Category Archives: chocolate

Book Club: S’more Cookie

I hosted my Book Club at our house last week, there were 8 of us here to talk about The Corrections, and catch up on what’s going on in our lives.  Check out what else was on the Book Club menu!

I’ll skip around the book club menu a bit to tell you all about the dessert.  I do have a reason- today it’s my Dad’s birthday, and I think he’d love this dessert.  Happy Birthday Dad!  One of his favorite desserts are chocolate chip cookies, and this is equally good.

I found this recipe thanks to Pinterest, I kept seeing recipes for s’more bars or cupcakes, and since it is an American dessert, I thought this would be perfect.  Although s’mores tend to be eaten near a bonfire or while camping, this is the perfect indoor substitute.

Growing up I spent a couple of summers at Cedar Lodge Summer Camp, in a tiny town of Lawrence, Michigan.  It’s mainly a horseback riding camp, but there were some that attended and didn’t ride.  I have very fond memories of my summers there, especially at the campfire at the end of each week!

Every Saturday night, all the campers and staff would gather around the bonfire with their blankets, bug spray, flashlights and sticks to make s’mores.  First we would eat dinner (burgers, hot dogs, or sloppy joe’s) and then we would find a great place to sit to hear stories.  My first week there, I remember Eddy, the owner of the camp, told us a scary ghost story which kept me awake that night in the cabin.  After he passed away, Amy (his daughter and Camp Director) continued to keep us entertained.  With night settling in, all of us would make s’mores and huddle together.  It was the perfect way to close a week of camp, before the new set of campers arrived.

S’more Cookie
Adapted from: Wit & Whistle

I basically did the same recipe, although I made it in a bigger pan.  It’s possible to make it smaller as well.  Best served when it’s cooled off, maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 6-8 blocks)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 King-sized Hershey’s chocolate bars
3 1/2 oz marshmallow puff*

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Using about a tablespoon of butter, grease a 9′x13′ baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar.  Add in the egg and vanilla, beat well.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.  Slowly incorporate it into the large bowl, mixing at a lower speed until it’s combined.

Divide the dough in two chunks.  Press the half into the baking pan, an even layer.  Then place the chocolate bars on top, try not to break the bars.  Spread the marshmallow puff onto the chocolate in an even layer.  Press the remaining dough onto the layer of marshmallows.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the top is lightly brown.  Cut into pieces after this has cooled off.

*Do not use melted marshmallows!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you take away all of the commercial hype about Valentine’s Day, I think it can be quite a nice day.  Take a few moments to spread some love!

I hope you called your friends and family to tell them that you love them!  Wore socks with pink and red hearts, and enjoy some delicious chocolates!

This was a perfect recipe- it had 2 servings (so there were no seconds to worry about)!  Although if Sam wasn’t going to eat his portion, I was willing to “take one for the team” and eat it for breakfast tomorrow…with some ice cream on top!

Lots of love and hugs to all of our readers- thank you so much for sticking around!!!

Next up- Lobster & Bacon Mac ‘n Cheese!  Double yum!

Chocolate Mini Lavas
Adapted from: A Meandering Mango

pinch of butter
2 tbsp sifted flour + 1 tsp flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar + 1 tbsp more for decoration
1 tsp half and half (or milk)
3.5 oz dark chocolate*
1 tsp espresso, ground
1 tsp vanilla
scoop of vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 425ºF.  While the oven is heating up grease 2 small ramekins (size: 4 oz) with butter.  Then dust the inside of the ramekins with 1 tsp of flour (1/2 tsp for each ramekin).

Add the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Slowly, add the powdered sugar while mixing the ingredients.

In a double boiler, melt your chocolate and add the half and half.  Once the chocolate is melted, add the ground espresso.  Mix it well before adding it to the egg-sugar mixture.  While mixing the chocolate-egg-sugar mixture, add the vanilla.  Finally, slowly add the flour.  Once all of the ingredients are mixed together, divide the mixture between the ramekins.

Bake for 7 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and allow them to rest for about 5-10 minutes.  Then tip them out of the ramekins onto your serving dish.  Sift some powdered sugar on top for decoration.  Feel free to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream with this delicious treat!

*We used a fair trade Costa Rican chocolate- 71% Cacao Dark Chocolate; try using the best you can find*

Chocolate & Wine to Celebrate

We did not post anything about a wonderful blog milestone or an exciting event that has happened in our lives.  So although both are a little delayed, we’re glad to be sharing it!

First the milestone: the blog has been up and running for over a year and we didn’t even realize it.  It all started on October 20, 2010 with this blog post!  So we’re almost going into Month 13, unbelievable!

Having this blog has been a great experience.  It’s definitely pushed us to try different recipes and tastes.  Although we have always tried new recipes, having this blog ensured that we keep looking for something we hadn’t made before.  It did not allow us to be stuck in a dinner rut.  Over the last year we’ve realized more of what we like, what we’re good at making, and have higher goals of learning even more.  Sam has always been a little more adventurous in the kitchen, rarely following recipes.  It’s been a bit of a learning curve for me, but I’m getting much better at adjusting recipes to our tastes, or taking ideas rather than following exact directions.

Our goal is to continue this project (a hobby I guess).  We hope that all of you are learning and trying out some of these recipes.  Definitely let us know of any feedback- that’s the only way to improve!  And keep up with new posts through our Facebook page!

And now for another exciting announcement!  I know some of you already know this, but for those that don’t…we’re engaged!  It’s been a couple of months since the engagement, but I never felt like there was a right time!  Since we’re celebrating a 1 year anniversary of the blog, I thought it’d be perfect to also celebrate an engagement.

For this joyous occasion, I decided to make a chocolate cake!  The taste had a wonderful depth, and it’d be a great dessert for a girls dinner night, paired with some red wine!



Red Wine & Vanilla Yogurt Chocolate Cake

Adapted from: 17 and Baking

1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup of wine (I used Merlot)
1/4 cup of Greek vanilla yogurt
seeds of 1 vanilla bean (substitute: 1 tsp vanilla extract)
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 scoop of vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Spray a 9″x5″ loaf pan with cooking spray.

Beat the soft butter on medium speed with your mixer, until the texture become smooth.  Slowly add the sugar and egg, continuously mixing the batter.  Once everything is beaten, add the wine, yogurt and vanilla.  Continue mixing the batter and slowly add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir well until everything is incorporated.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour, but make sure the batter is cooked through (the toothpick method).  Depending on your oven, you might need an extra 5-10 minutes.  Cool the cake for 10-15 minutes before serving.  A great addition is a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Oatmeal Chocolate Bars

I’m a huge fan of granola bars, oatmeal bars or any other snack that comes in a bar form.  I’ve made different bars before, and I always like the homemade one’s much more than the store bought one’s.  And you can pick your own flavors that go into it.

Also, how many times have you grabbed the organic or all-natural granola snack bar, and then turned it over to read the ingredients?  You’ll see some words that you have no idea what they are, or what they mean.  So what’s the best way to control what you put into your tummy?  Make it yourself!

These bars are great.  After we cut them up, we kept them in tupperware containers in the fridge.  I would take them to work for a mid-day snack.  By the time I would eat it at work, the chocolate would be slightly melty, and the granola would be soft.  Feel free to play around with different flavors of the dried fruit, or change the type of peanut butter.  There are so many varieties to be made.

Not only do these make great mid-day snacks, but they’re also a fantastic way to fuel up before a long run (or after)!  Maybe bring it with you when you’re traveling in the car, or a flight (it’s way better than those pretzels!).

Oatmeal Chocolate Bars
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1 cup of honey
2 tsp maple extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup creamy sunflower butter (or peanut butter)
2 cups of oatmeal oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup dried pomegranate seeds
1/4 dried currants
1/2 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup of chocolate chips

Combine honey, maple extract, salt, sugar and sunflower butter in a small saucepan.  Bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer for 4 minutes while stirring it.

Add the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, dried pomegranate seeds, dried currants,  dried cherries to a large bowl.  Once the honey-sunflower butter mixture is done cooking, add it to the large bowl.  Fold the two mixtures together.  Lastly, add the chocolate chips, but be sure to not melt the chocolate chips.

Grease a 9×12 inch pan, and then pat down the bar mixture.  Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, and then cut the bars into the pieces.

Caramel, Pretzel & Nutella Bars

I picked this up from the Farmer’s Market today:

So I think a certain someone will have to make some blueberry-rhubarb crumble this weekend!  Cannot wait!

But for a richer, and more chocolatey dessert, this is a great recipe.  And it’s fairly simple, and easy for anyone to assemble.  Alice from Savory Sweet Life is very creative.  So when I saw this recipe, I also wanted to try it!  Who can resist Nutella?!?  But I would like to give her all of the credit for creating such a treat.

Key thing to remember is that when you do soften the caramels, use parchment paper between them and the plate.  We had a bit of a sticky disaster on our hands…it took a while to get it off the plate.

Caramel, Pretzel & Nutella Bars
Adapted from: Savory Sweet Life

2 bags of Werther’s Original Chewy Caramels (24 candies in each bag)
26 honey-wheat pretzel sticks
1/3 cup of Nutella
10 oz milk chocolate
3 tbsp half-and-half

Cut each rectangle caramel in half.  Then take 3 of the pieces (or 6 half pieces)and line them in a row on parchment paper, on a plate.  (Parchment paper is really important!)

Put the plate into the microwave for 8-12 seconds (depending on your microwave).  They should be soft enough to push the pretzel sticks onto caramels and sticking; but not too mushy that they melt.  Take 2 pretzels and push them into the caramels.

Next comes the chocolatey goodness.  I used a cheese knife to spread Nutella gently over the top.  Place all of the bars onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Lastly, I took the bars of chocolate, and melted them.  (I poured water into a pot, placed a bowl on top of it, and turned on the heat.  While the water is boiling, it heats up the bowl and the chocolate begins to melt.)  Remember to add the half-and-half, it makes the chocolate more liquidy, making it easier to pour it over the bars.

Once the chocolate melts, I picked up each bar and smeared the chocolate on the bottom of the bar.  Then I placed the bar back onto the parchment paper, and poured more chocolate on top of it.  I tried to fill in any sections which did not have chocolate on them.

Place the cookie sheet, with the bars, into the freezer for about an hour.  They are read to eat!