Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes

1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
2/3 cup sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup plus 1 T. miniature semisweet chocolate chips, divided
3/4 cup half and half cream
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 T. coarse sugar
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
3 T. confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup. hot fudge ice cream topping
10 fresh strawberries
Grated chocolate

Combine strawberries and 1/3 cup sugar; refrigerate if desired. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar. Cut in butter and 2/3 cup chips until crumbly. Add half-and-half and stir until just moistened.

Divide dough into 8 patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Brush with egg white; sprinkle with coarse sugar and remaining chips.

Bake at 450 degrees for 13 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat whipping cream and confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate.

To assemble, split shortcakes in half. Place cake bottoms on dessert plates. Top with about two-thirds of the strawberries, whipped cream and fudge topping. Replace shortcake tops; top with remaining berries, cream and topping. Garnish with chocolate if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

*From The FoodNetwork

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Chocolate Cinnamon Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 12 oz. bag Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 10 oz. bag Hershey's Cinnamon Chips

Cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add the remaining ingredients. Drop on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping
2 T. white sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, for topping

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1tsp. sugar in 1 1/4 cups warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In mixer combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix until formed into dough. If the mixture is too dry, add 1 or 2 T. of water. Continue kneading the dough until smooth, approx. 8 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease 2 baking sheets.

In a bowl, dissolve baking soda with 4 cups hot water and set aside.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. After the pretzels are shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda/hot water mixture and place pretzels onto baking sheets.

Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes.

Brush with butter and sprinkle with kosher salt or sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Crab Salad

1 lb imitation crab meat, flaked
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 T. sugar
2 T. fresh chopped parsley
pepper, to taste

Mix above ingredients in a salad bowl until combined.

Texas Sheet Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup butter
4 T. cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar and flour in a mixer bowl. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, cocoa, and water. Bring to a boil. Pour over flour/sugar mixture; beating as you pour slowly. Mix well. Add buttermilk, soda, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into a greased 10x14 inch baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely and then frost with chocolate frosting. Sprinkle with nuts (optional).

1 12 oz. package semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp. vanilla 
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup milk

Heat chocolate and butter in a mixer bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until almost melted. Remove from heat; stir until completely melted.

With mixer on low speed, add vanilla and salt. Gradually add confectioners' sugar and milk in alternating batches; beat until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes before spreading on cake.