Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo CrustWait, did you just say Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust?  When?  Where?  Sign me up!  Now that the holidays are here in full force, I feel like my kitchen should be full of delicious desserts.  Back when I was in grad school and living in Atlanta, I stumbled across this cheesecake from a former co-worker.  He made his infamous chocolate cheesecake for our annual holiday potluck, and I immediately started pestering him for the recipe.  And now this cheesecake makes a regular appearance around the holidays.  This Triple Chocolate Cheesecake is one of my all-time favorites.  It starts with an Oreo crust, and it only gets better from there!Continue Reading »

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies + Kahlúa Peppermint Hot Cocoa

Is it just me or does Christmas seem to be approaching really quickly this year?  I know stores have had holiday decorations out since September (I saw them!), but that doesn’t make me think Christmas is coming soon.  One of my favorite things about the holiday season (aside from spending time with family and friends, of course) is all of the delicious treats that show up this time of the year.  Ok, I might be responsible for making a lot of those treats in our kitchen…but it’s tradition, right?  It doesn’t feel like the holidays unless you have a fire roaring in the fireplace and no less than 8 tins of cookies, brownies, and other treats on the counter at all times!

I’ve always loved chewy cookies.  Nothing against a crisp cookie or anything, but I just prefer chewy.  So when Kahlúa asked me to create a festive recipe for the holidays, I knew cookies had to be involved somehow.  Then I saw the new Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha flavor that just came out, and I instantly had an idea.  What if there was a cookie that was reminiscent of a rich, chewy brownie?  It sounded like something I needed to try.  Like yesterday.  So after a little playing around in the kitchen, I came up with this chewy Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookie.  I still call it a cookie, but this treat is definitely closely related to the brownie.  And the peppermint pieces that go on top about half-way through baking really give this cookie a holiday twist!

Every since I can remember, I’ve always been a huge fan of the holidays.  There’s something about the gift-giving and general merriment that always puts me in a good mood!  And I love to bake, so the holidays are the perfect opportunity to share delicious treats with friends and neighbors.  If you’re looking for a fun co-worker or neighbor gift, then I suggest baking up a batch of these Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies.  There’s something fun about telling folks that the cookies have Kahlúa in them!  (And if we’re talking about close friends, throw a bottle of Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha in there, too.  The homemade touch of the cookies is always special…andI don’t know anyone who would be sad about getting a bottle of Kahlúa!)

Chocolate and peppermint are a classic flavor of the holidays, and these cookies combine both into one.  But to really get into the holiday spirit, make a big batch of this Kahlúa hot chocolate to drink while you’re making the cookies.  Not only is this hot chocolate really, really tasty…but it will make your house smell delicious, too!

Looking for more holiday recipes and ideas? Be sure to follow Kahlúa on Facebook and Pinterest.

To get inspiration for more great recipes and entertaining ideas with Kahlúa and for a chance to win the ultimate holiday party, please visit www.kahluaholiday.com.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kahlúa. The opinions and text are all mine.


Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup peppermint pieces

Instructions

  1. Using a double-burner or a microwave, melt the chocolate pieces until smooth. Let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, place 4-5 candy canes in a plastic sandwich bag and gently break the pieces until they are about 1/2”-3/4” in size. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a countertop mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy and light in color.
  4. Add the eggs and Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha and beat until liquids are absorbed.
  5. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Beat until fully combined. (Note: this cookie dough is very sticky!)
  6. Scoop out about 1-1.5 Tbsp of dough and gently shape into a round disc. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan, leaving about 2” between each cookie. (Tip: Keep your hands dusted with flour as it will help shape the sticky dough into cookies!)
  7. Bake at 375°F for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and gently press about 4-5 peppermint pieces into the top of each cookie. Return the cookies to the oven and continue baking for another 4 minutes.
  9. Allow cookies to cool before removing from pan.
http://spicedblog.com/double-chocolate-peppermint-cookies-kahlua-peppermint-hot-cocoa.html

Kahlúa Peppermint Hot Cocoa

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha
  • Whipped cream, to garnish
  • Peppermint pieces, to garnish

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, and milk.
  2. Heat over medium-low heat until hot. Add the vanilla and Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha. Stir well and pour into mugs. Garnish with whipped cream and peppermint pieces.
http://spicedblog.com/double-chocolate-peppermint-cookies-kahlua-peppermint-hot-cocoa.html

How to Make Chocolate Curls

How to Make Chocolate CurlsHave you ever wondered how bakeries and restaurants make their desserts look so amazing?  It’s actually quite simple.  The secret is to always top your desserts with a fancy garnish.  Garnishes often don’t take very long to make, and they’ll transform your plain desserts into something that looks like it came from a bakery!  Today’s post describes a simple technique for making amazing chocolate curls to use on top of your desserts.  Heck, these chocolate curls look so awesome that you may just want to serve a plate of these by themselves for an after dinner treat!  And you probably already have the necessarily tools to make these curls right in your kitchen.

How to Make Chocolate CurlsIn order to make professional looking chocolate curls, you’ll need to use the back of a cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan.  Yup, the back of the pan.  And the key here is that the pan needs to be clean and as flat as possible.  If your pans are beat up and warped, then it might be time to treat yourself to a new baking sheet.  You gotta be prepared for holiday baking, right??  Aside from a small metal bowl and a saucepan for melting the chocolate, the only other tool you’ll need is something with a stiff plastic edge.  I’ve actually found that the 99¢ plastic paint scrapers from the hardware store are ideal for this job.  (I keep one of these plastic scrapers in my baking drawer in the kitchen…and it’s marked “Baking” so that I don’t accidentally use it to scrape paint.)  Plus, scraping chocolate curls is way more fun than scraping paint off an old wall!

How to Make Chocolate CurlsAs the picture above shows, you’ll need to let the chocolate warm back up at room temperature before you can create curls.  In the first picture, the chocolate was still too cold, and so it just broke into pieces as I tried to scrape it.  In the second picture, the chocolate was warmer, but still too cold for curls. (It was the perfect temperature for making chocolate shavings, though.)  Finally, in the third picture, the chocolate has warmed up to the perfect temperature for making curls.  To make different shapes and sizes of curls, just experiment with the scraper.  Scraping arcs or “s-shapes” in the chocolate will produce unique and fun-shaped curls.

One last tip is to store the finished curls in the refrigerator once they’re made.  After all, they are chocolate, and they can melt when you touch them.  So the solution to this is just to store them in a plastic container in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.  You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make these chocolate curls, and your friends and neighbors will be surprised at how awesome your desserts look when piled high with curls!

Looking for a fun dessert to go along with these chocolate curls?  Try this Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with Oreo Crust!  (It’s one of my all-time favorite desserts.)

How to Make Chocolate Curls

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces chocolate (any flavor of chocolate works), coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place a clean, flat sheet pan in a 200°F oven until warm.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with about 1" of water. Put chocolate in a small metal bowl and place bowl on top of saucepan. Heat over low heat until chocolate begins to melt, stirring frequently. Once chocolate is fully melted and smooth, remove the bowl from the saucepan.
  3. Remove sheet pan from oven and pour the chocolate onto the back of the pan.
  4. Use an offset spatula to spread the melted chocolate out as smooth as possible across the back of the pan.
  5. Place the pan in the freezer for 3-4 minutes or until chocolate is hard.
  6. Remove pan from freezer and let sit at room temperature for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Using the flat edge of a plastic scraper (see post), carefully scrape the chocolate from the pan in one continuous motion. (Note: If the chocolate breaks rather than curls, it is still too cold. Wait another 1-2 minutes and try again.)
  8. To create various sizes and shapes of curls, scrape arcs or "s-shapes" in the chocolate on the back of the pan.
  9. Store chocolate curls in a container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Notes

Tip: Don't use chocolate chips as they are designed to hold their shape when melted. Go with baking chocolate instead!

http://spicedblog.com/how-to-make-chocolate-curls.html

14 Amazing Christmas Cookies

14 Amazing Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookie season has now officially begun!  Yup, I announced it.  Kinda like when Punxsutawney Phil looks out and sees his shadow on Groundhog Day.  I looked out the window and saw really cold weather…which is my one and only rule for when Christmas Cookie season begins.  So as you are planning out which cookies to bake this holiday season, I hope this collection provides a bit of inspiration!

1. Chocolate Sugar Cookies: You can never go wrong with chocolate.  And the fact that some of these are garnished with Heath Bars makes ‘em even better!

2. Soft Lemon Cookies: Who says lemon is a summer flavor?  The lemony goodness of these cookies is a nice contrast to chocolate, gingerbread and other traditional holiday flavors.

3. Oatmeal Fudge Bars: Ok, so these aren’t technically cookies, but I dare someone to complain after you make them a batch of these tasty bars.

4. Linzer Cookies: These classic cookies are always a hit no matter the time of year!

5. Peanut Butter Snicker Cookies: These little treats have a mini-Snickers bar baked inside.  Yup, I need a batch of these right now!

6. Homemade Samoas: So technically Girl Scout cookie season is in the Spring, but I absolutely love Samoas.  So I think December still counts as Girl Scout cookie season.

7. Peppermint Tea Shortbread Cookies: These cookies use peppermint tea as an ingredient.  How awesome is that?  Plus, they’re dipped in white chocolate, and we all know chocolate makes everything better!

8. Malted Hazelnut & Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies: These tasty treats use malted milk powder as an easy flavor booster.  Fun!

9. Espresso Cookies with Biscoff Buttercream: From my own archive here at Spiced, these cookies are absolutely delicious!  What’s not to love about tasty buttercream sandwiched between two cookies??

10. Peanut Butter Cookies: You can’t have a cookie collection without the classic Peanut Butter Cookie!

11. My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies: My sister created this recipe several years ago, and they are by far the BEST chocolate chip cookie I have ever eaten.

12. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies: These cookies include pretty much everything I want in a dessert.  The salty-sweet combo is absolutely addicting!

13. Soft and Chewy Ginger Cookies: I have been a sucker for a good chewy gingerbread cookie ever since I was a kid.  There’s something about ginger and the holidays.

14. Black and White Striped Cookies: These impressive cookies absolutely deserve a spot in your holiday cookie line-up!

 

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