Thursday, April 30, 2020

OATMEAL RAISIN WALNUT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Today we celebrate two food holidays: Oatmeal Cookie Day and Raisin Day. Put the two holidays and their ingredients together, add Chocolate Chips, and make these delicious Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies.

OATMEAL RAISIN WALNUT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup ground walnuts
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup raisins

Directions
In small bowl mix flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.
In large mixing bowl beat butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
At low speed, beat in flour mixture until blended.
Fold in ground walnuts, oats, chocolate chips, and raisins.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350.
Grease 2 baking sheets.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten each cookie slightly with fork.
Bake cookies until lightly browned around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer to flattened brown paper bags or wire racks to cool.

Tip: Dough also freezes well. Freeze dough balls on a cookie sheet and then put them in a ziploc bag in the freezer until ready to bake!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

TOLL HOUSE MARBLE Squares: Shelter in Place Chocolate Goodness #12

I love old Retro Ads and Recipes, and this one from the 1960s for Toll House Marble Squares is still sensational. It's the perfect recipe for Shelter-in-Place Chocolate Goodness #12.

 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

NO-CHURN CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM: Retro 1941 Recipe that still works Today!

Want to make Chocolate Ice Cream while you're Sheltered-in-Place? Don't have an ice cream maker. Here's a Retro Advertisement with recipe from Borden's Eagle Brand from August 8, 1941 for Magic Chocolate Ice Cream. I love Elsie the Cow, and luckily, I have an automatic refrigerator! Gotta love these 'story' ads. "If it's Borden's, it's got to be good." No need for an ice cream machine.






Monday, April 27, 2020

DEVIL DOGS: History & Recipe for National Devil Dog Day!

Today is National Devil Dog Day! This food holiday has nothing to do with devils or dogs. A Devil Dog is kind of like a hot-dog shaped whoopie pie. It has a smooth fluffy filling between two devil's food cake fingers. The Devil Dog is produced by Drake's Bakeries, originally known as Drake's Cakes, and they've been making them from 1926. National Devil Dog Day was started by Sean Alexander Sobel, who as a child ate Devil Dogs with his grandfather, Howard Leslie Sobel, and wanted to share the history of the snack. In 2017, the same year Sobel created the day, Drake's introduced Fudge Dipped Devil Dogs. The holiday began being celebrated the following year.
 
The term "Devil Dogs" dates to 1917 or 1918—it is believed the name was coined by Germans to describe American soldiers during World War I and alluded to their tenacity. The term was picked up on the homefront: the German word for it, Teufel Hunden was used on Marines recruiting posters in 1918, and newspaper stories also mentioned the phrase that year. The name became firmly associated with the Marines at that time but began being used for the snack eight years later.

If you're not able to find Devil Dogs right now because you're Sheltered-in-Place and your market is out of them, why not make some home-made Devil Dogs. See the following recipe. Don't want to make the Devil's Food Cake from scratch? Use a Devil Food Cake mix, but be sure and follow the filling recipe.

HOME-MADE DEVIL DOGS

Ingredients

Cake
1 egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 -1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Filling
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme (1-1/2 cups)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

Cake
Preheat oven to 400
In medium bowl, blend together egg, shortening, sugar with electric mixer. Continue to beat while adding milk and vanilla.
In anotehr  bowl sift together remaining cake ingredients -- flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder.
Spoon Tbsp of batter into strips about 4 inches long and 1 inch wide on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 5-6 minutes until done. Cool.

Filling:
Put butter in bowl of stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and cream until fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add confectioners sugar, marshmallow cream, and vanilla and continue mixing on low speed until combined, fluffy and smooth (about 2 minutes). But cream in pastry bag with large tip (or ziploc bag with corner cut in wide way). Pipe onto cakes as below.

Pipe marshmallow cream over surface to cover, chill 10 minutes so cream stiffens, then place second cake on top to make sandwich. Repeat with remaining cakes and filling. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Will keep in refrigerator (covered) for up to 5 days. Can freeze for 2 months.

Makes a lot of Devil Dogs!

Want another recipe for Devil Dogs? Serious Eats has a more 'serious' recipe.. I haven't tried that one yet.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZELS: National Pretzel Day

Today is National Pretzel Day. How better to celebrate than with Chocolate Covered Pretzels!

I'm from Philadelphia, the home of the soft pretzel. When I was growing up, there were pretzel carts on almost every corner downtown. Usually we smeared our pretzels with mustard. The soft pretzels were very doughy on the inside but crunchy on the outside and dipped in rock (kosher?) salt. Since I always enjoyed baking bread, I used to make my own pretzels.

I did a little research on pretzels, and it wasn't surprising to find that the first commercial pretzel bakery in the U.S. was established in 1861 in Lancaster County, PA. In 1935, the Reading Pretzel Machinery Company introduced the automatic pretzel twisting machine. For a history of the pretzel, go here and here.
Want to make your own soft pretzels? Here's a great recipe from King Arthur Flour. 

Chocolate covered pretzels, though,  are made with hard pretzels. I love the salt/sweet thing. Here's an easy recipe. As always, use the very best chocolate for the very best flavor.

CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZELS

Ingredients
1 1/2 good dark chocolate bars broken into pieces (6-8 oz?)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Pretzels (until your chocolate runs out)

Directions
Melt chocolate with butter in metal bowl over saucepan over simmering water. Remove from heat.
One at a time immerse pretzels into chocolate. Lift out with fork, tapping fork against side of bowl to let excess chocolate drip back into bowl.
Put pretzels on wire rack (over wax paper). Dry until chocolate hardens.

How easy is that?

Saturday, April 25, 2020

CHOCOLATE COFFEE ZUCCHINI BREAD: National Zucchini Bread Day

Today is National Zucchini Bread Day, but I have no zucchini in the garden. Luckily for me, it's available in several of the markets (I live in California where zucchini is a year-round crop).  If you don't find any, save this recipe for the summer when your Victory Garden is filled with zucchini!

Zucchini Breadmakes a good change from the banana bread everyone is making while Sheltered-in-Place.  The 'secret' ingredient in this particular chocolate zucchini bread is 'Coffee.'  If you've been following my daily posts, you know that coffee often enhances the flavor of chocolate, and you'll find that happens in this recipe! As always, your final results will only be as good as your ingredients. Use the very best cocoa, fresh oil, and good coffee.

Chocolate Coffee Zucchini Bread 

ingredients
1-1/2 cups shredded fresh zucchini (approximately 1 zucchini)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup brewed coffee, cold
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup walnuts,  chopped (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Lightly oil 9 × 5 bread pan.
Shred zucchini using fine shredding disc on food processor or hand shredder. I usually wrap the shredded zucchini in a paper towel and squeeze after shredding to get out excess moisture. Do this before measuring.
Measure 1-1/2 cups and set aside.
Beat together oil, brewed coffee, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients until incorporated, then beat together until smooth. Fold in shredded zucchini and walnuts (optional). Once zucchini is incorporated, pour into prepared pan and bake 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out dry. Remove  from oven and cool on wire rack. Remove from pan after cooling for 15 minutes.

3 MINUTE S'MORES CAKE IN A MUG: Shelter in Place Chocolate Goodness

I've been posting a few 'short' recipes for single serving chocolate goodness to quench your craving while you're Sheltered-in-Place. Here's another recipe that is a bit of a twist on the 1 minute Cake in a Mug. You will love this!!! It's adapted from a recipe on The Food Network and How Sweet It is. As always, the final product and taste will only be as good as your ingredients -- but it's all about your personal taste budds, isn't it? This recipe is a bit more complicated than the traditional 1 Minute Mug Cake, but I think you'll enjoy the results so much more! This is sooo fudgy. And, you don't need to do this outdoors. This 3 Minute S'mores Cake in a Mug is fabulous any time.

3 Minute S'mores Cake in a Mug

Ingredients
2-3 Tbsp graham cracker crumbs
3 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (you can substitute all purpose flour but not regular whole wheat flour. It's too heavy)
2 Tbsp unsweetened DARK cocoa powder (Hershey's, but any cocoa will work) 
1/8 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1-1/2 ounces chopped milk chocolate or chocolate chips
Marshmallow Fluff, Marshmallow Cream, or Marshmallows

Directions
Combine 3 Tbsp butter and 1 ounce of chocolate in small bowl, then melt in microwave for 20-30 seconds. Set aside.
In another bowl, combine remaining melted butter with 2-3 Tbsp graham cracker crumbs and stir until moistened. Press graham crumbs into bottom of mug.
In bowl. whisk egg, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add in flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa, stir until thick batter forms. Pour in melted butter and chocolate, mixing to combine. Fold in remaining chocolate chunks or chips.
Add half of mixture on top of graham crust, then add scoop of marshmallow fluff/cream or a few marshmallows.
Add remaining batter on top, then put in the microwave for 1 minute and 20 seconds to almost 2 minutes.
Remove and top with additional marshmallows (if you want).
You can pop it back in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to melt them, or torch with small flame, or pop them under the broiler for 10 seconds to toast. Sprinkle with graham crumbs!



Friday, April 24, 2020

NATIONAL JELLY BEAN DAY: Jelly Belly

Frank Price & Jelly Belly
Yesterday was National Jelly Bean Day. My favorite jelly beans are Jelly Bellies! I love all the flavors, especially the Jelly Belly Chocolate Covered Jelly Beans. The Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips are gourmet jelly beans covered in dark chocolate. Flavors include Very Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Coconut, and Orange. Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips are gluten-free, gelatin-free and certified OU Dairy Kosher. My favorite is the Very Cherry. Just an FYI, there is no hard candy shell on the actual jelly bean center, so the chocolate covered jelly beans are the same size as regular jelly beans. This chocolate jelly bean has a real chocolate aroma and a nice mouth-feel.

If you want more of a 'plain' chocolate Jelly Bean, try the Chocolate Pudding Jelly Belly.

Before the Shelter-in-Place Lockdown, I loved to take young out-of-towners to the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, CA. There you can see jelly bellies being made, tour the art exhibit, stop by the soda fountain, buy jelly bellies, and much more. When I first went to the factory, it was more open and low key. Now it's a bit more sterile and everything is behind glass walls. I'm sure that's better for production, safety, and quality, but I preferred the old way. Kind of like the Hershey Factory tours when I was little. I was sure someone would fall into a vat, and maybe they did. That was pre-Willy Wonka.

I don't bake with jelly beans, and, if truth be told, there are very fewin my pantry. But there's always a time and a place for them, especially on National Jelly Bean Day. So here are some 'recipes' from the Jelly Belly website for combining flavors. Great Fun!
Jelly Belly California Grizzly Painting


Cartoon of the Day: Coffee Cake

This could be Reign!


Thursday, April 23, 2020

CHOCOLATE CHERRY CHEESECAKE: National Cherry Cheesecake Day

In celebration of National Cherry Cheesecake Day, I am reposting an easy delicious recipe for Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake adapted from Pillsbury. This would be a great cheesecake to make while you are Sheltered-in-Place.

I make my own tried and true Chocolate Cookie Crust! About the crust. Sometimes I bake it first, and sometimes I don't. It won't matter in this recipe, but I like it to be a bit more crunchy for texture, so I usually bake it before adding filling.

CHOCOLATE CHERRY CHEESECAKE

Chocolate Cookie Crust
About 40 chocolate wafers (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers-2 cups crumbs)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Pinch of salt

Directions
Process cookies in food processor until finely ground.
Transfer crumbs to mixing bowl & combine crumbs, butter, salt. Stir until crumbs are moistened.
Press mixture evenly across bottom of 10-inch springform pan and all the way up sides of pan. Pack tightly so crust is even.
Bake in 350° oven for 6-8 minutes or until crisp.
Let cool completely before filling. You can put it in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Filling 
4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream
20 ounces cherry pie filling  (I use Chukars Sour Cherry Pie Filling!)

(Optional) Glaze 
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup (or about 6 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped

Directions
Make crust as above.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add 1/2 cup whipping cream; blend well.
Spoon 3 -1/2 cups cream cheese mixture into crust-lined pan, spreading evenly. Carefully spoon 1 cup pie filling evenly over cream cheese layer (reserve remaining pie filling for topping). Spoon remaining cream cheese mixture evenly over pie filling.
Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack 1 hour.
Serve topped with remaining cherry pie filling.

Optional: I don't think you need to add this, but if you want more chocolate!
In 1-quart saucepan, heat 1/2 cup whipping cream to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped chocolate until melted.
Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. Remove side of pan. Place cheesecake on paper-lined cookie sheet. Before adding the extra cherry pie filling -- Spread chocolate glaze over cooled cheesecake, allowing some to flow down side. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

CRACKED EARTH CHOCOLATE FLOURLESS CAKE for EARTH DAY

Earth Day 2020! Be sure and go out for a walk today and appreciate our planet earth. As many of you know, I blog about mystery/crime fiction at Mystery Fanfare, as well as Chocolate. I'm also the Editor of the Mystery Readers Journal. The most recent issue (Volume 36:1) focuses on Environmental Crime Fiction/Mysteries. Today on Mystery Fanfare, I blogged about Reservoir Noir: books that deal with intentional flooding of towns and villages because of building dams and reservoirs for water supply, irrigation, power and other reasons--a sad addition to the environmental crime fiction list.
I don’t know of a good crime novel that involves the chocolate trade. That’s a theme ripe for a good mystery. Something to think about today when you make “Cracked Earth Flourless Chocolate Cake” from the recipe below.

The recipe for the cake is adapted from Tyler Florence of the Food Network. It's his Cracked Earth Flourless Chocolate Cake. And, it's Gluten-Free.

Cracked Earth Chocolate Flourless Cake: Earth Day

Ingredients
1 pound organic fair-trade dark chocolate (65-85% cacao), chopped into small pieces
1 stick unsalted butter
9 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 Tablespoon
2 cups heavy cream, cold 

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 9-inch springform pan.
Put chocolate and butter in top of double boiler over simmering water until melted.
Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks with sugar in mixing bowl until light yellow in color.
Whisk a little of chocolate mixture into egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs - this will keep eggs from scrambling from heat of the chocolate; then whisk in rest of chocolate mixture.
Beat egg whites in mixing bowl until stiff peaks form and fold into chocolate mixture.
Pour into prepared pan (spray bottom with nonstick spray) and bake until cake is set, top starts to crack, and toothpick inserted into cake comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 25 minutes (and then check every five minutes after that--don't overbake).
Let stand 10 minutes, then unmold.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, QUEEN ELIZABETH: Chocolate Birthday Cake

Happy Birthday, Queen Elizabeth! 94. This is the cake that the Queen favors for her birthday celebrations! It's a pip. Recipe from former Royal Chef Darren McGrady. Technically this is called a Chocolate Ganache Sponge..but that's British parlance for cake.. This is not a sponge cake as we know it in the U.S.


QUEEN ELIZABETH BIRTHDAY CHOCOLATE CAKE

Cake
6 egg yolks
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/8 cup dutch cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted butter

Topping and Filling 
2 cups (1 pt) heavy cream
1 lb Ghirardelli dark chocolate

Directions:
At least six hours before baking the cake, prepare the filling:
Melt half chocolate (227g). Bring to boil 1 cup of the cream. Pour cream onto chocolate and whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until set.
Turn on oven to 350.
Line an 8 inch cake tin with parchment paper and grease.
Set pan (large enough to hold mixing bowl) half full of hot water on stove; bring water to boil.
In mixing bowl, add eggs, yolks, and sugar and whisk together. Place over bowl of hot water to allow mixture to heat up. Sieve flour and cocoa and set aside. Whisk egg mixture until it doubles in volume and then fold in butter and flour mixture. Spoon mix into cake pan; bake about 20 minutes, or until cake springs back when pressed. Remove from oven onto cooling wire and make topping while cake cools. Melt remaining chocolate. Bring to boil remaining cream. Pour cream onto chocolate and whisk it until smooth and then set aside off the heat. Slice cake into three discs and spread filling onto bottom two discs and reassemble. Add remaining chocolate mix to hot topping and whisk in. Place cake back onto cooling wire and ladle topping over cake allowing it to run down the sides. Cool cake for at least two hours before decorating and serving.

CHOCOLATE CASHEW BUTTER: National Chocolate Covered Cashew Day

Today is National Chocolate Covered Cashew Day. Now contrary to what you might think, Cashews are not nuts. They're really seeds of the cashew drupe, a member of the poison ivy family! The cashew’s seed lining contains a powerful irritant called anacardic acid (which is why they are never served or sold in their skins). The botanical name Anacardium refers to the shape of the fruit, which looks like an inverted heart.

So to celebrate National Chocolate Covered Cashew Day, I'm posting a recipe for Chocolate Cashew Butter. Don't get confused. This is nothing like Nutella, the popular chocolate hazelnut spread. However, it can be used in the same way. It's fabulous on toast! Making your own nut spread is easy. And, since you're in charge of the ingredients, you can play around with them until you're satisfied (less sugar or honey//roasted or raw cashews, etc). The texture of Chocolate Cashew Butter is grittier than you'd expect, but that's what makes it so good! You don't want to refrigerate this nut butter, as the oil will separate. Nothing perishable in the ingredients, so don't worry. This Chocolate Cashew Butter also makes a great gift! This recipe is adapted from TheDabblist.com.


CHOCOLATE CASHEW BUTTER

Ingredients
1-3/4 cup cashews (roasted or raw)
1/2 tablespoon oil (mild-flavored oil is preferred--but I've tried coconut oil) If you use coconut oil, don't put it in the fridge.. well, this nut butter doesn't need to refrigerated, anyway.
2 Tbsp unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
2 Tbsp sugar (or honey)
Dash pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Directions
In food processor, puree cashews with oil until mixture becomes creamy.
Add remaining ingredients and pulse together until totally combined.
Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Monday, April 20, 2020

PUFFY CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: Shelter-in-Place Chocolate Goodness #11

So you're in Lockdown or Shelter-in-Place, as we call it, and you have flour. Here's a different recipe using that flour for Puffy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. As I've said many times, you can never have enough Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes. This is a very easy puffy chewy chocolate chip recipe. You'll find it quite different from the regular Toll House Cookie recipe on the back of the bag, but I know you're going to love it. As always use the very best chocolate.


PUFFY CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 

Ingredients
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cornstarch
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In large bowl using mixer (hand or stand with paddle attachment), combine butter, sugar, and brown sugar, and cream until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in egg and vanilla.
In separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and beat on low until combines. On very low speed, beat in chocolate chips, or fold in evenly.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. (You must chill this dough!)
Remove from fridge and let sit at room temp for 10 minutes.

Roll balls of dough into about 1.6 Tbsp each. Put onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 per sheet.  (these are big puffy cookies..I sprinkle with sea salt)

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until barely golden brown on edges and puffy, checking cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate baking sheet for even browning, if necessary. Cookies will look very soft.

Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE IN A MUG: Shelter-in-Place Chocolate Goodness #10

I am so fond of Mug Cakes. Chocolate Cake in a Mug, Brownie 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 or your Shelter-in-Place Chocolate Goodness for one. You need to be precise with this recipe or the finished product will be too dry or too wet (but still tasty). This Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug is so quick. 5 minutes to prep and less than a minute to cook! Hopefully, 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.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

2 MINUTE BROWNIE IN A MUG: Shelter-in-Place Chocolate Goodness #9


So you're still Sheltered-in-Place, and you are dying for brownies, but you don't want to make a whole pan in case you end up eating them all. You've already made One Minute Molten Chocolate Cake in a Mug, but you really want a Brownie! Somethng more cake-like. Here's another 'mug' recipe for fool-proof 2 Minute Brownies in a Mug. You probably have all the ingredients. Be sure and sift the first three ... if not you'll have a lumpy end product, and not the brownie you're craving. Recipe from Ryan Scott from a segment on Rachel Ray of the Food Network.

2 MINUTE BROWNIE IN A MUG

Ingredients
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil (one that’s not too strong is better, make sure it's fresh)
1-1/2 Tbsp water, at room temp
1 egg

Directions
Sift together sugar, flour, and cocoa powder. Add salt. Mix together olive oil, water and egg. Fold dry ingredients into wet. Pour into mug and microwave for 2 minutes (no peeking!!)

How easy is this? Top with whipped cream, raspberries, and or ice cream!

CHOCOLATE AND ANIMAL CRACKERS: National Animal Crackers Day

Happy National Animal Crackers Day! The original animal crackers of my childhood didn't have a lot of flavor, but even now when I think of them I remember their unique taste during zoo and circus visits. These trips were always exciting, and animal crackers were an important part of the experience. I remember the red cardboard boxes with pictures of animals in cages (the new packaging has them roaming free) and little flat strings to carry your box.

Today there are many different brands of animal crackers -- vegan, chocolate, chocolate covered, covered with icing and sprinkles, and so many more. There are the original Barnum's Animal Crackers, and I really like Barbara's (all natural) Snackimals Double Chocolate and Snackimals Chocolate Chip.

Want to dress up your store bought Animal Crackers today to celebrate National Animal Cracker Day? Dip the animal crackers in Chocolate:

Chocolate Dipped Animal Crackers

Melt a good dark chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water or in the microwave.
Dip animals and let cool on waxed paper.
You can either dip most of the animal (and use forks or special dipping tools) or just dip the feet as I did with the Walker Scottie Dogs with Muddy Boots. I like Trader Joe's Animal Crackers for chocolate dipping.

Want to get fancier? Healthy Happy Life (Lunchboxbunch.com) has a Chocolate-Covered Vegan Animal Cookies post with great photos and recipes.

There's even a Website devoted to Animal Crackers: www.animalcrackers.net/  Here you'll find a variety of recipes for animal crackers  such as Homemade Animal Crackers, Oatmeal Animal Crackers, Classic Animal Crackers, Cheese Animal Crackers, Chocolate Animal Crackers, and many others. Animal Crackers have been a snack since the mid nineteenth century. Today they are made by numerous well known companies, such as Keebler, Nabisco, or the Stauffer Biscuit Company. Although store bought varieties can be great, you might want to try some homemade animal crackers.

COCOA ANIMAL CRACKERS
Recipe adapted from AnimalCrackers.net

Ingredients
1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Organic Toasted Rolled Quick Oats
1/2 Cup Softened Unsalted Butter
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Baking Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
3/4 Cup of Cold Whole Milk

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In Blender, mix organic toasted rolled quick oats, with flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and kosher salt.
Pulse until base mixture is completely ground up into delicate powder, and color and texture are even and consistent.
Pour this mixture into mixing bowl, and stir in cold whole milk and softened real butter. Stir until dough becomes stiff, adding any extra milk if you need to.
Roll animal cracker dough into ball on clean flat surface, then flatten out into quarter inch thickness.
Using animal cracker or other cookie cutters, make as many shapes as you can with dough.
Place your finished shapes on lightly greased baking sheet. Cook for ten to fifteen minutes, or until crackers are crisp.
Cool on wire rack for half an hour.

Waiter, there's an Animal Cracker in my soup! Animal Crackers make a great starch for soups and stews.  I've posted a recipe for a great Chicken Mole Polano made with Animal Crackers.  Or try this recipe for White Chocolate Mole with Animal Crackers.

Want a sweet chocolate soup with Animal Crackers? O. K., this is more of a dessert. This recipe was originally found on the Hershey's Cocoa Box.

CHOCOLATE SOUP WITH ANIMAL CRACKERS

Ingredients
3/4 cups half-and-half
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
2 tsp cocoa
1 egg yolk

Directions:
Heat half-and-half. Pour into bowl, leaving about 1/4 cup in saucepan or cup.
Add sugar, vanilla, cocoa to pan and mix until it is a syrup. Add egg yolk and stir over low heat. Gradually stir in preheated half-and-half. Stir until blended and thick. Pour into bowl.
Top with animal crackers.

Here's a link to several other Cocoa Soup recipes. All go well with Animal Crackers!

Enjoy this video clip of Shirley Temple singing Animal Crackers in my Soup!

Friday, April 17, 2020

ONE MINUTE MOLTEN CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE: Shelter-in-Place Chocolate Cake #8

So maybe you're Sheltering-in-Place by yourself, and you don't want to make an entire chocolate cake. Here's my favorite go-to recipe for MOLTEN CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE FOR ONE. I'm calling it Shelter-in-Place Chocolate Cake #8. Be sure and scroll back for other Chocolate Cake recipes. This is so easy to make and Perfect for One! Hope you're safe and well during this Pandemic. Enjoy!

Molten Chocolate Mug Cake: Shelter-in-Place Chocolate Cake #8

Ingredients
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp whole milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ounce chopped chocolate  (whatever you have--truffles, chocolate bars, etc..and dark or milk chocolate--your preference)
1 Tbsp water

Directions
In 2-cup capacity microwave-safe mug or bowl, whisk together with fork, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until well combined. Add in melted butter, milk, egg, and vanilla. Whisk well to combine, making sure to mix in flour mixture in bottom. Put chopped chocolate in center of mug. Do not push down; it sinks as it bakes. Drizzle tablespoon of water on top of batter.

Cook in microwave on full power for 1 minute and 15 seconds until cake rises to top, edges look set but surface of center is a little wet and shiny and sticks to finger when touched. It will set up as it sits. Do NOT overbake. If the center still looks raw then give it another 5 to 10 seconds. Cake will fall after it comes out of microwave. Let cool for 5 minutes to help thicken sauce in bottom.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or add ice cream or whipped cream! 

TIP: Short mug with wide mouth works best. If not available, a small bowl could be used instead.  I use a small vintage Pyrex Bowl. To know if your mug/or bowl is the right size, pour 2 cups of water into it and this should fill it to the top.


Thursday, April 16, 2020

INDOOR S'MORES: Shelter-in-Place

So you're still Sheltered-in-Place, and you're wishing for an old fashioned camping trip, hiking your favorite trails, and making S'mores by the campfire. Don't give up! Here's a great fun Retro Ad with Recipe for Indoor S'mores you can make at home! Be safe and well!



Wednesday, April 15, 2020

LAST DINNER ON THE TITANIC: Titanic Remembrance Day

The fact that I wake up every morning wondering if I'm on the Titanic and not just Sheltered-at-Home during a pandemic makes today's holiday all that more pertinent. Today is Titanic Remembrance Day. Is there a difference? I certainly hope so, knowing the fate of the Titanic!

In 2012 for the 100th Anniversary of the Titanic's maiden voyage, many restaurants and special venues held 'memorial' dinners. Many of them replicating the final meal. In terms of Chocolate, the First Class Service that "last" night included Painted Chocolate Eclairs with French Vanilla Ice Cream aka Chocolate Eclairs with Creme Patissiere.  So I'm posting the recipe below. Hope you have the ingredients in your pantry. They're yummy!

The recipe is from the cookbook Last Dinner on the Titanic. This marvellous cookbook includes recipes and facts and Titanic trivia. Originally published for the 85th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, Rick Archbold and Chef Dana McCauley's Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner is one part social history, one part recipe book, and one part guide to recreating one of the most famous - and most elegant - dinner parties in recent history. As one critic wrote, it's "A cookbook designed to recreate the atmosphere of dining on the famous, doomed luxury liner serves up such recipes as Lobster Thermidor, Quail's Eggs in Aspic with Caviar, and Poached Salmon with Dilled Mousseline Sauce and Cucumber."

In case you've been living completely off the grid, you will know that in the early hours of the morning, April 15, 1912, the great steamship RMS Titanic met its tragic fate. At 11:30pm on April 14, the state-of-the-art cruise ship that was on its maiden voyage across the Atlantic hit an iceberg, resulting in a 300-foot-wide rip below the waterline. The damage caused the ship to plunge two miles down to the ocean floor, leading to the deaths of more than 1500 passengers and crew members. But without knowledge of the events to come, on the evening of April 14th, the first-class passengers enjoyed what would be their final meal on the ship. And it was an extravagant and decadent meal.

TITANIC FIRST CLASS MENU
As served in the first-class dining saloon of the R.M.S. Titanic on April 14, 1912

First Course
Hors D'Oeuvres
Oysters

Second Course
Consommé Olga
Cream of Barley

Third Course
Poached Salmon with Mousseline Sauce, Cucumbers

Fourth Course
Filet Mignons Lili
Saute of Chicken, Lyonnaise
Vegetable Marrow Farci

Fifth Course
Lamb, Mint Sauce
Roast Duckling, Apple Sauce
Sirloin of Beef, Chateau Potatoes
Green Pea
Creamed Carrots
Boiled Rice
Parmentier & Boiled New Potatoes

Sixth Course
Punch Romaine

Seventh Course
Roast Squab & Cress

Eighth Course
Cold Asparagus Vinaigrette

Ninth Course
Pate de Foie Gras
Celery

Tenth Course
Waldorf Pudding
Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly
Chocolate & Vanilla Eclairs
French Ice Cream

The meal was served with a different wine for each course. Following the tenth course, fresh fruits and cheeses were available, followed by coffee and cigars accompanied by port and, if desired, distilled spirits.

Chocolate and Vanilla Eclairs 
with French Vanilla Ice Cream 
From The Last Dinner on the Titanic Cookbook

Both the pastry and the filling (standard French pastry cream) date back to the Renaissance, when the Arab art of pastry making invaded Europe by way of Italy. Making perfect choux pastry is a skill acquired through practice. Don’t be alarmed if your first attempt tastes better than it looks.
(You can always buy a nice high quality ice cream if you don't have time to make your own)*

PASTRY CREAM

Ingredients
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream

Directions
In bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 1/4 cup of sugar for 2 minutes or until pale yellow. Adding flour in 3 additions, stir until well mixed.
In saucepan, heat milk, remaining sugar, and vanilla bean over medium heat, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and small bubbles are beginning to form around edges of pot. Stirring constantly, pour about one-third of the milk mixture into egg mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
Pour egg mixture into remaining milk and cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture begins to bubble. Continue to cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture begins to mound and hold its shape; remove from heat. Stir in butter and remove vanilla bean.
Transfer to bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching surface of custard, and cool to room temperature.
Beat whipping cream until stiff; add a large dollop of cream to cooled pastry cream and fold in; add remaining whipped cream and fold in until almost combined.
Transfer to pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch star tube. Place in refrigerator until completely chilled.

CHOUX PASTRY

Ingredients
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
5 eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp water
3 oz. bitter sweet chocolate
Icing sugar or edible gold flakes

Directions
Meanwhile, in heavy-bottomed saucepan set over high heat, bring water, butter, and salt just to boil. Remove from heat and add flour all at once, stirring vigorously with wooden spoon until mixture comes away from sides of pan, making a smooth ball.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook flour mixture, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until coating begins to form on bottom of pan. Turn into large bowl; stir for 30 seconds.
Make well in middle of dough and, using electric mixer, beat in 4 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny and holds its shape when lifted.
Place dough into piping bag fitted with 3/4-inch wide tip. On parchment-lined baking sheets, pipe fingers of dough about 4 inches long and 1 wide. In bowl beat together remaining egg and 1 tbsp water; brush each bun lightly, being careful not to drip down sides.
Bake in 425?F oven for 12 minutes; reduce heat to 375 F and bake for 5 minutes longer or until golden brown. With sharp knife, pierce side of each éclair twice. Turn oven off and let éclairs stand for 5 minutes, then remove and cool on rack.
Melt chocolate over barely simmering water. Brush top of each cooled éclair with enough chocolate to coat well. Cool in refrigerator for 5 minutes to harden chocolate.
Halve éclairs lengthwise. Pull out any sticky dough in center; discard. Pipe pastry cream into bottom of each éclair. Replace chocolate-covered tops.
Dust with icing sugar or edible gold flakes just before serving.
Makes 25 to 30 small éclairs.

And the Band Played On....

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

SOMETIMES YOU FEEL LIKE A NUT: HOMEMADE ALMOND JOY

Today is National Almond Day, and for me, Almonds are all about Almond Joy. Today, Almond Joy candy bars are manufactured by Hershey.  Almond Joy has a coconut-based center topped with two toasted almonds and covered in a layer of milk chocolate. Almond Joy is the sister product of Mounds, which is the same confection but without the almond and coated with dark chocolate. I'm actually partial to Mounds, but for the purposes of today's holiday, I'm posting about almonds and Almond Joy. One concession, in the recipe for Homemade Almond Joy Bars, I use dark chocolate!

According to Wikipedia, Peter Paul Halajian, a candy retailer in Connecticut in the 1919, along with other Armenian investors, including Dutch candy manufacturer Jett Schaefer, formed the Schaefer Candy Manufacturing Company in 1919. The company first sold various brands of candies, but following sugar and coconut shortages in World War II, they dropped most brands and concentrated their efforts on the Mounds bar. The Almond Joy Bar was introduced in 1946 as a replacement for the Dream Bar (created in 1936) that contained diced almonds with the coconut. In 1978, Peter Paul merged with the Cadbury company. Hershey’s then purchased the United States portion of the combined company in 1988.

During the 1970s, the Peter Paul company used the jingle, "Sometimes you feel like a nut / Sometimes you don't / Almond Joy's got nuts / Mounds don't,"to advertise Almond Joy and Mounds together. In a play on words, the "feel like a nut" portion of the jingle was typically played over a clip of someone acting like a "nut", engaged in some funny-looking activity. See the Vintage Commercial Video below.

Did you ever try any of these? In the 2000s, Hershey began producing variations of the product, including a limited edition Piña Colada and Double Chocolate Almond Joy in 2004, a limited edition White Chocolate Key Lime and Milk Chocolate Passion Fruit Almond Joy in 2005, and a limited edition Toasted Coconut Almond Joy in 2006. Although Peter Paul as a company no longer exists, the name still appears on the wrapper as part of the bars' brand names.

Want to make your own Almond Joy Bars? Simple and delicious. I know that Almond Joy uses milk chocolate, but I'm partial to dark which is why I probably always liked the Mounds Bar better. You can use either type of chocolate in the recipe below. As always use the very best chocolate for the very best candy!

Homemade Almond Joy Recipe

Ingredients

7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sweet butter, softened
Pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
14 ounces sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
24 ounces dark chocolate, chopped  (milk chocolate if you're a traditionalist)
3/4 cup whole almonds (that you'll toast-see recipe)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F
Spread raw almonds on baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
In big mixing bowl, blend milk, butter, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar a little at a time. Add coconut a little at a time and mix until combined. The mixture will be thick. Place mixture in refrigerator for 30 minutes. (Use can use your Kitchen Aid flat beater, but I prefer the texture  that comes from hand mixing.)
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove coconut mixture from refrigerator. With hands, shape one tablespoon of coconut into small log - 2 inches long and 3/4-inch thick. Press coconut mixture tightly together. Place logs on lined baking sheet and continue until all coconut mixture is finished.
Press an almond on top of each coconut log.
Place baking sheet in freezer to chill while you melt chocolate.
In medium microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate in microwave 2-4 minutes at 30 SECOND intervals until chocolate is melted (or melt in top of double boiler or pan over saucepan of simmering water).
Remove coconut logs from freezer.
Dip in Chocolate: See next step

How to Dip in Chocolate:  Two Ways

1. Place one coconut almond log on fork. Use spoon to scoop a bit of chocolate over almond. This helps almond stick to coconut log during dipping. Lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat. Lift fork and gently shake to release some of the chocolate. Scrape bottom of fork along the side of bowl and place on lined baking sheet. You might need a toothpick to help get the candy off the fork. Repeat until all candy is coated in chocolate. If chocolate gets thick, return to microwave or heat for a tiny bit more.
Let dipped candy harden for 45 minutes. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

2. Using Two Fork method (or a special dipping tool-I find this handy), dunk coconut logs in chocolate, bring up, and tap on lip of bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and repeat.

Monday, April 13, 2020

DARK CHOCOLATE RICOTTA PARMESAN GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

As we're all Sheltered-in-Place, we're wanting comfort food. And what could be more comforting than a Grilled Cheese Sandwich? This recipe for Dark Chocolate Ricotta Parmesan Grilled Cheese Sandwich is perfect for Grilled Cheese Day. As always use the very best ingredients! Please don't use Parmesan from the can -- either grate your own or use a higher grated Parmesan quality. And, of course a good Parmesan/Reggiano would be great in this Grilled Cheese Sandwich! But since you're depending on what's in the market or being delivered, use what you have! We all need to be resourceful now!

Dark Chocolate Ricotta Parmesan Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients
4 slices brioche or sweet sourdough
Butter, for bread
2 Tbsp Rricotta cheese
1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
Lightly spread one side of each bread slice with butter. Evenly divide ricotta between two bread slices and then evenly sprinkle the Chocolate and Parmesan over the ricotta. Top with remaining bread slices.
Heat skillet over medium-low heat. Place sandwiches in warm skillet and cook on one side until golden brown and cheese begins to melt, 2 to 4 minutes. Flip sandwich over and cook until golden brown and cheese is completely melted, 2 to 4 additional minutes.
Let cool 2 minutes before cutting in half.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

BROWNIE 'EASTER EGGS'

So you're Sheltered-in-Place this Easter, and you don't have any Chocolate Eggs for your fellow inmates. Here's a great way to make "Easter Eggs" with Brownies. This recipe is adapted from  Kraft Recipes. You can always use your favorite brownie recipe or a mix. Whatever works for you.

EASTER EGG BROWNIES

Ingredients
4 ounces unsweetened Chocolate  (or very dark chocolate and reduce the sugar)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped Walnuts
assorted decorating gels
assorted candies

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F.
Line 13 x 9-inch pan with foil, with ends extending over sides. Grease foil; set aside. Melt chocolate and butter in saucepan over another saucepan over simmering water. Stir until chocolate is completely melted (but don't burn).
Add sugar; mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla.
Stir in flour and nuts until well blended; spread into prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 35 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.)
Cool completely.
Use foil handles to lift brownies from pan. Cut into egg shapes with 3-inch oval cookie cutter.
Decorate with decorating gels and candies to resemble Easter eggs (as in photo or get creative!) Serve in an Easter basket! How fun!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Cartoon of the Day: Easter Bunny


PEEPS IN THE TIME OF THE CORONAVIRUS


PEEPS CHOCOLATE GARDEN CAKE for Easter


PEEPS are the candy of my childhood, especially around Easter. So today I thought I'd re-post this darling (and easy) PEEPS Garden Cake. Even though you're Sheltered-in-Place, you might still be able to find some Bunny PEEPS or maybe you have some in your cupboard. Peeps have a shelf-life of 2 years, but probably more. Recipe is from the PEEPS recipe site. The recipe calls for a Betty Crocker cake mix (since it's originally a Betty Crocker/General Mills Recipe), but you can use your favorite cake mix or your favorite chocolate cake recipe and icing recipe from scratch.

PEEPS EASTER GARDEN CAKE

Ingredients
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist Devil's Food cake mix
Water, oil, and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 container Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs  (I use Famous chocolate wafers)
1 can (6.4 oz) Betty Crocker green decorating cake icing
8 to 12 PEEPS® marshmallow bunnies (different colored bunny peeps are fun!)
1 can (6.4 oz) Betty Crocker orange decorating cake icing

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray.
Make cake as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan. Cool in pan on cooling rack until completely cooled, about 30 minutes.
Spread chocolate frosting on top of cake; sprinkle with chocolate cookie crumbs.
Use green icing to make garden rows, using photo as guide.
Insert toothpick halfway into base of each PEEPS® marshmallow bunny. Insert bunnies, toothpick side down, into cake.
Use orange and green icings to make carrots on cake, using photo as a guide.
Cut into 4 rows by 3 rows to serve.

And, even if you don't decorate as eloquently, you can still count this as Shelter-in-Place Chocolate Cake #6!

Friday, April 10, 2020

CINNAMON LAMB CURLS: Cute Cinnamon Rolls for Easter

Everyone seems to be doing a lot of baking while they're Sheltered-in-Place. With Easter coming up this weekend, I thought I'd revisit one of my all time favorite Cinnamon roll recipes: Cinnamon Lamb Curls. This is perfect for Easter Brunch ... or for a Rite of Spring luncheon. It's such a fun variation on traditional Cinnamon Rolls. Theses not only taste great but look terrific for the holiday! You can share virtually over zoom and enjoy the fruit (or cinnamon) of your labor! I'm waiting for yeast to arrive, but I know what I'm making!

This "Cinnamon Lamb Curls" recipe is from Bread Sculpture: The Edible Art by Ann Wiseman (101 Productions, 1975). And, yes, the stains on the page are mine. The book is a wonderful source for lots of other bread baking, as well. All kinds of tips on dough, bread making, tools, and sculpting bread. If you do an Internet search, you'll probably find a copy of this out of print book. It's a great asset on my shelf. Scroll down for a Chocolate/Cinnamon Alternative to the filling!




And, since this is a chocolate blog, here's a chocolate/cinnamon alternative to the filling in the recipe.

CHOCOLATE CINNAMON 'FILLING' VARIATION

Spread this on the dough before cutting and baking.
Where the recipe says "Spread with butter & brown sugar and cinnamon".. you can substitute:
Unsalted butter, room temp (as in recipe)
Then sprinkle with a mix of:
Granulated white sugar
Dark chocolate, chopped fine
Ground cinnamon

HOMEMADE CADBURY CREME EGGS: Easter

Do you love Cadbury Eggs? Are they a part of your Easter tradition? Can't get out to buy any because you're Sheltered-in-Place? Make Your Own!

Instructables has a great recipe for Homemade Cadbury Creme Eggs. I think they're really good. They're easy to make, although a bit time consuming. Even if they don't come out egg shaped, or the shell breaks, they're yummy! And, you can use good quality dark chocolate for even better flavor!

HOMEMADE CADBURY CREME EGGS

Ingredients
1/2 cup Lyle’s golden syrup or light corn syrup
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla
3 cup powdered sugar
yellow food coloring
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (or a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips)

The Filling:
Cream together corn syrup, butter, and vanilla. Sift in confectioner's powdered sugar and beat until incorporated. Separate filling into whites and yolks! Take out about third of filling and stir in some yellow food coloring. Put the two bowls in fridge to set up a little.

Shaping the Yolks:
This step is sticky! Keep your hands clean and cold. Make little yolk balls out of yellow mixture. Place them on parchment. Put them back in the fridge or freezer to firm up.
When yolks are set up, start embedding them in whites. Scoop an amount of white filling out and flatten it into circle. Place yolk ball inside, and wrap white around it. Put them in fridge.

Hint from Instructables: 
If you decide to use egg molds instead of dipping method, pipe whites and yolks into chocolate molds with  pastry bag. This would save a LOT of time. 

Filling the Molds 
Melt chocolate in double boiler or short bursts in the microwave. Fill molds with  chocolate and swirl to coat  sides. Once molds are set, put filling ball into half of each mold. Using more melted chocolate, join two halves of egg together. Let set and unmold. Use freezer to help set this up.

Alternative Method: If you aren't using molds, try this:
Melt chocolate + 2 teaspoons of butter in microwave in short bursts until just melted. Either dip fillings into chocolate with fork and let set on parchment, or skewer fillings and dip them --kind of like cake pops! Once chocolate is set, dip them again for a thick chocolate shell!

Want to see another recipe -- similar...always good to have two to compare! Check out Ashley Rodriguez's (Not Without Salt) adaptation of this recipe on Food52.

Or if you can get to the market or order online, buy some Cadbury Creme Eggs for Easter!