Ready to get back to work!

We’ve returned from our travels, rested, and the laundry is almost finished – time to get back to work. Tomorrow I’ll start posting more chocolate recipes! Remember, the Art Walk and Taste of Chocolate are February 9th. We are looking for artists, musicians and chocolatiers. Stop by the store to enter.

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Chocolate Recipes

An Excellent Brownie!

This was adapted from a recipe in Rosie’s All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed Baking Book. What works in Boston, doesn’t always work the same way in Colorado! The nuts and chocolate chips are optional. If you are going to ice the brownies, you may want to skip the chips.

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9″ pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving extra so you can lift brownies out of pan. Grease.

Melt chocolate and butter in heavy saucepan or double boiler, over low heat.  Stir in sugar until it is dissolved. Add the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time. Make sure it is well blended.

Add the flour. Make sure you scrape all the way to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a moist crumb.

Cool on wire rack for one hour before cutting.

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Chocolate Recipes

Chocolate-Truffles-1292658

An Even Easier Chocolate Truffle

12 ounces chocolate chips (vanilla, milk, dark – your choice)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons liqueur (Amaretto, Frangelico etc – also your choice of flavor)
powdered sugar

Melt the chocolate chips over low heat in a small, heavy saucepan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and liqueur. Blend well. Refrigerate for one hour. Shape into small balls and roll in powdered sugar. Refrigerate.

 

Experiment with the little bottles of liqueurs that are available. Kahlua or another coffee flavored brand would be good, too!

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Chocolate Recipes

Our town (Craig, Colorado) has an Art Walk/Taste of Chocolate every year near Valentine’s Day. This year it will be February 9th. My schedule won’t allow me to post every day, so I’m going to start chocolate recipes now, in the hopes of inspiring entries in the Taste of Chocolate.

Basic Truffle Recipe

2/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup cocoa (not the drink mix)

Bring the cream to a boil in a heavy saucepan or double boiler. Remove from heat. Stir in the chocolate until melted and smooth. Add the butter and blend well. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Using a cookie scoop, teaspoon, or melon baller, form into small balls. Roll in cocoa and refrigerate. Before serving, roll in more cocoa or decorative sprinkles.

Here are some chocolate recipes that I’ve pinned:

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Crab Legs for New Years Eve?

I just did a little research into cooking this delightful meal, and I found 3 basic methods – baking, steaming and boiling. Since the legs are already cooked when you buy them, most recipes don’t even recommend thawing. We’ve always thawed ours in a sink of cold water – and then we cut the shells before we bake them. I don’t think I want to give up the ease of eating the cut shells! Anyway, here are the basic recipes that I found. In Craig, because of the elevation, I think you might have to add a minute or two to the time to make sure they are hot.
OVEN: Place in shallow pan. Brush with butter and lemon juice. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.
STEAM: Bring 2-3 cups of water and a tablespoon of salt to a boil in a big pot. Place legs on rack above water. Cover tightly and steam for 5 to 7 minutes.
BOIL: Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Add salt and whatever seasonings you desire. Add legs and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Most recipes said to rinse before eating.

However you cook them, be sure to have plenty of melted butter on hand!

Do you cook them any differently? What seasonings do you use?

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Christmas Cookies – Day 24

Butter-Pecan Shortbread Sticks

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut in 5 or 6 pieces
2 Tablespoons finely chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 ounce milk chocolate, melted

Combine flour and brown sugar in food processor bowl.  Pulse once or twice to mix. Sprinkle butter pieces over surface and pulse 3 or 4 times until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Sprinkle pecans and vanilla over surface and pulse once or twice. Form into ball and knead until smooth.

On lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 8 X 6 rectangle. Cut into 24 2 X 1 inch strips. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until bottoms just begin to brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Drizzle cooled sticks with melted chocolate.

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Christmas Cookies – Day 23

Pinwheel Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup apricot, strawberry, or seedless raspberry preserves or jam

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. In mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until well blended. Divide dough in half and shape each into rectangle. Dust with flour. Roll each half between floured sheets of wax paper to make an 8 X 12  rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate for about half an hour.

Cut dough into 2 1/2 inch squares. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Make a 1 inch diagonal cut from the corners of each square towards the center. Place one teaspoon of preserves in the center of each square. Lift one corner of each square and bring towards center. Repeat with remaining corners to make pinwheel.

Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookies sheet, then finish cooling on wire rack.

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