Chocolate zucchini bread

I’ve been meaning to try this out for a while – got the recipe here. Chocolate loaf is my absolute favorite – and sneaking in some vegetables never hurt anyone.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups shredded zucchini

Step 1 is to shred the zucchini – I used my spiralizer first and then took the spirals and minced them in a food processor. The more fine, the better!

In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk eggs, oil, yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips. Bake for 40 minutes at 350*F.

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I loved the end result. After the 2nd or 3rd slice, I forgot there was any zucchini in it. The zucchini makes the texture of the loaf more hearty and filling – perfect for breakfast 😉

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Nutella cheesecake bars

I love lazy Sunday afternoons. I created a little bed in my living room with comforters and pillows and plopped down at 10 AM – haven’t moved much since.
I’m also not embarrassed to admit that I indulged in the Monk marathon on cable today. Monk reminds me of 8th grade sitting on the bus. My friend had an iPad Video model that we used to watch episodes on.
Sigh, nostalgia.
The point of the story above was to say that I did not want to go out to the grocery store today, so I had to make do with the ingredients I had at hand. I adapted this recipe.
Ingredients
  • crust
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • filling
    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 4 tablespoons Nutella

Whisk together flour and sugar. Mix in butter. Press mixture firmly into a prepared 8×8 pan. Bake at 350*F for 15 minutes (or until edges are browned). To make the filling, combine cream cheese, vanilla, sugar, egg and 1 Tablespoon Nutella. Blend well with mixer.

Put 3 Tablespoons Nutella aside in a small microwave safe bowl and heat at 15 second intervals until the spread is thinned. Pour the filling over the crust and then drizzle the warm Nutella on top and use the tip of the spoon to swirl decoratively. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes and then refrigerate.

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Overall, this recipe was really easy to make. There’s about a 1:1 cheesecake to crust ratio. I think I personally prefer Oreo over Nutella in my cheesecake though…

Blueberry lemon yogurt loaf {lighter}

I’ve always avoided recipes with lemon zest (honestly didn’t know what it was) but I was in the mood for something fruity… found this recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1½ cups fresh blueberries
  • Glaze:
    • ½ cup powdered sugar
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • ½ tsp lemon zest

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, stir the yogurt, sugar, applesauce, vanilla, eggs, zest and lemon juice. Stir wet & dry ingredients. Toss the blueberries in 1 tablespoon of flour and then fold these into the batter. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes at 350*F.

To make the glaze, whisk powdered sugar, milk and lemon zest and then drizzle over cooled loaf.

***For lemon zest: I used a small peeler to carefully peel off the skin of a washed lemon. Then I used a sharp knife to cut the pieces as tiny as I could.

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Because of the ingredients in this loaf (leading it to be of the lighter variety), the loaf has a different type of texture. It is less cake like and more airy.  Taste wise, I thought it was well balanced and not too sweet – but I couldn’t resist having it with a side of maple syrup.

Dark chocolate chip cookies

People tend to rave about Levain bakery and its cookies. I’ve never been, but it’s certainly on my list the next time I visit New York.

I made these copycat cookies for a cookie exchange party (brilliant concept!)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup cocoa (preferably dark)
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (or both)
 Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix. Add cocoa, cake flour, all purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and combine. Mix in chocolate chips. Chill dough for at least 15 minutes. Roll into balls and bake at 410 degrees for 9-11 minutes.
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I love using cake flour in cookies – texture is delightful : )

Pumpkin pie

I’ve never been part of the pumpkin craze (wonder what a pumpkin spice latte tastes like?) but I wanted to make a traditional dessert for friendsgiving, so I made pumpkin pie. I found the recipe here. Pumpkin pie is sooo simple to make (especially if you use a premade crust) but for some reason everyone thinks it’s a complicated bake (which equals impressed friends).
Ingredients:
  • 1 store-bough pie crust (I used 10″)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 and ¼ cups evaporated milk
In one bowl, whisk brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves until combined. In another bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin puree and evaporated milk until combined. Mix wet & dry ingredients until smooth. Pour filling into pie crust. Bake at 400*F for about 50 minutes or until center is almost set (little wobbly). Cool for 2-3 hours and then refrigerate. Decorate with whipping cream & serve!
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Chocochip cookie bars with condensed milk

When I was young, my mom used to smear sweetened condensed milk on toast for me to eat. Yum. It’s no wonder I have such a sweet tooth.

I made these after I had a 24 hour trauma call during my surgery rotation.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips (or regular is fine too!)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (4.4 ounce) large Hershey bar (I used the special dark chocolate!)

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir often, cooking about 6 minutes until the color changes to brown. Remove from heat immediately after color change to prevent burning. Let it sit to cool for 5 minutes. Then, pour browned butter into a bowl and add both sugars. In another bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and salt.

Return to the butter/sugar mixture and add eggs (one at a time), mixing completely. Stir in vanilla extract. Combine wet & dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Prepare a 9×13 baking pan and press half the cookie dough into the pan. Pour all the sweetened condensed milk on top. Then break up the Hershey’s bar and drop pieces over top. Press the remaining cookie dough on top. You will have to use your hands to flatten it. Refrigerate pan for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350*F. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Cool before slicing into bars.

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These are probably on the sweeter side but worth it.

 

Levain {copycat} chocolate chip cookies

Levain bakery in New York is famous for their cookies. I decided to try this copycat recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
Cream together the cold cubed butter, brown sugar & granulated sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and imx well. Stir in cake flour, all purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Separate dough into large balls (should only be able to fit 4 on one large cookie sheet). Bake for about 10-12 minutes at 410*F. This recipe should make 8 giant cookies.
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I loved the consistency of this cookie – crisp on the outside, gooey on the inside. I don’t think I’m a huge fan of walnuts (might leave it out next time and put MOAR CHOCOLATE). Also, I think this recipe needs vanilla extract (additional 1 teaspoon next time).

Nutella stuffed chocolate raspberry cupcakes

My jar of Nutella was just sitting in my pantry staring at me so I decided to stuff it in cupcakes. I found this recipe here. I’m not usually a fan of fruity desserts, but the flavors of raspberry and chocolate work really well together!

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Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Nutella

Buttercream:

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
  • Red food coloring (optional)

Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a bowl and pour the hot coffee over it. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth and set aside. When cooled, whisk in oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla until smooth.

In another bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Combine both bowls and divide in a lined 12 cup muffin pan. Bake at 350*F for about 18 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool and then use a corer to slice a small center section. Fill each hole with Nutella.

In a bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar (one cup at a time). Add the raspberry preserves and beat. If desired, add red food coloring. Pipe onto stuffed cupcakes!

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Chocolate banana bread

Late call on Internal Medicine is when you admit patients from 4-7 PM, and end up staying past then to work their problems up. What better prep than bringing banana bread, and that too, chocolate:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large brown bananas
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Mash bananas in a bowl and add melted butter, oil and stir. Add brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract. In another bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda & salt. Combine dry & wet ingredients and stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle more chocolate on top. Bake for 1 hour at 350*F.

[adapted from here]

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Deliciously overloaded with chocolate. You almost can’t taste the bananas (which I personally can’t complain about!)

3 quick chocolate chip cookies

3 so you can share with 2 other people… or do like I did, and share with no one.

I found this recipe here, last night when a chocolate craving onset in the evening. What I really wanted was a pizookie (which I tried for the first time a few weeks ago…more on that later).

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 6 tablespoons semi sweet chocolate chips

Melt the butter at room temperature. Add in the sugars. Then add vanilla extract, egg yolk, baking soda, and cornstarch. Finally fold in the flour and chocolate chips. Freeze for 5 minutes and then bake for 12-14 minutes @ 350*F.

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They were fine… not amazing, but hit the craving.

I probably have a low key chocolate addiction.