Monday, October 14, 2019

NANAIMO BARS: Canadian Thanksgiving

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving. Canadian Thanksgiving is held on the second Monday in October. It commemorates the first Thanksgiving in North America that was held by Sir Martin Frobisher and his crew in the Eastern Arctic in 1578. They ate a meal of salted beef, biscuits and mushy peas to celebrate and give thanks for their safe arrival in what is now Nunavut.

I've posted various pumpkin/chocolate pies and puddings for Canadian Thanksgiving. Some of the foods are very similar to the U.S. Thanksgiving. But for today's Canadian Thanksgiving, I think Nanaimo Bars, one of my favorite no bake chocolate treats from British Columbia, would be perfect.

Bill Critchfield, a member of my mystery book group, used to make them on special occasions. Bill passed away, and unfortunately his safely guarded recipe passed on with him. Since then, I've tried to create his version of Nanaimo Bars (there are so many variations). This has involved trying different recipes and really exploring the whole Canadian Nanaimo history.  Months of Edible Celebrations had a special post devoted to Nanaimo Bars in conjunction with Pecans several years ago. Interesting that the recipe for Nanaimo Bars in The Pecan Cookbook calls for baking. I don't think Bill used pecans, and I'm sure he didn't bake.

Interestingly, The New York Times had a great article on the History, Culture, and Craving for the Nanaimo Bar! Here's a link

The City of Nanaimo website says: "According to local legend about 35 years ago, a Nanaimo housewife entered her recipe for chocolate squares in a magazine contest. In a burst of civic pride, she chose to dub the entry not "Daphne's Delights" or "Mary's Munchies", but "Nanaimo Bars". The entry won a prize, thereby promoting the town as much as her cooking. Some American tourists claim sovereignty over the dessert, referred to as "New York Slice" which is sold in many other places in the world. Nanaimo residents refuse to accept this theory, however, believing that once you set foot on Vancouver Island, there are no other places in the world. The official Nanaimo Bar recipe was available as a handout as well as on quality tea towel and apron souvenirs."

Here's a recipe for Namaimo Bars from the Official City of Nanaimo Website:
  
Nanaimo Bars

Bottom Layer
½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 Tbsp cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut

Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8" x 8" pan.

Second Layer
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp and 2 Tsp cream
2 Tbsp vanilla custard powder  (I use Bird's)
2 cups icing sugar

Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

Third Layer
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

The really nice thing about this 'refrigerator bar' is that you can adapt it in so many ways by adding different ingredients or substituting different nuts. Very fun! and always good!

Links to other Nanaimo Bar Recipes:

Cookie Madness 
My Baking Addiction (Valentine's Day Nanaimo Bars)
Barbara Bakes
Life's Ambrosia
Playing House (Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars)
New York Times

Sunday, October 13, 2019

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS & CHOCOLATE: Recipe for Super Rich Spanish Hot Chocolate

In the U.S., we celebrate Columbus Day. In terms of chocolate, though, Christopher Columbus was the first European to come in contact with cacao. On August 15, 1502, on his fourth and last voyage to the Americas, Columbus and his crew encountered a large dugout canoe near an island off the coast of what is now Honduras. The canoe was the largest native vessel the Spaniards had seen. It was "as long as a galley," and was filled with local goods for trade -- including cacao beans. Columbus's crew seized the vessel and its goods, and retained its captain as his guide.

Later, Columbus' son Ferdinand wrote about the encounter. He was struck by how much value the Native Americans placed on cacao beans, saying: "They seemed to hold these almonds [referring to the cacao beans] at a great price; for when they were brought on board ship together with their goods, I observed that when any of these almonds fell, they all stooped to pick them up, as if an eye had fallen."

At first, however, the cocoa beans were neglected. Despite the bitterness of the drink produced, Columbus claimed the resulting concoction was a "divine drink which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food". 

What Ferdinand and the other members of Columbus' crew didn't know at the time was that cocoa beans were the local currency. In fact, in some parts of Central America, cacao beans were used as currency as recently as the last century.

While it is likely that Columbus brought the cacao beans he seized back to Europe, their potential value was initially overlooked by the Spanish King and his court. Far more exciting treasures on board his galleons meant the cocoa beans were ignored. It was his fellow explorer, the Spanish Conquistador Don Hernán Cortés, who first realized their commercial value. He brought back three chests full of cocoa beans to Spain in 1528 and very gradually, the custom of drinking the chocolate spread across Europe.

It was still served as a beverage when the Spanish first brought chocolate back to Europe. Cortez, described chocolatl as "the divine drink ... which builds up resistance and fights fatigue," and his countrymen, conceived the idea of sweetening the bitter drink with cane sugar.

The recipe for the sweetened frothy beverage underwent several more changes in Spain, where newly discovered spices such as cinnamon and vanilla were added as flavorings. The original chili pepper that made the spicy drink was replaced by sugar to make a sweet beverage. The sweetened chocolate beverage was a luxury that only a few could afford.

By the 17th century, the drink became common among European nobility. In London, chocolate was more widely available, and those who could afford it could enjoy the drink in coffee and chocolate houses.

Super Rich Spanish Hot Chocolate 
Makes two mugs!

Ingredients 
5 Tbsp good quality unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
4 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract
1 cup water

Directions 
Combine cocoa powder, sugar, and corn starch in small bowl.
Pour COLD water into small sauce pan, add vanilla extract and cocoa mixture, and cook at medium low heat, stirring constantly.
Cook until it thickens and serve immediately.

Friday, October 11, 2019

DARK CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN SEED SEA SALT BARK: National Pumpkin Seed Day

Somehow I missed National Pumpkin Seed Day on October 3! But October is all about Pumpkins and Halloween, so here's a great recipe for Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Sea Salt Bark that treats pumpkin seeds in a sweet way--chocolate with a sea salt finish.

Pumpkin seeds like chocolate are heart healthy, immune boosters, and great for brain power, among other health benefits!

DARK CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN SEED SEA SALT BARK

Ingredients 
Canola oil cooking spray
1-2 cups dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds  (raw or toasted-I prefer toasted)
1 tsp sea salt

Directions
Coat 9 x12 inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, and line with parchment, leaving overhang on ends.
Melt chocolate in double boiler or heatproof bowl over saucepan of simmering water, stirring.
If chocolate is too thick, add canola oil as needed to thin.
Pour melted chocolate onto baking sheet, and spread in even layer with spatula.
Immediately sprinkle pumpkin seeds then sea salt over chocolate.
Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Peel off parchment and break bark into pieces.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

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

Ingredients

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

Add:

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.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

BLUE CHEESE CHEESCAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CRUST: Moldy Cheese Day

Today is Moldy Cheese Day! Blue Cheese is about as moldy as I care to get, so to celebrate today's food holiday and fit it into the "Chocolate" theme of this blog, here's a recipe for Blue Cheese Cheesecake with a Chocolate Cookie Crust.  

Chocolate and Blue Cheese go well together. I've made Blue Cheese Truffles on numerous occasions, and I love them. If this is your first foray into the combination, choose a mild creamy blue cheese. If you're not sure, ask your cheese specialist.

BLUE CHEESE CHEESECAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CRUST

Chocolate Cookie Crust

Ingredients
30 chocolate wafers (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers-1-1/2 cups crumbs)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions
Process cookies in food processor until finely ground.
Transfer crumbs to mixing bowl & combine crumbs, butter, salt, and vanilla. Stir until crumbs are moistened.
Press mixture evenly across bottom of 9-inch springform pan and up sides of pan. Pack tightly so crust is even.
Bake in 350° oven for 6-8 minutes or until crisp.
Let cool completely before filling. You can put it in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

For the Cheesecake

Ingredients
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
10 ounces Blue Cheese, room temperature (I've used Humboldt Fog)
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp honey
Pinch kosher salt
Pinch cracked black pepper

Directions
In large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add blue cheese; beat until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Scrape bowl. Add sour cream, honey, salt, and pepper. Beat until combined.
Pour into cooled prepared Chocolate Cookie Crust. Bake 40 to 45 minutes in a 325° oven or until set and knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool to room temperature in pan.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

CHOCOLATE CHIP NOODLE KUGEL: Breaking of the Fast

The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, starts tonight. Here's a recipe you can easily make in advance for the Breaking of the Fast. I love this Chocolate Chip Noodle Kugel.

A bit of  history about Kugel. 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, the 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 sour cream.

Today 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, but since this is a chocolate blog, here's a recipe that includes chocolate chips! Enjoy this for the Breaking of the Fast or any time!

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 vanilla
3/4 cup 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 7, 2019

STARBUCKS OREO FRAPPUCINO: 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. 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.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

MAD HATTER CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES: Mad Hatter Day!

Celebrate Mad Hatter Day with Mad Hatter Chocolate Chip Scones at a Mad Hatter Tea Party.

The unofficial Mad Hatter holiday was created in 1986 in Boulder Colorado by a group of computer technicians who were inspired by the Mad Hatter and his antics in Alice in Wonderland. In the book, the Mad Hatter is an eccentric milliner for whom time is forever stuck at a tea party with his friend the March Hare.

The date for the holiday was chosen because of how John Tenniel illustrated the Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. The English illustrator who was also a political cartoonist depicted the Hatter wearing a hat with a piece of paper that has 10/6 written on it. The 10/6 refers to the cost of a hat – 10 shillings and 6 pence. The creators of the holiday who are from the United States where the date is written in the month/day (mm/dd) format took this to set the date for the holiday on October 6 (10/6). For those who write the date in the day/ month (dd/mm) format, the holiday would fall on June 10.

Planning to host a Mad Hatter Tea Party? Then be sure and serve Chocolate Chip Scones (not that the Mad Hatter offered Alice anything at all!). Add some clotted cream and jam, don your hat, and you're good to go!   

MAD HATTER CHOCOLATE CHIP SCONES

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp orange juice (without pulp)

Directions
Preheat oven to 400. Spray baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With pastry blender or large fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in chocolate chips. Mix in orange juice to form dough.
Turn out dough on floured surface. Pat or roll into 9 inch circle about 1/2 inch thick.
With 2 -1/2 inch fluted biscuit cutter, cut out 12 scones, pushing dough scraps together for last few, if necessary.
Transfer scones to baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Move to wire racks to cool.
Serve with clotted cream and jam!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

CHOCOLATE APPLE BROWN BETTY: National Apple Brown Betty Day

Now that it's Fall, it's time for Brown Betty, one of my favorite classic desserts. A Brown Betty is a traditional American dessert made from fruit and sweetened crumbs. Similar to a cobbler or apple crisp, the fruit is baked, and, in this case, the sweetened crumbs are placed in layers between the fruit. Since this is a chocolate blog, I'm adding chocolate, of course. So celebrate National Apple Brown Betty Day today with this Chocolate Apple Brown Betty!

CHOCOLATE APPLE BROWN BETTY

Ingredients
2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and chopped (roughly)
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix apples, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 Tbsp water in buttered 8 x 8 ovenproof serving dish. Bake for 40 minutes, or until apples have started to soften, then mash roughly with fork. Mix remaining sugar with breadcrumbs, chocolate, butter, golden syrup and 1/2 tsp salt. Spoon on top of the mashed apples. Return to oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN SPICE QUICK BREAD: Pumpkin Spice Day

Pumpkin Spice is definitely a flavor associated with Fall. One can't seem to go anywhere without seeing pumpkin spice coffee, cakes, breads, candy, and more. This Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread is an easy and great way to celebrate 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 your presentation? 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

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

CHOCOLATE INDULGENCE: Guest post by Nancy J. Cohen

Nancy J. Cohen: 
Chocolate Indulgence

In my Bad Hair Day mystery series, amateur sleuth Marla Vail’s best friend, Tally, is a chocoholic. You’ll find scenes in a chocolate shop in Hair Brained and Trimmed to Death. I based this place on a visit to World of Chocolate in Orlando, where I was impressed by the artisan methods of production and the chocolate sculptures.

In my stories, we learn more about chocolate. This food counters the taint of murder in a mystery. When you’re in a bad mood, do you tend to pop a piece of chocolate into your mouth? Or maybe you’ll reward yourself after a task well done with your favorite chocolate indulgence. We always feel better after savoring the sensation of chocolate on our tongue.

Here’s a snippet of conversation between Marla and Teri, a chocolatier. They’re discussing the health benefits of chocolate.

“Cocoa contains flavonoids that are powerful antioxidants. These prevent cellular damage due to free radicals and help to lower your risk for heart disease. Flavonoids also improve blood flow to your brain and cause your body to release endorphins. Dark chocolate has a higher content than milk chocolate. You’ll want to avoid cocoa powder that has undergone Dutch processing. It’s been treated with alkali agents that reduce the flavonoid value.” 

“How about caffeine? Like, if I eat too much chocolate, won’t it make my heart race?” Marla asked. 

“Cocoa contains some caffeine, but it also has theobromine. Both of these compounds can increase your heart rate. Again, dark chocolate has a higher concentration than milk chocolate. And these chemicals are usually not present in white chocolate.” 

It came as no surprise when I wrote a cookbook that some of the recipes include chocolate. Some desserts are rich indulgences, such as the coconut fudge pie. Or they include healthy ingredients, like the chocolate zucchini cake. Since I like to include a splash of liqueur in my cakes on occasion, you’ll find a Kahlua chocolate cake among the recipes. Here is one sample item:

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE 

Ingredients
2 1⁄4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 3⁄4 cups sugar
1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄2 cup buttermilk
2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini
6 oz. package semisweet chocolate chips
3⁄4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13x2 inch baking pan. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together into a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar, softened butter, and oil until blended. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add vanilla, and then mix in dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk. Mix in grated zucchini.

Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Sprinkle semisweet chocolate chips and nuts on top. Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

What is your favorite chocolate indulgence? A candy bar or a brownie? Chocolate ice cream or a chocolate chip cookie? 

***

A BAD HAIR DAY COOKBOOK: 
Recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s Cozy Mystery Series 

Are you having a bad hair day? Whip out your whisk, snatch up your spoon, and prepare your palate. Inside the pages of this cookbook are recipes that will bring you good cheer.

Enjoy 160+ tasty recipes from Nancy J. Cohen’s popular Bad Hair Day cozy mystery series. Included in this cookbook are excerpts, cooking tips, and anecdotes written by hairstylist and savvy sleuth Marla Vail. From appetizers to desserts, Marla offers cooking tips and tricks along with commentary about the dishes she prepares for her family. Whether you’re a skilled cook or an eager novice, this cookbook will unravel the mystery of cooking. Put on your apron and plan to make some killer recipes! Bonuses Include:

Meet the Sleuth 
Introduction by Marla Vail 
Cooking Tips 
Excerpts from Series Titles 
Themed Menu Suggestions 
“A Sabbath Dinner” by Nancy’s Mother

For Home Cooks, Food Lovers, Mystery Fans and Cookbook Collectors 

BUY LINKS 
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Hair-Day-Cookbook-Recipes-ebook/dp/B07XSH6C7B
Amazon Print: https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Hair-Day-Cookbook-Recipes/dp/099979325X/ 
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-bad-hair-day-cookbook/id1479889058 
Nook: https://bit.ly/2kvrySl

***
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Her latest title is Trimmed to Death. Nancy’s books have won numerous awards, including her instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. When not busy writing, Nancy enjoys cooking, fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping. 

Website: https://nancyjcohen.com 
Blog: https://nancyjcohen.com/blog 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLE COOKIES WITH SEA SALT: Homemade Cookie Day


Today is Homemade Cookie Day. Here's an easy delicious recipe for Chocolate Truffle Cookies with Sea Salt that you can make to celebrate! This recipe is from local San Francisco chocolate company Ghirardelli. They have 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 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