Tag Archives: chocolate

The Best (Texas) Chocolate Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake2 @ NancyC

A few posts ago, I told you about a recipe for Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes, made by Jane Ann for her department lunch. Well, Jane, who is also in that same department, madethis fabulous Texas sheet cake for the dessert. It was super-good…nice and moist, very chocolatey, and topped with a smooth layer of chocolate icing. Jane found the recipe over at The Pioneer Woman, where it’s called The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.

Some people call this cake a Texas Sheet Cake because it’s so big…it’s baked in a big 13 x 18″ sheet pan or jelly roll pan, which measures about 10 x 15″. It’s described on The Pioneer Woman website as “…moist beyond imagination, chocolatey and rich like no tomorrow, and 100% of the time, causes moans and groans from anyone who takes a bite.” And as someone who tasted the cake Jane made, I can verify that this is all true! 🙂

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Jumbo Chocolate Chippers


I was craving some chocolate chip cookies, so I decided to try out a chocolate chip cookie tip my friend Stephanie had given me: when making the Nestle® Toll House® cookie recipe, just use HALF the butter. If you do that, you’ll get a thicker, chewier cookie, which is really good! In addition to just using half the butter, I also left out the nuts and made them a jumbo size, so my baking time is a few minutes longer. I love the way the cookies turned out…so thick and chocolatey! If you want to make regular-size cookies, just follow the instructions for these Toll House® cookies, using half the butter (the baking time might be slightly less, too). For the jumbo ones like I made, here’s what I did…

JUMBO CHOCOLATE CHIPPERS (adapted from the Nestle® Toll House® recipe)

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 measuring cup for scooping the dough

Preheat oven to 375° F. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl; set aside. In large mixer bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add in flour mixture to the egg/sugar mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by 1/4 cupfuls (using a 1/4 measuring cup) onto ungreased baking sheets. Because these are bigger cookies, you’ll just want to bake 6 at a time on each cookie sheet, with 2-3 inches between each cookie.

Bake for 13 to 14 minutes or until lightly golden brown (don’t overbake or they’ll be too dry). Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. This makes about 16-20 jumbo size cookies…it made 16 for me, but…I ate some of the dough…you know how hard it is to resist doing that! 🙂


It’s also hard to resist eating these cookies after they come out of the oven… 🙂


Linked to Favorite Things Friday, Sweets for a Saturday, We Did It! Wednesday, Make it Yours Day, Strut Your Stuff, Foodie Friday, Sweet Tooth Friday, Made by You Monday, Show and Tell, Culinary Smackdown-Cookies.

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Peppermint Hot Cocoa


This is a quick, easy treat you can enjoy on a cold day or evening during the holiday season. It’s always fun to use candy canes in recipes, too…they make everything seem more festive! This recipe is made with a packet of your favorite hot cocoa mix. Only you make it with milk instead of water, which gives you a hot cocoa that’s really rich and creamy. This recipe makes 1 mug of hot cocoa.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 packet of your favorite hot cocoa mix (I used Nestle® Rich Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa)
  • a drop or two of peppermint extract (you don’t need much!)
  • a small candy cane, for garnish

Heat milk in microwave-safe mug for about 1 1/2 minutes or until hot. Remove from microwave and stir in packet of hot cocoa mix. Add a little drop or two of peppermint extract and blend well. Top with whipped cream and hook a little candy cane over the rim of your cup–you can stir the candy cane while you’re sipping the hot cocoa for some extra sweet, peppermint flavor!

Linked to Motivate Me Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Tuesdays at the Table.

Chocolate Panini

I was doing a post the other day about Ghirardelli Luxe chocolates (there’s also a recipe for homemade hot cocoa there) and saw this recipe over at Ghirardelli.com. I’ve never made a panini before and don’t have a panini maker, but you don’t need one with this recipe. It not only sounded  good and chocolatey, it also sounded really quick and easy, so I decided to try this Chocolate Panini out. The recipe suggests using a baguette…I used a mini-baguette to see how that would work, but I recommend using a regular-size baguette because the slices would be much easier to handle and flip in the pan. But my mini-panini’s still were tasty, even though they were a little messy! 🙂 This makes a great chocolate snack, dessert, or breakfast/brunch item if you want to have something chocolate on your morning menu. You can make it a little fancier by dusting the tops of the panini with powdered sugar and sprinkling with shaved chocolate or chocolate chips…or you could melt some additional chocolate and drizzle over the top. But it’s great just the way it is, too. This buttery bread and chocolate combination reminds me of a chocolate croissant, but the nice thing about this recipe is that you can make it in minutes. It’s like making grilled cheese, only you’re using chocolate instead of cheese!


  • 8-ounce semi-sweet chocolate baking bar (or two 4-ounce bars)
  • 1 18-inch baguette
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Slice the baguette on the diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick slices (you should have at least 20 slices). Break the chocolate into 1/2 ounce squares. Butter one side of each slice of bread with 1/2 teaspoon of butter and make a sandwich, butter side out, using a piece and a half of chocolate per sandwich. Heat a large pan over medium heat and, in batches, cook each sandwich until golden brown, pressing down with a spatula. Flip the sandwiches and cook the second side until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. (Note: You can also make these with a panini maker if you have one.)

Linked to I’m Lovin’ It, Favorite Things Friday, Feature Yourself Friday, Foodie Friday.

Ghirardelli Luxe and a Hot Cocoa Recipe

If you like milk chocolate, then I’m sure you’d like these chocolate bars as much as I do! I received some samples of Ghirardelli Luxe milk chocolate as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program and enjoyed savoring the rich and creamy squares of milk chocolate in three different flavors…classic milk chocolate, hazelnut, and almond. I liked all of them, but if I had to choose a favorite I’d go with the almond…I love almonds and a chocolate/almond combination is pretty hard for me to resist! 🙂  These chocolates are so smooth and creamy…they just melt in your mouth!

While I was taking this Ghirardelli chocolate taste-testing break, it reminded me of my two visits to San Fransisco and the stops I made both times to the flagship Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop in Ghirardelli Square. It’s a great place to visit if you’re in the area…the square is also home to many other unique shops and restaurants and is located in a beautiful spot right on the San Francisco waterfront. Here’s a photo, courtesy of GhirardelliSquare.com

It only seems right to include a Ghirardelli recipe in this post and since the weather is getting cooler, I thought this hot cocoa recipe (and photo), slightly modified from Ghirardelli.com, would be the perfect choice…


(Makes 4 servings)

  • 4 ounces 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (or semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond or peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream

In saucepan over low heat, bring chocolate and half-and-half to simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer 1 minute or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat; whisk in almond or peppermint extract and vanilla extract.

Pour into four 1/2-cup demitasse or coffee cups. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons whipped cream; dust with Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa (if desired). Serve immediately.