Saturday, February 29, 2020

LEAP DAY CHOCOLATE DONUTS: Traditions and Recipes

Leap Day, February 29, comes every four years and is the day that keeps our calendar in alignment with the Earth's revolutions around the Sun. Julius Caesar implemented the first leap day into his Julian Calendar in 45 BCE. At that time the leap day was February 24, and February was the last month of the year. In 1582 Pope Gregory XIII introduced the Gregorian Calendar which we use today. This calendar has a more precise formula for calculation of leap years.

Leap Day is also a holiday of folklore and traditions. On February 29, according to Irish legend, it was a day when women could propose to men. This balanced things out in the same way that the leap day balanced the calendar. And if a man who refused the marriage proposal on Leap Day, he was subject to a fine.

Leap Year Chocolate Cake Donuts
Recipe from allrecipes

Ingredients
1/2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

Directions
All ingredients should be room temperature (70 degrees F).
Beat sugar and eggs together until creamy and lemon colored.
Melt butter and chocolate together in small saucepan over low heat.
Beat into sugar and egg mixture.
In separate bowl combine vanilla and buttermilk. Stir into sugar mixture.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Stir into liquid mixture.
Chill dough slightly to make easier to handle. Roll out half dough on lightly floured board to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into doughnuts. Allow the cut doughnuts to dry for 10 minutes.
Heat 2 inches of oil to 370 degrees F in large skillet. Dough should be at room temperature before frying. Dip metal pancake turner into hot oil each time before using to move or turn a doughnut. Transfer doughnuts to skillet, one every 15 seconds.
Fry each doughnut about 90 seconds per side. Remove doughnuts and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.

To make icing:
Beat sugar, egg white, and vanilla together until smooth.
Drizzle onto the doughnuts after they have cooled.

LEAP FROG CHOCOLATES: Leap Day & National Frog Legs Day

February 29: Leap Day! Yes, every four years an extra day is added to the year. February 29 is also National Frogs Legs Day. And what does that have to do with Chocolate? Well, French Broad Chocolate in Asheville, NC created the most adorable and delicious Leap Frogs to celebrate. Read the story of French Broad Chocolate here: from a tiny cafe in Costa Rica to internationally reviewed bars and bonbons.

French Broad Chocolate chocolate leap frogs are each hand painted by their talented chocolatiers and flavored with one of three delicious fillings. Each box is a unique work of art. Yum!

FLAVORS 

Raspberry Cream: All of the pink painted frogs are filled with a dreamy, creamy white chocolate and fresh raspberry filling. (4 each)

Orange Chocolate Caramel: The orange frogs are filled with our gooey, orange chocolatey caramel, made with coconut milk. (Vegan) (4 each)

Pistachio Cream: For our green painted frogs, we toast and stone-grind farm-direct pistachios with organic cocoa butter and sugar to make a salty & sweet nutty filling. (2 each)

Fun Froggy Fact: Cacao Bisiesto in Nicaragua is one of French Broad Chocolate's principle cacao producers. "Bisiesto" means "Leap Year" in Spanish which is the day they were founded eight years ago. Their chocolate is featured in the frogs' shells. The hand-painted designs were inspirted by the dart frogs in the jaungles of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, the source of much of their cacao.


Friday, February 28, 2020

CHOCOLATE COCONUT SOUFFLE: National Chocolate Souffle Day

Today is National Chocolate Souffle´ Day. If you've been reading this blog, you know that I love souffles, and I've posted many different recipes over the years. How could I have a Chocolate Blog without at least 5 Souffle Recipes?

Here's a new old recipe from Baker's Famous Chocolate Recipes (1936) for a twist on the souffle: Chocolate Coconut Souffle.

You might not have Minute Tapioca in your pantry, but let me tell you it's worth searching out for this recipe. Check out my post on Tapioca. As far as Baker's Southern Coconut Flakes go, I wasn't sure exactly what that is, so I used Baker's Angel Flake Coconut which is slightly sweetened. After all, it was 1936.. maybe it's the same, maybe it's another product all together. If you know, leave a comment or contact me. I'm sure there's a Food Historian out there who knows!

For Chocolate, I use high quality very dark chocolate. Depending on the chocolate you use, your souffle might vary in taste.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

EASY CHOCOLATE KAHLUA CHEESECAKE: National Kahlua Day

Today is Kahlua Day! Now who doesn't like a shot of Kahlua in their coffee or hot chocolate? Kahlua is a coffee liqueur that was first produced in Veracruz in 1926 when a distiller added coffee beans to his rum. In 1964, Kahlua started exporting its product to the United States. Today, Kahlua is one of the most popular liqueurs in the world and for good reason.

Drink of the Week has a great description of Kahlua that taps into all the senses (better than I could do): Kahlua: Visually: clear with a medium plus, dark brown color. On the nose: medium intensity of coffee, cocoa, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and a hint of vanilla. On the palate: medium intensity of coffee (most dominant flavor), cocoa, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Body is very viscous but has a nice texture on the palate. The Kahlua keeps the sugar and sweetness in check with a subtle hint of cinnamon.

On DyingforChocolate.com, I've posted recipes for Killer Kahlua Brownies from Mary Kennedy that will knock your socks off. Other Kahlua recipes posted: Chocolate Kahlua Date Nut Bread, Kahlua Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate, and Auntie Helen's Chocolate Kahlua Cake. I think she just added a bottle, so it wouldn't all burn off. Try one of those recipes today, or if you like cheesecake, try this easy recipe for Chocolate Kahlua Cheesecake!

EASY CHOCOLATE KAHLUA CHEESECAKE

Crust Ingredients
1 1⁄3 cups chocolate wafer crumbs 
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 Tablespoon sugar

Alternate Oreo Crust -- yum! just crush the oreos (or pulse in your Cuisinart), add a little unsalted butter, and press into the springform pan

Cheesecake Ingredients
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate, chopped (65-75% cacao)
1/4 cup Kahlua
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1⁄3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
16 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into pieces

Directions
Prepare chocolate crumb crust by mixing together the crumbs, butter & sugar and press firmly into a nine-inch springform pan.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
In small saucepan over another saucepan with simmering water, melt chocolate with Kahlua and butter. Stir until smooth. Set aside. Let cool a bit.
In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and salt. Add sour cream and blend well.
Add cream cheese to egg mixture. Beat until smooth.
Gradually blend in chocolate mixture.
Fold mixture into prepared crust and bake for 35 minutes or until filling is barely set in center.
Turn off heat and let stand in oven for 15 minutes with door open.
Take out of oven and let stand at room temperature for one hour.
Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

GLUTEN-FREE NO-BAKE PISTACHIO CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE CAKE: National Pistachio Day


Today is National Pistachio Day and what better way to celebrate than with this Gluten-free No-Bake Pistachio Chocolate Truffle Cake? Recipe is from the American Pistachio Growers. There are many other great recipes on their site. When you have a particular food in mind, as I do on 'food 'holidays', be sure to check Growers' and Producers' websites for recipes and info!

GLUTEN-FREE NO-BAKE PISTACHIO CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE CAKE

Ingredients:
Gluten free, non-stick cooking spray or melted butter
12 ounces dark chocolate
8 ounces heavy cream or full fat coconut milk (shake can before measuring)
3 Tbsp Kahlua
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup roasted, salted and shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped

Instructions: 
Spray 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray or brush with butter.
Line pan with piece of parchment paper (to remove cake from pan)
Chop chocolate into small pieces.
Place chocolate in mixing bowl. Bring cream and Kahlua just to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir vanilla into hot cream and pour over chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until chocolate and cream are fully combined and mixture is smooth and glossy.
Pour into prepared pan, smooth out top, and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.
Using parchment to help, remove cake from pan and slice with thin, hot knife (run knife under hot water then dry with towel.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

SHROVE TUESDAY, FAT TUESDAY, PANCAKE DAY & 2 Chocolate Chip Pancake Recipes

Today is Shrove Tuesday aka Pancake Day! Shrove Tuesday marks the last day before Lent which is traditionally a period of abstinence, associated with clearing your cupboards of goods such as sugar, fats, and eggs. It's commonly known as Pancake Day because it represents a good opportunity to use such ingredients ahead of the fasting period.  

Pancake Day takes place 47 days before Easter Sunday. Because the date of Easter Sunday is tied to the cycle of the moon, Pancake Day can occur anytime between February 3 and March 9. In many countries, Shove Tuesday is celebrated with pancake throwing contests and races. Not so much in the U.S.

From Wikipedia: 
Like many other European holidays, the pancake day was originally a pagan holiday. Before the Christian era, the Slavs believed that the change of seasons was a struggle between Jarilo, the god of vegetation, fertility and springtime, and the evil spirits of cold and darkness. People believed that they had to help Jarilo fight against winter and bring in the spring. The most important part of Shrovetide week (the whole celebration of the arrival of spring lasted one week) was making and eating pancakes. The hot, round pancakes symbolized the sun.   

So to celebrate Shrove Tuesday and Pancake Day, you'll want to make pancakes, and I suggest one or both of the following recipes for Chocolate Chip Pancakes. I've listed two easy recipes for Chocolate Chip Pancakes, but you can also make Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes and add chocolate syrup or a dollop of chocolate ice cream...if you're in a chocolate mood. And, if you're giving up Chocolate for Lent, this will be your last chocolate treat until Easter!

1. Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Pancake batter
Chocolate chips

Make a batch of your favorite pancake batter. For every cup of dry pancake mix, add 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Mix batter. Stir in chips. Lightly grease and heat griddle or skillet. Pour a little less than 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. When bubbles appear all over uncooked side of the pancake, it's time to turn over. Cook the second side until light brown.

Or, if you don't have your own pancake recipe:

2. Chocolate Chip Pancakes


Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
3 eggs, separated
4 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions
Put dry ingredients in bowl. Combine well-beaten egg yolks with buttermilk and stir lightly into dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips. Stir in melted butter. Beat in stiffly beaten egg whites.
Cook on griddle or in skillet.
Makes 10-12 pancakes.


Monday, February 24, 2020

MARDI GRAS, MOON PIES, & MOBILE!

Moon Pies are a very Southern snack food, and Moon Pies in their packaging are thrown from floats during Mardi Gras in Mobile, AL, and other towns along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. They might not have the allure or shine of purple (justice) green (faith) and gold (power) beads, but they are a tradition, and people covet them--and they're great to eat! Catching items from floats means good luck, but sometimes, as in this case, it means a tasty treat!

I have a friend from Mobile, Alabama, and Moon Pies are definitely a Mardi Gras throw there. The first group to throw these chocolate covered marshmallow treats were the Maids of Mirth in 1956. The Chattanooga MoonPie company supplied the MoonPies after crackerjack boxes were banned because of dangerous sharp corners, and the MoonPie became a traditional "throw" of Mardi Gras krewes in Mobile, Alabama. The westernmost outpost of the Moon Pie as an important Carnival throw is Slidell, Louisiana, which has a parade by "The Krewe of Mona Lisa and MoonPie." The Moon Pie Company actually now offers smaller bite size individually wrapped MoonPies for throwing off floats.

So what is a MoonPie? Although it's often mistaken for a Whoppie Pie, it's not the same thing at all! A moon pie is a sandwich composed of brittle soft crumbly graham crackers and thick soft spongy marshmallow and then covered with rich dark chocolate.

The Moon Pie Brand began in 1917 with its trademark registered on Jan 1, 1919 in Chattanooga. According to the MoonPie Company, the story goes that Earl Mitchell, Sr, a bakery salesman, visited a company store that catered to coal miners. The Miners wanted something solid and filling because they didn't get time to break for lunch. About how big? he asked. A miner held out his hands, framing the moon, and said, "About that big!" When Mitchell returned to the bakery, he notices some workers dipping graham cookies into marshmallow & laying them on the window sill to harden. The idea of adding another cookie and a generous coating of chocolate was tried, and samples of this new MoonPie were distributed. It had a great response and became a regular item for the bakery.

During the 1930s, the MoonPie found its place in Southern folklore as part of the 'workingman's lunch." Coal miners and laborers could enjoy the biggest snack on the rack, a MoonPie, and a 10 oz RC Cola, each for a nickle. This inspired the 1950s country music hit "Give me an RC and a MoonPie. Double Decker MoonPies with three cookies and two layers of marshmallow appeared during the 1960s, and they were easier for vending machines.

So if you're in Alabama or Louisiana for Mardi Gras, try to catch some MoonPies!

Want to make your own Moon Pies? Here are some recipe links.

BrownEyedBaker
TidyMom
Delish
Serious Eats

Sunday, February 23, 2020

CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD: National Banana Bread Day


Today is Banana Bread Day! Who doesn't love a great slice of banana bread? Add chocolate chips, and I'm in heaven! Love this old postcard. Good banana bread is all about ripe bananas.

I have several recipes for Banana Bread, and every time I make banana bread, I change it up a bit. It usually depends on what's in the pantry, but mostly it doesn't matter. Two musts: baking soda and over ripe bananas--black and squishy, if possible!

The other day I was out of whole milk, so I used 1/2 -half and half and 1/2 -two percent. I actually prefer buttermilk, but use what you have. Oil or butter? Well, I used butter this last time, but oil works just as well, and I think I might even prefer it, but my canola oil was a bit rank, so I threw it out. I did think about olive oil, but opted for Vermont butter! As always, I added chocolate chips. Oh, and this is a one bowl recipe! How easy is that!!!


CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD
Makes 1 loaf--easily doubled!

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 medium-sized bananas (I used 4 smaller ones), very ripe
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup + chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8 x 5 loaf pan with parchment, letting excess hang over sides. Spray inside with nonstick cooking spray. (this last time I buttered the pan and then used some flour)

Whisk together melted butter and sugar in mixing bowl until combined. (If you cream the sugar and butter, you'll have a more cake-like banana bread--always a choice!)
Add eggs and whisk until combined and mixture is smooth.
Whisk milk and vanilla into batter.
Peel bananas and add to bowl. Using fork, mash them into batter. Leave bananas as chunky or as smooth as you prefer.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt to bowl. Switch to spatula and stir until ingredients are just barely combined and no more dry flour is visible. (Don't overstir)
Fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Smooth top of batter.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes: Bake until top of banana bread is dark brown with some yellow insides showing (there's usually a crack down the top) and toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Baking time varies, so start checking around 50 minutes or so.
Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.
Lift loaf out of pan and set on cooling rack to cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

CHOCOLATE MARGARITAS: National Maragarita Day

Today is National Margarita Day, and here are two recipes for Chocolate Margaritas! As always use the best ingredients for the best flavor! Both recipes suggest chocolate rims. How about adding a little salt to the rim mixture? Salt will bring out the chocolate and make this a bit more similar (ok, not all that similar) to a traditional margarita.

1. CHOCOLATE MARGARITA
A simple recipe from Blenderking.com:  (Per serving)

Ingredients
1 1/2 ounces Tequila
1 ounce Godiva liquor
3/4 ounce cream or half & half
1 Tbsp Hershey’s syrup
2 ounces orange juice
Ice

Directions
Shaker, not blender: Throw the ingredients into your shaker for a few quick shakes and pour into a margarita glass with crushed oreos lining the rim! Enjoy!

2. CHOCOLATE MARGARITA
And, from Marcela Valladolid at Foodnetwork.com. This recipe is for a crowd:

To rim the glasses:
Chocolate syrup
Finely chopped Mexican or bittersweet chocolate

Margarita:
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 cup (8 ounces) tequila
1/2 cup (4 ounces) chocolate liqueur
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup orange liqueur
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Ice

Directions

To rim the glasses: Put the syrup and chopped chocolate into 2 small dishes. Moisten the rims of 4 margarita or martini glasses with the chocolate syrup. Dip them in the Mexican chocolate until coated. Set aside.

Margarita: Combine all of the ingredients, except ice, in a pitcher. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a shaker full of ice. Shake and pour into the prepared glasses. Serve cold.

Friday, February 21, 2020

CHOCOLATE COCONUT MUFFINS: National Muffin Day!

Yesterday was National Muffin Day, but it's not too late to celebrate with these delicious Chocolate Coconut Muffins! They're perfect for your weekend brunch! And, they're so easy and quikc to make.

CHOCOLATE COCONUT MUFFINS

Ingredients 
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions 
In large bowl, combine all ingredients (excluding coconut flakes and chocolate chips).
Fold in coconut flakes and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling about 3/4 full.
Top with additional coconut flakes (this will toast while baking)
Bake at 350°F for approximately 20 minutes.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

CHOCOLATE CHERRY PIE: National Cherry Pie Day

So today is National Cherry Pie Day, but since it's winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, I'm not sure why this food holiday shows up in February. Many markets carry cherries from Mexico and countries in South America, so check around. All of my markets have fresh cherries. Or, you can wait and bookmark this recipe to make in the summer.

But, if you can get fresh cherries, I suggest you make Chocolate Cherry Pie today. This recipe is from Allison Arevalo who posted this on Local Lemons several years ago.

This Chocolate Cherry Pie features fabulous cherries, rich dark chocolate, and a butter pie crust. It is positively sinful. The directions and photos on Local Lemons are outstanding.

I use pre-made pie crusts from Trader Joe's, but check the link if you want to make an outstanding pie crust that includes graham cracker crumbs as well as a good flour.

CHOCOLATE CHERRY PIE

Ingredients
2 pre-made deep dish pie crusts
2 1/2 pounds fresh cherries (about 2 pounds pitted)
1/2 cup agave nectar
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded chocolate (Mostly dark, with some milk chocolate mixed in, also chopped in food processor)

Directions

Filling
Pit cherries using cherry-pitter and put in large bowl. Add chopped chocolate, 4 Tbsp flour, and agave nectar. Gently toss until cherries are well coated.
Preheat oven to 400F.
With pre-made pie dough that's been rolled out. Fit into 9 inch pie dish. Carefully pick up and place in dish, cutting off overhang. Fill dough with cherry mixture. Roll out second piecrust and place on top of pie. Pinch sides closed with thumb and forefinger, and use sharp knife to cut three vents into top of crust. Brush with egg wash.
Bake for 25 minutes in middle of oven. Lower heat to 350F and bake for 25 more minutes.  

Photo: Local Lemons with permission

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Thin Mint Cookie S'mores: National Chocolate Mint Day


Today is National Chocolate Mint Day. So many Chocolate Mint recipes, but my favorite Chocolate Mint Cookies are Girl Scout Cookies Thin Mints. And, it's Girl Scout Cookie Time! Girl Scouts invented S'mores, so this recipe from the the Campfire Marshmallow website for Mint Chocolate Cookie S'mores using Girl Scout Thin Mints is a great and easy way to celebrate!

THIN MINT COOKIE S'MORES

Ingredients
Mint Chocolate Cookies (Girl Scout Thin Mints)
Regular Campfire Marshmallows

Directions
Place cookie face side down on plate.
Carefully toast marshmallow over grill or campfire (or oven).
Place toasted marshmallow on cookie and top with second cookie. Press gently.

How easy is that?

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

THIN MINT GIRL SCOUT COOKIE BROWNIES

You can't miss them. Every street corner, every park, every office is filled with girls in green uniforms and/or mothers and fathers hawking the taste of the season: Girl Scout Cookies.

Girl Scout Cookies are hard for me to pass up. I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout, and I used to pound the pavement selling and then delivering door to door. Those were different times, but not the cookies. I still love them. Anyway, by this time of year, I have a cupboard filled with Samoas, Tagalongs and Thin Mints ... well, not the cupboard for the Thin Mints. I put them in the freezer. I've been freezing my Thin Mints for more years than I want to remember. Not that they're being frozen for future times. I just think they taste best that way. It's no secret that my favorite cookies are Thin Mints. Several years ago on the 100th Anniversary of the Girl Scouts, I posted a recipe for Thin Mint Truffles. So easy and delicious.

So this year, I thought I'd post a recipe for Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies Brownies. Plenty of other ways to use Girl Scout Cookies. Be sure and scroll down for more tips!

Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookie Brownies

Ingredients
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/2 Box Thin Mints Girl Scout Cookies, crushed into small chunks

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter 9”x9” square baking pan.
In double boiler over low heat, melt butter and chocolate together and remove from heat.
In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients.
When chocolate/butter mixture has cooled a little, whisk in eggs and vanilla. Note: it is important to cool chocolate/butter mixture or eggs will cook.
Add rest of dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Other things to do with Girl Scout Cookies:
Crush them up and use them as ice cream toppings, in cakes and cookies, truffles and brownies.
Girl Scout Cookies are also great to use as pie crusts, in the same way you'd make a chocolate wafer cookie crust or graham cracker crust. Yum.

So which cookies will you buy?



Monday, February 17, 2020

GEORGE WASHINGTON'S FAVORITE DRINK: Warm Chocolate Cream

Presidents Day and what better way to celebrate than with the George Washington's Favorite Drink: Warm Chocolate Cream.

George Washington definitely liked his chocolate. A favorite breakfast for him was cornmeal hoe cakes with honey and butter, washed them down with Warm Chocolate Cream, according to the cookbook, Dining with the Washingtons, by the staff at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate. This cookbook offers updated versions of typical recipes from the period and a glimpse into the first president's favorite foods.

Dining with the Washingtons, Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon, edited By Stephen A. McLeod

Chocolate was a favorite drink at Mount Vernon in George Washington's lifetime. Washington's first recorded order for chocolate was for 20 pounds of chocolate, which arrived from England in 1758. He continued to buy chocolate throughout his life, in quantities as small as one pound and as large as the 50 pounds purchased three months before his death in 1799. (Source: Pleasant Living Magazine)

Chocolate was a typical breakfast beverage, not only at Mount Vernon but throughout British North America. It was made by grating a small amount of chocolate into boiling water, milk and water, or wine and water, and later adding sugar (See recipe below from Dining with the Washingtons).

In a letter to his wife in Scotland, tutor John Harrower at Belvidera Plantation wrote that breakfast with his employer usually consisted of warm bread and either coffee or chocolate. In 1794, a friend wrote to George Washington requesting two or three bushels of chocolate shells "such as we've frequently drank Chocolate of at Mt. Vernon, as my Wife thinks it agreed with her better than any other Breakfast....". Martha Washington's daughter-in-law admitted to one of her daughters that "the more simple food I have is best" and went on to say that "I breakfast on Chocolate....".

Special ceramic forms were used to serve this beverage. Among the 309 pieces of white and gold French china acquired in 1790 for the presidential mansion were 12 chocolate cups and saucers, which were brought to Mount Vernon upon Washington's retirement. The Washingtons purchased three sets of tea china and six chocolate cups in 1793, further evidence that chocolate, although popular, was not served as often as tea. A covered, two-handled chocolate or caudle cup, probably intended as a display piece, survives from the "States" service given to Martha Washington in 1796 and is exhibited in the museum at Mount Vernon.

In addition to enjoying cocoa, the Washingtons often made a healthful tea from the shells (hulls), which they served to guests.

Recipe from Dining with the Washingtons:


Sunday, February 16, 2020

FIRST LADIES' CHOCOLATE RECIPES: Presidents Day

Tomorrow is Presidents' Day. It's not any 'real' president's birthday. When I was growing up we celebrated both Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday on two separate days. That also meant two days off from school, not just one. Times have changed. For this year's Presidents Day, I'm featuring recipes by the women behind the men (sadly not a man behind the woman, although there's a family recipe for the 2016 Cookie Bake-Off. See below). Here are several Chocolate Recipes from first ladies. The recipes are found in the individual Presidential Archives, as well as newspapers, magazines (Family Circle) 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.

***
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.
***
Starting in 1992, Family Circle Magazine has orchestrated a political bake-off during every presidential election year. It was already commonplace for presidential candidates to release family recipes during their campaign—it helps to humanize the candidates and also allows them to promote family values. But Family Circle decided to up the ante by publishing cookie recipes from the wives of each candidate and asking readers to try baking both and then vote on their favorite. The results of the bake-off have interestingly almost always predicted the winner of the presidential election, save a couple outliers.

In the first First Lady bake-off in 1992, Hillary Clinton’s chocolate chip cookies beat out Barbara Bush’s still-delicious chocolate chip recipe, and again in 1996, Hillary’s chocolate chip recipe won over Elizabeth Dole’s Pecan Roll cookies. In 2000, Laura Bush debuted her Texas Governor’s House Cowboy Cookies, and as expected, they beat our Tipper Gore’s ginger snap recipe.

Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies
From Southern Living:

Laura switched up her recipe during her husband’s second presidential campaign in 2004 to a similar oatmeal chocolate chunk recipe, but it’s her first Cowboy Cookie that’s become so famous. As with most things in Texas, Laura’s Cowboy Cookies are big and completely stuffed with so many mix-ins: oats, coconut, pecans, and of course, chocolate chips

Ingredients 
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups light-brown sugar, packed 3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flake coconut 2 cups chopped pecans

Directions
Heat oven to 350 degree F.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in bowl.
In 8-quart bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugars to combine, 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla.
Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.
For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.
Bake in 350 degree F oven 17 to 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Remove cookies to rack to cool

CLINTON FAMILY'S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

And in case you're wondering, yes, there was a 2016 Cookie Bake-Off of the Candidates's spouses. Bill Clinton was asked to contribute a recipe, and the Clinton campaign submitted the "Clinton Family's Chocolate Chip Cookies" (see above for same recipe 1992, 1996, 2016!) -- a reprise of Hillary Clinton's earlier oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Melania Trump submitted her recipe for Star Cookies, a rolled butter cookie, enriched with a bit of sour cream and egg yolk. Nothing special, and no chocolate!  She did not win..Sadly her husband won the electoral vote, but not the popular vote ... just as this cookie shows... no one likes a plain cookie!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

VELVET ALMOND FUDGE PIE: Retro Ad & Recipe for National Almond Day

Tomorrow is National Almond Day, and this Retro Ad and Recipe from Jell-O and Blue Diamond Almonds for Velvet Almond Fudge Pie is the perfect way to celebrate!

Velvet Almond Fudge Pie

"This is an extraordinary pie — incredibly chocolatey, incredibly rich, with the delectable crunch of almonds. What makes this pie so deliciously chocolatey and so extraordinarily rich is the delicious chocolate flavor you bake in with Jell-O brand chocolate fudge flavor pudding and pie filling and chocolate chips. And you bake in the delicious crunch of Blue Diamond almonds, too."

Ingredients 
1 cup almonds
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 unbaked 8″ pie shell
1 pkg. Jello brand chocolate fudge chocolate pudding pie filling
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted

Directions
Chop almonds and toast at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Set aside. Blend together until smooth; pie filling mix, corn syrup, milk, egg and chips. Add almonds and pour into pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees about 45 minutes or until top is firm and begins to crack. Cool at least 4 hours. Garnish with whipped topping, if desired.

Friday, February 14, 2020

HEART SHAPED TRUFFLES & Vintage Heart Chocolate Molds for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is all about Chocolate. I love heart-shaped truffles, and they're easy to make... if you have the right molds. There are silicon heart shaped molds to make these chocolates, but I'm lucky enough to have a few vintage heart-shaped chocolate molds I've found over the years. Scroll down for photos of Vintage Heart-Shaped Chocolate Molds.

So here's yet another recipe for Truffles--this time for Valentine Heart-shaped Chocolate Truffles. Of course, you can use any basic truffle recipe and just press into the mold. I usually melt my chocolate and butter in a double boiler, but the microwave works, too.


And, if you don't have time to make your own heart shaped truffles, buy Coeurs de truffes from Guyaux! Guyaux was founded in 1931. They produce traditional French-style truffles-in heart shape this time of year--covered with cocoa powder. Guyaux is a family run company, headed by second and third generation chocolate makers in Paris. It's now run by the grand-daughter of the founder. And, if you want to give a really special gift, buy Guyaux truffles in the traditional French Truffle Box! The basket is a replica of the one used historically to store Perigord truffles… which explains the open-weave lid. Ooo-la-la! I will have a post on all their products in the near future. For now, they're available in lots of specialty markets--I picked up a box at my local Pasta Shop! These are definitely my favorites! So rich and decadent!

Valentine Chocolate Truffle Recipe
Makes 24 chocolate truffles

Ingredients
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, chopped coarsely
9 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tsp corn syrup
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted for dusting the finished chocolate truffles
You are only limited by your imagination or heart on decorating ideas!

Directions
Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler or in saucepan on top of saucepan over simmering water.
Remove from heat and add cream and corn syrup. Mix until combined and smooth. If you are adding flavorings add them with the cream (kirsch, bourbon, kahlua, etc???).
Pour chocolate truffle filling into heart shaped chocolate mold. Level top with scraper. Put in refrigerator to set.
Once firm, place in freezer for 5 minutes then push out of mold. Dust with sifted cocoa powder.
Store in cool dry place until ready to eat or give as a Valentine's Day gift.

Vintage Valentine Chocolate Molds





Thursday, February 13, 2020

NOTHIN' BUT LOVE CAKE: Fun Recipes from M&M's

I collect cookbooks, and today at the Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale I came across this cookbook: Fun Recipes from M&M's. It has strong cardboard pages (like a children's book) and a unique shape. And, who doesn't love M&M's? In keeping with this week's Valentine's Day spirit, I was pleased to find a section in the cookbook called "Celebrate" and a recipe for Nothin' But Love Cake. Yes, please.

Happy Valentine's Day!



STRAWBERRY SWEETHEARTS RICE KRISPIES TREATS for Valentine's Day

Rice Krispies Treats aren't just for kids. Here's a great and easy recipe form Kellogg's Rice Krispies for Valentine's Day. I love these Strawberry Sweethearts Rice Krispies Treats -- Retro with a Twist!

Want to upgrade this Valentine's Day treat? Use good quality White Chocolate and Ruby Chocolate for your dipping. The difference in flavor is amazing!

STRAWBERRY SWEETHEARTS RICE KRISPIES TREATS

Ingredients
3 Tablespoons butter
1 package (10 oz., about 40) JET-PUFFED Marshmallows or 4 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg’s® Strawberry Krispies® cereal
8 ounces white, red and/or pink candy melts  (or good quality white and ruby chocolate --for better flavor)
Red, pink and/or white sprinkles

Directions
1. Follow the Kellogg's® Rice Krispies Treats™ Original Recipe on the back of cereal box.
2. Using a buttered spatula or wax paper, evenly press into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool slightly.
3. Use a 2 ½ inch cookie cutter coated with cooking spray to cut into heart shapes. Cool completely. 4. Melt candy melts according to package directions. Dip each heart halfway into melted candy. Shake sprinkles over candy-coated portion. Place on wax paper-lined tray to cool and set.

Photo: Kellogg's

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

RED VELVET PANCAKES: Breakfast for Dinner on Valentine's Day

Red Velvet Pancakes are perfect for Valentine's Day -- either for brunch or Breakfast for Dinner! You can make Red Velvet Pancakes from scratch or use a mix. Add a little extra love by using a heart-shaped pancake mold! Hint: If you use a mold, use several and be sure to spray the molds, so the pancakes don't stick.

There are many Red Velvet Pancake Mixes. My favorite Red Velvet Pancake Mix is from The Griddle Cafe. My second choice which is still fab would be the Red Velvet Pancake Mix from Cost Plus World Market. If you have a favorite, let me know by commenting below.

Want to make Red Velvet Pancakes from Scratch? Here are two awesome recipes. The first recipe is my favorite, but the second is great, too.

1. RED VELVET PANCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE GLAZE 
(Adapted from About.com)

Pancakes:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp Dark cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
8 ounces buttermilk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, and cooled slightly
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1 tsp white vinegar
2 tsp red liquid food coloring
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Extra butter or nonstick cooking spray

Cream Cheese Glaze:
4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp milk

Directions
Preheat griddle to medium-high heat. In bowl, whisk to combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
In separate bowl, whisk eggs, then add milk, buttermilk, butter, vanilla extract, white vinegar, and food coloring, whisking to combine completely. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients, stirring just until combined. Do not overmix.
Brush some butter or spray nonstick cooking spray on hot griddle, and spoon batter into desired sized pancakes (or molds). Cook until bubbles form in batter, the edges are dry and underside is lightly brown, about 5 minutes, then flip over and cook other side 1 to 2 minutes more. Repeat as needed until all batter is used.

As pancakes cook, make cream cheese glaze: 
In small bowl, use fork to stir together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Add a little milk if needed to make glaze that has thin enough consistency to drizzle.

To serve, stack three pancakes on a plate and drizzle cream cheese glaze over them.

2. BISQUICK RED VELVET PANCAKES WITH CREAM CHEESE GLAZE
(recipe from Betty Crocker)


Cream Cheese Topping
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 Tbsp milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Pancakes 
2 cups Original Bisquick™ mix
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 cup milk
1 to 1 1/2 tsp red paste food color**
2 eggs
Powdered sugar, if desired

Directions 
In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and 3 Tbsp milk with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, on low speed until topping is smooth. Cover; set aside.
In large bowl, stir all pancake ingredients except powdered sugar with wire whisk until well blended. Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat (375°F). (To test griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If bubbles jump around, heat is just right.) Brush with vegetable oil if necessary or spray with cooking spray before heating.
For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbles form on top and edges are dry. Turn; cook other side until golden brown.
Spoon cream cheese topping into resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut off tiny corner of bag; squeeze bag to drizzle topping over pancakes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

** Do not use liquid red food coloring in this recipe**

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

PEPPERMINT PATTY BROWNIES: Peppermint Patty Day

Today is National Peppermint Patty Day! Peppermint Patties are candy made from a simple recipe of butter, powdered sugar, corn syrup and peppermint extract. 

For today's holiday, here's a easy recipe for Peppermint Patty Brownies, because you can never have too many Brownie recipes. Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.

PEPPERMINT PATTY BROWNIES

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups white sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
5 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
 24 small peppermint patties

Directions  
Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs till well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Blend well. Reserve 2 cups of batter, set aside
Grease 13x9x2 inch pan. Spread remaining batter in prepared pan. Arrange peppermint patties in a single layer over batter about 1/2 inch apart. Spread reserved 2 cups batter over patties.
Bake 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50-55 minutes till brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. E

Monday, February 10, 2020

SWEET STORY CAKE for Valentine's Day: Vintage Recipe and Ad

Here's a great 1948 Vintage Spry Ad for a "Sweet Story Cake" It's perfect for Valentine's Day! "Every Cake Rates a Kiss"   FYI: Spry was similar to Crisco.

SWEET STORY CAKE

Ingredients
  • For Cake:
  • 2½ cups sifted cake flour
  • 1½ cups of sugar
  • 3½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 egg whites, unbeaten
  • 18 maraschino cherries, well drained and finely chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
  • For Frosting: (I doubled this)
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 9 Tablespoons scalded cream
  • Red or pink food coloring
Directions
  1. For Cake:
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl. Drop in shortening. Combine milk and maraschino cherry juice and add ¾ cup of this liquid. Add flavoring extracts and mix with mixer on low for 2 minutes (100 strokes by hand).
  3. Add remaining liquid and egg whites and beat for another 2 minutes. Fold in cherries and nuts. Bake in two 9-inch pans or two heart-shaped pans at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. (If you pour all the batter in one pan, bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes)
  4. When cool, cut layers with heart shaped pattern, if you didn't use a heart-shaped pan. Spread with frosting, and outline a short Valentine's message with a toothpick and fill in letters and outline of cake with sugar pearls.
  5. For Frosting:
  6. Combine shortening, butter, flavorings and salt and blend well. Beat in ½ cup sugar. Add hot cream alternating with remaining sugar, beating well after each addition. Add only enough cream to make a nice spreading consistency. Add a few drops of red or pink food coloring to tint frosting a delicate pink before spreading on cake.

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

Today is National Cream Cheese Brownies Day. To celebrate, here's a fabulous Retro Recipe with Advertisement from Baker's Chocolate for German Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies.

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE BROWNIES

Ingredients

1 (4 ounce) package Baker's German sweet chocolate
5 Tbsp butter
1 (3 ounces) package cream cheese
1 cup sugar
 3 eggs
1/2 cup plus
1 Tbsp unsifted flour
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coarsely-chopped nuts
1/4 tsp almond extract

Directions

Melt chocolate and 3 tablespoons butter over very low heat, stirring constantly. Cool. Cream remaining butter with cream cheese until softened. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, creaming until light and fluffy.
Blend in 1 egg, 1 tablespoon flour and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside. Beat remaining eggs until thick and light in color. Gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, beating until thickened. Add baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup flour. Blend in cooled chocolate mixture, nuts, almond extract, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. Measure 1 cup chocolate batter and set aside.
Spread remaining chocolate batter in a greased 9 inch square pan. Top with cheese mixture. Drop measured chocolate batter from tablespoon onto cheese mixture, swirl with spatula or marble.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool, then cut. Cover, and store in refrigerator.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

EASY CHOCOLATE CHERRY FUDGE for Valentine's Day!

Here's a Quick and Easy Recipe to whip up for Valentine's Day - or Any Day: Chocolate Cherry Fudge. Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.

CHOCOLATE CHERRY FUDGE

Ingredients
1 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup chopped dried cherries (I use Trader Joe's)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 tsp pure vanilla

Directions 
Line cookie sheet with waxed paper; set aside. In medium microwave-safe bowl microwave chocolate and sweetened condensed milk on high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 1 minute more or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in 1/2 cup cherries, 1/4 cup walnuts, and vanilla.

Pour mixture onto prepared cookie sheet and spread into a 9 x 6 inch rectangle. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cherries and remaining 1/2 cup walnuts.

Chill 30 minutes or until firm. Cut fudge into 1-1/2-inch squares.

To Store: 
Layer fudge between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

For Valentine's Day, pack the fudge in a fabulous heart shaped tin with a big red ribbon! Enjoy!


Friday, February 7, 2020

RED VELVET RED CARPET POPCORN: A Night at the Academy Awards

Roll out the Red Carpet for the Academy Awards. Red Carpet Red Velvet Popcorn (3 ways) are the perfect Oscar winning snacks!

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