Chocolate Ricotta Mousse

Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Ricotta Mousse

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Reese’s Pieces Krispie Treaties

Reese’s Pieces Krispie Treaties, adapted from Martha Stewart

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Chocolate Cake

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake, as published in The Washington Post

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Cheesecake-Stuffed Peaches

Cheesecake-Stuffed Peaches, from Better Homes & Gardens

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Chocolate Pavlova

Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Pavlova

It may sound like a chore to some, but I love making my own birthday cake. Although I could just treat myself to my fall-back favorite each year (coconut cake piled high with fluffy white frosting…drool…), I instead try something new every year.  This year I decided to go a little untraditional by making this chocolate pavlova. A cocoa-scented meringue base, filled with rich chocolate cream and topped with whipped cream pillows and fine chocolate shavings, it did its job of holding a birthday candle and leaving my guests wanting more.

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Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Two Peas and Their Pod’s Chocolate Mint Chip Cookies

Yes, you can buy green baking chips–with a kick of mint!  If you’ve never seen these before, I used Guittard’s Green Mint Chips.  But you don’t need to save your green and mint confections just for Christmas–these cookies were fun for a St. Patrick’s Day dessert!

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Peach Frozen Yogurt

Peach Frozen Yogurt

You can’t get much more pure than this: a frozen treat made with just fresh fruit, protein-packed Greek yogurt, and a bit of honey.

I forgot to take a photo when I made this, so I am borrowing the recipe author’s:

Chocolate Brioche Pudding

Chocolate Brioche Pudding, from David Guas’s DamGoodSweet, as published in The Washington Post

What do you do with an ample supply of brioche and cream?  Make brioche pudding, of course!  How do you make it even more decadent?  Bathe the brioche in a thick chocolate custard!  And then top with powdered sugar!

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Heart-Shaped Tortilla Chips

Heart-Shaped Tortilla Chips

So guess what I got stuck with bringing to the pre-school Valentine’s Day party?

Tortillas chips.

Seriously??

Of all the fun heart-themed cookies, cupcakes or candies I could have made, I got stuck with tortilla chips.  But did I run to the store and just buy a bag of Tostitos?

No.  I couldn’t.  I needed to contribute to the theme.  So I decided to cut a stack of tortillas into hearts and bake my own.  Which really is not that hard or time-consuming,  You can cut a few tortillas at once (which is  actually easier than cutting them one at a time), and they only take 5-7 minutes to bake.

The cut tortillas, coated in oil, salted and ready to bake:

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The baked tortillas:

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Apple Fruit Leather

Apple Fruit Leather, adapted from Simply Recipes

Yup, I’m still burning through the apples we picked six weeks ago…and I’m getting sick of them!  So what better way to use up a lot of apples at once than cook them up and dry them into fruit leather?

There are so many variations in making fruit leather, so feel free to loosely follow Simply Recipes’ method and adapt this as you go along.  Once you have a thick, tasty purée prepared, my only advice is to just bake it low and slow, keeping an eye on it after about 6 hours.  The leather will be ready once it is no longer sticky to the touch.

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