Fig and Ginger Chocolate Truffles


FOUND- Great recipe, for healthy/ good for you chocolate truffles. Thanks “So Easy” by Ellie Kreiger. Using a filling of sweet nutritious figs, candied ginger, honey and cinnamon; these truffles are chocked full of anti-aging, cancer fighting, antioxidants and did we say… they taste pretty great too… a nice zing from the ginger balanced with the sweetness of honey and figs topped with a hint of warm cinnamon and coated in decadent dark chocolaty goodness, these whip up fast and will go fast too!

Ingredients for about 20- 1″ diameter truffles:

2 cups dried black mission figs, or other dried figs (about 8 ounces)
1/4 cup crystallized ginger (about 2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (60 to 70 percent cocoa solids)

Remove the stems from the figs and discard. Put the figs, ginger, cinnamon and honey in a food processor and process for about 45 seconds, until the ingredients are finely chopped and begin to stick together.
Roll the fig mixture with your hands into heaping teaspoon-sized balls and set them on a baking sheet or plate lined with waxed paper.
Place a small bowl over a saucepan, containing barely simmering water, over low heat Make sure the water is at least 2 inches from the bottom of the bowl. Place the chocolate in the bowl and stir until it is melted. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Roll the fig balls into the melted chocolate 1 or 2 at a time, until they are all covered. Place them back on the waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator until set, about 15 minutes. Serve at room temperature.


Christmas Cookies!!!!

Merry Christmas!  We made some holiday favorites this weekend, Gingersnaps, Pecan Cups, and Double Chocolate Peppermint Bark- all taste tested and approved, so rest easy, if you make these cookies Santa will surely give you what you asked for this year! 
Pecan Cup Cookies
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1 egg
3/4 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 pinch salt
1/4 C. butter
1-3 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 C. flour

– Spray 24 count mini muffin pan with Pam or the like.

– Cream butter and cheese, add flour, and blend well.
– Divide into quarters. Then divide each half into quarters.
– Make a small ball and drop into pan, fit each ball to cup.
– Fill each cup w/ filling, do not overfill, you should see the crust
– Then bake at 350 F for 17 minutes. Then at 250 F for 10 minutes.
– Knock pan to loosen, do not cool in pan.
– Place on cooling rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar
yeild: 24 Cups
1 C. sugar
3/4 C. margarine, softened (you can use butter)
1/4 C. molasses
1 egg
2 C. flour
2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves


– Lightly grease cookie sheets
– Combine first 4 ingredients; blend well
– Stir in remaining ingredients
– Chill dough
– Heat oven to 375 F
– Shape dough into 1″ balls, roll in sugar
– Place 2″ apart on cookie sheet
– Bake 8-10 minutes; cool 1-2 minutes
 Yeild: 6 dozen cookies
Double Chocolate Peppermint Bark
1 pound Dark Chocolate
1 pound White Chocolate
1 ½ teaspoons peppermint extract (divided)
6 Candy Canes, crushed
– Line a jelly roll pan ( or 12 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 1 edge) with parchment paper
– Place candy canes in a plastic bag, crush in to 1/4-inch chunks or smaller
– Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, stir in ½ tsp. peppermint extract
– Pour mixture evenly onto prepared pan and place in the freezer to harden
– Melt the white chocolate in a double boiler, stir in 1 tsp. peppermint extract
– Pour mixture onto dark chocolate layer in cookie sheet, spread evenly quickly and top with candy canes
– Place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm
– Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces (like peanut brittle)
Yeild: 2 pounds of candy

Thanksgiving WIth Friends

Thanksgiving is a great time of year to spend time with friends and make traditions.  This year was our second in a row celebrating Thanksgiving a week prior to the real deal, with all of our friends!  Rob and Laura hosted in their beautiful new home, which meant they made the turkey.  It turned out so flavorful and juicy, just like the pros- it was perfection! We brought along some Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie and the Roasted Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes ( recipes below).  Other tasty additions to our meal included Green Bean Casserole, fresh bread rolls, Sweet Potato Casserole, Lemon Almond Broccoli, Mixed Green Salad with Apple and Apple Dressing, Stuffing, Gravy… and then for a dessert cocktail Lauren brought along homemade Irish Cream- which was so good I can’t even put it in to words to do it justice!  Our Chocolate Pumpkin pie was rivaled only with a delicious homemade Pumpkin Pie- the verdict was Chocolate was very rich and almost similar to a cheesecake and the Original Pumpkin pie was perfect, light, creamy and the perfect blend of pumpkinny spices!

Triple-Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
Serves 12
( the filling made enough to fill 2- 9″ pie crusts, go for a store bought graham crust if desired!)
2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao), finely chopped

6 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 55 percent cacao), chopped
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Ground cloves
1 ounce milk chocolate, melted


1.Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.

2.Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
3.Make the filling: In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.

4.Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.

5.Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Before serving, drizzle melted milk chocolate on top. Serve immediately.
Read more at Triple-Chocolate Pumpkin Pie – Martha Stewart Recipes

Roasted Garlic and Chive Mashed Potatoes
( Serves 12)

5 pound bag of Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and cut in to cubes
1 stick un-salted butter, cut in tablespoons
1 head of garlic, roasted
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/2 cup buttermilk, lowfat

Salt and Pepper

To roast Garlic, wrap the whole clove rubbed with olive oil in foil and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 350.  It should be soft and fragrant. 

Place potatoes in a large pot with water to cover.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook for 30-35 miutes, until potatoes are fork tender.  Drain, return to stove in pot.  To fully dry potatoes, keep flame on under the pot and toss potatoes around until steam ceases.  This keeps your mashed potatoes light and fluffy not pasty. 

Using a fork or hand masher, blend in the whole head of garlic by squeezing each clove out of its shell.  Add in the butter ( save 2 tablespoons), mashing well after each tablespoon.  Slowly add in buttermilk, you may not use all, just mash in till desired consistancy.  Salt and Pepper, add chives and more butter to taste.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Bananas

Chocolate…. Bananas…. Chopped pecans…. We’re not sure we need to say more…. try these out and you really won’t miss ice cream ever again.

4 medium ripe but firm bananas
8 wooden craft sticks
3 tablespoons finely chopped Pecans
6 ounces good quality dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa solids), chopped

Peel, then cut each banana in half crosswise and insert a craft stick into each half. Place on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until frozen, about 3 hours.

Place the peanuts in a shallow dish or on a plate. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over slightly simmering water, over the lowest possible heat, stirring frequently. Make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the top pan. Pour the melted chocolate into a tall glass. Dip each frozen banana into the chocolate, turning it to coat, and immediately roll in the peanuts. Place on a tray covered in waxed paper. Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap or waxed paper and freeze for up to 2 weeks.