Holiday Baking Ideas: Mrs. Vickie’s Dark Chocolate Shavings Cookie

 

My family was a big fan of chocolate chip cookies until one of our employees at Cocoa Mill started using Cocoa Mill’s Bittersweet chocolate shavings in their cookies… They are now converts and will accept nothing less. This is the perfect cookie for the Holidays.

Cocoa Mill’s Bittersweet Chocolate is perfect for baking. In this recipe you will need 1/4 lb of dark chocolate and a good sharp knife to shave the chocolate into small pieces.

You will need:

2/3 cup of butter (or shortening)

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup  of brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1  3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. of baking soda

1/4 to 1/2 a tsp. of salt (depending on how sweet you like your cookies)

1/4 lb shaved bittersweet chocolate

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugars together, add egg and vanilla, mix well. Add flour, baking soda and salt, mix well. Add the Chocolate shavings and mix well one more time. Spoon cookies onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. When golden around the edges take out and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk.

These cookie freeze well, this allows you to pull them out and enjoy them whenever you wish. They also make a beautiful and delicious gift for loved ones and friends during this season of giving.

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Milk vs. Dark

The Great debate: Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate.

These questions and more will be answered in the upcoming series of blogs. The intent of this series will be to inform you of the subtle differences that make each flavor unique. We will pair these great chocolates with other foods and beverages to enhance the chocolate’s flavor and your overall experience. I will try to describe the flavors of chocolates and their pairings to the best of my ability giving you an idea of what you can expect from each one. Some confections/flavors taste better in milk chocolate, some better in dark chocolate, I will leave you to decide.

The first chocolates up are:  The  Milk Chocolate Truffle & The Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle .

 

The Milk Chocolate Truffle consist of a simple creamy texture delivering all the sweetness you would expect from milk chocolate. It’s slightly hard outer shell encases a soft centered milk chocolate ganache. The ganache is smooth, creamy and very sweet. There are no decorations on this truffle leaving you to surmise that the beauty lies within the flavor. This chocolate is best when served with a Red Ale such as: Devils Backbone Reily’s Red Ale. This is an Irish ale has malt, toasted caramel and grain notes with a strong dose of floral and light citrus hops. This smooth malt and toasted caramel flavors add to the simplicity of the Milk Chocolate Truffle. This is a beautiful combination of flavors to enjoy while slipping into the beauty of fall.

The Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle is again simple and creamy but there is a depth to the dark chocolate that leaves you wanting another bite. The hard outer shell holds the creaminess of the ganache which is a surprisingly complex flavor delivered by dark chocolate. This truffle is bitter and at the same time sweet (hence the name?) leaving you wanting to savor the experience. This chocolate pairs well with full-bodied red wines such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, which highlight the fruity and peppery notes in the chocolate, or a Zinfandel, which brings out the chocolate’s spicy subtleties.  This pairing is perfect anytime of the year leaving you satisfied that you have had a decadent experience.

The above chocolates, beer and wines are available from various sellers, we have chosen Virginia based  businesses.

Summer Sweets: Frozen Hot Chocolate

Frozen Hot Chocolate is a recipe I have wanted make for a long time. I know that the restaurant Serendipity3 in New York has this dessert and people rave about how good it is. I thought I would give it a go with our own Cocoa Mill Chocolates.  

This was surprisingly easy to make.  I used my own homespun recipe for Hot Chocolate and then adjusted it accordingly to get the Frozen effect.  This recipe will give you something to look forward to after a long hot day.

 

What you will need for this refreshing treat:

4 cups of whole milk

3 oz Cocoa Mill Dark Chocolate

3 oz Cocoa Mill Milk Chocolate

3 oz Cocoa Mill White Chocolate

3 Tbsp granulated sugar*

3 tsp. vanilla

6 Tbsp powdered sugar*

1 pint heavy whipping cream

Chocolate shavings

You will also need, a blender and  mixer capable of whipping cream.

 

Process:

1. Warm milk in a sauce pan over low heat, (be careful not to boil the milk). When steam begins rising from the milk add your 3 types of chocolate, 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 3 Tbsp of granulated sugar. Continue cooking over low heat until chocolate is melted and well blended with the milk.

(1 1/2. You can stop here if you want hot chocolate, keep it in mind for those Cold winter nights.)

2. Remove from heat and let it cool in the fridge for two hours (or longer if needed).

3. Place whip cream in a bowl and add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and 3 Tbsp of powdered sugar whip with a beater until the cream forms stiff peaks when the beater is removed. Cover and place in refrigerator.

4. In a blender pour in 2 1/2 cups of the now cold hot chocolate add a 1/2 cup of whipped cream and 3 Tbsp powdered sugar mix until blended (about 45 seconds to a minute.) 

5. Fill blender with Ice cubes until liquid has reached 5 cups. Blend until creamy.

6. Pour into a glass, top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and have a good chocolatley evening. 

There are so many ways you could adjust this recipe, add Bailey’s Irish Creme for an adult beverage, add 3 Tbsp of coffee for a mochachino, add some caramel syrup on top of the whip cream just for an added yum. Let us know what variations you come up with!

*You can also substitute  truvia for sugars or another sweetener to decrease caloric/carbohydrate in take.

You can save the additional hot chocolate mixture for up to a week in the refrigerator.

 

Summer Sweets: Chocolate Nonpareil Cookies

Last week I posted a recipe for chocolate brownies. I hope you all enjoyed them!

This week I have a tasty little treat that is very easy to make.  So grab your fun hat and let’s whip up some chocolate nonpareil cookies!

You will need some mini nonpareil ( I use Cocoa Mill’s dark chocolate nonpareil, just because they are readily available, and super good, you can use milk chocolate nonpareil too if you wish).

Cocoa Mill’s Chocolate Nonpareil Cookies:

2/3 cup of butter (or shortening)

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup  of brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1  3/4 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. of baking soda

1/4 to 1/2 a tsp. of salt (depending on how sweet you like your cookies)

1/2 lb. chocolate nonpareil

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugars together, add egg and vanilla, mix well. Add flour, baking soda and salt, mix well. Roll cookie dough into 1 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Place a chocolate nonpareil in the center of each ball of dough and press down to flatten cookie.

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. When lightly brown take out and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a tall glass of cold milk.

These cookie freeze well, this allows you to pull them out and enjoy them whenever you wish. 

Summer Sweets

Summer time is great, vacations, relaxation, cook outs, warm weather and the list goes on and on…  This summer I am going to be cooking some great recipes using Cocoa Mill’s chocolate and sharing the yum factor with you.  I am sure in these recipes you could use any chocolate, but I cannot vouch for any other chocolate than Cocoa Mill, so beware! Jk 😉 (Seriously though try to use an all natural chocolate, the preservatives and waxes used in some chocolates can leave a recipe tasting a little blah.)

The first recipe I want to share is Cocoa Mill Brownies. These tasty little treats are decadent to say the least. This is my go to recipe for a great dessert. I hope you enjoy them too!

Cocoa Mill Brownies:

2 sticks of butter (softened)

6 to 8 ounces dark chocolate

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

3 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour (can use whole wheat if desired, tastes just as good)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (if desired, which I do not!)

In a saucepan melt 1 stick of butter and the chocolate, stirring continually so not to burn the chocolate.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl place 1 stick of butter, sugar, powdered sugar and vanilla mix together.  Add eggs and mix again. Add flour and salt mix until well blended.  Add chocolate and stir until batter is chocolate through and through.  Add nuts last if desired.

Pour batter into a buttered 13 x 9 x 2 baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35 – 40 minutes or until a knife stuck in comes out clean.

Cool in pan on wire rack.  After it is cooled you can either enjoy as is or top with Nutella for and added yum (this also prevents brownies from drying out.) 

Happy Summer!  Let me know if you try it and what you think!