This is a sponsored review by BlogHer and Ghirardelli.
CONTEST IS OVER. If you won, you’ll have a note in your mailbox!
I could go on to tell you everything I love about them…their charming history, the smooth flavor, the variety of chocolatey options they offer…but nothing compares to the sheer quality you get for the price. Add to that the fact that most major chain stores, even here in Podunk, USA where I live, carry at least one or two Ghirardelli options for baking. It’s the brand I go for when I am limited on funds but want major goodness. You really can’t top it in that regard.
What I didn’t expect when I signed on to do this review was the overwhelming gift basket of product that arrived one day on my porch! As I mentioned, I live in a very small town, so when I was faced with a whopping 5 varieties of baking chips and 6 varieties of baking bars, I was flabbergasted! My mind started reeling – What could I make? How many things could I possibly make right that minute??
Lucky for me, since my mind was in cocoa overload, they had included a fabulous Ghirardelli Cookbook. I’d like to tell you that the recipes are overrated, difficult, or downright unworthy – but after flipping through the whole book, tongue out and drooling – I can’t find a single one that I wouldn’t make.
So many are perfect for the upcoming holiday season: Peppermint Brownies, White Chocolate Peppermint Cake, Cinnamon Scented Chocolate Angel Food Cake. I could go on and on but that would just leave you licking the screen, and I can’t be responsible for your laptop screen short circuiting. Besides…I want to share with you what I decided to make.
Because of the way we live today – busy, busy, busy – we don’t always have the time to make super fussy desserts. This is especially true after a long day of work, or a crazy-active 3 year old (my hand just raised), or simply just being too tired after managing to throw together dinner for our family. But we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of something sweet from time to time. So, I chose this super simple (and amazingly delicious) Chocolate Panini recipe, found on page 136 of the Ghirardelli Cookbook, as well as on their website, which is chock full of deliciousness.
What could be simpler than slicing a Baguette, coating one side in butter, and sandwiching a couple pieces of chocolate baking bars in between before frying? Talk about quick and painless – you go from start to finish in less than 10 minutes – and even less if you own a panini press. Want even MORE richness? Serve the panini with some fresh strawberry slices or bananas and whipped cream. Yum. I’m getting drooly mouthed just thinking about it.
For my own recipe creation, requested by those fine Ghirardellians, I took inspiration from their Black & White Macaroons. Now, those of you who frequent my blog – Macaroons are NOT the same thing as Macarons. Macarons are my fussy French cookies, the ones that frighten many a seasoned baker, due to their unpredictibility. Macaroons are typically coconut, fluffy, and downright simple to make. There are lots of varieties, and the Black & Whites featured in the Ghirardelli book sound wonderful. But you know me and the way I like to push the limits of ridiculous flavor…I had to take this recipe above and beyond.
And did I ever.
Kahlua & Coconut Cocoa Macaroons
makes 4 dozen
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon Coconut Extract
- 1/2 teaspoon Kahlua
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup chipped coconut (if unavailable, flaked is fine)
- 1 1/4 cups Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Preheat oven to 300F.
Prepare two cookie sheets with SilPat or Parchment paper. Set aside.
In large bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until foamy, then add the salt and cream of tarter, continuing to beat until soft peaks form. Add in the ground chocolate, sugar, extract and Kahlua in small increments, beating until firm peaks form but does not dry out. Gently stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips and the coconut, being careful not to overmix and deflate the whites.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. leave about an inch in between, cookies will not really spread. Top each cookie with a few chips before baking.
Bake cookies for 20-22 minutes, until tops crack. Allow to cool completely before trying to remove from pans, as cookies are very fragile. Store at room temperature, lightly covered, as moisture will ruin your cookies.
Serve and enjoy!
Not that this recipe isn’t enough to lift your mood, I am also lucky enough to provide one reader with a $100 Visa Gift Card, courtesy of BlogHer. Winner will be chosen at random on December 15th, but I want to know – what is your go-to weeknight chocolate recipe? The recipe you turn to when you have 30 minutes or less, but really need your fix? is it a special chocolate chip cookie recipe? Brownies? Lava Cake? Feel free to leave a link in your comment so that I can see your creation on your site, if you have one. If you don’t, still share that creation! Or, maybe you would rather tell me about the amazing chocolate dessert you make for your holiday gathering every year – the one your aunts and uncles and 4th cousins won’t stop talking about. What is it? Did you create it yourself? Or, was it handed down to you? I want to know!
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You can also check out what these 9 other Ghirardelli Bloggers created with their chocolate supply – and enter to win gift cards there, too! Just click here to see them all on the round up page!
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Until next time readers – take care and have a great week!