Posts by Michael Wurm, Jr.

Michael Wurm, Jr.

Spiked Hot Chocolate

With the colder weather moving in, ’tis the season for cozy warm drinks. Given how much I love hot cocoa (I just created a hot cocoa bar in my dining room.), I’m always looking for creative ways to make this delightful drink even more special for me and my guests.

One way to change up classic hot cocoa is to substitute white chocolate for milk chocolate. Inspired to try such a creamy white version, I turned to this recipe from BHG.

Although I have my own white chocolate cocoa recipe, I really like this one because it incorporates cinnamon, nutmeg, and almond extract. These are some of my favorite flavors of the season.

As much as I love this recipe, I decided to give it my own twist for the holidays by spiking it. I had fun experimenting.

First off, was Marshmallow Vodka. (Yes.there really is such a thing!). It was wonderful. But be warned, since it’s vodka it’s going to be a little stronger tasting.

Another delicious liqueur to try is RumChata. This is a cream liqueur that is made with Caribbean rum, real dairy, vanilla, cinnamon, and other spices. As you can imagine, these flavors blend really well with the white hot chocolate.

Finally, a splash of peppermint schnapps is another tasty addition. Peppermint is a traditional flavor of the season, and it goes really well with this recipe. Plus, you can garnish the whole drink with a candy cane to make it look picture perfect!

Again, you can get the recipe for this White Hot Chocolate here.

Do you enjoy hot cocoa during the holidays? How do you vary this cold-weather classic to make it extra special for this time of year?

Cheers!

Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

The other day I had a craving for cookies. Naturally, I turned to the BHG archives. When I saw this classic recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies, my mouth watered in anticipation.

I knew the recipe would be delicious, but I wanted to give it the star treatment. Since, chocolate goes perfectly with peanut butter, I decided to dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate. Everything is better dipped in chocolate, right?

I followed the original recipe. However, I left out the chopped peanuts so I could use them later for decoration along with the chocolate.

Once the cookies were baked and cooled. I got my chocolate mixture ready. To dip all of the cookies, you will need:
3 cups chocolate chips (I used a mix of milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips.)
1 tablespoon shortening

In a double boiler, melt the chips and the shortening until smooth.- The shortening prevents the cooled chocolate from getting too hard.

Now you’re ready to dip the cookies. Line your countertop with wax paper and place the crushed peanuts In a bowl.

Finally, dip half of each cookie in the chocolate; then roll the edge into your peanuts. Set on the wax paper to cool. (For variety, also feel free to roll some of the cookies in brown sprinkles.)

And that’s it. A classic cookie with a twist. Aren’t they beautiful? Let me tell you, these certainly satisfied my craving.

Again, you can find the peanut butter cookie recipe here. Enjoy!

Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm

 

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Michael Wurm, Jr.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Mini Muffins

It’s been a while since I’ve done a proper pantry cleaning. After a lot of baking this fall, a little kitchen organizing was in order, especially with the upcoming holidays. Since cleaning and organizing aren’t my forte, I thought I might motivate myself and do some baking to use the small amounts of random ingredients. With way too many chocolate chips and a few opened jars of peanut butter staring me in the face, this recipe for Peanut Butter-Streusel Muffins was a match.

As I’ve said a million times before, chocolate and peanut butter is a winning flavor combination for me. Pack it into a muffin and top it with streusel and I’m dancing with joy in the kitchen (even amid the cleaning).

To make these muffins extra special, I decided to downsize them. Little bite sized treats during my kitchen cleaning or with a cup of coffee for breakfast. Mmm! A mini cookie scoop portioned out just enough batter to make 24.

I didn’t have any peanuts on hand for the streusel, so I substituted pecans. No harm done. That’s why I love pantry cleaning. You use what you have. There’s no reason to run to the store to buy more ingredients.

These muffins came together in no time. Served a slightly warm, the melted chocolate and peanut butter make them bites of heaven. They might even inspire me to clean more often. OK, probably not.

Get the recipe here, give these mini muffins a try, and let us know what you think. Enjoy!

Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm

 

More from BHG.com:

25 Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Our Best Coffee Cake Recipes

Tasty Breakfast Drinks


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Fall Cheese Balls

Cheese is easily one of my favorite things in all the world. And I’m not just talking favorite food; I’m talking my favorite amongst all things. My mom told me that she had cravings for cheese when she was pregnant with me, so my love of cheese may have been preordained. In fact, I’ve recently created a few amazing cheese related recipes on my own blog include Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Bacon and Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

Today’s post is in celebration of my love of cheese and was inspired by two different things. First, the October issue of BHG. In case you missed it, here’s a little peek inside.

These are cheese balls shaped and decorated to look like apples. Mind blowning. What a fabulous, yet totally simple idea. It’s all in the details.

I was also inspired by this recipe for Bacon Cheddar Cheese Balls from BHG online.

I followed the recipe as written to create my fall-inspired cheese balls. I didn’t have any pimentos on hand, however, so I did substitute chopped kalamata olives. That’s one of things I love about cheese balls – you can readily use any combination of flavors and cheeses to create a delicious spread. My one recommendation for a can’t-miss product: use high-quality cheese and shred it yourself. As much as I love the time-saving benefits of packaged shredded cheese, nothing beats freshly shredded for this recipe.

With the cheese ball mixture made and cooled, I shaped the ball into an organic / natural-looking apple. To complete the look, as in the magazine feature, I snipped a few branches from an apple tree in my backyard and tucked them into the top to simulate a stem.

Perfect!

Details and simple touches like this get me every time. This is what entertaining is all about. These are the small things that guests remember and can’t wait to repeat when they get home or tell their friends about.

Plus, it involves cheese, and who doesn’t love cheese?

Again, you can get the recipe for these cheese balls here. I hope you enjoy the recipe and the presentation.

Happy Cooking!

Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm

 

 

More from BHG.com:

Healthy Dinner Recipes Under $3

Fantastic Fall Cocktails

Halloween Treats Kids Can Make


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Chocolate, Caramel, and Apple Tartlets

My oven has been getting a workout lately. Last week I hosted the Third Annual Fall Cookie Week on my blog. During those seven day I shared eight fall-inspired cookie recipes. What an exciting and totally indulgent week.

While you’d think that I’d need a break from baking, I was actually energized to create a cookie-like recipe to share with you today. With apples in abundance this time of year, I was thrilled to find this recipe for Apple-Toffee Tartlets, I knew I wanted to give it a try with a fun variation.

I thought about what flavors work really well with apples. Caramel-dipped apples immediately came to mind, so I decided to substitute caramel bits and mini chocolate chips for the toffee bits in this recipe. Thus, Chocolate, Caramel, and Apple Tartlets were born!

I’m happy to say that this flavor combination worked out wonderfully. The apples give the recipe freshness, the chocolate adds decadence, and the caramel makes it perfect for fall.

If you want to recreate these tartlets, follow the original recipe here. Instead of the toffee pieces, use 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips and 1/2 cup caramel bits.

These tartlets are a fun and delicious treat for a small get-together or even a movie night at home.

I hope you’ll give them a try! Other than apples, what are your favorite fall flavors? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Baking!
Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Double Decker Pumpkin Bread

I’m back with another pumpkin recipe for all of you! A few weeks ago, I kicked off pumpkin season with my coffee cake. Now I’m returning with this recipe for Double Decker Pumpkin Bread.

BHG has a huge collection of pumpkin recipes on their site. While I want to make all of them, this particular recipe won out this time round. Pumpkin bread with a creamy, cream cheese filling? Yum. Yes!

As the former owner of a B&B, I absolutely love quick breads like this. Not only are they easy to make, but you can serve them anytime of day. They are great for breakfast and with an afternoon cup of coffee. They also make a delicious dessert to top off a meal. Or, if you prefer, they can even help satisfy that late night sweet tooth.

As I’ve explained here before, one of the things I love about pumpkin sweets is the spices. Because of this, I decided to add a little extra spice to this bread. I followed the recipe exactly, but once my batter was mixed and ready for the pan, I added 1 1/2 cups of cinnamon chips to the batter.

Cinnamon chips are basically just liked chocolate chips, but cinnamon flavored.

They complement this recipe beautifully and add a special touch to the finished bread. Simply delicious!

If you’re looking for something full of fall pumpkin-y flavor be sure to give this recipe a try! You can find the original recipe here, and don’t forget the cinnamon chips.

Happy Baking!
Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm