Tag Archives: chocolate dessert

Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

What does a zucchini dream of as it lays under a green canopy of leaves, evading your notice as it grows to gargantuan proportions?  It wants to be loved, of course.  It wants to be made into somethin’ yummy!  What could be more yummy than a tender, moist, chocolatey cupcake?

This recipe came from my dear friend, Jan, or as we like to call her, Jan-Bob.  It is a very popular recipe during the time of year when moby-zucchinis lurk in every garden.  You can use any size zucchini, but if it is very large, you may want to seed it first.

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 4 TBSP cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour milk (or 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 tsp lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 bag chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan or bundt pan, or line 24 cupcakes or 5 dozen mini-cupcakes.

Cream together sugar, butter, oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla until combined.

Add flour, cocoa, soda and salt.  Beat 2 minutes.

Stir in grated zucchini and chocolate chips.

Pour into pan or divide between 24 cupcakes.

Bake 45-50 minutes for 9×13, 1 hour and 30 minutes for a bundt, 25 minutes for cupcakes, 15 minutes for mini-cupcakes.  Or until center springs back when touched and a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

Cool in pan(s) on rack(s).  (Cool bundt until pan can be handled with bare hands.  Remove from pan and cool completely on rack.)  This cake is so rich it doesn’t need frosting.  If you want, a light dusting of powdered sugar can pretty it up.  The chocolate chips stay sort of melty if stored at room temperature.

I like to make cupcakes, because they are so nicely portioned and more portable than a slice of cake.  It’s one of the yummier ways to eat zucchini–not exactly a health food, but more healthy than just plain cake.  I’m not sure how long it will keep, and I’ve never frozen it (but I think it would freeze nicely), because it never lasts long around here!

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Sweet-Tooth Saturday: No-Bake Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Sometimes a recipe in a magazine reaches out and grabs you.  This is one of those.  In a recent Everyday With Rachel Ray, I spied a plate with creamy, chocolatey yumminess on a plate sitting next to a glass of cold milk.  Next to it, a short and simple recipe for Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bites.  I LOVE chocolate and peanut butter!  I immediately dog-eared the page and made a mental note to buy ingredients I didn’t already have in my pantry.  Here’s how mine came out…I bet you’ll be making your own list of things to get at the store!

This simple recipe only requires a few things:

  • 1 pre-made chocolate crumb pie crust or 1 cup chocolate wafer cookies and 4 TBSP melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp gelatin
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 8 oz room temperature cream cheese–I used fat-free
  • 7 oz sweetened condensed milk–the only cans I found were 14 oz–enough to make two cheesecakes!
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter–I used chunky
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips–I used regular ones

If starting your crust from scratch, mix cookie crumbs with butter, and press into an 8×8 baking pan.  Set aside.

Combine gelatin with water, let sit 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, condensed milk and peanut butter until smooth.

Go ahead, have a little taste…I won’t tell! 

Microwave the gelatin 20-30 seconds to melt.  Beat into cream cheese mixture.

Stir in chocolate chips and spread over your crust.

And now for the hardest part: Freeze for 20 minutes.  If you’ve already sneaked a taste…or two….you know how yummy this is going to be and waiting will be difficult.  Distract yourself by cleaning up the few dishes generated by this recipe, read a book, watch Food Network or meditate…… 

Finally, remove from freezer, cut and serve.

Mmmmm!  20 minutes didn’t provide for as hard a set as I thought would happen, making it a bit hard to serve.  However, the creamy peanut buttery-chocolatey wonderfulness was a husband pleaser!  I stored the remainder in the freezer–a bit more difficult to cut, but a prettier, ice-cream pie-like presentation.  A bit of whipped cream and some chocolate curls on top and you’re ready to impress like the rock star cook you are!

BTW, this recipe was invited to Sweet as Sugar Cookies’ linky party!  Go have a look at tons of sweets recipes all in one place!  Yummy!!!

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Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Swirled Chocolate Bark

(A day late, but worth the wait!)  I bought a new cookbook last week, Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook.  There are lots of recipes I’d like to try in it, but while visiting friends and drinking wine at one of our favorite wineries, Reeder Mesa Vineyards, one recipe in particular came to mind.

Reeder Mesa makes a port-style wine called Purple Haze.  One of the owners, our good friend Kris, has a special way of enjoying The Haze.  She calls it “Party in your Mouth”:  eat a cocoa-roasted almond, a Hershey’s Kiss and a dried cherry, wash it down with a sip of Purple Haze.  Mmmmmmm!  Party in your Mouth and this recipe came together in my head yesterday.  The recipe itself is super-adaptable to a variety of chips, nuts and dried fruits and citrus zests.  I took Kris’ idea and used those flavors in this bark.  (Thanks, Kris!)  The bark only takes about 20 minutes to assemble, but two hours to solidify. 

All you need are two different flavors/colors of chips and two to three texture flavors:

  • 8 ounces chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cocoa-roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped dried cherries

Line a 9×10 cookie sheet or pan with parchment paper.

Place chips in microwave-safe bowls and melt, one bowl at a time.  Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until smooth.

Spread chocolate on parchment paper, creating a rectangle.

Drop white chocolate by spoonfuls on top of the chocolate.

Swirl using a wooden skewer or knife until you like the degree of swirliness.

Top with cherries and almonds, gently press them into the surface of the chocolate.

Let cool and solidify at room temperature for at least 2 hours.  Break into 1×3 inch pieces and savor….with Purple Haze!

It’s a party in your mouth!  Yummy!  This has got to be the absolute easiest-peasiest fancy-schmancy little desserty thing you’ll ever make!  How about serving a piece of bark stuck into the top of a scoop of ice cream?!  How about using pieces of the bark for the chocolate layer of a smore?!  Is your brain swirling with the flavor combos possible?  Butterscotch chips…peanut butter chips…dark chocolate…milk chocolate….and toppings?  Toffee chips…salted peanuts…little caramel bits…pretzel pieces…tiny M&Ms….mini marshmallows…graham cracker pieces….candy cane pieces…   The original recipe had orange zest stirred into the melted chocolate and added as a topping as well, with dried cranberries and pistachios.  What combo will YOU make?! 

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Sweet-tooth Saturday: Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

I have a realtor friend who occasionally sends out recipes on a card that also reminds me to use her realty company.  One of them was for Chocolate Cheesecake Cups.  These little cheesecakes are impressively yummy and easy to make–in less than an hour.  I make them with fat-free or “lite” ingredients without any sacrifice in flavor or texture.  This recipe has been a real “go-to” for me when I want a special dessert.  Thanks to BFF Becky for reminding me of these little cheesecakes and suggesting them for Sweet-tooth Saturday!

Here we go! 

  • 10 Oreo cookies
  • 8 oz cream cheese  (I use fat-free)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream  (I use lite)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 2 TBSP corn starch
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 12 cupcake liners

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Break Oreos into a food processor or blender. 


Process until ground into crumbs.

Divide crumbs evenly among liners and press with a small glass–twist as you press to avoid the crumbs sticking to the bottom of the glass.  Set aside.

Place cream cheese and sugar in a bowl, cream together using an electric mixer.  (I just wiped out the bowl of my food processor and used it–only one bowl to clean!)

Add sour cream, eggs and vanilla.  Mix until combined and smooth.

Blend in cocoa and corn starch.

Spoon mixture evenly into the 12 crumb-bottomed liners.

Bake 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with chocolate chips while still hot.

At this point you may choose to carefully spread the melt-y chips into an even layer or leave them as they are.  I leave them–I like the look of the chips.  Wait until completely cool and enjoy.  Refrigerate any not consumed on the spot!

Be creative with the serving–I’ve plated with a strawberry.  Last time BFF Becky made them she served them with a dollop of whipped cream and a raspberry.  I think the recipe lends itself to variations–such as including espresso powder in with the cocoa, using a different flavor of sandwich cookie for the crust, using different flavors of chips for the top, using orange extract or mint or almond in place of the vanilla, toffee chips on top, pretzel crumbs on top…..or any combination (espresso powder with toffee chips?!)  You’re only limited by your imagination!  Yummy!

Chocolate Cheesecake Cups were invited to a Sweets Linky Party!  They’re #168, and part of some super yummy-looking sweet recipes!

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