Monday, February 28, 2022
Here's a new old recipe from Baker's Famous Chocolate Recipes (1936) for a twist on the souffle: Chocolate Coconut Souffle.
You might not have Minute Tapioca in your pantry, but let me tell you it's worth searching out for this recipe. Check out my post on Tapioca. As far as Baker's Southern Coconut Flakes go, I wasn't sure exactly what that wa, so I used Baker's Angel Flake Coconut which is slightly sweetened. Maybe that's the same as in tis 1936 recipe, maybe it's another product all together. If you know, leave a comment or contact me. I'm sure there's a Food Historian out there who knows!
For Chocolate, I use high quality very dark chocolate and lessen the sugar. Depending on the chocolate you use, your souffle might vary in taste.
Sunday, February 27, 2022
Drink of the Week has a great description of Kahlua that taps into all the senses (better than I could do): Kahlua: Visually: clear with a medium plus, dark brown color. On the nose: medium intensity of coffee, cocoa, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and a hint of vanilla. On the palate: medium intensity of coffee (most dominant flavor), cocoa, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla. Body is very viscous but has a nice texture on the palate. The Kahlua keeps the sugar and sweetness in check with a subtle hint of cinnamon.
On DyingforChocolate.com, I've posted recipes for Killer Kahlua Brownies from Mary Kennedy that will knock your socks off. Other Kahlua recipes posted: Chocolate Kahlua Date Nut Bread, Kahlua Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate, and Auntie Helen's Chocolate Kahlua Cake. I think she just added a bottle, so it wouldn't all burn off. Try one of those recipes today, or if you like cheesecake, try this easy recipe for Chocolate Kahlua Cheesecake!
EASY CHOCOLATE KAHLUA CHEESECAKE
1 1⁄3 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 Tablespoon sugar
Alternate Oreo Crust -- yum! just crush the oreos (or pulse in your Cuisinart), add a little unsalted butter, and press into the springform pan
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate, chopped (65-75% cacao)
1/4 cup Kahlua
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten
1⁄3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
16 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into pieces
Prepare chocolate crumb crust by mixing together the crumbs, butter & sugar and press firmly into a nine-inch springform pan.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
In small saucepan over another saucepan with simmering water, melt chocolate with Kahlua and butter. Stir until smooth. Set aside. Let cool a bit.
In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and salt. Add sour cream and blend well.
Add cream cheese to egg mixture. Beat until smooth.
Gradually blend in chocolate mixture.
Fold mixture into prepared crust and bake for 35 minutes or until filling is barely set in center.
Turn off heat and let stand in oven for 15 minutes with door open.
Take out of oven and let stand at room temperature for one hour.
Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Saturday, February 26, 2022
Coffee with Chicory is so New Orleans, and you'll want to make David Guas & Raquel Pelzel's fabulous recipe for Chocolate Cupped Cakes with Coffee & Chicory.
What goes with Coffee with Chicory? Well, Beignets, of course, and they should definitely be Chocolate! Might not find these chocolate ones at Cafe du Monde, but they could be on your breakfast table. These Sugared Chocolate Beignets are easy to make, and so delicious. Beignets are usually fried in vegetable oil (cottonseed oil at Cafe du Monde), but this recipe calls for baking (healthier and easier). Recipe is from Sunset's Best Recipes of 2010.
SUGARED CHOCOLATE BEIGNETS
Time: 1 hour, plus freezing time. These doughnuts can be prepared ahead, requiring only a quick baking once your guests arrive.
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 sheets (17 ounces total) cold thawed puff pastry dough
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
Combine corn syrup and cream in microwave-safe container. Heat in 30-second intervals until boiling. Put chocolate in bowl and pour hot cream on top. Stir chocolate until smooth, then chill, stirring often, until firm, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin, roll each pastry dough sheet into a 12-inch square. Cut each square into 16 smaller squares and transfer to baking sheet.
In bowl, lightly whisk egg and 1 Tbsp water to blend, then brush over pastry squares. Spoon about 1 tsp chocolate into center of each square. Fold 1 corner of each square over to meet opposite corner, forming triangle. Press edges to seal. Use a 2 1/2-inch round cutter to trim corners of triangle and form shape that resembles three-quarter moon. Wrap trays with plastic wrap and freeze at least 1 hour and up to 1 week. (To save space, after 30 minutes of freezing, put pastries in resealable plastic bags in freezer.)
Preheat oven to 400°. Bake pastries, switching pan positions once, until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Put sugar in a bowl and turn beignets in sugar to coat.
Friday, February 25, 2022
I have a friend from Mobile, Alabama, and MoonPies are definitely a Mardi Gras throw there. The first group to throw these chocolate covered marshmallow treats were the Maids of Mirth in 1956. The Chattanooga MoonPie company supplied the MoonPies after crackerjack boxes were banned because of dangerous sharp corners, and the MoonPie became a traditional "throw" of Mardi Gras krewes in Mobile, Alabama. The westernmost outpost of the Moon Pie as an important Carnival throw is Slidell, Louisiana, which has a parade by "The Krewe of Mona Lisa and MoonPie." The Moon Pie Company actually now offers smaller bite size individually wrapped MoonPies for throwing off floats.
So what's a MoonPie? Although it's often mistaken for a Whoopie Pie, it's not the same thing at all! A moon pie is a sandwich composed of brittle soft crumbly graham crackers and thick soft spongy marshmallow and then covered with rich dark chocolate.
The MoonPie Brand began in 1917 with its trademark registered on Jan 1, 1919 in Chattanooga. According to the MoonPie Company, the story goes that Earl Mitchell, Sr, a bakery salesman, visited a company store that catered to coal miners. The Miners wanted something solid and filling because they didn't get time to break for lunch. About how big? he asked. A miner held out his hands, framing the moon, and said, "About that big!" When Mitchell returned to the bakery, he notices some workers dipping graham cookies into marshmallow & laying them on the window sill to harden. The idea of adding another cookie and a generous coating of chocolate was tried, and samples of this new MoonPie were distributed. It had a great response and became a regular item for the bakery.
During the 1930s, the MoonPie found its place in Southern folklore as part of the 'workingman's lunch." Coal miners and laborers could enjoy the biggest snack on the rack, a MoonPie, and a 10 oz RC Cola, each for a nickle. This inspired the 1950s country music hit "Give me an RC and a MoonPie. Double Decker MoonPies with three cookies and two layers of marshmallow appeared during the 1960s, and they were easier for vending machines.
So if you're in Alabama or Louisiana for Mardi Gras, try to catch some MoonPies!
Want to make your own MoonPies? Here are some recipe links.
What I love most about this cookbook (well, pamphlet, really) are the first two pages on Walnut Know-How! Be sure to scroll down. Lots of good information!
Here's an easy recipe from the Diamond Walnut Recipe Gems Cookbook for Chocolate Walnut Mounds. Make this to celebrate the day!
CHOCOLATE WALNUT MOUNDS
Melt one 6-ounce package (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate pieces over hot, not boiling water, stirring constantly. Beat till cool. Stir in 1 1/2 cups Diamond Walnut halves and large pieces. Drop in clusters on waxed paper.
From the Cookbook:
Thursday, February 24, 2022
Epiphany comes from a Greek word that means "to show." Jesus first showed himself to the three wisemen and to the world on this day. As a symbol of this Day, a tiny plastic baby is placed inside each King Cake. The King Cake tradition is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870.
Each cake is decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors - purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power.
Here's a really easy recipe for Chocolate-Filled King Cake. Don't forget the Baby!
Chocolate-Filled King CakeINGREDIENTS
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 (.25 ounce) packets active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup half & half
5 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate chips
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3-6 Tbsp hot water
Purple, Green, and Yellow sugar crystals for decoration
Heat milk until steaming, not boiling. Immediately remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of melted butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In large bowl, dissolve 2 packets of yeast in warm water with 1 tablespoon white sugar. Let stand about 10 minutes. Mixture will look slightly creamy and begin bubbling.
When yeast mixture starts bubbling, add cooled milk mixture. Whisk in eggs. Stir in remaining white sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Beat flour into milk/egg mixture about one cup at a time. When dough pulls together, turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth. (about 10 minutes)
Lightly oil large bowl, place dough in tbowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in volume. (about 2-3 hours) When dough has doubled in size, turn out on lightly floured surface, and punch dough down to remove air. Divide dough in half.
Whisk sugar, salt, flour, half and half, and egg yolks together in small saucepan on medium heat. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes, or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract and chocolate until chocolate melts. Let chocolate filling cool for 5 minutes.
On floured surface, roll dough halves out into large rectangles (about 10x15 inches). Brush dough with melted butter. Spread chocolate filling evenly over dough and roll up each half tightly, beginning atwide side. Bring ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on prepared cookie sheet.
With scissors, make cuts about 1/3 of way through rings at 1 inch intervals. Let cakes sit and rise in warm spot until double in size. (about 30-45 minutes)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake cakes in preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes.
While king cake is baking, mix powdered sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Add hot water, one tablespoon at time, until desired consistency.
When you take king cake out of oven, push small plastic doll into bottom of cake.
Frost while warm.
Finish with sprinkles of purple, green, and yellow sugar crystals.
Wednesday, February 23, 2022
I have several recipes for Banana Bread, and every time I make banana bread, I change it up a bit. It usually depends on what's in the pantry, but mostly it doesn't matter. Two musts: baking soda and over ripe bananas--black and squishy, if possible!
The other day I was out of whole milk, so I used 1/2 -half and half and 1/2 -two percent. I actually prefer buttermilk, but use what you have. Oil or butter? Well, I used butter this last time, but oil works just as well, and I think I might even prefer it, but my canola oil was a bit rank, so I threw it out. I did think about olive oil, but opted for French butter! As always, I added chocolate chips. Oh, and this is a one bowl recipe! How easy is that?
CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD
Makes 1 loaf--easily doubled!
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 medium-sized bananas (I used 4 smaller ones), very ripe
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup + chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8 x 5 loaf pan with parchment, letting excess hang over sides. Spray inside with nonstick cooking spray. (this last time I buttered the pan and then used some flour)
Whisk together melted butter and sugar in mixing bowl until combined. (If you cream the sugar and butter, you'll have a more cake-like banana bread--always a choice!)
Add eggs and whisk until combined and mixture is smooth.
Whisk milk and vanilla into batter.
Peel bananas and add to bowl. Using fork, mash them into batter. Leave bananas as chunky or as smooth as you prefer.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt to bowl. Switch to spatula and stir until ingredients are just barely combined and no more dry flour is visible. (Don't overstir)
Fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Smooth top of batter.
Bake 55 to 65 minutes: Bake until top of banana bread is dark brown with some yellow insides showing (there's usually a crack down the top) and toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Baking time varies, so start checking around 50 minutes or so.
Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.
Lift loaf out of pan and set on cooling rack to cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.
Tuesday, February 22, 2022
I'm posting two recipes for Chocolate Margaritas for National Margarita Day. As always I recommend you use the best ingredients for the best flavor! Both recipes suggest chocolate rims. I add a little salt to the rim mixture to bring out the chocolate and make this a bit more similar to a traditional margarita.
1. CHOCOLATE MARGARITA
A simple recipe from Blenderking.com: (Per serving)
1 1/2 ounces Tequila
1 ounce Godiva chocolate liquor
3/4 ounce cream or half & half
1 Tbsp Hershey’s syrup
2 ounces orange juice
Shaker, not blender: Throw the ingredients into your shaker for a few quick shakes and pour into a margarita glass with crushed oreos lining the rim! Enjoy!
2. CHOCOLATE MARGARITA
And, from Marcela Valladolid at Foodnetwork.com. This recipe is for a crowd:
To rim the glasses:
Finely chopped Mexican or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
1 cup (8 ounces) tequila
1/2 cup (4 ounces) chocolate liqueur
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup orange liqueur
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To rim the glasses: Put the syrup and chopped chocolate into 2 small dishes. Moisten the rims of 4 margarita or martini glasses with the chocolate syrup. Dip them in the Mexican chocolate until coated. Set aside.
Margarita: Combine all of the ingredients, except ice, in a pitcher. Working in batches, transfer the mixture to a shaker full of ice. Shake and pour into the prepared glasses. Serve cold.
Monday, February 21, 2022
From Mamie Eisenhower (Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Mamie Eisenhower’s Million Dollar Fudge
**This recipe makes 4 pounds of Fudge**
4 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 tall can evaporated milk
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bits
12 ounces German-sweet chocolate
1 pint marshmallow cream
2 cups nutmeats
Boil sugar, salt, butter, evaporated milk together for six minutes.
Put chocolate bits and German chocolate, marshmallow cream, and nutmeats in bowl.
Pour boiling syrup over ingredients.
Beat until chocolate is all melted, then pour into pan.
Let stand a few hours before cutting.
Remember it is better the second day. Store in tin box.
From Betty Ford (Gerald Ford)
Betty Ford's Chocolate Icebox Dessert
1 Angel food cake
12 oz chocolate chips
4 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp water
2 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 cup whipping cream
Line flat 9x9″ cake pan with wax paper.
Slice angel food cake and place a layer of cake in pan. (Slices easier if frozen). Separate eggs, beat yolks.
Melt chocolate in double boiler over water.
When melted, add sugar and water. Mix well. Make sure sugar melts.
Remove from heat and stir gradually into beaten egg yolks. Beat until smooth. Cool this mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Mix well.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Whip the cream.
Fold egg whites into chocolate mix, then the whipped cream.
Place a layer of chocolate on the angel food slices, than another layer of cake, then a layer of chocolate.
Place in refrigerator overnight.
This can be frozen and used later. Be sure to chill overnight before freezing.
From Lady Bird Johnson (LBJ)
Lady Bird’s Chocolate Nut Drop Cookies
From Hillary Clinton (Bill Clinton)
Hillary Clinton's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Vegetable oil, for baking sheets
1 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 package (12-ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheets with vegetable oil.
Combine flour, salt, and baking soda on waxed paper.
Beat together shortening, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beating until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture and rolled oats. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop batter by well-rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden.
From Michelle Obama (Barak Obama)
Mama Kaye’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 5 dozen cookies Prep: 15 minutes
Bake at 375° for 12 minutes per batch
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 375°.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. In large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts.
Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased baking sheets.
Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
In the first First Lady bake-off in 1992, Hillary Clinton’s chocolate chip cookies beat out Barbara Bush’s still-delicious chocolate chip recipe, and again in 1996, Hillary’s chocolate chip recipe won over Elizabeth Dole’s Pecan Roll cookies. In 2000, Laura Bush debuted her Texas Governor’s House Cowboy Cookies, and as expected, they beat our Tipper Gore’s ginger snap recipe.
Laura Bush's Cowboy Cookies
From Southern Living:
Laura switched up her recipe during her husband’s second presidential campaign in 2004 to a similar oatmeal chocolate chunk recipe, but it’s her first Cowboy Cookie that’s become so famous.
As with most things in Texas, Laura’s Cowboy Cookies are big and completely stuffed with so many mix-ins: oats, coconut, pecans, and of course, chocolate chips.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups light-brown sugar, packed 3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened flake coconut 2 cups chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350 degree F.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in bowl.
In 8-quart bowl, beat butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1 minute. Gradually beat in sugars to combine, 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla.
Stir in flour mixture until just combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut and pecans.
For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart.
Bake in 350 degree F oven 17 to 20 minutes, until edges are lightly browned; rotate sheets halfway through. Remove cookies to rack to cool
CLINTON FAMILY'S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
The last Presidential Cookie Bake-Off was held in 2016 for the Candidates's spouses. Bill Clinton, as the spouse, was asked to contribute a recipe, and the Clinton campaign submitted the "Clinton Family's Chocolate Chip Cookies" (see above for same recipe 1992, 1996, 2016!) -- a reprise of Hillary Clinton's earlier oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. Melania Trump submitted her recipe for Star Cookies, a rolled butter cookie, enriched with a bit of sour cream and egg yolk. Nothing special, and no chocolate! She did not win..Sadly her husband won the electoral vote, but not the popular vote ... just as this cookie shows... no one likes a plain cookie!
Sadly The Presidential First Lady Bakeoff was cancelled in 2020. Family Circle Magazine, the sponsor, published its last issue in December of 2019 after 86 years in publication.
But in case you're looking for one of Jill Biden's favorite cookies, here's the recipe for Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries. It's not her recipe, but it is her favorite cookie. Recipe from Night with Giada: A Quick and Simple Recipe to Improve Dinner by Giada De Laurentiis.
Jill Biden's favorite cookies - recipe from Giada De Laurentiis: CHOCOLATE CHUNK OATMEAL COOKIES WITH CRANBERRIES
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dried cranberries
14-ounces 60 percent cacao bittersweet chocolate bar (recommended: Ghirardelli), chopped into 1/4-inch chunks
Special equipment: a 4-ounce (1/2 cup) ice cream or cookie scoop
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. With machine running, gradually add lour mixture. Add oats, cranberries and chocolate chunks. Mix until just incorporated (dough will be stiff). Using 4-ounce cookie scoop, scoop slightly rounded mounds of the dough into 12 (2-inch-diameter) balls. Arrange 6 balls of dough, spaced evenly apart, on each baking sheet. Using back of a spoon, flatten tops slightly and bake until cookies are slightly golden on edges, about 13 to 15 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 20 minutes before serving.
Sunday, February 20, 2022
So here it is Presidents' Weekend, as well as National Cherry Pie Day. Who can't help but remember the story about George Washington cutting down his father's Cherry Tree? He couldn't tell a lie, and for telling the truth --that he did it--his father forgave him. No punishment for cutting down the tree. O.k., we learned this at school..Alas, it's a myth that was perpetuated after Washington's death. Be sure and click the link. Still, for the sake, of this blog, I am combining the two holidays!
I'm not sure why National Cherry Pie Day shows up in February. Many markets
carry fresh cherries from Mexico and countries in South America, so check around. Or, you can always wait and bookmark this recipe to make in the summer.
But, if you can get fresh cherries, I suggest you make Chocolate Cherry Pie today. This recipe is from Allison Arevalo who posted this on Local Lemons several years ago.
This Chocolate Cherry Pie features fabulous cherries, rich dark chocolate, and a butter pie crust. I cannot tell a lie. It is positively sinful. The directions and photos on Local Lemons are outstanding.
I use pre-made pie crusts from Trader Joe's, but check the link if you want to make your own pie crust that includes graham cracker crumbs as well as a good flour.
CHOCOLATE CHERRY PIE
2 pre-made deep dish pie crusts
2 1/2 pounds fresh cherries (about 2 pounds pitted)
1/2 cup agave nectar
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded chocolate (Mostly dark, with some milk chocolate mixed in, also chopped in food processor)
Pit cherries using cherry-pitter and put in large bowl. Add chopped chocolate, 4 Tbsp flour, and agave nectar. Gently toss until cherries are well coated.
Preheat oven to 400F.
With pre-made pie dough that's been rolled out. Fit into 9 inch pie dish. Carefully pick up and place in dish, cutting off overhang. Fill dough with cherry mixture. Roll out second piecrust and place on top of pie. Pinch sides closed with thumb and forefinger, and use sharp knife to cut three vents into top of crust. Brush with egg wash.
Bake for 25 minutes in middle of oven. Lower heat to 350F and bake for 25 more minutes.
Photo: Local Lemons with permission
Saturday, February 19, 2022
Herb Infused Mint Chocolate Truffles
Adapted from The Herb Farm Cookbook
1-1/4 cup heavy cream
6 sprigs of fresh peppermint or chocolate mint (sprigs should be about 3 inches long)
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
1. Infuse cream
Pour cream into small saucepan and warm over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.
Add herbs and submerge in cream, pushing them below the surface with a spoon.
Remove pan from the heat immediately and cover with plate or lid. Leave to steep for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain cream through fine sieve to remove herbs.
Check to see if the cream measures 1 1/4 cups. If not, add more cream until it reaches 1 1/4 cups. Pour cream back into saucepan.
2. Make Ganache
Add chopped chocolate to food processor. Warm cream again to full boil. Once it boils, immediately pour cream over chopped chocolate in food processor. Put lid on food processor. Let sit for one minute. Turn on processor and blend until smooth.
Use rubber spatula to transfer ganache to small container. Cool to room temperature then put in refrigerator for a few hours.
Take ganache out of refrigerator and use melon baller or teaspoon to scoop the ganache into balls. Roll between hands to form into ball.
Put cocoa powder in bowl and gently coat truffles.
Put truffles in fridge to harden.
Friday, February 18, 2022
This recipe is from Capitol Hill Cooks: Recipes from the White House, Congress and All of the Past Presidents by Linda Bauer (Taylor). The collection of appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts, from two centuries worth of politicos, is a benefit for Homes for Our Troops, which helps injured veterans build or adapt their homes for handicapped accessibility.
Martha Washington's Devil's Food Cake
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, divided
2 -1/2 cup cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-by-15-inch pan or two 9-inch cake pans.
Melt chocolate in double boiler. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup buttermilk, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool.
Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder, baking soda, and salt and sift together three times.
Cream butter thoroughly. Add 3/4 cup sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add about quarter of the flour mixture, mix thoroughly. Add chocolate mixture and blend. Add remaining flour, alternately with buttermilk, a small amount at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla.
Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until done. Let cool. When completely cooled, trim edges and cut rectangular cake in half crosswise to make a two-layer cake. Fill and frost with icing of your choice.
Illustration: San Jose Mercury News Staff
Thursday, February 17, 2022
To celebrate today, go to your local cafe or brew a cup at home, or you can make this sensational Café au Lait Coffee Cake from Nicole at MadebyNicole. Her recipe is fool-proof, and it's filled with Chocolate Chips. What better way to celebrate coffee with milk than with a Coffee Cake? As always, you can use any good quality chocolate, chopped into small chunks in place of chocolate chips.
For those of you lucky enough to live in New Orleans, pop on over to the Café du Monde today for a Café Au Lait. They make it with chicory, which gives it a strong, bitter taste. The bitterness of the chicory offsets the sweetness of the powdered-sugar-covered beignets which of course you'll want to have. O.K., getting ahead of myself.
Café Au Lait Coffee Cake
1 tsp instant coffee
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp instant coffee
2 Tbsp warm water
2 3/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup icing sugar
milk or cream to desired consistency
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 x 13 pan
Make crumb topping: Stir together dry ingredients, cut in butter, add chocolate chips and nuts.
In large bowl beat sugar and butter until light. Add eggs, then sour cream, and then coffee dissolved in water.
In small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Gradually stir into moist ingredients starting with 1/3 of dry mixture, 1/2 of milk, 1/3 dry, 1/2 milk, and final 1/3 dry mixture.
Spread half of batter into pan. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of topping. Cover with remaining batter and finish with crumb topping.
Bake for 60 – 65 minutes
(Optional) Cool and drizzle glaze off a fork onto top of cake.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Today, Almond Joy candy bars are manufactured by Hershey's. Almond Joy has a coconut-based center topped with two toasted almonds and covered in a layer of milk chocolate. Almond Joy is the sister product of Mounds, which is the same confection but without the almonds and coated with dark chocolate. I'm actually partial to Mounds, but for the purposes of today's holiday, I'm posting about Chocolate Covered Almonds and Almond Joy. One concession, in the recipe for Homemade Almond Joy Bars, I use dark chocolate! Almond Joy bars have milk chocolate.
According to Wikipedia, Peter Paul Halajian, a candy retailer in Connecticut in 1919, along with other Armenian investors, including Dutch candy manufacturer Jett Schaefer, formed the Schaefer Candy Manufacturing Company in 1919. The company first sold various brands of candies, but following sugar and coconut shortages in World War II, they dropped most brands and concentrated their efforts on the Mounds bar. The Almond Joy Bar was introduced in 1946 as a replacement for the Dream Bar (created in 1936) that contained diced almonds with the coconut. In 1978, Peter Paul merged with the Cadbury company. Hershey’s then purchased the United States portion of the combined company in 1988.
During the 1970s, the Peter Paul company used the jingle, "Sometimes you feel like a nut / Sometimes you don't / Almond Joy's got nuts / Mounds don't," to advertise Almond Joy and Mounds together. In a play on words, the "feel like a nut" portion of the jingle was typically played over a clip of someone acting like a "nut", engaged in some funny-looking activity. Scroll down to watch the Retro Commercial below.
Did you ever try any of these? In the 2000s, Hershey began producing variations of the product, including a limited edition Piña Colada and Double Chocolate Almond Joy in 2004, a limited edition White Chocolate Key Lime and Milk Chocolate Passion Fruit Almond Joy in 2005, and a limited edition Toasted Coconut Almond Joy in 2006. Although Peter Paul as a company no longer exists, the name still appears on the wrapper as part of the bars' brand names.
Want to make your own Almond Joy Bars? Simple and delicious. I know that Almond Joy uses milk chocolate, but I'm partial to dark which is why I probably always liked the Mounds Bar better. You can use either type of chocolate in the recipe below. As always use the very best chocolate for the very best candy!
Homemade Almond Joy Recipe
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of Salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
14 ounces sweetened flaked or shredded coconut
24 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (milk chocolate if you're a traditionalist)
3/4 cup whole almonds (that you'll toast-see recipe)
Preheat oven to 350F
Spread raw almonds on baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
In big mixing bowl, blend milk, butter, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar a little at a time. Add coconut a little at a time and mix until combined. The mixture will be thick. Place mixture in refrigerator for 30 minutes. (You can use your Kitchen Aid flat beater, but I prefer the texture that comes from hand mixing.)
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove coconut mixture from refrigerator. With hands, shape one tablespoon of coconut into small log - 2 inches long and 3/4-inch thick. Press coconut mixture tightly together. Place logs on lined baking sheet and continue until all coconut mixture is finished.
Press an almond on top of each coconut log.
Place baking sheet in freezer to chill while you melt chocolate.
In medium microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate in microwave 2-4 minutes at 30 SECOND intervals until chocolate is melted (or melt in top of double boiler or pan over saucepan of simmering water).
Remove coconut logs from freezer.
Dip in Chocolate: See next step
How to Dip in Chocolate: Two Ways
Place one coconut almond log on fork. Use spoon to scoop a bit of chocolate over almond. This helps almond stick to coconut log during dipping. Lower fork into chocolate and spoon chocolate over candy to coat. Lift fork and gently shake to release some of the chocolate. Scrape bottom of fork along the side of bowl and place on lined baking sheet. You might need a toothpick to help get the candy off the fork. Repeat until all candy is coated in chocolate. If chocolate gets thick, return to microwave or heat for a tiny bit more.
Let dipped candy harden for 45 minutes. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
Using Two Fork method (or a special dipping tool--I find this handy), dunk coconut logs in chocolate, bring up and tap on lip of bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and repeat.
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Monday, February 14, 2022
Catch a Valentine Cake!
Chocolate Cherry Layer Cake
I love this recipe for Chocolate Cherry Layer Cake from Serious Eats. Tart Cherry Juice is a great ingredient in chocolate cake. The tart cherries bring out the earthy chocolate. I drink tart cherry juice, so it's a staple in my fridge. You won't really taste the cherry in the cake, but it's there, and it does subtly change the chocolate flavor. This recipe also calls for natural cocoa powder. Serious Eats suggests Valrhona Cocoa or Cacao Barry Extra Brute, but you can use Guittard or Ghirardelli...or whatever you have. Of course, the better your ingredients, the better the cake.
For the Serious Eats recipe, tips, and step by step directions, go HERE.
Sunday, February 13, 2022
So here's yet another recipe for Truffles--this time for Valentine Heart-shaped Chocolate Truffles. Of course, you can use any basic truffle recipe and just press into the mold. I usually melt my chocolate and butter in a double boiler, but the microwave works, too.
And, if you don't have time to make your own heart shaped truffles, buy Coeurs de truffes from Guyaux! Guyaux was founded in 1931. They produce traditional French-style truffles-in heart shape this time of year--covered with cocoa powder. Guyaux is a family run company, headed by second and third generation chocolate makers in Paris. It's now run by the grand-daughter of the founder. And, if you want to give a really special gift, buy Guyaux truffles in the traditional French Truffle Box! The basket is a replica of the one used historically to store Perigord truffles… which explains the open-weave lid. Ooo-la-la! So rich and decadent!
Valentine Chocolate Truffle Recipe
Makes 24 chocolate truffles
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, chopped coarsely
9 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tsp corn syrup
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted for dusting the finished chocolate truffles
You are only limited by your imagination or heart on decorating ideas!
Melt chocolate and butter in double boiler or in saucepan on top of saucepan over simmering water.
Remove from heat and add cream and corn syrup. Mix until combined and smooth. If you are adding flavorings add them with the cream (kirsch, bourbon, kahlua, etc???).
Pour chocolate truffle filling into heart shaped chocolate mold. Level top with scraper. Put in refrigerator to set.
Once firm, place in freezer for 5 minutes then push out of mold. Dust with sifted cocoa powder.
Store in cool dry place until ready to eat or give as a Valentine's Day gift.
Vintage Valentine Chocolate Molds
Saturday, February 12, 2022
There's nothing quite like a good Chocolate Cookie for Valentine's Day. I make a lot of Heart shaped Chocolate Cookies for Valentine's Day because I have a lot of Heart Cookie Cutters - many different sizes and different shaped hearts. But what says Valentine's Day more than the ultimate couple -- Mickey & Minnie Mouse! Love these Mickey and Minnie cookie cutters!
Here's a great easy Chocolate Cookie Recipe. Use whatever cookie cutters you have, but I'm using Mickey & Minnie for my Valentine's Day cookies.
This great Chocolate Cut Out Cookie Recipe is slightly adapted from Bake @ 350. These cookies hold their shape and are delicious! You can decorate them in many different ways or leave them plain.
2 &1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dark cocoa powder (Dutch Process)
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Cream together butter and sugar until light & fluffy (1-2 full minutes). Beat in egg and vanilla until well combined.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso, and salt and slowly add to butter mixture with mixer on low. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
Roll dough about 1/4 inch thick on surface lightly dusted with cocoa powder. Hint: roll soft dough in between sheets of parchment and put in refrigerator for 15 minutes until firm.
Cut out shapes and put on baking sheets.
Freeze for 5 minutes.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set.
Let cookies cool for 2-3 minutes and using spatula put on cooling rack.
I don't frost or decorate my chocolate cookies, but these cutters would guide the way. I know you'll love the great chocolate taste in these cookies! Be sure not to skip the refrigerating and freezing directions.
What cookie cutters are you planning to use for Valentine's Day?
Friday, February 11, 2022
For today's holiday, here's a easy recipe for Peppermint Patty Brownies, because you can never have too many Brownie recipes. Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.
PEPPERMINT PATTY BROWNIES
1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups white sugar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
24 small peppermint patties
Mix butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs till well blended. Stir in flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Blend well. Reserve 2 cups of batter, set aside
Grease 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Spread remaining batter in prepared pan. Arrange peppermint patties in a single layer over batter about 1/2 inch apart. Spread reserved 2 cups batter over patties.
Bake 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes till brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. E
Thursday, February 10, 2022
Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 ounces 65-70% good quality chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks or dark chocolate chips
Cream Cheese Layer
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line 9 x 9 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil across the bottom and up two opposite sides of the pan.
In stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt butter and chocolate.
Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Use a spoon. Stir in flour and salt and beat, until batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan (about a minute).
Remove 1/2 cup of the brownie batter and set aside.
Fold chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) into remainder of brownie batter and then pour batter evenly onto bottom of prepared pan.
Using mixer or food processor, whip cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla, and egg and process just until smooth.
Spread cream cheese mix over brownie layer. Spoon small clumps of reserved brownie batter on top of cream cheese filling. Then with knife or wooden skewer, swirl two batters without mixing them.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until brownies start to pull away from sides of pan and edges just begin to brown.
Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool.
Refrigerate brownies until firm enough to cut into squares (at least two hours).
Once chilled, remove brownies from pan by lifting with ends of foil and transfer to cutting board.
Cut into squares.
Want to try some variations on Cream Cheese Brownies?
Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies with Heath Bars from Recipe Girl
Nibby Cream Cheese Brownie Cupcakes from The Spice Life
Bailey's Cream Cheese Brownies from Tasting Spoons
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Another day, another holiday. Today is National Molasses Bar Day! Molasses is one of those products that not everyone uses any more, but I think you will when you taste these Molasses Chocolate Chip Bars. There are many different wonderful brands of molasses. Be sure to use unsulphured. Try a few different ones for flavor.
MOLASSES CHOCOLATE CHIP BARS
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup unsulphered light or medium molasses
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 9 x 9-inch pan lightly with no-stick cooking spray.
Heat shortening and molasses to boiling in large saucepan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in brown sugar. Add egg. Beat until fluffy. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in small bowl. Stir into molasses mixture. Blend in nuts and 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Spread in prepared baking pan. Top with a handful of chocolate chips (about 1/4 cup)
Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars.
Monday, February 7, 2022
Molten Chocolate Mug Cake: Valentine's Day for One
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp whole milk
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ounce chopped chocolate (whatever you have--truffles, chocolate bars, etc..and dark or milk chocolate--your preference)
1 Tbsp water
In 2-cup capacity microwave-safe mug or bowl, whisk together with fork, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Add in melted butter, milk, egg, and vanilla. Whisk well to combine, making sure to mix in flour mixture in bottom. Put chopped chocolate in center of mug. Do not push down; it sinks as it bakes. Drizzle tablespoon of water on top of batter.
Cook in microwave on full power for 1 minute and 15 seconds until cake rises to top, edges look set but surface of center is a little wet and shiny and sticks to finger when touched. It will set up as it sits. Do NOT overbake. If the center still looks raw then give it another 5 to 10 seconds. Cake will fall after it comes out of microwave. Let cool for 5 minutes to help thicken sauce in bottom.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar or add ice cream or whipped cream!
TIP: Short mug with wide mouth works best. If not available, a small bowl could be used instead. I use a small vintage Pyrex Bowl. To know if your mug/or bowl is the right size, pour 2 cups of water into it and this should fill it to the top.
Sunday, February 6, 2022
Want to make these special? Use a 3" heart-shaped cookie cutter to make Brownie Hearts. The photo is from Betty Crocker, and their recipe uses the Betty Crocker Brownie Mix. That's a big shortcut. It's up to you. You can always use the mix and add some dried cherries soaked in port. Another festive touch is to sprinkle with powdered cocoa or red crystallized sugar or drizzle with red icing after the brownies have cooled.
CHERRY PORT HEART-SHAPED BROWNIES
2 Tbsp port
1/2 cup dried cherries
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, cold
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
Position oven rack in center of oven; preheat to 325 degrees F.
Line 8x8x2-inch pan with foil. Butter foil; set aside.
In small saucepan, bring port and water to boiling. Add dried cherries; cook and stir over low heat until fruit is soft and plump and liquid evaporates. Using spatula, scrape cherries into bowl; set aside to cool.
Set heatproof bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water (be sure water doesn't touch bottom of bowl). Place butter in bowl; scatter 6 ounces chocolate over butter. Heat until chocolate is almost melted (you do not want to heat the mixture so much that the butter and chocolate separate). Remove bowl from heat. Stir until butter and chocolate are smooth. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, stirring until batter is smooth and glossy. Whisk in salt. Gently whisk in flour, stirring only until it disappears into the batter.
Using spatula, stir in port-soaked cherries (and any liquid that accumulated) and remaining 4 1/2 oz. chopped chocolate.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top as much as possible.
Bake 35 minutes.
Transfer pan to wire rack; cool to room temperature.
Invert brownies onto cutting board; gently peel away foil
Turn brownies over. Cut into squares or use 3" heart shaped cookie cutter.
Saturday, February 5, 2022
|Photo: Taza Chocolate|
NO-BAKE CHOCOLATE CHERRY TART
Makes 1 – 11 inch tart
30 Oreos or other sandwich cookies
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 pints heavy cream
4 Taza 60% Dominican Stone Ground Chocolate bars, chopped (plus additional to melt for drizzling if desired)
1 pound cherries, pitted
Process cookies in food processor until fine crumb.
Place in bowl and drizzle melted butter over them, and stir to combine.
Press into 11 inch tart pan and put in refrigerator to cool.
Combine heavy cream and chocolate in small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until fully incorporated. Allow to cool slightly then pour into crust.
Place pitted cherries on top of tart and let sit for 2 hours, or overnight.
Drizzle with additional melted chocolate if desired (I don't think it needs this).
How easy is that?
Happy Valentine's Day!!!
Friday, February 4, 2022
- For Cake:
- 2½ cups sifted cake flour
- 1½ cups of sugar
- 3½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shortening
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup maraschino cherry juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 4 egg whites, unbeaten
- 18 maraschino cherries, well drained and finely chopped
- ½ cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped
- For Frosting: (I doubled this)
- 2 Tablespoons shortening
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
- 9 Tablespoons scalded cream
- Red or pink food coloring
- For Cake:
- Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into mixing bowl. Drop in shortening. Combine milk and maraschino cherry juice and add ¾ cup of this liquid. Add flavoring extracts and mix with mixer on low for 2 minutes (100 strokes by hand).
- Add remaining liquid and egg whites and beat for another 2 minutes. Fold in cherries and nuts. Bake in two 9-inch pans or two heart-shaped pans at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. (If you pour all the batter in one pan, bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes)
- When cool, cut layers with heart shaped pattern, if you didn't use a heart-shaped pan. Spread with frosting, and outline a short Valentine's message with a toothpick and fill in letters and outline of cake with sugar pearls.
- For Frosting:
- Combine shortening, butter, flavorings and salt and blend well. Beat in ½ cup sugar. Add hot cream alternating with remaining sugar, beating well after each addition. Add only enough cream to make a nice spreading consistency. Add a few drops of red or pink food coloring to tint frosting a delicate pink before spreading on cake.