Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Photo credit: Tazzmaniac

Photo credit: Tazzmaniac

I have the uncanny ability of being able to “hear” chocolate.  It calls to me, “You know you want me. Just one little bite.” I was 9 or 10 when I first heard it. It was just before Christmas, and I had a wrapped box of chocolates under the bed for my dad. I tossed and turned for hours, but those little chocolates just had to tell me about their flavours and how creamy they were. Who could stand such torture? I tore off the wrapping paper and ate every last one of my tormentors. Sigh.

I wish that I could say that was the last time chocolate has made a fool of me, but I’m a slow learner. Within a year my little sister brought me a chocolate bar. The kid was three and I knew perfectly well that she had gotten that chocolate from somewhere off limits. But I could blame the three-year-old when people started asking questions. I paid for that one. Turns out the chocolate was a laxative, and I had taken a mega dose. Nobody bothered punishing me. I suffered enough. Instead they bring it up at every single family gathering. In the end, though, I won. I learned how to quiet the pesky chocolate voices. We have a freezer in a shed at the end of our long driveway where I keep my chocolate. I can barely hear it now.



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I’ve mostly given up baking; I find it far too tempting. Who knows how many calories have been gobbled by the time I lick off the beaters, wooden spoon, spatula and bowl (I have some huge bowls.) I’ve passed off the baking to my daughters, and it’s an arrangement that works for all of us.

Tonight though, I made some black-bean brownies to take to a pot-luck. Yep, you heard me right, the main ingredient—black-beans. I don’t go for super healthy, but gross stuff. These are good, really good.

IMG_1443[1]So your supposed to pour all the ingredients into a food processor and mix it, but I don’t have a food processor, so I pulled out my trusty blender.

I couldn’t find the lid. Not unusual. Oh well, a bowl works just as well for a lid (except it rattles.) I rarely use a lid anyway. I like to trust my instincts. (I have a knack for knowing the consistencies and speeds where spray is likely to occur. Ha! What’s a little spray?)

The last time we made these brownies is when the kids’ home-teacher came over to see their portfolios. She’s off wheat, so I told her that we’d make these great wheat free brownies for her. So, we pull out all the ingredients—and I’m out of cocoa. Seriously?! So that 5 pound box of cocoa that I bought a few years back really did have a bottom. Oh well, we substituted the sugar and cocoa with chocolate icing and hot chocolate powder. It was…a little strange.

Then there was that crazy binge last summer… I had been visiting my dear friend Miriam and was just about to leave when she hands me a stack of two heart shape tins. “Happy Birthday, Rachel. They’re those black-bean brownies you like.”

“Thank you!” I gushed and gave her a big hug. She doesn’t have to tell me that they have mint icing. Its enticing aroma is spinning my head. Miriam knows that I’m crazy about that combination.

“Don’t eat them all at once,” she says with one side of her mouth smiling and a rather direct look.

“I won’t!” I said with a laugh.

As soon as I’m out of sight of the house, I crack the lid off the top tin and scoop up a brownie—moist, rich, but balanced with the coolness of mint. Amazing.

“Can we have one mom,” says a sweet voice from behind me.

“These are my birthday present you know.”

“You’ll probably eat them all,” another voice pipes up.

I decide to be generous and hand out six of my brownies to the children. Soon, I was into the bottom tin. It was easy to justify it. These brownies are crazy healthy, I said to myself, all that great protein from the eggs and black-beans, and coconut oil is such a healthy fat. Coconut sugar is low-glycemic too. (I don’t really know what that means, but it sounded pretty convincing to myself.) And then…there was only one little brownie left, so I ate it, because what’s the point of leaving just one?

So, you’ll understand why I’m a little worried to have two pans sitting on my counter. I think I’ll put on some mint icing. 😉
And the recipe is:

1 can of black beans rinsed
3 eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup coconut sugar or white sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips

Ready for icing

Ready for icing

Preheat oven to 350F. Add all ingredients (except chocolate chips) to a food processor (or blender if your prepared to work at it!) and puree. Stir in chocolate chips and pour into a pre-greased 8×8 pan. Bake for about 35 min. Ice with mint icing or eat with ice cream.

Share with your children. 🙂

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It’s no secret that I’m crazy about chocolate (Don’t Touch My Chocolate!) and regular chocolate chip cookies were just not going to cut it, so I did a search on Double Chocolate Cookies and did I ever find a winner. I’m going to post the recipe here so I don’t lose it and so you can make me some for my birthday! (Which is in 11 months and 1 day, but who’s counting?) 😉

Double Chocolate Cookies

1 c. butter or stick margarine
1½ c. white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
2/3 c. cocoa
¾ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugar and add eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and add to butter mixture. (I always cheat here and mix my dry ingredients together on top of the wet before stirring together. I’m not a fan of dirtying unnesassary dishes, but I’m putting in the proper instructions in case you are. 🙂 ) Stir in chocolate chips and drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes until just set and allow to cool slightly on sheets before transferring to racks to cool.

I substituted butterscotch chips for a ¼ of the chocolate chips because I thought it would look nice. But I think white chocolate chunks would look even better. I also quadrupled the recipe because I quadruple every recipe and ended up with 19 dozen cookies! It’s a good thing they taste so good, (or maybe that’s a bad thing!) Anyway, the recipe should yield 4-5 dozen amazingly soft, chewy and decadent cookies. Enjoy!

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Don’t Touch My Chocolate!

What is it about chocolate that is so inviting? Savouring a piece of exquisite chocolate is like adding fireworks to my day. And I know I’m not the only one to find it so delightful. I guess it’s one of the mysteries of life.

I should probably admit that I get more than my fair share of the chocolate that gets sent to us at Christmas. I can even be a little possessive of my chocolate hoard at times. I was recently chopping some chocolate when a sweet little voice said, “Can we have some Mommy?”

“Don’t touch my chocolate!” I replied, only half joking. “Children,” I said in a sweeter tone, “you can have a cookie, but this is Mommy’s chocolate.” …..silence. At this point I started to feel a little ridiculous about being so possessive about my chocolate. “Oh, all right,” I finally relented, “you can have some.” And for the record, I gave them each a big piece.

When we have chocolate in the house I am always aware of it. It’s almost like it calls me. It is subtle at first and I can ignore it, but soon it becomes more persistent and I find myself drawn to the pantry… yet again. When the temptation gets too much for me, I put the chocolate in the freezer. This works quite well as the freezer is a third of a kilometre from the house and it effectively quiets the calling. This uncanny ability of being able to “hear” chocolate has gotten me into trouble before now.

I remember it vividly. I was 9 and it was just before Christmas. I had done all my Christmas shopping and had even wrapped my gifts. All the gifts were safely stashed under my bed and I felt the satisfaction of a job well done. One of the gifts was a box of chocolate for my Dad.

I first heard the calling as I was in bed that night. Yep, it was the chocolate. I honestly tried to ignore it and go to sleep. I have no idea how long this internal wresting went on for, but in the end the chocolate won and I ate it all. It was a very sad little girl who finally fell into a fitful sleep that night. I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t the last time chocolate would get the best of me.

Only a short while later I was watching TV in my grandparents living room when my 3 year old sister came in with fistfuls of chocolate. She didn’t like chocolate (what’s not to like about chocolate?) but knew that I loved it. So… the darling brought it to me (good intentions I’m sure.)

Now, I really should have asked where the chocolate came from, but I felt that it was safer not to ask. She had probably found a secret stash somewhere, but if I didn’t know, I could plead innocence and blame it on the 2 year old. Once again I ate it all. {sigh}

Unbeknownst to me, Sarah had been digging around in the medicine cabinet and had found a box of Ex-Lax (a laxative). I was in misery, and the worst of it was that it was my own fault and a close second was the fact that my entire family found my situation absolutely hilarious. I have never lived that one down.

You might think, that I should just abstain from chocolate altogether and you might be right. It’s certainly caused me some grief over the years, and yet, I am hopeful. I firmly believe that one day I will be able to master the urge to eat it all and learn the discipline of moderation.

Besides, chocolate is good for you. I’m serious! This is a medical breakthrough in my books! Dark chocolate contains both flavonoids and antioxidants and in small amounts actually lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. So go ahead and enjoy, in moderation of course!

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