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When I have a craving, it's usually for something of the deep dark chocolate kind with a good dose of coffee flavoring.  I love the rich taste of this combination.  Here are two of my favorites:

h3.Chocolate Espresso Pudding (I've adapted the original from Cooking Light)

4 servings

½ C packed dark brown sugar
¼ C cornstarch
3 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp either instant espresso or instant coffee
1/8 tsp kosher salt
2 C vanilla flavored soy milk (or if you're into the cow thing-use either skim or low fat milk)
1/3 C 60% chocolate chips
1 tsp. almond extract (vanilla works-as does raspberry, if you really want to be creative)

In a 2 quart heavy saucepan, combine the first 5 ingredients-stirring well with a whisk.  Slowing stir in the soy milk.  Bring it to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce to a simmer and cook 1 minute OR until mixture thickens.  Turn off the heat and add the chocolate chips and extract until everything is smooth.  Each serving is about ½ C-measure out into serving cups and cover with plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 4 hours.

These aren't my favorite brownies, but they are easy, quick and very tasty:

Mocha Fudge Brownies-makes about 2 dozen

1 C flour
½ tsp powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
1/3 C instant coffee
1/3 C very hot water
½ C each dark brown and white sugar
½ C butter flavored shortening
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 C bittersweet (60% or more chocolate) chocolate chips
3 eggs-beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9" pan with canola oil

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl.  In a small pan, combine the coffee, water, sugars and shortening.  Over medium heat and stirring very frequently, bring the mixture to a boil.  Turn off the heat and add the chips and extract. Stir until chips have melted and mixture is very smooth.  Stir in eggs about the equivalent of one at a time-mixing in thoroughly each time.  Stir in the flour mixture.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes in the middle of the oven.  Cool completely on a wire rack.  

You can finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar-but they really don't need it!

Another favorite in my house is lemon coconut bars.  Everyone usually has their own favorite lemon bar recipes, as do I-but since the two men I live with love coconut I began sprinkling a cup of the unsweetened kind over mine just before I pop them into the oven.  They are heavenly!

Next week-Lunch!


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