Tag Archives: chocolate

STRESSED IS DESSERTS SPELLED BACKWARDS

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With so much LIFE going on everyday, I sometimes need to show myself that I really REALLY love me. Most peoples initial thoughts would be a massage, a manicure, a foot rub, a night out with the girls….NOT I says I! My way of a therapeutic moment is baking. Yes, baking. Be it cookies, cakes, cupcakes, experimenting with frosting recipes or cobblers…I de-stress when I bake. Think about it, your CRACKING EGGS! Your BEATING the dough! Your steam is keeping everyone clear of the kitchen giving you some alone time with a better kind of happy ending! What I’m trying to say is letting out your aggression on your dough is much better than letting it out on your beau, right? Well, sometimes 😉 I may not look as glamourous as Dita when cooking in the kitchen, but my family thinks I came down from the heavens when soft, warm cookies come out of the oven. My secret desire is to look like Dita when I’m cooking, but have the knowledge (and let’s face it, the kitchen) of Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman on Food Network. I – LOVE – HER!!! My sweetheart of 7 1/2 years married me this year, I think it’s because my cooking skills have stepped up significantly since I began to watch her show. She makes everything seem so easy to make, she really loves butter and I have developed kitchen envy! Even my wedding registry reflected our new addiction to cooking appliances as almost everything on there was some sort of cooking tool!

 

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OK ok, enough of my girl crush rant. Let’s move on to some recipes! I tried this chocolate chip cookie recipe I found on Pinterst while gathering wedding ideas and I have been making them for every special occasion since then! It’s a “move over Mrs. Fields cookies” kind of cookie.

Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar 
1/4 c. granulated sugar 
1 egg 
2 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 c. all purpose flour 
2 tsp. cornstarch 
1 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. salt 
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and light in color. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3.  Mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chunks.
4.  Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto a prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.  (The tops will not brown, but do NOT cook longer than ten minutes.)
5.  Let cool, on the sheet, on a wire rack for five minutes.  Remove from baking sheet and let cool completely.  Makes approximately 3 dozen.  Try not to eat them all.

 

 

Looking for a great cake to add some color to your spread? Try these beauties!

 

 

And of course! This blog wouldn’t be complete without a Ree Drummond Cookie Recipe!

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Have A Cold One For Winter!

It seems that mother nature finally figured out that we here in Southern California have been strolling around in her blind spot and decided to blast us with some real weather. Mighty winds with hurricane force gusts, 38 degree temps at night, and SNOW in places that are lucky to have ever even seen rain. What to do about this weather? Well, I say let’s evolve as Southern Cailfornian’s and welcome father winter by having a cold treat in his honor.

Nothing says hello winter like a Stout Coffee Freeze! You will need 1 quart coffee ice cream, 1 cup stout, 1 cup grated dark semisweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)

  • Soften ice cream in microwave for 15-30 seconds.
  • Place in bowl of a large stand mixer.
  • Mix in stout and grated chocolate.
  • Mixture will be soft – pour into 1 cup ramekins and freeze until firm
  • Serve with more stout!

If you own an ice cream machine, put it to good use by making a Raspberry Lambic Puree. For this, you will need 1 1/2 cups seeded raspberry puree, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup framboise or raspberry lambic, 1 envelope (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin, softened in 3 tablespoons warm water, 1 cup heavy cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, 1/2 cup vanilla syrup, Ice cream machine

  • Blend raspberry puree, sugar and lambic. Cover and chill overnight.
  • Remove the fruit blend from refrigerator and warm to room temperature – or microwave on high for 30 seconds and stir well.
  • Blend the softened gelatin with fruit beer mixture, whisk until smooth, then fold in whipped heavy cream and vanilla syrup. Whisk well and chill for 1 hour.
  • Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Garnish with fresh raspberries and serve.

This is going to take forever! – is probably what your thinking…right? Well, there’s always a quick fix when it comes to beer treats! Try one of the following beer floats:

  • Vanilla ice cream and your favorite craft stout or porter (Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout  or Hangar 24 Chocolate Porter for example)
  • Pumpkin ice cream and a spiced ale  (Dogfish Head Punkin Ale or Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale)
  • Vanilla or strawberry ice cream and a Lambic or raspberry Frambois

Come on, flex your craft beer muscle and combine one of these tasty brews with two or three scoops of premium ice cream. Do Christmas the right way, leave a craft beer float for Santa and be the exception to the rule on his naughty list this year! You might just get a gift certificate for a gastropub near you!

 

 


Crafty Holiday Irish Stout-Cupcakes

I am in a love/love relationship with cake and cupcakes. I find it very difficult, almost painful to say no. After dinner, I don’t smoke, I cupcake. Sometimes it’s a quick little nibbler, (a toke), or sometimes it’s a large delicious monster of a cupcake, (I suppose its my equivalent to having a cigar). In any case, I savor every second of my indulgement. It goes without saying that some of my favorite treats are enhanced with a love potion called Craft Beer. There it goes again, craft beer, making the world and its taste buds a better place.

Here’s one recipe that will have your beau looking for that mistletoe!

Chocolate Stout and Irish Cream Liqueur Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups stout (beer)
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

Directions

Place the stout and butter in a medium-size saucepan and whisk together on medium heat until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat. Sift the cocoa powder into a medium-size bowl and add the sugar. Slowly whisk into the stout mixture. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and lightly whisk until smooth. Add this mixture to the saucepan and whisk thoroughly. Sift the flour and baking soda together in another small bowl and then add it to the saucepan, mixing a final time until the color is even.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter and bake at 350 degrees about 27 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in their pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Irish Liqueur Frosting:

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Cream the butter in the bowl until pale. Add the Irish liqueur in a steady stream. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until a creamy consistency is achieved.

If your looking for some great holiday drinks to pair up with your cupcakes or your holiday dinners, check out Holiday Beer Picks by the Beer Chicks! Any one of their suggestions will ensure some brow raising results at the dinner table, I guarantee it! So come on ladies, join that masses of lasses jump starting their taste buds and let’s get crafty!

Do you have a holiday treat you’d like to share? Tell us about it, we’d love to try it!