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Coconut, Almond and Chocolate Bars

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Nutty, chewy and chocolaty, these bars hit every craving. A toasty almond crust is topped with a creamy coconut and dark chocolate filling, and finished with a thick bittersweet glaze. This recipe calls for cream of coconut; similar to condensed milk, it can be found on the baking or drink aisle in most well-stocked supermarkets.

Coconut, Almond and Chocolate Bars

For the crust:

1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) (3 oz./90 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3/4 cup (3 1/4 oz./105 g) slivered almonds, toasted and chopped

 

For the filling:

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) canned cream of coconut

3 oz. (90 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sour cream

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (5 oz./155 g) unsweetened flaked coconut

 

For the glaze:

3 Tbs. heavy cream

3 Tbs. unsalted butter

3 1/2 oz. (105 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

 

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang of about 2 inches (5 cm) on all sides. Butter the parchment.

 

To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar and salt and process to mix well. Add the butter and almonds and process until the texture resembles fine meal. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press firmly into the bottom. Bake until the crust is barely firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

 

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream of coconut to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, add the chocolate and stir constantly until melted. Transfer to a bowl. Add the sour cream and butter and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the flaked coconut. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Spoon the filling into the cooled crust, smooth the top and refrigerate while you make the glaze.

 

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and butter to a simmer, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low, add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Pour the hot glaze over the filling and spread to cover it evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

 

Using the parchment, lift the dessert from the pan. Cut into bars and serve. Makes 12 to 16 bars.

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Almond-Orange Pound Cake

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Bursting with the sweet flavor of almond paste and tangy orange zest and speckled with poppy seeds, this exceedingly moist pound cake is gilded with a sugary citrus glaze. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a steaming cup of coffee or tea.

Almond-Orange Pound Cake

3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g.) cake flour, sifted

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

5 large eggs

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup (7 oz./220 g.) almond paste, at room temperature

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) sugar

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small chunks

2 tsp. finely grated orange zest

1 tsp. poppy seeds

For the glaze:

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. fresh orange juice

3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g.) sugar

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour two 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm.) loaf pans.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla just until combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste on low speed until it breaks up, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar in a steady stream, beating until incorporated. (If you add the sugar too quickly, the paste won’t break up as well.) Add the butter, a chunk at a time, beating just until combined. Raise the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.

Continuing to beat on medium speed, drizzle the egg mixture into the butter mixture. Mix in the orange zest and poppy seeds. Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, stirring after each until incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.

Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pans on a wire rack while you make the glaze.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, stir together the lemon and orange juices and the sugar.

Place the wire rack holding the cakes over a sheet of waxed paper or foil. Invert the cakes onto the rack and place top side up. Brush the warm cakes with the glaze. Let the cakes cool completely on the rack, then cut into slices and serve. Makes 2 pound cakes.

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Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti with Almonds

biscotti

Biscotti are one of those treats you see in a glass jar on the counter in a café or in the display case in a
bakery but may not consider making at home. They’re actually quite easy to make, and they store well.
Biscotti are forgiving, too, since they are meant to be hard, inviting dips into coffee, tea, milk or dessert wine.

 

Chocolate-Cherry Biscotti with Almonds

1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) slivered blanched almonds

3/4 cup (4 1/2 oz./140 g) unsweetened dried cherries

3 Tbs. kirsch

2 3/4 cups (14 oz./440 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/4 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

3 large eggs

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar

1 tsp. pure almond extract

6 oz. (185 g) semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped

 

Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

 

In a small, dry frying pan, toast the almonds over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool. Set aside.

 

In a small bowl, combine the cherries and kirsch and toss to coat the cherries. Set aside.

 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and almond extract until well blended and lightened in color. Add the flour
mixture and chocolate and beat until a dough forms. Drain the cherries. Scatter the cherries and almonds on top of the dough and fold in until evenly distributed.

 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half. Shape each portion into a
flattish log about 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide, 8 inches (20 cm) long, and 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Arrange the 2 dough logs on 1 of the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space around them on all sides.

 

Bake until firm to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on the pan on a wire rack until cool enough to handle, then transfer to a large cutting board. Using a large serrated knife, using a gentle sawing motion, cut the logs crosswise on a slight diagonal into slices about 1/2 inch (12 mm) wide.

 

Divide the biscotti between the 2 baking sheets, arranging them on a cut side. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn over the biscotti and continue to bake until dry to the touch, about 10 minutes longer. Let cool on the pans on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.

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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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For a last-minute treat leading up to the holidays, bake a batch of soft, gooey chocolate chip cookies, just like Mom used to make. Our classic, perfect chocolate chip cookies have a tinge of caramel flavor and are studded with chocolate goodness. Tip: Use a small ice cream scoop to form balls of dough, and they’ll bake into gorgeous, perfectly round cookies every time.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 oz./200 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups (15 oz./470 g) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until blended. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the chocolate chips.

Using a small ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the dough mounds 2 inches (5 cm) apart.

Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned and the tops feel firm when lightly touched, 10-13 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking

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15 Decadent Chocolate Desserts

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It’s National Chocolate Day! Time to treat your inner chocoholic to something rich, decadent and melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey. These recipes will do the trick.

 

Chocolate Chip-Pecan BarsChocolate Chip-Pecan Bars
Chocolate chips and pecans add texture and contrast to this big batch of blondies — a delicious twist on on the classic chocolate chip cookie.
Dark Chocolate CupcakesDark Chocolate Cupcakes
When all you want is a simple, classic chocolate cupcake, this recipe does the trick. Moist, tender dark chocolate cake topped with smooth, creamy dark chocolate frosting feeds the chocoholic in all of us.
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut MacaroonsChocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
These chewy coconut stacks are great make-ahead morsels, as they keep well for several days. Dipping them into dark chocolate only makes them more decadent.
Dark Chocolate PuddingDark Chocolate Pudding
This bittersweet chocolate pudding is easy to adapt. You can turn it into a parfait with layers of whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Or, try stirring in a little rum, Amaretto or Frangelico, then garnish the top with crushed chocolate wafer cookies or shaved semisweet chocolate.
Chocolate Caramel TartChocolate Caramel Tart
This tart takes a bit of work to make, but the result is well worth the effort and is always a crowd-pleaser. A thick layer of chocolate, plus a gooey caramel center and a crispy crust — what more could you want?
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie PiesChocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
A retro treat, these whoopie pies feature cakey chocolate cookies sandwiching a creamy filling. For a classic version, swap out the peanut butter filling for marshmallow creme.
Chocolate SouffléChocolate Soufflé
Soufflés are spectacular and surprisingly easy to make. This chocolate version should be devoured immediately, still hot from the oven and topped with big scoops of vanilla ice cream.
Coconut, Almond and Chocolate BarsCoconut, Almond and Chocolate Bars
Nutty, chewy and chocolaty, these bars hit every craving. A toasty almond crust is topped with a creamy coconut and dark chocolate filling, and finished with a thick bittersweet glaze.
Chocolate TrufflesChocolate Truffles
Truffles are easy to make — especially when you get friends involved! These require just 5 ingredients, and they can be stored in the freezer (well wrapped) for at least 3 months.
Chocolate Chip CookiesChocolate Chip Cookies
There are chocolate chip cookies, and then there are these chocolate chip cookies: large, chewy, buttery and with just the right amount of chips and nuts.
Chocolate Brownie CakeChocolate Brownie Cake
This dessert has all the moist richness of brownies but is served like a cake for an elegant presentation. The secret to success: good-quality chocolate and a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder to finish.
Chewy Chocolate MeringuesChewy Chocolate Meringues
Crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, these gems not only are a cinch to make but also are completely addictive—you won’t be able to stop at one (or two or three). The cocoa nibs add a nice crunch and nutty flavor.
Devil’s Food Layer CakeDevil’s Food Layer Cake
This time-honored favorite, layered with velvety chocolate frosting, makes the ultimate cake for a birthday or other celebration. It’s a chocolate lover’s dream.
French Chocolate MacaronsFrench Chocolate Macarons

Delicate chocolate macarons are one of Paris’s most delicious treats. If you’re not traveling to the City of Lights soon, whip these up and pretend — the contrast between the crisp cookies and creamy ganache filling is a revelation.

 

S’mores BrowniesS’mores Brownies
Within this recipe is a fantastic brownie—just the right balance of fudgy and cakey with a crackle top—embellished with crunchy graham crackers and big melting marshmallows. If you’d prefer the classic, just leave those two ingredients out and bake as directed.