Monday, March 18, 2019

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES IN A JAR: National Oatmeal Cookie Day

Tomorrow is Oatmeal Cookie Day! Oatmeal and Chocolate are both excellent foods to lower your cholesterol and keep your heart healthy. O.K., so there's a lot of sugar and butter in this recipe, and that's not all that healthy, but I'm making cookies, and they taste better with sugar and butter. :-)

I posted a recipe last year for Vanishing Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. That's a great recipe, but this recipe continues my "Cookies in a Jar" series. It's simple and easy and makes a great gift. Not into gifting this mix? Just make the cookies!

I usually use either dark Guittard or dark Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips in this recipe, but use whatever you have or like.

As I've mentioned in other Cookies in a Jar mixes, be sure and tamp down each layer of ingredients as you fill the jar. Wipe excess off the insides with a dry paper towel after each addition. When my Jar is finished, I add a piece of burlap over the top and tie with raffia. I  place a label directly on the jar, but you can make a tag and attach with raffia or ribbon.

Note: If you're worried about people with nut allergies, put the walnuts in a plastic bag, cut excess off bag and tie tightly. Attach to the jar with raffia or ribbon. Add a note about the nuts on your instructions.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Mix in a Jar

Ingredients
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats (I use Quaker Oats)
1 1/2  cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions
Use a 1 quart jar, layering ingredients in the order given. You can mix the baking powder, flour and salt together and make that a layer. Pack down after each addition. Put lid on, and cover with a circle of burlap and tie with raffia.

Attach the following instructions:

Preheat oven to 350° F.
In medium bowl, cream together 3/4 cup softened butter, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla.
Add the entire contents of jar.
Mix by hand until combined.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto unprepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in preheated oven.

Makes 2 dozen.

Love this Vintage Oatmeal Ad. Husky? Only if you add lots of sugar and butter!

Sunday, March 17, 2019

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE MOUSSE: St Patrick's Day

Looking for one more recipe for St Patrick's Day?

I love cooking with Guinness, so I went to the Guinness website to see what's new.

Check out this recipe and video for Guinness Chocolate Mousse. Recipe below.

The recipe does call for raw eggs, so if you're worried, you might want to use a substitute. Definitely watch the video for tips! Thanks, Guinness!

 

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
Serves 6

Ingredients
10 egg yolks 10 egg whites, whisked
350g dark chocolate, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 lb unsalted butter
100g caster sugar  (icing sugar or superfine sugar)  100g = 1/2 cups
GUINNESS® draught

Directions  (watch video for more specifics)*
Melt dark chocolate and butter in metal bowl or pan over saucepan of simmering water, add in GUINNESS® draught.
Beat egg yolks and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
Mix in melted chocolate mixture with egg yolks and slowly folding in the whisked egg whites until everything is smooth.
Transfer mousse to serving glasses and chill.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

LUCKY CLOVER CAKE: Retro Ad & Recipe for St Patrick's Day

"No Luck Needed to bake this Lucky Clover Cake." I just love Retro Ads with Recipes, and this 1950 Crisco Ad for Lucky Clover Cake is just perfect for St Patrick's Day.


Lucky Clover Cake 
(Makes two 9-inch layers)

Follow directions carefully, be sure to use Crisco, and we promise you a lighter, richer, moister, more tender cake. The Crisco Quick Method cake recipe is different – that’s why it’s easy and sure-fire! 

All measurements level.

Measure into bowl:
 2 cups sifted cake flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 squares melted chocolate
1/2 cup Crisco

Mix thoroughly by hand or mixer (medium speed) for 2 minutes. Stir in: 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1-1/2 tsps baking soda Add: 1/2 cup milk, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla Mix thoroughly by hand or mixer (medium speed) for 2 minutes. Pour into two deep 9-inch layer pans (1 1/2″ deep) which have been rubbed with Crisco and lined with heavy waxed paper. (For smaller pans, fill half full, bake cupcakes with remaining batter.) Bake in moderate oven (350 F) for about 40 mins. Cool cake in pan on rack 15 mins before removing. Loosen edges from pan with spatula. Place rack over cake and pan, invert together. Cool and frost with

FLUFFY ICING 

1-1/2 cups sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites, unbeaten

Place all ingredients in top of double boiler. Set the top of the double boiler into the bottom which contains boiling water. Cook, beating constantly with an egg beater until the icing stands in peaks (about 7 mins). To about 1/4 of the icing, add a few drops of green coloring to tint to the desired shade, and about 2 drops of peppermint flavoring. Spread between layers. Cover top and sides of cake with white icing. Arrange green Jordan almonds in clover designs on top of cake.

Friday, March 15, 2019

BAILEY'S IRISH CREAM FUDGE: St Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, so I thought I'd post an easy recipe for Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge. This recipe is adapted from Fantasy-Ireland.com. As I've mentioned, you can find some great recipes in some unusual places: Food Associations, Travel Sites, and other product sites.

Bailey's comes in different 'flavors', and your fudge will change flavor, too, when you use Mint Bailey's Irish Cream or Coffee Irish Cream or Creme Caramel Irish Cream. Try them all.


BAILEY'S IRISH CREAM FUDGE

Ingredients:
2-12 oz milk chocolate (35-45% cacao), chopped, or 2-12 oz packages of milk chocolate chips
12 oz dark chocolate (65-85% cacao), chopped or a 12 oz. package semisweet chocolate chips
2-7oz jars of marshmallow creme
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup Bailey's Irish Cream
2 cups chopped nuts (optional)
4 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1-12 oz can evaporated milk
1/2 pound unsalted Irish butter, softened

Directions:
In very large bowl, combine milk chocolate chips, semisweet chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, vanilla extract, Irish Cream, and nuts (if you are adding them). Set this mixture aside.
Line 10 X 15 baking pan with foil and spread lightly with butter.
In medium saucepan, combine granulated sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. Bring to gentle boil over medium heat and cook slowly, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.
Pour milk mixture into chocolate chip mixture. Stir slowly by hand to combine. It is very important to do this by hand and NOT use any kind of mixer.
Pour fudge into prepared pan and chill until set.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE PIE: National Pi(e) Day & St Patrick's Day

For the Love of Pi(e)! Today is National Pi(e) Day. In order to celebrate and keeping in mind that St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner, I've gone back into my archives for a favorite Chocolate Pie Recipe: Guinness Chocolate Silk Pie. I can't think of a better pie to celebrate both holidays! You can use any stout, of course, but Guinness is easily available! I make a chocolate cookie crust, but you can use a graham cracker crust or a vanilla wafer crust. I think the stout brings out the chocolate.

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE SILK PIE

Chocolate Cookie Crust

Ingredients
30 chocolate wafers (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Dash of Salt
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract

Directions
Whirl cookies in food processor until finely ground.
Put crumbs in mixing bowl; combine crumbs, butter, salt, and vanilla; stir until crumbs are moistened.
Press mixture evenly across bottom of 9-inch pie plate and up sides of pan; pack tightly so crust is even and compacted.
Bake in 350° oven for 6 minutes until crisp.
Cool before filling.

Filling:
12 ounces dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped
24 large marshmallows
Pinch of salt
2/3 cups Guinness
1/3 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp creme de cacao or Kahlua

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Make crust (see above)

Place chocolate, marshmallows, and salt in blender or food processor. Blend until well mixed and chocolate is finely ground.
In two separate pans, heat Guinness and evaporated milk until very hot, but not boiling.
Slowly pour hot Guinness over marshmallows and chocolate in blender. Add hot cream. Cover and blend for one minute.
Add vanilla and creme de cacao or Kahlua. Blend for one minute.
Pour into cooled crust and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Top with Whipped Cream or Guinness Ice Cream

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

CHOCOLATE CHIP HAMENTASCHEN for PURIM

The Jewish Holiday of Purim is celebrated this weekend, and that means it's time for Hamentaschen. Hamentaschen are three pointed pastries with delicious fillings. Traditionally that means mun (prune), but since this is a chocolate blog, and chocolate is my favorite, I suggest chocolate chip hamentaschen with a variety of chocolate fillings!

Why does the pastry have three corners in the shape of a triangle? That would be because Hamentaschen are shaped like Hamen's Hat. Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Hamen, who planned to kill all the Jews. This took place in the ancient Achaemenid Perisan Empire and is recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. It's a fun holiday with food, drink, gifts, and charity -- and costumes. Interesting to note, when I was a child I didn't dress as Queen Esther as most of the other little girls did. No, I was a hamentaschen. I made my own costume out of a paperbag, painting in the filling. It was a surprise to my classmates and family, but certainly foretold my future career and interests.

Here are two recipes for CHOCOLATE CHIP HAMENTASCHEN. The first is from MyJewishLearning. The second recipe is Paula Soyer's recipe and appeared in Hadassah Magazine. They're both great. Let me know which you prefer.

1. CHOCOLATE CHIP HAMENTASCHEN 
(from MyJewish Learning)

Ingredients 

For the dough: 
½ cup butter (or margarine), at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 egg
1 Tbsp milk (or almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups + 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
 ¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Filling suggestions: 
Chocolate hazelnut spread
Dulce de leche
Cookie butter
Chocolate chips + mini marshmallows

Directions 
Beat butter and sugars together until smooth. Add egg, milk, and vanilla until mixed thoroughly.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in separate bowl.
Add dry mixture to wet mixture until incorporated.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Chill dough for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Dust work surface with flour to keep the dough from sticking. Cut dough in half and roll out in batches. Roll dough to about ¼ – ½ inch thick. Using round cookie cutter, cut dough and place onto cookie sheet. To keep dough from sticking to cookie cutter, dip cutter in flour before each cut. (In place of a cookie cutter, you can also use a regular drinking glass or mason jar top).
Fill cookies with scant 1/2 tsp of chocolate hazelnut spread, dulce de leche, cookie butter or a few chocolate chips + mini marshmallow in each round. Pinch circle into triangle.
Repeat with remaining dough, putting scraps back into dough 3-4 times until all dough has been used. Place cookies on baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper and place entire baking sheet into freezer for 5 minutes before baking (or put in fridge for 10-15 minutes). This will ensure the cookie don’t fall apart while baking.
Bake for 8 minutes.
Allow to cool before serving.

2. CHOCOLATE CHIP HAMENTASCHEN 
(recipe by Paula Shoyer)

Dough 
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
Dash of salt
3 ozs semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces, no larger than 1/4 inch

Filling
6 1/2 ozs semisweet or bittersweet chocolate cut into 1/2-inch squares, or 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Directions
In large bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add flour and salt and mix until dough comes together. Gently mix in chopped chocolate. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave in fridge for one hour to firm up.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Divide dough in half.
Take another two pieces of parchment paper and sprinkle flour on one, place one dough half on top, and then sprinkle a little more flour on top of dough. Place second piece of parchment on top of dough and roll on top of parchment until dough is about 1/4-inch thick. Every few rolls, peel back top parchment and sprinkle a little more flour on dough.
Use 2- to 3-inch drinking glass or round cookie cutter to cut  dough into circles. Use metal flat-blade spatula to lift up circle of dough and place on another part of flour-sprinkled parchment paper. Place one, 1/2-inch square of chocolate or 7 chocolate chips into the center and then fold three sides in toward middle to form a triangle, leaving small opening in center. Pinch three sides together tightly. Place on prepared cookie sheets. Repeat with remaining dough and roll and cut any dough scraps, making sure to sprinkle a little flour under and over dough before you roll.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned but tops are still light. Slide parchment paper onto wire racks to cool the cookies. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

BAILEY'S IRISH CREAM CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE: St Patrick's Day

I'm posting recipes for St Patrick's Day all week. This recipe for Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake is adapted from allrecipes.com. Perfect for your St Paddy's Day celebration! It's easy to make and decidedly Irish. Be sure and check out the Bailey's Irish Cream Whipped Cream recipe at the end. It's great on this cheesecake and in your coffee on St Patrick's Day!

Bailey's Irish Cream Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (whirl them in a food processor)
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened Ghirardelli or Scharffen Berger cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter (I use Kerrygold - an Irish butter)
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened Ghirardelli or Scharffen Berger Cocoa powder
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Bailey's Irish Cream

Directions
Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, confectioners' sugar, and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add melted butter and stir until well mixed. Pat into bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes; set aside. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

Cheesecake:
In large bowl, combine cream cheese, white sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, and flour. Beat at medium speed until well blended and smooth. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in sour cream and Bailey's; mixing on low speed. Pour filling over baked crust.
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F, and continue baking for 60 minutes.
With knife, loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool, then remove rim of pan. Chill before serving.

Tip: If your cake cracks, dampen spatula and smooth top, then sprinkle with some chocolate wafer crumbs.

You can also top this Cheesecake with Bailey's Whipped Cream (or make some and add to your coffee!)

Bailey's Whipped Cream

Ingredients
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp Baileys Irish Cream

Directions
Whip heavy cream to soft peaks.
Add Baileys Irish Cream and whisk until combined.

Monday, March 11, 2019

GUINNESS CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES: St Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is coming up! Time to bring out the Guinness.

I've posted this easy recipe in the past. You can really taste the Guinness in these truffles.Guinness goes very well with Chocolate! Hoist a few of these:

CHOCOLATE GUINNESS TRUFFLES

Ingredients
3/4 cup Guinness
1 pound dark chocolate  (65-75% cacao), chopped
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Cocoa
Optional: chopped nuts

Directions
Melt chocolate in top of a double boiler or saucepan over another saucepan with simmering water.
Gradually stir in cream.
Gradually add Guinness, stirring gently to blend.
Cover and chill overnight.
Shape mixture into 3/4 inch balls, using about a tablespoon for each.
Roll in cocoa (optional: then roll in nuts)

Need some more St. Patrick's Day Chocolate Recipes?

Guinness Chocolate Silk Pie
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
Chocolate Irish Soda Bread with Guinness Ice Cream
Bailey's Irish Cream Truffles (made with Kerry Gold Pure Irish Butter)
Bailey's Chocolate Trifle
You Make Me Want to Stout Cupcakes (Scharffen Berger)
Bailey's Irish Cream Fudge

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Homemade Mounds Bars: Retro Ad & Recipe

I love Retro Ads, especially those with recipes. Here's a Retro Ad from Welch's for Chocolate Covered Coconut Bars. Mounds Bars are made by Hersheys, but it's close enough. The recipe on the Ad is for Chocolate Covered Cocoanut Bars with the final line on the recipe:

"But why go to all this work when no one makes cocoanut bars better than Welch!"


So if you're inclined to make your own, here's the recipe! 



Saturday, March 9, 2019

THIN MINT COCKTAILS

Thin Mints are my favorite Girl Scout Cookies. In case you just want your cookies and alcohol blended into a cocktail, here are two recipes for Thin Mint Cocktails.Let me know which one you like best!

Thin Mint Martini

1 tsp chocolate syrup
1 ounce peppermint schnapps
2 ounces chocolate liqueur
2 ounces half & half

Drizzle chocolate syrup around and inside edge of martini glass. Put glass in freezer
Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Pour peppermint schnapps, chocolate liqueur, and 1/2 and 1/2 into shaker. cover, shake, and strain martini into prepared glass.

Thin Mint Cocktail

In cocktail shaker, put 2 chopped springs of fresh mint and 1.5 ounces vodka.
Add 1-12 ounces Baileys, 1 Tbsp chocolate syrup, and ice. Shake. Add more chocolate if needed. Add some chocolate syrup at bottom of cocktail glass.

Friday, March 8, 2019

CHOCOLATE PEANUT CLUSTERS: Peanut Cluster Day

Today is National Peanut Cluster Day. This should come as no surprise because March is National Peanut Month. Peanuts are a nutrient rich super food that contains vitamins E, magnesium, and B6. Add heart healthy dark chocolate with antioxidants, and you have an incredibly healthy treat!


Here's an easy recipe for Chocolate Peanut Clusters. Remember, your finished product (and taste) is only as good as your ingredients. Use the best chocolate and peanuts!

CHOCOLATE PEANUT CLUSTERS

Ingredients
12 ounces dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
12 ounces peanut butter chips
12 ounces roasted salted peanuts

Directions
Combine chocolate chips and peanut butter chips in top of double boiler (or saucepan over saucepan over simmering water). Stir over medium heat until melted. Add peanuts and stir.
Drop by teaspoon full onto wax paper.
Refrigerate until firm (30 minutes or so)

How easy is that?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Cartoon of the Day: Cooking Magazine


SNOW GHOST COCOA CREAM PIE: Retro Ad & Recipe

It's cold and snowy in lots of places in the U.S. today, so this pie is just right! It's called Snow Ghost Pie aka Snow Ghost Cocoa Cream Pie. It's pretty chilly out there, so I like the name of this pie. This Snow Ghost Pie is easy and really good.

This Retro Ad from Hershey says "Snow Ghost Pie tastes as good today as it did when Granma baked in back in '33." I wasn't around in 33, and I doubt my grandmother would have baked this, but I've made it since. This recipe appeared in the original 1934 Hershey's Cookbook (and the facsimile). There's a story in the Advertisement that you'll want to read. Not sure if Hershey was doing this as a take-off of the Baker's Chocolate Story Ads & Recipes, or not.

So celebrate today with Snow Ghost Pie! Be sure to scroll down for the recipe.


Snow Ghost Cocoa Cream Pie 

Ingredients
1 9-inch baked pastry shell or crumb crust
1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Sweetened whipped cream

Directions
Combine cocoa, sugar, salt, and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Gradually blend milk into dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until filling boils; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; blend in butter and vanilla. Pour into pie crust. Carefully press plastic wrap directly onto pie filling. Cool; chill 3 to 4 hours. Remove plastic wrap.
Garnish with whipped cream.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

ONE BOWL OREO BROWNIES: National Oreo Day

Oreo Ad: 1960
Happy Birthday, Oreo! Today is Oreo Day! The Oreo is America's Favorite Cookie! This cookie debuted on March 6, 1912 by the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco, now owned  by Kraft). The original Oreo was packaged as a Trio: the Mother Goose, the Veronese, and the Oreo Biscuit. Oreo was the most popular, and soon was a stand-alone, well as far as cookies go, because you always need milk with Oreos!

In 1921, Nabisco dropped 'Biscuit' from the name and called it 'Oreo Sandwich'. In 1948 it was called the 'Oreo Creme Sandwich' and today it's marketed as the Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookie.  Over the years there have been many variations -- Mini Oreos, Double Delight,  Triple stuffed, Lemon-Cream, Chocolate Covered Mint Oreos, Halloween Oreos, Green Tea Oreos--even Oreo O's Cereal made by Post. For those who are interested in cookie history, the Hydrox chocolate sandwich cookie predated Oreos by four years. Read more here.

So how do you eat your Oreos? Do you dunk them? Do you open them and lick the filling and then eat the cookies? 

I've posted scads of Oreo-based tasty treats here on DyingforChocolate. But here's an easy recipe for One Bowl Oreo Brownies. you'll love these!

ONE BOWL OREO BROWNIES

Ingredients 
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp vanilla
4 eggs
1 tsp salt
1- 1/2 cups flour
1 cup DARK cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chips
25 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F
Line 9 x13 pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add in salt and cocoa powder and mix on medium until combined, 30 seconds to minute.
Turn mixer to low and add in flour until incorporated.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread half of batter into pan.
Top with Oreos and spread remaining batter on top.
Bake 35-40 minutes until center is almost set.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

MARDI GRAS CHOCOLATE BEIGNETS

Oh to be in The Big Easy for Mardi Gras! Unfortunately that's not happening for me this year, so the next best thing is to prepare a Mardi Gras feast. Rice and Beans, Jambalaya? Gumbo? Maybe. But definitely something Chocolate!

Coffee with Chicory is so New Orleans, and you'll want to make David Guas & Raquel Pelzel's fabulous recipe for Chocolate Cupped Cakes with Coffee & Chicory.

What goes with Coffee with Chicory? Well, Beignets, of course, and they should definitely be Chocolate! Might not find these chocolate ones at Cafe du Monde, but they could be on your breakfast table. These Sugared Chocolate Beignets are easy to make, and so delicious. Beignets are usually fried in vegetable oil (cottonseed oil at Cafe du Monde), but this recipe calls for baking (healthier and easier). Recipe is from Sunset's Best Recipes of 2010.


SUGARED CHOCOLATE BEIGNETS
Time: 1 hour, plus freezing time. These doughnuts can be prepared ahead, requiring only a quick baking once your guests arrive.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 sheets (17 ounces total) cold thawed puff pastry dough
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar

Directions
Combine corn syrup and cream in microwave-safe container. Heat in 30-second intervals until boiling. Put chocolate in bowl and pour hot cream on top. Stir chocolate until smooth, then chill, stirring often, until firm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin, roll each pastry dough sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut each square into 16 smaller squares and transfer to baking sheet.

In bowl, lightly whisk egg and 1 Tbsp water to blend, then brush over pastry squares. Spoon about 1 tsp chocolate into center of each square. Fold 1 corner of each square over to meet opposite corner, forming triangle. Press edges to seal. Use a 2 1/2-inch round cutter to trim corners of triangle and form shape that resembles three-quarter moon. Wrap trays with plastic wrap and freeze at least 1 hour and up to 1 week. (To save space, after 30 minutes of freezing, put pastries in resealable plastic bags in freezer.)

Preheat oven to 400°. Bake pastries, switching pan positions once, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Put sugar in a bowl and turn beignets in sugar to coat.
Serve immediately.

Monday, March 4, 2019

LEMON CHOCOLATE CHIP POUND CAKE: National Pound Cake Day

I have an abundance of Meyer lemons in my garden all year round, and I'm always looking for new recipes. Here's a great recipe that combines citrus and chocolate, a favorite combo. Lemon Chocolate Chip Pound Cake is perfect to celebrate today's Food Holiday: National Pound Cake Day. And, if you want to make this 'look' fancy, you can make these pound cakes in one of these three NordicWare pans. The pans will create a luscious loaf (loaves) with 3-D citrus or citrus fruit blossoms. Amazing! If you want to decorate, just add a simple glaze or sprinkling of confectioners sugar to define the design. Pans are made of cast-aluminum. Great for baking! Available at Williams Sonoma, Amazon, and other baking supply places.

NordicWare Mini Citrus Cakelet Pan

 Nordic Ware Citrus Loaf Pan

Nordic Ware Citrus Blossom Loaf Pan

Lemon Chocolate Chip Pound Cake

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp grated lemon peel (lemon zest)
1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup dark chocolate chips (use mini-chips if you're making the small pans)
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions
Preheat oven to 350° F.  Butter and flour any of above pans (or regular 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan).
Sift dry ingredients (not including chocolate chips).
In large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest in mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon juice mix until blended. Gradually (on low) beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean.
Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Let stand for 5 minutes. Invert onto plate.

Glaze or sprinkle with powder sugar, if desired.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

COOKIES 'N CREAM OREO CAKE ROLL: Post by Judy Clemens-Smucker

I love when my mystery and chocolate worlds collide. Today I welcome back Judy Clemens-Smucker aka JC Lane aka Judy Clemens. J.C. Lane is the author of the thriller Tag, You’re Dead. She also writes mysteries as Judy Clemens, including the Stella Crown series and the Grim Reaper mysteries.

JUDY CLEMENS:

Like many households, mine loves the Great British Baking Show. We watch the bakers assemble their creations and wish we could taste each and every one. (Well, maybe not every one. Those Victorian game pies never look as appealing to me as they do to the contestants and judges.) One of our favorite weeks on the show is when they do the cake rolls. It’s fun to see the flavors they put together, marrying the cake with the filling, and see how they decorate the finished product.

This Cookies ‘n Cream Oreo Cake Roll may not have orange zest, candied walnuts, or spun sugar webs, but it has yummy cream, a soft cake (or “sponge” as they’d say on the GBBS), and a delectable ganache topping. Here are some of the quotes from my family when I served it:

“You got such a nice shine on the ganache!”
“The spiral is nice and tight, with no gaps.”
“The cake has such a nice texture.”

So, there you go, Paul Hollywood. I’m ready for the show!

Cookies ‘n Cream Oreo Cake Roll 

FOR THE CAKE: 
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp brewed coffee (or water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar, to aid in rolling

FOR THE FILLING: 
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp powdered sugar 1 t vanilla extract
12 Oreos, crushed

FOR THE GANACHE: 
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (10” x 15”) with foil. Grease and flour foil.
2. Make the cake: Beat eggs at high speed for 3 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. Beat in sugar, coffee or water, and vanilla extract.
3. Whisk together cocoa, salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir into wet ingredients just until blended.
4. Spread in prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer. Use spatula to spread it to all corners of the pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you lightly poke the top with your fingertip and it bounces back slightly.
5. While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel on a large work surface. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar (about ¼ cup). As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over onto the kitchen towel. Remove foil carefully.
6. Trim crusty edges, then, working from the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled at least one hour (or you can wrap it overnight).
7. Make the filling: Beat heavy whipping cream. Slowly add in powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until whipped cream forms. Stir in crushed Oreos, reserving 2 T for garnish.
8. Assemble cake: Once the cake has cooled, unroll it carefully. Spread the whipping cream on the cake, leaving 1” without filling at either end. Re-roll cake. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least one hour before frosting.
9. Make the ganache: Place chocolate chips and cream in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high power for 60-90 seconds or until the cream is hot. Whisk until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes.
10. Place cake roll on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet. Pour the ganache over the cake evenly, scooping up what falls on the cookie sheet and re-pouring until you have it as covered as possible. Top with remaining crushed Oreos. Chill until set.
11. Note: The cake should stay chilled until right before serving or the whipped cream filling will get warm and it will be hard to slice.

Friday, March 1, 2019

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BANANA CREAM PIE: National Peanut Butter Lovers Day & National Banana Cream Pie Day

Today is a Two-Fer Food Holiday Post. Today is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, and tomorrow, March 2, is National Banana Cream Pie Day. So here's a recipe that includes both Food Holidays: Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie. It doesn't get much better than that. This recipe is from Kraft Foods. You can always substitute your own home-made ingredients.

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BANANA CREAM PIE

Ingredients
35 Nilla Wafers, finely crushed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided  (or a high quality dark chocolate)
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
2 Bananas, cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into quarters
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
2 cups cold Milk
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
2 Tbsp PLANTERS Salted Peanuts, coarsely chopped

Directions
HEAT oven to 350ºF.
MIX wafer crumbs and butter until well blended; press onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake 5 to 8 min. or until golden brown. Cool completely. Meanwhile, make chocolate curls from 1/2 chocolate square. Refrigerate.
MICROWAVE remaining 1-1/2 chocolate squares and peanut butter in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min.; stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Place bananas in crust; drizzle with melted chocolate.
BEAT pudding mixes and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1 cup COOL WHIP. Spread over bananas; top with remaining COOL WHIP.
REFRIGERATE 3 hours. Top with chocolate curls and nuts just before serving.

Want to make your Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Cream Pie from scratch? Try these recipes from Joy the Baker or EzraPoundCake's Hunk-a Hunk-a Peanut Butter and Banana Cream Pie.

Photo: Kraft

Thursday, February 28, 2019

NO BAKE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PIE: National Mousse Day

Today is National Mousse Day. Of course for me it's always chocolate mousse. Chocolate Mousse is easy to make and simple to enjoy! I came across this recipe for No Bake Chocolate Mousse Pie a few years ago. What a great way to enhance chocolate mousse -- add more chocolate! The cookie crust made with Italian wafer sandwich cookies is fab and adds some zip, but you can also make a regular chocolate cookie crust if you don't have any Italian sandwich cookies! You can also make an oreo cookie crust. This recipe is adapted from Fine Cooking, a great resource for recipes.

NO BAKE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PIE

Ingredients
1 ounce unsalted butter, melted; more for the pan
8 ounces Italian chocolate wafer sandwich cookies (Quadratini) (if you don't have these you can use Famous Chocolate Wafers or Oreos)
9 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 1-1/2 cups); more for garnish
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
3-3/4 cups heavy cream

Directions
Butter 9-inch springform pan.
Grind cookies in food processor until they resemble wet sand, 20 to 30 seconds; you will have about 1-3/4 cups. Transfer to small bowl and mix in butter. Spread crumbs in pan, cover with plastic wrap, and press evenly into bottom. Refrigerate.

Combine chocolate, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and salt in large bowl. In small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of cream to barely a simmer. Pour cream over chocolate, let sit for 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to cool.

Beat 1-1/2 cups of cream in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium-high speed to stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Whisk chocolate mixture to loosen, and fold into whipped cream with large silicone spatula until no streaks remain.

Carefully peel plastic wrap off crust and scrape mousse into pan, gently spreading to edges. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Just before serving, beat remaining 1-1/2 cups cream and 1 tsp vanilla in medium bowl to medium-stiff peaks. Run knife around pie to loosen edges and then remove side of pan. Slide spatula under crust and transfer pie to serving plate. Mound whipped cream over mousse and top with chocolate curls, shards, or shavings. To serve, dip knife into hot water and dry before slicing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

HOMEMADE KAHLUA & KAHLUA BLACK RUSSIAN BUNDT CAKE: National Kahlua Day

Today is National Kahlua Day. Kahlua is such a versatile liqueur. It is a Mexican coffee-flavored rum-based liqueur that's dense and sweet, with the taste of coffee. Kahlúa also contains sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla bean, so you see why it's often matched with chocolate in drinks, cakes, pies, and candy. 

To celebrate today's Kahlua holiday, scroll down for a recipe for Black Russian Bundt Cake. A Black Russian is a classic cocktail made with 1 part Kahlua, 2 parts Vodka. Fill glass with ice. Add alcohol and mix!  

Want to make your own Kahlua? Here's a recipe. The Kahlua won't be ready for a month, but it will be great!

Homemade Kahlua

Ingredients
4 cups water
4 cups sugar
2 ounces instant coffee
1 vanilla bean
Fifth of vodka or bourbon

Directions
Bring 4 cups water to boil. Add 4 cups sugar and cook until dissolved. Add instant coffee. Simmer slowly - do not boil!
Add vanilla bean and 1/5 vodka or bourbon.
Bottle and cap. Leave for a month or more!
 
Kahlua Black Russian Bundt Cake 

Ingredients
1 box yellow cake mix (without pudding)
1/2 cup sugar
1 pkg (6 ounces) chocolate instant pudding
1 cup oil
4 eggs
1/4 cup Vodka
1/4 cup Kahlua
3/4 cup water

Directions
Combine all ingredients and beat on low for one minute and then on medium for 4 minutes.
Pour into greased and floured 10-inch bundt pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Invert onto plate and pour on glaze.

Glaze 
1/4 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Combine and have ready when cake comes from oven.
Poke holes in cake and pour glaze over cake. 

Dust with sifted powdered sugar.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

CHEWY PISTACHIO BROWNIES: National Pistachio Day

Today is Pistachio Day! I love pistachios.

We used to eat lots of red-dyed pistachios when I was a kid. Our mouths and teeth would be stained red for awhile. Red Dye #1? We didn't worry about how it might effect us, nor did our parents. However, I did a bit of searching, and if you're so inclined,  you can still buy them at Oh Nuts. I also found out why they were dyed red. Most pistachios when I was young were imported from the Middle East where traditional methods of harvesting left stains on the shells. The producers would dye the shell red or green to cover up the stains. Today, about 98% of pistachios sold in the U.S. are grown in California, where they use a mechanized harvesting process that means that the nuts are picked, hulled and dried before the shell has a chance to become stained. No need to dye them! Luckily, all natural pistachios are readily available. Of course, as I mentioned, if you still want red dyed pistachios, Oh Nuts sells them. They are called Californa Red Colored Roasted Salted Pistachios. And, FYI: Pistachios are very nutritious. One serving provides more fiber than a 1/2 cup of spinach or broccoli. 

I've posted many brownie recipes over the years, but thought I'd post this one for Chewy Pistachio Brownies that's slightly adapted from the American Pistachio Growers website.

Chewy Pistachio Brownies

Ingredients: 
1/2 cup DARK cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup shelled natural American pistachios, chopped
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)

Chocolate Glaze:
Combine 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir to blend, adding 1 Tbsp powdered sugar.

Directions
In mixing bowl, combine cocoa, sugar, flour, baking powder, chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup chopped pistachios. Add melted butter, egg, and milk; mix just until ingredients are blended.
Scrape batter into oiled 9-inch square baking pan.
Bake in preheated 350° F. oven, 23 to 25 minutes or until center is baked. Do not overbake.
Cool slightly; spread with Chocolate Glaze.
Sprinkle with remaining pistachios.

And, for your nostalgic viewing pleasure:

Monday, February 25, 2019

HOMEMADE OH HENRY! BARS (3 Recipes): National Chocolate Covered Peanut Day!

Today is National Chocolate Covered Peanut Day, and one of my all time favorite chocolate covered candy bars is an Oh Henry! Bar. Of course you can buy one to celebrate the day, but why not make your own?

So what exactly is an Oh Henry! Bar?  

From Wikipedia:

Oh Henry! is a chocolate bar containing peanuts, caramel, and fudge coated in chocolate. It was first introduced in 1920, by the Williamson Candy Company of Chicago, Illinois. According to legend, Oh Henry! was originally named after a boy who frequented the Williamson company, flirting with the girls who made the candy. The name is also said to be a homage to American writer, O. Henry. However, there is no definitive explanation as to the exact origin of the name.

Another theory is that the candy bar was invented by a man named Tom Henry of Arkansas City, Kansas. Tom Henry ran a candy company called the Peerless candy factory, and in 1919 he started making the Tom Henry candy bar. He sold the candy bar to Williamson Candy Company in 1920 where they later changed the name to "Oh Henry!". Henry's family now runs a candy factory in Dexter, Kansas that sells "momma henry" bars, which are nearly identical to the original candy bar.

In 1923, an employee of Williamson, John Glossinger, announced that he was going to make the Oh Henry! bar a national best seller. Company officials said it was impossible and denied him the funds for an advertising campaign. Glossinger went into the streets and pasted stickers saying merely "Oh Henry!" on automobile bumpers. People became curious as to what an Oh Henry! was and sales for the bar rose quickly.

1926 Oh Henry! Advertisement
Nestlé acquired the United States rights to the brand in 1984, and continues to produce the bar. In Canada, the bar is currently sold by The Hershey Company and manufactured at their Smiths Falls, Ontario facilities. Because of Canada's different chocolate standards, the Canadian "Oh Henry!" is not considered a "chocolate bar" and is labelled instead as a "candy bar." In fact, unlike the American version, which labels the bar as "milk chocolate," the Canadian version makes no mention of chocolate on the front of the wrapper. Hershey sells Oh Henry! bars made in Canada on a very limited basis in the United States as Rally bars, using the trademark of a Hershey product introduced in the 1970s and later discontinued.

Want to make your own Oh Henry! Bars? Here are three different recipes. Funny, but several of them include oats. I'm partial to #III because it doesn't include oatmeal, but that's just me. The first two recipes do seem to really capture the flavor.

I. Oh Henry! Candy Bars

Ingredients
4 cups oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter (melted)
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter

Directions
Mix together oatmeal, brown sugar, white sugar, and melted butter.
Press into greased 9 x 13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Melt chocolate chips and peanut butter.
Spread over baked bars.
Put in fridge so frosting hardens completely.

II. Oh Henry! Candy Bars 

Ingredients
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup white Karo syrup
2 cups oatmeal

Directions
Melt butter, sugar ,and syrup.
Add oatmeal.
Press in well buttered 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Melt:
1 c. crunchy peanut butter
1 (6 oz.) chocolate chips

Cool bottom layer and spread mixture over the top.
Refrigerate.
Cut in squares.

III. Oh Henry! Candy Bars (my favorite recipe)

Part One
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
3/4 cup peanut butter

Directions:
Combine over heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Cook until it reaches the hard boil stage (265 degrees).
Let cool
Add peanut butter.
Stir, then shape into rolls 3/4 inch thick and 1 inch long.
Set aside.

Part Two
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 pounds peanuts, chopped fine
8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:
Cook corn syrup and sugar together until it reaches the hard boil stage (265 degrees).
Dip candy from first mixture into second mixture, then roll in peanuts while still hot.
Melt dark chocolate and dip rolls into melted chocolate
Place on parchment paper.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: Chocolate-Themed Movies

In honor of tonight's Academy Awards, I will be eating chocolate. There are a lot of great movies that involve Chocolate, and I've put together a short list. There are a lot of movies with Chocolate in the title that have nothing or little to do with chocolate, as well as movies with fabulous chocolate 'scenes', but which are also not chocolate-themed, so I've skipped those. I hope you enjoy this list. Make some Chocolate Covered Popcorn and watch! Recipe at the end of this post.

Chocolat.  2000. A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community. Based on the book by Joanne Harris with Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench and Alfred Molina.

Like Water for Chocolate. Como agua para chocolate. 1992. Based on the novel by Mexican author Laura Esquivel.

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 1971 with Gene Wilder. Based on the book by Roald Dahl.

Consuming Passions. Cioccolato Bollente. 1988 in Italian, made in the UK. Black Comedy about a young executive who tries to modernize a chocolate factory.

Bread and Chocolate Pane e cioccolata. 1973 Italian film about an Italian immigrant in Switzerland trying to make a better life for himself while dealing with increasing bigotry and bad luck.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 2005. Johnny Depp. Based on the Roald Dahl book. Not as good as the original movie.

Lessons in Chocolate. 2007. (lezioni di cioccolato) Italian film set in the chocolate world of Perugia.

Milton Hershey: The Chocolate King (documentary). 1995

Kings of Pastry.  (documentary) 2009. Sixteen French pastry chefs gathered in Lyon for three intense days of mixing, piping and sculpting everything from delicate chocolates to six-foot sugar sculptures in hopes of being declared one of the best. Prestigious Meilleurs Ouvriers de France competition. Not just chocolate, but there's a lot of chocolate!

EASY CHOCOLATE COVERED POPCORN

Make a bag of popcorn (buttered or plain) and pop it according to the directions.
Put popped popcorn into large bowl or flat baking pan (for more even distribution).
Melt dark or white chocolate or both (in separate bowls) in top of double boiler (or in microwave).
Drizzle chocolate on popcorn. You can always add more chocolate, but you can't remove it, so use sparingly.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A NIGHT AT THE OSCARS: Roll out the Red Velvet Red Carpet Popcorn

Roll out the Red Carpet for the Academy Awards. Red Carpet Red Velvet Popcorn (3 ways) is the perfect snack!

Roll out the Red Velvet Red Carpet Popcorn!

I. RED VELVET RED CARPET POPCORN

Ingredients
1 cup red velvet cake crumbs  (make your own cake or buy one at the bakery - a few unfrosted cupcakes will do)
2 Tbsp unsalted  butter
2 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla extract
2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
8 cups popcorn, popped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions 
Preheat oven to 350.
Spread cake crumbs on baking sheet. Bake 8 - 10 minutes until toasted. Cool.
Melt butter, vanilla, sugar, salt and mix.
Toss popcorn with butter mixture.
Microwave white chocolate chips or melt in double boiler; stir until smooth.
Drizzle over popcorn until evenly coated.
Toss in cake crumbs.

II. RED CARPET RED VELVET POPCORN
Recipe adapted from CassieCraves, adapted from Cookies and Cups

Ingredients
8 cups popped popcorn (1/2 cup unpopped kernels or 2 bags)
3 cups red velvet cake crumbs
12 ounces white chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions
Pour popcorn into large bowl. Melt white chocolate in microwave or double boiler.
Pour melted chocolate over popcorn and stir gently to coat completely.
Pour popcorn onto waxed paper lined cookie sheets and sprinkle with red velvet crumbs.
Melt dark chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler. Using fork, drizzle over popcorn.
Let popcorn set completely before eating.

Want to make Red Carpet Red Velvet Popcorn Balls? Here's a recipe adapted from IcyViolet's Kitchen. It's quite heavenly--and very rich.

III. RED CARPET RED VELVET POPCORN BALLS

Ingredients
12 ounces white chocolate 
1/4 cup cream cheese
1-1/4 cup
white cake mix

1/4 cup DARK cocoa powder
2 tsp red food coloring (or 1/4 tsp red food gel)
1/4 cup corn kernels

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions: 
Put 1/4 cup corn kernels in large pot with Tbsp olive oil over medium to medium high heat...they will heat up and start popping. When popping lessens and stops. it's done. Measure out six cups and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Melt white chocolate in microwave or double boiler. Add cream cheese to chocolate and stir until melted.
Add cake mix, cocoa, and red food coloring to chocolate mixture and stir.
Pour coating onto popcorn and coat evenly.
Pour popcorn onto cookie sheets to cool/harden and shape into popcorn balls

Friday, February 22, 2019

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE MARGARITA CAKE: National Margarita Day

Today is National Margarita Day, and I like to eat my drinks! You're going to love this Flourless Chocolate Margarita Cake! It's a great Gluten-Free chocolate cake recipe--aka a Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake with Margarita Cream. I originally found this recipe at the Nigella site, but then again on the BHG site. Very similar. As always, use the very best ingredients. I have easy access to almond flour, but you can always make your own. I do love chocolate and citrus, and this recipe "takes the cake!"It's great for Passover, too, so be sure and bookmark this page!

Flourless Chocolate Lime Cake

Ingredients
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
10 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
6 eggs
1 1/4 cups superfine sugar*
1 cup almond meal/flour
4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 lime, zest and juice
Confectioner's sugar to dust (optional)

1 recipe Margarita Cream (recipe below)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, and butter sides of pan.
Melt chocolate and butter together either in a heatproof bowl suspended over a saucepan of simmering water or in a microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
With electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar together until about tripled in volume, pale, and mousse-like. Mix almond meal with the cocoa powder. Gently fold into egg mixture, followed by the slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in lime zest and juice.
Pour and scrape into prepared pan.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes.
Cake will be just firm on top but still have a bit of a shake below.
Remove from oven.
Cool cake in pan on a wire rack.
Once slightly cool, drape clean kitchen towel over cake to stop it from getting too crusty, though a cracked and cratered surface is to be expected.
When completely cool, loosen cake edges from pan using a metal spatula or knife.
Unmold and dust with confectioner's sugar.
Serve with Margarita Cream.

Margarita Cream 

Ingredients
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon Tequila
1 tablespoon Triple sec or Cointreau
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 cup heavy cream

Directions 
Whip heavy cream in separate bowl until it holds its shape. Whisk in margarita mixture and keep whisking until mixture is light and aerated.
Stir lime juice, tequila, and triple sec or Cointreau together in large bowl. Whisk in confectioner's sugar and let it dissolve in the liquid.

*Superfine sugar is not powdered sugar. It's granulated sugar that is ground even finer than regular sugar. It's also known as castor sugar. To make your own, put the amount of granulated white sugar called for, plus 2 extra tsp, in the recipe and put in food processor. Process for 1-2 minutes until it feels like fine sand. Be sure and let it rest before opening your food processor.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

CHOCOLATE STICKY BUNS: National Sticky Bun Day

Today is National Sticky Bun Day! I love Cinnamon Buns, and what could be better than Chocolate Sticky Buns! Here's a great Retro Betty Crocker Gold Medal Flour Advertisement and Recipe for Chocolate Cinnamon Buns aka Chocolate Sticky Buns.

Chocolate Sticky Buns aka Chocolate Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients
3/4 cup warm water (not hot - 110 to 115 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup cocoa  (use DARK cocoa for richness)
2 and 1/4 cups sifted flour
1 Tablespoon soft unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 Tablespoons sugar
chopped pistachio nuts (or almonds or pecans)

Directions
In mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add shortening, salt, sugar, egg, cocoa, and 1 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes, medium speed on mixer or 300 vigorous strokes by hand. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Stir in remaining flour; blend well. Scrape sides of bowl.
Cover with cloth; let rise in warm place (85 degrees) until double in bulk, about 1 hour. (If kitchen is cool, place dough on rack over bowl of hot water; cover completely with towel.)
Stir down by beating 25 strokes. Turn soft dough out on well floured cloth-covered board.
Roll into rectangle, 12 x 9". Spread with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roll up, beginning at wide side. Pinch edge into roll. Cut 12 pieces.
Place in greased 9" square pan. Let rise in warm place (85 degrees) until double, about 40 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees (quick mod.). Bake 25 minutes.
Remove from pan, frost top immediately with icing (3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar moistened with cream or milk to spreading consistency.) Sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Serve warm.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI MUFFINS: National Muffin Day

Today is National Muffin Day, so I thought I'd post one of my favorite recipes for Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins. I know that zucchini may not be growing in your garden now, but zucchini is in the market. If you're a strong locavore, you can always save this recipe for the summer when you are sure to have a huge harvest of zucchini. 

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
Makes 18 muffins

Ingredients 
1/3 cup boiling water
2 cups shredded zucchini
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup DARK cocoa
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped into chunks (or chocolate chips)

Directions 
Preheat oven to 350.
In large bowl, pour boiling water over zucchini.
Add other ingredients (except chocolate chunks) and stir until just combined.
Fold in chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips).
Line muffin tins with paper muffin cups (or grease muffin tin)
Using 1/4 cup measure, pour batter into cups.
Bake for 30 minutes.

How easy is that?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

JUNIOR MINTS CHEESECAKE: National Chocolate Mint Day

Today is National Chocolate Mint Day... the perfect food holiday to write about one of my all time favorite candies -- Junior Mints.

Definition: Junior Mints are a candy consisting of small rounds of mint filling (with a dimple on one side) inside a dark chocolate coating. They are currently produced by Tootsie Roll Industries.

History: Junior Mints were introduced in 1949 by the James O. Welch Company, manufacturers of candies and candy bars such as Sugar Babies, Welch's Fudge, and Pom Poms. The name of the product is a pun on Sally Benson's Junior Miss, a collection of her stories from The New Yorker, which were adapted by Jerome Chodorov and Joseph Fields into a successful play, directed by Moss Hart. Junior Miss ran on Broadway from 1941 to 1943. In 1945, the play was adapted to film, with George Seaton directing Peggy Ann Garner in the lead role. The Junior Miss radio series, starring Barbara Whiting, was being broadcast weekly on CBS at the time Junior Mints were first marketed in 1949. Welch created a product sold at movie theater concession stands and identified with a specific movie and radio series and displaying a name that sounded almost exactly like that property–yet different enough that it avoided any fees for licensing and merchandising. Junior Mints quickly became a popular candy, and one product in the line is the three oz. box marketed as the "Theater Size Junior Mints Concession Candy."

And, of course, who can forget the Junior Mints episode of Seinfeld?

In case you want to smell like Junior Mints, not just eat them, here's a Link to the Scent.

If you want to make something close to Junior Mints in taste, I suggest these Peppermint Patties by my friend Pattie Tierney. They're not small, but they're wonderful.

And, here's a recipe that includes actual Junior Mints:

JUNIOR MINTS CHEESECAKE 

Ingredients
6 ounces Junior Mint (two 3 ounce packages)
3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate crumb crust for a 9 inch springform pan (see below)

Directions
Put Junior Mints in freezer.
In electric mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla.
Pour into crust.
Chop cold Junior Mints and sprinkle on cheesecake.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until just set.
Cool on wire rack, then chill several hours or overnight. Makes 8 servings.

Chocolate Crust: 
Combine 2 cups crushed chocolate wafers (I whirl them in the blender) with 6 Tbsp melted butter.
Press into bottom and up sides of pan.

Monday, February 18, 2019

FIRST LADIES' CHOCOLATE RECIPES: Presidents Day

Today is Presidents' Day. It's not any 'real' president's birthday. I find this odd. When I was growing up we celebrated both Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday on separate days. That also meant two days off from school, not just one. But times have changed, so to go with the flow, for this year's Presidents' Day, I'm featuring recipes by the women behind the men (sadly not a man behind the woman). Here are several Chocolate Recipes from some first ladies. The recipes are found in the individual Presidential Archives, as well as newspapers and individual cookbooks. Make any of these great recipes and celebrate Presidents Day.

From Mamie Eisenhower (Dwight D. Eisenhower) 
Mamie Eisenhower’s Million Dollar Fudge 
**This recipe makes 4 pounds of Fudge**

Ingredients
4 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 tall can evaporated milk
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bits
12 ounces German-sweet chocolate
1 pint marshmallow cream
2 cups nutmeats

Directions
Boil sugar, salt, butter, evaporated milk together for six minutes.
Put chocolate bits and German chocolate, marshmallow cream, and nutmeats in bowl.
Pour boiling syrup over ingredients.
Beat until chocolate is all melted, then pour into pan.
Let stand a few hours before cutting.
Remember it is better the second day. Store in tin box.

From Betty Ford (Gerald Ford)
Betty Ford's Chocolate Icebox Dessert

Ingredients
6 eggs
1 Angel food cake
12 oz chocolate chips
4 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp water
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 cup whipping cream

Directions
Line flat 9x9″ cake pan with wax paper.
Slice angel food cake and place a layer of cake in pan. (Slices easier if frozen). Separate eggs, beat yolks.
Melt chocolate in double boiler over water.
When melted, add sugar and water. Mix well. Make sure sugar melts.
Remove from heat and stir gradually into beaten egg yolks. Beat until smooth. Cool this mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Mix well.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Whip the cream.
Fold egg whites into chocolate mix, then the whipped cream.
Place a layer of chocolate on the angel food slices, than another layer of cake, then a layer of chocolate.
Place in refrigerator overnight.
This can be frozen and used later. Be sure to chill overnight before freezing.

From Lady Bird Johnson (LBJ) 
Lady Bird’s Chocolate Nut Drop Cookies



From Hillary Clinton (Bill Clinton)
Hillary Clinton's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
Vegetable oil, for baking sheets
1 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 package (12-ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheets with vegetable oil.
Combine flour, salt, and baking soda on waxed paper.
Beat together shortening, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beating until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture and rolled oats. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop batter by well-rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden.

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From Michelle Obama (Barak Obama)
Mama Kaye’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookies Prep: 15 minutesBake at 375° for 12 minutes per batch

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts

Directions
Heat oven to 375°.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. In large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts.
Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased baking sheets.
Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.