Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Sharing a hot cross bun with someone is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time. Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten. If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,
Hot cross buns! Hot Cross Buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny, Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns

Dress up your buns for Easter! We’ve glamorized the traditional Hot Cross Bun by lightly sweetened with cocoa, cinnamon and tender dried cherries strewn throughout. The egg yolk wash gives these buns the signature browned, glossy finish, making a canvas for the namesake cross, a painting of milk, cocoa and sugar icing.”

Hot Cross BunsPrep Time: 20 Minutes
Bake Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:
3/4 cup warm water (110º F)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon instant powdered milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup dried and sweetened cherries, small dice
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons water

For the icing:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons whole milk (use a little more or less depending on how fluid the mixture is)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and yeast. Mix for about 7 minutes until the dough begins to cling to the dough hook. Roll it into a ball and cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let it rise for the first time in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough ball doubles in size.
  2. Punch down the dough down on floured surface, add cherries and cinnamon. Knead for 5 minutes and shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes.
  3. Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on balls.
  4. Bake at 375º F for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.
  5. To make decorative crosses: mix together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Pipe a cross on each cooled bun.

ChefSecret: You can also make chocolate only or two-tone decorative crosses. For the chocolate crosses, mix together 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder , a drop or two of almond extract and 3 teaspoons of milk. Pipe a chocolate cross on each cooled bun or atop the white cross previously piped and set. After all, you can never have enough chocolate.

If you have the time, soak the cherries in a little port or brandy for about 30 minutes for additional flavor. It also helps the cherries from scorching if on the outside edge of the bun when baking.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Old-Fashioned Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Coins

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Chocolate CoinsWe had to go to the vault for these less-than-golden coins. These are homemade chocolate coins that will bring back lots of growing-up memories. As a kid I remember getting gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins in a little mesh bag. The only little piggy bank these went into was me. I remember the excitement of peeling off the shiny foil and stacking them up like poker chips on the kitchen table. The foil-wrapped chocolate coins may be for kids, but the flavor combination of dark chocolate, caramel and sea salt is all grown up.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 32 Coins

Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel CoinsIngredients:
6 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Pour about 1 inch of water into the bottom of a saucepan and place over medium-low heat; bring the water to a simmer and turn off the heat.
  3. Place a stainless steel bowl over the saucepan. Put the chocolate and the butter in the bowl and soften over the hot water.
  4. Place the sugar in a small skillet over medium-low heat and cook until it forms a dark liquid and begins to bubble, 7 to 9 minutes. Carefully pour the cream over the caramelized sugar. Cook and stir the mixture until the caramelized sugar is dissolved into the cream; immediately remove from heat.
  5. Quickly pour the hot cream mixture over the warmed chocolate; stir quickly with a spatula until completely incorporated.
  6. Drop the mixture by the teaspoon onto the prepared baking sheet. Top each with a sprinkle of sea salt. Cover with plastic wrap. Gently press a second baking sheet onto the chocolate coins to flatten. Chill in refrigerator until firm.
  7. Dust with the cocoa before serving.
  8. Store in a cool spot. You can always wrap the chocolate coins in gold foil if desired.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Death by Chocolate Brownie

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

At my waterfront Custom House Restaurants in Northern California we had the most luscious, chocolaty dessert that you would ever desire—Chocolate Sludge. It was a heated chocolate chip brownie topped with a scoop of homemade, dark chocolate ice cream, covered with hot fudge and crowned with chocolate whipped cream.

When writing my book, Choclatique, my head chocolatier and I remade this restaurant favorite. As it turned out, we kept going back to the brownie pan to cut little samples for ourselves. Wow, we discovered that this brownie needed nothing more than to be served naked—no ice cream, no frosting or no nothing other than just right out of the pan.

Death By Chocolate BrowniePrep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Ready In: 2 hours
Yield: 16 extra rich brownies

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup cold water
2/3 cup unsalted butter
2 cups Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
2 cups Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips (yes, more chocolate chips)
1 cup coarsely chopped roasted walnuts, pecans or even whole pistachios (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 325º F.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; whisk and set aside.
  3. Butter and flour a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
  4. Combine the sugar, water and butter in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 cups of the chocolate chips and the vanilla extract until the chocolate has melted.
  5. Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl, and beat in the eggs one at a time until very smooth.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture until incorporated.
  7. Fold in the remaining bag of chocolate chips along with the nuts (if using).
  8. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes until the top is dry and the edges have started to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  9. Cool completely before cutting into squares to serve.

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The ChocolateDoctor Chocolate Filled Valentine Heart Cookies

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Prep Time: 60 minutes
Bake Time: 9 to 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Ready In: 3 hours
Servings: 60 cookies

Robert Heinlein once said, “Love is a condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” And once again Cupid is calling and what better way to your Valentine’s Heart than with a cookie—a heart-shaped cookie. This Valentine’s Day make a wonderfully peppermint-flavored chocolate filled cookie hearts Each cookie is drizzled with 2 different icings, one milk chocolate, the other peppermint pink.

Heart CookiesIngredients for the cookies:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract

Ingredients for the chocolate filling:
1 3/4 cups Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (Crisco)

Ingredients for the peppermint drizzle:
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 drop peppermint extract, or to taste
1 drop red food coloring, or as needed
4 1/4 teaspoons whole milk, or as needed

Ingredients for the chocolate drizzle:
1/4 cup Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening

Directions for the cookies:

  1. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
  2. With an electric mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter, 3/4 cup shortening, sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl until fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, 1/4 cup milk and 1-1/2 teaspoons of peppermint extract.
  4. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, about 1 cup at a time, until the mixture forms soft dough. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, cover and chill for 1 hour in refrigerator.
  5. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  6. To make filling, melt 1-3/4 cups of milk chocolate pastilles with 2 tablespoons of vegetable shortening in the top of a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Stir the mixture until very smooth, and remove the filling from the heat to cool and slightly thicken.
  7. Remove one piece of cookie dough from refrigerator at a time, and working on a floured surface, roll the cookie dough out 1/8-inch thick cutting 120 hearts (total) with a 2 1/2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place half the hearts onto ungreased baking sheets.
  8. Carefully spread the hearts with about a teaspoon of the chocolate filling, avoiding the edges, and top each with another heart cookie. Gently pinch the edges of both cookies together to enclose the filling.
  9. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until firm.
  10. Let the cookies cool for 1 minute on the baking sheets before removing to finish cooling on racks.

Directions for the peppermint drizzle:

  1. Mix together the confectioners’ sugar, 1 drop of peppermint extract (to taste), red food coloring to your desired shade of pink or red, and milk as needed in a bowl to make a smooth, thin icing.

Directions for the chocolate drizzle:

  1. Melt 1/4 cup of milk chocolate pastilles with 2 teaspoons of vegetable shortening over hot (not boiling) water in a double boiler; stir and heat until the mixture is thin enough to drip in strings from a spoon.

Directions for decorating:

  1. Drizzle each cooled cookie with a little peppermint drizzle on one side, and a little chocolate drizzle on the other. Let the cookies stand so the drizzle sets, about 30 minutes.

ChefSecret: Do not thicken the chocolate filling too much or it will become hard to spread and will tear the fragile cookie dough. If you have enough chocolate filling left over you can use it to drizzle instead of making the chocolate drizzle. You will have to rework the trim from the dough in order to get the full 60 count on the cookies.

If you’re looking for those special words to for that special person here are my best Valentine’s Day Borrow-A-Quotes:

Heart 1I am like a falling star who has finally found her place next to another in a lovely constellation, where we will sparkle in the heavens forever.

Amy Tan

Heart 2The love we give away is the only love we keep.

Elbert Hubbard

Heart 3Infantile love follows the principle: “I love because I am loved.”
Mature love follows the principle: “I am loved because I love.”
Immature love says: “I love you because I need you.”
Mature love says: “I need you because I love you.”

Erich Fromm

Heart 4Love doesn’t make the world go ’round; love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

Franklin P. Jones

Heart 5There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.

George Sand

Heart 6There is no remedy for love but to love more.

Henry David Thoreau

Heart 7A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.

Ingrid Bergman

Heart 8Love does not die easily. It is a living thing. It thrives in the face of all of life’s hazards, save one — neglect.

James D. Bryden

Heart 9Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.

John Lennon

Heart 10Where there is love there is life.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

Heart 11The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.

Mother Teresa

Heart 12Do you love me because I’m beautiful, or am I am beautiful because you love me?

Oscar Hammerstein, II

Heart 13Each time that one loves is the only time one has ever loved. Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion. It merely intensifies it. We can have but one great experience at best, and the secret of life is to reproduce that experience as often as possible.

From The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde

Heart 14Earth’s the right place for love. I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.

Birches
Robert Frost

Heart 15Love is a condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Robert Heinlein

Heart 16If I know what love is, it is because of you.

Herman Hesse

Heart 17I love you; Not only for what you are But for what I am when I am in love with you.

Robert Croft

Heart 18Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

St. Augustine

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Happy Valentine’s Day Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Love Cookies

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Valentine's DayWhen certain foods were rationed during World War II, bakers used boiled beets to enhance the color of their cakes and to retain moisture. I use minced red beets in many of my chocolate cake recipes.

Red Velvet cake was made famous by Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Now you can find Red Velvet cupcakes most anywhere at places like Sprinkles which specializes in a line of very unique cupcakes.

Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip CookiesSo, I thought if you can “red velvet” cakes and cupcakes, why not cookies? My Valentine’s Day Red Velvet cookie recipe has a light cocoa flavor, is deliciously chewy, gorgeously red and most scrumptiously delicious! Red Velvet is a delicate combination of cocoa and vanilla flavor blended so one does not stand out from the other. If you use too much cocoa, not only does it take the flavor out of balance, it muddies up the beautiful, pure red color.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 9 to 11 minutes
Ready In: 20 minutes
Yield: 36 Cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon canned red beets, minced
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring
1 cup Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. In a mixing bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the vinegar and beets continuing to blend until completely incorporated.
  5. Mix in the egg.
  6. Add in the vanilla extract and red food color and mix until completely blended and the color is red throughout the dough.
  7. With mixer on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Do not over-mix or the cookies will get tough.
  8. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  9. Scoop the dough out by the heaping tablespoonful and shape into balls. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake for 9 to 11 minutes in the center of the oven turning the baking sheet half-way through.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool on cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
  11. If you don’t eat them all at once you can store the cookies in an airtight container.

ChefSecret: If you want more chocolate flavor you can easily substitute the white chips with Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Chip-Cherry Monkey Bread

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Monkey BreadOriginal recipes for the Monkey Bread (sometimes called Puzzle Bread) first appeared in American women’s magazines after World War II. It is a very traditional, mid-western bread most often served for breakfast.

The traditional Monkey Bread is usually made with pieces of sweet yeast dough (often frozen) which are baked in a cake pan on high heat after first being individually covered in melted butter, cinnamon, sugar and chopped pecans. It is traditionally served hot so that the baked segments can be easily torn away with the fingers and eaten by hand. At Choclatique, I’ve given the classic Monkey Bread a make-over with the addition of chocolate. It can be a family-pleasing breakfast bread or a hot dessert served after dinner drizzled with a little chocolate sauce.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 45 to 55 minutes
Ready In: 60 to 65 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans (12 oz. each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9- or 10-inch Bundt pan.
  2. Mix the sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a plastic bag.
  3. Cut the biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces at a time in the sugar mix.
  4. Place the pieces in the bottom of the well buttered pan arranging chocolate chips and chopped cherries as you go.
  5. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the sugar mixture between each layer of dough.
  6. Continue until all the biscuit pieces are coated and placed in the pan.
  7. In small bowl, mix the brown sugar and the melted butter until smooth and pour over the biscuit pieces.
  8. Bake 45 to 50 minutes on the bottom rack or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center.
  9. Allow the bread to rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Invert the pan onto a baking sheet or a large plate to serve. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart. Serve warm.

ChefSecret: Monkey Bread can also be layered with Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles in place of Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s The Perfect Hostess—No More!

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Wonder BreadI am a professional chef and a chocolatier, but I am definitely not a food snob. I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on toasted Wonder Bread and a quick snack of a Hostess Cupcake, Ding Dong or Twinkie. But alas, at the current time these iconic, all-American foods have all gone missing on supermarket shelves.

TwinkiesHostess Bakeries, being struck by their workers’ union, has gone out of business, suspended operations in 33 bakeries, ceased deliveries and is liquidating its remaining assets, putting 18,500 employees out of work. Aside from the brands listed above, you may never see another Dolly Madison, Drake’s, Home Pride or Butternut product again.

Ho-HosAlthough there’s a chance that some of these products may reemerge as parts of other companies, as for now Hostess brand products may now join a long list of other foods and drinks that have gone the way of the dodo bird. The only thing left is to sell remaining assets to the highest bidders.

If you feel you can’t live with out another swirly-topped, Hostess Chocolate Cupcake here’s a recipe that will definitely fill the bill.

Hostess Chocolate CupcakesPrep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 15-18 minutes
Cool time: 15-20 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour
Yield: 36 cupcakes

Ingredients for the Cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup whole milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for the Filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 1/4 cups Marshmallow Fluff

Ingredients for the Frosting:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions for the Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat an oven to 375º F.
  2. Line a medium muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a large bowl combine oil and sugar. Mix well. Stir in the apple sauce and vanilla extract.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Slowly pour in the water, mixing on low speed, then beat in the remaining flour mixture. Slowly add the milk and beat on low until thoroughly mixed.
  6. Fill each cupcake liner with 2 tablespoons of batter and bake for 15-18 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool completely before filling or frosting.

Directions for the filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Stir in the vanilla and pinch of salt.
  3. Mix in the marshmallow fluff and whisk until light and fluffy.
  4. Cover and chill until slightly thickened.

Directions for the frosting:

  1. In microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, chips and corn syrup until smooth and glossy.
  2. Stir in the vanilla and cover and chill until slightly thickened.

Putting it all together:

  1. Fill a disposable pastry bag, fitted with a cupcake filling tip, with the chilled filling. Insert the tip into the center of the cupcake and squeeze to fill.
  2. Turn the cupcakes upside down and dip them in the chocolate frosting to coat the tops completely.
  3. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes before decorating with the swirly design.
  4. Use the remaining white marshmallow filling to pipe it on top of the cupcakes in the signature swirled design.
  5. Chill for 30 to 45 minutes.

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The ChocolateDoctor Revisits Los Angeles’ Past With Dutch Girl Cookies

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Slapsy Maxie'sIt had once been the site of Wilshire Bowl and the notorious Slapsy Maxie’s Night Club, a reputed Mickey Cohen gangster hangout. During the 1950s it was transitioned into Van de Kamp’s Restaurant. Van de Kamp’s was this great chain of coffee shop-bakeries in Sothern California founded by Lawrence Frank (Lawry’s family of restaurants) and Theodore Van de Kamp (The Van de Kamp families—related to the Franks through marriage).

Van de Kamp'sThe Van de Kamp’s restaurant we use to go to was on the Miracle Mile on the corner of Masselin Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. It was the largest of their restaurants that had a separate bakery and candy store. It had a rotating blue windmill sign above the front door and a big take-out menu on the side of the building.

At eleven years old, I thought they made a “killer” open-face hot roast beef sandwich with whipped mashed potatoes and a black-and-white sundae (marshmallow sauce and chocolate sauce over premium vanilla ice cream) served with a sugared Dutch Girl Cookie—the subject recipe of this week’s blog.

Van de Kamp's 2Not only did we go there to eat, but my mother often brought food home to heat and eat later. They had a thriving take-out business (way before Joan’s on Third) when this was considered pioneering by restaurateurs and seldom done. All the Van de Kamp’s take-out foods were chef-made in the restaurant and sold fresh, never frozen. My two favorite take-home meals were the deep fried halibut and the cheese enchiladas with one slice of black olive on the top.

The restaurant had two of the large rotating baking ovens that you could see near the kitchen where they baked pies and cookies. Take-out wouldn’t have been complete without a small tray box of just-baked Dutch Girl Sugar Cookies. Everyone loved them! These were the thinnest, butteryest of cookies coated on both sides with crystalline sugar. If you were addicted to these and have a hankering for a taste of yesteryear, then give these a try. If you have never had them, you’ll never forget your first bite.

Chocolate Dutch Girl CookiesPrep Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours (or overnight)
Bake Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Ready In: 3 hours
Yield: About 30 cookies

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated orange zest
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
11/2 cups crystalline or coarse sugar

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, milk, orange zest, yeast and salt until combined. Using an electric mixer, add butter one piece at a time, beating for one minute after each piece is added. Dough will be very smooth and elastic.
  2. Remove the dough from the mixer, place it in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate it for at least two hours. The dough can be refrigerated overnight.
  3. Sprinkle a work surface heavily with the coarse sugar. Divide the dough in half. Working with one half at a time (keep the other half refrigerated) using a rolling pin to roll out the dough on the sugar covered surface as thinly as possible (less than 1/8-inch thick), adding additional sugar to the work surface when needed. Halfway through rolling, turn dough over to coat the other side with coarse sugar.
  4. Preheat oven to 250° F. Using a rolling pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into squares about 2-1/2 inches in size. Don’t make the cookies any larger or the edges will brown before the middle is baked.
  5. Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet about a half an inch apart and away from the edges of the pan. Repeat process with remaining refrigerated dough. Keep refrigerated until ready to bake. Bake cookies for 45-50 minutes or until a deep, golden brown (but not burned).
  6. Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a cooling rack immediately, so as not to stick to the parchment.

ChefSecret: No, I didn’t forget to add sugar to the basic dough. There is enough sweetness from the crystalline sugar the dough is rolled in. I know 45-50 minutes seems like a long time to bake a thin cookie like this, but you want to drive all the moisture out of the dough to create a crisp, long-lasting cookie. That said, keep an eye on them while baking to make sure the edges don’t get too dark.

Los Angeles Past: Max Everitt Rosenbloom, known as Slapsie Maxie, was an American boxer, actor (The Joe Palooka Story) and television personality. In 1930, he won the New York light heavyweight title and in 1932, he won the Light Heavyweight Championship of the World. Meyer Harris “Mickey” Cohen was a gangster based in Los Angeles with strong ties to the American Mafia from the 1930s through 1960s.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate-Cherry Shortbread

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Balmoral HotelThe Balmoral is a beautiful hotel right beneath Edinburgh Castle. At bedtime they serve freshly baked shortbread that they claimed was the original family recipe perfected by Joseph Walker in 1898. Walker Shortbread is a Scottish manufacturer of shortbread, biscuits, cookies and crackers. The company is Scotland’s biggest exporter of food. I’m sure you’ve seen their famous plaid brand on your local grocer’s shelf.

Well, here’s the best part. I asked the chef if he would share the hotel’s recipe with me. To my surprise I found a copy of it slipped under the door in the morning. It called for a full cup of Scottish butter and the result was a cookie as smooth as silk. I couldn’t resist adding a little cocoa powder and chopped dried cherries to make it more from the ChocolateDoctor than Mr. Walker.

Chocolate-Cherry ShortbreadPrep Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 50 minutes
Yield: 50 cookies

Ingredients:
For the Cookies:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-34 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup finely chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup Choclatique Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips
3 tablespoons sugar

For the Drizzle:
2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon white vegetable shortening

Directions:

  1. Preheated oven to 300º F.
  2. Mix the butter, sugar, almond and vanilla extracts thoroughly using an electric mixer.
  3. Gradually blend in the flour and corn starch.
  4. Add the cherries and chocolate chips.
  5. Form into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets. Pour sugar on a small plate; dip bottom of drinking glass in sugar and gently press down on each cookie to flatten.
  6. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to chill.
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until bottoms begin to brown.
  8. Cool 5 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Drizzle:

  1. Place the chocolate and shortening in a small re-sealable freezer bag.
  2. Microwave on HIGH for about 30 seconds until chocolate is melted.
  3. Massage chocolate and shortening together in the bag.
  4. Snip off corner and drizzle over the baked cookies.

ChefSecret: Although it isn’t a requirement for this recipe, I suggest using Plugrá. European-style butters are made by utilizing a slow-churned process that creates less moisture content and a creamier texture when compared to ordinary table butters. This make for higher, fluffier cakes and unbelievably flakier, lighter cookies.

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Extreme Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

George Washington Carver was the most well known promoter of peanuts. He collected over 100 peanut recipes including three for peanut cookies calling for crushed/chopped peanuts as the primary ingredient. It wasn’t until the 1920s that peanut butter was listed as an ingredient in the cookies.

The early peanut butter cookies were rolled thin and cut or “dropped” and made into peanut balls. They did not have famous fork marks. The first reference to the criss-cross pattern created with fork tines was published in the Schenectady Gazette in 1932.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip CookiesPrep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 25 minutes
Yield: 3 dozen

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rolled oats, lightly processed
1 cup Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter just until moistened. Mix in the oats (which have been lightly processed in a food processor) and chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased baking sheets. Press down with the tines of a fork to flatten and leave the signature criss-cross pattern.
  4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

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