Tag Archives: chocolate

Coconut Almond Brownie Bites – California

We love almonds and so does California. The Golden State produces about 80 percent of the world’s almonds and the entire U.S. supply.

A combo of brownies and Almond JoysAlmonds are one of the highest sources of Vitamin D and magnesium and are a tasty way to pack in some protein post-workout.

This recipe definitely falls into the indulgent category but we love the combo of almonds with coconut and chocolate. For a bit of a flavor boost, toast the almonds on a dry skillet on medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, watching closely so that they do not burn.

Coconut Almond Brownie Bites

Coconut Almond Brownie Bites

  • Servings: 30
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

• Brownie mix
• 1 ¼ cups sweetened coconut
• 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
• 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
• 30 almonds, toasted

In a medium sized bowl, prepare brownie mix according to directions on box. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine coconut, condensed milk and powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Add muffin liners to mini muffin trays. Add one teaspoon brownie batter, then two teaspoons coconut mixture. Add one almond and then top with one teaspoon brownie batter. Repeat to fill approximately 30 mini muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Let set for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on wire rack.


Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze – Kentucky

Hey racing fans, do you have your fancy hat and cute dress ready? It’s Derby Week in Louisville. Quintessential foods include mint juleps (see our tip for pumping up the mint flavor), and Hot Browns

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze - Kentuckyhot turkey club sandwiches with bacon and Mornay sauce). For dessert, how about a slice of Chocolate Bourbon Bundt cake? Moist, delicious and fragrant with bourbon, this cake will be the hit of your Derby watch party.

If you have time for other activities in Louisville, check out the Ali Center, dedicated to the life, principles, and legacy of the champion boxer, Muhammed Ali.

Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze - Kentucky


Chocolate Bourbon Bundt Cake with Bourbon Pecan Glaze

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans


In microwave or double boiler, heat unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth. Set aside until cool. In a large heat proof cup, add boiling water. Add cocoa powder and salt, whisk until dissolved. Add bourbon. Set aside until cool.

In the bowl of stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed, about 2 minutes, or until it is light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat one minute. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and then the cooled, melted chocolate. Beat until incorporated.

In a clean bowl, add flour and baking soda. With the mixer on low, add a third of the flour mixture, then a third of the bourbon/cocoa mixture, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Repeat 2 more times with a third of the flour mixture, then a third of the bourbon/cocoa mixture.

Grease a bundt pan, then flour the inside with cocoa powder. Pour batter into the pan, then smooth the surface. Bake in 325 degree oven for about 1 hour, checking at the 45 minute mark for doneness.

When cake is cool, invert onto a plate. To make glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar with bourbon (can thin with a bit of milk if the mixture is too stiff). Drizzle on cake, then top with toasted pecans.

Lunar and Luscious: Homemade Moon Shaped Moon Pies – Tennessee

Nothing is more Southern than a moon pie and a RC cola. If you’ve never indulged, a moon pie is a graham cookie marshmallow sandwich enveloped in chocolate. Invented in 1917 as a snack for

Homemade moon pie

coal miners, the Chattanooga Bakery has been producing this beloved snack for close to 100 years. They are also closely associated with Mardi Gras as moon pies are a throw (a giveaway thrown from a parade into the crowd) at Mardi Gras celebrations across the South.

With a little bit of effort and time, you can make moon pies at home. We had fun with our moon-shaped cookie cutter. Check out the (very quick – 15 seconds!) Instagram video at right if you want to see us making them in action.

If you planning on checking out the Great Smoky Mountains, consider the Smoky Mountain Wine Fest, April 9, 2016, in Gatlinburg.

Homemade moon pie

Homemade Moon Shaped Moon Pies

  • Servings: 18 pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


For cookies:

  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For marshmallow filling:

  • 1 envelope Knox gelatin
  • 2/3 cup cold water, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cups light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For chocolate coating:

  • 10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons shortening


For cookies:

With the paddle attachment of the electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add two types of flour, salt, baking powder, honey and vanilla. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Wrap well and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight. When ready to make cookies, turn half the dough to a well-floured surface. Return other half of dough to fridge. Roll out until 1/8 to ¼ inch. Cut out cookies and lift with a spatula onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining half of dough. (If you use a 3-inch round cookie cutter, it will yield about 18 cookies, a half moon or smaller round cutter will yield about 36 cookies). Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

For marshmallow filling:

In the meantime, add 1/3 cup cold water to the bowl of the electric mixer. Add one package of gelatin. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/3 cup water. Heat on medium-high, stirring occasionally until the mixture comes to the soft ball stage, 234 degrees with a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and let cool a few moments.

Using the whisk attachment of the mixer set on low, slowly add the hot sugar mixture to the gelatin mixture. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until marshmallow forms and is light and fluffy, about 15 minutes. Set aside if marshmallow is still warm.

Once the mixing bowl is room temperature, gently spread marshmallow on half of cookies and top with remaining cookies, being careful not to break cookies (you can also use a pastry bag and pipe the marshmallow on). Return cookies to refrigerator for about 10 minutes or until marshmallow sets.

For chocolate coating:

Add chopped chocolate and shortening to a microwave save bowl. Heat in one minute bursts until chocolate is melted and smooth. Dip the moon pies in the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip off. Don’t worry about covering all the edges with chocolate.

Transfer moon pies to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Continue until all moon pies are dipped. Return to fridge until set, then transfer to an airtight container.

Get Dirty: Mississippi Mud Pie

It is any surprise that February is National Chocolate Lovers Month? With Valentine’s Day this weekend, we decided we absolutely had to go all chocolate with this Mississippi Mud Pie. This Southern

Mississippi Mud Pie

indulgence gets its name because it supposedly looks like the thick mud that lines the Mississippi River. Lots of variations of this pie exist, some with a regular graham cracker crust, some with marshmallows, and some even with ice cream. We went with a more traditional version and oh my, we were left swooning in chocolate heaven.

If you are planning a trip to the Magnolia State, check out the Mississippi Blues Trail. This travel planning site includes information about historic sites, museums, upcoming concerts and more.

Mississippi Mud Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print


For crust:

  • 1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup pecans

For filling:

  • 1 ½ sticks butter
  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted in microwave
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
  • 1 teaspoon Kahlua liqueur (optional, if omitted add another teaspoon of chocolate extract)

For topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted and cooled (optional)


For crust: Pulse sleeve of graham crackers and pecans in food processor until fine crumbs are formed. Transfer mixture into a bowl. Add melted butter and sugar. Mix well. Press mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees.

For filling: In the meantime, mix butter and brown sugar together in mixer on medium speed until mixture is creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add melted chocolate chips, cocoa, heavy cream, chocolate extract, and Kahlua and beat until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour the filling in the pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool on counter and then transfer to fridge.

For topping: Add heavy cream into a mixing bowl and beat on medium to high speed. Just before soft peaks begin to form, add the sugar to taste. Beat a few more minutes until soft peaks form. Add whipped cream to cooled pie, then top with chocolate shavings and pecans.

Ono Sweeeeet: Macadamia Nut Blondies – Hawaii

This week’s bitter cold and snow had us dreaming of Hawaii. The sun, the crashing surf, the soaring peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Hawaii has some great food that we’ve talked about before, and no list would be complete without the macadamia nut.

Macadamia Nut Blondies - Hawaii

Macadamias are not native to Hawaii (Australia takes credit for that), but they have a long history in the Aloha State. Trees were first planted in 1881, and commercial cultivation began in the 1920s. The state has 700 macadamia nut farms. While other states including California and Florida produce this nut, they are very much associated with the Aloha State. Walk into any shop or restaurant in Hawaii and you’ll find macadamia nut confections, including ice cream, pies, cookies and chocolates.

Cookie bars are always a hit with the StateEat kids so we decided to try our hand at Macadamia Nut Blondies. We got crazy and used two kinds of chocolate but if you don’t like white chocolate, just use the semi-sweet. Truly ono (Hawaiian pidgin for delicious)!

If you are lucky enough to be headed to Hawaii soon, don’t miss Mt. Haleakala on the island of Maui. You can hire an outfitter so you can bike down, or just go up on your own for some hiking and to watch sunset. But bring warm clothes, it dips into the 40s when the sun goes down.

Us Hiking Above the Clouds on Mt. Haleakala, 2010
Us Hiking Above the Clouds on Mt. Haleakala, 2010

Macadamia Nut Blondies

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate, broken into chunks
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and roughly chopped


Add macadamia nuts to a sauté pan over medium heat. Toast, tossing the nuts every few minutes, until the edges of the nuts begin to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool before chopping.

In mixing bowl, beat sugar and butter until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix by hand, just until incorporated. Gently add the chocolates and nuts.

Grease a 9×9 glass baking dish. Add dough and smooth evenly and into corners. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before slicing.

Hey Hun: Berger Cookies – Maryland

If you grew up in or near Baltimore, you are well-familiar with the Berger cookie. A cousin to New York’s black and white cookie, this confection is a soft vanilla cookie heaped with chocolate frosting. And we do mean heaped. In fact, some would say the cookie is just a vehicle to deliver more frosting.

Berger Cookies - Maryland

Berger Cookies began in the mid-1800 when Henry Berger emigrated from Germany and shortly thereafter opened his eponymous bakery in East Baltimore. The recipe has only changed slightly since that time and today Berger Cookies employees hand dip 36,000 cookies per day.

These cookies are very easy to recreate at home. We slightly adapted the King Arthur Flour recipe. The StateEats kids killed a half gallon of milk gobbling these up.

If a visit to Charm City is in your future, check out Fort McHenry National Monument, widely regarded as the birthplace of the “Star Spangled Banner. ” You can visit all summer and listen to ranger talks on artillery and the flag, participate in children’s activities, hear fife and drum concerts and more.

Berger Cookies

  • Servings: 2 dozen cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


For the cookies:

  • 5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup milk

For the frosting:

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


For the cookies: Cream butter and sugar together using a mixer set to medium speed. Add salt, vanilla, egg and baking powder. Beat one minute. Gently add in flour alternating with milk until thoroughly blended.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls of dough, about 1 ¼ inches in diameter, leaving 2 inches between cookies. Flatten cookies with palm of hand or bottom of a glass coated with cooking spray. Bake cookies at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or just until the edges begin to brown. Do not overcook. Let cool on pans.

For the frosting: Place the chocolate chips, corny syrup, vanilla and cream in a large bowl. Microwave in short bursts about 90 seconds, stirring in between, until chocolate begins to melt and the cream bubbles. Stir until chocolate mixture becomes smooth. Add in the confectioners sugar, mix until incorporated. Let cool to room temperature.

Spread frosting on top of the cookies. If frosting slides off the cookies, allow it to set a bit longer.

We Were Told There Would be Cake: Smith Island Cake – Maryland

When we think of Maryland, we think of water. From the stunning Eastern Shore beaches, to Baltimore Harbor, to capital of Annapolis (hello, Navy), the ocean plays a major role in the culture and pleasure of residents. With good reason too; the Chesapeake Bay nearly bisects the state and most of the waterways in the state are part of the bay watershed.


Smack in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay sits Smith Island, accessible only by ferry. This small community of only a few villages boasts big about its most famous export, Smith Island Cake. This scrumptious confection consists of eight to 10 ultra-thin layers of yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting between each and was declared the state dessert of Maryland in 2008.

Continue reading We Were Told There Would be Cake: Smith Island Cake – Maryland