Monday, November 23, 2015

Dark Cherry Balsamic Chocolate Truffle Cookies




We find it surprising that few people know how useful balsamic vinegar is in baking. Consider it like a liqueur, rich and full of flavor, but with a tang to ease the sweetness. We have always love chocolate and cherries as a combination - it marries like PB & J - but also consider this recipe with our Raspberry Balsamic for a clever and unique variation.

A note on the addition of the nuts: If you decide to add them (and we hope you do) be aware that the cookies will result in a mound shape – in other words, less flat. You can see the difference in the second picture where we have both cookies plated.

 
Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon Pastamoré Dark Sweet Cherry Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, lightly chopped & toasted (optional)
  • powdered sugar, optional as dusting
Directions:

In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of the chocolate chips and the butter stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whip eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, cherry balsamic and the chocolate mixture until well mixed.

Combine the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt, then gradually stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and pecans, if using. Cover dough and chill for at least an hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly cover cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Roll chilled dough into 1 to 2 inch balls. Place on cookie sheets so they are 2 inches apart.

Bake for 11 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.



Makes 3 dozen.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Gluten-Free Lasagna with Oven-Ready No-Boil Noodles


This is a reprint (with some elaboration) of the recipe included in our Pastamoré Garlic Chive Lasagna and our Spinach with Roasted Garlic Lasagna packages. In case the package is ripped, or the print is just too small to read, we wanted you to be able to find a copy here. Also, as we use the noodles more, we hope to try some variations. By the same token, if you have tried some different ways to use our noodles, please let us know. We will update this recipe as we learn!

Needed:

  • 9” by 13” baking dish
Ingredients:
  • 1 package Pastamoré Gluten-Free Lasagna noodles (12 noodles)
  • 1 pound ground beef (we like 90/10) or Italian chicken sausage
  • 2 (24) ounce jars of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 (16) ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 pounds shredded mozzarella cheese
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook ground beef or sausage in a sauté pan, medium heat until well browned.

In a large sauce pot, heat pasta sauce to a low simmer. Once the meat is cooked, add to the pasta sauce. Simmer for about fifteen minutes to blend flavors.

In a small bowl, mix egg with ricotta cheese. Set aside.

Assemble the lasagna: Spread a small amount of pasta sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. At this point, the layering begins, three times: noodles, ricotta mixture, sauce, and mozzarella – repeat.

Arrange 4 lasagna noodles evenly on bottom of baking dish. Using a spoon, dollop one third (4 to 6 spoonful’s) of the ricotta mixture on the noodles and spread as evenly as you can.

Using a ladle, cover the noodles completely with a layer (again, one third) of the pasta sauce. Sprinkle one third (about 10 ounces, the top layer can be a bit heavier) with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Repeat the layers, three times total, finishing with the mozzarella.

Cover with non-stick foil and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Total cook time is one hour. Remove from oven and let rest uncovered for 15 minutes. Cut into portions and serve.

Serves 8 generously.