Tag: chocolate

Top 5 Coffee Flavors

You might be thinking this post is about my favorite beans, or style of roasting, or preferred manufacturers of organic and fair trade and shade-grown beans. Nope. This is my post about flavored coffee. I take my coffee black, but I’m not a coffee purist.  I like the taste of coffee, and there’s just sumpin’ about flavored beans that perks me up.

There is a deli near my office called Cafe Phillips. It’s overpriced, only accepts cash, and they hoard ketchup packets like it’s the dawn of the apocalypse. Nevertheless, their coffee rocks my socks. At $3.15 (bumped up from $2.85!) for a large, it’s an indulgence that I allow once a week or so. Today, in honor of trying a new flavored coffee and finding it pleasing, here is my top 5 list of Cafe Phillips flavored coffees:

1. German Chocolate Cake. For real. Coconut hints, chocolate scented, all warm and delicious. This specialty flavor only emerges on Thursdays.

2. Hazelnut. My preferred standby. They even make ice cubes out of hazelnut coffee so you can have an iced hazelnut coffee with hazelnut ice!

3. Chocolate Chip Cookie. I tried this for the first time today and it was pretty good. It wasn’t too much fake chocolate flavor, though I don’t know why they added “cookie” to the title.

4. Cinnamon. I was a doubter, but a colleague changed my mind on this one. It would rank higher on the list but is only seasonally available.

5. French Vanilla. This is the special Monday flavor. It’s fine, and better than plain, but it was a bit weak, not a complaint I normally have, nor an experience I’d like to repeat. 

Perhaps I’ll have to make my own flavored coffee. Oh the possibilities!

Bigger, Faster, Better Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, so they’re actually not cookies per se, but bars. Chocolate chip cookie bars. I discovered the recipe through a glance at the classic Nestle Tollhouse recipe. I was feeling  lazy and craving something melty-chocolatey.

The "Before" Photo -raw cookie dough smooshed into a greased 9x13 pan

To achieve this easy success of gooey goodness, follow the Tollhouse recipe. But three secret family tips:

1) Add in a handful of uncooked oats,
2) Use a 50/50 blend of semisweet and dark cocoa chips, and
3) Toss in 1/2 cup of pecans.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes and check with the toothpick test. Let it cool 15 minutes or so before delving in, to ensure the chocolate chips set. In two rounds, I’ve found the edges get a bit overdone, which may be a plus in your book, depending on your flavor preferences. With any luck, your birthday boy will enjoy it as much as mine. May I recommend a glass fo whiskey on the rocks to accompany this fine dessert?

Happy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Birthday!

Flourless Chocolate Cake + Birthday Cake Martini

I am part of a small group of ladies that started as a book club, devolved into a drinking club, then re-emerged as a brunching club. Though we sometimes try new restaurants, typically we take turns cooking at each other’s places. We love to cook, you see. And pop bottles of bubbly.

We had much to celebrate, including a promotion, a job interview, world traveling, and several resolutions focused on mindful, healthful eating.Our luscious menu included:

  • Avocado toasts – with hummus and roasted red peppers rather than tomatoes
  • Sugar snap peas, carrots and baked pita chips with hummus and yogurt dips
  • Cranberry hazelnut crackers smeared with some lovely soft, pale salty cheese whose name escapes me
  • A spin on this asparagus with poached eggs recipe – using a sautéed veggie medley of asparagus, baby bella mushrooms, broccoli, red bell pepper, garlic salt, olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar under the poached eggs.
  • Mixed greens salad with Nigella’s recipe for moonblush tomatoes (first time to try ’em!)
  • Birthday Cake Martinis – made with 100% cranberry juice, which I wouldn’t recommend – go with the juice cocktail instead. Also, I dipped the rims in honey before dipping them in sugar sprinkles. At some point we stopped mixing drinks and just drank the champagne instead.