Spicy Orange-Bourbon Hot Chocolate

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? Ours was good. It was easy and fun. I made this Chocolate Mousse Pie with Phyllo Crust and it was SO GOOD and much simpler to make than I anticipated. I’m obsessed with it and plan to make it for Christmas, since my brother loves chocolate pie and this version is my new favorite. I also mades these dinner rolls and the mashed potatoes–which I kept warm in the slow cooker and it’s totally my new favorite trick. I also learned that I find rice-ing potatoes super satisfying. It’s on par with melon-balling. I’m a weirdo. Casper snatched a handful of stuffing from Sean’s plate, but luckily he couldn’t figure out how to put it in his mouth (since he’s not on solids yet) and ended up just sucking on the back of his hand instead.  It was pretty funny.

In lieu of Black Friday shopping, I stayed at home in my jams all day, did a bit of online shopping, and decked the dang halls because I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I love it, guys. A lot.

I also made this spicy, boozey, hot chocolate. Sean and his brother had some after kicking the soccer ball around at the park and I’m pretty sure it was the perfect warm-up since it was super cold and windy out there. It’s made with chopped chocolate, so it’s super-rich and creamy. There’s also orange zest in there, which cuts the richness a bit and adds a ton of flavor. The cayenne is spicy and brings on another level of heat, while the bourbon warms everything up in the way only bourbon can.

It’s seriously so good. This may be the winter of hot chocolate. I hope you don’t mind.

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Spicy Orange-Bourbon Hot Chocolate

Makes 2-3 servings

2 cups whole milk

2-3 large pieces of orange peel

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

2 ounces bourbon

whipped cream, additional chopped chocolate, and cayenne for topping

In a saucepan combine the milk with the orange peel and cayenne. Warm the milk over medium heat in a saucepan until small bubbles begin to appear around the edges and the milk begins to steam. Try to avoid boiling it. Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, then cover with a lid and let it sit for a minute or two before whisking to combine. Whisk in the bourbon and pour into 2 or 3 mugs, top generously with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chopped chocolate and cayenne.

[/recipe]

Oatmeal Brownies

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

If you were married to me, like Sean, then you would know that one of the hazards of being my bed-mate is that I basically sleep like a hibernating bear-wolf and don’t take well to being disturbed. He tells me that sometimes it’s like trying to hug an angry baby, who swears at you. All punching arms and vitriol.

It’s not the cutest, but I seriously am not even aware of it…because I’M ASLEEP. Jeez, let a girl slumber, ya know?

 

Anyway, even though my R.E.M cycle is, obviously, super important to my unconsicous mind, I still feel a touch guilty at times, especially if I learn that one of my sleeping-wild-animal-angry-baby-punches actually makes contact. I don’t want to be a sleep-fighter, ya know? Not that Sean ever holds it against me — he thinks it hilarious, actually — but I still find it necessary to treat him and brownies are always a win with that guy.

These brownies are made with oat flour, buzzed up to a coarse meal in the food processor. They have the littlest bit of chew from the tiny nibs of oat throughout, with an intense chocolate flavor. I’m kind of in love with these brownies, they aren’t messing around when it comes to deep, dark, chocolatey goodness. I added some cinnamon and cayenne for some warmth and because I love spice and chocolate together. The brownies are a little bit crumbly, I suspect from lack of gluten, but I really think it lets their fudge-y nature shine. Not only are these brownies a chocolate dream, they can be certifiably gluten-free with a little attention to the ingredients. Just make sure your oats, chocolate, and cocoa powder were not processed in a plant with wheat/gluten products (i.e. read that label!).

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Oatmeal Brownies

Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen and Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies

I made my own oat flour by simply processing it in a food processor. My flour was fairly coarse, which was fine with Sean and I, as we liked the chewy bits throughout the brownies. Process yours finely, or purchase it already milled from the store, if you prefer. I used 1/2 maple syrup and 1/2 sugar to sweeten this recipe, you can use all sugar if you want (brown or white). If you make sure to use oats that are guaranteed gluten-free (as well as cocoa and chocolate) these brownies are gluten-free friendly. Hurray! 

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup oat flour

Preheat your oven to 325˚F. Line an 8×8 inch baking sheet with parchment, leaving an inch or 2 overhang on 2 sides, and grease both the pan and parchment well. Set aside.

In a pan on low heat melt the butter and chocolate, stirring so as not to burn, until smooth and melted. Scrape into a bowl and whisk in the sugar, maple syrup, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and vanilla, until combined completely. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until combined well. Fold in the oat flour and let the batter rest a few minutes so the oats absorb some of the liquid and begin to soften. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie comes out with a few sticky crumbs. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting. Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. [/recipe]

Brownie Sundaes

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Guys, I know Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap for being too sweet, too commercial, too much…but! I’ve always been a believer in celebrating this day of love and appreciation, whether one is coupled or not. Before I met Sean, all of my Valentine’s were more of a Leslie Knope a la Galentine’s situation…which isn’t bad at all, if you ask me. I love my friends and my girlfriends are so very near and dear to my heart. Girlfriend’s are my spirit animal. It’s just the truth.

So, basically  what I’m saying is that even if you’d rather scrooge the day away, don’t do it alone. Or at least, don’t eat dessert alone. This brownie sundae was made for sharing, you can double up on the brownies and the ice cream and the fudge and just attack it with two spoons–as singles, as friends, as couples, whatevs! and whether it’s romantic or platonic, it’s the day to celebrate the loves of your life! Hugs and sundaes all around!

 

Brownie Sundaes

I cut the brownies out with heart cutters and mini heart cutters to up the festive/cute factor. This is a totally optional step, you can simply cut them into generous squares. These sundaes come together quickly using store-bought ice cream. You can use whatever brownie recipe you love, below I have my favorite. The fudge sauce really is no-nonsense, it comes together perfectly and swiftly in the microwave. The brownie and fudge recipe make enough for several sundaes. 

Brownies (recipe below)

No Nonsense Hot Fudge (recipe below)

Ice Cream (softened slightly for easy scooping)

Toasted Almonds (optional)

If the brownies are room temperature or chilled, pop in the microwave in 10 second bursts until just warm. Place a brownie (or two) in the center of a bowl, spoon a bit of warm fudge over the top of the brownie. Dish out 2-3 scoops of ice cream, top with more hot fudge and almonds (if using). Serve with two spoons.

Spiced Cocoa Brownies

adapted from this recipe. 

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup cocoa plus 2 Tablespoons

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cold eggs

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon of sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 325*F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment and grease well. Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat melt the butter. Stir in the sugar, cocoa, salt and vanilla, to moisten and combine well. Remove the pan from heat and allow to cool a few minutes–until no longer hot, but still warm to the touch. The mixture may appear grainy and a bit greasy.

Once the mixture has cooled to warm and the pan is no longer burning-hot, vigorously whisk in the eggs one at a time until completely incorporated–the mixture should be smooth and shiny. Fold in the flour, fold about 40 times. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

In a small bowl whisk together the tablespoon of sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the top of the brownie batter. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely before cutting.

No-Nonsense Hot Fudge

recipe from Take a Megabite

2/3 (1, 5 oz. can) cup evaporated milk

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

pinch of salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

In a large, heatproof measuring cup combine all of the ingredients. Using the microwave on high, microwave the mixture in 30 second bursts, stirring after each, until the mixture is melted, smooth, and mixed well–about 2 minutes total. Allow the fudge to set up a 1-3 minutes for the best consistency.