Chocolate Chip-Coffee Muffins

While husband’s family was visiting over Thanksgiving, I baked these muffins to enjoy on a lazy Saturday morning.  Most of us are coffee lovers, so I figured these would be a hit.

The recipe is from Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2012.

Substitution made, noted below.

muffin Collage 1

Chocolate Chip-Coffee Muffins

2/3 c whole milk – I used 2%
5 tblsp butter, melted
3 tblsp instant coffee granuales
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
9 oz (about 2 c) all-purpose flour
2/3 c sugar
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Combine first 5 ingredients.

muffin 2

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.  Add milk mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moist.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray (I used muffin cup liners.)  Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until done.  Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack.

muffin 3

cartoon-strawberry-9These are great muffins, they mix up easily and bake quick.  It’s a great recipe to have on hand for a lazy Saturday morning or a fancy Sunday brunch.

Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches

I’m hoping y’all love ice cream as much as I do, because I am intending to wear out my new ice cream maker.

We had some friends over for dinner and I thought it’d be fun to have ice cream sandwiches for dessert.  And what’s better than chocolate and coffee??

choc coffee ice cream sandwhiches

For the cookies I used this recipe for Chewy Chocolate Cookies from Bunny’s Warm Oven.

For the ice cream I used this recipe for Coffee Ice Cream from A Cup of Mascarpone.

The taste of these sandwiches is divine!  BUT I didn’t make the sandwiches quite right and figured out my mistakes a couple days later.  I just plopped a scoop of ice cream between two cookies, wrapped them in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer.  The idea was there, but the execution was pretty messy.

Next time?  I will freeze the ice cream in a shallow dish between two pieces of parchment paper for a couple of hours.  Then use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles of ice cream to put between the cookies.  Roll the edges in nuts or even more chocolate, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.

I can’t wait to perfect the ice cream sandwich, the possibilities are endless…

Extra-Special Dark Chocolate Cake

Last fall, husband and I went out on a Saturday for some wandering.  In our adventures, we came upon a small antique store and decided to see what treasures it might hold.  Not surprisingly, I came home with a cook book.  Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking, Vol 1, A-F.  If I’m reading the inside cover correctly, mine is from the sixth printing in 1957.  It’s a worn out book, the printed spine is about to fall off and the previous owner left notes, newspaper clippings and other recipes tucked inside.  Such a treasure to me.

We had some friends over for dinner a last week, and I thought the “Extra-Special Dark Chocolate Cake” would be the perfect dessert to serve to some extra special people.

No substitutions were made.

dark choc cake 1

Extra-Special Dark Chocolate Cake

2 1/2c cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4c brown sugar, packed
3/4 c shortening
1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks
3 squares unsweet chocolate, melted & cooled
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c sweet milk – from the touch of research I did, ‘sweet milk’ is fresh milk. I used 2%.

Line bottoms of two 9-inch layer pans with waxed paper – grease paper.  Start oven 10 min before baking; set to moderate (350 degrees). – I skipped the wax paper and sprayed my pans with Bakers Joy.

Sift four, measure, re-sift 3 times with soda and salt.  Put sugar through coarse sieve if lumpy.  Cream shortening and sugar with wooden spoon until smooth and shiny.  Remove spoon and use rotary beater to bean in egg and yolks, beating until smooth and fluffy.Remove beater and use spoon.  Stir in chocolate and vanilla. – I used my stand mixer for all beating and stirring.

dark choc cake 2

Add flour and milk alternating in 3 or 4 portions, beginning and ending with flour and beating until well-blended after each.  Turn into prepared pans.  Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until cake tests done.  Cool in pans on cake racks 5 minutes, then turn out on racks, strip off paper and invert to finish cooling.

dark choc cake 3

And what would chocolate cake be without a great frosting??  I used the Coffee Butter Frosting, from this same cookbook.

Coffee Butter Frosting

1/3 c medium grind coffee
1 c cold water
1/4 c soft butter
2 c xxxx sugar (powdered sugar), sifted and packed
1/4 tsp salt
1 tblsp corn syrup

Add coffee to water and heat just to boiling; remove from heat, cover and let stand 2 min, then strain through fine sieve or cheese-cloth to remove all grounds.  Cool before adding to frosting. – I had husband make me a shot of espresso. 🙂

Cream butter until smooth and shiny, gradually blend in sugar alternately with about 3 tblsp of the coffee.  Then beat in the salt and the corn syrup until mixture has good spreading consistency.

dark choc cake 4

cartoon-strawberry-9Oh what a cake.  The batter was almost the consistency of pudding, and I had to rinse out the bowl before I stuck my head in it to lick it clean.  As you can see, the frosting wasn’t quite enough to cover both layers, but there was enough to make them stick.  In the future I’d double all the ingredients for the frosting, except for the coffee and maybe add a bit of chocolate syrup to make more of a mocha flavor.

A slice of this cake and one of husband’s latte’s were a wonderful compliment of each other.  And a perfect treat to share with our Extra-Special friends!