Tag Archives: cocoa powder

Whoopie Pies – Maine

Whoopie pies are the state treat of Maine (not be confused with the state dessert which is blueberry pie). Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, Maine, takes credit for inventing this confection way back in 1925.

Whoopie Pies - Maine

Whoopie pies come in various flavors combinations (both the cake and the filling), but in our humble opinion, the classic recipe is really the epitome of a perfect dessert. The outside is two soft chocolate cakes, that surround a fluffy, vanilla marshmallow-y filling. YUM! We have been making this recipe for years and years to much acclaim. No one can resist a whoopie pie. Why would you even want to?

Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor is the second most visited national park east of the Mississippi. Visitors who make the trek up Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the Eastern Seaboard, can claim to be the first people to see the sun rise, at least for part of the year.

Whoopie Pies

  • Servings: 12-15 pies
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For cakes:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar

For filling:

  • 2 cups marshmallow spread
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar

Instructions

For cakes:

In a medium bowl, add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a measuring cup, combine milk and vanilla. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add egg and oil. Mix well until well combined. Add sugar and continue mixing, until well combined. With the mixer running, alternate adding the flour-cocoa mixture, with the milk mixture. Mix until just combined and no flour pockets appear in the batter.

Drop tablespoons of batter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This will yield between 24 and 30 cakes depending on the size. Bake at 350 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until the tops spring up when touched. Let cool on wire rack.

For filling:

Combine marshmallow spread, confectioners sugar, butter and vanilla in a clean bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until well combined. Filling should be light and fluffy. When cakes are completely cool, spread filling on half of the cakes. Put cakes together to form a sandwich.

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Black and White Cookies – New York

The Black and White Cookie is to New York as Jambalaya is to Louisiana. Both dishes are synonymous with a place — which, come to think of it, is kind of the point of this blog. Made famous by the

Black and White Cookies - New York

Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine go to a bakery for a chocolate babka (we’ll have to do a post on that one someday), this cookie features a delectable vanilla-lemon base, iced half with chocolate and half with vanilla. Several years ago, we traveled to New York City in search of the perfect Black and White Cookie. We found a lot of terrible ones. They can’t be shrink wrapped in cellophane. They can’t be stale. The base must be more cake-like than cookie. And the icing must remain soft rather than hard and crunchy.

We found a recipe from Deb at Smitten Kitchen that we slightly adapted that fits the bill on all accounts. The batter for these cookies is more like cake batter. Black and White Cookie batterThe addition of cake flour and baking powder gives these cookies some loft. Because they are more cake than cookie, these will go stale quickly so we challenge you to finish them within a few days or pop them in the freezer for the next time you need a Black and White fix. As for eating them, we’re with Jerry, each bite has to have a little of both flavors. “Look to the cookie!”

NYC’s Wine and Food Festival takes place October 13-16, 2016, featuring tastings, celebrity chefs, hands-on classes, demos, and seminars.

Black and White Cookie

  • Servings: 2 dozen
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Recipe credit: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

For cookies:

  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

For icing:

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

Instructions

To make cookies: In a medium mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light yellow. Add eggs, one at a time, then extracts. Add one third of the flour mixture. Beat just until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add next third, then scrape down sides of bowl. Add final third and then scrape down sides of bowl. Scoop batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes until tops are puffy and edges are just beginning to turn brown. Let cool completely. Place cookies in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes while making icing.

To make icing: In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine confectioners sugar, corn syrup lemon juice and vanilla. Add 2 tablespoons of hot water and stir until smooth. Add additional water by the teaspoon until desired consistency is reached. The icing should be not too thin that it will run off the sides of the cookie and not too stiff that it will not be spreadable. Divide icing in half into another bowl and add cocoa powder. Add additional hot water by the teaspoon until desired consistency is reached. Spread vanilla icing first on one half of each cookie, then repeat with chocolate icing. Let icing set before transferring to an airtight container with waxed paper separating layers.

Five-Way Any Day: Cincinnati Chili – Ohio

If you are a Buckeye, then you know Skyline Chili, the ubiquitous Cincinnati chain that began in 1949. Legend has it that the business got its name from the city view of the chili parlor’s original Glenway Avenue location. What makes Cincy chili unique is its distinctive

Cincinnati Chili

spices including cinnamon, allspice and cocoa powder, reminiscent of the Greek dish moussaka, not surprising given that the chain was founded by Nicholas Lambrinides, a Greek immigrant. Just as unique is that the chili is almost always served on a bed of spaghetti and fans know just how to order: either 3-way (chili with spaghetti and cheese); 4-way (chili with spaghetti and cheese and either onions or beans) or 5-way (chili with spaghetti, cheese, onions and beans). We’re a fan of the 5-way ourselves, but the beauty of Cincy Chili is that is entirely customizable. Put out bowls of cheese, onion and beans and let everyone help themselves.

If Queen City is your destination, don’t miss Findlay Market. On the National Register of Historic Places, the state’s oldest continuously operated market offers meat, fish, poultry, produce, cheese, and lots of dining options. In the summer months the market hosts a biergarten with live entertainment.

Cincinnati Chili

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe courtesy of Jessica Hudacek Ried

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cups onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 3 pounds lamb, ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 2/3 cup beef broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained
  • Spaghetti
  • Chopped onion
  • Cheddar cheese

Instructions

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until soft. Add meat, cooking until no longer pink. Add cocoa, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Stir in broth and then tomato paste, vinegar, chili powder, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until thickened, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Heat beans separately, tossed with 2 tablespoons oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.

To serve, ladle chili over spaghetti. Top with beans, cheese, and onions or any combination thereof.

Get Dirty: Mississippi Mud Pie

It is any surprise that February is National Chocolate Lovers Month? With Valentine’s Day this weekend, we decided we absolutely had to go all chocolate with this Mississippi Mud Pie. This Southern

Mississippi Mud Pie

indulgence gets its name because it supposedly looks like the thick mud that lines the Mississippi River. Lots of variations of this pie exist, some with a regular graham cracker crust, some with marshmallows, and some even with ice cream. We went with a more traditional version and oh my, we were left swooning in chocolate heaven.

If you are planning a trip to the Magnolia State, check out the Mississippi Blues Trail. This travel planning site includes information about historic sites, museums, upcoming concerts and more.

Mississippi Mud Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup pecans

For filling:

  • 1 ½ sticks butter
  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted in microwave
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
  • 1 teaspoon Kahlua liqueur (optional, if omitted add another teaspoon of chocolate extract)

For topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted and cooled (optional)

 Instructions

For crust:

Pulse sleeve of graham crackers and pecans in food processor until fine crumbs are formed. Transfer mixture into a bowl. Add melted butter and sugar. Mix well. Press mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees.

For filling:

In the meantime, mix butter and brown sugar together in mixer on medium speed until mixture is creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add melted chocolate chips, cocoa, heavy cream, chocolate extract, and Kalua and beat until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour the filling in the pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool on counter and then transfer to fridge.

For topping:

Add heavy cream into a mixing bowl and beat on medium to high speed. Just before soft peaks begin to form, add the sugar to taste. Beat a few more minutes until soft peaks form. Add whipped cream to cooled pie, then top with chocolate shavings and pecans.