Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Cookies and Milk

We always refer to these critters as “Cookie Cows” because they remind us of an oreo. Speaking of milk and cookies…how about a recipe that combines the best of both?
Malted Milk Cookies
1/3 c. butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. malted milk mix
3/4 c. crushed Whoppers (I have no idea how many you have to buy to get 3/4 c.  Buy a bunch and then eat the leftovers. You have my permission.)
1 t. vanilla
1 pkg. milk chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugar. In a separate bowl combine flour, milk mix, and candies. Add to creamed mixture with vanilla and blend. Mixture will be crumbly. Knead, shape into a smooth ball, and refrigerate wrapped in plastic for 8 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 350. Shape dough into 1” balls, place on ungreased baking sheets, refrigerate for 15 more minutes. (Trust me on this. I didn’t and the cookies flattened out during baking.) Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Melt chocolate chips and dip cookies in melted chocolate. Makes about 4 dozen.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Bread ‘n Butter

But not just any bread of course. How about some Chocolate Bread spread with Vanilla Butter? This is an old-fashioned knead-it-with-both-hands kind of yeast dough. Can you use a Kitchenaid or a bread machine? I don’t see why not! Let me know how it turns out for you.
1 c. milk , scalded, mixed with 2 T. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 pkg. yeast mixed with 1/4 c. tepid water and 1 T. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. sifted cocoa
coarse sugar
Add sugar and vanilla to milk/butter mixture. Add yeast mixture, beaten eggs, and stir.  Measure flour and cocoa in large bowl. Ad yeast mixture and stir vigorously. Turn onto floured board and let rest while you clean and butter the bowl. Knead dough for 3-5 minutes, adding flour if necessary to keep smooth. Put into buttered bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let rise for 2 hours. Punch down dough, knead again, pat into loaf shape, and place in buttered 9x5 loaf pan. Cover and let rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes. Heat oven to 350. Pat top of loaf with coarse sugar and bake for 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes in pan then cool on wire rack.
Vanilla Butter:  12 T. unsalted butter creamed with 3/4 c. powdered sugar and 2 T. vanilla

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Animal Crackers in My Soup

And what kind of soup would that be? Chocolate of course! There used to be a store here in Houston called “Chocolate Soup” which I thought was just inspired. Aside from cute kids’ clothes, chocolate soup is a fun little dessert too. Give this one a try and make sure your lions and tigers do a few loop-the-loops!
barnum's animal crackers
Chocolate Soup
3/4 c. half-and-half
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 t. cocoa
1 egg yolk
Heat half-and-half. Pour into cup, leaving about 1/4 c. in pan. Add sugar, vanilla, cocoa to pan and mix until it is a syrup. Add egg yolk and stir over low heat. Gradually stir in preheated half-and-half. Stir until blended and thick. Pour back into cup. Actually, pour into a bowl, top with animal crackers, and eat with a spoon like the 3 year old you would like to be some days.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Primarily Pie

Steve and I have a favorite B&B that we visit in Fredericksburg (well we’ve been twice, and would love to go back!). One place we never fail to visit is the Peach Tree Tea Room. Even guys love this place and if you’ve ever tried their ice-cream pie you know there is nothing “girly” about this incredible dessert! Owner Cynthia Collins Pedregon has this recipe and more in her wonderful Peach Tree Tea Room Cookbook. Enjoy.
Ice Cream Pie
7 T. melted butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
3 c. corn flakes
1/3 c. finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 1/2 qts. ice cream (coffee or vanilla work great, but feel free to experiment)
In a medium saucepan melt butter, sugar, chocolate, and chocolate chips together. In a large bowl combine corn flakes and nuts and pour chocolate over. Stir until coated. Spray a 9” pie plate with vegetable coating. Press coated flakes into pie plate and place in freezer until firm. Fill frozen pie shell with slightly softened ice cream. Freeze until firm and top with fudge sauce, praline sauce, berries, or sliced fruit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: It’s Genetic

                                                          mom and great
Can I introduce you to another member of the AddMoreChocolate family? If there is such a thing as a “chocolate gene”, I have certainly inherited it!
When my mom was growing up in West Texas during the Depression, she lived out in the country with her mother, grandparents, aunt, and uncles. The only way to get to school was on the high-school bus (thankfully her Uncle Percy was there as a bodyguard) and then this little 6 year old had to walk 4 blocks (by herself!) from the high-school to the grade school.
But the real challenge was inside the school: The Lunchroom. I’ll let Mom tell you the story herself:
“Remember this was a “spoiled stubborn little girl”  whose granddaddy helped her to eat her salmon patty and whose mother and grandmother pretty much cooked the foods she liked.
Well I wasn’t going to eat those strange things on those lunchroom trays which didn’t even look like “real dishes”, and I certainly wasn’t going to drink my milk, because no one had been successful in getting me to drink my milk at home.
So it became a stand off between me and the lunchroom ladies and you weren’t encouraged to bring your lunch. I didn’t tell my family that I wasn’t eating, and they became concerned because of my weight loss (of which I didn’t have any to lose.) Finally a conference with the principal revealed my secret of not eating. After that I was allowed to bring my lunch each day.
I don’t remember what the “main dish” of my school lunch bag might have been, however I do remember Graham Cracker Sandwiches: Graham crackers filled with a cocoa/powdered sugar mixture.”
Mom grew out of her picky eating phase and today she and Dad are pretty adventuresome when it comes to cooking new things. Today Mom puts Nutella on her graham crackers (Yum!) but if she ever wants a taste of the past:
6 T. powdered sugar
2 t. cocoa
1 1/2 t. milk
graham crackers

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: Heaven on a Plate

When I was growing up it would not be unusual to see Dad in the kitchen after dinner, after the dishes were done, cooking up a batch of fudge. He’s not one for baking, and although he and Mom are getting to be quite the adventurous cooks these days, fudge is still his specialty. This isn’t a complicated recipe; in fact, it’s one that he remembers his mother making. The recipe used to be on the back of all the Hershey’s cocoa packages; why on earth did they take it off?  I always thought everyone served fudge on a plate. In case you haven’t, it’s a nice use for that pretty plate/platter in your china cabinet. Your late night chocolate cravings have met their match!
Dad’s Fudge
2/3 c. cocoa
3 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 c. pecans (I know. I should have called this “chocolate and pecan month”!)
Mix cocoa, sugar, and salt in a heavy duty saucepan. Stir to get rid of all the lumps. Stir in milk and bring to boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue a slow boil. Keep the heat low enough to prevent boiling over. If you have a candy thermometer, you are aiming for 235 degrees (soft ball stage.)  We like to use a wooden spoon for stirring. While you’re waiting, you can keep yourself busy: butter a platter or plate, fill your sink halfway with cold water, get a coffee cup out and fill it with cold water, get the pecans, butter, and vanilla out.
When the temperature is 235, a small bit dropped into the cup of cold water will form a ball that holds together when taken out of the water. Turn the heat down to low and add the butter, pecans, and vanilla to the fudge. Return to a boil (turn the heat up a little and stir – it’s ok.) Next, put the pan in the sink of cold water and stir, stir, stir. Give that wooden spoon a workout! When the fudge becomes noticeably firmer, pour onto the plate/platter and let harden.
It’s pretty, but it’s empty. Let’s give it a purpose in life, shall we?
pot in sink
The star of this show. Oh Hershey – One of these days I’m coming back to visit!
pot on stove
Just beginning to heat up. Stove, pot, spoon – don’t you love simple recipes?
fudge in sink
Cooling off in the sink. Look how shiny it is once the butter is incorporated!
more fudge
Beautiful! (And delicious!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Month of Chocolate: One Smart Cookie

Before Katie got married, moved away, and began cooking for someone else, she used to make these incredible cookies for us.  Now she’s a mommy herself and just found out that she is officially a Production Editor for Lifeway Publishing and is going to get her very own office! With her name on it! Never underestimate the developmental power of learning to cook.

Katie’s Double Fudge Cookies
1 lb. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 stick plus 2 T. butter
6 eggs
2 c. sugar
3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
3 1/2 c. chopped nuts (by now you know how much I love pecans!)
2 c. chocolate chips
Combine chocolate and butter in a glass measuring cup and melt in the microwave. In a mixing bowl, mix eggs and sugar until thick and pale yellow. (I hope you have a standing mixer because this takes about 5 minutes!) Stir in the melted chocolate mixture and combine. In another bowl whisk together the dry ingredients then add to the mixing bowl. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips.
Refrigerate dough for 2 hours. Heat oven to 350 and cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop and make sure there is plenty of room between cookies. The entire recipe makes about 18 large cookies and they don’t keep well. Eat them within 2 days. (This will NOT be a problem, I promise!)