chocolate

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

Posted by on Dec 13, 2017 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate, mint | 0 comments

If you want a treat that is decadent, gorgeous, and loaded with peppermint, bake this up.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

But once you put the peppermint bits on, eat them within a few hours. That’s right, this recipe has the same issue as the Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks a few weeks ago.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

See that picture above? That’s what the peppermint does, melting to look like stained glass. It’s a purely cosmetic issue; the bars still taste fine and the peppermint even retains a slight crunch.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

The solution to this is pretty easy, though. Add the peppermint bits right before serving, or just omit them. Or be prepared to eat them with oozy peppermint on top, as they’ll still taste fine!

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

With that disclaimer done, I can say these things taste absolutely delicious. I mean, hello, blondies topped with cream cheese frosting! These are practically a cake.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

Modified from County Living, December 2015.

 

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

These blondies deliver sheer holiday decadence! Peppermint, white chocolate, and cream cheese frosting work together in a glorious way. Do note that the crushed peppermint bits will melt after a few hours, regardless of the temperature at which the bars are kept. They’ll still taste fine, but they don’t look as pretty!

  • blondies
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cup (1 bag) white chocolate chips
  • frosting
  • 16 ounces (2 boxes) cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermints

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Apply nonstick spray or butter to an aluminum foil-lined 9x13 baking pan.

Beat together butter, both sugars, eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and peppermint extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Stir the dry mix into the butter mix. Add the chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.

Bake until golden brown and the middle passes the toothpick test, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan on rack until room temperature, or place in fridge to chill.

When the blondie base is no longer hot, beat together the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until they are light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Spread frosting over blondies. Freeze for 30 minutes or chill in fridge for several hours to set.

Add crushed peppermints just before serving. NOTE: after a few hours, the peppermints will melt, regardless of the temperature of the bars. It looks weird, but tastes the same, even retaining a slight crunch. Other than that, the bars keep fine in the fridge for at least 5 days.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Peppermint Blondies

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Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, oreo | 0 comments

If you’ve ever had Oreo Truffles–those luscious bon-bons of pulverized Oreo encased in chocolate–you’ll love my original take, which is a heck of a lot easier and prettier, too.

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

The original Oreo Truffles always irritate me because I can never get a nice, smooth chocolate covering on the balls. You’ll see what I mean next month when I feature a different take on such truffles.

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

Therefore, I removed the balls from the equation. This recipe has a brownie base, topped with an Oreo-cream cheese mix, then topped with a ganache. Oreo crumbs and peppermint bits give it a showy finish.

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

No dipping balls in chocolate for an hour. No mess everywhere. This recipe is easy-peasy.

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

Plus, the cut-up bars will keep for as long as a week if they are sealed in the fridge. That makes them convenient to make-ahead for holiday gatherings… and lets you finish them off at your leisure afterward.

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

You can use a number of different kinds of Oreos here, too. Mint Oreos are great, but regular Oreos are fine if you add some extra peppermint extract. You can use all-chocolate kinds of Oreos–even the new Thin Oreo version–but I don’t advise using Double Stuf. You do want a lot of cookie crumbs.

 

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

Bready or Not Original: Peppermint Oreo Truffle Brownies

This Bready or Not original remakes traditional Oreo Truffles in a brownie bar form that’s a lot more convenient to make.

*Note that original or all-chocolate Oreos or even new Thin Oreos may be used; just add another 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract to either the Oreo layer or top chocolate layer. However, don’t use Double Stuf. You want more cookie crumbs!

  • brownie base
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder, optional but awesome
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • Oreo layer
  • 1 package Cool Mint or Peppermint Oreos*
  • 8 ounce cream cheese (1 block), softened
  • topping
  • 10 to 12 ounces of chocolate (mint, semi-sweet, dark, or milk; add more peppermint extract if desired)
  • 1/4 cup crushed peppermint bits

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray or butter well.

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs, followed by the two extracts, salt, cocoa, and flour. Don't overbeat.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 22 to 27 minutes. Cool completely.

While the brownies are cooling, make the Oreo truffle layer. Crush Oreos in a food processor or by putting them in a sealed gallon bag and smashing them with a rolling pin until rendered to crumbs.

Reserve 1/4 cup of Oreo crumbs for topping. Place the rest of the crumbs in a large bowl, and use a big spoon to mash the Oreos into the softened cream cheese until the color is consistently black.

Smooth the Oreo-cream cheese mix atop the cooled brownies, using an offset spatula to get right to the edges.

To finish off the truffles, melt the chocolate either on the stovetop or in the microwave, and pour it over the Oreo layer. Smooth it out evenly. Immediately top with the reserved Oreo crumbs and peppermint bits.

Refrigerate until set, about 15 to 20 minutes. If it's too soft, and it will smear when cut; too hard, and it will crack. Use the foil to lift the brownies onto a cutting board, then slice into bars.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge, with waxed paper between the stacked layers. Keeps for at least a week.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

Posted by on Nov 22, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, mint | 0 comments

Imagine chocolate chip-flecked shortbread sticks adorned with a thin sheen of frosting with dazzling gems of peppermint.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

If you love peppermint and chocolate, these cookie sticks will bring you bliss. But do heed a rather important warning.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

If the peppermint bits sit in the frosting for more than a day or so, they’ll actually melt. Seriously. It’s some kind of chemical reaction. Puddles of red goop everywhere.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

But here’s the thing: the sticks still taste fine if that happens! They just look like they stared at the Arc of the Covenant.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

So make a big ol’ jelly roll pan of these, and hold off on adding the peppermints adornments until soon before serving. Or put them on, and use it as a kind of science experiment.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

A very delicious experiment. Did I mention these were like shortbread sticks loaded with chocolate chips and slathered with frosting? Oh yeah. These are good.

Modified from Crazy for Crust at Challenge Dairy. 

 

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

These handy cookie sticks are loaded with holiday deliciousness with a perfect combination of chocolate chip shortbread, thin frosting, and crushed peppermints. Do note that the peppermint chunks will dissolve into the frosting if they sit there over a day or so, so add them just before serving.

  • Cookie Sticks
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk, cream, or half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup crushed candy canes or peppermints

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (10x15-inches) with foil and apply nonstick cooking spray all over the surface.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg and both extracts, followed by the baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Add flour until just incorporated, then the chocolate chips.

Use your hands to press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until it's just starting to turn golden brown at the edges. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, cream butter until smooth. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until it starts to become crumbly, then add the salt and vanilla extract. Stir in 2 tablespoons of milk, then add more until it is spreadable consistency.

Use the foil to lift the cookie slab onto a cutting board. Use an uneven spatula to frost the full surface. Let the frosting set for a short while. Slice cookies into sticks.

DO NOT sprinkle crushed peppermints on until soon before serving--the candies will actually dissolve into the frosting after a day or so, which looks bad though they still taste fine.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

Bready or Not: Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookie Sticks

These handy cookie sticks are loaded with holiday deliciousness with a perfect combination of chocolate chip shortbread, thin frosting, and crushed peppermints. Do note that the peppermint chunks will dissolve into the frosting if they sit there over a day or so, so add them just before serving.

  • Cookie Sticks
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 Tablespoons milk, cream, or half & half
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup crushed candy canes or peppermints

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (10x15-inches) with foil and apply nonstick cooking spray all over the surface.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg and both extracts, followed by the baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Add flour until just incorporated, then the chocolate chips.

Use your hands to press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until it's just starting to turn golden brown at the edges. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, cream butter until smooth. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until it starts to become crumbly, then add the salt and vanilla extract. Stir in 2 tablespoons of milk, then add more until it is spreadable consistency.

Use the foil to lift the cookie slab onto a cutting board. Use an uneven spatula to frost the full surface. Let the frosting set for a short while. Slice cookies into sticks.

DO NOT sprinkle crushed peppermints on until soon before serving--the candies will actually dissolve into the frosting after a day or so, which looks bad though they still taste fine.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, mint | 0 comments

In recent months, I have shared recipes for Snickerdoodle Biscotti and Maple Walnut White Chocolate Biscotti. Now we’re gearing up for the holidays with Peppermint Biscotti.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

I found this recipe in a Food Network Magazine from December 2015. I made it following their instructions, wasn’t pleased with the results, and made it again with numerous changes. This one worked.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

I love how white chocolate chips work in biscotti. Since they bake up to be extra crispy, the chips add just the right touch of sweetness to complement the crunchiness.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

The topping is what makes these scream “Holiday season!” I love the goopy drizzles atop these sticks, with generous amounts of crushed peppermints on top.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

As these are biscotti, they keep well for days and weeks. If you’re mailing these, of course, be wary of the temperatures the package may encounter in transit. That’s something I always must consider here in Arizona!

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

Eat these biscotti on their own, or totally bliss-out and dip them in coffee or tea.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

These Peppermint Biscotti are infused with peppermint flavor from the flecked drizzle on through the cookies themselves. They look and taste like the holiday season!

  • biscotti
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • topping
  • 4 oz white chocolate
  • drizzle of oil, if needed
  • 2 candy canes, crushed

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In medium bowl, measure out the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a big bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and peppermint extract. Slowly stir in the dry mix until just incorporated, then add the white chocolate chips.

Divide the dough in half on the prepared baking sheet. Form each into a log about 4 inches wide and 10 inches long; make sure there is space between the two logs, as they'll grow in the oven.

Bake about 25 minutes, until the biscotti is lightly browned. Remove the baking sheet, but be sure to leave the oven on.

Let the biscotti cool for 10 minutes. Use a large knife, such as a bread knife, to diagonally slice the logs 1/2-inch apart. Use a straight-down motion to cut; don't saw.

Arrange the biscotti spaced out on the baking sheet. Stand them up if possible, or lay them on their sides. Bake for another 25 minutes, flipping them over halfway if necessary, to equally crisp both sides.

Cool completely on the baking sheet. Crush the candy canes.

Melt the white chocolate on the stovetop or in the microwave; if necessary, stir in a drizzle of coconut oil or vegetable oil to make the chocolate loose enough to dribble.

Drizzle the chocolate all over the biscotti, then immediately sprinkle peppermint chunks over them. Let them set for a few hours at room temperature or in the fridge.

Store in an airtight container as long as a few weeks.

OM NOM NOM!

 

 

Bready or Not: Peppermint Biscotti

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Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate, gluten-free, healthier, main dish, muffin, pumpkin | 0 comments

I continue to revisit old favorite pumpkin recipes to incorporate more experience and better photography. This week’s recipe is for Pumpkin Pucks.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

These happen to be gluten-free and paleo, if you follow those diets. More to my needs, they are high-protein, avoid processed flours, and are DELICIOUS.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

They are rather like mini pumpkin pie custards with a slightly nutty taste. Do note that this can be made with whole wheat and/or all-purpose flour, if you don’t care about it being gluten-free… but I by far prefer the taste with almond flour.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

I have also used different nut butters. Almond butter tastes the strongest–in a very good way–though cashew butter was fantastic, too.

Once, I only had 3/4 cup of pumpkin, so I made up for the difference with applesauce. I found no major difference in taste or texture.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

I find that two of these make for a delicious breakfast. The size makes them very kid-friendly. I have kept them in the fridge for upwards of a week. Also, these are fantastic to freeze. Just be sure to remove the muffin cup liners and use waxed paper between layers.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

You can alter the flavor with different toppings, too. Mini chocolate chips are my favorite! Pepitas and dried cranberries work well, too; note that the cranberries are tart but mellow after time in the fridge.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Enjoy this healthy recipe, and be warned that next week takes a decidedly sugary turn with a recipe for Pumpkin Roll!

Modified from Paleo Parents.

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

Bready or Not: Pumpkin Pucks

This delicious recipe makes a kind of gluten free, paleo-friendly dense pumpkin custard in a muffin pan. Store these in the fridge for upward of a week; they can also be frozen, with the muffin liners removed, and kept between waxed paper.

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree [canned, NOT organic]
  • 1 cup almond or other nut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup almond flour [or wheat or all-purpose flour]
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Topping choice: 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, OR chopped nuts or pepitas, or dried cranberries

Place muffin cup liners in pan, then spray the insides with nonstick spray. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.

If your almond butter is very stiff, measure it out, place in a microwave-safe bowl, then zap it for 15 seconds or so to soften it. Mix pumpkin puree and the almond butter together.

Add honey and maple syrup. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients until everything is just combined.

Fill the muffin cups to 3/4 full; a tablespoon scoop makes this easy, as it's almost exactly 2 tablespoons to fill the cups. Top with mini chocolate chips or nuts or cranberries, if desired.

Bake at 350-degrees for about 20 minutes. Pumpkin pucks will not rise much. The tops of some may start to crack. Remove them from pan and allow to cool, then store in fridge.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Caramel Mocha Cookies

Posted by on Sep 20, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

It’s been too long since I featured a hardcore chocolate recipe, so let’s make up for that in a big way with these Caramel Mocha Cookies.

Bready or Not: Caramel Mocha Cookies

“I have this great looking recipe I want to try,” I told my husband. “Can you make it without nuts?” he asked, citing that a co-worker was allergic.

Bready or Not: Caramel Mocha Cookies

So I set about modifying the recipe, and realized this would be a good use for some leftover caramel bits I had in the cupboard. As I read over the full magazine clipping for the recipe, though, I noticed something weird.

Bready or Not: Caramel Mocha Cookies

It had a truly egregious typo: it asked the baker to start preheating the oven in step one, then to place the dough to chill for several hours or overnight. Oops.

Bready or Not: Caramel Mocha Cookies

Therefore, this is greatly modified from the original in the December/January AllRecipes magazine.

If anyone ever comes across an error like that in one of my recipes, please let me know!

Bready or Not: Caramel Mocha Cookies

These are chocolate cookies that will delight any chocoholic: dough loaded with melted chocolate and espresso powder, then packed with more chocolate chips. The caramel adds a touch of a different sweetness, and a different texture besides.

Bready or Not: Caramel Mocha Cookies

Bready or Not: Caramel Mocha Cookies

These cookies feature dough loaded with melted chocolate and espresso powder, and chocolate chips, too. Use caramel bits or chopped caramels. Note that this recipe needs several hours up to a day of chilling time.

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup caramel bits

Melt 1/2 cup of the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave. Stir until smooth; let cool. In another bowl, mix together the espresso powder and water.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until creamy. Add the hydrated espresso, followed by the egg. Pour in the cooled melted chocolate. Gradually stir in the dry mixture until just mixed. Fold in the remaining 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and the caramel.

Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it chill for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Scoop tablespoon-sized dough balls onto a cookie sheet, with space for each to spread. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand to set 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

OM NOM NOM!

Bready or Not: Caramel Mocha Cookies

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