I want Chocolate…Brownies

So I have lots of candy in my house, buts its bookmarked for the trick or treat-ers tonight! If I can’t eat all that delicious bite sized candy, I will make myself some chocolate that I can eat. Here is my fudge chocolate brownie recipes!

RECIPE: I want Chocolate…Brownies
Makes 9 Servings

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0267
Bowl
8 X 8 Dish
Spatula
Oven heated to 350
Cooling Rack

INGREDIENTS:
2 Eggs
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 t vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF02681) In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and vegetable oil.
2) Grease the glass baking dish.
3) Add dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt.
4) Pour the batter into the greased baking dish.
5)Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the pan.
6) Let cool on a cooling rack before slicing and serving the chocolate fudge-y goodness.

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I love delicious chocolate brownies, and I can definitely eat them while giving out all that delicious chocolate.

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Spooky Cut Out Cookies- two flavors!

We are having a Halloween potluck at work tomorrow, and I decided it was time to break out the festive cookie cutters. I limited my selection to leaves, bats, ghosts, and pumpkins. The trick was trying to decide what flavor to bake. Do I go with classic plain sugar cookies? Or do I switch up instead? I decided I wanted to do a little bit of both while not having to make two whole batches of dough. Check out my recipe for below to getting chocolate and classic sugar cookies out of one dough!

RECIPE: Spooky Cut Out Cookies 
Makes 3-4 Dozen Depending on Shapes 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0254
Measuring Utensils
Mixer
Wax Paper
Fridge
Rolling Pin
Cookie Cutters
Baking Sheets
Oven set to 375 degrees

INGREDIENTS: 
1/2 cup Crisco
1 stick Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
2 cups Flour
2-3 tablespoons Cocoa Powder
Decorating Sugars

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF02581) 
In a mixer, cream together the Crisco and Butter.
2) Add the sugar and beat until creamy.
3) Mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla.
4) Mix in the baking powder and flour until a nice dough is formed.
5) Remove half the dough from the bowl and wrap it in wax paper.
6) Mix 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder into the dough left in the bowl. Beat until thoroughly combined, you may want to grab a spatula and do it manually. DSCF0260
7) Wrap the chocolate half of the dough in wax paper and  place all the dough in the fridge for an hour or two.
8) Before you remove the dough from the fridge, clean part of your counter and place a dusting of flour over it. Prepare your area with the cookie sheet nearby, and a spatula and rolling pin handy.
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9) 
Only remove half of one of the blocks of dough to work on at a time. This keeps the dough chilled and it is much more manageable to work in four batches than 2 large ones.
10) Roll and cut the dough with desired cookie cutters.
11) Once the cut outs are on the tray, decorate with sugar if desired and place in the oven for 5-6 minutes.
12) Move cookies to the cooling rack after letting them cool on the tray for a minute or so. DSCF0262

These cookies store well in air tight containers after they are fully cooled. They are also a softer cut out cookie, so while milk is not required, I still recommend it! DSCF0265

Persimmon Pudding

Being in the south, I have access to a fruit that I never had access to up north: The Persimmon! One of my coworkers has a native north American persimmon tree on their property and let me pick as many as I wanted. I made sure to only pick the most over ripe ones I could find, and tried making a persimmon pudding as my first and only baked good. I didn’t realize how many seeds were inside the persimmons and had to use four times the fruit I originally estimated. The effort to get the pulp also makes me not very keen on baking with them again…

RECIPE: Persimmon Pudding 
Makes 9 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0238
Measuring Utensils
Mixer
Bowl for seeds
Greased Baking Dish
Oven set to 325 degrees

INGREDIENTS: 
1 Cup Persimmon Pulp
1 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
1 Stick butter, melted
Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Flour

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF02391) 
Separate the persimmons and seeds, placing the pulp in a measuring cup and the seeds in a bowl.
2) Once you have a full cup of persimmon pulp, place it in the mixer and combine with the 1 cup of sugar.
3) Beat in the 3 eggs and the milk.
4) Slowly add the melted butter.
5) Season with cinnamon and lots of freshly grated nutmeg.
6) Add the baking powder and flour, and mix until a batter is formed.
7) Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and bake for about an hour or until done.
8) Chill and then serve. Unlike other desserts, this one must be kept in the fridge.

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While this was a tasty pudding, I can’t say I have any desire to bake it again. The amount of labor to get the persimmon pulp was much more than expected, and the flavor wasn’t amazing enough to make it worth repeating. If you have access to a more cultivated persimmon source with large fruit it may be worth it for you though!

Also, I am glad I can now say I have eaten and baked with local persimmons!

All Fall Cookies

I saw a picture on instragram the other day of someone who made a chocolate chip cookie using all their favorite Halloween candy bars. I liked the concept, though I don’t eat a lot of candy bars. I figured I would make a cookie with some of my favorite fall flavors! These chewy cookies are stuffed full of pecans, chocolate chips, and even candy corn. My husband and I have been snitching cookies all day because they are addictively tasty!

RECIPE: All Fall Cookies
Makes about 2 Dozen

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0231
Measuring tools
Mixing Bowl
Cookie Scoop
Baking Sheet
Oven set to 300 degrees
Spatula
Cooling Rack

INGREDIENTS: 
1 Stick Butter
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 Egg
Splash of Vanilla
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of Salt
1 1/4 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Pecan Pieces
3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips
3/4 Cup Candy Corn

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF02341) 
In a mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
2) Add an egg and a splash of vanilla and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.
3) Mix in the baking soda, salt, and flour.
4) Slowly mix in the flour until a cookie dough is formed.
5) On a low speed, carefully mix in the pecan pieces, chocolate chips, and candy corn. Add the candy corn last so that minimal stirring will keep some of the pieces whole. DSCF0236
6) Because of all the fillings, you will want to use the large cookie scoop. Scoop dough onto an un-greased baking sheet.
7) Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
8) When you take the cookies out of the oven, immediately use a spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack.
9) Once cool, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container. DSCF0242

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Mini Pumpkin Roll

I have a friend who is pretty much the Frankie to my Grace. We used to garden together, and drink wine together. Now we live across country from each other and mostly trade pictures of what we’ve been growing and baking. I had to make this recipe of hers, because it looked down right mouthwatering. I made a mini version of the roll since I don’t need to be tempted to eat too much of it.

RECIPE: Mini Pumpkin Roll
Makes 1 Mini Roll

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0211
2 bowls
1 Large Spatula
1 Small Spatula
Silicon Baking Sheet
Metal Baking Sheet
Oven set to 375 degrees
Cooling Rack

INGREDIENTS: 
1 Egg
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Canned Pumpkin
1/4 Cup Flour
1/3 teaspoon Baking Soda
Sprinkle of Salt
Dash of Cinnamon
3 oz Cream Cheese
1/3 Cup 10 x Sugar
Splash of Vanilla
Pecans

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF02171) 
In a bowl, use the large spatula to combine the egg and sugar.
2) Stir in the pumpkin.
3) Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir until a consistent batter is formed.
4) Grease the silicon baking sheet and place it on top of the metal baking pan.
5) Spread the batter evenly on the silicon pan.
6) Bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until done.
7) While its baking, in the second bowl, use the small spatula to combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla.


8) Crack and crumble the pecans. DSCF0223
9) Remove the baking sheets from the oven and slide the silicon baking sheet onto the cooling rack.
10) Spread the cream cheese mixture over the pumpkin cake. Sprinkle it with the pecans.
11) Roll the pumpkin roll, and shift it off the silicon baking sheet onto the cooling rack.
12) Decorate the roll how you wish, I went with powdered sugar and then used a little bit of the frosting to place pecans on top of the roll.
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Also, why are pecans so freaking good when they are fresh? I was not a big fan of nuts from the store, but I cannot help myself around these fresh ones!

Jalapeno Popper Dog

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to combine jalapeno poppers and hot dogs? If you haven’t, then you have missed fantasizing about an absolutely delicious combination. I’m sad that I didn’t think of this combination earlier in the summer, because I would have been eating it weekly for the last few months!

RECIPE: Jalapeno Popper Dog
Makes 3 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0201
Cast iron pan
Cutting Board
Knife
Baking Sheet
Oven Set to Broil
Cheese Grater

INGREDIENTS: 
3 Hot Dogs
3 Hot Dog Buns
Butter
Garlic Powder
6 Jalapenos
Cheddar Cheese

DIRECTIONS:
1) In a cast iron pan, begin grilling the hot dogs. Roll the hot dogs occasionally so they cook evenly.
2) Spread butter over the inside of the hot dog buns and sprinkle heartily with garlic powder. Place on a baking sheet and slide under the broiler till the butter soaks into the bread and you see just a twinge of browning. 
3)  
Use gloves and cut the tops off the jalapenos and then slice them long ways. Remove the seeds as well.

4) Remove the hot dogs from the cast iron pan and drop the jalapenos into it. You want the jalapenos to get a bit of hot char to them to really bring out depths of flavor.
5) Place the hot dogs in the buns and lay 2 jalapeno slices on either side of each hot dog.
6) Grate cheddar cheese and sprinkle liberally over the hot dogs.
7) Put the tray back in the oven until the cheese melts under the broiler. Serve immediately.

The flavor combination of these hot dogs is out of this world! Next time, I’m going to do real garlic for the garlic bread buns, but I usually cheat and use the powder for my jalapeno poppers and wanted to stay true to that recipe. DSCF0209

Every bite has spicy jalapeno and gooey cheese! Yum!

Two Pot Fall Pasta

I see lots of recipes that brag about being a one pot recipe for pasta dishes. This dinner actually takes two pots, but I swear the extra dish washing is completely worth it. I made the whole wheat recipe from the Kitchen Aid recipe that comes with their extruder, and it really makes this pasta feel like fall. Or maybe the fall flavor came from the late harvest tomatoes. I think fall tomatoes just have a different flavor profile than the hot weather ones!

RECIPE: Two Pot Fall Pasta
Makes 3 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0193
Cutting Board
Knife
Sauce Pan
Pot
Wooden Spoon
Tongs

INGREDIENTS: 
Salt
Whole Wheat Pasta
Carton of Mushrooms
3 Late Harvest Tomatoes
Garlic Cloves
Basil
Ground Sage
Mozzarella Cheese

DIRECTIONS:
1) 
In a large pot, add salt to the water and let it start coming to a boil.
2) Add the whole wheat spaghetti to the hot water.
3) Wash and slice all the mushrooms, throwing them into a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally as you continue to slice and add mushrooms.
4) Roughly dice up the tomatoes and stir them into the mushrooms.
5) Stir and test the pasta to see if its done.

6) Mince up 3-4 cloves of garlic and add it to the mushrooms. Season lightly with basil and ground sage to taste.
7) Drain the pasta, but keep it in the large pot.
8) Pour the sauce pan of vegetables over the pasta, use tongs to evenly mix the vegetables throughout.
9) Slice some shavings of mozzarella to top the fall inspired pasta dish if so desired. DSCF0198

This was the best whole wheat pasta I have ever had, and so glad I can make as much as I want at home! The mushrooms and tomatoes cooked together into a juicy mixture that coated the pasta without the need for oil or butter, making it an even healthier dinner and reheated lunch the next day.

Graveyard Hags (aka Pumpkin Truffles)

Halloween is my husband’s favorite holiday. The celebration starts on October 1st and goes through October 31st. There are Halloween movies, Halloween episodes, and Halloween snacks! This snack was inspired by a recipe I found on the If you give a blonde a kitchen blog and I did my own twist to make it a little creepier.

Also, Horatio decided to hang out in the kitchen with me. He is the goldfish in the travel bowl as his aquarium was being cleaned. He is also a great sous chef.

RECIPE: Graveyard Hags (aka Pumpkin Truffles)
Makes Many Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0181
Hand Mixer
Food Processor
Spatula
Bowls
Wax paper
Plate
Spoon

INGREDIENTS: 
1/4 Cup Cream Cheese
2 Tablespoons 10 x Sugar
1/3 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1 Pack Graham Crackers
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon All Spice
Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF01831) 
In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and pumpkin puree until smooth.
2) In a food processor, crush the packet of graham crackers into tiny crumbs.
3) Dump the graham cracker crumbs into the puree mixture. Season with fresh nutmeg, cinnamon, and all spice. DSCF0185
4) 
Mix everything together with a spatula until evenly incorporated.
5) Stick the mixture in the fridge for 1-3 hours.
6) Form the dough into balls and place onto a waxed paper lined plate.
DSCF01877) Chill the balls again while you melt the bittersweet chocolate.
8) While most people prefer dipping and coating evenly in chocolate, I wanted to make the chocolate look like dark shrouds covering old graveyard hags. So once the chocolate was melted, I did a heavy drizzle of chocolate over the chilled truffles.
9) The truffles then go back into the fridge to chill until the chocolate is set, and then they are ready to eat!

 

 

They probably would look better with eyes and other decorations, but I prefer my creepy candy to be a little more abstract in nature!

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These were delicious! They had the best balance of pumpkin and chocolate.

Chocolate Banana Pancake

I think one of my favorite combinations of all time is chocolate and bananas. I like chocolate covered bananas for dessert, chocolate chip banana bread, and even banana ice cream with chocolate syrup. However, when it comes time for breakfast, all I want is a chocolate and banana pancake! It’s sort of like that song…

RECIPE: Chocolate Banana Pancake 
Makes 5 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0169
Whisk
Bowl
Spoon
Knife
Cutting Board
Cast iron pan
Spatula

INGREDIENTS: 
1 cup Flour
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup Milk
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
Pinch of Salt
1 Banana
Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
Maple Syrup

DIRECTIONS:
DSCF01701) 
Peel and slice up one ripe banana, I usually put the slices on a small plate to the side.
2) In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and baking powder.
3) Create a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk, egg, canola oil, and salt.
4) Milk the ingredients until everything is combined but not overly beaten.
5) Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat.
6) When the pan is hot, pour some of the batter into the pan. Layer with sliced bananas, and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

7) When the batter begins bubbling flip it with the spatula and let the other side cook for just a little bit, before sliding it out of the pan and onto the plate.
8) Top the pancake with just a touch of syrup before serving. DSCF0173

Sausage Stuffed Peppers

I actually like stuffed mushrooms better than stuffed peppers. However, I haven’t been able to find a good local mushroom guy in this town. I really miss my old mushroom guy. Fresh grown mushrooms just taste so much better than the store ones. But anyway, I decided to channel my desire for something stuffed into this sausage stuffed peppers.

RECIPE: Sausage Stuffed Peppers
Makes 3 Servings 

SUPPLIES NEEDED:DSCF0145
Cutting Board
Knife
Oven set to 400
Baking pan
Cast iron pan
Spatula

INGREDIENTS: 
Homemade Italian Sausage
Tomatoes
3 Medium Green Peppers
Mozzarella

DIRECTIONS:
1) 
Cut the tops off three green peppers and remove the seeds and insides.
2) Put the peppers standing up in a baking pan and place in the hot oven for 15-25 minutes or until soft.
3) Begin browning the sausage in a cast iron pan.
4) Roughly chop up the tomatoes and add them to the cooking sausage.DSCF0147
5) Slice some mozzarella.
6) Fill the cooked peppers with the sausage and tomato mixture, and then top with the mozzarella.
7) Place back in the oven until the cheese melts.DSCF0155