Showing posts with label semi-sweet chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label semi-sweet chocolate. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Besitos de Coco - Coconut Kisses #CreativeCookieExchange

Besitos de coco or coconut kisses are little bite-sized cookies that are popular in Venezuela and other South American countries, especially around Christmas time. Besitos are chewy and sweet, best baked till just golden.

This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange theme of International Winter Holiday Cookies challenged the group to make a cookie that is traditional at this time of year in a culture other than our own. I fear I have a distinct advantage here because of all the places I’ve lived, so choosing a cookie was pretty easy. Venezuelans love their coconut and these little treats are popular, with or without the chocolate, which probably isn’t strictly traditional. But, since Christmas is coming, I thought it best to fancy them up. To that end, I also added a little rum. Delicious!

The recipe is based on one I found on Yo Soy Venezolano.

Ingredients for about 3 dozen cookies
3 1/2 cups or 300g flaked, desiccated coconut
1 can (14 oz or 405g) sweetened condensed milk (Not evaporated milk.)
1/2 cup or 65g flour
1 tablespoon dark or gold rum
1 teaspoon salt

Optional for decorating: 3/4 cup or 150g semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350˚F or 180˚C and prepare your cookie sheet by lightly greasing or lining it with parchment or a silicon baking sheet. If you have two cookie sheets, prepare them both.

 In a large bowl, combine the coconut, condensed milk, flour, salt and rum.

Stir until well blended and you have a nice thick dough. If you are a fan of coconut and condensed milk, do not try the dough. It’s delicious and I cannot be responsible for how many cookies you end up with at the end.

Drop the dough by spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets at least one inch apart. Try to keep them a bit rough looking so that the bits that stick out will brown first. A perfectly round ball won’t look as rustic or pretty.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the outside bits of coconut are toasted.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

If you are decorating with chocolate, warm the chocolate chips in a microwave, in a microwaveable bowl, by zapping them for 15-20 seconds at a time, until the chips are melted and you have a lovely drizzling consistency.

Drizzle the chocolate on the cooled besitos with a spoon or use a cake decorating piping bag.

Allow the chocolate to set before storing the besitos in a cool covered container. These make a great gift! What better thing to give someone for Christmas than a bunch of sweet kisses?

Yes, that's a Christmas deviled egg plate. Aren't you jealous?


Check out all the other International Winter Holiday Cookies or what I've been calling Christmas Around the World in my head:
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. 

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!

My "fireplace" in Dubai. It flickers and there is a switch you can turn on to make it blow hot air. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Muffins for #MuffinMonday

Nothing says Christmas like the delightful aroma of gingerbread baking.  Nothing.  These muffins combine gingerbread batter with melted semi-sweet chocolate for an even richer muffin.  

These past couple of days have been hectic but I can happily report that I am back in the States for the holidays and both of my girls are with me.   I flew into New York, just as the storm hit and managed to get one of the last flights out to Boston on Saturday.  Then yesterday, my younger daughter and I drove back to New York to pick up my elder daughter and all of her worldly possessions.  I am thrilled to say that she has accepted a job offer in Boston and will be moving there in the new year.   1. Her dream job and 2. Only 50 minutes train ride from her sister in Providence.  Both things make this mother very happy!

I knew I’d be on the road so I actually baked these muffins before leaving  Dubai, but I was definitely channeling snow and cold and winter and Christmas.  Make you some!  The whole house smells cozy.

1/2 cup or 110g sugar
2 1/4 cups or 280g flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4  cup or 150g semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup or 120g butter
1/2 cup or 120ml molasses or treacle
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
2 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by greasing with butter or non-stick spray or lining it with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger and cinnamon and stir well.

Set aside a generous handful of chocolate chips to use for decoration later.  Put your butter and the rest of the chocolate chips into a microwaveable bowl and zap for 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted.  Allow to cool slightly.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and molasses.

Pour your melted chocolate/butter into the milk/egg mixture and stir well.

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

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.  Top each with some of the reserved  chocolate chips.

Bake in your preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for a few minutes and then remove the muffins to a rack to cool completely.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Triple Chocolate Mini Bundts for #Bundtamonth

How does one celebrate the one-year birthday of the Bundt-a-Month challenge?  Well, by baking more Bundts, of course.  My daughter and I were discussing this month’s “fancy” theme for this first anniversary, and she suggested that I didn’t need a fancy Bundt at all, just stick a flowering plant in it!   After all, that was good enough for an engagement celebration on My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Anybody else LOVE that movie?  I could watch it over and over.  Just as funny each time.

While I acknowledged the truth in that, I wanted to make something pretty, something special.  So it had to be chocolate.  Dark chocolate.  And white chocolate.  And with silver balls.  Because those have always said PARTY to me, even if they do want to break your teeth.  They are like sprinkles for grownups.

When it came time for decorating, I couldn’t decide on a pattern so I just went a little crazy, drizzling on both chocolates and having a wild time.  I don't know when to stop, but more is more, right?  No two little Bundts are alike, but they sure looked pretty all together.  Like I imagine a dessert table set out with all the BundtaMonth Bundts would look, if we could ever get them all in one place.  Maybe for the second anniversary?   Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom to see what my fellow bloggers have baked for you, along with our hosts, Anuradha from Baker Street and Lora from Cake Duchess.

The batter for these little cakes is slightly adapted from Molly Wizenburg’s recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes in her fabulous book, A Homemade Life.

For the cakes:
2 oz or 55g dark chocolate
1/2 cup or 120ml hot brewed coffee
1 cup or 225g sugar
3/4 cup flour plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pan
1/2 cup or about 40g unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pan
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup or 60ml canola oil
1/2 cup or 125g well stirred plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For decoration:
8 oz or 230g semi-sweet chocolate
4 oz or 115g white chocolate
1 tablespoon (or more!) dragees or little silver balls

Preheat oven to 325°F or °C.  Prepare your mini Bundt pan by spraying it liberally with non-stick spray or generously buttering it.  Put one tablespoon each of flour and cocoa powder in a sieve or sifter and sprinkle all over the pan, tipping it this way and that to make sure that all the insides of the little cups are covered.  Bang the pan gently on the cabinet and dump the excess out into your sink.  Set aside.

Chop the chocolate for the cake into small pieces and put it into the measuring cup with hot coffee.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted.

Into a medium bowl, sift the cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk in the sugar and flour.   Set aside.

For the best batter, electric beaters or a stand mixer with the K-beater in place is essential here.  In a large bowl, beat your egg on medium for a minute or two or until it becomes pale yellow.  Add in the oil, yogurt and vanilla, once again, beating well.

Gradually pour in the melted chocolate/coffee mixture and beat to thoroughly combine.

Add the dry ingredients all at once.  Beat on low speed until the batter is just combined.

Scrape down the sides and bottom to make sure all the flour is incorporated.

Divide your batter between the cups of your prepared mini Bundt pan, but don’t fill them more than two-thirds full.  If you have a little batter left over, it’s better to make a couple of extra cupcakes instead.  Your tasters will be happy.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Meanwhile, let your helper clean out the yogurt pot before recycling.

Cool your mini Bundts in the pan for about 10 minutes, then place a wire rack on top of the pan and carefully invert the pan and rack so that the little cakes can fall out.  If any don’t fall out, loosen them gently with a knife or toothpick and remove them one by one.

Allow the little cakes to cool completely before topping with melted chocolate.

For the decoration, break up your dark and white chocolate into smaller blocks (or chop if you need to) and put each kind in a separate microwave-proof bowl.  Zap them one at a time on high for 10-15 seconds, then stir and repeat until both of the chocolates are pourable.

You can drizzle these over the mini Bundts with a small spoon but I prefer to put the melted chocolate into cake decorating bags with small tips (Wilton no. 3, 4 or 5) for better control.

Have fun drizzling on the dark chocolate, followed by swirls of the white chocolate.  Sprinkle a few silver dragees in the middle to complete the festive party look.



Here’s how you can be a part of Bundt-a-Month:

Simple rule: Bake us a fancy Bundt.
Post it before September 30, 2013.
Use the #BundtaMonth hashtag in your title. (For ex: title could read – #BundtaMonth: Fancy Chocolate Bundt)
Add your entry to the Linky tool below.

Link back to our announcement posts–and be sure to check out everyone else’s Bundt cakes if you are looking for fancy inspiration:

Even more Bundt fun! Follow Bundt-a-Month on Facebook where we feature all our gorgeous Bundt cakes.  Or head over to our Pinterest board for inspiration and choose from hundreds of Bundt cake recipes.

Since these are fancy little triple chocolate Bundt cakes, I am also submitting them to this month's We Should Cocoa anniversary challenge to create a show stopper, hosted by Choclette of Chocolate Log Blog. 


Monday, December 31, 2012

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Oreo Muffins for #MuffinMonday

Happy New Year, lovely people!  We have come to the end of 2012 and to the final muffin in the holiday series.  As she does once in a while, Anuradha, our intrepid Muffin Monday leader, gave us free reign on this one, no prescribed recipe but one stipulation:  The muffin must be rich with chocolate.

This muffin is for Nicholas, my friend Mary’s second son.  He was a sweet child and has grown into a delightful young man.  When I was staying with them in Paris a couple of months ago, I made the Twix muffins for Muffin Monday.  Nick really liked them but he asked if I could make an Oreo muffin because those are his favorite.  I said I didn’t see why not.  And here is my perfect chance!   They have Double Stuff Oreos in the batter, as well as sprinkled on top.  And melted semi-sweet chocolate in the batter, along with extra semi-sweet chocolate chips, so I think they fulfill the rich with chocolate requirement.

Happy New Year to all the Capons, but especially to Nick!  Thanks for the idea and I hope this is your best year yet!

6 oz or 170g good quality semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup or 115g unsalted butter 2 cups or 250g all-purpose flour
1/2 cup or 115g granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed or 100g dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 Double Stuff Oreos

Preheat your oven to  350°F or 180°and grease your muffin pans (one 12-cup and one 6-cup for a total of 18 muffins) or line them with paper liners.

Gently melt your baking chocolate and butter in a microwaveable bowl (30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until just melted) or in the top pot of a double boiler.

Stir well and set aside to cool.

Chop the Oreos roughly with a large knife and separate them into two piles of about two-thirds and one-third.  Just eyeball it, no need to measure.  The bigger pile will go into the batter. The smaller one will be sprinkled for topping before baking.

In a large bowl, mix together your flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a smaller bowl, whisk your eggs and milk together.

Add in the melted chocolate/butter and whisk again.

Pour the liquids into the bowl of dry ingredients and fold them together until they are just mixed.

Fold in the bigger pile of Oreos bits and the chocolate chips.

Divide your batter between the prepared muffin pans.

Sprinkle the tops with the smaller pile of Oreos and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

I considered various glazes for this one but decided to just let those lovely white bits of Double Stuff shine forth.  And don’t they look pretty?


Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street.   A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week.   Drop Anuradha a quick line to join her on this journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.  Make sure to go and check out what my fellow bloggers have come up with this week!   

Plus learn all you ever need to know about muffins, right here at Muffin 101

You might also enjoy my Cookies and Cream Muffins, made with Oreos and rich cream.