Dessert

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Good morning, everyone! Fudge week is continuing here on Lemon & Mocha with this Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge. Similar to Monday’s variation, the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge introduces a tart element that pairs extremely well with the rich chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Sometimes in the fall and winter flavors can become really heavy so I love having a dessert with a bright fruitiness or acidity, which is exactly what we get with this Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge. I’ve taken our classic chocolate fudge base and added raspberry extract before topping it off with some freeze dried raspberries and mini semisweet chocolate chips.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

If you’ve had the World’s Smoothest Chocolate Fudge then you know it’s quite rich in its chocolate flavor so it takes a bit to break through all that chocolateyness. The amount of raspberry extract and freeze dried raspberries we’re adding allows the fudge to balance the fine line of the raspberry flavor being present while being neither overpowering nor too subtle.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

The reason we’re using freeze dried raspberries instead of fresh raspberries is because when they are freeze dried the flavor becomes more concentrated, which is exactly what we need in this recipe. Also, we’re able to get the raspberry flavor without any additional moisture that fresh fruit would bring. You can find freeze dried raspberries in quite a few stores; I’ve bought them in both Target and Trader Joe’s.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Don’t forget the mini semisweet chocolate chips on top! Since they’re just chocolate on top of more chocolate they don’t actually add any flavor nuances to this fudge, but they make it look even cuter between all the pops of red from the raspberries and adding a nice textural bit to the topping. Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fudge
 
Yield: 64 pieces
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce unsweetened Baker’s baking chocolate
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry extract
  • Freeze dried raspberries for topping, about 3 tablespoons
  • Mini semisweet chocolate chips for topping, about 3 tablespoons
Directions
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Double Boiler Method: If not using a double boiler, skip to the next step. Melt butter and the Baker’s chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour in half the bag of chocolate chips and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of chocolate chips and stir until fully melted. Carefully stir in the condensed milk to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the raspberry extract. Skip to step 4.
  3. Saucepan Method: Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a medium nonstick saucepan over low heat, stirring regularly with a heatproof spatula to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and stir to combine. Let the mixture get a little warm then pour in half the bag of chocolate chips. Stir to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of chocolate chips and stir until fully melted, being sure to scrape the bottom as you stir. Stir in the raspberry extract and remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Top with the freeze dried raspberries. Let cool very slightly then top with the mini chocolate chips. Press down lightly and refrigerate until the fudge is set. Once set cut into bite size pieces.

 

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Fudge

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Fudge season is back! I know I posted the Dirt Fudge recipe this summer and talked about how fudge is delicious all year round, which is true, but it still peaks during the holiday season. I have a special 12 Days of Christmas Cookies planned so my holiday post schedule filled up quickly, which is why I’m sharing this Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Fudge recipe with you all when it’s still October.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s never too early to start planning holiday baking and treat gifting! In fact, to help you out I’m sharing brand new fudge recipes with you all week long. That’s three new epic fudge creations!

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’m kicking off Lemon & Mocha’s fudge week with something simple. I’ve taken Diane’s classic, tried-and-true, World’s Smoothest Chocolate Fudge and I’ve added some chopped pistachios and sweetened dried cranberries. The crunch of the pistachios plus the tartness of the dried cranberries are a perfect addition to this rich and creamy dark chocolate fudge. And, bonus, how cute do the little bits of red and green look for Christmas time?

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

I’ve always made fudge using a double boiler as that is how Diane taught me, but last year I had success using just a nonstick saucepan. I tested it out for quite a few batches and had positive results every time so I’ve included both the double boiler method and the saucepan method in the recipe below. I can’t wait for you all to experience the rest of Lemon & Mocha fudge week – the next two recipes are outrageous!

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Fudge  |  Lemon & Mocha

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Cranberry Fudge
 
Yield: 64 pieces
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce unsweetened Baker’s baking chocolate
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup shelled pistachios, chopped, plus more for topping
  • ⅓ cup sweetened dried cranberries, plus more for topping
Directions
  1. Line an 8" x 8" pan with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Double Boiler Method: If not using a double boiler, skip to the next step. Melt butter and the Baker’s chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour in half the bag of chocolate chips and stir with a heatproof rubber spatula to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of chocolate chips and stir until fully melted. Carefully stir in the condensed milk to combine and remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract, the pistachios and the dried cranberries. Skip to step 4.
  3. Saucepan Method: Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a medium nonstick saucepan over low heat, stirring regularly with a heatproof spatula to make sure the chocolate doesn’t burn. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and stir to combine. Let the mixture get a little warm then pour in half the bag of chocolate chips. Stir to help melt. Once partially melted add the rest of the bag of chocolate chips and stir until fully melted, being sure to scrape the bottom as you stir. Stir in the vanilla extract, the pistachios and the dried cranberries and remove from the heat.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Top with additional pistachios and dried cranberries, lightly press down.
  5. Refrigerate until the fudge is set then cut into bite size pieces. Best eaten straight from the fridge.

 

Apple Spice Mini Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream

Apple Spice Mini Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s time for the final seasonal cupcakes on Lemon & Mocha! Of course not the last seasonal cupcakes I’m ever going to post, just the final ones this year. For those of you who haven’t been following along, last year for my birthday my goddaughter gifted me with unique cupcake toppers from Etsy for each season. The cute toppers inspired plenty of delicious cupcakes all year long, including winter’s Hot Chocolate Cupcakes, the Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes in spring and summer’s Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream.

Apple Spice Mini Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

There are so many warm and inviting fall flavors to choose from so I decided to go with two of my favorites: apple and maple. These are Apple Spice Mini Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream – and they are crazy delicious. The cupcake is moist, loaded with shredded apple and filled with plenty of the warming spices you find in apple pie, such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Apple Spice Mini Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

The buttercream on top balances both the maple and brown sugar flavors while bringing the perfect amount of sweetness to the little apple spiced cupcakes. There’s also a hint of saltiness in the buttercream, which really works well with the sweet flavors.

Apple Spice Mini Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

I chose to make mini cupcakes this time because I’ve been baking so many desserts that just a little mini cupcake (or two) was preferable to having a huge cupcake every time. They were super easy to frost with a piping bag, too, because each one just needs a little dollop of frosting.

Apple Spice Mini Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

I was worried about making a cupcake filled with fruit because sometimes it can add too much moisture to the batter, as seen from a few failed experiments I had this summer. I’m excited to report that the combination of straining and squeezing the shredded apple dry to get as much liquid out as possible worked perfectly to allow for a moist apple-filled cupcake, while still having that light and springy texture an ideal cupcake should have. I hope you all love these cute fall mini cupcakes as much as we do!

Apple Spice Mini Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream  |  Lemon & Mocha

Apple Spice Mini Cupcakes with Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream
 
Yield: 48 mini cupcakes
Ingredients
for the cupcakes
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup buttermilk (see note)
  • 3 cups peeled, shredded and strained gala apples, about 3-4 medium apples
for the frosting
  • 2¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
for the cupcakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 24 cup mini muffin pan with mini cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high for 2 minutes, scrapping down the sides as needed. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Add the buttermilk and beat on low until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until a few streaks remain. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the shredded apple, making sure you’ve strained the water out and squeezed the apple shreds dry with a paper towel or cheesecloth.
  4. Use half the batter to fill the 24 prepared mini cupcake liners. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool for a couple minutes in the pan then carefully move the mini cupcakes to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Add 24 more cupcake liners to the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter.
for the frosting
  1. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the confectioners’ sugar, brown sugar, butter and salt, first on low then on medium until fluffy. Add the maple syrup and vanilla then beat on medium-high until combined. Frost the cooled cupcakes. If piping on the frosting, use a Wilton 1M tip to pipe small star swirls onto each mini cupcake.
Notes
To make your own buttermilk: pour 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Pour milk, any fat percentage, into the measuring cup until you have ¾ of a cup. Let sit 5 minutes before using.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Chowhound.
Frosting recipe adapted from Country Living.

Butterscotch Pumpkin Haystacks

Butterscotch Pumpkin Haystacks  |  Lemon & Mocha

Once October hits I am all about the pumpkins. Not just pumpkin flavors, like Friday’s Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies, but actual pumpkins. My house is usually covered in them during this time of year, from actual pumpkins on our doorstep, pumpkin wreath on our door, indoor ceramic pumpkins, fabric pumpkins, wood signs with pumpkins… you get the idea!

Butterscotch Pumpkin Haystacks  |  Lemon & Mocha

One other form of pumpkin I look forward to this time of year are mellowcreme pumpkins. Yes! Those corn syrup, sugary pumpkin candies that look like candy corn, but taste way better. The little sugar bombs are creamy on the inside and look so adorable right before you snarf them down. I have tasted plenty that taste waxy so the brand you buy is key in them actually tasting delicious or not. My go-to is Zachary’s, which can be difficult to find, but I can usually find them at the Christmas Tree Shop. I normally hate Brach’s, however, I believe they may have changed their recipe, including adding honey, and I bought a bag this year that was actually pretty good.

Butterscotch Pumpkin Haystacks  |  Lemon & Mocha

The reason we’re buying these cute sugary pumpkin candies is so we can make cute nostalgic haystack treats! Did you have these when you were a kid? I haven’t had them for years and years, but I was dying to make some.

Butterscotch Pumpkin Haystacks  |  Lemon & Mocha

Butterscotch flavored chips are melted down and then mixed together with creamy peanut butter, mini marshmallows and crunchy chow mein noodles. You drop them onto a baking sheet to make little haystacks; don’t forget to plop a little mellowcreme pumpkin onto each one! The combination may sound a bit strange, but they are buttery, sweet, crunchy and crazy addictive. I couldn’t stop eating them!

Butterscotch Pumpkin Haystacks  |  Lemon & Mocha

It’s a good thing I made only a half batch, which you can easily do. The recipe below will make about seventy haystacks so you will probably want to halve it as well unless you are making them for a party or a large group of people. Some recipes substitute peanuts for the mini marshmallows, but I love the soft and gooey texture they add. Have you ever had these fun and tasty treats before?

Butterscotch Pumpkin Haystacks  |  Lemon & Mocha

Butterscotch Pumpkin Haystacks
 
Yield: about 70 haystacks
Ingredients
  • 11-ounce bag of butterscotch flavored morsels (about 1⅔ cups)
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • 2 5-ounce cans chow mein noodles
  • 1-2 bags pumpkin mellowcremes
Directions
  1. Line 2 baking sheets that will fit in your fridge with wax paper and set aside.
  2. Melt the butterscotch morsels using either a double boiler or a microwave. If you’re using a double boiler, melt the morsels over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then skip to the next step. If you’re using a microwave, heat the morsels in a large microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir then continue to microwave and stir in 15 second increments until they’re melted.
  3. Stir in the peanut butter and the mini marshmallows. Stir in both cans of the chow mein noodles until completely coated. Spoon little stacks onto the prepared baking sheets, adding a pumpkin mellowcreme to each stack. Put in the fridge to set completely.
  4. Once set, you can either store at room temperature or in the fridge.

Recipe from Nestle.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies

Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Happy October! I know it’s been October since Tuesday and I’ve already posted since then, but now that I’m sharing a pumpkin recipe with you all it feels more official. I’m super unique and love pumpkin recipes in the fall. Especially baked goods because the smell that fills up the kitchen is amazing.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies  |  Lemon & MochaFood Network Magazine stayed true to the season and made their October cookies these Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies. I’ve made whoopie pies in the past, but they turned out a little dense so I was curious to see how their pumpkin spice version would stack up.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

First of all, I love that the cookies for these whoopie pies are so cute and little! Especially because once you sandwich two together with some filling it ends up being quite a lot so they really are the perfect size.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Second, they are moist, definitely not dense and packed with pumpkin spice goodness! I ate one on its own while it was still warm and it was so good. Kind of like a little pumpkin cake in a cookie shape.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The filling is a coffee buttercream, which is a delicious combination with the pumpkin flavoring. Don’t forget the fun fall sprinkles to roll them in!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Pumpkin Spice Latte Whoopie Pies
 
Yield: 15-16 2" whoopie pies
Ingredients
for the cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
for the filling
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1½ sticks), at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Fall sprinkles or nonpareils, for decorating
Directions
for the cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, making sure to position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds positions. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in the large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the egg, beat until combined. Add the pumpkin puree and beat on low speed until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined.
  4. Scoop 1½ tablespoon mounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Use damp fingers to shape them into rounds. Alternatively, use a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip to pipe 1½-inch rounds of batter. Bake for 14-16 minutes, switching the pans halfway through baking. They are done when they’re golden and the tops spring back with lightly pressed. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet set on a wire cooling rack then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Let the baking sheets cool slightly then repeat with the remaining batter.
for the filling
  1. Combine the milk and instant coffee in a small bowl until the coffee dissolves.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes, or until smooth. Add the milk mixture then beat on medium-low until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until slightly firm.
  3. When the cookies are cool and the filling is slightly firm, sandwich about 1 tablespoon of filling between 2 cookies. Roll the edges in sprinkles. If the filling is too soft, refrigerate the whoopie pies for 30 minutes, but let sit at room temperature before serving.

 Recipe adapted from January/February 2019 issue of Food Network Magazine.

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