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Archive for Cookies-Cake-Pastry

GOURMET GIVEAWAY: Win Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chip CookiesLearn about peanut butter, and maybe you’ll win these chocolate peanut butter chip cookies from Solomon’s Gourmet Cookies.   Are you nuts for peanut butter? Or do you simply love chocolate chip cookies? Take the Peanut Butter Trivia Quiz in THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet Giveaway this week, and you may win a prize of two dozen luscious peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from Solomon’s Gourmet Cookies (we reviewed these cookies last year and ate every last crumb—they’re also kosher-certified). Just answer four fun trivia questions about peanut butter—you don’t even have to answer them correctly. Everyone who enters has an equal chance of winning. Take the quiz, from March 3rd through March 9th for the prize, or anytime for fun. You’ll learn great factoids and will be able to impress your friends that you know where it was invented, by whom, and why.
Learn more about peanut butter in the Jam, Jelly & Peanut Butter Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Banana Creme Pie Day

White Chocolate Banana Tart
This white chocolate banana tart, scrumptious in and of itself, has been accessorized with a chocolate straw, a miniature cookie, fresh raspberries and a mint sprig. Recipe and photograph courtesy of El Rey Chocolate.
  It’s National Banana Creme Pie Day. As we were going through our recipes, we found this one for a White Chocolate Banana Tart, which is far more interesting (sorry the photo isn’t better). It’s made with El Rey’s Icoa white chocolate, which many people feel is the finest white chocolate made (Icoa was a native goddess). However, it’s hard to find, so buy any top-quality white chocolate bar. Be sure to read the ingredients label: If the words “vegetable oil” appear, steer clear!—it’s imitation chocolate, and won’t taste so good. Look for the words “cocoa butter.”
Tart Dough Ingredients
• 7 tablespoons lightly salted butter, at room temperature
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1-3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
Tart Dough Directions

1. Cream the sugar and butter using the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl.
3. Add the flour. Mix until combined. Refrigerate at least one hour before rolling out.
4. Roll out the tart dough. Using tart pans that have been sprayed with baker’s spray, line each tart pan with dough. NOTE: After tart dough has been rolled out, it can be chilled for at least an hour and re-rolled. After the dough has been re-rolled once, discard it.
5. Poke shells with a fork and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.Pastry Cream Ingredients
• 1-1/3 cups whole milk
• 1/2 vanilla bean
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
• 1 envelope gelatin, softened in 1/4 cup water and melted
• 4 ounces El Rey Icoa or other top quality white chocolate, finely chopped
• 2 ripe bananas, puréed

Pastry Cream Directions
1. Whisk together eggs, sugar and corn starch.
2. Bring the milk to a boil, with the vanilla bean scraped into it. At the boiling point, add some of the hot milk to the egg/sugar mixture and whisk together.
3. When the milk boils, stir in the egg mixture and lower the heat to medium. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until custard thickens and begins to pull from the side of the pot.
4. In a stainless steel bowl, pour the custard on top of the white chocolate. Whisk together until the chocolate is melted. Stir in the butter. Add the melted gelatin and whisk together.
5. Add the puréed banana. Cool in an ice water bath. Refrigerate until needed.

Assembling The Banana Tarts
Ingredients

• 1 recipe banana-white chocolate pastry cream (above), chilled
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 4 bananas
• Optional garnishes: raspberries, mint leaves, chocolate straws, miniature cookies

Assembly Directions
1. Whip the heavy cream and sugar until stiff.
2. Whisk the chilled banana pastry cream.
3. Fold 2/3 of the whipped cream into the banana pastry cream. Reserve the remaining whipped cream for garnish.
4. Fill each tart shell with banana pastry cream.
5. Using a propane torch or the broiler in your oven, brown the sliced bananas.
6. Arrange the bananas around the inside edge of the tarts.
7. Using a pastry bag, pipe a rosette of whipped cream in the center of each tart. If you do not have a pastry bag, scoop a dollop of whipped cream into the center of each tart.
8. Garnish with raspberries, mint leaves, chocolate and cookies and serve.

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NEWS: The Exceptional Brownie Now Exceptionally Kosher

Peanut Brownie
The Exceptional Brownie’s Peanutty Swirl is one of the dairy brownies.
  The Exceptional Brownie, which produces its brownies under a kosher-dairy certification from KOF-K, is producing some of its flavors under a kosher-parve certification from the Orthodox Union. With the 15% annual growth of the kosher food market, company founder Claire Sauerhoff reports that the need existed to produce both a dairy brownie (made with butter) and a parve brownie (made with margarine). People who observe kosher dietary laws do not eat dairy products with meat products; there is a six-hour waiting period after meat has been consumed before dairy-based products can be consumed (including even a bit of milk in tea or coffee, or any dessert that contains butter, cream, cream cheese, sour cream or other dairy product). Now, with the dual choice from The Exceptional Brownie, people who love all-butter baked goods can plan their days (brownies and blondies for breakfast?), and people who want a brownie after a meat-based breakfast or lunch can munch away on the parve version. Both recipes use premium chocolate, real vanilla and other top ingredients.
Read our review of The Exceptional Brownie, whose dairy brownies are available in Berry Nutty, Blondie, Butterscotch Blondie, Espresso Choco-Chip, Double Chocolate, Peanutty Swirl, Raspberry Swirl and Walnut Double Chocolate. The Exceptional Brownie’s Walnut Double Chocolate Brownie was the winner in a national competition sponsored by COPIA, the American Center for Food, Wine and The Arts, founded by Julia Child and Robert Mondavi (among others) in Napa Valley. The parve brownies are available in Double Chocolate. Find more of our favorite brownies in the Cookies & Brownies Section of THE NIBBLE online magazine.

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ENTERTAINING: Academy Award Nominee Cookies

Academy Award CookiesWho wouldn’t want to take a bite out of Johnny Depp?   Invite the Best Actor and Best Actress nominees to your Oscar party—at least, in cookie effigy. Every year, we spring for these cookies from Eleni’s, a New York City bakery that specializes in hand-decorated cookies in every conceivable design. They outdo themselves with their Academy Award cookies, creating a set of Best Actor and Best Actress cookies with great likenesses of the performers. The only downside: 16 of these cookies are about $60, plus shipping. But, sometimes fun doesn’t come cheap. Read our review of Eleni’s Cookies, and find our other favorite cookies and brownies in THE NIBBLE online magazine.
 

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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Banana Bread Day

To celebrate National Banana Bread Day, we offer you two recipes:- Peanut Butter Banana Bread from our friends at P.B. Loco
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread from acclaimed pastry chef Pichet Ong, formerly of the Jean Georges Vongerichten empire and now proprietor of P*ONG in New York CityThe one tip we can give when making banana bread is: use very ripe bananas. If your bananas are overripe, don’t thrown them out—make banana bread (or banana daiquiris). And if you’re making the chocolate chip recipe, buy the best-quality chocolate chips you can find.
  Chocolate Chip Banana BreadUse top-quality chocolate chips and very ripe bananas, and bake up a loaf of heaven.
 

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