Tag Archives: chocolate

Triple Chocolate Banana Bread

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I don’t know about you, but whenever I have any overripe bananas that need to be saved, I just toss them in the freezer to be used at a later date.  Once frozen, bananas are perfect for making banana bread.  Until yesterday, I had no idea how many bananas that I had stashed in my freezer.  This morning, I counted at least 2 dozen stray frozen bananas.  It’s no wonder stuff keeps dropping out of the freezer every time I open the freezer door…

It’s been quite a while since I baked anything and I had a bunch of bananas that needed to be used up.  Baking loaves of triple chocolate banana bread was the just the ticket to using up that freezer full of bananas. The chocolatey aroma that emitted from my kitchen was nothing short of heavenly.  It reminded me of rich chocolate brownies…  My triple chocolate banana bread is a riff on my chocolate banana bread recipe with the addition of miniature dark chocolate chips.  Seriously, how can anyone go wrong with three different chocolate ingredients in a banana bread recipe?  You can’t.

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Triple Chocolate Banana Bread cooling on a rack…  Looks like cake.  Tastes like cake.  Technically, it’s a quick bread.  It’s moist and dense.

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Do you see hints of mini dark chocolate chips throughout the bread?  Using miniature chocolate chips provides an even distribution of dark chocolatey goodness throughout the loaf.  Got bananas?  Love chocolate?  Make some Triple Chocolate Banana Bread.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 4 RIPE bananas (peeled and mashed well)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract (essence)
  • big pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup extra dark cocoa powder
  • 4 oz miniature dark chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab a 4 X 8 loaf pan and spray it with non stick cooking spray.  In a medium sized mixing bowl mix the mashed bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and chocolate extract.  In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, extra dark cocoa powder and miniature dark chocolate chips.   Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.  Spoon the mixture into the baking pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack.  Slice and serve.

*** If using frozen bananas be sure to thaw them first and to peel them well.  Frozen bananas once thawed are mushier than fresh.  That’s why they work well in banana bread.

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Not many things will put a smile on my face faster than the taste of chocolate.  Chocolate cake, chocolate bars, hot chocolate, hot mocha’s, chocolate sandwiches, chocolate cookies, chocolate pie, or straight up big chunks of dark chocolate, I love it all…  And what’s interesting about my love for chocolate, is that over the years I have begun to prefer an increasing higher cacao content in my chocolate choices.  Twenty years ago, the darkest chocolate I would have consumed would have been milk chocolate.  It’s funny how our tastes change over time.

My Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies are made with my favorite dark chocolate cookie dough recipe with little bits of Andes Mint chocolate pieces stirred in.  They’re easy to make, delicious and will satisfy nearly everyone’s chocolate craving.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup extra dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 sticks or 1 cup  butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp chocolate extract
  • 10 oz. package chocolate mint chips (I used Andes-Creme De Menthe)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with a silicone liner.  In a medium sized mixing bowl blend together the flour, extra dark cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  In a large mixing bowl with a mixer, cream the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs and chocolate extract.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and blend well.  Fold in the mint chocolate chips.  Drop the dough using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop onto the cookie sheets.  Bake for about 12 minutes or until done.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.  Store in a tightly covered container.   Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Sunflower Seed Cookies

Chocolate Sunflower Seed Cookies

It’s time for me to send a care package up to my son at the university…  His care packages almost always include fresh baked cookies, maybe a loaf of quick bread, or a variety of tea or cocoa.  This time, he’ll get homemade Chocolate Sunflower Seed Cookies and a DVD…  Not bad for being away from home for little over a week!

My Sunflower Seed Cookies are made with extra dark cocoa powder, white chocolate chips and sunflower seed butter.  They taste faintly reminiscent of chocolate peanut butter cookies but with the sunflower seed butter twist.  They are easy to make and they ship well.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs extra dark cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 12 ounce bag white chocolate chips

In a medium sized mixing bowl cream together the white sugar, brown sugar, sunflower seed butter, egg, and vanilla extract.  In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until blended.  Add the white chocolate chips.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Using a small scoop, place dough balls on silpat or silicone lined cookie sheet 3 inches apart.  Press top of dough with a fork to flatten slightly.  Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove cookies from cookie sheet with a spatula and place on wire racks to cool.  Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Twists

Chocolate Peanut Butter Twists

If you were to peek in my pantry, you would quickly realize that I don’t have a lot of pre-made items.  My pantry consist of basic ingredients.  Grains, beans, sugar, flour, vinegars, sauces, canned goods and pastas.  In the grand scheme of things, I think that it probably is a good thing.  Homemade meals are likely better for you than store bought frozen or boxed.  However, if you were in a cookie mood like I was the other day, peering into my pantry would have been pure torture…

I stared into my pantry trying to figure out how to satisfy my craving for sweets.  I spied a box of imported Dutch chocolate sprinkles hidden in the corner and a jar of peanut butter.  I snagged them both and promptly headed to the freezer where I knew I had some puff pastry stashed away.

I decided to make little chocolate peanut butter twists.  Similar in method to a Parmesan cheese or herb twist.  These little twists were so good that I had to hide them from Bruce.  Don’t tell him that I put them on the top shelf in the left hand corner :).  Adapted from Pepperidge Farms.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbs water
  • 1 Tbs all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup chocolate sprinkles
  • 2 Tbs creamy peanut butter

Begin by heating your oven to 400°F.  Whisk together the egg and water in a small bowl.  Sprinkle your work surface with flour and unfold the puff pastry. Carefully roll the puff pastry into a 14 x 10 inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise. Brush each half with the egg wash. Brush one half of the rolled pastry with peanut butter. Evenly cover the peanut butter with chocolate sprinkles.  Place the remaining half of the pastry over the chocolate sprinkle filling, egg side down. Lightly roll with rolling pin to seal.

Using a sharp knife or pizza slicer, slice the pastry into 28  half inch strips. Twist each of the strips. Place the twisted strips 2 inches apart on the baking sheet, pressing down both ends. Brush the twists with the egg wash.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes.

Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Banana Bread

I know that I am in deep trouble when I see my husband Bruce open a freezer door and something falls out.   Every time that happens I hear him say my name.  Not just Tessa but, a long drawn out Tesssaaa….!  Then I cringe.  I know what he is thinking and what he is going to say next.  I know that it is way past time to use up freezer inventory.

I opened the freezer this morning and out fell a frozen banana.  Fortunately Bruce was at work and didn’t see.  I picked my evidence off of the floor and snagged the remaining bananas from out of the freezer.  It was time for banana bread.

My Chocolate Banana Bread is easy to make and is the perfect use for bananas that need to be eaten up or have been stored in your freezer (like mine!).  It is moist, chocolatey, and has a wonderful banana flavor.  Makes 1 luscious loaf.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 4 RIPE bananas (peeled and mashed well)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract
  • dash of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup extra dark cocoa powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grab a 4 X 8 loaf pan and spray it with non stick cooking spray.  In a medium sized mixing bowl mix the bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and chocolate extract.  In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and extra dark cocoa powder.   Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.  Spoon the mixture into the baking pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack.  Slice and serve.

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies

I am so thrilled that my son came home from school to visit for the weekend. We spent the morning shopping in town and picking up items that he will need while up at school.  While he was upstairs studying, I thought I’d whip out a batch of cookies for him to take home with him tomorrow.  I was imagining of cookies flavored with dark chocolate, espresso, and a hint of spicy cinnamon.  I wanted to make cookies that tasted like Mexican Hot Chocolate…

I call these cookies Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies.  They were fairly simple for I started with a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and went on from there…  These cookies taste absolutely fantastic!  There is no doubt that I will be making these again.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 sticks or 1 cup  butter (softened)
  • 5 Tbls. cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbls. espresso powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (use the real not imitation)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 10 oz. dark chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with a silicone liner.  In a large mixing bowl with a mixer, blend together all the ingredients except for the dark chocolate chips.  Mix well.  Fold in the dark chocolate chips.  Drop the dough using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop onto the cookie sheets.  Bake for about 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.  Store in a tightly covered container.  Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A short while ago my family and I spent a week vacationing in a town a called Bandon on the Oregon Coast.  Bandon is a small touristy town with beautiful golf courses, gift shops, art galleries, fishing, boating, and cranberry bogs. Whenever we go to Bandon for a visit, I like to pick up a pound or two of the their locally grown Oregon cranberries and a couple of bottles of Sea Mist cranberry wine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is not unusual to stroll along the beach in Bandon and not see other people.  While on a walk early one morning I fortunate enough to see deer tracks heading back from the ocean.  How cool is that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A  deserted beach.  The perfect place to walk and clear a busy mind…

Oregon grown cranberries are sweet, tart and perfect for my White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies.  These cookies are similar to a traditional chocolate chip but with white chocolate chips and bright little red cranberries.  Next time you see a bag of dried sweet Oregon grown cranberries, snag some and make these cookies.  Oh, and by the way, the dried cranberries and the cookies freeze well.  Enjoy!  – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 2 sticks or 1 cup  butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (use the real not imitation)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. white chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Grease your cookie sheets or use a silicone liner on the sheets.  In a large mixing bowl with a mixer, blend together all the ingredients except for the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  Mix well.  Fold in the white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  Drop the dough using a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop onto the cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.  Store in a tightly covered container.  Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Black Rice Pudding

In all the years that my family or myself have prepared Indonesian food, we never once had black sticky rice pudding for breakfast or dessert.  I don’t remember my grandmother or my mother making it or even talking about it.  I don’t know if it was because they did not have access to the black sticky rice where we lived in the United States at the time or they simply just weren’t dessert people.  Well, I gotta tell you… our family missed out.  Missed out big time.  Once I discovered that black sticky rice existed I am now lead to believe that I grew up a deprived child…

It all started with my love for chocolate and a five pound bag of Thai black glutinous rice that I found at a local Asian market.  My Chocolate Black Rice Pudding is a twist on the traditional dish, black sticky rice in sweet coconut milk,  a common dessert found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.  I began making it with the basic ingredients and then decided to shake it up with the addition of Dutch cocoa and a splash of orange liquor (Grand Marnier).  Of course, I had to finish it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, a sprinkling of Dutch cocoa and an orange peel spiral for garnish.

Black Sticky Rice + Dutch Cocoa+ Orange Liquor = Absolutely Delightful

Be sure to try my non traditional black sticky rice pudding.  It’s fairly easy to make and it tastes fabulous!  Enjoy! – Tessa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Thai black glutinous rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbls. Dutch cocoa
  • 2 Tbls orange liquor (Grand Marnier)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • garnish with whip cream, a sprinkle of cocoa and orange peel

Let’s begin.  Grab a sauce pan with a tight fitting lid.  Add your rice and water.  Bring to a boil, turn heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour.  Stir occasionally.   When rice has absorbed the liquid, add the remaining ingredients and cook for about a half an hour.  Stir the rice  to make sure that it does not burn.  Remove from burner and let cool.  Serve chilled with whipped cream or a splash of coconut milk.  Garnish with orange peel if desired.  Serves about 6.  Enjoy!  Tessa

Note:  I tried this by soaking the rice first and I was not happy with the outcome.  The pudding was too mushy and did not have the flavor that I was looking for.  Also, if you want traditional rice pudding, just omit the cocoa and the orange liquor and drizzle with coconut milk.

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