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Tag Archives | Chocolate

Hot Fudge Sauce

Rich, smooth hot fudge sauce

Lake Yellowstone Hotel Hot Fudge

A few weeks ago I was in Jackson Hole visiting my friends Jane and Karen. We drove up to Yellowstone for the day. The large black bear we saw right on the roadside was a spectacular treat. Wow! And there were lots of other animals; elk, blue heron, moose, a herd of bison with their spring babies. The unusual amount of snow in the park was encouraging the animals to forage for food at lower altitudes late in the season.

Bonus for us. We stopped for dinner at Lake Yellowstone Hotel and enjoyed a wonderful feast. For dessert, Jane ordered two Hot Fudge Sundaes with sauce on the side. I asked, “What did you order?” She explained that she wanted one sundae with 2 hot fudge portions served on the side. Yum! Jane dunked each spoonful of ice cream in the hot fudge thoroughly coating each with warm, rich chocolate sauce.

Lake-Yellowstone-HotelI vowed right to make hot fudge sauce from scratch, something I have never attempted. It appeals because it’s easy to make and also a little bittersweet, a good combination with ice cream. A dark chocolate lover, the sauce is the perfect blend of sweetness and richness. Store leftover sauce in the fridge and gently re-warm in the microwave. After your first experience tasting it, like my sister Jo Ann says, it will be swirling around in your head. You‘ll crave it, just like longing for the sequel to a wonderful book or movie. You can’t wait but unlike the long anticipation of a sequel book or movie,

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fortunately you won’t have to.

Recipe: Hot Fudge Sauce

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Inactive Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 15 Minutes | Yield: 2 Cups | Level: Easy


  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolateHot-Fudge-Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

1 Melt the chocolate and butter very slowly in a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir frequently until combined and smooth.

2 Meanwhile, heat the water to boiling in the small, heavy saucepan.

3 When the butter and chocolate are melted, stir the mixture into the boiling water. Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt and mix until smooth.

4 Turn the heat up and stir until mixture starts to boil. Adjust heat so the sauce is just maintained at the boiling point, stirring occasionally. Allow sauce to boil for 9 minutes.
5 Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and serve warm over ice cream.

Hot Fudge Sauce can be made ahead and quickly reheated in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. Stir and it will be shiny and even again.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange light for dark corn syrup.

InspirationSmitten Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 30, 2012

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Chocolate ‘Cinnful’ Cookies

Cake-y Chocolate chip cookies with cinnamon are baked in cupcake papers.

Applesauce crunch named chocolate ‘cinnful’ cookies

These cookies made with ’cinn’amon and nutmeg, are a long standing family favorite. They have some nut texture but overall, are a very soft, cake-y cookie. The combination of chocolate, spices and applesauce is stellar. Recently I was away on business and pleasure for a couple of weeks.

My daughter called one evening and requested that we bake off a double batch of these cookies when I returned and then share the recipe. So here we are and now our freezer is stocked with small packages to grab when a sugar attack strikes. Besides making cookies, try baking some in a muffin tin. A more vertical shape, you can bake more dough at a time and serve them in a small colorful package. This is an updated name, formerly they were known as Applesauce Crunch Cookies.

Recipe: Chocolate ‘Cinnful’ Cookies

Prep Time: 10 Min | Cook Time: 45 Min | Yield: 4 doz cookies or 3 doz muffins | Level: Easy


  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 12 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 In a 3 cup liquid measuring cup or bowl combine the applesauce and baking soda and let set. It needs just a little head space because the soda causes the applesauce to expand.

3 In the meantime, in a large bowl cream the sugar and shortening.

4 Add the eggs and combine.  Stir in the applesauce mixture.

5 Combine the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Add 1/4 of the flour mixture at a time stirring after each addition.

6 Add chocolate chips, oats and nuts and mix to blend.

7 Drop by one heaping tablespoonful on greased baking sheet and bake until lightly golden, about 13-15 minutes.

Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers, fill 2/3 to 3/4 full and bake for 21-23 minutes.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange semi-sweet for milk chocolate chips.
  • Exchange rolled for quick oats.
  • Exchange walnuts for pecans.

Inspiration – Norma Horton
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 18, 2012

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Chocolate Raspberry Torte

Four layer chocolate torte with raspberry filling and fresh raspberries

Brinner auction

Everyone was invited to make a dessert for the live auction held during ‘Brinner’.  This torte sold for 30 bucks.  Although I didn’t get a slice since it was a donation, I used some of the extra cake and leftover sauces to create a couple of servings of a trifle version with all the same flavors.  Yum!!  Either way, torte or trifle, this classic combination of chocolate and raspberry is a winner.  The Young Women ages 12-18 at church are spending a week at Girl’s Camp this summer and to raise funds decided to host the congregation for auction and ‘Brinner’.  That’s code for ‘Breakfast for Dinner’.  The auction was Saturday evening so winners went home with gourmet desserts for their Easter Sunday Dinner.

Recipe: Chocolate Raspberry Torte

Prep Time: 35 Minutes | Inactive Time: 4 Hours | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Yield: 10 Servings | Level: Moderate

Chocolate Cake

  • 2 Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake mixes
  • 2 2/3 cups water
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

Raspberry Sauce

  • 1 1/3 cup raspberry jam
  • 2 tsp water

Cream Filling

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup marshmallow cream
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup Cool Whip

Chocolate Buttercream

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk
  • 4 oz fresh raspberries

Special Equipment – 2 9 x 13 cake pans

Chocolate Cake
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 Prepare 2 9 x 13 baking pans lined with enough parchment to hang over on each side.

3 Mix and bake the cakes with water, eggs and oil according to the directions on the box.  Lift out each cake with the parchment handles and cool on racks.

4 Using the heart of the cakes, cut a 7 1/2 -8 inch square out of the middle of each cake reserving the cakes pieces for trifle or snacking cake.  Then cut each square in half crosswise to create 2 layers each for a total of 4 layers.

Raspberry Sauce
5 Prepare the Raspberry Sauce by combining jam and water in a small bowl.

Cream Sauce
6 Prepare the Cream Sauce by combining cream cheese and slowly adding the marshmallow to avoid lumps.  Mix in the sugar and then the cool whip.

Chocolate Buttercream
7 Prepare the Chocolate Buttercream by combining the sugar and cocoa then work in butter.  Add milk until it becomes the spreading consistency of frosting.

8 Place one cake layer on a large platter, spread with 1/3 of the Raspberry Sauce, cover with 1/3 of the Cream Sauce and swirl to marbleize while spreading.  Repeat 2 more times.

9 Top with the final cake layer and carefully spread with the Chocolate Buttercream.  Arrange the fresh raspberries on top.  Chill 4 hours to set the layers.

Trifle – In a large glass dish (or individual parfaits) layer cubed cake, cream and raspberry fillings, fresh raspberries and chocolate frosting (thinned with a little extra milk).

Dish Designer

  • Exchange raspberries for strawberries to make a chocolate strawberry torte.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 17, 2012

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Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Chocolate peanut butter cupcakes with a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup inside.

Cupcake contest

My daughter Audrey and I made this for the Cupcake Contest sponsored by our women’s auxiliary’s annual birthday celebration, 169 years.   It was fun to team up for this project so we could enjoy baking, visiting and tasting the results, nibbling as we went along, who could resist.  The aroma of freshly baked cakettes filled the whole house with sweetness.  Smiles and giggles made the air thick with girl goodness.
Cupcake-1Earlier in the week as part of our research for a winning entry, Audrey surprised me with some cupcakes from Baked and Wired in Georgetown.  We tested three, Chocolate Raspberry – a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and raspberry filling, Peanut Butter Chocolate – chocolate cake with a crunchy peanut butter frosting, and Strawberry – their bestseller, vanilla cake with fresh strawberries folded in the batter with a swirl of pink buttercream.  Don’t you just hate doing all that research.  Tee, hee, hee.

Recipe: Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 18 Minutes per Batch | Yield: 2 dozen | Level: Easy


Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 8-10 Tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk

Special Equipment – Muffin Pans, Cupcake Liners


1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2 Line 24 cupcake cups with paper liners.  Place one Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniature on the bottom of each paper liner.

3 Dump the cake mix, 2 tablespoons cocoa, ½ cup peanut butter, water, eggs, and 1 teaspoons vanilla in a bowl and mix with an electric or hand mixer 30 seconds on low then 90 seconds on medium.

4 Spoon 1/3 cup batter on top of each peanut butter cup.  Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes until they spring back when lightly pressed with your finger.  Cool cakes on wire rack.

Chocolate Peanut Butter FrostingReese's-Chocolate-Peanut-Butter-Cupcakes-Cooling

5 Combine 1 stick butter and 1 cup peanut butter with electric beaters.

6 Add powdered sugar, cocoa, vanilla and some of the milk.  Beat on low and continue adding enough milk for spreading consistency.

Peanut Butter Frosting

7 Combine ⅓ cup peanut butter, 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk.  Stir until creamy adding more milk as needed.

8 Pipe or spread the chocolate peanut butter frosting on the top of each cupcake.  Drop a small dollop of the peanut butter frosting in the center and garnish with a Reese’s Pieces button, if desired.

Make these a day ahead.  Cover overnight but don’t refrigerate.

Piping Frosting – Use a zip lock bag with one corner cut to pipe frosting.

Dish Designer

  • For a more decadent version, use regular size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, one for each cupcake.

Inspiration52 Cupcakes
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 2, 2012

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Spiced Chocolate Making

About chocolate making

George Washington sweet tooth.

Chocolate grows on trees. On a recent visit to Mt. Vernon, we stopped in the white chocolate making tent. That is, white was the color of the tent, not the chocolate. For the first time, I saw the cacao seed pods that are horvested from the cacao tree. Inside it is loaded with seeds that, through a very complex process, are transformed into chocolate. Then, to enjoy chocolate done the 18th C. way George Washington savored it, they combined it with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, cayenne pepper, and vanilla for a very mild spicy background. It was delicious.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen

Cook with Sauces
Written: by
Photographs: by Helen Horton
Updated: March 18, 2012

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Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

Homemade Chocolate Buttercream Spruces Up Cake

Frosting is One of the Best Sauces

I baked off a boxed chocolate cake mix, easy, easy, and frosted it with dark chocolate ‘sauce’. Lest you think it isn’t a sauce, when I served the cake my nephew, who is four years old, asked about the frosting . His mom said, “That’s not frosting, it’s sauce.” She must be telepathic because she nailed that one. I have always loved my sister-in-law Deb but now I love her even more and glad their fam is visiting for the holidays. Even though she didn’t know about my new “Saucy” website, it created the perfect stage for my announcement.

Let’s just say that I’m not fond of canned frosting. I know it is easy but it tastes a bit chemically. Is that a word? You can mix up a batch of delicious and simple frosting so quick with ingredients you have on hand in your pantry. So don’t settle. A boxed cake mix once in a while is OK but don’t injure it with canned frosting. Make your own glistening and rich, fresh homemade ‘sauce’ as the crown of your cake. It combines in a flash.

Recipe: Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 35 Minutes | Yield: Frosts 9 x 13 cake/18 cupcakes | Level: Easy


  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 T. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • a few tablespoons of milk
  • 4 T. butter, softened
  • 1 boxed chocolate cake mix

1 Preheat the oven.

2 Mix the cake according to box instructions. Grease and lightly flour dust a 9 x 13 pan. Bake and let cool.

3 For the frosting, combine the sugar and cocoa. Add the butter, vanilla and a little milk and mix until combined. Add more milk until the consistency is spreadable. Frost the cake.

Flour Dusting – Flouring the pan is like coating it with a little fairy dust. Once you have greased the pan with cooking spray or oil, dump on a few tablespoons of flour. Over the sink, not the floor or counter, shake the pan back and forth so the flour coats the bottom and sides and shake off any remaining loose flour into the sink. Once baked the cake will lift out with ease whether you are serving from the pan or turning it out.

Dish Designer

  • Add 4 tablespoons of cream cheese for a cream cheese frosting.
  • Exchange chocolate cake mix for white, yellow or other flavor of choice.
  • Sprinkle frosted cake with decorations.

Inspiration- Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by Helen Horton
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: March 15, 2012

Continue Reading · 2

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