Suzi's Blog

Chocolate Syrup

It’s there. Somewhere. On a back shelf. Up high. In that brown can or plastic bottle. By now it might resemble something concocted by Stephen King, except this is real, not fiction.

I am speaking, of course, about that container of chocolate syrup in your fridge. If you have children, then there is the possibility that the container is relatively fresh. But if those kids are gone, well, when was the last year you used that syrup? Yet, it’s there, sitting on shelf. Taking up space and only God knows what chemical transitions have occurred.

I like the brown cans. When it’s fresh, it’s good. After a few months, it’s different.

How about fresh, homemade and easy. And, you have the ability to control the level of sweetness and chocolate flavor? Here’s the recipe.

This one, too, comes from my favorite new book: Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, & Shakes. Flay wants freshness and flavor control. This recipe is interesting because you use cocoa powder, not solid chocolate. Cocoa is chocolaty, yet it comes with that distinctive tang that subtly says, “I’m different.” Flay suggests using a good quality cocoa powder, and that’s a great point. An upscale cocoa will lend your syrup a sophisticated flavor.

This syrup is thick, rich, and just better than the regular stuff. Flay says it will last a week in the fridge. Not a chance.


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Chocolate Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup water
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
⅔ cup unsweetened good-quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder, such as Ghirardelli or Valrhona
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation:

Place the water, sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan with tall sides. Bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder. [Note: when adding the cocoa powder at first to the boiling liquid, the mixture will bubble up; so, do a little cocoa powder at first and do use a saucepan with tall sides].

Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Source: Bobby Flay’s Burgers, Fries, & Shakes

No-Bake Cocoa Oatmeal Cookies

This cookie recipe has three special features. No baking. No flour. No eggs. For someone with food allergy issues, this may be just your treat. If you are “baking” with kids and want something fun and safe, there is no more delicious cookie than this one. Parents will have to boil the sugar and dairy part, but children love to stir up the oats at the end.

I had this cookie a zillion times as a kid. I grew up, went to college, moved away, and for thirty years had this fond memory of some cookie that did not have to be baked. But I had no idea what it was. A dozen years ago, while browsing through a bookstore, I opened up Cookie Time by Marilyn Miller Wasbotten. This fond memory was on the first page I looked at.

When I make these treasures now, I play with the recipe. Sometimes I include the peanut butter, and sometimes I leave it out for a pure cocoa hit. Adding nuts makes for a crunchier, richer taste. You should let the mixture cool just a bit if you are going to add chocolate chips if you want them whole; they will immediately melt if you have just made the syrup-oat mixture.

Nuni’s No-Bake Cookies

Yield: 40 cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
¼ cup [2 ounces] butter
¼ cup cocoa
½ cup milk
3 cups uncooked quick rolled oats
½ cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1 cup of nuts, raisins, chocolate chips or shredded coconut

Preparation:

Stir the sugar, butter, cocoa, and milk in a saucepan and cook until the mixture comes to a good boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the oats, peanut butter, and vanilla. Add optional ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with foil and let cool.

Source: Cookie Time by Marilyn Miller Wasbotten