chocolate

Kelly Senyei

Chocolate Pillows

Chocolate Pillows recipe

The countdown to Valentine’s Day is on! We may be just 48 hours away from the most romantic day of the year, but that doesn’t mean those who are menu-less (or Valentine-less) need to panic. I’ve got dessert covered with this quick and easy recipe for Chocolate Pillows topped with a sweet and tangy cherry port sauce.

Chocolate Pillows recipe

These crispy wonton pockets are filled with bittersweet chocolate then deep-fried to golden brown perfection. Have a fear of frying? Kick those concerns to the curb with my essential deep-frying do’s and don’ts:

  • DO use a deep-fry thermometer to accurately gauge the temperature of the oil and to know the optimum moment when to add foods to the oil
  • DON’T overcrowd the pan with food items or you’ll risk dropping the temperature of the oil so much that the foods won’t cook fast enough (Result: soggy fried foods)
  • DO choose an oil with a high enough smoke point, such as canola oil or vegetable oil, and avoid extra-virgin olive oil
  • DON’T leave any water near or around the pot of boiling oil or, if the two meet, you’ll end up with a spitting, splattering pot of hot oil
  • DO have a paper towel-lined plate ready to transfer the fried items onto after they’ve been cooked

Chocolate Pillows recipe

Chocolate Pillows recipe

Chocolate Pillows recipe

Chocolate Pillows recipe

Ready to woo your Valentine with these hot, crispy, chocolate-stuffed sweets? Gather your ingredients and bring the oil to a boil for quick-fix Chocolate Pillows.

- Kelly Senyei, Just a Taste


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Ganache

The holiday season is officially upon us. While there are so many reasons to love this time of year, one of my favorites is the chance to spend more time in the kitchen. I’m a baker at heart and constanly looking for new recipes for sweet little nibbles to have around the house when company arrives.

In addition to delicious treats, I’m always on the hunt for simple, stress-free recipes. I like to have a few recipes that I can whip together quickly for unexpected guests. My go-to place for these ideas is obviously BHG. They have a collection of recipes for Easy Brownies and Bars that is stellar. Everyone loves a brownie or bar and there are endless tweaks you can do to make it really special.

Today I followed this recipe for Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Ganache. This is one of my favorite flavor combinations so trying this recipe was an easy choice.

The crust is actually made with a devil’s food cake mix. Adapting the wet ingredients creates a soft yet crunchy base for these bars.

Slathered with a rich peanut butter filling and topped with a decadent chocolate ganache, these are one bar that will be put on repeat in my kitchen.

I was so impressed with how quickly these came together. I was able to shorten my cooling time by placing the pan on my side porch. This is a trick I learned from my mom when I was little. We’d place iced Christmas cookies in the garage to get the icing to set so we could pack them up quickly. It’s chilly here in Central PA this time of year, so I realize this little trick may not work everywhere.

You can get the recipe for these Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Ganache by clicking here.

So that’s what happening in my kitchen. What’s your quick go-to sweet treat for the holidays?

Happy Baking!

Michael Wurm, Jr – Inspired by Charm


BHG Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Jelly Toast

Emily Caruso is the food photographer, writer and cook behind the blog Jelly Toast. She has a passion for beautiful photography and creating simple, but delicious food for her family, often inspired by recipes that have been in her family for generations. When she’s not tinkering in the kitchen or hunkered down behind her camera, Emily can be found photo prop shopping, reading a great new book or spending time with her husband and two children – usually with a cup of coffee nearby.

 

Hi Everyone! I’m so excited to be guest posting on BHG’s Delish Dish! I have been an avid reader of Better Homes and Gardens for years and love their endless selection of scrumptious, seasonal recipes.

Fall is my favorite time of year! Every October, my family throws a huge Halloween bash, complete with spooky treats for everyone to enjoy. I came across two mouth watering apple recipes here on BHG, Dark Chocolate Dipped Apples and a classic Basic Caramel Apples and I decided to combine the two recipes into one. After adding a spooky, cobweb twist they are ready for any Halloween party.

The first thing I wanted to do was turn these full sized Basic Caramel Apples into bite sized treats. While I adore caramel apples, sometimes they can be difficult for little children to bite into, so creating a mini version was a great way to make these easy for kids to enjoy. Plus, I love any excuse to turn something mini! The process was easier than I had imagined, but there were a few tricks that I learned along the way.

I used my melon baller to scoop round bite sized pieces out of one large apple and I was able to get about 12 bites from each apple. I soaked the apple bites in a bit of lemon juice and water to prevent them from browning. An important step was to dry the bites as much as possible with a paper towel before dipping them in the melted caramel.

I simply followed the Basic Caramel Apple recipe to melt the caramel candies. To dip the apple bites in caramel, I simply rolled each bite in the bowl of melted caramel, skin side down, then placed the coated bites on some lightly buttered parchment paper. Placing them in the refrigerator helped firm the caramel up quickly. I found that the caramel stuck best to the skin of the apple and in some cases the caramel wanted to slip off the flesh of the apple. The beauty of this recipe is that the chocolate coating covered any imperfections in the caramel layer. I love that in a recipe!  After the caramel was set, I inserted a stick into each bite and coated each apple bite completely in melted dark chocolate, following the steps from the Dark Chocolate Dipped Apples Recipe. I then placed them back into the refrigerator to harden the chocolate.

For the white chocolate ‘cobweb’ drizzles, I melted some white chocolate chips with a touch of coconut oil (you could use shortening instead as described here in these chocolate drizzle instructions) and placed it into a small squeeze bottle. Using the squeeze bottle to drizzle the chocolate made this step much easier! A few more minutes in the fridge and these Mini Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples were ready to serve!

These treats can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve. To jazz up these little caramel apple bites, I also made some very easy washi tape flags using washi tape and bamboo skewers.

Washi tape flags are very simple to make. I took bamboo skewers (you could also use skinny wooden popsicle sticks) that you can find in the regular grocery store and removed the sharp points with a pair of wire cutters. You could also use a sturdy pair of scissors if you don’t have a pair of wire cutters.

I chose some Halloween inspired washi tape and wrapped a 2 – 3 inch piece of washi tape around the end of each bamboo skewer to create a tab.  After a quick snip to remove a small triangular piece of tape from the end of the tab, these flags were done! They add a fun and festive touch to any treat.

Everyone in my family loved these Mini Chocolate Dipped Caramel Apples! While there were a few steps to creating these spooky treats, each step was simple and the end results were delicious!


BHG Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Coordinately Yours by Julie Blanner

 

 

Julie Blanner is the voice behind Coordinately Yours, a stylish lifestyle blog filled with do-it-yourself inspiration for effortless entertaining, home design and thoughtful gift-giving. As a seasoned event planner, her approach is warm and simple: entertaining and design that celebrates life.

best chocolate cake

I’m a fan of anything chocolate – and easy! I was looking for recipes I could make for Halloween and came across this hot cocoa brownie cake with marshmallow frosting recipe on BHG. It was quick, easy, and these little ghosts vanished nearly as quick as they appeared, making this a new family favorite recipe.

I chose a fudge brownie mix to give it a great, chewy base. Spray your pan well, lining it with parchment paper for easy removal.

baking tip: how to remove cake from pan easily

Confession: I don’t own a double boiler or a hand mixer. As much as I love baking, I’m a minimalist in the kitchen. To create a double boiler, just place a saucepan that fits well into a large pot of boiling water {water shouldn’t touch pan}. I warmed the marshmallow topping ingredients accordingly, transferring it to the metal bowl of my stand mixer {which kept them warm} and beat until stiff. To make this recipe a little more child friendly, I eliminated the coffee and liquor.

diy double broiler

I piped the marshmallow cream on to create ghosts with standard disposable icing bags. I didn’t worry about them being perfect – ghosts sway in the wind, right? I used store bought gel icing in a tube for the eyes. Next time I make this recipe {which will be sooner than later}, I will reduce the bake time for the ghosts to 4 minutes for a whiter appearance.

easy cake for Halloween

halloween dessert

This cake fits into my chic black and pink Halloween decor.

best chocolate cake recipe

Aren’t they adorable?

Halloween cake

piping ghosts on a cake

but definitely not too cute to eat!

marshmallow icing

Summer may be over, but toasted marshmallows and chocolate are here to stay!


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Pumpkin Chocolate Palmiers

As you may already know from my Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownie recipe, once autumn arrives, I like to incorporate pumpkin into pretty much everything I make. Thankfully, I’m not the only one who has this love for pumpkin.

This week on my blog Inspired by Charm, I’m hosting the Second Annual Fall Cookie Week. Essentially, it’s a week (or eight days as is the case this year) of fall-inspired cookie recipes. As I was searching for inspiration and recipes on the web, I knew that I had to include a cookie from Better Homes and Gardens. Their cookie recipe collections are some of the best.

I’ve also always been intrigued by palmiers. They look so fancy and they taste delicious – two essential characteristics of any cookie. So when I stumbled upon this recipe for Chocolate Palmiers, I thought it would be the perfect place to sneak in a little fall flavor. Yes, this is where the pumpkin comes into play.


Other than chilling time, which is a must for making these sweet treats, they came together quickly. Plus, I love the combination of pumpkin and chocolate. These are definitely a winner in my book.

I followed this Chocolate Palmier recipe except for these few changes:
- I omitted the nuts from the filling.
- I put in six tablespoons of pumpkin puree before adding the egg.
- In addition to the cinnamon, I used 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg.

That’s it. Simple touches, but a big difference in flavor!

Over the years I’ve learned that adding pumpkin puree to a recipe isn’t enough to get that wonderful pumpkin taste. It’s all about the spices. The combination of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, and nutmeg really bring the pumpkin flavor to life.

So if you are looking for a scrumptious autumn treat, be sure to give this

a try. For more fall cookie inspiration, swing on over to Inspired by Charm’s Fall Cookie Week.

As always, happy cooking!

Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Pumpkin Brownies

It’s happened. I’ve officially started fall baking. After the first of September, I think it’s fair game. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year for cooking and baking. And when it comes to fall flavors, pumpkin is an obvious choice . So when I saw this recipe for Chocolate-Pumpkin Brownies, I knew I had to give them a try. The combination of the two sounded like a major flavor win!

I must admit that I totally cheated while baking up this deliciousness. The recipe gives instructions for making brownies from scratch. I used a box mix. To be honest, I kind of love brownie mix. Plus, it makes whipping up a dessert so easy. I also omitted the walnuts for my version. I’m just not a fan of them in my brownies.

I also lined my pan with aluminum foil. I never did this until recently, but it makes the brownies so easy to remove and cut. Another plus – clean up is a breeze!

I absolutely love this recipe for so many reasons. First, my entire house smelled fabulous throughout the baking process. Second, the flavor combination is fantastic. Third, the pumpkin cream cheese mixture added an incredible amount of moistness to the brownies.

So if you are looking for a quick and easy fall-inspired dessert, give this a try. You can find the full recipe here. Have you started your fall baking yet? What’s your favorite autumn treat?