Hot Chai Cocoa

Cook’s notes: This recipe is brilliant. I’m now dreaming of different dark chocolate bars for different flavors of cocoa.

Place 8.5 oz milk (I used almond milk), 40 g chopped dark chocolate, and 1 chai tea bag in a small pot over medium-low heat. Simmer until chocolate is melted, stirring often. Remove tea bag and serve warm.

IMG_2971.JPGvia Chai Hot Chocolate + I Liked This // 10.07.2015 – erin made this


Gingerbread Snacking Cake

Cook’s notes: I’m going to a Yule party, and I wanted to bring gingerbread to share. However, I wasn’t sure about bringing Drambuie Gingerbread, so I looked for an alternative recipe that doesn’t use alcohol. The only modification I made to this recipe, from gingerbread snacking cake – smitten kitchen was to replace the molasses with maple syrup. My cake came out more golden than dark brown, but it was easy to put together in a stand mixer. The top is slightly puffed, and even the raw batter smells good.IMG_2817.JPG

No-Chill Cutout Cookies

Cook’s notes: This recipes used to be posted on the Penzeys site, but it is no longer there. Luckily, I had an arcIMG_2702.jpghive copy of this recipe, which makes buttery, delicious cookies. The original author said, “These cookies are especially quick and easy because you don’t have to chill the dough before rolling.” I doubled the vanilla in this recipe. No frosting is needed. And of course, the number of cookies depends on the shape you cut. I got well over 50 moon cookies.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Heat oven to 400°F.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and the vanilla, mix until well blended.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder then gradually add to the butter mixture and blend well. Form the dough into a smooth ball. (Add a little water if needed.)

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Cut out with cookie cutters and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Fill each cookie sheet with cookies of equal size to ensure even baking.

Bake for 6 minutes (a bit longer for thicker cookies), but they shouldn’t brown at all. Remove from cookie sheets and cool on wire racks.

Almond Flour Brownies

IMG_2692Cook’s notes: I adapted this recipe to use a brownie pan from Wilton. I like the way it makes individual brownies with edges. If you don’t have one, use a 9-inch square pan. I was surprised by the divots in these brownies, but a friend pointed out it was perfect for whipped cream. The flavor is amazing. The maple syrup seems to deepen the chocolate flavor. I may not go back to traditional brownies after tasting these gems.

8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (by weight)
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
2 eggs
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 cups almond flour
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat a brownie baking pan (with individual wells) with cooking spray.

Place the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds on High. Stir after heating. Repeat two more times. Stir constantly until completed melted.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs completely. Beat in maple syrup, salt, and baking soda. Blend well, then beat in almond flour. Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and combine completely.

Scoop the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick.

Cool the brownies in the pan on a rack for a few minutes. Let cool on a rack for about 1 hour.

Source: Adapted from PCOS Health Coach

Best Recipe: Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

IMG_1934Cook’s notes: These are similar to the Best Recipe: Dark Cocoa Brownies but the preparation method is different (and flour reduced with cocoa increased). I was out of chocolate chips and wanted to make decadent brownies for a party. These are amazing and very rich. They bake at a slightly lower temperature.

Beating the eggs vigorously is the key to the crackly top. Beating the batter too much once the flour and cocoa powder are added will “create air in the batter, which will give you cake-like textured brownies.” That is not our goal, according to Cafe Delites.

Makes 16 brownies

1 stick (4 oz or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oven to 325F degrees. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Using a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter, olive oil, and sugar for 1 minute.

Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, one at a time. Eggs will lighten in color.

Add cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Beat on low only until dry ingredients are just incorporated. Stop stirring when no traces of flour remain, and do not beat too long. (Note: You may want to do this step with a rubber spatula.)

Pour into pan, and bake about 25 minutes, or until brownies are set and barely firm in the middle. Cool on a rack before cutting.

Source: Reduced the sugar and adapted recipe for a stand mixer from Bon Appetit and Cafe Delites.

Reducing a 9 x 13-inch pan recipe

Cook’s notes: I’ve been fascinated by small batch baking and reducing recipes for baked goods lately. Here are some notes I’ve found useful.

9 x 13-inch pan. Volume: 15 cups (24 to 36 cupcakes)

  • Cut recipe in half and use an 8 x 8-inch square pan
  • If recipe calls for 1 egg, use 1 egg (not 1/2 egg)

Square pan volume: 2 quarts or 8 cups (12 cupcakes)

  • 9 x 9-inch square pan
  • 9 x 5-inch loaf pan
  • 8 x 8-inch square pan

For any of these, cut the recipe in half and use a 6 x 6-inch square pan.
Note that a bread recipe for a loaf pan can be baked in a square pan.

Round pan volume

  • 9 x 2-inch round (8 cups): Also makes 12 cupcakes. Cut recipe in half and use a 6-inch round pan.
  • 8 x 2-inch round pan (6 cups): Same as 75% of a 9-inch pan recipe.
  • 6 x 2-inch round pan (4 cups): Makes 6 cupcakes.

Source: Includes Cake and Baking Pan Size Conversions – Allrecipes,,,,