Mexican Hot Chocolate Shortbread

These cookies taste like a mug of rich hot chocolate. The deep mocha-flavor is followed by a kick of cayenne pepper. Don’t let the heat put you off; it only enhances the flavor. 

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 cup almond flour 
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder or finely ground coffee 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips 
  • About 1/4 cup granulated sugar for dusting

Special Equipment: Cookie stamp (optional)

Instructions

Line two cookie sheets with parchment.

Whisk the flours together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream the butter, vanilla, and almond extract until the mixture is pale in color, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the speed down to low, add the brown sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, espresso, salt, and cayenne pepper, and continue to mix until the mixture is smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture in thirds until just combined. With the mixer running, sprinkle in the chocolate chips, mixing until just combined.

Transfer the dough to another bowl and finish mixing by hand to make sure no bits of flour or butter are hiding on the bottom of the bowl and the dough is thoroughly mixed.

Use a small ice cream scoop to form the cookies, about 1 rounded tablespoon each, and place on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch between the cookies to allow for spreading.

Flatten each cookie with a cookie stamp dusted with granulated sugar, or gently flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand and then dust the tops with sugar. They will have little cracks in the top. Refrigerate the cookies for at least 1 hour, or up to 5 hours. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time for even doneness (see Tip). Cool the cookies completely on wire racks. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Tip: It is really difficult to tell when dark chocolate cookies are done. Pull them out when they are firm to the touch on the edges and the sweet smell of chocolate has begun to fill your kitchen. 

Sweet Note: I love stamping designs in the tops of our shortbread cookies. I use cookie stamps, which are available in a variety of designs, but I have also used the bottom of a decorative vintage glass in a pinch. To use, simply spray the stamp (or glass) lightly with cooking spray and dip into a plate of sugar, then lightly press into the cookie to emboss the design. You may have to reapply the cooking spray occasionally if the stamp starts to stick to the dough. 

This was originally found and is exactly what I have printed out, at https://www.splendidtable.org/story/2013/12/03/mexican-hot-chocolate-shortbread


Chloe’s not-Peter’s GF Pita Bread

In our cooking chat on Thursday the 3rd of September, Chloe showed us how to make some GF pita bread!

INGREDIENTS: 1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour, plus more for sprinkling 1 teaspoon xantham gum 35 grams (about 1/4 cup) tapioca starch 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon (14g) neutral oil (like vegetable, canola or grapeseed) 1 egg + 1 egg white at room temperature 3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature

RECIPE: Preheat oven to 400F (204C) Put baking pan or pizza stone (large flat surface) in oven to heat up Combine dry ingredients Add the oil and then the eggs and milk and beat (or process) the dough until it is very well-combined and parts begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl (about 2 minutes) Turn the dough out onto lightly flour surface Split into 8 equal parts Roll each part into a dough ball, pat into a disc and roll out with a rolling pin to about 1/4 inch thickness Put discs onto a piece of parchment 1inch apart and put onto preheated baking tray in oven Bake for 2 minutes Working quickly, turn the pitas and bake for 1 minute on the other side Working quickly, turn them again and baked until puffed and golden (minute or so)

And it has pocketses!!


Chocolate Moose

(or Mousse)

Couple of small pots of homemade chocolate mousse
  • The ingredients you’ll need are:
  • 6 x 60-gram eggs separated (one egg per person if you are adjusting)
  • 300ml Cream
  • 200 grams Chocolate 

Like most recipes there are several ways to make mousse.

I’ve been making this recipe for over 40 years.

It has no added sugar and no gelatine.

Equipment to make: Bowls, saucepan and a whisk.

To serve: individual glasses (If you’re so inclined a Lindt ball can be placed in the bottom of the glass as a surprise)

Ingredients:

6 x 60-gram eggs separated

300ml Cream

200 grams Chocolate

Make a sabayon (this is the method of cooking the eggs gently in a bowl over steam) Cook until thick and glossy. (BUT be careful not to scramble the yolks)

Melt the chocolate gently over steam avoid burning the chocolate.

I use good quality dark and milk (not Cadbury it’s too sweet)

Beat the egg whites until still peaks appear.

Beat the cream (add some vanilla extract if you like) BUT don’t make butter!!

Fold sabayon and melted chocolate together.

Fold in the beaten whites.

Fold in the cream.

Spoon into serving glasses.

Set in Fridge.


Not Wallaby and Wattle Baked Risotto

Ingredients with chicken and vegetables for cooking risotto

INGREDIENTS

  • 1½ cup sushi rice (okay to substitute Arborio or other); uncooked
  • 4½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • knob of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • OPT: chicken and pumpkin shown; substitutions discussed
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F in American). Place the rice and stock in a oven-safe covered casserole dish.
  2. Siôn’s variation: half a butternut pumpkin cubed, 3 poached chicken thighs
  3. Substitutions: hard vegetables can go in with rice, and stock. Chicken and other soft parts get stirred in with the parmesan.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then check every five minutes, or until most of the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente. 
  5. Stir through the parmesan, butter, salt and pepper and serve immediately.
  6. Serves 4

Crustless Quiche

Ingredients: 250g frozen spinach –thawed 1 small red capsicum – chopped 1 medium onion – chopped 3 full rashers of bacon – chopped 2 cloves garlic – chopped 1½ cups full cream milk or cream ¾ cup plain flour 250g grated tasty cheese 4 large eggs ( or 5 small ) 1 tsp salt

Christine takes us through the creation of an easy crustless quiche, that most folks can make with ingredients in their own home!


Enjoy!


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