Monday, September 25, 2023

ChezCindy: Double Chocolate Kisses & Hugs Cookies


Peanut Butter Blossom cookies were the inspiration for these Double Chocolate Kisses & Hugs cookies.  I wanted to develop a cookie that featured the white chocolate/milk chocolate candy, named by Hershey's as Hugs.  The chocolate cookie dough is one I use during the December Holidays, sprinkling the top with crushed candy canes.  The cookie dough worked perfectly to snuggle in the Hershey's candy for a sweet treat, delicious any time of the year.  

Double Chocolate Kisses & Hugs Cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla 

1 15.6-ounce bag of Hershey's Kisses & Hugs candy

Makes about 50 small cookies 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Have ready 2 large cookie baking trays, or 3 small, lined with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Working with a medium mixing bowl, add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, gently stirring to combine.  Set aside.

Working with the bowl of a stand-mixer or using a large mixing bowl and an electric hand-mixer, add in the shortening and brown sugar, mixing together to combine until creamy.  Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until just combined.  Mix in the vanilla.  Turn the mixer off, add in the flour.  Starting slowly, mix the ingredients to combine until they just come together, not to overmix.  Allow the cookie dough to rest on the counter for 20 minutes.  While the dough is resting, remove the foil cover from 50 of the Kisses & Hugs candy.  Set aside.  

Using a tablespoon or a small spring-loaded scooper, scoop out the cookie dough, placing the cookie ball onto the cookie baking tray.  Place the cookies into the preheated oven, baking for 8 minutes.  Remove the cookie sheet from the oven.  Working quickly but carefully, place one chocolate candy into the center of each cookie.  Leave the cookies on the sheet pan for 1 minute.  Then, slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto the counter to finish cooling.  

Friday, September 8, 2023

ChezCindy: Chicken Parmesan Cheeseburgers


If you are looking for a dinner that is delicious, fun, and just a bit indulgent, try this Chicken Parmesan Cheeseburger on Focaccia.  Classic Chicken Parm is usually a breaded chicken cutlet served with Italian red sauce and a blend of melted mozzarella, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, often served with spaghetti.  Delicicious in all ways.  In this recipe, I use ground chicken, Italian seasoning and cheeses to make and Italian Cheeseburger!   

Italian Chicken Parmesan Cheeseburgers
12 ounces ground chicken
1/4 cup grated zucchini, excess liquid squeezed out 
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
1 heavy tablespoon marinara sauce
1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan cheese 
1 tablespoon chopped parsley   
1 teaspoon kosher salt
small pinch of black pepper or red pepper flakes

Burger Topping 
1/4 cup marina sauce, divided
3/4 cup fresh grated Fontina cheese
2 tablespoons fresh grated Pecorino cheese, or Parmesan
Fresh basil, torn into small pieces 

Toasted Focaccia Bread as buns, cut into 4-inch squares

Makes 2 burgers, recipe can be doubled

Place the burger ingredients into a medium size bowl.  Using a fork, toss all the ingredients together until well combined.  Divide the mixture into 2 equal parts forming into large flat patties, placing each patty onto a small square of wax paper or parchment paper.  The mixture will be quite sticky and moist.  The paper squares will help to transfer the burgers to the pan for cooking.  

Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet to heat for 1 minute.  Pick up one burger and the paper, placing the burger meat-side down, peeling off the paper once the burger is in the pan.  Repeat with the second burger.  Cook on side one for 6-7 minutes until this side is well browned.  Flip the burgers to cook side two, cooking for 2-3 minutes.  Add 2 tablespoons of marina sauce to the top of each burger.  Generously top each burger with the shredded cheese, cover the pan with a lid to melt the cheese and to finish the cook time on the burgers, another 2 minutes.  The burgers should read as 160 for the internal temperature.  

Meanwhile, toast the focaccia squares to have waiting and ready for the cheeseburgers.  Place burgers onto the focaccia buns, sprinkling with the torn basil.  Serve with additional marina sauce on the side if desired.