Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Today's chocolate...Buckeyes! These have been a favorite in our family for many years. I dare you to only eat one!
16 oz peanut butter
2 lb powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
36 oz good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
Blend together peanut butter, sugar, butter, and vanilla. The dough will be somewhat dry.
Roll into 1-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil, wax paper or parchment paper.
Place a toothpick in each one and place in the freezer for about 1/2 hour, or until hardened.
Over very low heat, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Don't try to rush this part by turning up the heat or your chocolate will start to separate and will become grainy.
Dip frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate, using the toothpick to hold them.
Leave a small portion of peanut butter showing at the top to make them look like Buckeyes.
Place back on the cookie sheet and refrigerate for a couple of hours--if you can!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chocolate for your Valentine

I'm not big on "Hallmark" holidays, but I'm up for any excuse to have chocolate, which is why I love Valentine's Day. It's not about the flowers, champagne, and jewelery, although those are nice too. It's all about Chocolate!
Here's a fun chocolate cookie recipe for today. This is adapted from my family roll out sugar cookie recipe that we always had at the holidays. These are great for decorating or just cutting into heart shapes and eating as is. They are also the cookies I use for my chocolate cheesecake crust...just pulse them in the food processor and press into the bottom of your cheesecake pan--no additional butter or sugar needed.
Lathrop Chocolate Sugar Cookies
8 oz unsalted butter (1 stick)
12 oz sugar (1 1/2 cups)
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 oz unsweetened cocoa powder (3/4 cup)
18 oz pastry flour or all purpose flour (3 1/2 cups)
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix.
Sift together dry ingredients and then gradually add to wet ingredients. Mix just until incorporated--not too long or your dough will be tough.
Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Roll out dough and cut into shapes. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes. Cool on a rack, decorate if desired and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chocolate Pomegranate Truffles

I'm in heaven...and you will be too if you make these pomegranate truffles!

I made these for valentine's day and they are simply divine. Here's the recipe--use really good chocolate, I promise it will be worth the money!

16 oz dark chocolate (I used a mixture of 3 types: 70% dark; 64% dark; and high end bittersweet)

16 oz heavy cream

3 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Heat cream over medium low heat to just before boiling, stirring constantly. Pour cream over chocolate and pomegranate seeds and stir until completely melted and smooth consistency. You may have to place over low heat a couple of times to get all the chocolate to melt.

Cool in your refrigerator overnight and then scoop out small balls of the ganache into truffles. Chill these thoroughly and then coat in tempered chocolate. For the tempered chocolate I used 8 oz of a combination of high end bittersweet and 70% dark chocolate. Place these in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir until chocolate has completely melted. Coat each truffle with melted chocolate and then cool until set. You won't believe your taste buds!
Makes 48 truffles

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mole, Mole

On my mission for chocolate I was looking for a mole recipe and stumbled across this one on the web. I thought I would share it with you and hope it inspires some creative cooking with chocolate--don't you just love Blogs!
Casual Kitchen Mole

Monday, February 9, 2009

Chocolate Ganache

This is my favorite ganache, which we used on our cakes at Wisconsin Cheesecakery. This ganache also makes wonderful truffles when chilled and can be flavored with almost anything you can dream up. For Valentine's Day I'm making Pomegranate Truffles, and I'll post the recipe later this week once I get the quantities figured out.
This recipe is enough to top one cake. If you are making more, or making truffles, increase the quantities accordingly.
3 oz heavy cream
3 oz dark chocolate in chunks (I recommend using a high quality dark chocolate, at least 60% cacao for better flavor)
Heat cream to just before boiling, stirring constantly to keep from forming a skin. Pour hot cream over chocolate and stir to combine until smooth. If using to top a cake, be sure the cake is chilled before topping and then refrigerate to set the ganache. If using for truffles, chill until firm, then scoop out into truffles and coat with cocoa, nuts, melted chocolate, etc.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

February: Chocolate Month!

I love any excuse to eat chocolate, especially really good quality dark chocolate. So of course, I love Valentine's Day! And actually I extend Valentine's chocolate throughout the entire month because dark chocolate is heart healthy, and well, February is Healthy Heart month too! Double the reason to eat chocolate:)
One of my favorite desserts: A high end, locally produced chocolate truffle with a glass of port wine. It just doesn't get any better than that!
Coming this month some of my favorite chocolate recipes...keep in touch--Beast and I will be back soon!