Tuesday, January 31, 2023
SALTED CARAMEL HOT CHOCOLATE: National Hot Chocolate Day
For this recipe, you can use what ever hot chocolate recipe you like. Make the hot chocolate/cocoa in a pot on the stove. When finished, add about 2 Tbsp Caramel Sauce (I use Recchiuti) and 2 Tbsp English Toffee or Hazelnut Syrup (or Toffee Nut from Starbucks-sometimes they'll sell it to you) right into the pot and stir. Pour into your mug and top with real whipped cream (or Redi-Whip), Caramel Drizzle, and sprinkle of Sea Salt. This recipe makes enough for 4 regular size mugs or 2 "Grandes.'
You can also make a variation on this recipe to make a Salted Caramel Mocha.
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Dark Cocoa (I like Ghiradelli)
1/3 cup water
1 tsp pure Vanilla
2 tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Hazelnut Syrup (or Toffee Nut from Starbucks)
2 Tbsp Caramel Sauce, Caramel Drizzle
Whipped Cream (or Reddi Whip)
Mix Sugar, Cocoa, and 1 tsp Salt. Add water and boil for 1 minute. Add milk and heat until warm. Mix in Vanilla, Hazelnut Syrup, and Caramel Sauce. Pour into coffee cup, top with whipped cream, swirl caramel drizzle, and sprinkle with sea salt.
Monday, January 30, 2023
National Croissant Day: Julia Child's Croissant Episode
Sunday, January 29, 2023
CHOCOLATE COVERED FOOTBALL STRAWBERRIES: Division Championship
These Chocolate Covered Football Strawberries are easy to make. Not a lot of fuss, and it's fun. Great project to do with kids! The strawberries on the right are dipped in milk chocolate (more football colored), but I prefer dark chocolate. It's up to you. Just remember to use the very best chocolate, and the freshest strawberries.
CHOCOLATE COVERED FOOTBALL STRAWBERRIES
1 quart fresh large fresh strawberries, with tops
1 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate (or Milk, if you're a purist), chopped
3 Tbsp heavy cream
White chocolate, melted
Rinse strawberries and dry thoroughly, keeping tops on. In top of double boiler or stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water, combine chocolate and heavy cream. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
Dip strawberries 1/2-3/4 way up in chocolate mixture and place on waxpaper or parchment lined cookie sheet to allow chocolate to harden.
When hardened, decorate with melted white chocolate (see below).
Wash strawberries and pat dry with paper towels; set aside. Make sure strawberries are completely dry. A drop of water in melted chocolate can cause it to "seize" and turn the entire mixture into a mess. How to smooth out the chocolate: add a tiny bit of honey and stir.
How to dip:
Grasp stem of strawberry and dip into chocolate, swirling to partially cover with chocolate. Give strawberry a small shake as you pull it out of the chocolate. When strawberry is completely out of chocolate, swirl it in quick, clockwise motion to let excess chocolate drip off. Place on cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or parchment. Repeat with rest of strawberries.
For White Chocolate Football Decoration:
Melt white chocolate in Microwave on high for 20 seconds or so. Stir and repeat if necessary. Put white chocolate in piping bag (or ziplock bag-and cut off a tiny corner). Pipe stripe on top and bottom of strawberries. Pipe line down middle and then do about 5 short cross lines.
Tip: Go back over the cross lines to avoid drips
Saturday, January 28, 2023
BLUEBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES IN A JAR: Blueberry Pancake Day
This first recipe is from Cooking Light for Perfect Buttermilk pancakes. I've added blueberries and chocolate chips to enrich the recipe! I usually have fresh blueberries around, but if you don't, you can always use frozen blueberries. Trader Joe's has wild blueberries that are great in this recipe. Tip: Don't thaw frozen blueberries before adding to your pancake batter. The second recipe is for Blueberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes in a Jar.
1. BUTTERMILK BLUEBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES
1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup Blueberries (less if frozen.. I like the frozen Wild Blueberries from Trader Joe's. Don't thaw, if frozen)
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate chips
Spoon flour into dry measuring cup; level with knife.
Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through salt) in large bowl, and make well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Fold in Blueberries and Chocolate Chips.
Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray.
Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges seem cooked.
So that's what you'll make fresh today, but I'm also fond of Mixes in a Jar. Following is a quick and delicious recipe for Chocolate Blueberry Pancakes in a Jar. You can have this on hand or to give as a gift. One helpful hint, when making mixes in a jar, really pack the ingredients in. Use a tamper, if you have one...except for the dried blueberries and chocolate chips that you'll put on top.
2. BLUEBERRY CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES IN A JAR
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried Blueberries
2/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Add blueberries, then chocolate chips.
Cover jar with burlap or other fabric and tie with raffia or a bow.
Attach gift tag with the following instructions:
Chocolate Blueberry Pancakes
Makes 25 pancakes
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1-1/2 to 2 cups whole milk (or buttermilk)
Mix eggs and melted butter in large bowl. Add contents of jar. Stir until well blended.
Add 1-1/2 cups milk. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened.
Heat griddle or skillet.
Pour batter onto hot griddle 1/4 cup at a time.
Cook pancakes until golden on both sides.
Friday, January 27, 2023
HERSHEY'S 'PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE' CHOCOLATE CAKE
This "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake lends itself to so many variations. See below!
HERSHEY'S 'PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE' CHOCOLATE CAKE
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.
"PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.
ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.
Thursday, January 26, 2023
PEANUT BRITTLE COOKIES: Retro Ad with Recipe for Peanut Brittle Day!
Happy Peanut Brittle Day! Here's a 1953 ad from French's for the $1,000 Peanut Brittle Cookies Recipe.
Fill your cookie jar today with these really different, prize-winning cookies made with French’s pure vanilla and fresh-ground cinnamon. Best of Class Winner in Pillsbury’s Bake-Off!
PEANUT BRITTLE COOKIES
1 cup sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter or other shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly-packed
3 tablespoons beaten egg
1 teaspoon French's vanilla extract
1 cup salted peanuts
Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon.
Cream butter, add sugar gradually, creaming well.
Add 2 tablespoons of egg and vanilla.
Blend in dry ingredients and 1/2 cup peanuts, finely-chopped.
Spread or pat dough on a greased baking sheet to a 14- by 10-inch rectangle.
Brush with remaining egg.
Sprinkle on 1/2 cup peanuts.
Bake in slow oven (325 F) for 20 to 25 minutes. Do not overbake.
Cut or break into pieces while warm.
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
IRISH COFFEE DAY: History of Irish Coffee and Recipe for Irish Coffee Truffles
Many years ago, on my first day in California, I was lucky to hitch a ride with a visiting dignitary. Don't ask. Things happen! The day's tour of San Francisco included the hills of San Francisco, Sonoma County, the Renaissance Fair, Sausalito, Fisherman's Wharf, the Palace of Fine Arts, Cliff House, the Golden Gate Bridge and a stop at the Buena Vista Cafe for an Irish Coffee. I saw more of the San Francisco Bay Area on that one day than I did over the next ten years.
Irish Coffee is a very San Francisco drink invented in 1952 at The Buena Vista Cafe. The recipe was a collaborative effort between Jack Koeppler, the Buena Vista’s owner, and Stanton Delaplane, a well-known international travel writer and San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Here's the original recipe. Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista is still made the same way.
The official story of Irish Coffee tells of the perseverance and repeated attempts of Koeppler & Delaplane and even a trip to Shannon Airport, where a forerunner of Koeppler’s vision was served. The whipped cream posed a problem, but the input of a prominent dairy farmer turned Mayor of San Francisco, solved the problem: Age the cream for 48 hours and froth it to a precise consistency so it would float on top of the hot coffee, to Koeppler’s specifications.
So if you're in San Francisco today, it's a big day at the Buena Vista. Stop by and raise a glass!
IRISH COFFEE TRUFFLES
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
1 pound plus 14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, (65-72%), finely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup plus1Tbsp packed dark-brown sugar
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup Irish whiskey
2 Tbsp coffee extract
1/4 tsp coarse salt
Good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling (or ground chocolate covered espresso beans!)
Coat 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; line with plastic wrap, allowing a 2-inch overhang; set aside.
Put chocolate and butter into medium heatproof bowl set over pan of simmering water; stir until chocolate and butter have melted. Remove from heat.
In separate saucepan, bring cream, corn syrup, and brown sugar to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Immediately pour over chocolate mixture; whisk until smooth.
Whisk in yolks, whiskey, coffee extract, and salt.
Pour into prepared pan.
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming.
Refrigerate until firm enough to roll into balls, about 4 hours (or more).
Using a1-inch ice cream scoop or medium melon baller, scoop chocolate into balls, immersing scoop completely, then rotating it; transfer to rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
|Coeur d'Alene Irish Coffee Truffles|
No time or ingredients to make your own? You can buy Irish Coffee Truffles. I'm very fond of the Coeur d'Alene Irish Coffee Truffle. Maybe easier to find if you have to celebrate today would be the Lindt Irish Coffee Bar. Both are great and use real Irish whisky. Or, you can check with your local chocolatier. They might make a great Irish Coffee Truffle. If you find one you like, let me know! Make a comment below and win chocolate!
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
ELVIS'S PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA, BACON, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: National Peanut Butter Day!
ELVIS'S PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA, BACON, CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES!
10 slices bacon
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
1/2 cup sweet dried banana chips, roughly chopped
Cook bacon in skillet until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Once bacon is cool, roughly chop it (you should have about 1/2 cup).
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
In large bowl, beat butter, mayonnaise, and sugars with mixer at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Add peanut butter and vanilla and beat until combined. At low speed, add flour mixture in batches, beating until just combined.
Using wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips, bacon, peanuts, and banana chips.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Position racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners. Fill muffin tins about halfway full with batter (a 2-inch, 2-ounce ice cream scoop gives you just about the perfect amount, and helps prevent spilling).
Bake until tops are slightly golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. (The cookies won't rise and form a dome like a cupcake.)
Let cool in muffin tins on wire racks for about 10 minutes, then unmold cookie cups and transfer to racks to cool completely.
Cook's Notes: The mayonnaise in this recipe makes these cookies especially soft.
Elvis has left the building, and he took these cookies with him!
Monday, January 23, 2023
15 MINUTE BANANA CREAM PIE: National Pie Day
Keebler 15-minute Chocolate-Banana Cream Pie recipeIngredients
1 Keebler Ready-Crust Chocolate Pie Crust
1 package (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
1 envelope (1-1/2 ounces) whipped topping mix
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 medium bananas
In mixing bowl, combine pie filling mix, whipped topping mix, milk, and vanilla. Use an electric blender on low-speed until blended. Increase speed and beat until very thick, about 3 minutes.
Pour one-third of mixture into crust. Layer slices of banana on top, reserving 1/2 banana for garnish. Pour remaining filling into crust. Chill 2 hours.
Garnish with sliced banana and additional whipped topping (or whipped cream!), if desired.
Sunday, January 22, 2023
LUNAR NEW YEAR CHOCOLATE: MARIEBELLE
This is the Year of the Rabbit. Celebrate with Chocolate Rabbits! That's easy if you make one of your Easter recipes..but want to be more specific...and possibly more delicious? Chocolate company Mariebelle has a box of beautiful Lunar New Year Chocolates celebrating the Year of the Rabbit. But act fast, they sell out quickly.
The Year of the Rabbit 16 piece box features 16 different designs inspired by Chinese culture. It's the perfect gift for the new year for friends, family, and for you.
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Chocolate Mudslide: 3 Recipes
And here's the toast: "May your mudslides happen only in a glass!"
Bailey's Chocolate Mudslide
- 2 oz Baileys Original Irish Cream
- 0.5 oz Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
- 1 cup Ice
- Chocolate Syrup
Friday, January 20, 2023
CHOCOLATE CHEESCAKE TRUFFLES: National Cheese Lovers Day!
CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE TRUFFLES
8 ounces cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
5 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, melted (I use 70% cacao)
1 tsp good quality vanilla
Coatings for truffles:
Toasted pecans, chopped (or other nuts)
Pulverized graham crackers (gives you a true cheesecake taste)
Using mixer, slowly add powdered sugar to cream cheese, mixing well after each addition.
Add melted chocolate and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Chill several hours.
Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in coatings.
How easy is this?
Thursday, January 19, 2023
CHOCOLATE COVERED POPCORN: National Popcorn Day!
CHOCOLATE COVERED POPCORN
1. Make a bag of popcorn (buttered or plain) and pop it according to the directions. (airpopping!)
2. Put popped popcorn into large bowl or flat baking pan (for more even distribution).
3. Melt dark or white chocolate or both (in separate bowls) in top of double boiler (or in microwave).
4. Drizzle chocolate on popcorn.
You can always add more chocolate, but you can't remove it, so use sparingly.
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
HONEY CHOCOLATE PIE: Winnie the Pooh Day!
From the Introduction to The Pooh Cook Book:
As a cook you should know that honey is almost twice as sweet as sugar, and yet when you eat it, it doesn't make you want to go on eating sweets. Honey is also healthful, and very good for active people. When used in cooking it keeps food moist and adds a flavor all its won, as you will see when you've made some of the dishes in The Pooh Cook Book. Clover honey is the best all-purpose honey but there are as many flavors, or kinds of honey as there are blossoms on flowers and bushes and trees."
Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Hot Chocolate Buttered Rum Bundt Cake: Hot Buttered Rum Day!
Hot Chocolate Buttered Rum Bundt Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup rum
1 1/2 cups plus
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Buttered Rum Glaze
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup rum
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 326 degrees F. Spray a 15-cup bundt pan with baking spray, then dust with 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder; set aside
Whisk flour, baking soda and powder, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside.
In large saucepan set over medium heat, combine butter, buttermilk, coffee, rum, cocoa powder, and spices and stir. Heat until butter melts and all ingredients come together, then whisk in sugars, stirring until dissolved. Cool mixture for 5 minutes, then transfer to large mixing bowl.
In small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla extract, and add to cooled chocolate rum mixture, stirring until combined.
Add flour mixture and stir until just combined – batter will be rather thin but slightly lumpy/bubbly.
Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted to the bottom comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes while you make glaze.
Buttered Rum Glaze
In small saucepan, dissolve brown sugar into cream over medium-low heat. When combined, add rum and set heat to low. Allow to simmer until liquid is reduced and thickens. Add butter and stir to melt, then remove from heat.
Using skewer, poke multiple holes across bottom of cake. Spoon or brush buttered rum glaze on cake, and allow to soak 5-10 minutes, then repeat with more glaze two more times. Let cake soak & cool 20-30 minutes.
When cake cools, turn onto cake plate. Brush top and sides of cake with remaining glaze until all used up.
Top with whipped cream or ice cream.
Monday, January 16, 2023
CHOCOLATE COVERED DRIED FIGS: National Fig Newtons Day!
Following are two recipes for Chocolate Covered Dried Figs (not Fig Newtons!). The first is alcoholic, because who doesn't love a drunken fig? The second recipe calls for stuffing the dried figs with walnuts, but contains no alcohol. Actually you can mix and match these recipes to come up with whatever you think is perfect for you! As always, use the very best chocolate and figs! Different chocolate, different figs, different tastes!
And if you want a recipe for Chocolate Covered Fig Newtons, check out Cakespy's post for Chocolate Covered Fig Newtons on a Stick.
Want to make your own Fig Newtons? Try this recipe for Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Figgy Newtons.
And, just as an FYI. The original Fig Newtons are now called just Newtons.
Chocolate Covered Dried Figs
20 dried figs
10 ounces 70-80% dark chocolate, chopped fine
1/4 cup unsalted butter
pinch of sea salt
Put figs in bowl and cover with rum. Let soak, covered, overnight in refrigerator.
Next day, drain well and pat dry.
Put chopped chocolate into top of double boiler, stirring. Add butter, stirring until smooth.
Put figs on rack over cookie sheet to catch drips.
When finished dipping, chill figs in refrigerator.
Non-Alcoholic Chocolate Covered Figs Stuffed with Walnuts
9 figs, dried
9 walnut halves
5 Tbsp dark chocolate (60-75%), chopped
Make small incisions in bottoms of 9 dried figs and stuff each with a walnut half.
Melt chocolate in double boiler until smooth.
Holding the stem, dip stuffed figs into chocolate.
Let them drip from rack over cookie sheet, or place on plate or wax paper.
Put chocolate covered figs on plate or waxed paper in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or more until chocolate hardens.
Sunday, January 15, 2023
FUDGE TRUFFLE CHEESECAKE: Retro Advertisement with Recipe
I love Retro Advertiements with Recipes. Here's one from Hershey's with an especially delicious recipe for Fudge Truffle Cheesecake. Let me know what you think when you make this. It's easy and delicious. Of course, you can always add higher end ingredients to bring it up to 2023! Just an FYI: even the best bakers use Philadelphia Cream Cheese in their cheesecakes.
Saturday, January 14, 2023
RAINY DAY SALTED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
You can never have too many chocolate chip cookie recipes! I have all the ingredients in my pantry and fridge, and I bet you do, too. I won't have to go out in this rain. Have fun!Your house will smell great, too!
Rainy Day Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
2-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1-1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 cups dark chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
Coarse sea salt
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. When butter begins to foam, start whisking to prevent burning. After couple of minutes, butter will begin to brown on bottom of saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as butter browns and gives off nutty smell.
Immediately transfer butter to bowl to prevent burning. Set butter in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or until room temperature.
Meanwhile mix together dry ingredients (except 2 sugars).
Once butter has cooled to room temp, with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in egg, yolk, vanilla, and almond extracts, and yogurt until combined. Add dry ingredients slowly and beat on low-speed until just combined. Gently fold in all of the chocolate chips.
Chill dough for 2 hours in refrigerator, or place in freezer for 30 minutes if you are in a hurry (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Once dough is chilled measure about 1 heaping tablespoon dough and roll into ball.
Dip top of the ball into coarse sea salt.
Place dough on prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies about 11 minutes or until edges of the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Hint: Cookies will look a little underdone in middle, but will continue to cook once out of oven.
Cool cookies on sheets at least 2 minutes. Then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.
Friday, January 13, 2023
GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: 2 Recipes for Gluten-Free Day!
Today is National Gluten Free Day! So many of the readers of this blog are gluten-free, so I thought I'd post two of my favorite Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies recipes. Do you have a favorite? Post a link below.
The first recipe for Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies is from King Arthur Flour. This is my favorite. I definitely want vanilla in my chocolate chip cookies! If you're not following King Arthur Flour on Twitter or Facebook, it's time. I get their emails, too. Their photos are enticing, but even more, their products and recipes are fantastic! Just a heads up, I usually bake with unsalted butter, especially when I'm adding salt to the recipe, so I've designated that in both the following recipes. The original recipes didn't.
1. Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2 1/3 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts, optional
Beat butter, sugars, vanilla and salt till fluffy.
Beat in eggs one at a time, being sure to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl midway through to make sure everything is well combined.
Whisk together flour or flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, and baking soda.
Beat dry ingredients into butter mixture, then blend in chocolate chips and nuts. Again, scrape bottom and sides of bowl to be sure everything is well blended.
Cover bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour, or for up to 2 days.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a couple of baking sheets, or line with parchment.
Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets; a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. Leave space betweencookies so they can spread.
Bake cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let rest on baking sheets for 5 minutes, to set, before transferring to racks to cool completely. Or allow to cool right on baking sheets.
This second Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe is from Rachael Ray. It's quick and easy. As I've said before, you can never have enough recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies, especially Gluten-Free. Try both recipes and see which you like better.
2. Rachael Ray's Easy Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 1/4 cups of gluten-free baking flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup of crushed pecans
Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Grease baking sheet.
In medium sized bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and stir until blended. Slowly add gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Drop teaspoon sized cookies onto prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for about 8 minutes or until slightly brown and not wet.
Let cookies cool for 5 minutes before taking them off sheet.
Thursday, January 12, 2023
VANISHING OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: National Oatmeal Month!
VANISHING OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1/2 Cup plus 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 Cup Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
(optional) 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Heat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; mix well.
Add oats and Chocolate Chips and chopped walnuts (optional); mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.
Alternative: Bar Cookies
Press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Cut into bars.
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
CHOCOLATE HOT TODDY: Hot Toddy Day
Hot Toddy might be an old fashioned name, but the Hot Toddy has served for centuries as a therapeutic drink. If you add chocolate, you get all those chocolate benefits, too. Alcohol and chocolate: a great combination.
What exactly is a Hot Toddy?
A toddy is a drink made typically with a spirit base, water, some type of sugar, and spices. A hot toddy is usually a mixture of whiskey, cinnamon, hot water, honey, and lemon. A Hot Toddy may have tea as the spice (or in addition to the spice).
Where did it come from?
The word “toddy” itself stretches back to the British colonial era and is taken from the Hindi word tārī, which was a drink made from the fermented sap of toddy palm, hence the name. The British Toddy was served cool and, for awhile this was the tradition. The toddy eventually made its way across the ocean to the American South where plantation owners would drink their own version of a toddy with rum, spices, and locally-available sugar. This mixture was cooked, then cooled and consumed. While derived from the British colonial toddy, this drink was called a bombo or bimbo. That’s great and all, but you said you’d be talking about hot toddies.
The hot toddy that we know now found its roots in Scottish tradition. No surprise there. This Hot Toddy was made with whisky, hot water, honey, and spices such as nutmeg or clove, and was touted as a cold cure. The Scots claim that the name toddy came from the origin of the water used for the drink: Tod’s Well in Edinburgh. Legend states that during the Revolutionary War, colonists would use toddies as liquid courage, drinking round after round to get up the nerve to fight. The biggest difference in the American toddy from the Scottish was the use of rum or brandy in comparison to whiskey. The colonists were working with what they had — which was more often the brandy they were making at home or the rum that was being imported from the Caribbean. The presentation of the toddy was also different. The drink was typically made in a punch bowl in large amounts to accommodate the crowds that would gather at local taverns and then served in a specific type of stemmed glassware, which was itself at some point named a toddy. So there you have it, the hot toddy, which wasn’t all that hot at first.
But this is a Chocolate Blog, so here's a recipe from Sunset for Brandied Hot Chocolate, a great Hot Toddy to drink today!
Chocolate Hot Toddy!
1- 1/2 cups grated dark chocolate (65-75% organic, your favorite)
1/2 cup dry milk powder (not something I have on hand except for this)
4 cups whole milk
4 Tbsp Armagnac
Whipped cream or marshmallows, for garnish
In medium bowl, mix grated chocolate and dry milk powder.
In medium saucepan, heat whole milk over medium heat. Once heated, stir in chocolate mixture and whisk until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and hot.
Pour 1 Tbsp Armagnac into each mug (four mugs total), then fill each mug with smooth, hot chocolate mixture.
Serve hot, garnished with fresh whipped cream or fresh marshmallows.
Tuesday, January 10, 2023
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES ROLLED IN SPICES: National Bittersweet Chocolate Day!
According to Wikipedia, Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor (unsweetened chocolate not liqueur) to which some sugar (typically a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla and sometimes lecithin has been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable in baking. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolates are sometimes referred to as 'couverture' (chocolate that contains at least 32 percent cocoa butter); many brands (the ones I like) print on the package the percentage of cocoa (as chocolate liquor and added cocoa butter) contained. The rule is that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sweet the chocolate will be. The U.S. classifies chocolate as either "bittersweet" or "semisweet" that contain at least 35% cacao (either cacao solids or butter from the cacao beans).
So for today's holiday, here's one of my favorite recipes for Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles from Joan Coukos that appeared in Food & Wine in 2005. It's an easy recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles Coated with a Blend of Chinese and Mexican Spices. Heaven!
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES ROLLED IN SPICES!
1 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of ground cloves
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
1 teaspoon ancho powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
In medium saucepan, bring cream and corn syrup to a boil. Put bittersweet chocolate in medium bowl and pour hot cream over it. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in small dry skillet, toast coconut over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until just lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and let cool. Stir in cardamom, cloves, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. In another small bowl, whisk 1/3 cup of sugar with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, allspice, and chipotle and ancho chile powders. In third small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of cocoa powder with five-spice powder and remaining 1/3 cup of sugar. Put remaining 1/4 cup of cocoa in another bowl.
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop up level tablespoons of ganache and drop them onto parchment. Place baking sheet in refrigerator for 10 minutes. Using hands, roll each mound of ganache into ball; you may have to cool your hands in ice water periodically while you work.
Roll one truffle at a time in one of the coatings. Return truffles to baking sheet, cover loosely, and refrigerate until chilled.
Monday, January 9, 2023
APRICOT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: National Apricot Day
APRICOT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (refer to Tips for Making the Very Best Cookies)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped into quarters or 1/4" pieces
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
4 ounces dark chocolate chips (or milk or white chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Cream butter & brown sugar in medium-size mixing bowl until blended.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Add flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring mixture into smooth dough.
Fold in apricots, nuts, and chocolate chips, making sure to distribute evenly.
Drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto un-greased cookie sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.
Cool cookies on sheet for 2 minutes before transferring with spatula to wire racks to cool.
Sunday, January 8, 2023
TOFFEE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES: English Toffee Day
This recipe combines my love of Peanut Butter Cookies with English Toffee. I have a toffee hammer (well, I have three of them) for breaking up toffee (See photo below). Clearly this is something I like to do! The small hammers used to come with the toffee tins. Very cool. As always, use the very best peanut butter and toffee.
Toffee Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10 ounces Toffee Bits
Preheat oven to 350.
Whip butter with peanut butter until light and fluffy. Beat in sugars until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In another bowl, sift together dry dry ingredients, then mix into batter. Fold in Toffee bits.
Scoop cookies onto ungreased baking sheet.
Lightly flatten each cookie with fork or back of hand.
Bake for 10 minutes for chewy cookie or 13 minutes for crunchy one.
These cookies will fast become favorites!
Saturday, January 7, 2023
OREO TEMPURA: National Tempura Day
1 package chocolate Oreos (or other sandwich cookies)
1½ cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 extra large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
vegetable oil, for frying
vanilla ice cream
chopped almonds or walnuts
Friday, January 6, 2023
CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD HEARTS: National Shortbread Day
So for today's Shortbread Holiday, here's a recipe for Chocolate Shortbread Hearts from Melissa Clark that appeared in the New York Times several years ago. You can make it today for National Shortbread Day or bookmark this recipe for Valentine's Day!
The dough is basic, and you can decorate in so many different ways! I love versatile recipes, don't you? These buttery shortbread cookies are dunked partway in melted chocolate and sprinleed with freeze-dried raspberries. I found some really good freeze-dried raspberries at Trader Joe's, and now always have them in my pantry. You can also use flaky sea salt, chopped pistachios, or coconut to top the dipped chocolate!
CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD HEARTS
Be sure not to roll the dough thinner than 1/2 inc or the cookies might break.
Use European-style butter. It's higher in butter fat and the cream was cultured before churned. I use French butter.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup salted European-style (or cultured) butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 6 ounces dark, milk or white chocolate chips, or use some of each (about 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup freeze-dried raspberries, lightly crushed
- In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt.
- In bowl of electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in yolk, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
- Once chilled, remove plastic wrap and sandwich dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it out into a 1/2-inch-thick slab. Leaving dough between the parchment, place it on a baking sheet or large plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours).
- Heat oven to 325 degrees, and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Pull dough from refrigerator, and remove parchment from dough. Using a 2-inch heart-shaped cutter, cut out as many hearts as possible. Transfer them to the prepared cookie sheets. Reroll the dough scraps and repeat.
- Bake cookies for 18 to 23 minutes, until puffed and set, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- In heatproof measuring cup, melt chocolate in the microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring in between.
- Dip half of each cooled cookie in melted chocolate, letting excess drip back into measuring cup. Place back on parchment-lined baking sheets, and sprinkle chocolate with crushed raspberries. Let cool until chocolate is set, then store in an airtight container.
Thursday, January 5, 2023
CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM: MILK, DARK, & WHITE: National Whipped Cream Day!
Today is National Whipped Cream Day. I've posted many recipes that call for whipped cream including chocolate whipped cream for National Cream Puff Day. Today I have three recipes for Chocolate Whipped Cream -- milk, dark, and white.
Chocolate Whipped Cream is terrific to add to desserts, fill cream puffs, and even add to your coffee. There are so many creative uses. Whipped Cream is easy to make, and it's delicious. You can use it as an icing or filling. You can use it with just about anything you would use regular whipped cream for, including Chocolate Strawberry Short Cake!
The first recipe for Milk Chocolate Whipped Cream is from Martha Stewart. Martha uses chocolate whipped cream for the filling of chocolate sandwich cookies. Fabulous! I love these Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Whipped Cream, and you can use any chocolate cookie recipe!
The second Chocolate Whipped Cream Recipe uses a lot more chocolate, and it's dark chocolate. Which chocolate you choose depends on what you like and what you have.
The third Chocolate Whipped Cream is from the Queen of Chocolate, Alice Medrich. It's for White Chocolate Whipped Cream. Of course, Medrich has great recipes for Dark and Milk chocolate, too, so check out her recipes online and in her many cookbooks.
The Retro Advertisement is for Reddi-Wip! Don't use a can if you have the ingredients and time to make your own. It's so much better!
|Photo: Martha Stewart|
1. CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM
(from Martha Stewart)
4 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups heavy cream
3 Tbsp sugar
Place chocolate in medium bowl; set aside.
Heat sugar and 1 cup cream in small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved.
Pour cream mixture over chocolate; stir until chocolate has melted. Let cool.
Transfer chocolate mixture to electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Add remaining cup heavy cream and beat on medium speed until thick and fluffy.
How easy is that?
2. DARK CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM (from Sherry Yard)
I really love this recipe from Sherry Yard for Chocolate Whipped Cream. It's definitely more of a rich whipped ganache, but then isn't that what it's all about? Sherry Yard was the executive pastry chef at Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills and shared this recipe on Cookin' with Good Morning America (December 25, 2003). It's also in in her book Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts.
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 cups heavy cream
1 Tbsp sugar
Using serrated knife, finely chop the chocolate into 1/4 inch pieces and place in medium heatproof bowl.
Bring cream and sugar to boil in small saucepan over medium heat. Immediately pour hot cream over chopped chocolate. Tap bowl on counter to settle chocolate into cream, then let sit for 1 minute.
Using rubber spatula, slowly stir in circular motion, starting from center of bowl and working out to sides. Stir until all chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes.
Pour ganache into medium container, cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. It should be consistency of peanut butter.
Once ganache has chilled, transfer to large bowl. Using balloon whisk, whip ganache by hand until it just reaches soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Be sure to lift whisk out of cream with each pass to bring in as much air as possible. Do not overwhip. Don't worry if cream doesn't seem firm enough. It will have consistency of mustard but will solidify more after it sets in the refrigerator. You can also use a hand mixer.
Use this cream immediately to fill pastries, tarts, and cakes. After dessert is filled, refrigerate for about 1 hour to set the Chocolate Whipped Cream.
3. White Chocolate Whipped Cream from Alice Medrich
4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp water
A pinch or two of salt (optional)
Put chocolate in medium bowl.
Bring cream and water to simmer in saucepan and pour over chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds, then stir well.
Let stand for 15 minutes to finish melting chocolate, then stir again until every last bit of chocolate is melted into cream. Let cool. Taste and add salt, if desired.
Cover and refrigerate for at least several hours, or until completely chilled.
To serve, whip the cream with electric mixer until it holds a shape.
Use immediately or refrigerate until needed.
And, as always, your final product will only be as good as your ingredients. Use the best. Here's one of my favorite whipping creams!
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
CHOCOLATE SPAGHETTI WITH WHIPPED CREAM, STRAWBERRIES, & CHOCOLATE NIBS: National Spaghetti Day
For today's National Spaghetti Day, I have two different chocolate spaghetti recipes. You can buy chocolate spaghetti online from several chocolatiers and pasta makers. My local Pasta Shop has fresh chocolate spaghetti that freezes well.
The first recipe for Chocolate Spaghetti is from Emeril Lagasse. It's slightly more complicated than the second recipe, but has a completely different taste and is worth the effort.
Chocolate Spaghetti with Whipped Cream, Sliced Strawberries and Chocolate Nibs
from Emeril Lagasse (Food Network)
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar plus 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (Madagascar)
2 teaspoons walnut oil or vegetable oil (go with the Walnut Oil)
1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1 Tablespoon Nocello or brandy
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup chocolate nibs or finely chopped semisweet chocolate
In large bowl or on work surface, sift together flour, cocoa, 3 Tbsp sugar, and salt. Make a well in center and add eggs a bit at time, working them into dry ingredients using circular motion with hands. Continue working in eggs, and add vanilla and oil, until sticky dough is formed. Knead on lightly floured surface until dough is smooth and elastic, and is no longer sticky. (Alternatively, place dry ingredients in bowl of food processor, add eggs, vanilla and oil and pulse to form ball of dough. Turn out onto work surface and work to smooth dough.) Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
Divide dough into 4 fist-sized pieces and flatten into disks. One at time, roll out each dough piece through widest setting of a pasta machine, according to manufacturer's instructions. Remove, fold into thirds and repeat. Continue rolling through machine on 4 times, dusting lightly with flour to keep from sticking. Decrease roller size down 1 notch, and roll through once, passing dough through each setting twice until desired thickness is reached and cut into spaghetti strands. Let dry briefly while assembling "sauce."
In medium bowl, beat cream with electric mixer at medium speed until it becomes thick and frothy. Beating, add sugar and Nocello, and beat until soft peaks form, being careful not to overbeat. Set aside until ready to serve.
Bring pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta until just al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain in colander. Place drained pasta in large pasta bowl and toss with whipped cream, strawberries and nibs. Serve immediately.
And a second easier recipe.
Chocolate Spaghetti with White Chocolate "Cream" Sauce
2 ounces dark chocolate (60%+ cacao), melted, cooled
1 3/4 cups flour
White Chocolate Cream Sauce
2 ounces white chocolate (Guittard or another 'real' white chocolate)
2/3 cup whipping cream
Directions for Spaghetti
Add melted chocolate to eggs. Make pasta using chocolate-egg mixture and flour. (follow any easy pasta recipe). Let rest for 30 minutes.
Roll out pasta. Roll pasta sheets through spaghetti cutter. Let spaghetti dry for 30 minutes.
In large pan of boiling water, cook spaghetti until al dente.
Serve spaghetti with sauce.
Directions for Cream Sauce
Blend white chocolate and cream in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted and smooth.