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Tag Archives | Chocolate

Cherry Chocolate Cookies

Cherry Chocolate Cookies combine cherries, chocolate and almonds for a sweet valentine treat.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

No red dye

Friends invited me to a cookie exchange for Valentines. Instantly I knew I wanted to pair cherries and chocolate, a classic combination, both are favorites of mine. Made several batches of cookies to develop this seasonal confection. Wanted to get the dough right. Half way between butter and sugar cookies and rolled in a log and sliced. Easy!!

Cooling on RackI’ve long loved maraschinos, fire engine red cherries on ice cream and in drinks. Recently I discovered ‘no red dye’ maraschinos. They’re dusty plum colored with vegetable and fruit juice in place of red dye. I love the more natural taste and happy to leave red dye on the shelf.

These cookies could be made with cherries, chocolate and nuts mixed into the dough. I love the stained glass window effect when the cookies are decorated with eye appeal goodies. Takes an extra couple of minutes per batch but worth every minute. Pretty and fancy, send some love to your Valentine.

You may also enjoy Peanut Butter ChocolateButtons, Chocolate ‘Cinnful’ Cookies, Peanut Butter M&M Cookies, Frosted Maple Spice Cookies and Jam Thumbprints.

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Recipe: Cherry Chocolate Cookies

Active Time: 40 Minutes | Total Time: 90 Minutes | Yield: 4 Dozen

Cherries, Chocolate Chips, Almonds1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp maraschino cherry juice, ‘no red dye’ recommended
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 13.5 oz jar maraschino cherries, ‘no red dye’ recommended
3/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Special Equipment – electric mixer, 11×17 baking sheet

Batter1 Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Mix in egg, cherry juice and almond extract. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Add to dough and mix just until combined.

2 Roll dough into a 2-inch diameter log. Make one long log or 2 to 3 shorter logs. Wrap in plastic and freeze for 30 minutes.

3 Meanwhile chop cherries and almonds. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4 Cut twelve 1/4-inch slices of dough per batch for an 11×17 baking sheet. Keep the remaining dough in the freezer until ready to slice. Place cookies on a baking Decorate Cookiessheet with plenty of space to spread. Arrange some almonds, chocolate chips and cherries pieces on each cookie.

5 Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheet for 2 minutes then place on a rack to cool.

I love to use maraschinos cherries without red dye. The cherries are dusty plum colored rather than fire engine red. Regular maraschino cherry juice will color the dough pinkish.

Cookie Dough LogsFreezing the dough helps it cook evenly and prevents it from spreading to thin.

To avoid the flat bottom sag of the log before the dough freezes, I used my rounded french loaf pan but you could also slide the log into a small length of PVC pipe.

Cherry Chocolate ChristmasApplications
Serve these cookies for a Valentine’s Party. They are also great at Christmastime.


Dish Designer

  • Exchange ‘no red dye’ maraschino cherries for regular maraschino cherries or canned sweet pitted red cherries.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Cherry Chocolate Cookies
Written by
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: February 14, 2014

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Trail Mix Chocolate Bark

Trail Mix Chocolate Bark has nuts and dried fruit embedded 100mg viagra cost into thick chocolate then broken in shards.

The Sauce: Tempered Chocolate – Chocolate melted until it’s almost smooth with a few lumps then stirred until it’s completely creamy.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Easy bark

Bark made with generic viagra chocolate is ten times easier than brittle or toffee. Whip up this simple, Trail Mix Chocolate Barkchocolate candy bark. Brittle girls and toffee boys will be impressed. Don’t mention you didn’t need a candy thermometer or didn’t need to perfect your candy stage tests.

For easy execution, just use your trail mix rather than hand picking nuts and dried fruit. However, I don’t suggest you take this bark on a hike or campout…unless it’s the Klondike.

You may also enjoy Peanut Butter Balls, Chocolate Hazelnut Squares, Biscoff Cookie Butter Mounds, Chocolate Truffles, Peppermint Patties and Licorice Caramels.

2 of 3 part series ”Easy, Handy, Tasty Holiday Fare”. Part 1 Fromage Fort and Part 3 Crispy Chickpeas. More about Appetizers.

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Recipe: Trail Mix Chocolate Bark

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 3 Minutes | Yield: 12 Servings | Level: Easy

1 lb dark, milk or white chocolate
1 cup trail mix

Special Equipment – medium bowl, 8×10 or 7×11 baking sheet

Spread ChocolateInstructions
1 Place parchment on a 8×10 or 7×11 baking sheet.

2 Chop chocolate in small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Melt chocolate by microwaving for 20 seconds then 10 second intervals, stirring in between. When most of it’s melted, temper the chocolate. Continue to stir until smooth allowing the residual heat to finish melting the chocolate.

Sprinkle Trail Mix on Chocolate3 Pour onto prepared pan and smooth evenly to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with trail mix. Lightly press the sildenafil citrate 20 mg nuts and fruit into the chocolate. Allow to set on the counter for about 2 hours or in the fridge for 20 minutes. Break into shards.

With dark or milk chocolate choose trail mix with some light items to contrast with the rich color of chocolate. For example, dried fruit like ginger, apples, or apricots and nuts such as hazelnuts and slivered almonds. With white chocolate choose trail mix with darker items like dried cranberries, raisins, whole almonds and pecans.

If you don’t have a small baking sheet, draw a 8×10 or 7×11 rectangle on the parchment with a pencil or marking pen to form a guide. Turn the parchment upside down so the lines are visible but won’t allow the ink to soak into the chocolate. Spread the chocolate to the lines and smooth.

Dark Chocolate Bark
Tempering the chocolate prevents it from becoming too hot which changes the texture.

Purchase nuts and dried fruit of your choice equaling 1 cup, such as 1/2 cup pistachios, 1/4 cup dried cranberries and 1/4 cup dried apricots. If you already have some dried fruit and nuts in your pantry, use what’s available. If you’re purchasing ingredients, trail mix has an already configured mix so you avoid buying packages of several items and having leftovers.

Serve on a holiday cookie / candy plate or holiday buffet.

Place in cellophane bags and tie with ribbon to share with holiday guests. I like to place two large pieces of bark back-to-back in the bag so the decorated side is visible on both sides of the bag.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange trail mix for all nut or all dried fruit bark.
  • Use a few dark or milk chocolate chips on white chocolate bark.
  • Use a few white chocolate chips on dark or milk chocolate bark.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Trail Mix Chocolate Bark
Written by
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: December 14, 2013

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Flourless Chocolate Torte

Flourless Chocolate Torte is a rich, decadent chocolate dessert made with 60-72% bittersweet chocolate.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Happy Birthday

Paul and Cynthia love to entertain. They both enjoy cooking and treating their guests to Slice Flourless Chocolate Tortegourmet cuisine. A few months ago I had the pleasure of attending a party with good friends and a delicious buffet at their home. I slipped into the kitchen and Paul said, “You ought to try the Chocolate Torte,” as he sliced a small wedge. It took just one bite to hook. It’s creamy and rich, the most decadent chocolate dessert I’ve ever eaten.

The catch? It bakes in an 8×2 inch round cake pan and I don’t own one that size. Turns out it’s harder to find this size than I thought. I kept watch at local kitchen stores. The Little Bitts Shop in Wheaton, Maryland carries it but was out of stock. I decided to kept my eye out.

Fifty Cent Cake PanA couple of months ago while visiting family in Utah, my sister Sharon and I stopped at Deseret Industries to poke around at second hand items. There it was, an 8×2 round cake pan for fifty cents. I quickly placed it in my basket and looked around to see if others nearby wished they put their hand on it first. No one even blinked or noticed I’d uncovered a rare pan.

Tomorrow’s my birthday so I’m sharing this dark chocolate lover’s dream in celebration. It must be made the day before and chilled over night. If you’re entertaining, this is a great way to get the dessert done early. Just before serving, turn it out on a small platter and slice into wedges.

You may also enjoy Chocolate Raspberry Torte, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Chocolate Syrup, Hot Fudge Sauce, Chocolate Magic Shell Sauce, Chocolate Truffles, Chocolate Hazelnut Squares, Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream, Peppermint Patties, Peanut Butter Balls, German Chocolate Pie Shooters, Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies and Peanut Butter Chocolate Buttons.

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Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Torte

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Inactive Time: 8 Hours 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 23 Minutes | Yield: 8-10 Servings | Level: Moderate

10-oz pkg bittersweet chocolate chips, 60-72% Cacao
Bittersweet Chocolate2 sticks butter, cut in small chunks
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp coffee extract
5 large cold eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Special Equipment – large microwaveable bowl, 8”x2” round cake pan, 9×13 oblong baking pan

Chocolate Mixture1 In a large microwavable bowl, place chocolate chips, butter chunks, water and coffee extract. Heat in the microwave stirring every 10-20 seconds. When most of the chocolate is melted continue stirring to allow the residual heat to melt the last nubs of chocolate. Set aside to cool until lukewarm, about 20 minutes.

2 Preheat the oven at 325 degrees. Grease a 8×2 inch round cake pan then line the bottom with parchment.

3 Place 4-5 cups of water in the saucepan and cover. Bring to boil, then turn the heat to low.
Egg Mixture
4 Meanwhile combine the eggs, vanilla extract sugar and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Beat on medium speed until very light, foamy and triple in volume, about 5-6 minutes.

5 Fold 1/3 of the egg mixture into the chocolate. Fold the remaining egg mixture into the chocolate.
Folding Chocolate and FoamFolding Chocolate and Foam







6 Pour into prepared round cake pan. Place inside the oblong pan. Pour hot water around the cake pan until it is 1-inch deep.
Hot Water Bath
7 Bake for 20-22 minutes at 325 degrees. It should slightly rise and will jiggle. Place the round cake pan on a rack to cool completely. Cover and chill over night.

8 To unmold, fill the oblong pan with hot tap Cool on Rackwater and place the cake pan in the water for 12-15 seconds. Run a knife around the edge. Cover with parchment and invert the cake. Remove the parchment from the bottom of the torte and invert again onto a serving plate. Serve chilled.

The chocolate mixture can also be melted in a double boiler. Heat 2 inches of water in a saucepan and place the bowl over the water ensuring it doesn’t touch the water.
Flourless Chocolate Torte
The coffee extract doesn’t add coffee flavor to the torte. It enhances the flavor of the chocolate. I used 60% cacao and it was very chocolaty.

The hot water bath helps the torte bake evenly and prevents cracking.

This dessert has the decadence of cheesecake with a fraction of the labor.

Serve for any very special occasion when a rich chocolate dessert is desired.

Dish Designer

  • Omit the coffee extract.

Inspiration – Paul Andreason and Ghirardelli’s
Cook with Sauces
Flourless Chocolate Torte
Written by
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: October 13, 2013

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Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Rich, fudgy decadent brownies with glossy or matte frosting or other varied toppings.

The Sauce: Chocolate Brownie Frosting – Made with butter, cocoa and confectioner’s sugar the genius of this recipe is spreading it on hot brownies so the warmth creates a glossy finish and slightly soaks into the surface.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

A hero who also bakes brownies

Just before my senior year of high school our family moved, again. I attended a different school every year from 9th-12th grade. It was a tumultuous time for me. These teen years can be challenging without relocation. My world seemed more like the instability of water than the grounding of terra firma.

Focusing on best memories, I remember well the chocolate brownies my sunday school teacher shared with our class. Betty Hansen remains a hero of mine. In a tragic mechanical malfunction, she suffered injuries from a fall off a mountain ski lift during her senior year of high school. She lost her right arm. At the time I met her she had high school kids of her own. She exemplifies what it means to triumph over adversity. That gave me courage. She finds joy in loving and serving friends and family plus she’s a terrific cook.

Chocolate Nut and Frosted BrowniesI asked for her recipe and have been making Hansen Brownies for decades. Tweaking here and there, I’ve made a few changes as I learned more about baking and the chemistry of ingredients. I’ve received many requests to post my fudge brownie recipe. So here it is, a tribute to a favorite mentor and example in my early life.

You might also enjoy German Chocolate Pie Shooters, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Buttons, Chocolate Truffles, Chocolate Hazelnut Squares, Biscoff Cookie Butter Mounds, Peppermint Patties, Chocolate Syrup, Hot Fudge Sauce, Chocolate Raspberry Torte, Chocolate ‘Cinnful’ Cookies and Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes.

3 of 3 part series ”Picnic in a Jar”. Part 1 Salade Nicoise dans un Pot and Part 2 Mango Orange Jellified Fruit. More on picnics.

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Recipe: Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 33 Minutes | Yield: 24 Large Brownies | Level: Easy

Rocky Road Frosting

  • 1 1/3 cups cocoa
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp vanilla


  • 1/2 cup cocoa, sifted
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3-1/2 cup milk

Special Equipment – 12×17 baking sheet

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12×17 baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2 Sift 1 1/3 cups cocoa into a medium bowl, then add flour and whisk to combine. Set aside. Melt 2 cups butter and set aside.

3 With a hand or stand mixer, beat eggs on high speed for 30 seconds.

4 Add granulated sugar, salt and beat for 60 seconds.

Batter5 Add melted butter, 4 teaspoons vanilla and beat to combine.

6 Add cocoa/flour mixture and beat until well combined.

7 Pour batter into prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

8 Meanwhile mix frosting by combining 1/2 cup cocoa, powdered sugar, 1/2 cup softened butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/3 cup milk. Beat until well combined adding more milk as needed for spreading consistency. Allow brownies to cool slightly then carefully spread over brownies while still hot for a glossy finish. Or, cool completely then frost for a matte finish.

unsweetened, dutch-processed, double-dutchSeveral varieties of unsweetened cocoa powders are available and could be used in this recipe depending on taste and color preference.
–Unsweetened or Natural Cocoa has complex chocolate flavor and lighter color. It’s available at supermarkets.
–Dutch-Processed Cocoa has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. It’s darker and slightly reddish but more mellow than unsweetened cocoa. It does not react with baking soda so it should be used with baking powder if leavening is desired. Penzey’s sells a quality dutch-processed cocoa.
–Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa is a combination of dutch-processed for flavor and black cocoa for color. It’s the darkest of the three cocoas. Black cocoa is super-alkalized producing an almost black cocoa. King Arthur Flour sells Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa. Hershey sells Special Dark Cocoa which is a combination of natural and dutch cocoas.

Rocky Road BrowniesThe matte frosted brownies pictured at the top were made with natural cocoa and frosted after the brownies were completely cooled. The Rocky Road brownies pictured to the right were made with double dutch cocoa and frosted while hot.

Rocky Road – Stir in 2 cups mini marshmallows and 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts into 1 recipe of frosting and spread over brownies.

Rocky Road and Gloss Frosted BrowniesAlmond Toffee – Evenly scatter 2 cups chopped chocolate almond toffee over batter before baking. Omit frosting.

Chocolate Nut – Evenly spread 12 ounces chocolate chips and 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans over batter before baking. Omit frosting.

Before baking, top one half of the brownie batter with 1/2 amounts of Almond Toffee or Chocolate Nut topping. Once brownies have baked, spread 1/2 recipe of frosting over the bare half.

Mix 1 recipe of frosting and divide in half. Mix one part with 1 cup mini marshmallows and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. Spread the plain frosting on half and the Rocky Road on half.

Top half of the brownies with 1/2 recipe of Almond Toffee and the other half with 1/2 recipe of Chocolate Nut topping before baking.

Dish Designer

  • Use natural unsweetened, dutch processed or double-dutch cocoa.

Inspiration – Betty Hansen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: June 23, 2013

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Chocolate Truffles

Rich, decadent chocolate truffles coated with nuts, cocoa, coconut, or crushed candies.

The Sauce: Ganache – This is a two ingredient sauce, finely chopped chocolate and heavy cream. Pour the the hot cream over the chocolate and let the heat do most of the work. Whisk to create a rich, decadent, smooth, liquid-when-warm chocolate sauce.


Weapon of choice

Truffles sound like fussy ruffle-ey chocolates that take hours to make. A best kept pastry chef secret, they’re made with rich chocolate ganache that’s fluid when warm. Apply some ‘chill’ and the sauce turns into a fudge-like concoction. It’s thick enough to mold into balls and roll in your choice of coatings. Try walnuts, cocoa powder,

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crushed peppermint candy or toasted sweetened coconut.

Even though I’m a fudge lover I’ve never really been much of a fudge maker. Maybe its because truffles Chocolate-Truffles-with-four-coatingsare so easy to make and very classy. Truffles are my ‘weapon’ of choice when I want rich decadent chocolate. Select a high quality chocolate, dark, milk or bittersweet, for a stellar result. They’re fun to share with family and friends during the holidays.

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Recipe: Chocolate Truffles

Prep Time: 20 Min | Inactive Time: 70 MIn | Cook Time: 3 Minutes | Yield: 18 Truffles | Level: Easy


  • 8 oz high-quality semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp toasted sweetened coconut
  • 3 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp crushed peppermint candies

1 Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.
2 Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then pour over chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes.
3 Whisk the chocolate until completely melted into a thoroughly smooth ganache. Place in the fridge uncovered for 30-45 minutes until firm but not hard.
4 Meanwhile, place the cocoa, coconut, walnuts and candies in small bowls.

Coatings-toasted-coconut-cocoa-powder-chopped-walnuts-crushed-peppermint-candies5 Scoop chocolate in a 2 teaspoon size portion and roll into a ball. Roll each ball in a coating pressing gently and completely covering the chocolate. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and chill until set, about 30 minutes. Place in small paper candy cups. They’re best eaten at room temperature.

Callebaut-Chocolate-Bricks-Dark-and-LightUse a high quality chocolate. I used Callebaut which is a Belgian chocolate, one of the finest chocolates in the world. It can be purchased in bricks or callets (small chocolate drops). It ranges from bittersweet to semi-sweet to milk chocolate.

Chocolate can be easily shredded into fine shards by thinly slicing it with a sharp knife.

Don’t stir the cream until it has set for at least 3 minutes. Stirring sooner will cool the ganache too quickly and make the texture grainy.

‘Dutched’ cocoa is processed for a milder, smother taste. Because it’s eaten in it’s natural form on the outside of a truffle, ‘dutch’ is preferred but regular cocoa powder works fine, too.

Other coating suggestions – untoasted sweetened coconut, finely chopped dried apricots, chocolate sprinkles, crushed toffee or any kind of nuts such as, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, peanuts, or pistachios. Or, take it to the next level and dip in melted chocolate.

Create mint or almond truffles by adding some extract after the cream is completely incorporated into the chocolate.

These gourmet candies are a rich addition to a holiday sweets plate. Dress up a party with a plate of truffles on the buffet table. Place one truffle at each place setting for your holiday guests.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange semi-sweet for milk chocolate or bittersweet.
  • Exchange dutch processed cocoa powder for regular cocoa powder.

Chocolate-truffles-with-nuts-coconut-cocoaInspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: December 1, 2012

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S’mores Cupcakes

Moist chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate chips and marshmallows, no frosting necessary.

Smore fix

How do you like your marshmallow, browned or burned? If you haven’t had a chance to go camping this summer then you’ve probably missed your s’more fix. Well maybe you’ve stuck a marshmallow on the end of a fork and ramped up the burner on your gas stove to toast or char them. While it’s piping hot, carefully side it off the fork onto a waiting graham cracker square with a piece of good chocolate and pop the other graham lid on. You can eat it while the marshmallow is still hot and gooey or if you have the will power to wait for the chocolate to give Mini-MarshMallows-and-Chocolate-Chipsway to the heat, and then eat. There’s a magical moment with the marshmallow is still a bit gooey and the chocolate is pretty melty when you experience the ultimate s’more.

Here’s another way to how was viagra invented get your s’more fix; chocolaty cupcakes loaded with toasty mini marshmallows and melty chocolate chips. The vanilla wafer is a nod to a graham cracker.

Eat these warm out of the oven when the toasted marshmallows are ooey gooey and the chocolate chips are melty for the ultimate magic moment. No frosting necessary, make them a day ahead and store in an airtight container for a moister cupcake. They travel well for picnics and work perfectly on a camp out if you’re in a no fire zone.

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Recipe: S’mores Cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 17-20 Minutes per batch | Yield: 36 Cupcakes | Level: Easy

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 Tbsp shortening
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp vanilla

S’more Goodies

  • 36 Vanilla wafers
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Special Equipment – muffin tin

1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2 Sift together the flour, cocoa, soda and salt. Set aside.

3 With a stand or hand mixer, cream sugar and shortening.

4 Add eggs and beat well. Add buttermilk and beat to combine.

5 Add dry ingredients, 1/3 of the mixture at a time beating after each addition.

6 Add boiling water, vanilla and combine.

7 Place a vanilla wafer, flat side down, in the bottom of each muffin cup lined with cupcake papers.
8 Pour cake batter over the wafers until cupcake papers are about 1/2 full. Place about 10 mini marshmallows and 10 chocolate chips sildenafil customer reviews on top of the batter.
9 Bake at 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes. The marshmallows should be lightly toasted. Cool for 3-4 minutes in the pan then remove cupcakes to a cooling rack.
Cupcake-Papers-with-Vanilla-Wafers-and-Marshmallows-and-Chocolate-ChipsExchange buttermilk for 3 tablespoons of vinegar plus enough milk to make 1 cup and let stand for 3- 5 minutes.

Use pre-measured stick of shortening for easy measuring.

Bake these cupcakes with the marshmallows and chocolate chips in the bottom of the cupcake.

This cupcake packs well because it doesn’t have frosting. Travels easily for bake sales, potlucks, picnics, camp outs, brown bags, office parties and parks.

This chocolate cake batter is perfect for Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes.

Dish Designer

  • Add 1/2 cup of chopped pecans just before the boiling water for some extra crunch.
  • Place cialis canadian pharmacy the marshmallows and chocolate chips on top of the vanilla wafers then pour in the batter. When cupcakes are cooled, glaze with chocolate ganache.
  • Use milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips as desired.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: August 13, 2012

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Almond Joy Shake

Chocolate, coconut and almond milkshake.

Make your own shake

Almond-Joy-Shake-Almonds-CoconutYou don’t need a trip to a burger joint or ice cream shop to indulge in a rich, thick, frosty milkshake. In the time it takes

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to grab your shoes and wallet you can whirl it up. Chocolate, coconut and Almond-Joy-Shake-with-Chocolate-Syrupalmonds make delectable milkshakes. If you love an Almond Joy bar, try this quick and easy dessert drink when you serve burgers and oven fries for supper. It also makes a great late night snack if you can muffle the blender as to not wake up the troops.

I’m delighted to blend a frosty, thick, rich milkshake with more than one option. As they say, ‘there’s more than one way to skin a cat’. Whirl up this shake recipe or check out the Dish Designer below for suggestions on how to switch it up with ingredient options you have on hand.

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Recipe: Almond Joy Shake

Prep Time: 3 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 1 1/2 Cups | Level: Easy


  • 2 cups chocolate ice cream
  • 3 T chocolate syrup
  • 2 T shredded coconut
  • 2 T slivered almonds
  • 1 drop of almond extract

Special Equipment – blender

1 In a blender, combine ice cream, chocolate syrup, coconut, almonds and almond extract. Blend until smooth.

2 Pour in a glass and serve with a spoon and straw.

When making a recipe with toasted coconut, toast extra. Once cooled, store in an airtight container for a milkshake, smoothie, or garnish on other desserts.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange chocolate for vanilla ice cream for a milk chocolate style shake.
  • Exchange chocolate syrup for unheated hot fudge sauce for more richness.
  • Exchange shredded for toasted shredded coconut.
  • Exchange slivered for sliced almonds.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 22, 2012

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Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

Velvety Valentines

A favorite ice cream shop of mine used to serve a rich chocolate ice cream with raspberry sauce swirled through it. It is one of my favorite flavors. Alas! It is no longer on the menu. A few months ago I started craving a cupcake with the same classic chocolate/raspberry combo. After baking several editions, here is a velvety cupcake with fresh raspberry sauce in the buttercream.

This cupcake is made using the ‘other’ cake method. You are probably familiar with the traditional texture and method that starts with creaming the butter and sugar, ends with alternating the dry ingredients with the milk or buttermilk and wedges the eggs and vanilla in the middle. I am a newcomer to the ‘other’ method. It starts with combining chocolate raspberry cupcakesthe dry ingredients, including the sugar, and ends with adding the eggs and vanilla and wedges creaming the soft butter (and the cocoa in this case) in the middle. This method creates a very fine textured cake that has the look and feel of velvet. There is room for both methods depending on the result you want. Click here if you would like to make a standard chocolate cupcake.

The little cakes are topped with a fresh raspberry buttercream made by pureeing raspberries in a food processor then straining out the seeds. The sauce is swirled into the frosting until it becomes creamy light pink heaven. A bit of lemon juice balances the sweetness of the frosting so that each bite complements the ‘not too sweet’ cake. They make an ideal Valentine treat for your family, friends or sweetheart. Make up some of the batter in

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a mini muffin pan for bite-size confections.

2011 AniversaRecipe—Rockamole

Recipe: Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

Prep Time: 22 Minutes | Cook Time: 16-18 Minutes per Batch | Yield: 28 Cupcakes | Level: Moderate

raspberry frsotingIngredients
The Sauce
1 stick Butter, room temperature ;)
4 oz fresh or frozen Raspberries
1/2 tsp fresh Lemon Juice
7 cups Powdered Sugar
1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
3-4 Tbsp Half & Half

The Rest-Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup Dutch Cocoa Powder
1 cup boiling Water
3 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
2 cups Flour
1 ½ cups Sugar
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
2 sticks Butter, room temperature ;)
4 oz fresh Raspberries

chocolate cupcakesCupcakes
1 In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation and place in the fridge until at room temperature.

2 In the meantime, in another small bowl combine the eggs and vanilla and whisk.

3 With a hand or stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

4 Add the butter, cocoa mixture and beat for 1 ½ minutes.

5 Add the egg mixture in two parts beating after each.

6 In a muffin pan lined with cupcake papers, fill each 2/3 full with batter. ;) Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until it springs back when lightly touched. Cool 5 minutes in pan then place on cooling rack.

chocolate raspberry cupcakesFrosting
7 Place the raspberries in a bowl and smash to release the juice, or puree in a food processor. Force fruit through a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and stir to release the juice and separate the seeds. Set aside the raspberry sauce. Makes about 3-4 tablespoons of sauce.

8 With a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter.

9 Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce, lemon juice, and a salt. Beat until smooth.

10 Continue to add powdered sugar one cup at a time beating after each addition. Add the Half & Half as needed to make spreading consistency.

11 Frost the cupcakes and place a raspberry on the top. Also try mini cupcakes. ;)

;) Speed Soften Butter—Place one stick in the microwave for 7-12 seconds making sure to soften but not melt it. Or take out of the fridge about 1 hour before making the cake and frosting.

mini chocolate raspberry cupcakes
;) Mini Cupcakes—Bake mini muffins for about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Dish Designer
• Exchange Half & Half for milk.
• Exchange Dutch cocoa for regular cocoa.
• Exchange kosher salt for a dash of table salt.
• Use a standard chocolate cupcake recipe.

Inspiration—Rose’s Heavenly Cakes and Making Life
sauces over under and through
Written by Helen Horton

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Buttons

Part 1 of 3 part series “Christmas Cookies”. Click here for part 2, click here for part 3.


Who can argue with chocolate? I’m not a stasher but people close to me are. I love my chocolate with peanut butter, case in point Chocolate Peanut Clusters, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Chocolate Covered Peanuts. This cookie version is terrific and a real kid pleaser, even grown up kids. I’ve been making these cookies at Christmas time and any old time for decades. Everybody in the fam loves ‘em and never fails on the holiday cookie platter.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Buttons

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 13 Minutes per Batch | Yield: 6 Dozen | Level: Easy

The Sauce
12-ounces of chocolate buttons or kisses ;)

The Rest
1 cup shortening
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preparation Instructions
1.  Cream shortening, peanut butter, and sugars.

2.  Add eggs, milk and vanilla and stir to combine.

3.  In another bowl, combine flour, soda and salt then add and blend well.

4.  Shape into 1” balls, roll in sugar and line on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 11-13 minutes.

5.  Remove from the oven and immediately press one chocolate button or kiss, point down, into the center of each cookie. Let cool and serve. Freezes well.

;) Chocolate Buttons—Purchase at a cake or candy making shop.

Dish Designer
• Exchange chocolate buttons for Hershey’s Kisses, regular, dark or any other designer version of kisses.
• Use dark or light brown sugar.

Inspiration— Jill Dance
sauces over under and through

More Chocolate Peanut Butter Recipes
Smitten Kitchen—Chocolate Peanut Butter Spread
Bakerella—Peanut Butter Fudge
Brown Eyed Baker—No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Saucy Cuisine—Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Whipped Brown Sugar Frosting

Hold the phone!!! The light and airy whipped frosting is so good that people don’t notice how good the moist pumpkin cupcake is. Sigh! Carefully chosen for its perfect balance of the season’s cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger, the cupcake is also speckled with petite chocolate chips. A knock off of the soft and spicy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookie, this one has a lighter texture.

It begs the question. When choosing a frosting for a cupcake, does one select the most amazing frosting to complement the cupcake? Or should the confection topping be just short of perfect rendering the cupcake the complete center of attention? Alas! With the first bite, everyone immediately comments on the delicious frosting and how light and fluffy it is. But make no mistake, no one stops at the frosting.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 26 Minutes | Yield: 2 Dozen | Difficulty: Easy

The Sauce-Frosting
6 Tbsp Wondra Flour ;)
1 cup Milk
1 cup real Butter ;)
1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla

The Rest-Cupcakes
1 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla
4 Eggs
1 15-oz can Pumpkin
2 cups Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice ;)
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Flour
1 cup Mini Chocolate Chips, plus a few extra for garnish

Preparation Instructions
1.  Whisk the 2 cups flour, baking powder, soda, spice and salt in a bowl and set aside.

2.   Combine the sugars and oil in a large bowl or mixer. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes until well blended.

3.  With mixer running add eggs one at a time. Add the pumpkin beating until blended.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture just until blended.

5 . Mix the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon flour then add to the cupcake mixture and combine.

6.  Line 2 cupcake pans with cupcake papers and fill each 3/4 full of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes or until top springs back when tested. Cool in pan for 3 or 4 minutes then on rack.

7.  In the meantime in a small sauce pan, combine the flour and milk over medium heat. Whisk continually until it thickens.

8.  Take off the heat and let it cool completely to room temperature or chill in the fridge. If it is even slightly warm, it will cause the frosting to be runny.

9.  In a stand or hand mixer, beat the butter and sugars for a couple of minutes until it is well combined and fluffy.

10.  Add the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla and beat on the highest speed for 7-9 minutes. The frosting will become fluffy and creamy as it nears the end of the beating process.

11.  Frost the cooled cupcakes mounded high with the fluffy frosting. Store leftovers at room temperature. Add a few chocolate chips on the top for garnish.

;) Wondra Flour—A quick mixing flour, it thickens a roux without creating lumps even without using fat such as butter. Wondra flour can be purchased at most supermarkets with the baking goods.  If you use regular flour you will need to run the thickened milk mixture through a fine sieve to remove the lumps.
;) Butter—Make sure to use real butter that it is a good name brand. Some less expensive butters have too much water and won’t work, nor will margarine.
;) Pumpkin Pie Spice—Use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ground cloves or allspice to make your own pumpkin pie spice.
;) Storing Frosting—Keep in an air tight container at room temperature for a couple of days. If you refrigerate, it may separate.

Dish Designer
• Exchange brown and white sugar combo for all white or white and light brown.
• Exchange mini chocolate chips for regular size chips or omit.

Inspiration—Cooking Light and Our Best Bites
sauces over under and through

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