Chocolate Pie

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray pie tin with cooking spray.

To make the crust, place chocolate wafers in a resealable plastic bag and, using a rolling pin, smash until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a bowl. Add butter, sugar, and salt and stir to combine. Pour into prepared pie tin. Using base of a glass, flatten crumbs on bottom and sides of pie tin into an even layer. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

To make the pastry cream, in a bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, and corn starch until no lumps remain. Add ½ cup milk and egg yolks and whisk until smooth.

In a heavy bottomed medium saucepan, combine remaining 1 ½ cups milk, chocolate, and cream. Whisk constantly until near boiling.

Remove from heat and, while whisking briskly, slowly add hot milk to egg mixture. Return to saucepan and continue to cook over medium heat. Constantly whisk until liquid thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla and stir until mixed well.

Pour pastry cream into cooled crust and spread evenly until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap directly on pastry cream and cool for at least 2 hours. Garnish with chocolate or whipped cream.

Petite Pumpkin-Chocolate Cheesecakes

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin pan with 12 muffin liners.

In bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add granulated sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for 5 seconds. Add butter and continue to mix on low until a dough forms. Divide dough between muffin liners. Press dough into liners. Bake until surface of crust no longer appears wet, 11-13 minutes. Let cool.

Turn oven heat to 325°.

In a clean bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, add cream cheese, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and blend on medium speed until smooth. Add molasses, pumpkin puree, vanilla, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and mix on low until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low after every addition until incorporated. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Fill each muffin liner to the top with batter and bake until center of cheesecakes are set, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan, about 1 hour. Refrigerate 2 hours. Remove liners prior to serving.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Marble Bread

Preheat oven to 350°. Liberally grease 2 loaf pans.

In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and stir to combine. Set aside.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and spices and blend on low speed. Slowly add dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined.

Put chocolate in a glass bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, until melted.   Transfer half batter to prepared pans. Divide melted chocolate evenly between 2 loaf pans. Transfer remaining half batter to pans, covering chocolate. Using a knife, swirl together chocolate and batter to make a marble effect. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of loaves comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes before removing and slicing.

Chocolate-Dipped Almond-Cranberry Biscotti

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, toast for 10 minutes, and let cool.

In a food processor with blade attachment, add 1/2 cup almonds and 1 tablespoon sugar. Blend until finely ground. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Pulse to blend.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat eggs, vanilla and remaining 3/4 cup sugar on medium until thick and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour-almond mixture. Mix on low until just blended. Add remaining 1 cup almonds and cranberries, if using, and stir to combine.

Evenly divide dough into 3 pieces. Place on prepared sheet, shape into three 2 1/2″x10” loaves, and smooth tops. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Carefully transfer loaves to a cutting board. Let cool slightly and cut crosswise into 1/2” thick slices.

Reduce oven heat to 325°. Place slices on baking sheet, standing them upright. Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 1” of water to a simmer. Transfer half of chocolate to a heatproof bowl and place on top of pan. Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted, about 3 minutes. Add remaining half of chocolate, remove from heat and let stand 2 minutes. Stir gently until smooth.

Dip biscotti bottoms into chocolate and place biscotti on parchment to set, about 15 minutes.

Classic Fudge

Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with a 12″ long piece of parchment paper folded in half lengthwise. Use another 12″ long piece of parchment paper folded in half lengthwise and line pan crosswise to first piece of parchment. Set aside.

In a large pan over low heat, add milk, chocolate, and salt, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla and stir to combine.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula. Sprinkle evenly with the flaky salt. Place pan on a wire rack and let cool at room temperature until fudge is set, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Run a knife along each edge. Grip parchment hanging over edges and pull fudge out of dish. Transfer to a cutting board, remove parchment, and discard it. 

Hold a long, sharp knife under hot running water, wipe with a towel, and slice fudge, repeating heating and wiping knife after every slice until there are 64 (1″) pieces.

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Preheat oven to 375°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

To make the cookies, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter and sugars and cream on medium speed until light and fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape sides of bowl, about 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until combined. Stir in sour cream. Mix until well combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter-sugar mixture, beating until combined. Using a cookie scoop, drop dough 2” apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake 8 minutes. Place half a marshmallow on top of each cookie, cut edge down. Return cookies to oven and cook for 1-1 ½ minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on wire racks.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter and beat on medium speed until creamy, about
2 minutes. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt, and mix until fluffy. Reduce speed to low, add 1/2 of powdered sugar, and mix until well combined. Add remaining ½ of powdered sugar and mix until well combined. Add cream for desired consistency. When combined, increase speed to medium, and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Pipe or frost cookies with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Chocolate Blancmange

In small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, and cocoa powder and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, cornstarch mixture, and chocolate. Cook, gently whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.

Whisk in vanilla and pour into 4 ounce ramekins. Chill until set, at least 4 hours. Serve with cherries, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookie Bark

Line bottom and sides of an 8” or 9” square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.

Bring a saucepan filled ¼ full of water to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer so only small bubbles are visible. Place a medium bowl over saucepan. The bottom of bowl cannot touch water. Add 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate and ½ teaspoon oil in bowl and melt, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Pour into prepared pan, spreading with an offset spatula until smooth. Place in refrigerator, about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, add white chocolate and ½ teaspoon oil and place over simmering water. Pour over semi-sweet chocolate. Spread until smooth. Place baking pan back in refrigerator, about 10 minutes.

Add more water, as needed, to saucepan. Place remaining 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon oil in first medium bowl and melt, about 5 minutes. Spread into a smooth layer. Sprinkle over peppermint candies, chocolate wafers and cranberries, if using.

Refrigerate until completely hardened. Once hardened, remove from pan, peel off parchment and break into pieces.

Mud Pie

To make the crust, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add cookie crumbs, granulated sugar, and salt and stir to combine. Cook until fragrant and crumbs are completely coated in butter, 3-5 minutes. Pour mixture into a pie plate and, using a 1/2 cup measure, flatten crumbs into bottom and up sides of pie plate. Freeze crust for 15 minutes.

To make the filling, scoop half of ice cream into pie crust. Spread evenly. Pour chocolate over ice cream. Scoop remaining half of ice cream over the chocolate. Freeze for 1 hour.

When ready to serve, in a bowl, whisk cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Dollop cream over the ice cream. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Mocha Chocolate Mousse

In a medium bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let sit until tepid.

Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.

In another medium bowl set over the simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 2/3 cup of sugar, rum, and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick.

Remove the bowl from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks in the bowl of ice water. Beat gently until cool and thick. Remove the bowl from the ice, and fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape. Whip in the 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then add the vanilla.

Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.

Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into 6 or 8 serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child and David Lebovitz