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DECEMBER 2000
RECIPES



Chocolate Celebration Cake

Chocolate-Dipped Candied Citrus Peel

Ginger-Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate Praline Bars

Rocky Road



Sweet Spot

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Rocky Road

Yield: 48 small bars

Tips: Another recipe with endless variations (there seem to be a lot of those), Rocky Road is essentially chocolate with marshmallows and nuts. In this version, milk chocolate is used, and the nuts are cashews; I like their richness and flavor, and the milk chocolate doesn't overwhelm them. I also use large marshmallows, so you end up with big chunks of them in the finished candy. These aren't dainty or fancy, but adults seem to go for them just as much as kids do--and this would be a good recipe for help from aspiring young cooks. Nice for an informal party, especially placed into 2 inch foil or other candy cups or miniature baking cups.

Please use good-quality milk chocolate here! Because there are few ingredients, the quality of the chocolate really counts. You can substitute other nuts for the cashews, if you wish, but whatever you use should be roasted and unsalted. These must chill to set the chocolate, and they must be at room temperature when cut (if cold, they will crack). Store the candy airtight at cool room temperature for up to a week, or in the fridge, but do not freeze it; if stored in the fridge, allow it to come to room temperature before serving.

The chocolate melting can be adapted easily to the microwave. Use a medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave the chocolate and shortening at 50% (medium) power for short intervals, stirring well after each, just until melted and smooth.

  • 30 ounces (1 pound plus 14 ounces) good-quality milk chocolate, chopped and divided
  • 3 Tablespoons solid vegetable shortening (such as Crisco), divided
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 20 large, soft, fresh marshmallows, quartered (it's easy to quarter these with kitchen shears dipped into cold water and shaken off as necessary)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped roasted, unsalted cashews

Line a 7- by 11-inch pan (or substitute a 9-inch square pan) with heavy-duty aluminum foil (or use two lengths of regular-weight foil). Smooth out as many creases as possible, and fold any overhang back against the outer edges of the pan.

In medium heatproof bowl, combine 14 ounces chopped milk chocolate (reserve remainder) and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon solid vegetable shortening (reserve remainder). Place over hot water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water; dry bowl bottom and sides carefully. Add the 2/3 cup coarsely chopped cashews to the melted chocolate, and stir well to combine. Pour mixture into bottom of foil-lined pan; spread evenly. Place marshmallow quarters on top of melted chocolate layer, pressing them in slightly (you'll have to place them close together to fit them all in). Wipe off rim of medium bowl with paper towel, removing any melted chocolate.

Combine remaining 1 pound chopped chocolate and remaining 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons shortening in medium bowl. Again, place over hot water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir often until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water; dry bowl bottom and sides.

By large spoonfuls, drizzle melted chocolate all over tops of marshmallows, then spread as evenly as possible with back of spoon, right to the edge of the pan. The chocolate should completely cover the marshmallows, though it will be a very thin covering in some areas. Without waiting, sprinkle the finely chopped cashews evenly over the top. Very lightly press them into the top layer of chocolate.

Chill the Rocky Road until set and cold throughout, about 2 hours. To cut, remove from refrigerator, then remove from pan, still in foil lining. Allow to stand at room temperature for one hour; if cut while cold, this will crack. Use a large, sharp, heavy, straight-edged knife to repeatedly and heavily score the top layer of chocolate where you want to make cuts, then follow the scoring, cutting through the entire block with the front third or so of the knife (I've tried using the whole blade and cutting straight down, but that doesn't work for me here). You will have to apply some force to get the knife through the uncut block. Cut these into small squares, as they are rich. Store airtight at room temperature or in refrigerator; if chilled, allow to come to room temperature before serving.


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