Monthly Archives: May 2010

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

chocolate chip shortbread

I’m a chronic recipe clipper.

I have notebooks full of recipes that I cut from magazines and newspapers just waiting to be tried!

Recipes like this one.

I ran across it the other day and thought it looked really yummy – they only problem was that the recipe started with “To the basic sugar cookie dough (recipe on page 196) add…”

Oops. I didn’t save page 196.

So I substituted my favorite sugar cookie recipe – a sour cream version that is rich and soft.  The shortbread turned out great – and looked really fancy!

If I was short on time, I’m sure a refrigerated sugar cookie dough would work just as well – just throw in the chocolate chips, press it into the pan and bake.

The round springform pan and the chocolate/raspberry glaze will make it look like I spent hours!

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 – 3 ounce package cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Cream together the margarine, and sugar. Add the cream cheese, egg, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking powder. Add it to the creamed mixture and mix well.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Press into a 9 inch round springform pan.  Score into 16 pie shaped wedges.

Bake at 350 degrees for 27-30 minutes.  Let cool. Remove the sides of the pan and drizzle with chocolate sauce and/or melted raspberry jam. (I did both!)


I’ve linked this post up at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday on Blessed with Grace and Tasty Tuesday over at Beauty and Bedlam.

Those Aren’t Mine!

My kidlets are all home again. Ahh….

The three oldest kids returned from Teen Pact National Convention full of stories punctuated with exclamation points (!!! ) and everything they took with them – minus the snacks.

We got a great feel for their week away when we looked through the pictures they took. One picture stood out to me – I’m still not sure why they took it – but it was kind of funny!

It is a picture of someone’s sleeping bag and bag of clothes. They unloaded it there on Monday afternoon and never picked it up.


All week the sleeping bag and bag of clothes sat there. All week it was announced that someone’s sleeping bag and clothes were sitting outside.

But they were never claimed.

Some boy had slept on a bare mattress all week and never changed his clothes. I jokingly said that all they needed to do was smell the kids about Wednesday and you would know who hadn’t changed their underwear. 🙂  But then I remembered that this was a bunch of junior and senior high boys – so that test wouldn’t be very accurate.

Seriously – I wondered how in the world someone would not miss their things?!

But then I remembered that these were junior and senior high boys.

Case in point: earlier this spring one of my sons suddenly lost all of his jeans. They were not in his dresser – they weren’t in his dad’s dresser or his brothers. They had simply vanished into thin air.

He went an entire week with alternating between his one pair of jeans and his pajama pants.

Finally – I went up to check the attic where all the kids have a Rubbermaid plastic tote for off-season clothes. Voila! There were several pairs of jeans in his tote – in his size.

I brought them down – but he looked at them and said. “Those aren’t mine – I’ve never seen them before.”

Hello! He wore those jeans all winter. I bought them for him. I washed them and folded them all winter long. Those were his jeans. He probably carried them up on a warm spring day – thinking he wouldn’t need them anymore and forgot about it.

I said, “Humor me – just try them on.”

Would you believe – they fit?!

I just smiled my “all-knowing mother smile” and proclaimed it a miracle.

Now I totally understand why some teenage boy never recognized his own sleeping bag and clothes. It’s called adolescence.

And I can totally understand his mom’s frustration when her son arrived home empty handed.

I send her my sympathies.

Techie Son Edit: I’m still sure those jeans weren’t mine.

All Nature Sings

Our afternoon got a little sweeter today.

Poppa found a newborn fawn in the grass near their garden.

We hurried over to see , being careful not to touch or disturb it.

We stood in awe  at the wonder of new life – the miracle of creation.

It was incredibly beautiful – laying there in the grass.

I thought to myself – how can anyone look at this new life and not believe in a creator God? Where did the doe learn how to give birth?

Who taught her where to give birth?

How does she know how to feed and care for her newborn?

Who designed the camouflage pattern on the fawn to help it hide in the forest?

All of nature sings of a Creator.

We heard the song today as we gazed in the face of a newborn fawn – it was in the form of a lullaby.

Job 39:1- 4  “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do  you watch when the doe bears her fawn? Do you count the months til they bear? Do you know the time they give birth? They crouch down and bring forth their young; their labor pains are ended. The young thrive and grow strong in the wilds; they leave and do not return.”

Black Forest Chocolate Mousse

chocolate mousseWe went from cold and rainy to hot and sticky – literally overnight.

Instantly – baked goods just didn’t sound good and we were all hungry for something smooth, creamy, and cool.

It was time for some mousse.

I found an interesting recipe in an old Ghirardelli cookbook – it was quick to make and didn’t heat up the kitchen.

I did make a few frugal substitutions – but the end result was still yummy!

Black Forest Chocolate Mousse

2 bars (4 ounces each) Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate (I used 1 cup of Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips – shh – don’t tell!)
2 tablespoons warm water
1 cup whipping cream
3/4  cup sugar
pinch salt
3 Tablespoons Kirsch (cherry liqueur – I used maraschino cherry juice)
1/2 cup sour cream
6 whole maraschino cherries

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate with the water over 1 inch of simmering water, stirring until smooth.

Whip the cream with the sugar and the salt. (I skipped this step and used a carton of Cool Whip!)

Gradually add the melted chocolate and Kirsch, beating at low speed until smooth.

Fold in the sour cream.

Spoon into serving dishes and chill.

I served to an enthusiastic audience with a dollop of Cool Whip and a maraschino cherry.

The recipe says it makes 6 (1/2 cup) servings – but I barely got 5. I think I may have sampled too much! 🙂


PS Just a note on the photo – I would like to introduce my new photographer on staff here at The Chocolate Lady – my 11 year old daughter who’s blog name is Angel Girl. She had just a few days to practice before her brother left for a week at camp with the only camera she has ever used.

She was a trooper though and took several shots of of our finished mousse – with an unfamiliar camera – before we ate it.  When she went to upload them however – they didn’t turn out.

We couldn’t take another picture because we had devoured the dessert. Then I remembered the little bit of extra mousse I had hidden in the fridge so I could have a little taste later (I know none of you would ever do such a thing!). It wasn’t pretty though – just plopped in an old plastic container (part of the disguise – please don’t tell my kids!)

So I scooped out a spoonful, topped it with just a touch of Cool Whip – and voila! Angel Girl got her shot.

It still wasn’t  quite what we were looking for – but at least you get the idea! 🙂

And yes – now Angel Girl knows my secret.

And yes – I will let have some – okay all – of my secret stash.

And yes – I knew I shouldn’t eat it anyway! 🙂

I’ve linked this post up at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday on Blessed with Grace and Tasty Tuesday over at Beauty and Bedlam.

Sandwich Loaf

Pizza Bread There is nothing quite as wonderful as the smell of fresh bread baking – unless of course it’s the first warm bite with butter dripping off your chin!!

We bake almost all of the bread the family eats – partially because it’s better for us – but mostly because it’s so much cheaper!

On bread baking day during the winter months we like to have soup for supper with our fresh bread. But in the warm months – we often make a sandwich loaf.

This week’s was a pizza loaf – but you could fill it with anything you wish. (My sister made a yummy ham and cheese version that she shared at a recent family get-together.)

The process is simple.

Take a hunk of dough – the equivalent of about 1 loaf  (you can use frozen bread dough for this)  and roll it out on into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick on a greased cookie sheet.

Take a knife and very lightly score the bread into 3 sections lengthwise. There should be 3 long skinny sections.

Working on the outside sections, take a knife and cut slits diagonally from the outside edge to the scored line – making cool little dough fringe .

Do this to both outside sections.

Now look at your middle section – and get creative.

Pile it with whatever toppings you wish, leaving about an inch at the top and the bottom.

Here’s some filing ideas – but don’t be limited to these – this is a great way to be creative with your left-overs:

  • Spread the dough with butter, sprinkle with some garlic and layer ham and cheese
  • Pizza – pizza sauce, pepperoni, sausage, ham, green peppers, onions, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, etc..
  • Alfredo sauce with cooked chicken, ham, and swiss cheese
  • Left-over barbecued pork or sloppy joe’s with some cheddar cheese
  • Sliced steak with onions, peppers, and provolone cheese
  • Go Mexican with seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, refried beans, and sour cream

When you have the filling all laid out – start closing in the loaf by pulling the bottom inch of bare dough up to cover the filling. Repeat with the top inch of bare dough.

Starting at the bottom, take one horizontal dough fringe from each side over the filling and cross them. Repeat until the entire loaf is “tied up”.

Cover with a clean cloth and let the loaf rise for about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30- 40 minutes or until golden brown and the bottom is firm.

You should let it cool slightly (about 15 – 20 minutes) before cutting – if you can wait that long!


I’ve linked this post at Mouth Watering Monday over at A Southern Fairy Tale, Tasty Tuesday over at Beauty and Bedlam, and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace.