Almond Mocha Brownies


Hey all- Do you have an absolute favorite flavor of ice cream??  Mine is Jamocha Almond Fudge.  I usually  intend to try a different flavor, but when it comes down to it, I pretty much always end up with JAF.

So here is the best ice cream translated into brownies–  Mocha flavored brownies topped with rich creamy almond studded cream cheese frosting.  I’m embarrassed to say how many of these I ate!

ALMOND MOCHA BROWNIES

Brownies:
1 family size brownie mix (for a 9″x 13″ pan size)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 tab. instant coffee (about one small instant coffee packet)

Frosting:
1/4 cup butter, melted (1/2 stick)
2 tab. unsweetened cocoa*
4 oz. cream cheese (1/2 box)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tab. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup whole roasted almonds, cut in half

Mix up the brownies according to the instructions on the box (mine used 1/2 cup oil, 1/3 cup water and 2 eggs).  Stir in the instant coffee until it’s all blended in.

Spoon the brownie batter into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake it up at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let the brownies cool before you add the frosting.

To make the frosting, use an electric mixer to combine the melted butter and the unsweetened cocoa.  Then use the mixer to beat in the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  (Start the mixer on low so you don’t send all the powdered sugar flying!)

Then stir in the almonds and spoon the frosting over the cooled brownies.  Enjoy!

*I like Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cocoa

Mocha Cheesecake

Hi there all–  Here’s a cheesecake made for a game night with friends– lots of talk, laughs and a dose of noisy competitiveness!  Finished off with a couple cheesecakes.

This desert has two layers of creamy cheesecake, one coffee flavored, one chocolate, topped with a creamy chocolate ganache.  Pretty irresistible!

MOCHA CHEESECAKE

Crust:
1 prepared Oreo piecrust*
2 tab. butter, melted

Filling:
2 tab. instant coffee granules
1 tab. boiling water
1 cup chocolate chips
32 oz. cream cheese (4 –8 oz. packages)
1 cup sugar
3 tab. flour
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream

Ganache topping:
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tab. butter
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Mix the Oreo crust and the melted butter in the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.  Press the crumbs to make a uniform thin layer covering the bottom of the pan.  Set it into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Dissolve the coffee granules in the boiling water and set aside.

To make the filling, use an electric mixer the beat together the cream cheese and sugar until it’s creamy.  Then beat in the flour, eggs and sour cream.  Divide the batter evenly between two bowls.

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes and then stir until it is smooth.  Fold the chocolate into the fist bowl of batter until it is thoroughly blended.

Stir the dissolved coffee granules into the second bowl of batter until it is all incorporated.

Spoon the chocolate batter over the crust and smooth out the top.  Add the coffee batter over the top and spread it evenly over the top.

Pop the cheesecake into a 350 oven for 50 to 60 minutes until it is firm to the touch and just a little wobbly when you shake it.  Open the oven door, turn off the heat and let the cheese cake sit 1 hour in the cooling oven.  Then take it out, slide a sharp knife around the edge to loosen the cheesecake from the pan and set it into the fridge for 3 or 4 hours.

To make the ganaches, heat the whipping cream and butter in a small pan on the stove until it just starts to simmer.  Take it off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips and beat for 3 or 4 minutes until it’s glossy.  Let it cool and when you’re ready to serve up the cheese cake, drizzle it over the top.  Delish!

*The recipe I worked from used 20 Oreo cookies, crushed.  But getting the pre-made Oreo crust was cheaper and already to use.

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Hello there– I know, I know you shouldn’t start a new recipe with a disclaimer– But if you are a blogger (this means you, all my blog-buddies), you know the sometimes photos aren’t what you’d hoped.  But I loved these tender, creamy cupcakes!!- so I’m sending along the recipe and you’ll have to imagine how pretty (and delicious) they were! OK??

TIRAMISU CUPCAKES

cupcakes:
chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
water
1 pack instant coffee crystals (about 1 tsp.)
1 tsp. coffee liqueur  (like Kahlua)

Topping:
1 pint whipped cream
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding powder
tsp. powdered sugar
1 cup mascarpone cheese
unsweetened cocoa powder

Mix the cake mix according to the directions on the box.  (Mine used 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil and 1 1/4 cup water).  Add in the instant coffee and coffee liqueur and beat for two minutes with an electric mixer.

Pour the batter into 24 paper cupcake liners in cupcake pans.  Pop them in a 350 degree oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until they are firm to the touch.  Let them cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat the whipped cream along with the pudding powder and powdered sugar  –until it is stiff and set.  With a spoon, fold in the mascarpone cheese.

Top each cooled cupcake with a large dollop of the cream & mascarpone mixture.  And then dust the cocoa over the cream through a small sieve.  Refrigerate the cupcakes if you are making them way ahead…  So delish!

 

Simple Mocha Cake

Hi all– I’m afraid this isn’t much of a recipe– more like just a tip about putting instant coffee into your cake mix & frosting to give it a rich mocha flavor.  But I promise if you try this simple cake, you’ll have a hard time not licking your plate.  It’s crazy delicious!

SIMPLE MOCHA CAKE

Cake:
1 dark chocolate cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 tsp. instant coffee (about 2 small packs)

Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. instant coffee (about 2 small packs)
1/4 cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa
8 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pound box powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cups)
1-2 tab, water if needed
garnish:  stemmed cherry!!

 

With an electric mixer beat together the cake mix according to the directions on the package–mine used 1 cup water, 1/3 cup oil and 3 eggs.  Them mix in the 2 tsp. instant coffee.

Spoon the batter into two 8″ or 9″ cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch.  Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, melt the butter in the microwave and then mix in the cocoa and instant coffee.  Then with a mixer beat in the cream cheese vanilla and powdered sugar.  Begin mixing on the lowest setting until the sugar has started in incorporate (or you will have sugar flying everywhere!).  Up the speed of the mixer to blend thoroughly.

If the frosting seems too dry, add 1 or maybe 2 tablespoons of water (be careful it’s easy to add to much water and end up with running frosting!)

Frost the bottom layer.   Add to top layer and frost away the top and sides.  Add cherry and it ‘s done!

 

Mocha Hazelnut Cookies

IMG_3298Hey there– If you look in our freezer, you’re likely to find mocha almond fudge ice cream tucked in between the frozen blueberries and ice cube bin (unless I’ve just slurped it all down).  It’s my favorite.  So how could these tender fudgey coffee tinged cookies not be delicious?  They’re not too sweet, but chock full of chocolate and hazelnuts.  Big and cake-like and melt-in-your-mouth good.  (OK, did I convince you??)

MOCHA HAZELNUT COOKIES
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. coffee liqueur (optional)
1  1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. instant coffee crystals
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

IMG_3301With an electric mixer cream together the butter, 2 sugars, egg, vanilla and coffee liqueur.  Then beat in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, coffee crystals and salt.  Finally, mix in he hazelnuts and chocolate chips.*

Drop the batter by full tablespoons onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray–about 3″ apart.  Smash each cook just a bit flatter with the bottom of a glass.

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.  Let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before you lift them off to a cooling rack.  Makes about 18 large cookies.  Enjoy them with a mug of tea!

*I save a handful of chocolate chip and hazelnuts to sprinkle on top of the cookies before I slip them into the oven– so they are prettier.

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Chocolate Espresso Muffins

IMG_3635Hey there– I’m trying not to show off here.  But honestly, I have to say these are my favorite thing I’ve baked in a very long time!  So tender and silky and chocolatey with a little streusel crunch on top.  Can you tell I love them??

CHOCOLATE ESPERSSO MUFFINS

topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dark chocolate coated cocoa nibs*
(or chocolate chips)

muffin:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa**
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup brewed espresso (or strong coffee)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup chocolate chips

IMG_3624First prepare the streusel.  Mix together the 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.  Set aside along with the cocoa nibs.

Then in a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, sugars, baking powder and salt.  Mix in the egg, milk, coffee, oil and vanilla.  Finally fold in the 2/3 cup walnuts and chocolate chips.

Spoon the mixture into the muffin pans lined with paper muffins liners.  You’ll have 12 to 15 standard muffins.  Sprinkle on the walnut & brown sugar streusel and then scatter the chocolate covered cocoa nibs over the tops.

Pop them into a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until they are baked and firm to the touch.  Hot from the oven they are just about perfect!!– with a mug of tea, even better.

*If you live around here, I got the chocolate covered cocoa nibs at Sprouts.
**I like the Hershey’s extra dark unsweetened cocoa– so much chocolate flavor!

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