Chocolate and Coffee!! …cookies!!

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Chocolate and Coffee what really could be better!!

I really don’t think I could live with out coffee, I just love it, give it to me hot, cold, over ice, in a cup or in can  ———>    pic 1

I just love any kind of coffee drink and will seek out them out even if its International, but I do usually hit my local Starbucks for an Iced Venti 3 splenda Americano.   I also like to spread myself out and give all coffee shops  a fair shot.
I particularly like visiting this one Caribou Coffee shop, these girls that work there are a lot fun.  So when I go there all I ask is for a Medium size with 4 shots, and then tell them to work there magic with whatever they want to make me.
Then once its done, comes the taste test as I try to guess what they made me, well it is really a lot of fun and I’ve never had a bad drink yet.
My last one was  Dark Chocolate syrup with hazelnut, so I thought why not try to make a cookie with the same flavors.

So here is what I came up with and I will call it!!

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Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies and it went like this…

Ingredients (plus the nuts, which I forgot in the picture)

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add butter and 1/2 cup chips to saucepan and melt

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whisk in espresso powder, set aside

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add flour, salt, baking powder & cocoa, whisk together, set aside

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In a large bowl add both sugars, vanilla and eggs, whisk together

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pour chocolate mixture into sugar/egg mixture, combine

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add flour mixture to wet mixture and combine

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I took a handful of walnuts, chopped them up and it was 3/4 cup (didn’t have any hazelnuts)

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add chips and nuts

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scoop out on baking sheets

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and here you have cookies…Yummy!!!   pic 15

Recipe

Dark Chocolate Coffee Nut Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 tbsp. espresso powder or instant coffee (heaping)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (1/2 cup) stick butter
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

In a small sauce pan add butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips, heat over medium heat whisking as they melt, once almost melted remove from heat.  Continue whisking until smooth, then add espresso powder mixing to combine and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

In a medium mixing bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa, set aside.
In a larger mixing bowl add sugars, vanilla and eggs, whisking to combine, then add chocolate mixture, whisking to fully combine.  Stir in Flour mixture all at once, stirring and folding until flour is fully incorporated.  Stir in remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips and walnuts.  I used a medium scoop (1 1/2 tbsp.) for these, baked them at 350 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes, you want them to look a little crackled.

Have them with a nice ice cold glass of milk or like me with more COFFEE!!!!    Enjoy!!!!

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How do you like your Pizza!!

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Oh Pizza how I love thee!!!       picture 1

I think I could eat pizza 24/7!!!  I love homemade pizza, store bought pizza, restaurant pizza, take out pizza you name I love it!!  For me I have my favorite topping pizza where ever I go, so no matter where I order I know what I like from that place, thin crust, thick crust, original crust, garlic crust, pan crust…oh I could go on there are enough places to take your pick.  So no matter where I go I know what crust I like and toppings for each place, I do love me a white pizza, BBQ Chicken, New York Style pizza!!  We use to sell pizza from this pizza place in Brooklyn, New York, it would come in frozen and in slices, each box had 8 slices for about $18.00 oh it was so worth and it really was good…maybe not as good as if I was there in Brooklyn having a fresh piece.  But for me being in Cincinnati, it was great to be able to have a slice when I wanted it, I have friends that each month order pizzas from Gino’s East in Chicago, it comes frozen too.  But like I said if  you are not there is the next best thing!!!

Recently I was given a sample of Wolfgang Puck’s New 100% Natural Marinara sauce, I am very picky when it comes to tomato sauces, usually like to make my own.  Some jars are fine and taste okay, but I normally do not purchase them for myself.pi

So I thought to myself what will I do with this, make pasta, cook over some chicken, make Lasagna, fish???  NO I will make PIZZA!!!  So as I strolled our store one day I thought okay what will I have for dinner, then I thought oh the sauce, I’ll make pizza, well do I make my own crust…dough will have to rise…I have no time for that…could stop by a pizza joint and buy some dough…hmmm  Then I saw it hanging on a rack “Freschetta Pizza Crust” I never noticed that they even had one, so I picked up along with some cheese and I was on my way home.

Like I said depending on who’s pizza I’m eating, will depend on the toppings, but when I ‘m home I am simple as cheese please.  Plus I wanted to get a good taste of Chef Puck’s sauce.

Ingredients

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add sauce     picture 4

top with cheese, I used our brand Mozzarella and Italian Blendpicture 5

Oh and I did spice it up a bit with some crushed red pepper flakes

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Baked as directed on back of pizza crust and done

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You know it was very good, I really was surprised, the sauce was very fresh tasting, great tomato flavor, thicker as well, it did have some small chunks of tomato and usually marinara sauces sometimes to me seem a little on the watery side.  No not this one, I would definitely buy this one for sure.

And as far as the crust goes…it was good as well, I would so buy in a pitch, soft yet chewy and crisp on the bottom!!

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And the Cheese was CHEESY!!!! picture 9

So if you want to make some pizza at home tonight or any time and you want to do it quick…I’d give these products “Two Thumbs Up”

So what do you like on your Pizza!!!!???   Enjoy!!!

Heart Shape Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheese ball

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!!
Yes once again it’s the time of year that love is all in the air!!!  I hope everyone has a moment today to make someone’s day, even if it with a smile or just a Hello!!!

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As as a sweet treat for the occasion I decided to make this Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheese ball and shape it into a Heart.  Now of course you could just form it into a ball or make any shape you want, you can also roll it in extra chips or nuts on the outside instead of the sprinkles like I used.  I’m serving this today with pretzels, but you could use vanilla wafers, Teddy Grahams or regular graham crackers.

So here we go, I used these ingredients

heart indgredients

Mixed dough folding in the Chocolate chips

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Form into the shape and add colored chocolate sprinkles

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Recipe:  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cheese ball

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips, divided 3/4 cup added to mixture, 1/4 cup for rolling, unless  you are using sprinkles

In a large bowl add peanut butter, cream cheese and butter, beat together until smooth, add vanilla and salt, mix, then on low speed add 1 cup of sugar at a time, until well combined.  Then fold in Chocolate chips.  Shape as you wish.

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In these pictures I doubled this recipe since I was taking to our offices today…I hope you try it and enjoy!!

Chinese 5 Spice Wings

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5wingscover

So I have a jar of Chinese 5 spice, you say (or maybe not) what is Chinese 5 spice any way…well I’m here to tell you, it is made up of 5 spices, hence the name 🙂

Spices are Star Anise, Cloves, Chinese Cinnamon, Fennel and Sichuan Pepper…lets talk about this Sichuan Pepper…do you know its not a pepper (like black pepper or chili) it’s husks of a tiny fruit from an Ash tree.  Wikipedia it see for you self.

Okay enough chit chat, so I wanted to fix wings for the weekend and I wanted something different and so I opened up my pantry and there is was this Chinese 5 spice, what I know I only used once 🙂
So that is were I started and if you like Chinese 5 spice then you will like these wings…and if you never tried it well then give it a try.

Ingredients:

5wings1 add to baking dish or ziploc  5wings2
5wings3 whisk to combine

5wings4cut up your wings 5wings5

add to the marinade and refrigerator

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When I’m ready to bake, I then add the chicken broth so the marinade does not dry up and burn
5wings8 5wings9 After baking I like them a little crispy, so I bake them again on a sheet pan   5wings11

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Recipe

6 whole chicken wings, which makes 12 wing pieces
1/2 tsp sirircha, now if like things a little more spicy then add more
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. chinese 5 spice
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup chicken broth

You can use a baking dish or a ziploc bag to marinate the wings in, I just used a baking dish and turned the wings every hour.  I would have used a bag if I was going to marinate overnight; place in refrigerator.

So in your baking dish or bag add all ingredients except chicken wings, whisk until well combined or shake your bag up, then set aside.

I like buying whole wings, but you can certainly buy them already cut into pieces. (I use the little wing tip to make stock, I’ll save those and anything from the a whole chicken I might not use and freeze them until I get enough to make so stock)

Toss the wings in the marinade  and refrigerate over night or for at least 3-4 hours, if you use a baking dish, just turn them around in the marinade a few times.

Place the wings and marinade in a baking dish, I then add the chicken broth so the marinade does not dry up and burn, heat oven to 400 degrees, and bake for 15 minutes, then flip the wings over and bake 15 more minutes at this point then are done.
But I like them a little crispy so I take them out of the baking dish and put them on a sheet pan place them back in the oven for a few minutes then I will take them back out, roll them around in the marinade again and then place them back on the sheet pan in the oven for a few more minutes.  This is up to you and how you like your wings.  These are also great on the grill, so fire that up when you can too 🙂

So grab a cold one, have some Chinese 5 Spice wings and enjoy!!!

Family Cobbler Recipe

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cobbcover

I love cobbler, but I love my families recipe the best, not that others out there are not good its just that I’m used this one.

You pretty much can use any fruit, I have used peaches, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries with white chocolate chips, apples, pears, cranberries, use your imagination the possibilities are unless.

These pictures are from when I made Apples & Cranberries.

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Peel apples and cube add cranberries
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Mix with sugar and cinnamon, set aside and start on batter
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add sugar & melted butter, then mix in dry ingredients and milk
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Pour batter into baking dish, top with fruit
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take the ice cold water add vanilla to it and pour all over fruit and batter
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Recipe:

3 – 4 cups fruit – (you can use frozen if you don’t have fresh)
1/2 cup + 3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup ice cold water

Use a 8×8, 9×8, 9×9, if you go bigger (9×13) I double the recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl add fruit and 3/4 cup sugar and toss to coat all the fruit

In a medium bowl add butter and 1/2 cup sugar, whisk together, then add half the flour, salt and baking powder, whisk, then add half the milk, whisk again then add the rest of the flour and milk and whisk to make batter.

Pour batter into a sprayed baking dish

Sprinkle fruit all over batter

Mix 1 cup cold water and 1 tsp. vanilla together and pour over batter

Bake for about 40 minutes sometime is takes longer, you want it to look golden brown, I have gone as long as 1 hour for a double recipe.

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Serve warm with vanilla Ice Cream….its yummmy!!!!  Enjoy!!!