Archive for April, 2012

Chocolate Krisps – One Crisp Cookie

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

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

Chocolate KrispsGeorge Zallie was a wonderful independent grocer. He and his sons owned several ShopRite Stores in the Philadelphia area. Each year he also brought over great Sicilian bakers who made the best Italian cookies.

George was never one to share a formulation as he always very secretive about his proprietary recipes, but he was kind enough to share this one and a few others with me. This classic is just a great, crisp chocolate cookie which is light, chocolaty and crisp all the way though. It’s loaded with big chocolate flavor that is not too sweet and not too bitter; in fact, it’s just about perfect.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 8 to 10 minutes
Ready In: 90 minutes
Yield: 6 dozen

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar (for rolling)

Directions:

  1. Measure all ingredients and have at your side.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla; continue to cream until smooth.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended.
  4. Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  6. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and coat with sugar. Place onto a baking sheet. Cookies should be at least 2 inches apart.
  7. Using the bottom of a glass, press the cookies down slightly.
  8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes on the top rack, until the tops have slightly cracked. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on wire racks. Repeat with the second baking sheet to complete.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor



So Long, Dick Clark

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

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

Let me take a moment to break away from our wonderful topics—CHOCOLATE and CHOCLATIQUE—and talk about the loss of a friend and one of the stalwarts of the entertainment and music industries.

Dick Clark 1I first met Dick Clark when I was hanging out at the old ABC Television Studios on Prospect and Talmage on the fringe of Hollywood. That was before the days of high security, pass codes and pictured identification cards. I was around so often that someone finally offered me a job in the art department and very soon thereafter became an art director. Art directors are those guys and gals who design the scenery and sets for television show and movies. I was only in my late teens, (lied about my age; pushing 17 up to 26), but thankfully I had enough talent to convince people I knew what I was doing.

American BandstandOne of the shows I was to work on was American Bandstand. It’s kind of funny looking back today; I was just about the same age as the dancers on the show. I got to know Mr. Clark as each week I tried to design something a little bit better which seemed to impress him. Now, this was no easy feat. In the mid-60’s the budget for a show like this was only in the hundreds and you had to really stretch a dollar to get any production values at all.

Sonny & CherThe one thing I did learn about Mr. Clark was that he was one of the kindest men on the lot. He always took the time to talk to everyone on the set. He was very protective of the young unpaid kids who danced on the show, and was always showcasing new talent. I was there on Stage A for the first TV appearance of Sonny and Cher (I Got You, Babe), Chubby (The Twist) Checkers and many others.

Dick Clark 2One afternoon our director, Hal Galley, became ill with food poisoning (no, I didn’t do it). There were no other directors on the lot. Mr. Clark came over to me and asked if I would fill in for Hal. At the moment, this was the opportunity of a lifetime. Mr. Clark took me aside to assure me that I had been in the control booth long enough that he was sure I could handle a 30-minute show. Let the truth be known we had such a well-oiled group of professionals who had worked on the show for several years that no one could have failed at the task.

Control BoothMy first words were, “Cue the music!” and as I heard that famous theme score start, I began calling the shots. What a thrill to be asked by Dick Clark himself to fill in as a director. At the commercial breaks, Mr. Clark rushed up the stairs to compliment me on a job well done. I finished out the week for Hal and then went back to my normal duties of designing sets for Day in Court, Queen for a Day and Shivaree.

Dick Clark 3Several years later I got a call from Dick who asked me to draw some sketches for a new sitcom he was pitching. It was to be a comedy based on the life of a cave man that started out with a brute hitting his wife with a club and dragging her back to the cave. This was to be a kind of non-animated (totally polically incorrect) take-off on the Flintstones. Thankfully, nothing ever came of it.

Dick Clark 4I left the entertainment industry to open the first of many restaurants and later Choclatique. Over the years, Dick would be a guest at one of them. He always remembered me as “the kid” he gave the first shot to direct and I will always remember him as one of the the most generous gentlemen in Hollywood. So long, Dick, and rest in peace.

Dick Clark, R.I.P.
Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor


Sweet & Salty Chocolate-Pretzel Bars

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

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

Sweet and Salty Chocolate Pretzel BarsI have been working on some new chocolate confection flavors in the Chocolate Studio for the last month. Tasting sweet stuff can be sweet and then again, there’s a limit that most of us have when it comes to super sweet, sugary concoctions. I love them and they are always delicious, but a few bites too many can be overwhelming. The perfect combination to add with sweet and especially chocolate is a little bit of salt.

Sebastian, one of our chocolatiers, worked on these sweet-and-salty bars until he got the balance just right. The name says it all — gooey cookies combined with salty pretzels in easy-to-make bars. They look like most cookie bars at first glance, but that surprise salty crust makes them unbelievably delicious. I bet you can’t eat just one!

Chocolate-Pretzel Bars

Sweet and Salty Chocolate Pretzel Bars2Ingredients:
For the crust:

3 1/2 cups salted pretzel sticks, crushed into tiny pieces
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the cookie dough:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups Choclatique Milk Chocolate Chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350º F.
  2. Line a 9x13x2 baking pan with parchment paper to make it easier for you to remove the bars from the pan.
  3. Combine the crushed pretzel pieces with the melted butter, stir to combine. Spread pretzel mixture over the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes.
  4. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed until creamy. Add eggs and the vanilla, beating until just blended.
  5. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk until airy and gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar/egg mixture, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Scrape down the sides and add in the chocolate chips. Mix one last time for a second then set aside.
  7. Drop large spoonfuls of the cookie dough and scatter it over the pretzel crust.
  8. Carefully and evenly spread the batter over the warm pretzels. With clean fingers, press the dough into the pretzels.
  9. Place the pan in your preheated oven and bake for 25 -30 minutes, rotating the pan half-way through the baking time. Remove when the bars are golden and a tester comes out nearly clean.
  10. When bars have cooled lift from the pan using the parchment paper, place on a cutting board and cut into 15 bars.

Choclatique on FacebookChoclatique on TwitterChocolate Doctor