Saturday, May 26, 2018

ROSEMARY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES: Memorial Day

"Rosemary is for Remembrance"-- so this recipe for Rosemary Chocolate Chip Cookies is perfect for Memorial Day. I grow a lot of rosemary in my garden that I use in baking and grilling. It's a very versatile herb. There are several varieties, and they flower, so it's also quite pretty -- and deer resistant. Rosemary is also very aromatic. And, a little goes a long way.

The phrase "Rosemary is for Remembrance" comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember.” 

Even before Shakespeare's era, many cultures assigned meaning to this herb. It was often used in funerals or in the care of the dead. But also, at one time, it was the fashion for brides to wear wreaths of rosemary. Rosemary was also thought to repel evil spirits and cure thievery. 15th and early 16th century statesman and writer, Sir Thomas More, tied rosemary to memory in his writing. He wrote fondly of it “running” about his garden without cultivation because: “it is the herb sacred to remembrance, and therefore, to friendship…” And for my mystery friends, an Agatha Christie novel, published as both Remembered Death and Sparkling Cyanide, uses the Shakespeare quotation.

ROSEMARY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients 
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl.
Beat butter, both sugars, and vanilla in large mixer bowl until creamy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Gradually beat in flour mixture.
Stir in chocolate chips, chopped rosemary, and pecans.
Drop by rounded tablespoon onto un-greased cookie sheets.
Bake 9-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on cookie sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Double Chocolate Cherry Wine Cookies: National Wine Day

Today is National Wine Day, and tomorrow is National Cherry Dessert Day. Why not celebrate both of these food holidays this weekend by making these easy Double Chocolate Wine Cherry Cookies. I always have dried cherries on hand (they keep well in the refrigerator). What could be better than chocolate, cherries, and wine! This is a recipe adapted from one I found on the Foodnetwork.com. It will be a huge hit at your Memorial Day BBQ or any time. As always, use the very best chocolate!

Double Chocolate Cherry Wine Cookies
 
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup good quality dark cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dry red wine, Zinfandel (I've used Pinot and Merlot)
10 ounces dark chocolate (65-75% cacao--the best you can find), chopped in small chunks or dark chocolate chips
1 - 1/4 cup dried tart cherries (unsweetened are more tart but use what you have)

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in bowl.
In bowl of electric mixer, or with a handheld mixer, combine butter and sugars until fluffy.
Add egg, vanilla, and wine, and combine.
Slowly in batches, add flour mixture until just combined.
Fold in chocolate and cherries.
On nonstick cookie sheet, place heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie about 2 inches apart.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until tops are still soft looking but edges look firm.
Cool on sheet for 5-8 minutes.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

RED, WHITE & BLUE STAR BROWNIES: Memorial Day!


Here's another easy recipe to make ahead for your Memorial Day celebration. Love this recipe from Betty Crocker. I've made it a bunch of times. You can always substitute your own brownie recipe or another brand of brownie mix, but here's the original easy recipe.

If you don't have Betty Crocker Decorating Decors stars or icing (or you think it would be too sweet), use Red, White, & Blue Holiday M&Ms. Just press them gently into the batter before baking. These Brownies are perfect for Memorial Day!

Red White & Blue Star Brownies

Ingredients 
1 box (1 lb 2.4 oz) Betty Crocker™ Original Supreme Premium brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil and egg called for on brownie mix box
1/2 cup Betty Crocker™ Whipped fluffy white frosting (from 12-oz container)
Betty Crocker™ Decorating Decors stars

Directions 
Heat oven to 350°F. Line 9-inch square pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray.
Make and bake brownies as directed on box. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil; peel foil from sides of brownies.
Using 2 1/2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter, cut brownies.
Squeeze frosting on star-shaped brownies.
Sprinkle with decors.

Photo: Betty Crocker

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

S'MORES ICE CREAM CAKE for Memorial Day!

I love Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, and I love S'mores. This recipe from Ben & Jerry's for S'mores Ice Cream Cake is a winner for your Memorial Day Celebration! It's an easy no bake make-ahead dessert that still reflects the first barbecue of the season, the holiday, camping out, or glamping!

Check the recipe below, and be sure and watch the video. This is a no-brainer and can be made at the drop of a hat. If you're like me, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry and freezer! The finished cake looks and tastes amazing! I dropped the extra fudge sauce at the end, because I think the S'mores Ice Cream Cake is rich enough as is. Enjoy! Thanks, Ben & Jerry's!

 

BEN & JERRY'S S'MORES ICE CREAM CAKE

Directions
Prepare the crust (see below)
Prepare the filling (see below)
Top the crust with Ice Cream filling
Spread 2 cups of marshmallow fluff over the top of the ice cream (this can be done directly after filling with ice cream, or you can chill ice cream layer first)
Freeze cake for a minimum of two hours

To serve: Remove cake from freezer, let cake sit for 10 minutes, top with mini marshmallows and torch to golden brown
Run a knife around the edge of pan and remove side of spring-form
Slice, serve, and enjoy!

Crust: 
16 (8 oz.) whole graham crackers, crushed 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 stick butter, melted
Combine graham crackers and sugar, add melted butter and stir to sandy, buttery consistency. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of 9” spring-form pan, using fingers or  flat bottomed measuring cup. Chill for 10 minutes while you prepare ice cream.

Filling:
3 Pints Ben & Jerry’s S’mores Ice Cream (or any Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Ice Cream).
Remove ice cream from containers and place in bowl to soften, about 10 minutes.
Stir to combine and top prepared and chilled graham crust with ice cream.

Follow directions above for marshmallow topping!