Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts

Thursday, February 23, 2012

chocolate covered cherry cake balls

i've had several people ask for this recipe, so i thought i would share. don't you hate it when people  won't share great recipes? oh, it just drives me nuts. and let me just tell you - if you are one of those people, one day you will probably be making your secret recipe and then find yourself eating it all by your lonesomes. OR, on the other hand, maybe you will take your secret recipe to the bank and make millions off it. either way, you won't have any friends. no one likes secret recipes.
now, let me warn you: this recipe is delicious. so, if you eat like 20 cakeballs you can't blame me.

remember this recipe? it is amazing and is also travis' favorite cake, so i based this recipe off of that one. i had no idea how it would turn out and thank my lucky stars it worked out so in the very least i would have something to blog about. ha.

start with the above recipe. (i made two cakes, which made about 70 balls.) just make the cakes according to directions and let cool. do not make the topping.

after completely cooled, crumble the cake as much as possible in a large bowl. i bought chocolate frosting, but if you have a chocolate frosting recipe that you like, use it. I used one and a half containers for the two cakes. scoop out your frosting into the bowl and mix well with the cake crumbs. mixture should be really wet and have the consistency of really thick frosting.

once completely mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. once chilled, it will be thick enough to roll into balls. using a tablespoon, scoop out cake mix and roll into a ball. it is really messy, but i always say hands on is the best method!

after rolling each ball, place in a container (and you can stack on top of each other if you need to) and cover really well with plastic wrap and stick in the freezer. i didn't have time to make these from beginning to end, so i had to have them rest in the freezer overnight. i would imagine that if you wrap them well enough in the plastic wrap you could leave them in there for awhile. but don't quote me on that one.

and we're ready to dip! get some good melting chocolate: i like godiva melting chocolate best, but sometimes you just have to use the cheap stuff and it works great, too. get 2 regular chocolate almond bark and 1 white almond bark.

set an oven-safe or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water and set your chocolate in. remember not to get any moisture in the almond bark because it will get all funky on you. you can press down on the almond bark while it is melting and it will start to melt a little quicker and then just start stirring it around until it is a big bowl of chocolate heaven. and seriously, if it doesn't make you just want to take a bath in it - you've got problems. ;)

once it is melted, throw one ball in at a time. using a spoon (and professional people probably have a better method here, but whateves. we're lucky this even worked out, remember?!) gently push it around in the chocolate and spoon chocolate over it until it is well covered. then, scoop the ball up on the spoon and with a fork, ever so slight, push it onto wax paper - that you should already have laying on your counter. oops...i probably should have already told you that step.

do this as many times as it takes to get all the balls dipped. once they are all dipped, the very first ones should be starting to get hard. i lifted each one up by hand and just dipped the tops in the chocolate once more. i mean, technically at that point you can say they are hand double dipped - which makes you sound all fancy and like you know what you are doing.

after all the balls are dipped a second time, put a few blocks of the white almond bark into a gallon size ziploc and microwave for 45 seconds. it won't be completely melted yet, just take it out and mix it around in the bag with your hand, on the outside of the bag - don't be stupid, and then pop it back in for another 30 seconds. when it is ready, mix it up completely and then snip just the tiniest little corner off the bag with scissors and pour little stripes of white chocolate over each ball. really, i only do this part to camouflage my misshapen and deformed balls - and it really works. people don't even notice how weird they look. or maybe they do, but no one will tell you otherwise.

and we're done! you can let your cakeballs set out on the counter until serving time, or place them in a container and refrigerate or freeze. i like mine cold, so i always put them in the fridge.


and for those who were wondering: 

i did get my haircut! if i ever try to grow it out long again, someone stop me. but wait! are my glasses always crooked? 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

a concoction: whole wheat pumpkin chocolate chip! muffins

it's not often i come up with a recipe all of my own. i'm not the original type, you know. and this recipe isn't completely my own either because i did follow a guide that instructed me how to make my own recipe. but i am calling it a success.

whole wheat pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. b. soda
1/4 t. salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 c. canned pumpkin
3/4 c. milk
2 T. melted butter
1/2  bag of chocolate chips

i mixed all my wet stuff + the sugar. in a seperate bowl i mixed all the dry ingredients and combined the two just a little at a time. the batter was a little stiff. mix in the chocolate chips and fill baking cups to the rim with batter. bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.

next time i am going to add some oats. what is it about oats in the fall? is it just me? it totally might be me.

anyway, they are best served warm with a glass of icy-cold milk

now let's get to the good stuff.


my mother-in-law took this picture of nash on friday while she was babysitting for us. i am in love with this picture and i am in love with that face.

this role i have been gifted with, mothering, wow. well, it's a hard one. some days i don't feel fit enough to be a mother at all. but these boys. sometimes i get these little flashes and can envision them as the young men they will become. it is a sacred thing, i think. little glimpses that the lord provides to help guide us, as parents. or maybe it is to prepare us. either way, i am grateful. and am looking forward to the glimpses of what that little face will become, too.

ps. i am reading the help and i am in love with that book, too.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Seeing Red.

photo from here

for those who read my last post: wow. i've discovered the cure for depression: become so insanely busy you don't have time to be down. it works! and i think it had to do with the rain anyway. i always forget about that. When the sun doesn't come out, i get all weird. thanks for the nice comments, anyway.

i've kept up running 4 days a week for the last 3 weeks. only, i am pretty slow and wimpy. i even have to move to the beats of the devil (gaga and eminem and pop music in general. have you listened to that stuff lately? it's full of sex and...that's about it.) to keep me going.

my sub-division has stop signs every quarter mile or so, so that is my motivation. "if i can just make it to the stop sign..." and then i do and move on to the next one and the next one until i'm home. this morning, i even thought about breaking out in song and dance (catchy tune) so i wouldn't stop, but then this dog came out of nowhere and i started going through all my mental files on survival tactics. i was positioned to kick that effer right in the snout, but it's owner came out and i just ran on by like i wasn't really scared.

but then around the corner, the cutest little bulldog came wiggling over and since i lllloooovvvveeee bulldogs, i had to stop and pet her. she was  a little squatty thing named macy. (not to be confused with my beautiful completely-not-squatty sister in law, macy) and i fell in love instantly, only i want a boy bulldog named kingston (not to be confused with rockstar diaries' kingsley. hello! i wanted a bully named kingston long before i started reading that blog. i even contemplated naming one of my kids kingston before realizing how stupid that might be. sorry if your kid is named kingston).

okay, so i digressed there. anyway, the stop signs help. and you know what else helps?

chocolate oat bars.

actually, that is what is keeping me fat. but, here is the recipe anyway...

2 sticks of butter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. of rolled oats
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter

melt the butter over medium heat and add the brown sugar and vanilla. mix well and add the oats. mix until well combined. Pour half of the mixture into a 9 x 9 and press into dish with a spoon or fork. in another pan melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter over LOW HEAT (i cannot believe the amount of people who burn up their chocolate by melting it with high heat...including me.) once melted completely pour over pressed down oats and spread evenly. top with remaining oat mixture. pop into the fridge (or freezer if you are in a hurry) until set and eat those babies up!

they kind of taste like the regular no-bake cookies, but better. sorry for the low-quality picture. it's from my cell BEcause my camera is having issues. time to get a new one? travis, are you reading this? for a pocket-style camera, i'm digging this one. **I've since replace the picture.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

baked donuts.

Today, I made homemade doughnuts.

They were fabulous.

I made chocolate ones with toasted coconut.

I made vanilla ones with toasted coconut.

I made chocolate ones with sprinkles.

And vanilla ones with sprinkles.

And I have left-overs.

But, let's get real...I'm giving those just about 2 more hours. I got all Martha in the kitchen today and finally used my doughnut pans that I just had to have over a  year ago.

They. Were. Awesome. But, I bet you could already tell that from the pictures. And they are baked, so they're a little healthier, I suppose. Here's the recipe straight from April 2010 Family Circle magazine.

For Vanilla Cake Doughnuts:

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
1/2 c. packed dark-brown sugar
1 egg
4 t. melted unsalted butter
1 t. vanilla

Mix dry ingredients in small bowl, set aside. In another bowl mix wet ingredients until smooth and add to flour mixture. Spoon batter into a Ziploc bag and cut off a corner. Squeeze batter into each indentation in doughnut pan, about 2/3 full. Smooth top with small spoon. Bake at 325 for 13 minutes, until doughnuts are slightly springy. Let cool and then move on to the icing, baby!

For Chocolate Cake Doughnuts:

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. low-fat buttermilk
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
4 t. melted unsalted butter
1 t. vanilla

Same directions as above.


1 c. powdered sugar
1 T. + just a little extra milk

Stir until smooth. Dip top of doughnuts into bowl and allow extra icing to drip back into bowl. Place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper and start your toppings. You can also make chocolate icing by adding 1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder to powdered sugar and milk. Top with toasted coconut, sprinkles, mini-chocolate chips, mini M & Ms...whatever!

Seriously, your welcome.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Real Hot Chocolate.

My motherly obligation has been fulfilled. We went outside today in this "feels like 5 degrees" weather and played until their little hearts were content, which was about 9 minutes. Jackson even sat on the patio and cried, which I totally understood, because I, too, hate the snow and cold.

We made snow angels and tried to make a snowman, had a snowball fight and a few races around the house (which I won, by the way). And I took a few pictures to stash away as proof that I do things I don't want to do, too. 

The best part came at the end: Hot Chocolate. I am fancy and use a CocoMotion, but this recipe works just as well on the stove with a whisk. And just so you know, once you make this hot chocolate, Swiss Miss will never do the trick again.

4 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
shake of salt

Place all ingredients in medium sauce pan and start whisking over medium heat. The cocoa powder can be tricky because it will clump a little, but if you take the time to really whisk it while its on the stove, it will blend in nice and smooth. Once it is of desired hotness, you can pour it in a mug and drink it up.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Let's Make Whoopie.

My SIL Danielle and I got all crazy right before Christmas and made Whoopie Pies. Not just any Whoopie Pies, but chocolate ones with mint filling and chocolate ganache to top it off. The recipe estimated 20 pies, so I bought enough ingredients for 3 batches. But, hello! Have you ever made Whoopie Pies? They take F-O-R-E-V-E-R to make and the 5 kids running around our house were starting to get cranky. It was like they wanted attention or something. Needless to say, we stuck to just one batch.

And they were good! Oh, they were so good! I gently wrapped the baking sheet with plastic so they would stay moist and placed them lovingly in the oven so they wouldn't be poked or prodded by little fingers. And then disaster struck. I pre-heated the oven for lunch the next day, completely forgetting about our little love cookies and ruined them. I ruined my baking sheet, too, even though it was on it's last leg anyway and my hair smelled of plastic for the whole day. Awesome.

Here's the recipe, just don't burn them up like I did.

Source: Bon Appetit


•2 cups all purpose flour
•5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
•1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 cup nonhydrogenated solid vegetable shortening or unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature (I used butter)
•1 cup sugar
•2 large egg yolks
•1 tablespoon vanilla extract
•1 cup whole milk

Mint Filling:

•1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated solid vegetable shortening or unsalted butter, room temperature (I used butter)
•1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
•1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
•2 cups plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
•1/4 cup egg whites (from about 2 large eggs)
•3 to 4 drops green food coloring

Chocolate Ganache:

•3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
•1/2 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Start with the cookies:

•Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat shortening, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beating until blended after each addition.

•Drop dough by very rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are slightly puffed and spread but are still soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes. Carefully transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. DO AHEAD Cookies can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight in single layer at room temperature.

Go for the mint filling

•Using electric mixer, beat shortening, peppermint extract, and vanilla in large metal bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar, egg whites, and pinch of salt; beat until light and fluffy. Add food coloring drop by drop for desired shade of green; beat until well blended. If mixture looks curdled, place bowl over low heat several seconds and beat until smooth. Repeat as necessary until smooth.

Top it off like a pro: make a ganache

•Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Bring cream to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool until lukewarm but spreadable, about 15 minutes.

•Spoon 1 teaspoon ganache onto bottom (flat side) of half of cookies. Place cookies, ganache side up, on prepared baking sheet.

•Spoon mint filling into pastry bag fitted with medium star tip (or spoon filling into resealable plastic bag, squeezing filling into 1 corner of bag, then cut off 1/4 inch of plastic bag corner to allow for piping). Starting at outer edge of bottom (flat side) of remaining cookies and working toward center, pipe mint filling in spiral. Place 1 mint-filled cookie, mint side down, atop each ganache-topped cookie, pressing slightly to adhere. Store airtight at room temperature.

*And just in case your New Year's Resolutions included weight loss or healthier eating, just one of these cookies has 368 calories. I'd save them for a special occasion, wouldn't you?!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

I found this recipe in the deep recesses of one of my cookbooks. My first cookbook, to be exact, so there's no telling where this recipe originated from or how long I've had it. It was scrawled out on an envelope. And it wasn't my handwriting.

But, I will say: I didn't love it. And here's why: I substituted 1 cup of the all-purpose flour for whole-wheat flour. I did it on a whim. Maybe to make myself feel better just in case I ended up eating the whole would have been partly whole-grain.

What? Don't judge me. It can happen, you know.

 I don't know. It was okay, but not how I imagined. But, I think the original is quite good. And I'll be keeping with that one from now on. And here it is.

2 c. sugar
3 eggs
1 c. oil
2 t. vanilla
2 c. zucchini, shredded (I use a cheese grater)
3 c. flour
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 T. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 c. chocolate chips (I'm a dark chocolate fan, but use whatever kind you like)

Beat sugar and eggs until well mixed. Add oil and vanilla, mix, and then add shredded zucchini. Set aside. In another bowl, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Pour dry mixture a little at a time into wet mixture until all is combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into 2 loaf pans and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake

Let me start out by saying: I don't like chocolate-covered cherries.
Really. But this cake is SO GOOD.

Let's begin:

1 devil's food cake mix
1 21 oz. can of cherry pie filling
1 t. of almond extract****
2 large eggs

Whip the eggs with a fork and add cake mix, filling, and almond extract. I starred the extract because this is really the most important ingredient. I have made this cake without the extract and it did not taste the same. It's vital! Stir the mix well, it will be stiff. Spread in a 9 x 13 pan and cook for 30 minutes at 350.

And here's the best part: The Topping.

5 T. butter
1/2 c. milk
6 oz. chocolate chips (half the bag)

Melt the butter in a heavy bottom pan. Stir in milk and chocolate chips and stir constantly until melted. Pour over cake while it's still hot.

You can let it set for a few hours, and it's great.
But I prefer to eat it right out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Suggestion.

Two months ago I went on a girls only trip to Indy for the weekend. One of the highlights of the trip was the Godiva Chocolate Store at Circle Center Mall. All of us bought various chocolates that were amazing, but the best 9.00 I ever spent (EVER) was on 
3 giant dark covered strawberries. So worth it. While the ones pictured above aren't Godiva (although you can buy a block of Godiva melting chocolate at Sam's), they were still awesome and I made them with the boys so they were even more fun to eat. I keep chocolate Almond Bark in my pantry, so when the fancy hits, all I have to do is grab some strawberries, which are in season right now, so there are sales on them at every grocery store. Even better is supporting the local farmers and going to the nearest U-Pick place. We make chocolate covered blueberries and apples, too, which are just awesome. You just can't beat something that is covered in chocolate, right? Make them today!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chocolate-Covered Smoothie

This one is a chocolate-covered blueberry smoothie, but the possibilities are endless.
Another night we did chocolate-covered strawberry and I have my taste-buds set on a chocolate-covered banana one very soon.

It's all very simple:
A few scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt, frozen fruit, a little milk, and chocolate syrupIn a blender, of course.  Oh, and throw in some dark chocolate chips at the end and pulse just a few seconds for a little crunch. You know, Starbuck's Java Chip Frap style. (In the case of a banana smoothie, I would probably use a fresh banana and some crushed ice along with the other ingredients.)  

Share your own concoctions, please!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

I made this pudding recipe from the book Family Feasts for $75 dollars a week by Mary Ostyn. It's a great book and I really like some of the recipes, but for some reason I just can't figure out how she could only spend $75 on a family of four using some of the recipes she includes. Nearly all of them have meat, fish, or shrimp in them--a big part of the grocery bill. Anyway, her book also includes wonderful little homemade recipes like this one. This pudding is awesome--way better than the box kind.

1/4 c. cornstarch

2 c. milk

1/3 c. sugar

1/8 t. salt

1/4 c. coco powder

1 t. vanilla

1 T. butter

Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and coco powder in a medium size sauce pan. Whisk 1 c. milk, stirring until smooth. Whisk in remaining cup of milk until well combined. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly and gently, until mixture begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook 2 to 3 more minutes, stirring gently.

Remove from feat and add vanilla and butter, stirring until melted. Pour pudding into bowl or individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap, laying the plastic on top of the pudding to keep a skin from developing. Chill until cool--about 1 hour.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chocolate Cheese Ball

just make it.

8 oz. cream cheese,softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
3 T. brown sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
1 c. mini-chocolate chips
1 1/2 T. coco powder
3/4 c. chopped pecans

Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. I did this in my Kitchenaid and left it on for a few minutes. It was a whipped consistency, which I think helped in the texture of the finished cheese ball, just beat it really well if you don't have a high-powdered mixer. Mix in both sugars, coco, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Cover and chill for 2 hours in the fridge. After 2 hours, shape into ball and roll in pecans. Cover and chill for 1 hour more. Serve with graham crackers.

you. are. welcome!

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