Minty Hot Chocolate

Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.
Minty Hot Chocolate
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    1 litre 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    7 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    1 litre 10 minutes
    Cook Time
    7 minutes
    Minty Hot Chocolate with whipped cream in blue mugs resting on a white tray lined with a checkered blue and white napkin.
    Minty Hot Chocolate
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      1 litre 10 minutes
      Cook Time
      7 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      1 litre 10 minutes
      Cook Time
      7 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: litre
      Instructions
      1. Whip half a cup of heavy cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to use.
      2. In a small saucepan combine milk, remaining heavy cream, and sugar. Whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract.
      3. Divide among serving mugs and top with whipped cream and a candy cane.

      Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce


      Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce arranged on a metal platter that sits on a table napkin.
      Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        4 appetizers 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        13-15 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        4 appetizers 15 minutes
        Cook Time
        13-15 minutes
        Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce arranged on a metal platter that sits on a table napkin.
        Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          4 appetizers 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          13-15 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          4 appetizers 15 minutes
          Cook Time
          13-15 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: appetizers
          Instructions
          1. Pat scallops dry on both sides with a paper towel.
          2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add scallops and cook for approximately 2 minutes per side depending on size. Flip scallops and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
          3. Remove scallops to a plate and cover with foil.
          4. Over medium-high heat add wine to the pan and whisk to pick up any caramelized bits in the pan. Allow wine to reduce for 2-3 minutes.
          5. Whisk in heavy cream and tarragon and continue to reduce for about 5 minutes until sauce is reduced by half and has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper.
          6. Arrange scallops on a platter or serving dishes and drizzle each with a tablespoon of sauce. Serve immediately.
          Recipe Notes

          -makes about 3/4 cup of sauce.

          -you can use stainless steel, cast iron or non-stick skillets.  The key to a good sear is having the pan and oil hot and not overcrowding the scallops.

          -also delicious served as a main course over mashed potatoes.

          -makes 4 appetizer servings or 3 main-course servings.

          -using fresh tarragon is a must for this recipe.

           

          Frozen Yogurt Strawberry Cake

          Frozen Yogurt Strawberry Cake
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            12-16 slices 60 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            46 minutes 6+ hours
            Servings Prep Time
            12-16 slices 60 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            46 minutes 6+ hours
            Frozen Yogurt Strawberry Cake
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              12-16 slices 60 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              46 minutes 6+ hours
              Servings Prep Time
              12-16 slices 60 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              46 minutes 6+ hours
              Ingredients
              Pretzel crust
              Cake filling
              Servings: slices
              Instructions
              Pretzel crust
              1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
              2. Using a food processor, blend pretzels and sugar until you have a fine crumb. Add melted butter and pulse until combined.
              3. Press crumbs evenly into a 10" springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes, remove and allow to cool to room temperature while preparing the filling.
              Cake filling
              1. Increase oven to 400°F.
              2. Hull strawberries and cut in quarters. Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Flip strawberries and continue to roast for 20 minutes. Strawberries will be soft and jammy. Allow them to cool to room temperature.
              3. Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Beat in yogurt, 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Keep chilled until ready to proceed.
              4. Whip heavy cream and the remaining 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until stiff. Keep chilled until ready to proceed.
              5. Once strawberries have cooled, combine with the granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and blend until pureed and combined.
              6. Stir strawberry mixture into the cream cheese/yogurt mixture until completed combined. Fold in whipped cream and pour over cooled pretzel crust. Smooth out top and place in freezer for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
              7. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and remove outer springform ring at least 20 minutes prior to serving. Cut into wedges and serve garnished with additional whipped cream and fresh macerated strawberries if desired.
              Recipe Notes

              -strawberries can be roasted and chilled one day ahead.

              -frozen cake well covered will keep for up to a month in the freezer.

              Irish Cream Cupcakes

              A single Irish Cream Cupcakes sits in focus in the foreground. It sits on a black cooling rack draped with a green and white checkered towel. The background is blurry.
              Irish Cream Cupcakes
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                24 cupcakes 60 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                16-18 minutes 4+ hours
                Servings Prep Time
                24 cupcakes 60 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                16-18 minutes 4+ hours
                A single Irish Cream Cupcakes sits in focus in the foreground. It sits on a black cooling rack draped with a green and white checkered towel. The background is blurry.
                Irish Cream Cupcakes
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  24 cupcakes 60 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  16-18 minutes 4+ hours
                  Servings Prep Time
                  24 cupcakes 60 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  16-18 minutes 4+ hours
                  Ingredients
                  White Chocolate Ganache
                  Chocolate Cupcakes
                  Servings: cupcakes
                  Instructions
                  White Chocolate Ganache
                  1. Heat cream and Irish cream in a small pot until just at a simmer.
                  2. Add chopped white chocolate and butter to a medium size bowl. Pour hot cream over white chocolate and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface and chill until cold, about 4 hours or up to 24 hours in advance.
                  3. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whip, whisk ganache until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Use immediately or chill until ready to use.
                  Chocolate Cupcakes
                  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.
                  2. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment combine all ingredients EXCEPT the water and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine.
                  3. Pour or scoop 1/4 cup of batter into prepared tins. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
                  4. Frost with white chocolate ganache frosting.

                  Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies

                  Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    30 Cookies 60-70 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    7-8 minutes per tray 3-24 hours
                    Servings Prep Time
                    30 Cookies 60-70 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    7-8 minutes per tray 3-24 hours
                    Chocolate Ganache Sandwich Cookies
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      30 Cookies 60-70 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      7-8 minutes per tray 3-24 hours
                      Servings Prep Time
                      30 Cookies 60-70 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      7-8 minutes per tray 3-24 hours
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: Cookies
                      Instructions
                      1. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
                      2. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or electric mixer beat butter until fluffy.
                      3. Add granulated sugar and beat until incorporated. Add egg and vanilla and continue to beat on medium until egg is incorporated and the mixture is fluffy.
                      4. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and blend together until just incorporated.
                      5. Divide dough in two, scooping out onto sheets of plastic wrap. Fold over plastic wrap to seal and press each into a 1" flat disk. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
                      6. Heat heavy cream and pour over 8 ounces of chopped chocolate and 3 tsp corn syrup. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Whisk together until smooth and glossy. Cover with plastic wrap directly on chocolate. Allow to sit and set at room temperature (see note), this will take several hours.
                      7. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line baking trays with parchment.
                      8. Remove dough from fridge and allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Flour your work surface and roll out one disk at a time, dusting your work surface underneath and the top of the dough as you roll. Roll out to 1/8" thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place 1" apart on baking trays.
                      9. Re-roll remaining dough, dusting with flour as needed. Repeat with the second disk of dough.
                      10. Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes, allowing to cool slightly on trays before removing to a cooling rack.
                      11. Once completely cooled, spread or pipe 2-3 tsp of ganache onto the bottom of a cookie. Top with another cookie, bottom side down.
                      12. Melt 2 ounces of chopped chocolate with 1 tsp corn syrup. Pour into a disposable piping bag cut with a very small hole or use a #4 round tip to drizzle chocolate over the cookie tops.
                      13. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, in the fridge for 3-4 or the freezer for up to a month.
                      Recipe Notes

                      -Ganache takes several hours to cool to room temperature, make first if planning to bake and assemble cookies the same day.

                      -Allowing ganache to set at room temperature allows it to be more spreadable and pipeable.  If you do chill it, allow it to come to room temperature and beat with 1-2 tbsp of heavy cream for about 30 seconds to soften it enough to pipe.

                      -I re-rolled the dough 3 times with no ill effect to the final cookie.

                      -Cookies are slightly crisp but soften when sandwiched together with the ganache.

                      -The recipe yield will vary with the thickness of your dough, and cookie cutter used.  I yielded 30 sandwiched cookies using a 2" heart shape cutter.

                      -The cookie wafers can be made in advance and frozen until ready to assemble.

                      -If you happen to have any ganache left over, chill, roll into small balls and dust with cocoa for a homemade truffle!