Category Archives: My Darn Sweet Tooth

Delightful Mocha Truffles for your valentine!

mocha truffles

Happy Valentine’s Week!

Yes, it is already Valentine’s week!  It was just the holiday season and here we are already talking about chocolate recipes and ways to spoil your valentine!

Not only am I going to share our go-to mocha truffles recipe but I wanted to let you know that we are doing a live hangout today!  Tuesday Feb. 12 at 4:00pm PST/ 7:00pm EST.

We are going to show you how to make these decadently sinful and rich mocha truffles and we would love for you to come and visit!

Stop by and say hello!  You can go to our event page by clicking here.  We would love to have you there!

You can watch live from our events page and if you are early be sure to mention me in a comment and I would love to have you in our “peanut gallery” so you can talk to us live and get a front row seat. 🙂  You can comment during the hangout and ask questions, make comments or say hello.

mocha truffles for your valentine

Mocha Truffles

1 package of cream cheese 8 ounce, room temperature

4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tbsp. instant coffee

2 tbsp. water

dark chocolate powder for rolling the truffles

mocha_truffles_ingredients

Mix cream cheese, coffee, 4 tbsp. cocoa powder and water until well blended.  It is recommended that you use a hand mixer, kitchen mixer or even a food processor to get the mixture a smooth consistency.  

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Scrape bowl and mix until color is uniform.

Mixture will resemble a thick frosting and you will want to refrigerate for at least an hour until firm enough to shape.  Form into balls.  Roll truffles in dark chocolate powder and arrange on your choice of serving plate.   Keep refrigerated.  Number of truffles depend on the size that you make your truffles.

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Monkey Bread demo 4pm PST/ 7pm EST for your dessert recipe on Super Bowl Sunday! #superbowlplus #weekofchampions

This is your official invitation to watch me do a live demo to show you how easy it is to make money bread and why you’ll want to add it to your Super Bowl menu!

This is part of SuperBowlPlus Week of Champions and I am so flattered to be a part of it!

Come and show your support at this live streaming hangout!  If you have a Gmail address you already have a Google+ account and you’ll just have to log into your email account and click HERE to watch me LIVE!  You can leave comments or questions on the event page and we will be responding during the demonstration.

Just click on the play button to start watching and refresh the page at the time it is scheduled to start so you can watch it.  You’ll be able to play this again on YouTube anytime you want to see it again. 🙂

Monkey Bread is great for your sweet tooth and so easy to add to your Super Bowl menu.

See you Friday February 1 at 4pm PST/ 7pm EST!

Pear Danish in a Pan. No regrets.

easy pear danish dessert

Merry Christmas eve, friends!

Oh my this year has been quite a ride, hasn’t it?  Some really great things happened and by great I mean some of them sucked at the time.  I ponder and analyze a lot.  I like to take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture and what I can learn from both experience and observation.

I don’t bother worrying about things I cannot change, but I really am addicted to learning and applying new things to my own life and sharing them with people.  Kind of like what I am doing now.  🙂

Taylor and I were having a tearful conversation last week and we talked about how we think we should deal with things that hurt emotionally.  Coming up with an emergency plan can really help us when we don’t know what to do.  We can’t solve it and we might not even be able to change any part of a circumstance but we can control what it does to us.  When I am really upset about something that I have no control over here is a couple of things in my emergency plan:

  1. Admit that I don’t like whatever it is.
  2. Cry about it.  Alone or with someone that won’t expect me to talk about it.
  3. Be conscious of my behavior towards others while I am the most upset.
  4. Apologize if I act out unfairly.

We love food at our house, but I don’t want it to be a sole source of comfort when there needs to be healing.  Taylor and I talked about that too.  We want to make an effort to be open and learn as we go through life and instead of hiding from emotional pain we need to heal from it so we are healthy enough to help people around us that are also hurting. 😦

And then we can truly enjoy food for the smells, the flavors and enjoying the people we share it with!  Sound cheesy?  Well, it’s true.  This danish is anything but cheesy and I will tell you that this is the best kind of danish to make because it doesn’t require the time to roll and cut and fuss over individual danishes.

I adore rosemary and there was the perfect hint that was so heavenly.  Oh my…

The glaze was just the kind of danish frosting I needed!  Since I was craving a danish.  That’s what inspired this danish along with a recipe you can find by clicking here.  I didn’t follow it exactly but it was pretty close.  I didn’t roll out the crust either but I shaped it with my fingers and it still turned out so flaky and perfect for embracing the beautiful fruits that really made this danish worth writing about.

I loved sitting down to a piece of warm danish and enjoying it quietly with my girl.  She had her thoughts and I had mine, we just sat in complete peace and contentment knowing that we will remember this pear danish for a very long time.  And not only because it was delicious.  The nostalgia of sharing these foods is so priceless and it becomes a part of things we remember on the days we try to heal.

From Taylor, Yannick, Ethan and I we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas.  I hope you get to spend some time with someone you love this holiday and please don’t worry so much about the things money can buy.  Think about the things we will miss when we grow older and look back on all the times we smiled together.  That’s worth baking for!

What’s your emergency plan?

Just in case you didn’t read the post to find the link for the recipe, you can click here.

Chicken & Cauliflower with an Asian Inspired Peanut Sauce

You know how much I love my sisters. They were my first little girls and I will do anything they need without hesitation. But when my baby sister gave me an e n t i r e bag of peanut butter cups for our trick or treat party I was not pleased. Well- I was but at the same time I wasn’t. I like my jean size and I like my new jeans. I don’t want to have to go out and buy all new ones. 😦

I’ll never get sick of eating them by themselves and I adore them in cookies (right Karlis?) but I wanted to be a little more creative than I usually am.

There you have it! Peanut butter cups in a sauce! I should call it peanut butter cup inspired Asian peanut sauce. Perfectly balanced. The soy sauce added the Asian inspiration and the vinegar balanced the sweetness. It did need more sweetness to stand up to the soy sauce and vinegar so I added the brown sugar. A little ground ginger and pepper and this dark, richly smooth sauce is a dream. Yannick likes it and he refuses to eat peanut butter. 😉

If you want to be creative and try this sauce, prepare your rice and chicken. Roast, steam or serve the cauliflower raw. Substitute chicken for veggies if you want.

For the sauce simmer soy sauce, vinegar and chopped peanut butter cups in a small put on medium heat. Add onion powder, ground ginger and fresh ground pepper. I added about 1 cup of soy sauce, 1/2-3/4 cup white vinegar and 6 or 7 regular sized peanut butter cups chopped. After I simmered this for awhile I added some brown sugar- about 1/2 cup. Then I simmered more. Keep an eye on it you don’t want a rolling boil. Stir and taste. If you taste too much soy sauce or vinegar add sugar or honey to balance. Make sure you can actually taste the chocolate and peanut or there is no point in creating this incredible sauce!

This was the best Asian peanut sauce I have ever made. Period. I will be making this again, but not often because I am not a huge fan of those processed candies but they are so good. I love how smooth it turned out and I was able to balance all of the flavors! YAY!

Over the chicken and cauliflower the sauce was ideal. The chicken was seasoned of course with salt, pepper and garlic. The cauliflower was lightly browned with salt, pepper and onion powder. The rice was great for carrying the sauce from A to B. This was a definite success.

What sort of things will you do with your leftover candy? Big time points if you make something savory with Smarties! The only rule is I have to be able to taste the Smarties when I remake and blog about your inspiration. 🙂

Doughnut Apparatus & Chocolate Doughnuts

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I bought a doughnut iron kind of like a waffle iron and it has it’s upside and downsides.

The good thing is that you can “bake” mini doughnuts instead of frying and they are healthier than frying. They bake (or cook?) quickly so you don’t have to take forever to make a few dozen doughnuts. You don’t use your oven either so you can pretty much take this anywhere!

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The downside is that you need a pancake like batter. With a thicker batter it takes too long to load and you either only make two at a time or you burn your poor lovelies.

Depending on the recipe you can crank out some good treats, but I do miss the crispy fried outside of a regular doughnut.

This recipe was meant for a baking pan so the bottoms of these were a little dark, but drench them in glaze and no one even noticed!

My other half loved them because these were not really sweet. I used dark unsweetened chocolate and some sugar but not very much. I didn’t want to cover the chocolate with sweetness.

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You can find the base recipe that I used here.  I also added 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder and a packet of instant coffee.  I added a little milk to make a very thick batter just slightly less thick than frosting.  (You know, the consistency of thick frosting that won’t stand on its own.)

For the glazes I used a standard white glaze with powdered sugar, water and a few drops of butter flavoring to make a thick drizzle-able frosting.  The chocolate glaze was the same only with unsweetened cocoa powder and a pack of instant coffee.  The doughnuts and glaze won’t be overwhelmingly sweet but you can really appreciate the chocolate flavor!

Nice Save! Emergency Backup Plan for Chocolate Swiss Roll

Anyone that knows me is fully aware of my ability to royally screw things up.  I rarely encounter a situation where the poor recipe is at fault for my big huge mess up.  This is no exception.

I came across a beautiful recipe posted by one of my fellow blog friends and I thought, hmmm I wonder if I can pull that off??

She bakes gorgeous treats that taste sensational and I make quite a few of her recipes because she makes them look so tempting I just have to taste them for myself.  (Thanks, Lora for all you do!)

In my line of work, in order to sell a home it has to be something the new owner can envision as a home for his or her family.  In the food blog world, if a blogger can make something look tempting (or interesting) enough people will want to try it.  Trust me, I try more recipes than I create!  Coming from a free spirit in the kitchen such as myself that’s saying a lot.

So anyway, when Lora the Cake Duchess posted about her Chocolate Swiss Roll I had to have it.  It’s quite common for me to lust after food and put on some Lenny Kravitz while I mutter sweet nothings in the kitchen…siiiiigh…

One thing led to another and I didn’t hear my timers go off.  Yes, timers.  I am “that” person that needs multiple noises to cue the next step in a process i.e. waking up in the morning, appointments, taking things out of the oven.

I also made an error not using parchment paper as the recipe suggested.  The cake was over baked and I could see the darkened cake was nearly black in color.  Parts tasted of soft and spongy chocolate cake and others tasted like my chicken.  BURNED TO A DOGGONE CRISP! 😦  The cake recipe is amazing and I loved the soft, spongy chocolatey richness of the cake!  I really wish I hadn’t burned it.

I may have teared up a little.  So much for making this majestic treat for my family!  😦 😦 😦

I’m not sure what happened but I ended up trying to salvage this.  Yeah, it was burned but it was still flexible so all I had to do was mask the flavor.  Not very Iron Chef of me but it is what it is.

I grabbed a small pot and poured in some water, sugar, Grand Marnier (thinking of Kim of LivLife!) and rum with coffee.  I made my very first coffee liquor!  Reducing on the stove until the sugar dissolved and the flavors joined hands in perfect harmony.

I poured it over the cake, just enough for it to soak up but no excess slopping around in the pan.  I let it soak overnight and the next morning I was extremely impressed.

Ideally I would not have screwed up in the first place but since I had to think of a backup plan I did an exceptional job!

The cake was soft and very very moist with the liquor so I had to think of something to contrast it.  (I’m crazy about contrasting textures!)  The whipped cream part of the recipe was a must so I whipped that up and made the ganache.  That was incredible to.

One thing I imagined to go well with the chocolate and whipped cream was…amandines.  I could not find a recipe when I searched many months ago and I find that we call them something different here in America.

They were super easy to make and they turned out perfect.  My other half was in amazement and Ethan was so excited!  They reminded him of France and we talked about the sights we will see together the next time we go…

Tired of perfection I opted for a relaxed rendition for a beautiful alternative…

The cake was moist and the coffee liquor was a perfect enhancement for the chocolate cake!  (Not even a hint of burned cake flavor! Yay!)  The ganache added a perfect chocolate richness combined with the light and fluffy whipped cream.  The amandine was a welcome contrast to the cake and cream with it’s crispy texture and seductive almond flavor.

I am excited to try the Chocolate Swiss Roll in its intended form, but this was an amazing backup plan if I may say so myself.  All four of us really enjoyed this turn around!  Please don’t try my rendition (notice I don’t have my own recipe) but I encourage you to make the Chocolate Swiss Roll the way it should be done. 🙂

P. S. – Use parchment paper and watch your cake like a hawk watching its…cake.

***Recipe for Lora’s Chocolate Swiss Roll***

Amaretto Florentines

Courtesy ofour family French cookbook 🙂

3 tbsp. butter

1/3 cup sugar

2 tbsp. whipping cream

1 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup flour

2 tbsp. amaretto

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium saucepan combine sugar, butter, whipping cream over medium heat.  Stir and bring to a boil, I would stir almost constantly.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.  Combine with almonds, amaretto, flour and almond extract.  Place spoonfuls several inches apart on parchment paper and bake for 6-8 minutes or until nice and golden brown on the edges.  Cool on wire rack and enjoy! 

Lemonade Cookies with Sweet Cola Glaze

I know you didn’t think I was done with my new found cookbooks!  In fact, I had a strong urge to try another recipe out of this book…

You know I’m a cookie hound so this may not surprise you.  I am always on the lookout for a breathtaking cookie that doesn’t have any chocolate in it.  🙂  This one got a high score on my piehole chart!

The cookies were fluffy like cake or the ends of a whoopie pie.  The original recipe called for lemonade only but I added lemon zest and juice to be daring! 🙂  The flavor was not overpowering but the lemon definitely danced on my tongue.  The dancing happened more with the plain cookie than the one with glaze.

Oddly, the plain cookies and the glazed cookies had two completely different flavors!  The glaze lessened the lemon flavor and added a sweetness with a hint of the cola taste. It balanced quite well.

When Ethan, Taylor and I tasted lemonade and the cola side by side we were surprised at how well they went together and then I remembered that some actually serve lemon in their cola.  There was (may be still is) a cola with lime.  So there ended our deep discussion of- would lemon and cola go together???

The original recipe was just for lemonade cookies, but I am taking steps toward living life a little more dangerously (figuratively speaking) so this is a small sample of my creativity.  Humor me.  Just tell me it sounds good.

I love cooking and baking with the kiddos because they don’t just nod or shake their heads they give me a full review.  Presentation, flavor, texture and overall enjoyment.  I don’t care if you “like” it just give me the review!  I CAN TAKE IT!!! C’MON!

The recipe is an adaptation.  The glaze is an inspiration.  The glaze got mixed reviews.  Some could taste the cola, others like me just tasted the sweet powdered sugar flavor.  If I had butter extract or maybe added a drop of almond extract that I have on hand it would have made a difference.  The butter flavor would have masked the sugar-only and I think the almond would have enhanced the cola.  Maybe.  We’ll see next time.  Meanwhile, give these a try and maybe turn them into a whoopie pie!  That’s really what they want.

LemonY Lemonade Cookies

recipe adapted from Classic Cooking with Coca Cola

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

1/2 room temp butter

zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon

3 cups sifted flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup sugar

lemonade, measure in a liquid cup with juice of lemon then add lemonade to 6 fluid oz.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Add butter, lemon zest and sugar to a mixing bowl and cream together.  Add yogurt, first scraping sides well.  Mix.  Add lemon juice and lemonade and continue to combine.  Add flour and baking soda, folding with a spatula.  Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes until baked but before browning on the sides.  These made me 3 dozen.

Cola Glaze

by Dionne Baldwin

powdered sugar

cola

Start with 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2 tbsp. cola together in a bowl and wisk.  Add powdered sugar if too watery, cola if too stiff to pour.  Glaze should be think and able to remain on cookies but be pourable.  My glaze poured slowly because I love a thick glaze.  When correcting consistency add2 tbsp. powdered sugar at a time or 1 tsp. cola at a time until desired consistency is reached.  I did add colorant to my glaze to make the color nice and vibrant.

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we did.  The kids loved them so much and gave me such a detailed review that I showered them with cookies in their lunches the next day!  I know.  Bad mommy. 😀

Do you love lemon cookies?