Friday, February 6, 2015

My Top 5 Chocolate Treats

We're big chocolate fans and generally have chocolate sweet somewhere in the house. I can always tell it's time to replenish the freezer stash of cookies when I find the hub eating chocolate chips from the bag.

I'm a fan of old school, made-from-scratch desserts without lots of extras: no candy mix-ins, overly sweet sauces or other adornment that takes away from the dessert. These favorites are easy to make, fool proof and real crowd pleasers.  

1.Whole grain chocolate chip cookies
These cookies are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Don't be put off
by the whole grain flour - it adds a nutty flavor without making the cookies coarse.
I always keep a batch in the freezer for a quick dessert. 

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flours, soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Using a mixer, beat butter and shortening for 30 seconds. Add sugars beating until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well. Add dry ingredients beating until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Using a teaspoon or dasher, place dough on ungreased baking sheet leaving two inches between cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Makes about five dozen.

This cake comes together fast, is easy and magically bakes up with a cake floating on a layer of rich pudding. I've tried several versions and found this recipe to be the best. The hardest part is waiting for the cake to cool before eating! Serve with a scoop of ice cream for a delish hot fudge sundae cake.

This cake might seem traditional (read: boring) but don't be fooled. It's tender and moist with a great chocolate flavor. It's perfect for a birthday celebration as well as a weeknight dessert. 

This is the pie for non-pie makers. Just whip up the ingredients,
pour into a baked pie crust and refrigerate. 
Although this is the hub's favorite pie, I only make it a couple times a year. Super rich, it's loaded with butter, chocolate, sugar, and not much else. Despite the fat and sugar, the filling is surprising light and airy. I usually serve without the whip cream topping, but if you enjoy gilding the lily, it adds to the richness.

This rich chocolate pudding makes beautiful individual desserts. And since it's gluten-free, it makes a great ending for dinner parties. I usually serve in small ramekins topped with fresh whipped cream.

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