Nutella Iced Coffee

It’s that in between time, not quite cold enough for hot cocoa yet the iced coffee that I love needed a little boost – in comes Nutella iced coffee. Smooth, chocolatey, creamy goodness in a glass-perfect for this rainy-turned-sunny day. Enjoy!

  • 16 oz. iced coffee
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Nutella
  • ice
  • creamer of your choice

Take about half a cup of the iced coffee and warm over low heat, whisk in the Nutella until well combined. Stir into the rest of the iced coffee. Divide among two glasses filled with ice. Top with your favorite creamer. Serves 2.

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Dark Chocolate Covered Banana Lollipops

It’s that time of year, it’s getting warm and summer is around the corner; beginning on Friday. I want to grab a good book and lay out on the beach and take in some sun. And then come home and have a cold treat like a rich, dark chocolate covered banana pop. Luck me, I was staring at perfectly polka-dotted ripe bananas ready to be dipped into some dark chocolate. The bitter of the chocolate with the sweetness of the banana is a match made in heaven, perfect as a end-of-day sweet treat. Once set, the snap of the chocolate is music to my ears and the taste, perfection on my taste buds. Enjoy! 

  • 5 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 3.5 oz. 90% dark chocolate
  • finely chopped pistachios
  • unsweetened shredded coconut
  • (10) 6-inch lollipop sticks

Melt your chocolate, using a double boiler or the microwave. (Always be super careful when melting chocolate. And you can use any percentage of dark chcolate that you like.) Trim your bananas and cut them in half, removing any banana fibers. Insert a lollipop stick into each one. (I used cake pop sticks and they worked great.) Hold your banana pops, one by one, over the bowl of melted chocolate and spoon the chocolate over each one, so they are covered, letting the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place the chocolate covered pops onto a sheet of wax paper and sprinkle the pistachios on half and the other half with the coconut place flat into the refrigerator, until the chocolate is set, about fifteen minutes. You can also place these in the freezer, for some frozen chocolate covered banana lollipops. Makes 10 pops.  

 

Dark Chocolate Hibiscus Bark…Hmm…Slab

Obsessed, I am with this hibiscus tea that my cousin sent me for my birthday! Yesterday was the first day I opened it up to find beautiful dried hibiscus petals in tea bags. I thought it could be nice combined with chocolate and maybe a little coconut or sea salt..or both. This was surely an experiment and would be something that will be added to the re-do, re-work pile but still, fun enough to share. But maybe not exactly a winner unless you like a slab versus pieces of bark and it is an aquired taste, not everyone likes to munch on flower petals. On second try, I would chop up the hibiscus petals and then it would probably break up more easily, making it more of a bark and maybe add something in along with it. So if you want to remind mom of the fun days of making mud pies and getting dirty, this could be a fun part of dessert on Sunday! Just leave it as a slab and have everyone break off a piece and have lots of napkins nearby. ;) Enjoy your weekend and Mom’s day!

  • 3.5 oz. dark chocolate
  • 1 hibiscus tea bag
  • unsweetened coconut flakes
  • flakes of sea salt, like Maldons

Steep the tea and enjoy it while you wait for the tea to dry out a little bit. I put them on a paper towel and let them sit out in the sun for about half an hour. Melt the chocolate, (use any percentage that you like) in a double broiler and place the petals on a piece of wax paper, fairly close together. Your bark, slab (lol) will be about 8 inches by 5 or 6. Spoon the chocolate onto the petals and sprinkle with the coconut flakes or sea salt or both. Allow to cool in the refrigerator until hardened.

Bee Pollen – Dark Chocolate Bark

Just in case anyone is in the mood for a sweet treat after mailing in those taxes…I’ve got just the thing. We all know the soothing effects of chocolate, giving us those good feeling, in-love vibes and what better day to enjoy a special piece of decadent chocolate than today? (Even though every day is a good day for having those good-feeling-vibes.) I’ve been obsessed with 90% dark chocolate but you can use whatever percentage of dark chocolate you like. The bee pollen gives it a light sweetness, so keep that in mind. I think this makes a nice gift also for that chocolate lover in your life. Take a deep breath in, exhale, take a bite and enjoy!

  • (1) 3.5 oz. 90 % dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon bee pollen granules

Melt the chocolate in a double broiler or a glass or metal bowl sitting securely in a pot of boiling water. (Please be careful when choosing this method. Use pot holders and don’t add too much water into your pot.) Pour out the melted chocolate onto a piece of parchment or wax paper, it will pretty much spread out naturally, you can always help it out by smoothing it out with a spatula. Sprinkle the bee pollen evenly over the chocolate and allow to harden, in a cool pantry or in the refrigerator. Break into pieces. Makes about 3 servings. 

Walnut Bon-Bons

If you leave some walnut bon-bons for Santa, I don’t think he will be disappointed, as he bites into a Nutella covered walnut topped with creamy milk or deep dark chocolate and some sea salt flakes. You might wake up to find a letter from Santa, asking for the recipe. ;) The process is a little messy but it’s the kind of making-mud-pies-type-of-fun, that’s therapeutic and relaxing. Enlist the kids to help out, I’m sure it will be lots of fun! Enjoy! Everyone enjoy their Christmas! I hope it’s filled with lots of merriment, laughter and good cheer!

  • 1/3 cup Nutella
  • 32 walnut halves
  • 1/2 pound milk or dark chocolate
  • smoked sea salt flakes like Maldons* optional

Chop your chocolate and place in a double boiler or with a metal bowl placed over a pot with a small amount of boiling water. Always be careful, when using the second method and use pot holders. Make sure you don’t put too much water in the pot. Have your walnut halves ready and spoon on about a teaspoon or less of  Nutella onto your walnut, filling the crevices, (using a small rounded cheese knife worked great.) Using a fork to hold your walnut half, spoon on the melted chocolate. Balance between another fork, so the excess chocolate falls back into the bowl and place on parchment paper. Top with as little or as much sea salt as you like, if you like and allow to set in a cold pantry or refrigerator. Makes 32 bon-bons.

Step no. 5 is the most fun! ;)

Crushed Chocolate Covered Cherry Pie

One of my favorite things about this time of year are the chocolate covered cherries. I loved when that box was opened up to be enjoyed, they were such a treat. I saw those foiled wrapped jewels the other day at the drugstore and thought a crushed chocolate covered cherry pie would be delicious! And if I used cherry juice it would be kind of healthy? No? Lol, I’m trying. But seriously, this pie isn’t too sweet, getting most of the sweetness from the chocolate covered cherries and the whipped topping. Enjoy!

  • 1 ready made chocolate pie crust
  • 8 oz. container frozen whipped topping plus 1 cup, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup 100% cherry juice
  • 8 chocolate covered cherries
  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatine

Begin by bringing 1/2 a cup of the cherry juice to a boil. Add in 2 chocolate covered cherries, finely chopped, allowing the chocolate to melt. With the remaining cold juice, in a shallow plate, top with the gelatin and let it sit for a minute. Stir in the boiling cherry juice and stir until dissolved. Fold in the whipped topping and pour into the pie shell. Let sit overnight until set. (I usually invert the top of the pie crust container, to cover the pie when putting it into the freezer and once set, move the frozen pie into a pie plate.) Once you are ready to serve, let it sit out for a little bit and chop the remaining chocolate covered cherries and top the pie with them. Serves 8.

Dark Chocolate & Snickerdoodle Crumb Covered Marshmallows

The only thing missing is the Nutella and it’s in there, under the chocolate coating! We woke up to snow on the ground and it’s the first snow of the season, giving it a reason to celebrate. It’s a beautiful snow sticking to the trees and bringing the Christmas feeling into the air. And what better way to celebrate than with chocolate? These are nice to enjoy or to give away in the spirit of “Giving Tuesday.” Enjoy!

  • 1/2 pound bulk dark chocolate
  • 12 big marshmallows
  • 3 tablespoons Nutlella
  • 1-2 snickerdoodle cookies (crushed)
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate or set up a pot with boiling water with a metal bowl sitting snugly in it. Be careful with having too much water in the pot or it can splatter boiling hot water. And handle the metal bowl with a pot holder and be careful. Cut your marshmallows in half crosswise and top each half with a pat of Nutella and drop into the melted chocolate one by one.
 

Coat the marshmallow with the chocolate using a spoon or spatula and pull out using two forks, balancing between both forks, to allow the excess chocolate to fall back into the bowl. Place the chocolate coated marshmallows on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or baking pan. Repeat, until all the marshmallows are coated. Top with snickerdoodle cookie crumbs and place into the refrigerator to harden for about 30 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

White Chocolate Bark: 2 Ways

Do you ever get excited about a food product? Or is it just me? lol. I saw a box of Maldon smoked sea salt at a food/cooking supply shop and was so excited, as soon as I found it, I started walking, maybe even skipping, towards the register and midway, I thought to myself, “I came here for something!?” What that something was, I managed to forget with the box of smoked sea salt in my hands, sweaty hands at that, lol. So all these ideas came to my mind and this is one of them, or two of them. For all you salty and sweet fans, you have a flaky smoked salt with the bite of fresh ground black pepper and a raw pistachio bark and a crushed spicy gingersnap cookie and smooth caramel bark with flecks of smoked sea salt on it. Hope you enjoy! Happy weekend everyone!

  
  • 1/2 pound bulk white chocolate, (you can use milk or even dark, I was in the mood for a super sweet chocolate.)
  • raw pistachio nuts, (not roasted)
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • smoked sea salt
  • 7 caramel squares
  • 1 ginger snap cookie

Begin by chopping up the chocolate, so it melts easier. Using a double-broiler or a pot with a metal bowl over it, pour the chocolate in, using a spatula to stir and speed along the melting process. Less water is always better when using the second method and use a pot holder, to handle the metal bowl, it can get pretty hot. Have a large cookie sheet set up with a sheet of parchment paper on it. Once the chocolate is melted, pour the chocolate in one block or two, depending on if are making the chocolate in one way or both. (Spreading out to an 1/8th of an inch or thicker if you like.) If making both barks, keep a small space between the poured chocolate.

Below is the cause of my sweaty palms! Are yours sweaty too or is it just me? If you want to make your own smoked sea salt, which can be fun, here is a recipe (I used some of it on the gingersnap & caramel bark) but just a warning, make it on a really sunny day while you use the grill. Brrr…

Begin the fun, sprinkle the pistachios, fresh ground black pepper and sea salt on the chocolate!

Melt the caramels with a drop of water in a heavy bottomed pot, stirring with a spatula until melted. Drop spoonfuls of caramel on the chocolate and sprinkle the crushed gingersnap cookie over the chocolate and caramel. Finish it off with a sprinkling of smoked sea salt. Let the bark cool in the fridge, until firm about 15 minutes. Break up the chocolate and enjoy!

Raspberry Wine Truffles

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, a day to celebrate the moms in our lives, and make them feel extra special. And the one thing that comes to mind, when making someone feel special besides lots of hugs and kisses are truffles. Truffles are just decadent little balls of pure bliss, I love a good truffle. This recipe makes about 2 dozen. Enough for mom and you. ;)

  • 1 pound of dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 oz. of heavy cream
  • 2 oz. of raspberry wine, I used Tomasello
  • 3 pinches of ground cinnamon *optional
  • 10 grinds of the black pepper mill *optional
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

In a double-boiler, melt your chocolate, mixing with a spatula occasionally, on high heat. Once melted, slowly add your heavy cream, incorporating it into the melted chocolate, (still over high heat). Add your wine in and mix it in thoroughly. At this point, you can mix in your cinnamon and ground pepper. Take it off the heat slowly, and pour it into a bowl, cover it and put it into the fridge to set. (I left it in overnight). Keep in mind, once you are ready to make your truffles, you want to bring the chocolate up to room temperature (an hour or two is good). And set up a little station for yourself, the bowl of chocolate, a plate with your unsweetened cocoa, and a plate for the ready made ones. I used a 1-1/4 inch cookie dough scoop to form the truffles, forming them and setting them aside. You get a little arm work-out in, lol  Then between your hands, roll your scooped chocolate into a tight ball, it’s a messy process, but a delicious one. Then roll your truffles, a few at a time into the unsweetened cocoa, shaking off the excess cocoa powder. And now the most important step, enjoying them…

Bacon with Chocolate & Wasabi Peas

I know, it feels wrong but tastes right, in a wrong sort of way, lol. But that’s bacon for you. It’s Friday night and this is perfect for a little indulgence. Hoping you have all the ingredients in your kitchen. :)

  • 1 pound thick cut bacon
  • about 4 ounces of milk chocolate
  • 1/4 cup wasabi peas, crushed
  • lightly salted peanuts, chopped

Cut your bacon slices in half and fry them up so they are crisp or to your liking. Drain them on paper towels, so they are dry. In a double broiler melt your chocolate. Now the dipping begins! Dip your bacon slices into the chocolate, and sprinkle with the crushed wasabi peas and some with the chopped peanuts. Put your little bacon bites in the fridge so they set, but serve at room temperature for the best flavor. The peanuts were an afterthought, so I only did a few, but it’s a relief for anyone that isn’t crazy about wasabi peas. Enjoy and happy weekend! :)