Monday, August 21, 2017

Black and White Eclipse Cookies

Black and White Cookies are iconic in New York. They're so Retro! Lots of bakeries make them. These cookies are thick and more cake-like and covered with frosting that hardens. Usually half the cookie has white icing and half has chocolate (vanilla & chocolate).

To decorate them for today's Eclipse, frost them in different stages of the eclipse! Alternatively, you can make a double batch of the chocolate icing and decorate with different sized circles of chocolate (moon in front of the sun) Another possibility..and an easier way to celebrate. Grab a box of Pepperidge Farm Double Chocolate Cookies (or other big chocolate cookies) and Frost half or as much as you'd like, using the white icing recipe below.

BLACK AND WHITE ECLIPSE COOKIES

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup buttermilk

Black and White Icing: 
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 Tbsp plus 2 tsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp Dark cocoa powder

Cookies: 
Heat oven to 350.
Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
In large bowl, beat together sugar and butter until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in egg until well combined. On low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Drop 1/4 cupfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart and spreading into large circles, about 4 inches across.
Bake for 13 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers tests clean (they're like small cakes). Remove cookies to rack to cool.

Black and White Icing: 
In medium bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar, 3 Tbsp milk, and vanilla until smooth but thick enough to coat cookie.
Set aside 1/2 cup icing in small bowl; stir cocoa powder and remaining 2 tsp milk into bowl until smooth.
Turn over cookies.
Spread white icing over half  (or as much as you'd like to frost to represent the eclipse) of each cookie, and chocolate icing over the rest.
Let stand at room temperature until set, about 1 hour.

Cartoon of the Day: Doughnuts


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Chocolate Pecan Pie: Recipe Round-Up

Today is National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day. I associate Pecan Pie with Thanksgiving and the Kentucky Derby, but I'm o.k. with a third holiday, especially this is specifically Chocolate Pecan Pie.

Here's a Mini Round-up of Recipes for Chocolate Pecan Pie. Be sure and check out the following Chocolate Pecan Pie Recipes before making your decision of which to make. And, if you don't have a lot of time, I've added two more Easy Chocolate Pecan Pie recipes below and the Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum Pecan Pie in the recipe on the left.

Chocolate Chunk Pecan Pie for Mardi Gras
Kentucky Derby Chocolate Bourbon Nut Pie
Kentucky Derby Bourbon Chocolate Pie Recipe Round-Up
Fudge Brownie Pecan Pie
Kentucky Chocolate-Nut Pie Mix in a Jar  
Chocolate Pecan Torte
Frozen Chocolate Pecan Pie 
Chocolate Pecan Pie Truffles
Chocolate Pecan Pie Fudge

1. EASY CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE 

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sugar
Dash of Salt
4 Tbsp unsweetened DARK cocoa
2 large eggs
1/2 Tbsp Madagascar vanilla
1/2 can (6 ounces) evaporated milk
4 Tbsp sweet butter
3/4 cup toasted pecan halves
1 unbaked deep dish pie shell (make yourself or prepared--prepared is faster!)

Directions
Mix sugar, salt, and cocoa together.
Whisk together eggs, vanilla, and milk; stir into dry ingredients.
Add melted butter and stir until totally blended.
Sprinkle toasted pecan halves in pie shell.
Pour filling over pecans.
Bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes, or until filling is set and center is just slightly jiggly (don't overbake).

2. EASY CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE

Ingredients
1 unbaked pie shell (I like Trader Joe's pie dough, but you can make your own or buy a different pieshell)
3 eggs
1 cup light or dark corn syrup
1 cup sugar (can be 1/2 brown & 1/2 granulated)
2 Tbsp sweet butter
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup Pecans
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla in large bowl using spoon (not in mixer). Fold in pecans and chocolate.
Pour into pie shell.
Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until top is slightly puffy.
Cool completely before serving.



Saturday, August 19, 2017

Chocolate Eclipse Cake!

Unless you've been living in a vacuum, you know that North America will experience a total Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21. Yes, the path of totality will differ in different areas, but unless you're sleeping, you can't miss it. The moon will cover the sun, and you will be able to see the corona. Remember to wear special glasses!

What better cake to celebrate the Solar Eclipse than Mollie Katzen's Eclipse Cake! It's a big chocolate pudding cake that feeds a lot of people, so if you're having an Eclipse Party, it's perfect! It's fun to make..and watch come together..and it's delicious. Note: This cake tastes better the longer you wait to eat it, but I know that might be difficult. Your kitchen will smell divine! Try to wait at least 1/2 hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Molly Katzen's Chocolate Eclipse Cake
from Mollie Katzen's Still Life with Menu Cookbook

Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
2 cups buttermilk*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
21/2 cups unbleached white flour
21/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
21/2 cups boiling water

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
Melt  butter and chocolate together.
In separate saucepan, heat buttermilk gently until just a little warmer than body temperature (don't boil or cook it). Remove from heat, and combine with chocolate mixture and vanilla.
In large mixing bowl combine flour, 1 cup of the brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well (use your hands, if necessary) to break up any little lumps of brown sugar, making as uniform a mixture as possible.
Stir in chocolate chips, if desired.
Pour in wet ingredients, and stir until well combined. Spread into prepared pan.
Combine remaining 11/4 cups brown sugar with the unsweetened cocoa in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture as evenly as possible over the top of the batter. Pour on the boiling water. It will look terrible, and you will not believe you are actually doing this, but try to persevere. Place immediately in the preheated oven.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Invert each serving on a plate so that the fudge sauce on the bottom becomes a topping. Serve hot or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream.

* No buttermilk in the fridge? Mix 2 cups whole milk with 2 tsp vinegar