Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mesquite Pistachio Cocoa Nib Cookies

I’ve seen mesquite pod meal now in quite a few places, before it was really unknown in Canada. I like the smell of the mesquite baking, it gives kind of a smokiness to the cookie. This is a variation on a honey based chocolate chip cookie recipe that is one of my favourites. This is the second of two desserts I baked today, with pistachios and cocoa nibs. The raw cocoa powder kind of disappeared, it certainly didn’t turn the dough brown; perhaps I had to add more.

Mesquite Pistachio Cocoa Nib Cookies
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup mesquite pod meal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp raw cocoa powder
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup light muscovado sugar
1/4 cup butter, slightly softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp honey
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

Preheat oven to 375F/190C.

Combine flours, soda, cocoa powder and salt and whisk together.

Cream together butter and sugars. Add egg and beat until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla and honey.

Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture in two additions. Stir in cocoa nibs and pistachios.

Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies all golden all over.

Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a rack.

More "Adult" Carob-Quinoa Chews

I made a more traditional version of this recipe earlier, substituting carob for cocoa and quinoa puffs for millet puffs. The recipe I took this from is called Cocoa Millet Chews, from Health by Chocolate by Victoria Laine, which contains a number of more healthy recipes that are made from chocolate. I mean more adult, in the sense of, I think these would be less likely to be eaten by young children; the adult ingredients are pistachios, cocoa nibs and currants. Thinking about it now, I could even have added some Frangelico to it, to make it even more “adult”. Otherwise, they still taste good, a chewy, crunchy bite; the cashew butter is tasty too. They were well received at work.

More “Adult” Carob-Quinoa Chews
adapted from a recipe from Health by Chocolate by Victoria Laine
1 cup cashew butter (almond or other nut butter)
1 cup honey (pure maple syrup or brown rice syrup)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup carob powder (cocoa powder)
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
1/4 cup dried currants
1 to 1-1/2 cups puffed quinoa cereal (millet)

Heat cashew butter and honey on medium heat or double boiler, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to bubble (about 2-3 minutes).

Take off heat and stir in vanilla.

Mix in sifted carob powder and puffed cereal. Add nuts and cocoa nibs and mix well. Cool several minutes.

Mold into balls. Cool on counter or in refrigerator until firm.

Lindt Caffarel Fruit Jellies

Lindt along with their chocolate, apparently also makes these jellies, as I call them, with various fruits. I tried four of them; quince, apricot, cherry and plum. The jellies are surrounded with a coarse sugar coating.

The quince is good tasting, with a mild flavour and definite taste of quince. My favourite.

The apricot is good tasting, with a subtle apricot flavour.

The cherry has a strong cherry flavour. Good tasting.

The plum has a subtle plum flavour. Good tasting.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Perugina Baci Bar

I've not cared for the Baci chocolates from Perugina, these are similar, just flattened out. The ingredient listing actually looks worse than the individual chocolates; sugar, unsweetened chocolate, hazelnuts, vegetable fats (palmist, palm, babacu, saffron, cotton), cocoa butter, modified milk ingredients, soya lecithin and artificial flavour. There is also no love note; I guess this is for those who love Baci.

How does it taste? Sweet, but not too bad. The hazelnuts and filling are there in flavour, but should be paired with a better chocolate. The bar cost $2. I liked this better than the individual chocolates, though not enough to eat again.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Cheese Manjyu

These came from a colleague of mine, he lives and works in Singapore. The filling is like creamy ricotta cheese. Not to my taste, but I like the tagline on the package for the ingredients; “High quality ingredients whose taste has been nurtured by natural light and wind in the greenery section”.

President's Choice The Decadent Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I did like President's Choice The Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie, made with their The Decadent Semi-Sweet Chocolate, this is very similar to that cookie, but with chunks of chocolate rather than chips of chocolate. Or so their picture on the package shows, very large chunks of chocolate. The actual cookies don't seem to have very large chunks of bulging chocolate pieces. So, I don't see what the difference is between the two. Still good, but not as good as one I can make.