Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Retro Marshmal-o Fudge Ad & Recipe

Love these retro ads and recipes! This one is for Marshmal-o Fudge. I don't thing Marshmal-o is made anymore, but Marshallow Fluff is, and it's a perfect substitute. Of course you can make your own 'marshmallow fluff' if you want to be sure of ingredients. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cappuccino Cheesecake with Oreo Crust: National Coffee Day

Today is National Coffee Day. I'm not a regular coffee drinker, but that doesn't keep me from having a mocha every once in awhile. Chocolate and coffee go so well together, and I often add coffee or espresso to brownies, cakes, and cookies. So in honor of the holiday, here's a recipe adapted from Philadelphia Cream Cheese for Cappucino Cheesecake. The actual cheesecake does not contain chocolate, but with an oreo crust, you'll get your 'jolt' of chocolate!


16 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp Madagascar vanilla
2 eggs
1 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp Instant Coffee (I use Starbucks VIA ready brew)
1 Oreo Pie Crust - see below

Prheat oven to 350°F.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix just until blended.
Microwave milk in small microwaveable bowl on high 15 seconds. Add coffee granules; stir until dissolved. Add to batter; mix well. Pour into crust.
Bake 40 minutes or until center is almost set.  (do not overbake)
Refrigerate several hours or overnight.  

Oreo Pie Crust
24 Oreos (or Trader Joe's JoeJoes)
1/4 cup sweet butter, melted

In medium-sized bowl or food processor, add Oreo cookies and blend until texture of coarse meal or crumbs. Add melted butter and blend until combined. Put ground crumb mixture into 9 - or 10 - inch deep-dish pie pan and press evenly on bottom and up sides  (about 1/8 inch around).
Refrigerate crust for hour+ before adding filling to prevent crumbling when you serve.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Pancakes in a Jar: National Pancake Day!

Happy Pancake Day! I usually have pancake ingredients in the cupboard, but sometimes I spend the weekend at the Beach, and I don't always have everything to make pancakes from scratch. So lately I've taken my Pancakes in a Jar to the Beach. I just mix up a batch, put it in jars, and have them ready--they're also handy for home and for last minute gifts. How cool is that?

One hint for great Mixes in a Jar is to really pack the ingredients in. Use a tamper, if you have one...except for the dried cherries and chocolate.You can also substitute dried blueberries or other berries for cherries. I like Chukar's Dried Cherries, but I also use Trader Joe's.

Chocolate Cherry Pancakes in a Jar

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried cherries
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Layer flour, then sugar, then baking powder mixed with baking soda and salt in 1-quart wide-mouth jar. 
Add cherries, then chocolate.
Seal Jar.
Cover jar with burlap or other fabric and tie with raffia or bow.

If you're giving this as a gift--or you don't think you're remember, attach tag with the following instructions:

Chocolate Cherry Pancakes 
Makes 25 pancakes
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup sweet butter, melted
Contents of Jar of "Chocolate Cherry Pancakes"
1-1/2 to 2 cups whole milk

Mix eggs and melted butter in large bowl. Add contents of jar. Stir until well blended. Add 1-1/2 cups milk. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
Heat griddle or skillet. Pour batter onto hot griddle 1/4 cup at a time. Cook pancakes until golden on both sides.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds for Rosh Hashanah

Vintage New Year's Card -- Magnes Museum collection
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, started last night, and I posted a recipe for Chocolate Honey Cake for a sweet New Year.

On the second night of Rosh Hashanah,  a "new fruit" is eaten. It's usually a fruit that has recently come into season but that you haven't yet had the opportunity to eat. Traditionally, one says the shehechiyanu blessing thanking God for keeping you and yours alive and bringing you to this season. This ritual reminds everyone to appreciate the fruits of the earth and being alive to enjoy them. So for today's recipe and to taste this evening, I suggest you make Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds.

A pomegranate is often the new fruit. In the Bible, the Land of Israel is praised for its pomegranates. It is also said that this fruit contains 613 seeds just as there are 613 mitzvot (commandments). Another reason given for blessing and eating pomegranate on Rosh Hashanah is that one wishes that good deeds in the ensuing year will be as plentiful as the seeds of the pomegranate.

For this recipe, I buy packages of Pomegranate seeds at Trader Joe's, but you can always go the old fashioned way and buy two whole pomegranates and remove the seeds. For an easy way to deseed pomegranates, see this post. Rich sweet dark chocolate goes very well with the tart pomegranate flavor, and the textures meld well. Even if you're not celebrating the Jewish New Year, Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds make a great snack, and you'll enjoy the benefits of both sources of antioxidants. 


Pomegranate Seeds
About 7 ounces (depending how many seeds you have) of good quality Dark Chocolate, chopped

1. Line cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper.
2. Melt dark chocolate in double boiler or saucepan on top of saucepan of simmering water. Stir to make sure chocolate doesn't burn.
3. Add dry pomegranate seeds (so if they've been in the refrigerator make sure to dry them) to melted chocolate and fold gently with rubber spatula until seeds are thoroughly covered.
4. Spoon clusters of mixture onto wax or parchment paper.
5. Place wax or parchment papered cookie sheet in refrigerator and let chocolate covered seeds cool for several hours or overnight.
Keep refrigerated. Will last 3-4 days.

No time to cook? Trade Joe's sells chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. They're in very small clusters.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chocolate Honey Cake for a Sweet New Year

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, starts tonight, so I wanted to post one of my favorite recipes for Chocolate Honey Cake. This is a great and easy honey cake to make for a Sweet New Year! Recipe is adapted from Molly Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, one of my favorite (and most dog-eared) cookbooks. I've been making this Chocolate Honey Cake for years, and it always turns out perfectly and tastes delicious.

The flavor will change with the honey and chocolate you use. I use local honey that is gathered from Claremont Canyon, right near my home, but any honey will work! Molly Katzen has a hint about baking with honey. Because baking cakes with honey can be tricky (it is much heavier and wetter than sugar), you have to take extra care that the texture of the finished product be light enough and has "enough crumb." To accomplish this, whip the honey separately at high speed with an electric mixer, until it is opaque (about two minutes). This incorporates air into the honey, increasing its volume, and drying it out some, so it can make a good cake. Please don't skip or skimp on this step.


Nonstick spray for the pan
1/2 cup canola oil or softened butter
1 ounce dark chocolate (75-85% cacao)
3/4 cup light-colored honey
2 eggs
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks 

Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for glass pan). Spray medium-sized loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Melt butter and chocolate together over simmering water (double boiler or a saucepan over a saucepan). If using oil, melt chocolate alone, then remove from heat and stir in oil.
Place honey in medium-sized bowl, and beat at high speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in vanilla.
Sift together dry ingredients in separate medium-small bowl. Beat melted chocolate mixture into honey-egg mixture. Fold in dry ingredients and chocolate chips, and stir until well combined. Spread into prepared pan.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool before slicing.

Monday, September 22, 2014

White Chocolate Bundt Cake

Today is White Chocolate Day. Not many people, including the FDA, consider white chocolate to be chocolate. It is made with cocoa butter, but combined with sugar and milk, and sometimes vanilla, so I'm including it as chocolate. It doesn't taste like chocolate, but it does taste like 'white' chocolate! I love the flavor. I have two favorite white chocolates for baking: Guittard and Green & Black. I'm not fond of the white 'tablets' you get at crafts stores. Be sure you use 'real' white chocolate in this recipe. The cheaper white chocolates have most of the cocoa butter replaced by vegetable fats. Not tasty at all. The amazing ad in the photo is from Green & Black.

So for today's holiday, here's a recipe for White Chocolate Bundt Cake. You can always drizzle with dark chocolate, if you're so inclined, but I like my bundt cakes plain.


1 cup sweet butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp sweet butter to coat pan
2 cups granulated sugar
2 Tbsp granulated sugar for sugaring pan
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
5 eggs, room temperature
4 ounces white chocolate, melted, still warm
4 ounces white chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Coat 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan with 1 tablespoon butter, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Put remaining 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar in large bowl and cream with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, almond extract and eggs, one at a time, beating 20 seconds after each addition. Slowly beat in 4 ounces melted white chocolate. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with the sour cream. Beat 45 seconds after each addition.
Place batter in prepared pan in 3 layers, separating each layer with the remaining 4 ounces white chocolate chunks or chips.
Bake in preheated oven 55 to 60 minutes or until done. DON'T OVERBAKE!
Top browns and cake tester inserted into center will come out with a few crumbs on it.
Remove cake to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Pecans and chocolate are a true marriage made in heaven! I've posted recipes for Chocolate Pecan Sandies, definitely a pecan cookie, but I thought I'd post a different one to celebrate National Pecan Cookie Day!

This recipe is adapted from Woman's Day, April 1, 2006.  As always, I suggest you use the very best ingredients. I used Toffee Talk Crumble Mumble in the recipe, and I used 15 ounces of 85% Madecasse chocolate in place of the original 2 10-oz milk chocolate bars. Also used DARK cocoa. And, an FYI, there are over 1000 varieties of pecans. Whichever you choose, you'll go nuts for this recipe!


1 cup sweet butter, softened
2⁄3 cup packed light brown sugar
2⁄3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3⁄4 tsp baking soda
3⁄4 tsp salt
2 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
2⁄3 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
10 oz English toffee bits (I used Toffee Talk Crumble Mumble)
1-1⁄2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
15-oz dark chocolate (70-85% cacao), chopped coarsely

Heat oven to 375°F. Have baking sheets ready.
Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in large bowl with mixer on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes until fluffy. Beat in eggs, baking soda and salt until combined. Add flour and beat on low speed until blended.
Stir in cocoa powder,  English toffee bits,  pecans and chocolate.
Drop rounded tablespoons dough about 1 1⁄2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 9 minutes until edges are golden brown. Cool on sheet 1 to 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Easy Coffee Ice Cream Pie with Chocolate Cookie Crust

Coffee Ice Cream Pie Photo: Pillsbury
Warm where you are today? Here's an easy (20 minutes to make-and then freeze) no bake recipe that has a great chocolate cookie crust that includes coconut and chopped nuts along with the chocolate wafers. It's a very versatile crust and would be great with key lime pie, as well as any other ice cream pie. This recipe is adapted  slightly from Pillsbury. As I've mentioned many times, the big 'food product' sites often have fabulous recipes. You can adapt and update as you like, and they're a springboard for ideas, so be sure and check them out!


30 chocolate wafers, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup coconut  (I like toasted coconut)
3 Tbsp finely chopped macadamia nuts (or cashews)

1 quart coffee ice cream, slightly softened

1 cup hot fudge sauce, warmed
Whole macadamia nuts (or cashews), if desired

In medium bowl, mix crushed chocolate wafers, butter, coconut and finely chopped macadamia nuts.
Press mixture in bottom and side of 9-inch glass pie plate; refrigerate 15 minutes.
Carefully spoon softened ice cream into chilled crust.
Cover and freeze about 2 hours or until firm.
Top individual servings with fudge sauce, chopped macadamia nuts, and chopped chocolate covered coffee beans.
Cover and freeze any remaining pie.

To make cutting the pie easier, remove it from the freezer about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

KILLER CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE: Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames

I love when my worlds of Mystery and Chocolate collide. Today I welcome back my friend Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames. Daryl writes both the Cheese Shop Mysteries and Cookbook Nook Mysteries, so, it's only natural that her recipe for Dying for Chocolate is for Killer Chocolate Cheesecake! Be sure to read on, so you can win one of her fab books and some culinary swag!

Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames:
Killer Chocolate Cheesecake 

Do you love chocolate? And cheesecake? Have you ever had a dessert where chocolate and cheesecake mesh into something deliciously decadent? You will soon. Read on…

I can’t get enough cheesecake. It is my favorite dessert. I remember the first time I ever ate it at my grandmother’s house. It was a thick, creamy New York-style cheesecake made in a springform pan. None of those paltry cheesecakes poured into a teensy 8-inch pie tin. Uh-uh. I need it to be a hearty slice and rich with cheese and sour cream! I have used my grandmother’s recipe repeatedly over the years. To my surprise, when I ordered cheesecake at the restaurant where my husband and I met, it turned out to be the same recipe. Kid you not! The same. If you’ve ever eaten a Lindy’s cheesecake, that’s what it is like. Decadently good.

And now for making cheesecake even more decadent…

I found this recipe in a cookbook called Luscious Chocolate Desserts. I’d purchased it so I could browse for recipes that might inspire a fun recipe in the 4th installment of the Cookbook Nook mysteries, FUDGING THE BOOKS, which will come out in 2015. STIRRING THE PLOT, the 3rd in the series, comes out September 30! Whee! Anyway, I tweaked the recipe to make the crust gluten-free because that’s a necessary evil for me. I’m celiac. I promise, you won’t know the difference, but if you want to use cookies made with regular flour to make your crust, feel free!

Leave a tasty comment this week because I’ll be giving away a copy of either Inherit the Word or Final Sentence along with some fabulous culinary swag. Be sure to leave your email, so I can get in touch with you.

(ala Luscious Chocolate Desserts Cookbook) 
*tweaked the crust to make this gluten-free 


One package 4.6 ounce chocolate wafers [Cookbook recipe asks for 9-ounce package chocolate wafers; that seemed to much by me. Also, I used gluten-free chocolate cookies.] 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or room temp

1 pound bittersweet or semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs pinch of salt
1 ½ cups sour cream, at room temp
2 teaspoons vanillin (Cookbook asks for real vanilla)


For crust: 
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom. Wrap the entire outside tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Have a roasting pan (can be disposable) ready. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath (*see below).

Pulse the chocolate wafers in a food processor until finely ground. With the motor running, add the butter, and process until blended. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan (on top of parchment paper).

Bake the crust for 8 minutes until it is set. Let cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling: 
Melt the chocolate with the butter. [The cookbook says over simmering water – I did this in the microwave, on medium heat for 3 minutes.] Remove from microwave and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Let the mixture cool to room temp.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer, starting on low and increasing to medium-high. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. [Note: I put all the eggs into a measuring cup and poured one in at a time. Amazing how that works!] Beat in the pinch of salt. Beat in the chocolate mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides.

Transfer the filling to the springform pan. Set the pan in the roasting pan, place it in the oven, and carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Center will STILL be slightly jiggly; do not overbake—the cake will firm as it cools. Remove the roasting pan from the oven (carefully!!!) and let the cheesecake cool in the water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove the springform pan from the water bath and let cool on a wire rack, completely, about 2 hours. Remove the foil (messy) and refrigerate the cheesecake, loosely covered with saran wrap, utnil thoroughly chilled, at least 12 hours.

To serve, let the cheesecake stand at room temp for 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides, smooth the sides of the cheesecake with a table knife, and cut into wedges.

Serves at least 12 because this is SOOOO rich!

 * * * 

Below is a tidbit about STIRRING THE PLOT, the next in my Cookbook Nook mysteries. It comes out September 30! FYI, though I write a series, each book is a stand-alone and can be read first, even if you haven’t read the others in the series.

STIRRING THE PLOT (3rd in Cookbook Nook Mysteries)

Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster. Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there’s one unexpected addition to the menu: murder. When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead, there’s plenty of blame to go around, and Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand to conjure up the truth…

[This is NOT a paranormal story. It is a traditional cozy mystery.]

STIRRING THE PLOT, 3rd in A COOKBOOK NOOK series, September 30, 2014

Remember to sign up for my mailing list for updates and contests:

Thursday, September 18, 2014

eBookDay: eBook on the Kitchen Shelf

Today is Read an eBook Day! Love this comic from Tom Gauld. Of course, in my kitchen it would be a pot of chocolate! Read more about eBook Day here. What's your favorite eCookbook? #eBookDay

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Retro Baker's Chocolate Topping Pie

Here's a fun and delicious Retro Recipe for Baker's Chocolate Topping Pie! Love the Peppermint Candy Filling, too! "IT'S THE TOPS!" Watch out for the raw eggs!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Milky Way Brownies: Back to School

I saw this Retro Ad recently! Students don't really look like this anymore (nor do the Milky Way bars), but it got me thinking about school days. My friend Donna always had Milky Way bars in her freezer, and, I'd stop by her house on the way to school and have one. Her mother never minded! I love a frozen Milky Way! When we were older, Donna and I got a ride to high school with a neighbor. While we waited for him, we availed ourselves of the Milky Way bars on his family's coffee table! Maybe this wasn't particularly healthy, but it was a delicious start to the day!

Now, I buy miniature Milky Way bars to give out at Halloween. We don't get many kids where I live, so I put the 'extras'  (that would be all of them) in the freezer. How to use them up? In Brownies, of course. And, these two recipes for Milky Way Brownies are great for back to school! One's for home, and the other's for a crowd!


Make your favorite Brownie Mix (I like Ghirardelli), following directions by adding the 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg, and 1/3 cup water. At 20 minutes into the baking (350F), put about 7 ounces of chopped up miniature Milky Way Bars or Milky Way Bites on top. Bake another 20 minutes. Oh yum! Gooey back to school love!


Have a crowd coming over after school? Baking for the college crowd? Want to make a batch of Milky Way Brownies from scratch? This recipe is the Bees Knees! Love that Vintage Ad above!

1 pound sweet butter, cut into pieces
1 pound dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (or very dark - 90%), chopped
2 Tbsp instant espresso powder
7 large eggs
2 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla
2 1/4 cups granulated white sugar
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 ounces miniature Milky Way bars, chopped
2 Milky Way Bars, sliced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 12x18x1-inch pan. Line with foil that hangs over the sides (butter the parchment). This makes it easier to get the brownies out.
In metal bowl or saucepan over a saucepan of simmering water, heat butter and chocolate until melted and smooth; cool slightly.
In large bowl, whisk together eggs, espresso powder, vanilla and sugar. Stir egg mixture into slightly cooled chocolate mixture. Cool to room temperature.
In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to batter. Stir chopped mini Milky Way bars into chocolate mixture. Then pour into prepared baking pan and smooth top with rubber spatula.
Place slices of full-size Milky Way Bar on top of brownie batter.
Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; do not overbake!
Let cool completely, then cover tightly and chill overnight. These are very gooey, so chill if you want to cut them!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Roald Dahl Cookbook: Willy Wonka's Nutty Crunch Surprise

Today is Roald Dahl Day! It would have been Roald Dahl's 98th birthday. Dahl is one of the most beloved storytellers of all time. His many popular children's books include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, and Matilda. He died in 1990.

And here's an odd chocolate fact about him: He loved chocolate, but not chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream.

This year also marks the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Yesterday I posted about two "lost" chapters of the book. One is reprinted in Vanity Fair, and both chapters will be in Penguin's release of the new edition.

So in honor of Roald Dahl's birthday, I'm posting a recipe for Willy Wonka's Nutty Crunch Surprise from Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes (Viking, 1994). Illustrated by Quentin Blake with photographs by Jan Baldwin. Recipes compiled by Josie Fison and Felicity Dahl.

According to Felicity Dahl, "Treats were an essential part of Roald's life--never too many, never too few, and always perfectly timed . . .  Revolting Recipes is an interpretation of some of the scrumptious and wonderfully disgusting dishes that appear in Roald's books."

Willy Wonka's Nutty Crunch Surprise

Friday, September 12, 2014

Chocolate Milk Shake Day!

Today is National Chocolate Milk Shake Day!

The easiest way to celebrate is to mix a little Milk with Chocolate Ice cream and Chocolate syrup and mix it up in the blender. Or you can mix Milk with Vanilla Ice cream and Chocolate syrup and blend. Measurements are up to you, but I have a few quasi-measurements below for Special Chocolate Milkshakes. 

If you're absolutely Dying for Chocolate, use 1 cup chocolate ice cream, 1/4 cup chocolate syrup and 1/2 cup chocolate milk. Mix in Blender.

A Chocolate Malted Milk Shake is a variation on your traditional chocolate milkshake. Add a Tbsp of malted milk powder to milk, chocolate syrup and chocolate ice cream and blend.

Like bananas? Make a Chocolate Banana Milk Shake: 1 cup milk, 1 scoop banana ice-cream, 1 scoop chocolate ice cream, 1/2 ripened banana and some chocolate syrup, and blend.

Jumping ahead to tomorrow's food holiday:  September 13 is International Chocolate Day and National Peanut Day, celebrate all three holidays with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake. Blend 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup chocolate syrup, 1/4 cup milk, 12 cubes ice. Blend until smooth. (Ice cubes instead of ice-cream).

Have a great day!

Lost Chapters from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

With the 50th anniversary of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,  there's a new release from Penguin UK that contains several previously unreleased chapters that were edited out of the early draft of the original book. Vanity Fair has obtained an exclusive unpublished chapter in Dahl's own hand entitled "The Warming-Candy Room."

From Vanity Fair:
In “The Warming Candy Room,” three boys neglect to heed Mr. Wonka’s warnings and eat too many of his soft-centered “warming candies,” and end up “bursting with heat.” The boys do not appear elsewhere in the book, betraying a key characteristic of Dahl’s writing process. “One of the things that was quite interesting about Dahl was that he didn’t really look backward over his work,” Sturrock explains. “It’s not as if this was just the one missing chapter; there are many bits and pieces of the book that fell along the wayside. Once he decided that something wasn’t working, he just moved on.”

Read more about the chapter Here.

Also don't miss "The Vanilla Fudge Room," another left-out chapter from an early draft, that the Guardian published last month. New illustrations by Quentin Blake.

There's also a redesigned cover of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, that Penguin UK is bringing out for the 50th anniversary of the book.  Personally it's not my cup of tea or bar of chocolate! What do you think?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

I really love Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, and I often buy a few from the local bakery when I'm out and about. Sometimes I make them. I've posted several Chocolate Crinkle Cookies in the past, including a very similar one to this one. But at that time, I didn't mention that these cookies are Gluten-Free, so here's an updated recipe for Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. These cookies can be very fudgy, almost runny, so mind the tip at the end of the recipe. I've made a few adaptations.


1-1/2 cups dark chocolate (70-75% cacao), chopped
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
Melt 1 cup chopped chocolate over double broiler, or metal bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.
In large bowl, with electric hand mixer, beat egg whites until frothy and soft peaks form. Gradually beat in 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and continue beating until mixture looks like soft marshmallow creme.
In another bowl, whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt.
Slowly add dry ingredients to the egg white mixture, mixing on low speed until combined. Stir in melted chocolate and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
If batter is stiff, proceed to the next step. If not, allow to sit until it has thickened enough to roll into balls.
Place remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a bowl.
Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls; then roll in powdered sugar to coat.
Place on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until puffed and tops are cracked.
Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

*Note: Be sure to let the dough thicken. The thicker the dough, the thicker the cookies.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Brownie Ice Box Cookies: Retro Ad & Recipe

I love Brownies, so I was happy to find this fun Retro Recipe and Ad from Betty Crocker for Brownie Ice Box Cookies. And, in case you're wondering, an ice box is a refrigerator.. How retro is that? This recipe will also work with a brownie recipe from scratch!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Date Nut Bread with Chocolate Chips: Retro Recipe & Ads

Dromedary Date Nut Bread (in a can) had a Jingle Contest in 1940 to win nylon hose, and there were winners. Here's both the ad and the ad with the winners!
Today is Date Nut Bread Day. Has this wonderful quick bread fallen out of favor? I think not. It's a great bread to smother with cream cheese.. or more richer marscapone. Date Nut Bread makes fabulous sandwiches. It's also great toasted and smeared with sweet butter. Add some chocolate chips to the recipe, and it belongs on this blog!

This wonderful advertisement from 1940 not only reflects the popularity of this quick bread in the U.S., but it's an historical testament to nylon hose and prepared foods at that time. Want to sell a product in the 1940s? Appeal to women. To win a pair of nylons, all you needed to do was finish the jingle. 1000 lucky women won nylons.

In 1939  DuPont introduced nylon stockings at the New York World's Fair, whose theme was the "World of Tomorrow." DuPont then went into full scale production, and "by May 1940, nylon hose was a huge success and women lined up at stores across the county to obtain the precious goods."  Just an FYI, nylon went to war in 1942  to be used  as parachutes and tents (as silk had been before nylon) and became in short supply.

Dromedary Date Nut Bread in a Can is no longer in production, but isn't the concept and advertisement fabulous. I used to bake a lot of quick breads in a can, but they didn't come already baked in a can, right on the shelves. FYI: Dromedary Date-Nut Bread in a can did not contain chocolate.

Dromedary Dates, which were also sold at the market, had a recipe on the back of the package for Date-Nut Bread. Here's a recipe that's pretty close to the original Dromedary Date-Nut Bread Recipe -- with the addition of Chocolate Chips. If you want your finished Date Nut Bread to look similar to the ad above, bake the date-nut breads in 4 soup cans!


3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped pitted dates (Dromedary chopped dates from the original recipe- one package-8 ounces-equals 2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp oil  (or 3 tbsp melted butter-original recipe mentions margarine, but I don't use margarine)
3/4 cup boiling water
2 eggs
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup sifted flour, unbleached
1/2 cup dark chopped chocolate chips

Preheat Oven to 350.
With fork, mix walnuts, dates, soda and salt in bowl.
Add oil and boiling water. Let stand 20 minutes.
With fork, beat eggs slightly, add vanilla.
Stir in sugar and sifted flour.
Mix in date mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Do Not Overmix.
Place in greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan (or a coffee can or soup cans).
Bake at 350 for 1 hour until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan 10 minutes.
Move to wire rack to finish cooling. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

No Churn Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips

Today is National Coffee Ice Cream Day. I'm not really a coffee drinker, but I do like coffee ice cream. And what could be better than Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips? Don't have an ice cream maker? No worries. Here's another of those old fashioned recipes for ice cream without churning. 

No Churn Coffee Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips!

1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1/2 cup strong cold coffee
2 cups cold heavy cream
1/3 cup chocolate chips

In medium bowl, stir together condensed milk, vanilla, coffee, and chocolate chips.
In separate bowl of standing mixer, whip cream until soft peaks form.
Whisk one third of whipped cream into coffee mixture.
Fold remaining whipped cream into coffee mixture until incorporated.
Pour into 9×5-inch loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm -- about 6 hours or overnight.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Retro Recipe & Ad: Chocolate Brownie Pie!

I love these Retro Baker Ads with recipes. This one is for Chee-Chee Cake using Baker chocolate. I think this is really more like a Chocolate Brownie Pie. You can, of course, substitute any good chocolate you'd like! I use a 75% cacao and cut down on the sugar. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chocolate Chip Macadamia Cookies

Today is National Macadamia Nut Day! Since I like nuts in my chocolate chip cookies, I decided to repost this excellent recipe! There's always room for one more chocolate chip cookie!

Since it's Macadamia Nut Day, just a few words about these unique nuts. They're quite healthy -- high in antioxidants, monusaturated fat,  and minerals. O.K., one caveat. Don't eat too many of them, because they are also high in calories.

Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies

1/2 cup sweet butter, softened
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
1-1/4 cups dark chocolate chips (you can always mix 1/2 white and 1/2 dark)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Lightly grease 2 large cookie sheets.
Cream butter and sugars together in large bowl.
Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended.
Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually blend into batter.
Stir in chopped macadamia nuts and chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown.
Remove from oven, and transfer to cooling rack.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

World Coconut Day! Make Coconut Fudge

Today is National Coconut Day! Chocolate and Coconut are perfect together! I love Mounds Bars and Almond Joy! Well, here's another great combination -- Coconut Fudge. I chose this recipe in particular because it uses three different types of coconut--coconut milk, coconut oil, and coconut flakes! Today is all about COCONUT! And, you don't need a candy thermometer for the recipe! How easy is that? I've adapted the recipe only slightly from a Whole Foods recipe.


1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
24 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes

Line 8x8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
Put coconut milk, sugar and oil in a medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate until chocolate is melted and mixture is evenly blended.
Transfer chocolate mixture to bowl of electric mixer and mix on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Pour into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Refrigerate until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.
Cut into 36 squares.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.