Triple Chocolate Pistachio Brownies

These brownies were so hard to make because almost every ingredient in them is just too good not to snack on!

I have a total weakness for a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips. So, when I put off a recipe for a few days, for whatever reason, the chocolate chips don’t tend to survive.

Luckily, I only destroyed half the bag, leaving the perfect amount for my brownie recipe. Win!

These extra chocolatey brownies are super rich and incredibly moist.

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Triple Chocolate Pistachio Brownies

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups pistachios, shelled

Directions

Makes 12 brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 13X9 baking pan with butter and parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate, whisking until melted.

Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla.

Whisk in sugar and salt until combined. Slowly add flour.

Stir in chocolate chips and pistachios.

Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove brownies and allow to cool 4 to 5 minutes in pan. Then transfer from pan to wire rack with parchment paper and allow to cool completely.

ENOJY!

My Homemade Granola

We all have our favorite combination of fruits, nuts, and mix-ins that make up our favorite granola. So when it comes to any granola recipe, you have to use the flavors, from the wet ingredients to the dry, that compliment you and your tastes.

This is a combination that speaks to me and can be adapted in so many ways. I use mostly whole almonds and a lot of dried fruit. I like my granola slightly sweet and a little salty.

But you can change it up. My boyfriend, Michael, has a sweet tooth, prefers walnuts, and likes his granola crunchy. So for him, I would throw in chocolate chips at the end, substitute walnuts, and add a little extra applesauce for an extra crunch.

Make it yours.

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My Homemade Granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup almonds, whole and roughly chopped
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp honey
1/3 cup applesauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped dried blueberries

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Prep baking sheet with parchment or light cooling spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: oats, nuts, salt, and cinnamon.

In a small saucepan, add the wet ingredients: honey, applesauce, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Heat on low 2-3 minutes stir until combined.

Pour wet mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Dump mixture onto a baking sheet in an even layer.

Bake 30 minutes until golden, stirring twice in between.

Return baked granola to large bowl and add dried fruit. Toss to combine.

I serve my granola over greek yogurt. For added sweetness, drizzle with honey or extra maple syrup.

Vanilla Bean Salted Dark Chocolate Doughnuts

Growing up, we had doughnuts every Sunday. While probably not the healthiest, it was tradition. And we all had our favorites. Mine were the custard filled yeast doughnuts. My brother always had two “tiger feet” dipped in milk.

Still, there is nothing better than a doughnut and a hot cup of coffee on a Sunday morning.

Yesterday, I had the most awesome ice cream cone at Trickling Springs’ Creamery at Union Market, salted dark chocolate ice cream. So, with doughnuts on the menu for Sunday morning, I could think of no better idea than recreating that cone. I’m probably going to go back for more ice cream soon too.

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This is a classic cake doughnut recipe that you can top any way you like. It makes the perfect moist doughnut.

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Now, what to do with those doughnut holes? Problem solved: toss them, piping hot, into some cinnamon sugar and eat them by the handful.

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Vanilla Bean Salted Dark Chocolate Doughnuts

Makes 8-10 doughnuts (and a few doughnut holes!)

Vanilla Cake Doughnuts

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup vanilla sugar (can substitute regular sugar)
  • 2 tbsp butter, at room termperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sea salt for sprinkling (can substitute regular sea salt)
  • Canola oil for frying

Dark Chocolate Glaze

  • 2 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

In mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and baking powder. Mix on low with paddle attachment until combined

Add butter and mix on medium speed until combined until incorporated.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla. Slowly add to flour mixture and mix on medium. Do not over mix – all you need is 45-60 seconds. The dough will be sticky.

Cover the dough and let it rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring your oil to temperature (360 to 375 degrees).

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. Cut doughnuts using a “doughnut cutter” or a large and small biscuit cutter.

When the oil reaches temperature, begin to fry your doughnuts. Fry until golden brown (about 45 seconds per side). Place doughnuts on cooling rack covered with plenty of paper towels.

For the glaze, heat butter, milk, and vanilla over double boiler until butter is melted. Add dark chocolate. Stir until melted. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar.

Dip doughnuts in the chocolate glaze. Sprinkle with vanilla sea salt. Allow to rest for the glaze to set.

Serve and enjoy.

Doughnut Holes

For your leftover douhgnut holes, fry them for 30 seconds and let drain on paper towels. While still warm, roll them in cinnamon and sugar. Simple and delicious.

Mocha Chip Cookies

Working in DC is rarely a 9 to 5 job and this week was full of a few nights past my bedtime.  In addition to taking my coffee through an IV, I thought it best to find some more, yummy ways to get it in my system.

Double chocolate and espresso sounded like it might do the trick.  4 days, 10 cups of coffee, a midnight baking session, 1/2 dozen cookies, 2 bloodshot eyes, and 5 lbs later…I can report that I was right.  And it is almost Friday!

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Mocha Chip Cookies

Adapted  from KelseyTheNaptimeChef

Servings: 30 cookies

  • 2 1/4  sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets.

Dissolve coffee granules in milk.

Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Continue beating at medium speed, adding vanilla extract, dissolved coffee granules, and eggs one at a time.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Add to butter and sugar mixture and beat at low speed until combined.

Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake each batch for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and allow to cool to set.

Serve them up, preferably with coffee!

Mango Peach White Sangria

DC summers are brutal.  It is technically still Spring but it hit 90 this week.  I was inspired to make what I have decided will be the first of many cool adult beverages this summer.

And I love this recipe.  I always order  the same red sangria at happy hours with apples or grapes, but this recipe may have turned me into a white sangria fan after all.  There’s just something about the crisp white wine and sweet mangos.

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The mint simple syrup makes this drink SO refreshing.

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Mango Peach White Sangria

Adapted slightly from Food and Wine Magazine

Servings: 10 glasses

5 sprigs of mint (for syrup)

1 cup water

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup mint leaves

2 cups Grand Marnier

1/4 cup fresh orange juice (1 orange)

2 white peaches, cut into thin wedges

2 mangos, chopped

1500 ml bottle white wine (light and fruity is best)

Directions

In a medium saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.

Reduce heat to low and add mint sprigs.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and drain sugar mixture into pitcher, discarding mint. Refrigerate until cold.

Stir in Grand Marnier, white wine, mango, peaches and mint leaves.

Serve cold, over ice (preferably on a deck).

Cherry Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

It is cherry season and I can’t get enough. These cookies use dried cherries and good dark chocolate and are the perfect compliment to a summer picnic or barbecue. I took them to our Memorial Day cookout and they about disappeared before the burgers came off the grill.

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Dark chocolate and dried cherries, that’s healthy, right?

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I use about a tablespoon and a half per cookie ’cause bigger is better when chocolate is involved.

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I’s so proud that I actually had the patience to let them cool before I took a bite. It’s worth it for the perfect chewy texture.

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Cherry Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Servings: 20 cookies

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 oz dark chocolate chips
8 oz dried cherries

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets.

Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Continue beating at medium speed, adding almond extract and eggs one at a time.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to butter and sugar mixture and beat at low speed until combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and cherries.

Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake each batch for 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and allow to cool to set.

Yum!

Sweet Blueberry Corn Muffins

Sometimes you just need to bake something to make you feel at home, especially when home is feeling very far away. And sometimes that urge hits you at 1o  o’clock at night.  I needed a blend of sweet and a little savory and these blueberry corn muffins took me home.

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Beginning with a heaping cup of fresh blueberries…

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Sweeten with good honey.

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Bake until your kitchen fills with smells of home and the muffins are tall and golden with a sugary, crispy top.

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It’s midnight by now.  So you sneak one before bed…maybe another half.  Turn out the lights and have sweet dreams.  A delicious breakfast awaits in the morning!

Breakfast!

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I didn’t eat all four.  Or did I?

Blueberry Corn Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 tablespoons for sprinkling tops
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, plus 1/8 cup for brushing tops
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare muffin tins.

Beat butter, sugars, and honey in a large bowl on medium speed until fluffy.  Add one egg at a time and continue to beat for one minute.

Mix flour, cornmeal, and baking powder together in a separate bowl.

Slowly add flour mixture to the butter and sugars a little at a time, beating at a low speed until combined.  Continue beating slowly while adding milk and vanilla.

Gently stir in blueberries until evenly distributed.

Divide batter into muffin cups.  Brush muffin tops with cold milk.  Sprinkle each with granulated sugar.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until muffins are golden brown and tester comes out clean.  Allow muffins to cool in tin for 10 minutes.

EAT WARM and then AGAIN cool!