Archived entries for chocolate

Tiny Black Bottomed Cupcakes

This was my FAVORITE christmas treat as a little kid.  Kids love mini things and these bite-sized cupcakes definitely fit that bill.  A delicious mix of chocolate cake and cream cheese filling, these little guys are finished off with a few chocolate chips just to top off the awesomeness.  This recipe is pretty quick and easy to make, although you are limited by the number of mini cupcake tins you have, but altogether WORTH IT!

Tiny Black Bottomed Cupcakes
makes about 5 dozen

  • Chocolate Batter
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. cocoa
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 1 Tbs Vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Cheesecake Filling
  • 1 package of cream cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Topping
  • chocolate chips

Step One: Assemble Cheesecake Filling

Using a hand or stand mixer, blend ingredients for the cheesecake filling together.  Set aside.

Step Two: Assemble Chocolate Batter

Mix together dry ingredients.  Add next four liquid ingredients and mix well.

Step Three:  Assemble Cupcakes

Line mini cupcake tins with paper or foil liners.  Fill 1/3 full with chocolate batter.  Add 1/2 tsp cheesecake filling.  Top with 3-4 chocolate chips.

Step Four: Bake

Bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes.

Easy!   Eat and Enjoy.

Quickest, Easiest Christmas Candy: Choco-Butter Nut Clusters

This is one of my favorite holiday treats to make because it is FAST!  This is a no hassle candy which makes a great thrifty gift for co-workes, clients, teachers, bus drivers, mailman, or pretty much anyone.  With only three easy steps, this candy goes from cupboard to candy box!

Easy Nut Clusters
makes 2 to 3 dozen

12 oz. semi sweet Chocolate chips
6 oz. butterscotch chips
1 lb nuts
optional: 1/4 bar of gulf wax**

Gulf wax is a candy grade paraffin wax found in the baking isle near the gelatin and jam making supplies.  It helps the chocolate harden so it won’t melt when handled.  It also makes it easier to mix the chocolate with the nuts.  A box comes with 4 bars of wax.

Step One: Melt Chocolate and Butterscotch

double boiler

Using a double boiler, melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together.  If you choose to use the Gulf wax, which I always do, you can add it in as well.  Cut the 1/4 bar of wax into as small of chunks as possible.  This helps it melt faster.  Stir occasionally to help the mixture melt faster.

Step Two: Mix the melted chocolate with the nuts

Place all your mixed nuts into a large bowl. You can use peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds or whatever nuts you want.  I usually just purchase a container or two of mixed nuts.  Pour melted chocolate over the nuts and stir until all the nuts are completely covered.

Step 3: Spoon out clusters.

spooning clusters

Spoon clusters to your desired size onto baking sheets lined with wax paper.  I usually use a tablespoon or a large soup spoon to measure the size of my clusters.  Place baking sheets with clusters into refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and harden.

As promised, that’s it and you’re done! Store clusters chilled in an airtight container for up to two to three weeks.  I usually double the batch to make a lot of these since they are so easy and quick to make.  The butterscotch chips help give extra flavor to the candy.  Considering the output, this choco-cluster gives you great bang for your time and buck!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Do you ever have those days where you feel engulfed by an irrational depression? Nothing is wrong, but you find yourself looking at your life from a weird angle, and all of a sudden, you feel out of place. I’m totally there today. There’s no reason for it. I haven’t gotten laid off or anything, but I just feel off. All of a sudden the job I enjoy feels like a dead end. I don’t make enough money. I’m not doing a good enough job self promoting, I need to be networking in the blogosphere more. Wah wah. Shut up!

I’m in a slump and I just want to not think about anything for a little while. So, I’m not going to. What am I going to do? Well, not to be too typically girly (something I usually avoid like the plague…does this show how low I’ve stooped?) but, I am totally going to eat a whole batch of chocolate chip cookie dough. Thats right, I am abandoning the Forkables for a spoonful of raw, sweet chewy dough. I don’t care.

OK, I just ate a small bowl of dough. It was good, but now I’m totally feeling sick to my stomach. I think I might puke. I guess I’ll just make the rest of this dough into cookies. I can eat them later.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
care of the Joy of Cooking

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 c. + 2 Tbs flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  1. Cream butter and sugar using mixer.
  2. Add egg and vanilla
  3. Mix dry ingredients
  4. Mix together
  5. Eat raw dough until you can’t take it anymore and want to throw up.
  6. Bake the rest of the dough at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown

You can skip step 5 if you want.

Tip: If the bottoms are golden brown but the tops are super raw (raw is good: means chewy, but super raw isn’t that awesome) flip the cookies over and put them back in the oven for 1 minute to cook the tops a little more. You end up with flat top cookies but thats OK. Its not a beauty pageant. You should see what these guys look like when you get done eating them. Its not pretty.

Warm It Up. The Mircrowave I mean. Choc. Cake In A Mug

When I read Sarah’s comment on the yesterday with this recipe, I knew I had to try it. Its quick, easy and best of all, I got to give my much neglected microwave a little attention. Thanks, Sarah!


I don’t know if I would recommend eating this, as it feels like play dough, but it’s a fun way to spend 5 minutes of your life and it’s pretty much guaranteed to make you giggle.

  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 c.) flour
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 c.) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (1/8 c.) cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
  • A small splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 large coffee mug

- Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
- Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
- Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
- Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
*Please note that it’s normal for it to rise while in the microwave. Do not be alarmed and scream as I did.

I used a small pic to cut the cake away from the mug sides.

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

It does look like play dough. or something else. gross.

- EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

Well, this cake is not awesome. But it is fast! I agree, Sarah, it is enough for two. So I cut mine in half, but we got to eat off the same plate. Early Valentines dessert? Yeah, that’s right Ira, this is all you’re getting. Aw poor Ira. I’m just joking. Sheesh.

Fancy and Fried: Deep Fried Oreos

I wanted to avoid the typical ideas for an Obama inspired Dessert. When a friend suggested Deep Fried Oreos, I was intrigued. I’d never heard of this before but I soon found out its a dish commonly served between the elephant ears and the tilt-0-whirl. Chocolate and cream with a good dose of all American down home values. I just needed to reinterpret the idea to be fancy and posh enough to take over the White House. This is what we came up with:

Obama’s Deep Fried Oreos:
Makes about 3 dozen

Double Chocolate Cookie Crips:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 pound (4 oz) milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Cookie Filling:

  • 1 8 oz. container of whipped cream cheese


  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbs baking powder
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 Tbs melted butter
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 c. milk

Oil to deep fry in, about 1 quart

To start we need to make our cookies: Double Chocolate crisps, based on this Martha Stewart recipe, with a few minor changes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt 1/2 your chocolate chips (2 oz) ounces of chocolate with the butter in a double boiler (a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water); let cool slightly. While chocolate is cooling, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Put chocolate mixture, sugar, egg, thyme and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.

On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, scoop 1/2 tsp dollops onto tray about 2″ apart. Bake at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. Watch the cookies and when cracks develop in the surface, they should be done. Let cool on a wire rack. The original recipe says the cookies should be soft, but for our needs, feel free to let them sit out a little longer when cooling before putting in an air tight container because we want them to be crispy! Because they don’t need to be moist you can make your cookies up to a week ahead. I did!

Take two cookies of approx matching shape and size and spread filling of whipped cream cheese in the middle and sandwich together. Chill.

Mix your batter: Mix together the dry ingredients. Mix together the wet ingredients. Mix the wet and the dry. Whisk all the lumps out. I’ve used a general pancake batter recipe, but you want the batter to be a little more liquid to coat the cookie but not be overly thick, so add more milk if you need it.

Heat up your oil on a burner over medium heat. I like to use a wok because I have more control. Its not as deep but I have a wider surface to dip the cookies in. I usually keep the burner around “4″ on my dial which is just a little below medium. The oil usually takes about 5-10 minutes to get up to heat. Test the oil with a drop of batter. A small piece should not brown right away but take a minute or so, but not too long.

When your oil is ready, dip your cookies in the batter and drop them in the oil. BE CAREFUL of hot oil! Be gentle when you drop the cookies in. The cookies seem to float, so you need to flip them in the oil so each side gets cooked.

I allow them to cook until they are just golden but not longer. When done, take out and sit in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb excess grease.

To finish this dish in a accordance with my undertones of middle eastern flavor, I served the cookies with vanilla ice cream drizzled with a pomegranate syrup (just a simple syrup see recipe below) and garnished with fresh pomegranates and thyme.

Upon frying, the cookie and filling switches roles; the cookie melts and the filling cooks. When biting into this decadent but deliciously down home food, I felt immediately warmed, by all the new insulation the fat deposits from this dessert where providing my stomach and thighs.

Cutest Christmas Candy: Kissable Mice!

These little cuties are really simple to make. Holding on to the stem, maraschino cherries are dipped into melted chocolate and pressed while wet against a Hershey’s kiss with almond slices placed for the ears. I used red cooking jell for the eyes. I love how the stem becomes a cute little curly tail!

These guys love climbing around their ginger snap hills.

This is one of the few times where the more mice you have in the kitchen, the better.

Leftover Remix: Ghost of Halloween Past Becomes Peppermint Fudge

There must be a reason why every Tourist destination’s historical downtown has at least 18 Fudge and Toffy stores. Everyone loves fudge, so I usually make a batch of fudge or two at Christmas time and this year can be no different. This year I made Peppermint fudge.

I have a lot of white chocolate left over from my Halloween treats I wanted to use for the fudge. Having chunks of unused white chocolate doesn’t really count as a left over remix you say. I agree. So where are the leftovers. Well, do remember the marshmallow ghosts I made? Although a party favorite, I made way too many of them and had a bunch of leftovers.

So I’ve had them stored in an air tight container until I could melt them down and use them instead of marshmallow fluff to make my fudge. The white chocolate coating of the marshmallows would just blend right in with the rest of the melted chocolate.

Here is my Mom’s traditional fudge recipe:

Fantasy Fudge

  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 7 oz. jar marshmallow fluff
  • 5 oz. can of evaporated milk
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a sauce pan, bring sugar, butter and evaporated milk to a boil. Once boiling, start a timer and continue to boil for 5 minutes stirring constantly. After 5 minutes remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until melted. Add vanilla and marshmallow fluff and stir until thickened. Pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan and chill in refrigerator until hard. Remove from pan, cut into desired size and store in an air tight container in refrigerator.

For my Peppermint fudge, I followed my Mom’s recipe but

  • used white chocolate instead of semi sweet chocolate
  • substituted an equal amount of my melted ghosts for the marshmallow fluff
  • substituted peppermint schnapps for the vanilla
  • mixed in 6 candy canes, chopped into fine pieces.
  • 1/4 tsp of red food dye

It turned out really well. I think I used more marshmallow then the original recipe called for yet this was my most successful fudge ever. I’ve had trouble in the past with my fudge not solidifying, in fact one year, I served a tray of fudge with spoons (I didn’t pull it out until everyone at the party was well fed with drinks). However, this fudge hardened quickly and did not stick in the pan. It was very well behaved, so I think using old marshmallows instead of the fluff maybe a great way to clean out the pantry and make successful fudge.

(OK, this post is over and I am not going to write the word fudge again; that word just sort of grosses me out).

Double Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

Chocolate cookies, maraschino cherries, chocolate ganache. Can you think of anything we’re missing. Whiskey? Oh, its got that too.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies.

  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp whiskey**
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 10 oz. jar of marachino cherries
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 c. sweet condensed milk

Using a mixer, cream together sugar and butter on low until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, and whiskey, beat well. In a large bowl stir dry ingredients together. Gradually add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, beat until well blended.

**Of course, I like to add whiskey to all things. If you don’t have any just add 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla.

Shape dough into 1″ balls and place on a cookie sheet. Press down in the center of the ball with your thumb.

Drain cherries and save the juice. Place a cherry in the center of the cookies. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

In a small sauce pan, combine chocolate and milk. Heat until chocolate is melted, stir in 1/4 c. cherry juice. After 8 minutes, remove tray from oven, spoon 1 tsp of ganache over cookies and place back in oven for 2-3 minutes.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Drink The Cold Away: Hot Cocoa With Peppermint Schnapps.

Hot Cocoa uploaded by Flickr User Theta Sigma

There’s nothing better on a cold winter day then a warm cup of hot cocoa.  Ever need a cup quick but don’t have any instant mix?  You don’t want to take the time to make it from scratch.  Well wait no more.  This recipe puts your cocoa from scratch in your cup in less then five minutes!

Hot Cocoa with Peppermint Schnapps

  • 1-2 c. milk- any percent or skim
  • 2 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbs powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. peppermint schnapps

Heat up your milk either on burner on low or in microwave. Stir occasionally so you don’t scorch your milk. For each cup of milk, mix together 2 Tbs of cocoa powder and powdered sugar each. In a mug, pour a shot of peppermint schnapps and stir in cocoa and powdered sugar mix. The alcohol helps dissolve the fat in the cocoa quicker then milk or water, removing a lot of unnecessary stirring.  When all the lumps are out, add milk and stir. Garnish with what ever fluffy fru frus you like. Drink up and feel the warmth of the hot drink and liqueur spread through your limbs. Yum.

The schnapps unfortunately makes this not so appropriate for work.  BOOO!  Unless you have an awesome job, of course.

Brain Food: A Bloody Fabulous Cake

Eating brains is the best. Halloween isn’t complete without a brain shaped food product. When doing a search for Halloween food, I kept coming up with images of jello brains. I am not a big fan of jello. Actually to be completely honest, I’ve never made Jello and am a bit afraid to, with images in my mind of a liquid mess which won’t solidify. People laugh at me, but since I don’t care for eating Jello that much, it doesn’t bother me to much.

White chocolate in the brain mold.

I wanted to do something with a brain jello mold though, so I started to brain storm different alternatives. I had a bunch of white chocolate left over from making my eyeballs and ghosts, so I decided, I should use it to make a cake. I wanted a nice red interior so, red velvet cake fit the bill perfectly.

Melting Chocolate and paraffin wax in a double boiler made of a mixing bowl in pot of boiling water.

I had to do multiple tests to figure out the best way to shape the chocolate and still get it out of the mold. Once the chocolate was in the mold, I couldn’t get it to come out again. I kept having to scoop the chocolate out and rinse down the mold before trying again. The process I finally came up with was to pour the melted chocolate in a mold sprayed with cooking oil and swirl it around until it coated all sides. I put it in the freezer to harden for about 10 minutes and then repeat until I had a nice thick coating of chocolate.

Two pans of red velvet cake ready to be baked.

I had two cake pans of red velvet cake baked and ready. Taking the cake and breaking it apart, I stuffed the pieces in tight. The cake was very moist, so it consolidated back together pretty well. When I had filled the brain cavity with red pulpy cake, I took the remaining white chocolate and spooned it in to coat the cake and fill in any gaps.

On left, my chocolate coated brain mold with the cake, on right, cake filling stuffed in mold ready for final layer of chocolate.

I banged the mold against the table multiple times to release as many air bubbles as possible and placed the brain in the freezer for 3-4 hours to harden. By freezing the cake, the brain solidified and made it easier to release from the mold.

My two brains packed and ready to go the party. The brain on the right cracked a bit when coming out of the mold, so I patched it with a bit of melted chocolate to patch the seams.

The brains turned out well, but as I said in the party post, they didn’t cut that great. In order to have the cake release from the mold, I had to make the chocolate layer pretty thick making the cake want to crack apart when cutting. For the most part, I used them as a table centerpiece, but everyone wanted to know what was inside them, forcing me to cut ‘em up. I tried heating the knife, which helped but didn’t really solve the problem. They were worth trying, although maybe some of you may have tips which would make this process easier with better results.

Although these cakes weren’t prefect, the broken look to them did create a grotesque look which fit my general aesthetic. It was fun watching people gathered around them, picking them apart, using their fingers to shovel the red pulpy meat into their gaping mouths with a feral gleam in their eyes.

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