I believe everyone should have one cookie recipe that they know by heart — one that can be easily whipped together to welcome new babies, offer up at potlucks and make on a whim when you need a touch of sweet homemade comfort.
For some people, that cookie is a basic chocolate chip. For others, it’s a rough and tumble mix of oats, nuts and dried fruit. And I know other folks who can make peanut butter or sugar cookies with their eyes closed.
The basic requirements of this type of cookie are that the ingredients can be kept in the kitchen cupboard, that you need only a bowl or two to make it, that it drops from spoon to baking sheet with ease (no roll-out cookies need apply) and that it tastes good. Being sturdy enough to withstand the U.S. Postal Service is not required, but it’s a plus.
Before you start baking, read these tips
Try a salty spin on an old ice cream-truck favorite, the Choco Taco. Fill taco shells with softened vanilla ice cream and freeze until hard, about 2 hours. Melt 6 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate in the microwave, then stir in 6 tablespoons chopped butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup. Dip the tacos in the chocolate, sprinkle with chopped peanuts and let harden, about 2 minutes.
(Photograph by Kang Kim)
Food Network Magazine asked Food Network’s Facebook fans what they’d take first from a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. Some flavors get all the love.
Get the results
Bark (noun): Tough protective covering of the woody stems of trees
Popcorn + Peanut Bark (noun): Delicious dark chocolate covering that protects buttery, salty, freshly popped popcorn and peanuts
Bark (verb): to speak in an unfriendly tone when it’s all gone
Now that Halloween is over and the holidays are right around the corner, are you starting to panic? Is your heart racing and blood pressure sky-rocketing? This disorder may have everything to do with the fact that you haven’t a clue which direction to go as far as holiday gifts are concerned. Relax and take a deep breath — I am going to make your gift-giving very easy this year.
Gifts of food, especially sweet ones, speak volumes to your friends and family. Everyone on your list will feel special.
I recently came across Food Network Magazine‘s article about Mix-and-Match Chocolate Bark and was inspired to whip up something spooky for Halloween. The ingredients were simple, the directions were easy and the result was mouthwatering brilliance.
I decided to adapt the chocolate bark for the fall season and Halloween. I chose a dark-chocolate cookie with orange cream filling. You could use candy corn, orange marshmallows, orange-colored candy melts or any other Halloween-inspired treat.
1 (12-oz.) bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
15 Halloween-themed cookies (like Oreos), chopping each cookie into four pieces
Keep reading for directions
Father’s Day is all about chocolate and letting Dad watch whatever TV he wants that day. At least it is in my family. You see, in our family of four, there is only one guy, my dad. We out number him in everything. He wants to watch football? Too bad, we’ve got the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy to watch. Game seven of the playoffs? Nope, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills just started. So you see, the girls win almost all of the time. But not on Father’s Day. We’ll let Dad watch just about whatever he wants and we promise to only complain a few times.
My dad is a chocolate fanatic. I don’t know how he manages to stay so fit when he always has a constant supply of homemade chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate brownies, chocolate layered cake etc., stocked in the freezer in case of a sweet tooth “emergency.” So when Father’s Day rolls around, it’s a no-brainer that we’re going to make him something that’s going to satisfy his chocolate sweet tooth.
This year’s Father’s Day treat is The Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Sheet Cake.
It’s decadent to say the least and it’s exactly what Dad needs this coming Sunday. Plus, it makes a boatload of cake that you could share with your neighbors or fellow dads celebrating this special day.
Get the recipe
Two desserts that are decadently delicious on their own, chocolate and pie, are bettered only when combined, creating an intensely rich and comforting dish that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Whether you’re serving guests or simply preparing an after-dinner treat for your family, Food Network’s top five chocolate pie recipes will impress crowds and kids alike.
5. Moo-Less Chocolate Pie — Alton’s milk-free dessert boasts traditional taste and texture, thanks to semisweet chocolate chips, a squeeze of honey and one secret ingredient: silken tofu.
4. Bobby’s Lighter Frozen Chocolate Mousse Pie — Made with low-fat milk and fat-free whipped topping, this no-bake pie guarantees guilt-free decadence without sacrificing your favorite flavors.
Get the top three recipes
Make chocolate chip cookies exactly how you like them with these tips from Food Network Magazine:
- Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies (pictured above) bake longer than the average cookie so they end up brown all over, not just around the edges.
- Superfine sugar makes for a fine crumb and crisp texture.
- Vegetable oil helps the batter spread so the cookies come out extra thin.
Make the perfect chewy and cakey chocolate chip cookie »
Each month, Food Network Magazine puts chefs from Food Network Kitchens to the test: Create recipes that put a new spin on a pantry staple like mixed nuts or instant coffee.
Chocolate syrup isn’t just a sundae add-on: This month, Derek Flynn and Liz Tarpy put a new spin on this childhood favorite.
Recipe: Chocolate Waffles (pictured above)
Derek says: “I always have chocolate syrup in the fridge, so these waffles are an easy breakfast treat.”
Some restaurants let you have your chocolate and drink it, too.
The Peninsula, Chicago
When The Peninsula needed a cocktail to complete its chocolate buffet spread, bartender Aaron Johnson developed three, and all of them ended up on the regular bar menu. This S’mores Martini (pictured above) causes the most fuss: Patrons smell the barkeeps toasting the marshmallow rim and can’t help but order one for themselves. 108 East Superior St.; peninsula.com
More chocolate cocktails »