Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie FINAL

We’ve been experiencing uncomfortably high temperatures (and insanely high humidity) for the last several weeks in central Europe, meaning I’ve had no desire whatsoever to turn on my oven and get baking. That doesn’t mean, of course, that my notorious appetite for all things chocolate diminished in the slightest. Far from it! I was into my collection of no-bake dessert recipes within minutes of temps topping 90 degrees last week.

This pie has a very special place in my heart, as it’s been my dad’s favorite for as long as I can remember. In fact, I can scarcely remember a birthday or Father’s Day celebration in my childhood in which it didn’t make a welcome appearance. The filling is rich and creamy, cradled in a delicate chocolate cookie crust and topped with drizzled chocolate sauce and grated dark chocolate. I took it a step further (maybe too far?) on this occasion with the addition of chopped miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. A word of warning: this pie is not for the faint of heart … or dieters … or diabetics … but is definitely worth a try if you’ve got a peanut butter lover in your midst!

Note: If you’d like to craft a lower-fat version of this pie, use 1/3-fat cream cheese, reduced or low-fat sweetened condensed milk, reduced fat peanut butter and fat-free Cool Whip. I’ve made both versions and the flavor variations are minimal.

Enjoy!

 

PEANUT BUTTER PIE WITH CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST

Yield | 8 to 10 servings

 

  • 1 1/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (approximately 30 crushed cookies)
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 tbsp finely granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly whipped cream
  • 1 to 2 tsp chocolate syrup, to serve
  • 1 ounce grated dark chocolate, to serve

 

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together cookie crumbs, melted chocolate and sugar. Press firmly and evenly into a 9-inch pie plate. Chill crust for 30 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter, blending for 1 minute. On low speed, add lemon juice and vanilla extract, blending until just combined.
  3. Remove bowl from electric mixer and gentle fold in freshly whipped cream. Pour pie filling into the chilled chocolate cookie crust and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. To serve, drizzle with chocolate syrup and sprinkle with grated dark chocolate, if desired.

 

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Cadbury Crème Egg Ice Cream

Cadbury Ice Cream 001

Have you ever looked at your Easter haul of Cadbury Crème Eggs and thought to yourself, “These don’t contain quite enough sugar, fat and calories?”

No? Fair enough.

In all honesty, I haven’t either. I’ll be the first to admit that this ice cream isn’t healthy, or nutritious, or a good idea for diabetics. [It really, really isn’t.]

But if you like your desserts chocolate-y, creamy and sinfully rich – or you’re simply itching for a reason to bust out your ice cream maker just weeks into spring (becausesummerseemssofaraway) – this recipe is for you. Enjoy in moderation (think: a 1/2-cup serving every once in a blue moon – or better yet, share with friends!), then head outside, get active, and enjoy a beautiful new season!

{Note: I couldn’t track down miniature crème eggs in Germany, but it worked just fine to freeze the regular ones for 20 minutes (just to firm up) before chopping. They took a wee bit longer to melt down in the chocolate-cream mixture, but were well worth the extra effort!}

 

CADBURY CREME EGG ICE CREAM

Yields | 10 to 12 servings

Inspiration | Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

 

  • 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup finely granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 oz milk chocolate
  • 8 oz miniature Cadbury Crème Eggs (unwrapped, chopped and divided)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

  1. In a non-reactive sauce pan over medium heat, whisk together 2 cups cream, cocoa, sugar, corn syrup, and salt; mix until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ cup cream and cornstarch to make a slurry; set aside.
  3. Add the chopped chocolate and 4 ounces of the Cadbury eggs and whisk until completely smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the remaining cream, cornstarch slurry, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into a large Pyrex bowl, cover with Saran wrap, and refrigerate until mixture is chilled through (about 1 hour).
  6. Pour the ice cream base into ice cream maker and process (per the machine’s instructions) until thick and creamy.
  7. Pack the ice cream into a resealable container, sprinkle with remaining 4 ounces of Cadbury Crème Eggs, and cover. Freeze for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).

 

 

Brookies

Brookies1

I celebrated my 33rd birthday late last week, and spent my special day on an amazing holiday in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a stunningly beautiful ski resort on the German border with Austria. I managed to cram all my favorite activities into the day: hiking, playing in the snow, exploring historic sites, and enjoying my hubby’s company. I also discovered what will be, for the rest of my days, a delicious birthday cake substitute: the Brookie.

For those that don’t know, my first name is Brooke – which makes the discovery of the Brookie such a fun one for me. A genius combination of two long-time favorites, Brookies pair the flavor and crackly surface of a brownie with with the soft, chewy texture of a cookie. And oh my goodness, are they fantastic! Fantastic enough to give up birthday cake, which was frankly unfathomable only a week ago. Give these a try for the chocolate lovers in your life, and enjoy 🙂

Brookies2

 

BROOKIES

Yields | 25 cookies

Inspiration | AllRecipes.com

  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips

 

  1. Beat vegetable shortening and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in one egg until completely incorporated. Beat in second egg along with vanilla extract and water. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture at low speed until just blended, then fold in chocolate chips. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
  3. Drop spoonfuls of dough 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake in preheated oven until cookies are set, 7 to 9 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet; transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies1

It seems like forever (almost a year ago? really?!) since I featured a cookie recipe on this blog, which boggles the mind because 1) this is *supposed* to be a baking blog, and 2) I bake and eat cookies all.the.time.

If I had to rationalize their omission, I’d say it’s because this blog – at least lately – primarily features my culinary experiments, rather than those tried and true recipes I’ve relied on for years. I have so many treasured cookie recipes passed down from my mother and grandmother that I’m often on cookie auto-pilot; in other words, I rarely branch out and try new recipes. Well, shame on me! There are literally thousands of incredible cookie recipes – this one included! – that I’ve overlooked in my haze of childhood cookie nostalgia. I take heart in the fact my Grandma Bonnie would have LOVED these Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies – she was a sucker for anything with coconut and chocolate – and forgiven my wandering taste buds. These cookies are soft and chewy, over-sized (which is the best cookie size, amirite?), and not overly coconut-y. They’re best enjoyed 10-15 minutes out of the oven – when they’re still a wee bit warm and gooey on the inside – but can be zapped for a few seconds in the microwave for a similar effect.

Enjoy in moderation!

 

COCONUT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Yields | 24 cookies

Inspiration | Taste of Home

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup finely granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 2/3 cups flaked coconut
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (175° Celsius).
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the coconut and chocolate chips. Shape two tablespoonfuls of dough into a ball and place 3 inches apart on a baking sheet; repeat with remaining dough.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until lightly browned (13 minutes was the sweet spot for my oven). Remove to wire racks to cool.

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Black Bottom Cupcakes

It occurred to me earlier this week that, as of late, this baking blog has been seriously lacking in one very important thing: BAKING. I could blame this on my recent love affair with soup (seriouslyhomemadesoupisthebestthingeverrrr), but the fact is I was just plain sugared out after the holidays. I don’t know about you, but I consumed so much cake, candy, and gluhwein in December (okay, and November) that I could hear my teeth screaming for mercy. With the face of my stern and ruthless Persian dentist in mind, I reluctantly placed a moratorium on baked goods.

If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you probably know that’s when I re-discovered soup. We only ate soup on the rarest of occasions in California, because frankly, it’s way too blasted hot there. Much to my delight, however, German winters are ideal for soup making and eating, and I fell in love experimenting with all the recipes I’d collected – but never tried – over the years in San Diego. We enjoyed everything from Broccoli Cheddar to Zuppa Toscana, from Cream of Wild Mushroom to Cheesy Potato Bacon. We ate soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and probably – no joke – a few times for dessert. We lost ourselves in those heady days of cream and broth and bacon. In the meantime, my oven sat neglected, patiently waiting for me to get back to the business of baking.

Oh sweet oven, you know me so well. Late last week, I started getting that all-too-familiar hankering for chocolate. It started off subtle, but by the weekend I was pawing through my recipes looking for something to satisfy my sweet tooth. When I stumbled across these cupcakes – one of my childhood favorites – I knew I was back in the baking game. And thank goodness – I wasn’t keen on starting a Soup Goddess blog!

Black Bottom Cupcakes instantly remind me of my lovely aunt Rebecca, who frequently brought these to family picnics, potlucks and camping trips when I was growing up in the Pacific Northwest. I hadn’t had one in years, but was immediately transported back to the blissfully happy days of my youth as soon as these emerged from the oven. They are a delicious combination of decadent chocolate cake and rich, lightly sweetened cheesecake, studded with semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips. They’re an especially attractive dessert for those that love cake but hate the occasionally cloying sweetness of frosting. Enjoy in moderation!

Black Bottom Cupcakes1

 

BLACK BOTTOM CUPCAKES

Yields | 14-16 cupcakes

Inspiration | my aunt Rebecca

  • 1 1/3 cup finely granulated sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup freshly brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature (do not microwave!)
  • 1 large fresh egg
  • 6 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. Place 1 cup finely granulated sugar, cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking soda in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add coffee and oil and mix on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Add vinegar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, then blend on medium speed for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. Fill each paper liner half full with chocolate batter. Set aside.
  4. Clean and wipe dry the mixing bowl. On medium speed, blend cream cheese, 1/3 cup finely granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and egg until smooth and creamy. (Note: DO NOT OVER MIX. Blend just until lumps disappear, no more than 30 seconds.) Add chopped chocolate pieces and stir to incorporate. Top chocolate batter with one heaping teaspoonful of cream cheese mixture.
  5. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from muffin tins immediately and cool thoroughly on a wire rack. The insides will be gooey if eaten within the first hour, but will set thereafter. If you prefer the gooey texture, microwave for 10 to 15 seconds before eating.

Mini Samoa Doughnuts

Mini Samoa Doughnuts

 

Every Halloween for the last few years, I’ve tried my hand at a new doughnut recipe. I’ve struck gold in the past with flavors like Apple Cider and spiced Pumpkin, and had high hopes that these little guys – fashioned after the Girl Scout cookie classic, Samoas (also known as Caramel deLites) – would be just as yummy. Mission accomplished! The combination of sticky caramel, crunchy toasted coconut and semi-sweet chocolate was divine, if not a wee bit messy (which just means ooey-gooey delicious, right?). The recipe below makes 12-15 miniature doughnuts – perfect for a brunch treat or a morning meeting in the office. Enjoy!

Tip: Make sure that you use a slightly thickened (but still drizzly) caramel sauce rather than a caramel syrup. The thickness of the sauce helps the coconut adhere to the doughnut’s surface, preventing the whole thing from falling apart while eating.

 

MINI SAMOA DOUGHNUTS

Yields | 12-15 miniature doughnuts

Inspiration | Damn Delicious

 

For the doughnuts:

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg

For the toppings:

  • ¼ cup salted caramel
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

     

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a mini donut pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together milk, vinegar, butter and egg. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist.
  4. Scoop batter evenly into donut pan. Place into oven and bake for 4-5 minutes, or until donuts are slightly browned and spring back when touched.
  5. When the donuts are done, cool for 10 minutes and dip the top into the salted caramel. Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes and drizzle with chocolate.
  6. Allow chocolate to set before serving.

 

Triple Chocolate S’mores Bark

Triple Chocolate S'mores Bark

As a child growing up in the beautiful (but climatologically moody) Pacific Northwest, Memorial Day weekend held a special significance for my nature-loving family: the re-opening of campgrounds, parks, and trailheads closed for the winter months by snow, storms, or flood conditions. While prohibitively large crowds often kept my parents, brother, and I from actually camping out over the long holiday weekend, its arrival never failed to produce excited anticipation for what promised to be three unforgettable months of hiking, camping, and outdoor adventure.

Camping – and I mean real camping, which doesn’t involve electricity or lodging on wheels – is one of my all-time favorite summer past-times. I love finding the perfect spot for my tent, building a small campfire, and searching for shooting stars in the clear night’s sky. This experience is, of course, made infinitely better by the addition of marshmallows, graham crackers, and a handful of Hershey’s bars. That’s right – I’m talking about the oohey-gooey awesome deliciousness of the humble s’more.

Naturally, I couldn’t get out of the house last weekend to go camping [sad face]. I blame it on an injured back, rain, and something called “campground reservations”. Never one to be deterred from – well, anything – I decided to bring s’mores inside. I considered S’mores Dip (still on the agenda) and S’mores Pie (definitely on the agenda), but settled on Triple Chocolate S’mores Bark because – SURPRISE! – I love chocolate.

Best. Decision. Ever.

In all honesty, my attempt at this recipe didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as the original (check out A Kitchen Addiction‘s gorgeous photos!). Appearances aside, it was easy to make and super delicious! I highly recommend this sweet treat for anyone that doesn’t care for the campfire version (*GASP*), or is rained (or injured/reserved) out of the great outdoors. Enjoy!

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE S’MORES BARK

  • 24 ounces dark chocolate
  • 8 ounces white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup (3-4 sheets) graham crackers, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup marshmallow bits
  • 2 (1.55 ounce) Hershey’s milk chocolate bars, broken into pieces
  1. Line a 15×10 inch cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Melt dark chocolate according to instructions on package, making sure to stir periodically.
  3. Melt white chocolate according to instructions on package, making sure to stir periodically.
  4. Spread melted dark chocolate onto prepared cookie sheet. Spoon white chocolate over the top. Swirl white chocolate through dark chocolate using a knife or thin rubber spatula.
  5. Sprinkle with graham cracker pieces, marshmallow bits, and broken chocolate bars. Lightly press topping into chocolate.
  6. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour to cool and set.
  7. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes

There are bandwagons in life I don’t mind missing. Fifty Shades of Grey. Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Twitter. The Seattle Seahawks. I don’t get the appeal of lots of popular things, and that’s okay – to each their own! That said, I’m officially jumping on the red velvet bandwagon like it’s the freaking Marshawn Lynch of desserts.

Because seriously, these cupcakes are so good. Life-changing good. If I wasn’t making a conscious effort to improve my diet, I’d eat one of these at every.single.meal. My cat even ate one – surreptitiously – and then stared at me lovingly for the next hour. That’s right, they’re cat approved. What else could you possibly need to know about them?

They’re easy to make, super light and fluffy, and the orange cream cheese frosting is divine. They were gobbled up by my co-workers in record time, and the requests for more keep rolling in. Fair warning: this recipe makes A LOT of cupcakes – approximately 30. It’s a great dessert option for a larger group of people, but not ideal for a small family. Enjoy!

RED VELVET CUPCAKES WITH ORANGE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Inspiration: More From Magnolia

Yields: 28-30 cupcakes

For cupcakes:

  • 3 1/3 cups cake flour
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp red food colouring
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda

For Orange Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature and cubed
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cubed
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 ½ tsp freshly grated orange zest

To make cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 28 to 30 individual muffin tins with paper cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, sift cake flour and set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together food coloring, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Add to batter and beat well.
  4. In a liquid measuring cup, stir salt into buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts, alternating with sifted cake flour. With each addition, beat until flour and buttermilk are incorporated, but do not over-mix.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix until smooth, approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute. Scrape batter from sides of bowl using a rubber spatula, if needed.
  6. Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from oven, immediately transfer cupcakes to wire rack and cool completely.

To make frosting:

  1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer over medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract, orange juice and orange zest and beat well to incorporate.
  2. With motor of electric mixer running on medium speed, gradually add sugar, 1 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and creamy. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate icing for 2 to 3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.

Layered Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut-Pecan Frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Pecan Frosting

I’d love to write a proper post about these cupcakes, but my hands are covered in oohey-gooey, chocolatey, coconutty amazingness.

LAYERED CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES WITH COCONUT-PECAN FROSTING

Yields: 24 cupcakes

For cupcakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For chocolate buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

For coconut-pecan frosting:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

To make cupcakes (recipe courtesy of Food.com):

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two 12-mold muffin tins with paper baking cups; set aside.
  2. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, and sugar. Add oil, coffee, and milk, then mix for 2 minutes at medium speed. Add eggs and vanilla, then mix for 2 additional minutes.
  3. Pour batter into paper baking cups until 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make chocolate buttercream (recipe courtesy of Add a Pinch):

  1. Add cocoa powder to the large bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk for 10-15 seconds to remove any lumps.
  2. Cream cocoa powder and butter until thoroughly combined. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto high speed for approximately one minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
  3. Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and mix until thoroughly combined.

Note: If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. If it appears too wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

To make coconut-pecan frosting (recipe courtesy of my Mum):

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla extract until thick, approximately 12 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Strain thickened milk-egg mixture through a fine sieve to remove any lumps.
  3. Add coconut and pecans to strained mixture and stir until thoroughly coated. Remove from heat and cool for 15-20 minutes.

To assemble:

  1. Remove paper cups from cooled cupcakes; discard. Using a sharp, slightly serrated knife, gently slice cupcakes in half. Spoon a teaspoon of chocolate buttercream onto sliced side of upper portion, spread carefully using a butter knife, and press gently into lower sliced portion. Repeat until all cupcakes have been layered. To finish, top each cupcake with cooled coconut-pecan frosting.

Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Chocolate Chunk Brownies

Happy New Year, baking gods and goddesses!

Anyone that knows me – even a little – knows I LOVE chocolate. Every time I have the opportunity to indulge in something a little decadent, more likely than not it will be made of chocolate, covered in chocolate, or pure 100% unadulterated chocolate. Excessive? Maybe. Delicious? Heck yea!

These yummy little brownies are a chocolate lover’s dream. Made of high-quality unsweetened cocoa and chopped milk (or dark) chocolate, they are rich, moist and chewy, perfect with a tall glass of cold milk or a few tablespoons of heavy cream. I’ve spent many years making brownies – admittedly from a box mix, I’m a tad ashamed to say – and I think this homemade recipe far and away surpasses anything else I’ve made or tasted elsewhere. I highly recommend giving them a try!

CHOCOLATE CHUNK BROWNIES

Makes: 16 brownies

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 fresh eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 4oz milk chocolate bar (such as Dairy Milk), chopped into medium-sized chunks
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius). Prepare an 8×8″ ceramic or Pyrex baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (or lightly grease with butter).
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted (do not brown), remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla, blending thoroughly.
  3. Mix in cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir in chopped chocolate pieces. Spread batter into prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted 2″ from edge comes out clean.

*re-posted from my old blog, Cucina Fresca*