Saturday, October 31, 2020

HALLOWEEN OREO BROWNIES: 2 Recipes

I love seasonal Oreos, and Halloween Oreos are so much fun! You can use them in lots of ways including as a cookie crust for your favorite Pumpkin Cheesecake or in the following two recipes for Halloween Oreo Brownies...or just eat them straight from the bag! Orange and black, the colors of Halloween! 

1. Easy Halloween Oreo Brownies
I use the Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix and crumble about 15 cookies into the mix.

2. Halloween Oreo Brownies
This recipe is no-fail and delicious. It's a double recipe, so be sure you have a lot of goblins around to eat these up! As always use the very best ingredients.

Ingredients
1 lb unsalted butter
1 lb semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate -- chopped
6 eggs
3 Tbsp instant coffee granules
2 Tbsp pure vanilla
2-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/4 cup flour -- divided
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
50 Halloween Oreos  (4 cups chopped)

Directions
Arrange rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350.
Butter and flour 11 1/2" x 17 1/4" x 1" baking pan. (or make in two 9x9 pans)
In heatproof medium bowl set over saucepan of simmering water, heat butter, chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
In large bowl, whisk eggs, coffee, vanilla, and sugar. Blend chocolate mixture into egg mixture; cool to room temperature.
In medium bowl, sift together one cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture.
In small bowl, stir Oreos and remaining 1/4 cup flour. Add Oreo mixture to chocolate mixture. Pour batter into baking pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula.
Bake 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean; do not overbake.
Allow to cool. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, until cold; cut into squares.

Adapted from Cooking Light and "O" Magazine recipe by Ina Garten

Friday, October 30, 2020

NATIONAL CANDY CORN DAY: History of Candy Corn & Recipe for Candy Corn Truffles


Today is Candy Corn Day! I love candy corn. O.K. it's very sweet, but I only have it a few times a year. Candy Corn is an American Halloween Tradition! Shaped like real pieces of corn, candy corn is as fun as it is tasty. In addition to the original candy corn of yellow, orange, and white, there are different varieties, including Indian candy corn which is brown where the original candy corn is yellow, adding a hint of chocolate (it's only a hint and a bit waxy, and it's not real chocolate, but I don't care at Halloween).

The National Confectioners Association estimates that 20 million pounds (9,000 tons) of candy corn are sold annually. The top branded retailer of candy corn, Brach's, sells enough candy corn each year to circle the earth 4.25 times if the kernels were laid end to end. Too much information?

Candy corn was created in the 1880s by the Philadelphia based Wunderlee Candy Company and, by 1900, was being produced by the Goelitz Candy Company (now Jelly Belly), which has continuously produced it for more than a century. Candy corn is shaped like a kernel of corn, a design that made it popular with farmers when it first came out, but it was the fact that it had three colors - a really innovative idea at the time - that made it popular.

Originally, candy corn was made of sugar, corn syrup, fondant and marshmallow, among other things, and the hot mixture was poured into cornstarch molds, where it set up. The recipe changed slightly over time and there are probably a few variations in recipes between candy companies, but the use of a mixture of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and vanilla (as well as honey, in some brands) is the standard.

Candy makers use a process called corn starch molding. Corn starch is used to fill a tray, creating candy corn shaped indentations. Candy corns are built from the top to the bottom in three waves of color. First, the indentation is partially filled with white syrup. Next, when the white is partially set, they add the the orange syrup. The creation is then finished up by adding the yellow syrup and then cooled. The candy starts fusing together while it cools. After cooling the candies, the trays are dumped out, the corn starch is sifted away, and the candy corn is ready.

Here's a way to elevate Candy Corn for your discerning friends and family!

CANDY CORN TRUFFLES

Ingredients
18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 Tbsp Grand Marnier (orange juice if you don't do alcohol
1/4 cup Scottish or dark orange marmalade
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
64 candy corns (about 3 ounces)

Directions
Line 8 x 8-inch baking pan with 12 x17-inch sheet of waxed or parchment paper.
In large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of hot water, use heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to stir together chocolate, cream, Grand Marnier, and marmalade, until chocolate is melted. Scrape chocolate mixture into prepared pan, smoothing top.
Chill until firm, at least 2 1/2 hours or (covered with plastic wrap) up to 1 week.
Put cocoa powder in shallow bowl. Remove chocolate mixture from pan. With long, sharp knife, cut chocolate mixture into 64 squares, each about 3/4 in. wide. Roll squares in cocoa powder to coat; place 1 square in each paper cup.
Gently press candy corn into top of each truffle.
Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cartoon of the Day: Halloween


Thursday, October 29, 2020

VINTAGE HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE MOLDS: Witches, Pumpkins, Cats & Bats

I love Vintage Chocolate Molds. Here are some very cool Halloween Chocolate Molds. After all, Halloween is all about chocolate! These are not my molds (I only have four), but I love these vintage metal chocolate molds and wonder about the chocolatiers, the children, and everyone else who enjoyed the chocolate that was shaped in them.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

WITCH CHOCOLATE MOLDS



PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE MOLDS





BLACK CAT CHOCOLATE MOLDS



BAT CHOCOLATE MOLDS
 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CAKE: National Chocolate Day

Today is National Chocolate Day. To be honest there are several Chocolate Days throughout the year, and, of course, every day is Chocolate Day at DyingforChocolate.com. So to celebrate, you can take a spin back over the past 12 years of daily chocolate recipes on this site, or you can make this Triple Chocolate Cake from Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar. This is a cake to share!

Triple Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
6 oz E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge cocoa powder
24 fl oz water
1 lb and 12 oz all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp iodized salt
2 1/2 Tbsp baking soda
2 1/2 lbs sugar
24 fl oz buttermilk
18 fl oz vegetable oil
7 whole eggs
1 Tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache Frosting (see recipe below)
Chocolate Whipped Cream (see recipe below)

Directions: 
Bring water to boil, turn off heat, add cocoa powder, and stir until thick. Set aside to cool.
Mix dry ingredients in mixer with whip attachment on low-medium speed for 3 minutes. Mix all liquids at once, except the chocolate mixture, with the remaining dry ingredients for 2 minutes at medium speed. Scrape well. Add chocolate mixture and mix for about 1 minute on medium speed. Set the batter aside for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 10” cake pans. Cut two circles, approximately 10” in diameter, out of parchment paper. Place them into greased pans. Spray parchment circles evenly with cooking spray. Pour half batter into each of the two pans.
Bake for 1 hour. (Insert toothpick into each cake after 1 hour; if comes out clean, cakes are done.) Cool cakes on wire rack.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE FROSTING


Ingredients: 
4.8 oz E. Guittard 61% Lever du Soleil semisweet chocolate wafers
28.8 oz powdered sugar
19.2 oz sour cream
19.2 oz butter, cubed
9.6 oz E. Guittard Oban unsweetened chocolate wafers

Directions: 
In double boiler, melt chocolate at 110-112°F until there are no lumps.
Slowly add butter.
In small mixer with whip attachment, add all of powdered sugar and sour cream at once. Whip on high speed until incorporated for about 2 minutes.
Add chocolate mixture to sour cream mixture and whip until the color turns light brown (like the color of milk chocolate) for about 3-4 minutes.
Refrigerate frosting for 20-30 minutes while cutting layers of cake so it firms up.
The temperature of the frosting should remain around 60°F while building the cakes.

CAKE ASSEMBLY 

Ingredients:
2 chocolate cakes, each sliced into two layers ¾” thick (for four total layers), top and sides trimmed 

60 oz Chocolate Ganache frosting
3 cups chocolate cake crumbs

Directions: 
Take cooled cakes out of the pans. Invert them on cutting board, with the tops facing up.
With cake cutter, slice each cake into two layers, each 3/4” thick. Be very gentle when handling, as the cakes are very moist.
Trim all layers until they are same size.
Place all cake trimmings in food processor and pulse until coarse. Place the cake crumbs on a sheet pan and put into an oven to dry out. Reserve for later.
Evenly spread 12 oz of frosting across the top side of the bottom layer.
Repeat previous step with each remaining cake layers, stacking them as you go.
Evenly spread 12 oz of frosting over sides. Make sure frosting is smooth all over.
Remove dried-out cake crumbs from oven and sprinkle over top and sides.
Place entire cake in refrigerator.

CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM

Ingredients
1 quart heavy cream
2 Tbsp E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge cocoa powder
8 oz Swiss Chalet white chocolate mousse powder

Directions
Whisk all ingredients in mixing bowl.
Transfer mixture to mixer with whip attachment and whip until cream has stiff peaks.

PLATING
Instructions: Cut cake into 8 large pieces.

***

Thanks to Tommy Bahama for this recipe!

Monday, October 26, 2020

PUMPKIN SEED COCOA NIB BRITTLE: National Pumpkin Day

I love this recipe for Pumpkin Seed Cocoa Nib Brittle. It's so easy to make, and it's a great snack. FYI: This is not a sweet chocolate brittle. I always say you should check different chocolate sites for recipes and news, and I'm glad I did. I found this recipe several years ago on the Scharffen Berger site. It's from Arnon Oren, of Oren's Kitchen, Berkeley. Arnon recommends serving this crushed and sprinkled over a salad of endive, roasted beets, and goat cheese. Of course, you can always just crack it and eat it! This is a great recipe for October and National Pumpkin Day!

Pumpkin Seed Cocoa Nib Brittle

Ingredients
1/4 cup SCHARFFEN BERGER Cacao Nibs
1/4 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions
Coarsely chop nibs and strain through small strainer. Removing dustier pieces will make clearer brittle.
Toast pumpkin seeds in small skillet over medium heat, shaking often, until they begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove seeds from skillet, and set aside.
Line baking sheet with Silpat or brush with butter.
In medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, and cream of tartar, and bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Lower heat to medium low, cover, and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan lid and brush any sugar crystals from sides of pan with wet pastry brush. Continue simmering for 3 to 5 minutes, or until syrup begins to color. Watch closely, because caramel can quickly burn. Test color of caramel by drizzling a few drops on white plate. When color is medium to dark amber, remove pan from heat and stir in nibs, pumpkin seeds, and cayenne.
Working quickly, pour mixture onto prepared pan and spread as thin as possible with heatproof spatula or wooden spoon. Allow brittle to cool completely, then break into small pieces.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS: National Pumpkin Day

Tomorrow is National Pumpkin Day, but why not get a jump on the holiday! October is all about Pumpkins. Here's an easy recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from allrecipes.com.

I use a natural pumpkin puree that I always have in the pantry for doggie stomach upsets (pumpkin is good for dogs), but you can use Libby's if that's what you have..or pumpkin puree you make yourself if you've already started carving your jack-o-lantern.

As always, use the best chocolate chips--and make sure your oil is fresh. These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are a great way to start the day!


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips 

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water.
In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.
Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

BOSTON CREAM PIE CHEESECAKE: National Boston Cream Pie Day

Yesterday was Boston Cream Pie Day, and I forgot to post. Boston Cream Pie is a  pudding/cake combination compromised of two layers of sponge cake filled with vanilla custard or crème pâtissière. The cake is topped with a chocolate glaze. 

So to celebrate this year's holiday, here's a twist on the classic Boston Cream Pie: Boston Cream Pie Cheesecake. The vanilla custard layer is replaced with cheesecake. I've tried several different recipes for Boston Cream Pie Cheesecake, but this recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens is one of my favorites. It's easy and delicious. You can always make your own yellow cake.

BOSTON CREAM PIE CHEESECAKE

Ingredients 
1 package 1-layer-size yellow cake mix  (probably using half the package for a two layer cake--or make your own yellow cake)
2 Tbsp cooking oil
3-8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 eggs
8 ounces real dairy sour cream
3/4 cup whipping cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (use the very best chocolate)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Directions 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease bottom of 9-inch springform pan; set aside. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, except add cooking oil. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 25 minutes.

Filling: 
In large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in sour cream. Carefully pour cream cheese mixture over cake layer.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a 2-inch area around outside edge appears set and center appears nearly set when gently shaken. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Using small sharp knife, loosen edge of cheesecake from side of pan. Cool completely (about 1- 3/4 hours). Remove side of pan; transfer cheesecake to serving plate. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.

Before serving, in small saucepan, bring whipping cream to simmering. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in butter. Chill about 15 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring once. Spoon chocolate mixture onto cheesecake, spreading to cover top.

Friday, October 23, 2020

CHOCOLATE MICE for Halloween!

This is one of my favorite Halloween recipes. I found it a few years ago on allrecipes.com. I've tweaked it a little, and, as always, feel free to do the same. These Chocolate Mice are fabulous! They look adorable and taste delicious. Warning: They can be pretty sweet, but then it's Halloween! That's why I substituted dark chocolate for milk chocolate in the recipe.

CHOCOLATE MICE

Ingredients
4 ounces dark chocolate - - 65-75% cacao
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (whirl chocolate wafers in a blender)
2/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
24 silver dragees decorating candy (those tiny silver candy balls) or icing gel or pearl candies
1/4 cup sliced almonds (try to match pairs)
12 (2 inch) pieces long thin red vine string licorice

Directions
Melt chocolate, and combine with sour cream. Stir in 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until firm.
Roll by level tablespoonfuls into balls. Mold to slight point at one end (the nose).
Roll dough in chocolate cookie crumbs. On each mouse, place dragees (or other decorating candy or icing) in appropriate spot for eyes (on the sides/not directly at front), almond slices for ears, and a red licorice string for the tail.
Refrigerate for at least two hours, until firm.

Place on a bed of graham crackers crumbs or vanilla wafer crumbs or Rice Crispies.

Hint: You can use this recipe to make White Chocolate Mice for Christmas!

Thursday, October 22, 2020

TOMBSTONE COOKIES for Halloween!

I like the nutty taste and crunchy texture of cocoa nibs, and I'm always looking for new uses for them -- in salads, sauces, and baking. Here's a great recipe that's perfect for Halloween (or any time) for Tombstone Cookies that includes cocoa nibs in the recipe. You can use these cookies in Graveyard Chocolate Pots de Creme or just serve them on a plate. Recipe from Sunset. And, here's a link to the Dark Chocolate Graveyard Pots de Creme.

Tombstone Cookies

Ingredients 
2 Tbsp cocoa (or cacao) nibs*
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling cookies
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Melted semisweet or bittersweet chocolate

Directions
Preheat oven to 400°. In blender, whirl cocoa nibs until each is about the size of a grain of rice.
In large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and 1/2 cup sugar until creamy; beat in egg and vanilla.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa nibs; gradually add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly, to form a soft dough.
Divide dough into thirds, cover each portion tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour), or up to 3 days.
On floured board, roll out dough, portion at a time, to 1/8 inch thickness (keep dough refrigerated when not in use). With sharp knife, cut out free-form tombstone shapes (about 1 1/2 by 3 in.; cut bottom edges at an angle to make them easier to poke into the pots de crème), and place slightly apart on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle generously with sugar.
Bake cookies until edges are lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool completely before handling. Using pastry bag with very fine tip, pipe letters "RIP" in chocolate on at least 8 of the cookies. Stick these cookies into Dark Chocolate Graveyard Pots de Crème and serve the rest of the cookies alongside.

** Cocoa nibs, also called "cacao nibs," give these cookies a mottled look that resembles stone. You can use chocolate-covered nibs made by Scharffen Berger or plain nibs from Dagoba Organic Chocolate.  Don't have any cocoa nibs? Substitute 2 tbsp. finely chopped bittersweet chocolate if you prefer. 

No time to make this great recipe? Use pudding packages and Milano Cookies for a similar graveyard effect!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES: 110+ Ideas

Halloween is right around the corner, and what's more fun than spooky Halloween Cupcakes?

Country Living has 43 fabulous Cupcake Ideas with Recipes. You won't want to miss this.

AllRecipes has links to multiple Inspirations, Ideas, and Recipes
Good Housekeeping has 31 Seriously Cute Halloween Cupcake Ideas that link back to some of your favorite bloggers' cupcake ideas.

 

Taste of Home has 21 Recipes for Halloween Cupcakes



I love these easy Bat Cupcakes from Betty Crocker.



And this is just a start. Check out your favorite bloggers and dessert sites for other Halloween Chocolate Cupcake Ideas.

Have a favorite? Post a comment below with the link! Boo!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

GRAVEYARD ICE CREAM PIE & GRAVEYARD CAKE: Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! There are many recipes for Graveyard Ice Cream Pie and Graveyard Cake for Halloween, but I have my favorites. This first recipe for Graveyard Ice Cream Pie is adapted from Martha Stewart. She calls it "I Scream" Graveyard Pie.  I use PEEPS' Marshmallow Tombstones, instead of the Milano Cookies and candy skulls Martha uses in the original recipe. Want to make this even more chocolatey? Make a Chocolate Cookie Crust instead of graham cracker crust. The second recipe is for Graveyard Cake, and the recipe is from Betty Crocker. It uses a cake mix, but if you're a purist, use your own favorite chocolate cake recipe. Once again, I use the PEEPS' Marshmallow Tombstones...and Ghosts. Gotta love PEEPS.

GRAVEYARD ICE CREAM PIE

Ingredients
16 graham crackers, broken into large pieces
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup roughly chopped chocolate flaky-crisp candy bars, such as Butterfinger "fun size" (about 8)
1 pint chocolate ice cream, softened
1 cup roughly chopped chocolate-coconut candy bars, such as Mounds "snack size" (about 8)
2 Tbsp chocolate chips, melted and cooled
20 chocolate wafers, such as Famous Chocolate Wafers

Directions 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In food processor, process graham crackers until finely ground (you should have about 2 cups). With motor running, add butter in slow, steady stream and pulse until combined. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up side of a 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Bake until crust is dry and set, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely in plate on a wire rack, 45 minutes.

In medium bowl, stir vanilla ice cream with wooden spoon until smooth. Fold in flaky-crisp candy bars. With small offset spatula, spread ice cream mixture evenly in crust. Freeze until firm, 1 hour 20 minutes.

Stir chocolate ice cream until smooth. Fold in coconut candy bars and spread evenly on top of vanilla ice cream layer. Freeze until firm, 1 hour.

In clean food processor, pulse wafers until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/4 cups). Spread crumbs on top of pie. With a knife, cut slits for "tombstones" and insert PEEPS Marshmallow Tombstones. 

GRAVEYARD 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
4 PEEPS® brand marshmallow ghosts
4 PEEPS® brand marshmallow tombstones
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (10 cookies)

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
Make cake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool in pan on cooling rack until completely cooled, about 1 hour.
Spread chocolate frosting on top of cake; place marshmallows around edges of cake.
Sprinkle cake cookie crumbs to look like dirt.
Cut into 5 rows by 4 rows.

Monday, October 19, 2020

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES: National Chocolate Cupcake Day

Yesterday was Chocolate Cupcake Day. How did I miss it? Well, making up for it today with this recipe for Triple Chocolate Cupcakes. I like to fill my cupcakes with chocolate ganache. If you find ganache is too thick, just thin the ganache with a bit of cream. I also use the ganache for the icing. Saves a step.

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Cupcakes

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
3/4 cup Dark cocoa powder  (Read about Natural vs. Dutch Process cocoa)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla
2/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Directions
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
In small bowl, place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder and combine.
Add milk and vanilla and stir.
Add 1/3 dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
Add half milk/vanilla mixture and beat to combine.
Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with dry ingredients.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Scoop batter into cupcake cups between 1/2 & 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

To make cupcakes flat on top: Bake in paper cups and flip onto flat surface when finished baking.  Leave pan sitting on top to make them flat. Allow to cool.
Freeze cupcakes and then use an apple corer to make the hole for the filling.

Ganache

Ingredients
12 ounces good quality chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter


Directions
Place chocolate in medium sized bowl. 
Heat cream over medium low heat until barely begins to boil. Remove from heat immediately. Do not over-heat! 
Pour hot cream over chocolate and let sit for minute. 
Stir mixture (gently) until chocolate is melted and blended with cream. 
Add butter and combine. 
Do not beat the mixture.
Cool before filling or spreading. (use pastry bag to fill and frost) 

Sprinkle with jimmies, chocolate curls, silver balls, or other decorations.

Friday, October 16, 2020

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CHOCOLATE LIQUEUR: National Liqueur Day

Today is National Liqueur Day! I often make Chocolate Liqueur Truffles. They're so easy to make, and you can change the flavor of the liqueurs whenever you'd like. But sometimes I make my own chocolate liqueur. It's simple, and you should try it. Of course you can always buy Chocolate Liqueur, and I'll have to admit that Godiva has an awesome Dark Chocolate Liqueur. You might also want to try Mozart Black Chocolate.

But if you want to make your own, try one of the following two recipes for Making Your Own Chocolate Liqueur.

As always, use the best cacao nibs or cocoa, vodka, and vanilla. You won't have the results to taste today, but it will be worth the wait!

How to Make Your Own Chocolate Liqueur

1. Chocolate Liqueur
The recipe is from Serious Eats, one of my favorite sites.

Ingredients
 2/3 cup cacao nibs
1 1/3 cup vodka
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions
Combine cacao nibs and vodka in sealable glass jar. Shake and let steep for 8 days.
After initial steeping period, bring sugar and water to a boil. Let syrup cool, then add to jar along with vanilla extract. Let steep an additional day.
Strain out nibs through sieve and filter through a coffee filter into bottle or jar. Store in this jar.

II. Chocolate Liqueur
This Recipe from Creative Culinary uses Scharffen Berger Cocoa Powder. 

Ingredients
1/4 cup unsweetened good cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vodka

Directions
In bowl, dissolve cocoa powder in boiling water.
In saucepan, bring sugar and water to simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Add sugar syrup to cocoa syrup.
Strain through fine-mesh sieve into jar with lid.
Add vodka, cover and refrigerate for one week.
To serve, stir well and strain again through fine-mesh sieve.
 
These two recipes should get you started. Want to try some variations? Use less sugar and maybe add almond extract--or use rum instead of vodka. Experiment!

You can drink your Chocolate Liqueur straight, use it in truffles, or make a martini.

Have a wonderful National Liqueur Day. Make it Chocolate!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

PINWHEEL CAKE: 1950s Retro Ad & Recipe

I love Retro Ads with Recipes. Here's one from Baker's Chocolate and Carnation Milk from the 1950s for Pinwheel Cake. The following recipe references products from the 50s, many of which are still available. Feel free to substitute your favorites! 

PINWHEEL CAKE 

Cake 
 4 squares Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate 
1-3/4 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour 
1-1/2 cups sugar 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 teaspoons Calumet baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon soda 
1/2 cup shortening 
1-1/4 cups Carnation Evaporated Milk, undiluted 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 eggs 
1 square Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled 
1/3 cup Carnation Evaporated Milk, undiluted 
2/3 cup vegetable shortening 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 tablespoon water 

 
For Cake
Melt 2 squares chocolate. Sift dry ingredients. Stir shortening to soften. Add sifted ingredients, 1 cup milk, vanilla. Blend. Beat 2 minutes at low mixer speed or 300 strokes by hand. Add eggs, remaining milk, melted chocolate. Beat 1 minute. Pour into two 9-inch layer pans lined on bottoms with paper. 

For Topping 
Melt remaining 2 squares chocolate and pour into circles on top of layers. (Remember — only Baker’s gives you the superb chocolate flavor that makes this cake and topping so rich, so delicious!) Make swirls on top with rubber spatula to form pattern. Bake about 30 minutes in moderate oven (350 F.). While cake cools, combine ingredients for delicious filling, Whip 10 minutes, or until very fluffy. Split layers to form 4 layers. 
Spread 2/3 cup filling between each layer. A spectacular cake — rich and luscious because you use Baker’s Chocolate and Carnation Milk. Extra-delicious when chilled!



Sunday, October 11, 2020

CHOCOLATE CHERRY BISCOTTI: Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a huge deal in San Francisco, and even Covid19 and politics have not put the kibosh on celebrations. There won't be a parade this year, but there are several events taking place over the weekend, sponsored by the Italian American Heritage Association. Columbus Day originated as a celebration of Italian-American heritage and was first held in San Francisco on October 12, 1869. In 1892 President Benjamin Harrison, 400 years after Columbus' first journey, gave a public statement in memory of the 'New World' being 'discovered.' In 1905 Colorado was the first State to recognize an official 'Columbus Day'. From 1921 Columbus Day was observed each year. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937 declared October 12 as 'Columbus Day', but in 1971, Congress proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday the 2nd Monday of October.

For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. But throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have proposed since the 1970s including Indigenous Peoples' Day, now celebrated in a handful of U.S. states. 

Of course, there's a Columbus Chocolate Connection. Although people tend to associate chocolate with European culture, the confection’s roots are actually a whole lot deeper in the Americas. The trees that grow the cacao beans actually originated in the tropical regions of the Americas. Chocolate didn’t find its way to Europe until Christopher Columbus brought the cacao bean back to Spain from his “New World” adventure. 

So today for Columbus Day, an Italian-American celebration, I'm posting one of my favorite recipes for Chocolate Cherry Biscotti.
 
CHOCOLATE CHERRY BISCOTTI


I originally found this recipe on the Internet in several places, but I've adapted it a bit. I don't like candied cherries, so I use dried cherries. My favorite are from Chukar Cherries. You can't go wrong with Biscotti on Columbus Day or any day. No time to cook? Pick up some Biscotti at your local Italian Bakery or Nonni's White Cherry Chocolate Biscotti.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries (original recipe uses candied cherries, but I prefer Chukar Cherries)
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease large cookie sheet.
In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth.
Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in almond extract.
Combine flour and baking powder; stir into creamed mixture until just blended.
Fold in dried cherries and mini chocolate chips.
With lightly floured hands, shape dough into two 10 inch long loaves.
Place rolls 5 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet; flatten each to 3 inch width.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set and light golden brown.
Cool 10 minutes.
Using serrated knife, cut loaves diagonally into 1/2 inch slices.
Arrange slices cut side down on un-greased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown.
Turn, and bake additional 5 minutes, or until browned and crisp.
Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020

WHITE CHOCOLATE ANGEL FOOD CAKE: National Angel Food Cake Day

Today is Angel Food Cake Day. I'm more of a Devil's Food Cake person, but here's a White Chocolate recipe for White Chocolate Angel Food Cake from Godiva Chocolate.  Although I am posting a Retro Ad for Angel Food Cake, the recipe below is all from scratch!

White Chocolate Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries

Ingredients

Cake
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups egg whites, room temperature (about 11 to 12 large eggs)
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Ivory Chocolate, grated or finely chopped

Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Berries:
1 cup fresh red raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
White chocolate curls 

Directions

Cake
Position oven rack in lower third of oven. Heat oven to 350°F.
Sift together confectioners’ sugar, cake flour, and salt onto sheet of waxed paper.
Put egg whites in clean, dry bowl of electric mixer. Beat egg whites at medium-low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add granulated sugar in steady stream, beating just until whites are thick and form slightly stiff peaks. (Do not over-beat)
Gently fold in 1/3 of sifted dry ingredients over whites just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in remaining dry ingredients with vanilla and grated white chocolate in two additional batches.
Gently pour batter into ungreased 10" angel food or tube pan, spreading evenly. Tap gently on counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake 35 minutes or until top is firm and springs back when lightly touched. Invert pan on a large bottle (such as wine bottle or olive oil bottle) and cool completely.
To remove cake from pan, run long knife or thin metal spatula around outside edge of cake and gently remove side portion of pan. Then run knife around inside of center tube, loosen bottom of cake with long knife or thin metal spatula and remove cake from remaining portion of pan. 

Place on cake plate; cover with plastic wrap if not serving immediately.

Whipped Cream:
Combine heavy cream and granulated sugar in a medium, chilled bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form; whisk in vanilla.
Place sweetened whipping cream in refrigerator until ready to serve cake, up to 2 hours.
Combine berries in a medium bowl and toss lightly.

Assembly:
Cut cake with serrated knife using a sawing motion. Serve with sweetened whipped cream and berry mixture. Garnish with white chocolate curls.

Friday, October 9, 2020

BLUE CHEESE TRUFFLES: National Moldy Cheese Day

October 9 is Moldy Cheese Day. Don't you just love the name
Moldy Cheese Day
? Perfect for October! For me, Moldy Cheese means Blue Cheese. O.K. I know there are a lot of other moldy cheeses out there, but give me a good Stilton or Gorgonzola any day. So in honor of Moldy Cheese Day, I'm making Blue Cheese Truffles. Simple and delicious.

Scroll down for an easy recipe for Blue Cheese Truffles (I'd call them Moldy Cheese Truffles, but I fear no one will eat them).

No time or inclination to make your own? There are several Chocolate companies that offer fabulous Smokey Blue Cheese Truffles. I really like Lillie Belle Farms from Southern Oregon. I've tasted them at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon, and they're delicious. Organic milk chocolate, Rogue Creamery's smoked blue cheese and toasted almonds. It's an awesome combination.

My other favorite blue cheese truffles are Bissinger's Chocolate-Covered Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese Wine Grape. They're a great combination of sweet and savory. I'm a sucker for chocolate and cheese, and local Point Reyes Original Blue is one of my favorite blues. Add a wine grape to that, and I'm in heaven.
 
But, of course, you can make your own Blue Cheese (Moldy Cheese) Truffles! This recipe is adapted from Harold McGee's Cookbook On Food and Cooking. Remember that the taste will change depending on the chocolate and cheese you choose! Choose a mild blue cheese to start.


BLUE CHEESE TRUFFLES

FILLING
2 ounces Blue Cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp superfine sugar
2 ounces Dark chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped

COATING
6 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), finely chopped

Make sure the cheese is at room temperature.

In mixing bowl, combine cheese and sugar and mix until sugar dissolves.
Melt filling chocolate in top of a double boiler (or saucepan over saucepan) over simmering water.

Use 2 ounces for blue cheese fillings. Make sure cheese is at room temperature and very soft. If it is too firm, microwave very briefly to soften.

Combine melted chocolate, superfine sugar, and cheese and work together with a wooden spoon or flexible spatula until the mixture is homogeneous. (This may be easier if you add a few drops of water or a little butter.) If mixture is too soft to shape, refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes.

Roll portions of mixture into 1/2-inch balls and refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes.
Melt and temper coating chocolate. Dip cheese balls in tempered chocolate, letting excess drain off. Allow to set at room temperature. Keep in cool place and serve on same day.

Note: Cheese will resume fermentation if left at room temperature, so this is one case where truffles should be refrigerated if kept for more than a day. Place on a sheet or tray and wrap snugly in waxed paper, then plastic wrap, before refrigerating. Allow to warm to room temperature before unwrapping.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

CHOCOLATE FLUFFERNUTTER SANDWICH: National Fluffernutter Day!

Today is National Fluffernutter DayFluffernutter sandwiches must contain Marshmallow Fluff. I always have a jar in my pantry.

Marshmallow Fluff is not just any marshmallow crème. Fluff has been manufactured by Durkee-Mower of Lynn, Massachusetts since 1920, and is the preferred brand of the northeast.

This gooey, spreadable, marshmallow-infused confection is used in countless recipes and found in a variety of baked goods—from whoopie pies and Rice Krispies Treats to chocolate fudge and beyond.

And in the beyond lies the best concoction of all: the Fluffernutter sandwich—a classic New England treat made with white bread, peanut butter, and, Fluff.

History of Marshmallow Fluff:

A sweet marshmallow-like spread called Marshmallow Creme was invented in 1917 by Archibald Query in Somerville, Massachusetts. In 1913 during World War I, Emma and Amory Curtis of Melrose, Massachusetts invented Snowflake Marshmallow Creme and published a recipe for a peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwich, which is the earliest known example of a Fluffernutter. Query sold his recipe for Marshmallow Creme to Durkee-Mower, Inc in 1920, who renamed it Marshmallow Fluff. Over 100 years later they continue to sell it under that name today.

It was in 1960 that the term Fluffernutter was created by an advertising agency for Durkee-Mower in an attempt to effectively market the peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich. See the 1960s ad and jingle explaining the recipe below. How Retro!

So if the Fluffernutter sandwich is a classic New England treat made with white bread, peanut butter, and Marshmallow Fluff, it can only be better if you add chocolate. And, for me, press the sandwich in a panini press!

Chocolate Fluffernutter Sandwich:

Chopped dark chocolate, Marshmallow Fluff, Chunky peanut butter, soft good white bread - pressed hot in a panini press!

Have a Chocolate Fluffernutter Sandwich today!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

STARBUCKS OREO FRAPPUCCINO: National Frappé Day

Today is Frappé Day. Most of us have a frappé of one kind or another in our lifetime.

A frappé is an iced beverage that has been shaken, blended, or beaten to produce a foamy cold blended drink, often with whipped cream and toppings. Ice can be added before or after beating the coffee and adding other ingredients such as sugar, milk, vanilla, and sweet sauces. It really depends on what you are shaking or blending it in - a shaker, frappe maker, or blender. According to one source, an ice-crushing blender is better than a shaker for blending a frappe. Traditionally frappés are made with coffee, but you can make other frappé drinks with tea, juice, or hot chocolate.

The word Frappé comes from the French word Frapper - which means to slap, knock, or beat. Cold coffee drinks named "café frappé" go back to the 19th century.

Which leads me to the Italian term: Frappuccino. In the last few years, I've had numerous types of Frappuccinos at Starbucks, most with chocolate. Unfortunately because of Covid19, I no longer go to restaurants or Starbucks, even for take-out. So here's a recipe for Starbucks' Oreo Frappuccino I found on StarbucksSecretMenu.net There are several 'Starbucks" secret menu recipes that you can order at Starbucks (you may need to know the recipe), but you can also make this at home. As always use the very best chocolate.

Starbucks Oreo Frappucino

Ingredients
8 ounces whole milk
1 cup ice
2 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
2 Tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp mocha syrup or chocolate syrup
1 Oreo
Whipped cream, for garnish
Crushed Oreos, for garnish

Directions
In a blender add milk, ice, vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate chips, mocha syrup, and an Oreo.
Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass, and garnish with whipped cream and crushed Oreos.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

CHOCOLATE CHIP NOODLE PUDDING aka KUGEL: National Noodle Day


Today is National Noodle Day, and it's also National Pasta Month. Noodles are pasta, but for some reason I always think of 'noodles' as flat wide pasta. So celebrate both holidays with this  Lokshen (Egg Noodle) Kugel aka Noddle Pudding with Chocolate Chips. It's a sweet Kugel anyway, so why not add chocolate chips?

A bit of Kugel history:   

Kugel is a traditional Ashkenazic Jewish dessert or side dish. Kugel is Yiddish for ball, but it is sometimes translated as pudding or casserole, and related to the German Gugelhupf. The first Kugel were plain -- made from bread and flour, and salty rather than sweet. About 800 years ago, their flavor and popularity changed when cooks in Germany replaced bread mixtures with noodles or farfel. Eventually eggs were incorporated. The addition of cottage cheese and milk created a custard-like consistency which is common for today's dishes. In the 17th century, sugar was introduced, which gave the option of serving kugel as a side dish or dessert. In Poland, Jewish women sprinkled raisins and cinnamon into recipes. Hungarians took the dessert concept further with a hefty helping of sugar and some sour cream.

I like Kugel with sour cream, cottage cheese, and sugar--and chocolate chips. Many people add corn flakes, graham cracker crumbs, ground gingersnaps or caramelized sugar on top. Some people layer the dish with sliced pineapples or apricot jam. Traditionally, raisins, both dark and golden are added. Kugel is such a versatile dish. Happy Noodle Day! Enjoy this today or any time! It's such an easy dessert....and so fabulous!

Chocolate Chip Noodle Kugel

Ingredients:
12 oz pkg medium wide noodles boiled & drained
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
8 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint (16 oz) cottage cheese (large curd)
2 cups sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla
3/4 cup DARK chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter sides and bottom of 9 x 13 Pyrex or another Pan.
Beat together eggs and sugar. Add cottage cheese, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla and mix with wooden spoon.
Fold in noodles and chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into buttered pan.
Bake at 350°F for 40-60 minutes until just set.

Monday, October 5, 2020

NO-COOK DARK CHOCOLATE MOUSSE: Guest post by Kim Davis

I love when my mystery and chocolate worlds cross. Today I welcome Kim Davis, author of the Cupcake Catering Mystery Series.

*** 

Kim Davis:

No-Cook Dark Chocolate Mousse 

While most mousse recipes rely on heavy, calorie rich cream and egg yolks, this is a healthier vegan alternative that will still satisfy any chocoholic sweet tooth! Best of all, it whips up quickly with no cooking. 

Ingredients 

Mousse 

1/2 cup granulated sugar 

7 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or Chambord 

1/4 teaspoon orange extract or raspberry flavoring 

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/8 teaspoon salt 

1 (12.3 ounce) package silken tofu, drained 

1 (12.3 ounce) package reduced-fat silken tofu drained 

3 ounces dark chocolate chopped 

Garnish

Whipped cream or dairy-free whipped dessert topping

1 small can mandarin oranges or fresh raspberries rinsed and patted dry 

Chocolate curls


Instructions 

Place the chopped dark chocolate in a small microwave-safe heatproof bowl. Heat for 30 seconds at 80% power. Remove and stir. Repeat for another 30 seconds, remove and stir. If chocolate isn’t melted, heat in 10 second intervals, stirring until melted. Set aside. 

Place sugar, cocoa powder, Grand Marnier or Chambord, extract, vanilla extract, salt, and tofu in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Process or blend until completely smooth. 

Add the melted chocolate to the pudding mixture and process until completely incorporated. 

Divide the pudding between 6 serving dishes and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 

Just before serving garnish with whipped cream, mandarin orange wedges or fresh raspberries, and chocolate curls.

*** 

Kim Davis lives in Southern California with her husband. When not chasing her two granddaughters, she can be found at her computer writing the Cupcake Catering Mystery series (Sprinkles of Suspicion and Cake Popped Off), or blogging at Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder, or in the kitchen baking up new treats to share. Kim Davis is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

NINE CHOCOLATE VODKA RECIPES: National Vodka Day!

1966 Retro Smirnoff Ad
October 4 is National Vodka Day. In honor of the holiday, I've put together Nine Chocolate Vodka Drink Recipes. There are several good quality chocolate vodkas out there. Try them all. Celebrate!

Chocolate Raspberry Martini 
(A Drink of the Week Original Cocktail)
1 1/2 ounce Stoli Raspberry Vodka
1/2  ounce  Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Splash Soda

Combine Vodka and Liqueur in a shaker with ice. Shaken and strain into a cocktail glass. Top with a splash of soda. Garnish with a fresh raspberry.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Daiquiri
3 ounces chocolate Goldenbarr chocolate vodka
1 cup fresh strawberries

Combine ingredients in a blender, and blend well. Pour into chilled daiquiri/margarita glass, garnish with a chocolate covered strawberry, and serve.

Cherry Cordial Recipe
Chocolate Vodka
Cherry Liqueur

Pour in Shot Glass

Chocolate to Die For
6 ounce cream soda
1 1/2 ounce Chocolate Vodka

Pour the chocolate vodka over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Add cream soda and serve.

Fudge Slide
1 ounce Goldenbarr Chocolate Vodka
1 ounce  Kahlua coffee liqueur
1 ounce Bailey's Irish cream

Pour each ingredient into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into a cocktail glass, and serve.

Chocolate Chocolate Martini
1 1/2 ounce Vincent Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate Vodka
1/2 ounce Creme de Cacao

Pour both ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well, strain into cocktail glass and serve. Garnish with grated chocolate. You can also rim the chilled glass with cocoa powder but pour slowly. Even better: Rim chilled glass with chocolate sauce and put in freezer until you're ready to serve the drink!

Desperate Housewife
1 1/2 ounce Players Extreme caramel-infused vodka
1 1/2 ounce white chocolate liqueur

Shake with ice. Strain into cocktail glass. Drizzle with chocolate sauce, and serve.

Starry Night Martini
1 1/2 ounce chocolate Vodka
1 1/2 ounce vanilla Vodka
1 ounce Bailey's Irish cream
1 ounce Kahlua coffee liqueur
1 splash cream

Fill shaker-strainer with ice. Pour chocolate and vanilla vodka into shaker simultaneously for three counts. Pour Bailey's and Kahlua into shaker for two counts. Add splash of cream. Cover shaker, shake, and strain into cocktail glass.

Tootsie Roll Shooter
 (recipe from Three Olives Chocolate Vodka)
2/3 ounce Three Olives Chocolate Vodka
1/3 ounce amaretto
Chocolate Syrup

Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into shot glass.

Raise a glass to National Vodka Day!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES for Fall

I love scones, and they're so easy to make, and these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones are perfect for this Fall Weekend. Mix up a batch today! 

Tips: 

Do not overwork the dough! Use frozen butter!

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup salted butter frozen (frozen butter is key to a good scone!)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Coarse sugar

Directions
Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in bowl.
Add cold butter to flour mixture and combine with pastry cutter, two knives, or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal.
In bowl whisk together egg and pumpkin puree.
Add wet ingredients to flour and butter mixture and stir with rubber spatula until just combined. Be careful to not over mix!
Carefully fold in mini chocolate chips.
On floured surface, shape dough into disk about 3/4 inch thick.
Place dough on prepared pan and slice dough (like a pizza to create 8 scones)
Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Put baking sheet in freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
When scones are chilled, bake for 14-16 minutes until very light golden brown.
Serve warm with clotted cream!

Friday, October 2, 2020

CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN SPICE QUICK BREAD: National Pumpkin Spice Day

Yesterday was National Pumpkin Spice Day. Pumpkin Spice is definitely a flavor associated with Fall, and sometimes overused, but this Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread is an easy and great way to celebrate the day--and the season! Pumpkin spice (sometimes called pumpkin pie spice) is available in the market, but you can also make your own (scroll down for recipe). If you do, remember to use the freshest spices to create your Pumpkin Spice.

The following recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread is from the Land O Lakes website. Want to 'spice' up the look of this pumpkin quick bread? Use a NordicWare Pumpkin Loaf Pan.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup mashed cooked pumpkin (or 1 cup canned pumpkin)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large Eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice**
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x5-inch loaf pan; set aside.
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
Stir in chocolate chips so evenly distributed.
Spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake 45-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan.
Cool completely.

**Make your own Pumpkin Spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Thursday, October 1, 2020

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE COOKIES WITH SEA SALT: National Homemade Cookie Day


Today is Homemade Cookie Day. Here's an easy recipe for Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Sea Salt that you can make to celebrate! This recipe is from local San Francisco chocolate company Ghirardelli. Ghirardelli has some great recipes online and in their new Cookbook.

Ghirardelli: In 1849, during the California Gold Rush, Italian-born Domingo Ghirardelli moved to America and opened a store in a mining camp. After discovering the miners were starved for luxuries and needed something to spend their gold dust on, he starting stocking chocolate delicacies. In 1852, the enterprising immigrant founded a confectionery shop in San Francisco, which eventually became the modern-day Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.

Today, Ghirardelli is America’s oldest continuously operating chocolate maker. Their products are sold in stores everywhere and online, and they also have their own chocolate and ice cream shops across the country.

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE COOKIES WITH SEA SALT

Ingredients
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips, for melting into the cookie dough
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips, for mixing into the prepared cookie dough
2 to 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt

Directions
In heatproof bowl over double boiler, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Turn off stove and let chocolate sit over warm water.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt and mix to combine.
In another bowl, mix together sugar and eggs, combine thoroughly with whisk and slowly add warm chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. Add vanilla extract and mix. Stir in flour mixture.
Cool for a few minutes (if batter is warm, chocolate chips will melt). Stir in chocolate chips. Chill for 10-15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Scoop rounded tablespoons of batter and place on baking tray. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with a pinch of sea salt.
Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 7-8 minutes until the outside looks slightly cracked. Be very careful not to over bake cookies because they will continue to bake as they cool once removed from the oven. Cookies should be soft and gooey in the center.

For a chunky and different twist add one of the following: 3/4 cup toasted pecans or pistachios, 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger, or 1/3 cup sweetened coconut