Ah, the splendor of chocolate!

I baked this confection using this flourless chocolate cake recipe. Is it delicious? Oh. My. God is it delicious! I had originally bought these eight mini Hershey’s Special Dark bars to eat as little desserts, but today I decided I wanted to bake a flourless chocolate cake for the first time. I found the recipe above which called for four ounces of bittersweet chocolate, so these “8-.49 oz bars” filled the bill perfectly! We also happened to have Hershey’s cocoa (natural unsweetened) in the house as well as sugar, unsweetened butter, and eggs (we’re a baking household). Oh, boy is it good! I’m so glad I decided to bake it.

One thing I would recommend, though, is to follow the recipe and use an “eight-inch” cake pan as opposed to this 9″ cake pan, because the smaller the pan, the taller the cake. And this one could stand to be a smidge taller. Other than that, «magnifique»!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m making three dozen of these tonight with this recipe:

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 cups uncooked regular oats (I used cracked, toasted Coach’s Oats)
  • 1 12-oz package Nestle’s Toll House semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring well. Add oats; stir well.
  4. Add dry mixture to butter mixture and stir until well blended. Gently stir in chocolate morsels and pecan pieces.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoons 2″ apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper (I used wax paper on two of the baking sheets and nothing on a non-stick baking sheet, and it worked fine.)
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until peaks of golden brown appear on top.
  7. Cool on pan 5 minutes or until firm
  8. Cool further to desired temperature on wire racks.

(I took this photo in April, but I’m making more of them tonight!)

My first breakfast casserole

Breakfast Casserole
Breakfast Casserole

I made this last weekend for the first time. Andy had made his breakfast casserole a month before, and I’d been disappointed in the soggy bread, so I had to try doing it differently and seeing if it came out better. I’m glad to report that it did! Following some advice I got from a fellow Flickrite, as well as some tips I picked up from Google searches of “Breakfast Casserole”, I cooked it for 45 minutes instead of 30, and I think that made all the difference. However, I started cooking it at 425º for the first 10 minutes or so until I read in some recipes that it should only be baked at 350º for 45 minutes to an hour. I wish I had done that, because the cheese melted a bit too fast and was a bit overcooked by the time I took the casserole out of the oven.

Here’s the basic recipe:

  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  1. Lay bread in a single layer at the bottom of a greased baking dish.
  2. Pour a mixture of eggs and half  &  half (1 part half & half to 2 parts eggs; e.g., I used a cup of eggs (4 or 5 eggs) and ½ cup of half & half) over the bread.
  3. Sprinkle with sautéed bulk sausage, caramelized onions, uncooked chopped tomatoes, uncooked chopped red & green bell peppers, or whatever else you think would taste good.
  4. Top with grated cheese. I used sharp cheddar and Monterey jack.
  5. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Bake at 350° for 45–60 minutes.

Some recipe notes:

Some recipes I found said to cut the crusts off the bread. Another said to butter the bread. Yet another said to toast the bread. Still another said to break the bread into pieces. One or two of the recipes I found said to pour the egg batter over everything, including the cheese. Personally, I like the melted cheese on the top.

P.S. It’s probably fattening. I usually like to start the morning with a fruit smoothie or a bowl of cereal, but a hot, heavy breakfast like this is great on a weekend or special occasion. Enjoy in moderation. =)