Chocolate Egg Cream – Thirst Quencher

Sometimes I want something chocolaty but I don’t want a brownie, chocolate pudding or ice cream or even a chocolate bar.  I am simply thirsty.  Hot days like today make a cool tall drink a life saver.  Those are the times I reach for my bottle of U-bet Chocolate Syrup.  Lickity split I can make an old school drink that is low sugar, low fat and thirst quenching; the venerable chocolate egg cream.  Funny thing is, there is no egg in it and often no cream.  I sometimes do use half and half but you can make this with any sort of milk you like, even one or two percent.  I do discourage the use of skim or non fat milk, at least a little richness is required. My favorite is whole milk.

The chocolate egg cream is allegedly from Brooklyn, NYC.  The New York Egg Cream is a variation of the milkshake popular back from the 1880s which had an egg beaten in it.  This version I have replicated became popular partially because it was cheaper for soda fountains to make because it had no egg.  I am not a big fan of raw eggs in my drinks so I am happy indeed that this “modern” version is sans egg!

I have been making it for years, one of my sisters taught me how.

This is such a simple recipe; get a tall glass, pour in ½ inch depth of some sort of milk, your choice of richness squirt about 1-2 tsp. of chocolate syrup on top, I used to use Hershey’s until I discovered U-Bet syrup which I think has a superior flavor.

 ubet syrupI never measure; just enough to flavor the milk, maybe two tsp.?  Stir them together well with an ice tea spoon, Add 3-6 ice cubes and fill the glass with well chilled seltzer water. Stir it again. I favor flavored seltzer, the raspberry or cranberry are particularly good for this drink as they add quite a bit of flavor and complexity to this simple little thirst quencher! Recently I tried watermelon seltzer and today, some mango seltzer.  A fresh bottle makes the foamiest egg cream so I recommend you splurge and start with a new bottle for your drink preparation. choco egg cream

Be sure to use a tall glass, it just won’t taste the same in a stubby little one!

So, next time you are longing for a light refreshing soft drink but one with a touch of chocolate, make a chocolate egg cream and smile because it is delicious, has no added sugar and if you use u-bet syrup and one percent milk it is pretty darn low fat!

 

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Dark Drizzled Kettle Corn

Aldi’s has something so yummy I am loath to share it with all of you for fear you will buy it all and I will be then crying the blues.  It is their Dark Drizzled Kettle Corn.  Lightly drizzled with dark chocolate, and not that sweet. Perfection in popcorn form. An addictive snack. It combines my deep love for dark chocolate with my frequent enjoyment of kettle corn. A one ounce serving has 140 calories. The label says GF.  It also says limited edition, so get a few bags and tell the staff to tell the boss to keep ordering it and maybe, just maybe Aldi’s will keep it around! kettle-corn-001

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Freshly baked chocolate chocolate chip cookies for dessert and snacks.  What is not to like?  Especially if they are gluten free and thus safe for me to eat.  Doublely good if they are totally yummy.  Triple great if they are a simple mix you can stir together in a few minutes and drop onto cookie sheets in ball shapes that spread into perfect round tasty chocolate treats that look like you bought them at a bakery. And: they freeze well, important if you can’t eat them in a couple of days…. Did I say chocolate? And chocolate chips?  I did!

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This picture is actually of cookies I had frozen; I couldn’t find the shot I swore I had taken of them freshly baked; so I was reduced to this pile of cold, yet still yummy, cookies!

Where can you get these delights? Aldi’s of course, and for $4 for the box which made nearly 30 cookies. Good deal.  I bought them about 3 months ago and then made them up for a special birthday party I was going to the other weekend.  It was way too hot to spend hours concocting cookies from scratch.  But I wanted something totally delish for everyone who was there.  And they were.  Simply scrumpers! Some folks could hardly believe they were gluten free.  People seem to have gotten the idea that all gluten free baked goods are mediocre or worse.  I am here to tell you that such is not the case.  In fact, some of my scratch gf versions of classic cookies are actually better gluten free! Like Russian teacakes, aka Mexican wedding cookies.  They are incredible gf.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still a number of cookies I haven’t been able to figure out gf but I will be trying…..

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So if you need a chocolate cookie fix, by all means, bake up a batch of these dark flavorful treats.  No one will believe they are gf but you!

Chocolate Egg Cream, Frothy, Flavorful and Fun

Sometimes I want something chocolaty but I don’t want a brownie, chocolate pudding or ice cream or even a chocolate bar.  I am simply thirsty.  Those are the times I reach for my Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup.  Lickety split I can make an old school drink that is low sugar, low fat and thirst quenching; the venerable chocolate egg cream.  Funny thing is, there is no egg in it and often no cream.  I sometimes do use half and half but you can make this with any sort of milk you like, even one or two percent.  I do discourage the use of skim or non fat milk, at least a little richness is required.

The chocolate egg cream is allegedly from Brooklyn, NYC.  The New York Egg Cream is a variation of the milkshake popular back from the 1880’s which had an egg beaten in it.  The version I have replicated became popular  many decades ago, partially because it was cheaper for soda fountains to make because it had no egg.  I am not a big fan of raw eggs in my drinks so I am happy indeed that this “modern” version is sans egg.  I have been making it for many years, one of my sisters taught me how.

This is such a simple recipe; get a tall glass, squirt about 1-2 tsp. of real Hershey syrup on the bottom, no store brand substitute will do.  I know about other syrups but hey, I am in Pennsylvania so Hershey’s it is!

hersheyI never measure; just enough to cover the bottom.  Then pour in ½ inch depth of some sort of milk, your choice of richness.  Stir them together well with an ice tea spoon.

 choc drink

Add 3-6 ice cubes and fill the glass with well chilled seltzer water. Stir it again. I favor flavored seltzer, the raspberry or cranberry are particularly good for this drink as they add quite a bit of flavor and complexity to this simple little thirst quencher!  A fresh bottle makes the foamiest egg cream so I recommend you splurge and start with a new bottle for your drink preparation.

choco egg cream

Be sure to use a tall glass, it just won’t taste the same in a stubby little one!

So, next time you are longing for a refreshing low sugar soft drink but one with a subtle touch of chocolate, make a chocolate egg cream and smile because it is delicious, has no added sugar and if you use one percent milk it is pretty darn low fat.  Light, refreshing, the egg cream is a wonderful “throw back” drink you can enjoy any day of the week!

PS: I hear U-bets Chocolate Syrup from NY is the bomb in a chocolate egg cream. I have to get some 🙂

Originally posted September 2014 but I know you are thirsty so here it is again!

Muffin Magic: Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

I love trying new versions of things; there I was with some ripe bananas but my taste buds really wanted chocolate chip muffins.  I have a friend who always puts chocolate chips in her banana bread.  Magical idea: I combined my chocolate chip muffins with my classic banana nut muffins.  Muffin heaven is here and I have a few left in my muffin jar for snacks!

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I broke one open so you can see the chocolate inside; big fat dark chocolate chips and small bits from the mini morsels.

They are perfect in texture, moisture and totally yummy. I put a streusel topping on them but a good measure of it fell off; do try to press it in firmly, I guess I wasn’t firm enough!  They are good even without the streusel topping if you like less on top, could instead sprinkle with chunky sugar for a nice finished appearance.  And if you only have one kind of chocolate chips I am sure they will still be fantastic. I just loved the contrast of big dark chips with small semi-sweet ones.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

2 cups brown rice flour mix (see below)

2/3 c granulated sugar or coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp xanthan gum

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 c packed ripe mashed banana

½ c coarsely chopped walnuts

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

2 lg eggs beaten

½ c milk plus 2 tbsp extra if you use coconut sugar, 1 or 2 percent

½ c canola oil

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Topping

½ cup oats

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbsp. almond flour

½ tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. butter

Mix topping dry ingredients, rub butter in with your fingertips.

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Muffin directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees, placing the rack in middle of oven.  Spray muffin pans with cooking spray.  One batch makes about 16 or 17 muffins.

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer or big bowl.

Add bananas and walnuts; stir to coat them with dry mix, then add the chocolate and stir briefly.

Combine milk and oil.  Add liquids and the two eggs to bowl. Stir on low until well blended.

Fill muffin pans 2/3 full.  Sprinkle with topping and press in carefully. Bake 20-24 min until golden brown. Do not overbake or they get dry.  Remove from oven and let cool 2-3 min before gently turning them out from the pans to cool on a rack. I use a butter knife to release them by running it around the edge once before tipping them out. They freeze well for up to 3 weeks.  They keep in my ceramic muffin/cookie jar for a few days. muffins 001

Brown Rice Flour Mix *same as King Arthur’s GF flour blend
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Note: This muffin recipe is my version of the muffins from Annalise Roberts’s wonderful cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics.

Kahlua Cream Cheese Icing on my Chocolate Cake Please!

A year ago I posted on chocolate birthday cake.  So classic, so addictively sweet, you know your mouth is watering right now for a big bite of two layer lusciousness!  This year for my daughter’s birthday I went right to that classic cake recipe, it is the only two layer chocolate gf cake I ever make.  It came out perfect, well mostly; a small chunk came off one layer and a touch on the second.  Gotta love that wax paper circle under the batter for saving my butt…again!  Maybe parchment paper next birthday cake….

This time I updated my timeless and tasty cream cheese icing for adult tastes.  This coffee flavored icing is as easy as ever to whip up but now it is even yummier.  Kahlua icing was the star of the party, champagne colored and coffee flavored, it seduced that chocolate cake right into our mouths with that combination of coffee and dark fudgy cake.   The cake recipe is here at https://myworldwithoutwheat.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/chocolate-fudge-birthday-cake-perfection/ and all you need to do to change it for this spectacular icing is get out that bottle of Mexican Kahlua from the liquor cabinet. Leave out the vanilla in the icing and add a tbsp. of Kahlua and a tsp. of coffee powder.  Coffee powder is simple to make.  I use my electric herb grinder and put in a couple tablespoons of decent quality instant coffee.  Grind it a few pushes of the button until it is a powder.  There you have it; smooth and dark and perfect for adding coffee flavor to any recipe.

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It was hot as heck in my busy kitchen when I went to ice it; baking sweet potato oven fries, baked beans simmering in a cast iron fry pan and 6 people milling around yakking and hugging so I put a thin icing layer over the entire cake and set it in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up the icing.  Then I finished frosting to even things up a bit.  This trick is wonderful in the summer and your cake is none the worse for a little freezer time.  Heck, I wanted to climb in there for 20 minutes myself!

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The little hole in the icing is from a birthday candle! I guess I should have smoothed it over before the photographing!

Next birthday party try this cake; if I can make you can too!  I am terrible at birthday cakes; you will find that out when you read that cake post from November 2014. Birthday cakes are an effort of love, made for those who are so special you are willing to fire up the oven on a 90 degree afternoon just so they can dig their fork into a real cake, a safe for us celiacs cake and a cake so good no one misses the cakes I made years ago. Now, that is the must have cake for my birthday parties. Made with cocoa, melted chocolate, sugar, butter, gf flour mix and a whole lot of love!

PS: It keeps great in a sealed container in the fridge; minimum of a month; ate some I had longer than that and it was still terrific.  If it lasts that long in your house!

Chocolate Shortbread Cookie Madness

These simple but delicious chocolate shortbread cookies are amazing: crisp, light and very flavorful because of the double shot of chocolate: cocoa and mini chocolate chips.  They are a great way to go when you want to impress company with something understated but totally chocolaty.  Great with a cup of hot tea, coffee or better yet cold milk.  I saw the recipe in my favorite Annalise Roberts cookbook over a year ago but hadn’t tried making them until this week.  I now wish I had baked them long ago as they are addictive!

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No forming needed for these easy refrigerator cookies.  You plop the soft dough onto a piece of wax paper, chill 30 minutes and then scoop the cold dough onto a long piece of plastic wrap, press it into a roll, close the plastic and roll on the table to shape.  Chill well and cut the dough into slices, onto the baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar and into the oven.  Simple to make and they are perfect for many festive occasions.

Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ cup brown rice flour mix; recipe below

2 tsp. sweet rice flour

¼ tsp.  xanthan gum

1/8 tsp. salt

½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1-2 tbsp. granulated sugar

Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, add the vanilla and mix.

Mix flours, xanthan gum, cocoa, and salt in small bowl; add to butter/sugar mix.  Mix until a soft dough is formed and add the chips; mix in briefly.  Place the dough in a flat rectangle on some wax paper; chill 30 minutes. oat muffins 003oat muffins 004

Place lumps of dough in a line along a big sheet of plastic wrap; from it into a 1 ¼ inch log of dough.  Twist ends shut, smooth into a round long by rolling it on the table top.  Chill it at least an hour; until firm.

Heat oven to 350 degrees, move the racks to center of oven.  Lightly spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

Carefully slice into 1/3 inch rounds. Place 1 ½ inch apart on sheet, sprinkle with a touch of plain sugar.  Chill in fridge on cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

oat muffins 005Bake 10-14 minutes until set. Mine all took 13-14 minutes; I think I cut them a tad thick.  Let cool on the cookie sheets 3-5 minutes so they solidify; really delicate until they cool some.  When they will hold together, transfer to a cookie cooling rack.  Store in airtight cookie jar once cooled.oat muffins 007

My recipe says the dough can be kept in the fridge for a week or in freezer for up to two months.  It made about 25-30 cookies.

They are delicately crunchy; if left out in the air unsealed they will get soggy and lose their crisp texture.

Brown Rice Flour Mix base mix
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

This recipe is out of Annalise G. Robert’s great cookbook: Gluten Free Baking Classics, second edition.