Triple Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

2019-05-26+17.58.07-2.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

After more than two years in Italy, I have finally made a cheesecake.

Proof that you don’t need a springform pan to bake a cheesecake

Proof that you don’t need a springform pan to bake a cheesecake

Cheesecakes are not hard to make, but the baking is important, probably the most important part, and has always been tricky for me. Cheesecakes are usually baked at a slightly lower temperature, usually around 325F, and just until the sides are set but the center is still jiggly. If the center sets, the cheesecake is over done, but if the center is too jiggly, then your cheesecake won’t set up in the fridge and you’ll end up with soup when you cut into it. You don’t want the cheesecake to crack, and some recipes will tell you to add a bain-marie (a hot water bath) to the oven to keep the atmosphere humid or to crack the oven door after you’ve turned it off so your cheesecake won’t cool down too quickly and yes, crack.

So when you live in Italy with strange ovens, you think twice before baking things when you can’t perfectly control the heat in your oven or where the heat is coming from. IF you’re able to tell the temperature of your oven at all. (I’m thinking of you, my oven two apartments ago. I DO NOT miss you!) Or if your oven is small and cooks things a lot quicker. Add on top of that the cream cheese here, “formaggio fresco” or literally translated fresh cheese, is…different. I’m not even sure what it is, it tastes similar to cream cheese in the States, but when you whip it it doesn’t become soupy like the American stuff, it becomes super creamy. Sometimes I think the American stuff is stickier too, maybe? The only brand here I’ve ever seen is Philadelphia, and it has had great success in Italy. But the cheesecakes I’ve eaten in restaurants or pastry shops? Always weird. They taste and look more like semi-freddo or a mousse. I therefore assumed when I made a cheesecake it would be weird like the other ones I’ve eaten here. So I never made one.

Along came Easter and I wanted to make a cheesecake. I didn’t even have a springform pan but found that pie dishes work pretty great as substitutes. And you know what? The cheesecake turned out delicious and not weird. And my husband and colleagues liked it so well I made the same one again and bought a springform pan. And if you know me, you know I rarely bake the same thing twice in a row. I’m always on to the next new recipe or at least something I haven’t made in a while. But this recipe asked to be made again. And so I did. And now you can make it, too, weird cream cheese or normal cream cheese!

Recipe adapted from omgchocolatedesserts


Triple Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Serves about 12

Ingredients:

For the Oreo Crust

Crushing Oreos the old-fashioned way…

Crushing Oreos the old-fashioned way…

  • 24 Oreos

  • 1/4 cup / 56g butter, melted

For the Filling

  • 7.5 oz / 225g dark chocolate, broken into small chunks

  • 24 oz (3 8 oz packages) / 675g cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp / 125g granulated sugar

  • 2 Tbsp / 14 g cocoa powder

  • 3 eggs

For the Ganache Topping

  • 3/4 cup / 175g heavy whipping cream

  • 6 oz / 180g dark chocolate, broken into small chunks

Directions:

Oven 350F / 177C. Grease an 8in - 9in / 20cm - 24cm springform pan.

Make the Oreo Crust

  1. Chop the Oreos finely, either in a food processor, by crushing with a rolling pin on a clean surface or cutting board, or by putting in a resealable plastic bag and crushing with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.

  2. If using a food processor, pulse in the melted butter until crumbs are evenly moistened. If crushing the Oreos by hand, transfer to a bowl and stir in the butter.

  3. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared springform pan and bake for 8 minutes.

  4. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.

Make the Filling

Spreading cream cheese mixture over baked crust

Spreading cream cheese mixture over baked crust

  1. In a double boiler or pan over low heat, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when there are still small chunks of chocolate, and continue to stir until completely melted. In this way the chocolate won’t overheat or burn. Let chocolate cool.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Changing to low speed, carefully beat in cocoa powder so that it doesn’t “poof” everywhere. Every so often stop beating and scrape down the sides of the bowl well.

  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.

  4. Beat in melted and cooled chocolate.

  5. Pour mixture over the crust, smoothing the top.

  6. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, or until center is still slightly wiggly and the top looks dry.

  7. Turn the oven off and crack open the door for about 10 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and place in fridge until completely cooled, 8 hours or overnight.

Make the Ganache Topping

  1. In a small pan place heavy cream and chocolate over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture is smooth and melted. Allow to cool slightly.

  2. Remove cheesecake from fridge and pour ganache evenly over the top. Allow to set before running a dull knife around the edge of cheesecake and releasing from springform pan. Alternately, if you don’t need to transport the cheesecake anywhere, you can remove the ring of the springform first and then pour the ganache over, using a spoon to guide the ganache toward the edges and allowing some to dribble down the sides.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • Not a dark chocolate fan? Try it out with milk chocolate or a mixture of milk and dark to create your preferred bitterness!

  • If you don’t own a double boiler, you can make a makeshift one by placing a small pan with an inch or so of water in the bottom and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate in a bowl big enough that it can sit on top of the pan without touching the water. Stir constantly and proceed as in the recipe. This might take a touch more effort than just melting the chocolate in a pan, but it’s safer if you’re not used to melting chocolate so as not to burn it.

  • Powdered sugar can be substituted for the granulated, use 1 cup / 110g.

  • For cleaner slicing, try running your knife under hot water for a few seconds between slices.

American
Yield: 12
Author:

Triple Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Oreo crust, creamy dark chocolate cheesecake filling, and a decadent dark chocolate ganache.
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 1 H & 8 Mtotal time: 2 H & 8 M

ingredients:

For the Oreo Crust
  • 24 Oreos
  • 1/4 cup / 56g butter, melted
For the Filling
  • 7.5 oz / 225g dark chocolate, broken into small chunks
  • 24 oz (3 8 oz packages) / 675g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp / 125g granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp / 14 g cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
For the Ganache Topping
  • 3/4 cup / 175g heavy whipping cream
  • 6 oz / 180g dark chocolate, broken into small chunks

instructions:

How to cook Triple Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Make the Oreo Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350F / 177C. Grease an 8in - 9in / 20cm - 24cm springform pan.
  2. Chop the Oreos finely, either in a food processor, by crushing with a rolling pin on a clean surface or cutting board, or by putting in a resealable plastic bag and crushing with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.
  3. If using a food processor, pulse in the melted butter until crumbs are evenly moistened. If crushing the Oreos by hand, transfer to a bowl and stir in the butter.
  4. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared springform pan and bake for 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.
Make the Filling
  1. In a double boiler or pan over low heat, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat when there are still small chunks of chocolate, and continue to stir until completely melted. In this way the chocolate won’t overheat or burn. Let chocolate cool.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth. Changing to low speed, carefully beat in cocoa powder so that it doesn’t “poof” everywhere. Every so often stop beating and scrape down the sides of the bowl well.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
  4. Beat in melted and cooled chocolate.
  5. Pour mixture over the crust, smoothing the top.
  6. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes, or until center is still slightly wiggly and the top looks dry.
  7. Turn the oven off and crack open the door for about 10 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and place in fridge until completely cooled, 8 hours or overnight.
Make the Ganache Topping
  1. In a small pan place heavy cream and chocolate over low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture is smooth and melted. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Remove cheesecake from fridge and pour ganache evenly over the top. Allow to set before running a dull knife around the edge of cheesecake and releasing from springform pan. Alternately, if you don’t need to transport the cheesecake anywhere, you can remove the ring of the springform first and then pour the ganache over, using a spoon to guide the ganache toward the edges and allowing some to dribble down the sides.

NOTES:

Not a dark chocolate fan? Try it out with milk chocolate or a mixture of milk and dark to create your preferred bitterness! If you don’t own a double boiler, you can make a makeshift one by placing a small pan with an inch or so of water in the bottom and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate in a bowl big enough that it can sit on top of the pan without touching the water. Stir constantly and proceed as in the recipe. This might take a touch more effort than just melting the chocolate in a pan, but it’s safer if you’re not used to melting chocolate so as not to burn it. Powdered sugar can be substituted for the granulated, use 1 cup / 110g. For cleaner slicing, try running your knife under hot water for a few seconds between slices.

Calories

715.12

Fat (grams)

54.28

Sat. Fat (grams)

31.43

Carbs (grams)

52.73

Fiber (grams)

3.26

Net carbs

49.47

Sugar (grams)

39.29

Protein (grams)

7.29

Sodium (milligrams)

316.65

Cholesterol (grams)

118.98
Nutritional Information is Approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
2019-04-24+19.00.29.jpg

Chocolate Sauce

Photo Public Domain  https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/at/deed.en   Permission: Sammlung J.P. Adlbrecht

Photo Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/at/deed.en Permission: Sammlung J.P. Adlbrecht

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Classic. Quintessential. Chocolatey. Good on everything, from your morning pancakes and coffee to ice cream and that cake you just made. Or ya know, by the spoonful. Just a spoonful of…I’ll let you sing the rest yourself. ;)

What is it? Chocolate Sauce! I’m sorry, come again? Chocolate Sauce!!!! I didn’t hear you!! CHOCOLATE SAUCE!!!!!!!! That’s right. Or chocolate syrup, as you prefer. No more Hershey’s in a bottle, or going without if you live outside the USofA. It’s so easy you’ll wonder why you never made it before. No high fructose corn syrup involved!

Recipe from my Mama


Chocolate Sauce

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup / 150g sugar

  • 1/3 cup / 33g unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 Tbsp / 7.5g cornstarch

  • 1/2 cup / 118g water

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Combine sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in a small saucepan.

  2. Add water and whisk until there are no lumps.

  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and boil for 5 minutes, continuing to stir.

  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • The better quality your cocoa powder the better your sauce will taste!

  • Keeps well in the fridge.

American
Yield: 12
Author:

Chocolate Sauce

A basic chocolate sauce for drizzling, mixing, and all your dessert needs.
prep time: 20 Mcook time: total time: 20 M

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup / 150g sugar
  • 1/3 cup / 33g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp / 7.5g cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup / 118g water
  • 1 tsp vanilla

instructions:

How to cook Chocolate Sauce

  1. Combine sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in a small saucepan.
  2. Add water and whisk until there are no lumps.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and boil for 5 minutes, continuing to stir.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

NOTES:

The better quality your cocoa powder the better your sauce will taste! Keeps well in the fridge.

Calories

63.04

Fat (grams)

0.27

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.00

Carbs (grams)

14.76

Fiber (grams)

0.56

Net carbs

14.21

Sugar (grams)

12.52

Protein (grams)

0.55

Sodium (milligrams)

0.61

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator


Mascarpone Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache

IMG_5063.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Let me take a gander at what you're thinking, probably something like, "OH! PEANUT BUTTER PIE? I love peanut butter pie! So good! But I already have a recipe for peanut butter pie. Why do I need this recipe? Wait, don't YOU already have a recipe up on this blog for peanut butter pie??" Maybe? Well, you'd be right about one thing, this is not my first recipe up for a peanut butter pie.  But let me tell you, they each have their own merited place in your recipe box.  For example, the Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream has a shortbread crust, creamy peanut butter filling, topped with chocolate whipped cream.  Perfect for casual events, potlucks, birthdays, summer evenings, Sunday afternoons...but what happens if you need a peanut butter pie for a gala? The president is coming over?  You're presenting a peanut butter pie to the CEO of Godiva chocolate and want chocolate to be showcased more prominently?  Then you need a peanut butter pie with refinement, elegance, and classy chocolate utilized in more than one element of the pie.  How do you do this without compromising the stand-alone peanut butter filling of a peanut butter pie?  Why, you change out the shortbread crust for a chocolate crust, and top the pie with flowing chocolate ganache.  Elegance.  Refinement.  The chocolate ganache envelopes the peanut butter filling in a tender embrace...still with me?  Ok let's stop dreaming and comparing peanut butter pies and MAKE one!  

Not a fan of chocolate and peanut butter together? Neither is my mom.  That's ok, I still love you.  And because of that, why not head over to this Nutter Butter Pie instead? No chocolate there! 

Recipe adapted from what megan's making.


Mascarpone Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Crust

  • 7.5 oz / 210g chocolate graham crackers, teddy grahams, or chocolate shortbread

  • 2 oz / 55g (1/3 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped, or mini chips

  • 5 Tbsp / 65g butter, melted

For the Peanut Butter Filling

IMG_5030.JPG
  • 1 cup / 237g heavy whipping cream

  • 8 oz / 227g mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 cup / 250g peanut butter

  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar

  • 1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 4 oz / 110g (2/3 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped, or chips

  • 1 Tbsp / 14g butter

  • 1/2 cup / 118g heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Oven 325°F / 163°C.  Ungreased 9in / 23cm pie dish.  

Make the Chocolate Crust

  1. In a food processor combine chocolate grahams, butter, and chocolate chips.  Pulse until the mixture is uniformly fine crumbs.  Or do it the "old fashioned" way and beat the crumbs to oblivion in a well sealed plastic bag with a rolling pin or other hard object, then mixing in the chocolate and butter in a bowl with a spoon. 

  2. Press evenly into the bottom and sides of pie dish and bake for 8 minutes or until fragrant.  Set aside to cool completely.

Make the Peanut Butter Filling

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to another bowl if using a stand mixer and set aside.

  2. Again in the bowl of a stand mixer or a separate bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  

  3. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture in three or four parts.  

  4. Spoon the filling over the cooled crust and smooth the top.  Refrigerate to set.  

IMG_5064.JPG

Make the Chocolate Ganache

  1. Place the chocolate and butter in a small bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat, just until simmering.  The moment you see bubbles remove from heat and pour over chocolate and butter.  Let sit for 1 minute to melt the chocolate, then whisk briskly until smooth and shiny.  

  2. Pour over chilled pie.  If you don't desire chocolate running over the sides, you may have to wait a minute or two between pourings, or simply don't use all the ganache.  (The rest can be disposed of with a spoon and a mouth.  But I don't need to tell you that.)  

  3. Chill for 3-4 hours or overnight until set.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • If using a shallow pie dish you may have some leftover crust, and that's ok. Don't feel like you have to use all the crust mixture or you may have an impenetrable crust, especially in the corners.

  • I frequently substitute whole milk or coconut milk for all or part of the cream in ganache, but usually not when it's a topper as it can separate a bit if you don't use all cream. However, one time when making this I only had 1/4 cup cream left for the topping and so added 1/4 cup whole milk, and it made for a beautiful ganache, even as the topper.

  • Top with chocolate chips or chocolate shavings as desired!

American
Yield: 8-12
Author:

Mascarpone Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate cookie crust, whipped mascarpone peanut butter filling, and chocolate ganache to top.
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 8 Mtotal time: 1 H & 8 M

ingredients:

For the Chocolate Crust
  • 7.5 oz / 210g chocolate graham crackers, teddy grahams, or chocolate shortbread
  • 2 oz / 55g (1/3 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped, or mini chips
  • 5 Tbsp / 65g butter, melted
For the Peanut Butter Filling
  • 1 cup / 237g heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz / 227g mascarpone or cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup / 250g peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache
  • 4 oz / 110g (2/3 cup) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped, or chips
  • 1 Tbsp / 14g butter
  • 1/2 cup / 118g heavy whipping cream

instructions:

How to cook Mascarpone Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache

Make the Chocolate Crust
  1. Oven 325°F / 163°C. Ungreased 9in / 23cm pie dish.
  2. In a food processor combine chocolate grahams, butter, and chocolate chips. Pulse until the mixture is uniformly fine crumbs. Or do it the "old fashioned" way and beat the crumbs to oblivion in a well sealed plastic bag with a rolling pin or other hard object, then mixing in the chocolate and butter in a bowl with a spoon.
  3. Press evenly into the bottom and sides of pie dish and bake for 8 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside to cool completely.
Make the Peanut Butter Filling
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer to another bowl if using a stand mixer and set aside.
  2. Again in the bowl of a stand mixer or a separate bowl with a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture in three or four parts.
  4. Spoon the filling over the cooled crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate to set.
Make the Chocolate Ganache
  1. Place the chocolate and butter in a small bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat, just until simmering. The moment you see bubbles remove from heat and pour over chocolate and butter. Let sit for 1 minute to melt the chocolate, then whisk briskly until smooth and shiny.
  2. Pour over chilled pie. If you don't desire chocolate running over the sides, you may have to wait a minute or two between pourings, or simply don't use all the ganache. (The rest can be disposed of with a spoon and a mouth. But I don't need to tell you that.)
  3. Chill for 3-4 hours or overnight until set.

NOTES:

If using a shallow pie dish you may have some leftover crust, and that's ok. Don't feel like you have to use all the crust mixture or you may have an impenetrable crust, especially in the corners. I frequently substitute whole milk or coconut milk for all or part of the cream in ganache, but usually not when it's a topper as it can separate a bit if you don't use all cream. However, one time when making this I only had 1/4 cup cream left for the topping and so added 1/4 cup whole milk, and it made for a beautiful ganache, even as the topper. Top with chocolate chips or chocolate shavings as desired!

Calories

791.91

Fat (grams)

62.46

Sat. Fat (grams)

30.79

Carbs (grams)

54.43

Fiber (grams)

3.89

Net carbs

50.53

Sugar (grams)

37.64

Protein (grams)

12.12

Sodium (milligrams)

502.22

Cholesterol (grams)

110.56
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 8 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_5066.JPG

 

Ganache Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Not mashed potatoes...:)

Not mashed potatoes...:)

Oh my gosh! Ganache. Yes, coconut cream pie is delicious.  So are Almond Joys and Mounds.  So why not put them together, add a shortbread crust, put them in the slightly less formidable to cut bar form instead of pie, and voila: Ganache Coconut Cream Pie Bars. 

These bars are slightly involved, but the end product is very worthwhile.  Not to mention, you can make an 8x8 pan worth of bars, or 9x13!  I almost always go the 9x13 route.  This has become a favorite for Christmas, my mom's birthday, and just about any occasion that a little creamy coconut and chocolate is welcome.  As what seems to be turning into a trend, I failed to get any kind of decent photo of the inside, so for now, (or maybe forever...once these are cut into you'll understand why photos never get taken) please enjoy the photos of the whipped cream and toasted coconut topping.  If you'd like an idea of what bliss you're getting in to, take a peak over at Willow Bird Baking, from whom I adapted the recipe, and see her beautiful photos! 


Ganache Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Makes about 20 servings

Ingredients:

For the Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) / 226g cold butter

  • 2 cups / 240g all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar

For the Ganache

  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp / 87g heavy whipping cream

  • 6 oz (1 cup) / 175g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or chips

For the Coconut Cream Filling

  • 6 cups / 1,422g unsweetened coconut milk or milk of choice

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups / 300g sugar

  • 2/3 cup / 73g cornstarch

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt

  • 1 1/2 cups / 150g flaked unsweetened coconut

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g coconut extract

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g vanilla extract

For the Whipped Cream Topping

  • 2 cups / 464g heavy whipping cream

  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar

  • 1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup / 50g flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted (see below)

Directions:

Oven 350°F / 177°C.  Ungreased 9x13in / 23x33cm baking dish.

Make the Shortbread Crust

  1. Cut the butter into flour and sugar using a fork, pastry cutter, or in a food processor.  Once the mixture resembles coarse sand and the butter chunks are no larger than small peas, press mixture evenly into bottom prepared pan. 

  2. Bake for 18-22 minutes until lightly golden-brown.  Set aside to cool.  Leave oven on for toasting the coconut.

Make the Ganache

  1. While the crust is baking, prepare the ganache.  Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and the cream in a small saucepan.  Over medium-low heat, bring the cream to a simmer.  You can also use the microwave, 30 seconds-1 minute or until cream is just simmering, but not boiling.  

  2. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 1-2 minutes to melt the chocolate.  Whisk until completely smooth.  

  3. Once the crust is finished and partly cooled, pour ganache evenly over crust.  Place in fridge to set.   

Toast the Coconut

Place the 1/2 cup coconut for the topping in a shallow baking dish.  Place in oven and stir every 1-2 minutes, making sure it doesn't over-brown, for a total of 5-10 minutes.  Remove and let cool.

Make the Coconut Cream Filling

2017-12-23 15.25.34.jpg
  1. Combine milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan. 

  2. Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to thicken and comes to a boil.  This can take anywhere from 15-35 minutes, depending on your stove.

  3. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in coconut and vanilla extracts.  

  4. Remove crust from fridge and pour filling over crust.  Place back in fridge to set, 2-4 hours.  

Make the Whipped Cream Topping

  1. Whip the cream and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form.

  2. Spoon over chilled bars, or pipe.  Finish with toasted coconut.  Store in fridge.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • Because the ganache in this recipe is not decorative, you can easily substitute coconut milk or another kind for the heavy whipping cream. I prefer using coconut milk, reducing the amount of fat/calories. Save those for when you need the high-shine perfect ganache!

  • If you only have sweetened coconut milk or sweetened flaked coconut on hand, go ahead and use those. Simply reduce the sugar by about 1/4-1/2 cup / 50-100g in the filling, if you wish. I prefer to have unsweetened coconut on hand so I can control how much sugar I'm adding to breakfasts, desserts, etc., plus I like the smaller size of flaked and grated coconut vs. shredded.

  • For toasting coconut, and every use really, I highly recommend Le Creuset pans. My toasted coconut used to always come out in various shades, but since using Le Creuset it always turns out a beautiful even, golden-brown. They conduct heat evenly and beautifully.

  • If a 9x13 pan of cream coconut heaven seems daunting to you, it's super easy to halve this recipe for a 8x8 or 9x9in pan!

  • These bars should ideally be eaten within 3-4 days. Otherwise the whipped cream starts to separate and the crust gets soggy.

American
Yield: 20
Author:

Ganache Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Shortbread crust, a thin layer of ganache, classic coconut cream pie filling, all topped with fresh whipped cream and toasted coconut.
prep time: 1 H & 45 Mcook time: 32 Mtotal time: 1 H & 77 M

ingredients:

For the Shortbread Crust
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) / 226g cold butter
  • 2 cups / 240g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar
For the Ganache
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp / 87g heavy whipping cream
  • 6 oz (1 cup) / 175g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or chips
For the Coconut Cream Filling
  • 6 cups / 1,422g unsweetened coconut milk or milk of choice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups / 300g sugar
  • 2/3 cup / 73g cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g salt
  • 1 1/2 cups / 150g flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g coconut extract
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream Topping
  • 2 cups / 464g heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup / 100g sugar
  • 1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup / 50g flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted (see below)

instructions:

How to cook Ganache Coconut Cream Pie Bars

Make the Shortbread Crust
  1. Oven 350°F / 177°C. Ungreased 9x13in / 23x33cm baking dish.
  2. Cut the butter into flour and sugar using a fork, pastry cutter, or in a food processor. Once the mixture resembles coarse sand and the butter chunks are no larger than small peas, press mixture evenly into bottom prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 18-22 minutes until lightly golden-brown. Set aside to cool. Leave oven on for toasting the coconut.
Make the Ganache
  1. While the crust is baking, prepare the ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl and the cream in a small saucepan. Over medium-low heat, bring the cream to a simmer. You can also use the microwave, 30 seconds-1 minute or until cream is just simmering, but not boiling.
  2. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for 1-2 minutes to melt the chocolate. Whisk until completely smooth.
  3. Once the crust is finished and partly cooled, pour ganache evenly over crust. Place in fridge to set.
Toast the Coconut
  1. Place the 1/2 cup coconut for the topping in a shallow baking dish. Place in oven and stir every 1-2 minutes, making sure it doesn't over-brown, for a total of 5-10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Make the Coconut Cream Filling
  1. Combine milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan.
  2. Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to thicken and comes to a boil. This can take anywhere from 15-35 minutes, depending on your stove.
  3. Once thickened, remove from heat and stir in coconut and vanilla extracts.
  4. Remove crust from fridge and pour filling over crust. Place back in fridge to set, 2-4 hours.
Make the Whipped Cream Topping
  1. Whip the cream and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer until stiff peaks form.
  2. Spoon over chilled bars, or pipe. Finish with toasted coconut. Store in fridge.

NOTES:

Because the ganache in this recipe is not decorative, you can easily substitute coconut milk or another kind for the heavy whipping cream. I prefer using coconut milk, reducing the amount of fat/calories. Save those for when you need the high-shine perfect ganache! If you only have sweetened coconut milk or sweetened flaked coconut on hand, go ahead and use those. Simply reduce the sugar by about 1/4-1/2 cup / 50-100g in the filling, if you wish. I prefer to have unsweetened coconut on hand so I can control how much sugar I'm adding to breakfasts, desserts, etc., plus I like the smaller size of flaked and grated coconut vs. shredded. For toasting coconut, and every use really, I highly recommend Le Creuset pans. My toasted coconut used to always come out in various shades, but since using Le Creuset it always turns out a beautiful even, golden-brown. They conduct heat evenly and beautifully. If a 9x13 pan of cream coconut heaven seems daunting to you, it's super easy to halve this recipe for an 8x8 or 9x9in pan! These bars should ideally be eaten within 3-4 days. Otherwise the whipped cream starts to separate and the crust gets soggy.

Calories

446.04

Fat (grams)

30.59

Sat. Fat (grams)

21.07

Carbs (grams)

41.54

Fiber (grams)

2.52

Net carbs

39.02

Sugar (grams)

26.41

Protein (grams)

4.58

Sodium (milligrams)

152.00

Cholesterol (grams)

92.63
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 20 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
2017-12-23 15.25.10.jpg

Chocolate Chip Brioche Rolls

But why are they so golden? Many thanks to butter and egg wash.

But why are they so golden? Many thanks to butter and egg wash.

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

I've been thinking about you a lot recently.  How sweet you are, how tender you are, how you like to butter me up. Yeah, you're a little soft, but I love that about you.  I wake up in the morning hoping you'll want to meet me for coffee.  Will you, brioche?  Please say yes.  Before life hardens you and you become like a rock.  But if not, how about your friend?  He looks yummy, too - Oh hey. Welcome to my blog!  Yep, I'm writing a recipe about brioche, mmm hmmm.  No, I was not talking to the brioche. Just eating. Nom nom nom.  See?  Delicious.  Yep.  Believe me and make these, and you'll be talking to your brioche, too.  

Brioche is a yeasted, enriched bread or bun.  By enriched I mean, rich in butter, with help from sugar and eggs.  The amount of butter in the recipe for brioche must be equal to or more than 20% of the flour weight, but can go up to 100%.  I like to think of brioche in three categories, as called by Peter Reinhart: 

  1. Poor man's brioche - consisting of at least 20% butter

  2. Middle-class brioche - consisting of around 50% butter

  3. Rich man's brioche - consisting of 50-80% butter, or on rare occasion, more!

To find the butter percentage, divide the weight of the butter by the weight of the flour and multiply by 100.  

Butter weight / flour weight x 100 = Butter percentage

For example, let's take the recipe below, which calls for 6 Tbsp butter or 85g by weight, divided by 2 1/2 cups flour or 300g by weight, which equals 0.28.  Multiply 0.28 by 100 and you get 28.  Thus the butter percentage is 28 percent in this recipe.  Poor man's brioche!  

85 / 300 x 100 = 28

If the words ratio, weight, percentage make you glaze over, stay with me.  It can be confusing at first, but understanding these concepts can really enhance your baking experience.  Think of it as the key that unlocks all recipes and links them together.  Instead of blindly following a recipe, always secretly wondering what will happen if you omit an egg, use baking soda instead of baking powder, add less flour or sugar than called for, formulas such as this can help you compare recipes across the board. start to notice similarities, how textures are affected by the ratio of liquids to flour, fat to flour, etc.  Ok, so baking soda vs. baking powder is more in the realm of science, but also helpful!  Science and math, who knew?  I know, it's a lot of work, with a scrunched up nose, calculator, and pencil eraser shavings everywhere as you figure out formulas, but it's worth it!  Of course, I'm not here to force you to do anything, so feel free to skip on down to the recipe and ignore all this fancy talk.  No shame or guilt.  

Trust me, I'm still new to this too, and figuring it out myself.  I feel like I've just discovered the tip of the iceberg, and I know, it's slippery along the way as you're calculating numbers, but at the end, you'll have a giant...iceberg...of...information?  Yeah, that.  My boat hit the er, iceberg, when I was gifted Peter Reinhart's bread book.  I had recently started my own levain, really wanting to learn how to make artisan breads.  I didn't really know what I was getting into when I mixed some flour and water together to make a levain.  Now I see there is so much to learn, and I hope to share some of the adventure with you.  I don't plan to become a master bread baker before I start to blog some recipes, so you can share in the discoveries with me.    

Are we done yet? No, on to the poor man's brioche!

Recipe adapted from Soup Addict


Chocolate Chip Brioche Rolls

Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients:

IMG_4887.jpg
  • 2 1/2 cups / 300g all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp / 6g instant yeast

  • 1/3 / 67g cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp / 11g salt

  • 1/2 cup / 118g milk

  • 1/2 cup / 118g buttermilk or sour milk

  • 6 Tbsp / 85g butter, room temperature

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 1/3 cup / 234g chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:

Oven 350°F / 177°C.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.  

  2. In a small saucepan heat milk and buttermilk until about 105°F / 40°C.  Add to flour mixture and mix until well combined.  

  3. With the mixer running, add butter and allow to mix until fully immersed.  Add 1 egg.  

  4. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for 6-8 minutes, until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and starts to make a slapping sound against the bowl.  If the dough is still clinging to the sides, add a touch more flour until it no longer sticks.  

  5. Mix in chocolate chips just long enough to incorporate.  

  6. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl.  Flip the dough so that both sides are now oiled.  Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to ferment in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.   

  7. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and place evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet.  

  8. Beat the second egg with 1 tablespoon of water.  Use a pastry brush or your fingers to brush each dough well with egg wash.  Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until puffed.  

  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and internal temperature reads about 180°F / 82°C.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • If you don’t have buttermilk or sour milk, you can make your own sour milk by adding 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar per 1 cup milk.

  • After you've made the dough, you can place the dough in the fridge before the first or second ferment.  That way the ferment will happen slowly in the fridge, and you can shape or bake the rolls the next day.  Allow the dough to come to room temperature before rolling or baking, then continue as instructed.

  • Use any leftover egg wash for another baking venture or omelette!

brioche, brioche rolls, poor man's brioche, recipe, chocolate chip brioche, butter
Bread, Breakfast
French
Yield: 12
Author:

Chocolate Chip Brioche Rolls

Buttery, soft, sweet, enriched brioche rolls speckled with chocolate chips.
prep time: 55 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 85 M

ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups / 300g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp / 6g instant yeast
  • 1/3 / 67g cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp / 11g salt
  • 1/2 cup / 118g milk
  • 1/2 cup / 118g buttermilk or sour milk
  • 6 Tbsp / 85g butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup / 234g chocolate chips or chunks

instructions:

How to cook Chocolate Chip Brioche Rolls

  1. Oven 350°F / 177°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
  3. In a small saucepan heat milk and buttermilk until about 105°F / 40°C. Add to flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. With the mixer running, add butter and allow to mix until fully immersed. Add 1 egg.
  5. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for 6-8 minutes, until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and starts to make a slapping sound against the bowl. If the dough is still clinging to the sides, add a touch more flour until it no longer sticks.
  6. Mix in chocolate chips just long enough to incorporate.
  7. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl. Flip the dough so that both sides are now oiled. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to ferment in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  8. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Beat the second egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Use a pastry brush or your fingers to brush each dough well with egg wash. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until puffed.
  10. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and internal temperature reads about 180°F / 82°C.

NOTES:

If you don’t have buttermilk or sour milk, you can make your own sour milk by adding 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar per 1 cup milk. After you've made the dough, you can place the dough in the fridge before the first or second ferment. That way the ferment will happen slowly in the fridge, and you can shape or bake the rolls the next day. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before rolling or baking, then continue as instructed. Use any leftover egg wash for another baking venture or omelette!

Calories

265.01

Fat (grams)

12.95

Sat. Fat (grams)

7.58

Carbs (grams)

34.61

Fiber (grams)

1.96

Net carbs

32.65

Sugar (grams)

13.04

Protein (grams)

5.38

Sodium (milligrams)

439.38

Cholesterol (grams)

47.41
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_4900.jpg

Very Chocolate Cherry Brownies

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

We bakers like to stick to the four main food groups: Chocolate, chooooocolate, chocolat, and cioccolato.  Although we no longer believe, as the Aztecs did, that chocolate is a gift from the gods nor do we throw away the golden goblet once the chocolate drink has been consumed (haven't you heard about recycling?! Sheesh), we'll take it for its taste and possible health properties.  I say possible because it hasn't been scientifically proven yet.  But we know in our hearts, right?  So, let's make some Very Chooooocolate brownies.  And throw in some cherries because it's just about cherry season and I grew up in a cherry town.  National Cherry Festival, anyone?  


Very Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Makes about 9-12 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp / 85g butter

  • 1 1/3 cup / 225g chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate bar, or chips

  • 3/4 cup / 150g sugar

  • 1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/3 cup / 40g all-purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup / 115g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

  • generous 1/2 cup / 110g dried cherries

Directions:

Oven 350°F / 177°C.  Grease an 8x8in / 20x20cm square pan.

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Add the chocolate and stir continuously until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. 

  2. Remove from the heat and add sugar and vanilla.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time.  

  3. Add the flour and stir vigorously for about a minute, until the batter turns from grainy to glossy, and starts to pull away from the edges of the pan.  Add chocolate chips and cherries.

  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until center isn't quite set or a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • If using semisweet chocolate I prefer to reduce the sugar to 125g or about a generous 1/2 cup. 

  • Don't over-bake brownies!  In my opinion, brownies are always better off on the dense, slightly under-baked side than dry or crispy.  

  • Nut fan?  Add 1/2 cup walnut, pecans, or your nut of choice! 

American
Yield: 9-12 servings
Author:

Very Chocolate Cherry Brownies

Dense, fudgy, double chocolate brownies loaded with chocolate chunks and tart dried cherries.
prep time: 20 Mcook time: 30 Mtotal time: 50 M

ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp / 85g butter
  • 1 1/3 cup / 225g chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate bar, or chips
  • 3/4 cup / 150g sugar
  • 1 tsp / 5g vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup / 40g all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup / 115g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
  • generous 1/2 cup / 110g dried cherries

instructions:

How to cook Very Chocolate Cherry Brownies

  1. Oven 350°F / 177°C. Grease an 8x8in / 20x20cm square pan.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the chocolate and stir continuously until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Remove from the heat and add sugar and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Add the flour and stir vigorously for about a minute, until the batter turns from grainy to glossy, and starts to pull away from the edges of the pan. Add chocolate chips and cherries.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until center isn't quite set or a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean.

NOTES:

If using semisweet chocolate I prefer to reduce the sugar to 125g or about a generous 1/2 cup. Don't over-bake brownies! In my opinion, brownies are always better off on the dense, slightly under-baked side than dry or crispy. Nut fan? Add 1/2 cup walnut, pecans, or your nut of choice!

Calories

387.92

Fat (grams)

20.18

Sat. Fat (grams)

11.93

Carbs (grams)

54.18

Fiber (grams)

2.66

Net carbs

51.53

Sugar (grams)

45.56

Protein (grams)

3.67

Sodium (milligrams)

82.56

Cholesterol (grams)

61.64
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 9 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Quinoa Coconut Date Rolls

IMG_4728.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

These little morsels are so named because they are rolled, and no, these will not get you a date nor would I suggest bringing them on a first date.  Not because these aren't scrummy (that’s scrumptious and yummy combined), but because "healthy" baking should always be treated warily.  You must already have a well established relationship with that person, preferably have treated them to some normal sugary delicious desserts so that they understand that you understand what a dessert "should" be, and can trust your taste buds when you then try to sell them on your spinach-spirolina-turmeric-kale-ginger-wasabi-moringa bars that are also dairy-free and refined-sugar free.  Whew, I'm out of breath.  But that relationship is important.  So if I've never eaten anything that you've made before, know that I might distrust you at first, in the most genial way possible.  And you should distrust me, until I gain your trust.  

Also understand what your taste preferences are, and if you don't like healthy desserts, well then, may I ask why are you reading this particular recipe? May I kindly redirect you to this decadent Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle?  Or if you don't like dates, we might have a problem.  But if you like healthy desserts, or are exploring in this arena, then you probably know what you're getting yourself into.  The quinoa provides protein and grains, the almonds provide good fats and more protein, while the dates give sweetness and carbs and coconut brings flavor to the party. 

So now, using your own best judgment, allow me to introduce my friends, the Quinoa Coconut Date Rolls.

Recipe adapted from Skinny Ms.


Quinoa Coconut Date Rolls

Makes about 10-12 rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup dry quinoa

  • 2/3 cup water

  • 12 whole dates

  • 1/2 cup almonds

  • 1/3 cup grated unsweetened coconut, plus more for rolling

  • 2-3 tsp water

  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips, optional

Directions:

  1. Combine quinoa and water in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed.  Set aside to cool completely.  If you already have quinoa made, you'll need about 1 cup.  

  2. Place dates in a food processor and blend until they stick together in a ball.  Add the almonds, coconut, and quinoa; pulse until well combined.  Add water, if necessary, until the mixture holds together.  Shape into balls or roll.  Place extra coconut on a plate and roll the rolls around until completely covered in coconut.  

  3. *Optional:  Heat chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the microwave for 30 second bursts, until melted.  Drizzle chocolate over rolls.

  4. Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • For a chunkier roll, process for a shorter period of time.  

  • These rolls are also delicious if you add a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. They could become autumnal if you add cinnamon along with a dash of nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Yum!  

quinoa, coconut, almonds, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, refined sugar-free, vegetarian, healthy, nutritious, clean eating
snack, breakfast
American
Yield: 10-12 rolls
Author:

Quinoa Coconut Date Rolls (Vegan)

Nutritious Lara-bar like rolls made with quinoa, dates, coconut, and almonds with optional chocolate drizzle. Great for breakfast, snacks, on the go, and after workouts!
prep time: 25 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 40 M

ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup dry quinoa
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 12 whole dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup grated unsweetened coconut, plus more for rolling
  • 2-3 tsp water
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips, optional

instructions:

How to cook Quinoa Coconut Date Rolls (Vegan)

  1. Combine quinoa and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Set aside to cool completely. If you already have quinoa made, you'll need about 1 cup.
  2. Place dates in a food processor and blend until they stick together in a ball. Add the almonds, coconut, and quinoa; pulse until well combined. Add water, if necessary, until the mixture holds together. Shape into balls or roll. Place extra coconut on a plate and roll the rolls around until completely covered in coconut.
  3. *Optional: Heat chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the microwave for 30 second bursts, until melted. Drizzle chocolate over rolls.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze.

NOTES:

For a chunkier roll, process for a shorter period of time. These rolls are also delicious if you add a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. They could become autumnal if you add cinnamon along with a dash of nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Yum!

Calories

104.45

Fat (grams)

5.81

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.93

Carbs (grams)

12.11

Fiber (grams)

2.28

Net carbs

9.82

Sugar (grams)

5.94

Protein (grams)

2.64

Sodium (milligrams)

36.53

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 10 servings and excludes chocolate drizzle.
Created using The Recipes Generator

How to Blog - By Someone Who Doesn't Know How

Photo Credit: Hannah Kelsey

Photo Credit: Hannah Kelsey

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Oh hey there.  It's nice to see you here.  Looks like someone is curious about how to become a STAR blogger.  Beyond viral.  Basically means you're in the hall of fame for bloggers.  I can assure you, you have come to the right place.  In this humble post I will show you how to:

  1. Create interesting content

  2. Improve your writing

  3. Up the game on humor

  4. Get Your Point Across, Be Understood Really Well, Be Clear

  5. Take super-awesome-stunning-great photos

  6. Edit photos and choose filters

  7. Increase your intelligence

Don't have a blog?  No worries, number 7 still applies.  If you are thinking about starting a blog, I can help you.  

First, you'll need a blog.  We could make really extensive pro and con lists about all of the pros and cons about where to get a website, but hey, time is precious, right?  I'll save you the trouble: Get Squarespace.  There, no time wasted, no stress in having to make a decision, no taking into consideration what some of your specific needs might be.  Next, you'll want to pick out a name for your blog and get a domain to match.  Just like you wouldn't go out the door with your cell phone cover not matching your pillowcase, you need a good name and domain to match.  What's a domain? Idunnaknow.  Probably means you have dominion over your blog, and no one else.  Mwahahaha.  Because if they don't match, your name might lose syncretism with your domain, and the domain might decide it wants dominion and take over.  Thankfully it hasn't happened to me yet, but I thought I should warn you.  

So now you have a website and your domain.  Now what?  I'll be using a new baking post, a recipe and photos for Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies, to help demonstrate some of the techniques and strategies listed below. 

Create Interesting Content

To have a star blog, you need to have interesting stuff to write about.  For example, if you collect baseball cards, like animals, try the samples at Sam's Club on a regular basis, watch a ton of movies...There's also an appalling lack of political opinions out there.  Especially long rants, judgy articles, and arguments.  So you might want to consider putting yours out there, fill the gap, ya know.  Oh, and I almost forgot, baking blogs.  There aren't very many of those, either, that's why I decided to blog n' bake.  That and the baking/cooking section on Pinterest is a little lackluster.

Once you've found your niche, it's time to let the pen fly!  Or fingers, as you'd say in this day and age.  Always, always, ALWAYS start your blog out with a personal story or anecdote.  Make it at least 7 paragraphs long (the number of completion), and if you can start to weave in your actual content or recipe towards the end, that's toooootally cool.  Bonus if you can include an anecdote within the anecdote, or tie in 3 other stories during your main content.  The more the merrier!  This would also be a great spot to include your dog/cat's cute behavior for the last two weeks.  Keep your main content to a minimum, people's attention spans are rather short these days, and this is your blog, so you need to make sure you get your moment.  Include your opinion, your take, and advice on everything.  And be super transparent about everything, no walls.  Why else would people be reading your blog?  

Improve You're writing

Whilst blogging, you got to be ready to let your ideas fly.  Don't let grammer, spelling; and punk-you-a-shun get in you"re way.  There more like guidelines anyways.  If your bad at spelling or grammar doesn't come naturalmenty to you, don't use spell check and be like all those spelling bee medalists out there; no! You be you.  You do you.  If you spelled environment enviermant, leave it.  Empowerment to bad spellers everywhere.  Chances are people won't notice.  And time is money, people!  

Up the Game on Humor

Tell jokes.  Even if no one laughs in real life, or you forget the punch line.  Quote Parks and Rec and SNL constantly.  Give it the Girl Scout try.  No one was ever born funny, after all.  

Get Your Point Across, Be Understood Really Well, Be Clear

Don't be afraid to repeat yourself, be redundant, quote multiple sources to make just one point, or say the same thing twice. USE ALL CAPS FOR EMPHASIS as OFTEN as you WANT, and/or use BOLD or italic font.  Then you can step back and enjoy your blog for what it is, a piece of art, rather than just blah, blah, blah.  

Don't be afraid of clichés, catch-phrases, and idioms.  They always help to make your writing really clear and concise.  Otherwise your point might be like looking for a needle in a haystack.  Stay away from euphemisms.  

Avoid big words.  Lots of little words make so much more sense.  The extraneity of lengthy words then becomes superfluous.

Take Super-awesome-stunning-great Photos

Now.  I know all your blogging friends have fancy-smchancy cameras that you're not allowed to touch, but I'm here to tell you that you can do better.  Why spend thousands of dollars when your iPhone 4 takes photos?  No reason, that's why.  No need to lug around a camera bag, buy and change out lens', or learn what all those little black buttons mean when you have everything you need in an iPhone.  Not to mention Beyonce's latest album and Snapchat.  

When your friends get to talking, you can just bring out your IDK to their ISO, your amateur to their aperture, your Boca Burger to their Bokeh.  

Multiple shots were taken in this exhibit to be examples, and show the transition from "follow camera techniques boring" to "create your own inspired masterpieces."

Multiple shots were taken in this exhibit to be examples, and show the transition from "follow camera techniques boring" to "create your own inspired masterpieces."

For lighting, direct sunlight or a bare bulb lit directly overhead your subject is fine.  A dark, rainy day works well, or better yet, night.  When working with humans or animals, you can best light their face by shining a light straight on, directly in front of their face.  Gently remind them to keep their eyes open.  A spray bottle can be used to gently mist their face and keep their eyes from drying out.  If no light source is available, flash is always a viable option.

Trying to find a "studio." Up against a wall, tight, uninspired...

Trying to find a "studio." Up against a wall, tight, uninspired...

When choosing a location, the messier the better.  Some may choose to have a special window, area, or even studio where they take their photos and do "sessions," but I believe this natural lighting and set-up area produces, stiff, unnatural, and  sterile photos.  You and your subject need inspiration, room to breathe.  In a corner, on the floor, or the front seat of your car is fine.  When the inspiration hits, you need to be ready with your phone held high, face close to the screen, and finger poised to snap the moment, soon to be forever encapsulated on your blog.  I recommend keeping your phone out at all times, taking photos at will.  Even if you don't remember the moment because you were so busy "capturing" it, you'll always have the photo.  And we all know that's more important than the actual experience in the long run.   

Blurry hand, bodies...this photo speaks of movement and life.

Blurry hand, bodies...this photo speaks of movement and life.

Having a background and props is essential.  What that background is and what those props are, less so.  No need for a plain wall behind.  To have chaos in your photo is to have life.  To create an au naturel photo that doesn't look "staged" or "set up" I like to grab the 12-56 objects in closest range to me and set them up haphazardly around the subject.  I then choose my angle, and snap.  Yes, one snap.  No multiple shots, re-angling, re-staging.  It is what it is, and that's how it's meant to be.  Animals, babies, blurry hands, and half-eaten pizza all help to liven up the photo.  

In the culmination of this art spread, please notice the parallelism, rhythm, and flow within. The echoes of the greens, connections between the browns, the cylinders. The keys seem to say, "choose your path" while though the pile of succulent cookies seems to beckon and say, "we offer life, sweet life, and money" you see the healthy apple is also saying, "eat of me!" Meanwhile, the beano reminds us that the remedy lies within, that life is time, take of yourself, and keep a dream journal.

In the culmination of this art spread, please notice the parallelism, rhythm, and flow within. The echoes of the greens, connections between the browns, the cylinders. The keys seem to say, "choose your path" while though the pile of succulent cookies seems to beckon and say, "we offer life, sweet life, and money" you see the healthy apple is also saying, "eat of me!" Meanwhile, the beano reminds us that the remedy lies within, that life is time, take of yourself, and keep a dream journal.

Everyone will be jealous.

Edit Photos and Choose Filters  

Here's how to take your photos to the next level.  You'll first need a photo editing program.  Higher end programs like PaintShop Pro, Final Cut, and Photo are ideal.  Then, modify away.  As a general rule, I think photos always look pro when you really crank the structure, saturation, and ombre.  If you have a ton of photos to share with the world and are short on time, filters are your friends.  X-Pro II, Lo-Fi, and Nashville are go to's.  

Increase Your Intelligence.

If you have made it this far, you have already acquired much intelligence along the way, all that stated above.  I have so much more I wish to impart to you, my young padowan, but I must first see how you bear up under this already great load.  So be free, conquer the world, and let your dreams take flight.  Remember as you soar high, to take others with you under your wing.  

Two more things before we part ways: One, this blog is completely facetious.  Happy April Fool's Day!  Don't take a word of it seriously.  Don't believe me?  Ask any of my seven followers.  Second, the cookies in the photos exhibited above are, despite the photos, really yummy.  Recipe below!

Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 24-36 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder, regular or chocolate

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp cornstarch

  • 3/4 cup oil or 1 cup butter, room temperature

  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  • 2 cups/12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Whisk together flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, salt, and cornstarch in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

Beat together oil and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  If using butter, beat mixture until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  

Stir in dry ingredients until just combined.  Switch to a spoon and stir in chocolate chips.

Chill dough for 2 hours or up to 72 hours.  

When ready to bake the dough, preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.  Place the dough by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheets. 

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges begin to turn golden-brown.  

Jenny's Notes:

For reasons why chilling dough helps create beautiful cookies, see my notes on this chocolate chip cookie recipe.

To create a truly malted experience, replace chocolate chips with a package of chopped Whoppers.  Even milk chocolate chips are delicious.  

Recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups.

NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_4755.jpg

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Going back to the classics.  American classics.  Chocolate chip cookies.  And not just any chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip cookies the NY Times way.  Want me to say chocolate chip cookies one more time?  Chocolate. Chip. Cookies.  

Why do we need one more chocolate chip cookie recipe floating around?  

When it comes to the kitchen, I'm not one much for routine.  I like to explore, to try and constantly better what it is in my power to improve.  And as I am constantly learning about foods and why ingredients act the way they do, the more I can apply that to recipes.  When you have a classic such as chocolate chip cookies (yes, chocolate chip cookies) it may seem unnecessary to improve upon it.  Chances are, even if your recipe isn't that great, they probably will taste great anyway.  They're pretty hard to mess up.  That's also why there are so many chocolate chip cookie recipes out there.  People are satisfied with "good" when they don't know they're missing out on "great".  

I have three recipes for chocolate chip cookies)that I love, including the one I am about to share with you.  The other two include a classic recipe a.k.a. my mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies, and one with browned butter. You can find that one here.  I'm sure there are more out there that are wonderful.  But for now, I share with you another truly good recipe.  Courtesy of the NY Times, they knew what they were doing with this one.

The recipe includes bread flour and cake flour, lending a wonderful chew and delicate crumb, respectively.

Then there is the long refrigeration, which allows all the ingredients to marry and the flavor to concentrate as the dough dries out every so slightly.

When the cookies are finally baked, the sugar is able to crystallize easier resulting in beautiful golden edges with a center still soft, and an extra caramel nutty flavor.

Even if the refrigeration has to be skipped due to a time constraint, the cookies will still turn out delicious, although I would urge you to try the refrigeration for yourself to taste that extra special result!

Recipe adapted from the NY Times


NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 40-70 cookies, depending on size.

Ingredients:

  • 220g / 2 cups cake flour

  • 200g / 1 2/3 cup bread flour

  • 6g / 1 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 6g / 1 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 5g / 1 tsp salt

  • 283g / 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter

  • 250g / 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar

  • 225g / 1 generous cup granulated sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 9g / 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 566g / 20 oz. 60% bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:

  1. Whisk together cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, and baking powder.  

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  

  3. Add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.  Carefully incorporate chocolate chips.  You may want to use a spoon as a stand mixer can crush the chocolate chips.  

  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 24-72 hours. 

  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.  Scoop cold dough out onto cookie sheets in 1" balls, or desired size.  Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt, if you like.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges turn a nice golden brown and centers still look a bit soft.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • Why bread and cake flour?  Bread flour has a higher gluten content and lends more crisp and chew to the cookies.  Cake flour is finer and lends a delicate crumb.  

  • If you need these cookies the same day you are making the cookies, the refrigeration is not absolutely essential.  When you place a dough in the fridge, the moisture in the dough is able to be evenly absorbed, then after a time begins to dry out, concentrating the flavors.  Then, when you bake the cookies, the sugar is able to caramelize better.  That is the beautiful golden brown color you see, and nutty flavor you taste.  Also, a cold or refrigerated dough won't spread as much.    

chocolate chips, bread flour, cake flour, NY Times, cookies
Dessert
American
Yield: 40-70 cookies
Author:

NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies get a remix with bread flour, cake flour, and the magic trick of refrigeration, resulting in nothing short of amazing cookies.
prep time: 30 Mcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 50 M

ingredients:

  • 220g / 2 cups cake flour
  • 200g / 1 2/3 cup bread flour
  • 6g / 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 6g / 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 5g / 1 tsp salt
  • 283g / 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
  • 250g / 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 225g / 1 generous cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 9g / 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 566g / 20 oz. 60% bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks

instructions:

How to cook NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. Whisk together cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla.
  3. Add dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Carefully incorporate chocolate chips. You may want to use a spoon as a stand mixer can crush the chocolate chips.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for 24-72 hours.
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C. Scoop cold dough out onto cookie sheets in 1" balls, or desired size. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt, if you like. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges turn a nice golden brown and centers still look a bit soft.

NOTES:

Why bread and cake flour? Bread flour has a higher gluten content and lends more crisp and chew to the cookies. Cake flour is finer and lends a delicate crumb. If you need these cookies the same day you are making the cookies, the refrigeration is not absolutely essential. When you place a dough in the fridge, the moisture in the dough is able to be evenly absorbed, then after a time begins to dry out, concentrating the flavors. Then, when you bake the cookies, the sugar is able to caramelize better. That is the beautiful golden brown color you see, and nutty flavor you taste. Also, a cold or refrigerated dough won't spread as much.

Calories

235.01

Fat (grams)

13.56

Sat. Fat (grams)

8.26

Carbs (grams)

24.83

Fiber (grams)

2.61

Net carbs

22.22

Sugar (grams)

11.36

Protein (grams)

3.66

Sodium (milligrams)

122.36

Cholesterol (grams)

24.84
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 1 cookie from a 40-cookie batch.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Muffins

Do you like my snowman liners? :)

Do you like my snowman liners? :)

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Muffins are great, aren’t they? So American and so versatile. They can be savory or sweet and just about any flavor you could desire. They can be calorie bombs or nutrition bombs. These Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Muffins are actually pretty good for you, considering how delicious they are.

The sugar content is low, only whole wheat flour is used, and they’re rich in peanut butter and chocolate!

Sometimes I think muffins don’t get the recognition they deserve. Each country has its specialty and maybe of all the things that my country could’ve invented I would’ve chosen croissants or pastries, but muffins have their place on the table for sure! I am not ashamed.

The world is a beautiful place full of diverse people, traditions, and food.  The beauty of the age we live in is how accessible it has become to travel.  You no longer have to rely on magazines and other people's experience, or weigh the cost of time it takes to get places and the chance of death as you voyage on a ship or whatnot.  Even if you remain right where you are, chances are the other people around you are coming and going.  The world is opening up more and more, we are no longer isolated from each other.  We are exposed to different ways of thinking, culture, languages, ideals.  Sometimes we agree, and sometimes we don't, and as long as we know how to do those two things humbly and lovingly, it can be a beautiful thing.  Even when it seems the disagreements outweigh the agreements, there will always be one thing we have in common: Food. 

Never underestimate the power of food.  We can thank France for flaky, buttery pastries, crepes, chocolate mousse, and baguettes, Italy for pizza, pasta, gelato, and panettone, Germany for pretzels and bratwurst, Greece for Gyros and tzatziki, the middle east for hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, baba ganoush, pita, and shawarma, Turkey for Turkish delight and baklava, Japan for sushi, China for wontons, spring rolls, and dumplings, Ireland for Shepherd's pie, Mexico for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, Canada for Poutine, U.S. for macaroni and cheese, apple pie, s'mores, buffalo wings, jambalaya, annnnnnd muffins. 

Basically, while the French are making pastries, Americans are making muffins.  Hm.  That's fine.  Taking two days to make something does not necessarily mean it will be automatically better.  (In this case, however, I think it does.)  But we don't always have the luxury of taking two days to make pastries when the fancy strikes.  Life and work happens.  Enter the humble muffin.  Simple, humble, delicious, and quick to whip up.  It has its place in the kitchen.

They tend to get a bad rap for being high in calories, unhealthy, and associated with muffin tops.  I promise, their sole intent in life is not give you a muffin top.  Poor muffins.  I am here today to show you that muffins can be nutritious, not 500 calories a pop, and enjoyable to make.  I hope I don't have to tell you they are also enjoyable to eat.  Especially these ones. :)

Recipe adapted from Culinary Adventures in the Kitchen


Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Muffins

12-14 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups / 270g whole wheat or white whole wheat flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 3 Tbsp / 42g oil

  • 1/4 cup / 61g yogurt

  • 1/2 cup / 100g brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup / 195g peanut butter

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup / 237g buttermilk

  • 1 cup / 175g chocolate chips

Directions:

Oven 375°F / 190°C.  Muffin tin lined with cupcake liners or greased.  You may need two pans.

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil, yogurt, and brown sugar.  Add peanut butter and mix until incorporated.  Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. 

  3. Add 1/3 of flour mixture to the stand mixer, mixing just until combined.  Add half of the buttermilk, again mixing until just combined.  Repeat with another third of the flour, the remaining half of the buttermilk, and finally the last third of flour.  Gently stir in 3/4 cup / 130g chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula. 

  4. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full, and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup / 44g chocolate chips over the tops. 

  5. Bake until lightly golden around the edges and/or a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes. 

Jenny's Notes:

  • Whole wheat flour is not necessarily healthier than white whole wheat flour, they are simply different kinds of wheat.  Whole wheat flour is a red wheat, which gives it the darker color and slightly heavier texture.  Think of it like a Granny Smith apple and a Macintosh Apple, they are different varieties of apple but equally nutritious for you. 

  • Using either plain yogurt or a sweetened yogurt like vanilla is fine in this recipe. 

  • These muffins are not overly sweet, (I think they're perfect for breakfast so you don't start your day with a sugar coma) so feel free to up the sugar if you prefer sweeter muffins. 

muffins,snack,nutritious, chocolate chips, whole wheat, dark chocolate, peanut butter, buttermilk,yogurt
Breakfast, Bread
American
Yield: 12-14 Muffins
Author:

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Muffins

Lightly sweet, whole wheat peanut butter muffins with a healthy sprinkling of chocolate chips.
prep time: 30 Mcook time: 18 Mtotal time: 48 M

ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups / 270g whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp / 42g oil
  • 1/4 cup / 61g yogurt
  • 1/2 cup / 100g brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup / 195g peanut butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup / 237g buttermilk
  • 1 cup / 175g chocolate chips

instructions:

How to cook Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Muffins

  1. Oven 375°F / 190°C. Muffin tin lined with cupcake liners or greased. You may need two pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil, yogurt, and brown sugar. Add peanut butter and mix until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  4. Add 1/3 of flour mixture to the stand mixer, mixing just until combined. Add half of the buttermilk, again mixing until just combined. Repeat with another third of the flour, the remaining half of the buttermilk, and finally the last third of flour. Gently stir in 3/4 cup / 130g chocolate chips with a spoon or spatula.
  5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full, and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup / 44g chocolate chips over the tops.
  6. Bake until lightly golden around the edges and/or a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes.

NOTES:

Whole wheat flour is not necessarily healthier than white whole wheat flour, they are simply different kinds of wheat. Whole wheat flour is a red wheat, which gives it the darker color and slightly heavier texture. Think of it like a Granny Smith apple and a Macintosh Apple, they are different varieties of apple but equally nutritious for you. Using either plain yogurt or a sweetened yogurt like vanilla is fine in this recipe. These muffins are not overly sweet, (I think they're perfect for breakfast so you don't start your day with a sugar coma) so feel free to up the sugar if you prefer sweeter muffins.

Calories

329.90

Fat (grams)

17.53

Sat. Fat (grams)

4.88

Carbs (grams)

39.14

Fiber (grams)

4.20

Net carbs

34.95

Sugar (grams)

18.61

Protein (grams)

9.13

Sodium (milligrams)

328.68

Cholesterol (grams)

32.10
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 12 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bark

Pretzels. Homemade caramel. Chocolate. And salted. This bark has only 5 ingredients, it’s super easy to make, and you keep going back for more.

Oh yes.  For the sugar lovers, sweets devotees, and when you want to whip up something delicious with precious little effort, this bark is it.  Some people even refer to it as crack bark. Maybe because you break, or crack it, at the end?  (Just kidding everyone, I know what they mean when they call it that.)  Plus all 5 ingredients are pretty easy to have on hand. 

Now, if this were Pinterest, you could call it "5 Ingredient Crack Bark."  Remember my thing with Pinterest names?  Yep.  Still there.  Keep it classy, people, keep it classy.  It already bothers me that this recipe has as many words in its title as it does ingredients.  If you have any better and more concise ideas for the title, please, let me know!

Slightly adapted from Where the Cookies Are

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!


Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bark

Makes approximately one 11x17in / 28x43cm sheet of bark

Ingredients:

  • Enough mini pretzels to cover an approximately 11x17in / 28x43cm jelly roll pan, about half of a 15oz bag / 200g.

  • 1 cup / 226g butter

  • 1 cup / 200g brown sugar

  • 2 cups / 340g semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • coarse salt

Directions:

Oven 375°F / 190°C.  Line an approximately 11x17in / 28x43cm jelly roll pan with tinfoil. 

  1. Cover pan with an even layer of pretzels.

  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter and brown sugar.  Stir until mixture starts to simmer, then allow to cook, without stirring, until mixture turns a nice golden-brown.  This should take 3-5 minutes after the mixture has started to simmer. 

  3. Remove mixture from heat and immediately pour evenly over pretzels. 

  4. Place in the oven and bake for 6 minutes. 

  5. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over pretzels and caramel. 

  6. Wait a few minutes, then use a spatula to spread now melted chocolate chips over pretzels.  Sprinkle with salt. 

  7. Allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces.  You can place your pan in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process. 

Jenny's Notes:

  • If you’re wondering what a jelly-roll pan is, it’s merely a baking sheet with about a 1in side around it, which in this case keeps the bark contained. You can shop them on Amazon by clicking on the link to the right. —>

  • Don't have tinfoil?  You can always use wax or parchment paper, but I would recommend greasing them beforehand as I have had the bark stick to both of those products. 

  • Want to go crazy?  Use any kind of chips in place of the semisweet chips, such as milk, peanut butter, bittersweet...or a combination! 

  • Once you have spread the melted chocolate, feel free to add some extra toppings if you wish.  Coconut, chopped peanuts, finely chopped coffee beans...

salted caramel, salted chocolate, bark, butter, toffee, caramel, chocolate chips, crack bark
dessert, snack
American
Yield: 12-15 servings
Author:

Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bark

Salty, crunchy, chocolatey, caramelly, and only 5 ingredients to whip up this addicting bark!
prep time: 25 Mcook time: 6 Mtotal time: 31 M

ingredients:

  • mini pretzels, enough to cover an approximately 11x17in / 28x43cm jelly roll pan, about half of a 15oz bag or 200g
  • 1 cup / 226g butter
  • 1 cup / 200g brown sugar
  • 2 cups / 340g semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • coarse salt

instructions:

How to cook Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bark

  1. Oven 375°F / 190°C. Line an approximately 11x17in / 28x43cm jelly roll pan with tinfoil.
  2. Cover pan with an even layer of pretzels.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter and brown sugar. Stir until mixture starts to simmer, then allow to cook, without stirring, until mixture turns a nice golden-brown. This should take 3-5 minutes after the mixture has started to simmer.
  4. Remove mixture from heat and immediately pour evenly over pretzels.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 6 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over pretzels and caramel.
  7. Wait a few minutes, then use a spatula to spread now melted chocolate chips over pretzels. Sprinkle with salt.
  8. Allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces. You can place your pan in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.

NOTES:

If you’re wondering what a jelly-roll pan is, it’s merely a baking sheet with about a 1in side around it, which in this case keeps the bark contained. Don't have tinfoil? You can always use wax or parchment paper, but I would recommend greasing them beforehand as I have had the bark stick to both of those products. Want to go crazy? Use any kind of chips in place of the semisweet chips, such as milk, peanut butter, bittersweet...or a combination! Once you have spread the melted chocolate, feel free to add some extra toppings if you wish. Coconut, chopped peanuts, finely chopped coffee beans...

Calories

398.37

Fat (grams)

24.26

Sat. Fat (grams)

14.77

Carbs (grams)

47.86

Fiber (grams)

2.24

Net carbs

45.63

Sugar (grams)

31.99

Protein (grams)

3.04

Sodium (milligrams)

384.00

Cholesterol (grams)

40.49
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 12 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

Do you know what goes great with cold weather?  Hot beverages, like tea and coffee. 

And do you know which carbs goes best with tea and coffee?  Scones. 

That's not to say that scones are dry and should only be served with hot liquids to help re-salivate your mouth.  If that's your past experience, then you need to find a new scone recipe or scone baker.  I like the sound of that.  Scone baker.  Sconed baker.  The scorned baker.  Maybe not.  Moving on.  These scones are wonderful!!  Light and flaky.  Not too sweet, with a nice burst of citrusy orange that pairs beautifully with the bitterness of the chocolate.

January is for baking.  Not dieting.  (Whole30 I'm looking at you.  In a very kind way.  Maybe not.)  Particularly breads, scones, cookies...winter and carbs are good buddies.  Love handles are an awkward third wheel.  But we get to wear big cozy sweaters and sit by fireplaces if we want to.  I love winter.  I love baking. I love these scones. Without further ado….

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker


Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

Makes about 12 scones

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups / 360g all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup / 50g sugar

  • 4 tsp orange zest

  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp salt

  • scant 3/4 cup / 150g oil

  • 1 egg

  • 3/4 cup / 180g buttermilk

  • 1 cup / 170g chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:

Oven 425°F / 218°C.  Baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

2019-05-18%2B10.08.01-2.jpg
  1. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add oil and mix until texture resembles coarse crumbs.

  2. Whisk together egg and buttermilk.  Add to dry mixture until evenly moistened but being careful not to overmix.  Fold in chocolate chips. 

  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few rounds, 12-14 times.  Roll or pat out into a rectangle of about 1-inch thickness.  Cut into 12 squares.

  4. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until scones no longer look doughy in the center and the bottoms are a light golden brown.  

  5. Best served same day, with tea and coffee and butter and jam, if you wish.   



Jenny's Notes:

  • In place of chocolate chips you can also break up a chocolate bar. Last time I used a chocolate bar with hazelnuts in it for Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Scones and it was scrumptious.

  • Scones are so great, and there are many different varieties and recipes for them.  As long as they aren't too dry, I think they all have merit.  In fact, I have several different scone recipes, this is just one of them.  They are similar, but with slight differences that make each one valuable.

Scones, quick bread, orange, chocolate
bread, breakfast
American, British
Yield: 12 servings
Author:

Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

Light, moist, orange and chocolate chip scones.
prep time: 25 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 40 M

ingredients:

  • 3 cups / 360g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup / 50g sugar
  • 4 tsp orange zest
  • 4 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • scant 3/4 cup / 150g oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup / 180g buttermilk
  • 1 cup / 170g chocolate chips or chunks

instructions:

How to cook Orange Chocolate Chip Scones

  1. Oven 425°F / 218°C. Baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add oil and mix until texture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Whisk together egg and buttermilk. Add to dry mixture until evenly moistened but being careful not to overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few rounds, 12-14 times. Roll or pat out into a rectangle of about 1-inch thickness. Cut into 12 squares.
  5. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until scones no longer look doughy in the center and the bottoms are a light golden brown.
  6. Best served same day, with tea and coffee and butter and jam, if you wish.

NOTES:

In place of chocolate chips you can also break up a chocolate bar. Last time I used a chocolate bar with hazelnuts in it for Orange Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Scones and it was scrumptious.

Calories

317.34

Fat (grams)

17.57

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.59

Carbs (grams)

37.50

Fiber (grams)

1.72

Net carbs

35.78

Sugar (grams)

12.69

Protein (grams)

4.72

Sodium (milligrams)

465.72

Cholesterol (grams)

16.10
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 12 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Some people are adverse to the word healthy.  Don't be one of those people.  Oh, but what I would give to have a little slice of this pie right now, healthy or not!  Actually, I wouldn't give much.  But that doesn't mean I don't want it.  Yes, Whole30January is still happening.  It has gotten easier in recent days...but you can ask my mom who is doing it with me if that's a true statement.  So here is yet another recipe you can make and eat in my stead.  Please, for my sanity.  Just don't tell me how delicious it is.  I like to ask the people around me who are eating delicious nonWhole30food to tell me how disgusting it is.  It almost make me feel better.  Won't you be glad when Whole30January is over so you won't have to hear any more of my sardonic complaining?  Yes ok, on to this nutritious pie that somehow tastes like dessert!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

12-16 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans white beans or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (navy, great northern, cannellini)

  • 1 cup oats or ground flax seeds

  • 1/4 cup applesauce or oil

  • 3 Tbsp oil (if you are not using applesauce, that would be a scant 1/2 cup oil total)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 3 tsp stevia powder

  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks, plus more for sprinkling

Directions:

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.  Greased 8 or 9 inch pie pan.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips. 

Scrape dough into prepared pan and sprinkle with additional chocolate chips. 

Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool before slicing and serving. 

Jenny's Notes:

This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and nut free.

I adapted this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie.  She is very good about giving lots of options if you are gluten-free, vegan, have a nut allergy, etc.  I simply narrowed it down to my favorite combination of ingredients from her options, and preferred amount of sweetener so that it tastes like dessert without giving in to your sugar dragon too much. 

Feel free to add more sugar if you feel the need! 

If for whatever reason your batter comes out too thick or thin, (didn't drain the beans as much, the applesauce brand you use is soupier, etc.) you can add more oats or flax to thicken, or applesauce, maple syrup, or milk to thin. 

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Snickers Bars

Happy New Year's Eve!  Whether your plans include watching a movie, going to a party, throwing a party, watching the ball drop, or going to bed early, I hope you get to spend your evening ringing in the New Year in your favorite way.  I'm not entirely sure what that means, "Ringing in the New Year."  Did people used to use bells?  Oh!  Well, my evening is planned.  I'm getting out all the bells and ringing in the New Year.  Literally.  This is going to be so great. 

But first, (don't take a selfie) make Snickers!  If you just thought, "Why would I want to make Snickers when I can just buy them and save a whole lot of time?" I'm with you on that one.  I'm not normally the first one to jump on making things homemade that have already been perfected.  Homemade Reese's?  Samoas?  Oreos?  I'll let Nabisco and the Girl Scout Foundation of America do that.  I did make homemade Oreos once, but after a couple hours of work and ending up with less cookies than a package of Oreos that didn't even taste like an Oreo, I decided to be more discerning with such recipes in the future.  They tasted good...but nah.  The exception is, if you can make something that tastes like the original or better, even if it takes longer, because homemade means less chemicals and preservatives!  Yay.  That's where these Snickers come in.  

Snickers Bars

Makes 20-30 bars

Directions:

Lightly grease a 9x13 inch pan and line with parchment paper.  Grease the parchment paper. 

For the Top and Bottom Chocolate Layer

  • 2 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips (about 1 1/4 bags) or 15 oz

For the Nougat Layer

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups salted peanut, roughly chopped

For the Caramel Layer

  • 1/2 batch caramel sauce, recipe found here

or

  • 14 oz caramel squares, unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Directons:

Make the Bottom Chocolate Layer

Place 1 1/4 cups of the milk chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until melted.  Spread evenly in the bottom of the 9x13 pan.  Place in fridge or freezer to set until next layer is ready.

Make the Nougat Layer

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add sugar and milk, stirring until dissolved.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Remove from heat and stir in marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla until smooth.  Fold in peanuts.  Spread evenly over chocolate in pan and place in fridge or freezer. 

Make the Caramel Layer

Make a half batch of the caramel sauce as directed. 

or

Melt caramel squares with heavy cream in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth.  Once melted, cook for 4 more minutes, stirring frequently. 

Pour caramel over nougat layer and place back in fridge or freezer.

Make the Top Chocolate Layer

Melt the remaining 1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.  Spread evenly over caramel layer. 

Place back in fridge or freezer until completely set, 10-30 minutes.

Keep in pan or remove using parchment paper; slice and serve.

Can be stored at room temperature for up to a week, two weeks in the fridge, or three months in the freezer. 

Jenny's Notes:

Really like peanut butter?  You can add 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter to each the top and bottom chocolate layer after melting the chocolate.  Or, use part peanut butter chips instead of all milk chocolate chips.  

Don't need a whole 9x13 pan of Snickers?  You can always halve this recipe and put everything in an 8x8 pan.  But since you're putting the time in, I would recommend making the whole 9x13 pan and simply freezing whatever you won't eat right away.   

The first greasing of the pan before you put in the parchment paper may seem redundant, but it helps the paper to stick to the pan and not move all over while you are trying to spread chocolate and such.  Ironic, though, isn't it?  Usually you grease something to help it move, not keep it in place.

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

It's almost Christmas!!!  The most wonderful time of the year, filled with family, friends, delicious food, and cheery music.  Wasn't that a wonderfully cliché sentence?  Yes, but we hope it's true.  I am fortunate enough to say that it is for me.  I love all my family, I love Christmas music (I can't always vouch for it all being "good" music, but it lifts your spirit and you can mindlessly sing along while wearing a Santa hat and elf socks without anyone thinking twice), and we have an abundance of delicious food.  So much food. 

What is one to do when they have been indundated with rich holiday food?  Take a break?  No fun.  Stand by the vegetable tray all night?  Nah, I hear the conversation can get a little heated with those peppers.  Chew gum?  No, you need a compromise.  Something that will satisfy, but not put you over like your great-aunt's cousin-once-removed on your dad's side triple chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, ganache, whipped cream, sprinkles, drizzled with caramel and bonbons on top.  Something more like a fruit based cake.  Banana.  With chocolate chips, because it is Christmas, and peanut butter because that makes the whole thing.  The bow on top of the present.  The icing on the cake...so very literally. 

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Makes 12-16 servings

Ingredients:

For the Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 4 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks, 8 oz), room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.  Grease and flour two 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.

Make the Cake

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together oil and sugars.  Add vanilla and eggs; beat well.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture.  Mix in yogurt.  Add another third of flour mixture.  Add bananas.  Add final third of flour mixture.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour and divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.   Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pans before flipping out onto cooling racks to cool completely. 

Make the Frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and peanut butter together until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and salt.  Add 2 cups of powdered sugar; add more as needed until frosting is thick enough to spread. 

Assembly

Center one cake layer upside down on a cake stand or plate.  Frost this layer within 1/4 inch of edge of cake. 

Place second layer on top, and frost cake with remaining frosting.  Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips, if desired. 

Jenny's Notes:

I prefer to use organic yogurt instead of sour cream in recipes simply because it's healthier.  I rarely have plain yogurt on hand, so I use vanilla yogurt and reduce the sugar in the recipe by 1/3-1/2 cup, depending on the amount of yogurt called for.  Feel free to use whatever you have on hand! 

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

DSC_0185.jpg

Happy Thanksgiving!  I am thankful for so many things.  One of those things is cheesecake. 

Especially a caramel cheesecake with a layer of chocolate between the crust and cheesecake, toffee bits, whipped cream, and more caramel drizzled on top. Yep, especially that.

I love the graham cracker crust because it stays together so well! The secret is to use toffee bits in the crust. Toffee is sticky and while the crust is baking all the little pieces melt a bit, fusing the graham cracker crust together into a beautiful, slightly crunchy mass. No crumbling graham cracker crusts today! I mean, I even pressed the crust all the way up the sides of the pan and it stayed even after taking off the spring form pan. Success.

You know how they say actions speak louder than words?  Well, instead of talking about how much I love cheesecake and how great this crust is, I'm going to share the recipe with you...that's an action, right?  Then in turn you can make it, and then you acted on your thankfulness too.  This is such a great plan, let's go! 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Recipe adapted from Yammie’s Noshery


Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

Serves about 16-20

Ingredients:

For the Toffee Crust

  • 3 cups / 255g crushed graham crackers, about 2 packages or 18 sheets

  • 1/2 cup / 85g toffee bits, plain or with chocolate (Heath Bits O Brickle)

  • 1/2 cup / 100g brown sugar

  • 1 cup / 226g butter, melted

  • 6 oz / 170g bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped

For the Filling

  • 3 8oz packages / 675g cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 cup / 245g sour cream

  • 1 cup / 200g sugar

  • 1 Tbsp / 15g vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup / 75g caramel sauce (To make homemade caramel, halve this recipe here)

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

For the Topping

  • 1 cup / 237g heavy whipping cream

  • 2 Tbsp / 40g maple syrup or sugar

  • 1/4 cup / 75g caramel sauce

  • 1/4 cup / 43g toffee bits

Directions:

Oven 300°F / 149°C.  10in / 26cm spring-form pan lined with parchment paper, bottom and sides.

Make the Toffee Crust

  1. Combine graham crackers, toffee, brown sugar, and butter.  Press firmly into the prepared spring-form pan, pressing all the way up the sides.  Sprinkle chopped chocolate evenly over bottom of crust. 

  2. Bake for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted.  Remove from oven and spread chocolate evenly with a spatula.  Place crust in freezer while you make the filling.

Make the Filling

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar on low-medium speed for a few minutes.  Add vanilla and caramel.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined. 

  2. Pour over crust and bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until edges are set and center is still a bit jiggly when lightly shaken. 

  3. Turn off oven and crack open the door, leaving cheesecake to set for another 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for a further 30 minutes.

  4. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 6 hours or overnight.

Make the Topping

  1. When cheesecake is ready, beat whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form.  Add maple syrup and beat until stiff peaks form. 

  2. Pipe whipped cream onto cheesecake, or if you don't have piping bags or tips, simply spread it with a spatula. 

  3. Warm caramel in a small saucepan and drizzle all over the cheesecake with a spoon or spatula.  Sprinkle with toffee and chill until ready to serve.

Jenny's Notes:

  • Cheesecakes require a decent amount of beating, however, avoid beating on high speeds as you don't want to incorporate too much air into the batter. 

  • You can also use an 8in / 20cm spring-form pan + a 6in / 15cm spring-form pan to make this recipe. Or, instead of the 6 incher just stick any extra crust in the bottom of a square baking dish, top with lefotver filling and you have cheesecake bars! I have done the second option before. :) The bars will bake for less time than a spring-form pan.

caramel, toffee crunch, Heath, Bits O Brickle, cheesecake, homemade caramel, chocolate, graham cracker crust
dessert
American
Yield: 16-20 servings
Author:

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

Toffee graham gracker crust, a layer of dark chocolate, caramel cheesecake filling, and whipped cream, caramel, and more toffee bits on top.
prep time: 1 hourcook time: 1 H & 55 Mtotal time: 2 H & 55 M

ingredients:

For the Toffee Crust
  • 3 cups / 255g crushed graham crackers, about 2 packages or 18 sheets
  • 1/2 cup / 85g toffee bits, plain or with chocolate
  • 1/2 cup / 100g brown sugar
  • 1 cup / 226g butter, melted
  • 6 oz / 170g bitter-sweet chocolate, chopped
For the Filling
  • 3 8oz packages / 675g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup / 245g sour cream
  • 1 cup / 200g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp / 15g vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup / 75g caramel sauce (To make homemade caramel, halve this recipe here)
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
For the Topping
  • 1 cup / 237g heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp / 40g maple syrup or sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 75g caramel sauce
  • 1/4 cup / 43g toffee bits

instructions:

How to cook Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

  1. Oven 300°F / 149°C. 10in / 26cm spring-form pan lined with parchment paper, bottom and sides.
Make the Toffee Crust
  1. Combine graham crackers, toffee, brown sugar, and butter. Press firmly into the prepared spring-form pan, pressing all the way up the sides. Sprinkle chopped chocolate evenly over bottom of crust.
  2. Bake for 5 minutes or until chocolate is melted. Remove from oven and spread chocolate evenly with a spatula. Place crust in freezer while you make the filling.
Make the Filling
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar on low-medium speed for a few minutes. Add vanilla and caramel. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just combined.
  2. Pour over crust and bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until edges are set and center is still a bit jiggly when lightly shaken.
  3. Turn off oven and crack open the door, leaving cheesecake to set for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a further 30 minutes.
  4. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 6 hours or overnight.
Make the Topping
  1. When cheesecake is ready, beat whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Add maple syrup and beat until stiff peaks form.
  2. Pipe whipped cream onto cheesecake, or if you don't have piping bags or tips, simply spread it with a spatula.
  3. Warm caramel in a small saucepan and drizzle all over the cheesecake with a spoon or spatula. Sprinkle with toffee and chill until ready to serve.

NOTES:

Cheesecakes require a decent amount of beating, however, avoid beating on high speeds as you don't want to incorporate too much air into the batter. You can also use an 8in / 20cm spring-form pan + a 6in / 15cm spring-form pan to make this recipe. Or, instead of the 6 incher just stick any extra crust in the bottom of a square baking dish, top with lefotver filling and you have cheesecake bars! I have done the second option before. :) The bars will bake for less time than a spring-form pan.

Calories

619.24

Fat (grams)

42.95

Sat. Fat (grams)

25.01

Carbs (grams)

53.18

Fiber (grams)

0.90

Net carbs

52.27

Sugar (grams)

42.62

Protein (grams)

7.17

Sodium (milligrams)

376.36

Cholesterol (grams)

156.01
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 16 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites

These little balls of energy are all about that pumpkin and spice and everything nice, and health and wealth with all of that schmealth.  Or something like that.  These will not make you rich.  Or give you schmealth.  I would never wish schmealth on anyone.  That sounds like some terrible disease.  Nor will these actually bite you.  You bite them.  Nom nom nom.

The great thing about these is that they whip up so quick.  In less than 15 minutes you can have delicious morsels easy to grab for a snack, pack for a quick lunch, or take on long car rides.  They're so easy to make you might spend more time assembling the ingredients, or mis en place, than making them!  And if I would stop rambling you probably could've had them already made...Scusami.

Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites

Makes about 20 Bites

Ingredients:

    •    1 cup oats
    •    1/4 cup ground flax seeds or wheat germ
    •    1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    •    1/4 tsp cloves
    •    1/4 tsp ginger
    •    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    •    1/4 cup peanut butter
    •    1/4 cup pumpkin puree
    •    2 Tbsp maple syrup
    •    1 Tbsp honey
    •    1 tsp vanilla extract
    •    1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients; mix well.

Roll mixture into approximately 1 inch balls.  Place in a container and store in the refrigerator, or freeze for snacking at a later date. 

Jenny's Notes:

With these types of recipes you do not have to be overly exact in your measurements.  If the dough seems too soft, simply add more oats or flax.  Too crumbly and you can add any number of things, honey, maple syrup, peanut butter...the choice is yours to personalize as you wish!

Now that didn't hurt, did it?  Happy snacking!