Category Archives: chocolate

Hershey Bar Cake

Yesterday was my last day working for Boulder County Parks and Open Space. The seasonal position started in April and ended in October so I knew it wasn’t forever going in but it is still sad to say goodbye. I loved everything about working there; my co-workers are all wonderful, caring people and my work was interesting and varied. I learned a lot about myself this summer and a lot about what kind of work I’d like to pursue in the future. They say when one door closes another one opens and behind the second door there’s cake! (That transition was a little forced, sorry)

I made this cake for my mom’s birthday because it’s her favorite since she was a little girl. This is quite possibly the best chocolate cake recipe ever in the history of ever. Just sayin’.

Also, I lost a lot of pictures when I did an update to my phone so unfortunately the pictures of her birthday party were among those that have gone missing. ūüė¶

Ingredients:

  • 6 (1.55 ounce) Hershey’s milk chocolate bars
  • 1-1/2 cups Hershey’s chocolate syrup
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract¬†

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Set aside. 
In a microwave safe bowl combine the candy bars and the syrup. Microwave in increments until melted stirring occasionally. Set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. 
Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Add melted chocolate, beating well. 
In another bowl, combine flour and baking soda. 

Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk to sugar mixture. Beat well after each addition. 
Add vanilla. 
Pour batter into prepared pan(s). 
Bake for 45 minutes.
Then cover with aluminum foil and cool in pan for 15 minutes. 
Turn over onto wire rack. 
Dust with powdered sugar, frost it, drizzle with icing or leave it. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.
“This cake has a hole in it.”
“You fixed it!”

Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

It’s Food Fun Friday (which, let’s face it, is every Friday) and I will share with you an alteration of a recipe that is a family favorite: Ohio Buckeye Cookies.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

Inspiration for these cookies hit me on the head, literally, as I was on a walk. There is a tree called an Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra) which can be identified, according to my tree identification book:

Leaves have 5 to 7 short-stemmed, lanceolate leaflets, each 4 to 6 inches long and 0.5 to 1.5 inches wide. The yellow flowers, hairy below and with stamens longer than the petals, are borne in erect panicles, 5 to 7 inches long. The capsule, about 2 inches in diameter are spiny on the surface and usually enclose two seeds, about 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Brown bark is fissured and scaly. Grows 50 to 90 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet in diamet; crown oblong, rounded. Also leaves and twigs have an unpleasant odor when bruised.

Which probably means very little to most of you but, the plant nerd that I am, I couldn’t leave out any of those details.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye tree nut and leaves

It was this very nut that fell from it’s lofty branch and hit me squarely on the top of my head. Like Isaac Newton before me, I was struck with an idea (although I will not claim that my idea will change the course of science as we know it) and a craving for the buckeye cookies my grandma makes.

When I came home I looked up the recipe for this delectable treat. I was surprised by the amount of sugar added to many of the recipes I found and decided to work out a recipe for more of a protein bite in favor of this sugar packed morsel.

These are the ingredients I used.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: ingredients for Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites
Add peanut butter, rice milk and seeds to a medium sized bowl.
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: ingredients for Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

Stir until everything is mixed together. The mixture should be very sticky, but not liquidy at all. 
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: peanut butter filling for Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites
Using a spoon and your hands, form 1-2 inch balls out of the mixture and place them on wax paper to keep them from sticking. 
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites without chocolate
Put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once the peanut butter balls are chilled, remove them from the freezer.
Melt your chocolate over a stovetop or using a microwave, being careful not to burn the chocolate. 
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Melting Chocolate
While the chocolate is still melted, dip the peanut butter balls in the chocolate, covering them completely. 
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites dipped

Return the chocolate covered peanut butter protein balls to the wax paper. 
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

Return to the freezer for 4 hours (or overnight). Store in refrigerator. Makes about 24 small peanut butter protein balls.
Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Ohio Buckeye Protein Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar (16 oz) natural peanut butter (I use chunky, but if you prefer smooth, use that)
  • 6-8 tablespoons rice milk (any other kind of milk should work fine too)
  • 6 tablespoons hemp seed, flax seed or chia seed
  • 6.4 oz dark chocolate, or about two regular sized chocolate bars (85% or higher cacao is ideal, I used Chocolove)

Directions:

Add peanut butter, almond milk and protein powder to a medium sized bowl. Stir until everything is mixed together. The mixture should be very sticky, but not liquidy at all. Using a spoon and your hands, form 1-2 inch balls out of the mixture and place them on wax paper to keep them from sticking. Put in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Once the peanut butter balls are chilled, remove them from the freezer and melt your chocolate over a stovetop or using a microwave, being careful not to burn the chocolate. While the chocolate is still melted, dip the peanut butter balls in the chocolate, covering them completely. Return the chocolate covered peanut butter protein balls to the wax paper and return to the freezer for 4 hours (or overnight). Store in refrigerator. Makes about 24 small peanut butter protein balls.
And now for the poem that comes in every Chocolove chocolate bar:
Strong Dark
 
Sonnet 75
So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-seasoned showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found.
Now proud as an enjoyer, and anon
Doubting the filching age will steal his treasure,
Now counting best to be with you alone,
Then bettered that the world may see my pleasure,
Sometimes all full with feasting on your sight,
And by and by clean starved for a look,
Possessing or pursuing no delight
Save what is had, or must from you be took.
Thus do I pine and surfeit day by day,
Or gluttoning on all, or all away.
William Shakespeare 

Stop looking because these are the best brownies you will ever find…

As many of you know I am a firm believer in eating healthy. I am also a firm believer that denying yourself something is not healthy, especially when that something is chocolate. So to clarify my firm beliefs… Moderation is key. That is why everyone needs to have a good brownie recipe. I honestly think it should be included in life’s handbook.¬†

Here’s some information on chocolate (*I am not a doctor, please consult your doctor for more information on the following*):

  • Cocoa contains flavenol, a type of flavenoid and natural occurring antioxidant, which researchers suggest may protect neurons (Huffington Post, 2012)
  • The antioxidants in cocoa can also prevent aging caused by free radicals, which may lead to heart disease (Cleveland Clinic, 2012)
  • Dark chocolate may lower blood pressure and cholesterol (Longevity, 2009)
  • Dark chocolate contains¬†theobromine, caffeine and other stimulating substances¬†(Longevity, 2009)
  • It also contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant¬†(Longevity, 2009)
  • Dark chocolate also increases endorphin production, which increase pleasure¬†(Longevity, 2009)
  • Surprisingly dark chocolate can prevent diabetes (Women’s Health, 2012)
  • It can reduce stress¬†(Women’s Health, 2012)
  • And help protect against sun damage¬†(Women’s Health, 2012)
  • On top of all this it tastes goooooood!
Like I said, moderation is key and be sure that your grabbing a quality bar of dark chocolate, and you can receive some of these benefits and more.


So brownies… My idea of the perfect brownie is crispy crust, gooey inside, chocolate chips, not frosting, no nuts, and not too cakey or fudgey. This is it. This covers all bases for my ideal brownie. This recipe has a short ingredients list so be sure to use quality chocolate.

Add 1 1/2 cup sugar to a mixing bowl,


Pour in 3/4 cup flour,


Then add 3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate cocoa powder).


Crack three eggs into the bowl…


Add 3/4 cup melted butter (I have no idea why the butter looks neon in this picture)


And 1/2 teaspoon salt (I skipped this because I used salted butter). Then mix it together; don’t mix too thoroughly just enough to combine the wet and dry ingredients.



Mix in chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips).


Pour the batter into a greased baking dish. That is the best looking chocolate batter I have ever seen. I’m totally drooling.


Bake at 325 for 30 minutes (sorry it’s a bit blurry, I was shaking with happiness). Test with a toothpick for doneness (remember there are chocolate chips in there so your first poke might not come out clean.


Let cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes (or as long as you can wait… I made it 2 minutes). Cut into cubes and serve with a nice cold glass of milk.


I had almond milk which was quite delicious…


Brownies: seriously the best things on the planet. These are the perfect balance between fudgey and cakey, with the signature brownie crispy crust.

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