Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hot Chocolate Bars

So I've decided that Mother Nature is having a temper tantrum this week.

I'm not sure what happened. Maybe she got up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe the sun burned her favorite pair of shoes (I mean, what women wouldn't get pissed over that?). Maybe she just likes picking on poor traveling families just trying to have a nice vacation at Disney World.

Or maybe God didn't want the north to have all the fun this winter.

I don't know. All I know is that I woke up Sunday morning and it was bright and sunny out and now it's 20 degrees outside.

In Florida.

Excuse me, but... WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?

You know it's cold in Florida when shops close down early because no one is leaving their house. Seriously. Us Floridians aren't like other people. We don't go, "oh, it's cold out, better take out my warm clothes!". Uhm, no. Us Floridians don't have warm clothes. We have 500 tank tops and maybe one hoodie thats stuck in the back of our closet underneath our shorts.

If you have lived in Florida for over 6 years (or all of your life), you don't go outside during winter. You stay inside, eat a lot of comfort food, and don't get out of bed until the sun comes out and makes it all better.

In other words, native Floridians go into hibernation during the winter, leaving the poor traveling families who thought they were going somewhere warm for winter in the freezing cold.

At least there are no lines at Disney. Ha ha...ha...

I don't really like the winter. I used to be in love with it, but now it bugs me. I don't like being cold and numb. I do, however, like being snug. The best part about the winter is being able to cuddle under your blankets, and drink hot chocolate, with the heat blasting and fuzzy neon green socks on your feet...

Okay, maybe the fuzzy neon green socks are just me.

I do love drinking good hot chocolate during the winter though. And not the things that come out of the packet. I mean real melted chocolate in a cup with the fluffiest marshmallows you can imagine, and maybe some whipped cream on top. There is nothing better than curling up on the sofa and drinking real hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Except...maybe, baking hot chocolate BARS with marshmallows.

Yeah, now you're talking.

These bars awesome because of four reasons:

(1) They took less than 10 minutes of prep work.
(2) They have marshmallows on top.
(3) Chocolate.

I'm all about using one bowl. It calms my soul and helps me sleep at night.

While the bars have more of a brownie texture, you can definitely taste the hot chocolatey taste in them. If I could, I probably would've either added maybe some espresso to the mix or more powdered hot chocolate to give it an extra POW, but I think it did just fine as is. And the marshmallows? Awesome touch. These definitely need to be cooled completely before cutting, or else you'll have a marvelous gooey mess on your hands. Trust me, I know from experience.

But hey, if you like melted marshmallows and half-baked chocolate goo all over your fingers and counter-top, more power to you!

Just don't expect me to come over and clean your kitchen.

It's too cold for that sort of thing.

Hot Chocolate bars with Marshmallow Topping

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup dark chocolate (I used semi-sweet)
1/2 cup hot chocolate powder (I would up this to maybe 3/4 cup next time)
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups marshmallows


1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a 8x8 pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray or butter it.

2. Melt the 1/2 cup butter with the chocolate. Stir until smooth and glossy. Pour into a large mixing bowl. (I just melted the butter/chocolate together in the microwave in my mixing bowl)

3. Add in chocolate powder, egg, milk/cream, and sugar. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

4. Add flour and baking powder (you don't have to whisk together beforehand), mix until there are no signs of flour left.

5. Press into your prepared 8x8 pan.

6. Bake for 15 minutes. Top with marshmallows and then bake for an extra 2 minutes or until the top of the marshmallows are just slightly brown. For better presentation, use the back of a spoon to gently push the marshmallows down into the bars without smashing them completely.


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