Friday, February 12, 2010

My Top 10: Chocolate. Decadence. Deliciousness. And Absolute Must-Try's.



In honor of Valentines Day, I'm doing a tribute to my first non-familial love. It has been a little while since I have posted a My Top 10, so it was definitely time. And this might have been the absolute easiest one I have written so far. Handsome and I were at dinner one night and I told him I had been thinking about writing this post and he was able to guess 6 of the 6 I had decided would make the list. And together we filled out the other 4 pretty quickly. I am blessed to have a man who pays attention to me and my likes, even the dark chocolately kind.

So without further ado... My top 10 Chocolate Treats of all time.

10. My mom's homemade chocolate glaze for homemade donuts. It has been a while, like absolutely far too long, since we have made homemade chocolate donuts, but nothing beats 'em. Not Dunkin' or Daylight or Krispy Kreme, or even Hometown's favorite super famous local donut shoppe. I'm not sure what her secret is or if its really a secret at all, but the lady has mad skills in this department. Love you Mama!

9. Tim Tam's: These delectable chocolate wafer cookies will practically melt in your mouth. I have only recently made their acquaintence and I'm so thankful I did. Definitely a perfect little grocery store treat. Arnott's makes 'em. And so does Pepperidge Farm.

Arnott's Tim Tam Original

8. Dark Chocolate Covered Yogurt Pretzels from Whole Foods. Umm hello? Salty and sweet really is the perfect combination. And Whole Foods has mastered it with this super simple desert. Too bad they charge a pretty penny for them. These are more like a once-in-a-great while kind of treat which is good since we would have to make the long trek to Whole Foods more frequently if they weren't.

7. Plain Old Chocolate Chip Cookies. Right? Like... duh. Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies? And I have my favorites, but I'll eat Chips Ahoy or I'll eat homemade. I don't like the super soft, store-bought ones, but if I make them, I definitely like 'em warm out of the oven (or cold from the cookie jar).

6. Yoplait Whips: Chocolate Mouse. For those days when I feel like chocolate but don't want to feel too guilty about it, this is a go-to. It is also just about the only yogurt I'll eat, so anytime I'm on an antibiotic and am supposed to take the pill with yogurt, I stock up on these!



5. Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Yes. Yes. I'm a fan of 'em too. This, like the last, is one of those treats I don't feel entirely guilty about eating because there is fruit in it! But... if I don't limit myself, I can definitely be known to have eaten too many at once. And they can cost a pretty penny too, so I almost prefer to make them at home.


Thats a bit of our groom's cake by the way! It is like a little sneak peak into my wedding!

4. Chocolate Milk. What a Classic! Honestly, this will satisfy my craving so quickly. And it has such a comforting quality to it. Mmmm.

3. Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers (Homemade or Starbucks). Starbucks introduced me to the wonderfulness of the chocolate covered graham. I know not everyone is a big of this combination of flavors, but I think they are fabulous. And once they started to become their own line item in our budget, Handsome suggested we make them at home. And honestly, they are different but just. as. tasty. And so super simple.



2. Chocolate Lasagna. So you might not know about this one. And you might send hate-comments to me after I tell you about it. Why? because it doesn't EXIST anymore. It was the best dessert EVER from the Olive Garden. But they stopped making it. They ripped my heart out when they pulled it from their menu. It was layers of dark chocolate cake in between some sort of vanilla white frosting with chunks of chocolate on top and drizzle of chocolate sauce all over. It was divine. And it was best taken from the resturant, placed into a refridgerator and savored for breakfast. Yes. I eat chocolate cake for breakfast sometimes. And yes. You should send you hate comments to Olive Garden until the bring it back. And then your waist can send hate comments to me. But I won't care because I'll be in paradise with my fork by that point.


Yes, I made the picture extra large because I like to look at it. And yes, I'm salivating while I type. And yes, my heart is totally broken in two.

1. Chocolate Cheesecake. Since my favorite has been removed, a new favorite has had to take its place. And really its quite worthy. I posted a while ago about a delicious chocolate cheesecake my mom and I made when I was visiting Hometown. It is probably the best chocolate cheesecake I have ever tasted and I actually drove home and tore up my hate-letters to Olive Garden after I tried it. And after I ate a little bit at a time for a week solid after making it. So without further ado... I present to you: Hershey's Truffle Brownie Cheesecake (a.k.a. The Best Thing You Will Ever Eat).





INGREDIENTS


  • BROWNIE LAYER(recipe follows)
  • 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon shortening
DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease 9-inch springform pan.

2. Prepare BROWNIE LAYER. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from side of pan. Meanwhile make cheesecake batter.

3. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Gradually beat in eggs, heavy cream, vanilla and salt, beating until well blended.

4. Set aside 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Place remaining chips in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1-1/2 minutes; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted when stirred. Gradually blend melted chocolate into cheesecake batter.

5. Immediately after removing brownie from oven, spoon cheesecake mixture over brownie. Return to oven; continue baking 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven to wire rack. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Cool to room temperature. Remove side of pan.

6. Place remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate chips and shortening in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred. Drizzle over top of cheesecake. Cover; refrigerate several hours until cold. Garnish as desired. Cover and refrigerate leftover cheesecake. 10 to 12 servings.

BROWNIE LAYER: Stir together 6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine, 1-1/4 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add 2 eggs; stirring until blended. Stir in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt; blend well. Spread in prepared pan.



XOXO. I'm still here, and aren't you glad I am writing?

Photobucket

7 comments:

Kristin @ the Waiting Game said...

Oh my word! I want chocolate now! And LOTS of it! Ha!

Annie said...

why would you do this to us?! ;)
now i want (NEED) chocolate!!
that chocolate lasagna looks like the best ever!! maybe we can find a recipe!!

have a wonderful weekend pretty girl!

Callie Nicole said...

Oh my goodness. I just started a batch of fudge - all this chocolate talk is giving me cravings! That cheesecake looks absoutely delectable - I'm going to have to try to make that one! Yum! Thanks for posting this! :-)

d.a.r. said...

I loooovvvveeeee Chocolate Lasagna. That stuff is to die for!!

Mindy said...

Oh man... last night I saw part of "The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Chocolate Edition" on Food Network and now after reading this... I am craving some chocolate!!! I may have to go make some brownies...

Oh and by the way, I'm one of the only people who doesn't like chocolate chip cookies. lol.. or cheesecake! It's okay, you can call me weird!

Kelley said...

yummy chocolate! and i too miss the chocolate lasagna... that was so good :)

Q, La, and Gooner said...

Yum yum. Although I don't like the yogurt whip things. I keep a stash of hershey kisses for when I get in a jam. This IS a wonderfully chocolattly post!!!