Tag Archives: chocolate

Spicy Cocoa Cookies

I love the combination of chocolate, heat and crisp and these spicy cocoa cookies are the perfect encounter of all three. They are vegan so feel free to test the spice content as you go. Go easy if you can’t take the heat! This is my go to party cookie recipe and it never fails that at least one person asks for the recipe. They keep well, if they last in your house that long, and travel well. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


Spicy Cocoa Cookies
(recipe adapted from Honest Fare)

These cookies are much easier to make in the dead of winter in a cold kitchen, but the refrigerator makes baking them in the summer possible.

Ingredients for cookies:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (I use pure, cinnamon infused maple syrup with great results)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp vanilla soy or almond milk
1 2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Ingredients for sugar topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the sugar topping ingredients together on a small plate and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, syrup, extract and milk until all is incorporated.

Sift in remaining ingredients into the wet mixture (I don’t actually own a sifter, I use a large mesh strainer that works perfectly) and stir together carefully until you have a workable dough.

Remove any rings that might get dirty and roll about a tablespoon of dough into a round ball. Drop ball onto sugar topping and gently pat down until you have a 2 inch disc. (If you are working in a warm kitchen, place the dough into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to give it a bit of stability before rolling.)

Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, sugar side up, two inches apart and bake for 9-11 minutes. The tops should have a cracked surface. Remove from oven and let sit on hot baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 30 delicious cookies. Enjoy!


Cherry Dishes & Bundt Cake Love


A few years ago my mom gifted me a set of dishes, the dessert plate you can see above. They were the very first set of dishes that my Grandmother and my Great Aunt had in their first apartment! It is a cherry branch pattern on a field of white with a delicate red ring along the edge. I have dinner plates and dessert plates along with cups and saucers. They do not get used very often, but they fit me and our kitchen perfectly. I am quite impressed with my Grandmother’s taste. I no longer have our first set of dishes, but from what I can remember, they were a hodgepodge and nothing to write home about!

On to chocolate things! I love a simple bundt cake. They come out of the pan pretty and they require no stacking, crumb coating, fancy frosting and the like. I have made a few versions of a chocolate stout cake in layer cake form and cupcakes before settling on this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. She uses the simple bundt pan for a clean presentation.

After making the cake a few times with a few different beers, I have had the best results and flavors using Founders Breakfast Stout, the chocolate and coffee notes lends itself perfectly to the richness of the cake. For the ganache, I substitute the instant coffee granules for a tablespoon of orange liquor, such as Cointreau. I dislike the taste of coffee and I prefer the flavor combination of chocolate and orange.

If you are looking for a yummy cake, I urge you to try the recipe linked above. It is my go to cake recipe for events and parties.

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