Decadent Fudge Brownies

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After a long, hard day, we tend to gravitate toward one of two things (sometimes both): booze or junk food. Last week, I just had to have junk food. Lucky for me, my wife made homemade, fudgy, super-chocolaty brownies. These things are so decadent, thanks to Dutch dark cocoa, espresso, and lots of butter, that there is no need to top them with ice cream. Just an ice cold glass of milk and a brownie – that’s all you need to turn any day around. Don’t believe me? Try them for yourself.

Decadent Fudge Brownie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup double dutch dark cocoa
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (mix it up to what you like – half dark, half milk, all milk, peanut butter – the world is your oyster, damnit)

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9 x 13″ pan

  • Beat eggs, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla for about 4 mins on medium speed
  • Melt the butter with sugar until all butter is melted over low-med heat (do NOT let it bubble)
  • Add hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture and stir until smooth
  • Add flour and chocolate chips – stir until smooth
  • Pour batter into the pan and cook for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

Endless Beer: Manayunk Brewing Co’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Porter

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Think peanut butter shake. Do you taste that? The smooth and rich flavor of peanut butter? Mmmm, so good. Now, imagine that flavor in a can of beer. Manyunk Brewing Company, near Philadelphia, brings you the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Porter. The brewery sought out to create a beer that brings the flavors of a porter along with in your face peanut butter (and a little chocolate). The question is – did they meet the mark? Check it out.

Tasting Notes

Aroma: Peanut butter throughout. A slight bitter note of coffee and chocolate, but overwhelmingly peanut butter.

Appearance: Dark dark brown – nearly black.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, not much of an aftertaste, high carbonation.

Taste: Peanut butter, peanut butter, peanut butter. Taste starts with strong peanut butter flavor. Little chocolate flavor is there, but you do taste a hint of the porter in between the notes of peanut butter.

Overall: For the peanut butter lover, this is one of our favorite peanut butter flavored beers. It does not taste artificial, but as if you are eating freshly roasted peanut butter. I’d say it would ALMOST satisfy my craving for a Shake Shack peanut butter shake (that says a lot).

 

Endless Pairings

Cheese: Swiss with crustini, honey, and almond.

Appetizer: Spicy shrimp skewers.

Entree: BBQ Baby Back Ribs with mashed potatoes.

Dessert: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Cigar: Drew Estate Java

Endless Christmas Cookies: Fluffernutter Candies

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I’m pretty sure my wife has made more cookies than Mrs. Clause does this time of year. Awful, I know. There’s the nostalgic cookies that remind us both of our families, then the cookies made because they are Italian and that’s what Italians do, the experimentals … the list goes on. This year, we introduced fluffernuter candies to the list. First off, if you like peanut butter, then you’ll love these. Secondly, they are very easy to make – no baking required.

These crack-like substances are made from four things: Ritz crackers, peanut butter, fluff, and chocolate. Sandwich a rich and luscious mixture of peanut butter and fluff between two Ritz crackers. STOP. DO NOT eat the sandwich. You will be tempted for sure. Then, dip these scrumptious sandwiches in melted chocolate until submerged. That’s it. Friends and family will be impressed (if you have any left by the time the holidays come around). Make sure you find a good spot to forget about them until then…because you can’t eat just one.

In case you need a “real” recipe, here it is:

Ingredients:

  • Ritz Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Fluff
  • Melting Chocolates
  1. Mix together peanut butter and fluff to a ratio of your liking (half and half works well)
  2. Spread mixture onto cracker and top with another cracker
  3. Melt melting chocolates in microwave
  4. Dip/cover sandwiches in melted chocolate and let them cool

Yes…it is that easy. You’re welcome.

Cookies Gone Wild! Top 10 Christmas Cookie Recipes

Christmas is around the corner. I know I’m counting down…yes…4 days of work left until break. Co-workers are coming in with their trays of Christmas cookies to share and we all poke around to see if our favorites are there and leave the lame ones to go stale. We spend hours upon hours creating tons of cookies to share with our friends and loved ones and there are always rejects left behind. What if tradition was thrown out the window and you could make any kind of Christmas cookies you wanted? Leave the plain butter cookies and the raisins and fruit filled cookies behind this year and try out our top ten Christmas cookies. Enjoy…

10. Peanut Butter Oreo Truffles

These are so easy and so tasty. You can through them in your Christmas tin and all of the sudden, these will be all your friends are talking about. You can make them in dark, milk, or white chocolate and can even add coloring to suit your season of choice.

RECIPE: Endless Simmer

Dark Chocolate Dipped Coconut Macaroons recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

9. Coconut Macaroons

My fiance makes bakery-quality macaroons. Seriously – best I ever had. But these take a very close second. Macaroons are not often thought of as a Christmas cookie, but they are too damn good not take a spot on the dessert table after Christmas dinner!

RECIPE: Barefeet in the Kitchen

8. Red Velvet Cookies

Red Velvet is not necessarily a “Christmas Seasonal,” but I think these will easily earn a place in the cookie tin. Especially with that cream cheese filling…

RECIPE: Amy Bites

7. Salted Caramel Clusters

Okay…they are not technically cookies. But they look so easy to make and even easier to eat.

RECIPE: The Small Things Blog

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Top 10 Foodie Gifts

Ah yes, Christmastime is here. Christmas music is playing at every department store in the nation, fathers and husbands are crankily rushing around to strings of lights, Christmas trees, and other gadgets that are used for one month out of the year, and yes- – we are all searching for gifts to please those special people in our lives. There are so many things to choose from. But what about for those of us who love food the most? What are you going to get them? A fruit of the month club? Another cookbook that will sit on the shelve to collect dust? NO! How about something that is different/unique but also enjoyable? Well, we’re here to help. Here are our 2014 suggestions:

First Nibs: Chocolate Subscription

10. Raaka Chocolate Subscription

Raaka now offers a subscription service that offers two limited edition bars and one of their “classics” sent directly to your doorstep. The limited edition bars are only available through subscription. We were in Bryant Park and got a chance to sample their Pinot Noir Salt and Pink Peppercorn bar which was very tasty. A neat idea for any chocolate lovers out there who also appreciate a twist on some original flavors.

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9. The Original Bacon Kit

If you don’t like bacon, you most likely hate America as well. This kit would be fun for ANYONE to try out themselves and pride themselves on serving their own bacon on Sunday morning.

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8. Handpresso Auto

You already know how I feel about this product. If you have an espresso lover in your life, I guarantee they will enjoy this. Fresh espresso in your car – what else is there to say? I mean, other than the fact that it also ensures your car will always be smelling like Starbucks!

7. Spiegelau Craft Beer Tasting Kit

Spiegelau is known for their high quality glass and practical designs, enhancing the flavors of the beverage poured into the glass. We’ve already tried the IPA, Stein, and Stout glass, but this kit gives the beer lover a glass to drink each beer they have in their fridge. I’ve been doing some in depth testing of the kit that Spiegelau sent us and I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by the way each glass enhances the aroma, flavor, and sometimes carbonation of the beer. If you know someone who loves beer, invest in two of these kits as a gift – they need to have enough glasses to share with you!

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Top 10 Foods to Go

Whether you have a 30+ minute commute to and from work, like to hike, take the train to work every day, or you are just always on the run, sometimes your travel mug of coffee just isn’t enough. In my travels to and from work, I’ve learned how to eat yogurt on the go and even cereal from a travel mug. But I also end up arriving to work with yogurt on my favorite tie or a splash of milk in my crotch. Whether it’s the risk of mess that keeps you from enjoying our food/drinks on the go, or lack of variety, here are our top ten food (and drinks) to go. While I won’t say the dirty “c word” just yet, these would all make great gifts as well.

 

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10. Chocomize

BUILD YOUR OWN chocolate bars! Take pride in the high calorie and sugar that you are chomping on by knowing it’s been created by you. Chocomize allows you to pick between a bar and a heart, the kind of chocolate it is made of, and then add toppings a la carte or pick one of their pre-designed bars.

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9. Perky Jerky

Jerky that is not only all natural and gluten free (trying to figure out how it wouldn’t be gluten free – do they add gluten to others?), but also infused with CAFFEINE! Not straight up coffee, but with a plant called Guarana that produces a fruit similar to a coffee bean and acts as a stimulant. Not only are you getting a jolt of protein, but also a jolt of energy. Yum.

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