Friday, October 31, 2014

2014 Halloween Treat Challenge Winner!

And now for the announcement of our 2014 Halloween Treat Challenge here on The Chocolate which earns the creator or seller 30 days of advertising on our site free.  Since we do not allow companies to buy specific ads (yet) this is a big deal.

Let's review the Winners from past years:






Now to review the Challengers this year:









Before I name the winner let me say that this year was a disappointment.  While Baked Goods is one of Categories, Ingredients really aren't yet these were the only samples we were sent this year that seemed useful at all for our 6th Challenge.  Compared to past years this was deeply confusing.  I thought long and hard about simply not declaring a winner but that would be unfair to the companies that sent us something to use and try out for the challenge.  Of the four entries only one really might be useful for trick or treaters and for Halloween Parties...

240 Sweet Favor Packs!


After several years of sending samples our way, always of high quality gourmet chocolate marshmallows, it is a pleasure to see these small packs of their treats available because they can serve as treats in and of themselves without needing to use kitchen scissors or feeling overwhelmed by marshmallow.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

November Harvest Tables Should Include Chocolate 2014

November begins and our Winter Holiday features begin as well but before then you want to check back in tomorrow to see who is the 7th Annual Halloween Treat Challenge Winner, right?  Today let's look ahead to November and the fun reasons to add a bit of chocolate to your life. You can influence what we write about this month by reading through the calendar and then voting on which dish I'm going to try and make.  But vote soon because I'll make my decision by the 15th so I have time to make it and share the results with you all.

November = National Fondue Month

November 5 = Donut Appreciation Day -- Do you remember our mini sundaes made with donuts from this past August? No?  Read it here.

November 7 = National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day

November 11= National Sundae Day; National Pocky and Prez Day in Japan visit the article linked to learn more.


At the midpoint of the month we get a flood of fun food holidays. Do you think I should make any of these?  See poll below.

November 20 = National Peanut Butter Fudge Day

November 24, 1615 = marriage of Anne to Louis XIII introduces Chocolate to France

November 25 = National Parfait Day

November 26 = National Cake Day

November 27 = National Bavarian Cream Pie Day

November 28 = French Toast Day

November 29 = Chocolates Day

November 30 = National Mousse Day

Now it is time to vote in our poll and directly influence what you'll write about this month on The Chocolate Cult.  We'll see which treat is the winner by November 15th so I have time to plan.


Which of these November Fun Food Holidays should I honor by making a chocolate version of the named treat?
Peanut Butter Fudge
Parfait
Cake
Bavarian Cream Pie
French Toast
Mousse
Poll Maker

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Milk Chocolate Pumpkin TCHOcolate Chunk Squares

TCHO is one of our favorite companies here on The Chocolate Cult and today we are going to test another recipe using their 39% Milk Chocolate Discs.  This recipe for Pumpkin TCHOcolate Chunk Squares I found on their website but I've switched out the darker discs for the milk chocolate ones since next Saturday we'll go the opposite direction to test a 100% chocolate chip from another company. The only substitutions to the recipe were Splenda, Egg Beaters, whole wheat flour, and 39% milk chocolate discs from TCHO so if you want to check out the recipe please go here.

TCHO Milk Chocolate Discs are simple -- cane sugar, cacao beans, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, non-fat milk powder, soy lecithin, and vanilla beans; several of these are certified fair trade and/or organic as well.  One bag is 8oz of discs.  For the recipe I tried you are suppose to chop up the chocolate but I find that tedious and, if I had kids, a bit dangerous.  I used my kitchen scissors and just cut them in halves and quarters and that seemed to work just fine.

You add in the pieces of chocolate once you have all the other ingredients mixed in and it looks something like this. You can mix by hand but since the batter was already in the mixer why should I get another utensil dirty?  Surely, so many of these recipes ask you to mix this and that in this bowl, then use another bowl for other ingredients... geesh, folks, I have things to do other than dishes!

The batter baked in about 32 minutes.  I let it cool for an hour before cutting it into pieces.  I didn't use foil like the recipe says to do, I just greased and floured my pan because, once more, why waste a product or use another product that will just need to be recycled when I can reduce the number of steps and the costs of making something without sacrificing quality or health?

This is how the bars turned out?  What do you think?  Do they look pumpkiny enough?


The had a light pumpkin scent and a creamy pumpkin pie texture, they were firm enough to be eaten by hand or with a fork. The milk chocolate was strong enough to stand up to the sweetness and the pumpkin.  I shared them with over 20 people and received nothing but compliments so I know that my substitutions worked resulting in bars with 183 calories each if you cut them in 24 pieces. Everyone who tried it told me that they liked them a lot so I'm pleased and might return to this recipe in the future.

The TCHO 39% Milk Chocolate Discs cut up well and worked well in the recipe. Obviously darker discs would be a more intense chocolate flavor but not everyone likes dark chocolate. As to the Halloween nature of this treat.... eh, for an adult or teen party it might be good but in most places not good for trick o'treaters at l plus you have to spend more money and time to make them. Great, Sacrament worthy discs, not so good for Halloween though you could make them for any delicious dessert between now and the end of the year.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Extra Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've had to do a lot of work with our selection of Challengers for this year's 6th competition. Finding a recipe that doesn't require me to go out and buy a lot of ingredients with money we don't make here on The Chocolate Cult feels tiring plus none of these homemade goodies can be given out to trick o'treaters where I live. I thought that perhaps I could do something with the chips of Pascha 100% Organic Dark Chocolate that might please adults.  I tried the final products out at our neighborhood picnic so I had a lot of feedback.

How to test something like this?  I see a bag of chocolate chips, I think chocolate chip cookies.  There is a recipe on the bag but it had a lot of ingredient I simply do not keep on hand.  I don't get paid by the companies who send us products and I don't charge you all money to read this blog so I decided to go with a very basic cookie recipe that I had ingredients of in my pantry.  Was that a wise choice?

Ingredients:
1.5 sticks of margarine
2/3 C light brown sugar
1/4 C Splenda white sugar
1/4 C egg substitute
2 tsp real vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda mixed into 1/4 C water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 C whole wheat flour
1 bag 100% Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate chips

Instructions:
 1) Preheat oven to 375°F and get out a flat cookie sheet; do not grease it, do not use parchment paper on it.

2) Beat together margarine and sugars until the very smooth and you cannot see pieces of any of the ingredients.


3) Add in vanilla, eggs, and water with baking soda.  Beat until you can see very tiny pieces of the margarine mixture floating throughout.

4) Blend in cinnamon and flour until batter is a bit sticky but one consistent color.

5) Mix in the chocolate.


6) Drop by tablespoons onto your cookie sheet, depending on the size  you could get 9-16 cookies per sheet.


7) Bake for 10 minutes.

8) Remove and let cool for 2 minutes.

9) Transfer each cookie to either a cooling rack or paper on your table/countertop.  I love to reuse paper bags from shopping for this like my mother always did.

10) Let cool at least an hour then serve on a plate.


Challenges I encountered while using these chips are as follows.

First the chips being 100% cacao.  This means that the cookie recipe I used wasn't really sweet enough to counter the chocolate. Someone would really need to love dark chocolate to like these cookies.  That is NOT the fault of Pascha but my fault.  However, several of my neighbors said they liked them though one was their limit in terms of darkness. I loved them, I'm crazy about really dark chocolate though, and I think with the cookie the over all cacao level tasted around 85-90%. Another difficulty with the purity of the chocolate was that it melted so much that I had to remove these quickly from the baking sheet so they didn't stick really badly.

Secondly the bag is a smaller amount of chips in terms of weight than let's say your big brand varieties.  I don't think this is much of a problem given how intense the chocolate is.  I didn't do a smaller recipe though in hindsight a larger recipe so that each cookie had fewer chips might have been a better choice in terms of intensity if you don't like dark chocolate.

I see now why the recipe on the Pascha 100% Organic Dark Chocolate chips ingredients like avocado, molasses, and a lot of spices -- to counter the bitterness of the chips.  If you have the ingredients on hand, try that recipe.  Otherwise I'd say use these chips as you would simply pieces of chocolate, melt them into a recipe for fudge, or cake, or something like that which has a lot of sweet or spicy flavors.

The chips themselves definitely earn Sacrament status because they are as pure a chocolate as you can get.  Their purity and their size make them melt very easily without the next to break up, cut up, or bust up a larger piece of unsweetened baking chocolate as you have probably done numerous times. Unless you are allergic to chocolate (so sad) these are allergen free though the recipe on the bag would cause problems for at least one reader and former Acolyte I know because of the spices.  Great job, Pascha!  We look forward to success with your other products in the future.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

American and European Chocolate Recall 10/12/14

This is a first for The Chocolate Cult -- a recall of a product that affect both the European and the American markets.  Normally I see only the American recalls through the FDA but this recall is the same product just different distribution companies.  As always, check the links to the announcement and contact the appropriate officials.

J&B European Distribution Inc. Issues Allergy Alert For Undeclared Milk In Kupiec Rice Cakes With Dark Chocolate

Consumer Contact: 1-718-782-3712

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — October 7, 2014 – J&B EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION INC. of BROOKLYN, NY is recalling 40 cases of KUPIEC brand RICE CAKES WITH DARK CHOCOLATE, NET WT. 3.1 OZ. (90g), UPC # 5 906747 171742, because they may contain undeclared milk. People who have an allergy to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume this product.

KUPIEC brand RICE CAKES WITH DARK CHOCOLATE, NET WT. 3.1 oz. (90g) were distributed to retail outlets throughout NY, NJ, and PA, and to one retail location in North Carolina. The product was shipped between 6/24/2014 and 7/23/2014.

KUPIEC brand RICE CAKES WITH DARK CHOCOLATE, NET WT. 3.1 oz., UPC # 5 906747 171742, are packed in a white oval plastic package picturing a stack of the rice cakes topped with chocolate. There are 6 rice cakes per package. The product was imported from Poland.


J&B EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION is not aware of any confirmed illnesses to date in its distribution area; however the FDA has confirmed one such case in the Chicago, IL area.

The recall was initiated after it was discovered that product containing milk was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the presence of milk. Subsequent investigation indicates the problem was caused by an inadvertent omission on the label by the producer during the revision of the packaging process.

Consumers who have purchased KUPIEC brand RICE CAKES WITH DARK CHOCOLATE, NET WT. 3.1 oz., UPC # 5 906747 171742, are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact J&B EUROPEAN DISTRIBUTION at 1-718-782-3712, Monday – Friday, 8am - 4pm, ET.

------------
Markpol Distributors Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Milk in Kupiec Rice Cakes with Dark Chocolate

Consumer Contact: 847-801-5050; info@markpoldistributors.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 3, 2014 - Markpol Distributors Inc. of Wood Dale, Illinois is recalling Kupiec Rice Cakes with Dark Chocolate because it may contain undeclared milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

Kupiec Rice Cakes with Dark Chocolate was shipped and distributed to retail stores in Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut between August 29th, 2014 and September 30th, 2014.

Kupiec Rice Cakes with Dark Chocolate has UPC 5 906747 171742, packaged in white foil with a photo image of the rice cake on the front of the packaging, and the net weight is 3.1 oz. The production date located on the back of the package is 29.05.2014 with expiration date of 29.05.2015. Lot numbers: 149/MA/3 and 149/JP/3. Customers who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk should not consume this product and return recalled product to the retail store and ask for a refund.

There has been one illness reported.

Markpol Distributors Inc. initiated the voluntary recall after the mis-labeling issue was discovered through the reported consumer illness on October 1st, 2014 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers with questions may contact the company at 847-801-5050 from 9am-5pm (CST) Monday – Friday or email info@markpoldistributors.com.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Marshmallow Treats for Halloween

Entering into our 6th Annual Halloween Treat Challenge is 240Sweet with a new product in two chocolate varieties: Favor Packs which come in 10-piece bags of petite marshmallows.  Each flavor on their website offers this option, in fact, when I checked the favor pack is the only current option for marshmallows.  We were sent two 4-piece bags in Chocolate Decadence and Chocolate Chip flavors that we tested as a ready to eat treat and in a very basic hot cocoa drink.

The first thing to note about the 240Sweet marshmallows is that they are made with these basic ingredients "glucose, beet sugar, (animal based) gelatin, natural flavorings, water, powdered beet sugar, cornstarch and salt" so if you have an allergy to any of these things, you are now aware.  Then each flavor has it's own ingredients as well such as dark chocolate chips and cocoa in the case of our two flavors.  Finally please note that each of these petite puffs are not the same as the mini marshmallows you might find in stores. Each of these is more than 1X1X1 inch in dimensions so actually a very good size compared to their previous huge puffs that I always cut up to use or eat.  Note: the website lists to different dimensions but I measured the petite puffs for this article.  With this basic information in mind, let's look at both varieties.

Chocolate Chip Marshmallow have Hershey's semi-sweet chocolate chips in them.  These have a sugary scent with dark chocolate.  They are very soft and sticky.  Very easy to bite into, strong vanilla flavor with intense burst of dark chocolate and sweetness.  The lasting flavor is the semi-sweet chocolate.  Everyone liked them on their own.  In the cocoa it turned more sticky, really adhering to my teeth, and the mini chips were less sweet. An excellent gourmet marshmallow that pleases on every sensory level.

Chocolate Decadence Marshmallow is made with Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate chips, so twice the cacao content of the previous variety.  The dark cocoa scent is very strong from these and they are firmer and not sticky compared to the Chocolate Chip Marshmallows were looked at above.  This makes perfect season given that cocoa should create drier products. These have less mini chips but are really very dark in flavor.  It requires more chewing than the previous marshmallows but isn't sticky.  While we liked these it wasn't as good as the other because there is less texture and contrast in flavor.  These also didn't soak up the hot cocoa as well as the previous.

We'd give the Chocolate Chip Marshmallows Sacramental status but not the Chocolate Decadence Marshmallow in this case.  In terms of Halloween these would be great in kids' mugs at a party.  In terms of handing these out, if you do what my grandmother did and buy special treats for special trick o'treaters then these work as well since they come in sealed plastic bags.  I'd maybe add an orange or black ribbon to the normal purple one to make them more festive. 240Sweet makes gourmet marshmallows by hand and offers a wide variety of flavors with seasonal variety year round, it can take time to make their orders so if you are interested go check them out today.  Currently their website says you can get free shipping so if you'd like to check these out, and we think you need to check out the Chocolate Chip Marshmallows at least, now is good time to do it.

Just got notice of this special 2014 Halloween offer from them...

Happy Halloween Treats

Share our bewitching Stuffer Packs 

Treat your favorite goblins and ghouls to a gourmet treat this Halloween with our new Stuffer Packs.

Each Stuffer Pack contains four Crunchy Cinnamon puffs that you can smell through the bag!
Only available through October 24


Order by Friday, October 17 and save $30 with the code STUFFER14 for all of your party fun.*

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What Can You Expect at the 2014 Nashville Chocolate Walk?

If you've never been to the Brown County Chocolate Walk in Nashville, Indiana, today I'm going to talk from experience about it and share some of the updates from the event with you all.  This is an wonderful opportunity for chocolate and pet lovers to connect and support an amazing effective organization that has an incredible out-alive and adoption rate.  You can read our interview with the organizer of this event in our previous interview.

As a group, The Chocolate Cult has been participating in the walk since 2009 when I went with our Chocolate Coconut Acolyte, Lisa.  We had great time and decided we wanted to make this an annual event for us.  We did run into the challenge of "too much chocolate" and large crowds but over the years we've come up with several tips to help make the walk more enjoyable and healthier that I'll share in a few moments.

The next year, 2010, we expanded our group from two to eight and headed off to the event.  Check out our sign... that was our original logo that a reader made for us as a gift.  Same shirt for me, different hair.  Of this group, one joined up with some other friends once we got to Nashville, one couple stayed together, and the other five of us did the walk as a team.  We all met up at a local restaurant at a set time and reflected on the event.

For some reason even though I recall photos being taken in 2011 (Lisa and I again), 2012 (five of us went as a group), and 2013 (four of us went as a group), no one had the photos so now on to the tips for making your Chocolate Walk in Nashville great.  Just so you know, several of the people from the above photo continued to do the Walk they just didn't come with me.

1) Don't do it alone.  Not only is it more fun with more people but they can help motivate you to keep going.  The walk covers a large chunk of Nashville and the crowds can feel overwhelming without a couple of buddies.  That said I wouldn't recommend doing it with more than 4-6 people simply because the stops on the walk tend to be in smaller spaces.  Below is a copy of the map for this year's walk at this time; I'm not sure how much, if any, it might change.


2) Carpool.  Free parking in Nashville is very limited so save your cash for lunch or dinner or even other shopping by taking a small number of vehicles.

3) Eat a small breakfast before you start.  Don't go hungry because as much as we love chocolate here, just having chocolate isn't a very healthy thing to do. With that in mind...

4) Eat a balanced lunch or dinner afterwards.  You can eat in Nashville, I prefer to do that myself, help support the businesses who take part even more, but you can bring a picnic or head back home if you like.

5) Bring containers to save chocolate in.  Bring a bag and lots of baggies or tiny cups to keep the treats you can in to enjoy later.  36 samples is a lot of chocolate. Some of these won't be food -- we've gotten pet products and massage oil in the past -- and some of the food you have to consume right away like the ice creams and drinks.  But if you can save it, do so.  You'll have lots of treats to share back home or to enjoy throughout the coming week.

6) Dress flexibly.  Start with a good pair of walking boots or shoes.  While there are little trains around Nashville you will be walking and walking, up and down hills, in and out of shops, up and down stairs, down sidewalks and through alleyways.  Also wear clothing you can take off and tie around your waist or put into a bag.  We've had all sorts of weather when we've done this so be prepared for different temps, temp changes, and even rain or snow.

7) Keep walking.  While shopping as you walk is tempting, it will slow you down and you may not finish.  As the hours roll by the crowds will build up so try to plan out your route ahead of time and avoid restaurants around lunch and dinner time unless you plan to eat there.

8) Plan some time to relax and shop when you are done.  Once you are finished with the walk and are full of chocolate or full of lunch/dinner, go back and visit those little places that caught your eye. Help support the stores that are supporting the Walk if you have the extra cash to do so.

If you've been to the Brown County Chocolate Walk in the past and have some other tips to share, please do so in our comments section below.  Remember get your tickets soon because they are very likely to sell out again.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tropical Fruit, Dark Chocolate, & Cherries Recall

One recall to share with you all today, Sisters and Brothers.  This if for folks with an allergy to tropical fruits, I know there are some of you out there.

Tropical Valley Foods Issues Allergy Alert For Potentially Undeclared Peanuts In Next By Nature Dark Chocolate Cherries

Consumer Contact: Kristain Stone, (518) 314-7162

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —October 1, 2014 – Tropical Valley Foods Inc. of Plattsburgh, NY, is recalling 455 cases (12 bags per case) of next by Nature DARK CHOCOLATE CHERRIES, Lot 460013, due to the potential for undeclared peanuts to be packaged in the product. People who have an allergy to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product.

The affected next by Nature DARK CHOCOLATE CHERRIES was sold to distributors and retailers located in Iowa, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Canada and Japan. Distributors where instructed to inform their customers of the recall of the product, to immediately remove it from sale and to promptly discard it.

The affected product is packaged in 3 oz. plastic bags with UPC 817582252006, Lot 460013 and “Best by Date” of 2016.03.31. The product was distributed between September 12th, 2014 and September 25th, 2014.

The recall was initiated after an employee found a peanut piece in a bulk case of Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries that was being packaged into the 3 oz. bags. Subsequent investigation by the firm revealed that some Dark Chocolate Covered Cherries had been packaged into 3 oz. bags of next by Nature DARK CHOCOLATE CHERRIES prior to the discovery.

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with this problem.

Consumers who are allergic to peanuts are urged not to consume the above product. Customers who purchased the affected product may return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Kristain Stone at Tropical Valley Foods by phone at (518) 314-7162, Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Spicy Cocoa Cookies for Halloween

We don't have total control over what we test and write about for you here on The Chocolate Cult. Companies send us their products and if they are made with something from the cocoa tree, we test them and then reveal them to our worldwide readership. This year is our 6th Annual Halloween Treat Challenge and oddly we primarily received products you have to use in baking, candy making, or as drinks and not treats you could easily hand out to kids dressed up and trolling your neighborhood for candy.  While we can't hand out homemade treats for Halloween in most areas of the USA any more, you can make them for our friends and family, you could make them for a spooky party.  Your Chocolate Priestess decided to test the spicy cocoa mix from Equal Exchange by making one of many recipes I found for cocoa cookies. In this case I'm using one from bakedbree as my starting point with a few changes for the Halloween season and for my own dietary reasons.

Let's see how the Equal Exchange Spicy Organic Cocoa worked for these cookies.

Here is my recipe for Spicy Hot Cocoa Cookies for Halloween

Ingredients
2 sticks room temperature margarine
1 cup Splenda
5T + 1tsp Splenda Brown Sugar
3/4 C egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
4 T Equal Exchange Spicy Hot Cocoa Mix
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 bag Nestle Halloween Morsels

Instructions


1) Cream together both sugar substitutes and the margarine very well, scraping the sides of your bowl as you go.


2) Mix in the egg substitute and vanilla. until well blended.


3) Slowly add in the rest of the dry ingredients.  You can either mix the dry ingredients separately or add them alternating between them.


4) Add the baking morsels to the cookie dough and mix in well.


5) Drop onto a cookie sheet using a small ice cream scoop.  Do NOT use parchment paper or these will not spread at all.  You may need to press down on the cookies a bit even.

6) Bake them in a preheated 375 degree oven for 9 to 11 minutes.

7) Remove cookies from sheet and lay on parchment paper to cool before eating.


I made 46 cookies this way.  What do you think of their looks?  Each cookie has 98 calories if you make them like I did.  If you use regular brown and white sugars, whole eggs, and butter, you'll have a lot more calories per cookie so the choice is yours.

How do the cookies taste and feel?  They have a crispy outside but a soft, not underdone inside.  The immediate flavor is sweet flour and the morsels then cocoa and finally a little spice kick but over all there is a sweetness to these that I wasn't expecting but which I found pleasant.  What did my testers think?

The Equal Exchange Spicy Hot Cocoa Mix also can be used in drinks if you add it to milk.  The results are good if you like spicy chocolate, if you don't this isn't for you.  You can tone down the spiciness by using higher fat milk as well. Ultimately though I'd probably use this in cooking and baking more than as a hot cocoa drink. In terms of Halloween treats, good for a party for adults or kids because it isn't too dark tasty or too spicy. However the recipe really could use any baking chips and the cookies aren't particularly spooky. The Spicy Cocoa is Sacrament worthy but not really ideal for or specific to Halloween.  I think this is going to be the case all of these season making our 6th Annual Halloween Treat Challenge disappointing for your Chocolate Priestess after five great years of bringing you cool spooky treats.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

National Homemade Cookie Day 2014

In honor of "National Homemade Cookie Day" (October 1st) and to do a feature on this OXO Good Cookie Spatula I received from one of the Holiday cookie swaps I've done in the past, I thought I'd do a rare recipe post at the same time.  I got the spatula by taking part in a cookie swap in 2012 (my second time with that event).  Mine as you can see in this photo has an orange handle and head as well as the words "be a good cookie" on the head.

I had a cake mix and decided to try a recipe from it but the one on the box had nuts in it.  I love nuts but it isn't fair for me to make something that my entire family can't enjoy or at least try (my husband has a serious tree nut allergy).  Today I want to share how I modified that recipe into my own and review how well the spatula worked.

I used two types of chocolate in this recipe; the cake mix and a bag of peanut butter and milk chocolate chips.  You may want to change this recipe yourself but I tend to use egg substitutes and reduced fat oils and butter.

Double Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies (44 average cookie scoop cookies)

Ingredients:

1 pk Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
¼ cup water
1 stick "I cant’ believe its not butter" (melted)
½ cup egg substitute
¼ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp real vanilla
1 cup old fashioned oats
11oz peanut butter and milk chocolate baking chips

Instructions:
     Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease your cookies sheets.  Blend together the water, melted butter, egg substitute, and vanilla.  Add in the sugar and oats thoroughly then incorporate the cake mix a bit at a time until it is all blended well. Finally add in the baking chips and get them into every layer of your batter.

     Using an average size cookie scoop place the dough on your greased cookie sheets.  Bake for 13 minutes (1 minute less for more googy or 1 minute more for more crisp cookies).

     Remove the cookie sheet and cookies from oven but let the cookies set for two minutes before you start removing them to either a cooling rack or onto a piece of parchment paper or other surface.  I use paper shopping bags cut and laid out myself then I recycle the bag after I'm done.

The spatula did a very good job of removing each cookie carefully and simply.  Since I do not heavily grease my cookie sheets (why add more fats?) this is very important for my baking.  Lter tests with the same spatula showed that it works best on light cookies or products but not so much on harder/firmer cookies.  If you follow the recipe using the same ingredients that I did, each cookie has 109 calories and that's all.

So, Sisters and Brothers, what do you think of these? Would you make them and if so, for what occasion?


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