Oh, hey there chocolate lovers and welcome to my favorite event of the year! I’m so excited to be participating in #Choctoberfest for the 4th year running. Get ready for a week of chocolate goodies around here!
#Choctoberfest is an annual recipe-sharing event. I’m joining other food bloggers from around the world to create delicious chocolate recipes. This year, over 70 bloggers are joining together for a week full of chocolate cakes, pies, cookies, puddings, tarts, candies, and more. You can follow along by searching for the hashtag #Choctoberfest on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter. Or, simply follow any of the participating bloggers listed below.
This post is sponsored in conjunction with AppleWeek . I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.
Guys, I have been chomping at the bit to share these adorable cookies with you! These are such a fun treat for the season – not only do they look like apples, they’re also loaded up with apple cider flavor! I added apple cider mix to the cookie dough, and apple cider to the icing, so you get a nice apple bite all the way through.
Also, even though these look impressive, they’re really easy to decorate – a great first project if you’re new to royal icing!
I portioned out just a little icing for the leaves and stems, then colored the rest red. After outlining all of the apples, I thinned the icing a little to flood the outlined area. Squeezed on a little stem and some leaves and voila! Apples.
The face and highlights were added with a food-safe marker (an easy way to add some extra decoration without making more icing colors)!
These were the perfect use for the sugar Imperial Sugar sent us, too! To get the depth of flavor, the cookies use both white and brown sugar, and the icing uses powdered sugar, too!
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used Imperial Sugar)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used Imperial Sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 packets hot apple cider mix
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. meringue powder
2½ cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. apple cider
3 Tbsp. water
In a stand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, baking powder, and cider mix and beat until well incorporated.
Mix in flour, one cupful at a time. If the dough is sticky after all the flour is well incorporated, add additional flour, 2 Tbsp. at a time, until no longer sticky.
Sandwich the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out until 1/4″ thick. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Once the dough is hard to the touch, cut out shapes and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes. You want to remove them before the edges start to brown. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.
When the cookies are fully cooled, make the icing:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the meringue powder, powdered sugar, cider and water. Mix until thick and glossy – about 7 minutes.
Remove 1/3 cup of the icing – tint half brown and half green. Tint the remaining icing red.
Using a piping bag, outline the cookies with the red icing, then add 1 Tbsp. cider to the remaining red and use it to flood the outlined cookies, spreading the frosting gently when needed.
Pip the stem and leaves on using the brown and green icing.
Let dry for several hours or overnight. Store in an airtight container.
Disclaimer: Thank youAppleWeek Sponsors: Swiss Diamond, Nordic Ware, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, The Spice House, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan’s Irish Oats and Nairn’s for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. TheAppleWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. TheAppleWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the AppleWeek posts or entry.
Note: I received complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.
Imperial Sugar returned as the Choctoberfest Gold Sponsor this year – and if you follow me on Facebook, you’ve already seen the amazing package they sent. I’m not sure who was more excited about it – me or the kids. (PS – if you want to win your own year’s supply of sugar, check out their Scary Scramble Contest going on now!)
When I started planning recipes for this week, I asked Jake if there was anything special he wanted to make, and without hesitation he told me, “Chocolate cake”. So, it went out our list.
It was also a great excuse to try out roasting sugar. Have you heard of this technique? I’ve seen it on a few food sites and I was super intrigued – you cook the sugar for a few hours and it gives the sugar a caramel-like flavor but you can still use it like you would regular white sugar. The results in this cake were pretty amazing – it’s more or less a regular chocolate cake, but then you get this beautiful caramel flavor at the end of the bite. I can’t overstate how awesome that touch is!
Roasting the sugar was also the only part of the cake that Jake didn’t have a hand in. He was particularly excited about helping frost the cake – and overrode my plans of topping it off with dark chocolate curls in favor of mini chocolate chips.
I absolutely love how excited he was to see the end result – and hear again and again from friends and family we shared the cake with how awesome it was. Jake kept telling me, “I made that! I’m Baker Jake!” and they recreated the cake a million times over in his play kitchen. In the middle of a crazy week, it was such a good reminder to slow down and savor the moment. Thank you, Imperial Sugar, for helping create such a fun memory with my little guy!
Roasted Sugar Chocolate Cake (a Kate’s Recipe Box original) Makes 1 9″ 3 layer cake
4 lbs. white sugar (I used Imperial brand Sugar)
3 cups of flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
7 cups powdered sugar (I used Imperial brand Sugar)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
Start by roasting the sugar. Pour 4 pounds of sugar into a glass or ceramic 9×13″ baking dish. Roast at 350 degrees for 2 hours, stirring well every 20 minutes. You want the sugar to start to turn a lightly browned color, but not to melt. Once done, cool completely and store in an airtight container.
To make the cake, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3 cups of the cooled roasted sugar. Add in the eggs, water, vegetable oil, and vanilla and mix until just combined.
Grease 3 9″ cake pans and divide cake batter evenly between pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Let cake layers cool completely before assembling the cake.
To make the frosting, sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until smooth and fluffy.
Once the cake layers are cool, frost and decorate as desired.
See the rest of today’s #Choctoberfest recipes here:
Today is one of my favorite days of the year, because it is the official start of #Choctoberfest. This is the third annual food blogger celebration of all things chocolate, made possible thanks to our gold sponsor, Imperial Sugar, and the other sponsors listed below.
Over 70 bloggers are participating in #Choctoberfest 2017 and will be posting 200+ chocolate recipes over the next week. Keep your eyes peeled, visit any of the blogs listed below, or use the #Choctoberfest hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to follow along. You can also check out our #Choctoberfest Pinterest board, where we post chocolate recipes all year long.
You can also enter to win our #Choctoberfest prize pack. Thank to our amazing sponsors who are contributing the following items for the prize:
$100 gift card to Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table from our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar
1 case of granulated white sugar (40 pounds), 1 case of light brown sugar (24 pounds), 1 case of dark brown sugar (24 pounds), and 1 case of powdered sugar (24 pounds) from our gold sponsor Imperial Sugar
16 oz Barlean’s Butter-Flavored Coconut Oil, 9.52 oz canister of Chocolate Silk Greens, and 8oz bottle of Essential Women Omega-Swirl Chocolate Mint from our silver sponsor Barlean’s
Stay tuned to see the delicious recipes bloggers have cooked up using Imperial Sugar and Barlean’s products. Thank you also to Davis Chocolate and Rodelle for being #Choctoberfest shoutout sponsors! Watch Instagram and Facebook to find out more about about their chocolate products.
Here is a complete list of all the bloggers participating in #Choctoberfest 2017, so you can see the recipes they are posting throughout the week: