Happy Purim: Hot Chocolate on a Stick

What is hot chocolate on a stick, you ask? apparently it’s not exactly what it sounds like, because it sounds like liquid on a stick, which sounds impossible. So I guess I’d have to say it’s a bar of chocolate on a popsicle stick that you melt in hot milk to turn into hot chocolate!
Happy Purim! I sent this recipe to Jessica a couple of months ago, and even though these were meant as Christmas gifts, we saved them to make for Purim, because don’t they make perfect mishloach manot? This recipe uses store-bought mini-marshmallows, but we knew if we were going to make these, we had to make our own!

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Chocolate Earl Grey Shortbread Coins


My favorite kind of tea is Earl Grey. I probably drink it too much. But don’t worry, I switch between brands so I don’t get sick of it. My favorite? Revolution Earl Grey with Lavender (in a box with a silk bag!). So this “grown up cookie” has been on my list of things to bake for a very long time. Ever notice how that list always gets longer, even during my week off? I need to stop looking at new cookbooks, reading blogs, and watching cooking shows until my entire “to bake/cook” list is checked off. Yeah, sure. Anyway, this is the perfect cookie to bake for a tea/coffee get together with friends, and the perfect end to a meal. Why? Because it’s easy to make. All you need is a food processor and some pantry staples. And some loose earl grey tea (only about a tablespoon). And I have plenty of that in my house (decaf, too!). Continue reading

Chocolate-Covered Frozen Bananas

This post is in honor of the best news ever!

Whenever I buy bananas, some of them start to turn brown before I can eat them. Seriously, they’re green when I bring them home, and when I wake up the next morning they’re already overripe! I usually peel them, cut them into chunks and freeze them for smoothies, but there are other things you can do with frozen bananas; You can dip them in chocolate and coconut or pistachios and eat them for dessert!

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Chocolate-Banana Marble Bread

Whether we bake, freeze or make smoothies, we always find ways to use up overripe bananas, but this time we bought bananas especially to make this bread. It was one of the recipes on Jessica’s list in her favorite bakebook (can you guess what it is? She should start one of those cook-through blogs and get a movie deal like Julie & Julia). She started mashing the bananas, but Richie didn’t want her to bake that day, so I took over.

This quick bread can be a dessert or breakfast! We made three, one for the parents, one for my in laws, and one for the freezer, because we always like to make extras for later.

Chocolate-Banana Marble Bread from The Art and Soul of Baking

Ingredients:

  • 2 or 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz.) buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups (7 oz.) sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz.) unsifted Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz.) boiling water, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease the pan(s). The recipe calls for 1 9×5″ load pan, we used 3 smaller ones.
  2. Peel the bananas and place in a bowl or food processor. Mash or process to a smooth puree. Measure out 1 cup of the puree and transfer to a medium bowl; that’s all you need. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and set aside.
  3. Sift the cake flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a medium bowl and blend well. Set aside.
  4. Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl, pour boiling water over it and stir until it forms a smooth paste-it should run thickly off the spoon. If it’s too thick, add another tablespoon of water and stir again. Set aside.
  5. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high for 4 to 5 minutes until the butter is very light. Turn the machine to medium and add the eggs,  1 tablespoon at a time, completely blending in each addition before adding the next. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. With the mixer on the lowest speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half of the banana mixture. Repeat with remaining ingredients, scrape down the bowl and finish blending batter by hand.
  7. Tranfer half the batter to a medium bowl, add the cocoa paste and gently but thoroughly blend it into the batter with a rubber spatula.
  8. Drop alternating spoonfuls of batters into the prepared pans, then marbleize by using a spoon to gently turn the batter oven in 3 places down the length of the pan.
  9. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes.

 

Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

We wanted to make a special dessert when our mom had a full house for Shabbat a couple of weeks ago,  so we consulted Jessica’s favorite book for some inspiration and came across this chocolate cake. Good enough to feed a crowd, because who doesn’t like chocolate, and we made it special by baking three 8-inch layers; we don’t eat 3-layer cakes every Friday!

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Oreos

I don’t remember the last time I ate an Oreo. (I really don’t remember the last time I ate a Hydrox, either. Remember when Oreos weren’t kosher and we had to eat the fake ones?) Well, the thing is, Oreos are really good. How can you go wrong with chocolate waferish cookies and a delicious cream filling?! And I happened to be craving them. While a normal person would go out and buy Newman-Os, Stephanie and I decided to bake our own! Continue reading

Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies

I (obviously) love ice creammore than most people, if you couldn’t tell ! And I really love ice cream sandwiches. But sometimes, the cookies that come with them are just too hard. So I decided to make some of my own cookies to pair with some homemade ice cream and make my own ice cream sandwiches. I wanted chocolate because I like the idea of the cookies being chocolate in ice cream sandwiches. Plus, they go better with a lot of ice cream flavors than traditional chocolate chip cookies. Like caramel and mint, the two flavors I happen to have in my freezer now. Continue reading

Fresh Mint Ice Cream

The thing about this mint ice cream is that it’s not flavored with extract. Instead, I steeped some mint leaves in the milk and let that flavor the custard. Delicious! Then, I added some chopped up thin mints to the batter during the last few minutes of freezing. Wow! What a great minty combination! You get that bright fresh mint flavor from the ice cream, and then the chewy and pepperminty thin mint bite a little while afterwards. This is a great refreshing summer ice cream. Continue reading

A Passover Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake

Passover is next week! Who is busy cleaning, looking for hametz and menu-planning!? Everyone? I thought so! We tend to skip the typical Passover dessert. Cakes made with potato starch and matzo meal just aren’t good; we’ll wait a week for the real thing. But this is different. It’s supposed to be flourless, but it’s not one of those rich, dense flourless cakes. The whipped egg whites and cream make it light and airy. Not only is it delicious on Passover, but it’s beautiful! Continue reading

Enormous Chocolate Chip Cookies

Even though I bake a ton of desserts and experiment with not-so-normal sweets, sometimes I just crave chocolate chip cookies. Baking them, that is. So this time I decided not to make just regular chocolate chip cookies (you know, the kind from the back of a chocolate chip bag), but giant ones with lots of chunks and some sea salt. A grown up version, I guess. Continue reading