chocolate

Almond Orange Biscotti

Almond Orange BiscottiI keep a list of recipes I want to try and potentially post to the blog if they go well. I’ll be the first to admit that they don’t always go well. I burnt soup this weekend. One time I made mini pumpkin pies that turned into mini pumpkin blobs. I’ve made caramel filled rice cereal bars that were so chewy they could probably take out a filling. *Sigh*.

Almond Orange BiscottiAlmond Orange BiscottiI’ll end my pity party there because there are also those recipes that are SPOT ON the moment I try them and it makes my day. Sometimes my week…small victories, people. Small victories. Let’s talk almond orange biscotti. SPOT ON! I didn’t even really know I had any love of biscotti until I made these. Can I just say again how SPOT ON these are?! Okay, I think you all get it.

Almond Orange BiscottiA few of my favorite parts of these cookies are:

  1. They look super fancy and hard to make BUT they’re not. For reals.
  2. I’ve heard rumors that properly stored these guys can last like a few weeks or a month. I may never know if this is true.
  3. The almond orange biscotti are not overly sweet thanks to the nut and citrus flavors.
  4. Chocolate.
  5. Biscotti make it totally appropriate for adults to dunk their cookies. In fact, that’s what they’re made for!

This is a fairly traditional recipe for biscotti but let me tell you, I am psyched to try new combinations of flavors! Granted, most will probably involve dunking them in chocolate. I’m pretty sure most everyone will be okay with that.

Almond Orange BiscottiP.S. I don’t drink coffee because I’m weird like that. I dunked these in milk. YUM. 

Almond Orange Biscotti
Yields 24
A traditional biscotti, or twice baked cookie, that's perfect for dunking!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 4 eggs + 1 egg for egg wash
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 tablespoon orange zest (or zest from about 1 medium orange)
  9. 1 cup whole almonds, toasted*
  10. 1 tablespoon water
  11. chocolate chips, to dip biscotti (1-2 cups depending on how you dip them)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Beat in 4 eggs, vanilla, and orange zest until it forms a ball. It will start out looking rather crumbly so be patient!
  4. Stir in toasted almonds.
  5. With clean, damp hands form 2 logs on parchment-lined baking sheets. Each log should be about 4 inches wide and 3/4 inch tall.
  6. Whisk together remaining egg and water for egg wash. Brush each log with egg wash.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top, rotating pans at the halfway point.
  8. Transfer logs to a wire rack and let cool for about 20 minutes.
  9. Use a large serrated knife to cut 3/4 inch slices. I cut mine on the bias, or diagonal, but you can also cut straight across.
  10. Place the slices, standing up, on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  11. Bake for another 25 minutes.
  12. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  13. Melt the chocolate chips (I used a double boiler but you could also microwave them, checking and stirring every 30 seconds). Dip* biscotti in chocolate and let cool on parchment paper.
  14. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
  1. *To toast the almonds, I just put the whole almonds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat and toasted them until they started to become fragrant
  2. *I dipped my biscotti in chocolate along the bottom edge but you could also dunk them in the chocolate (like you would dunk it into a drink). I've even seen some with drizzle on them. I like the bottom coated because you get a little chocolate in every bite but it doesn't cover up the cookie so you can still dunk it in your drink!
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Dirt Pudding

Dirt PuddingDirt pudding is one of my guilty pleasures. It’s slightly addictive. And by slightly, I mean I purposefully put these in separate mason jars to stop me from sneaking a spoonful every time I passed the refrigerator. It’s a real life problem in my house. I mean, Oreos? Pudding? Cream cheese? Whipped topping? If you’re not with me there, I’m not sure we’re friends. Just kidding! Of course I’ll be your friend. But you WILL have some explaining to do.

Dirt PuddingI actually would usually make this dirt pudding layered in a large glass bowl. It’s beautiful to have the layers showing that way! It would certainly be just as delicious in a not-see-through serving dish but not nearly as pretty. And they say you eat with your eyes so I highly recommend making it pretty. PLUS, mason jars are perfect for desserts on the go! Bring this to a picnic and you’ll be the star.

Dirt PuddingTo be fair, pretty isn’t the same thing as perfect. The mason jars or a glass bowl might be pretty, but don’t get me wrong…I would call these less than perfect in execution. We’ll go with “rustic charm” or “homemade” for this one. It’s all in how you sell it. Yeah…


You could actually put the pudding mixture into a piping bag or zip top bag with the corner cut off and pipe it in the mason jars. That would have surely made less of a mess than what I made. Where’s the fun in that though??

Dirt PuddingRegardless of how “homemade” this pudding looks or what kind of container or bowl you serve it in, you will not be disappointed. This pudding is a sure win with any audience. Just be warned to hide it if you’re making it for yourself (or in my case for my husband and I). You may eat 10 days worth of calories in 1 sitting if you’re not careful. You think I jest? I wish! Just give it a try and see how serious I am.

Dirt Pudding
Serves 12
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 small vanilla instant pudding boxes (3.4 ounce)
  2. 3 cups milk
  3. 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  4. 1 cup powdered sugar
  5. 1/4 cup butter, softened
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 12 ounces whipped topping
  8. 1 bag of Oreos, crushed
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the instant pudding and milk in a medium bowl for 2 minutes. Chill until set.
  2. Cream the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla together in a large bowl. It is important to have the cream cheese and butter at room temperature or it will not mix well.
  3. Fold the pudding mixture and whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Layer the pudding, cream cheese, and whipped topping mixture with the crushed Oreos.
Notes
  1. I made 6 pint-sized mason jars with this process, but you can make more if they are smaller mason jars. I have also used a large glass bowl and is just as pretty!
Adapted from Just a Pinch Recipes
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies

Crinkle-Cookies4Okay, so I very much realize that it is halfway through January and many of you may be trying to eat healthy or exercise or do something good for yourself as a New Year’s resolution. Way to go! I’d like to think that these chocolate mint crinkle cookies fall into that “do something good for yourself” category. If you’re not with me on that one, maybe stop reading here because I certainly don’t want to be to blame for a failed diet attempt. I am declaring no responsibility. 

Crinkle-Cookies1/Whew/ With that off my conscience I can start to talk about why I believe this is doing something good for yourself. Ummm…chocolate. Cookie. Mint. Covered in powdered sugar. Chocolate chips. Baked to chewy perfection. 

Seriously, is this even a question why these are good for you? I’m not talking about the nutrition facts here. If that’s the case, no. No, these are probably not good for you one bit. I’m talking about the fact that maybe a little powdered sugar-covered, chocolate chip filled, chewy, minty, chocolate cookie could make your day 1006% better. Even if you’re day is already spot on. 


Crinkle-Cookies2These cookies are almost like little brownies. Like think of that section of the brownie that’s between the edge and the middle. Not too soft, not too chewy. Just perfect. Yes, that’s a good word for this cookie. Perfect. That’s not even taking into account the fact that they are beautiful! You can totally impress whoever you want with these things. 

Crinkle-Cookies3Crinkle cookies are definitely are not hard to make but make sure to leave yourself a good amount of time because they are refrigerated before you bake them! I actually made the dough the night before I baked them, but you really only need a couple of hours to refrigerate. When I made them ahead though it was a breeze to roll, coat in powdered sugar, and bake. Give it a try!

Chocolate Mint Crinkle Cookies
Yields 42
Delicious, chewy chocolate mint crinkle cookies.
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
3 hr
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 cup cocoa powder
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 1 cup brown sugar
  8. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  9. 4 eggs
  10. 2 teaspoons peppermint extract
  11. 1 bag of dark chocolate chips (10-ounce bag)
  12. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar, oil, and eggs until combined. Beat in mint extract.
  3. Stir dry ingredients and chocolate chips into wet ingredients using a spatula or spoon until just combined.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  5. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Pour powdered sugar into a small bowl. Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar before placing on baking sheet, 1 1/2 inches apart.
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the edges begin to set. Let rest on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Notes
  1. You can make the cookie dough a day before baking. I did this and the cookies turned out great!
  2. If the dough is too soft while working with it, return it to the refrigerator and let set until it is easier to work with.
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Creamy Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate PuddingI hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with joy and happiness. And turkey. And mashed potatoes. And pie…certainly can’t forget the pie! Since we’re already on the topic of dessert, let’s talk pudding.

Boxed pudding is one of those mysterious things in life. Just about everyone who has made pudding in the past 50 years or so is bound to have made the stuff. It’s ridiculously simple to make…add some milk, mix, and refrigerate. VoilĂ ! It’s done and ready to eat. Way too simple to even *think* about making your own. That’s where you’re wrong! I thought the same thing! It’s definitely not hard from what I have experienced.

Chocolate PuddingWhile my husband and I were devouring this pudding, he asked why we never made pudding from scratch before because it was so simple. Seriously…why hadn’t we? Besides just defaulting to the boxed stuff, probably because I had been brainwashed into thinking it would be the hardest thing in the world to make…that’s why. So stop being brainwashed by horror stories of homemade pudding gone wrong and give it a try.


Chocolate PuddingYou’re not convinced yet, are you? Well take a look at the ingredients. Nothing in there is the slightest bit scary. Sugar. Cocoa powder. Milk. Eggs. Butter. Need I continue?? I even had most everything in my pantry or refrigerator already! WIN!

For those of you that are on board with me, great. For those of you that are STILL not convinced, let me tell you how rich and creamy and smooth this pudding is. Not only that, but it has so much depth of flavor that the boxed stuff covers up with who knows what. You will be shocked and amazed at the deep chocolate flavor. Shocked and amazed. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

Chocolate PuddingThat’s all I have, folks. If you aren’t convinced, I am sorry for your loss of delicious pudding in your life. At least I can say I tried.

Creamy Chocolate Pudding
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2/3 cup sugar
  2. 1/4 cup cornstarch
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  5. 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  6. 3 large egg yolks
  7. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  9. whipped cream, optional
Instructions
  1. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cocoa in a saucepan, off heat. Very gradually add the milk, whisking continuously, until the dry mixture is completely incorporated. Whisk in the egg yolks.
  2. Heat over medium heat, whisking continuously, until the first large bubble forms and pops. Reduce the heat to low and whisk for 1 more minute.
  3. Remove from heat and immediately pour through sieve into medium sized bowl. Stir in butter and vanilla until incorporated.
  4. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface (to prevent a skin from forming) and chill for 3 hours to 3 days.
  5. Whisk before serving. Serve with whipped cream.
Notes
  1. I topped my pudding with whipped cream. Pretty much a must. I also shaved a little bit of chocolate on top then chopped up some leftover mint chocolate patty Halloween candy to garnish. YUM!
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you ever have one of those weeks where nothing seems to go your way? It’s definitely been one of those weeks for me. Despite all the things that went wrong, let me tell you something good about life. Chocolate chip cookies. First of all, anything that starts with the word “chocolate” is amazing. It doesn’t even matter what the phrase ends with…chocolate bar, chocolate chip, chocolate covered bacon, chocolate pretzel, chocolate cupcake, chocolate ice cream, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate lava cake, chocolate fountain, chocolate in my mouth. I think you got the point. That little exercise of coming up with chocolate goodies actually already helped my mood!

This is not one of those quinoa and celery stick recipes that you lose weight just reading about. This is a pick me up, I need chocolate goodness in the form of a cookie, I am hording all of these cookies to myself kind of treat. Maybe not that last one. I may have gone too far. Either way, I don’t think you could be disappointed with these.


This recipe is actually from Travis’ family and I think it was a requirement that I learn how to make these cookies before he married me. Just joking…kind of. At any rate, since baking and cooking are kind of like an obsession of mine I really didn’t have any reason not to learn something new!

When I first made these cookies the ingredients kind of took me by surprise. If you couldn’t tell I’m the kind of person who is into fresh and pure ingredients and the fact that there was shortening AND margarine was CraZY to me! In fact, I even tried to make this recipe substituting butter for some of the fat because I needed to try. Try as I might, the recipe stands. And it’s a winner. So pardon my shortening and margarine but this recipe just needs to be shared with the world.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 36
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  2. 2 1/2 tablespoons margarine
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 1 3/4 cups flour
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 cup chocolate chips (I used mini)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cream shortening, margarine, sugar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla with mixer.
  3. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt until just combined.
  4. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Roll into 1 inch balls and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
Notes
  1. Before baking, I will sometimes slightly push the dough balls down (so they look like a hockey puck) so that they spread out more. You can also just leave them as balls and they turn out fine!
  2. You can freeze the dough after forming it into 1 inch balls. Then when you need to make cookies, you have perfectly formed cookie dough balls! I've baked them straight from the freezer but it's probably best to let them defrost slightly before going in the oven.
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/