Saturday, July 31, 2021


Avocados are filled with antioxidants, so they're perfect to pair with chocolate! Avocados have been in my fruit/vegetable bowl for many, many years, but it's only recently that I've begun using them with chocolate. They are so versatile. Avocados contain a lot of fat, so they're great in Chocolate Avocado Mousse, Truffles, and Puddings. And, since today is National Avocado Day, I've chosen them as the main ingredient in this Chocolate Avocado Pie.

For this Chocolate Avocado Pie, you can make either a chocolate cookie crust or an Oreo cookie crust, as included in the recipe. Both work well. And, if you're lactose intolerant, you can use coconut milk instead of cream (you can use cream, if you prefer). Make sure your coconut milk is the very best and contains only coconut milk and water. Emulsifiers will 'gum' up the works and prevent the fat from separating.

Chocolate Avocado Pie

35 Oreos
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cans (13.5 oz) full-fat coconut milk (or cream equivalent), chilled overnight
2 Tbsp sugar
7 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped
5 ripe avocados
1/2 cup Dark cocoa powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Dash of salt

In food processor, pulse Oreos into coarse crumbs. Mix with melted butter and press into bottom of pie pan and up the sides. Put in refrigerator.
Being careful not to shake coconut milk cans, remove from refrigerator and open. The thick coconut cream will have separated to the top. Scoop out dense cream, leaving water. Whip coconut cream with electric mixer for a few seconds, until smooth and creamy. Fold in 2 Tbsp sugar and set in refrigerator. (If you're using regular cream, whip it up and add sugar).
Melt chocolate in double boiler.
In food processor add melted chocolate, avocados, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Blend until smooth.
In large bowl, gently fold together avocado chocolate and coconut whipped cream (or regular whipped cream).
Pour into prepared pie crust, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours to set.

Friday, July 30, 2021


I've posted several Chocolate Cheesecake Recipes over the years from Chocolate to Double Chocolate to Triple Chocolate Cheesecake, but here's yet another -- Boozy Triple Chocolate Cheesecake. Perfect for today's Food Holiday: National Cheesecake Day. This recipe is adapted from CookingLight. The original recipe calls for reduced fat cheeses and low-fat sour cream and less sugar than my adaptation.

Boozy Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp egg white
1 1/3 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
Vegetable cooking spray
3 Tbsp dark rum 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
Raspberries for decoration

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place first 3 ingredients in bowl; beat on medium speed until blended. Add crumbs; stir well. Firmly press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of an 8-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes; let cool on wire rack. 

Combine rum and chocolate in top of double boiler (or saucepan over saucepan over simmering water). Cook over simmering water 2 minutes or until chocolate melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; add chocolate syrup, stirring until smooth.
Preheat oven to 300°.
Place cream cheese in large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, vanilla, and salt; beat until smooth. Add rum/chocolate mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 300° for 40 minutes or until almost set.
Combine sour cream, 1 Tbsp, and 2 teaspoons cocoa; stir well. Turn oven off, and spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake. Let cheesecake stand for 45 minutes in oven with door closed.
Remove cheesecake from oven, and let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
Garnish with raspberries.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The History of Cocoa Powder & Recipe for Felicity's Hot Cocoa Bombs: Guest Post by Amber Royer

I love when my mystery and chocolate worlds collide. Amber Royer is an established chocolatier and mystery author who has graced this blog before with recipes and writing information. She writes the CHOCOVERSE comic telenovela-style foodie-inspired space opera series, and the BEAN TO BAR MYSTERIES. 70% DARK INTENTIONS was just published on July 20! Royer is also the author of STORY LIKE A JOURNALIST: A WORKBOOK FOR NOVELISTS, which boils down her writing knowledge into an actionable plan involving over 100 worksheets to build a comprehensive story plan for your novel. She blogs about creative writing technique and all things chocolate at

Amber Royer:

The History of Cocoa Powder

Did you know that without a nineteenth-century Dutch chemist, the modern-day chocolate bar wouldn’t exist?  Chocolate is made out of cacao beans, which grow inside the pods of the Theobroma cacao tree. Originally, the dried and fermented beans were ground into a paste, suitable for making drinks.  But grinding doesn’t provide a smooth mouth-feel.  Chocolate made its way to Europe in the 1500s.  By the 1800s, the desire to do more with chocolate led to a great deal of experimentation and innovation.

One of the most creative of these innovations was when Casparus Van Houten and his son Coenraad Johannes Van Houten decided to take a hydraulic press to the stuff.  Casparus owned a chocolate factory in Amsterdam, and his son was the aforementioned chemist.  (Sources debate whether the press was invented by father or son, though it seems logical that they were working together.)  Why was this so important?  Cocoa beans contain fat in the form of cocoa butter.  Before them, other people had been experimenting with expensive, inefficient methods of extracting cocoa butter, which involved either boiling of freezing the beans.  But using the hydraulic press, the Van Houtens were able to press a goodly amount of that fat from the cacao solids (generally, chocolate makers extract about half).  The remaining “cake” could then be pulverized into cocoa powder.

Coenraad, ever the chemist, then developed a process involving adding alkaline salts (such as sodium carbonate) to make cocoa powder that could be easily dissolved in water.  The process also intensified the chocolate flavor, and darkened the color of the cocoa powder.  This process is now known as Dutching.  To give you a feel for the difference: red velvet cake was originally made with natural (un-Dutched) cocoa powder, because it would give the cake a reddish-color.  Red velvet cake made with Dutched cocoa powder generally rely on red food coloring to get the effect.

“Ultra-Dutched,” cocoa powder is known as black cocoa powder.  Usually bakers choose this for aesthetic reasons, as the powder has been so chemically changed that it won’t react with baking powder (to give cakes rise) and results in a drier result. This is the cocoa powder responsible for the distinctive color of such iconic treats as Oreos. 

The ease of access to cocoa powder led to the invention of a number of classic chocolate cakes in the 1890s and early 1900s, many of which are still made today.

Modern innovators have found a number of ways of extracting the cocoa butter, including expeller pressing (using a rotating screw to press the cacao, often assisted by steaming the nibs – or even applying infrared heat to the beans before roasting) and the use of food-safe solvents through exposure to “a food-acceptable gas.”  I even found one study exploring the use of supercritical fluid extraction, which proposed using carbon dioxide (though this appears to be still under development).

Cocoa Bombs
The stage was set to create eating chocolate in 1828, but the Van Houtens didn’t take the final step.  It wasn’t until 1847 that British confectioner Joseph Fry figured out how to add the cocoa butter back into cocoa powder blended with sugar that it became possible to make a substance that could actually be sold as bars.  Conching -- a process that allows for making silky smooth chocolate from either a chocolate “liquor”or directly from nibs --  wasn’t developed until 1879, by Swiss chocolate maker Rodolphe Lindt.  (Most of today’s craft chocolate makers simply conch nibs, but some do also make their own cocoa powder.)

In my book 70% Dark Intentions, my protagonist is just such a craft chocolate maker.  As she is growing her business, she starts experimenting with making cocoa powder – just in time to take a huge order for gift baskets that include hot chocolate bombs, which are a fun way to show off that water solubility of cocoa powder.

Felicity’s Hot Cocoa Bombs

Tempering Chocolate

To make your own hot chocolate bombs, you will need a mold to create the half-sphere shapes (2 1/2" sphere mold, silicone or acrylic.  We used two molds with a total 12 cavities to create six bombs at a time, repeating the entire process twice to get a dozen finished hot cocoa bombs). You will also need a thermometer to make sure you achieve the appropriate temperature to temper chocolate. Other than that, you can use equipment you probably already have in your kitchen.  In the book Felicity adds cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne to her cocoa mixture, but you can leave it plain or flavor it any way you want.


24 oz. dark couverture chocolate, chopped, melted and tempered  (You will need to monitor the temperature of the chocolate as you work to make sure it stays in temper.  I have posted instructions for tempering chocolate HERE.)
12 cupcake wrappers
3 c. mini marshmallows
12 Tbsp. Cocoa Mix (see recipe below)
Steamed milk, for serving

Polish your molds with a paper towel.  If desired, add any decoration that will be part of the chocolate. *

Spoon about a tablespoon of chocolate into the bottom of one of the cavities.  Using swift strokes, paint the chocolate upward, ensuring that you cover every bit of the sides and edge.  Repeat, one at a time, with each cavity, making sure to maintain the temperature of the chocolate as you work. Refrigerate the completely painted molds for five minutes. Add more chocolate to one of the cavities and paint a second coat of chocolate, making sure to fortify the rim of the sphere half.  Repeat with the remaining cavities. Refrigerate the completely second-coated molds until completely set, 5 to 10 minutes. **

Removing Shell from Cocoa Bomb

Release the chocolate half spheres from the molds and place 6 of them rim side up in the cupcake wrappers.  Fill each half sphere with 1 tablespoon of cocoa mix and ¼ c. marshmallows. 

Wear gloves for the remaining steps to avoid getting fingerprints on the chocolate shells.  Heat a dry skillet over medium heat.  Take one of the remaining half sphere and place it rim-side down for a few seconds in the heated skillet.  Immediately place it on top of one of the filled half spheres and press gently for a second or two to form a light seal.  One at a time, place each cocoa bomb onto the rim of a glass or a tall round cookie cutter, or whatever you can find to stabilize it as you work.  Brush a little melted chocolate around the joined edge to seal any cracks.

Decorate if desired, with sprinkles on the seal, or drizzles of white chocolate over the top, or any other edible design elements.

To serve: Place one hot cocoa bomb in the bottom of a large mug.  Pour the steamed milk over the cocoa bomb and watch it melt open and the marshmallows pop up to the top.

Painting Cocoa Bomb Seal
* I used colored cocoa butter, painted in different patterns onto each cavity of the molds using a paintbrush, to add a pop of color. I chose pink because it reflects the cinnamon in the cocoa mix.

** If using acrylic molds, instead of painting on the chocolate, you can fill the cavities with tempered chocolate, and then pour it back into the bowl, leaving a coating on the mold.  Set the mold upside down on waxed paper to continue draining, then refrigerate until set.

Cocoa Mix

8 Tbsp. powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
A pinch salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. Ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper (or ½ tsp., if you like things spicy)

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Whisk to combine.

Assembling Cocoa Bombs


Method for Solvent Extracting Cocoa Butter from Cocoa Nibs

Expeller Pressed Process of Cocoa Butter

Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction of Cocoa Butter

Conrad van Houten

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

MILK CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: National Milk Chocolate Day

Today is National Milk Chocolate Day. If you read this blog, you know I'm a bigger fan of dark chocolate than milk chocolate, but there are certain recipes where milk chocolate is preferred.

So for National Milk Chocolate Day, this recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chips. How easy is that? I've posted lots of chocolate chip cookie recipes, but this recipe from Jacques Torres, the King of Chocolate, is a no brainer. It's real name is Jacques Torres' Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies. The secret I think is in the mix of flours.



  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons pastry flour
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 pounds milk chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats; set aside.
  2. In bowl of with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce speed to low and add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and chocolate chips; mix until well combined.
  3. Using a 4-ounce scoop for larger cookies or a 1-ounce scoop for smaller cookies, scoop cookie dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned, but still soft, about 20 minutes for larger cookies and about 15 minutes for smaller cookies. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021


Today is National Scotch Day. Scotch goes well with many dark chocolates, and I've been to a few Scotch and Chocolate Tastings. Have a look at the Nibble for an Overview of Pairing Chocolate & Scotch.  You can have your own tasting at home.

If you'd rather have your Scotch and Chocolate together in one bite, try this Scotch Whisky Fudge.


12 ounce dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup Scotch Whisky
2 (1 lb) boxes powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or 1 cup chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate in microwave or double broiler, stirring frequently. As soon as chocolate is melted, mix Scotch with powdered sugar in large bowl and add to melted chocolate, stir well, add nuts.
Turn into 13x9x2-inch pan and cover with plastic wrap. This sets quickly, so cool it long enough to set but still warm enough to cut.

Monday, July 26, 2021

CHOCOLATE COFFEE MILKSHAKE: National Coffee Milkshake Day!

Today is Coffee Milkshake Day, but what's a milkshake without chocolate? So here's a really easy recipe for a rich chocolate-y Chocolate Coffee Milkshake--alcoholic or not. Choices. Enjoy!


8 ounces cold brewed coffee
4 scoops chocolate ice cream
1/3 cup chocolate covered espresso beans
1 cup ice
3 ounces Kahlua (optional)

Whipped cream
Chocolate covered espresso beans, chopped

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with whipped cream and chopped chocolate covered espresso beans. Serve immediately.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

1-2-3 FUDGE SAUCE: Retro Ad & Recipe for National Hot Fudge Sundae Day!

Today is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day! I really like Hot Fudge Sauce on cold ice cream.

This Retro Ad & Recipe for 1-2-3 Fudge Sauce is from Carnation Evaporated Milk, September 7, 1953. You can follow the recipe, or you can modify as you see fit. I just love these Retro Ads, don't you? So here's a way to beat the heat! I would use 4 squares, of course.. and probably substitute some excellent artisan chocolate!

Saturday, July 24, 2021


This year National Tequila Day coincides with the Full Moon. It must be in the stars, and I'm over the moon about it. To celebrate, here's a recipe for a Chocolate Full Moon Cocktail. Tequila and Chocolate (Creme de Cacao, both dark and clear) go so well in this easy cocktail. Don't let it fool you, though. You'll be howling at the moon, if you drink too many. :-)

Chocolate Full Moon Cocktail

1 oz Cream
1/2 oz Creme de Cacao
2 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Dark Creme de Cacao

Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker with ice and shake.
Strain into cocktail glass.
Garnish with chocolate curls.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

PENUCHE FUDGE aka Brown Sugar Fudge, New England Fudge: National Penuche Fudge Day!

Today is Penuche Fudge Day. This tasty fudge is sometimes called Penuche Fudge, sometimes Brown Sugar Fudge, Creamy Praline Fudge, New England Fudge, and even Sucre a la Creme (in Canada)! Whatever you call it, it's fabulous.

Historically, Penuche Fudge has been attributed to New England (New England Fudge) as well as some places in the South (Creamy Praline), but there are many variations in nearly every part of the world. Milk is usually boiled down to thick fudge and brown sugar is then added to it to create the distinctive butterscotch taste. This fudge is very similar to Mexican Cajeta which is also a kind of sweetened thickened goat’s milk with the same dull brown color of penuche. There are also many Indian versions of the same dish using thickened milk called as peda or milk fudge burfi. The only difference between the different regional variations is the thickness of the eventual dish. Cajeta is liquidy and can be used a as a spread, while penuche is semi-soft like a fudge and pedas or milk burfis are stiffer. But the basic ingredients in the penuche fudge recipe and preparation process are the same. Dulce du leche is another very popular version where condensed milk is thickened with hours of cooking resulting in a thick paste. Different versions of this dish are very popular all over Latin America and France even though they are given different names.

O.K. I meant to mention that there's no chocolate in Penuche Fudge. So if you want Chocolate Fudge, check out my National Fudge Day Recipe Round-Up!

Penuche Fudge

4 cups brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups chopped pecans

Combine brown sugar, cream, and butter in medium saucepan. Stir until dissolved. Heat to between 234 and 240 degrees F.
Remove from heat and stir until mixture loses its gloss (or process in food processor 30 seconds) Quickly stir in vanilla and nuts and spread into 9 x 9 inch dish.
Chill before cutting into squares.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


Summertime and the Living is Easy. Summertime is all about S'mores, and here's a new twist on S'mores: S'mores Swirl Bundt Cake. I found this recipe in an old issue of Country Living Magazine. I enjoy their recipes and articles. This recipe is so easy to make and the final product is delicious. I've adapted this recipe by reducing the sugar in the cake because I thought it was a bit too sweet.



Nonstick baking spray, for pan 

2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled 

2 1/4 tsp baking powder 

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt 

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 

1 - 1 1/4 cup sugar 

4 large eggs, at room temperature 

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract 

3/4 cup whole milk 

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted 

1/2 cup fine graham cracker crumbs (from about 2 1/2 crackers) 

Chocolate sauce, crushed graham crackers, and mini-marshmallows, for serving 


Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in the middle position. Coat a 10- to 12-cup Nordic Ware Bundt pan with baking spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. 

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Transfer half the batter to second bowl. Add cocoa; stir until fully incorporated. Fold graham crumbs into remaining batter. 

Transfer batters to separate plastic zip-top or pastry bags. Cut a 3/4-inch opening in one corner of each bag. Pipe alternating batters into grooves of prepared pan. Squeeze remaining batter in piles on top, alternating colors, then swirl with a butter knife. 

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto wire rack to cool. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and sprinkle with graham crackers and mini-marshmallows.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Today is National Lollipop Day. It should come as no surprise that my favorite lollipop when I was growing up was a Chocolate Tootsie Roll Pop.

I loved licking the hard outside to get to the chewy center. And, at some point, I used to chomp on the lollipop to make that crunchy hard candy shell combine in my mouth with the chewy tootsie roll center.

The Tootsie Roll Pop official website says that the Tootsie Roll Pop was the first lollipop providing an embedded candy "prize." That's exactly what it was...a prize! I can still taste it. Of course I only wanted a chocolate tootsie roll pop because what goes better with chocolate than more chocolate. And, don't forget the sticks. They were always great to chew on even after all traces of 'chocolate' were gone.

History of the Tootsie Roll Pop: Tootsie Roll Pops were invented in 1930 by Brandon Perry, an employee of The Sweets Company of America or in another history, by an employee named Luke Weisgram who was experimenting with new products, or in another story an employee named Tom Medric. Doesn't matter! The Chocolate Tootsie Roll Pop was made from putting company's famous Tootsie Rolls into hard candy, and it quickly became one of the best selling lollipops in the world. 

For people with more time on their hands than they should have: A student study at the University of Cambridge concluded that it takes 3481 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Another study by Purdue University concluded that it takes an average of 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop using a "licking machine", while it takes an average of 252 licks when tried by 20 volunteers. Yet another study by the University of Michigan concluded that it takes 411 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. A study by junior high students at Swarthmore School concluded that it takes 144 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. As I mentioned before, I chomp near the end, so I would certainly skew the statistics.

For those who love a mystery, read the history of Leo Hirschfeld: Tootsie Roll Tragedy - and the murky Tootsie Roll history HERE.

And, for those of you who prefer their Tootsie Pops in a Glass, here's a cocktail recipe to celebrate the day.

Tootsie Pop Cocktail Recipe 
You'll be amazed at how much this tastes like a tootsie roll!

1 part Kahlua
1 part Root beer
2 drops chocolate syrup

In a highball glass, add Kahlua, then root beer. Stir. Then let chocolate syrup drop. Add tootsie pop (unwrapped) to garnish.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Three Chocolate Daiquiri Recipes: National Daiquiri Day!

Today is National Daiquiri Day, and how better to celebrate than with Chocolate Daquiris! And, instead of one are three recipes with different fruits and flavors. Perfect for the summer.

FYI: A traditional Daiquiri is a cocktail that usually combines rum, citrus (usually lime), and sugar or another sweetener.

Chocolate Daiquiri 

4 parts Light Rum
2 Parts Dark Cacao Liqueur
2 parts lime juice
1 part simple syrup

Fill shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into chilled daiquiri glass.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Daiquiri

3 ounces chocolate vodka
1 cup fresh strawberries

Combine ingredients in blender. Blend well. Pour into chilled daiquiri glass. Garnish with chocolate covered strawberry!

Chocolate Banana Daiquiri

2 cups ice
1 banana, chopped in pieces
2 ounces golden (or white) rum
2 ounces creme de banane (this should be on your bar shelf!)
juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp chocolate syrup

Blend ice and banana and blend on high speed. Then add all other ingredients to blender. Pulse until everything evens out and then blend on high until smooth. Serve in daiquiri or high ball glasses.
OMG.. this is fabulous!!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

ELSIE AT THE COUNTY FAIR: Magic Chocolate Ice Cream

Today is National Ice Cream Day, and Elsie the Cow has the perfect recipe to celebrate. A few days ago I posted a fun Borden's Elsie the Cow Ad from July 1941. Here's another of the Retro 'Story' Advertisements from the same summer (August 1941). This time Elsie's Magic Chocolate Ice Cream wins at the County Fair--judged the Smoothest and Creamiest Home-made Ice Cream. Happy Ice Cream Day and Ice Cream Month! Who doesn't love a no-churn ice cream?

Saturday, July 17, 2021

PEPPERMINT BROWNIE ALASKA: Retro Ad & Recipe for Ice Cream Month!

I'm on a roll for National Ice Cream Month, and here's a great idea! This is a Retro Recipe for Peppermint Brownie Alaska "Dress up other dishes with ICE CREAM"  The 'other' photo in the Ad is for a make-it-yourself Sundae. Both recipes are for 1950s 'entertaining.'

Friday, July 16, 2021

10 ICE CREAM HACKS THAT ARE GENIUS! from Ben & Jerry's: National Ice Cream Day!

Today is National Ice Cream Day, but if you're like me, every day is Ice Cream Day. Check out your local ice cream shop for specials and freebies!

Here are some 10 Ice Cream Tricks from Ben & Jerry's, starting with an easy way of making ice cream sandwiches without all the mess:

1. Grab a pint, get a hold of a giant knife, and cut the pint into circular slices. Because you’re obviously a dessert pro, you already have some delicious cookies ready to go. 

2. Have a half pint left in the freezer? You COULD dig in and methodically and dutifully deposit an equal number of scoops in each of your bowls. OR you could take a sturdy knife and cut that pint right down the middle lengthwise. Instant gratification.

Read on for 8 more fabulous Ice Cream Tricks.

Thursday, July 15, 2021


I meant to post this yesterday for Bastille Day aka la Fête Nationale: 14 juillet. This is a French holiday that commemorates the day the people of Paris stormed the Bastille prison in 1789. This violent overthrow of the monarchy made way for a republic, and the beginning of the modern nation.

Traditionally the celebration begins the night before, with big parties and balls. Then on the morning of Bastille Day the world’s largest and oldest military procession takes place in Paris, with the President of France at the head of the parade and jets flying overhead, often leaving trails of blue, white, and red. Most Parisians, and their countryside counterparts, settle in for an afternoon of outdoor parties, with lots of eating and drinking. Just as they took to the streets during the revolution, so the French take to the streets on Bastille Day, but in a much more festive way!  Perhaps without as much vigor yesterday because of the pandemic, but there were still celebrations. The day ends in a spectacular fireworks display, with the Eiffel Tower serving as a backdrop. Colorful explosions are seen across the country in smaller towns and cities as well.

So Bastille Day is a day to celebrate French food, and for this blog, French Chocolate Dessert! In the past I've posted many "French" recipes for Bastille Day--from Soufflés to Beignets to Eclairs to Crepes. So even though the day has passed, you can still celebrate and what could be more French than a Clafoutis? A clafoutis is a simple French country dessert that's comprised of sliced stone fruit over which a pancake-like batter is poured and then baked. You'll be glad to learn that there is such a thing as Chocolate Clafoutis. Following is an easy, quick, and delicious recipe adapted from the French Chef herself, Julia Child, from her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1.You can substitute other stone fruits, such as pears, peaches, apricots, nectarines, and plums, but cherries are in season..and I love chocolate and cherries.


Heat oven to 350˚F. Butter a heavy cast iron skillet.
3 cup cherries, pitted and halved
Arrange in dish cut-side facing upwards.
To make this even more chocolate, add chocolate chips in with the cherries.

Into a blender put the following, in any order:
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder, sifted
Dash of salt
2/3 cup superfine (castor sugar)* (and you can also use regular white sugar)
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large room temp eggs

Blend it all together and when thoroughly combined, pour carefully over pitted cherries.
Sprinkle a handful of superfine sugar on top and bake in oven for about 1 hour.
Clafoutis rise, but they also fall quickly, so plan to eat it warm with some whipped cream or ice cream on the side.

Superfine Sugar
* I usually have a box of superfine sugar in my pantry, but if you don't, you can make it quickly at home. 
For one cup: Grind one cup and two teaspoons of white granulated sugar in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds. Also called castor sugar, this is simply sugar that has been ground into finer crystals than regular granulated sugar. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

GRAND MARNIER CHOCOLATE CAKE: Grand Marnier & Bastille Day!

Today is Bastille Day, and it's also Grand Marnier Day, so I thought you might want to bake this Grand Marnier Chocolate Cake. Grand Marnier is a remarkable combination of a premium blend of cognac and exotic oranges created in 1880 by Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle. Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle perfected the premium Grand Marnier blend in 1880 and at the time, his vision of combining the essence of wild tropical oranges from Haiti with premium cognac from France was seen as cutting edge and completely unexpected. The cognac found in Grand Marnier is made from Ugni Blanc grapes from five of the best crus within the Cognac region in France and is double-distilled in copper stills. The bitter, exotic orange called ‘Citrus Bigaradia’ sourced from the Caribbean, is a rare variety which offers an intense and unique flavor profile and aroma.

This recipe for Grand Marnier Chocolate Cake is adapted slightly from a recipe in Bon Appetit! Of course, if you have no time to bake a cake, you can always drink a glass of Grand Marnier! Be sure and check out the great advertising video for Grand Marnier "La Vie Grand Marnier." Scroll down.

Grand Marnier Chocolate Cake


10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
6 large eggs, separated
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
1 Tbsp finely grated orange peel
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
7 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, room temperature
2/3 cup whipping cream

Cake Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter 10-inch-diameter springform pan; line bottom with parchment paper round.
Stir chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Cool slightly.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolks, Grand Marnier, orange peel, and vanilla. Stir in lukewarm chocolate. Add flour and salt; stir to blend.
Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another large bowl until peaks form. Fold whites into chocolate mixture in 3 additions.
Transfer batter to prepared springform pan.
Bake cake until top is dry and cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 45 minutes.
Cool cake in pan on rack (top will fall slightly).
Can be made 1 day ahead.
Cool completely; cover and let stand at room temperature.

Icing Directions
Place chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl. Bring cream to boil in small saucepan. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture; stir until mixture is melted and smooth.
Run thin knife around inside of cake pan; remove pan sides.
Invert cake onto 10-inch removable tart pan bottom or cardboard round.
Place on rack set in rimmed baking sheet.
Remove cake pan bottom and parchment.
Pour icing over cake and spread to cover top and sides (any icing that drips onto baking sheet can be reused).
Chill until glaze sets, about 30 minutes.
DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead.
Cover with cake dome and chill.
Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.
Cut into wedges and serve.


Tuesday, July 13, 2021

ELSIE THE COW: History and Recipes: National Cow Day!

Today is National Cow Day, and my favorite cow is Borden's Elsie! 

History of Elsie the Cow: In the 1930s, the dairy industry saw publicized price wars between farmers and dairy processors that caused larger dairies to be portrayed unfavorably. The cartoon Elsie was created by Borden’s advertising agency in 1936 to help make the brand more friendly and approachable to the public. The company first started advertising in medical journals, which featured a variety of cartoon cows with several different names, including Mrs. Blossom, Bessie, Clara and Elsie. A typical ad showed a cow and calf talking in a milk barn.

In the 1930s, milk was not the drink we know today. Much that was sold in the U.S. during the early part of the century was disease-laden. In 1907, the Department of Agriculture revealed that dairy cows frequently carried tuberculosis and that unsanitary conditions on farms meant other illnesses were carried in the milk supply as well. Most milk was shipped to stores without any form of processing.

The Borden Company was in the forefront of change. They had purchased a dairy in New Jersey that was among the first to install equipment for pasteurization.  However, the world changed slowly when it came to perceiving that “processed” (pasteurized) milk was better than regular cow’s milk.

Chicago was the first city to require pasteurizing of milk (1908) but the first state-level mandate did not occur until 1947 when Michigan passed such a law.

This meant that in 1930s dairy processors like Borden had their work cut out for them to convince the public that their milk was more worthy—and safer—than the dairy cow on a family farm.

Borden ad man Stuart Peabody knew his first approach to selling Borden milk needed to be through the medical establishment. If doctors understood that pasteurized milk wouldn’t make people sick, they would start recommending it to their patients.

Peabody felt the ads needed to be light in tone.  His first ads were in the form of Letters to Mama: “Dear Mama, I’m so excited I can hardly chew! We girls are sending our milk to Borden’s now. Love Elsie.” These ads were accompanied by artist Walter Early’s illustration of a perky, friendly cow. (The Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising credits Walter Early; the Borden site attributes David Reid with having created the image of Elsie.

As early illustrations show, Elsie had a kindly face, huge brown eyes, and wore a chain of daisies around her neck. She generally wore an apron, and whatever she was doing, she had her calves around her. Husband Elmer, later the face of Elmer’s Glue, took orders from her, repairing things around the house.

In 1938, Peabody expanded Elsie ads into some consumer publications, and he began buying radio time for her as well.  Elsie took off quickly. A survey done in the 1940s found that 98 percent of the American public recognized the Borden cow.

So in honor of National Cow Day, here's an August 8, 1941 Retro ad and recipe from Borden's Eagle Brand for Magic Chocolate Ice Cream. I love Elsie the Cow, and I'm definitely take her advice on bringing "homemade ice cream to the social." Luckily, I have an automatic refrigerator! Gotta love these 'story' ads. "If it's Borden's, it's got to be good."

Monday, July 12, 2021

CHOCOLATE ALMOND CREAM ROLL: 'Recipe for getting yourself talked about this summer'- Retro Recipe/Story Ad!

Summer is here, so I thought I'd take you back to another summertime with a Retro Baker's Chocolate Ad. My parents bought a new house in suburbia in the late 50s. Since neither of my parents grew up with air conditioning, they didn't choose that option from the builder upgrades. What were they thinking? Philadelphia? In the summer? My grandmother lived with us, so there was always a hot oven going since she loved to bake. Needless to say, a few years down the road, my parents added air conditioning. Thank goodness. O.K. I know it's a #firstworldproblem, but still.

So here's a great "Recipe for Getting Yourself Talked About this Summer." Gotta love the Baker's Chocolate Story/Recipe Ads. This really is a great recipe for Chocolate Almond Cream Roll (with a variation for Chocolate Tier Cake). Want to bring it into 2021? Just substitute your favorite dark chocolate and cut down a bit on the sugar.


Sunday, July 11, 2021


Today is Blueberry Muffin Day, and this month is Blueberry Month, so celebrate! I'm a major blueberry person from way back, even before I knew they were healthy with antioxidants and flavonoids and vitamins. I grew up back East, and when we went to the 'country,' my Aunt Annie used to take all the children blueberry gathering in the woods. It was great fun. We'd all come back with blue-stained hands and mouths. Those blueberries were small and juicy and sweet just as wild blueberries should be. I still crave blueberries. Local blueberries are at the farmers' market right now, and for frozen blueberries the wild blueberries from Maine at Trader Joe's are very tasty.

For National Blueberry Muffin Day, use fresh blueberries in these muffin recipes. I am partial to plain muffins with blueberries and chocolate chips, so the first recipe is the one I use. But since this is a chocolate blog, I have a recipe for chocolate blueberry muffins, too.

Here's my recipe for Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins. I like my muffins firm with a crusty top and soft inside -- and not too sweet. I think you'll like these. I use a 1/2 cup of sugar, but if you want them a little sweeter use 3/4 cup. Don't want your blueberries to sink to the bottom? Dust them with flour before putting them in the batter.

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
fresh blueberries (maybe a cup?)
chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400. Grease your muffin tin or use liners.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center.
Put oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg (already whipped), and enough milk to fill cup to brim. Pour into the well and mix with flour mixture. Do not overmix.
Stir in blueberries and as many of the chocolate chips as you'd like. I like a lot, but you want to also be able to taste the blueberries--and the muffin, itself.
Fill muffin cups right to top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven-- or until done.

So that's my favorite, but for those who want a chocolate muffin with blueberries, here's a recipe from Yankee Magazine.

Chocolate Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened or very dark chocolate
1 cup sugar (I'd probably use less)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium saucepan, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in sugar, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. In small bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Gently combine with liquid ingredients. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into well-greased muffin cups, filling to top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer muffins to wire rack to cool. Drizzle cooled muffins with semisweet chocolate.

Have a great Blueberry Muffin Day--make it Chocolate!

Saturday, July 10, 2021

PINA COLADA FUDGE: National Piña Colada Day

Today is National Piña Colada Day! How to add Chocolate? Easy... Piña Colada Fudge! Here's a simple recipe for Pina Colada Fudge that includes one of my sweet favorites--marshmallow creme (marshmallow fluff). As always, use the very best white chocolate--not the artificial white chocolate disks.


1 pound chopped "real" white chocolate or white chocolate chips
3/4 cup marshmallow crème or fluff
1 cup shredded coconut, (unsweetened)
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 teaspoon rum (or rum extract)
3/4 teaspoon coconut extract
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple

Line 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, and spray foil with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
In large microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir until chocolate is smooth and completely free of lumps. Add marshmallow crème, coconut, butter, extracts, sweetened condensed milk, and salt; stir until butter melts and everything is combined. Add chopped pineapple at the end and stir to combine evenly.
Pour fudge into prepared pan, and smooth into even layer.
Allow fudge to set at room temperature overnight, or in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
Once set, lift fudge from pan using foil as handles.
Use sharp knife to cut fudge into 1-inch squares to serve.

And to sing along while you make the fudge!


Friday, July 9, 2021

CHOCOLATE SUGAR COOKIES: National Sugar Cookie Day!

For me there's nothing quite like a Sugar Cookie, and if you add Chocolate that's even better! Of course, one can never have too many recipes for this perfect cookie. So today for National Sugar Cookie Day, here are three recipes for Chocolate Sugar Cookies.


1/3 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
14 Tbsp unsalted butter
1-3/4 cups dark brown sugar (packed)
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In shallow bowl, put granulated sugar on plate. Set aside.
In bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder.
In large bowl, melt 10 Tbsp butter in microwave. Do not overheat; microwave butter until just melted. Stir in remaining 4 Tbsp butter until melted. Allow butter to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Whisk brown sugar, vanilla and salt into melted butter until smooth. Whisk in egg and egg yolk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.
Roll dough into balls -- 2 Tbsp for each cookie. Roll balls in white sugar and place on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets.
Flatten cookies to 1/4-inch thick.
Sprinkle cookies with more white sugar.
Bake 12-14 minutes. Don't overbake.
Transfer to wire rack to cool.


2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
5 ounces unsweetened or very dark Chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Melt chocolate and butter together in a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or in a double boiler).
Add 1 cup sugar, egg, and vanilla; mix well.
Stir in flour mixture until well blended.
Refrigerate 15 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
Heat oven to 375°F.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in remaining sugar.
Place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 min. or until centers are set.
Cool on baking sheets 1 minute.
Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

This third cookie recipe is for Chocolate Caramel Sugar Cookies! This easy recipe is adapted from Kraft. Use Kraft products such as their caramels and Planters Pecans-- or use your favorite caramels and nuts.


2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 ounces very dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped Planter Pecans
14 ounces KRAFT caramels
2 Tbsp milk

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on High for 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Add 1 cup sugar, egg, and vanilla; mix well. Stir in flour mixture until well blended.
Refrigerate 15 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
Heat oven to 375°F.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in 1/2 cup chopped Pecans.
Place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets. Make indentation in each ball.
Bake 8 to 10 min. or until centers are set.
Microwave 1 package Kraft Caramels with 2 Tbsp milk in microwaveable bowl on High for 3 minutes or until caramels are melted..stirring after 2 minutes.
Spoon into centers of cookies.
(Drizzle with extra melted chocolate, if you feel inclined)
Cool on baking sheets 1 minute.
Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

TOASTED ALMOND TRUFFLES: Retro Ad with Recipe for National Chocolate with Almonds Day

Today is National Chocolate with Almonds Day, and what better way to celebrate than to make  Toasted Almond Truffles. I love this Retro 1985 Carnation/Nestle Recipe Advertisement. It's so easy. Of course, you can substitute your own very best chocolate in this recipe. Personally I prefer dark chocolate in these truffles.


1/2 cup undiluted CARNATION Evaporated Milk
1/4 cup sugar
One 11 1/2 oz. pkg. (2 cups) NESTLE Milk Chocolate Morsels (or your favorite chocolate)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup finely chopped almonds, toasted

Combine evaporated milk and sugar in small heavy-gauge saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Boil 3 minutes; stir constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in morsels and almond extract until morsels melt and mixture is smooth. Chill 45 minutes. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in almonds. Chill until ready to serve. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen truffles.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021


Today is World Chocolate Day. There is great chocolate made all over the world, but today I thought I'd feature my favorite baking chocolate--Guittard. Guittard is a company close to home.

The Guittard Chocolate Company, based in Burlingame, CA, is celebrating 150 years, so it's not surprising that they have developed some fabulous chocolate. They've been crafting chocolate for five generations, using a combination of a time-tested craft, innovative techniques, long-standing relationships, and a complete obsession with making a premium chocolate that delivers a spectrum of flavors for a variety of applications.

I often use their cocoa, bars, chips, and wafers, and I really love their Collection Etienne Chocolate. Their 100 percent cacao bars are amazing, but they also make 64 and 70% bars--all fair trade-certified, non-GMO, kosher, and whatever else you want from your chocolate. These are also available as wafers. I love this company! So here are two recipes from Guittard for their incredible Collection Etienne Brownies. You will marvel at the intense chocolate flavor in both. The first recipe is my favorite, since it's fudgy. The second recipe is more cake-like, but equally fab...just different. Let me know which you prefer.

Incredible Collection Etienne Best Brownies Ever!

6 ounces Guittard Collection Etienne unsweetened chocolate (100-percent cacao), broken into pieces
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9-by-9-inch pan with foil, covering bottom and extending up sides.
In double boiler set over hot, not boiling water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside.
Using electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Blend in melted chocolate at low speed, stopping to scrape sides as needed. Add flour just until incorporated.
Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until top is puffed and cracked, and toothpick inserted in center test moist. Brownies will set as they cool. Cool before cutting.

Best Cake-Like Collection Etienne Brownies

1 1/2 cups (8 oz) Collection Etienne 74% Cacoa Organic Bittersweet Chocolate Wafers
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups evaporated cane sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temp
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour.

Preheat oven to 350. Line 8-inch square pan with foil
Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler until smooth and melted.
Transfer to large bowl of electric mixer. Mix in sugar, salt, and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, blending until smooth and glossy, stopping to scrape sides as needed. Add flour until just incorporated.
Spread into prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until puffed around edges and cater tests most. Do not overtake. Cool before cutting.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

What's the Difference between Vanilla Ice Cream and French Vanilla Ice Cream?

July is Ice Cream Month. I often include vanilla ice cream with my brownies and cakes, so today I'm posting the answer to the question, "What's the Difference between Vanilla Ice Cream and French Vanilla Ice Cream?"

French Vanilla Ice Cream is a different color than Vanilla Ice Cream, and that's due to the process rather than the vanilla bean varieties, named for where they’re grown, like Madagascar, Tahiti, and Mexico. French Vanilla refers not to a vanilla variety but to the classic French way of making ice cream using an egg-custard base. The eggs give French Vanilla ice cream a smoother consistency and subtle yellow color. I definitely think that French vanilla ice cream is richer.

Vanilla Ice Cream is made with just milk and cream, without eggs, and is called Philadelphia-style vanilla ice-cream. Having grown up in Philadelphia, this was news to me.

The French Connection: Actually French Vanilla ice cream dates back to colonial times. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington used ice cream recipes that include egg yolks. Jefferson's family's ice cream recipe which calls for six egg yolks per quart of cream may have originated with his French butler.

Jefferson's recipe for French Vanilla Ice Cream: Handwritten recipe on the right from the Library of Congress collection. Recipe from

Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

2 Bottles of Good Cream
6 Yolks of eggs
1/2 pound sugar

Mix the yolks and sugar put the cream on a fire in a casserole, first putting in a stick of vanilla.

When near boiling, take it off and pour it gently into the mixture of eggs and sugar. Stir it well.

Put it on the fire again, stirring it thoroughly with a spoon to prevent it from sticking to the casserole.
When near boiling, take it off and strain it through a towel. Put it in the Sabottiere [the inner canister in an ice bucket], then set it in ice an hour before it is to be served.

Put into the ice a handful of salt, put salt on the coverlid of the Sabotiere, and cover the whole [thing] with ice.
Leave it still half a quarter of an hour. Then turn the Sabottiere in the ice [for] 10 minutes.

Open it ... with a spatula [and remove] the ice from the inner sides of the Sabotiere.

Shut it and replace it in the ice. Open it from time to time to detach the ice from the sides.

When well taken, stir it well with the spatula.

Put it in moulds, justling it well down on the knee. Then put the mould into the same bucket of ice. Leave it there to the moment of serving it.

To withdraw it, immerse the mould in warm water, turning it well [until] it will come out and turn it into a plate.

Visiting Mt. Rushmore? The Memorial Team Ice Cream shop serves up the original recipe.

Which is your favorite? Vanilla Ice Cream or French Vanilla Ice Cream

Monday, July 5, 2021

INDOOR S'MORES: National Graham Cracker Day!

Today is National Graham Cracker Day, and that always reminds me of Graham Crackers since they're an important component of S'mores. I love S'mores just about any time. Here's a great Retro Ad with Recipe from General Mills, maker of Golden Grahams, for Indoor Smores!

Saturday, July 3, 2021

CHOCOLATE ICEBOX CAKE aka Famous Chocolate Refrigerator Roll: National Chocolate Wafer Day!

Today is National Chocolate Wafer Day! I love chocolate wafers, and I usually have a few boxes in the pantry. One, because they're not always easy to find and Two, because I use them in pie crusts.
Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, are the most famous, for sure. They are thin and round, crisp, and dark. I did a little digging into the history of these Wafers (not called cookies) and the Famous Chocolate Icebox Cake. According to a Washington Post article in the Nabisco archives there is a 1929 ad for the chocolate wafers. The copy in the ad suggests layering the wafers with whipped cream and refrigerating them overnight for an easy, elegant dessert. By 1930, the recipe for Famous Chocolate Refrigerator Roll was printed on every tin of the chocolate wafers. Don't you wish the Famous Chocolate Wafers still came in a tin? How cool is that? The original tin had 10 ounces. The contemporary packages have 9 ounces.

Famous Chocolate Refrigerator Roll aka Icebox Cake!
Recipe from Nabisco

Don't be afraid to experiment with flavor in the Whipped Cream such as Kahlua or Chocolate Liqueur or add just a bit of sugar when you're whipping the cream. Here's the "original" recipe. The whipping cream actually softens the wafers, so this is absolutely delicious, and, as always, easy!

1 tsp vanilla
1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream, whipped
1 package (9 oz.) FAMOUS Chocolate Wafers

ADD vanilla to whipped cream; stir gently until well blended.
SPREAD 1-1/2 tsp of the whipped cream mixture onto each wafer. Stack wafers together, then stand on edge on serving platter to make a log.
Frost with the remaining whipped cream mixture. 
REFRIGERATE at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut dessert diagonally into 14 slices to serve.
Store leftover dessert in refrigerator.

I like to add chocolate curls or grated chocolate to the top. 

For the Fourth of July, add raspberries and blueberries! It's a great Independence Day dessert.