One of my favorite movies of all time is The Sandlot. Real renegade, I know. I know it’s a super popular and mainstream movie, but for me, it’s a part of my childhood. I’m an early ’90s baby, so it was literally everywhere when I was growing up. I’m pretty sure my first crush ever was Benny Rodriguez and I mean, who can blame me? And of course, it’s just a really funny and fun movie. So, that’s why I couldn’t and can’t resist the pull of The Sandlot. Pretty much every scene in the movie is my favorite and is super quotable, but one of most iconic in the movie is when Scotty aka “Smalls”, is in the treehouse for a campout and is called out by “Ham” for not knowing what a s’more was. “I haven’t had anything yet…so how can I have some more of nothing?” Ah, Smalls you fool. Your naiveté is quite hilarious. Regardless, The Sandlot is no doubt an All-American movie and the S’more is no doubt an All-American snack. Thus, to honor both one of my favorite movies and one of my favorite snacks, I’ve decided to share this full-proof recipe for delicious homemade s’ mores ice cream.
A few weeks ago, I shared a raspberry mousse recipe with you guys. Well, little did you know what was going on behind the scenes. That mousse went a long way. Not only did I use them for my raspberry mousse cups, which you can find the recipe for here, but I also was able to use the mousse for this lovely chocolate-raspberry mousse cake. For as good as this cake looks and tastes, it’s incredibly easy to make. I used a homemade chocolate cake, but you can use the boxed mix or grocery cake layers. From there, all I did was make some ganache, which is child’s play and used the leftover raspberry mousse I had on hand. It was that easy.
It’s Summer and it’s hot out. I really don’t do well in this weather. I’m more an Autumn girl. However, since I can’t press a fast forward button to the Fall, I’m going to have to tough this heat and humidity out. During the Summer, I want something cool and refreshing daily. These mousse cups check all the boxes. They look impressive. They are easy and quick to make. And man oh man are they good. I’m pretty much a sucker for any raspberry and chocolate combination. Lastly, the best thing is the differing textures. We have the cool creamy mousse, with the dense fudgy chocolate cake and cookie crumbs sprinkled throughout. It really doesn’t get much better.
What says “I love you”, better than chocolate? Not much that I know of. Come to think about it…nothing. Nothing says “I love you”, better than chocolate. So, when I want to really treat myself AND satisfy my chocolate addiction, then this recipe is my go-to. It’s really easy to make…it takes less than twenty minutes for the entire process. There are very few ingredients that are required…actually less than ten. Lastly, it’s so freakin’ good. Chocolate to the tenth degree. A baked cake on the outside and molten fudgy chocolate in the middle. God, I’m salivating just thinking about it. It doesn’t get much better than that. So, whether you’re treating yourself with a girl’s night in or you’re treating your loved one, this is definitely something you’re going to want to try.
I absolutely despise coffee. I don’t like the strong smell. I certainly don’t like the strong taste. I just don’t get the hype. Nope…I’m definitely more of a hot chocolate girl. Give me a cup of homemade hot chocolate, an episode of One Tree Hill, a cozy blanket and I’m a happy girl.
If you’ve never had homemade hot chocolate, you’re seriously missing out. Not only can you whip it up in under ten minutes, but the taste is out of this world. I’m not exaggerating. Homemade cocoa puts that powdered stuff to absolute shame. For a rich, tasty homemade hot chocolate, this is the recipe you’ll want to try. Top it as you please and enjoy with your binge-watching.
Buttery, soft, chewy, pockets of chocolate, sweet and warm. Chocolate chips cookies are just perfection. This wonderful byproduct of an accident by Chefs Ruth Graves and Sue Brides in 1938 has been a true blessing to us all. It gives us joy. It gives us comfort. When you scarf down many in one session, as I do, it gives you some extra lbs on the scale. But, who cares about that? It tastes too good to care about the repercussions.
There are many ways to make chocolate chip cookies. None are wrong per-say, but I certainly prefer my cookies a certain way. I like my cookies soft and chewy. They don’t have to be that way all the way around, but the majority and the middle of the cookie should definitely be easy to eat. If the outside is a tiny bit crispy, I won’t complain. I love chocolate. The cookies should be studded with chocolate. I’m talking chocolate chips and pockets of chocolate. I’m talking melted chocolate oozes out when you break one in half. That’s how I like it. There are some recipes that use molasses. That’s perfectly fine and that ingredient does produce a soft cookie, but molasses is expensive! What I love about my recipe is it hits all MY bullet-points. It produces soft and chewy, chocolatey cookies. The flavor is on point and is what a chocolate chip cookie should be. It’s tremendously easy to make, as well. However, if I’m being honest, most cookies are very easy to make, but I’ll talk about that some other time. Lastly, no molasses is necessary. So you can spend your well-earned money on the more important ingredient…chocolate. My cookies turn out great every time with this recipe. I’m sure it’ll become you’re go-to, once you give it a try.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, begin creaming the softened, unsalted butter and both the granulated and brown sugar for about five minutes until creamy and lighter in color.
Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl really well. Add in one egg and mix on medium-low speed until combined. When you see the first egg well-absorbed, add in the next egg and vanilla extract. Mix on medium-low speed for a couple of minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl well again.
With the mixer still off, sift together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add in the dry ingredients into the dough all at once. Pulse a few times on the lowest speed until a lot of the flour is absorbed. A lot of flour will still show though.
Take the bowl off of the machine and add all the chocolate chips and chunks in. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour and chocolate. I use a stabbing motion to mix it in. This allows me to not overmix.
Cover the bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. You can also freeze it for a few hours, then thaw it out before baking. The cooling of the dough for 24 hours, at least, is vital. It helps with the flavor. It helps with how the cookies spread. It helps with rolling the dough. It even helps with the coloring. So, in general, cool the dough before baking!
Prepare the cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Spray with cooking spray. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the cookies. Place the dough into your palms and form balls. Place the balls on the prepared pan and use your fingers to press down slightly.
Place the cookies a few inches apart. The cookies tend to spread quite a bit so please take note of that.
Bake at 350°F and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned. Take the pan out of the oven and leave the cookies on the pan for a few minutes to continue baking. Move the cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly. Enjoy warm. Please note: the cookies below were only the freezer for about 20-30 minutes due to the constraints in shooting the video. The ones in the photos that follow were in the fridge overnight. You can see the color difference and the difference in spreading. So once again, be sure to refrigerate overnight!
See how I do it:
- 2 ½ sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
- 1 ⅔ cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 ¼ pounds bittersweet, semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips and chunks (Use a good brand)
- Pinch of sea salt
Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until lighter in color and fluffier in texture, about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape the bowl really well.
Stir in the vanilla and mix on medium-high speed for a minute or two. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl.
Turn the mixer off. Add the dry ingredients all at once. Pulse until just combined, about 10-15 seconds.
Add in the chocolate all at once. Unhook the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to combine everything. Use a "stabbing motion" to incorporate the flour into the dough. Don't overmix. Just combine until enough. A bit of flour can still remain visible.
Cover the chocolate chip cookie dough with plastic wrap, making sure to press the wrap against the dough, refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
Remove the dough from the fridge and let the dough thaw until you can handle it, but it's not at room temp.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Prepare your cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Spray with cooking spray well.
Use a cookie scoop (ice cream scoop) to scoop out mounds of dough. Form the dough between the palms of your hands. Place the balls on the sheet and press the tops down lightly with your fingers. Give enough space between each dough ball, as the cookies will spread a bit. Sprinkle very lightly with sea salt on top of the cookies.
Bake for 10-14 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Rotate the pan halfway between at about the 6-7 minute mark. Remove the pan from the oven and leave the cookies on the sheet for about five more minutes to continue the baking. After the five minutes, use a spatula to move to a wire rack to cool until warm.
You can refrigerate the remaining dough for about a week or freeze the dough. It'll last for a couple months in the freezer. Wrap really well. I use Ghirardelli chocolate. It's great tasting and pretty reasonable. Use a good brand of chocolate, because you'll taste cheap chocolate.
Where does my love of chocolate trace back to? Maybe it was all those years of devouring many pounds of chocolate in the form of Halloween candy. Maybe it was my early indoctrination of watching the “Cooking with Randy and Mandy” segment on All That. Who knows? One can’t really trace back the roots of my love for chocolate. But, make no mistake about it. My obsession for the stuff only continues to grow. So, when I need my chocolate fix, this is one of my go-to recipes. It’s easy, quick and very chocolatey, which hits all the important marks on my checklist. Because the sooner I make it, obviously, the sooner I can enjoy it. If you’re obsessed with chocolate like me, then trust me, you’ll want to put this recipe in your repertoire.
Combine the room temperature unsalted butter into the bowl of your stand mixer with the brown and white sugar.
Mix with the paddle attachment for about five minutes until light and fluffy.
Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
Sift together the dry ingredients and dump into the bowl.
Add in the chocolate chips. Remove the bowl from the stand and begin folding in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula. Mix until just combined. Don’t overmix!
Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze for 24 hours or you can freeze for two hours and refrigerate for an hour with the dough balls formed on the sheet tray to shorten the wait.
Once the dough is properly refrigerated or frozen, let it thaw and come back to room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Use a mini or large ice cream scoop to scoop out dough balls. I used a mini scoop and scooped out three dough balls to form one portion. Scoop out and roll the dough between your palms to form one dough ball portion. Set onto a pre-greased cookie sheet. Place about 1″ apart. The cookies will spread a bit. I only baked off six, but it will yield you a few more. I just froze the rest.
Flatten with your palm slightly. Bake off at 350°F for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Leave the cookies on the sheet for a minute or two.
After a couple of minutes out of the oven, remove the cookies from the baking sheet and move to a wire rack.
Cool slightly. These cookies are phenomenal when eaten warm with some milk. The chocolate is melted and the cookies are super soft. But, they can be eaten at room temp as well.
See how I do it:
- 1 cup (145 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (75 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 10 tablespoons (141 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) light or dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon light instant coffee granules
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (305 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate discs or chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until very light, about 5 minutes.
Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
Take the bowl off the stand mixer and add the dry ingredients.
Fold in the dry ingredients and the chocolate discs or chips and until just combined. Don't overmix!
Press plastic wrap against the dough and chill it for at least 24 hours and up to 36.
As a shortcut, you can also freeze for two hours or refrigerate portioned out for an hour.
Out of the fridge or freezer, let it thaw and come to room temperature.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and optionally, line with parchment or a silicone mat. Portion the dough out into balls slightly larger than golf balls, about 3 1/2 ounces each, and transfer six balls to the baking sheet. (They will spread significantly.) Flatten slightly with the palm of your hands.
Bake the cookies until set, being careful to remove cookies from the oven when still soft in the center, about 10 minutes. Leave the cookies to continue baking out of the oven on the sheet for about one or two minutes.
After a couple of minutes, move the cookies to a wire rack to cool slightly.
You can use semisweet or bittersweet chips or discs. Best served warm but still very good at room temp. You can freeze for a couple hours and refrigerate for an hour to shorten the chilling time required or if you're patient, you can refrigerate or freeze for 24 hours or up to 36 hours.
I like my buttercream, just sweet enough, light and fluffy. The flavor and texture has to be right. I’ve already shared an alternate buttercream recipe on the blog. It’s great as well! This one is just a little bit easier. I adapted the main recipe into this chocolate buttercream. I ended up using it for some chocolate salted caramel cupcakes. The benefits of this buttercream is that it’s really easy to make. You’re going to get consistent results. It’s delicious, light and fluffy. It pipes beautifully. Need I go on? Trust me, you won’t go back. Keep in mind though, it’s not overly sweet. You can adjust that to your liking. It’s also not a fudge icing. It’s not meant to look dark or taste very chocolatey. You should taste the chocolate, but it won’t be as prominent, as it would be in a fudge icing. Still, it’s delicious and I really suggest you give this a try.
Combine the salt, confectioner’s sugar, and espresso powder into the bowl of your stand mixer with a whip attachment.
Mix on lowest setting and begin to pour in the water slowly.
Add in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and mix. Turn up the speed to a medium-high and begin to add the pieces of butter in chunks. Give it some time to mix before the next addition. Mix until combined and then add in the shortening in chunks. Whip for about ten minutes or until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Taste and adjust the sweetness or chocolate flavor if you need. You can do this by adding more cocoa powder, melted chocolate or confectioners sugar.
All finished! You can hold this in a covered container for about a week in the fridge. Rewhip before using.
See how I do it:
- 3 cups sifted confectioners sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons melted chocolate (I use a mix of milk, bittersweet and semisweet chocolate)
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup boiling water (depending on humidity)
- Pinch of light espresso powder
- 11 oz hi-ratio shortening, cut into chunks
- 3 oz unsalted butter, softened, cut into pieces
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, dump in the salt, confectioners sugar, espresso powder.
Mix and slowly pour in the boiling water and whip until smooth.
Add in the vanilla, melted chocolate, cocoa powder and mix until smooth.
Increase to a medium-high speed and add in the butter and shortening in chunks. Let it mix in between additions. Let it whip for about ten minutes or until light and fluffy.
Taste and adjust if you need. Adding more chocolate or sugar.
You can store in a covered container in the fridge for a week. Rewhip before using.
You can use a mix of semisweet, bittersweet or milk chocolate in whatever ratio you'd like. Use good quality cocoa powder. Bad ones will have an aftertaste. Don't use Crisco. Use hi-ratio shortening.
There are so many national food related holidays that some of them are just not believable. Some of them make sense, while others, I have no idea about. Well, while I was driving home today, I heard it was national “eat what you want” day. Hey, that’s my daily existence, but if others need a national holiday to partake, then so be it. I figure since there’s a holiday promoting the idea of free eating, there’s now an excuse to indulge.
When I was trying to decide what I wanted to indulge in, it was a pretty easy decision. I decided to make brownies, which by themselves may seem harmless. But, you’re mistaken. When I do things, I kind of go crazy with it. I decided to make these brownies…triple chocolate fudge brownies. Yes, that’s right. Triple chocolate fudge. These are immensely rich, but the government says it’s okay to indulge today, so we have no reason to fill guilty.
First, start by melting the butter and chopped chocolate.
Add in the cocoa powder and instant coffee and mix until combined.
Set aside and let the mixture cool. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Add the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and mix until combined.
Dump in the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to fold until just combined.
Pour your batter into the prepared square pan and spread it into an even layer.
Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
You can optionally top with a ganache glaze. I make mine with half heavy cream, half chocolate, a pinch of salt, a pinch of instant coffee and some vanilla.
Scald the heavy cream and pour over the chocolate. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and let it sit for about five minutes. Stir until combined and pour over the top of the cooled brownies.
Cover and cool in the freezer overnight.
Use a chef’s knife and a tall container of hot water, along with a clean towel to cut the edges off, score the bars and cut them.
See how I do it:
- 5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp instant coffee
- 7 oz heavy cream
- 7 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 1/4 tsp instant coffee
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Prep your 8" square baking pan and line it with 2 pieces of foil and spray it vegetable spray.
Melt the chocolates and butter over a double boiler or in a microwave, in 30 second intervals. When melted, whisk in the cocoa powder and instant coffee and mix until smooth. Set it aside to let it cool.
In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt and mix until smooth and uniform in color.
Mix in the melted chocolate and mix until uniform in color.
Dump in the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and fold in with a wooden spoon until just combined. Don't overmix.
Transfer this batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Allow the brownies to cool while you work on the glaze.
To make the glaze, pour the chocolates into a bowl. Scald the heavy cream in small saucepan over medium heat. Pour the hot mixture over the bowl full of chocolates and let it sit. Pour in the vanilla extract and add in the salt and instant coffee. After letting it sit for about five minutes, begin to stir until it thickens slightly. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
Once room temp, pour over the brownies and spread evenly. Cover and freeze overnight.
Cut the next day with the method shown in the video and enjoy! Let it come to room temperature before eating.
You can use all bittersweet, semisweet or a combination of both. The ganache glaze is all about the ratio and scalding the cream to a hot enough temperature for the ganache to eventually thicken. If you freeze overnight, let it come to room temp before enjoying.