Tag Archives: chocolate

scary halloween chocolate spiders

I saw this last week on another blog and thought it would be a good activity to occupy my daughter and her friend on a rainy Saturday afternoon. It’s seasonal, easy, messy and involves chocolate. That makes it just about perfect for 11 year old girls. I made just a couple of small changes, but left the rest of the instructions pretty much the same.

Scary Halloween Chocolate Spiders

  • 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 1  3/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 package chow mein noodles (about 3 cups)
  • Smarties candy
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of butter or coconut oil, to add shine to the chocolate (optional)

Melt the butterscotch and chocolate chips and the butter or coconut oil over a double boiler (or use a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water). Stir in chow mein noodles until completely covered in melted chocolate.

Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and add 2 Smarties on top of each pile of noodles, for spider eyes. Using a toothpick dipped in some of the melted chocolate, paint a pupil in the middle of each Smartie eye.

That’s it – they are tasty and messy and definitely best stored someplace cool. Kids love them. We sent our sleepover guest home with some to take to school.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, Foy Update, Mind Body and Sole, GNOWFGLINS

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chocolate coconut butter (spread that tastes like a mounds bar)

This started as an experiment to see if I could make something nut-free but similar to Nutella that the small squeaky kid would eat. Our schools have a nut-free lunch policy, which makes it challenging when your kid only likes peanut butter or Nutella. In this case, we will have to keep searching, because she’s decided that she does not like coconut. I can’t blame her there – I hated coconut when I was little too.

I, however, like this very much. What’s not to like? It tastes like a melted Mounds bar. I’ve had it on toast, graham crackers and on one of the scones my mom so nicely baked me for my birthday last week. I don’t mind hoarding the jar to myself. As long as I can keep it’s existance secret from the dad, that is. It would also be great melted slightly and poured on ice cream. I’ll get around to that soon.

It’s really simple – all that you need is flaked, unsweetened coconut and some good quality chocolate. I’d recommend the bigg-ish size bar for maximum chocolate.

Chocolate Coconut Butter

  • 2 cups of shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 large bar of chocolate (I used milk chocolate, but dark chocolate would be really good)

Put the coconut and chocolate (broken into pieces) into a food processor and process on high until it becomes smooth and runny. It will take quite a while – it goes first through a thick messy congealed phase and then becomes liquidy. You’ll probably need to scrape down the sides once or twice during the process. Mine took around 7 minutes or so to get to the liquid stage. When it’s done, scrape it into a jar and allow to set. It will firm up at room temperature eventually (unless it’s really hot in the house) or you can put it in the fridge to firm up quickly. It’s not supposed to require refrigeration to keep, so you can keep it in the cupboard.

Linked to A Pinch of Joy, Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Gastronomical Sovereignty, Live Renewed, Foy Update

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hope and cookies

I’ve been tagged in a blog relay about hope by a fellow blogger, Somer at Good Clean Food to write on the subject of hope. I’ve been reading a Barbara Kingsolver novel, so I found a quote by her:

The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. ~ Barbara Kingsolver

While I’m not certain I have figured out the whole of what I hope for, I know that I seem to have a running list of hopes throughout my day. There are, of course, overall hopes of continued good health for myself and my family and friends, but I am (as usual) an instant gratification kind of person and focused on the short-term. Today’s list (well, it will be yesterday’s list by the time I post it) –

  • I hope the small kid didn’t wear her good shoes in the barn again
  • I really hope that the tall kid’s hormonal freak-out this morning doesn’t happen again tomorrow
  • I hope I miraculously grow another half inch so that I can be taller than my 11-year-old
  • I hope it rains soon
  • I hope the cat hasn’t re-damaged his hip – he’s been walking with an even bigger hitch in his giddy-up this weekend
  • I hope there is something dessert-ish at home to eat

There wasn’t. The dessert-ish thing, that is. While I often entertain hope that the dad will feel like baking, he didn’t. So I decided to make some cookies.

Since we are on the subject of hope, let’s make them endorphin stimulating spiced chocolate cookies. Both chocolate and spicy foods stimulate endorphin production, which in turn just makes you happy. Who wouldn’t have hope when happily eating spicy chocolate cookies. These have a little heat to them – they remind me a little of my new favourite Lindt chocolate chili bar. The heat isn’t too intense, so if you like it hotter, up the cayenne pepper a bit.

Hope Cookies (Spiced Chocolate Cookies)

adapted from Savour Fare

  • 1  1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

In a medium bowl combine the flour, spices, and cocoa powder.

In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until the  mixture is fluffy. Add honey and vanilla; beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in 1 1/2 teaspoons boiling water. Beat  half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking soda mixture, then  remaining half of flour mixture. Add chocolate chips and refrigerate for about  30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I use a silpat).  Roll  dough into 2-inch balls, roll dough balls in granulated sugar and place on  baking sheets.  Transfer to oven and bake until surfaces crack  slightly, about 18-20 minutes. They should be slightly crunchy outside (like me!), but soft in the middle.

And here I pass the baton on to a few bloggers to give their thoughts on hope in any form that they would like: Luanne at At The Homefront – because she has a wonderful way of grouping words together, Seasoned With Sarcasm – because I like her sense of humour and am interested to see what she would write about, and Sarah at Sarah’s Place, whose food and knitting always look so much better than mine.

Linked to Frugally Sustainable, Simple Lives Thursday, A Pinch of Joy

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