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Chocolate Mug Cake

Have you ever been home by yourself and get a hankering for dessert?  Maybe something chocolatey?  You think “maybe some pudding, or a piece of chocolate cake?  But, no, you tell yourself you can’t make a whole dessert:  there’s all those ingredients, all the time to measure, mix and bake and whats more ~ the leftovers!

What if you could make a warm, chocolatey dessert made just for one?  Do you have a coffee mug?  Got some basic baking ingredients in the house?  Got a couple of minutes?  Then you’ve got a fudgey, chocolate mug cake!  You don’t even have to choose between cake and pudding when in less than 2 minutes, you could have both in the same hot dessert.

In 1 coffee mug, measure and whisk or stir together:
3 Tabl. Half and Half (or Whole Milk)
3 Tabl. Vegetable Oil
1 Egg
dash of Vanilla Extract
 
Whisk in:
4 Tabl. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Instant Coffee (optional, but it enhances the flavor of the chocolate)
 
Whisk in:
4 Tabl. Cake Flour
2 Tabl. Cocoa Powder
pinch of Baking Powder
pinch of Salt
 
Drop in:
1-2 Tabl. Chocolate Chips

Place the mug in your microwave.  Microwave on high for 1 minute*.  Remove from heat and stir from bottom up, just enough to mix up ingredients stuck on top.  Place back in microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave, cool for a few minutes and enjoy your own personal dessert!

     

     

* Microwave ovens cook differently.  Your microwave may cook faster than mine and cook in only 1 minute, or may need a few seconds longer than 1-1/2 minutes.  What is important to remember is:  you want some liquid in the bottom.  Be careful not to over-bake or you’ll have a very solid, dry cake. 

Chocolate Crackletops

When deciding what cookie selection you want to include on your holiday table and gift boxes, think as you would a meal.  Think not only about different varieties, but also colors, textures, and flavors.  I like to have fully iced and decorated cutout cookies, something with nuts (like snowball cookies), some spicy cookies (like gingerbread) and of course something chocolate!  This recipe is a “must-have” in many homes, mine included.  It makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Melt in microwave (low heat and gradual):
5 squares of Baking Chocolate
1/2 cup Butter


In mixing bowl, place:
2 cups Sugar

Add melted chocolate to the sugar and mix.


 
Beat in one at a time:
3 Eggs, large


Add and mix:
2-1/2 cups AP Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup Walnuts (optional)
 

Refrigerate the dough overnight or at least 6 hours.  Roll COLD dough into balls.  Roll each ball in confectioner’s sugar and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  Bake in a 300 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cup Molten Cake

Being a baker, I look forward to the prospect of trying a new recipe.  I care about my readers getting the best, most accurate recipe and method for making it, so sometimes I have to try a recipe several times before its perfect.  This recipe for Chocolate Molten Cakes was “one of those recipes” where I just wasn’t happy with it’s results, so had to keep trying.  Hopefully, my efforts to get it just right will not go in vain.

On my first attempt this weekend, I made the batter and baked it right away ~ it was too runny (I know it’s supposed to have a liquid center, but not that liquid).

The second attempt was much more successful and I know you will enjoy the results!  

(This recipe makes 5-6 oz. ramekins)

Melt in a bowl, over simmering water (or use microwave):
1/2 cup Butter
4 oz. Dark Chocolate (Use a good Quality!)


In mixer whip on high speed until light colored and thick:
2 Eggs, whole
2 Yolks
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp. Instant coffee/espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 Tabl. Hot Water


Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and add:
1 Tabl. AP Flour

Refrigerate the batter for at least one hour or overnight.  Butter 5 ramekins and dust them with flour.  Place one scoop of cold batter in each ramekin.  Press 1/2 of a Peanut Butter Cup into center (you can skip this step ~ but why would you?!).  Bake in 450 degree oven for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and (OK, this is the really HARD PART) allow to set for 8 minutes.  Take a sharp knife and run it around the edge of the ramekins.  Flip the ramekin over onto a dessert tray.  Serve with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream.

Choco-Orange Brownies

The first recipe contest I entered was years ago and was an original brownie contest.  My favorite flavor combination for chocolate is orange, so it seemed only sensible to work with those flavors.  This is the recipe that won 1st place:

In a large pan, over low heat, melt:
3/4 cup Butter
4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate (Callebout or Ghiradelli are my favorites)

To melted mixture, add and stir well:
2 cups Sugar


Add one at a time, stirring after each addition:
4 Eggs, room temperature


Stir in:
1 tsp. Orange Extract
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tabl. Orange Zest


Sift and stir into above:
1  2/3 cup Cake Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt

Spread batter in 9″ X 13″ pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar to serve.

Chocolate Pudding for Two

Now that it is just my husband and I at home, it isn’t reasonable to make an entire cake or pie for 2 people.  Still, once in a while, we “need” a treat.  This homemade chocolate pudding is rich and delicious ~ and just enough for 2 people!

In a bowl combine:
2 Tabl. Cornstarch
4 Tabl. Cocoa Powder
1/3 cup Sugar
In a saucepan, place:
1 ½ cups Milk, whole

Whisk the dry ingredients into the milk.

Cook, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil and is thickened.

Remove from heat and add:
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli)
2 drops of Vanilla Extract

Pour pudding into 2 individual dessert bowls.  Cover each bowl with plastic wrap, placing the wrap directly on top of pudding (this will keep it from getting a “skin” on top).   Cool, refrigerate until serving. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Choco-doodles

Who doesn’t like a great Snickerdoodle cookie?   I love them straight out of the oven, but be sure to put some in the freezer for any last-minute visitors.  In this recipe, I substituted some of the flour in a regular snickerdoodle with cocoa powder to get these choco-doodles.

Cream:
1# Butter, room temp.
3 cups Sugar


Gradually add:
4 Eggs
1/2 cup Milk
2 tsp. Vanilla


Add to above:
5 1/4 cups AP Flour
3/4 cups Cocoa Powder
1 Tabl. Cream of Tartar
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Salt

Scoop and roll in cinnamon sugar.  Place the balls onto cookie trays lined with parchment paper.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.  Center should be soft.

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