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Posts Tagged ‘walnuts’


 Elenore’s Cookies…

Blondies and Chaocolate Musse Torte 012

When I first became engaged to my husband-to-be, I was invited to visit for the first time with the Springer Family  in Hollywood, Florida; to be introduced to the family and friends during an evening reception at their home.

There was a lovely buffet of appetizers and desserts for everyone’s enjoyment while the cocktails were served. Since I do not like alcoholic drinks I went straight to the dessert section of the buffet.  Holding a plate in my hand I picked up something small.  It was a square little bite that looked simple but intriguing. The little piece was light brown in color with chocolate pieces peaking out of  its cake.  It had no icing or any kind of cream on it which promised my fingers would not get messy or sticky.   It definitely was a very safe bite that would not even mess up my lipstick, yes, I am vain when it comes to looking my best and this was an evening when I wanted to be as “perfect” as I could.

This little bite of pastry was delightful.  It had a pleasant density, a crumbly feeling on the tongue and the chocolate melted in my mouth like a sauce that enhanced every goodness that it held…

Through my “culinary” life I have seen many recipes that are almost identical to Elenore’s Cookies, they are called “Blondies.”

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Today I want to share my version of this simple little cake/pastry and hope you will bake it as often as I have throughout my many years of marriage…after all it is my husband’s favorite treat.

Ingredients

3/4 cup Margarine

1 lb light brown sugar

3  Extra Large eggs

2 cups of flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 cups of finely chopped walnuts – I chop them in an old fashioned nut grinder

1 cup of chocolate chips

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Pre-heat oven to 350 F

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Melt the margarine in the Microwave oven using a large glass mixing bowl

Add the light brown sugar to the melted margarine and add the 3 eggs one at a time while mixing well with an electric hand mixer.

Now add the Vanilla Extract, the flour, and the baking powder to the above mixture, and mix well

When the batter consistency is uniform add the finely chopped walnuts and the chocolate chips using a spatula

Pour the batter into a large baking pan and…

Blondies and Chaocolate Musse Torte 016

bake Elenore’s cookies at 350 F for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Remember, every oven is heating differently, check the pastry before the 35 minutes, it might be baked sooner than you think.

Cut the “cookies’ into little squares and dust them with a touch of powdered sugar before you place them on a serving platter.

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The powdered sugar is my Austrian signature!

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Heiratspillen, a Nut/Chocolate Truffle

Why is it that when I see a table of pastries, beautiful pastries, small cookie type pastries, exquisite layered cakes and various fruit platters on a table set for an Afternoon Coffee or Tea….…I immediately zero in on that small bowl of chocolate truffles….do you do the same?

Every Christmas  when I still lived at home, when I went to school, my mother made a small confection which she called “Heiratspillen.”  This German word translates into…  “Wedding-Pills.”

I have not heard anyone else call them that name, nor do I know anyone who makes them, but it certainly was and still is one of my most favorite “little bites” during a holiday season.

Heiratspillen Recipe

4 cups finely ground walnuts……or pecans (nut meal)

1 ½ cups sugar

1 Tbsp Cacao Powder – Dutch Processed

4 oz – 4 squares of semi sweet chocolate, (Baker’s German’s 1 oz Chocolate squares)

2 egg whites

3 to 4 Tbsp Rum

Crystallized sugar for coating

Use a flat plate, and place the 4 chocolate squares on it, and microwave them at a high temperature set at 30 seconds.

Repeat this process until the chocolate squares are melted, it usually takes about 3 to 4 times with rotating the plate each time. With a small spatula flatten the melted chocolate on the plate and cool it till it comes to room temperature.

Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until just foamy, and set aside.

Into a large bowl measure the 4 cups of nut meal, add the sugar, and mix them together. Add the melted chocolate and the foamy egg whites and mix again gently.  Now add the Rum and bring the mass into a thick pliable mass, thick enough to roll into little balls.

It is good to let it rest for about ½ hour at room temperature for the flavors to blend.

Roll this mixture into small balls, about ¾ inch in size, and coat them in crystallized sugar.

Place them onto a tray to dry over night at room temperature, and cover them with wax paper for another day.  To store them place them in an airtight container and keep them refrigerated….do not freeze them….they will keep refrigerated for 3 to 4 months or longer……unless you eat them sooner….

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The Traditional Chocolate Truffle

This is another favorite of mine…and I always thought that to make them is very difficult.  I admired people who would tell me that they just whipped up some truffles late the night before.

I was so impressed!  You see this was before I attended classes at culinary schools and became a cooking teacher.

I like to use bittersweet chocolate that contains 60% Cocoa, but I have made them with semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate as well. They all come out just as well since it is one of the simplest recipes that one can imagine. To make truffles is not magical even though the results are…….

All you need is 2 lbs of chocolate and 1 cup of heavy cream…. Cointreau, and some cacao powder, preferably Dutch Processed….  Four ingredients…..that is all.  In essence you are making a “ganache” that will turn into truffles when cooled.

Traditional Chocolate Truffle Recipe

2 lbs dark chocolate morsels or chopped from a block

1 cup of HEAVY cream

1 Tbsp Cointreau  ( Orange Liqueur)

Dutch Processed Cacao powder

Place the chocolate pieces into a microwavable glass bowl and add the cup of HEAVY cream. Place these ingredients into the microwave set at HIGH and heat for 1 minute.  The chocolate will have started to melt.  Mix it gently with a metal spoon and if not quite melted….. and this is the most difficult part in the process of making truffles ….put it back into the microwave and heat it again but, only for 10 seconds, take it out and gently mix it again.  If it’s still not completely melted heat it again only for 10 seconds, mix it again gently and incorporate the cream into the melted chocolate.   If you still see   pieces in the melted chocolate it goes back into the microwave for another 10 seconds.  At this time it should have melted all the chocolate pieces. Now keep stirring the ganache… until it is very smooth and glossy.

Place the bowl of ganache… with the spoon that you stirred it with… into the refrigerator for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Mix it again.  The sides on the bowl will obviously cool quickest, scrape the hardened chocolate off the sides and mix it back into the still softened ganache.  Repeat the process of cooling the ganache in the refrigerator until it becomes a heavy creamy mass.   Then use an electric hand mixer whip the chocolate ganache until the color changes just slightly….it will look slightly lighter in color and with that you are just about to the fun part of making the chocolate truffles.

The only thing that is left is to roll them into little balls – about ¾ to 1 inch in diameter and coating them in cocoa powder.   Place them onto a cookie sheet and place a wax paper over them.   Leave them sitting in a cool place at room temperature over night.   To store them place them into an airtight container and refrigerate them…..so not freeze them.  They would last for three to four month or longer if you have not enjoyed them sooner.

Do you have a favorite truffle and how do you make them….?  When you make the truffles from the above recipes and have any questions…please, let me know and I will gladly answer them and help along…because, I would love to see you storing them in your refrigerators to have on hand when you feel you want to surprise someone special…..

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All Rights Reserved: Maria Reisz Springer

maria@majaskitchen.com

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Thank you!

Wishing everyone a most Happy Truffle Day!

Maria/Maja…….Maja’s Kitchen LLC

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