Jody Victor Shares This Holiday Idea: Cappuccino Pecan Nuggets

What could be sweeter than coffee shop flavors wrapped up in little bite-sized nuggets…

Cappuccino Pecan Nuggets

Ingredients

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp instant espresso coffee (dry)
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
12 ounces vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark), chopped
12 vanilla or chocolate caramels
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp whipping (heavy) cream
72 large pecan halves (1 1/2 cups)
10 to 12 ounces milk or semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
3 Tbsp shortening
Instant espresso coffee (dry)

Directions

1. line square pan, 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 inches, with aluminum foil, leaving 1 inch of foil overhanging at 2 opposite sides of pan; spray with cooking spray.

2. Heat brown sugar, 1 tbsp coffee and the milk to boiling in 2-quart saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in candy coating until melted. Pour into pan. Refrigerate uncovered about 30 minutes or until firm. Remove mixture from pan, using foil edges to lift. Cut into 6 rows by 6 rows.

3. Heat caramels, chocolate chips and whipping cream in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is melted and smooth. Refrigerate uncovered about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until mixture holds its shape and is cool enough to handle.

4. Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper. For each nugget, roll 1/2 teaspoon caramel-chocolate mixture into ball; press between 2 pecan halves and flatten slightly. Shape 1 square coffee mixture evenly around pecan cluster; roll between hands to form ball. Place on cookie sheet. Refirgerate about 15 minutes or until firm.

5. Cover cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Melt baking chocolate and shortening in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, sitrring contatntly. Dip 1 nugget at a time into chocolate mixture. Place on cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle coffee over some of the nuggets. Drizzle remaining melted chocolate over some of the nuggets if desired. Refrigerate about 10 minutes or just until set. Serve at room temperature. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy!

Jody Victor Shares a Cocoa Coffee Cake Recipe

Cocoa Coffee Cake will satisfy your chocolate craving and tastes great with, what else, coffee!

Cocoa Coffee Cake

Ingredients

1-1/2 cups strong brewed coffee
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1 recipe Coffee-Hazelnut Syrup (below)
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted (optional)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan. In a bowl whisk together coffee, sugar, oil, honey, vinegar, and vanilla. Add eggs; whisk until combined. In another bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, soda, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk in coffee mixture until combined. Add the 1 cup hazelnuts; stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan.

2. Bake in preheated oven about 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. Remove from pan to a serving platter. Brush with some of the Coffee-Hazelnut Syrup. Cool for 30 minutes. Brush again with syrup. Sprinkle with the 1/4 cup hazelnuts. Serve cake warm with remaining syrup. Makes 12 servings. Enjoy!

Coffee-Hazelnut Syrup: In a saucepan combine 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp butter, and 1 cup strong brewed coffee. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly and is reduced to about 1-1/3 cups. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tbsp hazelnut-flavored liqueur. Makes about 1-1/2 cups.

Jody Victor’s Chocolate-Coffee Liqueur Cookie Recipe

For a sensational treat after dinner or for a late morning snack, try these cookies with your cup of Joe…

Chocolate Coffee Liqueur Cookies

Ingredients

1-2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup butter (no substitute), softened
1/3 cup brewed coffee, cooled
1/4 cup coffee liqueur
2 eggs
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tsp vanilla
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Coffee Frosting (see recipe below)
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted (optional)

Directions

Combine sugar, the 2/3 cup butter, coffee, the 1/4 cup coffee liqueur, eggs, melted unsweetened chocolate, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until creamy, scraping bowl often. Reduce speed to low: add flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Beat until combined.

Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are firm.  Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Remove and cool on wire racks.

Spread Coffee Frosting over cooled cookies. Drizzle with melted semisweet chocolate, if desired. Makes about 60 cookies.

Coffee Frosting: Beat 3 tablespoons butter (no substitutes), 3 cups sifted powdered sugar, and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur in a medium mixing bowl. Gradually beat in enough brewed coffee (2 to 3 tablespoons) to make of spreading consistency. Enjoy!

Jody Victor Tries an Irish Breakfast

Mashed Irish Breakfast Sweet Potatoes

This is a great way to enjoy flavorful sweet potatoes without the added sugar…

  1. Brew 3 cups of Irish Breakfast tea (Rooibos and Earl Grey work also)
  2. Rinse and drain one 15 oz can of sweet potatoes
  3. Add tea and sweet potatoes to a saucepan
  4. Cut sweet potatoes into ½” chunks with a fork
  5. Let sit for 10 minutes
  6. Simmer sweet potatoes on low to medium low until most of the moisture is gone
  7. Stir and mash sweet potatoes thoroughly with a fork until smooth
  8. Add a dash of salt and pepper, a tablespoon of butter, and a dash of cinnamon (optional)
  9. Continue heating and stirring for a minute or two
  10. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy!

Jody Victor’s Favorite Biscotti

Traditionally, biscotti were dunked in wine – but their pleasing crisp texture is also delightful with a cup of coffee or glass of milk.

Bittersweet Chocolate Biscotti

Ingredients

1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted hazelnuts (filberts), chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces special dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons shortening

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occaisionally. Beat in eggs and cocoa powder. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, the hazelnuts, and 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate with a wooden spoon.

2. Divide dough in half. shape each portion into a 9-inch-long roll. Place rolls 4 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet, slightly flatten each roll to 2 inches wide.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325F.

4. Cut each roll diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices, slicing carefully with a serrated knife. Place slices, cut sides down, on cookie sheet.

5. Bake in 325F oven for 8 minutes. Carefully turn slices over and bake for 7 to 9 minutes more or until dry and crisp. Transfer to wire racks and let cool, about 1 hour. Makes 2 dozen.

6. Microwave chopped chocolate and shortening in a small microwave-safe bowl on 50 percent power (medium) for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted., stirring twice. Dip one end of each cookie into melted chocolate; let excess drip back into bowl. Place cookies on waxed paper; let stand until set.

7. Note: To toast nuts, spread them in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bke in a preheated 375F oven for 4 to 5 minutes or until nuts are slightly golden brown, stirring once or twice. Wrap warm nuts in a clean kitchen towel. Rub nuts in towel to remove any loose skins; cool completely. Chop nuts and set aside.

8. To Store: Place cookies in layers separated by pieces of waced paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw cookies, of frozen, befor serving.