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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Cookbook Wednesday | Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts

Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts

If after reading today’s post, you choose to “blame” someone for its contents, you’ll have to take it up with Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts authored by the undisputed Queen of Desserts.”

”…Although Heatter, a James Beard Foundation Cookbook Hall of Fame Award recipient, is revered as royalty in baking circles, her style of writing and recipes are down-to-earth and unpretentious. Recipes for cookies like Petite Trianons (brownies) and Mrs. L.B. J's Moonrocks, as well as cakes such as Old-Fashioned Coconut Cake, make it possible for bakers of every level to achieve success. If you are new to baking, stick to the recipes and follow them precisely. Your rewards will be great and you'll soon be hooked on one of the most fulfilling aspects of cooking…” Bake Happy with The Queen of Desserts, Maida Heatter.

It all started with today’s “designated” day. That would be I Love Reese’s® Day! I say designated because according to The National Peanut Board, I Love Reese’s® Day was officially declared in 2012 through the efforts of the Facebook community.

Since today is “a celebration of the great combo taste of peanut butter and chocolate,” I thought I would refer to Maida Heatter’s book for something to really WOW you all AND, satisfy the craving for that unbelievable deliciousness that occurs when chocolate meets peanut butter or visa versa. While I was thumbing through the book, I remembered the “interesting” cover beneath the dust cover. It isn’t something you see often these days. A book that actually has a illustrated hardcover shielded by a dust jacket.

Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts

It was innocent enough, thumb through each delicious page seeking out an amazing recipe which includes peanut butter and chocolate. Easy Peasy? Well, kinda. You see, my first choice was a recipe for Chocolate and Peanut Butter Crescents found on page 413. Oh my, I contemplated it for more than a day. As you know, I’m not much of a baker and when I read Ms. Heatter’s introduction to the recipe, I had to second guess myself.

”These are small, candy like cookies that take time and patience. They have a crisp chocolate dough wrapped around a peanut butter filling and are formed into crescent shapes…”

Her directions for forming the cookies threw me for a loop and that was it, I didn’t take another step. Oh I know, just call me a chicken, lol…However, thankfully for us all, Anna over at Cookie Madness baked the cookies just as Maida wrote the recipe. She too confessed to the need for patience. If Anna found the dough “testy,” and she’s a terrific baker, imagine what I would have done!!!

Don’t get me wrong, Ms. Heatter’s recipes are thorough, fun to read, personable, and always memorable! If you are a fan of Ina Garten, you really should check our Maida Heatter’s books and recipes, especially her recipe for The Queen of Cake. (I’ve left some links for you below:)

I did find another recipe to share though. No, I didn’t bake it for you today but, when apple season arrives, I may just be baking this Chocolate Applesauce Cake Maida’s way:) You, on the other hand, may just want to warm up for Applesauce Cake Day which is June 6th:)

Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts | Chocolate Applesauce Cake

I have many times proclaimed my love for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on this blog. I was once “addicted” to those mouthfuls of chocolate peanut butter delight. However, I no longer indulge:( Well, until now!!! You see, after I gave up on the elaborate thought of Chocolate and Peanut Butter Crescents, I had to go simple. I mean easy peasy oh so simple, simple. And I did. That’s right you lucky peanut butter chocolate lovers out there, I made home made peanut butter cups right in my own kitchen! Not only that, I also made Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Graham Crackers too!!!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups | Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

What happened was, I couldn’t find just the right recipe in any of my cookbooks for home made peanut butter cups. I was running late and finally decided on doing a quick search online. My oh my, peanut butter cup recipes abound online! There were Organic Peanut Butter Cups made with honey. There were Clone recipes, Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup recipes, 4 ingredient recipes and even Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge recipes. Nope, there was no shortage of recipes online. However, many of the recipes included either crushed graham crackers or rice cereal for texture.

A light went off in my head. I’ll make two different versions. I adapted the recipe for the Organic Peanut Butter Cups above. I omitted the honey. I melted Ghirardelli Chocolate chips and two tablespoons of the peanut oil from the jar of organic peanut butter over the top of a double boiler on very low. (you could use two tablespoons of butter if you prefer; it just makes the chocolate more pliable for biting:) With my mixer, I blended 1/2 cup of the creamy peanut butter with about 1/4 cup of confectionery’s sugar. I “painted” mini cup liners with the melted chocolate, put them in the freezer for a while, took them out, scooped a dollop of peanut butter in the center and then covered the whole with more melted chocolate and put them back in the freezer to set up. I then transferred them to the refrigerator. The peanut butter cup with the yellow decorations was a last minute thought. I added a bit of Kahlúa to the chocolate before finishing it off. I haven’t tried it yet. (I know, I should have but, to be honest, I ate so many of the chocolate covered graham crackers, I just couldn’t take another bite. Yes, they are that good!!!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups | Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

As for the chocolate covered graham crackers, well, the inspiration for those occurred when I happened upon this recipe for Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers over at Wendy’s The Monday Box. I don’t know if they are still available in the cookie aisles, but when I was a kid, chocolate covered graham crackers were a rare and yummy treat! I think I stopped looking for them because the last time I can remember, the chocolate wasn’t as good. Since so many of the recipes called for crushed graham crackers in the peanut butter, I figured why not cover the graham crackers in peanut butter sandwich style and then dip them into the chocolate. I’m not sure but I bet they are probably a “healthy” version of the peanut butter chocolate combination especially since I used dark chocolate chips. And boy oh boy, are they ever good!!! They are even Marion approved:)

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups | Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers

I know the pictures didn’t come out that great but the goodies sure did!!!

Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts was first published in 1974. Please don’t let that influence you if you ever happen upon one of her exceptional books. Maida Heatter's cookbooks have been the recipient of three James Beard Foundation Awards, and she herself was inducted into the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America in 1988. (right up there with Dorie Greenspan, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Alice Medrich, Marion Cunningham and others) She has also been inducted into the Chocolatier Magazine Hall of Fame.

Thank you so much for joining us for Cookbook Wednesday. Do indulge yourself with something peanut buttery and chocolately, any time. Louise:)

P.S. Don't forget tomorrow, May 19th is Devil's Food Cake Day!!!

P.S. S. The yard sale was cancelled due to rain. Whew! I didn't have to decide:)


Cookbook Wednesday | Share Your Favorite



Resources:
1. Maida Heatter | Our First Culinary Patriot
2. Maida Heatter-about her
3. Baking through her recipes
4. Maida Heatter’s 86-Proof Chocolate Cake
5. The James Beard Foundation Lists The 13 Baking Books You Need to Buy Now















51 Nibbles:

Kitchen Riffs said...

We have that book! One of Mrs KR's favorites. Don't think she's ever made that crescent recipe, though. At least I don't remember it. She's pretty good at spotting recipes that are too finicky for her taste. Haida Heatter is great, though -- one of the best dessert cookbook writers going. Fun post -- thanks.

Poppy Crocker said...

Yay! I looooove Reese's so much! Your homemade peanut butter cups and chocolate-covered pb grahams look amazing, though. I may just have to try that for myself.

When I was little, it was about an hour and a half drive to my grandma's house. That seemed like an eternity when I was 5. Grandma would often have graham crackers covered in chocolate frosting waiting for me when I got there after the long ride, so your version holds a bit of nostalgia for me, as well as the luscious p.b. and chocolate combo!

Janet Rudolph said...

What a great post. Well, they always are, but you got me at Chocolate! I have the Maida Heatter cookbook, but haven't made too many of the recipes. Thanks so much for the tips. Also didn't realize it was I Love Reese's Day, so I may need to do a second post!

Pam said...

Who can resist the combination of chocolate and peanut butter? Not me! I have made chocolate peanut butter crescents, but I cheat. I use canned crescent dough, chocolate chips, and peanut butter. Bake & devour. Easy peasy!

Mae Travels said...

Happy Cookbook Wednesday, Louise!
Maida Heattter is another of the many cookbook writers whose works are on my list but have never made it into my library. This makes me all the more tempted to buy one, though I don't make very many desserts.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Dottie said...

Dear Louise,
Oh my I am hungry now reading your post...I want those Peanut Butter cups and the Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Graham Crackers! They look so yummy and full of everything I love, peanut butter and chocolate. The Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts is fun to see. I love when you show us the older cookbooks. The Chocolate Applesauce Cake sounds interesting and I did not know that June 6th is Applesauce Cake Day. Sorry that your Yard Sale was rained out! I know you had a tough time deciding which things to save and which to sell. I love your Cookbook Wednesday. On my Tuesday post I posted another one and linked it up. Thanks for sharing Louise, say hello to Marion for me!
Hugs Dottie :)

Marjie said...

Your nibbles look delectable! I wouldn't have been able to stay away from them. I've heard of Maida Heatter, but don't have any of her cookbooks. You know all the kids would be all about the chocolate recipes, and I'll bet the chocolate applesauce cake is simply divine (but I'm not sure I can do that to applesauce cake, since I love chocolate but not chocolate flavored baked goods)! Great celebration, Louise, as always!

Gloria Baker said...

Dear Louise this is a fun and lovely post, love all these old books. I link my recipe but Im not sure what happens because I dont see the image, tell me if is wrong and I will make again !! hugss!!

Nellie said...

Oh, my! It is a good thing I didn't know about the peanut butter/chocolate combo for today! I could have done some really serious damage.:-) No better combination, IMHO. xo Nellie

Anne Regalado said...

Louise , I love peanut butter cups , the chocolate and peanut butter combo is too hard to resist ! You're better person than I , living in the good ol' US of A and can get Reese's anywhere and yet you've made homemade version?! You're awesome :D What I love more than peanut butter cups ? Choco covered biscuits ! Throw several pieces over here , pretty please ? lol

Linda A. Thompson-Ditch said...

Oh my goodness!!! Your chocolate treats look yummy and tempting!

Pam said...

Great post, Louise! I have this and a couple of other Maida Heatter cookbooks and her recipes are the best. Those crescents have to be delicious, too bad it takes patience! :-) Chocolate and peanut butter rule! Hugs

imturning60help said...

Oh, graham crackers! You reminded me of an old favourite, cinnamon sugar graham crackers. Wonder how they would’ve tasted with chocolate and peanut butter?
Hi to Marion!

Thanks for the memories… Margaret at http://imturning60help.blogspot.ca

Shirley Tay said...

Love the decor on the graham crackers! Peanut butter sounds like a great idea especially when my hubby's addicted to it. It's like medicine to him, he needs his peanut butter dosage everyday! Hahaha! xoxo

Liz Berg said...

If I don't have that cookbook, I need to hunt it down! How did I miss out on this important holiday????!

Cakelaw said...

Your chocolate covered graham crackers look so good. That photo of Maida on the cover of the book is a classic - love it.

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Louise, oh chocolate and peanut butter cannot be beat. Yours look delicious. There is a place in town that makes chocolate and they make milk and dark chocolate large peanut butter cups, they are like heaven. Hope you are having a great week-end!

Beth said...

Those look delicious! Homemade peanut butter cups are just about perfect.

~~louise~~ said...

Isn't it a great book John. I'm sure you would remember those crescents they sound outstanding!!! Thanks for stopping by, John...

~~louise~~ said...

You really should give them a try, Poppy. Actually a lot easier than I would have imagined. I've been stopping myself from making more, lol...Dark chocolate is "allowed" on my diet but I'm sure not as much as I would like, lol...

Graham crackers covered in chocolate frosting! Oh my what a great idea!!! Leave it to us grandmas, lol...

~~louise~~ said...

So glad you liked it Janet. I kept thinking to myself, Janet is going to love this post, lol...

Karen Luvswesavory said...

Hi Louise,
Chocolate and peanut butter is "a must" to keep stock in my home. My big kids' favorite and they couldn't resist Reese's peanut butter cups too. I love the idea to cover the graham crackers in peanut butter sandwich style and then dip them into the chocolate. Oh so yummy! Thanks for the sharing, Louise.

sonia de macedo said...

Oh I don't know if I should say hooray or what a shame re the cancellation. In one way you definitely don't have to decide what pieces to part ways with and then you also don't get to peruse your neighbours goodies either! I had no idea there was such a day for Reece's. When I was over in the US five years ago I tried them and didn't really like them. But when I travelled this year I brought some and was surprisingly hooked. I don't know what was different this time round but I could have eaten more that is for sure. I've wanted to try my own someday, I've pinned a few myself on Pinterest but I'm not sure when I'll do it. I'm scared I'll butcher them somehow and ruin them forever!

Sxx
www.daringcoco.com

Lady Lilith said...

Yummy. Chocolate and Dessert make a great combo. I am getting hungry and it is morning time.

Debra Eliotseats said...

I think your photos look just fine. I would certainly want one of your chocolate creations. Sorry I didn't link up this week...working on salads, but I may try for this Wednesday or the next.

I Wilkerson said...

I guess with all that chocolate this is about as much fun as a cookbook gets! I did peanut butter cups one year at http://artofnaturalliving.com/2014/04/12/organic-homemade-peanut-butter-cups/ That was a fun Easter! Still mean to do one of your cookbook parties. I just realized that I am so desperately trying to use up last year's frozen food, that I am using fewer recipes...

~~louise~~ said...

I know I can resist, it Pam. All those cookies are gone and I am stopping myself from making more, lol...(I guess I can resist a little, lol:) The canned crescent rolls version sounds interesting Pam. Leave it to you to find an easier way, lol...thanks for the tip:)

~~louise~~ said...

If you ever have the opportunity Mae, you should seek out one of her books. Maida is right up there with Ina Garten!!!

Sonia Cerca said...

Chocolate and peanut butter? Wonderful combination, I'm in!
Sonia at Inglourious Bananas

~~louise~~ said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this post Dottie. The Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers were so good. I don't know why I was so surprised but zi sure do plan on making them again:)

I would love to try that Chocolate Applesauce Cake. I'm shooting for Applesauce Cake Day but, you just never know, lol...

Thank you so much for dropping by Dottie. I hope all is well in your corner of the world...

~~louise~~ said...

I wish I had another Maida Heatter book to share with you Marjie. If you ever see one at one of those library sales, pick it up; quick! I'm hesitant about the Chocolate Applesauce Cake too. It sounds interesting but I'm not sure how it would meld. I guess we'll just have to try it one day, lol...

Thanks for visiting, Marjie...

~~louise~~ said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Gloria. Not to worry, I fixed your link:)

~~louise~~ said...

Well you know now for next year, Nellie!!!

Gloria Baker said...

Thanks ♡♡♡♡♡

Amelia said...

Hi Louise, chocolate.... I definitely love this posting. Anything chocolate is my top favorite. Chocolate and peanut butter are best combo, love it so much.
Thanks for sharing.

Warmest regards.
Amelia

~~louise~~ said...

You're so funny Anne. The real reason I made my own version was to make them just a bit more healthier:) You see, I LOVE peanut butter cups too! I'll save you some the next time I make them but I can't gurantee they won't melt:) Thanks for visiting, Anne...

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Linda:)

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Pam:) I'm delighted you enjoyed your visit:) Chocolate and Peanut Butter definitely rule!!!

~~louise~~ said...

I would love to one day bake my very own cinnamon sugar graham crackers, someday, Margaret:) I will be trying them with peanut butter and chocolate!!! Thank you so much for poping by, Margaret...

~~louise~~ said...

The "decor" was a last minute touch Shirley but, they actually tasted better without it, lol...I'm not sure about peanut butter everyday unless, of course, it's swirled with chocolate, lol...thanks for dropping by, Shirley...

~~louise~~ said...

You sure do, Liz! It's the best!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Gaye:) They sure were yummy!!! Gotta love that photo, they just don't make cookbooks like this anymore:) Thank you so much for dropping by, Gaye...

~~louise~~ said...

I considered making really huge peanut butter cups but I changed my mind once I focused on the graham crackers. That place in town sounds like my kind of place! Thank you so much for visiting, Cheri...

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Beth:) They were sooooooo yummy!!!

~~louise~~ said...

I never realized how popular chocolate and peanut butter are, Karen. I'm in right with your kids!!! The chocolate sipped graham crackers were sooooo good!!! I need to make more:) Thank you so much for stopping by, Karen...

~~louise~~ said...

Reese's do have a way of seeking up on you Sonia. I didn't know what all the hoop-a-la was the first couple of times I had them and then, well, it hit and it hit hard!!! You really should try to make your own, although, be warned, they are addicting, lol...I'm no pro in the kitchen and somehow I managed. The most difficult part is getting the chocolate into the mini muffin liners. Next time I make them I'm going to try them in a regular size muffin tin just not fill it up. Good luck when you try. And please share...,lol...

Thank you so much for popping by, Sonia...

~~louise~~ said...

I bet the girls would love these Lady Lilith:)

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Debra. I would have preferred they look a bit more professional but I was really happy with the tasting results, lol...Whenever you are able to link up for Cookbook Wednesday Debra, you are more than welcome:) Thank you so much for popping by...

~~louise~~ said...

This is indeed a fun cookbook, Inger. Unfortunately it doesn't have the pictures everyone would like but the recipes do leave much to the imagination! I hope you get to join us for Cookbook Wednesday one day. We'd love to see some of your favorites:) Thanks for stopping by Inger...

~~louise~~ said...

Welcome, Sonia...thank you so much for stopping by:) Can't go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter, it's amazing how many people feel the same way about it:) Looks like we're all in!!!

~~louise~~ said...

I too have a weakness for chocolate Amelia. However, when it comes to that combo of chocolate AND peanut butter, OMGoodness!!!

Thanks for visiting, Amelia...