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Entries in chocolate (110)

Thursday
Mar212013

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

When I worked in a bakery, our recipe bible was kept in a floured, chocolate stained three ring binder. Inside the pages held lists of the amount of ingredients for certain recipes and little else. There was no procedure or method, no baking times or oven temperatures. It was not even unusual for the occasional recipe title to have gone missing. In a way, this all made sense—a qualified baker should already be familiar with the preparation of the majority of baked goods. As I got a hang of the routine and the techniques, soon the recipe bible became a reference guide instead of a necessity as the lists of ingredients embedded themselves into my mind.

Approaching recipes in this way became a habit; a habit that has followed me out of the bakery and into my own kitchen.

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

When it comes to my own kitchen, I can develop my own recipes fairly successfully—a little of this, a little of that, and it tends to come out of the oven looking right. However, when it comes to following someone else's recipe, I tend to falter. As accustomed to ingredient lists as I have become, I barely glance down at the rest of the recipe before pulling ingredients out of the cupboard. As you may imagine, this method usually turns out quite poorly. At times I have missed the mark so greatly, I might as well have invented something completely different. I like to joke that I am losing my ability to follow recipes, but the truth is that I need to remember to actually read them.

It is a small, but important distinction.

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

Snowed in with another blizzard last weekend, I spent some time browsing through the pantry. Without the ability to head out to the market, the cupboards became my inspiration. As I debated whether to share another cookie recipe, I realized that I had never made biscotti. After properly reading through a dozen recipes for reference, I set out to create my own version. Biscotti is a bit like a cookie baked in a unexpected manner. While most biscotti sold in stores or coffee shops is bone dry, by making biscotti in your home you can determine the texture by adjusting the baking time. The less time you bake it, the softer it will be; the longer time you bake it, the crunchier it will be.

In a way, it is a like a choose your own adventure book (except it is a really delicious snack).

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti

Chocolate Candied Ginger Biscotti is a sweet and spicy bite to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea. Essentially, biscotti is made by baking cookie dough into a log shape and, after removing it from the oven, cutting it into slices and baking it again. The mellow tone of the chocolate contrasts nicely against the bite of candied ginger. The biscotti is dipped in chocolate for an extra touch. On Sunday morning for breakfast, I savored one of these slices of biscotti with a hot cup of black coffee. It was bliss.

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Wednesday
Mar132013

From the Archives: Chocolate Chip Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies

Inventing and developing new recipes has become a weekend pleasure for me. Creating wild combinations and indulging in my favorite ingredients is a perk of the job. Even though I love sharing original recipes with you, every so often I find myself looking back through the archives with nostalgia, wishing I could bring back the magic of sharing my favorites with you once more. Then I realized, why couldn't I?

With a spruced up look and a pleasant reminder, maybe you will fall in love with them all over again. While a few archived recipes may pop up from time to time, you must not worry. I do not plan to stop playing with my food any time soon.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Raisin Oatmeal Cookies was among the first handful I posted on this website. The recipe is not of my own invention, but the credit can instead be attributed to my wonderful university physics professor and his wife. As with any great recipe, there is usually a story behind it. This is no exception.

While getting my degree in physics, the physics department of the university held an annual spring picnic to bring together the students and professors for an afternoon of fun. Along with a tower of board games, there was a smoking grill and a table spread with salads, potato chips, and these cookies. Each year, rain or shine, these cookies found their way into the spread and, soon after, found their way into my heart. I would eat three or four in an afternoon's time; more than once, I wrapped one up in a napkin to take home. I had fallen in love with theses cookies and made sure my professor (and everyone there) knew it.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies

It was the third picnic when my professor casually revealed that the cookies had a secret. The cookies, he whispered, had no added sugar. Naturally, I did not believe him at first, skeptical that a cookie could taste so positively delightful without sugar or a sugar substitute, but the truth was staring me in the face. In many ways, this simple fact made these cookies that much more precious. After prodding him for the recipe for at least a dozen times, he told me to be patient and that the time would come.

On my graduation day, he congratulated me, shook my hand, and gave me a small sheet of paper with the typed up recipe, entrusting me with cookies I treasured. Every time I make these cookies I am reminded of those spring picnics and all of the memories that come with it. By trusting this recipe with you, I hope that you will bake and share these cookies with the people you love, creating memories of your own.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies

Chocolate Chip Raisin Oatmeal Cookies are thick, chewy, and have no added sugar. The cookies are made with oatmeal and an abundance of chocolate chips and raisins. While the batter isn't sweet, the add-ins are delightfully so. Do not fret! This cookie will please even the most sugar-happy children. The cookies are formed with a 1/4 cup measuring cup and will keep their shape while they bake; they will not spread. I adore these cookies for both their unique texture and characteristics and I hope you will too.

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Sunday
Mar102013

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Since the beginning of January, my baking habits seem to be circulating around one central theme—breakfast. When I pull out the flour and sugar early on Saturday morning, scones and muffins are the first items swirling about my mind. Perhaps it should not come as a surprise to me that cookies and cakes are pushed to the side for a simple treat that can accompany a plate of bacon and eggs. With dozens of ingredient variations on my favorite recipes just a cupboard away, I could not resist baking and sharing just one more breakfast recipe with you.

I stand by the claim that everyone loves a good muffin.

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Recently at work, a coworker brought in a couple dozen muffins from a nearby bakery to share. Since I began baking a few years ago, I have rarely gone out of my way to buy baked goods that I can easily make for myself. Along with chocolate chip cookies, good old fashioned muffins make that list. I grabbed the nearest over-sized blueberry muffin and took a bite. To put it quite simply, I was disappointed. The muffin was much more like a mislabeled cupcake—too sweet, with blueberries that looked and tasted nothing like the fruit I adore.

When did store bought muffins fall so far?

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Feeling the desire to right the wrongs of bakers past, I turned on the oven and got to work, creating my vision of what a muffin should be. Muffins hold a place as a sacred breakfast treat to me. They ought to be lightly sweetened, with enough sugar to satisfy the taste buds, but never enough to mistake it as a cake. Muffins should be driven by a hearty texture and filling personality. A good muffin should have a healthy nature, but be delicious enough to deceive yourself into believing that you are eating dessert.

These whole grain muffins, with chocolate chunks and a hint of espresso, will do just the trick.

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins have a complex texture and compelling flavor. The muffins are made with a combination of whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, and rolled oats, which give a nutty, chewy texture to the final product. The muffins are not very sweet, with just a hint of brown sugar and sweetness from chocolate, but if you do prefer a bit more sugar, you can do as my boyfriend does and drizzle the muffins in a bit of maple syrup before taking a fork after them. A few chocolate chunks and a hint of espresso powder give the muffins all the flavor they need. This is a healthy and hearty alternative to the breakfast "cupcakes" out there.

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