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Archives: Desserts

Nutella Recipe for Realz (aka – chocolate hazelnut spread)

There are few guilty pleasures I enjoy more than a flaky piece of baguette lacquered with a thick layer of hazelnut chocolate spread. While the commercial Nutella recipe is certainly delectable, when you try this home crafted version you’ll get a whole new appreciation for this treat! For one, you actually taste the rich hazelnuts (my favorite nut!) and if you use a quality cocoa powder, you’ll get a whole different chocolate profile that with the commercial versions.

The basic recipe I came across on the sugoodsweets blog was simple and delicious. And I even found a short, cute litte video that showed how to do it all in a food processor:

The chocolate hazelnut spread ingredients:

    2 cups whole, warm roasted hazelnuts
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    up to 1/4 cup vegetable or nut oil
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract

You really don’t need to add that much oil, if any, and I reduced the amount of sugar on my second batch a little bit, just to get more of the nut flavor I love. But you can experiment to your heart’s delight. Sugoodsweets has a second more elaborate recipe, but I opted for the simple version. I can’t make enough of this stuff to keep Kendra happy, and the guys down at the book shop have been eating it up during our afternoon snack break. Once you make this yourself, you likely won’t want to go back to that famous commercial spread!

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Rice Krispie Treats Recipe, with Poet!

With his sister Hero (star of the snack cake episode), Poet is the other half of my dynamic local lemonade stand duo that serves up some of the most reliably delicious street treats you will find. Poet is largely responsible for ringing the “lemonade gong” which announces when their stand is open for business. Luckily, he agreed to stop ringing it one recent weekend morning after I invited him and his sister to share their recipes on video, which worked out really well for all of us!

Poet says the secret to crafting really good rice krispie treats is to make sure you get your marshmallows nice and completely melty, but to be careful not to burn them. I also learned that if you coat your spatula in a little bit of vegetable oil, it makes all the difference when you’re pressing the finished gooey puffed rice ball into your greased pan. No sticking bits! But I have to say that eating these fresh out of the pan reminded me how wonderfully simple a great dessert treat can be.

Poet’s Rice Krispie treats:

Rice Krispie Treats Recipe:

    3 Tbs. butter
    4 Cups mini marshmallows (or 1 package of regular marshmallows)
    6 Cups Rice Krispies
    buttered 9×13 pan
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Jon’s Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to head to the swap meet in the parking lot of my local High School. Under the watchful stare of the Foothill Falcon, people sell all sorts of wares and treasures displayed in cases, boxes, and plastic tarps. While browsing a box of rare Betty Crocker cookbooks, I was offered a delicious cookie by the stand’s proprietor, Jon. We got to talking and it turns out Jon is quite the baker! So, I purchased that box of cookbooks for my shop, and then arranged with Jon to share the secrets of his lacy oatmeal cookie recipe.

And these really are delicious. Flat, crispy, rich with butter and oats — they’re perfect for snacking or even indulging as part of an outstanding ice creamed sandwich! Jon is a big fan of his Kitchenaid Mixer, but you can do this by hand with a spoon if you want. Just don’t forget to use the proper “drop” technique!

Here’s Jon’s cookie wizardry in action:

The Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Recipe:

    1 Cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
    1 Cup brown sugar
    1 Cup white sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 Cup all purpose flour
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    4 Cups rolled oats
    1.5 Cups dark and white chocolate chips
    1 Cup Rasins & crazins
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Chocolate Snack Cake

I’m not sure what makes this cake “snack” cake, as opposed to just regular old cake, but it sure is delicious and easy to make! Hero, my guide in snack-caking, is a super kid from my neighborhood who often has a weekend lemonade stand going with her brother Poet (From the Rice Krispie treat episode). When I hear them sounding the lemonade gong, I always head over because you can count on them having some great treats to go with their lemonade. Plus it stops the gonging! Hero’s parents say that she loves to bake things, especially treats, and she proved to be a great, and very well organized instructor. Hero is an excellent measurer of ingredients!

A couple cooking notes before we get to the video. It helps if you have a really nice quality cocoa powder when you make this, as that flavor is really what comes through. Scharfenberger, Valrhona, Callebaut, or even Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened will do you well. The folks at Cooks Illustrated like Callebaut, and you can get some Callebaut here if you can’t find it at your local store.

Hero’s guide to Chocolate Snack Cake:

Hero’s Chocolate Snack Cake Recipe:

Dry Ingredients:

    1.5 Cups All Purpose Flour
    1 Cup white sugar
    1/4 Cup quality cocoa powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt

Wet Ingredients:

    1/3 Cup vegetable oil
    1 tsp white vinegar
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 Cup cold water

Toppings:

    Ice cream
    Berries
    Whipped cream
    Anything else you think would be yummy!
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