Chocolate Dipped Rosemary Shortbread

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The next cookie on the agenda was a shortbread. My cookie cutter selection is small, so I made shortbread men. Gingerbread men is a thing. We all know of the traditional gingerbread man, that we decorate with frosting and candies – so why can’t shortbread men be a thing?

The shortbread men I made had rosemary in them and then were dipped in chocolate. My boyfriend wasn’t quite sure what to think about the rosemary in the cookie, because he loves rosemary on chicken. I thought it was a perfect addition. It added this element that wasn’t entirely expected, but also, entirely welcome.

Chocolate Dipped Rosemary Shortbread

Ingredients
1 cups flour
1/2 tbsp rosemary, minced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Combine the flour, rosemary, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process together until well mixed.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the flour mixture. Beat until the dough starts to come together.

4. Remove from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to 1/4-inch thickness. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

5. Using a cookie cutter, cut cookies out of the dough. Place on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 20 more minutes.

6. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

7. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Don’t let it burn. Dip your cookies in the chocolate. Let chocolate set.

* makes 1 dozen cookies

Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My all-time favorite cookie is chocolate chip. I cannot properly partake in a cookie baking binge without making chocolate chip cookies.

The thing is, I never had a favorite chocolate chip recipe. I just like all chocolate chip cookies. Every single one.

Until right now. I found a favorite! I found a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and I am in heaven! There’s so much chocolate in them! And the texture has a chew to it, which I like.

On top of being the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve had, they were easy to make.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
(source)

Ingredients
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Put parchment paper on 2 baking sheets.

2. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugars, butter, egg, and vanilla extract.

3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, and baking soda.

4. Slowly add the dry mix to the wet mixture. Mix until just combined.

5. Fold the chocolate chips into the cookie dough.

6. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place rolled balls on your baking sheets, leaving 2 to 3 inches between each cookie.

7. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

* makes 15 cookies
* shared with Wednesday Whatsits

Chicken Breast in Mole

MoleThis month at Food ‘n Flix we’re watching Like Water For Chocolate and yours truly is hosting it! There’s still plenty of time to join us. Come get the information about how to participate here. Having both read the book and seen the movie, I thought both were impressive. In the movie there are so many food scenes – for any food blogger to find inspiration.

Tita, a young woman in Mexico, falls in love. However, tradition prevents her from marrying, as her duty in life is to care for her mother. Tita’s love ends up marrying her sister instead, so that he can still be close to her. This creates many tensions in the household, between Tita and her mother, Tita and her sister, and Tita and her love.

Tita is tasked with cooking food for the family. Luckily for the family, this is a strong skill of hers. However, Tita learns that the emotion she has when she cooks the food can make the people who eat the food react. The cake that Tita made for her sister’s wedding made everyone throw up because of her emotions when making it.

Tita helps care for her sister’s infant son, Roberto. At Roberto’s baptism Tita serves mole. When asked for the recipe she answers, “The secret is that when you cook it, you do it with much love.”

Perhaps this is why I never liked mole growing up (or my palate was still immature.) My dad would always order it when we would get Mexican food and tell me to try his chocolate chicken. Being excited I would. And then I would down a bunch of water because I hated the taste. But perhaps the mole was never made with love. I decided to give the recipe a go and I tried to make it with love. I was nervous to taste it due to my prior experiences with mole, but either my tastes have changed or I really did make this sauce with love.

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Because the title of the movie is Like Water For Chocolate, I opted to make this chocolate chicken. It was a great dish when made with love.

Chicken Breast in Mole

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, cut in half
kosher salt, to taste
3 tbsp sesame seeds
3 whole cloves
1/4 cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp caraway seeds
1/8 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 dried guajillo chile peppers
1 dried ancho chile pepper
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp pecan halves
1/2 6-inch corn tortilla, cut into pieces
3/4 oz chocolate chips
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
drop of almond extract
pinch of sugar

Directions

1. In a large pot place the chicken breasts. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Set aside and save the cooking liquid.

2. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet for 5 minutes or until brown. Pour into a food processor. In the same skillet add the cloves, caraway seeds, coriander, and cinnamon. Toast for 3 minutes. Pour into food processor.

3. Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chile peppers. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil into the skillet. Fry the peppers for 2 minutes on each side. Fill a bowl with water and place the chile peppers in the water. Soak for 30 minutes.

4. In the same skillet add the dried cranberries, pecans, and corn tortilla. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the tortillas are brown. Add everything in the skillet, including the vegetable oil, into the food processor.

5. Once the chiles are pliable, add the chiles and 3/4 cup of the liquid the chiles were soaking in into the food processor. Puree until you get a smooth thick sauce.

6. Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chile sauce and fry for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the reserved water the chicken cooked in. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 20 minutes.

7. Add the chocolate chips, cinnamon, and almond extract, stirring frequently until the chocolate melts. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the sugar and salt to taste. Add the chicken and cook for 10 more minutes.

FoodnFlix

* serves 2
* Besides Food ‘n Flix I’m sharing this recipe with See Ya In The Gumbo

 

White Chocolate Lemon Ice Cream

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I’ve moved! I’m no longer a Northern California girl, though at heart I always will be. I now live in the desert of San Bernardino, CA, east of Los Angeles. I’ve moved into a wonderful house that’s probably double the size of the house I left. Moving was a disaster, but when isn’t it? It’s always stressful, it always could go smoother, but it always ends. And this time it ended 8 1/2 hours away in a beautiful house in the middle of the desert.

I was worried I’d hate it here. But I really don’t. It’s beautiful. It isn’t the ocean. And it isn’t the forests. But it’s the desert. I’m surrounded by cactus, by Joshua trees, and I have quail and roadrunner running through my backyard. It’s beautiful in it’s own deserted way. I start my job a week from today, so until then, I’m just getting my house in order and playing around with my nice kitchen.

Funny enough though, the heat here isn’t as bad as Sacramento, which I just left. The day we moved it hit 108 in Sacramento. It’s been mid-90’s here. That’s a lot more bearable. Today even I didn’t have my AC on until about 1PM and my house was only 75 degrees.

But we still think of heat when we think of the desert, so to celebrate my arrival I decided to join in with We Should Cocoa’s (conceived by Choclette and Chele) challenge this month – chocolate ice creams and toppings hosted at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary.

My favorite ice cream of all time is Orange Chocolate. I decided to take a twist on that and use white chocolate and lemon. It is SO satisfying! And because this town is so small and doesn’t have an ice cream parlor, I guess I’ll have to be my own! There will hopefully be more ice cream recipes to come in the future.

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White Chocolate Lemon Ice Cream

Ingredients
2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
3/4 cup milk
zest from 2 lemons
9 oz Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
few grains of salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange extract

Directions

1. In a heavy pot, combine 1 cup of cream, milk, and lemon zest. Stir over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat and cover the pot with a lid. Set aside for 20 minutes.

2. In another bowl, pour the chocolate chips. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat 2/3 cups heavy cream. Stir often until it gets very hot. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Whisk the cream with the chocolate until it melts and reaches a smooth consistency.

3. In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and the remaining 1/3 cup of heavy cream.

4. After the zest mixture has sat for 20 minutes, reheat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Slowly add the hot zest mixture to the eggs, making sure to beat the eggs constantly so they don’t cook. Return to the pot and cook the custard until the temperature reaches 174 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.

5. Gradually stir half the custard into the melted white chocolate, then return to pot and stir well. Stir in vanilla. Strain the custard through a very fine strainer over a large bowl.

6. Allow to cool. Once cool, cover with a paper towel covered by plastic wrap. Let sit in the fridge for 6 hours to overnight.

7. Once the mixture has chilled, remove from the fridge and stir. Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to the ice cream maker instructions. When there’s 5 minutes left before the ice cream is done, add the orange extract. Place in the freezer to completely freeze until ready to eat.

* Besides We Should Cocoa, this recipe is being shared with Mix It Up Monday

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

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This month, Random Recipes and We Should Cocoa banded together to create a wonderful challenge. Randomly pick a cookbook and randomly pick a recipe from said cookbook that uses . . . you guessed it! CHOCOLATE!

Somehow, despite being random, I keep picking my favorite cookbook off the shelf. Either I just need more cookbooks to be randomly selected or there’s some sort of magnetism that keeps this book coming back to me. Welcome again my favorite cookbook, Cook Yourself Thin. In the past, for Random Recipes I’ve made the Mediterranean Chicken and Better For You Breakfast Sandwich.

Anyway, once I was holding this cookbook, I counted the number of recipes in it that used chocolate. I then put into the random number generator and was directed to this chocolate cake. I was pretty happy when I saw what recipe the generator had chosen for me, since my boyfriend’s birthday is in February (today actually) and he had asked for a chocolate cake.

This cake was sort of dry, but he raved over and over that he hates moist cakes and was so happy because he likes dry cakes and no one ever makes dry cakes. While I personally like moist cakes a hell of a lot, the lack of butter does take away a lot of the moist in a cake. Additionally, he likes it when I accidentally overcook things, so a dry cake really was the way to go for him. All in all, it was a success. The beets were such a strange addition, but in the end, you don’t even taste them.

This was a great random recipe. The universe was aligned when I randomly chose this recipe!

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And with that, I’d also like to wish my love a very happy 31st birthday!

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Deep Dark Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE
1 1/2 cups flour
3 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 + 1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely ground cashews
5 tbsp cocoa powder
4 oz beets, peeled and finely grated
4 oz buttermilk
2 tbsp brewed black coffee
3 eggs
3/4 cups sugar

FOR THE ICING
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp brewed black coffee
2 tbsp honey

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 8″ springform baking pan with cooking spray.

3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, ground cashews, salt, and baking soda together. Set aside.

4. In a mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes using medium speed, until pale and fluffy. On low speed, beat in the beets followed by the dry ingredients. Add the buttermilk and coffee and beat until the batter is smooth.

5. Pour the batter into the springform pan. Place in the middle of a hot oven and bake for 30 minutes. Your cake is done with a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.

6. Cool for 10 minutes then unmold and set on a cooling rack. Cool until the cake is cold.

7. To make the icing, prepare a double broiler. Combine all the icing ingredients and stir gently, until the chocolate is smooth. Stir until the chocolate mixture thickens.

9. Pour the icing over the top of the cake and allow it to drip down the sides.

* I’m also sharing this recipe with Mix It Up Monday

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

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This month’s Random Recipes challenged us to randomly pick a cookbook we received for Christmas. For the past two years I’ve been very lucky and have received cookbooks for Christmas. They are my favorite things ever. This year I received two. One book was filled with cupcakes. The other book is called Recipes Across America. Funny enough, though I made cupcakes this time, were not from the cupcake book but the other one instead. The book is filled with recipes from across this big country from Kentucky Grilled Chicken, Cheese Soup from Wisconsin, and Northwest Salmon Salad.

I opened the book hoping to get a savory recipe, but I was greeted by two different cake recipes: Devil’s Food Cake and Southern Lane Cake. Though the Southern Lane Cake intrigued me greatly (it’s essentially a glorified fruitcake,) I decided to stick with my favorite and do the chocolate.

This recipe appears in the “South sweets” section of the book. The recipe comes from Donna Carman in Tulsa, OK who shared that this recipe won the blue ribbon at several state fairs.

Though the recipe was for a cake, I decided to make cupcakes so I could more easily bring them to work. I’m not sure what I think about that option anymore, because the devil’s food made sort of weird cupcakes. It tasted good still, but they sort of drooped in the middle and shrunk.

Then when it got to the frosting, I realized I had a huge dilemma. The frosting recipe called for almost 4 cups of powdered sugar. I only had 1/4 cup!!!!!!!! (Which by the way, I need to buy more obviously.) So I found this recipe online for a frosting that didn’t used powdered sugar. It’s really more of a glaze and it hardened on top of the cupcakes.

They were super sweet, but pretty good and fluffy.

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Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Ingredients
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 cup sour cream

Directions

1. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and chocolate.

2. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture, alternately with the water and sour cream. Transfer to prepared cupcake tins.

3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.

For the Frosting

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a pot mix together the sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and milk. Bring to a boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool partially and then beat with a mixer for three minutes.

2. When your cupcakes are cool, spread this glaze on top of them.

* makes about 2 dozen cupcakes

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Yesterday I posted about restraint and how I love to indulge, but how I need to not indulge in unhealthy things. And then today I made bacon chocolate chip cookies and ate six of them. *sigh*

Cookies are my downfall. My weakness. My kryptonite. Chocolate chip cookies make it even worse.

But I ignored my better thinking and made these bacon chocolate chip cookies for this month’s We Should Cocoa. This month’s theme is New Year, New Ingredient and is hosted at Lancashire Food. Basically, this month’s chocolate recipe was to pick an ingredient to pair with chocolate that we’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t yet.

The chocolate-bacon craze has intrigued me. About a year ago (I think) I had chocolate bacon gelato. It was delicious. But I’ve been hesitant for whatever reason of actually including bacon with my chocolate. I shouldn’t have been, but perhaps I should have made only 1/2 a batch of cookies so I wouldn’t have devoured so many.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
(source)

Ingredients
8 strips bacon
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions

1. In a skillet fry up the bacon. Once it’s cooked crisp, place it on a plate covered in paper towels to let drain. Once the bacon has cooled cut it into small pieces. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of your mixer, combine the butter and sugars. Beat until creamed together. Then add the egg and vanilla and beat together.

3. Add the baking soda, baking powder, and flour to the mixing bowl. Mix together well.

4. Add the chocolate chips and bacon. Using a big spoon, mix the bacon and chocolate into the dough.

5. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place 1 tbsp sized balls of the cookie dough. Leave enough room between the cookies so they can expand a little bit.

6. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes.

* makes about 2 dozen cookies
* besides We Should Cocoa, I’m sharing these cookies with Weekend Cooking

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Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

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Cookie season has arrived! December is always my favorite time of year. It’s my birthday. It’s Christmas. I get candy. I get cookies. I don’t like how cold it’s been, but life can be a compromise sometime.

I participated in Christmas Cookie Recipe Swap hosted by White Lights on Wednesday, {i love} my disorganized life, and Real Housemoms. The swap changed a bit from last year, but was just as fun. Last year we mailed our partners a handwritten copy of our recipe. This year it was all done electronically. While receiving snail mail is fun, it was a lot easier to receive the recipe via my computer rather than twiddling my thumbs until the mailman decided to drop it off.

Last year for the swap I made Pink Peppermint Chip Cookies. This year I also received a recipe for “chip” cookies – but for a very different cookie: chocolate chocolate chip – oh yeah!

This year Amy from My Little-One Room Schoolhouse is my partner. So, let’s thank her for the recipe!

I love chocolate chips and I love chocolate cookies, so this is seriously the combination of two wonderful things. I did have some problems though. I have two cookie sheets. One is thicker than the other. The cookies that baked on my thin sheet just went . . . flat. :( The cookies that were baked on the thicker sheet fluffed up more and were definitely better. I’m sure it had to do with how the heat was reacting to the cookies, but this is the first time I’ve noticed such a visible difference between my baking sheets.

And with that, cookie season has begun! Let’s see what cookies this season brings.

XMAS Cookie Recipe Swap

Double Chocolate Dream Cookies

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

1. Mix flour, cocoa, soda and salt together.  Set aside.

2. In another bowl, cream butter and sugars together.  Add eggs and vanilla.

3. Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Drop spoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool completely.  Do not overbake.  Center may appear not to be done, but will set as cookies cool.

Because I don’t own my own domain and WordPress for some reason hates linkys, please click here to see all the other cookies shared!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

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My lack of updating isn’t currently do to a lack of cooking. Rather, my lack of updating is entirely the fault of I haven’t cooked anything to die for lately. Everything’s been blah – and I don’t really need to share those blah recipes. Just this week I made pumpkin lasagna reminiscent of baby food and beef in the slow cooker which was too dry.

One thing I did not falter on were these muffins.

I try every month to participate in Chocolate Log Blog’s We Should Cocoa. We Should Cocoa is a monthly blogger challenge – make a chocolate recipe that fits the theme of the month. This month’s We Should Cocoa is being hosted by JibberJabberUK who provided the theme of vegetables.

I initially had planned to make beet chocolate muffins, but some change in my finances has allowed me now to only go grocery shopping every other week. This basically means by week two I have to make sure to use up everything I have in the house. I was wasting too much before and spending more than I had.  Because I had no beets on the day I decided I needed to make chocolate muffins, I dug through the vegetable drawer and decided I’d make chocolate zucchini cupcakes.

I’ve made chocolate zucchini bread before and really loved it, so I knew this would be good. Also, because I didn’t go grocery shopping, these are eggless.

I guess I’m back on the We Should Cocoa muffin kick!

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Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
(source)

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare a muffin tin by lining it with wrappers.

2. In a small container combine the milk and vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.

3. In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Create a well in the middle.

4. In a smaller bowl combine the milk/vinegar mix, vegetable oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Pour into the well of the dry mixture. Mix together to ensure there are no dry spots. Fold the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips into the batter.

5. Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

* makes 12
* Besides We Should Cocoa, I’m sharing this recipe with AlphaBakes hosted by Ros and Caroline for the letter C this month! This is also being shared with Cast Party Wednesday.

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Banana S’More Quick Bread

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Surfing the internet makes me drool sometimes. I’ll be looking from blog to blog and I’ll start feeling hungry. My mouth will start watering. I will browse my refrigerator to see if I can make the thing that made me drool. The answer is usually no. Then I bookmark it and I usually forget to actually make it.

This followed that same course, up until I actually went to the grocery store and bought what I needed to make the bread.

It’s been hot out. And despite feeling hot and sweaty, I made this in the kitchen and just got sweatier. That’s what happens when the oven’s on, obviously.

This bread was great. For as much sugary items are in it, I somehow wan’t overwhelmed by it being too sweet.

I think I’ll have a slice for breakfast.

I’m going to share this quick bread with Alpha Bake’s monthly challenge hosted by Ros and Caroline. This month’s letter is Q. I also plan on making a quiche later this month, but I figured I might as well share what I have!

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Banana S’More Quick Bread
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup graham crackers, crushed
3/4 cup mini marshmallows
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9×5 baking pan and set aside.

2. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs. Beat together until combined.

3. In a large bowl sift together the baking soda and flour. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, beating together.

4. With a wooden spoon, stir the mashed bananas, graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate chips into the batter. Pour into the prepared baking pan.

5. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting.

* serves 8
* Besides AlphaBakes I’m sharing this with Mix It Up Monday