Fudge Quick and Easy

December 27, 2008

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Got a bunch of children hanging around your home this holiday week? Set them to work making fudge. This microwave variety is so easy even a small child can proudly say, ‘I made this!’

1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 stick salted butter, melted (8 tablespoons)
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped raisins or candied fruit

In a microwave-safe dish, stir together the sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Beat with a pastry fork until smooth. Add vanilla and fruit. Pour into a lightly greased 8- x 8-inch pan. Chill until firm.
Makes sixty-four 1-inch squares.


Chocolate Raspberry Napoleons With Raspberry Mascarpone Cream

February 22, 2008


The Viking Dinner Yurt in Park City, Utah

Yurts are portable, tent-like structures used for centuries by Mongolian nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. Yurts are also a God-send for cross-country skiers in the mountainous American West, providing trail-side lodging (and some include full catering!) for hikers or — in winter– cross country skiers. In most cases, this means one only has to carry one’s clothing from yurt to yurt, and sometimes even this service can be provided. 

There is beautiful skiing this time of year in the Minnesota Boundary Waters, if Sam and Harry don’t mind doing some of the cooking.  Après ski, Sam would be fully justified in using as much butter as she’d like!  For a considerable step up in luxury, the Blue Moon Yurt in McCall, Idaho offers a 5-course gourmet dinner, while at the Viking Dinner Yurt in Utah (elevation: 8000 feet!), Sam and Harry could feast on an elegant, Scandanavian-style dinner.  The Viking’s award-winning menu often features a scrumptious soft-berry dessert, and the whole deal (including the chef) arrives via snowmobile! – Almostgotit

INGREDIENTS

Chocolate Layers:
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

Raspberry Mascarpone Cream:
1 – 8 ounce container mascarpone cheese* or 8 ounce package cream cheese (room temp)
¼ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons Framboise (or other raspberry liqueur)
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

Red Raspberry Puree:
2 cups whole frozen raspberries (about 8 ounces) thawed
2 Tablespoons Framboise (or other raspberry liqueur), may add more to taste
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

DIRECTIONS

For Chocolate Layers: 
Cover the bottom of a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with foil, tucking ends under, making sure foil is tight.  Mark 15 x 9-inch rectangle on foil.  In top of double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt chocolate (do not allow bottom of pan to touch water) stirring until smooth, approximately 5-7 minutes.  Pour onto foil and spread quickly and evenly to the same thickness to cover rectangle; a pastry chef’s knife works best.  Chill in refrigerator until set but not hard, about 7 minutes.  With a sharp knife, cut chocolate rectangle lengthwise into three equal strips, each about three inches wide.  Cut each strip into six equal pieces, each about two and one-half inches wide.  Chill one hour.  (Can be made one week ahead.  Cover; keep refrigerated).

For Raspberry Mascarpone Cream: 
Beat mascarpone cheese, sugar and Framboise together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer.  Add half the cream and beat until soft peaks form.  Add the rest of the cream and beat until thick and stiff.  Cover and chill for one hour.

For Raspberry Puree: 
Place thawed raspberries in food processor or blender.  Strain through a fine sieve to remove seeds and place in small saucepan.  Stir sugar and cornstarch together and add to puree, along with the Framboise.  Heat, stirring until thickened and glossy.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  (Note: if puree is too cold it may be too thick to create decorative hearts—microwave for 30-40 seconds before use).

To Assemble Napoleons: 
Place one chocolate square on each of the six plates.  Spread with three tablespoons of the raspberry mascarpone cream mixture. Use a toothpick to dot edges of mascarpone cream with the raspberry puree.  Draw the toothpick through the center of each dot to slightly below center, to create a heart shape.  Top with another chocolate piece, spread mascarpone over, repeat with raspberry puree dots/hearts.  Top with last chocolate piece and finish with a dollop of mascarpone cream and garnish with fresh raspberries and/or puree and shaved chocolate.

May be plated with a pool of additional raspberry puree.  Approximate preparation time: 40 minutes plus chilling time .  SERVES 6

Italian mascarpone cheese is available at Italian markets and many supermarkets.

Recipe provided by the Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission


Whiskey Balls

December 23, 2007
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Such a holiday treat! Give these tasty, spiked, no-bake cookies once, and you’ll have a tradition on your hands. SAM

2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
3 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup whiskey
Confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs, cocoa, walnuts, corn syrup, and whiskey. Roll into 1/2-inch diameter balls and let rest for 15 minutes. Roll in sugar and place in a single layer to rest for 1 hour. Transfer to gift boxes or jars.
Makes 60 balls.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Peanut Butter-Chocolate Fudge

December 22, 2007
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Another child-friendly, no-bake fudge—great for gifts or last-night munching. SAM

8 tablespoons butter, melted (1 stick)
4 large graham crackers, finely crushed
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 1/3 cups unsifted confectioners’ sugar
6 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels

Lightly butter an 8-inch square pan. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, crackers, peanut butter, and sugar. Press into the prepared pan. In the top of a double boiler or in a microwave, melt the chocolate and spread evenly on the peanut butter mixture. Cool in the pan before cutting into 1-inch squares.
Makes 64 1-inch squares.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Microwave Fudge

December 9, 2007

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Flavor this super-easy fudge with your favorite liqueur—or substitute vanilla or almond extract. SAM

1 (1-pound) box confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
8 tablespoons butter, melted (1 stick)
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon liqueur
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

In a microwave safe dish, combine the sugar, cocoa, butter, and cream. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Beat with a fork until smooth. Add the liqueur and nuts. Pour into an 8 x 8-inch pan and chill until firm
Makes 64 1-inch squares.


Chocolate-Molasses Bars

October 27, 2007

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I modified these chewy bar cookies slightly because some ROL readers don’t like the combination of orange and chocolate. If that’s you, substitute chopped raisins or dates for the orange zest. And by all means use your favorite nuts. However you make these cookies, they’ll be fabulous. If you’re feeding kids, they’ll make a great lunch box snack. SAM

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light molasses
2 1/2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, grated
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts
1/4 cup coarsely grated orange zest or chopped raisins or dates

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, soda, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and set aside. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar. Add the flour mixture alternately with the molasses, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in the chocolate, nuts, and orange zest, raisins, or dates by hand. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan on a wire rack and cut into bars.
Makes 3 dozen bars.


Double Chocolate Cookies

October 24, 2007

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Double the chocolate and you double the taste! These yummy cookies even have chocolate liqueur. For true chocolate lovers, this is the ultimate! SAM

6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet baking chocolate
4 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
6 tablespoons shortening
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon crème de cacao
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In the top of a double boiler over hot water, melt the chocolates and butter, stirring until smooth. Place the sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until blended. Add the eggs, vanilla, and créme de cacao, stirring until blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring until smooth. Stir in the nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 1 1/2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12 minutes or until set. Do not over-bake. Cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Makes 3 dozen cookies.