Hot Chocolate Brownie in a Mug

Mug Brownie Mug Brownie
This week, we Chicagoans experienced our second “polar vortex,” (read: temps below -25 degrees when you factor in the windchill.) And to think that it’s ONLY just the beginning of February. Needless to say, I’ve been spending lots of time indoors. Last week, I made a spicy black bean soup in my slow cooker. I also whipped up this recipe for an “instant brownie ala mug.” It’s a Hot Chocolate Brownie in a Mug thanks to the addition of a couple marshmallows and a light dusting of cocoa powder. And as if that wasn’t enough, I also mixed in some leftover peanut butter chips. This recipe makes a fast and simple brownie for one, perfect for those moments when you just want a quick sweet treat for yourself without worrying about the pressure of finishing off an entire batch!

The Makings:

Mug Brownie

  • Melted butter – 2 tablespoons
  • Water – 2 tablespoons
  • Vanilla extract – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Granulated sugar – 4 tablespoons
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – 2 tablespoons
  • All-purpose flour – 4 tablespoons

Optional:

  • Marshmallows
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for garnish

The Sweetness:

1. In a mug, whisk together melted butter, water, vanilla extract and salt.

Mug Brownie 2. Stir in cocoa powder, sugar and flour, pausing to whisk in each individual ingredient before adding the next. (Optional: mix in peanut butter chips as an extra ingredient after mixing in flour.)

3. Place mug with brownie mix in microwave and heat for 90 seconds at a reduced power level. (I used power level 7 on my microwave.)

4. After 90 seconds, inspect brownie mixture in mug and continue to heat brownie in microwave in 30 second intervals at a reduced power level until mixture becomes a cake. Be careful not to overcook. Cooking times will vary based on microwave. (This takes some patience and careful observation. You’ll notice that the edges will bake first, leaving a gooey, molten center. I had to repeat this interval heating process about 3x more before it was ready to eat. I tested the cake consistency with my spoon at each interval. When finished, my cake was firm but not rock hard or completely gooey.

Mug Brownie

When your cake is at its desired consistency, place a few marshmallows on top of the brownie. Use a spoon to lightly press down on marshmallows. The residual warmth of the cake should melt the marshmallows into a spread. (If you’ve left your mug out for too long in between this process, you may need to place back into the microwave and heat for a quick 5 seconds.)

Mug Brownie

Take a pinch of unsweetened cocoa powder and sprinkle atop marshmallows as a final garnish.

Grab a spoon and DIG IN!

Mug Brownie

Recipe adapted from Food.com.

More Sweetness:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies  Bacon Chocolate Hearts 001  Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

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Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

Last month, I attended the kick-off soiree for this year’s Chicago Food Film Festival. If you’ve never heard of the event, it’s exactly what it sounds like: you get to watch films about food…and then sample the featured foods! NOMS city. (They even inserted napkins in our programs!)

Food Film Fest

To preserve the authenticity of the dishes and the tasting experience, the event organizers flew in ingredients (and in some cases, the chefs, too!) from the places profiled in the food flicks. The biggest draw at the party was by far the Ramen Burger. YES. You heard me right. A delicious patty enclosed in a ramen “bun.” Dreamed up by ramen connoisseur Keizo Shimamoto, this noodle nosh caused quite the craze this year, right up there with the cronut. (Like the cronut, the lines to try the Ramen Burger in New York can be quite long; Shimamoto once even swapped a customer a burger for a cronut!) 

Food Film Fest

Ramen Burger team, assemble! Chef Shimamoto and crew built their creations in front of our drooling eyes. Want to learn more about this burger bliss? Check out the trailer for the Ramen Burger film: http://vimeo.com/75558527

Food Film Fest

Burger aside, one of the surprise showstoppers for me was the Compost Cookie from David Chang’s Momofuku Milk Bar. It’s called a Compost Cookie because it crams in a TON of ingredients, including (but not limited to) potato chips, oatmeal, chocolate chips, pretzels and ground coffee. The coffee grounds really gave the cookies a mighty fine finish. They flew Compost Cookie samples in straight from NYC that morning! We even got to take a few pieces home in our goodie bags to enjoy for breakfast the next morning. :)

Food Film Fest

Inspired by this everything cookie, I knew I had to try to make a simplified version: Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Coffee Cookies.

The Makings: (Yields about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies)

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

  • Flour – 2 1/4 cups
  • Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ground coffee – 2 teaspoons
  • Butter or margarine – 1 cup (2 sticks)
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Brown sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
  • Eggs – 2
  • Chocolate Chips – 2/3 cup
  • Butterscotch Chips – 2/3 cup
  • White Chocolate Chips – 2/3 cup

The Sweetness:

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and coffee grounds together in medium bowl.

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

2. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar until creamy. Slowly mix in eggs and vanilla extract. Gradually add dry mixture into large bowl until incorporated.

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

Chocolate Butterscotch Coffee Cookies

3. Stir in chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and butterscotch chips. Use tablespoon to drop dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet. (Use extra chocolate and butterscotch chips to position on top of cookie dough drops.) Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes.

Next time around, I’d add in more coffee grounds, as the butterscotch dominated the flavor profile of these cookies, but overall I liked that you got a slightly different blend of flavors with every bite. Serve them up as a snack with a glass of milk or mug of coffee. (Hey, there’s coffee in ’em, so go ahead and take a couple for breakfast. ;)

More Sweetness:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins  Apple Pie Cookies  Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

A team potluck event = an excellent reason to bake. :) I wanted to try another cake mix cookie recipe, after having easily made a batch of Lemon Cool Whip Cookies and Strawberry White Chocolate Cookies. Using the same recipe format as the Strawberry White Chocolate batch, I just swapped the cake mix flavor from Strawberry to Betty Crocker’s Triple Chocolate Fudge and the chocolate chips to Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips.

The result was a light and fluffy cookie version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. YUM. The PB chips provided a nice amount of salt to the sweetness of the chocolate. (Plus, the recipe doesn’t call for you to use the whole bag, so you’ll have a few extra PB chips to snack on while you wait. :)) Click here for cake mix cookie recipe instructions. If you’re looking for more PB & Chocolate goodness, try these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

More Sweetness:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins  Strawberry Banana Bread  Lemon Cool Whip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana MuffinsLast month, I helped launch a Mon-STAR Milk Mustache ad campaign on behalf of one of my clients, MilkPEP, which featured Monsters University characters, Mike & Sulley.

Milk Mustache Celebrities: Monsters UniversityIn honor of the ad, my team created 3 Monsters-U inspired recipes, including these Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip & Banana Muffins. There’s also a really cute smoothie pop recipe – Perfect Pair Pops. It features green (kiwi) and blue (blueberry) fruit swirls, in honor of the colors of scare pair Mike and Sulley. Get it? :-P

The Makings: (the ingredients below make approximately 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

  • All-purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Whole wheat flour – 1/4 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Bananas – 2, ripe and mashed
  • Peanut butter – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Brown sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Canola oil – 1/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Egg – 1
  • Chocolate chips – 1 1/4 cup

Optional streusel crumble topping:

  • All-purpose flour – 1/2 cup
  • Peanut butter – 1/3 cup
  • Sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • Brown sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • Butter – 2 tablespoons, melted

The Sweetness:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with wrappers.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
2. Combine both flours, baking powder and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together bananas, peanut butter, both sugars, oil, vanilla and egg. Then, whisk in wet ingredients into dry ingredients bowl and fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
3. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 full with batter and sprinkle remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips on top of each muffin. (As an alternative, top each muffin with crumble, made by mixing together all streusel ingredients in a small bowl until sandy. I added some crumble to every other muffin in my pan.)

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
4. Bake muffins for 10 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve as part of a scarily scrumptious delicious breakfast, a lunchtime snack or dessert. These muffins came out super duper peanut buttery in taste, though you could definitely still detect the chocolate and banana flavors, too. I used creamy peanut butter for this batch, but would love to try using crunchy peanut butter next time.

This recipe was adapted from The Breakfast Project. Note: Disney and MilkPEP did not compensate me to make this recipe or promote the campaign on my blog. I whipped up a batch of these triple flavor packed muffins on my own as a small thank you to my team for their ROAR-ing good work.

More Sweetness:

Strawberry Banana Bread Lemon Cool Whip Cookies Tie Dye Cupcakes