Saturday, January 23, 2021

HERSHEY'S COCOA CREAM PIE: National Pie Day: Retro Ad & Recipe

Today is National Pie Day. Here's a simple and delicious recipe from Hershey's for Hershey's Cocoa Cream Pie! You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry! I love these old Retro Ads & Recipes. I believe this ad was on the back of the can.


Friday, January 22, 2021

CONGO SQUARES: National Blonde Brownies Day: Retro Ad & Recipe

Today is National Blonde Brownies Day. Blond Brownies is a misnomer. Blondies are not Brownies! They get their flavor from brown sugar and not cocoa or chocolate, but they're wonderful for exactly what they are--a great butterscotch 'brownie.' Over the years, I've added macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, or a combination of these ingredients to the following basic recipe. The variety of additions is huge, and the basic batter is a delicious brown sugar concoction. Blondies are simple to make, and I highly recommend them. I use dark brown sugar because I think it adds more flavor. As in any recipe, the quality of the ingredients makes a difference in your final product.

I love this Retro Ad & Recipe for Congo Squares aka Blondies or Blond Brownies. As always, you can never have too many recipes!

Congo Squares or Bars, by the way, have nothing to do with Africa. There's nothing like these sweets in any African country that I know of...and you can't even grow wheat in Central Africa. So why are they called Congo Squares? Who knows.. maybe because of the exotic ingredients (chocolate, coconut, nuts) which might come from Africa? I also read somewhere that these Congo Squares originated in the Southeast (US). There was a plaza in New Orleans called Congo Square which in the early 19th century was a gathering place for both free and enslaved African-Americans who met for marketing, music-making and dancing... probably not the connection, but a possibility. Whatever the origin, this is a great treat for the weekend! This Nestle ad is from 1949 and doesn't include the cocoanut, but throw some toasted coconut in.





Thursday, January 21, 2021

CHOCOLATE COCONUT GRANOLA BARS: National Granola Bar Day!

Today is National Granola Bar Day! Yes, always a holiday to celebrate! I've posted recipes for Granola Bars in the past (Chocolate Cranberry Granola Bars, and Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars), but here's one for Chocolate Coconut Granola Bars. Don't be overwhelmed by the number of steps. These bars are really quite quick to make, but I suggest you have all your ingredients ready before you go to work! The following Chocolate Coconut Granola Bar recipe produces terrific, tasty, and healthy bars that are great in the kids' lunchboxes or as a pick-me-up for you! This is a 'copycat' Kashi recipe. No time to make this today? Then buy yourself a Kashi Chocolate Coconut Granola Bar.

CHOCOLATE COCONUT GRANOLA BARS

Ingredients 

Bars 
1 cup whole almonds, divided
1 cup walnuts, divided
1 1/2 cup old fashion oats, divided
1/4 cup ground flax
2 Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp almond butter

Chocolate Glaze 
1 Tbsp coconut oil
10 ounces dark chocolate (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped coconut flakes

Directions 
In food processor, add 1/2 cup of almonds, 1/2cup of walnuts, and 3/4 cup of oats. Process until  turns into fine powder, about 1 minute. (Do not over process)
Chop remaining almonds and walnuts. Add to large bowl along with remaining 3/4 cup oats and processed powder. Add to bowl: ground flax, chia seeds, and coconut flakes. Toss together.
Heat small pan on stove over medium heat. Add honey, coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, cinnamon, and almond butter. Stir constantly until fully melted and begins to foam. Allow to foam and bubble for about a minute before immediately pouring over nuts and oats mixture.
Using rubber spatula, stir everything together until evenly distributed.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 13 x 6’’ pan with parchment paper, enough to hang over two of the sides.
Pour granola mixture into pan and spread evenly. Using metal spatula, begin pressing down really hard all along edges and through middle. (Tip: If you don’t press down tightly, they will fall apart when cut)
Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, until firm. Remove and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate glaze:
Melt 1 Tbsp coconut oil in small saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add chopped chocolate. Stir until you have smooth glaze.
Pour over Baked mixture and using spatula, spread to edges and even out.
Sprinkle top with additional walnuts and coconut flakes.
Allow top to set (several hours)
Once totally set, pick up both sides of overhanging parchment paper and remove from pan.
Cut into small rectangles.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE TRUFFLES: National Cheese Lovers Day

Today is National Cheese Lovers Day, and I immediately thought of Cheesecake! I've posted recipes for a variety of of chocolate cheesecakes,  from Pumpkin Cheesecakes to Double Chocolate Cheesecakes, so for today's food holiday, I thought I'd take a different approach. I love truffles, so here's a simple recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles. Easy and delicious! As always, use the very best chocolate. There are three different ways to coat these.. It's up to you!

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE TRUFFLES

Ingredients 
8 ounces cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
5 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, melted (I use 70% cacao)
1 tsp good quality vanilla

Coatings for truffles:
Toasted pecans, chopped (or other nuts)
Pulverized graham crackers (gives you a true cheesecake taste)
Cocoa powder

Directions
Using mixer, slowly add powdered sugar to cream cheese, mixing well after each addition.
Add melted chocolate and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Chill several hours.
Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in coatings.

How easy is this?