Slow Cooker Sunday: Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate

You may be wondering why I would take the time to make hot chocolate in a slow cooker when I could easily just make it on the stove. Well, I saw a video on Instagram one day for it and thought it would be a nice treat, which it was. It was also a good excuse to use some white chocolate chips I had and to use leftover pumpkin puree I had from making Pumpkin Cannoli. All pretty good excuses in my book!

In my slow cooker I added whole milk, white chocolate chips, pumpkin puree, cinnamon sticks, vanilla extract, ground ginger and freshly grated nutmeg. Trust me, it’s worth using freshly grated nutmeg as opposed to the powder form. Ground nutmeg can sometimes leave a pungent flavor, but, using freshly grated nutmeg eliminates that. After giving all of my ingredients a good stir, I set my slow cooker to low and let it cook for 2-3 hours. For the first hour, I gave the mixture a good stir every 10 minutes to make sure the chocolate was melting and to evenly distribute all of the ingredients. As an aside, is it still right to say cook when it comes to making hot chocolate? Or, maybe I should say simmer? Hmmmm???

I enjoyed it topped with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick as a garnish/stirrer. I actually used one of the cinnamon sticks that I added to the slow cooker. This is the perfect autumn warm-me-up beverage. Or, thinking ahead, an ideal complement to your Thanksgiving desserts. You could easily double or triple the recipe for a large group of people.

If you’re curious about the Pumpkin Cannoli recipe check back tomorrow!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

4 cups whole milk

1 cup white chocolate chips

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

4 cinnamon sticks, additional sticks for garnish

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for topping

Whipped cream

Directions:

Combine the milk, chocolate chips, pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, ginger and nutmeg in a slow cooker and stir together.

Heat on low for 2-3 hours, stirring every 10 minutes for the first hour to stir in the melted chocolate. And occasionally after that.

Serve in mugs, topped with topped whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg. Add a cinnamon stick that can be used as a stirrer in case the pumpkin settles.

White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu

Out of all the desserts I’ve made I think Tiramisu has been my favorite. In all honesty though, it’s always been one of my favorite desserts. Today, I’m bringing you a twist on the classic Tiramisu, a White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu. And now is the perfect time to make it with berries, including blackberries, being in-season.

To begin I soaked ladyfingers in a mixture of orange juice and blackberry liqueur and arranged them in a 11×7 inch baking dish. Don’t let the ladyfingers soak up too much of the liquid, you don’t want them to become mushy.

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Next, I melted white chocolate in a double boiler. I don’t own an actual double boiler, so, I created my own by simmering water in a pot and then placing a heat-proof bowl over the water without touching it. Once the chocolate had melted I let it cool slightly and in another bowl I beat cream cheese, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar until creamy. I then stirred in the melted white chocolate. In another bowl, I beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks formed and took 1 cup of the whipped cream and folded it into the cream cheese mixture. And finally, I spread half of this mixture over the ladyfingers.

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On top of the cream cheese mixture I laid an even layer of fresh blackberries which I pressed lightly into the cream cheese. I then dipped the remaining ladyfingers into the orange juice / liqueur mixture and placed them on top of the blackberries.

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With the remaining cream cheese mixture I added in more confectioners’ sugar and then folded in the remaining whipped cream and spread this over the second layer of ladyfingers. To top it off, I melted a few tablespoons of blackberry preserves and combined it with a tablespoon of the blackberry liqueur and then drizzled it over the tiramisu and then topped it with some fresh blackberries.

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And after chilling for a few hours it was time to dive in…

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And it was delish… Sweet, but just sweet enough!

 

White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu

Ingredients:

2/3 cup orange juice

1 tbsp. blackberry liqueur

24 ladyfingers

6oz. white chocolate, chopped*

8oz. brick cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup Confectioners’ sugar, divided use

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

2 cups fresh blackberries, divided use

 Garnish

3 tbsp. melted blackberry preserves

1 tbsp. blackberry liqueur

*I used 3/4 cup of white chocolate chips

Directions:

Combine orange juice and liqueur in a shallow bowl. Dip half of the ladyfingers in the orange juice mixture – a quick dip will suffice – and line the bottom of an 11×7 inch baking dish.

Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler you can create one yourself by simmering water in a pot and placing a heat-proof bowl over the water without allowing it to touch the water. Once melted let the chocolate cool for a few minutes.

In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese along with the vanilla extract and 1/4 cup of the Confectioners’ sugar until creamy. Stir in the melted chocolate and let the mixture cool for about 5 minutes.

In another bowl beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold 1 cup of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and spread half of it over the ladyfingers. Lay about 1 1/2 cups of the fresh blackberries over the cream cheese mixture, pressing down slightly.

Dip the remaining ladyfingers into the orange juice mixture and arrange them over the blackberries.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of Confectioners’ sugar to the remaining cream cheese mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread this mixture over the second layer of ladyfingers.

In a small bow mix together the melted preserves and liqueur and drizzle over the top of the tiramisu. And finally, top the entire thing with the remaining blackberries.

Chill 3-5 hours and Enjoy!

Recipe from Better Recipes.

Triple Chocolate-Hazelnut Cookies

There are many perks to living on Long Island – being readily close to a beach (although I am not a beach person per se I more so enjoy going to a nearby marina and watching the water, it’s quite calming,) I can be in NYC in about an hour and I can also visit some great wineries an hour in the opposite direction. A group of friends and I make it a point at least once a year – especially when the weather starts to get warmer – to visit the wineries. Although it’s not always the Long Island ones, Hudson Valley also has some great ones that are within driving distance as well. We usually do a potluck of sorts in terms of bringing things to eat and I usually volunteer to bring dessert. Last weekend we had our wine outing and I decided to make a batch of Triple Chocolate-Hazelnut Cookies. These could also be coined “Death by Chocolate Cookies.” They are incredible chocolaty thanks to the three chocolates used: Bittersweet (the base of the cookie which prevents it from being overly sweet), white and milk chocolate.

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My weekdays are usually split into three parts: Errands in the morning, midday, errands in the afternoon. I was squeezing baking these cookies into that midday part so I was pretty focused on getting my measurements for my ingredients ready prior to mixing. Not to say that I am usually a scatter brain baker, but, I usually assemble my ingredients together and then measure as I go along.

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I began by melting chopped bittersweet chocolate with unsalted butter in the microwave in 30-second intervals. You may be tempted to up the time for melting chocolate, but, it really is important to do so in shorter increments and whisking the chocolate between each of the intervals. By upping the time you may end up scorching the chocolate… I speak from experience. Once the chocolate and butter were melted I added in vanilla extract and whisked the mixture until it was smooth.

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Next, I beat two large eggs on medium speed with my stand mixer until they were foamy. Following that I gradually added in sugar until the mixture was thick and pale yellow.

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I then added in the melted chocolate mixture and then a flour mixture (flour, baking powder and salt) and continued mixing until it was just combined.

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And finally I folded in the hazelnuts (which I had blanched & toasted) and white and milk chocolate chips.

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My batter was then ready…

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I dropped the batter by tablespoonful onto parchment lined baking sheets. One thing I did notice was that as the batter sat it became thicker so next time I make these cookies I’ll let the batter sit for a few minutes before dropping them onto the cookie sheets.

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I baked the cookies in a preheated 350 F oven for about 12 minutes and then let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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After they were cooled I packed them up for the following day’s adventure.

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Overall, these cookies are winning recipe that I will be making again. As for the wine tasting, it was a great day as always. Some of the wine we tried was good, some, I don’t ever need to try again, but what makes the day great is being with wonderful friends and enjoying views like these!

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And seeing cute signs like this…

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Triple Chocolate-Hazelnut Cookies

Makes: 24 Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup blanched hazelnuts, chopped

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and baked then until golden, about 7 minutes. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the bittersweet chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, whisking, until melted. Add the vanilla and continue whisking until smooth, set aside.

3. Beat the eggs in a large with a mixer on medium speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until thick and pale yellow, about 6 minutes. Gradually add the melted chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Reduce the mixer to speed to low and add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Fold in the hazelnuts and chocolate chips.

4. Drop the batter by tablespoonful 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the cookies are slightly puffed and crackly, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on the sheets, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.