up but fabulous holiday, Chocolate Peanut Butter Day, created and hosted by Carla from Chocolate Moosey and Miriam from Overtime Cook, where we share wonderful recipes featuring peanut butter and chocolate. It's a classic combination!

You might remember my contribution from last year, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares, topped with chopped peanut butter Girl Scout cookies. They were so delicious, but I don't think they were as wonderful as this year’s chocolate filled peanut butter cookie cups! Just look at these guys! That is one chewy center.

Well, what are we waiting for? Let's bake some peanut butter cookies with chocolate inside!

2 cups or 250g flour
2/3 cup or 180g peanut butter
1/2 cup or 170g honey
1/3 cup or 65g sugar
1/3 cup or 75g butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:
2 1/2 oz or 85g good quality chocolate (I used part of a Lindt dark chocolate bar.)

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Mix all the cookie dough ingredients together in your mixer until fully combined. Scrape sides down occasionally.

Roll into 24 balls and place in mini muffin pans. No need to grease the pan.

Bake for 15-18 minutes in your preheated oven or until balls are golden. They will probably still be a bit under cooked but it's all good. We are looking for chewy here.

When you take them out of the oven, use something clean and cylindrical (As you can see, I used a fingernail polish bottle.) to press the middle of each cookie down to make room for the chocolate. It won't go down far, perhaps half an inch or one centimeter.

Leave the cookies to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove them. Leave them cool completely on a wire rack.

Melt your chocolate a few zaps at a time in the microwave in a microwaveable bowl. Stir frequently. When it’s pourable, spoon or pour it into the cookies.

Give the chocolate time to firm up again before you move them. Store in a cool place in an airtight container. Fair warning: If you take them out to a picnic, keep them in the cooler. The chocolate will melt again in hot weather.


Isn’t chocolate and peanut butter one of the best combinations every?! No wonder we celebrate! Many thanks to our two hosts, Carla from Chocolate Moosey and Miriam from Overtime Cook. You two are brilliant!

I want to make each and every one of these. Where to start?!

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Quadruple Chocolate Bundt #BundtBakers

Cocoa, chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, chocolate curls on top all combine to make this most chocolatey of Bundts, with added flavor from pecans and coffee.

It was 2008 and I had been crushing hard on Nigella for several years. I tell you, as far as I was concerned, that woman could do no wrong in the kitchen, plus she did it all with insouciance and nary an apron in sight. Yet, she was always immaculate and perfectly coiffed. I get that she had staff for a clean kitchen but how did she manage not to get herself dirty? I certainly can’t do it.

Anyhoo, we had just moved down the road from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and our girls were able to take the fancy bus - airplane-type seats and Subway packed lunches served en route - back to stay with friends. Houseguests should always bring gifts, so I’d send them with jars of tomato chutney or Nigella’s Quadruple Chocolate Cake because it’s baked in a loaf pan and travels well when wrapped in cling film and foil. I have since brought Nigella’s cake to potlucks and parties on at least three continents.

When our host for this month’s Bundt Bakers, Tanya of Dessert Stalking, chose chocolate as our theme, I knew immediately that I wanted to adapt that cake to bake in my newest small Bundt pan, the 6-cup Nordic Ware Anniversary pan, a birthday gift last month from me to me. (Oh, no, really, you shouldn’t have. It’s too much! – But I insist! Happy Birthday! – Well, if you insist. Thank you!) And because the original recipe called for water for the batter and the syrup, I used coffee. And added pecans. Because pecans and coffee make everything better.

For the batter to fit a 6-cup Bundt pan. Or double to bake in a normal Bundt pan and increase the baking time accordingly.
Ghirardelli is the best! 
1 cup or 125g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
1/3 cup or 80g soft unsalted butter
1/4 cup or 25g unsweetened cocoa
1 egg
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60ml very hot coffee
4 oz or 110g chocolate chips (I used both semi-sweet and white.)
2 oz or 55g pecans, chopped

For the syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup or 180ml coffee
Rounded 1/3 cup or 75g sugar

Topping  - shavings of dark chocolate – use the bar of your choice.

Remove all your ingredients from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.

Prepare your Bundt pan by greasing and flouring it or use the non-stick spray that has flour already in it.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Measure the flour, sugar, butter, cocoa, egg, sour cream, vanilla, baking soda and salt into your food processor.

Pulse till everything is well combined and smooth.

While it’s whirring, pour in the very hot coffee. Try not to be alarmed at the sudden increase in speed of your processor as the hot coffee mixes in and the batter thins.

Scrape down the sides and fold in the chocolate chips and chopped pecans.

Pour the rich batter into your prepared Bundt pan and bake for about 35-40 minutes in your preheated oven.

About 10 minutes before the cake is due out of the oven, put your syrup ingredients into a small pot, mix well and boil for about five minutes or until the liquid reduces by almost half and thickens slightly. It will thicken more as it cools.

Take the Bundt out of the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

Then turn it out of the pan, just to make sure it will. I have yet to be disappointed by a Nordic Ware pan not releasing but one can never be too cautious when it comes to Bundts.

Now put it carefully back in the pan and poke it all over with a skewer. Pour all but a few tablespoons of the syrup over the cake and around the sides, and leave it to soak in.

When it’s all soaked in, turn the Bundt out again and put it on your serving plate.

Use a vegetable peeler to make chocolate curls out of part of your chocolate bar.

Spoon the balance of the syrup over the top of the Bundt and top with the chocolate curls, alternating sprinkling with spooning so the chocolate curls will stick.


Are you a fan of chocolate Bundts? Check out the great recipes Bundt Bakers has for you this month!


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send me an email with your blog URL to

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