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Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Generally, my cookie repertoire is fairly boring – chocolate chip, peanut bitter, an occasional oatmeal raisin. But sometimes, especially during the holidays, I like to mix it up a bit. These Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies do just that and are quite festive as well! Of course, now I have a bunch of extra candy canes lying around the house, which will probably mean making some peppermint bark.

The original recipe called for the melted chocolate to be drizzled on top of the cooled cookies, but I think it makes much more sense to just spread a layer of chocolate on top – more surface area for the candy cane pieces to stick to. I also made mine about twice the size called for, (I used a small scoop that equals about two tablespoons), because bigger cookies are better cookies. Right?

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Adapted from . . . → Read More: Christmas Cookies: Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Valentine’s Day Dessert: Sour Cream Raspberry Chambord Cheesecake & a Day at Darigold

Valentine's Day Dessert: Sour Cream Raspberry Chambord Cheesecake

Valentine’s Day Baking Tips & Tricks at Darigold in Seattle
I was recently invited to a dairy baking demonstration at Darigold headquarters in Seattle. And of course, when someone invites you to spend the day in Seattle tasting fancy desserts and pastries made with mountains of cream and butter, the correct response is, “Yes! Of course I will attend!”

Upon arriving at Darigold, we had a butter and sour cream tasting, learned a bit about the company and then it was time for the demonstrations and dessert tastings.

Chef Pierre Fauvet was on hand to take us through the creation of not three or even four desserts but five! Five dairy-rich, decadent desserts. Such a difficult way to spend an afternoon. In addition to Sour Cream Raspberry Chambord Cheesecake, we also sampled Salted Caramel Tart, Cream Puff Swans, Raspberry Cream Tart and Chocolate Eclairs.

I’ve posted the cheesecake recipe below. It would definitely make a wonderful Valentine’s Day dessert, but it does need to chill overnight, so plan accordingly.

Valentine's Day Dessert: Sour Cream Raspberry Chambord Cheesecake

Chef Pierre Fauvet making Sour Cream Raspberry Chambord <span style= . . . → Read More: Valentine’s Day Dessert: Sour Cream Raspberry Chambord Cheesecake & a Day at Darigold

FFwD: Nutella Tartine

Nutella Tartine

This French Friday with Dorie pick, for me this week, was the perfect recipe. It was super quick and chocolatey and aside from the nutella, I actually had all the ingredients already. Perfect!

Instead of brioche, I used challah as the recipe suggested as an alternative. But not just any challah — I had some cranberry challah rolls in the freezer. This was the perfect excuse to defrost one, slice it up, and slather it with goodness. Plus, I thought the cranberries added to the overall flavor.

Notes:

1. I kind of wish the other side of the bread was toasted too. If I do this again, I’d probably toast the one side, flip it over and then spread the butter and toast up the second side.
2. I had no patience for a double boiler and just gave the nutella two 15-second cycles in the microwave.
3. I used chopped pecans for the top, as I didn’t have any hazelnuts.

That’s pretty much it. Here’s a link to everyone’s posts and my photos below.

Nutella Tartine
The makings of a delicious snack.

Nutella Tartine
Challah buttered and toasted, orange marmalade on.

Nutella Tartine
Here . . . → Read More: FFwD: Nutella Tartine

Weekend Browned Butter Brownies

Browned Butter Brownies

What’s better than fudgey, chocolately, crinkley-topped, walnut-filled brownies? Brownies made with browned butter so they are even nuttier and tastier.

These are good for a weekend because you have two whole days to eat a lot of them before you decide you really should take them into work Monday, so you don’t eat them all.

Or something like that…

Browned Butter Brownies with Walnuts
From Bon App├ętit Magazine
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
10 tbsp (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, chilled
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup walnut pieces

brownies

Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325 degrees F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray.

brownies

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.

brownies

Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

brownies

Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to . . . → Read More: Weekend Browned Butter Brownies

Not Really So Texas-Style Chili

Chili

I love this chili! I’ve made it twice in the past month. It’s really good…not mouth-burningly spicy (but it has a kick), very complex and if you are not from Texas, it’s perfectly appropriate to add beans, imho. Hooray! If you want your chili all meaty and Texas-like, just increase the meat to 3 pounds and loose the beans. How you prefer your chili is between you and your kitchen, that’s what I say. This is just how I like it.

The second time I made it, I actually grabbed a boneless rib eye steak from Trader Joe’s, cubed that up and used that for the meat. I think it was about $5 and I liked that better than the $12 worth of short ribs I used originally. Go figure.

Oh and this leftover chili makes EPIC NACHOS. Seriously. Just load some tortilla chips up on a baking sheet. Scatter some spoonfuls of (warmed up) chili on top, add cheese and diced red onions and stick in a 400 degree oven until the cheese melts and the chip get a little golden. Wow. Yeah. You’re welcome.

Portland-Style Chili with Beer, Coffee & Chocolate
Adapted from a recipe in Food . . . → Read More: Not Really So Texas-Style Chili