cocoa powder

Nutella Cupcakes

This Nutella Cupcakes Recipe features some delicious Nutella-filled chocolate cupcakes, topped with a heavenly Nutella frosting.

A few weekends ago, I woke up on a Saturday morning and just felt like baking. My calendar was open, the day was cloudy and cozy and cool, and I had a new jar of Nutella that was calling my name. So I padded to the kitchen in my slippers to make a warm cup of coffee. And then perhaps for the first time in a long while, I decided to actually take my time baking this batch of Nutella cupcakes. It was wonderful. I don’t know about you, but so often when I’m in the kitchen, I find myself falling into extreme-efficiency mode. And for better and worse, I’ve become pretty darn good at it. I can whip up a batch of fudge, saute a pan of fajitas, play fetch with my dog, return a few emails, and watch an episode of “Friday Night Lights” at the same time, and somehow things usually (miraculously!) turn out ok. But in the rush and chaos of it all, I too often miss out on some of the simple joys of cooking. So I decided that this particular Saturday morning would be different.

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Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate

Mmmm…want some?

I was craving some thick Mexican hot chocolate, but it was cold and late and I had about zero interest in bundling up to go to the grocery store to pick up some authentic Mexican chocolate. So instead, I did the next best thing — rounded up some cinnamon, chipotle powder, cayenne and a pinch of nutmeg, and added the spices to a simple homemade hot chocolate recipe.

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Salted Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies {great food blogger cookie swap}

Hooray! Today is the big reveal day for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap ’12, when food bloggers everywhere are posting the recipes for their cookies that were mailed all across the nation. And with hundreds bloggers participating this year, there were a lot of delicious cookies being swapped! (Just type the hashtag #fbcookieswap into Instagram or Twitter, and you can see all of the sweetness for yourself!)

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012

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Mexican “Hot” Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes

Hello…chocolate!!

For Valentine’s Day this year, thought I’d post a classic favorite from my kitchen — these adorable little chocolate molten lava cakes! Little did I know when I first tried them years ago (at Chili’s…yes….) that they are so simple to whip up. Just 7 minutes of prep, and 7 minutes in the oven, and voila…a classy and delicious dessert ready to go!!

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Banana Split Cupcakes

So I’ve had a total craving for a banana split this week. Fresh bananas…warm chocolate…that perfect cherry on top… But alas, the only problem was that final ingredient.  Ice cream. In a city where snow and ice have decided to fall once again, and I’m left shivering in my (cute black) boots, anything else having to do with “ice” just doesn’t sound that appealing.

Thus, decided to get creative and turn the split into a cupcake. And voila! :)

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies (Double Chocolate Chip Cookies)

I’ve been on a quest these last few years to find my absolute favorite go-to recipes for some classic cookies. And while I was successful pretty quickly with many others, the perfect chocolate chocolate chip cookie (or “double chocolate”) seemed to elude me. The closest recipe I’d actually found used a chocolate cake mix, but I was wanting something truly homemade. AND, I didn’t want to melt chocolate. (Still, in my opinion, too much work for a cookie.) And, I wanted something chewy. And of course, super chocolate-y. :)

As you might guess since I’m posting, I’m pleased to announce…success!!!

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Cocoa and Chili Rubbed Pork Chops

I don’t know about other grocery stores across the country, but I feel like ours in Kansas City are always running sales on pork! While it’s not something I’d say I usually crave, I definitely enjoy “the other white meat” every now and then. (I owe this to being the daughter of my dad, who gets ridiculously excited about pork chops!) So since they were yet again on sale this week, day five of Cheap Eats Week here on the blog is an ode to the chop. :)

I think this may also be my first recipe on the blog featuring my favorite chocolate+chili combination! For those of you who’ve never tried it (and if this is the case, you must before you raise a skeptical eyebrow!), trust me that this doesn’t taste like pork with a Hershey’s bar on top. Rather, the cocoa just adds a subtle, yet delicious depth of flavor beneath the zing of the chili powder. I absolutely love the combination — in chilis, in truffles, cupcakes…you name it!

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