Chocolate Orange Patties

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Do you remember those chocolate oranges? You had to slam them on the table, and then they cracked into perfect sections?

Chocolate Orange Patty

I always claimed I hated the chocolate orange combination. I hated anything orange-flavored. If it wasn’t an orange or orange juice, I wanted nothing to do with it.

Then, without thinking, I found myself buying orange extract. Then putting it into a candy. Then grating orange zest into my chocolate.

Melted Chocolate with Orange Zest

It was a total out-of-body experience – I mean, I hate orange-chocolate-candy combinations.

Except, apparently I don’t. These taste like those chocolate oranges, but a little sweeter. And I love it.

Container of Chocolate Orange Patties

I did add food coloring to get a more authentic orange feel, but I’ll be honest, I don’t think it made these look any more natural.

Inside of Chocolate Orange Patty

Chocolate Orange Patties
Based on Eat Live Run’s Homemade Peppermint Patties

1 ¼ cups confectioner’s sugar
¾ tbsp. light corn syrup
¾ tbsp. water
½ tsp. orange extract
½ tbsp. shortening
4-5 drops orange food coloring (optional)
½ cup dark chocolate chips
1 ½ tbsp. butter.
Zest of one orange (about 2 tbsp.)

Mix together the confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, water, orange extract, food coloring and shortening using an electric mixer. Mixture will be very crumbly. Move to a confectioner’s sugar dusted surface and knead for a minute or two to get a smooth ball. Roll out to ¼ inch thick using a rolling pin and freeze for 10 minutes.

Using small circular cookie cutters, or a small shot glass if you don’t have a small cookie cutter (because really, who does?), punch circles in the dough. Freeze again for 15 – 20 more minutes.

Melt the chocolate and butter over very low heat. Stir in orange zest.

Drop the patties in and smooth the chocolate over the top to coat well. Use a fork to transfer from the pot to a wax-paper covered surface (I use a cutting board), and freeze until firm, about 20 minutes. I found that if I took the full sheet of patties out of the freezer while I dipped each in chocolate, they were too soft by the end and fell apart in the chocolate. I recommend only taking 3-5 out at a time so they keep their form better in the chocolate.
Store in the fridge.

Deep Dish Whole Wheat Mushroom Pizza

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For years, I absolutely hated mushrooms. Actually, for years I hated pretty much anything that wasn’t a cheese + carb (grilled cheese, pasta with cheese, cheese quesadilla). Then I started to incorporate alternatives into my cheese + carb combination. Baby steps at first: grilled cheese with pesto; pasta with cheese and tomato sauce; chicken and cheese quesadilla. Then, the leap: entire meals without any cheese.

This is not that meal.

Deep Dish Whole Wheat Mushroom Pizza

Nope, it’s no cheeseless meal. But cheese is definitely not the main event – this one is all about the mushrooms.

Steaming Mushrooms

No garlic, no spices, just soft, juicy mushrooms covering the pizza, sprinkled with a little mozzarella.

Slice of Whole Wheat Deep Dish Mushroom Pizza

Deep Dish Whole Wheat Mushroom Pizza

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Based on Oh She Glows Easy Herb Infused Pizza Dough

1 cup + ¾ cup whole wheat all-purpose flour, divided
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ tsp white sugar
2 tsp pizza seasoning
2 ½ tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp oil
2/3 cup very warm water
More flour for surface when kneading

In a large mixing bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, salt, sugar, pizza herbs, yeast.
Stir well. Now quickly add in 2/3 cup of very warm water along with your 3 tbsp of oil. Stir well. Now add in ¾-1 cup more of flour, gradually, as you  stir. Once all the flour is in, grab the dough and place on floured surface. Knead the dough for 5  minutes, adding flour if it gets tacky. After 5 minutes the dough should be smooth and not sticky. Form into a ball and place in a large, oiled bowl. Cover the ball with a bit of oil so it doesn’t dry out. Now cover the bowl and let it rise for 1.5 hours. You can punch out the air once half way through.

Deep Dish Whole Wheat Mushroom Pizza

1 batch whole wheat pizza dough
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 8-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400F.

While your pizza dough is rising, heat olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the mushrooms. Sautee until they soften, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain the mushrooms (they release water while sautéing). Mix together the drained tomatoes and mushrooms in a bowl and set aside.
In a large greased sauté pan (or cast iron, if you have it), press the dough out into the pizza shape, pushing into the edges to create a crust.

Deep Dish dough in Pan

Cook in the oven for 6-8 minutes, so it begins to rise.

Remove the pan from the oven and cover the pizza dough with the tomato and mushroom mix. Sprinkle the cheese over the pizza and place back in the oven.

Cook another 10-12 minutes.

Cinnamon Heath Bar Crunch Cookies

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I got back to school after a 3-month internship in New York City, and something just felt off. I was in this terrible funk, and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I was doing no school work, no laundry (OK, I’m still not doing any of that) and really very little of anything but watch TV.

Cinnamon Heath Bar Crunch Cookies

I came home from school the day before my first exam and knew I needed to study, but I just couldn’t. I realized what was wrong: I hadn’t baked in three and a half months. I set out the butter to soften, threw on the apron, and figured out what to make.

Right before I left for New York in December, I found Heath Bar Bits at the Lowes, which is ironically the best source of obscure baking ingredients in Winston Salem. I knew these cookies would be good, but I really cannot begin to describe just how good.

I was a little unsure about the whole wheat, but trust me, it works. Instead of the usual speechless I get when I bite into a great cookie, it was just a stream of expletives. That’s right, these cookies are so good they are NSFW.

Cinnamon Heath Bar Crunch Cookies

The magical healing properties of these cookies cannot be underestimated. I am pretty sure time stops when you eat them, and I guarantee you will forget all your problems.

Cinnamon Heath Bar Crunch Cookies

Adapted from Eat Live Run “My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies”
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 stick butter, softened
½ cup heath toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350F.

Whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg. Add the vanilla and mix gently to combine.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix. Stir in the heath toffee bits.

Take about 1 tablespoon size scoops of cookie dough and roughly shape into a ball and press flat onto a greased baking sheet – they should be about an inch wide.

Cinnamon Heath Bar Crunch Cookie Dough

Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on the sheet another 5 minutes.

You can also drop the cookies instead of shaping to get a different look and texture. If you drop, bake at 12 minutes instead of 8.

Cinnamon Heath Bar Crunch Cookies 4