Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Baking with Honey (& Honey Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe)

Hope you're enjoying Tuesday Tips here on DyingforChocolate.com. I've posted several chocolate honey recipes, but I thought it might be good to post some honey tips, particularly when substituting honey for sugar. Of course, you can just find a recipe that uses honey, so you don't need to think about it. But, sometimes, you just want to try a recipe and you prefer using honey. I know I do.

Tuesday Tips:
Baking with Honey

1. Generally you can substitute 2/3 cup honey for each cup of sugar in a recipe, but you'll probably want to reduce the amount of liquid by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey.

2. If you're baking, you'll want to reduce the heat by about 25 degrees to prevent burning.

3. And, here's one you might not know. If you're substituting honey in baking, add 1/2 tsp baking soda for each cup honey used.

From the Empire State Honey Producers comes this recipe (slightly adapted) for Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Honey Chocolate Chip Cookies 

1/2 cup local honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1-1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped or ground walnuts (optional)

Cream honey and butter together. Add egg and vanilla.
In bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Add to wet honey mixture. Mix.
Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Stir slightly.
Drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tequila Brownies: National Tequila Day

Today is National Tequila Day! Have a shot of Tequila, or, better still, make these fabulous rich Tequila Brownies.

I use Reposado Tequila in this recipe. Reposado, or "rested," Tequila is aged in wood tanks or casks for a minimum of 2 months. The higher-quality Reposados are aged from 3-9 months. Reposado tequila has a robust flavor and is the best-selling in Mexico and can be either 100% agave or mixto. Of course, you can use whatever type of Tequila you have on hand in the following recipe.


1/2 cup unsalted butter
12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 - 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp Reposado tequila
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 8x8x2" square pan. 
Heat butter and chocolate in saucepan over saucepan over simmering flame. Stir until melted.
In bowl, combine cocoa, sugar, flour, tequila, baking powder, salt, and eggs.
Pour in chocolate/butter mixture, mixing just until combined.
Stir in walnuts.
Spread mixture in pan.
Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool before cutting.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Oreo S'mores aka S'moreos

Nabisco has been adding different flavors to their Oreo line-up for years, usually seasonal, around the holidays--Halloween Oreos, Christmas Oreos, Valentine's Day (Red Velvet Oreos), etc. Of course there are Vanilla Oreos, but that seems to defeat the purpose. Some of the flavors work and some don't, but I think you'll find these do!

To the delight of S'mores and Oreo Lovers every where, Nabisco has produced Oreo S'mores. These Oreos are like camping in the woods without the bugs. You can eat them straight out of the bag. The cookie is not chocolate! It's a graham cracker cookie, and instead of the usual creme filling, there's chocolate-marshmallow creme. These cookies are not too sweet, either. They're just right. If you like S'mores, you'll want to try these!

Want to make your own S'moreos? These are a real variation on Traditional S'mores.


Double-Stuffed Oreos
Large marshmallows, cut in half
Hershey bar

Twist Oreo apart so top and bottom are separated. Put filling side up and put 1 Hershey's rectangle on top. Add 1/2 large marshmallow. Top with remaining Oreo half.
Put on microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.
If top half of Oreo falls off, just put it back on top after removing from microwave.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Chocolate Creme Brulee´- National Creme Brulee´ Day

Celebrate National Creme Brulee´ Day with Chocolate Creme Brulee. There are a lot of recipes out there, but a really good never fail Recipe for Chocolate Creme Brulee comes from Paula Deen.  I love her recipe because it's easy, contains alcohol (Chocolate Liqueur) and tastes fantastic. Because this recipe calls for egg yolks only, use the extra egg whites to make Chocolate Meringues.

Chocolate Creme Brulee 

1 quart heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 ounce chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva Liqueur)
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 ounces dark cocoa powder
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (remember the best quality makes a difference)
11 large egg yolks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In medium sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add heavy cream, sugar, liqueur, and vanilla. When mixture is warm add cocoa powder and chocolate and whisk until blended.
Place egg yolks in large stainless steel bowl.
Slowly add warm chocolate mixture to eggs a little at time while whisking.
Strain and pour into individual porcelain ramekins.
Place ramekins in a large baking pan.
Pour enough hot water into pan to come half way up sides of ramekins.
Bake until firm in center, about 30 minutes.
Remove ramekins from water bath and let cool completely.
Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Dust with sugar and caramelize with propane torch. Serve immediately.

If you've never carmelized sugar with a torch, read The Kitchn on Apartment Therapy. I use a small torch from the hardware store, but you can find torches at kitchen shops and online. It's a fun item to have on hand. You can use it to finish your s'mores, too!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Chocolate Lollipops for National Lollipop Day!

Today is National Lollipop Day! Lollipops are usually made of hardened, flavored sucrose with corn syrup on a stick, but lollipops come in all kinds of sizes, flavors, and textures. The story goes that the first lollipops were invented during the Civil War, but others believe they were already around in the early 1800s. George Smith claimed to the first to invent the modern style lollipop in 1909, and he trademarked the name in 1931. He named them after a racing horse: Lolly Pop! But the name was around  since 1794 and referred to soft, rather than hard candy. That's great because that's the recipe I have for you today!

My favorite lollipop? Tootsie Roll Pops! Last year I posted about Tootsie Roll Pops, including recipes for Tootsie Pop Cocktails! So this year, I'd post about another less traditional lollipop--a Chocolate Lollipop that you can either lick or bite into!

This is an easy recipe to make with the kids or your sweetheart! Adapted from Kraft Recipes, these are actually called Sweetheart Chocolate Lollipops! As always feel free to substitute your own chocolate ingredients.


4 squares Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate or 4 ounces very dark chocolate
3/4 cup sweet butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
4 squares Baker's White Chocolate, melted or 4 ounces white chocolate
Assorted sprinkles

1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted (or melt in a double boiler). Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Add sugar; mix well. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Cover. Refrigerate 1 hour or until dough is stiff.

2. SHAPE dough into 2-inch balls; insert lollipop stick into each ball. Place, 2 inches apart, on greased baking sheets.

3. BAKE 8 minutes or just until set. (Do not overbake.) Let stand on baking sheet 1 minute; transfer to wire racks. Cool completely. Drizzle with white chocolate; decorate with sprinkles (if you feel like it). Let stand until chocolate is firm.

Makes about 30 Lollipops!

A Tip from Kraft: 
How to Melt and Drizzle Chocolate
Coarsely chop white chocolate; place in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on MEDIUM (50%) 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Dip fork into chocolate, then use to drizzle chocolate over pops. Let stand until chocolate is firm.

Photo: Kraft (with chocolate heart sprinkles)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

National Daiquiri Day: Three Chocolate Daiquiri Recipes

Today is National Daiquiri Day, and how better to celebrate than with Chocolate Daquiris! And, instead of one recipe...here are three recipes with different fruits and flavors. Perfect for the summer.

FYI: A traditional Daiquiri is a cocktail that usually combines rum, citrus (usually lime), and sugar or another sweetener. Add Chocolate, and it's my drink of choice!

Chocolate Daiquiri 

4 parts Light Rum
2 Parts Dark Cacao Liqueur
2 parts lime juice
1 part simple syrup

Fill shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into chilled daiquiri glass.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Daiquiri

3 ounces chocolate vodka
1 cup fresh strawberries

Combine ingredients in blender. Blend well. Pour into chilled daiquiri glass. Garnish with chocolate covered strawberry!

Chocolate Banana Daiquiri

2 cups ice
1 banana, chopped in pieces
2 ounces golden (or white) rum
2 ounces creme de banane (this should be on your bar shelf!)
juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp chocolate syrup

Blend ice and banana and blend on high speed. Then add all other ingredients to blender. Pulse until everything evens out and then blend on high until smooth. Serve in daiquiri or high ball glasses.
OMG.. this is fabulous!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday Tips: How to Make the Best Brownies

Brownies are just about my favorite chocolate dessert. They're pretty easy to make, and there's lots of versatility. The classic Brownie consists of butter, sugar, chocolate, eggs, and flour. Fudgy Brownies do not usually use baking powder, and melting the butter rather than creaming it will produce a denser, fudgier brownie. Cake-like brownies are, well, cakes! They have less butter and more flour, and usually some baking powder. And you usually cream the sugar with the butter rather than melting with the chocolate. Sometimes cake-like brownies use milk, too.

So what kind of brownies do you like? Fudgy or cake-like? Whatever you like best, be sure and choose the right recipe. Below I have a link to lots of different Brownie recipes. Read through them before you begin to do anything. Choose wisely.

Here are some more Tips for Making the very best Brownies!

Be sure and let the chocolate cool after you melt it. After you take it off the stove, put it aside to cool before you add the eggs and sugar. You don't want to scramble the eggs.

Don't overmix your batter. It can cause a thin crust on top. Also, if you want to improve the texture of the brownies, put the unbaked batter (in the prepared pan) in the refrigerator for a few hours before putting it in the oven.

Always use the right pan. That means really reading the recipe and not substituting a pan that's smaller or larger than called for. If you do, you need to adjust the cooking time for the recipe. Do you know how to do that? I almost always use a 8 x 8 inch pan. If you use a larger pan, you'll have thin dry brownies. If you use a smaller pan than called for, the brownies might be gooey in the center. I use a metal pan. I've found that glass pans cause the edges to overbake.

Be sure and grease the pan. I use butter, but cooking spray or shortening works, too. If you decide to use parchment paper (after greasing the pan) to make it easier to lift the brownies, be sure and have it hang over the sides, and also be sure to grease the parchment.

Don't overcook your brownies. There's nothing worse than dry brownies. If you're doing the toothpick test, be sure there are some crumbs on the toothpick, not totally clean as in "until a toothpick inserted comes out clean." No!! The brownies will continue to cook, so take them out a few minutes earlier. For fudgy brownies, remove the pan when the sides have shrunk slightly away from the edges. Center will be gooey, but the brownies will continue to cook while cooling.

Ah, and here's the final tip. Don't cut the brownies until they're cool. I know this may be  difficult, especially when your whole house smells like chocolate! The brownies will actually taste better if you wait. Believe me...

O.K. Now you're ready to peruse some Brownie Recipes. Here's a link to lots of different Brownie Recipes. Do you have a favorite? Want to post? or Share a link to a recipe? Have a Tip? Make a comment below.

Brownies Recipe Round-Up: 50+ Recipes

Monday, July 17, 2017

Jell-O Pudding Ice Cream: Retro Ad & Recipe

Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day, but I had to post this Retro Ad with Recipe from Jell-O for "Jell-O Pudding Ice Cream". It was part of their 1967 Now, pudding is... campaign.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Where to Get Free Ice Cream Today: Ice Cream Day!

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan named July National Ice Cream Month and named the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. The ice cream industry in the United States contributes more than $39 billion to the economy and creates more than 188,000 jobs, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. When Reagan made the proclamation, he called for people in the United States to observe National Ice Cream Day with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

So celebrate. Here's a round-up of places to get free or reduced cost ice cream today! Be sure and check with the location. Times and freebies will vary.

Comment to add any local favorites.

Fenton’s Creamery (Oakland and Vacaville): Fenton’s Creamery is celebrating its 123rd birthday Sunday by offering junior Black & Tan sundaes for $1.23. The sundaes are usually $9.25.

Cold Stone Creamery: If you sign up for My Cold Stone Club, you can get a “buy one, get one free” coupon that’s good through July 23. There will also be a “buy one, get one free” offer on its Confetti Cupcake Ice Cream, a limited summer flavor, according to the Orange County Register.

Dairy Queen:You can join Dairy Queen’s Blizzard Fan Club and “buy one, get one free” Blizzard coupon, according to Spoon University.

Wendy’s: The fast-food chain will offer Frostys, vanilla or chocolate, for 50 cents until Aug. 25 

Whole Foods: One-day sale on pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice creams, frozen yogurts and non dairy treats. Two pints for $6. Select locations will also host “Sundae Fundae” sampling events.

McDonald’s: Free vanilla soft serve cone if you download the fast food chain’s mobile app and redeem the Free Vanilla Cone offer. You’ll also be entered to win a one-of-a-kind "Golden Arches Cone” that will entitle you to free McDonald’s soft serve for life. July 16; 2pm to 5pm local time for the sweepstakes

Carvel: Any size soft serve ice cream cone or cup when you buy one. You can choose from three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, or Oreo.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams: Kids and teens under 18 will get a free kids scoop in a classic orange cake cone with sprinkles, when an accompanying adult buys a scoop or cone.

Dippin’ Dots: Free mini cup of ice cream at most locations.

Cumberland Farms: Free Farmhouse Premium Ice Cream Sandwich when you buy a 20oz Pepsi or Mountain Dew drink.

Steak ‘n Shake: The roadside burger chain has a coupon for buy-one-get-one (BOGO) Strawberry Cheesecake Milkshakes. Now through August 31 

Your Pie: This pizza chain will give you a free scoop of its premium gelato.

Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream: The nation’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream chain is offering a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) deal on its custom ice cream creations.  July 16, 2pm to 6pm

PetSmart: Turns out your dog can get in on the dessert-filled celebration, too.They'll be handing out free Doggie Ice Cream Sundaes -- dog-safe vanilla ice cream topped with a dog biscuit sprinkle -- at PetSmart PetsHotel locations nationwide.

Baskin-Robbins: Although the 31 flavors purveyor is celebrating the occasion this year early with free samples of its new ice cream pizza on Friday, July 14, the chain is also promising offers for more freebies and deals on National Ice Cream Day itself if you download the Baskin-Robbins Mobile App. 

16 Handles: Download this self-serve frozen yogurt chain's mobile app, and you'll get a coupon for a free four-ounce order from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. today.

Friendly's: For every $2.99 Friend-z ice cream order on Sunday, Friendly's will donate $2 to the Boys & Girls Club of America. Customers who purchase a Friend-z on Sunday will also get a coupon good for a free ice cream in the future.

Krystal: The Krystal fast food chain is offering sundaes for only 99 cents from July 16 to July 23. 

Monkey Joe's: All guests at Monkey Joe's indoor play centers get free ice cream cups on Sunday

A & W: Receive a free regular shake with purchase of an Original Bacon Double Cheeseburger

10 Fabulous Ice Cream Tricks from Ben & Jerry's

Today is Ice Cream Day, but if you're like me, every day is Ice Cream Day. Check out your local ice cream shop for special and freebies!

Here are some 10 Ice Cream Tricks from Ben & Jerry's, starting with an easy way of making ice cream sandwiches without all the mess:

1. Grab a pint, get a hold of a giant knife, and cut the pint into circular slices. Because you’re obviously a dessert pro, you already have some delicious cookies ready to go. 

2. Have a half pint left in the freezer? You COULD dig in and methodically and dutifully deposit an equal number of scoops in each of your bowls. OR you could take a sturdy knife and cut that pint right down the middle lengthwise. Instant gratification.

Read on for 8 more fabulous Ice Cream Tricks.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Magic Chocolate Ice Cream: Retro Elsie the Cow Ad & Recipe

It's going to be a scorcher this weekend, and what's more refreshing than chocolate ice cream? And, it's National Ice Cream Day! Here's an August 8, 1941 Retro ad and Recipe from Borden's Eagle Brand for Magic Chocolate Ice Cream. And, it's no-churn. I love Elsie the Cow, and I'm definitely take her advice on bringing "homemade ice cream to the social." Luckily, I have an automatic refrigerator! Gotta love these 'story' ads. "If it's Borden's, it's got to be good."

Friday, July 14, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Chocolate Cherry Clafoutis: Bastille Day!

Bastille Day aka la Fête Nationale aka 14 juillet is a French holiday on July 14 that commemorates the day the people of Paris stormed the Bastille prison in 1789. This violent overthrow of the monarchy made way for a republic, and the beginning of the modern nation.

Traditionally the celebration begins the night before, with big parties and balls. Then on the morning of Bastille Day the world’s largest and oldest military procession takes place in Paris, with the President of France at the head of the parade and jets flying overhead, often leaving trails of blue, white, and red. Most Parisians, and their countryside counterparts, settle in for an afternoon of outdoor parties, with lots of eating and drinking. Just as they took to the streets during the revolution, so the French take to the streets on Bastille Day, but in a much more festive way! The day ends in a spectacular fireworks display, with the Eiffel Tower serving as a backdrop. Colorful explosions are seen across the country in smaller towns and cities as well.

So Bastille Day is a day to celebrate French food, and for this blog, French Chocolate Dessert! In the past I've posted many "French" recipes for Bastille Day--from Soufflés to Beignets to Eclairs to Crepes. But this year, I wanted to post something different. What can be more French than a Clafoutis? A clafoutis is a simple French country dessert that's comprised of sliced stone fruit over which a pancake-like batter is poured and then baked. You'll be glad to learn that there is such a thing as Chocolate Clafoutis. Following is an easy, quick, and delicious recipe adapted from the French Chef herself, Julia Child, from her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1.You can substitute other stone fruits, such as pears, peaches, apricots, nectarines, and plums, but cherries are in season..and I love chocolate and cherries.


Heat oven to 350˚F. Butter a heavy cast iron skillet.
3 cup cherries, pitted and halved
Arrange in dish cut-side facing upwards.
To make this even more chocolate, add chocolate chips in with the cherries.
Into a blender put the following, in any order:
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder, sifted
Dash of salt
2/3 cup superfine (castor sugar)* (and you can also use regular white sugar)
1 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large room temp eggs

Blend it all together and when thoroughly combined, pour carefully over pitted cherries.
Sprinkle a handful of superfine sugar on top and bake in oven for about 1 hour.
Clafouti rise, but they also fall quickly, so plan to eat it warm with some whipped cream or ice cream on the side.

Superfine Sugar
* I usually have a box of superfine sugar in my pantry, but if you don't, you can make it quickly at home. 
For one cup: Grind one cup and two teaspoons of white granulated sugar in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds. Also called castor sugar, this is simply sugar that has been ground into finer crystals than regular granulated. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins: Blueberry Muffin Day

Yesterday was Blueberry Muffin Day, but this month is Blueberry Month, so I'm not behind in celebrating! I'm a major blueberry person from way back, even before I knew they were healthy with antioxidants and flavonoids and vitamins. I grew up back East, and when we went to the 'country', my Aunt Annie used to take us blueberry hunting in the woods. It was great fun. We'd all come back with blue-stained hands and mouths. Those blueberries were small and juicy and sweet as wild blueberries should be. I still crave blueberries. Local blueberries are at the farmers' market right now, and for frozen blueberries, I usually freeze my own, but in a pinch the wild blueberries from Maine at Trader Joe's are very tasty. Of course, I can get fresh blueberries all year round from other countries, but local is the way to go.

For National Blueberry Muffin Day, use fresh blueberries in these muffin recipes. I am partial to plain muffins with blueberries and chocolate chips, so the first recipe is the one I use. But since this is a chocolate blog, I found a recipe for chocolate blueberry muffins, too. I haven't made that one, so let me know what you think if you do. It comes from a very reputable source.

Here's my recipe for Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins. I like my muffins firm with a crusty top and soft inside--and not too sweet. I think you'll like these. I use a 1/2 cup of sugar, but if you want them a little sweeter use 3/4 cup. Don't want your blueberries to sink to the bottom? Dust them with flour before putting them in the batter.

Blueberry Chocolate Chunk Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup whole milk
fresh blueberries (maybe a cup?)
dark chocolate, chopped into chunks

Preheat oven to 400. Grease your muffin tin or use liners.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center.
Put oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg (already whipped), and enough milk to fill cup to brim. Pour into the well and mix with flour mixture. Do not overmix.
Stir in blueberries and as many of the chocolate chips as you'd like. I like a lot, but you want to also be able to taste the blueberries--and the muffin, itself.
Fill muffin cups right to top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven-- or until done.

So that's my favorite, but for those who want a chocolate muffin with blueberries, here's a recipe from Yankee Magazine. As I mentioned, I haven't tried this yet, but it looks easy and good.

Chocolate Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened or very dark chocolate
1 cup sugar (I'd probably use less)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In medium saucepan, melt butter and unsweetened chocolate over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in sugar, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. In small bowl, combine flour and baking soda. Gently combine with liquid ingredients. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into well-greased muffin cups, filling to top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer muffins to wire rack to cool. Drizzle cooled muffins with semisweet chocolate.

Have a great Blueberry Muffin Day--make it Chocolate!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Chocolate Curls and Grated Chocolate

Sometimes you want grated chocolate or chocolate curls to decorate a cake or cupcakes or pancakes or other foods. Today's Tuesday Tip: Chocolate Curls and Grated Chocolate

Lots of people have different techniques. Let me know which you use or if you have some other advice. The following is in no particular order.

Some people swear that you should put the chocolate in the freezer for about 10 minutes before you use any of the following techniques. Others say to melt the chocolate in a pan and then refrigerate but soften slightly before working with it. So here are 8 different tips!

1. Grating: Cut chocolate into a chunk that fits comfortably in your hand. Grate the chocolate using a microplane grater, handheld grater, or the smallest holes on a box grater.

2. Curls: Use a cheese slicer. Depending on what type of curls you want--thick or then.. depends on pressure you use.

3. I've been known to use a vegetable peeler.

4. And, I've also used a drum grater (Mouli Grater). Friction doesn't melt the chocolate, and there's no heat from your hands.

5. And here's a good way to make Chocolate Curls with softer chocolate: Let milk chocolate or white baking bar come to room temperature, then carefully draw a vegetable peeler across the bar. For small curls, use the thin side of the chocolate piece; for large curls, use the broad surface.

6. More info on Chocolate Curls, especially if you're going to be making a lot of them. Take a block of chocolate -1 lb. (if you don't have one, melt chocolate and put in cake pan to harden. Run knife around edges to loosen and invert). Place on heavy or sturdy surface and use a clean cheese slicer.

7. An alternative would be to melt the chocolate and put it on a cooking sheet.. use spatula to spread. Put in refrigerator, and test that it's not too soft. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a metal spatula.. curls!

8. Once curls are made, I usually put them on parchment paper until ready to use.. and sometimes store them in the fridge or a cool area if I'm not ready.

Designs: Curls, Fans and other shapes.

And whatever you do, be sure and Practice.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rumble Cake!

Hot Summer Nights! Get ready to Rumble! Rumble Cake is a terrific go-to recipe for summer picnics & movies under the stars. Make this amazing delicious Rumble Cake today!

Here's a favorite recipe I found a few years ago on the Trader Joe's website. You can buy all the ingredients at Trader Joe's or you can mix and match with your own pantry items. The beauty of this recipe is that it's filled with all kinds of different ingredients, and you can change them out, add, or delete! Don't you just love the name? Rumble Cake!

Let's Rumble!


1 stick unsalted Butter
2  Eggs
1 Box TJ’s Truffle Brownie Mix
1/4 cup TJ’s Dried Tart Montmorency Cherries (I love these)
1/4 cup Walnut Halves and Pieces
1 box TJ’s Frozen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Preheat oven to 350°.
Bring butter to room temperature and combine eggs with butter and whisk/ mix.
Slowly add in brownie mix.
Once mixture is uniform, add cherries and walnuts; set aside.
Lightly grease brownie pan and put chunks of cookie dough sporadically around bottom of pan (there may be a few pieces of cookie dough left, do with them what you must).
Pour brownie mix over top, evenly coating cookie dough.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake

I love Cheesecake, and since I'm from Philadelphia, I usually use Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Did you know the Italian word for cream cheese is Philadelphia? Really! I saw it on the Cake Boss in the episode where Buddy visits Sicily with his family. He taught some bakers to make New York style cheesecake, and since they don't usually use cream cheese in their baking, they brought out Philadelphia brand cream cheese for the cheesecake. They really do call cream cheese Philadelphia. Talk about branding!

I've posted several cheesecake recipes, but as I've mentioned many times, it's always good to go to food product websites for new recipes. This really decadent Cheesecake recipe for Ultimate Turtle Cheesecake is adapted from the Kraft website. This recipe kept popping up in my sidebar on Facebook, so I finally broke down and made it. You'll love it. You can, of course, substitute other cream cheese, caramels, nuts, chocolate, and cookies, but you might want to try the Kraft products on your test run. Yum!!


24 Oreo Cookies, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 pkg. (14 oz.) Kraft Caramels
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped Planters Pecans
3 pkg. (8 oz each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate

HEAT oven to 325°F.
MIX crumbs and butter; press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9-inch springform pan.
MICROWAVE caramels and milk in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 3 min. or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Stir in nuts; pour half into crust. Refrigerate 10 min. Refrigerate remaining caramel mixture for later use.

BEAT cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over caramel layer in crust.

BAKE 1 hour 5 min. to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.

MICROWAVE reserved caramel mixture 1 min. stir. Pour over cheesecake. Melt chocolate as directed on package; drizzle over cheesecake.

Photo: Kraft

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Buttery Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

You can never have too many recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies, and this recipe for Buttery Double Chocolate Chip Cookies adapted from Taste of Home is fabulous. These cookies are full of butter. I alternate between butters. I'm particularly addicted to a French and a Vermont butter, but lately I've been using a Wisconsin Butter--Farmhouse Kitchens. Love the flavor. In addition, I decided to add both semisweet and milk chocolate chips to mix it up. As always, use only the best chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) for best taste. Just an FYI: Recipe calls for big fat cookies, but you can always make the traditional size.


2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar 2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces milk chocolate chips

Toast walnuts by either baking them in a shallow pan at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, or toasting them in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Let cool
Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat butter and sugars until blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually beat into butter mixture.
Fold in chocolate chips and toasted walnuts.
Shape 1/4-cupfuls of dough into balls. Flatten each into a 2 1/2-inch diameter cookie, about 3/4-inch thick, smoothing edges as necessary.
Place in an airtight container, separating layers with waxed or parchment paper.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place dough portions 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Centers will be light.
Cool in pans for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Scrooge McDuck's Blueberry Crunch

I was a big Scrooge McDuck fan growing up. I learned a lot about history and culture from those comic books featuring Uncle Scrooge. One comic book in particular was about his hunt for treasure in South America as a conquistador (there were historical comic books). He found the treasure chest, but it was not filled with gold--it was filled with potatoes. Yes, that was the treasure! Disappointing, of course, to Scrooge McDuck, but I learned from this comic book that potatoes first came from South America and that was quite a treasure for the rest of the world. Potatoes are right up there with chocolate for me. I still love comics!

So you see why I love this recipe for Scrooge McDuck's Blueberry Crunch. Since this is a chocolate blog, you can substitute Kellogg's Chocolate Frosted Flakes for Corn Flakes and cut back on the sugar. I only use butter in the recipe (no margarine!). This is a great recipe for Summer. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

"Recipe for Getting Yourself Talked About this Summer" - Retro Ad for Chocolate Almond Roll

Summer is here, so I thought I'd take you back to another summertime with a Retro Baker's Chocolate Ad. My parents bought a new house in suburbia in the late 50s. Since neither of my parents grew up with air conditioning, they didn't choose that option from the builder upgrades. What were they thinking? Philadelphia? In the summer? My grandmother lived with us, so there was always a hot oven since she loved to bake. Needless to say, a few years down the road, my parents added air conditioning. Thank goodness. O.K. I know it's a #firstworldproblem, but still.

So here's a great "Recipe for Getting Yourself Talked About this Summer." Gotta love the Baker's Chocolate Story/Recipe Ads. This really is a great recipe for Chocolate Almond Cream Roll (with a variation for Chocolate Tier Cake). Want to bring it into 2017? Just substitute your favorite dark chocolate and cut down a bit on the sugar.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Summer of Love S'mores Brownies

Summer is all about S'mores and this summer is the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love! These Summer of Love S'mores Brownies are perfect for Fourth of July and the rest of the Summer. No additional ingredients necessary, but that's up to you! 

Summer of Love S'mores Brownies



  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I use Madagascar vanilla)*
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 4 large cold eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour


  • 4 cups large marshmallows


Position rack in lower third of oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so it hangs over the edges by about 1 inch.

For crust:
Lightly butter foil with some of melted butter. Stir rest of butter together with crumbs, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Press crumb mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Put butter and chocolate in medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in microwave on 75 percent power for 2 minutes. Stir, and microwave again until completely melted, about 2 minutes more. Alternatively, put butter and chocolate in heatproof bowl. Bring saucepan filled with 1 inch or so of water to very slow simmer; set bowl on pan without touching water. Stir occasionally until melted.
Stir light brown and white sugars, vanilla, and salt into melted chocolate. Add eggs and beat vigorously to make thick and glossy batter. Add flour and stir until just incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake until top is crispy and toothpick inserted into middle comes out mostly clean, with a few crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and carefully position rack about 6 inches from broiler and preheat on low.
Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can burn quickly), about 2 minutes. Or, use a small torch to brown the marshmallows.
Cool on rack, gently removing brownies from pan using aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from foil and fold away.
Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Famous Chocolate Refrigerator Roll aka Icebox Cake: Chocolate Wafer Day!

Today is National Chocolate Wafer Day! I love chocolate wafers, and I usually have a few boxes in the pantry. One,  because they're not always easy to find and Two, I used them in most of my pie crusts.
Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers, the most famous for sure, are thin and round, crisp, and dark. I did a little digging into the history of these Wafers (not called cookies) and the Famous Chocolate Icebox Cake. According to a Washington Post article (and I can't find the reference/mea culpa!) in the Nabisco archives there is a 1929 ad for the chocolate wafers. The copy in the ad suggests layering the wafers with whipped cream and refrigerating them overnight for an easy, elegant dessert.  By 1930, the recipe for Famous Chocolate Refrigerator Roll was printed on each tin of the chocolate wafers. Don't you wish the Famous Chocolate Wafers still came in a tin? How cool is that? The original tin had 10 ounces. The contemporary packages have only 9 ounces.

Famous Chocolate Refrigerator Roll aka Icebox Cake!
Recipe from Nabisco

Don't be afraid to experiment with flavor in the Whipped Cream such as Kahlua or Chocolate Liqueur or add just a bit of sugar when you're whipping the cream. Here's the "original" recipe. The whipping cream actually softens the wafers, so this is absolutely delicious, and, as always, easy!

1 tsp vanilla
1 pint (2 cups) whipping cream, whipped
1 package (9 oz.) FAMOUS Chocolate Wafers

ADD vanilla to whipped cream; stir gently until well blended.
SPREAD 1-1/2 tsp of the whipped cream mixture onto each wafer. Stack wafers together, then stand on edge on serving platter to make a log.
Frost with the remaining whipped cream mixture. 
REFRIGERATE at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut dessert diagonally into 14 slices to serve.
Store leftover dessert in refrigerator.

I like to add chocolate curls or grated chocolate to the top. 

For the Fourth of July, add raspberries and blueberries! It's a great Independence Day dessert.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Fourth of July Strawberry Pie

For me, Fourth of July is all about Strawberries and Whipped Cream.  Here's an easy Fourth of July Strawberry Pie, but of course I want chocolate with that, so I'm making a Chocolate Cookie Crust. Add blueberries to the whipped cream topping, and you'll have stars!


Chocolate Cookie Crust

25-30 chocolate cookie wafers (I use Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers), 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled. Heat oven to 350°F.  Whirl cookies in food processor until crumbs are fine. Put in medium bowl, add melted butter, and mix until combined. Press crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate evenly and firmly on bottom and up sides. Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool (on wire rack) before filling.

Filling & Topping

Mash 2 cups of strawberries (chunky not macerated) (put aside a cup of sliced strawberries). Place strawberries in small saucepan. Add sugar (to taste-depends on strawberries-about 1/4-1/2 cup), 1/4 cup corn starch, dash of salt, 1 tsp vanilla or 1 Tbsp  lemon juice (or both). Bring to simmer until thickened. Cool completely. Add rest of strawberries (cut up or sliced) and put in baked cooled Chocolate Cookie Crust. Put in fridge for 2 hours to set. Top with whipped cream, big whole strawberries, and blueberries!

Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Fourth of July S'mores Bars

Last year Over the Big Moon posted this fabulous recipe for Fourth of July S'mores Bars. I'm always looking for new S'mores recipes, and the addition of Red, White, and Blue M&Ms (available everywhere!) makes it so festive. Happy Fourth. These bars are perfect for the barbecue, camping, or taking to friends.


1 package of Oreos, crushed into fine crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
7 graham cracker squares (just enough to create a layer in pan)
3 – 8 oz ounce bars of milk chocolate (for that 'real' S'mores flavor)
4 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups Red, White and Blue M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 9 x 13 pan with aluminum foil, leaving a bit of an overhang.
Crush Oreo Cookies into fine crumbs. Combine crushed oreos with melted butter. Press oreo mixture into the bottom of 9×13 pan.
Pour sweet condensed milk over oreo crust.
Break up graham crackers and chocolate bar and sprinkle over sweet condensed milk.
Sprinkle mini marshmallows all over.
Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle all over top with M&Ms.
Put back in oven and cook for 5-7 more minutes.
Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.
While the bars are cooling, break up the last 4 ounce chocolate bar and melt with 3 tablespoons milk on stove top until chocolate is runny enough to drizzle over bars. If needed, add more milk.
After bars are cooled, drizzle milk chocolate over top of bars.
Finish cooling before serving!

Friday, June 30, 2017


Photo: PEEPS®
I love S'MORES, and these seasonal  PEEPS® Patriotic Vanilla Creme Marshallow Chicks are so cute! This photo and recipe are from my friends at PEEPS®.  Here's something fun for everyone at the Fourth of July barbecue or campfire: PEEPS Patriotic S'mores!


PEEPS Patriotic Vanilla Creme Marshmallow Chicks
Graham crackers
Chocolate bars
Sprinkles (Red, White and Blue)

Break graham crackers in half, so you have two squares.
Melt PEEP over fire or low heat.
Layer melted PEEP over square of chocolate, with graham cracker square on bottom
Top S’more with second graham cracker square and drizzle melted chocolate on top
Add patriotic sprinkles, and top off with PEEPS Patriotic Vanilla Creme Marshmallow Chick

Happy Fourth of July!

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Love this Beat the Heat! "fresh up" with Seven-Up! Ad from July 5, 1948! Family days at the Beach. Mom packs the picnic basket" Dad drives; and the kids fill the cooler with 7-Up. Seems like a lot of 7-Up from the photo. But they all look like they're having fun at the Beach--with 7-Up.

Another way of enjoying 7-Up, a very retro carbonated beverage, is to use it as a leavening agent in a chocolate bundt cake. I've posted 7-Up Chocolate Cake recipes for my Mad Men Marathon several years ago, but this is an easy 'from scratch" recipe. As I mentioned, the 7-Up is the leavening agent. Enjoy! Try to beat the heat this holiday weekend! This cake travels well!

7-Up Chocolate Cake

2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp Madagascar vanilla
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup DARK cocoa
1 cup 7-Up
1 cup dark chocolate chips  (or a cup of dark chocolate broken into chunks)
Cream butter.
Add sugar and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, beating well after each one.
Stir in salt, flour and cocoa. Blend thoroughly.
Add 7-UP.
Fold in chocolate chips or chunks.
Bake in greased and floured Bundt pan for 60 minutes (or until tester comes clean).
Cool on wire rack. 

Optional: Glaze when cooled with dark chocolate Dobash Frosting. 

Dobash Frosting
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup Ghirardelli cocoa
pinch of salt

Combine all in saucepan and bring to a boil.
Add 1/2 cup water to make a paste. Stir into cocoa mixture with whisk over heat until it thickens. Pour while hot over cake and spread.

National Ice Cream Soda Day: Brown Cow

Today is National Ice Cream Soda Day, and, of course, I'm going to have a Brown Cow! See recipe below. Ice cream sodas, aka ice cream floats, are made by combining ice cream with soda or carbonated water and flavored syrup. Of course, mine always contain chocolate (ice cream and syrup). Many people consider root beer and vanilla ice cream to be the classic ingredients for an ice cream soda, but that's a Black Cow. I posted a recipe on National Black Cow Day. A Brown Cow is very similar, but it's made with chocolate ice cream. See below for an easy recipe for a Brown Cow to celebrate National Ice Cream Soda Day!  Serve in a "retro" glass or Mason jar for that 'oout of the past' feeling. A Brown Cow is great for Fourth of July or any time!

According to Wisegeek.com, "although the recipe for an ice cream soda is quite simple, there is a trick to creating the perfect drink. Plain soda foams because it releases carbon dioxide gas, but ice cream is actually a foamy mixture of liquid, ice crystals, and air pockets. Therefore, if you want to make an ice cream soda with a lot of foam, put the ice cream in the glass before pouring the soda. If you want to make a treat with a minimal amount of foam, add the ice cream after the soda has been poured."

From The Nibble:

According to food historians, the first ice cream soda was created by accident at the Philadelphia Exposition in October 1874. It was there that pharmacist Robert M. Green invented the now-familiar ice cream soda. At that time, at soda fountains in pharmacies across America, the pharmacist or an employee known as a soda jerk (because he had to jerk back the tap of carbonated water to make a soda) would create a “cream soda” by adding a tablespoon of vanilla or other flavor of fountain syrup along with a tablespoonful of heavy cream to soda water. 

As with most stories, there are multiple variations. One version says that the fountain ran out of fresh cream. As there was no cream in the vicinity, Mr. Green got vanilla ice cream from a nearby vendor. He planned to let it melt and use it as cream, but was so busy that instead he added a frozen spoonful directly to the cream soda. In another version, he ran out of ice and used the ice cream to cool the drink. However, in his own published account, (in Soda Fountain magazine in 1910), he recounted that while operating a soda fountain at the Franklin Institute’s sesquicentennial celebration in Philadelphia in 1874, he wanted to create something that would attract customers away from another competitor. During some deliberate experimenting, he added ice cream to the soda water. 

Whatever the genesis, the ice cream soda was an instant hit and spread nationwide, where they were also called floats (for the scoop of ice cream floating at the top of the glass). 
Read more at: http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/ice-cream/ice-cream-float.asp

Brown Cow

Chocolate syrup
Chocolate ice cream
Root beer  (or cola)
Whipped cream, for garnish
Chocolate sprinkles, for garnish
Optional: 1 ounce Godiva chocolate liqueur  (for an adult Brown Cow!)

Put approximately 2-1/2 scoops of chocolate ice cream in glass cup (depending on size of glass)
Pour optional liqueur over ice cream.
Fill glass with cola (or root beer).
Place spoon in glass and stir gently.
Top with chocolate syrup, whipped cream and sprinkles.
Add straw and serve.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Chocolate Tapioca Pudding: 2 Recipes for National Tapioca Day!

Tapioca, along with junket and pudding, were standard desserts when I was growing up. I knew what pudding was, but never junket or tapioca. As a child that was fine, but as an adult interested in food and food derivations, this holiday--National Tapioca Day--got my attention.

According to Ask.Yahoo, tapioca is a root starch derived from the cassava, or yuca plant. It's often used to thicken soups and sweeten the flavor of baked goods, and it makes a great pudding. The cassava plant is native to South America and the West Indies, where its thick, fibrous roots are used in a variety of forms: bread flour, laundry starch, an alcoholic brew, and of course, tapioca pudding.

From Wikipedia: The pudding can be made from scratch using tapioca in a variety of forms: flakes, coarse meal, sticks, and pearls. Many commercial packaged mixes are also available. British schoolchildren have traditionally nicknamed the dish frog spawn, due to its appearance. American children often call it fish eyes and glue.

And here's a reason not to make tapioca at home -- cassava roots have traces of cyanide in them! The ever-resourceful Mayans, the first known to use tapioca, figured out how to extract this poison for their blow darts, leaving the uncontaminated roots free for eating. Perhaps this information would be better served on my other blog, Mystery Fanfare.

So a processed tapioca should be used in the following recipes. The first recipe for Dark Chocolate Tapioca Pudding recipe is adapted from Kraft recipes and uses instant tapioca. The second recipe uses tapioca that needs to be soaked overnight. I think the flavor is much better, but really for me, it's all about the chocolate.

1. Easy Dark Chocolate Tapioca Pudding 

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp MINUTE Tapioca
3-1/2 cups whole milk
3 ounces dark chocolate (60-75% cacao)
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla

Beat egg lightly in medium saucepan with wire whisk.
Add sugar and tapioca; mix well.
Gradually add milk, beating well after each addition.
Let stand 5 minutes. Add chocolate.
Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until chocolate is completely melted, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla.
Cool 20 minutes; stir. (Pudding thickens as it cools.)
SERVE warm or chilled.

2. Longer to make but worth it -- Dark Chocolate Tapioca Pudding
adapted only slightly from JamHands (a great site)  

1/2 cup Tapioca Pearls
2-1/2 cups Whole Milk
Pinch of Salt
2 Eggs, Separated
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Madagascar Vanilla
4-6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Soak tapioca in 2 cups of room temperature water overnight. Drain water in morning.
Heat milk over medium low heat in top of double boiler (for just a very short time, do not boil). Add salt and tapioca. Continue to heat until small bubbles appear. Cover, turn heat to very low and cook for one hour. Make sure the milk mixture does not simmer or boil.
Separate egg whites from yolks.
Beat egg yolks and sugar together until light yellow in color. Add a little of hot milk mixture to egg yolks and blend thoroughly.
Add egg yolk mixture into hot milk mixture, stirring constantly.
Place double boiler over medium heat and cook until tapioca mixture is very thick, from 15 – 30 minutes.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Slowly fold hot tapioca mixture into egg whites.
Stir in vanilla and chopped chocolate and combine thoroughly until smooth.
Serve warm or chilled.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Star Spangled Cocoa Bundt Cake for Fourth of July!

I always say you should check out recipes on food product sites that you like, and for me, the Hershey's Kitchens site is a regular stop.

I grew up in Philadelphia. My Aunt lived in Harrisburg, so Hershey's, being on the way, was a frequent stop. I remember the Hershey Factory tour that took us on catwalks over rooms filled with chocolate vats--without barriers. I always thought you could fall into the vats. This was pre-Willy Wonka. I'm sure my memory is impaired, but it was a child's paradise and fantasy. I know Hershey Park had lots of amusement rides, a roller coaster, possibly a pool, but our family never availed ourselves of those 'amusements'. We always went on the educational tour. We did have chocolate, though, so I'm grateful.

Hershey, PA is a very different place now with an enormous hotel, amusement park, spa, first class restaurants, kitchens and more. Hershey's always seems so American to me! Patriotic, even. So I'm not surprised that this Hershey's Kitchens' Cocoa Bundt Cake has become one of my favorite recipes, and here it is, all dressed up for the Fourth of July. I've adapted the recipe slightly.

Star Spangled Cocoa Bundt Cake


3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup DARK Cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
Powdered sugar
Fresh blueberries and strawberries
Sweetened whipped cream

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 12-cup bundt pan (with a hole in the middle)
Beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until fluffy; beat in sour cream. Stir baking soda into buttermilk; set aside. Stir together flour, cocoa and salt; add alternately with buttermilk mixture to butter mixture. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely.
Place cake on serving plate. Sift powdered sugar on top and sides of cake. Top with blueberries, strawberries. Serve with whipped cream.

Tip: If you don't have buttermilk, here's how to sour milk: Mix 1 Tbsp white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.

Cake Photo: Hershey's Kitchens

Monday, June 26, 2017

P is for Pudding: Retro Pudding Ads & Recipes

Today is National Chocolate Pudding Day, and yes, you can make your own pudding from scratch. I usually do. But it's amazing the revolution that powdered chocolate pudding made on the American food landscape. 

According to Jell-O history, chocolate was introduced into the Jell-O family early on but discontinued in 1927. In 1936, chocolate returned to the Jell-O lineup, this time as an instant pudding made with milk. Just an FYI, today there are several Jell-o chocolate pudding flavors including Devil's Food, Double Chocolate, Chocolate Fudge and Oreo Cookies 'n Creme.

Jell-O Pudding in the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s jumped on the advertising bandwagon of this easy yet versatile dessert. I was especially taken by the Jell-O Chocolate Pudding Ad campaign in 1967-68. So for your pleasure on this yummy holiday, I give you the Jell-O "Now, pudding is..." Each advertisement includes a recipe, too. Advertisements appeared in Life Magazine.

Now, pudding is cheesecake: May 26, 1967

Now, pudding is pop: June 23, 1967

Now, pudding is napoleons: April 28, 1967

Now, pudding is torte: September 15, 1967

Now, pudding is eclairs: January 19, 1968

Now, pudding is fudge: March 8, 1968

Now, pudding is Boston Cream Pie: March 29, 1968

Now, pudding is brownies: October 11, 1968

Now, pudding is Bavarian: July 12, 1968

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Chocolate Strawberry Parfaits: National Strawberry Parfait Day!

Today is Strawberry Parfait Day, but, of course, I plan to add a bit of chocolate. The following recipe can be made with ice cream, of course, but give it a try with some vanilla yogurt for a healthier alternative (or not!). A parfait is a dessert that alternates layers of ice cream, fruit, sometimes gelatin, and/or liqueur, and is topped with whipped cream. It is usually served in a stemmed glass. Parfait in French means "perfect," and this is certainly a perfect dessert. The following recipe has a lot of baking and making from scratch, but if you're in a hurry substitute a store-bought chocolate pound cake and some strawberry sauce.

Chocolate Strawberry Parfaits
Use clear containers. Small mason jars are 'perfect' and look so cute!

Chocolate Pound Cake  *this can be made in a rectangular pan rather than in a Bundt Pan
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 cup fresh strawberries
optional: Whipped Cream

Strawberry Sauce 
1 pint strawberries, divided
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla


Strawberry Sauce 
Wash and chop strawberries. Add honey, vanilla, and 2/3 of the chopped strawberries to medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until juices are released and slightly thickened (about 15 minutes). Sauce thickens more while cooling. Stir in remaining strawberries and remove from heat. Cool completely.

To Assemble:
Layer 1/4 cup fresh strawberries in bottom of each container.
Cut Chocolate Pound Cake into cubes. Make a pound cake layer over the strawberries.
Top with 1/4 cup yogurt and 2 tablespoons strawberry sauce.
Repeat layers.
Optional: Top with whipped cream.

Cartoon of the Day: Chocolate