Friday, December 15, 2006

All Groomed and waiting for Christmas Posted by Picasa


Angel Cookies Posted by Picasa

Layered Peppermint Crunch Bark

peppermint bark Posted by Picasa

I make this festive candy every christmas-- loosely following this recipe.

Packed in jars that are decorated with red ribbon and candy canes, this sweet makes a festive gift. To crush the peppermints coarsely, tap the wrapped candies firmly with the bottom edge of any unopened 15- to 16-ounce can.
17 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker's), finely chopped
30 red-and-white-striped hard peppermint candies, coarsely crushed (about 6 ounces)
7 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Turn large baking sheet bottom side up. Cover securely with foil. Mark 12 x 9-inch rectangle on foil. Stir white chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water) until chocolate is melted and smooth and candy thermometer registers 110°F. (chocolate will feel warm to touch). Remove from over water. Pour 2/3 cup melted white chocolate onto rectangle on foil. Using icing spatula, spread chocolate to fill rectangle. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.

Stir bittersweet chocolate, cream and peppermint extract in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until just melted and smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Pour bittersweet chocolate mixture in long lines over white chocolate rectangle. Using icing spatula, spread bittersweet chocolate in even layer. Refrigerate until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.

Rewarm remaining white chocolate in bowl set over barely simmering water to 110°F. Working quickly, pour white chocolate over firm bittersweet chocolate layer; spread to cover. Immediately sprinkle with remaining crushed peppermints. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.

Lift foil with bark onto work surface; trim edges. Cut bark crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Using metal spatula, slide bark off foil and onto work surface. Cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections and each section diagonally into 2 triangles. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Chill in airtight container.) Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.

Makes 36 pieces.
Bon App├ętit
Cooking Class
December 1998

chirstmas trees and ornament Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Here are a few recipes I found on the internet for Hot Cocoa mix- I make a giant batch every December. I have misplaced the recipe for the mix so I had to do some searching. I am sure that it is identical to the second one listed.

Gourmet Hot Cocoa Mix

* 25 oz non-fat milk powder
* 16 oz non-dairy creamer powder
* 16 oz presweetened cocoa mix
* 13 oz chocolate malted milk powder
* 1 cup powdered sugar

Mix ingredients and store in an air-tight container. Use 2-3 tbs per mug of hot water

Hot Cocoa Mix-- This is the mix I make each year-

1 14-quart box nonfat dry milk

1 1-pound jar coffee-mate creamer

1 2-pound box Nestle's Quik

1 2-pound bag confectioner's sugar -- sifted

1 15-ounce jar chocolate malted milk mix (Ovaltine)

Combine all ingredients together in a VERY large bowl. Mix well. Store in airtight containers (like jars). Attach instructions for use with each jar.

Instructions: To use, mix 1/3 cup of the dry mix with 2/3 cup boiling water. Stir and top with marshmallows, if desired.

Hot Cocoa Mix from Allrecipes-- I might try this one- curious about the pudding mix in it and it makes a smaller amount.

* 6 1/2 cups powdered milk
* 1 (5 ounce) package non-instant chocolate pudding mix
* 1 cup powdered chocolate drink mix
* 1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
* 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


1. In a large bowl, combine powdered milk, chocolate pudding mix, chocolate drink mix powder, creamer, confectioners' sugar, and cocoa. Divide the mixture between two 1 quart jars. Seal, and decorate as desired. These can be stored in a dry area for up to 3 months.
2. Attach a tag with the following instructions: Hot Cocoa: Dissolve 1/3 cup cocoa mix in 1 cup boiling water.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Baking : Two-Tone Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

two-tone chocolate peanutbutter cookies Posted by Picasa

Two-Tone Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
(adapted from the Cookie Bible)

Chocolate Dough
1 cup butter, soft
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
2 1/4 cups ap flour
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Peanut Butter Dough
1 cup sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, soft
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups ap flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Mix chocolate dough:
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg, followed by vanilla and melted chocolate. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, or by hand, add flour mixture to chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until firm, at least 1 hour.

Mix peanut butter dough:
In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter and sugar. Beat in egg, followed by milk and vanilla. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, or by hand, add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture and beat until combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour.
Assemble and bake:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a baking sheet and a work surface with parchment paper.
Roll out doughs from 1/8-1/2 inch thick (3 mm) and use a 2-3 inch cookie cutter to cut large shapes. Use a small cookie cutter to remove the centers and switch them, creating a two tone effect. Gather up unused dough and reroll up to three total times, freezing again for a few minutes, if necessary to make the dough easier to work with.
Bake for 12-13 minutes, until the edges of the peanut butter (since the chocolate is harder to see) cookies are lightly browned.
Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4-5 dozen, depending on cutter size.

backyard visitors Posted by Picasa

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