Welcome to the first post of CHOCOLATE WEEK!!! Yummmmm!!! Except it is now more like Chocolate-a-Few-Days. Whoops. But let’s address that in a moment and for this brief moment in time let’s just revel in the glory of this first post. Today I am bringing to you a recipe for super easy, uber decadent Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownies, as well as a fabulous giveaway from Cold Stone Chocolates!! YUMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!! That’s all I can say about that.
Now, let’s address the fact that “Chocolate Week” is starting on Wednesday night. Oy. Clearly, I haven’t been on top of my game. To say the least. Last week I went to the trouble of making a bunch of chocolate recipes and photographing them (oh….and eating them, which was a major challenge…heehee) but I haven’t POSTED any of them. I also took the time to look through all of my mom’s photo albums and scan loads of old pics so that I could do a Sunday Spotlight on my mama. But, obviously, that didn’t happen either. This week has been harder for me than I anticipated.
Last week my sister moved from being in my town to being two states away. I’m bumming hard about that. And also, Sunday, July 14 was the ten year anniversary of my mother’s far-too-early death after her long, 13 year battle with breast cancer. I never know how these “events” are going to affect me. Sometimes they come and go and I hardly even notice them. And sometimes I am grocery shopping on a random Tuesday and start to cry in the brownie aisle because I suddenly miss her so much. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to it, in all honesty. But this “event” did get me down. Big time. I’m sure that is largely because it was combined with my sister leaving. Whatever the reason, I did not get her Sunday Spotlight up. I hope to bring it to you this coming Sunday. Frankly, my readers probably don’t care about a Sunday Spotlight on my mom, because it’s not like she has a blog you can go visit! But I care. So I’m doing it.
Anyway, this week has been crazy emotions all over the place. So low I can’t function and so hyper I can’t stop spray painting things. Weird. I’m hoping next week will be a bit calmer and more predictable. Only time will tell. But for now I am bringing you a partial chocolate week, and the first recipe and the giveaway are all about the divinity that resides within a Cold Stone Chocolates candy bar.
Have you heard of Cold Stone Chocolates? I’m sure you have heard of Coldstone Ice Cream. Well, Coldstone and Utah Truffles paired up to make a line of chocolate bars, and the result is……well, nothing short of perfection. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love these chocolate bars. When I tried one at the SNAP Conference I literally DREAMED about the it that night. No joke, people. So the next morning I went dashing into the sponsor room to beg for more and almost cried when I realized they weren’t going to be there for the last day of the conference. I wish I was kidding. I almost cried. I take my treats seriously, people. And I have problems. Clearly.
Luckily for me, the people at Cold Stone Chocolates love the idea of someone being obsessed with their product to a frenzied and near-psychotic state, so they set me several boxes and agreed to give my readers some Cold Stone Chocolate love as well! My tastiest sponsor, people. A LOT tastier than baby headband supplies. 😉
Cold Stone Chocolates currently has five flavors, Mmmmint Chip, Cherry Almond Sundae, Cookies & Creamery, Coffee Lovers Only, and Chocolate Devotion. The Cherry Almond Sundae is ultra dark and rich, and that is the original bar that I tried which led to frenzied dreams and mad cravings. It is very dark. And very delicious. So I decided that since it was my first love from the Cold Stone family that I would use it to create something wickedly tempting for my first recipe this week. But first let’s hear a bit about how Utah Truffles and Coldstone became a team from the CEO of The Cacao Group, Inc. And don’t forget to scroll all the way down to see how YOU can win some Cold Stone Chocolate for yourself AND for a coupon code for my readers only! LUCKY!!
* When you began to work with Cold Stone Choclates how did you decide which flavors to produce, and will you be adding any other flavors?
We were excited at the opportunity to team up with Cold Stone and create amazing chocolates under their great brand. We took four of their most popular ice cream creations and made chocolate bars based on those creations. These include Mmmmmint Chip, Cookies and Creamery, Chocolate Devotion, and Coffee Lovers Only, which are all Cold Stone trademarked names. We wanted to have an option for dark chocolate fans so we created the Cherry Almond Sundae. One of the things we like most about working with the Cold Stone brand is the unlimited number of potential chocolate creations. We are planning on seasonal flavors, promotional flavors and fan favorite flavors.
* Which flavor is your personal favorite?
Its hard to pick a favorite, it really depends on the day for me. Lately I have been sneaking a lot of the Cherry Almond Sundae bites.
* What is your favorite way to creatively eat or use Cold Stone Chocolate?
I might be boring, but I just enjoy opening up a bar and eating it.
* Where can I buy Cold Stone Chocolate?
Currently the best place to get Cold Stone Chocolates is online at www.coldstonechocolates.com. We are working with a handful of distributors to get the product into national grocery, retail, and convenience store chains for fourth quarter.
Awesome! I can’t wait to try all of the new flavors that they create!!! Now let’s talk Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownies. I decided to go with brownies because they were my chocoholic mama’s favorite. At her funeral my dad told a story I hadn’t heard before which made me laugh and laugh. I could totally see it in my mind’s eye. He told the story of how once in college as a young married couple they had invited my aunt and uncle over for dinner. When it was time for dessert my mom cut a pan of brownie in fourths, put each monster piece on a plate and slapped some ice cream on top. While everyone else gawked at the size of their dessert she devoured hers….and finished off the leftovers that everyone else couldn’t finish. LOL. I love that story. It shows me one thing for sure: I come by my big-eating, mega-sweet tooth ways naturally!
This recipe couldn’t be any simpler, but it is sure to impress. Start with your favorite brownie mix (I used the Dark Chocolate Ghiradelli brownie mix), chop up 3-5 Cold Stone Chocolates Cherry Almond Sundae bars, stir up, and bake! You could top the brownies with shopped almonds prior to baking as well if you wanted to play up the almonds. Usually I am all about HOT treats, but I was amazed by these Dark Chocolate Cherry Brownies. As yummy as they were hot from the oven, they were even better the next day! It was like they had time to really soak up all of the flavor and moisture from those bars by the second day. Either way, you are SURE to enjoy them!!!
- 1 brownie mix (and ingredients needed to complete it)
- 3-5 Cherry Almond Sundae Coldstone Chocolates bars
- chopped almonds (optional)
- Make your favorite brownie mix. I used the Ghiradelli's Dark Chocolate mix.
- Chop up 3-5 Coldstone Chocolates Cherry Almond Sundae bars.
- Mix the chocolate bar pieces into the brownie mix.
- Pour into a greased pan and top with chopped almonds if desired.
- Bake as directed on the brownie mix.
Yum, yum, yummer. I’m telling you!! Now, would you like to win $50 worth of Coldstone Chocolates?! Because one winner here on the blog will win a $50 gift card to Cold Stone Chocolates. And psssst…..two winners will win a $25 gift card each to Cold Stone Chocolates by entering the Instagram Contest that will be starting tonight!! (July 17) So you have THREE chances to win! So generous! And so exciting! So be sure to enter below, and be sure to follow me on Instagram and enter there as well!! If you don’t win that’s ok, because I have an exclusive coupon code to offer you! You can get 20% off of your purchase with the code craftquickies20. This coupon code expires September 15, 2013.
*BE HONEST, BECAUSE I WILL BE VERIFYING ALL ENTRIES! Winners will be notified when the contest closes in one week. If they do not respond within 48 hours new winners will be chosen. Good luck!*a Rafflecopter giveaway