Homemade Hot chocolate

The older I get, the colder I get. When I was younger, I could run the to the garbage dumpster in my bare feet, in the middle of January, in a snow storm and my feet would barely be cold. Now, I wake up and my feet are cold before they hit the floor. It is so bad I was forced to do something I swore I would never do! I bought and wear fuzzy socks when I am home from work and on my days off.

Its not just my feet that are cold. My hands are cold all the time too. It is just much easier to warm up my hands with out have to resort to torturing them with fuzzy socks. I simply keep hot drink on a mug warmer on my desk. The mug is often hot tea but sometimes I am looking for a little something different, like hot chocolate. Don’t run out and buy those little packets of hot chocolate from the grocery store. You can make an awesome hot chocolate using things you probably already have in the house. With just 3 ingredients, you can skip the vanilla, if you don’t have it and 3 or 4 minutes you can have a hot drink to warm up your cold hands.

Homemade Hot Chocolate

From the back of a can of Hershey’s Cocoa Powder

1 1/3 cup milk or milk alternative

1 TBS cocoa powder

1 TBS sugar or sugar alternative

1/8 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, add milk, cocoa powder, sugar and vanilla. Heat the milk mixture over low heat until hot. Don’t try to rush heating the milk by turning the heat up. If you do you will curdle the milk and that isn’t good. Pour the cocoa into a mug, top with whipped cream and serve.

Chocolate Sun Butter Cups

Chocolate Sun Butter cups are what happens when I look at food blogs 30 minutes before I go to bed. I dream about them and wake up with a craving so intense I get my butt out of bed and directly to the store for the ingredients a 6 in the morning. I am frequently up by 6 in the morning but I am seldom dressed and out the door for anything at 6 in the morning which tells you how badly I wanted these.

These cups only took about10 minutes to put together and most of that was setting the chocolate in the freezer. I don’t have a microwave so I melted my chocolate chips in the air fryer set on the lowest temperature possible. It took about a minute and a half, stirring occasionally. You could also melt the chocolate chips on the stove with a double boiler.

In interest of full disclosure, I received the Sun Butter I used in this recipe from my friend, Steph, who works at Sun Butter. I have received no compensation for this post. I just really liked the recipe.

Chocolate Sun Butter Cups

Adapted From The Primal Palate Blog

3/4 semi sweet or milk chocolate chips

1 1/2 tsp coconut oil

2 TBS Sun Butter

3/4 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp vanilla

Place 6 mini cup cake liners in a mini muffin pan; set aside. In a heat proof container combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Microwave the chips on low power, stirring every 30 second until melted. Fill each mini muffin cup half way with chocolate. Place in the freezer for 5 – 10 minutes to set the chocolate.

Meanwhile, combine the Sun Butter, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl; mix well. When the chocolate has set, divide the Sun Butter mixture over the 6 mini muffin cups. Make sure to spread the Sun Butter mixture to the edges of the chocolate bottom. Use the remaining chocolate mixture to cover the Sun Butter mixture, again make sure you spread the chocolate all the way to the edge. Place in the freezer for another 10 minutes or until the chocolate is set.

Flash Back Friday — Chocolate Ricotta Muffins

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Jenn Bumb, from Pretend It’s A Donut, issued a challenge on her Instagram story to revisit a favorite recipe you haven’t made in a while.  I thought that was a great idea so I pulled up A Solitary Feast and began to look through the old posts for a favorite.  I am always concentrating on what to post next.  I don’t often look at old posts so it was fun to see how far I have come over the last 4 years and 3 months.  What worked, what didn’t work, how much more comfortable I am in my writing, how much my photography has improved and how much my site has changed.
What amazed me the most is how many really good recipes are buried in my archives.  For the rest of the summer, every Friday, I am going to feature a favorite recipe from my archives for those of you that haven’t been around since the beginning.  Today’s recipe is Chocolate Ricotta muffins.  I would have to say muffins are one of my favorite things to make.  I have more unique muffin recipes in my big, white binder of recipes for one or two than any other kind.  There is something about baking muffins that just gets my day off to a good start.
I tend to make these muffins when I make lasagna because it is a great way to use up leftover ricotta cheese.  I know what you’re thinking.  Cheese in sweet muffins? Are you nuts?  I thought the same thing the first time I made these.  The ricotta adds a nice tang and keeps these muffins incredibly moist.

Chocolate Ricotta Muffins

Adapted from The Sunlight Cafe Cookbook
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ to 2 ½ TBS cocoa powder
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup ricotta cheese
3 TBS lightly beaten egg
6 TBS plus 1 teaspoon milk
¾ tsp vanilla extract
1 TBS canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 6 muffins cups with cooking spray. Combine the flour, baking powder, cocoa, sugar and chocolate chips in a small bowl. Place the ricotta in a second small bowl. Add the egg, beating until well mixed. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk until blended. Pour the ricotta and oil into the dry ingredients. Using a spoon or rubber spatula, stir from the bottom until the dry ingredients are all moistened. A few lumps are okay. Fill prepared muffin cups to the rim. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

A Small Batch Christmas — Fudge

472The first time I made fudge the traditional way, I got out my candy thermometer and carefully brought the chocolate mixture to the proper temperature and kept it there for the required amount of time.  I watched the mixture spread out in creamy, chocolatey swirls in the pan.  I was so exited to cut into it!  I could hardly wait for it to set!! After the required amount of time to set, I pulled it out of the fridge and set it on the counter. I was ready to cut into it and enjoy the fruits of my labor, Only to have the fudge go “thunk” when the tip of my knife hit the surface.  Yep, my fudge set so hard I couldn’t chisel it out of the pan with a jackhammer.  I eventually had to throw the fudge away pan and all.

Fortunately, for all of you guys, I have an absolutely fool proof recipe for fudge that will never fail you.  I should know, I tested it three times. LOL!  The recipes comes to you courtesy of Christina Lane at her absolutely awesome blog, Dessert for Two.

Christina Lane's 2 Ingredient Fudge

3/4 cup, 7 ounces, sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups, 9 ounces, semisweet chocolate chips,

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted, optional

Instructions

Line a 6″ round cake pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray (I didn’t use the the foil. I used a 6 inch spring form pan.) In a small saucepan over VERY low heat, add the condensed milk. Stir in the chocolate chips. Slowly let the chocolate melt into the condensed milk, stirring constantly.  Once everything is smooth and melted, stir in the almond extract. Pour the fudge into the prepared pan, and sprinkle the slivered almonds on top, pressing them lightly so they stick, if using.  Place the pan in the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours. Lift the fudge out of the pan using the foil, and then cut into slices and serve.

A Small Batch Christmas–Peanut Butter Blossoms

Is there any better flavor combination in the world better than peanut butter and chocolate? I don’t think so. Which is  why my Christmas cookie platters always include peanut butter blossoms.

A bit of peanut butter blossom trivia. Peanut butter blossoms made their debut in 1957 when their creator entered them in the  Pillsbury bake off. She made it into the top 100 finalists but lost the grand prize.  The grand prize went to a dessert called accordion treats. In 1993, peanut butter blossoms were inducted into the baking hall of fame.

Peanut Butter Blossoms


Ingredients
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter
4 TBS butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 TBS lightly beaten egg
13 chocolate kisses

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda; mix well. In another bowl, cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Add peanut butter and egg; mix well. Drop by tablespoonfuls about two inches apart onto a baking sheet lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss into the cookie. Let cool on the tray for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely.