Saturday, March 30, 2019

HOT COCOA ON A STICK aka HOT CHOCOLATE ON A STICK


March 28 was National Food on a Stick Day, and I forgot to post this! Hot Chocolate on a Stick is a terrific way to celebrate. You can make these to use every day or package them and give as gifts.

Several Chocolate companies make Hot Chocolate on a Stick, but one of my favorites is Ticket Chocolate. Each Hot Chocolate on a Stick is handmade in their San Francisco kitchen. They have several varieties including Salted Caramel, 3-Chili, Vanilla Mint, Venezuelan Bittersweet, French Dark Truffle and Belgian Milk.

If you want to make your own, try this easy recipe. As always, use the very best ingredients. I have used all kinds of dark chocolate--something over 65% cacao, fair trade & organic. If you're adding marshmallows to the stick, you might want to make your own or buy some really good confections. It will make a difference, but if you don't have any, use what you have. You can cut the marshmallows to size (square) or use minis. You can also wrap individual Cocoa on Sticks in cellophane, add a bow and directions for use. It's the perfect gift. Want to get adventurous? Add other ingredients such as vanilla or chile to your fudge blend. Experiment.

HOT CHOCOLATE ON A STICK

Ingredients
1/2 cup whipping cream
14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
18 oz (about 3 cups) chopped semi-sweet chocolate
4 oz (about 3/4 cup) chopped unsweetened chocolate
25 lollipop sticks

Directions
Line 8 x 8 pan  with aluminum foil. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Place chopped semi-sweet and unsweetened chocolates in large heat-safe bowl.
Pour whipping cream and condensed milk into medium saucepan and whisk until combined.
Put saucepan over medium heat. Bring liquid to a simmer, whisking frequently so condensed milk does not scorch bottom of pan.
Once liquid is simmering, pour hot cream over chopped chocolate and let sit for minute to soften. Begin whisking cream and chocolate together, until chocolate is melted and there's a smooth mixture. It will be fairly thick.
Pour chocolate into prepared pan and smooth into even layer. Allow to sit and firm up overnight, or for 3-4 hours in refrigerator.
Once fudge block is firm, use large, sharp knife to cut into twenty-five pieces (five rows and five columns). For smoothest cuts, rinse knife in hot water and dry between each cut.
Skewer each block with a lollipop stick (make sure they're natural and not colored--or meant for some other craft, as they might contain chemicals).

To make hot chocolate, heat mug of milk (water does not work well) and add a chocolate block on a stick. Allow to sit and soften for minute, then vigorously stir until dissolved.

Store Hot Chocolate On A Stick in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature, two weeks in refrigerator, or up to a month in the freezer.

Friday, March 29, 2019

LEMON CHIFFON TRUFFLES: National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

March 29 is National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day, and there's nothing so light and wonderful as a lemon chiffon cake made right! However, there really isn't a Chocolate Lemon Chiffon Cake, so instead to celebrate the day, I suggest making Lemon Chiffon Truffles. The truffle recipe below is simple to make. There's no coating.. so they're really easy. I always use Meyer lemons, maybe because I have 4 Meyer lemon trees that never stop producing lemons.. or maybe because Meyer Lemons have the best flavor.  For the white chocolate I use Guittard. Whatever you do, please use 'real' white chocolate.

Want to read a great book related to Lemon Cake? Read The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender.

No time to make these? Michael's makes a great Lemoncello Truffle.

LEMON CHIFFON TRUFFLES

Ingredients 
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 cup white chocolate, finely chopped (real white chocolate not disks-I use Guittard)
3/4 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar or sparkling sugar for coating

Directions
Put white chocolate in mixing bowl, set aside. Melt butter with lemon zest in saucepan. Stir in cream and heat until bubbles form around edges but not boiling.
Pour hot cream mixture over white chocolate. Add extract then stir until smooth.
Cover mixture and refrigerate 2 hours (or overnight) -- until firm enough to handle.
Scoop mixture by heaping teaspoon fulls and form into balls. Roll in powdered sugar or sparkling sugar.
Freeze truffles 20 minutes or refrigerate for one hour then enjoy.
Keep truffles in refrigerator until ready to eat.

My Garden with Meyer Lemon Tree

Thursday, March 28, 2019

BLACK FOREST BUNDT CAKE: National Black Forest Cake Day

March 28 is Black Forest Cake Day. A traditional Black Forest cake has multiple (usually 4) layers of chocolate sponge cake, cherries, and whipped cream. It's frosted with whipped cream and covered with chocolate shavings and cherries for decoration. Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps) is used to flavor the whipped cream. The bottom layers of sponge cake are also brushed with Kirschwasser (cherry schnaps) to provide moisture and a little extra flavor.

Over the years, I've posted recipes for traditional Black Forest Cake, but here's a great and easy recipe from Challenge Butter for Black Forest Bundt Cake. Want to make this more traditional? Serve with Cherry Schnapps Whipped Cream (recipe follows) 

As to how Black Forest Cake got its name, some historians say it's possible that the name came from the traditional costume worn by women in the Black Forest. The dress was black (just like the chocolate flakes), the blouse is white (like the cream), and the hat has red pom-poms that look just like cherries. Well, maybe??

Black Forest Bundt Cake

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling  (I use Chukar's)

Directions
Preheat oven to 325°F. Generously butter (1-1/2 Tablespoons) a 12-cup Bundt pan (or similar sized pan).
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in sour cream, eggs, and almond extract.
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; add dry mix to creamed mixture alternating with the milk. Mix until well blended.
Spread 1/2 of batter into prepared Bundt pan, spreading batter slightly up the sides to form a trough. Spoon pie filling on top of batter; avoid touching sides and center of pan. Cover filling with remaining batter.
Bake 60 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes; turn out onto wire rack or serving plate to complete cooling.
Sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.
Serve plain or with Cherry Schnapps Whipped Cream

Cherry Schnapps (Kirsch) Whipped Cream

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Kirsch

Directions
Beat cream, sugar, and kirsch in large bowl until peaks form. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.

Photo: Challenge Butter

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

SINGLE MALT SCOTCH PEANUT CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES: World Whisky Day

March 27 is World Whisky Day! For today's holiday, I've chosen Scotch Whisky since I've been a judge at several Scotch and Chocolate pairings. It's a hard job, but someone has to do it.

It's often difficult to decide which chocolates pair best with which Scotch, but since today is World Wiskey Day, I thought I'd post a recipe for Single Malt Scotch Peanut Chocolate Truffles. It's the ultimate pairing of not two but three distinct flavors. You can decide on your own chocolate and your own Scotch. Keep the chocolate semi-sweet, so you have some sugar in there. I tend to go very dark, but not in this recipe. Recipe adapted from one by Florence Fabricant that appeared in the New York Times in 2008.

I love truffles. They're easy to prepare and look and taste great!

Single Malt Scotch Peanut Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients
1 pound--12 ounces dark chocolate (55-65% cacao-needs to be semisweet to offset the salted peanuts & Scotch)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 tsp honey (original recipe calls for floral honey)
3 Tbsp Single Malt Scotch Whisky
6 Tbsp salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Break 8 ounces chocolate into small pieces and place in metal bowl. Heat cream to a simmer and pour over chocolate. Stir until chocolate has melted and is smooth. If necessary, place bowl briefly over low heat to finish melting.
Stir in honey, Scotch, peanuts, and vanilla. Chill until firm, 2 hours.
Use small ice cream scoop to scoop small amounts of chocolate mixture. Quickly roll into 1 inch balls. Place on platter or baking sheet lined with parchment. Put in freezer to firm up (about 30 minutes).
Break up remaining chocolate and place 16 ounces in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on full power 2 to 3 minutes, stirring a few times, until melted. Remove from oven. Stir in remaining chocolate until melted. With two forks hold truffles and gently dip in melted chocolate to coat. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet at room temperature 15 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

NANAIMO BARS: An Amazing Canadian Treat

I'm winging my way to Vancouver today for Left Coast Crime, and I can't help thinking about Nanaimo Bars, one of my favorite no bake chocolate treats from British Columbia. Bill Critchfield, a member of my mystery book group, used to make them on special occasions. Bill passed away, and unfortunately his safely guarded recipe passed on with him. Since then, I've tried to create his version of Nanaimo Bars (there are so many variations). This has involved trying different recipes and really exploring the whole Canadian Nanaimo history.  Months of Edible Celebrations had a special post devoted to Nanaimo Bars in conjunction with Pecans several years ago. Interesting that the recipe for Nanaimo Bars in The Pecan Cookbook calls for baking. I don't think Bill used pecans, and I'm sure he didn't bake.

Interestingly, The New York Times had a great article on the History, Culture, and Craving for the Nanaimo Bar just the other day! Here's a link

The City of Nanaimo website says: "According to local legend about 35 years ago, a Nanaimo housewife entered her recipe for chocolate squares in a magazine contest. In a burst of civic pride, she chose to dub the entry not "Daphne's Delights" or "Mary's Munchies", but "Nanaimo Bars". The entry won a prize, thereby promoting the town as much as her cooking. Some American tourists claim sovereignty over the dessert, referred to as "New York Slice" which is sold in many other places in the world. Nanaimo residents refuse to accept this theory, however, believing that once you set foot on Vancouver Island, there are no other places in the world. The official Nanaimo Bar recipe was available as a handout as well as on quality tea towel and apron souvenirs."

Here's a recipe for Namaimo Bars from the Official City of Nanaimo Website:
  
Nanaimo Bars

Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 Tbsp cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.

Second Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp vanilla custard powder  (I use Bird's)
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

The really nice thing about this 'refrigerator bar' is that you can adapt it in so many ways by adding different ingredients or substituting different nuts. Very fun! and always good!

Links to other Nanaimo Bar Recipes:

Cookie Madness 
My Baking Addiction (Valentine's Day Nanaimo Bars)
Barbara Bakes
Life's Ambrosia
Playing House (Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars)
New York Times

Monday, March 25, 2019

CHOCOLATE CHIP WAFFLES: International Waffle Day

Today is International Waffle Day. If you're following my food holidays, you'll know that there are actually two Waffle Days (U.S. Waffle Day- August 24), so I'm making waffles today to celebrate. My waffle maker doesn't come out as often as it should, but when it does, I wonder why I don't make waffles more often. The new waffle makers are so easy to clean.

So for today's Waffle Holiday, I'm making Chocolate Chip Waffles with Chocolate Maple Syrup! 

CHOCOLATE CHIP WAFFLES

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Chocolate Maple Syrup (see recipe below)

Directions
Preheat waffle maker.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
In smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and butter until well combined.
Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, fold in chocolate chips and stir with wooden spoon until just combined.
Grease waffle maker and pour batter into preheated prepared waffle iron.
Cook until steaming stops and waffles are crisp and golden, about 3 minutes (time depends on waffle maker).
Top with Chocolate Maple Syrup! 

CHOCOLATE MAPLE SYRUP

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups pure maple syrup
4 Tbsp unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped
Pinch of salt

Directions
Heat maple syrup in small sturdy saucepan over moderate heat until hot.
Whisk in cocoa powder, butter, and pinch of salt. Turn down to simmer and whisk for a minute.
Serve syrup warm.
Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week

CHOCOLATE CHIP WAFFLES with CHOCOLATE MAPLE SYRUP: International Waffle Day

Today is International Waffle Day. If you're following my food holidays, you'll know that there are actually two Waffle Days (U.S. Waffle Day- August 24), so I'm making waffles today to celebrate. My waffle maker doesn't come out as often as it should, but when it does, I wonder why I don't make waffles more often. The new waffle makers are so easy to clean.

So for today's Waffle Holiday, I'm making Chocolate Chip Waffles with Chocolate Maple Syrup! 

CHOCOLATE CHIP WAFFLES

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Chocolate Maple Syrup (see recipe below)

Directions
Preheat waffle maker.
In large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
In smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and butter until well combined.
Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, fold in chocolate chips and stir with wooden spoon until just combined.
Grease waffle maker and pour batter into preheated prepared waffle iron.
Cook until steaming stops and waffles are crisp and golden, about 3 minutes (time depends on waffle maker).
Top with Chocolate Maple Syrup! 

CHOCOLATE MAPLE SYRUP

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups pure maple syrup
4 Tbsp unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chopped
Pinch of salt

Directions
Heat maple syrup in small sturdy saucepan over moderate heat until hot.
Whisk in cocoa powder, butter, and pinch of salt. Turn down to simmer and whisk for a minute.
Serve syrup warm.
Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week

Sunday, March 24, 2019

CHOCOLATE COVERED RAISINS: Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

Today is National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day. If you read this blog, you know I've posted about Chocolate Covered Raisins before because I love them.  

What to do with Chocolate Covered Raisins: Throw some chocolate covered raisins in your oatmeal or use in cookies, bread, muffins or coffee cake--or just eat them as a snack!

Raisinets are one of my favorite 'movie' treats. Raisinets were first made in 1927 by the Blumenthal Chocolate Company. Nestlé acquired the brand in 1984 and added the motto "Taste the Sunshine." Raisinets are made with California Raisins and milk chocolate. There is now a dark chocolate version, as well. Many confectioners make chocolate covered raisins, so check them out, along with your favorite chocolatier.

Raisinets are nostalgia food for me. bit the real cook in me says make your own if you want to get a higher end chocolate covered raisin. Here's a simple recipe, and you can change it up by using different types of chocolate.

Chocolate Covered Raisins

Ingredients
6 ounces Chocolate -- 60%-75% cacao fair trade organic chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cup organic raisins

Directions
Combine chocolate and corn syrup in saucepan on top of another saucepan (or double boiler). Bring water to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook until chocolate melts, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar, vanilla, and raisins.
Drop by half teaspoons onto waxed paper; chill.
Store in refrigerator.

Celebrate Chocolate Covered Raisins Day! 
Love the California Raisins ads ... Enjoy!

Friday, March 22, 2019

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE IN A MUG

I am so fond of Mug Cakes...Chocolate Cake in a Mug, Red Velvet Cake in a Mug, and the like. But here's a new favorite that will haunt you ..  and one that will satisfy that late night chocolate chip cookie craving. As with all "Mug" recipes, you need to be precise or the finished product will be too dry or too wet...or just awful. This Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug is so quick. 5 minutes to prep and less than a minute to cook! And, you'll find you have all the ingredients in your pantry. Perfect for that moment when you just want one cookie!

Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug

Ingredients 
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp White Sugar
1 Tbsp firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
1/8 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1 Egg Yolk (room temp)
3 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
2 Tbsp Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Directions
Choose a microwave-safe mug. It doesn't have to be tall. This is a cookie not a mug cake. You can even use a ramekin.
Put butter in mug and melt in microwave. Do not boil. Add sugars, vanilla, and salt. Stir to combine. Add yolk to cup. Stir to combine. Add flour and stir. (if too runny add a pinch more flour-think cookie dough) Add chocolate chips, and give a final stir.
Cook in microwave 30-50 seconds, start checking at 30 seconds but do not cook longer than 50 seconds. Cookie continues to cook after you take it out. Less time will produce a moister better cookie.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

STRAWBERRY EXTRA-CHOCOLATEY BROWNIES: California Strawberry Day

Today is California Strawberry Day. It's also the first day of Spring, so it's a great day to celebrate! California is the nation's leading producer of strawberries. The coast of California has a unique environment with its western ocean exposure with moderate temperatures year round -- warm sunny days and cool foggy nights - the perfect combination for growing delicious, beautiful strawberries!

Last year on California Strawberry Day, I posted a recipe for Strawberry Chocolate German Pancake. I've also posted recipes for Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Covered Stuffed Strawberries, and 'regular' Chocolate Covered Strawberries. There have been others, too.

Visit California Strawberries for more facts, recipes, and apps.

I find that in the market, I can always depend on Driscoll's for fresh delicious California Strawberries, so it's no surprise I consult their website for special strawberry recipes (and other berries). In this recipe for Strawberry Extra-Chocolatey Brownies (recipe adapted from Driscoll's website), chopped strawberries add a fresh touch of fruity tartness to rich fudgy brownies. This is a quick and easy recipe. Use the finest ingredients-- California Strawberries, the best chocolate-- and you'll have a winner!

Strawberry Extra-Chocolatey Brownies

Ingredients
1 pkg. Driscoll’s Strawberries
4 oz. Unsweetened chocolate (I use Guittard)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1- 1/4 cup Granulated sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2/3 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate chips or chopped Dark chocolate

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 12 muffin cups, or coat with cooking spray.
Rinse and dry strawberries. Stem and chop 8 ounces berries (half the container, 1-1/2 cups chopped), reserving the smallest berries for garnishing.
Place chocolate and butter in a medium mixing bowl. Microwave on medium power 2-3 minutes until butter is melted; stir until chocolate is completely melted. (or melt in a double boiler)*
Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Mix in flour, chopped strawberries, stirring just until combined.
Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling one half full.
Bake 15-17 minutes until brownies are just set on top and no longer shiny. Remove from oven and sprinkle about 1-1/2 teaspoons chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) on tops. Return to oven 1-2 minutes until chocolate softens. Spread chocolate with the back of a teaspoon or knife.
Cool completely in pan. Run a knife around edges and lift to remove from pan. Before serving, halve remaining strawberries and place one on top of each brownie.

Pan Brownies Variation
Use an 8-inch square pan instead of muffin pan. Bake 25-30 minutes as directed above. At end of bake time sprinkle chocolate chips on top; return to oven for 1-2 minutes. Evenly spread chocolate. Cool. Cut into squares and garnish with strawberries.

CHOCOLATE SHEET CAKE: Retro Ad & Recipe

I'm very partial to Chocolate Sheet Cakes because they're so easy to make and feed a large group. When I was younger and thinner, I worked at a school where Chocolate Sheet Cake was made fresh every day using real butter and high quality ingredients. That was my lunch, along with a small carton of milk. I was saving my pennies, and I didn't put on weight. Those were the days! The recipe below is very similar to the one the cook used at the school. I love this Retro Recipe and Ad from Eagle Brand. Definitely use butter, not margarine. FYI: A sheet cake is a cake baked in a large, flat rectangular pan such as a jellyroll pan or sheet pan. A sheet cake is a single layer cake that is usually frosted.

"A Chocolate Lover's Dream Cake-Only 15 Minutes to Bake!"



CHOCOLATE SHEET CAKE

Ingredients 
1-1/4 cups margarine or 1-1/4 cups butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup water 2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk (Not evaporated milk)
2 eggs
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions 
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small saucepan, melt 1 cup  butter or margarine; stir in 1/4 cup cocoa, then add water. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add cocoa mixture; beat well. Stir in 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla. Pour into greased 15×10 inch jellyroll pan. Bake 15 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched. In a small saucepan, melt remaining 1/4 cup butter or margarine; add remaining 1/4 cup cocoa and remaining Eagle Brand. Stir in confectioners’ sugar and nuts.
Spread on warm cake.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

SPRINGTIME FANCY CAKE: Retro Ad & Recipe

Welcome, Spring! Here's a "Springtime Fancy Cake" Advertisement from 1953. It's not chocolate, but it's so fun! Made with Dexo! Dexo was similar to Crisco.

"In the Spring, a young (5 to 95!) man's fancy really turns to thoughts of 'what's cookin?'




Tuesday, March 19, 2019

SEA SALT CARAMEL BROWNIES: National Chocolate Caramel Day

Today is National Chocolate Caramel Day! My favorite truffles are sea salt caramel, and the same goes for brownies! So for Chocolate Caramel Day, here are two recipes for Sea Salt Caramel Brownies -- one uses a fudge brownie mix and the other is for brownies from scratch.You can make or buy the caramel sauce. Both recipes are easy, and it just depends on what you have on hand and how much time you have!

1. SEA SALT CARAMEL BROWNIES FROM SCRATCH

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted butter
5 ounces good quality dark (60-75% cacao) chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
2 ounces chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/4 cup good quality caramel sauce
1 tsp good quality sea salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F
Grease 9 x13 inch baking pan.
In saucepan over another saucepan with simmering water, melt butter and chocolate, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar. Cool slightly.
In large bowl, beat eggs one at time. Stir in vanilla.
Fold in chocolate mixture.
Combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt and espresso powder (if using). Add to chocolate mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips or chopped chocolate pieces
Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
Drizzle caramel on top of batter
Using knife, swirl over surface.
Sprinkle sea salt over caramel.
Bake 30-40 minutes.
Cool in pan on wire rack.

Want to make your own Caramel Sauce, too?  

HOMEMADE CARAMEL SAUCE

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions
In small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2 Tbsp water to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and cook without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush, until sugar is deep amber color (5-8 minutes). Remove caramel from heat. Add cream and butter and whisk to combine. Let cool slightly in pan.

2. Sea Salt Caramel Brownies using a Brownie Mix
This recipe is from Morton Salt. I always say check product sites for recipes. Did you know that Morton Salt has an excellent Sea Salt? Found this recipe on their site. Of course, you can always use your own sea salt. I'm partial to Duncan Hines Brownie Mixes, but whatever you have on hand.

Ingredients
1 package fudge brownie mix
Eggs
Vegetable oil
Water
20 individually wrapped caramels
2 Tbsp milk
1 teaspoon Morton® Coarse Sea Salt

Directions 
Heat oven and prepare brownie mix as instructed on box.
After placing brownie mix in 8 x 8 baking pan, set aside.
Make caramel sauce as instructed below (or use a prepared caramel sauce), then drizzle sauce on top of brownie batter.
Bake brownie batter as instructed on package.
Remove brownies from oven.
Sprinkle with Morton Coarse Sea Salt.
Cool brownies before cutting. Caramel Sauce:

Caramel Sauce:
Place unwrapped caramels and milk in microwave safe bowl.
Microwave on high for 1 minute and then in 10 second intervals, until caramels are easily whisked. Whisk until caramel mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined.

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