Strawberry Christmas Tree

 Strawberry Christmas Tree

 

This is a wonderful and creative idea for Holiday Parties. It sure beats a vegetable tray and dip.

This ingenious idea was shared by Can’t Stop Making Things and I am happy to share it with you too! Of course it has been adapted to use Cocoa Mill Chocolates but that will make it that much better 🙂

01strwberry tree

 

So here it is, so simple, so easy and very impressive….

What you’ll need:

You can use either a Styrofoam tree or a Papier-mâché tree, it only needs to be about 13”, can be smaller too.

You’ll need an 8” inch round cardboard cake round and a doily to disguise to cardboard round.

3 – 4 pounds of strawberries

berries

4 oz. Cocoa Mill Dark Chocolate

chocolate shavings

1 Tbsp. butter

Waxed Paper and Tape

01papertree

 

Cover the tree with waxed paper, tuck the waxed paper ends under and secure with tape.

 

In a double boiler begin to melt the chocolate and butter slowly until it is liquid like and smooth. Place some chocolate under the doily and secure it to the cardboard cake round, let set.

Coat the bottom of the tree with chocolate and place on the doily 8” cardboard round, let cool and set again.

Separate the strawberries by size and remove the leaves. Dip the largest end of the strawberry in the melted chocolate and press into the bottom of the tree. Cover the whole bottom of the tree with dipped strawberries; continue up using the largest ones first and saving the smaller ones for the top.

01strwberry

Place a strawberry on top of the tree to finish this beautiful edible creation. (You can always add other fruits too if you like!)

01strwberry variation

 

Voila, you are done!

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Thanksgiving Dessert: S’mores Pumpkin Pie

 

Thanksgiving Dessert:

S’mores Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie is a staple on our Thanksgiving table, but you know sometimes I tire of the same thing year after year after year. This is a fresh take on the classic pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Pie Purest please avert your eyes to this recipe…. 🙂

smore pie crust


smore fudge

 

smore marshmallow top

 

 

What you will need:

1 ½ cups canned pumpkin

2 Eggs

4 1/2 cups Golden Graham Cereal

¾ cups brown sugar packed

¾ cups Cocoa Mill bittersweet chocolate chunks

1 tsp. pumpkin spice

1 pinch salt

5 Tbsp. unsalted butter

14 Tbsp. Heavy cream

½ cup Milk

1 Bag Jumbo Marshmallows cut in half to top pie

 

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350®
  2. In a bowl, stir crushed cereal and butter until well mixed.
  3. Press firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9” pie plate.
  4. Bake crust 5-7 minutes. Let cool.
  5. In a saucepan, over low heat, stir chocolate chunks and 2 Tbsp. heavy cream until smooth. Pour onto bottom of cooled crust and spread evenly.
  6. In a bowl, whisk together pumpkin and eggs until well blended. Add brown sugar, heavy cream, milk, pumpkin spice and salt. Stir until all ingredients are combined.
  7. Pour pumpkin batter on top of fudge layer. (Do not over fill pie plate. You may have filling left over.) Bake 1 hour until pumpkin is set. Cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (do not touch top of pie) chill overnight.
  8. Next day: Uncover the pie and placed halved jumbo marshmallows on top of the pie.
  9. Place under the broiler for 30 seconds until marshmallows are golden brown and toasted.

smore finish

Enjoy!

Easy Fun Fall Treats: Chocolate Turkeys

 

Fun Fall Treats:

Chocolate Dipped Turkey Pretzels

 


turkey pretzel

I love the idea of making Holiday crafts with my kids, but the truth is I rarely have time. When I do I need something fairly easy and straight forward so that everyone can have fun while creating the craft. Here is a cute Thanksgiving food craft that is easy and will be fun for the whole family!

Thanksgiving Turkeys

1 cup Cocoa Mill bittersweet chocolate chunks
1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
12 Oreo cookies
36 small pretzels
24 candy eyeballs
12 pieces candy corn

Parchment paper (for drying)

turkey pretzelsturkey oreoturkey ccorn

 

 

 

chocolate shavings

Directions:

  1. Melt 1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks and ½ Tbsp. vegetable oil 30 seconds in a small microwave-safe bowl. Remove and stir. Continue cooking in 30-second increments until chips are melted.
  2. Assemble cookies using chocolate like glue; spread on back of Oreo and attach 3 pretzels in a fan pattern to look like feathers.
  3. Let the turkey dry allowing the chocolate to cool and bond the pretzel and Oreo together.
  4. Heat the remaining chocolate and vegetable oil in 30 second increments (stirring each time) until chocolate is melted. Once chocolate is smoothly melted dip the turkey full in the chocolate using a kitchen fork and allow excess chocolate to fall back in the melted chocolate bowl. Coat all turkeys and place on parchment paper to cool and dry.
  5. Dip backs of eyeballs and candy corn in chocolate and stick to the front of the “turkey” to make a face.
  6. Place finished turkeys on a plate and cool in refrigerator 1 hour to allow chocolate to set.

Yields: 12 cookies

 

If that is too much work you could always just dip the pretzels and decorate them with fall colored sprinkles 🙂

turkey easy prtzl

Stuffed Apricots

Apricots-Honey2-585x585

 

These are sweet & savory little snacks that will make a beautiful and eye-catching addition to any dinner party. Besides being lovely to look at they are delicious and easy to make!

apricot-in-halves

What you will need:

1 cup softened cream cheese

4 Tbsp of milk

1 Cup finely grated sharp and mature cheddar cheese

4 ounces melted, slightly cooled white chocolate

salt and ground black pepper

10 apricots (cut in half equaling twenty)

Garnish:

Any type of chopped nuts

paprika (if desired)

honey to drizzle

apricots halvedwhite choco chunksfeta

1. Beat the cream cheese in a bowl with a wooden spoon, gradually beat in the milk and cheddar, when the milk and cheddar are completely mixed in add the white chocolate, mix again. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Spoon the cheese mixture into the hollow side of each apricot half.

3. Arrange the filled apricots onto a serving platter and sprinkle the chopped nuts on top of each apricot, dust with paprika and drizzle with honey.

Apricot Recipes

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls With Chocolate Icing

Cinnamon Rolls just got better by adding Cocoa Mill’s white chocolate to the icing. There are several ways to make cinnamon rolls varying from making your own biscuit dough to using prepared biscuit dough that you can find in your local supermarket’s refrigerated section. It depends on how much time you would like to spend prepping before the baking begins.

cinnbun5

 

Here are some links to a basic biscuit dough recipe (note: you only need the dough, do not cook them, turning them into biscuits).

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/basic-biscuits/

http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/buttermilk-biscuitdough.aspx

 

You can also purchase prepared dough made by various brands.

 

What you will need for the Filling:

1 Stick Softened Butter (room temperature)

Dark Brown Sugar

Cinnamon

Allspice

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Once you have your dough ready you will need to clean a surface that can be used for rolling. Dust the area with flour and roll your dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Spread the softened butter onto the dough covering it completely. Sprinkle the brown sugar until you have a nice layer (as little or as much as you want), sprinkle brown sugar with cinnamon and allspice.

Cinnamon_Rolls03_large

After you have the dough covered in the sweetness of sugar and spice begin to form the rectangle into a rolled cylinder shape. Starting at one long end, roll the edge over, again and again until the whole thing is a cylinder.

cinnamon-rolls-5-l

After you have rolled it up gently pull from the center of the cylinder out to the ends extending the length of the dough. Cut into 1/2 inch circles and place in a 13 x 9 baking dish.

cinroll cut

 

After you have filled your baking dish place the rolls in the oven and cook for about 20 – 30 minutes until tops are just beginning to turn brown, but are still primarily white. You will begin tho smell the sweetness of the rolls and this is how you know they are done. Take them out of the oven and let them rest for 5 minutes. Ice while the rolls are still hot.

 

What you will need for the icing:

1 Package Cream Cheese Softened

1/2 Stick Butter Softened

6 oz. Cocoa Mill’s White Chocolate  melted and slightly cooled

1 Tsp. Vanilla

Beat 2 Cups Powdered Sugar,  cream cheese and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.

Add melted chocolate and vanilla; mix well.

       CinnamonRoll-03

Enjoy!

 

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

It is August, for a lot of this it means we are reminiscing over summer vacations or waiting to squeeze a last minute vacation in before September comes. Our family has already been on vacation, so I am left to reminisce. In doing so I thought about all the baking I decided to do before we went on vacation this year, it took some extra prep work but it was well worth it. We had lots of yummy treats for the car ride and when we arrived at our destination. This made for a happy family and a happy Mama, who didn’t have to rush off to the grocery store or a restaurant upon arrival.

nonpariel 4                        

I knew I wanted to make the Chocolate Nonpareil Cookies (you can find that recipe by clicking here), then I was blessed with a new (to me) idea Peanut Butter Cookies with a Cocoa Mill Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup in the middle! I also made cinnamon rolls and danish (those recipes to follow!)

peanutbutter-surprise-cookies

Easy Better Peanut Butter Cookies

What you’ll need:

pbcc,  flour eggs butter  peanutbutter

2/3 cup of butter (or shortening)

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup  of brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. of baking soda

1/4 to 1/2 a tsp. of salt (depending on how sweet you like your cookies

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

15 – 20 Cocoa Mill Peanut Butter Cups (milk or dark pb cups will work, I used milk)

2pb dough

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl mix together butter, sugars until well blended, add the egg and vanilla mix again thoroughly. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix again until all ingredients are incorporated. Add the peanut butter last and mix one last time.

At this point you will need a cutting board and very sharp knife. one by one cut the peanut butter cups in half and set aside.

Form your dough in 2 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Take your halved pb cups and pressed down a bit into the middle of the dough of each cookie. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes.

pb cookies

Take cookies out of the oven, let cool a bit and enjoy!

Bird’s Nest Cookies

easter basket

Every holiday Cocoa Mill Chocolate Shop is bustling as we hurry to make the appropriate seasonal chocolates that so many people have come to incorporate into their holiday traditions. This Spring we are busy making custom Easter baskets filled with Peanut Butter or Coconut Eggs, Chocolate Bunnies and many more fabulous confections. The smell of melting chocolate never gets old; it is howeegg2 (3)ver our job, so finding time and energy for fun Holiday activities and special time making memories with our children takes planning and preparation. Of course we will dye our Easter eggs and prepare for the Easter bunny to visit our house, as well as learn about what Easter truly means to our family, but this year I thought that I would do a little extra, a little more.

 

I know that this is an easy and simple recipe but I thought that it would work perfectly for and added Easter activity. We will be making The tried and true Bird’s Nest cookies, the only difference is we will be sprucing it up with Cocoa Mill’s gourmet white chocolate. So step aside chocolate or butterscotch chips, this isn’t your grandmother’s bird’s nest cookie (although I know grandma would enjoy them too :)ha ha ).

 

 

 

Bird’s Nest Cookies

 

What you will need:

 

white chocolate chunks

peanutbutter

 

How to make the cookies:

    1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
    2. Place White Chocolate and peanut butter in a microwave-safe container. Heat on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir, and repeat, until chocolate is melted.
    3. Stir in chow -mein noodles until fully coated.
    4. Drop by tablespoonful onto prepared baking sheet.
    5. Use your thumb and press down in the center to form a nest shape.
    6. Place a few candy robin’s eggs in the center of each nest for eggs.
    7. Refrigerate until firm.

 

birdnest22

Enjoy!