Rocky Road Brownies

Rocky Road Brownies

If I didn’t have work on the coldest day of this polar vortex, you can bet that I would be snuggled under a blanket with these brownies in the oven. Strangely I wasn’t a fan of rocky road when I was little, but as I have grown a liking for nuts in desserts over the years, I have come to like this classic flavor. These brownies are fudgy and rich, and topped with additional chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and chopped nuts. But if you just want some plain, classic brownies you don’t have to add the toppings! This recipe is easy to make and truly perfect for a winter day!  

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No Bake Reese's Tart

No Bake Reese's Tart

In this season of pies, here’s a super easy to make tart. A Reese’s Tart, to be exact. Personally Reese’s cups are one of my favorite candies, right behind peanut butter M&M’s (see a pattern here...lol). I mean, you can’t go wrong with the classic pairing of peanut butter and chocolate, am I right?? So the fact that this tart tastes just like a Reese’s Cup is a major win in my book. The base is a simple Oreo crust, which is topped with a whipped peanut butter and chocolate ganache layers. This dessert recipe is no-bake, which means that as your oven is full with dinner entrees and side dishes for your holiday gatherings or with all of your holiday baking, this dessert won’t require an oven space…

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Savory Mint Chocolate Icing

Chocolate Cupcakes with Savory Mint Chocolate Icing

Alright, so CUPCAKES! Surprisingly this is the first time that I have made cupcakes for my blog. Naturally I wanted to something special, so I went with my favorite holiday flavor combo - chocolate and mint. The cupcake is a classic chocolate cupcake. It has a rich and moist consistency, and the flavor is enhanced thanks to my favorite chocolate cake “secret” ingredient - fresh coffee! It is topped with a savory mint chocolate icing. The mint flavoring comes from fresh mint leaves, so it has an authentic taste to it. The savory mint is well balanced by the sweetness of the powdered sugar and creaminess of the butter…

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Orange Chocolate Scones with Toasted Hazelnuts

Orange Chocolate Scones with Toasted Hazelnuts

So to celebrate the transition into Fall, I made these Orange Chocolate Scones with Toasted Hazelnuts. These scones are rich, satisfying, and packed with flavor. The hint of orange comes from a few teaspoons of orange zest, and it is the perfect amount for balancing the sweetness with citrus without being too overpowering. I doubled the chocolate flavoring by having both cocoa powder and chocolate chips in the batter. After baking, the warm scones are dipped in a powder sugar glaze, drizzled with melted chocolate, then, finally, topped with toasted hazelnuts. The chocolate drizzle and hazelnuts will certainly have you dreaming of nutella…

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Chocolate Red Wine Truffles

Chocolate Red Wine Truffles

The truffles are rich (seriously, you only need one to feel satisfied), truly so easy to make, and only have a handful of ingredients. You start by making a ganache (which is just a fancy way of saying melted chocolate and cream). Once the ganache has solidified after refrigeration you will scoop out the truffles. Next, coat the truffles with your desired coating, whether that be cocoa powder or chopped nuts. And that's it! The truffles can become soft at room air, so I like to store them in the freezer to help keep their shape…

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German Chocolate Millionaire Bars

German Chocolate Millionaire Bars

Alright let’s talk about these German Chocolate Millionaire Bars. So, if you don’t know what a millionaire bar is, it is essentially a Twix bar. It has a shortbread cookie base, with a caramel middle, and topped with chocolate ganache. I made a few adjustments to this combo though by moving the chocolate ganache layer to the middle, and switching the caramel for the coconut pecan filling of German Chocolate cake. And it turned out, GREAT. The cookie base provides a nice crunch, while the chocolate and topping will simply melt in your mouth. The chocolate ganache is made with evaporated milk, which helps keep the chocolate soft and easy to bit into. I added a sprinkle of sea salt onto the chocolate ganache layer, providing the perfect amount of sweet and salty to the overall taste. To be extra fancy, I added a chocolate drizzle on top…

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Tiramisu Sandwich Cookies

Tiramisu Sandwich Cookies

These cookies have more chocolate flavor than traditional tiramisu. The cookie base is largely made up of melted chocolate, which leads to a brownie like taste and texture to the cookies. Layered in between is the mascarpone filling. Beaten together with butter, powdered sugar, and a touch of brandy this rich, yet light, mascarpone filling perfectly complements the chocolate-espresso sandwich cookies. For added fanciness, I sprinkled cocoa powder over the mascarpone filling…

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Mint Ice Cream and Brownie Layer Cake

Mint Ice Cream and Brownie Layer Cake

I’ve got another summer dessert for you all today! Well technically I would gladly eat “summer desserts” all year round (thanks to my giant sweet tooth), but the frozen aspect of this cake reallyyyyy makes it perfect for summer. This cake is very special to me. The recipe entered my life during…

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Chocolate Pistachio Babka

Chocolate Pistachio Babka

In honor of the royal wedding this past weekend, I wanted to share something extra fancy this week. Babka. My obsession with babka began about a year ago when I was first introduced to the beautiful, swirly bread via Pinterest. I assumed it was extremely complicated to make, so I didn’t even bother looking up a recipe to see. Instead, I simply admired these bread masterpieces from afar. Then one morning I woke up to a…

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The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

I would argue that the chocolate chip cookie is THE most classic dessert around. It is beloved by almost all and is everywhere! Whether in ball parks, cafeterias, bakeries, weddings, birthday parties, conferences or meetings the chocolate chip cookie is suitable for all types of occasions. Now there are two camps of people when it comes to determining…

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Chocolate Peppermint Donuts

Chocolate Peppermint Donuts

Today is the one week mark until Christmas! I can remember back to when I was growing up - I would get a chocolate advent calendar every year. Each morning, as soon as I woke up, I would eagerly open that little cardboard door, exposing that day’s treat. Each chocolate would have a different Christmas associated design on it, such as a Christmas tree or an angel. I used to love seeing if I could guess the design each day before opening the door – I was usually always wrong lol. To be honest...

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Butterscotch Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Butterscotch Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

We kicked off the month of December with the spirit of giving. This is my first year participating directly in charities that give Christmas gifts to families who otherwise may not receive them - and I love it! My unit at work has "adopted" a family in the need for the holidays, signing up to purchase specific gifts for the family members, ranging anywhere from household cleaning products to Lego toys. Additionally our small group through church participated in Angel Tree, an organization that helps children with an incarcerated parent feel loved, valued, and not forgotten by their parent far away. One of the ways they do this is ...

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Simple Truffles

Simple Truffles

It is officially the holiday season! No longer do I need to listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies in secret - because my husband refuses to have anything to do with Christmas before his favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, has had its turn to shine. This past weekend, we both had a 4 day weekend, which having the same days off is a special rarity in itself! We enjoyed our large Thanksgiving meal, and spent the rest of the weekend eating leftovers for lunch and dinner. But don't worry...

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Lemon Lavender White Chocolate Cups

When life hands you lemons, you make yummy treats. That's how the saying goes right? ;) So this spring thing has continued to amaze and rejuvenate me. The warmer days have brought reading in the courtyard, running in shorts and a tank top (see ya later wool socks!), BBQ meals (bring me all da grilled veggies), open windows letting in the breezy air, small buds growing from the tree branches, and endless tulips in the stores. This past weekend, we celebrated Easter - suburban Minnesota style, and it was truly wonderful. My gracious coworker invited Alex and me to her home to celebrate Easter with her family. I single-handedly almost finished off the supply of Robin Eggs in their giant Easter candy basket, because somehow no one in their family likes that candy. But hey, I wasn't complaining! We played four-square in the backyard - yes, the game from elementary school you would play in the schoolyard. And we were introduced to some Minnesotan classic holiday dishes - my favorite being cheesy potatoes with baked corn flakes. When surrounded by folks who grew up in Minnesota, I can't help but think of Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. Someone on the writing staff must have grown up in Minnesota - because some of the things are just too accurate! 

I wanted to reflect this sense of rejuvenation and freshness in a recipe - and the best way I know how is with lemons. I paired the refreshing citrus tang and the bright yellow coloration with a hint of lavender, all coated in white chocolate. Because everything is better with chocolate, right? This recipe is easy to make and the perfect little treat. After making these in standard muffin pans, I HIGHLY recommend making yours in mini muffin pans. These larger ones got a little messy, so if you want a simple treat you can pop in your mouth, go with the mini muffin pans. 


LEMON LAVENDER WHITE CHOCOLATE CUPS

Prep time: 25 minutes
Wait time: 1 hour
Assembly time: 5-10 minutes

1.  Infuse together for 20 minutes:
               1 teaspoon lavender
               1/3 cup hot water

2.  Pour through a mesh strainer to remove the lavender.

3.  Transfer the lavender infused water to a medium saucepan and mix in:
               3/4 cup granulated sugar
               1/4 cup lemon juice
               1 Tablespoon cornstarch
               1 lemon, zest
               2 egg yolks
               Dash of salt

4.  Over medium heat, whisk constantly until the mixture begins to simmer and thickens. Cook for 30 more seconds, then remove from heat.

5.  Pour through a mesh strainer into a small bowl. (This will remove any cooked egg if present). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing down so the plastic wrap is directly touching the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for at least an hour to continue thickening.

Assembly:

6.  Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners.

7.  Melt:
               15 oz white chocolate

8.  Spread 1 Tablespoon of the melted chocolate into the bottom of the paper liners, bringing the chocolate up the sides as well. Smack the muffin pan on the counter to smooth out the chocolate. Freeze for a couple minutes to harden the chocolate.

9.  Place a dollop of lemon lavender curd in the cups, and smooth over the chocolate. Cover the curd with the melted chocolate, spreading evenly. Freeze for 5 minutes to set, then store in the refrigerator. (There are no binding agents in the chocolate, so storing at room temperature will lead to melting).