chocolate

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Posted by on Sep 12, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

Welcome to MACADAMIA NUT MONTH! Why is this Macadamia Nut Month? Because next month on the 23rd, the final book in my Blood of Earth trilogy comes out! Hawaii–with its groves of delicious macadamia nuts–is a major setting in Roar of Sky.

If you love macadamia nuts, get ready to bliss out. This month you’ll get recipes for:
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies (today)
Lemony Macadamia Nut Bars
Mini Fruit Cake Loaves to make now for the holidays (macadamia nuts optional)

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies. One of the best cookies in existence. There are a lot of recipes out there and I’ve tried many, but I say with no doubt that this is the best.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

The melted white chocolate in the dough makes all the difference by adding slight sweetness and a smooth texture.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Be cautious when you melt the chips, though. It can burn quickly in the microwave. Zap it on low power for short stints of time, and stay close.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Did you know that macadamia nuts should always be stored in the fridge? They have a high fat content, and can go rancid at room temperature! Trust me, you’ll know by the smell when you open the bag. Voice of experience.

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

So don’t let good nuts go bad. Keep them chilled, and use them up in yummy recipes like this one! If you love this kind of cookie, this recipe will be a keeper for you.

Come back next week for a lemony bar recipe with macadamia nuts, and please preorder Roar of Sky!

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Original recipe from Betty Crocker Magazine #172 April 2001, page 8.

 

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Bready or Not: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

What makes these cookies so magical? White chocolate melted into the dough! These cookies are crisp, light, and chewy all at once. Be careful when you melt the white chocolate in the microwave–it can burn in a matter of seconds! Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, this makes about 35 cookies. Original recipe from Betty Crocker Magazine, April 2001.

  • 1 bag (10 ounces) white chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup (11 Tablespoons) butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Place 1 cup of white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on 50% power in short increments, 20-25 seconds, and stop to stir between passes until the chips blend smoothly. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs until they're creamy. Mix in the melted chips. Stir in flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add the remaining chips and nuts.

Use a tablespoon cookie scoop or spoon to place dough in rounded lumps on cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops just begin to turn light golden brown. Cool on the sheet for several minutes, then move to a rack to cool.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

Posted by on Sep 5, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, pie | 0 comments

Welcome to MACADAMIA NUT MONTH! Why is this Macadamia Nut Month? Because next month on the 23rd, the final book in my Blood of Earth trilogy comes out! Hawaii is a major setting in Roar of Sky, and I did a research trip to Oahu and the Big Island last year. That included a stay at a lovely bed & breakfast on a macadamia nut farm near Kona. I’ve loved macadamia nuts my entire life, but there’s nothing like cracking through those double layers of shell to eat a macadamia nut fresh off the tree.

If you love macadamia nuts as well, get ready to bliss out. This month you’ll get recipes for:
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie (today)
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
Lemony Macadamia Nut Bars
Mini Fruit Cake Loaves to make now for the holidays (macadamia nuts optional)

Bready or Not Original: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

Macadamia Nut Pie. This pie is unquestionably decadent, but it is so very worth it.

I looked at about five recipes to formulate my own original take on this recipe. I confess, I was pretty nervous about this experiment.

Bready or Not Original: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

After all, I didn’t want to waste these delicious nuts, even if I did buy two big bags at a good price from the Kona Costco during my novel research trip. Not like I can fly back there to stockpile nuts again soon (alas).

Bready or Not Original: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

For years now, I’ve loved white chocolate macadamia nut cookies–hence I am featuring that recipe again next week. To me, that pairing of chocolate and nuts is sheer perfection. I just wasn’t sure how it would translate to pie.

The results genuinely surprised me.

Bready or Not Original: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

That’s because the white chocolate melded with the corn syrup and brown sugar during the baking process, creating a kind of smooth caramel sauce.

Caramel and macadamia nuts is an awfully good pairing, too. But a very sweet one. This pie necessitated the purchase of a tub of vanilla ice cream.

Bready or Not Original: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

I then served the pie to my husband with ice cream on the side, and I spooned caramel from the pie plate over both. Oh yeah.

You won’t need big slices of this pie. It’s just too rich. The good news is, it keeps well in the fridge for up to a week.

Bready or Not Original: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

Come back next week for one of my favorite cookie recipes, and please preorder Roar of Sky!

Bready or Not Original: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

Bready or Not Original: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

This incredible pie is loaded with macadamia nuts and goodness. The white chocolate melds with the other ingredients to create a kind of caramel sauce. Be warned: this pie is RICH. Cut small slices. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and use the extra sauce from the pie plate as a topping! Pie keeps well covered in the fridge for at least a week.

  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust, homemade or store-bought
  • Filling:
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped raw macadamia nuts
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Place a cookie sheet in the oven to heat up as well; this will help prevent a soggy bottom on the crust.

Place white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts in the unbaked pie crust, and place it in the fridge to chill.

In a mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then add the corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Pour the filling over the white chocolate and macadamia nuts. Cover the pie crust edges with foil.

Bake for 15 minutes at 400-degrees. Remove the foil.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350-degrees and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is lightly brown and the filling is set. Cool to room temperature before cutting.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

Posted by on Aug 29, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

If you’re craving candy bars–a lot of candy bars–this recipe will result in a casserole dish of Twix-like yumminess.

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

These are a bit softer than Twix, but the similarities are there. The crust is like cakey shortbread topped with caramel-sweet dulce de leche. Chocolate finishes off the top.

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

As the pictures show, there are some crumbs. Very delicious crumbs. I found the chocolate layer on top stayed soft, even after chilling.

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

This is the perfect recipe for feeding a large crowd. If you cut them into long rectangles, like Twix, you’ll have a lot!

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

But if you have leftovers, no worries–these keep well for days in the fridge, and you can also freeze them between waxed paper layers. Just thaw them in the fridge when your craving strikes again.

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

Modified from Twixy Shortbread Bars in Better Homes & Gardens.

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

 

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

Bready or Not: Homemade Twix Bars

This recipe creates a big pan of soft Twix-like candy bars! Note that the dough needs to chill prior to baking. The finished bars keep best in the fridge, but they can also be frozen for later enjoyment.

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 13.4-oz can dulce de leche
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 12-ounces (1 bag) semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 13x9-inch pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a large bowl beat the 1 1/2 cups butter until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla. Beat in the flour. Press the dough into the prepared pan and set in fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Bake the pan with dough for 20 to 25 minutes, until set and turning light brown. Cool on rack.

Spread contents of dulce de leche can evenly over the crust.

In a saucepan on medium heat, warm up the whipping cream, 6 tablespoons of butter, and corn syrup until they are just boiling. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate and vanilla but don't stir! Let it sit for 5 minutes. Stir until nice and smooth. Cool another 10 minutes, then pour chocolate over the dulce de leche. Spread it evenly over the top. Cover and chill for an hour or two.

Use the foil to lift contents of pan onto a large cutting board. Slice into bars.

These homemade candy bars keep best in the fridge, and can also be frozen (and later thawed in fridge). If at room temperature for a prolonged period, the bottom crust may get soggy.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Posted by on Aug 8, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, chocolate | 0 comments

I’d like to thank my past self for setting me up to re-discover this Oatmeal Caramel Bars recipe.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

When I was home last Thanksgiving, my mom gave me a stack of her old recipes and food magazines to go through. A lot of the material dated to the 1970s and ’80s and went straight in the recycle pile.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Mixed in with everything else, though, I found some little food magazines I had bought back in 1999 as I looked toward getting married. One of them highlighted favorite recipes from the Pillsbury Bake-Off.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

This recipe, originally titled Oatmeal Carmelitas, dated from the 1960s. I knew I had to make it.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

The recipe essentially makes a big, fat candy bar. Oatmeal forms the crust, while the middle consists of chocolate chips and gooey caramel.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Yeah. This isn’t a health recipe, but wow, is it good. This was worth being published again in 1999–and again now, with some new tweaks.

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

 

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

Bready or Not: Oatmeal Caramel Bars

These bars are like big, delicious candy bars loaded with oats, chocolate, and caramel! Note that they should be well-chilled before slicing into bars and will be more cohesive if stored in the fridge as well. Modified from magazine Best From 50 Years of Bake-Off, May 1999.

  • Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Filling:
  • 1 14-ounce caramel ice cream topping
  • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13x9 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine all crust ingredients until crumbly. Reserve half, about 3 cups, for the topping, and press the rest into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the caramel and 4 Tablespoons of flour.

When the crust is done baking, sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans over the top, then drizzle evenly with the caramel mixture. Add the reserved crumb mixture on top.

Return to the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool for an hour or so, then set in fridge to completely chill for several hours or overnight. To cut, use the foil to lift contents to a cutting board. Slice into bars.

Store in sealed container in fridge with layers between pieces of parchment or wax paper. Bars will stay more cohesive if chilled; they are gooier at room temperature.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

Posted by on Jul 11, 2018 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, chocolate | 0 comments

Salted Caramel Chips now exist. There is hope for our world yet.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

“What makes these chips different than just using caramel chips?” Well, they have the texture of and keep their shape like regular chocolate chips. Caramel bits are more chaotic–they melt, they ooze, they can create a sticky mess.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

More and more stores are carrying salted caramel chips around Arizona. Locally, I have found Ghirardelli (at Walmart), Nestle (at Walmart and several stores), and a Kroger-branded kind (at Fry’s Grocery Store).

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

All three work and have a good flavor, but I liked the Kroger one the least. The color looks more artificial (yeah everything is about these is artificial but…) and the pieces are small and not quite as rich in flavor. Still, their price is good and they aren’t bad, by any means.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

You’ll see these chips used in a couple recipes in the next while–I bought several bags to test out!

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

While I’ll definitely stick to using real caramel in things like pies, these salted caramel chips are now my go-to for cookies and bars.

I do suggest keeping the ratio of 1 cup chocolate chips with 1 cup of caramel chips in this recipe. The caramel chips ARE strong–they are like butterscotch in that way–and the white chocolate adds a different kind of sweetness to balance them out.

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

 

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

Bready or Not Original: Salted Caramel Chip Blondies

Use a new innovation, salted caramel chips, to create stunning blondies! Ghirardelli or Nestle brands of caramel chips are recommended over store brands, but they’ll all work well. These blondies are chewy and sweet perfection, embodied with the lovely flavor of salted caramel (and without the goop and stickiness of real caramel).

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup salted caramel chips

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 10x15 jelly roll pan with wide aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter, both sugars, and vanilla to create a smooth batter. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by the flour mixture. Stir in the cup of white chocolate and cup of salted caramel chips. Spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake until evenly golden brown and set in the middle, 24 to 27 minutes. Cool completely at room temperature or chill before cutting. Blondies keep for up to 3 days in a room temperature sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bready or Not Guest Recipe from Author Wendy Nikel: The Grandmother Paradox Cherry Cupcakes

Posted by on Jul 10, 2018 in Blog, Bready or Not, cake, chocolate, guest recipe, healthier | 0 comments

Today I welcome Wendy Nikel! Her novella The Grandmother Paradox is out TODAY from World Weaver Press. This is the sequel to The Continuum. I’ve read both, and I can testify they are fun, fast reads that reminded me of old favorite shows like Quantum Leap and Sliders. Find out more about her new release below, and grab a recipe for some cupcakes that are loaded with cocoa and cherries!

When Dr. Wells, the head of the Place in Time Travel Agency, learns that someone’s trying to track down the ancestors of his star employee, there are few people he can turn to without revealing her secrets. But who better to jump down the timeline and rescue Elise from being snuffed out of existence generations before she’s born than the very person whose life she saved a hundred years in the future?

But Juliette Argent isn’t an easy woman to protect. The assistant to a traveling magician, she’s bold, fearless, and has a fascination with time travel, of all things. Can the former secret agent Chandler, with his knowledge of what’s to come, keep her safe from harm and keep his purpose there a secret? Or will his presence there only entangle the timeline more?


THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX Cherry Cupcakes
by Wendy Nikel

Today is release day for THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX, the second time travel novella in the Place in Time series. Which means, once again, it’s time to celebrate with cupcakes!
In this novella, which can be read as a sequel or as a standalone story, Chandler – a man from our present who’s been living in the future – is sent back to the year 1893 to protect the great-great-grandmother of the woman who saved his life. There, he joins up with a traveling magic show touring Michigan before heading down to the Chicago World’s Fair.

One of the many wonderful things that Michigan is known for is its cherries, which made cherry cupcakes an easy choice for this book’s recipe. Substituting fats like butter and oils with fruit in baking also makes for a healthier cake, which is something I’ve had to keep in mind since I’m still recovering from having my gallbladder removed. Fortunately, I happen to have a cherry tree in my backyard filled with sweet cherries just ripe for the picking.


THE CUPCAKES:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bready or Not Guest Recipe: THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX Cherry Cupcakes by Wendy Nikel

One of the many wonderful things that Michigan is known for is its cherries, which made cherry cupcakes an easy choice for this recipe inspired by Wendy Nikel’s novella The Grandmother Paradox. Substituting fats like butter and oils with fruit makes for a healthier cupcake.

  • Cupcake Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup cherries (pitted & pureed)
  • Frosting ingredients:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 pkg cherry-flavored instant gelatin mix

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In separate bowl, mix egg whites and vanilla.

Add honey, sugar, applesauce, and buttermilk.

Gradually add the dry mixture into the egg and milk mixture until well blended.

Add cherries

Fill cupcake liners half full and bake for 22-25 minutes. Let cool.

After cupcakes are cool, frost.

Sprinkle gelatin mix on the top and enjoy!

 

THE CONTINUUM (book #1) out NOW
paperback via World Weaver Press $9.99
eBook via iTunes
eBook via Barnes & Noble
eBook via Amazon
eBook via Kobo

THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX (book #2) out TODAY
paperback via World Weaver Press $8.95
eBook via iTunes
eBook via Barnes & Noble
eBook via Amazon
eBook via Kobo


Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author whose short stories have appeared in Fantastic Stories of the ImaginationDaily Science FictionAE Sci-FiNature: Futures, and various anthologies and e-zines. She is a member of SFWA and Codex Writers Group and is a managing editor at Flash Fiction Online.

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