Tag Archive | "Mexican chocolate"

Ask a Foodie: What Makes Chocolate Mexican?

Q. So, what makes Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream Mexican?


A. “Mexican chocolate … is rather granular, with a certain rustic quality – you can still taste the toasty cacao pods. It’s usually flavored with cinnamon, and often nutmeg or allspice, too.” David Tanis writes in “Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys.”

Tanis also offers the following recipe. You can find Mexican chocolate along with other baking chocolates in most supermarkets in San Antonio.

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

3 cups whole milk
8 ounces Mexican chocolate
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt

Warm the milk in a medium saucepan. Grate the chocolate coarsely, then stir it into the warm milk. Add the sugar and salt and stir over low heat for about 5 minutes until everything is well dissolved. Let cool.

Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker for 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to a container and freeze for at least 1 hour.

Makes 4-6 servings.

From “Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys” by David Tanis

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Griffin to Go: Getting in Touch With My Inner Cookie Monster

I’m not a true cookie baker. That’s always been my mother’s job.

For some reason, I can spend countless hours putting together an elaborate tart or a chocolate cake that is tortured past belief. I recently started whipping up cupcakes and frosting them with decadent buttercreams. But ask me to do a few dozen cookies, and not only do I lose interest, but I also seem to tense up. They take too much time, I say to myself, and call for too much equipment.

Recipe: Chocolate Almond Cookies

Overcoming that prejudice has been one of my resolutions this year. So, I have become repeating to myself that I will sharpen my cookie cutting skills this year, and I will use a cookie press more regularly. That’s all there is to it.

But maybe next month.

To get myself started, I decided to make a pair of cookies this past weekend. Both recipes had similar ingredients, yet the two ultimately could not have seemed more different.

They were alike in that they both had chocolate and almonds in them. And, of course, some sugar, flour and a touch of salt. But that’s as far as they got.

The first was a drop cookie from one of my mother’s recipes. The name was what drew me like a moth to a flame: Chocolate Almond Cookies. Except there was a problem when I looked at the recipe: The ingredients list called for 1 cup M&M’s, but made no mention of almonds whatsoever.

Rather than call her, I decided to fiddle with the recipe on my own. I substituted slivered almonds for the M&M’s and went to work. I added a touch of almond extract and ended up with a cookie that was comforting to the eye in its rustic appeal and pleasant to the palate because it wasn’t terribly sweet. What an old-fashioned treat. (I talked with Mom after making the batch, and she had no recollection of these whatsoever.)

Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies

The other recipe was for Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies, and it came from a new cookbook I recently picked up, Cindy Mushet’s “The Art & Soul of Baking.” In this recipe, the almonds are toasted and ground into a flour seasoned with cinnamon and achiote chile powder.

The chocolate, meanwhile, isn’t cocoa powder, but 70-percent bittersweet melted into butter with a touch of coffee liqueur for added richness.

The dough balls you form from these are rolled in sugar and then powdered sugar before baking. Yet the end result, while snowy white on the outside from the powdered sugar, wasn’t a sugar bomb, either. And the cookies managed to be both chewy and light at the same time.

These were the obvious winner with most, but the Chocolate Almond Cookies had their fans, too.

They’re both great for Valentine’s Day. Great for sharing. And great for someone who has to ease into this cookie-baking process.

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Lift Your Christmas Spirits With Some Cocktails

Remake your favorite cocktails or try some new concoctions this Christmas. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Just remember, if you’re out partying, to drink and drive responsibly.

Mele Kalikimaka Martini

Mele Kalikimaka Martini

I love Christmas kitsch. And nothing is quite as wonderful as Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters singing “Mele Kalikimaka,” Hawaii’s way of “saying Merry Christmas to you.” I will now enjoy it even more with a Mele Kalikimaka Martini in one hand.

Mele Kalikimaka Martini

1.5 ounces SKYY Infusions Pineapple
3 ounces eggnog
Splash of coconut cream or coconut milk
Nutmeg, to taste
Cinnamon, to taste

In a shaker filled with ice, mix Skyy Infusions Pineapple, eggnog and coconut cream. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Makes 1 martini.


MexiCabo Hot Chocolate

This adult take on Mexican chocolate is a real winter warmer.

1½ ounces blanco tequila
4 ounces hot chocolate
½ ounce coffee liqueur
Whipped cream

Pour tequila, hot chocolate and coffee liqueur into a coffee mug. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.

Makes 1 drink.

Adapted from Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila

Noël Impérial

This punch recipe gets its sparkle from Champagne and an extra kick from Grand Marnier.

3 spoonfuls of fruit cocktail
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce lemon juice
2 ounces pineapple juice
6 ounces Moët & Chandon White Star Champagne (almost 2 cups)

Directions: In the bottom of a 17-ounce pitcher, muddle the fruit cocktail. Add the Grand Marnier, simple syrup, lemon juice and pineapple juice. Stir contents. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. When ready to serve, stir contents and top with chilled White Star Champagne. Stir again and serve with cocktail glasses filled with ice.

From White Star/Kim Haasarud, Liquid Architecture

Candy Cane Swirl

Mint lovers can indulge their passion this holiday season. Here’s yet another way to enjoy candy canes.

Candy canes, some crushed fine
1 ounce SKYY Infusions Raspberry
3 ounces cranberry juice
1/2 ounce Grenadine
1/2 ounce peppermint schnapps
Lemon-lime soda

Rim martini glass with crushed candy cane. Combine SKYY Infusions Raspberry, cranberry juice, Grenadine and peppermint schnapps into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with lemon-lime soda and garnish with small peppermint candy cane.

Makes 1 cocktail.


Holiday Glögg

Holiday Glogg

Holiday Glögg

This variation on Scandinavian mulled wine includes vodka.

1.5 tablespoons mulling spice
12 ounces vodka
1 (750-milliliter) bottle dry red wine
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons blanched almonds
4 tablespoons raisins

Wrap mulling spice in cheesecloth. In a large saucepan, combine the vodka, wine, cheesecloth with mulling spice, orange zest and sugar. Allow to very lightly simmer over medium heat for at least 30 minutes (do not boil). Discard the mulling spices. Drop a few raisins and almonds at the bottom of each mug and top with the hot liquid.


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