Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Honey Chocolate Pie: Winnie the Pooh Day

Today is Winnie the Pooh Day. Yes, there's a holiday for everything! Here's a recipe for Honey Chocolate Pie from The Pooh Cook Book by Virginia H. Ellison, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard (1969: Dell Publishing). This Cook Book (yes, two words) is inspired by Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne.

One of my favorite stuffed animals as a child was Tigger, and I have always been a big honey fan, probably because of the Winnie the Pooh stories. I have honey every day, and perhaps Winnie had allergies, too, and needed his "Hunny."I have found that a teaspoon of local honey every day has alleviated my Spring allergies.


From the Introduction to The Pooh Cook Book:

As a cook you should know that honey is almost twice as sweet as sugar, and yet when you eat it, it doesn't make you want to go on eating sweets. Honey is also healthful, and very good for active people. When used in cooking it keeps food moist and adds a flavor all its won, as you will see when you've made some of the dishes in The Pooh Cook Book. Clover honey is the best all-purpose honey but there are as many flavors, or kinds of honey as there are blossoms on flowers and bushes and trees."

HONEY CHOCOLATE PIE

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hot Buttered Rum Cocoa: Hot Buttered Rum Day!

Today is National Hot Buttered Rum Day. It's pretty blustery and cold here, so this is the perfect drink to celebrate the day!

This recipe for Hot Buttered Rum Cocoa is from the Wisconsin Cheese Board. So many Food associations have great recipes. Be sure and check them out.

If you don't have time to make Hot Buttered Rum Cocoa, you can always celebrate this food holiday with Seattle Chocolates' Hot Buttered Rum Milk Chocolate Truffle Bar. Fabulous! This bar is buttery, smooth with a light hint of rum and toffee crunch in milk chocolate.

Hot Buttered Rum Cocoa

Ingredients
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dark rum
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
4 cups milk

Directions
Combine butter, brown sugar, and seasonings in small bowl, mixing until well-blended. Drop six spoonfuls onto plastic wrap-lined plate; chill while preparing beverage, then form into balls.
Combine rum, sugar and cocoa in 2 quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 minute; add milk. Cook until heated through; do not boil.
Pour into six mugs; place one butter ball in each cup.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Buttermilk Mexican Chocolate Chile Bundt Cake

Today is National Hot and Spicy Day! Add chocolate and chiles and you've got a celebration! I adapted this recipe for Buttermilk Mexican Chocolate Chile Bundt Cake from Southern Living. I've added ground chiles and used Taza Mexican Chocolate with Chiles for a little more kick. Sometimes I use the Vosges Red Fire Exotic Chocolate Bar or the Chuao Firecracker Bar. I usually bake this pound cake in a bundt pan. This is quick and easy and delicious.

Buttermilk Mexican Chocolate Chile Bundt Cake

Ingredients
8 ounces chopped dark (65-75% cacao) organic fair-trade chocolate (I use either Taza Chipotle Chili Chocolate Mexicano or Guajillo Chili Chocolate Mexicano, but you can use any dark chocolate or the two chocolate bars I mention above)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
2 tsp Mexican vanilla
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ancho chiles
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk 
Optional: Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions
 Melt chocolate in saucepan over saucepan of simmering water.
Beat butter at medium speed with electric mixer 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating 5 to 7 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Stir in melted chocolate, chocolate syrup, and vanilla until smooth.
Combine flour and next 4 ingredients; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan.
Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and let cool for another hour.
Dust with powdered sugar (optional)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Heart Sandwiches

Photo: MarthaStewart.com
Today is Strawberry Ice Cream Day. This is a little odd coming in the middle of a cold January, but ice cream is available all year round, so why not?

I chose a recipe for today's holiday that will also be great for Valentine's Day, so be sure and bookmark it. Recipe is from Martha Stewart. Her recipe calls for homemade vanilla, which is really lovely, but if you don't have time for that, you can always use whatever vanilla you have. I will be doing a post on vanilla in the near future. I have lots of heart shaped cookie cutters, but you can use and cookie-cutter shape you'd like for these ice cream sandwiches. I especially like strawberry ice cream that has bits of strawberry in it. Much richer and luscious.

CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM HEART SANDWICHES

Ingredients 
2 - 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 -1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp milk
2 to 2 1/2 pints strawberry ice cream, softened

Directions
In medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, vanilla, and sugar. Add eggs and milk, and mix until combined. Add reserved flour mixture, and mix on low speed until incorporated, scraping sides of bowl at least once.
Divide dough in half, and shape each half into flat disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on floured surface, sliding offset spatula under the dough to release every few turns of rolling pin. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thick.
Cut dough using variety of heart-shape cookie cutters 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter, making sure each cookie has a match to make a sandwich.
Place hearts on parchment-lined baking sheet; chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
Remove from refrigerator; use fork to prick the cookies all over with holes. Bake until just firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet; transfer to a wire rack.
With underside of half cookies face up, spoon softened strawberry ice cream about 1/2 inch thick to cover one side. Place matching cookie on top of ice cream, top side facing out. Transfer immediately to freezer to harden; repeat with remaining cookies and ice cream. Serve directly from freezer.
Sandwiches can be kept stored in an airtight container in the freezer for 3 to 4 days.