Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hello December!!!

Wow…How is it December?! It always feel like it seems so far away for most of the year….but now that we are here I know it will go by way too fast. 

I am excited to join I am Baker and several other bloggers in bringing you this post. If you have a moment check out all the wonderful recipes being offered this week. 

A few years ago my family started a new tradition. We ended the gift giving to focus on creating family memories in it's place. I am sure others thought we were crazy but this created some of the best memories I have of the Holiday Season to this day. It is a defining moment when the holidays  go back to what the focus should be of time spent with family instead of what was bought. 

Our tradition does have rules…nothing can be bought and any money spent can only happen if everyone chips in. Our first year, my sister brought in a personal chef to teach us all how to make sushi…and everyone chipped in. Never having made sushi before….it was a lot of fun and some great laughs (just imagine trying to make sushi…lol) and a great memory we all look back on.  

Over the last few weeks, I have been listening to coworkers and friends talk about all of the gifts they have yet to purchase and the money being spent. Sounds stressful to me! I just sit back relaxed and grateful for my family. I know when I go home the time will be spent together with conversation, great food and the annual trip to the movie theater. We will spend time cooking together in the kitchen and other great family memories. The removal of the annual stress was the greatest gift ever given and I think my family agrees. 

Don't let the stress of things unimportant get in the way of what is. My holiday will probably begin with making these Black Gold Cookies to share with family. Let's just say these little cookies taste exactly like a brownie. (Never a bad thing!) So I hope during this month everyone is able to enjoy time with family and create your own lifetime memories.

Black Gold Cookies
Adapted from Gourmet

3 oz Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped coarse
18 oz semisweet Chocolate, chopped coarse
1/2 C Unsalted Butter
3 Eggs
1 C plus 2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Instant Espresso Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
8 Tbsp Unbleached Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 325°F

In a double boiler set over simmering water, melt unsweetened chocolate, 9 oz semisweet chocolate, and butter, stirring occasionally, and remove top of double boiler from heat.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat eggs with sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 monutes). Add espresso powder, vanilla, and cooled melted chocolate, beating until smooth.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt and add to chocolate mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in remaining semisweet chocolate until combined well.

Using a small scoop, place dough on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake cookies in oven 22-24 minutes, until tops begin to crack (do not overbake). Cool cookies on a rack.

*McCormick provided me with some spices and vanilla for my use but all opinions about it are my own


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