Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Let Them Eat Cake

This one comes from our next door neighbor when I was 5, growing up in Greenville, TX. Thanks, Mrs. Watson! Remember those “new fangled” convenience foods called “Snackin Cakes”? This is the original. Ingredients from your pantry (“Look Mom! No eggs!”) and you only need one bowl. It’s a very moist cake and I have no idea how long it keeps. We never had any left over.
Mrs. Watson’s Chocolate Cake
Sift dry ingredients together: 1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
3 T. cocoa
1 t. soda
1/2 t. salt
Add remainder: 1/3 c. melted butter
1 T. vinegar
1 c. cold water or cold coffee
1 t. vanilla
Pour into a greased 8x8 pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Icing: 1 c. sugar, 1/4 c. butter, 1/4 c. cocoa, 1/4 c. milk
Boil together 1 minute and pour over the cake.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: In Which I Lose All Credibility

Ok, readers, stay with me here. On vacation, 2 years ago, we visited Hershey, PA. Stayed in the Hershey Lodge, (where I swear they pipe in chocolate scented air freshener), rode roller coasters at Hershey Park, and ate salad with….Chocolate Salad Dressing. SIT RIGHT DOWN AND STAY PUT.
That’s right-I said chocolate salad dressing. What? You think I’m going to keep posting brownies, and cakes, and cookies, and leave out something as exciting as chocolate salad dressing? Course not!
Chocolate Salad Dressing from the Hershey Lodge
1 T. minced shallots
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 c. olive oil
3/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. Hershey’s special dark syrup
salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
To serve: Sprinkle spring greens with sliced red onion, mandarin orange sections, and blue cheese crumbles. Pour dressing on top.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Just Open the Box Already!

I admit it. I am a chocolate snob. I have paid big bucks for the good stuff (Scharffenberger, Valrhona) and driven to Central Market to find it. Other times.... Duncan Hines it is! For those of you who could use an easy recipe, enjoy.
German Chocolate Cookie Bars
1 pkg. German chocolate cake mix
1 1/2 c. oatmeal
1 stick butter
1 egg
Combine all ingredients until crumbly. Set aside 2 cups. Press remaining mixture in bottom of greased 9 x 13 pan.
2 eggs
8 oz. cream cheese
1 can ready-to-spread coconut pecan frosting
Combine filling ingredients and pour over base. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Serve warm or cool; store in refrigerator.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Coke “It’s not just for drinking any more” Cake

I wonder who had the idea to put coke in a cake? I know all about the 7-Up Pound Cake and all, but coca-cola and chocolate never seemed to go together to me. (Neither do coke and peanuts, but what do I know?)
Chocolate Coke Cake
1 c. softened butter
2 c. flour
3 T. cocoa
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. baking soda
Mix all ingredients and mix at low speed. Add 1 c. coke and mix. Stir in 1 1/2 c. miniature marshmallows. Pour into a 13 x 9 greased pan and bake at 350.
Icing: Combine 1 stick butter, 3 T. cocoa, 1/3 c. coke, 4 c. powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Stir in 1 c. pecans and spread on warm cake.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Breakfast of Champions

Can we find a way to eat chocolate for breakfast? Of course! Pour a cup of coffee and I’ll tell you the story of this recipe.
Back in July of ‘06…
Tuesday morning: Put the wallpaper border up.
Tuesday afternoon: Pull the wallpaper border off. That didn't take much effort - it was falling down all by itself. The blasted thing would not stick!
After consultations with MostValuablePainter friend, we're going with plan B: Put up a thin strip of molding where the border used to be, paint the color of the walls.  The white ceiling looks wonderful with the khaki walls and red "accent wall". Woodwork and doors to follow shortly.
This whole saga began when we moved into this house in 1995. I've slowly but surely been getting rid of the "country blue and pink" color scheme. The pepto-bismol pink master-bathroom was the last to go. Yes, except for the kids' rooms, every room in the house will eventually have red in it somewhere!
While wallpaper may be unwilling and unwieldy, thankfully there are some things that remain predictable.... like flour and butter! Here's a recipe for you. Like my house, there is red in here somewhere.

Renee's Red Scones
2 1/4 c. self-rising flour
2 to 4 T. (depending on taste) sugar
1 c. craisins (original flavor, orange flavor, or cherry flavor)
1 c. optional ingredients (you can use nuts. We like chocolate chips to go w/ the cherry craisins. You could do pecans, almonds...whatever!)
Mix the above ingredients in your food processor. Whir them around until the craisins cooperate and pulverize into little bits. Top with:
1 stick butter, sliced.
Pulse a few more times. Empty into a large bowl. Add:
2/3 c. whipping cream
1/2 t. vanilla
Fold in, knead just enough to blend into a workable dough. Pat with your hands until about 1/2" thick or so and cut w/ a biscuit cutter (or shape into whatever your preferred scone shape might be.)  Bake at 350 on a parchment lined cookie sheet (or use your Pampered Chef stoneware pan. Works great!)

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: My Chocolate Chip Pie

Mine, as in “I’ve played with this recipe and this is the way I like it.” 
Mine, as in “No, get your own piece, I’m not sharing.”
Ok, ok. I keep my piece of pie, but I’ll give you the recipe. But only if you promise to serve it with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla!
My Chocolate Chip Pie
1 c. melted butter
2 eggs
1 c. each flour, white sugar, brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. each chocolate chips and chopped pecans
1 unbaked piecrust
Combine dry ingredients. Add eggs and cooled melted butter. Stir in chips and nuts. Place in pie crust and bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes. Serve with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Milkshake Madness

I know, I know. Who needs a recipe for milkshakes, right? You just scoop out some chocolate ice cream, pour on some syrup and start mashing to your heart’s content. That may be fine for the amateur hour, but if we’re talking recipe-quality milkshakes here (it’s Chocolate Month after all!) then you owe it to yourself to hunt down the ingredients (chocolate sorbet? hot fudge sauce?) and give these a whirl. I live in Houston. Ice cream in February is not an odd thing.
Kevin's  Milkshake Supreme
3 c. vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 c. chocolate sorbet
1/2 c. milk
2 T. Hershey's hot fudge sauce
Reddiwhip for topping and a cherry if you're feeling extra fancy
Blend all ingredients in your industrial strength blender (or use a food processor).