Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

The ChocolateDoctor’s Spiced Buttermilk Pancakes With White Chocolate Cherry Topping

Friday, January 24th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I love my delicious spiced buttermilk pancakes when they’re dotted with lots of butter and soaked with real maple syrup. I can’t stand the taste of those artificial maple-flavored pancake syrups—it’s got to be the real thing or nothing. But I decided to dress them up for Valentine’s Day and give these buttermilk pancakes the Choclatique Kiss.

It starts and ends with Choclatique’s Snowy White Chocolate. You’ll discover pancakes that are so light and fluffy they’ll float off the plate. To give it that special touch I formed my pancakes in a 6-inch heart-shaped mold that I purchased at Sur la Table for about $9. It was a worthwhile purchase as I found other things to use it for in this Valentine’s Day collection of recipes. The extra special bonus was it is made in America… Gardena, California.

Instead of butter and syrup I topped these pancakes with a white chocolate-cherry ganache. Don’t let that word scare you away—it’s simply half and half, white chocolate and canned cherry pie filling. I purchased Comstock Cherry Pie Filling because it has the best ratio of cherries to sauce. I guarantee this morning recipe will pay big Valentine’s Day benefits for years to come. This recipe is also suitable for weekends and birthdays.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 six-inch heart shaped pancakes

Ingredients:
For the Topping:

1 cup half and half
1 cup Choclatique White Chocolate Pastilles
1 can (21-ounces) cherry pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Pancakes:
2 cups Bisquick Baking Mix (yes, it’s okay to use Bisquick; I do)
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk (see ChefSecret below)
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup Choclatique White Chocolate Curls

Directions:

  1. Combine the half and half and white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds and stir to combine completely. If needed, heat for additional 15 second bursts to achieve a perfectly smooth consistency.
  2. Add the cherry pie filling, sugar, lemon juice and salt to the white chocolate and stir until well combined. Cover and set aside.
  3. Combine the Bisquick, eggs, buttermilk, milk, sugar and spices in a mixing bowl and stir until just combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy.
  4. Brush a little butter on the hot griddle.
  5. On a griddle over medium heat, scoop 1/2 cup of the batter for each pancake (into the heart form if using) onto the griddle. When the batter starts to bubble on the top and the edges start to dry slightly flip the pancake and cook until golden brown.
  6. Finished pancakes can be kept in a warm oven until all the batter has been used.
  7. Microwave the cherry filling to your desired temperature and drizzle over your hot pancakes!

ChefSecret: Do not over mix your batter. The batter for your buttermilk pancakes should not be beaten smooth; it should have small to medium lumps in order to make really light and fluffy pancakes with lots of buttery flavor! If you don’t have buttermilk, just add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a 1 cup measure then add milk to the one-cup mark. Let it stand for a few minutes before you use it in the pancake batter.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Prescription to Reduce Stress and Anxiety Naturally with Chocolate

Friday, January 17th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

It’s the end of January—the holidays are behind us, yet the holiday bills lay before you. Vacations are over, the back-to-work grind is wearing on your patience, and two weeks into the New Year you’ve already failed on your resolutions, whatever they might be.

Sound familiar? There’s a reason these are the most depressing days of the year.

Here’s the solution? Eat more chocolate. I’m not kidding. There’s no better food to connect the dots between mind and body than the deliciously emotional, palpably physical response we all have to eating pure chocolate,” writes Will Cower, PhD, neurophysiologist, neuroscientist, and nutritionist in his new book, Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight. As gimmicky as it might sound, eating chocolate might be the best natural remedy for anxiety you’re not using and science has shown that it goes beyond the mere mood –elevating buzz you get from gobbling up a Crunch bar on the way home from work.

Cortisol and Cocoa
You’ve seen those awful weight-loss commercials. The part that is true is that stress prompts your body to produce cortisol. Research has shown that heavier women have higher levels of cortisol than women of normal weight. Cortisol also triggers the accumulation of abdominal, or visceral, fat, which builds up around your organs and can contribute to depression, along with heart disease and stroke.

In a 2009 study it was reported that people who ate about an ounce of chocolate a day for two weeks saw decreases in cortisol in their systems compared to its levels at the start of the study. Another study a year later showed that, over the course of 30 days, people who ate cocoa daily had 10 percent lower levels of anxiety and considered themselves 10 percent calmer than they had been at the start of the study.

The key to success is prevention, not reaction. Studies finding that chocolate has a positive impact on mood and anxiety all looked at consumption over the course of 30 days, while studies looking at people who consume chocolate in response to stress found those people generally feel as depressed after their chocolate fix as they did before it. They experience a short “mood elevation” that lasts about three minutes, and then disappears. That’s just about long enough to reach for another chocolate bar.

Eat Chocolate and Lose Weight
There are over 300 positive chemical compounds in chocolate. Eating chocolate over time allows one’s body to build up levels of cocoa’s polyphenols, which are responsible for regulating stress hormones. The cocoa polyphenols don’t immediately boost mood, satisfaction, calmness or contentedness. This happens only when chocolate is eaten slowly and steadily over a period of time. In other words, a patient chocolate eater is a happy chocolate eater.

Eat It Right
You won’t reap the mood-boosting benefits of chocolate by reaching for that bag full of fun-size caramels and nougats, or even by eating a chocolate bar a day. If you want chocolate to truly make a difference and leave you happy and less stressed, your approach to eating it needs to be a little more nuanced.

Dark vs. Milk
Dark chocolate is less stressful than milk chocolate, for lots of reasons. Milk chocolate is loaded with sugar and other additives, while also being devoid of most of cocoa’s healthier components. The milk in milk chocolate tends to blocks the body’s absorption of the antidepressant antioxidants. Studies analyzing the healthfulness of chocolate rely on dark chocolates with at least 70 percent cacao or even unsweetened 100-percent cocoa powder. Functional chocolates such as Choclatique Q-91 or Choclatique Elephant Chocolate (76%) are perfect for this need.

Eat Small Amounts
Once you find a chocolate you like, take it in small doses. To battle stress and anxiety—take one ounce a day for at least eight weeks. But divide that one ounce into five portions a day. That will be roughly the size of the end joint on your thumb. Stick with an ounce a day. There isn’t any evidence that eating more is a benefit that will make you feel even better.

Eat It Slowly
Don’t chew, or even suck on, your chocolate pieces. Savor the flavor by letting the chocolate sit on your tongue and melt slowly. The added time you spend slowly tasting your chocolate is time you’re not popping more into your mouth. The flavor lingers and your brain thinks you’re eating the entire time so you’re less likely to overindulge.

Choclatique Dark Chocolates are low in sugar and high in cocoa mass. They are slowly-roasted all the way through. There in no “green” left in the bean. This leaves a very pleasant, fruity flavor in your mouth with cherry, berry, and fruit wine notes—it is never bitter or brittle. Even Choclatique Midnight Unsweetened Chocolate (100% cacao), used primary for baking and cooking, has a tolerable flavor. But, if you’re not into dark chocolates, try using cocoa powder like Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. About half cup, or eight tablespoons, of 100 percent unsweetened cocoa powder will give you the same nutrients and mood lift as the one ounce of dark chocolate a day. Add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to your morning oatmeal, use a few teaspoons in your favorite vinaigrette, or cook with it. Avoid “Dutch” cocoa, which has been heavily processed which loses many of the benefits you are looking for.

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Happy New Year!

Friday, January 3rd, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Welcome 2014! Let me begin by wishing you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thanks to all of our loyal friends and co-workers who made 2013 a great year for Choclatique.

So many of our customers continue to come back to support us by giving Choclatique Chocolate to their friends and families and spreading the good word to many new customers who had never previously heard of Choclatique.

Our best selling assortments this season were Caramels, Nut and Nougats, one of our original collections, and Chic Cupcakes, one of our latest collections. We keep getting asked if these are really cupcakes. They are so beautifully designed and decorated that when you see a picture of them it’s hard to believe that they are truffles. Our website Build-A-Box feature sets us apart from the rest and is always popular… you can shop online and choose from over 150 flavors to build an 8-, 15- or 30-piece box.

Dave, our logistics manager, did a great job keeping all the orders straight, making sure all of those special messages were correctly written and most importantly, put in the right box before they were finally packed up to go. Dave also monitors the weather to make sure if a package is scheduled to go to a warmer climate it is properly insulated and protected with cold packs.

All of our heart-of-the-house co-workers in the Chocolate Studio did a terrific job this season and all year ‘round. Our chocolate continues to win awards and is on the WSJ Top Ten list. Sebastian has taken over the management of the Chocolate Studio and scurries from 8am until 5pm daily making sure that every single order is logged, correctly pulled and sent out promptly at 5PM nightly on the UPS truck. Special thanks to Chef Jonathan, Sebastian and his team of artisans and decorators—Mary Jo, Victor, Hugo, Karen, and Lydia—you make our chocolate so magically beautiful.

All of us realize that we’re not just selling chocolate, but memories. What would Aunt Betty think if she didn’t get her favorite box of chocolate for Christmas? Arriving a day late just wouldn’t do. It was a bit challenging this year with all of the snow storms in the mid-west and on the east coast, but UPS did all they could to deliver on time.

As we enter 2014 we also celebrate Choclatique’s tenth anniversary. To all of you who have been reading and commenting on this blog—thanks for making 2013 a great year for Choclatique. It’s been quite a ride.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Completely Flourless Chocolate Cookies (Low-Carb & Gluten-Free)

Friday, December 27th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

If you looking for an after-holiday break from all the high-carbs and overly sweet cookies try my Completely Flourless Chocolate Cookies which are low-carb, gluten-free and, well… completely flourless. Choclatique Unsweetened Cocoa Powder is the perfect replacement for the flour and who can go wrong with that much cocoa?

You will need to use Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder for best results. It is a Dutch-processed cocoa powder that reduces some of the natural acids in cocoa. If you are not fearful of chocolate overdose, you can also add some sugar-free chocolate chunks to the cookies—I suggest Choclatique Sweet Deceit Dark Chocolate Pastilles, roughly chopped. A quarter cup is plenty.

This recipe is so simple, so… ready, set, prep and bake!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 Cookies

Ingredients:
2 large eggs
3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 ounces Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 ounces Truvia, or similar granular sugar substitute
1/4 cup Choclatique Sweet Deceit Dark Chocolate Pastilles, roughly chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 375º F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Lightly beat the eggs and mix with melted butter and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the cocoa powder with Truvia.
  5. Combine dry and wet ingredients and mix thoroughly together.
  6. Add the chopped chocolate if using.
  7. Scoop, form and flatten 8 large cookies with your hands and place in the baking sheet.
  8. Chill the cookies in a refrigerator for 20 minutes to set the butter.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  10. Transfer the cookies to wire rack and let them cool completely before eating.

ChefSecret: Slightly wet your hands before flattening to prevent sticking.

Note: Carb count is 1.5g net carbs, calories 160, if you’re counting.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s White Christmas Chocolate Mousse

Friday, December 20th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Irving Berlin wrote the lyrics and Bing Crosby first made it famous in the movie Holiday Inn. The song was almost cut because the studio thought it was too mushy—but better heads prevailed and thankfully, it didn’t wind up on the cutting room floor. Today, almost every child (and adult) seems to dream of a White Christmas. There is redemption and beauty with a fresh layer of snow that enhances the splendor of the winter season. Its beauty is peaceful as well as a refreshing scene to behold.

This Christmas, whether you live in Albany or Albuquerque, Las Vegas or Lancaster, you can enjoy a Choclatique White Christmas with my White Christmas Chocolate Mousse. This mousse recipe will have all your family and friends singing that very famous song.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 to 4 hours
Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:
12 ounces Choclatique Snowy White Chocolate, chopped
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique White Chocolate Curls, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized sauce pan add the heavy cream and cornstarch, stir until smooth.
  2. Heat the cream to a low boil, stirring constantly, until the corn starch has thickened the cream.
  3. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract and the chopped white chocolate.  Stir until smooth.
  4. Once the chocolate is melted, set aside to cool to room temperature.
  5. While the chocolate is cooling, add egg whites and cream of tartar to a mixing bowl.
  6. Whip the egg whites until just before soft peaks form.
  7. While still whipping the egg whites, sift in the sugar and whip until stiff peaks are formed.
  8. Fold the whipped egg whites into the cooled white chocolate mixture in thirds.
  9. Spoon into dessert dishes or leave in a glass bowl and refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving.
  10. Top with white chocolate curls and garnish the plate with fresh berries.
  11. Eat, enjoy and sing!

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Frozen Chocolate Eggnog

Friday, December 13th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I really love this time of year in California where many people go to the beach on Christmas day. Yes, Christmas weather in Los Angeles can be in the 80’s. Eat you heart out Minneapolis!

This is beverage sort of like an eggnog Frappuccino—Eggnogaccino. It is made in a blender with my Basic Eggnog recipe  or even with the store-bought stuff you find around the holidays. It can be made with or without alcohol. It’s indulgent, great tasting, quick to make and loaded with chocolate flavor.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Yield: Makes one 16 ounce serving

Ingredients:
1 cup prepared eggnog (store-bought)
1 cup of ice
5 tablespoons Choclatique Dark Chocolate Drinking Mix
2 tablespoons chocolate liqueur, crème de cacao or light rum
2 ounces whipped cream, the aerosol can will do
1 teaspoon Choclatique Dark Chocolate Curls

Directions:

  1. Using a blender combine the prepared eggnog, ice, Dark Chocolate Drinking Mix and chocolate liqueur.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Top of the frozen eggnog with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate curls over top.
  4. Serve immediately.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Frozen Hot Chocolate Margarita

Friday, December 6th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Friday after 6 is happy hour time at Choclatique. That’s when our team goes out to celebrate the end of the work week and see how we can make it even better on Monday. Last Friday we decided to stay a little later and get some more things off our do lists.

We had some Choclatique Dark Drinking Chocolate left in the dispenser and a bottle of tequila nearby and decided to see if we could make them work together. We started with the tequila—a good tequila is slightly spicy with vanilla back notes—which goes well with chocolate. All we had left to do was add in the coffee-flavored Kahlua, fresh milk and orange liqueur and blend—this drink is crazy good. It’s a delicious way to finish the week with great co-workers and friends with adult chocolate fun.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Blend Time: 40-45 seconds
Serves: 12 to 16

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon Choclatique Chocolate Decoratifs
1 1/2 cups ice, crushed
1/2 cup whole milk, very cold
1/2 cup Choclatique Dark Drinking Chocolate mix
1 1/2 oz. tequila
1 oz. Kahlua
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier

Directions:

  1. In one small bowl, add sprinkles. In another, add the chocolate syrup.
  2. In a blender, combine the rest of the ice, milk, drinking chocolate mix, tequila, Kahula and Grand Marnier.
  3. Blend in until combined and frothy.
  4. Dip the rims of chilled glasses into the syrup first, then the sprinkles. Pour the blended drink into the glasses and serve.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Angel Food Cake is made with a large quantity of egg whites (usually the whites from about 11 to 13 eggs) without any shortening or leavening. Angel Food cake is thought to be a takeoff of a sponge cake or a Pennsylvania Dutch wedding cake. Indications are with the abundance of cake molds found in southeastern Pennsylvania, the angel food cake originated there in the early 1800s.

That said, some suspect the origins of Angel Food cake are very mysterious, all the more so since they seem to derive from the mysterious East. The theory is that a family who lived along the Atlantic Coast moved to a quiet place along the Hudson River and opened a boarding house. A friend presented one of the ladies of the family, who was remarkably skilled as a cake-baker, a recipe that had come to her from a friend in India. Sometime later, cake-baker of the family opened a bakery specializing in cakes, including the mysterious one from the East.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 60 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:
2 cups egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, cake flour and cocoa. Sift together 3 times, and set aside.
  3. In a clean large bowl, whip the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until very stiff. Fold in white sugar 2 tablespoons at a time while continuing to mix. Fold in flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a 10 inch tube pan.
  4. Run a knife or spatula around the perimeter of the pan and through the batter one time to reduce any air pockets formed when filling the pan.
  5. Bake for about 1 hour, or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
  6. Remove from the tube pan and let cool completely.
  7. To serve, paint a plate with a little chocolate sauce and drizzle a little chocolate sauce over the top.

ChefSecret: Cream of tartar or potassium bitartrate (also known as potassium hydrogen tartrate) crystallizes in wine casks during the fermentation of grape juice, and can precipitate out of wine in bottles. The crystals (wine diamonds) will often form on the underside of a cork in wine-filled bottles that have been stored at temperatures below 10 °C (50 °F), and will seldom, if ever, dissolve naturally into the wine. In its ground powder form it is the perfect stabilizer for egg whites and whipped cream.

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Stressed

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

It’s nearly the end of the year… just a few short weeks from Christmas and you haven’t even started shopping. You just got a cancellation notice on your health insurance and your expected year-end commission has been cut in half. Are you feeling stressed?

Stress is a normal part of life, but we also need to find ways to relieve it. Two squares of dark chocolate—Choclatique Elephant or Q-91 Chocolate—could be just the prescription the doctor ordered to change your attitude by lowering your stress hormone levels.

Why do I we get so wound up when feeling stressed? Going back to our caveman instincts, stress releases powerful neurochemicals and hormones in our brains that prepare us for action to either fight or flee. If we don’t take action, the stress response can create health problems. Prolonged, uninterrupted, unexpected, and unmanageable stress is very damaging to our bodies and minds.

As recently reported in the online issue of the Journal of Proteome Research, a group of Swiss researchers tracked volunteers that were highly stressed. In this study, strong evidence indicated that daily consumption of only 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate—low in sugar—during a period of two weeks was sufficient to modify the metabolism of the healthy human volunteers. The chocolate also appeared to help correct other imbalances in the body that are related to stress.

Now you may ask, won’t chocolate make people fat? That’s certainly possible, but scientists at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, point out other positive benefits… dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which are beneficial to health overall and other substances in chocolate appear to reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol along with other medical conditions.

So take this as free advice from the doctor—The ChocolateDoctor… take two chocolate squares and call me in the morning. Here’s wishing you sweet dreams and stress-free chocolate wishes for the holidays!

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Ginger Cookies With White Cream Fondant Icing

Friday, November 15th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Ginger cookies are such a delight around the holidays and these chocolate-ginger cookies are no exception! Home-baked ginger cookies were the rage in the 1950s and are making a comeback right now. The richness of the chocolate and the vibrancy of the exotic spices are extraordinary. If you’ve never had a chocolate and ginger cookie combination, it will quickly become one of your favorites. In fact, people who don’t even like ginger love these soft, cakey cookies. The white cream fondant icing is the perfect topping for these cookies. Call me the Ginger Bread Man!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Baking Time: 9 to 10 minutes
Cooling Time: 10 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield: About 12 Cookies

Ingredients:
1/4 unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup black strap molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup hot tap water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Natura Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Cream Fondant Icing:
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon whipping cream

Directions:
For the Cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or very lightly grease the baking sheet.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the softened butter, sugar, egg, and molasses.
  4. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add to the mixture.
  5. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon and mix well.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to chill the dough for at least one hour to let it rest.
  7. Drop 1/4 cup mounds of the chilled dough on the prepared baking sheet—spaced well apart to allow for spreading.
  8. Bake 7 to 8 minutes until they are set; when lightly touched with a finger almost no imprint remains. While they are still slightly warm, frost with Cream Fondant Icing.

For the Cream Fondant Icing:
Mix all the ingredients together and whip it until it is well blended.

ChefSecret: Remember, real butter makes the best cookies.

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