Black Chocolate Ginger Cookies, a Recipe by quornflour

#recipe #nomnom #food #cookie #backing #quornflour

I am sure I have mentioned it before, I am a big fan of ginger and chocolate. Especially since I discovered that Hershey’s chocolate baking powder also comes in “Special Dark”. It’s almost black, it is amazing.

I figured since the Dark Chocolate Ginger Cake I made a while back was such a hit, I would try making some chocolate ginger cookies.

I also happened to have my kitchenaid mixer out after having made Strawberry Rhubarb sorbet, so I swapped out the bowl and the mixer thing and went to work.

Heat your over to 375◦.

Toss these into the mixer in the order below, give the mixer time to mix thoroughly before adding the next.

  • 1 ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ginger powder
  • ¾ cup hershey’s special dark baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped candied ginger (chop it into pieces about the size of chocolate chips)

Place ping pong ball size balls of dough on parchment paper covered cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8 minutes and let cool on a rack.


Alexz’ Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Ice-Cream Sandwiches: a recipe by quornflour

#nomnom #food #foodie #cookies #recipe

My niece Alexz came to visit me for her spring break. It was fun exploring some new spots with her and just hanging out.

We cooked a bit, she cracked me up with her disbelief that corn could be cooked without a microwave (it really seemed corn specific, everything else made sense). She reminded me of her mother who about 10 years ago, when she learned I did not have a microwave she offered to buy me one, in the event it was an expense thing.

One of the things we made were Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Ice-Cream Sandwiches. Alexz made the cookies, which were delicious, even if the 4H method of cracking an egg was crazy funny…

Here are the ingredients for the cookies:

  • 1 Cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 2/3 Cup White Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1¼ Cup Unbleached White Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Peanut Butter Chips
  • 1 Cup Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate Chips


  • Start out by heating your oven to 370◦
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together shortening and white sugar until fluffy
  • Add eggs and vanilla extract, mixing thoroughly
  • Mix in brown sugar
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda
  • Slowly add to the wet ingredients and mix forming a dough
  • Add chocolate and peanut butter chips, mix until they are more or less evenly distributed
  • On a cookie sheet lines with parchment paper, place 2 tablespoon balls of dough about 2-3″ apart
  • Bake for 9 minutes
  • Transfer from baking sheet to cooling rack and let cool

If you want to make ice-cream sandwiches, simply put about 2 tablespoons of ice-cream between 2 cooled cookies and enjoy!



Dark Chocolate Ginger Cake, a Recipe by quornflour

This weekend it was my friend’s birthday. The plan was to go out to dinner with his twin sister and her family and I wanted to make a cake. I like making cake.

I originally was going to make a Mexican Hot Chocolate inspired cake, but on the drive home from the grocery store, the plan morphed and what resulted was quite certainly the crowning achievement of my cake baking to date.

I needed a few ingredients, so I popped into my favorite grocery store in Saint Paul: the Mississippi Market.

One of the things I was looking for was something to top the cake with, I wanted something with a kick, but I wasn’t entirely certain what. As I stood staring at the candy bars trying to find a hot pepper chocolate bar and being unsuccessful, all the crystalized ginger was yelling at me. Everywhere I looked, ginger this, ginger that, ginger in chocolate, chewy ginger, crystalized ginger… Now my friend’s favorite flavor is ginger… so I grabbed a bar and headed to the check out.

As I was driving home, rocking to some random tune on the Current, it hit me. Of course, a ginger chocolate cake. Duh!

It take a little preparation, but trust me, it is all so worth it.

Here is what you will need:

  • Cake:
  • 3 tablespoons dried ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried cayenne powder
  • 2/3 cups of canola oil or similar
  • 2 teaspoons of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of room temp dark roast coffee (brewed)
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of Hersey’s® Special Dark baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Heat your oven to 350◦F

In a double boiler heat the oil and add the ginger and cayenne pepper, this will help bring out the flavor of the spices, set it aside to cool back to room temperature.

Once it is room temperature add the vinegar, coffee and mix well.

In a separate bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and mix well.

Combine wet and dry together and pour into a very well-greased Bundt cake pan (will also make 2 10″ rounds).

Place in the oven for 55 minutes remove when a toothpick comes out dry. (If using rounds about 35 minutes should be enough).

Remove the cake from the pan and let cook on a rack.

Once it is cool you will want to make a glaze, for this you are going to need:

  • 1/3 cup of salted butter or salted butter spread
  • ¼ cup of Hersey’s Special Dark baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered ginger
  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup of Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew
  • 1 chopped crystalized ginger and chocolate bar, chopped (freeze it and chop it then store it in the freezer until you are ready for it)

In a double boiler melt the butter and add the chocolate and ginger and mix thoroughly

Pour butter mix over the powdered sugar and add the ginger brew to thin it out and make it pourable.

I let it sit for a minute or 3 to cool and thicken so it does not just all drip off the cake.

Get the chopped candy bar out of the freezer.

Pour the glaze over the cake and top with half the candy bar, then pour more glaze over top and then top with the rest of the bar.


Cookie Time by quornflour

In Boston there is this old jail, the Charles Street Jail, it was converted into a swanky hotel. It went from the place you might pay not to spend the night, to a place people pay premium for a night.

I have never stayed there, but they do have a bar and restaurant that I have been to a few times. They have good drinks. What they also have is super delicious chocolate chip cookies.

The great thing about their cookies is they are served warm and with the recipe. Everyone has heard the urban legend of the 250$ recipe.

Anyway, I was going through my cell phone photos and I found a photo of the cookie and the cookie recipe, so I figured I would share.

Happy Sunday!

I Scream for Breakfast by quornflour

Every Wednesday at work we have breakfast. It started with bagels, then we added a lot of the standards: waffles, pancakes, French toast, smoothies, even scrapple, eggs and grits.

Then people had suggestions and other ideas which lead to:

  • Sugar Cereal Smackdown
    • every type of sugar cereal you can find in the supermarket
  • Baguettefest
    • fresh baguettes, French cheese (you know the kind where you eat the crust too), real butter and a variety of jams and jellies
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup (when we move it to lunch)
    • who doesn’t love this? Nothing fancy, totally on the cheap, white bread, butter flavored Pam, American cheese
    • Tomato soup is the standard Campbell’s tomato with stewed tomato chunks and some basil (one batch made with milk, one with water)
  • Oatmeal
    • Irish oats, slow cooker, super delicious as long as someone is willing to get up early!
  • Holiday Breads:
    • Homemade breads by the team chefs

One day I was talking to my friend and I asked what he thought we should have for breakfast the next week. He, in jest, suggested ice-cream. I thought about it for about 7 seconds and decided it was a good idea. Seriously, it is no worse for you than sugar cereal, right?

I picked up loads of fruit, berries, vanilla ice cream, Rice Krispies and a variety of ice cream sauces. I also included Greek yogurt for those who could not quite get on-board the morning ice-cream thing. Overall people seemed to really enjoy it and it was practically healthy.

Readjusting Cake by quornflour

A while back I made chocolate cake, then I rejiggered it and made citrus spice cake.

Around that time a friend of mine posted on facebook about Mexican Hot Chocolate, so today I decided I would make a cake, but decided I would make it with a little kick, it is basically the same as the chocolate recipe but with a few added spices, super delicious.

Here is what you will need for 2 cake rounds.

  • 3 Cups of flour
  • 2 Cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 2-3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2/3 Cups of oil
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua
  • 2 Cups room temp coffee

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients mix with a whisk.

In a smaller bowl mix the wet ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix with whisk.

Pour into greased and floured round cake dishes and bake at 350⁰ for 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out dry.

Let cool on a rack and frost as desired.

Pardon the photo, I leant out my favorite food lens, but I get it back tomorrow!

Sweet and Savory Popcorn by quornflour

There was a point in my life where I thought Nutella was Marmite.

I know: very few similarities.

I am not entirely sure where the connection came from, other than I can trace it back to my time in the UK.

At any rate, it does not really matter. They are different, and I am not entirely sure I would make Marmite popcorn, though, never say never.

I will however make Nutella popcorn, because it is: Yum-o!

First make popcorn, I prefer to make it on the stovetop, mostly because it is the only method I have.

To make it on the stove top take a 5 quart pot, pour kernels so they make a single layer on the bottom (about ½ C) then at peanut oil to fill in the spaces (no more than 2 tablespoons). Cover (if your lid does not have a vent leave a little opening but not one bigger than a kernel).

Put the burner on high and listen, when you hear the sound of an ocean wave turn the burner to low.

Listen to the corn, the pop will be not unlike steps on an escalator, which I learned about today. Apparently, escalator steps confuse the brain; the steps change height, preventing your brain from making a rhythm. Or at least that is my unscientific understanding. You will hear the popping start a few pops, then get faster and then reduce again to a few pops, when the pops slow significantly, remove from the heat.

In a metal spoon take 2-3 Tablespoons of Nutella and place in the warm popcorn for a few seconds to soften. Transfer the popcorn into a large bowl stirring with the Nutella spoon, if it gets stuck with popped corn transfer to another spoon back and forth until all of the corn has Nutella on it.

Salt with about a teaspoon of kosher salt after the Nutella and mix again.

Yell: Yum-o! At the top of your lungs (honest it is way more delicious when you do this.) then enjoy!

Mmm Cake by quornflour

Ever have one of those days, where the only thing that will make you happy is cake?



Okay, perhaps it is hormones, whatever.

Sunday, I wanted cake.

I looked for recipes, they seemed good but I then realized I was missing vanilla. When the recipe called for water… I thought to myself, meh, it is chocolate cake, water, coffee, coffee, water. Same difference… especially since I had a half a pot of late brewed coffee sitting in my coffee pot that I just could not simply chuck out.

So like I have said before I can never leave well enough alone. So I took an already delicious cake recipe and make it more delicious.

Here is my first experiment with making cake in a very long time… turned out pretty good, but have some ideas on how to make it even more delicious next time.

Here is what you will need for 2 cake rounds.

  • 3 Cups of flour
  • 2 Cups of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 2/3 Cups of oil
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Kahlua
  • 2 Cups room temp coffee

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients mix with a whisk.

In a smaller bowl mix the wet ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix with whisk.

Pour into greased and floured round cake dishes and bake at 350⁰ for 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out dry.

Let cool on a rack and frost as desired.

I only made one, but then turned it into a “half layered cake” (frost half the cake, cut it in half, frost the second half, if you are careful you can make it look like a layered cake that was half eaten) I frosted it with some most delicious chocolate frosting. I ate a slice. Then I brought a really huge slice to my coffee addicted 82 year old landlady Lil (aka Crazy Lil’ – on account of everyone around here having gone bonkers).

After an exchange of texts which resulted from the Crazy Birds cake that Ben’s parents made him, I brought the rest to work.

Seriously, hormonal or not, I do NOT need that much cake staring at me at home. It’s chocolate; it is not like I can give it to the Doo, besides, Tito and Ernesto need a little more cake love in their life.

Though right now, I am sort of wishing I had kept a slice… maybe time to make a new cake…

Would it be weird to put beats in cake?

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