Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chocolate Parfait Cookies

A friend gave me this recipe more than 20 years ago.  They look like chocolate chip cookies, but no.  The almond flavoring and the chocolate chunks make them so different.  They are my families favorite cookies.  Thankfully this recipe makes a very big batch.  They still don't last long. 

They can be made with nuts.  But we aren't a big nut-loving family, so we go without the nuts.  I also use Hersey's Symphony bar, but the plain one.  But any good plain chocolate will work well.  The recipe calls for 1-2 chocolate bars.  You can decide how much you like.  I usually use 1 1/2 bars.  Plus we can eat the other half while we are baking the cookies.

Chocolate Parfait Cookies
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups butter
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp almond flavoring
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
6 cups flour
1-2 large chocolate bars (4.5 ounce), cut into chunks
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Cream sugars and butter.  Add eggs and flavorings.  then stir in soda, salt and 4 cups of flour.  Add remaining flour until it ceases to be sticky.  Stir in chocolate chunks and nuts.  Drop heaping teaspoonful on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 8-9 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Cookies should have a light brown tinge but mostly white. 

Makes about 6 dozen cookies

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cherry Checkerboard Cookies

This month was my turn for hosting my book group.  I was feeling the need for some fun party planning and thought it would be fun to have a red and white theme.  Seeing as my book group was meeting on the 10th of February, I jumped in.  I found these little beauties while searching online for red desserts.  I must admit they took quite a bit of time but they weren't hard.  They were perfect for a ladies group.  They were originally made by Womens Day Magazine

Cherry Checkerboard Cookies
1 1⁄2 sticks (3⁄4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
1⁄2 tsp almond extract
1⁄4 tsp salt
2 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup maraschino cherries (8 to 10), finely chopped
Red liquid food color
1 white of 1 egg, slightly beaten

1. Beat butter, sugar, egg, extract and salt in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until blended. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in 2 cups flour.

2. Remove and reserve 1 cup dough. Divide remaining dough in half. Roll each half between 2 sheets of wax paper into a 6 x 3-in. rectangle. Slide onto a baking sheet; refrigerate.

3. Put reserved dough in bowl; add remaining 1⁄4 cup flour and the chopped cherries. Beat until well blended, adding red food color (about 14 drops) until dough is bright pink. Divide in half; roll out as above; refrigerate 1 hour.

4. Remove paper from top of each rectangle. Brush tops of each white rectangle with egg white; top with a red rectangle. Wrap stacks separately; refrigerate 1 hour.

5. Cut 1 stack in half lengthwise (keep other stack refrigerated) to make two 1 1⁄2 x 6-in. strips. Brush top of 1 stack with egg white; place other stack on top, alternating colors. Rewrap and freeze 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

6. Cut each stack in thirds (1⁄2 x 6-in. strips); turn strips on their side. Brushing egg white between each strip, stack strips, alternating colors. Wrap in plastic wrap; freeze 20 minutes, or refrigerate longer until ready to bake. Repeat with remaining stack.

The sides don't come out all even.  So I just trimmed off the edges.

7. Heat oven to 350ºF. Cut square logs into 1⁄4-in.-thick slices. Place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until set and edges are slightly golden. Remove cookies to wire rack; cool completely.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Easy Microwave Fudge

This is an easy treat to make.  It does take some time to set up.  And of course, the better the chocolate you use, the better the fudge.  I still had some good dipping chocolate from Christmas and decided it was a great treat for Superbowl Sunday.  But then really, what isn't a great treat for Superbowl Sunday?

Easy Microwave Fudge
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 stick butter, not margarine
1 bag of chocolate chips, semi-sweet or milk chocolate

Place all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring several times throughout cooking time.  At the end of the 2 minutes, it should be melted.  Stir well, until smooth.  If your microwave is a little slower you can add 30 seconds more.  But do not overcook.  Pour into a buttered 9x9 pan.  Set aside to set up.  It can take up to 4 hours or put it in the refrigerator to set up faster.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coming Soon

My other blog, I Heart Salt Lake is taking a lot of my time lately.  Check it out.  We have a giveaway every Monday.  But keep checking back here too.  I've got a few good treats to post soon,  Chocolate Parfait Cookies and easy Microwave Fudge.