Tag Archive | chocolate

White Cranberry Bar Mix: Oh How Easy It Is

I must have a million recipes for “jar mixes.” You know, the ones where all the dry ingredients are layered in a jar and you just gotta add the wet stuff. I love them because they are easy to do and I can grab and bake, but let me tell you coming across GOOD recipes for jar mixes is not easy.

That is until I figured out DUH. You can just convert your already awesome recipes into jar mixes. BIG FAT DUH!

Say you’ve got a killer chocolate chip cookie recipe. Just layer the dry ingredients in the jar, stuff that won’t go bad, sugar, flour, chocolate chips, and attach a tag (or not if it’s for your own use) for what to add to it to turn it into cookies. DERP! I never thought of that before. I’m an idiot. Mind you you don’t HAVE to make these into jar mixes, but it’s an option.

But, anyway, a few years ago I ran across this recipe for White Chocolate Cranberry Bar Mix. It’s actually REALLY good, not that I can eat it because it’ll send me into, you guessed it, a diabetic coma. But I have taken nibbles and DAMN, it’s good.

Now, traditionally you layer the ingredients in the jar all nice like. Mostly because you are giving them as gifts. But this was for my cabinet. I made it probably about a year ago and totally forgot it was in there until I dug it out of the back. Not so pretty, but still works:

Then grease up your pyrex. I used cooking spray. The picture came out kinda weird, but it’s cool so I’ll show you.

Now you go ahead and dump your mix into a bowl and add the wet ingredients like eggs, vanilla, etc. Whatever the recipe calls for.

Then you mix the hell out of it and pour it into the pan. Well, for this recipe it’s not pouring, it’s more like “pressing” cause the batter is kind of thick.

And now you bake the hell out of it. After you stuck your fingers in the batter and tasted it of course.

As you can see, these don’t last long. At all. Not in my house anyway.

They are REALLY sweet and REALLY rich so be prepared. Even if they didn’t send me to blood sugar hell, I doubt I could eat a whole bar of these because they are so rich. They’re evil. And they are SO worth making!

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White Chocolate Cranberry Bar Mix

Layer in a quart mason jar:

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1 cup buttermilk biscuit mix

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup regular brown sugar

To Make You’ll Need:

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

1 large egg

Dump jar mix into a bowl and add the butter, vanilla and egg. Mix well. Spread into a greased 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

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Joe Brownies

Thanks to the recipe app on my ipad, I’ve been inputting recipes for weeks. I’m not complaining, this actually gives me a chance to try all the recipes I’ve had and didn’t try. It “surprises me” with random recipes, so I’ve been making something different near everyday. I love it.

This time it gave me Coffee N Cream Brownies. Where I got the recipe? I’ve no idea. But it’s an interesting take on brownies using instant coffee. Let’s try this shall we:

First, melt some unsweetened chocolate and butter in a saucepan. I have tons of unsweetened chocolate. Think I went bonkers on a clearance sale. Then I realized not many recipes actually CALL for unsweetened chocolate. Oh well.

I don’t care what anyone says, there is something sexy about melted chocolate

Then put some eggs, sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl.

Stir in the melted chocolate goodness.

Now combine flour and baking soda

And add that to all the other stuff


Pour that into a pan and let it bake. Try not to taste it. Ok taste it. Just try not to eat it all.

While that’s baking, go ahead and make the frosting. It’s interesting because it calls for powdered sugar, soft butter, heavy whipping cream and instant coffee. The instant coffee doesn’t dissolve though, it leaves specks through the frosting. It’s SUPPOSED to dissolve mind you, mind didn’t.

And make the glaze. Melting whipping cream and chocolate chips together.

While all that’s going, take out the brownies and cool them on a wire rack. Perhaps maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to maybe perhaps have a little taste of the brownie at this point. Maybe. Perhaps.

Once it’s cool enough, go ahead and frost it with the coffee frosting.

Now dump the chocolate glaze on it.

Stick it in the fridge to cool.

At first check, it didn’t appear the glaze was going to harden. Which is a great tragedy because I love taking half of everything I make and freezing it for lunches or snacks. But sure enough it did harden up quite nicely.

The verdict? Pretty freakin’ good. The coffee adds an interesting, bold taste that holds a little bit of bitter against a background of very sweet and I really liked it. I didn’t have a whole one because, well, there isn’t enough insulin in the world, but my “testers” really liked it. I ask them to judge my recipes not by whether or not they are “good” but whether or not it’s something they’d “request” again. I have literally thousands of recipes and the name of the game is to get RID of the ones that aren’t totally awesome. That is if I live long enough to make all of them.

So I suggest you try this if you love brownies. Course you shouldn’t do this if you are diabetic. Come to think of it, you shouldn’t do this at all because it’s bad for you. But it’s a yummy, yummy bad for you.

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Coffee N Cream Brownies

Brownies:

1/2 cup butter

3 squares, 1 oz each, unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

Filling:

1 tb heavy whipping cream

1 tsp instant coffee

2 tb butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Glaze:

1 cup, 6oz, semi sweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a saucepan over low, melt butter and chocolate. Cool slightly.

In a small mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate mixture.

Combine the flour and baking soda, add to chocolate mixture.

Spread into a greased 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Do not over bake. Cool on wire rack.

For filling, combine cream and coffee in a small bowl. Stir until coffee is dissolved.

In small mixing bowl, beat butter and confectioner’s sugar. Add coffee mixture. Beat until creamy. Spread on brownies.

In a small saucepan combine chips and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is thickened. Spread over filling. Let stand 30 minutes. Cut into squares and store in refrigerator. 16 brownies.

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Creamy Goodness

I love peppermint. I really do. Peppermint is one of those things that you LOVE or you HATE. I find it to be very polarizing. I’m certainly on the love end of peppermint.

I also love ice cream. Ok, I’m not technically supposed to EAT ice cream and I rarely do, but it’s a nice treat so long as it doesn’t send me into a coma. So when I ran across pioneer woman’s (yup, HER. AGAIN) peppermint ice cream recipe, I was dead set on trying it. Even though I know like 99.8% of her recipes DO send me into a coma. It was too tempting.

It also gives me a chance to use my handy dandy ice cream attachment for my kitchen aid. Gadget. I know. Too bad, live with it. You’re just jealous.

The thing has to be stored in a freezer in a plastic bag, and it gets arctic cold. It’s also nice because there’s no salt/ice BS to deal with. Just make sure it’s been frozen for 24 hours and pull it out. Mind you, mine stays in the freezer at all times because even though I don’t use it that often, when I do, I’m impatient and want it NOW.

I’ve only ever made very simple ice creams. I longed to make the real old fashioned egg and cream type ice creams that I’ve seen in old cookbooks. But I just never had the chance. I’ve made a couple of “pre mix” ice creams using heavy whipping cream, actually made quite a few of those (they were on end of season clearance one year at Meijer, ok so shoot me), but never really ventured into the cooked ice cream realm.

Her peppermint ice cream recipe calls for peppermint candies crushed up. Ok, that sounded good and I certainly had left over candy canes, but, her variation sounded better. Andes mints. Oh yes, and more yes. It would be like a heavenly version of mint chocolate chip. The day was mine!

It was a much more complicated recipe than I had imagined, really. With strainers and cooling and egg yolks. But it was worth it. If you do a google search, I’m sure you’ll find the recipe.

So first, you are supposed to measure out some half and half.

Pour that into a heavy saucepan and add some sugar.

Simmer that up until it’s dissolved. Meanwhile, grab a bowl to beat some eggs.

Now you’ve got to temper the eggs. This was a little tricky because you’ve go to drizzle the eggs into 2 cups of the hot half and half and whisk it quickly. I assume so the eggs won’t separate or cook. Then you pour it back into the pan, whisking and reheat it.

It turns into a yummy kind of custard. It gets real thick. And then, and this was a pain in the butt, you’ve got to press it through a mesh strainer into a bowl by pressing the liquid with a spoon to kind of force it through the strainer.

Then you add the heavy cream to it and stir in vanilla, etc.

And you’ve got to stick it in the fridge until it’s completely cool.

Now you get to put it in the ice cream maker! Yay! My favorite part! The damn thing is LOUD and it takes longer than you’d think to really get it even semi soft frozen, but it still rocks!

Once it’s completely it’s cycle, you add the Andes Mints. Now, the recipe called for chopping up the candies. Although I would have just stuck them in the food processor to do the job for me, when I went to the store to grab the mints for this recipe I found, and figure this out, that the Andes Chips (yes, they make those, pre chopped Andes mints, go figure) came in a larger package and were cheaper than the full size mints?  How much sense does that make? So I thought, screw it, less work for me.

I stirred it nicely and I had already put it in a freezer safe bowl, so no need to transfer it to one. Now into the freezer it went. Every couple hours, though, it needs checked and mixed otherwise all the mints will sink to the bottom.

It takes about 24 hours for it to freeze completely. Mind you, if you’ve never made home made ice cream before, don’t expect it to be the same consistency. It won’t. Home made ice cream is much more solid, and needs taken out of the freezer a few minutes before you intend to eat it. That being said, it’s a whole lot better than store bought. And a lot better for you too (NOTICE I did NOT say it’s GOOD for you, I said it’s BETTER for you than that non-grass fed GMO chemical store bought crap).


The verdict? It was damn good! And even better, it’s a great base for variation. You could add all kinds of stuff to this base ice cream and it’d turn out delicious. You can taste the cream, the egg, the vanilla. I love stuff like that! Instead of typical ice cream, where you taste SWEET or you taste CHUNKS of whatever, in this you can taste it all. Worth a shot if you have never tried it.

Just…I plan on laying off this for awhile. Ice cream is good, but dangerous for me, especially being slightly lactose intolerant. I don’t know how long this will last because I’ve gotten the idea in my head to make raw milk ice cream.

Yeah, if you don’t hear from me for a few days, I’m just in the diabetic coma ward. I’ll be fine.

Stupid Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Yet another thing I cannot eat. Chocolate covered pretzels. They satisfy the salty and the sweet and they are probably one of the worst things for you ever. On top of the deep fried twinkie. Pure sugar wrapped around pure carb. I can feel my body breaking down thinking about it.

They make great gifts though. At least great gifts for those people who refuse to listen to you (and a bunch of experts, doctors, history, primal biology, etc) that sugar is the enemy and fat isn’t gonna hurt ya. But I digress…

I initially wanted to make these as a gift to send to my friends and family who don’t live in the area. Duh. They’re gonna go stale and they will probably break. Course, my dumb ass didn’t actually THINK of this until half way through making them. Yep. Herp Derp. I think I gotta case of the Christmas wanna-makes. You know, around the holidays when you just get sudden urges to do super crafty things. Or, I get those urges anyway. I get them all year round though. I NEED to MAKE things.

If you don’t know how to make chocolate covered pretzels, it’s completely utterly ridiculously easy. I could have taken the long route. I could have tempered my own chocolate, etc. I’ve done that before. It’s hard. It’s annoying. It’s REALLY tasty, much MUCH tastier than the stupid melt wafers you buy at the store however it requires much more knowledge and time. Crafting chocolate is actually half art, half science. But of course in the US you can buy any supposed “chocolate crafting” supplies at any craft store. Don’t fool yourself. That’s not real chocolate. Real tempered chocolate doesn’t melt when you pick it up. Real chocolate doesn’t have a waxy coating. Real chocolate doesn’t taste just like chocolate flavored sugar. If that’s not enough evidence for you, then go to your local confectionery and eat a filled bon bon. Then try to make one at home with the readily available chocolate wafer and filling nonsense at the store. They won’t even taste remotely like the same food.

But since I have no nibs, no tempering equipment and no time, it’ll have to do. One day I WILL have the table top chocolate tempering machine, oh yes. Ok, it takes away from the romance of REAL chocolate crafting but too bad. It’s a cool gadget.

As far as these chocolate pretzels…..It’s the thought that counts damnit! And honestly, most of my friends and family (save one or two) aren’t foodies. I’ll take them to a restaurant that serves the most delicious pate, or an organic farm with the freshest raw milk and they are looking for the next cheeseburger fix. They are typical Americans: If it’s carb loaded or sweet, they’ll love it. I used to try to convert them. Now I just bank on it.

When I went to go get the chocolate wafers, I noticed they have “pretzel” molds. You can pour the chocolate into little molds so it’s a shape or a design on top of the pretzel. That’s not really my thing, but hey, if you like it go for it.

You’ll need:

Chocolate wafers—I bought red. I thought it would be Christmasy. Instead it turned out looking like dripping blood. Even cooler.

Pretzel Rods

A coffee cup. The taller the better. Make sure it’s microwavable.

A bunch of other shorter coffee cups.

A spoon.

A microwave.

This is a good kids craft cause it’s so easy. So first:

Creepy Franken-Chocolate

Fill the cup with wafers. Not completely but maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the way. Microwave on DEFROST for about 30 seconds. Mind you, you should NOT microwave on high, or for long periods because heating the chocolate too much too fast will ruin it’s consistency. You’ll be stuck with a gross mess.

Take it out of the microwave and stir. They probably aren’t really melted at this point, but they are getting soft.

Put them back for another 30 seconds. Stir again. Here is where you will probably notice the creepiness of these chocolate-like-wafer-products. They kind of retain their shape even after they melt. It’s not until you STIR them that they kind of go liquidy. Weird. Frankenfood.

If at this point you can stir and get it nice and smooth, don’t worry about how hot it is. The nature of this type of chocolate is that you don’t actually want it very hot. You can zap it for 5 or 10 seconds if it hardens up on you. Just don’t overdo it.

Slow Yo Roll

Once you’ve got your chocolate nice and silky, you roll your pretzel in it. Just roll it, don’t dip it. Rolling it kind of creates a nice effect, dipping it will give you funky ends.

I tend to like the chocolate a little on the cooler side, that way you can get MORE chocolate on the stick without having to wait for it to harden and doing another dip. I’m impatient. We know this.

Drippy Blood Like Sticks...So Much For Christmas Red

Now to let them harden up. This is where the extra coffee cups come in. Just put them in the coffee cup pointing outwards. You can put several in the cup just to to make sure they aren’t touching each other, and let them harden.

And VIOLA! Instant cute little tasty gifts. Keep in mind they don’t last forever so make these literally at the last minute. Unlike me. And don’t taunt diabetics with them because we will hate you.