Friday, February 26, 2010

Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

I made these for Ben to eat while I was on vacation and we ate them all before I even had a chance to leave. I have had a real thing for gingerbread lately and these blended flavors hit that and my chocolate craving all at once.

1/2 cup butter (about 113 grams)
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp boiling water
1 heaping cup of semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white sugar (for rolling the cookies in)

Cream butter and sugars until soft. Sift together flour, cocoa powder and spices. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and boiling water. Then, taking turns, beat half of the flour mixture into the butter/sugar bowl, then add the baking soda/water mixture, then add the rest of the flour. Mix in the chocolate chips and turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat into a 1 inch log and refrigerate until firm (at least 2 hours)

Preheat the oven to 325 F (163 C) Once chilled, slice the cookies into 1/2 inch rounds roll in granulated sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Bake until surfaces crack slightly, about 10-12 minutes. Let them cool slightly on the pan for a few minutes, then scoop them onto a wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brazilian Black Mango Soup

from Allrecipes

When I first saw this recipe I was pretty skeptical because of all the random ingredients. Mango in a stew? Are you crazy? But I really love mango. And black beans. And sweet potatoes. So I thought I would give it a try. So glad I did. And while I loved the ham, it would be great with out it as well.

1 Tbsp oil
1/4 lb chorizo sausage
1/3 lb cooked ham, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 hot chili pepper, finely minced (optional, add for heat)
1 1/2 cups stock
2 (16 oz) cans black beans
1 mango
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
salt to taste

First, heat oil in a big pot. Saute onion and garlic and once softened, toss in the chorizo and ham. Then add in the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, the cans of tomatoes with juice, minced chili pepper, and stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in beans and simmer for 5-10 more minutes. Lastly, mix in mango and cilantro, season with salt and serve.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rainbow Birthday Cake

I made this cake for my nephew's first birthday and it was beautiful.

The frosting had some issues, but once you cut into the cake it was a lovely display of color.
And it was so easy! First, you make a simple white cake. (We used the boxed kind to save time) You split the batter into different bowls and add enough food coloring to get the primary and secondary colors:

Then you pour the batter into the cake pan, one a time, layering the colors on top of each other. Do not stir. Bake the cake as directed and let cool completely before frosting. Again, we used the store bought kind, but next time I think I would use a homemade cream cheese frosting... mmmmmm....