Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie Bars

I’m a HUGE fan of pecan pie, so pecan pie bars were a total no brainer to bring to Thanksgiving dinner. These bring pecan pie to a whole new, ridiculously decadent, level. The shortbread crust is a little crumbly and oh so buttery, which is the perfect balance to the sweet chocolate caramel pecan topping. They even make an awesome breakfast treat with a cup of coffee..Just make sure to set aside a few for yourself because you won’t have leftovers otherwise!

Life, Love, and Cupcakes: Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie Bars

Even my fiancé, who claims to not like pecan pie, loved them! I recommend slicing them a little on the smaller side because they are sweet! I definitely plan on whipping up another batch or two of these for a couple holidays parties in the next couple weeks!

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie Bars
Crust:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 Tb cornstarch
pinch of salt

Filling:
8 oz pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup half and half
1 Tb vanilla extract
1/2 ts salt

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8 x 8in baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with coconut oil or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, use a pastry blender to combine all the crust ingredients. Once the butter has been blended, press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle the pecans onto the crust, followed by the chocolate chips and set aside.

Mix together the butter, brown sugar, half and half in a microwavable bowl and heat for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir until mixture is smooth, then return to microwave and heat for another minute. Whish in the vanilla and salt.

Pour the caramel sauce over the chocolate chips and pecans and bake for about 30 minutes, or until caramel is bubbling around the edges. Move to a cooling rack to cool for a few hours before removing from the pan.

Recipe from Averie Cooks.

Flourless Fudge Cookies

Since I’ve started making ice creams, I’ve found myself with a LOT of egg whites I need to use up. I’m not a huge egg fan, so egg white omelets are a rarity, which means I’m always on the search for fun new recipes to use them up with. These flourless fudge cookies are one of my new favorite ways to use them up – they’re quick and easy to throw together, don’t make TOO many cookies, and they’re even better with ice cream sandwiched between two.

Flourless Fudge Cookies from lifeloveandcupcakes.com

They’re VERY rich and fudgy so a glass of milk (or ice cream, of course) is highly recommended!

Flourless Fudge Cookies

Print Recipe

2 ¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ ts salt
1 ts espresso powder (optional)
1 cup dutch process cocoa powder
3 large egg whites
2 ts vanilla extract

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment and grease the parchment.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients until smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you stir. The dough will be soft and batterlike. If it’s still very thick, add another egg white.
Drop onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 8 minutes, until they have spread and are somewhat shiny with a slightly crackly top. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the pan for a few minutes before eating.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour.

Do you have any favorite egg white recipes??

Mississippi Mud Brownies

Growing up, my brother asked for a Mississippi Mud Cake almost every year for his birthday. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I had a Mississippi Mud Brownies and WOW are they addicting! I can only make them once in a blue moon, or I will eat them all, so when my coworker requested brownies for her birthday I knew these would be perfect…partly because I knew they’d be a hit, but mostly I really wanted to eat one and then make sure the rest of them were out of my house stat!

Mississippi Mud Brownies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

The brownie is fudgy, moist, and dense — a perfect balance to the fluffy marshmallows. Top that off with a very thin, crackly layer of fudge icing and a sprinkling of chopped pecans and you get what just might be the best brownie ever. I think it may also be the only brownie that I prefer nice and cold, but that’s just me.

Mississippi Mud Brownies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Mississippi Mud Brownies

Print Recipe!

Ingredients
For the Brownies:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¼ ts salt
½ cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 ts vanilla extract
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
2 ½ cups miniature marshmallows

For the Icing:
¼ cup butter
¼ cup milk
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ ts vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt

Directions
For the Brownies:
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Line an 8x8in baking dish with foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl. mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, brown sugar, and salt until blended. Mix in the melted butter until combined, following with the eggs and vanilla extract. Stir until no clumps remain. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-37 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.
Spread the marshmallows evenly over the top, then return to the oven for another 4 minutes, until the marshmallows are slightly puffy. Move from the oven, to a wire rack and allow to rest for 5 minutes, while you prepare the icing.

For the Icing:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, whisk in the milk and cocoa powder, and cook until thickened – about 1-2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until the frosting is smooth, then immediately pour over the top of the brownies. Smooth out the icing, then top with chopped pecans. Wait until the brownies have cooled completely before removing from pan and cutting.

adapted from Brown Eyed Baker.

Chocolate Moose Tracks Ice Cream

It’s starting to seem like ice cream is all I ever make anymore..but considering how hot this summer has been, I’m more than ok with that! Chocolate Moose Tracks has been one of my favorite ice cream flavors from Publix for years, I have no idea why it took me this long to try making it on my own! It is a chocolate lovers dream, and even better homemade!

 

Chocolate Moose Tracks Ice Cream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Not only is this chocolate ice cream very rich, but hidden in there are ribbons of chocolate ganache that make it even richer! I used the Reese’s minis, chopped, but if you have smaller peanut butter cups (I love the ones from Trader Joe’s, but didn’t have time to go) I would recommend leaving them whole!

Chocolate Moose Tracks Ice Cream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Enjoy!

Chocolate Moose Tracks Ice Cream

Ingredients
For Ice Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup mini peanut buttercups

For ganache:
4 oz heavy cream
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate

Directions
For Ice Cream:
In a medium saucepan, heat up 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder. Whisk thoroughly while the mixture comes to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove saucepan from the heat and add in the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining cup of cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill at least 8 hours, or overnight.

For Ganache:
Make the ganache an hour or so before churning your ice cream, to give it time to cool off.
Place chocolate in a bowl and set aside. Heat up the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the chocolate is hot and melted completely (but not boiling), pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then stir until smooth.

Churn the ice cream according to manufacturers instructions. Once done, transfer to your freezer storage, swirling the ganache in in layers and sprinkling with peanut butter cups. Freeze for a few hours or overnight before serving.

Print Recipe!

Heart Chocolate Brownie Roll-Out Cookies

I have a bit of a weakness for cookie cutters. I can never pass up fun shaped cookie cutter, especially if they’re a good deal (or nautical).  And I definitely can’t leave Sur la Table without at least one cookie cutter from the awesome $1 rack.  The only problem is that I really don’t like most cut out cookies. Sugar cookies aren’t bad, but there are plenty of fun (and chocolatey) things I can make instead! Luckily I finally found a chocolate roll-out cookie that is totally worth the effort!

Heart Chocolate Brownie Roll-out Cookies | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Come summer I’ll be dusting off my nautical cutters to make these again! And maybe next time I make peppermint ice cream, because they would be perfect for ice cream sandwiches!

Chocolate Brownie Roll-Out Cookies
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer, then add in the eggs, vanilla and cocoa. Once well combined, gradually add flour mixture, and mix until smooth.
  3. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour.
  4. Roll out cookie dough on floured counter and cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (Any excess flour will disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly worry if they go into the oven looking a bit white.)
  5. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes until the edges are firm and the centers are slightly soft and puffed.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream

Blood oranges are kind of a new discovery for me. Every year around this time Honeybell oranges are everywhere in Southwest Florida. Fruit stands, grocery stores, and the farmers market are ALL about the Honeybells, so I was surprised when I spotted bags of Blood Oranges at Target last week.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I’m pretty much obsessed with blood orange soda and love it as a cocktail mixer, so I knew the first thing I had to make would be cocktails. The obvious choice being Margaritas. Can you say awesome?!! I did scale down the recipe a bit though…I’m not going to say we couldn’t have had the whole pitcher, but it was probably best that we didn’t!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

Last week was a long, busy week. We had a surprise corporate inspection, which of course means STRESS, but I’m very happy and relieved to say that we did very, very well. I knew I wanted to make cupcakes to bring in for my coworkers and of course the blood oranges were calling to me!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

I love the combo of chocolate and orange, plus the deep red juice makes a perfect pink frosting…so perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Oh and this is somehow the first cupcake recipe I’ve posted??! Kinda sad when cupcake is in the name, but I promise there will be more to come!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Blood Orange Buttercream
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 ts baking soda
  • 2 1/4 ts baking powder
  • 1 1/4 ts salt
  • 2 large whole eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/4 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 ts vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 ts pure vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup fresh blood orange juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line 2 standard muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs and yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, orange zest, and warm water. Beat with a paddle attachment on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.
  3. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full Baking for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Cool in pans on a cooling rack for a few minutes, then remove from pans and let cool completely.
  4. While the cupcakes are cooling, cook the orange juice in a small saucepan over low heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Cream the butter, vanilla, and reduced orange juice until smooth. Add two cups of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy, add more powdered sugar if necessary, a little at a time.
  6. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with buttercream and decorate as desired.
Notes
One-bowl Chocolate Cupcake Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

 

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream

Now that the holidays are over the cookies are gone and we are back to our mostly healthy eating habits. But there is one thing we will never give up: ice cream.

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes
I have a tendency to buy a bunch of candy canes, then not eat a single one, so this was the perfect recipe to put them to good use. The crushed candy mixed into the ice cream give it a nice little crunch and adds extra mint flavor without going over the top. The chocolate is just a given.

peppermint-stick-ice-cream3
What I like best about this ice cream is that I can eat a small bowl and be completely satisfied. Yes, I COULD sit and eat the whole tub…but I’m just as happy with a reasonable amount. And that to me is what ‘diets’ are all about: balance.

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream | Life, Love, and Cupcakes

And for those of you that live up north and aren’t really feeling ice cream this time of year….I’m sorry, I’ll eat a bowl for you!

 

Peppermint Stick Ice Cream
Author: Life, Love, and Cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1½ cups half and half
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons mint extract
  • ½ cup crushed peppermint candies
  • ½ cup chopped dark chocolate
Instructions
  1. Combine 1 cup of the heavy cream, the half and half, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer, watching to make sure it does not boil.
  2. Pour the remaining cup of heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh sieve on top. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour some of the heated cream and sugar mixture into the egg yolks to temper them, whisking constantly, then pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan.
  4. Stir the mixture over medium heat scraping the bottom often with a rubber spatula. Allow to thicken until it coats the back of the spatula (it should be at about 170 degrees).
  5. Pour through the mesh sieve into the remaining cream, then stir in the vanilla and mint extract. Cool down over an ice bath, stirring occasionally.
  6. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight before churning.
  7. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add in the chocolate and crushed candy 5 minutes before it is done churning. Freeze until firm.
Notes
Adapted from ‘The Perfect Scoop’