cartoon by marc johns.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Passover: Chocolate-Covered Toffee Matzo

Chocolate, pecans, and a little bit of salt.

The other side of the matzo: toffee!
This stuff is super good and really addicting because of the salty/ sweet thing going on.  When I first made it, it was really sticky and stuck in your teeth, but a few days later, the stickiness subsides.  Also, if you serve it cold, it isn't sticky.  All I want to do is keep eating it.  I think it would also be really good to make this recipe with saltines if it isn't Passover.  Really, any cracker-type thing that is a little salty would be a good pick.  

I adapted this recipe, but the original recipe is on the blog Once Upon a Chef.  

It makes about 35-40 2 inch pieces of the treat.

4-5 lightly salted matzos
2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter
1 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line rimmed baking sheets with heavy duty aluminum foil (because making this is super messy) and then put parchment paper on top. (I just bought throw-away roasting pans to make this in.) 
3. Cover the baking sheet with matzo, breaking squares apart so that every part of the sheet is covered.  
I got it covered.
4. Begin to make the toffee: combine butter, brown sugar, and vanilla in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat and constantly whisk until the mixture comes to a boil.
In the saucepan.
It has come to a boil!
5. Immediately pour toffee over matzos and use a spatula to spread evenly over the matzo.
And Spread.
6. Put the toffee-covered matzo in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the toffee is bubbled or cracking.
Bubbled toffee.
7. Immediately scatter chocolate chips on top of the toffee.  Wait a few minutes for it to melt and then spread evenly over the matzo.
Chocolate chips melting.
Chocolate spread.
8. Sprinkle with pecans and kosher salt.

Sprinkled with nuts and salt. 
The whole pan.
9.  Put the matzo in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes (not longer or it will get too hard) or in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
10.  Using a large knife, cut into 2-inch pieces, or do what I did: just break apart with your hands into uneven pieces.  Enjoy!

The final product.
The underside of the final product.
Little Face sampling the matzo.... 
She likes it!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Passover Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

First of all, even though these cookies are flourless, they are legitimately delicious cookies - like not just for "flourless cookies," but for regularly-floured cookies.  I found this recipe on foodgawker.  For those of you that don't know about foodgawker, go check it out!  It is awesome:  it is a website where every day they compile the greatest recipes from different food blogs from all over the world.  (I'll wait here while you explore it...have fun!)  (They have to approve of your submission for it to be posted.  One day I hope to be on foodgawker...)  Anyway, although I found the recipe from foodgawker, the original recipe is from the Chocolate and Carrots blog.

These cookies are super-dooper easy; they only have 5 ingredients - FIVE!!  They taste very richly peanut buttery.  The one thing is that because there are so few ingredients, your choice of peanut butter and your choice of chocolate chips really, really matter.  Also, each cookie only has 100 calories, so that's cool too.  

I brought these to our Passover seder last night because it turns out they are kosher for Passover!  (For those of you that don't know, for the 8 days of Passover, Jewish people don't eat flour and other things with grain and leavening.)  Because these are flourless, they are Passover-friendly.  However, warning: some Jewish people don't eat legumes and peanuts are legumes, so if you are baking these for someone for Passover, just double check with them that they will eat peanuts.

This recipe makes about 30 cookies.

Alright...To the Baking!

One, Two, Three, Four, Five!  Five Ingredients!
1 1/2 cups of natural peanut butter (...by natural I mean not Skippy or something like that, but peanut butter with basically just peanuts)
3/4 cup of cane sugar
3 large egg whites
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Put the peanut butter, sugar, egg whites and baking soda in a bowl.  Stir until blended.
Ingredients in bowl.
The blended dough.
2. Mix the chocolate chips into the dough.
Chocolate chips into the dough.
3. Put the cookies by the tablespoon on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
A tablespoon of dough.
Cookies all ready to be baked.
4. Bake for 12 -15 minutes.  Enjoy!!!
The final product!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rolo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

One cut-in-half.  Just look at that string of caramel.
So.  These are some yummy cookies.  I made them for people to eat at my little birthday gathering a couple weeks ago (sorry, I am behind on my postings!).  The caramel inside the Rolos results in these cookies have a great texture.  If you heat the up a little before you eat them, the caramel gets really gooey.  These are certainly not healthy, but they are easy to make.  You have to plan ahead though, because the Rolos need to be frozen before you bake them.  Otherwise they leak out of the cookie dough and make a big mess in your oven.  I just put the Rolos in the freezer the night before.
The recipe I was inspired by come from here another cooking blog - my baking addiction.  I changed the recipe a little bit.  I use white whole wheat flour instead of white flour, and I used less chocolate chips because I was thinking that the cookies would be pretty rich withe the Rolos in the center.  Turns out, the dough isn't that sweet and the nuts make the cookie less sweet, so the cookies probably would have been fine with the extra chocolate chips.  But I loved the cookies like this, so why add them?

Let's get started.  This recipe makes about 40 cookies.

1 1/2 cups of softened unsalted butter
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
2 eggs
3 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 1/4 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup of chopped pecans
40ish Rolos; frozen at least 2 hours

To the Baking:
1. Put Rolos in the freezer for at least two hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. In a large bowl, mix butter, eggs, white and brown sugars, and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy.
Sugars, vanilla, eggs, butter.
4.  Blend with flour, baking soda, and salt.  

Flour, baking soda, salt.
5.  Gently mix in the pecans and chocolate chips.

Pecans and chocolate chips.
6. Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

The dough.
7.  Measure the dough into individual cookies (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) and roll into balls.

A ball, and a flattened ball with a Rolo ready to be surrounded by dough.
8.  Flatten a ball in the palm of your hand.  Place a Rolo in the center and form the dough back into a ball around the Rolo.

Circling the Rolo with dough.
9.  Place the Rolo-filled dough balls in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
10.  The dough balls should be about 1 1/2 -2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
11.  Bake 13-15 minutes or until light brown.  The centers will be soft.  
12.  Cool 2 minutes and then move to cooling rack.  Enjoy!!!
See the Rolo?  Yum.
Close-up of the inside of a cookie.  MOUTH-WATERING.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Healthy Dark Chocolate Almond Biscotti

I made these crunchy cookies at my mom's house.  She gave me the recipe, which is apparently an award-winning recipe for healthy desserts (from what competition I do not know). These are delicious, nice and crunchy, and at their best when dipped in coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.  They aren't very sweet, so they would be nice to eat at breakfast, too.  They are surprisingly healthy, what with the whole wheat flour, flaxseed, and almonds and if you use Splenda, like I did, then there are even less calories!.  As my brother suggested, I think these biscotti would be delicious with cranberries in them too.

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar (I used Splenda)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (I used brown sugar Splenda)
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup unsalted, sliced almonds

Onto the Baking:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour, flaxseed, salt, and baking soda in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Dry Ingredients.
3. Combine sugars, egg whites, and egg in another bowl and beat at high speed for 2 minutes, or until fluffy.  Add vanilla extract to mixture and stir until combined.

Eggs and sugar all blended.
4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until blended.  The dough will be super thick.

5. Fold in the almonds and chocolate.

Dark chocolate chips and sliced almonds in the dough.
6.  Separate the dough into four equal portions and roll each portion until it is 6 inches long and about 1 inch thick.

The logs.
7.  Line a cookie tray with parchment paper and place the logs on the tray.

Logs on tray.
8. Bake the logs for 28-30 minutes, or until firm.

Baked logs.
9. Remove logs from baking sheet onto a cooling rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

On the cooling rack.
10. Reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees.
11. Cut the rolls diagonally into about 30 1/2-inch slices.

After the first bake.
12.  Place the cookies, cut side down on tray and bake for 7-8 minutes.

After the second bake.
13. Turn cookies over, and bake again for 7-8 minutes.

After the third bake.
14. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.  Enjoy!!!

So, I don't normally do this (as those of you who regularly read my blog know, but this information is on the recipe, so why not?  Here it goes:  These cookies have 94 calories (total, not each, but also: less for mine because I used Splenda and not sugar), 3.5 grams of fat, and 2.7 grams of protein.  Hooray!!!

Healthy, crunchy, AND delicious!