Christmas Chocolate Fudge

Sweet and silky smooth chocolate fudge with crunchy pistachios and slightly tart raspberries! Incredibly easy to prepare with very few ingredients. It’s a great addition to your homemade holiday treats!

Oh my gosh folks… these are incredibly delicious!

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With all the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, parties, cookie swaps and gift giving, we can use a few simple yet delicious recipes that we can proudly share with friends and family! This is one such recipe! Insert the fudge into clear treat bags, tie with a pretty ribbon for adorable homemade treats!

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With just two main ingredients- sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips, this fudge takes less than 5 minutes to cook. Pour into a pan and let firm up in the refrigerator. How easy is that? So, let me get to the process right away….

—Melt sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a non-stick saucepan, until melted

—stir in vanilla

—pour into greased pan, sprinkle chopped pistachios and freeze dried raspberries (press lightly) and chill

—cut into wedges and enjoy!

I used Trader Joe’s Freeze dried raspberries

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Christmas Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients:

1 x 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons raw pistachios, chopped

1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries

12 popsicle sticks (optional)

Preparation:

Line a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil and grease with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Combine sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in a medium non-stick saucepan.

Place over low heat and stir for 2-4 minutes, until all the chcolate is melted and the mixture becomes smooth. Take pan off heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle chopped pistachios and freeze dried raspberries and gently press with the palm of your hands for the nuts and raspberries to adhere well. Place pan in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or until firm.

Remove fudge from pan, remove foil and cut into 12 wedges. If desired, inserted one popsicle stick into each wedge.

Store fudge in the refrigerator.

makes 12 wedges

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brownie Swirled Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet Cake

The ultimate decadence! Chocolate chip cookie cake with the addition of pumpkin and then a swirl of  brownie.

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Now that summer is winding down and days are getting shorter, Fall colors are beginning to be visible everywhere. So, let’s kick off the season with a cake that mashes up three desserts into one.

So we make a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie batter and a brownie batter and then swirl both together , bake.

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookie batter is very similar to a cake making process, cream butter, oil and sugar, then cream in butter and then the flour mixture and pumpkin puree. Finally stir in chocolate chips.

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To make brownie batter, melt butter, oil and chocolate, mix sugar and then egg and vanilla. Finish off with the flour mixture.

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Now, swirl both batter and bake.

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Notes-

-I used store canned pumpkin puree. Be sure that it 100% pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling

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Brownie Swirled Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet Cake

Ingredients:

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookie cake

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed golden brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Brownie

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preperation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet or any other oven safe skillet or a 9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

To make pumpkin chocolate chip cookie cake,

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine butter, oil and sugar in a medium bowl, beat with a hand held electric beater for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Beat in egg and vanilla, until well combined.

Add half the flour mixture, beat until just mixed followed by the pumpkin puree and then finish with the remaining flour mixture, until mixed.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Set aside and make brownie batter

To make brownie batter,

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine butter, oil and chocolate chips in a medium microwave safe bowl, microwave until just melted, 1 – 1 1/2 minutes.

Whisk in sugar until well  mixed. Add egg and vanilla extract and whisk well.

Mix in flour mixture.

To make skillet cookie cake,

Scoop both batters alternating in the prepared skillet, swirl together with a butter knife.

Bake about 35 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the middle pumpkin cookie cake part comes almost clean. Cool pan on a wire rack.

Cut into wedges to serve

Makes one 9-inch cake

Zucchini-Carrot-Oat Snack Cake

Loaded with rolled oats, zucchini and carrots this cake is perfect for breakfast or lunch box.

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Schools reopening in a week and my home is gonna get a whole lot quieter! I’ll sure miss all the neighborhood kiddos hanging out on our couch:(  Lunch packing… here we come!!

 

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What makes a good lunch box treat? Something yummy of course! What if I sneak in some good nutrition into it and still make it a proud worthy snack at the lunch table? Mommy happy… babies (yes, they still are for me at least ) happy….

batteroatunbakedoatSoft, moist, not too sweet, loaded with oats and veggies this is one cake that you can enjoy for breakfast, dessert or in a lunch box.

Grind all dry ingredients in a food processor ( I did experiment without the grinding, but the texture is so much better when ground). Whip sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, mix in vegetable oil  and then veggies. Finally, all the ground mixture, stir, bake, cool, slice and pack ( or just go ahead gobble it up…it has oats ).

 

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Zucchini-Carrot-Oat Snack Cake

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons old fashioned oats, divided

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs + 1 yolk, large

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup coarsely grated zuchini, lightly packed

1 cup coarsely grated carrot, lightly packed

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Preperation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

Combine 1 1/2 cups oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a food processor and process for 2 minutes.

Beat eggs, yolk and 3/4 sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer and beat with a hand held beater or flat beater for 2- 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Beat in oil and vanilla. Switch to a rubber spatula, stir in zucchini and carrots and then followed by the oat-flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan, smooth top, sprinkle remaining 3 tablespoons oats and turbinado sugar on top.

Bake for 35- 40 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes clean.

Cool cake in pan, on a wire rack.

Makes 1- 8 inch cake

 

 

 

Brownie Cookie Cups with Dulce De Leche and Salted Chocolate Ganache

The ULTIMATE INDULGENCE! Brownie baked inside a cookie cup and then topped with dulce de leche and salted chocolate ganache.Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Where do I begin? Imagine a chocolate chip cookie, but a brownie instead of the chocolate chips and then spread some dulce de leche and THEN top with salted dark chocolate ganache. Have you started breathing yet? HOLD ON… you then serve with vanilla ice cream!! OK! Go ahead and take a deep breath.

Summer vacation is filled with tons of play dates or rather the 13 year olds call it hangouts!! On one of such a so called hangout for a bunch of Sophia’s friends, I wanted a knock your socks off  unique treat! And ta-da……

You start by making a chocolate chip cookie dough minus the chocolate chips. Chocolate chip cookie lovers can be classified into categories- crispy and chewy! This dough is a cross between the two! Soft yet sturdy enough to hold on to the brownie and toppings. Make dough, spoon and spread in the muffin pan. Chilling the dough for some time helps in not spreading too much while baking.

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The fudgy brownie filling is an easy one bowl method. The batter incorporates both chocolate and cocoa powder resulting in a thick fudgy brownie filled cookie cup.

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Among all the fantastic confections that Latin America has to offer, dulce de leche has to top the list! It is basically cooked milk and sugar for a looong time until it has reduced and caramelizes into a thick concoction that is almost the consistency of jam. It is delicious straight up with a spoon, topped over anything and everything sweet. Mine was from Trader Joe’s  and it is yummy!!

Finally, a simple salted chocolate ganache to seal the deal!

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Brownie Cookie Cups with Dulce De Leche and Salted Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

Cookie cups:

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 large egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Brownie

6 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablepoons unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablepoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons water

2 tablepoons dutch process cocoa powder

1/2 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Salted chocolate ganache

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

other ingredients

1- 8 ounce can dulce de leche

Preperation:

To make Cookie cups,

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Whisk flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine butter and brown sugar in a large bowl, beat with a hand held electric beater until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

Beat in yolk and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.

Scoop about scant 1 tablespoon measure cookie dough in each cup.Use the back of a spoon to spread the cookie dough into cup shape, about 1/2 inch height around the sides.

Store muffin pan in the refrigerator, until you make the brownie batter.

To make brownie batter,

Whisk together flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

Combine chocolate chips, butter, oil and water in a large bowl. Microwave for about 1 minute until completely melted, stir every 20 seconds.

Whisk in cocoa powder and then sugar. Whisk for about 30 seconds, until sugar begins to dissolve. Whisk in the egg and vanilla extract. Then followed by flour-salt mixture. Whisk until just combined.

Remove muffin pan from refrigerator, spoon about 1 tablespoon brownie batter in each cookie cup.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of the cookie cup comes almost clean. Place pan on a wire rack and cool completely.

To make salted chocolate ganache,

Heat heavy cream in a small microwavable bowl, until it starts to boil (about 30-45 seconds).

Pour hot cream over chocolate chips, stir until completely melted and stir in salt and vanilla extract.

To assemble cookie cups,

Spread 1-2 teaspoons dulce de leche on top of each brownie cookie cup and top with 1 teaspoon salted chocolate ganache.

Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream or both!

Makes 12 brownie cookie cups

Fig Walnut Hand Tarts

Tender buttery crust, crumbly walnut streusel and roasted fresh figs makes the most delicious portable hand tart!

wholefigNot a galette!

Not a pie!

Not a tart!

Not a pop tart!

Is hand tart even a thing? If not, we just made one!! featurefigbar

The base dough is very similar to a galette or a pie crust( with a secret ingredient,shhh!) then topped off a with dry walnut crumble and then sliced fresh figs!

A perfect snack or serve with some whipped cream for dessert!

Not the easiest of recipes but well worth the effort! Let’s go through the process, shall we?

Make the tart base just as you would a pie crust( although store bought pie crust should work here). You will find an unusual suspect here – A yolk! It adds an incredible tenderness to the dough! The dough is super easy to work with and doesn’t stick as much! Although a little dusting of flour often is required to ensure that it does not  stick to the counter.

Next, make the walnut crumble- Mix all ingredients with your finger tips, that’s it! (To crush walnuts, add walnuts into a medium ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin) Spread evenly over the chilled dough.

Now comes our star ingredient… FIGS! I decided to mix it up , so I sliced 8 figs and cut remaining 4 into wedges. You totally don’t have to do this! Slice/ quarter/ chop/… feel free to design your way!

Finally, some turbinado sugar rain or drizzle. This not only adds a touch of sweetness but also aids in caramelizing the figs! YUMMO!!!

Dough after being processed…..crumbledough

Wrapped and ready to chill….

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Cut, chilled again and awaiting a crumbly top….

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All set to bake….

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Done baking…..

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Fig Walnut Hand Tarts

Ingredients:

Tart base dough:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, cold, chopped

1 large egg yolk

1/4 cup ice cold water

Walnut crumble:

1 cup walnuts, finely crushed

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

Additional ingredients:

12 large fresh figs, sliced thick

5 tablespoons turbinado sugar

confectioners sugar

Preperation:

To make tart base dough,

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor, process for 10 seconds. Add chopped butter pulse 10-15 times. Add egg yolk and water, pulse another 10-15 times until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. The dough would be crumbly and hold together well, if pressed with hand.

Transfer dough onto the counter, gather together(pressing gently) to form a fairly smooth ball. Wrap dough in plastic and let chill in refrigerator for one hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lightly dust the counter with flour, roll dough into a 12-inch square(keep moving the dough and dust as required) . Cut into 3 x 5 inch rectangles, gather dough and re roll to get 8 rectangles. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet, spacing evenly. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator for an additional hour.

To make walnut crumble,

Mix all ingredients with your finger tips until thoroughly combined.

To assemble tart,

Preheat oven to 400 degrees f.

Spread walnut crumble evenly over the tart base, place fig slices and sprinkle turbinado sugar.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool pan on a wire rack, dust with confectioners sugar before serving.

Serve at room temperature

Makes 8 tarts

 

 

 

Brown Butter Maple Rice Krispie Treats

Brown butter-maple rice krispie treats layered with salted dark chocolate-maple ganache.

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Kids and I planned a surprise whale watching trip over the weekend as a bonus gift for Victor’s birthday. He loves….loves  the ocean! He might even trade his couch and TV to live at the sea⛵️.

IMG_1260Had an awesome trip to the Monterey Bay and at one point of time there were 20 humpbacks around our boat. What a great way to finish off his birthday!  Of course , we feasted on the freshest seafood around!

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Brown butter has been all the rage for a while now and for a good reason! The nutty flavor from the burnt (almost) milk solids, toasted and caramelized notes  adds complexity to any recipe! Maple syrup compliments the caramel flavor, taking an ordinary rice krispy treat to a whole new level. I can stop here and call it a day, but why will I do that when I can add a dark silky, mapley chocolate ganache over and sprinkle coarse sea salt?

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I had these made yesterday for pictures when the kids came back from school. Let me tell you that they had a hard time resisting until I was done with the photoshoot!

 

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Notes:

  • Regular salt can be used instead of sea salt
  • As always I used Ghiradelli chococlate

Brown Butter Maple Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients:

6 cups rice krispies cereal

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 – 10 ounce package mini marshmallows

6 tablespoons maple syrup, divided

1/2 sea salt, divided

8 ounce semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

Preperation:

Grease a large bowl, a medium saucepan, a wooden spatula and a 8×8 square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line baking pan with parchment paper and grease again (you can get away without the parchment but it comes in handy to get perfect squares).

Add rice krispies into the large greased bowl and set aside.

Melt butter in the greased saucepan over medium-high heat  and continue to cook until it starts to get golden brown (my butter was cold and it took me 3 minutes). Reduce heat to medium and add all the marshmallows. Stir continuously until completely melted (about 45 seconds). Take pan off heat and stir in 4 tablespoons maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Immediately pour over rice krispies and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer into the prepared pan, press well and smooth top ( lightly greased clean hand works best).

Add chocolate chips into a small heat proof bowl and set aside.

Heat heavy cream and remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat. As soon it comes to a boil, pour over the chocolate chips and stir until melted and smooth. Pour over rice  krispies, spread evenly and sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon sea salt on top.

Let sit at room temperature until fully set.

Cut into squares and serve some little monsters along with milk after a long boring day at school!

Makes 16 squares.