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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: Cherries

Warm Chocolate Pots with Grand Marnier & Cherries

Marc J. Sievers

Warm Chocolate Pots with Grand Marnier & Cherries from the desserts chapter of my cookbook Table for Two: Cooking and Entertaining for You and Your +1.

When it comes to making desserts at home, I try to keep the recipe easy and elegant – and always with a twist!  My Warm Chocolate Pots with Grand Marnier & Cherries is the perfect dessert for the finale of a casual weeknight meal, yet special enough for a weekend soirée with a glass of Port or Champagne!

The twist comes from (first) a generous “splash” of Grand Marnier, which is an orange liqueur that adds a bit of warmth and depth of flavor to chocolate, and (second) the dried cherries add some sweetness and give it fabulous texture.  My Warm Chocolate Pots require zero (and I mean zero!) special kitchen equipment, and is easier than pie (I mean it!) to prepare.  The recipe uses simple ingredients from your local grocery store (in fact, you probably already have everything on hand!), and from start to finish it takes less than 20 minutes – making this the ultimate dessert to easily have at the ready when entertaining! 


Ingredients (serves 2)  

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate – 3 ½ ounces, roughly chopped

  • Butter – 4 tablespoons, unsalted, plus more for preparing ramekins

  • Grand Marnier® – 2 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Powdered Sugar – ½ cup

  • Cocoa Powder – 1 tablespoon, plus more for dusting

  • Vanilla – 1 teaspoon, pure extract

  • Eggs – 1 extra-large, AND 1 extra-large egg yolk

  • Dried Cherries – ½ cup

  • Flour – 3 tablespoons

  • Candied Orange Peel – for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Butter the interior of two ramekins (6 to 8 ounces each) and place on a baking dish. Set aside.

  3. In a heat proof bowl, over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until just melted. Remove from heat.

  4. Next, to the chocolate, add the Grand Mariner®, salt, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Whisk until blended.

  5. Slowly whisk in the eggs.

  6. Toss the cherries with the flour, then stir into the chocolate mixture.

  7. Lastly, evenly divide the batter into the prepared ramekins. Bake for exactly 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 2 minutes. Garnish with cocoa powder and candied orange peel. Serve warm.

Tip: You can actually make these ahead of time!  Bake and allow to cool completely.  Then, wrap each one tightly with foil and place in the refrigerator.  When it's time to serve, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior.  Discard the foil and warm in a microwave for 45 seconds.  Dust with cocoa powder and serve immediately.

Idea: You can also swap out the Grand Mariner for Cabernet Sauvignon.  I like to add 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon to give it a little extra zing! 

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Marc J. Sievers

You can never have too many cookie recipes, right?!  I’ve never known anyone to turn down a freshly baked and hot from the oven cookie.  My White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies are sweet, crunchy and even a bit luxurious.  They are jammed packed with whole macadamia nuts, lots of white chocolate chunks, golden raisins and cherries!  Once you try a bite, you’ll be saying “hello lover” to this scrumptiously sinful and downright decadent recipe!  Grab your apron, put milk (or champagne!) on ice and let’s get started!

These cookies are the perfect offering during a sunset cocktail party with a Côtes du Rhône or flute of crisp Champagne. Of course, they are equally as good with a tall glass of cold milk!


White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Ingredients (makes 22 cookies)

  • White Chocolate – 11.5 ounces, roughly chopped

  • Sugar – 1 cup, granulated (white)

  • Light Brown Sugar – 1 cup, packed

  • Flour – 2 cups, all-purpose

  • Cocoa Powder – ⅔ cups plus 1 tablespoon, unsweetened

  • Vanilla – 3 teaspoons, pure extract

  • Eggs – 2, extra-large, at room temperature

  • Butter – 2 sticks, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Sea Salt – 1¼ teaspoons

  • Baking Soda – 1 teaspoon

  • Dried Cherries – ¾ cup

  • Golden Raisins – ¾ cup

  • Macadamia Nuts – 1 cup, unsalted, whole

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

  3. Next, add the vanilla, then eggs one at a time, allowing each to fully incorporate.

  4. Sift the dry ingredients together.

  5. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated.

  6. With a large wooden spoon, gently fold in the chocolate, raisins, cherries and nuts until evenly distributed.

  7. Using a 2¼ inch metal scoop, scoop dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Note: (only 6 cookies with fit per tray)

  8. With wet finger tips, slightly flatten the dough.

  9. Bake for 17 - 19 minutes, rotating once half way through.

  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat steps until all dough has been baked.

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