Black Bottom Vanilla Cream Pie with salted caramel sauce by twocarolines.com
As my loyal readers have noticed, I have a new habit of slapping a black bottom on every pie I make – it’s my new favorite party trick. I put one on the incredibly delicious peanut butter chocolate pie, my nutella pie, and lately I’m throwing this down on all my cream pies like banana cream and coconut cream pie. This cream pie recipe is one you’ve maybe seen here before, but not when it’s atop a decadent layer of ganache and dripping with salted caramel sauce. This was an experiment that paid off MAJOR! I was so happy with it and it’s not very hard to make! On this pi day I give you this super winning equation of chocolate + vanilla + salted caramel = PIE that will rock your world!
Crust: Traditional pie crust – our recipe is awesome and easy. I made this in a deep dish pie pan, but it would work in a standard 9″ – it would just be really full – you could save some ganache for later if it looks like you’re filling it too full before you get to your cream filling.
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup crisco
4 tablespoons ice water
1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (I love it with a dark bittersweet chocolate)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 (scant) teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cup whole milk
7 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons butter (cut into small pieces)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- To make the crust, mix your flour and salt, then add the Crisco and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender as you add the cold water. It will start to come together at which point you can pull in all the dry parts with your hands and quickly knead it into a ball. Flour your work surface and roll it into a thin circle. Roll it onto your rolling pin and slowly into your (ungreased) pie pan. Make a ridge around the outside and crimp as desired. Poke all over with holes or put beans or pie weights into your crust with parchment before baking. Blind bake at 450 7-9 minutes until lightly browned.
- While crust is cooking and cooling make your chocolate ganache. You can melt your chocolate and cream in a double boiler on the stove, or with my preferred method – Place chocolate and cream in a glass pyrex in the microwave on defrost for a few minutes or in 20 second increments on full power until the chocolate loses it’s shape and you can whisk it all smooth. You don’t want it to get too hot so the key is to heat is slowly. Pour your ganache layer into your (mostly) cooled pie crust and put it into the freezer or fridge so it can harden while you make your filling.
- Put sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan with a thick bottom. With your burner on medium/high (I keep mine just above medium) slowly pour in the milk and stir until combined then add your egg yolks one at a time, whisking after each until no yellow streaks remain. Now switch to a heat proof rubber spatula and stirring constantly bring to a simmer. Once the bubbles come up and you know it’s starting to boil scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk until smooth then return to the heat and stir constantly for 1 minute while your mixture slowly bubbles (wear an apron!). Remove from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla until all is combined then pour into your prepared pie crust on top of your cooled ganache.
black bottom vanilla cream pie by twocarolines.com
- Put plastic wrap directly over the top before refrigerating. Be sure to let it cool a solid 4 hours or so before you top it with whipped cream and salted caramel.
- For the Caramel whisk together sugar and water in a medium (heavy bottom) saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until sugar is just dissolved. Add butter and bring to a slow boil without stirring. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper (DO NOT STIR). Remove from heat and immediately but slowly add the heavy cream. Be careful as your caramel will bubble and steam. Add salt. Whisk the final mixture together well and set aside to cool – it will get thicker as it cools.
- To make the cream, whip heavy cream in a cool bowl and add sugar as it starts to thicken to desired consistency.
- To serve, drizzle caramel over each slice then serve and store refrigerated…if there’s anything left!
Cream Pie recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking vanilla cream pie and Salted Caramel adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies by twocarolines.com
It’s kind of unbelievable that I’ve never made these before – I call them chocolate crinkle cookies, but I’ve heard loads of cute names for them, some call them crackles or my favorite “snow on the mountain cookies. They are SOOOOO good, super chocolatey and just lovely with the way the sugar gently breaks when they bake – I’m pretty sure they are responsible for a solid 3 lbs of weight gain in just a few days – just be warned that control is difficult around this level of deliciousness. I used a pretty traditional recipe, but I added chocolate chips because: obvious. A cool bonus is that you can make the dough and keep it in the fridge and bust out hot cookies anytime!
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chopped
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl in the microwave on defrost or in 20 second increments until it looses it’s shape and you can whisk it smooth. Set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat the butter on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat until smooth. Add the melted chocolate and beat until blended. Add the egg, vanilla and chocolate chips until all combined. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture in batches beating well after each addition so it’s all incorporated.
- Transfer dough to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, a few hours or as long as overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375 and either grease or parchment line 2 baking sheets.
- Place the confectioners sugar in a small bowl. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls (I use a small ice cream scoop for this and it works great). Roll each ball in the confectioners sugar coating heavily. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for about 7 minutes – until the sides bounce back when lightly touched but the middles still look a little doughy.
- Cool cookies on the baking sheets a few minutes – 4 or so, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from “chocolatiest crinkles” in Luscious Chocolate Desserts by Lori Longbotham.
dark chocolate chunky cookies by twocarolines.com
Like any rational human, I sometimes have a deep and urgent desire for something intensely chocolate. At these times, a chocolate chip cookie is not going to cut it, not even a cake, I need a lightning bolt of chocolate flavor, and these cookies are the PERFECT remedy for intense chocolate emergencies of all kinds. They are not only a super amazing chocolate experience, but they are the perfect texture, packed with chunky bits of nuts and chocolatey goodness. I found the recipe years ago at my Mother-In-Law’s house, they had a very unappealing name in the book (chocolate chubbies) but I read the ingredients – which included a combined total of 24 ounces of chocolate! Plus, the intro bragged of the recipe being from a famous restaurant in SoHo so I copied it to make once I got home. It took me forever to do it because there is some serious chocolate chopping involved, and the recipe has a few more steps than your average cookie, but don’t be intimidated, it’s easy to follow and so special when you’re done. This makes 2 dozen cookies – next time I will half it, because having that many of these dark chocolate chunky cookies around is guaranteed to spell trouble, they are irresistible!
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
9 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 large eggs (room temperature if possible)
1 1/4 cups sugar (they called for superfine, but normal sugar worked fine for me)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups (5 1/2 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans
1 1/4 cups (4 1/2 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper (or silpat, or baking spray if you have neither of those)
- Melt the butter and chopped chocolate (semi-sweet and unsweetened) either in a double boiler or with my preferred method of melting them slowly in a microwave, either using defrost, or in 20-30 second intervals until the chocolate chunks start to lose their shape and you can whisk them to a smooth texture – melt SLOWLY or your chocolate will burn. Let the melted chocolate mixture cool slightly, about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Mix (or sift if your fancy) the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Whip the eggs in the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed until the eggs are foamy and lightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and gradually add the sugar, then the vanilla. Whip until the eggs are very thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and beat in the tepid chocolate, making sure it is completely incorporated. Change to the paddle attachment and reduce the mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips, pecans and walnuts making sure the chunky ingredients are evenly distributed at the bottom of the bowl.
- Using a 2-inch diameter ice cream scoop, portion the batter onto the prepared pans, placing the cookies about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake the cookies immediately–if you wait, they won’t be shiny after baking. Bake about 15-18 minutes. You can check done-ness by seeing if the when you lift a cookie from the pan the edge release easily, if they do, they’re done, even if they still don’t look baked at the top. Cool and enjoy!
dark chocolate chunky cookies by twocarolines.com
I wish I could remember the book I copied these out of to give them credit, if this looks familiar and you know where they came from let me know!
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins by twocarolines.com
For this Muffin Monday I want to share our families number one favorite muffins. These Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are hearty, like a muffin should be, always moist because 2 cups of zucchini, but they taste like dessert because CHOCOLATE! And your friends named Caroline are always game for a day that starts with chocolate. This recipe makes 24 muffins, which is awesome because they freeze really well and we usually end up eating them for weeks. I honestly make them ALL THE TIME, because my kids are terrible at breakfast without these lovely gems. I wrap each one with plastic wrap then defrost them in the microwave, it’s also nice to take a little plate of them to a friend or neighbor, and if you put some frosting or melted chocolate on top they double as a cupcake!
1 cup coconut oil (you can use vegetable oil of most any variety, or even butter if you want)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (you could use all white, but I’m healthing it up for you!)
(scant) 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 and line two 12 count muffin tins with liners or grease them.
- In a large bowl beat the oil and sugars for a few minutes than add the eggs beating after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well.
- These muffins work out for me even when I add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients, but if you want to be sure everything is mixed you can pre-mix the dry ingredients. Add flours and on top of that put your cocoa then add the baking soda and baking powder, salt, and spices. Mix all of that in adding your zucchini once the dry ingredients are incorporated then put in your chocolate chips and make sure it’s all combined.
- Pour batter into prepared muffin tins filling about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Store loosely covered and whatever you don’t eat after the first day or two wrap individually with plastic wrap and freeze to eat for weeks.
This time of year we want ALL the spices. Cloves, allspice, cinnamon and—my personal favorite—ginger! And that’s not just because I get called “Ginger Lady” when I visit Turkey. I want all the ginger drinks and edibles! These cookies are the product of two recipes that I really, really like. So I thought they’d make the ultimate “power cookie”. They are super soft and chewy but you can bake them a little bit longer if you want more of a crisp cookie experience. -CK 1.0
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I use 70% cacao Lindt bars, but you could use chocolate chips in a pinch)
Sugar for rolling
- Chop chocolate into 1/4-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together dry ingredients.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat brown sugar, oil, ginger and egg, until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.
- Slowly combine the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Mix in chocolate chunks; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap; refrigerate until firm, 2 hours or more.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2- inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until just before the surfaces crack, but not too doughy—about 7 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dark Chocolate Derby Pie pc @summer_elevate twocarolines.com
I first posted this Dark Chocolate Derby pie last spring on the Elevate Everyday blog, and I’m sharing here now because it’s the perfect addition to any holiday meal. My need for things of the chocolate mint variety this time of year is insatiable – and this one is the best versions of chocolate, and mint, plus it has a grown up taste that feels so fancy. With one bite you taste a refreshing hint of peppermint followed by a deep, rich, complex and incredible chocolate flavor that is so smooth and dreamy it just melts in your mouth. If you don’t enjoy rich desserts please move to the next pie recipe on the list, but if you’re a chocolate kid like me, stock up on some serious bittersweet chocolate and get to chopping, this beauty has 12 ounces of that business and I’m loving every bite!
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I subbed about 3 ounces semi-sweet just to make sure it wasn’t too bitter and it turned out amazing)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (stick to this – a little goes a long way)
2 tablespoons bourbon (I had never used it before, but you cook it than bake it so you won’t get drunky and it adds a very complex amazing flavor. You could probably omit it and be fine though)
cocoa powder for dusting
- 1 pre-baked 9 inch traditional pie crust. Our recipe is super easy and perfect for this pie. Pre-heat oven to 325.
- Combine the milk and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring just to a boil. Put your chopped chocolate into a large bowl and once you see those bubbles coming up with your cream mixture pour it over the top of your chocolate. Let stand 5 minutes. Next add salt and whisk steadily until all the chocolate is melted.
- Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk. Slowly stream a small amount of the chocolate mixture into the eggs, whisking as you pour. Continue until the egg mixture feels warm to the touch, and then mix it back into the chocolate mixture. Add the peppermint extract and bourbon (if using) then whisk until smooth.
- Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve directly into your pie shell. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes rotating at around 20 minutes for an even bake. The pie is finished when the edges are set about 2 inches in and puffed slightly and the center is no longer liquid but the filling will continue to cook and set after the pie is removed from the oven. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack 2-3 hours. Before serving dust with cocoa powder.
Recipe adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book 2013
One of the things I miss the most about living in Berlin is my little group of amazing friends. From that group comes one of my favorite people in the world—we’ll call her Girl Swede. She and I used to bake together a lot and she taught me so many of her Swedish traditions and makes the most amazing Swedish treats. This Sticky Cake was the first thing she ever made for me and I was hooked! Girl Swede correctly explained that it was such an easy and quick treat to make and it is commonly enjoyed during Fika (a Swedish coffee break that is accompanied by delectable pastries). So, if you are wanting a super simple but decadent, chocolatey, chewy, kind of sticky treat–make this. I guess you could also invite others to join you, instead of hoarding this all to yourself but, I’ll let you decide…
Swedish Sticky Cake, a.k.a. Kladdkaka
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 1⁄3cups white sugar
- 1tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2cup butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Lightly grease an 9-inch cake pan.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. Stir the eggs into the sugar until smooth. Add the flour mixture, and stir until combined. Pour in the vanilla extract and butter; stir until well combined. Pour into prepared cake pan.
- Bake on the lower rack (important!) of the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the center has slightly set. Allow cake to cool for 1 hour in the pie plate. The cake is equally delicious if served warm or cold, find your sweet spot! Also, this can be good garnished with ice cream or whipped cream or powdered sugar dusted on top—I like how this is like a brownie and I’m a purist, so I served it plain.
Original Swedish recipe found here.
This American version was found from here and very slightly adapted.