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Monday, August 8, 2022

KAHLUA ZUCCHINI CHOCOLATE CHIP BREAD: National Zucchini Day

Zucchini is one of those vegetables that seems to proliferate when you're not looking. If you don't check under the leaves every day, you'll find yourself with a gigantic marrow! And that not withstanding, even the small ones seem to multiply overnight. So for today's food holiday: National Zucchini Day, here's a wonderful way to use up some of that zucchini bounty. I love this recipe for Kahlua Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread.

This is, of course, a treat for adults. And, if you're so inclined, you can make your own Kahlua. It will have to sit for a month, so if you want to make this Kahlua Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread today, buy your  Kahlua. Scroll down for the Homemade Kahlua recipe, if you're included to make it yourself.

Kahlua Zucchini Chocolate Chip Bread
This recipe makes one loaf, but it can easily be doubled. You can also substitute oil for the butter. I love quick breads. They're fast and easy, and you only use one bowl!

Ingredients
2 cups flour (all-purpose, but you can use 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup all purpose)
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup Kahlua
1 cup shredded zucchini
3 ounces chocolate chips (or more)

Directions
In medium bowl, sift flour with soda and salt. Set aside.
In large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then Kahlua. (Don't worry if it seems curdled). Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed until blended. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips to distribute evenly.
Pour into greased and floured 8-1/2 × 4 inch loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F, about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until wood pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan 10 minutes.
Turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.

***
Homemade Kahlua

Ingredients
4 cups water
4 cups sugar
2 ounces instant coffee
1 vanilla bean
Fifth of vodka or bourbon

Directions
Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Add the 4 cups sugar and cook until dissolved. Add the instant coffee. Simmer slowly - do not boil!
Add vanilla bean and 1/5 vodka or bourbon.
Bottle and cap. Leave for a month or more!

Saturday, August 6, 2022

CHOCOLATE MERLOT MUSTARD BROWNIES: National Mustard Day!

Today is National Mustard Day. Did you know there's a National Mustard Museum, the home of the world's largest collection of Mustards and Mustard Memorabilia?

According to the National Mustard Museum website, in 1992, Barry Levenson left his job as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Wisconsin to open this museum. There are more than 5300 mustards from all 50 states and more than 60 countries. For the collector in me, there's the Gibbons Collection of mustard pots, antique tins & jars and vintage advertisements. Located on Hubbard Avenue in the heart of downtown Middleton, Wisconsin, the National Mustard Museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm, seven days a week — except New Years, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. There's also an online store. Middleton neighbors Madison to the west, is only a 45-minute drive from the Wisconsin Dells, just 2-1/2 hours from Chicago, and a mere 6,978 kilometers from Dijon, France.

But this is a Chocolate Blog, so why Mustard? Because Chocolate and Mustard go great together! I've posted a Spicy Chocolate Mustard Cookie recipe from Colman's Mustard. Add Merlot, and you're really speaking my language. What a wonderful blend of flavors.

The Napa Mustard Company has a wonderful Noyo Reserve Merlot 'n Chocolate Mustard. It's great on pretzels and with sandwiches or just spread it on a piece of crunchy sourdough. It's sweet, salty, and tangy!

Hop Kiln, one of my favorite wineries in Sonoma County, makes their own Merlot & Chocolate Mustard. It has a lovely smooth taste. Use as above.

And adapted from a recipe from the National Mustard Museum,  here's a recipe for Chocolate Mustard Brownies created by Marliss Levin for National Mustard Day several years ago at The Mustard Museum. Mustard actually intensifies the taste of chocolate!

And, you might want to have some Mustard Ice Cream with that! French's Mustard makes one, and if you're not able to find it, here's a link to an easy recipe to make your own!


CHOCOLATE MERLOT MUSTARD BROWNIES

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Chocolate Merlot Mustard
1 tsp fresh ground espresso
1/2 lb unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate or very dark chocolate (75% or higher), chopped
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 eggs
2 Tbsp pure vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips or 1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
Sifted powdered sugar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ground espresso in mustard and set aside.
Melt butter and chocolate together in top of double boiler or a pot on top of another with simmering water. Cool slightly.
Add brown sugar to chocolate mixture. Blend well.
Add flour and mix well.
Add eggs and mix until blended.
Stir in vanilla; add mustard/coffee mixture. Mix until well blended.
Fold in chocolate chips or chunks.
Spread in greased 13" x 9" pan.
Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool and cut into squares.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

PUFFY CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

Today is Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. Now, if you read this blog regularly, you'll know that there's more than one 'official' Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. But really isn't every day Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

I've posted many recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies, but I think this one is unique: Puffy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. As I've said many times, you can never have enough Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes. This is an easy puffy chewy chocolate chip recipe. You'll find it quite different from the usual Toll House Cookie recipe on the back of the chocolate chips bag, but I know you're going to love it.  


PUFFY CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 

Ingredients
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cornstarch
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In large bowl using mixer (hand or stand with paddle attachment), combine butter, sugar, and brown sugar, and cream until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in egg and vanilla.
In separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and beat on low until combines. On very low speed, beat in chocolate chips, or fold in evenly.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. (You must chill this dough!)
Remove from fridge and let sit at room temp for 10 minutes.

Roll balls of dough into about 1.6 Tbsp each. Put onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 per sheet.  (these are big puffy cookies..I sprinkle with sea salt)

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until barely golden brown on edges and puffy, checking cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate baking sheet for even browning, if necessary. Cookies will look very soft.

Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Peaches and Cream: National Peach Month & Georgia Day!

It's Peach Month and Georgia Day. Even if you can't get "Georgia" peaches, you should pick up fresh peaches at your farmer's market to celebrate this Month and Day! Once you have those peaches, here's a wonderful recipe for Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Peaches and Cream. And, it's Gluten-Free!! You'll love it.

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Peaches and Cream

Ingredients
7 ounces whole hazelnuts with skins
5 eggs
2/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (75-80%)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-5 ripe peaches
1/2 cup apricot preserves

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line bottom of 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper and grease sides.
Chop hazelnuts coarsely in food processor using pulse. Set aside. Separate eggs. Beat yolks with 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy.
In separate bowl beat egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks.
Melt the chocolate over very low heat on stove. Add to egg yolk mixture in slow steady stream and mix well.
Fold in chopped nuts, then fold in egg whites.
Pour batter into prepared pan and even out with a spatula.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Loosen sides and unmold upside down onto cake rack and let cool slightly. Carefully remove parchment.
Let cool completely.
Whip cream until it stands in stiff peaks adding 2 teapoons sugar and vanilla extract.
Place cake with the flat side up on cake plate. Evenly spread whipped cream over cake.
If peaches are very ripe, remove peel with small pointy knife. Otherwise, make "X" on bottom of each peach and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove skin.
Cut peaches into thick even slices.
Strain apricot preserves and warm them over very low heat in small saucepan.
Dip each peach slice in the preserves, then arrange slices on cake.
Refrigerate until serving.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

BROWNIE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

I've subscribed to Sunset Magazine forever. I love this 'Western' magazine for its home and travel tips and, of course, for the recipes! Over the years the recipes have changed from using heavy ingredients to producing lighter, healthier fare. Chocolate has been a constant, and the writers and editors at Sunset are always discovering new and delicious combinations.

So, since today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, I thought I'd post this fabulous twist on the ice cream sandwich from Sunset -- Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches. You can even freeze these for up to a week. If you plan to make brownies anyway, this is a great way to elevate them!

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Brownies

Ingredients
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp salt

1 pint ice cream, softened (any flavor you like--I love Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey or Cherry Garcia, but vanilla is great, too)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°.
In medium pot, bring 1 inch water to simmer. Put chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl and set bowl over pot, being careful not to let bottom of bowl touch water. Heat until chocolate is almost completely melted, then add sugar and eggs and mix thoroughly. Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt, then add to chocolate mixture, stirring well. Pour batter into a greased 10- by 15-in. baking pan. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

Invert brownie sheet onto work surface and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares; arrange on pan.
Freeze brownies 30 minutes.
During last 10 minutes, remove ice cream from freezer to soften.

Working in batches, scoop 1 heaping Tbsp ice cream onto half of brownie squares. Set remaining squares, shiny side up, on top of ice cream and press gently.

Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Straighten tops of brownies and trim oozing ice cream with paring knife if you like. Freeze, covered, up to 1 week.


Monday, August 1, 2022

DARK CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CREAM PIE: Raspberry Cream Pie Day

If you've been following my blog, you know I have a soft spot for Driscoll's Berries. They're always sweet, they're always good. And that's what led me to today's recipe. This recipe for Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Pie is on the Driscoll's website. There are lots of other berry recipes you'll want to check out, but for today's food holiday, Raspberry Cream Pie Day, you'll want to make this recipe for Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cream Pie!

DARK CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CREAM PIE

Crust 
1 1/4 Cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs 
3 Tbsp sugar 
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted 

Filling 
4 Ounces dark or semisweet chocolate 
2 Cups whole milk, divided 
4 Tbsp cornstarch 
1/2 Cup sugar 
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
2 Tsp vanilla extract 
Pinch salt 

Topping 
1 Package (6 ounces or 1 1/3 cups) Driscoll's Raspberries 
3 Tablespoons sugar 
1 Cup heavy cream 
2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar 
1 Tsp vanilla extract 

Crust 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl and stir in butter until evenly blended. Press crumb mixture firmly on bottom and up sides of 9-1/2-inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes. Cool. 

Filling 

Melt chocolate. Whisk together 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch. Set aside.

Bring remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar, cocoa and salt just to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Stir cornstarch mixture then add to milk mixture in saucepot and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once mixture is at a boil and quite thick, cook 1 additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in melted chocolate and vanilla. Spoon into cooled crust. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Raspberry Puree 

Puree 1/2 package of raspberries in food processor fitted with metal blade. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard seeds. Stir sugar into puree until disolved. 

Topping 

Beat heavy cream and sugar until stiff peaks just form. Stir in vanilla. Spread whipped cream topping on chilled pie. With a small spoon drop small amounts of raspberry puree onto whipped cream. Use a toothpick or sharp knife to swirl puree into cream. Top with remaining raspberries.