Caution: Caveman Cooking

Recipes so easy, even a … Well, you know!

Posts Tagged ‘nuts’

Meteors & Melting Chocolate

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 14, 2010

Hand-Dipped Holiday CookiesI’ve always been a sky junkie. It doesn’t matter if there is something special going on in the celestial realm … I could just sit and look at the stars for hours. Throw in a major meteor shower and clear skies, and I will just sit and look at the stars for hours! So was the case tonight as the Geminid meteor shower, the most prolific sky show of the year, was available to all who cast a heavenly gaze.
But, before I could head out for a couple hours of star staring, I had to help out with a few Holiday honey-do’s. Our annual Holiday card had to be signed ad-infinitum, and our Holiday cookies needed to be hand-dipped in melted chocolates. The former I begrudgingly agreed to. The latter, however, I readily raised my hand for! I mean, what could be better than dipping Double Stuf Oreos, Nutter Butters, Walker’s Shortbread, pretzel twists, and cashew-pretzel clusters in Milk and White Chocolate?!?! Of course, as a “Chef”, you have to sample your wares before they can be offered for public consumption. Plus, any dip-ables that don’t come out “clean” become fair game! Add in the fact that our photo-processed cards don’t quite have palpable flavor, and you can see why my allegiances lie where they do.
I know you are saying to yourself, “Hey, Cave! These look great, but how about sharing some of these choco-coated cookies with the rest of us????”. Well, until they improve computing/internet technology to be able to download some of these yummy seasonal treats, the best I can do is offer the recipe we posted last year for making these delicious delights: Hand-Dipped Holiday Cookies.

Geminid Meteor Shower

Image courtesy of NationalGeographic.com


As for the Geminid meteor shower, much like the cookies, it lived up to the hype! I stepped outside the house and immediately saw a bright streak cross a good portion of the visible sky. I walked up the street to a nearby neighborhood park to avoid the street lights, set up my lawn chair, and was instantly treated to an amazing show. Perhaps, not as amazing as Roger Waters performing “The Wall”, as he did tonight in Anaheim. But, certainly getting to see 3-5 meteors per minute, while only having a clear view of 1/3 of the skyline and fighting the effects of light-to-moderate light pollution, qualifies as a very impressive performance. And, it wasn’t all about the quantity, either. The quality of many of the small balls of fire were nothing short of majestic.
All in all, it was a great night. Got much of our Holiday bucket-list done, munched many hand-dipped delectables, and got my astral fix! If only every night could be so fulfilling. 😉
By the way, (insert shameless self-promoting plug here) tomorrow is the last day to enter our final giveaway of the year! Don’t miss your chance to be one of four lucky winners to score over $700 in professional cookware from Man Pans in our Want Pans? Giveaway.

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Advertisements

Posted in Christmas, Desserts, Hanukkah, Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Hand-Dipped Holiday Cookies

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 17, 2009


Who says you have to know how to bake to make some tantalizing Holiday treats? The Cavewoman (who is actually an incredible baker) and I easily dipped our way to some much ballyhooed Holiday cheer. Let me show you how we did it.

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Merckens Chocolate Melts (1 Dark Cocoa, 1 Super White)
4 Ounces Non-Pariels (“Sprinkle Balls”)
3 24+ Ounce packages of your favorite cookies
1 Medium bag of pretzels
1/4 Pound of your favorite nuts

RECIPE

First, make sure you get the real deal when it comes to melting chocolates. Merckens makes great stuff and is widely available in stores and on the web. We prefer the Dark Cocoa Dark and the Super White.
HINT #1: When you go in to get the “Sprinkle Balls”, don’t call them that! Use the term “Non-Pariels”, or you are likely to be roundly corrected. I speak from experience! Though, for our purposes, “Sprinkle Balls” will be gladly accepted here. 😉

Next, spread some wax paper or tin foil on your counter while heating some water in a double boiler. When water boils, add one pound (do just one color at a time) of chocolate wafers to the top half of the double boiler. Stir with a rubber spatula constantly until chocolate becomes creamy and smooth. Be careful to not overcook or it will become clumpy.
HINT #2: Save about 1/4 cup of each wafer color to do some easy, yet fancy decorating later on.

While they offer tools specifically made to dip cookies, all you need is a large two-pronged fork. Just put a cookie into the melted chocolate, turn with the fork making sure to coat cookie entirely.

Allow excess coating to drip off of the cookie before placing onto wax paper/foil. If you are decorating with “Sprinkle Balls”, or other toppings, add them now.

Follow the same procedure for other cookies and pretzels.
HINT #3: Our favorites for this recipe include Double Stuf Oreos, Nutter Butter, Shortbread, and Waffle Cookies. Also, we like both the small pretzels and the large pretzel sticks.

When the chocolate level gets too low to dip the cookies, use a spoon to “paint” the cookie with the coating. This is especially effective when coating the shortbread.

When you get to the very last of the chocolate coating, crush up a handful of small pretzels in a plastic bag.

Throw crushed pretzels directly into chocolate pan, add a handful of nuts (we prefer Cashews), and stir with rubber spatula until completely coated with remaining chocolate. Take a large spoon and scoop cookie-sized clusters onto wax paper/foil. You can also use Rice Crispies for this step … either way, it becomes a big clump of chocolate goodness and adds variety, too!

When cookies and clusters are completely dry, take reserved wafers and place into sandwich sized-baggie. Microwave in 20 second intervals until melted smooth and creamy. Be sure to knead the bag between intervals to aid the smoothing process. Again, don’t overcook! When fully melted, cut a very small hole in the corner of the baggy making, in effect, a small disposable frosting bag. Drizzle the chocolate in fun decorative patterns on cookies and clusters.

When drizzles have dried, arrange various cookies, clusters and pretzels onto plates, garnish with foil-wrapped Holiday candies, cover with tin foil, top with a bow, and present to friends and family as a tasty Holiday gift. That is, if you don’t eat them all first! 😉

Prep Time = 15 minutes
Cook Time = 30-45 minutes
Makes 60-70 Cookies, plus Pretzels and Clusters

©2009 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at https://cavemancooking.wordpress.com authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Christmas, Desserts, Hanukkah, Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »