Posts tagged ‘chocolate’

Dark Chocolate Chip and Walnut Scones

I love scones.

I remember when my mom first started making them. She a got a recipe for them from someone at our church, I believe. I was in elementary school, and I’d never heard of nor had scones before. But from that very first scone I was in love. Fresh scones are hard to beat.

Growing up, whenever my mom made fish chowder, she would make plain scones to go with it. This may seem like an odd combination, but trust me, it’s lovely. We would slather them with butter and honey and eat them with our chowder. Ah, memories.

I still make plain scones whenever I  make fish chowder. It’s one of those comfort foods that makes me feel warm and fuzzy because it reminds me of my childhood (and because it tastes really good of course too). Sometimes, however, I like to make scones for breakfast too. They’re great, because you can make just about any kind you want, just like muffins.

This time around, I found myself wanting scones for breakfast one Saturday morning. And not just any scones, but chocolate chip scones with walnuts. And not just any chocolate, but dark chocolate. Whenever I eat or make anything with chocolate, I always use dark chocolate. I figure, if I’m going to go all out and eat chocolate, than it better be good chocolate, and my favorite kind of chocolate on earth is dark chocolate (the darker, the better).

These are a wonderful treat for a weekend morning (or a special weekday morning even). Crumbly on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside with warm gooey chocolate and crispy walnuts. Heaven my friends. In the form of a breakfast quick bread.

Dark Chocolate and Walnut Scones

(makes 8 scones)

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. cold un-salted butter (half a stick), cut into cubes
  • 1/2 – 3/4 bag of dark chocolate chips (5 – 8 oz.)
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 c. buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425° F. Grease a baking sheet.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. With a pastry blender (or two forks), cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Add chocolate chips and chopped walnuts and mix in.
  5. Beat buttermilk and egg together in a small bowl. Pour over the flour mixture and stir just until the mixture comes together. Try not to over mix it.
  6. Pour out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 4 or 5 times. Transfer to the prepared cookie sheet. With floured hands pat dough into an 8-inch circle. Using a floured knife, cut into 8 wedges, but do not separate the pieces.
  7. Bake 15 – 18 minutes, or until golden brown.


October 3, 2012 at 11:55 am 10 comments

Chocolate Lava Cakes

There are few things more wonderful than a properly made chocolate dessert.

The reason for this, is because there are few things more wonderful than good chocolate.

Chocolate is your friend. And mine. Good friends. Tasty too.

Just don’t try to eat your other friends. If you do, people will start calling you Hannibal, and they’ll send you away to a not very nice place.

So just eat chocolate.

Good chocolate.

And these chocolate lava cakes.

The end.

Chocolate Lava Cakes

(serves 4)

  • 3 oz. baking chocolate (3, 1 oz. pieces)
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar, plus more for serving
  • dash of salt
  • 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • raspberry sauce for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Grease 4 small ramekins, custard cups, or any small (1 c. / 6 oz. capacity), oven safe baking dish. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  3. Add butter and chocolate to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until melted, stirring ever 20 – 30 seconds, or melt in a double broiler.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, powdered sugar, and salt.
  5. Add chocolate mixture and mix.
  6. Add flour and mix just until combined.
  7. Pour into ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven 10 – 12 minutes. Do not over bake. Centers should be slightly jiggly and soft looking. A toothpick inserted near the outer edge should come out dry, and inserted near the center, it should come out wet.
  8. Invert cakes onto individual serving plates. Dust with powdered sugar, and serve with raspberry sauce (optional).

February 13, 2012 at 12:16 pm 4 comments

Valentine’s Chocolate Chip Heart Pancakes with Raspberry Sauce

For Valentine’s Day the past couple years, I’ve made heart-shaped chocolate chip pancakes. First of all, their incredibly cute, and it somehow seems very fitting to have something with chocolate in it for breakfast (or maybe this is just my excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast…).
This year, I made them extra special by making a delicious raspberry sauce to go on them. The combination of chocolate and raspberries is wonderful, and this is a great treat for your family on Valentine’s Day morning.

 You can buy heart-shaped pancakes molds like these at some stores. They’re great because they have little handles on them. You can also use cookie cutters but just make sure they’re metal. Plastic cookie cutters will probably melt, and no, your family does not want to eat pancakes with a partially gooey plastic crust. No matter how cute they are.
Whichever you chose, make sure you spray them well with non-stick cooking spray before each pancake, and try not to fill them too full (like I did in this picture), or they’ll overflow. They’ll puff up as they cook, so pour in just enough pancake batter to   touch all the sides of the mold.



Chocolate Chip Pancakes

(serves 4 – 6)

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 1/4 c. milk (if the batter is too thick, add a little more milk until it’s the consistency you want)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter or oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 – 2 c. chocolate chips (depending on how chocolatey you want your pancakes)
  1. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium – medium-high heat.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. Mix the milk eggs, oil/butter, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix.
  5. Add chocolate chips and mix.
  6. Spray or butter skillet and heart mold well. Place mold on skillet. Pour just enough batter into the mold so that it’s touching all sides of the mold.
  7. Cook until browned on one side (3 – 5 min.). Gently slide a turner under the pancake and mold. Gently pull off the mold (if it sticks, use a knife to slide around the sides of the mold), and flip the pancake.
  8. Cook on the remaining side until browned (3 – 5 min.).
  9. Repeat will remaining batter. Serve with raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Sauce

(makes 1 cup/enough for 5 – 6 peoples’ pancakes)

  • 1 (12 oz.) bag frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 tsp. sucanat or sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  1. The night before you want to use the sauce, take the raspberries out of the freezer, pour them into a wire mesh colander placed over a bowl, and let the raspberries thaw and the juice drain into the bowl overnight.
  2. The next morning, using a spoon, gently mush the raspberries into the colander getting as much of the juice out as you can. Discard the leftover pulp.
  3. If you have seeds in the juice, strain it.
  4. Combine the juice, sucanat, and lemon juice. Heat them briefly on the stove, or microwave for about 30 seconds, just until the sugar completely dissolves.
  5. Add the maple syrup.
  6. Serve with pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or your favorite dessert. Can be refrigerated for a week.

February 13, 2012 at 11:57 am 2 comments

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

You know those kind of days when you have a super strong chocolate craving, and you need something super chocolatey, and you need it now? I had one of those days recently. Rather than making the usual chocolate chip cookies or brownies, I decided I’d make something different using both chocolate chips and cocoa powder.
What I ended up with was a warm, gooey, glorious combination of both chocolate chips and brownies. These cookies will make you melt, my friend, and they will satisfy your strongest chocolate cravings. And, well, they’re just really good. My husband ended up eating some for breakfast the morning after I made these. He couldn’t resist.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

(makes about 2 dozen cookies)

  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 c. white sugar
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag dark chocolate chips (283 g.)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375° F (190° C).
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and both kinds of sugar together. Add vanilla and mix.
  4. Mix in eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg in until completely incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Gradually mix in flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.
  6. Add chocolate chips and mix well.
  7. Drop spoonfuls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 – 11 minutes.
  8. Remove baked cookies to a cooling rack, and let cool 2 – 3 minutes before eating.


February 3, 2012 at 2:01 am Leave a comment

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

My fall pumpkin kick continues!

Yesterday I found myself with half a Japanese pumpkin (kabocha) and the desire to make something yummy with it.

I was also feeling kinda tired and bleh yesterday, so I wanted to make something fairly easy with said pumpkin.

Result: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now if you’ve never had pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, you might be thinking, “Wait a minutes, pumpkin and chocolate? Together? Isn’t that a bit strange?”

My answer is: no, it’s not. It’s lovely. It’s wonderful. It’s like your favorite chocolate chip cookies and your favorite pumpkin bars had a love child together… assuming that were actually possible..which, it isn’t (but I digress..).

These cookies are lighter and more cake-like than your regular cookies. Also, because of the pumpkin, these cookies only use half the amount of butter regular cookies need, and almost half the amount of sugar. So it’s actually healthier than regular chocolate chip cookies! And if that isn’t a good excuse to drop what you’re doing and make these right this minute, I don’t know what is!

The combination of less butter and sugar, combined with pumpkin and pie spice results in a cookie that is lighter, with a slightly less sweet taste than regular cookies; delicately flavored with pumpkin, and with a settle spicy aroma. In other words, they’re really good, and a great fall treat for kids and adults alike.

Mmmm, pumpkin cookie dough…

I always use dark chocolate for these cookies (and everything else), because it’s my favorite kind of chocolate in the whole world, but use whatever kind of chips you like (semi-sweet, milk-chocolate, etc.).

I think these cookies would also be fabulous with chopped walnuts in them, but I didn’t have enough walnuts when I made them this time around (of, the travesty!). If you like nuts in your cookies, I say go for it. 🙂

I love fall. ♥

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

(makes about 24 cookies)

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 c. whole wheat flour and 1 1/2 c. unbleached white flour, but use whatever floats your boat)
  • 1 c. pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 c. chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  4. Gradually mix flour mixture into pumpkin mixture.
  5. Add chocolate chips and nuts (if using).
  6. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a greased or lined cookie sheet, and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown and firm.

October 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm 4 comments

Pizza Toast and Brownies

Around our place we were super busy last week. We had to go to Tokyo for an appointment at the Embassy, we had two farewell dinners  for two different friends, and we had a barbecue with friends. I only cooked two nights the whole week, and when I did cook, I wanted something quick and easy. I also wanted a quick and easy, but delicious dessert to take to the barbecue.

For dinner one night, I made pizza toast. This is a such a fast, but yummy dinner to make. Kids love it, and it’s especially great in the summer when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen by baking real pizza.

If you don’t know what pizza toast is then you had a neglected childhood, it’s just like regular pizza, but you put the sauce, toppings, and cheese on sliced bread instead of pizza crust; then you pop it in your toaster oven and toast it until the cheese is melted and gooey.

You can use whatever kind of bread you want or have on hand, but I like to make it thick! Because… bread is yummy.


Spread some pizza sauce (I used my homemade marinara sauce whizzed in the blender) on the bread, and then add your favorite toppings.


And some shredded cheese. Then add some more… and add a little more, because cheese is happiness. Trust me on this.


Then you just pop it in the toaster oven until it turns all melted and wonderful, and you’re done! Easy. From assembly to the table, this takes less than 10 minutes to make, and you can’t beat that. Serve this with a green vegetable or a fresh salad.


Brownies are a great, quick and easy dessert to make for a barbecue or potluck, because you only use one bowl to make them in, they have a short baking time, and they’re easy to transport. Oh yeah, and they’re delicious gooey chocolate-y pieces of heaven. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of them at the moment, because I was in a hurry. Also when we actually ate them at the barbecue, it was too dark out to take pictures. Trust me though, these are the best brownies ever.

Homemade Brownies 

  • 140 grams/ 5 oz.  chocolate (use good quality chocolate. I use dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Butter or spray a square baking pan.
  2. Place a large bowl over a pot of boiling water. Add the chocolate and butter to the bowl and stir as it melts.
  3. When completely melted, remove from heat and add the cocoa and sugar, and mix well.
  4. Stir in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Stir in the flour and salt.
  6. Pour into the pan. Bake for about 15 minutes. You want the center to still be slightly gooey so that when you insert a toothpick, it comes out with a few clumps of batter on it. Do not over bake! This will make your brownies dry and hard. Let cool for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting into pieces. Serve.


August 2, 2011 at 10:19 am Leave a comment

Frozen Oreo Pudding Pie

If you regularly read this blog, you’ll know that I’m a huge proponent for natural, whole foods. Meaning, I hate prepackaged, artificial, additive injected “food”. I always try to cook from scratch and believe in using fresh vegetables, ethically raised meat, real butter, whole grains, etc.

Despite this, however, every once in a while I fudge a little.

Last week I had one such day.

What do you do when you have a box of instant chocolate pudding, instant Oreo pudding?

You buy a bag of Oreos and make this…

Behold! The Frozen Oreo Pudding Pie!!!

For whatever reason, the idea for this popped into my head last week, and considering it was really hot, it sounded really good.

So I bought a bag of oreos, smashed the life out of them, added some melted butter, and smooshed (yes, I did make that word up) it into a pie dish making a crust.

I then made the oreo pudding according to the package directions, poured it on top of the pie crust, and then stuck it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Then, I made the chocolate pudding, poured it on top of the oreo pudding, smoothed the top, then covered and froze it for about 4 hours.

You’re going to want to take it out of the freezer for about 15 minutes before you plan to serve it. Otherwise, the pudding will be hard as a rock and a bit hard to eat.

The dollop of whipped cream on top is optional, but I recommend it.

This dessert tastes like a glorious combination of pudding, ice cream, and oreo magic.

So while I do believe in natural whole foods/cooking, I also believe it won’t kill you to fudge a little once in awhile. Especially if it’s with some chocolatey goodness like this dessert.

Life is good. Enjoy it.


June 28, 2011 at 9:28 am 2 comments

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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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