Salted Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

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Sometimes simple is good. 

But more importantly, simple things are easy to make. And when you want a chocolate covered graham cracker, you probably want it immediately. Or you could be normal and go to a candy store the day after tomorrow, whatever. 

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I just got back from a trip to California to see my husband’s grandparents, and I think we hit every candy store within a 50 mile radius. You might think thats probably only like one, but it’s more like 10. And somehow even after going to 9 candy stores, we still bought stuff at the 10th. 

My favorites are always chocolate covered graham crackers. Those things are crack you guys. So naturally, after the 18 hour drive home, and a day without food in my house, all the ones I bought are gone, and I still want more. You guys feel really bad for me, right?

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Anyways, turns out they are super easy to make, which I know shocks no one, and also that sprinkling some coarse salt on top makes them even better somehow. 

I used 24 oz of chocolate to make about 36 chocolate covered grahams here, but if you feel like you don’t need that many, (you are wrong) just ya know, melt less chocolate and go with it. Also, I suggest using chocolate that you like to eat. The first time I did this, I used something really cheap, and it didn’t taste nearly as good as I hoped. Since it’s just a coating of chocolate, it’s worth it to go for the good stuff.

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Anyways, it’s pretty straight forward; melt the chocolate, dip the grahams, shake off the excess, salt and chill. Enjoy!

Salted Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

Ingredients

  • 24 oz. quality semi-sweet chocolate
  • 36 squares of graham crackers
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  • In a medium dish, (I used a glass loaf pan) melt 3/4 of the chocolate in the microwave. Melt it in 30 second increments to ensure that you do not over-melt.
  • Then, stir in the remaining chocolate until melted completely.
  • With a fork, dip the graham crackers into the chocolate until coated. Lift out of the chocolate, and tap on the side of the dish to let excess chocolate drip off.
  • Slide the dipped cracker off the fork and onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with salt immediately.
  • Once you fill a sheet, chill until the chocolate has set.
  • Store in the refrigerator.
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Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Stuffed Monkey Bread

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Guys, this is a good one. It’s a long title, but I just felt like you needed to know the extent of what’s happening here like, immediately. 

So, wanna hear a super cool story? One of my co-workers at my day job, Chaz, always talks about this awesome pizza place he grew up with called Dion’s, and how they just recently started opening them up in Colorado. Like seriously, Chaz loves this place. So when Dion’s reached out to me about this post, I was sitting there thinking, “Dion’s… Dion’s… where do I know that name?”

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The point of the story is that I’m so excited to be partnering with this awesome restaurant for my post today, and I hope you guys love it! Thanks for listening. 

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My husband and I went over to Dion’s last night for dinner, my first time at the restaurant. We ordered the Duke City pizza, from a recommendation of my friend Chaz, and it didn’t disappoint! It’s really unique, with green chili’s so it’s got a good kick to it. 

When we headed out, we grabbed a few dough balls to take home for this dessert recipe. Their dough is made fresh every morning, so it’s really great to work with, especially compared to some grocery store options out there. I’m a from-scratch baker for a lot of recipes, but in my everyday life, I LOVE shortcuts. With such a great quality dough, it’s super easy to bake with. 

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Alright, on to the monkey bread. You guys, please, you must try this recipe! It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. Seriously, EVER. Listen, you can make monkey bread that’s not stuffed. You can, but don’t, because this version is worth every single extra step. 

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I hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did, and if you have a Dion’s in your city, give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed!

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This post was sponsored by Dion’s

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Stuffed Monkey Bread

Ingredients

  • 40 oz of fresh pizza or bread dough (about one and a half large dough balls from Dion's)
  • 1 8oz pkg of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup melted and cooled butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbs. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 10-cup bundt pan with cooking spray.
  • In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, first 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 tsp. vanilla. Set aside.
  • Place your melted butter in another small bowl. In a third small bowl, mix together the 3/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • Pull off small pieces of dough, about the size of a golf ball. Stretch the dough into a flat circle. Spoon a small amount of the cream cheese mixture in the middle, along with two chocolate chips.
  • Stretch the dough around the filling back into a circle shape, and pinch to seal.
  • Dip the ball into the melted butter, and then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mix. Place in your bundt pan.
  • Continue until you have one layer of filled dough balls in the pan. Then sprinkle on half of the chopped hazelnuts.
  • Finish filling and rolling the rest of the dough balls, until the pan is 3/4 full.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the second 1/2 cup of butter, then whisk in the brown sugar, vanilla, and salt until combined.
  • Pour the sauce over your dough in the bundt pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, or until set, and the top is golden. If the top starts to get too dark, cover with foil while you continue to bake.
  • Cool for 10-15 minutes, and then turn out onto a plate, and enjoy warm!
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Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls

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Cinnamon rolls.

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Today we’re talking about an easy step to cinnamon roll making that makes ’em next level. Because if you’re going to trouble yourself to make homemade cinnamon rolls, let’s make them the best ones ever. It’s chocolate chips, in case you hadn’t guessed. 

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I used mini chips, because I really wanted them to blend in with the classic cinnamon filling. It’s not overloaded with chips, but just enough to add that sweet note of chocolate. 

Cinnamon rolls aren’t the easiest thing to make, especially at an altitude. If you’re up high someplace like me, the rising times and baking information should be perfect. If you are at sea-level, you’ll need more time for rising, and you should bake your rolls at a slightly higher temperature. 

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What I’ve found with bread recipes and rising dough is that you want to pay more attention to the dough itself than your given rising times. Sometimes if it’s humid in my house, the dough takes like, half the time to rise. So, here’s your reference for this recipe- on the first rise, you want the dough to double in size. On the second rise, you want the dough to rise around 1/3. And finally, your last rise should be fairly short, only about 1/4 size increase. 

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Working with yeast breads doesn’t have to be hard, and the results always make me feel like a champ. Make sure you’ve got fresh yeast, and be sure to use a thermometer- don’t just guess on the temperature to bloom your yeast. After that, it’s easy!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 cups (to 5 1/2 cups) bread flour
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 tbs. cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Frosting:
  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs. milk

Instructions

  • Mix together the yeast, warm water, and sugar. Let this sit for 5 minutes until the yeast has bloomed.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat together the whole milk, 1 cup of water, canola oil, and salt until about 120 degrees.
  • Pour the milk mixture into a stand mixture, or a large bowl. Add in 4 cups of flour to start, and beat together until combined.
  • Add in the yeast mixture, and beat together for several minutes. You will have a lumpy, very wet mixture at this point.
  • Add in another 1/2 cup of flour, and beat together. Continue slowly adding flour until dough leaves the sides of the bowl, and is no longer sticky.
  • Then, pull the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead in a little more flour until it's smooth.
  • Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 50-55 minutes for the first round.
  • After the first rise, punch down the dough, and knead on a floured surface once or twice. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let it rise again for about 40-45 minutes this time.
  • Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together for the filling.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, and spread the filling butter evenly across the entire thing. Then sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top, and pat down into the dough. Sprinkle your mini chips across the dough.
  • Roll up the dough tightly, and slice into 15-18 rolls.
  • Place your rolls in a greased sheet pan, and let rise for another 15 minutes or so.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown.
  • For the frosting, mix everything together until smooth. Smear over each roll after cooling for about 15 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
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Triple Chocolate Cookies

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Listen, I love classic chocolate chip cookies as much as anyone, but sometimes you just need more than a single dose of the good stuff. I’m talking about chocolate, class it up you guys! Today we’re talking about the most chocolatey cookies, like, ever.

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I actually made these last month when things were a bit crazy at work, and since these go so well with coffee, I’m officially calling them a breakfast item. 

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So, this may sound a bit inexperienced, but I have never used dutch processed (or dark) cocoa powder before now! It’s amazing. I always have an issue with my baked goods not tasting quite as chocolatey as I’d like, and this is changing my life. I’m using Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder. If you’re looking for a deep chocolate flavor, this is the way to go. 

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These cookies are chocolate layered on chocolate, and any chocolate lover will go crazy for them, I promise. The three chocolate sources are regular chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, and the cocoa powder. 

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There’s a few ingredients that will help intensify the chocolate flavor in any recipe. The first is salt, which of course brings out any flavors in baking, not just chocolate. Then we’ve got vanilla extract, which may seem almost counter-intuitive since many people think of vanilla as an opposite flavor. In baking though, the two are actually very complimentary! Cinnamon is another great option- just a pinch will give your chocolate a kick. Lastly, we’ve got coffee or espresso products. Again, just a small pinch can make a big difference, and the end result won’t actually taste like coffee. 

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This recipe uses all of these methods to bring out that chocolate flavor. Seriously, when I say triple chocolate, I really mean they taste chocolatey! 

Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 stick + 6 tbs. melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbs. brewed coffee
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line two baking sheets with parchment.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.
  • Mix in the vanilla, egg and yolk, and the coffee.
  • Slowly mix in the flour mixture until its completely combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips and the mini chocolate chips.
  • Scoop into 2 tbs. balls, and press down slightly on your baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 7-10 minutes, or until the cookies are set.
  • Cool and enjoy!
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Classic Tiramisu

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Hey coffee lovers! I’ve got an easy crowd pleaser for you today. 

If you’re anything like me, you love coffee, and you’ve always been intimidated by making your own tiramisu. But for reals, don’t be. It’s easy, you can definitely handle it. You only have to cook one component here. Also, mascarpone cheese is like, this super creamy and smooth cream cheese. 

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If you’ve never had tiramisu, it’s basically a layered creamy dessert. The base is lady fingers, which are a dry sponge cake, soaked in espresso, layered with a mascarpone cheese sweet cream, and dusted with cocoa powder. It’s served chilled, and if you like coffee, it’s pretty divine. 

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If you only kind of like coffee, you can use less of it while layering the dessert. 

Here’s my tip that worked well at least for my lady fingers- I had trouble dipping these in espresso even for the shortest time, they kept just falling apart before I could place them. So instead I actually placed the dry lady fingers in the dish, and then brushed on espresso in two applications, waiting for it to soak in between each round. I found it much easier. 

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I also like a slightly sweeter version of this classic, so I added some additional sugar to the cream, as well as vanilla to boost the sweetness and flavor here. Feel free to omit the vanilla and the powdered sugar if you prefer a more bitter version!

Enjoy!

Classic Tiramisu

Ingredients

  • 7 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3-4 pkgs. lady fingers
  • 1 cup brewed espresso, cooled
  • 2 tbs. cocoa powder

Instructions

  • Over a double broiler, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until sugar has dissolved. The mixture will be pale yellow, and thick. It should ribbon when you pull up your whisk. Set aside.
  • Beat together the mascarpone cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Add in the heavy cream, and beat until mixture has stiff peaks.
  • Gentle fold the egg yolk mixture into the mascarpone mixture until fully combined.
  • In a 13 by 9 inch pan, create a full layer of lady fingers, covering the bottom of the pan as much as possible.
  • Brush on the cold espresso, and wait 1-2 minutes. Then, brush another round of espresso onto the lady fingers.
  • Spread about 1/3 of the cream on top of the lady fingers.
  • Repeat the process of layer the lady fingers, espresso, and cream until you have three layers of lady fingers, and cream on the top.
  • With a sifter, dust the top with cocoa powder.
  • Chill for several hours, and serve!
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