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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies: Peanut Butter Cookie Day

TODAY is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. Here's a great recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies. You'll love these!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter (I like chunky organic stone ground for texture)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cream butter and sugars until light. Add egg and vanilla and mix until fluffy.
Add peanut butter and beat until combined.
Blend flour, baking powder, soda, and salt together well.
Add dry ingredients to butter mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake 10-12 minutes at 375°.

CAIPIRINHA TRUFFLES: National Cachaça Day

Today is National Cachaça Day. Cachaça, a Brazilian white rum made from sugar cane, is the main ingredient in the Caipirinha, the national cocktail! How can you go wrong with sugar, cachaça, and lime? You can enjoy a caipirinha at home, but if you add chocolate, you can make Caipirinha Truffles! Perfect to celebrate National Cachaça Day!

CAIPIRINHA TRUFFLES

Ingredients
14 ounces white chocolate, chopped
Grated zest of one lime
1/4 cup whipping cream
3 Tbsp Cachaça
cocoa powder

Directions
Combine chocolate, lime zest, and cream in metal bowl; place it over saucepan over simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted.
Remove from heat, add cachaça, and stir until smooth.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours --or until firm enough to form balls.
Using a scoop or teaspoon, scoop out chocolate mixture (while cold and firm) and form balls. They don't need to be perfectly round.
Roll balls in cocoa powder.
Keep refrigerated.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE TRUFFLES: German Chocolate Cake Day!

Today is National German Chocolate Cake Day. I've done several posts about German Chocolate Cake, a cake that is not German at all. For this year's German Chocolate Cake Day, I thought I'd post a recipe for German Chocolate Cake Truffles. Officially these could also be called Cake Balls, especially if you put them on a stick. They're made of cake, after all.

I'm not sure where I found this recipe, so I did a search and found the same recipe popped up in lots of places on the Internet. One source was Southern Living 2011 Christmas Edition, but a similar recipe is everywhere. I use the Duncan Hines German Chocolate Cake Mix, but you can use a Betty Crocker Cake Mix or whatever else you have. And, remember, it's all about the quality of the chocolate..and fresh toasted pecans -- that makes it special. This recipe is great and easy and delicious!

GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE TRUFFLES

Ingredients
1 (18.25 ounce) box German Chocolate Cake mix
1 (16 oz) can German Chocolate cake frosting
2 cups toasted coconut, divided
Melted Milk Chocolate
1 3/4 cups toasted chopped pecans, divided
24-28 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

Directions
Mix and bake cake as directed on box. Cool.
Put cake in bowl and crumble with fork.
Mix in half (or more) of can of frosting.
Sprinkle with 1 cup of coconut and 1 cup of pecans.
Stir gently.
Roll into balls or use cookie scoop.
Place balls on cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Cover and chill balls up to 2 hours.

Combine remaining cup of coconut and 3/4 cup pecans. Stir.
Melt milk chocolate.. in small amounts.
Dip balls in melted chocolate with two fork method or dipping fork. Let excess drip off.
Put coated truffles on wax paper lined cookie sheet and sprinkle tops with coconut pecan mixture.
Chill 30 minutes.


Monday, June 10, 2024

CHOCOLATE ICE TEA: Ice Tea Facts & Recipes for National Ice Tea Day!

I'm a tea drinker, and I love Ice Tea aka Iced Tea. Since it's National Ice Tea Day, and I'm always Dying for Chocolate, here are several recipes and brands and information about Chocolate Ice Tea.

Just an FYI: The following teas will not have the full bodied chocolate taste of an Iced Cocoa or Iced Chocolate Drink. These teas are more subtle, but definitely worth trying. They're essentially different types of teas infused with cacoa nibs or cocoa with some other ingredients. Some even use carob pods. You might prefer some of them more as hot teas. Experiment.

At the end of this post, I have a recipe for Chocolate Mint Ice Tea... that's the herb Chocolate Mint that grows in the garden (it is not a chocolate --cacao-- plant!). Chocolate mint makes a lovely ice tea.

History of Ice Tea: The story goes that at the St. Louis World's Fair, Englishman Richard Blechynden was introducing Americans to the new India and Ceylon black tea. There was a heat wave at the time and lines were not forming to try his steamy hot beverage. After a few days of frustration, he tried adding ice to the tea in order to entice people in. It was the hit of the fair and a new way of drinking tea had instantly taken hold!

How to Brew Ice Tea:
To brew a quart, place either 4 to 5 bags or teaspoons of loose tea in a pitcher. Bring 2 cups of cold, tap water or filtered water to a boil. Pour the boiling water directly over the tea and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove tea bags or strain and then add 2 more cups of cold water. Serve over ice.

Sun Brewed Iced Tea
Fill a container with 4 cups of cold water, preferably filtered. Place 6 bags or 6 teaspoons of tea and cover or cap lightly. Place in direct sunlight for 2 to 4 hours (depending on desired strength). Remove bags or strain and serve over ice.

Cold Water Method
Fill a container with 4 cups of filtered cold water. Put 6 bags or 6 teaspoons of tea and cover or cap lightly. Place in refrigerator for 8 hours. Remove bags or strain and serve over ice.

There are so many Chocolate Teas available now, some with black tea, some with rooibos or other herbs. The following is a random list. Let me know your favorites, and, especially, if you like chocolate teas better hot or cold!

Republic of Tea
Peppermint Cuppa Chocolate Tea Bags:  peppermint, rich chocolate and smooth, caffeine-free rooibos
Cocoanut Cocoa Cuppa Chocolate Tea Bags:  coconut, chocolate and caramel malted barley
Double Dark Chocolate Mate: roasted Yerba Maté blended with organic dark cocoa powder
Red Velvet Cuppa Chocolate Tea Bags: Rooibos blended with chocolate and beet root bits
Strawberry Cuppa Chocolate Tea Bags: chocolate paired with a hint of strawberry. Rooibos (red tea) provides the base.

Mighty Leaf Tea
Mayan Chocolate Truffle
Masala Chocolate Truffle
Chocolate Chip Truffle
Chocolate Mint Truffle Rooibos
Chocolate Orange Truffle
Mocha Truffle Pu-erh

Kalahari: Choco Latte: Red Tea Raspberry Truffle

Stash Tea: Chocolate Mint Wuyi Oolong Tea

Teavana: Haute Chocolate Rooibos Tea, Cacao Mint Black Tea

TeaFrog: Chocolate and Cream

Harney & Sons:   (one of my favorite sources for black tea): Chocolate tea

Tea Forte:  Coco Truffle
  
American Tea Room: Choco Late, CocoLoco
  
Tea Guys:  Chocolate Delight

Here's a tea for the Spring & Summer, and yes, I do have Chocolate Mint growing in my "Chocolate Garden."

CHOCOLATE MINT ICE TEA

Ingredients
4 cups fresh chocolate mint, chopped
16 cups water
1 cup local honey

Directions
Boil water, add chopped mint leaves, and simmer in covered stockpot with tight-fitting lid for 10 mins.
Add honey or simple syrup, stirring until dissolved.
Remove from heat.
Cover and let steep 3-4 hours or longer.
Refrigerate overnight.
Strain before serving.