Tag Archives: Chocolate

Healthy Banana Bread Breakfast Bars

27 Feb

So, technically the name is ‘Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars {vegan & gluten-free}’…but I didn’t wanna give it all away in the title!  (Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.)

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I know, I know.  I’m usually not on the vegan OR the gluten-free bandwagon.  But, they looked so tasty, and I LOVE banana bread, so I had to try them.  And they did NOT disappoint!  Even without the butter, dairy and eggs that are typically 3 of my favorite things.

batter

The batter (forgive the pic taken with my phone!) is surprisingly simple to make, despite making your own flour.  Yup.  That’s right.  You make your own flour.  I’m not gonna tell you how though, cause you need to check it out for yourself at Ambitious Kitchen!  But this handy trick means that they are gluten-free.  They are also vegan, depending on what kind of chocolate chips you use.

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The bars have a good bread-like texture, despite being thinner than a typical banana bread.  But they have a little heartier bite, thanks to the oats.  The chocolate offers a nice balance to the sweetness of the banana.  Overall, just yummy.  And they’re lacking all oils and grease too, so they don’t leave your fingers all messy.  Bonus!

half-eaten

But seriously.  My favorite thing about these bars is that they’re healthy enough to call a breakfast bar (only 116 calories and 2.9g of fat per bar) but tasty enough that we also ate them for dessert.  Yeah.  They were gone within about a day and half.  And there are only 2 of us eating.

Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars (recipe from Ambitious Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (gluten-free, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey (agave nectar if vegan) — I used half honey and half agave
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
  • For chocolate drizzle:
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

For directions visit Ambitious Kitchen.

Monster Cookies

19 Feb

So, I wanna start another project.  I know that much.  But, it’s a huge undertaking, especially with a 3 1/2 month old at home.  So, alas, for now, I’ll stick to just some random recipes on random days when I get the chance to bake.  Some will be new (for me).  Others, like these Monster Cookies from Paula Deen/Food Network, are not new.  At all.

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These have actually become one of my go-to cookie recipes.  They’re tasty, they’re SUPER easy to make and everyone loves them!  In fact, I’ve made these with my nieces who are 3 and 5, cause they’re so easy AND they have M&M’s (or num-nums, as they call them), so it’s a win-win.

(PS I’d love to try out your “go-to” recipes too!  What are they?!  Leave me a comment or shoot me a note.)

dough

They can be made as large or as small as you want.  I used my cookie scooper (like an ice cream scoop, but smaller…for cookies).  My husband thinks this is a crime, because cookies should be large.  So, the choice is yours.  I will say, though, that mine took about 13 minutes to bake, not the 8-10 that the recipe calls for.  So just keep an eye.  They should be “set” but not firm.

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The other great thing about these is that they are “mixer optional”.  In the video, Paula Deen makes them with just a bowl and a wooden spoon.  I used my stand mixer, just cause it’s so easy to do.  But, either way…yum!

half-eaten

Monster Cookies (from Food Network)

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 12-oz jar creamy peanut butter
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies (aka M&M’s)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins, optional
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal

For directions visit Food Network.

 

Day 360 – Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream

26 Jul

As the end of this year of cupcakes gets closer, I find that I crave some more basic cupcakes.  Let’s face it.  There have been some crazy flavors and combinations in the last 359 days.  But these Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream (recipe below from See Brooke Cook) sounded simple and yummy.

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are dense with a nice moistness. They’re not sticky, but far from dry. They have a nice, darker chocolate flavor. Almost a little coffee-flavored, but not bitter.

Salted-Caramel-Buttercream

The buttercream is soft and smooth. It has a dark caramel taste, but with a little sweetness. It is pretty dark, like the cupcakes. Almost a little coffee-flavored too, like the cupcakes.

Chocolate-Caramel-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Caramel-Cupc

Together these cupcakes are very rich. And very dark. The chocolate cuts through the bitterness of the caramel. It’s definitely not an overly sweet cupcake. But it is rich and decadent.

Chocolate-Caramel-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 3.5
  • Ease of Making: 3.5
  • TOTAL: 18.5

Mini-Chocolate-Caramel-top

RECIPE

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream (recipe from See Brooke Cook)

Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup good cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Caramel Buttercream:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea

For directions visit See Brooke Cook.

*Tomorrow: Banana Cream Cupcakes*

Day 355 – Reese’s Cupcakes

21 Jul

I love chocolate and peanut butter.  I love Reese’s.  Alone.  On ice cream.  In cupcakes.  In cookies.  In milk shakes.  Ok…you get the point.  And these Reese’s Cupcakes (recipe below from Cooking Classy) looked too yummy to miss!

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are extremely squishy. They’re extremely moist and fudgy too. They have a darker chocolate flavor. Not sweet and milk chocolate like some other moist, squishy chocolate cupcakes.

Peanut-Butter-Frosting

The frosting is smooth and fluffy. It has a nice, sweet peanut butter flavor, without being too sugary. It’s similar to plain peanut butter, not too sweet, not too salty. Just whipped and fluffy.

Reeses-Cupcake     Mini-Reeses-Cupcake

This is a rich, indulgent cupcake. Obviously meant to be a Reese’s. The chocolate and the peanut butter make a pretty spot-on flavor. Then you add the little chunks of peanut butter cup mixed into the cupcake…forget it! Reese’s Heaven!

Reeses-Cupcake-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 4.5
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 20

Mini-Reeses-top

RECIPE

Reese’s Cupcakes (recipe from Cooking Classy)

Chocolate Reese’s Cupcakes:

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 12 Snack Size Reese’s, 6 chopped into halves and 6 chopped into small pieces (not minis)
Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp heavy cream

For directions visit Cooking Classy.

*Tomorrow: Sprinkles Strawberry Cupcakes*

Day 350 – Best Oreo Cupcakes

16 Jul

For the first day of the 2nd to last week (yes, that was a little confusing, but go with it) I thought we needed a nice, classic-flavored cupcake.  And what’s more classic that an Oreo?  Chocolate.  Creme.  Yum.  Best Oreo Cupcakes (recipe below from No. 2 Pencil).

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are very squishy and sticky. Almost gooey. They are very similar to Devil’s Food cupcakes. Very moist and very chocolatey. It’s sweet and not at all bitter.

Oreo-Buttercream

The frosting is thick and smooth. It has a very strong Oreo filling taste. Just like licking the inside of the Oreo. But even creamier. Very, very sweet. Not surprising.

Oreo-Cupcake     Mini-Oreo-Cupcake

The sweetness of the frosting overshadows the cupcake at first, but then it makes an appearance at the end. You get sweet creaminess followed by ooey gooey chocolate. They’re not “wow” cupcakes, but they are simple and tasty. They’re so easy to throw together too, they’d be a great option for a party or get-together!

Oreo-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 3
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 18.5

Mini-Oreo-top

RECIPE

Best Oreo Cupcakes (recipe from No. 2 Pencil)

Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of Hershey’s Cocoa (unsweetened cocoa)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of hot coffee

Oreo Creme Frosting:

  • Creme centers from one package of Double Stuf Oreos; set aside or discard the chocolate cookie pieces
  • 1 cup of room temperature butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 pound box of powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk

For directions visit No. 2 Pencil.

*Tomorrow: Blackberry Lemonade Cupcakes*

Day 339 – Classic Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

5 Jul

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting (recipe below from Sally’s Baking Addiction).  Is there anything about that title that doesn’t sound enjoyable?  Nope!  I didn’t think so!!

Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Cupcake

The cupcakes are fairly dense and moderately sticky. The look like devil’s food, but they don’t have that texture or taste. They taste almost exactly like Hershey’s syrup, but in cupcake form. Strong chocolate flavor. A little dark, but not bitter, and not too sweet either.

Vanilla-Buttercream

The frosting is very smooth and creamy, but still fairly thick. It has a sweet, creamy vanilla flavor. Not overly sugary. The heavy cream does a nice job of cutting through the sugar, and giving it a creamier flavor and texture.

Chocolate-Vanilla-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Vanilla

The cupcake brings out the sugar in the frosting. It’s a little like a hot fudge sundae. The frosting is very sweet with a strong vanilla flavor while the cupcake has that darker Hershey syrup flavor. They go together, I’m just surprised at what they brought out of each other.

Chocolate-Vanilla-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 3.5
  • Ease of Making: 4.5
  • TOTAL: 19

Mini-Chocolate-Vanilla-top

RECIPE

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting (recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Chocolate Cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup (64g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk

Vanilla Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4-5 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • salt, to taste

For directions visit Sally’s Baking Addiction.

*Tomorrow: Lemon-Raspberry Cupcakes*

Day 334 – Triple Chocolate & Avocado Vegan Cupcakes

30 Jun

It’s the last day of the month!  Wow.  I can’t believe there’s only 1 month left for My Year of Cupcakes!  That’s insane.  Don’t worry though.  The blog will continue.  Just not with a cupcake a day…

But, for today, we have a special aka different kind of cupcake.  Triple Chocolate & Avocado Vegan Cupcakes (recipe below from Feed Your Awesome Machine).  Anything that can manage to sound healthy but still have “Triple Chocolate” in the name sounds good to me!

Chocolate-Avocado-Cupcake     Mini-Chocolate-Avocado-cupc

The cupcakes are super moist! They thick, but in a gooey, fudgy way, not a dry way. They have a somewhat bitter chocolate flavor. No avocado flavor, which I was wondering about. But not very sweet either.

Chocolate-Frosting

The frosting is thick and creamy. It is very, very strong! It tastes so strongly of bittersweet chocolate, I’m a little surprised. I was hoping that a bit of the coconut milk flavor would come out, but not at all! Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

Chocolate-Avocado-Vegan     Mini-Choc-Avocado-Vegan

Together the cupcake does balance out a little bit of the frosting, but it’s still the strongest part for sure. The cupcake almost fades away completely against the frosting, which is a shame because the cupcake is quite good too. I’d say frost lightly. Both parts are pretty yummy, but not equal in strength. For a vegan cupcake, I am really impressed! This could easily stand up to other “regular” cupcakes I’ve tasted!

Chocolate-Avocado-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 3
  • Appearance: 3.5
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 17.5

Mini-Choc-Avocado-top

RECIPE

Triple Chocolate & Avocado Vegan Cupcakes (recipe from Feed Your Awesome Machine)

Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes:

  • 190g (1.5 cups) whole grain wheat or spelt flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 60g (1/4 cup) coconut oil or butter
  • 250ml (1 cup) unsweetened oat or almond milk
  • 240g (¾ cup) pure maple syrup (not imitation syrup)
  • 60g ripe avocado flesh (equivalent to about ½ medium avocado)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider or plain white vinegar
  • 60g chopped dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)

Whipped Chocolate Ganache:

  • 250ml (1 cup) coconut milk
  • 226g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids minimum)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup

For directions visit Feed Your Awesome Machine.

*Tomorrow: Cotton Candy Cupcakes*

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