Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts


Chocolate Silk Pie and Harmons Thanksgiving Pie Fest!

Gathering with my Harmons blogger friends is always a treat. It's especially wonderful when we gather to share dishes we have made. A few weeks ago, we prepared pies and Christmas brunch to get us in the holiday spirit! I'm so excited to share a new recipe with you for the most simple Chocolate Silk Pie you will ever make, along with four other  amazing recipes for your Thanksgiving lineup! 

photo credit Caroline from Armelle Blog

I cannot think of a better way to start the month of November than with P I E. 
You know how I feel about pie. 
Pie is love, in my book. You can imagine how I felt when we gathered and all brought a pie to share. 
Let's just say it was a love fest. 

Here are the links to all of the pies we enjoyed at our Harmons blogger pie love fest... 
(thanks to Caroline from Armelle Blog for the next few photos!)

My new favorite chocolate pie is the pie I shared. It's the World's Best Chocolate Silk Pie. 
Why the World's Best? 
1. The flavor is amazing. Just enough chocolate to satisfy a chocolate lover. 
2. Smooth and silky. Beating for a looooong time is the key. 
3. No bake filling. Some will say, raw eggs? No thanks. If you're pregnant, wait till after you deliver to make this. But otherwise, I think a true chocolate silk pie means you'll be eating a few eggs, uncooked. 
4. 5 ingredients. That alone is reason enough to make this pie. 
5. Great beginner pie. All you have to do is beat together ingredients for filling. If you are unsure about making crust, crush up 3/4 package of Oreos  in food processor with 4 tablespoons melted butter and a tablespoon of sugar, press into pie plate. Now you've got yourself The World's Best Chocolate Silk Pie in the World's Most Simple Chocolate Cookie Crust. 

The World's Best Chocolate Silk Pie
A Bountiful Kitchen, adapted from

1 cup butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted in double boiler and then cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla or  1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon almond flavoring
4 eggs
1- 9 inch baked pie shell (recipes below)

Cream butter in a mixing bowl.  If using a stand mixer, use a paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar, then switch to a whisk attachment to add the remaining ingredients. Gradually beat in the sugar with an electric mixer until light colored and well blended ( about 3 minutes). Stir in the thoroughly cooled chocolate, and vanilla extract. Add two eggs, beating 5 minutes on medium speed, then add the remaining two eggs, beat for 5 additional minutes. 
Using a spatula, scrape the chocolate filling into a cooled, baked pie shell.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
Garnish with fresh whipped cream, chocolate curls if desired. 

-Make the crust the day before or earlier in the day so the crust has time to cool completely before filling. You may also refrigerate the crust after cooking to help the crust cool more quickly. 
-You must have a mixer to make this. Preferably a stand mixer, or a person willing to stand and hold the mixer for a long time. 
-The pie filling recipe requires following the directions very carefully. It is very important the butter is at room temperature (not melted) , or it will not beat up properly.  Also, it is very important the eggs are beaten for 5 minutes after each addition for a total of 10 minutes. 
-You may use a single baked pie shell or a cookie crust shell. I have included recipes for two of my favorites below. Make sure to let the crust cool completely before filling!
-This pie is best when made the day before serving or early in the day to allow it to set up properly. 

Single Pie Crust
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup solid shortening
1/4 cup cold water

Cut shortening into flour and salt in medium size bowl, until the mixture resembles small pieces the size of peas. Add cold water all at once. Mix with a fork until dough starts to form into a ball, do not over mix. Add additional flour to the dough just until the dough is not sticky. Sprinkle flour out onto a flat surface. Roll the dough out and place in a 9 inch pie plate. Lightly press into the corners of the plate. Crimp the edges. Using a fork, pierce the sides and bottom of the pie dough. Refrigerate crust for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, place oven rack on bottom third of oven and turn oven to 500 degrees.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely before cooling.

Chocolate Graham Cookie Crust
2 cups graham cracker cookie crumbs
1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (white centers removed)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, process the graham crackers and Oreos to make crumbs.
In a bowl mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar and butter with your hands. Press the mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie pan. (It will seem like an excessive amount of crumbs, but it will compress down quite a bit with pressure.) Cover the crust with plastic wrap and top with another 9-inch pan, pressing quite firmly to make a smooth surface. Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
Remove the crust from the oven and let cool completely before filling.

This post was sponsored by Harmons Grocery, all opinions are mine. 


Chewy Pumpkin Milky Way Cookies

How many ways are there to change up a pumpkin cookie?? Frosting, no frosting, chocolate chips, gluten free... Yesterday I was determined to create a new twist.  I was testing the mini "fun" bars in my (what seems like)  20 lb package of Halloween candy that is stashed in my pantry for um, yes... trick or treaters.  Just making sure all of the mini versions of Snickers, Twix, Reeses and Milky Way bars taste the same this year as in the past 40 years.
Happy to report they do.
And then it hit me. Milky Way bars in pumpkin cookies.
Soft pumpkin cookies with bits of melted caramel and milk chocolate ribbons.
Pumpkin and caramel lovers will be in heaven.
Give them a try.
You might want to name your next child after me.

Chewy Pumpkin Milky Way Cookies
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

2 3/4  cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 fun size Milky Way Bars, cut into 4-5 slices

Positions rack in middle of oven. Preheat to 350 degrees.
Mix all dry ingredients together in bowl, set aside. In another large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until smooth. On low speed, mix in rest of wet ingredients. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the dry ingredients. Mixing just until wet and dry ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix.  Fold in Milky Way bars.
Scoop the batter out onto a parchment lined or lightly greased cookie sheets. About 8-9 cookies per sheet. Bake until the tops feel firm about 12-14 minutes. Cool completely.  Cookies are best when eaten within 2 days.
-You may substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in the recipe. 
-It is best (but not necessary) to refrigerate the candy bars before using in this recipe. This prevents the melted bars from oozing outside of the cookie. 
-If the cookies lose their shape while baking and do not come out of the oven in a nicely formed circle, take a silicone spatula and push the sides of the cookies inward to form a circle while the cookies are still hot. 
-Make sure the cookies are baked through, while most cookies taste better  when under baked a little, this cookie is better if baked until done.  


Classic Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

Did I tell you about my best Mother's Day gift, EVER?! Last month, just before Mother's Day, our second grand baby arrived! Little Lyla entered the world on May 6, 2015.  I was able to run out to CA and help welcome her into the world in between Jake's baseball games.
While I was there, I mostly snuggled with Ani and baby Lyla, and cooked as much as possible.  I wanted to leave meals ready to heat up in the fridge and freezer for the weeks after I left. Besides cooking meals, we also did a little baking: brownies, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls and Classic Chocolate Mayo Cake!

This is a little celebration we had for Big Sister...

Baby sister taking a little nap while big sister parties. 

I get a baby sister and a new doll?? Good deal. 

Ani is pretty excited about this gift  becoming a big sister. 

Every partay needs a cake.

I told Ani to put her face next to the cake...

OOPS. Face next to the cake. Not on it. 

Try to crop out the bite out of cake. 

If you've been following ABK from the beginning of time, you know my go-to chocolate cake is Laurie and Amy's Amazing Chocolate Cake.  It's dense and has amazing deep, dark chocolate flavor. The Classic Chocolate Mayo Cake is very similar in taste, but not quite as dense as Laurie's cake. This cake uses mayo in place of butter or oil.  The result is a cake with texture similar to a box cake mix, but so much better.
And you can pronounce all of the cake ingredients.
Always a bonus.
Oh, and did I mention MOIST??!!  The mayo makes this cake incredibly moist. This cake is perfect for June celebrations- graduation, Father's day and birthdays. It can be made in two round 9 inch pans or three 8 inch pans.
If you haven't ever made a chocolate mayo cake,  I'm willing to bet your mother has. Give this one a try. It's simple and mixes up in just a few minutes. It's one of those recipes your kids will ask you to make for birthdays. And your family will ask you to make for every gathering.
It's that recipe.
Happy baking!

Classic Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
adapted slightly from Epicurious

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/3 cups mayonnaise (do not use reduced-fat or fat-free) Best Foods or Hellman's
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

you will need-Three 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides or two 9 inch pans.

Preheat oven to 350°F set rack on middle rack of oven. Butter and flour three 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides, or two 9 inch pans. Combine chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in medium bowl. Add 1 3/4 cups boiling water and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into another medium bowl. Set aside.
Using electric mixer, beat both sugars and mayonnaise in large bowl until well blended, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
Add flour mixture alternately with chocolate mixture, beating until blended after each addition and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Divide batter among prepared cake pans.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes. Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Carefully invert cakes onto racks and let cool completely.
Frost when completely cooled.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 1/4 cups butter, softened
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 to 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (for dark frosting, use part Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa, about 4 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk or half and half

Cream butter with electric mixer. Beat in powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add milk and vanilla. Beat just until smooth. 
Place cake on a platter. Frost top of first layer. Place second layer on cake. Frost sides and top. Decorate with sprinkles if desired. 
Serves 10-12.

-I baked this cake in two 9 inch round pans. It was perfect, but will also bake up nicely in three 8 inch rounds.
-Watch the cake carefully. When it is done it will spring back when touched lightly. Or you may use a toothpick and insert in center of cake. the cake is done when a few moist crumbs are attached.
-I like to freeze the cake layers before frosting. This is done after removing the cake from the pans. Wrap carefully in Saran Wrap and lay flat in freezer. When ready to frost, remove and frost. Let cake come to room temperature before cutting. Freezing the cake will make the cake easier to frost, the cake is less likely to have crumbs fall off as well.


Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies

Hey there. Did you already run out of your stash of Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies?? You've come to the right place. I'm about to make you forget your worries and satisfy your craving with this recipe for  homemade Thin Mints!

Once upon a time, I said I didn't like anything mint. Gradually, over the years, I have found I do like a few mint treats. The moon has to be in just the right position, with all the planets aligned, and in that moment,  for some unknown reason, BAM, I'm in the mood for mint. I think I was one of the last people on the earth to develop a love for Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies. 
Whyyyyyyy? Who knows.

The bad news is, they are only available a few weeks of the year. 
The good news is, they are only available a few weeks of the year. 

I love baking, which makes entertaining my often irrational sweet cravings fairly simple to satisfy!  I pinned this recipe for Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies at The View From Great Island. These cookies are about as close to the real deal as I have tasted... except they don't have the slightly waxy chocolate coating. Again, good news, bad news. Hard to say? 
They are truly a little bite of Girl Scout cookie inspired goodness in a home made treat. 

Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookies
adapted slightly from The View From Great Island

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup unsweetened Dutch Process cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour*

chocolate coating:
20 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, or dark dipping chocolate
2 teaspoons peppermint extract or oil

Set oven to 350 degrees
Cream butter until light and fluffy, then add the powdered sugar and mix until combined. Stir in the salt, vanilla and cocoa powder. Mix until the cocoa powder is integrated and the batter resembles a thick frosting. Add the flour and mix just until the flour is combined, making sure to not over mix.
Form dough into a ball.
Using about 1/3 of the dough at a time, roll it thin on a lightly floured surface, about 1/8-inch. Cut cookies using 2-inch cutter. Gather the scraps and press together lightly and cut remaining cookies. Place up to 20 cookies on a jelly roll pan, lined with parchment paper or lightly grease a cookie sheet. The cookies will not spread much while baking.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool completely before removing from baking sheet. 
While the cookies bake, make the peppermint coating. Chop the baking chocolate into very small, thin pieces. Place in a glass bowl or similar container and microwave for about 30 seconds at a time, stirring with a spoon or a whisk. When the chocolate is melted, stir in the peppermint extract.
Gently drop the cookies, one at a time, into the coating. Turn to coat entirely, then lift the cookie out of the chocolate with the fork and tap the fork on the side of the pan until the extra coating drips off. Place on a parchment baking sheet, and repeat for the rest of the cookies. Place the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer to set for a few minutes.
Yield about 50-2 inch cookies.

-Fluff the flour and lightly scoop with a spoon into the measuring cup, then level off with a knife to insure you don't get too much flour in the cookie dough.
-The dough is a little stiff and tends to crack while rolling out. No problem, just press it back together with hands. 
-Melt the chocolate just before you are ready to dip, and make sure to whisk in the extract well. 


Nathalie Dupree's Fudgy Brownies and Cooking Classes at Harmons!

THE Guide to Southern cooking. 

If you were able to sit down with one of the most popular cookbook authors in the US, what would you want to know (insert emoji with wide eyes and hand over mouth)?  Nathalie Dupree is coming to SLC to teach cooking classes at Harmons, and they asked me to do an interview with Nathalie to promote her upcoming visit and classes. We had a lovely conversation about everything from Julia Child and the influence she had on Nathalie's career path to her preferred fat in biscuits and pie crust. Some people want to know how to achieve world peace, I just want to talk crust, dough and chocolate. Nathalie is a gracious Southern Lady, so of course, she obliged and gave me all kinds of insider tips about one of her areas of expertise, biscuit making. Nathalie is the Queen of Biscuit Making. She's written a whole book about the subject.

One of Nathalie's 14 cookbooks...

Here's a bit of our conversation:
First, we discussed how her name is properly pronounced.  Since we have that in common ( you have no idea how many variations I have heard of my name- Sayuri (Si).  Her name is pronounced Natalie, not Na-THalie. Apparently her mother wanted Natalie, and her father wanted NaTHalie, and dad got his way in spelling. She was raised in Virginia and in her early years and had an opportunity to cook for her college dormitory one summer. Her mom didn't want her to be a cook, it wasn't "suitable work for a lady" back in the day. Her mother knew it would require working at night with men (yikes!) and lifting heavy equipment. It was not typical work for a woman in 1959.
But Nathalie loved cooking.
After she was married, she moved to London and while looking for a job, she "stumbled into" the Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School. She took a class, then went home and tried to duplicate what she had learned.  Everything she made flopped!  Nathalie said she considered herself a good cook and decided at that point she didn't want to be a "lady" and instead wanted to go to cooking school. A year later, she earned her advanced certificate.  At graduation, Nathalie talked to Julia Child about her future.  "Julia was very generous and available to people, I asked her - what I should do now and Julia told me I should teach cooking."

Nathalie instructing at Rich's Cooking School in Atlanta

The rest is history.  Nathalie has owned multiple restaurants, opened and enrolled more than 10,000 students at Rich's cooking school in Atlanta during her almost 10 years there. She has hosted more than 300 television shows on PBS, TLC, The Food Network and countless other appearances on national television shows. Nathalie has been the recipient of the prestigious James Beard award three times and was recently inducted to the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America. Whew. And she's still going strong in her 75th year. With a reputation like that, I knew I had to honor Nathalie by making one of her recipes. We were in the mood for chocolate, so I made some of her Fudgy Brownies.
Oh my. They did not disappoint!

Ani could not wait to get her hands on a homemade brownie...

kid approved!

They lived up to Nathalie's amazing reputation.
If you want to learn from Nathalie, and live in the SLC area, she will be teaching  Southern Desserts, Cool Summer Eats, Southern Breakfast, and Southern Menus for Two at Harmons Cooking School, City Creek on May 22 & 23. I highly recommend taking a class. This would make such a fun girls night out or mother-daughter date.  Hurry and sign up the slots are filling fast...Hope to see you there!
Oh and the biscuit making tips? We'll have to talk about that on another post.


Nathalie Dupree's Fudgy Brownies


Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Cake for Sweet Saltwater Design Celebration!

What's a party without a cake?   Kayleigh and Linsey  are best friends, old college roommates, elementary school teaching partners and moms of two kids each.  They love the ocean and candy created Sweet Saltwater Designs.  They make the most precious leather, steel and wood jewelry. I  absolutely love their hand written "I love you" bar necklaces. 
They are celebrating the launch of their new website this weekend with a 48 hour Instagram "party" and asked me to share a cake recipe for their celebration.  My favorite way to celebrate is to combine both cake and ice cream in one dessert. 
Tillamook is my favorite ice cream and this cake combines the goodness of Tillamook with a home made cake and rich chocolate frosting! It's one of our family favorite desserts. 
Happy day Kayleigh, Linsey and Sweetwater Design! 

Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Cake
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ice cream, 1.75 quart container of chocolate (I used Tillamook)
Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)

Place rack in center of oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2-9 inch round cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment, and dust with cocoa.
Into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on medium speed, stir in eggs, buttermilk, warm water, sour cream, oil, and vanilla until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely. I place the layers on a cooling rack in the fridge to cool them quickly.

Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3-4 tablespoons milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt

Cream butter, powdered sugar and cocoa in a large bowl. Mix in milk and vanilla, add salt. Beat until smooth add a little more milk if needed.

Assembly, three basic steps:

1. When cakes are cooled completely, place one of the cakes on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper. I like to place the cake in a 10 inch Spring form pan or 10 inch cake pan, but a plate will work as well. Scoop the ice cream onto the cake. I use about 3/4 of the container. Try to make an even layer of the ice cream, then place the second layer of cake on top of the ice cream. Using another piece of parchment or wax paper, Press down on the top layer of cake. Don't worry the cake will not be ruined, press down evenly, so the ice cream will be compacted and the layers meet up more closely on the sides. Don't cry if part of the cake sticks to the paper, just scrape it off an eat it as an appetizer.
* see additional note below about pressing down on cake.

2. Place the cake in the freezer for at least two hours.
3. When ice cream cake has been frozen for at least two hours, remove from freezer and place on serving plate. Frost top and sides of cake. Place back in freezer and let sit for at least another hour.
If preparing ahead and cake is frozen for several hours, remove about 30 minutes before serving to allow for easier cutting.

-Don't let the length of this recipe intimidate you. It's basically cake, ice cream and frosting. Best to start this recipe the day before serving. You can make the cakes, and place in the freezer or fridge for easy handling. Make sure to freeze on a  flat surface.
-I have used lots of different recipes over the years. Boxed, home made, they all work well with ice cream cakes. But home made is always best :)
-You may use any flavor of ice cream. I thought when I picked up this flavor it was plain chocolate. While I loved the flavor and taste of "Udderly Chocolate", I prefer a solid color for the ice cream layer. I just like the way it looks as opposed to the mixed brown and white of this particular carton of ice cream.
-*Pressing down on the second layer of cake: This step is important if you want to be able to frost the sides of the cake and avoid huge gaps between the cakes. Press down evenly. It may be helpful to press down using a cookie sheet to get an even surface.
-This cake keeps well in the freezer for about 2 weeks if covered tightly with plastic wrap.