Posts Tagged ‘ chocolate ’

Dark Chocolate Cookies with White Chips

I love any excuse to bake cookies and the holidays are the perfect excuse.  I’m trying not to go overboard this year. Rugelach and ginger cookies are already sitting in my freezer.  So I decided to bake a rich chocolate cookie.

In the past I’ve made a wonderful rich chocolate chip cookie that is labor intensive and kind of messy.  I’m really not up to all that work so I came up with a simpler version with all of the richness.  I’ve also decided to change it a little by adding white chocolate chips.  For the chocolate I used Ghirardelli brand.

This recipe took no time at all to put together.  And the hour the dough sat in the refrigerator gave me time to work on other tasks. The most difficult part of this recipe is not eating the raw dough which is delicious!

 

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces 60 % cocoa chocolate chips (or bittersweet)
  • 11 1/2 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum (or vanilla)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

In double boiler over hot water, melt bittersweet chocolate chips and butter (or melt in the microwave)

In large bowl whisk eggs, rum, cinnamon, and sugar until thick; stir into melted chocolate mixture a little at a time so the eggs don’t scramble

Stir together flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture. Mix in white chocolate chips and walnuts.

Cover bowl and refrigerate from 1-3 hours.  Take out of the fridge and drop by heaping teaspoons onto a baking sheet

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake 10-12 minutes until there is a shiny top but still seems soft in the middle

~enjoy~

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Fresh Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies & Tea

Those of you who follow my Facebook page know that I have been in search of candied ginger.  nearly as easy to find as I thought.  Plenty of candied fruit for those awful fruitcakes but no ginger.  It’s ridiculous, but it got me thinking.  Since I’m a true lover of fresh ginger, there’s no reason to purchase a processed candied version to make some good cookies.  I’m flexible so I searched for a good fresh ginger cookie recipe and then tweaked it to my ownl taste.

As for ginger tea, it’s the simplest thing to make.  Boil up some water, add a 1/2 inch slice of fresh ginger and some honey or agave nectar.  It’s so easy and delicious, and your house smells lovely!  I try to drink this tea often because of ginger’s health benefits.  I use it for its anti-inflammatory proponents but it’s also great for gastrointestinal issues and protects against certain cancers.

I actually have a Zingiber Zerumbet  plant also known as Shampoo Ginger growing in my backyard.  It’s pretty much a long stalk with large leaves growing out of each side.  The picture seen is not of my own since our last cold front hurt it and it’s not too pretty.  I’ll be bringing it inside today before the next cold spell which is due in a couple of days.  As it get’s larger it’s supposed to grow cones that produce a milky liquid that is used in some regions as a shampoo.  The liquid itself is also known for its health benefits.

On to my cookies, they are a little time-consuming because they have to be refrigerated for an hour before baking.  However, it is a simple recipe which can be adjusted for personal tastes.  Personally, I don’t care for spices such as cloves or powered nutmeg so I kept this a basic ginger cookie.  Feel free to add more spice if desired.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used half white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar or a combination of both (I combined)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1.5 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Beat ginger, butter, vanilla and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in honey/agave and egg mix well.
  3. Gently fold in flour mixture until just combined, add chocolate chips. Chill for 1 hour
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  5. Roll dough into 1  inch balls
  6. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets
  7. Bake until edges start to brown and the centers are soft, 10-12 minutes
  8. Let stand on cookie sheets 1 minute and remove to racks to cool
  9. Dust with confection sugar

~enjoy~

Chocolate Tofu Pie

If you remember the other day I had my family over for dinner but was determined not to turn on my stove.  This was made easy by making simple appetizers including Tirosalata and ordering pizza which was great.  I topped off the dinner with a no bake tofu chocolate pie that’s as rich and creamy as any typical chocolate pie.

When making it this time I added about 1/4 cup of regular granulated white sugar to sweeten the obvious tofu flavor.  I have made it before without the sugar and it’s fine but tends to have that “healthy” dessert taste.  Really I don’t think that little bit of sugar is going to change the caloric count by all that much per slice but feel free to omit or lessen the amount if you like.

Today I will be back to my favorite Indian Buffet with my brother and I’m really looking forward to spending time with him.  Also, I’ll be very happy to eat Indian food while off my gluten-free trial.  I can and will eat all the naan I want!  Yum!

Ingredients

1 12 oz block of soft tofu

1 12 oz back of chocolate chips

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 egg whites

1/4 cup white sugar

1 prepared chocolate cookie crust

1 chocolate bar to shave over top (optional  & I only had expensive chocolate so it’s a bit sparse!)

Directions

Melt the chocolate and butter until smooth and creamy

Place tofu in food processor and mix until creamy, add vanilla and pulse to blend

Add slightly cooled melted chocolate to the tofu and beat until smooth, then add sugar, let mixture sit

In a separate bowl using a mixer blend egg whites until stiff, soft peaks form

Add the chocolate tofu mixture to egg whites and fold gently until all ingredients are incorporated and the color is even

Place tofu in food processor and mix until smooth and creamy, add vanilla and pulse, add the chocolate mixuter

Scoop mixture into the prepared pie crust and top with chocolate shavings

Allow to set in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving

Have a peaceful day, Lin

Adult Chocolate Chip Cookies

Don’t get too excited, these cookies are family friendly.  I am pilfering a recipe from my daughter’s old blog cookandhook.wordpress.com/ with her permission of course!  This weekend I am working crazy long hours, 10 hours each Friday-Monday so there is no way I am cooking anything.  At the end of the day I’m too tired to handle a drive through window which is ok since I never order from them anyway!

Below is her entire post from 10/4/09 when she was au pairing in Denmark and worked for a wonderful family.  With this experience you will see she knows the comparison between US measurements and the rest of the worlds offering both options.  As a kid in the 70’s I remember being told that metric was the way of the future and that we all had to learn it.  I had 1 or 2 years worth of education ad then it just stopped cold, with no explanation which has left me with minimal comprehension often more confusing than helpful.  Does anyone else remember that?

Ariel’s post:

Adult Chocolate Chip Cookies

No, not the X-rated kind (although they do keep their shape fantastically with cookie cutters…)  These chocolate chip cookies taste a bit more mature (for lack of a thesaurus on hand) than the usual sugary make-with-your-kids tollhouse versions.  Though honestly I did make these with kids, and they loved them even though there is no butter in the batter and about a third less sugar than most recipes I’ve seen.  The parents loved them so much that Friday they let me swap my chores to bake 90 of these cookies (and a coffee cake whose recipe I can’t share on implied death threat from my grandma; you know how secret family recipes are) for a party they had Saturday night.  I’ll take baking over vacuuming any day.

This batch is scaled down from my 90 cookie recipe, but it’ll still yield 30 spoonful-drop sized cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2.33 deciliters /1 cup vegetable oil
  • 100g /half a cup white sugar
  • 100g /half a cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla (and/or almond extract, delicious)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 385g / 3 cups flour
  • chocolate chips

Bake:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180′C / 350′F
  2. Mix ingredients in the order listed into a large mixing bowl
  3. Shape and drop on a baking pan (I line mine for easy clean up, but it isn’t necessary to line or grease the pan, there is enough oil in the cookies as is.)
  4. Bake 8-12 minutes depending on the thickness of the cookies.  Remove from pan and place on cooling rack when done.

Important Things to Note:

  • Before adding the flour, this is the ugliest looking batter I’ve ever come across.  It is oily and brown and strong-tasting.  Don’t let this stop you!
  • Because of the high-oil content, it is very difficult to shape by hand.  It’ll roll out fine for cookie cutters (and keep the exact shape it has when going into the oven) but if you want round cookies, use a spoon to scoop out the desired amount and another to scrape it off.  It WILL stick to your hands, much more so than other recipes I’ve used.
  • This cookie will not turn golden brown the way buttery, sugary recipes will.  The edges will brown slightly, but the cookie is done when it no longer looks wet on top.  Unless you are shaping massive cookies, take it out of the oven after 12 minutes.  After the first batch you’ll get a good feel for it.

Please don’t let my notes scare you!  This is a very easy cookie to make and a very delicious one at that!  (If it wasn’t, would I have spent Friday morning baking 90 of them?  Especially since Thursday I’d baked a batch with the kids?)

Favorite Things

I recently posted about my favorite portable, reusable salad bowl and found that more people that I expected were very interested in that.  So today I’m going to mention a few more of my favorite things.  I’m not one to spend much money on myself so you should find each of these items very budget friendly.

I’ll start with my Yes to Carrots Lip Balm which I would be lost without.  I am truly a lip balm addict.  I currently have 4 of these in different locations such as my desk at work, bedside, by the bathroom sink and one in the living room where I read.  I also keep a Yes to Carrots Lip Gloss in my bag.  They come in a variety of flavors which are realistic and not overly sweet like the lip balms marketed to kids.  They cost around $2.99 a piece and I enjoy all flavors.

I love my filtered water bottle from Power Bottle USA.  Each filter is good for at least 20 gallons of water and the bottle is BPA free.  I drink out of mine all day at work and no longer purchase water or diet soda.  My first filter lasted 3-4 months and I could taste t difference when it stopped working.  You can purchase this from Amazon for just under $10.

Chocolate is my all time favorite food and the darker the better.  Green and Black’s Organic Chocolate is incredibly rich, creamy and delicious.  I like the 70% cocoa variety but they have many options for different tastes.  I purchase this at my local Publix and I believe it is under $3 for a 3.5 oz bar.  It is very rich so I never eat more than a couple of squares at a time.

Last is my organic sheets from Target.  They are 320 thread count and extremely luxurious feeling.  The cost was about $40 for a king set which is unbelievable.  They have very deep pockets and fit my thick mattress without ever falling off.  This is a first for me.  With other sheets we’ve needed those annoying straps under the corners to keep them from sliding.  I love going to sleep in these sheets.

What are some of your favorite things?  Please share with us!

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

In an attempt to be true to my word I am once again trying my hand at vegan baking.  While my intention at this time is not to go 100% vegan my goal is to eat a predominantly vegan diet.  Previously I have posted my vegan banana bread recipe which is a huge success in my household and among non veg friends.

I am inspired by Chef Chloe Coscarelli who recently won Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.  A show I really don’t like by the way…  However, I am hopeful that food television in general takes her victory as a sign that there is a lot of inspiration in veg/vegan cooking and they will perhaps finally consider hosting a veg friendly show on one of their networks.

Yesterday I woke up early with some energy.  Living in Florida I try to keep my oven off during the day but I figured at 7am and a mere 77 degrees outside, what the heck?  Nothing beats a fresh baked cookie!  Cookies are a favorite food of mine but I am pretty much off the store bought varieties, they pretty much taste like the chemicals they are baked with.

After viewing several recipes online I came up with this one, which is a mixture of several others I looked at.  The ingredients were all in my pantry or fridge and it seemed simple enough.  The result are a rich chewy oatmeal cookie.  While I prefer a crisp cookie these are definitely a great start to creating a really great vegan cookie.


Recipe

3/4 cup vegan margarine room temperature

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

3 cups quick cook oatmeal

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup white flour

1/2 cup rice milk (soy if that’s what you have)

1.5 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

a pinch of all spice or to taste

1.5 cup total mix of your choice of vegan chocolate chips, cranberries, chopped walnuts, or raisins (I did 1 cup chips and 1/2 cup cranberries)

Directions

Cream together margarine and sugars until smooth, add in rice milk and vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together and then add to wet stirring well

Add your choice of fruit, nuts and chocolate

Drop onto greased baking sheet by the rounded teaspoon

Bake 350 for 10-11 minutes, cool a minute in the pan and move to a wire rack

There’s Fish in My Orange Juice

Really, I didn’t buy it.  But while shopping and deciding between the too many options for OJ I started reading labels.  Tropicana’s Heart Healthy Omega 3 enriched juice is enriched with sardines and anchovies.  I’m certain this would have disgusted me even when I was eating fish.  Do the people at Tropicana know that Omega 3’s can be found in flax seed?  Or simpler, what’s wrong with expecting nothing but oranges in my OJ?

This got me wondering what other products are out there that we consume as vegetarians that aren’t actually veg friendly?  Many of these ubiquious products I was aware of but then there were a few that even surprised me.  I decided to comprise a list of items vegetarians might not realize contain animal products.

Sara Lee and Wonder have both gotten caught up in the Omega 3 craze.  They both offer DHA enriched breads.  DHA is found is fatty fish.  Vegetarian sources are available in seaweed.

Parmesan Cheese:  This one really surprised me.  It contains Rennet which is s a natural complex of enzymes  produced in a mammal’s stomach meant to digest the mother’s milk.  This is making me think harder about becoming a vegan.  There is such a fine line between it all.

Many frosted cereals are not veg because the frosting contains gelatin.  Gelatin is really quite awful when you get down to it.  Ingredients include boiled bones, tendons, and animal skins.  Frosted Mini Wheat’s top the list and any cereal that contain marshmallows.  Frosted Flakes are actually considered vegan.  Also, avoid frosted items like Pop Tarts, they contain gelatin and  and in reality serve no nutritional purpose anyway.

A majority of cereals contain D3.  Sources of D3  are either lanolin or fish.  I’m not sure how you find out which source other than contacting a company directly.  Lanolin is one of those items that that might be considered alright depending upon your personal beliefs.

Many yogurts also contain gelatin.  I purchase Publix store brand which thickens with cornstarch instead.  Read labels carefully before purchasing.

Vegetarian Pad Thai when ordered out will almost always contain fish sauce which unsurprisingly is made from fish. You can purchase vegetarian fish sauce but I haven’t found it locally.  This one really bummed me out.  It was a favorite of mine when dining out.  I haven’t made a vegetarian version that’s worth posting yet.  Hopefully one day!

Refrigerated pie dough contain lard which is rendered fat from a pig.  I am able to find veg versions in the frozen aisle.  It’s also quite easy to make and roll out your own pie dough.

Many chocolates contain emulsifiers and whey.  Emulsifiers are also lecithin which is often derived from animal fat,  Veg sources would  likely be from genetically modified soybeans. Ghirardelli makes vegetarian chocolate.  One of my favorite snacks is munching on baking chocolate chips right out of the bag.  Yet another reason weight loss is an issue!

Some beer and wine contain isinglass.  This is a collagen derived from dried swim bladders of fish.

Any pill that is gel coated is coated  in gelatin.  My Dr suggested I take vitamin E and I found that CVS store brand has a liquid form that is vegetarian.

The natural flavoring that is added to almost all commericially produced french fries contain beef tallow.  Make your own.

Ok, this is enough depressing news for one day.  Sorry about that, but I do think it’s important that we know what we’re consuming.  In the near future I will post a list of foods that are surprisingly vegetarian.  To leave you on a good note I will mention that Oreo’s are vegan!