Spiked Hot Chocolate

Despite an 80-degree Thanksgiving, it looks like cold weather might be staying for a while here on the Central Coast. It’s been mostly sunny but very brisk and very breezy. And cold here is nothing compared to what I endured for the 3 1/2 years I spent at school in New Jersey, so I try not to complain.

Chilly days and evenings remind me of bundling up for sports games at Drew, my alma mater (so funny to say that, by the way). To gear up for late-season soccer and early-season lacrosse games on The Turf, I would wear leggings and knee socks under my jeans, along with any variation of long sleeve T’s, zip-ups, North Face fleeces, and hats and gloves and scarves. I would bring extra blankets, and a version of this hot chocolate was nearly always in hand.

Without further ado, I bring you one of my favorite “recipes” from college. And by recipe I mean dump it in a travel mug and get ready to cheer on your team. Spiked hot chocolate is basically guaranteed to warm you from the inside out and make sure you have fun at any chilly sports game. Truth.

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Double Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

chocolate cupcake

A couple months ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to make darling cupcakes.  The kind you see in bakeries and cookbooks and wedding magazines and ooh and ahh at, with puffs of swirly frosting and bright sprinkles and adorable toppings.

Well…these don’t have the cutsey looks…as you can see, they look, um, “rustic.”  They actually remind me of my Grandma’s cakes – simple looks, but soo delicious. After all, the taste is really what matters when it comes down to it!  These are two quality recipes.

For my next cupcake endeavor, I will be investing in a pastry bag, and the results will be darling – promise!  (I hope!)  Stay tuned!

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Guittard Chocolate Chip Cookies

Guittard originals

You know you’ve found an amazing recipe when everyone has at least three helpings, each.  Oh yes…these cookies are irresistible.  I baked a batch for a family gathering recently, and people couldn’t stop raving…or having “just one more.”  It was awesome.  Bring a batch of these gems to a party and everyone will want to be your friend.

For some crazy reason, Guittard Chocolate Chips were on clearance recently at Albertsons.  I bought a few bags, but I should have bought more because these cookies go fast…and now Albertson’s isn’t carrying them anymore, as far as I can tell. Tragic.  In my book, this is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe out there. The chips stay somewhat melty, even after the cookies have cooked.  The texture is just the right amount of chewy and soft…cookie heaven.

Update: Found the chips at Vons!  If you have a Safeway near you, you just may be in luck!!

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King Arthur’s Fudge Drops

Fudge Drops

Let’s start with first impressions: these cookies are called fudge drops. The description fits.

Let’s talk about the batter: it tastes like whipped chocolate ganache.

Let’s talk about how these cookies were done for within about 24 hours of baking: an entire batch, consumed by my dieting family (whoops!).

Oh yes, they’re good.  Like fudgy brownies in a cookie, complete with the shiny, flaky top you expect from brownies.

I’m not sure if this recipe is a King Arthur (we’re talking the flour company) original or if someone posted it to their site, but it’s a truly delicious chocolate cookie recipe and not at all complicated to make.

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