Category Archives: Chocolate

You’ll “Heart” White Chocolate-Pretzel Cookies

Put a twist on Valentine's Day with pretzel cookies.
Put a twist on Valentine’s Day with pretzel cookies.

When it comes to romance, my husband is all about the art of subtlety.

When he proposed to me at the French Laundry, it wasn’t in the dining room, in the midst of a throng of well-heeled diners. It was in the restaurant’s parking lot as just the two of us sat in our car, and he pulled the ring out of his pocket.

When he buys me flowers, it’s not because it’s some Hallmark holiday. It’s because he just spies a pretty bouquet that he knows will unexpectedly make my day.

And when he wants to express his love these days, his favorite way is to flash the Korean finger heart symbol at me, because, yes, in the pandemic, he’s become addicted to Korean dramas like so many others.

That’s why these “White Chocolate-Pretzel Cookies” are right up his alley.

This is how you make the Korean finger heart.
This is how you make the Korean finger heart.

First, they feature white chocolate, which can be polarizing to some, but which he actually likes.

Second, they get fortified with and crowned whimsically with mini pretzels, whose classic looped knot shape slyly resembles a heart.

This cute cookie is from “Maman: The Cookbook: All-Day Recipes to Warm Your Heart” (Clarkson Potter, 2021), of which I received a review copy, by Elisa Marshall and Benjamin Sormonte. The couple are the founders and co-owners of Maman, the bakery-cafe with locations throughout New York, as well as in Montreal, and Toronto. The book was written with food writer and recipe developer Lauren Salkeld.

The couple named the cafe for the word “mother” in French to evoke the cozy, homespun environment they wanted to create.

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Three New Things to Try In the New Year

Momofuku instant noodles that cook in 4 minutes, which I garnished with fresh green onions.
Momofuku instant noodles that cook in 4 minutes, which I garnished with fresh green onions.

Momofuku Noodles and Chili Crunch

After reading that the initial release of Momofuku Noodles sold out in a flash, then had a wait list of tens of thousands of folks, well, I had to buy some when an ad popped up in my social media feed that they had been restocked. Because, yes, I am that kind of person.

Plus, when the irrepressible chef of the Momofuku restaurant empire, David Chang, develops a product, your curiosity can’t help but be stoked.

The instant noodles were initially available on the Momofuku online store, but are gone now until future restocking. However, they are still available at Target for about $9.49 for a bundle of 5 packets.

They come in three varieties: Spicy Soy Noodles, Soy & Scallion Noodles, and Tingly Chili Wavy Noodles.

I purchased the Soy & Scallion Noodles. Each packet of the wheat noodles serves one at 320 calories total. And they couldn’t be easier of faster to make. Just boil them in water for 4 minutes, drain, then stir in the seasoning packet plus freeze-dried scallions.

The noodle packages.
The noodle packages.

The curly, white, modestly wide noodles are very supple and bouncy, nearly akin to fresh noodles but with slightly more sturdiness. The seasoning packet is soy sauce-based and added a savory, homey taste.

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Ringing In A New Year With Chocolate Brioche Buns

They look intricate, but aren't as difficult to make as you might think.
They look intricate, but aren’t as difficult to make as you might think.

You know how I like to start a new year?

With “Everything Chocolate.”

Actually, if given my druthers, I’d start every single day that way.

Good thing “Everything Chocolate: A Decadent Collection of Morning Pastries, Nostalgic Sweets, and Showstopping Desserts” is the exact title of the cookbook (2020) by America’s Test Kitchen, of which I received a review copy. Best yet, the 376-page cookbook is chock full of techniques, photos, and recipes for all things chocolate.

Get your fix with everything from “Midnight Chocolate Cake” and “Chocolate Croissant Cookies” to “Nutella Tartlets” and “Chocolate-Peanut Butter Creme Brulee.”

I was smitten with “Chocolate Brioche Buns” from the moment I spied the photo of these coiled, S-shaped tantalizing treats.

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Chocolate-Almond Pear Tart

Treat yourself to this beautiful chocolate-almond-pear tart. You deserve it.
Treat yourself to this beautiful chocolate-almond-pear tart. You deserve it.

Who needs one last blowout, showstopping dessert for the year?

We all do.

I mean, it has been that kind of year, right?

But deep, dark chocolate combined with fresh, juicy, sweet pears will set just about anything right.

“Chocolate-Almond Pear Tart” is from Pastry Chef Kristen Hall of Bandit Patisserie in Birmingham, AL. The recipe was published in the Sept. 14, 2021 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.

Red Anjou pears are fanned over the top of this tart.
Red Anjou pears are fanned over the top of this tart

With pear slices fanned out just so over the top, a rim of sliced almonds, and a light dusting of powdered sugar, it’s a beaut, isn’t it?

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Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Freeze-dried raspberries get pulverized and mixed into the flour for this dazzling take on chocolate chunk cookies.
Freeze-dried raspberries get pulverized and mixed into the flour for this dazzling take on chocolate chunk cookies.

Recipe developer Jesse Szewczyk says these “Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies” taste almost like a pint of Graeter’s black raspberry ice cream.

Me? Having not had the pleasure of trying that famed frozen treat, myself, I’ll just say these babies remind me of a splendid dark chocolate truffle with a jammy raspberry center.

Either way, these cookies definitely satisfy with plenty of bittersweet chocolate chunks playing off the sweet-tart surprise of dried raspberries completely pulverized into the batter.

The recipe is from “Cookies The New Classics” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy, by Szewczyk, a food writer and food stylist, who is also the cookie columnist at The Kitchn.

Freeze-dried raspberries give these cookies a fabulous sweet-tart berry taste.
Freeze-dried raspberries give these cookies a fabulous sweet-tart berry taste.

He spotlights 100 recipes that take you beyond the same ‘ol, same ‘ol chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies with chapters divided into flavor attributes such as “Boozy,” “Smoky,” “Savory” and “Tart.”

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