Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

The second recipe I made for Sunday Cafe & Kuchen was a Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie from a book called The Hali’imaile General Store Cookbook.I bought this cookbook when we were on the Island of Maui a few years ago. We had somehow heard about the Hali’imaile General Store. We sought out the restaurant and had, to this day, one of our top 10 meals ever! We had to buy the cook book.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – on the Bottom Right
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie

For this recipe I used:

For the pie crust:
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
1/2 Cup plus 1 Teaspoon of Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
2 Tablespoons plus 1 1/2 Teaspoons of Heavy Cream
1/2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
2 Cups of Cake Flour
1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

For the filling:
4 Tablespoons of Unsalted Butter
2 Ounces of Semi Sweet Chocolate
5 Eggs
1 Cup of Sugar
1 1/2 Cups of Dark Corn Syrup
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 Cups of Halved Macadamia Nuts

How it went:

I gathered all of the pie crust ingredients together so thing would go quickly.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – The Ingredients

I sifted the flour, cocoa and the salt together. Mainly to get rid of the lumps in the cocoa.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Sifted Flour & Cocoa

Next I mixed the butter and sugar together until it was well mixed.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Butter & Sugar

I added the egg and the vanilla and mixed well again.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Creamed Butter, Sugar, Egg & Vanilla

Adding the flour mixture end mixing until just mixed.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Adding the the Flour Mixture
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Mixed Pie Dough

I turned the pie dough mixture onto the counter and brought it together and wrapped and refrigerated it for at least an hour.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Ready for the Fridge

After about an hour in the fridge it was time to line the 10″ tart pan.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – 10″ Tart Pan – Removable bottom

I floured the counter and the dough and rolled it out to fit the 10″ tart pan.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Pie Dough Ready to Roll Out
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Rolling out the Pie Dough
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Rolled out Pie Dough

I moved the dough to the pan and trimmed the excess off.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Pie Shell Fitted and Ready for the Oven

The it was time to bake the shell in the oven @ 350˚ for 15 minutes. It may need longer to fully bake. The crust should be dry with a matte finish.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Tart Shell Baked

Now for the easy part. The filling. In a large bowl I added the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Filling Ingredients

In a small sauce pan I melted the butter and chocolate together until just melted.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Melting the Butter and Chocolate

I added the warm chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and whisked until well combined.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Mixed Egg & Chocolate Mixtures

Then I added the macadamia nuts.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Adding the Macadamia Nuts

I carefully added the filling mixture into the tart pan and the put the pan into the same 350˚ oven for an hour and 20 minutes.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Ready for the Oven

My filling cracked because if how I moved the hot pan. I accidentally pushed up on the bottom of the pan. I let it thoroughly cool.

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie – Cooling on the Rack

Cooks notes:

  • ensure the rolled out pie dough is 1/4 of an inch thick. The crust will be soggy otherwise.
  • make sure the crust is fully baked. The crust will be soggy otherwise.
  • the recipe called for macadamia halves. I am going to assume the recipe also called for unsalted macadamia nuts. Following these, this pie turns out to be very expensive. I have made this pie several times with dry roasted salted whole macadamia nuts. The salt dissolves in the sugar and is, in my opinion, unnoticeable.

Happy Easter

Wishing you a Happy Easter. I hope your spring weather is as great as ours is on the West Coast!

Can’t go without chocolate!

Chocolate Cake Gone Bad But, Really Yummy!

As part of out summer entertaining we had another dinner party. Seven for Dinner. I decided to make a chocolate cake that incorporated the fresh local cherries that had just hit the stores.

I planned to make a chocolate cake I have made many times and fill it with 2 layers of whipped cream and cherries and one middle layer of chocolate frosting with chocolate frosting covering the whole cake.

I was going to use the chocolate cake recipe from “In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs”. Chef Jim Dodge shares his recipe for Chocolate Buttermilk Fudge Cake. I was going to use the accompanying recipe for the frosting and wing it with the whipped cream and cherries.

Lets just say everything did not go to plan. The frosting both was not enough for the cake and it really did not work out for me*. I won’t share the frosting part.

Chocolate Cake – Stabilized for Chilling.

For the cake I used:

1/2 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons of Buttermilk Powder
1 Stick of Butter (8 ounces)
1/3 Cup of Cocoa Powder – dutch processed
1 Cup of Whey Low sugar substitute
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Espresso Powder
5 Large Eggs
1 Cup of Cake Flour

For the filling & frosting I used:
2 Cups Whipping Cream (you should use 3)
1 Tablespoon of Icing Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
Approx 1 pound of Pitted Cherries
1/3 Cup Kirsch
1 chocolate frosting recipe

More after the jump…….
I prepared the cake pans by greasing & flouring and lining with parchment rounds. I also used my prepared cake strips to avoid having to trim any dome that may occur while baking.

Chocolate Cake – Greased and Floured Pans with the Soaking Cake Strips
Chocolate Cake – Cake Strips Attached

I then heated the oven to 325˚.

I gathered up all my ingredients so that I was ready to go. This included separating the eggs.

Chocolate Cake – Eggs Ready to go
Chocolate Cake – All of the Ingredients
Chocolate Cake – The Calm before the Storm

I heated the butter in a small pan until it was melted. I added the water to this mixture.

In large bowl I missed the cocoa and 1/2 cup of sugar together and added the baking soda and vanilla and the butter/water mixture. I then added the buttermilk powder to this mixture and set this aside.

Chocolate Cake – Melting Chocolate
Chocolate Cake – Adding the Buttermilk Powder

Adding the buttermilk powder at this stage was incorrect. I should have added the buttermilk powder to the dry ingredient mixture. The cake turned out just fine.

In the clean bowl of my mixer I added the egg whites and whipped them until a foam started. I then slowly added the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. I continued until stiff peaks formed. I then set this aside for a minute.

Chocolate Cake -Lightly Whipped Egg Whites just before adding the Sugar
Chocolate Cake – Stiff Peaks

I took the bowl of chocolate mixture and added the egg yolks, whisking until filly incorporated. I then added the cake flour and gently whisked until this had been incorporated as well.

Chocolate Cake – Adding the Yolks
Chocolate Cake – Thoroughly mixed in Yolks
Chocolate Cake – Just 1 cup of Cake flour for 2 – 8″ Cakes
Chocolate Cake – After mixing in the Cake Flour

After the flour had been incorporated  I then added about 1/4 of the egg whites to the mixture. I quickly folded the mixture together until just light streaks of egg whites were visible. This was to lighten up the batter. I added the rest of the egg whites and carefully folded them in as well.

Chocolate Cake – Just a little bit of the Egg Whites
Chocolate Cake – Almost incorporated
Chocolate Cake – Adding the rest of the Egg Whites
Chocolate Cake – Just barely mixed in Egg Whites

I quickly split the batter between the 2 cake pans and got them into the oven. It took about 35 minutes for the cakes to bake.

Chocolate Cake – Batter split between the two pans and ready to go

Once baked I cooled the pans for 10 minutes on baking racks. After 10 minutes I removed the cakes from the pan and continued to cook them for about 45 more minutes.

Chocolate Cake – Just out of the oven

While the cakes were cooling I pitted the cherries and cut them in half.

At the end of the cooling time I whipped the cream with a little bit of icing sugar and vanilla.

Once cooled, I cut the cakes in half preparing them for filling and frosting.

I placed the first layer on the cake stand then soaked it with Kirsch. I then topped the layer with whipped cream and a layer of cherry halves. I added the second layer of cake, soaked it with more kirsch, and topped it with a layer of chocolate frosting. I added another layer of cake and repeated the Kirsch, whipped cream, and cherry treatment.

Chocolate Cake – First layer ready to go
Chocolate Cake – Like Bacon… Kirsch makes everything better
Chocolate Cake – The first layer complete

I added the final cake layer and topped it with chocolate frosting.

I used my trusty turkey lifter to stabilize the whole cake in the fridge for 40 minutes ( should have been at least 90 minutes). I then added whipped cream to the outside sides of the cake.

Chocolate Cake – Awaiting the big chill

Sorry there is no picture of the final product. I was much too rushed to remember to take one.

While the cake had less than a stellar presentation appearance… it was darned good. Kirsch and chocolate make everything better!!!

Baker’s Notes:

  • no new recipes for company! I had a devil of a time with the frosting and it did not make enough. By the time I assembled the cake time was running short. I ran out of whipped cream and should have used more to cover the top of the cake as well
  • * turns out my new kitchen is very hot due to poor air circulation. Making frostings will require a fan in the kitchen in the future.
  • June 2020 – instead of Cake strips you can try to bake the cakes at 300 degrees and it will take a little longer to bake but turn out reasonably flat

Chocolate-Peppermint Cookies – The Hit of the Christmas Cookie Box

I am always keeping in my the annual cookie box and what recipes would be great. I came across this one from Martha Stewart and thought it would be great. I did make a change and used candy canes rather than peppermint candies.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Packing up the Box

This year I made 6 Batches of this cookie. It required:
6 Cups All-purpose Flour
3 Cups Dutch process cocoa powder
3 Teaspoons Baking Soda
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
3 Teaspoons Salt
15 Ounces of Unsalted Butter
4 1/2 Cups of Sugar
6 Large Eggs
6 Large Egg Yolks
4 1/2 Teaspoons of Peppermint Extract
24 Candy Canes
10 Pounds of White Chocolate

This yields about 432 cookies. WOW!

Due to a vacation in the midst of the holiday baking season last year, I split the mixing and baking of this recipe up. Mixing and freezing one day and the baking and assembly later. Since there a bunch of steps to making this cookie recipe this was a great idea.

I’d love to gear from you. Enjoy!
For the chocolate cookie dough part:

I sifted the flour, coco powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt together and set it aside.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Cookie Dough Ingredients

Next, in a mixer,  I creamed the butter and sugar together for a minute or so, then added the eggs and egg yolk to the mixture and mixed until it was combined, then I added the peppermint oil.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Creamed Butter and Sugar with Eggs

Then I started to add the flour/cocoa mixture on low until everything was just combined. Then I finished off with a spatula until everything was combined thoroughly.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Adding Chocolate & Flour

After the mixing I split the mixture up into smaller squares (12 in all) and wrapped them in plastic wrap flattened. I then placed the discs on a cookie sheet and froze them.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Wrapped and ready for the Freezer

Then I was very fortunate to go on a great cruise!

Aboard the Silver Spirit

After I returned the real work for this recipe started…..

After thawing for a couple of days in the Fridge each square was rolled out to about 1/8″ and used a 2″ circle cutter to stamp out the cookies.

Placing cookies on a lined cookie sheet an inch apart and baking at 325 for 12 minutes. A great smell enters the kitchen of cocoa and peppermint.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – The Baked Cookies

Re-roll the scraps to create more cookies.

The cookies are then cooled on a rack.

In a zipper bag place 12 unwrapped candy canes and crush evenly and reserve for later.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Candy Canes For Crushing

Using  a serrated knife, chop the white chocolate into small pieces. Place the pieces in a double boiler, or a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, and melt chocolate until there are still some lumps left. Remove the chocolate form the heat and continue to stir until smooth.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Melting the White Chocolate

Take each chocolate cookie and dip into the white chocolate and remove with a fork. Gently scrape the bottom of the fork on the side of the chocolate bowl. Place the chocolate coated cookie on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Continue with coating cookies until the cookie sheet is full. When the sheet is full, sprinkle a few pieces of crushed candy cane on each cookie.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Coated Cookies

Place the cookie sheet in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate is set.

To store, put parchment or wax paper between layers of the cookies and keep in a cool place.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookie Recipe

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookie RecipeI chose this cookie this year to add some taste variety to the gifts that I give away and add some visual difference. A pinwheel cookie does just the thing. I originally found this recipe once again from Martha in a Christmas baking supplement a bunch of years ago.

It has been a few years since I last made this cookie but I remember it being tender, tasty, but a little too big.  For this year’s version I changed the chocolate mix, added some additional vanilla, and made the cookies smaller. And of course I can mix and assemble them early to bake off nearer Christmas time.

For this cookie recipe I used:

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

13 1/2 Ounces of Unsalted Butter
3 Cups of Sugar
3 Large Eggs
4 1/2 Teaspoons of Vanilla
6 Cups of Cake Flour (not self rising)
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Salt
4 1/2 Cups of Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
9 Ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate
9 Ounces of Milk Chocolate
1 Cup of Sweetened Condensed Milk

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Measure out the chocolates and 1/2 an ounce of unsalted butter and set aside. Heat water under a double boiler.

In a small bowl place the egg and vanilla for ease in adding later.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Measure out Cake Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt and sift into a medium bowl.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Beat butter and sugar in a mixer with a flat paddle for at least 2 minutes on medium speed.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Scrape down the bowl and add the Egg and Vanilla and mix for another 2 minutes and scrape down the bowl once more.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

With the mixer on slow, add the flour mixture a little at a time until the dough comes together and scrape down the bowl again.

With the mixer still on low add the Coconut until just combined.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Place dough on a piece of parchment paper that is larger than 10 x 15 inches. Place another same sized piece of parchment over the dough. Roll out and form a rectangle that is 10 x 15 inches in size.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Melt the reserved chocolate and butter in a double boiler until the mixture melts, but just barely. Remove from the heat and stir in the condensed milk until it comes together. The texture will change to a fudgy texture.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Then take the chocolate mixture and spread it onto the dough. Leave 1/2 to 1 inch border on each long side of the dough.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

With the tip of a sharp knife, cut the chocolate covered dough longways down the middle. Put one piece of the dough aside. You may wish to put a cutting board under the dough before cutting.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Starting with the full chocolate edge of the dough start rolling towards you using the parchment to help roll the dough up into a long log. The bare edge is used to seal the cookie up.

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

Chill the dough log for 1/2 hour. Unwrap log and place on a cutting board. Cut the log into 1/2 to 1/3 inch thick pieces.

From this point I have laid the cut pieces out and frozen them to bake off at a later date. Stay tuned later for the baking.


Even more after the jump:
Some Extra Pictures:

Adding the vanilla & egg.
Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies – Adding the coconut.
Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies – The finished dough.
Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies – Rolling between parchment.
Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies – Getting the size right.
Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies – Starting the chocolate.
Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies – Melted chocolate.
Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies – Spreading the chocolate mixture.
Chewy Coconut Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies – Beginning the roll.

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies – Completed

One of those recipes I made earlier to bake off just before Christmas. These cookies are truly great all year round but none of my friends usually have the chance to try them so including them at Christmas time allows me to share! The sour cherries, chocolate, and toffee bits make these cookies the perfect coffee break addition!One change I will make is to use milk chocolate rather than bitter sweet. Just a preference.

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

More pictures after the jump…..

Cutting the right size!
Prepared for their 12 minutes of glory.
Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

This is a cookie I have made every year for the past 4 or 5 years. When baked up it is a sight to behold. When you bite into it it is pure chocolate. Definitely not for the faint of heart. The recipe is not mine originally and can be found on line at Martha Stewart’s site.

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

This year 3 batches are being made needing:

24 Ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate
3 3/4 Cups of Flour
1 1/2 Cups of Dutched Cocoa
6 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
3/4 Teaspoon of Salt
3 Sticks of Unsalted Butter
4 Cups of Light Brown Sugar
6 Large Eggs
3 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
1 Cup of Milk
3 Cups + of Icing/Confectioners Sugar

More pictures after the jump:

Everything Together
The Chocolate

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies

In prep for my time away I have mixed and frozen the 3 batches of Oatmeal Toffee Cookies. This recipe has been liberated from another widely distributed source and is always a favorite year round. My one change from the original recipe is to be sure to cut the dried sour cherries in half before mixing them in.

For some reason SKOR toffee bits were a little challenging to find this year. My regular shopping places just were not carrying them. I did finally source them at the local Independent Grocery.

3 Batches of Oatmeal Toffee Cookies had:
4.5 Cups of Flour
3 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
3 Cups of Unsalted Butter
2 1/4 Cups of Sugar
2 1/4 Cups of Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
3 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
4 1/2 Cups of Large Flake Oatmeal
3 Cups of Dried Sour Cherries
3 Cups of Bittersweet Chocolate
3 Cups of Toffee Pieces

Dough resting comfortably in the freezer for later baking……. More after the jump

The clean up
Everything gathered
Oatmeal Toffee Cookies Mixed and separated.

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