So I wrote another guest post – and this one involves pie!!!
Chocolate Stuffed Muffins
Oh, chocolate – you are amazing. Which is why I was rather thrilled to see that Random Recipes - hosted by the fantastic Dom of Belleau Kitchen along with the Chocolate Log Blog (cuz chocolate!!!) - was going chocolate this month, in addition to the normal rules. I only have two dedicated dessert books, but found that a number of my books had at least one chocolate recipe tucked away. In the end a non-dessert book won out, and with that these delicious chocolate filled muffins from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes. I did make a slight adjustment to the recipe, as the basic muffin directions called for zest which is something I avoid due to an allergy. I also decided to go with milk chocolate chips, while the original recipe didn’t say one way or another.
The best thing about this recipe is that the technique can be used for making other types of filled/stuffed muffins. I could see pieces of fruit, jam, or caramel (!) doing rather nicely in this delicious muffin – or being really naughty and putting brownie or cookie dough in the middle! If I was to do chocolate again I would probably use something more like a chocolate nugget as the chips didn’t really give it as much chocolate as I was expecting – or use a chocolate spread like Nutella!
Poached Cinnamon Caramel Apples
Poaching is nothing to new to me, at least not anymore. Which is why when I first saw poaching as the theme for /52weeksofcooking I really wasn’t that worried. Until I tried to figure out something to poach that: 1) was vegetarian and 2) I hadn’t poached before. This eliminated a fair amount of things, so I started checking out my cook books to see if any of them could offer insight. In doing so I found more than a few recipes for poached pears, which I’m not a fan of, but realized I could use that same concept on apples. Unsure of how they would turn out I grabbed three varieties at the store: granny smith, honeycrisps, and pink ladies – figuring I would test them all and see what worked the best.
In the end the pink ladies won for me – the skin stayed crisp while the flesh was moist and delicious. Plus it still had the same tart/sweet contrast as the granny smiths, which become all soft. The honeycrisps were just a disaster, falling apart in the pan and having to be skimmed out…which was a total pain. I served the pink ladies over oatmeal (pictured), while the granny smiths topped a mini-dutch baby.
Dark Chocolate Chocolate Cookies
Warning: If you do not love chocolate this is not the blog post for you. However if you have a sweet tooth that won’t settle for anything less but the good stuff then stick around. This cookies have been a work in progress for a few months now, as was having a hard time finding the right balance – and then I decided to throw caution to the wind and grabbed some super dark chocolate bars. While I’m not normally a fan of the darker chocolates, Joey is so I knew that worst case scenario he would enjoy them! So I cracked those chocolate bars up in to chocolate chunks and went for it. Thankfully I had some special guests that night who were willing to test out the newest recipe. Success!
I might tweak this again in the future, maybe half dark chocolate and half white chocolate, but then again why mess with chocolate perfection? The trick with these is letting them have time in the fridge to relax and chill – it keeps them from attempting to become one large chocolate mess which might have happened with one of the test recipes. Also, when the cookies come out the center will look a bit soft but that’s okay as they will firm up while cooking on the sheet.
Vegan Chocolate Cookies
Last post from 2013′s /52weeksofcooking and hoping oh so much that I stay on track in 2014, and get everything finished in 2014. The last challenge posed a bit of a question for me as I had done my “holiday tradition” cooking for Thanksgiving. However Christmas Eve wound up giving me the perfect opportunity to continue what is fast becoming a holiday tradition – vegan cookies for my sister(s)-in-law. The first few years I stuck to a vegan sugar cookie recipe I found online but this time I wanted to try something different, even though I knew that would increase the risks of something going wrong. My biggest fear was hard cookies, so I took every precaution I could think of to insure soft fluffy cookies – and it worked!
I’m not sure if it was the chilled dough or just dumb luck but the cookies were perfection. The outsides were crisp with moist insides, almost brownie like – and the powdered sugar help cut down on the extreme chocolate taste. These might not be the cookies I made with my family growing up, but I can easily see these being the cookies I make with my family going forward.
Now time to focus on 2014! Fingers crossed I won’t fall so far behind this year