Cocoa Meringue Cookies

We made Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream yesterday and it left us with 5 egg whites. Perfect number for make some meringue cookies.

If you want a smooth, uniform appearance, sift the cocoa. I don’t because I enjoy biting into tiny spots of intense chocolate.

Cocoa Meringue Cookies

5 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 220 degrees F. Place parchment paper on two large rimmed baking sheets.

Make sure the bowl and whisk are well cleaned and dry. Place egg whites, salt and cream of tarter in the bowl. Starting on low and slowing increasing the speed to high, mix well. Once soft peaks form, begin adding the sugar in 1/4 cup increments. Once the mixture is thick and shiny and stiff peaks have formed, fold in cocoa and vanilla.

Move mixture into a piping bag. I use a gallon plastic bag and cut off a little of one of the bottom corners. Pipe out drops or other shapes with the meringue mixture, twisting the bag as you go to keep pressure up.

Bake for one hour. Turn off oven but keep door closed and let cookies cool completely for 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how humid it is. Peel the cookies off the parchment paper and store in an airtight container.

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German’s Sweet Chocolate Birthday Cake

For Michelle’s upcoming birthday, I made her a German’s Sweet Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting. I used the recipe for both of those off the box of Baker’s German’s Sweet Chocolate. Because it is a sweet chocolate, I made a dark chocolate cream cheese frosting for the between layer. It also went on top of a recipe of German’s Sweet Chocolate cupcakes.

Baker's Original German's Sweet Chocolate Cake

1 pkg. (4 oz.) BAKER’S GERMAN’S Sweet Chocolate
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a double boiler melt chocolate and butter. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Pour melted chocolate and butter into a bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed of electric mixer after each addition until well blended. Add vanilla; mix well.  Add 1/2 cup of the flour; mix well. Add remaining 1-1/2 cups flour alternately with buttermilk, beating until well blended after each addition.

Divide into buttered and floured 9-inch baking pan.

Bake cake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cupcakes take 20-25 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack. Frost between the layers with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting. Frost the top and sides with Coconut-Pecan Filling and Frosting.

Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1 package (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)

Sift together powdered sugar and cocoa to remove any lumps.

With an electric mix beat the cream cheese and butter. Add in the vanilla. Slowly add the cocoa-powdered sugar mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix until combined.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

4 egg yolks
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 – 7 ounce package coconut (about 2-2/3 cups)
1-1/2 cups chopped pecans

Whisk egg yolks, milk and vanilla in large saucepan with wire whisk until well blended. Add sugar and butter; cook on medium heat 12 minutes or until thickened and golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature and of desired spreading consistency.

Frost top and sides of cake.

 

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes With Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

You know that part of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy where Arthur gets the ship’s Nutri-Matic machine to make him a drink that is “something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea?”

That’s what this recipe is.

I saw a cake on the web and didn’t have the ingredients for most of it (the original had cashews and a salted caramel layer) but the chocolate cake and frosting intrigued me enough to give the rest of it a try, with some substitutions, of course. I also switched it to cupcakes because readers of my blog know I think cupcakes have a better frosting to cake ratio.

The results are deliciously chocolately cupcakes that are almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Anna Olson’s Caramel Cashew Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup hot coffee
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon Kahula or vanilla extract

Frosting
2 cups confectioners sugar
⅓ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
½ cup unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 package cream cheese (4 ounces), softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Place 24 cupcake liners in muffin/cupcake pans.

In a medium bowl, place the chopped chocolate and pour the hot coffee over top, letting it sit a minute to soften. Whisk gently to combine.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With a stand mixer, beat the brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs and Kahlua (or vanilla) together until smooth. Add the flour mixture to this and mix well. Pour in the chocolate mixture (the batter will be fluid). Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake cups.

Bake for about 15 minutes and switch and rotate pans. Cook for an additional 10 -15 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes and then turn them out to cool completely.

For the frosting, sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Remove from the heat. In a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and vanilla. Add in the chocolate butter mixture. Scrape down the bowl well and then add the sugar cocoa mix and beat until smooth. Frost the cupcakes with a generous amount. Eat any extra with a spoon.

 

Easter Bunny Cocktails

This is not an April Fools joke but a delicious dessert cocktail. I have to be honest,  hollow, chocolate Easter bunnies might be the devil’s worst idea yet. What can make them palatable, however, is to rip their little bunny heads off and fill them with a creamy, nutty chocolate libation.

Easter Bunny Cocktail

1 ounce Praline pecan liqueur
1 ounce Creme de Cacao
1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream

Add ice to a mixer and add all three ingredients. Shake well to chill and then strain into hollow Easter bunnies. Sip or drink it like a shot. Munch the bunny head and eat the body when empty.

Cute lil bunny head in a glass!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I woke up this morning craving chocolate chip cookies. When I went into the kitchen I saw the jar of peanut butter that I hadn’t but back in the cabinet after a snack of peanut butter and crackers last night and decided to alter my plans to include some peanut butter.

Just adding peanut butter to an existing chocolate chip cookie recipe would make cookies without enough chocolate for my craving. However, adding melted chocolate would give me the hit I wanted needed. I also switched the semi-sweet chocolate for bittersweet. Feel free to change it back when making the recipe for yourself, if you don’t want such darkly chocolate cookies.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 ounce bar bittersweet chocolate, broken into bits
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounce package bittersweet morsels

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

Melt the bittersweet chocolate bar in the microwave or on top of a double boiler.

Mix together in a medium bowl the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugars. Mix in the peanut butter. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl and then slowly add the flour mixture. Pour in the melted chocolate. Scrape down the bowl and then stir in the bittersweet chocolate chips.

Make 2 tablespoon balls of the mixture in your hands (if necessary, chill the dough for about 10 minutes first) and then place the balls on an ungreased baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake for 23 minutes or until set but still soft. Cool on cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to a wire rack and cooling completely.

Better Than Math Pie for Pi Day

This pie is a variation of the “Better Than Sex” pie (chocolate, peanut butter, more chocolate). In honor of Pi Day (3.14), I’m naming this one “Better Than Math.”

It is a multi-part recipe – make the dulce de leche first, followed by the ganache, then make the crust and the filling before assembling and cooling it down.

 

Better Than Math Pie

1 can sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 pint heavy cream, divided
6 ounces Oreo cookies – about 25 cookies
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 – 10 ounce package bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Peel the label off the can of sweetened condensed milk. Place in a saucepan and put water in the pan to cover the can with 1 to 2 inches water. Bring water to a boil and then turn the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours (checking regularly to ensure that the water completely covers the can at all times). Turn the can over and simmer for another 1 1/2 hours. Remove can and let cool completely before opening. (You can also make this in a slow cooker – 8-10 hours on low).

Place the bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring 1 cup of the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate. Tap the bowl on the counter to settle the chocolate into the cream, then let it sit for 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, slowly stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture has emulsified.  Place the ganache in the refrigerator until it has cooled and thicken (no more than 2 hours).

Scrape off the cream filling from the Oreo. Place Oreo cookies sans cream filling into a food processor and pulse until it make crumbs. Pour in butter and pulse to combine. Press the cookie crumbs into the bottom of a deep dish pie pan.

In a double boiler, melt the dark chocolate chips. Add in the peanut butter and stir until combined. Add melted chocolate chips and peanut butter, cream cheese and 1 cup whipping cream together in a stand mixer. Beat until thick and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.

Spread almost all of the ganache over the Oreo crust. Reserve 2 tablespoons for drizzling on the top of pie.

Spoon chocolate peanut butter mixture into the pie crust over the ganache layer.

Drizzle half the can of sweetened condensed milk dulce de leche over the chocolate mixture. Reserve remainder for another use. Drizzle extra ganache over top.

Refrigerate overnight or place pie in freezer for at least 1 hour before serving.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Honeycomb Crunch

Time for more quick, no-bake desserts. This one is a little messy but the darker chocolate compensates for the sweetness of the cereal.

The recipe calls for 8 cups of cereal but I just used the entire 12.5 ounce box and an entire bag of bittersweet chocolate chips.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Honeycomb Crunch

1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 cups bittersweet chocolate morsels
8 cups Honeycomb cereal
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Place cereal in a large bowl. Melt chocolate and peanut butter in a double boiler. Let cool slightly and then pour over the cereal. Stir gently until everything is well coated.  Pour onto a baking sheet and let the chocolate set for an hour.

In a large paper bag, place 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Dump in the chocolate covered cereal into the bag and shake out another 1/4 cup of powdered sugar on the top. Shake vigorously until sugar coats the pieces. Pour out onto a large baking sheet and let cool completely before putting in zip top plastic bags.