Archives for category: chocolate

Our son brought home a “Top Secret” cookbook from his school library and asked to make copycat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’m not a huge fan of baking or making candy (I love the improvisation and un-preciseness of cooking), but since he was so excited about a recipe I said sure why not. Plus… chocolate!!! Ha. Here’s how they turned out:

easy homemade peanut butter cups recipe


  • 8 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 1 1/3 c. milk chocolate chips
  • 2 T. vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 c. + 2 Tbs. powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbs. softened butter


STEP 1: Line 10 regular-sized muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside

STEP 2: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat 4 oz. baking chocolate in the microwave at 30-second intervals until it starts to melt. Add 2/3 c. chocolate chips and head an additional 30 seconds or until melted. Add 1 Tbs. shortening and stir until everything has combined and is melted. Pour into liners. Place muffin tin in freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until firm.

STEP 3: In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar on low until blended. Spoon mixture evenly among the cups of chocolate. Place back in freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until firm.

STEP 4: Repeat step 2 with remaining baking chocolate, chocolate chips, and shortening. Pour chocolate evenly among peanut butter to top. Freeze for 15-20 more minutes or until set.

recipe adapted from Copycat Candy Bars Cookbook

My blender is getting a workout because I’m on a smoothie kick! Here’s a super-filling and tasty smoothie recipe: Chocolate Banana Avocado. 

Chocolate Banana Avocado Smoothie Recipe - Only 147 calories and less than 9 grams fat - uses almond milk


  • 8 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 frozen banana (peel and cut into chunks before freezing)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 individual packet Splenda


Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix. Serve and enjoy.

Here’s an avocado scooper I hand-stamped, available at my Etsy shop!


Chocolate Banana Avocado Smoothie Recipe - Estimated Nutrition Information

Flourless Chocolate Torte - springform cake pan recipe

Happy Valentine’s Day! Or as I like to call it, almost my birthday, haha. Here’s a flourless chocolate torte I adapted from Epicurious; a decadent concoction called La Bete Noire (“The Black Beast”). Instead of topping the torte with a ganache I used whipping cream and cocoa powder.

This can be made a couple of days ahead of time; just keep it covered in the fridge.

Flourless Chocolate Torte Recipe - made in a springform cake pan


  • 1 c. water
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 9 Tbs (1 stick + 1 Tbs) unsalted butter, diced
  • 18 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 c. whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
  • 10-in diameter springform pan
  • parchment paper
  • heavy-duty foil
  • large roasting pan

For cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with a circle of parchment paper; butter parchment.

Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim.

In a small sauce pan, combine 1 c. water and 3/4 c. sugar. Bring to boil over med heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 mins then remove from heat.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in roasting pan then add hot water until water comdes halfway up sides of cake pan.

Bake cake 50 minutes, or until firm (center should no longer move when pan is gently shaken).

Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

For frosting:

Beat cream until slightly thickened. Gradually add sugar, vanilla and cocoa. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of cake.

Refrigerate cake in pan until serving. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake then release sides. Slice and serve.

No Flour Chocolate Torte Recipe - baked in a springform cake pan

slow cooker hot chocolate - just put everything in the crock pot and voila

Here’s a decadent, rich, chocolatey cocoa that you can make in your slow cooker. Throw the ingredients in, take a drive to look at Christmas lights, and come home and enjoy a mug of THE BEST hot chocolate ever. Don’t forget to leave some out for Santa on Christmas Eve! 😉


  • 12 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 c. milk chocolate chips
  • 6 c. milk
  • optional toppings: whipped cream, sprinkles, cocoa powder, marshmallows, etc.


Combine the whipping cream, condensed milk, chocolate chips, and milk in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for approximately 2 hours, or until the chocolate has melted. Serve warm, ladling into mugs, and add optional toppings.

recipe adapted from

slow cooker hot chocolate - just throw everything in and in a couple of hours you will have awesome rich chocolatey goodness

Our little guy turned two!

Here’s a quick topping I put on his cake using just waxed paper and sprinkles:

Awesome tip: Use waxed paper and sprinkles for an easy cake topping!

Here’s what I did:

1. Print out a number (I used Microsoft Word), sized to the top of the cake

2. Trace the outline on waxed paper with a Sharpie

3. Using scissors or an x-acto knife, cut out the number, to make a stencil

4. Place waxed paper stencil on frosting

5. Top with sprinkles

6. Remove waxed paper

Make a stencil out of waxed paper for an easy numbered cake topper!

Use waxed paper as a stencil for a numbered cake topper!

Make a numbered cake topper with waxed paper and sprinkles.

Make a numbered cake topper with just waxed paper (as a stencil) and sprinkles!


Also, check out…

DIY Fabric Party Hat with Pom Pom Topper

DIY Paper Pennant Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Shoot

DIY Photo Background

Over the summer the kids and I tried a super-easy recipe for chocolate-covered blueberries. It has just two ingredients: chocolate (duh) and blueberries (double duh) LOL. They turned out really well and were fun to make and a great sweet snack.

2-Ingredient Chocolate Covered Blueberries


  • 1 bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 1-2 pints of blueberries
  • silicone mold


  • Pour chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl and microwave until melted.
  • Spoon melted chocolate into the mold.
  • Drop in a few blueberries.
  • Freeze silicone mold then pop each piece out.
  • Keep refrigerated (we put ours in cupcake liners and Ziplock bags).

milk chocolate chips


silicone mold for chocolate covered blueberries

2-ingredient chocolate covered blueberries

The hubby’s birthday fell on the weekend of July 4 this year, so I went all out (calorie- and sugar- wise) on an ice cream cake to celebrate his day of turning the big 3-5.

Inspired by a recipe from I ended up with this crazy, cold, candy-filled, fattening, sugar-coma-inducing concoction.

Calorie count: Infinite (lol). Deliciousness factor: Off the charts.

candy shop ice cream cake


  • 2 flavors of ice cream (1 quart each). I used chocolate chip cookie dough, and chocolate.
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • Kit Kat candy bars (I used approximately 40)
  • 1 tub Cool Whip, thawed enough to spread
  • 1 package Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 c. M&M candies
  • parchment paper
  • 9-in springform pan


  • Remove both ice creams from the freezer and let melt so they are soft enough to stir.
  • While waiting on ice cream, combine 24 Oreo cookies and milk in a food processor, which will be the bottom layer for the crust.
  • Coat springform pan with non-stick spray, then place Kit Kat bars upright all around the side of the pan. Place bars as close as possible to each other, with “Kit Kat” facing outward.
  • Cut a piece of parchment paper into the same size circle as the size of the bottom of the pan. Line the bottom of the pan with the paper then press the Oreo crust evenly on top of it.
  • Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Spread one kind of ice cream evenly over the Oreo crust, then put back in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Spread the second ice cream over the crust, and place in freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Top with Cool Whip as frosting, then sprinkle M&Ms on top. I added an Oreo, and you could also put Oreo crumbles on top too.
  • Return cake to freezer for 8-10 hours, or overnight, to set.
  • Remove from freezer 10 minutes prior to serving. Remove the springform ring, then slice cake, and serve.

line spring form pan with Kit Kat

blend Oreos and milk in food processor

Oreos + Milk = Crust

line bottom of pan with parchment paper

Oreo crust

3 layers on top of crust: ice cream, more ice cream, then Cool Whip

1st layer of ice cream

2nd layer of ice cream

frost with CoolWhip and top with candy

remove spring form ring before slicing

candy shop ice cream cake

candy shop ice cream cake

July 2014  – Here we are again, another birthday for the hubs! Last year’s ice cream cake was such a hit I made one again. Since we celebrated on the 4th of July, I used just red and blue M&Ms on top for a patriotic theme…

Candy Shop Ice Cream Cake: crust of Oreos, Kit Kat bars all around, 2 kinds of ice cream, top with Cool Whip and candies. Use different colors of MandMs for different themes!

stuffed portabellos

portabellos stuffed with baby spinach, fresh salsa and feta cheese

I have a theory about mushrooms: either you love ’em or hate ’em. I am Team Mushroom all the way (the hubby is Anti-‘Shroom). Portabello mushrooms are one of my faves, especially when they are stuffed.

A while ago I bought some stuffed portabellos prepared by our grocery store’s deli, which were stuffed with spinach, pico de gallo, and crumbled feta cheese. I baked them in the oven at home; they were very yummy but super expensive and I figured I could make my own for a lot less money.

Here’s what I came up with…


  • 2 portabello mushrooms
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • baby spinach
  • fresh pico de gallo OR fresh salsa
  • salt & pepper, to taste


Clean the portabellos: Gently rub any dirt off the tops with a damp paper towel. Snap off the stems then gently scrape off the “gills” underneath the cap using a spoon. The gills usually smell sorta musty, and take up valuable stuffable space, so they gotta go. I don’t know why but I love scraping/peeling off the spongy gills, though writing about it seems like I should be on some TLC show about weird obsessions, and also that I’m oversharing here… Anyway once the mushrooms are clean, stuff the insides with baby spinach, salsa/pico de gallo, and feta, in whatever amounts look tasty to you. I use a lot of spinach on the bottom layer since it shrinks so much as it cooks. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Place stuffed portabello caps on a foil-lined baking sheet, and broil for 15-20 mins or until the cheese starts to brown. You could also grill these instead of using the oven.

3-20-2013 stuffed portabellos (3)



3-20-2013 stuffed portabellos (4) 3-20-2013 stuffed portabellos (6)













Here’s a variation on these ‘shrooms: Stuffed Baby Bellas

personalize a brownie cake with laminated photos or numbers

Here’s an impromptu brownie cake I made to celebrate our 7th Wedding Anniversary. I totally winged it!

This is what I used…

For the brownie cake:

  • Springform Pan
  • Non-Stick spray
  • 1 Box of Brownie Mix (plus ingredients listed on the box)

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 c. softened butter
  • 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ziplock bag

For the topper: I printed out a wedding photo, and a number that I printed from Microsoft Word, and laminated them (seperately) with our Scotch Thermal Laminator. I cut around the edges and taped them onto toothpicks.

For the brownie:

Prepared brownie mix according to the instructions on the box, and poured into a greased springform pan. Baked 35-40 mins until the toothpick came out clean. After it cooled I removed the ring from around the edges. Then I mixed all of the frosting ingredients together. I added a layer of frosting (it was thin enough to run down the sides and cover the cake) and after that dried, I went back with more frosting in a ziplock with the corner cut off, and made random dots and swirls. I topped it off with the photo and number.

Thermal Laminator

Cuisinart Springform Pan

July 2012

Last summer was my first attempt at vegetable gardening, with a real garden (hurrah!) in the backyard of our new house. I ended up with gargantuan zucchinis that were each practically the size of a small newborn. So naturally I found a recipe for zucchini bread of the best variety: chocolate! The kids had fun helping mix up the batter; we made several batches and used up some of those zukes. The bread comes out super moist because of the zucchini but also is not too sweet. And it uses a mixture of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, as well as a mashed banana. Bonus: You can freeze the loaves for later.

June 2012 zuccchini

Here is the recipe from


  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 2 c. zucchini, grated


Preheat oven to 350°

In a bowl, combine flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate large bowl, beat vanilla, oil, eggs, banana and honey until combined.

Slowly combine items from both bowls, then stir in the grated zucchini.

Pour batter into 2 greased 8×4″ loaf pans.

Bake for 45-50 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10 mins, then remove bread from pan and cool completely.

Loaves can be wrapped tightly in foil, placed in Ziploc bags labeled with the date and frozen for up to 3 months.


July 2012