National Post


There are so many times you might need a little bag of homemade cookies, candies, chocolates or muffins ready in your freezer. And there’s no time that you need them more than during the holidays: presents for teachers, neighbours, co-workers or anyone el

- Bonnie Stern Weekend Post


On a recent trip to southern Sicily we went to the little Baroque town of Modica and sampled their famous Cioccolata di Modica. Rather than the smooth silky chocolate we are u-sed to, their renowned choco late is granular and, like many delicious foods from Sicily, becoming popular throughout I-taly. Inspired by that choco late (you can’t find it here yet!) I created this bark that is not the same at all, but delicious and different nonetheles­s. 8 oz bitterswee­t (70%) or semisweet (55%) chocolate, cut into pieces 1 tbsp coarse sugar 1 tbsp finely chopped espresso coffee beans 2 tbsp finely chopped shelled pistachios (or toasted hazelnuts) 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt Topping 2 tsp each coarse sugar, chopped espresso beans and chopped pistachios (or toasted hazelnuts) 1. Place chocolate in a glass bowl or 4 cup glass measure and microwave about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or in a bowl set over simmering water. Remove from heat before chocolate is completely melted and stir to finish melting until smooth. Cool to room temperatur­e. 2. Stir in sugar, coffee, nuts and salt. 3. Pour into an 8” x4” loaf pan lined with parchment paper o-r plastic wrap. Smooth choc olate evenly over the bottom o-f pan and top with the addi tional sugar, coffee and nuts. 4. Refrigerat­e a few hours until set. Remove from pan and cut or break into chunks. makes about 20 pieces


Little cello bags of three mini muffins make surprise takehome treats for dinner guests to have for breakfast and c-arry that dinner party feel ing a little longer. Jacobs & Co Steakhouse in Toronto does that and it’s such a great idea. 1 orange, cut into quarters (ends and pits removed but peel and pith left on), about 8oz after trimming 1 egg 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup milk 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or half whole wheat) 2/3 cup sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp kosher salt 1 cup coarsely chopped cranberrie­s, fresh or frozen 2 tbsp coarse sugar 1. Place orange pieces, egg, oil and milk in a food processor or blender and process until orange is in tiny bits. 2. W-hisk flour with sugar, bak ing powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into egg mixture but d-o not overmix. Stir in cranber ries. (If you are using frozen cranberrie­s, use them frozen.) 3. Scoop into buttered mini muffin pans (or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 15 to 20 minutes until browned and cooked through. Cool on racks. makes 20 to 24 mini muffins


These Italian chocolate logs were inspired by a recipe in Happy Cooking by Giada De Laurentiis. They look like little s-alami and while I don’t usu ally like to make food that looks like something else, even I have to admit they are cute. Serve for dessert on a charcuteri­e dessert plate with dried and fresh fruits and candies pecans or wrap in parchment paper and give away as gifts. This makes four logs. Make a rocky r-oad version with mini marsh mallows, broken-up graham wafers and peanuts. 1 lb semi sweet or bitterswee­t chocolate, cut into pieces 1/2 cup butter, cut into chunks 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract 2 tbsp dark rum, optional 3/4 cup toasted almonds, coarsely chopped 3/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecan, coarsely chopped 1 cup coarsely chopped biscotti 1/2 cup dried cherries or other dried fruit, optional 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted 1. Melt chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl s-et over a pot of gently sim mering water or in a glass b-owl or measure in the micro wave about 2 minutes or until c-hocolate is almost complete ly melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. 2. Stir vanilla and rum into c-hocolate. Add almonds, wal nuts, biscotti and cherries. Refrigerat­e about 1 to 2 hours until thick but still malleable. 3. Arrange four pieces of plastic wrap on your work surface and place 1/4 of the chocolate mixture on each. Shape into a rough log about 2” thick and 4” long. Roll up and twist ends to shape. Refrigerat­e about 30 minutes. Place icing sugar on a flat tray or plate. Unw-rap choc olate and roll in icing sugar. makes 4 small logs

 ??  ?? Sicilian Pistachio
Sicilian Pistachio Bark

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada