Archive of ‘Chocolate’ category

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème

Decadent, rich, simple to prepare (in under 10 minutes!) and extremely delicious… those are the first words that come to mind when describing these Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème!Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I made this amazing dessert a couple weeks ago for a family get together… oh my goodness! Soooo good!   “Pots de Crème” is actually a French dessert “custard” that dates back to the 17th century. It’s name literally means “pots of cream”.  Let me tell you… it’s much thicker than pudding or mousse and is extremely rich (so rich I told my guests that  it would put hair on their chests!). It may be rich, but oh boy, it is DELICIOUS!

The preparation takes less than 10 minutes, which is an added benefit!  I’d been drooling over the recipe, originally posted on a favorite blogger’s website called “The Café Sucre Farine” (thecafesucrefarine.com), so I gave in and decided to make it!  If you’ve never checked out this website, I would encourage you to do so. Chris shares phenomenal recipes, and her husband Scott shares in the fun with his amazing photography work… it’s a wonderful, creative website for food lovers.

Anyways… the method to making these is to simply use a blender. Yep… that’s right! Ingredients are blended together, then poured into small dessert cups (the dessert is very rich, so small servings are the best!).  I also made a Bailey’s Irish Cream syrup which was drizzled onto the tops of the finished Pots de Creme, then they were garnished with whipped cream, a sprig of fresh mint (and dessert cookies!).  Easy and delicious… you’re gonna LOVE this dessert!  Here’s how to make it:

Before you begin, make sure you have your dessert dishes ready to go. Place them on a baking sheet. The dessert bowls I used (Libby Tasting Bowls) hold 4.25 ounces (just over 1/2 cup), so I ended up with 6 portions (I set out 8 cups but only needed 6).  The total amount of servings will depend on the size dish you use.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chocolate chips, sugar, Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur, an egg, and sea salt are placed into a blender.  The ingredients are pulsed several times, just to mix them up a bit (they will not be fully blended).

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Take out the center cap from the blender lid and place a funnel directly into the opening. Place lid back on blender (I took it off to take the photo).

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Into a large microwave safe bowl, pour the whipping cream.  Make sure to use a large bowl, because the cream will be microwaved, and will rise up as it heats.  I used a glass bowl so I could see to make sure the whipping cream didn’t bubble up and over the top of the bowl.  Heat the whipping cream in the microwave on high power for 2 to 2½ minutes, until the cream is really bubbling.  You can see from the photo below how high the cream rose in the bowl, and what the bubbling cream looked like when I took it out of microwave.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Turn blender on LOW and blend ingredients already in there for 15 seconds. SLOWLY pour the hot whipping cream through the funnel into the chocolate mixture while mixing on low.  Once you’ve added all the cream, put your hand over the top of the funnel (to cover), and turn the speed up to HIGH. Let the mixture blend on high for one minute.  When done, carefully pour the chocolate into the serving bowls. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The dessert is PERFECT to serve once chilled just as it is, BUT… if you want to kick it up a notch and make the Bailey’s Irish Cream Syrup to garnish the finished dessert, it can be made while the dessert is chilling.  It’s VERY SIMPLE to prepare, and added an extra pop of flavor to the finished dessert.  Irish Cream liqueur is poured into a little saucepan and brought to a boil on medium heat.  The liqueur is boiled and stirred for 2-3 minutes until it has reduced in volume and turned syrupy.  Remove from heat and let cool.  That’s it!  As the syrup cools down, it will thicken a little bit more. Let syrup cool to room temperature before serving.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I also decided to add some more calories fancy cookies to garnish the finished dessert, so I found these at our local grocery store… perfect!

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When ready to serve, garnish each serving with whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint, then drizzle a tiny bit of the Bailey’s syrup over the top, and insert a couple fancy cookies into the chocolate!  You can see in the picture below the Bailey’s syrup on top of the chocolate.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That, my friends, is how you make this incredible dessert, with very little effort or time involved, but with amazing results!  I made the dessert in the morning, then simply added the garnishes when ready to serve later that evening! Easy!

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sure hope you will consider making this wonderful, decadent chocolate dessert.  I will definitely be making this recipe again!  Have a wonderful day, and remember to show love, respect, and kindness to all you meet today. God Bless You.

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  https://thecafesucrefarine.com/2015/03/five-minute-irish-chocolate-pots-de-creme

Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème
 
Prep time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
For Pots de Crème:
  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (good quality)
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream (can substitute Half n' Half)
For Bailey's Irish Cream Syrup:
  • 6 Tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur
For Garnish:
  • Whipped Cream
  • Fresh mint sprigs
  • Cookies (optional)
  • Bailey's syrup
Directions
  1. Put small serving dishes onto a baking sheet before beginning.
  2. Put the chocolate chips, sugar, Bailey's Irish Cream, egg, and sea salt into a blender. Pulse the ingredients several times, just to mix them up a bit (they won't be fully blended). Take out the center cap from blender lid and place a funnel directly into the opening.
  3. Pour the whipping cream into a large microwave safe bowl. Use a large bowl, because the cream will be microwaved, and will rise up as it heats. (I used a glass bowl so I could see to make sure the whipping cream didn't bubble up and over the top of the bowl). Heat whipping cream in microwave on high power for 2 to 2½ minutes, until the cream is REALLY bubbling.
  4. Turn blender on LOW and blend ingredients for 15 seconds. SLOWLY pour the hot whipping cream through the funnel into the chocolate mixture while blending on LOW (the very hot cream will help cook the raw egg). Once you've added all the cream, put your hand over the top of the funnel (to cover), and turn speed up to HIGH. Let the mixture blend on high for one minute. When done, carefully pour the chocolate into the serving bowls. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
To Make The Bailey's syrup (optional):
  1. If you want Bailey's Irish Cream Syrup to garnish the finished dessert, it can be made while the desserts are chilling. Irish Cream liqueur is poured into a little saucepan, then brought up to a boil on medium heat. The liqueur is boiled for 2-3 minutes until it has reduced in volume and turned syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool. As the syrup cools, it will thicken a little bit more. Let syrup cool to room temperature before serving.
To serve:
  1. Garnish each of the chilled pots de crème with whipped cream, and a sprig of fresh mint, then drizzle a little bit of the Bailey's syrup over the top. Add a couple fancy cookies to the chocolate, if desired! Serve, and enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Irish Chocolate Pots de Crème / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

As a kid growing up, one of my favorite occasional “treats” was when my Mom would make our family chocolate chip pancakes. We ALL loved them!  I’ve made them for my family for many years, but when I stumbled upon this recipe for PUMPKIN Chocolate Chip Pancakes, I knew I had to make these…stat!Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This past week I made Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti, and had some leftover pumpkin puree in the fridge… (conveniently the exact amount I needed for this recipe). So, into the kitchen I went to make this breakfast! The recipe was very simple to prepare (only took 5 minutes to prep), and the “from scratch” pancakes are delicious! The taste of pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, and chocolate chips are amazing in these pancakes! Yes, they are a bit sweet, but I figured since we only have pancakes occasionally, it wouldn’t be TOO bad.

Here’s how you whip up a batch of these delicious pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes:

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and semi-sweet chocolate chips. (Bet you didn’t even break into a sweat…)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a separate bowl, stir the brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin puree, and oil together until fully combined.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Stir in the buttermilk and blend well.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well, until mixture is fully blended. Do not overstir.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour pancake batter onto a pre-heated griddle (350 degrees) or large skillet (heated on medium-high) that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray or a little oil. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes or until little air bubbles form on top of the batter.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Carefully flip the pancakes over and continue cooking other side for 2-3 minutes.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, serve immediately with some butter and maple syrup, and ENJOY!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I saved you a bite, but only ONE. You’re welcome!  Here you go… isn’t that delicious?

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will these scrumptious pancakes a try. I think you will really enjoy them. (I made half a recipe and it made 5 good sized pancakes). The full recipe (shown below in printable form) yields approximately 10-12 pancakes.

Have a great day, friends. Make every moment count for good!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: Erin, at http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-pancakes/

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Enjoy an amazing taste of Fall with these delicious Pumpkin and Chocolate Chip filled pancakes! YUM!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 10-12 pancakes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1½ cups buttermilk (*see notes)
  • non-stick spray or a bit of oil (used to grease griddle or skillet)
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and the chocolate chips. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, blend together the brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix well, then add in the buttermilk, stirring well.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined, but do not over stir.
  4. Spray a griddle or large skillet with non-stick spray or lightly grease with oil.
  5. Preheat grill to 350 degrees or heat skillet on medium-high. When hot, pour batter for pancakes onto griddle. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until tiny air bubbles begin to form on top of each pancake. Carefully flip the pancakes over, and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Serve pancakes hot, and top with a dollop of butter and some maple syrup. Enjoy!
Notes
If you do not have buttermilk, you can easily make your own (I did this for the pancakes): Place 1½ Tablespoons white vinegar in a large measuring cup. Add milk up to the 1½ cup level. Stir. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then use it in the recipe as indicated. It is a perfect substitution!!!

 

 

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Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti

I have several friends who “do the happy dance” each Fall, when their local coffee stand begins offering their seasonal Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Cracks me up to see how fast the “news” spreads via Social Media. Well… if you like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, then I would be willing to bet you will love these Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti!Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I saw this recipe pop up on Pinterest and thought I would give it a try. I’ve made biscotti before (here’s my recipe for Orange Almond Biscotti -yum!), so I knew I would enjoy the flavor combination of these… how can you go wrong with a great coffee drink in cookie form? A little pumpkin and spice, coupled with a slight taste of coffee in the biscotti? Umm, yes, please!

Here’s how easy these are to make:

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices, then set aside. See the ground coffee? Yes!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until creamy, then add in eggs, and beat well.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add pumpkin puree and vanilla extract; beat these well.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Now add in the dry ingredients, a little at a time, beating well until ingredients are fully combined.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The batter will look like this when done… see the little coffee granules? Ooh…

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spoon the soft dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Make two separate mounds (about 3 inches wide by 12 inches long) of dough several inches away from each other (cause the dough will spread while baking).

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Using moistened hands, shape the dough into 3 inch wide by 12 inch long logs, remembering to leave several inches space between logs, cause they will spread when baking.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until firm. (mine took 40 minutes). Please see my note on oven temp. in the NOTES section of the printable recipe!  When done, remove pan from oven; let biscotti rest for a full 10 minutes.

Pumpkin spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After 10 minutes, remove the biscotti logs to a cutting board (remove the parchment paper), and carefully slice each log into 12 one inch slices, using a serrated knife to cut.

Pumpkin spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once cut, carefully move the slices one at a time (I used the blade of the knife) back to a baking sheet (no parchment paper needed this time), making sure to place the cut side down.  After 15 minutes, remove biscotti from oven, and turn them over. Put them back in the oven and bake an additional 15 minutes (I actually let the second cooking go for 20 minutes).

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, remove the biscotti to a wire rack and let the cookies cool down completely.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While biscotti cools, make a chocolate drizzle to decorate them with. Melt chocolate chips and a little shortening in the microwave. (30 seconds on high. Stir. 30 seconds on high. Stir.)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Drizzle the tops of the biscotti (I use a honey dipper, but you can use a fork, etc.). Let harden, then “PAINT” the bottoms of each biscotti with the melted chocolate, using a pastry brush. Let harden.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once chocolate has hardened up on the top and bottom of biscotti, they are ready to eat… or dunk in a hot cup of coffee!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you enjoy this little taste of FALL! Have a great day, and may God bless the work of your hands this day!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: Jennifer, at http://www.seasonsandsuppers.ca/pumpkin-spice-latte-biscotti

Pumpkin Spice Latte Biscotti
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious pumpkin biscotti cookie that tastes like the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte drink of the Fall season!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Cookie
Serves: 2 dozen
Ingredients
For the biscotti:
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2½ teaspoons finely ground coffee (grounds)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup butter (at room temperature!)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For The Chocolate Drizzle:
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1½ Tablespoons vegetable shortening
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, coffee grounds, and spices until well combined. Set bowl aside.
  3. Place the room temp. butter and sugar in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat with mixer on high until completely smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat the mixture well after adding each egg. When smooth, add the pumpkin puree and the vanilla extract. Beat this well.
  4. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients (a little at a time), while mixer is running, until completely combined.
  5. Spoon the dough out onto a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Divide dough evenly into 2 separate log shapes, about 12 inches long by 3 inches wide (approx.). Wet your hands and shape the dough into a smooth log (12 x 3). REMEMBER TO KEEP LOGS SEVERAL INCHES APART AS THEY WILL SPREAD WHILE BAKING!
  6. Bake the dough at 300 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until firm. When done, remove pan from oven and let dough rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove dough logs to a cutting board (remove parchment paper). Carefully slice each log into 12 one inch slices, using a serrated knife. Place biscotti slices, CUT SIDE DOWN onto baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes; remove pan from oven. Turn the biscotti slices over, return pan to oven, and cook an additional 15-20 minutes. When done, remove from oven. Carefully place biscotti on wire racks to completely cool.
To make chocolate drizzle:
  1. Place chocolate chips and vegetable shortening in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave again for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir well, until smooth. Drizzle over each biscotti. Let chocolate harden. Use a pastry brush to brush chocolate on the bottom of each biscotti. Let chocolate fully harden, then they are ready to eat!
Notes
*FYI- I noticed that these biscotti were not as crunchy the day after I made them. After looking at my other recipes for biscotti, I'm convinced the lower oven temp. for this particular recipe played a part. Next time, I will bake these at 350 degrees, then place the cut slices standing upright on sheet (as opposed to flipping to both sides), and bake for approx. 20-25 min. until firm and set... cause we want crunchy biscotti, right?

 

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Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles

This morning I am posting a recipe for Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles that I made for a Bacon-Themed dinner we enjoyed with dear friends a couple months ago.Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This was an extremely hard post to write, because I began to write this post over a week ago, but then tragedy struck. The host for that dinner (my husband’s best friend) passed away very suddenly this past weekend, and we have been in shock ever since, grieving his loss. He and his wife were two of our very best friends so we grieve for her, as well. Our comfort comes because our dear friend Richard believed in and knew Jesus, so we know this is a “temporary” loss, because we trust in God’s Word that we will see him again in heaven. How we long for that great reunion!

Richard… this one’s in your honor today, as I know you tried these truffles the last time we shared a meal together. We loved you… with all our hearts, and miss you terribly already.

Soooo… *takes a deep breath** … Here’s how to make these really delicious truffles, (which I adapted from my recipe for Maple Cream Bon Bons) for our Bacon Themed dinner. I figured bacon makes everything better, so that was my inspiration. Here’s what I did:

First, cook 6-7 slices of bacon until VERY crisp.

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When bacon is crisp, drain, cool, then crumble or chop it up into very small pieces. Set aside a small amount to be used for garnishing the finished truffles later.

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place the butter, powdered sugar and ,maple flavoring in a large bowl or base of electric stand mixer..

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Using an electric mixer, cream these ingredients until fully combined and creamy.

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add chopped pecans and most of the bacon crumbles (set some of the bacon crumbles aside for garnishing truffles later). Mix well until combined. Refrigerate mixture for a while to let it chill and firm up.

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once mixture is chilled, shape the mixture into 1″ balls, by rolling them between your hands. Place dough balls onto a wax paper covered cooking sheet, then place them into freezer for 1/2 an hour to firm up again. Remove truffles from freezer and carefully dip each one into the melted chocolate/butterscotch coating. My picture turned out blurry (sorry), but I use a toothpick inserted into truffle to dip into the chocolate, and a spoon to help cover each one.

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Dip each truffle completely in chocolate, then place onto wax paper or aluminum foil. Use another toothpick to help pull the first toothpick out of the truffle. See the little holes on top of the chocolate covered truffles? Repeat until all truffles are coated.

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spoon a little melted chocolate over the hole created by the toothpick to cover it up. Then sprinkle a few bacon crumbles over the top to garnish.

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Let the finished truffles sit for a while (at least half an hour), to allow the chocolate to firm up, then place them into little candy sized paper wrappers, as shown. Keep truffles in a covered container in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here’s an inside view… they are at their very best served chilled!

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you enjoy them. The maple, pecans, bacon, chocolate and butterscotch flavors make this an INCREDIBLY delicious truffle, and they really aren’t that hard to make, either!

God Bless You. Have a great day. Hold your family and friends close. Let them KNOW you love and care for them. Life IS short.

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Maple, Bacon, Pecans, Chocolate and Butterscotch all combine in a delicious truffle!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 4-5 dozen
Ingredients
For Truffles:
  • 1 cup butter (2 cubes)
  • 3½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Maple flavoring
  • 1½ cups pecans, chopped (may substitute walnuts)
  • 6-7 slices bacon, cooked crisp, and crumbled (reserve some to garnish finished truffles)
For Truffle Coating:
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
Directions
  1. Cook bacon slices until very crisp. Drain, then crumble or chop into small pieces once cooled. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter, powdered sugar, and maple flavoring until smooth.
  3. Stir in chopped pecans and most of the bacon crumbles (remember to save some for garnishing the finished truffles!)
  4. Place bowl in refrigerator for half an hour to let it firm up a bit.
  5. When chilled, shape the dough into 1 inch balls, by rolling the dough between your hands (yes, it might be a bit messy...) Place the dough balls onto a wax paper or foil lined baking sheet and place into freezer for about half an hour or so. (You want the dough to be very chilled before dipping in chocolate).
  6. While dough is in freezer, make the chocolate/butterscotch coating. In a microwavable bowl, melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips (30 seconds on HIGH. Stir. 30 seconds on HIGH. Stir again. Watch carefully so that you don't burn the chocolate. At this point the chips should be melted and smooth after stirring the second time; if not, microwave an additional 15 seconds, then stir again.
  7. Dip dough balls into coating mixture one at a time (I insert a toothpick into the dough ball, dip, cover with coating then remove, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl. You may find it helpful to use a spoon to help coating the truffle. Place each coated truffle onto wax paper or foil-lined baking sheets. Remove the toothpick after each one, and re-use on the next truffle.
  8. When all have been coated, hide the toothpick hole with a small bit of chocolate coating, then sprinkle (while it is still wet) with a few bacon crumbles for garnish.
  9. Let truffles sit until chocolate firms up. Place each truffle in a candy paper wrapper, if desired. Store in a covered container in refrigerator until chocolate has hardened and is ready to serve. These truffles are at their best when completely chilled.

 

 

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Chocolate-Covered Bacon

A couple years ago, my husband tried a piece of Chocolate-Covered Bacon at a little bakery, while out of our area on business. He said it was fantastic (I had my doubts). Now, don’t get me wrong… I love bacon, but chocolate covered bacon seemed a bit wonky to me. That is, UNTIL I MADE MY OWN! Wowzers! It’s fantastic, and EASY to make!Chocolate-Covered Bacon / The Grateful Girl Cooks!My husband and I recently attended a THEMED dinner party with dear friends. The theme this time was BACON. All parts of the meal had to include some form of bacon. Everything. Beverages, appetizers, entrees (3), and desserts. All bacon inspired. I was in charge of the desserts, (as I typically am). One of the desserts I made was chocolate covered bacon strips. YUM! Even after being coated in semi-sweet chocolate, the bacon was crispy inside. The chocolate actually is a perfect counter balance to the saltiness of the bacon.

It really was easy to make these. I didn’t have a “recipe”; I just used the technique I use for dipping truffles in chocolate. My fingers got a bit messy, but that’s no big deal. Here’s what I did.

First I fried the number of bacon strips I wanted. This recipe is for 8, but you can easily alter recipe to accommodate the number of strips you want to make.  I cooked the bacon strips until they were very crispy, then drained them on a paper towel to absorb the grease.

Chocolate-Covered Bacon / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I let the bacon cool completely. Then I melted semi-sweet chocolate chips with a heaping Tablespoon of vegetable shortening in my microwave. (30 seconds, stir. 30 seconds stir).

Chocolate-Covered Bacon / The Grateful Girl Cooks!The next thing I did was carefully (the bacon is crisp, remember?) dip one piece of bacon at a time in the chocolate.  I used a spoon to help cover about 3/4 of the piece on both sides with chocolate, then carefully flipped it over and did the remaining bit on both sides. I used a spoon to spoon the chocolate into nooks and crannies that needed help to be covered. I let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.

Chocolate-Covered Bacon / The Grateful Girl Cooks!After each piece was completely covered in chocolate, I carefully placed it on a piece of aluminum foil to let the chocolate firm up.

Chocolate-Covered Bacon / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Once the chocolate had firmed up, I melted some white chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup) with a small amount of shortening (1 teaspoon), then decoratively drizzled it over the bacon slices. I even had some green colored chocolate chips from a bag of Christmas colored ones, so I also drizzled that over, for contrast (optional). At our bacon dinner that evening, one of my friends wondered if I had put mint flavored drizzle (the GREEN chips) on the bacon. No way… just used a different colored semi-sweet chocolate chip!

Chocolate-Covered Bacon / The Grateful Girl Cooks!When I was done being “creative” (ha ha), I let the bacon slices firm up completely before attempting to remove them from the aluminum foil. I then placed them in a single layer in a sealed plastic container, and kept them in the refrigerator until ready to serve later that evening. The truffles you see in the picture (with the bacon strips) are another creation I made for bacon night. Here’s the recipe for these Maple Bacon Pecan Truffles. (they were yummy, too!)

Chocolate-Covered Bacon / The Grateful Girl Cooks!That’s it! It’s really not hard to make these, at all! Hope you will give it a try. Bacon just seems to make everything better… even chocolate!

Chocolate Covered Bacon / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chocolate-Covered Bacon
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Sweet and salty, this chocolate covered bacon is an unusual, but DELICIOUS treat, and is very easy to make!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Candy
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • Bacon (I used 8 strips)
  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 HEAPING tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips + 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening (for drizzle)
  • ½ cup colored chocolate chips + 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening (for drizzle... totally optional!)
Directions
  1. Cook bacon until very crisp. Remove from skillet to paper towels to absorb extra grease. Let cool completely.
  2. Place 1½ cups chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Add the shortening. Cook on high power for 30 seconds. Remove. Stir. Place bowl back in microwave. Cook on high power for 30 seconds. Stir well, to fully combine. If mixture is not fully smooth, place it back in microwave on medium high power for 15 seconds (I usually don't have to do this, but you might, depending on the wattage of your microwave). DO NOT BURN THE CHOCOLATE!
  3. Carefully coat all sides of the bacon strips with melted chocolate. Using a spoon to help get the chocolate onto the bacon works great! Place coated bacon strips onto aluminum foil, and let sit, undisturbed until chocolate has set.
  4. Melt white chocolate chips and shortening in the exact same way as described above. Decoratively drizzle the mixture over the chocolate covered strips. Let sit until chocolate is completely firmed up, then place bacon strips in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  5. Enjoy!

 

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Healthy Chocolate Banana “Ice Cream”

So… here’s the backstory on this Healthy Chocolate Banana “Ice Cream”… there’s no cream in this at all!  Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
As a matter of fact, there are only TWO ingredients. Frozen bananas and cocoa powder. And amazing as it seems, I was skeptical the first time I tried it, but boy was I surprised!!! It tasted GREAT! All the flavor of chocolate banana ice cream, but it’s NOT ice cream (i.e. take note, calorie-counters!)

The only thing you need to have is a food processor or a majorly powerful blender (and some previously frozen bananas!) to mix this up really, really well. I am fortunate that I was given one that a family member no longer wanted… yay! That makes this a breeze to make.

You know those bananas on the counter that have turned brown? Yeah. Put them into your freezer instead of throwing them away. They are very sweet and are what makes this so yummy. See these gnarly looking bananas? Frozen solid. Yep.

Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
So… you take those completely frozen bananas, peel them, slice them… and throw ’em into your food processor. I used 7 frozen bananas in these pics, by the way.

Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Put the lid on and fire up your food processor to go to town on the frozen banana chunks. After a minute or so it should look like this…

Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
That’s when I added 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder.

Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I turned the machine back on and kept on pulsing/mixing the ingredients together. Have no fear… this WILL work! Be patient.

Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
After several minutes (when you think it’s NOT ever gonna turn into anything that resembles ice cream (and you’re starting to get hungry)… all of a sudden this happens… Whoa… bet ya didn’t see THAT happening! When it has turned into a smooth, delectable looking, dare I say “Ice Cream-y” looking mixture, stop processing.

Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Now you can either eat a part of it right then, OR (my personal recommendation), put it into a sealed container in the fridge for awhile and let it firm up some more.

Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
That’s what it looks like going into the freezer. Once frozen, when ready to serve, let it sit out for a few minutes to thaw slightly, then scoop yourself some of this delicious goodness. Enjoy every bite, knowing you just saved some serious calories by not pigging out on regular ice cream, but really enjoyed this delicious treat instead!!!  Remember… 7 bananas, 4 T. cocoa powder, and MIX, MIX, MIX. (makes approx. five or six 1/2 cup servings).

I thought everyone had heard of this kind of “ice cream” before, but we had a friend visit here recently. She had never heard of this before, so I let her try some… and she was quite surprised how good it was!  See? Scientific proof. Absolutely 1 out of 1 houseguests recommend this treat! Hope you will give it a try, as well. You’re gonna love it!

Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Single Serving Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie

Wow… just typing out the title of this recipe almost took longer than it does to make this delicious, single serving deep dish chocolate chip cookie!Single Serving Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
So here’s the backstory. Ever have one of those evenings when you just want ONE chocolate chip cookie? Yeah… me neither. Usually it’s two or three, if I’m being truthful. BUT… here’s an incredibly easy recipe to make just ONE, in case you ever get the urge for something sweet late at night. Easy to mix up (only takes a few minutes), and then you microwave it for a minute. How hard can that be, right? And it’s so quick to make. And good. Especially with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Hope you enjoy this… I know the first time I saw one of these posted on Facebook by my husband’s cousin, I jumped up, ran into the kitchen… and whipped out two of them; one each for my hubby and myself in just a few minutes. YUM!

Single Serving Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: http://www.lovefromtheoven.com/2012/07/15/single-serving-deep-dish-cookie-a-la-mode/

Single Serving Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie
 
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Perfect chocolate chip cookie for those times you only want ONE!
As Prepared By:
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1½ Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup flour (level, not heaping)
  • pinch of salt
  • ⅛ Tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup Chocolate Chips
  • Ice Cream (to serve with cookie)
Directions
  1. Melt butter in a small ramekin (or microwave safe mug), in microwave.
  2. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla to melted butter. Stir to combine.
  3. Add flour, pinch of salt, and baking powder. Stir well, to combine.
  4. Add chocolate chips; mix in well.
  5. Microwave on high for approx. 60 seconds. Remove.
  6. Top warm cookie with small scoop of ice cream.
  7. Grab a spoon, and enjoy!

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams

Okay… have you ever had one of those nights when you craved chocolate so bad… and there was nothing to be found in the house, and it was too late to head to the store?  Well, I experienced that several months ago, and these delicious & easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams were the result!Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams / The Grateful Girl Cooks!After opening every kitchen cabinet and drawer hoping I would find some old piece of chocolate just waiting to be found and devoured, I gave up the search. Tragic. But then… miracle of miracles, I remembered I had a small amount of chocolate chips… and peanut butter… and some graham crackers. I put my thinking cap on (I guess most of the time I don’t have my thinking cap ON… which might explain a lot!), and decided to make these yummy little snacks. No recipe to use… only my brain and chocolate cravings (a dangerous combo, I might add) created these little munchies.

Anyways, they ended up tasting fantastic. I got my chocolate fix, and thankfully I survived. The ingredients are so simple, I am not even gonna bother posting a fancy recipe. But these babies are good. Really good. The crunch of the graham crackers, combined with a peanut butter/chocolate combo = YUM!

Here’s what ya do:

1) Grab some graham crackers. Break them in half, carefully until they are in squares. Go crazy. Use as many as you like. (I only made 7). I won’t tell you how many of them I personally ate… wouldn’t be prudent.

2) Spread creamy or crunchy peanut butter (whatever floats your boat) fairly thick on one half all the way to edges. Put another half graham cracker on top. Are you tired yet? I know this is physically demanding….if you feel like you need to sit down and rest after one or two are “sandwiched” together, go ahead. I feel your pain..

3) In a small microwave safe bowl, melt 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips plus 2 Tablespoons of vegetable shortening in the microwave. Cook on high for 30 seconds. Stir well.  If not all the way melted and smooth, put it back in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove. Stir well. By now the chocolate and shortening should be completely melted. If not, put it back in for only 10 seconds. Stir until smooth. (Do not overcook or it will BURN…bad news if you’re hungry!)

4) Put some foil or a cookie sheet on the counter (to catch drips). Place a second sheet of foil on counter (to place the dipped cookies on) Carefully dip the filled graham crackers into the melted chocolate (spoon chocolate onto crackers, if necessary). I held and dipped the grahams with one hand, and used a spoon in the other to help cover grahams with the chocolate. Coat all sides of the graham crackers completely. If you run out of chocolate, just follow step 3 again. Place chocolate coated grahams onto aluminum foil and do not move them until chocolate has completely hardened (in about 1/2 hour or so). If you’re desperate, you can put them in the refrigerator to speed the firming up process along.  Once chocolate has hardened, remove from foil and serve. I stored them, covered, in the refrigerator to keep the chocolate firm.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams / The Grateful Girl Cooks!That’s it! “Late Night Chocolate Deprivation Catastrophe Averted”! Hope you will give these a try… they are sooooo good! Have a great day!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins

I made these Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins last week for breakfast. A delicious muffin AND a couple cups of strong coffee… and, you guessed it – we were “springing to life”.Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Spring is on the way… I am loving the changes I am seeing in the landscape around our neighborhood. Leaves are beginning to unfurl on the trees, daffodils and crocuses are blooming everywhere, and the weather has been truly amazing. What a blessing! We’ve enjoyed a bit warmer Winter here in Portland than we’re used to… as a result, nature is “springing to life” a bit earlier than normal. I am amazed what other parts of our country have been dealing with, weather-wise this Winter.

I used a basic recipe for the muffins from a Banana Crumb Muffin recipe I posted last September. I tweaked the recipe just a bit, by adding chocolate chips to the batter, and graham cracker crumbs to the top, along with a few more chocolate chips (for good measure!), I then topped the finished muffins off with a simple powdered sugar/vanilla & lemon glaze. I cooked the muffins in a jumbo sized muffin pan (makes 6 muffins), but these would be easily adapted to make in a regular sized (12 servings) muffin tin. The recipe is easy to make, and is truly delicious!

Here’s what I did:  The batter is easy to prepare. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, powder and salt together. Beat the bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter in a separate bowl. The two are then combined to make the muffin batter. Chocolate chips are then stirred in.

Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!In a prepared muffin tin, spoon the batter in, until muffin holders are slightly over 1/2 full.

Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Sprinkle the top of each muffin with crushed graham cracker crumbs, followed by a few more chocolate chips.

Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Bake (jumbo) muffins for about 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle of muffin comes out clean. Remove muffins to wire rack to cool.

Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Mix up the powdered sugar/vanilla/lemon glaze. When muffins have cooled, drizzle the glaze over the tops of the muffins. Let icing firm up before serving.

Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Once icing has firmed up, you can enjoy one of these muffins! Hope you enjoy making and eating these muffins… I know we sure did!

Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Adapted from:  http://thecafesucrefarine.com/2011/04/banana-crumb-muffins/

Jumbo Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins
 
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Enjoy one of these Chocolate Chip-Banana Muffins with a good cup of coffee!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6 large or 12 regular
Ingredients
For the muffins:
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
  • ⅓ cup finely crushed graham crackers
For the glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • few drops of fresh lemon juice (plus more, if necessary to thin glaze)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray muffin tin with non-stick spray OR line muffin tin with paper muffin wrappers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter together until smooth. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture. Stir to combine only until batter is well combined and moist. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Be careful not to over-mix. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups. Fill slightly over ½ full.
  4. Finely crush the graham crackers in a plastic zip-loc bag. I use a rolling pin to do this. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the crumbs. Add a few more chocolate chips to the top of the muffins, and slightly press them down into the batter.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 30-35 minutes (oven temps vary). You will know they are done when a toothpick inserted into middle of muffin comes out dry. Remove muffins to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Mix up the glaze while the muffins are cooling. Stir well. If mixture is too thick, add additional drops of lemon juice (or water) to thin it out. You want the glaze to not be runny, but thick enough to drizzle. If you get it too thin, just add additional powdered sugar. Once the muffins have cooled off, drizzle the glaze over the tops of the muffins. Let them sit for a few more minutes so the glaze can firm up, then serve. Enjoy!
Notes
If making these in a regular (12 serving) muffin tin, remember to reduce the cooking time! About 18-20 minutes should be about the right cooking time for smaller muffins.

 

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Chocolate and peanut butter… such a great flavor combo!  I tried to capture that “yummi-ness” in homemade ice cream I made one summer when I was experimenting with lots of homemade ice cream flavors, and tasting them, too!. Somebody has to do it, right?Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!I took a basic chocolate ice cream recipe from the book that came with our ice cream maker, and incorporated some creamy peanut butter into the mix. The result was really wonderful.  Making this ice cream was really a no brainer, if I’m being truthful. I added some peanut butter to the ice cream mixture, poured it into my ice cream maker, then 5 minutes before it was done freezing, I simply added more peanut butter (in small bits) to the ice cream. By adding bits of peanut butter to the mostly finished ice cream, it allowed for it to be spread throughout the ice cream.  Easy-Peasy! The end result was a wonderful taste treat on a hot, summer’s day! And surprise, surprise… It’s even good in Winter, Spring, and Fall!

Hope you will consider giving this recipe a try! If you like ice cream, AND you like chocolate and peanut butter…I think you will enjoy it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe slightly adapted from: Cuisinart Automatic Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream & Sorbet Maker Instruction and Recipe Booklet, page 4

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
 
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A cold and creamy ice cream, featuring the flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Yum!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (very COLD)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon peanut butter (added in bits right before ice cream is finished)
Directions
  1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it has begun to bubble around the edges of the pan (but not a full rolling boil). You want it hot, but not boiling.
  2. Using a food processor or blender, pulse the granulated sugar and chocolate pieces together, until the chocolate is finely chopped up. Add the 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter, then add the hot milk.
  3. Process until the mixture is well blended, and the mixture is fairly smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, and let it cool COMPLETELY. Once mixture is cool, stir in the whipping cream and the vanilla extract. Cover ice cream mixture with plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator for at least an hour (the longer time, the better- you want it cold).
  5. When thoroughly chilled, remove mixture from refrigerator. Turn on the ice cream maker, and pour the cold ice cream mixture into the canister. Freezer per manufacturer's instructions (usually about 25 minutes). About 5 minutes BEFORE the ice cream is done, add the final heaping Tablespoon of peanut butter, (in small amounts at a time), to the ice cream.
  6. When ice cream is done, and has thickened, transfer to a covered container and place in freezer for an hour or two to firm up and "ripen".
Notes
Note that most of the "prep" time is inactive time, while mixture is refrigerating or firming up in freezer. I found it easiest to make up the ice cream and refrigerate it early in the day. I then made the ice cream right before dinner, then it was "ready and firmed up" for dessert a couple hours later!

 

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