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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

These were one of my contributions to the cookie exchange I hosted yesterday.  Oh.  Yeah.

I mean, really.  OH, YEAH!

Sorry–just had a Kool-Aid Man moment there.  But seriously, these delicious goodies are my Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Mallowmars.

Or, as we’ve taken to calling them around here, the Gay Pride Tophats.

Here’s the recipe, along with pictures of other bakers’ interpretations.

But that recipe won’t get you these babies.  No, ma’am’s, these cookies are the result of some serious screwups and improvisations, all of which you virtually witnessed if you follow me on Twitter.  Things started okay–after all, the homemade graham cookies turned out pretty nicely, if I do say so myself.  And I do.  Say so myself, I mean.  But things went a little downhill from there.  Let’s review, shall we?  Pull up a comfy armchair, don a smoking jacket, have your bubble pipe at the ready, and sit back for…

A NIGHT OF CULINARY DISASTERS, FOREVER IMMORTALIZED BY TWITTER:

4:46 PM Dec 21st from web:  First cookie disaster of the day: double boiler, um, boiled over, burning me and causing my white chocolate to seize up!

4:49 PM Dec 21st from web:  Cookie Baking Day totals, so far: 1 boilover (chocolate’s), 1 meltdown (mine), and 1 act of taking it down to a simmer (The Boy’s)…

5:07 PM Dec 21st from web:  Does having a cookie tantrum make me immature? Hmm…

7:28 PM Dec 21st from web:  Cookie Day Disaster #2: homemade marshmallow fluff isn’t setting! I’m either gonna lose it or stop caring altogether, and I’m not sure which!

7:30 PM Dec 21st from web:  AND my mixer broke! I burned out the engine on my freaking hand mixer!

7:44 PM Dec 21st from web:  Dark chocolate isn’t solidifying on the half-dipped cherry cookies–at this point I’m just laughing maniacally…I promise I can bake!

7:50 PM Dec 21st from web:  Accidentally bought unsalted peanut butter yesterday and I needed the regular kind! ARRRRGGGHHH!

And finally, my morning after haiku on the subject:

9:27 AM Dec 22nd from web:  Cookie Exchange Day/You’ve brought me pain and pleasure/Also, sticky floors…

Tell me you’ve had nights like this.  Come on, there must be some good cooking/baking/candy-making horror stories out there, guys.

…guys?  Seriously, I could stand to laugh at misfortune right now.

Someone else’s misfortune.

What ended up happening with these cookies is that I gave up on the failed marshmallow fluff (we’ve since discovered that the candy thermometer was broken), and dug out a leftover bag of jumbo marshmallows, snipped ’em in half, attached them to the grahams with blobs (not smears, not dollops, but blobs) of peanut butter, and dipped them in melted milk chocolate…then in dark chocolate when I ran out of milk chocolate.

The Boy can only be expected to make so many emergency grocery runs in one night.

And then came time for fun–time for the girls to come over and tell me all about their baking issues (dough-eating husbands, peanut brittle that wouldn’t, um, brittle, projects that got nixed and re-started the morning of the exchange…), while we drank champagne (heavily), snacked on meatballs and goat cheese (heavily), and giggled (also heavily).  Seeing as how we decided to go with the as-few-rules-as-possible route (two varieties of goody made per attendee, a dozen baked for each attendee), we were amazed and pleased with the variety and skillful execution in our spread.  There were fudges and barks, cookies dipped in chocolate, cookies glazed with liquor (divine!), and cookies cram-packed with fruit and nuts.  All in all, I’d say we had a good time, despite–

–okay, BECAUSE OF–

the astonishing quantity of alcohol we “dainty” babes put away.

You readers came up with some brilliant suggestions for hosting the ultimate cookie exchange–everything from baking extra cookies for charity to using Chinese takeout containers for the–well, the takeout.  And it was HARD to choose just one winner for the mystery giveaway.  But what is life without challenges?  The winner is…Elsa! Elsa put so much time and effort into her post, and covered so many cookie exchange conundrums (she even offered up a recipe of her own), that I just had to award her the fantabulous mystery prize.  Which is <drumroll>…

A Williams-Sonoma message-in-a-cookie set!  Customizable cookie cutters allow you to choose from pre-set holiday messages, or arrange your own for that one-of-a-kind, only-she-would-give-me-a-cookie-that-says-that sort of effect (some of my suggestions: “Jehosephat, it’s Christmas!”; “U Yule My Log”; “Bite Me”; “Bad Mama Genny RULZ”).  Congratulations, Elsa!

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Hola, tasty, tasty misfits!

I would love to excuse my brief shall-we-say hiccup in updating with a clever bullshit-laden post about how absence makes us appreciate what we have.  I would tell you that it heightens every sense, that it enchances our enjoyment of food, relationships, blah-blah-blah.  But quite honestly, your Bad Mama Genny was in her beautiful hometown of Chicago for two weeks for the holiday and oh!  The enjoyment!

In other news, congratulations to Peter of FotoCuisine for winning my panko challenge with his recipe, New Mexico Chile Three Cheese Mac and Cheese!  As promised, I’ll be sending Peter a free bag of panko as his prize.  ‘Cause I be keepin’ my bitchin’ promises.

But on another note, I’d like to talk to you about a serious problem, namely the lack of a readily-available, all-natural chocolate syrup.  Because when you’re drizzling stuff on bodies, you wanna know what’s in it, right?  Of course, your BMG would never leave you high and dry–she’d prefer to keep you wet and sticky AND corn syrup free, ladh-di-freaking-dah, my babies!

So here’s my recipe for Homemade, All-Natural Chocolate Syrup.  I tweaked my version from one I found on RecipeZaar (this be it)  to indicate the quality of ingredients, make it darker, and expand on the vague directions.  No HFCS, less sugar, and not very much time at all, so you can be basting yourself and all your friends and acquaintances in practically no time!

Basting friends and acquaintances.  It’s what I do best.

This recipe is very dark, thick, and rich, and should you be bored with basting people, lends itself so well to ice cream, chocolate milk, peanut butter…the list goes on.  I used vanilla extract in this recipe, but I could see trying it with mint, raspberry, orange, or even with a little espresso powder stirred in.  Or pour some into a little jar, smack a ribbon on that, and give it away, give it away, give it away now.

All-Natural Chocolate Syrup

Go Get:
1 cup 100% cocoa powder
1 cup raw cane sugar (this yields a darker syrup-add more if you prefer a sweeter chocolate)
1 dash high quality salt (think Celtic or Himalayan)
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Go Do:
Put all ingredients into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk everything together until well combined. Turn the heat to medium, whisking constantly. When it begins to boil, watch it carefully, continuing to whisk constantly and quickly, being sure not to let any thick syrup collect on the bottom of the pot.
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Allow it to boil for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the desired thickness is achieved.

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I may have let mine go a little further than the original recipe’s author intended-no complaints here, though. I ended up with a thick, fudge-y sauce that I prefer to the thin, lifeless stuff in the brown plastic bottle. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow it to cool at room temperature; store, covered, in the refrigerator. Makes about 2 cups.

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