I created this for the 2009 Milwaukee Iron Cupcake competition inspired by Seattle's Trophy Cupcakes. This works best in a foil cupcake liner as it toasts the graham cracker layer better than paper.
3 tablespoons earth balance spread, melted
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup earth balance
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons soy milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl. Set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla, almond extract to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in 2 batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain.
4. Mix earth balance spread and graham cracker crumbs until well combined. Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.
5. Place 2 teaspoons chocolate into each muffin cup. Reserve remaining chocolate for topping. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of hte graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup 3/4 full with batter.
6. Bake 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooking rack and let cook completely.
7. To make frosting, beat shortening and earth balance spread until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for 3 more minutes, until smooth. Add vanilla and soy milk, beat for another 6-7 minutes.
8. Spread a teaspoon full of frosting on each cupcake. Top with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate slivers.
Chocolate Hazelnut Bark
3/4 cup hazelnuts (about 4 ounces) 1/3 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Turn nuts out onto a towel. Roll up towel; rub off skins. Coarsely chop nuts. Combine nuts, cherries, and ginger in a medium bowl.
3. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until chocolate melts, stirring every 15 seconds. Add to nut mixture, stirring just until combined. Spread mixture evenly on a jelly-roll pan lined with foil; freeze 1 hour. Break into pieces; serve immediately.
Here's an easy recipe for when I need a cookie but not sure what. The dried cranberries look good, especially around the holidays. And chocolate chips are always a good idea!
Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups cooking oats
6 ounces craisins
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream the butter and sugars until well blended. Add the eggs and vanilla and blend well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Add the oats, craisins, and chocolate chips if using. Stir until mixed well.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets about 2" apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Our favorite chocolate maker operates out of a pizza place in Walker's Point, Milwaukee!... Atomic Chocolate is the amazing creation of Sean Henninger of Times Square Pizza. We were lucky enough to get a lesson from him in truffles at The National.
I love chocolate... I love cream... love a well made fudge. Found it from Martha... yes it is a lot of work. But worth the effort. She breaks it down step by step so it's not so scary! Try it!...
Makes 2 pounds
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cold
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 cups sugar
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan; line with parchment paper, allowing a 1-inch overhang. Butter parchment paper, and set aside. Check the calibration of the candy thermometer. Put butter into a large bowl, and set over a wire rack; set aside. Put cream, sugar, chocolate, corn syrup, and salt into a medium heavy saucepan.
2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved and chocolate hasmelted, about 10 minutes. Raise heat to medium. Bring mixture to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Attach warm thermometer to pan; continue to cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees (soft-ball stage), 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Immediately pour mixture into bowl with butter (do not scrape out the bottom of the pan). Attach thermometer to bowl. Let mixture cool, undisturbed, until it registers 110 degrees, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Remove thermometer. Transfer bowl to a work surface. Using a wooden spoon, begin to gently stir mixture.
5. Continue to stir, gradually increasing speed until mixture thickens, lightens in color, and loses its sheen, 4 to 5 minutes.
6. Pour into prepared pan. Using a small offset spatula, quickly spread fudge to sides of pan, and smooth top. Let fudge cool in pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic, and refrigerate until completely set, about 8 hours. Run a sharp knife around nonparchment sides to loosen; lift fudge out. Cut into 64 pieces, each 1 inch square. Fudge can be refrigerated between layers of parchment in an airtight container up to 1 week; bring to room temperature before serving.
The magazine had this great addition that I didn't find online.
Choose any of the following ingredients to make a custom batch. To toast nuts, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 375 degrees until fragrant; 5-7 minutes for walnuts, about 8 minutes for macadamia nuts and pistachios. Toast coconut on a rimmed baking sheet in a 375 degree oven until just golden, about 3 minutes.
1 tablespoon whiskey
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted
1 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped
1 cup shelled macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup walnut halves, toasted and chopped
Follow above instructions for fudge. If using whiskey, stir it in during step 4, and proceed with recipe.
If using solid ingredients, stir them in during step 5, when the mixture begins to thicken but is still shiny, after you have been stirring for about 3 minutes. Continue to stir until incorporated and mixture loses its sheen and lightens in color, about 2 minutes more. Proceed with recipe.
We go in food phases in our house, one day we love oatmeal but the next day I'm finding expired packets that need to be tossed. One of those throwing out days I wondered if there's a better way to get great tasting instant oatmeal... after much experimentation there is!
There's tons of recipes out there, this is a good basic that works for us. I mix a batch up and portion out into half pint jelly jars, labeling the lid with a dry erase marker. At first my husband laughed skeptically at these rows of jars but after a few days he was asking what exactly is in these and bringing friends in to see his wife's crazy good oatmeal collection! Now it's a staple in our house.
Home Made Instant Oatmeal
2 1/2 cups Quick Oats or Regular Oats
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
Blend 3/4 cup of the oatmeal in a blender or food processor (I use Vitamix with grain mill blender container but not needed; just a few pulses to it up to a heavy powder). Mix ground oatmeal with other ingredients, adding to a container with sealed lid (or ziplock bag). Shake up really good to combine. This is the instant oatmeal base that will make 9 servings. Sometimes I mix a few and leave the base which my husband likes because some days he adds a little more plain to his bowl or he feels like going outside my jars and mixing his own!
To package for individual servings add the following to a half pint jelly jar:
1/3 cup of the oatmeal base along with flavoring mix-ins such as: 1 tsp seeds (chia, flax) + 2 tsp grain, nuts or dried fruit (oat bran, wheat germ, any ground nut, choppied dried fruit) +1-3 tsp sweetner (stevia, coconut sugar, vanilla sugar, or more brown sugar) + 1/8 tsp spice (cinnamon, apple pie spice, grains of paradise) + pinch salt
Or use your imagination and follow the above proportions (aprox 3 tsp flavorings + 1-3 tsp sweetner +1/8 tsp spice) along with the 1/3 oatmeal base. Some of our favorites include: coconut, hot cocoa mix, chocolate chips, and PB2 dried peanut butter.
To cook the oatmeal:
For regular oats: add about 3/4 cup liquid to a bowl along with contents of the jar. Cover and microwave about 2-3 minutes depending on the microwave. Our favorite liquids to use are soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk. Chocolate versions of any of those are obviously really good!
For instant oats: add boiling water directly to jar, about 1/2" from the top. Cover and let sit about 5 minutes. You can also add 2 tsp powdered milk for creamy consistency with the water. I love this option for the office since it's so easy.
I've also done overnight oats with this method: add desired liquid (any milk works great or water for lower calories) to jar, about 3/4" from top. Regular oats will still be runny in the morning and I'm not a fan of cold oats so I do heat up in the jar, covered, watching very closely heating in 30 second increments because it will overflow very quickly!
We have become more creative with our mix-ins and came up with snappy concoctions such as: Almond Joy (almonds, coconut, chocolate chunks, coconut sugar), Cherry Pie (dried cherries, graham cracker crumbs, vanilla sugar), Peanut Butter Cup (chocolate chunks, PB2 dried peanut butter), Pina Colada (dried pineapples, coconut sugar, coconut)... the possibilities are endless! Let me know if you come up with any options we must try!
Generally I'm not fooled by celebrity recipes but in my healthy living days while looking through Self magazine the words "candy bar" jump off the page at me. I skeptically tear the page out and in a mood of baking withdrawl I come across it a few months later. I read and after making tons of date/nut filled goodies I think this recipe sounds pretty good, and not too difficult. But I wonder if this is really worth buying another type of flour (now I need coconut flour in my life?!) but I'm desperately fooled by the title... CANDY!.... I want CANDY!.... so on my grocery list it goes.
Like I mentioned almost every week I've been experimenting with energy balls/bites with nuts/fruit in the Vitamix (my food processor passed away and I have not replaced yet) so I though I could try this in there. This recipe is more like a dough that was a bit much for the Vitamix; I overheated several times and tore a William Sonoma spatuala in the process so I would not recommend doing that. My husband actually begged me to run to the store and get a food processor while I was making this. I am stubborn so I did get it to blend after doing small amounts and chopping the dates pretty fine... but I did shortly after decide on a food processor to buy, which I will do soon because we need more of these bars!
The recipe didn't specify what type of pan to but these in buy now I see all the photos in a square brownie size pan... oops. I went with a jelly roll pan lined with a Silpat instead of the parchment and it worked great. My husband and I actually loved how thin they were. We like the smaller serving size, just a little square of these satisfies that candy bar craving.
The almond butter I made using a simple recipe (bottom of the article gave Gwenyth's recipe which is 1 cup almonds and pinch of salt in a food processor). I started this in the Vitamix and have no luck making nut butters in there without oil so I added a little canola oil to my 1 cup almonds to get a smooth blend.
I'm not a fan of recipes that ask for chocolate chips to be melted down; I like my chips to stay chips! So I used 80% cacao chocolate that I chopped (my favorite local brand, Omanhene).
Definitely worth the investment in the coconut flour... (as now I'm studying more recipes to make using it)... but for now more of Gwenyth's candy bars, one of the best healthy snack recipes I've come across!
2013 Self Magazine from "It's All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great" by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen
A favorite recipe of ours to make and give comes from the comprehensive cookie reference called The All-American Cookies Book by Nancy Baggett. I hate to admit the Chocolate Malt Sandwich Cookie we love so much was inspired by a TGIFriday's famous chocolate malt cake recipe. We've never had the inspiration but the cookie is the best we have ever made!
I usually use standard supermarket malt powder but this old time natural Soda Fountain version makes a great carrier for the cookies once it's empty!
Chocolate Malt Sandwich Cookie
The All-American Cookie Book by Nancy Baggett
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened American-style cocoa powder
2 tablespoons plain malted milk powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup flavorless oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons hot water
1 2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup plain malted milk powder
2 tablespoons plain malted milk powder
3 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into chunks
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
COOKIES: Preheat oven to 350. Grease several baking sheets with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, malted milk powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the sugar, butter, and oil until well blended. Add the sour cream egg, and vanilla and beat until well blended; the mixture may look curdled. Beat in half the flour mixture, scraping down the sides several times. Beat in 3 tablespoons hot water, then beat or stir in the remaining flour mixture until evenly incorporated.
Drop the dough onto the baking sheets using a 1/8 cup measure or coffee scoop, spacing about 2 1/2" apart. Using a lightly greased hand, pat down the tops just slightly.
Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops begin to flatten and the cookies are just barely firm in the centers. Reverse the sheet from front to back halfway through baking to ensure even browning. Transfer the sheet to a wire rack and let stand until the cookies are slightly firm, about 3 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks. let stand until completely cooled.
FILLING: In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate morsels and butter for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir well. Continue to microwave stirring at 30 second intervals. Stop before the chocolate is completely melted and let the residual heat do the job. Let cool to warm.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the malted milk powder and cream cheese until well blended and completely smooth. Beat in half the chocolate mixture just until incorporated. Beat in the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until well blended. Beat in the remaining chocolate mixture and the vanilla until evenly incorporated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until somewhat thickened but not stiff. Beat the filling on high speed until light in color and very fluffy, about 3 minutes more; scrape down the sides several times.
Spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons of the filling on the underside of half of the cookies. Top each cookie with a second cookie about the same size. Press the two together until the filling squeezes out the edge. Let stand for at least 5 mintues so the flavors can mingle before serving.
Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Preparing for a recent trip to Phoenix I came across an article about Phoenix's best cookie. It was a Salted Chocolate Chip cookie from LaGrande Orange. I was obsessed with trying this cookie and it was worth all the hype. It was a good hearty, giant chocolate chip cookie on the chewy side coated in one of my favorite things on the planet, Maldon. It was so amazing that just eating the one in Phoenix was not enough. I needed to make at home.. so here we go. These are a bit more cake like but a great upgrade to the standard chocolate chip friend.
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie
makes about 72
1 1/2 cups butter -- softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar -- firmly packed
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 1/3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
24 ounces semisweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup Maldon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 baking sheets with butter.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars with electric mixer.
Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla.
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to egg mixture
and blend until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
In a small bowl, place Maldon salt. Form dough into rounded tablespoons
and flatten slightly. Press tops of dough into bowl of sea salt.
Place on prepared baking sheets about 2" apart.
Bake in preheated oven 12 minutes. Cool slightly before removing to a
is the smallest kitchen ever. We used to watch those decorating shows that said they were doing small kitchens and then could see that 4 of my kitchens would fit in their "small kitchens".
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