Showing posts with label cocoa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cocoa. Show all posts

Monday, September 28, 2015

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins #MuffinMonday

No nuts, no extraneous ingredients. Just some rich chocolate muffins with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Because my baby is leaving on Sunday and I’m going to miss her.

Everybody loves plain things. Or so says my younger daughter. That doesn’t mean she’s not an adventurous eater or unwilling to try new things. But, on the whole, she’d rather if you didn’t add raisins or nuts to her baked goods, thankyouverymuch.

I’ve been blessed to spend this summer with her, while she waits for a visa that will allow her to live and work in the United Kingdom. We’ve filled out forms, amassed documents and the packet has now come back twice because they want something else that wasn’t asked for initially or want us to send it somewhere other than where we were first told to ship it. I’m sure that many governments have this issue where the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing, so I am not singling out the British here, but I wish they could all get their acts together!

Meanwhile, I have enjoyed having her at home since her graduation from RISD in June. I've even put her to work, designing our new Muffin Monday badge. And I finally got the needlework she made for my fiftieth birthday framed! Only took me two years.

A quote from the fabulous Julia Child.

She’ll be heading back the States now to look for gainful employment (Send any interesting offers for entry level jobs in textiles her way, please!) while she continues to wait for official word from the UK.

This plain, but delicious muffin is for you, sweet thing. Thanks for your patience, your sense of humor and your good company this summer. I’m going to miss you!

3/4 cup or 180ml milk
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 3/4 cups or 220g flour
1/2 cup or 50g dark cocoa powder (I use Hershey's Special Dark.)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup or 80ml canola or other light oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup or 150g semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup or 50g for sprinkling on before baking

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C. Prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing it or lining it with paper muffin cups.

Add the two teaspoons of vinegar to the milk in a measuring cup. Stir and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil and vanilla, along with the slightly curdled looking milk/vinegar mixture.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, until just combined. There may still be some flour showing and that’s fine.

Fold in the larger pile of chocolate chips.

Use a scoop or large spoon to fill the prepared muffin cups. They are going to be pretty full.

Sprinkle the tops with the remaining chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine took only 20 minutes. You do not want to over bake these and dry them out.

Put the muffin pan on a wire rack to cool for about five minutes.

Remove the muffins from the pan and continue to cool on the wire rack. You can eat these warm but be prepared to lick melted chocolate chips off of your fingers.


I’m delighted today to have eight additional delicious muffins to share with you! Many thanks to all my muffin baking friends!

#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.

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Brandy Truffles #SundaySupper

Deep, dark and chocolatey, these easy-to-make truffles are spiked with heady brandy and rolled in cocoa. The addition of digestive biscuit crumbs makes them less sticky so they are easier to roll. 

This week my Sunday Supper group is bringing you some great gifts from the kitchen and nothing says Have the Merriest of Christmases like a gift of chocolate and booze! These pretty little truffles have both in spades. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of my recipe to see all the other great gifts from the kitchen. Many thanks to my friend, Renee from Magnolia Days for hosting this special event.

7oz or 200g semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup or 175ml whipping cream
5 tablespoons brandy
3 1/2 oz or 100g cocoa
 8 3/4 oz or 250g digestive biscuits (Graham crackers can be substituted but since they are drier, you might not need as many.)

To serve or gift: small paper muffin cups

Tip the chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl.  Heat the cream in the microwave or in a pot on the stove until it is just about to boil.

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until all the chips are melted.

Add in the brandy and stir well.

Pop the mixture in the refrigerator to cool. Set a timer for 20 minutes and stir the mixture when it goes off and put the bowl back in the refrigerator. Keep doing this until the mixture is completely cool.

Meanwhile, put your digestive biscuits in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to crush them to a fine powder.

When the chocolate/cream mixture is cool, stir in the digestive biscuits a few spoonfuls at a time, until you reach a consistency firm enough to roll into balls and hold their shape. I used all the biscuit crumbs in mine.

Put your cocoa in a bowl and use a teaspoon to scoop out some of the truffle mixture. Roll it between your palms to create a smooth ball and set it in the cocoa. Shake the bowl gently to move the truffle around so it gets coated with the cocoa.

Remove the cocoa-coated truffle from the bowl and place in a small paper muffin cup. Continue rolling and coating until all the truffles are made.

A friend was helping me so she insisted on using gloves.

These are a great gift to take along for a holiday party, especially if arranged on a pretty Christmas plate.


Do you need inspiration for more gifts from the kitchen? We’ve got you covered!

Appetizers and Snacks
Condiments and Sauces
Savory and Sweet Mixes
Desserts and Sweets
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET.

Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

  Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dark Chocolate Chunk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

These wonderfully soft, chewy cookies are chock full of pecans in addition to the cocoa, dark chocolate and creamy peanut butter. But there is only so much information one title can contain. A cold glass of milk is an essential accompaniment.

Comfort Food Cookies
The theme for this month’s Creative Cookie Exchange is comfort food cookies.  Hmmm, comfort cookies. There are a lot of things that I find comfort in but, I’ve got to say, as a person who doesn’t crave sweets as much as she does salt and fat, I’m more likely to go for a link of smoked sausage or a slice of cheese than a cookie. I considered baking savory cookies but, I’ll be honest with you, that didn’t really say comfort to me either since they are usually more cracker-like. So, what it came down to was, if I were to eat a cookie for comfort, what would it look like? 1. It would have to have dark chocolate - black chocolate, as the French call it, because sweet milk chocolate is for chocolate wimps. 2. It would have a salty element. I considered bacon but decided on peanut butter, which helps with the next requirement. 3. It needs to be chewy. And for good measure, 4. I was going to throw some pecans in there. Because pecans are my favorite nut. They remind me of home home and that’s a comfort.

What would a comfort cookie look like for you?

Ingredients for 2 dozen thick cookies or more thin ones
3 1/2 oz or 100g dark chocolate
1 cup or 100g pecans
1/2 cup butter or 115g butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup or 140g creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1/2 cup, packed, or 100g dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups or 190g all-purpose flour
1/2 cup or 40g cocoa (I used Hershey’s regular, not the dark special.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Roughly chop the chocolate and pecans with a sharp knife and set aside.

With your electric or stand mixer, cream the butter, peanut butter and two sugars together until they are light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl down a couple of times as you go.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Add the egg and vanilla into the butter/sugar and beat well.

Now add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix till combined. You will have a fairly stiff dough.

Add in the chocolate and pecans. Mix again.

Turn the dough out onto a large piece of cling film and shape it into a large roll.

Cover the roll tightly with the cling film and refrigerate for at least half an hour.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Slice your dough into rounds and place them on the prepared pan. Neaten them up with your hands, if need be. I like my cookies thick and chewy so I sliced mine pretty thick. If you prefer a crunchy cookie, by all means slice yours thinner.

These don't spread out much so you can put them fairly close together.

Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are done the way you like them. I baked my thick cookies for just less than 10 minutes.

Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Okay, go ahead and eat one!

Serve with a glass of ice-cold milk.


The Creative Cookie Exchange theme this month is Comfort Food Cookies! What cookie says comfort food to you? If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. Many thanks to Laura for all the work it takes to organize this great group each month! 

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out all the comfort cookies my fellow CCE bloggers have made this month:

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Mocha Muffins for #MuffinMonday

Dark cocoa and espresso powder combine to make the deepest, darkest mocha muffins you might ever enjoy. 

I don’t understand people who don’t like coffee. One of my best and earliest childhood memories is sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen while she prepared my coffee milk the old fashioned way, warming milk in a tiny pot on the stove and adding coffee and, of course, sugar. If I close my eyes on any given morning, while I am taking that first warming sip, I can smell her old wood framed house, the gas stove and the lingering aroma of sulfur and smoke from the match that lit it. I miss that and I miss her. But at least I still have coffee.

This week I am in coffee mode, after receiving the pdf of a cookbook called Passion for Coffee (<affiliate link) and spending many delicious hours reading through it and bookmarking recipes to try. This muffin is not from that book but the steak with wine-balsamic glaze I’ll share on Thursday surely is. I just can’t get coffee out of my head! Muffins help.

Where do you stand on coffee? Love, hate, indifferent?

2 cups or 250g flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1/4 cup or 20g unsweetened baking cocoa (I used the Hershey’s Special Dark.)
1/8 cup or 8g espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup or 240ml milk
1/2 cup or 120ml canola or other light oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 12 dark chocolate kisses for decorating before baking

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Butter your muffin pan or line it with paper liners.

Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, canola and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed through.

Divide the mixture between the muffin cups.

Press one kiss into each cup of batter, if using.

Bake in your preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mexican Chocolate Wedding Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Mexican chocolate has cinnamon in it and so do these cookies, hence the name. Traditional Mexican wedding cookies don’t have either, but that doesn’t stop these from being light and delicious, if not authentic. 

I adapted this chocolate version from the traditional recipe at Mexico in My Kitchen.

The month our Creative Cookie Exchange group is planning ahead for Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that celebrates Mexican heritage and culture with food, drink and dancing, in short, with fiestas. I decided to take a favorite cookie for weddings in Mexico and mix it up a bit, adding chocolate and tossing it in powdered sugar and cocoa. Turns out chocolate wedding cookies weren’t my idea first but that’s okay. I felt creative for a little while till I found out.

Note to future self: When big, bright idea strikes, stop researching. 

Ingredients for 2-3 dozen cookies, depending on how big you roll them
For the cookie dough:
3/4 cup or 170g butter, softened
1/3 cup or 40g powdered or confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups or 220g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup 225g ground pecans
1/2 cup or 100g semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt

For the coating:
1/2 cup or 65g powdered or confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup or 25g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Blitz your chocolate chips in a food processor until they are ground into little bits.

With electric beaters or in a stand mixer, cream the butter and the powdered sugar together until the butter turns pale and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and add in the vanilla and then beat again.

In another bowl, mix together the other (dry) dough ingredients.

Add the dry mixture to the fluffy butter one cup at a time, beating well in between, until it’s all mixed in and you have a nice stiff dough.

Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for an hour in the refrigerator or 30 minutes in the freezer.

It's lovely and speckled!

Meanwhile, combine your coating ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

I gave them a solid whisking to mix them together and break up any lumps. 

When you are ready to start baking, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Cut off small pieces of the dough and roll them into balls about an inch or 2 1/2cm wide.

Put them on a ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes.

Cool for a couple of minutes and then, very carefully, transfer the cookies to a wire rack. If you squeeze too hard, the cookies might crumble, as you can see.

While the cookies are still warm, roll them in the coating.


If you would like to join the fun and bake with the Creative Cookie Exchange, just contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Facebook page, our Pinterest Board, and our monthly posts which are published the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! 

If you are looking for Cinco de Mayo inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made this month:

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