Monday, February 20, 2017

First Ladies' Chocolate Recipes for Presidents Day

Today is Presidents' Day. It's not any 'real' president's birthday. I find this odd. When I was growing up we celebrated both Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday on separate days. And, that also meant two days off from school, not just one. But times have changed, so to go with the flow, for this year's Presidents' Day, I'm featuring recipes by First Ladies. I had hoped there would be a First Husband this year. Oh well, hope springs eternal. Here are several Chocolate Recipes from several few first ladies. The recipes are found in the individual Presidential Archives, as well as newspapers and individual cookbooks.

From Mamie Eisenhower (Dwight D. Eisenhower) 
Mamie Eisenhower’s Million Dollar Fudge 
**This recipe makes 4 pounds of Fudge**

Ingredients
4 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 tall can evaporated milk
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bits
12 ounces German-sweet chocolate
1 pint marshmallow cream
2 cups nutmeats

Directions
Boil sugar, salt, butter, evaporated milk together for six minutes.
Put chocolate bits and German chocolate, marshmallow cream, and nutmeats in bowl.
Pour boiling syrup over ingredients.
Beat until chocolate is all melted, then pour into pan.
Let stand a few hours before cutting.
Remember it is better the second day. Store in tin box.

From Betty Ford (Gerald Ford)
Betty Ford's Chocolate Icebox Dessert

Ingredients
6 eggs
1 Angel food cake
12 ounces chocolate chips
4 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp water
2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 cup whipping cream

Directions
Line flat 9x9″ cake pan with wax paper.
Slice angel food cake and place a layer of cake in pan. (Slices easier if frozen). Separate eggs, beat yolks.
Melt chocolate in double boiler over water.
When melted, add sugar and water. Mix well. Make sure sugar melts.
Remove from heat and stir gradually into beaten egg yolks. Beat until smooth. Cool this mixture. Add vanilla and salt. Mix well.
Beat egg whites until stiff.
Whip the cream.
Fold egg whites into chocolate mix, then the whipped cream.
Place a layer of chocolate on the angel food slices, than another layer of cake, then a layer of chocolate.
Place in refrigerator overnight.
This can be frozen and used later. Be sure to chill overnight before freezing.

From Lady Bird Johnson (LBJ) 
Lady Bird’s Chocolate Nut Drop Cookies



From Hillary Clinton (Bill Clinton)
Hillary Clinton's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
Vegetable oil, for baking sheets
1 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 package (12-ounce) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheets with vegetable oil.
Combine flour, salt, and baking soda on waxed paper.
Beat together shortening, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beating until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture and rolled oats. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop batter by well-rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden.

***
From Michelle Obama (Barak Obama)
Michelle Obama's White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookies Bake at 375° for 12 minutes per batch

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 stick Crisco butter-flavored solid vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips (or Andes mint pieces)
2 cups chopped walnuts

Directions
Heat oven to 375°.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. In large bowl with electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
On low speed, beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts.
Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto un-greased baking sheets.
Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Junior Mints Cheesecake: National Chocolate Mint Day!

Today is National Chocolate Mint Day... the perfect food holiday to write about one of my all time favorite candies -- Junior Mints.

Definition: Junior Mints are a candy consisting of small rounds of mint filling (with a dimple on one side) inside a dark chocolate coating. They are currently produced by Tootsie Roll Industries.

History: Junior Mints were introduced in 1949 by the James O. Welch Company, manufacturers of candies and candy bars such as Sugar Babies, Welch's Fudge, and Pom Poms. The name of the product is a pun on Sally Benson's Junior Miss, a collection of her stories from The New Yorker, which were adapted by Jerome Chodorov and Joseph Fields into a successful play, directed by Moss Hart. Junior Miss ran on Broadway from 1941 to 1943. In 1945, the play was adapted to film, with George Seaton directing Peggy Ann Garner in the lead role. The Junior Miss radio series, starring Barbara Whiting, was being broadcast weekly on CBS at the time Junior Mints were first marketed in 1949. Welch created a product sold at movie theater concession stands and identified with a specific movie and radio series and displaying a name that sounded almost exactly like that property–yet different enough that it avoided any fees for licensing and merchandising. Junior Mints quickly became a popular candy, and one product in the line is the three oz. box marketed as the "Theater Size Junior Mints Concession Candy."

And, of course, who can forget the Junior Mints episode of Seinfeld?

In case you want to smell like Junior Mints, not just eat them, here's a Link to the Scent.

If you want to make something close to Junior Mints in taste, I suggest these Peppermint Patties by my friend Pattie Tierney. They're not small, but they're wonderful.

And, here's a recipe that includes actual Junior Mints:

JUNIOR MINTS CHEESECAKE 

Ingredients
6 ounces. Junior Mint (two 3 ounce packages)
3 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate crumb crust for a 9 inch springform pan  (see below)

Directions
Put Junior Mints in freezer.
In electric mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in vanilla.
Pour into crust.
Chop cold Junior Mints and sprinkle on cheesecake.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until just set.
Cool on wire rack, then chill several hours or overnight. Makes 8 servings.

Chocolate Crust: 
Combine 2 cups crushed chocolate wafers (I whirl them in the blender) with 6 Tbsp melted butter.
Press into bottom and up sides of pan.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Boozy Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

I've posted several Chocolate Cheesecake Recipes over the years from Chocolate to Double Chocolate to Triple Chocolate Cheesecake, but here's yet another -- Boozy Triple Chocolate Cheesecake. This recipe is adapted from CookingLight. The original recipe calls for reduced fat cheeses and sour cream and less sugar than my adaptation. The recipe also calls for a chocolate graham cracker crust (included below), but if you don't care about the calories or the fat, I would make a chocolate cookie crust. So here's the recipe!

Boozy Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp egg white
1 1/3 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
Vegetable cooking spray
3 Tbsp dark rum
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
Raspberries or Strawberries for decoration

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°.

Crust:
Place first 3 ingredients in bowl; beat on medium speed until blended. Add crumbs; stir well. Firmly press mixture into bottom and 1 inch up sides of an 8-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes; let cool on wire rack.  (I make a chocolate cookie crust...but this one is good, too)

Filling:
Combine rum and chocolate in top of double boiler (or saucepan over saucepan over simmering water). Cook over simmering water 2 minutes or until chocolate melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; add chocolate syrup, stirring until smooth.
Preheat oven to 300°.
Place cream cheese in large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until smooth. Add 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, vanilla, and salt; beat until smooth. Add rum/chocolate mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 300° for 40 minutes or until almost set.
Combine sour cream, 1 Tbsp, and 2 teaspoons cocoa; stir well. Turn oven off, and spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake. Let cheesecake stand for 45 minutes in oven with door closed.
Remove cheesecake from oven, and let cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
Garnish with raspberries or strawberries.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Café au Lait Coffee Cake: Café au Lait Day!

February 17 is National Café au Lait Day! Café au lait is French for "coffee with milk" and refers to a specific French coffee drink, although like most things there are multiple varieties. Don't confuse it, though, with a Caffe latte. Did you know that in the 1600s a French doctor suggested Cafe Au Lait for patients, inspiring people to add milk to their coffee. Cafe au Lait is often served in a small bowl. Very French! There are several cafe au lait cups on the market.

To celebrate today, go to your local cafe or brew a cup at home, or you can make this sensational Café au Lait Coffee Cake from Nicole at MadebyNicole. Her recipe is fool-proof, and it's filled with Chocolate Chips. What better way to celebrate coffee with milk than with a Coffee Cake? As always, you can use any good quality chocolate, chopped into small chunks in place of chocolate chips.

For those of you lucky enough to live in New Orleans, pop on over to the Café du Monde today for a Café Au Lait. They make it with chicory, which gives it a strong, bitter taste. The bitterness of the chicory offsets the sweetness of the powdered-sugar-covered beignets which of course you'll want to have. O.K., getting ahead of myself.

Café Au Lait Coffee Cake 
Recipe by Nicole Maki


Crumb Topping:
1 tsp instant coffee
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp cold butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup pecans

Cake:
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp instant coffee
2 Tbsp warm water
2 3/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk

Glaze:
1/2 cup icing sugar
milk or cream to desired consistency
vanilla (optional)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 pan
Make crumb topping: Stir together dry ingredients, cut in butter, add chocolate chips and nuts.
In large bowl beat sugar and butter until light. Add eggs, then sour cream, and then coffee dissolved in water.
In small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Gradually stir into moist ingredients starting with 1/3 of dry mixture, 1/2 of milk, 1/3 dry, 1/2 milk, and final 1/3 dry mixture.
Spread half of batter into pan. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of topping. Cover with remaining batter and finish with crumb topping.
Bake for 60 – 65 minutes

(Optional) Cool and drizzle glaze off a fork onto top of cake.