Seriously Delicious Hot Chocolate

The last 2 days have been COLD. Even colder seeing our heater is down for repair. We weren’t expecting such extremely chilly weather but after the scorching summer, we are loving it! So what goes with super cold weather better than a cup of Hot Chocolate and a few layers of sweaters?? 🙂

Hot Chocolate is a necessity for the winter months and I had been looking for the perfect Hot Chocolate recipe for years.  Finally found it! In the words of my sister, Grace, “this hot chocolate  is like drinking a brownie!” I found the original recipe on Cooking for Seven a year and a half or so ago and with only a few minor changes, we have been drinking it ever since!
Sweetened with Pure Maple Syrup and topped off with a maple whipped cream, yes, this recipe is RICH…. So rich, you may have a hard time drinking an entire serving! But y’all are sure to love it. 🙂

Original Recipe 5-6 cups of cocoa!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk(I usually add up to 1c more depending on thickness)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 tbs pure maple syrup(might need more if you prefer your cocoa a little sweeter!)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

  1.  In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a low simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally.
  2.  Add the chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Whisk vigorously until all of the chocolate has melted. Cook for an additional 4 minutes, whisking constantly.

Maple Whipped Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 tbs maple syrup (more if you like your whipped cream very sweet)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and beat until stiff.
  2. Add a dollop or two or four 😉 on your cup of cocoa and enjoy!

Mini Mocha Latte Cheescakes

Mocha Latte Cheesecake, requested by my brother for his birthday. 🙂 Coffee and chocolate are two major staples in my house and both go so well together!! So I created this cheesecake a while back combining my 2 favorite beans. 😉
4 layers compose this cheesecake. Starting off with a thick buttery crust, then a rich chocolate cheesecake, add a layer of coffee, and top with freshly whipped cream and bittersweet chocolate shavings! This recipe can be made in either a 10inch spring form cheesecake pan or 16(approximate) mason jars!

Original Recipe Yield 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups  Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5 (250 g) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 8 oz melted chocolate (I have used an entire 12 oz bag before too! Just depends on how much chocolate you prefer.)
  • 4 eggs
Latte Topping
  • 12oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powder sugar
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 3 tsp instant coffee
  • fresh whipped cream
  • bittersweet Chocolate Shavings

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F if using a silver 9 inch spring form pan (or to 300 degrees F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Mix crumbs, sugar, and butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan or mason jars. Bake 10 minutes.
  2. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and flour in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Dissolve instant coffee in vanilla add to cream cheese mixture. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time,  mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Then add melted chocolate, Pour over crust.
  3. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes for 10inch round spring form or 20 minutes for the mason jars (or until center is almost set). Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake and cool.
  4. Blend together all topping ingredients until smooth and spread evenly over cheesecake. Refrigerate until chilled
  5. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
  6. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes


It is Sunday again, which means I get to make dessert!! (: I had seen Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes when browsing pinterest and knew I had to give them a try. The only problem is the recipe called for brownie mix and corn syrup.  So, I decided to take the concept and create my own recipe!
Extremely rich and super chocolatey, definitely a fun and very sweet Sunday dessert!

Yields: 16 cupcakes

Ingredients

Brownie Batter:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 16 miniature peanut butter cups

Icing:

  • 1/2 c creamy unsweetened All-natural Peanut Butter(or you can use regular creamy peanut butter)
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 2 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter(softened)
  • 1 cup simi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Topping:

  • 12-14 miniature peanut butter cups
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups. Remove foil and cups from candy pieces. Set aside.
  2. Prepare brownie batter: Melt butter in sauce. Add remaining brownie ingredients with exception to the peanut butter cups.  Fill each muffin cup up about 1/2 full with batter. Place 1 unwrapped candy piece, upside down, on top of batter in each cup. Lightly tap piece down into batter.
    -Bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cup comes out almost clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Place on wire rack; cool completely.
  3. Make icing by placing peanut butter and butter into medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and creamy; scrape bowl. Add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. Beat on low speed 1 minute; scrape bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Pipe about 2 tablespoons of icing on each cupcake leaving the edge un-iced.
  4. Prepare ganache: in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream and butter until it just comes to a boil.  Place chocolate, espresso, and vanilla in a heat safe bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Whisk the cream and chocolate until smooth and thoroughly combined.  Do not let the glaze sit for too long or it will harden up before you spoon it over the frosting. drizzle the glaze on the tops of the frosted cupcakes, allowing it to drip down the sides a little bit(you may not want use all the ganache as I only used about 1/2 of the recipe).
  5. Top each cupcake with a peanut butter cup.
  6. Enjoy!!

Peanut Butter Cups Made Healthy

Who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate… together?!  Almost everyone in my family LOVES Reeces Peanut butter cups but they obviously aren’t the healthiest or most ideal food for daily consumption. (:  So, I came up with a home-made reeces peanut butter cup recipe, sweetened with pure maple syrup! Now I can eat them whenever I want without feeling guilty! (;

I debated between honey and maple syrup when I first created this recipe last year. Both are delicious but the grade A maple syrup offered a more neutral flavor and allowed the delicious flavor of the peanut butter to stand out! I made a batch a couple days ago and I am finally getting around to posting the recipe. My family is used to eating unsweetened peanut butter but if you aren’t you may want to add additional maple syrup or perhaps less depending on how much sweetness you prefer… just add syrup  to taste! 🙂

If you really need a good excuse to make these peanut butter cups,  with the pure maple syrup, peanut butter, and chocolate(darker the better) they are a wonderful source of iron! 😀

Yields: 12 Delightfully delicious AND healthy Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients

  • 12 oz simi sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips (the darker the chocolate the better!)
  • 1 1/2 cup raw peanut butter (unsweetened/unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup pure Grade A maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
Directions
  1. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 muffin cups.
  2. Melt 1/2 of the chocolate chips. Using a spoon, drop about 1.5tbs melted chocolate into a cup and line bottom and sides with the chocolate, creating the chocolate cups. Repeat with remaining muffin cups. Once completed, place in freezer for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, Combine Peanut butter, Maple Syrup, and Salt until well combine. Remove chocolate cups from freezer and divide peanut butter filling evenly between 12 muffin cups. Press peanut butter filling with a spoon to flatten. Return the muffin cups to the freezer.
  4. Melt remaining chocolate. Spoon and spread evenly over the tops of each peanut butter cup.
  5. Refrigerate for approximately 1 hour to set.
  6. Enjoy!

Rich Mocha

Original Recipe Yield approximately 1 piping hot 12oz mocha!

Ingredients

  • 2 shots espresso (can substitute for 1/2 cup strong coffee)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup Eggnog or half-and-half
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar (or regular white sugar)
  • 3 tbsp simi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 dash salt

Directions

  1. Pour espresso or coffee in a large 12 oz  mug
  2. Place milk, eggnog, sugar, chocolate chips, vanilla, and salt in your  espresso decanter or sauce pan.
  3. I frothed mine with my espresso machine’s frother, stirring as I frothed until chocolate chips are melted and milk is desired temperature but this can also be done over medium heat with a whisk!
  4. Once heated and chips are melted pour into mug with coffee.
  5. Serve by itself or add a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!