Friday, December 20, 2013

Crazy Ingredient Challenge December: Cookie Dough Bites

This month we are combining GARLIC and WHITE CHOCOLATE!

I think I have finally become comfortable with this cooking challenge. I think it's because gingerbread spice and onions threw me for such a loop last month that I immediately guessed that garlic would be at play this month (I thought garlic and peppermint - white chocolate is infinitely better!) I had decided last month to stick to something that didn't seem too strange and most persons would definitely want to try. This month, however, I threw caution to the wind. I was going dessert and daring everyone to jump on this dessert train with me.

In fact, minutes after the announcement, I had gone to the kitchen, rolled some cookie dough in garlic powder, baked it and surprisingly - LOVED it. It's like adding salt to desserts. It gives the dessert this extra edge. It's not so much that it becomes unpalatable but it is enough to really heighten the taste. Garlic powder is not as assertive as raw garlic so that definitely helps a lot.

I definitely preferred the baked cookies to the unbaked dough. But I really wanted to play with my candy mold. So today I present some garlic chocolate chip cookie dough that's dipped in white chocolate. Give it a try - you might be surprised.

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Garlic (!) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites                                                                                               Print
Recipe by:   Kelster
Yield: Depends on size
½ cup of oats
½ cup of flour
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup softened butter
½  cup brown sugar
1/3  cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon  vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or standard sized chips chopped
5 ounces of white chocolate (see notes)
Process the oats until is all fine uniform crumbs. Combine with flour and garlic powder and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugars along with vanilla until fluffy. Stir in the oat mixture until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips until just combined.
Form cookie dough  into balls or desired shapes then place in freezer for 15 minutes.
Melt chocolate according to package and coat each cookie dough bite. Allow to dry.
The amount of white chocolate needed will depend on how you choose to enrobe the cookie dough bites.

A Birthday without Cake is Just a Day: Cinnamon Chocolate Cake

Alternative title: It's my birthday and I'll bake my cake if I want to.
Last week I celebrated a birthday and among the well-wishes were several persons saying that they hoped that I didn't make myself a cake. "Too late," was my response. In fact, I'd baked and frozen the layers several days before and frosted and decorated the night before.
I started thinking about my birthday cake back in September. I even created a notebook on Springpad dedicated to the planning. But despite that early start, a week before, I still had no idea what I wanted. Chocolate is my default but I didn't want chocolate or if it were to be chocolate, there had to be something "different".
Circular or rectangular? French, Swiss or Italian Meringue Buttercream? Three or four layers? To temper or not to temper chocolate? Decisions. Decisions.
I ended up with this Cinnamon Chocolate Cake. It's frosted with a raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream and surrounded white chocolate. I absolutely loved the look and couldn't be happier with it.

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Cinnamon Chocolate Cake                                                  Print
Recipe by:   Kelster  Adapted from: Hershey’s Kitchens
Yield: 1 cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup  cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot strong coffee
Preeat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 8-inch round pans.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda. cinnamon and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed of electric for 2 minutes.
Stir in hot coffee (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Hot water may be used instead of coffee. The coffee helps to enhance the chocolate.
Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream                                                     
Recipe by: Sweetapolita  
Yield: 5 cups 
See Sweetapolita for ingredients and directions.
A single batch just frosted this cake. I’d recommend using 1.5 times the recipe if you want thick layers of frosting between each layer.
I didn't have fresh raspberries so I reduced frozen berries, mashed them a bit, cooled it and stirred it into my Swiss Meringue
Chocolate Shards                                                           
Recipe by:  Mandy at What the Fruitcake
See for What the Fruitcake ingredients and directions.
You can use candy melts for this if you don't want to temper chocolate.