Chocolate Bread

It’s been a while since my last post (in part because of this bread, which I had to make 3 times to get just right and in part because…I just ate melted chocolate from a ramekin for dessert for most of a month, when I wasn’t accidentally melting plastic spatulas into cakes??) but this bread is worth the wait! No knead, richly chocolate, good textured chocolate bread that is maybe not as sweet as you’re expecting (depending on the chocolate you use anyway) and makes the most amazing fluffernutters you’ve ever had. It would probably also be great with some sort of soft, spreadable cheese, if that’s your thing, but I’m moving soon and have to get through the remaining inch of my container of Fluff!

Fluffernutter about to get taken skiing.

Fluffernutter about to get taken skiing.

It’s rare on this blog, but for this one I recommend breaking out the kitchen scale. I have provided conversions in cups for those of you without a scale, but the ounces for flour, cocoa powder, and brown sugar are going to be more accurate. The conversions were made using the Traditional Oven page‘s converter.

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Ingredients:

  • 14 ounces (3.18 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 ounces (0.36 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces (0.2 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 7 ounces chocolate (4 ounces semi-sweet and 3 ounces bittersweet is a good mixture, but you can tailor to your sweet tooth)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, cocoa, brown sugar, and salt, then pour in the water and stir until evenly mixed.

img_8032Cover and let rest 12-18 hours (if you do this while dinner is cooking some evening, you can get the baking knocked out before work the next day – at least if you drag out your mornings like I do!)

img_8033In the morning, place a cast iron dutch oven in your oven and preheat to 350 degrees, preheating at least 40 minutes, even if your oven beeps before that, so that the dutch oven gets sufficiently hot. Towards the end of that time, chop your chocolate and stir it into the dough, and place a piece of parchment paper on your counter.

For some reason I cut the chocolate smaller each time I baked this bread - that's not necessary! These chunks are fine.

For some reason I cut the chocolate smaller each time I baked this bread – that’s not necessary! These chunks are fine.

When the oven/dutch oven are preheated, with floured hands shape the dough into a ball, then place on the parchment. You can slash the top of the dough a few times if you’d like, although I’m not sure it made a huge difference here.

img_8091Remove the dutch oven from the oven and uncover. Transfer the parchment paper with the dough on it into the dutch oven, recover, and return to the oven for 25 minutes.

img_8092At that time, uncover and bake an additional approximately 10 minutes. If the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, it’s done baking. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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Chocolate Bread

Adapted from It’s Not You, It’s Brie.

  • 14 ounces (3.18 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 ounces (0.36 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces (0.2 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 7 ounces chocolate (4 ounces semi-sweet and 3 ounces bittersweet is a good mixture, but you can tailor to your sweet tooth)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, cocoa, brown sugar, and salt, then pour in the water and stir until evenly mixed. Cover and let rest 12-18 hours.

In the morning, place a cast iron dutch oven in your oven and preheat to 350 degrees, preheating at least 40 minutes. Towards the end of that time, chop your chocolate and stir it into the dough, and place a piece of parchment paper on your counter.

When the oven/dutch oven are preheated, with floured hands shape the dough into a ball, then place on the parchment. Remove the dutch oven from the oven and uncover. Transfer the parchment paper with the dough on it into the dutch oven, recover, and return to the oven for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional approximately 10 minutes. If the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, it’s done baking. Cool on a wire rack.

 

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Maple Bundt

This maple cake has a fantastic light, fluffy texture, and a maple-cinnamon icing that makes it feel a bit warm and nice for winter. If you’ve got some syrup in the back of your fridge that hasn’t been touched in 6 months because you can never be bothered to make pancakes in the morning, maybe maple cake for dessert is the way to go with it!

img_8048Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the syrup, milk, eggs, and vanilla, then set aside.

img_8040In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and smooth.

img_8038 Add the dry goods mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the liquid mixture. It looks kind of gross after both times you add liquid, but goes back to a decent looking batter with the addition of more dry goods.

img_8041Pour the batter into the greased bundt pan and spread with a spatula to even it out.

img_8042Bake 35-40 minutes, until golden brown at the edges, and it passes the toothpick test.

img_8043Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, at which point the cake should have slightly separated from the edges of the pan. If you see any parts where it’s still stuck, gently pry it off with a knife or small spatula. Invert on a dish or rack and cool completely, about another hour.

img_8044When the cake is cool, whisk together the icing ingredients.

img_8045Drizzle/pour the icing over the cake. Let set for 15 minutes prior to serving.

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Maple Bundt Cake

From Betty Crocker.

Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)

Icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then set aside. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the syrup, milk, eggs, and vanilla, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and smooth. Add the dry goods mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the liquid mixture.

Pour the batter into the greased bundt pan and spread with a spatula to even it out. Bake 35-40 minutes, until golden brown at the edges, and it passes the toothpick test. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a dish or rack and cool completely, about another hour.

When the cake is cool, whisk together the icing ingredients, then drizzle/pour it over the cake. Let set for 15 minutes prior to serving.

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Malted Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookies

Lightly chewy cookies with a really fantastic flavor sandwich a matching delightful frosting! These are some pretty filling cookies, and they’re really really nice.

img_8015Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1 large egg, room temperature

Filling:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup malted milk powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Position your oven’s racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.

img_8006Beat in the malted milk powder, then the egg.

img_8007Add the flour mixture and beat on low until combined.

img_8008Scoop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the lined sheets.

img_8010Bake 12-14 minutes, rotating from top to bottom and spinning the pans halfway around halfway through the baking time. Let cool a few minutes (3-5) on the pans, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

img_8011Once the cookies are cool (which doesn’t take too long), beat together all the filling ingredients until smooth.

img_8012Scoop into a piping bag (or sandwich baggie that you seal and then snip a corner off of) and pipe about 2 teaspoons’ worth onto half the cookies.

The perfect size!

The perfect size!

img_8014Use the remaining cookies to create sandwiches, then let rest for about an hour for the filling to firm up before serving.

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Malted Brown Sugar Sandwich Cookies

From The Next Door Baker.

Cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1 large egg, room temperature

Filling:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup malted milk powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Position your oven’s racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the malted milk powder, then the egg. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until combined. Scoop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the lined sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes, rotating from top to bottom and spinning the pans halfway around halfway through the baking time. Let cool a few minutes (3-5) on the pans, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Once the cookies are cool, beat together all the filling ingredients until smooth. Scoop into a piping bag and pipe about 2 teaspoons’ worth onto half the cookies. Use the remaining cookies to create sandwiches, then let rest for about an hour for the filling to firm up before serving.

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Quick Protein Granola Bars

I’ve been getting super buff lately (you read it on the internet, it must be true), and was looking for some protein bars that didn’t involve 1,000 types of nuts and seeds and similar things I hate. This fits the bill, is tasty, and keeps me from getting hungry again for a good long time, so I’d recommend it! I’ve alternated pan sizes, to switch up the size/thickness of the bars, but after trying smaller/thicker bars, have wound up back at large, thin ones using a 9×13″ pan. Feel free to experiment yourself to see which you enjoy biting the most!

img_8005Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quick or rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cupĀ  honey
  • 2/3 cup protein powder of choice (I use store brand chocolate powder, but you can try different flavors!)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Line a 9×13″ or 8X8″ pan with wax paper, or if you have it with non-stick foil.

Stir together all the ingredients in a large bowl. This will take several minutes, to completely remove all dry spots and mix evenly, and I think the mixture is thick enough it would blow up my hand mixer, but I’m sure a Kitchenaid could do it no problem.

img_8001 Once everything is evenly mixed, pour it into the lined pan. Using a spatula, or your hand and another piece of wax paper/foil, press the mixture firmly to fill the bottom of the pan, creating a thin even layer.

img_8002Cut into 12 even pieces, then freeze at least 1 hour.

img_8003Wrap, and store in the freezer until ready to eat – they don’t need to thaw, but can be eaten straight from the freezer. If you used the non-stick foil, if you just stack the bars up, you can probably wrap them in that same foil. So thrifty!

img_8004I have these after almost every workout these days, and I love them!

Quick Protein Granola Bars

From Chocolate Covered Katie.

  • 1 1/2 cups quick or rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cupĀ  honey
  • 2/3 cup protein powder of choice (I use store brand chocolate powder, but you can try different flavors!)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Line a 9×13″ pan with wax paper or non-stick foil.

Stir together all the ingredients in a large bowl, then pour it into the lined pan. Using a spatula, or your hand and another piece of wax paper/foil, press the mixture firmly to fill the bottom of the pan, creating a thin even layer. Cut into 12 even pieces, then freeze at least 1 hour. Wrap, and store in the freezer until ready to eat.

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Maple Chipotle Pork with Polenta

I am always and forever a fan of things with adobo sauce, but I don’t think before this I had made polenta with chicken stock, and that’s another thing for the favorites list! So obvious, I don’t know how I hadn’t done it before!

Spinach! It's...a green thing you can eat.

Spinach! It’s…a green thing you can eat.

Ingredients:

Pork:

  • 1 4 pound pork shoulder roast
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from can of chipotles in adobo
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Polenta:

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 ounces Fontina cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Optional toppings: sliced green onions, fresh cilantro, sliced radish, fresh lime wedges, extra Parmesan for sprinkling

Coat the pork shoulder in salt and pepper on all sides, then place in a crockpot. Add the garlic, chipotle, adobo, and syrup, then cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.

img_7931 img_7932Remove the cooked meat from the crockpot and shred with 2 forks, then return the meat to the crockpot and stir together with the liquid inside. Cook on high, with the lid off, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

img_7933Meanwhile, to make the polenta, first bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the polenta and reduce the heat to medium-low, continuing to stir until the mixture thickens and is well combined.

img_7934Reduce the heat further, to low, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes, until the mixture is very soft, the liquid is all absorbed, and there are no more dry chunks. Stir in the butter, cheese, salt, and pepper, until the butter and cheese are melted in.

img_7935Serve the pork over the polenta, topping with the optional toppings as desired.

I did buy green onions, but I forgot to actually use them. Oh well.

I did buy green onions, but I forgot to actually use them. Oh well.

Maple Chipotle Pork with Polenta

From How Sweet It Is.

Pork:

  • 1 4-pound pork shoulder roast
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from can of chipotles in adobo
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Polenta:

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 ounces Fontina cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Optional toppings: sliced green onions, fresh cilantro, sliced radish, fresh lime wedges, extra Parmesan for sprinkling

Coat the pork shoulder in salt and pepper on all sides, then place in a crockpot. Add the garlic, chipotle, adobo, and syrup, then cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Remove the cooked meat from the crockpot and shred with 2 forks, then return the meat to the crockpot and stir together with the liquid inside. Cook on high, with the lid off, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, to make the polenta, first bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the polenta and reduce the heat to medium-low, continuing to stir until the mixture thickens and is well combined. Reduce the heat further, to low, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes, until the mixture is very soft, the liquid is all absorbed, and there are no more dry chunks. Stir in the butter, cheese, salt, and pepper, until the butter and cheese are melted in.

Serve the pork over the polenta, topping with the optional toppings as desired.

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Chunky Monkey Coffee Cake

A smaller monkey bread type cake that brings together all your favorite Chunky Monkey flavors (unless, like me, you insist on replacing the walnuts, but that’s cool too). I made this one at someone else’s house, and it was no problem to put most of the dry goods just in some ziplocks and throw them together there. How convenient!

img_7992Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 envelopes RapidRise yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup very warm water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (or chocolate chips)

Assembly and topping:

  • 2 bananas, cut into 1/2″ slices
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

img_7985Lightly grease a 9″ pie plate, then set aside. Do not preheat the oven.

To make the dough, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and butter, and mix well with a wooden spoon.

img_7986Stir in the walnuts (or chocolate chips) until evenly mixed. You can knead a few times if desired, but it’s not necessary.

img_7987Place the banana slices in the greased pie dish, creating one even layer over the bottom.

img_7988Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping in a small dish, stirring together. Taking tablespoon-sized pieces of the dough, roll each into a ball, then roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place the coated dough balls on top of the banana slices, and repeat until all the dough has been used up.

img_7989Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over the dough balls. I sort of spaced it at this step and instead threw out the rest of the cinnamon sugar, so mine weren’t as sweet as they could have been, but they were still real tasty. Drizzle the butter over the dough, then sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top.

Yours could be much more sugary looking at this point!

Yours could be much more sugary looking at this point!

Place the pie plate in the cold oven. Set the oven to 350 degrees, and bake 25-30 minutes (mine needed the full 30), until the top is browned and the center seems firm.

img_7991Let cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, then serve still warm. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nothing quite like melty chocolate in the morning to make getting out of bed bearable.

Nothing quite like melty chocolate in the morning to make getting out of bed bearable.

Chunky Monkey Coffee Cake

From The Next Door Baker.

Dough:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 envelopes RapidRise yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup very warm water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Assembly and topping:

  • 2 bananas, cut into 1/2″ slices
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Lightly grease a 9″ pie plate, then set aside. Do not preheat the oven.

To make the dough, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Add the water and butter, and mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the walnuts until evenly mixed. You can knead a few times if desired, but it’s not necessary.

Place the banana slices in the greased pie dish, creating one even layer over the bottom. Combine the cinnamon and sugar for the topping in a small dish, stirring together. Taking tablespoon-sized pieces of the dough, roll each into a ball, then roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat. Place the coated dough balls on top of the banana slices, and repeat until all the dough has been used up. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar over the dough balls. Drizzle the butter over the dough, then sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top.

Place the pie plate in the cold oven. Set the oven to 350 degrees, and bake 25-30 minutes, until the top is browned and the center seems firm. Let cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, then serve still warm. Refrigerate leftovers.

 

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Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Cookies (Vegan)

For cookies that only use one dinky banana, these have a real banana punch, which (of course) goes great with chocolate. The banana flavor actually lessens slightly by the second day, allowing all the flavors to shine equally, so they may actually even be better a day or two on. For tiny cookies, they’re also quite filling, thanks to the heaps of oats. I bet they’d be good cookies for lunch during a hike!

img_7984Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ripe banana (4 to 5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the banana with an electric mixer until completely mashed. It’s not going to look like enough to do much, but you’ll be impressed at the end!

img_7975Add the sugar and beat until smooth, then the coconut oil and vanilla.

img_7977Add the flour mixture and beat until just blended.

img_7978Stir in the oats and chocolate chips by hand. Cover, and chill the dough for about 1 hour, until it can be shaped into balls.

img_7979Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line to baking sheets with parchment. Scoop the dough by the rounded tablespoon, pressing the dough firmly into a ball, then flattening the ball slightly. Place slightly spaced on the parchment lined sheets.

img_7980Bake 10 minutes or until they appear set and a bit browned at the edges. Transfer the cooked cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

img_7983

Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Cookie Madness.

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ripe banana (4 to 5 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the banana with an electric mixer until completely mashed. Add the sugar and beat until smooth, then the coconut oil and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and beat until just blended, then stir in the oats and chocolate chips by hand. Cover, and chill the dough for about 1 hour, until it can be shaped into balls.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line to baking sheets with parchment. Scoop the dough by the rounded tablespoon, pressing the dough firmly into a ball, then flattening the ball slightly. Place slightly spaced on the parchment lined sheets, then bake 10 minutes or until they appear set and a bit browned at the edges. Transfer the cooked cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

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