Mint Chip Brownie Ice Cream “Cake”

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My daughter just turned 9! This birthday celebration-worthy dessert was super sweet and decadent – my daughter called it “amazing”! 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brownie Layer – adapted from Handle the Heat

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (*next time I think I’ll use bittersweet chocolate*)
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch or a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. (*I didn’t do this, but it makes for easier pan removal and slicing later on*)

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Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Stir to combine and take off the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and salt, folding gently until combined.

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Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40 for the 8×8 pan, or 20-25 minutes for the 13×9 pan. Do not overbake. Let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place it in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight in preparation for the ice cream layer.

For the Mint Chip “Cake” – adapted from Glorious Treats

Ice Cream Layer- 

  • 1 carton (1.5 quarts) Mint Chip Ice Cream

Chocolate Layer-

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Whipped Cream Layer-

    • 1- 8oz tub of Whipped Topping (*I used Truwhip*)

Garnish/Toppings-

  • Chopped Andes Mints, and/or mini chocolate chips

Directions –

Ice Cream Layer

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Allow a carton of ice cream to sit out at room temperature about 20 minutes, until soft enough to spread over the cooled brownies. Once the ice cream has been evenly spread, place the entire pan in the freezer to allow the ice cream to re-freeze.

Chocolate Layer

WP_20150410_008 1Heat the cream in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until hot (watch it so it does not boil). Add chocolate chips to the hot cream and set aside (undisturbed) about 3 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt. After 3 minutes, stir the chocolate until the cream and chocolate are fully combined. Set aside and allow to cool to about room temperature. Once cool, pour the chocolate over the ice cream layer, and spread evenly. Return pan to freezer.

Whipped Cream Layer

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Spread the whipped topping over the chocolate layer, then garnish with toppings of your choice. Return pan to freezer and FREEZE AT LEAST 3 HOURS before serving. The entire dessert can be made ahead, and kept in the freezer (covered) up to 3 days in advance.

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The “I want Chocolate Cake” Cake

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The “I Want Chocolate Cake” Cake – adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

Cake

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table or fine sea salt

Frosting

  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Pinch of fine sea salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoons cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions –

Make the cake: Heat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper, and either butter the parchment and exposed sides of the pan, or spray the interior with a nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to beat the butter and sugars until fluffy; scrape down bowl. Add the egg, yolk and vanilla and beat until combined, then the buttermilk and mix again. Scrape the bowl down well and don’t worry if the batter looks uneven. Place your flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a sifter (I find this step necessary because my cocoa is very lumpy) and shake it over the batter bowl. Stir on low until just combined; scrape down bowl a final time. Scoop batter into prepared pan and smooth flat.

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes in cake pan on cooling rack, then flip out onto rack or serving plate to completely finish cooling before frosting.

Make the frosting: Place frosting ingredients in a food processor and run machine to to mix. Scrape down bowl then process for another 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and somewhat fluffed. Scoop the frosting onto the cooled chocolate cake and swirl it around. Cake keeps at room temperature for a day or two, or in the fridge up to a week,.

Brownie in a Mug

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Sometimes, you just have to have chocolate, it has to be warm and vanilla ice cream is a must! Good quality cocoa powder is so important, and I used my stash of Valhrona 🙂 Yes, it is worth the $1 + an ounce price! This brownie is rich, moist, and more cakey than fudgy and hits all the right buttons. I’m kind of mad at myself for making this! 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Brownie in a Mug – adapted from Simply Recipes

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • Tiny pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 to 2 drops vanilla extract
  • ice cream

Directions –

Place flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and cinnamon in a microwave safe ceramic mug. Stir with a fork or spoon to mix well and break up any clumps.

Add the butter, water, and vanilla to the cup and stir until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps.

Place in microwave and heat on high until the mixture is cooked through, about a 1 minute and 20 seconds. If you don’t know the power level on your microwave, start with 60 seconds and increase until the brownie is done. It should still be moist when cooked through, not dry.

Let cool for a minute and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Paleo Frappuccino

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This blended coffee drink is so tasty, healthy and cheap! I modified the recipe slightly to suit my taste and I have made it about four times in the last week 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Paleo Frappuccino – adapted from You Hunt, I Gather

  • 1 small, frozen banana
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 – 1 cup cold coffee
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 TBSP good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup ice

Directions – 

Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend for 1 minute or until desired consistency is reached.

DIY Hot Chocolate Mix

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The kids had been asking for hot chocolate for a while now, so I decided to let them make it 🙂 I love that there are only three simple ingredients in this decadent hot chocolate and it makes 4 cups of mix. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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All Natural Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix – adapted from Clean Mama

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa – I used this Dutch cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt

Directions – 

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with a whisk. Store in a four cup, air-tight container or into smaller jars for gifting.

To make one serving of hot chocolate, combine 1 cup of warm milk and two tablespoons of mix. Stir to combine and enjoy!

**I added the milk and cocoa to my Vitamix and blended it up for a few seconds to make it nice and frothy. Top it with mini marshmallows or whipped cream if desired 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake

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This dessert hits the spot and makes me feel like I’m cheating on my diet! It’s a great fake-out dessert because the frozen bananas create a thick, ice cream-like consistency. Even my husband and kids enjoy this – that’s a win for clean eating! 😉 I have made this at least five times in the last two weeks, actually, I could go for one of these right now 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Milkshake – adapted from Detoxinista

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • ¾ cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ice cubes (about 2 handfuls)

Directions – 
Throw all of the ingredients into a high-powered blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately!

Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust

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Quick Post: I know I’m late to the game here, but this was our first year to “celebrate” Pi Day. This chocolate cream pie was amazing, and the flavor was even better with age. The first day, it was all mocha; but the next day it became the most perfect chocolate flavor – swoon worthy, amazingly rich, velvety and thick! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Chocolate Cream Pie – adapted from King Arthur Flour

Crust – *recipe link*

  • 24 Oreos
  • 4 TBSP butter, melted

Filling –

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional; for richer chocolate flavor
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 2 cups milk

Stabilized Whipped Cream – *recipe link*

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 2 TBSP water
  • pinch of salt
  • chocolate curls (optional)

Directions –

For the Crust – 

In a medium-sized bowl or a food processor, add the Oreo cookies and blend until the texture of coarse meal or crumbs. Add the melted butter and blend until well combine. Place the ground crumb mixture into a 9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie pan and press onto the bottom and up the sides evenly. Try to make the crust about 1/8 inch (1/3 cm) evenly all around. Refrigerate the crust for at least an hour before you add the filling of your choice.

For the Filling – 

1)Place the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract in a 2-quart mixing bowl; set aside.

2) In a medium saucepan away from heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of cold heavy cream until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of the cream. Whisk in the egg yolks.

3) Place the saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in the remaining cream and milk.

4) Bring to a boil, whisking constantly as the mixture thickens; boil for 1 minute.

5) Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the reserved chocolate and butter.

6) Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

7) Pass the filling through a strainer into a bowl to remove any lumps.

8. Place plastic wrap or buttered parchment paper on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill thoroughly.

9. Pour the chilled pudding into the chilled Oreo crust and top with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

For the topping – In bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water. Scald 2 tablespoons of whipping cream and pour over gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Refrigerate about 15 minutes. Then whisk until smooth. Mix remaining cream, sugar and salt. Mix in smooth gelatin mixture stopping to scrape bowl twice.

Pancake Mini-Muffins

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Planning ahead saves time, right? I love when I find recipes that make life a little easier, especially school mornings! There are far more mornings than I care to admit when I have had to force my eyes to open; and the last thing I want to do is think about breakfast. These are so quick, easy and the kids love them 🙂

The best thing about these is that I don’t have to stand over a hot stove and flip each one! I made some minor changes by replacing all the AP flour with half whole wheat pastry flour, and buttermilk because I had plenty on hand. When ever I use this muffin tin, the baked goods love to stick; so instead of adding the chocolate chips to the batter we added a few to the tops. Once they finished baking/cooling completely, I bagged them and placed them in the freezer. In the morning, we microwave them for about 3 minutes at 50% power so they don’t dry out or become rocket hot. Once they’re all gone, I will make another batch because I’m sure they’ll fight over the last 6… Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

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Pancake Mini-Muffins – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
  • Chocolate chips, optional
  • coconut oil to prep the tin (or whatever you prefer)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs and vanilla

Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients, then stir in melted butter. If batter is too thick, stir in a little milk.

Spray a mini-muffin pan generously with coconut oil. Fill cups 2/3 full. If using chocolate chips, drop 2 to 3 onto each cup.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let sit in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn them out of the pan. (Use a small knife if any are stubborn.)

Serve warm with warm syrup!

Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs

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These are a perfect special occasion (ahem, Valentine’s Day), treat that any chocolate lover would appreciate. My husband was pretty excited about these because the original is one of his favorites, so how bad could the addition of brownie be? The brownie bakes up thin, chewy and fudgy and it sticks really well to the frozen dough ball. As I rolled the brownies around the cookie dough I decided that these win the prize for messiest dessert ever – my hands were coated in sticky brownie, but in the end these were worth the effort. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs – adapted from Handle the Heat

For the cookie dough:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 – 3 tablespoon milk (any kind)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

For the brownies:
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the chocolate coating:
16 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 teaspoons coconut oil (or more if needed )

Directions –

For the brownies:

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Meanwhile, make the brownies. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil, leaving an overhang.

In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until well combined, mixture will be thick. Let cool if the butter is still hot. Stir in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, stirring very well after each addition. Stir until the batter is very well blended. Add the flour and stir again until very well blended. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through but still very moist and fudgy. Let cool.

For the cookie dough:

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In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until very well combined and fluffy. Add in the milk and vanilla. On low speed gradually add the flour and salt. Stir in the miniature chocolate chips.

Scoop the dough into 2 teaspoon-sized balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for an hour, or until firm.

To assemble:

Cut the brownies into 1-inch squares. Flatten a square with the palm of your hand. Place a cookie dough ball into the middle of the flattened brownie and wrap the brownie around the cookie dough ball. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, just try to get as much of a round shape as possible, rolling the ball between your palms. Repeat with the remaining brownie and cookie pieces. Freeze the balls for 30 minutes.

For the chocolate coating:

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Combine the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir, and continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until the chocolate is melted.

Dip each brownie ball into the chocolate to coat completely. Allow the excess to drip off then return to the baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, or until set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting

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I decided this holiday season to start some new traditions for my family. Before Christmas, the kids and I attempted to make a gingerbread house from scratch…next year we’ll work out all the kinks and I’ll post those results 😉 We never do anything for the New Year, so I decided it would be fun foods for dinner (the kid’s choice) and a cake to celebrate and make a “wish” on (actually, we’re going to announce what goals we’d like to meet for the New Year).

Verdict: Yum! The cake itself is fairly lean, but the three sticks of butter and cup of mascarpone cheese more than makes up for that! 😉 This cake is a new favorite and I love that it makes a double layer 8-inch, cute, little cake 😉 Oh, and the frosting! It’s fluffy, rich, but not too sweet. It makes a huge batch (about 4 cups) so I used about half and froze the rest. Oh, and I piped “2014”  with melted white chocolate with some coconut oil mixed in to make it thin it out and make it smooth. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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One-Bowl Chocolate Cake – adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached cake flour (150 grams) or AP flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup water + 3/4 tsp espresso powder (*espresso optional*)
  • 3 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions –

Preheat oven to 3o0 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans (2 inches deep); grease and line each cake pan with parchment paper. Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low speed until just combined. Raise speed to medium, and add eggs, buttermilk, water/espresso powder, oil, and vanilla. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Divide batter between pans (my portions weighed 1 pound 2 ounces). Bake until set and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 40 – 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Turn out from pans. Transfer, face-up, to wire racks. Let cool completely. Wrap and freeze layers if desired.

 

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Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Frosting – adapted from Not So Humble Pie
*frosts a 8-inch two or three layer cake 

  • 1 pound semisweet chocolate, finelly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons boiling water
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups or 339g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese (or in a pinch, cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • pinch salt

Directions –

Combine the boiling water and dutch processed cocoa. Mix well to remove any lumps and then set aside to cool.

Melt the chocolate over a double-boiler and then set aside to cool. Allow the melted chocolate to come to room temperature before using (otherwise it will melt your butter and that’s bad), this should take 25-30 minutes.

Once the chocolate is cool, beat the butter and powdered sugar in your stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy (roughly 4 minutes).  While it is mixing, combine the mascarpone cheese with the cocoa powder slurry.

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Once the butter is light and fluffy, add the cooled melted chocolate to the butter and beat until uniform, scraping down the sides as needed.  Then add the mascarpone cocoa mixer and beat until well combined.  The frosting should be ready to use, however if it seems too soft you can place it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and it will firm up.