Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Mis Amores! I’ve missed you! It’s been a busy summer, and now that school has started (my son started kindergarten! Crazy!), we’re on a tightly packed schedule.

Soon after Eid ul Fitr, the kids and I left for California to prepare for my brother’s impending wedding festivities. To say the wedding was amazing would be an understatement. Like, understatement of the century.

We’re back now, and in the thick of a standard school year. Although the summer was fun, it is nice to be back home and into a normal routine. It’s nice to have some predictability.

While in California, I got the chance to test out some amazing new recipes. Luckily for me, my mom and brother are both amazing taste testers. I’m excited to recreate some of the stellar recipes that were tested.

Now onto today’s recipe- Chocolate cream cheese frosting. A few days ago I was asked to bake some cupcakes for an Eid ul Adha kids gathering. Surprisingly, I was low on butter but had a few packages of cream cheese (very strange in my home!). I wanted to try my hand at something different, and I’ve seen recipes floating around for a chocolate take on cream cheese frosting. I adapted this recipe and came up with this fabulous frosting! It’s slightly tangy with an amazing chocolate kick. It’s an amazing alternate to regular buttercream!

 

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Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Enough To Frost 2 Dozen Cupcakes

Or a 2-Layer Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

Place cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl, and using a whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and whip on low speed until incorporated. Add cocoa powder and whip on low speed until incorporated. Increase speed to high and whip until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, remembering to scrape the sides of the bowl along the way.

Use as needed.

Refrigerate leftovers.

Note: Frosting may be made and frozen in advance. To use, simply leave on the counter and bring to room temperature. The frosting may need to be whipped lightly to bring back t original consistency.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I fell in love with the flavor of pumpkin a few years ago (here are just a few of the goodies I like to make with the flavorsome squash). I’ve been experimenting with it a bit more this season, and this delicious, moist, and autumn-centric Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread was a result of said testing. It pairs well on its own, or alongside a mug of steaming tea or coffee, and it is Zuni-approved 😉

(Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.)

 

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat together sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, water, and eggs until smooth.

Add all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and all-spice. Stir to combine. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 60 to 80 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Allow bread to rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Chocolate Cake (and a little update)

It is common in the South Asian culture to celebrate good news with something sweet. Today’s post was the first time that I baked something specifically to blog about. I’ve been trying to think of ways to share this news with you, and I finally settled on just baking a good old-fashioned chocolate cake. You see, we are awaiting a second addition to our family, due at the end of May, God willing. My Zuni is about to become a big brother, and has decided that he would like to called Zuni Bhai (Bhai in Urdu, literally means brother, and is used as a respectful means to address an older brother or older male) as opposed to Zuni Bhaiya (Bhaiya is just another way of saying Bhai).

I ask that you, my dear friends, remember our family in your thoughts and prayers, and that you send your positive vibes our way 🙂

 

Now, with that, I present to you this delicious chocolate cake. The recipe is courtesy of Smitten Kitchen, and has officially made the cut for the go-to chocolate cake. This recipe yields a very friendly 8-inch cake, and can easily be doubled to fit a 9”x13” pan (although the baking time may need to be adjusted). The crumb of the cake is moist yet holds together well, and it isn’t cloyingly sweet. I frosted the cake with my go-to chocolate buttercream, although this cake pairs well with any type of frosting.

 

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Chocolate Cake

Yield: One 8-inch Square Cake

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

 Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased 8-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add buttermilk and mix until just combined (batter may look uneven), and scrape down bowl. Place a sifter over the bowl and shake in flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking salt. Mix on low speed until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth out, and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 18 to 30 minutes.

Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Hot Cocoa Mix

How is the weather in your parts? We’ve been freezing our tooshies off here in the Midwest. Most days are spent indoors, trying to keep warm by baking up lots of goodies and drinking warm cups of deliciously milky chai and hot cocoa.

I’ve been on the lookout for a recipe for hot cocoa mix that not only keeps well, but also has the perfect amount of chocolate flavor without being overly sweet or thick. When I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to give it a shot. The resulting cup’o cocoa is just the right thing to help combat the winter blues 🙂

 

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Hot Cocoa Mix

Yield: Enough For 8 Cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until powdery. If a food processor is not available, finely grate the chocolate and mix with remaining ingredients.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

To use: In a saucepan over medium heat, warm one cup of milk until steamy. Add 3 tablespoons of prepared hot cocoa mix and stir or whisk until dissolved. Serve warm, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Cookies ‘n Cream Rice Krispie Treats

Asiya posted this Cookies and Cream Rice Krispies recipe a while back, and I had filed it away in my mental “must-make” file. I first made the recipe, adapting it to use regular marshmallows, several months ago to mind-blowing results. Since then, I’ve made it a number of times, each time better than the last. This is a wonderful recipe to whip up in a jiffy, and it’s also one that kids enjoy helping out with 🙂

 

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Cookies ‘n Cream Rice Krispie Treats

Yield: 1 Large Tray

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 20 chocolate sandwich cookies (12 coarsely chopped for filling, 8 coarsely chopped or ground for topping)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 (200-250 gram) package marshmallows
  • ½ to 1 cup (according to preference) white chocolate chips

Directions:

Depending on how thick or thin you prefer your rice krispie treats, set aside a greased 9”x13” or 8”x11” baking dish.

In a large bowl, combine cookies for filling and cereal.

In a large nonstick vessel, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add marshmallows and melt completely. Slowly add the melted marshmallows to the cereal and mix completely. Transfer to greased baking dish and spread out the mixture evenly. Lightly press down.

In a double broiler, melt the white chocolate chips. Spread melted chocolate over the rice krispies evenly. Lightly press the remaining chocolate sandwich cookies over the melted chocolate. Refrigerate for a few minutes, to harden the chocolate.

Cut into squares and serve.

Can be kept at room temperature.