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Entries in chocolate (34)

Monday
Jun162008

It's not easy photographing brownies on a rainy day.


I had to roam all over the house, plate of brownies in hand, being followed by two hopeful corgis and one hopeful five year old. All three wishing that I'd drop one or two. I didn't, but promised the kid he could have one after they had their picture taken. The dogs were out of luck.

 

 

Just look at that crackly, shiny crust!

 

I finally found a spot in the living room in front of our big window. Nice daylight flooding in there, but geez, it was still tough to get them to look right. I mean, I think they look ok, but it was tough to show how moist and fudgy these really are. And are they ever! I really think this is the last brownie recipe I'll ever need. Seriously! They are easy to make, have cocoa and a nice big dose of melted chocolate, and just give you that "Holy @$%*, these are awesome!" feeling. I dare you to try one and not say that. Just one of these can wash all your troubles away. Ok, it may take two, but that's not hard to take, is it?

I had planned on making Peppermint Pattie Brownies, but remembered that I'd bookmarked another one to try. So glad I thought of them! I had the Peppermint Patties anyway, so I decided to make one pan with and one without.

 

 



These Double Chocolate Brownies can be found at Bake or Break, and they are a Martha Stewart recipe. They are perfect. Rich and chocolatey, but not too sweet, and extremely moist. I only did a couple things differently--I melted the chocolate (Ghirardelli semi sweet chips), butter and cocoa in a pan, and not over simmering water. Just do it on medium low and stir it often. You can get the other elements of the recipe ready to go while you keep an eye on it. I didn't notice that you're supposed to butter the pan and the parchment. I didn't do either, and had no trouble, thank goodness! I doubled the recipe and split it between two 8" square pans. I pressed nine Peppermint Patties (mini ones!) evenly into one pan, 3 rows of 3. Press them down about halfway, and using a spoon, gently cover them over with batter. They both baked for exactly 35 minutes and were perfect.

 

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, lift the out and let them cool completely before cutting. If you can.

 



Go make some! I'll bet you have everything on hand, right now. :)

 

 


Was that enough brownie porn for one day? I hope so, because I'm all out!

 

Tuesday
Apr152008

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins and the Food For Plastic KIDZ Challenge


Ben over at What's Cooking is hosting a Food for Plastic (Kidz) Challenge. Noooo, not plastic kids! Silly...hehe. Tupperware!

What's it all about, you ask? April is Children's Month at Tupperware, and to celebrate, they're donating $1 from the sale of certain items to the Boy's and Girl's Club. What a great cause! Tupperware has a lot of kid's items on sale for 30-50% off, as well. To see them, go take a look at Ben's Tupperware store. Check out those awesome lunch boxes--get a head start on back to school shopping (really, it'll be here before you know it! I'll duck now so you can throw your shoes at me.), and cross one of those off your list!

What is a Food for Plastic Challenge? Well, let me tell you! Ben sells Tupperware, so he hosts these themed challenges. You submit a recipe to the challenge, and they get voted on. The winner usually wins some Tupperware. Pretty cool, right? This one is food for kids. Something you enjoyed as a child, or something your kids love today--you get the idea. Oh, and Ben's blog is packed full of amazing recipes and tons of info, so get your butt over there check it out. Please. :)

My entry is Double Chocolate Banana Muffins. My kids absolutely love these, and really, unless you hate chocolate and/or banana, you'll love them, too. Moist, chocolatey, banana-ey--mmmm! And a tip: you can pop a cooled muffin in the microwave for 30 seconds and get the chocolate chips all melty again. Grab your glass of milk and you're all set for a chocolate break.

Muffins are usually easy to make and these are no exception. You'll have them in the oven in no time. I usually have to set some bananas aside (that means HIDE them from my four monkeys...I mean...kids) to ripen up if I want to make these. I got this recipe years ago in some e newsletter.

Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients.
2. In a small bowl, combine bananas, oil and egg.
3. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. The batter is quite thick, but keep folding it gently, making sure to get the batter on the bottom of the bowl, and it'll all come together.
4. Fold in chocolate chips.
5. Fill greased or paper lined muffin cups three fourths full.
6. Bake at 350 deg F for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done.

My husband was watching me scoop the batter into the pans, and he suggested I sprinkle some walnuts on top of some of them. Nice addition, and those seemed to be "overlooked" by the kids. So finally, we got to enjoy some, too, and didn't have to fight for a measly crumb, hehe. Oh! An ice cream scoop is a great way to get your muffins all the same size, and makes scooping the batter in the pans really easy.

 

Monday
Mar312008

I promised you Brownies! And look--two different kinds!

Mmmmmmm, broooooownieeees. Whether you like them cakey or fudgy... fudgey (I've GOT to get a correct spelling on that. Firefox is telling me that those are both wrong, hehe.), everyone loves brownies. I usually go for fudge-like (that works! woo!), but I won't turn a cakey brownie away, either. I'm an equal-opportunity-brownie kind of girl. Give me a brownie and a glass of milk, and I'm happy!

In the last couple of weeks, I've tried two new recipes, and come across so many more I want to try. Who isn't always on the lookout for the perfect brownie recipe, right?

The two that I ended up choosing were not for their sinfully-bad-for-you and chocolate-loaded qualities, but for their "Hey, this looks interesting, let's see what they're like" qualities.

And guess what? They're both fantastic brownie recipes! Both rich and chocolatey, but not so bad for you that you'll feel guilty indulging in one or two.

First up was Whole Wheat Brownies from Made Healthier. We've really been trying to get more whole grains into our diets and into our kids, hehe. They were really good! I'll definitely make them again! They were cakey, moist and very chocolatey. They didn't taste like whole wheat, either, and the kids liked them--that was the most important test!

I knew I wanted to get more chocolate into them, so I melted some chocolate to add to the batter. I also keep some instant coffee on hand just for brownies. Never. For. Drinking. Ever. But add some to brownie batter, and it makes them have a deeper, more intense chocolate flavor. Geez, I'm getting hungry just thinking about them! I also doubled the recipe because we're a big family, and an 8x8 pan will be gone faster than you can look at a brownie and yell "I call that one!" The recipe calls for 1/3 cup vegetable oil, and since I was doubling it, I melted 1/3 cup of butter, along with between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of bittersweet chocolate. You can see the original recipe here. And I'll post it here with my changes:

Whole Wheat Brownies

1 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup butter
scant 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate
2-3 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Melt the butter and the bittersweet chocolate together in the microwave. Start with about one minute, then 15 second increments, stirring after each 15 seconds until the chocolate is melted.
Stir the coffee granules into the butter chocolate mixture.
In another bowl, combine the oil, butter mixture, milk, water, eggs and vanilla.
Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff, stir in the chocolate chips, and combine.
Pour into 2 greased 8 inch square pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Cool (if you can wait), and cut into squares. They tasted even better every day, too. Until the end of the third day--then they were all gone. ;)

Being served next: Raw Vegan Brownies

I was so intrigued when I saw this recipe. I read it over at 28 Cooks--another great blog! It has only 5 ingredients, and no baking--hence the name Raw Vegan Brownies. ;)

My husband loves bars and things made with dried fruit, so I knew right away he'd love these. I mentioned the recipe to him and he hounded me until I made them, hehe. They are fabulous! Really. I can't even believe how chocolatey they are. They're like a little miracle brownie! I don't think you could make these without a food processor, though. You've got to process it all together until you have the dried fruit chopped ultra fine and mixed thoroughly with the other ingredients. I should add that I doubled the recipe, planning to make 2 pans, but pressing half the mixture into one 8 inch pan was going to give us really thin brownies, so we put all of it into one square pan and got what you see in the photo.

Raw Vegan Brownies

1/2 c dried pitted dates--not the sugary coated chopped ones--you're using a food processor anyway, get the whole pitted dates
1/2 c dried cherries

1/4 c cocoa powder

1 c walnuts

3 tbsp agave nectar

(you can use carob powder and honey in place of the cocoa and agave, if you prefer)

Add all ingredients to food processor and process until everything is thoroughly combined and chopped. Press into a square pan, and freeze for one hour. (To make it easier to cut them into bars, I lined the pan with plastic wrap and then lifted the whole thing out after freezing. Peel off the plastic and cut into bars.) Remove from freezer, cut into squares, and store in the fridge. Deelicious, and rich, so cut them into small squares.


 

Sunday
Mar162008

Almond Joy Muffins

Chocolate and coconut. Coconut and chocolate. Right up there with chocolate and peanut butter, I think. Well, really, aren't there a ton of things that just seem to be destined to go with chocolate?

At Halloween, after we've gone out to Trick or Treat, my three youngest always gladly hand over their little bite sized bits of chocolate and coconutty goodness, otherwise known as Almond Joys and Mounds. My oldest--she loves them, too, and won't give 'em up. hmmmph.

*side note: I'm laughing my butt off, because I was googling to get pics of the candy bars to post here. Almond Joy was easy. But Mounds...wow! Google Mounds ---> Images, and see what you get. hahaha! Are we supposed to believe those are real?!?

Anyway, back to the food...if you can get that image out of your head, hehehe. I was craving the choco-coco combo, and also craving muffins. I love muffins. All kinds of muffins. Muffins are our friends. I came up with these, working off of another recipe I have for fruit muffins. I changed things around, added stuff, took out the fruit, and came up with these. They're not sweet, like you think they might be--they're just right. Make sure you get coconut milk that isn't sweetened! If you can't find it, you can use regular milk, no big deal.

Almond Joy Muffins

Makes 6 large muffins, or 9 or so regular muffins

Ingredients

2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar

1 TBSP baking powder

1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup melted butter

3/4 cups coconut milk, or regular milk

1 tsp almond extract

3/4 cups coconut, plus a little more for sprinkling over the tops

1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, butter, coconut milk and almond extract.

4. Stir into flour mixture.
5. Fold in the coconut and the chocolate chips.
6. Grease 1 (6 muffin) muffin pan.

7. Fill the tins about 3/4 full, then sprinkle the tops with the remaining coconut. (an ice cream scoop makes the tins easy to fill and makes your muffins the same size)

8. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Mine were done at 25, so start testing then. For regular size muffins, check them after 18-20 minutes.
9. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then serve. But if you're like me, you'll grab a molten hot muffin right out of the oven and pig out. Cooling is for whimps. ;-) Kidding!

To print this recipe, click here!

 

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