When Spane was a toddler, I had him on a reward system and he had been an exceptionally good boy. I took him to the store, and as we were passing by the bakery aisle, he insisted that he wanted the fresh pumpkin cookies. I don’t like pumpkin, but since he was deserving a treat, I bought them for him. When he ate one, he loved it, and made me taste one. Wow! They were great! My only problem was that they had preservatives and GMO pumpkin, I thought I could do better, and I did.
What’s Special about These Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are usually hard after they have cooled off. I like them when they have not cooled completely and are still bendable. These cookies are like little pillows, nice and soft, and chewy, with just the right amount of chocolate and not overwhelmingly sweet. They remind me of muffin tops, but are denser.
You can get non-GMO pumpkin puree at your local Whole Foods or other organic food store. If you don’t care about GMO, then regular pumpkin puree will do fine. If you want to use fresh pumpkin, you will have to puree it first and adjust the moisture as fresh pumpkin puree has more moisture than canned.
When I made this recipe, I halved it because I had a small can of puree. Using a small ice cream scoop, I still wound up with 4 dozen cookies.These cookies should be stored covered, with a bit of paper towel over them.
I recently joined a great MeetUp, Entrepreneurs Professionals Glendale, and wanted to bring something nice for everyone to share. One of the members, Aron Ganz of Ganz Media gave the berries their name, Strawberry Torpedoes, a much shorter name, and I am grateful for that!
This is a group of entrepreneurs and professionals, who own small to medium businesses. We are not drones of the corporate world, and realize that even though being self-employed has its difficulties, it has huge rewards. Our group, led by Lynn Sarkany of MarketFinders, meets to exchange ideas to help our businesses, share stories, and network with each other. If you are a like-minded individual, you might consider joining us. Please visit Entrepreneurs and Professionals to find out more.
I had recently found a whole bunch of baking chocolate on sale, had some strawberries and a package of cream cheese. But, instead of making the Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries that I made last time, I thought I would add a little more adult flavor to the dish.
I added cocoa, coffee, vanilla, almond and cinnamon to the cream cheese filling, and I injected the berries with balsamic vinegar. When you bite into these berries, they explode flavor into your mouth.
The other day, when I was perusing Pinterest, I came across something that looked fabulous. It was strawberries stuffed with cream cheese, and it was called Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries. I pinned it, and decided it would make a nice treat for the kids in Spane’s class going to the Planetarium field trip. Last year, I made White Chocolate Rum Raisin Cookies for Mrs. Mary’s class when we went to The Natural Science Museum.
I lucked out, and strawberries were Buy One box, Get One Free. There are 24 kids in Spane’s class, plus the teacher, and possibly one or two more parents who, like me, volunteered to go on the trip to help with the children. There were enough strawberries, with a few extra for the house.
I decided to change the original recipe a little and dip the strawberries in chocolate. All the recipes on the Internet tell you to add shortening to the chocolate to temper it. I don’t like shortening, and I knew that I had dipped strawberries before without it. Of course, looking in The Joy of Cooking, I found that I didn’t need shortening at all, just a candy thermometer, that I have a nice glass one with a clip. There are instructions later in this post about how to do this.
It’s my birthday, and I can make anything I want to! It’s also Founder’s Night at my son Spane’s school, so I thought I should bring something to liven up the festivities. I got up early this morning and make two kinds of fudge, Rose Fudge and Black Forest Fudge. As of this writing, there are no pictures, but there will be as soon as it sets.
I love the flavor of roses, there is nothing like it. I have some rose syrup that I often put in lemonade, and love roses with peaches. What could be better in fudge?
One of my favorite cakes is a Sour Cherry Fudge cake, and I’m making that for my birthday cake (more later), so I decided to take that to the candy level as well.
Leo (in red) and Mateo holding the White Chocolate Cherry cookies
Today is the 17th of December, in the year of our Lord, 2011. My friend Valencia had emailed me about having her child come for a sleep over a few weeks ago. Spane then came to me and asked if his other friend could sleep over. Then Spane and Noelle started practicing Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer at the park, and the idea sparked in my head to have a kid’s Christmas party.
So, today we’re baking and making candy. I’m writing down the recipes on cards that I’ll give to the children so we won’t have to do anything with the computer except take pictures.
Before we get cooking, here’s a little entertainment for you. Presenting Mr. Leo, Mr. Spane, and Miss Noelle doing their rendition of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. Amber and I are backup singers (seriously, we’re off camera).