It’s National Chocolate Cake Day

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A Day Honoring a Favorite Dessert!

I can never quite decide which I love more a luscious deep-dish apple pie fragrant with cinnamon, or a rich, melt-in-your-mouth slice of dark chocolate cake.  It never entered my imagination that there would be a special day for Chocolate Cake, until a good friend sent me an e-mail with a recipe for a microwave cooked Chocolate Cake in a Mug in honor of today.

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Watching my cake cook!

Of course I had to try the recipe, which is quite simple. The result is a somewhat spongy cake, with a pancake like under-taste. Not bad for a super quick cake to satisfy an craving for chocolate cake.   I am wondering how the recipe might fair if a rising agent were added, or perhaps self-rising flour were used, which I do not keep on hand as a staple.

For a microwave baked product, it is good and should be a hit with younger kids especially if they are watching through the microwave window when the cake starts to rise like a souffle!  It is puffs up quickly – almost like magic.  Make sure you use a LARGE mug; you only want the batter to fill about halfway up you cup.

My mug is now empty, as I was enjoying my cake as I was typing this review.  Hmmm, I haven’t had lunch today so maybe a second helping is in order.

Chocolate Cake in a Mug Recipe

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Mixed and Ready to Microwave!

Combine: 4 T flour, 4 T sugar, 1 T cocoa

Add to dry ingredients: 1 egg, 3 T milk, 3 T oil

Mix well. Bake 3 minutes in microwave. Cool and enjoy!

Optional Ingredients: 1 T of chocolate chips, or chopped nuts, or coconut

Let me know if you try this recipe and what changes you make!

Happy Microwave Baking!

 

 

 

 

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Season’s Greetings

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Hope everyone had a joyful and blessed holiday. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend the day with family. Our day was filled with the laughter of young and old, good conversation, and delicious food. Of course, I ate too much. Started out with good intentions and small servings, but went back for more of my favorites.

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Shadow “hanging” out in our Christmas tree. One of her favorite places.

Our Christmas dinner was a pot luck with the hosts providing a glorious prime rib, mashed potatoes, gravy and au jus. Contributed sides included a twist on the classic green bean casserole – prepared in a crocked pot, maple glazed carrots with dill, and baked beans with bacon.

A holiday feast is not complete without dessert – – we had two of my favorites – – apple crumb pie and sweet potato pie. How could I possibly choose just one!  Had to have some of each.

After dinner, we unwrapped gifts while sitting around the fire. Because our family has grown so large, adults pick names at Thanksgiving for a Secret Santa exchange.  I brought “goodie bags” for everyone filled with Salty Chocolate Chip cookies (with coconut and caramel bits added to make them EXTRA yummy), Fig Walnut balls, and Coconut Chocolate Haystacks.

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Making Coconut Chocolate Haystacks at Christmas time is becoming a holiday tradition. Best of all they are super easy to make!

Ingredients and Supplies:

12 ounce bag of dark chocolate chips (I like to use Ghiradelli)

14 ounce bag of sweetened coconut

Glass batter bowl – 2 quart size

Small Scoop – Tablespoon Size (I use Pampered Chef Small Scoop)

Waxed Paper

Directions:

Pour chips into a glass bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir chips. Return and microwave for 30 seconds. Take out and stir well. Once more for 30 seconds, stir well until all chips are melted . If necessary return to microwave for 15 more seconds.

Slowly add coconut, breaking up clumps and stirring well after each addition. Keeping adding coconut and stirring until you have used all of the coconut. You will have a stiff mixture.

Use scoop and press against side of bowl to compress. Dispense onto wax paper and let the haystacks set until firm. Stored in an airtight container. Makes lots! About 4 to 5 dozen.

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Share, eat and enjoy!

Need a glass bowl or a small scoop? Check out the following links – –

The Pampered Chef Small Scoop #2530

Anchor Hocking 2 Quart Ovenproof Glass Batter Bowl

Me Want Cookies!

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It’s cookie baking time! I’ve been baking cookies all week for the Christmas holiday and for a Cookie Walk bake sale at the church I attend. Already made are English Toffee Brickle Drops, Spiced Shortbread, and White Chip Macadamia Nut. Today’s baking menu is for Loaded Chocolate Chip cookies and Gingerbread Thumbprint cookies.

I was searching for an existing Loaded Chocolate Chip cookie recipe, but didn’t find one that I liked. So, being a creative cook, I took a traditional chocolate chip recipe and made modifications. The end result was a cookie that was crisp on the outside, yet soft and chewy on the inside. Best of all, they are not overly sweet. Here’s what I did –

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

 

Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 cup unsweetened butter (2 sticks) at room temperature
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unsifted flour
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar – packed
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar – packed
  • 1 – 1/2 cups good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3/4 cup caramel bits
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars until creamy and combined well. Medium speed about 2 minutes.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla. Mix on medium low speed until well mixed.  Tip: crack eggs into a separate bowl first to avoid shell chips in your batter.
  4. In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Slowly add dry mixture to the creamed butter and sugar and mix until incorporated.
  6. Use a mixing spoon to stir in the chips, coconut, cranberries, and caramel bits.
  7. Drop batter onto prepared baking sheets using a one inch scoop or teaspoon.
  8. Bake 11 – 12 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Cool 5 minutes on sheets and transfer to cooling rack.
  10. Eat and enjoy!
Baked Cookies

Baked Cookies Ready to Eat – – Yum!!!

I hope you give these cookies a try and let me know what you think. Just transferred the last batch to the cooling rack, now it’s time for a clean-up and then onto the Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies (using apricot preserves instead of the blueberry jam).

Happy Baking!