Lavender Vanilla Bean White Chocolate

Hey! What is more sexy than chocolate?! Trick question because there is no answer! Add some classic french flavors and hello curvaceous, sweet and sultry candy 😉

I love to use a little culinary lavender in sweets. The key word being, a little. If you overuse this ingredient, your delicious treats can quickly turn to soap. It is a love hate relationship, and you have to make sure your measurements are exact.

That being said, this is a great little taste of France! The vanilla bean gives a delicate look to the white chocolate candy. You might only have a few, but they look great, and taste even better so gifting them is always an option.

I haven’t figured out my own White Chocolate recipe yet, that is on its way. For this candy making batch I just melted down some solid white chocolate, crushed some culinary lavender with ground vanilla bean and set the molds. It only makes me want to be a Chocolatier!

So, you will need…

  • 1/2 lb. Solid White Chocolate
  • 1/8 tsp. Crushed Culinary Lavender
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground Vanilla Bean

Here was my process…

  1. In a double Boiler melt White Chocolate, stirring frequently to allow a smooth consistency.
  2. Once white chocolate is smooth add Lavender and Vanilla Bean and stir. Allow flavors to meld before placing in molds, but be sure to not burn.
  3. I used a measuring cup with slight lip to pour chocolate into the molds. 
  4. Allow to cool until the candy looks glossy and is solid to the touch. About 2 hours. You can always pop the mold in the refrigerator to speed up the process,l or save them from the summer heat!
  5. Pop out of molds and enjoy!

I don’t care what anyone says, making chocolate is hard, and a daunting task. I intend to master the craft, so look out world, my chocolate is on the rise!

Happy Candy Making!

 

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Peanut Butter and Honey Hearts

Yummy Yummy people! I am loving the whole candy making thing, and since it is so hot outside, I figured why not give my oven a break. This is a super easy way to make delicious, fairly guilt free Peanut Butter Cup type treats at home.

I can honestly say that i don’t get the PB&J thing… AT ALL! It is a bizarre combination of food that just doesn’t work for me. Lots of treats involving peanut butter call for salt, but I think peanut butter is salty enough. Some say it adds to the flavor, but so does the chocolate, the honey, etc. No salt needed here. These are the perfect addition to a summer ice cream sundae!

So, you will need…

  • 2 C. Peanut Butter, use the All- Natural kind, it just tastes better!
  • 2 3/4 C. Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Honey, local honey of course
  • 1/4 C. Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 C. Chocolate or Chocolate Candy Coating finely chopped, tempered for dipping

Here was my process…

  1. Combine peanut butter, butter, confectioners sugar and honey in a bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until a thick mixture forms.
  2. Take your candy mold and fill each mold, pressing down to make sure all air bubbles have escaped.
  3. Scrape excess off top of each mold, and place in freezer for up to an hour until stiff.
  4. Pop hearts out of mold onto a piece of parchment on a baking sheet.
  5. Temper chocolate or candy coating, I used a double boiler for my candy coating but you can use the microwave too.
  6. Dip hearts into candy coating and let set.
  7. Enjoy!

These are so easy to make, and so much fun to eat. It is always nice to eat homemade candies, and they are going to make a great gift as well!

Happy Baking… or Candy Making!

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

I love coconut, but I am not a fan of chunks of it in my cookies! I love the tropical flavor and the how much fun it is to break one open. I also love Chocolate Chip cookies but you can only blog about the simple, yet delightful cookie so many times.

I was wandering through a little co-op type place in Randolph, Vermont when I found the solution to my cookie problem. Coconut Sugar?! As skeptical as I was, I bought it. I let it sit around for a week or so before I said, “What is the worst that can happen?” Fully knowing the answer I proceeded anyway. I mean, how terrible could it really be?

The cookies were amazing! The Coconut Sugar has the same effect as a brown sugar, and my cookies were buttery, crispy and chewy in the right places and an overall fantastic surprise.

So, you will need…

  • 1 1/4 C. All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 C. Butter, softened
  • 1/2 C. Coconut Sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg White
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 C. White Chocolate Chips, for the best flavor look for the white Chips that contain Cocoa Butter 😉
  • 1/2 C. Dark Chocolate Chips

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine butter, coconut sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Feel free to use your mixer.
  4. Add the egg white and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients in increments of your choosing until everything is well mixed.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of dough on to prepared baking sheets allowing 2 or so inches between each cookie for expansion.
  8. Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, at 350 degrees F for 10-13 minutes. Tops should be a rich golden brown, and somewhat firm to the touch.
  9. Let stand for around 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
  10. Enjoy!

This is just a slight variation in ingredients, but a rather large variation in taste. served warm with a little  Talenti ‘Sea Salt Caramel’ Gelato or maybe a nice glass of Cupcake ‘Angel Food’ wine, or a classic glass of cold milk… no matter what, you will not be disappointed.

Happy Baking!

Framboise Dream Meringues

First of all I want to say Sorry for my absence. Sometimes a gal must roam!

Who doesn’t love a delicious Prosecco? Framboise Beer is a fantastic  Raspberry Belgian Craft Beer, and lets face it ladies, if we are going to drink beer, it might as well be fancy beer. This is the Prosecco of Beer.

So, for my comeback recipe, I made a delicious Meringue cookie with Framboise and white chocolate. It is truly divine! It is light and airy, yet chewy as all meringue should be. They are sweet and delicate, just like me.

So, you will need…

  • 1/2 C. Confectioners Sugar, sifted
  • 3 Large Egg Whites, at room Temperature
  • 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/3 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Framboise Beer
  • 1/2 C. White Chocolate Chips

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat oven to 250 Degrees F and line two baking sheet with Parchment Paper
  2. Sift the confectioners sugar onto a plate and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine egg whites, cream of tartar and Framboise. Beat on medium until soft peaks form.
  4. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat on medium high until stiff, glossy peaks form.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the confectioners sugar, then fold in the white chips.
  6. Drop the dough on the prepared baking sheets, you can sprinkle the baking sheets with powdered sugar to make them stick less, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  7. Bake at 250 degrees F for 55 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and let cool.

These are so much fun to eat, and you really do feel a twinge of sexy sophistication while eating them. Plus you won’t need more than one or two of this ladylike treat, which is good for the midsection. Put on your best night wear, throw on an old classic, pour a glass of Prosecco, and have yourself a treat.

After all, Life is but a Meringue…

Happy Baking!

Shortbread Sandwich Cookies w/ “Fancy” Chocolate Frosting

Shortbread is a very versatile cookie. You start with your basic dough and you can literally add anything edible to it. I’m not so sure how some ingredients would taste, but hey… we live in a world full of possibilities now don’t we?! My friend leaves for 42 days in 4 days so I was trying to make him something from his request list. He wanted shortbread cookies with chocolate “on top”. To me that meant sandwich cookies… haha, I heard what I wanted, leave me alone! 😉

So, I decided to just keep the lovely shortbread simple. Butter is all that I needed to get the flavor I wanted, but a nice chocolate to be sandwiched was in order. I wanted something not too sweet, but sweet enough. I tried a few different combinations of chocolate to powdered sugar to cream, and I found the best one for this cookie. I love sandwich cookies!!!!!!!

So, you will need…

*Makes 30 cookies

  • 1 C. Salted Butter, softened (Adds to the flavor)
  • 2 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Frosting

  • 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 C. Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • add milk if you need a thinner icing/frosting

 

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare 2 baking sheets, can line with Parchment Paper, but it isn’t necessary
  2. In a small bowl whisk together flour and salt, set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, cream butter using mixer of your choice, and mix until light and fluffy. About 1 minute.
  4. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth. About 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the flour mixture until everything is well combined.
  6. Take dough and flatten it into a disk on a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap it up.
  7. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  8. Unwrap the dough and roll it out onto a slightly floured surface. Rolling the dough to be about 1/4 inch thick.
  9. Using a circular floured cookie cutter, (you can get crazy and use whatever cutter you fancy!!!!), cut out as many cookies as you can.
  10. Place cookies on the cookie sheet then put into icebox (fridge) for 10 minutes. This allows the cookies to maintain their shape during baking.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes.
  12. Let cool completely before frosting and making the glorious sandwiches!

While the cookies are cooling you can prepare your frosting. Take the powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla and cream and mix it all together at the same time until you have a smooth consistency. If you need to make the frosting thinner, or it isn’t wet enough add a tsp of milk at a time until you are happy with it!

These cookies might sound boring to you, but they appeal to my 1950’s inner housewife in an undeniable way! Make a batch, wear an apron, drink a martini in the middle of the day, enjoy a shortbread cookie sandwich. 😉

Happy Baking!

 

 

 

 

Chili Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I was in possession of a beautiful bar of dark chili chocolate, and I wanted to make some cookies… so…. I combined the two! Instead of using chocolate chips I simply cut the chocolate bar into chunks and tossed it in my dough when the time was right. I tasted the chocolate and fell in love with the way the chili crept up on me. It is subtle and smooth, the perfect amount of chili! Lindt really mastered this one!

I wasn’t too sure if these cookies would be any good so I made a small batch to test out. These cookies definitely go better with a nice red wine than with the traditional milk, but throw a little ice cream between a few cookies and you are in for a treat!

If you just have chocolate chips you can use a 1/4 tsp of chili powder instead!

So, you will need…

  • 1 1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 C. Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 C. Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 C. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 C. Chopped Chili Chocolate

Here was my process…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, SIFT together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and beat with your trusty wooden spoon until smooth.
  4. Add beaten egg and vanilla, beat until well combined.
  5. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients until everything is mixed entirely.
  6. Fold in chili chocolate chunks.
  7. Drop 1 inch balls of dough, 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt at when they are fresh out of the oven.

If you are up for something different I say give these a try. They aren’t the everyday cookie which makes them that much more fun!

Happy Baking!

Salted Triple Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are the reason I go to the gym 6 days a week and torture myself! They are absolutely amazing. The flavors are layered and exciting and the salt finish adds an element of surprise that the common chocolate chip cookie lacks. I wanted to make the chocolate chip cookie my own, so I threw in white chips, semi-sweet chips and dark 60% cocoa chips and a teaspoon and a half of coarse sea salt. It might have been a pure moment of baking insanity, but it worked better than I could have hoped. I originally made these cookies with milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet, and they weren’t as good. I don’t really care for milk chocolate, so my solution was to omit it! I also prefer to use a higher quality of chocolate, just like my eggs, flour, sugar etc., So I prefer to work with Ghirardelli Chocolate chips for this kind of thing.

If you only make one more cookie in your life, let it be this one. I don’t mean to grease my own baking sheet, but this is a brilliant cookie!

So, you will need…

  • 1 1/4 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt
  • 1/2 C. Unsalted Butter at room temperature, NOT MELTED
  • 1/2 C. Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 6 Tbsp White Sugar
  • 1 large Egg
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 C. White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 C. Dark Chocolate Chips 60% cocoa (Ghirardelli chips for all three)

Here was my process…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the middle of the oven. Next  line 2 baking sheets with baking paper (parchment).

In a bowl, SIFT together flour and baking soda.

In a large bowl combine brown sugar, butter and white sugar. Beat until smooth. (I often opt to mix by hand, but feel free to use a mixer). Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well blended.

Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients until everything is nice and mixed in. Then add all chocolate chips and salt. Mix until you feel they are well stirred in!

Spoon the dough on the prepared baking sheets and make sure there is 2 inches between each cookie. I fit about 8 on each baking sheet.  Bake the cookies for 10-13 minutes, 1 sheet at a time,  until the bottoms and edges have a lovely light golden brown color to them.

That is that. Easy, life altering cookies. YOU ARE WELCOME!!!!! 😉

Happy Baking!

Oatmeal Drop Cookies w/ Ghirardelli Chips or Raisins

For the past two days I was attempting a juice cleanse, and it was pretty miserable. After 2 days I packed it in and really wanted to bake something delicious without being terribly unhealthy. My little reward for trying!  Alas, I turned to the ever faithful and tasty oatmeal cookie! (I like to drop them instead of flatten them to keep the oaty texture. I like the way they look and taste so much better.) I mean, I couldn’t go right for the Sinful Brownies after trying to be on a healthy cleanse… could I?

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So, what you will need…

  • 4 1/2 C. Rolled Oats
  • 3/4 C. of Butter
  • 1 1/3 C. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 5 Tbs Water
  • 1 Tbs Vanilla
  • 1 C. all-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1 C. Chocolate Chips or Raisins, or both!

Here was my process…

First I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and greased two cookie sheets.

Next I blended the butter and sugar until it was light and fluffy. I beat in the egg, water and vanilla until the mixture was smooth. In a separate bowl I mixed the Oats, flour (sifted), salt and baking soda. Then I slowly added the dry mixture to the creamed mixture, and mixed until all the ingredients were thoroughly combined.I took half of the dough and put semisweet Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa chocolate chips in it, and the other half I added raisins.

Then I dropped spoon fulls of dough onto greased cookie sheets and let back for 18-20 minutes.

These are really tasty cookies and you don’t really feel  guilty eating them. They are still a cookie, but they have a healthier attitude about them!

Happy Baking!

Delightfully Sinful Brownies

Brownies… they are just so damn good. I tried a few “healthy” brownie recipes and I really, really tried to make a delicious yet health conscious brownie. I gave up for today. Today, I made this completely sinful, buttery, moist and downright amazing brownie. It is another must on your baking bucket list.

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So, you will need…

  • 2 cups sugar (1 cup white, one cup brown)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Here was my process…

First preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Next melt butter. Then I mixed all the ingredients as they are listed above. I mixed everything together until a beautiful gooey batter formed. If the batter seems too thick add 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk.

Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake for 18-22 minutes. If you want to use a 9 by 13 greased pan, bake for 30-40 minutes. Once cooled dust with powdered sugar to make them pop!

This is a truly easy recipe, and it is definitely fool proof. It isn’t for the fair weather brownie eater!

Happy Baking!