Posts tagged ‘chocolate’

February 28, 2012

Pink Cakes Love Pink Forties

Valentine’s Day may be the most maniacal made up mess to hit the cold-hearted human race. Luckily, several years back on February 14th a monumental evening occurred that changed the entire candy coated celebration. From then on my friends, this romantic day of flowers, cherry filled chocolates, and Necco pastel hearts cannot come soon enough.

What, do you ask, changes the superfluously sweet sentiments of St. Valentine?


This addition to any V-day get together will allow you to really enjoy the strange red and pink vortex of Cupid’s domain you have stumbled into. Plus, it will leave your limp lips glowing pink, it’s practically permanent lipstick. Perfect for some post forty adventures.

Nothing quite says “I love you” like a couple of blushing beers and cake covered in fuchsia frosting.


For the delicious cake, I used an old stand by recipe, but awakened it with two bright butter creams; raspberry and lemon. This addition was similar to wearing your most classic little black dress and pairing it with bodacious red heels and unusually large diamond earrings. Most appropriate for this occasion.

As, per usual we will start out with the Forty recipe, so you can start drinking while you gather and let the cake and frosting recipes mull over in your head.

St. Valentine’s Favorite Cocktail

1 Forty oz. malt liquor

4 drops red food coloring (unless you are a real firecracker and prefer a robust rouge, then add as much as you like)

Add coloring to opened bottle, flip upside down. Let sit for 3 minutes, open and enjoy.

Perfect Chocolate Cake

This is adapted from the Hershey’s recipe printed on the side of their Cocoa Powder. It is my favorite and comes out beautifully every time.

2 Cups Sugar

1 & 3/4 Cups AP flour

3/4 Cup Cocoa Powder

1 & 1/2 Tsp. baking powder

1 & 1/2 Tsp. baking soda

1 Tsp. salt

2 jumbo eggs

1 Cup whole milk

1/2 Cup oil

2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 Cup boiling coffee

Pre heat oven to 350.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. Using a hand mixer add the eggs, one at time, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Next, add the boiling coffee. What? You forgot to make the coffee because you’ve been drinking? Don’t worry, run to the deli and get a large coffee and boil it on your power burner.

Phew! Add the hot coffee and stir until combined. This recipe makes a thin liquid-esque batter, so don’t be afraid of that. Butter and flour 2 9-inch cake rounds and fill about 3/4 of the way. Place on baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes cleanly from the center.


Raspberry Butter Cream

24 Oz. fresh or frozen raspberries

2 Sticks unsalted butter (softened)

1 Tsp. lemon juice

1 Tsp. salt

4 1/2 Cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan heat the raspberries on medium heat for about 20 minutes, until you notice all the juices coming out. Using a chinois pass the raspberries through in order to catch any seeds and large pieces of fruit. Put this luscious liquid back on medium heat and let reduce for another 15 minutes until it has a syrupy look to it. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

*In a medium bowl mix together the soft butter, lemon juice, salt, and add powdered sugar in cupfuls until incorporated.*

Add the raspberry sauce to this traditional butter cream and prepare for magic.

*For the lemon butter cream  prepare this traditional recipe with an additional 1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon zest and 3 Tbsp. lemon juice.

I hope you will seriously take this to heart…

December 20, 2011

The Tipsiest of Kitchens

Everyone knows that the holiday season brings everyone together to celebrate health, happiness, and life. We find ourselves gathering with friends, dressing in our most festive fashions, and dancing to Bing Crosby Christmas classics. We fill our kitchens with nostalgic aromas and indulge in extra delectable fare, all the while sipping on bubbling champagne and cocktails.

This was NOT one of those times. Phewww!

True, I had an apartment full of friends, my kitchen smelled like warm cookies and there was something sparkling to drink…

Too bad it was Four Loko.

It has the caffeine!

All of these factors put together and all of the ingredients in the pantry led to the tipsiest of kitchens! Luckily, I had a great assistant and featured baker, Alex. As an apron wearing superforce we made sure to add all the precise ingredients, bake the cookies at the exact amounted time, and decorate with impeccable taste.

However, just like this photo, things did get a bit blurry.


To be honest we kind of threw a bunch of ingredients into a bowl, adding anything we came across during the process, and put them into the oven until one of us remembered they were still in there. To our serious surprise, they were curiously commendable.

Maybe it just was the Four Loko.

Tipsiest Kitchen-Sink Cookies

2 Sticks Unsalted Butter (softened)

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup White Sugar

2 1/4 Cup AP Flour

1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tbsp. Vanilla

2 Large Eggs


Big handful of chopped chocolate, slivered almonds, crumbled bacon that was hanging around the stove.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl beat together the butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time to the mixture. Add the vanilla (we may have added a little extra.) Beat until combined.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, cocoa, and baking soda. Take this mixture and add in small batches to the wet ingredients. Beat just until dough has formed. With a wooden spoon stir in any ingredients you see lying in arms length of you. We had some great options. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

We even toasted some almonds to make this cookies even flashier.

But really, be careful when you drink and bake.

December 3, 2011

Molto Elegante!

Well, ’tis the season for cookies!

What a wonderful wintry welcome to this mild December. It is as cool as a cucumber out there! However, though they are not required, it is the appropriate time to wear your over-sized knit sweaters and indulge in sumptuous sweets. Pairing this mind set with another indulgence, I allowed myself the expensive baking supply SILPAT, non-stick rubber mat-thing, and I made the rather fussy Florentine.


It is very important to maintain a voluptuous figure during the later months because it is also very important to keep warm and you need a little extra butter and chocolate to fill in the gaps. Plus, how can a treat this lovingly luminous be so terrible?


I think not my friends, have 6.

Anyhow, the Italian Florentine is a love child between a cookie and a candy so, it is particularly perfect for this time of year. It seems a tad bit daunting, but you will be a stronger person after the anxiety allows absolute appeasement. As per usual, it also seems like a very careless, yet carefully curated recipe after a Prosecco or two. It seemed only right to keep in the Italian family. Capishe?

Almond Floretines

2 Cups sliced, almonds (after chopping, about 6 oz. before)

3 Tbsp. AP flour

Zest of 1 medium sized orange

1/2 Tsp. table salt

3/4 Cup white sugar

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

2 Tbsp. light corn syrup

1/2 Stick unsalted butter

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract (or almond if you are a devout lover)

Don’t worry about Pre-heating your oven, there’s a wait time!

First, chop, (or if you are a real person with appliances, pulse almonds in food processor until fine, be careful not to go too far, you are looking for particles not butter!).  In a medium sized bowl combine almonds, flour, zest, and salt. Create a little dip in the center.

In a small saucepan combine butter, sugar,corn syrup, and cream and set at medium heat. Let this mixture come to a boil and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. This is the daunting part because it seems as if at any second it will burn, but you will be just fine. Next, remove from heat and add the vanilla. Then, add this molten sugar to the center of your dry ingredients. Stir to combine and let set for 30 minutes while you drink another Prosecco and watch the Pomegranate seeds float around in there.

Now, Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

After you have waited this eternity, take half Tbsp. scoops, roll in your hands and set on PARCHMENT PAPER PREPARED BAKING SHEETS OR SILPAT. THIS RECIPE WILL DISAPPOINT AND BRUISE THE BAKER WITHIN. Bake for 11 minutes, rotating the pan at the 5 minute half point. Let rest about 2 minutes and then easily slip the beauts onto a cooling rack.

I made a simple chocolate sauce by melting some semi-sweet baking squares to splash on top. Then, some optional Florentine and chocolate sandwiches happened which were absurd, but mostly I just drizzled the sauce to add a little bit of a softer texture.

Buono Appetito!

The recipe is from Food Network, although I’ve made them a few times and made a few changes.

May 10, 2011

Coincidental Columns: Cups and Caps

The best part about making homemade peanut butter cups?

Where to start! Well,  they are about 3 times bigger, you can use Ghiradelli dark and milk chocolate, there’s no limit to the  amount of peanut butter filling and they are all yours!

I loved the way the tin liners made the scrumptious cups look just like the real thing.

I also loved the way it made them look like bottle caps.

PB cups

And they both have super secret surprises on the inside!

Cups and Caps

The riddles on those darn Ballantine Caps are always so tricky, unlike the recipe:

PB Cups

1 cup Peanut Butter

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 bag chocolate chips, whichever you fancy; semi-sweet, dark, milk, all work fine

First, mix together the PB, sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl. Set it in the refrigerator until needed.

Next, prepare your muffin tin with liners. This would work great if you had a mini muffin tin as well. Then it’s time to temper your chocolate. You can do this in the microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each burst. We don’t have a microwave so I just made a make-shift double boiler and melted my chocolate that way. Once the chocolate is nice and workable use a brush or spoon to cover the bottoms and sides of the paper liners. Stick in the fridge for about a half hour, or until the chocolate has hardened.

Next, fill the hardened shells with as much delicious PB filling as you like. Then, get your chocolate warmed again and cover the tops of your cups with the melted chocolate. Throw them into the fridge one last time for another half hour or until you just can’t wait anymore.

Peel off the paper, admire your handiwork, and eat up.

April 9, 2011

Oh happy day

Walking home the other night I passed a garbage can with an empty box of Samoa cookies sitting on the bottom and it dawned on me that I had completely missed Girl Scout Season. No Somoas, no Tagalongs, no Shortbreads, and the worst of all…no Thin Mints!

Luckily, other people in the world have experienced this misfortune and they have come up with recipes to recreate the sacred Girl Scout cookie.

The process was super fun, especially the mint chocolate bath the wafers have to go through. It may have also been particularly amusing after I made the choice to accompany the delightful cookies with a warm Irish coffee.

Thin mints and Brady's


This was definitely something I never did while I was a Girl Scout, but boy am I glad to be able to take part in such a barbaric breakfast.

Happy Saturday to me!


Elephant Thin MInt


The recipe was posted on Foodgawker via

March 20, 2011

Ultimate Comfort

Yesterday I decided to really indulge myself and combine two of my ultimate favorites in one wonderful evening of baking and beering. It is a little embarrassing to admit, but Olde English forties happens to be my drink of choice, what can I say? I’m still a kid. And what better confection to go with such a simple brew, chocolate chip cookies of course!

There is nothing like drinking a good malt liquor and tasting some cookie dough, you know just to be really sure they come out delicious. Plus, you have to wait a whole 12 minutes for the warm stuff, it seems so much quicker if I just pass the time drinking a little. Who can resist this?


Cookie Dough!

This was another experimental recipe in my search for the ultimate chocolate chip recipe. This one was pretty phenomenal, nice and soft but a surprisingly crisp texture on the outside.

It was the absolute perfect medley of sweet, chewy, and slightly cinnamony  to go with my smooth and familiar forty. I wish I could have this every night!


Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I really love using extra)
1 (12-ounce) bag of chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until well combined. Add eggs one a time and then the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly add to the butter mixture and mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet coated in butter and bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are done.

The recipe is adapted from one of my favorite food blogs

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