Monday, February 25, 2013

Valentine's Day Truffles

I know, I know. It's been a while. :( I have no excuses. All my classes are online this semester, so I have plenty of free time. We didn't even really do anything for Valentine's day. Sam and I went to Vegas. You know, revisiting the honeymoon, getting free tickets to shows (we got really really lucky and only had to listen to an hour-long "not"-timeshare demonstration...), exploring all the different casinos, you know, the whole Vegas experience. But that's not the point. The point is, y'all are about to be bombarded by a ton of posts. I pinky promise. But for now, let's start with a jaw-dropping, earth-moving, life-changing chocolate experience. I might be overselling it, but one of the bartenders at Sam's restaurant said this stuff could stop wars. But you guys be the judges.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles
from Bakerella

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
10 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Yeah, the three things that make the world go 'round. Yum!

First off, beat that cream cheese until fluffy and smooth.

Melt the delicious chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth.

Reminds me of that chocolate river from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Nom!

Add the peanut butter to the chocolate (no extra heat necessary!) and stir it until smooth.

Pour this heavenly concoction over the cream cheese and stir until completely combined.

Spread it all into a square pan and then let it chill for several hours. (This part is really really hard!)

Now, let's talk toppings. You could always leave them plain, but hey, why not jazz them up? I picked some lovey-dovey nonpareils, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar.

Scoop the chocolate out with a melon baller, shaping it into about a teaspoon to tablespoon-sized ball. Roll the chocolate into balls and then chill them in the fridge for a few minutes if they get too warm.

Coat balls in whatever you want! Make them look as awesome as they taste.

Enjoy! They're amazing, and they'll be a hit with everyone. :) And I promise to write more again soon.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hot Chocolate

I am so so sorry for not writing. I've been busy hacking up my lungs catching mice getting older taking finals mostly being sick. And I did bake some things, but none of them were worth sharing with you. And do I have a knockout for you now! Read on.

I love hot chocolate. I mean, I REALLY love hot chocolate. I'm a weenie and I think it's cold here in our 43 degree nights. I used to be stronger. I would run outside in -5 degrees in my pjs and flip flops in the snow to get the paper. But now, no way, Jose! I have to bundle up just to go to the supermarket. Oh, California. Anyways, my rambling has a point. What's better for cold weather, be it 40 degrees or -10, than hot cocoa? A hot chocolate cookie. Like this one:

Yum, right? Let me tell you, they are a hit with kids from 1 to 92. Sorry. I still have Christmas on the brain!

Hot Cocoa Cookies
from Pip & Ebby

1 stick unsalted butter
7 bars semisweet chocolate (12 oz. chopped, 7.5 oz. cut into 1-inch squares and the rest for garnish)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
30 marshmallows

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently, over 
medium heat. 

Let that cool for 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl,mix the dry ingredients. (The flour, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder)

In a separate (larger) bowl, beat together the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth, 2 
minutes if you use a mixer (on low). 

Now, mix in the cooled chocolate mixture from the stove. 

Add the flour mixture in a little at a time.

Mmmm... it looks so yummy already! Then again, how can something with so much chocolate be anything but?

Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour to firm it up.

Alright, here comes the fun part! Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking liner. If you use parchment, make sure you use fresh paper each batch. If you use silicon, you should be fine.

Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, scoop the dough and roll between your palms to form 1-inch balls. It's gonna get pretty messy, but the funnest projects usually are!

Arrange about them about 2 inches apart on the trays. Flatten them slightly.

Bake until the tops of the cookies crack, about 12 minutes.

While the heavenly smell of chocolate is wafting through your house, cut the marshmallows in half hamburger style and stick 1 square of chocolate onto each of the cut sides, where it's sticky.

Once the cookies are done, remove them from the oven. But wait! There's more!

Gently press a marshmallow half, chocolate side down, into each cookie. Don't push too hard, though! You really only want the chocolate in the cookie.

Bake until the marshmallows are just softened, about 4 minutes. 

Now, grate some more chocolate and sprinkle it over the tops of the marshmallow. Just because you can never have too much chocolate! Let the marshmallows cool just a little so you don't burn your whole mouth. Then close your eyes and let these cookies take you to hot cocoa heaven.