Tuesday, January 14, 2014

White Chocolate Covered Pretzel Recipe

Creating your own white chocolate covered pretzels at home is easier than you think. With a few store bought ingredients and a little time, you can make some designer looking treats to share with your family and friends.

Here's the recipe:

1 package of regular sized pretzel rods
1 (14 oz.) package white candy melts or wafers*
2 Cookie sheets or a counter top
Parchment paper

*Important to use candy melts or wafers since they do not require tempering like some other chocolates and are perfect for beginners to use.

Before starting to make these treats, please make sure that you have a large enough work space to spread out your dipped rods. Prepare your cookie sheets or counter top by covering them with parchment paper.

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Southwestern Bean Chowder, Garlic Poppy Seed Spirals, and Chocolate Eclair Cake

Southwestern Bean Chowder

2 cans (15oz each) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese
Minced fresh cilantro and additional shredded cheddar cheese, optional

In bowl, mash one can beans with a fork, set aside. In a dutch oven, saute the onion, celery and pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in mashed beans, broth, corn, carrot, chilies, cumin, chili powder and remaining beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes.

Combine cornstarch and milk until smooth. Stir into bean mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Serve with cilantro and additional cheese if desired.

Garlic Poppy Seed Spirals
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 tube (8 oz) refrigerated crescent rolls

In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic powder, onion and poppy seeds; set aside. Remove crescent dough from the tube, do not unroll. Cut dough into 10 slices; dip one side in butter mixture. Place buttered side up in an ungreased 9-in round baking pan. Brush with remaining butter mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Chocolate Eclair Cake
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
3 cups milk
1 8 oz. container cool whip (you won't use the whole container) or one batch of homemade whipped cream chocolate syrup or homemade chocolate sauce

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9″X13″ glass baking pan.
Eclair Crust: In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in flour. Mix in one egg at a time, mixing completely before adding another egg. Spread mixture into pan, covering the bottom and sides evenly. *If the sides of your pan are too greased you won't be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown (Mine only took 25 minutes.) You may want to check it occasionally-you don't want to overcook the crust, it will ruin the cake! Remove from oven and let cool (don't touch or push bubbles down).
Filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl. In separate bowl make vanilla pudding. Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese. Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps. Let cool in fridge.When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in. Top with layer of cool whip however thick you want it and serve with chocolate syrup. *If you want to make this even better use homemade whipped cream.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Heather_A_Howard Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8005374

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Peanut Butter Drop Cookies With Oodles of Chocolate Chips

Grocery stores sell refrigerated dough, but I prefer to make cookies from scratch because I can change the recipe to suit my tastes. The original recipe for peanut butter cookies is pretty basic: PB, sugar, eggs and flour. I've made this recipe more times than I can count and, as much as I love it, I was ready for something new.

I searched the Internet and found dozens of cookie recipes, many of them similar. But I also found some unusual variations of this classic, including peanut butter cracker sandwiches dipped in chocolate, so-called "cup" cookies, no-bake cookies, and even a recipe without flour.

When you are baking cookies you need to make some key decisions. Are you going to use butter, margarine, or both? Should you use large or extra-large eggs? Will the peanut butter be extra-creamy, creamy, or chunky? Are you going to use light or dark brown sugar? Should you grease the pan?

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Friday, July 26, 2013

How To Make A Simple Chocolate Candy Bouquet

A child's birthday party can sometimes be difficult to organize. Due to the age barrier, parents often cannot meet the expectations of their children. It is not just about the delicious food or fancy decorations for their party, it also about having something that they like most that is chocolates and candies.

Children would go crazy over chocolates and candies so the ideal gift to have on a child's birthday party is to have some chocolate candy bouquet on the table. You can get them ready-made from any gift company but the only disadvantage is that it comes with a heavy price tag and having only one on the table is certainly insufficient for the child's birthday party.

Chocolate candy bouquet is easy to make from home compared to other edible arrangements. At the cost of a ready-made set from a gift company, you can actually create two or maybe even three sets from home. That's huge savings off your pocket.

You can get guide books on how to make chocolate candy bouquets from home or you can follow the recipe below to create a simple one that works for your child's birthday party. In fact it works for any occasion that you may have in mind. The items that are required for this chocolate candy bouquet would be as follows:

  • A stylish glass
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Hershey's chocolate kisses
  • One large lollipop of your preference
  • Small lollipops of your preference
  • Mini bars of your preference
  • Narrow ribbon
  • Hot glue

Step 1. Fill the stylish glass to the brim with the Hershey's chocolate kisses.
Step 2. Take a few bamboo skewers and glue them to the back of the mini candy bars then allow to dry.
Step 3. Take a few small lollipops and tie the narrow ribbon at the base of the lollipop(where the stick and the pop meets). Use a pair of scissors to curl the ends of the ribbons on both sides.
Step 4. Now take the small lollipops that you've prepared and fully insert around the rim of the stylish glass. Let half of the pop rest onto the rim of the glass and one end of the curled ribbon dangle outside the glass.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Is Chocolate Good for You?

Good news all! So chocolate is officially a superfood. Chocolate contains high levels of antioxidants, polyphenols, theobromine, and flavanols. Chocolate's health benefits have recently been linked to;

- Lowering blood pressure
- Reduced risk of heart failure
- Reducing the potential for insulin resistance, and therefore diabetes
- Sun protection
- Stress reduction
- Boosting blood flow to the brain - potentially increasing short term performance and alertness
- Relief from diarrhea
- Easing Cough symptoms

Various University studies have been done, particularly across Europe and the United States, in to the health benefits of chocolate, many with surprisingly positive results. However, you have to question who is funding much of this research? It wouldn't be large corporations such as chocolate manufacturers by any chance? One batch of research alone was from the Hershey Centre for Health and Nutrition. In no way biased then, right?

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Wonderful World of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a truly decadent treat that has a nice little side benefit of making a positive impact on the health of those who indulge in it. Not to be confused with its close sibling milk chocolate, dark chocolate does not contain the milk solids that are mixed in with the lighter and sweeter version. However, even within the categories of chocolates, there are variations that offer their own unique tastes and properties. If you are a fan of dark chocolate, learn more about it what it is and where you can find it.

Dark chocolate has a rich dark brown color to it and is categorized by the amount of cocoa solids are in the chocolate. The range of the percentage of cocoa solids in a bar usually starts at 30 percent. It can be as high as over 80 percent. In the United States, it only has to be a 15 percent concentration in order to be classified as dark. The European standard is a bit higher, and the cocoa solids must be above 35 percent. People can tell the difference when they look at the color and from the way the chocolate tastes. The lower percentages are a little lighter and will have more of a sweet taste to them. As you go higher in the percentage range, the taste becomes more bittersweet and the color darker. Also, in the higher ranges, the chocolate is a lot more brittle to the touch.

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Tips For Making Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries are the most sought after written about chocolates to the delight of everyone.

Most people in the industry, are either associated with strawberry farms collecting strawberries for chocolate production or driving with the logistics companies to transport the strawberries to the Corporates like Hershey's or Cadbury to manufacture these strawberries into chocolate covered strawberries.

To the delight of everyone, these chocolates rank among the best chocolates in the entire country and globally including parts of the undeveloped world at subsidized prices. The United States has been the top manufacturer of chocolate coated strawberries and they sell for every occasion with the precision in their custom specific and occasion specific flavor and feature.

Whilst some are dedicated to a wedding most are dedicated to sports and other functions like birthdays. In a very important occasion like a feast or a festival like Christmas it is these chocolate covered strawberries that are distributed to the guests and even on Valentine's day these chocolate covered strawberries that are given as gifts.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter: Spread and Eat

Let's accept the fact that peanut butter is definitely the pantry staple for almost all American households. Easy to store, great to eat, the nutty, creamy and buttery spread simply makes your day! Let's no more deny Jelly sandwiches with creamy nutty spread are simply classic! (To be honest, I have not been able to outgrow a delicious PB&J.) The nutty spread when taken in moderation is also nutritious for health. Sure, your chocolate peanut butter stands tall as the natural source of dietary fiber, Vitamin E, protein and vitamin B3 (niacin). Moreover, the healthy spread also contains unsaturated far, which to a great extent helps in improving the cholesterol level.

It was way back, possibly it was in my school days I was put on a diet plan. Of course there were many 'good bad and ugly' things about the diet plan. One thing which I loved the most about that was the fact that I was allowed to eat my favorite chocolate peanut spread. To be honest, I don't really distinctly remember what I used to eat or the types of stretching I used to do in those days. However, the only thing which I still clearly remember is that, it was then I became hooked to the creamy and nutty, chocolaty and delicious spread.

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Popularity of Chocolate Celebrated During National Chocolate Lovers Month

How apropos is it that St. Valentine's Day falls in the same month that Chocolate Lover's Month is celebrated? Does chocolate really make you feel good? Is chocolate an aphrodisiac? Are there studies identifying certain chemicals and compounds found in chocolate that makes it beneficial for your health?

Chocolate, especially during the month of February is recognized and closely associated with sentiments of love. During the month of December, this ingredient is used a lot in holiday deserts and dishes. Any other time throughout the year, chocolate will satisfy those sweet, decadent cravings. The humble beginnings of this sugary delight is birthed from the cocoa or cacao beans. Chocolate is a chocoholic's dream, while chocolatier's enjoy concocting confectionary treats from this delicate ingredient. Its topic streams across an evolution of interests and discussions among foodies, writers, historians and even those in the medical field.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hershey: The Marmite of Chocolate

Either love or hate their chocolate, American company Hershey is the largest chocolate manufacturer in the United States, which produces millions of chocolate bars a year. However, despite being ever-popular with Americans, the trend does not seem to have hit the British shores quite so smoothly. This may be due to Hershey's chocolate having been produced using the "Hershey process", a process used widely now by all chocolate manufacturers in America, but is uncommon in the United Kingdom. This process allows for the use of soured milk to be used in making the chocolate, rather than fresh milk, which changes the texture and taste in a way British chocolate eaters may not be used to.

Used to the creamy sweetness of Cadburys chocolate - produced in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia - Hershey's chocolate may be an acquired taste for those homegrown on mass amounts of cocoa butter and fresh milk. In 2006, Hershey lowered the amount of cocoa butter used in their chocolate products, which may have led to even more distaste towards it in Britain due to it being less chocolaty, as it were. Some Brits might find it not quite sweet enough for their palates. Despite this, it seems to be gaining popularity on this side of the Atlantic, having been adopted by more and more retailers. While it is still difficult to find it reasonably priced in physical shops and supermarkets, the internet allows for more variety to be stocked of Hershey products - Hershey's Kisses, Mr. Goodbar etc.

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