Summery S’mores Pie

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It’s the end of summer dreams that make me feel fine, but I’m going to squeeze ever last ounce out of it—and what is more summer than campfires and s’mores? Don’t tell me other things cause that ruins my train of thought and my segue into talking about this pie, and TRUST when I say you want me to get to it as quickly as possible. A graham cracker crust with a pinch of salt, a creamy chocolate middle and roasted marshmallows topped with coconut and chocolate chips, juuuuust for fun.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10-15 graham crackers)
  • 8 tablespoons melted butter
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling

  • 7 ounces milk or dark chocolate, or a mixture of both, broken into chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt

For the topping

  • 1 bag marshmallows (I used big ones and chopped them in varying sizes, just for fun)
  • 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Make the crust. Crumble graham crackers into the work bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Or just put them in a bag and take our your aggressions with any instrument you find necessary until they are finely crushed. Add salt and pour melted butter over the crumbs and mix until the butter is fully incorporated and the texture is that of wet sand. Butter or oil a 9-inch pie pan and firmly press the graham cracker crumbs against the sides, then against the bottom of the pan. Chill for at least 30 minutes to avoid crumbling when serving (I chilled for a few hours, just to be safe).
  2. While the crust chills, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the chocolate filling. Put the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until scalded — do not boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 1 minute. Whisk the cream and chocolate together until glossy and smooth. Add a pinch of salt, then crack the egg into the chocolate mixture and whisk to fully incorporate. Pour into chilled crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
  3. Once pie is cooled, top with marshmallows and brûlée until about half done. Then add coconut and torch again until desired level of toastiness. Immediately add chocolate chips so that they melt a little bit on the hot marshmallows. ***For this process, a torch is best (a propane torch from the hardware store or a butane crème brûlée torch). If using a torch, clear the area of any flammable items, ignite the torch, and slowly wave the flame over the surface of the marshmallow until you get the roasting just right. If you do not have a torch, use the broiler of your oven. Preheat the broiler, cover the edges of the pie crust with foil or pie shields, place the pie on a baking sheet and broil — watching carefully to prevent burning — for 2 to 3 minutes, rotating as necessary.
  4. To slice the pie, it helps to dip your knife in hot water, then dry it with a towel. The heat facilitates easy slicing through the marshmallow layer.

-CK 1.0

Recipe adapted from New York Times

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

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double chocolate chunk cookies by twocarolines.com

These came about when I wanted to bring a treat to my daughter’s soccer practice, but needed to mindful of a nut allergy and the fact that 7 year olds are kind of lame sometimes about awesome stuff like coconut and oatmeal.  These cookies were a huge hit with the Huntington Beach “Kickers” and it’s no wonder with their perfectly chewy texture, and loads of rich chocolate flavor.  I am continuing to fuel the team with baked sweets because it’s working, we are UNDEFEATED!  And I’m sure double chocolate chunk cookies have a lot to do with that, because practice etc. really pales in comparrison to the power of an epic dessert.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (you can also use natural Hershey’s or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate or dark/semi-sweet, 4 ounces coarsely chopped, 4 ounces cut into 1/4-inch chunks.  Chunks are delicious and add to the texture, but chocolate chips will work great too
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Melt coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla; mix on medium speed until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chunks.

  3. Scoop batter using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop; place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are flat and surfaces begin to crack, you still want them looking shiny and undone in the middle, about 11-13 minutes. Transfer on parchment to wire racks. Let cool 5 minutes.

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Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate Almond Tart

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chocolate almond tart by twocarolines.com

I’m always looking for recipes with chocolate and nuts, and lately I’ve been on a pecan/ walnut binge, so it was fun to make this tart that reminded me of how magical almonds and chocolate are together.  It’s likely there will be more chocolate almond combos coming your way after this smashing success.  The texture of this tart is almost caramel like, it was really interesting and so so easy to make.  The original recipe calls for milk chocolate chips, she says that the dark or semi-sweet option made it too rich for her.  I am not familiar with the sensation of something being “too rich” – I used a combination of semi-sweet and dark chocolate and I thought it was just right!

Crust:
1/3 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 egg beaten

Filling:
1 tablespoon
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
12 ounces chocolate – either one bag of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/2 teaspoon (or up to 1 tsp if you really want some almond punch) almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup almonds chopped
for garnish – another 1/3 cup almonds and whipped cream

  1. Preheat oven to 400.  For the crust: In a medium bowl, cut the butter and flour with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.  Add the beaten egg.  Stir until a dough forms.  Press the dough firmly into a tart pan or 9″ pie tin.  Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.
  2. Reduce oven to 350.  For the filling – in a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and extracts.  Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted.  Stir in the almonds.  Pour and spread evenly into the tart crust.  Bake an additional 23-25 mintutes or until the edges are set but the center still has some jiggle.  Cool in the pan on a rack.  Serve in slices, garnished with whipped cream and chopped almonds on top.

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Never Faileth by Annette Lyon

Peanut Butter Cup Vanilla Ice Cream

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Remember that one time, when it was too hot for life? Don’t get me wrong, I love summer! I mean—I have to hide my fair skin from the sun the whole time—but I love that blessed sweet blue sky and warm summer nights. But when the sun brings that triple digit heat, you don’t necessarily want to turn on your oven and sweat over it. So, what better solution than to make ice cream? I was hanging out with my sis the other week, and she made some crazy good raspberry ice cream in such a quick amount of time, that I got it in my head to do the same. The base is Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Ice Cream, and it’s oh-so easy to make! Of course you know I had to go to one of my favorite flavors and threw in Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and some PB chips for my mix-ins. I can’t get over how simple and fast and delicious it was! So, I’m thinking you have new weekend plans, amiright?

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste)
  • 1 and 1/2 bags Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups cut in quarters
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. Whip the eggs and sugar together with a whisk until fluffy (but not firm).
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients into the eggs and sugar.
  3. Whisk together until well mixed.
  4. Place in ice cream maker, add desired mix-ins and follow it’s directions to make.
  5. EAT ALL THE THINGS

-CK 1.0
Recipe adapted from here.

 

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

I very much love brownies and bars because in addition to being delicious, they are so quick, easy and satisfying.  You don’t always have time to make a special cake or pie, so brownies and bars are the ultimate lazy bakers delight.  This is one of the reasons twocarolines.com has dozens of amazing ones to choose from, which will not stop us from adding to the list frequently.  Whenever I come across a recipe I haven’t made before that looks great, I hop to it.  These ones were unique and you can make them a variety of ways.  In fact, I was in a rush and forgot to add the oatmeal to the bottom batter, so I laid a layer of it on top of the chocolate, swirled it in, and then dolloped the rest of the dough on and no one complained a bit!  I’m posting as recommended though, because next time I won’t forget and I think it would be an even cooler texture experience.  Either way, you’ll love these chewy, gooey, chocolatey oatmeal fudge bars.

1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 can (14 0unce) sweetened condensed milk
1 package or 12 ounces chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional – I opted out of those so my kids wouldn’t turn up their picky noses)

  1.  Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan – I just laid down parchment which worked out great, but if you grease with butter or even spray that will work well too.  Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large mixer bowl cream the butter and brown sugar then add the eggs one at at time and the vanilla.
  3. In a small bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt then add that to the creamed mixture.  Mix in the oats.
  4. In a heavy saucepan, mix the sweetened condensed milk with the chocolate chips and butter, heat until just melted and you can whisk it smooth.  Stir in the vanilla and nuts if using.  Spread two thirds of brown sugar dough into prepared baking pan.  Spread the chocolate mixture on top, then drop remaining one third of brown sugar dough on top by spoonfuls.  Even out the top in a pretty way.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 25-30 minutes – be sure it’s not still doughy when you take it out, you can tell when it’s set and a toothpick will come out with moist crumbs not wet dough.  Cool for a good 15 minutes at least then cut into bars.  Makes about 36.

Recipe adapted from Lion House Classics Cookbook Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting

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Devils Food Cupcakes by twocarolines.com

I often bake with my daughters, and when they get to choose, it’s ALWAYS chocolate cake, which is one of the reasons there are so many chocolate cake recipes on our site.  This one is super delicious, it’s got rich dark chocolate flavor and I decided to make it in a cupcake instead of a cake so we could freeze what we didn’t eat the day we made it and have fresh cake anyday.  I did find, as I do with many cakes from scratch, that they dry out a little on day two, so it’s best to make it for a crowd or freeze your leftovers.  I am a pretty loyal devotee to traditional buttercream frosting, but I decided to try whipped ganache, and I must say, it’s poppin off some serious chocolate flavor, fun for a change and for sure a very rich chocolatey experience.  I doubled the frosting because you use a lot more for cupcakes, but other than that, I stayed pretty close to the recipe.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

Cake:

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Devils food cupcake with whipped ganache frosting by twocarolines.com

2 cups cake flour
2/3 cup natural cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Frosting:
14 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chopped
1 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
chocolate sprinkles

  1. Prepare 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners, lightly spray the bottoms.  Preheat oven to 350.
  2. For the cake – Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar and beat for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the vanilla.  Reduce speed to low and add the cocoa mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture in 3 batches, beating until well blended.  Transfer the batter to cupcake liners filling only 3/4 the way.  If you choose to make a cake this works great in two 9 inch round pans or one 9×13.  Just be sure to check for doneness and not bake times, bake time below is for cupcakes.
  3. Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes until turning out to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  4. To make the frosting, slowly melt the chocolate with the cream in a heatproof medium bowl and whisk until smooth.  Add the butter and whisk until smooth.  Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate, covered, for 15 minutes.
  5. Beat the frosting with an electric mixer on medium high speed for about 8 minutes until thick enough to spread.
  6. Either frost cupcakes with a knife or put frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large tip and twirl pretty frosting mountains on top of your cooled cupcakes.  Add chocolate sprinkles for an extra pretty touch!

Recipe adapted from Luscious Chocolate Desserts cookbook  Devils Food Cake.

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Torte

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Flourless Chocolate Walnut Torte by twocarolines

We first posted this Flourless Chocolate Walnut Torte at the end of the year in December when the few of you who followed twocarolines.com were about to start your diet.  This is the dessert I dream of when I want the most rich, decadent, mind blowing chocolate treat imaginable.  It’s one of my favorites because it has an impressive presence and taste, but it’s super easy and I always have chocolate, eggs, and walnuts around so it’s become my go to when I don’t have loads of time, but I still want to blow doors with deliciousness.  What really sends it over the top is a tiny little half teaspoon of coarse salt.  If you don’t have any, it’s easy to find at your local grocer and it really pops vs. table salt. How rad are you if instead of the quickest decent dessert on the planet, brownies, you show up with this gorgeous show stopper?  Trust me when I say we just cured you of your most urgent chocolate craving.

For the torte:
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped (I do about 7 oz bitter and the rest semi-sweet)
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2/3 cup ground toasted walnuts

For the chocolate topping:
3-4 ounces chopped chocolate (I use the same mix of semi and bittersweet)
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1/3 cup or so of toasted walnuts chopped

  1. First toast your walnuts.  I just spread them on a cookie sheet and throw them in while I’m pre-heating my oven, usually takes about 6 minutes for them to be slightly browned and fragrant.  Take them out to cool down while you chop chocolate and prepare your other ingredients – keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.  If you don’t want to toast them, it will still work out, but it does add a noticeable flavor dimension I really enjoy.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.  Butter or spray (I use trader joes coconut oil spray) a 9 inch round cake pan.  Line bottom with parchment and spray that too.
  3. Melt your 10 ounces chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the oil.  I use a large pyrex and melt it on defrost in my microwave.  You can also melt at full power in 20 second increments (if you go longer you will burn your chocolate), or over a double boiler on a stove.
  4. Once melted and smooth whisk in sugar, then eggs one at a time.  Whisk in cocoa, vanilla, and salt.
  5. To grind your walnuts, I find a food processor works best, but I’m sure you could do this in a fancy blender too.  Fold ground walnuts into your chocolate mixture and spread batter into pan.
  6. Bake until set, about 30-35 minutes.  Let cool at least most the way – try and give it a good hour or two, then run a knife around the edge to loosen and remove from pan.
  7. Make the topping: Melt chocolate and coconut oil in the same manner as step 3.  Spread over the top of your cake.  Sprinkle with your chopped walnuts and serve.

Do not refrigerate, this cake keeps very well at room temperature for a number of days.  Also, keep your servings small as this is really rich in the most delightful way.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Flourless Chocolate Torte 2015