Summertime: Mini Mint Cheesecakes

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Oh my, oh my…. The days are getting warmer and warmer and It is time to have a bite that will cool you down and lift your spirits. Mini Mint Cheesecakes are the perfect summertime treat. These delectable bites are easy to make and cute to serve with tea or as a potluck bring along dish. Cool your taste buds and the summertime heat with these nifty little bites:

Ingredients:

Crust

Crushed Chocolate Cream Cookies
1/4 cup butter, melted

Filling

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup green crème de menthe liqueur

Topping

Sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Grasshopper-Tarts

Steps

  •  Crumble about half the cookies into fine crumbs to make 2 cups cookie crumbs.
  • In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter. Place foil baking cup in each of 18 regular-size muffin cups. Press about 1 tablespoon cookie mixture in bottom of each baking cup or use tartlet molds. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Bake 5 minutes.
  • In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping bowl frequently, until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in liqueur. Pour about 1/4 cup of the filling on top of each of the cookie crusts.
  •  Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until edges are set and centers are still slightly jiggly. Turn oven off, and open door slightly. Cool cheesecake in oven 30 minutes. Remove from oven to cooling rack; cool at room temperature 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 2 hours or until cheesecakes are chilled. Top with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Protein Bars

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Sometimes we don’t need a guilty pleasure, instead we need a chocolate feel good about myself snack. This seemed like it would work for those warmer days when you still need a chocolate pick me up.

Chocolate Protein Bars

chocprotein

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 scoops protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup Stevia
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt

Directions:

  • 1.Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • 2.Mix almond milk, egg whites, applesauce, peanut butter and yogurt together in a small bowl.
  • 3.In a separate bowl, mix flour, protein powder, Stevia, baking soda, salt and cocoa together and then combine with wet ingredients.
  • 4.Pour mixture into a greased 8″ x 8″ glass dish and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

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Easy Holiday Bites

Quick & Easy Holiday Bites

This is a super quick and easy recipe that has been adapted from Adrienne. In about 15 to 20 minutes you can have a fantastic yet easy, easy, easy, party treat.

03 part bite

 

 

With the help of a set of fun shaped ice cube trays or candy molds, a simple recipe like chocolate bark looks so much more festive.

What you will need:

2 fun shaped ice cube trays:

1/2 pound of Cocoa Mill White Chocolate to melt

½ tbsp. of butter

8 Cocoa Mill Dark Chocolate Toffee

1 oz. Dried Cranberries

toffee_17503cranberries

white choco chunks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chop the Dark Chocolate Toffee and mix with the Dried Cranberries, set aside.

Over medium heat in a saucepan melt the butter and white chocolate. Stir constantly until silky smooth, DO NOT OVERHEAT!

 

You can spoon your melted chocolate into the ice cube sections, filling almost ½ to ¾ full. Your toppings need to have room to stick on top of the chocolate.

 

Place your toppings on top of the white chocolate, press them in just a little, to make sure that everything sticks.

If you’d rather mix it altogether first and then spoon it all into the cube spaces, go for it, either way will work!

Now, just cool your bark until it’s solid.

03party bites

Tap the chocolates out of the trays, serve on a pretty plate & enjoy!

 

03parties bites

 

Cranberry Snow Cake

 

Cranberry Snow Cake

 

I found this cake on Pinterest and hunted down the recipe. Oh my goodness this Cranberry Snow Cake exudes elegance and decadence. The colors of this cake make you feel warm and cozy at the same time representing the beauty of the Holiday Season.


02cranberry-snow cake

 

Ingredients

Cake

10 ounce unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pans

3 1/2 cups cake flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 cups granulated sugar

7 large egg whites, at room temperature

flour eggs butter

 

Cranberry filling

3 3/4 cups cranberries, divided

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups cranberry or cherry preserves

02 cranberries

 

Butter-cream

5 large egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

12 ounces Cocoa Mill White Chocolate (bars or a blocks), divided

white chocolate chunks

1 pound unsalted butter, cut into pieces and at room temperature

Assembly

1/2 cup colorless liqueur such as crème de cacao or kirsch

About 2 tbsp. powdered sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Butter two 9-in. cake pans; set aside.
  2. Make cake: In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together on low speed until light and fluffy. Add egg whites in 3 batches, scraping inside of bowl as needed. Beat in flour mixture in 5 batches, adding 1/4 cup water after each addition (you will begin and end with flour); make sure flour is completely blended each time before adding water. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly. Smooth tops with a spatula.
  3. Bake until center of cake feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pans on a rack.
  4. Meanwhile, make cranberry filling: Combine 3 cups cranberries, the sugar, preserves, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until cranberries pop and preserves melt, 5 to 10 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 cup cranberries, stir to combine, and remove from heat. Transfer to a small bowl and chill until ready to assemble cake.
  5. Make butter-cream: Fill a 2-qt. pan with about 1 in. water and bring to a simmer over low heat. Put egg whites, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Place bowl over hot water, making sure bottom of bowl isn’t touching water, and heat whites, whisking constantly, until hot to the touch, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan and bowl from heat.
  6. Put bowl of warm whites on the mixer and whisk on high speed until tripled in volume and side of bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, chop 4 oz. white chocolate, put in a medium metal mixing bowl, and set in same pan of warm water off the heat to melt slowly, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from pan and let cool to room temperature.
  8. Reduce mixer speed to low and whisk butter into whites, about 1/4 cup at a time, until incorporated. Continue to whisk on low speed until smooth and fluffy, about 10 minutes (mixture may look grainy at some point but will come together).
  9. With a rubber spatula, gently fold melted chocolate into butter-cream until completely combined.
  10. Assemble: Rub tops of both cakes gently with your hands to remove browned outer surface, then carefully invert cakes and rub undersides so that cakes are completely white. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate, top side up. Using a pastry brush, brush top with half the liqueur. Spread about 1 1/2 cups cranberry mixture over layer with a metal spatula, leaving a 1/2-in. empty border around edge. Place second cake layer on top, flattest side down, and brush with remaining liqueur. Spread top and sides of cake with a thin layer of butter-cream to seal in crumbs and chill 30 minutes. Cover with remaining butter-cream, starting with the sides and covering the top last.
  11. Use the palm of your hand to warm remaining chocolate. Shave smooth side of chocolate bar with a vegetable peeler to make thin curls; scatter curls over cake’s top. Sift powdered sugar over cake. Serve with remaining cranberry mixture on the side.

02 cranberry snow cake

 

Make ahead: Baked cake layers can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature or in the fridge up to 2 days ahead. Cranberry filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and chilled.

 

Note:

Bakers’ tip: To make a pure white cake, use your fingers to rub off the browned surface of each layer before assembling.

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!

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.

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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!

 

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!