Monday, December 19, 2011

Chewy Chocolate Chunk-Christmas Cookies! Impressive, Easy, & Yum!

Chewy Chocolate Chunk-Christmas Cookies

This is one of my own :) Tried and true...

Yield: Approximately 40 cookies
3 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 ½ tsp Salt
2 ½ sticks Butter-unsalted, room temperature
2 cups packed, light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
12 oz. Semi-sweet Chocolate pieces
2 cups Coconut
1  cup Crushed Walnuts
8-10 oz dried cranberries (or cherries)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter and sugars until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.  Beat in vanilla and then flour mixture, until combined.  Beat in chocolate, cranberries, coconut, and walnuts.
Roll dough into 1” balls and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Space approximately 3” apart.  (These cookies spread out large!) 
Bake at 350 degrees approximately 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden.  Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool, completely. Freezable and Fabulous!  Enjoy!
Merry Christmas !!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Cake Pops! What a Blast!

Christmas Cake Pops!!

This was my first year making CAKE POPS.  It took a bit longer than I thought it would, but it was so worth it!  What a blast it was to decorate these babies!! So fun!! I can't wait to see how people will enjoy them!

One of the reasons it took me so long, is that I made the cake and the frosting from scratch.  But, I have seen many recipes and know that many people do just fine using box mixes and canned frosting.  I am just a crazy, have to have the best tasting recipe freak, so please forgive!  Recipes and more pics to follow:

In case you are as nuts as me, I have included MY OWN CAKE RECIPE...that has my secret ingredient of CLOVES!  Yes, that is right, cloves. You will be amazed at the depth it gives to the flavor of chocolate! :)   I sometimes will add espresso or dark coffee to my recipes, but in this recipe I did not want it to be too heavy...worried it might wreck the balls! 

So if you are willing to give it a try, here is the recipe.  I have made 100 of them so far, so if you have any questions, give me a shout...I will try to help! :) 
Yay! have fun! 
La Dolce Vita!! oxoxoxoxo

9x13' Cake:

2 1/2 cups of flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp clove (spice, ground)
1 1/2 cups of whole milk or cream

Allow butter and eggs to stand at room temp for minimum 30 minutes.  Grease bottom and sides of 9x13' (preferably glass) pan.  Preheat oven to 350* F.   In medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, clove, cocoa, baking powder.  (Use sifter or whisk)

In stand mixer bowl ( or other) beat butter until soft. Add sugar a bit at a time, scraping down sides of bowl to ensure all well mixed.  Add eggs one at a time until mixed, continue to scrape down sides.  Beat in vanilla, and alternate adding flour mixture and milk.  Beat on LOW speed during flour and milk additions.  Beat just until combined.  Spread into pans. 

Bake at 350*F 35-40 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean.   Cool completely in pan 1-2 hours.


16oz  cream cheese (softened)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups of confectioners sugar.
1/2 cup cocoa (if making white cake pops, omit the cocoa!)

Combine all in mixer, whip until frothy.  (use this frosting for all of your will LOVE the flavor!)



12 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate morsels, blocks, or bakers chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil, vegetable oil, or other food grade mile-flavored oil.

Use a GLASS mixing bowl, that will fit snugly over the top of a PAN (or use double boiler if you have one). 

Bring 4 cups of water to a SIMMER in the pan (do not boil for chocolate!).  Place bowl over top of pan, making sure bowl is not touching the water underneath. Add the oil to the bowl and then add the chocolate, about 1 cup at a time, stirring slowly.  If pan is steaming, turn down the temp enough so that the STEAM DOES NOT HIT THE CHOCOLATE.*

*It is imperative when melting chocolate that NO WATER touch the chocolate...not even a drop or steam.  This will cause the chocolate to seize up on you and clump.  It is difficult to remedy this if done. 

Cooking chocolate at a low and consistent temperature should give you a smooth and silky texture, with a nice shine...good for dipping :)



In LARGE bowl, break cake up into crumbs with a spoon or fingers.  You can also use a blender, if you prefer.  Stir in the FROSTING, until the mixture is moist and just a bit sticky.  It should not be so sticky that you cannot work with it.  If it is, you may wish to add more powdered cocoa to the batter. 

Form small balls, about 1" in size and place in rows on a cookie sheet lined with PARCHMENT/WAX paper.   This recipe should yield about 48-60 balls, depending on the size.  Place pans in refrigerator 1-2 hours to set.  Using the MELTED BUT NOW COOLED CHOCOLATE, dip your POP STICKS (available at Michaels) into the chocolate about 1/2" and stick straight down into cake balls.   Return the pans to the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set.

Dip each cake ball into the chocolate, straight in (head first) as far as you wish them to be covered. For full coverage, it is best to dip straight in, swirl and pull straight out.  THIS PROCESS TAKES SOME TIME AND PATIENCE!  You will have to hang the pop over the side of the bowl for a bit until the dripping ceases.  It may help to turn the pop as it drips off.  Wait until the chocolate is setting before PLACING THE POP UPRIGHT IN A STYROFOAM BOARD (IN ROWS).   NOTE:  I discovered it is very important that the chocolate be completely cooled (but not yet set) before dipping!  Otherwise, it runs like crazy and makes a very big mess. But, if the chocolate begins to harden while you are working with it, you can put it back in the pan for a quick minute just to thin out again.  DO NOT ADD WATER OR MILK TO THIN.

DECORATE:  Using cake decorative frostings and writers, once the chocolate is hardened (10 mins) you may decorate to your hearts content.  The POPS may be frozen if needed.  There are alot of blogs about baking and cake pops out favorite is!  Check her out for  more decorating ideas.

Color Note:  These can also be made with White Cake and White Frosting, just use your favorite recipes for both.

Congratulations on making your own CAKE POPS! 
We would LOVE TO SEE PICTURES OF YOUR WORK! Please send pics and comments!  Thanks and Happy Baking!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Egg Nog Cake! Yum!

    Eggnog Cake

With its moist cake layers, creamy filling and chocolate frosting, this cake appeals to all palates! -Edith Disch, Fairview Park, Ohio
14 ServingsPrep: 35 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling


  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 cups eggnog
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Click here to find out more!2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon hot water


  • Let eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large bowl,
  • cream butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add yolks,
  • one at a time, beating well after each. Combine orange juice, peel
  • and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda
  • and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with juice mixture,
  • beating well after each addition.
  • In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed
  • until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar, 1
  • tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Gradually fold
  • into batter.
  • Line two greased 9-in. round baking pans with waxed paper; grease
  • paper. Pour batter into pans. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or
  • until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in
  • pans for 10 minutes before removing to wire racks. Peel off paper;
  • cool.
  • For filling, in a small saucepan, combine flour and a small amount of
  • eggnog; stir until smooth. Stir in remaining eggnog; bring to a
  • boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until
  • thickened. Cool completely.
  • In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat
  • in vanilla and nutmeg. Gradually beat in eggnog mixture until
  • smooth; set aside.
  • For frosting, in another small bowl, cream confectioners' sugar and
  • butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the cream, chocolate,
  • cinnamon and nutmeg until smooth. Add water until frosting reaches
  • spreading consistency.
  • Split cakes in half; spread filling on three layers. Top with
  • remaining layer; frost top. Yield: 14 servings.