Chocolate Bark and William Shatner

I’m not entirely sure this even qualifies as a recipe, but whenever we make this… or nut brittle, people think we are amazing. So, really who am I to argue? ;)

Kitchen-sink Chocolate Bark

(Feel free to add just about anything you like.)

  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup crunchy toffee bits
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 2/3 cup salted pretzels, broken into pieces.

Directions:

  1. Grease a piece of parchment and place on a cookie sheet. (Or any pan — you could definitely use a cake pan instead.)
  2. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or in a pot on the stove. Be careful. Stir often. You don’t want to scorch it or you’ll have to throw it out and start again.
  3. Stir melted chocolate until smooth.
  4. Stir in half of your add-in’s. Pour onto parchment and smooth with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
  5. Top with the remaining add-in’s and press slightly to make them stick.
  6. Let cool for at least an hour until hard — this can be sped up in the refrigerator.
  7. Break into pieces and eat.

(Other options… white chocolate with dried cherries and slivered almonds. Dark chocolate with crushed peppermint candies.) The options are endless.

And of course William Shatner. Who we had the good fortune of actually meeting. Yes, I was nervous. Although I did not giggle as I have been known to do.

Williamshatner 001

 

Blueberry Crumb Cake and Michael Pollan

This is best when using freshly picked wild Maine blueberries, but it’s still pretty awesome with those purchased from the farmer’s market or even the grocery store. Feel free to mix it up with all kinds of berries. I actually prefer raspberries, but blueberries are traditional.

This recipe is a tweak of Ina Garten’s. (Not that she needs my help.) Please see: Blueberry Crumb Cake  for a video of her making it. She’s a genius!

Ingredients


For the streusel:
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour


For the cake:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (3/4 stick)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling

Directions
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan.

For the streusel:
Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter and then the flour. Mix well and set aside.

For the cake:
Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and stir with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out with a knife. With your fingers,

crumble the topping evenly over the batter. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and serve sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.

And…from Michael Pollan

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars and Harrison Ford

harrison ford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars — Best

Recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup (10 2/3 tablespoons) butter
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 2 3/4 cups All-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chocolate chips; or a combination of different flavored chips, or chips and nuts
  • *Use 1 teaspoon salt if you use unsalted butter.

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.

2) Melt the butter, and stir in the brown sugar. Add the salt, vanilla, and flavor, stirring until well combined.

3) Allow the mixture to cool slightly (if it’s very hot to the touch), then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl midway through this process.

4) Add the baking powder, espresso powder, and flour, stirring to combine.

5) Stir in the chips or other additions of your choice.

6) Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges with a wet spatula (or your wet fingers). Smooth the top as best you can.

7) Bake the bars for 30 to 32 minutes, until they’ve risen, and their top is shiny and golden. Bake for the shorter amount of time in a darker pan; the longer time in a light/shiny pan. A cake tester inserted into the center won’t come out clean; in fact, the center of the very middle of the pan may look quite molten when you dig into it. But so long as no wet batter is showing farther out towards the edges, the bars are done. As they cool, the center will solidify.

8) Remove the bars from the oven, and use a heatproof spatula to press down the risen edges; this will make bars with flat, rather than humped tops. Let the bars cool completely before cutting; overnight is best. Once bars are cool, wrap airtight. Store wrapped bars at room temperature for a couple of days.

And…

Harrison Ford