Chocolate Kahlua Pudding with Kahlua Whipped Cream

I went on vacation. One whole glorious week of biking, zooing, reading, sight-seeing, visiting breweries and wineries, and drinking what was purchased at said establishments. And most importantly-relaxing on the beach in the beautiful sunshine. With friends! All while making sure a toddler didn’t run off into the ocean. It was fantastic.

pudding3We cooked at our rental house most nights–and by we, I mean our friend cooked for all of us. In my guilt about not stepping it up more in the chef department I offered up some Chocolate Kahlua Pudding. I don’t think it made up for all of the grilled pizza and chicken and swordfish and scallops, but we do what we can.

pudding7And since returning from that vacation we have literally been running around (seriously, I’m pretty sure I did some sprinting as soon as we pulled back into our driveway to get ready to pull back out of the driveway) and I’m ready for another. Though we’ll have to wait until next year…

pudding6Chocolate Kahlua Pudding

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

16 oz. chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup Kahlua

For whipped cream:

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup Kahlua

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler on the stove. Or, if you’re on vacation and can’t find the right tools to make a double boiler, heat in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each time.

Heat the heavy cream and Kahlua in a medium pan until very hot, but not boiling. Pour the melted chocolate into the cream and stir, stir, stir, stir or whisk, whisk, whisk, whisk until completely combined.

Keep all the mixture in one bowl or pour into an attractive serving dish to be scooped out later, or pour into individual ramekins, dessert bowls, or cocktail glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Using a hand or stand mixer, beat 1 cup of whipped cream with 1/4 cup of kahlua until it forms stiff peaks. Serve over the pudding and garnish with chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or fresh fruit.


Black and Tan Brownies

Perhaps you’ve had a pint of Black and Tan: where Guinness is carefully poured over an upside down tablespoon to gently fall on an ale or lager with greater density (Yes! More dense than Guinness!) so as not to mix the two. Or perhaps you’ve had a mixed Black and Tan where the visual aspect isn’t important, such as Yuengling’s. There are many variations that have developed over the years: Black and Tan (Smithwick’s or Bass), Half and Half (Harp), Black and Blue (Blue moon), or even a Black Velvet (champagne).blacktan

Source: Flickr creative commons by parislemon

Same concept: brownie form.

We also need to address that the naming of such a thing isn’t necessarily the most politically correct-or sensitive. The Black and Tans were men from Great Britain, whose job it was to act as police in Ireland as part of the Royal Irish Constabulary and fight against the Irish Republican Army (IRA) during the Irish War of Independence. The nickname Black and Tans came from the color of their uniforms. They are historically known for oftentimes using brutal and savage methods, even against civilians.

And so we have brownies………the dark, chocolately brownie sitting on top of the lighter cookie-type blondie. With beer in them. I actually used Sam Adams Chocolate Bock in the brownie. Certainly a different flavor profile than Guinness, though extremely appropriate given that smooth chocolate flavor.

So perhaps I’m the only one who will eat my brownie while contemplating the brutality of war and lament the trials and tribulations of the Irish while I watch The Wind That Shakes the Barley crying yet again. Pass me the brownies.


Come out, ye Black and Tans: Irish rebel song, here performed by the Wolfe Tones

The Wind That Shakes the Barley: a ballad written about the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. This is my favorite version by Solas.

Black and Tan Brownies

Adapted slightly from The Irish Spirit

Tan Brownies

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Black Brownies

5 oz. unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup stout

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter an 8×8 square pan.

Tan brownies

In the bowl of a mixer with paddle attachment beat butter and brown sugar until fluffy, then beat in egg and vanilla. Remove from mixer and stir in flour, baking powder and salt with a wooden spoon. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Black brownies

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler and stir until completely smooth.Stir in the sugar and salt and let cool slightly. Stir in the eggs, flour and vanilla. Whisk in the stout.

Pour the black brownie mixture over the tan brownies and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Coconut Rum Cupcakes with Coconut Rum Frosting

“And the zookeeper is very fond of rum!”

At the Zoo is one of our two year old’s favorite books, and the original inspiration for his Simon & Garfunkel themed birthday party (read: excuse for me to incorporate Simon & Garfunkel into all that I do!). I love how the book cleverly deals with the mention of an alcoholic beverage by picturing the rhinoceros zookeeper outside of the beaver’s cage. The beaver, of course, is wearing a shirt with his name on it: Rum. I just knew I had to involve rum in some aspect of the party! Enter in a chocolate coconut rum cupcake, made even more sinful with coconut rum frosting.

Don’t worry–I also made yellow cupcakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream and the birthday boy was none the wiser on what he was missing! And, you know, I’m responsible like that.

Chocolate Coconut Rum Cupcakes

See The Cupcake Project. I didn’t really adapt anything so I will not take any credit for the recipe! Though I am one of those people who has a problem with the texture of coconut inside my desserts, so I left out the shredded coconut.  I did not, however, leave out the chocolate chips. Do with that information what you will.

I made a different frosting, only for the reason that I was already using 5 blocks of cream cheese in other dishes for the party and I felt like we could all use a cream cheese break. And why would I make a rum cupcake and not top it with a rum frosting? That would truly be ridiculous.

Coconut Rum Frosting

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups (or more) powdered sugar

4 tablespoons coconut rum

Whip the butter in a mixer (or by hand if you’re crazy) until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar in small increments, thoroughly incorporating each addition before adding more. Feel free to use more than 3 cups if you need to, but it was the ideal amount for me. When it has reached your perfect consistency for frosting spreadability, mix in the rum. If the liquid has thinned out the frosting too much, you can add more powdered sugar to firm it up if needed.

Chocolate Cabernet Cookies

Obligatory wine and chocolate for Valentine’s Day.

But this time, they come in one package. One neat, gooey package.

Chocolate and wine are meant for each other. I think they’re in love.

Chocolate Cabernet Cookies

Only slightly adapted from Simply Scratch

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed down

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup cabernet sauvignon

10 ounces chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder in a bowl and stir with a whisk. Set aside. In a larger separate bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. Be patient! Add the egg, vanilla, and wine. Slowly add the reserved flour mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips. Bake on greased cookie sheets for about 10 minutes.

Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

I have never been a girl to eat vanilla ice cream. Why would I waste my time? There’s chocolate chip cookie dough, blueberry, Phish food, and yes-even Crazy Vanilla back in the day.

When I first got my ice cream maker, vanilla was the obvious first soiree. But instead, I made cookies and cream. Good decision.

The original recipe calls for milk chocolate. I had semi-sweet. The original called for Guinness Stout. I had their black lager. And so we adapt.

My ice cream maker has yet to see a vanilla ice cream, and the outlook for that is doubtful. What it has seen is peanut butter cup, and Bailey’s, and for the second time now, Chocolate Guinness! Life is good.

Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop: Ice Cream, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments

7 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

little pinch of salt

4 large egg yolks (save those whites for breakfast-it balances out the ice cream!)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3/4 cup Guinness

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Finely chop your chocolate and place in a large bowl. Have a mesh strainer ready. Set aside.

Combine the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan over low heat. Do not boil. Beat your egg yolks in a medium bowl. While whisking, very slowly pour small amounts of the milk mixture into the eggs to temper them. Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly, making sure not to bring it to a boil. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens, enough to coat a spoon.

Pour the resulting custard through the strainer and into the bowl of chocolate. Stir together until all of the chocolate has melted. Mix in the cream, Guinness, and vanilla and allow to cool.

Place in the refrigerator for several hours before churning in your ice cream maker. Ice cream makers vary, so I’ll let them take it from here!

Kahlua Brownies with Kahlua Icing

You may want to be friends with me because I make things like Kahlua brownies with Kahlua icing for you for your birthday.

Except maybe you don’t want to be friends with me because after making Kahlua brownies with Kahlua icing for your birthday, I’ll forget them and leave them in the car and you’ll end up brownieless. Big tease.

If you do happen to make Kahlua brownies with Kahlua icing yourself, I highly recommend using your own homemade Kahlua. Next level of awesomeness.

But don’t worry, friend. I’ll make some more intoxicating treats another time to celebrate a very merry unbirthday.

Kahlua Brownies with Kahlua Icing

Brownie adapted from my Kitchen Aid Standmixer User Guide; icing adapted from Recipe Girl

1 cup butter

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup Kahlua

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep a 9×13 dish. I butter, use parchment paper and butter again so the brownies are easily removed from the pan later.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Once completely melted set aside to cool. Combine the kahlua, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer using a flat beater. (Whisk is also fine. Or you know, I suppose you could do it by hand.) Add eggs one at a time, then add the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder. Turn off the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips. Pour into the prepped pan and bake for about 45 minutes.

For the icing:

4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons Kahlua

1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

2 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted, take off the heat and add the Kahlua and cream. Sift the powdered sugar into mixture and whisk to combine. Pour over the cooled brownies and spread evenly. Wait until the icing has set to slice (you can always stick them in the fridge to move the process along!).